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658067 Posts in 9262 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 59 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: 12/12: Tokenism  (Read 14762 times)
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John
edit0r
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« on: Dec 12, 2004, 10:16:35 PM »

New article up now! In which I forgot to post my wish list, which I meant to do. So, umm, yeah, forum people: three times a year (my birthday, Lalitree's birthday, and Christmas) I sheepishly point out that, while I enjoy writing LPTJ, it's hard work sometimes, so if you were feelin' in a present-giving mood, my aLibris wishlist is right over here.

*tugs forelock, kicks dust with shoe, looks around shiftily, scatters off kitchen-mouse style*
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coldforge
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 12, 2004, 10:51:14 PM »

For my money, Pig Destroyer just isn't that good. As someone who self-identifies as a metalhead - and not an indie kid in the slightest - I loved Leviathan, but Terrifyer - and Prowler and Painter - just bore me to tears. American grind is freaking /dull/, yo.

That said, it's actually seemed to me that Terrifyer's gotten quite a bit of indie press - particularly irking since as I said, I don't really like it. But it does seem to be getting quite a bit more recognition than most metal, not to mention most /European/ metal.

I kind of also feel like Pig Destroyer is much more palatable to your average indie kid than Leviathan, given that it's really hip to be into absurd, self-destructive music, and to yelp incessant paeans to all things 'brutal', whereas music as unabashedly ambitious, epic, and /sincere/ as Leviathan tends to get them looking at their shoes and smirking.
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boganlux
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 12, 2004, 10:51:56 PM »

Maybe I haven't read about the new Pig Destroyer any place except the Aquarius Records website, but plenty of my generally indie-minded friends are talking about it plenty.
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John
edit0r
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 12, 2004, 10:56:00 PM »

I wondered while I was writing it if I was in fact totally wrong! But as I say, plowing through indie-press sources, I found Leviathan and Panopticon-love acres deep; Terrifyer, one only.

As to whether it's dull - can't agree! Certainly I think it's something only somewhat like grind - it's rather more acid-drenched than grind usually is, and a hell of a lot more interesting lyrically.
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justinh
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 12, 2004, 11:02:14 PM »

i haven't heard pig destroyer in years, but it strikes me that maybe mastodon and isis are a bit more accessible than pig destroyer, they have a bit more beat variation and melody, at least compared to the last pig destroyer stuff that i heard (which was covering carcass, and interestingly on a split with isis).
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coldforge
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 12, 2004, 11:06:02 PM »

Well, in that case, can we at least agree that Isis seems to be sliding from doomy, crushing guitar washes and tides to some kind of sleepy soupiness?

My theory is that Panopticon is receiving all this great press because everyone feels guilty for not giving Oceanic (by far the better album) its due.
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l'era del terzo mondo.
justinh
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 12, 2004, 11:48:09 PM »

i think isis peaked with celestial.  oceanic and panopticon are both pretty good, though.
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drworm01
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 12, 2004, 11:59:06 PM »

I don't have anything to say about Pig Destroyer or Mastodon or really anything. I did want to point out that God Forbid got mentioned (postively) in the indie-rock webcomic Questionable Content: http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=249
to wit: "As far as I know, the lead guitarist of God Forbid is a nice fellow who would not bleed on your purposefully. He does play some pointy guitars though!"
So some indie kids are finding out about God Forbid. I think. I don't know. I don't even know if I used the phrase "to wit" properly.
I think I just wasted everyone's time.
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SPACERACE
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 13, 2004, 12:07:56 AM »

Listening to Leviathan right now, It's pretty damn good, but I'm just not digging it as much as Panopticon. Panopticon has that progressive stuff that Isis seemed to start toying with in Celestial / Oceanic (mostly the latter). I really love the stuff that puts other people to sleep, though; I love Earth and Sun, I love long, plodding, bass-heavy instrumental tracks, I love delta tones.

It seems I love everything that people tend to avoid. Oh well.

I'll be looking into Pig Destroyer ASAP, for argument's sake if nothing else. I expect I'll like it, though, if it compares favorably with Leviathan.
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coldforge
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 13, 2004, 12:25:34 AM »

Man, I've had beef with QC ever since the dude had the 'metal chick' mention Opeth and Blood Brothers in the same sentence.

