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Category: Music (page 3 of 71)

Coldcut & Hexstatic’s “Natural Rhythm”

GET IT?! BECAUSE IT IS NATURE????

Actually, this is pretty cool. Conceptually, it reminds me of The Chemical Brothers video for “Star Guitar”. Enjoy.

Dying Fetus’ “Second Skin”

Because who doesn’t want to listen to Dying Fetus????

Royal Thunder’s “Blue”

Atlanta’s Royal Thunder continue the trend of Sabbath-inspired modern hard rock bands fronted by a female singer. You would think that at this point I’d start to get tired of bands like this, but I’m just not. Royal Thunder’s 2012 release CVI is awesome.

Check these guys out if you’re in the mood for some stoney, down-tempo rock.

Fuck the Facts’ “Drift”

Because this shit is super awesome. Happy 2013, everybody!!

The Theme for 2013: The Year of No Pressure

Before I discuss my theme for next year, let’s talk about this year a little bit. Though I built up a little steam toward my 100,000 word goal, I only made it about a quarter of the way through before life got in the way and threw my ability to think about my writing to the wolves. Indeed, The Black Laser wasn’t free from that either. Loyal readers saw the quantity and quality of posts here gradually decline as life got in the way of things. But, you know what? So it goes.

I don’t feel bad about it.

Because the truth is I also did all sorts of interesting things personally and professionally this year; they just didn’t have a lot to do with writing. I made a bunch of dance videos with my now-fiancĂ©e. I edited all sorts of commercials for the old boob tube. I edited a death metal concert video and an experiment art narrative short film. I was made officially official at my company. I got freakin’ engaged! Holy crap!

So what if I didn’t write as much as I set out to? Who really cares? I accomplished a lot of things that made me really proud and I fed my brain with a lot of new experiences that can ultimately be writing-fodder. It’s not as if I sat around all year playing video games (though I did do some of that), wasting my time and feeling bad about it. I made things and friends and learned. I am very happy with 2012. I think a lot of that has to do with letting myself be free from my theme about halfway through the year. I remember consciously thinking, “Ok, I can grind out the next 75,000 words and be all stressed about not being on schedule, or I can just go with the flow and see what comes out of the year.” And that is exactly what I did.

In the past I’ve put a lot of emphasis on structure and deadlines, hoping that being beholden to something would keep me motivated. Go Head. Read about it. I’ll be right here.

Ok. All finished? Great.

To a certain extent being beholden to someone does keep me motivated, but I’ve learned that I have to be beholden to someone who is not myself. I just can’t do it. I make too many excuses for myself, and I find that I am always really willing to cut myself slack for those excuses. I am my own worst enemy and my own best advocate. A complicated relationship to be in with yourself.

This year I want to try a different sort of experiment. Though I have a whole lot of things I want to do this year, I am not going to put any pressure on myself to get things done by a deadline. Instead I am going to do things as they come and let my own productivity flow organically. I am under constant deadlines at work, so perhaps being more laissez-faire with my creative goals will allow me the wiggle room at the end of the day to do things as I can, not as I feel I need to. With that, I present the theme for 2013…

The Year of No Pressure

That’s right. No pressure. No pressure to hit a certain word count. No pressure to produce a certain number of stories. No pressure to do anything to a certain amount by a certain date. Just let things happen as they happen. That is not to say I don’t have goals for this year. Quite the contrary; I have a bunch of things, broad and specific, I want to accomplish in 2013. I just don’t intend to put any undue pressure on myself to get them done before they happen naturally.

What are they?

  • Get married – Giant duh on this. I asked her to marry me and now we need to figure out exactly how that is going to work. Apparently, people expect you to know the date you’re going to get married as soon as you are engaged. That’s news to me. Besides, I’ve neither been engaged before nor have I planned a wedding. There is a lot to learn.

    As a bonus for you all, my good friend Matt Toder of Vox Critica fame has asked Sarah and me to write a series of articles about our experience getting married. I’ve already started one on getting engaged, so keep an eye out for that, friends. I promise it will be good reading.

  • Rebuild my finances – 2012 was a very expensive year. During 2013 I would like very much to reign in my spending and rebuild the next egg I worked through this year. Don’t get me wrong; the money was spent for a very good (personal) reason and I would spend it all again in a heartbeat. Nevertheless, it is a priority of mine to keep to a budget and try to dig myself out of a bit of a hole.
  • Pick up the pace of The Black Laser – I feel bad when I don’t update for the 10s of you who read this site. I like to put my thoughts out and share cool things I find and I hope that you like it too. For 2013, I’d like to get this place back on track. This post is the first step toward that goal.
  • Pick up the fiction train – This ties into the previous goal a little as my fiction posts have always been a good source of original content for this site. And I like sharing that stuff with you guys because it scares the hell out of me to put myself out there and that is fun. It is fun to be scared. I have a load of fiction ideas built up, little snippets of ideas, barely formed thoughts, bad ideas, good ideas, stale ideas, fresh ideas. Whatever they are, I have a ton of stuff stewing in my brain that needs to be released. I’m going to release it at you all. Be ready.

I think that’s it right now, but I am not going to stress about adding or removing things from that list as I see fit. That’s just how 2013 is going to be. Stay tuned and get excited for it, friends. It should be a totally smooth, comfortable ride.

Neurosis’ “Locust Star”

I love any song that waits 1:17 to kick you in the teeth.

I don’t like the new Neurosis record much, but we’ll always have Enemy of the Sun and Through Silver In Blood.

It’s Christmas music season again!

Which means it’s time for The Black Laser’s annual post of the best Christmas song ever performed: Joseph Spence’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.

Though some have argued it should be titled “Sanny Corr is Cunninghhh Huuhnnnn”, I prefer the original title.

Nile’s “Enduring the Molestation of the Wicked”

Oh, come on, Nile. I really want to like this, and I think that the record you released this year, At The Gate of Sethu, was the most interesting work you’ve done in years. Rather than your typical wall of blast beats, the album featured bits of groove. Sure, you’re not as groove-y as, say, Protest the Hero, but it was a big improvement for you, Nile. I was proud to hear that you were progressing beyond the click click click of standard tech-death.

But this? This is beyond boring. I’ve had the video sitting in an open tab for a week waiting for a moment to get to it and when I finally did, I nearly fell asleep. No hyperbole, I nearly fell asleep for a million years. To death metal. I love death metal. Oh, Nile.

I guess I’ll just have to go back to Ihsahn’s ear-splitting saxophone solos on Eremita.