I've had a post brewing in the back of my head for a while on Industrial music,and its problematic aspects, but kept putting off writing it.

Then Jairus did this. Which gives me a topical push to discuss this before the Internets move on.

I like Industrial music. I like the aggression, the speed, the way it fits with the way I like to dance, the way I move. I like the darkness in it and the edginess to it. I like the way it discusses taboo(ish) subjects like depression, oppression, kink and violence. I also like that it's got a solid stream of nerd running through it.


There's a line, a fuzzy line, but still a line. A point at which it stops being edgy and dark and becomes flat out offensive and beyond "problematic", moving into "a problem". Of the two bands Jairus discusses, I have two Combichrist albums, and one Nachtmahr album. My review of Combichrist's Everybody Hates You does mention the discomfort I felt about some of the lyrics, while with Nachtmahr, I just don't have enough German to really know what they're singing about (see review).

It seems that Combichrist has gone further; somehow, I feel "I am a bitch/ How do you want me?" is just barely okay (because I can imagine consenting adults happily playing out that scene), while "You feminist cunts know you want it/ Give head if you got it" is way, way over the line. I hadn't been paying attention to the last couple releases from Combichrist, because what I'd heard on podcasts hadn't thrilled me.

After liking a few of their tracks, I picked up Mordacious's recent large album Dead Inside, and was fairly disappointed that nearly every song was about violent sex. And while I don't necessarily disapprove of violent sex, if it's all about punishing dirty whores and giving it to bitches - that shit's misogynist, yo. I sometimes wonder if the music I listen to isn't just the German equivalent to the rap music I turn my nose up at, with the popping of caps in asses, the acquisition of bling and bitches and hoes (is that the correct plural form? Why is this a thing I need to know in my life?). Is Industrial really just that plus some Depeche Mode covers? One of the few German words I can readily identify is the word for "slut", thanks to Industrial music.

Similarly, I loved Suicide Commando's "Bind, Torture, Kill" when I heard it in clubs; it's great for the aggressive way I like to dance. Sure, it's clearly a song about violence, but darkness and yes, violence is part of what I like about Industrial. When I did some reading while trying to find out who the artist was and how I could get the track, I found out about BTK, a real world serial killer who murdered at least ten people. Is that something I want to celebrate? Not really. Apparently my line is "imaginary, non-specific aggression and violence: cool" and "actual real world violence/violence against targeted social groups: not cool".

I'm going to toss in a quick reference to Hansel Und Gretyl here, but leave it at that since I've got another half-written essay on "Pop Culture Nazis" in another file.

I can happily continue to ignore Combichrist's new work, because I happen to not really like it. Nachtmahr is harder. The band is really just Thomas Rainer, who is involved in something like half the bands in the genre; IIRC, he worked on the latest Covenant album (which I loved), he's also the lead for L'Ame Immortale, and I seem to recall something about him joining up with one of the classic Industrial outfits, though I can't find a reference to refresh my memory on that one.

I'm not the only one who worries about this stuff; apparently Jairus got applause form the crowd at Kinetik, and the biggest (only?) Canadian distributor of Industrial music, Storming the Base came out with a "Misogyny Is Not A Music Genre" button. Though STB does still carry music and merch for bands like Combichrist, Nachtmahr, Mordacious, etc.

What is a poor confused fan to do? Give up on the genre entirely? Since that would more or less mean "give up on music", I hate that option. Research each band to make sure the sexism and violence are at levels I find tolerable? Better, but given how much collaboration and crossover among artists, the level of effort required to vet everything comes back to "give up on music" again. Especially once I consider clubs and podcasts, if I listen to Industrial, there's going to be problematic stuff.

On one hand, sometimes I just feel like throwing up my hands and going on a permanent culture fast; everything is problematic! Industrial music, rock music, Joss Whedon's Avengers, the kink scene, every movie, book, tv show or song I have ever like: almost certainly at least a little problematic. We live in a problematic culture and the only way to not endorse it is to opt out. Entirely. Any art created will be created by a person with kyriarchical baggage that will pollute their work. "Fine, I just won't like... things!"

