Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Metal on the Morning Commute (Chips & Beer Magazine)

I lived in the UK from 1992-97, which is where I first encountered public transit. I liked watching the rolling hills fly by while my Mom, my brother and I trundled about Jolly Old. New York City is the first American city I’ve lived in where public transit is this ubiquitous though. There were buses in Los Angeles but when subject to the same freeways as everyone else, they’re no more efficient than just buying a bike and hoofing it your own way. I’ve come to appreciate the working people who slog through a long rail commute, day in and day out, knowing that at the end of their cramped and smelly ride lies an 8-hour slog through the workday blues.

I ride the NQ line most days, and don’t have much to complain about, though the other day I was delayed to and from work because of EMT’s removing a “sick customer” from the line. Many of you have heard the Invisibilia episode profiling this Twitter account which showcased the supposed horrors (fashion-related and non) of the N. This is a newsletter about my M-F commute, and the 7-8 stops from Astoria/Ditmars to Queensboro plaza in which I can get LTE signal to look up weird metal shit on the internet.

Chips & Beer magazine is the finest metal publication going, and I feel no hyperbole in making such a proclamation. Their obsessive attention to detail, phenomenal interviews and “themed issues” make this a rag full-on dripping with adoration and nerdery for this lil genre of ours. So far in their 8 issue legacy my favorite has been their Thin Lizzy issue, replete with interviews, nuggets and even a dissection of “Western Movies” (Spaghetti, domestic, that was meant to be a Motorhead reference) through the years. While I particularly enjoyed the interview with Jim Fitzpatrick (the guy who actually made the Che Guevara image so iconic), a tiny nugget in the Eric Bell interview stopped me in my (no train pun intended) tracks.

Eric Bell: I’d had a few pints of Guinness and a few smokes, and I was just flipping through the channels and I saw this band on stage at this festival and I went “Who the fuck is this?!” I couldn’t believe it. It was a band called Slipknot. You know the guys with the masks? They blew me away completely and utterly off the planet. I couldn’t believe it, and I taped it and I still watch it about three times a week. A song they do called “Duality.” -Chips and Beer #7

Three times a week? Far be it from me to judge. The dude played in the earliest incarnations of lizzy. I guess Slipknot just hit me at a time where I’d completely fazed out of FM radio rock, and the occasional glimpses I would get (including the “duality” video) were so laden in tuneless staccato to just leave me feelin...limp? I’m sure some boner blog rock critic will rewrite history in a few years, equating Slipknot to some kind of cultural mega-importance. It’s just how it goes. Even the aged rockers are more in tune than me.
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