Where have the shock-rockers gone? Die Antwoord is Afrikaans for “The Answer.”
They are the new generation of scary weird music; a schizophrenic rap group from South Africa. The group was formed by Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser in 2008, after years experimenting in the South African hip-hop scene.
Finally the perfect combination was formed after the addition of DJ Hi-Tek who may or may not exist…
Their debut album $O$ was made available for free on their official website in 2009, and the esoteric band was quickly snatched up by Interscope Records. They toured all throughout 2010 with artists like M.I.A, and played sold-out festivals all last summer.
“If you try to make songs that other people like, your band will always be shit. You always gotta do what you like. If it connects, it’s a miracle, but it happened with Die Antwoord.”
– Yo-Landi Vi$$er
In 2011, they split with Interscope, after pressure to be more “generic” to make more money. They formed their own label, Zef Recordz, and released their new album Tension, on that along with a series of explicit Evil Boy toys.
Just a quick music lesson for today, as we take a look at a few of my favorite songs about murder and murderers.
A wide variety of artists like to explore the themes of murder in their songs, just have a listen :
Growing up in the suburbs of Central Florida, I was no stranger to anger. I was no less a victim to hormones than any other adolescent. I was no less an enemy of the establishment than other youth who tried to think for themselves.
So when I was introduced to the counter culture at an early age, I knew I had found my release.
Baggy JNCO’s, Dyed hair, spiked bracelets, Doc Martens, violent tendencies… All that shit came with certain types of music that allowed me to feel represented. I began collecting what cassettes I could; Dead Kennedy’s, Black Flag, The Misfits, Biohazard, Rage Against the Machine, the works…
And then there was Metallica.
An entity at the core of the whole mess of my angst and opposition to the world. Their sardonic, intelligent, political and satyrical music resonated with me, as it had with so many other pissed off brats. It was such a testament to the energy and springtime of youth.
And as the years have passed, and as time has changed, as I have grown and learned, healed and calmed down from that pimple-faced asshole, I have but one question;
WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOU, METALLICA?
Here at HorrorHomework, we tend to focus on the aesthetics of horror. But this particular subject deviates from that, as it is an ugly side to American horror. A once wondrous thing has become something very… Awful.
Let us first examine early Metallica; a band from California that toured extensively across the U.S., honing its skills to the tune of rock greats like Merciful Death, The Misfits, Queen, Black Sabbath and others. Like their contemporaries (more or less) Slayer, Motorhead and others, Metallica was not only a band that represented masses of pissed off, mostly white kids. They not only represented what the rest of society wanted to hate, but they were good musicians.
So, as I grow older, and the testosterone has somewhat subsided, I tend to consider my roots. And when I see what has become of the band, I hold some kind of contempt for them.
Yes, we can go with the whole ‘but what happened to you also happened to them, they grew up Merkin.’ To you sir, I say, fuck that. A band can evolve, or grow up, or even mellow out, without asking a dedicated audience to buy in to this:
I’ve heard it all before:
– ‘Let them make whatever music they want to. They DESERVE it!’
– ‘Artists do this all the time. They are no different.’
– ‘They got too old to make music like they used to.’
– ‘Blah, blah, let’s get passive about it, blah fucking BLAH!’
I don’t see Slayer or Megadeth selling out like that. I don’t hear them growing old like that.
My one request, Metallica. My one request:
Please, do one more good album. Change it up if you must, but don’t forget your roots. You can go Prog. You can go Fantastical. Artsy. But don’t go the direction of vanity.
Otherwise, thanks for a few great albums and notsomuch for the rest. I am proud of part of your legacy.
Jack White is an interesting character.
He was born in 1975, the seventh son of Teresa and Gorman Gillis, in Detroit, Michigan. His parents were devout Catholics, and in his youth Jack was an altar boy at the local church.
He began playing the drums at age 6, and grew up listening to old blues records in the attic of his parents’ house.
His early intention was to join the seminary and become a priest.
“I’d got accepted to a seminary in Wisconsin, and I was gonna become a priest, but at the last second I thought, ‘I’ll just go to public school. I had just gotten a new amplifier in my bedroom, and I didn’t think I was allowed to take it with me,” he told Mike Wallace in 2005.
At the age of 15, White began to learn upholstery with a family friend, Brian Muldoon. White credits Muldoon with exposing him to punk music and pushing him to play music with Muldoon as a band. Since Muldoon played drums, Jack decided to play guitar then. The two recorded an album, Makers of High Grade Suites, as The Upholsterers.
White later started a one-man business of his own, Third Man Upholstery. The slogan of his business was “Your Furniture’s Not Dead” and the color scheme was yellow and black—including a yellow van, a yellow-and-black uniform, and a yellow clipboard. Although Third Man Upholstery never lacked business, White claims that it was unprofitable, because he was perceived as unprofessional, making bills out in crayon and writing poetry inside the furniture.
