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Yea, verily. I occasionally post about personal and some work-related issues that belong hidden from the idly prying eye.

I don't have a set friending policy, although sometimes it takes me awhile to notice that there are new names at the bottom of the profile page. If you want to give me a holler (or at least tell me who you are), drop me a note in this entry. All comments will be screened to protect the guilty and perverted.

Update 12 Jun 13 -- I've started weeding out people from the flist who don't post and who I am pretty sure don't even use LJ any more. It's not personal. If you lurk, drop me a PM.

Holy shitballs!

We had a lot of beer today!

Thank God for Rush

We are listening to Red Barchetta and watching baseball. It takes the edge off of the stress of the game.

Deadline for ordering BWB shirts is today!


Looks like the board is busy shitting all over itself again, so PM me here if you need to order a Tshirt.
I'll amend the full writeup, but I figured I'd save you poor fuckers who have already read it once from plowing through it again.

First up: It was legitimately cold for this MDF. Cold enough that on Friday while drinking at Max's, we each took turns running down the block to the local Goodwill to pick up jackets. That is crazypants because Baltimore at the end of May is usually a steaming sauna, and the threat of dehydration and sunstroke is high. This year, the only days one could go without a jacket were Thursday night and Sunday.

Second: While some of the door and fest security were really dodgy (all kinds of reports of drug-dealing and a few people being robbed of cash), the guys running security in front of the stage were generally great. So great that one did a stagedive at the end of Carcass into the crowd. And they took turns running in the circlepit, not to shut the pit down, but in solidarity with the other pit-dwellers. It's highly entertaining to see a security dude with a giant shit-eating grin on his face as he's moshing with the other knuckleheads while his brethren in front of the stage cheer them all on.
Maryland Deathfest, how many years have I been writing about you now? Facts say "four" but it feels like a lot longer. Every year, there is at least one must-see band -- bands I have never seen before, and may never see again, or bands that put on such a good show, you just have to see them. This year was a banner crop, with Bolt Thrower, Cobalt, Venom, Manilla Road, Abigail, Aosoth, Antaeus, Pentagram, Speedwolf, and Midnight.

I never know how to write about MDF. Do I approach it chronologically or thematically? It makes sense to do it chronologically, because that's more or less (sometimes much less, due to drunken shenanigans only remembered later) how I experienced it. But I am not sure that will help the reading audience.

This year started relatively modestly. We boarded the train (Quiet Car, yo!) and had an uneventful trip to Baltimore. Checked into the hotel -- saw becala in the lobby and learned we were across the hall from each other at the hotel. We missed a few of the bands on the Thursday bill -- but we got to see Abigail, Cobalt and BOLT THROWER. dionysus_petals grabbed my ass (first of many butt-molestations perpetrated by Mindy), beerdiablo showed up with beer. jonsiron and suzgrad were there because BOLT THROWER. We always have a good time with them, and am so glad they got Thursday tickets. And I got to finally meet blackheart666 . We shoved a beer in his hand because it's the right thing to do, and I had a nice long chat with someone I've known online for years. \m/ to him.

Abigail ruled. The Engrish was strong with them, but so were the Gods of Metal. Cobalt were great because I knew every note to their latest two albums. I think they were more of a mixed bag for those unfamiliar, because the sound system wasn't doing their particular brand of music any favors. I'll be curious how it translates to a small venue this weekend. They played two of three Must-Hears for me: Arsonry and Witherer. I am going to be screaming "Two Thumbed Fist" for the entire set this Friday. But I can totally understand why unaffiliated heshers would hate it (and many did).

Bolt Thrower. My friends, you must understand that the horrible weather that destroyed the Midwest arrived in Baltimore for Bolt Thrower. It was raining. Pouring rain. Pissing rain. Shitting rain. It rained. The tent was packed full of every motherfucker with a ticket. Because Doug and I were busy chatting with Dave from Evoken, we didn't get a spot in the tent. Worth it, on two levels. 1) Chatting with Dave from Evoken, who recognized Doug. 2) Don't have to wear earplugs during BT's set. And so we stood in the pouring rain screaming lyrics at the top of our lungs with some dude from Chicago. I couldn't see anything but who cares? The music was punishing. And props to Dan from Chicago, whoever you are. I want to see Bolt Thrower again, now. Rightfuckingnow.

More props go to Mercenary Chef, who stood in the rain with an empty beer cup, filling it with rainwater and then throwing that water on those in the tent.

Friday. Friday was beer. We started at Max's taproom with misunderstruck , jonsiron , suzgrad , beerdiablo , MercChef, and Kairparavel. After many hours and brews, we moved to Heavy Seas. (Which reminds me -- beerdiablo , we still owe you money/rounds. We were hoping to pay you back on Saturday, but since the server can't manage a television and we needed to see footy...) Anyway, so we got to the show in time for Benediction (awesome), then Evoken (heavy), and Repulsion (always excellent). "This song is about destiny. It's called "Decomposed!" Carcass were fun, and then we walked to Soundstage to see Rotten Sound. Lasted two songs and then went to bed because I don't like Pelican. Sweet, sweet sleep.

"Any port in a storm, and any barrel to see over the crowd."

Saturday was a wrecking ball, because it had the thinnest lineup (for me, personally). We met with MC and Kair for a pre-noon beer, then cheese and MC's charcuterie and beer and bourbon. Oh gods. Then we met guppyur and went to Alewife for Champions League Final and they couldn't deal with the TVs so we went back to the hotel bar where Champions League was on and Sergio the bartender overserved us more beer. And a Jameson shot because holyshit. I forgot all about that shot until later. Then to Alewife for more beer and dinner. At this point, I am not in control of any of my faculties, so it must be time to go to the venue. The whole point was to see Aosoth and Antaeus. Total devastation. I made sure I was up close (read: front edge of pit, two bodies from the railing) for both. Beyond intense, especially because the guy in front of me during Antaeus was a legit Nazi. He kept pulling the salute to the black security guards, so I made sure to take elbow shots to the motherfucker's kidneys at every opportunity.

