Saturday, June 16, 2012

Down the stairs it came

A still and potential album cover from my band The Forest Children (formerly known as Darkness Brings the Cold).

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Liars - No.1 Against The Rush (Official Video)

Say it ain't so WEEN...

I spent much of the week disconnected from the world at large and after a particularly rough Friday, June 1st I succombed to the medicine of sleep at an uncharacteristically early 8 PM and slept the deep, restorative sleep of the over-worked. When I awoke this morning I logged into the virtual world and toured around my usual sites in an attempt to see what I'd missed over the last several days. It was on one of my favorite of those sites – a marvelous blog entitled Heaven is an Incubator – where I came across the news that one of my all-time favorite bands, Ween, had called it quits.
Not a good way to start the day.
It's no surprise really, and although it saddens me deeply I must say that if this is what Aaron Freeman, aka Gene Ween needs to do at this stage in his life, then I am happy he made the decision and support it fully. Still... it's been five years since WEEN's last album proper – La Cucaracha – and I would be lying if I didn't admit that there is a very large part of me that really wanted one last record before this finality which, if I'm being honest, is really not that much of a surprise.
If you're a music lover and you don't know WEEN I implore you ...

read the rest on Joup...

Monday, May 7, 2012

RIP Adam Yauch

Three days ago the world received the news that one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch – better known as MCA – died after a long battle with cancer. I’ll not lie, it’s been years since I really followed the Boys’ music, however it was very important to me in my teens/early twenties and as musicians I will always respect them. Paul’s Boutique and Check Your Head will forever be modern masterpieces in my book, even though as I grew older (and so did the boys) I lost the ability to identify with aging men who gesticulate wildly while they throw out rhymes. Well, that’s not really fair to them because the fact is I just kinda lost the ability to identify with most rap, period. Nonetheless, last year about this time I went through a big revival with the BBoys for a few weeks and during that time I gave careful consideration to their 1992 masterpiece Check Your Head and came to the realization that if I was put on the spot to pick the album that I think best encapsulates the “alternative boom” of 90′s popular music it would probably be Check Your Head, an album that transcends their rap/hip-hop roots and really stretches the ideas of musicianship, creative process and good ol’ fashioned FUN (K).

My heart goes out to Mr. Yauch’s family, Adam Horowitz, Michael Diamond and the millions of people he affected with his music, and later his film production company Oscilloscope Laboratories. Below is a re-posting of the article I wrote about Check Your Head‘s place in musical history for I’ve tidied it up and expanded the piece, as MCA’s death has put me back in a state of contemplating his legendary band’s career.

Read the rest on Joup...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Godflesh - Slateman (live)

David Lynch 'Good Day Today' (Official Video)

I'm waaaaaay behind on this but kudos to director Arnold de Parscau and cinematographers Jonathan Bertin, Antoine Bon - not to mention the actors - for the winning video. Very nice

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kevin Smith's SMoviola "Buckaroo Banzai" at the 49th New York Film Festival

Some New Live WEEN

Courtesy of Mr. Brown, setlist below.

Video streaming by Ustream



denver 12/29/11 first of 3 nights. they set a record for # of songs played. no song repeated on any night. (Mr. Brown adds that, "We just may have the next live disk set, they sound in top form." - yes they do my friend. Yes they do.)

did you see me?
golden eel
stallion 3
my own bare hands
spinal mengits
buckingham gn
learnin to love
stroker ace
roses r free
ice castles
final alarm
the argus
powder blue
richard smokr
pumpin 4 the man
I saw gener cryin in his sleep
put coke on my dick
band onthe run
homo rainbow
tried & true
your party

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ghost LIVE in San Francisco, Feb 1, 2012

I knew I would regret missing this the other night @ The Roxy. Luckily they will be back in April opening for Opeth/Mastodon. My friends Greg and Tori assure me I missed a great show, and as this footage from the night before the LA show demonstrates, I 100% believe them. The only drawback to waking up @ 4:30AM for work everyday is it makes me a wuss when it comes to staying up late.

Oh how times have changed.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chick publications: Saving us from Ourselves for over 40 years

Many of you will know what Chick publications is, even if you don't know that you do.

Wait, backup.

