12/31/2010

13 music world trends that need to die

The world of music can be a little bit like emptying a bag of cobras into the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese. It's dangerous. Unpredictable. It might cause screaming and rioting. Some people might be bitten. Some might even die. The bottom line is: you never know what you're going to get. And if you get out in one piece, you might get to see a kickass animated show starring a robot lion dressed as Elvis.


This is a bad analogy to make the point that for every cool thing the music industry spawns, five shitty things come along with it. Nirvana makes it big and suddenly designers are sending models down the runway wearing $700 flannel shirts and 600-thread-count longjohns. It comes in cycles. And often such trends overstay their welcome.


So let's address the latest spate of dumbassery. With 2011 around the corner, it's time to turn the page bury these once and for all.


Actually, pimpin' really isn't that hard.
13. The sexyface/sideways scissor pose
Come on, do it. Give us your best Blue Steel and throw it up. Instant gangsta! Wut wut! Now you a straight-up pimp like Miley!

12. Trending band names
First, every band had a "The" name. Now every band has a name of two words that don't make sense together: Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, Gaslight Anthem, Neon Indian, Perfume Genius, Freelance Whales, Gold Panda, Best Coast... god, go back to "The" names already (except "The Black" anything).

11. Crossover duets
Take one long-eyelashed popstress, add a hip-hop thug in a backwards hat and you've got music gold. Better yet, throw them together in a "surprise" performance onstage at some music awards show and then release a single due to popular demand. See: Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg, Rihanna and Jay-Z, Janelle Monae and Big Boi, etc. (You know some enterprising wheeler-dealer somewhere is hammering away at securing a Taylor Swift/Kanye West duet.)

10. Horrible hairdon'ts
I know, this is obvious, but it has to be said. Whether it's asymmetrical emo, the Jewfro, the Bieber or one of the old "classics" like the Robert Smith, the Flock of Seagulls or the Let's Get Physical (feathered mullet with terrycloth sweatband, a la Mike Reno), the stupid haircuts are out of control. Sidebar to this no-no is weird facial hair, such as the braided beard and the Herman Mudgett turn-of-the-century mustache that seems to be making a comeback.

9. Bands with more than six people in them
If you're not a freestyle jazz odyssey combo, then there's no need to have 50 fucking people on stage. Your indie band does not need a violin, trumpet, mandolin, dulcimer, cello, accordion, bagpipes, a pan flute, clarinet, mouth harp, regular harp, theremin and a gong.

8. Thinking Karen O, Beth Ditto and Hayley Williams are awesome
Karen O. is so cool! Beth Ditto is so confident! Hayley Williams is so hot! No. Karen O. is ridiculous and has a ridiculous haircut. Beth Ditto is fat. Hayley Williams is Ashlee Simpson in an orange wig. Yes, I'm being catty.

7. Mentioning "haters"
This includes the phrase, "Haters gonna hate."


6. Giving reality stars music deals
Kim Kardashian is releasing an album. In fact, she actually also violated #11 recently by allegedly recording a duet with Kanye West. Heidi Montag released an album that sold less than 1,000 copies. Two Real Housewives released songs called "Tardy for the Party and "Money Can't Buy You Class." I'm looking forward to the Billy the Exterminator album myself. If he does a kind of Kid Rock thing, I'm totally sold.

5. "Cute" tattoos
There was a time not too long ago when having a tattoo was really shocking. Like, only bikers and ex-cons had them. Then, heavy metal came along. Slowly but surely, everyone started getting them. Now you see people with Pooh Bear, Hello Kitty, Tinkerbell and every other cutesy comic character you can think of. What are these people thinking? Imagine your grandma in a nursing home with a giant picture of Tigger on her leg. Or your great uncle with Voltron on his flabby chest.

4. Clever musical versions of cheesy songs
OK, we get it. A high school choir singing an a capella version of "Toxic" is funny. Theater geeks dancing around to Whitesnake is high camp. "Don't Stop Believin'" is hilariously corny and needs to be in every grand finale music montage. I'm going to say it: I'm sick of "Don't Stop Believin'". The usage in The Sopranos finale was perfect. However, since then, the song has shown up on American Idol, Glee, America's Got Talent and a new Chipmunks album. It's also the grand finale in the Broadway show Rock of Ages. Sorry. Should have prefaced that with a spoiler alert.

