RIP, Peter Steele

Thanks especially for "Black No. 1," "Todd's Ship Gods," and "Pyretta Blaze"

I hate the weepy, maudlin tributes that follow the death of a celebrity, usually from people who have never met the person.  So all I’m going to say is this:  Peter Steele, your music was awesome.  Hail and Farewell.


Pardon My Drool

 King Civilizer

Death Magnetic album cover’s out! 

Get it?!  It’s magnetic filings, pulling together in the shape of a coffin, which is where you go after death!  Metal!

It Is Named

 King Civilizer

Metallica has released the album title for their please-God-be-better-than-St. Anger follow-up to St. Anger:

This is huge news here on All Things In Their Place.  And so far, it sounds, mercifully, MUCH better than St. Anger.

Shazam! Sunday News Roundup: May 18, 2008

 Captain Marvel

Top Story! – Russia Ready To Cooperate With Britain On Litvinenko Case

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Sunday it was prepared to cooperate with Britain in investigating the case of poisoned defector Alexander Litvinenko after London lifted its “unfounded accusations.” …[click here for more]

Middle East News – Police Seize More Olmert Papers

Israeli police have raided the Ministry of Industry and Trade as a corruption investigation into Prime Minister Ehud Olmert continues, official radio says.  The raid follows one on Jerusalem’s city hall on Monday…[click here for more

More Middle East News – Islamists Win 24 Of 50 Seats In Kuwaiti Parliament

Islamist candidates won 24 of 50 seats in Kuwait’s parliamentary elections on Saturday, a gain of two seats over their total in the last round of elections there two years ago, according to official results released Sunday…[click here for more]

U.S. News – Crews Still Cleaning Louisiana Train’s Toxic Mess

Hazardous materials teams are still cleaning up a toxic chemical spill from a train derailment in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday that forced 3,000 people from their homes…[click here for more]

Business News – Nippon Steel to Raise Contract Prices for Toyota, Mitsubishi

Nippon Steel Corp., the world’s second-biggest maker of the alloy, will raise contract steel prices to a record for Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., said a person close to the negotiations…[click here for more

Environment News – Study:  Hurricanes Not Linked To Climate Change

Global warming isn’t to blame for the recent jump in hurricanes in the Atlantic, concludes a study by a prominent federal scientist whose position has shifted on the subject…[click here for more]

Technology News – Libertarian Ocean Colonies?

Tired of the United States and the other 190-odd nations on Earth?  If a small team of Silicon Valley millionaires get their way, in a few years, you could have a new option for global citizenship: A permanent, quasi-sovereign nation floating in international waters…[click here for more]

Music News – Ozzfest Reduced To A One Day Concert (Dammit!)

Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Serj Tankian, Hellyeah, Sevendust and Shadows Fall, among others, are scheduled to appear at this year’s one-off Ozzfest, scheduled for Aug. 9 at Pizza Hut Park in Dallas…[click here for more

Trent Reznor Has Enough Ferraris, Apparently

I’m starting to think that somebody at one of the record labels backed over Trent Reznor’s dog. First the guy releases a brand new instrumental Nine Inch Nails album, Ghosts 1-4, on the NIN website, completely independent of any industry machinery. And he makes 1/4 of the album available for free. So many people rush to download it that the server crashes, and Reznor proves that an artist at his level of popularity doesn’t need a label to do a damn thing…so Warner Brothers, EMI, and the lot of them can kiss that revenue goodbye. And that’s just off an instrumental album, it’s not like NIN dumped Year Zero out there for free or anything.

And now, gratuitously rubbing salt in the wound, Reznor goes and “drops” the new NIN record, The Slip, a real-album-with-lyrics-and-everything-no-fake, out there on the NIN website, totally for free. Not “download a low-fi version free and give me $9.99 for high-quality MP3,” but any format you want, including the audiophile geeky ones I’ve never heard of, for nothin’.


Next up? Oh yes… Posters Are The Worst Kind Of People

 King Civilizer 

So somewhere around age 14 I decided I was going to be a heavy metal and hard rock fan.  I don’t know how it happened, but there in the midst of a Midwestern suburban upbringing, private schools, and several pairs of Dockers, I decided it was going to be up the irons from here on out.  There really wasn’t any rebellion element, as I thought even then, as now, that teen-age rebellious behavior is embarrassing and indicative of an inability to introspect and nurture an independent self-concept.  When I went to the record store to buy “Kill ‘Em All,” I was typically wearing Gap khakis and a collared shirt, and then went and hung out with people who dressed the same but who might have listened to Dave Matthews, or (eeugh) Tupac, and engaged in weekend activities such as not smoking pot and not planning to gun down everyone in our 6th period English class on Monday.  So I listened to Metallica, Ozzy, Tool, Type O Negative, Black Sabbath, etc pretty much in a vacuum.  I recommend being a metal fan only under those circumstances.  Want to see what I mean?  Go to Ozzfest.

