IC2S Playlist Update 27/04/2016

In case you haven’t been paying attention, we are now just past the IC2S Playlist’s 1 year anniversary. At 9 1/2 hours and 104 songs long, I find it quite enjoyable to throw on shuffle when I’m at work. I’m going to continue to update it irregularly from here on, but I don’t think I’ll write up big update posts like this anymore, mainly because I felt like they spammed the blog with useless posts that people didn’t care about, and the effort I put into writing them was taking up potential effort that could have been going towards the backlog of topics that I actually had some interest in writing about. That’s more-or-less why I started making the playlist updates into more “regular” blog posts a couple months ago, but it’ll be nice not to have weekly updates hanging over my head from here on out.

Anyway, we’re gonna close out the year with 2 songs I wanted to add for months now. First is “Dear John Piper” by Showbread. I had been debating picking this song for a while because it’s a very IC2S-type song (it’s about the destructive theology of Calvinism/predestination… which, again, is totally something I’m into). I kind of wish that the whole song wasn’t being yelled out, but after a few listens it works pretty well, and contrasts well with the furious preaching towards the latter-half of the song. I quite enjoy it, it’s my kind of deliciously angry.

Secondly we have “Empire of the Clouds” by Iron Maiden, which closes us out with the longest song on the entire playlist. It’s also worth pointing out that this epic was written and performed by a group of nearly 60 year old men, which is just insane for an 80s rock/metal band in this day and age. Very few artists can remain relevant for a decade, let alone the 35+ years that Iron Maiden has been rocking our faces (although they did start to slip into irrelevance through the 90s, releasing their 4 indisputably worst albums back-to-back, but have been putting out high quality stuff again since 2000). I mean, just think about how irrelevant The Rolling Stones have been for years, or even other bands with mini-comebacks like Aerosmith have long since slipped back into obscurity (even Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne to some degree). Even better, they seem to be edging back towards my preferred era of Iron Maiden, the Powerslave/Seventh Son of a Seventh Son sound with its heavy concepts, sweeping epics and technical virtuosity. I maintain that Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is my favourite Maiden album, and it’s too bad that they ditched that sound in favour of the mediocrity they chased throughout the 90s. Now that we have The Book of Souls, who knows what limits Maiden still has within them?

Also, coincidentally, I have put together a small one-off playlist which just happened to coincide with this 1 year anniversary. Basically, I was listening to Sabaton’s “The Rise of Evil” the other day, which got me wondering whether it could be considered part of a “musical trilogy”. “The Rise of Evil” would be part 1, followed by “The Final Solution” as part 2 and then finishing with… well, I wasn’t sure if they had a third song that could fit in well enough. The result of this is a playlist I titled “Sabaton – The Rise and Fall of Evil”, which basically is a recounting of the history of Nazi Germany in WWII. I personally think that the compilation gels together very well and tells a rather compelling story: a madman rising to power, the Nazis’ early victories, the Holocaust, the Allies uniting and turning the tide, and then the German people coming to grips with the evil they had been fighting in the name of for almost 6 years. I definitely recommend checking it out, either search it on Spotify or go to the IC2S Playlist sidebar and then click on my username.

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IC2S Playlist Update 20/04/2016

So we’re now just a week short of the playlist’s 1 year anniversary, and the point where I’m probably going to stop updating it so regularly (or, at the very least, stop flooding the blog every week with Playlist updates that I doubt anyone actually cares about). The limited time is actually making it a little difficult to pick music, and I was actually going to pick some Impending Doom or Project 86… however, then Volbeat announced Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie and released “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”. If the rest of the album is as good as this single, then we’re going to be in for an absolute treat! Volbeat tends to be a bit of a singles-oriented band (similarly to Disturbed), meaning that this might be best of the best on the album, but I’m glad to hear that their sound seems to only be getting better. We’ll have to see I guess when the album drops.

Going along with that, I also picked “Babylon the Murderer” by P.O.D., which is pretty much universally considered one of their best songs in recent years. I’ve always liked how P.O.D. has a very reggae-influenced sound, and this has to be one of their best examples of mixing it with their signature hard rock.

