Saturday, July 14, 2012


In my absence from the Webmosphere, I've been spending my time doing the things that I really love.  I've climbed tiny hills, bought booze, and considered doing a great many things that I will realistically never do.  It's easy to consider the idea of jogging on my lunch break, but then I inevitably take a step back and assess practically, and I realize that my taking up jogging is about as realistic as getting rid of these jars of urine that I have hidden all around my apartment.  If I get rid of the urine, then the government wins, and I'll be damned if Barack Obama will have my many, many jars of urine to use against me once the reptilians finally decide that their hold on humanity is sufficient to put us to work on their taxpayer-funded cricket farms.  This is America, after all.

What "President" Obama looks like without his precious holographic camouflage.  I'm not saying all black people look alike; I'm saying all reptilian monsters do, so it's an acceptable kind of racist.

But between keeping careful track of my many bodily excretions and cataloging them for my own future reference (Chipotle burritos haven't helped in my crusade to keep track of my jettisoned waste, by the way), I've also been listening to music.  The music is what I use to take my mind off of what I'm sifting through and carefully cataloging, because even the crazy recluses in society have a pretty good idea that having detailed records of your doo-doo is not standard practice.  It's like therapy, but where you have to wash your hands and arms up to the elbow after you're done, because E. Coli is coming to get you.  So, in an effort to take the edge off my escalating and increasingly horrifying compulsions, I've been spending a lot of time listening to the savage aural beating that is Meshuggah's Koloss.

I have a rather shameful history with Meshuggah; you see, when I was younger, I had a certain penchant for symphonic heavy metal, and the fact that I was a new music school student was only exacerbating my douchey heavy metal tastes.  I really only liked pieces of music that would break down tonally in a way that was not confounding to me, and that had proper voice leading.  In other words, if I couldn't look at the score and immediately whip up a figured bass analysis, I would assume that it was boring music for plebeian boners who couldn't understand that being able to easily break down a piece of music academically is the height of musical complexity.  In other words, I was the ultimate "how far can I fit my head up my own ass?" music student, and I'm willing to bet that you know at least one of those yourself.

In those days, I used to hear a great deal about Meshuggah, who were considered (in the mecca of music that is Bakersfield, California, at least) the height of heavy metal fanciness and a badge of classy taste in the crushing arts.  Needless to say, I didn't understand what the allure of such a band was.  After all, there were no violins or girls singing hooky choruses about some dumb shit in every song.  There was only unintelligible death metal class and a general unwillingness to betray the glamor of the beast known as Meshuggah.  If you didn't get it, you just weren't FUCKING FANCY.

All of this happened right around the time that Catch 33 began gathering steam.  Needless to say (especially since I've gotten to know the band in recent years), I had not the slightest fucking clue what people liked about Meshuggah.

But then a friend of mine burned me a copy (back then we burned each other CD's because Bakersfield is roughly 7 years behind normal civilization [and the residents still don't know what a hipster is, the lucky bastards]) of Chaosphere, and suddenly I understood what the fucking fuss was all about.

Meshuggah's heaviness, it turned out, was only outmatched by the mass of the Earth itself!

 I know there are planets heavier than Earth, but I've never ejaculated on the surfaces of those planets, and therefore, they may as well exist only in fantasy.

What a revelation that album was!  I finally understood Meshuggah, but not in the pretentious "I liked [some album that rules], but I didn't like any of their other stuff [read: I'm an asshole]" way.  I understood them in the visceral, gut-busting way that only their most devoted and nerdy fans know them.  And if you haven't listened to Koloss, you're doing yourself a disservice, because it might just be their best outing yet.

Koloss begins with the doom-laden "I Am Colossus," which superficially seems appropriate until you consider the relatively upbeat bruisers of former albums (ex: "Combustion" from  Obzen, "Concatenation," from Chaosphere, and "Future Breed Machine" from Destroy, Erase, Improve).  Then it becomes clear what a change of pace Koloss is.  As the album progresses, however, the pacing starts to take shape, starting at the relentlessly punishing "The Demon's Name Is Surveillance," whose rapid fire double bass and machine gun guitar picking make the mid-tempo romp feel more like a bruising barn-burner, and continuing through the droning delay of "The Last Vigil."  You see, Meshuggah isn't just here to issue their standard cathartic robo-beatdown anymore; Koloss references a side of Meshuggah that even the most diehard among us can agree is refreshing.  It reveals the face of Meshuggah that is organic, human, and nuanced, while still maintaining the heaviness that grinds your faggy little bones into a fine white powder which the band members alternately snort and mix with yeast and eggs to make a nutritious bread.

And that bread goes down smooth, too.

After my lengthy hiatus from writing this pointless blog, I don't expect anybody to take my recommendations seriously (not that I ever did anyway), but Meshuggah are in a pretty good spot for my non-coveted Album of the Year Award, which I only give out to one record every year, and which includes no prize of any kind whatsoever.  And if you're inclined to disagree, rest assured that I think that you're wrong and a total dong, because HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWEST MESHUGGAH ALBUM?!?!?  HOLY FUCKING BALLS!!!

Go to Spotify or just fucking download it if you haven't bought it or (at least listened to it a million times) already.  If you're not listening to this album otherwise, I will lose all respect for you and punch you.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have a collection of jars full of urine to go throw away.  Between this and the fact that I just got rid of my boxes of toenail clippings, the dumpster at my apartment complex looks creepy as fuck.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cut Your Teeth - 2 Hot 3 Handle

I've been an unapologetic Cut Your Teeth fan since the band's initial outing all the way back in 2010.  In fact, I think that my frantic love for their crusty crossover-style thrash/hardcore has been pretty well established ever since I started writing this dumb blog (which was originally designed to attract Russian mail-order brides to me in a misguided attempt to land a second wife so that I could eat six meals a day).  Don't believe me?  Check here, here, here, or here.  I often credit myself with being the band's first ever fan because I heard of them and downloaded their first EP before you did, you boner, and because sometimes I get drunk and email Patrick Lukens and tell him weird stuff about my life.

