Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pussy Done Dried Up Like Fast Money

I found one of the last public posts I ever made, on this Suicide group, on Livejournal last year. I still use stolen passwords to view the site (or do I, e-police?), but a combination of growing older and finding the alt/scene culture aesthetic mostly artless and an ugly commodity of bored white teens and the declining interest/quality of the site makes me apathetic about this sort of thing. But, regardless, it's a surprisingly good quality diatribe, considering how much I hate everything I create.

Happy Halloween!

Culled from "SGirls" pseudo-anti-Suicide Girl community/LJ Drama group:

Does anyone ever consider that, although I was surprised to find that with HBO, the internet, a DVD, and Spin magazine a lot of people aren't aware of SG's existence, that eventually this whole "alt" thing will burn out like everything else does? Isn't it essentially pokemon with tits (or something synonymous from slash fiction, maybe)

There doesn't seem to be much foresight about this. Tastes change, people become fickle, and things fall apart. Most of the girls (with, obviously, some exceptions) on SG and Godsgirls and etc. aren't much any more different or intelligent or provocative or special as they're advertised. Maybe if you're from the suburbs or the midwest/biblebelt the idea of alt-porn might be strange and interesting, but it becomes too easy to see through the bullshit. Adorning a retarded white girl in sceneXclothes and copy/pasting her myspace/ interests to her profile doesn't make her any better than let's say some random actress. Its gotten old, I dunno.

When I first ran into the whole SG/Burning Angel thing I thought it was amazing. This was back when there was maybe 50 SG's, and 14 year olds are easily impressed. Now there's 1200, and the SG's who left were the INTERESTING ones. The remainder all look alike (which is saying something for a scene website), and out of the hordes of leftovers, not even half would illicit a second glance. Whatever prestige and bragging rights (and boy, do they brag. I've been at plenty shows and seen as well as heard of girls running up to bands ranting about how they're SG's looking for some non-existant Willy Wonka pass at a death metal show) there were are gone. If the archetype has to do drastic Wal-mart deals and specials (3 sets a day? How many girls will that acrue by next year) to retain interest, how could the offshoots and knockoffs survive?

I think at this point, its halfway through 2006, I've been checking the site for 4 years now, and the "alt" thing has lost momentum, and maybe instead of 16-20 year old girls jumping to SG and every SG competitor, to give some thought about business and the inevitable truth of the internet, that any photo of you with make its way across the internet for all time (until we're all killed by the yellowstone caldera). Yeah, there are a lot of girls who just want to be naked or want to use these sites to get a fetish or nude modelling "career" going, and that's awesome, but by the looks of the many 18-20 year old girls who joined the site in the last year and a half, most are SG fans who just really wanted to be a SuicideGirl (or whatever knockoff would take them). I know people are retarded inherantly, but its not a very good sign of where we're at when you can actually hear girls say "I wanna be a suicide girl!", or "Do you think they'd accept me?"

This is off-topic, but I've also noticed a correlation between SG and the droves of annoying scene girls and their pretentious smugness and constant self-reference as "cunts". Once again, this shit might be cool in Arkansas or Utah (since everyone seems to love SLC Punk so much) but if you're a bohemian liberal hippie douchebag, which I guess is the base of alt-porn, it gets old. What is everyone going to do when all the positive and negative exposure doesn't do anything? It actually seems to have had a detrimental effect, seeing as the porn/media take Rob Rotten and Joanna Angel a lot more seriously tha SG or "GodsGirls". The people seem to be speaking, and they don't want cookie cutter pictures of cookie cutter girls with all of this faux-empowerment and air of self-importance, they want those same naked scene girls to get double penetrated on screen, with no Jhonen Vasquez or Boondock Saints references and no force-feeding of "substance". Alt-PORN might actualy continue to break the mainstream, because:

(1)SG is not porn, is not usually titillating and is not usually sexy. It really just boils down to naked scene girls. You could get the same effect by trolling myspace or playboy or or xpeeps or slipping someone a rufee at an Atreyu show. Having tattoos or piercings doesn't make you less boring or ugly. (And I acknowledge that there is a nebulus grey area on whether softcore porn is really porn and not nude modeling. But honestly, if you showed the average Bangbros or Clubjenna subsriber SG they would laugh and tell you that's not porn)

(2) Burning Angel, for any shared personality flaws inherant with twenty-soemthing tattoed white girls actually seems to have empowered women. If I had a friend who was taking a women studies liberal arts course, I'd refer her to "Cum on my tattoo", not SG or Godsgirls or Fatal Beauty or Blueblood or CityKittie, etc.

R.I.P. Stylus Magazine

Earlier in the week, since I'm eulogizing here, I found out that the only online music website I read, Stylus, one I discovered last year while searching for Deathspell Omega articles and reviews, is over as of today. Needless to say, I'm bummed. The writing was exemplary, and while I, like with all review sites, usually disagreed with ratings of albums, everything else was wonderful, and I much preferred the music they covered than that of Pitchfork, mostly out of taste, mostly out of personal bias.

So, in memoriam, my favorite Stylus articles. I can only hope to write this well in the future.

Whatever Happened To Our Rock and Roll?

Imperfect Sound Forever
In Praise of Technique
Kill The Rock Star
Who Robbed The Pantry!!?
Ton Ten Reasons Why Jay-Z Sucks

R.I.P. Robert Goulet

I'll always remember your awesomely booming lounge voice and crazy moustache. And your appearances on "the Simpsons", "Sabrina the Teenage Witch", "Recess", and various other kids shows.

I'll tie a yellow ribbon around the necks of your enemies, good buddy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Leave Him Alone, He's Retarded!"

Jesus Christ what a fucking show. For an overview, I'm going to be lazy and quote Brooklyn Vegan:

"From Sound Fix, I hopped on the L-Train to check out the second of two Comedians of Comedy shows at Irving Plaza. Comedians of Comedy is the one show I look forward to more than any other on the planet. And with the fear in the back of my head that this might be the last CoC tour, I enjoyed this show with maximum relish. It was one of those shows that made me feel so lucky to live in NYC as we were treated to easily the best line-up of the entire tour. The line-up included Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford, Eugene Mirman, David Cross, Aziz Ansari, John Mulaney, Jon Glaser and Jon Benjamin, and Heather Lawless. From start to finish, the show was absolutely rock-solid. Even when some douche-nozzle had the balls to heckle Maria Bamford, the show never lost its momentum. As a matter of fact, that heckler probably added to the show's velocity as the subsequent comedians worked destroying said heckler into their routines."

Usually I prattle autobiographically, like I would, in this case, about first discovering and falling in love with (literally falling in love with, I'm weird) Maria Bamford back in 2000, or realizing Brian Posehn was actually a comedian and not just that guy from "Just Shoot Me" in '03, or becoming obsessed with the hyper-literary and overall awesome Patton Oswalt in '04. Or how I watch the Comedians of Comedy tour movie whenever it comes on Showtime. Or how much I loved "Ratatouille" Naw, I won't do that.

But I will jizzstain the e-walls about how ridiculously great of a tour package this was, and how much I love comedy. Sadly, I missed last year's show, which featured Zach, because I believe I was at Celtic Frost or something equally boring and overpriced. So I had a whole year of stanned-out anticipation, plus I copped both of Patton's albums (I had gone to Soundfix to see his free show back in August, but his set seemed to have started an hour earlier than advertised so I had to make do standing around listening to his set on the PA with 30 other people while the packed Williamsburg record store back room were privy to his genius.)Brian's and Maria's, which all added up to make me hopelessly rabid about the show on Saturday. I rarely give this much of a shit about anything, with the exception of recent Hives (forgot to do a post, but suffice to say, fucking ridiculously good, despite the new songs not being that great) and Daniel Tosh appearances and the upcoming Dillinger/Genghis Tron and Ghostface/Rakim dates.

