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Archive for March, 2009

music review : Fever Ray – Fever Ray

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

reviewed by : Paul Morin

released by : Mute on 24 March 2009
data : 1st album . 10 tracks . 48:11 run time . www.feverray.com
digital download available now
genre : experimental, ambient, electronic

Fever Ray is the self-titled solo project of Karin Dreijer Andersson. Andersson is also half of the band, The Knife.  Fever Ray features a lot of the same textures as The Knife.  Present again is Andersson’s natural pixie voice, inviting comparisons to Bjork or Siouxsie Sioux.  The vocals  are pitch-shifted vocals and move from quiet and brittle to cavernous and sinister.  Also present are the subtle minimalist programming techniques used on The Knife’s Silent Shout.  Where Fever Ray really differs, is where it favors a more subdued ambient approach rather than the kinetic energy of The Knife.  Each song takes on a quality of incantation or prayer with the narrator alternating from vulnerable and lost to confident and strong; innocence to experience in both lyrics and composition.  (more…)

music review : Seabound – When Black Beats Blue [Rarities]

Monday, March 16th, 2009

reviewed by : Mike Kieffer

released by : Metropolis Records on 03 February 2009
data : 5th album . 12 tracks . 69:55 run time . www.seabound.de
genre : synthpop

Let’s be honest, I’m a big Seabound fan and when I heard that a new album was coming out I was excited.  I crave to hear new music, especially since their last new material, Double-Crosser, was released in late 2006.  When I heard about their release of Come Forward / Live in Berlin, I was shaking my head in disappointment. This was just a release of older tracks that have been remixed. Some are unreleased and well, others found their way on to compilations albums.  It’s true that you won’t find new songs here but this album is presented in such a way that I was not disappointed.  Over the course of the album there are only two repeats of songs. The versions of the remixes are different enough to keep you from getting bored like you may if you were listening to a single.

Overall, I’m pleased with this release. Being a DJ, I usually hunt out tracks that are released on  overseas compilations only hearing three out of twelve of the tracks.  It’s not brand new material, yet I still found freshness in the release.  When Black Beats Blue is compiled of well done remixes of great tracks and I am glad that Seabound decided to release them.  Let’s just hope they have a new album on the way.

recommended tracks : Domination vs. Bound (Mindless Faith), Hooked (Radical Alt. Vocal)
if you like you may like : Edge of Dawn , Covenant
grade : overall 7 – music 8 – lyrics 8 – recording quality 9

from the February Issue of Auxiliary Magazine

Luke watches the Watchmen

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Two fervent camps seem to be dominating the arena of opinions regarding the recently released Watchmen film.  There have been a small number of moderate or well thought out reviews, but an ideological war seems to be forming between the two differing poles of thought.  It is becoming almost as much a part of the event of Watchmen’s release as the film itself.

The first of these groups are the fan-boy critics who were ready to kneel and service director Zack Snyder before the film was even released.  Any negative remark or insinuation of flaw in the film has been taken not as valid criticism of a piece of work, but as a betrayal of the reviewers own sense of taste.  Any criticism or comment from an outside source is taken as a personal assault.  While showing the ability of Alan Moore’s legendary source material to engross the reader, these reactions illustrate the inability or outright refusal of many critics to separate the source from its cinematic interpretation and treat them as individual entities.

the videos are dead : because I am in a terrible amount of pain…

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Because I am in a terrible amount of pain due to a nasty bacterial infection in my ear and throat, today’s collection is all videos in which someone suffers severe (or what would be in the real world in some cases) physical harm.

Isis – Holy Tears

This video builds slowly towards a viscerally devastating sequence…


music review : Apoptygma Berzerk – Rocket Science

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

reviewed by : Mike Kieffer

released by : Gun Records on 23 January 2009
data : 6th album . 14 tracks . 56:26 run time . www.apoptygmaberzerk.de
genre : synthrock

When Apoptygma Berzerk changed styles from synthpop/ebm to more indie/synth-rock with their 2005 release, You and Me Against the World, they had many longtime fans tearing up and questioning the bands decision.  I, for one, did the same.  I downright wrote the band off.  I thought the songs were mediocre at best and the album as a whole was weak.

