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Pestering our Overlords: NYC Welcomes the President - Matt Higgins

Greatest American Zero: Sabres Rattle for RNC Cattle- Al Uthman

Purchasing Power to the People: Slogans Sell at RNC Protests- Ken Barnes

Dogfight: The Gendered Degeneration of Politics - Stan Goff

Milk Spilled, Thousands Die: Washington Post Refuses to Cry - Matt Taibbi

Music Download Blues: What to do if You're Busted - Stephanie Cole


Faux-tures:

COBRA Joins Forces With al Qaeda

Barney Frank admits Heterosexual Affair, Resigns- Jake Novak

Local Man Wets Bed, Blames Dog

Racist, Sexist or Ludacris? - a PC Quiz

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Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

True Horrors of Local Bureacracy - Jonathon Chance

Notes from the Big House

Ask Dr. Rotten: Growing your best bud

Taste the Truth: our new food column- "Fats" O'Leary

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Kino Korner



Music:

AudioFiles: Hives, Brand Nubian, MF Doom, Rise Against, Dillinger Escape Plan

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I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

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Bob The Angry Flower - Stephen Notley



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© 2004 The Beast

REVIEWS:

Brand Nubian / MF Doom / Dillinger Escape Plan / Hives / Rise Against




Brand Nubian

Fire In The Hole

I'm usually a happy individual. I appreciate a lot of things and hate many others. For instance, I hate the fact that my buddy Jerome wasn't allowed in 3rd Room because "his shirt was too big," while we could clearly see that there were people in there who had shirts just as big, if not bigger, than his. And I hate Brand Nubian’s latest album. It's a fucking shame they had my hopes up by dropping the first single entitled "Whatever Happened," only to purchase this album and demanding my money back. The album is 12 tracks long and, in my opinion, only 3 are  good. I liked "Where Are You Now," "Young Son," and, of course, "Whatever Happened."

The majority of the album is slow and features a lot of singing. Yuck! If I wanted an R&B album I would buy Usher, or Musiq Soul Child, not a damn Brand Nubian R&B album. Like I said, my hopes were high, and I was greatly let down. Listening to this record was like getting a back rub when you thought you were getting laid. Gee, thanks Brand Nubian, my back was killing me.

Anyway, if you have the opportunity to download this album, by all means do it. But don't waste your money. You're better off buying sex toys. 2.5 out of 5 tomatoes.~Ketchup Samurai


MF Doom (aka Viktor Vaughn)

Venomous Villain (VV:2)

After listening to Brand Nubian and accepting that they made a wack album, I turned to an artist who I can always depend on for the hip hop I seem to play on a daily basis. MF Doom, who goes by the name Viktor Vaughn, drops his 2nd installment in the Vaughn era, entitled Venomous  Villain (VV:2). No doubt MF Doom does not skip a beat after dropping the undeclared classic All Caps LP to drop another long-awaited album, which is strictly for the true underground hip hop heads. It's 12 tracks  of MF Doom...I mean Viktor Vaughn, at his finest, with dope beats and  strange lyrics only true Doom fans can understand. Tracks like "Back End," "Fall Back/Titty Fat,” "Ode To Road Rage,” and "R.A.P. G.A.M.E." featuring Iz-Real and Manchild (of Mars Ill), bring out that side of us that usually comes out after listening to "Coke Whore" by Reginoff on repeat. If you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, pick up the "Milk Fat" compilation CD and you'll understand. Other artists featured on the VV:2 project include Kool Keith, Carl Kavorkian,  and Poison Pen, which adds a nice dimension to an already rare yet  familiar Doom album. It's not for everyone, but don't sleep on this album. It will definitely pique your interest in MF Doom, and might make a fan out of you. 4 out of 5 tomatoes.~Ketchup Samurai


The Dillinger Escape Plan 

Miss Machine

The New Dillinger Escape Plan Album is a bit more cohesive than their last outing, Calculating Infinity, but no less brutal.  I figure if I’m going to review a hardcore/metal CD I must use the word BRUTAL and refer to all coo guitar riffs as “Insane Fret Board Gymnastics.”  Miss Machine is a bit more song structure orientated than previous works.  It still has crazy technical parts but this album is not so much about the complete “everybody solos” of days past.  These songs actually have humble melodies and intelligible singing thanks impart to new singer Greg Puciato.

