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melt-banana bring their Playstation Grindcore to SLC

Late Sunday evening on October 20, 2013, melt-banana stepped up on stage and blitzkrieged Salt Lake City's URBAN LOUNGE with a fury reminiscent of a couple of Pokemon's on methamphetamines.  I couldn't possibly tell you which song they started off with, nor the titles of any of the songs they tore through last night. Suffice it to say I believe they've engendered a new genre, "Playstation Grindcore", and all the hipster bearded kids with earplugs and horn rimmed glasses seemed to like 'em well enough.

This is Onuki. Her vocals may be described as a spastic cartoon creature on helium plugged into an electric socket. She held this weird palm pilot gizmo with multicolored lights and a blue glowing ring on it in her right hand, sweeping it around and holding it at odd angles, until I realized it must have a movie camera function. I think it's a weird Japanese iPod mutation which she records their live performances with, because she kept aiming it towards her bandmate, Agata.

It occurred to me that Agata may actually wear his surgical mask not for any aesthetic reasons, but in order to prevent him from contracting any viruses from having been exposed to large international crowds every night while they're on tour. Whatever the reason for the mask, it looks sick as all get out and has become a trademark image for this post punk psycho Nintendo grindcore band.

The main complaint was the loss of their original bassist, Hamamoto. It's really too bad they've been stripped down to a two-piece. However, the two remaining members of this freakish outfit truly delivered the brain melting blastbeats and psychokinetic guitar attacks courtesy of Agata. I heartily recommend melt-banana if one is in need of staying awake late at night or has perhaps run out of coffee or crystal meth. On the other hand, if one values their hearing and wishes to keep the tympanic membrane of their inner ear from being eviscerated, one might choose to either wisely bring earplugs, stand far away from the speakers, or simply bow out from attending their shows. 


 As for the rest of us whose Cochlear nerves have withstood torrents of inhumanly loud grindcore and other variations of extreme metal without seeming to have suffered much from it, I urgently beseech thee to get thyselves to the next melt-banana show and let the exterior layers of your psyche be blasted away into another dimension. I'm glad I went despite the fact it was a Sunday night and I had to be at work early this morning. It was considerably better than going to Church. 


Peter Murphy Rocks SLC Urban Lounge w/the Mr. Moonlight Tour

That's the only pic I bothered to take at the recent PETER MURPHY show a couple weeks ago here in Salt Lake City, July 17, at our small local dive bar THE URBAN LOUNGE.

Before Peter Murphy took the stage, I want to mention that the excellent band OURS currently out of LA opened for him. I was lucky enough to catch them live the last time Peter Murphy toured through Salt Lake City, and once again they delivered a pounding, mesmerizing new wave industrial alternative set with their lead singer Jimmy Gnecco fronting with a dark charisma that I personally have found missing from today's scene. OURS is a refreshing alternative band for the Twenty-Teens. Now that I've seen them perform twice, I'm bummed that I missed them headline here last year (I think it was). If OURS ever tours through here again, I will be sure to attend that show and support them. I intend to get their albums, most likely starting backward with their Rick Rubin produced 2008 album Dancing For The Death Of An Imaginary Enemy.

Finally, Peter Murphy and his band padded out onto the stage. They delivered the BAUHAUS hits alright. 90% of the setlist was comprised of old Bauhaus tunes (as promised). Come to think of it, I don't recall having heard a single song off their excellent swan song GO AWAY WHITE, which is either too bad or else I somehow missed it during all the excitement. Peter Murphy's band is a pretty tight-knit group of goths. His guitarist resembled Trent Reznor. Drummer looked like a cross between Josh Brolin and Dax Riggs. Bass player looked eerily like my friend and Freezine veteran Vincent Daemon. That set the stage visually for the perfect 80s Goth night out. Swear to god the place was packed to the gills with dead fish. Yes it was Sold Out. . . to zombies.

I really wanted to push through the packed crowd in front of the stage—but everyone is standing room only with drinks in their hands—and I'm not about to be "that guy" who spills someone's drink, I'm there to have a good time and not be an A-hole. So we wait it out for awhile but the entire time no one up front is dancing or anything. Eventually I say "fukkit" and just, you know, squeeeeeze thru the dumbfounded dipshits until I get practically to the front center (being led the way by my beautiful friend whose good female looks grant her more of a pass than my sorry good for nothing ass I'll say that much). So I follow her as best I can, until I'm almost up there and some yahoo behind me shoves me forward (of course, which I like actually...that gets me to grinning) up into the front row peeps, whereupon this rankled bitch comes at me with a cold look and a "don't be an asshole, man" and I just look at her and smile saying "I got shoved up here, sorry" and she dares to repeat her dumb line, "don't be an asshole" again, so I just ignore her.

