Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Total Summertime Superdistorto Good Time Destruction

So, a few beers deep last night, Cobras and I got into a trans-continental bout of posting a bunch of 70s protometal summer jams on Facebook.  I figured I could share some of that and put up a mix of shit like that I made a month or two ago for partying purposes.  It ain't comprehensive, it's poorly researched, and ignores things that most people like.  So yeah.  Just a smattering of proto-metal, meathead, scuzz rock fuzzbombs from the golden age of quaaludes and tube amps. 

1. Lucifer's Friend - Ride In The Sky
Best thing this fucking band ever did.  It's like if Zeppelin decided to skip the eunuch Viking war cry on "Immigrant Song" and throw on some bleating horns and Hammond organ. 

2. Randy Holden - Guitar Song
I decided to skip some of the bigger names in this style (Sabbath, Blue Cheer, etc.), and while Holden was a member of Blue Cheer for one album it'd be a mistake to overlook this one.  The question I have regarding this song relates to the title.  Aren't ALL Randy Holden songs guitar songs?  Least descriptive title ever.  Might as well have called it fucking "Music Song" or "Song With Structure" or something.

3. Cool Feet - Burning Desire
Fucking sick album from Luxembourg circa '76.  Apparently only 200 were pressed, so good luck ever finding an actual copy of this that doesn't cost about the same as a downpayment on a house in a respectable neighborhood with good schools and curbside recycling.  It's got everything though: tinny mid-fi production, harmonized guitars, broken English lyrics.  If you hate this you're an asshole.

4. Stray - Jericho
I love ANY song with a galloping beat.

5. Frijid Pink - Crying Shame
This band had a balance between gnarly overdriven fuzz stomp and some sorta-corny-but-sorta awesome AOR boogie slop.  Gotta love any heavy band that genuinely uses the phrase "golly gee" in the lyrics. 

6. Grannie - Saga of the Sad Jester
Apparently the Grannie LP is one of the most valuable records in the world.  Even the fucking repress sells for a cool hundo.  Can't say I get it.  A lot of it sounds like an anemic Wishbone Ash.  But this song is pretty cool, like an anemic Wishbone Ash in a good way.

7. the Scorpions - It All Depends
I know I said I was gonna stay away from bigger names, but this doesn't count.  The Scorpions circa the early '70s were a totally different beast than what they'd become later.  Even though it's the same members, it might as well be a separate fucking band.  This album and it's successor are killer.  Shame what they'd become.

8. Flower Travellin' Band - Kamikaze
The Japanese Sabbath, if one were inclined towards clumsy cross-cultural analogies that fall short of their intended purpose.  Most people would go with the "Satori" album, with good reason.  But this one sounds like it could've been an out-take from that record, so fuck it.  Excruciatingly goddamn killer band. 

9. Råg I Ryggen - Det Kan Väl Inte Vara Farligt
Fuck man these Swedes kill it.  This is for all the people (like me) who, when they hear the term "prog rock", just assume its gonna be a bunch of Guitar Center employees with 37-string guitars and pony tails. Definitely intricate musically, but that doesn't undermine the heaviness.

10. Titanic - Macumba
Same deal as the last song.  Yeah, it's proggy, but it's also got some heft to it.  And it's catchy as a motherfucker.  It would surprise me if this DIDN'T turn up sampled on a Kanye West song.

11. Captain Beyond - Raging River Of Fear
This album is fucking perfect.  More technically sophisticated than most heavy bands of the era, heavier than most technically sophisticated bands.  Proto-prog-metal with more than a small amount of Southern rock thrown in.

12. Baby Grandmothers - Somebody Keeps Calling My Name
Apparently, this band's claim to fame was supporting Hendrix during his '68 Swedish tour.  But pretty much every burnout old rock dude from this era has some story about opening for Hendrix, or learning some licks from him, or buying drugs for him.  So you know, grain of salt.  Still a good record.  It can get a little jammy, but they manage to tie it all together, feng shui-ing their shit with some weird-ass vocals.

13. Cindy Und Bert - Der Hund Von Baskerville
This totally fucking happened.
 Fuzz Bomb Apocalypse Summer Jam Series Vol. 1

Friday, July 13, 2012


Important stuff:

Follow Shelby Cobras on Twitter.
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Now that you've done all that:

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Buy a shirt on BigCartel (sorry, most of our other shit sold out on tour, more coming soon...).

Extra credit:
Buy stuff from Hide The Bodies Press.
Check out our podbros Pool Party Radio, Junk Food Dinner, Kissing Contest, and Hand Ov Doom.

Not enough shameless plugging? OK then....


