Sunday, September 30, 2012

On Cliché

Lordy I've had three bowel movements before 9 today. What?

As a rock composer, I can say that I dislike cliché guitar riffs and that I will never use them, but the truth of the matter is that I'd be nowhere without them.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Leatherhorn LP

My friend Sean Jerns's Bellingham, WA-based black metal band Leatherhorn has finished recording and mastering a new LP.

They've posted three songs on their Bandcamp page, as of this writing. Check them out.

Fully awesome, brutal, modern metal that doesn't suck.

Sean and I used to play guitar together, and I know his style. So trust me when I say he's one of the two most brutal black metal guitarists I have ever worked with. The guy can fucking hit 1/16th notes on a 184-bpm, 8-minute song, without stopping, no problem.

Him and I were a guitar duo, and we wrote two long-ass songs together. Total prog black metal. Often I couldn't keep up with him. His strength on guitar is brutality--mine is technicality. We complimented each other very well.

Those songs were never recorded, regretfully. Maybe I should take care of that.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chelsea Wolfe, "Apokalypsis" album review

Chelsea Wolfe's Apokalypsis is totally rocking me right now. You should really give this a listen. Metal fans should like this music.

Right off the bat, she's got her own style. She's unique. Though this albums sounds similar to Low, Unwound, Portishead, Sonic Youth, and a touch of Tori Amos, it's darker than all of them. I hear Virus in her compositions as well.

I'm in love. The first two tracks had me. The album cover had me. This chick rules. She's got artistic credibility, an evil to her, a beauty.

She brings tears to my eyes. Her music tears at my soul. It's lovely and embraces darkness. She sings like a ghost, a phantom from beyond, haunting and knowing all. She comes from another place.

Chelsea must be an alien.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Zatokrev- “Goddamn Lights” | The Needle Drop

Zatokrev- “Goddamn Lights” | The Needle Drop

As always, I love The Needle Drop for its honesty, integrity, and personality.

There's this band called Zatokrev that's fucking heavy, and TND is streaming it on his page right now.

It's really speaking to me. The vocals get a little old, but that's just me. I really love the instrumentation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Steve Albini is an artist I like and treasure and cherish

For a guy who was doing this in the 80s:

And is doing this today:

He's doing pretty well for himself! And for once I'm not being sarcastic. He's always been true to himself and his values, and to sticking it to the man, and to doing things his own way. We learn from his example that personality and style, when strong and solid and stuck to, are just as important qualities to have in an engineer as in a band member.

I just want to say that I love you Steve Albany and I'll have your babies and deep inside of me every day before 9 a.m.

'cherish the love we have, CABLES, we should cherish the life we have, CABLES, cherish the love, cherish the life, chericsh the love we haaaaave, CABLES'

sEARch Engine Optimization time:
big black cables albini steve albini big black big black "big black" Big Black BigBlack bigblack songs about fucking "songs about fucking" songsaboutfucking shellac Shellac SHELLAC CABLES

Here are the lyrics to that song above, the song called Cables, by the band Big Black:
I don't know why we come here, guess I just needed the bang, walk in the beef and pull on the rope and then the hammer comes down. CABLES CABLES CABLES I guess they know, I ain't no company man, but I can pull on a rope and kill a cow fast as any other fucker can. CABLES CABLES CABLES

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Metal Thru the Decades

Black metal is prevalent today because it's an answer to all other forms of metal that did not take the evil brutality far enough.

Metal, generally, is not supposed to be laced with flowers, but drugs and war. Black metal takes that and amplifies it to worlds exploding.

Since the sixties, metal has taken many forms, just like all genres of music.




The Beatles wrote Helter Skelter. Vanilla Fudge did some heavy covers. Jimi motherfuckin' Hendrix laid it down for all of you losers, Seattle's guitar king master samurai.


Black Sabbath, Mötorhead, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and the fukkin' British New Wave of Heavy Metal.


SPEED METAL BITCH: Slayer, Death, Metallica, Megadeth, Mercyful Fate, Exodus, Venom

Check out this cool list of cool metal albums of the Eighties, organized by year. Whether or not you agree with the guy, it's good as just a history lesson, and to maybe discover some metal gems forgotten by time.


The Great Metal Slowdown of the Nineties: speed metal went thru a mid-life crisis and quit heroin, Korn and and Nine Inch Nails were on the rise and doing lots of acid, and Marilyn Manson was the most metal thing around, all coked up and God-like insane.

Cannibal Corpse and Deicide were kicking ass. As always, there was a lot of underground metal that was really awesome during this time, but got swallowed by the popular drivel (Nü metal) that was mistaken for metal.

Grunge is not metal, but Soundgarden was the closest (SEATTLE 4 LYFE). Long live Kim Thayil.

Green Jellö. System of a Down. Stone Temple Pilots. Sunny Day Real Estate. Orgy.

