AS YOU WERE — THE SHARPER SIDE OF NUMETAL

51fUqyJGawL._SL500_AA280_Article by PJ Cornell.

Syndicated from Asterisked Music.

Assessment: 9.2 out of 10.

Bottom line up front: It’s rare to see an unsigned band with such a polished sound.  Some of their songs are a little reminiscent of Hoobastank.  Others sound kind of like a more hard-core version of Creed/Alterbridge.  They’ve found a very pleasing blend of melodic metal that rides the border between hard rock and metalcore.  With soaring vocals and aggressive riffs, they are bound to be a crowd pleaser at any metal concert.  They would not be at all out of place opening for any number of great bands (they are a great band in their own right; they’re just not that well known, yet).  I could see them as the opening act for Papa Roach, Disturbed, Sevendust, Nickleback, Skillet, or any other mainline hard rock or metal group — they have an edge, but they are not so far out on the edge as to be inaccessible to the average metal listener.  They are on the far boundary of what might be considered «radio friendly.»

Criticisms: While they have very catchy, very cohesive, and very technically inclusive songs, with plenty of solo areas for each band member to shine, this band would do well to branch out a little, harmonically and rhythmically.  This is not a major criticism — their relatively conventional harmonic and rhythmic language will not prevent them from enjoying quite a bit of success — in fact, too much adventurism in harmony and rhythm can, potentially, prevent a band’s success if they experiment too much early on.  Their songs are perfect for a first release.  Just interesting enough to grab the attention of the listener, without demanding too much attention to follow.  I would encourage this band to run with they’ve got for now, which is excellent material, in terms of listenability, marketability, and overall musical professionalism.  For their next effort, however, they would do well to try to branch out a little bit.

Highlights: My favorite song on this album has got to be Second Chances, which is a Killswitch Engagesque metalcore anthem that gets the album off to a great start.  I’m also quite partial to Embrace Your Crown, and Darker Shade of Life, which are a couple of delightfully edgy songs.  Never Healing is a great tune, which sounds a lot like some of Alterbridge’s better songs — it’s comfortingly intense.  (Don’t know what I mean by that?  Well, you’ll just have to check it out for yourself, then.)  Break Out and Flip My Switch remind me of Nickleback, a little bit — in a good way.  Hold Me Down and Not Yours for the Taking are songs that Five Finger Death Punch would be proud of (and these guys should definitely be proud of them).  Overall, their vocalist is amazing, and their lead guitarist is more than decent.  They don’t let the rhythm, bass or drums out to play as much as they could, but when they do, they definitely show potential.

Conclusion: So long as these guys stay on the road and keep these songs in the ears of metal fans, I foresee nothing but success for these guys.  They have a very polished, confident sound, that delivers the kind of punch that metalheads are looking for.  They could afford to branch out a little rhythmically and harmonically, but they have their whole lives before them to experiment.  The important thing now is that they have all of the elements to be successful, and I think that they will be.

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DECLARATION OF NON-COMPLIANCE

meArticle by Tim Wikiriwhi.

Syndicated from Eternal Vigilance.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Wikiriwhi is a Transegoist sympathizer; not a Transegoist — our syndication of his article does not indicate that he endorses the Transegoist philosophy.

Tim Wikiriwhi
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0276630331

9-3-13

Dear Census Collector,

Because of my Christian Libertarian principles I refuse to fill out the Census Papers.  Because they are compulsory, I know they are a violation of my right to privacy and a demonstration of the fact that our government seeks to operate via a Master- Slave relationship.

I reject this conception of government.

The Government works for me.  I am not their servant.

Nor do I accept the utilitarian argument that the Census is «helpful» for the Government with respect to social planning and policy.

I utterly condemn their totalitarian manipulation as if we, the citizens of New Zealand, are merely a pawns in their game to be used and controlled as they please.  I reject their Social engineering for the tyrannical failure that it is!  Thus, I want my Taxes and my liberty back!  I have no intention of legitimizing their power-tripping madness!

I also know that the government already has all the information regarding how many people live at this address, how much each individual earns, etc., so this fact also makes a double travesty and lie of the so-called necessity to have a compulsory Census.

Furthermore this compulsory Census is estimated to cost me, my family, friends, and neighbors 70-90 million dollars!  It is a gross misappropriation and waste of our hard earned money which was rapaciously extorted from us via other unjust and tyrannical laws and powers!

I personally have stood for Parliament many times in the Hamilton West electorate, both as a member of the Libertarianz party, and as an Independent Libertarian with the intention of getting into parliament so as to bring such socialist despotisms to a end.  Thus, I cannot in good conscience fill out the census as it represents everything repugnant about oppressive government power which I have dedicated myself to overthrow.

Some people have suggested I fill it out with bogus answers like «Jedi» as my religion, as 56,000 people did in 2001, yet I can not do that in good conscience, either!  It is no secret that am a Christian, yet I reject the state’s assertion that they have a right to demand I disclose such information to them.  History has proven what evils such information can bring at the hands of diabolical governments.  Thus, my refusal to fill out the Census is a far more righteous protest to this intrusion than the thousands of people whom write in lies, yet never are they brought before the courts!

This fact proves the State chooses to persecute a tiny minority of principled conscientious objectors like myself, whose non-compliance has such a minuscule effect to the accuracy of the data collected in comparison to all the misinformation gathered from the thousands of kiwi whom also hate the violation of their privacy yet prefer to submit fraudulent papers rather than risk prosecution for absolute refusal.

That so many people fill out the census with lies just goes to prove what a farce the whole thing is! Compulsion does not increase the accuracy of collected data!  The compulsion touters are simply fanatical statisticians who want as large a data set as they can get their greedy hands upon.

I have no beef with the Census personnel.  They don’t write the rules, and most of them are simply trying to earn an honest dollar.  Yet I would ask them how it is that they, in good conscience, participate in such a nasty and intrusive Government program? I ask how, in good conscience, they can parrot the threats of Court action and fines against conscientious objectors like myself?  I can only assume they have not thought through the true oppressive nature of the job they are doing, or that somehow they are of the belief that this intrusion can be justified because of the imaginary «benefits» this compulsion is supposed to deliver.

I have no desire to appear before court, or to be convicted, or fined.  I have a Job to maintain and a family to provide for and the very last thing I need is to hand over more of my money to a state system which is already robbing me blind!  That this is the truth about the census; that it threatens my livelihood and wellbeing of my family is despicable!

With this in mind, I am prepared to make the following compromise: I will fill out my name and address and sign it. That is all.  This was acceptable for the Census people in 2001, and in 2006, and I hope this will be acceptable again in 2013.

That is my final offer.

I have not hassled my wife into refusing to fill out her forms.  She is free to follow her own conscience, and has filled them out as she has seen fit.

Tim Wikiriwhi
Christian Libertarian

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Wikiriwhi is currently running for mayor of the city of Hamilton, NZ, as the Libertarianz Party candidate.

TDJ SING-ALONG: RIP TIDE (SICK PUPPIES)

Editorial by Mark I Rasskazov.

This song is part of a series, which I periodically update (when I feel like it), which I call the “TDJ SING-ALONG;” a series of commentaries about songs I find appealing, and which help me illustrate the Transegoist ideology. Sing along if you know the words!

Untitled
SICK PUPPIES — RIP TIDE

You all hate your children;
They’re too fat to feed.
You’re on medication —
Taking pills to sleep;
I think I’m doing just fine,
Compared to what you’ve been doing.
I won’t get vaccinated;
Insurance costs too much.
You think you’re so persuasive —
But I’m not giving up.
Saving my life:
It’s not what you’re doing.

I!!!

I won’t justify
The way I live my life.
‘Cause I’m the one living it;
Feeling it, tasting it,
And you’re just wasting your time
Trying to throw me a line,
When you’re the one drowning.
I like where I’m at on my back,
Floating down in my own riptide.
The water is fine.

I like to step on cracks;
I go against the odds.
You think my world is flat…
Do I turn you on?
Maybe, yeah, I’m wrong,
But I like where I’m going.
I leave when others stay,
I never re-decide,
I don’t mind if you wait,
But I don’t waste my time!
Crazy is just fine.
‘Cause I like where I’m going.

I remember when it used to be easy.
I remember when it wasn’t so hard.
I remember when it used  to be easy.
I remember when, I remember when…

I don’t know if these guys know the truth, but they certainly have a feel for it.  Does someone think they know better than you how to live your life?  Make sure they know their place.  The corollary to «live and let live,» is «don’t put up with meddlers and power-peddlers.»

HOW THE CENSUS MESHES WITH BANKRUPT TOTALITARIAN SOCIALISM

wikiriwhi-for-HCC-001Article by Tim Wikiriwhi.

Syndicated from Eternal Vigilance.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Wikiriwhi is a Transegoist sympathizer; not a Transegoist — our syndication of his article does not indicate that he endorses the Transegoist philosophy.

On the reoccurring theme of «What is the proper roll of government?» I submit to you a frank article about the New Zealand census.

Thomas Jefferson wrote “He who governs best governs least.” He penned the American Declaration of Independence, which actually defined what the proper duties of government are: to defend the God given rights of the individual, which is a very limited sphere of operation, which does not include the supply or control of such services as education, hospitals, arts and sports, etc, all of which are the proper sphere of free enterprise and private, voluntary associations.

It is because western society has forgotten such enlightened principles which motivated Jefferson and the founding fathers of America, and instead have adopted a totalitarian socialist conception of government where the prevailing belief is that all of life’s problems have political solutions, as a result of which, Western civilization teeters on the brink of absolute economic collapse and chaos.

Understand the gravity of the situation; the rationale that underpins the so-called justification for having the compulsory census.

tyrannyThe image above is the Cover picture from the Government Facebook page, Census NZ.

This image is case in point as to why the enlightened Kiwi is outraged by the underpinning arguments which Census NZ and the New Zealand government use to vindicate this compulsory violation of our privacy; i.e., that the information gathered will be used to for their «social planning.»

Bread and circuses, anyone?

