The winds of change are stirring and I'm making it that way
October 27, 2013, 09:22:pm
So, a week ago, I drove down to Toledo, Ohio for a photoshoot event. I spent the shooting hours running up and down stairs, racing against time constraints to change from outfit to outfit, and having a blast with it all. What happened while I attempted to drive home is the real story.
I've never driven to Toledo by myself and was in unfamiliar territory. I got hit by another vehicle at an intersection, and the impact practically took off the entire front bumper, with some engine damage to boot. I didnt get faulted for the accident, the cops informed me the other driver would be (they left the scene of the accident, and were unlicensed). About 40 minutes later, the actual owner of the other car came back (to retrieve her license plate that came off in the accident, that I found, with the cops standing next to me). She gave her statement, and I was taken to the safety building after my car was towed to the city lot. My car is still there.
This past week has been a rollercoaster and I've got some unfavourable answers but they're not as bad as they sound. The other vehicle's insurance faulted me (failure to yield), which means I'm getting no help towards my totaled car, or so it seemed at that point. I spoke to my claims handler, and she said the only person who's called on this claim is me, and they havent heard anything from the other person. Meaning, my claim is closed and no one is getting money from anyone. I dont get money for my totaled car, the other vehicle's owner isnt getting any money towards the property damage done to her vehicle.
My other worry was getting my car towed back home, but after speaking to the city lot again about the issue (and the shocker of a soap opera involving my car, my car's ownership information being incorrectly entered and showing up as owned by my dead mom), a cop at the lot informed me that as long as I brought my ID and proof of ownership, I'd be allowed access into my car to retrieve my belongings, and as long as I didnt sign the release papers, I owed the lot no money.
For the record, I'm fine and suffered no injuries from the accident. I've been doing insurance footwork all week and also making calls and sending inquiries about car financing and getting insurance quotes for full coverage. I may have found my next insurance company and I might know, with good financing, what car I could be getting. I have a car loan application from my credit union waiting to be printed off.
So, things are going to be changing and I'm making it so. I'm also dead-set on waiting for nobody and I'm ceasing waiting for people to get their heads out of their asses. I'm waiting for nobody, it's all my life now and no one is going to get in the way or hold me back.
I just deleted all of my messages that I had in my VF inbox. I dont respond to about 90% of the messages I receive. I figure this way, when I get a message, I can choose to delete it or respond right there, rather than ignore it completely.
I might revamp my profile here coming up but we'll see.
Life's been interesting, to say the least. I'm now working as a fitness instructor at a charter school in Detroit, it's MEAP week and so that gives me a little time to plan a new path for teaching. I can dish out push-ups all day if a scholar isnt following directions, but there's got to be more on that approach, and I need a better flow. Plotting, plotting, plotting......
On the creative note, I signed up for a group shoot in Toledo this coming weekend, and I was fully booked within two days. Not sure what that's all about but yay, new pictures soon!
I seem to get a lot of people messaging me over how blunt I am in my profile about people who are addicted to cocaine, heroine, or meth. I'm talking about addiction, not a recreational, once-every-other-blue-moon usage.
Addiction is a disease, I can understand that.
I also see addiction as selfish. Think about it. Addicted to cigarettes, the second-hand smoke causes diseases and illness in people who dont even smoke. Granted, I'm not personally going to go into a smoker's house and tell them to not smoke around me, but after a few smokers have seen the effect on me, they take care to turn on a fan and open a window. I explained to them that it's their house, I'm not going to tell them what to do in it.
However, in the case of harder drugs like those listed above, I'm flat out not going to go to their house if they're an addict. I've yet to hear of weed, shrooms or LSD being deadly (unless someone has a severely bad trip while on the latter two). Drugs like coke, heroine, meth and even PCP have been known to not only be highly addicting, but also deadly, even after just one dose.
I understand it's your life, you can do with it what you want, however, I'm a firm believer in "Do what thou wilt and harm none" approach. Do what you want, as long as it doesnt harm anyone else.
Go ahead and do your hard drugs, as long as you're not causing misery for those around you.
If you are so addicted to a drug that you're stealing money from loved ones, stealing their belongings to pawn off for your next fix, doing drugs in their house, making them uncomfortable, it's high time to get help. And I mean HELP, before a cop catches you. Otherwise, a cop is going to catch you and now you've caused the tears of those around you.
Addiction may be a disease, but it's also selfish. And doing drugs is a choice. You could've made the choice to not start doing a certain thing in the first place.
I admit, I dont know the pain of addiction (other than coffee... woo, I get a headache when I dont drink caffeine. Boo hoo). I dont know what it's like to do a hard drug, nor do I want to know. I've been in the presence of an addict who whipped out crack rocks to smoke with his cousin. Repeated times, they offered for me to do it with them. Repeated times they were turned down. I dont want to get caught and have that on my record, I've got long-term plans in my life that would be hindered, or flat out lost, if I did certain drugs.
While I can see addiction as a disease, I also see it as that person threw a lot of their potential life away and they are now ruled by their addictions. If you do it for recreation, whatever. Just dont do them around me. If it's your house, I'll just leave.
But if getting your next fix is the only thing on your mind, get help. If you're harming others to get your next fix, and you're doing it without a second thought, get caught. Maybe getting caught will lead you to help.
