Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Patrick Cowley - 'Deep Inside You' from Muscle Up (Dark Entries Compilation 2015)

I love Patrick Cowley and have since I inherited a cd of his mixes when the library I was working at deleted a whole bunch of music titles on cd. I jammed the heck out of it ever since. I am sure it is in a box in the basement along with all of my other cd's which survived various moves. So, I am way, way into the fact that the Dark Entries label has taken the time and energy and love to compile Patrick Cowley's 70's gay porn soundtracks! Unlike his usual HI_NRG Disco Fantasia, this stuff is waaaay spacy psychedelic bliss-out syrup. It is some of the best stuff ever, like ever. It doesn't seem to have been made specifically as a soundtrack, but was stuff Patrick Cowley was working on in college and then sold for use in the films. Were it not for their incorporation into the work of Fox Studios, we may never have gotten to hear this music! What is even more awesome is that Dark Entries, for the song 'Deep Inside You', made a PG-13 edit of the Fox Studio movie 'Muscle Up' which was apparently itself a compilation of other movies, to serve as a kind of visual megamixxx to the music. This is seriously incredible, and gives the work its necessary filmic focus to really really dig it. I am in love with this song/video. Oh!!! Even thought it is PG-13, they make you click on the 'might not be appropriate for some viewers' button FYI. There are a lot of shirtless dudes, some with aviator shades, motorcycle jackets and some bare bottoms,slow-motion near-action, etc. These movies look totally great! I wonder if they are going to re-release a DVD companion? Honestly one of the most entrancing video experiences I have had this year. and here is the 'Muscle Up' Playlist from YouTube to check out!!! It seriously is super-incredible! and here is a Bonus Video of 'Nightcrawler' from Dark Entries first release of some of Cowley's porn soundtrack work for Fox Studios, School Daze (2013): and here is a Bonus Video of 'Mockingbird Dream' also from Dark Entries' School Daze compilation! Because I cannot stop thinking about Patrick Cowley, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite songs from his 1982 LP 'Mind Warp' which was as much queasy nocturnal sci-fi electro as it was hype-synth-disco. The song I have chosen to share is in fact an Invasion Of The Body Snatchers -influenced paranoid opus called 'They Came At Night' and brings back memories of watching the 1978 movie on cable tv at various points in the early 80's. Sadly, 1982 would be the year Patrick Cowley died of complications from AIDS, so we never got to hear more of his incredible music.

Tau Cross - Tau Cross (2015)

Longtime readers of this blog know how much in my blackened, rusty heart and lungs I love Voivod and Killing Joke, and, although I have not said so here, I equally love Amebix (OH GOSH DO I LOVE AMEBIX!!!!) so it can be imagined how excited I was to learn of a "thrash/crust/folk/pastoral-disco supergroup" consisting of Rob 'The Baron' Miller of Amebix on bass/vox, Away from Voivod on drums, and rounded out by members of the legendary Minnesotan Crust Band Misery, in order to make a Killing Joke/Motorhead tribute band in honor of the growing and harvesting cycles of agrarian society, specificially, the portion of the Wheel Of The Year extending from Beltane to Samhain. This is very much dancing-around-the-bonfire musicks. I only wish I had listened to it when it would have matched best with exterior landscapes rather than the befogged/rainy netherworld of mists we have been lost in now for a seeming eternity. Anyway, here is Tau Cross. They (mis)rule pretty seriously!!!

Queen - 'Get Down Make Love' Live Montreal 1981

Queen are just the best. All of them. If I could see Freddie Mercury Queen live every day in person I so would. This song I saw randomly on the TV the other night and although I have watched this concert before, it struck me that this was the sound of what would be played by an outpost of alien wasps who had constructed a discotheque for their zoo humans to enjoy so as to simulate 'authentic human behaviors'. Of course, the alien wasps would get Queen to play a special concert on the Rings of Saturn, so maybe it doesn't sound like alien wasps at all. Maybe it just sounds like Queen. Maybe alien wasps developed their entire musical sensibility from intercepted Queen broadcasts. I actually like that idea better. I don't really know what I am talking about. I have been sick for so long now!

Sam Gopal - Escalator (1969)

So today when I was listening to this Sam Gopal album, which was one of those albums I had always heard here or there or in passing, but sadly, was moved to listen to, fully and presently, in the wake of Lemmy's death, I became, like, REALLY EMOTIONAL. This was Lemmy's first album gig, prior to Hawkwind, but not only does it NOT sound like Hawkwind (or Motorhead, for that matter), it is radically and fully its own beast, death-charged and apocalyptically burning in a landscape carved into or FROM Hell itself wherein the skies themselves have been replaced with the last cannabis-choked exhalations of the flower-children who simply cannot survive such heaviness. Sam Gopal founded this band, and he plays tabla, so the vibe of this process is real sinuous and entranced. This is musick for being in love with the end, of being high on death, of the rush and massive psychick sinkhole received from concentrating and then intentionally snorting crypt dust. This is beyond highly recommended. This is one of the best psych LP's I have ever heard. Thoroughly without mercy in the best possible way. By the way: Lemmy sings & plays gtr.!!!!

Syl Disjonk - 'Ethereal Chrysalis' (2011 - 2014?)

WARNING!!!!! DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU HAVE WATCHED THE ABOVE VIDEO!!! [[MAJOR SPOILERS!!!]] So, my good friend and dearest Maistre M Kitchell sends me a link to this video and tells me he is obsessed with it, which tells me that it is going to be some heavy stuff. And heavy it is! Syl Disjonk's 'Ethereal Chrysalis' not only has the TITLE of a Metal Album it is functionally a whole bunch of Extremely Extreme Metal Album Covers from the 00's strung together into a narrative film whose moral seems to be: if you have serious mental health issues, like some psychic vampire is fracking your dreams from your skull when you are in the asylum, what you should do is tear off your astral head and have it fly into direct conflict with the Great Turtle-Louse of the Nebulae in order to become a hybrid human-turtle-louse with pyrokinesis, thereby being able to assassinate your body and live forever in metal album covers! That sounds like good? advice! So word to M Kitchell for turning me onto this! And YES!!! It turns out that Syl Disjonk DID do not just any metal video, but a VOIVOID metal video!!!! 'Kluskap O'Kom', from Target Earth (2013), is about the domination and extermination of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada at the hands of White Invaders Voivod are pretty much my favorite metal band ever, more or less (along with Celtic Frost and Slayer), so this is exciting news! Syl Disjonk has also done a tribute video for Voivod, celebrating Denis (Piggy) D'Amour for induction into the Quebec Metal Hall of Fame, which you can watch here: Here is Syl Disjonk's general website! It is rad! Praise And Thanks Be To Mike!!!

Iancu Dumitrescu - 'Pierres Sacrees/Hazard And Tectonics' (2013)

So, over at Wm. Berger's My Castle Of Quiet, I heard Iancu Dumitrescu for the first time in a long while, and so I started digging and found that he put out a record for Ideologic Organ/Editions Mego in 2013, which they themselves uploaded to YouTube! Here is an informative link about the release: The first track is 'Pierres Sacrees' which dates from the late 80's/early '90s's, and is composed of "prepared piano, metallic plates and objects" and the second track, 'Hazard And Tectonics' is "computer realized" and dates from 2009-2013 All are apparently performed! as well as composed by Dumitrescu. Both of these tracks are blow-your-cortex heavy. The 'organic' one sounds to my ears completely 'electronic' and alien-squall far-out. Objects with a fair degree of mass buzz, clunk, clatter, resonate and short-out wildly. This is noise-bliss of the highest orders. Dumitrescu apparently regarded everything as a sound-source to be acoustically alchemized and processed. And all recorded musick is 'electronic musick' to begin with in a very important sense, as the means of its capturing/recording/playback are all electronic in nature and that is the medium by which it is heard, etc.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

SubRosa - 'Stonecarver' from No Help For The Mighty Ones (2011)

I was lucky to see SubRosa in 2014, touring their 2013 album, More Constant Than The Gods, which is totally amazing. Seeing SubRosa was an ecstatic experience for me, and for at least some other audience members too! SubRosa's aim as musicians is to have no part of this kingdom, but to call down forces and commune with and among them. This is palpable in their work. I felt like playing 'Stonecarver' because I keep thinking about the mountain in Southern Kalifornia, siphoned and bleeding and it pulls at something in me, something this song sort of addresses. SubRosa are an incredible band, incorporating elements of psych, doom, folk, and various metals in a way which sounds heretofore unheard and unique to them and their immediate directives. If you like 'Stonecarver' check out the rest of their albums! My favorite song off of No Help For The Mighty Ones is 'Beneath The Crown', but I was really feeling this one today.

