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Two Headed Monster [17 Nov 2008|10:16pm]


(Photo by Matthew Cooke.)

In my opinion, Collide’s recent release, Two Headed Monster, is both a culmination and a departure from their past work. Though it may remain in the same rack in the record store (those still exist, right?), you can feel that a maturation has taken place.

Contrary to opinion, maturation of this nature doesn’t simply come with time. As many artists prove, you can create and re-create the same thing for a lifetime, if you so choose. There is a deceptive, almost infinite freedom provided by working on projects exclusively in the studio, as much of Collide’s previous work has been. Sometimes those boundless 3 a.m.-in-the-studio possibilities can become a creatively stagnating trap. I’m happy they managed to avoid that trap, instead creating a thickly-textured, lively album that stands up to many listens.

As some of you probably already know, I’m not a fan of regurgitating the experience of listening to an album in an attempt to entice you into buying it. (Though as that goes, the Fearnet.com review was pretty good.) Rather, I leave it to you to check it out, and form your own opinion. The process that created a work is always most interesting to me, so I am happy that I had the chance to talk to kaRIN and statik about how this album came into being…

James Curcio: The first thing that stood out to me on this album was that it seemed to be more collaborative than your previous work. Correct me if I’m wrong on this, but it feels to me that Collide really took a step forward in that regard, and several others. After so many years with the two of you primarily working as a “two headed monster” (as it were), what was it like opening the songwriting process up to other band members and contributors?

kaRIN: The primary song writing for Collide is still primarily Statik and myself. Over the years, we are just trying to evolve as much as we can and not make the same songs over again. We were very lucky to have gathered up some great live players, so the live influence and the fact that all of our live members contributed to each of the songs is definitely evident on Two Headed Monster.

(Read the full interview on Alterati.com.)
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Scott Landes of Collide, a collaborative profile [02 Nov 2008|01:58am]


Next week- supposing I can finally kick the plague that's been ravaging my innards- I'm going to be writing a review of Collide's recent release Two Headed Monster. It'll run both on Alterati.com and Greylodge.org. This album has been three years in the making, and as you may have already heard, showcases Danny Carey from Tool and Dean Garcia from Curve, as well as the members of the live band they assembled.

Video for Euphoria, off of Collide's previous album.

Before then, however, I wanted to give a shout out to an ex-bandmate and good friend of mine, who happens to be a member of that live band- Scott Landes. The fact of that matter is that oftentimes the headliners steal all the oxygen from the room- which isn't to say that it isn't warranted. (My respect for what kaRIN and statiK have done aside, I won't deny an almost fanboy-ish love for Danny Carey's drumming.)

However, in this case the other members, who often get referred to in the reviews as "the live band," are all talented musicians in their own right. Who knows the names of the band that played with Tori Amos when touring for Little Earthquakes, or PJ Harvey's bandmates on Rid of Me? (Don't check with Google. I'm just making a point.) This is a fault purely of the press- and the simple bottom line of what sells tickets and records.

I don't know the other members of Collide's band well enough to talk about them, though Kai Kurosawa's muscianship is clearly impressive. However, having known, worked with, and on several occasions lived with Scott, I wanted to share a little of that, and some reflections of my own work with him and how he influenced me- before jumping into a review of Collide's album on its own ground.

I first met Scott in 98 or 99 during my Sophomore year at Bard College. Our mutual friend Jim introduced us, and he promptly blew me away with the intensity of his playing- and in the process snapped at least one of the strings on the Mexican strat that I owned at the time.

From that point on, we began a many-year long collaboration which oftentimes veered into the obscure or plain bizarre. Scott got me to take music more seriously- it was hard not to, what with how passionate he is about it. He would literally stay up all night playing until his fingers bled. (And then keep playing.) One part of what motivated me to take Jazz harmony and music theory classes was so that I could keep up with him on my chosen instrument at the time, bass. On the other hand, I'd like to think that I helped him learn to take music a little less seriously. Oftentimes, we would have absurd jams so ridiculous that we'd fall over laughing. These first meanderings took the form of Bile Shower, a truly awful concoction which was a great deal of fun to create, and which wreaks pain and havoc upon whomever has the poor sense to subject themselves to it.

This did eventually lead to more serious projects, such as Babalon, but throughout I would say that there's always been an underlying comedy in most of the work we've done together, even those which got more production attention, like subQtaneous. (Here is a live recording of Waiting and a demo of Save The World, two of my favorites from what we recorded with Babalon).

After Babalon broke up, Scott joined forces with Collide, and a little while thereafter, with Mankind Is Obsolete. I had MKIO stay at my apartment several months back, when they were still on their colossal year+ tour, and got to briefly reconnect with him and meet some new faces. Here is a band operating completely without a label, living out of a van, playing gigs varying in size and grandiosity from Warp tour dates to some people in a corn field. (Read Part 1 and Part 2 of my review and interview with Mankind is Obsolete from last year before they hit the road.)