Song styles range from spastic ADHD Freak outs (Panasonic Youth) to songs reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails (Phone Home).  Plus as a nice bonus the CD comes packaged with a DVD of live songs taken from shows such as Hellfest 2003(mislabeled 2002 on the dvd) and from the House of Blues.  Also the artwork on the CD case is an engaging collage of female body parts and machinery. 

Fans needn’t worry that DEP are getting soft just because they have melodies in their songs now.  This CD is still a brutal slab of brutality soaked in anger cooked over the ever heating coals of guitar insanity.  Oh yeah and for you music snobs there’s some jazz thrown in there for good measure, it’s not really brutal or anything cause, you know, its jazz.  So to wrap it all up, I give Miss Machine Four out of Five Evil Aborted Fetus Encrusted Stars.~Jerry Pawlowski


The Hives

Tyrannosaurus Hives

The Swedish invasion is back with the return of the Hives, attacking the air waves with their third full length album Tyrannosaurus Hives.  This album is a fast pace blast of Retro Garage Punk with a side of 80s New-Wave.  Think Veni Vidi Vicious only better.  There is enough attitude on this album to kill an attitude allergic horse two times over, not to mention sway anyone who has questioned their credibility in the past.

There are plenty of poppy catchy hooks that will have any person chanting along to songs like “Walk Idiot Walk” and “Two Timing Touch and Broken Bones.”  The strumming is tighter than a dolphin’s butt-hole and there are plenty of bass licks courtesy of Dr. Matt Destruction and robotic like time changes by drummer Chris Dangerous.  Front man Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist has said that on this record they wanted their instruments to sound like machines.  This machine style is defiantly evident throughout the twelve track LP.  I found it particularly evident on track ten “Love In Plaster.” It’s like you’re almost positive that someone is rocking out on a synthesizer but in reality it’s just the guitars.  This is what makes this record so much better than their last.  By exploring their sound the Hives seem to have grown up a bit. 

But overall there’s nothing like seeing the Hives play live.  There are plenty of Swedish appendages and headstocks flailing this way and that and Howlin’ Pelle struts around the stage like a younger Jagger on speed.  So at that, I give this album Four out of Five Mic Jagger Strutting Poses.~Timothy Staszak


Rise Against

Siren Song of the Counter Culture

It's not easy presenting your second album as a band hovering just below the surface of the underground. If you stay with your roots, music critics for the likes of Alternative Press (the music mag) and ArtVoice wag their fingers at you for not "developing your sound." Change too much, and you alienate your core fan base. Even worse, nerdy 22-year old 'zine writers in Rivers Cuomo glasses bitch about how you totally sold out.

Well, the latter won't happen in this case, since Rise Against pretty much sticks to their formula in Siren Song of the Counter Culture. And who can blame them? The Chicago-based outfit manages a straight-up rock-infused hardcore sound, with lyrics that are political without being preachy and confessional without being whiny (at least most of the time). That's no small feat in the current musical landscape, where all you need to de-pussify an unmistakable pop-punk/emo ballad riff is some guy death-metal screaming about bleeding hearts, shitty presidents, or people's trite lives as cogs in the corporate machine.

The boys of Rise Against don't describe themselves as overtly political in most interviews, but touring with Anti-Flag and Against Me! does little to sway people from that perception. But they are musicians first and foremost, and they back that up with their bass and drum work and the occasional sweet guitar effect. If you like a little ass-kicking urgency and hope mixed in with your gloom and doom, pick up Siren Song for a cathartic release of your political and emotional angst.~Chris Meister



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