CJ's Best Of The 00s Volume 2: If I Cross Myself When I Come Would You Maybe Recieve Me?

11. How I Could Just Kill A Man-Rage Against The Machine(2000)

How I Could Just Kill A Man" is the rare cover that manages to eclipse the original in almost every aspect. Though certainly not the most vicious of gangsta-rap songs from the early '90s, Rage Against The Machine scrounges for every last scrap of brutality to be found in Cyprus Hills' classic and then amplifies it a thousand fold. When B-Real raps "Young punk had to pay", you agree with him. When Zach De La Rocha does the same, you believe it. Truthfully, it's not one of Rage Against The Machine's more aggressive songs, and that's what makes it so scary-you've never heard the band sound quite this casual when talking about murder before. It doesn't scream it's intentions, it growls them. And the way the song sheds parts of itself off in the last 11 seconds until it's nothing but drums and vocals is maybe one of the most uniquely cathartic sequences in music. "How I Could Just Kill A Man" will end you, and you will thank it for the pleasure.

12. Gravity Rides Everything-Modest Mouse(2000)

If you're a dipshit, the most cruelly ironic twist of fate this decade was finding out that Modest Mouse's turn to the mainstream was also one of the best moves they could have made for bettering their music. The truth of the matter, though, is that The Moon and Antarctica is still not a mainstream record by any stretch of the imagination. Pretty much just "Gravity Rides Everything" and a couple other songs ever had a hope of being played on the radio. It's not hard to see why, too-this song is incredibly easy to fall in love with. The lyrics are optimistic without being happy, per se, and the guitar tone that Isaac Brock gets is nothing short of ethereal when it's not pleasingly folky. On a personal level, this song has gotten me through a lot of hard times and I think it'll continue to do so for many, many more years to come. Simple beauty is an easy thing to overlook, but "Gravity Rides Everything" practically forces you to stop and acknowledge the cool comfort it brings. Indie music this decade-any music-had the deck stacked against it for almost 10 years, because this song came out at the beginning of the decade and right out of the gate, the bar couldn't have been raised higher.

13. Heavy Artillery-Mr. Lif(2002)

Mr. Lif has to be one of the most underrated members of the alternative rap movement, and I can't for the life of me figure out why, especially with songs like "Heavy Artillery" under his belt. This song proves all by itself that you can sound fierce as hell without explicitly talking about killing people-the sped-up military drumline would accomplish that by itself, but when you combine it with Lif's sharp-but-smooth flow and jagged voice, you have a rap song that can peel the paint off the walls as good as any death metal number. Mr. Lif practically reinvents what it means to be aggressive in the rap world, and he didn't even have to mention his gat to do it.

14. June-Goodbye Gadget(2006)

If anyone could possibly make the argument that punk isn't dead, it would be by showcasing songs that do something new, like "June". Oakland's own Goodbye Gadget have crafted a pop-punk song that avoids the baggage that comes with such a divisive label by making it a smart, pointed story about a woman who feels trapped in her own life-the woman, in this case, being June Cleaver. It's a song about a woman who knows that she's kind of worthless, who could just as easily be any woman in any kitchen anywhere in the country. It's not typical punk fare, and the string arrangements jump out at you even more because of it. If Goodbye Gadget ever hits it big, it'll be because of sharp, catchy, tight numbers like "June".

15. Lay Low-My Morning Jacket(2005)

My Morning Jacket might be one of the most overrated groups of the decade-their album Z in particular-but that doesn't make "Lay Low" any less wonderful than it is. One of the least experimental, most straightforward pop songs on the aforementioned Z, "Lay Low" is a song that recalls a certain kind of boyish love, the kind that says "I know you don't think much of me, but I know I'm the guy for you and I can prove it". The charming, romantic tone of the song leads into one of their best solos, making this song one of the few times My Morning Jacket really earns their praise as a "guitar band". Soft and confident, "Lay Low" is a song that deserves to be played at outdoor socials and barbecues for years to come.

