Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Look at the cover.
Now look at the band photo.
Now look at the cover.
Now look at the band photo.

I think you know what to expect.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

Myspace / Last.FM


By Del Tigre

Out of all the contributors here on Illegal Contraception, I am pretty sure that I am the LEAST metal. I'm not going to go into my lack of metal qualifications here, suffice to say that, were you to dig, some decidedly un-metal concepts like "football," "law school" and "the entire discography of Prince" might surface. That said, I am pretty sure that both this blog and its readership benefit from my flawless taste in shit. So here's some more quality music from yours truly, E. Del Tigre!

Disclaimer: the above disclaimer was intended to disclaim the following statement: I fucking LOVE the Pixies. Call me a dork, call me stuck in the 90s, whatever. The fact remains that I'm right, and so are you, if you love the Pixies. Now I'm not here to lecture you about their best album (pro tip: Trompe Le Monde), or the unsurpassed psychedelic mind-fuck of said album--no. I'm here to share with you a kick-ass live show.

This is an FM broadcast of a concert the band played in Europe in 1989. I've heard a lot of Pixies bootlegs, and I think this is one of the best, not only because of the top notch sound quality, but because the band is really channeling that raw, deranged energy of theirs that I dig so much. It's heavy shit, man.

Pixies - Live in Glastonbury (1989)

Track Listing:
1. Bone Machine
2. Cactus
3. Dead
4. Gouge Away
5. Hey
6. I Bleed
7. Levitate Me
8. Monkey Gone To Heaven
9. No. 13 Baby
10. River Euphrates
11. There Goes My Gun
12. Vamos
13. Where Is My Mind


What's that? You doubt how awesome this band is live? Just you hush your mouth...shhhhhhh:

Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Composer Profile: Arvo Pärt

Most of the composers I've profiled up to this point wrote music that was either "heavy" (see Stravinsky, Shostakovich) or extremely dissonant i.e. "spooky" (see Penderecki, Schönberg).

Estonian born composer, Arvo Pärt, wrote his fair share of creepy, dissonant music early on but found the confines of serialism to be limiting. He opted to pursue more of a minimalist aesthetic and has continued to write in this way for 40 years. While he is sometimes compared to the minimalist composers, his music is distinct. Most music that is associated with minimalism is very rhythmic, that is to say there is a distinct pulse throughout it.
Pärt's music is closer to Gregorian chant than to African music (which minimalism music is often compared to). A lot of my favorite music by him is choral (written for a choir).
Arvo Pärt writes music inspired by the roots of the western classical tradition but reinterprets it, making it his own. Most of his compositions are very simple harmonically, using only one chord throughout an entire piece. He developed a style of composition called "Tintinnabuli" which he uses to write in this way. Don't think that this translates to boring music though. While it is peaceful and slow moving, it still is interesting to listen to. Its incredible how much he is able to do within the self imposed limitations.
Its possible you've heard some of Arvo's music before without realizing it. One of his better known pieces Spiegle im Spiegle (Mirror in the Mirror) has been used several times in movies and TV.

Here's another one of his well known pieces, Cantus in Memoriam of Benjamin Britten...

The above video is obviously instrumental. Check out some of his choral music below...

The above piece as well as the Berlin Mass are available for download here and purchase here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ECLIPSING A VARGR MOON: The Music And Mythologies of The Lord Weird Slough Feg, North America's Most Underappreciated And Misunderstood Metal Band

If you are already familiar with the music of The Lord Weird Slough Feg (Slough Feg for short) and you don't particularly care for it, it is for one of two reasons: A) You hate music. B) You hate FUN.
Somehow I've only managed to catch these guys live two times in my five years of Bay Area life, one of which being at last week's ill-fated Pentagram gig. Mike Scalzi (right) & co. blew my mind once again, and I now find myself in a state of frantic musical research, trying once again to digest their entire back catalog in some sort of attempt to understand the un-understandable. (Just an example: as the band launched into the epic "Vargr Moon" (it was actually "Baltech's Lament", my bad. - SC) the other night, Scalzi, previously clad in a tight leather vest with no shirt, went offstage for a "costume change" -- returning in a Dio-esque green silk shirt. Such nuanced theatrics are part of the reason this band rules so fucking hard.) Slough Feg is something of an anomaly in the metal world, a creative, dynamic band with a total of seven full-length albums under their collective belt who have been active (and touring) for 20 years but still manage to stay just an inch or so under the collective heavy metal radar. Their music is exactly the type that should be selling heaps of records these days, sort of a classic-metal Maiden/Priest/Lizzy throwback chock full of bombast, wordplay, overarching storylines and superbly calculated dual-guitar riffage. Any claims of bandwagon-jumping can be immediately dismissed by the fact that they've been playing this type of music SINCE 1990.
But despite excellent musicianship, awesome cover art and T-shirts, hooks you could fly a spaceship through, and a vocalist with a penchant for using rad words like "thrust" and "helix", Slough Feg's main selling point (for me, at least) are the myriad mythologies they use as a backdrop for their songwriting. Seriously, I can think of only a handful of bands with a vision as fully realized as Slough Feg. Through a series of concept albums, re-occuring storylines, and songs based on arcane lore, role-playing games, and comic book characters, the band has constructed an entire metal universe for the intrepid listener to venture into, a D&D nerd's wet dream which just so happens to be perfectly suited to the ideals and concepts that Illogical Contraption was built upon.
I usually won't devote an entire epic post to just one band. But as I journey further into the cryptic realms of The Lord Weird Slough Feg, I find myself compelled to share. For their universe is a strange and magical one, where every question answered presents a dozen more that aren't...