3. Not giving credit where it's due
I love Gaga and all, but the queen of provocative stage outfits is Wendy O. Williams. Ke$ha, Grace Jones did that face paint thing first. Hell, Adam Ant did it before you. And Prince did the symbol letter replacement already, too.

2. Child singers
With the success of the unfortunately named Willow Smith's unfortunately named song "Whip My Hair," not to mention Beiber, Demi Lovato, Camp Rock and all the child beauty pageant shows, I fear there's a boom around the bend. Because when a "singer" hits it big as a youngster, they always grow up into such successful, well-adjusted adults. Isn't Leif Garrett on the new Celebrity Rehab?

1. Hipsters
Let's take a little quiz, shall we? Do you possess any of the following items?
I put it on my gold card.
  • Giant nerd glasses (regular or sun) with yellow plastic frames
  • Ironic Spandex
  • A Chuck Klosterman book
  • Rodman-era Pistons jersey
  • Nordic hat with earflaps (extra points for pom-pom on top)
  • An animal skull
  • Yassir Arafat scarf
  • Messenger bag with shoulder strap
  • A floppy beanie
  • Rollie cigarettes
  • Stan Getz's Getz/Gilberto, Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Outkast's Stankonia on vinyl (must be at least two of the three)
  • Facial hair that makes you look like the dad from The Wilderness Family
  • A collarbone tattoo
  • White belt
  • Myra Hindley hairstyle in any color
  • Liberal arts degree
  • Requiem for a Dream on DVD
  • Stripey rainbow socks (extra points if they have toes)
  • 16 oz. can of PBR
  • Native American headdress
  • Moon boots
 Do you regularly have any three of these items on your person? If not, you're OK.


If so, then die hipster scum.

12/13/2010

Dave Navarro is officially dead to me

Kill me now.
I don't know why I've persisted in thinking that Dave Navarro has standards. He clearly doesn't, and hasn't for quite some time now. Consider the picture at left, for example. Also consider some of his other media-whore-ish offenses over the last few years:


• Hosted Rock Star: INXS, a reality show that sought to replace the late, great Michael Hutchence, one of the few natural born rock stars that ever lived
• Starred in another reality show with Carmen Electra
• Married Carmen Electra
• Got Carmen Electra's initials tattooed over his heart
• Announced his split from Carmen Electra
• Directed a porno
• Started a band with Billy Corgan, one of my least favorite people on the planet
• Posed nude for a PETA ad
• Contributed guitar tracks for Christina Aguilara and P. Diddy albums
• Hangs out with (and possibly dated) Daisy "Alexis Arquette" de la Hoya from Rock of Love


Pretty embarrassing all around. But none of those even compare to what Dave has done this time. Let me pull up a bucket really quickly before I type this because the vom is already rising. Now, brace yourself:


DAVE NAVARRO HAS BEEN HANGING OUT WITH, AND IS POSSIBLY SLEEPING WITH, TILA TEQUILA.


Let's just take a moment to let that sink in.


I will not post them here because I care too much about your health, but there are pictures floating around the interwebs of the two of them "canoodling" and of Tila leaving Dave's house in the wee hours of the night. Granted, they may have been shooting up together. And I could actually almost accept that.


It pains me to even mention a parasitic pubic louse like Tila Tequila on this blog. Why is she still around? She's stupid, skanky and crazy. Seriously. It was recently revealed, by Dr. Drew Pinsky's wife no less, that she failed the psych exam to be on the latest incarnation of Celebrity Rehab. Even Leif Garrett passed, if that tells you anything. Tila Tequila makes Carmen Electra look like Kate Middleton as far as class is concerned. 


The only explanation is drugs. Drugs are bad, kids. Take heed. 


P.S. It's actually a bad week for Jane's Addiction all around. Check this bullshit out:



I can't. I just can't.

12/11/2010

Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest

Killed by the eastern syndicate.
Awww, looks like someone got rocks in their stocking!


It should come as a surprise to no one that this little dose of holiday fuckery comes to us courtesy of Deadspin. They're not exactly known for spreading cheer, but this evil, evil rant against A Charlie Brown Christmas, aka The Greatest Holiday Tradition Known to Modern Man, is just too much.


