Volume 8, Number 4, Issue #70 508 - 825 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1K9 604.734.1611 www.thenervemagazine.com email@example.com
People love to hear about the end of the world - Adrian Mack
The Don (a/k/a Editor-In-Chief and Publisher) Bradley C. Damsgaard firstname.lastname@example.org Wiseguy (a/k/a Music Editor) Adrian “Embarrassment to Vancouver” Mack email@example.com Shotgun (a/k/a Film Editor) Michael Mann firstname.lastname@example.org Launderer (a/k/a Book Editor) Devon Cody email@example.com The Henchmen (a/k/a Design & Graphics) Kristy Sutor Weapons Cleaner (a/k/a Article Editor) Jon Azpiri Surveillance Team (a/k/a Photographers) Dale De Ruiter, Miss Toby Marie, Leigh Righton The Muscle (a/k/a Staff Writers) AD MADGRAS, Jason Ainsworth, Cowboy TexAss, Chris Walter, Stephanie Heney, Adam Simpkins, Carl Spackler, David Bertrand, Herman Menervemanana, Ferdy Belland, Dave Von Bentley, Devon Cody, Dale De Ruiter, Derek Bolen, Ethyltron, Johnny Kroll, Andrew Molloy, Boy Howdy, Cameron Gordon, Brock Thiessen, Filmore Mescalito Holmes, Jenna James, Jenny C, Will Pedley Plaster Caster (a/k/a Cover Design) Toby Bannister firstname.lastname@example.org Fire Insurance (a/k/a Advertising) Brad Damsgaard, Sean Mckay email@example.com The Kids (a/k/a The Interns) Claudine Ostashek, Samantha Laserson, Saint Andrew, Jon Braun Out-of-town Connections (a/k/a Distro & Street Team) Toronto: Rosina Tassone, Kerry Goulding Montreal: Douglas Ko Calgary: Mike Taylor Edmonton: Freecloud Records, Bob Prodor Winnipeg: Margo Voncook Regina: Shane Grass Whitehorse: Jordi and Jeremy Jones Victoria/Whistler: Jono Jak, Lindsay The Nerve is published monthly by The Nerve Magazine Ltd. The opinions expressed by the writers and artists do not necessarily reflect those of The Nerve Magazine’s publisher or its editors. The Nerve does not accept responsibility for content in advertisements. The Nerve reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or submission and accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. Printed in Canada. All content © Copyright The Nerve Magazine 2007. Est. 1999
18 ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE
My mom did a lot of acid, and I turned out okay - Allan MacInnis
22 LUCKY MCKEE
On his latest direct-to-video release Michael Mann
Was Jesus a good lay? - Sarah Schwartz
15 FAKE SHARK, REAL ZOMBIE! 7 THE ALMOST
See above - Andrew McSherry
Real sharks, no zombies - Patricia Matos
9 7 11 11 11 13 14 19
RADICAL NEWS: Conrad Black The Pack Crush Luther Six Feet Under Paper Dolls Deerhunter Bev Davies Noize Tribe Zero
Sections 06 23 26 28 20 28 29 31 30
Cheap Shotz Live Reviews Album Reviews DVD Film Books Video Games Crossword Comics The Nerve April 2007 Page
Who Gives a
Letters = firstname.lastname@example.org
While Baby Seals Die
It has been reported, despite recent rumors, that Michael Jackson will not be selling the Beatles catalogue back to Paul McCartney or to any other individual. McCartney, who was unhappy with Jackson’s decision to allow Revolution to be used in a Nike commercial, believes the songs should belong to him, where they will be safe from the evils of American fat cats. In other news, McCartney has signed a record deal with Starbucks. Take that corporate America! Did I just hear John Lennon roll over in his grave?
This month’s guest, Sister Tiffany Lee Linnes of the Paper Dolls
Iggy Brock??? Isaac Pop???
Vancouver’s favourite 90-page glossy scenester publication, The Only Magazine has officially stopped printing and is now exclusively a web-based publication. In its short history, this ragtag group of Terminal City ex-pats gained notoriety for their “Ask a Doer,” column as well as weekly features on
new Channels 3&4 and Doer’s side projects. With a printing bill in the 10’s of dollars and an equally extravagant budget for writers and designers, you might be thinking the magazine stopped printing for monetary reasons. But sources close to The Nerve say otherwise. “We simply ran out of friends to talk about. It got so bad we had to start doing articles on the readers. Then we found out they’re the same people,” says one former Only contributor, adding, “Hey do you know if Discorder is looking for writers?” A memorial wake will be held at Dadabase on Sunday, April 15 followed by a reception/art show at Anti-Social, followed by another reception at Pat’s Pub featuring the Doers and Channels 3&4. www.onlymagazine.ca
musical void in Vancouver’s culturally diverse Eastside has finally been filled. Located on the street famed for its eclectic mix of businesses, Bone Rattle Music is a perfect fit for Commercial Drive, selling locally made instruments and equipment not found in the big retail stores. “I will never be a Fender dealer,” says Bone Rattle owner Phil Addington. “Who wants to see another forest of Fender Squiers?” Not surprisingly then, the first thing that hits you in the face upon entering Bone Rattle Music is a rack of Vancouver made Sparrow electric guitars with hot rod finishing. “You won’t see those in Long & McQuade,” Addington remarks. Or Tom Lee Music, for that matter. “They’re like the Superstore and Wal-Mart of the music industry,” he notes.
The Nerve April 2007 Page
k c u F
Victoria Shows Sluts Love
Having graduated from “flying like a bird” to maneating promiscuity, Grammy winning Victoria native Nelly Furtado has now taken one step closer to establishing her legacy next to that of Queen Victoria and Martin Luther King. From here on, March 21 will be officially recognized as Nelly Furtado Day in BC’s capital. Why? Because of her selfless and untiring support of mobbed-up LA record producers and voice pitch enhancers? Did Victoria mayor Alan Lowe figure it was only fair since Steve Nash, the best basketball player in world for two years straight, had his own day as well? Or is it simply in appreciation of Furtado’s recent and somewhat tragic enlistment into the hordes of greasy little MuchMusic slut-faces? Enquiring minds want to know…
Drunkenly stabbing himself on stage - again Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock is carving out new side of rock. Or was this latest act of retarded self-mutialtion just some sick ploy? Last month in South Dakota, Brock cut up his torso with a knife he brought on stage and eventually fell into the crowd bleeding, yet still managed to finish the show. This happened two days before We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank was released on Mar. 20, pointing to a gross marketing scheme conspiracy. This is nothing new for Brock. On Youtube you can see 2002 footage of him slashing his arm twice with a butterfly knife. Coincidentally, March 20 also marked the release date of the new Stooges album The Wierdness. Weird.
Old and Smells Like Pee
No, we’re not talking about The Nerve’s music editor. One of the most influential streets in Vancouver’s history is into its 100th year anniversary. Granville Street, which runs right past the The Nerve’s head office (located in the upper northwest corner of the Burger King), is known for it’s nightlife, clubs, shops and wonderful and diverse array of urine scented alcoves. Celebrating a street’s centennial is already a silly notion, but what better way to pay homage than to dig it up, block it off and perform SkyTrain surgery for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Par-tay!
Getting to Know You!
Open since Dec. 1st of last year, Bone Rattle Music is the opposite of a big box. Literally in this case, since Addington’s shop is squeezed between a record and bookstore and takes up a space a bit bigger than a two-car garage lined with banjos, electrics, acoustics and an assortment of other audiophile-baiting noisemakers. “Most of the independent music shops - like me - we have to kind of pick and choose stuff they don’t have. Like they don’t carry Laney amps, which are a decent British made amplifier,” says the Lyle Lovett lookalike, who moved from the U.K. to Vancouver in the ’70s. The most expensive guitar he sells is a $2400 acoustic made by local luthier Jesse Brace. Even a Basone guitar hangs from the wall, similar to the one in
No one ratted out a Nerve contributor this month so you don’t get to know anyone in this issue. Here’s the deal. If you went to high school with a Nerve contributor or know a really embarrassing story about a contributor, get in touch with us. It can be anyone except Chris Walter, who we’re all afraid of. We promise to protect your anonymity, will give you a large stack of CDs, several t-shirts and $5 cash! email@example.com.
the Budweiser commercial currently circling Canadian TV channels. Like the competition, Bone Rattle Music also offers lessons, repairs and consignment opportunities at reasonable prices. Addington can get aspiring Slowhands on an electric journey for about $200, half the price of a Fender Strat PAK, with lessons costing $20 for a half hour. Best of all, students can avoid the pitfalls of learning from the species of mulleted doorknob and other ‘80s relics specific to the big retailers. Addington is, after all, the bassist in Vancouver’s much-loved country punk shitkickers Swank. The colourful folk who roam The Drive, meanwhile, are slowly discovering Bone Rattle. During our interview, a customer in his mid ’60s
What album is currently in your stereo? Through the Past Darkly – Rolling Stones What book are you currently reading or have most recently read? Right now I’m reading a Billy Childish novel - Sex Crimes of the Futcher and Alias Jack the Ripper (R. Michael Gordon) to keep things light. What was the last movie you watched?
Unknown Passage:The Dead Moon Story, but that’s really a documentary. Name one album, book, or movie that you consistently recommend to a friend. The Art of Shen Ku, by Zeek Name one album, book, or movie that you would recommend to an enemy. This question makes me think too much and I don’t like it. What is a recent guilty pleasure? Expensive plane tickets. What is your biggest pet peeve? When people don’t do what they say they’re going to. Name one bad habit you’re extremely proud of. I can smoke and smoke and smoke and smoke that shit. If you could hang out with any one person throughout history, who would it be? Elsa von Freytag – she believed contracting syphilis unblocked creative energies. What is the one thing you want to get done before you die? Make some good happen.
brought in a 1961 electric, to take advantage of the 10 per cent commission on consignments Addington is offering while “getting things started.” “That was mum’s guitar,” the man explained, as he looked for an acoustic to suit his senior lifestyle. “The only reason I got back into guitars is because of the stupid gun laws.” “Sometimes you get guys who just want to talk,” Addington laughs. Bone Rattle is also a stonermagnet. “You get a lot of that. He’s just smoked up and he’s like, ‘Whoa, this is great! I wanna try that guitar! Give me a tremolo pedal!’” And Addington will let the highflying customer rock out, though like any storeowner, he prefers a purchase. The only downside to Addington’s situation, it seems, is the flack he takes for his own bone-rattling, in-store jam sessions, one time receiving a vulgar verbal complaint from his bookstore neighbour. One day things might change. “If I drive the book store out, I wouldn’t mind expanding,” Addington jokes. – Jon Braun Those wandering The Drive can find Bone Rattle Music open any day of the week, located on the T-bone intersection of Commercial Drive and 4th Avenue.
Say, “Fuck MySpace!”
By Dave Bertrand
love these gals. There’s only two of them, they’re schooled in the hard-ass blues of Blind Willie Johnson and Junior Kimbrough, they play a White Stripes/Black Keys kinda thing, and know what? I like them more cause they’re women. I wish more girls tore the roof off the place. Singer/guitarist Becky Black is proof why coffee, cigarettes and Pabst Blue Ribbon are good for you. She’s Vancouver’s own Janis Joplin (serious!). The lungs of a freakin’ lion, and she also plays a mean slide. I’ve been in a jam space with these two, seen Becky cut loose, screaming her bluesy drunken soul to pieces, and it blew my heart out. By comparison, Maya Miller isn’t the wildest drummer ever (yes, yes, Meg White. She’s heard it...), but you’d be a fool! Handling the Pack’s organizin’, she’s one of the more intelligent, genuine, talkative, and inviting human beings I’ve met. And also – somewhat oddly – the band’s lyricist. Becky admits, “Maya does most of it. Everyone’s like, what are your songs about? Well, ask her.” Adds Maya, “We’ve got all these songs in a little book that she can flip through and choose something to try singing.” “And if nothing works,” concludes Becky, “I come up with something on the spot.” And the Pack’s ‘genesis’? “We actually started with another band,” explains Maya, “with two guys. The only reason I started drumming is because we needed a drummer.” Now why only two people? “Because it makes it much easier,” explains Maya. “We agree on everything.” This includes a casual, almost flippant lack of political correctness, like these excerpts: “Second-hand smoke cancer is just a myth.” “No one landed on the Moon.” “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome isn’t real.” Awesome!
They also hate myspace. Maya snickers, “We got deleted three times. That’s why our myspace is BlackMillBlues. There’s a ‘The Pack’ in L.A., and they’re rappers. They did this big song called ‘Vans’.Ya know, the sneakers? I think that’s why we kept getting cancelled. If we ever do a show in the States, we’ll have to be like, the Pack X.” They’ve only been gigging for a year, despite hype from CiTR, CBC Radio 3, Library, and Archives Canada (???). “I get nervous every time we do a show,” says Maya. “It’s much better when it feels like they’re not paying attention to you.” “But it’s good when they do,” Becky quickly chips in. “I try to focus on the closest moving foot in the crowd.” Their upcoming debut album is Tintype. Says Maya, “We started recording it last June. Ended up with 23 songs, but we pared it down to 17.” And only 47 minutes! Short tunes. Maya shrugs, “I dunno. Once it’s done, it’s done.” Becky begins, “I think if a song goes on longer than five minutes...” “...It’s kinda like a wank,” finishes Maya. They do that a lot. “Most blues songs are less than three minutes,” Becky continues, “and blues doesn’t have a chorus, really.” “We have one song that’s five minutes,” adds Maya. “’Bang’. We don’t have bridges. What else do you got to do?” It’s a simple – but very awesome – approach.Yet for some reason, the Yale won’t book them. Too much rock? Or maybe it’s the lack of grandiose big finishes. Pack songs tend to end very... ABRUPTLY! Maya: “A lot of times the song will be done, and people won’t really know, and there’ll be that split-second of woooo!!!” Confusion! Fun! Come to the Pack’s CD release party at the fabulous Railway Club on April 4th, with It’s a Living Thing and Treacherous Machete. Don’t Miss! Don’t Miss! Don’t Miss! n
“Second-hand smoke cancer is just a myth.”
Image taken from Google Earth
The Almost Florida, Fat Mike, and Jesus By Andrew McSherry
urn up your radio kids and pick up your bibles because Jesus has a brand new bag. Underoath’s Aaron Gillespie has stepped out from behind his drum kit to perform under the new name, the Almost. How does Gillespie feel about screaming about God in the forefront instead of on a stool behind a set of skins? “It is a bit odd that I’m not sitting,” he says, “but I really enjoy it. I’m having a great time.” Gillespie recorded almost every instrument on his debut album Southern Weather, the title of which refers to his upbringing in Florida - “a slow place,” according to the reborn frontman. “All things considered, it’s about growing up in the southern weather and finding out your fit in life.” Given the amount of sneering that Gillespie has no doubt endured with Underoath, his commitment to his faith is impressive. “Underoath is an obvious Christian band,” he says, “and so is the Almost.You write at the time what is honest for you.” He continues, “I’m trying to be honest to people, and my people know what I’m about. I don’t want to compromise my writing.” Critics might argue that Southern Weather, which is released April 3rd on Virgin and
Tooth and Nail records, is an eleven-song drop in an already endless sea of pop punkers and sham rockers. Meaner and slightly wittier critics might further suggest that when you cross Jesus with punk, you end up with junk… but it’s hard to ignore the Almost’s pre-release figures. With over 60,000 myspacers signed on already, the album should be at least a moderate success, provided their fan’s parents will lend them the money and drive them to the record store. In the first week alone of releasing songs on the internet, the band scored over 100,000 plays, and the number has since skyrocketed. It seems as though Gillespie might just have a shot at the kind of career his idol Dave Grohl enjoys. This summer the Almost will be heading out on the road with the likes of Say Anything and Saves the Day, just before joining the Vans Warped Tour, in a somewhat ironic twist (it’s rumored that Fat Mike’s endless and unfunny Christian jokes during last year’s Warped proved too much for Gillespie and the rest of Underoath, who quit the tour.) “We’re pretty booked right now,” Gillespie says. “It’s looking pretty crazy. I feel very blessed about it, you know, I’m having a great time. No complaints at all.” n
My people know what I’m about.
Aaron Gillespie. And three other guys.
