Michael Nelson
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Foxygen spent much of last year dealing with a whole lot of drama, which at times overshadowed the actual album they released, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic. Now they’ve announced a follow-up, a 24-song collection that will be titled Foxygen … And Star Power, and with that announcement, they’ve given us the album’s first single and video. “How Can You Really” is a totally excellent bit of Cali psych pop bursting with joyous melodies that will engulf you in sweetness and light. Check it out below, with album details below that.

Earlier today, we reported that Morrissey’s former bodyguard, Bradley Steyn, had filed a lawsuit claiming that he was fired after refusing the singer’s request to “hurt” or “[get] rid of” the administrator of fan site Now, Moz has released a statement, calling Steyn’s accusation “a vexatious lie.” (“A Vexatious Lie” would be a great Moz song title, no?) Said Moz: “As mildly irritating as David Tseng may be, he is not someone who troubles me enough to even bother with.” (And that’s a great Moz lyric!) Finally, per Morrissey, Steyn’s statement “is now in the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department, and is subject to both criminal and civil action.” Read Morrissey’s full statement below, via the Morrissey-approved fansite True To You.

If you watch MTV’s Catfish — and admit it, you do — you’ve surely experienced a particular reaction to each episode’s respective narrative as it unfolds, usually during the initial interview segment of the “investigation”: How on Earth does the person being catfished not realize he is being catfished? How does a person become so deeply enmeshed in an online relationship so clearly based on lies? Howsleep can someone accept obfuscation and omission and deception so openly, when the emotional stakes are so high?


 0Posted on Jul 30th | re: The Black Market: The Month In Metal - July 2014 (6 comments)

Yoiks! Fixed that one. Thanks for the heads up!

I probably should have shared this earlier but some time ago, when I searched for background on this very lyric, I came upon an explanation from Okoi from last year (which he shared in a YouTube comments thread):

‘I am most certainly not promoting nazi symbolism. The relevance of the “wolf’s hook” or “crooked cross” is that of the wayward spirit. One manipulated and seduced into treading one path, which in the context of this song leads to self destruction, through the enthronement of war.’

You’re free to make of those lyrics what you will, but compared to “Angel Of Death” — maybe the most famous and popular metal song of all time — they seem fairly benign to me:

“Auschwitz, the meaning of pain/ The way that I want you to die/ Slow death, immense decay/ Showers that cleanse you of your life…”

Brandon, I appreciate this thoughtful response, and will offer only one rebuttal: I think that some conversation similar to this one would have emerged on ANY music site — metal-specific or otherwise — that published this interview. I’m happy to have it on Stereogum because we’ve been enthusiastically covering Bölzer since first hearing them (click on any of the links in the story above for evidence of that).

I got a chance to spend some time with both members of Bölzer at Maryland Deathfest, and in that brief meeting, I was sincerely impressed by their humility, their kindness, and their seriousness, all of which were displayed in both word and deed. I’m not sure they knew what Stereogum was, but they seemed flattered to learn of our coverage of their music.

Beyond being a fan of Bölzer, I’m a pretty avid and active tattoo enthusiast (the 2010 feature I wrote about great American tattoo artist Mike Rubendall remains one of my proudest achievements). Tattoos are such an unusually specific and personal form of self-expression that even the simplest ones totally defy easy interpretation. Okoi is from New Zealand, a place where tattoos have especially unique and potent cultural and spiritual significance. I’m personally viscerally repulsed by sunwheels and swastikas — even the word “swastika” makes me queasy. When I first saw Okoi’s tattoos, I doubled back, scouring both his lyrics and his old interviews, and found absolutely zero evidence of bigotry in either. If that weren’t the case, I would have stopped covering Bölzer altogether.

When Kim offered to me this interview, I accepted it knowing that particular exchange would lead to unease and revulsion, but eager to have Okoi’s explanations on the record. I can’t fault anyone for being unsatisfied with those explanations, but I’m reluctant to assume the worst about an artist, especially one who so openly addressed his choices.

There are some artists in metal who have espoused fascist and separatist ideologies — Burzum is the most prominent example I can think of. There are others who blatantly embrace and flaunt Nazi imagery — Slayer have made a mint selling that repugnant shit to teenagers. Okoi Jones has tattoos that I would consider ill-advised at best, but which are meaningful to him, and which he is open to discussing without reservation. I’m not surprised that those tattoos raise suspicions, but in this case, to me, those suspicions are defused by the substance of that discussion.

 +1Posted on Jul 23rd | re: Ryan Adams Announces Hardcore 10-Song 7" 1984 (4 comments)

Is that right? I remember reading about him doing a song called “1974″ with Alanis back in the Gold days, and I guess I just assumed the track that appeared on Rock N Roll was that song. Thanks for the heads up! Good eye!

 +3Posted on Jul 22nd | re: Album Of The Week: Courtship Ritual Pith (20 comments)

I wrote a bunch about it here. Definitely one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, if not the best.

 +3Posted on Jul 16th | re: Hear A Bit Of Weezer's "Da Vinci" (7 comments)

My fault! Thanks for the heads up guys. I have erased this mistake from the annals of history.

 +2Posted on Jul 10th | re: Judas Priest Albums From Worst To Best (30 comments)

This is a Top 10 list I’d like to see!

 +22Posted on Jul 9th | re: Interpol - "All The Rage Back Home" Video (62 comments)

It’s funny you say that! There was absolutely zero condescension intended, although I worried maybe I came off a little too pithy. To be clear, I both was and am a fan of the albums you mentioned, and I actually like this song a lot, but I couldn’t find much to say about it that was more insightful than, “It sounds like Interpol.” I mean that as a compliment! This is a good song, and if the rest of the album is this good, El Pintor will probably be the third best Interpol album. But that’s basically definitely its ceiling, right? Honestly, this song doesn’t suggest to me that the band’s best days are ahead of them. Also, FWIW, I loved “The Heinrich Maneuver” when that song came out, and I couldn’t wait for Our Love To Admire, and that album was a total letdown, so I’m inclined to approach this one with cautious optimism. But I am optimistic, and I’d be much happier if Interpol were to release a great album that makes my pithiness here look shortsighted than a mediocre (or bad) album that makes my pithiness look prescient.

It will be nothing less than raditude!

(That’s Babymetal with Jeff Walker from Carcass btw.)