Aerial Infra-Red Footage of Aliso Canyon Methane Leak Plume

I am not a trusted news source of any sort, or even a shady/untrusted one, but thanks to the Environmental Defense Fund for putting up this IF Aerial footage of the Aliso Canyon Methane Leak which, as a result of Deep Fracking Gone Wrong, has been spewing methane continuously into the atmosphere since October 23, 2015, close to the town of Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley, Kalifornia. Schools have had to be relocated, people have been evacuated, people have been made ill by this, which is one of the worst industrial disasters in United States history. The folks in charge estimate they can close the leak by February something or other. Methane is far more potent a global-warming agent than carbon dioxide and this is a whole whole lot of it. I am going to stop writing now. You should read a real news article about this. Anyway, I am sorry that this is a paraphrase of other stuff I read and forgot to cite. I apologize! No original reporting was done here by me! I just wanted to link to the EDF's amazing video!

Laughing Hyenas - Live DCTV 1990 (at the 9:30 Club)

Thanks to chunkletguy for uploading all this live Laughing Hyenas stuff. They are good for what ails me, at least, but I am sure, far, far more beings than just the solitary I. In High School and early College I played at excruciating volume Laughing Hyenas albums whilst jumping around and thrashing and lurching and crawling and whatnot in my dorm room. This is a super-solid 10 minutes of blare and jam. Larissa S., one of the baddest noise-punk guitarists to ever play. For those listeners, or me, who feel that 10 minutes of Laughing Hyenas live action is simply not enough (and how could it be?) here is a full hour-long 1992 set in Hoboken, also via chunkletguy: This is better-fi than the DC clip, but something about that earlier performance calls up something in me. Not that this doesn't! This rules so very hard!!! Laughing Hyenas forever!!! PS - when I was a teenager in my bedroom listening to Laughing Hyenas records I thought to myself "How does John Brannon sing like that?" Watching this live footage actually not only does not answer my question but complicates it, because he does it over and over again for an extended period of time. Even after listening to 25 years of black/death/extended-technique growling, screeching, howling, shouting, etc., Brannon's vokills remain some of the harshest and most overwhelming in musicks.

Lightnin' Hopkins - 'Lightnin' Don't Feel Well' from Rockin' At Herald Records (1960)

Probably my favorite Lightnin' Hopkins song ever. This guitar tone is unreal to me. It immediately changed how I heard and played guitar. I also am not feeling well, so I am calling upon the power of Lightnin' to bring succor and comfort in illness. All Hail!!!!

Metallica - 'Hero Of The Day' from Load (1996)

Continuing in a series exploring Metallica's videos for Load (1996), I watched Anton Corbijn's video for 'Hero Of The Day' and not only does the video ably capture day-to-day grunge-era squalor and aimlessness, if possibly attributing these behaviors and conditions to metal alien birds which live in our ear canals, it also allows Metallica's members to engage in lighthearted occupation of older TV eras and programming they were not typically associated with. The country-rock influence here is filtered through 80's alt/college rock sounds, and there is almost a New South chiming jangliness to the guitar riffs whose supplantation by thrash riffs is stunningly effective. This is a beautiful song by a band which not only CAN do anything it wants, it IS doing anything it wants and the resultant sound is something only achieved by mid-nineties Metallica. For years I 'liked' Load and would listen to it sometimes, but maybe only now that I am middle-aged, have I become the ideal listener to Load? Whatever! It rules!!!!! For better or worse, there will probably be more of these later!

Monday, December 28, 2015


A world without an animate, breathing, walking, drinking, rocking Lemmy is a world I have never known. It is a world foreign to me, a new world with less life, less drive, less will, less generosity, less reason, less equanimity... Lemmy WAS Motorhead, and Motorhead WAS Lemmy in a way that say Hawkwind was never going to be Lemmy or vice-versa, but in both Hawkwind and Motorhead, Lemmy granted Metal an indomitable forward inertial mass and momentum. Always onward, always forward, no sleep til. Unstoppable. Whether careening with abandon, crushing under treads of war machines, or trudging solemnly til death. I have spent a significant fraction of my life with Lemmy. Part of me will always belong to Motorhead and nothing but. I never got to see him live, and that I will always regret. My favorite Motorhead albums are the post-1916/March Or Die 90's albums Bastards, Sacrifice and Overnight Sensation, but I love all of them and have a strong fondness for Iron Fist, 'Fast' Eddie Clark's last album with the group and the one he produced for them. Here is an amazing trailer for 'Iron Fist' which I had somehow never seen before tonight! This may be literally the coolest thing I have ever seen and it would play before this would happen! Fast Eddie was replaced by Brian Robertson from Thin Lizzy, and Another Perfect Day )1983) was their only album with him, filled with beautiful, melodic leads and ornamentation. This also is among my all-time favorite Motorhead albums. Note: an earlier edition of this article went Iron Fist: Brian Robertson! which elided this whole section, and had me basically asserting that Brian Robertson played on Iron Fist which is CLEARLY NOT TRUE! My journalistic ethics/editing skills are buried under all of this phlegm and lack of oxygen, apparently. I am sorry faithful blog readers for leading you astray! Anyway, both Iron Fist and Another Perfect Day are among my most favorite Motorhead albums and are totally worth your time. For the record, Motorhead was unhappy with Eddie's production on Iron Fist (which honestly I like) and Brian Robertson's flashiness and fashion sense and spending too much time on preparing solos and leads and whatnot, which I also like, although it does not seem very 'Motorhead'. Here is Motorhead live with Brian Robertson in 1984 from the 1986 VHS Deaf Not Blind, with the awesome song 'One Track Mind' My favorite Motorhead song of all time, though, is "I Am The Sword" from Bastards (1993). This is the perfect Motorhead song because it encapsulates the grief, the weariness, the sorrow, the total lethality and never-ending carnage of war. It is not celebratory, but rueful and sad, angry at being used over and over again in this manner, for endless slaughter. From this general period, off of Overnight Sensation (1996)I also really like "I Don't Believe A Word" I HAVE SEEN THE SKY TURN BLACK!!!!! I have noticed that old, bitter, cosmically pessimistic Lemmy tends to be my favorite of all the Lemmys. To complete our tour of this, my favorite Motorhead era, here is the 'official video' for 'Sacrifice' from Sacrifice (1995) One of the things I love most about the mid-Nineties Motorhead was their almost blackened-death levels of harshness of attack and overall resolute grimness. This was a Motorhead that someone had (maybe?) played Bolt Thrower to. My favorite recent Motorhead song is 'Coup De Grace' off of 2013's Aftershock. It was the one I played the most in the Forester. It seemed especially heavy to me, but I like that album a lot, actually. It seems appropriate to stop with one of their most recent songs, 'Till The End' from Bad Magic (2015). We could always trust you, Lemmy. You never let us down. Love Forever & Ever & Ever Wait, though, I can't stop until never, but especially not til I have Motorhead playing 'Motorhead' live, because that would be wrong!!!! I had told myself that I wouldn't do this, but I feel like if not now, then when? And if not for Lemmy, than for who, ever???? So in the Spirit of Lemmy: Once Again & Always LOVE!!!!!! LOVE!!!!!! LOVE!!!!!!

Guns N Roses - 'Rocket Queen', Live 1988, The Ritz (non-HD version)

This is my favorite song on Appetite For Destruction, and it is also part of a sub-genre of AXL songs I like the best which is: after however many songs worth of sleaze and vitriol, potentially ignorant statements, and aching/oozing sentimentality, I will offer a quasi-confessional song at the end of my album/e.p./cassette which somehow both fulfills, negates, and magnifies all of the above qualities into an even larger but even tastier hot mess than that which preceded it. This is exactly why I love GNR, and always have and always will. 'Rocket Queen' is my favorite early GNR song for lots of reasons, but in the 1980's, it seemed to reopen questions of performative gender roles and sexual identity in a way that something like Poison could only play at doing. Whatever was going on with AXL & Co. was REAL in a way that just destroyed everything else on the ground. I mean I LOVE UNTRVE HAAIR METALZ but honestly my heart lay with GNR/L.A. Guns, Hanoi Rocks, Motley Crue and W.A.S.P., of these, my heart belonged first and foremost to GNR. I really fought with myself to put on the HD version of this, but it sounds so sharp and bright and clangy that I just couldn't do it. This version is gauzier and quieter, but the sounds actually blend together like they are supposed to, rather than just clashing like silverware in a dishwasher. I am old. I like things necro because I am close to the grave and tinnitus. Also, this performance rules despite/because AXL decides to wander off rather than sing the second verse in order to get a cigarette and then bother SLASH for a light off of his cigarette. AXL and SLASH are both totally shirtless so when some audience dude is like "hey! I also am shirtless! can I be part of your awesome club?" he gets pushed back into the crowd without even a glance of contempt. Love, Forever. And just for the record, I have heard about the possible reformation of the O.G. lineup of GNR and I have to say that is not something I particularly care about one way or another. I mean, sure, fine, ok. But what I REALLY WANT is new GNR songs. By this I mean AXL. Being someone who has had Appetite For Destruction on cassette since 1988, and who has bought every GNR album new in the store (except maybe The Spaghetti Incident? which might have come from Columbia House?), I will tell you all that my favorite GNR album hands down is Chinese Democracy and I have always wanted AXL to really tour with that lineup so I could see them and he hasn't exactly ever done that. Here is my for realz favorite GNR song (for the record, it is ALSO one of the above AXL-sub-genre songs. So Epic!!! I am so very predictable! - by the way, my Ties-For-Favorite AXL song is 'There Was A Time' which is probably a better song, with its Finck/Buckethead solos and being the apex of retropsective AXL ruefulness, but 'Prostitute' has a warmth and generosity of soul-searching which does something to my heart)::

