Tuesday, August 31, 2010
When the lights go up around the :39 second mark, check out my man on wheels. Motherfucker was in the pit THE ENTIRE SHOW.
All hail the king of the pit.
Monday, August 30, 2010
.....not much of an auspicious first post, i know, but TRUST ME, I have some KILLER posts to come!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
1970's- A futuristic solar powered van shoots laser beams at cops. HELL YEAH.
I'm sorry, sweet ass vans, wet t-shirt contests, mustache rides and CHARLES BUKOWSKI?!?!
I hope your rolling a sweet doob of brick-seeds and all,relaxing in your short shorts and cracking a fresh Hamm's ahhhhhh SUNDAY.
Everybody’s got their one band that they think, “These guys should have been huge! They had it all, but they were SHOT DOWN AND IGNORED BY THE SAME CONFORMIST SHEEP THAT EMBRACED THAT SAME STYLE WHEN IT BECAME TRENDY 10 YEARS LATER, WAAAHHHHHH.”
And you know which band is MY “Waaaahhh” band?
STEEL POLE BATH TUB!!!!
Just from the name you might think they were some kind of joke psychedelic band like butthole surfers or caroliner rainbow or tragic mulatto.
And that would have been cool: all those bands were the shit. Sometimes literally.
But ? though it would have been easy for Steel Pole Bath Tub to join that scene ? they got down in their own way. They took the trouble to write actual songs, and although their shit was very chaotic and layered, it seemed (to me anyway) that every little bit was thought out and controlled with the control-freak finesse of Zappa. They were also one of those bands like CRIME or CELTIC FROST that did all their own graphics, so it wasn’t just music: when you bought their stuff it was like you were entering a whole other world.
Very few bands hit on all levels: blazing technical parts, super passionate, sweat-soaked live performances, creativity, hella dynamics between slow/fast/loud/soft , AND catchiness. I can count these bands: opeth, (wait, no, their live show is not passionate) dillinger (wait, they are the opposite of catchy), nomeansno (wait, they’re Canadian). . . hmmm, I guess that just leaves Bad Brains and Steelpole!
What Steelpole had that Bad Brains didn’t, though, was madd avant-garde technology. It wasn’t enough that the lyrics had elaborate storylines (seems like they went through a phase where they’d try to write a whole noir detective novel per song!), not only did they have layers of feedback (something that is impossible with all today’s protools/pod6/myspace/plug-my-guitar-into-the-computer bands) and crazy fast parts, BUT on top of all THAT, they would plop several layers of noise and sound-effect loops. They had enough gear to start their own noise band. Tape loops from the most obscure sources and thrift-shops in 9 states, home-made noise-boxes, and samples.
The guitarist was amazing: he could blaze out some crazy technical riffs, but he’d get so pissed-off, he’d stop in mid riff and just feed back or play a little improv bit because HE WAS EMOTIONALLY CARRIED AWAY. The drummer looked exactly like the lisping non-sequitur-saying guy from all the Airplane movies, and brought madd jazzy skills to the “tribal drums” thing that was popular at the time. The bassist was totally intense and cute. Dudes would come out looking normal: jeans and t-shirts. Then the feedback would come. Then the odd scraping nosie loops, the whole din of the naked city in your face. Then the voodoo drums would start. . . then guitar bits would come in. Quietly at first. Dudes would take turns singing about lost loves and back-stabbed detectives, runaway secret agents, bleeding hearts and Manson conspiracies. The tension would build, the drums would get louder, sweat would pour. Dudes would stomp on pedals and suddenly pre-recorded voices would echo out the speakers. Then : BOOM- the chorus would explode in a frenzy of catharsis, releasing all the built-up tension. And they did this shit on basically every song.
These guys had crazy dynamics way before pixies, noise loops way before neurosis, were emotional before whoever the fuck does that now, and were gay way before lady gaga. And then they broke up.
Aah, fuck it. What are YOUR top WAAAAHH!!! bands?
