Articles in the Videos Category

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October 11th, 2014 | No Comment | Category: Reviews, Videos
Conjuring Infinity: The Dark Reach of Black Metal

At barely thirty years old, black metal is a relatively young musical genre. Its roots running back to such thrash acts as Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory, and Slayer, it finally found fertile ground in Scandinavia in the late 1980s/early 1990s. This second wave, including such bands as Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, and Emperor, is what most are referring to when they utter the words. As author Ulrike Serowy puts it, black metal is “music that touches the inmost depths, goes beyond words, music that conjures infinity” (p. 33). Dayal Patterson points …

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March 26th, 2014 | No Comment | Category: Reviews, Videos
<em>Veronica Mars</em>: Take the Long Way Home

No surprise: Veronica Mars: The Movie plays to the strengths of the franchise: Veronica’s chronically conflicted convictions, Keith’s ever-watchful eye, Logan’s inability to avoid controversy, the stability of Wallace, Mac, and Piz, and the loyal support of its fans. Full disclosure: I am one of the 91,585 Kickstarter backers of this movie, I watched it three times in as many days, I am a card-carrying Marshmallow, so spoilers and gushing abound below.
So, when the day comes to settle down,
Who’s to blame if you’re not around?
— Supertramp, “Take the Long Way Home”
Though the …

Reviews, Videos »

December 10th, 2013 | No Comment | Category: Reviews, Videos
Download, Spin, or Stream: Ten Records, 2013

Unlike last year, 2013 found me mostly listening to one strain of metal or another. With the embedded videos and off-site links on this page, I’ve tried to provide a way for you to hear a bit of each of these lovely records. There’s never been a better time to be a music fan.
Deafheaven Sunbather (Deathwish, Inc.): I’m not sure what else can be said about Deafheaven that wasn’t said during 2013, but let there be no question that Sunbather is the record of the year. In conception and construction, …

Interviews, Videos »

November 14th, 2013 | No Comment | Category: Interviews, Videos
Johnny Ciggs: Gritty City Cesspool [by Mike Daily]

“Music is pretty much the only thing that has ever mattered in my life,” says Johnny Ciggs, a major member of the Gritty City Family. I was introduced to this creative crew of rappers and producers by my man Tim Baker over at SYFFAL. He sent me the clip for “Hunnid Dolla Bills” by Fan Ran, Skweeky Watahfawls, and the dude Johnny Ciggs [embedded below]. I’ve been following the fam ever since. Johnny’s “Write Like the First Day” (featuring Fan Ran) off of his 21 Tracks About Malt Liquor, Fat …

Essays, Reviews, Videos »

November 10th, 2013 | One Comment | Category: Essays, Reviews, Videos
Shooting Starlets: Girls Gone Wildin’

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is rarely an easy one. As we watch Miley Cyrus shed her youth in real-time, I am reminded of a young Drew Barrymore, coming out of rehab for the first time at age 13. The movies Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring represent the grown-up debuts of beloved childhood Hollywood princesses, Selena Gomez and Emma Watson respectively. The two films are also similar for their adult themes and media commentary. No one would say that a refusal to grow up is endearing, but resistance is fertile. There’s nothing quite …

Marginalia, Reviews, Videos »

October 31st, 2013 | No Comment | Category: Marginalia, Reviews, Videos
Mayhem to the AM: Eminem Goes Berzerk

I turned my head for a minute and Eminem dropped this single “Berzerk” from his forthcoming record. The song illustrates everything I love about Hip-hop. It’s not that I miss the era he’s referencing here (I don’t), it’s that he’s referencing things: All kinds of things. Mathers’ use of allusion is masterful, and it’s one of the reasons I study rap in the first place.
Eminem’s sense of humor and of himself is firmly intact. “Berserk” boasts guest shots from and references to “So Whatcha Want?”, Royce da 5’9″, Rick Rubin, …

Essays, Videos »

September 22nd, 2013 | 2 Comments | Category: Essays, Videos
Satisficing and Psychic Erosion

A few years ago, I realized that I was wearing the wrong size pants. All of my pants were too short. Though I’d been buying the same size pants for years and coping accordingly, the realization was sudden. As soon as I was able, which took a few more months, I ditched them and bought all new, appropriately sized pants.
For a long time I used a stereo pre-amplifier I’d gotten at a thrift store to play music from my computer on larger, better-sounding speakers. The increased sound quality was amazing, …

Reviews, Videos »

August 20th, 2013 | 2 Comments | Category: Reviews, Videos
Drugs of a Feather: Jeff Noon’s <i>Vurt</i> 20 Years On

A young boy puts a feather into his mouth… The Stash Riders: Scribble, Beetle, Bridget, Mandy, Tristan and Suze… The Thing from Outer Space, Game Cat, Dingo Tush, Bottletown, robodogs, droidlocks, and dreamsnakes… It’s about drugs and droogs. It’s about their misadventures in this and that Other world: Vurt. Scribble’s sister, his lover, Desdemona is lost, lost to the Vurt, that feathered, nethered world spinning somewhere inside of this one. If he is to get her back, if he is to grab her, he has to let go of something else.

I’m not …

Reviews, Videos »

July 25th, 2013 | 4 Comments | Category: Reviews, Videos
Lauren Beukes’ Tangled Timeline of Transgression

“The problem with snapshots,” Kirby Mazrachi thinks, “is that they replace actual memories. You lock down the moment and it becomes all there is of it” (p. 319). Kirby is one of the girls in The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland Books, 2013), the disturbingly beguiling novel of the summer. Beukes’ easily digestible prose and gleefully nagging narrative betray a convoluted timeline and staggering depth of research. Drifter Harper Curtis quantum leaps from time to time gutting the girls as he goes. The House he squats in his helper, enabling the temporal …

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May 22nd, 2013 | 2 Comments | Category: Reviews, Videos
Rotten With Perfection: Deafheaven’s <em>Sunbather</em>

Some of my favorite records are the ones where a band leaps outside the bounds of their past and tries something their fans might not dig. I’m thinking of post-Until Your Heart Stops Cave In (Jupiter polarized their existing fans, while Antenna proved they were onto something new), Corrosion of Conformity’s definitively metal years (starting with Blind, but culminating in the Pepper Keenan-led Deliverance and Wiseblood), and even Kill Holiday’s swan song (Somewhere Between the Wrong is Right, on which they abandoned aggressive hardcore for an energized gothic-pop sound, by turns reminiscent …