The band's biggest literary influence is definitely the British comic series Sláine (or 2000 AD), which appeared originally in 1983. Based on both Celtic and Norse mythology as well as borrowing occasionally from Conan The Barbarian, Sláine was created by writer Pat Mills and originally drawn by his wife Angela Kincaid. The storyline is rich and complex, a tale of barbarians, kings, battle and magic, perfect fodder for the heavy metal genre. It would be impossible to summarize Sláine's epic adventures in just one place, but I'll do my best to pick out some highlights here, paying special attention to sections documented in the music of Slough Feg.

Sláine began his career as a wandering warrior, banished from his tribe and accompanied only by a dwarf named Ukko and his trusty battle-axe Brainbiter (metal band name, anyone?). At one point, Sláine rescues a maiden named Medb from sacrifice to a Wicker Man (see Slough Feg's "The Wickerman", from 1999's Twilight of The Idols), the only problem is that said maiden wanted to be sacrified (the Wicker Man was a monument to her evil deity Crom Cruach), hence she becomes a lifelong enemy. So does her evil master, but we'll get to that later.
Sláine beds down with a king's forbidden daughter (as documented in "The Red Branch", from Slough Feg's self-titled 1996 debut album), and eventually ends up as the High King of Ireland himself after defeating a legion of sea demons known as the Fomorians. He is considered an incarnation of the Horned God Carnun (based on the antlered Gaulish deity Cernunnos -- MANTLERS, anybody?), due to both his allegiance to the Earth Goddess Danu and his ability to unite the good people of Earth against a common foe. Sláine also has the power of "warp spasm" (as documented by the song "Warp Spasm", also off of Twilight of The Idols), a body-twisting transformation that turns him into a raging battle monster without friend or foe. So there's that.
Later storylines in the Sláine series feature flying longships known as Sky Chariots (see "Sky Chariots", off of 2000's Down Among The Dead Men), alien gods, pirates, cryonics, and lizard-men (almost all of which are present in Slough Feg's "The Great Ice Wars"). It's some heavy shit, to say the least.

Remember Medb's "evil master" that I mentioned earlier? Well, he's also the main villain in the Sláine mythos, and goes by the name (wait for it...) THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG. That's a picture of him over there on the right. He's kind of a dick.
Allow the Fortunecity Slaine comic character page to explain:
"Eyes without life...sundered heads...piles of carcasses...these are pleasing words to me"; the favorite phrase of the great villain of this plot. Slough Feg is the old horned god, who refused to die after his seven year reign and has ever since eaten the eggs from the great worm to postpone his death for 20 000 years. Slough Feg has turned his cult towards a death cult and is now the leader of the Drunes, the worshipers of Crom-Cruach.

OK cool. Here's a sweet picture from one of the Sláine comics:

But enough about Sláine for a minute. At the risk of getting super long-winded, I'd like to talk about the Slough Feg discography for a while. As I mentioned before, these guys have put out seven amazing full-length albums between 1996 and 2009, along with a handful of demos from 1990-'96 and a smattering of split 7"s and EP's.
I'm not going to upload their discography here, because it's all available for purchase on their website HERE. Except their first one. I've uploaded that HERE (original version, does not contain bogus "bonus" tracks from the re-issue).

One more quick thing before we talk discography:

(to quote the guy who uploaded it:) "You want rare? The Lord Weird Slough Feg in a tv studio is as rare as it gets. Tiki lamp flaming! Fog machine huffing! Painted body baring! Tympanic membrane shattering! Sabre-tooth necklace rattling! Broken-bone drumskin pounding!"

(Yeah, the mix is terrible. But they're in a fucking public-access TV studio, for Christ's sake!)

