30 August, 2012

A narrow fellow smokin' grass.

Sup, mangy supplicants?
School's bustin' my balls, breakin' my back and tearin' me a new asshole. And it's only the second week! UT OH!
Wish I could blog to y'all about all my classes and profs and how cool they all are, but I gotta read. Gotta read the first section, Autumn, of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye for my Women As Writers class, and I gotta read Chapter 2 "Early Governance and The Constitutional Framework" of the textbook, Living Democracy, for my American Government class. If I got time I'm gonna start drafting my essay on Joan Didion, but one thing I really shouldn't be doing right neeyow is blogging. So, so so sorry, suckers.
In other Dutch news, I submitted a short piece to Cosmopolitan's Embarrassing Stories section. We'll see if they have the balls to publish it.
And if you're still starving for some DDP writing, then head over to CVLT NATION and check out my review of the new Eagle Twin. Unless you feel like you already envy my life too much.
In the meantime . . .
Zero at the bone,

28 August, 2012

Shit to Remember.

Thursday, August 30th @ Howlers: Lurking Corpses & Abysme.

Friday, August 31st @ Roboto: Dead In The Dirt, Heartless, Hounds Of Hate & Rabid Pigs.
Saturday, September 8th in Philly: Pallbearer, Samothrace & Royal Thunder.

Sunday, September 9th @ Brillo: Me and Myzak playin' some Metal!

Monday, September 10th @ Roboto: False, Bellow, Complete Failure, Egality & Wrought Iron.

Friday, September 17th @ The Moose: Lightning Bolt, Hex Machine, Microwaves & Casual Male.

Sunday, October 14th @ Altar Bar: Converge, Torche & Kvelertak.

Friday,  November 9th @ Altar Bar: Deicide.

Tuesday, November 13th @ Altar Bar: Earth & Eagle Twin.

Shit to Heed.

New Converge song!


From MGAD.

21 August, 2012

Friends across America!


Cloudkicker's Fade

[Instrumental progmetal from one dude who lives in Ohio and gives all his tunes away for free.]


Eagle Twin's The Feather Tipped the Serpent's Scale

[Ridonkulously heavy doom fucking metal by two guys who love them some Ted Hughes.]


Swans' The Seer 

1 & 2

[Just cuz it's a double disc doesn't mean you gotta listen to the whole in one sesh.]


Ash Borer's Cold of Ages

[Misanthropic USBM with a familiar outlook.]


Julia Holter's Ekstasis

[Total babe releases what's probably the best record of the year.]


18 August, 2012

Summer Jamz Vol. 4

All That 
by David Foster Wallace
(From a back issue of the New Yorker I found at the CCAC library, possibly also an excerpt from The Pale King.)

Once when I was a little boy I received as a gift a toy cement mixer. It was made of wood except for its wheels—axles—which, as I remember, were thin metal rods. I’m ninety per cent sure it was a Christmas gift. I liked it the same way a boy that age likes toy dump trucks, ambulances, tractor-trailers, and whatnot. There are little boys who like trains and little boys who like vehicles—I liked the latter.
It was (“it” meaning the cement mixer) the same overlarge miniature as many other toy vehicles—about the size of a breadbox. It weighed three or four pounds. It was a simple toy—no batteries. It had a colored rope, with a yellow handle, and you held the handle and walked pulling the cement mixer behind you—rather like a wagon, although it was nowhere near the size of a wagon. For Christmas, I’m positive it was. It was when I was the age where you can, as they say, “hear voices” without worrying that something is wrong with you. I “heard voices” all the time as a small child. I was either five or six, I believe. (I’m not very good with numbers.)

I liked the cement mixer and played with it as much as or more than I played with the other toy vehicles I owned. At some point, several weeks or months after Christmas, however, my biological parents led me to believe that it was a magic and/or highly unusual cement mixer. Probably my mother told me this in a moment of adult boredom or whimsy, and then my father came home from work and joined in, also in a whimsical way. The magic—which my mother likely reported to me from her vantage on our living room’s sofa, while watching me pull the cement mixer around the room by its rope, idly asking me if I was aware that it had magical properties, no doubt making sport of me in the bored half-cruel way that adults sometimes do with small children, playfully telling them things that they pass off to themselves as “tall tales” or “childlike inventions,” unaware of the impact those tales may have (since magic is a serious reality for small children), though, conversely, if my parents believed that the cement mixer’s magic was real, I do not understand why they waited weeks or months before telling me of it. They were a delightful but often impenetrable puzzle to me; I no more knew their minds and motives than a pencil knows what it is being used for. Now I have lost the thread. The “magic” was that, unbeknown to me, as I happily pulled the cement mixer behind me, the mixer’s main cylinder or drum—the thing that, in a real cement mixer, mixes the cement; I do not know the actual word for it—rotated, went around and around on its horizontal axis, just as the drum on a real cement mixer does. It did this, my mother said, only when the mixer was being pulled by me and only, she stressed, when I wasn’t looking. She insisted on this part, and my father later backed her up: the magic was not just that the drum of a solid wood object without batteries rotated but that it did so only when unobserved, stopping whenever observed. If, while pulling, I turned to look, my parents sombrely maintained, the drum magically ceased its rotation. How was this? I never, even for a moment, doubted what they’d told me. This is why it is that adults and even parents can, unwittingly, be cruel: they cannot imagine doubt’s complete absence. They have forgotten.

See the World Given to a One Love Entity


The point was that months were henceforward spent by me trying to devise ways to catch the drum rotating. Evidence bore out what they had told me: turning my head obviously and unsubtly around always stopped the rotation of the drum. I also tried sudden whirls. I tried having someone else pull the cement mixer. I tried incremental turns of the head while pulling (“incremental” meaning turning my head at roughly the rate of a clock’s minute hand). I tried peering through a keyhole as someone else pulled the cement mixer. Even turning my head at the rate of the hour hand. I never doubted—it didn’t occur to me. The magic was that the mixer seemed always to know. I tried mirrors—first pulling the cement mixer straight toward a mirror, then through rooms that had mirrors at the periphery of my vision, then past mirrors hidden such that there was little chance that the cement mixer could even “know” that there was a mirror in the room. My strategies became very involved. I was in kindergarten and home half the day. The seriousness with which I tried must have caused my parents no little anguish of conscience. My father had not yet even received tenure; we were barely middle class, and lived in a rented house whose carpets were old and thin—the mixer made a noise as I pulled it. I begged my mother to take photographs as I pulled the mixer, staring with fraudulent intensity straight ahead. I placed a piece of masking tape on the drum and reasoned that if the tape appeared in one photo and not in the other this would provide proof of the drum’s rotation. (Video cameras had not yet been invented.)

During Talk Time, before bed, my father sometimes told me stories of his own childhood adventures. He, an intellectual, had been, according to his stories, the sort of child who set traps for the Tooth Fairy (pyramids of tin cans at the door and windows of his room, string tied from his finger to the tooth below his pillow so that he would wake when the Fairy tried to take the tooth) and other “mythical” figures of childhood, such as Santa Claus. (Talk Time meant fifteen minutes of direct conversation—not stories or songs—with a parent as I lay tucked into bed. Four nights per week Talk Time was with my mother and three nights with my father. They were very organized about it.) I was, at this age, unfamiliar with Matthew 4:7, and my father, a devout atheist, was in no way alluding to Matthew 4:7 or using the tales of his fruitless childhood traps as parables or advice against my trying to “test” or “defeat” the magic of the cement mixer. In retrospect, I believe that my father was charmed by my attempts to “trap” the mixer’s drum rotating because he saw them as evidence that I was a chip off the block of ad-hoc intellectual mania for empirical verification. In fact, nothing could have been farther from the truth. As an adult, I realize that the reason I spent so much time trying to “catch” the drum rotating was that I wanted to verify that I could not. If I had ever been successful in outsmarting the magic, I would have been crushed. I know this now. My father’s tales of snares for the Easter Bunny or strings for the Tooth Fairy often made me feel sad, and when I cried over them sometimes my parents guiltily believed that I was crying over my frustration at not being able to catch sight of the rotating drum. I’m positive that this caused them anguish. In fact, I was crying with sadness, imagining how devastated my father would have felt as a child had he been successful in trapping the Tooth Fairy. I was not, at the time, aware that this was why the Talk Time stories made me sad. What I remember feeling was an incredible temptation to ask my father a question as he delightedly described these traps, and at the same time a huge and consuming but amorphous and nameless fear that prevented my asking the question. The conflict between the temptation and my inability to ask the question (owing to a fear of ever seeing pain on my father’s pink, cheerful, placid face) caused me to weep with an intensity that must have caused my parents—who saw me as an eccentric and delicate child—no little guilt over their “cruel” invention of the cement mixer’s magic. Under various pretexts, they bought me an exceptional number of toys and games in the months following that Christmas, trying to distract me from what they saw as a traumatic obsession with the toy cement mixer and its “magic.”