And oh yeah:
STEELPOLE ALL UP IN HERE.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thanks for the Free reign of terror(or blogger invite) Crankenstien from Crankytown back again here to talk about drug related 70's flicks let's get started:
The 70's were an incredible time for movies that were only green lit by studio executives under either mass hypnosis, jedi mind tricks or tons of pcp! How else can you explain films like Demon Seed (Julie Christie gets raped by an evil computer),The Manitou(Tony Curtis battles a midget demon that hatches out of Susan Strasberg's back), or The Visitor which attempts to combine Damien: Omen 2 and Close Encounters. It has a stellar cast of professionals, almost like a disaster movie. How can you have Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Sam Peckinpah, Franco Nero as Jesus? Lance Henrickson and Shelly Winters all in the same giant italian turd sandwhich! DRUGS! or a free trip to Italy I guess. It's awesome check out this home made trailer.
All of these movies were obviously made to capitalize on Rosemary's Baby/ Carrie and The Exorcist and would never work in a thousand years. They still don't work and like Beetlejuice said "I've seen the exorcist remade a hundred times and it keeps getting shittier everytime I see it!" Little kid CPR dummies being thrown through windows always seems to give me a chuckle so it's got that going for it. I hear that Code Red is putting it out in a few months but I wrote this review and I have even seen it? It could be amazing who knows?
(This Shelly Winters doll says it all about the 70's)
it's got the smaltziest blaxploitation flavored soundtrack it kicks ass!
(this CD contains another soundtrack so skip to track Stridulum)
Friday, August 27, 2010
OK, OK. I admit to Googling "illogical contraption" every once in awhile, which is kind of pathetic, even though something amazing like THIS shows up occasionally. But it is a newer Google feature, rather than my own self-serving internet habits, that I'd like to discuss today, namely the "pages similar to..." section added to the search engine a couple months back.
Let's take a look at what Google, statistically, considers "similar" to our beloved IllCon: MetalSucks, Bazillion Points, Metal Inquisition, Stuff You Will Hate. Hmmm...
Not bad, I guess, but I can see one rather obvious feature we offer the unwashed masses that these other guys don't: FREE MUSIC. That's right, myself and the other writers here at ICHQ risk life, limb, and unending persecution by the RIAA day in and day out to keep YOU, the reader, on the cutting edge of music circa 1993. You guys really don't even deserve a blog as awesome as Illogical Contraption. Really.
(I personally resent the comparison to Stuff You Will Hate, who I consider to be the Claire's Boutique of the Great Mall of Music Blogging. But whatevs.)
But it's not just the awesome music downloads, is it? Name another metal specialty blog that has the balls to reveal the truth about the NWO reptilian shapeshifter conspiracy or even draw parallels between black metal and a Lyssianasid amphipod living beneath the Antarctic ice shelf. Shit, who else ANYWHERE even has coloring contests anymore?
Nobody but us, baby. Again, you = not worthy. Us = AWESOME.
My point is this: Illogical Contraption is waaaay better than those other shitty blogs, and we deserve a bigger audience. WAY bigger. So how to go about it?
Well, for one, you fucking mind vampires could make an effort to share IllCon with a friend or family member every now and then--I mean, it's the least you can do for a bunch of Bros that have sacrificed so much for you and your listening pleasure. No guilt trips though.
I'll share a secret with you: right around IllCon's first year anniversary, I made a real and concentrated effort to double this blog's readership. And it worked, too. Consult the statistics. So with new writers coming aboard and new readers swarming like insects to a bug-zapper, I think it's possible to double our readership again before IC's 2nd. We've still got a couple months. Let's make it happen.
Allow me to share another image with you fuckers:
not really related
But enough with the fucking cheerleading. Let's get to Part 2 of How IllCon Will Take Over The World. In the spirit of Total Internet Dominance, I have embraced a necessary evil--that foul, wretched Big Brother-esque overlord of a social network known as Facebook. I know reactions will be mixed to such a rash and bold maneuver, but hey, I'm a rogue, a maverick. I DON'T PLAY BY THE RULES.
