Even those who don’t find the exquisite cacophony of Skinny Puppy all that alluring would be hard pressed to deny frontman Nivek Ogre is a singular artist and consummate performer. We’re talking about a man who on a trio of instant-classic albums a couple decades back — Rabies (1989), Too Dark Park (1990) and Last Rights (1992) — basically redefined sonic abrasiveness even while teasing real beauty out of the sinister chaos he himself helped set in motion. Of late Ogre has continued to evolve his sonic attack and, perhaps a bit more surprisingly, revamped and re-imagined his considerable skill-set for the silver screen, turning in a series of intense, luminous performances in films such as Repo! The Genetic Opera, 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams, The Devil’s Carnival, and Queen of Blood, the follow-up to director Chris Alexander’s super-textured, avant garde creepfest Blood for Irina.
Ogre was recently kind enough to chat with Decibel about his trip down this new — and, as we shall see, complimentary — avenue of expression…
I imagine all those years of live performances with Skinny Puppy — a very theatrical, cinematic band — must’ve helped inform your transition into the world of acting.
Well, I definitely had quite a bit of body/gestural work to draw on. Acting, though, was still very difficult at first. There are some similarities between the two worlds, obviously, but working in front of a camera — which picks up every nuance, every detail — can be a very intimate thing and requires its own box of tricks. That’s a huge difference from rock n roll where the stage and the volume and the decibels create this huge divisive wall between you and the spectators, crew, and everyone once the show begins — everything you do up there is over-exaggerated and very big to reach back into the audience as far as possible. In my case I was very lucky to be given an easing step into acting with the character of Pavi from Repo! the Genetic Opera — we recorded all the vocal stuff ahead of time, so in front of the camera I wasn’t having to worry about lines so much as just bringing the character down in size from what I’m used to on stage to something that would work on film. It provided me the time and space to focus on what was for me the hardest aspect of the enterprise. The other great thing about Repo is that I was lucky enough to able to come up to Toronto for a month after we recorded everything and take this Lon Chaney Sr. route of just hanging around behind the scenes and learning as much as I could about the way certain things are done, set etiquette, everything. And I was totally up for checking it all out — still am! Filmmaking remains an amazing, intriguing process to me.
Before Repo was acting a possibility in the back of your mind? Or was it just something that came up with this role that you tried and happened to enjoy?
By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, listenOn: Monday, October 13th, 2014
Florida and death metal are practically synonymous. Most of that has to do with the legendary albums cranked out of Morrisound in the 90s by Obituary, Death, Cannibal Corpse and other luminaries. But don’t forget Miami, which is the home of Decibel favorite grinders Maruta and birthed Hall Of Fame inductees Cynic.
Let’s showcase a little more metal from the Sunshine State. Decibel is streaming Miami-based Inferion’s new album This Will Decay to get you through your Monday.
The album is due October 21 from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Inferion has been around since 1995 and released eight albums. The band showcases the talents of Nick Reyes, who writes music while serving in the Army.
Brazil’s Crucifixion BR recently signed a deal with Horror Pain Gore Death Productions to release their debut full-length Destroying the Fucking Disciples of Christ. The Deciblog emailed with drummer Juliana Novo (aka DarkMoon) and singer/guitarist Marcio Guterres (aka Lord Grave War) to learn about all things heavy south of the equator.
Tell us a bit about how, when, and where Crucifixion BR came together as a band.
Lord Grave War: Everything started back in 1995 in Rio Grande, a small city in the extreme south of Brazil, when the band was called Hellish Prediction. I wanted to change the name to Crucifixion in 1996. I was thinking about the spiritual evolution of myself as a person. “Crucifixion” is a song from [Sepultura’s] Morbid Visions. I heard this Sepultura album and kept reflecting on the meaning, the reality of crucifixion. I wanted to be the vocalist only, then I met Juliana, gave her a little help on drums, and she gave me a little help on guitar. We kept improving, and the band ended up with me on the guitar and vocals and Juliana on drums. Then insanity started. And we had a lot of bassists working with the band.
DarkMoon: I was an ordinary guitarist when I met Marcio, and he was a drummer, then we switched positions…and it worked very well! There weren’t any female drummers in our city in that time. Among the bassists we had, there was a bassist from Sweden, the former bassist of MZ.412 and Painful Pride, who joined the band while he was here in Brazil for four months. He recorded two demo CDs with us in 2002 and took part in a few gigs. It was a cool experience.
What are some of Crucifixion BR’s musical influences?
Lord Grave War: Mostly black, death and thrash metal, also some heavy metal bands from the ’80s and beginning of ’90s.
DarkMoon: Lots of bands such as Sepultura (old), Morbid Angel, Emperor, Behemoth, Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, Immortal, Dark Throne, Rotting Christ, Slayer, Deicide, etc.
DarkMoon, what inspires you to be creative and challenge yourself as a drummer?