…Anyway, I’m going to make this a little shorter than normal just cuz what I originally was planning on writing about has ended up getting spun off into a whole post of its own that I’ll put up later this week. Look forward to it!

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IC2S Playlist Update 13/04/2016

So I recently got laser eye surgery, and it has been quite the interesting experience. Previously, I was quite near-sighted and couldn’t see more than a couple feet in front of me before the world started to turn into a blur. I was thinking about switching to contacts for quite a while, but then I did some number crunching and figured that laser eye surgery would be more cost effective in the long run. Plus there were all sorts of perks that go along with it, like being able to fit into masks for sports (hockey and paintball) and costumes (Kylo Ren FTW), not looking like an uber-dork when I go to see a 3D movie, the general convenience of not having to worry about wearing/maintaining glasses all the time, and the indisputable fact that I’m a goddamn sexual Tyrannosaurus without them. Plus I’d be lying if I said that finally being able to wear proper sunglasses wasn’t a huge factor either.

Anyway, the procedure itself was not all that bad – it didn’t hurt, although the stuff they do to line up the laser was really strange. The laser itself didn’t hurt at all, but smelled like burning hair which was a sensation I’m unlikely to forget soon. Oh, and I couldn’t stop thinking about Final Destination 5, which was making me laugh.

I’m still in the post-op recovery phase, although the worst of it is long over. It has really made a major difference for my sight, but I’m holding out a totally glowing review for the moment as one eye is visibly fuzzier than the other, I’m getting some starbursts at nighttime and I’m having some trouble focusing on very close objects (which sucks when one of your biggest hobbies is painting miniatures). However, I’m cautiously optimistic that these issues will clear up in the next few weeks (the focusing issue is already much improved compared to where it was a couple days ago), but until I see a major improvement I’m going to be a little hesitant to give a unconditional recommendation to go through the procedure. It has been pretty amazing thus far, but it’s hard to give an accurate assessment when you’re still in the middle of recovery.

Anyway, hopefully you found that interesting. This week’s selections and “Antarctica” by Book of Black Earth and “Legion of Monsters” by Disturbed. Enjoy!

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IC2S Playlist Update 06/04/2016

This week’s selections have some moderately interesting stories behind them. First of all, Andrew W.K. is back in the news again after he officially registered his own political party, called… The Party Party. Because of course he did. Most people are thinking this is some sort of political stunt, but regular readers will already know that Andrew W.K. is one of the main personalities on The Blaze. Considering that he is insisting that The Party Party is legit, then odds are that he really is serious about bringing the party to America. I love this little quote he made about his political support, which I can only imagine must have been some of his Blaze collaborators:

“[Andrew W.K.] said that though he did reach out to people from the political sphere for input or collaboration, his offers were denied and they said he his effort was dangerous and a counterproductive distraction. ‘We agreed to disagree and I didn’t attempt to involve any formal political organizations further,’ he said. ‘To be honest, I just don’t think they liked partying very much.'”

What else could I do in response to that but put “Party Hard” on this week’s playlist?

Our second choice for this week is in celebration of the home video release of The Force Awakens. To commemorate the event, I have chosen DUM’s “Come Away”, their Star Wars-inspired love song. There really isn’t much more reason behind it than that, aside from the fact that I haven’t featured a DUM song in ages, and that that is one of their better releases. Enjoy!

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IC2S Playlist Update 30/03/2016

So, we’re going totally random this week. I have often wondered if rates of university education are going to nosedive in the next generation. The reasons I wonder this are many:

