Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mustache Ride

From the official minutes of the 2nd annual Broward County Death Metal Convention & Symposium, held in Plantation, Florida, on August 23-25, 2013


Friends, fans, enemies…

[Laughter]

With this many people here, you know we’ve got enemies in the room!

[Nervous laughter]

Nah, I’m kidding! 

[Audible sighs of relief]

First off, I want to welcome you all to the second annual Broward County Death Metal Convention & Symposium at the La Quinta Inn and Suites here in scenic downtown Plantation. Thank you all for being here on the opening night!  Now, don’t forget we’ll have complimentary microwave burritos and Mountain Dew available in the lobby from 9 to 9:15 tomorrow morning. Then the real festivities kick off at noon with the air guitar competition, Cannibal Corpse Karaoke, the Karl Sanders look-alike contest and of course, tomorrow night, the Hoffman Brothers bench-press/squat thrust tutorial followed by Holy Deception, Broward County’s finest Deicide cover band!

[Polite applause]

But tonight we’re gathered to talk about an important topic: Death metal outerwear.

[Applause]

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in the next four hours, what with camo pants, camo shorts, denim shorts, high tops, athletic socks—all the way through band shirts, leather jackets, denim vests, cut-offs and longsleeves. But first I wanna start things off with what I feel, on a personal level, are the most important accoutrements on the docket tonight: Sweatpants and mustaches.

[Applause]

Notice I didn’t say sweatpants OR mustaches…

[Riotous applause]

[Laughs] Right! Because while you can certainly have one without the other—and here I nod in deference to our brothers in arms who are unable to grow mustaches; they live in what I like to call Peach Fuzz Purgatory, hahaha… But of course the mustache/sweatpants combo is always preferable. Just ask our special guest speakers tonight: Rick Rozz and Will Rahmer!

[Applause]

You know Rick as the prime shredder in Massacre, and of course as an early member of Death, going back as far as the Mantas days…

[Louder applause]

Yeah, yeah—I know. Incredible pedigree on this guy. And you’ve seen the photos of Rick from back in those days. Classic death metal ’stache—classic Floridian moose knuckle, too!

[Laughter]

I kid, I kid. Now, as many of you know, Rick has been clean-shaven in recent years. But I’m here to tell you—spoiler alert!—that he’s rocking the ’stache again, and he’s gonna debut it here for you guys tonight!

[Riotous applause]

Now, our second guest speaker, as I mentioned, is Will Rahmer. You know him from Mortician, of course—Yonkers’ finest!—and for those of you with a little more, shall we say, underground tastes… yeah, you know what I mean… he’s also the mastermind behind the almighty Prosthetic Cunt!

[Applause]

Now listen, guys—one stipulation with Will, okay? No questions about the Polish incident. You know, the alleged “stealing a taxi at knifepoint” scenario or whatever. Alleged scenario. That was almost ten years ago at this point and Will doesn’t wanna talk about it. He’s here to talk mustaches and sweatpants and if you wanna ask Mortician questions of course that’s cool. I know we’re all curious what the status of the new album is!  But the Q&A session will be cut short if anyone brings up the Polish thing, so don’t spoil it for the rest of us, okay?  

[Murmurs, nods]

And to be honest with you it came up in the Green Room earlier, someone mentioned it, I won’t say who, and Will was totally cool about it. As it turns out, the Polish authorities made way less of an ordeal out of the whole thing—alleged thing—than you might think. But Will explained to me that he just doesn’t wanna talk about it publicly. So, yeah: You guys know the drill from last year, anyway, when we had Phil from Malevolent Creation up here to talk about Slurpee etiquette and other convenience-store protocols.

[Murmurs, nods]

Okay, cool, cool. I know I can depend on you guys. So without any further what-have-you, let me bring out our first guest. Guys, give a big hand to Mr. Rick Rozz! And guys, wow, let’s hear it for that amazing mustache, am I right?