Anyhow, as I've already mentioned, The Lord Weird Slough Feg's first album was a self-released affair that appeared way back in 1996. It is probably their least coherent linear statement (understandable, considering the age of the band at the time), but is remarkable nonetheless.
Consider this: Their self-titled album contained two back-to-back songs, titled "High Season III" and "High Season IV", which were sequels to songs that weren't released until several years later ("High Season" appeared on 2000's Down Among The Dead Men and "High Season II" on 1999's Twilight of The Idols -- additionally, "High Season V" showed up on 2005's Atavism). How's that for vision?
Musically, Slough Feg comes out of the gate at a gallop on this one, although the specific mythology and flair for storytelling present on their later albums is only hinted at here ("The Red Branch" being a fine example). Still, the lyrics are metal as fuck. Check out "Highway Corsair":

Ripping up the soil don't you step on my back
20,000 men stone cold on the track
Chainsaw strapped across my back
Crimson lava erupts from the cracks

Highway Corsair!!

Black streaks line my swollen eyes
Heaven tries to sympathize
Ripping up the railroad ties
Bursting vein between my thighs

Highway Corsair!!

18 wheeled explosion flies
Burning shrapnel in my eyes
Heaven tries to sympathize
Crimson funeral in the skies

Highway Corsair!!

1999's Twilight of The Idols (above) and 2000's Down Among The Dead Men (below) saw the true birth of the band, expanding exponentially on their sound but also finding focus on the aforementioned Sláine mythology. Trademark Slough Feg jams, all based in the Sláine universe, made their first appearances here, with Idols featuring classics like "Brave Connor Mac", "The Wickerman", and "Slough Feg". Idol also contained a Legend cover, as well as the puzzling, zombie themed "Life In The Dark Ages", whose mythology I can't quite place:

"Trapped in a basement room for seven long years
Molten metal will rise up out of the tears
Mortal vs. immortal
14,235 beers

Months of empty silence stifle your screams
Uninspired wretches living your dreams
Anger vs. Headbanger
Bound and gagged the mutants travel in teams"

Anyways, Dead Men has its Sláine-themed lyrical highlights too, such as "Fergus MacRoich", "Cauldron of Blood", and the aforementioned "Sky Chariots". But my personal favorite is "Troll Pack":

"Troglodytes are curious creatures
Marching through reptilian realms
Smell the blood of human invaders
Feast on their limbs, bury their helms"


Also of note are the cover images from these two albums, both of which being created by master D&D artist Erol Otus.

Not to get too far off course here, but speaking of Erol Otus...








Sorry about that. What were we talking about?

Oh yeah, Down Among The Dead Men. Check out the final track, "Death Machine" (wait for the breakdown at 1:42 - FUUUUUCK.)

But Slough Feg was just getting warmed up.
The band all but abandoned the Sláine mythology with the release of 2003's Traveller, a fully realized concept album based around the 70's and 80's role-playing game of the same name. In Traveller (the album), Slough Feg delves fully into the sci-fi wonders of space travel and interstellar war, telling the tale of a human warrior bred into slavery and genetically combined with the canine Vargr race. It's some fucking mega-trippy shit.

And how 'bout that artwork? (My Traveller T-shirt is a prized possession.)

Sing along:

"The Vargr Moon's at height
The sun that shines at night
I'm dead in the sand

The gene that drives the beast
Still rises in the east
Bisecting the strand

A caravan of thieves
Inhuman and diseased
I'm at their command

And so my fate is sealed
The Vargr plan's revealed
Dissection of man

Muscles twitch -incisions deep
Splice the gene -bisect the strand

I feel the x-rays on my brain
Dissection cannisters, alien's bane
I feel the x-rays on my cerebral cortex

Slowly growing canine teeth
Biting me out of the chains
Testing out the spores on me

The Vargr moon's at height
Escape's in route tonight
I'm leaving the sand

Revenge is what I seek
My mission's incomplete
Bisecting the strand"

The next track, "Vargr Theme/Confrontation", is even MORE epic and detailed. Read those lyrics HERE. The Human/Vargr tale is a long and involved one. Reading the lyrics to "Baltech's Lament", "The Curse of Humaniti", and "Gene-ocide" might help you undertstand. Then again, it might not.

2005's Atavism is often considered to be Slough Feg's best album, or at least their most varied. Returning occasionally to Sláine-themed subject matter, Atavism also found Mr. Scalzi focusing more heavily on sci-fi, space-and-time-travel themed lyrics, a concept the band first touched upon in the latter half of Down Among The Dead Men.
But then there's also the "atavism" aspect. What is atavism? I'll give you a hint: it DOESN'T involve big blue dudes from the planet Pandora. Wikipedia defines the word thusly:
"The term atavism (derived from the Latin atavus, a great-grandfather's grandfather; more generally, an ancestor) denotes the tendency to revert to ancestral type. An atavism is an evolutionary throwback, such as traits reappearing which had disappeared generations ago."
Now I can't claim to be completely schooled on the entire Sláine story, as my research capabilities and online resources are both minimal, but I'm guessing that Atavism documents some sort of later storyline involving cavemen and genetic recession. But I could be wrong. I also see major parallels between the themes present on this album and the 1981 Ken Russell film Altered States. But again, I could be wrong.

