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Remember to always listen to something while reading this column, whether it be the album reviewed or some terrible Rush album. Send us all Rush-inspired hate mail at: Upstarts@hybridmagazine.com

Tool Undertow

-intolerance-

Skid: Upstart Pipsqueaks… Back in action… Where’s the thing?

Rux: We seem to have some long intro on this record… some jingly-janglys and whatnot.

Skid: Oh. They’re prepping you.

Rux: Hello Dog. Oh, there it is. The music.

Skid: Rux is back from Connecticut. He’s been away. Welcome back, Ruxy.

Rux: Thank you Skid. It is, as always, nice to see you. Thanks for taking care of things while I was gone.

Skid: Did I?

Rux: Sure… As good as anybody knows.

Skid: Here’s Maynard. He’s singing a little tune for us.

Rux: His name is Maynard?

Skid: Yeah.

Rux: All right. You know, when we talked about doing this Tool record, we kind of steered clear of mentioning the whole Pearl Jam thing… But 2 bars in, its Pearl Jam.

Skid: well, yeah.

Rux: Rush.

Skid: RUSH?

Rux: Isn’t there some rabid following for this group that thinks they are musical geniuses?

Skid: Well, yes. Just like quite a few other bands.

Rux: Yeah, but these people say they are like Rush.

Skid: Really? I hadn’t heard that. They’d been touring around for a while, and building their following… and then all of a sudden they’re playing places like Red Rocks, which I thought was kind of odd. I didn’t think they were that big. And the shows sold out, which was surprising. I didn’t know they had gotten that big.

Rux: So they were probably selling out all kinds of big places… Shoreline and such… in Mountain View.

Skid: It’s got a low end. They’re trying to build up some edginess here.

Rux: I’ll give them the energy thing there… They seem to be going for it. And the guy is doing his nice rhythmic singing. I don’t so much care for the guitar player so far.

Skid: He doesn’t really sing melodically. He just has a couple of notes he sticks around on…

Rux: Root and fifth… Root and fifth, Root and fifth.

Skid: Yeah. Kind of a Soundgarden guitar sound there.

Rux: (mimics Beavis) He said Tool… heh heh… yeah.

Skid: (mimics Butthead) Cool…heh heh. Yeah… Tool.

Rux: Yeah… Cool. He said Tool… heh heh.

Skid: You cheat, you steal, you lie.                                

Rux: lie, lie… lie… lie… I like the effects. I like the production.

Skid: The metallic guitar there.

Rux: How do you like me now, Mister? I have the liner notes.

Skid: Here… Give me those.

Rux: Nope.

Skid: Can I just see those for a minute?

Rux: Nope.

Skid: Hey, look over there…

Rux: Wha… Nope. I’ve got the liner notes… No liner notes for you, Mister.

Skid: You cheat, steal, and lie.

Rux: …ner notes.

(laughter)         

Skid: Liner notes?

Rux: I did… That’s kind of an early one there. What’s this record called? Undertow?

Skid: Undertow?

Rux: I did… What’s this song called? Intolerance?

Skid: Intolerance?

Rux: I did… For those of you reading this, this was 1993, BMG/Zoo Entertainment. It’s wonderful to be here with you this evening, or today… Whenever you are reading this.

Skid: So, when they broke it out, they came out with that video… was that for this song?

Rux: No, I think the second song on this record.

Skid: Okay. Well, I’ll hold my comments until then.

Rux: Please do… Maybe you can have these liner notes. They’re kind of scary for me. These people with all these needles in their heads and such…

Skid: I kind of like that. It’s the next album’s liner notes you don’t want to look at. You’ll go blind.

Rux: Nudees?

-prison sex-

Skid: Yeah. Oooh. There’s some scratchy guitars there.

Rux: This is the song called “prison sex”.

Skid: Scratching on the strings… oh hey, where’s the guitar? (scratches up and down the guitar strings) A little song I call “Jailbreak”.

Rux: I haven’t listened to this band since this video was out, you know? And it is better than I remember it.

Skid: Yeah, the first song, so far, was nice… nicely produced.

Rux: Yes. It’s not rough at all, really.

