It’s up on the L.A. RECORD site.
Public Enemy and Anthrax April 14, 2009
My main man Dan, the sexiest of all L.A. Record contributors, got to interview Chuck D last week! And the interview is in the print version of the magazine.
But one of his questions that didn’t make the cut was about Public Enemy and Anthrax collaborating on a version of “Bring the Noise!” I know that for a lot of head-banging punkers, it was this tune that finally helped them cross over into fandom for their beat-driven brethren. Run DMC and Aerosmith made the first incision, but this song pulled the gash wide open, and a bunch of bloody things like the Judgment Night soundtrack and Body Count spilled out of the wound. Unfortunately, we then got awful, terrible sounding bands like Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit combining hip-hop with rock in terrrible, terrible ways. But when the rap-rock hybrid was first getting going, it was a match made in heaven:
Elvis is still the King! January 10, 2009
I know, I know, the Beatles were better at the music, the Beach Boys were better at major sevenths, Chuck Berry was better at the lyrics, and Little Richard was better at falsetto. Carl Perkins was better at being down-home, Billy Lee Riley was better at crazed-cat rockabilly, Buddy Holly was better at bringing pop into his rock, and Bo Diddley had a better beat. Even among the Sun Records cats, Johnny Cash did more drugs, and Jerry Lee Lewis was more dangerous.
But Elvis was an amazing performer–the biggest shining personality of the fifties–with all the moves, lots of style, great looks, and a wild personality. The fact that he had bad management, mental problems, and an addiction to food and drugs shouldn’t tarnish that amongst modern myth-makers who tend to prefer the Bolans and Joneses to this man.
I mean, fuck, Elvis sang better than Frank Sinatra. Last night, to celebrate Elvis’ 74th birthday, my gal TiVo’d Fun in Acapulco. Goddam, could that boy sing! Listen to this shit!
Fuck all contenders! This man is the KING! F U C K !!!
Jesse Camp returns! July 11, 2008
I hadn’t seen nor heard about former MTV VJ Jesse Camp for years (and even when I did know about him, in the mid-late nineties, it was only because I occasionally passed a television in disgust on my way to my CaseLogic to pick out my favorite punk cassette).
But now suddenly, like within the past two months, I see him everywhere–hanging out at a Sunday barbecue where Crooked Cowboy is playing, shoving a camera into the faces of me and my friends as we leave a Dethklok show at the Wiltern, and now, even talking about being fucked up with James St. James at Homo-a-Go-Go. And apparently I’m not alone in taking notice. Are we doomed to spend the next couple years watching Jesse worm his way into new forms of media?
Truth be told, his reemergence makes me so sad. I actually kind of like this guy. It’s not his fault that at the young age of 18, he made a desperate and successful (though possibly fraudulent) bid to garner fame and hopefully fortune from reality television that devolved into personal humiliation and degradation at the hands of big corporate fucks who ate him up and spat him out, hairdo and all. Looking back on my life, I’ve made far more self-destructive decisions at an older age, and even now am probably succeeding less at life than this man. And that’s very, very sad. Jesse, I think I need a hug.
Rachael Ray terrorizes with more than just a scarf! May 30, 2008
Sure, Rachael Ray may have dressed for a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial in a scarf Arafat-esque enough to piss off Michelle Malkin and her fried-pastry fascists…
Dunkin’ Donuts was accused of promoting terrorism, thanks to the wardrobe choices of Rachael Ray, its celebrity spokesman, during an online advertisement. According to the bloggers, she had decided to embrace “hate couture” by wearing a keffiyeh, a scarf popular in the Arab world and preferred by Yasir Arafat and other Palestinian militants during their rise in the West Bank and Gaza.
But right wing, proven-wrong pundits such as Malkin are missing the real evil Ray has unleashed upon the world. As losanjealous.com pointed out a few months back, she’s really guilty of a far worse betrayal–sullying the reputation of South By Southwest in Austin (and rock and roll in general) by having her husband’s crappy bar band play on the same bill as The Raveonettes and The Stills at her hipster-tempting barbecue.
Update: Greg over at The Talent Show has a wonderful blog on the same subject.
Ron Paul meets the Sex Pistols May 29, 2008
Okay, this isn’t exactly new, but I just saw the post on Pitchfork Media where the Sex Pistols played the Jay Leno show in October 2007 to promote “Anarchy in the UK” appearing on Guitar Hero III. It’s not really a good performance, but I do like that Ron Paul was the guest, and a fat John Lydon calls out to “Mr. Paul” and wiggles his bloated butt at him! Now that’s entertainment!