You see, we're Interhole-friends, Patrick and I, and I usually assume that his stony silence about my sexual dry spells mean "Hey, bro, I'm with you, thanks for being such a cool fan of the band.  You're the best, and you've got such a full head of hair, I can't imagine how you'd ever strike out sexually."

He said that, I assume, and I also assume that it reflects the exact sentiments from the entirety of the band.

So what do I have to say about the newest CYT joint?  Well, I think that we now have enough evidence to admit that Cut Your Teeth is a relentless hardcore party attack.  I don't call them "the original party worms" for nothing.

Pro tip: if you Google "Cut Your Teeth" and look at the images, you'll see this is around the top of page 2.  I'm actually kind of proud of that.
Cut Your Teeth once return once again with an EP that is so full of PARTY that after you listen to it you'll have the beer shits.  And everyone knows that the beer shits are the most satisfyingly smelly brand of shits known to man (outside of the Chipotle dumps that I take roughly once every 1.4 weeks, which could cause an apocalypse if accidentally smelled by the wrong combination of  world leaders).  And, as I've mentioned before, I got to hear some of this new album before its release (because I'm so in touch with the underground music scene), and I was immediately critical of it.  I said to the band, "Hey guys, this music might be too pleasing to my hardcore sensibilities, and now I've got the beer shits and my boss is going to be mad."  To which the band unanimously replied "Please stop sending pictures of dicks to us, it's getting really creepy."

But I knew what they really meant.

Looking back, many of my original predictions proved true (especially the stuff about Skrillex and Patrick Lukens' Japanese body pillow/wife), and this newest EP rocks your ass and your balls.  A hot jam like "It's A Party" goes to show that a hardcore, crusty party could sometimes use a little slide guitar,  and "Kegwar" showcases a new dual vocal attack, a shreddy solo and a beefy, spicy D-beat infusion that would wake up the most narcoleptic crusties among us.  And speaking of shreddy solos, check out the cadenza that sits after the short djent-inspired riff on "Ice Cold Beers."  It's like they noticed how much I like the song "Drink Beers" from their first EP and wrote me a short love letter.  Or is that too much to hope for considering the restraining order?

My one complaint about 2 Hot 3 Handle is the album art.  You see, it's got four of the elements that make a great album cover (bears, fire, bros, and money, in that order), but it's missing the crucial fifth element that would make it a classic.  I'm talking about BOOTY, SON!

 Brief moment of seriousness: I actually felt a little weird when I Googled "booty" and looked at the image search results.  Oh, doctor.
Without the missing fifth element of album art awesomeness, the album just looks ridiculous.  Just look at the album art at the top of this post and imagine some disembodied booty flying to and fro across the image.  Now that shit would have been epic!  Don't believe me?  Maybe this will convince you of the importance of booty:


I've been jocking the shit out of CTY for quite a while now.  If you're still on the fence, why don't you just go to their Bandcamp page and listen to some of the hottest and tastiest crusty jamz available at the "Name your price [no minimum]" price point?  Why don't you just stream the albums on Spotify?  Why don't you stop being a dickhole and start sending them tasteful nudes you painted them like a normal human being?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Black Breath - Sentenced To Life

What an odd week it's been.

Let me rewind that, since I haven't posted on here in months and months and what small readership I've built over the last couple of years has likely dried up since I've stopped posting.  But in my standard fashion, I've recently decided that I should begin afresh with my scholarly and artistic pursuits, and I figured that I would start by pointlessly rebuilding this blog that I've been neglecting.

Lately, I've been paying attention to people who work hard to build themselves into their respective scenes.  By this, I of course mean I've been listening to comedy podcasts and noticing people who work hard to install themselves in the comedy scene.  It helps that comedy podcasts are delightful.  But it's recently lit a fire under my generally lazy ass to get myself off the couch and onto the lazy chair, where I'm free to type and search for weird pictures and lounge in a pungent cloud of farts and do some ACTUAL FUCKING WORK.

It should come as no surprise to anybody who has ever read this blog that I have a serious thing for D-beat.  In fact, if it were up to me, grocery stores and strip malls would pipe in nothing but crusty, Discharge-inspired music so that my D-boner would be constantly and thoroughly stroked at all times.  I picture this world as a utopia on par with world imagined in Plato's The Republic, except that every normal human being would be perfectly miserable while I bebop around with the world's most painfully obvious D-pants tent at all times.  Actually, the world of my imagining might actually look like the "Treehouse of Horror V" episode of the Simpsons where Homer accidentally goes back in time and alters the course of history using a toaster (the segment is called "Time and Punishment") where Ned Flanders runs the world with an iron fist and gives lobotomies to dissenters.  Except that I'd be Flanders (a dream come true, really), and everybody would be a lobotomized dissenter, because there's nobody other than myself that can listen to crusty D-beat indefinitely, forever.

Pictured, a group of dissenters and me (I'm the one in the high tech television that turns back into the floor when I'm done speaking).

 Enter Black Breath, probably my second or third favorite current band (Trap Them is first, and I don't really know who is second because I haven't labeled these kinds of things since I was a child).  I fell in love with Black Breath a couple of years ago after some very enthusiastic recommendations from friends whose opinions I trust on all things crusty, and who know the way that I like my punk-tinged death metal.  Ever since, I've been nursing a pretty unhealthy interest in the band, who are my main source of punishing and heavy crust lately.  Just the same way that Tullamore Dew has become my main source for bad breath and hangovers (it's really affordable and easy on the palate and doesn't taste like hairspray virtually at all).


 Their latest offering, Sentenced to Life, has been spinning in my car for the last few months pretty much nonstop, to the point that my wife finally had to pull wife-rank and ask me to stop listening to it every time we got in the car.  Truth be told, I can't get enough of the album; it's a relentless, crushing crust-fest the likes of which the world is seldom delighted to have.  From the opening track (the unbelievably punishing "Feast of the Damned"), to the final moments of "Obey" (replete with a relatively shreddy but tasteful solo), the album relentlessly challenges you to keep pace.  The title track comes with gang vocals the likes of which your favorite hardcore punk band would be shamed by, and the driving groove of "Home of the Grave" will have you pumping your fists on the drive out to your oddball mother's lakefront property (I can attest to that).

