The Savage Hippie Video Podcast Episode 1: Margaret MacLennan

David Cole and I host a video version of the Savage Hippie Podcast, featuring a special guest, Canada’s own Margaret MacLennan! Politics, culture, humor, and one host who wishes the other would die painfully.

The lovely Ann Sterzinger couldn’t be with us, but she made this thoughtful video about the events in Charlottesville, VA.

I Didn’t Stop the Pollution.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not stop the pollution.
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not stop the pollution.
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not stop the pollution.
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to stop the pollution.

This is too real to ignore, who will stop the pollution?

Rise of the Naziphobes

skinhead_leukemiaAll of a sudden, it’s become trendy to “punch Nazis.” Or is that punch “Nazis”? In either case, whether you put the scare quotes around “punch Nazis”, meaning that you only want to do it in a metaphorical sense, but wouldn’t want to face actual assault charges, or if you put them around “Nazis”, meaning that you would actually punch people that you suspect to be Nazis, it’s now hip and cool to randomly attack people based upon the dubious premise that they have views which the progressive and leftist establishment find icky.

For instance, check out this Rick and Morty gif:

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Now, in ANY other instance, this would be considered assault, and the people committing the assault would be criminally charged. If you were to brag to your friends that you did this, and they aren’t sociopaths, they would look at you like you’re the biggest asshole in the world, not as some sort of hero. Not to mention the fact that both of the aggressors in the gif are bigger and more muscular than the person they are assaulting. So, what makes it okay in this case? Well, we KNOW what SUPPOSEDLY makes it okay…

Apparently the notion of “pick on someone your own size” has been replaced with “pick on anyone at all if you think he or she has views you don’t like, especially if it’s some scrawny kid, who happens to have his head shaved and wears red suspenders (sorry, skinheads, I mean braces!) and combat boots and has a swastika on his t-shirt. Also make sure you have a second person with you, so he gets double the beating, and then hock loogies onto him to humiliate him some more.”

This sentiment has always simmered in the minds of most leftists, progressives, and even a few well-meaning, but utterly naive conservatives. But thanks to the recent events in Charottesville, VA, the “punch a Nazi” mania has boiled over, and now the internet is rife with “anti-Nazi” hysteria. Forget that, in a nation of 300,000,000 people, maybe 500 to 2,000 – a total of at most 0.0000006% of the U.S. population – of these so-called “Nazis” gathered in Charlottesville, VA to protest against the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue, getting clearance from local authorities and promise of protection from the ACLU. Some of the protesters wore offensive symbols on their t-shirts, shouted offensive slogans, and made offensive hand gestures, so their otherwise peaceful protest had to be stopped.

And it was. The governor declared a “state of emergency” and forced everyone to disperse, showing what happens to your freedom of speech when the stuff you want to say is not what the powers that be want to hear. One disgruntled, mentally unstable, Nazi obsessed freak was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore, so he decided to plow his car into a group of counter-protesters, who happened to members of Antifa; as a result, 19 people were injured, and one girl was killed.

Because of the cavalier attitude I had towards the girl who was killed, people accused me of having Nazi sympathies in spite being Jewish. But I honestly CANNOT feel bad for someone who joined a group whose entire purpose is to use violence to stop people from saying things they don’t like. Whether you want to call Antifa a Communist group or a Fascist group is irrelevant. Antifa fancy themselves crusaders against “hate speech”, “Fascism”, “Nazism”, and “white supremacy” and think that it’s okay to start riots, destroy property, and physically attack people in order to “crusade.” Or as human chihuahua Yvette Felarca’s group of anarchists calls itself, “by any means necessary.” The girl who was killed (I don’t know what her name is, and I don’t care) became a martyr to that cause, and now the fight is officially ON against this phantom “white supremacy.”

Do you consider a crazy guy driving into a group of Antifa protesters a form of “white supremacy”? I consider it a crazy guy driving into a group of Antifa protestors. And, as far as I checked, the girl who was killed was white. So, where is this “white supremacy”? I just see mental instability.