  1. Between my parents’ generation and my own, universities (and, in a related fashion, governments) have become increasingly more and more structurally-neoliberal. This has resulted in more business-like universities, which have had their tuition shoot up at a rate higher than that of inflation and has resulted in various cost-cutting measures. For example, most of the “professors” who I was taught by were actually “contract instructors” and doctorate students, which are obviously significantly cheaper to employ. The main thing to take away here though is that university is more expensive now than it was even 20 years ago, even when compensating for inflation. Unless there’s some sort of government action, it is likely that profit-minded universities will be even more comparatively-expensive by the next generation. Which brings me to my next point…
  2. There is a constantly expanding wage gap and shrinking middle-class in Canada and the US. When taking into account the expectation that tuition costs will likely be even more expensive for the next generation, and the likelihood that there will be a smaller portion of the population capable of paying their way into higher education, it would seem likely to me that university enrolment is likely to become more of an “elite” status thing. Of course, the remaining middle-class and even some hard-working lower-class individuals could try to afford it and even take out loans, but that brings me to arguably my most important thought…
  3. For my parents’ generation, you could conceivably go to university, take whatever the hell you want and then have a job waiting for you when you were done. However, the reality these days is that you’re probably not going to find any sort of job opportunity as soon as you’re done school. Naively, I just kind of thought that if I got a degree, it’d give me a good edge in the job market. However, as I got into my 4th year, I realized that there are a lot of people out there in the job market with degrees, and if you really want to stand out then you’re going to need a college diploma as well, and at least a few years of experience in your field. I feel that our parents and our generation are slowly building up the realization that university is no longer the safe bet that it once was in terms of landing work, and worse, it could land you in crippling debt for years afterwards. Naturally, school is not just about what sort of work you get out of it (I for one know that my university experience helped me mature significantly and made me into a much better person than I was going in), but I think that our generation is likely going to have a much more sour tone towards post-secondary education, which could result in advising our children away from it unless they really need it.

On a related subject, I also wonder if the rising prices of tuition, and inflation rates in general, might have something to do with the ease at which one can acquire credit these days. Now I’m not an economist by any means, so take this with a grain of salt, but these things I have been wondering. After all, if everyone had to buy a car with the money that they had on hand and saved, their prices theoretically would be significantly lower (as would the labour costs and various other steps involved with them). Naturally, the actual cost of manufacturing the object has to be taken into account, but I have a hard time believing that credit hasn’t played a major role in the current cost of living and the sky-high costs of housing in many areas. Plus I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a factor in the growing wage gaps, since creditors are always going to get paid one way or another.

Anyway… fitting with the random subject matter this week, I picked a couple songs I’m into at the moment just for the hell of it. First up is “Jerry Was a Racecar Driver” by Primus, and “Devour” by Shinedown. Not really bands (or even songs) that I listen to all that often, but I was feeling it this week so I hope you enjoy.

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IC2S Playlist Update 23/03/2016

Whenever I go on long periods where the blog is only updated with Playlist updates (like it is right now), I feel kind of bad. I’ve been quite busy lately though, juggling an increased workload due to taking on a new position and getting into exam time with an online course for my job. Even my leisure time is squeezing out writing opportunities as I had to paint up a couple dozen models in anticipation for a Warhammer 40,000 tournament, plus find time to play Rainbow Six Siege and Fire Emblem Fates. Blogging has just been a fairly low priority for me at the moment unfortunately, even though I’ve got about a half dozen things I wouldn’t mind writing about.

First of all is someone that I haven’t bothered to write about yet… making me pretty much the only person with a blog who hasn’t. That’d be Donald Trump in case you were still wondering. I never would have predicted that Trump would be a lock-in for the Republican leadership nomination, although I still think that the odds that he will win the presidency are close to impossible. However, I was thinking about Trump the other day and the ways that he has been identifying with his significant voter base. Aside from the obviously prickish white supremacists, sexists and assorted other crazies who simply like Trump’s more unsavory aspects, the bulk of Trump’s support seems to stem from his anti-establishment rhetoric. Basically, if the political system seems broken, then get an outlier to change it – kind of the opposite approach to the “if it ain’t broke” axiom. Unfortunately, this is a pretty enormous gamble by the public, placing the leadership of a world superpower in the hands of an untested and ideologically-unpleasant individual just because they feel that they lack representation in the current system*.

These thoughts have brought me back to the opinion article I penned during the Canadian election, that politics are a game, that the voter is being exploited and therefore we should have voter education for eligibility. Few “democracies” have a game more tried and tested than the American political system, so it’s little wonder that the Republican party has essentially imploded in such a manner as the voters turn on the establishment which has consistently shown contempt for their opinions. That said, considering that people have turn to Trump (whose own statements can legitimately and justly compare him to Hitler’s politics without any of the political bullshit that usually follows that sort of comparison), you have to question the merits of a system like this. I mean on the one hand, sure this is what “the people” seem to want, but that doesn’t always mean that it’s the “right” approach to take, especially in the long term. I’m very hesitant to say that I support a oligarchical system, but every time I look at democracy lately it just pushes me further and further in that direction.

