Saturday, April 30, 2011

Silencer, Death Pierce Me...

Death, Pierce Me

            I find myself detached and disinterested from general discussion in Williamsburg/Greenpoint. I have no idea how anyway can justify living in a city with rent two-three times what Las Vegas on account of art and culture, when the only culture it seems to produce is a recycling of indie rock and post-structuralism.  When I lived in Las Vegas I could sit and watch Fox News at the sports bar near my home for hours and it was more stimulating.  I’m keen on the topic of firearms and I have very specific opinions about horror films and metal, in particular black metal.  Such is true of the band Silencer.  
Silencer is a Swedish black metal band started around 1995, that released one album and then split up because the singer (Natteramn) was committed to a mental hospital.  The band’s gimmick is in all the photos of the guy, he has cut-off pigs feet wrapped in cloth around his hands so that he looks like he has hooves.  I have no reason to doubt the rumor about his being committed.  Pig’s feet for hands, screaming on stage about being a demon- that could do it.   They only made on album, Death, Pierce Me- it is an excellent album. I’ve seen this band identified as belonging to the subgenre within a subgenre of suicidal black metal.  Silencer? Silencer is animalistic screaming from a guy wearing pig’s feet on his hands.  Hi-pitch squealing from likely imbalanced vocalist over technically precise hi-speed black metal at its finest.
            Death, Pierce Me is abrasive to the next level of abrasive. It consists of a few very lengthy tracks.  It has moments of melancholic expressivity, for example the pianos on the track “Feeble are You, Sons of Sion”. Did they mean to say “Zion”? Who knows, the guy flopped around screaming with pig’s feet on his hands. I have to say, that whole thing with the pig's feet is truly demented.
            I recently wrote on here about how the band Akitsa belong to the category of “primitive black metal”.  I think I’d take the primitive black metal approach over the suicidal black metal subgenre as represented by Silencer. I like Silencer, but I find them comical.  Silencer is good, but a really amazing black metal band in my opinion. is Akitsa. See, I’m not completely apathetic. I strongly prefer the animalistic screams on an Akitsa album to the animalistic screams on the Silencer album.  

Friday, April 29, 2011


            Williamsburg is incapable of doing much more then produce excremental music.  Panda Bear?  Did you ever that pussy Panda Bear?  In all seriousness, almost as soon as I returned to New York from two years in Las Vegas I was starting to work on leaving it for Philadelphia, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the presence of people who listen to Panda Bear factors strongly into that, albeit New York’s strict gun laws and high rent also figure into that.  In Las Vegas music was bad, but it was “Poker Face” and “Waking up In Vegas” over and over.  There was nothing as horrible as Panda Bear.  Panda Bear more or less sounds like an art student defecating in a studio.  I have no use for it, but I see ads up for his new album all over the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area, which is such an annoyance that it actually hastens me to do what I can to get out of here.  What is a criminal injustice is that at the same time that Panda Bear is getting a fair bit of press, Akitsa, certainly one of the greatest bands I have yet to hear, gets no press. 
Akitsa are from Quebec.  I can’t find an official webpage for them, a Wikipedia article, or an official webpage for them, although I do recall they had a myspace at one point. I found one very odd interview with them for ten years ago.  They are considered part of subgenre within a subgenre of primitive black metal, but at times they sound more like doom metal then black metal. They have been around since the late 90’s.  Quebec has a long tradition of such violent music, going back to Voivod’s masterpiece War and Pain.  There was a rumor for a while that Akitsa were neo-Nazis, but they denied that in the one interview I found with them.  I think they’re one of those bands that uses low fidelity or cassette recording on purpose.  I do not retain enough French knowledge to make out their lyrics at all, but then again, I’d have difficulty understanding them in English, most likely.  They leave so much distortion on their recordings it is unreal.  I don’t know what kind of distortion petals they use specifically, but whatever they are using they turn it all the way up.   In fact they can’t seem to get enough of it, they generate walls and walls of it. They don’t even use drums on all their material.  Such is the case on the title track of this one album I downloaded by them, au CrĂ©puscule de L'espĂ©rance.  They have a bunch of tracks were the vocals do not even sound human.   Akitsa is brutal and aggressive noise.   

