Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009, a retrospective pt. 4


Baroness - The Blue Record

When Mastodon said they were mining prog-rock for inspiration, I was nervous. My concerns ended up being well-founded. When "The Blue Record" started garnering prog comparisons as well, a familiar sense of trepidation settled in.

I never should have doubted.

Baroness have written an album that successfully combines their delicious brand of Georgia sludge with the epic guitar work of the very best of 70's prog rock. Complex and yet still wonderfully accessible, this is perhaps the only metal album released this year that my dad and I both loved. The band shifts gears effortlessly, switching from the soft, folky "Steel That Sleeps the Eye" to the mystic-sounding gallop of "Swollen and Halo". This sort of shift can sometimes feel contrived, or forced, but Baroness makes the switch effortlessly, wearing their maturation as a band on their sleeves comfortably. They've melded their already considerable power with grace and beauty, and have carefully crafted one of the most intriguing releases of this year.

Baroness - A Horse Called Golgotha

2009, a retrospective pt. 5


Propagandhi - Supporting Caste

This album just fucking rips from head to toe. Propagandhi incorporated a little bit of thrash metal into their brand of acidic political punk, and as a result, created an album that absolutely destroys most other punk and crossover floating around these days. Injecting both a dark sense of humor and intelligence into their lyrics, Propagandhi have taken the place of Bad Religion as the political gateway band for disaffected punk teenagers. The album addresses topics as diverse as animal rights, the militarization of sporting events, urban alienation, and the bonding effects of aggressive music with aplomb and grace. Did I mention the album fucking rips?

Propagandhi - Night Letters

2009, a retrospective pt. 6


Converge - Axe to Fall

In 2000, Converge covered "Disintegration" by the Cure for a compilation of Cure covers by hardcore bands. It swings from unsettling, razor-sharp beauty to horrific violence without undermining either quality, and it's something that I used to think was unmatchable. It is one of my favorite pieces of music, cover or not, and I'm happy to say that this album finally, and firmly capitalizes on the potential displayed on that song.

While all of Converge's releases have been notable, this one is indelible in the way "Jane Doe" was, smashing and scratching into your brain case, and making a nest inside your freshly tenderized skull. Ben Koller and Nate Newton cement their reputation as metal's most formidable rhythm section, and Kurt Ballou cements his reputation as one of the most creative guitarists in metal today. Jake Bannon's shriek is unmistakable, and utilizes a scathing vitriol unseen in their repertoire to date. This album is also notable for a sizable guest list, ranging from all of Genghis Tron to Ulf Cederlund. Converge proves themselves to be masters of their sound, comfortable with experimentation and cunning enough to know what works and what does not. The second to last song on the album, "Cruel Bloom", is an epic dirge featuring the unmistakable roar of Steven Von Till and still manages to sound unmistakeably like Converge. For a band with such a unique vocalist, this is an exceptionally impressive feat. With "Axe to Fall", Converge's position on the top of the extreme metal/hardcore pantheon reaches legendary proportions.

Converge - Axe to Fall

2009, a retrospective pt. 7


The Protomen - Act II: The Father of Death

This may have been my most anticipated album of 2009. After releasing a exceptionally strong first album, and a couple of staggeringly awesome single tracks from the album, I had high high expectations for this album, and I'm glad to say it doesn't disappoint.


I have some quibbles, to be honest.

This is an uneven album. There are three instrumental interludes(which, honestly, are not that bad in an 80's movie soundtrack kind of way, just kind of forgettable and break up the flow in an unpleasing fashion), and two songs reminiscent of the worst parts of the musical version of Les Miserables.

While we're being honest and up-front, it should be noted that album this is a prequel to their first album which was a dystopian retelling of the Mega Man video games.

If you're still here, good. This album is pure 80's genius distilled, filtered, and played with utmost seriousness. The Protomen are a cyberpunk Bruce Springsteen, backed by Kenny Loggins, drawing equally from Johnny Cash's apocalyptic western sagas, and Queensryche-ian dramatics. Somehow the Protomen make this a cohesive sound, all chrome and leather and neon, harsh and human at the same time. They've created a concept album that is tremendously dedicated to the epic, but can be approached without any knowledge of the backstory, and still enjoyed on the basis of the fantastic music. Anthems like "Breaking Out" and "Light Up the Night" are hard to come by in these times of meandering indie pap, and no one is doing them better than the Protomen.

The Protomen - Light Up the Night

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christless Eve

Sorry, I'm in the middle of finishing up my year end write ups, and I've been traveling for the holidays and such, so expect the rest of it before the end of the year. I promise.

However, in the meanwhile, you should check this out.

Thursday December 24 at 7:PM(West Coast Time) to Friday December 25 at 10:AM
KFJC 89.7 FM presents CHRISTLESS EVE, 15 hours of the sickest, harshest and most damaged black metal, unrelenting noise, grinding filth and tortured doom from around the world. Number Six returns to host the 5th overnight seige that originally aired in 2003. Special guests Andee of Aquarius Records, AQ pal Josh, DJ's Cy Thoth, Moodkiller, Groundswell and others expose the true nature of the season and crush what's left of your will to live.


Sounds fucking awesome, yeah?


Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009, a retrospective pt. 8


Peste Noire - Ballade cuntre lo Anemi Francor

This is an exceedingly difficult record to attempt to summarize, so I am going to try to be as direct as possible. Peste Noire is a black metal band. Many of the songs seem to be heavily inspired by french marching songs, and offer a weird combination of folk, black metal, propelled by weird circular, off-kilter thrashy guitar riffs and martial sounding drums. Their lead singer(Famine, who is also the mastermind behind this group) has a terrifying voice to seems to range from the croak of rotted vocal cords to the bellowed howls of the damned. Audrey Sylvain provides beautiful clean vocals on a couple songs. There is harmonica. There are plucked acoustic guitar parts. There is a part that sounds like the tape is being re-wound. There are interludes with bird song. None of this sounds out of place in the context of the album, but instead blends together to provide a constantly exciting listening experience that ends all far too soon.

A caveat. Famine appears to be an extremely unlikeable person with some fairly outlandish views(as seen in this interview). Some people may be used to this sort of nonsense, others may have less of a tolerance for it. It's also possible that he's just attempting to offend. I leave the decision with you.

Peste Noire - Ballade Cuntre Les Anemis De La France - De Francois Villon

2009, a retrospective pt. 9


Amesoeurs - S/T

Somewhere between Blade Runner's endlessly rainy Los Angeles and Industrial Revolution era Paris lies the cityscape conjured up by Amesoeurs' debut album. The band has created an awe-inspiring mix of post-punk and black metal that utilizes Joy Division basslines and buzzing tremolo riffs with equal proficiency. The vocal duties are handled both by Neige(the guitarist, also of Alcest, and session guitarist for Peste Noire) and Audrey Sylvain(the bassist, also appears on Peste Noire releases). Neige provides shrill shrieks while Audrey alternates between a stunning, richly textured singing voice and the scream of a scorned siren. Amesoeurs describe their sound as "a spit, the only way we have to spew out the anxiety and frustration tied to the difficulties of existence and the pursuit of happiness in our modern society." While the rage and despair of urban existence is a clear influence on their sound, they manage to also invoke the beauty of abandoned lots, of faded messages scrawled in paint on city walls, of dusty windows. This is their true achievement, blending both fury and hope in a striking and original fashion.