The Nerve April 2007 Page
DEEP POLITICS AND RADICAL NEWS
Conrad Black Analogous to a Crack Dealer W By Michael Cook
hen it comes to corporate malfeasance, I have to admit that a lot of stuff goes right over my head. With Enron, the most famous recent case, I know the executives stole from their employees, and illegally manipulated energy prices. They robbed working class people of their jobs and pensions, and maliciously invented the California energy crisis that brought Arnold Schwarzenegger to power. But the intricate details of their frauds and schemes are a level above me. Even in the documentary The Smartest Guys in the Room, many of their crimes are cursorily explained in order not to confuse the viewer. On the other hand, the Conrad Black scandal is easy to dumb down. The main accusation is that when Hollinger International, of which Conrad Black was formerly CEO, sold its newspaper empire to CanWest Global, Black personally accepted US$51.8 million in “non-compete” payments. In other words, CanWest paid Black in exchange for a promise that Hollinger would not start newspapers to compete against the ones they had just sold. That money should have been revenue to Hollinger, but Black allegedly kept it for himself. So the main charge against him is theft from the company’s shareholders. Compounding this charge are the accusations that he billed extravagant parties and travel expenses to the company (for example $25,000 in drinks over the course of one summer), which allegedly constitutes further theft. Worse for Black are the charges of mail and wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Black appears on surveillance video loading boxes of documents into his limousine with the help of his chauffeur. And he is supposed to have orchestrated his acts of fraud
through the mail. Finally, Black faces a charge of racketeering. This is usually a charge leveled against mobsters for organized crime. Black’s lawyers say this last one is “overreaching.” The sentences for these crimes exceed those for the actual theft. If found guilty on all counts, Black faces over 95 years in prison and US$92 million in fines. And there’s nothing the public likes better than to see smug, rich bastards like him get what’s coming to them. Even though Black is basically a rich guy accused of stealing from a bunch of other rich guys, the Canadian public hates him – especially since he renounced his citizenship – and we would love to see him rot in jail. The Canadian media is covering the story with their usually array of biases. The National Post, a worthless joke of a paper founded by Black himself, has largely let him tell the story in his own words – celebrating his bombast, and analyzing comparisons between Black and the Great Gatsby. Maclean’s is taking a more balanced approach, carefully outlining the charges and implications of the trial. But they haven’t missed the opportunity to point out that white-collar crime is finally being treated as seriously as violent crime, and that Black could be punished more severely than a crack dealer. It calls to mind the Chappelle’s Show sketch where Tron, Chapelle’s crack dealer character is permitted to schedule his own arrest, negotiate the terms of his trial over a plate of expensive-ass cheeses, and finally escape punishment by pleading the beautiful fifth amendment. Meanwhile a rich, white corporate raider has his door kicked down, his dog shot by the
The Conrad Black scandal is easy to dumb down
The Nerve’s majority sharehoider is 100% innocent cops, and is left to piss himself in an interrogation room. If only it were really so. As usual with celebrity trials, the surrounding circus outdoes the dry courtroom proceedings. The highlight so far has to be Barbara Amiel – usually called “Lady Black” by reporters, a tongue-in-cheek reference to her husband’s Lordship. After weeks of curtly dismissing questions or answering them in French, she turned on several journalists in an elevator recently, saying that reporters are vermin, and calling one woman journalist a “slut” to her face. The lack of dignity in her comments is underlined by her shortsightedness. The journalists are the ones telling her story, and now they like her less than ever.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether Black will be found guilty. The evidence in this case is reportedly far less clear than it was with Enron, and no one in the media is going out on a limb to call it one way or the other. But the important thing isn’t really whether Black did it or not. It makes little difference to the average man whether some rich white guys were robbed of a few million dollars. And his alleged crimes don’t have any of the devastating implications to working class folk that the Enron scandal did. The important thing about this is that we get to watch Lord Conrad Black suffer, often through the lens of the media empire he created. And who isn’t down for that? n
CANADIAN TOUR \01 • Winnipeg • THE PYRAMID \02 • Regina • Distrikt \03 • Edmonton • Starlite \04 • Calgary • MacEwan Ballroom \05 • Banff • Wild Bill’s \06 • Vancouver • Richards on Richards \07 • Victoria • LEGENDS NIGHT CLUB
Sale price in effect until April 30, 2007 while supplies last
The Nerve April 2007 22/3/07 Page 12:42:06
Crush Luther S By Jon Braun
omehow a band with influences that include Sepultura, Faith No More, and, ahem, the Moffats has managed to wrap itself around Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani and all those other highgloss bozos on the Canadian music video charts. Finishing March at number three on MuchMoreMusic’s video top 10, “City Girl” and other tunes from Crush Luther are attracting weak hearts and strong stomachs to this enigmatic Canadian pop act. “People either struggle with our genre - which is flattering, it’s fantastic – or they call us a ska band, which is very, very, weird,” says Luther Mallory, singer-songwriter of Crush Luther. “I don’t think anyone in the band even really likes ska that much.” Talking on a cellphone from Charlottetown, P.E.I., Mallory says lots of interviewers, for some reason, put the Toronto based quintet in the skanking category. But there’s no horn section, and it’s not likely you’ll be doing any 1080s or Acid Drops to Crush Luther’s sing song ballads anytime soon. Mallory says the closest two-tone taste they have is the checkered strap on guitarist Giggi Bongard. “We’re a pop rock band,” asserts Mallory, with pride. “I like the mid-tempo stuff because I can dance a bit to it
By Andrew McEgregore
With the Paper Dolls I really wanted to focus on the vocals,” explains vocalist Sister Tiffany Lee Linnes. “I mean, whatever happens with the sound happens.” Despite Ms. Linnes apparent ambivalence about her band’s sonic direction, it’s clear from the tracks available on the Paper Dolls tiger-stripe and bubblegum MySpace page that the Seattle based quintet possesses a natural gift for American-minted, and historically accurate rock’n’roll of the glorious three chord variety. On the handclap-happy “What You Told Me”, the Paper Dolls come off like drunk cheerleaders gone wrong, hopped up on goofballs and hitting the makeout trail with the Heartbreakers stuffed in the backseat. Like the Sirens or the Gore-Gore Girls, it’s a college punk party sound; as old as the Kingsmen and as right as a lampshade on your head. Linnes and company will be in Vancouver for
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Them
and that’s what I like to feel, rather than just thrashing all the time.” But how do thrash metal and punk influences create such a polished, teenage-girl-groupie-magnet sound? Mallory explains it’s a natural progression. “Most kids that start a band in high school are starting in punk rock bands,” he states. “A: Because they like punk rock, and B: Because they’re not musically advanced to move along from punk rock.” Mallory cops to having no technical chops himself when he was 16, adding “Everyone can scream…” Mallory eventually found what he was looking for in a fairly unlikely place. “Then I got into Billy Joel,” he says, with no apparent irony, “and I got into pop, and great singers, and great songwriters, and melody, and all that stuff.” While currently touring the East Coast with their self-titled LP, Mallory says Crush Luther does more than play songs from the album. For instance, they’re covering Wu-Tang Clan’s “Triumph”. “We try our hardest to make it a diverse performance,” he says. “We’ll do some funny covers and do some weird banter, try to give the show some personality.” Among Mallory’s recent acts of “weird banter”
and “personality” was an onstage summary of a Full House episode, which he characterized as “educational”. The audience apparently characterized it somewhat differently, calling for the frontman to “shuddup!” Mallory was delighted. “It’s just Another lonely and humiliating high school dance funny to affect anybody, in any sort of way.” “City Girl”, meanwhile, has now appeared in the they promised fans if their video was voted to lower rungs of MuchMoreMusic’s top 20 singles chart, number five in Canada. Mallory lost the bout on and is steadily climbing that ladder as well. The band points. Look for Crush Luther on Youtube again, is keeping fans involved with regular video blogs on getting their asses whooped in a game of dodge their website, while Youtube offers a boxing match ball with friends from the band Grand:PM. Mallory (hey, wasn’t Billy Joel a Golden Gloves contender?) promises, “It’s gonna be pretty hilarious. And pretty between Mallory and drummer Brent Mills: a deal ridiculous.” n
Cinco de Mayo, and persons of taste are encouraged to join them at Pub 340, in celebration of the holiday you know nothing about. Linnes promises goodtimes. “It’s always been a party,” she says of the Great White North and it’s particular flora and fauna (“I can smoke and smoke and smoke that shit,” she adds). Linnes used to come up here with her old band, the Stuck-ups. Readers might remember how they eventually became the Buffets, who recorded an album in one day, mixed it the next, and had their first and farewell show half a week later in London with the Buff Medways. In other words, Linnes is a no-shit garage queen legend already, with impeccable taste, I might add - something she further proves when asked if she has one of those stupid fucking i-Pod thingies that are destroying music. “No,” she answers. “I don’t want one because I listen to records mostly. I have i-Tunes though. Loads of shit in there. Here’s a random selection of some of the bands in there that start with S: Saints, Screamers, Sick Things, Slayer, Slits, Small Faces, Stiff Little Fingers, the Stooges, the
Standells, Sweetwater, Suicide…” Be still my backTiffany Lee Linnes, is rock ‘n’ roll still even slightly beating heart! relevant? “To me, hell yes!” she asserts. “ Relevant, The Paper Dolls are rounded out by bassist Mary prevalent, and going nowhere fast!” She’s right about Jane Slit (ex-Gloryholes), who “boasts eating seven that, ain’t she? What a doll. n and one-third hotdogs in 53 seconds flat while rockin’ the downbeat,” percussionista Little Missfit Andrea, who “is a virgin and only picked up the The Paper Dolls play at Pub 340 on Saturday, May 5th, tambourine to get laid,” and two boys, Ben and anThee Manipulators (ex-New Town Animals, the Gung other former Gloryhole, Chris, on drums and guitar Hos), and the Zip Guns respectively, who are also wonderfully attractive if you like that sort of thing. Linnes cites Kleenex, Nikki and the Corvettes, and Purple Wizard as girl-groups who get it exactly right, Debbie Harry as her ultimate distaff rocker, and a certain Canadian abortion as an example of how wrong it all can go. “Someone sent an article to my friend about the band Kitty,” she recalls with a sigh. “Said they thought of me, and that’s kind of embarrassing.” And finally, Sister On a good night, the two dykes with glasses make out on stage
UNDER Masters of BIngo!
By Will Pedley
We totally wasted our youth!
hat does the state of Florida have to offer the world? Orange juice, theme parks, Jeb Bush and his warrior spirit Chang, an international cocaine pipeline, those irrepressibly happy ska-punkers Less Than Jake…and death metal. It might seem rather odd that such an anger-fuelled and death-fixated genre should have some of its roots in the Sunshine State, a happy place where families go on vacation and retired people go to die. Actually, maybe death and killing occupy a perfectly natural place in the minds of Floridians: old people and tourists are two of the most annoying groups of people on the Earth, aren’t they? According to Six Feet Under vocalist Chris Barnes – long held to be a prominent spokesperson for Evil - a conspicuous population of doddery octogenarians is not a source of inspiration. “I think that’s a misconception,” he tells The Nerve during a call from home, insisting, “Our state is filled with people of lots of different ages.” So where does his material come from? “I just write what’s on my mind really,” Barnes answers. “I’m not really aiming to shock people or anything like that. I just write about things that
interest me really, man, stories that I want to get out through my lyrics.” Hmm, worrying. Remember, this is the former Cannibal Corpse frontman, responsible for writing such delightful numbers as “Hacked To Pieces”, “Impulse to Disembowel”, and that old family chestnut, “Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s Cunt”.You could easily be forgiven for thinking the Barnes home includes a crawlspace stuffed with victims, but over the phone at least, he sounds utterly normal and reasonable. Also, considering his almost inhumanly guttural vocal style, Barnes speaks with a very ordinary and even slightly nasal voice, and not like some evil demon or that dude who seems to do the voice-over for every single action movie trailer ever. I have to confess that I’m rather disappointed although admittedly less frightened than I otherwise might have been. Barnes, who is promoting Six Feet Under’s newest album Commandment, released on Metal Blade on April 17, is naturally an articulate opponent of censorship, stating, “I think that it’s wrong, I think that people should be allowed to speak, think and feel and ingest things into their bodies as they deem fit.” This raises yet another incongruity. Despite a predilection for
writing incredibly violent and gory lyrics, Barnes also openly advocates the use of marijuana. “I always speak out against the illegalization of cannabis and hope that one day it will be legalized.” So, will he be looking forward to trying out some of the local bud when he comes to town? “Yeah man, sure,” he exclaims. “We get some of that down this way too. It’ll be great.” Aside from the remarkable lyrics, Six Feet Under create a satisfyingly low end driven noise that takes the death metal blueprint and strips it down, focusing on mid-tempo groove instead of high speed grind. Barnes doesn’t care too much for the current trend in death metal, and its drive to push super technical fret-wankery as far as it will go “It bores me,” he says. “I don’t find it interesting at all. So I don’t listen to it.” Furthermore, Barnes is happily indifferent to the vagaries of a genre that he helped to innovate. While death metal seems to be coming to a dead end (no pun intended) for the majority of other, less inspired acts, Barnes – who turns 40 later this year (“It feels great,” he proclaims) – manages to rise above it. “I’m just going to keep on plugging away, and keep on doing things like I’ve always done,” he says. n
The Nerve April 2007 Page 11
Klaxons By Adrian Mack
ventually, the British won’t even bother forming bands. They’ll just call the NME, make up a name, throw a few references around, and wait for the cover story to appear a week later. Two weeks after that, the backlash. Three weeks later, Drug Hell! etc. etc. Anyway, if you’ve been keeping up, then you know that the UK was in the grip of the new-rave (or nu-rave) scene recently (last Thursday, actually) but I wouldn’t want to buy any stock at this point, since I don’t think it’s gonna last. Not for lack of quality, though. The vanguard band of this movement is Klaxons, who I like a lot, in spite of the fact that I’m 60. The connection between their debut album Myths of the Near Future and any old-rave (oöld-rave) music that I ever heard and didn’t give a shit about is nil, however, with the possible exception of their beautiful “Dream of Golden Skans” single, which comes close but actually belongs to a tradition of great UK shitdisco music made by spotty, white guitar kids - from Happy Mondays in the late ‘80s, up to last spring and Hard-Fi’s neglected “Hard to Beat”. The band admits that it gave itself the new-rave tag as a joke, while the album seems more related to the American indie, noize, and neo-psyche impulse, but with Brit pop hooks, and a weird sense of humour. The album title comes from a collection of short stories by JG Ballard; a British author who has been obsessing about the breakdown of western society since the ‘60s. Klaxons also go on about William Burroughs and Thomas Pynchon (“Atlantis to Interzone” and “Gravity’s Rainbow”), took a song about Aleister Crowley to the top of the UK charts (“Magick”), and make the prospect of the apocalypse - scheduled for 2012 according to the Mayan calendar - seem like it might not be so bad. What gives with these kids? Are they talking out of their arses? Guitarist Simon Taylor (the one with the hair), calling The Nerve from Colone, Germany, after “the best gig I’ve ever played,” makes his case:
Crowley and magick? When we played the MTV 2 show last year, these guys turned up, these five skinhead occultists who had come to quiz us about our Aleister Crowley references, these five beefcake skinheads who had driven like five hours in the rain from the other side of England to see us. It was one of the darkest things I’ve ever come across. We played “Magick” and they were just like, beating people up, dancing, it was just absolutely crazy, and they were kissing me and asking, “did you write these words?” That was quite bizarre. You actually mention the 19th century occult society the Golden Dawn in one of your songs. You don’t see that everyday. My first encounter with those ideas was that my granddad was a spiritual healer. He actually died a month before 9/11, claiming that there was going to be a massive world disaster, and that he was “needed.” He died of a sudden brain tumour. We always thought he was an absolute fucking psycho. Ballard, Burroughs, the Futurist Manifesto - you conspicuously reference all these things… The Guardian, which is essentially the most culturally current paper in the U.K. absolutely hates us. They gave us 1/5 for our album. They said it was basically the biggest hunk of shit they ever heard in their lives and that we weren’t a rave band. The Sun, which is the paper that builders read, gave us a 5/5 and did a feature on us, and we’re singing songs about William Burroughs and Aleister Crowley, and they loved it! What about Pynchon? Has Thomas Pynchon been in touch? No, he hasn’t. Have you read Against the Day yet? I haven’t. Have you? I read about 300 pages and then I started drinking again. It’s the first book I’ve ever actually taken notes on, to try and remember characters. I think I’m gonna try and read it again next week. With Gravity’s Rainbow, I had the impression that about 20 people had written that book. Did you notice that at one point, that the main character (Slothrop) actually disappears for about 200 pages? I specifically remember this as the point when my shift at work ended, and I went to work the next day and he’d dissappeared. And I was like, have I just fucking lost it or has Slothrop gone? I specifically remember it and thinking that I’d lost my fucking mind. He was gone. And thinking that someone had just fucked with the pages of the book I was reading. Did you see Pynchon on The Simpsons? No, to be honest I never watched The Simpsons, ever. I constantly have a problem with, why are these people yellow? I know it sounds stupid. Which theory about 2012 (ie. the end of the world) do you guys subscribe to? Daniel Pinchbeck and the “psychic connection”? Terence McKenna’s “singularity and hyper-spatial breakthrough”? Peak Oil? Solar Maximum? The death of Cliff Richard? Well mine is actually that the pineal gland in the brain will blossom. That dormant gland in your brain, similar to the appendix. We’ve been trying to write a song about the pineal gland. Okay, so you’re with Pinchbeck and McKenna then?
The english press has already started making snidey comments about us, saying we’re shit
Nerve: So, your band is a year and a half old. Taylor:Yeah. Does it make you feel bad that other musicians might toil for two decades and never get anywhere? I don’t know. I don’t really have anything to really compare it to. Like, everything is constantly going at a million miles an hour.You know, we spent three days writing four songs and then we got signed. Any other way is kind of abstract to us, if that makes any sense. Given the standard cycle for UK pop, how long do you think you’ve got before it all ends and you’re appearing on Cleethorpe’s Pier with Spacehog and Chas ‘n’ Dave? We’re thinking like three or four weeks. The english press has already started making snidey comments about us, saying we’re shit. The most incredible thing for us is that we’ve been slated in America already without even being there. Rolling Stone fucking hate us, and the blogs hate us, so do we take a Sex Pistols approach and just tell everyone to “fuck off” or do we get excited by the fact that people are annoyed by us? Is it still relevent to discuss Aleister
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Klaxons in blighted Ballardian innerscape. But you already knew that! We actually do an extended version of the track “Four Horsemen of 2012” now, where we do an extra chorus in which I invite everyone in the audience to come to my house on December 12, 2012, and have a BBQ, I give out my post code and my mobile number, and I invite everyone to come out onto my balcony and take part in this kind of ritual where we’re going to have this celebration very much like the beach in Contact where people are there to witness this new machine being built. Nice! And at that point your pineal gland will sprout. Exactly. According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, there are 49 days between death and reincarnation. Oddly enough, the pineal gland appears in the human fetus exactly 49 days from conception. Jesus Christ. That’s one of the heaviest facts I’ve ever heard. That’s a nice one, isn’t it? I think we need to name our next album 49. How will the end begin, if you know what I mean? I think there’s that element of complete fragmentation which is beginning to happen. For me, cyberspace became this global community and now it seems like the most alien thing to me. To log on to those things. I find the whole thing completely retarded and I can’t deal with it anymore. I need to see real people. Is there any community there? The thing for me that I found most exciting in a perverse way is friends of mine being deleted from myspace, and
this becoming the first kind of cancer in cyberspace. I would like to congratulate you on what I feel is an authentically Ballardian take on myspace. I think that I should probably invent the first kind of support group for these deleted victims. What’s your favourite track on the album? “Isle of Her”. I think, musically, it’s the furthest we’ve come. We detuned all the strings, and tuned them all to one note. I’m a huge Liars fan, as well as being a massive fan of Glenn Branca - and I realize we’re just a shit pop band, and he’s doing something massive - but the song just came together in literally a few hours and hopefully it will be a hint of what the next record’s going to sound like. What are you guys listening to at the moment? I’ve been a really big fan of the new Deerhunter album, Cryptograms. This article is going to be next to a Deerhunter piece. That is incredible. Can you also say that I’m a massive fan and that I’d love to meet them? I’m a huge fan of WZT Hearts, as well as a lot of those noise records, Psychic Ills, a lot of American stuff really. Social Registry is an incredible label. For us to be banded in with the likes of Deerhunter is nothing short of an absolute honour. n Klaxons play Richard’s on Richards in Vancouver April 22nd, Lee’s Palace April 8th in Toronto
PHOTO: BRYAN MELTZER
This is about as focused as they get
Deerhunter “The Ladness of Slaughter”
By Jon Braun
uck the Ponys. If you plan on seeing them at Richard’s on Richards in Vancouver on the 11th, make sure you’re whacked enough for the opening act, Deerhunter. That’s gonna be the real show.You probably already know that if you’ve heard the band’s second album Cryptograms, which might accurately be described as an electronic psychedelic journey through… A mall? “The modern equivalent of a psychedelic experience is a panic attack in a shopping mall,” says Deerhunter “Overlord,” Branford Cox in a somewhat abstract attempt to define his band’s gift for threading hypnotic basslines through a rock’n’roll template, which then flows into video-game sounds and moments of forest-like serenity. Actually, Cox’s explanation is dead on. But, the Ponys’ latest release is still great. Turn the Lights Out rocks damn hard and the stacked bill (I consider it to be a double feature, considering Deerhunter is headlining in Toronto) should be one hell of a Wednesday night on the West Coast. “If it’s a good show I don’t remember anything because I’m mentally focused to the point of hallucinating,” says vocalist/guitarist, Cox. “I try to go into trances. I think about parking lots and shit.” Cox says he doesn’t abuse substances because it interferes with “the natural experience.” Why can’t Jered Gummere do this? Instead the Ponys’ singer brandishes some British accent (or is that Australian?) in “Maybe I’ll Try”. Either way, he’s from Chicago and it’s odd. And the track “Exile on My Street” is awfully similar to the 1970 hit “No Time,” by the Guess Who. Deerhunter is going the other way in time, not adhering to the tried and true tested models of indie rock. “We constantly experiment with different set-ups. I don’t like putting on the same show twice,” Cox writes during an e-mail correspondence from his Atlanta dwelling, while relaxing to OMD’s Dazzle Ships. The rest of the Deerhunter quintet also calls Atlanta their hometown; a city musically famous for rap and hip-hop artists like OutKast, and Ludacris. Cox says this means a lack of competition for indie rock bands, making the Georgia capitol and Coca-
Cola HQ the perfect place for Deerhunter and the Black Lips (who are currently on tour with the Ponys. Deerhunter takes over the Black Lips spot, Mar. 31st, in Jackson, Mississippi). “The local scene is small, but great,” claims Cox, adding that fellow electronadelic explorers like Snowden and the Selmanaires also call it home. The mix of psych and electronica experimentation that defines Deerhunter is gathering indie rock nerds, punk kids and rave freaks into the same venues. At the two ends of Deerhunter’s spectrum are bands like D.C.’s Dead Meadow, who stay clear of the crazy electronics, while across the water in the U.K., the Klaxons lean and bash on the keyboard a little more, looking for a tripped out darkened dance feel. These are bands that are resurrecting music for the masses to disappear into. “Music is becoming more ambiguous because the culture that breeds it is totally shapeless,” Cox contends. Deerhunter might grab a good slice of the trance beats, but it also thrashes hard on the guitar. It twists the late ’60s and ’80s around with a visceral psych-o feeling a la “Intro”, which leads into the title track. “My greatest fear/I fantasized/The days were long/The weeks flew by/ Before I knew/I was awake/My days were through/It was too… late,” sings Cox, backed by a pulsing bass riff through the whole song and fading out after the haunting repetitive last lines, “there was no sound.” Cox’s talk-singing during Cryptograms is creepy in a doomed sort of way. The band’s influences range from the ’60s garage
savants the Seeds, to ’70s post-punk rockers the Fall, easily noted in songs like “Strange Lights” and “Heatherwood”. Not as easily noted in their music are the gospel and doo wop records Cox enjoys. Sometimes he’ll get down with the krautrock of Faust or ’50s electronic music revolutionist, Raymond Scott, who invented the Clavivox synthesizer. This experimental nature bleeds into Cox’s own music, and performance. “I walk out on the stage, I sense that a lot of people are smirking up at me. Like, ‘holy shit, look at this freak,’ I try to play off that.” Cox claims that he tries to avoid an “angsty confrontational vibe,” because it’s boring. “Showing weakness is way more erotic,” states the ultra skinny tall dude. Surprisingly, Deerhunter shies away from effects as much as possible in its live incarnation. “I’m beginning to feel like it makes things seem dated,” is Cox’s explanation. “We are not shoegazers,” he adds, niftily busting Deerhunter out of the pigeonhole Pitchfork stuffed them into. Samples are another matter: “Providence” needs samples to mimic the beeping water fountain that sounds like it’s under a cloudy day of mega pixels with the sun nudging through. The same could go for “Red Ink”. If all of this sounds like a dreamy mindfuck, check out “Lake Somerset”, a heart pounding track that increases in intensity, bass and fuzz, and comes off very strange, even without the video, which is even more unusual. The idea came about after a trip to the zoo, when Cox was hung over. He saw a tiny turtle eating some carrots.
