21 12 2005



Rock Review | Sunn0)))
Measuring Sound and Time on a Geological Scale

Published: December 20, 2005

Imagine, for a moment, how an insect might perceive human music. Measured against its shorter lifespan, the time taken for a human-scale melody could seem hugely prolonged. Measured against the tiny sensors it uses to hear, the wavelengths could seem deep, gargantuan, body-shaking. A human listener could experience the same sensations hearing Sunn0))) when it performed at Northsix on Sunday night.

Few saw them, although the club was packed. The stage was swathed in fog from two smoke machines, and when the musicians' silhouettes began to emerge, the machines hissed into action again. Spotlights turned the fog white or blood red.

The music was loud, droning, utterly unadorned and its motion slower than glacial: tectonic. There were no drums. One note - an immense, distorted, tone from electric guitar or bass - would arrive and linger, exuding overtones and subsonics at frequencies that vibrated specific body parts, particularly in the chest and groin. Eventually the note would move up or down to another sustained note, and then another, and another. It would have been a melody, or a riff, had it been occurring on some other timeframe.

Some notes would pulsate as they were sustained; others would inexorably thicken with consonances or dissonances, as if freezing a metal band's momentary burst of distortion for painstaking contemplation. Gradually, the music's underpinnings emerged: three notes, rising and falling, tolling and pausing and tolling again. At times, the piece sped up to something like a dirge, with death-metal growls - saying "yonder," or "wonder," or perhaps "Rhonda" - joining in, before slowing down again and finding new, more bristling drones. It was not music as a structure or story or beat, but music as a molten, pitiless, looming presence.

This was the ambient form of what has been named doom metal. One member of Sunn0))), Greg Anderson, owns and operates Southern Lord Records, a label that also releases another of Mr. Anderson's bands, Goatsnake, along with Deathspell Omega, Frost, Pentagram and Church of Misery. The latest Sunn0))) album, "Black One," has track titles like "Cursed Realms (of the Winterdemons)" and "Bathory Erzsebet." But Sunn0))) is far removed from most of its metal compatriots. It's in its own realm: abstract, desolate and utterly compelling.

from NYT website: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/20/arts/music/20sunn.html

photo: Daniel Barry for The New York Times.

Playing misty: The band Sunn0))) kept themselves all but invisible at Northsix in Williamsburg on Sunday

21 12 2005

Newest Plotkin



Dogs are noble creatures.

17 12 2005



Pic by Sean Agnew/R5. Thanks to Christine and Sean for making an amazing event!! Hail to Jack Rose and Growing for performing. Apologies for the post-gig madness as well.

14 12 2005

SUNN vs NORTHEAST this weekend

Just in time for 8°F weather:

SUNN O))) blæcsolstis05
16th First Unitarian Church Philadelphia, PA w/ Jack Rose & Growing
17th Ottobar Baltimore, MD w/ Nachtmystium & The Hidden Hand
18th North Six Brooklyn, NYC w/ Nachtmystium & Growing
19th The Middle East Boston w/ Nachtmystium
20th American Legion Hall Wallingford, CT w/ Nachtmystium & Sickness
21st Knitting Factory NYC w/ Nachtmystium & Queens

(lineup: SOMA, ANDERSON, NIEUWENHUIZEN, MALEFIC, with Herr Dunn on the desk, Kaos pad & pyrofog)

SUNN O))) vs EU & UK (with EARTH) Feb-March 06

14 12 2005


Sunn 0)))
Black One
[Southern Lord]
Rating: 8.9

People fixate, but there's more to Sunn 0))) than robes and the Earth and AMP-derived name. Not only does the band's dark, heavy, theatrically composed sixth album, Black One, transcend the duo's previous material, overall it's one of the strongest records of the past year: Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley have unleashed a doom'n'gloom masterpiece.

Ultra cinematic and nearly matching Sunn 0)))'s live power, Black One's seven tracks will even please those who can't deal with uninterrupted drone. Getting assistance from key friends, including harsh noise icon John Wiese, the band overlaps smaller drone bits with the usual gargantuan exercises-- its staged like corpsepainted Noh drama. Opener "Sin Nanna"-- on which the wonderful Australian experimental guitarist and percussionist Oren Ambarchi handles all the instruments-- is the mood setter, and is named for a moon god who sported a lapis lazuli beard and rode a winged bull. It's followed by "It Took the Night to Believe" which transitions the listener into the longer works. The six-minute piece begins in media res, as if the recording tape hits a snag and snaps back into action. Power chords drop in quick succession over smoky bass drone; the brutal ghost cry comes courtesy of U.S.-based black metal favorite Leviathan, aka Wrest. In some regards it's Sunn 0)))'s most straightforward metal song to date, though its series of ebb/flows is anything but typical.

