Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Now, something that's real news (she's a lesbian? NO SHIT!!!); here's a new track by Monosodic that will be part of the GNO EP which, in case you haven't heard, will be released in three separate installments (two as part of netlabel compilations) with an extra song appearing on an other compilation; all the song titles are inspired by Miley Cyrus. Here's the first song from the set available for everyone to listen:
Monosodic - In The Shower With Her Clothes On.mp3 (right click-Save as)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I wrote articles about Acid Mothers Temple and Cannabis Corpse (Municipal Waste member's death metal side project, in case you don't know) for this issue.
There's tons more that's worth reading (if you can read spanish), you can find out about that here: www.myspace.com/revista_nocturna
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Friday October 10.
El Área Chica.
Villada and Gomez Farías
Monosodic (DF): www.myspace.com/monosodic
Blindaje (Morelia): www.myspace.com/blindaje
Onirismo Automata (DF): www.myspace.com/onorismoautomata
Familia Eskeleto: www.myspace.com/familia_eskeleto
Monday, September 22, 2008
After someone pointed out that the label had released stuff by Cat Power, Bardo Pond, Cornelius, Guitar Wolf, Guided By Voices, Mission Of Burma, Pavement and Pussy Galore among others (pretty much all of which i agree are most excellent, i would also add Yo La Tengo and Belle & Sebastian), not to mention all the distro they do for smaller and/or international labels; i made the following remark:
Yeah, but they also have Love Of Diagrams, Lavender Diamond (granted, they only had an amazing EP i love dearly but the full lenght was awful), Mogwai who have gone pretty much downhill in my opinion since Rock Action, Brightback Smelly Hippie or whatever they're called, the New Pornographers, and i mean bands who are active.Now, this item was brought to my attention recently, and so to pinpoint it's relevance, i'll quote the part that concerns us:
The only one right now you mentioned that's still in the label is Cat Power (*of course, then i forgot to mention YLT, B&S, as well as Times New Viking).
Fuckers also dropped Bardo Pond (They didn't sell records, eh? NO SHIT!! You should have known that ever since you first listened to them!).
Anyhoo, independently of my personal feelings towards Matador, no label is god. Matador, Geffen, same shit for Sonic Youth.
(And don't get me the 'creative freedom' thing, Thurston is just goofing around as always...having released A Thousand Leaves, NYC Ghosts & Flowers and Murray Street on a major is pretty much the most freedom any band has enjoyed in a major since the 70's).
We’ve been chit-chatting for a while now about adding a feature to the Matablog specifically devoted to a former Matador band and/or old moment from the label’s history, and such a move is long overdue. It just so happens this notion came up again a day or two after some rocket scientist posted on the Sonic Youth.com message board that Matador was a big heap o’ crud because we “dropped Bardo Pond.” Listen pal, unless your name is Darren Mock or Barry Hogan, you can fuck off. We put out 4 Bardo Pond albums and did the very best we could. Seriously, the web is Blame The Label Central. How about blaming some of the fans who aren’t interesting, attractive, charismatic or funny enough to get anyone to check out their favorite bands?*I never said that Matador was a crap label and that Sonic Youth shouldn’t sign with them, nor did i ever said that the big meanie label was destroying artists; that’s besides the point even.
(* - we do genuinely believe the majority of Matador record buyers are extremely interesting, attractive, charismatic and funny. Especially when they are giving us money. Even when they’re griping on message boards)
Any full time label does decisions, good and bad, for it’s own sake of business survival, that’s a fact; that’s why, to the eyes of artists and fans, sometimes they make “bad choices” we don’t agree with, and there’s periods when rosters change and staff gets drafted and the label gets re-structured, and some feel the “sound” of said label is lost or that the quality of the bands has dropped (all relative as taste is personal), that’s why no label is perfect. Not SST, not Atlantic, not Motown, not Drag City.
Labels bring the business side to the music, they are the ones putting the money to produce the records and they are the ones who take them to the shops (or to another company that takes them to the shops); a label isn’t a creative entity by nature unless they actually participate in the creative process of the writing and recording of the sound material and, more often than not, when the label actually gets their hands in the way of this process, the results are bad. A label head could be an artist, but then he’s being creative as an artist, not as a label; artwork and graphic design is also not a function of the label but a part of it.