Type O Negative--some of the Nineties' best work.

Earth (SEATTLE, FUCKERS) makes Earth 2 (1992) and no one notices.

Sugar Ray just wanted to fly. Sublime didn't have no Santaria. No Doubt was telling people not to speak. Everclear. Third Eye Blind. Three Doors Down. Our Lady Peace. Disturbed. Staind. Creed.  Skull fucking. Fucking I hated the Nineties, when I was going thru pu-pu-pu-pu-puberty and high school, some very defining years.

And holy crap enjoy this page for all it has to offer.


Britney Spears? Black metal starts to come out of its shell in the United States with the help of Leviathan and Xasthur, both one-man-acts out of San Fransisco.

Boris and Coffins bring some very varied metal from Japan.

Virus' The Black Flux blows everyone away with its new, weird take on metal. To me, it was a natural evolution from black metal.

Watain. Behemoth. Funeral Mist. Immortal. Bathory. Dark Funeral. Sunn O))). Burning Witch. Darkthrone. Ihsan.

Wolves in the Throne Room and Nachtmystium took black metal and made it psychedelic.

A good time for metal, going deep into the rabbit hole.
Mastodon. Lamb of God. Eh.



I don't know, we're only two years into this decade.


Justin Bieber makes us Beliebers.

Real Estate's Days (2011) is really awesome. Not metal, but for some reason I really love it, especially the opening track, "Easy." That one really speaks to me. It's a beautiful wash of sound, and it seems to me that this is exactly what shoegaze should sound like.

Spotify is showing me a lot about music in this decade.


Metal's been sounding better as recording technology has become cheaper and more accessible to the common musician. It's easier for those extremely noisy forms of metal to not sound like a warbling banshee tearing apart a kitten thru bad speakers.

Though, and black metal especially can benefit from this, sometimes the artist wants that lo-fi sound, to make it that much more brutal. Like, you're listening to it and you know it came from some poor, destitute fellow in his basement, summoning the dark arts and cutting himself at the same time.

Production value standards have been raised with this advent in technology. The more polished a metal band sounds, the better, and metal's becoming many things to many people.

† § †

The Tens were really awesome for black metal.

I'm really fucking happy about black metal's rise in the Tens. It was the next evilest thing to go to after every other genre of metal had its turn. We've gone from its birth in the Sixties, its toddlerhood in the Seventies, to its teenage years in the Eighties, and its awkward, annoying twenties in the Nineties, when all the adults were like, "Get away from me, you annoying twenty-year-old. Fuck off."

And then, in its thirties, during the Tens, metal started to get comfortable with itself. Metal began saying "Fuck you everyone." Metal in the Tens became really black, deathly and brutal, stayed out of the mainstream, and STAYED AWESOME, inspiring legions of metal fans who will one day take over the world.

Long live metal. And LONG LIVE SEATTLE. Metal is the Jarl of this Hold, I don't care how many shitty country and bluegrass bands there are around here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sleep, Live @ Neumo's, Seattle -- photos, etc.

Sleep played two nights in a row at Neumo's in Seattle on June 3 and 4.

I sure as shit went to see them. Monday night, baby.

From the front row, I used my 8MP digital camera with its built-in mic to record lots of half-good video of the show.

Meaning--the audio is really, really bad, but the video is good.

I'm going to contact Matt Pike and Al Cicneros to see if they would be amenable to lending me audio of their show, if anyone happened to record it from the sound board or anything.

If they let me, I'd like it to be an official Sleep-endorsed thing. Not as a DVD release or anything, cause the quality is less than stellar, but just to have something they can use, as archive video, or something to post on any one of any number of electronic social media sites they currently or plan on managing.

Helping this band would give me great personal satisfaction. Since I discovered them in 2007, they've been a big influence on me. Dopesmoker has always been one of my favorite LPs.

During the show Monday, I tried to keep my shots nice and relaxed, keeping lengthy frames, shifting the focus suddenly and with confidence, and sometimes letting the musicians frame themselves within the shot.

It's slow, methodical, unhurried. It works for the feel of the band's music. Sleep doesn't need videos with a lot of quick cuts and an MTV feel. Live is pure. Live is raw.

But live needs to sound good. Which is why I need to fucking get ON to contacting the dudes about this thing I have in mind.

Oh man, I should write about what happened during the show. Well, ... agh, later. Later.

I suppose I should upload the video I have to YouTube just to have it accessible, so I don't look like I'm full of shit.

More to follow.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Breaking News--Animals As Leaders wrongly arrested, abused by police in Boston

A band named Animals as Leaders ... what is that name trying to say? A band name ought to make a statement, you know. It wasn't chosen arbitrarily, to be sure.

It means our leaders are animals! Case in point, via Metal Sucks.

Who knew the band would be so prophetic?

I've had a disagreement with MS before, calling them out on some bullshit.

