Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chumbawamba Update

Got a look at the January Riot dates. They are below for your pleasure.

Riot, Rebellion and Bloody Insurrection continues

4/1/10 The Octagon, Hull 01482 387 490
5/1/10 Pacific Road Arts Centre, Wirral 0151 666 0000
7/1/10 Bridgwater Arts Centre 01278 422 700
8/1/10 Civic Theatre, Oswaldtwistle 01254 380 293
9/1/10 The Sage, Gateshead 0191 443 4661

Further tour dates are to follow, as are dates for other countries.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Most Erotic Song

This is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows, but The Misfits' "Spinal Remains" is one of the most erotic songs I can think of ... and it's not meant to be.

There is just something highly sexually charged about the song. "I wanna stand in/Baby your spinal remains." "We have no reasons but we still have fun/Then I blow up and you whispered my name." I can't explain it, and a look at the rest of lyrics doesn't make it seem like it's erotic, but just listen to it. If this song doesn't scream sex, you're deaf or dead.

I have this on a couple of my MP3 players and crank it up every time it comes on. It's best before work, but I don't even try to think about that one. Maybe it's the way Danzig sings it. Maybe it's the guitar. I don't know. But damn if I don't want to fuck until sore when I hear this song.

"This isn't really/This isn't really life/This isn't really anything I think I like."

Again, the lyrics don't make it seem like it's sexual, but hearing it is something else all together. If you've heard it, I think you know what I mean. It's off the legendary Legacy of Brutality release, which is my favorite Misfits album, too. Every song on there is gold.

I'm putting the MP3 on the side menu for you to listen to a sample of. You may not agree with me, but you'd be wrong.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Should I Stay or Should I Go

That song, from one of the best bands in the world (The Clash, in case you don't know), was playing on the radio when I left work. Turned it on, and there it was. Loud. Proper. Ironic. I had just spent the past few minutes talking to a new co-worker who was feeling overwhelmed, and I was telling her how I first felt, and then I hear that song.

It's not the best Clash song by far. But it is among the best of the Clash songs that are played on the radio. It's recognizable and we've all been there. You could never say the band didn't know how to write a song.

The traffic was horrible coming out of work. I cranked the radio up and took the back way, and I thought, "The Clash usually makes most things all right." There are a few other musicians and bands I listen to that usually can make a shitty day (like today) just disappear. Prince. Misfits. The Monsters. Faith No More. Black Flag. Ministry. 20 Miles. Those are a few I can listen to and just watch the world melt away. That's the power of music. You got to respect that.

"Should I Stay or Should I Go" was not my theme for the day. I know how I feel about work. I know what it gives me. I ask for nothing more. I don't need the song represent a relationship, either. The song really is pretty straightforward, too, so it's not like it's even that symbolic. What it was today, however, was a reminder ... a reminder of younger days, carefree days. Days where I made bombs, ate free pizza and fucked without concern. Now I'm a parent. I have a job (but it don't pay). I am trying to keep the writing career going. I have bills. My back is killing me. Those carefree days haven't vanished, but they have changed.

If I go there will be trouble ...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

SNFU for You?

On one of my other blogs, Published and Unpublished Works, I reprinted an old review of SNFU's The One Voted Most Likely to Succeed. The review is crap, but it got me thinking about this stalwart punk band and the the amount of praise it has gotten over the years.

SNFU is one of those bands that never clicked with me. The Ramones is another band that I never got into, but I could at least understand why people enjoyed it so much. SNFU is different. Try as I might, I just can't figure out why this band has such (or had, if the case may be) a rabid fan following. It's obvious there are far better punk bands that never got the kind of accolades SNFU did (Matter of Fact comes to mind), so what is that appeal?

I think this mystery is never going to be fully solved. SNFU fans will think I'm crazy to even question it, and "cool" music journalists who live for pretending to be in on the know will tell me it is obvious, but I don't think it is ... unless you factor in one thing that could be essential but shouldn't be when it comes to punk rock: the intellect threat factor.

The intellect threat factor is something that exists in all works of art and entertainment. It is something that causes the audience to sit up and think, to be inspired, to get angry or to question. For example, the intellect threat factor in Chumbawamba's Showbusiness is far greater than the threat factor found in any release by Hootie and the Blowfish. The greater the intellect threat factor, the less well-received something is with audiences (there are always exceptions).

Punk rock should be immune to such things, but since punks are just people who are mainly non-conformist in their conformity, it should be no surprise that a band that consistently puts out music with little in the way of intellect threat factor would be popular. It's sad, but ultimately very true. The Ramones will always be bigger than the Dead Kennedys when it comes to the masses of punks.

Mystery solved. SNFU is/was popular because it was pedestrian. I can sleep now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Uncontrollable Urge

Catasexual Urge Motivation (CUM, if you can't figure it out on your own) is not an easy band to swallow. Pun intended, though I'm sure it goes down good for you. This Japanese grindcore band has song titles meant to offend, uses images meant to sicken, and destroys stereo speakers seemingly on purpose whenever a release is played too loud.

Yeah, I like it.

There is something therapeutic about grindcore. It's primal, yet there is a precision to it that screams "industrial age." It is unpleasant at best to untrained ears, but that savagery is what makes it appealing on a purely base level. It's not something you blare from your car stereo. It's something you pump out in your room when you are creating art or injecting drugs.

The genre is easily dismissed by just about every "serious" music journalist. Those are the same guys who constantly sing the praises of Springsteen, Dylan and Green Day. In other words -- they will never get it. Grindcore, as a musical genre, is meant for an elite few. And to stand out in it, like CUM does, is not only a badge of honor, it is praise of the highest degree.

I can't listen to CUM every day. I have to be in the right mood. The kind of mood that says "the next person who fucks with me gets scissors plunged two inches deep into their right eye." It's the same kind of mood Ricky Martin fans often find themselves in.

I've sung the praises of this band before, but today I had a tough day at work, as per usual. Lots of misery. I put the band on when I came home, played it loud enough to vibrate the table, and wrote. I couldn't have asked for a better soundtrack.

Thank you, CUM. You have achieved greatness in my eyes. The rest of the world can burn.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lock Up Your Ex-Budweiser-Drinking-Now-Soccer-Moms

December 5 marks Great White's arrival on the North Coast. The web site Bands in Town reports 0 fans going to the show as of this moment, but if past performances by Night Ranger (which also played at a casino, like this one-time radio staple) are any example, the crowd will consist of people old enough to know better but very enthusiastic in their ignorance.

Jesus, and I thought Air Supply coming to town and Mos Def pissing off everyone was bad enough. Now this.

Cher-Ae Heights Casino (known by locals as Charity Heights) is hosting the event. Doors open at 7:00 so parents can be home in time to make sure the kids are in from sniffing glue and posing for cell phone pictures. I'm sure all the band's hits ("Once Bitten, Twice Shy" gets stuck with you like herpes) will be played. I'm just hoping that less people die this time. You may recall roughly 100 sad fans burned to death at a show in Rhode Island a few years ago. (Boy, did that fuck up the Republican demographics.) Or am I hoping that?

I hate to think that God, if God exists, would be so petty to judge a band by its fans, but if you listen to many prominent and living evangelists, God destroyed New Orleans and New York's World Trade Center because of the large population of men who like to suck dick and women who prefer the soft breasts of another woman. So it isn't exactly inconceivable that God, not being a Great White fan, would cause a fire that would kill the band's largest gathering of fans in the past five years. Charity Heights may be God's next target, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

People need to be responsible for their choices, even their entertainment choices. Going to see Great White ... in a casino ... in Trinidad, California has repercussions. There's boredom, unwanted pregnancy, death by burning. Hell, you'd be lucky if you got out of there with your wife impregnated when you consider how some fans have left past shows. (Charred and smoking, y'all.)