The toy cement mixer is the origin of the religious feeling that has informed most of my adult life. The question, which I (sadly) never did ask, was what my father proposed to do with the Tooth Fairy if he were ever successful in catching it. Possibly, though, another cause for the sadness was that I realized, on some level, that my parents, when they watched me trying to devise schemes for observing the drum’s rotation, were wholly wrong about what they were seeing—that the world they saw and suffered over was wholly different from the childhood world in which I existed. I wept for them far more than any of the three of us knew at the time. 

I, of course, never “caught” the drum of the cement mixer rotating. (The chassis and cab of the cement mixer were painted the intense orange of real public-works vehicles; the drum was painted in alternating stripes of the orange and a deep green, and I often envisioned the hypnotic swirl of the stripes as the drum rotated unobserved by me. I should have included this fact earlier, I realize.) I pulled the cement mixer around so much that my mother, after giving up on trying guiltily to distract me with other toys, banished me to the basement with the cement mixer so that its wheels would not wear further grooves in the living-room carpet. I never found a way to observe the drum’s rotation without stopping that rotation. It never once occurred to me that my parents might have been putting me on. Nor did it ever bother me that the striped drum itself was glued or nailed to the orange chassis of the cement mixer and could not be rotated (or even budged) by hand. Such is the power of the word “magic.” The same power accounts for why the “voices” I heard as a child never worried me or caused me to fear that something was wrong with me. And, in fact, the free rotation of an unpowered and securely fastened drum was not the “magic” that drove me. The magic was the way it knew to stop the instant I tried to see it. The magic was how it could not, not ever, be trapped or outsmarted. Though my obsession with the toy cement mixer had ended by the next Christmas, I have never forgotten it, or the feeling in my chest and midsection whenever yet another, even more involved attempt to trap the toy’s magic met with failure—a mix of crushing disappointment and ecstatic reverence. This was the year, at five or six, that I learned the meaning of “reverence,” which, as I understand it, is the natural attitude to take toward magical, unverifiable phenomena, the same way that “respect” and “obedience” describe the attitude one takes toward observable physical phenomena, such as gravity or money.

Among the qualities that made my parents see me as eccentric and mysterious was religion, for, without any prompting or even understanding, I was a religious child—meaning I was interested in religion and filled with feelings and concerns that we use the word “religious” to describe. (I’m not putting any of this well. I am not and never have been an intellectual. I am not articulate, and the subjects that I am trying to describe and discuss are beyond my abilities. I am trying, however, the best I can, and will go back over this as carefully as possible when I am finished, and will make changes and corrections whenever I can see a way to make what I’m discussing clearer or more interesting without fabricating anything.) My parents were intellectuals and devout atheists, but they were tolerant and largehearted, and when I began to ask “religious” questions and to express interest in “religious” themes they freely allowed me to seek out religiously oriented people with whom I could discuss these themes, and even to attend church services and Mass with the families of other children from school and our neighborhood who were religious. If you consider the usual meaning of “atheism,” which, as I understand it, is a kind of anti-religious religion, which worships reason, skepticism, intellect, empirical proof, human autonomy, and self-determination, my parents’ open tolerance of my religious interests and my regular attendance of services with the family next door (by this time my father had tenure, and we had our own home in a middle-class neighborhood with a highly rated school system) was exceptional—the sort of nonjudgmental, respectful attitude that religion itself (as I see it) tries to promulgate in its followers. 

None of this occurred to me at the time; nor did the connection between my feelings for the “magic” toy cement mixer and, later, my interest in and reverence for the “magic” of religion become apparent to me until years later, when I was in the second year of seminary, during my first adult crisis of faith. The fact that the most powerful and significant connections in our lives are (at the time) invisible to us seems to me a compelling argument for religious reverence rather than skeptical empiricism as a response to life’s meaning. It is difficult to stay on what feels like the “track” of this discussion in an orderly, logical way. Some of the adults my parents allowed me to approach with religious questions and issues included teachers, a religion professor whom my father knew and respected from an interdepartmental university committee they had served on together, and the father and mother of the family next door, who were both deacons (a type of √©lite lay minister) in the church two blocks from our home. I will forgo a description of the issues, questions, and themes that my parents allowed me to discuss with these religious adults; they were entirely unexceptional and universal and average, the sorts of questions that everyone eventually confronts in his own time and his own individual way.

