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  1.  (775.41)
    if anyone ever gets a chance to see the fantomas melvins big band, ever, do it. patton pretty much conducts the proceedings and dave lombardo and dale crover drumming together is an awesome sight to behold!

    bezerker are pretty cool, i think i prefered it once they dropped the masks though... plus they started as a one man speedcore dj gabba stylee project, then turned to live stuff.

    ALSO, pendulum are pushing things in drum'n'bass a lot, the past few years at least. funnily enough, they started out as a metal band...
    • CommentAuthorNil
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008
    I've seen a couple of people earlier mention laptop musicians, so here's a thought that's been rattling around in my head for a while - what happens when electronic simulation of instruments becomes equal to (or indeed better than) physical instruments? While I sort of believe that there's some indefinable quality that comes from hearing a truly dedicated musician playing an instrument they love, I'm interested here in the possibilities for sound alone. I'd be interested to hear the sort of sounds that might come from, say, a simulated guitar string under simulated tensions well above those which would snap a physical string.
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008
    I was working the Locusts show the other day, who were confusingly booked with a bunch of dull little nu-metal bands. A pretty little prep-metal girl walked up to me, turned her nose up, and said "this is the worst thing I've ever heard."

    "Expand your horizons," says I, "In five years, all metal will sound like this."
  2.  (775.44)
    ha, reminds me of when i saw one of my favorite vocalists new band play a festival of mostly shite. he told the crowd to buy their album and listen to it in 5 years time, 'cause only then will you get it...
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008
    "Be warned, there is a lot of Nazi shit associated with the neofolk/martial fields."

    Oddly, in the heathen/asatru scene, the term 'folkish' has come to be a euphemism for white supremacist tendencies.
  3.  (775.46)
    Heh. Funny, that.
  4.  (775.47)
    - Oddcult

    That ain't much of a surprise. The Nazis were often described as belonging to the Volkisch Movement (not least by themselves) in their tendency to romanticise the simple, traditional life of the German peasant. Crudely rendered into English that translates as folkish. The euphemism is supremely apt.
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008 edited
    I kinda think that there is nothing more extreme than Edgard VarĂªse and the Poeme Electronique.

    I doubt that something could really be shocking or extreme sonically anymore.
    We've all been "beaten into submission with sound" so many times now, we would have to let it cool down for a while, and then maybe be we could surprise someone or be surprised ourselves.

    and... greater acceptance equates to lesser extremity...
    (yes, I realize that statement is pretentious as fuck, BUT..)
    That's always something I look out for.
  5.  (775.49)
    "Expand your horizons," says I, "In five years, all metal will sound like this."

    yeah the locust just came through here last week or so with TERRRRRIBLE mall metal bands. this quote busts me up, because that is what i thought he first time i saw the 1999. looks like they still havent infected everyones brain. its ok, i find them to be super boring live now compared to the basement/house shows where they would literally get in fist fights with people and each other. i do lke that SOME GIRLS and THE HOLY MOLAR still play small crazyass shows, well maybe not the molar. i dont actually know if they do now that i think about it.
  6.  (775.50)
    Heh... I used do US promo work for the Extreme Music label. (They released that 50-disc MERZBOX...)

    A lot of "extreme" music has quietly slipped into the mainsteam over the past 20 years - as I can tell when I hear things in car commercials today that would have elicited "what the hell is that weird shit!" phone calls to my radio show in 1981. We've absorbed a full palette of video game and urban noises. We don't hear things the same way we used to in 1980.

    R. Murray Schaffer had an intersting essay on the "soundscape", the evolution of the sonic environment over the centuries. One interesting observation involved "loudness".
    Time was when The Church was the loudest thing in the local environment - church bells and such. Loudness equaled social dominance. Over time, that dominance eroded. Chamber Music developed "in chambre" to isolated it from the increasing noise of the rabble outside, @etc. The ability to be the loudest sound around became a massively populist thing.

    I could rephrase the opening question... It's 1970 and you just heard DEREK BAILEY. Now what?
    Or how about... it's 1952 and you just heard John Cage's 4'33"...
  7.  (775.51)
    Time was when The Church was the loudest thing in the local environment - church bells and such. Loudness equaled social dominance.

    ...actually, that's a bloody good, and interesting, point.
  8.  (775.52)
    ...actually, that's a bloody good, and interesting, point.

    Though a weekend in a college dorm before the era of Walkmans (and iPods) could have led to the same observation (the King Crimson vs Grateful Dead Stereo System War of 1976), it does make an interesting model of social evolution.
  9.  (775.53)
    > (775.50)
    Heh... I used do US promo work for the Extreme Music label. (They released that 50-disc MERZBOX...)

    I used to have the Merzbox! It was stolen with some of my other gear years ago when I was moving. My only consolation was imagining the crackheads or pseudo-tough guy teenybopper bandits putting on some of the discs and getting instant migraines.
    I just ran across a pile of my old Extreme CDs a couple of weeks back (O Yuki Conjugate, Shinjuku Thief, Muslimgauze and a few others). Back when I was doing a lot of music writing, Extreme was one of my favorite labels.
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008 edited
    I honestly don't think there is much of anything "extreme" about any music being made today. People tend to talk about extreme music in terms of its sonic characteristics, and most people thereby make the conclusion that extreme music is music that is faster, heavier, more complex, more chaotic, more "crazy", etc., and thus genres like grindcore, noise, and stuff like that get pegged as extreme. But, as others have already described, those genres have been around for decades, and they ARE mainstream now. No, they're not exactly all over every Clear Channel station in the country, but you can go to just about any city in the west with a medium-sized population and find people who are into or even making their own music inspired by these genres. You can find bands with heavy noise influence whose members are barely even conscious of where noise originally came from. Double-bass pedals and white noise have snaked their way into their subconscious. Also, there was a time when underground tape-trading and that sort of thing actually had a function -- i.e. because the music was so underground that they had to create their own tape-trading network in order to distribute it at all -- but now there are people who fetishize over tape-trading culture and go out of their way to make sure their music is distributed on the most inconvenient media possible. There is just nothing extreme about this stuff anymore -- of course, to me this doesn't necessarily mean there is no GOOD music, just that the "extreme" factor no longer exists.

