Monday, April 26, 2004

When Two Scenes Collide (Part One) melodic death metal and metalcore:

Ok..I've done all my housework and I have some other stuff to do tomorrow..I feel like I have allergies with this post nasal drip stuff.

In case you've been hiding underneath a rock, the new mainstream trend in heavy music, replacing NU METAL,  IS metalcore/ emo core.

Not that I'm trendy or care much at all. This is metalcore in laymens terms: METAL (third rate, rehashed, thrash riffs, ala At The Gates, Iron Maiden melodic solos, screaming "melodic" vocals, and Slayer's (stolen thrash riffs) + HARDCORE (breakdowns, hardcore DIY ethic, karate style pit moshing/ dancing complete with spin kicks, windmills, backflips,air  punches and acrobatics, hardcore "fashion" asthetic, with an ocassional straight edge political bend)= METALCORE..

Add "thugcore" attitude (insert silly wanna be gangsta NYHC "crew" ) here _____, lol.

Also add silly fashion core trend of guys wearing womens clothing, and emo/screamo ("emotional hardcore"= crying about realtionships and general depression that only a prescription of Zoloft or Prozac could help) and walla folks: You've got the hardcore/emo/screamo/metalcore trend.

Yes, this trend has the absolute potential to be almost as bad as nu metal.

When I was in my twenties and I saw seminal NYHC bands (and others) like All Out War, Agnostic Front, Sick Of it All, 100 Demons, Irate, Murphy's Law, DRI, Gorilla Biscuits, Dissolve, Candiria, Dillenger Escape Plan, Fleas and Lice, Minor Threat, and in my younger years the Cro-mags..The scene was diferent back then.  Hardcore still had the underground DIY ethic and wasn't fashionable.                                                                                  The hardcore scene was for misfits that had no place to go and didn't fit into the more mainstream trends of the time.In the 90's, The hardcore scenes splintered off between straight edgers (Earth Crisis), old school NYHC (Agnostic Front),West Coast thrash/core DRI and the up and coming east coast metalcore bands (that were aware of the 80's and 90's thrash and extreme metal scenes:  Diecast, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall)..

However,in the 90's, the European death metal scene did not go unoticed.While the Seattle grunge scene swept across the USA, the first and second wave of Norwegian black metal (scenes)  self destructed with various church burnings, murders and assorted eh hmm "Mayhem"..  (Burzum, Dissection, Mayhem, Emporor)

Death metal bands (Florida death metalers Morbid Angel and Brazilian thrashers Sepultura) were being snatched up by major labels just to be uncerominiously dropped while still being obligated to the indie labels.                                                                                          In Gothenborg, Sweden a very melodic, mid paced style of death metal arose: Dismember, Entombed, Grave, At The Gates, In Flames, Opeth and later Soilwork.

The precursur of the Swedish melodic death metal scene was   the NON Swedish (British? ) melodic death/grind metal band Carcass with their legendary 1988 release Reek of Putrefaction. Carcass featured one of the Amott brothers (guitar) who is currently shredding (guitar) in the Swedish melodic "death" metal band Arch Enemy. 

BBL with part TWO:



Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Remembering Kurt Cobain (part 4)

Someone miscontrued the Nirvana song "Polly" and actually went out and raped a female, using the song as the soundtrack to thier act of violence. This act of violence and obvious misinterpretation of the song and hatred against women infurerated Nirvana enough to call the rapists the "scumbags" that they were on the liner notes of Nirvana's second major label release In Utero.

I applaud Nirvana for writing "Polly"..

In the dream I had about Kurt Cobian I told the EMT workers "Not to treat him like that" and not to show his body because "I didn't need to see that"..I must have tossed and turned for hours but didn't wake up untill 1PM this afternoon. I woke up and thought about Kurt Cobain, and this being the 10 year anniversary of his death I cried a little bit..