My surfeit of religious interest also had to do with the frequency and tenor of the “voices” I regularly heard as a child (meaning up until roughly age thirteen, as I recall it). The major reason that I was never frightened about the voices or worried about what “hearing voices” indicated about my possible mental health involved the fact that the childhood “voices” (there were two of them, each distinct in timbre and personality) never spoke of anything that wasn’t good, happy, and reassuring. I will mention these voices only in passing, because they are both not directly vital to this and also very hard to describe or convey adequately to anyone else. I should emphasize that, although “make-believe” and “invisible friends” are customary parts of childhood, these voices were—or appeared to me as—entirely real and autonomous phenomena, unlike the voices of any “real” adults in my experience, and with manners of speech and accent that nothing in my childhood experience had exposed me to or prepared me in any way to “make up” or combine from outside sources. (I realized just now that another reason that I do not propose to discuss these childhood “voices” at length is that I tend to fall into attempts to argue that the voices were “real,” when in fact it is a matter of indifference to me whether they were truly “real” or not or whether any other person can be forced to admit that they were not “hallucinations” or “fantasies.” Indeed, one of the voices’ favorite topics consisted in their assuring me that it was of no importance whether I believed they were “real” or simply parts of myself, since—as one of the voices in particular liked to stress—there was nothing in the whole world as “real” as I was. I should concede that in some ways I regarded—or “counted on”—the voices as another set of parents (meaning, I think, that I loved them and trusted them and yet respected or “revered” them: in short, I was not their equal), and yet also as fellow-children: meaning that I had no doubt that they and I lived in the very same world and that they “understood” me in a way that biological adults were incapable of.) (Probably one reason that I fall automatically into the urge to “argue for” the voices’ “reality” is that my “real” parents, though they were wholly tolerant of my believing in the voices, obviously viewed them as the same sort of “invisible friend” fantasies I mentioned above.)

At any rate, the best analogy for the experience of hearing these childhood “voices” of mine is that it was like going around with your own private masseur, who spent all his time giving you back—and shoulder—rubs (which my biological mother also used to do whenever I was sick in bed, using rubbing alcohol and baby powder and also changing the pillowcases, so that they were clean and cool; the experience of the voices was analogous to the feeling of turning a pillow over to the cool side). Sometimes the experience of the voices was ecstatic, sometimes so much so that it was almost too intense for me—as when you first bite into an apple or a confection that tastes so delicious and causes such a flood of oral juices that there is a moment of intense pain in your mouth and glands—particularly in the late afternoons of spring and summer, when the sunlight on sunny days achieved moments of immanence and became the color of beaten gold and was itself (the light, as if it were taste) so delicious that it was almost too much to stand, and I would lie on the pile of large pillows in our living room and roll back and forth in an agony of delight and tell my mother, who always read on the couch, that I felt so good and full and ecstatic that I could hardly bear it, and I remember her pursing her lips, trying not to laugh, and saying in the driest possible voice that she found it hard to feel too much sympathy or concern for this problem and was confident that I could survive this level of ecstasy, and that I probably didn’t need to be rushed to the emergency room, and at such moments my love and affection for my mother’s dry humor and love became, stacked atop the original ecstasy, so intense that I almost had to stifle a scream of pleasure as I rolled ecstatically between the pillows and the books on the floor. I do not have any real idea what my mother—an exceptional, truly lovable woman—made of having a child who sometimes suffered actual fits of ecstasy; and I do not know whether she herself had them. Nevertheless, the experience of the real but unobservable and unexplainable “voices” and the ecstatic feelings they often aroused doubtless contributed to my reverence for magic and my faith that magic not only permeated the everyday world but did so in a way that was thoroughly benign and altruistic and wished me well. I was never the sort of child who believed in “monsters under the bed” or vampires, or who needed a night-light in his bedroom; on the contrary, my father (who clearly “enjoyed” me and my eccentricities) once laughingly told my mother that he thought I might suffer from a type of benign psychosis called “antiparanoia,” in which I seemed to believe that I was the object of an intricate universal conspiracy to make me so happy I could hardly stand it.