So I bought my tickets maybe three weeks ago, expecting the show to sell out, despite forgetting it'd be on the second night of Halloween weekend parties and that NYC sucks in terms of appreciating how much cool shit we get. I posted constant Facebook reminders so I wouldn't have to go alone, but luckily my more-bearded half Christian made it.

The lineup is riggodamndiculous as always. Patton and Maria alone are laser-sharp and brilliant, but to throw in Mirman, Glaser, Cross, and Posehn is just a free happy ending after a hard day cleaning up debris at Ground Zero. The atmosphere was really weird, since rock show venues always feel unrestrained (at least the good ones) and comedy clubs in NY instill this weird authoritarian vibe to the audience, instructing everyone subtly to tow the line or else get thrown out and not get a refund for your overpriced drinks.

Much like the Original Kings of Comedy (who I also love, although DL Hughley is not funny, nor are most BET circuit/mainstream comedians) Patton did 10-15 minutes sets opening, closing, and dividing the show, while meanwhile being MC and introducing comedians. The guy fucking killed, as usually, and its a shame my memory is so awful that I can't hilariously quote him here. Next up, was Heather Lawless, who I knew was going to be really weird by how exuberantly she was introduced by Patton. And she was really fucking weird. Her style was great because it made the entire audience uneasy, you could never really get into a typical comedian-audience rhythm and she peppered in great jokes in a soup of rambling. She also had this great southern accent and habit of repeating jokes again in the middle of quitting her relating punchlines.

Next, if I remember right, was John Mulaney, who I know from "Best Week Ever", and also from not being funny on "Best Week Ever". Surprise, surprise, he's actually really good. He did a great bit about being at a shitty Queens train station at night and having a woman give him an over-the-shoulder look, thinking he might be a predator, and walking quicker, leading him to think the train was coming and chasing her all the way down. He also has this weird habit of sounding like a 1920's detective when he talks. It's slight, but noticeable.

Then Maria came out. I've never seen any of these guys live before, but I'm a fan of most of them. But my longest history is with Maria, who came out is a really pretty dress and proceeded to destroy. The woman is ineffable live. Also, as lovable insane as she seems, it's magnified by 1000 live. I wished she had done "Old McDonald had a Pterodactyl", but her set is flawless and sharp regardless. Now, like Brooklyn vegan said, she got heckled, which was odd, by a guy who yelled "Keep working!" in reference to a joke she made seconds before about working on material. She played it cool and got back at him and finished her set strong, but for the rest of the night, the guy got stove-raped by Patton, which was great.

Aziz Ansari, who isn't really funny yet but clearly is on his way to hitting a peak in his late 20's/early 30's like most comics, came next I think, and did a pretty average set that, as usual, is more notable for his premises than being funny, which translates well to "Human Giant", a clip which of was played at the end of his set to everyone's approval. David Cross followed, which was rough considering a few youtube interviews I've seen where he basically admitted he's really rusty and needs to get back into form, which was true. he was easily the worst comic, despite coming out to the hugest applause out of everyone there. I love David, I love Mr.Show and Arrested Development and have pirated both his record two years ago, but it was a combination of him being out of practice, not having great material, and being the kind of comedian that isn't functional without really good jokes to fill out being so conversational and not having a real delivery.

Next was this giant mindfudge, Wonder Showzen style, that was Jon Glaser's set. I don't remember ever even hearing his comedy, but when he DID come out to do a Glinger at the end, his control of the crowd and stage presence were ridiculous. He came back out for the other Kaufmann-esque crowdfuck point in the show, when he, Jon Benjamin from Adult Swim, and two other comedians performed a 15 minute electronica set in redneck attire in Boston accents as "The Perfect Storm".

Eugene Mirman was up next, and I'm not really familiar more than passingly with him, but the criticism of his set I think applied. I remember shopping for I think Patton's "222" album on Amazon and seeing a review of Eugene Mirman that summed him up: He's "weird" and out there like Emo Phillips (Though Emo is really fucking funny), but really inconsistent. Christian was really disappointed by Eugene, but I was just bummed I didn't think fast enough so I could get him to make me a sandwich. Another kind of inconsistent guy, Posehn, was second to last, though I do really like the jokes he does that ARE funny. His ratio is about half and half and his album was one of the few comedy records I downloaded (Besides an old Louis CK album and Bill Hick's "Arizona Bay") that I butchered and deleted a lot of. Posehn is always okay, but he usually makes up for it in other places and in being identifiable with, like Patton. His "Ratatouille" joke segueway into Patton moping out with a sad face and retreating when complaining about the end of "The Departed" was a classic moment

Speaking of, he closed the set, after a great 2 hours and 45 minutes of comedy, and interacted really intimately with the crowd and improvised, managing to doing, besides one joke from his albums, an all new set. I can't gush about the guy enough, he's amazing, by far the best working comedian alive. So, we got our nearly three hour treat as the late show, then went home to dream about KFC Famous Bowls and Maria Bamford's booger.

And for fanboy sake, the Comedians of Comedy 2007, from best to worst:
1. Oswalt
2. Bamford
3. Glaser
4. Mulaney
5. Posehn
6. Lawless
7. Benjamin/Perfect Storm
8. Mirman
9. Ansari
10. Cross

Now for Galifianakis to come back.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of My Stannery

Whoa. In my daily youtube new video check (which because I can't time manage for shit basically means I look at video updates of my subscriptions but never watch them), the channel I subscribed to, because it had Def Poetry and Saul Williams stuff, posted a vague video trailer announcing that the new Saul Williams album, that I and about 500 other stans and lit majors are excited about, is coming. I peeped the link, which was just as vague, but funny and utilizing this cockyness I rarely see emanate from the guy. The voodoo rockstar aesthetic wrapped around his play on the much proselytized about David Bowie album (which is kind of a crap record, I should mention) is no surprise, but the purposefully mysterious website and alarming method of the record's low-key release is what makes this odd.

You see, sometime around his self-titled sophomore record, Saul started hanging out with Trent "I never met a junior high angst lyric I didn't like" Reznor. I love Reznor as an anal retentive producer and musician and as a guy who didn't start doing heroin until his third album, a good ten years after it would've been interesting, but, really, unless you're still a teenager or some deluded raver or mallgoth/modern rock troll, then it's apparent the guy's talent isn't in the written word. Dude drops more lyrical duds than Tony Yayo, which still strangely puts him ahead of every other mainstream/modern altrock lyricist ever.

With that, Reznor's output became complete shit after the Broken and Fixed EP's in the mid 90's. The Fragile was crazy uneven and not that good, and the last two NIN records, though sadly ballyhooed for some strange reason (The same force of mediocrity that seems to push Spoon, Modest Mouse, LCD Soundsystem and Sufjan Stevens everywhere, I reckon), were pretty much crap. But still, dude's talented and until 1998, I ride with homie's entire discography (as well as the first four Ministry albums). So imagine my suspicion and uneasiness with the clearly emerging friendship and working partnership between one of my favorite human beings on the planet, Saul Williams, and a 5'3 alt-goth icon that seems like a nice guy, but completely opposite of Saul. I understand, since Amethyst Rock Star that Saul has a penchant for the weird and spacey elements of rap and electronica and rock, which I love him for and appreciate his niche as a spoken word/rap/indie rock artist that operates within similar niches and small underground circles that few bother with (for an example, browse his work on iTunes.), and I could also see the musical connection and how, judging by shit like "Grippo" and "List of Demands", he'd hook up with Trent. After all, Reznor hasn't done anything remotely industrial in 6 or 7 years ("Dig" from the Tomb Raider soundtrack) and is in straight-up angry alt-rock live band with electronica flourishes and atmospheric territory of late.