After a long absence, I (Cobras) will be back amongst my dumb friends this evening, discussing the finer points of frat-funk, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, ill-fated mushroom trips, and the devastating break-up of longtime IllCon favorites Chumbawumba. You know where to go (link up top).
Be there at 10pm PST. Give us a ring: (415-829-2980)

(also: super secret special guest)


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oakhelm - Betwixt and Between (2007)

Regular IllCon followers should know of the name Pete Jay and the quality musical output he has been part of. Quality shit such as Wormwood and Black Queen, both can be obtained here, and also of the all-mighty Assuck for those unacquainted.
Pete has been busying himself with Oakhelm (alongside members of the also pretty awesome Fall of The Bastards and Lovecraft inspired Aldebaran)  for some time now. I discovered this album a few months ago and it became something of a regular on my daily work route and then by chance I happened across the impressive green/yellow vinyl pressing of this in a second hand store. Both these events made up my mind about sharing it with you guys.
Oakhelm play a brand of black metal influenced by Viking and folk themes as much as double bass and raspy vocals. The whole Viking thing has never been something I really got when it came to the various sub-genres of metal that populate the musical landscape these days. I always found it somewhat cheesy at the best of times. Maybe its growing older or just a maturing of my musical palette but the tastefully composed acoustic breaks, chanting and well placed samples ( they actually recorded waves crashing against the shore, rainfall and a crackling campfire) just click with the rampant double bass, harsh riffing, twin leads and dual vocals. Some solid, Viking and folk influenced black metal from solid players.

On a unrelated note, I am beginning to compile the next part in the When drawing Goes Wrong series, Photoshop Abortions. Of course dealing with those heinous photo shopped album covers we all know. I thought I would throw it open to the IllCon contingency after the snowball of mentally crippled art posts and community high fiving that resulted in the superb MS paint thread. Anyway, if you know of any special needs, photo shopped terribleness in art form, then feel free to share it with us. You can email or message via here and here.

Monday, July 9, 2012


For the record, Apocryphon's mini-tour a week and a half ago was excellent, and contained many a highlight (most of which cannot be discussed publicly). But what was most likely the high point of our epic four-day journey was our quick overnighter at the abode of the internet's own Jaime Glen Danzig, who, with the help (coercion?) of his dear lady-friend Erin, showed us not only peak levels of hospitality and friendliness (a tall order considering our obnoxious drunkenness), but fed us, bathed us, gave us a warm place to sleep, and let us harass their pets (Billie deserved it for peeing on my face). Pretty crazy considering it was the first time JGD and I ever met face-to-face, but, in his words, "it's become clear that he's obviously just some cast-off mutant sibling of mine, complete with many of the same hopes, dreams, and death metal shirts." I heartily concur.

Above: Apocryphon performing LIVE at Slabtown, Portland, OR, June 29th, 2012

So what's the best way to repay such unmatched kindness? Gifts? Money? Good vibes?
Not for me. I choose to take the high road, and by the "high road" I mean publicly shaming Jaime in the most terrible and demeaning way possible.
Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to the Living Doorway/Illogical Contraption One-Month Fit Club Challenge 2012.


Here's the deal (as agreed upon between Mr. Danzig and myself): ONE MONTH (July 8 - August 8), whoever drops the most weight wins, bottom line. Whether it be by means of diet, exercise, shake weight, lipo (don't worry, neither of us can afford it), or stomach staples (don't worry, neither of us can afford it), the end result is all that matters. To the winner go the spoils.
The spoils: Winner (Cobras) designs a header that the loser (JGD) has to use on his blog for 2 weeks. No protest or arguments tolerated. The weigh-ins have already taken place, and the "before" pictures snapped (these may or may not be posted in August, depending on the condition of our respective doughy torsos/egos at the end of this competition). All that's left now: PAIN.
May the best man (me) win.

I may or may not have spoken about it before here on IllCon, but through both personal crisis and a little inspiration from The Living Doorway's Fit Club, I managed to drop about 20/25 lbs this past February/March, and although I've been slacking off super hard all summer (so far) and losing the beefy, rock-solid biceps I worked so hard to obtain, I feel fully confident and ready to dive back in at present. I'm pretty sure that through a combination of Ferriss-style slow-carb diet manipulation (you can call him a fraud, but it already worked for me once) and daily running around Lake Merritt (feel free to say hi, I'm the long-haired, tattooed guy wearing Rings of Saturn-logo basketball shorts), I can drop at least 10 or 12 pounds in a month. So let's fucking do this. I've got some really, uh, "creative" ideas for your new blog header, Jaime. I'd love for you to see them.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Okay, everybody just fucking chill out.
Are you chill? How chill are you? I'm afraid that's not chill enough. You're gonna need to bring it down a couple notches. Right now you're at "chill as a polar bear's toenails", but I need you to go even further. I'm talking only the chillest of chills. I'm talking Fantastic Planet chill.
Now before you get all sassy and point out that our long-lost chillbro Seanford posted this album as a footnote to his French workout-disco post HERE, I'd like to remind you that a) it has since been deleted from the great Mediafire Septic Tank in the Sky, and b) if ever there was a movie soundtrack fully deserving of its own post, it is this mellow gem, swan song of French pianist/composer/Gainsbourg collaborator Alain Goraguer. So here it is again. If you didn't jump on this thing before, now is the time.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