Skid: You know, the problem with music… I’m just going to make some broad generalizations here… People try to make things very offensive, and no one is offended.  you know? These guys are trying to make really edgy music, but for the most part, the people who are listening to them appreciate what they are doing, but its not that target audience. They get all sorts of rumors about being Satanists, and being evil… just like from ages gone by… and its just normal people that listen to it, and appreciate the music. you know. Eminem tries to offend everybody, and his fans are Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

Rux: Yeah, I guess that’s true. Everybody I know who listens to Tool is just an average Joe. or Jane.

Skid: There’s nothing wrong with that.

Rux: Not at all. I mean, this might as well be Soundgarden for me.

Skid: Well, all except for Maynard’s got a better voice.

Rux: I’m afraid I can’t argue with you there.

Skid: He’s… he’s got a little more melody in his voice on this one. He doesn’t go real crazy with the voice and try to sing operatic…

Rux: Right. It’s real narrow. But that’s okay. Stay where you know. Stay where you are comfortable.

Skid: Exactly. Reach for it in practice… but in the real deal, go with what you know.

Rux: Yes. Albums are no place to train.

Skid: Not really. Though they do have some good production here, keeping it all in line.

Rux: Yeah. It’s very tight. It’s very well produced. I don’t know that I agree that they are fantastic musicians, but I will say that whoever produced this did a fine, fine job.

Skid: Yeah. I haven’t seen the fantastic musicianship, but the sounds they are putting out are nice. I’m not all… I like just normal people anyway, sometimes, you know it?

Rux: That’s nice. This breakdown… the bridge here is very nice. Not at all what I remember from this band. They’ve got the heavy tom-toms. you’ve got the descending scale thing. you’ve got Marco Pirroni calling us … calling us… oh what did he call us. Oh yeah. He said to “Fuck off you great tossers”.

(laughter)

Skid: Did he? Oh man. I’m so happy about that.  You have no idea.

Rux: Stay tuned to the Upstart Pipsqueaks for our adventures with Marco Pirroni. Marco, call us!

(laughter)

Here’s a little poem I’m writing, called “ The Ant Hates Me…”

Skid: I like how they list the band in here. They don’t really say what instruments they play… It says: Danny Carrey plays the membranophones. Which I would guess is the drums. Paul D’Amour bottom feeder, which is bass… Maynard James Keenan plays the mo-stress-tic-ator. That’s the singers… Adam Jones plays the bastardometer.

Rux:  I also play the bastardometer…

-sober-

Skid: I wouldn’t guess that was the guitar, but there’s nothing left.  Bastardometer?

Rux: Wait… is this the video? What’s this one called?

Skid: Umm. This one is called…Sober.

Rux: Oh, this was the video with the crazy guy running in and out of the… drawers, right? The crazy half-broken doll…

Skid: Yes. All the claymation and stop-action.

Rux: I am going to say this… These guys are right up there with Primus as far as music videos go. As far as conceptualizing and putting together things to watch.

Skid: Yeah. It’s a film. It wasn’t a video.

Rux: No, they were films.

Skid: Yes. And it could have made the rounds in the art houses.

Rux: Oh yeah for sure… definitely definitely definitely… Of course, Primus could have made the rounds in the Spike and Mike’s animation festival. And probably did, actually… some of that stuff.

Skid: This is… When I listen to this, I do see… I’m glad this was the first single where they kind of broke out with… This is kind of nice. It’s a really interesting progression.

Rux: Is it the same thing though? It’s not shocking to us now, but in ’93 would it have been?

Skid: Well, I saw it along with the video first, and so it was all kind of fascinating. I couldn’t get a real take on what the band was like from this song. And then when I listened to the whole album, this was the stand out on there. The rest of it was nice… which is not what they were going for.

Rux: I like that last track. I liked “prison sex”.

Skid: Do you?

Rux: The track. The song…

Skid: You do? So what were you doing in Connecticut, anyway? Is it nice to be back on the streets?