Saul has collaborated with a bunch of people on his last album that I sort of like but also shit on for being really inconsistent and annoying (Serj Tankian, Buckethead, Zach de la Rocha), but the resulting songs were really great. He has a crazy grasp of hook, melody, rapping, and singing in that same pained way Mos Def does it, where he's not quite a real singer, but it's still in key enough and powerful to be effective. And, as of Saul Williams he's sort of perfected the difference between putting music behind spoken word and applying his crazy poetry to a pop song format, though his tracks are decidedly quirky as hell and varied. My paranoia about Reznor fucking up his musical output is sort of quelled by that, and I do have faith, as a Saul Williams stan, in the guy. For the most part, my alarms went off recently about this partnership (that has led to tours and backing vocals by Saul on "Survivalism" and etc) of Trent producing for him, were the striking similarities between the Year Zero marketing and etc, which I loved and though was really cool of Trent, despite the bad music it came with, and that of The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust. From all the vaguenesses and changing video-based hints and previews of the record, to the fact that the dude is GIVING AWAY THE ALBUM.

The latter seems like it was clearly inspired by In Rainbows, which for some reason I'm not stealing from the internet for moral reasons (no homo), but it still feels to me like, though I think Saul has a vision and is incredible at what he does, Trent is influencing him. This clearly sounds really odd to be sounding motherly about a person I've never talked to (but briefly met when he performed two years ago at our yearly "Culture Shock" semi-obscure indie musician concert at my college) and discuss this album as if my daughter was hanging out with "the wrong crowd", but musically, that is my concern. But on the download, Saul is doing the same thing as Radiohead, except you have the option of paying $5 (under the title, "You can help support the artist") or just click the free option and sign your email up for the download link of a nice quality 192kbs mp3 LAME album. As much as I love physical albums and the visual art and thinking that usually goes into it, this seems like the best option for him. I don't think he and Fader, despite a bunch of MTV2 and MTVU video spins (again, no BET airplay...someone please destroy this failed network?) for both album singles, made that much money off the record. This whole approach to releasing and selling/giving away music works a lot better, plus it fits the whole persona of Saul Williams and the loose theme of the concept record he seems to be releasing on November 1. Dude even converted his whole website, removing all previous info, tour dates, floating ads for his books of poetry, discography, etc, and put up the themed "Niggy Tardust" site, that even changes the url from to

I still don't know what I'm doing, as I'd like to pay for the record, but only for a physical copy since I'm completely against the idea of not having a physical package with a record or paying album packaging prices for songs but no actual album. So, I'm probably, since I doubt iTunes will be involved in this or he'll make a physical record anytime soon seeing how serious he is about this concept, just sign-up for the free download. Interesting though, the subtle, possibly satirical guilt-line on the website about "I want to directly support the artists involved in the creation of this music" versus "I'm not concerned about that.I just want the music". Shit does work. Or at least, if you're a stan, like me.

Oh, and the title is fucking brilliant.

EDIT: From Saul's myspace;

The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! is the lovechild of me and Trent Reznor. I met Trent when he asked me to fill the opening slot of his European With Teeth tour. After only the 2nd show he asked if I might be down to collaborate on a song or album, whatever I saw fit. At the time we were both listening to the Kanye/Jon Brion collaborations and feeling like a cocktail of our two worlds would fare even more interesting…and harder. Since then, Trent Reznor has become the big brother I never had, offering his insight, expertise, and shared desire to fuck up the system while believing fully in the power of music and the intelligence of the masses. What we both first realized we had in common was a deep love of Public Enemy and their Bomb Squad production, which personally served as the backdrop of my adolescence and fueled the fire that matured my vision of the sort of artist I wanted to be. A lot of people get caught up on my lyrics and poetry, but my writing is always founded on beats and polyrhythmic backdrops. My background as a dancer (I used to dance for a rap group in ATL in the early 90s) has always made me crave hard rhythms. Through Public Enemy I discovered that my ability to dance somehow improved when I truly felt the power of the words. This album captures everything I have aimed for in a song. Of course, as a performer, what truly inspires me is the opportunity to perform them live. The Niggytardust concept sets me free to do more on stage with costume, etc. than one might expect from a regular Saul Williams show. It allows me to put my theatre training to use. I’ve also thought long and hard about all the discussion surrounding racial epithets etc. and chose this title as a means of furthering the dialogue while also showing how creativity will outlive and outshine hatred of any kind.

The album would not have been possible without the collaborative spirit Trent and the other artists involved: CX Kidtronik and Thavius Beck brought beats and fire to the vision, energizing the process with blown amps and head-nodding cramps. Atticus Ross engineered and programmed. Alan Moulder is sonic testimony from headphone to full blown that the very rocks will cry out if you work with the right engineer.

I’m also collaborating with visual artists and designers as part of the whole NiggyTardust concept and presentation. Melody Ehsani designed Tardust jewelry, bracelets, rings. necklaces, etc. and also did the cover layout. Angelbert Metoyer has contributed greatly to the visual aesthetic with paintings and soon to be finished set design for the shows.

As far as the way we’ve decided to release the album, we’re aware that it’s pretty risky, but are even more aware that we cant turn to the so-called powers that be of the industry for answers. Someone has got to be willing to take chances. I was very inspired by the recent Radiohead release and felt compelled, almost instantly, to follow my gut and expand on their concept. Obviously, independent artists have been around for years. My indie film, Slam was in fact what opened so many doors for me. yet, the stigma of being an indie artist in the music world hasn’t always been rewarding. This time I feel different. I feel like the times have conspired to make this album an important part of history

Can't help but trust him.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I still miss you, God meat.

March 11, 2005 – May 19, 2006

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I'd like to officially commemorate this week in the annals of music history (until of course, the coming days when the seas burn and tundra melts, the world floods and we all go insane in a giant round-robin Darwinist tournament of survival to be the last humans alive, assuming nukes aren't set off in the ensuing fracas) as the week the lumbering albatross of a marketing ploy and vague aesthetic and sound cluster known as "indie rock", one I used to enjoy back in 2005, finally had it's Pitchfork/Stylus/Onion/Spin/Blender/NY Times forged armor of incessant critical claim and musical McCarthyism dented.

Thank you, Sascha Frere Jones, for doing with one article what I've been trying to do for a year and a half on message boards and the BrooklynVegan comments section. I didn't think anyone would take it seriously or care, but you've seemingly ignited an internet shitstorm of epic proportions that is causing those with rational minds and decent tastes to question the hype and undeserved praise of the plethora of boring, bland "indie rock' bands being touted every second by whomever deems themselves a taste maker. Being that this is almost 2008 and we've already survived nu-metal, faux-garage rock, southern rap, Kanye West, 50 Cent, metalcore, second wave emo, second wave black metal, technical death metal, tween pop, hipster-fied club music, myspace careerists, and whatever other social and musical trends I may have missed (electroclash? I guess.), I would hope that along with deathcore, L Magazine falseXgrind, Tila Tequila, Dane Cook, Vice magazine, network television, the movie and record industry, marriage, the "pro-life" movement, ironic racism, and tabloids, indie rock would be deemed obsolete or be flushed out of the ether by the start of the new decade. Shit, if I'm going to be immolated by Zarasthrusta in 2012, I'd like to not have the "Scrubs" soundtrack fucking accompanying the implosion of my skull into my heart. I'd hope my doom on this planet won't come with fifth rate post-punk disco drum rip-offs and the infernal jangling of twee fucking Telecasters and bemoaning liberal arts twats.

So bigups to the bloggers and writers and columnists opening up about this stagnant, self-fellating shithole of a "genre" and having the guts to admit that VOXTROT FUCKING SUCKS. At least an avenue for discussion is opening now. Hopefully.

New Ghostface
New Wu
New Three 6 Mafia
New Jay (to laugh at)
New Scarface
New Lil' Wayne
New Nas (to laugh at)
New Saul Williams

Fuck I look like giving time to a dead scene? Shit, watch me crip-walk on the ashes of Matador records.