The bulk of the album-- each of the final five tracks are at least eight minutes long, with four of them moving past the 10:00 mark-- begins with an extended cover of Immortal's "Cursed Realms (of the Winterdemons)". Here Xasthur aka Malefic is cast asunder, grumbling about ravens, cursed realms, and the central thesis that "the face of the earth/ Will be to know black silence." It's more than two times as long as the original and built largely around Malefic's sub-tonal scowls and bleeding feedback drone.

Then comes the more old-school Sunn 0)))- and Earth-sounding "Orthodox Caveman", 10 minutes of pure drone made flesh with Wiese's digital noise and Ambarchi on drums. "CandleGoat", which O'Malley says is "an evolution of an artwork collaboration with Savage Pencil," includes soft-lit ambiance at its intro courtesy of Wiese and features a gravel-voiced O'Malley on the mic.

Each piece is strong, but the album's highlight is its glacial, sprawling, anguished closer, "Báthory Erzébet". The track's a reference to Elizabeth Báthory, and likely also the Swedish black metal band her surname spawned. Báthory was an occult-friendly member of the Transylvanian royal family who is reputed to have killed hundreds of young girls. Some legends even claims she thought the lifeblood of virgins would keep her young, so she not only tortured and killed her victims but also bathed in or drank their blood. Báthory died in 1614 imprisoned in her own castle. Perhaps mirroring Báthory's lock-down, Sunn 0))) crammed Malefic in a casket (inside a Cadillac hearse) with only a microphone and his fear of small spaces. His resulting petrified, dry-bones performance and the claustrophobic recording technique should net a Grammy. Leading up to the star turn's a gentle hum throughout which Ambarchi weaves in a gong, bells, cymbal, and guitar. Then comes the teeming Anderson/O'Malley assault, announcing the most triumphant avant-rock moment in recent memory.

Okay, Anderson and O'Malley have long hair and they populate their ambient universes with some likeminded players (whether Julian Cope or Joe Preston), but there's no reason for their work to be ghettoized as some cartoonish Dungeons & Dragons dog-and-pony show. I've spoken at length to O'Malley and can say, without a doubt, that he's one of the most intelligent people I've encountered (from any walk of life) and that he and Anderson plan to continually refine and complicate both their sound and the theories they hold about musical composition. (The last person I encountered so knowledgeable and rigorous about his own work was Tony Conrad.)

With Black One, Sunn 0))) harnesses the sounds and moods of black metal, then expands its palette through meticulous experimentation and a commitment to the physicality of sound. The result is a beautiful, deep, passionate reflection of life's bleakest corners.

-Brandon Stosuy, December 14, 2005


12 12 2005







Go there and buy things.

12 12 2005



This is definitely the highest price I have seen on a Model T. If anyone out there is paying $1300 for Model Ts I may be able to help them find a way to satisfy their needs.

11 12 2005




Comedian Richard Pryor dies at 65
By Steve Jones, USA TODAY

Richard Pryor — who died Saturday of a heart attack at age 65 — changed the very definition of funny.

By confronting racial differences and lampooning social mores while giving voice to people (such as himself) who grew up and lived in the margins of society, he forever altered the face of mainstream comedy. (Photos: Remembering Pryor)

Once the profane, edgy, manic Pryor bogarted his way into what had once been the province of safe, smiling, middle-of-the-road comics, it would never be the same again. Pryor was angry, confessional, insightful — and the funniest man alive. He was in your face, shaking out all of life's dirty little secrets — often through the prism of his own troubled life — and in doing so, he emboldened a generation of humorists to tackle edgy material.

"By telling the truth about his pain, Richard held up a mirror to society, and we were able to see our fears, our beauty, our prejudice, our wretchedness, our hopes, our dreams — all of our contradictions. He is truly the greatest comedian of our time," Damon Wayans says in the liner notes of the nine-disc Rhino box set Richard Pryor: And It's Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992).

Some imitators misunderstood his genius, seeming to think they could reach his heights by simply being foul-mouthed. But Pryor's liberal use of the F-word and the N-word (which he would renounce after an eye-opening 1979 trip to Zimbabwe) was just a residue of his self-expression. The real humor was in the meaning of what he said.

"What I'm saying may be profane, but it is also profound," Pryor was quoted as saying in Richard Pryor: Black and Blue by Jeff Rovin.

Pryor bared himself to the world using his own wild trainwreck of a life as fodder for his routines. His real-life exploits with alcohol, drugs and women were an open book. He would share his hurt and have you splitting your sides even as he horrified you.

"I had to stop drinking because I got tired of waking up in my car going 90," he joked on Inebriatedfrom the album Here and Now.

