Your Punk Phase

Every “kid” goes through some kind of phase (I use kids in quotes because although the teenage rebellion phase is so cliche, lots of adults go through lots of phases too – hello midlife crisis cliche). It’s part of the experience of learning who you are and of growing into who you will become.

So, I can’t usually damn anyone who might have experimented at some point with one of the sub-genres of music I adore only to move on from it at some other point in life. Growing up it wasn’t uncommon to see other kids go through goth and emo and grunge and ska and punk phases. They’d don whatever the uniform of the time was, probably procured from Hot Topic in the mall, and take on the life and personality of the counter-culture they were trying out.

For many, it was a combination of curiosity and peer pressure and rebellion. They did it to fit in and to stand out. For some it became a lifelong obsession while most just passed through. Many look back on those years with a combination of confusion and quaint longing. But most, also took with them life lessons that just don’t come from many other places.

Which is what makes a revelation like Ivanka Trump’s so-called punk phase that much more aggravating.

Seriously, we’ve all had that shit stage of our maturation and musical journey. The one that we probably wish we didn’t

But, the explanation of her punk phase is kind of hard to swallow not because it’s hard to imagine someone growing up so in the lap of luxury to ever have had either the motivation to be punk but because of her actions now being so anit-everything punk is in her life now.

It’s like, are you trying to build street cred?

Or, are you trying to show how you’ve outgrown the counterculture in some way of showing maturity?

Or, are you poking fun at your youth?

Or, poking fun at the youth of today?

As someone who was “punk” maybe without knowing it during my skater and bmx phase or someone who became punk in my post-grad years or someone who aspires to be punk still as a parent there’s something inherently insulting to the idea of having a “phase” out of what is a legit socio-political lifestyle and then use it as some kind of social cache against itself.

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Monday mix: Misjustice produces hate

Misjustice is a weird word. It’s a euphemistic way of talking about the miscarriage of justice in a way that an injustice doesn’t quite capture.

#MisjusticeProducesHate looks at one of the all-time misjustice scenarios, the Dreyfus Affair where Captain Alfred Dreyfus was falsely accused by the French Third Republic of treason in 1894. Despite Ferdinand Walsin Esterházy being identified as the real culprit, Dryfus’ situation had become so political that the case against him wasn’t resolved until 1906 despite all the evidence demonstrating his innocence.

These kind of so-called state mandated cover ups are generally considered conspiracy theory but false accusations are quite commonplace and there are myriads of examples in the US Justice System of Police, District Attorneys, Judges, Wardens and others abusing their authority by all kinds of illegal manners. It was so prominent at one point that German immigrants in the US, around the same time as Dryfus himself was facing false accusations, ended up banning together to form a legal defense against such claims. This group would eventually become what we know as which seeks to provide legal representation to the under-represented.

Our look at the so-called Justice System comes through he eyes of metal, punk and hardcore which all have a unique relationship with it (mostly antagonistic, as you well might have guessed.

We’ll experience the new track, “Prison Skin,” by Persofone with it’s progressive antagonism. Then we’ll double down on the violence with the likes of Beyond Creation, All Shall Perish, Cognitive before putting your ears on trial with the likes of Obsidium, Obsidia, Capharnaum , Cephalopod, Summer Dying, Zonaria and Your Memorial

IF you want more Music, Philanthropy and History in the Mosh Pit Hell you can always check out the archives.
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Monday mix: Massively Profuse Heat

Fan the flames of a good mosh & burn things up in the pit as we phoenix #MassivelyProfuseHeat for this week’s show theme.

On this day back in 1871 the midwest was burning: the Great Fire of Chicago, the Peshtigo Fire, the Port Huron Fire, and the fires in Holland & Manistee, Michigan. A combination of drought, prevailing weather conditions and a bit of human carelessness caused one of the largest regional conflagrations on record with a combined death toll likely ~3000.

Fastforward to 2017 and once again America is burning, this time the nearly 10,000 separate fires range up the west coast from California to Washington and then across the Canadian Boarder States enveloping millions of acre leaving an ash cloud visible in the Atlantic Ocean at one point. What can you do? Well, for one, apart from remember the immortal words of Smokey the Bear, but for another, it is to support volunteer fire fighters — be them from your town or one of the volunteer special forces companies that are deployed for these kind of unique events.

While you are researching how to do do that, let MPHnoise provide you with a rip roaring soundtrack:

We’ll kick things off with Deep Purple’s “Burn” because were else would we?