Amesoeurs - Heurt

2009, a retrospective pt. 10


Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle

I'm always amazed at the way certain authors, certain singers can illuminate a situation with the simplest utterances. Inflection, absence, stress, all these tools prove as important as the actual words, and Bill Callahan proves himself a master craftsman on this album. This is in fullest evidence on the song "Eid Ma Clack Shaw," where the subject of the song wakes from dreaming to scribble the perfect song down, and upon fully awakening, realizes that the precious words made only dream-sense, and are of no real help to him awake. Mr. Callahan evokes this sense of despair, and also a sense of hopeful stubbornness, as he sings the dream-nonsense words. Perhaps perhaps perhaps the song may still have power over the waking world. As the song closes, Mr. Callahan repeats the chorus, "Show me the way to shake a memory," leaving one to conclude that the gibberish "perfect song" did nothing for our narrator. Bill Callahan's precise, careful words are borne upon similarly glass-like music constructed from strings, piano, guitars, and couple of horns. It is a heady combination, blending with but also exalting the somber baritone of Mr. Callahan. This is not a simple album, nor an easily approached album, but given time to sink into your skin, it is a tremendously rewarding listen.

Bill Callahan - Too Many Birds

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009, a retrospective pt. 11


P.S. Eliot - Introverted Romance in Our Troubled Minds

I caught these guys in the summer, opening for Hop Along, and fell swiftly and quickly in love. P.S. Eliot play slightly melancholy, but mostly hopeful, jangly 90's style punk-pop, close to Lemuria or maybe a female-fronted Superchunk. It's perfect for the end of summer, as the days get shorter and colder and you start to wonder if you made the best of every moment. You'll find these songs bubbling up as you as you walk home and watch your breath float away in front of you, when anxiety and confidence battle inside your head. Beautiful and fragile, treasure those moments, treasure these songs.

P.S. Eliot - Incoherent Love Songs

As an aside, you may have noticed that the numbering changed a couple of times. My system was slightly off, things had to be adjusted.

2009, a retrospective pt. 12


Lewd Acts - Black Eye Blues

"I was just hoping there'd be some truth, to the fairytales of my youth."

1/4th delta blues, 3/4th southern california hardcore, Lewd Acts have created the stand-out hardcore release of the year. They evoke both our current economic depression, and the Great Depression equally, and through conviction and passion, make it sound like they lived through both of them. Songs are distinct packages of rage, ranging from the almost folky, wry, raspy tone of "Who Knew the West Coast Could be So Cold?" to the full on fury of "Young Lovers, Old Livers." The guitar tone is icy and sharp, without losing any power or heft in the process. This is an album filled with ghosts, ghosts of friends, of family, of hope.

"This is the sound of ambition dying."

Lewd Acts - My Father Was a Locomotive

Monday, December 14, 2009

2009, a retrospective pt. 13


Church of Misery - Houses of the Unholy

In a year where metal became increasingly intellectualized(this is not a negative statement, just a statement.), Church of Misery delivered a long-playing disc of 70's influenced traditional southern-style doom metal. Far from being a stagnant retread, this is an album of blues-poisoned guitar solos, guitar riffs that can trace their linage to Tony Iommi but are mutated and skronky enough to stand on their own weird, wobbly legs, and enough New Orleans style sludge to sink a city. Yoshiakki Negishi's howls solidify this release as a benchmark. Play it loud. Play it often.

Church of Misery - Born to Raise Hell(Richard Speck)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

hi, we're not the mtn gts

while i work on my "you probably should listen to this shit from 2009" super-feature, here's a small thing to keep you occupied.

mountain goats fans are crazy people. you may have read about this. their forum is essentially a shrine to john darnielle's brilliance. "hi, we're not the mountain goats" is a collection of covers done by forum members, ranging from proficient musicians, to people who just picked up instruments for this project. as you can expect, the results range from "oh boy, this guy runs his school's acapella group, and they lose every competition" to "oh, shit, this is actually fairly neat." i'm going to highlight a couple that i found especially worthwhile, but i encourage you to check out the free download of this comp at www.uglythingsinthedarkness.com.

this is a remix of deianara crush, and easily the stand-out track on this complication. it's by a fellow who goes by TKurata. he sped the track up to 96 bpm, and used vocal samples as the backbeat, and it's a really really great listen. reminds me quite a bit of secret mommy.

this one is a cover of "recognition scene", by a girl who goes by the name of Sparkle, and it's lovely in it's intimacy. she strips the song down to a collection of chords, and her hushed, whispered vocals. she has a lovely voice, and i wish she'd sing a little more, but it's still stunning.

i will be honest, you will have to sift through a lot of songs recorded by people with more enthusiasm than talent, but there are at least six or seven lovely covers buried in this comp. other stand outs are "yoga"(which has one of the most unexpected, charming endings), "edward munch", "if you see light", and "song for an old friend". overall, it's a testament to the kind of devotion mr. darnielle inspires in his fans, that he has become such a force that people will pick up instruments without any prior experience, just to pay tribute to his music.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

it's so good to see mike kinsella looking happy, since most of his recorded output as owen is quietly anguished. i think this video is really lovely in a way that i can't entirely articulate. our friends are dumb, we are dumb, but we're all in this together.

he has a new album, "new leaves", and it's pretty solid. nothing extraordinary, but it's exciting to see some happier songs on there, and as always, the guitar playing is extraordinary.

this is also amazing. i've been on a huge steven von till kick since hearing his guest spot on the newest converge, and he's essentially what i always wanted nick cave to sound like. he lacks the sardonic wit of mr. cave, but to be honest, i always found that slightly grating, and much prefer the stone-faced seriousness and open spaces found in mr. von till's work. it goes without saying that "cruel bloom"(the afore-mentioned converge song) is the best song of 2009. von till's gravely voice howls a dirge-like shanty which builds in intensity until the guitars explode in the most triumphant sludge riff ever, and von till unleashes the full force of his voice. it's fucking beautiful, and certainly enough to make one pray for a neurosis/converge tour in 2010, just so this song can be played live.

pearl and the beard are exceedingly charming. this is a song about being in love on the j train(some form of new york public transportation, i assume. fucking weirdos.), and it benefits from both glockenspiel, and massive amounts of enthusiasm. i want them to come to chicago, and play in someone's living room. most of their stuff seems a little more folky than this, but this is pure twee-indie exuberance and it's wonderful. they also have a 'will smith medley' video that's worth checking out.

