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1992, Nirvana and Ryan by orlandooom407

The year: 1992. “The Year that Punk Broke” or whatever the fuck they called it in retrospect. I was eleven going on twelve years old. A lot happened in 1992. Bill Clinton became POTUS. John “The Teflon Don” Gotti got sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering. Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida. Mike Tyson was convicted of raping Miss Black Rhode Island, Desiree Washington. Much like today, all kinds of bizarre shit was going on around the world.

There were two things that happened in 1992 that changed and shaped my life forever. The first is the exoneration of four police officers for beating the absolute fucking dog shit out of the late Rodney King, and the subsequent riots that burned a portion of Los Angeles to the ground. At that point in my life I had no idea who I really was, but I was starting to rebel against everything. Parents, teachers, religion, you name it. At such a young age racial equality (or lack thereof, more accurately) wasn’t something I really thought about. I was just a white kid from the largely African-American community of Pine Hills, Florida. Much like any other pre-teen I wanted to ride BMX bikes, play football, and that type of thing. However, I was starting to figure out that I was really fucking angry. I was angry about a lot of things, but I couldn’t (and still don’t know if I can) pin point exactly what it was or is. At any rate, the L.A. riots got me paying attention to social injustices, politics, and just the world around me. I can’t really tell you if that’s a good or bad thing, but it is what it is.

The second thing that happened was a little band you may have heard of called Nirvana was thrust upon popular culture. I don’t think I could legitimately call myself a fan of Nirvana. Sure, they were a huge part of my childhood and introduced me to a lot of things that I love to this day. I do have a lot of problems with Nirvana as a band, but they aren’t important. What is important is how important Nirvana are as a band in the annals of rock ‘n roll history. It shouldn’t be forgotten.

As a child of the 80’s I was plagued with shit like Whitney Houston and even worse: hair bands. All the fucking “Living on a Prayer” and “Talk Dirty to Me” bullshit. I couldn’t relate to that goddamn nonsense. It seemed like I woke up one morning and all of a sudden all those bands were dead in the water, and here’s these three dirty sons a bitches from the Pacific Northwest that were fucking angry. About what? I had no clue. I couldn’t understand a fucking word Cobain sang. I didn’t mind, though. I didn’t need to know. I didn’t even know why I was angry, so it didn’t matter. They were just angry and accidentally throwing the entire record industry for a loop in the process. I felt I could relate to it.

I’m going to leave my negative feelings about Nirvana aside, and talk about the positives for this article. Whether you love them, or hate them matters not. You have to somewhat admire the dudes. I mean, for fuck’s sake they hammered the nails into the coffin of bullshit glam metal. Everyone should be forever thankful for that. To me, they were essentially the suburban white version of N.W.A. While N.W.A. were screaming “FUCK THA POLICE!” Nirvana were screaming whatever the hell they were screaming to suburban teens fed up with their mundane lives.

I’ve always felt that my generation didn’t really have any sort of identity. You had your beatniks, your baby boomers, your hippies, your disco queens, generation X, all this shit. We had Super Nintendo and….Nirvana. That’s pretty much it. Now that we’re all in our thirties, I can look back and say there is absolutely nothing exceptional about my generation. Though Nirvana changed the direction of the music industry forever, as a band, I don’t think there’s anything exceptional about them. I think that perfectly represents the generation of which I came from.

Anyway, whether you like it or not, if you’re in your early to mid-thirties, Nirvana were a big part of your childhood. At one point in time they were the biggest band on the planet. Kurt Cobain once said that the way he wanted ‘Nevermind’ to sound was like if the Bay City Rollers were being molested by Black Flag. I honestly think that’s a perfect description of the album. So, there you have it. Nirvana were the Bay City Rollers being molested by Black Flag, and white kids of the 90’s were being molested by Nirvana.

Though I don’t consider myself a fan, I do have respect for Nirvana and what they accomplished. Their impact on rock ‘n roll isn’t only undeniable, but it was absolutely necessary at the time. I thank them for that.

*side note: Though I absolutely HATE that Nirvana covered Turn Around by Devo, I do feel I should give some credit where credit is due. Normally I would be against anyone covering Leadbelly, but I’ll be goddamned if they didn’t absolutely nail this cover of Where Did You Sleep Last Night. It says a lot that I love it because as I previously stated I’m against anyone covering Leadbelly, and I fucking despised the whole MTV Unplugged concept. Bunch a bullshit, I say.

Thanks for taking the time to read my inane ramblings!

-Ryan Pemberton



Earth Joined By Holly Hunt For Only Florida Show In 2012 by orlandooom407

My excitement has been in the red zone since I heard Earth was playing a Florida show, and in my own town none the less. The god fathers, hallmarked and validated by Nirvana icon Kurt Cobain, have undergone a myriad of musical journeys through the catch all classification of ‘drone’. Whether you like your entrancing to be malevolent or more mystical there’s probably something in an Earth set for your ears. The show’s support includes the wacky piano enthralled jazz music of Steve Moore under the moniker Stebmo and the tectonic refrains of Miami’s loudest (drone) duo Holly Hunt. To help better explain the importance of this head hammering hat trick billing I spoke candidly to Holly Hunt earlier this afternoon. For those unaware of the pulverizing power of Holly Hunt their presence on stage is nothing short of sonic savagery akin to an eternal over exposure to CO2. Holly Hunt attributes their attention ‘riff length’ to “…a feel. Instinct.”. Gavin elaborated saying that “some deliberation occurs sometimes with some riff/tracks/compositions, mostly though it’s a gut feeling. We try and stay as present and aware as possible when writing.”

It’s no secret that Gavin and Betty are proud mega fans about Earth’s music. Gavin claims that their attractions to the band are the “…raw, mediated energy. The tone is sick, dark, entropic. The slow tempo perfectly illustrates the grind of life.” When asked them both what their favorite song was, they both simultaneously answered with ‘Ouroboros Is Broken’ (which you can jam below).

Make sure to grab your ticket now, because I hear they’re going fast and this show should be a sell out. You can purchase ticket by clicking here.


Follow Jared Oates Haggard on Twitter.

– Jared Oates Haggard



It’s Almost the 50th Anniversary of Beatlemania: Metalheads, Be Wary of Posers! by orlandooom407

When I was purchasing my tickets for the upcoming Kvelertak concert on the respective online box office for the tour, I found myself slightly amused to discover that, along with Converge, the Norwegian howlers had been labeled simply “hard rock/metal”, defining them in the effective subgenre shared by both Nickelback and Nirvana. But the brief thought also conjured up another name, on the occasion of its first single’s golden jubilee this month, from which a band being in that category places it only just two degrees of separation away. There is rather a significant overlap between consumers of “hard rock/metal” and fans of the Fab Four, and even those who find the Beatles too mawkish, meager, or otherwise lightweight – for a palette, anyway, that has currently expanded to include the exalted flavors of deathgrind, blackened troll metal, and powerviolence, which is apparently a type of music, now – must concede at least a primordial debt owed to them. We have, in any event, been entreated to the idea whether asked for or not.

The more mediocre commentators have always invariably pointed to “Helter Skelter” as the grandfather of metal (“I’ve got blisters on my fingers!”) but an imaginative sort can usually cite less obvious tracks, like the handful I recently saw nominated for this distinction by the author of a Top-100 list in Rolling Stone. “Ticket to Ride” seemed to be the most unexpected choice, and after a repeated listen, one may start to imagine something not completely dissimilar to Black Sabbath. The songs “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide But Me and My Monkey”, “Birthday”, and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” have also popped up in similar compendia, purporting to discover that missing link.

This is serious musical genealogy, but it’s being offered to you by fabulists. The familiar framework of the Beatles catalogue is precisely why “Helter Skelter” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” are as jarring as they are. The metal connection is piecemeal and elemental, owing to the fair-mindedness of John and Paul in inventing or popularizing the use of fuzz effects and rollicking solos. I would like to now suggest the possibility that the indiscernable bridge is a consequence of something approaching impotency. After all, Slayer’s encomium to Holocaust terror has been available for the entertainment of would-be mass killers for three decades, but the White Album inspired racist violence almost immediately. The kind of metal being said to have its roots in Beatlemania has had comparably little success in putting actions to its words at all.  The Beatles attracted more international scorn for claiming to be bigger than Jesus than did the early scene arsonists when they upped that ante at the stave churches in Skjold and Fantoft. But structurally, semantically, and aurally, the case simply cannot be made.

(Not unrelated but somehow more excruciating are those same critics who are still insisting that “Black Metal” should be credited with inspiring the music that bears its name just because Varg Vikernes got caught wearing a Venom tee shirt on his way to prison. Has anyone who makes this claim actually listened to the eponymous album? It is no more likely to have spawned Darkthrone and Gorgoroth than Iron Maiden. Remember, black metal was not even called that until death metal became too trendy a wagon to hitch on to, and now we are asked to believe that a band as bovine and effete as one that would write “possessed by the soul of the gods’ rock-and-roll” in its most famous song inspired our most benighted exemplar of nihilism in music?)

But I have made no secret of my partisan leanings and have had to catch myself in loosely insisting that a black metal element necessarily improves a track. And if we can believe that the Beatles at least inspired the music that inspired the punk that inspired the thrash that inspired the black metal, then let us be clear about what that means. The road from Lennon to, at least, Schuldiner is built on the latter’s unique attentiveness to riffage and picking, and paved with magnitudinal shifts in chord structure and percussion, but black metal managed to evolve divergently and in spite of the trends of either artist. The Beatles, for all their innovations and achievements, remain a manufactured product of capitalist industry, while black metal that is not an expression of working class angst can scarcely be graded pure at all. Your humble servant hastens to inform you that even a musician as prolific and illustrious as Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg was compelled to take a night watchmen’s job just to make rent. The latter-day Beatles came to be defined in opposition to the promiscuous conceit of the Johnson doctrine in Vietnam and within the overall movement toward civil rights and equality, but black metal has only recently developed a stomach for social consciousness that isn’t retrograde and nationalist.

And yet … “Let It Be”, for all its cloying sentiment, really does appear to contain a downtempo precursor to the Discharge-beat. And there is that riff, just buzzing enough, in the chorus of “Come Together” that one can imagine extended, through eight or sixteen more bars, and ruminatively re-expressed over a blast beat and a ghoulish shriek, that, maybe, streamed through a tinny amp and recorded in a basement, hints at the possibilities of black metal. But don’t expect any peace and love in the forests of poverty and decay.

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– Zack Sigel