PS: This sucker has been sampled by Big Pun, Madlib/Quasimoto, and J Dilla, for those of you keeping track of that kind of stuff.



This is TONIGHT at the Oakland Metro Opera House! Get there early (7pm) to see Apocryphon and Cobras my drummer will buy you a beer. This show will be one for the fucking ages!

But that's not all!
Even the 99% of you that don't live in or around the San Francisco Bay Area still have a shot at IllCon-flavored goodness! If you can't fall gently asleep to the dulcet tones of our Grecian pals Dead Congregation, you might as well settle for the drunken babblings of our uber-buds Cory, Erik del Tigre, and Aloysius T. Yothers over at Illogical Contraption Radio! Shit goes live on at 10pm, and, as always, phone lines will be open to you, the undeserving public! (415) 829-2980.


Let's rock.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scoring Spice

“Dune. Desert Planet. Arrakis. WATER.” --Kyle McLaughlin, in Lynch’s Magnum Opus, Dune
“Dune, where’s my car?” --Cobras

Many bands have tried and failed to capture the essence of Frank Herbert’s seminal, epic, orientalist space-opera, DUNE. For some, it might have been better if they had tried and died. 

It would be well-nigh impossible to document every Dune-inspired track in the universe, so these are but a sampling of the many existing varieties of Dune music. They are grouped in brackets because, as Paul Atreides has observed, "the worst potential competition for any young organism can come from its own kind."

Techno Bracket
Eon let loose in 1991 with a couple Dune-themed tracks, "The Spice Must Flow" and "Fear: The Mindkiller." "Fear: The Mindkiller" is a clear ancestor of the Mortal Kombat theme song, and samples (you guessed it!) the line "fear is the mind killer" a few thousand times. For good measure, Eon throws in a healthy dose of what sounds like the panting from Kraftwerk's "Tour De France." Because that's what Kraftwerk is awesome for-- panting.

Not shown: panting. Shown: nerding.

As bad as this may be, however, it’s still better than “German techno-pop ensemble from Münster Dune,” because by "techno pop" they mean Happy Hardcore. If you don’t know what that is, take a moment to thank the gods. You are either too young, too old, or were too under-a-rock-in-the-90s to have been exposed to this toxin. Preserve your innocence/health. If you must know, a representative track is "Can't Stop Raving," but don't say I didn't warn you. Also, Dune’s youtube page would have you know that the group is “named after the 1984 science fiction movie directed by David Lynch.” Yup. Straight from the source.

Winner: no one. No one is a winner here.

Metal Bracket
Another band of Krauts, Golem, attacked the Dune concept in their 1998 album “The 2nd Moon.” Check out the first track, The Wanderers. Featuring succinct riffage and abstract/subtly ESL lyrics (see e.g.: “Unlocking the gates of time, widening its bounds/Guarded by the maker ...facing desert ground”), Golem may actually have what it takes to make a Kwisatz Hadderach.

A further solid entry comes from Aussie rock band Buffalo (mentioned in a previous Cobras post), whose Dune Messiah takes us on a Pentagram-esque journey to Arrakis (and admit it, you always wanted to go to Arrakis with Pentagram). 

Pretty sure it would be like this...

Blind Guardian also pays a visit to the Dune-iverse in Traveller in Time. The morning sun! Of Dune! Good old Blind Guardian. If you haven’t heard this song, it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect from Blind Guardian (i.e., it is awesome, unabashed nerdery). They can really play their balisets ifyouknowwhatimean.

Picard Knows.

Also, according to a reliable source (wikipedia, duh), Iron Maiden tried to name To Tame A Land “Dune,” but Frank Herbert was having none of it. Apparently the band was told that "Frank Herbert doesn't like rock bands, particularly heavy rock bands, and especially bands like Iron Maiden." Good call on that one, F. Herb. 
Frank Herbert hates you. 
PS: Dreamtheater fans will be delighted to admit to you that Dreamtheater covered "To Tame A Land."  

Winner: Vote your choice in the comments. You are the dungeonmaster! You get to decide!