Along comes 2009 and Apop is at it again with the release of Rocket Science.  A 14-track record full of a new style which, needless to say, my expectations were not very high.  I was proven wrong. Right from the start, the first song “Weight of the World” began changing my mind.  This was a catchy tune with energy and was a more polished, full sound.  As I continued to listen, the  songs kept catching my attention.  It was clear that this album was different than their last.  I once again began to enjoy myself and appreciate the talents of Apoptygma Berzerk.  The music on Rocket Science is more of a hybrid of the old Apop and the new rock style. (more…)

music review : Babyland – Cavecraft

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

reviewed by : Mike Kieffer

released by : Metropolis Records on 03 February 2009
data : 6th full length . 11 tracks . 47:51 run time . www.babyland.info
genre : electronic junk punk

The Los Angeles based band Babyland’s latest electronic junk punk release, Cavecraft, comes along after a long five year wait from when The Finger came out in 2004.  All I can say is that it was well worth the wait.  The album starts with the slamming track “Last Ave”.  Here, you will find all the classic Babyland sounds, from rhythmic percussions with bangs, clicks, scrapes, and clangs to killer synth lines, all of which are backed up by passionate vocals wailing out deep lyrics.  The second and third tracks “You Will Never Have It” and “Rimer Drive Tiger” offer up no relief.  These three tracks all have catchy lyrics and melodies that will stick in your head for days.  Cavecraft is a well-blended album where each track is part of a whole and less of  individual tracks on a single album.  Speaking from personal experience, this can lead the listener to overlook tracks upon first listen but then find gems months later.  After many listens to this album I found a new favorite in “Lifestyle”. (more…)

an introspective into gothabilly

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

by Meagan Breen

photo Zombie Ghost Train

photo Zombie Ghost Train

What do you get when a greaser of the 1950s meets a black-clad goth of the 1990s?   What would happen if Elvis met The Sisters of Mercy?  You would get gothabilly! Yes, it really does exist!  Not only is gothabilly a musical genre but a fashion look and a lifestyle as well.  Gothabillys, also known as hellbillys, can easily be mistaken for goths, rockabillys, or psychobillys.  They all have similar interests in horror, kitsch, hot rods (or hearses), vintage fashion, and enjoy the sound of the slap style bass.

We could simply describe the fashion of the gothabilly as, “Elvis raised from the grave and re-fashioned as a goth.”  He would simply be draped in black velvet instead of gold lame.  It’s not that hard to envision, Elvis did dye his hair black, after all.  (more…)

music reviews : Telefon Tel Aviv – Immolate Yourself

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

reviewed by : Paul Morin

released by : BPitch Control on 20 January 2009
data : 3rd full length album . 10 tracks . 46:19 run time . www.telefontelaviv.com
genre : synthpop, IDM, ambient

The opening track, “Birds”, starts off slowly from the runway and then crashes into a drowsy, repeated wall of sound.  The album continues, confronting you with ambient washes of electronica that mix into straight-ahead syth-pop-topia.  You may suddenly think to yourself, “This isn’t the Telefon Tel Aviv I used to know”.  While all of the songs maintain a dark narcotic feel, the tracks shift between slow and spacey pieces and hyper-spastic dance workouts.  The result is a push and pull effect; you get into a mood, get excited, and then the mood is gone.  As you listen you may begin to mellow out for a bit, only to be awoken by throbbing rhythms calling your feet back to the dance floor.  The pieces may not fit together perfectly but the individual tracks work alone just fine and will more than make you forget any issues with the pacing.  (more…)

music review : Plastic Noise Experience – Reiz und Reaktion

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

reviewed by : Alex Kourelis

released by : Alfa Matrix on 05 December 2008
data : 15 tracks . 58:21 run time . www.plasticnoise.de
genre : 90% EBM and 10% synthpop

This was my first encounter with the solo-act Plastic Noise Experience.  Upon hearing this album, I have to say that at first, I was surprised with the adherence to EBM and minimalist precepts.  By the end of the album, I had grown tired of the formulaic basis upon which the individual tracks were arranged.  While each songs is composed well, there seems to be an inherent lack of passion in the delivery and the entirety suffers as a result.  Don’t get me wrong,  there are some real shining points on this album with original ideas and sounds in tracks like “Ich Bin Nicht Du” and “Wer Bist Du”.  However, the ultimate failure of this release would be that the threads from track to track rarely change in a disc that showcases fifteen songs and a runtime of under an hour.  One-third of the album is comprised of remixes, none of which add to the experience and ethos that a full album should have.  (more…)

the PinUp

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Auxiliary’s playful take on the sexy centerfold pin up. This month we bring you the striking Nofar Avigdor in vivid red Betsey Johnson! So flip the page, cut out, and tac on your wall!

