Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Metal/Best of 2010 List

1.      This year for me was odd musically, first one of the great singers in not just Metal but Music ITSELF died this year. Of course, I mean Dio. It's still really hard to believe he's gone. I felt really down reading about King Diamond's heart surgery, too but I hope he'll continue to rock the bone mic longer. 
       I saw a decent amount of shows and liked much of what I saw. Legendary bands like St. Vitus, Deviated Instinct, C.O.C., D.R.I., and Raven come to mind. Plus, a few others I hadn't got around to: The Gates of Slumber,Goatsnake, and Thou. As far as records go that went a bit strange, too. The crux of what I bought was a mix of old and new (much of that is represented here). Also, I ended my time at KZSU, for a variety of reasons. Next to no labels were sending the station heavy music worth its weight. Additionally, little that I wanted to do with my radio show came to fruition. The bulk of heavy music to the station was trade bait or worthless crap. (One song CD singles, still!). Reasons for "what about this or that?" is reflected with other issues of time/money/(computer) space issues. There is a middle between "die hard edition/vinyl/tape" super limited-ness of the ultra underground and the all digital bullshit, all the time. 
      That said, I'm missing several things I wanted to hear from beginning to end such as: Autopsy, Cough, Electric Wizard, Cauchemar, Weapon, Slough Feg, Hail of Bullets, Master, Sodom, Bastard Priest (and a TON more new wave of old school Death Metal), W.A.S.P., Ghost (Sweden), and Züül. Plus a ton of the newer punk/HC/psych/neo-folk/ambient/whatever bands. 

T t  Heavy music in 2010 showed no shortage of amazing new bands. A few of these I discovered from the fantastic Doomed Forever forum such as Uzala, Resonaut, Hot Graves, Winds of Genocide ( the last 2 whose demos I STILL need to get!). Also, it was nice to see a resurgance of zines (which seemed to have carried over from 2009) such as  Snakepit , Radio: Totally Crucial Rock N' Roll , and Bestial Avenger. Hell, even  Maximum Rock N' Roll's still in biz and writing about a gazillion punk/garage/HC bands that you may or may never get a chance to hear. Additionally, there were some great books that came out such as Tom G. Warrior's Only Death is Real, Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook (OK, maybe this was late '09) and a very well researched book on Progressive Metal, all of these 3 can be found at Bazillion Points.
Onward with the list... (excuse the shitty formatting, blogger's being a dick). 

AGALLOCH - Marrow of the Spirit (Profound Lore)- It's been worth the wait (and yes, the hype) for this as was their show last Wednesday at Great American Music Hall.
ATHEIST – Jupiter (Season of Mist) – Modern tech-thrash done amazingly well (despite their roots, I don’t hear a lotta DM in this, but no biggie).
BURZUM - Belus (Byelobog) – I love the fact that this not only channels various parts of classic 2nd wave BM but also the Master’s Hammer worship of “Sverddans”
CHILDREN OF TECHNOLOGY - It’s Time to Face the Doomsday (Hell’s Headbangers) - Insanely RIPPIN’ Italian band conjuring GBH, Onslaught, early VoiVod and of course Motörhead. Sure beats hearing another "post metal" or Incantation worship snore fest. 
CHRISTIAN MISTRESS - Agony and Opium (20 Buck Spin)
HIGH ON FIRE - Snakes for the Divine (E1) – Been hearing Pike lay down riffs since ’91 – and he keeps impressing me nearly at every turn.
IRON MAIDEN – The Final Frontier (E1) – The first 21st century ‘Maiden that’s really grabbed me. Regardless, this really works given a good number of listens.
KERASPHORUS - Cloven Hooves at the Holocaust Dawn (Nuclear War Now!) – Crushing, fast,  technical without being wanky and yet continually interesting. 
LUDICRA – The Tenant (Profound Lore) – Probably their most challenging but pays off very  well.
AMEBIX – Redux (Profane Existence) – Re-recordings by most heavy bands fucking suck but  this (and Sodom’s - In the Sign of Evil) does not what so ever! not what so ever. Amebix mix in more keys but the energy, fury and heaviness is all here.
MOTÖRHEAD - The World Is Yours (UDR/Motörhead Music) – Because sounds like fucking  Motörhead ! 30+ years and they STILL rule!  
TOXIC HOLOCAUST/INEPSY - split LP (Tank Crimes) 
BRETWALDAS OF HEATHEN DOOM -  Seven Bloodied Ramparts (King Penda) 
TRIPTYKON - Esparistera Daimones (Century Media) – A lack of “heeey” and “ouh!”/”ouuuugh!”    but still very heavy and continually interesting.
DARKTHRONE– Circle the Wagons (Peaceville) – it’s still Darkthrone, can’t complain.  
COFFINWORM – When All Becomes None (Profound Lore) Doomy, heavy as fuck and filthy. 

Gilbert Delfez Je Suis Vivant, Mais J’Ai peur de Gilbert Delfez (B-Music/Finders Keepers)
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Hawk (Vanguard) - Excellent Americana duets that invoke the late, great Lee Hazelwood.
Beach House Zebra – EP (Sub Pop) – didn’t get around to hearing all of Teen Dream but this is very nice and proves that current "indie rock" doesn't have all sound like 70's elevator music.
Rome - Nos Chants Perdus (Trisol)
Sabbath Assembly - Restored to One (Ajna)
HedjaApnoea (Bridgetown) – beautiful ambient stuff


Overkill Ironbound – would’ve been on here if it weren’t for the super-shitty, modern production with clicky-cliky triggered drums and super-slick mix. 

Christopher Lee's Charlemagne - By the Sword and the Cross – Dunno if this is actually as bad (or "so bad, it's good") as his appearance in the teen sex comedy Jocks in 1986 but still nice to see he’s getting work.