Here's what contributor Drew Magary has to say about the Peanuts gang (with, of course, my commentary throughout):

Fuck You, Charlie Brown
I showed my kid the Charlie Brown Christmas special the other day and she was depressed for the rest of the week. Why are we still subjecting kids to this awful shit? 
I blame myself for forcing Charlie Brown on my offspring. I should know better. I've never liked Peanuts. Ever. The only reason I watched any Peanuts holiday special as a child was because they were the only goddamn holiday cartoons that aired. I watched even though I didn't like it, because watching shit was better than watching nothing at all. Charlie Brown ruled by default. But that's not the case anymore. There are thousands of other holiday entertainment options for your children out there now, and very few of them are the animated manifestations of some asshole's clinical depression.
#1: How old are you that A Charlie Brown Christmas was the only holiday cartoon on TV? Assuming that you're somewhere between ages 22 and 40 that means that you were born somewhere after 1970. And if you were old enough to remember watching the special as a kid, we'll say the time frame was around at least 1975. Rudolph, Frosty, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, the Grinch and the one with the Heat Miser...how could you have possibly have missed the countless other specials? And, if you're at the younger end of the spectrum, there's A Garfield Christmas, A Chipmunk Christmas and the classic Star Wars holiday special. The only explanation is that Drew grew up in a Unibomber-esque woodland cabin with a TV that fuzzed in for one half hour during the holiday season.
#2: If a cartoon depressed your kid for an entire week, your kid has some serious fucking mental issues.
I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas with my kid, and now I openly loathe it. Who thought this was a good idea to show to young children? Charlie Brown is depressed. Lucy is a bossy cunt. Linus is a head case. Peppermint Patty is like a cocktail party guest who corners you and talks to you until you want to slit your throat from ear to ear. Whenever Snoopy talks, he sounds like a cat being raped. No one smiles. Everyone's complaining or arguing. Horrible slow jazz plays in the background. There isn't a semblance of joy in any of these specials, and anyone who tells you they're classics has been fucking BRAINWASHED, just like I was.
This man is cooler than you.
#3: Peppermint Patty wasn't in A Charlie Brown Christmas, moron. God, get your pop culture right.
#4: Using the word "cunt" and mentioning cat rape in a review of a children's show could explain why your child was depressed for a whole week following the viewing.
#5: Drew probably thinks Coldpay is the greatest thing to ever happen to music. It's the only explanation for the diss of Vince Guraldi's classic soundtrack.
I was all excited to show my kid this special, because I watched it when I was a kid and I'm a selfish asshole so I wanted my kid to watch it and like it and be like me. Then I turned it on and I was like, "Wait! I fucking hate this shit." Then the show ended and my kid was like, "I didn't like that show." Then she went and started throwing things. FUCKING SNOOPY IS TO BLAME. JUST BECAUSE YOU MADE A SNO CONE MACHINE DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE MY CHILDREN UNHAPPY.
#6: The Snoopy Sno Cone Machine is the shit, so yes it does give Snoopy the right to do whatever the fuck he wants.
#7: Speaking of shit, your kid sounds like a little one. She should prepare for a visit from Krampus on Christmas day.
Peanuts sucks. We need to stop pretending it was any good, because if there had been better cartoons back then, they would have smoked its ass. Take a look, again, at the very first Peanuts cartoon strip.
Fuck You, Charlie Brown
WHAT THE FUCK? Are you shitting me? Is that even a joke? No wonder crazed gunmen once tried to kidnap Charles Schulz's wife. They were clearly trying to get him to stop making America suicidal.
#8: Yes, Drew, attempted kidnappings of elderly women by masked gunmen are hilarious. Remember that when your daughter mows down a few of her little classmates with an AK-47 because she "hates Mondays."
#9: That comic really is hilarious.
Stop patronizing the Peanuts subculture, everyone. You know, deep in your heart, that the world is better off without it. I wish I'd never known who Charlie Brown was, because he's a whiny little bitch and I hate his guts. From now on, he is banned from my house. I strongly urge you to do likewise.

Yes, yes, this is supposed to be funny. Drew's a laugh riot with his manic ranting and use of salty language. He's taboo and irreverent and cutting edge. His columns regularly touch on such hard-hitting topics as: Did the Chilean miners masturbate?, who's being cockblocked and which pro athlete is a "bitch."


