Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jean Jacket Phase I

When I was a kid in the mid '80s, I had a dark denim jacket. It was adorned with buttons and a number of patches. The most prized patch, of course, was the Venom Black Metal backpatch. I also had a Judas Priest white-on-black logo patch above the backpatch, and side patches of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Slayer to name a few.

Over the years, somehow, I just simply lost track of the jacket in some move, whether it be from my hometown of Wheeling, Illinois, to Tucson, Arizona for school, or what have you. After relocating permanently to SoCal in 1995, the warm climate probably had something to do with my lack of interest in constructing another jacket. But, lately, I had been thinking about it...

Call it what you will; that is, giving in to metal geekery, some bizarre version of a midlife crisis, becoming bored with t-shirts and needing something else, or just celebrating our culture...

A work in progress...

For now, patches will be the focus (I'll order a bunch from HHR in the near future), and I may get some pyramid studs to smooth the outline of the Celtic Frost backpatch.

A bullet belt (I had one with only casings when I was a kid) is also in the near future...

Recently reviewed...

Grave Burial Ground

Hacavitz Metztli Obscura

Armagedda I Am

Serenity Dies Hacksawcracy

Kataklysm Heaven's Venom

Christian Mistress Agony & Opium

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beer, Wine, The Moon, and Metal...

Recent beers and a wine with metal-themed (in my mind, anyway) labels...

Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA. I really got the citrus on this one...

Satan Gold Pale Ale. Stronger and more bitter than I had anticipated, Satan Gold is definitely not a Golden ale.

Left Hand (Path?) Brewing Company Polestar Pilsner. A good pilsner from a microbrewery from Colorado. I picked this one up at Whole Foods in Austin as I've not seen this in California. The constellations on the label are correct.

Chronic Cellars Purple Paradise Zinfandel. A total fruit bomb, almost as if it was originally intended as Grape Nehi. Nothing serious, but fun.

Some shots of the Moon through my new 8" Dobsonian.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Three Shows in One Week: Part III

After indulging my inner carnivore at Smitty’s Market in Lockhart during the day (afterwards, I was not surprised to learn that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre had been filmed in and around the area), I headed out to Emo’s once more for the last show.

Bands: Jungle Rot, Lightning Swords of Death

Venue: Emo's, Austin, Texas.

Date: August 12th, 2010.

I eschewed arriving early for any local openers this evening, being only interested in Jungle Rot and Lightning Swords of Death. Once more, I’ve already written up a review of the show, published here...

The pictures...

Lightning Swords of Death

Jungle Rot

The merch

The video...

Lightning Swords of Death

Jungle Rot

After the show, I sat out to watch the Perseids from suburban Austin...


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three Shows in One Week: Part II

A family obligation in Austin, Texas, also afforded opportunity. Not one, but two concerts hit Emo's in Austin on consecutive nights while I was in town. Naturally, I headed out for both...

Bands: Enthroned, Deströyer 666, Pathology, Hod, and Disfigured

Venue: Emo's, Austin, Texas.

Date: August 11th, 2010.

I've already written up a review of this show, published here. To put it succintly, Hod and Deströyer 666 ruled this night along with a strong performance from Enthroned.




Deströyer 666


The crowd

The merch




Deströyer 666


Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow for checking out Höek’s Death Metal Pizza while I was in town...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Three Shows in One Week: Part I

Power of the Riff Festival

Venue: Echoplex, Los Angeles, California

Date: August 8th, 2010

The tragic death of Makh Daniels muted the excitement for the Power of the Riff Festival, held at the Echoplex in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 8th. Many of the bands on the bill gave tribute to Daniels and his family and friends, and festival organizers, and Southern Lord honchos, Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson honored his memory by putting on a well-organized celebration of various forms of heavy music.

Headlining the festival were the trio of Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman, and Reed Mullin, performing as Corrosion of Conformity III. The trio comprised the COC lineup on the crossover classic Animosity, which served to blur the lines, and heal the wounds, between metal and hardcore in the mid ‘80s. Other notables appearing on the diverse bill were Goatsnake and Repulsion, as well as faces spotted in the crowd, including Katon W. DePena and Scott “Wino” Weinrich.

I arrived early only to find that gourmet burger truck Grill ‘Em All was, unbelievably, out of beef. This calamity would not be rectified for a couple of hours, so I headed inside to check out Black Breath on the main stage. A gruff combination of hardcore and early Entombed, Black Breath delivered the goods to an already large crowd. Throughout the evening, Black Breath t-shirts were everywhere, and many of the major acts were decked out as such. The band’s first full-length, Heavy Breathing, is well regarded, and the term “up and coming” perfectly describes this exciting band as one to watch.

The next band of interest to me was Trap Them, a very loud, heavy hardcore act that has already garnered a huge following as was evident with the loads of kids present that were familiar with the band. Although too far from metal to really be my thing, I was encouraged to see a lot kids in the crowd. It was readily apparent that not all adolescents are merely into metalcore drivel, as some have plainly discovered the real deal.

After spending some time outside (Grill ‘Em All was open for business), the crowd thinned out to mostly grizzled veterans for the three main headliners on the main stage. Repulsion took the stage and bombed through Horrified, more or less in order. The crowd went absolutely apeshit during the set, and screamed along with such classics as “Acid Bath,” “Splattered Cadavers,” a rip-roaring cover of “Schizo,” and “Horrified.” Although Repulsion have only the one classic album under their belts, Scott Carlson is such an engaging, and funny, front man that Repulsion always seem fresh every time that I see them perform. Outstanding.

The recently reunited doom laden stoners Goatsnake were next, and although obviously not a frenetic band by any stretch of the word, the riffs were piled high and deep by Greg Anderson and bassist Guy Pinhas. Huge and thick, the riffs ebbed and flowed, all the while backed up by vocalist Pete Stahl’s mournful wails and harmonica.

Finally, after many hours, the classic trio of Corrosion of Conformity III took the stage. Opening with “Animosity” as if 25 years have passed in the blink of an eye, the veteran crowd ate it all up through classics such as “Mad World” and “Intervention.” Technocracy vocalist Simon Bob Sinister joined the trio for a rendition of “Hungry Child,” which promptly brought down the house. A few new tracks were included in the set, demonstrating that this incarnation of COC is not yet finished.

Power of the Riff was a well-organized, professional affair with a diverse roster of bands. Sets were started on time, there was ample food, drinks, merchandise galore, inexpensive, reliable valet parking (always important in Los Angeles), and the well behaved crowd soaked up the atmosphere throughout. Given that Los Angeles lacks a major festival featuring heavy music, I find myself wondering what may be in store for next year...

The pictures...

Black Breath

Trap Them



Corrosion of Conformity III

The merch...

The video...



Corrosion of Conformity III

A backlog of reviews...

Horseback The Invisible Mountain

Decrepit Birth Polarity

Negura Bunget Virstele Pamintului

Vindicator The Antique Witcheries

Yaotl Mictlan Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac

Master The Human Machine

Misery Index Heirs To Thievery

The Funeral Pyre Vultures At Dawn