Monday, May 19, 2008

Enscalpument of the Demagoguery! Phase One

I just watched Fast Times at Ridgemont High for the first time not on Channel 17 and there is nudity in that movie! Nudity and swearing. Awesome! Yet except for the mention of VH, there is no metal in the film. Now I know that the Halen isn't exactly Carcass or anything, but their sheer love of rocking and being fucking awesome all the time coupled with Eddie's shredding and Alex's awful skin-tapping (not even a pound, a frigggggin' tap this guy does, with the obv xcptn o "Hot for Teacher"). However, the film has a semi-secret metal trump card: Romanus.

Romanus's Mike Damone is not explicitly metal. In fact, he's a new wave dude, so he likes punk's wussier, orthopedic-shoes-wearing cousin. His room is decked out with Devo and Elvis Costelo posters, he rocks the skinny tie and thinks that Deborah Harry is a dish (not that she's uggs or anything, but let's just say she's no Lizzy Caplan. Riiiiight??). And though he does drive a Gremlin (a close cousin of the AMC Pacer MIRTH MOBILE), Romanus is still not really very heavy.

Until he sits down!

Because he has a cowskin chair!

It looks like a cow's hide, except it's brownish, so maybe it's one of those cows that produces chocolate milk. In this chair Romanus ascends to a heaviness of nearly-Dio-ian proportions. It's such a freaking heavy chair. It will splatter your brain across most available surfaces. It was no doubt wrought upon the blackest anvil in the deepest smithy of Vulcan, possibly with a pentagram-shaped hammer. I usually feel confident about my ability to analytically discern an object's metalosity, but in this instance the sheer epic-ness of the seat, nay, the throne!, overrides standard neurological procedures. Also, the movie was realy good, though the sexual content and glut of embarassing (though firmly resolved/forgotten) situations therein make me glad that I didn't watch it with a laday. "Hey, dinner was really fun; let's go and watch a movie where young women fellate carrots! I'll squirm uncomfortably and clear my throat if you will!" Banging.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Refuse!, Plus the Band Below Looks Like the Worst Thing Evs

Babababa-boom. No respect to May. I recently read that Marcus Garvey died from a stroke triggered when he read a negative obit of himself in a Chicago paper. Given his place in Rastafarianism and in a Burning Spear record, he seemed like a pretty heavy dude, but getting smoked by your own death is pretty weak; metal welcomes all things demise-centric, even/ESPECIALLY when they relate to one's own bucket-kicking. Like that dude who took himself out onstage at a Death show, except not annoying.

This possibly apocryphal story also says a lot about meta stuff, namely that it will merc on you like the government on Brother Shabazz. Self-referentiality is crafty darts, yet we often opt to instead stick with Laffy Taffy. Simply put (?), the sloppy ease with which postmodernism can be applied in this modern age (a ridiculously wack step in social evolution that for arbitrary reasons I blame upon "Bull" Fulbright dying right before he could have cleared the A-Team in "The A-Team") makes anything meta-related a dangerous proposition. Like picking up someone who you think MIGHT be a hooker but who could just as easily be Greg Luzinski.

Yet the chance is sometimes worth taking. I refer, of course, to how The Matrix is alla sudden getting on my nerves in a heavily macro way. When the "CSI" was on at the lanes the other night, the fuzz was getting the grill in a press conference by some ratty-ass blogger dude. The televisions were muted but I could tell that the fool was floating some inquisitive business and smart-assedly being a butt to the cops. Karankaredes or whoev doesn't need that shit, kids! So he was being a butt and is way too satisfied with himself I'm trying to bowl, wondering the whole time why he isn't getting beat up. He's talking about computers out loud and one of the Alpha House goons isn't there to administer his deserved swirlie? Gwuh.

And it's the fault of that Matrix picture. It made computers/being computer-savvy much more socially acceptable than anyone could have previously imagined. All them dorks running around hard-driving and booting or what have you and nary a nosebleed in the bunch! I think that some of them might not have even been virgins. And jesum crow, it ain't fair. Neo et al. subverted the time-honored nerd/not-nerd paradigm by establishing the computer-literate as heroic and sympathetic from the outset rather than as hopeless misfits who, through a rigorous battery of hilarious pranks, de-bra-ing and hearty, self-affirming partying, subsume the (initially) more socially acceptable jocks. What's the point if the nerds are set up as capable, even deserving victors from jump? Their status as social outcasts needs to be overcome and function as a display of collective subcultural worth to the hegemonic observer. In The Matrix, the outcast role is embraced and gaily brandished so that the nerd stands as an aggressor, eager to impose his/her (who are we kidding, his) dorkgenda on the so-called "unenlightened" masses. Marrone!

And next thing you know it's cool to know what a gigabyte is and action movies are all about typing shit instead of blowing shit up. It's as if Tango & Cash, which sucks super hard already, had Clint Howard's hacker dude as the lead character instead of the asshole stockbroker Stallone and the xenophobic Kurt. That's a dismal example because T & C would be 70 millions times better with C to the H in the lead, but that's beside the pizzointzz. Computers are wicked renarded and never cool.

But I'm using a computer to broadcast this and if anyone reads it they are likewise using a computer to receive the message. I would almost feel like a shitty "anti-capitalist" band like Anti Flag (more like Anti GOOD!) or Rage Against the Machine (more like Boring Blah Blah Blah I Got No Heat Jah) or Captain & Tenille (more like DRAGON & His Partner) who, like, are totally hypocritical and, um, profit from the all-too-comfortable machinations of capitalism totally totally IF NOT FOR THE FACT that I could at this point echo Duke's words in Repo Man because through it all, I blame society. And The Matrix. But also society.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

So Let It be Written, So Let It be Rocked

O! So I had wanted to make posts on this post on a more regggalar basis but in addition to the usual crank distractions like work and school, two things in particular have seriously roadblocked the blogging. One, my Sopranos addiction has resurfaced in a big way. I had stopped watching the program a couple of summers ao after Tony's behavior became increasingly dickish and he whipped the pickle dude from that crappy pickle movie that I hated. Hebrew school a message to you: suck it forever! Well, like a relapsing pie fiend I have been consuming slices of the show at a seriously unreasonable, harmless rate, staying up until anywhere between three and six in the morning oy to watch episodes. Marrone, right! Meadow still makes my skin crawl like bad soup made by Lodge Kerrigan, but face can't get enough; even while watching that Forgetting Sarah Marshall picture t'other night, which was a kinda cool movie and business, the brain frequently turned to thoughts of watching the Sopranos on the couch. Bone us.

The other major impediment to bloggage is Passover. That's right. Pesach. Religion is typically regarded as the thing most diametrically opposed to metal and metalosity since Man discovered that melon ballers could be used for purposes other than carving out the eyeballs of thine enemies, but that hatred is usually reserved for Xianity and stuff. No one carves upside-down Mogen Davids on their forehead or starts Viking black metal bands to protest the subjugation of Scandanavia's Pagan forbears by Izzys and Sauls and, uh, Naphtalis. It just doesn't go down like that. Even when NSBM shit starts up, they're just hating on the Jews for spoiling the purity of ugly cavedudes from the North Pole or whatevs. Apparently some cats still hold a grudge for how we capped Santa Clause at his boss's wedding in 1974.

And that's cool. True metal bros know that Judaism is wicked metal what with the fasting and the leather straps and the beards. What the Presbyterians have? Ambrosia and shitty haircuts. Don't even get me started on the Lutherans. Mainly because I forget what they do. Of all Jewish holidays, Passover is easily the most metal, however. Not only is it the basis for fuckin' "Creeping Death" and parts of Powerslave, two pillars of classic heaviness, but come on: on this box of matzah my sister brought over for the seder the legend reads, "THIS IS THE BREAD OF AFFLICTION". Read it again, maybe even out loud. THE BREAD OF AFFLICTION. Weren't they on Metal Blade at some point?

Not only do we rock the memory of having been slaves, bringing unbelievably metal plagues (obviously the death of the first born and the descending locusts, but frogs too! Fuck yeah frogs!!) until using the power of the ocean to slay the chasing pharoah and his crew and then talking to a fiery shrub and throwing giant stones and making earthquakes... sorry, but is this a fucking Manowar song or something? You can't mess with how hard Passover rocks, even if it does involve gefilte fish and being hungry for eight days because you only ever eat bread. Next year in Jerusalem, bitches. On a scale of one to ten, Passover rates a metal score of THE TIME HAS COME! And folks can't even count that business.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm Meta, Like Tony Soprano's Lousy Daughter

Yo, it's time to stop fronting: Kaminsky ain't metal. The readership (Perry?) mighta gleaned it from my Moz ref t'other day, but like your closeted dad I decided that I needed to be honest with both yourself and myself. I'M TIRED OF LIVING THIS LIE! I listen to a lot of metal bands, wear an Iron Maiden hat pretty much every day and consider Lemmy to be my personal savior, but let's face it, it's not happening. For every demin jacket I own (uh, one) I have like five articles of turquoise clothing. As much as I listen to Sabbath and Electric Wizard, which is a lot, admittedly, I rock the Beat Happening and Galaxie 500 tips. Though they may be awesome, Young Marble Giants and JD covers aren't exactly rubbing shoulders with odes to the supreme majesty of the Dark Lord. And let's not even get started on my green eyes. Hazel is obviously the metaller hue, but there's only so much a man can do, dammit!

Nurrtheless, the important thing is that I could grow a moustache if I wanted to. I shaved off my beard except for the upper lip and it was muhfukkin handlebar city. You could name a leather bar after my 'stache it was so metal. And LGBT to the maxatrax. Second point of importance: Just because I am not the metal doesn't mean I can't appreciate, if not love, and summarily comment on the form. In fact, my lack of real connection with the metal subculture has many beneficial aspects as it allowz me to observe the machinations of heaviness with a greater objectivity than if drank Schlitz and had cool/kinda dumb tattoos and hung out in parking lots. Additionally, can a boy be a fag hag for gay women? If not, then I will see you in court! Thus, I can still totaly dig metal and sing "Aces High" at karaoke every time even though I'm like totally a lady.

I know what the streets is saying; I've heard it before. "But Jake, you're the heaviest! And not in a fat way or anything. In the drop D way. You have shattered my lives" Respect to the youth, but it's time for realness. Yet let not this be a deterrent to stuff and all that! My powers of of metal perception are undiluted by this recent truth; in fact, they're stronger than ever and make all your children embarassed to know you. Case in point: soul patches are never cool. CONSIDER THINE MIND BLOWN, CITIZENS OF PLACES SOMEWHERE.

The kids ain't never heard this shit before, but it's true; Halford could have several s-patches festooning his otherwise uncontrovertibly hard rocking person and they would still be weaker than a broken hanger over brunch. You could be a person who can get away with speaking in Jamaican patois and saying "I and I" all godddddam day but the patch would still be ten tons of gubbagublah. Heard? Jamrock, am I correct?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yo, Too Many Fathoms to Count: Quint Turns the Life Radio up to Ten Hardcore