People who can’t eat or sleep because of existential dread are the shamans of our age
“It was cool and adorable,” Cox remembers. “It had this cute neck and was very small. It chewed slowly.” Their friend and movie guy James Sumner subsequently approached him wanting to make a video for the song. Cox was shocked by Sumner’s interpretation. “I wanted a video of a turtle eating a piece of pizza. A few days later I received a link to youtube in my e-mail,” Cox says. What he saw was a man dressed in a turtle suit eating pizza for almost four minutes. That’s it. It’s intense but weird. It fits perfectly with Deerhunter’s cross-eyed myspace slogan: “The ladness of slaughter.” Cox says he’d like to make a video about a children’s hospital, or even a short film eventually. He’s also looking forward to putting out another fulllength album soon, even though Cryptograms is only a couple of months old. Speaking of Cryptograms, what the hell are the Zelda theme music and cardiac arrest rhythms all about? “Growing up fucked,” is Cox’s answer. The band’s psychotronic sound and lyrics are a reaction to the state of this troubled world. Deerhunter and its herd are affording folks the chance to escape an increasingly shocking reality using the most powerful drug on Earth - music. “I think people who can’t eat or sleep because of depression and existential dread are the shamans of our age,” Cox says, although, whether he’s hallucinating on visions of parking lots or tranced out on “shit,” he’s still paying attention to what’s happening around him. “There are all these invisible limits that become obvious when you start testing them,” he says, alluding to an almost romantic appreciation of the conservative society his band is trying to bend. It’s beautifully perverse. “I would be bored if there was nothing to challenge.” Oh, and a word to the Ponys. “Shine” is a fucking beautiful song. n
Deerhunter will play at Richard’s on Richards in Vancouver April 11th,The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto the 23rd and La Sala Rosa in Montreal the 24th.
The Nerve April 2007 Page 13
Vancouver’s Punk History, One Snapshot at a Time
She was a punk before Chris Walter was a punk
By Ferdy Belland
ver the many decades of rock ‘n’ roll’s rich history, the art of photography progressed and paralleled the art of the music itself. Many photographers have made their names by documenting the sights and moods of the eras they lived in. Annie Liebovitz’s legendary post-Watergate portraits of musicians, politicians, celebrities, and personalities gave Rolling Stone a gritty dignity that it hasn’t had since – and won’t ever see again. The blurry psychedelia of Sub Pop house photographer Charles Peterson’s double-exposures nabbed many iconographic moments in the much-hyped grunge scene of the Pacific Northwest. The massive music-photo archive of Michael Ochs is enough to stagger the curators of the Library of Congress. And no one has ever come close to matching the lovely Ms. Beverley Davies in capturing the shining, grimy, joyously human moments of Vancouver’s much-ballyhooed punk scene of the Smiling Buddha Cabaret days. This writer was gracefully invited by Ms. Davies into the cozy comforts of her quaint old Strathcona home over this past winter to sip soothing tea in a rocking chair near a warm fireplace, beside which a content old grey cat lay sprawled out with no trace of feline grace. Wrapped in a shawl, her kind eyes always smiling as she shuffles around her kitchen in her slippers to seek out the sugar bowl, Bev Davies looks like everyone’s favourite aunt – but this favourite aunt isn’t cut from the canasta-and-shuffleboard crowd. “You can’t tell anyone this,” Davies confides, “but I am SO into the Brian Jonestown Massacre.” Her smiling eyes widen with girlish glee. “I had a really bad relationship with cameras, to start off with,” explains Davies of her initial infatua-
tion with snapping Toronto rock shows back in the mid-’60s. “I kept losing them, or had them stolen. I took the Rolling Stones shots on my father’s camera, and immediately after the show I raced back home to give it back to him before something happened to it.” Davies moved from sleepy Belleville, ON to the Big Smoke to enroll in the Ontario College of Art, but like any good art student at the time, she soon dropped out and jerked coffee in the pulsing heart of the Yorkville scene. “I moved into a communal house that was full of artists and hippies, and then I moved into a band house with the Ugly Ducklings,” Davies explains, noting Mick Jagger’s favorite Canadian group. “They were great friends of mine, and were the ones who got me into the Rolling Stones concert I took the shots at. Then I moved out west; there was a lot of freewheeling travelling between Toronto and Vancouver back then. I moved to Kitsilano, which was utterly hippie. I attended the Vancouver School of Art, which is now the Emily Carr School – I studied photographic etching. After I graduated, I moved to Bowen Island for awhile, but later on, in the summer of 1977, I went back to take a photography course, which had always interested me. I spent a little while taking shots of rocks and birds and then I went to my first DOA concert and went HOT DAMN! No more ‘still life with fruit-bowl’ for me!” This is where the plot thickens: “I always thought I got into the local scene a little late. I missed the Ramones, I missed the Clash at some little club on Hastings Street – there’s a lot of significant early stuff I missed. After that DOA show, I became a regular at the Smiling Buddha and always brought my camera with me. I would go on Friday night, take
I went to my first DOA concert and went HOT DAMN! No more ‘still life with fruitbowl’ for me!
The Nerve April 2007 Page 14
pictures, go home and develop them, and go back to the Buddha on the Saturday night and give away the pictures to whoever was playing. I would go to those legendary punk parties at DOA’s Gore Street punk house with boxes of postcards – postcards on the back and photo paper on the front – I’d make postcards out of photos I took of the party in full gong show action and mail it back to them, saying ‘thanks for the party!’” Bev commences to sift through a heap of photographs taken from the Smiling Buddha’s golden years – all in living black-and-white, all shot on the same camera (“I’m a Canon girl,” Bev says). The punk superstars everyone on earth knows about – Joe Keithley, Chuck Biscuits, Randy Rampage, Art Bergmann, John Armstrong, Gerry Hannah, Tony Bardach – they’re all here, in their moment, in sharp instant focus, happily thrashing about on that famous sagging stage and they all look so painfully young. Notorious troublemaker Simon Snotface, tilting his head back and sloppily pouring beer from an upturned stubby; his trucker’s hat and his bushy beard gives this writer an eerie start – this is Stephen fucking McBean’s Strathcona Commandos, time-travelling back a quarter-century to their unshaven sleazeball genesis. The walls of the Smiling Buddha have this weird floral print. There’s not a lot of liberty-spiked mohawks or studded leather jackets here – that punk rock look wouldn’t solidify until the Exploited came around. The punks of 1980 look like the East Van scruffsters of 2007. They look exactly alike. Fucking exactly. Fatigue jackets, hoodies, Converse All Stars, unkempt hair,Value Village clothes. It’s as if you can reach your hands through the photos, watch your flesh and clothes lose their colour, and you too can watch the Dishrags rock out while Lachman Jir plays chess. “I found the women that I met through the Buddha scene were very friendly and very supportive,” Davies remembers, speaking of the time she began to take herself seriously as a photographer, “Kim from the Devices, Sue Short, my friend Carola (Goetze), Solly – who used to go out with Art Bergmann – not that the guys weren’t friendly, but they were all up there on the stage, mostly. The first backstage pass I ever got was when the Pointed Sticks opened up for Wreckless Eric at the Commodore in ’79. That was my first taste of it, and it was like a drug, going to these other concerts. Then the Georgia Straight wanted to publish my photos – not so much the local stuff, but I remember telling them at the Straight that they could have photos of mine, but they had to run a DOA picture with them, because as you can guess, I was a DOA fan.” Davies grows serious as she recalls her bustling press-pass past. “I think I may have made an error in judgment by choosing that path,” she muses. “The big concerts, I mean. It was exciting, and it was big and flashy, but you never knew if your photo pass was going to get issued in the end and all that… and with the ‘gang shooting’ that goes on in the arena photo pit, you’re bumping shoulders with a bunch of other photographers who are all getting the same shots as you are. I wound too much of who I was into that part of rock and roll, as opposed to what I really loved - which was the local scene. Finally in 1987 I phoned the Straight and told them I didn’t want to do
this anymore. I just absolutely stopped, cold turkey. I didn’t do anything for a long time. I just stayed away from it all.” But Bev’s recent rediscovery of Vancouver’s vital local music scene has apparently made her young all over again. “I went and saw the Manvils recently,” Bev beams – remember, folks, this is a lady who remembers when the Stones were a buzz band – “you know, they’re good, and there’s not 30 photographers jostling you, and there’s Carola and I there with our little digital cameras, and I noticed someone using their cell phone to take pictures and I thought: I need one of those! I saw the Black Angels at Richard’s on Richards and they’re a great band, great people, you can talk to them, take pictures of them… that’s what it’s all about, not: ‘did Madonna give me a photo pass?’ Sure, I’d love to get that, but that’s a whole other level of a career that I’m not really that into.” The conversation comes to the state of Vancouver’s talented yet generally unsung music scene. Bev remarks, “I remember when I was in Toronto in the ‘60s that the local bands had to go somewhere else and have the press say ‘wow, they’re really good and they’re from Toronto,’ before anyone in Toronto gave a damn about them. A band like the Paupers had to get good press in New York, and then people in Toronto would go ‘whoo, the Paupers!’ and line up to go see them. That blew me away when I first moved here, that people weren’t afraid to say that their favorite band was Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck, or the Trials of Jason Hoover, or Mock Duck, and they were all Vancouver bands. People really supported their local bands, and it felt so different than Toronto. So when you look at the punk scene from Toronto, it doesn’t surprise me that they had the money come into there… there’s that drive to make it… but that money came in and destroyed that scene, as far as I was concerned. Lots of Toronto punk records got made, but lots of Vancouver punk records got made, too – the local bands had to do it themselves, which isn’t an inferior approach.” And what about the woulda-coulda-shouldas of the good old days? “I still think that ‘Rebel Kind’ by the Modernettes should have made it to Number One,” admonishes the Canon Girl. n
Fake Shark, Real Zombie!
GODZILLA! By Sarah Schwartz
White-blonde striped hair gently falls over the shoulders of a bone-rack thin, overly tanned, chart topping pop star. She’s peering out from underneath an asymmetricalsported hat. Charcoal coloured makeup circles her eyes and her lip-gloss glistens. Her chin rests on her hand and her elbow on the table. An aloof look of disapproval is carved into her face. An entourage of bodyguards and pretty friends surround her. Circling loosely in small clusters just in front are extraordinarily sculpted men (some in ass-less chaps), chitchatting to miniskirt and belt-cinched females who are sipping sparkling liquors and fingertip-stirring half-filled martini glasses. On stage a thrash garage glamour rock infused pop band performs to the beat of their own drum and to a tune of pure awesomeness. A scruffy looking piercedfaced fingerless-glove-wearing crowd of rainbow shirts, neckties and sneakers charges the stage and starts to jump around and push and shove each other. Before you know it, A-list glasses start to get knocked out of their dainty hands, bottles of Cristal get splashed on the marble floors and all hell breaks loose. From a tall velvet booth at the back of the hall, the blonde huffs, rolls her eyes, and scoffs. In seconds her well-manicured hand is up to her mouth where she cups it, leans into the ear of one of her bodyguards and the broad-shouldered man in black sends out a gang of muscle-bound party poopers to end the racket.With the crowd clearly divided into lovers and haters (but leaning more on the lover end of the scale) the security guards have a hard time getting to the stage to cut the act.The band raises its volume, the crowd gets rowdier and the burly bouncers barricade the stage.They have to send in more troops to manually take down microphones and disassemble gear in order for the band to stop playing. Sound like an opening scene to a cheesy early ‘90s music video? Well don’t hold your breath for Erica Ehm to appear with the MuchMusic crew because this isn’t a video shoot and it isn’t the ‘90s. It’s Cristina Aguilera’s tour end party hoopla at the Café Royal Francis hotel in the U.K. and that band that got dismantled from the stage is Fake Shark, Real Zombie!, who seem to be making headlines and eating up iPod megabytes everywhere. Kevin Maher, Louis Hearn, Malcolm Holt, and Parker Bossley (a fill-in bass player) make up the raw and hard arty band that takes its name from Lucio Fulci’s film Zombi 2, where a shark and a zombie engage in devastating underwater combat (for those interested, the zombie wins). “We were at a party all together and it was literally our first band practice ever with Malcolm our new drummer that day,” Maher explains. “So we were all getting to know each other, talking about stupid shit and drinking. It was funny because Louis was totally passed out cold while we were having
an intense conversation about zombies, and how amazing this one underwater shark/zombie fight was in this movie. My friend was asking about the shark and zombie and like, who was real, which totally cracked me up, but I was, like, ‘Dude, fake shark, real zombie’. Then I had to laugh at that too. That’s when completely out of nowhere Louis woke up and literally just proclaimed that was our band name.” FSRZ!’s sense of humour is a huge part of its stage presence. At a recent show at the Lamplighter (a cool live music venue if you ignore the doorman there - unnecessarily rude and power trippy), Maher opened the evening by thanking the crowd for showing up and making sure we brought not one but two pieces of ID and a passport, and for making sure our photographs were completely centred and straight. Their tongue-in-cheek demeanour and wardrobe - Maher has been known to occasionally adorn women’s attire on stage - is a funny contradiction to their harder rock sound. Keep in mind though that an FSRZ! performance isn’t always for the faint of heart or those who get easily offended. A good three minutes of stage time was also spent discussing Jesus Christ and what a great fuck he must have been, and at least two bottles of beer were either splashed or spat on the crowd in good old-fashioned punk rock style. It’s these misbehaving mannerisms and volatile verses that have caught the attention of American Grammy Award-winning alternaOnly in the magazine because one of them tive rock singer and songwriter, spoken word artist, author, radio and TV personality Henry Rollins. Rollins, in reply to “I think a lot of musicians that perform in this a personal e-mail from Maher, said he’d like to have city are really pretentious,” Maher states, “and don’t them on his show even have anything to be pretentious about, and but just finished they aren’t as fun to watch because of that. When shooting the season I go out to a live music venue to see someone play, and will, for the I usually want to dance or thrash around and rock time being, play out.You know… have a good time. But I would end their track “Pair of up being at a shows where everyone just stood Dice” on his radio still and stared at the guys on stage. So boring! It’s show Harmony In like people here are afraid to look lame by dancing, My Head on Indie which I don’t get at all. It’s not like I think we are the 103. Pretty freakin’ only upbeat band that puts on a high energy show amazing for a band in this city, it’s just we are way more rare than we that’s only been should be.” around for a couple That sentiment inspired them to form a band, and of years. in year-2005-style, Maher and Hearn looked for a Unofficially, Madrummer on Craigslist. On a monumental day that her and Hearn have summer the two went to see the Blood Brothers, known each other the Gossip, the Get Hustle, and Athletes in Athletisince high school. cism, and then decided to focus all their energy on They never hung their group and write their first album, Zebra! Zebra! out, being in totally different cliques: Kevin was a That debut caught the attention of U.K.’s Disorder total visual-art artsy-fartsy A+ student and Louis was Magazine, who will award Fake Shark, Real Zombie! a musical major majorette. They met up a few years its coveted Unsigned Artist of the Month title in its after grad and started shooting the shit, then started April issue. Being unsigned didn’t last much more shitting on the local music scene. Kevin Maher was than a heartbeat. Renowned Japanese record label especially disappointed with Vancouver’s seemingly Vinyl Junkie took the band under its wing, makstagnant indie music scene at the time. ing FSRZ! its first ever Canadian signing, as well as
A good three minutes of stage time was spent discussing Jesus Christ and what a great fuck he must have been
PHOTO: LEIGH RIGHTONN
icture bucket loads of glitter being shot out of a cannon. Now, if that violent but prissy explosion was a sound and not a mental picture, it would come burned on a compact disc and called Fake Shark, Real Zombie! a Vancouver band who seems to be blowing minds and boom boxes everywhere but in its own city.
is nailing a Nerve contributor supporting an upcoming summer tour of Japan. Currently FSRZ! is talking with several U.K. labels who Maher refuses to name because, he says playfully, “it’s like when you really like someone, you don’t really want them to know how much you like them. That could jinx it.” Much like Bruce, the hard working but rarely seen fake shark in Steven Spielberg’s classic Jaws, Fake Shark, Real Zombie! continues to be one of Vancouver’s unsung successes; the hardest working band you’ve probably never seen. And, like the ‘real’ zombies in Romero’s Living Dead quadrilogy, you’d best keep an eye out for FSRZ! lest you become one of the soon-to-be hordes of folk wishing they’d been hungry for the brains to see the band while it was still playing the small but storied gigs around town. OK, so my last allusion is pretty lame, so how about this one: FSRZ! will leave you wanting to feast on the bloody flesh of its skull munching hooks. No? Perhaps… More crazed than the fake sharks of Deep Blue Sea; more ravenous than the living undead of Nightmare City, Fake Shark, Real Zombie! will suck your brains out through a straw? Ah, What the Fuck! Fake Shark, Real Zombie! just rock. n You can catch Fake Shark, Real Zombie! April 22nd at Richard’s on Richards.They will be playing with The Klaxons from London.