Rux: It is nice to be back on the streets, in fact. We ran into a little bit of trouble in Connecticut, but for the most part we had a nice mellow trip.  I slept… in seven days I slept about 10 hours. I wore a tuxedo and made the acquaintance of a beautiful and mysterious Dutch woman… The rest is top secret… I could tell you but then I would have to kill all of you.

Skid: I think this song does have the kind of power that I would recommend to people NOT to listen to this song in the headphones, alone, in the dark.

Rux: Cause you’ll scare up the Tommyknockers.

Skid: Yeah. It’s very stirring… I would put it along side a lot of great music like Pink Floyd. They really use a lot of emotion in this tune… It’s a very successfully creepy song. So he brings it down and starts whispering again…

Rux: (to the dog) get off me…

Skid: How are you going to spell the part where the dog is breathing into the microphone?  

Rux: I don’know. However you spell “hhhahhhehheeahhhheah”.

Skid: See, and then they come back in. A real nice plateau there.

Rux: Yeah, now these guys orchestrate things beautifully. Whoever was arranging this, if it was indeed them.

Skid: Yeah, they work really good with the dynamics. I still don’t see, like you were saying, incredible musicianship. But then, I never listened that closely to Rush to know if they were great musicians either… who knows?

Rux: Maybe with Rush, they were so incredibly sloppy that it just sounded like they were slipping into different time signatures. But really they just suck.

Skid: I’ll buy that.

Rux: There’s going to be some hate mail for that comment.

Skid: I’ve heard that Led Zeppelin are great musicians, but how would I know?

Rux: I would like to clarify something on that particular point… There were 3 good musicians in Led Zeppelin, and the longest free ride in the history of rock… or the second longest, I guess.

Skid: Second longest. Second longest… Taking it back. Taking it way, way back. Taking it back.

Rux: Previous. Previous. Previous.

-bottom-

Now, that was a good song.

Skid: That was a damned good song… Now this one is called “bottom”. I’ll let you listen to it.

Rux: Okay. Give me a little of it.

Skid: Kind of brash road music. My point with Led Zeppelin is that as soon as I hear Robert Plant, I shut it off, so I don’t know if the band is good musicians. I just trust everyone else that they are. Well, I know Jimmy Page is, because I’ve heard the other bands. So…

Rux: Jimmy Page is incredible. He is on my list of 5 guitar geniuses. Because he is sloppy enough to be good, you know? But he was very innovative. He took a lot of stuff and worked it into rock music, stuff that had never been there. A lot of the folk stuff. He played with a  lot of weird Irish tunings and such…

Skid: Huh. This one sounds like Soundgarden to me. It’s kind of a driving road song, but its not real innovative here.

Rux: No. I could be singing along many Soundgarden lyrics. He is getting a little aggressive with his vocal style though… which is nice.

Skid: And he does have a unique voice. As mucha s we say this is similar to Pearl Jam or whoever it reminds YOU of, he does have a unique voice. Because when I heard Perfect Circle, I was listening to it and I said this sounds like Tool. Well, it was him, so that’s why it sounded like that.

Rux: Oh yeah. I had forgotten about that.  The Perfect Circle project… What was the other one, where everyone but him was in it? That we saw at that dive bar…

Skid: Oh… That local dive bar… I can’t remember, but I think there were guys from the Melvins in it. Like maybe King Buzzo was in it, or someone.

Rux: Oh really?

Skid: They like these kind of weird scratchy guitars… that sort of thing they learned from… Marco Pirroni.

Rux: That’s what I call the Bauhaus guitar.

Skid: Ok. Yeah. I could see that.

Rux: Because before Daniel Ash knew how to play guitar he did all kinds of that kind of stuff.

Skid: Yeah. They do a nice slowdown here. Real sparse. They work real good with slowing down the rage, and resting for a bit, and then rolling it back up again.

Rux: Kind of letting you digest a little bit of it, and then throwing you back into the maelstrom.

Skid: I like the female-strom. Ok… here’s the part… who’s that? uh huh… got it? The spoken word portion… of the album. Where someone is doing spoken word.

Rux: So it’s Bukowski?

Skid: No, it’s Rollins.

Rux: Ahhh. It’s the new generation of spoken worders. Bukowski light.

