Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Post-Crastination Intro

(Image: from Flickr)

So I've been meaning to write an introduction post since we first squeezed out the Buzzcut design a couple of weeks ago - excited as I am to be a shearing writer for the Lezbian Buzzcut, sometimes one's nine to five, flanked by everyday life and extended daydreams of girls don't leave enough time in which to procrastinate - damn those girls.

What will I be bringing to the Buzzcut? Well, if all goes to plan then a nagging sense of motivation/inspiration through mixed media and snippets of the world around us with chunky pieces of 'real life' - don't choke.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

British Bands That Should Have Kept Going

Being obsessed with different bands during my youth, I was always saddest when one of them would decide to break up. For example, Bush. Not the greatest band of our time by any means, but when they decided to disband I was struck by immense sadness; their time had come.

Sometimes it’s for the best, other times, not.

I now bring to you some of my favourite British bands that decided to disband, right before they were supposed to hit the big-time.

Captain Beyond (1971-1977):

Captain Beyond is perhaps one of the earliest examples of a “supergroup” in rock music. Consisting of lead singer Rod Evans (who previously sang for Deep Purple), guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt and bassist Lee Dorman (who were part of Iron Butterfly), Captain Beyond laid out the foundation for space/progressive 70’s rock. Add drummer Bobby Cadwell from Johnny Winter to the mix and the psychedelic recipe for success is complete.

Releasing their self-titled LP during 1972, their debut is a complete knockout. Incorporating all that is space-rock with loads of phaser, delay and reverb, Captain Beyond supply listeners with a marriage between Jimi Hendrix and the milky-way constellation. It is relentless, rocking out riffs after riffs right till the end. But there is surprisingly also loads of room for softer, more ethereal touches that supplement the hard rock that drives the album. Even though all the songs flow into each other, the album is a cohesive piece of work, and a stunning debut.

Unfortunately, Captain Beyond is with us no more (even though they released an EP in 2000), but their memory remains in their 2 most successful albums; Captain Beyond and Sufficiently Breathless.

SikTh (2001-2008):

SikTh are possibly one of the craziest bands that ever existed. Perhaps a better word would be insane. Whatever you feel like labelling them as, SikTh remain as one of Britain’s most impressive additions to the world of demented metal.

SikTh thrive on the disturbing and the silly. Combining Metalcore with the now dead Nu-Metal, Sikth are an amalgamation of Hardcore, Metal and Rock. They are extremely technical, using their fret/drumming abilities in unusual ways. The songs stutter and run in different directions all at the same time, sounding more like Mr. Bungle than Converge.

The band consists of two vocalists, Mikee Goodman (who also writes the silly/insane lyrics) and Justin Hill. The pair literally compete in a marathon of singing, screaming, growling, scatting, rapping and (surprisingly) also spoken word poetry. It is an amazing feat to behold. The guitars (Graham “Pin” Pinney, Dan Weller) are top-notch, using off-beat, stuttering rhythms and insanely fast shredding to compliment that whirlwind atmosphere of destruction.

On their second (and sadly last) album Death of a Dead Day, the band seems tighter than ever before. The songs catapult to one another, unleashing a barrage of noise towards the listener. This is the sound of a band in their element; silly, disturbing, frantic, vicious and jagged. It is here that they finally escape their metalcore roots (or preconceptions) and embrace a sound all their own. This is more Mathcore than any Metalcore out there. This is The Dillenger Escape Plan, at a circus, on Red-Bull.

Sadly, they too are no longer with us, announcing their break-up in 2008.

Black Widow (1969-1973):

Black Widow are a paradoxical sound if there ever was one.

Originally founded as Pesky Gee!, playing blues rock in the 60’s, Black Widow released their first album Sacrifice in 1970. Often mistaken for the seminal heavy metal band Black Sabbath, Black Widow’s music is far removed from heavy, slow rock riffs, sounding more like a psychedelic Jethro Tull, with flutes and all.

However, they contracted a fair amount of controversy for their obsession with the occult and the satanic. Consulting famous witches (such as Alex Sanders) to having mock human sacrifices on stage, their wild stage-show was a seminal breakthrough for shock-rock artists such as Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper.

Perhaps most famous for their debut Sacrifice, the album is an absolute pleasure to listen to. Almost at once the scene is set for the dramatic and operatic vocals of Kip Trevor, sounding like an off-key drunk; Trevor throws his voice all over the album. At times quite emotional, but mostly quite intense, Trevor is the satanic preacher to the acid-heads of the 60’s who wanted something less flower-power, and more rebellious. The organs pound out layers of 60’s and 70’s progressive rock and are quite prominent throughout, while the amazing rhythm section provides the backbone to this “Frankenstein” of psychedelic rock.

Black Widow disbanded in 1973.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Satyricon - The Age of Nero / Johnny Truant Break Up

These last couple of weeks have certainly been quite exciting for certain music lovers out there, especially Satyricon fans who awaited their favorite black and roll band’s latest release entitled The Age of Nero.

The album is a solid piece of work from the black metal pioneers. It still runs in the same vein as the previous 2 releases Now, Diabolical and Volcano, but unlike the former, The Age of Nero is just a tad more cohesive and consistent. It has the grooves, it has the catchy pagan-infused melodies, and even last song Den Siste (which ironically enough translates as “The Last”) has an orchestra backing it, taking us back on a memory lane to The Shadowthrone when Satyricon were true medieval black metal mavericks.