16. Bonafied Lovin'-Chromeo(2007)

If there's a reason that I'm not as averse to dance music as I used to be, it's probably because of "Bonafide Lovin'". The song is just so fucking fun-there's nothing about this song that doesn't realize that it's a kind of cheesey '80s throwback and it loves itself for it. The synthline practically grabs you by the arm and asks you to dance with it, and if you find yourself refusing I recommend you check to see if you still have a pulse. The theme of the song is awesome in an old-school way, too-it's been too long since the days of songs about being a man and stealing a woman away from an unworthy lover were in vogue. In that regard, Chromeo is following in the steps of their electrofunk forefathers. I can't anticipate anything but a good time coming from walking with them.

17. Drunken Lullabies-Flogging Molly(2002)

No one combines fury, sorrow and partying like the Irish, and nobody since the Pogues has done it as well as Flogging Molly. "Drunken Lullabies" is a song about finding yourself fighting even after you've learned long since that you have nothing left to fight for, and it screams all the frustration and bemusement that comes with that condition as though the band was standing right in the room with you. Lines like "Has the Shepard led his lambs astray/To the bigot and the gun?" bite hard, and the song is so energetic, so delightedly wrathful that you feel like fighting for something yourself, even if you don't know what it is. That's what "Drunken Lullabies" is-a battle anthem for an army that doesn't exist, and may never have existed to begin with, but leaves the aftermath of every battle it fights in it's wake. You can smash something or you can cry or you can do both, but you'll never know why you're doing it, not really. "Drunken Lullabies" is that feeling contained in a jagged little bottle, and it goes down a lot better than you think it should.

18. Banks Of The Deep End-Gov't Mule(2001)

An elder statesman of a band forming a side-project that turns out to be better than the original grouping is about the best sort of problem that you could hope to achieve. The fact Gov't Mule took all the best parts of the Allman Brothers Band is only icing on the cake, as they decided to go in a completely different songwriting direction than their parent group. It's hard to tell exactly what "Banks of the Deep End" is about, but a good guess would be that it has something to do with the death of former bassist Allen Woody. It's rare to hear a southern rock song that can be described as "moody", but "Banks of the Deep End" fits that bill in a big way. It comes across as sincere because of how stripped down it is-there are no string or woodwind arrangements like there might be from other bands trying to show their grief. It's just a few old men on guitars, drums and organ. The line "On the banks of the deep end/Where I lost my best friend" rings true as much because of Warren Haynes' resigned croak as the lyrics themselves. It's a hard rocking but mournful glimpse at a group of aging men who lost one of their best friends, and even if the song didn't stick in your head due to the classic, fundamentalist musicianship of the band(which it does), such a glimpse by itself turns this from a good song into a truly memorable one.

19. Fight Test-The Flaming Lips(2002)

The Sot Bulletin might have been the album that set the Flaming Lips off towards their new(aka Good) direction, but it was Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots that turned them into the synthpop/electronic indie band to be beat, and that much was obvious from the first song, "Fight Test". Within the first 20 seconds of the song, it became impossible to deny that you were listening to something magical-nothing else on earth can capture such a dreadful feeling, that of having missed the opportunity to be with the love of your life, and turn it into something that sounds so wondrous. That's the genius of the song, that it takes such compelling, joyful soundtrack sensibilities and focuses them around the most relatable chorus of the decade: "I don't know how a man decides what's right for his own life/It's all a mystery." It may be, but when you hear this song you'll feel like you're a step closer to solving it.

20. Yeah Sapphire-The Hold Steady(2008)

Yeah Sapphire" contains not one but two of my favorite lyrics of the decade-the one in the title of this blog post and "'Cause dreams, they seem to cost money, but money costs some dreams". The Hold Steady has an incredible talent for being able to get to the emotional core of whatever it is they're playing about and laying it bare in the simplest, starkest terms possible. For that reason they were one of the hardest bands for me to pick just one song to represent. "Yeah Sapphire" has gotta be it, though-the story of the eternally wrongheaded boyfriend wanting to get back together with his old flame is a classic, and the agility of the lyrics, mixed with the dire situations the speaker finds himself in, turn a series of bumbling mistakes into a tender, bonafide classic.



CJ's Best Of The 00s Volume 1: I Hope The Fences We Mended Fall Down Beneath Their Own Weight

Some people are saying that this was a terrible decade for music. Those people suck, in a big way. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the 00s were the best decade for music since the '70s, which...doesn't mean a lot if you don't like the '70s, I guess. The point is that there was a ton of amazing music released over the past 10 years, and I can prove it.

What's coming up are my personal favorite 70 songs of the decade-a box-set I would assemble if a market for best of the decade stuff existed and I was allowed to assemble the tracklist.
This will go on for 7 days, and hopefully after the week has passed you'll agree with me: The '00s were killer when it came to music, if nothing else. Thanks for all your hard work, Mr. Bush!

1. D.G.A.F.L.Y.F-Super Mash Bros.(2008)

Mashups don't typically work incredibly well, simply because they're either too boring or too schizophrenic. "D.G.A.F.L.Y.F" managed an impressive feat, though-it took three songs that I/a lot of people hate, "Crank That(Soulja Boy)", "Sandstorm" and "Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!" and turned it into an incredibly fun dance number. Hearing Soulja Boy rap over the beats of a Eurodance song has to rank as one of the funniest musical moments of the decade. Though possibly the least significant of any song on this list, Super Mash Bros. crowning moment also happens to be one of the funnest.

2. No Children-The Mountain Goats(2002)

Speaking of hilarious songs, "No Children" is certainly the most bleakly hysterical song to come out of this decade, and one of the best examples of dark humor in popular songwriting ever. Probably most famous for it's use in an episode of Adult Swim program Moral Orel, "No Children" is a blistering tirade from a husband who has just. Fucking. Had it with his wife. Biting, unsuppressed rage is what the song is based around, but it's the lyrics that'll stand out in your mind. Jabs like "I hope our few remaining friends give up on trying to save us/I hope we come up with a fail safe plot to piss off the dumb few that forgave us" and "I hope you blink before I do/And I hope I never get sober", combined with John Darnielle's deadpan delivery and a misleadingly upbeat piano line, make "No Children" one of the most unforgettable songs released this decade, if not the past 20 years. You'll wish you had less to laugh about.

3. Little Secrets-Passion Pit(2009)

Make no mistake, you will feel disgusted with yourself when you listen to "Little Secrets". The goofy falsettos, the blaring synths, the child chorus, the feel-good lyrics-everything about this song is an attack on good taste that's meant to make you feel as rushingly happy and jumpy and sugary as it possibly can. It is a Joy Blitzkrieg that misses the brain entirely and heads squarely for the chest. And that's why you hate the song: Because it works. And that's why you love the song: Because it works.

4. Empty Walls-Serj Tankian(2007)

I've never had a lot of use for System Of A Down, but I rather like Serj Tankian by himself. As far as modern radio rock goes, "Empty Walls" has practically been a breath of fresh air. Make no mistake, the lyrics are utter nonsense and you're not going to come away from this feeling like you've learned something new about yourself, but it has all the staples of a classic anthem. Serj's voice is dramatic almost to the point of hilarity, but he keeps it just grounded enough to stop you from laughing. It also barely holds to a verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure, almost seeming to degenerate as time goes on. It's not uncommon to hear "dark" music released for mass consumption these days, but rarely is it placed in such an odd, almost purposefully meaningless context. All things told, "Empty Walls" was probably the most interesting song played on the radio during the second half of the decade.

5. The Eruption-Emperor(2001)

The two things needed for a great black metal song is intensity and drama, and Emperor had always carried both in spades. By 2001 they had moved in a decidedly more symphonic, progressive direction, and the greatest triumph of this new direction was "The Eruption", the opening track off of the (for some reason) controversial Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire and Demise. The chorus of "And he beheld the ruins/Of an empire torn apart" is delivered with captivating gravity, a quick operatic interlude in a firestorm gnashing, snarling drums and vocals. It's a pummeling song for sure, but the orchestral aspects also serve to make it tragic sounding in the sense of ancient Greek literature, making the album title that much more appropriate.

6. Machine Gun-Portishead(2008)

"Booming" is not a word typically used to describe Portishead-at least, it wasn't until 2008. After hearing nothing out of the band for more than a decade, "Machine Gun" tore out of the gates and blasted all expectations of the group from here to God knows where. Focused around one haunting drum loop, Beth Gibbons' haunting vocals run almost parallel to the rest of the song, creating one of the most melodious interpretations of paranoia that can be remembered. The way that the loop fractures every 5 seconds holds attention without being jarring and stays the same until the last 1:30, at which point the listener is absolutely mesmerized. Few songs in this or any decade are quite so captivating, doing so much with so little.

7. Black Betty-Spiderbait(2004)

Question: How do you cover one of the most enduring blues/marching songs of all time without ripping off someone who already has covered it and making sure the listener isn't bored with it before they even turn it on? Answer: You strip it down to spare parts and just fucking go. Spiderbait's cover of "Black Betty" is a simple affair: Distorted guitar. Distorted vocals. Words. Kickpedal. Banjo. Combined, they make for an intensely catchy song that rips like no other version can manage. The reason Ministry's cover of the song failed was because they tried too hard to make it sound like every other Ministry song. Spiderbait's version is it's own entity entirely, almost sounding like any hard-rock band could have done it if they thought of it first. But they didn't. Spiderbait did, creating the definitive version of the song-yes, even more so than Ram Jam's more famous cover.

8. The Grudge-Tool(2001)

This song basically covers Tool in a nutshell. Lyrics that are pretentious or deep, depending on your point of view? Check. Drummer using a ludicrous amount of toms and triggers? Check. It's fucking long? Check. If Tool isn't your thing, I think it'll be hard for you to imagine a worse song than "The Grudge" being released this or any decade. Personally, though, I think you're missing out. Spirituality from a cosmic standpoint isn't something that's discussed much in music, and when it is the reflex is to write it off as juvenile. Fuck that, though-Tool's appeal is only kind of in the lyrics. They create an atmosphere of spiritual aggression that's only comparable to possibly Pink Floyd or Black Sabbath and the lyrics, the "Saturn comes back around, lifts you up again" type lines enter into that. I don't know of a better song that exemplifies that quality than "The Grudge"-in other words, I don't know of another song where it's possible to meditate or headbang to. The rage comes off as sincere and the way the song travels from beginning to end makes it something of an experience. Tool is one of those bands you just have to go with, and if you let yourself do that you'll find "The Grudge" to be one of the most satisfying songs in your library.

9. Reborn-The Living End(2006)

If you asked me to explain why I like this Living End song and not a whole lot of others, I don't think I'd be able to tell you. It has the same qualities as most of The Living End's output-bad lyrics, generic instrumentation and all. This one catches me a little bit, though. It grooves, it rumbles a little more than it feels like it should. It menaces without being menacing, and it's got something of an anthemic quality to it, despite being about nothing in particular. I don't know, like I said, I'm having a hard time with this one. I like it. That's the long and short.