Now, let me reverse some of that and say, in true MS form: Thank you, Metal Sucks, for not sucking today.

This AAL-Cooley development is an important story, and it shows journalistic integrity from Vince and Axl for following it closely. I especially like how MS readers helped research the story, finding those court documents on Cooley's past shenanigans of illegality.

Band name manifested in attack against band.

Poetic injustice.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review: Sleep - "Dopesmoker" reissue

reissue cover
Sleep's landmark, single-song, 2003 album Dopesmoker has undergone audial cosmetic surgery and is being re-released by Southern Lord Records. Awesome.

The Lord has got this sweet package where you get the double-vinyl set and a t-shirt. More info here.

I think I'm gonna go for the vinyl, man. Green.

I'll never forget playing Dopesmoker (not the reissue, mind you) in the car for my parents a couple of years ago. Dad couldn't take it for more than a few minutes, but mom said, and I remember this verbatim: "It's so heavy."

Truer words--never spoken.

Sleep goes for a Sabbath vibe, but simultaneously minimalises and amplifies it. Then, they stretch it out. The effect is deafening, the sound all their own.

Whichever guitar and bass Al Cisneros and Matt Pike played on the recording, they chose well. The sustain their axes give is evident throughout, and indeed critical to the piece. Their tone is nuanced and complex. It fills your head.

There are no stops in this song--no breaks. Don't expect to be let off the hook. Sleep challenges the listener--they expect more of you. It means you must rise to the challenge--conquer the mountain and stand tall at the peak. Then jump the fuck off, hurdle down headfirst like a missile, burst thru layers of crust, lithosphere, upper mantle, lower mantle, outer core, finally reaching earth's INNER CORE
Courage: Hakius
Wisdom: Cisneros
Power: Pike
(he so would be Ganon)

Lord, this album evokes strong imagery. And the re-release sounds good, man. The sound is clear! I think both the guitar and bass are distorted. You've got badass, earthy guitar and bass tones, combined with Chris Hakius fucking laying it down on drums right there with them, providing the third triangle to the Triforce.

Dopesmoker has a bit of a story behind it, which I won't go into.

I will say that the album itself is groundbreaking in that it's a single song, over an hour in length. It's relentless, slow punishment--exactly what true doom lovers want.

original cover (if you don't count Jerusalem)
It gets really, really repetitive. It will piss people off. All I'm saying is that it's not for the mainstream, which is good in my mind. Mainstream music has nothing to offer the underground.

Doom fans feel a source of pride in this. I do, anyway. It comes from the fact choosing doom--and indeed Dopesmoker, arguably the epitome of the genre--is indeed veering far from the mainstream, but not in a violent or douchey direction. It's all about slowing down, relaxing, and feeling heavy. Maybe getting mystical and casting a few spells.

It's also specifically about not being understatedly Christian or prioritizing glamour over talent, what the mainstream loves to do.

Doom musicians love to play in the mud.

This is not clean music. This is not pretty music. This is music of nature; of earth; of age and time, and knowledge.

And goddam if I don't feel on top of the world when Pike's first solo comes ripping in at the 14-minute mark. I fucking love this album.

Sleep is a band that had a big effect on me when I first discovered them. They'll always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you, Lord, for your bestowment of reissue.

Here's a good review of the reissue. The link takes you to blog named The Metal Minute and it's written by this guy.

I've always found Ray's reviews to be poignant. However, I will say that he goes off a little too long about the weed here--it's not obvious to me that the band was smoking their brains out the whole time, and I'm not sure they'll ever confirm or deny it either way.

However, it is called Dopesmoker. I mean, come on. They probably like to smoke.

As Stephen O'Malley said once, and I'm paraphrasing, the term "stoner metal" is kind of silly. It de-dignifies the songwriters and musicians who conjure doom.

Musicians don't want to be remembered as drug users, but as contributors to the vast musical spectrum.

So I call for an end to the terms 'stoner metal' and 'stoner rock' and 'stoner doom.' I'd call Dopesmoker a 'drone metal,' 'doom,' and 'doom metal' album.

And I hate 'psyche-rock', if anybody calls it that, I'll puke lava on them, full of igneous rock.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gletalar's Roar

12.05.05 Plugging in My New Guitar for the First Time (At Home) by Hevvy Time Records

After the last MMS entry about my new guitar, I suppokkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk0]0]\0\000000--------------00-------5555555944444e (Lucy's edit) it would be prudent to show y'all how it sounds.

The purpose of these recordings is both archival, and exemplary--to give  an example of what all my words were saying about this guitar.

Also, there's a third purpose: "Hey look at my cool new thing I'm really excited about!"

All tracks above are solo recordings of me playing guitar. Improvisational jamming, mostly. All original material, except when I start singing and playing I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges at the end of the first track.