But now apparently SJWs, leftists, and all forms of the “perpetually righteous” see a battle ahead of them. Is the guy you just sucker punched a skinhead, or is he bald from chemotherapy? Who cares? Wasn’t that guy you just blinded with pepper spray wearing a red MAGA hat? Wasn’t he asking for it? What about the guy with the confederate flag on his truck or the guy with the iron cross on his t-shirt?

Does it matter? The fact is that all of these COULD be Nazis, and it’s better not to take any chances!

I mean, let’s be honest here; the Nazis have come out of the woodwork, and they are on the attack, sucka!

Nazis in my bed! Nazis in my head! Nazis in my hair! Nazis Nazis everywhere!

Here a Nazi! There a Nazi! Everywhere a Nazi Nazi!

See a Nazi? Punch him! See another Nazi? Punch him too! See a guy hanging out NEXT to a Nazi? Punch him EXTRA hard for not taking the initiative of punching the Nazi himself!

Oh, he didn’t even KNOW the guy and just happened to be standing next to him? Well, he STILL deserved it because he wasn’t LOOKING OUT for a potential Nazi, thus not taking an active stance against Nazis!

And for fuck’s sake, make sure the Nazis you punch are short, scrawny, and defenseless. You wouldn’t want to tangle with anyone who could actually defend himself, would you?

Then again, maybe you would, because then you have a chance at becoming a martyr if you survive the beating.

So remember, if someone has views, wears symbols, or says things you don’t like, he’s committing an act of violence against you, and that gives you the moral clearance to punch, kick, stab, gouge, mutilate and urinate all over him.

Just make sure you enjoy “punching Nazis”, because the more Nazis you punch today, the more you’ll have to punch tomorrow.

My Thoughts on Charlottesville

FIRST, let’s get the unpleasant FACTS out of the way…

Here is Scott Rosendall’s demo reel.

Also, here are a bunch of 1960s garage rock and power pop songs I like.

Isn’t Faith Goldy cute?
faith_goldy Anyway, the bottom line is that, in this world, there are the people who you don’t like and the people you do like. Your best bet is to be around those you do like and not be around those you don’t like.

Anyway, chill out, and drink some cheap liquor.
shit_magnet_shitty_vodka

Savage Hippie Episode 52 – Lena Dunham Is Fat and Ugly

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When God made Lena Dunham, who was he actually playing the joke on; Dunham, by making her fat and ugly, and thus not appealing to anybody at all, or to the public at large by putting her vile and unattractive visage in the spotlight?

Of course Dunham and her crusade to ruin the lives of a couple of people working lousy airline jobs is only one of the many topics that David Cole, Ann Sterzinger and I discuss in the latest episode of the Savage Hippie podcast. Others include fucking with Shia LaBeouf, Norman Mailer’s gambit to free Jack Abbott and the disastrous consequences (oo, this thars one o’ them in-tee-LECTUAL podcasts), how cops aren’t the ones to yell at for the prison industrial complex, the Jewish bros who posted videos of themselves torturing sea animals and ways I can get out of watching chocolate skin directress Ava D’Andre’s documentary 13th.

We also answered every question that was thrown at us on the night of the recording.

This week’s Sounds of Marshabaloosh features Dead Cross, the new band from cult icon Mike Patton, singer of Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas and Tomahawk, with their song “Obedience School” from their self-titled debut LP. The group also consists Dave Lombardo from Slayer and Fantomas on drums, Michael Crain from Retox on guitar and Justin Pearson from the Locust, Head Wound City and Retox on bass. Expect a total, noisy, hardcore inspired spazz out. In other words, it’s awesome. Listen to it here.

David Cole did the Lena Dunham inspired artwork, and as usual, the closing song is “The Diet Has Failed” by the Yesticles.

Prog Rock So White, So What?

me_josh_ian_procol_harumThe cultural apparatchiks can’t figure out if it’s worse for white people to “culturally appropriate” the styles, customs, and musics from various racial and ethnic groups or to avoid them. If you do the former, you’re diluting them with your lack of understanding and context, and thus you’re racist. If you do the latter, you’re showing in-group preference, and thus you’re racist.