Of course, he is most famous for The White Stripes, the band he formed in 1997 with his then-wife, Meg. They playfully referred to each other as siblings during the course of their career.
Despite all the speculation on the relationship between Jack and Meg, they never really spoke seriously about it, preferring to let the music be the focus.
Jack White has said, though, that siblings are “mated for life”, thus such relationships distract less from the music
A great band with a welcome sound, the White Stripes consistently put out interesting albums over the course of ten years, and sadly announced in 2010 that they were going their separate ways.
They will be missed.
Anyone who claims the White Stripes were not an awesome live band must have missed this show.
The best clip on the whole internet!
In 2005, Jack formed The Raconteurs with Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler. Over the course of two albums, they have proven to be a talented mixture of artists and have developed a great sound.
The Raconteurs are the closest thing to Led Zeppelin this generation has.
Next, in 2009 he formed the Dead Weather as the drummer, with Alison Mossheart, Jack Lawrence, and Dean Fertita.
A distinctly different turn for Jack White, but nevertheless another great band with two excellent albums out now.
In his spare time, Jack has constantly collaborated with many varied and talented artists in all genres of music.
For example, take this duet with Alicia Keyes for the James Bond film, Quantum Of Solace :
In 2004 he produced an album for country music icon, Loretta Lynn, playing on a track with her.
Jack’s ideas and experiments go from the interesting to the head-scratching, like this poorly-thought-out collaboration with the Insane Clown Posse re-making a Mozart tune about licking asses. Seriously.
What were you thinking, Jack?
Now we have a great new solo album from Jack White, Blunderbuss.
A great new release from the showman of our generation, this album Blunderbuss blends all the best elements of Jack’s other projects into one excellent listen.
Definitely recommended to all fans of good music!
May 4th 2012 we lost MCA, aka Adam Yauch to throat cancer.
It is a sad day for fans of the Beastie Boys around the world. I grew up with the Beasties, and over the years followed them closely. When I was in middle school, if you didn’t know every word to Paul Revere, they would laugh you off the kickball field.
It was great to grow up with these guys, and the loss of Mr. Yauch is a huge one.
Collected here are a few favorite moments from MCA and the Beasties for your enjoyment. Always known for great music videos and a playful sense of humor, it is a true shame we will not see anything new from this artist again.
Please enjoy the show :
I am sure everyone is familiar with the legend of The Wizard Of Oz synching up with Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side Of The Moon. The story goes that if you begin the album at the moment of the third roar of the MGM lion, the music will line up with the film.
Well, I personally have never been able to get it to work convincingly, but thanks to technology, someone finally has!
Maybe all it takes is a little imagination…
Still not convinced?
Buy them both from Amazon.com using the following links and try it for yourself!
This song was recorded for Vulgar Display Of Power and was recently discovered by drummer Vinnie Paul while putting together the 20th anniversary edition of that excellent album. It is technically the first new single from the band since the Reinventing The Steel era.
Today, we are going to learn all about my hero, Henry Rollins.
The man was born 2.13.61 (the name of his own publishing company) to radical, slightly abusive parents. In 1981, after performing as front-man for the Washington D.C band, State Of Alert, Henry jumped on stage one night with his favorite band Black Flag, and the rest is punk-rock history.
Black Flag :
Henry took the stage for the first time, singing “Clocked In”, since he had a five-hour drive back to Washington, D.C., to return to work as the manager of an ice cream store after the performance.
The band was impressed with Rollins’ singing and stage demeanor, and the next day they asked him to become their permanent vocalist. His high level of energy and intense personality suited the band’s style, but Rollins’ diverse tastes in music were a key factor in his being selected as singer; Black Flag’s founder Gregg Ginn was growing restless creatively and wanted a singer who was willing to move beyond simple, three-chord punk.
Rollins enjoyed being the band’s frontman, and earned a reputation for fighting in shows. He later said: “I was like nineteen and a young man all full of steam. I loved to get in the dust-ups.”
Black Flag’s change in musical style and appearance alienated many of their original fans, who focused their displeasure on Rollins by punching him in the mouth, stabbing him with pens, or scratching him with their nails, among other methods. He often fought back, dragging audience members on stage and assaulting them. Rollins became increasingly alienated from the audience; in his tour diary, Rollins wrote “When they spit at me, when they grab at me, they aren’t hurting me. When I push out and mangle the flesh of another, it’s falling so short of what I really want to do to them.”
Rollins Band :
Before Black Flag disbanded in August 1986, Rollins had already toured as a solo spoken word artist. He released two solo records in 1987, Hot Animal Machine, a collaboration with guitarist Chris Haskett, and Drive-by Shooting, recorded as “Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters”.
