Archive for December, 2011

Transmission 12.31.2011 The Last Day

Posted in Everything Went Black Media, The Trip with tags , , , , , , , on December 31, 2011 by everythingwentblack

11:48

It’s the last day of the year; it’s been an interesting trip this year. I downloaded music LEGALLY for the first time this year. My two legal downloads were Deep Purple “Perfect Strangers” and Hate Eternal “Phoenix Amongst the Ashes.” I tried to downl0ad “Perfect Strangers” for free but couldn’t find a reliable link. I think Hate Eternal is rad and Eric Rutan deserves my money so I paid for it on iTunes. It’s addictive, instant gratification, especially since most of the good record stores are gone these days. If I wanted a hard copy of the Hate Eternal, I would have to mailorder it or by it at the show when they come to New York with Goarwhore in a couple of months.

I slept late today. It’s Saturday; it’s New Year’s Eve tonight. I wish I was somewhere else besides New York City today because in a few hours a lot of people will start the slow self-murder of alcohol abuse that is deployed this time of year. Hey man, do what you want, but be advised that there are many other things that you could be doing besides slowly poisoning yourself or if you’re a man, dropping your testosterone levels. I question why marijuana is illegal in this day and age; it’s not my bag but in my opinion, it’s a more positive substance than booze.

Does time seem to be passing faster? The years are flying by, at least for me. Time seems to accelerate at the year progresses; it starts out slow in January and picks up speed until late Summer and then, suddenly the year is over. It makes me think that time is not a constant, but is this differential equation. Most things that we perceive as constants are in fact changing and in order to make the equations balance, we assume they are constants.

I remember when I was younger, a year felt like an eternity. I remember when the school year would be ending, the feeling of anticipation for the endless summer. I remember that feeling of the first day of summer break, when you didn’t have to go to school and the day was completely yours to do with whatever you wanted. The summer was another lifetime to be lived until autumn cam and it was back to the hallways, lectures and home work scene.

I’ve got the self-titled Alaric record playing at hard volume. It’s the perfect soundtrack for these kinds of musings. This record is so completely, exactly what I want to listen to. Aside from being a powerful gothic punk, dark wave masterpiece it has member of Noothgrush and Dead in Gone (among others) in its lineup.

2012: some people believe we have less than a year left before the “End of the World.” There are a of colorful predictions for what may be in store for us over the next 12 months, the Mayan Calendar Theory being one of the more widely known. My favorite is the Sitchin concept that the planet Nibiru will collide with Earth. I think that is my favorite one. By now we would have some kind of visual contact with a planet on a terminal orbit trajectory with us. I like to meditate on what the months leading up to a collision would be like, to look up into the sky and see this massive body getting closer with every month. This was a recurring nightmare I had a few years ago. What would the final days be like? Would people be cooler to each other if they knew that in 365 days we would be annihilated?

There’s also a more New Age, hippy take on it where in 2012, we’ll all go through a spiritual change that will herald a new era of enlightenment. Somehow I doubt this. I believe that man needs a more absolute, visceral confrontation, like total annihilation, be bring on these deep changes. After all 2012 is an abstraction; the date itself, the whole method of reckoning time is a man-made construct; why would this have any cosmic significance?

Transmission 12.29.2011 A Clean Well-Lit Room

Posted in The Trip with tags , on December 29, 2011 by everythingwentblack

13:13
There’s a restaurant near my apartment that I like to go to from time to time. At this point, I’m a “regular” and I feel comfortable sitting there, reading or working n my computer as I wait for my food. During the day and on weekends, it’s a madhouse; they do a huge lunch-time hustle. They have great coffee, which is a prerequisite for me.

My favorite times to go there is weekday nights. They shut the kitchen down at 17:00 and re-open at 18:00 for dinner. It’s usually quiet, only a handful of people, hanging out, checking their Facebook pages, drinking microbrew beer and eating dinner. It’s cool the post up and be alone.