The specific instance traceable as the origin of my religious impulse after my interest in the cement mixer passed (to my parents’ great relief) involved a nineteen-fifties war movie that my father and I watched together on television one Sunday afternoon with the curtains drawn to prevent the sunlight from making it hard to see the screen of our black-and-white television. Watching television together was one of my father’s and my favorite and most frequent activities (my mother disliked television), and usually took place on the couch, with my father, who read during the commercials, sitting at one end and me lying down, with my head on a pillow on my father’s knees. (One of my strongest sensory memories of childhood is the feel of my father’s knees against my head and the joking way he sometimes rested his book on my head when the commercial interruption occurred.) The movie in question’s subject was the First World War and it starred an actor who was much lauded for his roles in war movies. At this point my memory diverges sharply from my father’s, as evidenced by a disturbing conversation we had during my second year at seminary. My father apparently remembers that the film’s hero, a beloved lieutenant, dies when he throws himself on an enemy grenade that has been lobbed into his platoon’s trench (“platoon” meaning a small military grouping of infantrymen with close ties from being constant comrades in arms). According to my father, a platoon is usually commanded by a lieutenant. Whereas I remember clearly that the hero, played by an actor who was noted for his portrayal of conflict and trauma, suffers private anguish over the moral question of killing in combat and the whole religious conundrum of a “just war” and “justified killing,” and finally undergoes a total psychological breakdown when his own comrade successfully lobs a grenade into a crowded enemy trench and leaps screaming (the hero does, fairly early in the film) into the enemy’s trench and falls on the grenade and dies saving the enemy platoon, and that much of the rest of the film (albeit constantly interrupted by commercials when I saw it) depicts the hero’s platoon struggling to interpret the action of their formerly beloved lieutenant, with many of them bitterly denouncing him as a traitor, many others holding that battle fatigue and a traumatic letter from “Stateside” received earlier in the film exculpated his act as a kind of temporary insanity, and only one shy, idealistic recruit (played by an actor I have never seen in another movie of that era) secretly believing that the lieutenant’s act of dying for the enemy was actually heroic and deserved to be recorded and dramatized for posterity (the shy, anonymous recruit is the narrator, in “voice-overs” at the film’s beginning and end), and I never forgot the movie (whose title both my father and I missed because we didn’t turn on the television until after the movie had begun, which is not the same as “forgetting” the title, which my father jokingly claims is what we both did) or the impact of the lieutenant’s act, which I, too (like the shy, idealistic narrator), regarded as not only “heroic” but also beautiful in a way that was almost too intense to bear, especially as I lay across my father’s knees. 

17 August, 2012

Summer Jamz Vol. 3(?)

The past couple days I haven't felt as cool as I know I really am.

Melvins' Houdini

15 August, 2012

Some're Gemz, All're Jamz (Vol. Mickey's Baby)

MICKEY'S BABY Soundtrack

1. "Going Blind" by KISS
But then she saw it. An impossible sight rose up before her like that horrid mount glimpsed by Dante’s Ulysses before the sea swallowed him up along with his ship and loyal skeleton crew. The house had a way of weaving itself into the surroundings. Hiding in the shadows of accepted reality. Waiting until you’re ready. She stopped dead in her tracks. Her head reclined and her eyes gradually wider and wider as they scaled the Throne’s facade.

2. "Lost In Confusion" by Graveyard 
A police siren wails by. Above the bed behind comingling stacks of books, Glenn Danzig is doomed to scream from a rocky bluff for the rest of his days. Chest like a minotaur and forever expanded. Forever muted. Outside a lawnmower roars and spits gravel at an elderly white couple riding a tandem bike. Dark reign will soon descend upon the city. The dehydrated masses will congregate at the bars and the streets will flood with purged effluvium. For now the sun burns red and giant through a prismatic haze like plastic wrap’s been stretched over the whole city.

3. "Embodiment" by Carcass
The piss had felt totally normal. Maybe a little long but all pain was familiar pain. Trickled and splashed into the water below as if she were just ordinary peeing. But when she stood up to flush. Mickey jumped back. The bowl was filled with dark blood, thick like creosote. She bolted from the bathroom as if it had been the toilet’s doing and could not return to flush until some time and much freaking out later.

4. "In the Blood" by Metal Church
In the likeness of the great god Pan. Pusher Throne was once a brothel. Believe it or not. Though I’m clueless how the architect had the foresight to depict such an apropos scene. The Throne’s first real owner was a widow. A cousin of Usher’s I believe. She moved in a little while after Usher’s disappearance. She would hire stray nymphs to satisfy the all steelworkers and miners, a now extinct breed of satyrs that once populated this city in vast herds. She ran her business for many years with very little interference from the law. There was an understanding I suppose: Madame Salinas and her girls provided the community with a necessary service. I can remember looking up at those windows and seeing the hyacinth-patterned curtains and just dying to know what was going on behind them.

