I been a little incommunicado lately (like anyone cares), but it’s due to work which means my brain hasn’t been processing this shitpile of life with its normal alacrity and for that I apologize. However…deadlines here being what they are (non-existent), I’m given a pass on low word count; nevertheless, a guilty conscience tells me to throw something up to help our editor, who appears to be cranking out good prose, interviews, and long fuckin' paragraphs. Sad because I’m the guy with so little recreation that writing this stuff is actually a high point in my life. That OTHER guy actually goes to shows and soaks it all in, first person like. But he steps out from what he loves, so all nine of you can have something fresh to read each day.
I usually let my metal reminiscences percolate into jagged diamonds of self-aggrandized beauty, but that ain’t happenin now. So here’s some observations for what's happenin all around you and going on inside you.
- Gulf of Mexico: If a nuclear sub goes down, we better have a plan to blow that fucker up. Whatever that plan is, let’s implement it now. Pretty soon, the “cleanup” becomes the readers of this blog heading to Corpus Christi to light the Gulf on fire. Thousands of MIT grads and this is all we got? Come on, what a joke. Time to start a black metal collective in my colon if this is what human mastery of the physical world has to offer.
- Unleashed in the East by JUDAS PRIEST: Anybody heard this lately? What happened to these guys? This disc (with bonus tracks) is so good. The drumming and bass are actually funky, which is a total surprise if you saw the bass player for Priest hiding next to the amps like he always did post-1980. Then they changed drummers and must have been coked into oblivion because Unleashed gives us metal, punk and disco in a furious gay brew fermenting its way through the spine of ‘70’s Japan. By British Steel they perfected four on the bore and printing money. Here we have covers of Peter Green AND Joan Baez? In the ‘70s? What the FUCK? Plus “The Ripper”: “When you turn your back on attack.” Given what we later learned about Halford, that’s a pretty big threat. “A nasty surprise” indeed. And has a better psycho bitch song ever been written than “Victim of Changes”? By a gay dude? No wonder they sold out. If you don’t get props for this, mankind is doomed. See THE GUN CLUB.
- My Dio piece: I don’t know, I’ve taken some flak for that. A little heavy-handed, summing up with something like “Dio took us seriously, so should we.” I was probably too close to the material. My point, however inarticulately expressed, remains valid nonetheless, especially to me (aka, the person I care about most—the one without whom, none of this would be possible). To wit: No matter how many Sonic Youth records you buy, if you grew up on metal and have a human heart, you are fucked, doomed and blessed to love metal. If you deny it, you’re a liar. I sit here working next to my partner who basically thinks like I do about most of the important things in life. Except that I can put on headphones and blast BATHORY, BLACK SABBATH or MOTORHEAD and it’s as natural as breathing, but he’s got no clue about the difference between Ride the Lightning and Reload. I don’t think the kids I went to high school with are doing this with their UTFO records or ERASURE tunes. I don’t really care; maybe a Weezer disc gets you laid by some macrobiotic, yogurt-douched gash stinking from here to the Pacific Palisades, so more power to ya. Dio was a joke for many, an easy target, a four footer gardening and singing about wizards. Oh ya, and he was pitch perfect and gave hope to millions of kids. I can’t explain it. I’ve seen Harvard educated, cynical mother fuckers reduced to tears by VAN HALEN and AC/DC. It’s just the truth. Dio can’t be denied. Love him or hate him, you gotta admit he sang from the heart, and if he doesn’t move you somehow, I got no use for you. Irony has little staying power. Hipsters like Jack White worship Charlie Patton for a reason. “Heaven and Hell” won’t be replicated. “The world is full of kings and queens / Who blind your eyes and steal your dreams/ It’s Heaven and Hell.” Do you get it or not? If so, welcome aboard. If not, I got no clue why you are reading this.
Til more coherent times