So, when the very Anglo Saxon sounding James Parker writes for The Atlantic that “prog rock is the whitest music ever”, what is his point, other than he doesn’t like progressive rock very much? He begins by talking about a prog rock themed cruise that’s taking off from the port of Miami.

“We are the most uncool people in Miami.” So begins, promisingly enough, David Weigel’s The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock. Weigel, along with 3,000 fellow Yes-heads, Rush-oids, Tull freaks, and votaries of King Crimson—cultural underdogs all, twitching and grimacing with revenge-of-the-nerds excitement—is at the port of Miami, about to embark on a five-day progressive-rock-themed cruise: a floating orgy of some of the most despised music ever produced by long-haired white men.

Despised by who exactly? He goes on:

Do you like prog rock, the extravagantly conceptual and wildly technical post-psychedelic subgenre that ruled the world for about 30 seconds in the early 1970s before being torn to pieces by the starving street dogs of punk rock?

Absolutely. Blame Hawkwind, Can, and Van der Graaf Generator for that. I suppose you could also blame Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath if you think they scrape against the progressive rock genre; Sabbath DID hire Rick Wakeman to play keyboards on Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath, and the album has the weird sounding, Moog filled “Who Are You?” on it, while Alice Cooper blatantly said that he and his early band wrote the eight minute, multi-part epic “Halo of Flies” to impress the prog crowd. But you know who you should REALLY blame? Johnny Rotten. That’s right, the former Sex Pistol, who reverted back to John Lydon when he launched Public Image Ltd. in 1978, talked about how his favorite pre-1975 bands were all of the above mentioned. Hawkwind, the band Lemmy was in before he started Motörhead, was my gateway drug into all things nerdy and progressive. Their songs are long and jammy like progressive rock, but driving and aggressive like punk rock or metal; check out “Brainstorm” if you wanna hear thirteen straight minutes of spacey, Stooges-style, proto-punk aggression.

As anyone with a cursory knowledge of rock history knows, John Lydon was spotted in the Summer of 1975 walking down a London street wearing an “I Hate Pink Floyd” t-shirt, which lead to his landing the Pistols gig. But, if he HATED Pink Floyd (in actuality, he doesn’t), and Hawkwind COVERED Pink Floyd – “Cymbaline” – then that’s a bloody contradiction, innit? On top of THAT, Lydon openly and often talks about how he loves the very progressive Van der Graaf Generator. Listen to Peter Hamill’s singing, such as in the song “Killer”, and you know where post-Pistols John Lydon got his caterwauling vocal style from.

And so, I realized it wasn’t 1977 anymore, and my punk/prog tribalism was torpedoed FOREVER!!! There isn’t THAT big of a leap from Sabbath to the King Crimson track “21st Century Schizoid Man”, with its heavy metal riff and bonkers jam out section. And, although Crimson use a saxophone in “Schizoid Man”, Hawkwind, X-Ray Spex, and the Butthole Surfers incorporate saxophone into their sound as well. Pretty soon, I was aurally scarfing down the music of Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Gentle Giant, Gong, Nektar, Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come, Greenslade, Egg, Kayak, Fuzzy Duck, and Atomic Rooster, along with German progressive rock acts like Eloy and Birth Control – which shouldn’t be mistaken for kraut rock bands like Can, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Faust, Amon Duul 2, Cosmic Jokers and Tangerine Dream – Italian bands like Goblin, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, New Trolls, Area, Maxophone, and Premiata Forneria Marconi, and of course the extremely weird French band Magma. I also really dig the fantasy art of Roger Dean, which decorates the album sleeves of Yes, Uriah Heep, Budgie, and Osibisa. That’s right, James Parker, I listen to Osibisa, an all black group of African expatriates! How’s THAT for virtue signalling?!

So, to answer your original question, yes, I like prog rock. But go on…

Do you like the proggers, with their terrible pampered proficiency, their priestly robes, and their air—once they get behind their instruments—of an inverted, almost abscessed Englishness? I don’t.

