The Ripper Returns

Judas Priest's frontman takes cover in Akron.

Judas Priest frontman and Akron native Tim "Ripper" Owens is back in the area, performing with nü-metal cover band the Sickness, which takes on the likes of Limp Bizkit, Godsmack, and of course, Disturbed. According to a report from, Owens will perform with the band "for as long as he can stand it." Apparently his stomach is stronger than ours. Catch the band at Akron's Lakeshore Cafe on November 1.

We told ya last week that former Stepsisters Tony Erba, Aaron Dowell, and Attila were forming a new band, and now it appears that they've settled on a vocalist. Madison Trash owner Matt Wroth will front the group, which is calling itself Amps II Eleven.

The impossibly busy IDM duo Twine has recently hooked up with German-based Mille-Plateau records, one of the most prestigious labels for cutting-edge electronic music. The group plans on dropping a new disc next spring; in the meantime, it has a new 10-inch out on Belgium's Kraak3 label and an upcoming DVD due from Bip-Hop.

Though the Grammys have traditionally been about as receptive to independent artists as pro wrestlers are to steroid tests, a demo-listening contest put on by a chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences should help change that. To be held at the Beachland Ballroom on November 4, the contest is open to all unsigned bands; the winner will receive studio time, gift certificates for equipment, marketing consultation, and other goodies. Call 312-786-1121 for an entry form, or send a request by e-mail to [email protected].

Danny Frye, frontman of the Devildolls, recently made an appearance on Fox's syndicated Texas Justice, a court-TV show taped in Houston. Check listings for reruns.

The G Spot, the latest from Cleveland R&B great Gerald Levert, got off to a strong start on last week's Billboard Top 200, debuting at No. 9 with over 75,000 copies sold.

Cranky Slayer guitarist Kerry King generally seems to hate everything but his own playing, but in this month's issue of Guitar World magazine, the metal great gives props to Cleveland's own Chimaira. "They are my favorite new band," he says. "They're entertaining, which a lot of bands aren't. These kids love what they do, and you can tell." Chimaira is currently in preproduction for its second album for Roadrunner Records.