DarkMoon: I get inspired by many male drummers from diverse styles in metal. Since I started to play drums, I’ve admired Dave Lombardo, Pete Sandoval, Nicko McBrain, Gene Hoglan, Iggor Cavalera, Nick Barker, Hellhammer, Steve Asheim, Raymond Herrera, Inferno, Max Kolesne… Honestly, I like to shock people (mostly guys) with my style of drumming, while being a woman who is left-handed playing on a right-handed drum kit. I have much pleasure in developing my own style and trying to get faster each time. I’m an autodidact.
What’s the black metal scene like in Brazil? Are there many venues that book gigs with black metal bands?
Lord Grave War: Our black metal scene has many bands fighting nowadays for recognition, but frankly I listen to Brazilian black metal bands from the ’80s and ’90s. Brazil remains insane towards heavy music! Death metal, thrash metal, heavy etc. It’s a big scene here so there are many fucking cool bands. [Gigs] exist, but that’s a fight at the same time to take part in them. Anyway keeping it with insane passion, fighting always not to let it fade away.
DarkMoon: There are a few extreme concerts every now and then. There are many extreme metal bands coming from the U.S. or Europe to tour in Brazil, and sometimes with support acts, so that helps unsigned bands to show their work to potential fans. Our scene is very competitive, and there are many bands in Brazil. There’s also many who just copy the style of a certain mainstream band, having no creativity to compose. There’s more musicians than just fans, I guess. Everyone wants to start a band, even if there’s no future for this style in Brazil.
You just got a U.S. record deal with Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. How did that happen?
DarkMoon: Back in 2011 I was emailing our press kit to many labels around the world, and among the answers I got, there was a reply from Mike Juliano of Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, asking me to send the physical CD. I sent it, and asked him a month later if it ever arrived. He said, “No, sorry.” And I said, “Would you accept a few samples online?” He was okay with that, but didn’t answer anymore in that year. When our official video [for "Eternal Judgement"] was released in January 2014, I emailed him the YouTube link and asked again about releasing our album. We were almost making a deal with another local label to release the album, when he replied to me asking if we had ever released it. He missed the last email with the YouTube video. Then we got this thing going. I hope we can grow up together and everything will be okay in this new step of our battle.
Lord Grave War: This album has been finished with so much effort from us all. I produced it together with Sebastian Carsin at the Hurricane Studio. There’s a mix of songs from Crucifixion BR roots, having a few songs composed in 2002, and others later. This is an album that shows what we are, focusing on obscure black metal music but at the same time without being afraid of mixing the old-school death and thrash metal from the ’80s and beginning of the ’90s.
DarkMoon: There’s also a final track that is a tribute to Venom, we covered the song “Schizo” from the album Welcome to Hell, and I guess it turned out with a bit of our identity. We started recording the album in 2008 and finished it in 2011. My drum parts were recorded in three days. The rest took a lot of time because of the studio schedule, and Lord Grave War also recorded the bass parts. I guess it’s a bit hard to define our style, ’cause we have a big mix added to our music. Anyway black/death metal would be the style that fits us most.
Do you have any upcoming tours planned? Do you think you’ll get to America anytime soon?
Lord Grave War: We are starting a tour of Brazil in October, passing through a few states such as São Paulo and Minas Gerais. We are very excited to be playing in the land of Sepultura in Belo Horizonte city. The interaction with the crowd is gonna be great, intense energy, keeping the humble spirit and passion. I hope it’s gonna kick ass.
DarkMoon: We would love to be touring in America. I know there’s a huge death/black metal scene in there. This is part of our plan for next year. But I think we will be touring in Europe first because it’s easier, not needing Visas, you know. Anyway we hope to catch the attention of the promoters and festivals up there.
No Child Left Behind, the latest record from guitarist Mitch Roemer’s post Pulling Teeth/Ruiner crusty hardcore behemoth Old Lines, is out tomorrow and we’re streaming the whole damn thing below for our class-cutter readership. Which is okay, apparently, ’cause the press materials here tell me Old Lines uses its music as “a device to speak their mind in a direct, albeit confrontational way, invoking discussion, thought and circle pits.”
So…there you go. Click play and get smart while you get pummeled.
By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listenOn: Monday, October 13th, 2014
Finland’s Ghost Brigade might be the best band you’ve never heard of. True, they’ve been around since 2005 (debut album, Guided by Fire, received rave reviews in 2007), but Jyväskylä-based sextet haven’t toured much and most of their respective catalog has resided on import status here in the US. And true import status means jack in today’s content-everywhere world, but certain conditions must be met—largely marketing and some blind luck—for a band like Ghost Brigade to hit you over the head.
Well, Decibel hopes to aid in Ghost Brigade’s hammer to the face (we were trying to slide in a Cannibal Corpse reference there) with the streaming premiere of new track, “The Knife,” off new album, One With the Storm. A combo of Isis, Sólstafir, and Deftones, the Finns reside in a no-man’s land of heavy, reflective, heavy, and reflective. Or, at least that’s how we at Decibel hear the Northerners.
Season of Mist is much more eloquent: “Finland’s Ghost Brigade haunts the spaces between worlds. Their heavy, mournful music is the sound of dusk; mining the distinctive Finnish sound of sorrow and the vast, heavy drone of the post-metal cosmos. Plaintive vocals sing songs of loss, and cloak both a sonic and emotional weight that resonates deeply.”
OK, it’s Monday morning and likely work is already crushing our collective constitution. Time to cut ourselves back to normality with “The Knife”.
** Ghost Brigade’s new album, One With the Storm, is out November 7th on Season of Mist Records. It’s available for pre-order HERE on vinyl, CD, and collector’s edition boxsets.
Here we go. Let’s just peck it right up. All positive reviews. Hmmm…
HORRENDOUS releases Ecdysis. The title refers to the process of molting, and you know I don’t know ANYTHING about that. Having made some waves in the underground typically makes me more judgmental on a release, and I definitely was, but you know what? I beaking like this. As the name would imply, this is a nod to old-school death metal, more in the Swedish sort of vein, but my god of empty nest, the RIFFS. This is thick and hooky, and the melodies and solos come across as natural, not something wedged in there just for the sake of variation. The vocals are raspy and present, and my peck, the riffs… I just can’t get over the riffs. I know they are touring right now, so do yourself a favor and go get this, go see them, or both. Swedish-style old-school death with melodic solos. I love this. 8 Fucking Pecks.
Need some death? REVOCATION don’t have it on their new one, Deathless; well, yeah they do. It’s heir first with Metal Blade, and their second in two years. One may preening ask what, if anything, new does a band have to say in two years? The answer is plenty. This is not a retreading of last years’ s/t album, although it DEFINITELY sounds like Revo. This is technical death thrash, and the first thing that’s noticed is how it digs in and doesn’t really let up. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t sound like them. They have a bag of tricks, and they visit that bag plenty, but it’s no boring retread. This can be down right hooky at times. A band that’s never been four to the floor, Revocation maintain their aesthetic, yet still make an interesting record that has life and pushes their already diverse envelope in different directions. 8 Fucking Pecks.
OLD LINES release No Child Left Behind on No Sleep , and this is a grinding banger, with just enough crust and D-beat thrown in to keep it interesting. This is certainly a record to show that hardcore can indeed have an edge. A little grind with some punk thrown in. This whole thing has a punk edge. Probably not everyone’s thing, and there’s a looseness here that only can be associated with something like this, but in that looseness lies an intense energy. Keep an eye out for these guys. 7 Fucking Pecks.
Shameless self-promotion: PIG DESTROYER release Mass and Volume on Relapse. Originally recorded during the Phantom Limb sessions, these two tracks are rife with doomy heaviness and amplifier worship. Obviously, I can’t say that it’s great, but it’s great (ESPECIALLY the bass playing). Who knew parrots could suck their own dicks? I won’t rate it, but check it out.
Next week, Magic Bullet Records will force-feed us new bone-scraping sludge from Wormwood, a project dredged from the minds of Doomriders vets Chris Pupecki and Chris Bevilacqua. Born out of a need for yet-unexplored heaviness, Wormwood have retched out 20 minutes of crusty crush that are sure to nod some heads.
Check out third track “I’d Rather Die” here and find out what Pupecki has to say about Wormwood and the new music.
What motivated you to start playing as Wormwood?
Bev and I needed a reason to hang out again after years apart and figured a band would be a solution to that. He’s also a great motivator/pain in the ass, so he definitely helped to get this ball rolling. Also, I wanted to do something darker, heavier and different from Doomriders and stretch out a bit creatively. Pretty much every band I’ve ever been in I wanted it to be heavier than it was. I love what we do in Doomriders but I also wanted to scratch that “heavy as fuck” itch that I’ve always had.
How different does Wormwood feel from your other musical activities?
Right now my only other band is Doomriders. It’s tuned down a bit lower, it’s noisier and has a much more dark, negative vibe than Doomriders. Also, I use fuzz pedals on my guitar and effects on my vocals in Wormwood, where in Doomriders we only use small amounts of that stuff on recordings.
How specific were you about the sound you captured when you recorded these songs? Was it fast and messy, or did you work with certain equipment to achieve an exact sound that you wanted?
It wasn’t a fast process. We recorded all analog at Alex Garcia-Rivera’s Mystic Valley Studio and that tends to be a bit more tedious generally than recording all digital, but also we didn’t spend a ton of time on tones and getting sounds or “the perfect take” so it went a bit quicker that way. We knew pretty much how we wanted it to sound and it was just a matter of a pedal or two and a different approach to musical style and song writing than we were used to.
How comfortable with vocals were you before working on this recording?