Skid: Right. Someone asked me last night… Hey, just want to get a shout out… if the show I was at, if I thought Rollins would have performed also. I said no, that would have been too weird. I would have fallen asleep during that.

Rux: With these guys?

Skid: No, with the show I was at last night. He thought it would be a good mix… But hearing Rollins talk for a while… It’s nice here, because its just a little snippet, but…

Rux: He’s boring as fuck.

Skid: Ranting and raving… Okay, spoken word: Rollins or Jello?

Rux: Jello.

Skid: Hm. I have no opinion.

Rux: Jello’s a little wackier. Henry Rollins has got… nothing. He tries to have something, but he’s got nothing.

Skid: It’s just not enough to hold my attention. And maybe I’m a little based. Maybe I’m not that intellectually advanced. But its just not enough…

Rux: I don’t think Henry Rollins is about intellectual advancement, personally. I think he’s just kind of mad at his parents.

Skid: Although I like the Spalding Grey Movies.

Rux: I’ll come clean right off and say I don’t know what you are talking about.

Skid: Super.

Rux: Drummer goes a little crazy here. That’s real nice.

Skid: Maybe that’s it. Maybe the drummer is like John Bonham. Huh? Huh?

Rux: I’ve never heard anything about that.

Skid: Me neither. But since our job is to be wholly inaccurate….

Rux: Yeah, let’s start it. The drummer in Tool is very reminiscent of John Bonham. Tell your friends.

Skid: This bass player reminds me of Les Claypool.

Rux: Well, now the guitar player reminds me of Les Claypool. He’s going for it. He;s doing all the fly on the wall tricks.

Skid: Huh… Guitar in the tube.

Rux: It’s nice to sing, I like singing.

Skid: I hate these long breakdowns. I always have.

Rux: Like, where you know it’s the end of the song, but you have to keep waiting for it.

Skid: Yeah. Or when you are watching Conan O’Brien and they’re introducing them and they keep going and going and going and going… and you know it’s the end of the song. Just end it. And that is the end of the song. And this one is called “Crawl Away”.

-crawl away-

They play some long songs.

Rux: Yeah, they do. How many songs are on this record?

Skid: It’s 10 songs, and none of them are under… they’re all 5 minutes or more.

Rux: Hmmm. If we don’t find shorter articles to do, they’re going to can us. This is very… Every song starts out sounding like Soundgarden, and then they change it up. I mean, this one is… (sings) I am, I am, I am, I just wanna get next to you…                

Skid: That’s what I was thinking.

Skid & Rux: (sing in unison) Wanna get close to you.

Skid: (singing in funny voice) You don’t want to have to hurt you too, hurt you too.

Rux: Who was that? Alice in Chains?

Skid: Stone Temple Pilots. The Alice in Chains Light. And for all you Stone Temple Pilots fans, they are always crappier than Alice in Chains. What’s that guys name? Weidit?

Rux: Weiland.

Skid: Weiland! Scott Weiland. Call us!

Rux: We’ve got stuff to tell you about next time you are out of rehab. I like the stutters on the drums. The guy does all these weird stutters.

Skid: I’ll listen for it. I like the toms.

Rux: I like the fact that the drums are very bassy. There’s no real upper register in the tones.

Skid: He is doing some interesting stuff. He may be John Bonham, because he’s doing the off-tempo cymbal tapping. I think he’s got six arms. He’s a Hindi.

Rux: He’s Ganesh? Ganesh, the Hindu god of drumming.

Skid: Yeah. He’s a blue elephant.

Rux: Just the head.

Skid: Just the head?

Rux: I believe so.

Skid: Oh yeah, that’s true. They’ve got a good thing here.

Rux: I don’t know where they went from here. I’ve never heard any of the records after this.

Skid: I think that there’s not a whole lot that they can play on the radio. I guess they can bleep stuff out and all this, but sending their next album out to radio stations, with the artwork on it, it was quite controversial.

Rux: Which was the one after this?

Skid: I don’t know what it was called, but it had this cover that was a hologram type thing. You could move the cover, and things would move around. It would show action, and then inside there was a guy fellating himself, and the band watching.