Lyrical highlights: "Man Out of Time", "Hiberno-Latin Invasion". There are also some really strange references to Greek mythology ("Eumaeus The Swineherd", "Curse of Athena") and American football ("Atavism") in there. To be honest, I don't really understand what's going on with Atavism. But there's this:

Remember the Sláine/Conan connection we made earlier in this post? Consider the lyrics to the goofily-titled "Agnostic Grunt":

"See them driven before you
Through the eyes of a slave
Once they tried to ignore you
Now you spit on their grave"

Remind you of anything?

Arguably Atavism's best track, "I Will Kill You/You Will Die" (corny name and bad video, I know, but how epic is the fucking song?):

The Lord Weird Slough Feg's most recent albums have been 2007's Hardworlder (above) and 2009's Ape Uprising (right), both of which being less Sláine-centric works focusing instead on more 70's/corny/sci-fi subject matter. Hardworlder seems to carry out a coherent narrative in the first half of the album, following an unnamed protagonist ("The Hardworlder"?), a space prisoner described as such (from "Tiger! Tiger!"):
"My name and occupation tattooed on my face
The stars my destiny, deep space my dwelling place
Delirious and rotting, where's my saving grace?"

Also introduced is the character "Dr. Universe", who seems to be the alter-ego of the protagonist. Again, a tough one to figure out, but reading the lyrics to the album's first five songs might help: "Tiger! Tiger!" - "The Sea Wolf" - "Hardworlder" - "The Spoils" - "Frankfurt-Hahn Airport Blues". This whole mini-space opera is followed by a Horslips cover and a couple other unconnected songs before the album ends with a Manilla Road cover (fuck yeah).

Update: Thanks to Illogical Bro Helm, I now know that the first half of Hardworlder is based on The Stars My Destination (originally Tiger! Tiger!), a 1956 sci-fi novel by Alfred Bester based on Alexander Dumas' classic The Count of Monte Cristo. Helm knows everything.

... All of which brings us back to Slough Feg's most recent effort, Ape Uprising. This one seems to be some sort of concept album landing squarely between Def Con 4 and Planet of The Apes, telling the story of, well, an ape uprising which threatens to usurp human supremacy on the planet. Albinos, nukes, and the "Nasty Hero" (one of my favorite Slough Feg creations) all make appearances in this tale, which our Bro abdul alhazred had the good taste to include in his Bromantic Interlude (via "White Cousin"). Abdul explained thusly: "This is taken from Ape Uprising, a concept album loosely based around Planet of the Apes. Here, subterranean mutants in tattered robes worship a missile god as yet undetonated." Indeed.
An epic tale about the human-simian struggle for survival.

"Hooks big enough to fly a spaceship through":

So there you go. Sorry to ramble on like that, but I've been deeply immersed in the Slough Feg Mythology this week and just wanted to devote some space to this underappreciated and ass-kicking band. These guys are FUCKING WIZARDS (especially Scalzi, who has a PhD in Wizardry) and I really can't think of a more "Illogical Contraption" band in the entire world. If, for some reason, you desire more knowledge about the band, you can obtain it at Or their Myspace page. Or either of their Last.FM pages: One, Two.

For the sake of keeping reader feedback to a minimum, I will now publish Manslaughter's first comment for this post MYSELF:

Manslaughter: "Dude, calm your Scalzi boner. Slough FAG."

My response: "Sorry, but I refuse."

Adam Curtis and the Power of Themes

Conspiracy theories resonate when you read them because they make sense. They appeal to a natural desire to arrange the world in some kind of pattern, to derive order from the chaotic array of ideas that one is presented with every day. When nations or the politicians who run them behave in a manner that we experience as dangerous and hurtful it is easy to believe that a secret order is behind things, that a cabal exists and seeks to move the larger world to suit its own needs, regardless of your own, individual life.

Consider instead that maybe this is the opposite of what is occurring. That maybe the powerful elements in our society are actually doing their best, promoting your greatest interests using the grand levers that are before them as leaders of governments, nations and societies. Maybe also it is not the politicians themselves who scheme but instead cultural arbiters who have the real influence - philosophers, scientists and artists - each laboring and devising new ways to view human society and speaking openly to an audience of the open-minded.

Next consider that our present world is the direct result of these efforts to create a more ordered society, a better adjusted culture and a happier individual. This is the world of Adam Curtis.

Adam Curtis is a BBC Documentarian. Since the mid-1990's he has worked to illustrate how our modern society has resulted from deliberate efforts and their largely unanticipated consequences. He uses arching themes, archival footage and historical patterns to illuminate the way in which ideas have been hatched by creative individual thinkers and then adapted by political and business leaders to create not just the societies we live in but also the people themselves, their views on potential and the limits on their awareness of alternatives.