But that's just me.

I guess, regarding Panopticon, as someone who is totally down with drone-doom in its many incarnations, that the sleepy parts on this particular album strikes me less as drone-doom and more as kind of aimless bits because they didn't know what to do next.

I mean, I might be overstating my case here; I /like/ the album, but it's no  Oceanic.
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l'era del terzo mondo.
jebreject
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 13, 2004, 12:29:09 AM »

I really like Pig Destroyer, but I still haven't listened to Terrifyer, because I just never want to listen to metal--or anything resembling metal--these days.  I mean, sometimes it'll happen, but not that often.  And me being poor + trying to stick to my decision to download as few new records as possible makes it really tough.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 13, 2004, 01:15:15 AM »

concerning "panopticon": i'm not surprised that it's the metal record du jour amongst the mainstream--from listening to it, i'd say that isis have gotten so into exploring their fascination with quiet moments and ambient rushes of emotion that they're at this point barely even metal anymore. of course, one could argue the same thing of neurosis, where concerns their excellent most recent album "the eye of every storm" (oh god, i totally forgot this when i listed best records of the year... what an injustice. whoops.), but it seems like neurosis are still capturing a metal feel even if there's nothing concrete to point to where that's concerned, while isis are going more in a discretely atmospheric direction. "oceanic" started them some distance down this path, but i'm feeling it a lot more from "panopticon" than i even did from "oceanic".

meanwhile, mastodon's "leviathan" also explores some of these same ambient textures, which my roommate and i have started to refer to as "that whole doom/prog thing" that's gotten big in metal recently (by the way, john, i also noticed some of that in the textures album you reviewed a couple of months ago, although that album was at least as reminiscent of dillinger escape plan's "miss machine" and the end's "within dividia" as anything in the recent isis/neurosis-demarcated territory). however, mastodon are definitely a lot more identifiably metal--but it's a different kind of metal than that of pigdestroyer, and in fact it's a similar kind of metal to that which isis is launching from. both bands are taking a large part of what they're doing from a stoner rock base, which is really just a sort of harking back to what metal was in the mid-70s when ozzy was still in black sabbath and lester bangs was still writing about them in the pages of "creem".

now, pigdestroyer is an entirely different animal. i'd say the most recognizably traditional "metal" moment on "terrifyer" comes at about two and a half minutes into "towering flesh", when guest guitarist matt mills rips off a devastating 80s-thrash-metal solo. the rest of the time, though, "terrifyer" is a trip through the darkest pits of hell. like "prowler in the yard" before it, it gets down and dirty and rolls around in some of the most repugnant and disturbing areas that human emotion has ever produced. i mean, i'm sure you own it, john, and therefore have read the absolutely harrowing liner notes... right? if it seemed like "prowler in the yard" was the most disgusting and disturbing j.r. hayes could get with his lyrical/liner-note imagery, well, obviously that wasn't the case, now was it? combine that with the fact that the music changes riffs approximately 6 times per minute (except on "natasha"--more about that later) and a lot of times is in excess of 400 bpm and layered with bloodcurdling, unintelligible screams, and you have a surefire recipe for scaring away the sort of indie kids who spent this summer wetting their pants over the arcade fire (no offense to anyone--the arcade fire are pretty awesome). and god, what about that two-minute stretch at the end of "gravedancer" where the song ends and you hear what seems to be a woman being tortured by a maniac? this shit would give your average person who isn't used to a steady diet of the most extremes metal has to offer in 2004 nightmares. in fact, sometimes i get quite uneasy listening to it myself. j.r. hayes's depictions of violence and brutality specifically towards women are another of the elements that i would consider ripe for scaring away your typical indie kid. after all, they aren't sympathetic to the plight of the woman, or even clinical and emotionless. take the lyrics to "restraining order blues": "The bullet hole looks so right in your head like it'd been missing all along the blood streaked across your face like some twisted lover's deformed lipstick trace staring at your reflection wondering how you're still alive wondering if she's somewhere laughing deciding whether to let you die." there's something about that that can't be called anything other than insane, and in the scariest possible way. not to be a snob, but can your typical indie kid handle this as a piece of art? can a typical indie reviewer boy have his emotions manipulated in this visceral of a manner without condemning it as sexism and refusing to analyze the way it makes him feel on any other level than that? in my experience, the type of hardcore kids who'd be most likely to listen to pig destroyer's music can't, let alone indie kids.

