Saturday, January 16, 2021

War Pimp Renaissance

I finally picked The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen back up earlier this week, and this time, I find I can't put it down. More about that below. For right now, reading the Biafra interview in the book and hearing Al talk about the origin of the band Lard, I felt motivated to dig out 1997's Pure Chewing Satisfaction. This is one of those records I had on cassette back in the day, and because I still have the actual cassette, I always put off listening to it on Apple Music under the guise that I should dig out that tape. Well, that never happens, so I haven't heard Pure Chewing in a loooong time. Guess what? I gave up on the tape and started playing it the other day, only to find out I miss the hell out of this record!

The Last Temptation of Reid has always been the go-to masterpiece in the Lard catalog as far as I was concerned; however, now I find Pure Chewing Satisfaction is every bit as awesome, starting with this, the opening song, which I could listen to over and over again ad nauseam.


Watching the first two episodes of Marvel's Wandavision last night was quite the experience. I now very much understand what Elizabeth Olsen meant in the interviews she did during the run-up to this show when she repeatedly said, "I just can't believe they let us actually do this show." 

This is the evolution of Marvel's style. 

I'm speechless. Wandavision isn't the best thing I've ever seen or even my favorite of the Marvel stuff, but being that it breaks their fight-on-catwalk-stop-him-before-he-ends-the-world-and/or-destroys-the-entire-city mold and shows that they will begin to take chances, I'm excited. And as fans, that's all we can ask for. That's how the comics gave us things like Matt Faction's Hawkeye series, or Rick Remender's Uncanny Avengers, or any of the mold-breaking stuff Marvel occasionally does to draw in new readers who don't necessarily jive with fight-fight-fight and crossover-crossover-crossover paradigm they seem to still be stuck in.

I'm totally fine having (mostly) given up reading Marvel Comics if I can get stories like this from their MCU.


Last year when Mr. Brown sent me his copy of Al Jourgensen's autobiography, I read about a fourth of it and had to walk away. This happens a lot with musician autobiographies. Soul Coughing's Mike Doughty's book really started to affect how I felt about one of my favorite bands of all time, so I stopped reading that, too. I thought that would be the case here, but when I picked Gospels up again recently to give it one more chance, I found I couldn't put the fucking thing down.

Al still comes off like a complete douche, which I guess really shouldn't be a surprise. However, the book is also laugh-out-loud hysterical at times. Really, once I got past the utter nonsense of him bragging about how many chicks he nailed as a teenager and moved into the origins of Ministry, well, the douchery didn't stop, but it became mixed with a lot of great information about a band I've loved for most of my life (thanks also to Brown, who lent me his copy of The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste when we were Juniors in High School).

Anyway, if you can get past those initial chapters, and deal with him being one of those "Been there, done that, did that first, fuck those guys I used to work with" tirades, and the endless drug stories that make him really look like an ass - the River Phoenix one is especially awful - then this is a pretty good read. 


Lard - Pure Chewing Satisfaction
Lard - The Last Temptation of Reid
The Veils - Total Depravity
The Replacements - Tim
Deafheaven - 10 Years Gone
Ministry - Dark Side of the Spoon


This morning I thought I'd pull from the Raven Deck. Every time I bring these cards out, I marvel at the work and detail my good friend Missi put into them. The cards literally hum with the energy she put into them, and so they make reading an incredibly unique experience.

Change. From Peter J. Carroll's Liber Null: "The only clear view is from atop a mountain of your dead selves."

I have 100% agreed with this statement since I first began reading Carroll in the early 00s. And I find it funny that I pull this card now, as I try to understand how I've suddenly become able to reintegrate The Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream back into my life.

Tangent? No. Hear me out.

I loved this record upon its release the summer before my Senior Year in high school began, but I have been mostly unable to feel passionately about it since about two or three years later. Everything about this album and that band that I loved was, in my opinion, flipped on its head beginning with the release of the follow-up, and The Smashing Pumpkins became kind of an antithesis to me. However, for every reason I feel justified in distancing myself from their music and personas, I realize too, I was distancing myself from who I was when this album meant so much to me. Which is fine. That's the mountain of dead selves at work right there, and that's important. And there's a vulnerability to reconnecting with something that was so integral and intertwined with who you were when you were a teenager, and I began to make it a point to execute and deny most previous versions of myself somewhere about the time I graduated college and became a bartender (ha! what a sentence). 

Anyway, I guess the poignant part of all this is that while Siamese Dream was executed and thrown on the pile with that old version of Shawn, along with records by bands like Pantera, Sublime and the like, it's a new one for me that I can dig this one out of that mountain of corpses, dust it off, and reconnect with it in such a strong way.

Will it last? It feels like it will, however, I should probably avoid hearing anything billy corgan says in the media if I want that to last.

No comments: