Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, Old Stuff

So, I'm still not inspired by the newer stuff I've heard coming out. But, that's why I've got a library of stuff. I can go back over things again and again, and if they're good, a few more times after that.
So, How about music? Lately I've been listening to two bands I haven't mentioned, or maybe just haven't mentioned a lot. First, there's the God Machine. They're long since gone. The bass player died more than 15 years ago. However, the music they made was a bit out of time anyway. I'm pretty sure they were going for a kind of Sabbath-y take on Alternative, but what they ended up with was music that referenced Jane's Addiction, and Black Sabbath, and some "industrial" sampling, but really prefigured post-rock, or at least post-metal. If you like Grunge, Stoner Rock, and/or post-metal, you probably already have come across the name, so why not check them out. I have the first Record "Scenes from the Second Storey", and a CD single with the song "Home" b/w a cover of "Fever". It's good stuff, and not dated, honestly, even if it's as old as my my son.
Much more recently, as part of my love for dEUS, I got into another band from Belgium called Ghinzu. Ghinzu play much more mainstream music, and I can't get nearly as excited about them as I can about dEUS, but if you could imagine dEUS, with a strong second influence of Muse, you wouldn't be far wrong. At the same time, this past september, the video they released for "Cold Love" is just phenomenal; I can't imagine a band with a more fearsome reputation coming up with something stronger. The release it comes from "Mirror Mirror" is decent, with some great moments, but really just watch that video.
As far as books go, I've been reading some other stuff, but I would like to draw your attention back to Lessig's Free Culture. It's heavily influential to the way I see media going, and worth your time to read.
Finally, for movies, I'm getting back into Alex Cox. I prefer Repo Man, but Walker is still worth watching...


  1. I remember well when i first heard
    Scenes from the second storey...
    was it 93 or something?
    I was stunned. I agree with you, today you could easely put it in any of the "smart" metal subgenres like postrocksludgedoom, but back than, it was beyond understanding. Just listened to it the other day,but only few songs. Its so powerful and sad, that its almost unbearable.

  2. Very early 1993, in the states. I think late 1992 in the UK, but I could be off by a month or two. I think mentioning Jane's Addiction is important, because the guitar tone seperates it from later "alternative/grunge/whatever"- just like Jane's Addiction the guitar sounds very compressed, and EQ'ed in the High midrange. Basically, the same heavily processed tone that guys like Satriani and Vai pioneered in the 1980's, as opposed to the more earthy, lower midrange gibson/PRS -into-a-marshall tone that dominated most of what people think of 1990's Alternative as having. I really likie the application of that kind of "snide" thinner tone to sludgey, sabbathy riffs, and wish that more bands had tried that. Like, can you imagine what High on Fire would sound like with that tone? It'd be like Slow-motion Slayer!