God even sent a message to the band and killed its guitarist, Ty Longley. Longley had been with the band three years (The Trinity) and God wanted to send a message to the others. A cease and desist order, if you will. Great White neither ceased or desisted. As the band left the ruins of The Station, it collectively looked back and sighed, "Like the shark, we will continue to move." For the band that started out as the ironically named Dante Fox (and experienced more media coverage due that inferno than it had in years), quitting wasn't an option. There were lawnmowers to buy. Middle-aged women to fondle.

So, concert goers, as you watch Great White (apparently no longer performing as "Jack Russell's Great White" as it was at the time of the God-driven massacre), launch into its blistering "No Better Than Hell," start looking for the exit. Calmly make your way toward it, watching for sparks, smoke or soccer moms with too much hairspray. If God decides that he wants to send a message again, you want to make sure you aren't included.

Once bitten, twice shy indeed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Umm, Who the Hell is This?

The Today show has this concert series where lame performers come out to send adorning fans into a tizzy while working through some lame hit. Today's performer was Jason Bieber, which I misheard as "Jason Beaver." I had never heard of this tween idol, but there he was, dressed in a jaunty scarf, just waiting to go out to the screams of thirteen-year-old girls who were probably feeling those first longings for the showerhead.

Bieber, who was apparently discovered on YouTube (another one), sung "One Time" while dancing and trying to look kinda tough. He may have been lip synching, too, as the song the show played back after he left the stage sounded exactly like what he had just sung.

Bieber, who wants to remember where he's from (Canada, of course), then sang "Lonely Girl." Again with the showerhead hopes. This song actually sounded like he was singing, and to "black" it up, there was some DJ scratching.

Cut to a startling number of girls in braces holding up one finger and singing along. Girls are pulled from the crowd and put on stools on the stage as props. He makes his way around them, wrapping his arm around their shoulders. They express their love for him. He puts his head against one of them, and you can feel the jealousy coming off the crowd in waves.

This young lad, who tries to appear tough, but sensitive, is about as threatening as a CBS sitcom. That's why the young girls love him, as do their parents. Yeah, he's got some weird "urban" moves, but he doesn't look like a rapist, unlike Rob Zombie or Bono.

One of the girls on the stage keeps trying to talk to him. I think she's saying, "I love you. I'm your number one fan." Bieber doesn't miss a beat. He's new, but he's still a pro ... a YouTube pro. One silly girl with stylish hair won't throw him off his game, even though I bet she goes home feeling lonely even if she has a boyfriend.

I'll admit that I don't keep an eye on many teen sensations. I'm no Lou Pearlman-like pedophile. And when Bieber takes the stage for a third time, sitting on one of those stools and strumming an acoustic guitar (I hate when guys play an acoustic guitar -- nothing good comes of it), I still can't see his cheap appeal.

He's young. I suppose you could consider him cute. His songs are syrup-lite, and for a 15 year-old he seems to be mature (and still not threatening). So I could see why the girls like him. But why did this guy get CD? What made him stand out over every other performer who sounds like this (and there are thousands)? What makes this guy "the one"?

I can only think that it is lack of standards. If it looks good and sounds semi-decent, we can market it, pump it out there and make him a teen sensation so that we can put out a debut CD that sells, get our money and wait for the next "big thing." Bieber, like so many before him is product. He moves units. He is nothing more than a shill, and he doesn't know it. Hell, the young female fans probably have a better grasp on his future than he does.

I think three years from now nobody will remember this guy. I know it's been five minutes since I last heard his "angelic" voice and I can't remember a single lyric.

Jason Beaver who?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

You Down With ICP?

You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can judge a band by its fans. Nowhere is this more true than with the Insane Clown Posse. I don't listen to the band, have heard very few songs, and don't really care to. What I've heard sucks for all the reasons you would imagine. Regardless, I've found that the majority of the act's fans fall into two camps.

The first camp is the fifteen-year-old males and the males who never matured past fifteen. These are guys who paint their faces, drink Faygo (because they are told to by the band) and who love songs like "I Stuck Her With My Wang." "I Stuck Her With My Wang" is a classic on par with Lennon's "Imagine," though as you can imagine the message isn't quite the same.

"I stuck her with my wang
She hit me in the balls
I grabbed her by her neck
And I bounced her off the walls
She said it was an accident and then apologized
But I still took my elbow and blackened both her eyes"

Men who have never matured past 15 find this stuff hilarious. No wonder they love ICP so much! The band appeals to the stunted male's most primal urges. Wang stickin' and eye blackenin'. It don't get much better than that if you are 15, don't know what you want to do with your life, and have no real prospects. Which brings us to the other camp.

The other camp is thirtysomething men. They have grown up ... kinda. They either live with their girlfriend (who is inevitably kind of hideous), who is the bread winner; or they live with their mothers, who always seem to be disabled (usually due to obesity). If these men have a job (big "if" as they need a job where they can wear their ICP shirts like a true jugaloo who is busy sticking his wang in "nasty motherfuckin noodle-stank booty-wack bitches"), it is usually not of the professional variety. Professional line chef or something, maybe, but it is doubtful an ICP fan will be performing your skin grafts.

It doesn't take a fucking genius to see this band's a joke. Always being in the shadow of fellow Detroit musician Eminem will eventually have some adverse affect upon your "art." What stuns me is that anyone takes them seriously (and ICP fans take the band very seriously). How can you not get the joke? In what universe would this be serious?

It's nice that the band wants to appeal to moronic, directionless males with mommy issues, but that really limits its audience. It should also be targeting fourteen-year-olds whose sole sexually experience was seeing porn on the net and guys who live in their cars. So much potential wasted. Hey, maybe Vanilla Ice can spare a few fans.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Music From Voodoo Rhythm Records!

From the Beat-Man's hand ...


brand new on voodoo rhythm records :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


ALBUM TITLE: in the blue corner
Original Release Year : oct 2. 2009
Formate : LP/CD

DIRECT Order :







MP3 : in the blue corner








Oct 1 2009 Subteranea Festival OVIEDO (E)

Oct 2 2009 Uhagon Kulturgunea MARKINA (E)

Oct 3 2009 La Pequena Betty MADRID (E)

Oct 4 2009 Tornado Rock’n’Roll Club GRANADA (E)

Oct 8 2009 Bafo de Baco LOULE (P)

Oct 9 2009 Cabaret Maxime LISBOA (P)

Oct 10 2009 Armazen do Cha PORTO (P)

Oct 16 2009 TBA w/The Monsters FREIBURG (D)

Oct 22 2009 ISC BERN (CH)

Oct 23 2009 TBA ZURICH (CH)

Oct 24 2009 TBA KALRSHRUE (D)

Oct 29 2009 Tap Tab SCHAFFHAUSEN (CH)

Oct 30 2009 Veka GLARUS (CH)

Oct 31 2009 Between w/Urban Jr, Night of one Sadist BREGENZ (A)

Nov 6 2009 Tinnitus Festival LYON (F)

Nov 7 2009 La Machine à Coudre MARSEILLE (F)

Nov 10 2009 TBA ANNECY (F)

Dec 5 2009 Sauna Club WOLFSBURG (D)

Dec 16 2009 TBA (I)

Dec 17 2009 TBA (I)

Dec 18 2009 TBA (I)

Dec 19 2009 Groove POTENZA PICENA (Macerata) (I)

Dec 20 2009 TBA (I)

Dec 21 2009 TBA (I)

Dec 22 2009 TBA (I)

Dec 23 2009 TBA (I)

Dec 24 2009 TBA (I)

Dec 25 2009 TBA (I)

Dec 26 2009 Kofmehl SOLOTHURN (CH)



THE FUTURE OF ROCK ‘N ‘ ROLL? King Automatic’s In The Blue Corner

As we are now nearing the 2nd decade of the 21st century, it is time to ask an essential question: Where lies the future of Rock 'n' Roll?