I’m not decrying “sellout” or indie/punk purity, labels have a very important purpose and, yes, it has to do with money, which is a good thing when done right. Yet labels aren’t to be followed or admired just as bands since they are a mean and not an end, that’s why i think label worship is stupid. I might admire the conviction of a label (Crass, Industrial and Dischord, to name a few), their business strategies and their rosters, but never to the point of buying a shirt or favour them over a band since it’s not a creative entity giving us feelings and sounds like artists do; labels are the way in which we receive those feelings and sounds.
Trying to do “the very best you could” to “help” Bardo Pond (or any band like that) is a defeating point for an independent label, since the whole point of independent and underground music is about having a way other than that of big business and mass culture. Artists like that are made to stay underground since they are not built for everyone to like; if not, i’m sure Bardo would be playing something more palatable and not long psychedelic dirges. There’s, of course, other artists who are playing music that can be liked by more people if they get a fair push, like you know quite well having Interpol, The New Pornographers and Cat Power on your label, to name a few. Making a band “as big as Interpol” isn’t the only meaning of “success” (by the way, why are you referring to Bardo Pond in past tense?).So, i want to clarify:
1) I don't think Matador is "a big heap o’ crud", i also don't believe it is the absolute paradise of labels; no label is either, at least not forever if it's a real label and not a one-off part time operation or a boutique kind of deal.
2) Concerning Bardo Pond, it was great that you released four albums by them and backed them all the while they were on the label; my point was, they are not a radio band, not a singles band, not a band that sells tons of records; they weren't when you signed them and they didn't become one by their fourth album with you, you should have realized that. I (myself personally) think that a band like BP are more a band that has their fans who support them but won't become the next big indie craze leaders; i feel like Bardo Pond benefits from a label that supports them while not expecting sky-rocketing sales. Of course, businesswise, that might not have been possible and some decisions had to be made.
Gerard, while you invited me to "fuck off"; i, in turn, would like to interview you so you can explain to me and others how you have handled two very successful labels (i write for about four music publications here in Mexico plus another one from the UK, i'm sure any of them would be delighted to print the interview). You can contact me by sending me a private message through the SY Board if you like to or through here.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
02. Thank You - Embryo Imbroglio
03. Tsuyama Atsushi - Rock N' Roll White House
04. Sonny Sharrock - Blind Willie
05. Vivian Girls - Going Insane
06. Carcass - Cadaveric Encubator Of Endoparasites (Peel Session)
07. Original Silence - A Sweeping Parade Of Optimism - Blood Streak (excerpt)
08. Gal Costa - Cinema Olympia
09. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I See A Darkness
10. Usurp Synapse - When Good Pets Go Bad
11. Hank Williams - Your Cheatin' Heart
12. U.S. Girls - Mutate Machine
13. Nachtmystium - Your True Enemy
14. Ice Cube - Endangered Species (Tales From The Darkside) [Remix]
15. Los Llamarada - The Very Next Moment
16. Keith Fullerton Whitman - 21:30 For Acoustic Guitar, Part 2 (excerpt)
17. Mad River - Amphetamine Gazelle
18. Upsidedown Cross - Batallion Of Rats
19. Growing - Lens Around
20. Joy Division - She's Lost Control (Peel Session)
Download, subscribe, etc: http://oscillator.podomatic.com/ or on the player to your right.
For starters, the venue was sold out, and this is a big place, mind you; totally amazing how packed it was. And Carcass hardly disappointed.
Billed to start at 7:30 (which i didn't know until way after the show) i arrived to the venue to find tons of people outside and inside already packing it on the ground floor which made me go to the top seated area where i found a place where i could see the stage and everything very well; the stage had two cloth-screens in each side in front of some amps with drawings of a slashed human torso, on top of the drums there was a screen that had the image of their third album, Necroticism. The crowd was conformed by tons of people representing the old guard as well as your usual metalheads.
At about 7:45, the lights went out, the screen changed it's image and an intro tape was played, a narration of some sorts after which a droning note started to fade into it; after a few minutes of this, the band came onstage and started things with "Inpropagation" followed by another album opener, "Buried Dreams" from their Heartwork album which informed most of the set. The crowd on the floor weren't moving too much on the accounts of there not being much space to move but there was some crowd surfing; the crowd's response, however, was enormous. On the third song, "Corporal Jigsore Quandary", one of the most well received ones of the set, the projection of the screen showed various body parts being dissected and ending with an eye being implanted on a brain.