Monday, November 23, 2009


i have had a shitty couple of weeks, and (as previously mentioned) have been seeking solace in black metal. tonight, i got home and decided to try and burn off my anger with an intense bike ride, and i arrived home elated and ready to accomplish some things. this is part of the problem with biking to work, is you forget how much fucking fun bike riding is.

anyway. i got home and threw on my newly purchased copy of "reinventing axl rose" and i'll be damned if that record doesn't feel like hope every time it comes on.

afterwards, hot water music! i made it a no idea night.

i went to see hot water music when they played their reunion shows in chicago in 2008, and despite not being SUPER familiar with them i had a fuckin' blast.

while we're on the subject of no idea, it should be noted that they just put out a new small brown bike 7-inch, two splits by the ergs and the measure(sa), and will soon be re-releasing "hello bastards" and "jersey's best dancers" by lifetime. seriously, what a great label. in no-idea related CHICAGO news, small brown bike and bridge and tunnel will be playing the beat kitchen next week. the late small brown bike show already sold out, get tickets for the afternoon quickly!(secret, seeing b+t makes the afternoon show the obvious bet anyway.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

this is worth posting because he changes "new york" to "chicago", and let's be honest, chicago's a cooler city.

it's also a stunning reminder of how fucking brilliant this man's songs are sometimes. how he can paint heart-breaking desperation with eight lines.

on a side note, i'm glad lady gaga was not around when i was 13. fuck, are her videos a boatload of terrifyingly aggressive sexuality or what?

Friday, November 6, 2009

this week i bought the amesoeurs full-length on vinyl(order now from beneath grey skies, or reckless records. i'm not sure who else is carrying it, especially state-side.), and it is perhaps the only reason i didn't punch someone in the face. it's absolutely gorgeous, and since it's also one of the best releases of the year, i'm surprised i haven't seen more internet press on the vinyl release.

it's been a black metal week, essentially. currently i'm listening to "meaningless leaning mess" by bone awl, and it might be one of my favorite recent black metal purchases. the minimalism of it all is so... maybe soothing is the wrong word, but it strikes a calming chord within me. repetitive riffs somewhere between the tremolo picking of traditional black metal and punk rock's rawness, and lyrics terse and enigmatic at the same time.

in a day away
from now
the night will
not let go

will hold us
in a stolen victory
smiling star-wide
a trillion fireballed grin

fucking great. the new one from liturgy is up next. i haven't listened to it yet, but i trust twenty buck spin quite a bit, especially after how unexpectedly awesome that white mice record was.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

we're somewhere between


things that are happening in chicago soon that are worth going to:

november 9 is another hollows record release show. they play girl-pop heavily influenced by the 1950's, and their song "muncie, IN" is perfect. this show is free.

november 13th brings both a locrian record release show, and a protestant show. unfortunately, they are no-where near each other. bummer-sauce.

november 14th brings two shrinebuilder shows, and bomb the music industry. you CAN do both of these.

Friday, October 23, 2009

drink slow with nowhere to go

the lawrence arms are releasing a new ep entitled "buttsweat and tears", and you can hear two songs from it here. i really dig on "the slowest drink at the saddest bar on the snowiest day in the greatest city". unfortunately, i'll be missing their 10th anni show to go see a play about professional wrestling.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

jesus fucking christ.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

all i want to listen to is this, and "meaningless leaning mess" by bone awl.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

i was going to write a long letter about how much i don't like the new mountain goats, but honestly, i guess i really just want to say "i think this is my stop, i'll be getting off here."

kind of a bummer.

at least the new converge is ten thousand kinds of awesome.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"this song would have been good if the barenaked ladies hadn't written it ten years ago, when it was called the old apartment." - my friend foursquare on the new mountain goats single

i'm going to write more about the new mountain goats record, since i went to a screening of the film about(?) it tonight, but i'm sleepy right now, and i'm worried i won't articulate things as well as the mountain goats deserve.

the film is terrible, by the by. music aside, it is one excruciatingly long shot punctuated with shaky cameras, needless rotation, and cheesy lighting.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

i like this music video. though, scrambles was uneven.

no more posting, the ultimate fighter is on.

kimbo slice!

Monday, September 28, 2009

headfirst to hell

grade have posted a new song on their myspace, and... i'm weirded out a bit. it sounds a bit more... epic than their older work? i'll admit my knowledge of grade ends with under the radar, so maybe this is indicative of their last cd, but... still. i'm not really feeling this.

also, the new mountain goats album is a major letdown, musically, and lyrically. tepid in all regards.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

hopefully there will be no songs about blake losing his virginity this time around.

this is probably the best song i heard by thorns of life. it was stuck in my head my entire time in new york city, which i really should write about. i was there for nakatomi plaza's last two shows, which were incredible, and i've got a half-written article about it saved. i make no promises, but hopefully it'll be up soon. i mean to write in here more, things this month have just been oh so hectic.

Fugazi covers are neat!

also does a great cover of "blueprint". it's up at their myspace right now. i also had the great fortune of catching them this weds. at memories(the "hey buddy!" bar!), and holy shit, sir. kat's voice is enough to peel paint off walls, and the drummer(aaron) reminds me of an ent. a massive hulk of a human, destroying all that stands within his way. the whole band seemed to have some sort of psychic pain-feedback connection, and the music pushed and fought out of their frames. i left, staggered and in awe of their talent and ability to make such rending noise every night and still appear human, still smile when it was done.

their tourmates are no fucking slouches either. if you get a chance, catch the tail end of the beard destroyer tour. you will not regret it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Rural Alberta Advantage - "Edmonton" - HearYa Live Session 4/1/09 from HearYa.com on Vimeo.

the rural alberta advantage played millennium park tonight, and they were sublime, interjecting stories of alberta childhoods into their halfway between the best parts of neutral milk hotel and the decemberists indie/folk rock. they played the song in the video above, and it made my heart melt, and i still feel shook sitting here, in my room.

they are playing schuba's on september 26th. if you'd like to make it a charming canadian weekend, you can catch the weakerthans and rock plaza central the night before at the double door. i will be at both shows. come say hello.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


oh, there is also this.

new protomen song!

80's-tastic in the best way.

i did not buy any soul records

just three live bill evans lps from the end of his career, and mr. malmsteen's "rising force".

things you should be appraised of:

converge has posted a new song at their myspace, from their upcoming full-length "axe to fall". it is fucking awesome, sounding more blatantly metallic than anything they've done to date. converge was also one of the more recently announced bands for MDF, joining autopsy, portal, coffins, and a whole host more of awesome bands.

nakatomi plaza has released their final album on their website for free, donation requested. if you enjoy their angular brand of post-punk, it's more than worth your time. if you've never heard them, i'm not sure it's the best place to start("unsettled", their last long-playing disc is fantastic), but it's free. check it out. go see them on their last tour.

famine of peste noire did an interesting interview over at diabolical conquest. it's worth reading, especially if you wanted to know the story behind their demo titled "aryan supremacy". black metal, man. what a weird culture.

Friday, August 14, 2009

oh, chicago

dusty grooves america is having a sidewalk sale tomorrow, from noon to five. i will be there, attempting to educate myself as soul is something i dig on, but don't know much about. it's supposed to be hot as balls tomorrow, too. this is unfortunate.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

shellac played millennium park last night, and it was fantastic, though terribly surreal. millennium park shows always attract an eclectic crowd, with an emphasis on hipsters, and families. my friend patrick, who is the most charming misanthrope i know, was hoping that they'd play "prayer to god"(the song above) mostly to shock the parents in attendance. they did, gloriously, and with no acknowledgment that they were in the heart of downtown chicago. steve albini's screams of "just fucking kill him" echoed off the buildings and probably could be heard faintly by those dining at the yacht club near the lake. they were in rare form, tearing through classics like "copper", and newer songs like "the end of radio" and "steady as she goes". i entirely regret not paying more attention to their set at touch and go's 25th show.

shearwater opened, and while i am not the most familiar with them, their english-folk tinged indie rock histrionics were most enjoyable.

in other news, salome has posted their cover of fugazi's blueprint on their myspace. it's pretty fucking fantastic. they are also touring this september, so if you get a chance, you should check them out. one imagines they are crushing.

