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Friday, January 13, 2006

Music Minute

I've always liked it when a heavy band mixed in reggae influences. I never really got into ska, even though I had a friend in high school who loved it so much he published a ska zine, but I did like 311 and can even stomach some of Dub War's stuff. Benji from Dub War (no relation to the dog or the dude from Good Charlotte) first caught my ear on Soulfly's first record, but kept it with his new band Skindred. The reggae influences in Skindred are obvious, but it's still heavy. In a band like Nonpoint, the influence is more subtle but just as predominant. Check out the vocals on their song, Bullet With a Name.

Speaking of Nonpoint, I had a chance to see them at Ozzfest 2001, but they were on the second stage and played early so I missed them. You can read my review of that show here.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Strange But True

In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Chuck Norris could use to kill you, including the room itself.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Subject-Verb Agreement

You know, back in the day Korn was pretty cool. And I'm talking back in the day, before they put out Follow the Leader and got all popular with the goth hip-hop kids. This was 95, 96 maybe, post grunge, where bands like Presidents of the United States of America and the Offspring were big. Then comes this song with these bagpipes and a really raw sound from a band named Korn. The singer sounded like a creepy child molester who didn't sing so much as mumble, and then to top it off, he starts screaming knick-knack-paddy-wack. The whole record was fresh, not just in subject matter and tone, but in execution. They arguably added something new to the world of metal, a new sound which would be imitated in the whole nu-metal movement.

But something happened along the way. They got famous. They were on MTV. This band, whose home used to be dingy concert halls full of sweaty hairy people in black shirts, now got the red carpet treatment at awards shows. The rawness which distinguished them became an almost theatrical silliness. Jonathan Davis grew a silly mustache and had HR Giger design his mic stand. Someone, and whoever it was should be slapped, convinced the dude he could sing. Not just yell and whine like a madman, but sing. Yikes.

Check out their latest hit, Twisted Transistor. It has a drum track that sounds totally canned. If that's really David Silveria playing, I feel bad for him. He sounds like a drum machine. And the whole song, isn't it very Mansonesque. I mean, if you really didn't know your music, you might even mistake this for one of Marylin Manson's David Bowie-wanna-be glam numbers. The thing that gets me though is the chorus, "Because the music do." Huh? I think we have a little subject-verb disagreement here.

Now Korn is a shadow of themselves. Maybe they matured. Maybe they just got rich and weird. But whatever they had is now gone. Now it's all radio hits and strip club jams. Sad.

World's Longest Song

Maybe you heard about the world's longest song. That's nothing.

Justacoolcat did them one better:

What I don't get is the first part of the song (a year and a half) was silence.
?? Why not just say the first part of the song was a million years and be done with it. You'd have the longest song.

Somebody call Guiness. Justacoolcat broke the record.

Super Bowl Picks

It's early yet, but the Super Bowl picture is becoming more clear with each playoff game. Here's my picks for the big game:

The Super Bowl I'd Like to See: Broncos-Seahawks. As far as I know, the Seahawks have never played in a Super Bowl, much less in a division title game. Mike Holgren, of course, has seen the Big Game and has been dutifully transforming Seattle into a championship-caliber team. They already have the NFL MVP in Shaun Alexander, so a Super Bowl ring would be fitting. Of course, the Broncos would win, orange-crushing their storybook season.

The Super Bowl I Think We'll See: Colts-Seahawks. I'm picking the Seahawks again because frankly they seem to be the best team in the NFC. The Bears have a stingy defense, but a lackluster offense. The Skins and the Giants are better than average teams, but nothing thrilling. Carolina may have a shot, but I don't think any of them can outmaneuver the Seahawks. In the AFC, of course, this has been Indy's year.

Okay, maybe not so much the last few weeks, but the Colts have proven to be the elite team of 05. They remained undefeated a dozen games into the season, racked up huge numbers and lots of points, and scared the beejesus out of nearly every opponent they faced. The tragic death of Tony Dungy's may rally the team around their coach, much like the Broncos rallied around John Elway in the twilight years of the late 90s.

Plus, I'd like to see Indy take their year and get it out of their system. It has been Indy and Indy alone which has shut the Broncos down the last few years and they remain our most formidable post-season opponent. So I say, win the Super Bowl already, dissolve like all Super Bowl teams must, then get the hell out of the way.

Wal-Mart Racists

Did you hear that Wal-Mart is racist? Oh yeah, big time. They had the gall to recommend films about prominent black Americans to anyone seeking the "Planet of the Apes" DVD. The Wal-Mart hating blogosphere has gone apeshit over this non-issue. It's obviously a technical snafu, more notable for its apparent uselessness than its cultural insensitivity.

For my part, when I first saw this story it took me a minute to figure out what the brouhaha was about. The racist undertones are far from obvious, especially if you are not racist yourself. First you have to be aware that racists use certain derogatory epithets that equate black people with monkeys, then you have to expand that awareness so that the mere mention of apes and black people in the same context becomes derogatory. This is heightened awareness? Please.

It's politically correct pussy-footing. I think this is just one more peg for Wal-Mart haters to hang their hats on.

(Post Script: It would have been interesting to see what Wal-Mart recommended for other films. Would there still be such righteous indignation if a movie like White Men Can't Jump was recommended to fans of Malcolm X?)