It's no wonder he's so angry. His kid sounds like a mentally deranged gremlin from the anus of hell. Don't worry, though—there's hope for her yet:




After reading this, let's cleanse the palate with the other greatest thing in modern history:




Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest

Killed by the eastern syndicate.
Awww, looks like someone got rocks in their stocking!


It should come as a surprise to no one that this little dose of holiday fuckery comes to us courtesy of Deadspin. They're not exactly known for spreading cheer, but this evil, evil rant against A Charlie Brown Christmas, aka The Greatest Holiday Tradition Known to Modern Man, is just too much.


Here's what contributor Drew Magary has to say about the Peanuts gang (with, of course, my commentary throughout):

Fuck You, Charlie Brown
I showed my kid the Charlie Brown Christmas special the other day and she was depressed for the rest of the week. Why are we still subjecting kids to this awful shit?
I blame myself for forcing Charlie Brown on my offspring. I should know better. I've never liked Peanuts. Ever. The only reason I watched any Peanuts holiday special as a child was because they were the only goddamn holiday cartoons that aired. I watched even though I didn't like it, because watching shit was better than watching nothing at all. Charlie Brown ruled by default. But that's not the case anymore. There are thousands of other holiday entertainment options for your children out there now, and very few of them are the animated manifestations of some asshole's clinical depression.
#1: How old are you that A Charlie Brown Christmas was the only holiday cartoon on TV? Assuming that you're somewhere between ages 22 and 40 that means that you were born somewhere after 1970. And if you were old enough to remember watching the special as a kid, we'll say the time frame was around at least 1975. Rudolph, Frosty, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, the one with the Heat Miser...how could you have possibly have missed the countless other specials? The only explanation is that Drew grew up in a Unibomber-esque woodland cabin with a TV that fuzzed in for one half hour during the holiday season.
#2: If a cartoon depressed your kid for an entire week, your kid has some serious fucking mental issues.
I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas with my kid, and now I openly loathe it. Who thought this was a good idea to show to young children? Charlie Brown is depressed. Lucy is a bossy cunt. Linus is a head case. Peppermint Patty is like a cocktail party guest who corners you and talks to you until you want to slit your throat from ear to ear. Whenever Snoopy talks, he sounds like a cat being raped. No one smiles. Everyone's complaining or arguing. Horrible slow jazz plays in the background. There isn't a semblance of joy in any of these specials, and anyone who tells you they're classics has been fucking BRAINWASHED, just like I was.
This man is cooler than you.
#3: Peppermint Patty wasn't in A Charlie Brown Christmas, moron. God, get your pop culture right.
#4: Using the word "cunt" and mentioning cat rape in a review of a children's show expl.
#5: Drew probably thinks Coldpay is the greatest thing to ever happen to music. It's the only explanation for the diss of Vince Guraldi's classic soundtrack.
I was all excited to show my kid this special, because I watched it when I was a kid and I'm a selfish asshole so I wanted my kid to watch it and like it and be like me. Then I turned it on and I was like, "Wait! I fucking hate this shit." Then the show ended and my kid was like, "I didn't like that show." Then she went and started throwing things. FUCKING SNOOPY IS TO BLAME. JUST BECAUSE YOU MADE A SNO CONE MACHINE DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE MY CHILDREN UNHAPPY.
#6: The Snoopy Sno Cone Machine is the shit, so yes it does give Snoopy the right to do whatever the fuck he wants.
#7: Speaking of shit, your kid sounds like a little one. She should prepare for a visit from Krampus on Christmas day.
Peanuts sucks. We need to stop pretending it was any good, because if there had been better cartoons back then, they would have smoked its ass. Take a look, again, at the very first Peanuts cartoon strip.
Fuck You, Charlie Brown
WHAT THE FUCK? Are you shitting me? Is that even a joke? No wonder crazed gunmen once tried to kidnap Charles Schulz's wife. They were clearly trying to get him to stop making America suicidal.
#8: Yes, Drew, attempted kidnappings of elderly women by two masked gunmen are hilarious. Remember that when your daughter mows down a few of her little classmates with an AK-47 because she "hates Mondays."
#9: That comic really is hilarious.
Stop patronizing the Peanuts subculture, everyone. You know, deep in your heart, that the world is better off without it. I wish I'd never known who Charlie Brown was, because he's a whiny little bitch and I hate his guts. From now on, he is banned from my house. I strongly urge you to do likewise.

