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Features:

Dems Agog! The DNC Got No Soul - Al Uthman

Narc de Triomphe: Kerry Loves the Drug War - Matt Taibbi

Whores of Babble-On: Dems Silence Speaks Volumes- Chuck Richardson

Control Freaks: Will The Control Board Save Us? - Eric Gauchat

Jesus and Kirk do Darien Lake: Kingdom Bound 2004 - Ken Barnes

Puberty and Bad Politics: Alt Press Crumbles Under BEAST Sanctions - Al Uthman


The DNC Shuffle: Special Dance Instruction Chart (plus page 3)

Dead/Not Dead? A BEAST Quiz

Same Sex Marriage Ban: Gay? - Scott Borchert and Dan Cory

Joel in Jail?: The BEAST Poll



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

Libel Corner: Subway Cannibals, Wal-Mart Corpses

BEAST-O-Scopes

Sports: Run, Ricky, Run - Matt Taibbi

[sic] - your letters



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley



Movies:

Kino Korner



Music:

AudioFiles: Ghostface Killah, Mclusky, Blitz, Artists Over Industry, Alexisonfire

Lowest of the Low Interview

Beastivities



Archives--Old BEASTs

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© 2004 The Beast

Reviews:

Ghostface Killah / Mclusky /Soul Rebel /

Artists Over Industry / Alexisonfire






Ghostface Aftershow Brief But Worthwhile

Ghostface Killah, aka Tony Starks, aka Ironman, one of the more integral/talented members of Staten Island's Wu-Tang Clan, performed last Tuesday at the Showplace Theater, a well known dive located on Grant Street where Black Rock tapers off and the rundown West Side limps into view. Ghostface is an internationally renowned rapper, having appeared on each of Wu's albums, and boasts three solo LPs. Ghost's debut attempt in '96, Ironman, enjoyed international acclaim, rocketing to #2 on the charts, and is widely recognized as one of the finer solo endeavors to come from the Clan's founding fathers.

Admission was relatively cheap; twelve bucks at the door (thirteen if purchased from the pathetic hippy-cave on Hertel) and included scratch sessions from three DJs and an impromptu performance from local group Buffalo Soldier. Doors opened at nine; however, Ghostface showed up around one A.M., fresh from "Projekt Revolution" at Darien, where the NYC native opened for Snoop Dogg. Other performers at the "Revolution" included Linkin Park and Korn; surely a misguided/misunderstood cloud of noisy angst enveloped all in attendance.

Ghost trotted out some old tracks before engaging the smallish crowd of no more than two hundred in a Wu Tang standards sing-along, followed by impressively honed a capella performances by Killah's posse, with issues ranging from the Bush administration ("the same hammer for different situations") to the ever ceaseless flogging of the bros and hos angle (their names escape me, but the token white boy wore a jersey with the name "Wiggahnomics" emblazoned cross the back.) Aside from the catfight immediately preceding the arrival of Ghostface, the wordsmith ruled the day and united a diverse enough crowd under the banner of sick beats and sicker rhymes.

Aside from the absurd length of time waiting for Ghost to arrive, contrasted by the breadth of time spent on stage (just shy of one hour), and the lack of promotion in the local press, which most assuredly affected the slightly-less-than-dismal turnout, I’d say this show was worth the dough. And the Ghostface was, well…Killah.

-          B.J. Hillery


Mclusky

The Difference Between Me and You is That I’m Not On Fire

One of the worst things a person can do is deny that they are intrinsically connected to every living thing on a high super-consciousness. We’re all connected universally and the only thing that separates living things is biology and experience. I know you already know this, but there are some dummies out there that don’t. [What a heap of shit – Ed.]

People that don’t realize it, or more appropriately, refuse to acknowledge it, are people that usually cut in lines, or drive around your neighborhood blasting music at night, or spout various things to passersby in order to demean them. And people that wear bandanas too.

Granted it’s all a power struggle, but those that are so inept and feel the only thing to elevate their spirits is stomp on everyone else are ultimately the fools of the universe. Granted we could just stomp their tiny heads into the sidewalk and watch brain matter leak from their eyes, but that poses many moral dilemmas, plus it’s illegal.

Since we can’t kill people or beat them severely until they cry like babies being stuffed into trashcans, we can at least entertain ourselves with the notion that these social retards that plague our lives will someday get leprosy and we can throw chiclets at them while their appendages rot off.

Noooo, I’m not being negative at all, I’ve just been listening to Mclusky’s new album. The third LP from this Welsh trio finds the band in the hands of notorious musician/producer Steve Albini. Big Black may be long gone, but luckily we can get our dose of musical anger from Mclusky.

Mclusky’s songs are cryptic and associative, but the anger seeps through the cracks of the words and form tiny universes of bitterness which can be easily understood. The music is tighter and more refined than the last album, and Albini’s noodling with the knobs makes The Difference Between Me and You is That I’m Not on Fire a loud and acerbic experience.

Granted it’s not as musically diverse as Mclusky Does Dallas, and singer Andrew Falkous doesn’t seem to be too fond of melodies, but this is the strongest and most direct album the band has composed. The biting humor still remains and bizarre imagery floats up now and again, either in strange trumpets or weird lyrics (“think of death as a medium-sized yellow robot”).

