Showing posts with label Marilyn Manson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marilyn Manson. Show all posts

Oct 23, 2017

It All Started With a Cassette Tape: Rest In Peace Daisy Berkowitz

by Robert Dean

When I was 13 years old, some friends of mine and I would ride our bikes faithfully to our local record shop, Discount Records every month like clockwork. We’d dodge runaway dogs, angry parents and high school kids in Camaro is trying to cream us. With every stroke of the chain around the sprocket, we would direct ourselves toward the sound of the Pixies cranked over a big system or listen to two guys argue about the supremacy of these dudes called Pantera vs. the legacy of Metallica.

Discount Record’s ceiling was lined with Dead Kennedy’s or Misfits shirts. There were cases full of colorful patches that could cover the back of your jean jacket. The place smelled like cheap incense, exactly like a good record store should. The racks were filled with not just swaths of music but broken down sub-genres so that the discerning buyer could shop with trust that their sonic needs were met.

The staff always had a display set up for the records they thought you should buy. It was heaven to me. I had a route of three different record shops I would hit, each of them offering a unique reason to visit. One had cheap punk records, while another was notorious for putting records out early and had a massive selection of bootlegs to choose from. Discount had Concrete Corner Music Samplers, which turned out to be a significant cornerstone of my developing musical tastes.

The Concrete Corner Music Sampler came out monthly and showcased the newest singles from bands in the heavy music community. These tapes were my religion. Because these tapes were free and I had to save every nickel and dime to buy anything cool, I cherished my copy like a junky on a score. Corrosion of Conformity, Sepultura, Danzig, Rollins Band, Primus, and countless others – I owe those tapes for showing me that world. There was one band in particular that struck a chord with me, that made me feel unsafe: Marilyn Manson.

As I played my tape, and I heard that evil whisper of “Goddamn your righteous hand” which bled into thePortrait of An American Family classic, Get Your Gunn, I thought Satan himself had landed into my cheap Sears stereo. The song launched into a twisted battering ram of carnival music laced with heavy guitars and a depraved sense of morality - it legitimately frightened me. 

I’d never heard anything like that before. Metal, punk, and some hip-hop were my world. I could listen to a Cannibal Corpse riff and not bat and eye, but this felt powerful and evil. I immediately was into Manson. I bought Portrait and was blown away by the record’s strange artwork, by the ferocity of the music, knowing that if my parents listened to what these guys were saying was straight out of Rosemary’s Baby, they’d be like, “pump the brakes, little dude.”

One of the things that caught me about the record was Daisy Berkowitz’s guitar playing, how it lent so much to the feel of the music, acting as a powerful thread that was equal parts sleaze, but also spooky. As a young guitar player, it was cool to finally be able to play some riffs that were easy but delivered in spades in the anger department.

I remember putting on the record and listening to Cake and Sodomy, the lyrics going over my head, but just knowing it was bad news. I had Manson stickers on my stuff, and I had a fuck you attitude that was one notch stronger thanks to these weirdoes from Florida.

Over the years, I’d stayed with Manson up until Mechanical Animals. The spirit of the music and the vibe had grown into something I couldn’t truck with. I enjoy David Bowie, but Marilyn Manson trying his hand at the Bowie thing felt dumb to me. Despite not being into the newer music, I’ve always had an affinity for the band, and will still give the new music a chance, despite rarely delivering for me these days. But, those first three records, those were a trip into a netherworld that will always remain as the golden canon for Marilyn Manson.

With the passing of Daisy Berkowitz from colon cancer, a small flood of memories came back tonight. I remembered being that kid in 1994 who fell in love with Daisy’s era of Manson. I remember his funky blue haircut, the orange flood pants, and Doc Martens. That was a good, simpler time.

I’m sad to see you go, Scott. I may not have known your work in later years, but for a while there, I blasted those original songs and sang them like a little creep with a bowl cut and a baggy Nirvana shirt. Rest easy and stay spooky. 

Jun 13, 2017

Come on, Spotify!

 If Sam Hunt is "Country Gold," then these are also correct...

(That one's real; the following are fake)

Feb 17, 2017

Digging Up the Corpse of Black Market Magazine

Skulls, voodoo, punk rock, with no condom: we dig up the corpse of Black Market magazine

By Robert Dean

Back in the pre-internet age, the underground music scene was ran from zines. Yes, there are still zines, but they’re not as plentiful as they were a long time ago, Mr. Know It All, Comment on Everything Hipster.

Zines were how you discovered new bands, heard about social causes, or found out weird, subversive art. Most were handcrafted, collectives of multiculturalism, or just filled with a lot of weird shit. Some enterprising folks with a vision put a lot of effort and idealism into crafting zine culture and just about all underground scenes benefitted. Because no one in bands like The Cramps or KMFDM were getting on MTV aside from the occasional bone from Headbangers Ball or 120 Minutes, indie labels or even in some cases, the majors, relied on the local music programs, or zines to help spread the gospel of new bands.

As a young buck, I worshiped the record store. I saved up all of my money to continually buy cd’s, band shirts, music magazines, and zines. I gobbled up Maximum Rocknroll, scoured the racks for NME, and even had subscriptions to Circus and Metal Edge. But, there was zine I’d read and was after it like the Holy Grail: Black Market Magazine.

Black Market existed from mid-1980’s and up until 1995, and in those years, Black Market offered the world that was fucking mind blowing to a 14-year-old kid with a Nirvana shirt on, and with Misfits and Sepultura stickers on his skateboard.  The art was subversive. It took risks, both societal and cultural: they challenged what was allowed, even in the underground community. Everything from race, to religion, and gay rights were all on display long before they became the everyday topics in our age. The magazine was just as much about the art as it was about the music. The two mediums together gave Black Market magazine a potent cocktail for all of us acolytes to swallow. We got style, attitude, a lot of knowledge out of these pages.