New barn burners by Xandria and Incendiary are the tip of the flame in modern while classic Sick of it All, Amon Amarth, Edge of Sanity, Broken Hope, Ignite and Primordial provide a smoldering foundation.

In the middle you’ll get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the likes of We are the Fallen, Within Temptation, and In This Moment while feeling the blisters of Skeletonwitch, Malefice, and Shadows Fall.

An ashen experience awaits with Black Breath, Firespawn and Sepervation while you’ll feel the fires encircling with Xibalba, Pennywise and Anti-flag. And there’s still more a few sparks to ignite your surprise.

So, tune in this Sunday evening to KAOS Radio Austin for #MassivelyProfuseHeat and if you missed last year’s episode or just want to catch up on the past Music, Philanthropy and History in the Mosh Pit Hell you can always check out the archives. Continue reading

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The Myth of Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a bit of revisionist history at work. Although, if you grew up after the late 1930s you probably think what’s happening today surrounding the controversy of Columbus Day day is the revisionist part. The problem is you’ve been lied to. Over, and over, and over again. Those lies are so well perpetuated that the facts often feel revisionist despite themselves, so lets pull the myth apart one piece at a time.

First off, let’s get something straight: Most of the folklore of Columbus’ accomplishments actually is derived from notorious fiction author Washington Irving’s so-called biography, “A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus” in 1828. Although Irving did work with researcher Alexander von Humboldt and elaborates in the preface, “In the execution of this work I have avoided indulging in mere speculations or general reflections, excepting such as rose naturally out of the subject, preferring to give a minute and circumstantial narrative, omitting no particular that appeared characteristic of the persons, the events, or the times; and endeavoring to place every fact in such a point of view, that the reader might perceive its merits, and draw his own maxims and conclusions” the reality is Irving was known best for his fiction works and most of “A History of the Life and Voyages” is pure fiction.

Irving, along with James Fenimore Cooper, established such success in literature that it established the cultural lineage of the United States throughout Europe. Along with his letter writing, which covered a wide range of topics, his fictional short stories such as “Rip Van Winkle” (1819) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820) established his readership and to this day remain his most favored works. By the time Irving wrote about Columbus his hypoberlic style had already captured George Washington in near-mythical fashion and helped established Irving as credible. That might explain why the tale remained the most popular Columbus biography until the more historically accurate publication of Samuel Eliot Morison’s biography Admiral of the Ocean Sea in 1942.

However, even before Irving encapsulated the myth, the veneration of Columbus in during Colonial times occurred in response to the British reverence for Venetian explorer John Cabot. Rather than embracing the perceived aristocracy of Cabot the Colonies and subsequently the United States found a folk hero in Columbus, including the naming of the new nation’s capital, in part, after him in 1790 under the Residence Act. In 1792 the celebration the 300th anniversary of his landing was a nationwide occurrence and 100 years later in 1892 President Benjamin Harrison used it as an opportunity to push “ideals of patriotism” including citizenship boundaries, displays of loyalty to the nation, and celebrating social progress. The mythology of columbus as a tireless patriot and discoverer was embedded in the the themes.

However, Secondly, and important to note: Columbus didn’t “discover America.” That’s always been a terrible choice of words, even in the context of knowing its origins.

The indigenous societies of the Americas were there long before Colubmus was a twinkle in his parents eyes. The then indigenous Americans likely “discovered” the region during the Paleo-Indian migration, which research is still ongoing as to the specifics of their travels. The first established settlements in North America are of the Clovis Culture dating around 12,500 years ago, however it’s estimated the Clovis were pre-dated by non-settled tribes at least another 10-12,000 years prior. There existed a wide range of societies and civilizations throughout the Americas by the 1400s CE including the Inuit, Yupik, Aleut as well as Mesoamerican indigenous groups including: Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacano’ Zapotec. Mixtec, Aztec, and Maya civilizations; and the Andes cultures including: Inca Empire, Moche culture, Muisca Confederation, and Cañari; as well as The Norte Chico civilization and many others.

Columbus wasn’t even the first European to run into America. Continue reading

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Monday Mix: Monumental Principles Heeded

#monumentalPrinciplesHeeded might be the result of watching High Fidelity one too many times recently, or it might be because this week’s episode happens on October First & this got me to thinking about some of the ultimate firsts in metal.

Regardless, this past Sunday evening on KAOS Radio Austin, the entire episode was dedicated to some of the most epic “track one, side ones” ever released in aggressive music. It’s an extreme take of what epic means though and with only two hours even with some ground rules we won’t hit everything.
Some bands just rip right into the righteousness with all out aural assault resulting in a cranial kick so hard it knocks you out for the rest of the record. While, this brutal battering is pretty epic in its own right, we won’t hear any of these.