Paranoid Freakout (Oakland)
Resonaut (Trondheim, Norway)
Age of Taurus (UK)
Bird (San Jose)
Uzala (Boise, ID)
Vastum (SF/Oakland, CA)
Xibalba (Mexico)


G.I.S.M. – Detestation and 1982-84 – bitch as bootlegz both.
Labradford – Mi media naranja (1997)
Hellbastard – demos LP
V/A: U.S. Metal Vol. II – (Shrapnel) Wild Dogs, The Rods, Exciter (!!!), the true Vixen’s “Angel’s From the Dust”. Even some early guitar wank from Michael “Angelo” Batio. Yes, the one later in Nitro!
White Boy and the Average Rat Band – White Boy and the Average Rat Band (Roach)
Heavy Load – every fucking thing they did.
Stitch – Devil’s Deal 7” - Thank you, Cosmic Hearse!


* Saint Vitus 2x! – January 29th & June 27th both @ DNA
* Shrinebuilder/Steve Von Till/Brainoil @ Voodoo Lounge, SJ, March 5th
* Bird/Basement Animal/Vaccuum @ The Caravan, SJ, November 6th
* Triptykon @ Slim’s – October 23rd
* C.O.C./Goatsnake/Black Breath @ DNA, August 10th
* D.R.I. @ Slim’s - January 9th
* Ludicra/Slough Feg (opening for Pentagram who unfortunately were very "off" that night.@ DNA, March 23rd
* Vitamin X/Toxic Holocaust/Deadfall/Face the Rail/Population Reduction/Muni Waste @ Tankcrimes Brainsqueeze Day 2, Oakland Metro
* Raven/Vastum/Stone Vengeance/Amber Asylum @ Tidal Wave Fest, July 24-25
* Thou @ Thee Parkside, June 18th
* Monarch! – 924 Gilman Nov. 5th
* Grand Invincible @ Mardi Gras, Redwood City, Nov.
* Deviated Instinct @ Gilman St., Sept 11th
* Crow/Conquest for Death/Cross Stitched Eyes/Acephalix @ 924 Gilman St.
* Frisco Freakout 2010 @ Thee Parkside October 16th: Assembled Head in Sunburst Sound, Carlton Melton, Strangers Family Band, White Manna, Jeffertitti's Nile. Carlton Melton on KZSU December 15th
* Venomous Concept @ Thee Parkside, September 17th
* Katatonia @ Thee Parkside, August
* The Gates of Slumber/Struck by Lightning/Black Tusk/Weedeater (the latter kinda sucked but the crowd went ape for 'em. @ Elbo Room, March 27th
 * Amber Asylum/Soriah/Lux Eterna/The Ghost Project with Belly Dancers @ Ghost Town Gallery, Oakland, January.


* Iconoclast: Boyd Rice (documentary) at Roxie Theater - the night S.F. went drunken batshit for the Giants
* Standing In Two Circles: The Collected Works of Boyd Rice book
* Swedish Death Metal book by Daniel Ekeroth
* Gimme Something Better: Bay Area Punk book
* Nagawika's cartoons

Friday, December 24, 2010

N.W.O.B.H.M. radio special on Monday 27th Dec.

 History of Metal V: N.W.O.B.H.M. (and related) special on KZSU.

Myself and Mr. Esq. will be on KZSU, 90.1 FM and on Monday the 27th from Midnight-3am (8am GMT/9am CET)

We will be playing LOTS of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal i.e.: 'Maiden, Saxon, Raven, Venom, et. al. and like minded gods of the mighty riff from Belgium, Germany, Japan, Sweden, USA, etc. from the very groundbreaking years of 1978-84. Plus a good chunk of this will be played from first run vinyls.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

At LEAST change the logo!

My friend The Pittsburg Pirates pointed out the above's very lame and highly UN-diabloical logo while we were on our way to lunch in Berkeley's very yuppish (but still good) Tacubaya in Berkeley's very snooty 4th Street district. This shoe store is apparently attempting to conjure a diabolic aesthetic yet their arched M is comes off more like an early Warner Brother's monster wearing a tux. Nothing evil or hellish there. They might wanna throw some inspiration from the Swedish Black/Death Metal underground like this logo of this sorta influential band of the same name.

For fuck's sake, they even did a variation on both Elphas Levi's classic satan image AND the Celtic Frostian heptagram. Waaay better than some $130 & up shoe place. Hell, the shoe store doesn't even conjure up the images of the movie Mefisto which OK, was pretty controversial subject matter (and the English dubbed version is really boring) but no matter - they should just change the name of the place to "Overpriced Shoes with a Shitty Logo".

P.S. - Yes, I just noticed they're spelled differently but once again the shoe store is totally UN-wicked and not somewhere I'll ever shop nor should you!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rockers on PSAs

Man, Rick Nielsen's promoting Cheap Trick's really awful single "Tonight It's You", Jools Holland is such a dweeb! But look at that shirt Robyn Hitchcock's wearing-I think he & Klaus of the Scorps shop at the same place. And did that Kool & The Gang album have a hit? Seems like by 1985 they were far away from "Celebration".

Meanwhile in another part of 1985, Wendy O. Williams, the Kommander of Kaos tells us about the importance of V.D. prevention.

Ratt's Robyn is too ripped to read

Alcatrazz, the band featuring that Miami Vice lookin' Graham Bonnett also did a PSA on the b-side of their "Will You Be Home Tonight" 12". There's no video or clip of it that I can find but trust me, I've heard it and it's downright weird but not too unlike the rest of the "Rockers Against Drugs" ads that were all over MTV around 1987-88. Alcatrazz were a bunch of session players like Steve Vai and Jimmy Waldo but regardless of status - the song pretty much blows donkey.

Granted, not all of these ads sucked. This is the best one with Dio, who's totally believable. He was just a "few beers here & there" guy and not a fuck up like Nikki Sixx.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Before Tim's Time

I just zipped through reading the excellent Cardboard Gods  book. This is a must read even if you're not that into baseball. Josh Wilker's blend of stream-of-consciousness personal history and the backstory behind 1970's and 80's baseball cards (whether real or imagined) is amazing. Wilker's musings on the funny,  awkward  and just plain weird images from these cards inspired this post.

When I first saw photos of  Tim "The Freak" Lincecum, I first thought of his predecessers - Jackie Earl Haley from Bad News Bears (in the 1976 original version not the dodgy Billy Bob Thornton re-make) and 1975 Topps-era Ted Simmons.