Which of course, leads to the opposite extreme. At other times I feel like I have hit Peak Outrage. I just can't maintain the level of upset with all the wrong things in the world all the time. Maybe it's time to give up, stop worrying and love the Patriarchy? Go join the masses of derailing fanboys telling people to shut up because "it's just a joke!" or "that's censorship, yo!" Which I guess lets me like things, but I don't think I would really like myself much at that point.

There is also "How To Be A Fan OF Problematic Things". Which is a start, I suppose. What I am left with is pretty much the same as my approach to porn. Acknowledge that yeah, a lot of it is problematic, and icky, even though I like it. Try to avoid backing the ickier stuff, and try to endorse and back the stuff that manages to be good with less ickiness. Listen before reacting if I get called out on something I like. This is not a real, long term solution, for either porn or music (or anything else in our culture), but it's the best I can come up with.


Curried red snapper with rice, spinach and green beans. Our classic "one pot" meal - toast the rice, pour on stock, then layer spinach and green beans on top of the rice. Set the fish on top of that, and douse liberally with curry powder. My only regret with this leftover lunch is that I forgot to spice it up to my preferred level before taking it. Instead, I added hot sauce, which wasn't quite the same.


Album: Unter Null's Moving On

Genre: Electro Industrial

Similar Bands: See 2/3 of the other bands I've picked up in the past 23 weeks.

Review: Much like the Failure Epiphany, I found myself listening to this on repeat for days. Most of the music buys get at most a day of devoted listening time before I go back to the random shuffle. Unter Null has branched out a bit here - while she's still clearly hard Electro-Industrial, there are more melodic notes, and the occasional 8-bit-ish elements. Some time in the next couple weeks I suspect I will be picking up the companion album, Moved On. Her cover of Nick Cave's The Mercy Seat was especially nice.

Playlist Potential: Possible Workout and Driving Mix contenders.



We fried up a pile of thick cut bacon with onions. Half of that got fried up with perogies. The other half with green beans, green chard and red chard. So, there were definite healthy *parts* of the meal. We just covered those parts in bacon. This lunch was leftovers from the dinner of severe baconing.


Album: NeoCaine compiled by D.J. Edoardo.

Genre: Trance? Not quite enough "noises that sound good on the right drugs" to qualify as PsyTrance, I think.

Similar Bands: Astrix and MFG, sort of.

Review: Random compilation of electronic music that itunes reccommended. It's... okay. Nothing to complain about, but nothing really stood out as awesome.

Playlist Potential: Meh.


Last day of Kaleidoscope Gathering meals. One last vegetarian sausage onna bun. I confess that I was, by this point, a touch sick of them.


Album: Johnny Hollow's Dirty Hands

Genre: Darkwave...ish? Strings and synth and goths oh my.

Similar Bands: Early Rasputina, Emilie Autumn, selected Voltaire.

Review: [livejournal.com profile] misslynx was right - this JH album is even closer to the early Rasputina stuff I love than their previous album. It did, in fact, at least partially scratch that itch for me. Floaty, string heavy music that hits one square in the goth. Good cover of "People Are Strange."

Playlist Potential: I again lament that I have yet to make a "goth music" playlist.


Chicken sandwich with spinach salad


Album: Straftanz's Forward Ever - Backward Never

Genre: Aggrotech

Similar Bands: See all the freaking Aggrotech acts I've posted about already.

Review: Simple, angry, dancey. "Straftanz", according to google, translates to "criminal dance". German lyrics, or short, repetitive English, with the requisite movie samples. This is pure, basic Aggrotech. I like it.

Playlist Potential: Workout, Driving.


Bread, cheese and cold cuts.


Album: Rasputina's Sister Kinderhook

Genre: In iTunes I have the band tagged as "Gothic cello rock".

Similar Bands: Uh... Nothing, quite. Sort of Emilie Autumn, Zoe Keating, Abney Park and even sort of Vernian Process.

