Tag Archive | Slayer

Boogeyman In A Bathing Suit

For Halloween this year I finally answered the question what would it be like if Michael Myers went on a Florida vacation? No way he’s wearing the mask in this humidity. I don’t need it anyway—I’m pale and shapeless enough.

The aerobic figure to the right is actually Laurie Strode herself (click here for proof), though her appearance here is coincidental. My roommate is involved in legitimate theater and as such has an enormous print of Jamie Lee Curtis from Perfect. We stuck it on the side of the fridge a long time ago for reasons I fail to remember. Forgot she was there when I snapped the above pic.

Hope y’all had a spooky ooky Samhain. I sat around the house listening to Slayer and eating pierogies, because I’m an American and that’s my right.

Jeff Hanneman: 1964-2013

The music world is mourning the loss of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died yesterday from liver failure brought on by apparently not related to the rare skin disease called necrotizing fasciitis that Hanneman developed following a 2011 spider bite. He was 49.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to call Jeff Hanneman the heart of Slayer, as much as any member of that band can have an individual persona outside their collective window-battering sonic monsoon. Jeff was a guy who seemed to love what he loved unabashedly. Case in point: he plastered Oakland Raiders stickers on his guitars next to emblems from punk bands who wouldn’t be caught dead outside a football stadium. Of course, that’s the kind of move Slayer is famous for, blending the raw fury of punk with even angrier outposts (Jack Tatum was colder than anyone in D.R.I. and you know it).

More importantly, Jeff Hanneman played with such heat and ferocity you just knew he was putting in his all. I’m not trying to make this about me but when I look back at some of the ways I’ve described the basic sound of Slayer in the past—“turgid cascade of sadism,” “[sounds like someone] being ripped apart by a pack of wild dogs”—who else could evoke such responses but Slayer? Jeff Hanneman was obviously a huge part of that. He helped define speed/thrash metal, he did it with a tremendous amount of passion, and for that we’ll always miss him.

EDIT: After checking out various obits for Jeff online I think this open letter from Slayer, posted a year and some change after the initial spider bite, is the best item to read to get a sense of what his illness was like.

Slayer’s Reign In Blood Totally Synchs Up With Star Wars

Way back in 2006 I conducted a year-long “study” wherein I tried to find an album that synched up with the original Star Wars a la Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz. My “findings” can still be viewed here; a much more concise and readable overview of the entire affair, however, is available via this sexy thing.

Green Day’s American Idiot ultimately proved itself to be Star Wars’s Dark Side OTM, but I’ve always wondered: Is there anything that synchs up to the same degree that isn’t an eyeliner-laden anti-Bush rock opera? Now I’m ready to continue the search, because I don’t have a job or a girlfriend or any responsibility that would prevent me from further dilly-dallies in sensory deprivation.

Welcome to the Great Star Wars Synchronicity Project Part II: Ewok Boogaloo. This time, it’s personal.

Last night I sat down with Slayer’s Reign in Blood, that satanic heavy metal delight from 1986, and fired up the original original Star Wars to see what magic would unfold. Per my previous experimentations, I started the album immediately after the second drumroll in the 20th Century Fox fanfare. Behold, the eighteen moments of synchronization I witnessed:

– the phrase “destroy” in “Angel of Death” is heard as the word “destroy” in the opening text scroll is approximately mid-screen

– the opening scroll fades away just as the breakdown in “Angel of Death” begins

– the Tantive IV flies onscreen the same moment “Angel of Death” resumes its normal speed

– a drumroll in “Angel of Death” occurs at the same moment the droids are seen reeling from an explosion (it looks like the drumroll made them shake and shimmy)

– Darth Vader strolls aboard the Tantive IV to survey the body count as we hear the lyric “angel of death, monitor the kingdom of the dead”

– “Piece by Piece” begins at the same moment Princess Leia shoves that disc into R2-D2

– a closeup of Darth Vader’s face appears at the same moment we hear the lyric “no emotion, death is all I see”

– the phrase “a flash” is heard as the stormtrooper fires his stun ray at Princess Leia

– the lyric “the only one way out of here” in “Piece by Piece” is heard as the droids are seen getting into the escape pod, and the song ends at the same moment a laser blast explodes over C-3PO’s head

– “Jesus Saves” plays through the entire sequence where the jawas save R2-D2 from, uh, hours of rolling along to nowhere in the desert

– the guitars in “Criminally Insane” start at the exact moment R2-D2 begins shuffling through the sandcrawler

– “Reborn” begins playing the same moment we first see Luke Skywalker (Luke = the rebirth of the Jedi)

– the lyric “I can’t control my destiny” is heard as the doomed Uncle Owen is in closeup (Uncle Owen has no control over his destiny to become a charred corpse via angry stormtroopers)

– the lyric “leave you ripped and torn” is heard as C-3PO is in closeup (Threepio is seen ripped and torn at various points during the Star Wars trilogy)

– the opening thunderclap of “Raining Blood” is heard the moment Luke gets up from the dinner table to run off in a huff

– the lyrics “awaiting the hour of reprisal, time slips away” are heard as Uncle Owen is seen looking for Luke (“He better have those droids in the south field by midday or there’ll be hell to pay!”)

– the final really loud thunderclap of “Raining Blood” coincides with R2-D2’s alarm concerning invading sandpeople

– “Raining Blood” stops at the exact moment the sandpeople drop an ostensibly dead Luke Skywalker on the ground

Pretty trippy, but nowhere near as synchronized as American Idiot. The hunt continues. I’ve acquired a lot of new music since 2006 and I’m sure I can find something that blows Green Day out of the water (even though I may have concluded the exact opposite in the past).

Things That Did Not Occur At Last Night’s Big 4 Concert At Yankee Stadium

– John Bush did not magically appear onstage during the Anthrax set to perform a deep cut from Stomp 442

– Dave Mustaine did not make any politically misguided statements about Ireland

– Megadeth did not pull out a nine minute cover of R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People”

– Kerry King (pictured) did not wear assless chaps

– Metallica did not invite Dave Mustaine onstage during their set to publicly apologize for stealing all those songs from him back in the day

– Slayer did not use black magic to summon the ghost of Mickey Mantle for an unexpected encore of “Haunting the Chapel”

So, in short, the bands all played it maddeningly safe, even though the vast majority will probably never play a venue as esteemed as Yankee Stadium again. C’mon, Anthrax, you could have at least brought Darryl Strawberry onstage for the angriest version of “Bring the Noise” ever performed by a World Series champ.

Glad I didn’t drop any clams to see this.