The irony is that when you’re alone in this town, you’re really not alone. We’re all these islands, millions of islands in a concrete and steel ocean. We come in intimate contact with thousands of people on a daily basis yet I only know the names of a handful or people. I look to my left at the dude with the ironic beard; what’s his deal? Some guy just ordered a bagel with the insides scooped out, I suppose he’s concerned with his starch intake. I would suggest body-weight squats and kettlebells, eat the bagel as it was intended to be consumed.

Maybe it’s better that I don’t know any of these people.

Later on I’ll be sitting in my apartment. Nobody will be there except for me and my cat. It will feel like I’m alone, but in reality, someone else will be sitting about 8 feet away from me, on the other side of the wall, believing that he is alone as well. Sometimes this fact keeps me up at night.

New York City; the loneliness machine.

Transmission 12.27.2012 Tombs Live on WFMU 2.12.2009

Posted in The Trip, Tombs with tags , , on December 27, 2011 by everythingwentblack

I found this session on my hard drive while I was looking for some of the early Tombs demo’s I recorded from back in late 2007. Unfortunately, I think those sessions are lost forever.

Anyway, this is a lot cooler. WFMU is an institution here in the NY/NJ area. For years they have been playing awesome jams and doing these live sessions so nonetheless, it was a real honor to play a set at their studio. We had just finished up the tour with Dysrhythmia, and “Winter Hours” was about to be released, we were gearing up for Spring tours with Pelican, Wolves in the Throne Room, Isis and morale was high. This recording is a solid document of what we were all about during this period.

Check it out while I’ll keep looking for those old demos.
http://www.mediafire.com/?c46z8lyfxaprl

Transmission 12.21.2011 Everything Went Black Media

Posted in Everything Went Black Media, The Trip with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2011 by everythingwentblack

11:40
The year is almost over and there are a few loose ends that I haven’t tied up that will surface next year.

We’re almost finished editing the Malcolm Tent / Trash American Style Documentary Short. Back in September, Curro Rodriguez and I drove up to Danbury, CT to catch up with Malcom and spent the day interviewing him at various locations. We had a massive amount of footage, all of it was killer; over the past few months, Jaclyn has been editing it down to a tight 8 minute short. We’re hoping to post it next month. That there is more to the story so we’ll be shooting more next year and hopefully a cool, feature length documentary will surface.

We started out with the concept of doing a similar 8 minute mini-doc about ABC NO RIO and the imminent demolition / rebuilding that is about to go down. For those of you who are unfamiliar with ABC NO RIO, it has existed since the early 80’s, late 70’s in New York City’s Lower East Side, as an artist collective and later as a D.I.Y. hardcore venue as well as a site for various craft workshops (screen printing, dark room) and a zine library. Starting with the Giuliani Police State, they have been in a constant battle with the City, intensifying as property values in the now trendy Lower East Side have been on the steady rise.

Originally we were hoping to just get a couple of interview with some of the board members and volunteers, but the project has expanded into a verbal history of the collective as well as a chronicle of the days leading up to the demolition of the building. It’s a rich story.

Both 8 minute mini-documentaries will surface early next year on the new Everything Went Black Media site. I’m hoping to launch this sometime in February; you’ll be able to find videos, more podcasts and other cool stuff there (unless the government deems it a Threat to National Security and I’m incarcerated without a trial for an undetermined amount of time).

Stay Tuned and have a happy Holiday!!

Transmission 12.20.2011 – Us and Them

Posted in The Trip with tags , , , , on December 20, 2011 by everythingwentblack


00:07
Starting with the Patriot Act back in 2001, there has been a slow, deliberate mission by our government, to wrest our Civil Rights away from us. Over the years we’ve had to deal with The Man listening in on our phone conversations, groping us at airports and irradiating us with x-rays all in the name of “National Security.”

Just when you though it couldn’t get any worse, the government couldn’t humiliate us any more, enter the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA routinely goes before Congress for review, but the latest S. 1867 takes us into a whole new dimension of fascism, paranoia and potential brutality. S. 1867 essentially defines the entire Unites States as a “battlefield” and gives law enforcement the authority to utilize the military as their “Gestapo”. They will be able to arrest and detain any citizen indefinitely and without a trial if they are suspected of terrorist activity. The text was drafted in secrecy, in a closed-door meeting by Senator Carl Levin (D!) and Senator John McCain (R).