10. Floor Shaker-Boris(2008)

Man, I don't know what the fuck this song is about, but I know that I feel it. Boris are the masters of all they survey, and I don't really know what...this is-speed metal, noise rock, stoner rock?-but I know that I love it. It feels important as hell, it feels like the soundtrack to a race to stop the end of the world. Those drums are some of the most intoxicating I've heard in a long time and the riffs are nothing short of inspiring. I don't know what kind of music this is, I don't think anyone can seriously classify Boris at this point, but whatever they are, they are uniquely amazing at it, and I hope they keep it up for many, many years to come



The Importance of Being Metal: Black Sabbath-Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

1973; Clearwell Castle, Gloucestershire, England; Vertigo Records

1. Is It Any Good?

A bunch of people like this album a lot because of how different it is from the rest of Black Sabbath's golden age material, and honestly, to me, the things that make this album different from stuff like Master of Reality and their self-titled debut are also the things that make it kind of lame in a lot of places.

First of all, and this is big, the guitar work on this album is really sloppy when compared to other records. Maybe it's just the fact that I don't have a remastered copy, but my copy of Paranoid is one of those bunk-ass editions that have the "may expose the limitations of analog recording equipment" on the back as well, and it wasn't anywhere near this squeaky. Seriously, at a certain point you're left wondering if Iommi dipped the neck of his guitar in butter while he was in the recording studio, because the chord transitions are extremely obvious and, in some places, very distracting. It's a shame, since Tony Iommi is pretty much a riff genius and the sliding really detracts from some killer hooks.

When there are killer hooks to be had at all, that is. See, for a good portion of this album, Black Sabbath decided to include orchestral arrangements and keyboards because, I dunno, that's what a "serious" band has to do, at some point? The point is, it misses far more than it hits. As a matter of fact, the best track by leaps and bounds, "A National Acrobat", is the only one that's straight-up, no nonsense guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Truthfully, it's a spooky, doomy, haunting song that stands as one of their absolute best on any album.

Likewise, the title track, while very different from the usual Sabbath fare, is a pretty excellent underdog anthem, and "Sabbra Cadabra" might be the only Black Sabbath song you could feasibly dance to-trust me, it actually works. The horns, keyboard and barroom piano all coalesce nicely to make one of their most jumpin' tracks, and it's honestly a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album doesn't hold up nearly so well. "Fluff", while kinda pretty, is precisely what it sounds like-instrumental filler, and besides which, "pretty" probably isn't what you're looking for when you turn on a Black Sabbath record. "Killing Yourself To Live" works in places, but it displays Sabbath's fundamental misunderstanding of what makes for a good psychedelic song(hint-it's not Ozzy randomly proclaiming "Smoke it...GET HIGH!!" during the bridge for no discernible reason), and after a certain point it gets too goofy to really pay much mind to. "Looking For Today" can actually be described as being upbeat, which is basically, like...fuck that completely for a song that shows up on a Black Sabbath album.

None of those songs, though, match the goofy, embarrassing failure of a song that is "Who Are You?" This is the most keyboard heavy song on the album, and to answer your question, no, they are not the tasteful sounding kind of keyboards. They're the "wom-zee-wow-bee-wom-pychuu" kind of keyboards, and they turn what should be a foreboding, ominous dirge into the band's silliest fuckup next to the entirety of Technical Ecstasy. It's not a freethrow that bounces off the rim, it's an attempted dunk that somehow manages to miss the net completely, give you a wedgie and kill your grandparents in midair.

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath has some great moments, but ultimately can't live up to the metalness of the album title or the cover art. Keyboards and strings had worked for Black Sabbath in small doses on earlier albums, but this album proved that the band couldn't structure an entire record around anything outside of their core instruments.

That said, they would keep trying to do so anyway for a few more albums until they imploded and started sucking for the next decade or so. LSD, folks: It fucks with the mind.

2. Is It "Influential"?

A surprising number of people have covered the title track, and like I stated earlier a lot of people seem to like this album for some reason, but their days of being a full-blown inspiration were behind them at this point.

3. Is It A Good Starting Point For Beginners?

A lot of it is listenable, but very few songs on it could be called exemplary and even fewer could be called a good example of the genre, or even a good example of Black Sabbath's style, for that matter. Look elsewhere.



