Saturday, September 30, 2006

Black Aria

I hope to accomplish a flurry of posts this weekend, everything from 19th century Russian lieder to forgotten heavy metal comps. You see, my divorce has finally become a palpable reality with my signing of the 30-day Notice of Vacation of our apartment. In my effort to travel light (I hope to complete my move in no more than two carloads), I will be digitizing as much of my old cassette shit as possible. Since I will also be leaving my stereo, TV, DVD Player, and stainless steel cookware here with my wife, it seems that just about everyone will benefit from my soon-to-be minimalist lifestyle. My laptop, my guitars, and my radio will solely comprise my essentials from now on.

But, gentle reader, don't worry about me; you see, when it rains, it pours, and divorce isn't the only milestone I've reached lately. I've also just attained my Masters degree, and I am currently looking forward to fulfilling the statistical prediction that my standard of living will raise by ten percent within a year after divorce. I'll either room with someone for a while or get a shithole studio apartment, and focus my job search northward.

But anyway, enough of my sob story.

This is an odd footnote in the career of punk/metal icon Glenn Danzig. Somewhere in between the fantastic "Lucifuge" album from Danzig and the slightly-less fantastic "Danzig 3", Glenn decided to dust off his old Plan 9 label and release a classically-inspired album. While the album's artistic merits are negligible (more later), it precluded similar releases by such pop staples as Paul McCartney and Joe Jackson by several years.

I heard an interview with Glenn Danzig on a radio show right about when this was released, and he said something along the lines of "It's a nine-movement piece based on Milton's Paradise Lost". He went on to describe how this album actually topped the classical charts in 1992.

Rest assured, this is for Glenn Danzig completists only. Those of you familiar with such stripper-friendly Danzig anthems as "She Rides" or "Her Black Wings" will be sorely disappointed by this, I'm afraid. The music is undoubtedly influenced by such Romanticist staples as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner, as evidenced by its timpani-heavy bombast and overt emotional, heroic leanings. For a Baroque/Expressionist like me, all of this seems a bit over-the-top. There are some wonderful sublime moments, however, like the Purcel-inspired three note soprano riff in "Dirge of Defeat".

And my loneliness in bondage:

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Stone Fox

Stone Fox were a mostly-girl rock band from the San Francisco area back in the mid-90's. This debut album, Totally Burnt, is a great slice of raw, angry rock music. So raw, in fact, that many of the tracks were ripped directly from their demo cassette and digitized in a process that must have been cutting-edge back in '95.

Stone Fox's follow-up album was quite a departure from the rawness of Totally Burnt, and was one of the first projects of producer/songwriter/Non-Blonde/music biz overlord Linda Perry. As you might imagine, the raw, riff-based rock was minimized in favor of a more song-oriented approach. I've included one of the tracks from the sophomore release in the zip file so you can compare for yourselves.

You'll be happy to read that this album was ripped at a sweet 192kbps. Hopefully, this will start to fix my reputation of crappy, low-bitrate cassette least until I get Angelwitch- Live posted.

It makes me feel so unchaste:

Saturday, September 16, 2006

So Sorry...

Sorry that I've left this blog in an apparent state of moribund for the last couple of weeks, but I've been extraordinarily busy finishing my Masters degree requirements since August. Rest assured, I have SUCH delights to show you: A NWOBHM mix tape compiled by none other than Lars Ulrich...a tape of Angelwitch's reunion tour through SoCal in the late '80s...Some great all-girl grunge from the early '90s....

But, until then, you'll have to settle for compilation #1 of rare shit from my music collection, A-G. It's a bit schizophrenic, but you're bound to find something you enjoy in there somewhere.

Some interesting marginalia: "Fydolla Ho" was a side project of actress Shawnee Smith. You may remember Shawnee from her starring role in "Becker", and her supporting roles in such films as "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Saw". I first remember seeing Shawnee in a TV movie in the late '80s called "Easy Prey". It was a cautionary tale starring Gerald McRaney as, of all people, serial killer Chris Wilder...Simon & Simon indeed!!! Anyway, it was about as sensational and risque as was allowed in the Reagan era, and it attempted to deliver a dire warning against going off with harmless-looking strangers, all the while showing a nubile young Shawnee Smith in various states of undress.

I still find Ms. Smith exceedingly attractive. If you want to see her in her prime, rent the 1988 remake of "The Blob". Even if you're not into Shawnee Smith, it's a fantastic horror movie with special effects that continue to hold up. Remember, Smalltown, USA: you're just one meteor away from becoming the NSA's latest weapons experiment!

See comments for a track listing.

I'm livin' easy where the sun never shines,