So yeah, IC is on FB. You can now follow IllCon on Facebook's NetworkedBlogs application, or you can go straight to the IC Facebook page and "like" it to start getting posts added to your news feed, OR you can just click on that shiny new button over there in the right sidebar. So many options!
I know what you're thinking already: "Isn't this against the IC Mission Statement? Isn't an IllCon Facebook page a concept totally contrary to the principles this blog was based upon? After all, and I qoute: "Illogical Contraption will never "tweet" at you, nor will we ever ask you to join any stupid groups on Facebook." What gives, Cobras?"
Well, I'm not asking you to join anything, technically. I'm just telling you that it exists, and that all the COOL KIDS are doing it. So there.
Please help spread the disease.
Anyways, today is probably the worst possible day to publish a post about "expanding" IllCon, as I'm leaving town forthwith and will be absent from the digital world for at least a week. But hey, Contributing Writers: I'm leaving the keys to the Lamborghini right here on the kitchen counter. Whatever happens, happens.
Allow me to share one last image with you fuckers:
Keep it br00tal while I'm gone. See you in a week.
The Elevators were vocal proponents of LSD, mescaline (peyote), DMT and marijuana use, and were subject to extra attention from police. In 1969, Erickson was arrested for possession of one marijuana joint in Austin. Facing a ten-year prison term, Erickson pled not guilty by reason of insanity. He was first sent to the Austin State Hospital. After several escapes, he was sent to the Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he was subjected to more electroconvulsive therapy and Thorazine treatments, ultimately remaining in custody until 1972."
Roky Erickson and the Explosives live in Oslo - 2007
Book of Roky Lyrics
You're Going to Miss Me on DVD
Long live the Rok.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
All you kids out there making "noise" music or whatever need to just back the fuck up and soak in something REALLY abstract and messed up (yeah what's up NOW Peter?). David Lynch's first "feature" film was not conventional by any means, and the score he produced for it (in collaboration with sound editor/designer Alan R. Splet) is every bit as dark and disturbing as the film it represents--full of screeching, lurching ambient noise, cries from The Baby Thing, disjointed dialogue, and odd, out-of-place organ pieces (originally composed by Fats Waller). Although the sounds contained herein were originally produced in 1977, these recordings did not see proper digital release until 30 years later, after Lynch's legacy had firmly established itself.
This album is exceedingly freaky, scarier than anything any black metal poser could crank out, an airless submersion into utter psychosis. LEARN.
IN HEAVEN EVERYTHING IS FINE (dl)
Splet Wiki / Lynch Wiki
Mitch Hedberg pioneered the oft-neglected subgenre of Stoner Comedy, a brand of stand-up chock full of one-liners, stupid wordplay, and subject matter often involving food, candy, drugs, and more food. Similar in spirit to earlier comics such as Steven Wright and Henny Youngman, Hedberg's "outsider" slant won him a good-sized cult following before his untimely drug-related death in 2005 at the age of 37. This guy cracks me up. If you smoke weed or are just entertained by really mundane, stupid things (I'm in the second group), you should check Mitch out.
Here are 2 live albums from the guy who brought you such classics as:
"A burrito is a sleeping bag for ground beef."
"I went to a record store, they said they specialized in hard-to-find records. NOTHING WAS ALPHABETIZED!"
"My belt holds up my pants and my pants have belt loops that hold up the belt. What the fuck’s really goin on down there? Who is the real hero?"
"My girl works at Hooters, in the kitchen."
"If you're watchin' a parade, make sure you stand in one spot, don't follow it, it never changes. And if the parade is boring, run in the opposite direction, you will fast-foward the parade."
"'I like sandwiches with three pieces of bread'. 'Me too!'. 'We should form a club.'
"I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too."
"I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long."
"I ordered a chicken sandwich but I think the waitress misunderstood me because she said, 'How would you like your eggs?' So I tried to answer her anyhow. I said 'Incubated, and then raised, and then beheaded, and then plucked and then cut up then put onto a grill then put onto a bun. Shit, it's gonna take awhile. I don't have time, scrambled!'"
