Wednesday, November 30, 2011


what it is: dissection's storm of the light's bane LP
where I found it: the anti-cosmos

For a long time I just assumed that Dissection was another Swedish death metal band trying to be like Entombed. I was wrong. I can't decide what I like most about their Storm of the Light's Bane. It could be the shitty/awesome frozen airbrush-style grim reaper on the cover. It could be the skull stamp on the CD that says “anti-cosmic metal of death”. Maybe it's the commonalities with Mayhem such as murder, suicide, Satan and jail time on the band's resume. More likely it is the overwhelmingly intricate and fast harmony guitars that have a symphonic and dissociative effect and sort of make me feel like I'm floating and getting pounded in the soul at the same time. Sort of like Autopsy, it all sounds kind of straight forward and effortless, but when you try to play any of the parts yourself you realize that these guys are virtuosos hidden behind an ogre's exterior. Despite all of the technicality and well charted composition it really keeps a primitive, driving black energy. How do you do that?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

animal battles

what it is: buddy rich vs. animal
where I found it: the muppets

Following up from yesterday's post (in terms of both children and wild animals), my kid is absolutely obsessed with Buddy Rich, meaning I've had to watch the Buddy Rich vs. Animal drum battle about ten thousand times. Which is maybe only matched by the Buddy Rich vs. Jerry Lewis drum battle. Things could be much worse. I could have a kid who is obsessed with Barney.

Monday, November 28, 2011


what it is: kids
where i found it: my loins

Don't have kids unless you're ready to have some wild animals running around your god damned house.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

birth vs. death

what it is: autopsy's severed survival lp
where i found it: long long ago

Mister Reifert, head asteam, firmly ensconced in the Phil Collins, Don Henley, Levon Helm, drummer-singer tradition

Today is my birthday, but instead of writing about birth I'm going to write about death. Death metal, that is.

There are ten thousand old school death metal albums that have fallen by the wayside. For me, Severed Survival is not one of them. Autopsy is one of the few bands that I feel really had soul, like they were born with the heavies it in their bones. Even though some of the riffs are technically difficult and Chris Reifert's drumming is plenty hard to do, there is a looseness to it that keeps any calculation in the backseat. I prefer Severed Survival to their usually-more-cited Mental Funeral because the vocals sound more naturally tortured (less "I am scary" Cookie Monster-like) and to their later poopoo and peepee obsessed releases Shitfun and Urine Junkies (even if they were calling themselves Abscess by that point, it's all the same to me).

This, along with the first Obituary record, still does it for me and seems crucial and heartfelt and, God forbid, fun to listen to. I recommend buying it. There's a new addition with lots of extras and I'm sure old death metal labels could use some help keeping their utilities on.

Mister Refiert, railroadin' with Mister Schuldinger in the early days.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

modern poetry ii

what it is: (a masterpiece of) modern poetry
where i found it: a confusing and intriguing street poster in harlem

Along the same lines as the other modern poetry post from a few days ago (it's been called an "urban operetta"), but far more extraordinary is R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet serial "drama". You've probably already experienced it, in which case it's time for a reviewing. If you've never seen it please do so at once.

It's easy to write it off as stupid, but the more you watch it, the more it sucks you in. As it evolves, it really exceeds boundaries of definition, taste, humor, musical drama and any other pigeonholes you can think of. At first my wife wanted to murder me because I kept making her watch episode after episode and then she got pulled in too, but then she hated it again, but then she thought it was funny again. And that's kind of how it goes.

I have many thoughts and a rainbow of emotional reactions to this thing, but you should just watch it. All.

