When A Gaze Becomes A Storm

Waveless (Minneapolis, MN)


I don’t know what most people do. I don’t imagine they just pick up a guitar and are suddenly able to make amazing noise, right off the bat. Of course, it helps if you’ve got a sinister vision behind it all, in which case it’s Waveless, the architects of that vision who could do it.

For an EP, this thing takes me for quite a ride. Just from the first track, the hollow guitar blows the curtains off, opening up this vast landscape before me and right before Hannah Kathleen’s resin-like vocals fall in and get me amp’d up for the howling chorus, taking me to a primal place I long ago sealed off and neglected.

I put that first track on repeat and it gets me worked up each and every time I hear it. After doing that for a bit and moved to the second track, I was caught off guard by the drastically different approach in Lucid Nightmare, which convinced me that there is a more mature approach to their craft and I’m only almost halfway through it.

Even with just those 4-tracks, by the end of it I feel like I’ve passed through generations of myths and echos. Even Broken Arrow and Upclose/Unclear are powerful pieces of aural art that concede to the fact that this is some of the best gaze since Slowdive and best dark art since… since… Joy Division!

There, I said it!

If Waveless never puts anything else out (which is doubtful) this, so far, is one of the most listened to digital releases I’m so fortunate to have heard all month and I sure as shit, can’t wait to hear more!

Making Fun Of ISIL?

So, I had to look for this video again because death has been on my mind a lot. Also, ISIL is constantly in the news.

It’s on all of our minds, constantly every day, whether it’s about us or what we see in the news. It’s a topic we never get tired of, which is weird. But after watching this video, I had a few lingering questions about this moment in time.

Does this dude ever wake up and say, “oh SHIT! I am one scary FUCK!” And then throw up all over himself? Probably quite the opposite, he probably gets a hard on from all the death around him. Maybe he can’t wait to do someone in by himself.

But I remember there was talk about internet and phone connections failing in the area before this dude showed up at the mosque. Before everyone knew it, these gunmen showed up and al-Baghdadi made his appearance. Of course, I can’t imagine he rented the place out ahead of time so his people obviously forced their way past the Imam.

What irritates me is how people have responded to the video. Of course, I can’t make people do what I want, certainly not at this guy’s level but a lot of the critics have talked about his watch and how everything is wrong with his speech. That it was edited because it was full of flaws and other things like; that it’s not Islamic to enter a mosque with guns.

Look here chumps. This dude doesn’t give a shit so who are these critics trying to please? Sure, maybe there are some dum-dums out there who don’t think that there might be something wrong with firearms in a religious place? I’m just saying that making fun of these dudes is a great waste of time.

Look at the people there in the video. They’re fucking horrified! I mean, how many times have gunmen shown up at a mosque in that part of the world and massacred everyone? These people have no idea if they’re gonna live or not. I mean, this dude could had finished up his declaration and bombed the entire thing with everyone in it!

This guy smells death everywhere he goes. From the look of him, I’d say he’s a hands on type of guy with his operation, certainly not a underachiever.

Another thing I think about when I see this guy is how this guy and his ilk must smell like.

Over ten years ago there was a thing about serial killers on coast to coast am and they said that serial killers had a distinct smell. I can’t imagine that it’s because of the serial part of the killing so much as the killing itself! Like, a large abundance of it. That’s got to do something with the chemistry of a person who kills. This dude and others around him probably smell like that.


Mosul Video Purports to Show Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Head of Islamic State.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 5 July 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/06/mosul-video-purports-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-islamic-state&gt;.

Zarocostas, John. “Imam of Mosul Mosque Executed before ‘caliph’ Gave Sermon Read More: http://www.theage.com.au/world/imam-of-mosul-mosque-executed-before-caliph-gave-sermon-20140708-zsztq.html.&#8221; The Age. Fairfax Media, 8 July 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2014.

Al-Obaidi, Hassan. “Iraqi Clerics: Al-Baghdadi’s Speech Full of Flaws.”Mawtani. Mawtani Al-Shorfa, 15 July 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2014. <http://mawtani.al-shorfa.com/en_GB/articles/iii/features/2014/07/15/feature-01&gt;.

Stolz, Kit. “A Change in the Wind: The Smell of a Serial Killer.” ‘A Change in the Wind’ Type Pad, 13 Apr. 2009. Web. 25 Sept. 2014. <http://www.achangeinthewind.com/2009/04/the-smell-of-a-serial-killer.html&gt;.