Will we recycle old ideas ad infinitum - 3 chords boom chica boom, mimick the past and kneel and pray at the alter of Jerry Lee Lewis, The Ramones and the Cramps or will we introduce new musical concepts into Rock ‘n’ Roll, embrace the future and venture into unsafe yet exciting waters?

Will we limit ourselves by sticking to the musical traditions of the Western hemisphere only or will we seek inspiration across the four corners of our globe and make truly trans-global Rock ‘n‘ Roll? It is time to expand the horizon and to seek out new territories - it is time to evolve and if that evolutionary process takes the shape of King Automatic...well that's all the better. This Gentleman finds inspiration in Jamaican Rocksteady, Rhythm ‘n’Blues, Bebop,Tthe Stranglers, The Doors, Virgin Prunes, David Bowie, Tom Waits, and the tribal drumming of West Africa to mention only a few of the ingredients of a truly exotic musical cocktail. In addition to the musical diversity to be found in his music, King Automatic has also freed Rock ‘n’ Roll from the lyrical cliché of: “I picked up my baby in a ’59 De Ville, we tore through the city seeking cheap thrills”. There is actually real songwriting at play here which adds a welcomed layer to the music we all like to drink, dance and make babies to.

Starting out in the mid-1990’s as the drummer of the legendary French Punk band Thundercrack, King Automatic took a radical turn at the beginning of the new Millenium and introduced a new dimension to the stagnant sound of one-mand bands. He began to sample and loop organ, guitar, harp and percussion sounds live on stage to create a truly sonic soundscape – close your eyes and you will swear you are listening to an orchestra.

With his new album “In The Blue Corner” now appearing on Voodoo Rhythm Records, he has taken his vision to the next level and has created an even more diverse record than his previous two - he has once and for all left behind the shackles and confinements of traditional Rock ‘n’ Roll and his journey has led him to exciting places - mesadames & messieurs join King Automatic on his unique odyssee and explore the Rock ‘n’ Roll of the world!


DIE ZUKUNFT DES ROCK 'N ' ROLL? King Automatic's In The Blue Corner

Nun da wir uns der zweiten Dekade des 21. Jahrhunderts nähern, ist es an der Zeit sich eine essentielle Frage zu stellen: Wie sieht die Zukunft des Rock 'n' Roll aus? Werden wir alten Ideen ad infinitum recyceln -- 3 Akkorde Boom Chica Boom, weiterhin der Vergangenheit huldigen und am Altar Jerry Lee Lewis', der Ramones' und der Cramps' beten oder werden wir neue musikalische Konzepte in den Rock 'n' Roll einführen, die Zukunft annehmen und uns in unsichere aber aufregende Gewässer vorwagen?//

Werden wir uns selber limitieren in dem wir uns weiterhin nur an den musikalischen Traditionen der westlichen Hemisphäre orientieren oder werden wir unsere Inspiration quer über den Erdball verstreut suchen und wahrlich trans-globalen Rock 'n' Roll kreieren.

Es ist an der Zeit unseren Horizont zu erweitern und neue Territorien zu begehen -- es ist Zeit sich weiterzuentwickeln und wenn diese Entwicklung die Gestalt King Automatics annimt....dann umso besser. King Automatics Inspirationsquellen liegen im Jamaikanischen Rocksteady, dem R&B, sowie dem BeBeop und dem Polyrhythmus westafrikanischer Trommler, den Stranglers, Doors, Virgin Prunes David Bowie, Tom Waits etc um nur einige Zutaten seines wahrhaftig exotischen musikalischen Cocktails zu nennen. Seine musikalische Reise begann Mitter der 90er Jahre als Drummer der legendären französischen Punk Band Thundercrack.

Zu Beginn des neuen Milleniums unternahm King Automatic jedoch eine radikale Wende und führte eine neue Dimension in den stagnierenden Sound der One-Man Bands ein: Er begann Orgel, Gitarre, Harmonika und Percussion Live zu sampeln und loopen und kreierte so den Eindruck eines ganzen Orchesters. Mit seinem neuen, auf Voodoo Rhythm erschienenen Album "In The Blue Corner" legt er die musikalische Messlatte nun noch einmal höher. Entstanden ist ein noch diversifizierteres Album als seine beiden Vorgänger und man kann konstatieren dass er sich nun endgültige von den Fesseln und Einschränkungen des traditionellen Rock 'n' Rolls gelöst hat.

Mesdames et Messiuers begleiten Sie King Automatic auf seiner einzigartigen Odyssee und erkunden sie die Welt des trans-globalen Rock 'n' Roll.


LE FUTUR DU ROCK ‘N ‘ ROLL ? ~ “In The Blue Corner” par King Automatic ~

Alors que l'on s’approche gentiment de la deuxième décennie du 21ème siècle, il est temps de poser la question essentielle :Quel est le futur du Rock 'n' Roll ?

Est-ce que nous allons continuer longtemps à recycler les vieilles recettes jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive -3 accords, boum tchak boum– à singer le passé et à s’agenouiller pour prier devant l’autel de Jerry Lee Lewis, des Ramones ou des Cramps ?Ou allons-nous plutôt aller de l'avant et introduire de nouveaux concepts dans le Rock ‘n Roll ?Allons-nous exclusivement nous borner à suivre les traditions musicales de l’Hémisphère Occidental ?Ou allons-nous fouiner et décloisonner la chose, trouver notre inspiration aux 4 coins du globe, jouer un Rock ‘n‘ Roll réellement transmondialiste ?Il est temps de repousser loin nos horizons et de défricher de nouvelles terres, il est temps d'arrêter les conneries et de jeter les mouchoirs morveux de nostalgie... et si ce processus d’évolution prend la forme de King Automatic, bon sang c'est tant mieux.

Ce Gentleman puise son inspiration dans le Rocksteady jamaïcain le plus enfumé, le Rhythm‘n’Blues pas net, le Bebop de Mingus et les percussions tribales d’Afrique occidentale pour ne citer là que quelques sources.En plus de cette diversité musicale, King Automatic libère le Rock ‘n’ Roll des clichés lyriques et éculés du genre : “I picked up my baby in a ’59 De Ville, we tore through the city seeking cheap thrills”. Pas de niaiseries de ce genre, non Monsieur.Ici, un authentique travail de songwriter est à l'oeuvre, ciselé comme au bon vieux temps du trafic de diamants bruts, diamants que l'on voyait ensuite sertis sur les bagues des jolies dames.Ceci ajoute un intérêt supplémentaire et plus que bienvenu à cette musique sur laquelle nous aimons tous boire, danser et faire des bébés.Après avoir officié en tant que batteur dans le groupe garage français Thundercrack au milieu des années 90's, King Automatic repart seul et prend un virage radical au début du nouveau millénaire en injectant une nouvelle dimension dans son répertoire. One man band atypique, il reste inclassable dans cette discipline.

Sur scène, il sample claviers, guitare, harmo, maracas, il chante, cogne tambours et caisse claire en assignant de frénétiques coups de cymbales à ses riffs de guitares, créant ainsi un paysage sonique inouï – en fermant les yeux tu jurerais entendre un big band primitif au grand complet, mon pote. Avec son nouvel album “In The Blue Corner” paru sur Voodoo Rhythm Records, encore plus éclectique que ses deux précédents, il a une fois pour toutes largué les amarres, pris la mer définitivement libéré des entraves et des contraintes Rock ‘n’ Rollesques traditionnelles et son voyage l’a amené dans des contrées étranges et exotiques... Mesdames & messieurs, venez rejoindre King Automatic dans son unique odyssée et explorer le Rock ‘n’ Roll du monde entier !