As far as my current top 10 for the year goes, Black Breath have certainly made an amazingly strong case for the "Album of the Year" slot, which is a coveted slot indeed on this pointless blog that nobody reads.  But if you're looking for something that is going to stroke your D-boner to the point of full release (talking about ejaculating here!), Sentenced to Life is far and away your best bet of the year.  And if you're at all interested in the live show, I just went and saw them live last night, and I can tell you that the performance is impeccable and crushing, and if you're like me, you'll end up looking like this:

It's hard to see, but I got caught on the old noggin with an errant denim vest spike (which I believe to be courtesy of the opening band's lead singer), as a result of some willy-nilly stage diving and a disregard for the fact that you're wearing a pointy piece of clothing while chunking yourself at an unsuspecting crowd enjoying the show.  It doesn't look too bad, but I can assure you that a high forehead wound will weep blood for several hours after its infliction, making it impossible for you to go to bed lest you get blood all over your sleeping wife and your new-ish sheets which feel amazing in the heat of the Texas summer.  To give scale, here's a close up of myself after I got home:

The walk to my car was particularly unnerving because if you're covered in face blood, people think you're about to get your rape and butcher on.

But that shouldn't derail your show-going ambitions, because despite the fact that I covered several people in the pit and up front in my blood (if you were there and you're reading this, you should really get tested), the show was amazing.  So, what I'm really trying to tell you is this: "Listen to Black Breath and see them live."

Here are some dates for their current tour, and you should do yourself a favor and steal/Spotify/stream/(sarcastic laughter) purchase the album, because it will rock your ass and your balls.  And if you disagree, you're clearly a stupid, boring dong. 

Mouthful of Acid is Live Again!

Good/boring news, everybody who is still looking at this blog for some reason!

I've decided not to shutter this little affair of mine in favor of moving forward in my quest to make stupid boner jokes and talk endlessly about music.  I know that things have been really slow lately, but that was just because of an inescapable malaise that I've been feeling.  It's mostly passed, and I've decided that I prefer being really busy to sitting around watching Frasier reruns (which I love but don't fulfill me in the least), so I'm going to be writing again and telling you what I'm listening to as if anybody cares anywhere ever!

What glorious luck for you!

So in the spirit of actually doing something other than sitting around in a cloud of my own Indian food farts (which are enough to make me leave a room in which I'm sitting by myself, and any self respecting person knows that your own farts have to be really fucking heinous to make you leave the room), the shutters are open.  Perhaps at this point I'm just a ghost, but I'm going to haunt you for my own edification, just like I did when I started this dumb blog a couple of years ago.

Monsoon Cobra, Esq.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Struck By Lightning Music Makes Me Gay

Hello friends.  I thought that I'd take the opportunity this late Friday (it's actually Saturday now that I look at the clock) evening (morning) to check in and clue you in to some news that makes me gay.  This news is as follows:

New Struck By Lightning music is available!


I spent tonight programming drums for a friend of mine's latest black metal endeavor (I don't know what his interest is in black metal, but it runs silent and runs deep, because he's always trying to get something off the ground).  Which is to say, I drank a bunch of beer and got all nostalgic.  Not good nostalgic, either.  Weepy nostalgic.

Let me back up further.

When I was five I met some kid on our first day in kindergarten.  He was just as weird as me, except his parents let him have a gnarly rattail haircut (this was the late 80's, and he had business up front to counteract the party that was going on in the back).  This kid followed me fearlessly back to my house that day without telling his parents where he was going, causing a large panic in the neighborhood.  Eventually, things got ironed out.  But from then on, we set things on fire and got dumb haircuts in tandem.  My mother and his father ended up marrying each other about 13 years subsequent.  Shortly thereafter, he literally dropped dead of congestive heart failure.

It was the worst.

This past Wednesday was the five year anniversary of the day he was unceremoniously felled without warning.  Needless to say, I did the logical thing and transformed myself from "Average Man" into "The World's Drunkest and Most Morose Human" that evening, breaking many of my personal records for drunkenness, including "most consecutive humiliations" and "longest moan."  What an evening!

"So what is this pointless tale getting to?" is the logical question for you to be asking.  Well, I'll tell you.  I've spent all night listening to old punk music (we were punk rockers for a long stretch of our lives), and I've been filling myself with old misanthropic punk music and anger towards the government and D-beat rather than dumping my sadness energy into pursuits like Family Togetherness and Religion and Love, which have proven to be dead ends for even the most lightweight depressive spell.  I've been revisiting old Minor Threat and Guttermouth and Dead Kennedys and (my personal favorite) Bad Religion for the last couple hours.  This does very little but give me a thirst for the crushingest and most D-boner-inducing crust I can find.

To Internets!

As it turns out, Struck by Lightning are finally doing what I always wanted them to do, which is release new music for me to think about when I masturbate.  The new album is going to be called True Predation, and it comes out THIS FUCKING MONTH.  Since I have such an enthusiastic and [gay] deep appreciation for the spectacular crust that Struck by Lightning bring to the table, I thought I should go ahead and alert you to the fact that you'll be able to enjoy a new album soon and some new tracks right now.  That's right!  Go over to Brooklyn Vegan RIGHT FUCKING NOW and listen to two new Struck by Lightning joints, both of which rule with the power of a thousand boner storms.  And a boner storm is a powerful sort of storm.

Seriously, though, go listen.  I've listened to "Funereal" about fifty times tonight, and not only will I not stop crying, but I can't keep my hands off the throbbing, veiney D-boner it has given me.  It almost hurts.

Thanks Metalsucks for cluing me in.  I've been so busy with my other pursuits lately that I might have missed my latest creepy obsession if it weren't for you!  Which is good, because I just got a "Cease and Desist" order from the lawyers that represent the cast of Breaking Bad, and I'm not allowed in Albuquerque anymore.  At least there's no dead period between obsessions!

This time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

File Sharing--Good Riddance

Disclaimer: A lot happened while I took my lengthy hiatus from unsolicited Interhole music criticism and random philosophical waxing.  This is a piece that I meant to write a month or so ago, after the great Mediafire purges were executed, thus putting an end to our way of online Interbung piracy for almost two days.  I know that Mediafire is still up and running, and like you, I'm likely to use it again to find out just how much the newest Black Dahlia Murder album sounds like the old Black Dahlia Murder albums, to which the answer is always "exactly."


