Erin go bleargh!

Saint Patrick’s Day, the official holiday of alcoholics and green beer enthusiasts all across the country, is upon us again. Actually, by the time you’re reading this, it’s likely the day after St. Pat’s Day, otherwise known as National Hangover Day. Right now, millions of Americans are sucking down an ocean of green beer and Guinness and celebrating their Irish blood, even if the blood is from the guy they just punched out earlier in the evening. As a McDonald, I have chosen to uphold this fine tradition by celebrating the best alcohol-friendly band in the world.

That would be Korpiklaani, folk metal band from Finland.

Korpiklaani is a sextet with a fairly traditional lineup, with vocals, guitar, bass, drums, violin, and accordion. They originally started as a traditional folk band, but changed their name (from Shaman) and their style in 2003 with their first album ‘Spirit of the Forest’, from which the above video was taken.

While many of the folk/pagan metal bands take a more Dungeons & Dragons approach to songwriting, Korpiklaani have more than battle in mind. Songs like ‘Bring us Pints of Beer’, ‘Beer, Beer’, ‘Vodka’, and ‘Happy Little Boozer’ are among the staples of their concert, although they did insist that they couldn’t actually SING ‘Beer, Beer’ unless they were actually drinking beer. In addition to being functioning alcoholics, Korpiklaani are also pagans, and their songs also have a strong admiration for nature. Mind you, many of their songs are in Finnish, so they could be advocating Satanism and baby-eating on at least half their albums and I’d never know. If so, it sounds like a fun way to go.

Be seeing you.

Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm  Comments (1)  

The thing that should not be…

Since the dawn of mankind, when the first caveman dipped his chocolate in another one’s peanut butter, mixing things has been a time-honored tradition. We combine flavors, sounds, images, and sometimes the mixture transcends the sum of its parts. But we know, deep in our lizard brain, that some things are so fundamentally opposed to one another that the merest hint of contact between them could bring us all to our doom in a fiery, screaming cataclysm.

Had you asked me yesterday, I would have said that a cappella and heavy metal was without a doubt one of those combinations. It is a failing of mine that if someone says “this is horrific, you must not look”, then I am COMPELLED to click that link. I have to see it for myself. Because hey, if people really do win the lottery, then maybe it won’t be a mind-flaying dose of psychic horror THIS time. I’ve never won the lottery, but today, I discovered Van Canto. They’re a 6-piece German group featuring a drummer and five vocalists who do a cappella covers of heavy metal songs. And I’ll be damned if they don’t rock that shit out. It doesn’t hurt that each singer is good enough to front their own band. They cover songs by the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Nightwish and MANOWAR! Yes, they are the Kings of a cappella Metal.

Behold, Metallica’s “Battery” by Van Canto:

Be seeing you.

ps. Because not ALL combinations are good, and because I do not really love you, there’s this:

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cardiacs – sideways pop for the jittery and oblique

There was a moment where I thought unremitting evil would overwhelm me, and my first real post on this blog would be an in-depth dissection of the tragically non-award-winning cinematic masterpiece that is ‘Spice World’, the Spice Girls movie.  Then I realized that there wasn’t much point in even attempting a blog if no one was going to read past the second post.  That in mind, I decided to tackle one of my favorite bands, Cardiacs.  I’ll save ‘Spice World’ for my hundredth post.  The anticipation will do you good.

The sound of Cardiacs:  there is a lorry, carrying an old calliope, hurtling down a winding road in the English countryside.  The driver has been mainlining meth for days, and his body has had altogether enough of his nonsense.  His heart fails before the brakes can, and the vehicle hurtles straight into a pub where a punk band is whipping a crowd into a frothing frenzy.  In the aftermath of the collision, aliens draw an cross-section of carnage up into their ship.  With a near-miraculous ability to reshape and repair bodies, matched by a horrific lack of knowledge of the human form, they cobble together a skittering, chaotic wall of circus-flavored punk mutant madness.

If you’d like to hear more, their entire back catalogue is available at the iTunes store.

Be seeing you,

Published in: on March 9, 2010 at 12:47 am  Comments (1)