Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I suspect my Foto Barrage! posts are the most insipid of all, but, uh, Barrage! incoming. But first, lest anyone think I was randomly harsh on a poor unstylish vain little Finn in my last post: I can't go into it here, but KALLE KNOWS WHAT KALLE DID. Aside from the hang of his pants and his wearing black nail polish like we're all about to watch a Nine Inch Nails concert DVD together. Awright, let's have some images.

OK, we have to allow for Swedishness here, and forgive some fashion errors (the horror of those boots with the strappy business, the Slipknot-esque camo pants), because that is a nice fourbanger. Hails.

A black metaller with a sense of humor is rare as an outgoing snow leopard, and here we've got a pair of them. So hails here too. Hails on being sublime, and that's rare thing to get hailed on.

This one's initially a tough call. Working against Jan here, we have vexsome Aryan half-dreads (held back with - can it be - a terry band?, abysmal cuff tastes, and pro wrestler facial hair. For him, we have the again sublime comic sense necessary to strike a BMetal pose next to such an outlandishly cute, tiny and Disneyesque phantasy-goat. I'm going to say yes. Finnish fashion again forgiven, Jan obtains my blessing.

My thumb turned downward without too much deliberation here. Farron Loathing (GET IT? Gag names have been more obtuse than that, I feel.) does earn some points for an attempted crossover move - having an irony/stoner/prog metal mustache while in a black metal band. Bold, it's true, but ill-chosen. I can't get behind it, or feel like riding it (GET IT?). Plus the attempted rock-sex-god position he's assumed here for his promo shot. Eek. However, his band is fucking called Lightning Swords of Death, and I wouldn't dream of impugning that. That is gooood.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

If it weren't for Kalle here I might've gone, oh, perhaps several more months without learning that "rock and roll" (noun or verb) is "rokaten ja rollaten" in Finnish, and I do consider that a pretty important piece of information to have. So thanks. But having said that, Kalle, I have some less positive things to add.

Not a girl on earth loves a scumbag with his scumbag jeans riding way too low more than I do, but there are internationally recognized limits for these things. Christ. And really, I know Finns have the worst fashion sense of all Europeans but what's with the "My So-Called Life" Clare Danes hair ? You're not in the only metal band in Finland, you're not completely on your fucking own out there, what is your excuse? And I know it's warmer in "Cali" than you're used to but it's not warm right now so get dressed.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I purchased some Arkansas Black apples today, and they shocked me into realizing I've never not once posted a word about Saviours, nor about their teen-dreem frontman Austin Barber, who came to us from Arkansas to infect the populace with his black gospel of KILL FOR SAVIOURS. The beauty of this band is that their deal, their "message" if you will, can be summed up thus: "Hey, do you guys like metal? Well, here's some kick-ass metal for you." There's no "style" beyond that. They came to rock balls and make you feel sweaty and menaced, and they bring that shit every fucking night. Saviours rule.

Yet it does make me chuckle that people are posting pictures of themselves with bandmembers on Saviours' MySpace page:

Look, here we are in the bathroom line with Austin and Cyrus! It's our brush with fame!

Shit, are they going to be famous? Austin's already been interviewed in bloody Alternative Press, of all the strange venues - but here, read a bit of it anyway:
There's little room for ambiguity with pentagram-adorned artwork and song titles like "Christ Hunt" and "Holy Slaughter." "I've always hated Christians," spits Barber. "I grew up in the Bible Belt, In Arkansas. I was the fucking enemy down there." While the songs and images are provocative, Barber feels more of a kinship with the modern Church of Satan than medieval ideas of devil worship. "I do what I want. It comes from the punk thing as well," he says "I'm a considerate, compassionate person. I live pretty righteously." With the band's musical background, metal purists may be poised to cry, "false metal." Barber doesn't think they can. "I think [ Crucifire ] is the best thing I've done," he says. "I don't think anyone can fuck with it.>"

Indeed not. He puts that really well, actually - whether it's to your taste of not, you certainly cannot fuck with it.

I have only a single criticism to offer the band: Austin needs to hone his metal stance. He needs to show the metal - plant wide those feet, foxy!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I'm thinking of changing the name of this page to Why Don't People Talk About Disembowelment More? "The Tree of Life and Death" was, just minutes ago, almost visible in this room, oozing though the air through the air like an animated algebra problem of heaviness. You think that's a strange and unintelligible analogy, but you haven't listened to Disembowelment lately, have you? Their songs are like a slowly rolling mass of mating anacondas, heaving in the mire, air bubbles taking minutes to reach the surface. Hoo boy. Renato Gallina's vocals really do sound belched out of a sulfurous hellcave, and because the band employed much cleaner production than any other 90's death-grind contenders, it has this nightmare-in-the-surgical-theater feel, harshly lit yet almost too richly textured and detailed. Fucking astonishing. I hate "glossy" production as much as any dirtbag metal fan but Disembowelment's work shows what a more clinical touch can do. Whereas the shitty, murky production of most extreme metal barely illuminates the demons in the corners, chompin' on femurs, in Disembowelment's songs they have a searchlight trained on them, and they're frozen in contorted crouches, leering at us, all gore-besmirched. Good stuff.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Just said to Yuoshka and I, in a whisper-shout as inflamed as Avenged Sevenfold's abcesses: "You know, from you people's body language right now a person would think you were listening to metal, but you're actually listening to Coheed & Cambria. How's THAT?" Spittin' mad at us, Lil' Copenhagen was. We ignored him 'cause we were just getting to the third-best part of "From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness", the part with all the ghosty Haunted Castle! noises. Magnificent. I feel like this about perhaps one album a year, but never before about a band who played on the fucking Warped Tour, for Christ's sake.

