Monthly Archives: November 2008

Ulver – Shadows of the Sun

ulver_shadowsofthesun_cover_largeA friend recommended Ulver with the sort of intensity one finds in the transmission of those things that touch our innermost light in the most intense ways.

It is important to be respectful of these moments and feelings.

La la la la, la la dee dee daaaa…

What?

Um…hmm. Continue reading

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Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Frozen Corpses Stuffed With Dope

6530_216In the world of absurdist comedic grindcore, there are really only two heavyweights – Anal Cunt (AC) and Agoraphobic Nosebleed (AN).

AC fans will dispute this, claiming the two acts are nothing like each other, but while it’s true that AN features drum machine workouts and – as far as I know – doesn’t have any jokey “heathen music” side projects, there’s a lot of similarities. Both are pointlessly offensive, proudly stupid and nearly self-parodying – i.e. they are the bands that sound like what people who don’t listen to “heavy” music think all metal sounds like.

If nothing else, I think we can all appreciate that. Continue reading

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Coil – Time Machines

eskaton10I would like to think that among friends and neighbors my odd tastes are balanced by the acceptance that I know some of what I talk about – at least some of the time. So when I say unto you, dear people, do not listen to this album while driving, I am not merely engaging in some kind of erratic hyperbole, nor am I buying into some kind of homoerotic masculinist cult approach to “penile soundscapes” and the like. I am instead buying into the idea that distracted people moving a two thousand pound death machine are a hazard, both moral and physical.

I will go further than this – sensitive people do not mix well with this sort of music, especially if they are given to drug taking or nervousness. I spent enough time in my late teens and early twenties babysitting people who thought it would be fun to “trip out” but didn’t reckon on having to deal with their mind thrown up on a drive-in movie screen twice the size of the universe. Either they hadn’t been told, dealt only with the fratboy mindset or they’d simply chosen to ignore warnings from reasonable, responsible people, and as such got themselves into a corner with The Fear and had no way out. Not that it isn’t fun to tell someone that everything will be ok every two minutes for an hour and a half, of course, but – ok, I’m kidding. It’s not fun at all.

This piece of work is like The Fear in album form. Either you deal with it or it deals with you. Continue reading

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Eno/Budd – Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror

ambient_2_mirror_lThere are two kinds of people in this world – those who like Brian Eno’s ambient and soundscape works, and those who like his glammy escapades with Roxy Music or his own arty outings. I don’t mind some of Here Come the Warm Jetsthe title track is pretty neat – but for the most part his involvement with rock music was never as interesting as his invention – or mere formalization – of both an aesthetic and a genre.

Roxy Music always made my teeth hurt, even though they were gone before I was born, and I know people love Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy but I’ll be damned if I can understand why. Maybe you had to be there? Hugely influential (just ask TV On The Radio), and Eno has always been a talented producer, but the sum of all parts still leaves me cold.

We can all agree, however, that anyone who can save Fripp from completely disappearing up his own ass is a kind of saint. Continue reading

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Box Your Ears #2 – The Eyes of Stanley Pain vs. III

stanleyiiiContinuing our theme of the Heroin Olympics, we examine two essential Download releases.

The Eyes of Stanley Pain – along with The Process – is the last real taste of Dwayne Goettel‘s work before he died of an overdose in his parents’ bathroom; the sound pallette is heavily techno, but the construction is far more Puppy-oriented. III is the emergence of an overt IDM sensibility, more Warp than anything “industrial,” and definitely several years ahead of the curve. Continue reading

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Gym Class Zeroes: Point/Counterpoint on The Decemberists

dorkwads

There are few musical acts on this Earth who inspire my active scorn, rather than smug dismissal – The Decemberists being first and foremost on that list. To give credit where credit is due, to make a career writing songs about always having been picked last at dodgeball is an impressive feat, in the same way that shut-ins who cover the walls of their parents’ basement with pictures of anime characters show a staggering dedication to embodying moral blankness through the depraved poetry of their lives and actions.

To defend the band against charges of being the musical equivalent of a shitty cup of coffee in the worst “local writers” section of a terrible community bookstore in the dorkiest part of town, my long-suffering wife will stand as public defendant of one of her favorite bands. Continue reading

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Box Your Ears #1 – Too Dark Park vs. Last Rights

toodarkpark1last-rights1

Welcome to the first installment of “Box Your Ears” – it’s the Heroin Olympics down here on the ranch and I’ve come here to snort Xanax and chew bubblegum – and I’m all out of Xanax. Sadly, this year’s dental derby means no gum either.

While VIVIsectVI has its moments, and i think one can make a case for The Process – maybe – these two albums are both indisputably  great. But which one is greater?

Too Dark Park is the last bow of Skinny Puppy‘s the industrial synthpop roots, barely visible beneath the dye job of madness. Last Rights is the emergence of another kind of beast entirely, and the birth pangs of Download. Continue reading

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