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Kult Ov Devianz - 'Pulsions Antinomiques' from Au Sanctuaire Des Sociopathes Dégénérés (2010)

This is from Kult Ov Devianz's sole? demo cassette from 2010, Au Sanctuaire Des Sociopathes Dégénérés, and I have to say, that although I have heard a lot of savage and off-the-chain French Black Metal, this release is one of the ones that really goes for it. I would NEVER probably have heard this were it not for Wm. Berger's My Castle Of Quiet show on, so all hails and praises to him for this one! I cannot stop listening to this, and its not even the best song on this cassette, but it is the only one I could find on YouTube! Shredding and shrieking and banging! It is all good!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Diamanda Galas - 'The Litanies Of Satan' (1986)

Here is live video of Diamanda Galas performing her work, The Litanies Of Satan, based upon the poetry of Charles Baudelaire in San Francisco at the I-Beam. Diamanda Galas in the 1980's was up there with SWANS for total destruction of my mind and sacred transport thereafter. I was just getting interested in Charles Baudelaire as well, and Diamanda's interest in him certainly helped me to confirm that I was on the trail of what I was after. This video will wreck your day in the best possible manner. Will put a spell upon you for realz!!! Hail Diamanda! Hail Charles! Hail Satan!!!!!!

David Wojnarowicz - 'A Fire In My Belly' (ft. music by Diamanda Galas) - for Silence=Death (1989)

David Wojnarowicz has had more direct impact upon me than any other artist. He showed me that art and life were indivisible, that political activity was bound up with all of what we do, and that our spiritual being was both forged and manifest in these acts. This was a time in the United States in which The State and The Church were in immediate and constant collusion on multiple fronts to allow and control the spread of a plague they believed it would grant them a controlled genocide of 'undesirable elements', chiefly gay men and IV drug users. David Wojnarowicz and Diamanda Galas were artists who refused to let this pass quietly and who made this central policy the topic of much of their art for the 1980's, even as it felled their loved ones, and in the case of Wojnarowicz, themselves. This version of 'A Fire In The Belly' was approved by Wojnarowicz in his lifetime, and was displayed and then removed from the National Portrait Gallery in an act of State Censorship. It was kindly uploaded to YouTube by its producer, Michael Lupetin. Thank You So Very Much for making this available. Here also is an excerpt from ITSOFOMO (In The Shadow Of FOrward MOtion) by David Wojnarowicz and Ben Neill, also exhibited in 1989 and kindly uploaded to YouTube by Ben Neill: RISE TO GREET THE STATE, TO CONFRONT THE STATE.

Metallica w/ Cliff Burton(!!!!) - 'Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)' Live 1986

The screen is ultra-distorted and clouds of smoke make it look like the stage is obscured by clouds, but that helps the overall vibe of this awesome clip from 1986. When I was 13/14 and in Metal Health Lockdown (1988 edition), we watched Cliff 'Em All more times than I can count. We also watched the first Evil Dead movie and some XTIAN Anti-Metal videos because they at least were about metal. This wasn't my first exposure to Metallica, which had happened in Metal Health Lockdown (1987 edition) when a thrash/punk kid was like 'oh hey! you like Pink Floyd? You should listen to THIS!!!' which turned out to be Master Of Puppets. In hindsight, this was probably an effort to get me to stop playing The Wall and Animals and The Final Cut over and over again on my boombox (!!!)... What patience these older kids must have possessed! I would like to say that it was an instant conversion experience, but it wasn't. What I liked about Pink Floyd and Hendrix was their fluidity and spaciness, and in the case of Hendrix and early, Syd and post-Syd-era Floyd (which is still today the Floyd I listen to), the Noise and Chaos and Pure Sound. So, it actually took me hearing Kill Em All the following year to 'get' Metallica. Cliff Burton's Coltrane-influenced sheets-of-sound approach within thrash's gothic cathedral of architectonic shredding made a huge impression upon me. I was devastated to learn of his death, just prior to my becoming a Metallica fan. Ultimately, the noise-first approach of Slayer won me over in 1988 when I heard South Of Heaven for the first time and I was never the same after that. But that was also when I bought Dimension Hatross by Voivod and And Justice For All (still my favorite Metallica album, despite NO CLIFF!). Hail Cliff Burton & Metallica Forever!!!

Bell Witch - 'Suffocation, A Burial: I - Awoken (Breathing Teeth)' from Four Phantoms (2015)

Bell Witch's Longing (2012) is one of my favorite doom albums of recent memory. I listen to it over and over again, overcome with emotion. So when I put on Four Phantoms (2015) I thought it would be a lot like the last one by them, and it kind of is, except the thought that I cannot shake is that the first song on their album, 'Suffocation, A Burial: I - Awoken (Breathing Teeth)', is what it would sound like if the Ghost of Cliff Burton were to cover And Justice For All as a single, compacted, 'Anesthesia'-like bass epic. Even the song title seems to suggest this? I imagine him floating in the aether above the masters playing his astral bass, shredding into the cosmic void. And this would make sense that they would make an album with no audible bass, so that Cliff could play along to it from Valhalla? Maybe I am just insane. Anyway, this song is heavier and crunchier and more 'mid-range' than anything on Longing, which is strongly urge you to also listen to posthaste. Here is 'Suffocation, A Burial: I - Awoken (Breathing Teeth)' (the 'Earth' of their 4-Element Suite), followed by the rest of this excellent album

Friday, December 25, 2015

Deiphago - 'Red Dragon Of Chaos' from Into The Eye Of Satan (2015)

Because I am old, I get confused about metal labels the kids are on about these days. They put 'bestial' in front of war metal, death metal, black metal and that sure sounds cool but all of it sounds like metal to me, even if that modifer means a thrilling combination of all of the above in one dirty/messy/chaotic package I am all for it. I love metal itself more dearly than any other single musickal form but am relatively indifferent to how it approaches me as long as I dig it. I am not sure if Deiphago are themselves concerned with this or not, as they sound concerned here with raising Satan from the Abyss like Clive Cussler couldn't raise the Titanic in 1976. Personally I find this very moving indeed, and despite my tone, really dig this Deiphago album, but I have liked all of their stuff I have heard pretty much. They have been around for many years/decades plying their death/black/war/noise and some of their albums are way chaos-based and some are more organized. This one, Into The Eye Of Satan, is one of the more organized, despite this song's devotion to the Red Dragon Of Chaos, it has clearly defined parts and aural separation and whatnot. Anyway, if you like this, check out Deiphago's other recent releases under Hell's Headbanger's banner! Here is the full album stream for the new one, but I dig them all!!! Hail Satan!!!!!!

Rotting Christ - Χ Ξ Σ (666) from Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού (2013)

For when the full weight of the choirs and the freaking out and the pummeling all comes together and this dude is having some kind of nervous breakdown in his library. I have been there. This is generally the sort of thing your physical body survives! Rotting Christ has been awesome for decades and decades. Greek Black Metal was right there with the Norwegians in the temporal forge of the Second Wave!!! All Hail!!!!

Decide - 'Homage For Satan' from The Stench of Redemption (2006)

I love Deicide. I have loved Deicide since I have been aware of them. It has always been something I would gladly jack the volume up to on the radio or whatever. My favorite Deicide albums are Legion and The Stench Of Redemption, but really I like all of them, although the one about Glen Benton's divorce stands out as being more country-music inspired, so less 'epic' although, for one going through it, divorce can certainly feel like a war in heaven. This video, 'Homage For Satan', is so 00's desaturated-color/Pre-Walking-Dead SFLA Zombie Jamz it pretty much hurts because the song is so beautiful and intricate and the video has so little to do with Satan per se, although the Zombie Priest is for sure the highlight and why they thought this was a good idea I am sure. 'The Stench Of Redemption' was the album Deicide made after parting ways with the Hoffman Brothers who were their original guitarists and co-architects of the Deicide sound. Jack Owens of Cannibal Corpse and Ralph Santolla of Iced Earth (among other bands) were brought on board to shred mightily, which gives 'The Stench Of Redemption' a highly structured, almost neoclassical flavor. This was unlike prior Deicide, and ruled extremely hard, even for those like me who loved prior Deicide.
The Mothership Is Coming. We await patiently having fashioned the Ritual Circle. We constructed the Landing Site and Homing Beacons in Accordance with Your Instructions. Please take us from this place. Please Take Us Up. Please Take Us Up. The Mothership Has Landed. The Mothership Is Here. No More Waiting. We Will All Go Home To The Stars.

Run The Jewels - 'A Christmas F*cking Miracle' (2013)

Still spell AMERIKKA with a Triple K.

