Friday, November 16, 2012


So, I've been to another Torche show this week. Torche stomped a new one out, literally- they played both sides of their unreleased next 7 inch, and if you thought the bomb string was dead, you're in for a shock- they crushed the low end with a pummeling glee like demented dwarves forging axes made of bass. It was a strange show as an event, though. Three local bands and Torche on a wednesday night? yup. And furthermore , it was an odd mix of a power metal and retro-thrash metal type of band playing, and did I mention no one was the traditional "Metal God" long hair Thor lookin' type of dude. Very odd...
So, then, tomorrow, I've got the Finnish Bazaar.   That's always a different experience. A Fully Scandinavian bake sale. Then, I see Anthony Bourdain . So, yes, I really am the mutant that I say I am- because name me one other person who will have done all three events by the end of the week. You can't. There were less than 100 of us at Torche, and of the 10,000 folks who will go to Finnspark, I bet none were amoung those 100. Even if there was one, besides me, they wouldn't also be going to see a TV travel guy.  So, there you go. As has been often declared- we are what we do, not what we say.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Too Popular

So, I've got a few things to write about, at long last. Hope you weren't waiting around.
So, I've been listening to the Deftones' Koi No Yokan ( which I'm led to believe translates as "Love at First Sight") and I think it's the best thing they've done since "White Pony" . I don't fully understand why Deftones don't get their due- they pretty much have invented their own sound, which is this mix of Goth, metal, hip hop, and shoegazer elements that seems like a much more harrowing version of what The Walker Brothers were doing. You've got the same billowing clouds of sound, with strangely dispassionate vocals, crooned in a way to emphasize the strain in the voice, and oblique lyrics about minute events. So, why aren't they critics' darlings?
So, this one is less rythmic, more reflective- like the self titled LP a few years ago, but with an emphasis on melody that was absent on that record. The lush atmospherics are there, like on a Neurosis or Mogwai LP, but more dynamic than that might suggest. Overall, it's the most brutal post metal you'll hear, the most "indie rock" that metal gets, and the least "pop" melody gets. So, again, I question why folks aren't all over this... The only explanation I can give is the taint of "nu metal" that they carry- and the reason why that is a taint is that it got too popular with the wrong people- as bad as that sounds, it's a very real complaint- who wants to brave an audience filled with meat heads, even if the songs are great?
That's the reason why you won't catch me going to Crafty Bastards, again, after this past weekend. Last years was not an anomoly . The hordes of MTV influenced hipsters  have taken over and crushed the life out of it, to the point that I feel bad for suggesting that people go to it. It was horrible. Parking was inadequate, to the point that I got into a "fender bender" accident- and I've not been in an accident in over 20 years! I was around so many humans that it aggravated my cold into a bad case of the flu- again, something that hasn't happened in years. Food and drink was impossible- hour long lines , limited selection, shortages. Add that it was taking place in a parking lot in an industrial wasteland part of town, and it felt like going to a third world market, that had been invaded by impossibly hip yuppies from San Francisco.
It took away my one solid reason for going- to see and talk with some of my favorite crafty people. There was no talking in a crowd 50,000+ , only yelling and people shoving. So, my wife and I bought some stuff from Jon Wye, Tina Seamonster, Berkley Illustration  and Alternate Histories and got the hell out, to go kill time at a less crowded shopping Mall ( yes, the freakin' Mall was preferable)  until we met up with an out-of-town friend for a late dinner.
So, yes, there is more to hating when things get too popular with the wrong crowd than simple hipster elitism.
As I've been typing, MTV 2 has been playing indie rock- of the  Two Door Cinema Club Grizzly Bear, Circa Survive and Silversun Pickups variety. That might be because it's not yet 0700 AM, but it still means that the mainstream is coming for them, so forget the kind of venues that suit their kind of intimate rock. Likewise, I have to forget about seeing my friends at Crafty Bastards, and the critics will never give Deftones their due.