Friday, December 31, 2010

Letters From GG Allin 2

This postcard from GG Allin came to me while I lived in Quakertown, PA.  True to form, Allin forgot to put a stamp on it, so I had to pay for postage.  Oh, that scamp!

D -

Just got off the road... Lots of blood, violence + warrants' [sic] added to the list ... My new address is [xxxxxxx] Chicago, IL 60614


Why the hell he picked this postcard I shall never know.

Letters From GG Allin 1

If you've been reading my other blogs you know that I've been publishing some interesting letters I've received over the years.  This is the first of many from GG Allin, the last dangerous musician.

Few of you immersed in the world of what passes as "rebellious" music these days have probably heard of Allin.  His on-stage antics were legendary back in the day, landing him AP stories, multiple arrests and appearances on a variety of shows, including one with Geraldo Rivera before he became a Fox stooge.  He billed himself as a rock 'n' roll terrorist, and he was.  Love him or hate him, he left an impression.

The letters I'll reprint are out of chronological order.  I apologize for that.  I don't have all the envelopes with the postmark dates on them.  This one came in 12/92.  Allin is either responding to a previous letter or a phone conversation we had ...


Hated [sic] will have it's [sic] first showing in NYC in late Jan..

As far as a show in PA ... I did a show somewhere in Bethlehem PA [sic] back in 89 [sic], but I can't fucking remember where ... I know the cops showed up but I got away before they arrived.  It was a very chaotic event.  I remember the crowd chanting fuck the pigs [sic] at my demand -- and locking the doorway to the club so I could escape out the back door ... they bought me some time while holding the cops off ... I passed out in a bloody heap with some bitch named Linda in an alley until my band found me ...

Send #7 [of my 'zine] when its [sic] out -- one to me + one to Shrinkwrap.

GG Allin 206045 [Allin's prison ID number]

I believe Allin's brother, Merle, was trying to get me to book a PA show once Allin was released from prison.  I remember calling a few places and being flatly turned down (not surprising).  Good times.  Good times.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jesus Chrust Pose

I don't remember a lot about Jesus Chrust, but I had a 7" or two and a shirt.  One of those 7"s was a picture disc that was pretty cool.  I also seem to recall that there were two bands of the same name out about the same time.  (I don't think they ever battled it out in court over this one, but it would have been an interesting case.)  What made me think of this?  Easy.  I was going through some old 7"s and fighting a headache.  Noisecore and headaches kind of go hand-in-hand ... at least to some ears.

I looked the band up on the Internet just to see if it were still functioning, and I was kind of surprised to see that there wasn't that much info on it out.  Then I remembered that other than the name, cool picture disc and shocking images, there wasn't all that much to this band.  It always felt more like a gimmick than something worth listening to.  There were other bands doing the same kind of music ... only better.

I'm sure what attracted me to it in the first place was the name and the images.  I wouldn't care what kind of music it was because the other two things would have sold me.  I do remember not hating it, but also not being blown away.

Noisecore is an acquired taste.  Even amongst those who like musical extremes there is debate about the artistic merits of it.  For some it will never be more than noise.  For others it is a rebellious music that is an answer to stale bands who offer nothing new yet are still enjoyed by far too many people.  It is a genre of music that purposely isolates itself from other music and its fans.  That may be its ultimate fault, but it is also commendable.

Now I gotta go dig up those 7"s and see if my tastes have changed all that much.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Random Letters

Last post I wrote about Psycho and mentioned Charlie Infection.  As I was going through a package of my old stuff from my time on the East Coast, I came across a flier for an April 18 (year unknown) all ages Death Fest at the Escape Club on Salisbury Beach.  The flier featured Entombed (only New England appearance), Hexx, Ripping Corpse, Psycho and "3 or 4 more bands too."  Eight bands.  Eight "bux."  Standard flier.  On the back of it was a letter from Charlie Infection, which gave me the idea to start sharing all these letters I had saved up (unless they were truly personal or something).  They won't all be interesting, and they won't all appear on this blog, but here is the first one.

"Hey Doug -- Here's the inter view [sic] w/some pictures + logos + ads + review pack -- Thanx -- Send us a couple copies when it's done -- Later Charlie I."

Very basic letter, and I will be reprinting the interview sometime.  It should be pretty interesting.

Going through these letters, I saw stuff from writer/agent of chaos George Hayduke, artist/musician Doug Evil, and the late great GG Allin.  Keep your eyes posted on my various blogs, as I'll be posting them all at some point.

Monday, November 22, 2010


If you read Maximum Rocknroll during the '90s you could not help but come across ads for Ax/ction Records and its premiere band Psycho.  The label and band ads prompted me to check out the music, which quickly made me a fan.