I'm pleased with how the guitar sounds on the first track, when I'm going over those jazzy chords thru a clean tone, with delay and reverb.

There is much contained in these tracks that is difficult to sit through-especially the noodling on T4B. I don't want to necessarily challenge the listener--the music should speak for itself.

So if at any time it gets annoying, skip ahead. By no means do I expect total devotion.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Haley Reinhart, "Free" music video review

Shed that dignity, pop star.

If you're not willing to look like a stripper, and you're female, don't expect to get anywhere in modern pop music.

Adele did it, which is cool, and sort of miraculous.

However, I found something today which turned the stomachs of my wife and I, and I thought I'd share our criticism with the world.

Here is the offending material:

Zero out of five stars.

First off, let me say that I am not making a judgement about Reinhart, personally or artistically. She's fine, she's doing her thing, and she's making money. Good for her.

What I have a problem with is the artistic direction of the video, which serves to belittle all females into previously relegated roles of social servitude, not independence, freedom, originality, or intelligence.

But who cares, right? Reinhart gets her 15 min, a website, a tour with American Idol, attention, and the empty praise for looking good all females are conditioned to seek out. Reinhart's made an entire career out of it, but it's not like she's the first. She's just the newest incarnation.

The music of the song Free is also hackneyed and boring. Cringe-inducing. Telling is that it's the one song on Listen Up! on which Reinhart isn't credited as co-writer. Interscope Records picks the one song she didn't have anything to do with to make into the single and music video.

"Haley, your songs are good, but they're just not shitty enough. Let us help you out and write one for you--we know all the tricks and secrets. You want soul? We'll make you sound exactly like a second-rate Amy Winehouse."

IMO, if you've got people writing your songs for you, you're a cover artist.

I'm rich and glossy.
I think that if Reinhart had asserted more control over the making of her album, Spotify wouldn't be hyping it so much (just heard an ad for her in the middle of my Virus playlist), and it wouldn't be getting the attention it's getting. Why? Because slutty sells, Interscope Records knows slutty, and slutty Interscope has made Reinhart.

What attracted me to Reinhart initially was this picture of her on Spotify. It's an image of her from the cover of Listen Up! I liked her look--it reminded me of the eighties. I imagined her to be a true throwback to that era's lovable corniness, but mixing in a modern sensibility, like Escort does.

Escort rules.

Then I show the Reinhart image to my more fashion-conscious wife, who schooled me as to what's going on in that photo.

Better than Reinhart
Her hair looks like Jessie Spano, who hails atop her wacky throne from the early nineties. Reinhart's bra is a sixties style, which I believe was included for two reasons. 1) Mad Men is popular. 2) Reinhart was OBVIOUSLY coached, at least on Free, to sacrifice her own voice in favor of modern production values. Meaning: she sounds like everybody fucking else these days. No originality. Auto-tuned. Glossed-over.


The new song Free by Haley Reinhart, new music video, from the new album Listen Up! (19 Entertainment/Interscope Records) 19 Entertainment Interscope Records, which is gonna drop and be dropped, search engine optimization, made Megan and I cringe. We couldn't watch more than one minute of that shit, it's fucking terrible.

I don't believe it's Reinhart's fault. The video, the album cover, the sound--it all reeks of soulless modern production values and immoral marketing tactics, marketed to self-serving-morals-only-loving middle America.

You think anyone cool in New York or Seattle is going to give a shit about Reinhart?

For some reason, musical artists, to be popular, have to be the most beautiful things that ever existed. No imperfection. Glossy. Spray-tanned. Supermodel hair. Anything less than the height of glamour is unacceptable. It's ridiculous.

The music video for Free displays this perfectly--stripper shoes, short shorts, hair processed beyond belief, the slow writhing of her hips, how she moves her legs, pouts her lips, and gives seductive glances to the camera with head turned just so.

I mean, it's hot, yeah. But that's why there's porn. We don't need the crossover. You know, I'd bet that the video for Free looks that way so that Interscope can catch some of that porn-consuming crowd. You realize how huge of an industry porn is, right? Anything to get views, right Interscope? Who cares what it does to the psyche of the developing young women.

Look at her, she's a fucking teenager! Gross!

I think this video was designed specifically for women. You'd think that they're trying to attract men, with all the sexiness designed to attract heterosexual men. The only reason a man would watch this video is to gain sexual arousal, or he's researching good tranny outfits and dance moves.

The underlying purpose is: Girls--emulate this.

This video teaches females to, first of all, be heterosexual at all costs. Then: pursue the man, be sexy, bury your individuality, do what you're told, be a tool, abandon your dreams of lasting fame in favor of 15 min, get your nails done, DON'T BE HEAVIER THAN A TWIG, getcha hair did, look perfect, don't show imperfection, be graceful and have stripper dance moves, and be part of this clique designed not by you or your friends, but by record companies trying to make money by selling this dream to you and your friends.

