Quick Update

Sorry for the lack of posts the last 2 weeks. I’ve been sick and haven’t been able to do much but lay in bed all day. I should have some new stuff going up starting next week. I have a at least 6 interviews back and ready to go, so once I don’t feel like death, I should be back at it.

Also, my friend Megan Osztrosits (singer from Couch Slut) created a GoFundMe page to try and get some help with some medical bills. Anyone who has been or knows anyone who is in a band knows they usually end up having to work numerous part time job with no insurance as a means to get by in between tours. Megan currently works 2-3 part time jobs just to survive and medical bills are outrageous. So, check it out and if it’s something you feel like helping her out with, you should. Megan is an awesome person and deserves any help you can give. Go HERE to donate. Thanks!

Band Crush Wednesday

couch slut

In the world of metal, most bands try and come across as dangerous and extreme. Then a band comes along that only has hints of metal in their sound and makes everything else seem tame. Couch Slut is one of those bands. A noise rock band that would fit in with the early Am Rep bands, the NYC based band sounds violent and confrontational. The first album, My Life As A Woman, came out last year and garnered well deserved attention. Angular guitar and truly ferocious vocals lead Couch Slut’s sound, like a truly manic Julie Christmas fronting Oxbow at their craziest. My Life As A Woman is highly recommended and easily one of my favorite albums released in the last decade. Everything about it is uncomfortable and confrontational. Songs like “Split Urethra Castle” and “Rape Kit” aren’t meant to be nice. The album has a truly nihilistic feel.


Check out Couch Slut at:
Couch Slut Facebook
My Life As A Woman on Bandcamp

Album Review: Jennifer Christensen/Twilight Fauna Split

JCTF

One of my favorite things about split albums is when one half is an artist I’m already familiar with and the other half is an artist I’ve never heard of. This is one of those splits. I’m very familiar with Twilight Fauna and his take on atmospheric black metal. But I wasn’t prepared for the beautiful doominess of Jennifer Christensen (Disemballerina).

Starting with the Jennifer Christensen side, you get serenaded by a morose strings only (cello and I believe violin) track entitled ‘Sickness Unto Death’. At six and a half minutes, the track is stunning and works as a perfect set up for the Twilight Fauna track.

The Twilight Fauna side is in complete contrast to Jennifer Christensen’s track. ‘Crossing The Threshold’ is a raw and abrasive black metal track that us totally devoid of drums. The harshness of the guitar almost creates a wall of noise (think Sinn O))) but way harsher) that becomes more and more glorious with each listen. It’s one of the best tracks I’ve heard from Paul Ravenwood and makes me really excited for what he has coming up in the future.

This split works so well because it is two like-minded artists working in two different styles that should clash, but end up creating something worthwhile and beautiful. Also, I’m not totally sure about the lyrics on the Twilight Fauna track, but based on the music and the track titles, this seven inch almost sounds like it’s a recording of the process of dying. ‘Sickness Unto Death’ is the sadness of knowing you or someone you love is on death’s door while ‘Crossing The Threshold’ comes off as the physical pain of dying and crossing into the unknown.

I’m really hoping these two work together again in the future, but in a more collaborative effort. I would love to hear what they would come up with writing music together.

The Jennifer Christensen/Twlight Fauna split comes out December 15th, and can be pre-ordered with or without a patch from Red River Family Records.
Pre-Order With Patch
Pre-Order without Patch

Check out Twlight Fauna and Jennifer Christensen at:
Twilight Fauna Bandcamp
Jennifer Christensen Bandcamp

“Stop, stop! He’s already dead.”

homietheclown3

I realize the last thing the internet needs is another list no one asked for. But I’m making one (hopefully each month) anyway. The idea is to take an artist or band I love and reduce their output to 10 songs I could listen to forever. Sort of a desert island sort of thing. For the first list, I chose an artist that has been with me since around age 7, Mike Patton. His work has shaped a lot of my musical tastes, from rock to metal to jazz to noise. Loving his work introduced me to John Zorn and Masami Akita, two other artists that will probably get the list treatment down the line. Patton’s vocals range from soulful crooning to full on manic, wordless noises. I think I did a fair enough job getting a good mix of his styles on this list. And by all means, if you like any of this stuff, his work is pretty easy to find around the internet, so check it out. I can’t back his work enough.

Mike-Patton-Berlin-1996

10. Matador by Faith No More

Matador is the newest song on this list, coming from this years excellent Faith No More comeback album, Sol Invictus. For me, it’s the best song on the album and comes off as a spiritual successor to the only other Faith No More song that will be on this list, Just A Man. It gave me chills the first time I heard it, especially the vocals towards the end. How this wasn’t the swansong for Sol Invictus is beyond me. It’s a perfect closer.