Alfresco 'Loves' Sounds

cover for debut album by Alfresco Love Sounds taken by Joel Dayum

Cover for debut album by Alfresco Love Sounds taken by Joel Dayum

I’m not embarrassed to say that very recently, a specific piece of derogatory sounding guitar work from an offspring track, wouldn’t get the fuck out of my head. Yes, I heard it and felt offended when it happened. If anyone else had been around, they would have seen me go from calm-face to face-cringe in a millisecond, like I don’t already have problems with my rep.

Why wasn’t there an uprising in the Middle-East when that song came out back then? I don’t doubt when they threw that into the track, the rest of the band were just dumb enough about music to be blown away; “Oh wow man, that’s great! Leave that in!”

Don’t get it? It’s that Arab guitar ‘solo’ in their hit song. Yeah, now you hear it too!

But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about how I fixed that immediate problem. If it wasn’t for the memorable guitar solos in Tom Ward’s solo project Alfresco Love Sounds, I’d be on a slippery slope.

I want to thank Don’t Need No Melody for drawing attention to the single suck a bag of dreams.

Right from the start of that track, the beat of the snare is essentially the totem to take with you before you go into the dream. Despite the blog’s don’t need a melody title, that track establishes the melody right from the get go. It reminds me of whenever I think about starting with a melody for to a song I’m writing, I try to come up with various tricks to tease it in and then figure out how to fill the gap between that of figure out when I’ll use it again, maybe even stretch it out wherever I can.

This gap in the song happens right after the melody but you don’t notice it because Tom is actually putting you under with smooth bass lines and harmonies, until the world becomes glittery and all your fears dissipate, telling you how much he could “live inside a dream”. He does this before he brings back the melod, this time with fuzz and swirling guitar solos.

This was weeks ago when I first heard this and weeks later, that same single came back to life in my head while I was doing something really mundane. I had to give this album another listen and it never fails from the first track, I’m mesmerized by Ward’s mastery of sound.

I’m not going to use any language you’ll have to look up later for the simple and fortunate fact that I don’t have an extensive vocabulary. The opening track Sock Cooker Bliss throws you right in the middle of a crispy sunny morning, it’s poppy and fuzzy. Listen to how the drum beat smacks like peanut butter or how the track plays around with its epic sense of space right when you think that serene pop hook is coming back… It’s too immersed to keep you guessing before it sneaks another melodic wave into the second track mirror skies.

According to his blog, releasing this debut came sooner than expected. Ward comes across as a very meticulous perfectionist in his craft. Those shoegaze moments in the album — and there are plenty of them — have purposes beyond fitting the shoegaze moniker. He’s sculpting scenes out of mist and vapor as they take form before they disappear while he keeps creating new ones.

Yes, I’m a fucking weirdo, I know. But to me that describes what Ward is doing here perfectly because he’s constantly moving. Blame chillwave for making me see things in a more visual sense.

Also, Ward is too self-aware to just let the sounds and effects tell one story. Listen to how he changes the order of things with Cleveland and throws in that Burt Rogers sounding rock guitar. Very spontaneous. All it needs are two guitar rah-raahhhhs to go with the twinkling guitar chords. Yes, it doesn’t take much to get me off, I know.

What’s also great about Ward’s work is that he has a lot of it! Check out some of his other band camp releases before he drops another one!

Look. If Ward was concerned about putting this out before he thought it was ready, he can rest easy. It’s perfect.

Exorcists and Dementors

Mystery Skulls (Los Angeles, CA)

These guys don’t need any help with getting talked about but sometimes I really go overboard with my obsessions. This one has outlived the obsession I had with Christina and the Queens a few weeks ago. I only expressed it recently in a compulsive post somewhere else. This is perhaps the second time and last time I’ll be bringing them up.

I can’t be too loud about this because I’m internalizing my shame of liking these guys past the fact that their shit don’t stink. But they didn’t stick around Dallas long enough to let it, cause when the get’n was good, they took off. Fine. Do what you want. I’m suspicious of bands that say they’re from some place only to say that they’re not, later on down the line.

But you know what? That’s not fair. As I’ve said before, every band is from somewhere. Some of them are pretty hardcore about it and others aren’t. Which side should I take?

Get this though… it’s not guys, it’s just one dude! Years ago it thought it was at the very least, something like Chromeo where a Jew and an Arab walk into a recording studio and make magic. Right?

Luis Dubuc’s history in Dallas speaks for itself. This guy was the secret handshake which I remember as the act the Dallas Observer used to shit all over, back when I gave a shit about what they said. I’m guilty of that. It’s my Saigon and I hate reliving it. I locked in a few years ago with the Mystery Skulls debut on bandcamp. Where he threw all of his influences right in; neo-soul and whatever else he felt like doing. How Hispanic are you Dubuc? The man knows enough Spanish for my book of top great Hispanic-Americans like Alfonso Cuaron and Luis Vasquez.