Yes, yes, this is supposed to be funny. Drew's a laugh riot with his manic ranting and use of salty language. He's taboo and irreverent and cutting edge. His columns regularly touch on such hard-hitting topics as: Did the Chilean miners masturbate?, who's being cockblocked and which pro athlete is a "bitch."


It's no wonder he's so angry. His kid sounds like a mentally deranged gremlin from the anus of hell. Don't worry, though—there's hope for her yet:







11/26/2010

Doorbust a move!

Hi, everybody! (Hi, Dr. Nick!) Time to down a fifth and get your teeth knocked out for the last pack of Silly Bandz. It's Doorbusters Day! 

As per tradition, here are a few classic Black Friday horror stories to remind you just what this holiday season is all about: oneupsmanship. Brought to you by our old holiday pal Krampus.


It was far from the first Black Friday tragedy to hit Wal-Mart. Back in 2005, customers shopping at a Wal-Mart in Orlando, Fla., were involved in a scuffle with security and with each other. According to one shopper’s testimony, "It was absolutely pandemonium in there. They were throwing laptops 20 feet in the air, and people were collapsing on each other to grab them. It was ridiculous.” One man reportedly got in a fight with several security guards, while other customers experienced blows to the head.

In 2006, one Circuit City in Naples, Fla., required police backup to help settle down a crowd after 32 vouchers for a laptop deal had been handed out 15 minutes before the doors opened. Meanwhile, at another Circuit City in the same town, a bad fight broke out between two women in the store. According to Naplesnews.com, shoppers reportedly “witnessed one woman grabbing another woman by the neck over a discounted computer.” Perhaps the world is a little safer now that the chain is out of business (though we do miss their good deals on electronics).

One woman collapsed early in the morning on Black Friday last year while waiting in line for the doors to open at Target. Rather than rush to help her, waiting customers stood firm in their spots, unwilling to lose their place in line. A few decent Samaritans threw candy bars in her general direction, thinking she might just have low blood sugar.

In 2006, Sony decided to take advantage of holiday traffic and released the PlayStation 3 in the week leading up to Black Friday. A video game release is typically a manic event, but when you pair it with the holiday, the result is absolute chaos.

Hundreds of over-eager customers gathered outside a Circuit City in Virginia waiting for the doors to open. Police officers tried to tame the crowd before the doors opened. According to a local radio station, “Twice officers verbally warned the crowd, then an officer shot a pepper ball at the ground.” When that didn’t pacify the crowd, police fired another round. Eventually, the customers dispersed all together.

Back in 2007, I had just had my daughter in October by C-section and I went with my mom to Black Friday. We were trying to get a TV and a man yelled, ‘I'm getting all these.’ When I said we are getting one, he pushed me down and hit my mom with one of the boxes. I was so mad—I thought, "All this just to get something for less."

It was 2006, I had been standing in line in the rain since 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening at a Walmart in North Central California. Walmart had advertised a phenomenal deal on laptops and I was so happy because I was within the first 30 people at the front door. Doors opened at 5 am. By 4:30 am there was close to 1,000 people in line. What happened next was the greatest display of raw human greed in all its ugliness that I had ever seen on a Black Friday. Now I find the term Black Friday is actually a very, very accurate description because for me, it was a truly dark experience. There was a literal stampede at the front door. Walmart had made the mistake of not providing enough security. They also let everyone in at the same time. As I jogged to the electronics part of the store people behind me were pushing and shoving me, trying their best to get in front of me. I was still fully anticipating a great deal on that marvelous laptop. As I approached the electronics department of the store what I saw was sickening... There was a dog pile of people nearly 6 feet high on top of the remaining laptops. Yes, it looked like a pro football game. People were having a free-for-all, throwing punches and kicking each other violently. One young man had ripped a huge chunk of hair out of an elderly woman's head, roots of the hair dripping with blood. People were enraged, yelling and screaming at each other. Store employees panicked and fled. It was complete total chaos. I could literally hear the loud thumps and screams as fists and feet landed explosively on faces, bodies, etc. Several people had blood on them, there was blood on the floor and I know many people would have bruises later in the day.