The Importance of Being Metal: Motorhead-Ace of Spades

1980; Jackson's Studios, Rickmansworth, UK; Bronze

1. Is It Any Good?

Fuck Buttons, huh? That's pretty cool, all cerebral and metaphysical and shit. If you're a dude, though, you'll probably want to listen to this. As a matter of fact, they drafted it into the constitution that you're not officially a full-fledged adult male if you haven't listened to this album three times. There is a time for learning and deepness and there is a time for manhood. Ace of Spades is a time for Kickass.

A lot of things will happen while you listen to this album. Lemmy is going to tell you to fuck him like you were a lizard. He's going to talk about how awesome it is to travel across the country and hurt people and get hurt in fantastic ways. He's going to threaten to bone your wife and then kill you with a hammer just because he is sick of your shit.

He will, in no uncertain terms, detail how much he likes to screw teenage girls.

Gambling is a big part of this album. Drinking is too, along with murder and driving fast. While all of this is going on, you are going to have no less than four parts of your body exploded from Eddy Clarke's solos. Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor behind the drums is no slouch himself. He doesn't really do much more than show up and do his job, but he does it well.

You're going to want to hit people after listening to this album. Not because you're angry or anything, just because it will seem like the right thing to do. You can dance to a lot of this album as well, but it has to be really sleazy and the chick has to look like something you found in the garage.

Ace of Spades is something of an anomaly in the metal world-it is something that all metalheads can unite behind and praise to the high heavens. I'm pretty sure Iron Maiden is the only other band that can pull that off. Music? Fuck that, dude, this is a way of life. And you're not a part of it, no you are not sir, but for 45 minutes you can pretend that you are. You can throw on the title track or "(We Are) The Road Crew" or "Please Don't Touch" and you'll feel like you're exactly as awesome as the people making this music. And what's great about that is that unlike power metal, which is supposed to give you the same feeling, this shit is something you could technically pull off. That fine-ass elf lady and that big sword and that scary motherfucker of a troll are always just going to be sitting around in your brain, or if you're ridiculously committed to this idea, they might be on a poster or in a book, and you can always visit them there.

Cars, though? Cars are real. Beer is real. Loose women are things you can actually put your hands on. And your fists? Those sonsabitches are attached to you! If you really wanted to, you could quit your job, steal some gym equipment, hook up with every sleazy bitch in town and in no time flat, you'd be living it up Lemmy style. Is it realistic, is it something that sounds like it could be maintained for all that long? Is it even something that'll be fun once you start doing it? Probably not.

But doesn't it sound like it could be?

Basically, what I'm saying is that from a conceptual level, metal doesn't get better than this. Nasty, dirty, low-down and mean. Ace of Spades. Get it.

2. Is It "Influential"?

The title track is basically the Headbanger's Siren: "Stop whatever you're doing and just rock the fuck out for a couple of minutes". If you're in a metal band and you don't follow this code...well, you're probably Slipknot. This album inspired the thrash movement, which inspired basically everything else that has to do with metal. If you're in a metal band and you ain't up for the Ace, you had best order some kind of extra-strength genetically modified diaper, because no human being could possibly be that full of bullshit.

3. Is It A Good Starting Point For Beginners?




Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport

2009; ATP Recordings; Bristol, England

loud music, drunken foot races, saturated colors, jeans ripped from falling down, sweat, too sweat coffee, ice cream, late nights, broken tvs, burnt out couches, bonfires, hopped fences, spray paint, motion blur, tents, hot chocolate, saturday morning cartoons, black dress shoes, tree tops, carousels, stray cats, toy guns, water damage, screaming, cement floors, rain on a warm night, windshields, arguments about car ride soundtracks, fog, too many faces, asymmetry, dew-wet grass, sex, unfortunate tattoos, bad movie screenings, stale pop corn, crescent moons, stars, cut elbows and dance floors and empty subway stations and dive bars and the feeling that yes we are far too invincible.


Rolling Stone's "100 Best Albums Of The Decade" is the most horrible shit in the world

There have been some bad, bad, bad lists about what was the best of this decade, but this one takes the fucking cake.