Familiarity with the ideas explored b Adam Curtis is essential in understanding the recent history of the world you inhabit and the intellectual framework in which your own views on it happen to exist. Guaranteed to enlighten and entertain.

The best place to start is with 2002's The Century of the Self, an exploration of how the ideas of Sigmund Freud were adapted by his nephew to found the Public Relations industry:

The Century of the Self
(four parts)

The most recent major release is 2007's The Trap and is a three-part exploration of our concept of political freedom and the philosophical underpinnings used to increase it by our recent political leaders. It is available online here:

The Trap
(three parts)

Another essential work is 2004's The Power of Nightmares which is an exploration of the shared foundation of Neo-Conservative ideology as well as modern fundamentalist Islam.

The Power of Nightmares
(three parts)

Editor's note: The Illogical Contraption Posse (ICP for short) would like to take a moment to welcome back The Heckler, whose endearing bitterness and sarcasm has been absent from these hallowed pages for over 8 months. As it turns out, he wasn't actually "gone" at all, but merely locked inside the janitor's closet here at ICHQ, perfectly content absorbing the works of David Icke and constructing pipe bombs out of toilet paper rolls, sewing kits, and laundry detergent. Who knew?

Monday, March 29, 2010


Another entry in the "Doom That Rules" series. Except that most people will tell you that Iron Monkey was a "sludge" band, rather than a "doom" band. Being that I don't technically understand the difference, I will gladly heap them into the latter category -- after all, we're all brothers in the Kingdom of Metal.
True to their name, Iron Monkey were big, heavy, loud, and slow -- similar in style and composition to other IC favorites like Grief or Noothgrush. But Iron Monkey had an ace in the hole, in the form of their singer Johnny Morrow (right). Johnny's vocal delivery was a shrieking maelstrom of hatred and angst, an onslaught of malice bringing to mind the tortured howls of Flesh Parade or maybe that one Bethlehem song. Unfortunately, Morrow died of heart failure in 2002, three years after the band had broken up. Fucking bummer.
One of the guys in this band went on to play in Electric Wizard or something. I assume the rest of them just oozed back into the gutters of Nottingham, their declaration of war published, their legacy firmly established in the annals of Doom History. Or Sludge History. Or whatever.

Download HERE
Purchase (packaged as a 2-disc set including their self-titled debut album) HERE

Did I mention that the CD insert folds out into one of the most epic pieces of art ever created? Check it out (clicking for higher res is recommended):

Myspace / Last.FM


I've been babbling about Sun Ra and his Arkestra for some time now and figured that all of my "you have to be willing to enter that world" and "love and harmony and peace and whatever" nonsense might not do the man and his work justice in the way I had intended. After all, unlike most musicians, Sun Ra is one of those rare artists whose words are as interesting as his music. So I decided to let the man speak for himself - might be a tad bit more illuminating than my observations.

This is a pretty funny interview from the old VH1 show New Visions, which presented smooth jazz and new age artists. The host is Ben Sidran, a former colleague of Steve Miller (yes, "The Joker" himself). The interview starts simply enough with Sun Ra talking about Count Basie and Chicago, but moves into a different direction at about the two minute mark.

Sidran: "Now you seem to me to be a man with a mission. What's your mission today?"
Ra: "Well, I'm really not a man, you see, I'm an angel. If I was a man I couldn't do anything because man always fails, you know, they're so limited."

Sidran obviously isn't prepared for such a response and you can see that he's getting uncomfortable, as if he's not sure whether Sun Ra is insane or just fucking with him. The video gets downright hilarious when he compares Sun Ra to Michael Jackson and asks Sunny about his plans for "moving on up into the world of commercial success". Ra's response is priceless.

The Forgotten Revolution

Welcome, friends, to a brand new guest mini-series here on IC, hosted by longtime Blogbro and obscure film expert The Goodkind (right) from Lost Video Archive and Progression Toward Something of Questionable Significance. I had originally contacted Mr. Goodkind with inquiries about performing one of our esteemed and time-honored 'Bromantic Interludes', but the idea soon mutated and became something bigger, weirder, and better suited to his mental database. So today we present this post -- Part 1 in an ongoing series focusing on fictional bands who have appeared in obscure movies. Expect more in the near future.

- Cobras

America in the post cocaine, post groupie 90’s was a cesspool of depression and self deprecation. People had stopped caring about the way they looked, they stopped trying, they bought used clothes because they were actually poor. Those were dark, flannel days, my friends, but if we are to learn, we must realize that they were a response to something, a backlash.
In the heady days of Reagan, there was a sense of anticipation in the air, of tension, as if on the brink of something monumental and life changing. Immaculately ratted hair, makeup and expensive, faux-trashy costumes were only the wedge of a profound cultural blossoming that was to be Glam Metal. It was the pinnacle of American audio-cultural achievement, but the question remains, what happened, why did our grip on narcissistic excess falter? How did the revolutionary promise of Glam Metal slip through our fingers? In these two obscure motion pictures from that golden age we shall find our answer.

