Edge

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

and the Life & Art clan

SLAYER
Soundtrack to the Apocalypse
****

There’s only one metal band on the planet that has been around for 20 years and remains just as genuine, hard, and undeniably wicked. Need a hint? Pull up your sleeve. While countless ’80s metal bands (namely Metallica) have long been stroking ZETA deejays, the Kings of Metal stay true to their roots: they’re still the same “evil thrash” band they were back when you were head banging in the womb.

Soundtrack to the Apocalypse is a four-CD box-set chronicling the Huntington Beach, Cali quartet’s career over two decades, scrolling from 1986’s Reign in Blood to 2002’s God Hates Us All, that is buried with home recordings, garage sessions, live versions, and a DVD of live gigs.

Somehow it is still lacking a few devilish rarities (“War Ensemble-Hellraiser Remix” and the “Seasons In the Abyss” version with the flute, you know?) and oddly excludes tracks off their first three LPs.

Still, with five-plus hours of heavy metal riffs, soaring guitar solos, and the signature Slayer speed that: makes your heart pump out of your heaving chest, makes you want to break shit, makes you flick off your neighbor, makes you kill the Rumplemintz, and makes you scream along with Tom Araya’s ideological lyrics about sex, Satan and death, this set does not fuck around.

“On your knees/ My satisfaction is what I need/The urge to take my fist/And violate every orifice.” (Holy shit that makes me hot.)

Leftfield highlights include a tight version of “Disorder” with Ice-T and a rousing cover of Suicidal Tendencies’ “Memories of Tomorrow.” If you’re still wiping peroxide on that forearm wound, go ahead and invest in the Deluxe Limited Edition, which slips in an additional bonus live album from 1992 with kick-ass ex-drummer Dave Lombardo packaged in a faux blood sleeve with floating skulls in it. Sweet.

– Lila Dominguez

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V/A
Buddyhead Presents: Gimme Skelter
***1/2

Upon listening to this compilation dished out by the Cali shit talkers at Buddyhead, there is only one thing that can be said: Nardwuar the Human Serviette.

Never mind the amazing job that Iggy Pop does with the interludes on the album, and it is not worth noting that Mudhoney finally returns to the glory they knew circa Superfuzz Bigmuff but had completely lost by last year’s Since We’ve Become Translucent.

Awesome tracks by Pleasure Forever, The Starvations, and Beehive and the Barracudas pale in comparison to the glory that is Nardwuar. Before we get started, the only other tracks worth mentioning here are a Weezer song dug up from the depths of a concept album/rock opera that was supposed to be the follow-up to the “Blue Album” and the amazingly titled “What the Fuck Do You Think Christina Aguilera is Doing Right Now?” by Shat.

For praise of the cuts courtesy of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Le Tigre and the Icarus Line, Buddyhead.com probably offers up a lifetime’s supply. But my review all comes down to the album’s closer, an eight-minute interview with Miami resident Iggy Pop by, yes, Nardwuar.

This legend is a self-described “31-year-old man child” who conducts interviews for Vancouver, B.C. radio station CITR, various magazines, and Canadian TV station Much Music. There was a time when even Floridians could experience the magic of Nardwuar on Much, but then they started that “Much USA” crap and decided the American sense of humor couldn’t handle a savant of such comic sophistication.

Luckily for the States, his genius is again available to non-Canucks thanks to the efforts of Buddyhead’s Travis and Aaron. Topic to topic, Nardwuar jumps wildly, while staying fixated on Iggy’s cock, asking questions like “Now, Mr. Pop, did you really show your cock-ring to Tina ‘Ginger’ Louise from ‘Gilligan’s Island’ fame?” (Answer: yes, he did) and “Iggy, where did you first pop out your cock on stage? When was the first time? Do you remember it?” (Answer: it was in 1968, in Romeo, Michigan).

Other highlights include Nard asking Pop about an alleged sexual advance by William Shatner, and yet another discussion with Iggy about feigning homosexuality in order to avoid the draft.

