Nine Circles ov…Self Definition Through Music

self definition playlist

I may have said this before, but a large part of my life’s journey over the last 20 years has been analyzing what the media we consume says about us.  Each of us is obviously more than the sum of what they’ve read, watched, or listened to, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a hell of a lot of those films, books, and albums tied into the bundle of molecules that makes up who were are.  Whether it’s that record you heard at your first college party or the movie you remember watching over and over again with your father as a little kid, this seemingly disposable media is anything but…

Especially when you’re not in the most optimal mental or emotional state.  That’s when you turn to those things the resonate closest to you, that help you reinforce and re-align your identity with yourself.  For years I’ve kept an ever-expanding list of songs and albums under a playlist simply titled “Self Definition.”  It’s my lifeline for when the water gets too choppy, for when things seems to fall in on themselves in such a way you feel like you’re buried under a million things that won’t let you breathe, let you be heard.  And since the past few weeks have felt like to me, I wanted to take this edition of Nine Circles ov… to share some of those tracks that get me through the dark and remind me in a note or a chord or lyric of who I am.  Let’s dive in…   Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Akatharsia and Hell or High Watermelon

Receiving the Evcharist

Good evening and happy Friday once more to you all.  Tonight we travel to the Bay area of California for our ritual, with a beer from San Fransisco and an album from across the bridge in Oakland.  The Metal: Akatharsia’s No Generation Without Corruption.  The Booze: 21st Amendment Brewing Company’s Hell or High Watermelon.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…My Metal “Retreat”

beach-guitar

Man cannot live on metal alone.

“Blasphemy!” you may cry, but true…at least in this dude’s case.  The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of stress and activity as I turned another year older, paid another bill, worked another late night, blah blah blah.  It gets to a point sometimes when you just need to clear your head and take a little time for yourself.  Not to mention that after a while when you’re digesting promo after promo you run the danger of not giving the music the attention it warrants.  And you start to look for shortcuts.  “Well,” you tell yourself, “I heard the first four songs, I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to really change my mind about this thing.” Or worse, you start just leaning more and more on the materials in the press release: “Oh! A cross of Joan Baez and Incantation?  But with drone elements?  I’ll say a mix of Joni Mitchell and Malevolent Creation with, uh….fuck it, drone elements.”

You know what I’m taking about.  For me, it’s a matter of disconnecting in order to reconnect.  And there’s been plenty of music I’ve been discovering over the past few months that have helped me to reconnect with what it is I love about loud noises.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I want to share a few of the records that have been recharging the batteries and re-calibrating the heavy sensors.  Let’s dig in.   Continue reading

Second Circle: Pink Muscles and Ruin

Second Circle

In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.

If there’s a common theme to this edition of Second Circle beyond “Here are two albums that fell through the cracks” I’ll leave it you to figure it out.  On the one hand we have Pink Muscles, a noise/punk collective with a serious bent toward out there horror and angular riffing; on the other we have Ruin, a grimy old school death outfit whose names may be hidden but wear their influences on their sleeves.  So get your hip waders and your aluminum foil hats, folks.  Shit’s about to get weirdContinue reading

Album Review: Hive – “Parasitic Twin”

CT014_3000

Why do I love d-beat? D-beat is easy to like. Punk hardcore whatchamacallit? Call it Hive. Hive’s full-length album entitled Parasitic Twin takes your bare hand and stuffs it into a beehive. What a blast to listen to!

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