Michael Nelson

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Drug Church – “Unlicensed Hall Monitor” Video

Every time I hear the name Drug Church, I can't help but associate it with J Church: an incredible Bay Area punk band that came…
Michael Nelson | October 17, 2018 - 11:19 am

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Stream Slow Crush’s New Album Aurora

Over the last few years, I've written at length about heavy bands transitioning away, slightly, from what's typically defined as "heavy music" and toward something…
Michael Nelson | September 24, 2018 - 11:09 am

Sounding Board

The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.

Let's start now. Or as close to now as can be defined in this conversation, between the time and place I am in as I…
Michael Nelson | September 21, 2018 - 2:08 pm

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Andrew W.K. – “You’re Not Alone” Video

In March, Andrew W.K. released his new album, You’re Not Alone, and today, he releases a video for the album’s title track. That is why…
Michael Nelson | September 4, 2018 - 12:11 pm

Premiere

Counterparts – “Selfishly I Sink”

You don't need to be a skate nerd to know Nyjah Huston, but if you don't know Nyjah Huston, it's probably pretty safe to assume…
Michael Nelson | August 23, 2018 - 11:15 am

Dödsrit – “Aura”

Twenty years from now, purveyors of heavy music will talk about Sweden's Christoffer Öster in tones currently reserved for folks like Chuck Schuldiner and Quorthon.
Michael Nelson | August 17, 2018 - 2:11 pm

Drug Church – “Avoidarama” Video

You guys know the Hold Steady song "Stay Positive"? I love that song so much, and there's this one verse that always gets me so…
Michael Nelson | August 3, 2018 - 1:15 pm

Counterparts – “Monument” Video

I'm back in the office now, but I'd been in Cape Cod for the last six days prior to this one, and during that time…
Michael Nelson | July 25, 2018 - 1:31 pm

Code Orange – “The Hunt” (Feat. Corey Taylor) & “3 Knives”

Last year, the skull-smashing Pittsburgh-based hardcore-sludge unit Code Orange leveled up with their third LP, Forever. It was also the band's first release on Roadrunner,…
Michael Nelson | June 21, 2018 - 11:51 am

Premiere

Stream Modern Rituals The Light That Leaks In

The little British indie Holy Roar Records is on a pretty incredible roll right now. Already this year, the label gave us Rolo Tomassi's Time
Michael Nelson | June 19, 2018 - 10:45 am

Thou – “The Changeling Prince”

The Louisiana blackened-sludge doom-droners Thou are flooding the market in 2018, making their already-labyrinthine canon harder to follow than the motherfucking Marvel Universe. They opened…
Michael Nelson | May 31, 2018 - 10:53 am

The Armed – “Nowhere To Be Found” Video

Hola, amigos. I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I am seriously in the weeds over here. What's going…
Michael Nelson | May 24, 2018 - 12:08 pm

Hear A Hot Minute Of New Deafheaven Song “Near”

Deafheaven's new album, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, drops in mid-July, and the first single, "Honeycomb," came out in late April. I dunno when single #2…
Michael Nelson | May 9, 2018 - 12:42 pm

At The Gates – “Daggers Of The Black Haze”

We're three weeks out from the release of At The Gates' To Drink From The Night Itself. It's the Gothenburg death metal band's sixth LP…
Michael Nelson | April 27, 2018 - 12:59 pm

Yob – “The Screen” Video

The first Noble Truth of Buddhism is frequently translated into English as, "Life is suffering." The highest level that can be achieved in Buddhist practice…
Michael Nelson | April 17, 2018 - 1:06 pm

