Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Alright, Couple of things.

First and foremost. They released the trailer for the new Aliens Vs. Predator movie. My friend Matt texted me and told me about it on Saturday and it was the happiest day of my life. The last one was an abortion (although I still watch the motherfucker because I have a problem) but this one looks up.

The first glimpse of the thing is a restricted trailer, so they are clearly marketing this is a gory, brutal, mayhem-rich horror film, which it should have been in the first place. I actually don't quite give a fuck if they get the story right, as long as they nail the violence I will be happy...and from the looks of the trailer it seems they have...that part where the girl gets slammed up against the wall is amazing.

Also, the Predators in this one look like the lithe hunters they were meant to be...not some bulky mess that can't even move around without a whole budgets worth of CG.

Yes I am still talking about this.

There also seems to be some new shit...a Predator whip (why didn't anyone think of that yet) and the appearance of the sure to be bad-ass Predalien. Yes, that's a predator and alien hybrid. I get a little jumpy though when they bring new shit into the series...Resurrection's "Newborn" was pitiful and a waste of money...they could have just casted Eric Stoltz in that fucked up Mask make up. Fucking Rocky Dennis.
However, the brief shots of the Predalien make it look bad ass.

Also, and this is VERY important. They kill a kid...even in the preview. This is a sure sign of quality cinema. In FEAST they killed a kid, and in Battlestar Galactica they killed a fucking BABY! In the first 10 minutes! This kind of gnarliness is good for the story. The bar gets set low, now even babies can die, fuck yeah.

Yes I am still talking about this.

All in all, I am very excited. The R rating is a big win for us, and at the very least we will get to see Aliens and Predators kicking the shit out of each other and generally disrespecting humans, as god intended.

Ok, enough out of me. Go HERE, and click the link for the trailer on the right hand side of the screen. Its worth it.

Second, I saw a sweet band a few weeks back. The Mae Shi. I stumbled across their phenomenal track "Run to Your Grave" (on the myspace, do it) and got a chance to see them in Brooklyn. They put on a fantastic show. Check them out and love them.

These guys opened for them. They were also entertaining as fuck. Some snobs may bitch about a lack of lyrical content, but theatrics and entertainment factor can be a more than adequate substitute for substance if you have had enough substances. Fuck. Their mash up of "Run to Your Grave" with their track (don't know what its called) called "Run to the Facts" is AWESOME. Plus, the beats are pretty damn sweet.

Other than that...uhh......

Friday, August 24, 2007

This is me and music.

Disclaimer: There are mass amounts of pretense and self satisfaction all over this thing.

I’m talking now about the experience of being a music fan.

It’s a personal thing, and the casual listener (I don’t know any) against the rabid fan, both will understand this. You can trace your entire fandom down to a few key images, sounds, songs, or ideas. It’s a lineage you can trace to figure out why exactly you like the shit you like.

For me it was either the Ghostbusters soundtrack (namely the theme song), Murray Head’s “one night in Bangkok”, Bob Marley, or the Iron Maiden poster (‘the trooper’, the coolest picture ever) on my brothers bedroom wall.

The Ghostbusters jump-off was easy for me. It was attached to a movie I liked, the record sleeve was bad-ass with that huge evil swirling green cloud, and holding it, listening to it, even held a little bit of danger for my young mind. It was associated with ghosts, and if you take out the dry Bill Murray wit, it’s actually kind of a creepy song. This is where I picked up curiosity about the music’s origin. I read through the liner notes to see if Dan Akroyd was credited with writing the song. I had no idea who the fuck “Ray Parker Jr.” was (I still don’t), I actually thought to myself, “Ray’s last name was not ‘Parker’ it was Stantz”, and chalked it up to a misprint. Right there, I became a music snob.

Actually, it might have been earlier than that. My Auntie Jer could have been the coolest Aunt I could possibly ask for. She left a life of crime after a brutal Jeep accident that left her unable to move speak walk think. She came out of this experience quite a different person, and just in time for my cousin and myself to be born. The way I see it, she was going to show us her world now, the way she saw it in scale with all she had lost, gained and visited on this earth. Honestly.

So she took care of us at around the age of 2. She split duties with my other Aunts parents and day care, but there was a period when the bulk of our Oshkosh B Gosh days were spent in her apartment, with the vague smell of long cigarettes, prisms, and Bob Marley Records.

