Clearing my brain a little. It’s been too full lately.
Decibel magazine, which I (mostly) love, recently put out their annual year-end issue, with top albums and live shows, and what-have-you, and I just cannot understand how Exodus, Coffinworm, Overkill, Today is the Day, and Rigor Mortis could all be absent from not only their Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2014, but from the “Top 5 Records That Tied For #41” sidebar as well. And then to add insult to injury, those clowns in Mastodon are on the goddamn cover for the 293rd goddamn time. Add to this the fact that the final edition of “Grinding it Out”, the monthly column by Kevin Sharp (Brutal Truth (RIP)/Venemous Concept/Primate/etc.) appeared within, and you’ve got the makings of a bummer of an issue.
So. Motherfucking. Good.
Despite all this, I wholeheartedly support Decibel, especially when the only real competition it has here in the colonies is Revovler, which I wouldn’t give Rush Limbaugh to wipe his fat, sweaty butt-crack.
I’m in the process of losing weight and getting in better shape, because I want to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded, and I’d like to live a while longer, thanks. I still don’t know what to make of how dedicated I am to it. I definitely need to get a better handle on my diet, but the exercise is usually enjoyable, and I’ve lost 15 pounds since I started going to Planet Fitness in mid-October. The place gets some flack on the internet from people who are offended that they don’t allow you to work out there if you’re the kind of person who screams in the mirror and fantasizes about fucking yourself while you stare at your own muscles, but that’s one of the things I like about it.
There are some real chowderheads there, for sure, but I’m way more comfortable there than I would be at, like, Cardinal Fitness or whatever. I’m working with a trainer (free to all members of PF) and doing all my exercises in accord with her plan, and I feel better, both mentally and physically, than I have in a long while. I never used to understand people who enjoyed exercising, but I get it now.
“Joel, what the fuck has this got to do with heavy?”
Sorry, I was just getting to it. Owning an old iPod (thanks to the incomparable Amy Miller) has made my time at PF tolerable as far as the music is concerned; when I go after work, the music they play is absurdly dumb. Taylor Swift is the best it gets between the hours of noon-ish and sometime after 4:30, and that just will not do. I’ve been earlier in the day a couple of times, and it’s mostly good (“Pump it Up” by Elvis Costello & the Attractions, “Right Here, Right Now” by Jesus Jones, heard a Pixies song once, though I forget which one), but I’d still rather listen to something of my own choosing. I have intentions of putting together a workout playlist at some point, because lists get more views on this blog than anything else, and because I like making lists, but for now I’ll just mention that Agnostic Front’s legendary 1984 hardcore debut, Victim in Pain, followed by Agnostic Front’s oft-maligned crossover classic Liberty and Justice For…(1987) makes a pretty great stationary bike soundtrack, and Rollins Band’s Weight (1994) is a fine background for weight machines (see endnote *).
The lyrics are pretty damned inspirational.
Been listening to some stuff I still intend to write about eventually, not least of which is Gama Bomb’s Tales From the Grave in Space (2009), which I enjoy more than I’ve enjoyed any other release that I’ve heard from any other band from the New Wave of Thrash Metal, though I have admittedly heard very little of the stuff. I like Municipal Waste well enough, but they invariably make me wanna listen to Nuclear Assault instead, and Toxic Holocaust does the same with Sodom. Gama Bomb sounds different, and, for lack of a better word, “fresher”, and it doesn’t make me feel like reaching for another, more classic band. Tales From the Grave in Space is the band’s third album, and is available for free download at earache.com/misc/downloads/gamabomb/.
It’s pretty tight.
Oh, and because I just happened upon them a little while ago, here are some pictures of the super-badass Exodus t-shirt I scored earlier this year:
This was somehow the least blasphemous t-shirt available at the Exodus merch booth that day.
That’s all for now, I think. I’m gonna watch a movie. You stay heavy, internet.
endnote *: I don’t get nearly so excited about Henry Rollins these days, but the man and his work still exist as in important layer in the foundation of the house of Joel, and I still think Weight, Come in and Burn (1997), and The End of Silence (1992) are great (I don’t enjoy the stuff before and after as much, with a few exceptions). Some other time, I’ll tell you about the two different times I met Henry Rollins. The first time was very awkward, which is my way, and is much funnier in retrospect than the second time, which while it was happening seemed much less awkward than the first time, but is in fact much more awkward in retrospect .