Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Speed of Blood

Gallhammer - Ill Innocence

As one of the few Waterloo employees who's spent about an equal amount of time amongst both the the metal and the indie-rock communities, I've never understood why the two just don't get down and make love more often. I mean, when i was a kid, crossover was all the phase. Bands like, D.R.I., S.O.D., and Corrosion of Conformity were showing just how much metal and hardcore had in common. It was fun. I mean, hell, we all know that it was J Mascis's band Deep Wound that inspired a bunch of chaps in Birmingham to form Napalm Death which, in turn, helped inspire a bunch of dudes in Florida to create death metal, right? I could play Celtic Frost's first album to someone who'd never heard it before and tell them it was an eighties hardcore band and I'm sure they'd believe it. Hell, I remember when I bought my first Celtic Frost tape it was only because I'd saved up money to buy Fearless Iranians From Hell (awesome San Antonio, TX crossover band) and someone else beat me to it (irony of ironies, that guy eventually became my roommate and is currently playing bass in Austin's great alt-country band, Brothers and Sisters.)
Anyway, this all brings me to Japan's Gallhammer and their second album "Ill Innocence." Taking their inspiration from the proto-Celtic Frost band Hellhammer and British crossover band Amebix, these three Japanese women have forged an album that, though the press refer to them as "black metal" ( a term that has increasingly come to describe less and less), stands head and shoulders above all their "fellow" revivalists today (I'm looking right at you Municipal Waste; a cut-off denim vest does not a classic album make.) With a dash of Oakland's Neurosis (also influenced by Amebix), a bit of what I hear is Dischord era hardcore, and, giving the press their due, some black metal vocals all laid over a simple crossover structure, you have a band that, based on how many times I've listened to it, should have been my number one album of the year in 2007.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bop Til You Drop

february is now reaching its expiration date; the smell is a bit stale. the rain, the wind, the cold and hail all conspire to keep me locked in this cage. i shaved my beard and a sink full of hair clogging the drains means that it must be saturday and time for another installment of "headbanger's ball."

let's kick things off tonight with a band called Drunk Horse. Born and raised in the swamps of oakland, ca, these intrepid souls kepp rocking even though it seems as if no one's listening. their last album "In Tongues" was fucking awesome, made my top ten for 2005 and sold just a little to the better side of nothing. Already out of print, it can be gotten for a steal on amazon.
this little clip is from 2004 and, after you watch it, will understand why it makes a perfect introduction:

so anyway, elijah's gotta couple of kids and so drunk horse exists in that weird nebulous "are we a local band or are we a touring band cause we never tour anymore?" state. so cyrus, bass player extrordinaire fills his time now in kemado records' Saviours. Made up of members of hardcore band yaphet kotto, these kids have made the first album in serious contention for my top ten list of 2008 with their album "Into Abaddon."

so, anyway, i'm a big fan of anthrax. whether as a tool of terrorism, a killer song (see above) or one of "the big three" back in the eighties, i'm all cheer. so, for all of you fans of "an acute disease in humans and animals that is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis " (wikipedia) this block is for you:

anyway, we all seem to have been asleep for about ten to fifteen years and as we've woken up, so have all the bands from days gone past; some for bad, some for mediocre, and some for good. At The Gates, of course, is for the good.

anyway, i had an idea for what would come next when i chose the last clip. but, of course, we're all slaves to the fates. i couldn't find a good darkest hour clip (the best american at the gates tribute band) but i di find this

i don't really care what other folks have to say. you guys can all go off in your little corner and argue yourselves blue. in my world, the greatest thrash song written:

and we close this night off with a song that, though not "metal" meant just as much to me musically and, in a metal sense, very visually. i think it may have been the video i saw either before or after the first time i saw "another state of mind" on USA; i'm soory but rick springfield is punk rock in my mind

Thursday, February 14, 2008

like willie nelson and julio iglesias once said.....

so i'm slingin' it solo like a kingsly amis character about 2/3s through whatever book it is you're reading.
but that doesn't mean i can't wish you and your loved ones a happy valentine's day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"remembering when is the lowest form of conversation"

it's a little weird when i think back on that night. there is virtually no friend i still speak to today that i was friends with before that night and almost all the friends i have from temple that i still speak to today, i met after that night.
josh neland and i drove up to copperas cove to go see some bands play at lil' vegas. the austin band gut was playing and they completely kicked my ass. i went out of my way to never see them again so that nothing would ruin the experience of that night.
flickering lights, small stage small room, children packed like sardines and...oh that guitar sound. there's still been nothing like it.
joe turner on a nostalgia kick (different show but same time period):

Buddy Russo (1932-2008)

people come and people go; it's a fact of life. some people leave a larger mark upon the world than others but, still, a mark is made. once, in the distant prehistoric past, i wanted to consider myself an actor. i even went to school for it a bit but, like all things in my life, i have no true follow through.
but that's not important.
what's important are the things that point you in the direction you want to go. for me it was one scene in a movie that came out the year i was born. in a perfect world where the lowest common denominator doesn't rule all that he can see, i could find a clip of this scene on youtube but oh how the gods fail me.
anyway, this scene takes place at the dinner table post-supper. the father is a man of responsibility, almost more than he can shoulder. times are tough. he's stressing and his young son is picking up on it, mimicking his actions. the father soon notices and begins to play along, escalating into a monster face making his son break into laughter.
-"Come here. Give us a kiss."
-"'Cause I need it."

roy scheider is everything i've ever wanted from an actor and Jaws is the movie that, outside of All That Jazz, got the most out of him. at the same dinner table, when he's made up his mind to cut open the shark that may or may not have eaten "the little kinter kid," the way he opens the bottle of wine over hooper's objections, pours a proper amount for his wife, a proper amount for hooper and then fills his tumbler to the brim is beautiful.
this was an actor who could do his job and do it well without speaking a line. a man who knew how to let his gifted but scenery-chewing collegues shine yet still keeping our attention. robert shaw gets all the love for his milius written speech about the indianpolis (heavily rewritten or adlibed by playwright shaw himself, depending on what story you choose to believe) and it is a good speech (he'll always be the standard i judge henry VII by, eat your heart out tudors) but brody has the most succinct line remembered by all:

"you're gonna need a bigger boat."

rest in peace
Roy Scheider (1932-2008)