Friday September 27th and Saturday September 28th, 2013
Metro is located at
3730 N. Clark, Chicago, Illinois 60613 (Two Blocks North of Wrigley Field)
COLD WAVES II PERFORMERS:
DOUGLAS J. MCCARTHY (Nitzer Ebb)
DIE WARZAU (Re-united with Van Christie)
THE CLAY PEOPLE
and more TBA
Dj sets from:
Zoltar (from Q101, Planet Zoltar and Satellite radio's "Subterranean")
2 day Ticket prices are $56
2 DAY PASSES ON SALE FRIDAY AT NOON 4/12 VIA THE METRO WEBSITE AND SINGLE DAY PASSES/VIP PACKAGES ON SALE 4/19
Doors at 5pm and Show at 6pm
Proceeds from the show will go to support Hope for the Day foundation. (http://www.hftd.org/)
On Friday September 7th, 2012 a collection of musicians, peers, co-workers, friends and family gathered together to put on a memorial concert at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago to celebrate the life of Jamie Duffy who had passed away earlier that year. The Memorial show was referred to as Cold Waves: The Jamie Duffy Concert, in no small part due to the high number of “Cold Wave” artists who participated in it. Cold Wave is considered to be a sub-genre of Industrial Music and more specifically a mending of Industrial Rock and Industrial Metal. An All-star cast including such well known names of the Industrial genre included Paul Barker, Chris Connelly, Jared Louche, Martin Atkins, Steven Seibold, Jim Marcus, Jason Novak, Eric Powell, Curse Mackey among others who performed selections of songs by their bands; Revco, 16volt, Chemlab, Acumen Nation, The Damage Manual, Hate Dept., The Clay People and more that ended with an star studded jam worthy of paying respect to the man that Jamie Duffy was.
Well the result of this memorial show proved to be greater than anyone anticipated and it’s scope was even farther reaching than anyone could imagine. Not only did people flock to the Bottom Lounge from all over North America, but also from all corners of the world. But the real effect of this show was greater than simply selling out a 700 person venue, it re-united friends, mended broken relationships and sparked an interest in Industrial music as a whole again. The energy and emotion that was felt that Friday evening led to new collaborations and new inspiration. Inspiration that has brought us to Cold Waves 2: An Industrial Music Festival
This year the Cold Waves festival has been expanded to two nights and has seen a move to a larger venue, Chicago’s Metro. 14 “Industrial” bands that span across multiple genres including Rock, Metal, EBM, Drum n Bass and Punk will once again descend upon Chicago for two emotionally charged shows. The 2013 version of the Cold Waves Festival sees the return of CW alumus bands: Cocks Members, 16volt, The Clay People, Hate Dept., Iron Lung Corp and Chicago favorite DJ Zoltar (q101), best known as the “Brother from another Planet”. The rest of the nights lineups are filled out by the likes of Prong, Nitzer Ebb’s Douglas J. McCarthy, Die Warzau, Skrew, Acucrack, Evil Mothers, Plague Bringer and more to be announced soon.
Limited $56 2 day passes will go on sale Friday 4/12 via the Metro website and 1 day passes along with some very limited VIP packages will go on sale on 4/19. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Chicago’s Hope for the Day which utilizes music and the arts to offer education, prevention and hope against suicide.
More information can be found via the following websites:
What becomes an iconoclast the most? Carved Into Stone sums up what Prong stands for. This is an album slaked in hostility, personal detachment and seething with the urban paranoia that's long been the mark of this sonic triad. It's eleven tracks that don't merely settle into the New York City-born band's cannon of material that has yielded post-metal classics including Beg To Differ and Cleansing. It exceeds it. "I hate nostalgia," says mainstay, vocalist and guitarist Tommy Victor whose musical and personal outlook belies his current Los Angeles environs. "But this record literally has every strand of Prong's DNA spliced together in a way that feels more exciting than it has in some time."
Produced and mixed by Steve Evetts (Dillinger Escape Plan, Suicide Silence), Carved Into Stone picks up where Prong's classic albums left off. Opener "Eternal Heat" sets things off at a blistering pace fueled by drummer Alexei Rodriguez and bassist Tony Campos' formidable rhythm section. Meanwhile, the likes of "Revenge…Best Served Cold" is absolute, classic Prong: a huge riff slaked with bitter sentiments. Tommy Victor admits that Carved Into Stone is the first time Prong has taken direction from a producer in the studio. "It's also the hardest I've ever worked on a record," he says of working with Evetts. "I'm happier with the way it came out more than almost anything I've ever done but there were points during it I wanted to kill myself and everyone around me."Prong emerged from the New York City underground of the late 80's, quickly setting themselves apart from the conformist culture of the city's hardcore and metal scenes. They were recognized internationally for their first two independent releases: Primitive Origins and Force Fed. When Prong's dalliance with the outer limits of the mainstream acceptance came via Epic Records, it proved more successful than the underground-bred trio ever expected. The band's "Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck" from Cleansing became Prong's calling card. "It felt like the world had finally caught up with us," says Tommy. Prong's influence was being felt in the scene around them. Bands from the likes of Pantera to White Zombie to Korn were taking notice of Prong's purposeful, creative riffing and making that the template for platinum selling success. "I wasn't jealous," Tommy recalls. "But I could take a royalty check or two."At the beginning of the 2000's, Tommy put Prong aside for a time to play with Danzig and Ministry. It was a much-needed time for Victor to refocus his energies.
