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Issue 103:

Paper of Wreckage
NYT reporters caught red-handed reporting.
Allan Uthman

Gay Marriage Threatens Gay Happiness
A Fabulous BEAST Editorial
Ian Murphy

Flag Football
How illegal should it be?
Rich Herschlag

Eternal Sunshine of the Heartless Brain
Fox News launches Santorum's Weapon of Mass Delusion.
Christopher Famighetti

Sinking the Ship
Let's impeach him already.
Stan Goff

Ask Ann Coulter
Completely original advice from the world's foremost dumbass.

Starving for Attention
Exclusive celebrity fasting diary excerpts.

Authorities reveal failed plot to kill everyone
in New York City with motherfucking behemoth
laser-guided remote controlled killer bees

What Would Tom Bosley Do?
You may regret asking.
N. Sorrenti

Man Makes Clever Joke about France Surrendering World Cup
Josh Righter

Page 3 Falsified Death

Kino Korner: Movies
Supterman, Pirates of the Carribean, Click, Devil Wears Prada.

Music review: Knife Crazy
Jacob Drun

Your cosmic fortune in insult form.

[sic] - Letters
Coulter-bashing, progeny tallies, the Bauerle conspiracy, & vacationing down under.

Feeding the ultimate troll.
Al Uthman

Belafonte can't shake tally-man past.
Christopher Famighetti

A Small Rabbit out of a Big Hat
Pentagon media moguls cancel Zarqawi.
Stan Goff

Al Qaeda Idol
Vote for the next #2!

The BEAST Conservative Q&A
Answering questions that plague Republicans.

Five Questions...
for WGRZ anchor Ron Plants!

Coping with Road Rage
What can you do?
Scott Borchert

Hammer Hits Hollywood
The Big Buy: Tom DeLay’s Stolen Congress
Movie Review by Matt Cale

Stormtrooping for Dollars
Blog by boys in blue bodes badly for Buffalo

Power Tool
Brian Higgins, the enemy within


Knife Crazy

6/24/06 - Saturday - Merlin’s

Review by Jacob Drum

Among the recent rash of bands that fall into the Post-Everything/ Experimental/Other/You’ll-Never-Get-This-Because-the-Joke-Is-Really-On-You-Philistine genre, one usually comes across a few great innovators, a few blatant copycats, and a mind-boggling array of some of the shittiest aural experiences man has been inspired to conjure. Most, if not all, of the last category confidently and repeatedly stress their lack of definition in order to mask their utter lack of talent, hoping that the more loudly they assert that a person who doesn’t like their music is an uncultured swine, the less likely anyone is to actually call bullshit. It’s the musical equivalent of the guys who build up their upper body and beat the crap out of scrawny kids to compensate for their four-minute, one-position sex game. I really, really hope Knife Crazy is better than that.

 Buffalo-born Knife Crazy is one of the few bands I’ve seen recently on the experimental scene that seemed genuinely interested and excited by the music they were playing. When they took their act to Merlin’s on Saturday, June 24, they showed a tenacity and stage presence that are hard to come by these days. Guitarists Vic and Phill and drummer Fen thrashed and beat about the stage as though they were playing and listening to the greatest music they’d ever heard, something that sprang from their writing efforts almost by accident, surprising even them.

Only problem was, the sound just didn’t match the image. Vic’s rhythm guitar was constantly drowned out by the band’s recordings and Phill’s repeaters. On at least two songs, Vic was clearly playing something interesting, but nothing that even remotely sounded like what it looked like he was doing came out of the speakers. Either the sound at Merlin’s just sucks (entirely possible) or they’re intentionally screwing over a band member. Or they just wanted it to sound like one guy noodling over his own riffs and stock radio clips, which would be too bad.

One major setback was the band’s inability to order a set. Most bands open their set list with a strong number, following up with something familiar for fans, and then continuing into slower or less palatable songs that the audience may not be ready for, and capping it all off with a barnburner to let the people know they got their money’s worth. There’s a good reason for this: if you’re playing a bar show, you want to get the crowd that doesn’t know your sound as excited and into it as you possibly can before you introduce your artistic vision. Newcomers will be much more likely to endorse your out-there stuff if they know you can hit them with straight-up good rock music whenever you want. Not so much with Knife Crazy. They started with obtuse (albeit quite interesting) songs that didn’t have a chance of moving anyone who wasn’t already into their sound, and then progressed into harder, more palatable material. This approach allows a large section of the audience to tune you out and leave before they’ve heard the material that will sell your CDs and merch.

To sum up, I’m going to have to give Knife Crazy a frustrating out of ten. They could have been so good. But you get the feeling from their live show that they’re conning you into liking them because of some local cred or artistic cred or scene cred that they might have because they’re wearing baseball T’s and the lead guitarist has thick-rimmed glasses on. You also get the feeling that their album most likely sucks, because the first seven songs you hear sound like a Mars Volta cover band with bigger egos. If they come to your neighborhood, check them out. Maybe it was a bad night; maybe they save their best stuff for when they’re not playing a hometown show. But don’t expect your mind to be blown artistically, and don’t let them guilt you into it either.



Idiot Box by Matt Bors
Big Fat Whale by Brian McFadden
Perry Bible Fellowship by Nicholas Gurewitch
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Deep Fried by Jason Yungbluth

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