Oh, and the L Magazine can suck my dick. Why read some inferior Manhattan/Williamsburg smugness when the Village Voice writers actually have talent and a degree of objectivity? Thank you, L Magazine, for writing like indecisive 17-year-old trend-chasing scene girls. Thank you for having the balls to spend a paragraph mocking grindcore as a genre and name (Yes, it is funny sounding. But what genre name isn't?) in your pathetic Pig Destroyer blurb for their show a few months ago. And thanks for writing off the Jesu/Torche show, because "...we don't know how anyone could take this stuff seriously. All that yelling and's just so exhausting". Apparently the options with metal is to take it too seriously or act smug about it. I'm glad I learned something about music criticism from you, L Magazine; if you don't get something, it must be considered dumb, ironically commented about, and taken on face value.

Brilliant. As opposed to the Arcade Fire or anything else sold to me. Because none of these bands are over-dramatic, posturing and histrionic, no.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fuck Mos Def

I was planning on covering this since I started the blog, but I put it on the shelf for the last few weeks, until yesterday when I, after strangely seeing it added on his wikipedia discography, Soulseek'd Mos Definite, this odd mixtape-esque Mos Def collection. I listened to it waiting at the White Plains Metro-North on my commute back to Brooklyn (and then listened to Kool G Rap's awesome "4,5,6" as a pallet cleanser and for fun) and decided to address Mos breaking my musical heart these last few years and my wholesale decision to tell this dude to fuck off. Lo and behold, my man Brandon's post is covering similar themes. Happenstance is odd.

I hold a position of hating fandom/standom and any sort of shallow attachment to celebrity and image as a reason to like music or the complete and utter devotion to some asshole that made a good record. I don't come all over the walls about shit, I just don't. So I think this makes me a lot more objective, but it also puts me in a weird category of people, since I'm almost neurotically mathematical about what I feel good records and good artists are. I developed a "three album" rule when I was 16 or so, basically saying that I would never declare myself the fan of any band that didn't have at least three good records. I still stand by that, and have a bunch of other anal retentive beliefs about music that inform my criticism and, honestly, constant shit-talking about the last 4 years of music (once again, LCD Soundsystem and Spoon suck. Fans of either band are bland indie rock idiots and shouldn't be trusted. This may extend to Tom Breihan, who I occasionally think has a tin ear). With that, I do have my favorites, or rather, people who I thought would go far and fell off or made me hate them either musically or otherwise.

This is an odd thing about growing with musical artists during your time as opposed to checking out past artists and records. I can give a great concrete analysis of no longer extant or relevant musicians because I have hindsight. I can say shit like "Bob Dylan has only one truly great album" or "The Rolling Stones were only good for 5 years" because I have access to all their records and there's no anticipation or real paternal love to feel. It's almost a mechanical process of weeding out, forging your own view and greatest hits collections for past acts and avoiding the heartbreak of personal investment and resulting artistic mediocrity. So when bands like Arsis or the Black Dahlia Murder fall the fuck off like they did recently, it sort of stings because you hope they'll make it and become great, rather than merely good, plus you realize how fickle everything is and how much you can lose with a bad album on a two-year release cycle.

To memory, one of my biggest disappointments with this sort of thing was Mr. Ultramagnetic, Pretty Flaco himself, Mos Def.

This motherfucker owes me a hug and a lunch date.

Now, my personal journey with Mos started in 9th grade. "Ms. Fat Booty" and "Umi Says" got airplay on MTV's Direct Effect a bunch, and Rawkus was still doing big things and the mismanagement and shadiness of the cracker-ass owners of the company had yet to come out, so things were all good. My U.S. history teacher, whose name I'll never remember due to time passed and marijuana consumption, used to play records at the beginning of class, since at our high scool there was a 5 minute buffer period before we did anything. He would rock Curtis Mayfield and etc, and I remember lending him N.E.R.D's In Search Of... later that year. But after some kid in art class, where our cunt of a teacher let us bring records while we painted, played Black On Both Sides, I asked to borrow it and took it home. I listened to the record maybe twice, and didn't really dig most of it, but immediately dug a few of the tracks from the first half of the album (I was 14, so I wasn't anywhere near to the ear training and etc I put myself through between 10th grade and now that enabled me to get into more dense albums that weren't, I dunno, Nirvana). I think I bought myself a copy of the record later that year anyway, but I didn't listen to it all the way through and like it for another year, again, me developing better taste helped. Finally, after a marathon repeat listen during a four-hour session of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, I declared it one of my favorite albums and began my adoration of all things Mos.

Two years go by, and surprisingly, dude's profile is blowing up and he's in "The Italian Job" and some other movies and announced a new album, The New Danger. Now, I was hyped up, because it had been a long wait, and everything about the album seemed like it'd be great, from the political aesthetic of the bandana and gun-to-head gesture on the front to the minstrel costume inside. It even took two or three listens to like, like most really good albums, so I was happy. I did notice some staggering changes between 1999 Rawkus Mos and 2004 Geffen Mos, that sort of bothered me.

The album had been divisive because of its eclecticism. Now, many had tried this before, most embarrassingly, Wyclef Jean, but Mos was special. Not to sound like a stan, but besides Ghostface and Jay-Z, the last true all-around MC in the late 80's sense left to me was Mos. Like Ghost, he sang like, made allusions to, and exuded pure 80's rap and represented a complete manifestation of that era without sounding dated. My friend and an English teacher at my high school peeped me to a bunch of cool stuff in 10th grade, my favorites were Pharoahe Monch, The Violent Femmes, and "Jam On It", possibly the best Mos Def song. It's a great example of who he was as an MC, able to reinterpret and have fun with Nucleus' classic "Jam On It" beat and put flair on it, rapping primarily in that huge magnanimous 80's boom voice that used to be the thing, then rapping in his own 1999/2000 Rawkus flow. He was unique in that, he wasn't boring (sorry Kweli and Common), had great memorable lyrics, had an encyclopedic knowledge of hip-hop that he would allude to by interpolating and singing hooks and rhymes from the 80's naturally, had definite charisma, wasn't pretentious, could flow very well, and his politics were actually pretty rational and avoided racism (unlike Dead Prez). And as opposed to people like 2Pac who are posited as poetic but weren't and were actually pretty terrible, he was poetic. It was a perfect complete package, spiced with NY style, a decent singing voice, and occasional West Indian flair.

Plus, Black on Both Sides is fucking flawless. So imagine mine and everyone's surprise when the Black Jack Johnson band (the same one featured when Mos did a set of the now defunct HBO show "Reverb" that was one of the few shows on during the first month of the 9/11 fiasco-gate) had a few tracks and Mos was singing a lot more, and now, for some reason, rapping heavier with a strong slur and greasier drawl. Plus the record was devoid of bass, a lot like Fishcale was, though I doubt it was to capture an '88 vibe like Ghost was doing. Plus, as I noted to a lot of detractors and fellow fans, lyrically he was about at 30% as opposed to all the great things he laid down on the first album. it was an excercise in experimentation that undoubtedly had great songs and was undoubtedly one or two tracks too long, but was still pretty fascinating and different than anything. But judging by the fact that the two singles/videos from the record didn't get much airplay, I guess most people agreed with the Pitchfork review. Considering these are the same people who give 9.7565's to shit like Spoon, Les Savy Fav and LCD Soundsystem, I'm pretty confident in my opinion of the record. Who cares that he, though still memorable, had gotten slurry, strangley confrontational and sparse with the lyrics? The framing of the reviews were just from the wrong viewpoint. It's a decent rap album, but its a great black music album, which seemed to be what he was going for anyway. It was edgy and weird and warm and reminded me of wine.

I thought, "Fuck those people. They're the same lazy fucks who think Black Star are better together and that you don't have to give a record more than once".