Then again, I have an extremely morbid curiosity to see what a Trump Presidency would look like, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can continue to pull off his upsets at every turn. At least it’s not my country which will have to deal with it. USA! USA!

On a related topic, this morning I had a rather irritating conversation with my father. He was watching the Stingray Music Channel and a song by “Average White Band” came on, which prompted him to say “oh, you couldn’t name a band that anymore, everything has to be politically correct.” I said “eh, I figure you could get away with that without too much fuss.” He replied “you couldn’t name them ‘Average Black Band’, everything has to be politically correct.” Again, I said “I don’t figure that would cause much fuss,” to which he once again replied “everything these days has to be politically correct”. Attempting to argue with my father can be exasperating at times, but that’s besides the point** – is there anything “politically incorrect” about just mentioning race? As usual around these parts, it’s all about the context of course. If they called themselves “Average Black Band” and then made a bunch of songs about how stupid/awful black people are, then sure they’re definitely deserving of some scorn. However, it seems like these days there are more complaints about political correctness as an idea than there are actual cases of legitimately overzealous political correctness. In fact, from my experience (and that of my friends as well), those harping the anti-political correctness agenda the most just seem to be just assholes who are annoyed that they get called out for being homophobic/racist/etc. This seems to be coming to a head with Trump as well, as I know my father has said that the one thing he likes about Trump is that he’s not politically correct… as if that is something which should qualify someone for the presidency.

Of course, there will always be someone complaining about any sort of opinion – and not just from “those butthurt SJW-types”. If you get a massive group of people telling you to stop being an asshole though, then maybe at least give them a moment’s consideration to see if there might be something to what they’re saying. Think about what as you check out this week’s picks, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vidda” by Iron Butterfly and “December Flower” by Sleeping Romance.

(EDIT) Oh hey looked, Cracked sums me up perfectly once again!

*That said, I’ll take Trump over Cruz any day.
**In fact, after looking up “Average White Band”, plus “politically correct” and “offensive”, I found absolutely zero hits on the first pages of people complaining about the name.

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IC2S Playlist Update 16/03/2016

I’m absolutely loving Jim Sterling’s new podcast, the Spinoff Doctors, where Jim Sterling and Conrad Zimmerman skewer video game movies. The most recent entry was for the 2007 Hitman film, which was disappointingly terrible. However, in the process of watching it I started thinking “man, this feels like a Skip Woods movie…” For the uninitiated, Skip Woods is a screenwriter responsible for some notoriously bad films, such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine and A Good Day to Die Hard. In addition to those 2 turds, I have also seen one of his “smaller” efforts, Sabotage, which was pretty much nonsense.

Anyway, as soon as the credits started rolling on Hitman, I checked the credits and it turns out that I had forgotten that this was indeed one of Skip Woods’ earlier screenwriting duties. I’ve seen 4 of Skip Woods’ movies now and they have been universally wretched, but the man himself has some very interesting elements which make me want to write about him. I might see about writing up a little analysis post about Skip Woods here sometime in the near future. After all, when you have to ask whether a major Hollywood screenwriter is even a real person, you know that there’s something up.

Oh, and speaking of awful writers, first up this week is “The Wrong Side of Heaven” by Five Finger Death Punch. Now to be fair, this is definitely one of their better songs. It’s not exceptionally well-written, but it is solid and far from the bro-metal misogyny, angst and whining which typically exemplifies FFDP’s catalogue. My second pick this week shows how you can pull off angst effectively and without sounding like a spoiled brat, with “React / Regret” by A Feast for Kings. I am still holding out hope that XXI will go back to their metalcore roots after the tepid reception of their debut album Inside Out. It was an okay debut, but it was severely lacking the punch that their previous EP, Hell on Earth, provided in spades, and even lacked the power of the “Memories” single.