9. Six Pack by Rollins Band/Mike Patton

Coming from the Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs To Benefit The West Memphis Three compilation, this song is basically Mike Patton with the Mother Superior version of Rollins Band covering an absolutely perfect Black Flag song. The final scream of “six paaaaaaaack!” at the end of this version is throat shedding. Plus, knowing Mike Patton doesn’t drink makes the irony of this cover and the “Fuck it, make it a Zima” line even better.

8. Where Is The Line? Fantomas Remix

Bjork is probably my favorite voice ever. Her music means a lot to me. When I heard she was going to be doing an album comprised of only vocals, I was excited. Then I found out Mike Patton would be on two songs. This was a dream collaboration for me. Medulla is a fantastic album, and the original version of Where Is The Line? is amazing. But this Fantomas remix is incredible. It takes the beauty of the original and basically turns it into a Fantomas cover. This remix doesn’t seem to show up a lot on lists of Patton’s discography for some reason, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

7. Archie & Veronica by Lovage

From Songs To Make Love To Your Old Lady By, Archie & Veronica is the closing track to this Dan The Automator led group. Featuring Patton and Jennifer Charles from Elysian Fields, the song is very lowkey and downtempo trip hop. Most of the album, Jennifer Charles is the highlight, but I love Mike Patton’s work on this song. It was a pretty close decision between this and their cover of Berlin’s ‘Sex (I’m A)’, but Patton’s vocals on this put it over the top.

6. Litany IV by Moonchild Trio

Moonchild Trio is a group put together and overseen by John Zorn. From the album Six Litanies For Heliogabalus and featuring Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and Joey Baron, their work is truly avant-garde. Litany IV is Mike Patton at some of his most manic since his Adult Themes For Voice album. I’m not too sure about the background of this track or how he decides on what sounds to make. There is a live video of Patton performing this online that looks like he has some form of sheet music for this. Regardless, this is insane and brilliant and slightly terrifying.

5. Julia by Carla Hassett

Carla Hassett and Mike Patton do wonders to this personal and subdued version of the Beatles song, ‘Julia’. Singing in both Spanish and English, the song is sparse and beautiful. Patton is there mostly to provide back up vocals and sounds great next to Carla Hassett.

4. Catch My Heart by Bohren & Der Club Of Gore

I only have cursory knowledge of Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. I’ve always liked what I’ve heard, but haven’t fully dived in to their discography. Catch My Heart. a cover of the heavy metal band Warlock, is the first for Bohren & Der Club Of Gore to feature vocals. Patton was a prefect choice for this song. His crooning fits perfectly over Bohren & Der Club Of Gore’s ambient jazz sound. This cover and the number one song on this list have both made me tear up or openly weep while listening to them.

3. Merry Go Bye Bye by Mr. Bungle

Disco Volante is a beast of an album. It’s still one of the strangest things I’ve ever heard. And I dearly love it. Merry Go Bye Bye is the closing track (minus a hidden noise track) and features everything that makes Mr. Bungle great. Poppy, 50’s style sounds smashed together with noise and even some death metal. The middle part of this song is incredibly weird and wonderful, and the vocals towards the end when it all slows down is great. Disco Volante should pretty much always be listened to as a whole album to truly get an idea of how brilliant it is. The fact that it still sounds as weird and relevant 2 decades later is a testament to how genius Mr. Bungle were.

2. Just A Man by Faith No More

Just A Man is easily my favorite song from one of my top 5 favorite bands of all time. Most people point to Angel Dust as Faith No More’s best album, but for me, King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime is their best. Closing out the album, Just A Man features some of Mike Patton’s best vocal work with Faith No More. His soaring vocals backed with a choir for the last half of the song is beautiful. It’s hard for me to put into words what this song means to me. It simultaneously makes me happy while making me want to cry at the same time. This song definitely ranks in my top 10 songs of all time. Maybe top five.

And number 1. Ballad Of A Thin Man by The Jamie Saft Trio

Bob Dylan is my favorite artist of all time. His songs, especially during the 60’s are timeless. Ballad Of A Thin Man, a poetic and hate fueled track gets a jazzy treatment from the incredible Jame Saft Trio. Mike Patton captures the essence of the original while adding his own original interpretation to a song that has probably been covered hundreds of times. His vocals have an anger, contempt, and sadness to them that fits the song perfectly. I’ve always wondered if Dylan has ever heard this and what his reaction would be. I could listen to this song all the time and never tire of it. Everything from Patton’s performance to the laid back jazz drums and gorgeous piano playing make this my favorite thing Mike Patton has ever been apart of.

Honorable Mention
I wanted to put Delirium Cordia by Fantomas on this list, but felt like it was unfair to pick an hour plus long song. Delirium Cordia is a terrifying listen full of the sounds of surgery and fills me with dread. We’re Not Alone by Peeping Tom and Dub Trio is another one that just barely got cut off. And I couldn’t figure out a song out of Mike Patton’s work with Eyvind Kang to pick because they’re all beautiful and should be heard as whole. John Zorn’s Elegy features Patton on all of the tracks and it’s another great album that should be heard as a whole.