    I think this has a lot to do with the evolution of western music history, and particularly its distribution. When you think about it, it used to take hundreds of years for there to be a major shift in the direction of music, but once technology started kicking in for better distribution (amplification, radio, records, etc.) that's when genres started evolving more quickly -- jazz was dominating for a while, then blues, soul, rock, pop, punk, metal, hip-hop, techno, etc. (NOTE: this list is of course making huge generalizations, so please forgive them). The 20th century really was the most concentrated period for the evolution of western music, and I think a lot of the shock value and "extreme" characteristics of music made during the last century really depended on the fact that the culture was still adapting to this tendency toward rapid change. Today of course, there are tons of different ways to distribute one's music -- which didn't use to be the case -- and not only that, but there are ways to PERMANENTLY distribute music now via the internet, so that your albums never even go out of print. People growing up in this environment are not likely to experience music culture in the same ways that people once did.

    That said, I think any future evolution toward "extremity" in music is going to have to come from beyond the music itself and reach beyond the aesthetic confines of genre. There was once a time when new genres were legitimately shocking and even subversive, but now that the very idea of being "shocking" and/or "subversive" is part of the casual lore in mainstream music consciousness, it's hard to say what's next. At the moment people seem to think that finding just the right combo of perverse pre-existing influences is what's going to give them their unique edge which will propel them into infamy, but I think this is awfully novel thinking. Again, this isn't to say there isn't any GOOD music out there (because their certainly is) -- just that so many people are thinking in wide-eyed terms, constantly searching for the next big genius musical idea in the most surface-oriented way, when the fact is that most of their influences were born out of social and historical conditions which they will never again experience.
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008 edited
    The future is the past.
    Meaning i am pretty much agreeing with Aducks statements above, i know a lot of younger kids that listen to a lot of so called extreme music nowadays and they burn me stuff, wether its shock value, lyrics or just the way the instruments are played or manipulated i think at this point its all been done.

    I see more kids wearing Ramones & Misfits shirts now more than when they were originally around...
    now only if more kids "got" DEVO...

    I think lyrically and instrumentally, music has hit a definable wall...although there will always be your Zappas, Pattons, and Captain Beefhearts, bands like Ween...with every gen i still think its all been done, just my opinion...with rock & roll everyone's been imitatng Chuck Berry for 50+ years...

    after scanning youtube on a slow sunday, i forgot how much i loved this video, and haven't seen it since 87? til now

    forgive me for deviating from the topic at hand

    even the mediocre songs are so damn good..
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008
    Okay, Merzbow - seriously, what the fuck? No, really. Does anyone actually enjoy it? I mean, I can enjoy the effect it has on people, and I suppose I see the point of going there when no one else really has, but is it really listenable-to by humans?

    Or did people say the same thing about Black Sabbath, and I'm just an old fart now?

    On the loudness as social dominance thing - I've thought something similar about the annoying twats who play music on their phones on the bus, or when walking along the street. It's an extra way of exaggerating a strut or slouch.
  10.  (775.57)
    Okay, Merzbow - seriously, what the fuck? No, really. Does anyone actually enjoy it? I mean, I can enjoy the effect it has on people, and I suppose I see the point of going there when no one else really has, but is it really listenable-to by humans?

    ELECTRIC DRESS is more listenable than, say, METAL MACHINE MUSIC (which probably remains the perimeter case for electronic noise) -- but only because it can't really be listened to -- it works best, like a lot of Eno's ambient stuff, as something you move in and out of. And it remains the only Merzbow I can actually stand to play. Everything else makes me just want to kick him in wherever his cock used to be. I've heard MERZBEAT has its moments, but I will probably never find out.

    I think he's done a bit of remix work that wasn't horrible.

    Ultimately, to me, Merzbow is what Tony Wilson said about jazz -- you can always spot jazz from the way the performers are enjoying themselves more than the audience are.
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008
    ah, Merzbow.

    I take personal offense at the statement that "Everything the artist 'spits' is art"
    I know from first hand experince that it's not-- a lot of it is just shit.

    Over-saturation of the market breeds nothing but contempt.
  11.  (775.59)
    I know from first hand experince that it's not-- a lot of it is just shit.

    Mine glows.
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2008
    I'm not terribly interested in 'extreme' music. There's really no trick to being extreme, extreme is boring: the same pretensions of social change through reverb farting that the same kids had last year. The reason extreme music never takes off is because it says nothing other than its willingness to be extreme. I think of the dissonant scenes like DARPA. Sure, its fun to see what they're doing from time to time, but would you really want them over for dinner?

    What is interesting is fringe music. It's not mainstream, it will never be mainstream, but its pulled influences out the twisted little backspaces of music and meld them into something new. Yeah, the scene heads will whine that they sold out, that they aren't hardest of the hard core no more, but they've melded things to create a new take on a sound. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum takes chunks of industrial, jazz, prog rock, and noise to make something new that isn't easily categorized because the category doesn't exist yet.

    The Locusts won't sell out a concert venue, but they're accessible enough to people that they'll influence other people's sounds without demanding that they marry themselves to an inbred scene. Fringe music, like fringe ecologies, is where new species are born.