I’ve written about this before, as it is one of my proudest achievements… at a time when I could list “not falling over”, “talking”, and “wearing big boy pants” as my other proud achievements. I was a Bob Marley fan. A big one. We both were. And we were elitist, not even the other wailers could leave their sleeves without us A) Knowing something was wrong B) being outright pissed about it. My aunt, scheming and smart as she was, tested this theory by playing a Peter Tosh record, (I really hope it was ‘legalize it’…she would) and telling us it was Bob. We cried, screamed and threw fits, demanding she set it right. We stopped once she put Bob back on. We were snobs, trying to dictate how someone else listened to their own music in their own home. You know you have pulled this classic music snob move before. I was doing that shit while I was still in diapers.

And if anyone named Bob ever entered our developing vision, friend or foe, we would instantly call him out for not being black and cool. Woe be to any man named Robert, Bobby or Bob in our presence. Woe.

I am also surprised I didn’t develop a thicker weed habit, but we’re talking about music here.

I digress. From this early experience I like to think that beyond snobbery and elitism, the steady rhythm got into me, at least on some level, because as a listener now I am instantly drawn to rhythm. I would even say rhythm beats vocals, lyrics, anything else.

So now we’re building an arsenal here. Rhythm, my first weapon has stayed trustily by my side throughout my entire experience of music fandom. (Side note – this has also made me a fantastic dancer).

Somewhere in there, away from my aunt’s discerning taste, most likely in transit between providers (this was total radio music); I picked up Murray Head’s classic “One Night in Bangkok” as my jam. My Mom would crank it up in the dark and watch me bug out, “I see an angel standing next to me”, or something. I could pick out the track from a split second stab as the dial was moving from one station to the next and holler until the dial came back to ol’ Bangkok so I could rock out. I wish I knew what Thai hookers were like when I was 4…the gravity of the song was lost on me.

So there goes the single. From that point on, I was imprinted with the need to know what’s going on in the world of top 40 slop and foam. I kill for a single. My girl is constantly ragging on me for having all these great artists in my ipod without having more than a few songs by each. I’m still convinced Mouse on Mars never topped ‘Wipe that Sound’, and Van Morrison never made ANYTHING worth listening to after ‘Sweet Thing’.

This is why I get anxious when a band has a truly great song on an album. For I know that once I find this song in the context of an album, that song becomes the album, and I rarely make it past that song in future listens. The first single off of the new Liars album (not out yet, ahem…’press copy’) ‘Plaster Casts of Everything’ is fucking AMAZING. Its everything I now want to hear out of a Liars track, tight, noisy, droning, constant, energetic. But the second I heard it I said, “Fuck. Now the rest of the album might as well not even exist”. I honestly had to force myself to listen to the following tracks. I only made it to about track 5 before I went right back to chase the dragon.

Same thing happened with Peter Bjorn and John’s, ‘Writer’s Block’. I made it to the first song ‘Object of My Affection’ and after hearing it, took me about 3 weeks to discover ‘Young Folks’.

That’s another thing, Hype destroys music for me. Especially in the context of already pretentious indie-rock. When the general hipster press lauds a song for being amazing, (as was the case with ‘Young Folks’) I am instantly turned off, no matter how good of a song it is, I’m tired of it, simply from seeing its name in print.

Only months later, once the glow has faded, will I grab the song and plaster it all over every mix CD (playlist??) I make for the following three years. The same thing happens with other social trends (I JUST bought a chain wallet and realized it was a stupid idea) but that isn’t relevant.

My pop single disorder (we’ll call it the “Murray Head Effect” or “The Bangkok Agenda”) is why the list of albums I will actually listen to all the way through is pretty fucking short:

1. Viktor Vaughn – Vaudeville Villain
2. Strapping Young Lad – City (even though its so front loaded I’m fried by track 6)
3. Roots Manuva – Dub Come Save Me

I honestly don’t think I left anything out. It’s a problem.

So, Rhythm, Singles. I am now walking upright.

