Apr 18, 2015

Throwing Singers a Bone

Here at The Poundry we have spent a fair amount of time and energy being critical of the way vocalists affect music.  Not all music is interesting enough to carry its own weight without a singer guiding you through the journey.  Actually, most of what pop culture cranks out is intentionally vapid and pointless and requires a 'face' to make it stand out from everything else in the cesspool of unimaginative offerings.  That's just marketing for money.  Music written with big paychecks in mind will always find fans.  I don't have a problem with get rich quick schemes, generally speaking, if there are ways to avoid them.  Until government forces us to listen to the bands that can afford to buy lobbyists there is still a way out for people who want the real thing. As a music and art snob myself, I only wish that more emphasis was put on people finding out how creative they really could be were they not so attracted to dollar signs.  Music is a business though, so it will never be totally pure.  And let's be honest... it's not as if everyone can be follow their vision to a pot of gold.  I can't walk out of my front door and expect food to fall into my mouth simply because I play in two bands that a handful of people find curious.  But hey, if any of you want to find a perch in the trees outside our lovely home and try to toss a meal at me I am not too proud to gobble it up!  For what it's worth I'm vegetarian and prefer Mexican and Indian food.  When huevos rancheros and samosas start falling from the sky the moment I step out of the house I'll know I've finally made it in life.

Apr 2, 2015

Coming Out of Hiding

Well, well, well... I was abducted by aliens for roughly three months but I have returned, happy to see that planet Earth remains intact despite my abductors' claims of total annihilation.  Granted there were plenty of people and institutions whose utter decimation I was indifferent to even in my saintliest moments, but all in all I am happy to see that the world remains mostly unchanged in the three months since my last post.  Monica is still gorgeous and loves me, the dogs are still the sweetest critters on earth and the cats still vomit and pee on everything.  Yep, life shuffles along as it always has.  Good, I wasn't in any mood for upheaval anyway.

Dec 31, 2014

Happy New Year, from a Crusty Old Curmudgeon

Here we are at the end of another year, looking back at all of the things that happened to us, and ahead to all of the things we want to happen next year.  All in all 2014 was pretty good to me and Monica.  We have our health and we have each other.  The older I get, the more I realize those are the two most important things to me.  Everything else is just fluff.  Fun fluff, but still just that... fluff.  I will be remembered for the way I play drums by those who don't know me.  Let's call that "fluff with flair".  Hopefully those who do know me will miss me for other reasons after I'm gone.  Maybe I'll be the one to outlive everyone I know, in which case I'll spend a lot of time in my twilight years thinking about all of the fluff while I go mad in my old age.  I remember when forty seven seemed like old age to me, so maybe I'm already mad.  Will my mid-life crisis hit me next year?  Will Monica wake up one day to a 1972 Corvette Stingray in the driveway with a college freshman waiting for me in the passenger seat?  Nah, I don't have the time, money, energy or interest for any of that. Great, we have proved that I'm not mad.  Not yet, anyway.  Hmm... what color would the Corvette be?

Nov 26, 2014

Giving Thanks... to Carcass

A few weeks ago Carcass paid Raleigh a visit as part of what Bill Steer described as their tour of "B markets".  As far as I know this was their third trip to our quaint little home town. They may have stopped here once before I knew anything about them, but I doubt it. Raleigh may not actually rise to the level of a "B Market" stop. We're growing, but you have a six hour trip to Atlanta, Georgia from here.and a five hour trip in the other direction to Washington D.C. with two other cities that come closer to reaching that oh-so-exalted "B market" status between here and either city.  It's rare that Raleigh gets great shows, but it does happen from time to time.  Chapel Hill, which is considerably smaller than Raleigh, is considered a mecca of sorts for collegiate alternative music.  Some of the best shows I have ever seen were in Chapel Hill.  Mr Bungle takes the cake for their show at The Cat's Cradle during their California tour, and Slint's reunion tour performance of their album 'Spiderland',  considered by many to be the catalyst for the 'alt' explosion, was absolutely stellar.  You will not however, hear about real metal bands playing there.  Raleigh has a couple of clubs where metal is allowed to step out of the shadows, but for years there were almost never good, touring metal shows.  Fortunately that seems to be turning around. However it came to be on November 4th, Carcass were in town ready to thump