Not comfortable at all actually. I only started doing backing vocals for Doomriders in the last couple years. Also, we only recently got a PA in our rehearsal space so I never had a chance to even practice once before recording the Wormwood stuff. So the vocals you hear on the Wormwood recording is pretty much the first time I ever attempted any sort of “lead vocals” in studio or rehearsal space. I think it’s safe to say that we will only improve from here on out as a band.
Wormwood will see worldwide release through Magic Bullet digitally on October 14th, 2014, and on LP – the first pressing on smoke, black and red variations – on October 28th. Additionally, a CD run including a limited woven patch will be released by Patac Records, and a super limited run of cassettes will be released on Negative Fun Records.
Around this time last year, we spoke to Godhunter guitarist/vocalist David Rodgers as he was in the process of putting together the second edition of Tucson, AZ’s Southwest Terrorfest (go here to read all about it). At the time, under the Deciblog’s interrogation hot lamps, Rodgers mentioned that one of the bands on his “booking bucket list” was Neurosis. Well, guess what he went and did? Rodgers managed to score the Bay Area legends at this year’s version of the fest alongside the likes of -(16)-, Pelican, Goatsnake, the Body, the Atlas Moth, Author & Punisher amongst many more all set to slowly drop the citizens of Tucson (and beyond) into a cauldron of bubbling hot tar come October 16, 17, 18 and 19. We got in touch with Rodgers as he balanced busyness and elation to talk about the bigger and better version of this year’s fest.
Tell us about how last year went. Was it a success in your eyes?
I think we did 75-80% [of our goal]. Thursday was really good, Saturday was awesome, Friday was OK, Sunday was not good. Not a lot of people showed up on Sunday and it led us to refining a few things like having fewer bands and making for a little less time for people to actually be there.
Would you say those were two of the bigger lessons you learned? How were they applied to this year?
Those were definitely the two most important items. I think we had too many bands last year and some of them just got lost in the shuffle. Some bands played too early in the day when people were still hungover when people don’t necessarily want to see a band play at 2:30 in the afternoon. I know some places like at MDF, people are out at like 11am or noon all bright-eyed and ready to go, but we’re not there. So, we trimmed that back a little and looked at what did work. It worked really well to bring in bands that don’t regularly come through town. Like Kylesa had never been to Tucson before, so a ton of people came out to see them. With Red Fang, [guitarist] Bryan [Giles] is from here, so they’ve played here a lot, but they’ve never played at a big place like The Rock before and it was the most people I’ve ever seen out for them. So, we figured we’d get really good bands that don’t come through Tucson a lot and narrowed it down to no music before 6:30pm. We’ll let people get through their day, get some dinner or whatever, then start up.
At what point did you start working on this year’s version and in light of what happened on Sunday, was there ever a point you were feeling discouraged about the whole thing?
That would have been all day Sunday and probably for a couple weeks afterwards I didn’t know if I wanted to have anything to do with it again. I’m pretty tough on myself; I’m one of those people where even if I win a race, it’ll be like “I didn’t win the race fast enough.” So, it was hard in the moment to see the successes we had because I was concentrated way too much on Sunday not turning out the way I wanted it to. There were bands that had really good crowds on Sunday, but the crowd kind of ebbed and flowed and nobody really stuck around through the whole day. It was like a bunch of kids showed up to see ACxDC and then half of them left and didn’t come back. Or people were there to see Theories, but it was only death-grind kids and that was the only band they wanted to see that day. I’d say by December, we started talking about it. I had come off of a boil a little bit and the other guys were like, “we did really well for most of it, we just kind of blew it here. So, let’s just fix that and do it again, but better.” So, by January and February we were right back into the thick of it and booking again.
Last year you told me that one of the bands on your “booking bucket list” was Neurosis and you got them for this year? What were the circumstances behind that? Was it a matter of you hammering away at them until they said yes?
No, but here’s kind of how the process went. We moved venues this year; we’re not at The Rock any more. We didn’t have a problem with them; they’re great people, it’s just that we knew that if we wanted to step up the headlining bands a little bigger we couldn’t do it there because it’s a limited venue and there’s no backstage area at all. One of the good things that happened last year was that the people who run The Rialto, which is sort of the main theater downtown where everyone loves to play, got really interested in the fest and I think they were at the Kylesa and Red Fang shows. They approached us and asked us what we thought about bringing the fest downtown. That had always been our intention from the start; to get it to where it was big enough to have it downtown so everyone could walk between venues, hotels, restaurants and bars and it doesn’t become a thing where people have to drive to and park their cars. So, once they got on board, we sat down with them and literally just made up a wish list. They had a couple bands they threw on to the list. They also wanted to get Sleep, so we pursued Sleep and High on Fire, but I think High on Fire is recording an album this month and couldn’t do it, so we kind of have them on the shelf for next year, hopefully. And then I threw out a couple names for the list, which were Goatsnake, which I thought was a more realistic chance, and Neurosis, which was our number one choice. So, as it is, I know Ron Martinez who runs Crawlspace Booking and books for Neurosis now. I’ve done shows for his bands in the past and he knows I’ve been doing this stuff for years. I talked to him and asked him to talk to the guys and see if it was something they would be interested in if the money was right. With Neurosis, it has to be something they’re interested in. You could throw a boatload of money at them, but if they’re opening for Papa Roach or some shit, they’re going to say no. They want it to be something that’s unique and something that’s sort based around them because they’ve reached that status now. So, we talked money, it went really smoothly and quickly and Neurosis was actually the very first band confirmed this year. The good part about that is that once you reach out to the rest of the bands and you say, “by the way, Neurosis is the Saturday headliner” everything really falls into place after that.
