Monday, July 28, 2014

The media watch-dog group One Million Moms, a subset of the fundamentalist Christian organization the American Family Association, has come out swinging against a new live-action show on Adult Swim called Black Jesus.

Aaron McGruder, the creator of the lauded comic strip The Boondocks, is behind Black Jesus, which seems to follow in the same deeply satirical vein as McGruder's comic, which was later turned into a critically acclaimed cartoon on Adult Swim.

Watch the lengthy trailer and form your own thoughtful opinion or whip up some righteous anger:

We were unaware of Black Jesus until One Million Moms got mad enough to make the news outlets pay attention. (It's an historically slow time of year in the news cycle, never mind that we seem to be on the brink of admitting that we're in the midst of global war, or, if you like, World War III.)

As is so often the case, those upset by a piece of art have shouted, and in doing so, prompted many more to take a look than otherwise would have.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Moar Boar

Aldershot, UK sludge trio XII Boar put out another four-song E.P. in 2012 that we didn't mention. So go give Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof a spin and if you want it with you all the time, cough up some cash and download it asap.

(For posterity: "Triclops" thunders across the stereo, a mythic, massive beast of a song that makes us want to ride a dinosaur down the interstate, crushing all puny automobiles in our way.)

If anything, since we last mentioned XII Boar, the trio has gotten faster and noisier. And a self-aware sense of comedy has surfaced.

Witness the silly video they made for new single "Truck Stop Baby." In it, XII Boar sing the praises of a particular woman who offers services at a roadside stop for long-haul drivers who need to, er, relax. It's comes off like David Allan Coe reinterpreting Golden Earring.

What's far more interesting to The Typing Monkey is the b-side to the new single: A slower, (almost) softer reworking of "Train Wreck" from their debut E.P. XII.

XII Boar's groove-oriented riffery -- always a little peppier than your average stoner metal, let alone doom -- got pushed aside in the original take of "Train Wreck." As if to embody its title, the original recording barreled ahead at hardcore speed, a hairy, unstoppable song that should absolutely soundtrack a bar fight in a 1970s bike movie.

The newer version, parenthetically identified as a "(Slight Return)" gets somehow more biker-like, the kind of tune that gets posted on YouTube as a forgotten gem of the proto-metal variety. It's crank-blues that make lesser humans feel dirty. We're still chewing and digesting, and for now, prefer the pummeling original. 

That said, it's always compelling when a band re-interprets its own material. Lend an ear:

"Train Wreck"

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cosmic, Man

Take an hour to relax and enjoy Stuart Arentzen's "a suite of recent synth fiddlings" via SoundCloud.

Listen in the title link above, or spin it in the embedded player below. What to expect? Let's say you're having a bubble bath with Carl Sagan and then you realize it's not a bathtub but a wormhole that shoots you out of the Milky Way, through a black cloud of dark matter and eventually into a nebula where juggling is encouraged.


Historians and cultural critics agree: This thing we, usually incorrectly, call the internet is built on a shameful pile of subjects that will one day signify and symbolize all that was wrong with Western Civilization.

So with that out of the way, let us be clear, breasts are terrific. There is no shame in boobs. All mammals have them and most humans wouldn't be alive without them.

To show how deep humanity's obsession appreciation for boobs goes, regard this Wikipedia article on hills around the world that happen to look like breasts, at least from certain angles. Yep. In what is now the primary fact-checking resource in most nations, resides an article about hills that look like boobs.

The "Breasts of Aphrodite" at Mykonos, Greece
photo by Ross Berteig

Take that, Pliny the Elder!

["I already hate this job." -- New summer intern Alice]

Black Magic Woman

We've mentioned legendary doom metal band Electric Wizard at least once before. With a new album due this fall, The Typing Monkey figured it was time to (re-)acquaint readers with a terrific interview with Electric Wizard's guitarist -- no, the other one. Yeah, her, Liz Buckingham. The one who isn't Jus Osborn.

In 2011, Kim Kelly, of NPR's music blog The Record, interviewed Buckingham. Asking smart questions to get smart answers, Kelly illuminates Buckingham's inspiring motivations. Like the best female musicians stomping around in a field still dominated by men, Buckingham isn't a female guitarist, she's a guitarist. Right on, Liz Buckingham. Right on.

Read it all here and get hip to the massive, too-much-to-smoke power of Electric Wizard.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Gather the Kids and Ruin Their Day

Vimeo's Staff Picks are often very good, the pinnacle of "user-generated content" as the industry jargon calls it.

The short horror film (it's less than three minutes long) Lights Out does a lot with a little and is highly inappropriate for children -- not because it's violent, or filled with adult images they're not ready for, but rather because it shows them exactly why we're all afraid of the dark. It won awards for a reason.

Lights Out - Who's There Film Challenge (2013) from David F. Sandberg on Vimeo.

Sleep tight.