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PHOTO: Jen Dodds
Hey Nerve Book Editor! Why aren’t you at home, reading?! Slacker!
The By Chris Walter
he first time I saw the Jolts, singer Joey Blitzkrieg got hit with a banana cream pie. We were all watching the band, when suddenly a maniac named Ashtrey ran up and smushed the pie in his face. At first, the Jolts didn’t even stop, but Joey couldn’t see and there was pie all over his guitar. Finally, the band stumbled to a halt as Joey wiped helplessly at the goo on his face. He looked bewildered, as if he couldn’t understand why anyone would do such a thing. It turned out that it was a case of mistaken identity, that Ashtrey had the wrong man. Good thing Ashtrey isn’t a hired killer… I got a scuzzy rag from the bar at the Asbalt and Joey wiped his face with it.Yuck! The band started up again, and I don’t know if it was because, or in spite of, the pie incident, but the Jolts played with an edge sharp enough to shave the balls of an orangutan. The songs are simple, but tight and fast, with good structure and, most importantly, guts. When the Jolts EP Jinx came out, I knew that I’d have to do a story. Finally, we got it together. First, I want to know, what are the Jolts about? Do they want to change the world, or are they more interested in Jagermeister and hash? “We’re about rock and roll,” says Joey Blitzkrieg. “We’re punks, but more in the getting-fired-from-your-job-afterbeing-caught-stealing-and-spending-your-last-cashon-Jagermeister-and-hash kinda way than in the new wave-hair-do’s-and-left-wing politics way.” Guitarist Dr. Danger adds, “I’d say we’re more interested in having a good time than anything else. That usually means drinking and, in Joey’s case, a bit of hash. I tend to stick to beer though.” Satisfied that GG Allin’s legacy is safe, I ask what their first memories of punk were, and what made them want to start a band? “The Ramones made me wanna start a band,” says Blitzkrieg. “My first memories are of trying to get in to the Brickyard and Starfish every weekend to see Flash Bastard or the Smugglers, or some other rad local band, and always being ID’d. I’d have to go home and listen to records.” Says Dr. Danger,
Will Give You a Buzz Vancouver Punks speak with a Vancouver Punk
“My first memory of punk was playing drums with my first band Son of Spam. I was 14 or 15 and the rest of the guys in the band were 19 or so. We drank a lot and played cover songs in my friend’s garage until someone complained about the noise. The initial reason I started a band was just an excuse to get together with friends, and to try to play songs we liked. I grew up in Prince Rupert where there were no other bands, so that might’ve been part of it as well.” “A lot of people shit on Green Day, but they are the reason I wanted to start a punk rock band,” says bassist Lector Kurrentz. “I was 10 when Dookie hit and they’re the reason I got into other great punk bands, like the Queers, Screeching Weasel, and Blatz - any of the old Lookout bands.” Is it cool that kids can buy studded belts at KMart? Do they wish punk was still dangerous? Have they ever been beaten up or chased for “looking funny”? Blitzkrieg answers, “I thought punk still was dangerous! Actually, I haven’t had a rock thrown at me or been called a faggot for a while now, so I guess it isn’t…” “K-Mart seems like as good a place as any to pick up something like that,” continues Lector Kurrentz. “Especially if it means avoiding a trip to the Rock Shop. The thing that makes punk rock so lame nowadays, besides all the terrible bands, is the fact that all these dumb fucking kids think you’ve gotta own a 60 dollar belt to be ‘punk.’ They’ve got the belts and they’ve got the haircuts, but when they
get grounded for eating all their parents’ cheese bread, they don’t have the guts to say ‘no.’ I don’t think these punks can handle danger in the year 2007. As far as getting hassled for looking funny, I think that comes with the territory. Last summer we were complimented on our tight jeans and implicit homosexuality at 2:00 AM by some real intellectualtypes hanging out beside a Jeep in Red Deer, Alberta. It seems you get a lot of compliments like that out in the middle of nowhere, from all kinds of brain-dead small town fuck-ups. We’re heading a lot further north and east this time, so I’ll be purchasing a new Louisville Slugger with the Canadian Tire gift certificate I was given for Christmas, just in case any farm boys get any bright ideas.” “I guess people don’t wear leather jackets in rural Alberta,” adds Dr. Danger. “Unless they’re brown suede fringe jackets,” interjects Kurrentz. This seems like a perfect opportunity to ask about the upcoming tour. Do they think they’ll be able to handle each other’s stinky feet all day every day? “Joey’s feet are pretty fucking stinky,” states Kurrentz. “But he calls the shots so we just have to sit on it. This tour will be 17 days, to Winnipeg and back. Our new drummer likes to take his pants off a lot, so I have a feeling that stinky feet will be the least of our worries.” “Last time around, I kicked GT Flare out of the band about three times and refused to speak to anyone for weeks afterwards,” adds Blitzkrieg. “We’ll
Vancouver is a lame, rainy, over-priced, scenester, psuedo-PC stink-town. It stinks and I hate it.
see how this tour goes…” I need to know if the Jolts are happy with the scene in Vancouver. What do they think could make it better? “Vancouver’s all right,” offers Blitzkrieg. “There are some great rock and roll bands starting to come out of their mom’s basements. Give it a year.” Dr. Danger says, “It’s good to see local bands getting added to bigger bills at larger venues.” Then drummer Von Dander, who had been fairly quiet until now, decides to unload. “Vancouver is a lame, rainy, over-priced, scenester, pseudo-PC stink-town. It stinks and I hate it. The people here are smiling and frowning at the same time.You never really know if you’re coming or going.Vancouver would be better if it were just like Winnipeg: cold, flat, and windy as hell. With mosquitoes and violence. My God, the violence…” We laugh nervously and I change the subject by asking if they’ve ever tried Jolt Cola. Did they name the band after that evil stuff? Is “Caffeine Heartbeat” about Jolt Cola? Blitzkrieg responds first. “I was raised on video games and Jolt Cola,” he asserts. “I spent my formative years wired on Jolt, so don’t be callin’ it evil. But no, ‘Jolts’ just seemed to explain how we played rock and roll, and ‘Caffeine Heartbeat’ is about coffee and fucking.” “We used to buy groceries for a week from Jolt Cola empties,” Kurrentz explains, “back when we had a house together and back when they still sold it in bottles.” Dr. Danger says, “If it helped us get a Jolt Cola sponsorship, I’d be willing to re-write a few lines.” With integrity like that, these boys are sure to go far. n Okay,Western Canada, don’t miss the Jolts when they bring their stinky feet to your town. Give ‘em some clean socks and check ‘em out at. www.myspace.com/ thejolts For those in Vancouver, the tour kicks off at the Pub 340 on April 19th.
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The Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO Gone Beyond Beyond
Eat your heart out, They Shoot Horses Don’t They! By Allan MacInnis
ounded in 1995, the Acid Mothers Temple have replaced the Boredoms as the number one ambassadors of J-weird to foreign shores, but their fame abroad is not replicated at home. In my three years (1999-2001) of seeking out the unusual in Japan, I never once heard of them. I never saw a poster for their records at the to-drool-for Japanese chain store, Disk Union, never overheard their music at a headshop - nada. You might assume this indicates nothing more than a flaw in my hunting, but dig: the Acid Mothers Temple and Melting Paraiso UFO are a bunch of Japanese freaks (in the Mothers of Invention sense) who appear on their album covers dressed like medieval troubadours from space re-enacting a Trout Mask Replica photo shoot, occasionally holding staffs with skulls or posing like longhaired monks in prayer. They have album titles like Absolutely Freak Out (Zap Your Mind!!) and Hypnotic Liquid Machine from the Golden Utopia, with acid-drenched, ‘60s-retro cover art, sometimes featuring naked Japanese hippie girls posed as icons of unencumbered freedom. Their stated goal is to
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make “trip music” designed to attune the listener to the “cosmic vibration,” and they abundantly look the part. For a guy with an eye to the weird, if the Acid Mothers Temple were at ALL on the radar in Japan, stuff like this would STAND OUT. I spoke to AMT founder and leader Makoto Kawabata via e-mail, with invaluable help from Alan Cummings of the U.K., who translated (thanks!). AMT neophytes are directed to www.acidmothers. com, the official site, and in particular the FAQ section, “Kawabata’s Words,” if you want to learn more about, say, the UFO summoning ceremony the band held, the philosophy of their “soul collective,” or where the self-taught guitarist gets his ideas for song titles. Since Kawabata doesn’t like to answer questions already in the FAQ, I’ve covered new territory below. Fans of old fashioned psychedelic rock and outthere texturally-dense droney experimentation, or anyone interested in the further fringes (or, perhaps, the neglected glowing centre) of Japanese popular culture can see the Acid Mothers play live at Rich-
ards on Richards, May 9th on their Crystal Rainbow Pyramid Tour. Nerve: First off, a friend of mine really wants to know about the band and the Moomintrolls. What was the genesis of “The Hattifatteners Song?” Kawabata: In Japan the Moomins were shown on television between 1969 and 1972, and it was very popular. I grew up watching it and later I bought all the books and devoured them too. The Hattifatteners are my favourite characters, though the song title itself has no particular meaning. I guess that sense of movement just popped into my head. It’s funny that you should ask me about cartoon characters because when I was a child I had a conception of Christian, Buddhist and Hindu art as being like cartoons and I used to copy them. Even today I still collect popular religious artifacts. Do you have kids? I have no children and I don’t think I’ll ever get married. Perpetuating my DNA would probably have
a bad effect on future society! People as useless as me should be prevented from reproducing. Not having kids will be my contribution to society. I absolutely love the quote on the FAQ, “I think that it was maybe because I had music that I never became a terrorist.” Were you an angry young man? When I was about 10, I had this vague idea that I’d like to become someone who changes the world, and this eventually escalated into dreams of causing a worldwide revolution (not in the Marxist sense) and controlling the world. I don’t think I was especially angry at the world - I just had this longing for the idea of revolution. I remember saying that if I had power I would start a guerrilla movement to depose myself and seize power. I must have been interested in the process by which revolutions fail or succeed, and particularly in the plots and mindgames that go along with this process. In school, I was the kind of kid who always loved to annoy the teacher by asking difficult questions. I loved getting the rest of the kids to back me up in
CONTENTS debates with the teacher about politics. I loved the psychological aspects of politics, and I used to enjoy manipulating groups within the extra-curricular clubs to fight against each other. This was probably because I have a real loathing of group activities, so I would manipulate things to create situations more amenable to me personally. However once I discovered music, my early dreams of becoming a politician or a philosopher disappeared entirely. Do you have any desire to influence young people through your music? To begin with, my music has no message. Music is simply music, no more and no less. If you wanted to find some message in it, perhaps it would be that I want people to find some sense of the secret of music through it. That’s all. I have no idea and no interest in whether my music exerts any influence on the young. It is as much as I can do to create my music to the fullness of my abilities, and I have no time to consider its effect on others. Of course, I do have personal political beliefs, but I have never tried to express those beliefs through music and I do not think that music should be used for such a purpose. Do you feel alienated from the mainstream of Japanese society? There’s a Japanese proverb that says that the nail that sticks out should be hammered down - and Japanese love uniforms, and there is a current of thought in Japan that admires you the less individuality you show. Accordingly, what ‘individuality’ that is allowed to exist in Japan must always align itself to some kind of group identity. Truly unique and visible individuality is not recognized and is treated as ‘alien’. But on the other hand, it is this kind of thinking that has created Japan as it is now. This system of values creates the Japanese idea of the “corporate warrior,” who
gives time to their families on the weekend as “family service.” However, I do not hate the values of these kinds of Japanese – they are the ones who sustain Japanese society and for that I thank and even admire them. I, on the other hand, have no qualifications to become a part of their society. But it’s because of their hard work that I am able to drop out of that society and live in comfort while devoting my life to music. I was struck by how respectful and attentive Japanese audiences were, compared to audiences here. When I saw Keiji Haino play, the audience didn’t make a sound for the whole 40 minutes of his performance, applauding only after he was finished... If there is a difference, it’s that Japanese audiences come to hear the music and that American or European audiences come to enjoy themselves. In addition, tickets are expensive in Japanese clubs so most people will only be able to afford to buy
one drink. But in the US and Europe people will drink while listening to the music and they’ll go to the bar even during the performance. Japanese audiences will also watch all the bands on the bill - firstly because they’ve paid a lot to get to in, but also because they’re simply curious about the bands even if they’ve never heard of them before. I don’t know which attitude is better. If you’ve paid your money to get in, then you should have the right to enjoy the music in whichever way you like.You can listen quietly or if you’re bored you can chat with your friends, it’s up to you. Maybe it’s more important for the musicians to try and play in such a way that people won’t feel like chatting? Because Japanese audiences are so restrained in their reactions, sometimes Japanese bands that play overseas get overly surprised by the reaction they get there. But that’s just stupid. Sometimes there’ll be some really tedious band on the bill and they’ll get just as big a round of applause as us. At times like that I wonder how much you can trust the audience. But the audience are there to enjoy themselves,
I do not hate the values of these kinds of Japanese – it’s because of their hard work that I am able to drop out of that society and live in comfort while devoting my life to music.
so that’s their prerogative – but musicians need to be wary of getting too carried away by audience reaction... How do you feel about touring? If there’s one thing that really gets me down on the road, it’s the food. I prefer to stick to a pure Japanese diet and trying to change that is really hard for me. I don’t like bread, cheese, ham and other processed meats, pasta, pizza or fruit, so often it is hard for me to find anything that I can order. Recently I’ve been drinking nothing but shochu (a Japanese alcohol, stronger than sake), and I can’t really drink much beer any more. But everywhere we go, we always get given beer. I try vodka instead, but what I really want is shochu! In February I went on a solo tour of Europe and this time I didn’t bring any food with me from Japan and tried to get by on what I get locally. That was tough and my health suffered. On the road it’s important to look after your health, so the change in diet is the most difficult thing for me. Are you ever hassled at the US border? Now we apply for visas properly so there is no problem. The last time I went through immigration, I got asked why I was back again (I’d come in just two weeks before). So I went round and round in circles explaining everything and eventually the female immigration officer let me through. I thought I’d lay an American-style joke on her, so just like in the movies I asked her if she was free for dinner that night. She raised her middle finger at me and said, “Fuck you!” The complete interview with Kawabata Makoto will appear in the online edition of the Nerve Magazine! www.thenervemagazine.com. Thanks again to Alan Cummings, and Kawabata-san, too! n
o r e Z o e r b e i Z r e T b e i z r i T o N Noize …And the Art of Fishing By Val Smith
he Bunker is Neil Williams’ in home 32-track digital recording studio, located in Vancouver. It is also the rehearsal and recording studio for Noize Tribe Zero, for whom Williams also provides vocals and frequency manipulation. The guys of NTZ have been working on their upcoming album series Controversial Reality for over three years, and hope to release it sometime this summer. If you want a preview, their next show is on April 14th at the Lamplighter in Vancouver. I sat with Noize Tribe Zero, in their home/studio, right after a run through of the set they will perform on the 14th. NTZ have quite a range in terms of tempo and timing, sonically weaving through combinations of industrial, jazz, and metal in a mind numbing assault on the senses. There are no pauses in the set, as various samples are mixed with industrial beats to keep the audience’s attention along with video projections designed specifically for each song. There seem to be quite a few layers of meaning behind the songwriting and visuals. I wanted to find out about the philosophies that seem to fuel their work. Apparently it all comes down to fishing.
Williams: The Goat tells the sheep what to do. Nerve: Could you elaborate a little bit more on the mythology behind the song “As Above, So Below”? There’s a sample in that song that says, “If you...” Stiff Josh: At the beginning it says, “If you bring forth what is within you what you bring forth will save you,” and then at the end it says, “If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” Brommeland: Basically what that’s saying is that you don’t have to go to church, the church is within yourself. Think for yourself, and do what you want, as long as you’re a good person, it doesn’t matter. Williams: The hand that can save you is at the end of your own arm. Think for yourself. It’s pretty hard to break out of this framework that they’ve got figured out for everyone, ancient ideas that are kept hidden from everyone else. Nerve: So do you feel that there are external forces controlling humanity and or individuals? Williams: The world is controlled by dangerous psychopaths. Scilla: I think it’s like if you’re playing a pinball game and you get multi-ball, and five different balls come out at the same time. It’s all set in motion, but by the skill and the will of the player, you’ll hit the balls, they might bounce into other balls and go crazy all over the place, and some balls will fall through. It’s about balls. That’s how the universe works. Stiff Josh: It’s a big pair of testicles. Scilla: It’s about manipulating your balls Nerve: Do you guys feel pressured for time? Stiff Josh: We’ve been working on this album for the last three years. Well, it’s actually three albums... Williams: Not just this one, we’ve got a lot of material that we’ve been writing over the past few years, and we’ve narrowed it down to three volumes worth of material...
It’s about balls. That’s how the universe works
Nerve: Chris Brommeland, your guitar player, caught a fish with his bare hands. From what I’ve heard, anyway. Williams: I saw it. He caught a fish with his bare hands. We were in Deer Park, he had a stick, he cornered and caught this fish. Maybe he stunned the fish, do you remember how you did it Chris? Stiff Josh (bass God): Good looks. He stunned them. Brommeland: The Force. Williams: It was like he used the Force. Nerve: If you were going to have either the Force or the Goat with you, which would it be? Jay Scilla (drums, prophecies): The Goat. (silence) I’m the only goat one? Fuck.
STIFF JOSH Sure, he’s happy now. But the comedown’s a bitch... Stiff Josh: But I don’t believe anything should be pressuring you. No labels pressuring you. If you want to get something done right, just take your time, plan it out, do it how it feels comfortable with you. Williams: If it feels good, do it, if it doesn’t feel good then don’t do it. We want total artistic freedom over what we do. It would be easy to sit there and chase
the buck, but it’s not about the money. I think it’s just like fishing. A lot of people out there are fishing, and they’re getting a whole lot of little fish. We like to take our time, and if it’s a little fish, we don’t want it. We’ll keep fishing until we get the big fish. Stiff Josh: ...with our bare hands. Brommeland: It takes lots of patience. n
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The Insane Horror Movie Re-Issues Edition
ormally the mail around here is nothing to get too excited about. It’s usually just a bunch of bills and shit CDs from bands you don’t care about. We get the occasional shirt that works on an ironic level but that’s about it. That changed when we got not one, not two but three wonderfully fucked up horror films that recently received a gold star re-release by Anchor Bay Entertainment.