The band looked good and dominated the stage with a balance of calm coolness and rocking still intensity with some movement to here and there, Jeff Walker was handling his Les Paul-like hollow-bodied bass with authority and a bit of struggle wearing a Rotten Sound shirt, while Michael Amott was playing a very big Dean Flying V, possing around the stage for a bit; at the other side of the stage, Bill Steer stood there like a guitarist straight out of the 70's, with slightly bell bottomed jeans, a tight brown shirt and his long blonde hair, extracting impossibly low ended heavy riffs of his very vintage looking Les Paul. The band sounded tight and clear (except for the vocals, the microphones were a bit muddy, soundwise), pretty much like the records and like if they never broke up or if they had a different drummer now.
The band played most of Heartwork and about half of Necroticism, they deviated from these albums to play "Reek Of Putrefaction" from their masterpiece (or one of their many masterpieces, anyway) Symphonies Of Sickness to follow it with "Keep On Rotting In The Free World" (complete with various symbols of many faiths on the screen) from their suicide attempt Swan Song, after which they went back to the very beginning of their career, playing "Genital Grinder" and "Psyosisified (Rotten To The Gore)" jointly to make it like one decent lenght song. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them switch from playing the more sophisticated side of their career to the more barebones and unpolished era with even more brutality, it was also great listening to Michael and Bill do some grunting live. After these, they left the stage, not an hour after they started their set.
When they came back, they played "Death Certificate" then the monstrous "Exhume To Consume" and left again; before they came back, Juan Brujo of Brujería came out to yell "Viva México Cabrones!!!" (on account that since the night before, we were celebrating the Independence Day) after which Jeff made a crack about him being his father, he then made a crack about them going backstage to inhale oxygen like Axl Rose or something; he actually made several jokes during the show but most were inaudible thanks to some microphone problems. He then introduced each member of the band, pointing out that Daniel Erlandsson was replacing their original drummer Ken Owen (i heard a section of the crowd chant "Owen, Owen!" earlier during the set) after which he made another joke, this time saying Erlansson owned eBay or something similar, right after which Daniel started pounding a slow beat which gave away the entrance of "Rupture In Purulence", Walker followed with the ultra heavy bassline and then the guitars kicked in, Jeff stood in front of the stage, past his mic stand and played a bit of the song without singing it after which a galloping twin guitar riff started and gave to a fast beat, that of the song "Heartwork"; easily the highlight for many people. The band finished the song, started a riff as a coda to it and ended it all, the screen started to show an autopsy from the first cuts to the body, while the band said their goodbyes to the crowd, throwing picks and drumsticks, with Jeff walking along the space between the barricade and the stage.
Personally, i have two complains, the first being that the show was very short, considering their back catalogue and that they hardly touched anything from their first two records, which brings me to complain number two, namely why the denial of most of Reek and Symphonies? To me and many others, this was the highlight of their career, their golden years and best albums; granted, i love Necroticism and Heartwork and i know those two are much more popular but come on!!! There's tons of amazing songs in both first records.
Thinking about what i am complaining, i seriously don't feel like it was a waste by any chance, it was more than a great concert, and i'm immensly happy for witnessing one of metal's best bands in action, as if they had never had any major lineup changes or had broken up. Everything was crushing, inspired and amazing; after all it's said and done, i can't complain.
Some pictures: http://flickr.com/photos/metaldragon/sets/72157607349083403/
Is It Progress When You Go From ‘Awful’ To ‘OK’? Or Initial Thoughts On Death Magnetic By Metallica.
The fact is that the album sounds like Metallica, like where they left off in between ...And Justice For All and the Black Album, but the fact is that it just sounds like them, it's not like the material is as good as anything they did in their first decade as a band; the main problem being the lack of memorable songs; the sounds might bring you back to the eighties but, in terms of pure songwriting skills, i think Load still edges Death Magnetic; whatever you think about their "grunge" sound or their haircuts or their lack of truly metal elements in there, Load has very well written and well put together songs.
Of course, i'd be an idiot if i expected anything of the quality of KillRideMasterJustice, that era is gone and years have passed since then, but i just want a good Metallica album all around, with good songs and good riffs. Perhaps a record similar to the Black Album, but of them right now.
I do feel, though, that perhaps this is the beginning of something new, perhaps they have learned to be themselves soundwise and, for their next album, maybe they can apply these riffs to better written, more memorable songs; songs you can scream along while blasting either at home or at concert, after which i would be more than happy to let them be and not care what they do afterwards.
I know they have a good album left in them, i just hope they get to record it and release it soon.