So with two great albums, I was anticipating anything. For a long time, Mos had no website, and when he did get one, it was never updated more than once a year, which was frustrating. If you googled Immortal Technique, you'd get an overwhelming number of responses, but finding a Mos Def interview was nigh impossible, so besides repeated viewings of Def Poetry, there was finally a crack last fall when it was announced on Wikipedia (sad that that's the hub of Mos Def news on the web) that his new album would be called Tru3 Magic and that it'd be coming out in December.

...Tru3 Magic? With a hax0r language 3 for an E? What the fuck?

It was disconcerting. Plus, there was no fanfare and it was dumped in December, which I learned from the Kingdom Come fiasco-gate was a death knell for an album. But I still held out hope for the record. After all, it had production by Minnesota and the Neptunes, who I still sort of liked after downloading Hell Hath No Fury and having a bit of my faith in Pharrell and Chad renewed. But upon the leak, I quickly realized it was a shit sandwich of a record. I ended up keeping three tracks from the album that I thought were good, but I, out of disgust and disappointment in my favorite rapper (other two are Ghost and B.I.G.) at the time falling off harder than Wyclef Jean. Months later, midway through my year and a half long period of listening to just about every metal and hip-hop record I had missed because I didn't have a lot of money or a good internet connection (everything from Pestilence to Pete Rock), I gave it a full listen and still found it to be horrible, even moreso in the wake of absorbing so much good music in a two year period. Plus, the fact that there were rumblings of a purposefully shit album to escape his record contract and a unofficial release and then an official release with a different case and a website that never updates and no interviews to explain himself grated me and that feeling of wanting to jump a sinking ship overcame me. Unlike a child or girlfriend, a musician is easy to disown.

Then, the final fucking straw (ignoring his attempt to play "Katrina Klap" at the 2006 VMA's and getting arrested or his 7 kids and owed child support). Despite being great in Dave Chapelle's Block Party, last month he acted like an asshole on Real Time with Bill Maher (that I frequently incorrectly call "Real Talk with Bill Maher"). He was even more annoying that Cornel West, who himself is this over-pontificating,out-of-touch guy that, though likable, reaches more than Dhalsim. But Mos, though he did make two or three basic true points, acted a fool the entire telecast, overtalking, getting irate, and making himself seem unintelligent and blindly spiritual (which usually correlates).

An example of said failure:

MAHER: And there also can be Muslim terrorism in the world. [voices overlap]

MOS DEF: [overlapping] Okay, that’s true—[voices overlap]—I’m a Muslim—

WEST: [overlapping]—you’re not denying – you’re not denying that there’s this terrorist—

MOS DEF: [overlapping]—yes, I’m Muslim, and there’s Christian terrorism—

WEST: [overlapping] Absolutely.

MOS DEF: [overlapping]—this historical terrorism from all different types of sects.


MOS DEF: The Catholic Church’s stance about child molestation in and of itself. [applause]

WEST: That’s right.

MAHER: Right.

MOS DEF: And you talk about – you know, classify what is and what is not terrorism—

WEST: That’s right.

MOS DEF: [overlapping]—I think—

WEST: [overlapping] And there’s secular terrorists. I know you’re a secular brother. There are secular terrorists that are vicious. [laughter] [applause]

MOS DEF: He’s right! He’s right! He’s Cornel West! He’s right.

WEST: Who do you think Stalin was?

MAHER: Well, that was a religion.

WEST: But it was secular, Brother. He was an atheist.

MAHER: It doesn’t matter. When somebody is at the position that Stalin or Hitler was in a society, they are a god and it is a religion. [applause] It’s just a secular religion. [voices overlap]

MOS DEF: [overlapping] I mean, without—

MAHER: [overlapping] It’s when people worship without thinking, that’s a religion. [applause]

MOS DEF: Well—

MAHER: [overlapping] Now, you guys are different religions. You’re a Christian—

WEST: [overlapping] He’s a prophetic Muslim—

MAHER: And you’re – and you’re a Muslim.

WEST: [overlapping] I’m a prophetic Christian.

MAHER: Now, let’s get real.

WEST: [overlapping] You’re a prophetic atheist. That’s where we come together, on that “prophetic.” That adjective.

MAHER: But the reason why nothing can ever move forward in Iraq – let’s be real – is because of religion. Because there are two sects, and something that happened 1,400 years ago, they’re still beefing about.

MOS DEF: That’s they business, though. Even if that—[voices overlap]

MAHER: [overlapping] I agree, but I’m just saying that religion is the root of the problem.

Now, if I was still the Chinatown Fair-chilling, "Kill Whitey"-yelling, Chris Rock/Dave Chappelle-quoting scene kid I was in 2004 and most of 2005, I'd find this great and love every minute. But as someone aware enough to know Mos sounded retarded, this was it for me, and was the inspiration for this post. So until he makes it up by actually doing something great in the next two years, fuck this dude. (I'd still see him in concert though...)

Fuck Mos Def.

Here's a quick run-down of artists that disappointed me in this so far terrible year for music!
-The Black Dahlia Murder
-High on Fire
-Common (I dislike Common anyway, but still)
-Jay Z (It's disappointment displacement from '04-06 spilling over and seems like it'll never end)
-Pig Destroyer
-As I Lay Dying
-Pharoahe Monch
-Nas (I never expect anything from this dick, but I at least anticipated something at least decent)
-The Red Chord
-Electric Six
-The White Stripes
-Bloc Party
-The Stooges
-Bad Brains
-Kings of Leon
-Jill Scott
-The Used (I at least had a bit of hope they'd stop sucking. Nope.)
-Calle 13

Oh, and Lupe Fiasco deserves all the failure in the world. Fuck that douche.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You Thought You Wasn't Gon See Me? I'm The Osirus Of This Shit!

Fact: Wu are the apex of rap, or, as RZA always says "hip-hop in its purest form". All the interviews, videos, albums, the aesthetics, the mythology, the universal appeal, the fact that they're both a group and an assembly of solo stars, Wu-Tang Clan is the embodiment of all things hip-hop. Coincidentally, when they're off their game, so is the majority of the art form.

I thought it fitting, with the subdued level of anticipation for 8 Diagrams coming in December and the always prevalent geek-level discussion about the Wu, to talk about the song that made me a fan, since I was really poppy until around 14 or 15 and liked almost everything that got played on MTV for a while and wasn't really interested in checking for albums until late in junior high.

I focus on this song, of the final years of Wu's visibility as a group over "Gravel Pit", "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)", and the amazing "I Can't Go To Sleep" because, for one, its fucking ill. Two, its the only one of those four singles without a hook, which is still a big accomplishment to have this long ass grimy hardcore rap track with 9 dudes spitting and no hook be a big radio and MTV hit. Plus, Wu-Tang Forever pushed like 8 mil.

Now, besides how unorthodox it is as a single, its an amazing example of subtlety in songwriting and arranging and how to approach a pop song. First off, Deck's verse, which pretty much ruins the song for the rest of the Wu, with only 4 verses coming even anywhere near the quality of INS' opening.

"I bomb atomically, Socrates' philosophies
and hypotheses can't define how I be droppin these
mockeries, lyrically perform armed robbery
Flee with the lottery, possibly they spotted me
Battle-scarred shogun, explosion when my pen hits
tremendous, ultra-violet shine blind forensics
I inspect view through the future see millenium
Killa Beez sold fifty gold sixty platinum
Shackling the masses with drastic rap tactics
Graphic displays melt the steel like blacksmiths
Black Wu jackets Queen Beez ease the guns in
Rumblin patrolmen tear gas laced the function
Heads by the score take flight incite a war
Chicks hit the floor, die-hard fans demand more
Behold the bold soldier, control the globe slowly
Proceeds to blow swingin swords like Shinobi
Stomp grounds I pound footprints in solid rock
Wu got it locked, performin' live on your hottest block"

Even recited acapella, the cadence and bounce of his verse is ridiculous. Its probably one of my favorites of all time, along with a bunch of stuff from Ready To Die, "Hit Em Up", and AZ's verse on "Life's a Bitch". Judging by how RZA chooses the cats to lace his tracks based on who makes the hottest rhymes for it (good in-house quality control, which explains why U-God is so scarce on albums...) at the moment, I can definitely imagine the rest of the Wu being both wowed and frustrated by Deck's verse, which alone makes an argument for checking his solo records. Plus, he pretty much wrecks the much more even, quality wise, "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)". Dude's flow is on point, period.