Both the Senate and the House have signed off on it. Senator Justin Amash, a Republican who actually opposed is describes it as permitting “the Federal government to indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil, without charge or trial, at the discretion of the president.” Newt Gingrich at the GOP Debate suggested that we “try to find that balancing act between our individual liberties and security.”

Former Pizza Guy Herman Cain declared that suspected terrorist should be executed, but I don’t think anyone actually takes him seriously.

The only thing that stands in the way of this is the White House, and Obama is expected to sign off on it, as its written, sometime this week. Welcome to Martial Law. They gave him a Nobel Prize, but he is going to go down in history as the President that dissolved our Constitution if this gets passed.

It seems like a movie, lie this isn’t really happening. It feels like in a few days, everything that this country once stood for will be thrown away with the morning trash.

Let’s all say what’s on our mind while we can.

Transmission 12.11.2011 Year End Top 20

Posted in The Trip, Tombs with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2011 by everythingwentblack

The year is drawing to a close, there are only a few weeks left and everyone is deeply into their holiday trip, buying presents for loved ones, making travel arrangements and just dealing with the madness of the Holiday Season. I always find myself going inward around this time of the year, submerging myself in meditations on the past year and making plans for the next year. This time last year, we were on tour, heading down to Dallas where we would be working with John Congleton on the recording for “Path of Totality;” it was a personal triumph for us, though we feel fortunate for all of the recognition the press has decided to bestow on us, the most meaningful thing was that we made a record that we were proud of, a piece of work where we pushed ourselves.

2011 was a challenging year for me personally. There were a lot of ups and downs, difficult times hardships but through it all, I tried to stay positive and work hard. Below are some of the high points of the year for me, not just records that moved me, but books, shows and accomplishments that helped me keep it all on track.

Happy Holidays!!