I didn't cry back in '94 when he (Cobain) died, I was still in shock. There was also so much great death and extreme metal back in the early 90's, that Nirvana seemed, well, POP/HARD ROCK back then.

There is no shame is saying that Kurt Cobain was one of the better songwriters of his time, and he had so much more to offer.

Kurt Cobain was the right songwriter, for the right time, with substance, and vision, good vocals, a distorted guitar, with no gimmics, no hairspray, in a simplistic tone, and no male chauvanistic ego.

Refreshing indeed..What more could you ask for? As thier were rumors (before Cobains death) that Kurt was going to do some acoustic folk material, and that Nirvana were going to disband anyway, (Nirvana turned down Lalapalooza) and his marriage was in trouble, and some kind of failed od/suicide in Europe..Arrgh!

When I went on the air in '94, less than a week after Cobains suicide ( I wasn't the first to announce Cobains death on WFNP) I played "Polly" and explained the meaning or my interpretation of the song. I didn't cry, and I did my job DJ'ing in a business like, almost in a journalists fashion. (Journalism was my major at the time)..

TEN years later, it hit me in a dream how tragic Cobains death was..I can still remember watching MTV the day of his death, and the kids at Kurts memorial in a  Seattle  park jumping in the water, Courtney Love reading Kurts suicide note, and everything seeming so surreal. 

And the first time we played Nirvana on WFNP waay before Geffen signed them..We (WFNP) got a pre release copy of Nevermind and we were in the music library listening to the new Nirvana CD. When Cobain screamed in "Smells like Teen Spirit" "Our little group has always been, and always will untill the end"..Even us DEATH METALHEADS, and the graduating seniors looked around the room at each other and nodded our heads, because this was OUR group, our freindship, our click, and the music scene was changing for the better. Even death metal was on the rise and everybody in the room KNEW IT!

Today, one day before my 34th birthday, just like it does everyday in Seattle, it's raining here in New York...I'm sure if Kurt Cobian were still alive he would concur with the late Layne Staley of perhaps the more underrrated Seattle band Alice In Chains. "It's gonna rain when I die!"-AIC.

Point of reference: Check out: Tori Amos's GREAT cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

RIP-Kurt Cobian-TEE -l- \m/


Remembering Kurt Cobain (part 3)

I remember when I started off at WRNP (WFNP's AM radio station) as a dj playing METAL..There was much hype about this band Nirvana whose contract with SUBPOP got bought out by the major label Geffen. WFNP played Nirvana's Bleach when they were signed to the indie label SUBPOP. I saw Nirvana live at Roseland (NYC) once (great show, fun pit!) and enjoyed watching Nevermind rise up the billboard charts ousting Michael Jackson at the number 1 position.

It was good times indeed, but this dream I had about Kurt cobain freaked me out. It IS the ten year anniversary of his (Cobain's) death, but I think his life should be celebrated along and the good music he left behind.It was more than Nirvana kicking those hair bands off the charts, it was the impact of an understated song called POLLY from the CD Nevermind.

Polly is a song about rape. However, in a strange twist of fate, the underdog (female) convinces the rapist to untie her, give her a cracker, HUMANIZE her.."Polly says..Polly wants a cracker, maybe I should untie her, amazes me the will of instinct..Let me clip her dirty wings, let me take a ride, cut yourself.."..

Great  anti rape song from Nirvana (as riveting but more empowering than the Tori Amos song "Me and a Gun") about humanizing a woman, a rape victim, about the woman empowering herself and changing the scenario and getting the rapist to untie her. I played this song on WFNP less then a week after Kurt Cobain killed himself..None of these "commercial" radio stations had the guts to play that song. 

BBL with part 4.   

Remembering Kurt Cobain (part 2)

At the time of Kurt Cobain's death I was on a 7 month leave of absence from college. Although I did return (after briefly moving back in with my mom and working in NYC at Tower records) to finish another semester in college. I was working as a live in mothers helper and often got called in to do fill in work for WFNP's top 40 countdown wich was unofficially co-hosted by Keith Spillet (the metal head that he was \m/) Through WFNP. I got into some great underground death metal (Amorphis, Deicide, DEATH, Morbid Angel, ect...)