At this point in the song, shit is wrecked. The gauntlet is laid, and interestingly enough, whoever survives without sucking implies the caste structure of the Wu. Example, the first stars of the Clan were ODB, Meth, and Rae, and the perception was Meth was the best. Unfortunately, Meth was just the first one to be fully developed as an MC, not counting GZA who is always on some crazy meditative 43-year-old man shit that never fails. Seriously, the guy is almost creepily detached and wise-sounding. Whereas RZA pretends to know what he's talking about, GZA seems to know just about everything. But poor, poor Meth got burned out, and his only good album (Tical 2000) got shitted on by most rap fans. The issue with Meth has always been, since "Method Man", that along with Ghost, he has the best flow in the Wu, but as opposed to Ghost, never really says anything good lyrically. Its not as if Meth's lyrics are terrible, they aren't most of the time. The issue is his verses have no endurance, they fall apart halfway through and he isn't very interesting most of the time. It reminds me of watching "Method Man" in 2004 and going "wow...uh...most of his verses were awful". So its fitting that he's the first to be fed to the wolves on the track and sort of put him in his place as a good and charismatic rapper, but nothing more.

So, Wu went through three phases of caste in the 15 or so year existence of the group. Between the first album, first phase solo releases and second album, it went:

Top Tier: Gza Rza ODB Meth
Second Tier: Raekwon Ghost InspectahDeck
Weed Carriers/Fill-Ins:MastaKilla U-God

From Wu-Tang Forever to the second round of solo releases (the end of RZA's 5 year plan), it looks like this:

Top Tier: Rza ODB Gza Ghost
Second Tier:Meth Raekwon Inspectah Deck
Weed Carriers/Fill-ins:MastaKilla U-God

And you could argue that at the moment its:

Top Tier: Ghost Gza Rza(more for behind the scenes than rapping)
Weed Carriers/Fill-Ins: Everyone else

So with Meth's underwhelming bars, there's less tension and the next verse will seem really good, in theory. The pressure is off, and Meth took the bullet and caught a Kennedy. Which is lucky for Cappadonna, because he sucks and his breezy, unobtrusive verse passes by like a pallet cleanser. After listening to this song a lot lately, I noticed how the effect of so many disparate styles and rappers affects the feeling and flow of the song. As opposed to a sonic dynamic, the same loop rocks through the song and the dynamic of the song is retained in the difference between all the members of the group, which is an interesting occurrence that I don't think could be intentionally replicated. However, there is a sense of something like parts or a suite as after the first third, ODB (where the fuck was he to make such a weird out-of-touch, rushed sounding adlib?) comes in with his Wu hype, and then the beat's second loop, the repeating vocal riff over strings starts for U-God's verse. Not really that great in the scheme of Wu-Tang as an MC, but he drops a great verse in that fragment sentence flow of his where he seems to break everything into measured spaces.

Next up, RZA comes on and gets on his RZA shit. Besides being the founder, leader, and producer for Wu (and oddly enough, part of one of the two families within Wu, as he's cousins to GZA and ODB and Rae and Ghost are half-brothers), he's also fucking weird as an MC. All these things keep him in the top tier of Wu constantly, and I quickly grew to love how he's purposefully off beat. He can rap, but he tends to just fucking say "Fuck it" and throw in as much consonance, assonance, and garbled rhymes as he can and just go a beat or so over the snare, making his last words occupy an awkward aural space of inherited importance and putting emphasis on everything. And RZA's verses are just always so cool...I don't know what it is about him and ODB, but they're always wildin out on tracks. Plus, he wore wings in the video and comes up with great aesthetics. Seriously, the whole egomaniacal god-like nature of the "Triumph" clip is perfect.

So RZA drops the second good post-INS verse, which we will now refer to as the "post-9/11" verse. Next up, GZA, who never falters, so we move on to Masta Killa. Now, on the whole idea of dynamics and pacing in a rap song, particularly this, what I would hate on any other track worked perfectly as Masta Killa's asshole ruminations about pretentious 5% bullshit (seriously, he reeks of arrogance on here. At least when GZA invokes a deity or elder perspective, he's LIKABLE). Plus, he pretty much doesn't flow at all for his verse, he talks on beat almost like he's giving a speech, which both acts as a good twin for GZA and buffer for RZA's recklessness while putting a second dramatic peak to the song. It almost sounds like the Wu manifesto, which makes it real interesting, especially in light of friction between Ghost and the rest of the Wu of late, when Ghost starts his verse with "Yo, FUCK THAT". I always laugh when I hear that, because it comes in grimy and dismissive , razing all the haughtiness of the Masta Killa verse in just a few words.Predictably, since until Supreme Clientele they were musically inseparable, Ghost and Raekwon end the song and video together, straying from everyone else on the track by strictly keeping to hood themes and avoiding any abstraction or overt 5% prophetic shit-talking. And of everyone in the group, the two were always the best at crime talk, anyway.

It's interesting that the last section of the song is thematically completely different from the rest, seeing as in reference to how some of the Wu gave B.I.G shit around Ready To Die, Method said something along the lines of "That's just Ghost and Rae. They don't like anybody". Though everyone in the Wu seems to be cool with Cappadonna, RZA and ODB, it always felt like Ghost and Rae, for that time period, just liked themselves the most. Regardless, the two are, after GZA, the most lyrically complex in the group and succeeded in each dropping great verses, which was probably helped by going last. I also have to add that its odd that Ghost's vocals sound like they were done at a completely different time and place, based on the sound of the recording, which sort of again hint at how the two half-brothers are the loners of the group.

Its crazy to me to have 9 guys all spit 9 different flows and verses on a track with just one rhythm, which itself is a feat considering how most of the Wu rapped the same way on the first album, and that they avoided biting the flow utilized by Deck at the onset of the track. Its tough knowing he killed it and found the sweet spot, in a way, and that you have to work harder to keep your individuality all the while being inspired.

Now, considering the first four records, it'd be interesting if there ends up being a classic group cut on 8 Diagrams. Fishscale's "9 Milli Bros." was decent, so hopefully they can improve upon that, but I doubt they'll be able to get anywhere near "Triumph" or "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)", the latter of which has one of the most ridiculous Ghostface verses of all time.

"The swift chancellor flex the white-gold tarantula..." -Raekwon

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The "Mobb Deep Is CVLT" Video Mixtape


Mobb Deep is CVLT

There's a shitty joke thats pretty old by now regarding the Megadeth/Melodic death influenced metalcore band God Forbid. Basically, every single generic mainstream metal fan (which is, unfortunately, the majority; dumb, awkward Metalocalypse watching Children of Bodom/Lamb of God fans and the like) has done this joke, and if you're even vaguely into metal, you've encountered it. Its along the lines of:

Socially awkward white kid 1:"What's your favorite black metal band?"
Musical leper number 2: "Oh, you mean God Forbid? HAHAHAHAOMFGLMAOZEPICWIN!!"