This is a damn fine compilation of rock tracks, but the last one looms over them like a huge Viking shadow.

– James Hush
Programming Director, WVUM 90.5

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RICK JAMES
The Best of Rick James: The Millenium Collection
****1/2 (out of a possible five, son!)

Twenty minutes of Rick James at his prime is more exciting than your entire pathetic existence added up 20 years from now. The Man packed more funk, sleaze, leather, drugs and kinky (really kinky) sex into a 17-year span than any other musician to date (sans maybe R. Kelly and, well, let’s be fair and wait it ou…actually, what the hell, and the King of Pop).

Rick lived with Neil Young before we knew who either of them was, he’ll confidently tell you that he has slept with thousands of women, and he even had a cameo on Mr. T’s “A-Team,” although he forgot his lines because, as he told The Onion in a 2001 interview he was “up all night with a couple girls, getting high and having ferocious sex.”

Unfortunately, this appetite left him serving two years in the belly of the beast for beating the hell out of one unlucky girl, and for being too courteous with his blow to a luckier one, before lovin’ again hardcore.

This disc bursts out of its pants from the get-go with the 1981 mega-hit-it-or-quit-it “Superfreak,” the jittery jam that launched his Street Songs LP to triple platinum global superville success.

“You and I” and “Mary Jane” guide you into the middle of the crack sensation, ranked in the same arrangement as they were on the 1978 classic Come Get It! Try to name a better funk debut, ’cause you can’t fool.

Wipe each other off and skip the next track (nobody cares about Smokey Robinson’s part in “Ebony Eyes”), pump up the volume like C. Slater and thrust your leather-bound crotch to “Give It To Me Baby” in every girl’s face you see on campus, especially if you’re driving, or better yet, roller-skating. Yeah, roller-skating. Actually, learn from James’ mistakes and keep this masterpiece in the bedroom and shower.

Rick says the females can’t resist that one, and if they does, er, do then “Dance Wit’ Me” is up next; meaning you can shed your clothes (take off the skates first though) and climb into any fountain on campus and sing along to “Look at me I’m soakin’ wet / Like I was in a shower/ When I’m dancin’ with you, baby, now, now!”

See, Rick James just wants us all to get wild, wet freak nasty sex all the time, finals be damned.

– Kevin Dean
UM Surfrider Prez

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SINGLE FRAME ASHTRAY
Burn Radio Airtest
***

Disregard the static leading you in at the on-set as a conscience effort, keep your head from throbbing towards the close of track seven, and embrace the similarities between Single Frame Ashtray and a handful of other outfits playing these days: you might be missing the point.

A trio does not have to smack you in the face as a taunt to shrug off all other pretenses in modern music. Nor do they have to outreach the creativity and catchiness of rock’s current top tier groups like Q and Not U and LIARS (whose forthcoming LP on Mute will make this and nearly every other band seem 20-years retro in the dance punk game).

Really, all a gang of three like Texas’ Single Frame Ashtray has to do is embrace the space in their sound and pummel forward without tripping up into a knot of white noise. On the EP, Burn Radio Airtest, the novel idea of drums, guitar, and keyboard is put into full effect for five tracks of raucous if occasionally immature yelps and rhythms.

With today’s obsessive talk of influences wearing thin, SFA clearly know this, wearing the past on their sleeve and paying no mind to stuttering pretense until it’s a well-knitted, hip sweater right in time for winter.

A remix by CREEPYKID is hit back during the one-and-a-half minute response called “Eavesdropper (Insomniatronic Mix)” and only makes things more interesting. Manipulating the vocals to the point of no return, it is all squall/pulse with a telephone voice disrupted by screwed transmission on the microphone.

Reminiscent of David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life In the Bush of Ghosts, Single Frame mans the helm with the concluding “100,000 Troops,” which rounds third towards an important aspect of post-punk: songs do not have to sound like songs to exist as concrete pieces of music.

– Michael John Hancock
Lead singer, The Empirical Mile

December 5, 2003

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