The Manitou 1978 Dir: William Girdler
Karen Tandy (Susan Strasberg) has a giant zit on her back that won’t stop growing. When doctors try to cut it off, they end up becoming possessed and take the scalpel to themselves. Turns out the lump, which continues to grow at a rapid rate is actually a supernatural fetus. Fortunately, fetus-neck is a former fling of Harry Erskine (Tony Curtis wearing a rug and disco inspired outfits), who happens to be psychic. Erskine is a good guy and is able to overlook the fact that the woman has a growth the size of a soccer ball on the back of her neck. After a lady floats down a hallway then violently falls down the stairs as Erskine chases after her in slow motion, it is determined that the fetus is Misquamacus, a native American Manitou (spirit) with plans to destroy the world. Everyone knows the only way you can stop an evil native american spirit is to find a good native american shaman. So John ‘Singing Rock ‘ is enlisted to help battle the spirit. After a diminutive native man emerges from the hump, there’s a final showdown in outer space between Misquamacus, Erskine, ‘Singing Rock’ and Tandy that really needs to be seen to be believed. The Manitou is based on novel by Graham Masterton, which was apparently a best-seller, but I have a difficult time believing that. Also, judging from the way high-tech computers take up entire rooms in this movie, I have a difficult time believing that anyone involved with The Manitou ever anticipated it’d be reissued on DVD. I just reread what I wrote and I can’t believe this movie ever got made. But I’m glad they made it. The Manitou is the greatest man vs. supernatural tumor film ever made. -Michael Mann
1979 Dir: Don Coscarelli To be able to truly enjoy Phantasm, you need to
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be able to overlook one simple fact: This movie makes no sense. So don’t try and make sense of it. You won’t be able to and it’ll piss you off and you won’t enjoy it. That said, Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm is a visual treat with a lot good scares, neat effects and a baffling plot. I can’t make sense of this so here are some of the neat things that happen. There’s a woman who is having sex with men in a cemetery then murdering them with a knife. One of the characters has an awesome Trans-Am. There’s a really cool looking mausoleum that’s protected by flying metal balls. The balls have spikes that pop out so they can stick into your head. After a ball has latched onto you, a drill comes out which burrows into your head. Then a geyser of your blood sprays everywhere, you die and piss yourself all over the floor. There’s a guy called the Tall Man who can lift an entire casket by himself, has yellow blood and likes to scare the shit out of little kids. A kid puts a severed but still moving finger in his pocket and takes it home with him. When he tires to show it to someone else, it’s now a giant fly that they have to kill in a garberator. There’s a sinister plot that involves squishing dead bodies into supernatural midgets that look like jawas and are forced to work as slaves on a faraway planet. There’s a great commentary track on this re-issue with the director and cast that doesn’t attempt to make the plot any more coherent. But really, who cares? -Michael Mann
1985 Dir: Stuart Gordon A ridiculous mix of gore, sex and good old-fashioned camp, Re-Animator represents everything that you could ask for from a horror film. The sight of a zombie with a severed head attempting to rape a woman only reinforced my justification of spending an hour and twenty minutes to watch this gem, while everyone around me worked diligently to bring you the magazine you are holding in your hands right now. Re-Animator is the story of mad doctor who has uncovered the secret to bring the dead back to life. Based on a H.P. Lovecraft story, how he came up with that idea, I’ll never know. But I do know that I will never get tired of watching rotting corpses rip each other to pieces while enough blood flies around to make three Tarantino movies. At one point during this symphony of gore (death metal album?), a man’s intestines burst out of his chest to strangle our beloved mad scientist. Genius. Only John Carpenter could have done it better, but this is definitely a close second to 1982’s The Thing, if it’s fucked up death effects you’re in the market for. Corny, gory, sexy and just plain bizarre, The Re-Animator is an 86-minute chunk of Tom Savini-esque brilliance. - Andrew McSherry
Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week
By Patricia Matos
harks. Merciless killing machines with insatiable appetites for human flesh. Some believe we need to make soup out of ‘em before they kill us. Others like Rob Stewart and Paul Watson would disagree. Stewart is a young wide-eyed oceanographer and the director of Sharkwater. Watson is the infamous captain of the Sea Shepherd, which goes around ramming whaling ships and is at least partly responsible for the word ‘eco-terrorist’ being in the dictionary. The two believe that we’re more of a threat to sharks, not the other way around, and go on a crusade to help them. But in Sharkwater things quickly become more personal for the pair than just the cause itself. While attempting to thwart shark poachers off the coast of Costa Rica in April 2002, the men, along with their crew of about 40, were called into port where Stewart and Watson were charged with seven counts of attempted murder. Like any modern day pirate, Watson sailed like high hell to get back into international waters. Shortly afterwards, Stewart had an even bigger problem that left him on a one-year hiatus from finishing his film: He contracted a staph infection in his left leg, TB, Dengue Fever and West Nile virus. But this, of course, didn’t stop his mission. Sharkwater is not simply about the dangers shark life faces, it’s also a way to show that people like Stewart and Watson are making sure these laws go beyond just being words on paper. Seas be damned if Captain Watson and Rob Stewart are on your tail. Why does man have this urge to destroy and screw everything up? Watson: I just think we’re a bunch of monkeys out of control, really. It’s an evolutionary process where our technology is way ahead of where we should really operate. We’ve got to learn to live harmoniously with other species. And if we don’t live with them, then the laws of nature will simply just kick us out of the picture. What do you think about Lester Bird, the prime minister of Antigua, who said, “As long as they’re not endangered, why not?” Watson: Well he’s an idiot. [laughs] What isn’t endangered? We don’t know what the population level [of sharks] can drop to. But I do know one thing: Say I’m a captain on a ship, and I see all of my engineers popping rivets out of the hull and I say, ‘What are you doing?’ and they say, ‘We can get a dollar a piece when we get back to port for these,’ and I said, ‘Really? Oh, cut me in for that’—if I was irresponsible. But if I was responsible, I would get them out of there, because if they pull one rivet too many, then the whole thing collapses and the ship is gonna sink. We are on a spaceship, that’s what this planet is. And every species is a rivet in the hull of the biosphere. We’re going to pull one species too many, and it’s going to collapse. And there goes our life support system. Eighty per cent of all the oxygen we breathe comes from the oceans. We destroy the oceans, we die. It’s as simple as that. Where have you seen a significant depletion in shark life? Watson & Stewart: Everywhere.
national parks like the Galapagos or Cocos [Islands]. But even there, they’re getting poached. So what happens is, having destroyed the fish in the other areas, they are now moving into national parks and attacking them there. Do you think if you had waited until after April 30, 2002 when you guys went to Cocos, your relationship with Costa Rican officials would have changed what happened? Watson: No, because when it happened we found this boat that was breaking Guatemalan law, so we contacted the Guatemalan government and asked them what we should do. They asked us to bring them in. So we were simply doing law enforcement. Of course what we didn’t anticipate was that the poachers controlled the courts in Puntarenas. So it really didn’t matter because the kind of pressure the Taiwanese put on Costa Rica is such that they would have kicked us out one way or the other. Anybody who’s been down there has had a hard time because the judges, the police, everybody are all in the back pocket of the ‘Shark Fin Mafia,’ as we call them. So who polices you? Watson: Who polices us? Nobody. We are the police. Most of the world’s surface is under a state of lawlessness and anarchy. And that is the world’s oceans. We have every law in the book that we need, but nobody voices them. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to enforce them, and we are allowed to do that. No government is doing that. How far would you go to save these animals, considering Rob’s own fight to save his leg—do you have a threshold? Stewart: The thing is, it’s so important, but one of the things I really try to say is it’s not really about sharks. It’s a bigger picture. [Sharkwater] is a movie that uses
sharks as a metaphor for what we’re doing to the oceans. It’s about saving humanity, because we’re in a totally unsustainable relationship with the world. We spend so much time with the propagation of our own genes, but no thought about whether the future generations are going to have a planet to live on. And I think the planet is just waking up to it as well. It’s something worth dedicating your life to. What does it feel like to be charged with attempted murder? Watson: We didn’t actually attempt to murder anybody [laughs]. In the end the most powerful weapon we had was the camera, much more powerful than the rifle. So everything that we did was documented. It would have been very, very difficult for them to have won on charges of attempted murder. It was our cameras and our word against their word, and they’re a bunch of poachers. So I wasn’t too worried about that. Would you guys ever go back, aside from Rob’s own attempt? Stewart: I’ll go back to Cocos. The first couple times I go, I may go through Colombia. You’re not afraid of the Taiwanese mob? [Both pause] Stewart: There are certain dangers in everything, I wouldn’t—
Who polices us? Nobody. We are the police.
Watson: People say, ‘How could you protect a shark in the same way you would protect a whale?’ I find this very strange. A hundred million people have died in the 20th Century in wars over real estate and other people’s real estate, and now people are risking their lives over silly little oil wells for corporations. And somehow that’s considered okay. I think that to risk your life to protect an endangered species is a far more honourable thing to do than fight the world for oil, or real estate. And people
Stewart: I grew up swimming with sharks in the Caribbean and if you go to the Caribbean now, there are only a couple of islands where you can see sharks. Watson: The only other places you see them are in
Water canons? Shittiest pirates ever.
do lose their lives fighting for wildlife and I think it’s courageous and they should be commended for that. Who’s a typical poacher that you would encounter? Stewart: It’s difficult to say who’s a typical poacher. It’s a whole system that you have to look at: There’s a puppeteer at the top, and there’s always somebody who’s playing the pawn below him. And like we said in the film, the fin is sold for 80 cents in South America, but by the time it gets to China, now it’s $300-400 a pound. So the middleman is making money and not the actual fisherman. Some of the images in the film are pretty graphic. Why is there a stigma attached to people not minding that versus images of slaughterhouses and the attention they get? Stewart: It’s a lot easier to anthromorphosize mammals than it is for sharks. They’re furry, cute and cuddly, whereas sharks come from the deep, dark unknown ocean. So one of the reasons we needed to make the movie was to move closer to sharks than we’ve ever been before. So close that they can actually see the reality and understand the shark as an incredibly magnificent, beautiful and important animal for the ocean. And that’s why in the movie, when you see sharks getting killed, you don’t see it until the very end. What would you say is the biggest misconception about what you two do? Watson: I’ll just be frank about it. I don’t care about what people’s conceptions are. Our clients aren’t people. Our clients are whales and sharks, sea turtles and birds. That’s who we represent. People can criticize us all they want, but we don’t hurt people, we’ve never injured anybody and we’ve never been convicted of a crime. So the criticism is totally irrelevant. People don’t want to see their luxuries interfered with. In 2003 [Paul] wrote a response to Carl Pope and said, “We are in very deep shit.” How much further are we at this point? Watson: It keeps getting piled higher and deeper [laughs]. It’s a problem. I just read in the paper today, that the world’s population will be 9.2 billion by 2050, and I think that’s a conservative estimate because it was 3 billion in 1950 and now it’s 6.5 or seven billion. I estimate it will be closer to 12 billion. There’s simply not enough resources on this planet to support those kinds of numbers. One thing we don’t realize is 50 per cent of the fish that comes out of the ocean isn’t eaten by us, it’s fed to cows and chickens, pigs and sheep. So we turned cows into the largest aquatic predator on the planet. So is that the worst-case scenario? Watson: I’m optimistic on that because I’m a firm believer in the natural laws of ecology. People can only get away with this for so long, and then all of a sudden, nature turns on you. And nature will turn on us, and the earth will survive. We know the Earth’s going to survive. It’s wiped out a lot of species, but evolution will carry things forward. The question is will we survive? And unless we learn to live through the course of those laws of nature, the answer is no. We will not survive and we will go extinct. Sharkwater is in theaters now. Be sure to check it out to see if Paul Watson and Rob Stewart are able to save sharks from extinction and hook up at the same time (Spoiler alert: they don’t hook up).
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My next film will be about a socially maladjusted alcholic post-op tranny
Lucky on Love and Life
By Michael Mann
ith his debut film May, Lucky McKee made a Fast Times at Ridgemont High for weird girls everywhere. Starring Angela Bettis as May, the film is a Carrie-sque tale is about a maladjusted girl who can’t connect with those around her. The film was a bona fide cult hit with Emily the Stranges everywhere and a few people who don’t think everyday is Halloween as well— Roger Ebert spoke up for it and said that Bettis be nominated for an Oscar. Since May, McKee has gone on to do a Masters of Horror episode and a Suspiria-inspired studio movie about witches called The Woods. With Roman, McKee tries his hand at acting. And here’s the hook, the film is directed by Bettis. The film treads in familiar waters as McKee stars as Roman, a socially maladjusted welder who likes to drink beer and spy on his neighbours. Kirsten Bell (TV’s Veronica Mars) is his obscure object of desire. Despite Roman’s shyness and awkwardness, the two hook up. Then Roman accidentally kills her. He keeps her body on ice in his bath tub and gradually disposes of her body piece by piece. While this is going on, a new girl, Eva, moves into the apartment complex and she also develops a crush on Roman. Will this blooming relationship work out better than the last one? Or will she be joining Veronica Mars’ corpse in the bathtub. And just how tall is Lucky McKee? How tall are you Lucky? McKee: I’m 6’5” That was the thing that got my attention first in the movie, I was like, ‘Wow, Lucky McKee is an extremely tall man.’ McKee: It’s hilarious, the size difference between me and Kristen Bell is just...You don’t really realize it until she’s in his apartment, and it’s like, whoa. Once you see that size difference and the doors close, it’s like, ‘Fuck.’ So Roman is something you wrote in college but it got put on hold and then you made May. McKee: I wrote May in my junior year of college, and Roman just popped out at me in my senior year, and I was kind of intending for it to be something that I would make with my friends on black and white Hi8 as kind of a warm up movie to May. I just never got it together and ended up getting into some other things, and figured it’d be better to give that script to another director just to make the two films more distinct from each other. We tried it a couple
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different times with a couple different directors and actors, and it’s never worked. And Angela and I kinda clicked and said, ‘Wow, why don’t we just swap?’ Did you shoot this before or after The Woods? McKee: We shot the parts with Kristen Bell, the opening, before I went to Montreal to shoot The Woods, and we shot the rest of the film about a year and a half later, after I was finished editing The Woods. It was kind of a goodbye movie to Los Angeles, and I got the hell out of there. I’m gonna assume shooting digital with a small crew was a lot of fun and a lot less stressful than The Woods was. McKee:Yeah, I needed it, you know? I needed to get my feet back on the ground, and my creativity got so beaten up working in the studio system and having every single little idea that you have challenged from 20 different angles for no apparent reason. And you just have to repeat yourself, which gets tiresome to work on the same 90 minutes for a year and a half is really hard on your brain and your heart, and stuff like that. And Roman was just the first... When we came back to shoot the brunt of the movie after the woods, it was just the first week or so of shooting, it was just me and Angela, and my buddy Kevin with a camera, in my apartment. It was just three of us. We shot all the stuff of Roman alone, it was just so intimate, you know? Even though Kristen Bell is in Roman, there weren’t ever strong commercial ambitions for this film were there? Was anyone saying “Oh, we might have a Blair Witch or a Saw here.” McKee: No. We did it for ourselves. Since it was such a small amount of people, and didn’t require a tremendous amount of money, it was just something we felt comfortable with taking a chance on. That’s why we shot the part with Kristen, the opening of the film, ‘cause there’s that kind of a time break in
the story there and we said, ‘Let’s just shoot the first 20-25 minutes of the movie and see if it works.’ See if it’s dramatically effective. And it did, and we finally got it together. Let’s talk about Angela Bettis. I guess the obvious questions would be: Why the role reversal between you two? McKee: It just made sense. And we’ve been through similar territory with May, and become great friends, and just always wanted to work with each other. It made sense. Where she lacked experience in directing, I could help and show her the ropes a little bit, and with acting, vice versa for me. She really held my hand. It just made sense. We already had that working relationship. We just flipped sides of the camera. The other reversal for this film is how Roman’s kind of ascending from madness, and May was descending into madness. McKee: They’re kind of a photo negatives of each other. Roman starts off pretty consumed by his own brain and just living inside his head too much, and Eva brings this experience of killing this girl that brings him out of his shell. May just kind of sinks into her own brain and goes all anarchy. You’re a great onscreen kisser. In May you make out with a girl on an elevator and in this one kiss Veronica Mars. You have wonderful technique. McKee: [laughs] You love that I write these glorious parts for myself. I gotta get action somehow, man. [laughs] You seem like a real nice, humble and talented guy. So where are all the depressed, rejected misfits in your movies coming from? McKee: From me. Hard times, you know? Mentally and socially, everybody goes through the kind of stuff. I kind of just realized over the years that no
...this experience of killing this girl brings him out of his shell. May just kind of sinks into her own brain and goes all anarchy.
matter what, you’re gonna end up with just yourself at a lot of points in your life. And thinking too much about things you can’t control, just kind of dramatizing that kind of stuff as it hits me. But that stuff just comes from what I see and feel. I have this idea in my head that after May, you must have had all these Emily the Strange girls lining up to date you. Is that true? McKee: No, not really. Really? I’d think they would keep banging your door down. McKee: I’ve met a lot of girls that really identify with May, but a lot of them would be too shy to be that forward. But you do meet a lot of people that seem to really identify with that girl, and that speaks to Angela’s power. What’s a date with Lucky McKee like? McKee: Kind of old school. I open doors for girls, and light their cigarettes. I just think women need to be treated like ladies… …and then back to your place to watch a Dario Argento film? McKee: [laughs] Nothing too twisted. I live in the sticks in Oklahoma now, so it’s usually just like shooting off firecrackers. Or getting into a bottle of bourbon and stumbling around in the woods at night. Are your movies chick flicks? McKee: I don’t know, I never really thought about it that way. They’re flicks with chicks, I don’t know if they’re necessarily chick flicks. A lot of guys really seem to identify with May, too. Just as many guys come up to me as girls when we go to conventions, or festivals, or something like that. A recurring theme in your movies is people dying to make a work of art. Do people need to die to create something beautiful? McKee: No, not necessarily. It’s something I was fascinated with at the time I was writing those stories, with the idea that there was so much negativity around death, but the few deaths that I’ve had to deal with in my life so far have completely changed me as a person, in good ways and in other ways. The biggest thing in any of our lives is the impact of death, especially if it’s somebody that you love. It stays with you forever, and there’s beautiful things about it. Does it bother you that you haven’t made anything that’s garnered the kind of attention that May received? McKee: I don’t know, I mean we’re putting the fourth DVD on the shelf [with Roman]. I’m pretty proud of that. We need to set Roman next to May on the shelf. All we’re trying to do is get ourselves to a place naturally and creatively where we can tell stories that cut deep, and one out of every half dozen, or one out of every ten...Maybe May will be the movie that people remember the most, which is fine. That happens to a lot of directors. It’s not going to stop me from making movies, it’s not something I really think about. I just think about what I want to do next, what I want to get out of my system. What have you got lined up next? McKee: Just various things, man. I’m working on my website, which is going to have a lot of really, really interesting content on it. It’ll kind of be an online art gallery, and I’ll kind of be a filter for that stuff. Angela and I are going to make another movie together here in the springtime. I’m going to make our first Oklahoma movie so that should be interesting. We’re going to act with each other on that one. Your first film. All Cheerleaders Die, is that ever gonna be available? McKee: All Cheerleaders Die, my buddy Chris Sivertson and I are going to put that out next year on our own, or maybe license it to a distribution company or something. As soon as he’s done with his Lindsay Lohan movie. that he’s making right now, we’re going to come out here and jump into that, ‘cause we’ll have a couple of DVDs on the shelves by the end of the year. We’ve been holding off on All Cheerleaders Die because a lot of people are saying, ‘We want this because it’s the first Lucky McKee movie’ and that’s just not the case. Chris and I co-wrote and made that film together, it’s a 50/50 collaboration all the way down the line. We wanted him to get a couple films out there so he establishes his name and his style, and we’ll put the film out. But the thing has been aging like wine, it’s hilarious. A zombie movie with football players and cheerleaders. Cheerleaders who must die? McKee: All cheerleaders must die. n Roman is out on DVD now on Echo Bridge.