I think "gutless" is the first word that comes to mind. And then "predictable". And then "wrong". I'm not going to tell you what's bad about it specifically, because I don't want to ruin our own list, but also because I don't really have to tell you why this list sucks, because you have a fucking brain.

If our own Top 100 list turns out to be as lame as this bullshit you have my permission to come into our homes and take our things.



Things About Music That I'm Tired Of, Volume 1

  • People referring to metal influences in a song as being a bad thing, unless it's a song by a band that doesn't usually incorporate metal into their music at all, in which case the song becomes "daring"
  • Anything that anyone, anywhere might have to say about OK Computer
  • Indie-folk songs about traveling
  • Bands trying to incorporate dance influences into their music, and by "dance" I mean a goofy synthesizer line shoved in the middle of a bunch of generic rock instrumentation
  • Any metal about feelings
  • Muse
  • People who don't understand anything about the blues talking about how Jimmy Page "stole" his riffs from blues musicians
  • People who say that they hate country but love Johnny Cash-even I do this a lot and it's starting to piss me off
  • Teenagers with opinions about The Clash
  • People who talk about Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in a manner that suggests that no album was recorded before Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Itunes Genius insisting that I will enjoy Ted Nugent because it noticed that I have Thin Lizzy albums
  • Last.fm's inability to let you pause songs, making it a powerful music search engine less technologically advanced than a VCR
  • A man with a guitar or a piano, covering a Bob Dylan song
  • People who like technical death metal and can't admit that they listen to music that's boring as fuck
  • The idea that Coldplay has anything to offer anyone who isn't an old woman or a baby
  • Bono
  • Anyone who doesn't have more than 3 rap albums in their collection and insists that It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is one of the greatest albums of all time
  • Any thought that may pass through Brendan Flowers' head
  • Otherwise diverse "Best of the '60s" lists that are frontloaded with Beatles albums
  • Nu-Metal apologists
  • Everything about Sufjan Stevens
  • The notion that any and all Black Sabbath records that weren't recorded with Ozzy and aren't Dehumanizer are anything less than odious
  • The idea that punk is somehow a less retarded genre than heavy metal, claimed by people whose knowledge of either begins and ends with the Ramones and Led Zeppelin
  • The music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • People who will claim that the psychedelic era of the Beatles was their best and that their pop era sucked, and then have the audacity to enjoy "Got To Get You Into My Life"
  • Pitchfork Media talking about how much they love an album in the same way a drunk might tell you to your face how bad he wants to fuck your girlfriend
  • Gene Simmons' opinions
  • Animal Collective
  • Those motherfucking Goddamn baby boomers
That should do it for now.



Guydeath and Friends: A Serious Talk About Serious Music

Today, me and Aisha were talking via internet and the subject of metal came up. It started out as a tiny joke and eventually spiraled into something bigger and funnier. What follows is me and Aisha each adapting the personality of a "serious" metalhead and chatting about the intricacies of the genre. I thought it was funny enough to make an article about-you will have to be the judge as to whether I was correct or not. Bonus friend points to anyone who wants to do album art for any of the albums or bands mentioned.

I tried listening to Deicide.
I liked it until the guy started singing and then I cracked up.

: Yeeaaaah.
Deicide encompasses a lot of what I strongly dislike about death metal.

: "Blarf blarf blarf blarf blarf blarf blarf blarf DEATH blarf blarf blarf blarf blarf SATAN"

: I like how there's a band called Godkiller and a band called Deicide.
"blarfarabar EATING BABIES blarblarblarf HEEEELLL"

: Mankiller and Guydeath and Peopleend and Lifeisover and Deadfolks and Expiration Zeus Devil.
Sorry, I meant Expiration Zeus Devilman.

: Wait... these are real?

: No, Christ no.
I would totally buy a Deadfolks album, though

: I like Guydeath, personally.

