fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
This is my front page. If you want me to add you, drop me a line here. Or, add me. Either way, I'll check you out. You can also drop me a line here if, for instance, you don't have my email address. All comments here are screened.

This post also includes every tag I have -- this is because my current LJ style doesn't include a tag index. (At least half of my participation on LJ is on my phone. I chose this style because, as bare-bones as it is, it loads quickly and it's still readable on a small screen.)

I'd tell you more about myself, but that's what my profile -- and the rest of my LJ -- is for.
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
Yesterday, I went to a concert at the Oakland Metro Operahouse, a nice little dive in downtown Oakland. Really, it's a dive. And the sound is not that great there. And the men's bathrooms have big-ass spikes in the stalls, and toilet paper rolls are hanging off them because no one actually puts toilet paper rolls on the dispensers.

Oddly, I liked the place a lot. Anyway, here's who I heard...

Necronomicon: I looked them up on YouTube before the show, and expected a German 90s-era thrash band. Instead, we got a Canadian death-or-black metal band that was completely indistinguishable from a million other death-or-black metal bands. It's not my fault that there are like five bands named Necronomicon. Anyway, this one has been around for twenty-five years. I've never heard of them before now.

Hour of Penance... didn't make it. Visa problems. I was joking with friends about how they ended up on a US terrorist watchlist because their most recent album was titled "Regicide." Instead, we got...

Back Crown Initiate: really good stuff, and rewards repeated listens. It's complex and chewy, and they have a pretty wide variety of feels and textures in their music. This was my first exposure to them. I plan on hearing more. They need a much better venue for their music -- the sound in this place worked against them.

Fleshgod Apocalypse: the show I cracked a rib at last year. This time, I got off easy: a few bruises, and if I must touch my nose at all, I do it gingerly. (It's not broken or anything.) As before, the band hired a very vocally gifted lady to handle the soprano lines, because their bass guitarist can only go up to about G5 in a slightly cartoonish falsetto, but there are lines that require vocals reaching up past C6. She was wearing a mask and a black billowy dress. The rest of the band looked like they had once been wearing tuxes at an opera, but the opera house burned down.

At the end of their set, after looking all menacing and evil, they came back on stage, all the house lights came on... and it turned out that under her own layer of menace and without the mask, the soprano was clearly tickled pink to be there. It was a startling transformation, from "scary ghostly operatic phantom" to "freaking adorable." (The other band members were also clearly happy to be there at the end, but it wasn't such a huge change in character.)

Septic Flesh... well, they have certain technical challenges, owing to the fact that they didn't bring an orchestra with them, and at this point, their music can't really be played without it, without eing horribly diminished. So, all the orchestral stuff isn't live, and the musicians are playing along with it. The way I think that works is that the drummer is either triggering the playback, or he's got a click-track going off in his ear or as a visual cue. This doesn't quite work if the song starts off with bare guitars and the rest of the band (and orchestra) pipes in several measures later (the song "Anubis," for instance), so I suspect that in moments like this, the first few guitar lines are also prerecorded. (Both guitarists started many of their songs with their backs to the audience, turning around once the song really got started, which doesn't exactly prove me wrong.)

Let me make it clear that this does not diminish my respect for the band. You don't go to a Septic Flesh show expecting instrumental mastery; indeed, any second-year guitar student can play their stuff. (Their drumlines are a different matter entirely.) That's not the point. The point is that their music is very well-written, and a hell of a lot of fun to get into a moshpit with.

It would have been nice if there were more people there. This was the saddest crowd I've seen in some time. Not that I blame them: I managed an extra-long July 4th weekend only by submitting my vacation request over a month ahead of time. Still, it was a great show. And I have two souvenirs. Gods help me, for the first time in years, I actually have T-shirts announcing to the world that I listen to earsplitting noise for fun...
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
So, one Virgo Rouge just dropped a bunch of comments on my head. They were all right here, but it seems she deleted them by mistake. How sad, that no one will see her brilliant defense against my jeers! Fortunately I'm a good sport and I figure she deserves a chance to be heard by anyone who might have seen me say rude things about her.

Of course, I have rebuttals.

Subject: No such proof of what you are saying

Marissa Marchant is a teenager..go look at her photos
You have the wrong person. I am Virgo Rouge.

Go google her name.
There is also a Marchant Manfield.

I am Marissa Elienne.

You have not done your research.

Marissa Marchant may well have been a teenager... in 2003. It's been over ten years.

Subject: Music is about music, enjoyment, not talking, or comparing yourself to others.
You are a liar. Focus on the music everyone. Healthy people focus on music only, jealous people talk about trivia, gossip and make up stories.