When Prong finally twisted itself back into form, they toured exhaustively both headlining and supporting the likes of Soulfly and Fear Factory. Slowly but surely, the songs and ideas that would become Carved Into Stone began to take form. "The songs I was writing felt more like Prong than anything I had written since Raven was in the band," says Tommy, recalling the era when the recently deceased ex-Killing Joke bassist Paul Raven was one of his co-conspirators.
After the Wax Trax Retrospectacle in 2011 and the original Cold Waves performance saw the likes of Chris Connelly, Luc Van Acker and Paul Barker pay homage to the mighty Cocks, it only seemed natural to find an alternate way to cleanse the world again. Revco Culture is alive and well and destined to reclaim the industrial trailer park glam mantel once more. Chaos and Mayhem are to be expected and encouraged.
Douglas McCarthy, already world renound as the legendary voice and founding member of the band Nitzer Ebb, has taken his time returning to music.
Nitzer Ebb, an avant-guarde electronic band, started in England in 1982 signing to Mute Records in 1986 after releasing a string of instant global club hits on their own label. Douglas brought the raw power of his voice to the band, along with an amazing stage performance seen all over the world with the brilliant Nitzer Ebb live show that was always full of the tension and rage of hits such as ‘Let Your Body Learn’, ‘Join in the Chant’, ‘Control I’m Here’, and ‘Getting Closer’ – tracks that are still as popular today as then.
Currently performing as Douglas J. McCarthy along with Cyrus Rex and Jeff Smith. His first solo album, Kill Your Friends, was released in November 2012 on Los Angeles-based label Pylon Records. The album was produced by British House DJ and producer Mark Bell
IRON LUNG CORP:
The mighty ILC, a long-standing collaboration between members of Acumen Nation and The Clay People released two albums before drifting apart in 2003. Best known for their searing cold wave cover of Nitzer Ebb's "Join in the Chant" and "Murderous" the ILC is back with a vengeance, adding a few guests along the way. Expect a new album with a surprising twist late in 2013.
As the story goes, both Acumen Nation and The Claypeople were headed out on Acumen’s first US tour ever back in 96. Along the way, the 2 bands put a cover together of Nitzer Ebb’s classic “Join In The Chant” and even threw in a little “Murderous” for medley fun… “Join In The Murderous Chant”When Reconstruction Records head honcho Chase saw them perform it live at the Whiskey in LA, he threw down the gauntlet and said the 2 should do a side project. But, instead of telling Chase the truth, that there really was no project, just the cover, the boys blurted out a story and told Chase they had a name, a dozen songs, even a band mascot… and were able to siphon a few grand out of Cargo’s pocket to cover booze, food and a few days at Chicago Trax to record an album… 6 years later, they did it again, this time convincing themselves they really had a bunch of songs, a band, a tour bus, a marketing budget… ”
Die Warzau (originally Die Warzau Synfony) was an industrial music band formed in 1987 by performance artists Jim Marcus and Van Christie. Originally signed to Chris Parry's Fiction Records, the group released Disco Rigido in the late 1980s. A second album, Big Electric Metal Bass Face, was released in the early 1990s. Contributors to the band at the time included Chris Vrenna and James Woolley (both members of Nine Inch Nails during the mid-1990s), and audio visual artist Burle Avant, who went on to co-create the MTV television series Amp.
Engine, a 1995 release on Wax Trax/TVT, was the last album the group released before going on hiatus for almost a decade, and included contributions from Chris Randall of the band Sister Machine Gun (SMG). One of the songs written by Die Warzau during this time, "Hole In the Ground," ended up on the SMG album Burn.Die Warzau as a group then went on hiatus for a number of years, with Marcus and Christie working on other projects. Jim Marcus founded the pure funk group Everplastic while Van Christie worked on another project called Eco-Hed.In 2004, the duo re-united, together with new members Abel Garibaldi, Vince Mcaley and Dan Evans, releasing Convenience on their Chicago-based label Pulseblack Records.
