Monday, September 27, 2010

Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Sonata No. 6 (1940)

I've had a three disc Prokofiev piano sonatas collection riding in my car with me for a few months now, and it is a beautiful, beautiful thing. See, driving for me is unavoidably stressful. I'm a guy who is pretty turned off to the world around me, but something about driving in a car flips every "fight or flight" switch in me and it is awful. Now, normally, I don't even understand what people are talking about when they discuss things like "being in the mood" for a specific song or "I can only listen to that when I'm in a certain mood." The fuck? It's just music, you emotionally obsessive twat. Anyway, this Prokofiev stuff is really engaging and beautiful and it turns a truly hellish experience for me into something that I really don't even mind at all. So, when I am driving, I am "in the mood" for Prokofiev.

This sonata starts with some fucking heavy piano riffing, the idea behind which I plan on ripping off for a Like Rats song sometime soon. You heard it here first. This piece is also unbelievably melodically rich with dissonant, rapidfire statements that somehow still make intuitive sense and are completely engaging. Transcend your boring, stressful reality with Prokofiev's melodic mindfuck piano experience number six.


*I started reviewing new metal releases every week for ALARM. Here's a thing I wrote on the new Autopsy, which is really good.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Like Rats - Like Rats (2010)

So the new Like Rats record, released by Cosmic Debris Records,is available for order or download over at You can have the mp3s for free and just pretend that everything is working normally on this blog or you can internet us a few dollars and we will mailbox you a physical vinyl record with cool artwork featuring a photo by Noel Rod0-Vankeulen (one of Shea's photo buddies) and Regan did the layout and he has a gold record hanging prominently in his apt because he did the layout for Lupe Fiasco. I'm really happy with how this turned out, so join me in jubilation. This is more of that Celtic Frost worship, with some steps taken towards a more proto-death metal sound. Andy will record your band and do a really good job at Bricktop Recording in Chicago, so get into that. Love is love, everything is love, please like my band, one what? One love.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady

My rock band aka Pagan Youth aka Pagan Diaper is playing a Halloween show as the Buzzcocks, because the fucking Buzzcocks are one of my biggest songwriting influences. I'm doing double-duty with Like Rats is playing as Black Flag, so be on the lookout.

As a young youth*, I remember checking out the Buzzcocks and being sorely disappointed because they weren't that punk, you know? I was into The Broadways & Rancid & NOFX & assorted skacore bands and had started to dig into The Clash & The Ramones. I thought the Buzzcocks were stupid, but I was actually the one who was stupid. Why can't I ever do anything right please help meeeeeee.

Anyway, these are extremely, phenomenally catchy pop songs played with just a little bit of punk edge. What I care about are the little melodic tricks that elevate these hooks to transcendental status. The key change in the hook of "Ever Fallen in Love..." is the most obvious example, as is the major to minor chord change in "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" (total Beach Boys rip on that vocal melody; not just cuz it's falsetto although that makes it more obvious; I know because I also ripped off "Keep an Eye on Summer") as is the sharp five going into the chorus in "I Don't Mind." Another band known to always be doing cool stuff like that is THE BEATLES. So tite.

*link removed*

*First time I've ever seen this video. Weird.