You don’t say…

At least, I think I don’t. I like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is a kind of wonderful satirical compression of prog rock, a fast-forward operetta with goofy existentialist trappings and a heavy-metal blowout in the middle; I like the bit of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells that became the theme music for The Exorcist.

Actually, Mr. Parker, the Jethro Tull album Thick as a Brick is a spoof of self-important progressive rock conceits; that’s the album with the newspaper sleeve, which features a phony story about a nine year old boy, who wrote a poem that the Jethro Tull members thought was so brilliant, they used it as the lyrics for their album. In case you couldn’t guess, that was a joke. But you ARE right; “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a very good song, if a bit overplayed, and I like Tubular Bells as well.

Hated, dated, sonically superannuated … One could enjoy prog ironically, I suppose—listen to it with a drooping and decadent ear, getting off on the fabulous obsolescence, etc.

“Hated, dated, sonically superannuated”? What, are you Bob Dylan now?

Prog as a wild chamber of experimentation, a sci-fi trespass across the limits of popular music, driving clear of fashion and orbiting the Earth forever. Awesome. The problem comes, for me, when I actually listen to the stuff. Is it not a form of aesthetic dissipation to praise something for its ambition and its bold idiosyncrasy when that something is, objectively speaking, crap?

Okay, so you don’t like it. Nobody’s forcing you to listen to it, but when exactly did musical taste become “objective”?

Gentle Giant, in 1972, took a poem from Knots, a book by the great heretic psychiatrist R. D. Laing, and turned it into an intricate, multivoice chant: It hurts him to think that she is / hurting her by him being hurt to think / that she thinks he is hurt by making her / feel guilty at hurting him by her thinking / she wants him to want her. The idea is great on paper. But listen to the song, to its scurrying, fidgety instrumentation, its fussy avoidance of anything like a melody. It is not enjoyable. At all. Magma, the French prog band, invented not only its own L. Ron Hubbard–style cosmic origin story but its own language (Kobaïan, which reads like a sequence of Gothic expletives: Nebëhr gudahttKöhntarkösz). Again, very creative. But run, oh run, from the music.

Blah, blah, blah… Gentle Giant is actually VERY enjoyable. In fact Sherman Hemsley LOVES ’em, and you’re not going to argue with George Jefferson, are you?! More on point; Magma IS a very weird band. But their weirdness is fun, jackass. I remember driving around with my friend in our little burg near Detroit, blasting Mëkanïk Dëstruktïẁ Kömmandöh just to annoy people.

Eventually James “so Anglo Saxon it hurts” Parker attempts at cycling the piece away from his personal bias and back to what is allegedly the point of the article.

“We’re a European group,” declared the lead singer of proto-proggers The Nice in 1969, “so we’re improvising on European structures … We’re not American Negros, so we can’t really improvise and feel the way they can.” Indeed. Thus did prog divorce itself from the blues, take flight into the neoclassical, and become the whitest music ever.

Well, ACTUALLY, that’s not entirely true, and even if it was, who cares? Soft Machine (why didn’t I mention them above?) incorporated jazz into their sound, and if Jethro Tull, King Crimson, and Uriah Heep were as metal as they were progressive, then there’s no way in hell they abandoned blues. On top of that, Deep Purple, who I guess also straddles the fence between early heavy metal and progressive rock, started playing goddamn soul music on albums like Burn and Stormbringer. In fact, this musical change annoyed original Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore so much, he quit the band because of it and started Rainbow. Oh, and you have heard “Money” by Pink Floyd, haven’t you?

