Flashback Friday: This Corrosion

This week’s Flashback Friday comes from the begrudgingly goth kings The Sisters of Mercy. I have occasionally mentioned that I spent quite a few years immersed in the goth/industrial scene, a scene that is centered around the club. Long before pop rappers started talking about “da club,” goth kids were spending as much time as possible in the club. There was DNA/911/The Parthenon/Masquerade/The Edge/The Visage/Empire/Evolution/Tracks, and the lone remainder of that part of my past, The Castle.

For the first few years I would just lurk around the dance floor and watch the people dance while I got drunk. I wanted to dance but I was so sure that the moment I walked out there everyone else was gonna stop and watch me…..point….and laugh. I was sure of it. Every week I would drive to DNA giving myself the “this week is the week I dance” pep talk. Hey, I never claimed not to be a huge dork. Weeks came, weeks passed, pep talk after pep talk wasted..shit, I even practiced in my bedroom. It gets even more pathetic but I’ll stop there….I think you get the picture.

The pieces were put in place to change everything one weekend though. I met a girl at the club that happened to live in Tallahassee. We hit it off due to our common undying love for all things FSU football, and at the end of the night exchanged email addresses (super geeky high-tech back then). Over the next few weeks we exchanged emails and spent countless hours in IRC channels chatting. Soon it was decided that I should go up to Tally and hangout, and we could go to a football game and party. So off I went.

I get there on a Friday night and we go to this club that played goth and industrial upstairs on the weekends. There was no pep talk…she’s dancing with her friends, I’m drinking with some of her other friends. I had already noticed that tally goth kids did not dance like Tampa industrial kids and I suddenly realized that it did not matter who laughed, I wasn’t ever gonna see anyone in this club again after this weekend. Well, as Cooley says in that great Drive-By Trucker song “Women Without Whiskey”…whiskey don’t make you do a thing; it just let’s you. Suddenly, the tell tale chanting of This Corrosion starts and god damned if I ain’t out on the floor all of a sudden…dancing! I could not have possibly picked a worse song…ten minutes long, a freaking eternity for a limited moves self-conscious novice such as myself. Probably 7 minutes into it I gave up and went to order a shot but the seeds were sewn and I never stopped dancing after that. So let this be a lesson kids! Need to do something new, go to a foreign town and get drunk. With that I offer you Andrew and his goth voice, whether he likes it or not:

Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion

Flashback Friday: Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power

Perhaps one of the most influential metal albums of the 1990s, Vulgar Display of Power is said to have revitalized thrash metal, speeding up the riffs and rhythms and adding a harder-edged, grinding vocal flourish. Several songs from this release have become some of the band’s best known, such as “Fucking Hostile”, “Mouth for War”, “This Love“, and “Walk“, the latter of which reached #35 on the UK Singles Chart.

God damn. This CD hit me like a sack of bricks. Shit, even the CD cover was 100% brutality. Released way back in 1992, I didn’t think anything heavier or more brutal would ever be released, and I’m not sure that there ever has. Vulgar Display of Power was a pre-eminent CD in my life’s soundtrack for a good 5 years… this also happened to be a quite aggro period of my life full of bar fights and other mischief, and it is time to give it mention on this site. There are no cute stories to go with this Flashback Friday because Vulgar kicks the crap outta cute stories. There are only rock fists, blown speakers, bloody knuckles and fat lips to tell. I once saw Biohazard and Pantera together, and it took two months for the bruises to heal.

Pantera followed up Vulgar with Far Beyond Driven, which, for any other band, would have been a crowning achievement … but it just wasn’t Vulgar. Looking back, the heroin was probably already getting the upperhand with Phil. In my opinion they never released another decent album after Far Beyond Driven and over the years a lot of bad shit happened between the band members. In November of 2004 any chance of a reunion was extinguished when some piece of shit (whom I will not immortalize by typing its name) jumped on stage and killed Dimebag. My brother has always said that “good music is fleeting and should be enjoyed while it is there”. More often than not he is proven right.

In July 2004, Vulgar Display of Power went double-platinum.

Pantera – Fucking Hostile
Pantera – Mouth for War
Pantera – Regular People

Flashback Friday: Sordid Humor

There are Jaguars in Mexico. Sordid Humor’s cd “Light Music for Dying People” was released posthumously by Capricorn Records in 1994.

It has been a while since I have done a Flashback Friday post. I dunno why, I guess I’ve just had other things to post about lately. Well, the other day I was out on the road bike and a Sordid Humor track came up on the iPod. It was one of those “I forgot I had that!” moments and I decided to do a Flashback Friday post about it.