LIVE REVIEWS prayers for nuclear Armageddon. Please fuck off. And Sabbath. Hair was an issue. Dio’s balding is getting severe, but if he cut it – wooo! Bald midgit elf! Iommi looked awesome for a 60 year-old rocker (says my girlfriend). Props! And man, did he ROAR. That tone was pummeling, thicker than molasses. He’s God Riff, alright... there’s some magical split-second between every touch of string and blast of note, an acre of definition and thunder that cannot be duplicated. Such style. God Almighty. Geezer looked like a million bucks. His bass fills during the Iommi solo hour were pristine and remarkable – no question where other bassists in solo-heavy sludgy guitar bands (ie: Rex) get their ideas.Vinny Appice played a seriously underwhelming drum solo. Except for the lack of “Turn Up the Night”, the set list was a dream... “Sign of the Southern Cross”! Shit! That tune is mammoth. “After All (The Dead)” and “Computer God” took doom to the hilt, as did two (of three) new tracks from the forthcoming Dio Years comp. Me and my pal Evret shared a lot of knowing, stoned smiles about Dio’s amazing cheese factor, bursting out laughing when he wailed, “It was another fine day... (pause) ... in HELL!” Ha! Too much!!! “Heaven and Hell” was astounding, “The Mob Rules”, “Lady Evil”, you name it... Dio was operatic as can be, the backdrop was an outrageous
Heaven and Hell (Dio-Era Black Sabbath)/ Megadeth/Down Pacific Coliseum,Vancouver, BC Sunday, March 11th, 2007
So I missed the Zombies reunion show, bailed on my own Bizzaro Film-O-Rama, and escorted my gal on our three-year anniversary to a bonerhead metal fest, all for the glory of Sabbath (with Dio). Is this wrong? In 1998, the original Black Sabbath reunited amidst a circle-jerk of hoopla, and consequently, 20 years of non-Ozz Sabbath history was burned from the books: Dio, Gillian, the ‘Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi’ fiasco, all the other crap albums with bozo singers, the duet with Ice-T. All of it. Done. But that’s okay. I mean fuck... Ozzy! Geez! Tony! Bill! But this one-off soon became a yearly review, with Ozzy’s dim wit putting the kibosh on any interesting set variation. “Warpigs” and “Paranoid” to infinity... yah... woo... So my soul was a-flame when so-called Heaven and Hell – Sabbath’s Mob Rules/Dehumanizer line-up of Iommi, Butler, Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice (strangely, no Geoff Nicholls...) – came right fucking here, to Vancouver, for their first performance together in over 14 years! Mercy! But first (at 7pm!) was DOWN. 1995’s Nola album – a tremendous super-grouping of New Orleans talent from Crowbar, Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, and Eyehategod – blew my then-teenage skull clear off. It was so dark, dirty, bluesy, depressing, and profound... and tonight was Down’s first ever Canadian appearance. FIRST EVER!!!! The set was brief but absofuckinglutely SMOKED. Phil Anselmo looked – I’m shocked to report – quite healthy. His voice was ace. I’ve seen hit’n’miss Phil in the past. But he’s on the mend. Had back surgery. Kicked the sedatives. Before “Hail the Leaf” he mentioned that he’s 40 this year (youngest frontman of the night!), and still smokin’ the weed. Great! Please lay off the smack. After opening with “Lysergik Funeral Procession”, it was Nola tracks the rest of the way. This despite announcing a NEW DOWN ALBUM IN THE SUMMER!?!?! Phil dedicated “Lifer” to Dimebag. It was touching, genuine. The crowd and volume grew and grew and grew, and after a birthday cheer for Down’s manager Snake Sabo (of Skid Row???), the crowd launched a ‘DOWN!’ chant, the band stomp-riffin’ along. “We just wrote a song together,” says Anselmo. Ha! “Stone the Crow” was a treat, and “Bury Me in Smoke” closed show with a shit-bomb. Tremendous. I noticed guitarist Kirk Windstein has a shocking resemblance to Shel Silverstein. Megadeth had atrocious sound. They played a couple from the forthcoming United Abominations (ugh...), plus “A Tout le Monde”, and we laughed and laughed about the horrible idea of Dave Mustaine singing in French. Dave was as sober, detached, and unappreciative as ever. I really don’t give a shit about this band anymore or their leader’s late-night
times, it’s a little awkward - as was the case with the Seeds show a while back. However, tonight, this generalization was way off. I’m hesitant to use airy-fairy adjectives like magical in this rag, lest the music editor try diverting the staff’s suspicions of his sexuality off on me. But in this case there really is no better word. I thought the name of the opening band was fitting given my expectations for the headliners, but other than that bit of amusement, they really didn’t do much for me. The crowd, on the other hand, seemed a lot more enthused (or polite) and applauded with ever-growing poo-eating grins. I was actually quite surprised to see that the amount of people in attendance already rivalled that of most of the rock shows I’ve attended at Richard’s… and on a Sunday night no less. The Zombies last set foot on a Vancouver stage in 1965. In an era where bands are forgotten about on a weekly basis, it’s a testament to The Zombies’ legacy that, tonight, they were welcomed by a packed house. The crowd was a mishmash of record dorks, hippies and hipsters, and former hippies and hipsters. It was indeed a strange exhibition of the many forms of flower children Vancouver has to offer circa 2007: the burnt out, stale-smelling Commercial Drive-ites, the uppity Kits yippies, and more than a few of the 2.5-kids-and-a-dog SUV-driving Coquitlam variety as well. But, as soon as the first few notes of the opening song “I Love You” sounded, one got the sense it was like 1965 all over again, and it took all my might not to embrace the clammy hand of the beardo to my right and sway along to the melody like a pair of giant electrified daisies in a warm sensimilia-scented summer breeze. In addition to all the familiar Zombies staples, the guys threw in a couple Argent songs and a bit of singer Colin Blunstone’s solo material, which apparently did well in Britain but, judging from the crowd’s shift to cautious enthusiasm, not so
to a minimum. The result was haunting, otherworldly, and yes, downright magical. - Devon Cody
The Press Club, Toronto, ON Wednesday, March 7, 2007 While patrons clink brown beer jugs, chat over rickety tables and slump into couch corners, there is another, stranger species with us here tonight at the Press Club. As an afterthought - or after shock - to the Projectionist Expo that just finished five minutes ago at Adrift Skate Shop, “light artists” poke around the cavernous venue, erratically shooting flashlights at the stage through spaghetti drainers and glass ashtrays. It’s like walking into a kaleidoscope. Poor Pilgrim is Toronto’s foremost night of weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) experimentalism, as organized by Matt Cully of the Bruce Peninsula. Risks are routinely taken, but for the most part, it remains an accessible window into Toronto’s outskirt and on-the-fringe scenes. Cully actually curated himself into the mix tonight, as the Bruce Trail: a clangy trio which is an ever-evolving side project of the Bruce Peninsula, and who warmed up the audience by lacing gentle cymbal and xylophone taps between Neil Haverty and Steve McKay humming through the mic from beginning to end. An old Ingmar Bergman film called The Magician was projected against All Under Heaven (led by Marco Landini of Ghostlight) while they played. Creating a sort of live soundtrack to the movie, the improv duo provided schmaltzy guitars and atmospheric fuzz while the audience watched black and white beagles onscreen sniffing plants on an arid, countryside stroll. The rural twang bled into the next offering, a homespun acoustic act dubbed Death and Taxes (with Ian Russell of the Singing Saws and Jon Rae and the River). It was Benjamin Franklin who once said, “In this world, nothing ZOMBIES can be certain except death and taxes,” but this duo revels in uncertainty - in keeping with the nonchalant, whimsical tone that wafted through the evening - and they crooned about Richter scales, love letters and “smoking dope, snorting coke, trying to write a song.” - Nadja Sayej
McEwan Hall, Calgary, AB Friday, March 2, 2007 Propagandhi was fierce. The music raged as loud and clear as the message conveyed in every song; anti-capitalism, environmental protection, animal rights, and gender equality.Vocalist Chris Hannah delivered each wordy screed flawlessly. Meanwhile, newest member “The Beaver” was planted in the middle, quietly (in comparison) strumming his guitar, and keeping very stationary. All was kept tight by the constant pounding of Jord Samolesky’s drums, but it was bassist Todd (The Rod) Kowalski, veins visibly bursting out of his forehead, who gave the show its energy. He blazed from one side of the stage to the other, engaging individual audience members as he ripped on his bass strings. I’ve never seen so much swass in my life! The audience thrust repeatedly, not to grab at Propagandhi, but to raise fists in roaring support of its message, and every ounce of fight they delivered was returned tenfold by the band. We were crammed together so tightly, you wondered how people could breathe, let alone shout back every lyric to every song. Each fan took a turn on the front lines. Even a boy of 10 sacrificed himself for at least one song before he and his rad dad - rock on daddy! - raised their flags in surrender to the unceasing wave of fans struggling for those precious front row spots. I myself had one and trust me it was hard-won. Seeing Propagandhi’s message not only absorbed by mohawk wearing, dipped in tackle boxfaced teenagers, but also a young child and his father, was inspiring. And then, as the ballroom peaked PHOTO: DEVON CODY
HEAVEN AND HELL
castle gate, and the intended two-song encore was cut to one after the band broke curfew. So “Neon Knights”, but not “Lonely is the Word”. Fuck it. The Fox’s Jeff O’Neal was actually funny in his pre-Sabbath shameless marketing intro: “There was a problem at the border, so there will be no dragon in the show tonight.” Why would you miss this, Joe Metalhead? Maybe because the scalpers were charging $200.00 a floor ticket. A helluva anniversary for the missus and me. - Dave Bertrand
well over here. Perhaps sensing the shift, founding member Rod Argent then introduced their Odessey and Oracle segment of the set, taking the time to announce the order of the songs they’d play before they began. Record dorks squealed and peed and twiddled their beards in excitement. The crowd’s reaction fuelled an absolutely jubilant performance of “Care of Cell 44”. Through warm wrinkle-framed smiles, Blunstone and Argent seemed genuinely thrilled at their reception, if not even a bit surprised. Save for a botched version of their biggest hit “Time of the Season”, in which Blunstone seemed off key for most of the song and the second keyboard solo was awkwardly omitted, tonight was one of those nights where the band and the crowd achieved nearperfect symbiosis. Beaming, and gracious, it seemed as though Blunstone and Argent didn’t want to stop. Nearly two hours after they took the stage, The Zombies closed with a sublime version of “Summertime” in which Blunstone encouraged the crowd to sing along while Argent brought the volume of the band
The Zombies / The Awkward Stage Richard’s on Richards Sunday, March 11, 2007
It’s rarely graceful when 60 year-old men reunite, to play music they made back in their glorious 20s. More often than not it comes off mostly desperate or moderately embarrassing. Even at the best of
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LIVE REVIEWS with pulsating intensity, we were rudely interrupted by a human size McDonald’s cup that stole the microphone, the stage, and our attention… “Propagandhi has just sold out to our corporate consumer society,” announced the cup. “They are now being paid $250,000 for each show on tour, and they are stealing your money.” The seething crowd would naturally have none of it, and would no doubt have torn the man-sized cup a new straw hole if The Beaver hadn’t re-emerged to give it a good kick in the ass. While his bandmates reclaimed their stage, Propagandhi’s continuing intensity and sheer devotion to making a difference, synthesized with its lasting energy, brought an unforgettable set to its close. Propagandhi prevailed! - Christina Paris
The Opera House, Toronto, ON Tuesday, February 27, 2007 With a maturing fanbase and a boatload of a back catalogue, times are changing in the land of Bright Eyes. And not a moment too soon. Gone are the glassy-eyed schoolgirls and other insects that used to drool over Connor Oberst’s angsty lyrics and peculiar hunch. In their place is a more sophisticated (relatively) music fan and a stage show that shows a great deal of showmanship, promise and poise. Such was the case at the band’s recent Toronto stop, a warm-up gig for their upcoming Spring/Summer jaunt in support of their solid Cassadaga full-length. Six members strong and each with a varying degree of “rural” in their stench, Omaha’s finest wasted no time diving headlong into “I Must Belong Somewhere” and turning up the intensity from there. Oberst has long been considered a spotty live performer at best yet, while he still retains an obvious awkwardness on stage, there’s also an understated confidence and charisma at work that’s tough to put into words. Maybe it was the sleeves rolled down to the tip of his knuckles. Maybe it’s his lousy posture (as previously eluded). Or maybe I’m just having a moment. Whatever the case, Oberst really has advanced his songwriting craft to a level where he can artfully twiddle his way between indie, folk and country, without missing a beat or better yet, falling off stage. It’s in the latter where Oberst and his bandmates show the most growth. Aside from the Nashville nonsense cover of John Prine’s “Crazy as a Loon”, Bright Eyes can bring the twang and play with a level of heartfelt resonance that few modern bands can muster. Tunes like a mournful “Cartoon Blues” sound like genuine southern rock, albeit with a musty midwestern aftertaste and a hint of youthful ambiguousness. At times, the new material sounded slightly MOR, and
PHOTO: LEIGH RIGHTON
that’s not necessarily a bad thing as many vintage Bright Eyes tunes tended to fall apart before they could pull themselves together. Not any longer: the five other musicians on stage helped force a cohesion, especially when plied with trumpet, pedal steel guitar and greasy helpings of classic organ fills. “Black Comedy”, “Stray Dog Freedom”, “Make War”… song after song was nailed with a clinical precision. Even when they trotted guest guitarist “Teenie” Hodges on-stage (he was apparently in Al Green’s band during the 1970s, which is pretty freakin’ cool) for “Lauara Laurent”, it seemed logical and right and proper and cool, and not some limp-wristed indie rock bullshit trying to draft some context to the present. And yet if one track truly stood out, it was the triumphant version of “We Are Nowhere And It’s Now” that gracefully filled the massive expanse that is the Opera House, while somehow awakening us to the fact that Oberst is no longer a manchild and he is in fact, now a man man. - Cameron Gordon
The Haunted - The Dead Eye
Into Eternity - The Scattering of Ashes
Scar Symmetry - Pitch Black Progress
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The Nerve April 2007 Page 24
Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche Richard’s at Richards,Vancouver, BC Thursday, February 22nd, 2007
When Nels Cline heard that he and Glenn Kotche’s show was rescheduled, due to a conflict, from the Red Room to the larger Richard’s on Richards, it prompted him to recall a Mike Watt expression (a Watticism?): “we could end up cavin’ hard” – playing in a large venue to a small crowd.” It was a bit like that: a rim of leaners on the balcony and a smattering of people on the floor were never quite enough to make the event feel truly communal; nor was the intent listening of the gathered faithful always loud enough to drown out the sound of the varied clowns buying drinks at the bar while Cline and/or Kotche played. The evening worked no less. The LA-based Cline first offered up a set of densely layered avantjazz-rock electric guitar, occasionally singing into his instrument with (he explained later) “an old toy megaphone and hip hop effects tool called a Megamouth” and working a rather mysterious array of pedals - an aged, eccentric and deeply personal aggregation of technology that would be at home in the interstitial hi-tech dropout enclaves of William Gibson. The charismatic Kotche followed with a set of orchestrally complex drum pieces that owed equal debt to gamelan music and American minimalism, including both a Steve Reich composition and a percussive interpretation of the Balinese monkey chant, with different rhythms representing combative apes. It was fascinating, and as lyrical a solo drum performance as I’ve seen, if a tad longer than ideal. Cline and Kotche then joined together for a take on Lee Ranaldo’s “Karen Koltrane,” as promised – off what Cline regards as an underappreciated SY masterwork, A Thousand Leaves - with Kotche playing the vocal refrain on (I’m told) “a Glockenspiel and crotales, with a later appearance by a kalimba.” Sonic Youth fan Cline has recorded two CDs with Thurston Moore and is on CD with Ranaldo, Moore, and Carlos Giffoni (Four Guitars Live). He just did another live four-guitar event with Ranaldo and Giffoni to be released, substituting Alan Licht for Moore – keep an eye on his site for more information: nelscline.com “Koltrane” was followed by a brain-achingly recognizable rock/ noise piece whose repeated refrain sounded so familiar I was convinced I’d heard it before, but I’m wrong: it’s a new Cline composition to be released on the upcoming Nels Cline Singers record, which just happens to tap deep into the rock subconscious – “one of those songs you’re convinced you’ve heard before but you haven’t,” unless, of course, Cline happened to play it here when the Singers played the last jazz fest (he wasn’t sure, I wasn’t sure, my buddy Michael wasn’t sure. Damn it sounded familiar, tho’). By this point the standers outnumbered the sitters and the drink-buying had abated. It takes some doing to get some people to listen as well as Cline and Kotche play. We’re ready for our next lesson anytime, guys. Post-script: Cline can leave Vancouver, but Vancouver might just follow him: he just played a gig with our very own Doers, commenting that “They were trippy - old school Wire/Mission of Burma/Minutemen style with electric-acoustic guitars. The Doers’ bassist is really good - very Watt-inspired! And he has quite the mustache!” - Allan MacInnis
A ludicrously-edited 62 minutes of recklessly handicam-ed songs filmed in Winnipeg, Canada in July 2003. BONUS FEATURES include a ridiculous commentary track to said songs by band and label members, photo galleries, and two documentary films: Peace Propaganda and the Promised Land: U.S. Media and the Israel/Palestine Conflict; and As Long As the Rivers Flow: The Story of the Grassy Narrows Blockade.