: They're good for sure, their blast beats are a little weak though.

: I think the vocals get too choppy at points.

: I like "Slaughter of the Maimed Angels", that album really brought back the Holfendarg Scene for me.

: And the chorus seems to run throughout the entire song.

: "Dogfuck Pesticide" was a little too mainstream, to my ears-sounds like they were trying to emulate Peopleend a little too closely.
But of course no REAL metalhead would call "Kraken of the Misconceived" anything less than a masterpiece.

: And ever since Lord Rotting Pope bled to death when crucifying himself for the album art of their next release, the drumming's never been the same.

: Yeah, those blast beats just aren't as crunchy.
Although I think the singer's goatstutters really evolved over time.

: I really liked how they got a sheep to scream on their last single.
They're really adding a lot of innovation to the genre.I heard they actually tortured the sheep in the studio!
: That's awesome! That completely validates everything they do!

: And then they offered it up to Satan so that the single would sell well.

: 3,000 Norwegians can't be wrong!

: Then again, they can't sell too well.
Otherwise I would stop listening to the mainstream pigs.

: Yeah, then kids will start listening to them and I'll have to go back to the mall to scream at people. And it's not like my mom is made of gas money.

: Fucking sellouts, it's becoming every band now.

CJ:Fucking metalcore bitches have ruined every album I've ever owned.
They'll never get my Horsemaggot demos, though.



No Age - Losing Feeling

2009; Sub Pop; Los Angeles, CA

Some things just enter your head. Things you can't close your ears to because they get to you through your ear plugs, sneak in to your subconscious and bang around in there, become the unintentional soundtrack to your walking around life. I really didn't mean for this to happen to me with No Age. Though their live show can easily be described as the best around, I never really felt their intense almost violent punk energy fit onto to their records that well. The first time I saw them they played for eight dollars in a burnt out art studio/black box music venue in Oakland. It was like being hit by a steam train. I cannot describe the emotion. People moshing and trashing not so much out of a violent urge nor out of the shear fun but more like their life depended on it. Covered in sweat, much of it not my own. The whole crowd running out of energy wile the music cascaded over us but goddamnit not stopping or slowing. A tool grabs the mic, gets punched down by the drummer, the guitarist stands on the bass drum and falls backwards to surf the crowd, still playing, we're just trying not to get pushed into the symbols.

And then, I return home, rip out my new white record of Nouns, the band's first studio lp, and was wildly let down. More electronic, more expansive, less direct, less punk. The needle lifted and I thought - a few excellent tracks, a few good ones, but it doesn't hold together. I put the disc away. And yet, over the next year, without me realizing, the record found its way back on my turntable, over and over and over. Its not that the songs were stuck in my head so much as trapped in my mind, I couldn't shake them out. I listened to Nouns with more frequency then any other album of 2008, more then most every other album in general. It snuck up on me, when I wasn't looking, and by now it's hard for me to deny its absolute brilliance.

Aside from the two singles off Nouns, Loosing Feeling is the bands first realise since that record dropped. Four song ep, not available on cd. And again, I couldn't expect it. Though I contest that No Age is a punk band, and the best one around at that, it would be hard to say that this disc had even the smallest traces of punk on it at all. Instead the band pulls out their more ambient, darker side. More white noise then nihilist noise. The tracks are calm, they are smooth, they are slow and tidal. Drifting over you. And at first they are easy to forget and easy to ignore. And somehow, once again, they have penetrated my defenses, they have entered my mind and are swirling around in there. They are distracting me when I am walking around. The chanting chorus of "We're loooooooooosing feeeeeeeeeeeeeling" repeated and shouted. and it make you feel like those times your less than half awake, wandering around your room to turn off your alarm and hoping that sleep will take you back.

because, man, it doesn't seem like it at first but these four songs have power. And in their brevity and their thin presentation it is sometimes hard to believe they exist at all.

1. Losing Feeling
2. Genie
3. Aim at the Airport
4. Your a Target