OK, it is now about a month since the show but I've been meaning to write about this as I consider it to be a significant event in my life.
I got to see Skinny Puppy purform live. I consider this to be a check mark on my life goals list. Yea, Dwayne is gone but I never got to see SP while he was alive. I first started listening to SP in 1990, so I suppose it might have been possible for me to have seen them durring the Too Dark Park or Last Rights tours. But I was young, more timid, and less adventurous as I am these days.
I enjoyed the show a lot. Nivek put on impressive vocals, performance art, and costuming. They actually started very early, even with an opening act. These days it seems unheard of for a band to start a performance on time. Most bands seem to start an hour late, unless it is a punk show and then it is three hours late. I digress.
They performed for almost 2 hours and I still wanted more. I was disappointed that they didn't perform Assimilate. To me it is their signature song. Other people would have liked to have heard Addiction and Deep Down Trauma Hounds, and I agree. But still it was a good long performance.
From what I understand they used sequencers to take the place of Dwayne's performance durring the Doomsday performance in 2000, which is understandable as cEvin and Nivek hadn't performed together in years and it was a one time deal. Well, that got them back on speaking terms and they've now got a new album with new material and have toured giving me the chance to see them.
cEvin's performance on drums was impressive. And they now have a new keyboard player. I don't actually know much about him. I suppose I should look it up.... (Mark Walk?) and I can't find it with a quick search and now I'm not even sure cEvin was playing drums or keyboards. I assume drums because he went from being a one man band in a 3 person project playing keyboards, drums, percussion, guitar and pneumatic drill all in the same performance, to mainly playing just drums.
Anyway, the performance started with a few songs from their new album, starting off mellow, and then building into a crechendo, and then taking off with a lot more energy than on their studio album. Then they played a couple songs from the proccess before getting into their older and IMO better matterial. They had multi-media being projected onto a screen behind them. A bit more high tech than in their older days I imagine. For a couple songs Nivek had some sort of video game gun that seemed to be interacting with the multimedia and he would shoot down effigies of himself.
I wanted until they were playing their older material before I entered the pit. I'm not as young as I used to be and to be honest, out of shape these days. Still, I got lots of compliments on my pit action after the show so I guess I'm not doing too bad. Also, I try to mellow things out in the pit when I feel people are just shoving each other. I believe that the operative word in slam dance is dance. I think the last time I was slam dancing was at a NoMeansNo concert a few years ago, and was winded then too. I just don't go to as many shows like that as I used to and without regularly dancing I'm out of shape. (blah blah blah complain)
Part of the reason I procrastinated writing this JE, besides that I have a procrastination problem in general, is that I wanted to review the album. Well, it takes a long time for me to take in most albums and most Skinny Puppy albums have taken me even longer to fully appreciate them. They just have a lot of levels of sound to take in, even with the more subtle of their more recent material.
The Greater Wrong of the Right
I must admit the title threw me off a little. Skinny Puppy has always been political. The politics of their lyrics are obfuscated with distorted vocals, but still very political. But that's not what threw me off. I just don't like reducing politics to Us vs. Them, Left vs. Right because I don't fully identify with either. They seem to be cashing in on a politically charged year in history, not that I think that it is a bad thing. It will probably attract a more mainstream audience who may go on to listen to their older and better material. (Should I make a comparison to Chumba?)
Like The Proccess, the vocals are clearer then most of their albums, but I still haven't taken them in yet. Musically speaking, I think it is a much better album than The Process. I think my favorite song on the album is d0wnsizer. It has a nice ambient opening and then creepy vocals, a mellow beat starts, then guitars and it starts warming up. It reminds me of the old Skinny Puppy.
It will probably take me at least a year to fully take it in but I'll say at this point that any Skinny Puppy fan should pick it up, as well as anyone getting interested in Industrial Music.
I consider Last Rights to be the last "real" Skinny Puppy album. It is funny because while anticipating The Process I just wanted something besides Last Rights to be their last album. The Process is OK, but it seems more like a warm up for The Tear Garden's To Be an Angel Blind, The Cripple Soul Divide. (Note that I read in an Edward KaSpel interview that they incorrectly corrected the title for that album. I think I put here what it should have been.) (I'll have to look it up later and confirm.) I didn't fully apprciate Last Rights until I heard the remixs of Love in Vein when back & forth vol. 3 & 4 were released. Not to metion to finally realize that I just didn't like the guitars on The Process.