Then there was the poster. I remember looking at that painting for hours (seemed like it at the time, it was probably more like minutes) on end in my brothers room. Surrounded by big haired hardbodies in bikinis (a whole ‘nother formative discussion right there) there was Eddie. A fucking Redcoat, Eddie. Charging toward me those dead eyes, back to a massive cliff, nothing but carnage behind him. That dead hand sticking up, “who is that?” I thought, “How did he die?”, and that cannon…”the cannon couldn’t even stop this thing?” Even death was there, following and tagging the bodies. That picture shook me deep and I would stare at it for extremely extended periods of time. I might have even snagged an accidental lesson or two about Colonialism and the states’ rights but who fucking knows.

What really got me was its attachment to music. The visual, the theatrics, and in most cases in my short life/small room, the scary and threatening. In fact, all imagery that really broke through to me was scary as fuck and always associated with heavy metal.

Vic Rattlehead on a Megadeth poster, The Slayer Guy, and anything involving Iron Maiden were the strongest images I had associated to music I had never heard… And then I heard the music. I don’t know what I expected, but one of the first bridges I was allowed to build, my brother played me “In the beginning”, that freaky-ass first song/noisescape/rant from Motley Crue’s shout at the devil.

“The depths of hell…the blackest of hate…rise children of the beast”. I was only 6, for fuck’s sake.

Right then the image and the music became inseparable. The cover of that album transformed into something entirely different than the existing faggy ‘Road Warrior meets Legion of Doom at a Drag Show’ thing they had going on. The cover of the album (tape) transformed into a highly stylized painting of a massive, winged, horned, demon; Abstract, making it even scarier, monolithic, and terrifying. I don’t know where that image came from, or if it was ever an official cover to the album, but my imagination did not quite give a fuck.

So now when I experience music my minds eye generates the cover of the album as I listen, and every strain of the music is colored with the same scheme as the actual cover. Also, the fact that the bar was set low, as the first images at my disposable were dark, perverse, and scarier than the music, makes it now hard to shock me when it comes to music and its brutal imagery.

This is why “Eaten” by Bloodbath ranks in my top ten of all time. I was ready for it.
I was only going to put a snippet, but fuck it, this is too great to abridge.

I've had one desire since I was born
To see my body ripped and torn
To see my flesh devoured before my eyes
I'm here for you, I volunteer as a human sacrifice

Carve me up, slice me apart
Suck my guts and lick my heart
Chop me up, I like to be hurt
Drink my marrow and blood for dessert
My one desire, my only wish is to be-
The longer I live the more I'm dying to feel the pain
I would do anything to be-
My one desire, my only wish is to be-

I finally found you, my personal slaughter
As an appetizer, I let you taste my daughter
Call me sick but this is what I need
My only purpose here is for you to feed

Carve me up, slice me apart
Suck my guts and lick my heart
Chop me up, I like to be hurt
Drink my marrow and blood for dessert
My one desire, my only wish is to be-
The longer I live the more I'm dying to feel the pain
I would do anything to be-
My one desire, my only wish is to be-

Desecrate me
Tear me limb from limb
Eviscerate me
Chew me to death

My one desire, my only wish is to be-
The longer I live the more I'm dying to feel the pain
I would do anything to be-
My one desire, my only wish is to be-

This whole shocking cover art experience is also the reason that I spent hours and hours, days and days, and hundreds of dollars of my life as a teenager in shitty record stores where titles like “Fucked with a Knife” and “Tampon Tea Bag” were more common than “I only have eyes for you”, or whatever it was everyone else was listening to.

So now it is rhythm, the single, and the imagery. The three legged dog from the cover of that Alice In Chains album.

That’s basically it. Those three things have driven my entire career as a music fan. The rhythm and the shocking imagery led me to industrial music (thanks to the Demon Knight soundtrack). The shocking imagery carried me through the death metal days, as I pumped nothing but gore and brutality into my ears through my headphones. The rhythm alone kept me doing the stupidest dances known to man at illegal parties in Midwestern warehouses (that Dateline shit). The Bangkok Agenda has led me to judge entire rapper’s careers solely on the strength of their most recent BET output (Ja Rule is STILL fuckin’ up, Lil’ Wayne is doing the opposite)…and so much more.