Well, it's finally happened, ladies and gentlemen (I don't know who I'm kidding with that crack about ladies.  No ladies read this stupid blog).  Our fair government, whose wisdom and foresight gave us outstanding institutions like the Department of Motor Vehicles and our public school system, has finally brought about the end of a way of life for us creepy Interhole lurkers.  They swooped in with cudgels and chains and LITERALLY BEAT OUR LIFESTYLE TO DEATH.  It seems that Mediafire has been the subject of a Great Purge, having all pirated and shared music deleted from the site, dealing our scene a death blow and rendering the internet only useful for finding the most disgusting and degrading kinds of pornography imaginable.  It's like the 90's again!  Only our modems are now superpowered, and we can find out in the blink of an eye how disappointed we are with any given celebrity's sextape.  Such an Orwellian concept as a Great Purge seemed impossible in our lifetime, but it seems that our insane government, hell bent on capitalism and arguing rather than adequately educating our young people (or any number of useful services they're actually supposed to be providing) have decided that YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO DOWNLOAD TRAGEDY'S DEMO TAPE WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT.

Does that terrify you?  Are you frightened that you can't just go download the new Decapitated album?  Well, don't be.

I'm here to tell you that file sharing was a plague on our scene, and as for its demise, I have this to say in eulogy: "Good riddance."

I've spent the last couple of months in a musical funk.  It's a major reason why I haven't been updating this blog recently.  I simply haven't been listening to anything new.  Perhaps, in my advancing age, I'm becoming curmudgeonly, my cantankerous nature beginning to take a hold of my life in places where there used to be good-natured teenage frivolity and super lame power metal jamz that my friends and I still bust out when we've crossed the line from "night with bros and beers" to "a bunch of guys decided that having their wives on speaking terms is overrated, so let's get hammered."  And my increasingly visible Angry Old Man persona has taken umbrage with the latest trends in music, from the amazing Technicolor designs utilized by bands whose main fanbases are goofy pubescent boys with giant plugs in their ear lobes and taste in music that is as disingenuous (and irony based) as a reality television wedding to anything involving skinny jeans.

And I always wonder if anybody whose build isn't "Third-World disheveled" realizes that they can't wear skinny jeans?  But I've had delusions about myself, too (which explains why I used to wear sideways baseball caps and the baggiest khaki pants available in order to look like a Real Skateboarder.  Oh the early 90's), so I won't throw stones.

Aside from the obvious Old Man trapping of "not understanding what's cool and hip these days" (read: black metal, doom, any version of noise, and generally anything that college students or younger listen to), I contend that the file sharing revolution that we experienced in the last couple of years was, in fact, a detriment to our scene at large.  I believe that file sharing supports and promotes entitlement among people, our scene, and young people especially.  Think about it: when something is perfectly free and can be accessed infinitely for the price of finding a connection to the Interhole at your local Starbucks or by hitting up a Homeless Hotspot, why should you not just have everything?  Why should you not just have any random album that has been posted in the handy form of a .RAR file, waiting to be unzipped like a slutty woman's leather pants?  I've seen it too many times, when I'm hanging out with someone and the question gets asked.

"Have you heard the new [band] album yet?  It's really good."

"I haven't heard it.  Hold on; we'll listen to it right now.  [Frantic typing at keyboard] You know, I've been thinking of shaving my pubic hair, just getting rid of the whole fucking mess...oh, here it is.  The new [band] album."

Then we're listening to the album.  Sounds good, but the ugly side comes around when the album can't be found immediately or if the file that was shared was corrupted or incomplete.  Then the last sentence goes:

"...I've been thinking of shaving my pubic hair, just getting rid of the whole fucking me...what the fuck?  WHAT THE FUCK?!?  WHY ISN'T THIS ALBUM AVAILABLE?  I WANT TO LISTEN TO IT NOW?!?"

Then, all of a sudden, you realize you've set a dumpster on fire and spray painted "Ron Paul 2012" on the side of a cop car.  Hours have passed!  "What have I done?!?" you think, launching into a soliloquy about how if the new whatever album were only available, the wanton destruction you just perpetrated would have been avoided completely.

The point is, I get annoyed when people think that they're entitled to hear whatever they want whenever they want.  It took me a long time, but I consider it about the same as hearing someone talk about how they're "supposed" to have a great job or a future of power, and it usually comes down to not being denied luxury things, and because they're white and have been told about how special they are all their lives.  But the secret is, they're not special.  I'm not special.  The more I think about it, the more I want to just say that you and I aren't supposed to have anything nice, unless your parents are super rich.  Then you can have all sorts of amazing things for free.

Looking back, that whole section of my argument made very little sense.  But I'm not going to edit it, because this whole shitstorm of an article has taken me forever to complete.

I know what you're saying, too.  You're saying "But with file sharing, you get to listen to whatever you want to whenever you want, and that's a good thing.  Why you gotta be so duuuuuuumb?"  Of course, not long ago I was inclined to agree with your statement of why I'm so duuuuuuumb.  "What do I want to listen to today?" I would ask myself.  Then I'd download anything I wanted off the Interbung and have a listen.  I listened to so much stuff, it made me feel like a real important hotshot music guy, being able to formulate shallow and vacuous opinions about the music that I was superficially enjoying before tossing to the side in favor of more, more, MORE new stuff.  Then I started noticing that all of the stuff I was listening to, though largely enjoyable, was rendering it perfectly impossible for me to remember any detail about virtually anything I listened to.  I think my biggest (read: single legitimate) gripe with file sharing is that it makes music not only endlessly available to everybody, but by extension also endlessly disposable.