Review: I had an epiphany while listening to this album. I have been disappointed with everything Rasputina has done since How We Quit the Forest. Really, what I wanted was the same sort of goth cello rock that lead me to genre tag them. However, since HWQtF, what Rasputina has been doing is more sort of Steampunk, ahead of the masses like me picking it up. It's an American Steampunk, a sort of Cherie Priest's Boneshaker kind of Steampunk, but there it is. This album is the least cello-driven. There's a lot of banjo.

I think it's going to take some time to adjust to the Rasputina we have from the Rasputina I fell for in the late 90s, but I think I will learn to appreciate it.

Playlist Potential: Possibly my Nano-Victorian playlist for some of it.


PC basmati rice with red pepper and edamame. From a line of bagged frozen vegetarian things. This one is pretty good, though "heat" and "tomato" are the only dominant tastes. Could use a little more rounding out flavourwise. Still, I should see if this is still available for the next time I am too lazy to make dinner - this batch had been in the freezer for something like 6 months, and it was still fine.


Album: Emilie Autumn's Enchant

Genre: Darkwave? Folkwave? Or is "spooky women with orchestral string instruments" now its own genre?

Similar Bands: Vaguely speaking, Birthday Massacre, early Rasputina, Zoe Keating

Review: Emilie Autumn's earliest album in iTunes. You can see the Emilie Autumn responsible for Opheliac peeking out occasionally, but the differences are clear from the cover photo. Opheliac has her with red hair dressed all in black with heavy makeup. Enchant has her with lavendar hair wearing fairy wings. Enchant has a strong Renn Faire/Enya feel mixed in with the harder gothy/darkwave stuff that later comes out on Opheliac. She even borrows several bars from Greensleeves at one point. Given how much I liked her later album, I was a little disappointed with this one, but better that than the other way 'round.

Playlist Potential: I don't think it really matches any of my current playlists.


The entire week of meals at camp at Kaleidoscope Gathering. Though [livejournal.com profile] mycrazyhair's quinoa and chickpea salad was my favourite.


Album: Memmaker's How To Remix A Robot Uprising

Genre: Electro-Industrial

Similar Bands: Valium Era, Skylight Glare, etc.

Review: I bought this because it has the remix of Energon3 with the Optimus Prime sample in that I liked. It manages to stand on its own as a good album, though, which is rare in remix albums. If you liked How To Enlist in a Robot Uprising, it's definitely worth your time and money to pick up this one, too.


I also picked up 4 Heather Dale CDs at Kscope; The Road To Santiago, The Green Knight, The Gabriel Hounds and The Trial of Lancelot. Itunes can't decide if Heather's World music or Folk, but that tells you most of what you need to know genre-wise. I've seen Heather and Ben play a few times at Kaleidoscope, and gotten enough of the songs half-lodged in my head that I figured I should give them some money. It's Celtic-y, pagan-y, Arthurianish folky type stuff. I'm particularly fond of Mordred's Lullaby and the Green Knight. Black Fox is a great track, but the album version isn't nearly as great as it was live, with Ben growl-whispering the Devil's lines under Heather's lyrics. Which is just to say, if you get a chance, go see them live.


Baked challah french toast and bacon. Lesson; when making french toast in the oven, we need parchment paper, oil or silpat or something. Delicious brunch at home on Canada Day (and yes, it still counts, since I didn't go out for lunch.)


Album: Astrix's Eye to Eye

Genre: PsyTrance

Similar Bands:Infected Mushroom, MFG, Shpongle, Troll Scientists.

Review: I remember [livejournal.com profile] corbet being pretty excited when she was able to find Astrix's music years ago. Now, it's on iTunes, so I figured I'd grab some in an attempt to get something other than yet more Industrial.

It's got the sense of motion that I like in PsyTrance, plus all the various hallmark effects and noises of the genre. Perfect for dancing to. If, you know, I ever manage to get out dancing instead of falling asleep again.

