Michael Nelson

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New Supreme Shirt Is A Takeoff On ’90s Chant Album

The very first Supreme shop opened its doors on Manhattan's Lafayette Street, just south of Houston, in April 1994. Coincidentally (???), only weeks earlier, on…
Michael Nelson | August 19, 2019 - 12:18 pm

Tiny Moving Parts – “Medicine”

Tiny Moving Parts' last album, Swell, was awarded a spot on Stereogum's 2018 midyear best albums list. I wrote about it there, and I'm gonna…
Michael Nelson | June 25, 2019 - 2:43 pm

Album Of The Week

Album Of The Week: Baroness Gold & Grey

Four months from now -- four months from this Thursday, to be specific -- Baroness' Blue Record will turn 10. I don't know if that's…
Michael Nelson | June 11, 2019 - 3:26 pm


Tennis System – “Shelf Life”

Ever since My Bloody Valentine dropped m b v in winter 2013, heavy-style shoegaze has enjoyed a nice little moment. Maybe more than a moment,…
Michael Nelson | June 11, 2019 - 12:12 pm


Redd Kross – “Beyond The Door”

Last year, I spent a whole bunch of time (and money!) buying up back issues of Metal Maniacs: a music magazine that was around, in…
Michael Nelson | May 30, 2019 - 11:34 am

Russian Circles – “Arluck”

I dunno if this is coincidence or design, shade or tribute, expertly executed synergy or pure random chance, but rather amazingly, at roughly the same…
Michael Nelson | May 21, 2019 - 10:29 am

Julian Casablancas Explains Why Streaming Services Are A Total Ripoff

Three things about Julian Casablancas: The man never writes shitty songs, he never rocks bad fits, and he never gives bad interviews. These are incontrovertible…
Michael Nelson | April 10, 2019 - 12:51 pm

Vampire Weekend – “This Life” & “Unbearably White”

About a month before the May 2013 release of Vampire Weekend's last album, Modern Vampires Of The City, the NBC sitcom Parks And Recreation aired…
Michael Nelson | April 4, 2019 - 8:01 am

Holy Fawn – “Dark Stone” Video

Holy Fawn's Death Spells sorta arrived from out of nowhere last year, like a strong wind or sensation of deja vu, and once it appeared,…
Michael Nelson | March 28, 2019 - 12:35 pm

Album Of The Week

Album Of The Week: Brutus Nest

The "about" line you'll find on Brutus' social channels serves as an apt manifestation of the Belgian post-metal band's art: minimalist, mysterious, and menacing. It…
Michael Nelson | March 26, 2019 - 1:29 pm

Murg – “Renhet”

Black metal has been atomized beyond the point of recognition, perhaps even beyond the possibility of recognition. Perhaps it has always been this way. Perhaps,…
Michael Nelson | March 1, 2019 - 11:51 am

Brutus – “Cemetery” Video

Next month, the Belgian post-metal trio Brutus will release their sophomore LP, Nest. It is a masterpiece. It is obviously a masterpiece. Even if you've…
Michael Nelson | February 27, 2019 - 12:18 pm

Brutus – “War” Video

Drummers are often the most dynamic visual component of any given rock band, but they're almost never the focal point. This is the disappointing evolutionary…
Michael Nelson | January 23, 2019 - 12:28 pm


Respire – “Go Mad And Mark” (Envy Cover)

In early November, the Japanese post-hardcore band Envy released a two-song digital single titled Alnair In August. I wrote about the record when it came…
Michael Nelson | December 18, 2018 - 12:24 pm


Watch Rolo Tomassi Play A Towering “Contretemps” At Their Biggest-Ever Show

Rolo Tomassi closed out 2018 with a string of big moments. They did their second-ever US tour -- comprising 12 dates on the West Coast…
Michael Nelson | December 10, 2018 - 12:00 pm