The Panthers, Galveston Texas’ answer to the call In 1987's Computer Beach Party a film about nerds scoring with hot chicks thanks to a computer and a beach. If ever there was a way to get a female comrade to put out, and membership slots in The Panthers were all filled, your next best bet was to show toff your solid-state computer processor and hire The Panthers to blast out ballads about beach parties at your beach party.

“About time, schools out
I wanna scream, I wanna shout
(unintelligible) hot from the skies
Bringin’ waves giant size
Nothin’ matters, outta control
Now’s the time got nothin’ to blow
Spirits high gotta go with the flow
So quick gotta (something) and let’s all go
C’mon cmo’n, it’s time to party
Hot rockin’, Beach Party.”

But something is wrong here. Though The Panthers clearly understand the principles of self important posturing, even breaking the fourth wall to pose for the camera, rotating slowly nearby is an uninspired audience. Though they have mastered the art of pretending to rock, whether or not they actually do, their audience seems confused, unsure of how to move or behave. Clearly collective self absorption is not on the agenda at this rally.

The Poison Dolly’s, an all girl Glam band from Long Island representing the revolutionary front in 1988's The Rejuvenator (aka Rejuvenatrix), a film in which a mad doctor extracts brain fluid from living victims in an effort to develop an anti-aging serum. Each time he doses his patient she returns to her young virile form for a shorter and shorter length oftime before reverting to a hideous brain eating mutant. The Poison Dolly's are a perfect proxy for the film's goo-splattering, foam-latex "moral lesson" on vanity.

“I saw him walk, he stopped my heart
Pants so tight I thought he’d tear them apart
And he, turned to me unleashed a smile
And I said hey baby won’t you hang for a while
He said, hey baby I don’t play that way
I said, lemme ask you a question
What’s a nice boy like you, doing in a place like this?
Place like this!”

But besides a shaky grasp of the possessive tense, the Poison Dolly’s, like their Texan comrades lack the fundamental ability to excite an audience to the potential of the Glam Metal ideology. In both Galveston and Long Island, audience members can clearly be seen snapping their fingers and pumping their arms in an awkward “jogger” motion. In the former, several people are even doing the “point at the ground dance”, and still others flopping their arms at their sides like dead fish. A lack of melanin and genetic predisposition to rhythm notwithstanding, only the bands themselves make the ubiquitous “devil horns.”

The mistake was not with the revolutionary idea of Glam, rather it lies with the cadre; the agitators and organizers with direct contact and responsibility for enlightening the unwashed masses. Had they taken the necessary measures to properly train and educate the people to their revolutionary potential, had they not risen before the people were ready, then Glam Metal could have succeeded in its goal of uniform universal narcissism. Alas, they were too full of themselves to notice the inadequacies of their instruction. As we have seen, the evidence is tragically obvious. Glam Metal missed its moment, and although new movements of self absorption have come to the fore, we can take our lessons from history and hopefully avoid future flannel counterrevolutions.

BREAKING NEWS: Band Hyped On Internet Actually Sucks!

Herein I give you latest in band hype fail. I remember reading about nu-synth act Salem at hipster hype-machine 20jazzfunkgreats last year. They had this to say about the band:

"If you’ve even heard one song by Salem, you’ll know what we mean: Dubstep’s violent shadow, malevolently through ruined city streets, slight rainfall, flickering street lamps, cobalt clouds glowing in the pitch dark skies."

The popular blog compared them to, and I quote:

"...listening to John Carpenter disco 12″ edits backwards at 33rpm."

And even to such greats as minimal experimental duo Suicide and junkie siren Nico. (WTF)

Well thanks to the good people at The Levi's Company and Fader Magazine, us norms can finally experience this wonderful and exciting new band for ourselves and have our minds blown! Ready?!

WOW! The future of music is a gross dude in a Detroit Tigers hat totally jamming out on a drumpad!

(PS. This is NOT a St. Sanders "shred" video.)

UPDATE: Fader Mag makes themselves look silly by defending the booking of this band and backpedals on their own statements concerning the band being booed off the stage.


That's right. A Roger Dean cover of dudes playing SPACEBALL. Ponder that shiiiiit.

Babe Ruth were a super heavy-proto-metal-prog-funk-blues band from some Hobbit shit-town in England. They had a really hot singer who could wail with the best of 'em. This is their first record and it rules.