The album though is nothing new, and will probably just piss the “krieg-krue” (Black-Metal elitists) off even more, but there is really not a bad song on here in actuality. There is the traditional Satyricon black & roll production, incorporating all kinds of eerie and unsettling noises.

Recommendations would include The Wolfpack, Satyricon’s most poppy song to date, rivaling even Fuel for Hatred and The Pentagram Burns, but it works. It’s fun and accessible without losing credibility. Who says black metal should be depressing? Sign of The Trident is an epic number with hard sonic punches and some faster drumming. Frost is most certainly one of black metal’s finest and fastest drummers, but in Satyricon’s black and roll era prefers a solid, steady and classy drum progression. He shows off when he has to, but for the most keeps the songs tight and flowing.

All in all a solid release; consistent, but not anything ground-breaking. This is a good album to check out if you desire to get into them.

In other music news, Johnny Truant have announced that they will be parting ways. Very sad to hear, having just released their stunning new album No Tears For The Creatures. They will have their final tour in the U.K. in December.

"We have had many amazing years and made many great friends along the way. Thank you to everyone that has supported us and shared so many amazing times with us, its been a hell of a ride and one that we are very proud of. Our final shows will be in the UK December. Come along and lets make them the biggest party we can."

A great loss for British music.

Check out their Myspace here.

Here’s their video for their latest single The Grotesque:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Photographer: Christophe Niel

Christophe Niel is a photographer from the south of France, but he says he feels more like a global citizen than anything else. He has a very distinguishable style and his photos have a sense of serenity about them. Christophe explains his work as that of a 'passer-by' who captures moments that 'appear to us freely every day'. The photos, taken in some of the world's most diverse and dazzling places, show contrast in both implementation and content.

He uses a 1956 Rollei camera, which is a bit on the blink. He says this adds some unpredictability and authenticity to his work. This antique camera he says, "participates in the atmosphere of my photographs"

You can view his work on his website or on his deviantART.

The Obligatory Election Night Post

On this historic night in U.S and thus ultimately world politics, I’m making history of my own. For the first time ever, I’m blogging on a laptop, in front of the television, way after midnight.
(No, it’s not just because he’s black.)

CNN is probably more of an action movie than a news channel. Anderson Cooper just had an advert for his new let’s-go-find-the-next-worldwide-pandemic-program, “PLANET IN PERIL: BATTLE LINES!” Everything’s so loud and obnoxious. But when I look at how the blokes over at SkyNews are covering the elections…well, let’s just say CNN is the ‘Bad Boys’ to SkyNews’ ‘The English Patient’.
Apparently Wolf Blitzer is planning on interviewing holograms in the situation room later on (BATTLE LIINEES!!!).

I just skipped through the news channels and landed on Russia Today, where they were reporting that McCain’s fellow POW’s deny that he was ever tortured in Vietnam.
Wait, WHAT? Why isn’t CNN getting their hands on that shit? Where would his campaign be without the now passé “…and I have the scars to prove it” claim? Why didn’t anyone say “well, okay McCain, let’s see ‘em!”?
He would have shat bricks.

Another thing I’m keeping my eye on now is whether or not Americans will give the yea or nay for the gay. Yes, I’m talking about Proposition 8. If the majority vote yes, same-sex marriage will once again be illegal in California. It’s a tight race at the moment and it could go any way. It’s not something that would affect me or anyone I know directly, but having same-sex marriage be ILLEGAL in this day and age is obviously a bit silly.

(CNN have these awesome touch screen monitors. It’s like Minority Report, but replace Tom Cruise with Wolf Blitzer)

EDIT 1: Thank godzilla for America. The hologram thing works and it looks pretty cool. The funniest thing about it though is watching Wolf pretend to be looking at the person.

EDIT 2: Well, according to my calculations, Obama only needs Florida to go his way now and he's set. I say this, because he will definatly get California and (t
his is the cool part) he only needs THOSE TWO to WIN. And he'll get others as well.

So let's be presumptuous here and start calling him President Barrack Hussein Obama.

next morning edit: looks like I was right. phew!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Photographer: Kari Liimatainen

"All of my work, every single one of my pictures, expresses some kind of dream of mine."

Finnish photographer Kari Liimatainen must be sleeping particularly well then, since his photos give off the exact feeling of being in a dream world. Focussing mainly on nature photography, Kari manages to draw the viewer into these lush landscapes with his tasteful use of vibrant and dense colours.

Kari Liimatainen takes photos in his native Finland, which gives natural inspiration to his stirring photos.
Maybe you'll find him wandering around in the forests, in search of his dreams...

View his photos here and here

The World Is Yours (But Also Ours) - O Zhang

A rather ballsy series of photos by Chinese-born photographer O Zhang has been getting some exposure lately. The series, "The World Is Yours (But Also Ours)" focuses on innocent-looking Chinese youth wearing what can only be explained as American-style t-shirts. The text on the shirts draw inspiration from the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the writings of Mao Zedong. Zhang even wrote a few herself.

An interesting point about the formatting is that it is made to resemble traditional Maoist propaganda posters, with the red text in the white border. This
gives you an idea of what O Zhang wanted to achieve with this series.

You can view the series here
For more info, visit O Zhang's website