Notice how this picture appeals to the unthinking: the «Government as the font of all culture; get someone else to pay for it» mentality.  «More drag strips, more skate parks, more gigs and festivals, more sports,» etc., ad nauseum.  Notice that it completely forgets to add: “More taxes, more rates, more debt, more compulsions and property violations, more government poking its nose into things which are not its business to be involved in!»

SCCZEN_A_180410NZHAGV807_460x230Now I like drag strips and concerts as much as anyone, yet I am not so stupid as to believe that these things are only possible via political interventions.  I also know that every time the government or city council builds a stadium or sports facility and events that they always run massively over budget and put us into massive debts, and, ultimately, end up costing rate payers and tax slaves tens of millions of dollars…every…time.

Three examples from my home town of Hamilton will suffice as examples:

The rugby stadium.
The V8 supercars.
The Claudlands event center.

Each of these cost Hamilton ratepayers many tens of millions of dollars over the price the Hamilton city council told ratepayers they would cost!

Via consecutive socialist meddling, the HCC has racked up $500 million in debts!

pigAnd what needs to be appreciated is that this bankrupt situation is the norm across the globe in Western socialist democracies; i.e., socialist politicians are systematically bankrupting their captive populations.  Debts are skyrocketing and rates are going through the roof, yet nobody seems to be waking up to the fact that city councils ought not to be involved in such ventures at all — they are best left to free enterprise and voluntary associations, which are much more realistic about how such things get built and on what scale.  Most importantly, they don’t demand money via compulsory taxations upon the community; i.e., little old ladies living on pensions don’t face rent increases or rates hikes to pay for the white elephants and delusions of grandeur which big mouth, big promising politicians spout at election time to get elected.

If the figures don’t add up, they don’t get built — its as simple as that.  I.e., economic reality prevails; not ridiculous socialist whim.

The sort of people whom support any sort of government involvement in such things are either ignorant, evil, or both.

The ignorant have not figured out that such things will return to haunt them via higher rates, rents, and costs for necessities in goods and services, and the evil don’t give a d@mn [expletive redacted] if people who don’t like rugby, etc., are forced to pay for new stadiums etc.; all they care about is having a flash new place to worship their sporting Gods.  They are too stupid to realize that better stadiums and facilities could be established via legitimate means without the use of draconian powers of compulsion.

Hamilton News points out that the publicly funded Claudland’s Event Center operates under a $1.42 million annual deficit; even as tax payers continue to express outrage of the V8 debacle.

The New Zealand Herald quotes City of Hamilton debt estimates as a result of the V8 debacle as being around $37.4 million, with a total municipal annual debt of around $100 million.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Wikiriwhi is currently running for mayor of the city of Hamilton, NZ, as the Libertarianz Party candidate.

FILM REVIEW: THE MASTER

220px-TheMaster2012PosterArticle by Barbara Cornell.

Syndicated from Barbara Cornell’s personal blog.

The 2012 movie The Master was not the worst movie I ever watched. It absolutely was not the most egregious method I ever used to squander two or more irreplaceable hours of my life. It definitely was not the most pretentious piece of art house, inbred, self-congratulating, hippie, Hollywood swill ever to emerge from the entertainment industry.

But it was close.

In the immortal words of Opus, «Bad beyond any previous understanding of badness. Well. Maybe not that bad. But, Lord, it wasn’t good

If you watch only one movie this year, be absolutely certain it isn’t this one.

Watch Argo instead. Excellently done movie.

EXPANSIONS (KRIS BECKER): THE KIND OF ART MUSIC THE MARKET MIGHT ACCEPT

photoArticle by PJ Cornell.

Syndicated from the Asterisked Music Journal.

Assessment: 9.7 out of 10.

Bottom line up front: For several decades now, the culture of the so called “art music” genre, which, in most cases might more aptly be called “academic music;” the institutional heir of what is known as “classical” music, has been to shun anything which might be construed as being accessible enough to be sold to the general public. This condescending attitude toward the listener has, predictably, led to the decline of art music consumption to an amount approaching zero. Kris Becker (composer and piano virtuoso) is a refreshing exception to this trend. This release abounds with clever quartal harmonies set to jazzy rhythms, and an upbeat attitude that, while sophisticated, does not take itself so seriously as to be a burden to listen to.

Highlights: This album, while being largely consistent in style (as opposed to some of his earlier releases, which were eclectic, to say the least), expresses a very wide range of emotional content, from the pensive Elegy, to the blindingly bright and upbeat Piano Sonata #1. One thing this release is not is boring — at any point in time. The harmonic center tends to shift suddenly, with little warning, and by the time we’ve processed the occurrence, we’re on to something else. The harmonic content, in general, is stable enough to not lose the audience, yet varied, dissonant, and progressive enough to hold the attention of the listener throughout each track.

Criticisms: This album does not break new ground in any revolutionary way; it sounds a lot like some of Barber’s better works — but it certainly displays mastery of the art. Think Hindemith spruced up for the market place. This isn’t even really a criticism; you could say that creating market-acceptable art music is a massive innovation in and of itself.

Conclusion: This is a highly sophisticated and listen-able release that displays a lot of theoretical, compositional, and performance mastery, while avoiding the common pitfall of being out of touch with what people want to hear.