Voodoo Rhythm Records

Wankdorffeldstrasse 92

3014 Bern


tel/fax: ++41 31 3321319

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sugar Ray and the Losers

On September 13 Sugar Ray came to Humboldt County (I'm assuming the band actually showed). As to be expected, there were people who were pretty excited about this turn of events. Why wouldn't they be? We get Kenny Rogers and Nightranger. All things considered, Sugar Ray looks like Moses coming down from the mount.

When I was at the Redwood Acres Raceway two weeks ago I was sitting in front of some people old enough to drink, but too young to actually know better when it came to Sugar Ray. "I want to go see him," the girl said. It was as if she thought Mr. Mark was Sugar Ray, like Mr. Rob is Judas Priest.

"Why?" the one boy asked. At least he had the good sense to question this nonsense.

"Because. How often can you say you saw Sugar Ray?"

And that's the point. Nobody should ever have to say they saw Sugar Ray ... at least not willingly. You can say you were dragged their by an aunt who thought she was being "cool." You can say you went with some girl in hopes of a bj in the parking lot afterward (and you better have gotten one -- a wet one with swallowing). You can say you took your mentally disabled sibling because it "meant so much to him." You can never say you actually wanted to go.

Sugar Ray is the equivalent to a fancy dinner date at Arby's. It is what people who don't really like or know music listen to. It is something you keep on the radio, but hope to God the hot girl in the car next to you hears. (She is listening to Christian Death and has heavy black eyeliner on. She looks like she could kill you, but you'd thoroughly enjoy that slaughter. Her breasts are concealed under a fading t-shirt, but you can imagine the most incredible nipples. And that skirt? Pure sexual heat. If she hears that, the slim chance you had that you would even make eye contact is gone. Sugar Ray destroys all things good ... unless you like drunk frat girls who have lost track of the number of penises that have been inside them, and can't remember the faces of half those guys.)

I, of course, did not go see this. Would not go see this. I'm not Sugar Ray's audience. I have taste in music. If you went, I hope you had a good time. And if you were dragged to it, I hope you got that bj. If you didn't, maybe you should write to Mr. Mark. He might suck just like his music.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Phony Beatlemania

I can't escape it. Beatlemania has once again gripped the people around me. A video game featuring the band and a CD box set were released roughly at the same time, which means that every jackass around me is sporting a t-shirt with the Fab Four (sounds like a gay superhero team) and stores are pumping in the music.

It's enough to make me want to shoot Paul McCartney.

My feelings on the band are well known and thoroughly justified. If anyone else did "Strawberry Fields Forever," critics would be trashing them. Since it came from the Beatles, however, it's like God ejaculated straight into their ears. Give me a break.

I could live with hearing the band on the radio every once in a while. I could live with someone humming one of its songs (I like to hum shit I know people will get stuck in their heads). But now it is constant. Fifteen-year-olds are wearing Beatles shirts. What the fuck? No teenager should be sporting a Beatles shirt. Whatever happened to pissing off your parents? Now you are your parents. Jesus. What next? Perhaps you'll start a retirement fund or do something really daring like wear sandals to the mall. Christ.

It has to stop at some point. People have to come to their sense again. Maybe Whitney Houston will overdose or something. I just want something to come along and take their minds off this new fascination that is as pointless as it is disturbing. Can't people still be mourning Michael Jackson?

When will this madness end?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Making Sense of the Notes

I'm a writer, so it makes sense that I'd like to know what causes people to read what I write. I would also like to know because I'm trying to use my blogs to generate extra income. Ideally, making a living off writing is what I want to do. My royalty checks from the book aren't big enough, and another book being published seems far off, so these blogs are what I've got at the moment.

Google, which is the mommy of blogspot, has this neat thing called analytics. Through it I can learn all sorts of information about Satanic Music For Good Children. Here's a sample of the keywords that bring people to the site: satanic music, Dead Kennedys and disrespect, GG Allin songs about molesting children, music band the Yes satanic, good satanic music, (and my personal favorite) Ted Kennedy satanic. These are people who have ended up on my blog.

I'm a bit worried.

The Adam and the Ants piece has brought the most views, which I find inspirational.

A lot of people have found the blog through my Cancerous Zeitgeist blog, which is also good. Others have linked to me on Facebook, which lands some folks my way.

What does all of this mean?

Not much. The blog isn't making money. I briefly thought about asking bands if they want to advertise here, and if any are interested please let me know, but I have to like you in order to do it (that excludes most hip hop, country and opera -- sorry).

I do know I want to keep it going. I enjoy writing about music and exposing people to stuff they haven't heard before or may have forgotten about. I just wonder if it's worth it. This blog gets little to no comments, and the page views seem to be dropping.

The months to come will paint the picture, I guess. I'll see how the numbers look in about three months. See if there are more hits. See if people looking up songs about the evil Ted Kennedy are still coming here.

If not, maybe I'll pull the plug, or do some kind of overhaul or something. Hell if I know.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

CD Review: The Bloody Lovelies

Some Truth & a Little Money is one of those releases that rubs me the wrong way from the start. The first song, "Hologram," which has the horrible line "I am a hologram" reminds me of what the Beatles would sound like if the band had some balls. Not a good thing in my book.

Part two of the anger: Randy Wooten is the man behind the vocals. He also plays the piano for the band. The piano. The band is called the Bloody Lovelies. There should be no piano in a band of that name.

Four scruffy white guys who are about as threatening as a virgin White Russian. Cheap Lullaby Records, which put this out, must be targeting the "bands you can introduce your mom to" market, and this would be the poster child for that movement. By the time the last song, "A Million Years From Now" comes around (and all the songs sound basically the same), I kept thinking, "I cannot play this on the same stereo that routinely hosts Nashville Pussy." It seems like a fucking crime.

The press release describes these guys as "4 rockers." Really? Has our definition of rock fallen so far? This came out in 2003 (I'm behind on my music reviews), but the definition can't have changed that much. Could it? Hasil Adkins -- rocker. Jerry J. Nixon -- rocker. The Black Crowes for Christ's sake -- rockers. This? Elevator music for the younger Sears shoppers.

I will admit that the band can play its instruments. The singer's voice isn't grating, either. But everything about this band is so blah that I can't help but wonder why the fuck these guys even try. I can picture them playing the same five bars for years, praying for the day they can all quit their day jobs in construction and the restaurant business. That day never comes, though, but they stick at it. Never getting any new fans. Never progressing.

Maybe I'm wrong. I'm so out of touch with what is popular these days (thank Jesus) that this band could be huge, and I sound like a fool. If that is the case, you people who put this band there are idiots. This is what happens when rock is dominated by men who love their grandparents.

Lord, whatever happened to anger?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chumbawamba In Style

Gotta love Chumbawamba. Pay five pounds now and when Thatcher dies (here's to hoping it's sooner than later), you get the In Memoriam, Margaret Thatcher ep. Click here to pre-order. It's pressed and waiting to go. All you need now is for Thatcher to bite it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dead Kennedys

The death of Ted Kennedy (ironically enough not from a car accident) brings to mind one of the best punk bands with one of the best names ever. That's right: the Dead Kennedys. Nothing says disrespect better than a name that matches death with America's fucked up royalty.

The Dead Kennedys has had its share of misfortune. Lawsuits, in-fighting, commercialism, a song being tied to a near rape scene in a movie and so on. It hasn't been pretty, and it's actually quite a shame that a band that influenced my teen years immensely has been reduced to the waste that is so many other bands. Through it all, though, I supported Jello Biafra, though I haven't always agreed with him.