16volt began in 1991 with the mission to merge the raw guitars of early punk with the heavy beats and energy of industrial dance music. In 1992, 16volt’s founder and frontman, Eric Powell, signed with the Cargo Records industrial subsidiary and now infamous Re-Constriction Records. 16volt’s debut, “Wisdom,” was co-produced by David Ogilvie (Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy) and Keith “Fluffy” Auerbach (Ministry) and was released in 1993. Met with worldwide acclaim from fans and press alike, “Wisdom” officially put 16volt on the map and, along with Powell, was credited with helping spawn a genre of industrial known as “coldwave.” That same year, 16volt hit the road, playing shows to club crowds on the West Coast of the United States.In 1994, 16volt skipped the industry-standard “sophomore jinx” and released the slightly more raw-sounding “Skin.” This release brought more praise and won features in Alternative Press, Kerrang!, CMJ, Industrial Nation, B-Side, and more. “Skin” reached the #2 slot on Rolling Stone’s alternative charts and charted everywhere from the United States (CMJ) to France, Germany, Ireland, and Japan. 16volt hit the road again for club shows and radio junkets and destroyed it everywhere they showed up.16volt’s third release came in 1996 by the name of “LetDownCrush.” Co-produced by Jeff “Critter” Newell (Ministry, Filter) and featuring special guests Stella (Stella Soleil, Sister Soleil), William Tucker (Ministry), Marc LaCorte, and Bryan Black (Haloblack, Motor, Xlover), the release once again proved that 16volt was a major force to be reckoned with. Interviews and features followed in huH, B-Side, Alternative Press, Kerrang!, CMJ, Industrial Nation, Guitar Player, and many more respected national rags. LDC charted again, this time at #1 on the Rolling Stone alternative charts and globally on college and commercial radio. This release also marked the debut of 16volt’s national touring career. Vowing to stay on the road for as long as possible, Powell put together a lineup that would tour for over nine months straight in a custom van, making their way around the United States several times with the likes of Chemlab, Bile, Acumen Nation, and Korn.The touring paid off and interest in 16volt grew. The band returned home to be wined and dined by much larger labels. In 1998, along with full-time members Mike Peoples on bass and Kraig Tyler (Chemlab, Crazytown) on guitar, 16volt signed with Slipdisc/Mercury/PolyGram and got to work on the band’s fourth release, “SuperCoolNothing.” Produced by Bill Kennedy (NIN, Megadeth, Sepultura) and Joseph Bishara (Drown, Danzig), SCN was the band’s most aggressive album to date. This time, Powell and Co. got a hand from special guest Chris Vrenna (NIN, Tweaker) on drums. Upon completion of the album and the most intense promotion schedule to date, they hit the road adding John “Servo” DeSalvo (KMFDM, Chemlab) on Drums, playing shows with the likes of Orgy, The Flys, and Candlebox. During the first two weeks of touring, however, Mercury/PolyGram was purchased by Seagram’s, creating a ripple that would send 16volt back home and cause the firing of the entire Mercury team slated to work on the SCN record promotion. Two weeks after the chaos, SCN was released with no promotion, no touring, and no support. 16volt quickly began to search for another label to pick up the pieces, but it was too late and the mess too large After close to a year of fighting, lawsuits, and the inability to make something good come from the bad, Powell shut down operations and pulled the plug. Kraig moved on to join Crazytown and Mike and Servo carried on with their own side projects.After a long and well-deserved hiatus, the band convinced an investor to buy back SCN from the dead labels; they then re-released it on their own as “SCN2.0.” The double-disc set included remixes by Filter, Orgy, Deadsy, and Crazy Town, in addition to some demo tracks that the band had started working on. Powell gathered the troops sans Tyler and began to mount a comeback. Shortly after the re-release, 16volt was tapped by Sony to provide the soundtrack to a new PlayStation 2 game called “Primal”. At the end of production, 16volt had furnished 12 tracks and was actually digitized into the game as the opening-cinematics band. To celebrate the release of “Primal,” 16volt hit the road in 2002 with KMFDM for a North American whirlwind, completing 34 shows in 36 days. Most of the dates were sold out, and by KMFDM’s own admission the tour was one of the best packages they had ever put out. 16volt returned home on the tour bus and inked a deal with Capitol Records. The band then spent 11 months working on demos and being bombarded with pressure to compromise, which ultimately forced Powell to walk away and head back underground. In 2005, Powell inked a one-off deal with Cleopatra Records to release 16volt’s first-ever “best of” collection. The double-disc set titled “The Best of Sixteen Volt™” features fan-picked tracks on one disc and the first-ever live release of 16volt on disc two. Powell cleaned house, went into isolation, and began working on the next phase of 16volt. In August of 2006, Powell had a new record under his belt called “FullBlackHabit” that he began shopping to indie labels. He found a new home at Metropolis Records and inked a worldwide multi-album deal. The new record, slated for release in early 2007, features guests appearances by Paul Raven (Ministry, Killing Joke, Prong); Steve White (KMFDM); Bildeaux (Necrofix, OHN); Kraig Tyler (Chemlab, Virus23, Crazytown); Scott Robison (Dr0ne); and Jason Bazinet (SMP). In the Spring of 2008 16volt, with live members Steve White (KMFDM), Jason Bazinet (Chemlab, SMP), and the return of 16volt veteran Mike Peoples hit the road for a highly successful U.S/Canada tour. Playing 28 shows in 30 days the band once again set it’s mark to a high level by playing to larger than expected crowds on all stops of the tour. On September 8, 2009, 16volt released “American Porn Songs” on Metropolis Records. It has met with nothing less than very positive reviews by fans and pros alike, and is generally being heralded as their most kick butt work to date. It is yet another solid record, featuring the band’s trademark layering of heavy, aggressive guitars over pummeling electronics and beats. 16volt hit the road again in the Spring of 2010 along with Chemlab and Left Spine Down on the highly energized and successful MIDI Ghetto Tour. Included was a stop at the Kinetik Festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, playing alongside Leather Strip, Imperative Reaction, and more. 16volt recently announced that their new studio album, Beating Dead Horses will be released on May 10th of 2011. Beating Dead Horses will be 16volt’s third album on industrial powerhouse label Metropolis Records. It was produced by Eric Powell and mixed by Shaun Thingvold (Strapping Young Lad, Front Line Assembly, Lamb of God) and will feature thirteen new songs. In support of the new album, 16volt hit the road in late spring for a three week east coast tour of the United States with industrial legends My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, followed by another 3 week west coast tour with KMFDM. Over the winter of 2011-2012 16volt inked a new deal with Metropolis Records to re-release the bands back catalog. Finally back in print are the legendary “Wisdom”, “Skin”, “LetDownCrush” and “Super Cool Nothing” Albums. The re-releases were all remastered and feature remixes, bonus tracks and cover songs. The band plans to tour in Fall of 2012 in support of the releases. People keep asking, is this band stoppable and apparently Eric Powell and Co. are continuing their self imposed trend of prolificacy.