Many of you will know the work Chick Publications produces even if you do not know Chick publications by name. Have you ever known someone, maybe a high school guidance counselor or janitor, who is a 'born again' and goes about trying to 'save' others by passing out quirky little Jesus-comic strips? If you've seen them then you'll recognize them - they're real small and always have titles like, 'It's not your fault' or 'The Beast' and they're always filled with the idea that the world is going to end any gosh darn moment and since it's possessed by Satan if you don't drop everything* right now you could be attacked by demons or atheists or demon atheists!!! The books themselves look like this:

There was a very quiet school janitor who gave these out in junior high or high school and they've fascinated me since. Part of what fascinates me is that no matter where I go these things always pop up eventually. The other part that fascinates me is while they are earnestly trying to be serious they're really quiet hysterical; hammy to the point that it's incredible to believe anyone takes them seriously. Yet obviously some do just that. Recently someone gave me one at work. 'The Beast',a small black-and-white strip that sports a happy family on the coverwith 666 etched into each of their heads (mom, dad and baby too!!!) and a creepy-looking hand reaching out and apparently baptizing them into the ways of darkness. I hadn't seen one of these for a while and this was a great reminder of just how kookie religion can make some folk. The strip talks about 'Life as it is today' - basically a drunken orgie of fornication and debauchery, citing clipped bible verse after clipped bible verse to tie in technology, slowly spinning the drunken orgie into a war games-like scenario of evil global control, culminatingwith a page that is so ridiculous it requires a visual aid:

Now, I know there is a whoooole mess of good stuff happening in the panel above but I would like to draw your attention to two things in particular. First, as my good friend Ray pointed out the end of world looks kinda cool from the Chick publication camp's point of view, especially if you're a horror movie fan. I mean, I always thought the Apocalypse was going to be some big, abstract menagerie of multi-headed biblical beasts and fires of judgment - apparently that is not the case. Let's see, we've got Bat-winged devils, Baphomet, what looks like it could be Nosferatu. Also there is a zombie (drawn awfully similar to Exorcist-era Linda Blair, no?), a posse of black-robed druid guys and, my favorite, the Wolf man. Do you think the agents of the Apocalypse have to pay licensing fees to use the Wolf Man in their war of Good vs. Evil? I'm betting Universal would be into that. Imagine the royalties.

Second thing I want to talk about from the little jewel above is the caption at the very bottom, beneath the comic frame proper. Let me quote for you now, adding my own emphasis by bolding: 'For factual information on Satanism, read LUCIFER DETHRONED, the true story of ex-vampire William Schnoebelen. By Chick Publications.'

Okay, so, ah, do the words factual and ex-vampire belong in the same sentence if we are not watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? This led me to do a little google-stalking on ol' Mr. Schnoebelen. Wanna know what I found? Check it out.

Scroll down and read Mr. Schnoebelen's 'be there done that' list. Satanist, 33 degree Mason, Knight Templar, Thelemite, Vampire (still don't get that one), and Priest for The Church of Latter Day Saints??? Sound like a devotee's list of every other freakin' option out there, besides of course directly attacking the Eastern religions, which I'd bet dollars to donuts they do elsewhere. And that's another thing. If you read down far enough - about to where the article talks about Mormonism - you'll find this little faux pas. Again, I've added my emphasis by bolding:

'Within days, his life fell apart and he lost all his magical power. This crisis led us, ultimately to join the Mormon (LDS) Church…'Ahhh... so Mr. Schnoebelen or his wife are the ones writing this, trying to adopt a third person stance but no doubt brimming with too much self-importance to maintain the distance required for third person, instead falling into self-righteous character and subsequently first person as well.

The whole Chick thing is, I suppose, a cultural phenomenon. However, cultural phenomena are not, by a rule, always good things. Look at skinny jeans. No, seriously, I started out with the intent to debunk (i.e. ridicule) these mini comics that saturate our social atmosphere on underground levels. I lost that thread for a bit above because in researching these things I remembered how much fun they are. However, as I'm sure Count Schnoebelen himself might agree, many times dangerously undermining agencies begin with an ignorant or intolerant message and then work to sugar-coat it in the most seemingly benign or even fun flavors imaginable.Jim Jones anyone???


* Except I'd imagine, your pants.