Hello fellow Buzzers and Happy Halloween. If you’ve been following my Twitter or my Instagram (@sctrvt) then you know I’ve been celebrating Halloween all day. This is something I’d usually do for the entirety of the month of October leading to the greatest day of the year, but this year it just didn’t happen. Maybe it was getting old. Maybe it’s not that special to me as a holiday anymore. I’m sort of a purist to the holiday, and I believe that the scary, horror theme should ring true to everything about it. Not dressing up as a cutesy theme with friends. Not being this year’s “it” costume (that probably being replacement refs, that South Korean PSY guy, or Bane). I believe in horror, gore, and the scarier the better for celebration. And that spirit has died in our culture, it seems. Also, the new batch of horror movies are boring me to death.
But then I realized I’ve been missing out on my part of the holiday and I really did miss it. Watching horror movies and playing horror games, all things gore related. Thus, I bring to you the probably overly detailed chronicling of my day of Halloween.
First order of business I started out by firing up the Xbox and throwing in Left for Dead 2.
I freshly downloaded the newest map, Cold Stream, the night before and was ready to watch the parts fly. And damn did I miss playing this game. For those of you who haven’t played the game, not only is it the best zombie game out there right now, but it’s easily in the top 3 co-op games of all time. There is no going alone. You have to work together in order to survive. I’ve spent countless hours on this game but have neglected it for too long. But playing this also reminds me of how frustrating trying to play with others can be. You expect the same level of cooperativeness from your teammates as you try to give, but sometimes you get the players that think they can play it Call of Duty style; i.e. running ahead and ignoring others as they are in peril. I. Hate. These. People. Running off on your own = immediate danger for not only yourself but for others. A horde will come if you do that. A horde always f-cking comes. If you play like that, good job. You lack the ability to play a game the only way it’s meant to be played. [/rant]
Anyway, the game is not only extremely fun but can be really scary, and puts you in the perfect mood for Halloween. I tried to keep up the theme with other games, thinking that a cool Halloween update with other games would be available. I tried Mass Effect 3′s supposed update. Turns out it was just some lame challenges. I read on Twitter a few days back about Uncharted 3′s multiplayer update, but it turns out it was only available until October 29, which makes perfect sense since that’s two days PRIOR to the goddamn holiday. But I think the most scary thing about that attempt was the extremely ridiculous updates that Playstation likes to grace its games with.
That does it for my tries video gaming in the Halloween spirit. Mostly due to being a cheap bastard. I could’ve downloaded something via Xbox Live Arcade or used Steam’s Halloween Sale, but instead I opted to move on. Maybe later tonight I could do something better than that.
Moving on to the next portion of my Halloween trek, I figured I should do something a little more engaging. I don’t usually include books as part of my normal Halloween ritual, and trying to read a whole horror book in one day is ludicrous, but a couple short stories is always a good way to get into the mood. My author of choice was none other than H.P. Lovecraft.
The two stories of choice were short and to the point, “The Tomb” and “Dagon.” I kind of wish I chose something that wasn’t so early in his career due to his nature of being overly dramatic, but these two stories did their job very well. They kept the creepy factor high, and shows the quick descent into madness of the narrators, which is something Lovecraft does quite often. He has a flair for ending his stories on a really silly note, kind of like a “GOTCHA” type of ending, leaving the reader with one last image as a way to scare them. It might have worked 100 years ago, but today it’s actually quite hilarious. Still, I loved reading these stories. I should’ve read Call of Cthulu, as I’m sure you all will tell me.
Now to the important part- the movie. Everyone watches at least one horror movie for Halloween. Some, including me, try to watch as many as possible leading up to the day. But since I didn’t give myself that luxury, I had to choose one. Ok I lied. I tried to watch one movie leading up to Halloween, and it took me forever because it is so damn slow and boring. The Fog. I know you hate me now but Jesus Christ the movie never picks up till the last 15 minutes.
A lot of people watch a “Halloween” Halloween movie, one that either has a Halloween as the day or one with Michael Myers. My go to “Halloween” movies are going to get me lynched by horror purists. I prefer Rob Zombie’s vision to Carpenter’s, and the sequels that spawned from it. But which of his two films should I choose?
Not only am I watching a Rob Zombie Halloween, I’m watching the one people despise. But I truly think this one is the best. Zombie’s vision is dark, grimy and is angry, which seems to embody Myers more than the other ones. The sequel especially feels darker and meaner. Michael is pissed. He grunts as he brutally destroys humanity. There’s no trying to understand him, he is violent and pure evil something you don’t feel as much in Carpenter’s version. ”But why not the remake?” you ask, and not the sequel no one likes? Well mostly because most of it is a shot-for-shot, even with Zombie’s vision splattered across it. Also, I only own the unrated version, which changes his escape from something more plausible and gory to something pointless and stupid. Instead of Michael killing guards and leaving the psych ward that way, he escapes when two workers pointlessly rape a girl in his room. It makes no sense and is just a reason to show rape. So dumb. Gah it makes me angry just thinking about it.
I’m not saying Zombie is exempt from criticism. His characters are underwritten and some of his lines are just plain stupid, especially when he tries to write dialogue for teenage girls. Plus it’s only fully of hillbillies. Aside from that, Halloween 2 feels like Zombie was able to make the Halloween movie that he wanted to make, fully his vision. The first one had to be a remake and be somewhat faithful. This one shows what Zombie can do on his own, with his own story and man is it great. I await my death now.
Lastly I’m making a Halloween playlist on my iPod. I love listening to Halloween themed music on late night walks in October and this year I dropped the ball, which is sad. To close out my overly long Halloween chronicling, I’d like to share some songs with you for when I take my dark, long, haunted walk.
I was chatting with a friend of mine lastnight and got to talking about some of the old 80′s hair metal we used to listen to. Skid Row, Motley Crue etc. and I mentioned Ratt which brought me to download some of my old favorites, one of them being Ratt. I was basically just going to download a greatest hits album, but I was shocked to see that they had just released an album in April! I personally thought these guys were long gone years ago and laughed at the idea of them putting out a new album in 2010 especially with their style of music. Well I gave it a good listen and to my surprise it sounds great for that genre of music. Most bands that have been around for that long I feel try to mesh with the music of today and most of the time it just doesn’t work or sound right for that matter. This album on the other hand sounds like it could have been released in the early 90′s and I personally felt that just from the opening track “Eat Me Up Alive” The album also closes with “Take Me Home” I won’t say it’s a ballad, but it is a bit slower paced than the rest of the album. You have your typical 80′s track titles like “Take A Big Bite”, “Last Call” and “Lost Weekend” which starts off with a yell of “Are you ready for some big fun?” and had me cracking up personally just because you don’t hear that stuff in todays music much if at all.
If you were ever a Ratt fan like myself or still are I would highly recommend this album. These guys haven’t missed a beat in my opinion.
Adam “aka” Megaton76.
I’ve considered myself a pretty big Cypress Hill fan ever since I first heard ‘Insane in the Brain’ back in 1993. I think I’ve actually picked up each one of their albums up until this newest one that came out last week. I had heard about it a couple months ago but then completely forgot about it until I saw it on the shelf at the store last night. So, I just downloaded it a little bit ago and I’m giving it a go right now.
I got through the first couple songs and was pretty bored. They were the basic intro track and then a song that had a hook that repeated 26 times over in 3 minutes. From there came the song that I had already heard, the title track featuring Tom Morello. That song is the shit. It’s got a ‘Rock Superstar’ kind of feel to it, and it’s a really cool song.
After that there was a song about weed. Then, another song about weed. And… another song about weed. Then, I skipped a few tracks because I was losing interest. I went to the track featuring Everlast because I just assumed that song would be really cool. Not so much. It was pretty boring and didn’t catch my attention at all. So now I’m currently on track 14 of 15 which is another song featuring Tom Morello, which is just as good if not better than the title track.
So all in all, I’m not impressed. I know that complaining about Cypress Hill doing weed songs is kind of silly, but still. I know that’s what they’re about but in the past they’ve still at least mad the albums enjoyable. I don’t smoke weed, and I’m really not even much of a hip hop fan but they always managed to entertain me. This time… not so much.
I’m excluding Girl Talk from this because he is clearly number one, and the reason most of these artists even exist. When his third album “Night Ripper” was released in 2006, it set the standard for mash-ups and inspired a million imitators. At the time it was released, it was groundbreaking to say the least. Mash-ups weren’t new, however they were never done like this before. One look at the wiki page for the album which painstakingly chronicles the samples used in every song, its clear mash-ups had never been done on this grand, a.d.d riddled fashion before. Music nerds love it because they love nitpicking the samples, and kids love it cause you can dance your ass off to it. And his last album Feed the Animals expanded on the formula and improved on it to the point where even mags like Rolling Stone couldn’t ignore what he was doing as anything other than genius. You can download both of his albums as a “pay what you want” deal here. Now onto artists that have benefited from GT’s genius and success and have done their own creative spin on it.
8. Legion of Doom http://www.myspace.com/tlod
Legion of Doom are slightly different than most of the list in the sense that they don’t have the same spastic style as Girl Talk and have a more traditional “this mixed with this” format. What sets them apart from the pack though is their source material. They normally mash-up one rock song with another rock song, usually in the emo/screamo/punk/indie hip hop genre. I’m not really a fan of those genre’s, but what they do with the songs is mindbending and makes normally unlistenable songs spectacular. Their album “Incorporated” is nothing sort of awesome. Stand out tracks are “Hands Down Ghandi” which mashes up hip hopper Sage Francis with emo darlings Dashboard Confessional and “Destroy All Vampires” which takes from A Static Lullaby and My Chemical Romance whilst adding in a new element in the form of rapper Triune, whom they collaborated with on their newest, “Vs. Triune”. Here’s a link to download “Incorporated” Best Moment Hand’s Down Ghandi. Somehow it works perfectly and Sage’s political rapping and Dashboard’s melodic style just fit.
7. Ludachrist http://www.myspace.com/worshipludachrist
Ludachrist is an odd duck to put it mildly. He definitely comes from the old school of more traditional mash-ups, but has seemed to adapt to the times by making a more spastic, stream of conscious album with his latest “Bangfest”. It’s unique in the sense that he takes less obvious samples(Ghostbusters theme, movie quotes, Snoop Dogg’s DEEZ NUUUUTZ skit), unlike most Girl Talk imitators. It isn’t for everyone, but anyone that’s a fan of the craft will very much appreciate his creativity. Bangfest mega mix link Best Moment From the 3:00 minute mark to about the 5:20 mark. Makes you wanna fight someone.
6. Easter Egg http://www.myspace.com/eastereggmusic
As the newest artist on this list, Easter Egg has made a very good first impression. His debut “Jackin’ for Beats” has its faults, but they are few are far in between. For the most part, his mash-ups work and the thing I like the most about his album, is that he doesn’t seem to be blatantly ripping off Girl Talk. He definitely took his style, however he takes samples that Girl Talk hasn’t used(yet), which is something I can’t say for some of the other artists on this list. Also as the newest artist, he has the benefit of having the freshest/newest songs, which is good, because I can only listen to the same Cassidy “Drink and My Two Step” sample so many times before I would like these guys to do something, well, more original. Jackin’ for Beats link Best Moment You Don’t Know, particularly the moment where Deltron is mashed up with Clipse’s Grinding beat.
5. The Hood Internet http://www.myspace.com/therealhoodinternet
The Hood Internet are fucking dope. They have something for everyone, and they put out albums very regularly. They, much like Legion of Doom, are more traditional in their mash-up styles. Their albums usually follow a theme, for example their “Vs. Chicago” album takes rock/indie bands and mashes them up with chicago MCs. I’m a huge fan of their first mixtape(link to dl here). Their blend of Rick Ross’s “Push it to the Limit” and CSS’s “Alala” is catchy, thumping, and infectious. Best Moment Push it to the Alalalimit
4. TRVSDJAM http://www.myspace.com/trvsdjam
No mash-up list would be complete without mentioning the late DJ AM and Travis Barkers foray into the world of mash-ups. Their “Fix Yo Face vol 1″ album is good, but pales in comparison to their Coachella setlist “Vol 2″ which takes elements from their first album and adds onto it. It’s really a shame we will never get another one of these due to AM’s untimely death, but Travis Barker I’m sure will continue to remix hip hop songs into shit I can stomach(ie. Flo Rida’s Low). I highly recommend downloading both of these, but if you only download one, have it be Vol 2 from Coachella. Both albums are in their download section on their site Best Moment actually comes from their first album “Fix Yo Face Vol. 1″. Track one, there’s this badass breakdown that mashes up “Grinding” with “Ring of Fire”. They actually have a performance on Youtube of this:
3. Super Mash Bros. http://www.myspace.com/sprmshbros
These guys are very good at what they do, and that is make danceable mash-ups, but their influence is clear. Their second release “All About the Scrillions” isn’t a classic like “Feed the Animals”, but there are some very cool moments on this record. “@LaurenConrad Get Us on The Hills”(Goofy title I know. Their album is full of them.) the opening mix is Jimmy Eats World and “Sexy Can I”, and they make it work. Later on in the same track they mash up “Down with the Sickness” with Missy Elliott’s “Get UR Freak On”. Missy has never wanted me to throw down before this. Heres a link to dl “All About the Scrillions”. Best Moment “This is Defiantly Not the 405″. The first minute and a half will have you rewinding over and over again to jam out to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” with “Right Thurr” and Pharoahe Monch’s “Get the Fuck Up”.
2. E-603 http://www.myspace.com/e603
He isn’t the most original artist on the list. Actually he probably is the most blatant Girl Talk rip-off. Even his album art looks strikingly similar to “Night Ripper”. That said, the man knows his way around Adobe Audition. I love his “Torn Up” album. It’s hard hitting, has some pretty creative mashes(Pharcyde’s “Ya Momma” with Beck’s “Loser” is a stroke of genius) and has the amount of re-playability that’s rare nowadays. I’m still catching samples I missed before, and that’s half the fun. And just like Girl Talk, his album is pay what you want, so here’s a link to it. Best Moment Besides the aforementioned mix, “Dirtbag Baby” takes elements from Wheatus’s “Teenage Dirtbag” and a very silly rap song called “Wipe a Pimp Down”. It rocks.
1. Speaky http://www.myspace.com/speakymusic
Ahhh Speaky. Speaky is the first to admit he was 100% inspired by “Night Ripper”. Infact when his “Mashcore Vol 2″ album was being passed around by his friends, they renamed it Girl Talk as a joke. Well, file sharing sites eventually got it and it was being spread AS Girl Talk. GT caught wind of this, squashed the rumor that it was his, and released “Feed the Animals” a couple months later. I will say this, his first two albums aren’t really anything worth talking about too much. They have their moments, but the main reason he is number one is because of his most recently released mash-up masterpiece entitled “Greatest Spits”. It is very good. Like, I almost hold it on the same regard as Feed the Animals. It’s a must for any music fan. Infectious, original, banging, and will get the girls to drop it low. Too many good moments for me to even pick a best one. Download this bad boy NOW
Army of the Pharaohs is a kind of hip hop super group concocted of Jedi Mind Tricks, Celph Titled, Apathy, and a handful of Philadelphia hip hop affiliates. The Unholy Terror album finally dropped at the end of March after being delayed for a few months and has not left my car CD player since.
This album is the third in the group’s library and marks the return of fan favorite Apathy. He was missing on The Ritual of Battle to work on his solo career. He should have stayed on.
The Unholy Terror has the feel of both the previous albums The Torture Papers and The Ritual of Battle combined. The two albums were completely different in tone and instrumentally opposites. The Torture Papers was kind of a early-mid 90s throwback hip hop album with some hard hitting beats and very lyrically driving. Their sophomore album took on a much darker and violent tone, though not cartoonish or horrorcore by any means. The beats are more menacing and pulsating while the lyrics had become more about murder and violent acts. The Unholy Terror takes on both tones from the previous two albums and mashes them into something relatively unique, while still having that throwback feel to it.
Keep in mind this is not your dorm roommate’s “hip hop” (if you want to even call it that nowadays). AOTP is not creating an album for you to dance to or vibrate your back bumper off. The beats are on point and have that head-nod feel to them, but they are not the selling point of this group, nor is it meant to be. It’s pure hardcore hip hop at its finest. No one’s getting silly. You’re not going to be called a jerk from Vinnie Paz, but something more explicit and homophobic. This album is not for the easily offended. They will not hold back on the “tight jean wearing rapper” of today. Trust me.
There is a lot of charisma from a good portion of the group. Vinnie Paz of JMT, Celph Titled, Apathy, Planetary, and Reef the Lost Cause all have not fallen short of their lyrical prime and they each have something to bring to the table. Some of them will have more comical and vile approaches to a track (Celph), while others have more anger and aggression driven verses (Vinnie Paz). The blend gives each member a moment to shine over a beat. When one starts out with a darker verse, the other counteracts and we get a much more well rounded track.
There is, however, a few drawbacks. The album falters halfway through. The first 5 or six tracks are pure fire and can easily be listened to many times. Then it cools down with a few pick ups around tracks 11 and 12 and ends with another banger. There’s a track called “Suicide Girl” with a beat by Apathy and the tone is completely reverse from the rest of the album. There’s three verses about girls with issues. It does not fit. It’s not a bad song, but it should be on an Apathy solo if you ask me.
Another drawback is the other faceless and nameless rappers in the group. These include Des Devious, Demoz, King Magnetic, and others I don’t care to try and remember. There’s nothing “wrong” with them necessarily, it’s just that they have no personality. When the more prominent members of the group all have such driving personality and power to their verses and flows, it’s kind of a let down to have a verse in the middle of the track by some guy who is just another rapper. These guys don’t have horrible lyrics or flows, there’s just so little to them. Even Jus Allah, a man I despised on Jedi Mind Trick’s last album, who only has one verse on this entire album, brings something actually worthwhile to the table. Personality is a must if you’re trying to create a name for yourself in the underground rap game.
The album is a definite buy for real hip hop fans. This isn’t any Lil Wayne or Kanye hip-pop. It’s just pure, raw, hardcore hip hop at its finest.
4 BLLLAATs out of 5
Key tracks: “Agony Fires”, “Ripped to Shreds”, “Bust’em In”, “Godzilla”, “Spaz Out”
Here are a couple songs via Youtube:
This morning I got a text from my friend Adam that simply said, “Did you hear about Peter Steele?” I replied back to him and said no, then quickly went to Wiki to find out how he died.
Music is a large part of my life. It always has been. When I was 12 years old my birthday cake had the cover of Metallica’s Master of Puppets on it. I was turning 12 and my cake was filled with a cemetery of crosses. From that young of an age music has been a very large part of me. I use it as a crutch to get through the good times and the bad. I use it for just about every occasion. I remember the song that was being played on the radio when my first son was born (I’ve Had the Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing). I remember what song was being played the very first time I walked into a strip club (Kenny Wayne Sheppard’s Blue On Black). I remember the song I heard after mine and Liz’s grandmas died (Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here), and it’s reasons like that in particular that music is so much a part of me.
I also remember the first time in 1993 when I heard Type O Negative’s Christian Woman. There was this public access radio station that on Saturday night’s at midnight they had a 2 hour show of nothing but heavy metal music. At that time, that was my stuff. I was a little metal kid. I was 12 when I heard that as well. I bought the album the next time I made it to the store, and had to hide it from my mom because she never would have let me have something like that.
From that point on I was a Type O Negative mark. I bought every single album and VHS or DVD that they came out with. Even recently when I stopped buying music because it was free on the internet, I still bought their material. They deserved it, so I gave them my money. I saw them in concert every time I had the chance. I even had the privilege of meeting Peter Steele a couple of times after the concerts. I have pictures of me and him but sadly I couldn’t find them today so that I could post them.
Like I said, music has always been a crutch for me. Type O Negative was my go to for when things just weren’t going my way. When I’m down I should probably listen to some nice upbeat music to try and cheer me up, but that’s just not how I do things. I would rather listen to Peter Steele sing about the darker things in life… and death. Somehow I related to the things he said. Songs like ‘Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)’, ‘The Dream is Dead’, ‘Love You to Death’, and ‘Everyone I Love Is Dead’ made sense to me. As twisted as it is, those are the songs that I understood most. I’m not some emo or death metal kid that hates everything in the world or anything, but those songs just always spoke to me. They were so true and real. I’m not even a goth metal fan. I think that’s what kind of music Type O Negative is considered. I couldn’t even name another goth metal band I don’t think. But their music and Steele’s lyrics were so above everything else that it just made it so beautiful, even though it was so dark.
So today I’ve been pretty down. I found out the news while I was at work and my first reaction was to fire up YouTube and watch the video for ‘Love You to Death’. While I do believe that listening to his music is by far the best way to pay tribute, it really hit me then. In my generation there has been a few big rock stars to die. Certain ones have hit me really hard. I named my youngest son after Layne Staley and Kurt Cobain. Peter Steele’s death will go down as day’s just like when those guys died for me.
I’m glad I got to experience Type O Negative and Peter Steele. His music will be apart of me and my life until the end. I’m glad I own all of their albums and have each one of them autographed by Peter. I’m glad I got to meet him a couple different times. Like Steele said, “The Dream is Dead” but at least his words will live on forever.
R.I.P. Green Man
In her place one hundred candles burning
As salty sweat drips from her breast
Her hips move and I can feel what they’re saying, swaying
They say the beast inside of me’s gonna get ya, get ya, get…
Black lipstick stains her glass of red wine
I am your servant, may I light your cigarette?
Those lips smooth, yeah I can feel what you’re saying, praying
They say the beast inside of me’s gonna get ya, get ya, get…
I beg to serve, your wish is my law
Now close those eyes and let me love you to death
Shall I prove I mean what I’m saying, begging
I say the beast inside me’s gonna get ya, get ya, get…
Let me love you too
Let me love you to death
Hey am I good enough
Hey am I good enough
Am I good enough
On April 12th Roger Waters, founding member of Pink Floyd, announced that he will be doing a 36 date tour of North America and will be performing The Wall in it’s entirety to celebrate the 30 anniversary of the album’s release.
Here is what Waters had to say about it:
“Thirty years ago when I was kind of an angry and not very young lad, I found myself driven into defensive positions because I was scared of stuff, and I’ve come to realize that in that personal story, maybe somewhere hidden in there exists an allegory for more general and universal themes, political and social themes,” he said. “It’s really for that reason that I decided that I’d try and create a new performance of this piece using a lot of the same things that we did all those years ago.”"Projection systems now are completely different from what they were then, which means that I would be able to project over the entire 250-foot expanse of the wall … which we couldn’t do in those days,” he said
So yes, he will be doing a huge 250 foot long and 25 foot high wall that will be constructed, and torn down, on stage during the show. Pink Floyd did that same thing almost 30 years ago on The Wall tour but it ended up only happening for the first couple dates of the tour. They said it was basically too hard and too expensive to pull off every night. But now Waters is going to do it for this tour.
I can’t wait for this one. I’ll be going to Columbus on October 22nd to see this live. Even though I’m more of a David Gilmour fan than Roger Waters, this will basically be probably my one any only chance to see “Pink Floyd” live in concert.
Here is a video of Roger Waters doing Comfortably Numb from The Wall Live in Berlin in 1990. Even this video is amazing. I can’t imagine how much cooler it’s going to be with the technology that they will be able to use 20 years after that video was made.
Complete tour dates can be found at http://tour.rogerwaters.com/tour/.
Tickets go on sale May 10th.