As I write this, tributes to Teddy boy are playing on television, all glossing over the infamous drunk driving incident that cost a life. I think if the Dead Kennedys were still around in anything that resembled its original formation the guys would be having a field day with this. Matt Lauer, always an insightful pundit (he notes sarcastically) just said that many people have compared (so Lauer can't be accused of comparing) Ted Kennedy's life to a Greek tragedy. Interesting, and more fodder for the fire.

I almost grabbed some Dead Kennedys to take to work. Instead I went with Total Fucking Destruction. It seems more appropriate, as the DK dream is no more. Forever inspired, though, no matter how much the legal battles have disappointed me.

Thanks, Ted. You brought back some awesome memories.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul

Thank you.

It's The Beatles!

I am one of 33 people in the world who thinks the Beatles is one of the most overrated bands to ever assault our ears. I hate it more than Led Zeppelin. Hell, the Brits are just as overhyped as Citizen Kane, a movie that far too many critics claim to be the best film of all time just because they don't want to seem out of the loop.

A Beatle's fan once told me she liked the songs because they were beautiful in their simplicity. I will agree they are simple. They are also boring, pedestrian, and lack any kind of real emotion. The Monkees actually made happier songs and had a far better singer, too.

The fact is: The Beatles produced boring music. It was the right band at the right time, and like herpes it stuck around. Sweet death only solidified its standing in music history. One has to think, though, that Lennon, had he not been shot, would probably be hosting some kind of reality show these days. Perhaps putting together the new Beatles.

It's all a bunch of shit pushed forth by lazy music journalists onto a lazy public. And most of them bought it. What's that about suckers being born? It is actually nothing more than a boy band that made it really big without the dancing. And, yes, the members took part in the drug years and the music showed for it. Yawn. Fucking hippie shit there, too.

If there's any proof that this band is evil, one only has to remember that because of it we got Wings, which has .... interesting ... songs to say the least. I like them for part of it, but since each song that's a hit is like four songs in one, it's tough to like the entire thing.

Another artist who is fairly overrated (but not nearly as much as the Beatles) is Bruce Springsteen. That said, Springsteen's "Born to Run" has more more emotion and sincerity in it than any ten of the Beatles' songs combined. (Ironically, it also has a song structure similar to some of Wings' hits.) When you put that song next to the Beatles, the Beatles cease to exist, which brings up another point.

If the Beatles were to come out today, the band would not be nearly as popular as it was. In fact, I believe it would come and go without much notice until VH1 did an "I Love the ..." special. One hit. Maybe two. The world would stop caring.

Overrated. Overhyped. Over played. Over.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mike Diana Art Raffle And Closing Party

Press release for your consideration (Diana is a great guy who got a bum rap):

AUGUST 8th @ Passout Records - Brooklyn
Live Music, Original Art, Paintings, T-Shirts, Video & Puppet Show

contact: Jefe aka Johnny Chiba: ph: 917-250-7192 - e: - AIM: testicle88

WHO: MIKE DIANA - first artist convicted of obscenity in Florida
WHEN: Saturday, August 8th, 7-10PM
WHERE: PASSOUT RECORD SHOP: 131 Grand Street (bet Bedford/Berry)
Williamsburg Brooklyn 718.384.7273

The Aliens
Wombat In Combat

Help Mike pay off his Florida fines

Anyone who enters raffle gets a small exclusive b/w print signed by Mike, so everyone wins!
Enter as many times as you like, via pay pal online, by mail or at the Closing Party.

Two winners (1 online, 1 at closing party) will receive:

The Worst of
Boiled Angel

Comix #1

Comix #2
"Nancy" t-shirt
Ghost Girl print

Note: as pay pal does not allow raffles, anyone who purchases this signed, exclusive b/w print
(for $5), or anything from now thru August 8 will be entered into raffle... wink!

Send $5 via pay pal (use "")
or send well-hidden fiver, check or money order (attn: "Mike Diana")
c/o TEST PRESS, PO Box 1582, Cooper Station, NY NY 10276

Important: include name, email, address and "MIKE DIANA PRINT"

Winners will be chosen August 8th

Closing Party Flyer

jefe @

In 1994, underground cartoonist Mike Diana was thrown in jail for 4 days without bail on obscenity charges, for publishing, advertising, and selling his zine BOILED ANGEL. Mike was on probation for 3 years, terms included fines of $3000, no contact with minors, 1280 hours of community service, maintain full time employment, and at his expense, see a psychiatrist and take journalism courses at his own expense; AND no drawing for his own personal use... his home was subject to unannounced searches by local police to make sure he was complying. On June 4, 1996, a ruling issued by Largo, Florida, Circuit Judge Douglas Baird declared Mike Diana's zines, Boiled Angel #7 and #ATE as obscene. The judge emphasized that he personally found Diana's comics "patently offensive." and stated, "The evident goal of the appellant's publication is to portray shocking and graphic pictures of sexual conduct so it will be noticed. If the message is about victimization and that horrible things are happening in our society, as the appellant alleges, the appellant SHOULD HAVE created a vehicle to send his message that was not obscene." Mike Diana was served with another 2 years of probation, including $2000 in fines, and the same probationary terms.

15 years after his initial Florida arrest on pornography charges for mailing his zine Boiled Angel to an undercover agent,
Mike Diana is still subject to harassment from the law for not paying off thousands of dollars in fines from his 1994 conviction;
In April 2009, Mike was detained flying back from Sweden's Comic Art School, Swedish airport authorities called Homeland
Security in Florida to ask if they wanted to come arrest him. Two weeks later, returning from Bolivia's Vinetas Con Altura
(Bullets With Height) Art show, Mike was forced to wait a full week to reroute his flights to NOT go through Florida.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ant Music

Anyone I've ever met who has liked Adam and the Ants has been cool. No exceptions. I've met plenty of cool people who don't like Adam and the Ants, but every single Ant fan has been awesome. I don't know what it is, and I'm sure there are a few dicks out there, but overall -- incredible.

Back in the '80s this was a band I was fascinated with. Admittedly it was the band's costumes that attracted me to it. The music, though, sealed the deal. Songs of adventure, romance and voodoo got under this young boy's skin and stayed there. I even watched that Nickelodeon concert special way back in the day. If I recall right, part of it took place on a pirate ship.

Fucking cool.

Yeah, Adam and the Ants is pop music, but it's not like any pop music before or since. It had something special to it that you couldn't quite put your finger on. It was like it music out of time, yet timeless. It holds up to this day, too, and does not sound dated. That's kind of weird when you think of the era it came out of.

Like Prince, Doug and the Slugs and a handful of others, fans of this band all share the knowledge that they are onto something special that some people in the world just haven't caught onto yet. Call us elite (we would argue). Call us delusional (we may not argue that one). Just don't call into question the fact that this band had a look and sound as unique as anything you've ever seen and heard.

That voodoo that you do, indeed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Very Pro Pain

"Are you listening to angry music?" my co-worker asked.

I was at work. I'm always listening to angry music. In this case it was Pro-Pain. Great stuff. Gave it a good review in Tattoo Savage if memory serves me correctly. My co-worker could tell something was up by the expression on my face.

Angry music is cathartic. Like writing, it lets my demons out. It pumps me up for the day. It gets me motivated. It's no wonder that during the first Gulf War (GWI -- The Beginning) soldiers killed the innocent and not-so-innocent to a soundtrack of Slayer. This, of course, leads to the question: Is music dangerous?

It's not, but it should be.

Most of the music forced on us today by the radio, television shows and rags like Rolling Stone is so safe that you have to wonder if it would even offend your religious aunt who won't watch toilet paper commercials because they are too suggestive. I wish that weren't the case, though.

In a perfect world, music would inspire more than it does now. Inspiration is nothing but dangerous. That's even more potent than GG Allin inspired mayhem. Allin was dangerous to his audience. Crass was dangerous to society. We don't have anything like those two acts these days. Now everything is sanitized for your protection. If your idea of dangerous is a Twisted Sister reunion, you got another thing comin'.