Some bands sample the shit out of all kinds of sounds building anticipation through expectation. You think you know what’s coming as the clips cautiously lead you along till the caustic chaos of the song actually consumes you. While this is pretty artistic and epic in its own right, we won’t hear any of these either.

Some bands craft true-to-form intros. These individual pieces are perfect for lulling you in to the oncoming onslaught. Being individual pieces though, they typically have a story to tell of their own even though they may bleed into the second cut seemlessly. While that’s brilliant composition and epic in its own right, we won’t hear any of these either.

No, what we will get is first track epics that were crafted as being epic intros to their albums in their own rights. Complete contributions musically that include introductory passages that become the blistering blasts of opening tracks you know and love. These are the track one, side ones we will adore for the evening.

So what principle tracks are we to take warning of? In this case a fairly narrow band of metal since, you know, only two hours…
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Real Signs of Respect

If you think standing is the only sign of respect you missed the lesson about how true patriotism is respect of the Constitution … which, by the way says nothing about a flag or anthems but whose Bill of Rights begins with First Amendment guarantees of Freedom of Speech, the Right of The People Peaceably to Assemble, and to Petition The Government for a Redress of Grievances, all of which are being practiced by those kneeling, and whose act of kneeling is in support of the proper upholding of Amendment 6, for example, which requires a fair an impartial trial by jury rather than death by cop, or Amendment 14 which guarantees due process rather death by cop, or Amendment 8 which guards against the cruel and unusual punishment such as of death by cop, and so on.

Then again, if you knew your history of why flags, banners and other emblems are are used, it is in part because back in the day plebes lacked the intellectual wherewithal and emotional maturity to support amorphous ideas but could be easily convinced to be subservient to tangible things, becoming an approximation and a physical fixation of these more highly intellectual ideals, thus manifestations like flags became tangible embodiments of ideas for those who lacked the ability to fight for the abstract.

So, I ask, is it the cloth of a flag that’s important or the ideology of the Constitution? Or, rather, if you will: to plebe or not to plebe, that is the question.

If the history of flags aren’t enough, you should look up the use of songs in battle. It’s quite fascinating to understand how they too were used to create homogenization and to instill loyalty. Like with banners, flags and other iconography songs were a simpletons way of identifying with and feeling unity around an abstract idea and later particularly among those lacking reading skills to be able to comprehend documents such as declarations of war and peace treaties songs became the primary way to follow what was going on.

But, enough of why flags and anthems attract modern anti-intellectuals due to their historical tribalness.

Lets be quite clear upfront too: what we actually have in the Star Spangled Banner is an violence glorifying and racist poem that was edited to become a propaganda tool. Continue reading

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Reign it in kid

I am wicked fidgety today which unsurprisingly leaves me a bit unfocused. It’s not even excessive physical energy. my brain is in a state of, shall we call it, restless over-drive.

All I keep telling myself is, “Reign in in kid, reign it in.”

There’s nothing worse sometimes than not being able to put your finger on what’s going on in your brain. The thing is, today, it’s not about any one thing. Not even a generic “everything” is an accurate descriptor to dizzying array of thoughts on display in my head.

Somewhere at the intersection of personal needs, wants, and aspirations with that of my interests and responsibilities as they pertain to work, family, friends and my social life, etc. with that of perceptions about my civic, social, religious, ethnic, etc. identity with that of, of course, money and other limited resources you’ll find where my brain’s center is right now.

You know in cartoons when the antagonists head is about to explode? Right before that is where I lie.

Undoing this chaos residing in my cranium isn’t as simple as reframing any of the quotes like: “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs” Henry Ford or “the secret to getting ahead is getting started. the secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting with the first one” Mark Twain.

No. All of the swirling sensations in my head are all those little things already divided up to begin with. And, I already have a prioritization for accomplishing them. Rather, this cacophony is more than likely the result OF being so self-conscious about identifying and prioritizing them all. The net result of introspection at that level is actually getting lost BY all the culmination of all of the stuff.

Rather than drilling down further, what I really need is a step back. Several actually. Time to put all those puzzle pieces back together into the larger picture. Time to enjoy all of them as they coexist rather than in their separate, compartmentalized selves.

Thankfully, there’s some ‘vacation’ time coming up to facilitate this endeavor. Until then, woah nelly, that’s some hellacious headache I’m trying to stave off.

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