Comments from Michael Nelson

Listen to "All The Kids Are Right" if ya don't know it. It's fucking ridiculous. We all always talk about bands that deserve to be bigger or whatever, but nobody ever provides evidence as compelling as that goddamn song. Also their cover of "Wolf Like Me" sounds like the Misfits circa Walk Among Us and it kinda somehow makes the TVOTR original sound like a cover of a circa-'82 Misfits song. NB: I wholeheartedly adore both the Misfits and "Wolf Like Me," so this is the highest praise I can offer for just about anything in the world.
+3 |
October 3, 2018 on Local H On Music-Biz Bullshit, Toxic Nostalgia, And 20 Years Of Pack Up The Cats
I actually felt negligent publishing the story without tossing in my (100% unsolicited) opinion on Local H. I love 'em! And, as I was just telling Ian, this interview made me love 'em even more. So I parasitically grafted onto his terrific work, reasonably certain my obscure editor's note at the end of a 4.5k-word interview that is (mostly) about a 20-year-old album will finally elevate Local H to their long-deserved and criminally denied rightful status as career superstars and multi-millionaires.
+12 |
October 3, 2018 on Local H On Music-Biz Bullshit, Toxic Nostalgia, And 20 Years Of Pack Up The Cats
I'm pretty apathetic about Slash, but Axl stands alongside the gods as far as I'm concerned. This one doesn't quite go 50 pages but I still think it's got some worthwhile stuff, and I promise to return to the subject at greater length ASAP: https://www.stereogum.com/1844250/heres-why-id-hate-a-guns-n-roses-reunion/franchises/sounding-board/
+1 |
September 26, 2018 on The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.
There was one night this past January or February I couldn't sleep, like 3AM, and I 100% randomly decided to listen to this podcast called "The Truth," which tries to blend short fiction and radio drama. (It didn't click with me, fwiw, hence "tries.") Totally unfamiliar with the entire endeavor, I decided to start with a story called "You're Not Alone," because it was the title of the new AWK album. At that point, I think the single "Music Is Worth Living For" had JUST been released. If you know the AWK backstory (esp. the parts where he appears to be suffering from dissociative identity disorder vis-a-vis Steev Mike) and you know the lyrical message of "Music Is Worth Living For" and you consider that the dude's album is called You're Not Alone and you hear THIS in the middle of the goddamn night ... let me tell you, it didn't help me get to sleep. http://www.thetruthpodcast.com/story/2013/5/9/youre-not-alone
+2 |
September 25, 2018 on The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.
I didn't even get into a lyrical analysis of the new album, but if you go into it looking for "clues," you'll start believing YOU are Andrew W.K. before long. E.g.:
I’m in the back of your mind I’m in the front of your head I’m in the meaning behind I’m in the gold and the lead...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N81YTs_7NNQ
+3 |
September 25, 2018 on The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.
@grioir: This is fucking spectacular, man. I hope AWK sees it. I think he'd be flattered and inspired. I'll do my best to address your questions, although I'm afraid I don't have much to offer... 1. AWK came up in the Michigan noise scene and collabed with Wolf Eyes prior to coining the AWK name (Wolf Eyes often get tied into the conspiracy theories, willingly or otherwise). He's got deep roots in avant-garde music, so I'd say the artists you named above are a reflection of that side of his musical profile. Incidentally, the American experimental noise scene has a long history of high-concept total-immersion situationist mind-fuckery. (I had totally forgotten about this till this very moment, but five years ago I wrote an article for Stereogum comparing Death Grips to Marina Abramovic: https://www.stereogum.com/1428802/deconstructing-death-grips-no-show-live-show-and-what-we-expect-from-concerts/franchises/deconstructing/) 2. Never heard of this but needless to say, I'm intrigued... 3. So, for example, I read a lot of Mahayana Buddhist literature (hence the David Loy/Nagarjuna stuff above), and I remember at one point thinking AWK was OBVIOUSLY drawing from that particular philosophical well, because there were times he was almost (to my ear) quoting it directly. If you're familiar with the Heart Sutra, you'll probably hear it too. But one day I was reading an interview with AWK where he said something to the effect of, "A lot of people assume I read a lot of Buddhist stuff, but the truth is, I'm really not well versed in it. But I dig those types of exchanges, because they always point me in the direction of some great books that I wouldn't otherwise know." My point is, I have no idea if he's familiar with the stuff you're hearing in his work. I will say (as far as I know) he's a very literate dude whose tastes run toward some truly challenging, abstract ideas. If he does read your comment and he's not familiar with the authors you've mentioned, maybe he'll seek them out. And if it plays out like that, the world will have you to thank for whatever he produces as a result... Great stuff, man. Thanks so much for sharing!
+2 |
September 25, 2018 on The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.
Front to back it's probably not as strong as the first record or the Totem Skin stuff but that's a high bar, man. If I had one "complaint," it would be that there's not much variety between the songs, which is more noticeable when you're giving us four songs that run like 15 minutes apiece. But that's my only criticism, and it's more of a macro view. The individual songs themselves are basically just an endless succession of highlights. I feel like he's probably still one album away from a legit AOTY contender, but if you can just bask in the sounds as you're hearing them, it's hard to name too many bands that are better.