Yes, aggressive music makes me aggressive. Yes, I like it because it causes me to work faster. Yes, I think aggressive music is a good thing. If there's a problem with that, it's only because there isn't nearly enough good aggressive music out there.

So today it was Pro-Pain and Plantabiss, a stoner grindcore band few people actually remember. Tomorrow? I don't know, but I do know it will be something necessary to get the blood flowing.

Just don't get in my fucking way.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

7/4/92 -- Ass Song

Where were you July 4, 1992? Sitting in the backyard sipping a cool beverage while you watched your neighbors swim and hoping his wife's bathing suit top would come off? Perhaps you turned up the radio a bit as that hot song came on. You couldn't remember the guy's name. It was too black for you. But you knew the song. It was about women's asses.

"Baby Got Back." Sir Mix-A-Lot.

It was number one that week. It had the country by its puckered hole, and it was accompanied by a video that was nothing short of anal worshipping. (Later Burger King would use the song so its customers could know what part of the cow they were eating.)

It was, by every stretch of the definition, a bad song. Pointless. Tired. Novelty. It was the kind of thing older people couldn't believe was on the radio and younger kids thought was funny. Anyone between 15 and 30 just thought it was dumb.

While still a joke, it is no longer number one. That was actually the only Fourth of July when it was. It was replaced the next year by Janet Jackson singing one of her songs (they all sound the same so no title is necessary), and no song since then that has hit number one on the Fourth has matched it for sheer pointlessness. Maybe Brandy and Monica's 1998 hit "The Boy is Mine." Maybe not.

Of course, any self-respecting music lover knows Top 40 music is utter crap, so being number one only means your crap floated to the top of the bowl. Occasionally something good, like 1984's entry (Prince's "When Doves Cry") will sneak in and remind you that sometimes the public gets it right, but 1992 capped it. It was totally downhill from there. Not even the 1989 Milli Vanilli classic "Baby Don't Forget My Number" was as bad as Mix's ass anthem, and I'm glad one of the Vanilli boys are dead.

Freedom, as you should know by now, does not mean freedom from bad music. It only means you are free to ogle you neighbor's wife.

Boz Scaggs Visits Humboldt

The Scaggs, whose last name sounds very much like a skin disorder, will visit the Arkley Center 8/3/09. I know people who are excited about this. I don't know why.

Humboldt County has plenty of great local music, but many of our citizens get wet over the idea of a one-time name coming to our little corner of the world. Night Ranger comes to mind.

I'm not a Boz Scaggs fan. I won't go see him for all the obvious reasons. I am, however, tempted to hang out outside the venue selling "genuine" Scaggs merchandise like condoms and coke spoons. It could be exciting.

Besides, I just want to see who will show up to this thing. I can imagine some husband getting his wife tickets and her saying, "You are so getting laid tonight." And he will, while visions of Scaggs runs through her head.

The mind reels ...

Friday, July 3, 2009

You Are Missed

Sixteen years ago. Right around this time. Got word of his death while in New Orleans. And while I don't agree with everything he's said, this is why I respect him.

How many of you could face a crowd and say the things he did without your voice trembling? He would have fought them all, too.

Long live, GG.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

He's Still Dead!

With the amount of coverage given to it, you would think Mr. Jackson's death was another 9/11. Obviously it's not. It's just another dead musician with the stench of little boys' fear lingering over it ... something a lot of media have glossed over.

Granted, the Gloved One (shades of a proctologist ready to probe) was never convicted of placing pre-pubescent penises into his mouth or any other orifice. He reached a rather large settlement with one accuser in order to avoid a media fiasco like "O.J.," his words. For a man who has thrived on creating media spectacles, I guess that one was too much to take.

There could be truth to his assertions that he didn't want to be dragged through the mud like O.J.. There could be some truth to the fact that since he was a celebrity people would accuse him of anything. There could be some truth that his decidedly odd behavior and words about children could be misinterpreted. But it could also be true, and is in fact far more likely (a duck is a duck, after all), that he molested young boys. Fans of Jackson can ignore that, the media can ignore that (perhaps waiting for the inevitable backlash to examine further), but the man had been accused of it for so long by so many that one has to wonder.

Some of you are saying I'm a hypocrite. I've written positive words about GG Allin and mourned his death. There's a difference, though. GG Allin was open about who he was and what he did. The man who slept in the same bed as non-related children was not ... maybe.

I can't say for sure what went on in Neverland (strangely named as it is). But I'm sure somebody knows. If he is proven innocent, I'll be the first to apologize. He won't be, though, because it's impossible at this point. Just as some people wouldn't believe he molested boys even if they saw a video of it.

If you look at the psychology of a lot of male molesters of boys, you will see some of the same behaviors in Jackson. Surrounded himself with boys. Never seemed to grow up. Related better to children. The list goes on.

And the parents who let their children stay over at his mansion are just as guilty.

Jackson is still dead, and the heartfelt (if talentless) tributes continue ... and will for some time. I personally don't care one way or another. Jackson had zero effect on my life. For several million people, however, those with surprising absences of memory, they are spending their days moonwalking and reminiscing about how they lost their virginity to "Billie Jean."

I'm sure their not the only ones. They were probably of legal age, however.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The King Of Pop

He's dead. Heard the news at work and blurted out, "DYT! Dead Young Thing." Yeah, he was 50, but I was on the spot.

I never really cared about Michael Jackson, and I believe he probably did molest some kids. I also never understood why people liked him so much. Prince has more talent and style than Mr. Jackson, but Michael was apparently more acceptable to the mainstream public. Bland music for bland people. That's how I see it.

The plastic commentator on "Early Today" said he heard people would be talking about their favorite Michael Jackson song and favorite Farrah Fawcett role. Is it any wonder people are turning away from the major networks for news when crap like that comes out of people's mouths?

My favorite Michael Jackson song? None. I taped "Thriller" off the radio when I was young, but only because I was a Vincent Price fan. His death means I won't have to hear any new music, which is a blessing, unless they pull a Tupac on him. If that's the case we'll be saddled with high-pitched squeals for the next decade or so.

So, yea! A mediocre singer is dead. For all that praise, and it will come out, what has he done in the past few years that has actually been worth any kind of merit?

Thought so.

The only thing sad about all of this is that in the Next World there are a bunch of little boys suddenly very, very scared.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Side Of Hell

I started my trip today by turning on our local classic rock station, KXGO, and experienced "Paint it Black" by none other than the Rolling Stones. Every single one of you should be familiar with the song.

I don't want to say that song is an omen, but it does sum up how I've been feeling lately. I can't put my finger on why, but that song just fits the mood.

I've never been the biggest Rolling Stones fan, but I won't turn off the radio when one of the band's songs come on. I don't think the band is overrated like The Beatles or Led Zeppelin, but I also feel like the later stuff is a bit played out. "Paint it Black," however, is classic.

If memory serves correctly, The Avengers have done a cover of the song, and it was used as the opening number for China Beach. Again, I could be wrong, but it seems appropriate.

Am I still in that mood? Yeah. Kind of. Lack of money does that. But I can thank the Rolling Stones for letting me know I'm not alone in my desire to color it a darker shade. For that, I am thankful.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mojo Rising

The two posted videos show exactly why I like Peeping Tom, which I consider pop music for people who hate pop music. Mike Patton, one of the best singers in the world (and Humboldt County native) put together a CD of some incredible songs. I highly recommend it. Enjoy ...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mouthful of Hate 2

Okay, after a comment here and the glorious Nikki mentioning that she heard the Cohen/Eminem
incident was also staged, I decided to look into it a bit more. As of the writing on it this morning, I had only heard speculation, but WENN is reporting that MTV admitted it was staged. Well, shit, that sucks.