I came across Light Music for Dying People the way I would assume most people did. As I’ve mentioned before on this here blog, I am an unapologetic Counting Crows fan and I was a huge fan of their first cd August and Everything After. When August blew up, my local record store stuck the Sordid Humor cd in with the Counting Crows cds and had stickers informing us that the cd featured Adam. I was sold. In all honesty Mr. Duritz only appears on the track Barbarossa and only as a backup vocalist then. So, while saying it featured Adam Duritz was technically accurate it was still a bit of a stretch but in the end it did not matter.

Light Music showed up in my life just as I got my first job in the engineering field and I was pulling a 45+ minute commute each way to work. Armed with a portable cd player hooked up via the tape deck and about 5 cds at the time I would listen to this cd numerous times a week. Sordid Humor had the typical “alternative rock” sound of the late 80’s/early 90’s with light laid back guitars, prominent bass and tight drums. Vocals were handled by Tom Barnes and it was probably the unique scrawl of his voice that initially drew me to the band.

As years passed the cd became a fall back for when I would bring girls home and there are a lot of late night and after party memories attached to the disc as well. Some foggier than others. After all these years I still have the actual cd on my cd rack which is more than that Counting Crows – August and Everything After cd can say.

You can read another really good article on Sordid Humor here.

Sordid Humor – Gun Man
Sordid Humor – Barbarossa
Sordid Humor – Doris Day

After Sordid Humor broke up Tom Barnes went on to front the band Engine 88. After Engine 88 broke up it seems he release a solo cd entitled “Three Day Ditties” but I can not seem to locate it.

Flashback Friday: They Might Be Giants

“Hey, Mr. DJ”

Many summer breaks and vacations in my adolescence were spent in New Jersey, at the home of my favorite aunt and uncle, and my older cousin, Josh. Josh was my hero growing up. Three years my senior, Josh was the definition of cool. His influence left an imprint on many areas of my life, including my taste in music. On breaks, he would fill my ears with oodles of tunes I wouldn’t have heard coming from the cassette players of my grade school friends, or on the multi-colored airwaves of MTV. In the mid-90s mainstream world of Vanilla Ice, Pearl Jam, and the Second-Coming of Whitney Houston, I was instead gorged on compositions from The Sundays, The Cranes, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, and other under-the-radar groups. For a pre-teen who was used to picking up on new music solely via FM radio, this was aural nirvana.

Driving home late at night from friends’ houses, Josh would throw in a mixtape and crank up the stereo of his hand-me-down station wagon. The music pumping and the streetlights through trees carving ghostly shadows on the pavement, I would forget all about my life back home, my awful bowl-cut, and the fact that I was not as world savvy as the lyrics of the songs often detailed. As we zigzagged through the hills and half-lit neighborhoods, I would close my eyes and let the music wash over me. Everything was better here, I would think.

One particular night, stereo blasting, a song came on that sent tiny explosions of happiness down my spine, and prompted me to ask Josh to hit the rewind button. Quirky and heavy-handed on the xylophone and synth, it was unlike anything I’d ever heard. The intro was chaotic and zany, almost irritatingly so, with the song exploding into a frenzied clutter of programmed electronics, rambunctious guitar, and stuffy-nose lyrics. I was hooked. And felt a little like I belonged in a slapstick comedy or Warner Bros. cartoon. Who came up with this stuff?

The song, “Hey, Mr. DJ” by They Might Be Giants is still one hell of a catchy romp. To this day, the band brings back memories of fresh mountain air, winding roads, and the days when you felt invincible and free, as if the whole world was yours for the taking. You know what I’m talking about. Cheeseball or not, I love me some TMBG. What’s your song?

Flashback Friday: KMFDM

While I have plenty of childhood stories from my summer breaks at grandmothers, I thought I’d instead go back to the Tampa industrial scene of the 90’s. Propaganda tells you pot is a gateway drug. KMFDM was a gateway band for the whole industrial club scene. You could measure a kids involvement in the industrial scene by his feelings about KMFDM. I was no different. At one point I owned no less than 5 KMFDM t-shirts, had 4 KMFDM stickers, various pieces of property, and could pick out the beginning of a song mixed deep in the beat of anything while half drunk and taking a piss.

KMFDM – Light (NIN Fat Back Dub mix)

Light was immensely popular in the industrial club heyday here in Tampa. The scene was huge, there was an industrial night somewhere in Tampa four nights a week, the girls were easy, I had no responsibility, and the DJ’s actually knew how to mix. Records. You would begin hearing the drum beat for Light three songs before the DJ actually played it. Years later, SNL even used Tampa as the location for the skit Goth Talk. I have since grown up, got married, gotten too fat for any of those t-shirts, and sold all the KMFDM Cd’s I own outside of the Greatest Hits release, but I think this version of Light will always hold an extra special place in my heart. Hell, if I happened to hear it in a club tonight I would probably dance….while mouthing all the words too….oh yeah, that’s how I roll.

While I’m on the subject of bad-ass tracks from my ol’ club days I wanted to post this track as well. I fucking loved this song. Back in the day, if I walked into the club you knew two things were gonna happen…I was gonna order a Jack and Coke, and after getting it, I was gonna gonna request this song. Set your watch to it. So I did not see how a post of this nature could occur without posting this track. Enjoy.

Die Warzau – Suck It Up

from Wikipedia :

Formed in 1987 by performance artists Jim Marcus and Van Christie, Die Warzau (originally referred to as Die Warzau Synfony) has operated on the fringes of industrial music, creating a unique sound that is a genre-bending excursion into the soul of the music form. An ever present and important part of Die Warzau’s appeal is the sociopolitical lyricism and emotive vocals of Jim Marcus.Have a good weekend kids and remember: If you have one too many “dial 1-800, accept no imitation, KMFDM one world one nation.”

Flashback Friday: a Kiss Album cover

I’ve mentioned before that I spent summers with my Grandmother because both of my folks had to work. When I was small my uncle still lived there and his room was off-limits. One day I snuck in there only to be greeted with this:

Dita is filing for divorce from Manson today.
Scared. the. shit. outta. me. Wikipedia says it was released in 1982 so I was 9 years old. Now, as I’m older, it seems silly to have been frightened of it but I was. I’d sneak in there every morning for weeks after that to see if the cassette was still on his nightstand, and when it was I would run like hell to whatever room my Grandmother was in at the time and not go into the back of the house alone for the rest of that day.

I never became much of a Kiss fan as I grew up. Perhaps this had something to do with it. Some odd pieces of trivia:

  • Three different covers of this album exist—The 1982 original issue, the 1985 reissue (featuring Bruce Kulick and the band without makeup), and the 1997 remastered version (same cover as the original).
  • From 1995 to 1999, Extreme Championship Wrestling‘s Tazz used “War Machine” as his theme music. Today, in World Wrestling Entertainment‘s new version of ECW, Tazz uses an instrumental version with his speaking over the music.

And finally, a portion of a review written by an actual Kiss fan :

Finally, we have the REAL KISS back again!
Creatures of The Night is KISS’ strongest album by far since 1977’s Love Gun. Every song is an ass-kicker though Saint and Sinner kind of blows. War Machine, Killer, I Love It Loud, and Rock and Roll Hell give us Gene at his best–growling, snarling, and mean. Paul’s best song to this point is undeniably I Still Love You. Creatures of The Night, Keep Me Comin’, and Danger are also great songs. It’s too bad that we couldn’t get one last song from Ace, though. I love the heavy bass and drums on this album; it’s as if KISS not only wanted to return as a heavy metal band but they wanted you to FEEL it, too!

So, I’ll take his word for it and offer up this track: Kiss – War Machine

Kiss Official Site, Buy Kiss cds

Flashback Friday: Produkt13

Okay, you don’t remember P13. As a matter of a fact, you’ve never heard of P13. Produkt13 was me and my bud Mike. Earlier in the week I was going through some old Cd’s in the computer room and came across a few mp3s of our songs, so I decided to post them here. These songs offer a little light into why I don’t post bad reviews, and why I try not to be snarky or mean. See, Mike and I recorded these tracks in 1999 and 2000 on a Gateway Pentium Pro 200 with a pirated version of Cakewalk, Soundforge, and Fruity Loops. We learned how to record and mix on the fly and spent a lot of time writing and recording. In the end we did the best we could, and had a good time doing it…in all honesty, it turns out it wasn’t that good but I’m still proud of it. So, here are the tracks:

P13 – Fatal Vision
P13 – Machines
P13 – Superstar (psychotic mix)

Produkt13 self-released an EP “Armed Digital Resistance” and a full-length CD “Battered City Syndrome” over the course of 2 years. We also appeared on a collection of compilations for Arts Industria, Base Asylum, and DSBP Records . It was a great time.

Flashback Friday: Jane's Addiction

Oh heck yes! Today we have another reader submitted Flashback Friday song/story. This one comes from TDB:

There are a handful of songs that have imprinted themselves in my mind for the time, place, and feelings they bring back when I hear them years later. Jane Says by Jane’s Addiction is one of those songs. I was in my first semester of college at George Mason, living in a dorm, about 30 minutes from the town I grew up in. My dad and step-mom had moved to Florida a month before I left high school. The only family I had close was a step-brother, who I’d spent the summer with, and he lived an hour away. The last good friendship I had fell apart sometime during 10th grade and anger and resentment ruled my personality. I was a loner and I was alone.

About half way into the first semester I started drinking and smoking out with the guy down the hall from me, John. He introduced me to a friend of his, Mike, a frat guy whom he met while pledging, and soon we’re all drinking, getting high, dropping acid, and eating mushrooms. School gets blown off, I fall behind in studying, and soon enough I?m failing all but one of my classes. The thing is, I didn’t care. For the first time in years I had two good friends to hang out with, and what brings that time back for me is music.

I first heard Nothing’s Shocking one night at Mike’s house, sitting in his basement at 3am, drinking beer, and taking hits from a three foot glass bong while his mom slept upstairs. Jane Says wasn’t the first song on Nothing’s Shocking that grabbed me, but after repeated listens it was the one that stuck. Looking back I can see my life was in a similar place — drug habit, no direction, and no escape. Farrell?s haunting vocals and the slow melodic chords inspire thoughts of time passing so slowly that every moment becomes a desperate act of trying to survive in a chaotic world. As lost as I found myself, what made the experince significant was the human connection with my friends, that we were all lost together.

Jane’s Addiction – Jane Says

Have a song with a story? Email it to me!

Flashback Friday: Ray Charles

Man…it’s Friday and damn do i need a weekend. When I was a young’un both of my folks worked, so, during the summer break I would stay with my grandmother. I guess it was the summer between 3rd and 4th grade when I first heard today’s Flashback song.

Flashback Song: Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack

When I was a kid my grandmother was fond of sewing. She made me shirts, pants, coats…all sorts of clothing and she would spend much of the day in her sewing room while we stayed with her. I had this red portable Emerson record player and there were 3 big boxes of records in the sewing room closet. Sometimes, while she was working, I would go through the records. I guess it was records from my grandparents younger days…most of it I didn’t like, and can’t recall the bulk of what was in those ol’ boxes. Also, I have no idea why I started listening to the Ray Charles record, nor do I recall the title of it. I suspect the album cover looked cool so I pulled it out. What I do remember is how enamored I was with “Hit the Road Jack” the day I heard it. I loved the “conversation” in the song and the woman singer….god I loved her part. My grandmother and I probably listened to, sang along with, and danced to that song 200 times that summer, and to her credit, she never once asked me to play something else. It’s been 10 years since she passed, but every time I hear “Hit the Road Jack” it makes me smile as I recall that summer.

Have a song with a story? Email it to me and you might be next weeks Flashback Friday!

Flashback Friday: DBT/Lucero

I am doing a different type of Flashback Friday this week since I am about to walk out the door for a 650 +/- mile road trip to see The Drive-by Truckers and Lucero. There is no shortage of people out there that will tell you how downloading is killing the industry…starving artists..etc. etc. Well, mp3’s put me on the current path I am on.

I was looking through my favorite mp3 newsgroup when I saw the band name “Drive-by Truckers”. It was an advance copy of the cd “Decoration Day” but it was the band name that caught my attention so I downloaded it. A few weeks later I got around to listening to it and fell in love. I am a lyrics guy and the stories told on that cd captivated me….what was “When the Pin Hit’s the Shell” about….was “Decoration Day” a true story…did his daddy really tell him not to call what he was wearing an outfit? The wife was just as enthusiastic about the band and I started doing some internet research which led me to the DBT yahoo group. I wanted more by the band and more music like this so I asked the mailing list for some more bands like this and Lucero was the common thread in all of the replies so I downloaded their self-titled release. While DBT tell stories of the south Lucero tell stories of bars, women, scars and broken hearts. A couple of weeks later I went to Vinyl Fever and picked up “Southern Rock Opera” and “Tennessee“. It has been a complete love affair ever since….all because a band name caught my attention in a newsgroup.

Y’all have a god weekend, I am about to hit the road.

Drive-by Truckers – When the Pin Hit’s the Shell
Drive-by Truckers – Women Without Whiskey
Drive-by Truckers – My Sweet Annette

Lucero – Slow Dancing
Lucero – No Roses No More
Lucero – Hate and Jealousy