Rux: Really….

Skid: This little bit I don’t like so much.

Rux: You don’t like the super ‘70’s heavy metal?

Skid: Exactly. Has he got a double bass on that?

Rux: I’m guessing… I don’t think you can keep one foot going that fast for that long. The guy’s not a rabbit. I will also say that I like their bass lines. The bass lines seem to carry the songs very well.

Skid: Well, we have seen Tool live.

Rux: Oh yeah, that’s true. I had blocked that from my memory. Thanks for opening up old wounds.

Skid: Yeah. We went to see a concert – show. We were there to see the Flaming Lips. And now, this is what makes me angry about the Flaming Lips, if I tell this story now it makes no sense because the Flaming Lips now suck. But at the time we went to see the Flaming Lips, they still raged…

Rux: They were one of the greatest bands in the history of rock.

- swamp song -

Skid: Right, and so we went to see the Lips, and the drummer was wearing a Thin Lizzy t-shirt and everything was fabulous. Somebody was wearing Christmas lights.

Rux: Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

Skid: They rocked our asses. And then we enjoyed our show, and Tool came on because they were the headliner. We listened to 3 songs, and left. It just wasn’t grabbing me.

Rux: No, and I’ve had other experiences like that… Like the time The Cult opened for Metallica. And there were like 5 of us standing up for the Cult, and everyone was yelling at us to sit down. And we were yelling back, hey screw you guys… and then as soon as Metallica came on, we walked out. It was a good Cult show though.

Skid: And now that we’ve pissed everyone off, I do need to say that I enjoy Tool immensely more than Pearl Jam. The swamp song is all right.

Rux: Over all?

Skid: Oh yeah. And that could be the same thing… It could just be that I hate Vedder’s voice, and that the band is great. Who knows? I’m superficial that way. I only look at what’s on the surface. Listen to his weird rhythms.

Rux: I do like what he’s doing with his vocals on this sing. He’s got all these counter-rhythms going on.

Skid: It’s like a dancing around rhythm. Rocking back and forth, sobbing, curled up in a fetal position… Do you like how he screams? He screams pretty good. I like how they slow things down, and quiet it down, and then bring it back up.

Rux: I think if I have to summarize what I like about this band it would be 2 things. Number 1, I like that he can really convey something in his vocalizations… and 2, that the band can really work these dynamics.

Skid: And any comparisons to Soundgarden… They ‘re better than Soundgarden, too. So if you look at it from the standpoint of being a Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots fan… And you are coming from that, then yes, these guys are master musicians. And they are better than most of those.

Rux: I’d give you that. Excepting of course, Stone Gossard. But this was after. This was post- grunge explosion.

Skid: Right, but it may be that fan base that they’re drawing from. They’re drawing that fan base because its similar to that, but better.

Rux: Eddie Better.

Skid: Betty betty better.

Rux: Here he’s getting all melodic… for the first time on the record.

Skid: Hm. I don’t hear it.

Rux: No, wait for him to yell. If he yells again, which he will…                

Skid: He’s yelling again! Hey…

Rux: They don’t just plug along with the same 4/4 thing. I mean, it’s all 4/4, but they’re not plugging along with the same old thing. They break up the song with different rhythms, you know? It’s really nice. Which is different than a lot of mainstream music. Which may be another reason all the kids think they are similar to Rush, that they have a similar thing going on. But it’s different. Rush, those guys seamlessly move from time changes and key changes, where these guys are doing the same thing over and over, but they just change it up a bit.

Skid: And, as Punk as I am, I like some melody. And listening to this, they do some nice things, but there really isn’t much melody. You know, you can’t be walking along singing a Tool song, and someone will recognize “hey, that’s Tool”. It’s all rhythmic.

Rux: Yeah. That’s true. It is all basically an exercise in rhythm. There’s no harmony, really. And there is very little melody. Which disproves your Pink Floyd thing.

-undertow–

Skid: I think this is 40. Oh no, it’s “Undertow”. Title track here, kids.

Rux: Undertow? I’m doing the Undertow interpretive dance.

(Laughter)

Don’t laugh.