Eye On Springfield With Diego Fernandez of Eye Of Horus

eye on springfield

Diego Fernandez emailing me about his band and an interview request was awesome for 2 reasons. #1- he is the first person to reach out to me since starting this. More rad metal people should do that. and #2- his band, Eye Of Horus rules. I’ve sort of ignored a lot of death metal in the last couple years unless it was from bands I had already been listening to forever. Checking out Eye Of Horus completely renewed my spark to check out more from the newer breed of death metal bands in the world today. You should also check them out in the links following this interview if you’re a fan of melodic death metal. I highly recommend them.

What is your history with The Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
Like most people, I started watching over the shoulder of my parents, then when I was old enough, I would watch them on my own. I remember the first time I saw the show because it was also the first time I heard ‘ass’ being said on TV. Obviously hearing that at such a young age is what set me off into being a death metal musician!
Do you have a favorite character, or one you relate to more than the rest?
I really identify with Groundskeeper Willie because even though I’m not an angry Scotsman, I fucking swear like one.
What are your favorite episodes?
The clam chowder episode (The Boy Who Knew Too Much). I just love with way Freddy Quimby gets angry about it, Chowdaaah!
Who is your favorite guest star?
Anyone but Bono!
Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
Devin Townsend would make a hilarious Simpsons guest star, or better yet, they go into the Ziltoid universe. Homer battling the Poozer would be a sight to behold.
What character would you be most excited to find out was a fan of your band?
Itchy and Scratchy because then we could have them in our videos and we’d have the most brutal videos of all time.
Do you still watch the new episodes of the show? If not, do you remember why you stopped watching?
I stopped watching because it’s not on Netflix and I’m too broke to afford cable.
How would you like to see the series end? Any ideas on where you would like to see the family end up?
They grow up happily and the kids visit Homer and Marge with kids of their own. Later, there is a nuclear war, but they were able to survive by hiding in vault 101. Suddenly Homer leaves the vault so Bart goes on a search to find him in the wasteland, using Duff can lid removers as currency.

diego

Check out Eye Of Horus at:
Facebook
Twitter
Bandcamp

Band Crush Wednesday

old thunder

Old Thunder is the brainchild of Dustin Grooms. Conceptualized in late 2012/early 2013, Old Thunder plays a form of doom metal with Appalachian influences with lyrics focusing on loss and suffering. Playing all the instruments himself, Dustin has released one full length, Slings & Arrows, and a split with Twilight Fauna entitled Bloodlines. Both are excellent and worth your time. One of my favorite aspects of Old Thunder is how Dustin uses outside influences to make his doom metal sound unique. Case in point, the very early 90’s clean vocals on the Slings & Arrows track ‘June, 2, 1910.’ You can pick up both Old Thunder releases on CD/Digital (Slings & Arrows) and cassette/digital (Bloodlines). There is also a space rock style instrumental EP entitled Sonata Tenebrae released under the Old Thunder banner, but isn’t a true Old Thunder album. It’s still worth your time.

Check out Old Thunder at:
Old Thunder on Twitter
Old Thunder on Facebook
Old Thunder on Bandcamp

Smartline

Smartline

The Simpsons: Dead Homer Society

Dead Homer Society is a blog all about the classic years of The Simpsons. Featuring daily quotes and a weekly round up of all things Simpsons from that week, the blog is a fun and excellent way to keep up with what is happening with Springfield’s favorite family. Check it out at Dead Homer Society!

The Metal: Steel For Brains

SFB

Steel For Brains is the the metal site created by Jonathan K. Dick. Almost anyone who has started writing about metal within the last couple years has probably been influenced by Jonathan’s writing/interviews/podcast in some form. He’s incredibly witty and has a very unique style that makes his site unlike any other. At the end of the year, Steel For Brains will stop cease with new posts as Jonathan is pursuing other interests. It will be a sad day as Jonathan has put up some of the best interviews ever. His interviews are a who’s who of the metal world. Highly recommend the Mike Patton, False, Runhild Gammelsæter, and Dominick Fernow interviews from the last year. Check out Steel For Brains HERE!

Also, over the last four months, the metal community raised over $20,000 for Jonathan and his daughter Hannah, who suffers from ciliary dyskinesia, an incurable lung disorder. Basically, Hannah will have to undergo daily breathing treatments for the rest of her life. Not a cheap thing. The metal community came together, thanks to Kim Kelly for starting the GoFundMe page and getting the word out, and helped knock a sizable sum off of the debt Jonathan will/has occurred. Now that the GoFundMe has reached it’s goal and ended, if you would like to help out in anyway, Jonathan has requested donations go to The PCD Foundation.