Monday, August 10, 2009

guess what i'm doing this weekend?

oh man, i am excited to finally see harvey danger.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

i harvest green in the city

i have seen rock plaza central twice this summer now, and both times have been sublime. rpc got some blog-notice a couple of years ago with their lurching, gospel-esque version of "sexyback" which was charmingly creepy, but their original stuff is fucking great. sounding like a weird combination of the weakerthans, the band, and a gospel choir, rpc spin tails of failure, robot horses who think they are real horses(this is actually the subject of an entire album), sex with the lights off, and wrap it all up in stirring harmonies, and lyrical quickness(no surprise, their lead singer is also an author who is currently working on a microfiction project via their twitter.) recorded they are lovely, but live they really shine, utilizing four-part harmonies, violin, mandolin, trombone, trumpet, guitar and an earnest sense of wit to bedazzle and charm.

"gutterdance" is one of my favorite songs going right now, it's on their myspace, and well worth your time, especially if you're struggling with city living, as i seem to be these days. they've just released a new album as well on paper bag records entitled "at the moment of our most needing..." it's lovely as expected, and i believe still available in limited vinyl.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

metal metal metal

metal haven is having a sale right now, 35% off their vinyl. this make imports and re-issues so much more affordable, and as a result, i spent too much money.

things picked up:
kylesa - static tensions
church of misery - houses of the unholy
pharaoh - be gone(previously written about in this VERY BLOG.)
hellchild - s/t 10-inch

stoked on all of these. bummed that i'm not sure when i get to listen to them.

now, off for hot dogs and to listen to the elton john/billy joel concert at wrigley field.

Monday, July 20, 2009

sstuffff for lisstenighn

hop along(formally hop along, queen ansleis) played my friend's house tonight, and they were charming. hop along used to just be frances quinlan and her acoustic guitar, singing songs that were somewhere between regina spektor and joanna newsom. now she rocks with a full band, and is more ginger alford than joanna newsom, and it's good stuff. anothe quinlan plays drums, and his movements were so precise and metered tonight. it made for fascinating watching, and at times he was more interesting than the rest of the band.
they're touring with p.s. eliot who are a mostly girl band with a heavy discount/jawbreaker influence, with guitar solos that sound just like something from 1970's am rock.(at least, that's what i remember thinking then.) they are also worth checking out.

this tour is headed west, so if you live west of the mississippi, keep your eyes peeled. they may hit your town(dates are at their myspaces.)

cave in has posted a steam of their new ep. you can find it here. it pretty much continues the direction "perfect pitch black" started, a weird amalgamation of "jupiter" and their first two cds. caleb scofield's vocals remain fantastic. i feel like nate newton and him must compare notes a lot.

edit: holy shit "the red trail" rips faces clean from the bone. holy shit holy shit.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


bane has posted a new song online. it sounds quite a bit like "give blood"-era bane, almost to the point of ripping themselves off? i am glad to hear more positive hardcore, since there is so much anger and rage(don't take this as shit-talking, i just like balances.) in hardcore right now.

i'll be honest, i'm stoked listening to this, despite the similarity to their earlier work.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

this, essentially. mergh.

i've been listening to a lot of really great stuff lately, and i keep meaning to post about it.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

record score

things bought today:

gods and queens - s/t($5! new!)
get rad - bastards united
get rad/call me lightning - split
burmese -
Treaties Of Greed And Filth(i remember liking this band's full-length, aversionline hates this record apparently? my verdict soon!)
millions 7-in(maybe self-titled?)
monster x - to the positive youth
yage/engrave - split
grade - self-titled
the suicide file - things fall apart($15, not horribly priced. not a steal, but i've wanted this record foreeevvver. i remember e-mailing indecision about it after the "last" suicide file show, and then not being able to scrape up $5. bummer.)

things you should be listening to that i discovered today:
so apparently office split in half and now is two bands: office, and old fake. old fake kind of sounds like office? they're good. check 'em out. they gig around chicago fairly often, i guess.(thanks, guy from forge again!)
also, deadformat.net has the father phoenix ep streaming in full at this link. the fellow who runs forge again described them as a heavier deep purple. this description is not far off. i dig it quite a bit.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


so you're bored with lightning bolt.

check out rice corpse.


they are a noise-rock/improv group from china(the glass-player is aussie. oh, yeah, there's a guy in the band who plays a amplified broken piece of glass.) and they are great. harsh growls flash over tinkly piano backed by endlessly driven drumming, and everything seems both terrifying and also tongue in cheek(one does worry about the safety of that man's tongue, to be honest).

seriously some of the coolest stuff i've heard in awhile.

Friday, July 3, 2009

here's to independence.

Monday, June 22, 2009

short post.

so the new dear landlord tracks sound a lot like off with their heads.

i see no problems with this at all.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

i am sick, unexpectedly, and as a result, i am on a weird schedule, and awake too early and listening to metal.

i'm vaguely hoping the vibrations/aggression up my immune system.

things i'm jamming:

at the gates - slaughter of the soul
like "the real thing" by fnm(which turns 20 today?), this album is responsible for a legion of terrible bands. regardless, it still fucking rules.

hellchild - most of their discography
this is a band that i feel doesn't get nearly enough love. their side of their split with converge is fucking epic, and the rest of their material is also awesome. the vocals blow me away everytime(the guy is now in SWARRRM! who are also worth your time). they kind of sound like european metalcore, early heaven shall burn/caliban style stuff, but with more guts.

also, the first hope conspiracy album. i miss that band(yes, i know they're not broken up, it's still not the same.)

hopefully i'll be feeling better for the hold steady tomorrow.

Friday, June 12, 2009

dear nana grizol

your record was one of the records i would put on when i was feeling really great, or really down in alaska, and it would improve both moods. seeing you live tonight in a tiny garage with a bunch of charming folk was fucking amazing. the encore made my life.("circles 'round the moon", and "motion in the ocean", two of my favorite songs ever).

thank you, thank you, thank you.

also, to whoever made the veggie burgers and fries, they were fucking delicious.

much love, kids.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

what the fuck!? harvey danger is breaking up!?

Friday, May 29, 2009

last night was upsetting, as i destroyed a portable hard drive with the majority of my music on it.

luckily, i spent today looking at upcoming concert listings in chicago.

dillinger four this thursday! fuck yes! also, japanther and bridge and tunnel(!!!!).

i feel much better about being a clusmy fucktard now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

we take a break from mdf coverage/recovery

i was browsing the mg boards to see if jd went to mdf or not, and found this, and man, fuckin' rules. friends, you are all slackers for not bringing this to my attention.

now, to go back to listening to sigh obsessively.