If there is one word to describe the band, it would be "abrasive."  The line-up I was most familiar with was Johnny X, Mike Psycho and Charlie Infection (with whom I corresponded with on a fairly regular basis).  They cam across as badasses with a hint of workhorse thrown in.  It was a good combination, and while I have long since stopped following the band's output, from what I understand it is still going strong (with a different line-up).  (It should be noted I could find no website for the label.  How punk is that?)

Liked by metal and punk fans, Psycho made a point of playing fast, short songs and doing plenty of split 7"s with favorites of mine like Anal Cunt, Meatshits, and Rot.  Ax/ction, which also served as a distro, carried stuff from those bands and others, as well, which meant I was a regular customer.

I don't read MRR these days.  I've got too much other shit going on to even follow up on all that, but I'm still a fan of fast, abrasive bands that seem to put out something new every two weeks.  I'm not sure how Ax/ction stays in production (I imagine either due to Japanese fans or day jobs), but it warmed my heart knowing it was still around.  As for Psycho ... that doesn't really surprise me, either.  There's always going to be an audience for that kind of music.  If New Kids on the Block can come back on television, Psycho can keep plugging away in the underground, as a nice counterbalance to world where nothing makes sense.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Econchrist/Detonators Influence

Last night, while preparing my daughter for the bath/brush teeth ritual that goes on in many a household around the world, I asked if she wanted to listen to any music.  She's pretty open to music beyond the realm of Disney, and she usually agrees, but I like to ask because it's polite.

She confirmed that she would, and I put on the Econochrist/Detonators split 7". 

She loved it.

I have no idea why it appealed to her.  All I know is that while peeking in at her brushing her teeth she was doing a little dance and kind of singing along,  without really knowing the lyrics.  (You know what I'm talking about.  You just sort of mumble things.)  At this point I had to think, "This may be the only little girl in the world who is listening to this 7" right now.  I wonder if this will stick with her?"

Beyond the aforementioned Disney music, my girl has a deep love of the Misfits, Blondie and the Clash.  All good bands in my mind.  I'm hoping she branches out to embrace some other ones, too, as a varied musical background is one of those keys to being a well-rounded, finely adjusted human being.

Seeing her dance last night let me know she was off to a fine start.

Friday, November 12, 2010

An Unpleasant Death

It had to happen.  My turntable is slowly dying.  Fittingly, it chose to start down this path while listening to the first LP of the Dwarves' Lick It.  It also has a cassette deck on it, which is also starting to go.  What I have to do now is find a decent self-contained turntable, cassette deck and speakers that will fit into an area I have set aside for it.  I've found one or two that I like, and they are in a good price ranger ($200-$300), but the one I have my eye on is a Crosley unit that records onto CDs.  (I fear every time I play a single or LP that I am slowly destroying the thing.)  I'm not a huge fan of the system's retro look, but if it allows me to enjoy my Italian pressing of Social Distortion's Mommy's Little Monster and my Gauge 7", then I'll suffer.

I figured this would happen eventually, but at a time when I'm looking to make a few other big purchases, the timing sort of sucks.  Couple that with the fact that I just got a huge box of vinyl, and I'm a might bit pissed, but appreciative of the irony.

I've had friends ask why I even bother with vinyl.  I think the answer is pretty self-explanatory.  First, as odd as it sounds, not everything is available on CD or even as a download (legal or otherwise).  Second, I like the way it sounds.  I like have a large piece of artwork to look and pour over.  Listening to an LP is a far more intimate experience than listening to a CD.  Always has been.  Always will be.

So this is my quest now.  Sell enough shit on eBay (maybe someone will buy that Yellow Dancer 7" that I've had up forever), and purchase a new turntable.  Hell, I don't even care if it records onto CD, though it would be nice to listen to some of this vinyl in the car or while I'm mowing the grass.  That would only be an added bonus.  I just want the sweet sounds of Born Against to fill the room once again as I step from the shower.  Is that too much to ask?  If you're my turntable, apparently it is.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Wrong Side of Reno: Punk Rock on Display

The Nevada Museum of Art is hosting The Wrong Side of Reno: Three Decades of Punk and Hardcore Music in the Biggest Little City.

