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I Am A Highway
by Audioslave
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Heard by 26,384 since May 30 '05
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Tenacious D
Feb 2002

The self-proclaimed "Greatest Band on Earth," Tenacious D
[ www.tenaciousd.com ] is in the radio.wazee spotlight this week, with "Tribute" from their long-awaited, eponymous major-label debut on Epic.

As they say in the song, "Tribute" is not actually the greatest song in the world, its just a tribute, because they forgot how the greatest song in the world went after conquering the Devil with it. This is a prime example of the quirky sense of humor synonymous with the chunky acoustic metal/comedy duo of singers/guitarists/actors Jack Black and Kyle Gass (aka JB, Jables, KG and Rage Kage, among other aliases). The duo met at an acting class and began playing together in 1994, making their live debut later that year at Al's Bar in Downtown Los Angeles, playing just one number, "Tribute." In the audience that night was comedian/actor David Cross, who invited Black and Gass to appear with him and other like-minded performers such as Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo in a series of alternative comedy shows. The D soon headlined shows at venues like Pedro's and Largo, planting the seeds of a die-hard cult following.

The following year, Tenacious D made appearances on Bob Odenkirk and Cross' HBO sketch comedy program "Mr. Show With Bob and David," beginning their rise to the mainstream and the 1999 HBO series. Though it lasted just three episodes, "Tenacious D" the show included, among other adventures, the group's search for "Inspirato," the cosmic creative force; the love triangle between Black, Gass, and a heavily pierced, Satanic clog dancer who threatened to destroy the group; and the discovery of Lee, Tenacious D's biggest fan. More of the D's brilliantly dumb songs debuted on the show, and fans began trading and auctioning video and audiotapes at fever pitch. The duo also played opening gigs for friends like Beck, Pearl Jam, and the Foo Fighters and embarked on their first full-fledged tour. Epic won a bidding war to sign the group, and in 2000, Black's popularity and prominence as an actor grew with roles in films like "Jesus' Son" and, especially, "High Fidelity," as the larger-than-life record store clerk Barry. A Tenacious D album was in the works, produced by the Dust Brothers and recorded in part at ArcAngel Studio in Los Angeles which is owned by the Ds idol Neil Diamond and featuring appearances by Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters (the duo appeared in the Foos' "Learn to Fly" video), Page McConnell of Phish and Steve McDonald of Redd Kross.

In 2001, the D's momentum hit critical mass: Black co-starred in "Shallow Hal" with Gwyneth Paltrow and the group set out on their second nationwide tour. And, despite an attempt to recall "Tenacious D" the album at the last moment because of its back cover, which depicted two babies chained to an altar, their debut entered the charts at a surprisingly strong number 33. Equal parts power balladeers, improv comedy troupe and acoustic rock duo, the D is currently working on a Tenacious D movie. Long live the D! Comedian/musicians Jack Black and Kyle Gass are Tenacious D, the self-proclaimed "greatest band on earth." A Spinal Tap version of a demented acoustic guitar duo, Tenacious D perform their bizarre open-mic night routine at sold-out clubs throughout the United States. Their following, once exclusively underground, is slowly going mainstream.

"The D" have two HBO specials under their belt and turn up regularly on the "Mr Show" HBO series. They also appeared alongside Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin in the soon-to-be classic film Bio Dome. In 2001 the duo released Tenacious D, their long - awaited debut album.



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