Parker goes on to complain about Procol Harum incorporating elements of Bach into “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and then spends the rest of the paragraph bitching about Keith Emerson making cool sounds with his Hammond organ before replacing it with the Moog synthesizer, as if that violates some sort of anti-Hammond/anti-Moog code of honor. To be fair, Keith Emerson’s playing in ELP gets a little dense, leaving little space in the music for my taste, and it turns out Vincent Crane, former keyboardist for the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and band leader for the criminally underrated Atomic Rooster (how underrated, you ask? Check out the groovy ass “Break the Ice”, and see for yourself!), agreed. So, Parker, there IS a system of checks and balances in prog. On top of that, I don’t like how Emerson, Lake and Palmer couldn’t think of a better name for their band than just their last names separated by a comma and an “and”, but hey! At least H.R. Giger did the artwork for Brain Salad Surgery. And no, “brain salad surgery” isn’t an ethereal and philosophical concept; it’s slang for a blowjob.

Fiending for technology, vivid with turbulence, he went from the Hammond organ to the freshly developed Moog synthesizer. (The proper pronunciation of Moog, I recently discovered, is “Mogue,” like “vogue.” Perhaps prog should be pronounced “progue.”)

QUIT YOUR DAY JOB RIGHT NOW AND GET ONTO A COMEDY STAGE, YOU COMEDIC GENIUS!!!

Money rained down upon the proggers.

Horrible!

Bands went on tour with orchestras in tow; Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Greg Lake stood onstage on his own private patch of Persian rug. But prog’s doom was built in. It had to die. As a breed, the proggers were hook-averse, earworm-allergic; they disdained the tune, which is the infinitely precious sound of the universe rhyming with one’s own brain. What’s more, they showed no reverence before the sacred mystery of repetition, before its power as what the music critic Ben Ratliff called “the expansion of an idea.” Instead, like mad professors, they threw everything in there: the ideas, the complexity, the guitars with two necks, the groove-bedeviling tempo shifts. To all this, the relative crudity of punk rock was simply a biological corrective—a healing, if you like.

Bitch, bitch, bitch… I’m guessing Parker hasn’t heard “Roundabout” by Yes. It’s got plenty of that “sacred repetition”, which makes a song hooky, enjoyable, and memorable. On top of that, I wonder if Parker has heard prog/punk hybrid groups like Nomeansno or the Jesus Lizard, who combined “the groove-bedeviling tempo shifts” with “the relative crudity of punk rock.” Though, he’s got a point; neither of those bands ever used dual neck guitars.

Also, economics intervened. In 1979, as Weigel explains, record sales declined 20 percent in Britain and 11 percent in the United States, and there was a corresponding crash in the inclination of labels to indulge their progged-out artistes. No more disappearing into the countryside for two years to make an album. Now you had to compete in the singles market.

So, music has to sell a lot of records for you to like it? But, punk rock records NEVER sold as much as progressive rock albums… unless we’re talking about Nirvana, the Offspring, and Green Day, and I know we’re not, so what’s your point?

Some startling adaptations did occur. King Crimson’s Robert Fripp achieved a furious pop relevance by, as he described it, “spraying burning guitar all over David Bowie’s album”—the album in question being 1980’s Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).

Okay first all, Fripp had already played some fuzzed out licks on the Brian Eno album Here Come the Warm Jets, which, like a Bowie album, is full of succinct and catchy pop rock tunes, only better (yeah, Eno is better than Bowie, blow me.). But, if Parker wants to talk about “adaptations”, then he fails to mention the 1981 King Crimson album Discipline, in which Fripp and his group absorbed the neurotic, jittery, and deliberately stilted new wave influence of David Byrne, along with the Talking Heads’ synthetic businessman attire. Check out their Fridays performance of “Elephant Talk” if you don’t believe me! It’s AWESOME. Now, I’m no Fripp apologist; King Crimson have done their share of unlistenable, pretentious crap (Lizard, Islands), but when they nail it, hoo boy, do they nail it (In the Court of the Crimson King, Red, Larks’ Tongues in AspicDiscipline, The ConstruKtion of Light, The Power to Believe).

Yes hit big in 1983 with the genderless cocaine-frost of “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” And Genesis, having lost ultra-arty front man Peter Gabriel, turned out to have been incubating behind the drum kit an enormous pop star: the keening everyman Phil Collins.