Stuart Gordon - Dolls (1987)

I wouldn't have necessarily thought so, but that is because I am not very observant, but Stuart Gordon's Dolls is a perfect Late-XMZZ-Eve/Early-XMZZ-Morn movie for a dark and stormy night. Although in 1987/1988 I could totally watch Aliens, The Fly, Evil Dead II, and Re-Animator, my childhood fear was of being stabbed to death in the middle of the night by animate dolls and even though I was not one of the worst parents on earth nor a new-wave highway robber, I would have been too freaked out even at 13 or 14 to actually watch this movie, so I saw it much later, after many other awesome Stuart Gordon movie experiences. Dolls is a movie I really love and is wonderfully atmospheric and full of cinematic gingerbread and knick-knacks. What is also good about Dolls is that if you happen to watch it like I have on Basic Cable, it is not going to be cut by much as it is not an especially gory or otherwise explict film to start with, at least not by Stuart Gordon's usual standards. This movie is a good time and a good XMZZ film for sure! My favorite sequence happens early on, and does not contain any spoilers and readily survives dubbing into Italian Here is an alternate UK VHS trailer for Dolls (as the original is overfull of spoilers), but go ahead and watch the whole movie if you haven't or haven't for a long time unless like 12-year-old me, it would give you incessant nightfrights for years!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

LL Cool J - Two Versions of 'Rock The Bells' (Original Version 1985) and Live On Soul Train (1986)

Jeff Mills - Two Versions of 'The Bells' - (Original Mix 1994/1996) and with Montpelier Philharmonic Orchestra (2005/2007)

Albert Ayler - Two Versions of 'Bells' - From Love Cry (1968) and from 'Bells' (1965)

Oneohtrix Point Never - 'Sticky Drama' (Complete) from Garden Of Delete (2015)

Ok, so there is some serious sci-fi mythological heft to 'Sticky Drama', the first action-oriented video from Garden of Delete and is kind of like if The NeverEnding Story were given a live-rewrite by tween slackers obsessed with Fangoria, biomorphic Tamagotchi-driven AI's, LARP-warfare, the Plague, drone surveillance-enhanced battlefield tactics, nickelodeon slime and if that Oregano-in-a-baggie you were sold when you thought you were buying weed actually possessed visionary psychogenic properties. It has a dramatic Prologue almost as long as its 'Official' Length. All of this storytelling fits into the even-larger mythology of Garden Of Delete which is about the fantasy life of a kid obsessed with the music of Kaoss Edge, a metafictional 90's band cited as an influence on Garden Of Delete. All of this is insanely rad. Plus n-whatever!!! Here is the website for Kaoss Edge if you need more, which, you do! KaossEdgeOfficial!!!! And here are the first two 'singles' uploaded by OPN from Garden Of Delete. They both rule, albeit differently. 'I Bite Through It' is so thoroughly my jamz.

Pantera - 'I'm Broken' from Far Beyond Driven (1994)

Because I use the internet and watch the cable television, primarily The Weather Channel when they actually talk about the weather, I am aware that this Pantera song is used in a commercial which I am not going to reference by name because I will be darned to heck if I am going to give them any direct promotion. I do hope that everyone associated with Pantera got some XMZZ $$$ from this and certainly do not begrudge them. Far Beyond Driven is my favorite Pantera album and this song rules, so hearing part of it over and over on TV made me want to hear the whole song, so here it is. I do wonder if overwhelming brokenness and poisonedness and being overcome by environmental causes is what the commercial agents wanted to suggest would occur via exposure to their products??? Here as a special bonus track, is an awesome song-theme-appropriate fan-made video for Pantera's cover of Sabbath's 'Electric Funeral' which appeared on Nativity In Black II (2000). As someone on the internet pointed out, Pantera does the best Sabbath covers and they are certainly among the highest echelon thereof. Bonus Bonus Pantera Sabbath Cover - 'Hole In The Sky' (2000. I admit I picked this video because of Phil's St. Vitus shirt. Bonus Bonus Bonus Pantera Videos: 'I Am The Night' from I Am The Night (1985) Bonus Bonus Bonus Pantera Video: 'Valhalla' from I Am The Night (1985) People sometimes like to diss or even ignore pre-Anselmo or even pre-Cowboys Pantera and this really isn't cool. Terry Glaze was an excellent vokillist for Pantera as these tracks from their best album of that period I Am The Night demonstrate! These songs are readily the equal of any U.S. Power Metal act of the 1980's and are totally awesome. The song from I Am The Night which was selected for a promotional video, 'Hot and Heavy', is NOT as good as these above songs, and has some truly unfortunate/offensive lyrics but WOULD make for a better TV commercial song (for obvious reasons) than 'I'm Broken' which I still find somewhat puzzling. But I don't like 'Hot and Heavy', so if you want to look it up, you can imagine your own commercial with that instead and feel all gross inside, like me! Of course, I am really sick still, so that may have something to do with it! Also, Pantera's next album was actually named 'Power Metal' (1988) and was Phil Anselmo's first album with them, and he totally rocks a Rob Halford-inspired terror-shriek which is completely awesome. I LOVE this era of Pantera!!!!! When they say they are going to rock the world, they mean it, like really mean it. See for yourself!

Black Sabbath - 'N.I.B.' Live Paris, 1970

All Hail the Eternal and Real Love Of Lucifer!!!!! All The Feels Forever Until The End Of Time!!!! Here is the entirety of the Paris 1970 Concert which is way rad, as to be expected, and begins with Ozzy janitizing the amp-area, which is less so, but still not out of character. He has on a nice blazer. I can basically assure you if you are wondering, that yes, this is worth an hour of your time this day or any day or night. As a bonus track, in 1994, there was a supergroup by the name of The Bullring Brummies who were assembled for a Sabbath Tribute Cover Album (Nativity In Black), a supergroup which consisted of Rob Halford, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler, Wino, and the guitarist from Fight, Brian Tilse. Instead of the latter two, it was supposed to have Iommi, but he wasn't allowed to due to record company shenanigans. This led to further discord in Black Sabbath. This band covered 'The Wizard'. Halford singing Sabbath is always grand, despite 90's vocal filters!!! Bonus Bonus Track - Cathedral 'Wheels Of Confusion' (one of two Sabbath Covers to appear as non-U.S. bonus tracks on the Nativity In Black compilation) Bonus Bonus Track - Cathedral - 'Solitude' (two of two Sabbath Covers to appear as non-U.S. bonus tracks on the Nativity In Black compilation)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cattle Decapitation - 'Your Disposal' from Monolith Of Inhumanity (2012)

Cattle Decapitation have over the years gone from being a kind of conceptual novelty 'misanthropocene vegetarian death metal' band to being an utterly beautiful/terrifying misanthropocene not-as-vegetarian death metal band. This is a real difference, because back in the day I liked them enough to buy my then girlfriend a Cattle Decapitation shirt that she wore lots around the house and even out despite not being really into death metal which had a diagram of a human with all of the beef cuts translated and the instructions 'discard head' and I listened to them now and then but starting with The Harvest Floor (2009) and then especially with Monolith Of Inhumanity (2012) and The Anthropocene Extinction (2015) their artistry has fully flowered into something incredible. This generally doesn't happen this far into a band's career, but I am glad it has, a large part of which is the evolution of Travis Ryan's incredible vocal performances. 'Your Disposal' is a song/video I am wholly addicted to. It has a really neat grimy/organic aesthetic that is rare in death metal videos and I am about it. Here is the whole of Monolith of Inhumanity to listen to on Cattle Decapitation's bandcamp page! They have other albums up their too, including their new one!!!

Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden Sings 'Sea Of Madness' in Sheffield on the Somewhere In Time Tour (1986) With The Flu! Poor Bruce Dickinson!!!

Today I woke up with this song in my head. My favorite Iron Maiden albums are Somewhere In Time and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. Overall I like Iron Maiden alot but am more of a Judas Priest fan who I truly worship. It seemed appropriate to upload a live cut with Bruce also sick because I am really really sick and should probably go to the doctor. The Metal Must Prevail!!!

Pusha T - 'Untouchable' from Darkest Before Dawn (2015)

The Final Trilogy Of Jaws. Today is day #2 of crushing migraine. Lots of times I can't listen to musicks at all during a migraine, but there is something about the stark definition of Pusha T's flow and the icy twangling layers of Timabland's soundscape which are actually comforting. Gosh this song rules.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

King Diamond Loves? XMZZ!!!!

King Diamond may or may not love XMZZ but he thinks about it often enough to make a song about it once every couple decades or so (at least!). In fact, 'No Presents For Christmas' was the very first? release by the King Diamond Band post-Mercyful Fate! Do you think The King makes specially edited versions of How The Grinch Stole Christmas where he just stops watching after the heist is pulled and the gloating winds down? There was a real opportunity missed by casting Jim Carrey as the live-action Grinch when putting The King in a distressed Santa hat and letting him rip for a Live TV Musickal Extravaganza would have been way cooler. Bonus King Diamond XMZZ materials! 'Christmas' from The Puppet Master (2003) XMZZ has indeed never been the same!!!! Hail To The King!!!!!!!

