Friday, February 9, 2018

Poetry - For Lisa; Or Prayers from the Heroin Encrusted Streets of Hartford

What did you see in those houses?

Those desperate pretenders clinging to some half overheard bar tale of suburbia while all around them the seeds of hip-hop kleos bloomed like lotuses beneath the puddles which filled our plungers when nobody had 50¢ for bodega water.

Did the silhouette of a little girl who used to twirl about like we spun our crack stems on the tail end of a hit, but not to make sure the last of the oil ran down into the blackened chore but for no reason whatsoever, stare right through you and the afternoon tinted window with scared and confused eyes?

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry that when you insisted we pull over and beg God for the cessation of that awful torment, I only half echoed your desperate pleas while all the while wholly bent on how much time this diversion put between me and my own elastic-wrapped divinity.

I'm sorry that when I heard that you died, I felt nothing save the mild satisfaction of having one more friend's name to throw upon an altar already sodden with the blood of everyone I ever cared about.

I'm sorry that the God you cried out to chose for his grace the one who joyfully hurled relapse statistics and barely understood French nihilism at every glimmer of sacred truth that cut through our endless fog, while maggots devour the last of the heroin that soaked through your flesh and spirit.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Music Criticism - Top 17 Albums of 2017

17. Fin - Arrows of a Dying Age
16. Priests - Nothing Feels Natural
15. Pallbearer - Heartless
14. Jason Moran - BANGS
13. Craig Finn - We All Want the Same Things
12. Satan's Hallow - Satan's Hallow
11. Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference
10. Death Fortress - Triumph of the Undying
09. Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society - Simultonality
08. Cameron Graves - Planetary Prince
07. Tchornobog – Tchornobog
06. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up
05. Elder - Reflections of a Floating World
04. Black Cilice - Banished from Time
03. Archspire - Relentless Mutation
02. Cleric - Retrocausal
01. Myrkur - Mareridt

(Write-up below)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Music Criticism - Bathory - "Twilight of the Gods"

I am not saying anything revolutionary when I call “Twilight of the Gods” a masterpiece. Within the metal community the album is regarded as a classic, though, oddly enough, it does not seem to hold quite the same status in the broader music world, even when compared with other black/viking/folk* metal classics. Most of the people reading this are probably wondering why I would even bother to write something like this given that everyone who has even a mild interest in metal will encounter this album on nearly every best of list that covers a remotely relevant subgenre. The reason I think such an endeavor is worthwhile is due to an odd paradox I have noted when it comes to metal. Far more than any other scene I am familiar with, the metal community holds its classics in total veneration. People will go to great lengths to present detailed overviews and write ups to subgenres, and compared to most subgenres, there is a far greater emphasis on history in the metal world. However, while the amount of overview oriented material available about metal is truly phenomenal, there is comparatively little in the way of detailed analysis of specific works.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Horror - The Cage

I suppose I should put some kind of explanation here, just in case this does end up making it's way to the outside world. Not that I hold out much hope for that, but at this point there isn't much else for me to do.

I wish I could tell you exactly how I ended up in this awful place. I really do. The last coherent memory I have is driving home at night down Route 81 with my wife Catherine in the passenger seat and my eight year old son Benjamin asleep in the back. After that there is this blur of impressions. Something about a road closure, a vague sense of nervousness, and then boom, I'm in this awful cell.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Horror - That Which Listens from the Shadows

Not every tribe of the first people made their way into the history books. While some of our cousins traded and warred with the white man when he arrived on our shores, some of fell back into the wilderness, far beyond the reach of his colonies. Centuries later, when the sprawl of the big cities pushed too close for comfort, we simply and quietly merged in with the rest of the population. I hear stories that there are still some of us living our native way of life deep within the forests of the northern U.S. and Canada, where the endless timber is still enough to conceal them from even the electric eyes floating in orbit.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Music Criticism - Them, Patti Smith - "Gloria"

The song "Gloria" holds the rare distinction of entering the canon of essential rock songs on two separate occasions. The original version by Them is a stripped-to-the bones torrent of raw sexual passion that paved the way for punk rock, and Patti Smith's version adds layers of depth to the song while maintaining its raw, primal, power.

Like much of the punk music it would influence, Them's "Gloria" is built on three chords, intermixed with a couple of open strums (when the strings of the guitar are struck without any of the frets being pressed), and, like the music of the punk bands that would follow in its footsteps, the song is a showcase for the amount of expressive power that a simplistic chord structure can produce. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Horror - Strange Things Reside in Blackriver Point

I'm guessing none of you wanna read a bunch of bullshit about who I was and what led me to end up in the situation I am about to describe, so I'll keep it to the stuff that matters.

My name's Ted. About a month ago me and the boys went on a camping trip to a place called Blackriver Point up in the Pacific Northwest. Don't bother trying to Google it, you wont find anything, and I'm sure as shit not gonna tell anyone how I heard about the place. All you "here's a video of my visiting this crazy haunted site" types can look elsewhere, cuz this place is the real deal and I won't have the blood of idiots on my hands.