Jackie Earl Haley's character Kelly is the team "bad ass", all motorcycle ridin', smokin' and authority defying. He continued on the same path in the cheesy but still good Breaking Training  in '77. In recent years Jackie Earl Haley's played Freddy Kruger and the burn out baskeballer, Dukes in the Will Farrel's excellent ABA tribute Semi-Pro.

What can we gather from Ted Simmons? He wasn't into smoking the green and it's probably just the sun hitting his eyes on this non-descript angular stadium which may or may not be the Cardinals Busch Stadium. Even if it is just the sun, his heavy worn-yet game ready eyes, the guy-in-the-front-row at Grand Funk hair & sideburns just make you wanna ask him "hey dude, wasn't catching Bob Gibson's fastball like, hella intense?"

The similarities continue...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Metalsploitation - The Return......

Don't ask why but I was trying to remember what the Carmine Appice ("Appa-see")  led fluff rock band, King Kobra sounded like. Among the thing I stumbed upon in my results was this primo Metalsploitation clip from McAllen, Texas circa 1986. I completely forgot that W.A.S.P. toured with Duh Nuge much less King Kobra. Though the latter situation makes sense as King Kobra's Johnny Rod played bass on W.A.S.P.'s not that good "Inside the Electric Circus" album. Here's more rock n' shock from the age of the P.M.R.C. 5 Alive has this report...

A day before the show, McAllen went wild for King Kobra. Check @ 1:56 when one of the band members doesn't recognize the guitar in one of their own songs.

These guys also have an amazingly awful video with Louis Gossett Jr. for the movie Iron Eagle that just screams "make me a meme!"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Watch This Space

(Proper Flyer with Neat-o Images to be posted soon).

Coming January 2011

Another zine covering Heavy Metal Sub/Urban Hell (and Heaven) featuring: Interviews with people from the Bay Area Metal/Hardcore scene, Metalsploitation – in the movies and the media, The mayhemic world of Nasty Savage, The continuing saga of Danny: “the good little Christian boy”, Broken Entity: the band that should not be, I was a teenage prog nerd, odes to 1980s cable TV/VHS culture, Judge Dredd, Satan & the occult, penbangers/penpals, Temporary Valhalla Zones aka: the greatest 80’s record stores, pro wrestling, totally rockin’ radio, record & show reviews from 1984-90, proper BMX aesthetics , junk food, and even more 7-11s,. Plus: guitar lesson horrors, taking a “mini-vacation from Metal”, and of course the “all-important” stories about: fights, getting wasted and cutting school!

More crud up here:

“You're nobody's slave, nobody's chains are holdin' you
You hold your fist up high,
And rule the zoo”
– W.A.S.P. – “I Wanna Be Somebody”

Saturday, September 25, 2010

At War With Chuck Eddy: aka: Kix's 1st album

I'm gonna start posting a few reviews of records here. Just to look at some things I've missed out on over the years. The good, the bad and the awful. Here's a record that at times covers (mostly) the latter 2. However, I need to first cover where I first heard about this album.

Kix - Kix (Atlantic, 1981)
I first read about Kix in Hit Parader in some small article about "upcoming hot rockers" or another equally dumb feature. At least it wasn't another piece on Motley Crue, Ratt or main writer Andy Secher whining about "the speed metal sweepstakes". A few months later I saw the video around 11pm on Headbanger's Ball for the song "Midnight Dynamite" and thought it was pretty good. In recent years, I've heard it every so often on his show on my friend Big Chief's show on KZSU .

The Kix album show above was recommended to me by another KZSU DJ who (like me), loves to hate the "so dumb it's almost good" book Stairway to Hell: The 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums in the Universe. The author Chuck Eddy is a hack that was wrote for "cool critic" places like Creem, Creem Metal (their short-lived/sometimes decent 80's spin off mag), and the Village Voice. Eddy's book is chock full of insane ideas on what he thinks is "heavy metal".

Specifically, Eddy's elastic definition includes everything from the pop of Teena Marie the party rap of the Beastie Boys - License to Ill  to Bryan Fucking Adams'- Reckless to the experimental guitar works of Glen Branca  to the WTFery of Celtic Frost's Cold Lake. Yet, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and every NWOBHM band is excluded! His take on NWOBHM is simply: "Seems those fickle Brits traded in their porkpie hats for leather and chains, and there was suddenly this 'New Wave' of metal overseas, all the bands (Saxon, Samson [spelled Sampson in the book], Marseille, Girl, Diamondhead) that everybody forgot about real quick, plus Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, who either inexplicably or explicably (depends on your point of view) would thrive forever."

A lot of this is lazy journalism making some odd-ball claim that, oh, 2nd wave ska musicians suddenly traded in their Desmond Dekker for UFO and started playing riffs? Sure, no one ever cared about "Diamondhead" ['cause Diamond Head's 2 words, duder] in the "big picture". Yet some bands called Metallica and Megadeth (who DH opened for on the 2004 UK tour) always did. They're even in his book (Metallica, 5 times and Megadeth...huh? Nope not at all. Saaaad!).

The book is filled with other insanities. This album I'm about to get into was in the Top 500 -  at Number Five! Just behind #2 Gn'R's - Appetite of Destruction  and #1 Fred Zep's - Bozo record at #1 (*kack*). A small consolation, from Eddy who says that GN'R: "owes more to Janis Joplin and Bo Diddley than to Deep Purple. 'Metal's where records stores filed it." True but, "owes more to Hanoi Rocks/Rose Tattoo and Nazereth and then waters it down" would be be more apt.

Anyway, on to KIX.  These Baltimore cornballs jump around a lot. "Atomic Bomb" would've been at home on the first Ratt EP complete with Stephen Pearcy/Robyn Crosby-like harmonies. So far, so good. Then it's the utter wanky stadium rock  of "Love At First Sight" so clichéd that even Ted Nugent would take a step back.