Playlist Potential: I really need to build a smart playlist for rave type music. Until then, Eye to Eye will be a welcome addition to the Doof Doof and Oontz Oontz smart lists.


Leftover steak, grilled zucchini and mushrooms with bread. Mmm, meat! Lizard has been on a grilling kick lately (with our indoor electric grill). I am happy to continue to enjoy the results.


Album: Zoe Keating's Into The Trees

Genre: Neo-Classical?

Similar Bands: Attrition are occasionally vaguely similar.

Review: Something not Industrial! There aren't even any drums! I loved Keatings first album, and I love this one. I kept catching myself drumming my fingers and tapping my toes to recollections of this album in the past week, even when I wasn't listening to it. The album includes a live track - it's a credit to Keating that I couldn't tell which one without looking at the track listing.

For those who aren't familiar with Zoe's work, she plays cello, with live looping, so she's able to essentially replicate the effect of having several cellists playing simultaneously, by herself, live. It's gorgeous, haunting, beautiful music.

Playlist Potential: Possible candidates for meditation, driving mixes and bedtime.


A can of maple baked beans, two slices of 3 cheese bread, and a salad with honey mustard dressing. Not bad, but the dressing and the beans did not go well together.


Album: Modulate's Detonation

Genre: More Aggrotech

Similar Bands: See previous list of Aggrotech bands.

Review: Uh, I owe Terrorfakt an apology. I complained at length on last week's download about how Skullfucker didn't sound like the club track I liked. Well, the reason for that is that the track I liked was Modulate's Skullfuck. Which has nothing to do with Terrorfakt. Mea culpa. I do sort of wonder how it has come to pass that I listen to music where there is enough songs about skull-fucking to engender confusion about them.

So, anyway, I now have the track I wanted. There's a very NSFW video for it here.

As far as the actual album goes, it's decent. Heavy beats, highly club-friendly. A little on the poppish/bro-friendly side, but not overly so. Aggressive, energetic stuff. Includes such genre standards as "heavy beat with samples from Full Metal Jacket" and "heavy beat with computer voice talking about sex."

Playlist Potential: Hard & Dirty and Skullfuck are both workout and driving mix contenders.


June 10, 2010;
One of [livejournal.com profile] neeuqdrazil's magic vegan soups from Stitch and Bitch. Veggie stock, macaroni, chickpeas, fake chicken, spinach and dried mushrooms. Yummy, and at least this time there's some veggies in my lunch. I added some hot sauce, and had a glass of milk with it.


Album: Terrorfakt's Teethgrinder

Genre: Aggrotech

Similar Bands: ... just go look in previous posts at all the aggrotech bands there.

Review: I bought this album because I wanted something heavy, and I liked what I had heard of Terrorfakt's Skullfucker in podcasts. Much like Memmaker's Energon3, apparently the album version of SKullfucker is instrumental and does not in fact feature samples of Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Emory from Full Metal Jacket. Unlike the Memmaker album, I wasn't that impressed with the rest of the album either. My main impression was boredom. It wasn't *bad* exactly, I think it is just that I had certain expectations.

I am started to get frustrated with tracks that are awesome remixed but kind of dull in the original. More frustrating is that I generally can't find any legal way to get the better versions online - itunes certainly doesn't have them, so except for situations where the remixing band gives the track away online for free, my only options are trying to hunt down obscure compilations and find a way to get the physical disc shipped to me, or trying to grab it illegally online. Given that a big part of the 52 weeks of music and lunch project is to get more music without acquiring space-filling junk, and to actually pay artists for their work, I'm not happy.

Playlist Potential: Meh. It's good filler for generic dance stuff.


Friday June 4

Leftovers from last night's dinner from The Pantry, which is sort of a yuppie cafeteria. You go up to the counter and order stuff off of plates. Lunch ended up being a corn fritter with duck in it, a sweet potato and bacon cake, some potato leek bread pudding, herb-stuffed chicken, heirloom beet salad with pine nuts and a bit of fish cake. I'm not hugely fond of the fish cake, but the rest is wonderful. I could use something green in here, but I didn't feel like rapini last night.