After the concert a lot of people said that they were suprised that VX Gas Attack was performed. It didn't suprise me. I quite expected that song in particular to be performed as it illustraits that those that are against the war and occupation in Iraq have been against Saddam long before the US Government was. It is a song that was critical of Saddam while he was still offically the puppet dictator for the US. And they had lots of stuff in the multi-media illustraiting the links between the past and the pressent, and that we need to resist the attack on our civil liberties. And it isn't the only song durring the performance with this theme. (At least in Video and I assume lyrics. I wonder if the lyrics are on the net. They don't seem to be in the CD notes.)
I ended up buying the new album and cEvin Key's The Ghost of Each Room. The T-Shirts were $25 and I'm low on money and didn't care for the design so I didn't get anything else. But I will say that Skinny Puppy deserves to cash in. I imagine that they will record (recorded) lots of video of their to release on DVD. They created a new sound in Industrial music which inspired many. (Insert bashing of Trent Reznor and Marilon Manson here.) Skinny Puppy deserves to cash in now, especially after others have made so much money imitating them. Yadda Yadda blah blah blah.
In other news, has anyone seen that new Michael Moore movie yet?
Yea, it's been talked to death and I have commented on it in other peole's journals but I wanted to say a little about it in my own journal.
Michael Moore documentaries are infotainment. They are a lot more informative than most infotainment, but that's what it is so you gotta take it with a modest grain of salt. That said, I'm actually impressed with what he did. It seemed a lot more subtle than most of his work. I'm not sure if that is saying much but while it definately had those Michael Moore moments, they were toned down and used in moderation. I especially like that he cut down on the Barbara Walters moments in this movie.
I'm a little skeptical about the segment on the Oregon State trouper. I can confirm that budget cuts are particularly bad here in Oregon. But isn't it the Coast Guard's job to um... guard the coasts?
I particularly liked the comments from our troops in Iraq. My cousin in in Kuwait, and while realtively safer than the troops in Iraq, he regularly goes on missions to Iraq and I worry about him. I liked that the movie showed there is a variety of opinion with our troops, that my cousin described to me via email months before I saw this movie.
Oh, and I think that Moore was actually being pretty nice to our Fearless Leader to try to appeal to a more mainstream audience.
A few nights ago, I saw the second of a two part interview of Michael Moore on The Charlie Rose show. One of the things that Moore said really impressed me. I couldn't find a transcript and don't have real audio installed and wouldn't feel like listening right now even if I did so I'll have to paraphrase from memory.
Even if next year George W Bush is no longer President we are still going to have a whole lot of work to do. Electing John Kerry is not going to solve all our problems. We will still have to deal with the terrorist threat, and in a way that doesn't infringe on our civil liberties.
Oh, blast it, I can't really remember. It reminded me of a conversation with an anti-protest protester who I agreed with at least on this one statement: "If you think electing John Kerry is going to solve all your problems you are in for a rude awakening."
It's late. I'm probably going to edit this JE later so check back again on Monday.
Oh, and I guess those were the lyrics in small print inside the album, just not separate by song and hard to read. I found it online. Here they are before I even read them:
Just looking for something is what to say keep looking at nothing to go away you take my picture a portrait prize behind my image your father's eyes just looking for something NOW it looks like something from far away inside the image grows and makes the shadow fade behind the image posted on your wall a crack is hiding fighting for it all just looking for something NOW we've taken it somewhere from far away the voices echo from yesterday behind the crack behind the image on the wall I see you curled up tightly hiding from it all just looking for something NOW hit me on the street while waiting to do nothing where within the space can anything feel certain look into the future make out the word speak send in the spies to watch them creepy are the people unable to do something sitting on an armchair fenced in their creation look up to be there anywhere is somewhere itchy past scratch the itch hit me in the streets hit me feel about a nation so precious is the freedom carousel the brass ring reach into a black mass so its corroded always polluted we all want some of it maybe all the people now left without no loving where within the strength gone better see it coming get off the fence trip rip up the garbage make it up to the earth bitch hit me in the streets hit me be a politician eroding all your freedoms down the rabbit hole cracks money markets fall through a looking glass time becomes too fast all to benefit the rich so keep eating from the apple edges from the center shaken to the core until it doesn't matter no one to turn to no where to run to better the bomb to blow it HIT ME in the streets beat my head to wake up cause I feel as if I'm sleeping past is in the heart and I am waiting for the rhythm feed the holy jaws no saying pain is the answer after all is gone the story