"I think the entrance to Target should have people splattered all around."
"If carrots got you drunk, rabbits would be fucked up."
MITCH ALL TOGETHER (2004)
STRATEGIC GRILL LOCATIONS (2003)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I'm OLD. OLD OLD OLD. As I might have mentioned, the domain we refer to as "modern metal" is a place that frightens and confuses me, a place that's full of loud noises and bright, disorienting images that fail to appeal to an old codger like myself--which in fact drive me away, repulsed, quicker than a Port-O-Potty full of Tenderloin crackheads. I can't relate to most things happening around me in the music world. But there are some pretty rad things going on too. Today, we'll talk about both.
I posted several of my observations on the state of modern metal back in early May, in a piece that I randomly titled 'Observations on The State of Modern Metal'. I broke it down pretty thoroughly for y'all, from my tendency to shy away from "new releases" to my unending appreciation for "the classics" (Obituary, Deicide, Carcass, etc.) to my complete and utter disgust with those who consider themselves "critics" (I respect all opinions, dudes, but so many years of having your head so firmly placed within your own ass has left a thick doodoo residue in your eardrums. You can't truly appreciate METAL in such a state). If you'd like, head back and refresh your memory on that last post. Use it as a 'Part 1' to what I'm about to drop on you today. Or don't. I won't be offended, I'm super chill.
I meant for the last post to be more about trends and curiosities in the metal scene these days but, as usual, my elderly mind began to wander and I just started talking about new bands that I like and new bands that I hate. Today, I will hold no such pretense. We're here to talk shit (be it good or bad) about BANDS right now. MODERN BANDS. And yes, MOST modern bands suck ass. This much cannot be denied. But as I said, I've heard some really good new stuff that I want to share with you. So shut the fuck up for a minute and let an old man talk.
Let's begin (approximately) where we left off:
Their music pumps my nads, but as performers they make me feel incredibly awkward. This is, of course, a good thing.
Last time around, I was eagerly anticipating the new Brain Drill release Quantum Catastrophe, an album that proved itself to be a solid entry into their smallish catalog despite an almost-complete lineup change and radical shift in personal dynamics. It's a good album. Not mind-blowing, but good.
Brain Drill is a band that divides metalheads quicker than a Megadeth/Metallica debate, with approximately half of those surveyed claiming that the Drill is nothing but self-indulgent wankery devoid of songwriting skills or coherent hooks and the other half claiming that it is absolutely crippling shred performed by some of the most talented kids in the game. I group myself with the latter camp, but I understand both viewpoints. Brain Drill is a musician's metal band, most interesting to the type of people who get their jollies trying to pick apart subharmonic, augmented minor 7th chords in between 7/13 to 14/17 time changes. Again, I group myself with this camp. That's the fun of Brain Drill (to me at least): trying to figure out just what the FUCK these guys are doing--how they wrote it, what it means, how it actually translates to "songwriting". To the less musically-obsessive metalhead, of course it's garbage.
(Side note: Fellow Santa Cruz natives Decrepit Birth's new album Polarity just came out as well, and, as expected, it SHREDS FUCKING BALLS. These guys are definitely going in more of an uber-complex, Brain Drill-y direction, just with waaaay more jazzy, harmonic stuff going on. Epic.)
It pleases me that this whole ridiculous-tech-death-shred-riff-salad thing is turning into more of an actual, feasible genre, but I have one concern: Most of these Brain Drill-esque young bands seem to only have one EP in them. For example: VIRAEMIA, a band who embraces the whole "mindbending shreddery" angle but attempts to construct REAL SONGS out of it. We watched Viraemia's bass player noodling on his homemade, 10-string monstrosity HERE but never really discussed these guys at length. Which is a shame, because I really like them. But my concern is this: have these youngsters already used up all their good riffs on ONE EP? It's completely possible (see also: Boston's self-titled 1976 debut album)--after all, that's alot of fucking SHRED--but the more optimistic point of view is that they're just new and haven't had time to put together a full-length yet.