Start here

Friday, November 25, 2011

buy nothing day

what it is: today
where i found it: you cannot escape it

I hate crowds. I also have no desire for a flat screen TV. I also can’t afford one, even if it’s on sale for a low, low $1500. I like camping, but not in front of Best Buy. At any rate I’ll hide my laziness and lack of consumer motivation as political conviction, telling you to celebrate Buy Nothing Day.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving

To celebrate Thanksgiving here's some far out music from Turkey:


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

pepper spray art

what it is: pepper spray art
where i found it: all over the media

You've probably seen this picture of the handcuffed protesters in CA getting sprayed in the face with hot sauce by a nice officer of the law. People sure have been fast in using the image in all kinds of creative ways. In fact this link, which presents a fantastic collection, is 4 or 5 days old. I just can't keep up.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

modern poetry

what it is: modern poetry
where i found it: "urban radio"

Apparently the music industry is dead. Everyone I know who runs a record label doesn't anymore. Yet somehow rap is still riding high with no regrets. In a lot of ways it's the most audacious, psychedelic and hormone driven stuff out there, sort of like rock and roll used to be. I've had a few favorite asinine "urban radio" hits over the last few years. Here are a few selections:

This is Why I'm Hot
This one gets award for the best logical ourobouros.

This is why I'm Hot:
I'm Hot Because I'm Fly
You Ain't Because You Not
This is why, this is why I'm hot.

Blame it on the A-a-a-a-a-alcohol, Baby
Speaks for itself

Trying to Catch Me Ridin' Dirty
This one was by an artist with the amazing name of Chameleon-aire (get it, like a cross between a chameleon and a millionaire). I don't know what "riding dirty" means. It's something about cruising in a car all high on cough syrup and getting pulled over.

She Wanna Lick Me Like a Lollipop
Kind of speaks for itself, but it should also be mentioned that it seems kind of amazing that the number one hit of the Summer was blatantly about oral sex.

Also by Lil' Wayne, I'm not sure about the title of this one
I'm a Pill Poppin' Animal
A Syrup Sippin' Nigga
I'm So High You Can't Catch Me with a Fucking Antenna

Birthday Sex
Who the hell writes a song called birthday sex? This song seems like it took about four minutes to come up with. Check it out:

It's your birthday so I know
you want to ride out,
Even if we only go to my house
Sip mo- weezy as we sit upon my couch
Feels good, but I know you want to
cry out

You say you want passion
I think you found it
Get ready for action
Don't be astounded
We switchin' positions
You feel surrounded
Just tell me where you want
your gift, girl

Don't need candles or cake
just need your body to make

Birthday sex
Birthday sex 

[It's the best day of the year, girl]

It feels like, feels like...
lemme hit that...g-spot g-spot

We grindin' wit passion, cuz it's yo birthday
Been at it for hours...I know you thirsty
You kiss me so sweetly...taste just like Hershey's
Just tell me how you want yo gift, girl

First I'm gonna take a dive into the water,
deep until I know I pleased that body (body ah oop)
Or girl without a broom
I might just sweep you off your feet

Or maybe we can float on top my water bed,
you close your eyes as i pry between your legs
We work our way from kitchen stoves, and tables
Girl you know I'm more than able to please, yeah
Say you wanted flowers on the bed (on the bed)
But you got me and hours on the bed
(it's the best day of the year, girl)
(lemme know what it feels like, feels like, when I hit that G-spot, G-spot)

This employs one of my favorite lyrical devices: rhyming a word with the same word, somehow increasingly popular as of late. Could he really not think of anything that rhymes with bed?

In this break up anthem, Beyonce uses the same lyrical device mentioned above:

You must not know 'bout me
You must not know 'bout me
I could have another you in a minute
And in fact he'll be here in a minute

She also begins the song with the lines

To the left, to the left
Everything you own in a box to the left 
In my closet
Let me call you a cab

This seems inordinately well organized and considerate for such a passionate heartbreak moment. I brought this up at rehearsal shortly after the song was released and the drummer in my band had a good point: In the closet to the left? What ever happened to throwing the shit out the window or burning it?"

Monday, November 21, 2011

psychedelic "productivity"

what it is: psychedelic productivity
where i found it: i didn't, it barely exists (other than on Amon Duul records)

I've have never tried Salvia and don't really even know what it is. It's apparently a legal psychedelic, maybe like smoking banana peels or toothpaste coated cigarettes or whatever other kind of shit that junior high school kids come up with to get high. Obviously it's hallucinogenic and causes marked dissociation. This guy likes to smoke it and try to garden, drive or write letters to Congress. Kind of disturbing to watch, but also sort of funny. 