Russell Haswell - 'Wholly Unaware' from As Sure As Night Follows Day (2015)

Over the past few years I have been enjoying Russell Haswell's journey into noise-damaged acid house and/or acid-house-damaged noise. This may or may not wreck your dancefloor, depending, but it is helping me stay alert!!!

Ramleh - Re-Entry [Official Video]

Dominic Marceau's Official Video for Ramleh's 'Re-Entry' is pretty awesome. First of all, the idea that Ramleh have a 'rock single' in 2015 is astounding to me, and secondly, that this song and video together accomplish such sky-scraping/head-dirting actions with such psychic push is very right on. Longtime! readears of this blog will recognize Ramleh's new album Circular Time's storied place in this-blog-histronics and so might want to lay this upon themselves. I am still way sick and I can say for sure that it helps! Ramleh! Hyper-Therapeutic! Word!!!

Faith No More - 'Sol Invictus' from Sol Invictus (2015)

One of my favorite albums this year was the new Faith No More album. I didn't have any expectations whatsoever for it, but it turned out to be exactly what I wanted from them. It was kinda low-key but super-creepy and weird. I felt being the solstice-time that it was important to honor Sol Invictus. Hopefully this works! That they would make an album based in quieter grooves and freakiness over the stadium-filling anthems that they never really made all that many of in the first place made this more than a small victory, closer to a complete miracle. I mean, its not like Mike Patton and Co. ever stopped being involved with musicks in the past two decades, and they have brought all of that to bear here and now. That said, the other way it could have gone is as a post-avant Mr. Bungle spazz-out, and Sol Invictus is not that, rather full of tunes and well-constructed bordering-on-dull songs that grow in power the more they are listened to. Here is Faith No More playing 'Superhero' live in studio for the BBC: The wordless vocal sections in the songs are generally my favorites and grant an overall surpassing ambience to what might be AOR/MOR Rokk Traxx but never quite resolve that way. Also they made a video out of 'Daughter of Horror' which rocks!!! There is kind of a dusty Abandoned TexMex Restaurant/Cantina feeling to parts of this album, which makes me dig it ever the more, and adds a cohesive feeling rather than just being a 'oh that's that kind of representative FNM track!' Black Friday Consumer Stampedes get their own Holiday Soundtrack which maybe they really needed? This is an album that acknowledges that FNM are bitter middle-aged dudes and sounds like every day of the intervening decades has passed It is true that Mike Patton at least has been a grumpy middle-aged guy since the early 1990's anyway. This is ultimately a darker, more burnt-out work than anything previous by them, worn out by a seemingly triumphant capitalism which has eaten the world alive. This is an album crawling with both resurrection and zombification and wondering if they are not at all the same thing. The entire album is available as a playlist here: But my favorite song on the album is the very last one, which is about once again coming back from the dead and is the one I played the most in the Subaru this year. It sounds like a celebratory parade welcoming a loved one home, absent of vitriol and sarcasm and is just lovely, although I cannot rule out lurking bitterness and irony because. It is the endcap to 'Sol Invictus' and seems to really mean it

Bismuth - Unavailing (2015)

If you are sick with a sinus/lung infection and you cannot rest properly, what might make you feel better is to channel a bunch of minimalist doom/sludge into your ear cavities until some of the uck is dislodged. Bismuth's Unavailing is both the cure and the consolation if the cure doesn't work. Bismuth are from the UK and are Tanya Byrne(vox/bass) and Joe Rawlings (drums and some guitar on one track) and they have heavy riffs and extended compositions to attempt to heal your wounded and wracked being.

Nux Vomica & Rotting Sky

Hey! I feel like garbage today because I am sick and everyone in my house except for the petite rodentia have been sick for what seems like forever. I finally succumbed to the dread virus and my lungs are burning and I can't sleep even though I want to and gunk keeps coming out my lungs and nose and eyes. Therefore, I want to listen to something that understands how crummy I feel. So I am listening to Nux Vomica's self-titled album from 2014. They play an epic blackened U.S. crust-swedeath kinda stuffs. It is not pre-apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic but now-apocalyptic. I highly recommend reading along to their lyrics whilst listening even though their vox are audible and legible because it adds a dimension of desperation and unhappiness at a world already dead which just hasn't realized it fully. Tim Messing, the vocalist/guitarist from Nux Vomica, also has a harsh-ambient power-electronics-suffused black metal band called Rotting Sky which make Nux Vomica seem like some tv sitcom show-theme the kids would play on Disney XD. Lyrically, they seem more personally messed-up than civilization-wise, like small-scale apocalypse bad news but ratchet up the sorrowful abjection factor by a whole bunch. There are also keyboards, organic and otherwise. I like my black metal with keyboards if at all possible, thank you, especially if I am sick. There is a drum machine which makes the overall vibe that much harsher and not-welcoming. Rotting Sky - Ghost (2013) is more extended-drone-plod while being quite beautiful Rotting Sky - Sedation (2014) is more power-electron in scope and process, feedbacking raging guh Both Rotting Sky albums are eminently worth your time and are pretty in their manners. I am, however, more actively somewhat frightened by Rotting Sky than by Nux Vomica's output, which seems comforting by comparison. In particular, the themes of twilight sleep, restraints, being buried alive, organ removal, etc as unnecessary medical or worse procedures at the hands of those who do not mean you well in Sedation are personally reminiscent of dental and other operations under twilight anesthesia which can be nightmarish and brutal so if these things are scary/icky to you, be forewarned! It is all good, though!!!

Metallica - 'Until It Sleeps' from Load (1996)

I really like both Load and ReLoad and don't find them a falling-off from the Black Album but a logical progression from that album's Adult Contemporary Thrash-Influenced Rock into a broader array of Classick Rock Jamz. The Black Album was pristine but kind of homogeneous, whereas Load and ReLoad go full-hog, which I dig. 'Until It Sleeps' justly won the MTV Video Award for best video as it is both strange and gorgeous, evoking allegorical medieval painting and tapestry-work. The song, too, is apparently about James Hetfield's watching his mother deal with cancer and the struggles within and without. I have always maintained that at his heart, James Hetfield is a 70's singer/songwriter type, not unlike Jackson Browne, James Taylor or Bob Seger, and this song is a beautiful example of that. I was going to file this under NapTime Jamz because it came on VH1 as I was dozing and realized it is a good song to sleep to or to be partially awake to, the mid-to-late-1990's being like a bad interregnum slash evil dreamworld of the triumph of a certain modality of Capital, but that would sell it and its attendant album short. The albums that Metallica is detracted for are not bad at all, in fact, all of them are good, they are just not the first four (or five) Metallica albums. St. Anger is both fascinating and endlessly relistenable and Death Magnetic is kind of the Black Album turned inside-out, making a kind of Adult Contemporary Thrash for Bush II USA. I got to see Metallica for the first and only time on the Death Magnetic tour and I was really ill so couldn't appreciate it as much as I should have but it rocked nonetheless. And hey, that concert movie is awesome.

Monday, December 21, 2015

D'Angelo & The Vanguard - 'Charade' Live On SNL (2015)

This song & performance is as much straight 80's metal as it is descended from Prince's propulsive guitar rock and makes me think there should be a D'Angelo & The Vanguard/SUNN 0))) collaboration. All of their guitars would look so dope. Bonus D'Angelo & The Vanguard Black Messiah Song: '1000 Deaths' I think the single most important event in music in 2015 was the coalescence in popular consciousness of the potential of revolutionary rap/funk/fire musick to mass-meld into a force for spiritual and cultural liberation. I had literally been waiting for my whole life for such a thing to come to pass, since the days of Public Enemy and The Native Tongues and The Poor Righteous Teachers, etc, and had also been waiting for 15! years for a new D'Angelo album, so when one showed up I was hella excited. 2015 is the year that all of this has come to pass, not that it wasn't here all along, but when even the sitting President of the United States' favorite song of the year is a Kendrick Lamar song, something has changed. I mean, this President came into office talking about Coltrane and whatnot so he has a pretty decent record/cd/mp3 collection at least!

Watain - 'Outlaw' from The Wild Hunt

Watching this video makes me feel like the first time I ever saw Motley Crue on MTV. Lawless Darkness!!!!!! Watain are awesome because they are like Motley Crue or W.A.S.P. or Judas Priest. The power of metal they connect with. They are Rock Stars, and deservedly so. I hope Watain have stadium tours in places named after empty corporate deities. With flash-pots and rotating drum-kits and stuff. The first time I saw Watain I had an authentic transportive religious experience. The second time I saw them, that didn't happen, but they had become Rock Stars in the intervening period and it was totally awesome. I also love The Wild Hunt album. It is great because it is not Casus Luciferi, or Sworn To The Dark, but its own thing, colorful and varied, resplendent in blood and fire and leathers.

Bonus Content!!! Peter Steele On The Jerry Springer Show 1995

I became frustrated trying to find official unexpurgated doom material from Type O Negative in video format, so rather than force myself into that dilemma, I decided instead to give thanks and honor by posting this video of Peter on the Jerry Springer Show regarding his appearance in the August 1995 issue of Playgirl Magazine. Type O Forever. Slut-Shaming Never!!! Peter himself is respectful to everyone during his appearance, which is right-on. He refuses the trap of verbally abusing and shaming female fans of his and other musicks. Love the audience member in a Crass Longsleeve!!!! There is a extra-bonus XMZZ anecdote!!!