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The Nerve April 2007 Page 25
ALBUM REVIEWS 3 Mile Scream A Prelude to our Demise Corporate Punishment 3 Mile Scream is so typical of the modern metal movement that it made me sick to my stomach.You have the standard screaming of a closeted homosexual, the sensitive ass-grabbing chorus, followed by the awkwardly timed riff, that makes awkward teens awkwardly headbang. It’s completely charmless. I imagine in two years it’ll be up there with Killswitch Engage and Trivium, since they all suck so bad. Doesn’t anyone remember the power groove? - David Von Bentley Arab Strap Ten Years of Tears Chemikal Underground After packing it in last year, the lads of Arab Strap decided to give us one more offering before settling into their new solo ventures (Aidan Moffat is recording under the L. Pierre moniker, while Malcolm Middleton is far less creative and going by, oh no he didn’t, Malcolm Middleton.) Not to be confused with a greatest hits package, B-sides collection, best of, or
simple contractual agreement, Ten Years of Tears collects a bunch of random tracks from the band’s decade-long career as bearers of dour, lager soaked laments. A number of these songs will be new to even the most loyal Arab Strap fan, which makes this collection more or less directed at the hardcore followers than anyone else. Still, it’s a refreshing reminder of how unapologetically crass, shamelessly romantic and blissfully soused the band could be at its best (especially in the time leading up to the turn of the century). One last round for the road, then. - Adam Simpkins Aqueduct Or Give Me Death Barsuk Think of a less obnoxious Atom and His Package, or Ben Folds without the slackjawed Southern drawl, and you’ll get a good idea of what Aqueduct is all about. Either mending a broken heart, or sending his lovers packing, the man born David Terry is an accomplished multi-talent – a master of the bedroom recordings, now backed by a collection of competent players. With album three, Or Give Me Death, Aqueduct’s songs have become more dense (but not, like, stupid) and layered, but still hold the indie charm found on his previous records. But like the aforementioned singer-songwriters, Terry has the tendency to get under your skin – and not always in the most pleasant of ways. Small doses are recommended, for sure, giving you a bittersweet pill to swallow. - Adam Simpkins The Bees Octopus Virgin Having destroyed the second album curse by landing Free The Bees 150-odd places higher in the UK charts than their Mercury Prize nominated Sunshine Hit Me, it’s safe to say
of their sophomore effort. All the blues and sunshine pop awash in ‘60s production is still there, while their subtle incorporations of reggae/ska never sounds like they’re faking the funk (check “Listening Man”). No, this is the product of a band maturing into their sound, and they’re doing it with absolute grace and charm. Octopus is no flash-in-the-pan cash grab. This is a necessary step from a future career band, which will see that future realized. Choice. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes Car Bomb Centralia Relapse If physical violence had a soundtrack it would sound like Centralia by Car Bomb. It’s a lot of intestine spilling vocals, meat slapping drums, and alarmingly offensive guitar riffs. What does that sound like? Like a group of schizophrenics having an orgy, obviously. Centralia is spastic to a degree that it’s literally madness in the mind of madness, and frankly I don’t know how I feel about it. Centralia actually scared me, and I’m afraid to listen to it again. It’s 32 minutes of violent sonic murder. - David Von Bentley Chelsea Faster, Cheaper, & Better Looking TKO Competent, old-school UK punk rock; nothing more, nothing less. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I wasn’t really blown away by this. I know that old punk bands can make great records (the Adolescents instantly come to mind), but too often these efforts merely seem like warmed up leftovers. Faster, Cheaper, & Better Looking is considerably better than a large number of the new/old albums out there, but, and I truly hate to say this, most of the good punk rock nowadays is made by new bands. - Chris Walter The Chinese Stars Listen to Your Left Brain Skin Graft In the 1980s there was a wave of teenage interest in hurling star-shaped pieces of metal about in the name of good fun, injuring others, and all round idiocy. Comprised of former members of AOR, Six Finger Satellite and Arab on Radar, the Chinese Stars are the aural equivalent of this chaos, and are happy to throw personal safety and tetanus vaccinations to the wind in the pursuit of the same. Listen to Your Left Brain, their second full length, is a cacophony of punky art garage that merges …And You Will Know us by the Trail of the Dead with At the Drive In. This would all be great were it not ruined by Eric Paul’s unbearably sarcastic, whiney vocal style that emulates a playground pre-fight mocking call. By the end of the album you want to track him down and stuff something in his mouth, just to stop the sound. - Stephanie Heney Christ. Blue Shift Emissions Benbecula If you’re wondering why Edinburgh’s Christ. (short for Christopher) hasn’t been sued by Boards Of Canada for stealing their vibe, that’s because he was an early member of the Scottish ambient group. He helped pioneer the sound that has since become the living definition of atmospheric downtempo. This glorious seed of creation is all over Blue Shift Emissions, his long awaited, long-delayed followup to 2003’s Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle. He sure doesn’t sow any new seeds here, like his upbeat Minerals Series dance track “Ache/Eat” hinted at, but those planted four years ago have been well looked after. This album contains 100% ethereal, otherworldly ambiance and lethargic bass, cleaned up but not really improved upon. Luckily, he was already a legend so there really wasn’t much to improve on anyway. Like Portishead, Liquid Chris H could make this album till the end of time and I’d still line up to buy it. It’s that moving, and as poignant as chill has ever been or will be. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes
the genre. Songs such as the album’s droning title track and its minimalist centerpiece, “You Don’t Want to Know,” show a band willing to explore other territories typically avoided by your run-of-the-mill indie-folk act - an inclination that pushes Dolorean above most of its peers. For all the winners out there who quit, Dolorean has made the soundtrack to defeat. - Brock Thiessen Eluvium Copia Temporary Residence When it comes to ambient music, two categories often spring to mind: the mundane and the blissful. By this way of thinking, Eluvium’s Copia belongs to the latter. While it’s true (well, almost true) that glaciers move faster than Matthew Cooper’s Eluvium, his fourth record feels entirely relevant and meaningful in a genre that is somewhat of a one trick pony.Yes, like the typical ambient music, the drones, washes and layers are all here, but Cooper weaves them into a digestible package that never gets overly self-indulgent. He’s achieved this by adopting a much tighter, symphonic approach, putting many of the guitars and some of the electronics aside. In their place, rest a series of strings and pianos that guide the record from its stunning start, “Amreik,” to the hail of fireworks on its closer, “Response in Blue.” Through a little innovation and self-restraint, Cooper has compiled an impressive record that breathes life into an often yawning genre. - Brock Thiessen
Thanks, Devon. - Chris Walter Mendeed The Dead Live by Love Nuclear Blast For some reason all I kept thinking was ‘this is what an all out metal project by Jared Leto would sound like’. That’s not a good thing and Mendeed is missing the star power of Jared Leto (does Jared Leto have star power?) The
was written (as a collective) and recorded in a mere five days. The result is stunning: raw and under produced. This is the album you would have expected to come after Tender Prey. The experimental approach suits Cave and the crude, garage, rough and ready tracks are pure genius. More organized than the Birthday Party and more chaotic than the Bad Seeds, Grinderman is the album we all hoped Cave had in him, and it pitilessly, intensely and faultlessly, rocks. - Stephanie Heney Impious Holy Murder Masquerade Metal Blade I’m sure these dudes think they’ve created a masterpiece. I have to disagree.You’ve heard this record before.You’ve been hearing this
The Fall of Every Season From Below Aftermath Music I’m sorry but doom metal makes me laugh. Every time I hear the sludge riffs with the incredibly sad sounding leads topped off by
some sap with phlegmy vocals, I smile. The only one of these bands that I’ve ever heard do it with taste is Opeth. The Fall of Every Season give it a good try, but fall short to my ears. The heavy parts are boring, the acoustic parts are also boring, and this dude’s pain makes me laugh. I mean, they have a song called “Escape of the Dove”, and that’s comedy gold. Not their intention I guess, but at least they put a smile on my face. For that, I can honestly say they do more for me than most of their counterparts. - David Von Bentley
record since ‘97. It’s not horrible, it’s just modern european thrash done to the most average degree. The Haunted’s first album is my favorite thrash record of the past 10 years, so maybe check that out. Holy Murder Masquerade just bored me, and it’ll bore you and the family dog too. I guess it’s better than Killswitch Engage or Trivium. - David Von Bentley
Field Music Tones of Towns Memphis Industries Field Music is kind of like the fey younger brother to fellow Sunderland lads the Futureheads. Both excel at jagged pop songs with hi-lo harmonies and musings of life in a Northern town. But Field Music is far more subtle and slow burning than the bulk of their post-punk leaning neighbours. With influences ranging as far as Tortoise and Wings (mmm… Tortoise and Wings), the band isn’t afraid to take a few chances – luckily succeeding with every human beat-box led bridge and cheeky Kings of Convenience knock-off (“Kingston”. Really?). Not only that, but one of the Brewis brothers (Peter, maybe?) pulls off an impressive, irony-free Freddie Mercury croon on the daring “Place Yourself.” Dream Academy, eat your heart out. - Adam Simpkins
Leng Tch’e Maramus Relapse Grindcore has never been my cup of tea. Gutteral screams at 4000 rotations per minute interested me back when I wanted the extreme of extreme metal, but that particular need faded after I lost the elasticity in my anal sphincter during an unhealthy dose of some unknown German grindcore band, and the idea of 40 minutes of Belgian born and bred Leng Tch’e didn’t really excite me or my frightened colon. Remarkably, unlike their brothers in arms, this grindcore band can play some nasty shit at mid-pace as well as the standard lightspeed blasts. “Confluence of Consumers” is a perfect example of this. The song starts off faster than a hamster crawling up Michael Mann’s asshole and then slows down, ending with a cool melodic groove (rare in metal these days, let alone grindcore). The vocals switch from a throaty scream to a bowel rumbling low. The guitars are heavy but not sloppy. The drums sit perfectly in the mix (thanks to Fredrik Nordström). The only thing I can see being a problem is that Leng Tch’e is either not hardcore enough for one crowd, or too hardcore for another. In my opinion, however, Maramus achieves a very happy medium. Relapse has found another interesting metal band in the sea of mediocrity that other labels apparently love to dive right into. - David Von Bentley
Grinderman s/t Mute After a career interlude of poetic, big sound orchestral arrangements, Nick Cave has finally booted out the gospel choir and string quartet, picked up his guitar and headed down to the basement with his mates to go back to basics. The mates in question – Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey and Jim Sclavunos (all one-time Bad Seeds) along with Cave - make up Grinderman, a project with a whole new approach to writing and recording. The self-titled album
Los Gringos s/t Saustex Devon Cody passed this one off on me, and it really looked like something I might dig. You know, four white dudes doing a Cadillac Tramps sort of thing with funny song titles like “Burrito Electrica” and “Ain’t No Corndogs.” Sadly, Los Gringos fails to ignite and due to a muddy production, you can’t hear the lyrics very well. I kept waiting for it to take off but it just plodded along and soon I got bored. This CD needs some hot sauce or something.
awful video game guitar leads, whiny cheese filled choruses, and a sheer lack of balls in the screams is Mendeed in a nutshell. It sounds pretty much like Children of Bodom for kids. God, I just looked at the picture of these poor bastards. Clearly, basement dwelling bulimics who play music to pay for eyeliner. Luckily my mom buys my eyeliner, which is why I’ve held off on making my album. - David Von Bentley Jen Militia Berlin Boot Camp Independent There’s an awful lot of posturing on Jen Militia’s third album. Apparently, the Berlin, Ontario collective believes this is the revolution. It’s not. This is Rage Against The Machine for Default fans and people who have just recently heard of the Red Hot Chili Peppers thanks to Payola programmed radio frequencies. Granted, it’s tight and adequately produced by a pair of Juno winners, but the glaringly white Canadiana of these rap-rockers smothers every attempted swagger in grade A cheddar and maple syrup. They sound a lot more comfortable on “Citizen Jane,” a lounge love song with no yelling and less invasive rapping. I think they’d be way more successful musically and emotionally if they stopped trying to feign this 1995 shit and focused on more honest, heartfelt tracks like the aforementioned. In any case, you guys need to stop rapping.You just added another nail to the rap-rock coffin. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes NEeMA Masi Cho Tonality Productions This is so bad it surely has to be a joke. Out of all the dross I’ve listened to in the pursuit of reviewing, this is far and away the most horrible and yet, amusing. Masi Cho is basically a collection of poetry spoken over rambling music, the lyrics are of the sort teenagers write in journals, simplistic and naïve in their earnestness. A good example can be found in the track “Love Conquer Fear”: “Remember to reconnect, let love conquer fear.” Elsewhere NEeMA sings about war being bad and how no one really talks to each other any more. Indeed. Even tofu-loving hippies who like to dance their poetry would laugh at this, as it really is just a parody of all things spiritual and folk. There is a cover of Dream Academy’s “Life in a Northern Town”, done in the style of Phoebe Buffay singing in Central Perk Café, except without any humour. Just awful. - Stephanie Heney
there’s a fair amount of anticipation awaiting the Isle Of Wight collective’s new album. While their debut saw them touted as a poor man’s Beta Band, Octopus will not disappoint fans
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Dolorean You Can’t Win Yep Roc You Can’t Win is the sound of being broke, tired and ready to quit. One listen to this record by Dolorean, and it’s obviously the band was not coming from a good place. It almost resembles some sort of therapeutic exercise, where laying out the hurt might make it all better. In a similar fashion to Bill Fay and Mojave 3, the band gets from A to B in a downtrodden style that verges on country-tinged Americana, but strays far enough not to be locked down by
Once Just Destination JSK Media Not to be confused with the Ronan Keating album of the same name, Destination is the debut album from Alberta’s Once Just, who took quite a while to make it, seeing as they’ve been together for seven years. Several band mutations later, and a lucky break signing for Joe Keithley’s JSK Media, Once Just have been busy touring Western Canada for the last two years. Musically this is nothing new, in fact it’s been done a million times before: upbeat poppy ska that would work well soundtracking a Farrelly Brothers summer comedy film involving some sort of road trip. An obvious choice for radio play, the tracks are inoffensive, cleanly produced and sufficiently toe tapping enough to be background music, without actually being anything brilliant or worldchanging. Keithley also produced Destination,
ALBUMCONTENTS REVIEWS and his involvement could help set this lot apart from the 999,999 bands doing the same thing right now. - Stephanie Heney
unplugged vibe, resulting in an album almost exactly as you’d imagine an older, wiser Kurt might’ve made today. However, no one is Kurt but Kurt, and projecting him, albeit very
Only Crime Virulence Fat Every once in a while Fat will slip a good one into the mix, just to fuck with us. While the vocal stylings on Virulence steer dangerously close to NOFX on occasion, the songs on this
in the ‘60s, slumming it with Benzedrine, the morning paper, pennies in water fountains, getting hit in the head by descendent acorns, and Miroslav Sasek. Dig? - Adam Simpkins
Panda Bear Person Pitch Paw Tracks When checking out reviews for Noah Lennox’s third solo album, be prepared to hear a shitload of references to the Beach Boys and their seminal Pet Sounds. Set your face for it. The most obvious aspect of Person Pitch is the uncanny Brian Wilson vocal style and treatment that wraps every sung note in a chorus vacuum
Oriental Sunshine Dedicated To The Bird We Love Anthology While Sweden was working on Abba, Norway had already quietly released this album and was
busy letting it fade into obscurity. Way to go, 1970. When you hear the opening raga “Across Your Life”, you will know that to be a huge oversight on their behalf. Feeling the wobbly sitar of Rune Walle support Nina Johansen’s solemn English vocals over a subdued organ, bass, and light jazz drums is to know what true fluid creativity is. Enamored by the Beatles and the Indian movement in late ‘60s North American psychedelia, these Weegies understood and portrayed the soul behind the sombre side of the last great American spiritual awakening. To be sure, Dedicated To The Bird We Love is another tragically underappreciated classic. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes Pagoda s/t Ecstatic Peace/Universal It’s safe to say that the history of actors who pursue music is marred more by spectacular failures (Eddie Murphy, Rosanne) than moderate successes (Jared Leto). Of course, anyone who saw Pagoda songwriter Michael Pitt portray a destructing “Kurt Cobain” in Gus van Sant’s Last Days would give the man more credit. In fact, you may even consider him a musician with a vanity acting career after hearing the quality of writing and ideas that went into Pagoda’s debut album. Sure, Pitt patterns much of his vocals after Cobain, but you can easily get the unshakable feeling he understands and respects the ‘90s grunge scene from his choice of words and vocal delivery. He’s not just using it for his own gain like Nickelback® brand bands, watering down the work of real human beings to appease stockholders. The undeniable passion and notable creativity behind Michael’s post-grunge orchestrations are proof enough that he’s got authentic musical talent, reflecting less of the sonic texture as a result of emotional torture that dominated Nirvana’s studio work, and more of a comparatively relaxed, alternative MTV feel. The slacker field recordings certainly help build the surroundings in which these songs took place, while the violin adds to the
in here, Mahavishnu, the best of everything ‘70s, free-form, and stoned; epic without embarrassment, spaced way the fuck out, total skull-combustion. Track three/four (they
Re: Ignition Empty Hearted Loaded Gun Corporate Punishment Unlike 3 Mile Scream, Re:Ignition instantly reminds me of Nickelback, and I do not like to be reminded of Nickelback. Okay, maybe Empty Hearted Loaded Gun is a bit heavier, but the
well, may end up cursing Pitt’s musical destiny. He fits the shoes well, but that will never be truly good enough. Allowing Pitt’s skills to be typecast would be yet another unnecessary tragedy. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes punchy little pop punker are hook-laden and energetic. I’m not going to rush out and get their logo tattooed on my neck, but Virulence is as good as anything Fat has released in recent memory. Alcoholic White Trash would probably beat the shit out of them in a street fight, though… - Chris Walter
Static Thought In the Trenches Hellcat Here we have a speedy little number from the good folks at Hellcat. This one came out in late January, so I’m not sure why I’m just getting it
with a vial of liquid acid. Sliding away from the more acoustic sound that dominated his last album, Noah (who, as Panda Bear, is a major part of the Animal Collective) has focused on electronic effects and field recordings like the interior of public transportation locales and racecars that sound like members of the F-1 or Indy family. Quite frankly, this is by far the most listenable and easily accessible album I’ve ever heard that’s associated with the AC. This means, it’s still quite deep sonically and far too much of a wonderful, blustery pooch screw of styles to satiate the mainstream minded, but at least most of these tracks have a melody. That’s really helpful for indiots like myself, and other members of the all encompassing short attention span generation. Congrads, Noah. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes
vocals have MTV stamped all over them and I can see their crappy video in my mind.You know the kind, where the singer stands in the rain thinking about some foxy babe. How did this CD end up in my pile? Get someone else to review the arena rock, Mack! - Chris Walter Alasdair Roberts The Amber Gathers Drag City On The Amber Gathers, Alasdair Roberts takes a journey back to the old world with a collection of traditional-highland balladry – a category when last checked fell under ‘acquired taste’. However, Roberts makes a convincing case that the genre should perhaps hold wider appeal. On his fourth album, the artist formerly know as Appendix Out weaves through a delicate selection of odes to love, death and whatever, which go down fine with or without drink. For the most part, Roberts relies solely on his shaky voice and acoustic guitar, while usually evading the help of his backing band (which features Teenage Fanclub’s Gerard Love). And Roberts should have made better use of his band than he did, for the instrumental flourishes on songs such as “Where Twines the Path” and “Firewater” add some flares of progress to Roberts’s strict folk preservation. Nevertheless, Roberts succeeds in bringing quality folk ditties into a modern world. - Brock Thiessen Sonic Youth The Destroyed Room Geffen “It was the consummate situation for us to grip a fervent pop emotion and to get lost, and some nights very lost, in total group music symbiosis,” reads the liner notes in
The Postmarks s/t Unilateral The Postmarks remind me of the following
now. The guitars go KRANG KRAAAAANG, the drums go BUMPABUMPA, the bass goes THUDATHUDATHUDA, and the vocals go RAWRAWRAWR! For those qualities alone, I’ll give In the Trenches two thumbs up. Damn, my reviews are going straight down the shitter, aren’t they? Perhaps I can get a job with Spin Magazine… - Chris Walter Teengenerate Live at Shelter Bop Teengenerate used to blow through the Pacific Northwest pretty regularly back in the early ‘90s what with Garage Shock, Croc Shock and other like-minded events making the trip over from Tokyo worthwhile. They always left the