I remember when I was about nine years old, I had amassed a small chunk of savings from my meager allowance.  I managed to avoid spending all of my money on Push Up Pops from the unscrupulous ice cream man who used to circulate my neighborhood, especially on allowance day, when he would make two or three passes and take all of the money from the swarm of kids that the annoying "Pop Goes the Weasel" song he had on his loudspeakers would attract.  But I managed some fiscal self control (for the first and probably only time), and managed to get a nice little chunk of money for the sole purpose of buying the new Bad Religion album, which at the time was Stranger than Fiction.  A friend of mine had happened upon it, and I became so entranced by it that nothing would do except that I also have it for myself.  We went to the Sam Goody in the mall one fine Saturday, where I discovered that I didn't have enough money for Stranger than Fiction on compact disc, so I bought it on audio cassette.

It was the most important purchase I ever made.  And the first piece of music I ever bought.

I listened to that tape until cassette players became obsolete and so hard to find that it didn't even matter that, one horrible day, I extracted the cassette from my ancient boombox and it turned to dust and fell through my fingers.  My screams and weeping filled the rooms of my childhood house until my mom told me to stop, she was getting ready for a date and needed me to vacuum the whole house.

The point is this: with music downloading, it's increasingly less common for people to find a piece of music that gets appreciated in the way that it should be.  I'm as guilty of it as anybody, and it's only been until recently, when I decided that I was done getting my piracy on, that I started revisiting music that I remember liking but that I can't remember what I liked about it.  There have been a lot of hidden gems in the mix (Hayaino Daisuki, KEN Mode, Zozobra) that I remember thinking well of but managed to not have any real recollection of.  And for every great piece that I find, I have probably three different albums that were so startling in mediocrity (or generally shittiness) that they will remain in my iTunes until my computer finally collapses like a dying star, and I won't miss any of it for even a second.

If you're like me, you tell everybody about how big a deal music is to you, and you wear goofy shirts that people always make stilted comments on.  Piracy has opened the world to us, while at the same time robbing our music, and our scene, of the opportunity for us to get truly and intimately acquainted with our "favorite" albums.  I'd like to go back to a world where people know the ins and outs of their favorite (or current favorite) albums the way I still know Bad Religion's Stranger than Fiction (which I bought on limited edition red vinyl a few years ago so I could finally stop mourning my dumb tape).

So here's a question: when is the last time an album changed your life?  Did you download it?  What does it take for you to really notice an album rather than just throwing it on the "Things I've Listened To" pile?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I'm Not Quite Dead Yet

Good day to you.

It's been a while since I've updated this little rag of mine, hasn't it?  I guess it's easy to let things slip away when you've been as busy as I've been lately.  Now I know how that guy who wrote "Cat's in the Cradle" felt!

You don't know it, but I can hear you all the way from here.  You're asking "Well, what the fuck have you been DOING, then, Mr. Butthole?"  To which I am wont to reply, "Oh come now, Mr. Butthole is my father; call me Cobra!"  But seriously, there's been so much stuff going on lately, it's been kind of stupid that I haven't updated in so long, and it's been even stupider that I didn't bother to delete the page entirely.  It's not easy being internet famous, even if you're not actually internet famous.  You know what I mean?

First off, I've been spending a bunch of my time taking part in the Living Doorway Fit Club (note that the link only takes you to part three), which is a solitary venture in my case; JGD lives out in Oregon, where I go to visit from time to time, but we don't socialize or ride bikes together on a regular basis.  Or ever.  And since the rest of the world doesn't care about a download blog for people who are in to crusty death metal, it leaves it up to me alone to achieve my fitness goals.  But I have the power!  As a matter of fact, I've been able to tone up and trim down using nothing but ancient Chinese secrets, those ads on the side of Facebook that boast about people who personal trainers hate, and paying people around me to scream at me day and night about how fat I am.  They do it for almost nothing!  Using this method, I've managed to go from flab to fab.  Just look at these pictures if you don't believe me:

You can tell he's fat because of the slice of candy-covered pizza and the half eaten burrito

And now I look like this!

It's important to only develop your body in parts where it isn't a sex crime to show it off in public.  Otherwise, fitness is useless.

Do I still breath heavily while I eat?  Do I still have a hard time climbing the single set of stairs that lead up to my apartment?  The answer to both is "Fuck yeah!  But look at my arms!"

What takes up most of my time, though, is my relentless, obsessive-to-the-point-of-being-a-mental-patient need to play guitar.  You know how much time it takes to hammer away at scales and arpeggios and tasty licks?  If you're like me, it takes forever, and if they paid you to do it, you'd be able to stay in your bedroom and practice all day even though you don't have a band or any prospect of a band.  I played with a band for a while, though, whose music I didn't much care for.  And you won't either!  Take a look at some videos on a Blogspot I created for the band and feel free to make fun of me in the comments.  Is it in bad taste to post something like this on my blog?  Maybe, but as I have to keep pointing out to the people around me, I'm not a journalist, and as such, journalistic integrity means nothing to me.  You can also hear bad music I've been obsessing over in lieu of writing this blog at my Soundcloud site.  It's all poorly produced and played by Yours Truly, so again, hit the comments and let me know how gay I am.

What I'm trying to say is that I haven't forgotten about you, Interhole Nation.  I've just been busy trying to become the wankiest guitarist with the most absurd set of pythons who ever lived (except for that guy from Brain Drill.  I'll never be that wanky or that bicep heavy, no matter how hard I try).  In fact, I've been steadily squirreling away little nuggets of things to write about, and between the new Meshuggah record, the new Black Breath record, new High on Fire, SXSW, and how monumentally hammered I got on St. Patrick's Day, I've got lots to talk about.  Maybe I'll actually talk about some if it.

But not now.  I'm off now to tempt fate by riding my ancient bike around in the Texas rain, my increasingly beefy guns glistening and flecked with dirt from the asphalt, swallowing lots of bugs (tis the season) whose calories I've had to account for in my increasingly strict diet, which now consists of bugs I accidentally eat while riding my bike and Jameson.  Because I care about my health.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Complete Failure--The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault

Here in Texas, when you can't think of something to say to somebody, you talk about the weather.  I know this isn't a phenomenon that is specific to this region, but one thing I'm surprised about is how in to the weather people seem to get here.  I'm from California, and our weather-based exchanges are really short and dumb, like this:

Me: "It's (hot/cold/raining/dusty)"

Guy I have nothing in common with but have to acknowledge for some reason: "Yeah."

But out here, in Austin, there's very little crime, and our black people aren't particularly frightening, so people seem to have arbitrarily chosen the weather as something to get well versed in for the purposes of inane small talk.  It's awkward for me, because more and more, I have to have quite long discussions about the weather with people that I would otherwise never talk to.  And talking about the weather is boring!  Our exchanges look like this:

Me: "It's (hot/cold/raining/dusty/crawling with snakes)"

Guy I have nothing in common with but have to acknowledge for some reason: "Have you seen the radar lately?  It looks like there's an Arctic front about to sweep in from the Northwest, and it's bringing sleet and maybe some snow with it!  It won't be as bad as Dallas is going to get, but you know how things are down here, when you're not expecting it to rain, that's when it rains.  Let me show you on my phone (pulls out phone)...

[flash forward 11 minutes]

...and you can see how it almost looks like the pocket of rain in red is going to break apart and miss us, but then it comes right back together and hits us hard.  One time, when my brother lived in Lakeway..."

Me: "Wahhh."

This kind of exchange invariably bums me out, which drives me to my favorite remedy for the doldrums of my painfully mundane existence: brutal, crushing hardcore.

Enter Complete Failure.  Last time we caught up with our hardcore heroes, we were talking about the subject of failure and their 2009 release Heal No Evil.  Well, I can tell you that, being as dynamic and powerful as I am (you can't see it, but I'm kissing my enormous biceps right now), I managed to take failure and squeeze success out of it, even if my success is relative and can only be measured by noting that I haven't driven my car off a bridge yet.  With their latest outing, The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault, Complete Failure have done the same (though I don't know about the whole driving a car off a bridge thing in relation to the band).

What does Art Gospel have that other albums don't, you might be asking?  Well, for one thing, it's got backwards talking.  For another thing, it's got the "oh God I'm being attacked by an owl" shriek of frontman Joe Mack.  And judging by that agonized screech that Mack produces, I'm guessing we're talking about a Great-Horned Owl attack.  They have such crushing foot strength!  The album also boasts some really impressive drum work from drummer Mike Rosswog, who the Interhole tells me used to be in Circle of Dead Children.  D-boner, activate!  Finally, the riffs of guitarist James Curl evoke the more crushing punk rock aesthetics available to modern man, sounding like a crazed caveman painting naked ladies on the wall of his cave during a peyote-induced mania.  Cavemen used to do that, right?

In short, it's the perfect package for the crusty of discerning taste.

"And what makes them so angry?" you might be asking.  "I'm frightened of these young roustabouts and their guitar music!"

Well, the Interbung tells me that they're from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I've never been there, but sources deep in the know tell me that the only people who like Pittsburgh and people who spend their time yelling "Go Steelers!" and waving towels over their heads.  They're also usually covered in soot.

I make no secret of the painful, swollen, granite-hard boner I have for crusty, grinding hardcore, and Complete Failure don't hesitate to cradle and stroke my D-boner with the tender care that only crusty, grinding hardcore can provide.  Art Gospel is a towering maelstrom of powerful, ugly hardcore that sates even the most discriminating boners.  If you're looking for a good old-fashioned D-boner extravaganza, why don't you go to their Bandcamp site and listen to the album for free?  Or you can catch up on ComFail news and views at their website.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blotted Science--The Animation of Entomology

Ron Jarzombek is an interesting guy.

Let me back up and say this first: I should have investigated Blotted Science long ago.  However, my busy schedule (drinking) only allows me to listen to so much new music, and since my handwriting is usually perfectly illegible (flawless pencil sketches of dicks doesn't count as handwriting), most of my great ideas that I have after 9 pm are generally unreadable or just plain old forgotten the next day.  I imagine that Blotted Science is written on the back of some pizza box somewhere, thrown away carelessly seconds after I scribbled the words over the Red Baron's face with my wife's brand new eyeliner.

I'm a creature of habit, and I always throw trash away.

But lo, I did not get around to listening to this tome, this priceless piece of technical instrumetal, this delightful treasure until after 2011 wrapped up and yelled "Eat my dick!" over its metaphorical shoulder, marking the end of the days when I could construct a year-end list (I had already finished my year end list anyway, so it wouldn't have made that much of a difference).  But I was looking all year for a tasty piece of technical, non-djent noodling that I could listen to while I jack off, and a great piece finally pops up and I totally balk on listening to it.  What a fool I've been!

My balls are blue and full, and it's all my fault!

So, to reiterate, Ron Jarzombek is an interesting guy.  You see, he seems to be the heavy hitter here in Blotted Science, and since he's a heavy hitter, he only associates himself with other heavy hitters, which is why Alex Webster (I don't have to say he's in Cannibal Corpse, do I?) and Hannes Grossman (Obscura, I think also ex-Necrophagist?) are palling around with him to make very fancy, shreddy, technical music.  And make no mistake; this isn't some kind of deathy, blackened soundscape bullcrap like everybody is doing these days.  Nay, this is music for people like me, who wear monocles when they listen to music, who talk about the preamps that their favorite players use, who watch frets like they were trying to break out of prison AND ONLY WE CAN STOP THEM.

Blotted Science have managed to do something which I've never really seen before, which is to incorporate 12 tone music into their repertoire.  Impressive?  Yes.  But if you're thinking this is the Schoenberg style of 12 tone, with Babbit squares to help map out the retrograde inversion and flesh out tetrachords, you're wrong about that.  In fact, Jarzombek utilizes an interesting (and unorthodox) schematic for the 12 tone method, which he describes on this here video.  Watch the video if you're a remorseless fretwatcher like me, or if you like to see things flashing in a circular to semicircular pattern.  This video has it all!

Better yet, if you want to get a really good idea for what Blotted Science is all about, you should scope out the video for the "A Sting Operation" suite that closes out the EP.  It's almost ten minutes of WTF, complete with ridiculous animations that manage to rival the bafflingly bad cover art for the album.

That's my one complaint about the album, incidentally, is the cover art.  They should really stick to something a little bit less perilous than 3d modeled creepy crawlies; it's just too easy to make look amateurish and laughable.  I imagine that maybe somebody's nephew is a failed artist or something and they had him throw together some CGI spiders so that he can say that he's active.  Which is fine; doing anything other than watch Law and Order is more than I do.