Just focus on my art.

Don't think about whether it is better or worse, just enjoy.

I enjoy music, I don't compare myself to others.
All of your quotes are false.

I am better than most commercial music today, but that is not saying much.

I am not better than a lot of unfamous people or lesser known musicians who are excellent.

I am better in my mind, but you don't to agree. Just listen to whatever you enjoy and I don't care that you prefer their music to mine.

I enjoy hearing my own music rather than listening to them.
I think that I am better than a lot of people out there who are making millions.

Better as a musician, because I enjoy hearing my music over their music.

I also enjoy hearing other musicians over their music as well.

You don't have to like my music. I truly don't care. Turn the dial.

Give me a 1000 dollars for a CD everyone. I need donations so I can continue what I do.

The 1000 dollars is for donations since I am unsigned.

Also, give some donations to other artists that you enjoy.

Fund your local musician, especially if you like them.

Y'know, if you're claiming not to have been a lolcow that demanded $1000 for a CD, it doesn't help your case if you're saying things like "Give me 1000 dollars for a CD everyone." Even with context. Likewise, if you're claiming you don't compare yourself to others, and then saying "I'm better than all these others."

Subject: I am better than Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez for sure

Grow up teeny tweeny lover. I am better than Taylor Swift as a musician and Justin Beiber. Someday when you mature, you will agree.

Madam, you owe my cat an apology. Here he was, sitting on my lap, utterly content and buzzing up a storm. Or at least, he was until you called me a teeny tweeny lover, and I started laughing so hard he got scared and left. Considering how loud I'm laughing and that it's currently six in the morning, you may owe my neighbors apologies as well.

As for my maturity? I'm forty! I am so far away from Taylor Swift's target demographic that if it exploded, I wouldn't hear the boom for several hours. There's only one reason I could possibly be interested in Taylor Swift... and that'll never happen, because I'm not famous. Even if I were, I prefer women closer to my own age, and I don't want to deal with an immature drama queen who'll drive me away and then write a song about what I jerk I was.

Subject: I never talk about the music industry.

That is why I never talk about the music industry. You are the only one who keeps mentioning them. I have all kinds of videos of me speak about the music industry seriously. I only have a comedy video about it. All of this is COMEDY. You don't believe the things that I say as true do you? I have been writing comedy for years.

Most of the time I am just kidding around....99 percent of the time, I am JOKING...

You sound like you have no sense of humor...I think it is all funny!!!!!!!!!!!

I do have a sense of humor, though it's admittedly a bit warped. Believe me, amusement is the only reason I've paid you a second glance, let alone bothered to write about you. I actually think you're hilarious. Admittedly, I'm not sure whether it's intentional. If you're actually trying to be funny, I applaud your wit and your dedication, since you've kept this act up for over ten years.
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
Dear Fleshgod Apocalypse,

It seems you have your own brand of pasta and wine now...

As much fun as it was to watch your video (and it was totally adorable that your drummer used a pad instead of a drum because he has a small child who was asleep)... couldn't you have started with your own brand of coffee, first?

[personal profile] fierynotes

PS: if you'd been selling the pasta when I saw you live, I would have probably bought it just because it seems like a fun thing to have. Not sure about the wine, though...
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
I no longer work in retail. When I go into retail spaces, I make a point of blasting my mp3 player into my ears. (Lately, the latest releases by The Faceless, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Shade Empire are all in my rotation. They're all amazing, if you like your music to rip your face off.) I haven't thought of how much I hate Christmas music all month, all because I've successfully avoided Christmas music...

Oh, crap.

The following displays of Yuletide contempt are brought to you by the marginally tone-deaf sax player outside one of the BART stations I use, who has recently taken to playing two bars of a Christmas carol, followed by two bars of a different Christmas carol, followed by two maore bars of yet another Christmas carol, and so on. His sax case has money in it, which implies that people actually give this ass-clown money for being an annoying, tone-deaf prick.

fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
I ended up hearing one of the old classics of the death metal genre lately: "Spiritual Healing" by Death, first released in 1990 and hailed as both a classic and a landmark achievement in the genre. It hasn't aged well. Or maybe I'm just no fun anymore.

Track one: a song about crack babies... and the lyrics are complete bullshit. Seriously, I had the same lectures in High School about how those horrible evil drugs would create horrible evil birth defects in children that Chuck clearly had, complete with pictures illustrating anencephaly, harlequin ichthyosis, and other horrific images. The difference is that Chuck clearly bought into the bullshit.