Monday, May 25, 2009

the death threats

fuck yes.
picture borrowed from returntothepit.com

MDF Day 3: Soooo tirrred

Sigh fucking ruled it, and bolt thrower played again and i skipped it.

also amazing - trap them, krallice, kill the client, antimaga, destroyer 666

fuck i'm exhausted.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


real update tomorrow...? maybe?

bolt thrower, misery index, general surgery, birdflesh, immolation, weekend nachos, pig destroyer, napalm death, rotten sound, hail of bullets, and maruta all were fucking great.

atheist was a let down. brutal truth were not really my thing.

my feet hurt a lot, but i'm still pretty awake. we skipped wolves in the throne room in favor of breakfast, and showers.

i'm gonna try to write details tomorrow.

Friday, May 22, 2009

MDF: DAY ONE: "I mean, that's kind of hot if you like the d."

Those assholes at G-bay could take fucking lessons from RyanMDF in auditory and exhaustion torture. Maryland Deathfest, for the uninitiated, is three days of fucking loud-as-shit music, black t-shirts, smelly dudes, and each day runs for an excess of twelve hours. it's fucking brutal as all get out. my friend andrew had gone in years past, and we decided in january that we were going to make the trek. i recruited my new chicago friend ryan, as he has a car, and we successfully made it to maryland yesterday, a journey almost half a year in the making.

was it worth it? even for just today, fuck yeah.

baltimore is a fucking crazy city. on the way back from attempting to buy earplugs, we turned into our friend's street, which was blocked by a big red van. normally in this situation, the big red van would NOTICE us, and move. however, the lady driving it ignored us to continue talking to the two ladies(who were accompanied by two dogs, who looked really embarrassed about their owners). then one of the ladies not in the car staggered over to the car, and leaned into the window to continue talking. eventually, they moved, but not before tossing a bag of treats to the only lady left, who yelled "THESE DOGS IS HUNGRY AS SHIT" at them as a parting note. also, we got an entire delicious chicken with two sides for $14. we consumed it with our hands(ok, i used a fork. i'm a fucking poseur.) as fits people about to embark upon an epic metal journey.

we drove to the venue, eventually found a place to park, and then began the exciting task of waiting in line. i ended up talking to two 19 year old kids from philly, and a couple from sweden who were all charming, though the 19 years weren't deathwish inc fans(fools!) upon entering the festival, i was immediately accosted by a woman who asked me if i liked naked ladies. trapped in an awkward moment, i said "NO!" which confused and stunned her, and i escaped. we later found out that MDF was sponsored by 'harm city harlots', a local burning angel/suicide girl ripoff(more on this nonsense later.)

first band:
hero destroyed: i dunno, ryan and i bought merch. best score: bolt thrower shirts!
triac: andrew and ryan liked these guys a lot. i enjoyed them, but was not overly impressed. fun sort of punky fast stuff.
jig-ai: fucking gore-grind pig squeal bullshit. offensive on a musical and thematic level. ryan and i went merch shopping again. i bought sweet black metal tapes!(skyforger, peste noire, other french black metal) the vendor loved my henchmen 24 shirt, and we had a nice talk about the ending of season three of the venture bros.

shirts worn today:
andrew - malignancy t-shirt. multiple copies spotted
ryan - burnt by the sun shirt. no copies.
ed - henchmen 24. one copy, which prompted a spontaneous "WHAT THE FUCK? I DIDN'T EXPECT THIS" exchange between myself and the other gentleman.

dethklok shirts were spotted, along with slipknot, avenged sevenfold(this guy's girlfriend was wearing a high on fire shirt. we think she dragged him. also, she's slumming), and AN AALIYAH SHIRT.

sayyadina: these guys were fun as shit. grindy stuff from current(or former, we're not sure and i'm too tired to check right now) general surgery members. sound mix wasn't great and so some of the music was lost in the sound, but the members looked like they were having the time of their life, and the music ripped. good good time. important note: the guitarist hocked a loogie into the air, and then caught it in his mouth. this is gross. grosser things happen later on.

gnostic: this was one of those bands were half the band seemed to be on a different page from the other half. one half wanted to be a tech-death metal band, and the other half wanted to be new jersey metalcore from 1998. it was a bad mix, and they were not fun to watch, so we headed outside for...

cattle decapitation: awesome stuff. their new cd is fucking killer, and they mostly played stuff from it. their lead singer is the grossest dude we saw all day, as he literally drooled all over himself. the highlight was when he hocked a loogie into the air, caught it, and slammed it onto his shirt. this also suffered from a weird sound mix, but was still fucking fun as hell.

marduk was supposed to play, but couldn't get into the country, so cephalic carnage played instead. they were fucking lame, and ryan and i walked around downtown baltimore instead. i bought a power bar. it was delicious. we caught the tail end of their set from the parking lot. they brought a guy in a weed suit out onto the stage. fucking stupid.

pigsty: holy shit. this fucking RULED. grindy shit with three different styles of vocals(ree-ree stuff, screeching, and death growls), and a lot of near-breakdowns that slammed back into blasting. totally awesome, totally fun, and i really kind of want to check out the czech grind scene now.

mayhem - worst band of the day. terrible sound(one of the guitars sounded like it was cutting in and out consistently, like wha-wha kind of.), and boring as heck. super bummed about this. instead of watching these guys, we wandered around, and bought more shit. i found the new kill the client on vinyl. stoked! after this, we were browsing the willowtip table, when the merch girl said "buy $20 of merch, and i'll take my pants off. i'll take my shirt off, and i'll take the best picture of your life." i replied, having been propositioned earlier in the evening, "man, why's everyone forcing naked ladies on me at this place?" she revealed that she was one of the harm city harlots, and then tried to figure out why i didn't want to see her breasts. i tried to explain that i just didn't really want to see naked people at the metal show, and she came to the conclusion that i must be gay, or in her words "that's pretty strong evidence for you liking the d." she went on to justify that that'd be hot if i did, but... still...

terrible alt-porn lady, you made me uncomfortable in ways that the gore-grind band could not accomplish.

apparently she did this to a lot of 'customers'.

we caught a bit of withered, who were a surprise addition, and it was enjoyable, but muddy, and the other two liked it more than i did. i like their album enough, but weird sound mixes bother me more than i'd like, really.

asphyx: fucking awesome, probably my favorite set of the day. asphyx play old-school straight ahead death metal with not a whole lot of complications. they're like a machine set to pummel, not puree(ala pigsty). wreck your fucking neck. awesome stage presence, awesome music, there was everything to love about this.

afterwords, we wandered around, caught 30 seconds of venomous concept(consensus: we're tired, and these guys aren't as good as asphyx, which is not a fair comparision, really.) we then left, ate at mcdonalds, and came back here.

awards of the day:

cutest girl: girl who had a cute purse with fruit on it, and the same wolves in the throne room shirt as i have. ponytail, brown hair, attractive ear piercings. too bad her boyfriend was slobbery and bearded.

cutest boy: hmm. this is harder. probably andrew.

worst shirt: either the "it'll hurt if you don't swallow... BITCH!!!" devourment shirt, or the "high on queef" shirt for an unknown band. both atrocious.

best shirt: this friend of andrew's had a fucking AWESOME coffins shirt. really simple, just the logo, but classy. there was also a great breather resist shirt i saw with a cat.