SKREW is a collective of six individuals committed to creating a noise with purpose. Pointing to the hypocrisy of religion and corporate mandated culture, SKREW uses six stringed fascist killing machines laying in a bed of electronic discomfort to protest the the mass hypnosis and herd mentality that is completely prevalent in these dark days. Simply put: RIOT! NOISE! RISE! SKREW!
The band SPIN magazine dubbed “the future of industrial noise” has metamorphosed into the soundtrack of your own metallic apocalypse. In an age where personal discourse is no longer civil, where obedience is forced upon the masses by the elite few, and nearly everyone’s scars and bruises are flayed out for the whole world to see, Skrew has managed to encapsulate the insanity that has all but become today’s norm. Led by original founding member, Adam Grossman, and a collective of five intense and angry rogue soldiers, Skrew returns to lead the unwashed masses into an aural revolt against the status quo.
Last releasing an album in 2007, Acucrack has dropped the "DJ?" in respect to the passing of Jamie Duffy. Seen last supporting Frontline Assembly in 2011, patient fans can finally expect a follow up to 2007's dark epic "Humanoids from the Deep" in late 2013. Long entranced by doomy drum n' bass, the new Acucrack is a return to it's industrial club roots and experimental ways.
DJ? Acucrack originated in 1997 releasing the "Nation State" EP and "Mutants of Sound" in 1997-1998 to critical acclaim (#32 and #8 respectively in the 1998 CMJ RPM annual chart). Tours with Curve and the Lords of Acid brought them a dedicated national following and both albums went on to sell over 5000 albums each in the United States. More interactive than most djs, Dj? Acucrack usually performed as a live PA duo, employing samplers, synths, turntables and cd decks, along with MC and vocal duty that brings the crowd closerto the performers than usual. The "?" was added to their name years ago to address their desire to perform their own music as opposed to spinning other people's tracks. Dark and aggressive , yet celebratory and upbeat, Dj? Acucrack falls into the rolling tech-step category of drum n bass, but are never afraid to drop a funky amen loop or a soaring rave style synth line. Occasional vocals and lyrical samples makes Acucrak's music more accessible to jungle newcomers, but the scalding production and whalloping baselines provide the passing grade for long time enthusiasts.
Originally an eclectic electronica outfit, Dj? Acucrack caught the jungle bug in 2000, and have been honing their skills ever since 2000's "Sorted" album featured a deeper foray in to drum n bass, as well as the trip hop stunner "So to Speak" with Toni Halliday of Curve. 2002 saw the release of "The Dope King" which puts them on the map of many junglists eye, and allowed them to grab opening slots with the like of Bad Company, Goldie, Diesel Boy, Photek, Ed Rush and Optical, plus full North American Tours with KMFDM, Front Line Assembly, Curve and Lords of Acid. In 2004 the duo released the frenetic jungle opus "Mako vs Geist" and the first ever Cracknation dvd in honor of the award winning "So to Speak" video. Complete with live footage, DJ mixes, making of featurettes and interviews. Acucrack returned with the release of "Killing Mobius" in august of 2005 and "Humanoids of the Deep" in 2007. Back to what they do best, the Crack boys litter the pavement with hard jungle, ambient, breakbeat and IDM tracks.
THE CLAY PEOPLE:
The Clay People: A Bio by J. Eric Smith
Posted by J. Eric Smith
Daniel Neet: Vocals
Mike Guzzardi: Guitar
Eliot Engleman: Bass
Dan Dinsmore: Drums
Many bands can lay claim to melodic sense, but The Clay People are one of the rare and precious few who can craft a melody — then play it like they’d just boosted themselves with a dirty adrenaline needle straight to their collective heart. Need proof? Then score and mainline the Upstate New York quintet’s hammering self-titled fifth record, which marks the ensemble’s SlipDisc Records debut while also documenting the creative rebirth of a one-time electronic outfit who have unveiled the underlying truth, strength and magic latent in their music via a powerful, new, all-organic line-up.
That creative rebirth didn’t come as the result of an overnight, media-driven, hype-fueled cram and jam session, however — but rather as the culmination of a decade-long musical search by founding vocalist Daniel Neet. The Albany, New York native was first inspired to take up the microphone by such consummate dark-pop frontmen as Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, Berlin-period David Bowie and Peter Gabriel at the height of his hyper-surrealist powers. Neet organized the first incarnation of The Clay People in the late ’80s to provide a forum for his own ambitions as an audience-mover of the Murphy/Bowie/Gabriel persuasion — although in the group’s early days, his literate and charismatic offerings were presented atop an all-electronic, Skinny Puppy-inspired musical substrate.
Despite the limited instrumental assault power of those early Clay People shows, the larger-than-life Neet’s effectiveness as a vocalist, scene agitator and on-stage ringleader quickly earned the group a dedicated following-not to mention the regular gigs that helped finance their first recordings. After their first two independent records (1991′s synthpop-leaning Toy Box and 1993′s Ministry-flavored Firetribe), however, Neet began looking for new directions — eventually connecting with kindred-spirit guitarist Brian McGarvey, who would play a key role in the reinvention of The Clay People’s approach and sound over the ensuing years.
