Thursday, November 20, 2008

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Dear Stephan & co.,

I am now convinced that Arion Salazar didn't leave Third Eye Blind due to drug problems so much as your tremendously shitty songwriting.

How could you go from the amazing, powerful pop songwriting of the self-titled to this abortion of an attempt at poignancy? Some fan took the liberty of making a video as watered-down and juvenile as the song's lyrics.

In case Squidlair readers didn't catch the eye-opening lyrical content, some industrious soul actually took time to endure the entire song and transcribe them here.

You're not real to me any longer, dudes. You're worse than non-dairy creamer. You're fucking Splenda.

Thanks to my buddy Quinn for the tip.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Squidlair Radio Playlist 11/18/08

Two cuts from two of the most killer Scandinavian progressive bands today, some oldschool Seattle thrash, a spoken word poem, and what the Smashing Pumpkins should have fucking played on their anniversary tour.

Opeth- Burden
Forced Entry- Never a Know But the No
K.O.M.PLEX- At Stardust
Smashing Pumpkins- Soma
Smashing Pumpkins- Geek U.S.A.
Smashing Pumpkins- Silverfuck
Smashing Pumpkins- Muzzle

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Triple Shot Weekend Review

This weekend's happenings were both awesome and highly relevant to the interests of the Squidlair.

I went cityside to Baltimore's Landmark Theater. Apparently these theaters are a chain, but I'd never have been able to tell. The place was well-kept and offered an open bar in addition to the usual assortment of overpriced candy and soda. What film was I there to see? Only the best and latest by Bruce Campbell-- My Name Is Bruce. Watch the trailer below if you're going to question the awesome.

And the film itself was indeed killer. Nothing like the B-movie actor's B-movie actor riffing on himself and his career. But to make matters even more sweet, Bruce gave a short Q&A afterwards to the audience in the theater (he's touring the country with the movie in tow).

Bruce: Okay, we're gonna play a little game here. I'm going to turn my back, and you get to yell your least-favorite movie I've been in.
Dude in Audience: ALIEN APOCALYPSE!
Bruce: Every damn show, there's some asshole who says that. Now look (digs through wallet)...if I gave you, say, three bucks...would that be enough to wash the memory away?
Dude: YES!
Bruce hands three bucks to security guy, who relays it to Dude. Crowd cheers.

It was amazing to see Bruce both onscreen kicking ass and making fun of himself and then in person making fun of the audience. Sure, he was a little dickish...but if you had to deal with the fanbase he does on an all-too-frequent basis, you would too.

The oft-mentioned Celebrated Summer Records is not only a fantastic record shop, but also an occasional DIY venue. Saturday, they hosted Japan's own Mind of Asian-- four adorable girls thrashing their way through lightspeed hardcore punk. Local sXe dudes Mindset opened-- good energy, but not so much my thing-- as did New York's folk-pop-punks Unwelcome Guests, who were played very tightly.
...did I mention Mind of Asian were adorable?

Mad props to Goucher's Max L and Miriam C for booking Baltimore's own Wham City to perform their spectacular adapted-for-the-stage rendition of Jurassic Park, They Should All Be Destroyed, at Goucher.

DIY lighting, MIDI sound, a bazillion costume changes, a long-haired white guy playing Samuel L. Jackson and simultaneous consumption of raw meat and eggs combine to form an earth-shatteringly fantastic and funny homebrew production. Not even a lame fire alarm and the subsequent (and brief) mass exodus of the audience and cast could stop the troupe from putting on an enthralling show. It was also their last, and dedicated to Michael Crichton.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Unextinguishably Awesome

Forced Entry were a sweet three-piece technical thrash band from Seattle. I always heard their name dropped by locals and on the occasional message board, and only just checked them out. These guys positively rip and in a multitude of different ways.

Their second and final full-length, 1992's As Above, So Below opens with "Bone Crackin' Fever." Song titles aren't exactly a strength of the band, but riffs sure are- and Brett Hull punctuates his with awesome pick scrapes and noise, years before any other bands would utilize such techniques. Often times, bassist's Tony Benjamins' raspy shouts are kinda reminiscent of Darren Travis of Sadus. "Macrocosm, Microcosm" has a funky sort of opening and has one of those late-80s disorienting thrash music videos shot both locally and in what seem to be the beautiful mountains of the Northwest. Lots of sweet pick squeal parts there too.

Then comes a real treat: "Never a Know But the No." This tune slows stuff down a bit, but possesses all the ominous steadiness that made tunes like Metallica's "One" and any oldschool Alice In Chains song so powerful. Coincidentally, Layne Stayley guests in the video. Cheggit.

Yet for a band that can write a deeper tune like that one, Forced Entry were never a band to deny their immature impulses. For proof, look no further than "We're D*cks" and "How We Spent Our Summer Vacation," two songs that, in this listener's humble opinion, offset an otherwise concrete slab of metallic goodness. The technicality here is nicely executed: Benjamins and Collin Mattson are a solid rhythm team, and Hull knows when to properly slow down, speed up, add odd noises into his riffs or tear off solos with equal parts melody and raggedness.