Skid: It’s very serious, I know. I know, it’s all going to be all right.

Rux: So the only thing in her refrigerator was oranges?

Skid: Yeah… a lot of them. Not like a couple. Bags of oranges.

Rux: Underdog Interpretive Dance Lady, please call us!

Skid: Please call us, Underdog Lady.

Rux: The last time I saw her, she was doing the Dracula interpretive dance…, which was basically the same thing as the Underdog interpretive dance, but she had on a different color cape. And that was on some MTV late night weird show. Sideshow or Freak show or something.

Skid: The problem is that if she calls us, we are going to turn into Howard Stern. And then I’m going to have to be… I want to get this right this time… Robin… oh, I’m not going to get it right.

Rux: Givens!

Skid: We’ve been through that. It’s an old joke! We’ve got enough running gags.

Rux: If we’re Howard Stern, do I get to see…

Skid: Lesbians?

Rux: Naked girls… But lesbians would be good too. Do we have enough room in here for lesbians doing stuff?

Skid: How do I know? I don’t know how much room they need, really.

Rux: I mean, how active is that? How crazy do they get? Do they need things to hang from?

Skid: They need room to do the interpretive dance… So… Undertow. It doesn’t seem as angry as the previous song.

Rux: No, it seems much more collegiate and studied.

Skid: WHOA… So you are saying it’s frat-boy rock, huh?

Rux: No, not at all. That is not what I’m saying at all… Although most of the guys I know that listen to this stuff fit the frat-boy image. But then again, so do the Rage Against The Machine kids. All those kids listen to that crap. At The Drive-in, and what not.

Skid: Gonna stir up some trouble now… Right, that was my point earlier.

Rux: Oh yeah, yeah… the target audiences and getting it… Like the Rage Against The Machine guys, they think they have all this stuff to say, but the people who listen to them aren’t listening at all. All the kids who want that agro crap, they don’t listen to lyrics. The singers may as well be spouting nursery rhymes.

Skid: Yeah. Well, that’s… who? Korn?

Rux: Doing nursery rhymes?

Skid: Yeah.

Rux: I’ve got nothing good to say about Korn.

Skid: Frat rock.

Rux: Frat rack.

Skid: Frot rack… Fraggle rock. chigga-digga-digga

Rux: This song is nice. It’s … Hey now, that slow down is beautiful. The stair step.

Skid: And they’re going to pick it back up.

Rux: now they are losing me/ This song has been really good up to this point.

Skid: Oh yeah. Now they’re slipping back into some Southern dinosaur rock.

Rux: They’re just doing metal. It might as well be friggin’ Metallica. Metallica BAAAAD.

Skid: That last bit did suck.

-40-

Rux: Hey, let’s insert a plug here for that kids website…. What is it? Oasiscentral.com. Please visit Wedge’s website.

Skid: It’s a very slick website. It’s very nice… For all you Oasis fans who are reading about Tool…

Rux: Well, maybe my timing wasn’t quite right. But really, it’s the thought.

Skid: Because now we have so many Oasis fans that read us on a regular basis.

Rux: Yeah. We’ve pretty much become the poster child, other than Noel Gallagher, for Oasis. Die poster kinder.

Skid: I hope I made it clear that I am all behind Noel. I’m with him 100 percent. Liam, on the other hand… is a tosser.

Rux: Yes. Hey, who’s the… What was the thing with who do you want for the sixth member of Oasis? Let’s get that out of the way.

Skid: Oh… It was at this web board. And someone asked who would you want for the sixth member of Oasis. So everyone is putting in their Johnny Marr, and all sorts of stuff. And of course, I put in that I want the sixth member of Oasis to be… Marco Pirroni. Just playing with search engines here.

Rux: It’s all about amusing ourselves while we amuse you, the reader.

Skid: I thought we were all about accuracy.

Rux: Oh yeah, yeah. And that.

Skid: And journalistic integrity.

Rux: Oh yeah. And that, too. I can’t remember when the last time I saw journalistic integrity.

Skid: Man, they rock. They rock my ass. This is “40”.

Rux: The U2 song?

Skid: Yeah. This is their cover of the U2 song, “40”.