That means 7 Seconds, people.  Probably one of the biggest punk bands to come from Reno.  That along would be reason to check this out, but for art fans you have to know that the art for punk releases is a genre onto itself.  It is, quite simply, the most exciting art in the entire music industry (metal following a close second).  Sometimes offensive, sometimes political, sometimes just artistically based on someone's whim, the art made the records stand out.  And now the lucky people of Reno and all points nearby get to see this exhibit, which runs from 10/2/10 to 3/6/11.  Hell, I may even want to get over that way for this one.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dead Milkmen Motherfuckers

My introduction to punk music itself (I was familiar with the names of the bands and the general ideas of it) came when a girl lent me cassettes of the Dead Kennedy's Frankenchrist and the Dead Milkmen's Eat Your Paisley.  I loved the politics of the Dead Kennedys and also got into the nonsense of the Dead Milkmen.  Years after "discovering" that band, my friend Eric and I found out they were playing some podunk club in New Jersey.  (Aren't all clubs in New Jersey podunk?  Well, with the exception of Obsessions, which was just bad.)

Eric and I traveled quite a few hours to get there, excited to be seeing Surgeon General (which we also liked) and the Milkmen.  The show didn't disappoint.  The Dead Milkmen, however, were total dicks.

Since Eric and I got there before the club opened, we were hanging around outside looking like drug dealers.  Basically we fit in with the rest of the neighborhood.  The Dead Milkmen showed up and had their men start unloading equipment.  Their men, however, weren't the typical roadie types, and nor were they band members (which is typical for many punk bands).  No, this was something different.

Two scrawny black men in their fifties were unloading the amps and guitars from a van.  Eric and I found it odd, so I asked one of the Milkmen if we could help.  (I have since forgotten what Milkman it was that I asked.)  It looked like these old men were kind of struggling, so Eric and I wanted to be helpful.

"We don't need any fucking help," was the gruff answer we got from the guy.  The two AARP members had no say in the matter.  

Granted, there is nothing that says the Dead Milkmen have to be friendly to a couple of strange looking guys offering to help unload their expensive equipment.  We could've made off down the street with a mic and traded it for a few rocks or something.
I don't hate the Milkmen like I hate the Presidents of the United States, but I don't think I'll ever forget the rudeness of this band that really has no place being rude.  I mean, sure the band was humorous and has a fan following, but it's no Bon Jovi or something.  Quite frankly, I never thought the band was well-respected by many music fans, and I imagine the members felt the same way.  Acting like a prick surely didn't help thing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Total War

You can take this at face value, or you can personalize it.  While I don't agree with all of Boyd Rice's views, I will admit that the ritual of this when combined with the words can be inspiring.  I don't take this song as a game plan for my political or social life.  But I do find it to be a source of strength for inner conflict.  To attack and destroy the weakness in myself and in those that surround me. 

This was recorded at a live show in Osaka.  (It's a great DVD, by the way.)  Yes, his politics are questionable at the very least, and the imagery he uses inspires discomfort in many (with reason).  I don't think you can deny the words as a source of strength, however, and nor can you deny the power of the symbols.

Then again, maybe it's all about the cool drumming and I'm just kind of simple.

And maybe not ...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lady Gaga and the Great Mystery

I am lucky enough to have many strong, intelligent females in my life.  One thing that many of them have in common is what they universally describe as a "guilty pleasure."  This pleasure is the megastar Lady Gaga.

For the life of me, I can't tell you the title of a Lady Gaga song.  I don't think I've ever heard one all the way through, either.  I know what she looks like (that is kind of hard to avoid), and I know she's more popular than God at the moment, but I always sort of wrote her off.  That could be because I don't understand her, or it could be my own musical prejudices.  (Poison Ivy from the Cramps, and the always lovely ladies of Nashville Pussy are about as far from Lady Gaga as you can get -- or are they?)  That said, the fact that many of my respected female friends enjoy her music has made me think that maybe something is there that I am totally missing. 

When they describe it as a guilty pleasure, I never get the sense that they are calling it that due to the music, but more because of her reputation and appearance.  It's almost as if they are saying, "I know she's really popular, but there is something about her music that speaks to me."

Granted, I'll never delve into too deeply.  I don't think her music will have the same impact on me as it does to the ladies in my life.  I will, however, throw a little more respect her way if only because of the women in my life. 

Much like Madonna took time to get serious respect from the masses, Lady Gaga may end up being the same way.  I figure that there is something most of us are missing, which will only be revealed in time.  Until that happens, I'm happy to give her some credit.  I fully trust you ladies.  Now I need you to explain.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Slip In In

High school.  Late '80s.  There were a few tapes that never seemed to leave my Walkman.  Slip It In was the first Black Flag release I bought, and it was one of those that stayed in the player.  It matched my mood at the time as the usual high school angst ran through my brain like a lizard dipped in battery acid.