The weird skinny-tie new wave of "Heartache" is just confusing. Then they go back to the awful Sunset Strip by way of B'more tunes: "Poison" and "Contrary Mary" are iffy at best. The AC/DC worship: "The Itch" is pretty pointless. "Kix Are For Kids" is fast but chee-zee. I can do without choruses used as crutches - which is essentially the bulk of 80's pop. The Cheap Trick-like "The Kid" is pretty choice but it soon falls over into cock-rock right before it hits the chorus. Then it turns into a mess of slick harmonies and fluff that becomes the hair farmer gold standard (ex: Jackyl, Trixter, etc). The playing on the final track "Yeah Yeah Yeah" is OK. But really do we NEED another tune about "woman hunting"? Much less one that invokes even more Led Zep/Aerosmith ball-stroking AND mentions puking 'ludes?

Overall, it has a few sparks but no dynamite even for being ahead of their time. Although "ahead of it's time" isn't always stands the test of time like G.I.S.M. or Cromagon. Alright, you just read an entire Kix review now go listen to Master's Hammer, Beyond Dawn or Electric Wizard or...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ozzy! Ozzy! Ozzy!

My best friend in high school, Steve's nickname was "Ozzy. He's the one who memorized all the banter from "Speak ofthe Devil". "Does anyboddyeee remembah th' ol' Phill Maurice? Yeah Maaan Phil Maurice*- woo! We used to get shitfaced...with yew groupies!...Let's hava RIOOOOTTT!" (*vomits out strawberry soda*). Randy Rhodes was one of my fave guitarists then. I once was in Westwood (L.A. area) and my friend bought me this killer 8x10 pic of Randy. I put it up next to one of Randy that Steve gave me from the Day on the Green show in Oakland (4th July '81).

Steve making the "Ozzy Face" and me trying to avoid the camera - '88 yearbook. 

When my friends & I went to see him & Metallica on "Ultimate Sin" tour, the shithead stoners at school said they're going "to Metallica" even though they thought they were a "new band". My friend Danny's family were born-again Xtians but his mom was moving away from it and was OK with him going to the show. Tho' he had to keep it secret from his xtian/rascist fuckhead dad. My dad oddly enough almost prevented me from going. He was starting get involved in his (otherwise pretty liberal church) and believed that Tipper Gore was right about some of this "parental advisory" shit. He got pissed off at me putting the "Fuck Like A Beast" cover on my wall - so that's beginning of it. (Oh and...he was constantly pissed off at my hella punk rock sister). 

Anyway, I heard a lot of the singles from "Blizzard", "Diary" and "Bark" back then. I even had a full Ozzy wall in my room (and a 'Maiden wall) where Steve  would imitate every expression that Oz made (see pic above). The show was great. At the time I was burnt out on hearing about Metallica. Odd, sure but I was tired of all these dickwads that otherwisewould've hated them 2 years earlier. ("Fuck this, punk shit - put on Aerosmith!" I'm sure they'd say.) Metallica came on and they so fucking fast & heavy we COULDN'T deny how amazing they were. That and were quite stoned & tipsy from weed & wine in the parking lot earlier. 

Ozzy that night was iffy at best. The band sounded fine but his voice was cracking and here & there was fuckin' a lyric or two. Still, I got a shirt with Ozzy clapping alongside Jake E. Lee. I started losing interest around '87 when I was burning out on much of Hard Rock & Metal. Didn't even care when "No Rest" came out. Having a guitarist named Zakk Wylde in the height of glam-fluff excess didn't help either. That said, he worked with a ton of great musicians and made some great stuff that I always feel good coming back to. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Semi-confused 16 year old

This is my Metal Forces issue 23 ad when I was 16 and looking for bandmates for my shitty "idea band" Broken Entity. HUGE thanks to Black Laced Obesity from the Doomed Forever forum for sending this to me this morning. Made my fuckin' day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Heard it a zillion times but it's STILL awesome

Demonical from Sweden has that now acceptable again 1989-93 Swedish Death Metal tone. This song fuckin' kills - trend or no trend - it doesn't matter. It's just a brilliant sound and should be repeated several times over. Although, how are they able to recreate this WITHOUT a Boss Distortion pedal all on 10?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dumpy's Rusty Crazy Artwork

Amazingly crazy artwork from the guy that brought 1980's Kerrang! readers Pandora Peroxide and Marillion parodies:  How many bands are made fun of here? So far I've spotted ZZ Top, Gong (in a flying teapot, no less), Pink Fairies (or is it Pink Floyd? Both used the flying pig motif) and Hawkwind. In case you haven't heard Dumpy's band:

It's pretty good & very British hard biker rock. Not bad if you're knockin' back a few Sam Smith's.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Creepy History From Pleasanton

From December 1997, San Mercury News. 
Crazy thing is I believe this was the little sister of a N. Sampson who I went to jr. high & high school. 

More info here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hottest Compare/Contrasts In Metal II

On the flipside, Landmine Marathon has a background from the D.I.Y. Hardcore scene of Arizona. Namely, guitarist Ryan Butler spent time in Unruh, Structure of Lies and even the Northside Kings. Landmine Marathon’s metal-archives photo show’s singer Grace Perry as one of five members. Instead of the usual Nightwish-y/Lacuna Coil-ish “guess the singer” element. Although, accusations of said silliness can also be pointed at groups such as Behemoth as well as a heap of male-fronted bands on Rock N’ Roll Confidential

Landmine Marathon began on Level Plane and moved a bit upwards to Prosthetic the label who for better or worse gave the world Lamb of God. It seems, Revolver wants to simulatenously promote Metal and Hard Rock music while also catering to the lowest common demonimators of marketing and “what makes money, bro”. I have no theories for this other than that’s the way the industry works and its double-standards therein.

Decibel, Revolver’s main U.S. Competitor, satrized this brilliantlly with their 2006 “Hottest Doods In Metal” featuring members of R.A.M.B.O. and Converge.

In conclusion are we as fans recognizing them and the connected question, who defines what “hotness” is? Why is it soley summed up as a visual? Again, I only questions no theories. This post on Grind and Punishment sums it it better than I can.