And you know a teenager is going to be WAY more influenced by this than an adult would be. Thus, this shit is specifically marketed to children and teenagers.

It's not cool. Not okay. Women need to be given the same freedom as men to be rugged and rough if they want to be. But you know what? Men don't have the freedom to be soft, sensitive and emotional. It has a little to do with our chemistry, but much, much more with social and cultural pressure.

The video for Free wasn't meant to be a lasting product--to stand the test of time. People will forget about this drivel by day three after its release.


Girls--don't buy Haley Reinhart's new album Listen Up! out soon on Interscope Records!

The new Usher track Dreams sucks, too.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gletalar and the Purchase of the Beast

Yesterday I purchased this.

Allow me to explain--it rules. Explanation over.

But seriously, I was at the Guitar Center by Westlake in Seattle.

It was time to buy.

Coming in, I had no idea what kind of guitar I wanted, but I had a few ideas from my last visit, which was too quick. Basically, I wanted to play Hammett's and Mustaine's signature models, see what they were about, and go from there.

First I strapped on the Hammett.

The ESP Guitar Company sells Kirk Hammett signature models, and the one I played at Guitar Center was the KH-2 NTB.

Those pickups give it a great sound, and the action is pretty good on the fretboard. It's definitely a lead player's guitar--lightweight and built for speed.

However, the skull-and-crossbones decals on the neck are double-lame-o donkey dick, I like my tuning pegs on the other side of the headstock, and the neck is bolted on. Three strikes against you, ESP Hammett model.

Overall, it played very well, but wasn't mine.

Then I tried the Mustaine.

Dean Guitars have several Dave Mustaine series models, and yesterday I played this one from the Zero series.

It's a thick beast. There's a bit of weight to the thing, and it's a really good guitar for thick, chunky rhythm chugging. If I remember correctly, it's got a neck-thru design, another aspect I wanted in a guitar.

The balance you get with the body style is really nice. There's little resistance for the picking hand to deal with--it feels really open down there, with no part of the body sticking out to the left of the bottom of the neck, like with stratocasters. I felt like I'd have to really work on my control to get used to it, but it might be really worth it.

Sadly, I didn't get the full MUSTAINE DEAN GTRXPRNC because the model at the store had a fret malfuktion. On the first two strings, the difference between the first and second frets was a full step. But I jammed on it anyhow and gave it a good chance. The lowest strings worked, and that thing kinda yells at you. It's got a shout to it. Quite nice, really. Abrasive and built for speed and thrash metals.

In the end, I decided against it for mostly aesthetic reasons. I don't want a guitar with a huge decal I can't change and will probably grow tired of. Also, Mustaine has been pissing me off in the last couple of years with the words that come out of his mouth, the lame- and same-ness of all his songs Youthanasia, and that his hair looks really lame and it's gotta have a shit-ton of product in it.

After playing a few more of the axes there--one a neck-thru ESP, blood red and pretty cool, but still not perfect--I told my guy who was helping me that I liked the Hammett model for its lightweight quality, but I wanted a neck-thru design. I asked him to suggest for me.

After letting him look around for a minute or two and jamming on the Hammett, I said to him, just to joke around and be fickle, "I like my tuning pegs on the other side."

He was standing across the room, holding this black, round thing, unsure of his choice and looking up at the wall of guitars to find something better.

He says, "How about split down the middle?"

I gesture for him to bring it over--I was interested.

And over he walks with this Ibanez, Artist series-model  ARZ400.

Neck-thru design to give me the sustain I want. Simple. Reflective black like a bottomless pit. White trim around the perimeter with two ultra-thin black lines. No decals or frills to speak of. Sturdy, simple metal bridge. My eyes started to shine and my upper thighs to quiver.

It was something not specifically made for metal, but it was very, very metal.

           A guitar is what you make it, right?

The player shapes their guitar to become like them. Likewise, the guitar shapes the player to become more like it. Guitars are malleable, flexible, receptive to influence, just like people. A guitar and its player develop a relationship, however deep (depending on who is more stubborn).

If stubbornness comes with age, then wouldn't it stand to reason that, like a human baby, a brand new guitar would be all the more receptive to conforming to the style of its master!? Master!?

You pick up an old guitar--you get what you get. You buy a new guitar--you get a soul mate.

The player, being the arbiter containing free will and imagination, introduces unique ideas to the guitar. The guitar experiences, responds to, and learns from them. The player learns the instrument's uniqueness, adjusting their playing to accomodate its twists and turns.

A loop is created. Two minds, one flesh, the other wood, metal and potential, become one. Symbiosis is achieved. Both come away with renewed perspective.

If I were to play mostly country music thru this new axe, I would be shaping it to respond to not only that style, but to my style. It would become not only a Country Guitar, but a Glenn Country Guitar. A Glounntry Gluitar.