1. Ulcerate – The Destroyers of All
The future of Death Metal; I’m a fan of this band’s entire catalog. I look forward to seeing them at MDF 2012.
2. Necros Christos – Doom of the Occult
Robert from Mutant Supremacy turned me on to these guys. One of the blackest, most brutal death metal bands I’ve heard in several years.
3. Blut Aus Nord – Desanctification
One of the creepiest bands in a scene of creepy bands; imagine a black glacier of depression and you will be about halfway down the darkened hallway that leads to where these guys dwell.
4. KEN Mode –Venerable
KILL EVERYONE NOW MODE pretty much sums it all up. They guys are consistently one of the hardest hitting bands that I’ve ever seen and really nice dudes to boot. Oh yeah, they’re also Canadian.
5. Craft – Void
I thought they broke up, but brother Mike Scondotto told me that they had a new record out. Their other records “ Fuck the Universe”, “Total Soul Rape” and “Terror Propaganda” are stellar; the one continues the black metal with a rocking, almost Entombed-style groove. I’m actually listening to it as I write this. Aside from being brutal and satanic as fuck, they’re catchy and write great songs.
6. Morne – Asylum
I remember hearing their demo down at the Relapse office a couple of years ago and being blown away by it. I also heard it on WFMU while driving the van across New Jersey. It’s epic in the European hardcore vein; like Tragedy but a hair slower. This is one of my constant plays.
7. Chris Conelly – Artificial Madness
We scored a box of new releases from the relapse office and this was one of the discs in the box. Andrew actually told me that it was good, it reminded him a Versoma, the band that I did with Jamie Getz. Unlike Versoma, this record is great. It falls in somewhere between Joy Division and Public Image Limited; driving repetitive drums and depressing, understated vocals.
8. Exhumed – All Guts, No Glory
Exhumed rule. All of their records kick my ass. We played with them at Ieper Fest in Belgium on the last European Tour. Totally ripping death grind.
9. Circle of Ouroborus – Eleven Fingers
Circle of Ourobourus is one of the more unique bands that people call Black Metal. I put the in the same category as Urfaust in being two of the most European sounding bands in my record collection. Dark, Ian Curtis influenced vocals and spare subtle guitar and bass over simple rhythms paint a landscape of greys and somber pale skies. This is winter music.
10. Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage
I wonder if tis will be their last record? The tour this past summer was their last tour.
11. Walking Dead – Season 2
I was looking forward to this ever since Season 1 ended. I can’t express how stoked I am that AMC is handling this series with a laissez-faire attitude and letting it be as extreme as it needs to be. I did the direction and applaud the fact that it’s not just a TV re-telling of the comic book.
12. Danzig Legacy Tour
Love him or hate him, Glenn Danzig is an icon. He has contributed so much to punk, metal, hardcore and rock music. It was a real event when he rolled through town with the Legacy tour. I was most excited about the Samhain set, my favorite of all of his bands. The Misfits set was also intense. Doyle was like a superhero, larger than life and stalking across the stage. It gave me chills.
13. Swans live at Music Hall of Williamsburg – 9.28.2011
I missed the first group of dates that the Swans did because I was on tour. The show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg was amazing. Michael Gira has been one of my idols for the past two decades of my life, so seeing him back in action was an honor.
14. Immolation – Providence EP
Immolation keeps cranking out great records I caught these guys this fall at Blender in NYC with brother Mike Scondotto. As always they delivered a solid set of NYDM.
15. Black Anvil, Inhuman, Tombs, The Year is One – ABC NO RIO, NYC 12.3.2011
This was one last chance to play at ABC NO RIO BEFORE the wrecking ball demolishes the building. It was meaningful to play it with a group of good friends and great bands.
16. Interviewing Henry Rollins for Brooklyn Vegan
Rollins continues to be one of my main philosophical influences so it comes as no surprise that getting a chance to speak to him on a professional level was a high point of the year for me. I hope that we can do it again at some point.
17. “Night Eternal” – Part 3 of The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro
The conclusion of Del Toro’s awesome vampire trilogy did not disappoint. I’m sad that there won’t be a new book for next year!!
18. New York Comicon 2011
It was just straight-up fun. I took the day off from work and was onsite from pretty much the onset. It was overload, but totally killer.
19. Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath” by Tony Iommi
How badass is it to be able to title your biography “Iron Man.”
20. “The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor” by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
I scored this at Comicon. I’m a massive Walking Dead fan so all of this tie-in stuff is must-have for me. “The Governor” is one of the best villains, up there with Darth Vader. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves the comic and the TV series.

Transmission 12.5.2011 The Longest Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 5, 2011 by everythingwentblack

Image

12.2.2011        Revere, MA

We were on the road by 11:30 this morning; it was a pretty smooth ride up here from New York, beat all of the traffic. We stopped roe fuel somewhere in Connecticut and as I was filling up the van, I had a flashback to being on tour with Anodyne in the late 90’s and being appalled that regular unleaded gas had broken the $2.00 a gallon barrier. Those days are long gone. As we pulled back onto I-84 East, I meditated on how much travel expenses had increased over the years and the impact it has made on touring. The already narrow margin that a band has to work with has become a tightrope walk between financial ruin and just breaking even.

 

I thought about Anodyne’s first US tour and how we had five consecutive days off. If something like that had happened now, it’s doubtful that we would be able to pull it off. I remember driving and driving and driving across the Southwest desert in the van, wandering aimlessly across the American waseland, living on tuna, rice cakes and black coffee. One of the most psychedelic experiences of my life was driving across Utah, listening the Gasp and pulling over in the middle of the night to check out the Great Salt Lake.

 

Tonight was a long night, six bands. It was great to see Livver, Def Nasty’s excellent, Post-Defcon 4 hardcore band. He’s been doing it for a while, but this is my first time seeing them play. RAWRADARWAR also kicked my ass. Jonah is legitimately one of the best singers in metal; he can do pretty much anything from sing like Chris Cornell to the brutal vocal styling on Obituary’s John Tardy.

 

Tonight was the first set we’ve played since the CMJ boat show over a month ago. We haven’t been that busy this fall as far as touring goes. After the first song, I was able to sink in and get into the playing. I felt pretty good about the set.

