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658143 Posts in 9262 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 54 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: 12/12: Tokenism  (Read 14786 times)
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NedRaggett
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Posts: 20167


« Reply #25 on: Dec 13, 2004, 08:08:12 PM »

You demmed Indie Guy, you and your indie ways, I wouldn't get near you with a ten foot pole.  Oh wait, I'm crashing at your apartment soon, never mind.
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"They profaned his Temple. They killed his father. They... all kinds of stuff."
Andrew_TSKS
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Posts: 39426


« Reply #26 on: Dec 13, 2004, 11:42:18 PM »

wow, i have so much to say back to the new posts to this thread i took notes for this post.

john--oh i couldn't agree more. j.r. hayes has ALWAYS used what is referred to as "the unreliable narrator" in literary circles, and to devastating effect. it's very obvious that you're not supposed to see his actions as in any way justifiable, and you know that he sees himself as loathsome on some level too--and yet, every now and then you find yourself completely sympathizing with him. here i will hark back to "prowler in the yard", specifically to the lyrics of "starbelly", which is in my opinion j.r.'s best lyrical moment yet:

"Dear everything.
Today I witnessed a crucifixion in pink and lavender and gold.
I've heard people say that beauty is in details,
but I don't think they have ever seen you.
There were mortal wounds inflicted on the sky
and incrminating blue stains on my shirt.
The shirt you bought for me.
Christ it hurts.
Like stars in my belly going supernova.
I feel like a zombie that refuses to live.
Haunting the junkyards and cutting myself on scraps of you.
The other day I masturbated to pictures of you at your birthday party.
They were the only ones I still had.
It felt so wrong, just like my life.
I hope I'm dead by the time you read this. I love you."

there are moments in that song where the narrator seems absolutely repulsive, and yet (again, this may just be because i'm weird) the last two lines never fail to stir deep empathy in my heart. and that's where i think j.r. is going to lose people. i'm not saying that his narrators are heroes--far from it. what i am saying is that the type of sympathy that they can sometimes generate, in spite of their repugnance, is scary to your average person. they know they aren't supposed to see this person as a hero, but every now and then when they catch themselves sympathizing with him, it's enough to send a lot of them running away screaming. of course, in my opinion, that's why pig destroyer's albums are such brilliant pieces of art, but i also think that's why they're never going to find the kind of widespread audience that isis can reach now that they've pretty much abandoned their original crushing metal sound. [which reminds me--jeb, play your friends "the mosquito control ep" and see if they still think isis aren't metal. i think some context will do wonders in that situation.]

this brings me to reese's statement that "Panopticon can be appreciated more easily at a musical glance". sure, i would agree--however, i think part of what i prefer about "terrifyer" is that it is such a challenge to understand and appreciate. the fact that isis are kind of softballing things tempts me to say that they are falling off... though once i've had time to get used to "panopticon", i'm sure i'll change my mind.

bernard--i have to wonder what your experience is that lyrics that begin with a guy staring at a person he's just shot in the head "don't seem particularly frightening" to you. then again, maybe i don't wanna know, huh?  :wink: seriously though, i think a lot of what i find most disturbing about the album has less to do with the actual lyrics than it does to do with the liner notes (a particularly surreal horror story that starts out being about a long-estranged couple and... well, i won't spoil it, but it gets really fucked up really fast) and the way the whole thing combines with the furious extremity of the song structures and the sonic wallop the whole thing packs. i think if you hunt the album down you'll start to see where the scare factor comes in.

mackro--well, yes, the melvins do seem to have a lot of relevance to this discussion now that you mention it. and one way that you didn't think of is this--the melvins' metal influences were mostly derived from that same 70s metal template that created the stoner rock genre that birthed mastodon and isis. i'd say that the melvins either had a big influence on those bands or were influenced by the same older bands that mastodon and isis were influenced by. however, if it weren't for pig destroyer's cover of the melvins' "oven" on their first lp, "explosions in ward 6", i would have no reason to think that the melvins had any influence on pig destroyer. what i think it comes down to is that slower, more boogie-rock influenced metal, and/or prog-influenced atmospheric metal, will always stand a way better chance of getting over among indie kids than any other form of metal. and you're right, the "cheeze" factor does dissuade some indie kids from metal--but they'd be wrong to lump pig destroyer into that stylistic branch. pig destroyer aren't cheezy, they're scary. and not in a "we're trying to scare you" sort of way, which is why i respect it so much. i think they really are trying to create art that will make an impression on the listener/viewer, and it works in a big way. however, the very fact that it works so well will probably run off some who aren't prepared for the way that impression will make them feel.