My new axe is going to be ... well, I'm not solely a metal player, so I'm hesitant to label it a Metal Guitar. But it will be metal. Understand the difference? Ultimately, definitively, this Ibanez ARZ400 will be a Gluitar. A Gleitar.

For better or worse.

... You know what? I play metal. Even when I'm fucking around with a delay pedal and making echoey noise and slow drones, it's still metal. My jazz dabblings don't come as naturally. So fuck it, it's my Glenn Metal Guitar. My Gletal Gluitar. Gletalar. Dude, did I just name this thing?!

But what ran through my mind yesterday as I played this thing for the first time in Guitar Center was a simpler notion--purely a feeling, yet complex in its manifestation.

It was comfort; a sigh of relief. This was something new, to be discovered, and holding promise; young and not yet jaded by the evils of the world. It would not only bend to my will, but flow with it and enhance it and give me new ideas with what to do with it, without resistance.

It represents pure potential to me, and the feeling I had when playing it for the first time was one of wonder, which started small but grew quickly.

A Les Paul-style body. Huh. I had always been curious how that style, with the warmth and sustain a stratocaster cannot offer, would do to my playing.

Within five minutes I was hooked. This guitar had, in combination, what the others didn't--

  • lightweight & speed-metal-ready
  • no Floyd Rose tremolo or tuning locks to deal with
  • sustaining, neck-thru design
  • glossy black finish
  • big and fat
  • my fingers fucking flow over that fretboard like water, dawg

My decision was made. It was a natural choice. It was the mature thing to do.

Here's what sealed the deal:

When the employee helping me was ringing me up, he took a couple dollars and some change off the total price, just to make it come to $666, with the case.

Six Six!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Smith v Neilstien

On April 25, Vince Neilstein and I batted arguments back and forth over four emails. 

I came in strong, calling him out for publishing this article. He came back swinging, and I have yet to draft the beginning of round 3. (though I think I gave him a good black eye)

Neilstein, along with Axl Rosenberg, are the creators of, a nicely put-together site. They won a Metal Hammer award for quality of reviews, two years ago this month.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this argument. Who's right? Who's wrong?

As always, I encourage disagreement. Argue with me. Argue!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Boyfriend -- new song by Justin Bieber -- 4serious

UPDATE: 12.04.30 Even though this review is hecka outdated, I thought I'd give it a facelift. I've changed some of the text, so the old version is gone. FU journalistic integrity, it's gone. Beiber 4eva. One love. Vanilla Ice. Peace out don't speece out.

Holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit and I totally typed all those, not copy-pasted, cause I'm that excited.


Justin Bieber's hot new joint, "Boyfriend," dropped at midnight and maaaaaaan staaaaaaaaaan is it HOT!

Here's a link to the Rolling Stone review of the new Justin Bieber singlesong filmdeo, "Boyfriend." "Boyfriend" Boyfriend "Boyfriend" "b0yƒrˆ3n∂"

Wooow, great writing, Rolling Stone. Ya sure did deeply analyze the song, cite a few lyrics, and sum it up in a single, lengthy paragraph. Yup, sure did.


Why don't they break it up into grafs? They think we're gonna not read three short graphs, as opposed to one long one? Ugh. Give my eyes a break plz kthxbai

ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE (SEO) have doven headlong into Beiberworld Bieberland, just as all the kidz have, and they're in deep. Enveloped. His pubescent musk pervades their pubescent-sniffing o(ri)ffices.

lol & now, with a second opinion on Justin Beiber's single BOYFRIEND, I give you my firstborn.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ghost: Opus Eponymous -- album review

They've got me hooked. On par with Virus' The Black Flux and Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar. All beautiful albums with a consistent theme throughout, and disruptive to preexisting metal norms.


That was going to be my whole review, but in the process of searching for the image there to our left, that I found here, I happened upon a review for Opus Eponymous that I found completely unfavorable.

And if that crappy review has any influence over the interwebs, I feel it's my duty as a Free Thinker to insert my counter-influence.

SCUMFEAST METAL 666 totally rips on Ghost. Just hates them. With a passion. Because it sounds like 70's-style Blue Oyster Cult. "...and that's being nice," he says. Yeah, real tough, tough guy.

Well, let's just test this theory out. Here's the first suggestion YouTube generates when searching BOC:

Okay, wow, it's really similar to Ghost. Okay, SCUMFEAST METAL 666 is right about this one thing. Opus Eponymous sounds a lot like it came from the 1970s, and is similar to Blue Oyster Cult. BIG DEAL. Every band sounds like some other band; that's nothing new.

I venture to argue that there are enough dissimilarities between Don't Fear the Reaper and every song on Opus Eponymous to logically warrant only a light comparison. The mood and tone of the instruments are similar, but only that. Ghost's production is more advanced, and their overall sound are quite different.