obviously i like the pigdestroyer album more than isis or mastodon. while i have burned copies of all three, i only went out and bought "terrifyer". this has more to do with poverty than anything--ironically, after paying $17 for the album and getting the dvd-audio disc containing "natasha", i had to download an mp3 of the song to actually hear it, since i don't own a dvd player (in fact, no one i know has both the dvd player and the 5.1 dolby surround sound necessary to get the full effect of the song, with the possible exception of my dad. i'm considering taking the disc home with me for christmas, so i can play it on his stereo and get the full effect--but that would require no one being home, and i don't think i'm gonna get that opportunity over the short time i'll be there). of course, no matter how much i like "terrifyer", it's disturbing to me too. maybe the reason pig destroyer appeal to me so much more than mastodon or isis has to do with my own mental and emotional chemistry--a lifelong sufferer from bipolar/manic-depressive disorder, i relate on a level that's at times almost too close for comfort to j.r. hayes's paranoid revenge fantasies and extremities of self-loathing ("lost cause": "someday I'll find a way to win her over. she knows it's me calling again. I can feel her rolling her eyes. these words I used to scream from the rooftops, they just fall like ash from my tongue.") and yeah, maybe that's more of a niche market than the one mastodon or isis hits. on the whole, i guess i'm just arguing that "terrifyer" is more challenging than mastodon or isis, and that could be why it's not crossing over in that same way.

then again, maybe it's just that neo-stoner doom/prog is more popular right now, or in general. either way, when i'm up way too late and way too freaked to sleep, it's pigdestroyer i reach for.

ok, that went on way too long. sorry. (let's see how long it takes me to get horribly flamed for this post...)
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
jebreject
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 13, 2004, 02:59:58 AM »

andrew, i thorougly enjoyed reading that post.  i really like the way you write about music.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 13, 2004, 06:26:05 AM »

What's the fastest way for me to get a Pig Destroyer disc?
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 13, 2004, 06:45:23 AM »

jeb--awesome, thanks. by the end of it i was somehow sure that it was a pile of bullshit, so i feel better knowing someone else got something out of it.

good intentions--i bought "terrifyer" at tower records, so you should be able to get it there, or if you do the online buying thing, get it from their label here.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
John
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 13, 2004, 08:22:32 AM »

Once again Andrew kicks nine different kinds of ass. The one difference I'd raise is that, for me, the misogyny of Terrifyer seems somehow mitigated by the great pains the narrator takes to give at least as much play to his own self-loathing. Big Black records (for example) feature a similar misogyny, but one always gets the impression that you're supposed to find the narrators cool, if only in a whoa-that-dude's-extreme way; there are no heroes on Terrifyer, just a squalling emptiness.

That one guitar solo he mentions is rad, but listening last night I noticed several other buried/hiding moments like it. There's just a lot of depth to this album.
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SPACERACE
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 13, 2004, 10:20:10 AM »

Good post, Andrew.

I think what I prefer about "Panopticon" vs. "Terrifiyer" right now is the way that Panopticon can be appreciated more easily at a musical glance. It flaunts its depth, complexity, etc., and tries to make it readily apparent to anyone listening. Hence the indie press showering it with praise; it seems that they don't want to have to analyze their metal. And, there are times when I don't really want to have an intense grindcore listening session, either; I want some ambient music for reading a book.

Terrifyer, on the outside, seems to be basically your average grind band, and so most wouldn't look as hard as John and Andrew did. Albiet when you do, you find some incredible things.

I do think that the average indie-leaning music journalist would see these things if they tried, they just don't, because the stuff is pretty hard to penetrate.
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NedRaggett
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 13, 2004, 11:44:09 AM »

Just a brief surfacing here to note that I do have an AMG review for this sucker up.  Not as good a take as the ones advanced by John or on this thread, though.  Sorry to post and dash, must escape back to work.
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rtotalexvii
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 13, 2004, 12:36:46 PM »

Quote from: "John"
Big Black records (for example) feature a similar misogyny, but one always gets the impression that you're supposed to find the narrators cool, if only in a whoa-that-dude's-extreme way; there are no heroes on Terrifyer, just a squalling emptiness.


i really don't understand where you're coming from with that.. can't recall any cool people or "heroes" on big black records

Lately I have been frequenting bad houses
Places no respectable man would be seen
I hate myself for my weakness
My past sickens me
I tell myself I will not go
Even as I drive there
I hate myself for my weakness
My past sickens me
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Bernard
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 13, 2004, 01:00:46 PM »

Andrew, perhaps it speaks to my own experiences, but the lyrics you quoted don't seem particularly frightening. Those songs sound like they're about the devastation that can be wrought by the dismantling of a relationship -- and that's what close to a third of all pop lyrics address, I'd wager. Metal's not a musical genre which has any special appeal for me, but I'd be interested in checking out this album after reading your description (and this kind of tuning is what I was trying to get at in the Not Subjectivity thread, so thanks).
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jebreject
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« Reply #20 on: Dec 13, 2004, 01:58:12 PM »

I know several indie kids who "cannot stand metal" but really dig the new Isis record, and it's sort of disconserting.  Just thought I'd say.
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Nickosaurus
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« Reply #21 on: Dec 13, 2004, 02:01:48 PM »

Having not heard either of these albums, my only business in this thread is to say that Tropical Gangsters is awesome.
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John
edit0r
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« Reply #22 on: Dec 13, 2004, 02:48:48 PM »

Quote from: "jebreject"
I know several indie kids who "cannot stand metal" but really dig the new Isis record, and it's sort of disconserting.  Just thought I'd say.


this is kinda what I'm talkin' about
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jebreject
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« Reply #23 on: Dec 13, 2004, 02:57:36 PM »

I actually got into an argument with one about whether or not Isis was even metal at all.  My assertion, of course, was that they were in fact a metal band, or at least a band greatly influenced by metal who used to be a metal band and still have metal band tendencies even if they are now more correctly a "post-rock" band or whateverthefuck.  He said that other than the vocals he didn't hear a single metal thing on the record.  And although he's never heard any of the other Isis stuff ...

blah blah blah
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mackro
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« Reply #24 on: Dec 13, 2004, 03:39:32 PM »

Melvins play a very interesting equation here, I think.  They've made a legacy of doing, essentially, metallic music with nods to heavier classic rock and parallel nods to dronier noise, and have had a (primarily) indie audience gather 'round for them and all of their influencees, like KARP/ Big Business, *cough* Nirvana (at least before the mainstream radio part), The F***ing Champs, Last Of The Juanitas, etc.  Sure, Buzzo can deliver a menacing growl and howl here and there, but they didn't start out the way they became, and they never were serious about any of the accompanying imagery or other elements of what, say, makes a Mayhem fan become a Mayhem fan.  Then again, Melvins are rarely a serious band, period, by their own admittance.

Let's not forget that -- at one time -- metal, hardcore, and punk were a lofty three-way marriage, especially in the early to mid 80s.  Many indie kids who go back to either metal, hardcore, or punk somehow come back liking the other.

But what I think attracts some of the "indie" audience to certain metal bands and not others is basically the complement of what draws, say, Cradle Of Filth fans to certain bands and not others.  If the metal band is either a) not into that whole "cheezy dark imagery", b) are into the whole "cheezy dark imagery because it's funny", or c) are into the whole gambit but are legitimized and praised by bands of the "a" and/or "b" category, then that will get the indie thumbs up.

Truely though, I think the only accurate answer to this question is: there isn't one thing that can explain one metal band being championed by the indie audience and not another.  It's all down to chaos and entropy, really.  I give college radio/hipsters a bit more credit these days than to enjoy metal purely for ironic reasons.. (well, at least most.), so we're just seeing another version of "why is THIS band popular but a lot more than THAT one?" in another forum... except instead of Interpol or The Arcade Fire, we're talking metal here, and the dynamics/genre crossing are slightly different, but the word of mouth aspect is exactly the same.

(Off the record, I do have Leviathon, and I'm still getting into it.. but not completely won over here.  I'm still enjoying the Sleepytime Gorilla Museum album of this year, which I found more immediate and more satisfying off the first few listens, though that's not really "metal" per se.  That's me!  Indie Guy!)
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