Celtic Frost - 'A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh' from Monotheist (2006)

Winter Solstice Darkness 2015 Super Heavy Downer Programming continues with what is , in my opinion, the heaviest song/video combination ever made. I got to see the mighty Celtic Frost sadly not on their headlining tour but opening for Type O Negative in what is both one of the greatest days and biggest regrets of my life. I watched CF in a complete ecstatic trance state and then was so overcome I left before Type O came on, even though I love Type O Negative. Sadly, that would be Pete Steele's last tour before his death, so I never got to see them. Remember! Always stay for the headliners barring emergency!!! Learn from my negative example. The heaviest album by the greatest metal band ever.

Scott Walker & Sunn 0))) - 'Herod 2014' from Soused (2014)

For Winter Solstice 2015, I offer some super-heavy XMZZ downer programming. Up first is Scott Walker & Sunn 0)))'s 'Herod 2014' which sounds like its title for sure. Kind of like Mogwai, kind of like being crushed under Totalitarian Oppression and kind of like being accosted by a traumatized world desk print journalist in an airport bar. Even though Scott Walker does the out-cabaret stuffs, Soused also represents Sunn 0)))'s initial return to more 'metal' sounds. More on this later (kind of)!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ulver - 'Christmas' from 'Blood Inside' (2005)

In many ways, Ulver's Blood Inside is more a full-on XMZZ album of psychedelic/industrial orchestral pop regarding the overthrow of all orthodoxy, of all fixed or settled systems of belief in favor of questioning and mystery and creative blasphemy. Influences include Wendy Carlos soundtracks, the Beatles, Coil, Coil, the Beach Boys, the Moody Blues, high goth mopery, pre-psychedelic popular jazz and yes, black metal. Live and programmed drums mix, live strings and samples, brass and woodwind and their textures, lots and lots of keyboards, backmasked vocals, treated vocals, 'clean singing', all come together to make something not really heard before, but redolent of many prior forms of music. It is indeed a good Winter Solstice Album!!! Christmas' itself is about the Christian holiday, and how new gods supplant old gods on their same spatio-temporal territories, putting on their raiments and receiving/giving tributes but the larger mysteries still are operative and do not change. The death of the self, the death of the year, what survives, what is renewed, what remains, what is gone forever? The deeper dark, always going beyond what is into what is not, or not yet. I highly recommend this whole album, especially for these days in the Northern Hemisphere! The whole thing is available to listen to and/or purchase at their bandcamp page and is super-rad.

Deafheaven - 'New Bermuda' (2015)

So like a year-and-a-half ago, I went and saw Deafheaven and they were utterly astounding. I had gone in really liking Sunbather but not sure about how I would interact with their live performance. It was one of the greatest concerts I have ever been to. George Clarke was like a Black Metal Freddy Mercury, completely on fire, conducting the pit which ebbed and flowed and surged around him with intuitive hand gestures. I have never seen anything like it. It was an overwhelmingly emotional experience. It was the kind of thing that seemed inalienable to me, inviolate, a fact of having occurred. Of course, all experience is personal and unique. On the way out of the venue, I said something to the effect that it was one of the best Black Metal shows I had ever seen, (up there with the first Watain show I ever saw) and the person I said this to became like really upset and was like 'Deafheaven aren't Black Metal!!!' and so we had this animated conversation, bordering on outrage on the other party's account, who could not believe I would advance such a statement. Not only am I the sort of person who believes that Deafheaven ARE Black Metal, but I am also the sort of idiot who gets into conversations with people who are militantly in the opposing camp. 'New Bermuda' is not going to change anyone's mind as to whether or not Deafheaven earn badges (backpatches?) for scene points, but it is at least as Black Metal as Sunbather and probably quite more so. Before I get to talking about this album, I would like to address why people get so upset about what is or is not Black Metal. People seem to be able to have reasonable conversations about the borderlines between say Thrash and Death Metal without feeling their basic identity has been challenged for the most part, or what is or is not, say, Powerviolence or Grindcore or D-Beat, etc. That is because these arguments are primarily Aesthetic in nature, whereas what is Black Metal is or is not is an Ethical or Religious question. In my life, Hardcore and Metal and Noise and Jazz and Rap and Country/Folk Musicks have been one of my primary channels to experience of The Sacred. Many regard the experience of going to shows or listening at home or in the car to going to church or having an illuminatory event, but not as many people feel like they are part of a religious movement by participation in some or all of these scenes. There are secular-to-religious equivalents, like vegan/straightedge/anarchist HxCx, which is the closest model to Black Metal that I can think of from a sociological perspective. Black Metal, though, directly positions most of its works as Sacred Musick, with a religious orientation, more or less manifest. Second Wave Black Metal in Europe was a movement wherein the aesthetics of the musick were a direct outgrowth of its ethical and religious imperatives. Returning to a harsher, more punk/primitive and/or fundamentalist interpretation of metal against a more easily co-opted and technically progressive form like Death Metal was co-extensive with rejection of the values of Western Society and the Abrahamic Monotheism which had spread with it. This rejection could take many overlapping forms, such as an embrace of violent revolution, adoption of a radical ecological program/opposition to consumerist culture, or adoption of Satanism and/or return to pre-Christian Pagan values. Black Metal was rarely quietist in its proclamation of this stance, sometimes taking direct action against these powers and forces, othertimes practicing a kind of lawlessness-to-brute-violence which resulted in the murder of people whose deaths may or may have not been ideologically motivated. Over time, many Second Wave Black Metal practitioners moved away from this directly confrontational position (or had never adopted it in the first place), preferring their activities to exist primarily in an aesthetic realm, which coincided with a flowering in the formal possibilities of Black Metal into many new forms. Because I am old, I remember when the concept, let alone the practice, of a United States-based Black Metal seemed like a ridiculous oxymoron to many persons. Of course, it had been in the Americas all along, particularly in South America which helped to invent Black Metal in the first place, in the First Wave during the early 1980's, feeding directly into Second Wave European Black Metal, etc. Over time, USBM became grudgingly accepted as being possible and even good in some cases, but one thing it has never been is adherent to any kind of scene orthodoxy. Black Metal is founded upon the rejection of orthodoxy, even when it forms new orthodoxies with which to challenge prior ones, it does so out of a sense of transmission of esoteric wisdom, and an honoring of forebears, rather than a necessarily orthodox aesthetic standpoint. USBM has always been all over the place, generally more personal/isolationist than scene-oriented, with diverse themes and occupations, even as it honors and is inspired by all the Black Metal which has come before it. Honestly, the United States, being the Prime Mover of Worldwide Spread of Militarized Christianity and Capitalist Expansionism NEEDS Black Metal more than anyone else as a form of Negation, a form of Revolt, a Grand NO. And here is why Deafheaven in particular are Black Metal: their concerns are Totally Black Metal in the context of what values are generally held as Good and True in the cultural fabric of the United States. The Gospel of Prosperity, of 'making-it', of the association of moral uprightness with material success, and of poverty with deviance and illness, has been orthodoxy since the 1980's. Christianity and Capitalism interlock hand-in-hand to let everyone know that the elect receive wealth and abundance and that illness and disaster and catastrophe are the province of Sin. Deafheaven's album Sunbather, was about growing up poor and chaotic in an environment replete with extravagant wealth, and both wanting and despising that, feeling less-than and elite-to that entire way of life, a toxic landfill of desire so potent it was able to swamp and undermine everything else. Their music was deceptively pretty and alluring, but what underlay that was this frustrated want which could never be satiated, which was wrong in its very origin. This is a Black Metal appropriate to the United States. People respond to this. It addresses something in them, a rejection and exorcism of falsity and corruption, while also addressing why they have been poisoned in this way to begin with. Deafheaven's immediate album, New Bermuda, is a logical extension of the concerns of Sunbather. It is about having found a partner to have a life with and moving in together. This is a hallmark of adulthood and success in U.S. culture. The fact that expectations surrounding it are so potent, and failure in this realm, although extremely common, is so devastating, and the actuality of it is as trying, tedious, frustrating, and oppressive, as well as comforting and joyous and satisfying, is a bitter upending of another closely-cherished myth in the cultural fabric. This to me is so Black Metal it literally hurts my heart. I wish I could have seen Deafheaven play these songs live on their recent tour, but I am down with listening to it at the car and at home. This year, my partner and kids and I moved to the first house of our own from a previous situation in which we shared a house with another (wonderful) family, and we had ideas about what it would be like, how harmonious and how easy projects would be to complete, how we would behave with one another, etc. Nothing came to pass as we would have thought, much of it far more trying. So this album, New Bermuda, directly speaks to my life, and its struggles with life and adulthood and domesticity overlap with mine. It is helpful to play it in the car or to listen to it at home while doing household work. Musickally, New Bermuda is far better constructed than Sunbather, having tighter structures and echoes to Indie/Classic Rock than Shoegaze/Blackgaze. It does not suffer from the occasional dead spots or drifting sections of its predecessor.If anything, it is way more Black Metal, but a Black Metal reconvened into a Rock Context utterly distinct from Black & Roll, one more weary, chagrined, made bitter but also more realistically hopeful than ever before.