 My friend is right there beside me, and she obviously wants to dance, as I do. So we start doing our best, only this lost fucking generation of "twenty-teens" or whatever the fuck you wanna call it doesn't really know what to do—are we trying to mosh—?—[NO]. It's called dancing, Google it. So of course they respond as if we're trying to start a moshpit and I'll tell you what. I have no problem with the notion of starting up a pit here, but honestly that is not why I came to see Peter Murphy. Also I am not that guy. Wrong show. So of course I allow myself to be shoved to and fro with a big smile on my face all the while, really enjoying the extra attention by peeved morons in the crowd. Soon they give up, and then I really start dancing in place—not shoving anyone—just doing the Twist with the manic intensity of Tom Jones, so my friend joins in and we're just having a blast. There's maybe three other people near us also dancing and that's it. The rest just stand there, annoyed. We are overjoyed. I begin to frenetically gyrate my hips ala Ahmet Zappa, exaggeratedly shaking my ass with as much lewdness as I can muster (which is quite a lot, actually). Now we're really having fun and soon we're doing the "fish bubble shimmy", as I call it (you know the one) to Peter Murphy's impassioned singing. We were just having the time of our lives. I know Peter Murphy noticed us, cuz we were right smack in front of him practically, I had my gray tank-top with the old-school black BATMAN logo on it to honor "the bats flew from the belfry..." aka Bela Lugosi's Dead.

 It must've been in the mid-to high 90s in that club, but that didn't stop us, nor did it seem to phase Peter and his band much. They took a break at one point but when they returned back onstage for the encores, Peter had changed up his shirt to a long-sleeve! The sweat drip-drip-dripped steadily off his nose while he tweaked on various synth instruments.

 I didn't stick around for autographs or anything like that, just had to escape out into the crisp nighttime air and cool off a bit.

 That was my fourth Peter Murphy show and it was excellent.



KORN III: live Ballroom Blitz Tour SLC 6/5/10
~ ThoRnswRath finally meets his rock'n'roll heroes ~

The sitched logo of my adidas-era Korn shirt, itself older than a lot of the kids at the show.

I've been a die hard fan of this band for over 15 years. This was my 17th Korn show, so you know how excited I was to be there. My brother and I showed up right at 7:30 when the doors had already opened (at 6:00) and I had missed my opportunity at the "pre-listening party." (You read that correctly: I decided to stay home another hour or so and drink more beers, instead of listening to more of Korn III. I've already heard too much as it is--practically half the album--so no leaks for me until July 13.)

We showed up and I texted dionn from KS and she texted back if I wanted a mg. I said yeah but my bro was with me tho'. She said she only had one but I had to meet her RIGHT NOW by the T-shirt stand, so we headed straight over there. Lucky 4 me too cuz dionn was there and she sez "all U have to do is get them to sign this poster 4 a girl who's holding our VIP seats" and I said "yeah I'll do it," just like that. I was wearing an oldskool, longsleeve black adidas-era shirt (stitched logo depicted above) that's kinda tattered around the edges. It was my 2nd Korn T-shirt, purchased at Lupo's bar in Providence, Rhode Island, back in '96, during my 2nd Korn show. It turns out, dionn got the extra meet'n'greet pass from blindanddirty, another KSer who I am most grateful for.

Here's what the meet'n'greet sticker looks like [one-third actual size], which I told my bro to apply to my forearm like a tat--and he slapped it right on the juncture of the inside of my elbow, where junkies shoot up. (I want to say right now I don't condone heroin use, only Korn use lol)

This sticker was on the upper, inner forearm of my
adidas Korn-T, making me look like "a junky 4 koRn"

After a few minutes of waiting nervously, we were whisked away, and I darted forward along with the flow and the next thing you know, we're led past the crowd and backstage where I see Ray Luzier posing for a pic with a female fan, a big smile on his face and obviously having a blast. I waved hello and he waved back as we were led out into the parking lot, and around one of the tour buses. On the other side of the bus we find that we're maybe 20th in line of about 35 fans or so. Someone from Korn's crew made the informal announcement that there was only "One Signature" and "No Pictures" allowed. I wasn't going to try and get a pic with my cellphone, and it turns out blindanddirty snapped a pic of me and Jonathan, and dionn got a pic of Munky and I shaking hands, so that worked out great.