Where Mclusky will go from here remains to be seen, but this album is an excellent reward for those who were wondering what the group would churn out after Mclusky Does Dallas. The primitive and nasty experimental punk edge of the band makes them heirs to the throne formerly occupied by the Jesus Lizard.

While this album isn’t life-changing, it’s rewarding to know that somewhere across the sea there is a group of angry Welsh characters haven’t forgot about the universal truth of a super-consciousness. Mclusky assault the social dummies of the world and rail against the contemporary idiocies of the times with a resonating anger and a mocking savvy. It’s good times guaranteed.

-Eric Syms


Blitz

Soul Rebel

With his first offering, Soul Rebel, Blitz provides the balance that hip-hop has been lacking for some time. Blitz is as politically charged as Public Enemy, whose agonizing ear for the truth enthralled the young mind of Blitz, as did the sociopolitical poetry of KRS-ONE. Sick of the mundane "assembly line" nature of hip-hop, Blitz creates his own sound on Soul Rebel. Of the album’s 12 tracks, the hottest are "Foundation,” “Soul Rebel,” and my favorite, "Black Market." I had a chance to meet Blitz at a show in Cleveland recently, and let me tell you, Blitz challenges the status quo of hip-hop. His sound was live and matches the energy displayed on this album. Blitz is a really cool cat with very soulful music; blending elements of The Roots, Talib Kweli, and Dead Prez. That's not a bad mix if I say so myself. He might just be a little too deep for some listeners, but then again he is a Kent State grad, so undergrads beware and brush up on your thesis. It's a good musical hip-hop album and gets a well-deserved 3.5 out of 5 tomatoes.

- Ketchup Samurai


Artists Over Industry

The Chosen Few

After reviewing the politically charged Soul Rebel by Blitz, I decided to stay in the same anti-Bush realm and review “The Chosen Few” by Artists Over Industry. This is the lead single from the upcoming A.O.I. album Research & Development, a story of sorts, which some of you will understand and others just won't care. In an era when the political reign of George Bush has lead so many innocent people to die under the pretense of fighting for “freedom and country," Artists Over Industry say "fuck that" and drop some knowledge. The lyrics are incisive and insightful: the lines "the fate of America now lies in the balance/ and you're crazy if you think we can accept every challenge/ every country, religion, and creed, has different beliefs/ but there is one thing in common/ victory is sweet", directly reflect the philosophy Bush is trying to get reelected on. A.O.I. also have a take on suicide bombers in the line "there's a vanilla sky promise/ to suicide bombers/ they just don't die/ they die with honors. / this shit is deep man, because any middle east man/ will blow himself up/ for a spot on CSPAN." Not sure if that's quite the message you want to get from A.O.I. but it's deep and it's your single. Just don't expect a Christmas card from any "I love America" cab drivers. You might just be riding with a Manchurian cabbie out to kill political hip-hop heads. For heads who like slow-tempo songs that may have you looking at the state of the world through the eyes of someone else, this single might just be for you. If not, Artists Over Industry have a debut album, entitled The Timeline, with tracks more to hip-hop heads’ liking. Check out "Power of Three” and "Business Cards,” 2 tracks off The Timeline that are definitely dope tracks, and more my flavor. I'm anxious to see these guys live when DeepThinka recording artists Rime Royal, Catastrophic Minds, and Ajent O do a show with A.O.I. next week (August 13th) at Remy's Nightclub in Harrisburg, PA. As for this single, I give it 2.5 tomatoes just because I'm not sure you would dig it. But I do give 3 tomatoes to Timeline, which I'm disappointed I didn't hear about sooner. Hey, what do you know…2 reviews at once! I'm moving up in the world. Now if only my mom could see that.

- Ketchup Samurai


Alexisonfire

Watch Out

For the uninitiated, Alexisonfire is kind of like a deranged hardcore cousin of emocore acts such as Thrice and Thursday.  I think it must be the inhospitable conditions of AOF’s home and native land that drove them to put switchblade-wielding Catholic schoolgirls on their self-titled first album cover, and to boldly declare “This is a .44 caliber love letter straight from my heart” in their signature larynx-busting rasp.

In any case, Watch Out is a force to be reckoned with.  The St. Catharine’s, Ontario-based act’s sophomore effort gives us slightly less cryptic lyrics than their first, and a more polished, but still intense sound.  Lyrically, they speak (all right, roar) of alienation, the search for self-assurance, and insomnia. Plus, the poseurism that overruns the scene today receives a thorough skewering in “Get Fighted.”

Fans who were there from the band’s birth (you can check out their rather interesting creation story on www.theonlybandever.com) may not know what to think about AOF’s shift to a more melodic tone, but I can honestly say that the more I listen, the more I like. Seeing them live in their hometown didn’t hurt this critic’s opinion of them either; these guys put on a fierce show for their Canadian compatriots at the annual Scene festival in St. Catharine’s.  Their own words, “be what you are now, you’ll feel so alive,” almost seem like a self-affirmation, a reminder that they will take their own evolution wherever they damn well please. Not that most of their obsessed fan base is complaining. 

Chris Meister




 

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