Track two: a song about those horrible women who have abortions. Yyyyeah. Metal has a few of those. Don't get me started.

And so on. While I do need to give Death a small amount of credit for trying to come up with lyrical ideas beyond "what can we scream about that will piss parents off," they still fail.

The music, as well, has aged poorly. I realize that death metal owes a huge debt to Chuck Schuldiner, but at the same time it has moved so far forward since his death. Take, for instance, this song (which admittedly borrows heavily from Prokofiev). Or this one. Or this one. Or this one. They're all still unequivocally death metal, but they all sound so vibrant in comparison to Death, which sounds almost sterile in comparison.

As we get older, I hear we're supposed to get stuck in the past and whine about how everything was much better in the good old days. "My music was better, and we had to walk barefoot, in the snow, ten miles, uphill both ways, to buy it." I'm having the exact opposite problem: I dare not look back. I heard Metallica perform one of their old classics on The Colbert Report, and couldn't believe this was once a band I loved. I loved both Death and Metallica, in the past. Perhaps I should have left them there.

The cool thing is that I'm going to be genuinely pleased to see what comes next in music. Of course, most of it will be junk, but most of everything is. The sad thing is... lately, I got to see Wintersun, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Arsis live -- three bands I truly love. (All three of those clips are from the show I went to, and in fact I probably cracked a rib in the pit there. I didn't get it looked at, because I didn't have insurance quite yet, but I was moving very gingerly for a few weeks afterward.) Will I still love them in another ten years?
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
One of these days, I really need to weed a few things out of my YouTube subscriptions.

Andy Rehfeldt will not be one of them. He's awesome.

There's this band called Carcass, who were one of the big players in the grindcore scene back in the day. The differed from most grindcore in that there was a certain sly humor to their music, and you needed a fuckin' medical dictionary to figure out half of the lyrics. Anyway, here is a live performance by Carcass, and here is what Andy Rehfeldt did to it! Carcass, Radio Disney-fied! It's fantastic! I'm picturing him as an evil Doctor Doofenschmirtz, with a new invention called a Radio Disney-inator, and no platypus to stop him!

I've said it before: you need to have a sense of humor about music if one of your favorite genres is perceived as noise by most people.
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
I haven't listened to Slayer in several years, but I was still sad that Jeff Hanneman died four days ago. Then, I discovered that the Westboro Baptist Church are intending to picket his funeral, and I was suddenly amused.

Yeah. A small pack of lawyers trying to piss off a large mob of metalheads.

This'll end well.
fierynotes: Picture of a black sockpuppet. (footsie)
Years ago, in about 2003 if the internet wayback machine is to be believed, there was a singer called Marissa Marchant. Her grasp of pitch was occasionally tenuous, her breathing was (despite her boasts) neither bel nor canto, her emotional range went from A to B, her instrumentation was stuff a first-year student could do... but she was the stuff of greatness. Just read her website, it'll tell you! The world is full of sellouts, and she alone was producing real Art, and she'd be happy to share it with you if you're a discerning lover of Music. Oh, and she was charging $1000 per CD. Yes, you read that right: THOUSAND.

Eventually, the internet forgot about her. Aside from the delusions of grandeur, delusions of competence, and delusions about a CD's basic worth, there wasn't all that much memorable about her. And let's face it, there's no shortage of lolcows on the internet to distract us all from any one thing.

Lately, on the forum Why God Why, Mr.Doobie (one of the resident music nerds) kept seeing a certain refrain popping up all over the place in YouTube comments. I haven't seen them myself because one, I don't read youTube comments, and two, these particular comments tend to get marked as spam really quickly. But to quote him quoting the wanking gibbon:

"I'm a better musician. I'm a vocalist, multi-instrumentatlist, composer, who is self-taught but I had 20 yrs of training. I trained at Curtis, rating higher than Julliard in the US. It's the premiere music school in the US I taught myself many things but I know it takes years of extreme hard work, training and CREATIVITY to be excellent at music. The commercial world is so out of it. They don't think it takes extensive training. It takes self-education and extensive training." -- Virgorouge, times a few thousand.

I punched up one of her videos (Warning: kinda awful), and a flood of memories came back to me. So I commented to this effect... but not before VIRGOROUGE herself showed up! We're all interrogating her music from the wrong perspective! We're all stuck in the past as far as music goes! We only listen to mainstream and commercial music! (I confess. I only listen to mainstream music. I'm surprised to discover, though, that Penderecki, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Richard Shindell, Azam Ali, and Wumpscut are mainstream!)

I'm almost afraid that this person is a troll. I hope she isn't. If she's a troll, she's brilliant, but if she's for real, this could be the most fun person to poke at since I first heard of Chancery Stone! Marissa Marchant is dead! Long live Virgorouge!
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
If you're looking for that perfect name for your band, and your genre is offensive earsplitting noise, here are 17,576 possibilities. Multiply that by six if you decide you want to use the words in a different order, and add 4,056 if you decide to use words from two columns instead of words from three.

(For those of you unfamiliar, goregrind is like death metal, but with worse production values and lyrics that belong in slasher movies (medical terminology a plus). In their early days, Carcass could be considered goregrind, except that under all that poorly-produced noise, they could actually play their instruments. And yes, the names that these bands choose for themselves are really this predictable.)
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
Jazz and metal. Depending on your tastes, they are either chocolate and peanut butter, chocolate and hot peppers... or chocolate and bacon. Okay, that's not the best metaphor, because you'll find people who love -- and hate -- all three combinations. Actually, now that I think about it, that makes it the perfect metaphor!

This is Cthulhu Rise:

This is Shining:

This is Exivious:

fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
(For this post, you'll either want to hook your computer up to your stereo receiver, or plug in some good headphones or speakers with a sub. A lot of the songs linked in this post are going to sound terrible through, say, a laptop's tiny little built-in speakers. This post is about the extreme deep end of metal, so depending on your tastes, the songs may sound terrible even through good speakers... but I digress.)

Check this out!

For those of you who aren't musicians, the note E2 (see below) is the low note on a six-string guitar in standard tuning. The note B1 is the low note on a seven-string guitar in standard tuning. The note F#1 is the low note on an eight-string guitar, and though there isn't really a standard tuning for eight-strings, this is the most common.

(Those of you who are guitarists: yes, I know you write guitar music an octave high. Many non-guitarists don't know that, though, so I wrote the notes at sounding pitch, not written pitch.)

I totally get the appeal of eight-string guitars. A power chord on a six-string hits you in the chest, a power chord on a seven-string hits you in the gut, and it therefore follows that a power chord on an eight-string should hit you, well, somewhere lower. I kinda want one myself. There's a problem with them, though: you need to rethink all of your gear before you get an eight-string.

Devin Townsend gets away with some very low notes, but he's got a ton of gear to make them work. Likewise Ihsahn. Meshuggah as well, but their dirty little not-so-secret is they use less distortion. (They may use a ton of gear as well. I don't know.)

If you try to plug an eight-string guitar into, say, a hundred-dollar stompbox and a regular amp, it's going to sound terrible. Even if you don't have the cheap gear that most starting bands get, the eight-string guitar is an ugly beast. I listened to one of Deathmøle's songs that was recorded with an eight-string, and while he's a competent guitarist, his crunchy sound is fuckin' awful.

(In all fairness, I should admit that I may change my mind on this. Back when I first heard Meshuggah's Chaosphere, I thought it was noise. It has grown on me a lot in the time since. This may, too. This change in perception isn't limited to metal: an operatic soprano is one of the most beautiful sounds on Earth... but most people will hear godawful screeching the first time they listen to one. They'll only discover how beautiful the sound is later, if at all.)
fierynotes: Picture of Hotstreak, from the cartoon Static Shock.  He looks annoyed. (annoyed)
So, there's this app that will estimate a guy's penis size from his foot size. Except it was made for WebOS, which was developed by Palm, which HP bought (and has done rather little with). Neither HP nor Palm made this app, and only 84 people have actually paid money for it, at just under a buck each. There's a free version, which a little over two thousand people have bothered to download -- unsurprising, since as far as I can tell, HP hasn't put out a new device that runs on WebOS for over a year and a half. With me so far?

The name of this app that checks chubbies is a little unfortunate, as it's clearly a reference to a guy who's made a name for himself with one song, and released it several times with slight variations -- he's sorta like a black and rotund AC/DC that way. Clearly, a massive and important musical legacy is being shit on here. Anyway, he's suing HP. Not Magic Apps, the company that released the chubby-checking app. HP.

For half a billion dollars.

Either he's never heard of Streisand Effect, or he is really desperate for headlines. Or maybe he's come to hate doing "The Twist" so much that he wants to be remembered for something -- ANYTHING! -- else. (I'd believe that, actually. I imagine Tony Bennett must be sick of leaving his heart in San Francisco, too.)
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
Consistency of theme and mood is not one of the things you'll find in my LJ. I am perfectly happy, for instance, to follow a post on higher mathematics with a post on shock sites -- in fact, I've written one post that combines the two (here on LJ, here on DW). So, I'm following a post with a heartbreaking song with... well, a guy farting into a trumpet. In fact, his whole channel on YouTube is devoted to farting.

I quote the description of the video: "Here I am playing the trumpet with my butt. Human farts are actually perfect for butt trumpet playing. My embouchure is a little weak. The trumpet has been up in the attic for a few years, but I got it out to rip a few in the low and mid registers"

"...My embouchure is a little weak."


"...My embouchure is a little weak."

Those of you who don't play brass or winds will just have to take my word for it when I say that this is fucking hilarious. Or you could look up embouchure yourself, and (mis)apply it to this particular context...
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
I may have mentioned here and there that I hate Amanda Palmer?

It's partly her attention whoring. Well, most performers are attention whores to one extent or another, it kinda comes with the territory... it's that she's such a crass attention whore. But partly, it's because she's a very good musician, and therefore shouldn't need to be a crass attention whore. I could understand it when GG Allin (for all the Gods' sakes, don't click that, at work or anywhere!) played with shit on stage, or bragged about having had sex with his brother or his dog -- GG Allin had all the musical competence of a rabid wolverine with three paws caught in two steel jaw traps, so being a spectacle was really the only option he had. AFP is better than that. She can actually write a song that can tear your heart out. Case in point:

fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)

In a few hours, this century's Great Disappointment will be complete, just like all the other Great Disappointments before it. The world's nutjobs will just have to start planning another one, I suppose.
fierynotes: Picture of Arsenal, from DC comics, looking very pissed off. (angry)
Dear Bill-O,

I work in retail (for now), and the Christmas season tends to come with a lot more irritating customers. I'm surrounded by awful Christmas music at work, most of which isn't exactly shy about what a fabulous guy Jesus was. (Seriously, lots of stores are trying to be more respectful of cultural diversity by not putting up lights... but by playing Christmas music nonstop? How does that even work?) And many of the people who will be getting gifts from me will have to wait until mid-to-late January, when I'll be a bit less broke and a bit more able to shop. (At least this year's cookie-pocalypse went well...)

I promise you, there is no "War on Christmas." If there were, I'd have signed up long ago.

[personal profile] fierynotes

PS: I actually like Christmas lights when they aren't accompanied by crap music we've all heard a million times. And I have to say there's something funny about pairing them with metal.

Dear Matt Barber,

So you think atheists should be punched in the mouth for participating in the aforementioned "War on Christmas?"

How very Christlike of you.

Please, try. Because I don't believe in turning the other cheek, and I bet I punch a lot harder than you do.

[personal profile] fierynotes
fierynotes: Picture of a B diminished 7th chord (B, D, F, A flat) followed by an inversion, in flames. (Bdim7)
Went to visit a friend last night. Among other things, he inflicted The Book of Mormon on me. As in, the musical. I hope none of my customers for the next few days are Ugandan -- I'm going to be singing this charming, infectious little ditty called "Hasa Diga Eebowai" at random intervals for the next few days.

(That link is NSFW. The title translates to "Fuck you, God," and the song, for all its cheer, is unflinching about some appalling AIDS statistics, FGM, and that belief that raping a baby will cure AIDS.)

I have a song stuck in my head!
Hasa diga eebowai!
And it will stay there 'til I'm dead!
Hasa diga eebowai!
If I sing it at work I'll lose my job!
Hasa diga eebowai!
And being fired will make me sob!
Hasa diga eebowai!

fierynotes: Picture of Arsenal, from DC comics, who clearly sees something he likes. (leers)
Below all these cuts are attractive women who are also accomplished musicians. As with my two other posts full of attractive women in metal (here and here on LJ, here and here on DW), and my two posts full of attractive men in metal (here and here on LJ, here and here on DW), each picture is a link to a song on YouTube.

I'm accepting suggestions for people of both sexes I ought to include in future posts. Men especially -- my next post like this is going to focus on men, but aside from that, women are marketed much differently in metal, and are much easier to find. A band with a less-than-lovely female lead can often have a harder time getting press, whereas a male performer who's too attractive may have trouble getting taken seriously in many genres of metal. But that's a subject for a much more serious post.

In all these posts, I'm mostly confining myself to metal. On the other hand, a little bit of opera crept into one of my posts on men, and a little blues is creeping into this post.

Annlouice Loegdlund )

Gyri Smørdal Losnegaard )

Silje Wergeland )

Floor Jansen )

Marcela Bovio )

Elize Ryd )

Mariangela Demurtas )

And one more... )


fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)


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