“I was DJ’ing in clubs regularly back then and Brian would be up in the booth with me a lot of the time,” Neet recalls. “Eventually we started talking and thinking about how we could assimilate and work with the groove-based aspects of the club music we liked. And we went a couple of directions with it: Brian joined The Clay People for our 1995 album, Iron Icon (Cargo/Reconstriction), which was still heavily electronic, although Brian’s guitar work began to erode some of that mechanical feeling. Then he and I also did a project with two members of Acumen Nation called Iron Lung Corporation that had industrial and dance elements, but was again more machine-driven than organic.”
“After the tours to support those projects, Brian and I set off on our own to see if we could make our music feel more natural, to make it less cold and let other people hear all the heart that we felt like we were putting into it,” continues Neet. “We basically felt like we really needed to warm The Clay People sound up a bit because we were just hitting a dead-end with all the sterile-sounding electronics. So for the next record, Stone: Ten Stitches (1997, Cargo/Reconstriction) we were trying to find a midpoint between something like what the Chemical Brothers or Lords of Acid were doing and something like what Tool were doing. And that was definitely a step in the right direction, because I think our songwriting really began to mature there — but we finally realized that what we really needed a live rhythm section to interpret what we did electronically if we were to do the songs justice.”
Neet and McGarvey’s first recruit was guitarist Mike Guzzardi (who had already co-authored standout track “T.M.S.” from Stone: Ten Stitches). Guzzardi, in turn, helped the band recruit drummer Dan Dinsmore and bassist D. Patrick Walsh to complete the Clay People’s definitive — and defining — line-up in 1996. The quintet quickly retooled the best of The Clay People back catalog, adding a heretofore unimaginable muscularity and propulsive energy to the mix, while also developing a strong body of new material collectively crafted from within the band’s rapidly-cohering musical consciousness.
Response to the newly-reborn Clay People’s ferocious, yet surprisingly groove-oriented live attack was instant and largely ecstatic. And that ecstasy was catching: after a year of nearly non-stop music-making, word of band’s prowess reached the Chicago offices of influential cybercore and metal label SlipDisc (now a Mercury Records affiliate), who signed the band to a multi-record deal in late 1997. Four months later, The Clay People departed for El Paso, Texas to record their first SlipDisc record with help from Christ Analogue keyboardist Wade Alin and esteemed producer Neil Kernan (Queensryche, Nevermore, Kansas) behind the board.
“Neil Kernan chose the studio — out in the middle of a pecan farm in the middle of a desert — because he’d done a lot of albums there and liked both the sound and the focus that the isolation forced on bands,” explains Neet. “And he really helped us complete The Clay People formula during those sessions, taking our hooks and our directions and making sense of all of them, pulling the best out of all the musicians and helping us to make that next step with our material and our performances. He was very natural after spending years in the studio working with so many different bands, so I felt like I had gone to a class on how to get a band to write and perform its songs together by the time we were done.”
The quintet formally marked their creative rebirth with an eponymous album released in May 1998. The Clay People was rightly hailed upon its issue as the most important record to emerge from Upstate New York’s fertile and fervent hard music community, with lead single “Awake” quickly making national waves after its appearance on the Dee Snider’s Strangeland soundtrack. Stylistically, The Clay People featured an incredible array of melodies and riffs, all delivered with the same palpitation-inducing boost that defined the group’s live shows. Neet’s lyrics also demonstrated a new-found poise and maturity throughout The Clay People‘s run — detailing the ups and downs of the human (or non-human, in the cases of Neet’s undead or cyborg protagonists) experience with an acute eye for pathos and absurdity, detail and design, horror and humor.
“The material on this album really represents who The Clay People are, as both a band and as five individuals who become something greater than the sum of our parts when we work together,” Neet observes. “The energy and the communication between us are just incredible. And I really think that because of those personal connections and because of our willingness to tap what’s inside us-not only the nervous, aggressive, angry, destructive things, but the thoughtful, intuitive, creative, constructive things as well — we’re making music with longevity. You’re still gonna want to listen to this stuff ten years from now. And we plan to be around then while you’re doing it.”
Hate Dept. is a synthesizer-laden post punk band, created in 1991 by Seibold. Hate Dept.'s debut album in 1994, Meat your Maker, appeared in Rolling Stone's Top 10 alternative albums while Seibold was nominated 'Best New Talent' by Keyboard Magazine. Omnipresent, the second release by the group, again entered charts in Rolling Stone and Alternative Press. Hate Dept. had a brief period of commercial success after the release of the third album Technical Difficulties. The only single, Release It, earned radio airplay in 50 North American markets. Seibold joined Pigface in 2001, touring and recording with Martin Atkins in several projects. During this time, Hate Dept. released their fourth album Ditch in 2003.
“Satantonio’s” industrial pioneers terrorize the Lone Star state once again! After what is essentially a 15-year rehab, groundbreaking industrial-rock band Evil Mothers reincarnate this fall for a highly-anticipated Chicago performance. During the early to mid-‘90s, Evil Mothers pushed the Texas music scene to dark extremes, fusing tribal drumming and incendiary guitar noise with a lyrical exploration of the seedier side of human existence. The band toured relentlessly throughout the U.S. and Europe and released five disks for Chicago’s storied Invisible Records, providing a blueprint for subsequent outfits exploring the boundaries of art and noise. “Evil Mothers was a self-destructive exploration of cultural taboos, transgressive cinema and art chaos put to music and then fatally crashing it into the mainstream.” said singer Curse Mackey, a founding member, “It was subversive, fetishistic, narcotic, psychotic and surreal. In this age of (dis)information, our culture is sicker than ever and deserves another dose of our fine medicine.” In addition to Mackey (who’s since performed as frontman for industrial supergroup Pigface, Thrill Kill Kult and Grim Faeries), the lineup includes original Mothers bassist Patrick Sane and guitarist Sanford Allen (both now of Boxcar Satan), Bobdog Catlin (ex-Pigface, now of Martyrhead), Chip Alexander (now of Martyrhead and Tex Pistols) on drums. The band has also added metal percussionist Bradley Bills of CHANT, a first-time Mother. “This is the strongest lineup of Evil Mothers that has existed,” said Sane, also a founding member. “It’s a band of seasoned sonic agitators ready to chart new territory and push old sounds in fervent new directions."