Lemmy, Ronnie, Alice, etc - from We Wish You A Metal XMAS - Various Artists (2008)

So in 2008 Bob Kulick among others put together an All-Star Metal XMZZ album by various Classic Metal Folks. It is overall a pretty dope anthology, but my three favorites, not in especial order, are as follows! Lemmy, Billy Gibbons, & Dave Grohl is kind of an inspired trio to take on this song, which I have always liked. Chuck XMZZ! This is less Heaven & Hell XMZZ and more Dio with Iommi on guitar which rules very very hard. I was blessed to see Heaven & Hell and my only regret was not taking my then-contemporary co-worker who loves Dio. A real regret for which I am sorry. This song is amazing!!!! Alice/John 5/Billy Sheehan/Vinny Appice is a sick line-up for Alice to shokk rokk XMZZ to and why not? Alice Forever!!!!

Christopher Lee - 'Little Drummer Boy'

All Hails Forever And Most Blessed-Be to Christopher Lee! Beloved Patchwork Vampirical Dark Sith Wizard! All The Loves!!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

AC/DC - 'Mistress For Christmas' from The Razor's Edge (1990)

This song seems to be about AC/DC's unrequited crush on Mrs. Claus, which makes sense, given their stated proclivities. Q: Is this the best song on The Razor's Edge? A: No, Absolutely Not. It seems mostly to exist because AC/DC realised that 'mistress' and 'Christmas' sound kind of similar and that they can be repeated many, many times. It is, however, the only one on The Razor's Edge manifestly about XMZZ. Q: Is this the dumbest song AC/DC has ever recorded? A: No, Absolutely Not. In fact, it is probably not even the dumbest song on The Razor's Edge. Q: Does it rock? A: Absolutely. It is an AC/DC song. About XMZZ. Of course it rocks! And To All A Good Afternoon! (Eastern Time Zone, USA)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ihsahn - 'Mass Darkness' from Arktis (2016)

It is like new-music Friday or something around here! Brand-new Ihsahn track from his new album Arktis, which is apparently going to come out in March 2016. Matt Heafy from Trivium is on this song I think. This is total freezing rock with gnar-solos and synth-stabs. It is amazing. SURRENDER TO THE DARKNESS TO SHINE JUST LIKE A STAR!!!!! This is inspirational, aspirational music for the ascent to the Winter Solstice for sure. This is an Ihsahn track for aerobics or spinning classes or whatever people that like to exercise with others wearing leg warmers do when they are all together. This should (will?) be a Top 40 Radio Song. Is there even Top 40 Radio anymore? I have no idea. My idea of a good time is imagining hanging out in an ice cave with Ihsahn eating icicles which we hallucinate taste like crystallized sugar because we are dying of hunger stranded in an ice cave after not discovering the South Pole. Wait. That probably isn't a good time, but this song makes it sound like it might be! COMPLETE THE SHADOW'S CIRCLE TO BECOME ALL THAT YOU ARE!!!! Glory to The Shadow!!!!

Agoraphobic Nosebleed - 'Not A Daughter' from Arc (2016)

Longtime? readers of this blog will be probably somewhat-to-very aware that Agoraphobic Nosebleed is one of my most favorite and cherished things on this planet (co-extensively with Pig Destroyer of course!) and a new Agoraphobic Nosebleed song in a series of four new EP's, the first of which at least promises a doom/grind/sludge approach has me terribly terribly excited. This song, 'Not A Daughter' features a completely badass and harrowing vokill performance by Kat Katz which just slays. I cannot stop listening to this song. There is for sure a NOLA vibe to this one which rules so very very. I mean, I just don't really have words. Just listen to it. Even if you didn't like the other XMZZ-themed Agoraphobic Nosebleed track I posted earlier, try this one. It is almost seven minutes of negative bliss.

Hate Eternal - 'I, Monarch' from I, Monarch (2005)

This evening doing XMZZ errants I thought it would be rad to blast Hate Eternal's I, Monarch and so it was. It was rad. I am from Florida originally and so Florida-style Death Metal flows through my substrates like hemp oil through a sieve, or a series of catacombs in which some guy who looks like a pope is traveling with snakes through a bunch of skeletons in order to pay obeisance to a much younger man who thrillingly percussionizes on human skulls, which is dope as all get out. This is not my favorite song on this album, but it is super rad and has an actual video which I like to throw up and the series of guitar solos on here are just incredible. Like, Disorientation Acid-Rock Barf-Bag Style that Dramamine won't fix but will make you trip out even harder to.

Salem - 'King Night' from King Night (2010)

Every year I play this in the car for XMZZ jams and I always find it so surpassingly lovely. I have never watched the video before now, but dig the truck lights = XMZZ lights and the exhaustion of late-night trucking as in keeping with the having to find a place to sleep when all the hotels are full themes of Xtian XMZZ.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Marduk - 'Those Of The Unlight' from Those Of The Unlight (1993)

Marduk's 'Those Of The Unlight' is one of my favorite Marduk albums. I like the one before it a lot also, 'Dark Endless' (1992) which has a crazy blackened doom/death vibe to it and I almost wrote about that one this evening, but then because I am on a Marduk kick I put this one on right afterward and was like YESSS THIS IS THE ONE PRECIOUSSSSS, etc. Marduk bring along their interest in befogged, misty mountain doom to Those Of The Unlight, flecked with hypnotic, psychedelic guitar solos and mighty chord-slabs which reverberate and shear. There is an openness to this sound, which allows the bass to have unique flourishes and for drum tones to be heard singularly at moments, not just caught up in storming blastbeats. Although Marduk ditched death-metal structure they held onto the groove, which allows for really exciting up/down shifting tempo patterns. This is musick for the frightening and lonely procession of Nazgul across the blasted plains and heath, riding upon their steeds at various paces! 'Those Of The Unlight' resolves after an opening salvo into a groovy riff, bass isolate, then full-on black metal which keeps ramping up and up, the terrain constantly shifting but always interlocking logically. Gosh I love this song. Then you get a drum buildup and near-doom crawl and a spacy keys-over-tremolo-riff spot until full-on finale. Bonus Marduk - 'On Darkened Wings' This song makes me want to raise my claws to the skies and howl. It also has one of my favorite guitar solos on the album.

The Notorious B.I.G. - 'Ready To Die' from Ready To Die (1994)

"My life is played out like the Jheri curl, I'm ready to die!" Probably my favorite rap song of all time, from one of the very greatest albums ever. This is the original version.

Merzbow - 'Silent Night' from The Christmas Album (V.A.) (1996)

So apparently someone at Sony Records in 1996 understood how awesome it would be to make a noise-music XMZZ album, which included this AMAZING Merzbow version of 'Silent Night'. I am totally in shock because only now almost 20 years later am I hearing about this!!! and moreover, the rest of the album includes some other incredible artists like I Don't Know how about Melt Banana doing 'White Christmas'? Merzbow's 'Silent Night' is now my new all-time favorite XMZZ song. I can't think of what might be even potentially greater than this!!!

Hanoi Rocks Loves XMZZ!!!!

Hanoi Rocks Loves XMZZ and I love Hanoi Rocks. They are my favorite 80's glam-metal band if they even count that way? Someday I will make a list, there are so many!!! For today though, one of my favorite XMZZ carolz is 'Dead By Xmas' and I listen to it every year because it warms my heart with jolly sadness and desperation. For bonus holiday cheer, here is a much more recent Hanoi Rocks XMZZ session, a cover of 'Run Rudolph Run' which is of course, awesome, if super-casual, but that suits XMZZ just fine! Hanoi Rocks Forever!!!!