Living off of tuna and celery and playing music every night. It just goes to show that though the days of excess Guns N' Roses got to experience might be gone, if you are committed enough, you can hit the road and find an audience.

I've been involved in several musical projects since Babalon, and some studio work with Scott since. However, I've yet to meet someone with his singleminded passion, dedication and drive for the art. It is truly a rare thing. If you have the opportunity to see him perform with Collide, Mankind Is Obsolete, or any other bands that he chooses to work with, I highly suggest you take it. I always look forward to seeing him on stage, or having another opportunity to collaborate.

Look for a review of Two Headed Monster next week on Alterati.com & Greylodge.org.

(As a final note to the Fallen Nation readers out there- yes, the character of Cody was based- in part - on Scott.)
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V is for.... [29 Oct 2007|07:35pm]


the new puscifer album if anyone wants it
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Mankind Is Obsolete - Fresh Out Of The Studio [25 Sep 2007|04:08am]


I just received Trapped Inside premasters from Scott Landes, a past musical collaborator and bandmate. He’s been in the studio this summer with Mankind Is Obsolete in Weed, California (I kid you not), working under the guiding hand of Sylvia Massy. (You may recognize her the producer of TOOL’s seminal albums, Opiate and Undertow, though that’s far from her only work). I’m more than happy to be able to share some of this music with you, hot off the presses, before they hit the road for a massive twelve month tour. I also managed to put some questions to the band about where they’ve been, and where they’re going.

(Part 1, on Alterati.com - intro & track "Trapped Inside.")

(Part 2, on Alterati.com - interview transcript & track "Passing Through.")
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Ripple Debut [21 Sep 2007|01:58pm]

Not Tool, I know, but I think you guys are really going to dig this...

Ari, Nate, and Ray Carney interview Trey Spruance of Secret Chiefs 3, Mr Bungle, and Mimicry Records. This is part one of a two part interview. (For part two, check back tomorrow.)

Listen now.
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Exclusive Interview with Cam de Leon.... [02 Aug 2007|12:48pm]




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Interview with artist Chet Zar... he did a lot of work for TOOL [26 Jul 2007|04:13am]


As most of you probably know... Chet Zar has done a lot of artwork for Tool and has worked on their videos as well. Chet is a very talented artist and all-around great guy-  He is donating prints to a charity I'm involved with to help fund youth art programs in my home area. He is great! Here is the interview I had with him a few months back:


Warm regards,

Brian Sherwin

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how we have failed [19 Jul 2007|02:41am]

a vote in the senate has neglected democracy and stated
47 votes aginst
is enought to trump
52 votes for
why, is blatant
their ability is obvious as well
how this is permited?, is a question still pending on the public.

i feel as Bilbo, "like too little butter spread over bread"

This is out of hand, blatant and calculated, there is no "fall guy" to guise this usurpation of democracy
i cant compute...
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Modern Fusion [12 Jun 2007|02:30am]

When I hear the word “fusion” in the context of music, my first thought is of a flaccid synthesis of funk and jazz that boils away the best element of both.

However, fusion, the fusion of genres, of instrumentation, of compositional or ideological theory, is really the present and the future of music… and there are so many fusions of style and form out there that simply miss the public eye because people don’t understand what they’re listening to. Even literally the process of fusion inside a star involves two particles fusing together, creating something new. (And giving off a hell of a lot of energy in the process.)

True fusion isn’t a surface thing. It isn’t the half-assed blending of several aesthetic or social postures. It goes straight for its heart, and in merging that essence with another, something truly unique is born. It doesn’t matter that you can trace it’s lineage, or that all of the original forms are “borrowed.” There is a musical communication of culture and of experience. This is nothing new. It is how cultures spread and form: through art, through music, through myths and stories as groups of people encounter one another, and their existences co-mingle. No form of music is unique in its source: but what evolves out of it… Well, that’s another story. We are different from our parents and yet like them. The same is true of music as generations pass.

So what’s all this bullshit about genres having hearts? Am I talking sense or have I finally gone off the deep end?

Full article on Alterati.com (including several tracks from Cynic's album Focus.)
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Deep Pudde Dynamics (Chapel of Sacred Mirrors) [18 Dec 2006|11:21am]

I'm lying on my back on the floor, on a mat in the middle of a long hall surrounded at both ends by singing bowls and enormous gongs. To my left is a girl, curled in a ball, who has been rocking back and forth for five minutes, sobbing, repeating the mantra, "I want my mommy, I want my mommy." To my right is another girl, lying in corpse pose as I am, who merely periodically sighs, "this is amazing." And here I am in the middle, eyes closed, clear-headed, and more or less invisible.