douchest guy: there was a guy with slicked back hair, and a volcom shirt next to us during cattle decap. he danced ironically, and was easily the most punchable human being i've met in awhile, maybe since last march. goddamn, i hated him.

dumbest people: easily the guy in the chicken suit. it was fucking hot as balls!

shit bought:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the lucksmiths are breaking up! what the fuck!

last one.

heaven and hell - bible black


bomb the music industry! - saddr weirdr
grade - a year in the past, forever in the future
jason anderson - this will never be our town
cancer bats - pma until i'm doa


end of a year - robert e. howard
andrew jackson jihad - people II: the reckoning
canadian rifle - live infected
clutch - electric worry


lord mantis - spawning the nephilim
horrific - brain drain
the carrier - hello uncertainty
fall out boy - chicago is so two years ago
coke bust - countdown to death


disappearer - a skull full of bats
john brown battery - wheels in motion
the weakerthans - a new name for everything
the replacements - alex chilton


wolves in the throne room - crystal ammunition
woody guthrie - i ain't got no home in the world anymore
the world/inferno friendship society - and embarked on a life of poverty and freedom


streetlight manifesto - a better place, a better time
superchunk - animated airplanes over germany
the lucksmiths - abdication!
nakatomi plaza - miguel
narrows - i give you six months


modern life is war - a tale of two cities
the suicide file - mission hill party
the mountain goats - going to alaska

Monday, May 11, 2009

minor comments

a) blacklodge is tight as hell. industrial black metal may offend the purists, but it makes both 8th-grade me and now-me giddy with joy.
b) when did the bad plus get a vocalist? their version of 'comfortably numb' makes me happy. the piano does a sort of final fantasy(the game, not the band) style run behind some of the lyrics and it's super great.
c) good luck still rules the goddamn school. GREAT summer record. seriously.

may 9th, is so nice

blacklodge - 11rd eye chemistry
black dove - why do babies cry
high on fire - blood from zion(live)
bane - hoods up


atom and his package - me and my black metal friends(live)
the hope conspiracy - three year suicide
i hate you - one too many
jawbreaker - into you like a train
killdozer - sweet home alabama(ls cover, live)


kiss the anus of a black cat - salt
latterman - too many emo days
mercyful fate - the oath
lifetime - (the gym is) neutral territory
the lucksmiths - a sobering thought(just when one was needed)


modern life is war - midnight in america
most giganticus - clones(we're all)
motive - the crooked stick and its divine music box
the modern machines - the right girl


dapnom - myteriesusement sonore
blacklisted - eye for an eye(live at burning fight)
opeth - porcelain heart
noothgrush - dianoga


propagandhi - dear coach's corner
portraits of past - sticks together
powerglove - omnishred(we're gonna need a bigger sword)


playing enemy - the end of something

and i'm lame at updating. may 2nd

the weakerthans - utilities
good luck - 1001 open hands
julie doiron - spill yer lungs
defiance, ohio - you are loved
ben nichols - hey darling, do you gamble?


austin lucas - go west
bomb the music industry - happy anterrabae day!!!
the riot before - you can't sexy dance to punk rock
superchunk - hyper enough


the unlovables - dance party for two(yr room, 3 am)
tullycraft - the punks are writing love songs
the ergs! - kind of like smitten(live)
the gaslight anthem - blue jeans and white t-shirts
the hold steady - ask her for adderall(live)


trial - are these our lives?
cancer bats - deathsmatch
husker du - something i learned today
jawbreaker - chesterfield king
kid dynamite - heart a tact


the lawrence arms - another boring story
lifetime - records at nite
the measure(sa) - fourth of july
the misfits - hybrid moments


one king down - god loves, man kills
off with their heads - splendid isolation(warren zevon cover)
otis redding - wonderful world
piebald - grace kelly with wings(live)
parenthetical girls - love connection


paul baribeau - falling in love with your best friend
the postal service - the distract sleeps alone tonight

Thursday, April 30, 2009

black ships consume

so there's a new current 93 album coming out on May 18th. Andrew WK and Sasha Grey guest, with vocal appearances by both.

what do andrew wk, sasha grey, and david tibet TALK about?
this whole thing blows my mind.

i'm going to write to drag city and see if they can shed any light on this crazy situation.(baby dee is also on the album, and drag city is her label.)


this was fun. april 25th, 2009

integrity - vocal test/hollow
amesoeurs - gas in veins
world inferno friendship society - leni riefenstahl at the end of time
insect warfare - necessary death


obscura - orbital elements
nachtmystium - the antichrist messiah
johnny hobo and the freight trains - church hymn for the condemned
kite flying society - on stars our dreams are born
made out of babies - the major


outlaw order - safety off
peste noire - la mesniee mordrissoire
blind blake - blind arthur's breakdown
blind guardian - mirror mirror


bound by entrails - across the dead night sky
drowningman - code breaking hearts
botch - to our friends in the great white north
hellchild - the scent of summer rain
internal affairs - nightbreed


high on fire - hung, drawn and quartered
khanate - clean my heart
electro quarterstaff - somethings awry in the hetfield of dreams


iced earth - when the night falls

Sunday, April 19, 2009

left 4 dead's survival pack comes out tuesday. get stoked.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


i love shorebirds more than most folks, i imagine, but i am so stoked to hear matt camino sing positive songs again.

you should get your hands on this seven-inch.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

bob dylan wrote propaganda songs

best "hey, let's have sex 'cause we're horny teenagers" song ever.

well, except for maybe this one:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

dear ron mcclane, i wouldn't bother with these questions if i didn't sense some spiritual connection

heaven and hell - bible black
the hope conspiracy - violent and grey
hour of the wolf - spit it right back
infernal war - crush the tribe of jesus christ


agoraphobic nosebleed - hung from the rising sun
shai hulud - love is the fall of every man
blood for blood - anywhere but here
bridge and tunnel - grace for these wayward hearts
the melvins - the bit(live)


brutal truth - powder burn
cannibal corpse - a cauldron of hate
melt banana - if it is the deep sea, i can see you there
life long tragedy - this year's disease
psyched to die - onward armageddon


poison the well - 12/23/93
melechesh - leper jerusalem
graf orlock - deluxe mental hospital tour
millions - life is satisfactory


mose giganticus - mr. roboto
shorebirds - gonna get ugly
until your heart stops - digging holes
skeletonwitch - limb from limb
propaghandi - the bangers embrace


rvivr - plenty of time
o'death - nimrod's son(pixies cover)
ghostlimb - scimitar
spanish bombs - broken
harm's way - warriors will reign


graves at sea - red monarch
church of misery - badlands(charles starkweather & caril fugate)


sabertooth zombie - lady death is into hotrods and meth addicts
the rural alberta advantage - don't haunt this place

radio show musings.

on the sort of subject of black sabbath, the new album by heaven and hell(the dio-years black sabbath reunited business) leaked. i've only really listened to the lead single("bible black") and my initial impression was not great, and then the riff kicked in, and i was reminded why black sabbath is not strictly a band, but more an engine of destruction. fuck, man. the band just destroys, regardless of whatever nonsense babbling their lead singer is layering over it. this is not meant to write off dio. dio is fantastic, and sounds menacing as all get out detailing the tragic story of a man trapped by a book that should never be read(at least, until you concentrate on the words). anyway. i'm hopeful for the rest of the album, but at least we got one great single.

relapse is fuckin' holding it down this year so far. buried inside, agoraphobic nosebleed, obscura, and brutal truth all put out stellar fucking albums that every metal head should go out and buy right goddamn now, especially the AN.

you should probably listen to psyched to die. their debut seven-inch is out now on firestarter/grave mistake records, and it's fucking awesome. it's mikey erg, jay hunchback, brian g.(from for science), and chris frump(from fast times) and they play thrashy caustic punk rock that is tons of fun.

playlist soon. tonight's show has been a lot of fun so far.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

man, nofx fucking sucks.