[Riotous applause]



This bullshit originally appeared in the November 2013 issue of Decibel magazine.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Cosmic Significance Of Orange Underwear


It’s been a strange month. First, the Zimmerman verdict. Oof. Then the Rolling Stone cover-controversy, an inane beef trumped up by sanctimonious crazies and hypocritical corporations across the country. Then milk shoots out of several million British tits as the royal baby emerges from the semi-royal vajayjay. Meanwhile, our man Dennis Fucking Farina sails off into the Great Beyond, a mere two days after I watch him rape and torture a bunch of teenage girls with incandescent thespian Billy Zane in the 1989 TV-movie tour-de-force, The Hillside Stranglers. (Dick Crenna, of Rambo and The Flamingo Kid fame, stars as the drunken cop who takes them down while banging a potential witness on the side. Highly recommended.) Of course, our old friend Varg Vikernes was also hauled out of bed in his orange undies by the French police this month, arrested for terrorism alongside his pregnant wife. They’re released in less than 36 hours.

If we consulted the stars, I’m sure we would discover that these events are inherently linked. Something in Zimmerman’s astrological chart probably says that it’s okay for him to be on the cover of every newspaper in the country but it’s fucking unforgivable to put the Chechen bomber kid on the cover of Rolling Stone. Similarly, something in Farina’s chart probably dictated that he had to buy out in order for the royal baby to buy in. It’s like the end of The Big Lebowski: Donnie dies, but Maude and the Dude have a little Lebowski on the way. Or something like that.  So how does our boy Varg fit into the cosmic picture? The terrorism seems like an obvious link, if you discount the fact that the police seemed satisfied that Varg and his wife aren’t actually terrorists. Could it be the racism? The Zimmerman trial was nothing if not racially charged, and Varg is a notorious bigot. But no—I’m pretty sure that’s not it, either.  I’m almost positive it was the orange undies.

Varg went out of his way to mention them in his three-part blog post after the arrest. In fact, he dedicated an entire awesome paragraph to his orange undies: “Sorry to digress, but sometimes when you buy underwear you get three underpants in one package, and for some reason at least one of these are always in some horrible colour, and of course I was wearing such a pair of underpants on Thuesday [sic] morning. A pair of strikingly orange underpants. Having been repeatedly dragged out into the street or prison hallways or similar in my underwear before, by the Norwegian police or prison guards, I thought to myself that this was going to repeat itself and I would be photographed with my little belly, my thin hair, my tanned arms in great contrast to my pale body and — wearing horribly orange underpants. (Everybody would believe that I was actually Dutch…)”

Varg’s undies are paramount to tying the events of this past month together. And not just because they serve as surrogate for the orange jumpsuit that Zimmerman was mysteriously not wearing at his bond hearing, unlike just about every other defendant in recent Floridian bond-hearing history. The primary reason is this: I was wearing orange undies—and nothing else—when I was watching The Hillside Stranglers on TV and definitely not eating cookies and smoking weed two nights before Dennis Farina died. And I was wearing them for the same reason that Varg was wearing them when he was arrested: There’s always that one horrible color in the three-pack. You gotta wear ’em sometime. Especially when something big is about to happen.

This bullshit originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Decibel magazine. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Back From The Ledge


It was 1985, for fuck’s sake. If Ronnie James Dio could build a two-story hydraulic dragon with laser eyes for his Sacred Heart tour, the Dominator would build a three-story job that could spit human skeletons for his perpetually-forthcoming Choke On My Bone tour. If Ronnie James had two eight-foot medieval knights in full armor with giant light sabers made in Japan, the Dominator would have twice as many eight foot fucking robots, with two light sabers apiece, made by Industrial Light & Magic. That little Guinea fruitcake could sing all the Rainbow and Sabbath songs he wanted to. The Dominator’s stage show would pummel his midget ass back to the goddamn Bronze Age. All he needed was a band. And some songs.

It was only 11am, but the Dominator was getting high on amphetamines and faded glory. He plotted and connived, scrawling obscene cartoons on one of the many legal pads his ex-wife had left at their clandestine fuck pad in Miami Beach. The place was legendary back in the late ’70s. When the wife was out of town, Dom and his entourage would close down the Cockpit every night and bring the party back to his place. Glenn Hughes—of the Village People, not Deep Purple—would snort huge rails of coke off his own mustache and once punched out Dennis Wilson for fucking up the words to “Macho Man.”  Rob Halford used to crash out in one of the many guest bedrooms. Wilson would usually crash on the floor. They would both be wearing nothing but leather g-strings.

