Apr 052014

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of Kurt Cobain‘s death.

He was the artist whose passing away was the first to really hit home.

I was in Utah in 1994, and the news that came in the afternoon on a Friday th eighth electrified the whole Austin Hall – Cobain was definitely one of the biggest voices of the generation and his sudden departure did not go unnoticed. I’m pretty sure the wake of sorts we organized was a Nirvana-only evening.

May 062013

Slayer logoJeff Hanneman, the lead guitarist of Slayer passed away last week.

Slayer was one of the first thrash bands I became aware of back in early 1986. Hell Awaits had recently been released, and it got quite a lot of air time in Radio City’s Hevitaivas (the only show that played metal). After the rather safer Metallica and Megadeth, Slayer was something rawer, something far more vicious. Something that seemed to exceed the listening norms of my schoolmates. Hence, as I had quite a backlog to acquire, I somehow missed the release of their seminal Reign in Blood album, and lost touch with the band for a while. But got re-acquainted with South of Heaven in 1988 (now loaded with summer job cash, new albums became a weekly thing) – the band had slowed down, but lost none of their intensity. My interest in the band peaked with Seasons in the Abyss and I lost touch with them once again. This time pretty much for good, the newer albums somehow disagreed with me.

Saw Slayer live in 1998. The gig still clocks in as the loudest concert I’ve been to. Tried removing earplugs for a couple of songs towards the end of the concert, and was assailed by such a volume that the plugs went back in quickly indeed.

The bandmembers of Slayer were strangely distant. Apart from Dave Lombardo’s frequent departures and rearrivals, the rest of them were nowhere as vocal as the likes of Hetfield and Mustaine. Jeff Hanneman I knew as one of the most incomprehensible soloists in the metal world and of his interest in wartime Germany. The former gave us plenty of unimitable songs, the latter gave us Angel of Death – a sadly misunderstood true thrash metal classic. The third ascpect that I dimly recalled was his infatuation with Heineken, proven to be common knowledge in the pictures his fans posted in the Drink A Beer In Honor Of Jeff Hanneman event last Saturday.

Apr 162013

BostonMy favorite East Coast city was subject to a terrorist attack yesterday. At least three bombs were deployed downtown, and two of them exploded with great carnage.

Boston is resilient, it will bounce back.

But I still hope for a swift and merciless justice for the perpetrators.

This is one of my favorite photographs from Boston: the old Massachusetts Customs House – tiny and ancient amongst the skyscrapers.

And this is one of my favorite bands, Dropkick Murphys with For Boston, a very appropriate song for today.

Jan 182012

Yeah, today is the long-awaited SOPA/PIPA-protest day.

I am obviously totally against the heavy-handed censorship proposal, but am not turning the blog off.

After all, I had my four hours of darkness yesterday following the cPanel mishap in the afternoon.

And if the blog would have been switched off, I wouldn’t have been able to post this glorious rendition of American Pie. And not just ANY rendition of American Pie, but one with LOLcats in it!

Sep 052011

And to really flog a dead horse, here’s the last of the seven wonders-themed posts in a good while.

World of 7 New Wonders is expanding on the natural wonders.

As with their original campaign for the new wonders four years ago, the selection feels oddly constrained. Some of the choices amongst the top 21 seem very odd indeed. What exactly is so special Polish lake district that it merits inclusion?

At least this time the selection doesn’t feel like a badly disguised campaign for SMS-provided funds as the previous one did.

Mar 152011

Supermoon sounds like a villain from a particularly bad batch of sixties superhero comics.

But it’s not. It’s the culprit of the recent earthquake if “some of the leading astrologists” are consulted.

Fortunately, it’s still astronomers that have a monopoly on truth.