+10 |
September 25, 2018 on Album Of The Week: Gouge Away Burnt Sugar
This is fucking incredible RJ. You put into words a lot of stuff that was flickering on the periphery of my own awareness, and introduced a few very compelljng ideas that had never occurred to me on any level. I'd fully co-sign the great majority of what you've written above, and I think you've added a lot to the conversation, both here and wherever it might occur in the future. Thank you!
+3 |
September 25, 2018 on The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.
Comment #56: This one is for @RaptorJesus, in case he ever makes his way to this thread. From http://awilkeskrier.homestead.com/: "It's believed that "Andrew W.K." or the organization ANDREW W.K. has had some sort of involvement with Nicole Kidman [see Figure 11]. Images of Nicole Kidman were found on several ANDREW W.K. related websites [more later] and her name appeared in code in several of the coded messages appearing on other various websites. One website in particular spelled out a Beverly Hills address which corresponded to the address of "CAA - Creative Artists Agency". CAA is the largest agency for Hollywood actors and entertainers. CAA, which represents, among others, Tom Cruise [see below], Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, has by far the best actors' list. You'll remember that CAA is also listed as the agency which represents "Andrew Wilkes-Krier" as an actor." FYI: Per the simplest form of the AWK code, "CAA" would translate into (3)(1)(1). Or: 311. Just sayin... https://www.stereogum.com/1941116/nick-hexum-addresses-311-truther-rumors-talks-new-album/franchises/interview/
+3 |
September 24, 2018 on The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.
The truth will make you sad! But if it helps, here's more, from the old guiarist in AWK's band and the moderator of his website. I didn't really wanna add weight to a piece that was already a little wordy, but I could have gone longer on all this. Honestly, I just wanted to tell the story as best I could, in a way that tried to capture the feeling of FOLLOWING the story as I did, because I feel it's a really unusual and amazing thing and it deserves to be treated that way. Also, nobody has ever collected or connected this stuff - some of it is almost impossible to find even if you know what you're looking for - and I felt like somebody should at least TRY before it all disappears. https://static.stereogum.com/uploads/2018/09/20180905_160451-1537580952.jpg
+6 |
September 21, 2018 on The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.
As you know, I would love nothing more than to spend 11 hours talking about this subject, but I am unable to do so at the moment, I'm afraid. That said, I hoped the Crandall stuff would suffice in this regard, e.g: Gary Helsinger (former music publisher at Universal Music Publishing Group): ... everybody knows it's made up! It doesn’t blow any cover, does it? Sorry to disappoint, my man. We shall return to this topic, though, I have no doubt!
+8 |
September 21, 2018 on The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.
Is it 20k? I couldn't bring myself to do a word count. At some point during the process, I worried that it might wind up longer than the actual Crying Of Lot 49. Pretty relieved to find out that it didn't get that out of hand.
+12 |
September 21, 2018 on The Crying Of Lot 55: The Unsolved Mysteries And Alternate Realities Of Andrew W.K.
You should have been here for the referendum on the "correct" title of "Paint It Black" when Tom wrote about it for No. 1s last week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4irXQhgMqg
+6 |
September 12, 2018 on Death Magnetic Turns 10
EVERYBODY ACCIDENTALLY ADDS AN APOSTROPHE TO "DYERS EVE"!!
+12 |
September 12, 2018 on Death Magnetic Turns 10
EVERYBODY MIXES UP "DYER'S EVE" AND "TO LIVE IS TO DIE"!! That said, I appreciate your careful eye and have amended the text to reflect this. Thanks!
+13 |
September 12, 2018 on Death Magnetic Turns 10
Aaron legitimately loves that Deicide album and has been talking it up for a month. It's absolutely inexplicable to me but I'm pretty sure the stuff I dig is absolutely inexplicable to him. So it goes!
+8 |
August 31, 2018 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2018
Thanks man! I dunno about Ulysses, but I've got both a poor man's Crying Of Lot 49 and an ersatz Moneyball in various stages of completion. They'll be published here soon enough unless I die trying to finish them. Could go either way. Absolutely let me know about yr syllabus, I'm sure you've got it locked down real well already, but if I can offer any suggestions, I'd be honored to do so. I'm honored to be asked!
+9 |
August 31, 2018 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2018
If it's not in next month's column I'm firing all these motherfuckers (unless it's been deemed categorically ineligible because it's "not metal enough," in which case I'm firing all these motherfuckers).
+18 |
August 31, 2018 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – August 2018
Yeah all the skate chat aside, the last two Counterparts albums are monsters. The EP is wall-to-wall heavier, but the albums are really where it's at. YNYA is a straight masterpiece. Tragedy is phenomenal. The band's lineup sorta changed in-between those two, and I think the current band has taken stuff in a more metal-qua-metal direction (which charges me up), but whoever is playing, Counterparts don't make bad music. Anybody who likes slams, riffs, blasts, solos, drums, hooks, skramz, etc, will fuck with this hard.
+2 |
August 24, 2018 on Counterparts – “Selfishly I Sink”
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