With that in mind, and I don’t know if you’ve even thought this far ahead, but does this make it that much more of a challenge for you next year?
It will be a challenge, but we’re not going to try and one-up ourselves every year though. One thing we refined was the mix that we had last year. The Sacred Reich day was all fast, thrash and death metal bands and Sunday was a lot of punk, hardcore and crust stuff. We kind of did away with doing different days and said, “let’s just have a theme and once we get a couple of headliners, we’ll see where that theme is going.” Once we got Neurosis and Goatsnake on board it was looking like it was going to be a ‘slow’ year in that none of the bands playing are blazingly fast. Next year, we’re going to do a fast year. So we already have bands lined up and I’ve talked to a couple people who are interested in it. Neurosis is definitely a legendary band, but luckily there are a lot of bands out there who have that same gravitas as Neurosis and for what it looks like we’ll be doing next year, I think people will be just as into it.
Last year you also talked about possibly and eventually working with the city, like shutting down streets and outdoor stages and stuff. Obviously that’s not happening, but I did notice the Tucscon Weekly did a big profile on you and the fest recently. Are you finding “non-metal” parts of the city getting friendlier with you?
Absolutely. That was how we got in with The Rialto and once we were in with them, the folks at Hotel Congress, which is literally across the street and has been around for hundreds of years – it’s where John Dillinger got caught and it’s always written up as one of America’s best bars and venues – once they saw we were at The Rialto and doing the after shows at The District, they came over to me and said that The District won’t be open next year and that they wanted the after shows. It’s really cool that the downtown set that doesn’t normally pay attention to underground metal have looked at it and see exactly what’s going on. We have an awesome music scene in Tucscon, tons of really good bands and what’s crazy is the way they cross-pollinate. You may have heard of a band called Sex Prisoner that’s on a389; their drummer Gilbert is the guitarist in this completely different super-indie garage band band called Prom Body which have been in Pitchfork and the New York Times. The folks downtown are starting to realise that these guys that play in bands that regularly play there have these other bands that are just as popular, but are from this other heavier genre that they ignored before. For the folks at Club Congress who generally don’t get behind metal shows – I think Red Fang, the Sword and maybe Helmet is the heaviest it’s ever gotten there – to get behind this is a huge step forward. And this year we have people who are flying in from Australia, Germany and South America and making reservations at Hotel Congress and other hotels downtown.
With time are you finding the process of booking and doing this getting smoother and easier as you go along?
It’s definitely gotten easier. You make a few new contacts, talk to this booking agent, meet new people and start putting puzzle pieces together. Some of the things do get a little ridiculous at times. The SWTF email inbox at this point is probably 96% bands that want to play that aren’t from this genre at all. Like we got Neurosis, so I don’t mind if a sludge band or whatever writes asking if there are any spaces left. I get it. But there’s a real funny one right now where I’ve had a 40-50 email exchange with a Russian folk band that, in the beginning, I said “thank you, but no” to. I think they took the ‘thank you’ as a ‘yes, I want to book you.’ They then started writing me about when they should expect their plane tickets and hotel reservations and all that and the whole time I’m writing them back, “Guys, I’m not bringing you to America.” I know there’s a way to do it with visas and whatnot, but I’m not there yet. So, even if they were in the genre that I wanted, I couldn’t do it. It got to the point where they started getting really snippy with me, as if I was backing out on a deal with them. So, it was kind of mean of me, I know, but at that point I introduced them to this Nigerian prince I know that had $40 million that he needed to clear and told them if you send this guy your info, he’ll put money in your account, use that money to buy your plane tickets and we’ll be waiting for you [laughs].
Having said that, in the future are you looking at bringing bands from overseas that you’ll eventually have to do paperwork and visa applications for or don’t you want to deal with the hassle?
Yes. I’d love to book Bolt Thrower and Electric Wizard and if I ever do that, I know I’ll have to figure it out. I don’t know if we’re quite there yet, those are obviously super-expensive bands as well and I have to know I can consistently sell enough to provide for bringing those bands over as well. But we have talked about the future and about how at some point one of us is going to have to learn to do work visas and whatnot. It’s just more paperwork; I’ll work it out.