I'm also having a St. Ambroise apricot wheat ale with lunch.


Album: Unter Null's The Failure Epiphany

Genre Electro-Industrial

Similar Bands: :wumpscut:, Android Lust, Grendel

Review: I really liked this album. I walked around with it on repeat for two days before I felt the need to listen to something else. Dark, energetic beats with the edge of paranoid unease that I so love in Industrial music.

One odd thing I noticed - Unter Null is a one-woman band. Most of her vocals, though, are so heavily distorted that it's very hard to guess the gender of the vocalist. While heavy vocal distortion is common in Industrial music, I wonder if the gender-masking is intentional. While listening to an industrial podcast, one of the DJs (male) talked about being charmed by Unter Null's dulcet tones. The female DJ responded with confusion, given the level of vocal distortion used. There's something odd in there about the expectation of a woman to be "pretty" even when she's growling into a microphone about violence and unhappiness.

That's sort of beside the point, though. This is a strong album from a solid artist, and I plan to get more Unter Null in the future.

Playlist Potential: Workout for sure. Possible candidates for driving mixes, and any sort of dance/club type mixes.


Last week I ended up at home three days. Lunches included chips w/ refried beans and salsa, KD, and leftover ribs.


Album: Hanzel Und Gretyl's Uber Alles

Genre Industrial Metal

Similar Bands: Nanochrist, Ministry?

Review: Hanzel Und Gretyl are an ironic joke band. They are fake Germans (from New York, IIRC), fake Nazis, and fake Space Tyrants. Their songs include a fair bit of bad German, and a few Nazi references. Despite knowing that it's all a joke, I found the space nazi stuff uncomfortable. Not that I think anyone really thinks "Third Reich From the Sun" is a serious call for intergalactic aryan conquest, but it still squicks me. That said, musically, HUG are fairly solid. I grabbed this album on the strength of S.S. Death Star Supergalactik, which is exactly what it sounds like. Heavy beats, shouty vocals and loud guitars. At times, I found it a bit too metal for me; I walked away from metal back in the late 90s.

Playlist Potential S.S. Death Star Supergalactik is already on Wokrout and Workout(heavy). A couple other tracks might find their way on to both playlists.


Friday May 21, 2010
Chicken sandwich. Two think slices of PC Potato Scallion bread, a chicken breast left over from Wednesday's rotisserie chicken dinner, with sweet with heat mustard and a mug of milk to drink.

I love that bread more than is wise. As a meal, it could have used a side of vegetables.


Album: Zombie Girl's Blood, Brains and Rock n' Roll

Genre: Industrial? ZG's other album is more clearly in the Aggrotech/Electro-Industrial area, but this one is a bit more rock.

Similar Bands: Well, half of Zombie Girl is Sebastian Komor of Combichrist and Komor Kommando, and that influence definitely shows, though this album isn't nearly as beat heavy as either of those bands. The "horror songs" aspect to it recalls Voltaire and Rob Zombie with a lot of callbacks to classic horror movie soundtracks and the occasional touch that feels like something from a Danny Elfman soundtrack.

Review: Honestly, I liked Back From the Dead much more. I miss the heavy beats. I saw Zombie Girl in, I think, 2007 during the tour for Blood, Brains and Rock n' Roll at the zombie-themed Dark Rave. While it's defintely listenable, it did not blow my mind, then or now. Still, I can't say my collection didn't need more zombie rock.

Playlist Potential: Nothing screams out to be added to any of my playlists just yet.
I think I will stop putting LJ cuts on these. Do people have an opinion on that either way?


Chickpea soup, leftover from one of the many soups that [livejournal.com profile] neeuqdrazil tends to make for Stitch and Bitch. As is my wont, I added cajun spice. Yummy and filling.


Album: Ego Likeness' Breedless

Genre: Darkwave all the way. "Darkwave" is more or less what you call goth music made after 1990. Heavier on synths and drum machines with less guitar than the goths who came before.