In 1978, he famously shot up fourth wife Deboragh McGuire's Buick with his .357 Magnum as she tried to leave him. On New Year's Eve, from Wanted/Richard Pryor — Live in Concert, he joked about how he got in trouble for "killing a car" with his .357 Magnum, but confesses that he quietly went into the house when the cops showed up.

"They got Magnums too," he said of the police. "But they don't kill cars. They kill nig-gars."

Pryor was nothing if not a survivor. The father of seven was married six times. He had two heart attacks and had quadruple bypass surgery after the second one. Again, he found comic inspiration — "You thinking about dying now, aint'cha?" his rebellious heart says to him. "Why didn't you think about when you were eating that pork, (expletive), drinking that whisky and snorting that cocaine."

A 1980 suicide attempt in which he doused himself with rum, flicked a lighter and went fleeing down the street left him with third-degree burns over the top half of his body. "You know what I noticed? When you run down the street on fire, people will move out of your way," he would later joke on Hospital.

He was addicted to drugs and alcohol and had a voracious sexual appetite. And in 1986, while filming Critical Condition with Gene Wilder, he was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which became increasingly debilitating over the years. Though the illness eventually took him from the spotlight and robbed him of his ability to work — he was a mere shell of himself in 1989's Harlem Nights, with Eddie Murphy, and could barely deliver his lines 1991's Another You, with Gene Wilder — he remained defiant.

"Rather than surrender to forces beyond my control, I've decided to hang on till the end of the ride," he said in his 1995 autobiography, Pryor Convictions and Other Life Sentences.

Even as he spent years out of the spotlight, Pryor's classic material remained timeless. When it didn't find him talking about his own foibles, he skewered society's conventions through a colorful assortment of bums, junkies, barflies and the like. And whether the speaker was Mudbone (his most famous invention — an aged spinner of "fascinating stories") or a random wino giving Dracula the business, truth was delivered with side-splitting hilarity.

Pryor's upbringing, another great source of material, was anything but funny. He was the son of an abusive pimp and a prostitute who left the family when he was 10. He was raised in the brothels run by his stern grandmother. He was sexually abused in an alley with he was 7 and kicked out of school when he was 14. At 16, he had his first child, with a girl who was also sleeping with his father. He joined the Army and was kicked out, and did several menial jobs in Peoria until he started telling jokes at local nightclubs.

He eventually made a decent living playing the black club circuit in the Midwest. In the early 1960s, he moved to Greenwich Village in New York, where his act as a wholesome Bill Cosby clone brought him a measure of success and he started showing up on various variety shows.

But he grew increasingly dissatisfied with his safe routine, reportedly experiencing a nervous breakdown and fleeing the stage of the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas in 1969. A year later, he moved to Berkeley, Calif., where he socialized with such activists and intellectuals as Huey Newton, Cecil Brown and Ishmael Reed. When he re-emerged as a comic, he was both more profane and more political.

He had made his film debut in the comedy Busy Body in 1967 and also appeared in 1968's Wild in the Streets. His career really took off in the 1970s with such films as Lady Sings the Blues, Car Wash, Uptown Saturday Night, The Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars and Motor Kings, Greased Lightning, Silver Streak, The Seduction of Mim, The Wiz and Blue Collar.

In the 1980s, however, he suffered several health-related setbacks and the quality of his work also took a turn for the worse. He appeared in such losers as Superman III (he was paid $1 million more than Christopher Reeve) and played a willing slave to the bratty son of millionaire Jackie Gleason in The Toy.

With the exception of his excellent concert films, the movies never quite captured Pryor at his best. He did win five Grammy Awards, however, for his remarkable recordings.

In recent years, Pryor's public appearances were limited, though he was often honored for his work. He received the NAACP Hall of Fame Award in 1996 and was the initial recipient of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Humor in 1998. In 1995, he appeared with daughter Rain in an episode of the medical drama Chicago Hope as a patient with multiple sclerosis.

In 2003 he hosted Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, which featured clips from concerts and appearances by fellow comics. The show's title was a reference the persistent rumors he'd hear over the years that he had died.

"Sometimes they used to have that on the news that I was dead," he said on his routine M.S. "That to me is the weirdest (expletive), to be assumed dead and you still be alive."

Black & White Lifestyles...

I Feel...

Shortage of White People...

Chinese Food...


09 12 2005

peeesseye exposes the spleen of the lycanthrope in an oven of extended vowels. Expect a levitating quandary with the addition of special guests Shawn Hansen (Phantom Limb & Bison) and Stephen O'Malley (Khanate/Sunn0)))).

peeesseye with Stephen O’Malley & Shawn Hansen

Sat December 10
@ Tonic
107 Norfolk St, NYC


09 12 2005




From the upcoming issue later this month.

Amazing photo work by Brian Gaberman.

Thanks to Jimmy Hubbard for making this seemingly strange piece happen.

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