There was a time where every single song on this release seemed to speak to me.  Today, I still reference it.  "Rat's Eyes" actually came up in a conversation earlier this week, which is not surprising with the hell week I've had.  These days, however, I don't listen to it every day or even for months at a time.  I try to have a little variety.  After all, that is the spice of life.

I found that Black Flag has remained one of my go-to bands for those days where everyone seems to be spouting nonsense and nobody seems to care.  It reminds me what it means to be thinking in a sea of what often seems to be brain-dead kelp in human form.  It helps keep me sane.  In the '80s, this release helped me get through the periods, assaulting my ears between classes and on the bus home, where a hierarchy of seats seemed to mirror the social order.  Later, those seats positions would shift.  The losers making ass grooves in the back of the bus are now losers making ass grooves at their local bar, never having the gumption or skills to leave their hometown.  Alcohol fuels them.  Complacency drives them.  They go home to wives they grew tired of fucking four years and forty pounds ago.  They have kids who gather around their feet and cry for the kind of attention daddy never got.  They melt in front of the tube and wait for pay day.  They don't only live to check to check but drink to drink and show to show. 

Slip It In reminds me of that.  Of how good it feels to sometimes not even fit in and how the desire to remain outside of that is not only a good thing, but a healthy thing.  It is survival.  It is the only thing separating you from the animals.  They still value the soothing power of high school football and the hope that one of those underage cheerleaders will forget her panties.  They remember those days.  They don't live them anymore.  There is a sadness to that, but it's not my sadness.  My sadness extends in different directions.  I don't want to relive the past.  I want to survive the future.

Black Flag, on any of its numerous releases, gives me fortification so I can survive.  It gives me firepower and offers promise.  Everyone should have a band that does that.  Nobody should feel like all hope is lost, but some people have gone so far from that notion that they no longer know what hope looks like.  Hope is not a promise of a better tomorrow, but that your favorite CBS sitcom won't be canceled.  Hope is not light at the end of the tunnel, but the barrel of a gun.

"You say you don't want it/But then you slip it on in."  Take what you want from those lyrics.  Just be careful what you're slippin' on in.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Poison Tree -- Movie Star Junkies

A Poison Tree, another great release from the Movie Star Junkies, hit the airwaves 6/4/10.  Voodoo Rhythm Records, of course, released it. 
You missed it.

Where the band's Melville release was heavily influenced, inspired and made for the writer, this release is obsessed with inner darkness and William Blake.  You can say many bands embrace the former, but the latter?  Not very likely.

From "Almost a God":  I admire the devil/For he never finishes things/I admire God/For he finishes everything. 

It's lyrics like those, mixed with sinister, yet often maudlin music that continues to impress me.  It doesn't always happen on the first listen, but it does happen.  Listening to the Movie Star Junkies is not a feel-good dance on a three-day weekend.  It's a booze-soaked fuck with a bad girl that could end in the murder of either of you.  And you like it.  Summer heat.  Sweat.  Backwoods black magic jive by men in threadbare pants and faded hats.  This is real.  This goes right where your current crop of sound-a-like puppet bands go horribly wrong.

If this band were from America and not Italy, Jack White's label would have them.  Instead, Reverend Beat-Man, who has the best ear for music in the entire fucking world, brings his pleasure to our stereos. 

I don't know how this will sell.  I'm sure Beat-Man, though concerned, is more concerned with getting it heard.  Like almost all the releases on his label, it is important.  It's some of the best music you've never heard.  Don't believe me.  Listen to "Layenda Negra" and close your eyes.  Experience it as it was meant to be ... in a dark, sick state of mind.  From that song: "In the cradle of the deep/In the prison of your ribs/There's a man that never speaks/There's a man that makes you weak."

Welcome, Junkies.  It's been two long years since you've graced our minds.  Thank you for visiting us again.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


1998.  I received a three song cassette in the mail from Overmars.  (Not to be confused with the metal band of the same name.  This 1998 band appears to no longer exist.)

"Chloe," "Coming Alive" and "The Sun" (a great song title by my mood today) were the songs.  The music was a less aggressive Monster Magnet (without too much of the psychedelic music -- the similarities are in the lyrics mostly) at times, and almost small nightclub metal at others.  If you've heard either and then listened to Overmars, you'd understand. 

"Coming Alive" starts with a laugh and the line, "I want to be beautiful/Like a mushroom cloud."  It is a song about destruction, with a chorus of "I'm coming alive."  The imagery works, however.  "I want to kiss the mouth of a dying star." 