There’s really no eloquent way to say this so I’m just going to come out with it – a lot of the people there are pretty screwed up.  Going to an amphitheater hosting Ozzfest is like walking into a convention center that double booked meetings of Campus Spree Shooters of Tomorrow and the Oxycontin Enthusiasts – hyperaggressive, faux-gothy bros playing human pinball down in the mosh pit blended with navel-gazing kids who evidently paid $50 to go see their favorite bands and not smile once, even when Ozzy plays “No More Tears” and Zakk Wylde does the solo and it’s awesome because he plays part of it with his teeth and then Oz brings out this huge mother of a water cannon and squirts the first row and howinthefuckdoyounotcrackasmilewhenhedoesthat?! 

Anyway.  Not well, the Ozzfest crowd.  My happiest day, musically, was when I got a job that paid well enough for me to pop for pavillion seats, thereby allowing me to avoid an inordinate amount of mixing with the hoi polloi on the lawn.  But while their behavior, when you’re up close and in person, is bad enough, things are ten times worse when they attempt to employ the written word.  When you actually get a window into their minds, you realize very quickly that metal fans are the worst kind of fans to have.

None are more irrationally unforgiving.  Pop fans will put up with anything.  People still buy Ashlee Simpson albums, even after she Milli Vanilli’d her Saturday Night Live performance and, in a classy move, tried to pass it off as a miscue on the part of her band.  Matchbox 20 has a bunch of fans, and when they come out with a new album, you never hear about a mini-revolt of people who complain about their new sound.  Madonna hasn’t come out with anything notable, much less good, in decades, but every time she releases new music people are all over it.  Red Hot Chili Peppers?  They’ve churned out the same mid-tempo balladish music for the past 3 albums and you never hear anybody bitching about them. 

But metal fans?  Holy shit, if you’re in a metal band and you wear the wrong t-shirt in a promotional photo, the internet explodes.  So when you make a record that doesn’t sound exactly like your first one, if you start to sing a little more rather than scream everything, if you downtune a guitar that you usually don’t downtune, you can kiss at least one third of your fan base away – and that one third that’s defecting is going to be extremely vocal about it. 

It’s incredible.  They will sling conceivable permutation of the word “faggot” – “fagit,” “fagot,” “faghit,” etc.  If you have the letter “S” in your name, it will be replaced with a “$,” cleverly implying that you have sold out – i.e. “Lar$ Ulrich.”  While we’re on the subject of Lars, he and his band mates have been labelled “MetalliCA$H,” “Selloutica,” and of course, “gay.”  Your band has lost it, fallen in love with getting on MTV, you’re a bunch of clueless, out of touch poseurs.  You are suddenly the worst band that ever took to the stage.  Everything you do from here on out will suck.  All your fans are mallcore loser sheep queers.  They wouldn’t know real metal if it smacked them across the face.

Metal fans are a complete liability – if I had a band, I think the only way I could get through the day would be to carefully avoid any kind of user-accessible media; it’s bad enough to have to deal with some guy who couldn’t sing or play guitar to save his life tell you that you suck, but when they tell you in a poorly punctuated message board post where every third word is misspelled and every second word is a puerile dick joke, I think I might sink my career by releasing an album called “Screw You If You’re Buying This.” 

Record Labels Hit The Downward Spiral (See What I Did There, Industrial Goths?)

walter-2.jpg Civilizer


Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails just released an album of 36 instrumental tracks that they produced and recorded themselves, without the assistance of a label, digitally on the Interwebsnet this past Sunday.  You could get 9 songs for free, the whole moody kit and caboodle for $5, pay $10 for the digital download plus a physical 2-disc set, $75 for a deluxe edition, and a whopping $300 bucks for a limited edition version that includes Reznor’s personal autograph.  So many people lined up to download that the site crashed.  The $300 version frigging sold out.  And 37% of people downloaded a version they have to pay for.

To review, and all you music industry types might want to write this down and then stab yourselves in the carotid with your Mont Blanc, because your business model is about dead:

Nine Inch Nails released an album of instrumental tracks that did not even have titles.  They recorded and produced it themselves.  They then distributed it on their own website.  A quarter of the album could be had for free.  So many people went to get it that the servers crashed.  And of those people, over a third paid at least $5.  A full 2,500 paid $300.  And the album didn’t even have any words!

Yanni?  Your move.