leaves me feeling empty and all alone it leaves me feeling emptE breathe we are all animals inside free the spirit is alive to guide us we're all alone and really feeling empty we're all alone when all revenge falls apart taken a step back from the start leaves me feeling empty IT neuwerld order pissing on a river on the way a long tomorrow rancid waters picking up the remnants of a flower in all of us exists the touch of deadly warming global and trust we must distrust the owners of the new world order what of the hour of the whole look what you've been missing feed upon the fingers chew the knuckle to the bone dig inside the crack beside the pain that is a home live a distant second skin whatever else that can fed upon the remnants of a life that's never had he took a living thing and made a copy of it an image put the finish on a life still being made the secret twist invading mists the desert once a forest can't see the forest for the death within the tree inside the crack beside the pain that is a home give it up today average levitation mojo no magic dedicated delusion give it all away oh yeah mother theresa all of it for the good of everyone never really ever really happens life is all distorted reasons are purported what we share with everyone nothing every little boy and girl is under everything is wrapped up tight underneath the spell what is discovered everything is wrapped up tight every little thing that is discovered did it ever really happen attached in awe what a whiplash hate filled culture of viruses born raised and infected with violent thought to set it off defend the wrong incite the thing to bring it down the panic of in a moments time bomb the artful dodge to fabricate a polarizing opposite political intention to keep it poor without a choice so full of fear a peoples voice carve a scar warm clotting of meat the maker of the hollow cost kept pockets picked of all moral law to face the truth were banished from a history of then is wrong defend the wrong incite the thing to bring it down is this pure reality could we be led to believe lemmings up against a sea drowning in speculation even told when waters older more polluted never drink the murky media to plumb the depth of time what of human frailty visualize with clarity past the sanitation to childish flesh and bone bleaching sticks and stoner ribs pukes up gallows laughter stage the mighty media blessing this sanitation what is this supposed to hold freedoms crush disparaged souls despot dug in yellowcake and failed to certify it crippled son to pass it on a hatred fed on hatred born deify defensive form as if to never see that what is real canned I feel less important than today anyway is it worth the slaughter? Sit and feel absolutely zero suffering a condition worth denying pasted carcass killing fields body parts off dolls that bleed who was once committed for pulling wings off flying things feeling bold to knot put over twisted ever after hissing faded left alone to replicate the lie what is real asks the dream some dim shift a rift within funniest seems a distant the damp ring fitting end destitution ego death within a condition dear dementia are we alone mission complete to the unknown this is a story this is so sorry all is a stone sunk in too deep run out of air lung full of heavy it's feeling heavy were we forewarned force it to break labor of hate who are we fooling what are we doing pin it on time proof in the meat time to consume does it concern me under a flag free are we all completely use less are we are we end is a known sick and alone pieces of dream meant as a nice theme meant as a nice dream so pause at the end cause the effect shorten the pain time for reflection or to regret them dark this heavy past tension over talking ever creepy creep me out quiet soft pitch scratchy throat sore bubble crass the eye balls of token alibis say digger dig me then throw it out in time to gain all the picture water sport aim the game to get no shot rich vine land party spot all them kids so fucked up as if the problem looks alive with each virtual compromise dead head auction auction muscle every thing that lives feeding egos radius dark this matter heavy past tension over talking trash pubic public pimp the name divine the only pissing game working on to undermine only one to one two blind hooking up its wired set the bomb depress the audience looker woofer hookah smoke breathe in feed on spit it out inner vision inside dope latest software antidote creepy creepy creep me out quiet soft pitch scratchy throat cross the bubble crass the eye dark this heavy past tension over talking empire sews the seed of hate we remove ourselves passing flames inspires ugly traits sanitize creepy ills to keep the fear in line is it wrong to let the liar lie creepy ills to keep the fears in line more acquired is disease the souls state I am a god I am a faceless warrior lost leaders wins the glorious growing stocks of used up people life is twisting all the words to shun life worth less than corporate rape empire takes control of fate I am dying I am dying is wrong to call a spade a spade popping pills will ease the daily pain bombing peace back up into the stoned state I am not living here I have got much left to fear in the place of safety I am fortunate to be alive with all these distant rich things around me I am left to realize its not the blood in me it's not the hate it's just the simple things that I relish I am a god I am a face less warrior we remove ourselves from the war looking from a distance sanitized wash your hands an feel it the dirt is down the drain. enough