October 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th
Rialto Theatre | The District Tavern
Thursday night: Kickoff show at The District:
10:00 – 10:30 Conqueror Worm (Tucson)
10:45 – 11:15 Twingiant (Phoenix)
11:30 – 12:15 Oryx (NM)
12:30 – 1:30 -(16)- (CA)
Friday night: Main show at Rialto:
6:30 – 7:00 Godhunter (Tucson)
7:15 – 7:55 Eagle Twin (UT)
8:10 – 9:00 Pelican (IL)
9:15 – 10:15 Goatsnake (CA)
Friday night: After show at The District:
10:30 – 11:00 Spiritual Shepherd (NV)
11:15 – 11:45 TOAD (Phoenix)
12:00 – 12:30 BlackQueen (WA)
12:45 – 1:45 The Atlas Moth (IL)
Saturday night: Main show at Rialto:
6:30 – 7:00 Sorxe (Phoenix)
7:15 – 7:45 Author & Punisher (CA)
8:00 – 8:40 The Body (OR)
8:55 – 10:45 Neurosis (CA)
Saturday night: After show at The District:
10:30 – 11:00 Windmill Of Corpses (Prescott)
11:15 – 11:45 Secrets Of The Sky (CA)
12:00 – 12:30 North (Tucson)
12:45 – 1:45 Primitive Man (CO)
Sunday night: Main show at Rialto:
6:00 – 6:30 Sex Prisoner (Tucson)
6:45 – 7:15 Obliterations (CA)
7:30 – 8:00 Baptists (Canada)
I’ll admit, if there’s ever a lag in me watching the NFL, it’s during October. I usually drop from watching 30 hours of football a week to about 25. I’m an MLB fan, and I love spending hours watching great, hard-nosed baseball from the drunks of summer.
I spent the past week sending annoying Facebook PMs to my friend R.L. Brooks from Kansas City’s Maps for Travelers every time the Royals did something well in one of their games. I met R.L. when Jar’d Loose did a weekend with Maps and Kansas City titans the Casket Lottery a couple years back. I love everyone I meet from Kansas City because they’re usually Coalesce fans. A person can be a serial killer, but if they love Coalesce, I’m cool with them. Anyway, R.L. is a big Royals and Chiefs fan, but let’s not hold it against him. This week, I wanted to pick his brain about the Royals postseason run, and if it’s currently affecting the normally apeshit Chiefs support from K.C. folk.
“For 30 years now, every October brings the switch from baseball to the Chiefs here, and this year it’s a total mash-up. It indeed has taken a lot of attention the Chiefs normally have away. The whole city of K.C. has got baseball fever; it’s almost like football hasn’t even started.”
Maybe that’s a good thing. The Chiefs are an underwhelming 2-3 right now, third place in the AFC West with probably no chance of improving. Besides their opening week upset loss to the Titans, I actually think K.C. has been playing decent ball so far this season. They played a super strong, well–rounded game against New England on Monday night a couple weeks back. I also liked their play against San Francisco this past week. But, unfortunately for them, Frisco also played well, and when push comes to shove, they’re more talented. However, I am deathly worried for them this season. I currently would say that both San Diego and Denver are both top three teams in the NFL, and they’re in K.C.’s division. A sub-.500 record for the Chiefs could bring change this offseason. I asked R.L. his opinion about QB Alex Smith and head coach Andy Reid:
“It feels like things are in flux. I think the jury is still out if these two are gonna become a dynasty like everyone hopes here in K.C. I have mixed feelings on Reid. His overall record tells the story. I’m not sure enough big wins are in our future. I like Alex Smith, but is he in his prime? San Fran might have got the best out of him.”
Smith was drafted number one over all in the 2005 draft. Gauging his pseudo-success in San Fran, I’m not really sure he has ever been in his prime. I’m glad the dude has a second chance in Kansas City, but wins are wins. If he can’t repeat last year’s success, he and Reid will be on the hot seat. He has a tough task ahead of him. Like it or not, quarterbacks are always compared to the other quarterbacks in their division. Good luck with Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers, Mr. Smith.
While I had R.L.’s attention, I wanted to rip on him for no longer being the hardest stadium in the world. When I was learning how to sports bet in the ’90s I was told by several people not to fuck with K.C. at home, ’cause Arrowhead was the hardest stadium to play in. Now it’s that hellhole in Seattle. Has Seattle’s 12th man stadium usurped it?
“K.C. is without a doubt one of the most hardcore stadiums in the league still. [I have] several friends that work for them or go out and beat the shit out of drums to break world records for sound in a stadium. It’s an intense place and fans are merciless almost to a gut-wrenching fault sometimes. Any team that comes to Arrowhead is gonna struggle with crowd noise. I just had a good friend move here from Seattle, and she is the most insane Seahawks fan in the world, and she talks shit on the Chiefs non-stop, but she will admit that Arrowhead is a hellhole for any opposing team to come into.”
