Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mixtape # 4: Siam Hell

This is the Thai metal podcast, which was supposed to come out way back in December of last year (I don't know what to say about that, except my apologies to all the bands who sent me music and were wondering what happened with this. But it's out now, only 8 months later). This is the culmination of my Bangkok trip  last year, when I met "M" (the mysterious man I know only as "M") at his Heaven and Hell Record Shop in Jatujak Market. My thanks again to "M" for his time and his knowledge. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blast(s) from the Past: Art of Burning Water Interview from 2003

I thought that all the interviews from the first iteration of Dreams of Consciousness were lost, but apparently there are a few still hidden somewhere in the dark recesses of my external hard drive. Here's one of the first ones I ever did, with London's Art of Burning Water. I met them at a Mastodon show while I was visiting London mid-2003, and e-mailed them some interview questions ("which they were kind enough to answer" - ™ every zine writer, ever). They were super nice guys, and gave me a copy of their three song promo No Tarablus Interablus. Which, if I'm being completely honest, was the main reason I asked if I could interview them.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Eye of the Beholder

"Have you been waiting long? Only 31 years? That's too long." - James Hetfield on Metallica's first concert in Malaysia (to thousands of screaming fans still in their twenties).

Kids were moshing in the stands, undeterred by the concrete steps. Dudes threw their arms around one another to pose for photos, beaming, while behind them giant screens zeroed in on Kirk Hammett's fingers. One kid got up on the fence so that he could bang his head high above everyone else. Every lyric that came through the PA was sung back to the stage tenfold. Occasionally someone in the stadium seats would jump the fence and charge through the field in the direction of the stage, only to be subdued by security. Through it all, I wondered how I, the kid who owned 4 Metallica shirts in high school, became the guy who sat down while everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) around me was cheering and dancing. For Metallica's first concert in Malaysia, was I a justified cynic or scowling wet blanket?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Disgorge in Kuala Lumpur 8.18.2013

Jello Biafra once remarked that death metal "is the first form of rock music that has caught on with poor people over the world"; he also noted that the bands "sound more than a little bit alike." I'm not sure that fans in Malaysia would appreciate being lumped in with Jello's "poor people", but the sentiment is spot on, and seems to be especially true about "slam". What started off as a New York-centric style is now a worldwide phenomenon, with Suffocation's disciples popping up everywhere from Las Vegas to Laos. That all the bands seem virtually identical hasn't slowed its spread one iota; message board C.H.U.D.s can't seem to get enough gurgling vocals and palm muted chugging. I only recently warmed to the style but as someone always whinging about the death metal scene in KL (or rather, the lack thereof), I'm not in a position to be picky.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


My computer died at the beginning of this month. Thanks to Hari Raya and my natural amazing timing, I sent it in to get fixed the week-end before the tech guys went on holiday and only got it back 2 weeks later. All the music, movies, books and TV shows I've been stockpiling on a hard drive for the last decade were basically useless. I never thought I'd be in a position where Seth Putnam would look like a genius, but that's what those two weeks were like.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GirlsNames Interview

Canada's GIRLSNAMES came to my attention not so much by accident, but by the enthusiastic efforts of their Bandcamp mailing list (more about that later). Since I'm a mark for both free downloads and off-the-wall grindcore, they were included in one of my (sort of) weekly Bandcamp Picks. Info about them is sparse ("We are just 3 people recording in a closet..." was about all I could find), so I fired off some questions to the band's Facebook page; someone who was either a band member or computer virus was kind enough to answer.