Tuesday, December 23, 2008


".....a mind from which darkness, as if an inherent positive quality, poured forth upon all objects of the moral and physical universe, in one unceasing radiation of GLOOM."

- Edgar Allan Poe


Sunday, December 21, 2008

deep down trauma hounds run to corrode

SKINNY PUPPY. Barren loveless world of pure id. Theater and music bleed together to form a hyper-charged Grand Guignol. Strip your senses bare. Carve your politics to ribbon, leaving only tattered nerve endings and viscera.

All of their most important works are still in print (and easy enough to get). So if you don't already have their '85-'92 output then get your ass in gear. Money extremely well spent.

Here are a number of live shows posted on mr. youtube that I've put together as individual playlists. This footage alone makes that site worth its bandwidth.

- Mind: the Perpetual Intercourse Tour in Horst, Netherlands, 10/12/1986
- Head Trauma Tour in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 5/07/1988
- Last Rights Tour in Dallas, U.S.A., 6/26/92
- Mythrus Tour in Manchester, England, 8/15/07

Saturday, December 6, 2008


THE STALIN. One of the most brilliant bands to stomp the face of this dying rock. Here they are performing new year's eve 1981 at the New Years Rock Festival in Asakusa, Tokyo. 1000% total genius. Watch and be amazed. Video in two parts.

1) メシ食わせろ!- Meshi kuwasero!, "Eat your food!"
2) ハエ- Hae, "Fly"
3) 冷蔵庫- Reizouko, "Refrigerator"
4) バキューム- Bakyuumu, "Vacuum"
5) 解剖室- Kaiboushitu, "Autopsy Room"
6) 電動コケシ- Dendou kokeshi, "Electric Dildo"
7) アーチスト- Aachisuto, "Artist"

Go get it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I dress my tears in costumes.....

SHADOW PROJECT. The combined brilliance of Rozz Williams and Eva O., fused with Jill Emery's smooth bass guitar and Paris's keys. Half the songs are written by Eva, half by Rozz. Very important music to me.

Fall through the darkness into death- then open your eyes and reach out into the light.

SHADOW PROJECT: Shadow Project


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On the outside looking the other way

Feeling out of place. Completely isolated. Wishing to die, if only to escape reality.

Director Beth B.'s Stigmata is a film that addresses these topics without compromise. A static camera captures the faces of a small group of individuals as they relate their personal experiences with these feelings. And how it lead them all to that which brings about death within living: heroin. These candid and painful interviews are only inter-cut with brightly lit images, such as a window or travelers on a road. The genius of Beth B.'s direction and cinematic composition is how none of this is exploitative to the subjects or boring for the viewer. Efficient and raw film-making.

Its hard for me to watch this film. I lost a dear friend to heroin. Not a day goes by when I don't think about her.

painting: "Die Toteninsel" ("Isle of the Dead," Basil Version)
by Arnold Böcklin, oil on canvas, 1880.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Turn off the lights. Curl up in the corner. And turn the speakers up as far as they go.


The band formed in the early 80s in New York City, one of the final children born from No Wave's short heyday. Although to pigeon-hole Michael Gira's vision into just one city or "scene" would be a total disservice. SWANS went through several organic stages of development- complete nihilistic crush, to more textured meditations on god and self, to soaring soundscapes of staggering beauty.

This recording compiles material from 1985's GREED Lp and 1986's HOLY MONEY Lp. These songs utilizing the slow, almost physically painful musical base of the early albums while incorporating more complex song structures and a greater range of instrumentation. The addition of Jaboe on backing vocals and keyboard further deepened the resonance of the music. Just listen to the song "BLACKMAIL" for evidence of the power her voice holds.

Lyrically and thematically Gira is interested in the dichotomies of power and helplessness, dominance and submission, love and hate. Not simply setting such elements against each other; rather exposing how they are, truly, one and the same. It all crystallizes, at least for me, on the song "A HANGING".

As fas as I know the songs for both albums were written and recorded around the same time. The progression of one song to another on this compilation enhances the overall effect of the album.

Well over 1/4 of my music collection is SWANS or related. My favorite band.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ran away dark

Urban swamp songs. Decay and sexual abandon turns into frustration. Total rock and roll, (but not?)

After TEEN-AGE JESUS and the JERKS imploded, Lydia Lunch (who we'll be hearing a lot from) formed 8 EYED SPY with ex-members of The Contortions and other No Wave superstars. The band created a unique, almost '50s rock tinged sonic fracture. Lower East side transformed into a backwoods hell-hole.

The band was only active for a short period and didn't put out much material before they dissolved. Maybe only two 7"s at most. This album, Live, was co-released postmortem in 1981 by the excellent ROIR Records label and the Dunceteria club. 8 EYED SPY have long been one of my favorite bands. I was twitching around to this in high school while my so called "friends" were pushing Tori Amos, commercialized "punk", and shitty '70s "prog" rock.

"Lazy In Love"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

tongue on rye

Horror is about transgression. The blurring of boundaries. Or maybe its just about a three-hundred year old monster sucking people's brains out through the back of their necks with his razor sharp forked tongue.

I first saw clips of this little Mexican dandy on USA Network's divine Reel Wild Cinema, a show I sorely miss. I still have my fan club card. Sandra Bernhard hosted clips of Z-grade treats wearing tight leopard print numbers or lime-green pleather. Suffice to say every element of that show made a big impression on my teen-age psyche. El Baron del Terror (or the American release title of The Brainiac, cause, ya know, he eats brains) was one of the stranger flavors introduced.

Note: I tried to set this up as a download so you could have the whole film for your own. Couldn't get it to work, though. You can watch the movie on youtube at least.

now go get that tongue action!

suffer for a world of silence.....

I had been entertaining the idea of starting a blog. And this album is as good a one to start with as any. Its one I listen to all the time. Any time.

BALZAC have become one of the most musically dynamic and prolific bands operating today. But back in the early '90s they were struggling to make a name for themselves in Osaka's punk rock underground. The Last Men On Earth was their first full length album. It was recorded in only a few days and for not much money and released in 1995 by Alchemy Records. It has been out of print for a while and is hard to find. And expensive. Last Men displays a culmination of their early sound, which was strongly influenced by SAMHAIN and early GASTUNK. And yeah, orginal bassist Anti did try his damnedest to look like Jerry Only. However in these songs you can already hear lead singer Hirosuke's unique sensibilities at work. The fusion of pop melodies and hooks with bleak death punk drive. Although most of the songs are named after B-grade horror films, lyrically we are in far different waters:

Psycho in 308

"It's coming down.....
Millions in the black
Lose sight of the road that's ahead
Psycho in 308
Black or white?
Suffer for a world of silence
Is home a world of chaos?
Everybody's lost their own way
Is home a world of sadness?
Everybody's lost their own way
Thousands of tears
Take in your tears"

All the lyrics to this album were first written in Japanese and then translated into English by some Canadian guy in another Osaka hardcore band. The original Japanese has a different nuance to it, but the akward English all over this album has an abstract beauty all its own. BALZAC still play a few of these songs live. I've seen them three times when I've been in Japan and the crowd always goes fucking apeshit when the guys launch into any Last Men material. Yeah, I like this album a lot.

Now go get it