ENDNOTES: Strangest venue for the Halestorm's Fall 2009 tour: “Shrine Mosque in Springfield, Missouri. Calm down paranoid America, it’s just a Shriner’s mosque. You know the “wacky old guy 1920’s fez & cocktail, faux-Islam”.

Things I did at work

Yesterday I was thinking about my old job at the newspaper which I had for almost 11 years. Among the usual boring, stressful and altogether agonizingly dull tasks I had to do, I also did this:

* Drew hundreds of pictures & doodles
* Read stuff on Black Metal
* Read stuff on for KZSU research
* Posted & edited my reviews on KZSU’s Zookeeper
* Drank beer at a company meeting - only twice the cheap bastards!
* Made long distance, non-business calls
* Thought about girls & talked to one of 'em I met on Craigslist for about an hour
* Wrote bits for my zines
* Watched a bunch of sheep er, co-workers go upstairs to watch the update for the O.J. trial. I stayed away, ‘cause I had work to do and didn’t really give a shit at that point
* Ate too much food
* Petted lots of dogs
* Listened to & watched the baseball playoffs
* Read guitar, baseball and music magazines
* Read a bunch of non-work related books
* Read maps
* Told customers to “fuck off” under my breath
* Read the paper (never our own, it sucked)
* Read an alchemical interpretation of Goethe’s “Faust”
* Unintentionally cut myself (multiple times)
* Read lyrics, wrote shitty lyrics
* Copied stuff outta zines, other papers & books
* Wondered why my co-workers were so fucking stupid about the world around them (actually this was every day and almost every hour).
* Ordered tickets to Prog Fest ‘99
* Scowled at stupid yuppie bitches babies
* Wrote e-mails to friends
* Read my friend Gary’s e-mail review of 50+ Frank Zappa albums
* Filled out forms and faxed entry forms for a zine fest
* Drank too much Dr. Pepper
* Slept too long on my break or even sometimes at my desk
* Put my fist into a phone – multiple times
* Talked to my a couple of decent co-workers about: vikings, history, prog rock, B-movies, pro wrestling, beer, sex & metal.
* Learned dirty words in Norwegian

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hottest Compare/Contrasts in Metal

On the left is Halestorm who don't play Metal. However, the do play middle-of-the road/file next to Lita Ford/Headpins/Alaniya Miles drunk soccer mama rock The type Middle America loves it kinda just average at best, wallpaper-y loudish rock. While It’s not quite in the completely dreckful Papa Roach/Nickelback/Limp Bizkit spectrum. However, seeing all the usual promotional garbage attached in many ways makes them “just another we wanna make it big” band.

Their ad-laden myspace page carries the usual “we endorse/get get free shit from” variety (i.e. Gibson, Pro-Mark sticks, SIT strings) along with the nothing-actually-to-do with music of Monster Energy Drink and Vitamin Water. Oddly, within this Vitamin Water ad is a sponsored ad for yet another ad for: “The Music Fashion Project” where a be-fauxhawked” male model is er, hawking a generic ‘tribal tattoo’ -looking $33 (“normally $49" !?!) longsleeve shirt. The shirts are made by a company called "Teastain". Oddly, teastain’s site says nothing about “Charity’ and everything about:

“Unsatisfied with loud designs and over-the-top clothing, we took a stand. We decided to provide an alternative to the frenzied designs dominating the marketplace."


"...People should have a stylish alternative to the $90 t-shirt. Clothing should not distract from what is most important... the person wearing it. Thus, Tea Stain Clothing was born. Always remember, you are the most important part of your wardrobe!”

Hence an “alternative” to the “cutting edge(?)” of Ed Hardy/Affliction/Famous. The only link to a charity is on the widget’s far right corner which is for New Orleans Musicians Clinic. Obviously this is far more to do with pimping clothes than supporting chararties. It’s about as representative of this charity as Bounce Fabric Softer is for breast cancer. In short, you might as well say “welcome to the world of major labels”.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Tankard, Municipal Waste & keggers on NPR = WTF?!?

Of all places, National Public Radio took up writing about not only Thrash Metal but keggers!? It's at least a lot more interesting than much of "This American Life" or anything from "Car Talk" but still weirds me out considering the source. I couldn't image Terry Gross interviewing the guys from Tankard and discussing the finer points of the demo version of "Zombie Attack" and it's raw & punky, early Teutonic Thrash sound: "'ve been drinking a lot when you play this uh...'thrash metal, do you call it?...Tell me about that." Also, what the fuck is Alestorm doing in here? Horrible, horrible stuff. The kind of "Metal" your not-so-Metal friends point out to you and say "hey you like this stuff, huh? Hur-hur". Now I need a KQED tote bag to hurl in.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Few high school talent shows are this good

much less in Sweden...but Klass 9C sure as fuck went way out with Mercyful Fuckin' Fate's "Black Funeral"! Most school teachers and administrators would have a heart attack if the kids performed this tune that tells in first person tale of a Satanic sacrifice complete with the lines "Forget that whore". Hell, most of the STUDENTS at my high school would've spazed out over those lyrics or at least thrown moldy cheeseburgers & Copehagen cans at us.

Sure, their costume choices are odd with the 1977 punk rock version of King Diamond and their Denner & Sherman look a bit more like Adam Ant which reminds me...

I'd watch Klass 9C for 12 hours before I EVER watched 10 seconds of any of those hack talent shows on TV. These kids might've wanted to be big stars at the time but the point is their naive genius lives on through the magic of technology.

"Now hail Satan - Yes HAIL SATAN!"/"Da-diddily ponk rock-Da-da-diddily ponk rock!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More Early 90's Flashbacks

Awhile ago, I was looking for a tape. I grabbed this mix tape my friend Kirsten made in 1994 (most of it is from 1990-92). The tape has a bunch of Nirvana demos. Tonight was the first time I've really listened to Nirvana in I dunno...14 years? I discovered them through KZSC with their killer song "Negative Creep". More about station here I caught the last half of the song one night. I though "Who DOES this?!?...Damn, this is AWESOME!" While I've heard them sporatically in recent years - Noteably my friend Bill on KZSU playing a bootleg version "Teen Spirit" with Kurt telling the audience it's just a rip off of Boston's "More Than A Feeling" which they also play a few bars from.