In California, I camped out at a best buy about 24 hrs in advance. I was in the top 20 of the line. Early morning someone told me to watch their spot. I agreed because I didn't think anything of it and then they return only a few hrs before the store opened. I was pissed. But before the store opened the manager came out and gave vouchers to the first 5 people. Then he gave the rest of the vouchers to an employee. The employee got on one of those lifting cranes kind of like the firemen use. And everyone crowded around him and he started throwing vouchers into the crowd. It was a massacre.

Work at Home Depot. One year we did TVs, huge Plasma ones for cheap. A woman, desperate to get her TV threw her body over the last two tvs to claim them and we heard the sound of breaking plastic.

Last year I literally witnessed someone trampled to death at Walmart. That's it for me and Black Friday. No deal is worth another person's life.
But, but...50" plasma screens for $495! C'mon, we can sacrifice some of the plebes for a deal like that! Happy holiday season, lovelies! 

11/09/2010

I turned my head to the audience and smiled—and they smiled back

So.


This post has been a long time coming. I have finally and officially seen the black metal documentary Until the Light Takes Us. 


There was a time when I didn't have high hopes for this little film, as the preview clips were boring and it appeared the directors didn't really utilize the Count to his maximum potential. How wrong I was to judge so quickly. I watched it a couple weeks ago and had to let it sink in before I posted my official review. Warning: it's going to be a long one and it's not going to be the laugh riot you're used to at S&C. So here goes.


I once received a response to one of my black-metal-kooks-are-HYYYlarious posts that said something along the lines of, "If you really feel that way, then you don't understand black metal at all."


This anonymous commenter was correct. I didn't understand black metal. I still don't and I never will, in the same way you can't understand anyone's experience until you walk in their shoes. But I can now see how the whole sordid tale played out. And much to my surprise, I found myself thinking it all made sense.


The movie starts off showing a 30-something, long-haired metal dude on a train being searched by police. "They busted me on fucking tear gas—they didn't find the drugs of course," he says. This is Gylve "Fenriz" Nagell from the pioneering black metal outfit Darkthrone. He talks a little bit about Norway ("It's like New Zealand, only just grimmer") and talks about how hands-off his fellow countrypeople are.


Suddenly, we're whisked away to a maximum security prison, and you know exactly where this is going. It's the Count! He talks about how the early black metal musicians "rebelled against traditional song structure," getting the worst equipment they could find and using a headset as a microphone to create guttural noises that sounded like hell. 


Norwegians were afraid of the black metallers almost from the get-go, and the Count says they survived on reputation alone during the '80s. Then Dead joined Mayhem.


Dead's vocals sounded like he was channeling demons from the anus of hell and he scratched himself until blood ran down his face and arms during stage shows. But then you see grainy footage of the Swedish teenager running through a field of tall wildflowers and mugging for the camera. It was hard to watch, knowing what's going to happen. He's really just a kid.


We all know what happens next. Dead's bandmate Euronymous finds the 19-year-old Dead actually dead with his brains falling out from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The photos Euronymous took of the body famously became the cover of Mayhem's Dawn of the Black Hearts album (seriously, that link is not for the faint of heart), and Euronymous allegedly cannibalized Dead's brain and made jewelry out of pieces of his skull.


After that heartwarming scene, Fenriz is back to discuss the state of Norway in the early '90s. The establishing shots they pan through are beautiful: charming snowcapped chateaus, idyllic town squares. But in '91 the first McDonald's opened up in Bergen and Fenriz and friends didn't like it. They grabbed some rifles, rode their bikes to the restaurant and shot the windows out. "We hoped there would be a third world war," the Count says of those halcyon days. "We knew that if you want to build something new, you have to destroy the old first."


Enter the church burnings. The Fantoft Stave Church was built in 1150—on top of a pagan holy site. "It's stigmatizing to talk about heritage," says Count Grishnackh. "Christianity erased our original cultures anyway. We might have known worse periods, but they destroyed records, wanted to replace our culture. Christianity is the root of all problems in the world. They have no respect for the Norwegian culture. Why should we respect their culture?"


It's at this point in the movie that I start to get scared because...wait for it...I THINK THE COUNT IS MAKING SENSE. Forget all the racist, screamy rants and the diva-like bitching about his domain name. I am nodding my head in agreement with what he is saying and thinking, "Fuck yeah! Fight the power, Count!"