Later someone put a clip on YouTube of Ron Paul and his entourage watching the performance. Not quite as funny, but I think I can hear some people laughing and saying “anarchy!” in the background, which made me giggle.
Saint Vitus February 9, 2008
My girfriend is a pretty amazing woman, and she’s really helped me enjoy life to its fullest. One gift she gave me early on in our relationship was a renewed love for slow, groovy, doom-laden heavy metal, in the vein of Black Sabbath. She taught me all about Pentagram, and Witchcraft, and from there I learned about Witch and a host of other goodies (which in turn helped me kind of re-appreciate Death Metal and Black Metal).
But it also reminded me of that time in my early early teens, when I had just left Metallica and Anthrax behind to embrace punk rock. I remember shortly after making the switch, while buying and absorbing all the Richard Hell, Ramones, and Stooges cassettes I could find in Tulsa, I stumbled upon SST’s The Blasting Concept compilation, and got all confused. There were punk bands on this thing (the Minutemen, Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, Husker Du), but there were also bands on it that were definitely heavy metal. One of them, Saint Vitus, I remember not liking very much, because lyrically their song seemed simple. And it was kind of slow.
Looking back from where I am now, though, I realize I’d been blind to one of the great doom rock renaissance revivalists of the eighties! These guys had a hard-edged, dirgey guitar sound somewhere between Sabbath and My War-era Black Flag, with a great singer, powerful playing, and wah-wah choogling guitar solos that hinted at some of the extremes Dinosaur Jr. would soon be getting into. They’re kinda reminiscent of the good parts of Danzig and Motorhead too (without any of the crap, and with better singing!), and definitely bridge the gap between Pentagram and the doom rock of this century.
Coven – Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls! January 18, 2008
My company’s making me stay up tonight to work at home during the witching hour–and what better way to keep myself hot on such a cold night than to fill the air with the sounds of Hell’s raging fire?
Coven was a band started in 1968 to help the hippies bring Satanism to the masses. The music on this album was not too crazy–mostly psychedelia with a strong female vocal, and occasionally a spookily held guitar note, with harmonies and a Frisco-sounding boogie–almost sunshine pop. I was a far cry from the dirge-filled gloom that was starting on the other side of the pond in the form of Black Sabbath.
But oh, that cover. On the front there were a group of young hippies all looking forlorn with facial hair and a skull (kinda Ren-Fair-esque), but on the inside fold-out, whoa mamma! There was a naked hippie girl (not actually the real singer, as it turns out) laid out all ashen and creepy on an altar, and a bunch of dudes with robes and goblets and what have you all screaming at the camera whilst holding upside down crucifi.
And if you got all the way through the tracks, you found yourself listening to a full-on 13 minute Satanic Mass! I’m not talking about a song in which a mass is referenced, but a re-enacted coven meeting with voice actors and sound effects and crazy dialogue and Satanic Gregorian chants in Latin. This ain’t no Anton Lavey ritual, but rather a full-on “we hate Jesus” thang that mimics Hammer horror films more than actual occult texts. In fact, at some point a neophyte girl is asked to break a crucifix, recite a bunch of stuff, and get naked, and then a bunch of Satanists froth and scream a lot. Some of their suggestive breathing is supposed to make us think they do her!
Anyway, from what I’ve read, the album didn’t sell well or at all, and Coven went on to do the soundtrack for Billy Jack and have an inexplicable hit with “One Tin Soldier” a year or two later. Meanwhile, lots of dudes bought Coven’s Witchcraft for the cover alone, only never to listen to it again and basically put it on the shelves or in the bargain bin of their local thrift stores, where their much younger siblings found it years later. A young Darby Crash and Pat Smear were fans, and the rock kids who skinned their cats for Satan probably were, too.
Anyway, it’s finally my bed time. Accursed ye’ll be, until ye die!
P.S. If Coven really did all the stuff they talked and sang about, including cursing people with boils and leprosy, consuming and crushing traitors to Satan, reciting the Lord’s Prayer backwards, and doin’ naked Satanist girls, they still wouldn’t be advocating anything as evil as what Mike Huckabee has suggested we do with AIDS patients.