Yo, errone knows that Steven "Perpetually Bar Mitzvah Age" Spielberg is not metal at all, but that Jaws rules hardcore. Just ask Marci; she's like the most metal dude ever. Not only does Jaws feature a dude getting eaten in half followed by an explosion of guts by the gestator, and, you know, a wealth of canonical lines and interesting shots blib blab, but fuckin' Roy Scheider is awesome and even more importantly, seabeasts have a well-documented history of metalosity. "The Thing That Should Not Be"? Seabeast. The Mastodon album Leviathan, which includes a song called "Seabeast"? Also a seabeast. From krakkens to the Loch Ness monster to angler fish and Godzilla, pretty much all of the creatures dwelling in the ocean's unexploreable bottom reaches rock ridiculously hard. It may be because at such depths they are closer to Hell than other animal dudes and can thus more easily chill with Satan. Also, Ronnie James Dio, though officially from New Hampshire or some crummy New England state, has dual citizenship to the ocean's floor, mutually enhancing the extreme heaviness of both parties. And you didn't even think that was possible! ___________________________________________________ Moreover, Jaws comes from a novel by the one and only Peter "The Bench" Benchley, a dude who rocks harder than pretty much any other five or six dudes who aren't Lemmy or the Phillie Phanatic combined bitches. Comparatively, an otherwise "tough"-seeming writer like Cormac McCarthy or Deuteronymous rates a little bit below "Party of Muhfucking Five" on the Rockhter scale. When I was waiting in line outside the Mann Center (yucks) to get first dibs on Morrissey tickets (perhaps the least metal sitch ever, but whatever! Steven Patick is an exception to most life standards) I passed the time by reading Bench's Beast, which is basically Jaws except that there's a freaking GIANT SQUID instead of a squallus. Architeuthis always wins, Benchley is awesome, Beast rules and the dude also has a book, much discussed but never actually read by Sean and I, called Q Clearance, which is apparently a political thriller jawn. Whakky! And for some reason I can't separate one paragraph from another! Wack. The bad one. __________________________________________________________________The best thing about all this, though, is effin Quint. He's ultra grumpy and hardcore, as evinced by the whole U.S.S. Indianapolis deal, and knows how to run his vessel. But my favorite aspect of his character, and this is what makes him, and, by extension, the film as a whole, so metal, is his unreasonable class discomfort manifesting itself as a severe dislike of punkass Hooper. Fucking Hooper. No one who is cool likes Richard Dreyfuss unless he's talking about things biting other, unsuspecting things in the ass. Even then he wears with the thinness. But Quint's hatred of him seems to not be based on how much of a dorkmeyer the dude is, it's because he's rich and went to college and stuff. Way to get kinda innappropriately defensive, homes. I mean, I hate soft hands as much as anybody (duh, lie number one. Who moisturizes more than me? You can't shred if your arms are all ashy) but I don't think I'd necessarily base my opinion of a shipmate on that fact. ___________________________________________________________________When Hooper is all, "Gwah, I don't need this working class hero crap" it's one of the few moments where he's not being a whinyass robobaby for life. He's just genuinely perplexed as to why this crusty MFer is harshing on him so harshly. SO HARSH. This unruly displacement of class anxiety is pretty freaking heavy in my book because Q man is just throwing aside the surface tensions atwixt Hooper and him and getting right down to the subtext, like a Corrosion of Conformity song or something. Interpersonal minutiae is clearly the province of hardcore, where the "you" address is usually directed at a specific person (typically a TOTALLY UNFAIR MOM WHO WON'T LET ME CUT MY HAIR HOW I WANT GOD!!1 or former friend who, snort, is still totes into, plurgh, Green Day but more importantly is a liar). Metal, as we've discussed before, thrives on generalizations, both functioning as and lashing out at a collective entity. Like in "Crazy, Crazy Nights," where the army of rock unites to destroy the army of... not rock/people who refuse to crank it. Quint contextualizes himself in the history of class struggle, positioning himself as a representative of the labor class that functions in direct opposition to Hooper's moneyed landowners and intellectuals. And then he gets rocked by the shark. Sepatow!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Hammer of Justice Crushes You

Fury can be a big part of metal, especially when we get into the NWOBHM/thrash era and all the dudes who were too hairy and loved pyro too much to be in a hardcore band injected solos and double-kicks into an HC format. Most pre-South of Heaven Slayer stuff is rooted hyper stiff in hardcore, or at least the Earth A.D. vision of it, except that they go between yelling about war and all that and making sweet devil voices, whereas hardcore, and punk in general, loses wikked heaviness points for refusing to engage one of metal's most important subjects: Satan. Perhaps to reconcile props to the Lord of Lies with Suicidal/DKs-style intensity, thrash generally redirects the punk's political anger towards a set of more general authority figures while still leaving room to throw goats. So while intense initial bands (D.R.I., M.D.C., whatevs) funnel all of their rage at specific political figures like Reagan or Robert Bork (who probably doesn't have a song written about him but should, hopefully about how weird his head looks), metal bands opt instead to bitch about authority in general.