The first single off First Base "The Mexican" found popularity in the late 70's and early 80's among the first rappers and breakdancers. Former Village Voice editor Chuck Eddy writes of them in his book Stairway to Hell: The Accidental Evolution of Rock'n'Roll:

"In 1973, a British art-metal band called Babe Ruth released a song called "The Mexican" that opened with Spanish guitars, then turned into the Doors' "Riders on the Storm" then Ennio Morricone's Sergio-Leone-movie theme "For a Few Dollars More" over an absurdly realized Latin disco rhythm two years before disco existed..."The Mexican" was not a certified hit, but it became a secret cult favorite in discos...then rapped over by Funky Four Plus One and...Soul Sonic Force."

Shelby Cobras hates Led Zeppelin, and while I do not agree with this sentiment, one thing that I am certain of is the Babe Ruth song called "Black Dog" is way better than Zeps's. Observe this epically evil live rendition from 1975:

The rest of the guys in Babe Ruth were not as pretty as singer Jenny Hahn.


Download HERE
Buy it HERE

Sunday, March 28, 2010

INTERNET METAL REVELATION: Bobby Liebling Is A Halcoholic

Pure class.

I'm not really the type of guy to slay a sacred cow for cheap laughs. But sometimes those fucking cows are just asking for it, man.
Case in point: this past Wednesday night, myself and about half of the IC crew descended upon the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, our collective nads totally pumped for a Pentagram/Ludicra/Slough Feg triple feature. It's rare that I go out on a weeknight, being the domestic old codger that I am, but shit dude, it's FUCKING PENTAGRAM, right? I missed them last time they came through, and I've never had the pleasure live, and they were playing with sweet bands to boot. What did I have to lose?
It all began well. The Lord Weird Slough Feg was a near-religious experience for me, and Ludicra weren't bad either (although they need to work on their headbanging choreography a little bit). But things quickly ground to a halt as the frail, decrepit exoskeleton known as Bobby Liebling finally limped onto the stage. Bobby, bug-eyed and jittery but "clean and sober for three years" immediately explained that Pentagram's usual guitarist had recently dropped off of the tour, and introduced some guy who looked exactly like Ben Stiller in Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny as his replacement. Unfortunately, I don't think Mr. Stiller was quite ready for the live experience.
After lackluster renditions of three Pentagram standards ("Review Your Choices", "Forever My Queen", and another one I don't remember), the band launched into an extensive, freestyle, "boogie-woogie" blues jam that lasted upwards of twenty minutes. It was soon quite obvious that Pentagram had only the slightest idea of how to play "12-bar blues", and embarassment soon turned to disbelief. And then rage.
After ten minutes of facepalming, Sweet Baby Jay (my date for the evening) and I both agreed it was time to go. But the story doesn't end there, oh no.

Also in attendance that evening was the proud Mrs. Liebling, Bobby's blushing bride Hallie ("Hal" to her friends). Word quickly spread that the Lieblings had reserved the entire dressing room area of the DNA Lounge, but remained secluded in the tour bus for the duration of almost the entire evening. Imaginations ran wild with images of what Bobby's wife might look like, but I think she took everyone by surprise when she finally reared her stylish, nubile head. This was no toothless lot lizard, no elderly crackwhore riding the coattails of Bobby's dwindling fame. Hal Liebling is a 23-year-old, American Apparel/Vice Magazine/Hot Topic HIPSTER, oversized sunglasses, skinny belt and all.
But you don't have to take my word for it.
Allow me to direct your attention to Exhibit A: Mrs. Liebling's blog, HALCOHOLIC.COM ("the unabridged fashion musings of a Philly native").

It seems that the young Mrs. Liebling considers herself something of a fashionista! Within the confines of her copious blog posts, we are treated to an onslaught of hipsterisms: pictures of shoes, pictures of Hal wearing the shoes, more pictures of shoes, pictures of sunglasses, pictures of Hal wearing the sunglasses, pictures of belts, purses, more Myspace-angle pictures of Hal, etc. etc. etc...
Of course, this cavalcade of consumerism is always accompanied by the requisite "musings", such as intelligent little nuggets like "Until I met my husband, I always wondered what it must be like to be in a lesbian relationship, be the same size, have similar styles, and be able to share a wardrobe (idealistic, I know)" or "while I was getting a pedicure by a new girl yesterday, she exfoliated so hard that it skinned the side of my left foot!"
But it's not all about Hal. She also writes extensively about her 56-year-old rocker husband when she isn't blathering about heels and accessories, and she also posts some pretty sweet pictures of him in his heyday too. But BE FOREWARNED (get it?): for every photo of corpsepaint-and-handlebar-era Satanic Bobby, you will also be exposed to a total bummer-inducing photo of "modern" Bobby, often decked out in shiny hipsterwear by his young bride. Observe:


Not a bummer:


Not a bummer:

MAJOR Bummer:

MAJORLY not a bummer:

Hey, I don't mean to cast judgement on anyone here. I'm sure if I was Bobby's age and some vapid youngster wanted to live off of my money I'd let her, too. I'll always be a fan of the man's music, that's not the issue. What is the issue is this: Bobby is currently in the middle stages of the ultimate dignity-free cash-grab, and it appears that our hard-earned concert dough is funding some trust-fund bimbo hipster's Endless Summer. That's not cool, man.
But whatever. My good friend Del Tigre wisely summed up the situation with these words:
"Shit is fucked beyond repair. Crane your neck to look then keep on driving."
True that.

