85. child in time

Deep Purple‘s Child In Time is one of the first times I ever really connected with a lyric, the one about the blind man shooting at the world. I guess thirteen year old me had enough of a grasp on randomness and karma and the overall crumbling state of the post-60s zeitgeist to have no problem buying in. Because there were blind men out there, figurative and otherwise. They did have guns and they were just letting rip. Of course, Ian Gillan’s vocals helped in this regard, always one more octave to be nailed with all due terror and glory, this being the guy who played the title role in the original Jesus Christ Superstar. So heaven really was the limit.

“And then there’s the band itself, jamming through the extended middle section like the world was ending (and it probably was), particularly the live Made In Japan version, Made In Japan being what one might call the definitive 1970s double live album. It was certainly required listening in every big brothers’ beater of a car, always on 8-Track tape, soundtrack for bombing recklessly around suburbia as if there was actually a reason to. And maybe there was. I do remember one rather psychedelically enhanced conversation with old friend Motron wherein it was decided that maybe the entire reason for our particular suburbia to have existed was to give us young folk (boys mostly) something to tear around in at absurd speed, thus justifying Deep Purple at the peak of their attainments. If that makes sense. And even if it doesn’t, what do you expect from men who spent their childhoods ducking blind men with guns? Figuratively and otherwise.” (Philip Random)

91. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

“Because even if it was only for two or three weeks roughly halfway through Grade Nine, Black Sabbath were the greatest, most essential band in all creation, all hail Satan to whom they’d sold their souls. At least that’s what I heard in Metal Shop from John Field, and you didn’t argue with that asshole. And anyway, who’s arguing with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (the song)?  Heavier than all the world’s cathedrals combined, more essential riffs in its five and half minutes than all the 80s hair bands put together could conjure in a decade, and yes, as a matter fact, exactly what you need for air-guitaring when you’re fourteen and getting properly smashed on whiskey for the first time. And then I think we went and smashed some stuff.” (Philip Random)

305-304. ogre battle + the fairy feller’s master stroke

“I definitely prefer Queen‘s earlier more obscure stuff. Bohemian Rhapsody for instance is just not as rocking, as imaginative, as deliriously wigged out, as good, as the two tracks (joined as one) that that kick off side two (Side Black) of their second album (the imaginatively titled Queen II). Ogre Battle hits first, rocking like something out of a thrash metal wet dream, and featuring actual ogres battling in and around a two-way mirror mountain, with smoke and explosions. And then comes The Faerie Feller’s Master Stroke, better than the opera part of Boho-Rap because it’s not just some multi-tracked excuse for the band to show off their vocal talents, it’s actually about something, it’s about a painting from the 19th Century that Freddy Mercury could not get enough of, by a guy named Richard Dadd — ten years in the making, and all of them spent by Mr. Dadd in an insane asylum where he was serving a life sentence for murdering his dad. It’s true.” (Philip Random)

Queen-1974

316. yu gung

They did this at Expo 86. A free show at the infamous Xerox Theatre.  It was June sometime, or maybe July. I remember it was raining. I remember the NOISE erupting out into the plaza, like a palpable monster. I remember two little girls crying, their mother in a rage. ‘Music like that does things to people.’ But her rage was impotent. Einsturzende Neubauten just kept raging, even setting the stage on fire toward the end, oil rags carelessly tossed, fire extinguishers hustled to the scene. This wasn’t staged. I remember thinking, yes, this is true heavy metal because they’re actually hitting, grinding, hammering chunks of metal. I remember a bomb going off on the McBarge (the world’s first floating McDonald’s) or maybe it was just a grease fire gone horribly wrong. I remember watching it sink into False Creek, no survivors, just blood and oil fouling the water, drawing hundreds maybe thousands of sharks. But the concert carried on. The cops were afraid to stop it. Eventually, the military was called in. Actually, that last part was probably the acid.” (Philip Random)

EinsturzendeNeubauten-1986-liveFire

507. N.I.B.

“I remember knowing what N.I.B. refers to, except now I’ve forgotten. ‘Nebulous Inner Blackness,’ said Motron when I asked him, but he was just snatching that out of the air. I’ve also heard Nativity In Black, which feels more likely. Anyway, it’s from the first Black Sabbath album, the one called simply Black Sabbath, and it seems to be about the Dark Lord himself, Lucifer, but he just wants you to take his hand, be his friend. Another lonely guy howling the blues.” (Philip Random)

BlackSabbath-1970-promo

701. wheels of confusion

“The official Black Sabbath history lesson regarding Vol.4 seems to go something like this: after three albums inventing and defining what would eventually come to be the core of heavy metal, it was time for the band to expand their sound, roll with the progressive changes of the moment, get even bigger. But for me, thirteen when Vol.4 hit, catching random pieces on late night radio, it was just this deeply heavy stuff that seemed to capture everything that was weird and wrong with the world, but also kind of cool. Wheels of Confusion indeed, crushing anything that got in their way.” (Philip Random)