My friend Kirsten was the only person I ever knew that was in the Sub-Pop collector's club. She was also the only one I ever knew that liked Bang Tango , Sisters of Mercy AND Mudhoney. Her & I were friends from the SJSU's radio station, KSJS. I met her in September '91 she was wearing a Nirvana shirt just right before they blew up all over MTV. I told that I liked them too. It was hard at first to find people who liked the same music as me. Not so much at the radio station but the gangsta rap lovin' (mostly) white jock/wannabe frat boy contingent in the dorm wasn't exactly receptive to say, Dinosaur Jr. much less Napalm Death or Japanese noise.

Kirsten was into all of the other Seattle & Sub-Pop bands (even Pearl Jam and Mother Love Bone....yeesh!) and we talked about that a lot. At the same time she was also into a lot of what the station was playing: The Pixies, KMFDM, Foetus, Ride, Lush, Swervedriver and a bunch more. She was a lot fun to be around while we never dated we got to hang out a lot at the station and at shows. She wore Doc Martens and had long straight hair which she usually dyed black or various shades of red & purple. Not that I gave a crap about being trendy or "hip" but she was ahead of the curve on that whole thing. Oddly enough, the very practical clothes worn by punk & metalheads - i.e. Docs and flannel shirts did become trendy, "hot commodities" for jocks and trend zombies. We got to hang out a bunch of shows at the Cactus Club, Marsugi's - which I went to about 3 weekends in a row and One Step Beyond.

Back to the tape - as part of the Collector's Club, Kirsten got a lot of rare b-side tracks in her collection. She wrote me a list of them: Unsane, Fluid, Urge Overkill, and Flour

She also had the very awesome "Another Damned Seattle Compilation" which was all Seattle area bands covering songs by The Damned. (Ex: Love Battery, The Fluid, Gas Huffer). I heard this album in between bands at the amazing 5 band bill of
Quicksand/Gray Matter (D.C.)/Hammerhead/Melvins/Helmet. While not perfect (as in far too many wannabe AliceinPearlGardenPilots bands) San Jose shows in '92-'93 usually even played good music in between bands. I heard most of the Pixies "Trompe Le Monde" one night at Marsugi's, the Cactus Club would put on the ld Target videos on their overhead video monitor in between bands. You could sit at the bar and watch Black Flag and D.O.A. Even better, my friend Matt once saw a Target Video of MDC circa 1982 the same night he was went to see MDC in 1992! To think in that in the land of ultra lounges and "every 4-6 months there might be a show worth seeing" there used to be quality live bands playing at least 2-3 times a month. Sometimes on the same night and across the street from one another. That said, Kirsten & I were part of the same 20 people that went to (almost) every Sleep show in San 'Ho.

Anyway, the Coffin Breakcover of "Love Song" is killer. Very close to the original but still with a few variations. Check out their song "Kill The President" poppy & sarcastic as fuck. Bush the elder is on the cover of the 7". Then "Just Say To Religion" is not that far off from early Corrosion of Conformity. Their Sabbath cover "Hole in The Sky" is pretty ace, too. Any band that can rip it up on Sabbath and The Damned covers has my approval.

The rest of tape is filled with Urge Overkill and Afghan Whigs (more on them later).
Urge Overkill started like a Big Black-type of band - big harsh percussive and often punishing (their first EP is suuuper rare). They later turned into a pretty straight up hard rock/power pop band. If you hear "The Kids Are Insane" you'd swear the vocalists was Gene Simmons. And hell, "The Candidate"also sounds like KISS if they had Neil Young's Crazy Horse backing them. I forgot about somewhere around '94 when they did the dodgy song for the so-so Tarntino movie "Pulp Fiction". Really Urge was a friggin' arena rock band with a smaller budget not a bad thing, for the time but this era did give way to utter kack like greenapplequickstep and Paw.

The Afghan Whigsstuff was really good. Like Urge Overkill, their first release is really dirty and unkempt very unlike what they later evolved into. Kirsten gave me 5 tracks from "Congregation" (1992) and "Gentlemen" (1994) which is mid-paced, swaggery but laden with catchy chourses. Lyrically they were pretty much about drugs ("I'm Her Slave") and random shit "Turn On The Water" (I think it might be a drug OD reference) which had a crazy video of the band sitting in a bathtub while flooding an apartment. The song is pretty loose and funky. The rest is often in the similar direction. Good stuff that's got a decent amount of staying power.

Kirsten & I had a Media Studies class with Professor Baran. Baran was always a fun professor. He had a really thick Boston accent which sometimes was hard to figure out. He knew how to entertain the class often to the point of going over the edge.
In his smaller classes he would often tell severely un-P.C. jokes about Polish & Italian people.

Professor Baran: (Towards girl in the front row of class):
"Are you Italian?"
Girl: "Yeah..."
Professor Baran: "Oh, I thouat so...I kin call by yah mustache!"
Class: "Ohh...! Whoah!"
Professor Baran" "My motha's Italian!"

Having said that he always told the person he was joking. Still it was a bit out of order I'd say. Suprisingly, there were no students that railed against him or called for his firing. Now if this was UC-Berkeley or UC-Santa Cruz things would've been a shit storm of speech codes. I loved that SJSU wasn't really uptight yet in general people weren't bigots either. I became way more aware of the world going to school here. Yet it was considered a "3rd rate" after the more prestigious Stanford and Berkeley.

Kirsten & I were in a class of about 200 people. Prof. Baran used a 48" TV to show videos. For the section on "Violence & The Media" he had us watch "The Simpsons". "I only showin' ya this 'cause I know it's infAMitive for yah!" He joked. (It's the episode where Marge complains about "Itchy & Scracthy"). During that winter semester I saw a lot of shows at the San Jose's best "hole in the wall" club - Marsugi's. I got hammered with Kirsten & her lovely lady friends on kamakizes while watching the Seattle punk band Zip Gun & the San Diego kinda-grunge band, Olivelawn. The latter did their semi-hit "Hate Makes The World Go 'Round" later covered by local power-poppers, Overwhelming Colorfast. Marsugi's was the size of a cheap but decent sized apartment. The stage was a scant 4" off the ground. Think Thee Parkside cut in half. Lots of bands played here: Gwar (who sprayed their red "blood" everywhere), Mudhoney and even some band whose name rhymes with "bin-ana".