Similar Bands: Crüxshadows, The Birthday Massacre, earlier Abney Park, Autumn.

Review: It was nice to get back to my gothy roots for a bit. [livejournal.com profile] tickly_girl posted a video of Ego Likeness a while back after she saw them at a con, and I was intrigued enough to go find a bunch of free live tracks that the band had up. EL has great female vocals that remind me of Autumn (I have no idea how obscure Autumn are - I saw them at Hallowmas in 1999). The lyrics have nice mythic references, and just enough angst. The music demands standing on a hilltop at night during a full moon, brooding. Not that I have ever done anything like that. While not as aggessively driven as a lot of the other stuff I've picked up lately, Ego Likeness is definitely very dance-worthy. Just the thing to dust off your "unscrew the light bulb" and "lost a contact lens" moves. I defintely enjoyed this album, and fully intend to pick up more of thier stuff later.

Playlist Potential: I need some sort of goth/darkwave smart playlist. I just need to work out how to tag everything properly.


Pasta with chicken, spinach and sun-dried tomato. And a little chicen stock to round out the sauce. Delicious! And the leftovers ended up having a lot of chicken, since it had drifted to the bottom of the pot when we first made it. So, yummy AND healthy.


Album: Mind.in.a.box's R.E.T.R.O.

Genre: Is C64 pop a genre? Video game bleep/bloop music.

Similar Bands: Stuff from the demo scene - blockparty type stuff. Vaguely similar to Ladytron and Freezepop.

Review: I yet again picked up an album based on a track I heard via @ISNradio; "8 Bits Are Enough For ME". The rest of the album is less club-friendly, but still good stuff. It bleeps and bloops, and there are heavily vocodered lyrics on many of the tracks. It's a lot less aggressive than most of my music, and more comtemplative. It doesn't have the momentum that psytrance music has. Which, come to think of it, may contribute to my frustrating discovery at Notacon that hackers do not dance.

Playlist Potential: Not quite sure. A couple tracks might be candidates for Bedtime. I don't really have a good niche for bleep-bloop stuff as yet. 8 Bits should probably be on a driving mix.
The Food

Oyako Don Buri; again, chicken and egg in soy sauce broth over rice. This time we supplemented with veggies stir fried with sake and light soy sauce.

Adding in the veggies really rounds out the meal. I think we did a better job with the broth this time 'round, too.

The Music

Album: And One's Bodypop

Genre: EBM/Synthpop.

Similar Bands: Several of the songs could pass for Depeche Mode in dim light. Other similar bands include Covenant and Beborn Beton.

Review: I grabbed this album because it has club hit Military Fashion Show on it. I've had mixed success with And One in the past - on the strength of Get You Closer and thier remix of Project Pitchfork's Timekiller, I picked up Anguish, and was underwhelmed. Bodypop, however, delivers exactly what the album title promises - dancable synth pop. Light and fun, at least for the kind of music I listen to - this isn't Kylie Mingue or Lady Gaga.

Playlist Potential: Military Fashion Show will probably start creeping in all over. The rest will just be a good background for the Oontz Oontz and Doof Doof playlists.
The Food

Sodium Suicide!

The Monday after Notacon, lunch was a can of Campbell's bean with bacon soup, with rice-a-roni added to it. High in fat, salt and carbs! My stomach did not appreciate it as much as my taste buds did. At least it wasn't Denny's.

The Music

Album: This time 'round, I decided to do somethign different - I grabbed 10 Jonathan Coulton songs from his site that I didn't have.

I grabbed:

  1. Tom Cruise Crazy

  2. Famous Blue Raincoat

  3. Skullcrusher Mountain

  4. Ikea

  5. I'm a Mason Now

  6. First of May

  7. I Feel Fantastic

  8. Octopus

  9. Monkey Shines

  10. The Big Boom

Genre: I firmly hold that JoCo's genre is "Internet Folk Music".

Similar Bands: Uh... Vaguely similar to Weird Al. A little bit of similarity to Voltaire. Also sounds somewhat like the easy listening soft rock that CHFI used to play in the 80s and 90s. But less irritatingly bland.