5. "Death Is Your Saviour" by Kreator
Why it was a gift from Bacchus himself! Legend has it that many many years ago Bacchus was looking for a way down to Hades. And he came upon a very great grandfather of mine and the god asked ol’ Grandpa if he knew the way. Don’t expect me to tell you how he knew but he did. So Bacchus promised then to let my ancestor sodomize him upon his return from the underworld. But alas. Many days and then many seasons and eventually hundreds of years passed before Bacchus returned. Though he had only been a few hours beneath this mortal plane. After making good his promise to my grandfather by doing it himself with a branch he cut from a dogwood, Bacchus set out to find me – we were summering in Italy at the time – to give me this bottle of wine as a gesture of his gratitude.
6. "Stairs - Uncertain Journey" by Christian Death
Black Poetess.
I call upon you now.

7. "I Let Love In" by Nick Cave, performed by Chelsea Wolfe
Flung across the room by that fucking ubiquitous guttercrust with the Fear tattoo on the right side of his mohawk. Both women fall just short of the loveseat where Blake still sits on the arm kicking those moshing and singing along to the words “KILL YOURSELF TO BE FREE!” Kris’s back and all the spikes on her battlevest slams into Mickey’s face and pins her skull sideways against the floor. Kris is laughing. Mickey is laughing, too, but also choking on the smell of Kris’ armpits. She can see only the red wax creeping towards her. Illumined by the flame. Flooding her vision in red fire. 

8. "A Sun That Never Sets" by Neurosis
The showerhead drips. A rottenness begrimes the air. Hot black-bagged refuse crowds the sidewalks in steaming piles ruptured in purulence. Sappho stands in the corner of the bedroom where dread Apollo never shines. Gaze eternally transfixed. Peering down into the wine-dark aphotic Aegean below her toes. Through the suffused window comes the laughter of the Mexican landscapers. They start their up mowers and commence the weekly ritual of giving shredded offerings to the solstice. Kick up clouds of dust and fling rocks and bottle capsinto the street. The city has been under drought watch since March.

9. "Black Orchid" by Sun City Girls
CC stays in the kitchen, opens the window, turns on the stove-fan, lights a cigarette. She touches the wound her neck and her fingertips come away bloody. Demian hadn’t noticed what day it was. Not that he would’ve said anything anyway, but there’s usually a marked change in him on this day. They’d been so close. Closer than any other time. Yet she lost that one, too. The doctors said it wasn’t her fault. Demian agreed with them. But he blamed her.
10. "Lost Sun Dance" by Spirit Caravan
The waitress jumps out of her way. All cringe in unison as Mickey’s stomach slams into the steel cross-handle. Still holding the knife she trips out the doorway and runs straight out into Penn. Cars slam to a screeching honking halt. An old black man leans out of the window of his grey Civic and asks Mickey if she’s alright. Calls her Miss. Mickey growls: “Rape me Satan! Rape me! Rape me you fucking rapist!” and hurls the knife straight at him. The man quickly ducks back inside his car as the knife sails overhead. The pain in her stomach explodes and drops Mickey to her knees. Small rocks cleave into her kneecaps. She grabs bulging middle. Punches it. People gasp. She retches and claws at her neck like she’s choking. Her eyes are on the point of popping and turning her face into a fountain of blood. Her jaw unhinges. Strings of viscous spit dangle from her mouth. She looses a deep hollow belch like thunder before the storm. The smell of sulfur fills the air. A man at the bus stop on the other side of the street is shooting a video with his phone of Mickey on her knees in the middle of the road. Those drivers who can see simply stare. Unaware of the incessant honking behind them.

11. "Cemetery Gates" by Pantera
By dint of a serpentine path through the manifold tombstones they climbed moon-lit knolls and cut course across fields of dewy grass where monuments to time’s end loomed overhead and the fastness of ruination thickened beneath. Stone angels wept behind their stone hands for the long forgotten. They had to climb over a toppled obelisk. The black stone in shivers at the fracture. Rent asunder by some supernal rage. Ren listened to Mickey’s stories about her grandparents’ haunted farmhouse, ever wary of the surrounding stillness. Thousands of lives paraphrased and etched into stone. Others long ago eroded to anonymity. 

12. "Strain II" by Rhinocervs 
They drank beers and passed a cheap spirit back and forth. Mickey smoked spliffs. Ren took an occasional drag. They talked about the kind of stuff that any burgeoning young couple talks about while they’re trying to stave off those waxing crepuscular urges. 
13. "Reveries" by Arctic Flowers
Mickey tasted like chicken noodle soup in her mouth. Her knees were bloody and shined with bits of broken glass.

14. "Bring Me Home" by Torche
The prophecy’s are come true, CC. His return is imminent. Ren, be a doll and follow me up with the tea? 

