blogs

Mix Tape

This fall, Canteen ran an essay of mine on music criticism, the glories of MP3 blogs, and my discovery of Zam-rock. It’s not online, but here’s a pdf.

cover-63I’ve always been obsessed with music. When I was a kid, I eagerly awaited each new Rolling Stone and Creem magazine, even though I didn’t necessarily understand the record-geek Aramaic in which they were written. (What’s an 11-year-old to make of a sentence that name-checks both Camus and Ozzy Osbourne?) It hardly mattered, though. It was a wide new world.
Later, I became a loyal reader of Maximumrocknroll, the Bay Area punk bible. A pulpy, grayscale rag that seemed to smudge your fingers if you even looked at it, MRR ran profiles of bands big and small; dispatches from scenes across the world, from Tacoma to Tokyo; and, this being the 1980s, screeds against Ronald Reagan. I always turned to the reviews first. There were pages upon pages of them, capsule reviews of roughly a million bands I’d never heard of. These listings filled me with awe: People had listened to all of this stuff–and they could place every release within the punk cosmology, each tape (they were mostly tapes) a speck of dust in an expanding universe of sound.

Africa
Articles
blogs
Music
punk

Comments Off

Permalink

The Dictator and the Televangelist

In honor of Pat Robertson, lunatic televangelist and onetime presidential candidate, and his recent explication of the source of Haiti’s troubles (Haiti “swore a pact to the devil … True story!), I dug up an old blog piece from my Mojo days. Maybe you only know Robertson as a dotty, albeit hateful, TV personality. Turns out he also has a history as a would-be conflict-diamond magnate, and some of his best buddies are now on trial for war crimes in the Hague.

Africa
blogs
Politics

Comments Off

Permalink

Metal lyrics just like Basho used to write ‘em

I don’t know about you, but heavy metal always gets me thinking. Things like, “Damn, this is some deep stuff–I had never considered the possibility of  a sword coming up through the toilet. But now I’m scared.

There’s a problem, though. In our harried, time-challenged world, who’s got the time to really soak up the nuances of each and every song on their iPod? If only it were possible, I thought, to condense these profundities into a simpler form, giving them a platform at once more concise and, perhaps, a shade more delicate.

Then it dawned on me: the haiku, the short poetic form that originated in Japan and frequently muses on the changing seasons, might just be the ticket. With that in mind, I bring you Heavy Metal Haikus, a blog cataloging some of my favorite lyrics along with their pithier, haiku-ish offspring. There are a few posts up already; I’ll add more as the mood strikes, so please check back often.

blogs
Haiku
Metal
Music

Comments Off

Permalink