In 1992, the wooden Fantoft Church went up in flames. It was the start of a series of fires that was eventually blamed on the Count. Hysterical news reports warned of satanists in Norway's midst. Then Kerrang! magazine published an in-depth report on Norwegian black metal in 1993. Suddenly, the underground scene was front and center on the news. Copycat church burnings, satanic symbols and extreme concerts began popping up around Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Black metal was a trend.


Fenriz is shown waiting for a phone call from an interviewer. The reporter calls and he is so friendly and kind to her. He gives an interesting, insightful interview, engages in some playful back-and-forth about his lyrics and then thanks the reporter for her time. It's a telling moment. This is the man that everyone fears, whose life's work has been reduced to a shocking moment in a cable channel countdown.


Next we see indie director Harmony Korine, who helmed the movie Kids and dated Chloe Sevigny before she was an it girl. He's dancing around like a fucking moron in corpsepaint and talking about how he's really in to black metal. "I went to Norway where all the guys burned the churches down and killed each other," he foams. "And I visited Euronymous's grave!" I couldn't have expected anything more from the director of Gummo. I fucking hate this raging douchebag so fucking much.


At first, I didn't really get why the filmmakers included this short but epically annoying scene with Harmony, but it suddenly hit me. He was practically giddy talking about  the death and destruction that occurred in Norway, and what he was saying was exactly what Fenriz and Count Grishnackh said they hated. Their art, their outlet, was viewed as the exact opposite of their intent.


Fenriz is shown attending an art gallery exhibit of black metal-inspired paintings (that are actually pretty cool). He quietly views the art and the photographs of the original black metallers hanging in the lobby. He greets the artist and leaves the gallery, hands shoved deeply into his pockets.


Now we've come to the defining moment in black metal history: the murder of Euronymous. The Count explains that he heard through the grapevine that Euronymous was pissed off that the Count granted an anonymous interview to a newspaper in which he copped to being the mastermind behind the church burnings. "He said he was going to knock me out and kidnap me and make a snuff film while torturing me to death," the Count remembers. "And I took it serious."


We all know the outcome of this little feud. The Count recounts the evening when he stabbed Euronymous to death and maintains that it was in self-defense. "He was swimming in glass fragments in his underwear with a broken lamp," he recalls. "I finished Aarseth off. I stabbed him in the skull so he died immediately."


The 20-year-old Varg "Count" Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the most allowed under Norwegian law, for the murder of Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth. The media referred to him as "the satanist Varg Vikernes."


On the day of his sentencing, he says,"I already knew they were going to give me the 21 years. [The judge] wanted to underline we don't tolerate this rebellion in Norway. They were expecting me to be wetting my pants or something, but it just made me smile, really. I just turned my head to the audience, you could call it, and just smiled. And from what I gathered they smiled back." 



Then they show this:


I had to rewind this scene several times. It was at this point that I remembered the anonymous comment that I didn't understand black metal. It's easy to make fun of...the corpsepaint, the ridiculous outfits, Immortal. And I'll continue to make fun of it, because it is fun. But it was at this point that I came the closest to understanding that I probably ever will. The first time I watched this scene, I gasped. By the fifth or so time I rewound it, I smiled, too.


I don't like to talk about myself in too much detail on this blog. But one of the main reasons I love rock so much is because it was an outlet to my feelings of isolation from growing up in a small town. It felt like someone else out there understood feelings I couldn't explain, someone in a place I assumed was better and cooler and more fun than where I was. These crazed rockers in Norway who burned churches and killed each other were kids like me who felt misunderstood, except they also felt helpless to what they believed was a rape of their culture. 


Fenriz describes Norway as a place that's even, with no real cultural scene. It's easy to see how something extreme can simmer up from a place that's artistically barren, freezing cold and neutral. It got out of control, but I can't say that I, as a small town girl, never felt like burning down a building or mowing a few people down out of frustration. Don't report me to Homeland Security; I'd never do that, mofos! But teenage isolation and feeling misunderstood can cause crazy thoughts to pop into your head. You've felt that way, too, and you know it.