I've lost a bit of respect for Cohen, who could've pulled this off (and should have) without it being staged. Perhaps he was scared that Slim Shady would put a cap in his bare ass. I don't know. What I do know is that staging it takes away all its power and message. In that sense, Eminem comes across as a trooper, and Cohen and MTV look weak (MTV has had no relevancy for decades, so no loss there). Cohen understands pranks, so I don't get why he would do this ... unless he was scared ... or felt that Eminem deserved some sort of respect that hasn't been given to the "civilians" he's pranked.

I'm disappointed. What could have been a great prank has now been ruined. Apparently the only one with any balls was Eminem ... and I'm not just talking about the ones in his face.

Mouthful Of Hate

When Sacha Baron Cohen put his crotch in the face of Eminem at the MTV Movie Awards it was a moment of divine inspiration. Here was the homophobic rapper (at least that's the image he puts across in his songs) getting a face full of ass and balls.

And he looked pissed. His bodyguards looked pissed. Audiences members looked confused and perplexed. It was a great moment, and the only one to blame is Eminem.

When someone puts himself out there as being so homophobic you can only expect a backlash. One of the best backlashes is, of course, comedy. If everyone is laughing (which I was), it's pretty damn hard for them to feel sorry for you. I watched it and thought, "Wow, he really deserves this one."

I'm kind of surprised Cohen didn't get the crap pounded out of him. He was pushed around a bit, and it looked like maybe one fist flew, but damn if that wasn't worth it. The rapper, who attacks everyone in sight (and this is more than fine), sets himself up as a target for those people, and believe me they can hurt him more than he can hurt them. That was proven here. So why is that?

When Eminem attacks unprovoked (which again, is fine), he makes his targets victims. Victims of his hate and anger. When those targets fight back, however, it becomes self-defense and justice. People sympathize with that. They figure the original aggressor got what he had coming, and I can't disagree.

I am in no way suggesting Eminem tone down his act. I'm not a fan of his, but I totally defend his right to say whatever the hell crosses his mind. I'm also encouraging people to fight back, especially if it is done in a humorous way, such as Cohen's actions. Perhaps gay men can run up to the rapper and dry hump him. The paparazzi is around, so it will all be caught. (Just expect charges to be pressed, but again -- worth it.) Perhaps they can proposition him in the most obscene way possible.

I worked with a homophobic guy who often called me "faggot." I didn't really care, but it was annoying. (I'm one of those "consider the source" kind of guys.) So, one day after saying enough is enough, I waited until he was talking to this girl he really liked and said something like "Craig, I've been waiting forever to do this."

And I kissed him.

I only kissed him on the cheek, but it was enough. He flipped. She laughed her ass off, as did everyone else who saw it. Then he stormed out. Our relationship changed, though. After that, he actually stopped calling me names (again, not that I cared), and sometimes even pretended to be gay. (It was almost as if he didn't get that it was a joke, and that was kind of odd.)

Sometimes that's all it takes. If it doesn't work -- fine. You still got a good joke out of it .. and a television audience is nothing but amused.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

His Shit Is Perfect

Voodoo Rhythm sent me Bob Log III's My Shit is Perfect. At some point, once the sheer awesomeness of this release is out of my system I'll do a full freakin' review. I can say, however, that the first song is called "Goddamn Sounds Good" and there is much truth in that advertising.

Music like this reminds me of why I like music in the first place. I haven't been this excited about a release since Peeping Tom. This, it must be said, is nothing like Peeping Tom, though it's just as original. Whereas Peeping Tom is a well-oiled pop machine, this is swamp dirge. This is dirty. This is sweaty sex on a blood-stained mattress that rests on the floor in the corner, her body lit by a kerosene lamp.

Oh dear Lord.

Song four. "Bump Pow! Bump Bump Bump Pow! Bump Pow! Bump Bump Bump Pow! Bump Pow! Bump Bump Bump Pow! Bump Pow! Bump Bump Bump." Seriously.

Tom Waits on Bob Log III: "He's this little kid -- nobody even knows how old he is -- wears a motorcycle helmet and he has a microphone inside of it and he puts the glass over the front so you can't see his face, and plays slide guitar. It's just the loudest strangest stuff you've ever heard."

I first listened to it in my car. I thought something broke. The speakers were thumping strangely.

This is real. This is good. His shit is perfect. Perfection. A steel blade between the ribs. Lips parted. Pure sex.

Maybe I did just write a review. I don't know. This has thrown me for a fucking loop. You'll either love it or hate it. And that will say everything about you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Go Away

Motley Crue will not die. From what I've heard, the band appeared on the season finale of Bones. Seriously? Is this real?

I am not a fan of Motley Crue. I look it at as safe music for people afraid to really rebel against anything. Yeah, the band is hedonistic, but put them up against the Murder Junkies and we'll talk about real danger. Then there's the music. The best you can say is that it is catchy. The worst? It's boring.

I have friends who like the band, some who love it. That's okay. To each their own. I just think that after countless of bad television shows, plastic surgery, and general mediocrity that its fans would one day realize that the old sheen is gone. What was borderline before, has crossed over into self-mockery. It's Motley Crue. Who cares?

I don't dispute that the band is still popular. I do, however, dispute the fan base's tastes. This is safe music made for people who like to think they are on the edge, living vicariously through the vices of musicians who have stock portfolios. God, I wish those overdoses would've stuck.

I despise music that is marketed as rebellion and dangerous, yet is anything but. To me, as a music fan, that is the ultimate insult. Could you ever see Bloody Mess being given a reality show? Hell no. He's too unpredictable, too dangerous for real. Could you see the Mentors on the finale of ER? Negative, Ghostrider. That shit just ain't gonna happen.

So the next time you Crue fans think your music is somehow rebellion made good, remember all the corporate sponsors and preprogrammed banter that only differs by city name. You are being sold an image, and not a very authentic one at that.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mama Rosin's Cajun Country

Brule Lentement is the latest from Voodoo Rhythm Cajun crooners Mama Rosin. It's the band's second release, and while it lacks the fury of Voodoo's own The Monsters, it is not a weak CD by any means.

In 2008 the band did over 120 shows, including the Football Championship Opening in Vienna. That experience, along with the first album, led to 13 new songs of Zydeco, deep South swamp musings and ancient Cajun. Mix that with a little bit of inspiration from The Clash, and you can tell this won't be your standard bayou band. (And you can't miss the Velvet Underground nod, either.)

Of course, what release is complete without a cover tune? Here it is the Movie Star Junkies' "Dead Love Rag." That's a tune that starts out haunting, kicks into creepy and borders on stalkerish. (Word made up exclusively for this review.)

Another song of note is "When the Police Came." Listening to this makes you wonder how a group from Geneva can do American music more authentic than most American bands. How the hell does that happen? I know we influence other cultures perhaps a bit too much, but how can a style of music so innate to a region be picked up so clearly overseas ... in Switzerland? That's about as far removed from backwoods Louisana as you can get.

If you liked Mama Rosin's first release (and I'm sure many of you have never even heard it), you're going to like this one even more. If you haven't stepped up to Mama Rosin yet, you have to be warned. This isn't for everyone. If your tastes are fairly exclusive to, say, Metallica, this will disappoint you in ways you can't even imagine. Luckily, my tastes vary, so I get to hear the best of all worlds.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Dark Side

My friends know I'm a GG Allin fan. When he was alive we used to write and talk on the phone when time permitted. He even asked my joke of a band, JFK's Head, to open for him and the Murder Junkies. We turned him down.

GG, despite his many faults, always appealed to me because he represented the dark side that is present in us all. The ego out of control. The reptile. What you saw is what you got. He was violence personified, and I can respect that.