While we're on this topic, HERE's A LINK to an interview with a woman who appears to be a past psychedelic princess who reigned over a grain silo, but then got in over her head and now is an internet guru.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

lightning rod

what it is: jerry reed's guitar playing
where i found it: mr c. griffin of the bronx

Like pretty much every kid growing up in the 80s, I saw Smoky and the Bandit about 50 times. I knew Jerry Reed as the goofball truck driver. I also vaguely remember some song he sang about alligators. Recently Mr. C Griffin of the Bronx pointed out to me that Reed was also a fantastic guitarist, Chet Atkins' favorite actually. Now I can't stop checking him out. Here's a good example. Lightning Rod:

Friday, November 18, 2011

bye bye munchkin

RIP Karl Slover, the trumpet player from the Wizard of Oz Munchkin band.

 Originally from the Czech Republic, here are the final sentences of his obituary. Welcome to life on Earth.

“In those uninformed days his father tried witch doctor treatments to make him grow,” Mr. Fricke said. Young Karl was immersed in heated oil until his skin blistered and then attached to a stretching machine at a hospital, all in an attempt to make him taller. When he was 9, he was sold by his father to a traveling show in Europe, Mr. Fricke said. Mr. Slover was paid $50 a week for “Oz” and told friends that Toto, Judy Garland’s canine co-star, made more money.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

get 'em

what it is: occupy wall street surge
where i found it: right here in nyc

But here's the part that I don't get. When was the last time you met a rich cop? You are the 99%, fuzz. Aim that megaphone the other way.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a family affair

what it is: reverse lip synching (sort of)
where i found it: at work (mishap)

Not long ago I had a music student who wanted to learn the Sly Stone song Family Affair. I went onto youtube and THIS is what I found.

It had me laughing and laughing and laughing, and I figured it was kind of similar to those shreds videos. Months later, through totally different means, I came to find out that this was created by a "band" who has a whole crazy experiential methodology called "the Pure Pleasure Process" for making these kinds of things. Legion of Rock Stars, they're called. Check out this crazy shit.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

exactly how much time do you have on your hands?

what it is: time consuming extra curricular activities
where i found it:  i cant remember

Here are two examples of people that spend large amounts of time exploring things of negligible importance. Oh, wait, I'm a guy who writes a blog every day about meaningless bull crap. 

1) First up is this guy who writes extensive and well researched academic commentary about the facts that appear on the blackboards in the the backgrounds of porn set in academic environments. Geography, game theory, the proper way to draw a square root sign: nothing is off limits. Despite being porn-centric, he goes to lengths to make sure it's safe for work. Unlike the guy who critiques gay porn interior decorating, which is not safe for any environment (and who you'll have to find your own link to).

2) Next, and totally differently, we have a guy (or guys) who have recreated the Bible with Legos in an extremely detail oriented way. It's worth spending some time on this sight to see just how extensive it is. Find Jesus here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

motivational speaking

what it is: ric flair's motivational messages
where i found it: childhood in the 1980s

A few years ago I read Ric Flair's autobiography and learned a few things. The first was that in his day wrestlers toured the country in sedans, only got five days off a year and often wrestled 2-3 matches per day. The second thing I learned was that Ric Flair's other favorite sport was throwing people off of bridges. Whenever they'd be on the way to a new town they would cruise the outskirts looking for those bridges that guys fish off of (I know you've seen them in your town). Ric would hop out of the car, flip one of the fishermen off the bridge and they'd speed away to the wrestling match.

As a kid I always thought his league was much better and more mystical than Hulk Hogan's and I got a weird and sort of frightened/sordid feeling from the speeches he'd deliver before his bouts. I had to dig through a lot of crap on you tube to find the most exemplary below examples.  Ric "Space Mountain" Flair.



Saturday, November 12, 2011

mr president?

what it is: amazingly blatant
where i found it: the newspaper

This guy is a real hero. He goes around groping women. He somehow talks his job into paying them off to shut up. Then he claims he doesn't remember them. When they bug him again he gets his lawyer to publicly say that they better be careful because embarrassing things about their past will be dug up and given to the press. And that it's the press's fault for bringing all this up in the first place. And that he wants to be president. And people go for it. As of yesterday he's at the top of the polls. God Bless America.