Kirsten & I continued to see each other at shows and around the station in this time. We ended up having some friends in common and made mix tapes of the various Nirvana bootlegs & Melvins stuff we each had. (At one point I had 4 different Nirvana bootleg singles). She ended up dating and eventually marrying, Jon, a who was the production director at KSJS. He was also in our friend Jody's band - Jennifer Rambles On. Looking over my live show list, I saw Jennifer Rambles seven times between December 1991-May 1993. I didn't even like their vocals much (kinda bordering on Smashing Pumpkins) but the combo of Jody's bass and Jon pounding drums made them really worth watching.

I fell out of touch with her after she graduated in the first half of 1994. In the early 2000s I read a few things about her & John's band Andalusia. The weekend of 9/11/01. I saw them play at the Works Gallery on North First Street in downtown S.J. They played a great show - often ethereal tracks that moved from introspective to full on loud-ass jams. They played with a bunch of video projections showing "Un Chine Andelou" and "Freaks". I caught up with them a lot and also a few months later I got them booked on KZSU's Wednesday Night Live. I tried contacting them a few weeks after that since they lived nearby but their website hasn't been updated since November 2003.

Monday, March 1, 2010

MTV Basement Tapes Bands

When Jersey Shore was just a location for dickbags, MTV used to play this stuff called music and moreso they even kinda, sorta helped a few bands "make it". Even if it was for a few months in the checkerboard/rising sun-muscle shirt year of 1983. We'll start off with the show intro & some pud-pop from Screen Test. Followed by some short clips of bands that only help reiterate the Hardcore/Punk attitude against "that wave-o shit".

In a Seattle area zine about 12 years ago, The Melvins were joking about "all those great Seattle Rail" Later on Buzz of the Melvins mentioned that Rail did a side project with Ronnie Montrose called Monorail. Apparently there are no Monorail recordings but my friend Big Chief on KZSU will break out the Rail LP every once in a blue moon. This is the tune that won 'em over:

By Thor, it's a pretty cool Angel/Triumph-like sorta heavy pomp rocker. Unfortunately, they never gigged or did a split with 1984's winner, Trak who had this "barely past puberty" mix of The Babys/April Wine & The Osmonds(!?) And really, are you still a "basement band" if you're doing a video on MTV and recording for EMI?

Anyway, more searching gave way to this equally obscure band called Hostage.

Sounds like early Dokken mixed with Malice & Keel and maybe even a super-early Skid Row. Very L.A. but OK sound produced by Bob St. John who did some platters of crap for Extreme & those "Now That's What I Called Music" drink coasters, a few years later. Skinny-tie pop was also represented by President and lest I forget these Memphis weirdos, Dog Police:

Sounds suspiciously similar to Sparks' "Mickey Mouse". Now here's the Moderns - "Serve and Protect" envoking, as several bands in the 80's had - the "computers as dystopian future" theme:

I'll spare you the 1985 Basement Tapes with guest host Billy Crystal and the late Reagan-era Rockers Against Drugs ads.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Number of the...Barf

Iron Maiden drummer and born-again Xtian, Nicko McBrain recently opened up a "rock & ribs" place in Coral Springs, Florida. Link/info courtesy of sport & sometimes music blog Can't Stop the Bleeding. More stuff

I suppose somebody in the 1980's had said: "dude, what if everything was Metal!? Like y'know...
TV ads
Christmas albums
college symposiums
news networks
and even fuckin' hot sauce! Then not only that but what if...I MEAN IF they could get Lars from Metallica, Dee Snider AND that dude from Anthrax to talk about Metal on TV-like all the time - it would be SO awesome!"

So, yep then they obviously predicted this weird-ass world we're in. All this "dood this is metal, too" stuff has become reality for better or worse. I'm sure people will be considering their Slayer hi-tops as "not cool" as some point. As for me...I still gotta sew on my Mercyful Fate patch on my denim jacket-I shit you not.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The How Did You Get Into...__ __ Metal

OK, I saw this list on Metal-Archives' forum, so not the most original idea but it's fun to do.

Hard Rock:
First Queen & KISS then AC/DC. But visually & sonically it's unquestionably Nazereth's "No Mean City" LP.

Heavy Metal:
First the Scorpions then to a small degree and much larger degree later on, Judas Priest& Sabbath but more so Iron Maiden circa: "Number of the Beast", mixed in with Ozzy, Dio, & Motorhead.

2nd Def Leppard album (+ all else BEFORE "Pyromania"- the demo, first EPs & the first LP), Saxon & Raven then Blitzkrieg, Diamond Head (via Metallica, Grim Reaper and a ton more later.

Power Metal - 80's style:
Exciter, Helloween, Running Wild, Savatage (up to "Power of the Night" and a little of "Hall of the Mountain King"), Nasty Savage, Heavy Load.

Progressive Metal:
Queensryche, Fates Warning (I avoided both bands after 1988 though), VoiVod - since I didn't get into 'em until "Nothingface". It's rare as fuck that I like anything in this realm nowadays.

Thrash Metal:
Slayer's "Show No Mercy" then about a month later "Kill 'Em All" by Metallica followed a another year later by Exodus' "Bonded by Blood" and the floodgates didn't end 'til mid-'87 when it started really sucking.

1st Wave Black Metal:
Mercyful Fate, Venom & Hellhammer/Celtic Frost + and many years later Bulldozer/Bathory/Destruction/Sodom & recently - Sarcofago

2nd Wave Black Metal:
Satyricon's "Mother North" then the usual of Emperor, Darkthrone (but really got them when they started adding punk in their sound and went back re-reading the interviews to show that they WEREN'T racists or nazis, quite the opposite, Immortal - especially "At the Heart of WInter". (Early) Mayhem & Marduk in recent years

Death Metal - 1st wave
Possessed - Seven Fucking Churches, a bit later Death's "Human",

Death Metal - 2nd wave
Morbid Angel, Entombed, Carcass, Atheist, Dismember, Deicide, Gorguts, Master (though technically they're in the first category).

