Miscellaneous Music (June 2020)
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
See the picture above? That's one of the members of the Christian Pop Punk band Hawk Nelson from 2008. Back when my daughter was 5, we would listen to the single "Friend Like That." It was a nice song for a little kid.
Imagine my surprise that in a week of riots and pandemic news, one of the top stories at CNN this week was Christian Singer No Longer Believes in God. Of course the story was about the lead singer of Hawk Nelson.
I read Jonathan Steingard's lengthy Instagram post and felt sad. Apparently Steingard's atheism was a hard, depressing journey that seemed to be used for clickbait by CNN instead of any deep rooted journalism.
You know why? Because CNN is run by the Devil.
During lockdown, the coolest quarantine Zoom Tune was Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, Mike Patton, & Dan Lilker slightly altering the Stormtroppers of Death classic Speak English or Die and creating Speak Spanish or Die.
If you're over the age of 25, you should understand why this is such an awesome cover.
There is a story at CNN where Taylor Swift is calling out Donald Trump for feigning moral superiority over Minnesota Protestors.
Listen, I write about it all the time, I am not a Trump fan. But you know who else I'm not a fan of? Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift criticizing any politician is laughable. Swift's area of expertise is pop hooks and ex-boyfriends.
CNN propping up Swift is a case of them reporting on what the popular, rich people think. What musician's opinion would sway me on which way to vote in November? Uh, none.
If you put a gun to my head and said that I had to pick one? I don't know, let's see, how about the metal band Pallbearer?
I know I've posted it before, but I've been thinking about Pallbearer's Devoid of Redemption lately. Not the album version, but the fried vocal cord version at SXSW in 2013. You know why his vocal cords were so tore up? He probably sang that song over and over until his throat bled that week.
If he sang Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go, the vocals wouldn't work. Since he is singing about death and despair, the torn up vocals lend gravitas to the dark subject matter.
(Shout out to old friend Jason Campo. He made me listen to Wham's Greatest Hits and I still feel pissed off about it to this day.)
Seriously, you want to listen to what a musician has to say about current events? Try Killer Mike.
His takes are spot on. Then, on top of that, when half this country has no money in their pockets, his band Run the Jewels comes out and says that they are giving away their new album for free if you want it.
My favorite Killer Mike song? Blam Blam.
Came across an article at Loudwire: Rapper Releases Black Metal EP.
At first I was skeptical, because earlier this year King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard tried a metal album and I didn't really like it. I applauded their gumption, but it didn't really stick with me. So in my mind, what rapper could pull off Black Metal?
Well, his name is Ghostemane and he's a genre bending rapper. After skimming through his discography, this is the song I'm listening to and recommending now.
The Black Metal EP Baader-Meinhof is surprisingly good. If you can't find it, it's because its listed under the artist Blackmage (which is Ghostemane.)
Ghostemane is the closest thing to being current in music that I'm going to get.
Usually I bitch about bad music lists, today I came across a music list that I actually agreed with:
Metal Hammer's 11 Metal Bands with No Bad Albums
The biggest names in Metal have all had clunker albums in their catalogs due to reasons as varied as lineup changes, to time, to selling out. The reason to mention Metal Hammer's list is that it includes one of my personal favorites, ISIS (the band).
Name the biggest names in Metal and they have all had major missteps in their catalogs: Metallica, Rush, KISS, Anthrax, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden....
The problem with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can be summed up with one band: The Atlanta Rhythm Section.
I think that when the Rock Hall was built, many in Northeast Ohio thought that the first classes would be bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and then years later it would be filled with bands like the Atlanta Rhythm Section. A silky smooth southern-rock band with a half dozen or so Top 40 Hits.
Instead the Rock Hall has chosen, wisely or unwisely, to only choose the cream of the crop of the past and then pick artists who may not be Rock and Roll at all (NWA or Whitney Houston), but have their roots in Rock and Roll. You can trace NWA's roots back to James Brown and the rebellious spirit of the 60's and you can trace Houston's roots back to Aretha Franklin.
The problem with that philosophy is that in a few years, no "rock" bands will be inducted into the Hall, only those with a Rock Lineage.
At some point, you're going to be putting an artist like Ghostmane in the Rock Hall before a band like Dr. Hook. I don't think that's the vision a lot of Rock Fans had when the Rock Hall was built.
Whenever rioting hits, I always post the same song on Facebook, Riot by the Dead Kennedys. Because if you listen to the lyrics, it explains the anatomy, almost without fail, of all riots.
Poignant Lyrics Today:
.....The barricades spring up from nowhere
Cops in helmets line the lines
Shotguns prod into your bellies
The trigger fingers want an excuse
The raging mob has lost its nerve
There's more of us but who goes first
No one dares to cross the line
The cops know that they've won
The pigs have just begun to fight
They club your heads, kick your teeth
Police can riot all that they please
Riot - The unbeatable high
Riot - Shoots your nerves to the sky
Riot - Playing into their hands
Tomorrow you're homeless
Tonight it's a blast
Then there's the more mellow take on rioting.
April 29, 1992 (1992)
Poignant Lyrics Today:
.....They said it was for the black man
They said it was for the Mexican, and not for the white man
But if you look at the street, it wasn't about Rodney King
And this fucked up situation, and these fucked up police
It's about coming up and staying on top
And screaming, "187 on a motherfuckin' cop"
It's not in the paper, it's on the wall
Smoke from all around.....
Hey, before you go, please consider this.....
You know why people knew about George Floyd? Because someone was brave enough to take out their cell phone and capture police brutality in real time.
Even though some of Jello Biafra's pop culture references are dated, the gist is that people need to become the media.
And guess what? One citizen became the media and it changed America....