Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Northampton State Hospital

I was totally fascinated with Northampton State Hospital watching a wild documentary on this famous mental institution in a psychology class freshman year. Epitomized the word "asylum" that you see in B-horror movies and Stephen King novels. Decaying, dark, empty places. Many men's trash, one man's treasure. Brooklyn-based photographer Tom Kirsch has featured a collection on Northampton at his site for Abandon Photography and Urban Exploration. Captures the spooky, tortured, but powerful aura of the now-demolished hospital. Check out all of Mr. Motts work, does some cool shit with these industrial graves.

Northampton Collection

Opacity: Abandon Photography and Urban Exploration
(Tom Kirsch's website)


Maylene & The Sons of Disaster brings out the good ole' Southern boy in me. Liquored-up, gravely yelps over music that thunders like a pack of charging bobcats through the Appalachians (no one-man wolfpacks here). With just released III, these Alabama God-fearing boys wrap up that signature sound in with some fiddle and harmonicas, deep-fry into another fresh batch of ass-kicking tunes. Continues where II left off, following the concept of Ma Baker and her boys, known as the Sons of Disaster (seriously check that out). Going to re-play this and pretend I'm rolling through the Delta wrapped in a Confederate flag (fuckin' racists)...shit happens, but so does fuckin rock & roll...yeeeee hawww.

Maylene & The Sons of Disaster MySpace

Step Up (Im On It) - Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster

Listen Close - Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster

Oh Lonely Grave - Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Gotta say this may quickly become my favorite The Mars Volta album since their debut, De-Loused in the Comatorium. (which is definitely in my Top 5 records of all time) The musicianship of the band's members have always roamed the forefront of each song, but vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala really makes Octahedron his. Cedric demonstrates his versatility, whether crooning in the Zeppelin-esque power ballad "Since We've Been Wrong", wailing spookily in the schizophrenic "Halos of Nembutal", or swirling in the falsetto on the dreamy "Let Twilight Be My Guide" Don't worry about the instrumentation: the psychedelic guitar styling courtesy Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Latin percussion are still top notch. You could say the group scaled back their experimentation on this disc, but I would argue that's not a bad thing. With a more focused pace, the record just feels more complete. Go check this out and see why when the next generation looks back on the galaxy of our music library, these dudes will be one of the brightest shining stars. What'd Soulja Boy tell you about that?

The Mars Volta MySpace

Since We've Been Wrong

"Do you remember how you wore that dress?"

As If Everything Were Held In Place

Shouts to Tets for throwing this band my way. I get a lot of people's slamming of music with screaming, but I still think it has the potential to be a completely unique sound scape if done right. The Georgia boys in Of Machines fall under this category. Well-placed electronics, spacey guitar lines, thundering backbone with heavy double bass fills. Dual vocals with solid growls and a clean vocalist who found Sasoin fan's wet dream sound, floating ethereally between Cove Reber and Anthony Green. For fans of Circa Survive, Underoath's They're Only Chasing Safety should definitely check it out.

Of Machines MySpace

Reset, Reflect - Of Machines

It Must Belong Somewhere - Of Machines

"This is wearing thin..."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Sad to see no one really gives a shit about Jim Carrey anymore. The Ace Venturas, Liar, Liar, and The Mask will always be classic. Say he can't do serious? The Truman show (hands down). Now I think the not-quite-comedy/not-quite-drama (believe they call that "quirky") Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is his best showing. Thought-prevoking, abstract, and straight-up cerebral. The scenes where Joel (an overburdened and mousy Jim Carrey) is getting his memories of Clementine (aka Tangerine aka a blue-haired Kate Winslet aka Dr. Aquafresh) erased are well-planned to maximize the confusion, loss, and love in Joel's head. Plus shouts to Anthony Green and the boys in Circa Survive, whose Eternal Sunshine-inspired album Juturna fucking rocks. Get at both..cuz if I could die right now...

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot! / The world forgetting, by the world forgot / Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! / Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sounds of Salvation

Always was a big fan of cult pop-punk group Northstar and I remember the blow it was when they broke up. Fortunately singer/guitarist Nick Torres and guitarist Tyler Odom went out to form Cassino. With them came Odom's smooth guitar lines and Torres other-worldly cooing and wailing. Torres' heavily-veiled abstract lyrics also followed the duo onto their debut disc, Sounds of Salvation.

What separates this record from the dubbing of Northstar 2.0 is the laid back folksy vibe. Equal parts jangly folk, somber blues, and intimate acoustic acts, the boys (along with a couple closes friends on other instruments) sway and swoon in the calming breeze of the music created. You can visually see Torres and Odom sitting next to the man sitting against the cracked tiles and notched bricks telling him stories of love, sunshine, and companionship. Ain't it all ya need?

Cassino on Myspace

Lolita - Cassino

The Gin War - Cassino

"I wish I had you in my lungs, I'd blow you out and block the sun..."