The Cross Of Questioning (necrotiick)

Blue Oyster Cult - 'Black Blade' from Cultosaurus Erectus (1979)

The only tattoo I ever thought to get was a BOC symbol at the base of my skull. I did not do this, but for years it was a consuming idea. For years, and even since childhood, I had a vinyl copy of 'Agents of Fortune' and later, 'Fire Of Unknown Origin'. I wore out cassette tapes year after year on roadtrips to and from various desolate places. These days, my favorite Blue Oyster Cult song by far is 'Black Blade' with lyrics by esteemed personage Michael Moorcock about his own characters Elric and the Blade Blade carried thereby. 'Black Blade' has monologues by both Elric and The Blade Blade itself, the latter in sacred vocoder effects! I LOVE the Elric books. They are maybe my favorite series of Sword and Sorcery stuffs. I can relate to a decadent aesthete wizard king possessed by a vampiric obsidian sword for sure!!! Anyway, total awesomeness for all time. The rest of Cultosaurus Erectus is a beautiful, frequently overlooked BOC album which is so worth your love and cherishment! All Hail!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

King Diamond - 'The Family Ghost' from Abigail (1987)

One of my greatest regrets of this past year was not being able to see King Diamond recreate Abigail live. I have never seen King Diamond in concert which makes me feel sad. Nonetheless, I worship at the altar of Mercyful Fate especially, but listen actually to his solo albums more often for some reason. Maybe it is the evocative covers? Today in honor of The King, I listened to 'Abigail' full on whilst doing household things. Ideally, headphones in a comfortable chair in the middle of the night or at least evening, but as the sun is setting close to the Winter Solstice works pretty well too. More than any other concept album not by King Diamond, 'Abigail' feels like a short story or even a novel in how it is delivered in distinct chapters, each with its own voices and passages. Overlapping eras and personalities bleeding into each other or overlain as transparencies are strongly evoked by the shifts in register and direction each song takes, all of which serve their overall narrative without seeming belabored or awkwardly shoehorned into a pre-existing structure. The songs are the story, and the story is the songs. The stage show and video presentation for Abigail is highly visual and performance-based. An excellent example is 'The Family Ghost' video, presented here! What is rad is that 'The Family Ghost' video doesn't even try to catch you up on where you are in the larger 'Abigail' narrative, but instead is like if King Diamond were telling you a story, intermixed with footage of The King at court, with court entertainment all around him. If you are following the story, you can get what is happening from the words, otherwise, it is a super-80's video functioning as a 'single'. Additionally, it is rad to see King Diamond rocking out on his throne to his own band, who are amazing. There is nothing I like more in metal than consecutive guitar solos by different guitarists. Next we have a video of King Diamond getting his necro-necro-Alice Cooper on in 1987 for the OG Abigail tour. Note mic stand!!! And lastly, even though it is hard to imagine Joe Franklin listening to King Diamond's Abigail in a home setting, who knows? It is a pretty rad album! Here is a vintage King Diamond interview with the aforementioned Mr. Franklin during the Abigail promo tour. The King is resplendent in aviator shades, pentagram medallion, upside-down cross pin and bullet belt. He sits next to a 'rapping cop'! They all listen to 'The Arrival' which is my favorite song on Abigail. Hail To The King!!!

Ghost - 'Ritual' from Opus Eponymous (2010)

While I was waiting for the kids to come home from school, I was rocking out to Ghost's Opus Eponymous and it really is nigh impossible for me to not sing along to this song, especially the parts about the unholy aroma of human sacrifice and the space and structures used therefore. My favorite song from their first album. Although the Elizabeth Bathory song is pretty dope too!

Michael Hoenig & Manuel Gottsching - Early Water (1976/1995)

Today's space-out naptime jamz is brought to you by Berlin School/Krautrock Pioneers Michael Hoenig and Manuel Gottsching. They recorded this stuff in 1976 but it wasn't released until 1995 and I haven't heard it until now. That is probably why my first thought was 'OOOH! It's like those Merzbow/KK Null albums from back in the day, but way earlier and generally more chill and Teutonic!' Truth be told, it doesn't really sound like those collaborations, but the idea of ambient electronics vs. space-guitar drone is in effect, but more repetitive and modular and good for naptime vs. champion-era wall-staring peak aktion which is not to say I haven't taken naps to Merzbow because it is good for that too! Anyway, the moire effect from the overlapping neon space grids is pretty rad and all y'all will probably dig it too!

Anna Sjalv Tredje - Tussilago Fanfara (1977)

Post-Berlin-School Proto-black-ambient Swedish Minimal Synth Pulsing Trance Guitar with Whispering Forest Spirits and Lonesome? Howling Wolves is pretty much the best thing ever. I keep returning to this album again and again. It works for me completely and is in keeping with the ascent to the Winter Solstice! One of the things I have been most happy to have crossed paths with this year.

Agalloch - Marrow Of The Spirit (2010)

One of the things I like most about 'Marrow Of The Spirit' is Agalloch's seeming intentional nod to the ethos if not the sound of Cascadian Black Metal, aligning themselves with the spirit of the forests, the mountains, the riverine folds and rushes nestled in and gouged from the earth. Agalloch have always been oriented to a melancholic, pastoral folk metal vibe, but Marrow brings with it a greater sense of chill winds, wildness, lostness and abandonment of self into sublimity. This is a band which has used Caspar David Friedrich paintings as immediate inspiration. I dig how many different modalities and textures of Agalloch warp into their beautiful downer trip. When I saw them in 2014, it felt like seeing Led Zeppelin in the mid-Seventies or something, total Classick Rock Glory. Here, they were going for something at a slightly greater remove or distance, and it totally works.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Julie Christmas - 'Bow' from The Bad Wife (2010)

Julie Christmas is a straight iconic figure of my 00's. Her old band Made Out Of Babies was one of my most played in that decade and they ruled so very hard. Battle Of Mice were also amazing and I dug them just as much. Anything Julie Christmas wants to perform, I am there for. In 2010, she put out a solo album 'The Bad Wife' which sways between damaged torch songs and full-on howlers. What looks like the only video made for it, 'Bow' is in the latter category. The video itself looks like if Walerian Borowczyk directed 'Where The Wild Things Are' starring a fae Riding Hood and pretty much kept it PG. Nonetheless, hair stands on end. All Hail Julie Christmas!!!!

Halford - 'We Three Kings' from Halford III

I mean, this sort of shreds? It is generally a rocking tune I suppose. I love Rob Halford to pieces, for everything he is and does and has done and so if the dude wants to make a solo album of XMZZ tunes I am for it all the way. This sounds like it would help in a voyage across a desert.

Extreme - 'Christmas Time Again' from A Very Special Christmas 2 (1992)

I love OTT XMZZ musicks and few are more OTT than this Extreme jam from 1992, at their greatest Extremity. I love Extreme and have owned at least Extreme II and Extreme III since they were new because they are awesomely grand, and don't remember if I have the first one laying around somewhere or not. Anyway, this totally rules.

Venom - 'Black Xmas' from Calm Before The Storm (1987)

For years and years I had cassettes in the Toyota Corolla of Venom's Possessed and Calm Before The Storm and those albums rock. They don't rock maybe as much as the first three Venom albums, but what rocks like that in the world anyway? That is no reason to not headbang in traffic to them. Self-injury due to headbanging in a car whether in motion or not is a reason to not. So anyway, I always think of 'Black Xmas' by Venom as it is my favorite XMZZ metal song, and apparently has nothing to do with the classic Bob Clark slasher flick, but has darker, more occult overtones? Like the birth of the Satanic Messiah? I could be wrong. Anyway, this song is amazing. Just don't hurt yourself!!! Mearry XMZZ!!! Black Xmas! Devil's Eve!!!

Sleeping Mix For Having Stayed Up All Night And Into The Day

Bowery Electric were a band which completely typified 90's rock-into-electronix transitioning, meeting at Interview Magazine, starting out as a somewhat glum shoegaze-inspired outfit, and then making trip-hop-inspired beat-driven stuff, but all of it was quality and never simply background music to sell cars or make hotel lobbies seem nicer. I have had this album in some capacity since it came out. - As I was falling asleep, I put on the Cable Nu Age Jamz station and amidst whatever else they were grooving on, they churned up this Vangelis deep cut from 1996, which seems to be from an album obsessed with aquatica and suspension, being called 'Oceanic' and all. I don't know how the other tunes on this album play out, but this stood out immediately and even as I was falling asleep I was like aah! Vangelis!!! - Probably the most interesting and new-to-me track I heard on the Nu Age Cable Station was this one by Coemgin Cuil, whose album Murmurations was inspired by starling patterns and who apparently takes classical pieces and then digitally smears them until hazy and dreamy. I could be wrong! There is not a lot of immediate info on this work, but gosh is it beautiful. I heard this as I woke up just now. This is really stunning!!! Bonus Coemgin Cuil! Official Video for 'Pas de Deux' Robert Rich mastered this apparently and it is definitely in line with that sort of near-isolationist ambient stuff. Really quite beautiful!

Harry Pussy Live 1996-1997

By 96/97 Harry Pussy had forged their sound from a thrashy out-hardcore into a tightly-interwound punk/jazz groove-skree which annihilated everything in x-radius. This for me is the summits of their achievement as a band and one I wish I had been able to see in person. Sadly I was even more of a mess 20 years ago if that is even possible! Once again thank you to all who have made this available for me to watch on my computer here in the 21st Century!!! Here they are playing the Point in Atlanta 1997. This one is notable for the amount of abuse directed at HP from the crowd, as well as the very low amount of f's given by the band. Even more awesome in the face of (partial) adversity!

Harry Pussy Live At The Cooler, NYC Fall 1995

Harry Pussy are one of my all-time most favoritest bands to ever live and breathe and do things. I have always been in complete shuddering awe of them and their free-hardcore blare jams. Here they are at the height of their considerable powers. Pure Transfixment! All Hail!!!! Praise be to all those responsible for recording/uploading!!! Bonus Harry Pussy Soundcheck FLA 1995 IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT! GREAT SOUND QUALITY Bonus Bonus 1995 Harry Pussy Set June 1995 Live At The Middle East