It goes on and on. Whew that was fun, now wipe my kids off of your face and go trace your own lineage.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An Un-Sound Theory

As I was being levelled by a combination of brownies and beer, Daft Punk turned shades darker. Their good vibes pyramid became a mangling drill, and for about 5 minutes the beats and sounds were dark and horrifying. People fucking loved it. I fucking loved it. But I, like them, loved it ecstatically, not angrily. It was bliss listening to dark, distorted beats.

Which led me to this new revelation. In 5 years time, gabber and hardcore will be the new pop music. I'm not talking about top 40 shit yet, (thats 7 years, and only in Japan) but the "hip" music, the kind of pop music that the landed upper class claim to "get", yet the peasant masses probably dance much better to. For instance instead of your semi-hip older brother putting Peter Bjorn and John on a mix CD, you'd probably get a bunch of Hellz Army and Three Da Hard Way.

Why is this going to happen? Because folks are being grown up to handle more, not less. It is for this reason that Happy Hardcore will not be "the next shit" (thank fuck). No, it will definitely be that shit that sounds like Steven Hawking being kicked in the face over and over again at 190 BPM.

We're not there yet, but there is a few signs. Justice is getting pretty big off of distorting basically everything about dance music. Literal distortion, the sound of interference at high volumes, not a wanky music writer's metaphor. Sure, 'D.A.N.C.E.' is a pretty clean track, but 'Waters of Nazareth' is just fucking nasty. Also, say what you will about Bjork and her "art", but its hard to argue that she does not consistently break new ground. Her new album wraps up with "Declare Independence", a track that is about 20 bpm away from being a slow DJ Skinhead track.

After Hardcore techno becomes the next "hip" music, it will inevitably have its flash near the top of the charts. Think about it, its going to happen sometime, as the world has not had a harcore track infect its top ten to date (La Bouche notwithstanding). Personally I'm looking forward to seeing "Upside Down Cunt (Herpes Version A)" by Omar Santana and DJ Skinhead cracking the top ten, securing its place on one of those horrid re-heated 'Now! Thats What I Call Music' compilations.

...Ten minutes after writing this...I realized that gabber and hardcore music is patently stupid and full of gay-ass imagery and created by a bunch of dutch dickheads.

the only exceptions are the song "Pull the trigger" by 3 Da Hard Way and The Hellfish and DJ Producer album 'Bastard Sonz of Rave'

Why did I post this, you ask? Because I still hope it happens, and I am really fucking up on getting new content up here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

RIP Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson, founder of the Manchester label Factory Records (home to outstanding bands like Joy Division, New Order, and the Happy Mondays), and founder of The Hacienda, one of the most influential spaces in music history, died on Friday. Fuck.

The man knew music so well, he knew what people wanted to hear, see, and do, and he found it all and radiated it from Manchester, a place that seems so vile and dismal. he threw all kind of 'fuck you's' into the face of the modern music business. Signed contracts in blood, and remained truly independent, setting a new standard for ground-up music promotion right until the very end.

This is fucking terrible. If I had ever had the chance to talk to this guy, I'm sure he would think I was a complete twat, and he would be right. Whether I realize it or not, I've been trying to BE Tony Wilson ever since I saw the film 24 Hour Party People.

I was once lucky enough to stand in the presence of this guy, an idol of mine, and I will never forget it. I'm pretty sad that he's gone. Shit.

Tonight, I'm going to pour one out for Tony, and then start a label. You should do the same.

Rest In Peace.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Daft Fucking Punk

Yeah I know its been awhile blah blah blah.

I saw what I now believe is the greatest show I have ever seen last night.

Daft Punk, at Keyspan Park right on the ocean.

That is how i fucking ROLL from now on. Huge spectacle shows played by fucking robots.

I missed The Rapture opening, which initially I was pissed about, but once the brownies kicked in and Daft Punk was on, The Rapture to me seemed like a band of mere humans playing on a stage. I have seen that before.

Every track was fucking amazing, sound pushed to the highest quality peaks over a pristine sound system. It was a fucking spectacle and was basically an ecstatic mash up of every good song they have ever done, played together. "One more time" bled into "Aerodynamic", "Around the world" bled into "Harder better faster stronger" and "Human after all" bled into fucking everything.

They are Robots, they figured it out. And I am now proud to be a human. fuck.

The greatest show I have ever seen. I am rendered inarticulate.
The beginning:

More to come...other shit/shows/music. Fuck Im lazy.