Monday, April 6, 2009

not a shocking list, really.

"Think of 15 albums that had such a profound effect on you that they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that -- no matter how they were received by the critics -- shaped YOUR world. When you finish, tag 15 others if that makes you happy. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill."

ooh, a facebook meme. it's music related, and may give ya'll an idea where i'm coming from/a chance to bash my taste. i can only do 14. sorry.

jethro tull - aqualung
this is the first album i can really remember loving, and it's mostly because of the last song "wind up". i mean, one cannot deny the thundering power of the title track, or 'hymn 43', or 'locomotive breath'. but it is the quiet rejection of societal expectations of 'wind up' that always stuck with me the most. church was never part of my life growing up personally, but being a quiet studious nerd, i ran with a lot of christian kids and this album helped me articulate and eventually understand why organized religion always seemed terrifying to me. is it a stretch to say that it was this sort of dissatisfaction with the accepted norm that led me to punk rock, and the musicianship on this album led me to metal? maybe. but i think it's not without truth, either.

the who - tommy
this, along with "aqualung", are both albums i inherited a love for from my father. his love for music was something that pervades even my earliest memories. i remember riding in his classic chevy(i forget the year, i was never any good with cars)and listening to the radio and he knew all the words, and i thought that was about the coolest thing ever. he really loved this album, and while it has taken a back seat to other who albums in my preferred listening line-up, it still looms large in my listening history. i have memories of taking this record out of my dad's collection and playing it clumsy, placing the needle on the groove(god, my dad must have been so patient to let a dumb kid ruin his records), and reading along with the lyrics, marveling at the spiked fists on the inside cover. so i suppose this is one of the first albums that allowed me to view music as an artifact, as something in and of it's own right, not just something to fill up empty space.

they might be giants - flood
i have no idea how i found they might be giants, but i do know this is the first cd i ever bought. it was probably on one of my periodic audiogalaxy/napster binges, and their weird, dark take on pop seemed perfect for a kid yearning to be different but not too different. one of my favorite parts of the fantasy novels i devoured as a young kid was always the all-knowing wizard, and music like this, filled with references to greek mythology, and german cities i've still never been to, allowed me to both expand what i expected from music and my knowledge of the world at large and maybe get one step closer to that shrewd warlock from those cliched books.

the dillinger escape plan - calculating infinity
i will admit i had a brief nu-metal phase. however, it was brought on mostly by MTV and napster, and so i never really listened to anything but singles for those three dark months. eventually, i found my way to this, and fuck. jesus fucking christ. how are you supposed to go back to fucking drop-d chug-chug-chug 'i hate my life' bullshit after a fucking neutron bomb like this? i spent too much of my time learning the words to '43% burnt' when DEP was looking for a vocalist, and recording abysmal attempts. man. the follies of youth. anyway. this fucking album kills, and introduced me to other bands like deadguy, botch, creation is crucifixion, and was pretty instrumental in getting me to go to local shows, and listen to loud music and suchlike.

bane - it all comes down to this
this is the album that got me into hardcore, and it is still as powerful as it was the first time i heard it in 2002. between the fierce metal background screams, to the beautiful acoustic guitar interludes, this seriously challenged what i expected from music. top it all off with aaron's tremendously intelligent lyrics, and this album still wows me when i put on it to this day. "a place in the sun" is one of the best songs ever, and the part where aaron sings "or how badly i miss my mother" and builds to "or how much i've come to LOVE! MY! FATHER!" and then the back-up vocals kick in, and goddamn. the idea that heavy music could deal with more than anger was eye-opening.

the suicide file - twilight
of course, there's nothing wrong with anger. boston hardcore defined most of my high school/college years, and this album was a huge part of that. i can remember listening to the suicide file's demo tape over and over and once this album came out, it was entrenched in my listening habits immediately. writing hardcore songs that were as catchy as they were furious, the suicide file eloquently captured my disgust with most of my 'peers' and with the way the world seemed to work. the last time i saw this band i was screaming so loudly i almost threw up three-fourths of the way through their set.

godspeed you black emperor! - fa#oo
sometimes punk songs won't take you where you need to go. post-rock is a mostly bullshit tag for a mostly full of shit genre, but this album is fucking flawless, and is one of the reasons why i have the attention span to sit and listen to black metal, and noise. the opening track('dead flag blues') is maybe one of my favorite pieces of music ever, mostly for how the entire piece sucks you into this morass of despair, a post-apocalyptic landscape of broken cars and scorched bones, and then at the end there is this charming uplifting melody, and you can hope again, and that's what i love about it. no matter how shitty things get, there is light at the end.

the mountain goats - tallahassee
unless, of course, you're the alpha couple, john darnielle's personification of every shitty thing about love, and hate, and the focus of 'tallahassee'. 'tallahassee' was the first mountain goats album i ever heard. i had heard it compared to 'who's afraid of virginia woolf?' by edward albee(a play i was directing at the time), and as i was having issues entering into the proper state of mind, trying to understand what kept george and martha together, this album seemed like a possible entry-way to that mindset. while albee's characters are not the alpha couple, the emotional underpinnings are very similar. this was one of the early studio mountain goats albums, and you can tell. some of the songs feel weirdly over-produced, and clunky. however, the mountain goats quickly became and consistently remain one of my favorite groups ever, and the things i love about them(the way john illuminates complex social situations with simple, repetitive lyrics being the primary reason) are in full display here.

modern life is war - my love, my way
modern life is war was one of the best bands of my generation, and their debut album is filled with anger and hunger and fury and was the soundtrack to the last five years of my life. i have words from this album etched into my skin. i've seen this band more than any other, and have gone to the greatest efforts to see them(booking them at my school, convincing people to drive from beloit to chicago to see them, driving from chicago to marshalltown with someone i barely knew to see their final show) this album is almost entirely flawless("war" is a song i'm not a huge fan, but it would provide a hint to their evolution into hardcore's masters of tension) and songs like "first and ellen" and "a tale of two cities," songs that understand how absolutely fucked things can get, and still, still in the face of all that darkness provide a glimpse of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel are few and far between, and should be treasured. this band could be your life.

bomb the music industry! - goodbye cool world
this is the album that made me think maybe ska wasn't strictly shit like the blue meanies and the aquabats, that perhaps adding horns to punk didn't just take the bite out of it. bitter, sarcastic, and genre-hopping(though there are plenty o' horns and ska guitar parts), "goodbye cool world" eased the transition from college kid to productive member of society by reassuring me that everyone else was going through the same self-doubt bullshit, and giving me a catchy soundtrack to dance along to. ain't no shame in bein' poor.