15. "Grissecon" by Thou
Borne on a litter of smog through the crowded and merciless way back to her Throne. Whence she will be interred only to rise again: Queen of Pain. With closed eyes she anticipates the coming sensations: biting off the tip of her tongue; slamming her face off the concrete; the palms of her hands and her knees to be excoriated by the gravelly sidewalk; her body opening in red mouths to receive the filth of this earth. 

16. "Let's Go Swimming" by Arthur Russell
She curls into a ball around her stomach. Steam pours from her red and blistered mouth and she’s softly weeping.

17. "Over Dark Water" by Mount Eerie
Before stepping into the swirling Aegean she looks back and sees Ren and Demian bent over her still body. Trying desperately to get her attention. She sees CC come upstairs and stop dead in her tracks at the scene.

14 August, 2012

1986 Vol. 4

Hung out with some old friends and new creeps last night. Dutch Pearce: beatus martyr of chill parties. Didn't go to Exhumed and Goatwhore because it was at the 31st St. Pub. Still teetotaling.Still giggin' it up at Whole Foods and toot-toot-tutoring over at the community college. Start back at classes on Monday. Fuck. Summer went by quick.

Arctic Flowers on Thursday @ Roboto, then a secret show later at The Button. And I guess I'm supposed to know where that is.
Lady Beast on Friday @ Gooski's?
Pall Bearer, Samothrace and Royal Thunder on Sept. 8th in Philly.

Then, for any ugly and unworthy supplicants in the Pittsburgh area: Me and Mike Myzak are djing a Metal night @ Brillobox on Sunday, Sept. 9th around 9pm. We're aware that Brillobox is one of the least Metal places on the planet, - I mean, Liturgy played there - but me and Mike are looking to change that. Hell, we're kinda banking on it. No one's gonna complain when we play "I Won't Dance" as opposed to "Horus/Aggressor" or like "Full of Hell" instead of "Revel in Flesh." Actually, we'll probably play all four of them cuz we're gonna have like 4 hours. So come by, drink a beer for me, bring me a water and rock out to lots of post-Ozzy Sabbath and as much My Chemical Romance as I can get in there. Probably play "Seekers of the Truth" too.

False on Monday, Sept. 10th @ Roboto. Hope Zach got my request off slip. Def. don't wanna miss False.

Man, why didn't I go to Goatwhore and Exhumed last night? Oh yeah, cuz it was the fucking 31st St. Pub.

Exumer's Possessed By Fire

Just try it!

ng on
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09 August, 2012

1986 Vol. 1

Here will be an ongoing series of records released in the year 1986. I was only a year old when these records came out, but now I'm 27 and I've got a blog and the day off work.

 Messiah's Hymn to Abramelin

06 August, 2012

Eddie Is Watching You

(Found on a sidewalk near my apartment)

03 August, 2012


HERE's my CVLT Nation debut.

Unlike other metal bloggers you might read on CVLT Nation, I won't be reposting anything from the Dower. The Dower simply does not allow that. It demands more of me. Plus the shit I fling at this wall would more than likely never stick over at CVLT Nation's wall. So get ready cuz between The Dower and CVLT Nation y'all are about to get DP'd by DDP himself.

And all you lousy sycophantic supplicants will be pleased to know that you can actually give me some succor over there at CVLT Nation, cuz unlike the Dower, they permit comments.

Now piss off!

02 August, 2012

Severed forever . . .

Fuck you. And you. Fuck both of you. Fuck you. And fuck you, too. </mean invocation>

Cuz this here Systems Overload is Integrity's best album and I got the foot tattoo to prove it. Integrity put out some stuff during the gap between the first two full lengths, like a song here, an EP there, but they mostly just toured, got fucked up, stole pizzas, got into fights, rolled up to hardcore shows in like Boston with JUDGE blasting and climbing out from that mephitic van with long hair and denim vests, and all this in the early 90s, like they were fucking Slayer.

