Flush It Friday | The Unexpected Virtue of Busyness
BAD: You know how people are always talking about spending less time on the internet? I’m gonna quit Facebook, go out and get some exercise all that shit? I’m in the opposite boat. I’m actually trying to spend more time on the internet. Moving from a managerial / office position (where I spent half of my day in front of a computer) to working in direct client care (where I touch a computer to clock in and clock out) has been a major change – though not necessarily a bad one. I do miss seeing most of the stories here going live, and dicking around with everyone in the comments all day. It’s also been tough having a routine with playing music and “blogging” about it (which I equate to a monkey throwing shit at a target). Someone insert the Don Draper “wah wah wah” .gif.
GOOD: I celebrated eight years of continuous sobriety yesterday, on August 13th. Needless to say, things had gotten bad and stayed that way for a long time prior. I had all but lost control of my own actions. The last day I took a drink was August 12th, 2007, which was a Sunday morning. It was the remnants of my Smirnoff vodka from the previous evening. The last time I used cocaine or smoked weed was June of that year, which ironically was in Manhattan nearly eight years to the date before my recent trip there. I bought the coke on the streets of Manhattan, and it was garbage. I can’t specifically recall the last times I used methamphetamine, acid, ecstasy, mushrooms, ketamine, pharmaceutical uppers, downers, pain pills, benzos, heroin, and a plethora of other substances; obviously it was all before that time. August 13th, 2007, was the first day of my second stay in inpatient treatment, and my fifth attempt at chemical dependency treatment overall.
As a point of reference, I turned thirty three (33) years old about a month ago. I’ve done most of my growing up in the last eight years, and especially within the last two. I’ve seen a lot of my friends and peers relapse in that span of time, and I’ve known a few people who have died. I’ve also seen a lot of my friends and peers suffer from complacency and inconsistency, which thankfully hasn’t been an issue for me to date. It would be hard for me to put into words everything that has happened since in this space. It’s been a pretty remarkable journey, and I have a pretty awesome life as the result. All good things.
UGLY: Working with the profoundly disabled full time for the last two months reaffirms my belief that we’re born, we live our lives, eat, sleep, shit, fuck, succeed, fail, and die. Our stage is a paradox.
UPCOMING PROJECTS: Many of us have been waiting with bated breath for albums from Cattle Decapitation and Krallice, the latter who unexpectedly released their 2015 album to Bandcamp. I like them both, a lot. I’m not sure that either will wrestle their way onto my best albums of this year, but one might yet reach out and grab me. Our community has discussed a lot of the stuff before, but it’s possible you haven’t joined the Toilet Ov Hell Facebook group yet. Here are some of other albums / projects I’m the most stoked about:
The Toilet ov Hell shared a track from upper tier Polish black metal band Mgla a couple of weeks ago (seen above). I had dabbled with Mgla before, but the release of “Exercises in Futility II” sent me on a bender of unstoppable proportions. I’ve listened to the song everyday for weeks. I play it in my headphones while I’m having coffee before work at 6:30 am. I’ve visited every piece of Mgla material within reach. This might sound crazy, it might not, but I think the grandiose and emotive “Exercises in Futility II” is so good that it actually reminded me of how much I love music, and why I expect Mgla’s Exercises in Futility to topple my favorite albums this year, and there are some amazing albums on there already. It’s due out late summer, which is pretty vague, and it’s already mid-August. “Late summer” can’t come soon enough.
The homey Ron Deuce tipped me off to the release of a music video from rapper Despot (seen above). Apparently “House of Bricks” is a single from Despot’s long awaited debut album, We’re All Excited. I’ve been a fan of Despot’s since around 2007, when he released “Get Rich or Try Dying” on the Def Jux compilation Definitive Swim. I’ve seen him live two or three times, and even the songs I didn’t know were tremendous. The release of a full length album from Despot has almost became a running joke, but a real music video billed as a single is promising. Dude is a beast.
David Hall of Handshake, Inc. recently told me (off the cuff) that he believes Alejandro G. Iñárritu is probably the world’s greatest living filmmaker. When dude isn’t releasing Pyrrhon albums, he also makes films, so that should probably mean a little something. I’m minorly obsessed with the film Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). In fact, since I don’t usually harass my family and the people I work with to listen to black metal, I do things like insist they watch Birdman at the next available opportunity. It, and Nightcrawler, were my two favorite films last year. If you haven’t seen it, you fucked up, but it’s an easy fix. If you aren’t planning on seeing his next film, The Revenant, at your first available opportunity, you’re fucking up. It’s going to be metal as fuck. Trailer above.
You’re probably aware that Charlie Fell (ex-Lord Mantis) has joined up with Erik Wunder for Cobalt’s upcoming album Slow Forever (photo above). Doug Moore reported for last month’s The Black Market at Stereogum:
Meanwhile, Black Market staff favorites Cobalt have ditched bigoted vocalist Phil McSorley in favor of ex-Lord Mantis frontman Charlie Fell — who’s only marginally less inclined to court controversy — and recorded a new album titled Slow Forever. That change constitutes a 50% lineup turnover for the two-piece. But given that instrumentalist Erik Wunder crafted virtually all of Cobalt’s classics Eater Of Birds and Gin, and that Fell is an outstanding vocalist in his own right, there’s reason to expect great things. Slow Forever doesn’t have a release date yet, but one hopes it’ll make it to stores before the end of 2015.
The important bit of news there is a possible 2015 release. Given that I still listen to both aforementioned Cobalt albums regularly, and consider Eater of Birds to be grossly underrated by many, and think Charlie Fell will make an amazing addition to the band, Slow Forever would make an excellent gift to us in time for the holidays.
Those Darn Gnomes superstar Christian put me onto Oxbow a couple of months ago, and they’ve been in regular rotation for me ever since. They are one of the weirdest bands I listen to, which is saying a lot. They play really ugly and confrontational noise rock, which is outside of the scope of heavy metal, but should theoretically appeal to many metal fans. Their newest album, The Thin Black Duke, is complete or near complete and Oxbow is shopping it out to labels. That it isn’t on a label already proves a chaotic universe and an unjust world. A 2015 release seems unlikely, but I’ll be getting weird to “Oxbox” the moment I can.
Lastly, I got a chance to cover music from both Yellow Eyes and Defeated Sanity awhile back. Defeated Sanity’s last album, Passages Into Deformity (2013) has been in constant rotation for me lately. It’s the kind of thing I play while driving and doing the gutturals at the other drivers on the road. Their followup album, a split with themselves, was suggested as a 2015 summer release. I haven’t heard news about it in some time, but if released I’m expecting it to astound. I saw a bit of news about Yellow Eyes releasing their full length followup to the EP Stillicide in 2015 months ago. It seems to have vanished, but Leif Bearikson tipped me off to a Gilead Media teaser in the form of album art, which suggests that the release is still this year.
I’m sure there are 2015 releases I’ve missed, but these are the albums I am giving a lot of thought to now. Enough rambling – good, bad, ugly, and open swim in the comments below. Discuss some of the music you’re most excited about!
Cover image via No Film School