Saturday, October 29, 2011

Funeral Age, Gravenloch, Blood Etchings at the 2 Bit, 11.10.28

So last night Justin, Shannon and I attended a black metal show at the 2 Bit Saloon in Ballard. It was fuckin awesome. I rocked out like I haven't in a long time.

The lineup was Blood Etchings, Gravenloch, Funeral Age, Scorched Earth, and Ceremonial Castings.

Funeral Age was the coolest. Justin and I got physical with a couple of them. We didn't start it! The bassist did! He grabbed my arm, pushed me back into the crowd, making his war face, carrying his bass the whole time, chest puffed out, head high, just before they played their first song. Thus the evening's tone was set.

It was brutal. I was waving my hair and making fists all over the place. The music was perfect--black metal. Fast. Crazy. Madness- and middle finger-inspiring. There were plenty of other metal people around there making lots of metal hand shapes, like the devil horn, the middle finger, the holding-a-ball-of-fire hand, the come-on-come-on-come-on finger wavings, and who can forget the standard fist in the air. I was getting tossed around, but I held my ground, didn't fight back, much, stood there and let myself get tossed around. Never fell, but came close a few times.

After that first song Justin and I took our coats off, along with the bassist (who happened to be a fill-in), and put them up on a bar-bench thing on the side of the stage, and proceeded to spend the rest of the set butting heads into chests and other heads, shaking my hair around wildly, getting some of it caught and ripped between spikes and guitars or something, busting metal moves, high kicks and somersaults, not really, and basically keeping the metal flow going from band to audience and back and forth.

It was most fun getting my jaw poked by the headstock of the frontman's guitar, and generally all the physical interacting. It was pure metal love. The three guitarists set up on the floor in front of the stage, letting the drummer fill up most of the tiny stage with his massive badass kit. Band was free to mingle with crowd. Having them walk out into the crowd to get a little rowdy while playing their crazy metal. It was always welcome. Fun stuff. Really macho, sort of. Really cathartic.

Haven't had that fun a time at a show, or anywhere, in a good few months. Years, even. I want to go back to the 2 Bit for a metal show again sometime soon.

Gravenloch was super sweet. Fast as hell. They appear to have lost a singer--I checked their MySpace and a live video shows them playing live with one. I like them better sans the vocalist, as I saw them last night. The rhythm guitar player was singing, sweating bullets, soaked in it, beard and long hair and all, with his octupus-painted guitar, playing fucking solos and rhythms really fast and doing sweet, low ass death metal doom growls.

Lots of times, all three guitarists would be doing death metal growls at once. It was a HUGE sound, combined with the two guitars, bass and drums.

I'm so glad I brought earplugs.

Incidentally, the vocalist has a shaved head--losing him make Gravenloch a long-hair-only band.

Justin and I may have recruited a few people to do bass or drums for Born Without Blood. We handed out flyers, sold ourselves to people we thought kicked ass and whom we wanted all for ourselves. To devour. I mean, to induct them into BWB.

The evening began with Blood Etchings. They were totally into the theater aspect of black metal. Blood splattered everywhere. Corpse paint. Fucking skulls, candles, ornaments, blood-soaked ornaments, blood-soaked bone necklaces, a tall guy in a robe playing both keys and bass guitar, Wolves in the Throne Room-type long passages of cool dreamy-ish black metal.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

COM359 Assignment. -- Autobio

Musical Autobiography
Glenn Smith

Music hits me hard and sweetly. Its place in my heart is located deep within. Music has gotten me through some of the tougher times in my life, and I have come to appreciate it as a powerful force. It has altered my entire way of thinking, not the least in how I can never get some form of music out of my head. Ever-present and looming, music guides and protects me. The right music, anyway.

Given this gravity of potential and purpose I have bestowed, by sober choice, upon the thing that is music, I have high standards for those pieces of the form I consider worthwhile. I view music from a musician's perspective, with a critical ear. It's a practice most people cannot stand, I've found.

Criticisms come to mind first when hearing new music. How could it be better? Was it written and performed from a place of integrity? Is it relevant to the entire canon of recorded music, and additionally to the current climate of musical evolution? Is it a rehashed version of a tried and true formula? If so, is that reason to be made nauseous, or is it tolerable, with possibly a few strands of newness mixed in with the rehashed drivel? Is it truly new, and if so, is it exciting? Is it worth studying? Is it worth buying? My critical ear brings me pleasure--it sets me apart from the masses who, it seems to me, blindly consume whatever is the newest shit that's thrown in front of them.

Guitar playing is a big part of my life as well; it helped me formulate my conception of what music is capable of. I've not gone one week without playing since I began, and my skill has noticeably improved--it was the learning of Megadeth and Metallica songs that pushed me over the edge into total playing confidence. A minority of guitarists out there can play that shit, and it makes me proud that I've put in the time and energy to be able to. Without my knowledge of how songs are put together by first being written on guitar (or whatever instrument), and then fleshed out with accompanying instruments, and the skill it takes, I never would have developed my critical ear, or my playing skill.

Uncle Brad gave me my first guitar at age 13. It was an electric guitar, a Teisco; older than sin and stiff then. Not many people recognize that brand anymore; it's a relic. It helped me learn the ropes. It still exists to this day, older and stiffer, sitting untouched on a guitar stand in a cousin's room in Bellingham. At age 14, my parents upgraded me to a newer, shinier, black and white electric Peavey guitar and a sweet, loud-ass practice amp. Since age 16 I've been writing my own material; at 19 I'd written my first song on acoustic guitar.

There are a few things I want to do before I die. One is to lead a successful band that plays big shows to large crowds. This band will be my own, where I write and control everything. At my back will be a huge orchestra at my disposal. They'll sit at the back of the stage, behind the main sextet--three guitarist/singers, a keyboardist, drummer, and a bassist.

With three guitars I can have two of them always doing dueling harmony lines, and one filling in with power chords, which the bass will mime. Maybe the keyboardist will be unnecessary. Perhaps I can just have a pianist in the orchestra. We're a quintet, everyone! Now we're a quintet. (my imaginary backstage crew grumbles)

My music will be like that of the composer character in Atlas Shrugged, Richard Halley. It will make my  concertgoers feel the highest, most noble emotion there is to be felt. The only difference between Halley and I will be that, when the crowd cheers for me after my grand symphony, and I'm standing there center stage, soaking it in, I won't see through them; I won't be unmoved; I will love them back.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fear Factory -- Fear Campaign (2010) video

Not sucky modern metal. My heavenly underlord, the two cooler Fear Factory dudes kicked out the other two and got twice as heavy as anything on Digimortal.

I won't try to post the video here and take Metal Injection's hits away from them.

Not sucky modern metal.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I, uh.... Neil Young, Le Noise review?

Retaining Metalhood Through Dadhood: I, uh.... Neil Young, Le Noise review?: Basically I've had a Neil Young type of morning. His album Le Noise was in my stereo when I pushed play this morning, for to have the ac...