Sometimes, to me, OE is a tad boring. But that's only my opinion, and fleeting at that. Sometimes those slower parts that I think are boring one day will speak directly to me another day.

Momentary whims are not enough to build an album review with, which is exactly what SCUMFEAST METAL 666 did. It reads like he wrote it in five minutes, didn't reread it, and hit 'Post.'

Probably thinks he's all clever and sticking it to the man and stuff.

His tone reads as that of an uneducated, fat, angry, slovenly WOW nerd who's never had a girlfriend. The very first sentence of his review makes little sense, and he used 'that' instead of 'than.' I thought a prerequisite to being an album reviewer is a grasp on grammar and the altitude of alliteration.

By the way, my daughter has been wanting to listen to this song a lot lately:

See, this is the appeal of Ghost: it's music that even kids can like. My first daughter is going on three years of age. She likes Frosty the Snowman and The Itsy Bitsy Spider and This Little Light of Mine and The ABCs, and The Beatles' Yellow Submarine, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Penny Lane, Nowhere Man and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Yes' Roundabout and Neil Young's American Stars and Bars.

Okay, she has eclectic taste in music for a 2-yr-old. Nonetheless, she retains affinity for all the usual 2-yr-old-marketed stuff, too. Yo Gabba Gabba, Go Diego Go!, Baby Einstein, and all their associated musics.

My point? Even kids, with typical kid tastes, like Ghost. I can play the album at home and my two girls don't mind it. Lucy is really into Stand by Him, the vid above. She doesn't know what the lyrics mean, and I'm not going to tell her. It's so cute to hear her singing the chorus.

My wife also likes the album, or tolerates it without strenuous effort. And she's primarily a Tori Amos kinda gal. As such, she appreciates the freakier side of things, and can get into it when a band is doing something original and creative, whether dark or not.

I could tell Ghost started to stick with her before I purchased the cd. I think her first reaction was, "This sounds really 70s."

Kids like it! Wives like it! It's a feel-good church service for Satan! Who's ever done this before? It's awesome!

My mom is going to HATE this album.

The first track on Opus Eponymous is a solo organ, quiet and reserved, but calmly happy, and basically doing nothing special--and that's what's so great about it.

It's exactly like a church service might begin: churchgoers are shuffling in, finding seats, saying their hellos, and then quieting down respectfully, preparing to be somber and engage in the worship of a humbling higher power, feeling elation at the prospect of it all.

So what Ghost does is turn this upside-down--as if you're seeing the almost-mirror-image, evil version of that same church service, perhaps from a parallel universe. Maybe a better way of describing it would be that they replace all Christianity for old-school Satanism (I say that because, as I understand it, today's Satanism says, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, not "obey Satan").

And this all got me thinking--it's a particularly powerful message, because it's not thrown in your face with anger like so much of the shitty metal out there. An album full of the same screaming vocalist gets old so quickly. Ghost has got a guy singing with a really normal-sounding voice--mid-range, clear vocals. He's really good at harmonizing with himself, too. It reminds me of Layne Staley and Alice in Chains' better days.

Anyway, Ghost's message, though simple, is a concept no band has expressed in this particular way. So poppy; classic rock-like; uplifting, like a humble church service that really moves you to your very soul, and feels warm and good.

And that got me thinking--if Christians are allowed to do this, why can't Ghost? How can any Christians say that Ghost has not just as much right to do this as Muslims or Hindus?

When you consider the religious and free-speech implications of what Ghost is doing, amid this veneer of "smooth metal," a genre I just made up, it's all pretty crazy.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Album Review: Pantera: Far Beyond Driven

The whole album fuckin rules. So heavy. So raw. So dirty. So angry. More hardcore and death-y than Vulgar Display of Power, and less lame than The Great Southern Trendkill.

This song fuckin rules. I recommend listening to it really loud on headphones. Drink a few beers too. Get pissed. But don't hurt anyone. 

Then listen to "Use My Third Arm" from the same album (2nd riff in--pure death metal).

Hell, start right from the beginning. Find it on Spotify, douche, I'm not posting all the goddam YouTube videos right here.

RIP Dimebag. You were phenomenal.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Foreigner, Live on Hulu -- What?

A few thoughts come to mind immediately:
--Eighties guys put on fancy clothes, get their hair did, and do a show with modern technology. 
--Blend of old and new lameness.
--This band kinda sucks. Not saying they're not awesome! But if you're not in the mood for Foreigner, no amount of Foreigner will do anything but push you away.

"Feelin kinda dirty
Feelin kinda mean"

Totally blowing my mind. Did they actually slow Double Vision down from the album version? It sounds like they're following a strict metronome, not allowing themselves to really rock, yet still trying to make the audience think they didn't buy tickets to Lamevent O' Thu CRNTURY.