Those were the days. These days were strictly shitsville. The Dominator stoked his hate with methedrine and revenge fantasies. It had been a hell of a year so far. The bad news rolled in like a brown waterfall made out of middle fingers and turds: Sabbath reunited with Ozzy at Live Aid. Zeppelin reunited at Live Aid with Phil Fucking Collins on drums. Diamond Dave went solo and Halen replaced him with that clown from Montrose. David Byron, formerly of Uriah Heep, took the high hard one right in the liver: Death by drink at age 38.  The only bright spot had been watching Dee Snider and Frank Zappa ram the First Amendment right up Tipper Gore’s sanctimonious cornhole at the PMRC hearings.

Meanwhile, the Dominator’s much-ballyhooed supergroup with Vinny Appice and Mark Mendoza never materialized. The idea was to come out with a scorching twin-ax Priest/Lizzy-style attack featuring George Lynch and Fast Eddie Clarke on maximum screaming-whammy guitar action. But the whole thing imploded when Dom discovered that George and Ed wanted to kill each other. They’d both banged the same groupie back in ’82—or at least they thought it was the same groupie. Turns out it was actually twin sisters, and during some future unspecified encounter Ed and George had gotten them confused accidentally-on-purpose and a huge beef erupted. Even the sisters weren’t speaking with each other. To top it all off, Dom had accidentally-on-purpose gotten into a fistfight with some young upstart named Lizzy Borden in the Rainbow parking lot last week. And lost. But only because he was completely shit-hammered at the time.

From where Dom stood—on the roof of his former Miami Beach fuck pad, about four inches from the ledge—it looked like his life was circling the drain. He had that feeling in the pit of his stomach that he used to get back in Vilnius when Big Daddy Paskas would whip his belt off and start slowly wrapping one end around his fist. Dom knew he was about to get the piss knocked out of him, but there was nothing he could do about it. So he did what any other fat, washed-up, pansexual, drug-addicted, barely-English-speaking “lead singer” would do:  He called Domino’s and ordered six large pizzas with everything on them. Then he fished the Yellow Pages out from under the sink. It was time to get the old band back together.

This bullshit originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Decibel magazine. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Midnight In The Garden Of Evil & Evil





Clearly, the forces of evil are aligning against me. Or at least the forces of extreme inconvenience. They’re compelling me to do all kinds of things I’d never do in a million years if I didn’t, like, need the money to pay rent. Like Edgar Allan Poe, I meet doom and paranoia, black birds and white lightning, in every corner. I’m consumed by the idea that failure and poverty will team up to crush me like the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff launching off the top rope, arm in arm, to choke me out/strike me down/what-have-you with a double Russian sickle to the Adam’s apple. I’m up all night thinking, What the fuck am I doing with my life?  Or maybe I’m thinking about eating the shit out of a pulled pork sandwich because I went to bed without dinner again and my stomach is squealing like a stuck pig.  It doesn’t matter. What matters is, I can’t sleep.

Who ya gonna call?

Papa.

We sit up late into the night, Papa and I, sipping red wine and contemplating the cosmos. Papa doesn’t say much, but he’s an excellent listener. He nods politely while I detail my hopes, dreams, and the vast conspiracy theories that I feel guide the trajectory of human history. Occasionally he shares a personal anecdote—that one time in the back of the hearse with Ghuleh, hooo daddy—or corrects a date I have misremembered. Yet I am convinced that he listens to two monologues simultaneously: My own and one that only he can hear. Perhaps it’s the voice of the serpent that spoke to Eve in the Garden of Eden way back when.  Maybe it’s the voice from the burning bush in Moses’ fabled mountaintop hallucination. Also, Papa might simply be schizophrenic. The jury is still out. Between the papal robes and the hail-Satan routine, it’s tough to say. One thing’s for sure: he is a seriously talented motherfucker.

Insightful, too: Papa tells me things in the night. He says Beelzebub is watching all of us, like some cloven-hoofed Santa, minus the reindeer and, like, beer gut. He knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Doles out presents accordingly. The wrapping is what you might call non-traditional, but the gifts are timeless: Syphilis and the power of supreme oratory. Liver failure and killer riffs. Plagues and laser eyes. Dry heaves and hundred-dollar bills.

