Archive for April, 2010

22
Apr
10

Black Metal Backlog

We’ve been really lazy about keeping this place packed with content. Which sucks. So today I’m gonna repost something I wrote for a professor on Black Metal and Heresy. Groovy.

The above video shows a recent act of heresy. Black Metal music has existed as an antagonistic force towards Orthodoxy since its inception. The Satanic and Neo-Pagan themes not only deny the Christian God, they dare worship his most opposed forces. Now while some bands are quoting Milton, Behemoth’s Nergal has been making his heresy a little more visceral. His Bible stunt has incensed the band’s native Poland where the Catholic Church has called for the band’s arrest. Under Polish law, any act which offends someone’s religion can merit a two year jail time. Now when 89% of Poland’s population is Catholic this law provides a strong deterrent against heresy. Is there a place for such a law in an ostensibly free and secular society? Or is Behemoth merely trying to pass off cheap shock tactics as artistic expression?

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12
Apr
10

The Death Knell of Palm: New Beginnings Elsewhere?

In a move that should surprise no one who’s kept their ear to the ground for the last few months, Palm has put itself on the block according to Bloomberg. Between the failure of Sprint to initially capitalize on the Pre’s fantastic Web Os, lack of app support, failed bizarre marketing schemes, and lackluster earning reports the signs were all there. CEO Jon Rubenstein’s hesitance to speak on the sale just a week ago hints to me that today’s announcement hadn’t just been in the works for weeks, this was a scheduled event. So where does Palm, who brought such innovation to the mobile space with Web OS go from here?

Interested parties appear to include HTC and Lenovo though all signs point to HTC winning out this battle. I don’t really see how Palm would help make Thinkpads any more potent than they are at present though any company would be glad to have the forward thinkers at Palm behind them. HTC has been one of my favorite handset makers since I first demoed the T-Mobile G1 for customers. Outside of an obvious fruit themed company, they’ve best implemented touch screen based input in mobile devices and their allegiance to Android has brought forth some truly fantastic handsets. The two things I’d be curious to see is to what extent HTC preserves Web OS if they acquire Palm. Does it become a discarded fetus on the way to greater Android supremacy, integrated into the Sense UI, or developed further as an in house OS? It seems to me that any of these options save the first bodes poorly for Android’s already fragmenting platform. My second point of curiosity is whether or not the patents HTC would gain in the acquisition will give them enough firepower to defeat Apple in the upcoming infringement suit. I’m an unabashed Apple acolyte but the capitalist in me knows the value of true competition. If HTC could at least settle on even terms with Apple it would bring them closer to finally giving the iPhone a real run for its mountains of money. This is one deal I will be paying close attention to.

10
Apr
10

Actual News: New Kylesa Album In The Works.

A little over a year since last year’s phenomenal release, “Static Tensions”, Kylesa announces that their next LP is already ready to be recorded! Here’s the lowdown from the band’s lately update:

“We’re also very happy to announce our new partnership with Season of Mist for the next Kylesa release, which we are hoping to get out later this year! We are stoked to be working with SOM on this next album. They are a forward-thinking label and they have all been very accommodating and a pleasure to work with. The writing process for the new record has been intense, taking up the better part of each day since January (that’s why you haven’t heard from us lately), but in return we have some new material that we’re very proud of. The studio sessions at The Jam Room in Columbia start in May and end in early July; we’ll try to have a few reports for you along the way.”

This is exciting news! “Static Tensions” was pretty highly praised album (and rightly so), and hopefully the energy from that album’s release and recent touring has inspired the band to reach new levels and creative extremes. A US tour is apparently coming in fall ’10/winter ’11. Lately most releases have been coming out about 2-6 months after the band expects them to, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the new Kylesa album doesn’t come out until end of winter ’11, but hopefully at the very least we’ll get to hear some new songs on the next US tour.

04
Apr
10

There Is No Longer Any Debate For The Greatest Music Video Ever

This is the fucking greatest thing ever.

Brothers will be released May 18th. Buy it.

04
Apr
10

Best Bands You’ve Never Heard of: Planes Mistaken For Stars

There aren’t words to properly explain Planes Mistaken For Stars’ last and most potent album. It’s very raw, gritty, in-your-face, and not always easy to listen to. Despite this, there’s something very beautiful about their music. Their sound tends to bring in elements of hardcore, folk, and metal (some post-rock even) into a strange globule of potent rock that is anything but boring. Sadly, I missed out on seeing these guys on their final tour because I was not yet 21 and could not get into the venue the gig was taking place at.

Here are some vids of this tremendous band:

These guys really knew how to deliver some badass rock and roll in an unusual package. Necessary (not recommended) listening includes “Mercy” and the compilation record: “We Ride to Fight! (The First Four Years)”

02
Apr
10

Brutal Friday, Metal Theology

Ever since I was small, the name “Good Friday” didn’t make much sense to me. It seemed that of all the days of his ministry, Good Friday would be the day Jesus of Nazareth said to himself “Man this whole enlightened badass, Messiah, Son of God gig really blows”. And then he got shafts of metal driven through his limbs and was hung to die surround by a bunch of douche bags. And that is not good, in fact it really blows. Which brings us to the normal reason why people call today “Good”; the concept of human salvation via blood sacrifice. Let’s now unravel this one. An all loving and powerful creator is going to hold an entire race of beings accountable for their insect-like actions and iniquities and then he’s going to kill an aspect of himself in order to destroy that debt that He Himself instated in the first place? God sounds pretty damn convoluted if you ask me. I’m gonna look at all that theology and say fuck that.

I’m not going to claim to understand everything that could have occurred in the mind of Christ those last hours but I will say this. On a purely human physical level it sucked. It was not Good, it was Brutal. Further, my gnostic understanding of Jesus of Nazareth as THE enlightened mother fucker in Galilee and Judea. I’m going to restate my belief from the Lent blog: through time spent in complete self denial and inward thought during his time in the desert, Jesus became Christ. He came to understand whatever innate abilities had been bubbling to the surface since his youth and returned convinced that it was his duties to awake this in other people. To make the blind see their divine potential as he had realized it. Christ is thus a hyper aware and powerful being. It is my belief that pain as he would have experienced it must have been more terrible than any unenlightened human such as we can comprehend. Despite the ability to obliterate every centurion in Judea in a flash he submitted to torture and execution by worthless animals. These human beings feared that their order would be overthrown. What does an empire of men matter to one who is on the level of a God? Already in his trials in the desert, Christ had rejected the claim to earthly power. These humans do not undersand this being and thus they must fear him as animals. I find the line from the Gospel of Luke most compelling here: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,”. The soldiers, the mob, indeed humanity has not an idea of what it is doing in both destroying this man but in any action they undertake. We stumblers,we blinded shackled beings destroyed one of the truly few who was not. Since then we have twisted and perverted his ideas to such a point that his message of freedom becomes one of slavery to clergy and a growing apathy towards any religious thought. We are content to go through our lives as animals.

So on this Brutal Friday, I would challenge anyone reading this to truly consider your life. I don’t give a fuck if your Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, or an acolyte of Mithra. Actually if you’re down with Mithra get in touch. But ask yourself: Are you happy? Do your actions exist only as reactions to your immediate desires? What are you doing that makes your own life any more significant than that of an ant? Live a life of a true human. Escape yourself.