Photographer : Studio X
Makeup Artist : Mimi Makeup
Hair Stylist : Aliza Williams
Model : Nofar Avigdor

dress by Betsey Johnson with hat by Taissa Lada Designs


music review : Combichrist – Today We Are All Demons

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

reviewed by : Aaron Andrews

genre : EBM, industrial
released by : Metropolis Records on 20 January 2009
data : 4th full length album . 13 tracks . 57:08 run time . www.combichrist.com

packaging : The signature Combichrist winking skull and cross bones makes its appearance on the cover.  In this instance, with muted grays and hot-rod flames.  Inside, the muted monotone theme continues, offering lyrics and band shots.

The newest full length from Andy LaPlegua (Icon of Coil, Panzer AG) continues to put their noise-heavy first release The Joy of Gunz behind them.  The new album gives fans more of the same EBM/industrial flavor of Everybody Hates You and What the Fuck Is Wrong With You People. The start of the album is well put together and gives the listener an onslaught of well written, in your face tracks until reaching “Can’t Change the Beat”.  With this track you get to take a Nitzer Ebb inspired breather only to be slammed again as the album builds back up.  The end of the album tapers off again with the slower album titled track “Today We Are All Demons” and the epic “At the End of It All”. (more…)

guest review : Jason Draper of Lemuria and The Failures’ Union

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Cheap Girls – Find Me a Drink Home

reviewed by : Jason Draper

Jason Draper is the bass player for the indie bands Lemuria and The Failures’ Union. He also Djs under the name Jason Kyle and is half of the DJ/promotion team which throws the very popular Transmission dance parties in Buffalo, New York.

released by Paper + Plastick on March 2009
data : 1st full length album . 11 tracks . 32:48 run time . www.vivacheapgirls.com
free download available at www.quoteunquoterecords.com

genre : 90s indie rock/alt-rock

It’s been years since I’ve gone to a show and been completely blown away by a band I have never heard before. This was the case this past summer when I saw Lansing, the Michigan based band, Cheap Girls.  Citing influences such as The Lemonheads and Buffalo Tom, this trio brings back a time when “alt-rock” wasn’t a dirty word. After being a band for just over a year, they released their first full length Find Me a Drink Home on local Lansing labels Bermuda Mohawk and Los Diaper (CD and LP respectively). In March, a few short months after its initial release, Paper and Plastick will be re-releasing the album on a larger scale. The opening track, “Kind of on Purpose”, sets the mood for the album with lines such as, “I’m taking notes from those with it together.”, “Where did you go wrong?”, and “How did you make it right?” (more…)

necktie paradox

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Ties the most boring gift to give or receive? Maybe not… Cyberoptix TieLab designer, Bethany Shorb reviles how and why she went from designing costumes for Skinny Puppy to designing men’s ties.

by Elizabeth Schumer
Photographer : Luke Copping
Model : Guy William Gane III

When most people think of ties, they see wallpaper-like snooze strips or a garish Holiday atrocity. Well, think again. Cyberoptix TieLab designs by Bethany Shorb feature intricate nature prints, ironic nooses, vintage industrial designs, and even concealed weapons. Be warned, this is not your grandfather’s neck wear.

to read the rest download the February Issue of Auxiliary Magazine

dear chrissie

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Dear Chrissie,
My boyfriend and I have been together for the past four years.  We constantly declare our love for each other and while he does occasionally compliment me, he’s got the worst case of the wandering eye ever.  Whenever we go out, he ogles these cheap looking Paris Hilton look alikes.  I try not to let it bother me, but I can’t help it.  When he looks at girls that look so different from me, I secretly freak out that given the chance he’d dump me for a bleach-blonde tanned bimbo.  How do I deal?  Is it him or me?  Help!

Sincerely, Dakota [Pittsburgh, PA]

Dear Dakota,
While this behavior from your boyfriend might be annoying, you have to realize that he isn’t blind, or dead (yet), and he will notice other girls.  But it is one thing to look and another thing to actually go about trying to get with them.  From what you tell me, you both seem very committed to one another and truly love each other.  So I would guess he isn’t about to go after these girls instead of being with you.  If he were that type of guy then he probably would have done that a long time ago.  I wouldn’t look at it as being a problem so don’t make it a problem.

Luv, Chrissie