Nov 17, 2014

Salvador Dali, Chocolate and Goodbyes

When you head somewhere for a week long vacation you wonder how on earth you will find interesting things to fill the time.  Then when you wake up on your last full day you inevitably wonder where all of that time went, and how it's possible you are already packing your bags to go home. When Tuesday morning rolled around we were feeling a little sad about having to leave the next day, but we were thrilled to be able to see the Salvador Dali museum an hour and a half away in Figueres.  The museum was designed by Dali himself and is, predictably, a very unique space.  I assume that most of you are familiar with Salvador Dali, but if not you may recognize "The Persistence of Memory" with its famous melting stopwatches dripping off the edges of tables and trees.  Dali is widely considered to be one of the masters of the surrealist movement. To me he is The Master. My views do not necessarily represent the views and or opinions of the producers of The Poundry and furthermore... wait a minute... I guess they do.  Ha!  In your face, Magritte! Dali was my first "favorite artist" going all the way back to when I was a kid staring at a poster my parents had in our living room.  Through thick clouds of smoke I used to stare at "Suburbs of the Paranoiac-Critical City: Afternoon on the Outskirts of European History" and think to myself "The woman with the grapes looks so friendly, but that place is weird and kinda scary".  It's hard to know how much of my fascination with the poster was due of its dreamy nature and endless details or the contact buzz I grew up with, but Dali seemed to me a freaking genius and DAMN, those grapes looked delicious!   Those and a pack of candy cigarettes would have kicked ass!  That's right all you pathologically oversensitive guardians of everyone's wellbeing, candy cigarettes...  Filterless.  They were even better with a beer during cartoons, but I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about.

Nov 16, 2014

La Sagrada Familia: Spaceship, Batman's Cave or a Cathedral?

Confessor were ready to take on the world in the early '90's after our first album, "Condemned" came out.  That album was released in 1991 and within a few months we were part of the legendary "Gods of Grind" tour with Cathedral, Entombed and Carcass bringing our own brand of twisted metal to hungry metal heads throughout Europe, and audiences were floored by the bill everywhere we went.  We were young and bulletproof and that tour was a really big deal.  Every night there seemed to be as many headbangers as possible packed into each venue and while I was excited about all of the shows, I became increasingly excited about the show scheduled in Barcelona. I had been checking out as many of the historical spots as I could walk to everywhere we went without really knowing very much about what I might find.  There were so many amazing things to see, and I didn't want to waste any opportunities to be mesmerized by what people were able to accomplish centuries ago before modern technology gave us the skyscrapers we know today.  One of the only places that I had any prior knowledge of was La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and I was chomping at the bit to see it in person.

Nov 11, 2014

Park Guell

Monday arrived leaving us with two full days left to absorb the biggest things on the "to do list" we had made for our trip to Barcelona. This was to be our Day of Gaudi. Our first stop was Barcelona's fantastic playground, Park Guell situated on the edge of town and offering one of those high vistas that make a city appear to stretch on forever.  I love finding myself at such high points in big cities.  You almost feel the history of a place when you see so much of it at once. Our own home town has nearly doubled its population since I was a young teenager but it will never have the "weight" of a massive city.  Raleigh is very spread out and mostly suburban.  Whenever I've traveled with the band I have made it a habit to look for the tallest building, usually a cathedral, and walk towards it if there was time before soundcheck.  Sometimes those walks only took fifteen minutes and other times they took an hour or more.  Often I would wind up at the highest point in the city, or close to it, and be able to look out at millions of people and centuries of history.  It's an exhilarating experience every time.  Park Guell offers several views of the capital of Catalonia, but what makes it so unique is that you have already spent so much time wandering around in what I call Gaudi's Playground that you forget where you are until you crest a hill or find a clear view of the city. It really is the icing on the cake.  Being able to see so much of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea makes the park even more magical, and I can't imagine how inspiring Gaudi must have found his creation while he lived right in the middle of it for most of the last twenty years he was alive.  Hopefully you'll see what I'm talking about in the next few minutes.