Review: 70% Hit rate, where "hit" means a song that I found myself singing to myself later. I already knew I liked JoCo's stuff, so this was just a top up in preparation for seeing him live at the end of May. Also, I wanted a copy of First of May before May 1st.

Playlist Potential: Humour, Singalong and various Driving Mixes will all likely get infusions of JoCo.

I completely failed to remember to bring leftovers in today. Hopefully tomorrow.
Good Idea/Bad Idea, musical mashup:

Good Idea:
Mashup of And One's Techno Man with Mordacious' Cyber Girl.

Bad Idea:
Mashing together Jonathan Coulton's Skullcrusher Mountain with Terrorfakt's Skullfucker to make "Skullfucker Mountain".
Rötersand's Random is Resistance, MFG's Message From God and Memmaker's How To Enlist in a Robot Uprising.

I wrote out the full posts for weeks 3 and 4 only to have them vanish when I hit R while over a text field in w3m - I forgot to "enter" the text field first, so that was "refresh" instead. So I'm now recreating those reviews and adding in week 5.

Week 4


PC chicken korma while home sick on a Tuesday. Not bad, but could have used some vegetables.


Album:Rötersand's Random is Resistance

Genre: EBM/Futurepop

Similar Bands: Rötersand are a lot like VNV Nation. Except (I believe) German, so while thought is still put into lyrics, there are occasional tranlastion weirds like "as you fulfill my craves". The rest of the Futurepop/EBM crowd falls in as similar, too - Covenant, Apoptygma Berzerk, etc.

Review: Much like the new VNV, RiR has a few high energy dance songs, a couple slow sad songs, and a bit that's more poppy than I prefer. The only track that really stood out for me was War On Error, and even then, I preferred the Declaration remix off the EP to the main album version.

Playlist Potential: I might go back and dig out somethign for the Workout mix.

Week 5


PBJ - PC all natural peanut butter, strawberry jam and multigrain bread. A quick lunch on Good Friday before heading out to Woodstock (no, not the interesting one).


Album:MFG's Message From God

Genre: Psytrance. Which is yet another electronic music genre. Described by its detractors as the most emotionless and soulless of the various branches of electronica. There is a degree of truth to that - while Industrial can often be described as Angry or Sad, and a Happy Hardcore is, well, Happy, Psytrance doesn't really have a dominant emotional theme. The dominant sensation is basically "motion". Which means it's great to dance to. In the "X people doing Y with computers" notation, Psytrance could be described as "Hippies doing drugs with thier computers".

Similar Bands: Infected Mushroom more or less define the Psytrance genre. Other similar sounding bands include various artist on a free compilation [livejournal.com profile] corbet pointed me at years back with names like "Troll Scientists" and "Astroschnauzzer".

Review: It goes doof, oontz, and occasionally tweet, with plenty of echo effect. Very little lyrics, and most of that is samples. It's just the sort of music to dance to for several hours, zone out and let the endorphins carry you. It's music that doesn't demand direct attention while still making me want to move. Exactly the sort of thing I've been looking for to fill in gaps in my music collection.

Playlist Potential: Oddly enough, I don't have a Rave playlist. It's too mellow for Workout, and too energetic for Meditation, Peace or Bedtime. It'll get picked up by the smart playlists for electronica (OontzOontz and DoofDoof - the latter includes synthpop and a couple other things the former excludes).

Week 6


Was going to be daal with fried onions, spinach and peas over rice. When I opened the container fter nuking it, it was clear by smell that the rice has gone off, so lunch went into the trash. Which is too bad - the daal was good on Sunday night. I'm going to buy new music anyway. It's the thought that counts? Stupid rice.


Album:Memmaker's How To Enlist in a Robot Uprising

Genre: Electro-Industrial? Techno Industrial? Something like that. Definitely darker and more aggressive in sound than Psytrance, anyway.