We’ve been on tour for nearly a month now. Ghost and Ides Of Gemini have come to an understanding. Many understandings, really, but the most important is this: Papa calls the shots. He is, how you say, the Big Kahuna. El Jefe, if you will. And even if you won’t. If Papa says we’re having rotisserie chicken for dinner, we’re each expected to eat an entire bird. Even the vegetarians. No running to the vomitorium like an anorexic sissy, either. Man up—even the women, he says—or burn alive for eternity in Lucifer’s fiery, swollen hellhole. Papa says this hellhole is not unlike the Sarlacc pit from Return Of The Jedi. Which, he is quick to point out, was based upon George Lucas’ paralyzing fear of Carrie Fisher’s vagina dentata. I have no idea if this shit is true, but one gets the feeling that Papa KNOWS THINGS. It’s unsettling, to say the least.

Obviously, we’re having chicken tonight. Maybe later Papa will whisper some sweet nothings in my ear so I can get some shuteye. 

This bullshit originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of Decibel magazine.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life Is Taxing


May 15, 2013

                                                                 Internal Revenue Service
                                                                 300 N. Los Angeles St
                                                                 Los Angeles, CA 90012


Mr. Bennett,

We are writing to address some problems with your 2012 Federal Tax Return.

You have listed your occupation as “heavy metal.” This is not a profession that we are aware of. For the last 15 years, you have listed your occupation as “journalist.” We realize that people can and do change professions from time to time, but again—“heavy metal” is not one that the IRS recognizes. As a side note, it is unclear to us how one transitions from “journalism” to “heavy metal,” but perhaps this is none of our business. In fact, please forget we brought it up. We fear that even mentioning this will prompt you to write another long and convoluted series of letters to this office. That is the last thing we want.

Once again, you have listed “Albert Mudrian” as a dependent on your tax return. As we have been pointing out since 2005, Mr. Mudrian is not a member of your household. Nor is he, as far as we can tell, a relative. In fact, it appears that Mr. Mudrian works for a company—Red Flag Media—that employs you on a 1099 basis. We understand that you may feel that Mr. Mudrian relies upon you in a professional capacity, but that does not qualify him as a dependent on your Federal Tax Return. We realize, of course, that your home state of California may have different rules about this. But we represent the Federal Government, Mr. Bennett. We have been over this before.

We have also noticed some items listed under miscellaneous expenses that will require further documentation. They are as follows:

  1. “The bar” / $1,037.00
  2. “The titty bar” / “$744 + tips so maybe more like 1.5K”
  3. “Phone calls to Fenriz” / “$51.32 - make Albert pay.”
  4. “iTunes ripped me off” “$9.89 / [expletive deleted]”
  5. “The Internet” / $609.00
  6. “Amoeba” / $3,076.45
  7. “F—king Slayer” / $66.66
  8. “Burgers or whatever” / $312.55
  9. “AT&T are a bunch of c—ts, I hate them” / $876.13
  10. “Still owe Scott Carlson 20 bucks for that Witchgrave LP” // $20.00
  11. “Russell Brand rear-ended me + emotional distress / $50,000
  12. “Ammo” // $155.00

As per the many volumes of previous correspondence you have sent us, we realize that you do not recognize the Internal Revenue Services as a legitimate government entity. However, your beliefs have no bearing on your responsibility, as a U.S. citizen, to pay your Federal income taxes and provide us with a detailed description of the expenses you wish to declare. You have 30 days from the date of this letter to provide us with the necessary and correct information before penalties will be incurred. Please do not send us any additional correspondence regarding this matter. Also, we will remind you that mailing pornography to government offices is a federal crime. You may not have included a return address, but we are positive that you sent us those back issues of Honcho. We recognized your handwriting on the expletive-laced note.

We implore you, Mr. Bennett: Please do not make this process any more difficult than it has to be. Frankly, we find corresponding with you to be exhausting.

Thank you,



Frank Parnell
Internal Revenue Service
Los Angeles Office




This bullshit originally appeared in the July 2013 issue of Decibel magazine.