Many think Ozzy or Marilyn Manson are the top of the outrageous chain, but GG had them beat. No comparison really. Ozzy and Manson scare parents. GG scared everyone else. There's something very appealing about that.

A few months ago at my job there was a noise that sounded like a pistol being fired. People wondered what it was. A unit over someone said, not knowing that I was listening, that they thought I was shooting someone. To that, another worker replied, "No, Doug would bring in an AK 47."

That unpredictable nature, that sense of violence, the never knowing when things can go south is what makes us feel alive. It's what makes us get in touch with our primal nature. I've never heard another artist that even comes close to that. GG, backed by any one of his numerous bands, does that for me. "I will not act civilized," he once sang.

Thank God for that, because civilization is nothing more than a bunch of brainless sheep, and we all know what happens to them. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Never Got My Way

Black Flag has always been good to me. The band was there in my teen years and early twenties where my head was a mess of hatred, rage and hormones. Love was a razor, and I constantly cut my throat.

Far too many people say Black Flag went down the drain when Henry Rollins took over vocals. I have to disagree. Yeah, the music changed, but it became deeper. Instead of reacting to it, you understood it ... or at least I did. "White Minority" was gone and "The Bars" replaced it. Both are good songs in their own right, but I'll take "The Bars" any day.

When it comes to Black Flag songs that I think sum me up fairly accurately, it is "Out of This World." Hands down. The irritating pick down the strings, the stream-of-consciousness insanity, the contradictions -- it's all me. "I've got a smile on my face/And I'm never coming to."

This song works wonders on me. I pick up something new in its cadence every time I listen to it. I don't want to say it's magic, but ...

Oddly enough, while I love it, I think it's one of the weaker Black Flag songs. It's nowhere near as powerful as "Loose Nut" or "My War." It is me, though, and I think my friends may argue that, but few have been deep in my head.

Now I'm looking for the sun ...

Mama Rosin Germany Tour Schedule

Just in from the awesome Voodoo Rhythm Records -- Mama Rosin Germany tour schedule. If you are there, you should be there!

30.avr..2009 LINDE Königsfeld-Burgberg

01.mai.2009 Cafe LIMBA Villingen

02.mai.2009 SUBSTANZ, by Clud 2 and Gut Feeling Munich

03.mai.2009 CAYMAN Bar Gunzenhausen

04.mai.2009 WHITE TRASH Berlin, Berlin

05.mai.2009 Cafe LUZIA, with Jimmy Trash Kreuzberg Berlin, Berlin

06.mai.2009 MS Hedi, Zydeco-swamp Cruise with tee Watzloves ! Hambourg

07.mai.2009 AMIGO MUSIC Delmenhorst

08.mai.2009 Die MUTTER Köln

09.mai.2009 DREI KÖNIG'S KELLER Frankfurt

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't Forget The Chaos

I remember, and this is going to make me sound old, when punk was dangerous. There were talk shows dedicated to this new "trend" that was causing kids to do drugs and hurt themselves and others. (And that talk was always playing on the fear factor of anything new and different.) Now you can hear punk on television shows for kids, in ads, and being promoted at the mall (thanks, Hot Topic). What was once a music of the outcast has now become a just another stale genre.

As is always the case with such things, there are bands that won't be found on some fifteen-year-old's iPod. But there is nothing like Crass or GG Allin to make this music a threat again. There are political bands, and there are outrageous bands, but there are too few and their ability to actually make a statement is hampered by an indifferent public. Everyone is so scared of a black man breaking into their home while listening to The Rza that they have forgotten about stuff like The Exploited's Barmy Army.

I like music that threatens the norm, that puts the status quo on alert (whether the threat is real or not). I like music that lets its listeners know there is an alternative to consumer culture. When it comes to punk, which was infamous for those things, I just don't see it anymore. Punk bands continue to play huge festivals sponsored by major corporations. They give interviews to stale magazines like Rolling Stone. Yes, there are still bands thriving in the underground, but now they can stay there and never affect anyone outside that special little circle.

I guess that isn't such a bad thing, as any art form that gets popular gets co-opted, but I do miss the time when Phil Donahue was concerned with bands like Rash of Stabbings and Three Teens Kill Four. Will I ever see it again? Doubtful, as punk has become as consumer-centric as hip hop. Metal still maintains a slight outsider status, but often seems too much like a joke to matter. Death and black metal cause some terror, but see the previous sentence.

What is left?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Joe Dean Got It Wrong, Right?

Joe Dean, born this month in 1908. Master of the blues piano. His song "I'm So Glad I'm 21 Years Old Today," a favorite of mine, meant something different back when he recorded it. Dean was glad because his "baby" could no longer "treat" him that way. She apparently made a fool of him one too many times. Had that song been written in the present era it would have been about bar hopping.

When I turned 21 a bunch of friends at the factory where I worked (now there's the subject of a blues song if ever there were one) wanted to take me to the bar. I just asked them for the money they would be spending. Not a single one wanted to pony up. I told them I'd see them at the bar regardless and then hit the porno store instead. (I sense another blues song.)

The porno store held a wide variety of wonder. Magazines, videos and books of all varieties. It's not the kind of environment Dean would approve of. After all, he later became the incumbent of St. John's United Church of Christ on Norther Grand -- quite a journey for a guy who used to play the piano for tips around at house parties.

Dean's song may not match today's love of the mythic age, but the spirit of freedom is undeniable. 21, no matter the era, has been seen as a time of liberation here in America. Dean, born in St. Louis, realized that. It's inherent in the joy in his voice and his use of "walking piano," a sound that always seems to signify action (in this case a simple liberation from grief). In that respect, Dean's song isn't much different from the feeling twenty-year-olds feel today when that mark is approaching.

There aren't a ton of great songs celebrating the age milestone anymore. Maybe that's because it's understood that the act of going to a bar to get smashed is just window dressing. Anyone inclined to get drunk on that night has probably done it a hundred times before. Only now they don't have to hide it from cops and mom.

Dean got it kind of right. The need for liberation is always there. It just doesn't really have anything to do with age anymore.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

4/20 Is Coming

4/20 is tomorrow, and while potheads take to various parks around the county, the sounds of reggae will once again become prevalent in this great county. As if Reggae on the River wasn't enough.

I have no problem with drugs or music to do drugs to. I don't take drugs myself, but I have no doubt that techno is easier to tolerate if you've got Ecstasy coursing through your system. Reggae, however, just irritates me to no end. I must admit, though, its inherent musical laziness fits the whole pot vibe perfectly.

There's an old punk song by a band whose name I can't remember this late on a Sunday called "Reggae Gets Us Laid." The song can be found on the "Get the Hell Out" CD, which is a compilation of Leigh Valley, PA punk bands. The song is pretty accurate. Reggae bands get laid because pothead females are easy if they think pot will be involved at some point.

Of all the different musical genres, reggae, contemporary country and opera are the ones I dislike the most. Reggae, however, is the only one out of the bunch that I dislike mostly because of its fans. They are just so damn annoying (almost as bad as Phish fans) that I can't help but hate the music.

Give me some GG Allin, Skinny Puppy, Pantera or Jane's Addiction any day. All of those acts had performers on drugs, many of whom even wrote songs about drugs ... drugs much harder than pot, too. But they were proactive. They didn't sit back, smoke a joint and watch the sun go down. They got angry, violent, crazy. They are everything reggae is not and never could be.

Yeah, 4/20 is coming. I think I'll blare Nashville Pussy's "High As Hell" and know that even if you like your drugs, you're still a musical loser if you listen to reggae.

Introductions ...

This blog is going to be dedicated to the music I like. Punk, metal, experimental, blues, alternative, industrial and the like. Enjoy.