Though it would strike me as no surprise if hallucinogenic drugs were involved, there is no doubt in my mind that some of this reaction is the result of amplification. The Greys have really built a sacred space here. I first noticed it during my initial visit to the space-- I was one of the speakers for the Generation Hex launch party last November. About halfway through the presentation it struck me that many people were behaving as if they were on LSD, and they were people who, I knew for a fact, had taken none. This was later confirmed by comments from a number of the people in the audience later. As with a church when it is really serving its cultural function, the Chapel is a space which, if you're open to it, unhinges you from your everyday experience and expectations, and allows you to percieve everything, including yourself, from a new vantage point. (Also, like a church, you only get out of it what you bring to it.)

None of this is to say that I'm completely taken by the second-wave hippy "burning man" culture. This is no comment on the Greys, or their work, but instead upon the numerous conversations I overheard during the course of the night-- mostly boys trying to impress girls with their esoteric knowledge, or better yet, explaining what "Alex is trying to tell you with this picture." Like any other movement, you tend to have one innovator for every nine parrots. (And thankfully so, without the parrots, many ideas which deserve to be spread would die in silence.)

If you are familiar with the religious and mystical experience, his paintings, though open to interpretation, are also very clear statements of certain common, experiential truths. In one of the rooms, meditation chairs were provided so people could sit, meditate, and really get inside the paintings. Like many others, I spent an hour or more doing just that.

I want to demonstrate what I mean by by this statement with an example.
Read more...Collapse )
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JIVE Magazine (op ed pt2) [30 Nov 2006|02:51pm]


So, I admit it. I only gave half the story in my previous article. (“Wake Up Neo: There Is No Counterculture, You Twit.”) It is true, the world is full of underground posers, sharpening their sticks for the coming revolution against an opposition that doesn't exist, artistes who haven't done a lick of real artistic work in a decade, who use their supposed underground artistic cred to get them in bed with whomever they can scam, would-be rock stars that think they are evolving music by turning it into a vapid fashion show, and old school DIY punks who haven't yet realized that their ideological stance, though noble in its way, simply limits them.

But there are also daring innovators and experimenters, willing to risk all to contribute their perspective to the ongoing narrative that is our collective heritage. So how can I say “there is no counterculture?”

I can say it, and mean it, because these people would ask you what you're smoking, if you asked what it's like, being a part of “The Counterculture.” There is no Grand Unified Scene.

These innovators I'm speaking of are the people who push their own boundaries, and the boundaries of the culture around them enough that they are simply classified as “counterculture” or “revolutionary” because the culture, and the media, doesn't really know what to make of them. (My hope is, you could very well be one yourself.)

This follow up article proposes some positive solutions and suggestions to the issues snarkily proposed there.

(JIVE magazine info.)
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So.....Okay??? [21 Sep 2006|08:24pm]

SOme one SOME WHERE give me some info on this....Maynard takes a fan down with a wrestling move?

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THE TooL concert Minneapolis MN [18 Sep 2006|12:23am]

"it looks like ICEscapades" a fan said My Review of the ConcertCollapse )
I'm very thankful that I was able to go, and hope that each fan gets their turn at a glimpse of the splendor that is TooL.
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Sick? Show postponed? [13 Sep 2006|07:05pm]

Does anyone know what happened that the show in San Antonio was postponed? (other than him being sick)

I'm supposed to see him in Dallas tomorrow.
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odd question [12 Sep 2006|01:10pm]

does anybody have a tool shirt from coachella this year that they are willing to sell? i've seen the shirt numerous times since the show, but i didn't notice it at the merch booth while i was there. i'd be willing to pay just about anything you ask, so just comment if you might be interested in selling.
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Vicarious Video [04 Sep 2006|08:44am]

What are your thoughs?

AND - is this the real thing?

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Quantum theory and tool [31 Aug 2006|11:31am]

"In Jung's depth psychology it is crucial that the unconscious has a collective component, unseperated between individuals and consisting of the so-called archetypes. They are regarded as constituting the psychophysically neutral level covering both the collective unconscious and the holistic reality of quantum theory."
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[24 Aug 2006|12:44am]

For anyone who hasn't seen this:

33 Things You Should Know About Tool

I particularly like #6...heh..

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[19 Aug 2006|02:40am]


if you have ANY love for TOOL at all, watch this
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Hahahah [10 Aug 2006|12:16am]

So I'm watching Pee Wee's Playhouse on Adult Swim... and am reminded that the genie on the show is named Jambi.

Here from the king's mountain view
Here from the wild dream come true
Feast like a sultan I do
On treasures and flesh, never few.

But I, I would wish it all away
If I thought I'd lose you just one day

The devil and his had me down
In love with the dark side I found
Dabblin' all the way down
Up to my neck soon to drown.

But you changed that all for me
Lifted me up, turned me round
So I
I would
I would
I would
Wish this all away



Or am I just slow on the uptake.
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