These two words embody the sonic, visionary, and aesthetic experience that is Chicago’s industrial metal duo, PLAGUE BRINGER. Featuring guitarist/drum programmer, Greg Ratajczak and vocalist Josh Rosenthal, PLAGUE BRINGER is an ever-evolving project whose mission to be as progressive as it is aggressive, has garnered comparisons across the 'heavy' music spectrum from TOOL to GODFLESH to PIG DESTROYER. 'Life Songs in a Land of Death', PLAGUE BRINGER's sophomore release and their first for HeWhoCorrupts INC, is the product of over two years of creative fervor, merciless judgment, and obsessive attention to detail both artistically and conceptually. The album satisfies the duo's selfish need to create intelligent, relevant, and personal art which also aims to captivate listeners by drawing them into a ferocious and uncomfortable yet rewarding and uplifting sonic experience. Thematically, the album addresses ideas of self realization through adversity, the death of the impassioned, and the search and discovery of beauty beneath filth. The album was mastered by Scott Hull at Visceral Sound and is the follow up to 2005's acclaimed debut full length, 'As the Ghosts Collect, The Corpses Rest' (Seventh Rule Recordings/Lo Fi Violence). PLAGUE BRINGER formed in December of 2002, shortly after Ratajczak's work at Clava Studios with producer/engineer BRIAN DECK and MODEST MOUSE on "The Moon and Antarctica". Ratajczak asked long time friend and artistic collaborator, Rosenthal, to contribute his unique writing style to the project and provide lyrics that when read and reflected upon, unveil deeper layers of meaning to the reader.
Ratajczak began the project with and has chosen to continue using the drum machine, which is just as significant to the PLAGUE BRINGER sound, both live and in the studio, as either human member. PLAGUE BRINGER has established a strong presence in the metal underground. Consistent shows throughout the Midwest and several tours to the East coast afforded the group the opportunity to share stages with the likes of BRUTAL TRUTH, PIG DESTROYER, DEICIDE, the BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, KHANATE, the RED CHORD, and RUSSIAN CIRCLES.
In March of 2010, Plague Bringer released a very limited edition cd boxset of 100 copies (95 in black boxes and 5 in special metal boxes) of their cover of Ministry’s “Burning Inside” with Chris Connelly contributing vocals to it to coincide with the Plague Bringer performance at the downtown Chicago location of Reckless Records, for Record Store Day 2010. I would definitely not miss their performance at this year’s Cold Wave II because you will never know who might show up for their set.
ZOLTAR - The Brother from Another Planet
From San Diego to Shanghai, the world-famous DJ known as Zoltar has been a major force on American and International radio as well as a consistent club DJ throughout the United States and Europe. Prior to Zoltar's unmistakable voice finding worldwide recognition, he had already become a seasoned traveler seeing the world as part of the U.S. Military A creative and profound communicator, Zoltar found a home at the legendary FM radio station, 91X in San Diego, California where he hosted a groundbreaking specialty show called ‘Shrapnel’, which fused Rap and Metal. His passion for emerging talent in many forms of music led to his hosting ‘Fast Forward’. His rise in American FM radio had Zoltar crossing the country to Washington DC, where he created a Techno/Industrial dance show called the ‘Mutant Dance Party’ for CBS' legendary WHFS. Still hosting the ‘Mutant Dance Party’ in Washington DC, Zoltar was brought to Chicago where he began a hardcore Industrial show called ‘The Industrial Zone’. During that period Zoltar also turned up the heat in Florida with the creation of a full on metal show called ‘The X Factor’.
Zoltar’s meteoric rise in terrestrial radio led to the next evolutionary step in his career: Satellite Radio. As Program Director of the global dance channel ‘The System’ which was heard in 134 countries via the Worldspace Satellite Radio Network and across North America on XM, Zoltar has been the voice and personality to bring the planet live reports on performances from the Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music festival in Miami, Amsterdam’s Dance Valley, Global Gathering Music Festivals, Lollapalooza, and The Virgin Mobile Festival. His creation of the weekly Trance/Progressive show called ‘Subterranean’ was added to the satellite radio roster and fast became an international hit with syndication to terrestrial radio around the world. Affiliates of the ‘Planet Zoltar Broadcast Network’ include The Sirius/XM channel, Area (Sirius 38/XM80), FM 89.7 The River, Omaha Nebraska, 104.7 FM Radio Safari Ioannina Greece, 97. 6 Radio Flash FM, Targu Neamt Romania, Global Radio FM in Miami, intenet-based stations trancebase.fm (Germany), danceradio.gr (Greece), Ascenddanceradio.com in South Florida and DirecTV. Zoltar is also the head of A&R for Hardwire Records and is also a producer and remixer. Currently his base of operations is Panama City Beach in sunny Florida where his world-famous show, ‘Subterranean’ is recorded. One of the most popular syndicated shows available on the airwaves and over the internet, Subterranean has 491 shows.