If you're a good sport and you want to see how crazy things can get, donate money to him here.

Friday, November 11, 2011


what it is: street numbers
where i found it : around town 

One of my favorite unintentional art forms consists of the way in which people choose to indicate their street addresses. Here are a few recent favorites I've come across:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

korea's image problem v

what it is: korea's image problem v
where i found it: here and there

It's not so widely talked about, but a little research will tell you that Japanese people were fucking horrible bastards in the first half of the last century. What they did to the Koreans while occupying their little land is about on par with what us Americans did to the Injuns. It really made me laugh when I went to a bar in Korea and there was a list of rules posted outside the door, which included "no wild dancing", "no dogs" and "no Japanese people".


Monday, November 7, 2011

korea's image problem iv

what it is: korea's image problem
where i found it: here and there

Like every good hippy, you've probably heard your fair share of Indian music. Chances are you've encountered a little bit of Indonesian gamelan and enjoyed Celtic dancing. But does your international music experience include any sinawi or sanjo?

Obviously, Korean traditional music is a vast territory and I can't hope to give any comprehensive picture of on this little blog. However, I can make small statement such as that Sinawi is some of the most torn, witchy and haunting music I've heard. Apparently the shaman singer does his/her her vocal training standing in a waterfall and screaming until blood comes out of her mouth. Seriously.

I'll put Sanjo up against Indian music any day. Large scale improvisation which refers to a form but has an open and wandering, but intensely focused feel to it. The interplay of the instruments and drum often seems clairvoyant.

Gayagum. Similar to a Japanese koto, strings suspended above a curved board. Also often involves long form improvisation, many times solo. A lot of bendy string magic. The below gayagum video has nice nature pictures, too.

Samulnori ensemble drumming. Shifts in and out of different time signatures like flowing water. Sounds like one guy playing stream of consciousness on a drum set, but it's a circle of folks, usually dancing, each playing a different drum in counterpoint. You can hear them grunting and calling out cues every once in a a while. Can this be through composed? They're not using notation. What kind of sorcery is this?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

korea's image problem iii addendum

what it is: korean rock music mixtape
where i found it: several nice korean acquaintances

I was able to find the Korean psych/pop rock mixtape I mentioned in yesterday's post. You can download the tracks here. (UPDATE: SINCE DELETED BY THE FBI) It's a mixture of Kim Jung Mi, Shin Joong Hyun, San Ul Lim and this strange compilation of "number one college hits" from the 80s and 90s. I never made a track list, so they're all untitled. Enjoy.

Also, I found this Korean "acid rock" radio show, but I can't figure out how to make it play. Is it just a description of an imaginary radio set? There are some good photos/descriptions and some of the music is really good (I've heard it elsewhere). If any readers can figure this one out please comment and let us all in.

bye bye flattus

RIP Flattus Maximus, guitarist for GWAR, found dead on their tour bus.

Friday, November 4, 2011

korea's image problem iii

what it is: korea's image problem iii
where i found it: here and there

I've already discussed all-but-impossible-to-find Korean black metal in another post, but it's worth mentioning again here as it fits right in with our theme. Just to add something new, here's a song by Phya, supposedly a 14 year old kid from Seoul's one man band. Listen to the whole thing. Don't let the keyboard intro make you flee, by the end it gets pretty powerful. In case you're wondering, the Hangul says Pyha.

Aside from the small circle of Korean Black Metal idiots, there is a vast amount of 60s and 70s psych music that came out of the little Peninsula. Still, this has been difficult to explore. There are some web sights (like this one) with lists of vinyl LPs that you will never find. You can score a little bit on file sharing services, but you have to know what to look for. The only way I've heard this stuff is through my Korean friend who picks up some CDs for me when she has time on trips back home. I can highly recommend San Ul Lim, Little Giant and Kim Jung Mi, but they all have 50 year recording histories and some of their stuff sucks. I made a nice mix of a bunch of this stuff, but I don't seem to be able to find it right now. I promise to post it soon. Maybe even some full album rips.