This is supposed to be funny because 4 of the 5 members of the band are black. Never mind that God Forbid only have two good songs and are awful overall, like most mainstream metal, but its this odd rite of passage where if I run into anyone who still finds it funny to make ye olde "black metal" joke in reference to God Forbid, I make a mental note to avoid them forever. Its both a mark of stunted musical and mental growth and I know nothing good can come with associating with that kind of person (ie: Cannibal Corpse fans). Despite a minority of non-white metal musicians, they are there, especially in Latin America, because as everyone knows, Hispanics love metal. Suffocation are great and crazy influential and two of their core members are black. From Loudness to Boris, there are a large amount of great Asian metal musicians, also, which explains why former Megadeth and Cacophony guitarist Marty Friedman hosts a Japanenglish rock/metal show in Japan. Just like the discovery of DH Peligro, Suicidal Tendencies, and the Bad Brains in punk, the ethnic makeup of music gets a lot more varied the deeper you get into it and things like that stop being funny. Also, you become 17 or older.

But what about black metal? The general consensus is that its the complete opposite of everything Afro. Shit, its the opposite of everything industrial and modern, in some instances. So as the heralded music form of Nazi's, white separatists, awkward nerds and just all around interesting crackers, it usually inspires a few raised eyebrows and a couple of sighs when the issue of black people doing black metal comes up. How would you deal with the overwhelming racism? How would you make it relate to the diaspora or life as a pan-African? Would you write songs about Anansie? Would you wear corpsepaint? Would you still call it "black metal", or would you ignore the cliche humor inherent to the name regarding the situation of the musicians ethnicity? And how many black people would have to start black metal bands until there was a decent band? (Probably the same ratio I use with women in rock and rap, since there's only a large amount of good white male rock bands because the people who play the music are overwhelming white and male and with such large numbers, there's gotta be some diamonds in there somewhere)

Well, really, despite a large number of asian and Hispanic black metal musicians already extant to ease the process and possibly inspire some Lilith fair-esque tour, its unnecessary. There's already an avenue to be black and do black metal.


This relates slightly to something I've been wanting to discuss and have never seen anyone else talk about, generally because I might be one of few non-hipsters who fucks with a lot of both hip-hop and black metal and it is the basic truth that the two genres are incredibly similar.

A portion of this has to do with the sociology of scenes. Though hip-hop's rigid alienation of outsiders with the endless sermonizing and proselytizing about the supposed canon and best MC's and what is real hip-hop and etc is more akin to the clandestine denseness of electronica and its subgenres, the archival nature and continually active and disparate fanbase of rap is exactly like that of metal. One trip to or checking out a few mainstream documentaries and its clear that, though the history and sound are clearly different (the latter to a degree, more later), the behavior is the same. The same generational squabbles, same pro-genre festivals, same zines and small publications, same elaborate message board sites (smnnews vs. allhiphop), same elitism, same outdated canon (2Pac/Common and Ozzy/Pantera all kind of suck), same self-lionizing, same feeling of anti-outsider exclusivity, ever-evolving dress code, both are recognized for having one ethnicity be the majority consumers and participants, etc, etc. And besides, ignorant motherfuckers like Brand Nubian and a good half of anyone who has ever rapped have more in common with the homophobia and ethnocentrist politics of black metal musicians and fans than they know.

Beyond just metal as an umbrella genre, you can break it down further, making the comparison sharper and more unique. Really, as hip-hop's best period is 1986-1996, that is the same era "extreme" metal started to emerge, or rather death and black metal. Now, the death metal connection is extremely easy to make. Besides the Gravediggaz, there's a heap of rappers, mostly horrorcore, who not only acknowledge death metal aesthetics and use the same lyrical style in their rhymes, but there are also those who are informed about the genre and even played in or have side-project death metal bands like Jedi Mind Tricks, Ill Bill, and Necro. There have also been a lot of rappers like Big L or Prodigy who were inclined to drop something grisly or blasphemous from time to time in between their raps.

Death metal, however, is the indie rock of the metal scene. Everyone thinks they're cool and edgy and obscure for listening to it, but in reality its mainstream and poppy as fuck. If you like Deicide or Death, that's like saying you think The Shins are "hella rad". And it tends to breed the same alpha-male lunkhead mentality that helped spawn black metal as a reactionary genre split from the same 80's influences (Bathory, Celtic Frost, Sarcofago, etc). There's an interesting series of interviews with Varg Vikernes on the official Burzum website, all informative, and this quote in particular touches on that issue: "Black Metal was a revolt against the modern world, and in particular against the commercialized (Americanized) Death Metal scene."

Black metal's nascent rise and fall (well, its decline in Scandinavia) and etc is over-documented and mythologized, so in the end, what's most important is the music, despite the ideologies it spewed forth during its first wave. Within that, as unfortunately hipsters have caught on to, is a genre containing essentially four sounds and approaches to it; showing a rock sound or influence (Darkthrone, later Satyricon, a bunch of "black n roll bands"), overt "extreme" or death metal influences (Immortal, 1349, Gorgoroth, Behemoth, most mainstream black metal), grandiose and symphonic rather than striving to sound ugly (Emperor), and the overall best, the approach seen as "avant-garde" or, at the very least, in keeping with the ideologies of black metal (Burzum, Wolves in the Throne Room, Deathspell Omega, etc). Essentially, black metal has two shades, ugly and beautiful, and the avant-garde bands, have, for good reason, drawn comparisons to shoegaze and My Bloody Valentine with all of their lush pendulum strummed beauty. This sound, though great and strangely overlooked when beacons of being out-to-lunch like Vice do whole episodes about motherfucking Gaahl from Gorgoroth (Really? Way to be generic and uninformed, indie rock fans.), doesn't relate.

However, with its utterly discordant nature, the rawer, more basic black metal sound is akin to the more ugly, harsh New York rap productions of the last 20 years. Besides tons of ugly sounding dissonant productions that on a music geek level, sound JUST LIKE black metal riffs (full of weird half steps, chord glisses out of key, out of tune piano and guitars, etc)

there's also the overall vibe of hardcore NY rap from the 90's. RZA and Havoc, for example managed to capture unique vibes, at once unsettling and claustrophobic but still cool. Also, a lot of 90's hip-hop, like a lot of black metal, requires a decent attention span, since its not exactly AC/DC in terms of easy to digest riffyness. There's tons of sonic layers and musically wrong thing happening, which would make Deathspell Omega and their peers the Three 6 Mafia of black metal I think. Which would probably make Kanye West the Immortal of rap or something.

Considering that the basics of black metal, musically is rapidly strummed minor chords shifting tonal degrees that they shouldn't shift(i-vi and i-ii-vi-vii, etc), it wouldn't necessarily be that hard to bridge that gap and make an awesome hybrid of the two. Really, all that prevented a decent rap rock hybrid was that the ego of rock musicians prevented them from understanding that since the rhythmic forms are too different that most people would never actually sit down and figure a way to splice them, it makes more sense to place metal music/riffs/samples over hip-hop drum pattern and rap over that, than the reverse, which has failed horribly whenever done.

I'd hope to see this done eventually. Since I'm way too lazy and unlearned about samplers and drum machines to do it myself, I think Three 6 Mafia, Dre (if you can shake the cobwebs off him), Lil' Jon or RZA would be great at this sort of thing, and I'd love to hear "Dunkelheit" over some 808's.

For real. Or if that shit doesn't work, just continue taking over hardcore and metalcore, as MOP are doing:

Real Post Later; And Now, The Whores!

Awesome 70's sexploitation movie


Jesus I need to start watching movies again.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Posted this on Facebook back in June, I think. More remarkable for having my opinion at the time and being full of frustration and honesty, rather than being well written and scholarly, which it sure isn't. So, its sort of raw and my instinct is to rewrite the things that embarrass me, but I think its more interesting this way. Real post later.