audience with its collective jaws on the floor, struggling to come to grips with the sheer ferocity of their punk rock attack (bass players in particular would marvel at Sammy’s ability to play walking bass lines at light speed). This here release is a re-issue of the live album (28 minutes short!) that captured Teengenerate’s farewell performance on home turf (they played the Cruel Elephant about two weeks before this show), and it’s as you’d expect/hope: relentless, fast rock and roll, Devil Dogs and Zeros covers, and no ballads. They just did two reunion shows in Australia, so how about it boys? For old time’s sake? - Andrew Molloy Thee More Shallows Book Of Bad Breaks Anticon This is definitely one of the more interesting releases Anticon has seen fit to distribute, and that’s saying something. As a trio from West Oakland, Thee More Shallows got lucky when it turned out their front man Dee shared a backyard with cLOUDDEAD’s Odd Nosdam, though history may prove Anticon to be the real lucky one there. Collaborations with Odd (who appears here in the form of random drum breaks) led to the signing and bam! The primarily hip-hop based label has its first real post-rock collective. Their sophomore fulllength, Book Of Bad Breaks exists where lush strings, indie vocals, and heavy guitar (both electric and acoustic) meet at the fringes of deep and chamber synth work and hip-hop production. Believe me, that is a very good place to be. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes
merge) sounds like Zombi, all repetitious synth and perfectly placed fist-first drumming. Improvisation, anarchy, acres upon acres of fuzz, 20 seconds of dirty slide blues, passion. Titan!!! Read that name. Holy Mother. The only vocals are some silly medieval drunken Jon Anderson bardic nonsense at the beginning, then four loooong trips – on LP, that’s one per side! - scattered, full of pomp, droning with gorgeousity. Song titles aren’t very readable (“Hashishin Ohel”?) underneath the giant dayglo mushroom of a digi-sleeve, but God bless you Tee Pee. I’m ripped. - Dave Bertrand Various Artists Soul Sides Volume Two:The Covers Zealous Soul-sides.com creator, Oliver Wang released Volume One (pessimistically half-joking in the choice of title) after encouragement from Zealous Records. Now in it’s third pressing, the soul compilation exceeded expectations and, quite frankly, gave Wang no choice but to issue a follow-up. Make no mistake, Volume Two is as righteous a collection of classic funk and soul as its predecessor, but focuses on thematically showcasing the ability of true artists of several eras to reinterpret the classic works of their contemporaries and/or influences. Leading off with Sharon Cash’s treatment of “Fever” was an inspired move as that woman does the impossible. She made not only a listenable version of that Edna Krabappel cheese fest source material that continues to be raped and murdered on the Vegas strip and places across North America who wish they were in even North Vegas by an unrelenting flow of painful lounge singers; not just a listenable version, but a honestly enjoyable one. That’s Guinness Book Of Records shit, right there. Watch out for Volume Three. It’s coming. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes Zeb Stop The Earth, I Want To Get Off Wonderwheel Born in Milan to Italian and gypsy parents, Zeb got his groove back when he moved to New York around the turn of the millennium and joined the now defunct Organic Grooves dance collective. I don’t know what they’re listening to on Italian radio, but I doubt
REVIEWS things: girls with cat eye glasses, warm Autumn afternoons, herbal tea, clove cigarettes, Sundays, the Sundays, patio lanterns, fluffy cats, that bookish girl I had a crush on in high school until closer inspection revealed slight (but noticeable) facial hair above her lip though I told myself that had she more confidence I probably could have seen past it but not catching the irony that her insecurity was developed because of shallow bastards like me, the rain, Audrey Hepburn, Burt Bacharach, ski sweaters, Raleigh gliders, trans-Atlantic airlines
Sonic Youth’s The Destroyed Room. The passage describes the 25-minute version of “The Diamond Sea” but could easily represent the entire collection, which features rarities and b-sides from ’95 onward. Despite consisting of a selection of loose, instrumental work-outs, the album thankfully eludes the trappings of self-indulgence and wankery - a shortcoming previously highlighted in the SYR series. This feat is achieved by Sonic Youth chugging out songs that are more groove-based than noisebased. In fact, many of these tracks would feel more at home on album such as Can’s Ege Bamyasi than Evol or Dirty. Plus, the collection offers two impressive electronic pieces, “Campfire” and “Loop Cat”, a side of the band rarely seen on full-lengths. Overall, Sonic Youth makes it easy to get lost in the corners of The Destroyed Room. - Brock Thiessen
Titan A Raining Sun of Light & Love, For You & You & You Tee Pee I walked into Valhalla the other day (Scrape Records) and only one thing caught my eye. I bought it. I fell in love. Destiny? So if you like Comets on Fire... No, better yet, if mushrooms got ya ponderin’... “Electric Wizard meets Yes? What would it...?” Then buy this album. Otherwise, don’t. There’s also Blue Cheer
it’s anything like this. Produced, arranged, programmed, and mixed by the man, Zeb’s debut for Nickodemus’ Wonderwheel picks at the sound of world influenced Bali dub and funky house. While aiming for the blunted downtempo trip espoused by Thievery Corporation, Zeb’s employment of punchy basslines and heavy sampled organic instrumentation, it must be said, falls short of the goal. The samples are often fairly blocky and mechanical, which works against the organic bid instead of providing a warm contrast to the electronic beats. The construction and sounds are solid, though, so I’d like to see what Zeb could do with someone else producing and/or mixing. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes
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Live at Massey Hall 1971 CD/DVD Reprise I’ve never been the biggest fan of Mr.Young. Not because I had a low opinion of his music, but because I had a low opinion of the pretentious old men who wrote about him for Rolling Stone. Now I realize that was just me being a bitter cunt. With the release of Live at Massey Hall 1971, I’m starting to understand what the fuss is about. This is Young in his innocent prime, before Harvest but already having crafted most of the songs that would appear on that landmark album. Here, he simply appears alone on stage with a few guitars, a piano, and nothing else, and it’s hard not to be moved by the performance, and Young’s sincerity. The audience responds with reverent silence. “Old Man”, “Helpless”, “Cowgirl in the Sand”, “The Needle and the Damage Done”, “Ohio” - all flawlessly stripped down and delivered. An early
version of “A Man Needs a Maid” is appended with the chorus from “Heart of Gold”. This is how “Heart of Gold” was originally conceived; as an epilogue to the melodramatic “Maid”, and before it became Young’s albatross. Two years later, Young would lose his mind, driving to hell and back in an effort to shake it. This isn’t some multi camera live shoot - it’s just someone filming the 17 songs with a grainy 16mm camera under the direction of Bernard Shakey (wink). Young mentions that a few of the songs are written about his ranch in California, and we’re subsequently treated to home movies of Young drinking beers and cruising around his property in some old school European car. At other times, with some of the actual performance footage missing (probably some dirty hippie changing the magazine), we see a reel-to-reel tape recorder, sitting on the chair in a mock-up of the Massey Hall stage. The simplicity of the enterprise is a perfect visual analog to the performance.You also get a few really cool extras, including a couple of numbers from the Johnny Cash Variety Hour TV show (“The Needle and the Damage Done”, “Journey Through the Past”), and a home movie of Neil with the old man that the song “Old Man” is written about. Frankly, I love this CD/DVD collection (in a hetero way). Apparently, the rest of the world feels the same, since it shot to various number one chart positions within minutes of its release. Between this and the Fillmore East disc that came out a few months back, the painful wait for Young’s longpromised Archives project is apparently over, and underway in grand style. - Dave Von Bentley
The Covert War Against Rock By Alex Constantine Feral House
This dazzling headache of a book has been around for some time now, but its importance continues to grow. Constantine is an LA-based writer and researcher with a major hate-on for America’s alphabet agencies and their illegal savaging of progressive movements both domestic and foreign. He’s an avowed anti-fascist who took over from the late Mae Brussell at KAZU radio in Monterey, CA. He’s been victimized by intelligence and law enforcement agencies, endured murder attempts and beatings by the LAPD, and was the target of electronic harassment for years. All of which means two things: he’s definitely on to something, while his work is consistently dismissed by a gate-keeping mainstream as “Conspiracy Theory”. The fact that his books are generally carried in the “New Age” section of most bookstores is just the final indignity, but whatever… The Covert War Against Rock is a powder keg, with its endless citations, notes, and smoking gun evidence drawn from declassified federal documents or long-buried news stories that managed to fall outside the watchful eye of the CIA’s Mockingbird program of media manipulation (which was uncovered by Carl Bernstein in a 1977 article for Rolling Stone. It didn’t help his career much). Constantine’s premise here is that the ‘60s counterculture was decimated by a monolithic program of infiltration, character-assassination, and murder, thanks to the publicly-funded guardians of a rigidly conservative infrastructure, and their friends in the Mob. It doesn’t hurt his case that the first chapter includes a leaked intelligence memorandum, presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee (itself compromised by CIA meddling) in 1976, which outlines the program in no uncertain terms. With that, Constantine re-opens the case for Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Phil Ochs, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G. and more, and where he isn’t conclusive, he’s never less than extremely provocative. In the case of John Lennon, Constantine’s marshalling of obscure facts is mind-blowing, especially pertaining to the World Vision “charity” organization, which was a front for covert ops designed to destabilize third world democracies, took Mark Chapman under its
wing, and included John Hinckley Sr. on its board of directors. Chapman’s attorney enlisted three psychiatrists to assess his client, and all of them were intimately connected to CIA mind control programs. In other words, the fix was in, while a concurrent effort to malign Lennon eventually led to Albert Goldman’s grotesque, posthumous smearjob of a “biography.” Constantine demonstrates the same pattern time-and-time again, making The Covert War Against Rock an incredibly depressing read (the description of Marley’s final days, at the hands of a “holistic” therapist who worked beside Josef Mengele at Auschwitz, is particularly sickening). But it’s also invaluable for anyone with a nagging feeling that there’s a big, important reason they took Lennon and Marley, and left us with fucking Bono. - Adrian Mack
Deliver Me From Nowhere
By Tennessee Jones Soft Skull Press
We all know that movies are rarely as good as the books they’re based on. It’s a real bitch to successfully cram upwards of 300 pages into a dumbed-down screenplay. Picture’s worth a thousand words, sure… but when you’ve got to shave the word count down by over half before you start making pictures, you’re bound to run into problems. In Deliver Me From Nowhere, Tennessee Jones makes an attempt to translate Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 album Nebraska into a book. Fortunately, he succeeds. Each story (corresponding in title and sequence with each track) sees Jones assuming the voices of the criminals, lawmen, lovers, and nobodies The Boss gave life to in his songs. Prior to reading this book, I wasn’t really familiar with Nebraska. As a result, when I sat down and listened to the album while reading this book, I was free of any attachments to the music or preconceptions toward the Jones’ adaptation. Had I not known the influence the music had on the book, I would have been hard to tell which inspired which. This is a testament to Jones’ ability to write with the same empathy as Springsteen, and not only find, the ragged beauty in the mundane, but make it somehow sacred. Not surprisingly, many of the stories here have a Steinbeckian quality to them. And while it’s an easy read, it’s themes tap deep into the human condition. Whether it’s an ageing couple determining their own time to die in “Atlantic City”, a lawman faced with the dilemma of arresting a murderous brother in “Highway Patrolman”, or a son’s resent for an abusive father in “My Father’s House”, despite the seemingly dreary situations, the book is uplifting in the way that a good scrap can leave you feeling bloody and bruised, but somehow good - like Fight Club; Like you’ve lived a little and know yourself and
The Nerve April 2007 Page 28
don’t need an administrator or advertiser telling you who you need to be. I’d recommend Deliver Me From Nowhere to anyone who appreciates no-bullshit story-telling about characters that resemble people you might know. Jones has done a fine job filling in the blanks that ol’ Bruce left for our imaginations in Nebraska. You don’t need to be a fan of Springsteen to like this book. But you just might walk away one after you’re done. -Devon Cody
AINSWORTH, AINSWORTH, AINSWORTH
GOD OF WAR II
The Man That Matters By Jason Ainsworth
By Dale DeRuiter
God of War 2
Developer: SCEA Santa Monica Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America Here, once again, you must pick up your dual swords and try to kill some gods. It seems that Kratos wasn’t happy killing Ares in the first God of War. The main character of this saga is still ill-at-ease even though he’s now a god on Mt. Olympus. His self-torment over all the deaths he caused (including his wife and child) is still present even after the completion of his first quest. The game starts off with a scene showing Kratos unhappy on his throne. He has been conquoring many lands with his army of Spartans and has angered the other gods of Olympus. He is tricked by Zeus to put his godly powers into the sword of Olympus, thus once again becoming mortal. Zeus betrays him and then kills him. Instead of getting all the powers you had in the first game, you enlist the help of the titans. Your shared grudge against Zeus allows you to win the titan’s favour and they bestow you magic that is based on the classical elements. The power up system for this magic and your weapons is the same as in the first game. You get red orbs for killing gorgons, minotaurs, skeletons and whatever else you run into on your travels.You use these orbs to charge your multileveled items. Not only do your weapons and magic get stronger, but you also learn new combos. There aren’t many new additions to the game, but they did add a flight mode.You ride on the back of a Pegasus and fight gryphons. As awesome as
this sounds, the whole process gets tiresome and repetitive quickly as there is only one way to kill the gryphons and you have to thumb it out over and over. However, the new grabs in this game are great. On top of the old classic ones where you get to rip guys in half, now you can truly dole out the pain.You can rip a guys arm off and stab his pointy armor thing into his own face.You can also tear out the cyclops’ eyes and unlock a bonus if you’re feeling especially randy. The new cast of the game is very well represented in the plot movies throughout the game. The graphics in regular game play are top notch but these go above and beyond. The highlights include the flashbacks of the old war between the gods and the titans which saw Zeus victorious and banishing the titans to be imprisoned in various shitty predicaments. Overall, the game is very well made and the puzzles do offer a refreshing break from the all the killing you must do. But the game is too short. Just as you’re looking forward to the crazy-ass last battle between the Olympians and the titans, the game ends. Literally, right before that point, you get to watch the titans climbing up Mt. Olympus to get back at the god for the torment they have suffered since the last war and then it ends. This is the part where you have to listen to some smartass dickhead tell you that its because they are deliberately setting the story up for a sequel. n
Ainsworth, circa 1972 (evil twin not picured)
t’s really, really easy to quit smoking. It’s sad to quit, because people who smoke are better.You demote yourself when you stop.You become, in essence, a nothing, a passive creature, at wit’s end, who has already achieved all you will ever achieve. Which was nothing in the first place. Now that’s a damn lie.You’ll do a lot of good things once you go back to college for your teaching certificate. Influence lives, the lives of children. Ever since I had my first smoke I have had people clamoring me left, right and center to quit. One thing all those bastards said…. “dude , it’ll be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, dude.” My mother said that to me. My mother. They lied. I smoked for fifteen years and I would just like to say to you guys that stopping smoking was easily the easiest thing I have ever done. A child could do it. It takes more willpower not to masturbate on the bus then it does to quit smoking. I’m not trying to boast or anything, but it’s easy.You do not need any of this strong-will stuff. I haven’t got a strong willpowerness at all. “fuck you and how gullible you are” (statement copyright Liane Morrissette 2007 all rights reserved). Gullible and weak, like all of you, I awoke to cracked lips after a bender and oh lord how it hurt to smoke. It didn’t taste like milk or whatever like usual. I looked at my cracked lips and blackened fingers, just like you have, readers, and held my torn pants (or dress/skirt), and said, “I’ll just finish what I have in the pack, and that’s it.” And that was that. For God’s sake, smoking isn’t an addiction. Pornography is an addiction. It’s killing you. Smoking is a friend. But it’s a friendship that…ends. Yeah, it took a few days to stop having headaches and crying, but so what. This isn’t crack. Jesus Christ. This is not a real addiction like heroin. This is a fun addiction. It’s fun, fun to smoke. It enhances concentration, it speeds up your metabolism, and it looks good. It may not smell nice, but fuck you. Still, this is about quitting. About stopping using. Cutting short the umbilical cord of the cycle of abuse. The best way to quit smoking altogether is to suck a pen. It’s important to get the right type of
pen.You want it for two reasons: 1. in mouth action, sucking, hanging down out of bottom lip rock and roll thing 2. fiddle about within hand. So you need to find a pen that will trick the lips first. Diameter is the key here. Go to Staples or Office Depot and mess around in the pen section until you find a pen that really feels good in your mouth, just like a cigarette. Colour doesn’t matter. I like red though, so maybe it does. But you need to remember that a pen is, by definition, bigger than a cigarette. It’s longer, you see. I swear, if I ever get out of debt I am going to a start a firm that manufactures cigarettes size red pens that taste like latex. Try to find one of those neat pens that have a clicky thing on the tip that makes the knob go in or out.You can breathe through these, so it’s like smoking because you use your lungs as well. It’s also something extra for you to fiddle around with. It’s like the difference between practical racism and pocket racism. A normal pen won’t breathe with you. It’s like sucking an object without hollows. It’s harder not to commit suicide then it is to not smoke. If you got your pen, it’s okay.You can go into any smoking room in any bar in this town and embarrass yourself in front of girls without panic or screaming because its like you are inhaling everyone else’s smoke though your pen. But you might get an urge for cannabis while you’re crying. Fight against this. The worst thing about this whole smoking issue are these busybodies who are always moaning like a rabbit about how bad smoking is for you. Morons. “Oh, oh, there is over here a medical study in the form of a book that says smoking is bad! Oh wait I lost the book” These idiots haven’t even seen the damn medical reports, and wouldn’t understand them if they did. Most doctors are too busy juicing or selling their bodies to do any research anyways. A doctor in this country makes $145 a day. AND YOU EXPECT THEM NOT TO LIE??? I took up smoking again though. I like it. n
I smoked for fifteen years and I would just like to say to you guys that stopping smoking was easily the easiest thing I have ever done. A child could do it.
The Nerve April 2007 Page 29
Custom Musician’s Earplugs
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By Dan Scum Across 1. Nipple or Teat 4. Trade And Quote 7. Breed of Retriever 10. Era 13. Pub pint 14. Indian Potato 15. Age 16. Male offspring 17. Metal band named after axe-murdering girl 20. Stormtroopers Of Death 21. Upper crust 22.Young man in Edinburgh 23. Standard of proof in legal trials 30. Café 31. Soothsayers 32. Octopus pet-name? 33. The Teflon Don 35. Organic fuel material 37. Trial of the Century Defendant 41. Notre _____ 45. Bay near Nanaimo BC 46. Sacred songs 48. Where the criminal always returns to 51. Knowledge Powered Solutions 52. Honor a debt 53. Donkey 54. Acquitted “Beretta” star 60. Negative option 61. Salt dog’s “yes” 62. Invader Zim Character 63. Narc’s org 64. Domain Name System 65. Sharply dressed 66. Ital. island 67. Dynamite (Oi!) Down 1. Buddy 2. Will Smith role 3. Candy dispenser 4. Acquitted Washington Redskin Sean 5. Person without pigment 6. Required amt. 7. Light Emitting Diode 8. Exist 9. Prohibit 10. Cause physical harm 11. Wise wager 12. Finish
The Nerve April 2007 Page 30
18. Spicy 19. NBA stat 23. MLB stat 24. One in German 25. Inquire 26. Lindsay the Lush 27. Sea birds 28. Tenths of a gram 29. Ping titanium driver 33. “No way,____!” 34. Shoulder prefix 35. Bravo Mike Oscar Echo 36. _____ facto 37. Switch positions 38. Acquitted King of Pedophilia 39. Former Van. Canuck Harold 40. Charged atoms 41. Hannah of Splash 42. ___ Baba & the 40 Thieves 43. 3000 44. Mexican homey 46. Type of Ulcer 47. Covered in scabs 49. ___ Cool of Green Day 50. Animal social groups 53. Plus 54. British Air Force 55. Popeye’s princess 56. Howl at the moon 57. Home Alarm company 58. Barbie’s man 59. Consume
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The Nerve April 2007 Page 31
The April 2007 issue of The Nerve features articles on Klaxons, Deerhunter, The Pack, Lucky McKee, Sharkwater, Acid Mothers Temple and Fake...