Rollins also released his second spoken word album Big Ugly Mouth in the same year. Along with Haskett, Rollins soon added Andrew Weiss and Sim Cain, and called the new group Rollins Band. The band toured relentlessly, and their 1987 debut album Life Time was quickly followed by the outtakes and live collection Do It. The band continued to tour throughout 1988; 1989 marked the release of another Rollins Band album, Hard Volume. Another live album, Turned On, and another spoken word release, Live at McCabe’s, followed in 1990.
In 1992, Rollins Band released The End Of Silence, an album that has saved my life many times. Henry’s encouraging anger was a major influence on me in my high school years, and this album was the soundtrack to it.
It even inspired my first tattoo.
The next album, Weight, broke into the Billboard charts for the first time with the hugely ironic hit, Liar. Henry continued releasing albums and collaborations, along with books and spoken word tours all through the following years.
In 2000, he he signed a big deal with Sony Dreamworks records and re-formed the Rollins Band into a more simplistic radio-friendly operation. Henry’s trademark motivational rants were backed by the generic metal band Mother Superior.
I will admit that the first time I listened to the album Get Some, Go Again, I was severely disappointed by the new sound. Until I listened to the album all the way through to the hidden track at the end.
On this secret spoken jazz track, Henry talks about how “sometimes you have to take the fakes for everything they’ve got.” He jokes about the session player that doesn’t even know his name, and ends the album with the punchline, “You’ve always got to keep it real!” and his trademark manaical laughter.
He then released a very great album of out-takes called Yellow Blues from that recording session on his own record label, proving that the Sony album was a joke on the record company.
Throughout the years, Henry has worked together with some of the most interesting artists in modern rock. He pops up on all of those talking head VH1 shows to put his two cents in, and adds his trademark voice and integrity to many projects.
Like this classic song by Tool…
And who could resist this dream-come-true team-up with bass legend Les Claypool on this great song, Delicate Tendrils…
Also, among his many great efforts to Free the West Memphis 3, Rollins put together an entire album of punk superstars covering Black Flag songs to benefit them.
In the 1980s, Henry Rollins produced an album of acoustic songs for the convicted murderer Charles Manson titled Completion. The record was supposed to be released by SST Records, but the project was later canceled due to the label receiving death threats for working with Manson. Only five test presses of Completion were pressed, two of which remain in Rollins’ possession.
Spoken Word :
Ever since the beginning of his career, Henry has toured relentlessly, doing spoken shows on his nights off from the band shows. I have attended many of these, and they always prove to be an interesting look at the world through Henry’s eyes…
No stranger to horror.
At the time of Henry’s greatest self-made success, he sadly lost his best friend in a senseless mugging. The crime has never been solved, and Rollins has consistently dedicated his work to his great friend, Joe Cole.
Here is Rollins remembering his friend’s death in his great spoken word show Talking from the Box :
Movies and TV :
In the early ’90’s, Henry began popping up every where in TV and movies, often playing self-depracating bit-parts in some modern classics.
Who could forget his first starring role as a police officer opposite the martian rockstar Charlie Sheen in The Chase?
More bit parts in Heat, Lost Highway and Johnny Mnemonic followed in the 90’s, as well as a job as a host of the short-lived horror anthology show, Night Visions.
And who could forget his great part as a motivational speaker in the modern horror classic, Feast?
By far, Henry’s best movie role has to be as Sgt. Dale Murphy in Wrong Turn 2 Dead End.
Rollins in full on Rambo mode armed with exploding arrows vs. inbred cannibal hillbillies?
You know I’m in!
At a very young age, Henry started his own publishing company to distribute his own writings and journals to the masses. He also makes it his mission to publish work from writers that otherwise are not likely to be published elsewhere.
Aside from Henry’s books, which I have read all of, I have found several authors who I never would have known about if not for 2.13.61 publications. I am particularly fond of Bill Shields, Hubert Selby Jr, and the writings of Nick Cave.
I reach deep inside myself I rip out
a handful of bleeding crackling
wires I squeeze the juice out
I burn them out I want to see where
the truth lies I want to see where
it all breaks down I walk down the
mouth of every beast I can find So
I can see what's at the end That's
the only part that interests me
The end The rest is all getting there
Well, it has been a long time since the “best band ever” has rocked our collective socks off…
Finally, the D is back!
And, they even finally put Val Kilmer out of his misery in this brand new video.
Their new album “Rise Of The Fenix” is out this May!
I, for one, can’t wait.
So good to see them back together again!
I love these guys, although I can’t really think of anything JB has done recently that was great. Hopefully this will be a return to form for them, and they can bless us with some new classics to go along with these ones.
Well, the album is out now!
Check it out here on Spotify:
And here is the hilarious new video for “Low-Hanging Fruit” :
Enjoy some of my favorite clips of Tenacious D from the past :
The new album is available for pre-order here on Amazon, along with their other classics.
Highly recommended to all you weirdos by Darth Biscuits.