I don't think I realized the brilliance of the band when I first heard it.  Since I've been republishing a lot of my stuff I'm sure I'll eventually come across my initial review.  I doubt it is very favorable, but I've held onto the tape, so that has to say something for it.

I've tried to hunt down the band, and have had zero success.  I wanted to get an update of what the guys were doing, and maybe do an interview.  Maybe hear how it has progressed.

Instead, I am left with this.  A reminder of a band that probably not enough people got into.  I picture the members have gone onto other things.  Most likely not music related, though they may be in bands as a hobby.

If any of the members of Overmars ever read this, I want to thank you.  I've been playing the tape a lot these past few weeks.  It is a moment out of time sound-wise, but the lyrics are perhaps more essential then ever.

"Come to the sun with me."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Affordable Firepower

As I wrote on my Cancerous Zeitgeist blog, Sigue Sigue Sputnik's music was used on ESPN HD commercial to promote the 2010 World Cup.  For me, this combined one of my favorite sports with a band I like that is thoroughly underrated and was, for its time, extremely original and often controversial.

Sigue Sigue Sputnik's output isn't even close to record breaking, but its Flaunt It is a classic.  This 1986 release was its first, and I obtained it on cassette (having to later pass up a vinyl version due to lack of money).  Look at its cover.  How the hell could it fail?  Couple that with songs that referenced voodoo, laser beams, guns and women, and you had a musical experience you could not get elsewhere.  This was no Bruce Springsteen.

Yes, Sigue Sigue Sputnik (which is named after a Russian youth gang and translates to Burn, Burn Satellite) was blatantly commercial (and even had ads between songs on the album), but that only added to its weird appeal. 

Today, the Sigue Sigue Sputnik style of music (heavy guitars and synth, and staccato beats) would barely raise an eyebrow.  That said, if you compare SSS to any other band like that, you can't help but hear that SSS comes across differently.  It has a different sense about it.  It's not the imagery (towering, multi-colored hair; fishnets; robots; machine guns; eye make-up).  It's not the strange lyrics ("Chinese speaking strip TVs").  It's not the song titles ("Orgasm").  It's not the ads ("ID magazine").  It's all those things combined.  It's almost like SSS exists in its own little world.  It makes music for the future ... if that future involved women in bikinis firing missiles at computer guided police helicopters.

I hope the guys were paid well for that commercial.  They sure as hell deserve it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Perfect Band

There are few bands I can honestly say are perfect.  These are bands I can listen to at any time and will somehow always fit my mood.  Even the bad songs are good.  The Clash is one of them.  Nashville Pussy is another.

Yesterday, I drove to work knowing there was a fairly good chance the day would be hell.  The first song that popped on my MP3 player was "Speed Machine" from Nashville Pussy.  I figured this would set the tone of the day in the most splendid of ways.

I was right.  It was Nashville Pussy.  How could I be wrong.

When I write, either creatively or on one of the blogs, NP can usually be heard pounding out the speakers.  It just always puts me in the right mood. 

I once described NP's sound to a friend like this: dirty, raw sex in the South on the most humid of days with the most uninhibited woman you could ever hope to find.  You will be left sore, but you will go back for more.

I think that description fits.

"Good Night for a Heart Attack" and "Struttin' Cock" are two songs that fit my mood way too much.  How can you not hear the latter and just think sex?

Open wide and put a little South in your mouth.  Perfect fucking band.  Perfect.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good-Bye, Mr. Dio

I have never been a huge Dio fan.  Mr. Ronnie James is one of the grandfathers of heavy metal, though, so he has my respect.  He's put in time with some of the greats and inspired countless number of metalheads the world over.  His death, at 67, is not shocking, as it came after a battle with stomach cancer, but it was still surprising.  Hell, KTVU out of San Francisco even did a piece on him which was pretty respectful and bare bones.

His death doesn't bother me in the way GG Allin's did, and I can't suddenly pretend to be the world's number one fan.  I thought he was talented, but he never struck me as interesting enough to actually buy anything he did.

Don't mistake that lack of enthusiasm for lack of respect, though.  I readily acknowledge his contributions to the metal genre.  He just doesn't excite my senses the way Iron Maiden or Pantera does when it comes to metal.  He was a workhorse.  He always delivered, but what he delivered was, by my tastes, average.

There is one thing I'll give him, though.  At 67 years of age, he had to have been the creepiest grandfather ever.

Metal will miss you, Dio.  I'll also miss you as and elderstatesmen.  Your music will live on, as will the legend.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's Just Dumb Music

I am not a fan of Limp Bizkit.  It's not the worst music in the world, and I can tolerate it being played near me, but I would not purchase a CD or download (even for free) any of its music.  That said, a girl I know really, really likes the band, and could not understand why I wasn't into it since I like "extreme shit."