The "Nightmare Revisited" soundtrack was the only official release at the time of the show featuring the new lineup with Ray Luzier on drums.

Jonathan was first to come down the line, so I told him "It's great to finally meet you after all these years, man" and we shook hands. I used my verbal ninja technique on him, telling him the poster was 4 a girl who was saving us seats, while the Nightmare Revisited liner notes (readily alongside there, under my thumb) lay folded open to the orange page next to Korn's bio, and I stuttered out "this is the first official release with Ray in the band, that I know of..." and his Sharpee pounced on it, he happily scribbled his autograph once again without a care, with that quirky, affable smile on his face. He seemed really happy to be there with us. At the next guy in line, he told us all about meeting African tribes while on tour and shit.

Next came Fieldy, he was all relaxed smiles and easily jotted down his sig twice for me, as well. When he signed my Nightmare Revisited linersheet, he was all "Whoa, you mean that's out already? Learn somethin' new every day," and he moved on to the next guy. I got a good view of his right arm, from the shoulder down clown in a zoot suit standin in some city alleyway, that was one of the sickest looking tats I've ever seen. Something about it just, pretty much says it all. I don't know, I'm down with the clown thing, tho'. I think it was Fieldy that I told "That's dionn from KS, U gotta represent, dionn!" when he was signing her stuff, and he said "KS, they're my friends," so we got our shout-out it in, there. (Yes, dionn tried to give Fieldy a SL, UT shirt, but he refused it, and I have to say, I think he was being as nice as he could about it, just in his own way. Now that he's "saved" and has a family, it makes sense to me he wouldn't want to wear that shirt, and he said it wasn't his style. Honestly, I was pretty spellstruck or starbound for the whole meet'n'greet, cuz I can't remember if it was Munky who I also mentioned KS to, or what. But one of em definitely said "KS, they're my friends" and I'm pretty sure it was Fieldy.)

When Ray came through, I thanked him for continuing Korn's legacy, and that he brought a perfect combo of picking up from where David left off, and going beyond with his own style, and he said something about how he really appreciated us and the fans and I was all "We appreciate you!" and I think he was pretty happy when I showed him the Nightmare Revisited sheet with both Jon and Fieldy's autographs already on it. I made sure to tell him this was the first official release with him in it as a band (I know, I kept harping on that, but I couldn't help myself). He signed his name with a '10 after it, if you notice.

Munky came out last after a few minutes where people speculated whether he was going to show. I made a comment like "Munky always showz" and then sure enough, there came Mr. James Shaffer himself, happily signing down the line of fans. When he got to me, I told him this was my 17th show and he pointed at my tattered old Korn shirt and made a funny remark like "Ya, I can tell by the looks of that shirt, man" with a big Munky grin, and we all laughed. It was awesome and I must thank dionn again for snapping this way cool pic of me and the Munk shaking hands.





Jonathan stirring up the pits during NEED TO. My cellphone barely survived.

As for the show itself, the setlist was pretty much the same for this tour. Notably different this time around, was the fact that the crowd was so stoked for Korn, they started a circle pit in the center of the floor before Korn went on stage. I think that's significant, because the only show I've ever really seen that happen for, is Slayer. (I met this one security guard that night, out on the back deck overlooking the sunset. He was drinking a beer, and he told me "the only shows I refuse to work are Slayer and Korn", so we drank to that.) All the guys in Korn were in top form, I honestly don't know how they manage to pull it off night after night with such renewed fervor, like that. I watched Ray a lot, and can now say with confidence they chose the right drummer to stand in for David. At the beginning of blind, he set off with a quick but thunderous "double triplicate" drum-intro before hastening into the familiar cymbal-tapping-intro his predecessor made famous. I have to say, I was impressed with that drum fluorish and his entire performance. They even gave him a classic, extended drum solo and it was really powerful, and possessed of a unique style all his own. Way impressive. Jonathan just tore it up onstage, he's really feeling these songs again and the audience just lapped it up. All four of them were having a blast, along with the hopping mad audience. From the crazy assortment of different age groups and types of people there, I can assure you all that Korn is Here To Stay for another decade at least.


Trillions of bugs swarmed the parking lot lights after the Korn show let out.
They reminded me of all the crazed fukkers drawn to Korn's light.