Rage Against The Machine – Renegades

Every so often, I will stumble across an album that somehow gets stuck in my head and nothing I do will reverse the process. Renegades is one of those albums. I’ve a longstanding love/hate relationship with RATM. While I’ve been known to poke fun at the obvious hypocrisy of their message, Evil Empire is a rare example of a virtually perfect album. Unsurpassed is their ability to make funk so primal and brutal, and they didn’t fail to deliver with this collection of cover songs. The subject matter tackled here is diverse, interesting, and, at times, questionable. Where this album works best is when the band elevated a classic hip hop track to the level of blast-beat rock funk. Of course, this sets the stage for disappointment when they failed to funk up the rock tracks that they covered. The weakest track on the album was the one for which I had the highest excitement: DEVO’s “Beautiful World”. And we have to wonder why they chose “In My Eyes” as the Minor Threat track to cover (I would have killed to hear them funk up a cover of “Filler”… *drool* ). But, all-in-all, the album stands well as their denouement, and certainly has found it’s niche in my library.



“I gchat hilarious.”

In an effort to communicate more with my youngest two kids, I set up a gmail account so that they could send me pictures of themselves, and I could send them pictures. As it turns out, the five year old is some kind of chat savant. Here’s a segment of a transcript that his mother sent me last night as proof:

me: hi boys
Sean: i hate this chat
me: well that is too bad
you are very good at it
Sean: i know
me: you are also very funny
Sean: this is cool
me: it is, isnt it?
Sean: wow

In response to all the praise and horror expressed by those who have witnessed this ability, he dropped the above quote on me as the opening statement in our nightly phone call tonight.

NTNS Radio

It’s been a while since I last pimped NTNS Radio, so I thought I would besmirch the front page of the new site with just such a post. Not The Normal Shit Radio is a weekly netradio program hosted by Dutch experimental sound artist Mark Stolk, aka Mystahr, featuring the some of the best in independent noise, ambient, abstract and experimental sound.

The show happens every Saturday (overnight from Friday for those of us here in the Western Hemisphere). Check out the official blog for more details, specific show times and a link to the streaming audio:


Just don’t tell him that I sent you.

(Connect the god damned dots)

The Faint – Fasciinatiion

There once was a time when I used to wait with anticipation for new albums from bands who had previously proven themselves worthy of my adoration. 2008 seemed to be the year when that dream came crashing down around my sad, sad little ears. After already being incredibly disappointed by new efforts from Nick Cave and Portishead (two bands that can easily dominate an all-time favorite list), I was wary about the release of a new album from The Faint. Knowing that exposure was inevitable, I buckled down and listened to a copy. My initial impression was dismal, so I mothballed the album thinking that maybe my anxiety and gloomy expectations had colored the experience, and resolved to revisit it at a later date.

Well, nearly two years later, I finally felt that it was time to give this another go. Absence, in this case, did not make the heart grow fonder, nor make the listening experience somehow more pleasurable. Fasciinatiion, bizarre spelling notwithstanding, is a rather weak effort on the heels of the delightfully brutal Wet From Birth. Gone from that effort are the orchestral sounds and heavy use of guitars, replaced with a reliance on minimal synth arrangements and tepid drum beats. It would almost be a return to form, marking Wet From Birth as a departure rather than an evolution, but for the lack of creativity in the use of the synths themselves. The anger and edge of their earlier releases has given way to a clinical and prefab sound. It’s not that the album itself is unlistenable, the transgression is that it’s simply not worth hearing.