Yes, some of us are late in this shit and so in reading up on this dude I start to realize how unfair I’ve been. He’s had his eye on the prize since the beginning and didn’t bother looking up. That mall-rat sound he was accused of wrangling must have forced him to rethink things, but I think that sound helped.

It’s the life experience, man. He made it through and earned the clout to work with some mainstream mall-friendly heavy-hitters.

Look. This shit is fucking awesome, why don’t I just leave it there.

Want some remixes to go with your exorcists and demeantors?


1. “MYSTERY SKULLS.” MYSTERY SKULLS. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://mysteryskulls.com/&gt;.


2. Mark, Jon. “Dallas ‘Kills It’ In Music: Mystery Skulls – Bubblews.” Bubblews. Bubblews LLC, 14 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.bubblews.com/news/7311430-dallas-039kills-it039-in-music-mystery-skulls&gt;.


3. Freedman, Pete. “The Secret Handshake Continues To Confuse, Buzz, Overhype the ’90s.”Dallas Observer. Dallas Observer, LP, 13 Feb. 2009. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2009/02/the_secret_handshake_continues.php&gt;.

4.”Alfonso Cuarón.” IMDb. IMDb.com. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0190859/&gt;.


5. The Soft Moon. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.thesoftmoon.com/&gt;.

6. Freedman, Pete. “The Secret Handshake Comes to Grips With Adulthood.” Dallas News and Events. Dallas News, 19 Aug. 2010. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.dallasobserver.com/2010-08-19/music/all-grown-up/&gt;.



Blogger Beat Down #29

The Big Whatever!

How can I apologize for not posting on here? Well, let’s see. Cause I’ve been too focused on trying to earn some money writing somewhere else! Go check out the about page and you’ll see the updates on some of the earnings there. Now that I can organize these things a little better, I’m nice and comfy with my blogging abilities. I still have more shifting to do with scheduling these post and hopefully when you see this one, I will have already figured all of that shit out.

But here we are with another Beat Down.  A bunch of posts about shit I wanted to talk about when I was in the I-do-what-I-want zone.

Ugh. Let’s get some of this out of the way.


The Garbage Of Xiao

“A Daughter’s Duty – Fifial piety” is under License Some rights reserved by Instant Vantage

I was watching Curse of the Golden Flower recently and in the extras the director talks about the days of feudalism and fifial piety or Xiao, and how it’s a cherished virtue in Chinese culture. I’ve seen a few documentaries where the female sex is subservient to the male sex in the family. We read stories about that kind of thing every day and it makes us cringe, but this in particular is overdoing it, where praising parents and ancestors is another form of social control.

Making A Case For The New Atheism Movement

Much like the Xiao, religion is another bogus bullshit ideology that I’m fighting against every single day. I’ll give you more updates on what kind of arguments I get into with other people. But, I’ve been on that other side of the argument, where my old self would be arguing with my new self. But all of this stuff comes with experience. I wouldn’t expect someone younger than their thirties to be an atheist. Of course, that all depends on how indoctrinated you are cause deprogramming is a fucking bitch.


My Investing Idea For Poor People

“kevinrosseel_00001ad” is a morgueFile free photo By krosseel

I’m sure many of you know this but I have a feeling some aren’t ready to accept how much easier it is for us poor people to invest in our own futures. Technology has made that easy as technology but it’s also forced us to think differently and show the fuck down. One thing I’ve seen in these poverty camps is that they’re always running around trying to scrape something together. Poverty is also in the eye of the beholder. Sure, there are times when things are really fucking hard. Slow the fuck down and think about investing now. Train yourself to save up for that nest egg.

I guess that’s all I want to throw out there for you to see. I swear it, the next beat down won’t be so beat down. 


Why was no one ever put on trial for the torture and murder of Noor Inayat Khan?

Last night PBS ran a very moving program that told the story of Noor Inayat Khan and how she worked as a radio operator for the British Intelligence. We should remember that great woman.

Scrapbookpages Blog

This morning, I read the following, regarding the torture and abuse of Noor Inayat Khan, on this blog:

On September 13, 1944 Noor, and three other women agents – one of them Elaine Plewman – were taken to Dachau concentration camp. Her three fellow agents were shot immediately, Noor suffered further torture and abuse by SS guards before being shot through the head, her body was immediately burnt in the camp crematorium.

September 13, 1944?  The plaque on the wall of the Dachau crematorium, shown in the photo above, states that the four women were executed at Dachau on September 12, 1944, but September 13th is close enough.

It is strange that the exact date of the execution is unknown, but what is even more strange is that no one was ever prosecuted for the deaths of these four British SOE agents.  The women were fighting as…

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