But wait, let's look at a couple other ridiculous-tech-death-shred-riff-salad bands, SLAUGHTERBOX (bottom left) from fucking RED BLUFF, California(???) and GENOCIDE OF PRESCRIPTION (bottom right) from Russia (???). Both of these bands fucking kill it, although they come from opposite ends of the spectrum--Slaughterbox has sort of an anarchist/vegan/crust aesthetic whereas GoP has that whole yucky sideways-visored-beanie-and-neon-flannel thing going on. I would gladly fork out the bucks for new albums from either band. But alas, like true shredders, they seem to have both run out of steam after just one EP (The Ubiquity of Subjugation and Corporal Violence, respectively). What gives?
Enough about the techy stuff though, after all, only me and The Thing That Should Not Be even like that shit in the first place. Let's talk about something we can ALL agree on, namely Norway's KVELERTAK (above) and how much THEY FUCKING SUCK.
If you've never heard this band, by all means feel free to skip ahead. I was introduced to them only recently, and to be honest, at first contact I was somewhat intrigued. Much like TORCHE pioneered the previously-incomprehensible genre of doom-pop, so too have Kvelertak thrown their proverbial hats into the pop-black metal ring. But this isn't pop-black metal via Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth, this is something different altogether. Kvelertak somehow meld the worlds of Blink-182, Turbonegro, and Immortal, and while initial reactions may be confusing, repeat listens on my part have revealed the truth. Verdict: DOUCHE.
Kvelertak confuse me: The sing-along choruses, the Dad Rock guitar solos, the Travis Barker drumbeats all cascading back into discordant corpsepaint-blast metal. But what at first seemed innovative has proved to be something quite different. This is a very real and focused attempt at cashing in on black metal, at homogenizing a wild and vicious form of music into something that wouldn't be out of place on the shelf at Wal-Mart. My Kvelertak experience went from disorientation to brief enjoyment to mild annoyance to outright hatred REAL quick, but I'd like to hear some reader input on the issue, too. Watch a live video. What's your take on these guys?
I guess I should have known as soon as I saw the owl-themed John Baizley cover art that adorned their 2010 full-length debut (above right). After all, John Baizley is the Derek Riggs of shitty beard metal (you can go ahead and quote me on that).
Also, what the fuck:
Speaking of commercial metal, apparently Iron Maiden has a new record called Final Fantasy that's about Star Trek or something. The metal community is abuzz concerning this momentous, um, occasion... and... um... I... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I'm sorry, I must have dozed off for a minute.
Let's talk about something awesome. Last "modern metal" post, I rambled at length about how I am very much into new death metal bands that sound like old death metal bands (VASAELETH, COFFINS, etc.), the simpler and more pummeling the better. Well, I've got to thank Brother Aesop, who in his seemingly infinite wisdom led me to a new(ish) band that goes by the name DEAD CONGREGATION (left). These guys do that whole Incantation-worship thing that Vasaeleth do so well, but with far more interesting dynamics and a creepy aura of chanting monks and dead angels. This is a band I can't seem to stop listening to.
Although their catalog so far consists of only one EP, one split, and 2008's full-length Graves of The Archangels (MUST. HAVE.), I eagerly await their next release. These guys are so fucking good I can forgive them their wretched Greek ancestry (JK Helm).
While we're on the topic of rad Incantation worship, now is also a good time to mention the UK's CRUCIAMENTUM, another downtuned DM juggernaut recently signed to Nuclear Winter records. So far they have only produced two demos (2008's Rotten Flesh Crucifix and 2009's Convocation of Crawling Chaos, shown below), but again, their next proper release is hotly anticipated at Casa Cobras.
A couple other bands blowing my mind lately:
How 'bout fucking KERASPHORUS? I downloaded their 2010 EP Cloven Hooves At The Holocaust Dawn (left) from Hell Crust recently, knowing very little about the band itself. The four-song release proved exceedingly shredworthy, and I immediately pursued further information about this mysterious, blasting black/death power trio.