Long Live Akitsa!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hollywood Station Review

Hollywood Station By Joseph Wambough

Of late I have been all this and that about Derek Raymond, the fatalistic British crime writer who was once a professional criminal.  He is something else, I’m not going to say he isn’t all of a sudden.  The flip side of that though is Joseph Wambaugh, the American crime writer who was once a policeman. I used to go job hunting and networking at PI conferences, it was actually PIs that recommended him to me.  He’s good.  Interestingly, Wambaugh is almost just as sick and twisted, or at least that Hollywood Station book he did is.  I Was Dora Suarez by Derek Raymond goes into depth of one very homicide case were a hooker with AIDS is hacked to piece by her crazy boyfriend. The opening chapter of Hollywood Station ends with a bloody murder-suicide, one of many brutal plotlines intertwined in the book that follows the operation of police in the LAPD Hollywood Station. You get suicide by cop, child rape, psychotic vets, streetwalkers, Eastern European mafia and the destitute lives of crystal meth addicts. There’s a whole bunch of weird shit he does where those people in Hollywood that dress as movie charcters commit crimes, because they are really drug addict panhandlers.  There is one major plot thread that involves a crystal meth addict couple that steal mail and sell it to the Armenian mobster and his Russian girlfriend that are involved in identity theft and a jewelry heist.  The situation does not end well and along the way we get a portrait of the despair of crystal meth addiction.  Along the way there are a number of gruesome other cases that pop up while the one with the Eastern European mafia and the meth addicts goes on.  Some of them are really fucked up. The one with the little girl getting raped is particularly gross.  He’s even got this homeless guy that the cops don’t want to deal with because he defecates when cops arrest him. 
And of course, there are the meth addicts in there.  The lives of the meth addicts are Farley and Olive are depicted in gruesome detail, they loose teeth, live by theft, and exist in a constant state of danger as a result of their habits. The drug addicts and disturbed people are convincingly destitute.  The cops are mostly relatively normal human beings, but they have their inner demons that they wrestle with.  Wambaugh tries to wrap it up like a cop show with “another day on the job” kind of a happy ending, but by then there’s been so much freaky shit that happens that by the end you can see their really is no going back for his cop characters.  Cops have to deal with some extremely sick individuals and develop their own crisis in the process of dealing with such high stress situations.  I think Wambough understands both sides of that equation well.  I think it works.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Celtic Frost: Into The Pandemonium