They allowed artists a platform for dark art and darker opinions. Nothing in the realm of Black Market was taboo.

 The music, though – that was what was mind-blowing. The Rollins Band, Marilyn Manson, Megadeth, Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains – every cool band from the era found its name plastered between the covers of Black Market. What’s interesting seeing the magazines these years later, Black Market was not only a pioneer in their artistic nuance, but they did interviews before the modern culture molded certain figures to a particular light. The journalism, the questions were sharp, and in a way, the style precluded the VICE styled music journalism we see today with Noisey.

The magazine also featured icons of culture like Famous Monsters’ Forrest Ackerman, as well as members of the Manson family. The interviews are candid, but also truthful in that they’re biting, and honest.

Being out of print for so long, re-reading the issues doesn’t feel dated. If anything, the magazines hold up now better than ever. They’re time capsules into an era when dying your hair meant you were a freak, and visible tattoos meant you were a scumbag.  Bands like Type O Negative or Samhain were frightening, and indeed a big, detailed picture about priests engaged in questionable acts as a social statement weren’t exactly en vogue. You had to embrace and earn culture like this. Black Market shoveled all of the best things about goth, industrial, punk, hardcore, and metal into one oozing corpse and made us all love it in return.

Mar 21, 2016

Album Review: Shooter Jennings - Countach

Shooter Jennings - Countach
A Review by Robert Dean

One thing you can count on when it comes to Shooter Jennings is the dude does not give a fuck what you think. When everyone wanted him to do one thing, he does the complete opposite. Someone says “career suicide” and guess what? The dude will ride straight into that storm with both fingers raised.

How else could he have had the guts to record his masterpiece Black Ribbons when everyone wanted a Waylon copy? Sure, why not release a concept album that has more in common with Clutch than whatever’s playing on country radio. Shooter’s next move? Just when everyone thinks he’s gone and left them for Mars, he drops Family Man – a traditional country record that was razor sharp, and able to put folks in their place with one swoop. And with both of these choices, he was about to cement his ability to morph into anything he wants to be; that’s the power of Shooter Jennings. Let’s not get lost in forgetting The Other Life, either. It’s also so overwhelming to think about in one musical palette, but it all belongs to one man.

On Shooter’s newest record, Countach, no one could have predicted what would come next. A dizzying array of textures and sonic landscapes, Countach is a schizophrenic look into a mind that’s overflowing with musical ideas and too stubborn to stick to one thing. Countach shouldn’t work, but it does. The sounds land because the record doesn’t feel like a collection of songs (see: Black Ribbons) but an overall vision. The mood drops and swells, always daring the listener to see where they’re willing to go next.

For god’s sake, the record is a synth pop meets country, disco funk party that has cameos by the late, great Steve Young and Marilyn Manson. Putting it in a category is the impossible task not fit for any human. Some moments feel appropriate for an 80’s love scene ala Miami Vice while others speak at the darkest recesses of what we think Shooter is. Who else is capable of mixing pedal steel with pop-heavy synths?

Countach isn’t for the traditionalists, and it’s not for someone who’s expecting a return to whatever preconceived form you think Shooter Jennings needs to adhere to. There is no form. There is only what he chooses to pursue.

 Oddly, I feel this Bruce Lee quote best describes Shooter Jennings musical vision:
 “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

 If this quote means something to you in how you feel about music, buy Countach – you’ll be better for it and grasp its vision. 


Countach is available at BCR Media, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

Apr 3, 2014

Somewhere In Nashville Right Now...

Somewhere In Nashville Right Now...

A songwriter is rewriting a verse so he can fit "my bae" into the song.

Looks are winning out over talent - @Mando_lines

A former folk band hopeful is shaving his beard into a douchebag goatee.

A Luke Bryan fan just hit puberty - ‏‪@redonkulousD‬

Keith Anderson is loading the UPS truck for his morning run.

Marilyn Manson is cutting his first country single, Tailgating in Hell.

Tim Mcgraw and Kenny Chesney are being classified as "Classic Country" - @pug6994

Scott Borchetta is signing the first "bro-grass" band.

Some dearly departed country legend actually digs the new Jerrod Niemann song
and is NOT rolling in his grave.

I'm eating a peanut butter sandwich - @ToddFarrellJr

Someone is writing one of the most beautiful and inspired country songs of all time (that will be never be heard on country radio).

Rhett Akins is writing a country-rap song about John Anderson.

A man is putting zebra striped spandex under ripped jeans looking himself
in the mirror and saying THAT'S COUNTRY right thar. - @xray_don66

A producer is trying to figure out where to put the bass drop in a hot new country band's debut song.


Thanks to Twitter pals for helping out!

May 23, 2012

CMT Awards: Final Slate of Presenters and Performers

CMT has announced the final slate of presenters and performers for its 2012 CMT Awards telecast, Wednesday, June 6th at 8/7C. As always, it's an interesting mix of entertainers and personalities that's sure to increase your appreciation of country music! Without further adieu...

Insane Clown Posse presenting Best Hick-Hop Artist award

Christian Bale's stunt double

The cast of Bayou Billionaires

Criss Angel

DJ Jazzy Jeff

Survivor winner Kim Spradlin

Larry the Cable Guy

Lindsey Lohan as Liz Taylor

Marilyn Manson performing a tribute to George Lindsey

Marty from Madagascar 3

Nicki Minaj performing with The Pistol Annies

Rebecca Black presenting Female Vocalist of the Year

Andy Samberg

Tom Arnold

Troy Aikman and Hulk Hogan

Waka Flocka performing with Taylor Swift

Bruce Willis and The Rock


Old Dirty Bastard hologram


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