"My life. Jesus and Tequila a Taco."

Sunday was insanity. Tried to get breakfast = fail. Doug and I ended up drinking for breakfast at Pratt Street Alehouse. Then drinking with MC and Kair in our room while MC turned into Jesus. Then the Dumbest Line In Christendom awaited us at the venue. We missed Speedwolf (although props to the organizers who gave SW a second set because the line meant that most of their fans missed the first set). I could talk about the bands, but most of my afternoon was overshadowed by JESUS. Jesus crowdsurfing in the pit for Sacred Reich, Jesus at Cruciamentum, Jesus dispensing benedictions at Midnight, Jesus hugging a taco. Jesus high-fiving a chicken. Jesus at Glorior Belli and at Pagan Altar. We lost Jesus at Manilla Road, but I hear from reports that he was in the pit for the second Speedwolf set. Doug and I got some sushi and then saw Magrudergrind. There was a penis in the crowd. RJ (you can see him onstage, with his guitar, in the background of that photo) was really stoked that we showed up, which always gives one the warm metal fuzzies.

"There's always at least one dick in every crowd."

Venom closed out the festival and it ended EXACTLY AS IT SHOULD HAVE. Black metal, buttrock, a drummer who never saw a stick-twirl and overhead cymbal flail he didn't like, drunks, a dude who cut through the crowd holding in vomit, and then...POWER CUT. Yes, the organizers cut the power mid-song because Venom went over their time and the concert curfew. There was a fight on the stage between organizers, security and Venom's manager -- a total Spinal Tap tableau. The crowd almost rioted. Flashing red and blue lights everywhere as the cops closed in. Crazed heshers looked to get maced. It was excellent.

Basically, the organizers were facing at a huge fine if Venom played too far past time, and so they rightly axed Venom's set at 11:05 or so. I would have done the same. But I also think this is the best way for any band to end their set. It cements an outlaw air, especially for a band with such a fraught and ridiculous history as Venom. It's wild, man! WILD!!!!

The rest of the night was spent killing beers with room 400.

A top-notch weekend. I got legit props for BATTLE HAT and I hope that I'll see someone bite my estilo next year and turn it into a mini trend. The time spent with friends was priceless, and I am so glad that I got to see so many of you guys again: becala , samjolnir , dionysus_petals , blackheart666 , beerdiablo , jonsiron , suzgrad , guppyur , Becky (what's her LJ handle?), Eric D., Mercenary Chef, Kairparavel, the other members of the Seattle crew from the 5th floor...who am I forgetting? Those who couldn't make it -- we drank in your honor. I can't wait for next year. \m/

Kvlt Alert

For those who like unusual metal, and especially unusual black metal, check out the new album by Cultes Des Ghoules. It's decrepit, gnarly, creepy filthy shit. Out in Europe, but will be released by HHR in the US. CD in March; LP in April. This is good, because HHR tends to keep their stuff in print for awhile, repressing stuff as needed, and this has all the hallmarks of being like Mgla last year, where the entire first print run sells out in days.

First World Problems

It is cold. Too cold, in fact, to wear my nice new blue wool coat to dinner tonight. My options for tonight are to go out looking like:

1) an ambulatory sleeping bag
2) a gigantic muskrat

My inclination is to go as a muskrat because I never otherwise get to wear the coat, and it's gorgeous. I inherited it from my grandmother, who inherited it from her mother's friend. Judging by the styling, I would guess that this coat was made between 1918 and 1922. Choices, choices.

stupid job

Trying to explain what a Lagrangian point is to lay audience, in a limited amount of space, is a giant pain in my ass.

UPS You Make No Sense

So the UPS person is here -- or at least their truck is -- and I don't see anyone going into or out of the truck (yes, I was watching that fucker like a vulture from my 2nd-story perch) but all of sudden I get an email delivery confirmation that the package is delivered but...no signature required? It's in the mail room?

And just as I was typing that, the doorbell rings. UPS dude. My package. Requiring a signature. Does. Not. Compute.

But fuck it, I have the part I needed (power supply) to charge my laptop again and it works. And I got to stay home from the office and listen to tapes this afternoon and just generally chill so I guess that is a bonus. Now off to take a shower.

Love to everyone

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I wish you much love right now.

Headphone apocalypse

My music genres of choice are so punishing that I have rendered two sets of high-end headphones obsolete. Black/death metal: Why I can't have nice things.

I love everything about this

Pianist rickrolls O'Hare holiday travelers, then segues into Gangnam Style and, glory of all glories, Nyan Cat.

My job here is done

I've gotten four people to yell "Headbanging Snowmen!" in the office today.

Thank you, second-favorite metalhead lighting nerd. You make the holidays bearable.
A Metallica medley for this year's holiday light display. Right around 2:50, it takes a turn for the brilliant; I actually LOL'd. And the sequence featuring "One" starting around 4:30 is flat-out killer.

All things considered, I still like his first (and much less polished) version with Slayer's Raining Blood the best (possibly because I prefer that song). Now that's the kind of holiday spirit I can support!


smofbabe  and Stephen gave me another earworm -- which features Mars Curiosity, Spirit, Daleks, and Morbo's good friend, Richard Nixon.

Oct. 26th, 2012

FUCK YOU VOIP. I can't call Germany, at all.