(She and I obviously have different definitions of "extreme shit.")

I told her it just didn't do much for me.  I didn't loathe it like I loathe The Presidents of the United States, but there is other stuff I'd rather be listening to.  "It's just dumb music," she said.  "It's not supposed to make you think, just bob your head."

I couldn't help but think that sums up a lot of music ... especially currently.  It's not designed to make you think or even feel, but to simply move in time with the beats.  Something to blare from your car, windows down, on a summer day so that those around you know you belong to a common civilization.  Kind of like the reason businessmen wear suits or Giants fans wear the team's jersey on game day.  It lets people know you are part of something.

I guess in this sense, Limp Bizkit and other bands that are just meant to make you shake, are not only harmless, but actually also serve a purpose.  They make you less of an outsider and more of a "someone."  Of course, every genre and every social group has these bands.  Limp Bizkit applies to a certain group, while Jewel applies to another.  Instead of creating divides, the unite, and while those outside your peer group may not recognize the song or the band, many of them can be sure they heard it somewhere at some time before, so it can't make you all that bad.  After all, it's not like your Toyota pick-up is rattling to Total Chaos. 

I still won't buy the band's stuff, though.  I like that outsider status.  The outsider is handled differently.  There is more caution used ... at least until a group decides to kill him.  I'm fine with that role.  It suits me well.  At the very least it keeps me from buying "dumb music."  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Strange Urges for Strange Projects

If you're a fan of the Misfits, the name Kryst the Conqueror is probably familiar to you.  The band was essentially Jerry Only and Doyle (joined by Jeff Soto and Dave Sabo) doing metal songs with a religious theme.  I was given the cassette by the brothers when I got to meet them in their shop in New Jersey.  Expecting to hear a Misfits-like project at the time, I was a bit stunned by how metal it sounded.

Earlier today, for no apparent reason, I had the urge to listen to the cassette.  I hadn't played it in years, and I can't remember any of the songs, but for some reason it seemed like a good idea to pull it out and give it some fresh ears.

Unfortunately, life distracted me, and I ended up listening to some bootleg live Samhain instead.  It wasn't Kryst the Conqueror, but I think it scratched that itch for the time being.

I've always been puzzled as to why Kryst the Conqueror had to be such a radical departure from the Misfits.  At the time it came out you could say it was because the Jerry and Doyle wanted nothing to do with the Misfits sound and decided to go a radically different direction, but time would prove that to be wrong.  You could, if you believe Wikipedia, say that the brothers (Jerry and Doyle, in case you aren't familiar with the history of the Misfits) thought this band would be an almost counter message to what Danzig had done since the Misfits disbanded.  (Wikipedia states that Jerry found Danzig's later music to be "Satanic," something that was never brought up with me in my dealings with them.)  Either way, you can't argue that Kryst the Conqueror was about as different from the Misfits as you could imagine the brothers getting while still keeping a guitar-heavy rock sound.

As it stands, Kryst the Conqueror is another interesting side note to the history of the Misfits, like Dr. Chud's Sacred Thrash and Gorgeous Frankenstein.  It's not the Misfits and clearly isn't meant to be, but it's also not anything you would expect out of anyone even remotely associated with that historical band.

Now I really want to find that cassette just to see how well it has stood up through time.  My guess?  Not nearly as well as the Misfits have.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Let Them Eat ... Nothing!

I'm not in the norm.  I'm an Internet user, but I'm not cheap.  I actually end up paying for my music.  (Not the stuff I get for review, mind you, but the stuff I download.)  Yeah, I pay for it, and I'm more than fine with that.  And while I've bought bootlegs in the past, the bootlegs have always been of live performances or songs that were never released up until that moment.  Downloading music illegally, to me, has always left me feeling kind of cold ... something people who read me on a regular basis know.

Paul Weller of The Jam (you should know of this band) put it best in an interview in Spin.  What he said was so succinct, so complete, that I'm quoting him here, and then I'm offering a challenge.

"They fucking say the live thing is where the money is, but tell that to my mates in club bands.  They're making 100 pounds a night.  I don't know what that is in American dollars, but it's fuck all.  A lot of us are still living on baked beans, man.  The atmosphere's scary.  I don't understand this thing of people receiving music for nothing.  Whether it's unromantic or not, it's how I pay the bills.  And that shit about making an album and saying it costs nothing; that's like saying my life's work is worthless."