lucero - that much further west...
i went through the whole "i listen to everything but country and rap" and this album changed the country part, at least. i mean, like most things, it was the punky background that hooked me, but i stayed for the bitter yet hopeful lyrics and the rousing sing-a-longs and the glimpses into worlds i'd never seen before(bars, motel room trysts, real regret, distance, forgiveness). i will also credit this band for getting me into jawbreaker, which i cannot thank them enough for.

against me! - reinventing axl rose
whatever this becomes
whatever words I say
we are the fortunate ones...
and when the days are done
i won't forget
i don't agree with where this band has gone, but this album made me believe in myself, in other people, and in the idea of reconstruction. i probably wouldn't be playing guitar or trying to write music right now if it wasn't for this album. it also taught me that all our heroes are only human.

paul and ginger - darkness at the edge of town
i love bruce springsteen, but there was a time when i didn't. this charming folk-punk duo and their energetic takes on classic bruce songs introduced me to the idea of re-examining music i'd written off, placing it within it's proper context(NOT CLASSIC ROCK RADIO. ugh.), and finding value in places i hadn't expected it to be. it's also very tied to certain places and people, and just hearing their version of 'thunder road' takes me to a winter's day where everything was closed except a card store and the only cure for the cold was spicy soup from asia. that kind of memorytie is hard to find, and valuable to me, and so this album is important. it's also just so charming because these songs have been stripped down to their words and two acoustic guitars, and while the e street band fucking rules, bruce pens songs that fight through on the backs of their convinctions, of their words, and all of that is on full display here.

converge - petitioning the empty sky
jane doe is my favorite album by this band, but this is the one i heard first, and still, the weirdness and sadness of it is affecting and brings me back to my first adventures in punk and metal. the opening track, "the saddest day" is seven minutes of unmatched fury, but not too far from the rage and complexity i'd heard in previous bands. it was songs like "albatross" and "buried but breathing" with their openness and emotive qualities that stuck with me. jacob bannon's lyrics were also more metaphorical than the majority of what i was listening, paving the way for more intellectual lyricists, like the afore-mentioned mountain goats. i don't mean to harp on the idea of intelligent heavy music, but i do feel blessed that i started(or found rather quickly) such shining examples of what heavy music could mean(dep, converge, bane, etc) instead of getting mired in the self-loathing/sub-moronic abyss of most pop-metal.

i'm going to reserve the 15th slot for bands that have affected my outlook/musical appreciation level, but i can't pick one album by.

examples: the weakerthans, the hold steady, tullycraft, the lucksmiths, jawbreaker

mmm. in other news, i really cannot stop listening to the thorns of life bootleg. aside from the "first time", it's really fucking good.

call 'em april babies, 'cause they fools

deathspell omega - chaining the katechon


kill the client - consumption is intoxication
the lawrence arms - 100 resolutions
black kites - laundry room
the gaslight anthem - i'da called you woody, joe


agoraphobic nosebleed - white on white crime
die my will - golden calf
deadguy - die with your mask on
the saddest landscape - the weight of the world, and every dress you ever wore


neuropathia - high on nicotine
paint it black - check yr math
tea man with tea gum - music for kids without any
watchmaker - irrational hate soaked fury


a wilhelm scream - william blake overdrive
cancer bats - smiling politely
the year of our lord - porcelain
this is hell - cement shoes


pig destroyer - girl in the slayer jacket
apartment 213 - endless killing
palehorse - bleed the sheep
aura noir - unleash the demon
razor of occam - heat of battle


revocation - suffer these wounds
converge - grim heart/black rose
the hold steady - killer parties(live)

Saturday, April 4, 2009


today was the ktoo record sale, and i spent $31.

i picked up:
the mothers of invention - freak out!
an asian bootleg of paranoid by black sabbath
the boredoms - soul discharge
john fahey - the transfiguration of blind joe death
and a bunch of other fantastic stuff.

as i listen to the crackly quiet bootleg of paranoid, i'm struck by how fucking primal and intuitive this band is. i got in an argument last night with someone about how understanding something intuitively doesn't indicate intelligence, and i feel like black sabbath is a good example of this. i am not trying to call the members dumb, mind you, but songs like "war pigs" or "iron man" display a kind of sly empathy, no brains required. the lyrics are curtains on a stained glassed view of the dark things crawling around everyone's brain. no overthinking, no pretense, just the distillation of bad energy through four unfortunate brains.

the boredoms album is quite choice as well.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


i saw them play this song in a tiny studio apartment in brooklyn, with a close friend of mine, and while it has never really actually applied to my life, it's always weirdly resonated with me.

i miss the ergs!

marching out like lions.

the misfits - astro zombies(live)
blacklisted - tourist(live)
converge - you fail me
amesoeurs - heurt


the lawrence arms - quincentuple your money
like bats - hellbound
black flag - i've had it/nervous breakdown(live)
matt and kim - daylight
pestilence - dehydrated II


the replacements - i will dare
the replacements - left of the dial(live)
against me! - bastards of young(replacements cover)
justin townes earle - can't hardly wait(replacements cover)
lucero - if only you were lonely(replacements cover)


buried inside - II
wolf whistle - california sun
gorguts - nostalgia
convicted - only the strong
destroyer 666 - clenched fist
embrace today - hope


dillinger four - a jingle for the product
tombs - beneath the toxic jungle
brutal truth - bob dylan wrote propaganda songs(the minutemen)


hatebreed - doomsayer
jawbreaker - chesterfield king(live)
imadethismistake - friends and enemies
the hope conspiracy - violent and grey
the honor system - the sound of sinking


bomb the music industry! - the soul crushing northeast
bomb the music industry! - can i pay my rent in fun?
bomb the music industry! - i'm a panic bomb, baby!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

le sigh.

mastodon's cover of "just got paid".

entirely unneeded.

at least we'll always have the rapeman version.

Friday, March 27, 2009

sometimes i forget

sin fang bous is a band from iceland, and i don't know a thing about them except that i really think this cover of "landslide" is dreamy.

for more sounds, click here.

march onwards~!(21st.)

thorns of life - i hate new york(live)
streetlight manifesto - a better place, a better time
the riot before - i have my books
saves the day - always ten feet tall


absu - ...of the dead who never rest in their tombs are the attendance of familiar spirits including: a.) diversified signs inscribed b.) our earth of black c.) voor
give up the ghost - young hearts be free tonight
andrew jackson jihad - 2 headed boy(neutral milk hotel cover)
jena berlin - foolish optimism


mayhem - buried by time and dust
napalm death - larceny of the heart
olehole - chimps night out
meshuggah - this spiteful snake


gwar - the reaganator
obscura - orbital elements
threadbare - feed
prostitute disfigurement - killing for company


coroner - sirens
protestant - a smaller world
tunng - bullets
the carrier - epilogue: forgiveness
a trunk full of dead bodies - finger in your throat


cattle decapitation - tooth enamel and concrete
buried inside - V
champion - the truth


coffins - the frozen styx