Grindcore - 1st wave
Napalm Death, Repulsion probably these 2 more than anyone

Bleeaarrrrrgh comp stuff, Spazz, Crossed Out,

Punk Rock:
Ramones and later The Damned (most of all UK bands), Sex Pistols - though I now think they're pretty half-assed vs. a lot of the better bands around then: Siouxie & The Banshees, The Damned, Chelsea, Buzzcocks & so on...

Crossover/Hardcore - 80's:
D.R.I. - Dealing With It, Crumbsuckers - "Life of Dreams", Bad Brains - s/t ROIR tape, English Dogs, Attitude Adjustment, C.O.C. Later on: The Accüsed, M.D.C., Rudimentary Peni, Subhumans (UK), DKs, Black Flag, and a million more.

Amebix, Meanwhile, Skitsystem, Sunday Morning Einsteins, Ausgebombt, recently: Crude SS & World Burns to Death

Viking Metal - first inklings
Heavy Load (to some degree anyway), Yngwie's "I Am A Viking" (tho' I think that song's really pretty half-assed), 'Maiden's "Invasion/Invaders", Silver Mountain - "Vikings".

Viking Metal - 1990's-now
Unleashed, Enslaved - Momumesion then went backwards into the catalog especially "Eld" and "Frost", Unleashed, Falkenbach, Amon Amarth - up to a point they've started to grate on me lately but maybe it's just their marketing machine than the music.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Cows - "Sexy Pee Story" Story

A rather epic review of demented damaged rawkers, The Cows 1993 LP "Sexy Pee Story" which is currently on display at in the halls of KZSU. This issue of the old zine [i]Your Flesh[/i] also includes a full-page slaggin of Glen Danzig's "Satan's Love Oaf Goes Orchestral" or really "Black Aria"-his classic/dark ambient album - which to this day I haven't heard. Having a roommate who's boyfriend sits in your apt all day - after you've come home from a long day of work only to hear "ah, dood I'm totally gonna win this Danzig MTV contest!" will put you off from every wanted hear him again. A random 7" by a random 90's neverheardof'ems called Flyer Saucers get this simple but funny review "Ralph Nader must've recalled their balls". Better is the review of a band, yes band called Paw. Paw was the target of well-deserved HATE. Namely because the fuckers had a scant 7" to their name, rarely if ever play outside Lawrence, KS (which was for 15 secs in 1993 "the next Seattle") and got signed to A&M. Here's some choice words from reviewer Bruce Adams:

"Paw may be the most glaring example of the absurdity to which the major label feeding frenzy has descended (does somebody at A&M really get paid to sign up this band ahead of proven entities? but it's no credit to the band's intelligence that they would sign p without having even toured nationally or seen how "the industry" work on the mist fundamental levels...Most bands want someone else to do everything for them before they finish their first rehearsal (shit, they think it's a God-given right) and this leaves them wide open to be fleeced...Oh yes, the music. paw work up a kind of slacker grunge that impresses mainly with its lethargy. Every song works up to a brief burst of wah wah and then float back down to an indifferent mumble. Somebody ought to left Herb Albert and his employees on to the fact that Nirvana had hit songs because Nirvana writes catchy songs. Paw sleep-walk through their lazy boned, a-dynamic numbers."

Other gems in this issue include an ad for the Peter Bagge/Dan Clowes double-header comic "Hate-Ball" comic tour. Got to witness it in Comic Relief in Berkeley they were both awesome dudes. Tho' the turn out could been much better considering they had their art on nearly every other Sub-Pop & garage rawk 7" out there. Plus ads for Nirvana "Incesticide", Jim Goad writing about growing up with 70's glam (one of his better pieces), some articles on new bands like Janitor Joe (awesome rumbly bass noise rawk on AmRep), Earth along with longer running acts: Sun City Girls, The Orb. [i]Your Flesh[/i] was full of content, wit, and little bullshit. They call 'em like they saw 'em. David Livingstone of God Bullies was one of the editors and some of the designers for Am Rep and other Minneapolis music/underground art connections. Conflict of interest with the Cows review? Maybe but still it was a damn good album by a helluva band.

Now for more Cows aka: stuff Empty Vee wouldn't touched with a 500 ft. pole:

Gotta love the "skin as t-shirt" designs on Shannon Selberg & his "hit by a semi horn.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

40 years of life, 30+ years of Metal & Other Music Obsesso

Friday was St. Vitus, Sat was my mega-party. Now officially today is that day. Then on Wednesday 13th February
& Heavy Metal itself will be 40:

P. S. - I still can't believe Wino took his first hit of acid at age 12. Fuckin' crazy that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Return of Duckness...and Egret

The Return of Duckness...and Egret

Bill aloft toward unholy moon full
Quack of revenge at sacral gull
Cattailed surroundedment
Upon thy web tallons
Unholy murk
Reeds of funeral
....and mild breezement
possess my feathers

Christ's sandwich crusts
will not suffice
Gaze upon firefly altars
Unholy breadcrumb sacrifiiiiiiice!

Mallard & Snowy Bewitching
Abyssic hunt for skridders
Diabolic molting on arms of priest
Sodomic rites with soft heads of brown
Besquaked shrills for our evil daffy master

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Stoner Wall II: Coming in...let's say May

Right now, I (finally) have a new job. Although, at the moment I have a lot more good and not-so-good distractions in my life That said, I'm aiming for actually completing the over-delayed Stoner Wall II in actual print format. I can't be arsed with the "everything on the blog" format because I have a horrible tendency to forget to I even HAVE a blog. That said, one of my many 2010 resolutions is to tell the blogosphere a permanent fuck off (save for Cosmic Hearse, Crow, WFMU, LockJaw and Hammer Smashed Music and maaaybe a few more but really so much, so little time).

Napalm Death Family Values

Napalm Death band member time-line

...which overlaps nicely with this very complex Pete Frame-styled family tree: