Monday, March 30, 2009

Heavy Metal in the Economic Downturn

We at Metal Inquisition have made a startling discovery - an unprecedented display of economic foresight from The Netherlands in 1981. It's difficult to even fathom, but over 25 years ago, a group of Dutch musicians and intellectuals - Renaissance men in the classical mold - predicted the economic downturn of 2009. Their treatise on the subject has long been in the public domain, but only now has the true meaning of this work revealed itself.

What's even more impressive is that this prognostication came not from the halls of academia or the journalistic press, but from the nascent Heavy Metal scene. I speak of the heavy metal band PICTURE, and you can view the video for their song "Unemployed" right here.

The modern-day relevance of "Unemployed" is astonishing. The lyrics anticipate a time when we've all lost our jobs, and have nothing to do but drink beer and listen to classic metal rocka rolla. Dominant forms of cultural activity appear to be setting off fire crackers, wearing sweat bands, and tearing through lengthy guitar solos. Is this not a brilliantly accurate description of all our current lives?

In this music video, we garner a glimpse of our future in the troubled economic climate through its deft symbolism. The "production values" of our "music videos" will be dreadful. The "leap from atop the kick drum" will be hampered by restrictive "spandex." This was the vision so artistically conveyed by PICTURE.

Through the boom of the late 80's and the Clinton years, unemployed mustached heavy metal idiocy would have seemed an inconceivable regression of the cultural norm. However, my informal polls indicate that 84% of Americans now "strongly agreed" with the description of themselves as "an unemployed, mustachioed heavy metal idiot." For PICTURE, this was all in the tea leaves.

The future is secure only for those few companies who anticipated the post-2009 shift to a pared down, riff-based economy. Marshall Amplification and Zildjian Cymbals come to mind. Shares of Ibanez stock are a "buy." I advise you to diversity your portfolio to include preferred stocks and killer gear.

Consider this music video PICTURE's dissertation on the subject. Look for the band members of PICTURE to receive the Nobel Prize in economics in the coming years, as their vision of an "Unemployed" world comes to pass. Until then, I recommend you drop out of your (now obsolete) college classes, and buy some records by RAVEN, DIAMOND HEAD, TANK, and others, to educate yourself in the skills of the new, heavy metal-trained, "Black Collar" workforce.

The cultural shift predicted by PICTURE is no more evident than on this blog. Few readers will remember that during the late 80's through the early 90's, the METAL INQUISITION blog covered primarily cold war relations and then the emerging Eastern European economies. During the mid 90's, METAL INQUISITION brought you the latest on the Balkan wars, Silicon Valley acquisitions, and the biotech research pipeline. METAL INQUISITION seeks the issues that matter, hence our recent coverage of Tom Warrior's leather jacket and Glen Benton's life at age 42. Keep reading in the upcoming months to stay informed on the issues defining our time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Metal Archeology: What my bedroom looked like in 1991

For most of my life growing up, my brother and I shared a room. This was great for many reasons, but the most important was our ability to share resources, thus allowing us to have a killer poster collection. Rummaging through old pictures the other day I found the shot you see above. This picture was taken in the room that my brother and I shared back in 1991, and is a fair representation of where we were musically at the time. While the picture does not show the poster collection at its peak (barely its infancy really) it still shows what I was into then, mor or less. Before you judge me though, please give me a chance to explain some of the items you see on the wall. To give you an idea of where things stood back then, allow me to tell you the following about when this picture was taken, 1991:

- Beverly Hills 90210 was just starting its second season
- Slayer's Decade Of Aggression had not come out yet
- Metallica's Black Album was only about a month old
- Entombed had just released Clandestine
- Anthrax had just stopped wearing shorts
- The Soviet Union had just broken up
- Napalm Death had just released Harmony Corruption
- Pantera was still touring for Cowboys From Hell
- Morbid Angel had just released Blessed Are The Sick
- More than three people in the United States still knew who Arsenio Hall was
- Death's Human had just come out

Now that you have a better picture of where things stood back then, feel free to read on.

1. If you were as awesome as I was growing up, you probably had sweet posters of cars in your room. Although not as cool as the Lamborghini or Ferrari posters I had, this Porsche 911 one was still pretty rad.

2. By 1991, I knew Metallica was dying. The black album had just come out, stunk up the place, and yet I had trouble letting go. I thought Sad But True was an okay song...but disliked the whole thing right away. I hated Kirk's mustache, Lars rolling up the sleeves on his tshirts, and James' mullet. I also hated kids who I hated in school suddenly wearing Metallica shirts. It was around this time that I knowingly had a severe kneejerk reaction against popular metal bands in big labels. I took great pride in listening to faster, heavier music on smaller lables. I was young, and thus got a great kick out of naming bands no one had ever heard of. "Oh, you don't know about Dorsal Atlantica? Let me fill you in" I would say to random kids who could not have cared less. I believe that the reason for this huge poster hanging on the wall is that it was so rare that I could get my hands on a proper poster, rather than simple pages torn out of magazines. With Metallica's rise in stardom, came their rise in availability...suddenly kids like me were left to hang Metallica posters that they could get for free in record stores like Miami's then famed Y&T Records. That store was a godsend. You could go there, and easily walk out with crazy black metal 7"s, Morbid Angel demo was great. I guess I was still trying to remember the Metallica I knew from years prior.

3. Slayer Live Undead poster, purchased from a street vendor in South America. All the small posters that my brother and I bought from this guy were laminated, as though you'd want to use them as placemats while you ate your breakfast.

4. Print ad for the Michigan Death Fest in 1990. The line-up for the fest was pretty rad and included Morbid Angel AND Morbid Saint, Sacrifice and Nuclear Death I think. If I remember correctly, two members of Morbid Saint can be seen wearing shirts for this fest on one of their records.

5. Ugh, another Metallica picture. Again, I remember listening to much more Entombed and Obituary back then...but I guess the Metallica pictures lingered on for a bit.

6. My cool Misfits shirt, which I made in Mr Delpino's art class. I also made the Morbid Angel shirt which I posted about before, and a D.R.I. shirt. Mr Delpino was a drunk. For some reason he would not allow us to screen with white ink of black shirts, so all the shirts had to be white.

7. Sepultura picture, probably from Metal Maniacs. How amazing did Beneath The Remains seem back then? Who knew that the Cavalera brothers would loose their damn mind, start wearing camo and have their brains taken over by nu-metal? Had you told me back then that Andreas would end up playing on tour with Scorpions, I would have challenged you to a fight...right then and there.

8. Another Slayer poster from the street vendor. This one is a stupid illustration of a skull which I have only seen in other semi-official Slayer items.

9. Jason Newsted, I really don't know why this was hanging on the wall. I don't mean to be apologetic, but my brother and I were seriously getting out of Metallica at that time...I don't get it. I guess we still wanted to hang on to the good memories...or perhaps my mom had warned us about damaging the drywall by ripping stuff off and on repeatedly. This, by the way, is possible. We were renting that apartment.

10. Nuclear Assault, not much to say here. How I slept in a room that had a picture of Dan Lilker's down syndrome face I'll never know.

11. Barney from Napalm Death. I remember this picture perfectly, because he was wearing a white t-shirt tucked into blue gym shorts. How metal. I remember Metal Maniacs making fun of him for his bleached hair back then.

12. Cliff Burton. Again, not much to say. Like so many other kids, I first checked out The Misfits because Cliff Burton always wore their shirts. I figured they had to be the most obscure, heaviest, fastest metal band. Imagine my surprise when I bought a Misfits tape and heard something that resembled Elvis over melodic-ish punk. I was outraged! It took me a little while to listen to it again, and start actually enjoying them.

13. Morgoth. Due to living in Florida, death metal was everywhere. Morgoth, Unleashed, Entombed, Dismember and all the local bands were all the rage. I remember loving Morgoth back then. Today, I don't think I could name a single Morgoth song, or that I could easily identify their music. Maybe I should brush up.

14. Danzig. Sweet picture of Glenn on a throne with the band surrounding him. How on earth did Chuck Biscuits stomach posing for these solemn pictures when he played for Descendents, Black Flag, and DOA?

15. Anthrax "Indians" postcard.

16. Anthrax poster, probably hanging there as a result of being a huge, legit poster that we got for free, more than likely from Y&T Records near the University of Miami campus. That store was nuts back then. Some dude named Mike ordered all the metal stuff for the store, and he also did a zine which they sold there. The selection of records was crazy, and they even had a demo tape section. Imagine going into a store, and having about thirty demos to choose from...all from tiny bands from the Ukraine, all for under four bucks. Today, it's meaningless to me..but back then, I was in heaven.

17. Picture of the dude from Believer. We liked Believer, but probably not enough to have their picture up. I don't fully get why it was up. Maybe we just liked the picture? Their second album that sounds just like Earth Crisis (or the other way around) had not come out yet. Just so everyone knows, yes...I know why the album sounds like Earth Crisis. I'm not an idiot.

17. Sorry, I screwed up the numbering and don't want to go back and fix it. This one is a picture of Phil from Sacred Reich. For my brother's birthday only months after this picture was taken, I bought him a Sacred Reich t-shirt. He wore it to school that day, and on his way back home was in a bad car accident. He got blood all over the new shirt.

19. Gary from Exodus, wearing awful Harley Davidson suspenders. How could we NOT have something up from the band that wrote Toxic Waltz? Come on now.

20. Again, I don't remember being too into Pantera by the time this picture was taken...but perhaps we just thought the picture of Phil getting the stupid sides of his head shaved was rad? I really loved Cowboys From Hell when it first came out, played it all the time. By the time this picture was taken though, I was jamming to lots of death metal and Pantera seemed weak to me. But back to that time in their history, the rise in popularity that Pantera had after Cowboys From Hell came out was really amazing. I never paid much attention to subsequent albums...but those two years were nuts. They went from putting out what was their first album, at least to most people, to playing arenas in no time. Impressive.

21. Perfect example of something hanging up just because it looked kinda cool, was better than a page out of a magazine, and was big. While we like the Gammacide LP (one of Wild Rags' finest) I'm pretty sure we just put up the poster because it was big and free, since it came with the record. It was around this time that we started to get more and more into smaller bands, and ordering demos through the mail. Perhaps Wild Rags was pushing us in that direction?

22. Flier for a band's demo, the name of the band was Sarcophagus. Based on the logo, I think they are this early black/death metal band. Not sure where the flier came from.

23. A picture I cut out of some magazine that featured two old people checking out some punk dude in a mowhawk. Your guess as to why we put this is up is as good as mine. I had records and tapes by Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags and The Exploited then, but I wouldn't really get into punk until later.

24. D.R.I. spread that actually came from RIP Magazine. The title of the article was "Mayhem In Mexico City" and was about a huge show they played there at some wrestling arena. The fact that I still remember this is weird. The pictures in that article were awesome, and I looked at them for hours upon hours.

25. This is perhaps the only thing I'm unsure about. I believe it's Unleashed. Pretty sure it is. I liked them back then, but my brother was the one that was way, way into them.

26. Chuck Schuldiner. "Human" had just come out and it was one of my favorite albums. I didn't know this at the time, but Chuck lived in a storage space not far from where this picture was taken.

27. Metallica postcard featuring Pushead artwork for And Justice For All, and a picture from Garage Days.

28. Obituary. Weird picture because Trevor was playing a BC Rich Warlock.

29. Diamond Darrell. Sorry, I refuse to call him "Dimebag", that all started after I stopped liking them. I know I sound like a douche for saying that, but it's true. It's like if your friend Steve goes off to college, graduates and then you visit him at his new job. You walk in, and the receptionist says "Oh are you Stephen The Third's friend?" You'd be like "Who, do you mean Steve?"

30. Another damn Metallica poster?

31. The most recent Megadeth album was Rust In Piece. One part of me hated them because of their commercial appeal, but something in me also had to acknowledge the riff mania that was that album.

Your feedback is appreciated

So, what about our readers? What hung on your walls back in 1991? Are you older, and perhaps way more metal than I was? Were you not into metal then? Perhaps the most depressing possibility is that you were only like two years old then. Either way, let me know.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Winds of Plague & Terror bring wigger black metalcore to the Bluegrass State

This is what hardcore shows look like in Kentucky.

I somehow found myself in Covington, Kentucky this Sunday for a metalcore show featuring Winds of Plague, Emmure, Terror, All Shall Perish, The Ghost Inside, and some Christian moshcore bands whose names I forget.

"If you smoke near my merch I will karate chop you into a million pieces. Faggot."

Moshcore rednecks don't like the gays
The first thing I noticed was how much people at this show liked to say "faggot." I'm far from the PC police: I love the GG Allin, Meat Shits, Gut, Necro, and all kinds of random goregrind/pornogrind. Even with nearly 20 years of sleazy grindcore under my belt, I have to admit I was kind of shocked to see the word "faggot" twice at this show, and even more shocked that nobody seemed to care.

"God said you're a faggot."

The Mystery Method: it' not just for chicks!
I'm a big fan of the VH1 show The Pickup Artist, in which a douchelord named "Mystery" teaches a bunch of nerds how to become master pickup artists. The methodology they use is called "The Mystery Method," and while it is definitely more than a little ridiculous, it works! I've used it with great success to chat up hot, crazy chicks over the past few months. The basic concepts are simple: you use an opening line (called a "gambit") to break the ice with a group of people (a "set"). From there, you employ a variety of techniques to keep the conversation going and move toward closing the deal. For example, you attempt to gain the upper hand by playfully criticizing the target (called "throwing negs"). You might also DHV (demonstrate higher value) by telling them you have to leave in a minute (an "FTC," false time constraint). You look for IOIs (indicators of interest), and if you don't see them, roll off (stop talking to the set). There are tons of other concepts, but you get the idea.

Mystery compares meeting women to playing the 12th level of a video game without being able to save

Anyway, I've been seeing this girl and things are going well, so I'm turning my attention from chicks to making more friends that are dudes. The great thing about the Mystery Method is that it works with any group of strangers, not just the ladies! For example, I saw a three set of old hardcore dudes standing near me, and deployed my gambit. "Hey," I asked, "you guys look old and tired like me, how late is this show supposed to last?" I took it from there, looking for IOIs and threading to new material accordingly, and before long I had three new friends. Say what you want, but shows aren't just for moshing and scamming on dumb scene girls- you can actually make friends there too!

For example, I still remember when Lucho and I met back in 1998 while we were both working the door at a show in Columbus, Ohio. Gene Hoglan's Balls and I met at some show in New Jersey in the 00s, and while I don't remember exactly when, I also met Awakening (the jerk who never posts anymore) at a show in 1997 or 1998.

Speaking of dumb scene girls, though, I ran into the daughter from the mom/daughter combo at the Brokencyde show the other week. I made eye contact with her from across the bar, giving her one of those "shame on you" kind of looks that a school teacher would give you while looking over their glasses. She got really nervous and scurried away.

Merch guy's away message while he sang Ezec's part in "Spit My Rage": Sup? Wah... Gone moshing for Terror. Back before the end of the set!

I went to this show with my friend from work who knows absolutely nothing about hardcore, but used to live with one of the guys from Terror by coincidence. We asked the merch guy if Doug was around, and he explained that he had just quit the band, got fired from his job at some mail order place, and was working as a doorman at some bar (I'm guessing the Hemlock). I bought a "Suffer to Return Harder" shirt and thought about how awesome it would look on me at the gym.

Scott Vogel was in tremendous form that night, with some great Vogelisms. Two gems: "We are not a rock band. We are not cool. We are fucked up kid just like everyone in this room." "We're all here for the same thing, whether we are black, white, or brown. Dick. Pussy." I also remembered that Scott used to date/fuck my neighbor when I lived in Cleveland about 10 years ago, so I told the merch guy, "Hey, tell Scott that a girl named J**** H******* is here and wants to talk to him." Anyway, they played all my favorite songs like "One With The Underdogs" and "Spit My Rage," and if I wasn't about to go hang out the previously-mentioned girl, I would have moshed my balls off. I didn't want to either get too sweaty or get punched in the mouth or something because that would inhibit my ability to make out.

Amazing lyrics: "Busters fall down when we're barking commands. Atlas ain't got shit on our steez."

Winds of Plague & Emmure
I was hoping to interview Winds of Plague for this post, but the press guy at Century Media blew me off and wouldn't return my calls. Anyway, I left before they played because I was in a hurry to see that hipster hottie. I kinda wanted to see them, but it was getting kinda late, and as much as I like their brand of moshcore... if you saw her you would understand. I finished off the last of my drink and bounced- but hopefully I'll get a chance to catch Winds of Plague this summer.

Music to Kill Yourself By, Part II

Not to get too personal, but last Wednesday at 10:13 PM Eastern Daylight Time my girlfriend broke up with me. This after I made out with, fingered, and got a blowjob from one of her co-workers in a bathroom during her sister's birthday party the weekend prior. So she had plenty of reason to do so. Now that the faint smell of strange tang has faded from my fingers I have come to realize the error of my ways and greatly regret doing what I did, but it's too late. All that's left to do now is sink into an alcohol and pill fueled depression. Here's what I'll be listening to as I try not to feed my head to a wood chipper.

Crowbar - Time Heals Nothing
This song pretty much sums up Crowbar's entire career. Oppressively heavy, musically and lyrically, this song is a constant reminder of the futility of living. What's the point of living when you've got nothing to live for?

Saint Vitus - Dying Inside
I can't think of any other song that more accurately describes how I feel right now. Take a listen, and pay close attention to the lyrics.

Alice in Chains - Dirt
If you needed some extra motivation or inspiration to take your life, I'd suggest listening to this album, ASAP. Layne Staley took his life with a monster speedball, but not before leaving us with this masterpiece of depression. Never before has intravenous drug use sounded like such an appealing way to end the pain.

Eyehategod - Everything

Complete and total negativity. A bunch of strung out, fucked up junkies basically taunting you, cheering you on as you end it all. Go ahead, do it. You'll be happier, and no one will miss you.

Amy Winehouse - Back to Black

No fucking joke, this album kills me. It's an endless parade of misery. Song after song about failed relationships and substance abuse all wrapped up in a nice, glossy poppy package. Except that Amy can actually sing and all of the songs are legitimately heartbreaking. Their seriousness is only reaffirmed by the endless media coverage of Amy's legendary meltdowns which include beating up her fans, getting beaten up by her boyfriend, and smoking crack. For someone that's only 25, Amy has done some serious hard living.

Black Flag - Nothing Left Inside

If anyone understand my pain, it's Henry Rollins. The undisputed king of manfeelings, Hank knows what it's like to have loved and lost. This song, and the whole album, is one of the purest expressions of anger, frustration, and pain I've ever heard. When you're close to the edge all it takes is Hank bellowing "NOOOOOOOTTTHHHHINNG LEFFFTTTT INNSSSIIIIIIDDEEEE!!" to make you want to jump.

Roy Orbison - Everything

I fucking defy you to listen to "In Dreams" or "Crying" when depressed and not reach for a sharp object. There's just something about Roy's voice and the words he sings that make my heart drop and my chest tighten. Maybe it had to do with the amount of tragedy he experienced. His first wife died in a motorcycle accident and two of his five sons died in a housefire. That's a lot of heavy shit to go through and though he didn't end his own life he certainly makes me want to end mine when I listen to his music.

Chris Isaak - Forever Blue
If a good looking dude like Chris Isaak can't even hold onto a lady, then what hope does a regular schlub like me have? This album is relentless misery. Tale after tale of love lost. It's really hard to listen to after a while, especially if you're trying to get over having lost someone yourself. I mean, Christ, if you were banging this chick and she left wouldn't you want to end it all?

Buzzoven - Sore
See Eyehategod.

G.G. Allin - Freaks, Faggots, Drunks, and Junkies

A God among men, G.G. is legendary for practicing what he preached. How many men with penises the size of a baby's pinky would flaunt that shit like they were packing a magnum? Only a troubled genius like GG could write such unforgettable songs as "Die When You Die," "Commit Suicide," and "I Wanna Kill You." Only an angel, too beautiful for this world, could pen the following lines:

If you're listening to this song
And everything is going wrong
Take a chance on the other side
Let's go over the edge

Fuck the pigs, fuck the folks
Death is where it's at
Use a gun, use a knife
Take some pills, take your life

Slit your throat, slit your wrists
Go over the edge

INXS - Never Tear Us Apart

Autoerotic asphyxiation. That's some way to go.

Lady Gaga - Just Dance

I actually like this song, but it was stuck in my head for two days last week and it reminds me of my ex-girlfriend so whenever I hear it now I want to die, immediately. Please, indulge yourself.

That's all for now, ladies and gentlemen. I've got a noose to tie. See you on the other side!

Monday, March 23, 2009

We need to buy Tom G Warrior a new jacket

I like to help the less fortunate. When I see a lost dog, I take it home and make posters to find its owner. When I have leftovers from a restaurant, I give them to the homeless man on the street who has just soiled himself. I can't help myself, it's a part of who I am. I can identify those who are in need, and quickly come up with a plan to help them out. Many who live in the western hemisphere worry about those who are hungry in Africa, those who struggle with poverty in Central America...but they often ignore the less fortunate who are often right at their doorstep. Who am I talking about? I'm talking about Tom G Warrior. You see, it's at this time of year that my wife and I decide what charities we will give to, and while doing research online I found the most worthy cause of all...a new jacket for Tom G. Now, I know what you are saying "Hey what about the starving children?" Well, I must ask you "what about Tom G?" Mr. Warrior has given us all so much (let's not forget that amazing track Cherry Orchards ) so why shouldn't we give back? It was a similar concern that forced me to bring up how badly Dan Lilker needs a new pose for pictures. But back to dear Tom, please look at these pictures, some of which date back to 2005! The man has been wearing the same horrible motorcycle jacket for years!

We must act now! Time is of the essence! Please, send all your money via PayPal to Metal Inquisition along with what type of jacket you think we should buy for Tom. Here are the choices.

This would be a fantastic choice, due to its versatility. Everyday I see young black kids who are hella' hip-hop wearing these. Who would have thought that a Nascar jacket would appeal to hip hop audiences? If it's good enough for them, why not Tom G?

Again, a little hip hop never did anyone any harm. These were kinda' popular back when Tom started wearing his current leather jacket, so he'd feel right at home in one of these.

Who would have thought that Members Only jackets would make a comeback? I guess all is fair in love and war, and ironic fashion. Again, due to its soft leather material, Tom G would have no trouble jumping into this fantastic brown number. For the longest time I've been thinking about how Tom needs more earth tones in his wardrobe, so this would fit right in with my fashion strategy for him.

Okay, this one is a bit out there, but if anyone can pull it off it's Tom. I mean, the guy was able to pull off an album like Cold Lake while retaining his street cred...why not test the limits?

You may think this option is a joke, but if you're down with the old school, you probably remember that Reed St Mark wore a jacket like this for a good while during the late 80s. Damn the internet, I can't find a picture of it...but I swear it. If anyone can find a picture of it, let me know.

If you review the pictures of Tom above, you will see his terrible soul patch and his love for hats. Could it be? Could Tom be suffering from the terrible double-whammy? I think so. The poor guy has a mild case of Robb Flynn's Disease AND he's going bald. Here's a rare picture of Tom without a hat, where we see the last remnants of his once brittle, metal mane. Don't ask me why he's painted white, perhaps Celtic Frost is reuniting once again as a mime troupe, what do I know?

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that if we raise enough money we will also buy Tom a new pair of shoes. Seriously, how can we let one of metal's leading pioneers wear platform boots that even an Eastern European raver would laugh at?

Friday, March 20, 2009

The day that Dave Murray blew me off

You have to love the reddish/orange skin color that british people get when they drink too much and are left out in the sun too long.

A few years ago, I was meeting up with a friend in the streets of Manhattan. It was an incredibly cold day, and I didn't have any gloves on. One of the things you have to love about New York (and there aren't many) is that you can basically go out into the streets nude, and within five seconds you can buy an entire outfit, a wallet, gold chains, a fake rolex and a Louis Vuitton purse for about $5...all from street vendors.

On that day, I went up to a street vendor who looked to be Middle Eastern, and asked him how much he wanted for a pair of gloves. "Five dollah for glove. But for you my friend, four dollah. You need lady gloves." Okay, I should tell you that I'm a rather short man, a manchild if you will. People often think I'm a good bit younger than I am...and now this guy was saying I needed women's gloves because of my size? Oh, hell no. After he said it, he chuckled a bit. I was insulted. I mean, is there anything lower than a street vendor? I was getting made fun of by the lowest form of life. I disregarded his comment, and tried on the men's gloves in order to show him that my man-sized hands needed man-sized gloves. Sadly, he was right. They were gigantic on my small child-like hands. With my tail between my legs, I gave him four dollars and took the smaller, women's gloves.

Why on earth am I telling you this story? Because much in the same way that a street vendor once made fun of me, the other lowest form of human life that exists on this planet also made fun of me once...and in a very inventive way. I am talking, of course, about Dave Murray of Iron Maiden.

Can you tell which of the pictures above is of the Cryptkeeper and which one is of Dave Murray? I sure can't.

Dave Murray, or the Crypkeeper as I like to call him is a dick. Let me tell you why. Some years ago, Mr. Awakening (a founding member of M.I. who is now too good to post anymore) and I went to see Iron Maiden. We had pretty good tickets, and were excited to see the show. As we walked around and looked for redneck metalheads to make fun of, we were elated to find an unusual surprise in the midst of the audience. There, for no reason at all, walking around the crowd was none other than Rick Ta Life. This was unusual, as this concert was not taking place near New York City, New Jersey or any other places were such creatures are often seen in the wild. It was as majestic as seeing a cheetah in its native environment.

Nice bullet proof vest, I guess. I wonder if he knows that it looks like he's an umpire behind home plate, or that he's wearing an apron so he can get some baking done at his mom's house.

Okay, so let's put Rick To Life aside for a minute, because that's not what this story is about. There we were, enjoying ourselves, listening to Motorhead play from afar. I was talking to some people, showing them my new phone. I was a relatively late adapter of cell phone technology, and was rather proud of my Sony Ericsson handheld device. In retrospect, the phone was a piece of crap, and Mr Awakening had the same phone as I did...only he kept and used his until last year! The phone looked a bit like this one, but crappier and older.

The one function I loved the most about the phone was its camera. This being a long time ago, the camera was actually not integrated into the phone. Weird, I know. The camera was actually a small device that you plugged into the phone in order to take pictures. Anyway, as I was showing off my cool new phone, I saw an unmistakable sight off in the distance. I saw a tall man with a huge orange pumpkin face. The pumpkin-faced man had a head as round and large as a tortilla, and he proudly wore what looked like lace-up boxing boots and spandex pants. I asked myself, who is this man? Spandex? Pumkin face? Is it Lance Armstrong with a pumpkin on his head getting ready to box someone? I was confused by this dadaist creature. As I looked more closely, I saw that it was certainly Dave Murray of Iron Maiden. His dried up hair resembled straw, and his crater-like acne scars were visible all over his disgusting pumpkin face.

Who knew that british guys in metal bands were into Tommy Bahama clothing? If you like Dave's shirt, please look here, for more great fashion statements courtesy of Tommy Bahama.

Since I was so excited about my new camera phone, I told everyone that I was showing my phone to that I was about to go get a picture with Dave. I started to walk up to the toritlla-faced cryptkeeper. I should tell you that I was doing this as a bit of a joke, being that I also have pictures with the likes of Manowar and Danzig. Anyway, as I went up to him, I clearly saw his backstage passes, his Maiden shirt, his receding hairline, and finallyl got a better view at his huge jackolantern face. I saw him there, standing quietely, looking off into the distance. He was drinking a beer by the hot dog stand, looking bored. Wasting no time, I went up to him and said "Hey, can I get a picture?" I showed him my awesome Sony Ericsson phone, to clarify what I meant. Quickly, and without much thought he responded in a British accent with a slight lisp (another clear sign that it was indeed the pumpkin faced Murray.) "No mate, I'm not Dave from Iron Maiden." At first, I thought he was joking. I hadn't even said who I thought he was, and yet he knew I wanted a picture with "Dave from Iron Maiden." I said "Ah come on. I have a new phone, I want a picture." He looked at my phone and said "Nah, everyone thinks I'm Dave Murray...but I'm not. Sorry mate." Perhaps he was offended by my crappy phone? I didn't know what to make of his response. Did all British people seriously say "mate" that much? I was confused.

At this point, there was little I could do. The people I was with were looking at me from afar, wondering what was going on. I had to walk away, and forget the whole thing. So I did, or at least I tried to. As I left the large shadow that his huge head created (sans picture), I heard a female voice say "Oh my god, are you Dave Murray!", I then heard Dave respond "Oh yes I am!" I turned around to see Dave hugging two forty-something moms in leather pants, posing for a picture with them. I stood there in disbelief. Apparently Dave was not aware of the motto that all men should abide by. Bros before Hos. After he posed for a picture with them, he talked to them briefly and took them through a gate into the backstage area. Although I fully understood that he had a sudden man-urge and needed to be with these aging metal mamas, I was also aware of how badly I had just been blown off. I briefly pictured the aging women kissing his acne scars, as well as the crackling sound that his brittle hair made as the leather clad rednecks ran their hands through it. I was pissed. When I got back to our group of friends I retold the story, and they all laughed at me. Perhaps what made it worse was that I wanted the picture as a joke. I was not a mad fan who had to have a picture with Mr Tortilla face, I just wanted a funny picture I could send to friends. Half an hour later, Maiden hit the stage...and there was Dave Murray, wearing the Maiden shirt, spandex pants and boots I had just seen him wearing as he escorted the ladies into his love lair.

To this day, when I see a picture of Dave Murray I recoil in horror, and not just because of his Garbage Pail Kids-like bulbous face, his acne scars or his receding hairline. I recoil because like the street vendor, he managed to mock me for no reason at all...when in reality I'm clearly higher up in the food chain than both of them. I mean, aren't I? Perhaps not. Perhaps both stories actually prove that I'm below both of them in the grand scheme of things...and maybe that's why I'm so pissed.

Because I'm still confused about this ordeal, and I don't know how to end this post, I will leave you with this video of the "manualist" playing some Maiden. He's really just an extra from The Sopranos sitting on his camouflage couch in Jersey, but perhaps he can help us all reach some closure. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Screamo crunk comes to life: BrokeNCYDE / Hollywood Undead show review

If you're lucky, I'll summon the will to go to the upcoming Kottonmouth Kings show

no secret that I love screamo crunk, so you can imagine how excited I was when I saw that Hollywood Undead were playing... and with the infamous BrokeNCYDE of all bands!! It's like a dream come true! In case you couldn't see them in your town, here's my review of the show so you can live vicariously through me and have a little piece of the BC13 magic.

This is when they were chanting something about "Brokencyde, suck my dick."

BrokeNCYDE (aka BC13) opened the show and I was completely fucking stoked to see them. Since some you guys seem confused about this, I like BC13 about half-ironically, depending on the mood I'm in. If I'm wasted and either hanging out with a girl or about to be, I'm pretty into them. If I'm sober and acting like a grown up I can't really handle them. In any case, they started at 7:00PM and I was already fairly drunk because I'd been waiting around the venue for an hour and a half with nothing to do. Well, nothing to do except drink and talk to whatever girls were around who looked like I wouldn't go to prison if I said hi to them. I was hoping to at least get the chance to eyefuck some trainwreck scene girls, but I really didn't see any girls at all that were particularly hot. Kind of disappointing.

You have probably seen the video for "Freaxxx," but this song ("Get Crunk") is even more awesome/retarded

We ended up chatting up a mom/daughter pair that my friend was pretty into. The mom gave me her number. I wasn't really feeling it, but my friend was trying to feel her daughter. I also ended up getting some other girl's number, she was some 27 year-old midwest type with recently-installed fake tits (which I felt after she said "Feel them, they feel fake as shit!!"). She was cool enough but you know the type... she had on a Hurley sweatshirt or something, American Eagle jeans, and white Nike running shoes (not cool ones), and I can't handle that. Still, I did feel her tits so that counts for something.

My friend with the mom/daughter combo

When they started playing I felt like all my dreams were coming true all at once!! I seriously couldn't believe that it was actually happening. I mean, BC13 is basically the most ridiculous pop culture phenomenon of all time, and was just like "Holy fuck, this is actually happening!! This isn't just a dumb internet joke, this band really exists and these kids are 100% non-ironic!" As much as I wish I could pretend to be completely non-ironic here, I realized that I was on a different level than these kids who clearly had no idea that there was anything ridiculous about Brokencyde. With lyrics like these, I have a hard time seeing how that's possible, but it's true:
I can tell by the way she licks her lips.
That we're going to fuck tonight!
OMG I can not live like this.
Will someone take my life!
Here's a knife, go ahead and slice my wrist.
I'm not emo, but I'd rather be dead then with this bitch!!!

Pick up your pants girl!
We're not drunk enough to get it on.
I need viagra!
Cause you're too ugly to turn me on.
I saw your picture.
My Myspace has never done me wrong.
Until tonight girl. You're not my type girl!!!
The other thing that occurred to me is that BC13 represents a changing of the guard in that the kids have finally figured out how to make music that offends and disgusts a generation of people who grew up listening to bands with names like Millions of Dead Cops, Regurgitation, Carcass, Ulcerous Phlegm, etc. I used to jam the Meatshits or whatever and think to myself, "Man, I have no idea how anybody could top this stuff, but I know someone will. I don't know how they'll manage to offend me and my peers, but I know they will." Well, now I know how, and I am happy I got to witness it live! It's pretty fun to google for Brokencyde and read everybody's clueless, butthurt comments about them, but this is only person I've found who actually gets it:
God - spare me the hate spewing “critics”! This music is not about listening to seasoned professional musicians. It’s about these young guys who put sounds together with a keyboard and computer and came up with something cool. It’s about dance beats, trash talking and having a good time. It’s raunchy, sexual, I’m sure it’s making parents toes curl around the world, AND it’s leaving people like you scratching your head saying “wtf?”. Sounds to me like a recipe for success. The next generation is ready to embrace “their” shocker. Posts like this only helps to solidify that perception.
Like you, the Christian retard who sings for Senses Fail (who played this show with BC13) sounds like a confused grandparent when he talks shit on his tourmates:
Yeah, I slam them every night because in no way, shape or form do I back anything they do or say and I am embarrassed that kids these days are into it and am sad that kids these days are exposed to it. There is absolutely no substance whatsoever in their songs and no passion in anything they do. It is the musical equivalent of a snow cone, bland tasting frozen tap water loaded with sugar, yet colorful, that will give you a brain freeze, melt all over your hands leaving yourself dissatisfied and sticky.
Yes, he is a dumb Christian who obviously hates fun, but he does have a point when he says that there is no passion. I have to admit I was pretty disappointed in their live performance. First of all, they were just wearing baggy t-shirts and unremarkable jeans. Where were the alt-bro shutter shades, the neon parkas, the purple skinny jeans?! I paid for a spectacle, dammit! They went through the songs fairly lifelessly. I'll be honest, I didn't find their performance to be particularly crunk. The kid on the left fiddled with knobs on their drum machine or whatever, and the other two guys rapped lethargically.

The guy on the left, holy fuck... he's got a face made for radio.

It might not have been their best show, but I'm still pretty stoked that I'll always be able to say I witnessed BC13 in the flesh!! In 17 years or so, when everybody is nostalgic for this shit, I can start a blog called "Scene Inquisition" and tell dumb stories about the time I saw a dude from The Devil Wears Prada at Starbucks (this happened last summer).

I don't have pictures of these bands so here is this one instead. Sup ladies.

Haste the Day / Senses Fail
I barely remember these bands, I was at the bar most of their sets. The only thing I remember is spin kicking and punching some kids 90s moshcore style, which I didn't recall until I woke up the next morning with bruised knuckles. They were pretty good if you're into Christian moshcore... I mean they're no Strongarm, Focal Point or Crucified, and definitely not Unashamed (so fucking good!), but they were a good diversion.

Apologies for the blurry photo, but it pretty accurately captures how I felt and my fuzzy memories of the night

Hollywood Undead
Now here is a band that I like 100% non-ironically. OK maybe like 98% non-ironically... but you get the point. I don't like anything 100% non-ironically, not even Pantera. I interviewed Funny Man (one of the guys in Hollywood Undead), but he pressed the button on my voice recorder that erased the recording, so I don't have that to add to this post. He was a cool guy and the interview was fun, basically we just talked about how dumb it is when people hate on the West Coast, especially Southern California. Also, he said that while Brokencyde might get more ass on tour, Hollywood Undead get higher-quality ass. I didn't witness anything to confirm or deny it, but it seems like it would be true to me. I didn't really talk to any of the other guys in the band for more than a second, but they seemed cool too.

I played this song for my friend at work a while ago, and she said "Wow they wrote a song about your life."

Their set was super fun and I had a great time, but I have to be honest... after witnessing the postmodern, mash culture extravaganza that is BC13, anything short of Mila Kunis proposing to me would have been a letdown. They opened with "Undead," played most of the record, and closed with "Everywhere I Go." I went home, changed clothes, and went to some DIY show at a warehouse where I drank more, unsuccessfully tried to chat up some indie girl, and drew graffiti in my friend Chris' book until 3 or something when I passed out. All in all, one of the best nights I've had in years!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Glen Benton—You lied to all of us. You said you'd kill yourself.

I don't know if any of you remember, but in interviews throughout the 90s, Glen Benton said that he would kill himself in the year 2000, which is when he would turn 33. He often referenced the song "Sacrificial Suicide", and its line "Sacrifical suicide, Ritual to end my life." The whole reason why he would kill himself was unclear, but had something to do with living a life that was opposite to Jesus. If I remember correctly, Jesus died at 33, so I don't know how ALSO dying at 33 would be the opposite of...well, dying at 33. This gets into a whole thing of what kind of satanist Benton claimed to be. If you are ever really, really bored start looking into this...what kind of satanist so and so is/was. Some believe in god, but worship satan as Benton did. Euronimous believed in theism, and said all humans should be slaves to religion. Some believe an inversion of christian dogma is stupid, some think it's goes on and on.

But back to Benton finally ending our collective pain by dying on purpose. As a result of these interviews where Benton promised that I'd finally be rid of him, I eagerly awaited the year 2000. Unlike other people, I wasn't anxious about Y2K. I was not psyched about listening to the Prince song five million times, oh no. I had higher hopes. I had hopes of Glen Benton finally being dead. Sadly, it was not to be. As you can tell my the semi-recent picture of Glen with a basket of fruit, he's still very much alive. I also know he's alive because he recently commented on the VH1 show "Rock of Love" on his MySpace blog. I thought he'd be more of a Tool Academy kinda' guy...but either way, he's still alive. Lame.

Glen, I know exactly how you feel. This is exactly the face I make when I realize you're still alive.

Glen is in his 40s now. He's a dad these days, and often talks in interviews about taking his kids to school, doing laundry, and about how he wears a hat to cover up his forehead from time to time.

What Benton's kid probably looks like.

While I applaud his ability to not take himself very seriously these days, I can't help but remember how he portrayed himself back in the early 90s. You can attribute his stupidity to youth, but I never acted like a complete asshole then. I've been criticized by some readers for bringing this very thing up about numerous bands on many occasions. Let me be clear, as a youngster, I never thought that Glen Benton was an evil overlord who lived in a dark castle somewhere. You see, I lived in Florida at the time that Deicide were getting popular, and I knew he probably lived in a horrible apartment just like the one my family lived in, but in Tampa. Still, it was easier to take him seriously before he started claiming he had seen bigfoot.

Even manly men end up living in apartment buildings like this in Florida. Even if you're into satan, get ready to live in a light yellow, baby blue, or seafoam colored building called something like "Biscayne Breeze".

I understood the theatrics that went into music, even as a kid. I knew that Ace Frehley wasn't from outer space, I knew he was from some neighborhood like Astoria in Queens. So I'm not a complete moron, I guess I just hate it when people break character. You know how some people loved Jimmy Fallon cracking up right in the middle of an SNL sketch? I hated it (Hope our non-american readers excuse the ameri-centric reference.) To me, it would like if Jason Voorhees stopped mid-movie, suddenly started making a fruit salad, took off his mask and started flossing while listening to a self-help audio tape. We all know it's a damn movie...but it would suddenly become a terrible movie. Right? I know that with time, people in bands have a hard time keeping up the persona. They're not actors in a movie, after all. I get it, they are suddenly married, they have kids, and with that comes a membership to Costco or Sam's Club. Soon, they find themselves buying shampoo by the gallon, all in the name of savings.

Glen had to get married in a church at his wife's request, according to the steroid-induced ramblings of the Hoffman brothers. Clearly the guy is scared of his wife, and must have a good sense of humor. I understand, its real life. But perhaps folks like Glen should have been less idiotic, and should have never started portraying a fictitious character to begin with, even in the name of theatrics. Perhaps they shouldn't have burned a damn cross on their forehead, nahmean? You know why I don't have to wear a hat to the store like he does? Because I never burned a cross on my face. Duh. It's for that reason that I always liked Obituary. They're just some dudes who play music, and that's about it. As a little kid, the whole theatric presentation that Kiss had was appealing to me, but I was like six then. At some point you stop being amazed by swords and fake blood...and you just want a good riff. You know? Perhaps I could present my point of view more cohesively, but I'm tired right now.

Okay, I'm probably putting most of you to sleep. Let's get back to Glen and his promise to kill himself. While he was all about it back then, today he has gone as far as saying that his promises of killing himself were "asinine remarks." He may see his comments from the 90s as silly, but I saw them as a legally binding verbal contract. I counted on being free of his music in 2000, and planned my life accordingly. I had dreams of happy days, fantastic years free of Benton and his receding hairline. Now, I'm stuck having to put up with him for who knows how many more years. Ugh. What an unfair world we live where Pauly Shore is taken from us, while Glen Benton still roams the streets. Oh wait, what? Pauly Shore is still alive? Well, never mind.

If any of you are still half-way interested in the aging biker fatso that is Glen Benton, watch the video below. In his video, you will see Glen answer questions from the audience at a show. Have you ever wondered how many times has Glen Benton burned the cross on his forehead? Did his mom ask him to stop burning the cross on his forehead? Find out.