The movie winds down with a few words from the Count about the media. "You're bombarded by commercials and senseless information every day," he says. "If you turn your head, you see a sign or a commercial, news, magazines, products being sold. Everything is meaningless."  He's sitting in prison, where he says he's had time to think and read. "It's a sea of lies and it's impossible to find the truth, unless you know where, when and how to look," he continues. "You will eventually weed out all the lies and you will end up with something at least similar to the truth. It's hidden under rocks. You'll stumble and get branches in your face and make mistakes before you finally find it."


Fenriz laments that their original music is now out in the open. "It's everyone's property and it's out of our hands," he says, shaking his head. "It's a brand now. What can I do? What's the point?"


The ironic twist at the end is that Helvete, the music store Euronymous once owned that was considered the center of black metal culture in its heyday, has been transformed into a bright, white art gallery. "I wish this whole thing didn't turn into a trend," says Fenriz.  "Then again, people like to dress up."

10/25/2010

The best sexy Halloween costumes for the day after

Two years ago, I saw a girl at about 8 in the morning the day after Halloween wearing a Sexy Alice in Wonderland costume. She was bending over into some bushes, her bloomered ass exposed to god, retching like no one's business. I mean, the sound of her voms could be heard echoing down the street. I've never seen anything like it, nor will I ever forget it.

I like to think she was doing the walk of shame after hooking up with some frat dink dressed as a pimp. It was the perfect kick-off to All Saints' Day.

The point is, sexy costumes aren't always stupid, but think about where you may end up later in the night and if there's potential to become fodder for an embarrassing story on a blog no one reads. It's an online world, you know.

Sexy Alice in Wonderland is an example of the sexified children's character. Not only are these costumes creepy, you can never hope to look composed on the day after in one of these. Watching someone puke in the bushes wearing a Sexy Elmo outfit is likely to change your life forever. And not in a good way. Other ridiculous examples include Sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (hottie in a half shell!), Sexy Rainbow Brite and the just plain fucking stupid Sexy Spongebob.

Only slightly less embarrassing would be for you to be caught passed out in front of a Taco Bell with a "sexy item" costume up around your waist. Imagine waking up at noon on November 1, in a strange yard decorated to look like a slaughterhouse dressed as a Sexy Beer Pong Game or a Sexy Hunter's Trophy Rack. Guaranteed this would be one of the lowest points of your life. It would be better to be in the nude.

You need to plan ahead to do one of three things: scare, confuse or blend in. Try dressing as a slutted-up version of a movie serial killer, like Sexy Freddie Krueger, Sexy Jason and my personal fave, Sexy Leatherface. At least no one will fuck with you.

Another good bet is to confuse people with sexy costumes that don't make sense (like any of these do, but you know what I mean). Try going as aSexy Transformer, preferably Bumblebee, which is the lamest of all the Transformers. And even more inexplicable, Sexy Brian from Family Guy. People's minds will be too busy trying to wrap around your bizarre outfit to notice you look like shit. And that you're face down in your own sick.

The best of all options is to go as someone who is already known for being constantly wrecked. Try Sexy "The Situation" (complete with fake abs) or Sexy Duffman. You'll blend right in with all the empties on the porch in these and your friends, neighbors and anonymous passers-by will be none the wiser to your fuckery.

Have a good one, bitches! You'll find me in the most sincerest of pumpkin patches, waiting patiently for the Great.

10/19/2010

Chicken or egg?

Great minds think alike. And if you believe that, then I should be the head of creative at VH1.

The greatest reality show producers on the planet and I both have inflicted Rock of Love girls where are they now recaps on an unsuspecting and uncaring world.

If you're so inclined, you can watch the whole damn VH1 special online. Warning: it contains copious amounts of Rikki Rachtman.

The rundown is pretty close to mine: drunk, stripping, babies, stripping, drunk, stripping, finding the inner self, stripping, Hustler, stripping blah blah. Lacey's singing is fucking horrible (although I totally commend her dog rescue endeavors), Mindy's living in Cinci and working on some kind of food fetish calendar, Rodeo is a darn sweetheart and Brandi C. is engaged to a Billie Joe Armstrong lookalike. As an added bonus, some of the bitches bash on Bret and trash him for being a big, fake ho. The saddest (and awesomest) quote comes from Squishy Barbie Doll Head: "He's a skank just like me."

Embarrassing confession: I totes want to hang out with ASHeather.