To top all the awesome off, this album is out of print! You know what that means-- download right here and give'er a listen! Reccomended to fans of anything thrash metal.

EDIT: My upload got taken down, so I'll patch this up shortly. Sit tight.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nicholas Cage's Wicker Man: A Thriller for the Ages

I challenge-- nay, defy you-- to find a more ridiculous, badly-paced and outright frighteningly bad film made in the past five years than this one.

Cinematic brilliance. Nothin' but.

Tales of Scorched Ears

As I've previously stated many a time, the Smashing Pumpkins are a big-time favorite here at the Squidlair. I was substantially disenchanted with the Zeitgeist record and felt no need to see them live; it wouldn't be the same, after all, and most of my favorite non-single tunes would be ignored.

For the most part, this was true...but then Billy announced the 20th Anniversary Tour and the inclusion of older songs and I was fucking pumped. So much so that I paid around seventy bucks to see them play DAR Constitution Hall in DC for the first of their two nights there. I'd heard rumors of a sketchy setlist, but crossed my fingers no end. Read on.

DAR was a beautfiul venue. Nice and rustic on the outside, elegant and technologically up-to-date on the inside.

The Pumpkins took the stage with Billy coming on last, wearing a lengthy skirt (not so odd) and a shiny gold sungoddess headpiece and chestplate. They sang some bullshit song, then went into "Tarantula," which actually came off okay live. Up next was "G.L.O.W.," a ditty penned for Guitar Hero III. It was so unremarkable I don't even remember it.

But then-- then they broke out "Siva" and I was momentarily appeased. One of my favorite guitar solos ever. Ripped. Back to crapsville from there with "Eye" from the Lost Highway OST.

And then, everything changed. I heard the live keyboardist playing a familiar melody and realized that Billy, Jimmy and the expendables they roll with were busting out "Mayonaise" and I couldn't believe it. Blew me away. I almost teared up.

The highlights end there, readers. Let's fasttrack this bullshit: an acoustic set in which the band convened on the front of the stage with a small piano, acoustic guitars and a streamlined drum kit for a mere three songs; obscure covers; a rushed-to-hell "Today" and "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" puncuated by the "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning, " which I hate so much I mixed up the "beginning"s and "end"s in the title while typing; an initial closing jam of Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" which, while a good tune, is not what you want to hear on an anniversary tour (especially when it spans 15 minutes); and finally, an encore of "We Only Come Out at Night"...on kazoos. The final final song was Jimmy and Billy mugging to the audience and mocking anyone's sellout suppositions by mentioning their practicing 48 different songs for two nights worth of music, instead of all "hits."

Oh, hey guys? 48 songs doesn't mean shit if most of it is rushed "greatest hits," anything from Adore or the aforementioned soundtracks, or just general subpar songs. Whether you sold out or not is irrelevant when you're fucking stuck up. Thanks for "Mayonaise," though.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I was poking around the blogosphere last night when I should've been writing a short paper on semiotics. My search terms? The Doughboys, of course! I ran across JimmyButtons' blog post about two live recordings he had up for download in September 2007. My jaw dropped. Bootlegs of the Canuck pop-punk greats DID exist! But then I frowned when I found the MediaFire links were dead.

So I quickly shot Jimmy an email and he, generous dude that he is, re-upped them immediately. Yay internets! Yay Doughboys! Yay portable recording devices!

Both are from 90-91ish-- so most likely the Happy Accidents lineup. I'm listening to the NYC boot right now and it's nothing short of fantastic! Check out the updated blog post with download links here and give Jimmy some hearty thanks! I know I am.

Squidlair Radio Playlist 11/4/08

Election Special- political songs! Yay Obama!

The Nils- Wicked Politician
Rage Against the Machine- Take the Power Back
Public Enemy- Fear of a Black Planet
Corrosion of Conformity- It Is That Way
Slayer- Mandatory Suicide
Megadeth- Tornado of Souls
Neil Young- Southern Man
Refused- Liberation Frequency
Soundgarden- Into the Void (originally recorded by Black Sabbath)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Squidlair Radio Playlist 10/28/08- Halloween/Spooky Music Special

Tried to mix it up a bit, but ended up with a lot more metal than usual! Not a bad thing. The idea was to have music that sounded scary, but wasn't necessarily Halloween-themed.
Goblin- L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi
Schoolyard Heroes-
Curse of the Werewolf
Opeth- Demon of the Fall
The Misfits- Teenagers from Mars
The Misfits- Skulls
Thrushes- Halloween
Mercyful Fate- A Dangerous Meeting
Black Sabbath- Into the Void
Iron Maiden- Children of the Damned
Comus- Diana
Watain- Underneath the Cenotaph