Well, it turns out that the band was a creation of bassist/songwriter/vocalist Pete Helmkamp from the mighty Angelcorpse and they dwell RIGHT HERE IN SAN FRANCISCO!
But here's the bad news: they broke up after releasing this one short recording. Oops. So on the downside, Kerasphorus is gone. But on the upside, Pete Helmkamp is floating around SF somewhere in need of new bandmates.
Pete: Call me, bro!
(Related concept: people should be visiting Hell Crust, Blog The Jerk!, Thulsa Mood ((Thanks for the GOAT SEMEN!)), and From this Swamp more often. I have unearthed many a treasured relic at each of these four locations.)
Another bend melting my earholes lately is Gothenburg, Sweden's AGRIMONIA, who passed through the Bay Area recently and I managed to somehow miss out on. Brother Peter clued me in on these guys a couple weeks ago, and I procured their two albums (2008's self-titled affair and 2010's Host of The Winged, right), again, on Hell Crust.
Agrimonia is one of those rare metal bands that can write songs up in the 10 minute range without the jams getting stale, mixing things up between death, black metal, quiet melodic passages, head-down crust, and everything in between in the course of a single track. The male-female vocals are a nice touch as well. Good lookin' out, Peter. It will be interesting to see where this band goes in the future...
Side note: For my metal dollar, it starts and ends with INQUISITION lately (above--previously discussed HERE). My iPod is constantly bumping their shit. What began as something of a novelty (dude's freaky monotone voice) has turned mandatory, and the more I listen the more hooked I become. Unfortunately, I am a poser (with a kid) and I also missed their most recent gig in SF. But they apparently have a new album coming out in '010 and I hope to catch them next time through. Fuck, Inquisition is rad.
(Speaking of SF and new albums, word on the street is that SLOUGH FEG has something on the way soon as well. Pardon my boner.)
Let's see, anything else interesting going on in the world of metal? Hmmm...
SHINING's Blackjazz was kind of cool in a weird way... Besides that...
Nope. Nothing else. Except this:
Oh yeah, BASTARD NOISE (left) put out a fucking killer new album a month or two ago, although I'm not sure how "fair" it is to categorize said band as "metal". MAN IS THE BASTARD have a new record out too, although I haven't gotten around to purchasing it yet. The Bastard Noise album in question is entitled A Culture of Monsters, and it's, well, uh...
I mentioned DARK CASTLE awhile back, saying that they are one of the few bands in the overpopulated "doom" genre that will actually hold your attention for a full, hour-long album. Manslaughter disagrees and Helm refuses to listen to any band with a name like "Dark Castle", but trust me on this one. The album is called Spirited Migration (right) and you can buy it here.
One dude, one chick. Sweet riffs. The drum sound is HUGE.
The Melvins also have a new album.
It sounds like The Melvins.
One last thing before the big payoff:
What the fuck is up with Tempe, Arizona's VEKTOR? I mean, here is a band that has blatantly ripped every visual cue possible from Voivod, from the clothes to the album cover right down to the logo. I mean, retro-thrash was a stretch already, but these guys are copyright infringement INCARNATE. What's the deal?
I was ready to pounce as soon as Brother Asa suggested I check them out, but then I heard Black Future, their second release, which came out in '09. Fuck. These guys rule. And here I was ready to talk all this shit. Remember Helm's epic TECHNOTHRASH post? Well, these guys sum up everything great about sci-fi technothrash and make it all "2010", falsetto vocals, tapping solos, and all. I suggest checking out their 2006 release Demolition as well.
Damn you, Vektor. Damn you for ruining all my fun.
Just goes to show why I love metal in the first place. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, some dirtbag Bro in Arizona with an elaborately-ripped T-shirt goes and turns it all inside out.
HEY LOOK! I made you guys a digital compilation featuring many of the bands and albums discussed here today! There are even a couple goodies from the last post as well (Defeated Sanity, Rhapsody