About seven years ago now I worked at this glass block window factory with Joe Sanderson of Unreal City. He glued in those vents you see at the center of some glass block windows. Usually the ones that get installed above washers and dryers. I remember Joe jamming some pretty good tunes on a CD player he kept right at his work station. Like essential thrash and punk and lots and lots of Integrity. My job was to gather up various types and sizes of glass block windows and arrange them on a pallet according to their weight and/or size, as such that their integrity was never compromised. That job's the reason I have no feeling in either of my big toes. Not sure what happened but two different times I picked up a big window that I probably should've asked for helping getting up, and then *SNAP* my big toe is suddenly disconnected from my awareness. Like I said, that happened two different times. Fool me twice, well that's easy, I'm Dutch Pearce. But working there was always stressful cuz I just got so many orders a day every day that I had to practically run around to fill em all. And sometimes shit got kinda scary. It was like every order was a puzzle. There were all these different windows of varying sizes and I had to figure out how to get 'em on the one pallet.  If I didn't solve the puzzle quickly enough, or if - fuck I hate it even thinking about - but if I solved the puzzle incorrectly and shit got FUBAR'd and windows broke, then I'd get this look, this fucking look that could crumble a holy blackstone from my boss Karob, who was the first Muslim guy I ever knew. He and his friend since childhood, Muki, who did that same thing as me but had his own orders to fill, were from the former Kosovo. Karob's dad and uncle worked there, too. The dad glued the windows together. The uncle just kind of did odd-end jobs. But when I'd fuck up, Korab would like walk over to me and he'd say my name, bending it in his mouth in a weird way, so that it came out like "Die-ved" and the hairs on my neck would stand up.

Eventually I got used to running the pallet jack and I learned where all the different types of glass blocks windows and the individual glass blocks themselves were around the warehouse, and I, too, started jamming private tunes. I wore a Shai Hulud hoodie with hood pulled up cuz it was winter by the time I got good at that job. Mostly I jammed American Nightmare and Integrity. Lotta Wu-Tang. This was 2006. I would not discover Black Metal for another year.  But me and Joe would eat our lunches together out on the loading dock. Ehede - not to be confused with Elhede, the Kenyan girl I tutor, but Ehede, or Heady as I called him, was a former soccer player who also worked in the factory as kind of perennial temp. cuz of his chronic absenteeism. Apparently he played for his country's Olympics team if I'm to take his word, which country I never understood when he told me. Ehede was also Muslim. He was the only guy, out of the five Muslims working there, who fasted for RamItDown. Heady would sit out there, too, on an orange vinyl chair that had only its two missing its two back legs and he'd talk at us for five minutes or so about nothing in particular and then he'd fall asleep with a hand down his shorts. He wore shorts all year. And his stubby muscular legs remained very tan and they were also quite hirsute. Over sandwiches we'd made ourselves, sandwiches made with very little care: pragmatic things that tasted just as pathetic as they looked, built for consumption alone, without the caring touch of another. Very sad things., And, me and Joe S., we'd just talk that whole time, often with our mouths full to bursting, about Integrity. About Dwid. About the Melnicks. About The Inmates. About how Dwid almost started a ALL OUT WAR between NYC and Cleveland. Mostly he talked, and I listened, asked questions when I wanted to know more about something. And he always had an earnest answer. Dude could and should teach a college course on Integrity. At least early 90s hardcore. I'd take the class. And I'd be a know-it-all suck-up in it just like I am in all my other classes. 'Cept I think maybe Joe hates me cuz I kinda bailed on that job. Whatever. I was a young punk kid.

So you see the difference between Those Who Fear Tomorrow and Systems Overload is not so much profound as it is fucking perfect. This is the album that every metal/punk/hardcore band tries to make after their successful debut record. To even make it to a second album is a height most bands never see.( I know you can like automatically think of a zillion bands that have like sixty fucking records, but shut up. Think about that number vs. how many fucking bands in the world there are?) And Integrity's sophomore record is better than their hype-encrusted debut. In Dwid's own words: "Harder they fall."

Systems Overload is Integrity's stoner metal record, if medals be put aside. It grooves with the benighted recklessness of Amebix's Monolith, but sways with a savage meanness of Far Beyond Driven, which came out only a year prior to SO. 'Cept "No One," which is d-beat > 1 minute song about that one drummer that ended up rejoining the band anyway. Think his name's Fuzzy? Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure my "friend" Rob is Integrity these days.


Some of the Dower's favorite lyrics ever right neyaw.

So if you ain't have this already, you're not a poseur. You just need to get ready to have your life kinda seriously changed. And if you do this have already, I bet you ain't got it in 320. Yep, this is a Dower exclusive, ripped by the Unruly One himself.

C'mon, bloggers. Enough of this nu-jack Wholly Terrible shit. Let's see some more Integrity and some Ringworm and definitely some more Catharsis up in this mother fucker!

(Tracks 14 - 22 is all bonus, from like demos and shit.)

Son of Wino,

* "You're moshing" is a B9 board exclusive meme, used without permission.