It's like there's a big Kramer vs. Kramer cusody battle going on in which thrash's parents, the pro-evil, frequently slothful Dustin Hoffman/Black Sabbath and the uptight, speedier Meryl Streep/Bad Brains, duke it out for who gets to visit their pimply kids the most. I've never seen K vs K but I assume that it ends with a no-holds-barred firepit throwdown between the leads that ends with Hoffman totally reverting to Straw Dogs form and going after Streep with an antique bear trap. No matter who wins, the child is still all sulky and shit and writes rocking tunes about how pissed off they are and how everyone sucks all the time forever. Sabbath is never really mad about anything, and even in their darkest stages writing about how drugs are suddenly real bad ("Snowblind", "Megalomania") instead of the fuckin' best thing since God died on the toilet("Sweet Leaf", "Faeries Wear Boots"), Ozzy just sounds more hurt and confused than anything else. When he famously yells "you bastards!" on "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," dude's just venting, swinging wildly at whatever moves with his fringed jacket on the whole time.

But if Ozzy wasn't concerned with supernatural miscellany and being awesome for a living, he'd totally recognize that the government is lame (and kind of does on "War Pigs," although in Sabbath parlance, the association of generals with black masses and evil shit is probably positive). One, they hate long hair, which, as Saint Vitus retardedly puts it, is stupid weak. Two, they're biased towards old people. statistically the least metal people ever created. It's always those bastards who win the lottery, obviously a set-up by "Uncle SCam".

But the most damning piece of evidence comes in late 1970s arcade games licensed by the likes of Aerosmith (ew) and Journey (awesome, and way heavier than one thinks) in which governments in not-too-distant dystopias illegalize rock & roll. True, rocking the whole "if rock & roll is outlawed then only outlaws" reduction is an undeniably badass prospect, but the future gov'ts imprison righteous dudes in their cyber-prisons or whatever and you need scarved men who call THEMSELVES "the glitter twins" to rescue you. While King/Hanneman etc. might have kind of dug the idea of going to jail and being able to freely display their Nazi "flair" without having to constantly dodge media accusations that they're clearly caveman rednecks, I can't imagine Dave Lombardo being overly jazzed about getting locked up and Araya wouldn't last a week in the joint. DJ Qualls would have a better shot at making it out of D-Block for Christmas's sake.
Metal has got to do its part to keep its completely unprepared members from getting booked for their thundering riffs and thus must stand in direct opposition to an overwhelmingly far-reaching power structure, usually represented by the villains in Twisted Sister videos. As long as Dave Mustaine isn't leading it, the revolution will thus be METALLIZED.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ebon Scrolls of the Northwytch: The First Post

I described my blog to a professor as being like the dudes from Heavy Metal Parking Lot talking about Kierkegaard, but really it's just those dudes talking about Heavy Metal Parking Lot and other super metal jawns. It's pretty annoying to see things that aren't heavy passed off as such while super sweet things are derided as wussy or whatever when in fact THEY TOTALLY AREN'T. And who better to mediate that divide than a dude who sleeps in a polo shirt and lists his work number as 1-900-RAEKWON on student loan websites? UH!

Fans (?) of my "Simon and Garfunkel Are Metal as Shit" rocker on the FBook might recognize this tact, especially when I'm planning a future post expanding on why S&G are so metal that they equal seven moustaches. The effin' metalosity of the subject is usually based on how they stack up with the four horsemen of metal that in my experience exemplify heaviness: Sabbath, Motorhead, Satan and layering a flannel shirt with the sleeves cut off over a denim jacket OVER a muhfuckin' hoodie. Hot christmas! Also, the phrase "the time has come!" when delivered in an elfin voice is pretty heavy.

You'd better believe it.