Look at this sad sack woman. Apparently this record is called Donkey.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

korea's image problem ii

what it is: korea's image probelm ii
where i found it: here and there

Despite being thoroughly raped by happy Christianity as of late, Korea has a long Buddhist history that they've managed to keep alive. There are hundreds and hundreds of stunning temples hiding all over the country, not to mention a supposedly more direct lineage to Seon (Zen, as the Japanese say) tradition than Japan. While I see stupid corporate co-opting of Zen iconography all the time, much of the imagery in Korean temples was new to me. I was really happy to find this blog recently, where this guy named Dale seems to spend all of his free time taking pictures of Korean temples. So how many times have you seen the word “Seon” and how many times have you seen the word “Zen”? That's my point.

Here are some of the temple shots I was able to get while there:

A "cloud plate gong". Sounded to reach sky beings.

The Dharma drum. Sounded to reach Earth beings.
Here's an amateur video someone took of the Dave Lombardos of the monastic world going to town on this thing.

huge statue, little people

 Look for the pre-nazi-co-opted symbology. It took me a minute to figure out what was happening when on the ride from the airport i saw a giant glowing swastika in the night.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

korea's image problem

what it is: korea's image problem
where i found it: here and there

Korea has some of the most unique and delicious food on the planet, beautiful temple architecture,
strange and awesome 60s and 70s psych and pop music, haunting and psychotic black metal, one of a kind traditional music/art and a lot of other stuff I don't know about. Thing is, they don't seem to be able to export any of this very well or spread the word to non-Koreans. I've tried, and it's quite difficult to find out more, even when you're curious. Over the next few days I'll post about a few Korean things that I have been able to make some headway with.

I realize that I'm taking a Western-centric view point here, like there's something wrong with you if you don't shower whitey with your cultural secrets. But I'm whitey and I want in on the secrets!

Let's start today with the food. In the US of A, you can usually find a Korean restaurant within a hundred miles of you (meanwhile there's Chinese, Japanese and Thai within ten feet). Different than what most Westerners are used to, but nothing too surprising: some spice, some noodle dishes, some casseroles, some kim chi and a lot of little side dishes. When I actually ate in Korea, however, every meal was like something from a alien gourmet planet. I never knew what I was eating until I asked. It might have been jellyfish tentacles, some incomprehensible transmogrification of rice or booze that tasted like sweet milk. But it was 90% delicious. Usually there are so many side dishes that they're nearly falling off the table, so even if you know what you ordered, strange and unusual things continue appearing throughout the meal.

This blog has some nice photos and decent recipes.
This page has some interesting information about how geography and history have influenced Korean cuisine.
This page discusses how a national crisis was created when the price of cabbage (the main ingredient in kim chi) went up in Korea last year. It is also depressing to read about how people don't have time to make kim chi at home any more because they're working too many hours at the Outback Steak House.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

national failures

what it is: national book award winners
where i found it: various bookstores

In the last year or so I've found myself slogging through a few books that have won the National Book Award. This hasn't been systematic or on purpose, but I now know what to expect when I see the NBA medallion on the cover of a book: get ready for some long winded crap. Each book has incredible writing, breathtaking and impactful passages, and interesting themes, but it seems like these are the books you write when your reputation evolves to the point that the editors no longer have free power with the scissors.

Denis Johnson wrote Jesus' Son, one of the best books of short stories I've ever read. His NBA winning Tree of Smoke is 90% uninteresting garbage interspersed with some fantastic 'Nam craziness.

William Vollman has written God knows how many great books about global travel, whores, train hopping, homelessness, radiation exposure, insects, and electricity. This might not make sense to you unless you've read some of his books, and you should. But as far as his NBA winner Europe Central: Shostakovitch is great, just not nearly so much of him.

Peter Matthiessen's Shadow Country just goes on and on about the same stuff, sort of trying to be like Faulkner with all the differing perspectives and stuff, but lord have mercy. I was, however, shocked and awed by the part where the alligators and flamingos get massacred, and I never thought of Florida as being such a brutal no man's land.

Why did I stick it out with these tomes that should have been 100 pages each, tops? Because the cover said they won the National Book Award and I though great things must be lurking in the latter pages. Lies.