oh, and one more thing--hey ned, how'd you get a gig writing for allmusic? and does it pay?
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
Bernard
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Posts: 9845


« Reply #27 on: Dec 14, 2004, 01:30:54 AM »

Ha! I assumed he was looking into a mirror. Don't the lyrics make more sense that way?

I'm sure the context of the music makes the lyrics more clear.
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Johnp
Registered user

Posts: 380


« Reply #28 on: Dec 14, 2004, 06:33:31 AM »

Quote from: "John"
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


Kid Creole... as in August "Kid Creole" Darnell? Surely you could ask one of your Aunts - April, May or June - to pull out a copy from the family archive!

Season's best,

Jp.
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Nos vertus ne sont, le plus souvent, que des vices déguisés.
Andrew_TSKS
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Posts: 39426


« Reply #29 on: Dec 14, 2004, 09:41:56 AM »

hah, i never thought of the possibility that he's looking in a mirror. damn. maybe you're right.

either way, you need to read the story in the liner notes.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
John
edit0r
Registered user

Posts: 10925


« Reply #30 on: Dec 14, 2004, 12:31:14 PM »

Quote from: "Johnp"
Quote from: "John"
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


Kid Creole... as in August "Kid Creole" Darnell? Surely you could ask one of your Aunts - April, May or June - to pull out a copy from the family archive!

Season's best,

Jp.


Oops - I think I actually already have all those Kid Creole albums now!

Hadn't even stopped to consider the possibility that Kid Creole IS MY FATHER, awesome
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Adam
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Posts: 49


« Reply #31 on: Dec 14, 2004, 01:03:32 PM »

I would like to completely ignore the musical debate and tell everyone that I was eating my lovely little bowl of wild rice soup when I came to the part about the afterbirth in the frosting.  The soup no longer seemed quite so delicious.

Ah, who am I kidding?  It was great--I still ate it.  I was thinking about afterbirth when I did it, though.
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WhereTheSlimeLive
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Posts: 2326


« Reply #32 on: Dec 15, 2004, 11:46:09 AM »

Now I haven't got Terrifyer yet, but I'm sure as hell planning to.  Leviathan is probably my favorite release of the year, mainly ue to great live experience I had last July.  But to me, maybe because I'm so superficial myself, but when I look at the actual band members of both Isis an Mastodon, they seem so indie themselves, or at least have the highest potenial to be.  So along the lines of what Andrew said, the music coming from Isis and Mastodon are much easier to identify with then bloody and scarey Terrifyer.  Albums about philosophy(excuse me if I missuse the word) and literature are more pitchfork friendly then a horror show.  Though to me, Pig Destroyer have always seemed like band indie fans would enjoy.  Atleast more then God Forbid or Impaled ect.  

On a side note, was everyone else totally dissapointed with the Justin Chancelor track.  Not only does he do anything guest appearance worth but the song iself if the least shiny of them all.
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Puddle Pants
coldforge
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Posts: 11924


« Reply #33 on: Dec 15, 2004, 04:31:27 PM »

Man, i wish I could say the same things as you guys; I wish that 'round these parts (read: hipster-friendly liberal arts college) Isis and Mastodon were more palatable to the hipsters and indie kids than Pig Destroyer. Unfortunately, as things stand right now, the biggest (and most irritating) trend is quite the opposite; the stylish, tight-panted, campy, posturing, metal-shows-on-weekends hipster crowd is all about what is superficially the most 'brutal', or 'punishing', as it gives them greater opportunity to thrash around at shows and certainly boosts their cred. Anything that bears too close a resemblance to heavy metal, with all the silliness and irony that it is linked to, simply can't compete.
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
Bernard
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Posts: 9845


« Reply #34 on: Dec 16, 2004, 10:13:38 AM »

Haha. 'Isis'. Of course. No wonder I couldn't find anything under 'Ibis'. I did think it was an odd name for a band of that sort.
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Michael
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Posts: 369


« Reply #35 on: Dec 16, 2004, 12:12:23 PM »

I was intrigued, so looked up some Pig Destroyer lyrics, expecting it to be in the Cannibal Corpse vein of cartoonish gross out lyrics.

But holy shit. The thing that makes the lyrics so good is that they are twee as fuck. "Crippled Horses" starts off sounding like the Field Mice.

"Restraining Order Blues": totally looking in the mirror. AND SHE MIGHT STILL BE IN THE HOUSE!!!!!
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Bernard
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Posts: 9845


« Reply #36 on: Dec 16, 2004, 05:23:24 PM »

I listened to Pig Destroyer twice, last night on the way home from the record shop, and again this morning on the way to work. The lyrics are completely unintelligible to me from the singing -- without the booklet I'd have no idea what, if anything, was being said, and I didn't hear much variation -- the singing seemed to be all of a piece, no changes in pace, phrasing, or tone that I could determine.

I haven't really figured out how to listen to this.
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Ha, see, and look how Julian Casablancas ended up!!!!
WhereTheSlimeLive
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Posts: 2326


« Reply #37 on: Dec 16, 2004, 07:54:37 PM »

If you are intriguied by good Death Metal lyrics, check out some Cryptopsy lyrics.  Lord Worm, their vocalist was an english teacher for some time,and might still be....though I doubt.
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Puddle Pants
John
edit0r
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Posts: 10925


« Reply #38 on: Dec 16, 2004, 10:00:37 PM »

Bernard am I right in guessing that you don't often listen to this sort of thing?
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Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #39 on: Dec 16, 2004, 11:20:53 PM »

Quote from: "coldforge"
Unfortunately, as things stand right now, the biggest (and most irritating) trend is quite the opposite; the stylish, tight-panted, campy, posturing, metal-shows-on-weekends hipster crowd is all about what is superficially the most 'brutal', or 'punishing', as it gives them greater opportunity to thrash around at shows and certainly boosts their cred.


Yet somehow I don't see these type of people pitching up at Eyehategod shows.

Am I correct in assuming that Pig Destroyers have carefully scoured the Michael D Williams songbook?
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John
edit0r
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Posts: 10925


« Reply #40 on: Dec 16, 2004, 11:31:19 PM »

stuff's a little easier to parse than Mike's stuff, not as willfully cramped/obscure
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boganlux
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Posts: 1149


« Reply #41 on: Dec 16, 2004, 11:57:12 PM »

Maybe this is only proof that I'm an indie kid slumming it with metal, but I never try to listen to or understand extreme metal lyrics (or hardcore/screamo/metalcore lyrics for that matter). I just treat the vocals as another texture. On the other hand (and this is purely self-diagnosis here), I have a lot of trouble understanding what people are saying if there's lots of background noise. This extends beyond simply not hearing them. I watch DVDs with the subtitles on, because no matter how much I turn the tv up it'll turn up the background noise too. I mean I get along fine 95% of the time watching TV or VHS. So I wonder if perhaps I simply have a harder time understanding what extreme vocalists are saying.

But, one time I was listening to a grindcore CD and was trying to read along with the lyrics and suddenly when the screaming resolved itself into English words in my head the vocals sounded very very different, and I really, musically, enjoyed it better as washes of sound and not individual words. When I heard the words as words the fact the singer was delivering them so fast and without any of the normal variations in inflection that talking and more "normal" singing styles allow it sounded really grating and distracting and ironically, as a whole, less intense. As soon as I stopped actively trying to hear the individual words it went back to washes of noise. So after that I gave up trying to hear the words for grindcore and other styles with extreme vocal styles.

As far as I'm concerned bands would be just as good off making Satanic sounding babytalk as actual words. Which is exactly what I do when I'm goofing around on guitar. "RARARRARRRRARRR!!! RARRARARRAARR!!!" go my improvised lyrics. Ha ha, sometimes I like to improvise my own vocalizations in that style along with CDs I'm playing. I want to emphasize I'm not making fun of those CDs or only "ironically" liking the CDs. I might not be enjoying them quite the same way as a dedicated metalhead would, but lots of those bands do kick my ass in a very enjoyable way.
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Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #42 on: Dec 17, 2004, 12:21:21 AM »

So John, the two are only superficially alike?  The Pig Destroyer lyrics posted here shows at a consistent narrator (well, the same narrator throughout an album) while EHG doesn't seem to be to deep into narrators, or narration, or even communication.
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Bernard
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Posts: 9845


« Reply #43 on: Dec 17, 2004, 01:39:03 AM »

Quote from: "John"
Bernard am I right in guessing that you don't often listen to this sort of thing?


Actually I have never heard this sort of thing before. I have ventured no farther afield than, say, Black Sabbath and Suicidal Tendencies, which don't seem to be doing remotely the same thing. This band sounded more like Einsturzende Neubaten to me though, than either of those two.

I am enjoying learning something new, don't get me wrong. Got to keep learning or your brains goes necrotic, you become a zombie. Life's short enough, no need to abbreviate it further by limiting your experiences. I noted in the booklet that Dennis Cooper, Matthew Barney, and William Burroughs are all mentioned (though I think the Burroughs quote is ultimately misattributed, but I may be mistaken). They're all of particular interest to me,  Cooper most of all, so I am certainly interested in seeing how these various influences make their way into the music.

A Dennis Cooper thread, perhaps?
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Bernard
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Posts: 9845


« Reply #44 on: Dec 17, 2004, 01:46:50 AM »

Andrew, I was looking for what might be frightening in either the music or the 'Natasha' story and I'm afraid I didn't find it. Perhaps this is a function of what I find frightening -- to me, music that tries to frighten you is ultimately alienating in a sort Brechtian way -- you see that somebody is trying to frighten you and you become emotinally disengaged -- you spend your time observing the process rather than being scared. That's what's happened to me so far. What makes something like American Psycho merely icky where any Cooper novel is terrifying? I think part of it has to do with the fact that Cooper isn't trying to scare you, he's just very coolly showing you something that happens to be terrifying. It's really not the obviously shocking stuff in his work that gets to you, it's the detachment. He gives you all the rope you need to hang yourself, as it were. The most frightening things, after all, are your own thoughts.

It so happens that some of the details in the story in the liner notes resonate with me because of specific circumstances in my own life. I think if they'd been given more space, if I'd been made to do more of the work of setting myself up emotionally, it would've been more effective.

I will keep listening, however, and see what changes.
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Ha, see, and look how Julian Casablancas ended up!!!!
Scott CE
Registered user

Posts: 499


« Reply #45 on: Dec 17, 2004, 12:07:43 PM »

Looks like the Pitchfork editors are reading and responding your site, John.  It seems strange to me that this album is being reviewed now, so long after it came out, but only one week after your piece hit the interweb.  I'm sure it's just a coincidence.  Wierd, though, that it concerns itself MAINLY with the same issues of tokenism in your piece

I hope this doesn't make you want to staple bagels to your face, but I am afraid that it might

*WARNING: Bill Moyers invoked in the first sentence.
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justinh
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Posts: 3083


« Reply #46 on: Dec 17, 2004, 12:56:33 PM »

I was just gonna bring that up.  gotta love the repeated slagging off of isis (THREE times!).
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Bernard
Registered user

Posts: 9845


« Reply #47 on: Dec 17, 2004, 02:28:38 PM »

Quote from: "WhereTheSlimeLive"
Lord Worm, their vocalist


That made me smile.
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Ha, see, and look how Julian Casablancas ended up!!!!
jebreject
Registered user

Posts: 27071


« Reply #48 on: Dec 17, 2004, 09:49:38 PM »

Bought Terrifyer today.  Will listen to as soon as I'm in the safety of my own home, where my girlfriend won't yell at me for listening to grindcore.
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I'm not racist, I've got lots of black Facebook friends.
SPACERACE
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Posts: 12155


« Reply #49 on: Dec 17, 2004, 10:51:18 PM »

Quote
Ample time is spent bemoaning the aesthetics of the so-called true metal as puerile, obsolete, and anachronistic, and at the same time lauding the dubious originality of bands like Isis, Pelican, and Neurosis, who seemingly missed the whole point in the first place by latching onto the very unmetal aesthetic of putting their audience to sleep.


Stupid fucking cocksuckers. I cannot fathom the stupidity of that verbose, ignorant, and wholly fucking retarded paragraph.
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