I wonder how much of the audience are dedicated fans from Foreigner's working years, and how much are just along for the ride. And I wonder what all of them thought of the performance.

Halfway thru the second song, which I can only surmise is entitled, Head Games, I gave up. I'm gonna try and find that one song that's really lovey-dovey and poppy...

Holy shit they did Cold As Ice!!! Thanks to Job Bluth and Dana Carvey, this song rules.

Waiting For a Girl Like You 
    -that's the corny song I wanted to hear. I like that song.

Ok I'm done.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


This is why Megadeth rules.

And you know what? If I was Mustaine, and I was at where he's at in his career, I'd fucking tour with Lacuna Coil too. Those whiny kids.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Drummer! --Adventures in Band Practice

So Born Without Blood has a drummer now. Mind-blowing, I know.

Finding him was interesting--I had to search pretty extensively. Bandmix, where I  first noticed him, only allows you to contact other users if you pay for an account. Since I'm not that stupid, I went looking at profiles from my free account. Found him--long-hair Seattlite drummer dork who likes metal--definitely up our alley.

He goes by Kane Blaireau. I figured Facebook was a pretty safe bet to catch him--everybody's on fucking Facebook these days. After five or six FB searches got me nowhere, I Googled his name. Guess what the first hit was? Just guess. His Facebook page! It was a band page, not a personal one, which explains not getting it in the initial search results.

Finally. I'd found him. Sent him a message and a friend request--and voila! Instructed Justin to befriend him too, and those two got to talking. I then joined in, and after the whole goddam holiday season was over, he came over for his first jam with us.

Justin and I, band founders and sole members since then, had a few reservations about Kane. These were cast aside when the jamming ensued.

Firstly, has plays on an electric kit. "Lame!" we thought.

Too quick, boys. Too quick to judge. Turns out the maneuverability of the sound was a boon, for jamming and recording both. We had him running through a PA speaker, on top of and jacked into my small, old, janky Peavey combo amp as a pre-amp, and set between our two half-stacks. Let me tell you, being able to turn the drums' volume up and down makes a HUGE difference.

We used two microphones, placed equidistant between each amp and the PA speaker. Left-to-right, you'd have seen Justin's half-stack, a mic pointed between it and the PA, the PA, the other mic pointed between the PA and my half-stack, and my half-stack. It created a useable recording, which is a little surprising, given the jury-rigged, small-time setup.

Usually, of course, you'd want a mic dedicated to each instrument. We had a third mic and chord, but the problem was figuring out how to record three mics at once through my Gearbox UX2 and Sonar. Not sure it's possible.

The recording yielded two tracks, obviously. On one, we had Justin's guitar and Kane's drums, neither of which I could manipulate independently. The other track contained my guitar and drums, in the same fashion. The trick during recording was making sure each guitar was as similarly leveled as possible, so that turning one or the other down in editing didn't take out too much drum sound. As it turns out, the mix turned out all right. It's a pretty effective way of recording two guitars and drums.

Now whenever bass enters the mix, I'll be scared. Holy cow. I was thinking we could use two laptops, with two mics hooked up to each. Turns out Kane has not only audio recording software on his lappy, but mixing and mastering equipment as well! I'll have to tag along on one of his mastering excursions for his other band to see what the process is like.

Secondly, Justin and I were apprehensive about whether or not Kane could match our speed. We play pretty fucking fast--168 bpm on average, with lots of 1/16-note picking with the right hand.

But when he sat down on that thing, he stayed right with us, sometimes even going TOO FAST! Oh sweet gods, where did we find this boy? One thing is--he hasn't even been drumming a whole year, if I remember correctly. So I could hear some inconsistencies in his tempo and rhythm, which I chalk up to first-practice learnings/jitters/familiarizings. He kept up and had that double kick pedal rocking. He's not perfect, but damn it he's more than good enough.

Not only that, but he brought out a new side of Justin and I's playing that we'd never really explored before. By the end of practice, we'd gone through all three of our solid songs, two of our songs-in-writing, and three new jams to pick stuff out of!

New drummer, new regions of metal to explore, new dynamic to our band. The practice went better than I'd expected. After jamming for an hour or more, we all sat down, had a breather, and did some talking. I told him he didn't have to join our band, that he could make his own decision. If I remember correctly, he said, "No, I want to! Yeah, definitely." No hesitation. The indoctrination went better than expected, as well. He was all about BWB right from the start.

We've only had the one practice with him so far, three days ago. We're designating Sundays as band practice days, but this Sunday, which would be our second practice, we're putting Kane to use in a whole different way: Dungeons and Dragons!

That's right. Justin and I are players, and we've had this go-to DM for a long time. This Sunday, Kane takes up that mantle, and our DM friend becomes a player alongside Justin and I. We're all Facebook chatting about it and geeking out hardcore.

All in all -- drummer joins party. Born Without Blood level up. Glenn and Justin make a friend.