Anyhow, I'm sure you all are JUST DYING to learn more about Hallie Liebling. Lucky for you, she knows that everyone is JUST DYING to hear more about her life already. I give you now Exhibit B, an actual Q & A that Hallie conducted with herself recently on 15 questions to satisfy all of the burning questions at the tip of your tongue. Enjoy!

"1. What part of Philly are you from? Are you originally from Philly?

- We live in South Philly right now and I have lived in the Philadelphia area my entire life, though I was not born here.

2. How tall are you?

- 5'4"

3. How old is your husband?

- 56

4. How long has your husband been playing music?

- My husband has been a professional musician since he was 10 years old.

5. How do you style your hair when it's down?

- I braid it when it's wet and sleep on it, then take them out in the morning.

6. How did you quit smoking? How long were you smoking before you quit?

- Nicorette, tobacco pouches, and a lot of patience. I smoked for nearly 8 years.
(That means she started when she was FIFTEEN. PUNK AS FUCK. - Cobras)

7. Do you work out?

- No.

Above: "Tons of punk shirts ... DIY inspiration for me."


8. What do you do for work?

- My husband works. I am a freelance writer and a trained cosmetologist, and I also do graphic design on the side.

9. Is it true that KISS tried to buy Pentagram songs and your husband wouldn't sell them?

- Yes.

10. What nationality are you and what nationality is your husband?

- I am Norwegian and Italian, he is Jewish.
(Jewish is obviously a very stylish "nationality".)

11. How many tattoos do you have and what are they? Who did your tattoos? Do you have any piercings?

- I'm not sure how many I have. I have a half sleeve and about 4 or 5 other smaller ones. They're all pretty traditional designs. I've gone to a lot of different artists but most of them were done by T at Philadelphia Eddie's. I have both nostrils pierced and my septum pierced but I rarely wear jewelry anymore. I've had more piercings in the past that I've taken out over time.

12. Where do you shop?

- I shop mostly online, sites like and I get a lot of stuff on eBay (except for leather bags which are usually never a good idea to buy on eBay, if I got $5 for every fake Givenchy Nightingale I saw listed I'd be a multi millionaire). I get some other stuff like pants and t-shirts at I've been a customer there for about 10 years and they have great basic clothes for cheap. Joan Shepp is probably my favorite shop in Philly. I also commission some local designers to make stuff for me.

13. What is your skincare routine? Have you always had good skin?
(So humble!)

- Just Dove soap & moisturizer. I haven't always had good skin. I think the only real solution to acne is to wait it out until you're older. Unless it's really bad, then Accutane really works but I understand it badly dries out your skin.

Bobby onstage, 2010.

14. When is the documentary coming out? How did you feel about cameras following you around to the doctor and stuff?
(I'll explain in a minute.)

- Summer 2010. I don't like being photographed or filmed like Bobby does, but I didn't mind the cameras. The filmmakers are good friends of ours and always worked with our schedule. After awhile you just sort of forget they're around, unless it's an interview.

15. What kind of music do you listen to? What are your favorite bands?
- A lot of '68-'72 hard rock and heavy metal, a lot of punk rock from my youth
(LOL @ "from my youth"! - Cobras). Some of my favorites are Aerosmith, Uriah Heep, Captain Beyond, Black Sabbath, Budgie, Charged G.B.H., Bathory, Oxymoron, Veruca Salt.

My husband went to go buy me a new memory card for my camera so I'll have some eye c@ndy in the next few days."

We c@n't wait, Hal.

Before I go, let me add just one final detail in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Liebling: being the extravagant man that he is, Bobby has provided his wife with the ultimate fashion accessory: A BRAND NEW WIDDLE BABY!
That's right. As he recently announced on his Myspace page (in a blog post titled "Tour thanks/baby announcement/layout design contest"), the Lieblings are now expecting. Apparently a film crew has been following the happy couple around in an effort to produce some sort of documentary and/or reality show about this, the most private and happy of times. And even though Hallie "doesn't like being photographed or filmed like Bobby does" (one visit to her website will undoubtedly confirm her claim), I'm sure she'll figure out a way to work through it.
Or maybe she'll just let her husband work through it.

(thanks to Manslaughter for the video)