Cracknation is the label founded by Jason Novak to house the many projects he and his cohorts were involved in creating, from Acumen Nation and DJ? Acucrack to Iron Lung Corp, Fawn and Czar. Spanning a decade and over 20 releases, the label continues to evolve as evidenced by the Cold Waves festival and pending releases from Iron Lung, Acucrack and Czar (who will be supporting Killing Joke this month on their North American Tour).
A recently completed documentary entitled "Rally and Sustain" covers the umbrella of members and projects over the last 22 years, and will be available on DVD and download this spring.
I wrote this because of seeing a lot of victim blaming/slut shaming via the Internet. I'm not a certified sex therapist, counselor, sexologist or whatever, most of these "mature" or "advice" entries are from my observations, experiences and what I would view as common sense. Please be advised.
Also, there might be a trigger or two in this entry. You have been warned.
Jesus said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Yet no one stoned Mary. This Mary was accused of adultery, or claimed to be the town whore, whichever.
You are not innocent.
You see a lady, and you can’t get past what she’s wearing. Cleavage out, short shorts or skirt, and you judge her like you have a right to. Mislead and lie to yourself, claim that you’re better than her because you show less skin. Maybe she’s just that proud of her body? Maybe it’s hot out that day?
You can judge someone on their sexual history, or so you think.
You are not innocent.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex with one person or 100. You are not innocent.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve touched only one person’s body or hundreds. You are not innocent.
So what if they’ve messed around with many people; don’t lie and say you haven’t imagined messing around with the people you encounter on a daily basis. An imagination is healthy and so are fantasies.
But don’t you dare say that you’re innocent and that you can judge them because you’re better.
A girl could’ve had three sexual partners, but who’s to say those weren’t three rapists in a gang bang? Don’t judge. She now has to deal with the sexual, psychological, emotional, mental and physical repercussions. How healthy is her view on sex now? What if she gets pregnant or catches STDs from the rapes? You accuse her of dressing inappropriately, of being out too late, or drinking too much, like it excuses the criminals, making their crimes of violation less. You choose to blame the victim because of vanities.
Stop throwing stones. What will you do the day you’re judged?
You are not innocent.
Don’t point fingers and scream “slut” like it’s meant to hurt them. That “slut” is a woman, who may just be very confident in her looks, her job, and her life. Would you call a sex therapist a slut, because she speaks openly about sex? You wouldn’t call a virgin a slut, would you? No. Unless she’s showing too much skin or wants to read and learn about things that textbooks don’t explain.
Well written. People are too busy worrying about making themselves appear superior to others to take a step back and let someone reap the fruits of their own deeds. Also, rape is a serious offense, and there are no excuses. The only thing I differ is as much as people would like to believe about safety, the fact is bad shit happens, and there ARE steps to take to at least minimize such risks, just as with any risk. Doesn't mean she is at fault, but does mean she could be an easy target.
Never much have the time to be on here anymore (I blame school), let alone sleep, hah.
So, I figured for those of you interested a summarization of the past couple months or so of what's going on in the world of Elara was overdue.
Well I have no pictures for this actually, so here's a picture of the company I work for..
Man, still can't believe our little elara has grown up and gotten herself a boytoy no matter how long it has been! But kidding aside, happy for ya Elara!!
I take it by this that everything has been going well for you? I hope so!
We miss ya!
I clean and colour the images in Photoshop Elements, as I dont have Adobe Illustrator. Each drawing starts as a pencil and ink drawing, then it's photographed and then the photo is what's taken in Photoshop, cleaned, coloured and voila.
My first time living on my own (with roommates) and sometimes it makes me want to live alone.
If my female roommate isnt being passive aggressive and disguising her snide remarks about my sexual antics as "concern", I'm getting yelled at like I'm a five-year-old by my other roommate, for shit I didnt do.
One of these days, I'm going to yell at them both.
Just because I know a lot of guys doesnt mean I'm having sex with all of them OR messing around with them. And I do bring up the fact I'm still with friends with some of my previous partners, the very mention I make of hanging out, she automatically assumes it's a booty call.
Just because I've had more partners than you, doesnt mean I'm banging everybody. Stop pretending you care, because you dont realize those comments are annoying and actually hurt. If you're my friend, stop making bitchy comments.
As for the other one, you're younger than me and it's YOUR cat. Dont tell me how clean MY room needs to be since I make sure YOUR cat doesnt get in here. You do it my other roommate too. Dont tell us how clean to keep OUR living spaces. We keep our messes contained. Also, figure out who actually MADE the mess before you blame the wrong person. You WILL get a verbal lashing.
*Had my first battle with potentially-cancerous HPV (yes, I'm admitting that I had, and may still have, an STD. Deal with it, half the sexually active population has it, few know it, I will answer any questions you might have about this disease.)
*I had several battles with my car (radiator blowing, multiple tire failures, alternator going). I either repaid those debts or family came through for me when I least expected it.
*I met my now-roommate and I adore her.
*I moved out for the first time without sharing the roof of a sibling or significant other.
*I did a lot of freelance modeling that earned me a little extra income. Helped pay bills and afford more groceries.
*Been an overall rollercoaster of ups and downs but a wonderfully character-developing year.