Comments from Michael Nelson

There's an old Bill Graham concert poster that reads: "The Grateful Dead: They're not the best at what they do, they're the only ones who do what they do." I think that's maybe the perfect summation of the Dead. On one hand, they are clearly the best rock band of all time; on the other hand, the things that most obviously elevate them above the field also remove them from the field and leave them on an entirely different planet. They can't be the best rock band of all time if you can't compare them to any other rock bands, right? And for me, Hunter was/is the single most significant factor separating the Dead from the rest of the world. He was an actual poet, in the lineage of poets, with the language of poets, and his words transcended even poetry when given life by Jerry. Hunter's only real peers were Dylan and Joni Mitchell, but Hunter's stuff has always hit me way harder and left me with way more. He's my favorite lyricist ever, and it's not close. Hunter's contributions made even the Dead's weakest material essential and their strongest material infinite, incomparable, divine. Wherever Hunter is now, Jerry is there, too, and they're once again a single entity. The epitaph on Pig Pen's headstone should absolutely be carved into Hunter's, too: He "was and is now forever one of the Grateful Dead."
+7 |
September 25, 2019 on Grateful Dead Lyricist Robert Hunter Dead At 78
Aw, thanks doodz. I didn't know Ryan was gonna write this super-nice note on Friday, and if I had known, I wouldn't have waited till fucking SUNDAY to respond. Anywho, I'm truly, TRULY humbled by y'all's kind words, not just here but in every damn story I ever wrote for this site. Stereogum is the best, and Stereogum readers are the best, and that is 100% a causal relationship. I'm so fucking proud to be a part of it. As a token of my eternal love and appreciation, please enjoy Kevin Baekkel's new video part: some of the gnarliest skating I have seen in a long while, soundtracked by Darkthrone's "Fucked Up And Ready To Die." ❤ https://youtu.be/tkS4wBONPZo
+13 |
September 22, 2019 on The 5 Best Songs Of The Week
I missed it (I was outta town the weekend they did TWO shows at a venue that's walking distance from my house) and I second this: DO NOT MISS IT. I keep seeing video clips in my Facebook feed or wherever and it makes me want to fucking cry. Objectively and empirically the best live show/experience on Earth.
+1 |
August 30, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2019
I mean, if you compare their catalogs side by side, it's not close, Kreator wipes the floor with Destruction. But "Mad Butcher" is a fucking GREAT song.
+1 |
August 30, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2019
You know, this is kinda important, I forgot to mention Kreator, who are one of my ALL-FUCKING-TIME favorites since Extreme Aggression, and that's a pretty glaring omission here. There is SO MUCH Kreator in ATG, maybe more than any other influence tbh. So anyway, when I first heard Slaughter Of The Soul, I felt like I was listening to this amazing combination of Kreator, Entombed, and Maiden, and it blew my mind, I felt like they had unlocked the secret formula for perfect music (fucking Swedes always do this). It just sounded like magic to me. And it still does!
+2 |
August 30, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2019
You're not alone, it's just my ear, my taste profile, based on the stuff I grew up with. Like I said, Iron Maiden are my favorite band ever, and Entombed were probably my favorite death metal when I discovered that stuff ('89-'90), and At The Gates were/are just like the best parts of Iron Maiden x the best parts of Entombed. And Counterparts are sorta the best parts of At The Gates x the best parts of Converge. Which, for me, fucking rules! It's not to everybody's taste, but because of my taste, it just does exactly what I want this music to do.
+2 |
August 30, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2019
The Black Market crew doesn't fuck with metalcore, but readers of this column might dig Counterparts, who just put out a new song on Monday (I woulda wrote about it but Tom beat me to it and of course did an awesome job). The album is called Nothing Left To Love, which I had to check to make sure wasn't already a Converge title (All We Love We Leave Behind ... Unloved And Weeded Out ... nope, we're clear) and the song is called "Wings Of Nightmares," which is inexplicably not already an At The Gates title ("Palace Of Lepers," "Daggers Of Black Haze," “Labyrinth Of Tombs” …) and the new Counterparts cover art is basically a pastiche of several ATG and Converge covers (see below). And you know what? The song is exactly all that too, i.e., it’s basically perfect music, or at least MY perfect music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoWDxUVIHPU https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1191535212_10.jpg https://media.pitchfork.com/photos/5929ab4b5e6ef9596932171e/1:1/w_600/c887cabc.png https://static.stereogum.com/uploads/2018/05/At-The-Gates-To-Drink-From-The-Night-Itself-1526392875-640x640.jpg https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3802313488_10.jpg https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2948144636_10.jpg
+5 |
August 30, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2019
I just assumed he was on the boat in the first place because of some Moby Dick shit. It never once occurred to me that he was just a seafaring explorer-type! Look, this is probably sacrilege, but it's ... not my favorite Maiden song (and Maiden are my favorite band!) so I probably didn't think as much about the lyrics as I should have before shaming Ian (who loves Maiden as much as I do).
+1 |
August 30, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2019
I've never once heard of it, and I'm not even going to search it, and I will still say with confidence this is 100% a thing.
+7 |
August 30, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2019
Huh, I always assumed "mariner" meant (to some degree) "fisherman." Seems I've been misusing the word pretty much my whole entire life and never totally understood the song OR the poem OR the baseball team. Well, learn something new every day! Sorry 'bout that Ian!
+3 |
August 30, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2019