Stay hard, K.C. I respect your Royals support. There’s nothing like when your team’s in a pennant race in October. Kinda like your suitcase.
Cleve(land’s coming of)age
Any of you associated with the Cleveland Browns–players, coaches, training staff, fans of, employees of, merch-sellers of, and Bill Cosby–pay close attention to this section.
THIS SUNDAY’S GAME IS THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF THE DECADE FOR YOU.
Why, you ask?
Well, your team is 2-2. You’ve won two games. Against all odds, you’ve won your bye week. You have outstanding momentum after mounting the biggest road comeback in team history last week against the Tennessee Titans. Also, the two games you lost were both by three points or less, instead of your usual million. You may actually have a decent team this year.
Now, here’s the problem: You have to continue playing games. As much as I know you’d like to end the season at .500, you can’t do that without playing many more NFL games.
The Steelers have OWNED you forever. Like seriously owned you. Roethlisberger owns you. He’s 18-1 in his 19 games against you. They don’t even let you eat in Pittsburgh restaurants when you go there. Time to finally put the bane of your existence in their place this weekend.
Why is this game so important?
You’ve lost two division games already without playing the best team in your division, Cincinnati, yet. You cannot go 0-3 in the division before you hit the Cincinnati games. Also, LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE. If you beat Pittsburgh this weekend, you go to 3-2. You then have Oakland, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay all in a row. Seriously, I’m not making this up. You have three teams with a total combined one win all in a row. If you can handle success, the momentum of beating Pittsburgh should propel you into three straight wins over these cupcakes. You’ll wake up on Monday, November 3 a 6-2 football team. Then guess what? America’s favorite weed-smoking wide receiver, Josh Gordon, rejoins your team. He’ll have a chip on his shoulder from not smoking weed for the last few months, and will be ready to blaze joints.
Brian Hoyer: This is your team now. You grew up cheering for the Browns. You saw them get cancelled like Family Guy, and then brought back after everyone cried, like Family Guy. It is your birthright to lead this team out of mediocrity. Johnny Football is not your competition, but please teach him well. He could be the Aaron Rodgers to your Bret Favre.
Lastly, the more you win, the more likely LeBron will come to a game. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?
American Horror Story: New York
I can see it now: Sarah Paulson as Geno Smith. Kathy Bates as Woody Johnson. Angela Bassett as Michael Vick. With Jessica Lange as Rex Ryan, and the weird pinhead girl as Fireman Ed.
I knew the Jets were in trouble this week when I got a text from my friend, Tom Corino of Boston’s Rozamov, at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday saying, “Welp, I guess I got to root for Michael Vick now.” Tom’s the only Jets fan in Boston, by the way. As soon as word of this spreads to the Boston hardcore scene, I’m sure he’ll promptly be killed. Shit, I’ll probably have to fly out for the funeral now…
As bad as the Jets looked last week, you got to give Rex Ryan props for being as loyal to Geno Smith as he has been through his tenure thus far. He’s really Geno’s number-one fan. What a lot of people don’t know is that this week Geno Smith was late for a mandatory team meeting. Now, hardass coaches have been known to bench mofos for such a transgression. Rex Ryan wouldn’t have been faulted for doing such a thing. Former Jets coach Herm Edwards said he would have benched Smith. I know I would have benched him. I can’t stand when unproven players on struggling teams make bonehead mistakes like this. I once coached my cousin’s fifth grade basketball team, so yes I know what it’s like to be a coach.
If I read into this incident, which I do with anything football-related, I think it reveals a bigger issue plaguing the Jets. THEY’RE F’N UNDISCIPLINED. And one thing I’ve realized in years of watching football, undisciplined teams can only beat teams that are more undisciplined then they are. The undisciplined persona of this Jets team reared its head when Muhammad Wilkerson threw punches on Green Bay players right before a fourth quarter they desperately needed him in. They lost that game, and haven’t won since.
Geno’s tardiness gave Ryan a free pass to both try out Michael Vick and simultaneously kick Smith in the ass this past week. Instead, Ryan started Geno, and the Jets proceeded to have the worst offensive game seemingly ever in the history of football. They had 62 total passing yards. For sure the worst first half of football offensive I’ve ever seen. They punted every possession in the first half except for two, one where they lost a fumble, one where Smith threw an interception. Also, they didn’t pass midfield until, get this, the fourth quarter. Now, the Jets did play one of the best teams in football in the San Diego Chargers. San Diego pounces on team’s weaknesses. This is what separates them from a team like the Seattle Seahawks, who get off on keeping inferior teams in games with them for whatever reason (like this week’s Monday Night game against the Skins, which should have been over in the first half). Seattle pulls that crap in the playoffs, they may get blindsided.