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IC2S Playlist Update 09/03/2016

I’ve got to say, I have been looking forward to this playlist update for a while now. The reason for that is because I have REALLY gotten into Iron Maiden’s discography now and have been listening to their music pretty much every day lately. In fact, narrowing down to just one song from them this week was hard enough. In the end though, I decided to settle on the title track from arguably my favourite Maiden album, “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”. This album just exemplifies what I love so much about Iron Maiden, the sweeping epics, the tackling of simple (but deep) themes and some absolutely killer guitar solos. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son seems to get overlooked in favour of more of the “classic” Maiden albums (Piece of Mind, Killers, The Number of the Beast, Powerslave, etc), but for my money it’s criminally underrated. That said, it also demonstrates just how deep Iron Maiden’s discography is. Seriously, if you aren’t listening to them already, the damn well do it.

I also knew that I wanted to play some Showbread this week. I initially was going to go with “Dear John Piper”, but with all the insanity going on in the States at the moment due to the nomination process, another song really jumped out at me. “I’m Afraid That I’m Me” might be Showbread’s best song that encapsulates the political religiosity of American evangelicalism:

“Lately I have found frustration among the incongruence / a movement of peasants and pacifists drowning in patriotic affluence / I feel as though I should do something but I’m staggered by the ramifications / they’ve baptized the empire into the church and heralded its sanctification”

“‘Blessed are the meek’ succumbs to ‘might makes right’ / “turn the other cheek” succumbs to pre-emptive strike / “love your enemies” is fossilized beneath the frozen tundra / and ‘blessed are the poor in spirit’ is devoured by ‘God bless America’.

You file the children into the classrooms, make them stand and say an oath / and when we ask ‘should I love God or my country?’ / you smile and tell us ‘both.’ / We’ve hidden the God we claim we serve and driven him beneath the floorboards / but I can still hear this still, small voice / and I can’t take it anymore”

What else can I say? For all the political and religious commentary, it’s clearly a very deserving song to add to the IC2S Playlist.

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IC2S Playlist Update 02/03/2016

I saw The Witch in theatres this weekend, and it was a bit of a strange experience. On the one hand, it was really well shot and directed, turning the New England countryside into an incredibly dark and foreboding landscape. The horror elements also are very classically-styled, with long build-up and a tense score doing wonders to make the film’s horror-moments very unsettling. There were also some great performances, even by some of the younger actors.

Oddly enough, it seems like the sort of film that you’d have the most appreciation for if you have at least a passing familiarity with early American colonial literature. I’m sure that any horror fan can appreciate much of the movie, but some of the stranger elements might not make a ton of sense if you don’t at least understand Puritan beliefs and folklore (and the ending in particular). Stuff like cabals of witches in the woods, the devil taking form and hiding amongst us, the idea that God was an angry, vengeful monster looking for an excuse to damn you, witches kidnapping children and turning them into paste, the garrison mentality, etc – the film hews very closely to the folklore of the time, which is a very interesting idea, although it does weaken the narrative somewhat (again, particularly the ending). It’s one of those movies that I wasn’t sure what to think at first, but a couple days out I’m growing quite an appreciation for it.

On the entirely different side of the spectrum of quality though, the day after that I saw Street Fighter: The Movie for the first time. Similarly to Troll 2, it was so bad it was hilariously entertaining. I know it’s kind of a cliche at this point to praise Raul Julia’s performance as M Bison, but he was so deliciously campy and over-the-top. The film is objectively terrible, bloated with too many thinly-sketched characters and poorly-edited action scenes, but Julia manages to single-handedly make the film worth watching with his intentionally-hammy performance.

My selections for this week have basically nothing to do with any of that, aside from the fact that they continue my recent theme of songs which are extremely different from one another. On the one hand, we have the ethereal and subdued rock classic “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors, and on the other we have “Beyond the Grave” by Impending Doom, a death metal tune that compels you to scream along with it with your fist pumped.

Also, HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT, Impending Doom finally updated their Spotify library, meaning that I can now use tracks from their 2 best albums, Baptized in Filth and Death Will Reign. Expect to see a lot more from them!