Similar Bands: Apparently, Valium Era - I grabbed some free Valium Era from their website at about the same time, and had a hard time telling which one I was listening to.

Review: Heavily dancable, minimal lyrics. I grabbed this album because one of thier tracks, Energon3 sounded great on ISN radio. I was somewhat disappointed when I realised that the track I loved was a remix, and the original doesn't have Optimus Prime samples in it. That said, it's decent album that I have no regrets about aquiring.

Playlist Potential: Get Your Ass To Mars might end up on the Workout playlist.

I think I might need a source of new music that's not Industrial for a little while.
The Food
Weds March 10

Fritatta with bacon, potato, cheese and arugula.

Delicious. I was worried that the serving was too small, but I feel full now. I got oil from the cheese in my beard, and now I keep getting faint whiffs of cheese-smells from my beard. I think I will wash my face before I do my workout at the gym.

The Music>Album: Abney Park's Aether Shanties
Genre: Steampunk? Before this album, I would have described AP as basically Darkwave - goth rock in a post-Sisters of Mercy world. But this album really does diverge from that.
Similar bands: Tough call. Doctor Steel fits, actually. They used to be simlar to other Darkwave goth bands, but now? Whatever Steampunk music is, this is it.
Review: This is a big departure for Abney Park, musically speaking. Until the Day You Die sounds like the Triplets of Belleville meets Dr. Steel. AP are using a broader range of instruments - their synth set to sound like a piano, trumpet, and what is either a concertina or an accordian. It's a welcome splash of creativity and depth in my music collection, and more than I'd been expecting from this album.
Playlist potential: Definite potential for my Nano-Victorian Future playlist.

Bonus! I also picked up some free tracks from Skylight Glare, a local Toronto Electro-Industrial act. Solid, dancable stuff. If you're into that sort of thing, I'd strongly recommend checking it out. If you're a label, you should give them a pile of money and a contract.
The Food
Tuesday March 2nd

Leftover Oyako Don Buri

An old standard for Lizard and I. The name means something like "parent and child on rice", since it's got both chicken and egg. We've meddled with the traditional recipe over time to the point where someone from Japan would likely not recognize it as Oyako Don Buri, but we likes it. It's basically a broth of chicken stock, soy sauce and mirin with chicken, onion, scallion and mushrooms, and eggs dropped in to set at the end, served over rice. While one can make a vegetarian version with fake chicken, I haven't been impressed with any of those attempts. These leftovers are from the proper dead animal version.

It's salty and chewey and high in protein. The leftover container had enough broth that it's basically chicken soup. Delicious and satisfying. Ideally, it should have more vegetables in it for proper nutritional value, but it's tasty comfort food.

The Music

Album: VNV Nation's Of Faith, Power and Glory

Genre Much like Front242 created the term "EBM" to describe their sound, VNV Nation came up with "Futurepop" to describe themselves. The genre is basically the next generation of dark industrial synthpop. Still EBM, in other words.

Similar Bands: Apoptygma Berzerk, Assemblage 23, Ayria, Rotersand

Review: Exactly what I have come to expect from VNV Nation. A few heavy, dance tracks, a couple slow Sad Ronan Is Sad tracks, and a few poppier tracks. Unlike last week's pick, with VNV Nation it actually pays to listen to the lyrics. I've counted religious themes from at least three different faiths in previous albums. Thus far I've mostly picked up on the existential angst that tends to run through a lot of their lyrics.

One of the things that sets VNV apart from most of the rest of the genre is that one of the band's two members, Mark Jackson, actually plays drums - most EBM/Futurepop relies exclusively on drum machines.

All in all, a solid album that I am happy to have in regular rotation. Nothing surprising or mind-blowing, but not disappointing either. Some of the poppier tracks are a little too synthpop for my taste (Where There Is Light), but VNV Nation hasn't had a genre-shift the same way Apoptygma Berzerk had.

Playlist Potential Art of Conflict may make it on the workout playlist. VNV Nation is already pretty well represented there. Pro Victoria might wind up on the Nano-Victorian Future playlist.


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