I imagine some people who download music without paying for it have jobs.  Why don't you go in and work for free?  That seems fair, doesn't it?  Why should it be that way for musicians?  Why should they put all kinds of physical and mental effort into creating something (which is a hell of a lot harder than flipping a burger, running a cash register or any number of other jobs) that you just then take?  Granted, some musicians don't mind, but enough do, and music fans should respect their art and craft enough to pay for it.

I like Weller's quote.  It makes sense.  Good sense.  Sure, it's hard to feel bad for Metallica crying foul, but Weller is a whole other story.  You can't say he's only after the money. 

When all those people who are illegally downloading start working for free I'll start respecting their positions more.  All of them who I know who have jobs, however, always balk when I suggest any such thing. 

Support the artists you love.  They have families to raise, bills to feed, and it's just downright respectful.  If not, you try working for free and see how you like it.  Better yet, try making a living off your creativity.  Let's see how well you can do it -- without being paid.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Hate Peaches

No, not the singer.  The song.  "Peaches."  That awful, suicide inducing ditty from the insipid The Presidents of the United States of America.  I hate it so much that if I ever meet these guys, I will fight them ... and I will win.

Granted, I like some stupid songs.  Anything from Diesel Rhino comes to mind.  None, however, are as awful and stupid (not to mention boring) as "Peaches."  None.  Not a single one.  How this song ever became popular is a mystery to me.  I imagine it has something to do with our failing school systems, but I can't prove it.

Co-workers and friends know of my hatred, and they use the song to rile me up and then are taken aback by how angry I get when I talk about it.  It amuses them ... to a point.

I could go on and on about why I hate this song, artists' responsibilities and so on, but I won't bore you.  What I will state, however, is that if anyone knows how to personally get in touch with the band (not through a web site), let me know.  I want to ask the lads why they would write such a lame song, and then challenge them to a throw down.  Last man standing.

When I'm done with them, they'll still be able to eat peaches ... through a straw.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ugly Children

I am not a fan of country music ... especially not the current crop of country crooners who are about as country as high rise buildings and sushi.  I am a fan of Voodoo Rhythm, however, and if the label puts out a band, I'm listening to it.  Hell, if Reverend Beat-Man thinks a band has merit, it's worth investigating.

Enter The Watzloves.  I was a hard sell on this band, but its cover of the country classic "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly" made me really take notice.  I've heard the song before.  I think I was actually one a trip with my grandparents when I heard the original.  I didn't like it then, and I'm not sure I'd like it now, but The Watzlove version is on my PSP's memory stick and it's not going anywhere soon.

The Watzloves is not exactly your average band.  It's a Cajun, swamp blues monster that would be just as at home in the city as it would on some back porch in Louisana.  It is, however, exactly what you'd expect to find on Voodoo.

Enjoy the show.           

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Movie Star Junkies Review Up

If you're interested, my review of the Movie Star Junkie's Mellville can be found here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

King Automatic Interview Up

I've posted the King Automatic interview here despite my hesitation. I'm fairly sure the pay issue will be resolved. It's no reason to keep from getting the band some exposure. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

King Automatic Interview Update

I've finally finished transcribing the King Automatic interview. I want to put it up on Associated Content, but I see that I have been paid for previous pieces, but the pay has not materialized in my account (in fact, it may have gone to someone else's account). I have no desire to put stuff up so other people get paid. I'm going to give Associated Content some time to work this out, and if it can't be done (or won't be done), I'll post the interview here.

If you're a King Automatic fan (which seems doubtful as he says most of his fans are in Germany and Switzerland), you'll read about how he started, what he thinks about illegal downloading and what his future projects will be. It was a good interview, broken English and all (he's French).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

California Love

2Pac. Dr. Dre (fairly sure he's not really a doctor). "California Love." 1996. All Eyez on Me. West Coast, motherfuckers. A celebration of California life ... or something.

I never really understood the appeal of hip hop songs that extol the virtues of living in one place over another, whether it be a neighborhood, region or state. I can understand having pride in wherever you pay rent, but to commit it vinyl or illegally downloaded MP3s? Seems kind of like it's a sign that you've run out of ideas.

I spent a lot of time in Mt. Pocono in my teen years. I'm fairly sure if I had a hip hop act (named, I believe, Rev. Doug and the Presidential Azzazzins), I would not be throwing down, "Mt. Pocono, motherfucker/Where the ice cream is cold/And the cops are bold/No night life, bitch/But we got huntin' and fish."

It just wouldn't be right.

As most people know, I think current hip hop is more concerned with being like bored Beverly Hills housewives instead of taking a political stance like Public Enemy of old. Hence, I've left most of it behind and retain the old punk standards of things like Crass and newer old music like that which comes out of the house of Voodoo.