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IC2S Playlist Update 24/02/2016

Seeing how we’re just under 1 month away from the IC2S Playlist’s first anniversary, I think I’m going to switch up the format of the update since they’re basically the same boring stuff every week and, as a result, it can be pretty challenging to actually come up with anything meaningful to say. I’m going to try out a little more of an informal, blog-like structure which might actually be interesting to somebody to read, whether they’re actually going to listen to the playlist or not.

So the Dairy Queen recently reopened for the season here in my home town, which prompted a couple co-workers and I to play a visit on our lunch break. One of the co-workers was trying to annoy the other and asked me to put on some of my “weird” music (read: not country or pop). She wanted me to put on some Brian “Head” Welch which would have been pretty funny for me, but I knew that that probably be too much, so I figured I’d go for something a little more low-key… and by that I mean Andrew W.K., because I am horrible at gauging an audience when it comes to music…

Anyway, that’s how I discovered that some people apparently consider Andrew W.K. to be “screamo” music just because he yells on I Get Wet and The Wolf (never mind that his music is about partying and positivity, not angst and pessimism). I know that music taste is super-subjective, but I find it kind of incredible that someone around my age can be so musically-sheltered that they find Andrew-freaking-W.K. too extreme-sounding (let alone that he’s on the listener-friendly end of my musical spectrum, far away from Impending Doom or Book of Black Earth). Then again, they probably think I’m crazy for not listening to country music, so what do I know?

In honour of this, enjoy some more of my “weird screamo” music, in the form of “Burn” (In This Moment, Blood) and “Through the Fire and the Flames” (DragonForce, Inhuman Rampage). I get the feeling that, if you listen to the playlist already, then these should be basically lullabies compared to some of the stuff I’ve put on there.

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IC2S Playlist Update 17/02/2016

First up this week is “The Riddle” by Five For Fighting from the album Two Lights. There’s a responsible driving PSA which plays on Metal Rock Radio all the time featuring Five For Fighting’s lead singer, John Ondrasik. They play this song in the background of the PSA, and I recently started to want to hear the whole song. This led me on a hunt through most of Five For Fighting’s discography trying to find the song. It took me quite a while to find “The Riddle”, but it led me to the realization that I rather like Five For Fighting. Obviously I’m a person who skews more towards heavy music, but every once in a while I just feel like settling into something soft and hopeful. “The Riddle” is one of those songs which really fits that bill, it’s very optimistic and cheerful.

…and then on the other end of the spectrum, we have “I See Demons” by Book of Black Earth from their album The Cold Testament. I came across this band as a total fluke while searching for Iron Maiden’s awesome new album, The Book of Souls. While typing into the search bar, suddenly Spotify recommended Book of Black Earth. I was instantly intrigued, checked them out and was pretty impressed by what I heard. This experience underscores a couple lessons for me. First of all, free-listening music platforms, such as Spotify, have a ton of potential to introduce you to totally new music which you never would have come across via more conventional means (eg, the radio only plays a handful of genres and even internet radio doesn’t branch too much). This seems to work for producers as well, because I actually went and purchased a copy of The Cold Testament to show my support. The second lesson I learned was that, despite some opinions to the contrary, cover art is still super important in the digital age. I mean seriously, look at the cover for The Cold Testament. It’s freaking epic. As soon as I saw it I thought “this must be a really cool metal band” and was not disappointed.

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IC2S Playlist Update 10/02/2016

First up this week is “Killing Strangers” by Marilyn Manson from his newest album THE PALE EMPEROR. Basically the only reason I picked this song was because I had a pretty epic movie night double-feature with a friend with weekend which consisted of John Wick and Mad Max: Fury Road (probably my 2 favourite action movies of the past 7 years) back-to-back. As you can expect, it was an awesome night, but “Killing Strangers” was really sticking in my mind afterwards due to its main drum/bass rhythm.

