As an American citizen (these colors don't run, motherfucker), I feel proud of where I'm from. Do I realize that we collectively look like a gaggle of uncouth, loudmouthed know-it-alls to the rest of the world? Obviously. But I'm not really worried about what the rest of the world thinks of us. I'm more worried about what I see every day, flashing in my face and screaming at me like my infuriated wife. Reading the news is like exposing yourself to a series of perceived and potential disasters (with actual disasters, like the Japanese tsunami, peppered around in there for flavor). What passes for news these days? Red carpet dresses at awards shows that I've never watched and hot careers that are hiring now! And I'm qualified for none of them!
Conspicuously absent from these kinds of news reports are real-life, unbiased reporting about issues that actually make a difference, like the laws recently passed in Wisconsin that strip union workers of their right to collectively bargain. It seems obvious that something of that nature would affect a ton of people all over the country, but they are really more interested in who is stuffing his dick into Kim Kardashian's gaping maw this week. Even more interesting is that, in this age of rampant and unavoidable information saturation, people would rather watch a 24 hour "news" network (that makes no effort to hide its political leanings) so that fat, pasty retards in starched shirts can tell them what they should be thinking about any issue.
Unions are out! We'll tell you your opinion of this historic legislation after a series of Loreal and BMW commercials.
I was watching television yesterday for the first time in quite a while; one of those lipstick commercials comes on, starring Gwen Stefani (is she still a celebrity?). She bandies herself around, her lips painted red like a mandrill's ass. The commercial features constant closeups of her mouth; it cuts to closeup erratically but constantly, only backing away from her lips long enough to give you a quick torso shot so that you can identify her. At one point, the closeup of her mouth reveals that she has a giant diamond in between her teeth.
A fucking diamond. IN HER MOUTH.
The sales tactic here is simple and obvious; lipstick makes your lips look more like a pussy, and this kind of lipstick is so fancy that you'll feel like you have a diamond crammed in your snatch. Just like the Queen of England! Here in America, we like money and shiny things, and not only do we have diamonds lying around that Gwen Stefani can shove into her mouth for a commercial, but the Average American will also be able to simulate this kind of wealth and class by buying lipstick (available at Walgreens).
All of this silliness makes me want to move away to some kind of frightening backwards-land that I know nothing about. Like New Zealand. Everything I've learned about New Zealand comes from watching Flight of the Conchords, which I love. They're always talking about penguins and how they didn't like the penguins. Could you imagine having such an adorable nuisance as a BUNCH OF FUCKING PENGUINS RUNNING AROUND?!?
Oh, shit. They're all over the lawn, and they're adorable. I'll go get my penguin-chasing broom.
Places like this befuddle me, and I rarely understand anything that comes from these remote areas where people speak English but with a scary accent. Thankfully for New Zealand, however, I understand Flight of the Conchords, and I understand Ulcerate (it took a while to get here, didn't it?).
Ulcerate are a totally crunchy death metal band that I assume wear weird sweaters. But the sweaters appear normal to them, because they're from New Zealand. Their brand of death metal has been much-touted for the last couple of years, but I never got around to listening to them until just recently. Whereas previous album Of Fracture and Failure is pretty traditional technical death metal, The Destroyers of All takes a new and sexy direction. Cosmo Lee, of the superb Invisible Oranges, did a brief writeup that you should also read (check it out here). It was very thought-provoking, and makes some wild comparisons that I can agree with even if I would have never thought of them myself.
Anyway, Ulcerate's new album has struck on something interesting that hasn't been explored very deeply in death metal before. Ulcerate has begun playing angular, dissonant, and skronky guitar riffs very slowly over fast and frantic death metal drumming. It's almost like a doom band got mashed up with a hypertechnical death metal band in some kind of weird gamma-radiation experiment gone horribly awry. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised that this isn't more of a common thing considering the tech-death obsession with throwing in oddball parts and songs to appear more fancy and eclectic, which is the musical equivalent to having a diamond stuffed in your vag. What's more surprising is how well it works.
I've spent a lot of time sitting on this album and listening to it over and over. If you're not a fan of tech death, you should still listen to The Destroyers of All. Maybe skip Ulcerate's back catalog, but definitely do yourself a favor and see what the next big trend that will be beaten to death in heavy metal is. Tell them your old buddy Monsoon Cobra told you about it before it was popular, and that's why you're smarter than everybody else.
The music is pretty hard to describe, but you should follow your nose and check it out for yourself. It's quite a thing. Exactly the kind of backwards-assed thing I would expect from some bizarro sheep-infested island that sits resentfully in the shadow of Australia.
I just hope they don't get Fox News out there. But I do have to go buy some of that lipstick. Because it makes me feel pretty. Like Gwen Stefani.
Gwen Stefani (Not pictured, the diamond nestled in her twat)