- "Friday Night at the Death Club" 01.09.02
Friday Night At
The Death Club #12.
Im really pumped up to write this new column, for real. Its been almost 2 years since I shit my first bomb of many onto the suspecting and unsuspecting motherfuckers whove condescended to read this slop. #12- like a one year anniversary for the critical. Thats twelve months out of the past 2 years that I was able to pullout 3 or so pages to make the cut. If you care or have noticed, or dont care, havent noticed, or whatever I havent made but a nary peep, and only then in the review section of this Blank Gen, for a fucking looong time; I havent done column in long time. I moved you know, and in the battle to make my life better I launched myself into a state of confusion. Thats when I was still putting out the stuff pretty regularlyI had nothing else to do! Oh but then, my dear readers, I hit the wallI had nothing else to do and I was getting pissed! Now being a boy from Ohio, I did what dudes from Ohio do when theres nothing else to do. From the typically life loving form of nihilistic pleasure that is a Midwest upbringing, I began "the process." The process is now over friends, and I am happy to report that the booze and crank did not kill me, and I have had no access to motor vehicles. I, Kenny, live! I have been saved! The heart has jumped back into my body, and I will now begin "step #2"telling about it, those dark times when I lost my heart. I guess Ill just begin by quoting myself from my first column for BG. Just kidding, Im gonna begin killing myself again you white fucks, but I can still begin with a quote:
That was when I started, after a rally dark tequila and a 12 pack of beer and weed every day and selling drugs for money and an everything everyday myth. What the fuck was I thinking? I had heart then, but it was some sort of pro- rock and roll heart (HANOI ROCKS HEART everyday and thinking I was as sexy as "Big Hair"). Again, what the fuck was I thinking? The power of myth, turning a totalitarian regime into nothing, and a revisionist angle on even the simplest history, turning the new knighted round tables on themselves and their causes. Punk rock revising rock and roll and then insisting on "no future." What a laugh. The funniest part is that it worked. Rock and roll still lives, but it lives as the living dead. Punk rock still lives too, sharing the dried up leather and leopard print with its fallen comrade (and I still live it pissing off everyone; even the most stoic rock revelers. But I ruin! Thats rock and roll). History buffs will note that it shares a coffin with its creator. Both are tired Godstheyll never be killed, but no world shall be changed by their will, again. Their fucking jazzy set, set. Theyre honest though. The jazzy jazzers and the rockers. Rock and punk rock are as jazz and are getting as old. But its all honest, like I said.
That, I guess, is why Im picking up the sword of ink again, and I am giving this another try (the honesty).
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The influence other types of music have had on punk rock is without a doubt being lost on many of todays fans of the aforementioned punk rock. Thats a real shame, considering that punk rock is a tremendous link between so many different types of music besides its obvious r and b/ rock and roll/ blues leanings. For many, who like me, trace punk rock more to the Stooges and less to the 60s garage and beat groups, simply scratching this surface open reveals an amazing hodge-podge of not only garage type business, but a plethora of hard psyche, the avant-garde, and more free jazz than you can shake appeal at. Id like to concentrate on the odder bedfellows, starting today with jazz. Now mind you, I am not pretending to be any sort of expert on this subject. Thats not what this is about. Essentially, this can be boiled down to what it appears to not beIm talking about rock and roll, and more specifically punk rock.
Maybe Im just not very hardcore. Throughout my life, punk rock and rock and roll, though without a doubt the common, defining thread, has only taken up a small portion on my musical plate. It is through this stuff though, that it all comes together for me. I like NAKED CITY and THE DOORS, FLEETWOOD MAC and Willie Nelson, Masonna and THE PINK LINCOLNS, SOCKEYE and Madonna and DISCHARGE and GAUZE- I like all that. Ive just always lumped it (in a good way) not into categories, but into the fabric of what I like to listen to. Ill play LIP CREAM, and then follow it up with Bruce Springsteen. Then Ill listen to DEPESCHE MODE. What do I care? No one likes me anyway. Its all rock and roll to me.
Rock and roll, as we know it today, has obvious links to jazz musically, and punk rock, even more so. Owing much of its own inspiration for rebellion to those dirty hippies, punk rock can then be traced in spirit to the Beats; jazz fans, obviously. Now when I think of the term jazz, I generally think of boring, pretentious, redundant (remind you of rock and roll, yet?) dudes playing stale, outdated shit. In itself though, jazz, has its own tradition of renegades, avant sub sects, and experimentation. The late 60, early 70s BYG/ Jazzactuel scene for example, the work of Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, and Albert Ayler representing just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Recently, SCAT records released a double ELECTRIC EELS record, a band with some roots in the aforementioned jazz.
The EELS rest in a strange place in the musical pantheon. What are they? From the inside notes on the record it is easy to deduce "who" they are- long-winded egotists! Its a bit more difficult though, to understand what they are. From the opening track, "Agitated", a strange dream begins taking form. Turnpike driving turns into a "fun war." Here is where music, and life, gropes each other. Pockets of STOOGES, BLUE OYSTER CULT, and strange takes on jazz meet in a near "fatal crash" between the grooves; this is Ohio to the hilt, the music functioning in a flat land of car culture, and in the irony of wide open spaces, AND suffocation, riding on two wheels to "Dead Mans Curve." Do the off the cuff solos come from influence, or addiction? Do the "Moose on the loose" lyrics reflect genius, or total psychosis? Perhaps its none of my business. Perhaps the whole zine/webzine culture, in its attempts to answer such questions, only steels the cliques and swampy stagnation of the music itself. In the land of the established underground, digital manipulation, and instant information, maybe the fundamentals have been forgotten aboutsimply playing an supporting music. Who wants long dissertations about it?
The EELS are that something special that begs for people to avoid that long-winded talk about it. They exist, post hippie, pre punk, and ride single emotions on cue. They prove what all zine readers know, that hate can often be adoration, another boner, a car, or any other ton of metal, flying through space at 100 MPHdanger. The human desire of safety vs. convenience personified in the irony of pain. Pain lurks behind every pretty picture. Human-interest stories can only gloss over fact so much. My roommate saw a 35-year-old Asian guy walking down the street with a Hitler moustache the other day. He was wearing a backpack depicting the World Trade Center on it. Written underneath it was the words, "Peace Is Boring". And across the ocean
It all connects. Next timenoise, the modern free jazz. And prepare for a giant THROBBING GRISTLE feature.
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MOM: That sounds like noise.
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1. Turn the volume of your stereo down, to the point where you can barely hear it and where it sounds like insects moving around. Then do your own thing leisurely.
2. Turn up the volume to 6 (on a scale of 0 to 10), leave your room, shut the door behind you, and go to the refrigerator to find snacks to eat.
3. Switch off the speakers, then turn the volume knob all the way up. Stare at the volume meter of your amplifier and watch the green/red LEDs flashing or the VU needle jumping. (Be careful, however, so that the next time you turn on the stereo your speakers or your eardrums dont get blown up.)
4. Plug in your headphones. Turn up the volume to 8. Put the headphones on the floor, in a corner of your room. And continue to work on your stuff. Or, put on your earplugs, and THEN put on your headphones, and enjoy the vibration of your cranium, not the eardrums.
5. Put the CD album into your CDROM drive in your computer. Open the songs as computer files using an image-editing program, such as Photoshop. Stare at the exciting flashing images on your computer monitor. (This method requires super ESP power.)
6. Turn the volume down to 1. Start humming your favorite pop song, or make up a poem on the spot.
7. While the CD is playing, go up to the CD player, lift it up and then turn it upside down. See what kind of special effects can come out of this. (Just imagining this entire process is fine enough.)
8. Put the CD on a concrete floor. Step on it, as if you want to put out a cigarette butt. Clean the CD with soap and water. Dry it with towel and put it into the CD player. Listen to it and enjoy the skipping effect. Then record the special sound effects onto a blank cassette, make it your own remix edition, and give it to friends to share with you.
9. Put in the CD. Turn the volume up to 9 and let the stereo be on your left hand side. Switch on the TV and turn up its volume to 8 and put it on your right hand side. Sit in between the two and use the two remote controlsone in each handto continuously flip between tracks and channels (the white noise on channels with no programming is also good). Listen to the stereophonic mixture of sounds coming out from them.
10. Put your CD player into REPEAT MODE. Turn the volume up to 9. Walk out of your house. Lock the door. Jump into your car and drive to the beach to kiss mother Nature.
"London, Englandconsider yourselvesWARNED!"
Well get to the noise next round. The PIRANHAS CD compiling their out of print records and bonus shit is almost done. It will be available from this site, and will take On/On Switch out of the "label that isnt" category.
Forget The Joker,
© blankgeneration.com 2003