Archive for May, 2010

31
May
10

The going gets tough

The going has gotten tough. Not for lack of inspiration, no. Not for lack of enthusiasm, I’m still as fucking excited about this junkyard site as I’ve always been, it’s just time, time, time, time.

The problem is time, right now I have none. Can’t blog at work, I’ll lose my job. Can’t blog at home anymore, it’s killing me and J-Rab’s relationship as surely as if I came home every night and spent 2 and a half hours jacking off to midget porn.

So yeah, for the time being I’ll be posting less. I’ve only got one day to write the week’s posts, Sunday, which is a problem when, like today, I spent a lot of it with my good buddy Jasey-Got-The-Aceys drinking expensive whiskey and staring out at the Autumn vineyard where I live.

It will get better. This site will always be here and I’ll always be bashing content out whenever I have half a chance, it’s just going to be a little lean and mean the next few months.

So just thought I’d give you all a heads up. Like when you’re in a relationship with someone and they give you the ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ speech.

-ST

28
May
10

Google is Raping My Site!

I’m not sure if I can fucking handle this. I like to think of myself as a man of principle, I ‘stand up guy’ as they say and thus, even though I could be making a tidy packet off advertising on this site, I’ve chosen not to go that route because advertising is horse shit and it’s filling our minds with puke.

Me, I got bigger things in my crosshairs than a couple of Gs a month for some bullshit Life Insurance ads on my site.

So anyway, long story short, for some time now I’ve suspected that J-Rab is shit-your-pants crazy because she spotted some random advert on my site a few months back, which I promptly told her is not possible, because, well, I haven’t SOLD any advertising on the site.

Then today I get back from work and she grabs my hand, without saying a word, marches me to her laptop, and shows me the following:

 

 

It’s fucking Ayoba time?! It’s FUCKING AYOBA TIME?!?! Christ, what the fuck is going on here? Fuck you MTN and FUCK YOU GOOGLE for raping my site like this without my goddamn permission!

How do I stop this? Somebody help me out here, I mean for fuck’s sake, I HATE MTN and everything they stand for, does no one remember my ‘Death By Ayoba’ post?

God, the irony is killing me!

And even worse than that, they stuck this piece of filth up on my ‘White Nipples’ post. How DARE they defile the sacred White Nipples with this garbage?!

I give up. Seriously. I give the fuck up.

Have a great weekend. Me, I’ll be drinking myself to hell and back, screaming ‘AYOBA’ in the streets until the cops lock me the fuck up and hopefully end my misery.

-ST

26
May
10

Album Review: The National – High Violet

Call me old school, but I have a profound respect for hard-working bands. I’m talking about the kind that take a decade or more to fine-tune their sound and get a little better with every album they release.

The National released their first album in 2001 and have since released another four studio albums, the last of which, 2007’s Boxer, received widespread critical acclaim, so much so that their song ‘Fake Empire” was used by the Obama campaign at many high-profile events during the last election.

 

 

And so the pressure was on for the band to deliver the goods for their new album, High Violet, and they sure as hell didn’t disappoint.

As with their previous albums, singer Matt Berninger’s vocals are a major attraction on High Violet. He keeps his distinctive baritone calm and steady throughout, choosing to steer clear of the wilder vocal territory of tracks like “Mr November” and “Murder Me Rachel” off previous albums, and it works like a charm.

 

 

Imagine Nick Cave’s vocals stripped of all their hatred and fury and you’d have something close to Berninger who chooses subtle irony and pathos and his weapons of choice and wields them with great effect.

“All our lonely kicks are getting harder to find” Berninger sings on “Little Faith”, “We’ll play nuns versus priests until somebody cries / All our lonely kicks that make us saintly and thin / We’ll play nuns versus priests until somebody wins.”

The somber musical landscape of High Violet depicts a kind of sleeping pill society that hangs permanently in the space between waking and sleeping in a hazy reality where in a track like the Interpol-ish “Conversation 16” Berninger swings from confessing to feelings of inadequacy and regret to quietly and calmly singing the verse “I was afraid I’d eat your brains / Cause I’m evil”.

 

 

The track “Anyone’s Ghost” stands out as one of the best on High Violet and picks up from where Boxer left off in terms of the band’s experiments in blending orchestral swells into their music. Drummer Brian Devendorf does an excellent job of giving songs like “Anyone’s Ghost” a clean and punchy beat which his brother Scott follows like a bloodhound on his bass guitar.

“Afraid Of Everyone” is another killer track that Devendorf’s percussion stands out on. He’s the kind of drummer that knows exactly what to do when, and focuses on doing exactly that to the best of his ability rather than stacking songs full of complicated fills and showy drum rolls. There’s a sparsity in the way he plays on High Violet that suits the album perfectly.

The National has a second pair of siblings in the brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner who match each other riff for riff on rhythm and lead guitar with Aaron sometimes handling the bass and piano sections of their songs. For the most part their instruments take a backseat to Berninger’s vocals on High Violet except in tracks like “Runaway” where Bryce’s acoustic picking takes centre stage and “England”, which would be nothing without Aaron’s lilting piano melodies.

 

 

Of course, High Violet won’t suit everyone’s tastes. It’s a lot more somber than previous albums, and the individual tracks are difficult to tell apart from one another on the first few listens, but their idiosyncrasies do start shining through if you give them the time they deserve.

The best way to describe High Violet would be to imagine taking a track like Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets Of Philadelphia” and turning it into an entire album. For this reason, sadly, it can’t top their 2007 masterpiece when it comes to the complexity and range they showed themselves capable of, but it comes pretty damn close.

Still though, High Violet is an album that will satisfy fans and possibly even turn first time listeners on to The National and so I would recommend buying this album and giving it a spin or two, because if nothing else, it should make for some welcome company on a rainy day.

Final Verdict: 7/10

-ST

23
May
10

The 200th Post Celebration

You know you’ve had a killer night out when you wake up the next morning sleeping on couch cushions on someone’s living room floor still in all your clothes from the night before, unable to to move, speak or even open your eyes because of how badly your head is throbbing.

 

 

I extended the invitation y’know? I sent it out there to anyone who was interested to come on down and have a few drinks and get a little fucked up together, I did. And man-o-man, did people RESPOND!

Knoxville was packed to the fucking rafters on Friday night with people there to celebrate the 200th post with us. It was so bad you could hardly breathe in that place! Wall-to-wall party people out in full force to show their support, christ, I wish you coulda been there.

Of course, thanks to the beauty of internet anonymity, none of those people knew who I actually was, but still, it was great to see so many of them out in full force, partying like their lives depended on it.

 

 

From Knoxville we descended into the chaos that is Long Street and met up with a great and wasted friend of mine, Luke-Ass, who’s in CT the next couple of days for some comic book workshops or other. He told me this and a great deal of other things which I promptly forgot and then we drank some tequila and then we drank some more tequila.

We ended up crashing at Barbarian’s place cause J-Rab eventually curled into a tight little ball in my lap and had a rad, rejuvenating 30-minute nap on the couches at Juleps, after which we hit the 7-11 (at 3am?) and demanded they let us buy a packet of Ghost Pops on my credit card, despite the ridiculous R12 minimum purchase-on-a-credit-card rule.

Next day we slunk outta ‘bed’ at about 10 to find that despite the fact that we felt like we might have woken up in hell, outside it was a beautiful day, even though the light hurt my eyes and I felt like something someone had mopped off a pavement.

J-Rab and I had a really decent breakfast at Caramellos and then decided to hit the beach at Clifton which was great for her (she’d been smart enough to pack her bikini and a towel) but not so great for me (I had neither and so ended up lying in the sand with all my clothes on, very classy).

I’d never been to Clifton outside of peak season and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was super chilled out and we ended up staying there for a good two hours if you count all the time we spent climbing over boulders and finding a nice spot to chill.

 

 

Saturday evening was even better. I’ve recently gotten my hands on a bottle of fine 16 year old Bushmills Irish Whiskey which I sipped while enjoying some sushi from a place I’d highly recommend off Main Road in Somerset West called Blue Waters.

Throw in gratuitous amounts of mind blowing sexy-time into the mix and you’ve got a weekend worthy of a 200th post celebration.

Now to figure out what the hell to do with my next 200 posts…

Have a great week party people 😉

-ST

21
May
10

SlickTiger Industries Presents: TigerTV

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, ghouls and fiends WELCOME to TigerTV.

I couldn’t have done ANY of this without the help of my good friends Supa Dan, Judd Zuckle, Mike Van Barmann and Hardcore Iain The Slain Barbarian.

This is the first of many, many more short film projects to come. If you wanna get involved, email tellthetiger@gmail.com.

I can pay you in meatballs and internet notoriety.

Please enjoy the PSA we shot to raise awareness about an issue close to my heart.

 

 

Have a killer weekend guys!

-ST

20
May
10

The Face Of Things To Come

Reading this site, you might not think it, but there is actually an over-arching plan that I put in place the day I first started blogging that I am slowly and steadily working towards.

It’s been a dream of mine for as far back as I can remember to team up with my friends and produce a whole bunch of radass media, everything from comic books to TV series, to movies, I got ideas up the wazoo for all kinds of crazy shit, just ask J-Rab, she has to sit and listen to me brain-shit all this stuff out all the time.

My problem is I never had the stones, right in the beginning, to pursue my dreams. I chose a life of comfort instead, something predictable, something that paid the bills and kept me in hair gel and smarmy golf shirts while the twisted, artistic creature inside me started to wither and die.

I used to have enough songs to write an album. Stuff I wrote myself and used to bang out, drunk and heartsore, in bars all over the sleepy varsity town where I grew from a boy into a man. Now I can’t even remember the chords, never mind play them.

It’s been weeks since I even touched my guitar and when I do, I punch out a few chords and then lay it back down. What if the same thing happened to my writing? What if all these fucked up crazy-assed words inside me woke up one day and just stopped fighting?

What if the same thing happened to me?

I ain’t gettin’ any younger and I’ll be damned if I’m going down without a fight. I got big plans, but I can’t see them through alone.

Luckily, I’ve met some good people in my life and those good people have gotten together recently and together we’ve taken the first few steps toward something that I really hope is going to rock this world.

It launches tomorrow. But in the meantime, here’s a little something we’ve been working on.

Think of it as the face of things to come 😉

 

 

-ST

19
May
10

Music Review: MGMT – Congratulations

MGMT’s first album, 2007’s Oracular Spectacular, tore through the music scene at the time like a loose propeller. Before they knew what had hit them, bandmates Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden went from gigging in local clubs and bars around New York to playing massive music festivals alongside greats such as Radiohead and Bloc Party to crowds of tens of thousands of screaming fans.

 

 

Three years later, the singles “Time To Pretend”, “Kids”, and “Electric Feel” still get dance floors jumping with happy, wasted people, belting out “Let’s move to Paris, shoot some heroine and fuck with the stars” while spilling their drinks over anyone unfortunate enough to be standing nearby.

Oracular Spectacular is one of those rare albums that is almost impossible not to like, no matter what your taste in music might be. Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind was ‘With such a killer debut album (well, technically it’s their second if you count the album they released under their previous name, The Management), haven’t they set the bar a little too high for the albums to follow?”

Sadly, the answer to this question in the case of Congratulations is yes.

 

 

Gone are the slow, fuzzy and infectious basslines and quirky riffs that made songs like “Kids” and “Time To Pretend” so powerful. Nowhere on Congratulations will you find a song that struts with the confidence that “Electric Feel” does, or trips out, stoned immaculate like “The Youth” without sounding forced or contrived.

Congratulations feels frantic in comparison to Oracular Spectacular. Songs like “It’s Working”, “Song For Dan Treacy” and “Brian Eno” all sound like Goldwasser and VanWyngarden wrote them after schnarfing one too many speed-rails while listening to old Beach Boys records at double speed.

The rest of the album is mostly made up of sluggish and floppy tracks like “Someone’s Missing” (with vocals that sound like a melancholic chipmunk singing at the bottom of a well), “Lady Dada’s Nightmare” (four and a half minutes of pointless instrumental circle-jerking) and “I Found A Whistle” (which sounds like a waltzy crystal meth comedown) that sure as hell won’t be topping any charts in the foreseeable future.

On the plus side, the awesome synths on “Song For Dan Treacy” should get your feet tapping and the Jackson 5-ish break on “Something’s Missing” is an interesting twist. “Siberian Breaks” also has some notable moments, but you’ll have to wade through all twelve odd minutes of this sprawling track to get to them.

 

 

In their defence, I don’t think that MGMT ever intended Congratulations to be compared in any way to Oracular Spectacular and seem to have made a concerted effort musically to distance the two albums as much as possible. Of course the downside of this is that the mainstream audience that loved Oracular Spectacular will probably greet Congratulations with the time-honoured cry “What is this shit?” halfway through track one.

At its best, Congratulations feels like a bad B-Sides album and at its worst, like something that Goldwasser and VanWyngarden should have maybe thought a little harder about before ever recording, never mind releasing.

From it’s bizarre, cartoony, Sonic The Hedgehog album cover to its rushed production, Congratulations should definitely not be taken seriously. In fact, let’s pretend that this album was never released, play Oracular Spectacular one more time and hang in there for album no. 3 shall we?

Final Verdict: 4/10

-ST




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