 

I don’t remember if I’ve ever been to Revere before. On the drive out, some of it seemed vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t remember if I had actually been there before or not. This is definitely the first time I’ve ever played a show out here. The venue was located in the parking lot of a train station. It had a real desolate vibe, like England. As a matter of fact, it reminded me of a venue in the UK we played on the Buried Inside tour from a few years ago. It was grey, depressing and I had the feeling that trouble wasn’t very far off unless you kept moving. After load-in, we set out to find some food and settled on the 99 Restaurant. It was decent; a nice hot meal, coffee and a place to kick back at aside from the venue. Carson’s buddy Dan and his wife Laura met up with us for dinner.

 

I was pleasantly surprised that Chris L, Thos and Chris M made it out to the show. It’s definitely off the beaten path but it means a lot to me that they made the attempt. I get into the isolation trip easily where I feel on my own and singular; it’s an internal thing because the reality is that I have a lot of really solid people in my life. It’s a residual defense mechanism left over from leaner times.

 

We’re crashing at Tim’s place. I’m in the basement blackout room. On the way over, we stopped at the 7-11 in Lower Allston to pick up some snacks. I used to live down the street almost two decades ago. I used to be in there every day for about a year. Those were unusual days; I was living in a house with five other people. We had one half of a two family house to ourselves and over the course of a year, we systematically destroyed it and turned it into a ghetto; it was a sweet deal, we had a basement to rehearse in, a place to park the van, a quiet street, it could have been one of those houses that we cold have lived in for many years, but we couldn’t hold it together. When the lease was up, we went on tour and everyone else scattered. When we came back from the road, I moved into our drummer’s basement and slept next to the boiler. Anyway, for about a year straight, I hit that 7-11 pretty much every night. I’d hang out on the curb instead of my room sometimes. Occasionally, I’d hit the Dunkin’ Donuts across the street but that closed at 11. There was this Korean guy that worked the night shift. We were on friendly terms, I used to be in there all the time, usually with Josh. It tripped me out to see that he was still employed by the 7-11 Corporation, still working the night shift. There was a faint glimmer of recognition but neither one of us said anything to each other, I just paid for my stuff and headed out to the van.

 

Boston is a city of ghosts. I have a lot of history there. When I turn down the lights in this basement room, it will get dark, pitch black.

 

12.3.2011                    Brooklyn, NY

Today was a brutal travel day. We played three shows in less than 24 hours. We were on the move at about 10:30 this morning. We ate a quick breakfast and coffee at Tim’s place and had to bail to make it down to ABC NO RIO for an afternoon show.

 

The ABC NO RIO Matinee was meaningful in that the bill was made up of friends: Black Anvil, Inhuman, and The Year is One. I’m remembering how Black Anvil, Inhuman and Tombs played a show together a few years ago out on Long Island at this place called Mr. Beery’s. The building that houses ABC NO RIO is going to be demolished so this was one of the last handful of shows. It’s on a month-by-month basis at this point. We played at 1bout 16:30 I wish we could have hung out but we had to get back in the van to make it down to Philly for the nighttime show.

 

To make things even more ridiculously intense, the show in Philly had to be wrapped up by 22:00 because the venue had some kid of Rock ‘n’ Roll karaoke thing going on after the show. That’s where the money is I suppose. We showed up as the previous band was wrapping up. Radiation Black Body went on first, but being able to see them play was a distant fantasy. We loaded on to the stage, set up and ripped into the set. About halfway into it, the realization hit me that this was Carson’s last show with the band. I was focused on getting from place to place and executing the plan that all of the human elements had been put in the background. It’s a heavy thing; aside from a handful of shows that Domenic did and the recording of the EP, he’s been on board for the entire trip; all of the tours and insane drives, the preparation. A chapter has come to a close.

 

After the set, Wohlberg took us out to eat at this place called el Camino. It felt like the entire weekend was spent in the van, driving between Massachusetts, New York and Philly punctuated by the playing of sets, the consumption of caffeine and bad road food and very little sleep.