Back to the Jets: Michael Vick would provide a spark to this team. Geno, however, will be starting this week against the Denver Broncos (yikes). Sadly, Rex Ryan may be the only coach in football that believes in the poor kid. Once Ryan and the Jets part ways this offseason, Geno becomes a back up, and the Jets will draft their third quarterback in the last five years in the first two rounds, this time with Rex Ryan not calling the shots. Third time’s a charm? Perhaps Jim Harbaugh and Marcus Mariota will join the cast next year, played by Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga, obviously?
Are You There, Jim? It’s Me, God.
The next time you get carried off by a group of your peers, make sure it’s in a casket and not after a lame regular season win against the Detroit Lions team you spent years ruining, you asshole.
Kyle “Don’t Call Me Randy” Orton
Still on the subject of the Bills upsetting the Lions: is it me, or is Kyle Orton seriously the best backup quarterback of all time? I know Favre and Warner and a bunch of Hall of Famers came in once upon a time as backups. But I don’t think anyone projected Purdue’s Kyle Orton to do anything in this league but ride a bench until a first-string quarterback–and possibly a second-string quarterback–get injured. Dude has 36 career wins in the 70 games he’s started in his career, with the last being this past weekend against the Lions. He’s a career backup QB with an over .500 record. Talk about a guy making the most of a weak skill set. Also, he’s from Iowa. Slipknot, anyone?
Need Mushin Muhammad Jersey
Fellow football fans, I wanted to reach out to you about something important that you should never take for granted: If you are lucky enough to have a person on your team that you can gutturally groan their name after a big play they make (i.e., Luke Kuechly, Heath Miller), cherish them with every fiber of your fandom. I miss Mushin Muhammad on the Bears every day. MOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSEEEEEE!
When Revocation‘s David Davidson told me about his band’s upcoming album Chaos of Forms back in 2011, the guitarist/vocalist was pretty excited about using his past experience with horn and big band arrangements to compose a horn section for “The Watchers”. Between that and his focus on jazz while at the Berklee College of Music, it’s no surprise that the genre provides the theme for his playlist. Once you’re done checking out his picks, pick up a copy of Bostonians’ fifth full-length (and first for Metal Blade), Deathless, here.
Pat Martino’s “Just Friends” (from 1967′s El Hombre)
My first real introduction to jazz was as a freshman in high school. My guitar teacher at the school was very ambitious and would bring in transcriptions of full solos to learn that we would have to play in unison. I remember when he brought in “Just Friends” to the classroom, I was very intimidated but determined to not let him down. My fellow classmates and I struggled through the piece, learning it bit by bit, and when the recital finally came we actually played it pretty well for a bunch of teenagers just learning how to swing. This tune will always be special for me because it takes me back to a very inspiring time that pushed my boundaries and opened my ears up to a completely new approach to the guitar.
Pat Metheny’s “Solar” (from 1989′s Question and Answer)
“Question and Answer” is easily my favorite Metheny record and has a total dream team rhythm section featuring Dave Holland playing upright bass and Roy Haynes on drums. Pat’s lines are incredibly fluid on “Solar” and he really goes off as his solo progresses, playing out with a keen sense of melodic sensibility and motivic development. The interaction between Holland and Haynes is also quite remarkable and their mastery of form keeps this uptempo tune flowing and on track.
Liberty Ellman’s “Ophiuchus Butterfly” (from 2006′s Ophiuchus Butterfly)
I got turned on to this record a couple of years ago by a buddy of mine and it’s been in heavy rotation ever since. The title track begins with an off-kilter melody that still maintains a killer groove. The tune then builds as contrapuntal lines between the guitar, saxophones and tuba interact and bounce off each other. As good as the album opener is, every tune on this record has its own personality, with each track maintaining harmonic complexity and interesting melodies. Ellman’s unique compositional style shines throughout the record and is only elevated by the saxophone duo of Mark Shim and Steve Lehman, who each lay down absolutely crushing performances which elevate this album to an even higher plateau.
Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards Trio’s “Ask Me Now” (from 2009′s Reflections)
I’m a total sucker for chord melodies–there’s something about taking a jazz standard and reimagining it in different ways that is so beautiful and intriguing to me. Kurt Rosenwinkel’s rendition of the quintessential Thelonious Monk ballad “Ask Me Now” is played with a level of sophistication that few but Kurt are capable of. His chords are rich and harmonically complex, but he never loses sight of the melody. Kurt has proven himself to be one of the best guitarists in modern jazz and his thoughtful interpretation of this tune is a must listen for fans of classic standards played with pure class.
Anthony Braxton’s “Countdown” (from 2003′s 23 Standards (Quartet))
Anthony Braxton is one of the true geniuses of our time. He’s a forward thinking composer, educator and improviser who’s released over 100 albums since the ’60s. On 23 Standards, Braxton is on fire, playing with a burning intensity that is truly awe inspiring. His performance of the uptempo Coltrane classic “Countdown” builds in ferocity as he blazes through the lightning fast changes. Guitarist Kevin O’Neil also delivers a jaw dropping performance on this track, utilizing eyebrow raising post bop lines and abrasive chords.