Dear White America: Shut The Fuck Up And Enjoy Your Free Ride

So, I've seen this outline before, and its apparently from one of those dumb forwarded emails that useless cubicle workers and AOL users send to each other to distract from the smell of their own universal anonymity:

Am I racist?
You call me "Cracker", "Honkey", "Whitey" and you think it's OK.
But if I called you Kike, Towelhead, WOP, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Gook, nigger or Chink you would call me a racist.
You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you, so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?
You have the United Negro College Fund.
You have Martin Luther King Day.
You have Black History Month.
You have Cesar Chavez Day.
You have Yom Hashoah
You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi
You have the NAACP.
You have BET.
If we had WET(white entertainment television) ...we'd be racist.
If we had a White Pride Day... you would call us racist.
If we had white history month... we'd be racist.
If we had an organization for only whites to "advance" our lives... we'd be racist.
If we had a college fund that only gave white students know we'd be racist.
In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and would call us racist.
Did you know that some high school students decided to make a club for only the white students because the other ethnicities had them?... they all got sent to court for being racist but the african-american, latino, and asia clubs were not even questioned.
You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But if we announced our white pride, you would call us racists.
I am white.
I am proud.
But, you call me a racist.
Why is it that only whites can be racist?"

There's several Facebook groups with this same outline, and heres the thing...there's some things as a result of PC that I disagree with, but its part of my bigger criticism of every ethnicity and that's something else entirely. But that's another note. Or not. Fuck notes.

But I have to bring up how sad this is. Because I know a lot of people saw this and went, "Exactly! That's how I feel! They understand, dammit! MYSPACE!". And, with 200 million or so white Americans, I'd venture to say that a large majority would bond with this. Problem? Not much thought in it. First of all, it immediately calls attention to an ignorance of world history and American history and the slave trade and post-Reconstruction era immigration. And if you want to be taken seriously, this is a bad way to start (Although I admit that the vast majority of people are dialectically retarded and would cause a knee-jerk race war over the internet that happens all the time and makes me wish I had the hand on the button to detonate the warheads).

All of this presupposes that slavery and the history of American genocide and oppression aren't so bad. I love, by the way, that its always people too young to know anything about how fucked up and scary the 60's were spouting off this shit. Listen, if you grew up in the suburbs, shut the fuck up. I don't give a shit how many liberal arts or black studies classes you took, your viewpoint is meaningless and you're too pathetically confused by your slow entrance into reality to be useful to anyone.

This also seems to be a reaction to that experience. Yeah, white guilt is a difficult thing to surpass, considering there are a lot of assholes who will give you shit about things you didn't do (I'd rather they take the "Guilty of Being White" by Minor Threat approach, than this infuriating bullshit rhetoric, because it saves me from murderous rage and backing up my views of white middle class America, and also, it makes more sense since if you're ethnicity immigrated post-Slavery, you have nothing to do with it [i.e. Fuck Portugal])

But really. Enough with the constant bitching. White marches for advancement? Seriously, such a pathetic argument. YOU ALREADY HAVE EVERYTHING. THIS IS A WHITE FUCKING COUNTRY. EVERYTHING IS MARKETED TOWARDS AND GIVEN TO YOU WITHOUT THOUGHT. Yes, calling someone epithets is fucking RACIST. Why are the ghettos dangerous to live in? Because blacks inherited the shitty parts of cities after white flight, and crime is a constant with poverty. You don't need white specific anything in a country that is OVERWHELMINGLY WHITE. Jesus fucking Christ. And you know, I'd agree in any other country because every other country except post-USSR satellites are very old and have established ethnic backgrounds and histories. The Native Americans are fucking extinct, and this country is so new that everyone is aware of the bullshit and its impossible to get away with what makes sense in, say, France. France, as much as I hate that portion of Europe, has the right to have issue with recent Islamic immigrants. Usually it'd be quite odd to appeal to minorities in a country that's been extant for centuries. But, America is a malleable country, a glorified fucking experiment with shitty control and parameters wherein any non Anglicans who ever came here, out of will of force, were ceremoniously dehumanized in the way that only Europeans and Asians can do so brutally and mechanically.

Yes, its goddamn racist to imply that more "white based things" should be celebrated or created to "offset" the pittance of recognition given to ethnic minorities in this country. Man the fuck up and get over your white guilt and become a functional person without pussying out and claiming reverse racism constantly. It's becoming harder and harder everyday to take white people in this country seriously. Go to and attempt to understand how to formulate an argument, because you don't deserve SHIT. You had nothing to do with the formation of his country, everyone here works just as hard as you, and just like everyone else here, you have a myspace, see shitty movies, like shitty things, have no perspective of anything outside your boring life and in the end just want to have kids. You're not fucking special. If anything, you should be on your fucking toes. The history of death and pain Europeans have caused should fucking loom over you and force you not to suck.

Seriously. WET? That presupposes that every other channel is a jungle of Benetton pluralism, which is fucking ain't. Show me one decent accurate portrayal of an ethnic minority, I'll show you 50 stereotypes that become the basis of middle America's view of all non-whites. What white rights are there to fight for? Why are you still bitching about losing the country? It's not your goddamn country to lose in the first place. THESE THINGS EXIST BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE EXIST IN AMERICAN BESIDES WHITES. It's a pittance to offset your goddamn patriarchy. And you know what, thank god for Univision, because BET dropped the ball 10 years ago. Why do you campaign and bitch and moan against people who just recently started to do well and get by? CESAR CHAVEZ DAY? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? These are your examples? This is how you nitpick? We wanted a melting pot, but this is clearly a fucking spice rack of a country.

And white pride is racist. Learn some goddamn nuance. All nationalism is inherently bullshit, but that's how everyone outside of America gets their identity. There's nothing wrong with the phrase "Scottish and proud". But you subscribing to the idea of race without a second thought of its meaning and the weight of it and its very existence is racist. Also, as a white American, what the fuck do you have to be proud of? You're never going to visit your country of origin and you didn't keep the cultural habits. You're fucking empty culturally and the sort of idea of "American" you propagate is nothing to be admired. (I'm pretty sure the Enlightenment thinkers, philosopher, Free-Mason, and liberal fucking founding fathers would hate you and what you purport to be their ideas. Thomas Paine has nothing to do with mall culture, Dane Cook, Blue Collar TV, K/Wal-Mart, and being a fat little entitled cunt seeping off the udders of global terrorism while both being dumb and blind and claiming to be "endangered"). Great, you can trace your lineage back to 17th century Holland. When are you going there? When the fuck do you ever clog? The idea of unified race is a joke. There are only political ethnicities and nationalities, and whatever archetypal taxonomy you subscribe to is obsolete with all of the catty, bloody infighting that seems to just be human nature.

And who the fuck says "Yellow pride" except lame Asians and white people trying hard to be edgy (All of you try way too hard, by the way)? Goddamit, get away from the Cathy cartoons and Bill Engvall comedy specials and pick up some Karl Marx and Cornell West, you fat useless shits. As people who historically always have and still place yourself above all others and have shaped history and capitalism to favor yourselves, you bitch and get cunty when there's even a bit of resistance from any non-whites. You still hold European cultural achievements as superior and can barely acknowledge anyone else's without being condescending. Should I even mention the "White man's burden?" You want to know how to deal with race issues? Ignore them. Try to behave as if you're not the center of existence and not merely the result of thousands of years of physical adaptation to cold climates with little sun. But you even bothering to ask why you can't say nigger or nigga shows how worthless you are and how, much like everyone else in this country, you learned jack shit from your past (I'm looking at you, too, black America ages 8-40...I'm real goddamn annoyed at you, too)

No, whites aren't the only racists. Everyone has an irrational fear of brown skin, worldwide. Its the be-all end all issue to everyone and whiter features ARE favored, as with Hispanics. The Japanese still don't know how to react to black people. You just tend to sort of run things at the moment, so your right to be complain about racism are revoked. If you can get in a time machine and erase the history of white oppression, fine. But until then, shut the fuck up and enjoy your free ride you didn't earn.

Unless someone does you physical harm, you have nothing to bitch about.

...So that was the rant I posted in response to a few Facebook groups. Its weird to read that the whole way through now, but I decided not to lie or edit the things that strike me as embarrassing for the sake of being frank for a change.