My guess is that "California Love" filled Californians with an inflated sense of self and a vibe again to a summer block party while listeners in other parts of the country wanted to come enjoy the wonderous cities that are Oakland and Hollywood. When I hear it, however, I visualize that Mad Max-inspired video and think of wasted opportunities. Hell, Nairobi and the Awesome Foursome's "Funky Soul MaKoosa" actually seems to have more inspiration and it kinda sucks.

Come to think of it, with the perpetual stupidity that seems to run rampant in this state like STDs on campus, "California Love" may be right on target.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Waking Up With Rollins

I woke up with my stomach gurgling. Upset about my daughter being sick, me being sick, and work, I figured it was a good time for some Rollins Band. His music keeps me sane in the worst of times and the best of times ... and in the tough times. Tired of illness and stress. Tired of people pushing med leave. Tired of talking the same talking and walking the same walk and not getting anywhere close to my destination.

In high school, the words and wisdom of Hank helped to put things into context. Black Flag was a constant on my Walkman. It made getting to school less dreadful and leaving all that much sweeter. It made me realize that all the petty shit meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. Now, however, all the petty shit isn't petty -- it's what I'm surrounded by. The people who do their best to be the most ignorant. My war, indeed.

The coffee I drink this morning is bitter. I'm slow because my stomach keeps cramping up, and I feel like I gotta puke. I'm going to work to do damage control, because I don't think I can take much of what is being thrown my way, but med leave ain't my way, either. I just don't know where I stand anymore in much of anything.

At least my girl is feeling better. That means the world to me, and that counts for everything. With her, I can shut the rest of the world out and focus where the focus must be. With her around, I don't need to play Rollins Band in the morning.

But she already likes Black Flag, and I hope she comes to the realizations quicker than I did.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meet Joe Black

Did any Malevolent Creation fans like the Joe Black release? It's a remix album, and I can't picture it sitting well with die-hard fans of the band.

I, on the other hand, listened to it yesterday for the first time in many years, and really enjoyed it. Death metal and techno-like beats goes together pretty damn well.

I have no idea of what the band is up to these days, or even if it still exists. It may have gone the way oh-so many other metal acts from the '90s, or maybe it's still earning dope money by playing dive bars in Florida for aging car mechanics and 22-year-old SSI recipients.

It doesn't really matter what the band's fate is, however. This release remains a testament to metal ingenuity no matter what the long-haired lads are doing.

I just wonder if they ever put it on the stereo and think, "What the hell were we doing?"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Amazing Power of Lard

I never thought Jello Biafra would work well with industrial music, but when I heard Lard I realized I was wrong. It actually works really well.

Industrial music is one of those things you either like or don't. I can understand why some people just can't get into the repetitive sounds and jarring noises. Some people don't like the fascist links/imagery to some of the music. For me, however, the music is a powerful mood booster that helps me face the day. Driving in to work listening to Ministry helps me get through the day. Writing to Skinny Puppy sets the mood. Listening to Lard inspires me.

Like metal, the industrial music of the eighties and nineties is powerful stuff meant to evoke emotions. It succeeds. Heck, I remember reading a report that Jeffrey Dahmer looked for victims at a Skinny Puppy show. I never knew if it were true or not, but it did seem fitting. That music would attract that sort of thing.

I once played Too Dark Park for one of my brother's girlfriends. She liked Air Supply and had never heard anything like it. She described it as "scary" and made me turn it off.

And that is why I like it. It accomplishes its goal. Granted, there are always arguments about what is industrial versus what isn't, but set those aside and you find a genre that actually succeeds on the level it is playing on. It attracts the right kind of listener and alienates the wrong.

If only hip hop were so lucky.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

One Man Band: King Automatic

As always, Voodoo Rhythm puts out the most amazing releases. 10/2/09 saw the unleashing of In the Blue Corner from King Automatic.

The King was once a drummer in the French punk band Thundercrack. That was the mid 1990s. Come 2000 King had separated from Thundercrack and did his thing on his own. We're all better off for it.

To be fair, King Automatic isn't totally solo on this 14 song release. He's got Petra, Miss Bang! Bang! and Rich Deluxe helping with backing vocals. He does handle the drums, guitars, harp, vocals and keyboard himself, though. Take that, Bruce Springsteen!

One man bands aren't the future of rock 'n' roll. In fact, they are more of a glimpse of the past. They are a more pure sound, however. They show that you don't have to have four guys to create a full sound amongst the battling egos. Purity gives music soul. The more fingers in the pot, the more diluted the message becomes. This release is proof of that.