Okay, yeah, “Owner of a Lonely Heart” IS a pretty catchy song, but is Parker actually praising the artless, easily listening muzak of Phil Collins OVER the weird and experimental Peter Gabriel?! Dude, if you want to LARP the 80s, coke-snorting yuppie lifestyle, there is FAR better music to do it to; for instance, Avalon by Roxy Music.

These, though, were the exceptions. The labels wanted punk, or punky pop, or new wave—anything but prog.

Except that, with the exception of a few noteworthy new wave or crossover acts like Devo, Blondie, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, the Stranglers, or the Police, punk rock never sold any records, and labels stopped wanting it after three years of watching it fail commercially. Sire only kept the Ramones on as a tax write-off.

“None of those genres,” grumbled Greg Lake, retrospectively, “had any musical or cultural or intellectual foundation … They were invented by music magazines and record companies talking together.” Fake news!

Parker can’t resist taking a swipe at Trump supporters with his “fake news” quip, as if Greg Lake said something that’s SO preposterous. EVERY genre or sub-genre is invented by the journalists and record labels, who group bands together into made-up tribes. For the journalists, it creates a sense of cultural or, I guess, sub-cultural cohesion, and for the labels, it helps sell records.

But the change was irreversible: The proggers were, at a stroke, outmoded. Which is how, to a remarkable degree, their music still sounds—noodling and time-bound, a failed mutation, an evolutionary red herring. (Bebop doesn’t sound like that. Speed metal doesn’t sound like that.)

Damn, dude… did you catch your girlfriend cheating on you while Close to the Edge was playing in the background? Speaking of Close to the Edge, have you heard the nutty first two minutes of “Close to the Edge”? If you don’t like THAT, then you know where you can stuff your “red herring.” By the way, if you’re using speed metal (or its close cousin thrash metal) as some sort of barometer with which to measure musical “evolution” by, then I’m guessing you’re not aware that most thrash kinda sounds the same. And this is coming from a fan of Motörhead, Venom, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Voivod, Exciter, Exodus, Overkill, Sodom, Kreator, Destruction, Sepultura, Onslaught, Possessed, Celtic Frost, Suicidal Tendencies, Corrosion of Conformity, and S.O.D. (but NOT Anthrax, sorry).

I feel you out there, prog-lovers, burning at my glibness. And who knows? If the great texts of prog had inscribed themselves, like The Lord of the Rings, upon my frontal lobes when they were teenage and putty-soft, I might be writing a different column altogether. But they didn’t, and I’m not. The proggers got away with murder, artistically speaking. And then, like justice, came the Ramones.

You do realize that the music of the Ramones is AS white, if not whiter, than virtually any prog band? According to Johnny Ramone’s obituary in the New York Times:

Mr. Ramone once described his guitar style as “pure, white rock ‘n’ roll, with no blues influence.”

Savage Hippie Episode 51 – Never Violate the NPAP (Non Passive Aggression Principle)

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This is probably one of my favorite episodes we’ve done. I spent a lot of time editing down the original “recording session” to the brisk and fun podcast that you are about to listen to. The sound is (relatively) good; it moves along at a decent pace; and there’s a good balance of politics, comedy and personal anecdotes. David Cole, Ann Sterzinger and I discuss annoying anarcho-libertarian ideologues, Somali “refugees” in Fargo, Dr. Who now being a woman and, of course, (big sigh) the trannies.

Ann also proposes her plan to end socialism once and for all, and there’s plenty of racial slurs and belittling of women, minorities and the “differently abled” to keep the hipster racist entertained.

This week’s Sounds of Marshabaloosh segment features experimental sludge metal overlords, the Melvins, one of my favorite bands of all time. The song we feature is called “Euthanasia”, and it originally appeared on the 1990 Amphetamine Reptile records compilation album Dope-Guns-‘n-Fucking in the Streets Volume 4-7. The version we feature here is a new recording, appearing on their new album, A Walk with Love & Death. Listen to it here.

David did the NPAPish artwork, and the song at the end is “The Diet Has Failed” by the Yesticles.