And when Yuoshka and I complete our modern dance epic to accompany the album, we will surely obtain a hefty grant of some sort to stage it in the world's more artistically savvy cities. But the dancers who ultimately perform it will have to be ready for exertion. Sometimes the muscle overlying my diaphragm is astoundingly sore the day after a "practice", from all the deep, arms-pinwheeling backbend-type moves. (Does anyone think I'm making that up? I'm not.) We were trying to figure out which modern choreographer most influenced our style, then realized we only knew of such people by name and by B&W photos of them in the New Yorker and were pretentious little shits having a fraudulent conversation.

One last bit and then I'll leave Burning Star IV alone for at least a fortnight: during a recent listen Y. sighed, chin in hand, seal eyes rolled to the firmament, "I wish I could sing like that." That from someone who will tell you in all seriousness that he's a better singer in every conceivable way than such middling vocalists as Freddie Mercury and Steve Perry. (Never says it about Stevie Nicks though, no, that faggot does not.)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Havoror here was kind enough to explain his name's Old Norse origin - something to do with "high" and "battle", I'm not kidding - and though his English is far clearer and more correct than mine (ain't it always, with these Scandoids?), I didn't get much of it, because I was stuck doing my retarded parakeet impression, staring at him goggly and tilt-headed. I swear he smelled of glacier. He and his marginally talented black metal horde were in town, and pre-show he wanted to be photographed ("snapped", as he put it, blackbless his heart) in old-school fashion in front of "the most California thing I can find". Hence the Corona endcap at Safeway. Well-chosen, I feel.

In the course of our conversations that evening, Havoror said that he'd gotten his corpse paint on a few hours earlier than usual to luxuriate in the relative safety, potential ass-kickingwise, of Berkeley vs. his neighborhood in an allegedly "very rough" area of OSLO. (Several Oakland residents snickered into their Burmese noodles upon hearing this, but c'mon, I'm sure such areas exist.) I was aghast. "Really? People are that shitty about it, in Norway? It's just part of the musical and visual landscape, though, isn't it, in the cities anyway? And, seriously, to the point of violence? Oh, that's crummy!" Really, I was crestfallen, my paradisiacal notions in jeopardy. My sneering beau drew himself at this, PSSHing in my direction, and muttered "It's like you think they've got guys in Parliament in corpse paint over there." Aww, meanie, isn't everyone entitled to some vision of Eden, worldly or otherwise? And while the Parliament bit was overstating it, we know that Norsepeople DO routinely carry on like this, so . . .

(I have that shirt, but not those balls.)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

What did the crazy lady just do? She just bought the same Cattle Decapitation songs off iTunes twice apiece, as a sin tax of sorts on not being strictly vegan and listening to the band anyway. Here's some extra money, guys, for that goat cheese yesterday. Still, despite how batty that is I feel the purer for it. I do feel somewhat absolved.

I feel like a towering poser for not getting Celtic Frost until *2006*, and in *2006* only getting them after I saw a video - for a *new* song - on Headbanger's Ball. Egregious! But I'd just never had a Click! moment with them: those moments, you know, when a band you've heard here & there for years but mostly shrugged about suddenly reproduces in your blood, sometimes with the stroke of a single droning hook. As with Celtic Frost here, Celtic Frost and me. The song is "A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh". Lord, is it ever a choking cloud of shimmering charcoal dust (I want to say this dust is composed of the charred bodies of faeries, but *could* I, really . . . )! It makes me drop my head in motionless supplication. The feelings it evokes are distinctly worshipful for me, in a woodcut-feeling way, medieval. The weight of it on your shoulders, it's a crucifix of heavy. Ho-ly-shit. And the video! Has any Swiss person ever before GONE FOR IT like Warrior in this video? In a snow-white, what, JEDI robe, basically, it's a kimono right on the Jedi line, is what he's got on. As he stands, this human god, laying down this feet-wide-apart slo-mo-icepick-murder of a riff, doooooomy as hell, with - are you ready - modern dancers writhing on the floor, encased in white nylon tubes, all around him. HAIL THIS TRIUMPH OF ART METAL. I regret the misspent years of not listening to Celtic Frost. How many of their songs do I need to duplicate-buy to be absolved of *that*?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The itchy, twitchy life of a highly-strung neurotic who loves too hard! When I look at Chris my blood feels carbonated, a baby-pink fizzy-drink where the bubbles are little quivering exclamation points (shit yes I'll reach for that metaphor! shit yes I'll strain it!) - yet lest this sound sunny and pop-songish, THOSE BUBBLES ARE BROKEN-LIGHTBULB SHARP and COLLAPSING MY VEINS. When perfectly reasonable people are saying perfectly interesting things to me, I want to interrupt them with a curt gesture and say something like "Chris really likes pears." I want to shriek "Chris really likes pears!" off the top of a grassy hill and keep shrieking it as I roll down, perhaps summing up with "and squirrrrelllls!" as I pick up speed near the bottom.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Your first, callously ignorant response may be "Air guitar always looks stupid." But a glance at these two dollbabies here should make clear that if you can bring it on stage, you can bring it at a shitty party with a pool cue and a rifle, too. YR COL' KILLIN' IT, GENTS. Hails.

(Everyone sees that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle back there, right? You're all noting that?)