This also got me thinking about my history with Marilyn Manson as an artist. As a kid growing up in an evangelical household, my only exposure to Manson was stories about how messed up he apparently was. For example, I heard that he took out a rib so that he could suck his own dick, and that he apparently tore up a puppy on stage once. As a result, I was under the impression that he was a satanist and that his music was vile, despite never having actually heard more than snippets of it. Of course, now that I’m older and wiser, I now realize that his strange persona and reputation was all tried and tested “shock rocker” marketing tactics, already perfected long before by Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper. Despite that, his shtick seems less cynical to me and more artistically genuine, as he put forth an interestingly androgynous look and his songs tend to have some impactful messages behind them. Having heard more of his music now, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a fan, but I have enjoyed most of what I have heard.

Secondly we have “Raining Blood” by Slayer from their album Reign in Blood. Slayer’s one of those essential metal bands which I find myself in the unfortunate position of not really liking all that much. Back in university I was really getting into Metallica and figured I’d expand further into thrash metal via Slayer. However, I soon found that I didn’t really care for their music all that much, with their faux-blasphemous style not endearing them to me all that much either. I probably need to give them another chance, but as it stands their only song I really enjoy is by far their most popular track, “Raining Blood”. This song used to be the bane of my existence in Guitar Hero III, which people seemed to always overlook in favour of the (admittedly brutal) “Through the Fire and the Flames” (which will probably be a future playlist pick).

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IC2S Playlist Update 03/02/2016

We have a couple updates this week before we get into the playlist selections. First of all, Countless Thousands’ Kickstarter is live and already funded. However, it got there through (at this point) only 36 backers, which is a crime considering how good this band is as far as I’m concerned. Check out their Kickstarter page, if only to read through it – a lot of love has obviously gone into crafting this campaign, and it shows because it is absolutely hilarious from start to finish.

Secondly, we’re getting awfully close to a year of the IC2S Playlist now – we’re now 11 weeks away from our 1 year anniversary, at which point I’m going to be making updates far more infrequent. We’re also over the 7 hour point now, although I imagine I can get it over 9 or 10 by the time we hit the end (I’ve been eyeing a pair of 18 minute songs for a while now).

Anyway, onto this week’s first selection, “Screwtape” by Living Sacrifice from the album Ghost Thief. I really enjoy the slow start to this song, it contrasts really well with Bruce Fitzhugh’s thunderous vocals. If I’m being honest, I have no idea what this song is about, but it sounds really cool and has some great musicianship on display… and there’s not much else to say but that. Enjoy it.

Next up we have “New Year’s Day ” by U2 from their album, War. The fact that I didn’t use this song to kick off 2016 was a major missed opportunity on my part. My favourite U2 song has changed many times over the years, but lately it seems to have settled on this track from War. For many years, I had only heard the radio edit version, which cuts out a good minute and a half of great guitar work and reduces “New Year’s Day” to a good, but unspectacular, song as far as I’m concerned. However, the full album version is just so much better, providing me with yet another reason why radio stations (particularly pop radio stations) suck.

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IC2S Playlist Update 27/01/2016

First up this week is “Fickle” by Countless Thousands, yet another song from their debut album We’re Just Really Excited to Be Here. I really enjoy this song because it’s just so enthusiastic, but that’s not the only reason I chose it for this week’s playlist entry – Countless Thousands are also launching their first Kickstarter campaign this week! As you can probably tell, I really love their music and am definitely going to be backing this one as soon as I can. I will post a link to the campaign on the blog sometime after it goes live (probably at the start of next week’s playlist update).

Secondly, we have “The Sound of Failure / It’s Dark… Is It Always This Dark??” by The Flaming Lips from their album At War With the Mystics. The Flaming Lips have a real talent for making really unorthodox songs sound awesome, and “The Sound of Failure” is one of my favourites. It’s also one of their longer songs, which naturally draws me towards it a little more. It’s also one of their more depressing songs – The Flaming Lips tend to be rather quirky and optimistic, but At War With the Mystics was definitely more of a depressing album (eg, “The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song”, “Mr. Ambulence Driver”, “Vein of Stars”, etc).

…and with that, the IC2S Playlist now has over 7 hours of music! Wow, it’s hard to believe that I’ve managed to take it that long in less than a year, but that’s how it is. I have no idea if anyone other than myself has actually listened to it, but either way I enjoy throwing it on shuffle at work every once in a while.

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