Told Ian in advance that I was gonna troll (trawl haha?) him with these jpegs, and I do so with the utmost degree of respect and love. But THERE ARE A FEW METAL SONGS ABOUT FISHING IAN. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ee/00/ce/ee00ce5f8aeb68dc3effa2281d55a8d9.jpg https://proassets.monopile.cloud/31184/181496c55d7a57b3de69fcbc765a1a56_l.jpg https://pics.me.me/when-i-grow-up-i-want-to-be-one-of-48239508.png
+8 |
August 30, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2019
In 1969 — the same year in which Once Upon A Time was set — the real-life Grateful Dead launched their truly ridiculous "Pigpen Lookalike Contest" promotion. And if Rick Dalton (in Tanner costume, on set or in his trailer, between takes) had existed in our real-life universe in 1969, he would have won that shit hands down. (There were a few points there that I wondered if Leo was actually using Pigpen as his model for that version of Rick Dalton, in fact.) https://lwlies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-leonardo-dicaprio.jpg https://kirkville.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/19690110_0336.jpg https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BN2M2ZjYzZjct[email protected]._V1_.jpg https://www.rollingstone.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/rs-118311-b541df1dc393e2a893f96fc96f577faf0b735f19.jpg https://nofilmschool.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_wide/public/leonardo-dicaprio-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-teaser-trailer-780x438.jpg https://bestclassicbands.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Ron-Pigpen-McKernan.jpg https://media.port.hu/images/001/157/090.png https://www.dead.net/sites/g/files/g2000007851/files/dead_site_files/images/19680718_0286.jpg
+13 |
August 22, 2019 on The Untold Story Of The Creepy Charles Manson Song In Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
You guys are fucking killing me, I wanna go watch it again RIGHT NOW.
+11 |
August 22, 2019 on The Untold Story Of The Creepy Charles Manson Song In Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Man, I watched it straight through like I was watching the goddamn moon landing live, I didn't want to even blink because I didn't want to miss a fraction of a second of what I was watching, and coulda watched it again, straight through, as soon as the credits were done rolling. I think I'm in the minority, but I loved it so much and I ALSO have to see it again, albeit for entirely different reasons than yours.
+26 |
August 22, 2019 on The Untold Story Of The Creepy Charles Manson Song In Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
I love and care about clothing way more than I should, but tbh these days I don't really follow much "streetwear" stuff besides Supreme -- and I only follow Supreme because I'm still into skateboarding, and they're still a skate brand first and foremost, and there's something kinda hilarious/magical about this little NYC dirtbag skate shop becoming a high-fashion powerhouse. It all seems like an absurd prank that accidentally became an actual thing and they're just riding it for as long as it keeps going. But they also feel like the last holdout from the grimy, gnarly NYC where I came up, and it makes me happy to see them reaching these astronomical heights while making virtually no compromises to their aesthetic or integrity. Either way, I don't think I truly qualify as a hypebeast (or a metalhead, for that matter), but if I do, then I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one!
+4 |
August 19, 2019 on New Supreme Shirt Is A Takeoff On ’90s Chant Album
NOPE. Sincerest apologies to all for that one. Ian wrote one of the most beautiful and moving stories I've ever had the good fortune to edit, and what did I do with it? Dog paws art. Crikey.
+32 |
August 16, 2019 on Hospice Turns 10
Coincidentally (and, in fact, totally unrelated to the timing of this article), tonight is the 9th annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up At The Movies, and I have to imagine this otherwise-niche notice will be directly relevant to the interests of every single reader who's actually seeing this comment. The details:
This can’t-miss event - the first to go global - features the previously unreleased complete June 17, 1991 concert from Giants Stadium. Widely considered one of the greatest shows of the band's final decade of performing, 6/17/91 also sounds unlike any Dead show you've ever heard as it was one of only two recorded on 48-track. Mixed by Jeffrey Norman in glorious surround sound with video from the multi-camera live edit, this will be the first time the Bruce Hornsby and Vince Welnick line-up has ever appeared on the big screen.
Says Rolling Stone:
Hornsby’s animated piano in particular harked back to the work of the late Keith Godchaux in the Seventies but also egged the band on into jazzier, more experimental terrain ... That’s particularly true during the [6/17/91] show-opening “Eyes of the World,” the luminous Wake of the Flood track that has always been a showcase for the band’s various keyboardists ... Hornsby and Welnick newly enliven the song, especially when they and Garcia trade solos midway through its 15 minutes. As Garcia told Rolling Stone that year, discussing Hornsby, “Well, he’s certainly been pushing me. He’s got great ears. And I also have a hard time losing him. I try, ‘Hey, Bruce, follow this.’ But he’s there all the time. He also has a good sense of when not to play. And he’s got a great rhythmic feeling.”
+3 |
August 1, 2019 on We’ve Got A File On You: Bruce Hornsby
Very difficult to find a graphic appropriate for this month's TBM subject. I'm pretty happy with the one I ultimately picked, but it was not an easy or clear choice between that one and this one: https://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/shared/npr/styles/x_large/nprshared/201805/560100055.jpg
+15 |
July 31, 2019 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – July 2019
I for one am QUITE GLAD that it isn't a fireable offense! And I'm also quite glad you DID mention Marnie Stern, because she is a grade-A SHREDDA who taps like a motherfucker. Zero argument, total agreement. Incidentally my line in the last graf above — "If you love the sound of guitars like I do" — was in fact an intentional, oblique reference/response to a different Fugazi song conveying a contrary sentiment toward the instrument.
+4 |
June 26, 2019 on Tiny Moving Parts – “Medicine”