I'm just saying.

The Animation of Entomology is an exciting romp through the land of tech spells and shred fairies; indeed, the album is a foray into the fanciest and most upscale sphere that technical death metal has ever dared approach.  Many bands talk mad shit about 12 tone and being fancy, but I think Blotted Science wins.  And the best part?  It's indicated that Ron Jarzombek lives in San Antonio, which means that I've got to go down there and get my "lurk outside of Ron Jarzombek's house" on!

Because I want to get a shirt.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Speculation Center: Meshuggah's New Album

This is Monsoon Fucking Cobra, and you just stepped in a big pile of some jerk's speculations about what will happen.  This is The Speculation Center!

[Video montage of me yelling a Colin Powell and slamming my fist on a desk]

Well it seems now that my 2012 Wish List is more of a series of chilling predictions about what is going to happen this year.  It seems that Meshuggah are taking my wish list seriously and have complied with the unspoken part of it, where they finally release a new album.  We've all been waiting for another album since the 1,000th time we listened to Obzen, but it took me writing about what it should be about to get them to finish it.  You're welcome.

So here's what I assume happened: Meshuggah were sitting around the mansion that they for some reason share, perusing their favorite websites as a bonding exercise for the band.  They gather around the huge computer screen of the "Meshug-Puter" for their favorite time of the day, when they get to all read Mouthful of Acid.  Because I'm hilarious and debonaire and stuff.  So Meshuggah reads my Wish List and decides that they should finally finish that album they've had sitting around in order to placate me and avoid provoking my wrath.  Which is an excellent choice, because my wrath is terrifying to men with even the strongest and most unwavering constitutions.

So they very quickly wrote the lyrics for, recorded, mixed and mastered the album after they read that I wanted them to.

Since they haven't released any album artwork or even an album title for the new album (which, as you can see on the official Interbung picture at the top of this, comes out on March 27), I will once again predict that the album will be called Old Horrors, and that it will be a concept album based around the most terrifying piece of cinema created in the 20th century, namely the movie Fire in the Sky.

Oh, God, it's based on a true story, too?!?
Dealing head on with the subject of alien abduction and finally unraveling the truth about our extraterrestrial overlords, Meshuggah will be the harbingers of peace between humans and the terrible alien scum, who will provide us with the cures to our myriad diseases and free their human prisoners from their secret uranium mines on Titan (one of the moons of Saturn) as a gesture of goodwill.  I imagine they'll also teach us how to make dogs talk so that we can really know what's going on in their brains.  Wouldn't that be fun?
Also, the aliens will look like...I don't know...lobsters.  Yeah, lobsters.
But for me, I'll never be able to listen to the album, and I'll go in to hiding once the alien scum descend upon the planet, because there is literally nothing so terrifying as an alien for any reason.  It's been proven by popular culture that they only want to probe and enslave us (until the Meshuggah album teaches them the human emotion they call "love").  And didn't you just read what I wrote about the forced labor camps on Titan, where you mine uranium for them?  That shit should be terrifying you, because it's terrifying the shit out of me.
So on March 27, Meshuggah will save us from the lobster-looking extraterrestrial masters that put us into concentration camps orbiting Saturn, but until then, I insist that you all panic, start a fire in a dumpster or two, start hoarding canned food (I suggest Chef Boyardee ravioli.  Delicious!), and buy as many guns as you can, because until the aliens see the light that Meshuggah hold for us all, nobody is safe.  NOBODY IS SAFE!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Announcement: Part One

I assume this is going to be the first of several announcements that I foolishly put out into the interbung to coerce people in a feeble attempt to make my life a little bit easier.  Here it goes:

I was recently in the Golden State, which is California for those of you who don't follow the colorful or ridiculous nicknames given to certain states based upon asinine or unclear characteristics of the state.  I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine, codenamed "Ed" to protect his identity, about the fate of this very blog.  I have recreated it here for you so that you can feel the drama of the situation.

Me: "I'm thinking about shutting down the blog.  Either that or expanding it.  I don't have time to maintain it the way that I would really like to, and I feel like it's got some potential to grow, but I'd need to find some new writers.  I don't think I'll be able to find anyone who is interested."

Ed: "You shouldn't shut it down.  At least try to find somebody else who can help write for it if you feel like you can't put out enough material by yourself.  [Ed runs over a raccoon in his Honda CR-V]  Fuck you, wildlife!"

Me: "I don't know [takes a thoughtful swig from a 64 ounce cup of Mountain Dew that I cleverly mixed with Triple Sec].  I don't see anyone wanting to do this kind of thing.  But maybe I'll try."

Ed: "You should at least try.  And if you can't do anything about it, maybe you can just keep updating it almost never, like you have been for the last few months.  Oh, no!  It's the evil ghost of Abraham Lincoln, come back to life on Truxton Avenue!"

Me: "I'm getting too old for this shit."

[We exchange a meaningful glance, pregnant with the memories of our many years spent as Hetero Life Partners.  The car skids to a halt and we quickly strap on our Proton Packs, preparing, once again, to fight the evil specters that terrorize the fertile Central Valley]

Ed: "Let's show that bastard that stovepipe hats have gone out of style!"

Me: "This is another play he won't see the end of!"

[We fistbump, super bro style]

After we got done busting the ghosts of history's greatest presidents, I realized that Ed might be right; I might be able to find some extra bodies to keep this blog afloat while I play Rage and watch Dexter.  So I'm going to put it out there and hope that somebody is interested.

What I'm looking for is one or two people to jump on and give their unsolicited opinion to people (read: nobody) about heavy metal music for literally no money.  Let me sweeten the pot, though.  Most of the bands that you write about will probably never read your words unless you force them to, which is inadvisable considering the stiff sentences given for kidnapping in the United States.  But sometimes they do, and it's a great opportunity to learn about how little your significant other cares about what you write on the interhole (spoiler alert: the answer is "very, very little").  You can brag about it to hobos or subway perverts or the weirdos at the laundromat.  The world is your oyster!

So basically I'm asking for one or two people to help me try vainly to be funny on the internet for free.