  • Blind Guardian
  • Buffalo
  • Golem
  • Iron Maiden
  • Dreamtheater

Prog/Jazz Bracket

More to F. Herb’s taste might be the smooth stylings of one Dave Matthews (!), a jazz keyboardist from Kentucky who hung out with James Brown and was apparently moved to gather together a bunch of other jazz players (Grover Washington, Eric Gale) and write several Dune-themed songs which readers should check out at their own risk. These are all on a 1977 album Dave Matthews titled, wait for it, “Dune.” The creativity here just does not end... or at least, not until the second side of the album, where Dave gives us NOT ONLY a disco-fied version of the Star Wars main theme (it was 1977, so Lucas didn’t quite know what he had on his hands), but also a limp cover of David Bowie's Space Oddity. On a related note, the only tolerable part of the latter song was sampled by MF (“Metal Face/Fingers”) Doom in Rap Snitch Knishes. You know. Like you do. Wait, what was I talking about?

Ah yes. Another entry in the Dune prog bracket are French prog rockers Dün, about whom we have previously heard. An interesting compare and contrast exercise may be done by playing Dave Matthew's "Arrakis" and Dün's “Arrakisback to back. Go on. Try it.

  • Dave Matthews
  • Dün
Video Game Bracket
Yes, evidently there were at least two about a million soundtracked Dune videogames. Kids these days. Don’t they know about books? Require a little effort on your part, make no be-be-be-be-beeps. Anywho.

1992 saw the release of not one, but TWO Dune videogames. The first was called “Dune” by Cryo Interactive, and it carried a soundtrack called "Dune: Spice Opera." It’s not so bad, from what I can tell. Also, at 1:55 of the track embedded below, "Sign of the Worm," you can see a sweet rendering of Shai-Hulud in 1992 graphics. 

A competing video game company, Westwood Studios, released “Dune II” that same year; check out this sweet dialogue: “We were your pawns and Dune was your board.” The score is basically 8-bit plus. In 1998, Westwood Studios released “Dune: 2000” scored in part by professional video game composer Frank Klepaki. Good old Frank K. does a musical homage to/rip off of Toto’s score to Lynch’s Dune here on this track at about 3:22-32; otherwise, this is fairly unremarkable stuff.

  • Dune: Spice Opera
  • Dune II
  • Klepaki
  • No one, again

Dune OST Bracket
The Lynch Dune OST has been reported on here, but I thought I might add a few words. Two of those words are "Brian Eno." Two more words are “fuck yeah.

but of course there is a
For the sake of completeness, here is the theme music from the Dune television series, composed by the dude who did the soundtrack to Final Destination V. If you have ever watched any sci-fi movie and heard some generic background symphonics, you’ve basically heard it. Speaking of orientalism, there’s also a Bonus New Age Track.

Winner: Toto/Eno OST. I’m sorry, this is just objective. Please send your complaints to James Madison.

Well, there you have it, friends. A smattering of the aural representations of the Dune-iverse. Please feel free to add on in the comments.

Behold Kris Mar, newest addition to the IllCon Team! Hail Kris Mar! May the rivers run red with the blood of your fallen foes, and may vampires tremble and expire at your feet just as they do under the mighty ax of Abe Lincoln!
I am impressed with the nerdiness contained herein, please feel free to contribute further in the future. Sweet.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Hate to disappoint the wax-moustache-and-skinny-pants crowd, but I've never been much of a Darkthrone fan. Transilvanian Hunger (just about everyone's original introduction to the band, it seems) always struck me as a low-quality, repetitive bore, and their following albums just got worse and worse as the years progressed. I even tried tuning back in recently after reading some positive press on their "newer" stuff (F.O.A.D., Circle The Wagons, Black Flags, et al.), but I found those albums to be a cross between laughable and cringe-inducing, just sloppy black and roll with some of the worst, self-referential lyrics possible ("I Am The Working Class"? Huh?). Honestly, I just don't get it. Fenriz is probably a rad dude to sit and guzzle suds with, but I'm just not feeling his jams. Sorry. Any and all hate mail should be sent directly to illogicalcontraption(at)yahoo(dot)com.
There are exceptions within Darkthrone's lackluster discography, though, mainly (and predictably for ol' Uncle Cobras), their "death metal" album Soulside Journey. I fucking love this album, and even the handful of scratchy demos that preceded it. Sure, it's not much of a departure from the millions of other DM albums that were floating around Scandinavia at the time, but the riffs are pretty cool, the grooves are crushing, the drum work is solid, and the overall tone, atmosphere, and aesthetic is just leaps and bounds beyond the generic corpsepainted cemetery tomfoolery that this band immediately adopted upon the release of 1992's A Blaze In The Northern Sky.
Boring band, awesome album. Let's fight.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE