26 April 2008

I'm Still Deaf

I can't hear anything right now for, I think, two reasons: a) my allergies have corrupted all my internal functions, and b) I didn't have my earplugs in last night for one of the best shows I've seen in recent memory. Most of the shows I've been to lately have been larger venue affairs for Converge/Baroness and Neurosis/Mastodon. Not last night. Last night I finally got back out to a house show at the Silent Barn, hosted by the ubiquitous Todd P. To save my ailing, sinus-troubled brain from overwork, here's the rundown (in set order):

Maw: These three fellas are good friends of ours and play some sort of chunky, thrashy math rock. It's super fun and they played what may have been their tightest set ever. Keep your eye out for these guys, I think they're gonna be recording with Colin Marston soon.

Animal: Another local instrumental group, this duo is in a similar vein to Hella or Lightning Bolt, but far more listenable than the latter. This is a band that anybody can get into and they still rock. Girls and guys were dancing (in a good way, too, not some cheap ironic shit) and rocking out and it ruled.

Dead Child: Surprise guests of the night featuring members of Slint and Lords, they played throwback thrash from the 80s. I was wasted at this point and thought it was pretty good. The smoke added flair, too. Unfortunately, I didn't find anything they did worthy of actually purchasing their album. So...um, maybe next try?

Krallice: Having missed their last show (which may have been their first? dunno), I had no idea what to expect from a 'black metal' project featuring Mick Barr and Colin Marston. Well, there was little to be found in the shred/noodling department, but man, this was fucking relentless, bleak, tortured, melodic black metal. I don't know what it is (besides the Colt 45 I was enjoying), but great black metal puts a huge, goofy grin on my face. I don't know how long they played, but time pretty much stopped. Enjoyed every second of it.

Behold...The Arctopus: I've been seeing these guys since I was introduced in 2003(ish) and my unprintable galaxy they are possibly the most talented and most underappreciated band on the planet. If there was any fairness in this universe these guys would be billionaires and have just over 6 billion adoring fans. Unfortunately, the world is full of idiots with no taste, so these guys press on making obscenely complex, jaw-dropping metal fury for those of us who care way too much. For pete's sake buy their new album and get yr brain melted.

25 April 2008

Yowzers! (Weak Stomach Alert!)

This is amazingly gross. I feel terrible for this girl. She looks like an elephant seal and it may kill her...

Scientific American will put you in the mood.

09 April 2008

Who is the CPA Programmer Metalhead?

This is ridiculous and also awesome. I was (belatedly) doing my taxes last night with TurboTax and started having all these problems understanding what the fuck was going on. Normally my mom does them for me, but at the tender age of 27, I was finally left to fend for myself (except for the good hour and a half I spent on the phone with mom this afternoon) and do my own damn taxes like a big boy. So anyway, TurboTax was sucking balls and then had the gall to tell me I owed the feds a stupid amount of money given the paltry amount I earned last year (I am not releasing the figures publicly). However, mom found an alternative while we were on the phone that worked far far better.

TAX SLAYER.

Yeah, you read that right. I used FUCKING TAX SLAYER! How awesome is that. Now I normally don't like to just give some random company a free ad, but COME ON! Could they have given themselves a better name?

What sucks? Taxes.
What do you do to stuff that sucks? SLAY THEM
(do I need to write anything about SLAYER here, too? jeez)

So yeah, if you're lazy and haven't done your taxes yet, it took me no more than 20 minutes to do the whole damn thing and I have 1099s and other bullshit. Also, they halved the amount that TurboTax said I owed. So I don't know what kind of shenanigans those morons were pulling, but I think everybody wins with Tax Slayer. I even like saying it.

See the pretty notes, taste the chord progressions

I've been working on a piece about synaesthesia, which is, for those who don't know, a neurological condition that creates 'crossover' effects in experienced sensations. The most common form of this exists in those for whom letters and numbers have related (and specific) colors. There are musical variants that have colors related to certain keys or notes or even different chord progressions. I don't dare call it an 'affliction' because that has negative connotations and this does not sound negative in any way. In fact, it is reported that the vast majority of synaesthetes would hate to lose such a 'gift' and I could hardly disagree with such a statement. I'm actually kind of jealous, to be honest.

There are all sorts of artists who have this and probably loads of non-artist people, too. It is thought that 1 in 23 people have one of at least 54 different forms of the condition. I've mostly focused on musicians and composers who have it. Among them are Richard D. James (Aphex Twin), Duke Ellington, Eddie Van Halen (apparently dickheads can have it, too), Jean Sibelius, Gy├Ârgy Ligeti, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Olivier Messiaen. Below is a video (I don't know from when, but it looks a bit dated) of a Messiaen piece that is pretty rad. He saw different colors as keys changed, was a trained ornithologist and also a convert to Catholocism. I figure that's a pretty full life.


08 April 2008

Cablevision Sucks (as if you weren't aware)

Finally.

After two no-shows last week and a near third today, Cablevision finally arrived to provide my new apartment with an internet connection (of course, they had to botch something so they apparently disconnected the upstairs neighbors! uh-oh...). I don't know if anyone has ever had to deal with these morons, but obviously they are not competent service providers. Unfortunately for me, they have the monopoly over my Bushwick zip code, so I have no choice but to go with them. Cablevision...Cablevision...YOU SUCK!


On an awesomely positive note (that I should probably separate from the above nonsense but won't), I have to give two thumbs up to Liz Hazelton at Random House. She's none other than the publicist for Michio Kaku's latest book Physics of the Impossible and she caught my last post about his other books. Liz was gracious enough to send me a copy 'on the house'. Sweet move 'cos that just means more publicity! Also, in case anyone missed it yesterday, Mr. Kaku was on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC, so there's the link to go listen to them talk about cool stuff.

Anyway, welcome back to my dear, dear heart, Internet. Now I can get work done and do my taxes...