Celtic Frost: Into The Pandemonium

            Only a small sliver of culture interests me intensely these days, and it is culture generally understood to be low-brow.  There are a number of horror films I like. There is the British crime writer Derek Raymond who was a criminal and I’m excited to soon be reading Joseph Wambaugh a crime writer who was a cop.  Then there is my whole fascination with metal, especially black metal.
 I’ll tell you an excellent early black metal type band, Celtic Frost baby. There’s of course Voivod, a brilliant band, War and Pain is the shit. There are some other early examples of metal of interest (Sacrilege, Bathory) from the same era of extreme interest.  And there are, of course, the bands that set churches on fire in Norway. 
            Into the Pandemonium by Celtic Frost is really the album. It was released by the Swiss metal band in 1987.  Celtic Frost took a lot of risks on Into The Pandemonium. I never quite got the cover of “Mexican Radio” that opens the album, but even that I’ve sort of gotten used to.  They also took large portions of the lyrics directly from Emily Bronte’s poetry, of all places, and used orchestral elements.  Then there is “One in Their Pride” which uses drum machine technology and samples sound clips of American astronauts landing on the moon.  I’ve seen Tom G. Warrior (bassist and vocalist) on YouTube explain that he sees what they did as not so much pioneering as simply honest in so far as if they liked some form of music, they would put it on the album.  Voivod tended to stay with their little science fiction shtick; the earliest Voivod is more or less a wall of noise fit as an expression.  It fits and makes perfect sense to me.  Celtic Frost is more of an enigma, especially on Into The Pandemonium. I am still marginally more intrigued by what Voivod accomplished at this time (the 80’s), but the two bands are often paired and it is more the same vision then an entirely different one.  It is true neither Voivod nor Celtic Frost members ever set a church on fire, as did some of the people in Norwegian bands starting at this time.  I think it works, I think what they did will take years to fully grasp.  As aggressive as what they did was, it was highly complex. Martin Ain is a fairly unreal guitarist. The technical component is vital. 
            All I have to say to the local week bands in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area of Brooklyn where I have been staying of late, if you make an album on the level of early Voivod, early Celtic Frost or the better Scandinavian black metal bands, I will acknowledge you, but it doesn’t even seem that you even get that kind of music.  I went to college with a guy named Max McDonald, he’s also called himself Max Heel for some reason. His father was the bassist for the 70’s band Foreigner.  People used to call him mod max in college because of his shitty little sixties haircut and mod clothing.  Max McDonald did what a lot of people in my generation did in the 2000’s.  That was move to New York and start some shit band that sounded like Interpol or the Strokes. The thing is his band Lions and Tigers never went anywhere commercially, so Max McDonald has nothing to be smug about. That’s unfortunately the way a lot of rock and roll has gone in recent years, Williamsburg is still full of Max McDonald types. There’s a Mod Max on every corner of Williamsburg.  I can’t stand it that’s why I’m working on moving to Philadelphia.  Certainly such bands lack the technical expertise of early Celtic Frost or early Voivod, and are extremely limp-wristed by comparison. I will admit that I have seen many hipsters wearing Joy Division t-shirts.  I’ll give the hipsters Joy Division. I always liked them. I’ll also admit that Voivod and Celtic Frost have weaker work. Voivod’s Angel Rat and Celtic Frost’s Cold Lake are notoriously bad albums. They’re failed experiments is what they are. That there are hipsters savvy enough to like Joy Division or that Celtic Frost and Voivod had off albums means that much in the end. The Max McDonald types of the world are still completely worthless by contrast.  Extreme metal of course continues on its own as its own thing.  Children of Technology from Italy model themselves strongly after early Voivod and Celtic Frost. It is yet to be seen that they are able to build upon what Voivod and Celtic Frost achieved, but we shall see.  Children of Technology have some reason to exist. They’ve only been around three years they might well prove themselves.  I’m not that optimistic. I don’t think it really matters.  It seems to me like the old bands did just fine.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Whittle-Utter Catastrophe

Some of you may recall my blog on the Wacky World of William Wheaton, which is no longer running. There was a whole bit about a filmmaker named Jonathan Whittle-Utter, whose films I reviewed who wrote in about it: 

Here are the old entrees here. 

This is the second of two very strange e-mails I've got from Whittle-Utter.  

Hi William -

Just read your review of Tale of the Tribe. Does attacking me in public make you hard or what?

I'm tempted to respond to the review - or to the questions about "personal crisis" you raised in your last message, but you would probably just post the letter on the internet and cite it as further evidence of my 'mental instability.'

You're right, there's not much satire in Tale of the Tribe - and from what I know of you, I'm not surprised you hate it. The Fall, on the other hand, was overflowing with satire, all of which apparently went over your head. It doesn't seem like you got even the basic idea behind either film, and I'm not sure why you're torturing yourself by watching them. It's like sitting down to do calculus when you don't know algebra.

It's a thousand times easier to destroy than to create, buddy.

As you can see, by sending cryptic and hostile e-mails to a reviewer, Whittle-Utter makes an excellent case for the state of his own mental stability.  Of course I post anything he sends in on-line, what does he think?  I also keep records of anything he sends for legal purposes, i.e. to take to the police in case he becomes a real stalking type issue. 


Here's a link to a video I did where a sock puppet gives a detailed analysis of his work:
He's involved with the human potential movement. You can look that up if for some strange reason you care.