I was also going through a deep personal depression and was contaplitating suicide my self with already one failed attempt.

One day I was sitting down town in New Paltz with a copy of Time magazine or Newsweek (with the cover story of Kurt Cobain's death) in my hand. A good drinking buddy (Maurine) freind of mine, walked up to me and said, "Suicide is the most SELFISH thing that a person can do to themselves and thier family", and my freind went on about how that was soo selfish of Kurt to do that..

I didn't know what to say..However, I'm still alive, and my life had to get worse to get better, but I really appreciate life so much more now. I've gotten help for the feelings of depression ect. that I have..

BBL with part 3

Remembering Kurt Cobain: (part one)

Polly wants a cracker, maybe I should untie her,It amazes me the WILL of instict-Nirvana.

I just had the worst dream, and missed my doctors appointment because I was so freaked out. I had a nightmare about Kurt Cobain. I dreamt I was at his funeral? I saw him in his casket with a bandage on his head..I had a vision that the EMT workers dragged his body around..It was weird and I didn't wake up until after 1PM today..

The day that Kurt Cobian died I was a DJ (later music director) for the SUNY New Paltz college radio station WFNP (88.7 FM)..We always joked about our favorite bands. We used to joke with the production director/ (Keith Spillet who DJed the extreme metal show HEADLESS BABY on WFNP-those were the days!), Program director that Brett Guerwitz from Bad Religion called the radio station looking for him.

We would leave Keith notes: "Brett Guerowitz (of Bad Religion) called, call him back at 1-800-PUNKROCK"..

When Kurt Cobian died I thought it was a sick joke being played off by my radio station associates. I walked into SUNY New Paltz's food court and (WFNP's)  traffic director said that Kurt Cobain had killed himself. I thought it was a joke! I went upstairs to WFNP and EVERYONE was talking about Kurt Cobain's death. I didn't belive it. I told them at WFNP, "You guys need to STOP joking about this, stop f**ing with me!"

I went home, turned on my TV, flipped through channels, got to MTV, and Nirvana's unplugged was on..Then I KNEW, that he was gone, and this was NO joke..

I just sat there, shocked and stunned that this was happening..

BBL (with part 2)



Monday, April 12, 2004

Get Unionized part 2


as Workers and Students Demonstrate for a

Union for Food Service Workers with

            Iris Semidey, Chartwells food service worker

Jessee Lehrer, Purchase student activist

Rose Goldstein Bookbinder, Purchase student activist

Charles Barley, CSEA, AFSCME Organizer


Despite students and faculty pleas, Chartwells Food Service Co. a

subsidiary of Compass, a multi-billion dollar multinational corporation,

refuses to allow the food service workers on the Purchase Campus of

SUNY to form a union. Many of these workers make about $14,000/yr.

and pay too much for health insurance. Thirteen students were arrested

recently after they marched across campus and attempted to deliver

Chartwells’ CEO, Steve Sweeney, who was speaking on campus, an

award for being the worst employer on campus. The workers and students

are now protesting the use of excessive police force at this demonstration

and a calling for an independent investigation of the Administration’s

handling of the non-violent protest.

 Food Services workers UNITE, good luck to all the workers and the union at SUNY PURCHASE..F**ck union busters! Hails-Tee -l- \m/

GET UNIONIZED (part one)

My mom sent me and e-mail last night about the food service workers at SUNY Purchase who want to form a union. I concur, as a union approached me and many former co workers when I worked for SODEXO/WOOD at SUNY NEW PALTZ in 2001.. After YEARS of negotiation, firing managers and veteran workers and people like me quitting, SUNY NEW PALTZ's SODEXO, food service (finally?) has a much needed union. I Only wish they had a union when I was working for SODEXO/WOOD.  BBL with part two in a second..