Sound good?  This is what I'd like:

Find my email address.  You should be able to find it somewhere on this stupid page.  Send me links to writing samples proving that you're capable of writing English and that you have the ability to be like funny.  In return, if I like the cut of your jib, we'll come up with a beefy Interweb name for you and start you posting up here.  If you're unfamiliar with the format of this page, here it is: I like to invent things out of thin air and make fun of stuff that I care about.  In other words, journalism has no place here, unless it's funny, like if the dude from Vader got hit in the face by a swan while he was on some kind of Bavarian rollercoaster.  That would be hilarious and also journalism.  But stuff like that also mostly never happens.

Since I assume there won't be anybody who responds to this, rest assured that if you're on the brink of giving it a shot, I'll be checking my email obsessively hoping that you'll at least take a stab at it.  I'm also not holding my breath.

Also, make the subject line say "MOA Potential Writer," and bonus points will be awarded for including references to boners in the body.

Show me what you've got, internets.

2012 Wishlist

So 2011 is finally gone, and we can all really start thinking of how our Mayan overlords are going to exterminate us this coming December.  Like the raptures of the past year, this is clearly something that is dead serious and totally going to happen, so I'd like to welcome our new Mayan ghost masters and let them know that I can be very valuable in the hunt for their stolen gold.  People tell me things, especially when it comes to their adventures in tomb raiding and grave robbing.  As an example, I was with an acquaintance of mine at work.  Following is a snippet of our conversation:

Me: "Hey [name], how was the weekend?"

Coworker: "It was fine.  I went to a Mayan tomb and stole the occupant's gold.  They said it was cursed, but I showed those stinky Mayans who's not dead!"

True story.

Since the Mayans are the only notable aspect of 2012 so far, and I don't like to make fun of civilizations that were exterminated by people who look suspiciously similar to me (well, I do, but I should probably stop), I've decided to put out there for everybody a comprehensive list of things that I want to happen in 2012, so that the many celebrities and industry luminaries and shadowy secret societies that follow my blog can have a good idea of what I think they should be working on this year.

I'm highly considerate in this way.

So here is my 2012 wish list; take notes, because I'm counting on YOU to make sure that most of this happens (if you're Meshuggah or the Nobel Prize committee):

--Trap Them goes on tour and we talk and then we become best friends and have a cooking show together on the CW.  We'll lead in to Nate Berkus, and everybody look under your chair because YOU'RE GOING HOME WITH A BRAND NEW CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!

--Martians land on Earth, bringing us peace and love.  Turns out, they were going to stay away forever, but their huge Necrophagist fans, and it turns out the Martians had the new Necrophagist album we've been waiting for the whole time!

--Tosin Abasi takes a sabbatical from Animals as Leaders to hang around Guitar Center, thus stopping every Guitar Center wanker forever and allowing Guitar Center to be the wonderland it's supposed to be.

--Several words: Mouthful of Acid Radio (brought to you by Carl's Jr. and Yellow Rose Austin).

--I start a death metal band with myself, using advanced cloning technology from the Pentagon (I know a guy).  The band immediately breaks up because I'm terrible, and it turns out that four of me is way worse.  I have my clones exterminated, but get to return to my footloose lifestyle thanks to the windfall of kidneys and livers and hearts that I've just created.  I realize that there's a silver lining to having your clones exterminated.

--A new Meshuggah album titled Old Horrors, which will be a concept album about the most frightening movie in the world, Fire in the Sky.  I won't be able to listen to the album.

--I finish the book Atlas Shrugged, finally becoming convinced of the virtues of capitalism and the American way of life.  Thus starts my "Hyper Conservative" phase where I become humorless and start fucking other men at car washes across the nation, which in turn leads to my inevitable disgrace and a return to my roots, where I think stuff sucks again.

--On second thought, I don't actually want to fuck the men at the car washes from the previous item.  Maybe I'll just go ahead and skip that one.

--This blog takes off and I become as rich as the King of Siam.  I finally get to live my dream of flying around the world on a flying island of my own design, the general concept of which has, incidentally, been stolen to form the basis of the upcoming video game Bioshock: Infinite.

--I get to play Bioshock: Infinite.  That one sounds boring, but it's going to be awesome.  Believe me.

--Someone finally takes it upon themselves to develop and make available the cool technology that can be found in the myriad Batman comics/movies/video games, leading to my inevitable death in a flying cape accident.  Upon reading my will, everybody will be astonished to see that I knew it was going to happen years ago.  Enclosed will be a picture of me looking victorious, with a caption that says "Nailed It!"

--Dream Theater finally reads that article I wrote about their latest album and comes through with some tickets to a concert.  COME ON GUYS, YOU NEED TO STEP UP YOUR INTERNET PRESENCE.

--Two words: Flying scooters.

--A new sequel to the video game franchise Skate comes out.  It's so realistic that I can break my ankle for the fifth time while in the comfort of my own home.  The Reda voiceover in the game will declare it "super gnar."

--College football disappears forever without explanation.

--My wife starts to think that my farts are as funny as I do, and she also warms up to Exhumed, leading to a new Golden Age of peace in my household.

--I finally get to see Intronaut live, allowing the band to thank me for the awesome play that I wrote about them.

--I get a couple more able contributors to this blog so that I don't have to only post a couple times a month.  The hilarity never ends!

--Marijuana is legalized, leaving my pothead friends nothing to talk about.  They are forced to grow personalities based on something other than their love for an illegal substance.

--Reggae is outlawed.  It is the only triumph of lawmaking that has ever existed.

--90%  of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 players are killed in a freak accident involving computer viruses or something, leaving those of us who can't stand them alone to enjoy some friendly multiplayer.

--Kurt Ballou wins the Nobel Peace Prize in the field of Record Production.  At the parade thrown in his honor, Glen Danzig is accidentally run over by a papier mache pterodactyl float and killed.  It's the best day ever.

So there is my 2012 wishlist of things to happen.  I fully expect whoever you are to stop whatever it is you're doing and go make at least one of those things happen, because I can't stand to be disappointed by you any longer, dear reader.  It's killing me, and your mother is always asking me "Why can't he/she be more like [someone else]?"  And I just don't know what to keep telling her.