Daydream Nation and the Speculative Music of Sonic Youth

In October of 1988, Sonic Youth released Daydream Nation, an album littered with references to the speculative cyberpunk fiction of William Gibson. While I have never read Gibson’s work (though I have seen the god-awful film adaptation Johnny Mnemonic), it is my understanding that his writing predicted many of the technological and cultural developments we now take for granted, including the ubiquitous influence of computers and the Internet on our daily lives. Just as Gibson’s writings predicted these developments in technology, so too did Daydream Nation predict developments in rock music; if there is such a thing as “speculative music,” then surely Sonic Youth’s sprawling masterpiece (and really their early career as a whole) falls squarely into this category.

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20 years of the Misfits’ American Psycho

For the most part, everyone already knows the scoop on American Psycho; after years of bitter legal disputes with Glenn Danzig, bassist Jerry Only was finally given the rights to record and perform under the Misfits name.  Recruiting new drummer Dr. Chud and vocalist Michale Graves along with longtime guitarist/Only’s brother Doyle, the resurrected Misfits signed with Geffen records and released their first album in nearly a decade-and-a-half.  End of history lesson.

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Kane Roberts Attacks!

The early eighties was a rough time for Alice Cooper.  After releasing a string of commercially unsuccessful albums that he to this day can’t recall making due to heavy substance abuse (Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin and DaDa), the shock rockin’ son of a preacher opted to take a three year break from writing and recording music.

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See All You Were: Beyond the First Four Danzig Albums

For many metalheads, Danzig’s discography ends with either III: How the Gods Kill or 4p. I on the other hand, celebrate Danzig’s entire catalog. While there’s no doubt that many of his latter-day works signaled a shift away from the bluesy, metallic hard rock that the Evil Elvis made his name on, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad albums, it just means they’re different.  So without further ado, let’s dig beyond the first four Danzig albums; deep, down you go…

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Body Count – Bloodlust (Century Media, 2017)

Back in 2014, Body Count emerged from eight years in the shadows with all guns blazing in the form of Manslaughter; one of the year’s best metal albums, not to mention one of the year’s biggest surprises.  It was a bludgeoning yet precise aural assault that deftly mixed mosh-ready riffage with lyrics that were by turns over-the-top violent, darkly humorous and delightfully un-PC.

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The Dark Prison Massacre – Deformity of Human Consciousness (Pathologically Explicit Recordings, 2017)

Those of you that follow the brutal/slam death metal scene are likely well aware of the fact that Asia has been positively killing it for the last few years.  While many of the continent’s most celebrated acts hail from Japan (Vomit Remnants, Gorevent, Infernal Revulsion, Medic Vomiting Pus, etc), neighboring China is no slouch either, as evidenced by Deformity of Human Consciousness, the second album from Tianjin’s The Dark Prison Massacre.

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Internal Bleeding – “Final Justice”

I had been looking forward to writing about Internal Bleeding’s new single “Final Justice,” but given recent events, I now find myself doing so with a heavy heart.  On April 20, 2017, IB’s drummer and founding member William Tolley died while serving his community, battling a two alarm blaze as a fourteen year veteran of the Fire Department of New York, who had previously assisted with the September 11, 2001 rescue efforts as a volunteer fire fighter. “Final Justice” is to my knowledge his last recorded work with the band.

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