Rux: It’s a little different.

Skid: A little bit, yeah.

Rux: This is nice with the sliding around guitars, though. You know… The guitar’s not doing the heavy metal thing, really.

Skid: well, now that we mention it. Some of the scratchings and weird guitar things that he does kind of remind me of… the Edge.

Rux: Really?

Skid: Yeah. Not that advanced, but similar to the early stuff. You know.

Rux: Yeah, I guess. You know that probably doesn’t happen on Tool records anymore. And here is my theory on that. And I’ve seen this in my own life, as well as those around me. When you are a new guitar player, and you’re not considered accomplished yet, you are more apt to try things and experiment with things… You make wonderful noises and wonderful sounds, and then you get to be good, kind of… And you have expectations. And so you lose all that creativity and you kind of get pigeonholed into a certain thing you do with the guitar. And that’s really too bad. So my guess is that after this record that probably happened to him, and he kind of lost some of the creative spark. But I can’t say because I haven’t heard anything after this.

Skid: I’d just like to get to that point where I do crazy scratchy stuff, and it sounds cool.

Rux: And stop there?

Skid: Well, I’ve stopped before it…

Rux: Really heavy drums, man.

Skid: Yeah, I like how they’ve miked the drums.

Rux: He’s whispering… whispering.

Skid: A lot of buzzing on the guitars.

Rux: And then they’re back out with it. See, that’s nice. The way they ride the dynamic like that is great.

Skid: Riding the wave. Pause…

-flood-

Rux: This one, they are setting it up to be a mood track.

Skid: This is “Flood”. That must be the producer. Because he worked with all of U2’s stuff… or some of U2’s stuff. Some of the hairy ones, some of the scary ones…

Rux: Some also of the Depeche Mode stuff. Some also of the New Order stuff. Some also of the New Ben Franklins stuff. He’s been all over the place, Flood. Keepin’ it low, keepin’ it low…

Skid: Yeah, they’re bringing it in on the LD.

Rux: I don’t really get the ghetto speak, so much. It’s confusing to my whiteness.

Skid: Don’t walk up on me.

Rux: Speaking of which, I’ll be drinking with Chow tonight. That’s going to be a new show we have here “Drinking With Chow”.

(laughter)

Skid: Man, they are taking a while to build this one up… Sludgy.

Rux: Yeah, this is a very odd track. It’s very anti-song almost. Almost Black Sabbath. But I’m not going to say they’re better than Black Sabbath.

Skid: I won’t go that far, either.

Rux: But as heavy as this stuff is, its got a Black Sabbath vibe to it. There’s no treble. The only treble is the vocal.

Skid: I like the low end stuff.

Rux: I think this song is the art rock…

Skid: This flood.

Rux: They’re keeping me guessing. They keep me hanging on.

Skid: That’s what I said. Set me free, why don’tcha. Vanilla Fudge.

Rux: This song is not going anywhere fast. They’re in no hurry to get to wherever they’re going.

Skid: It may be 8 minutes of this.

Rux: Is this an 8 minute track? It’s kind of late in the record to be doing that, isn’t it?

Skid: Oh, wait ‘til the next one. …This sounds like something…

Rux: They keep changing it around. They’re doing some weird Dante’s inferno jam here…

Skid: Maiden!

Rux: They’re wearing it on their sleeve?

Skid: This is Maiden. Maiden heaven.

Rux: Oh there he is… It was a four-minute introduction to get to this part. Oi. What is this, a Metallica record, or what?                                

Skid: Well, they’re still not really busting it out. Now they’re… This is usually where a song would start.

Rux: Stop.

Skid: Start.

Rux: No, it’s like 5 minutes in, it would stop here.

Skid: Ohh, I…But… No, I mean… but…

Rux: It’s nice, but its just metal. Now they’re just playing metal.

Skid: This was 2 songs. It was the instrumental, and now this song.

Rux: The instrumental I liked. It was a little long, but it was all right. This song, this part of it, I’m giving the big shrug to it. I mean, there should have been 2 choruses by now.

Skid: Shrugs, not drugs.

Rux: Choose shrugs.

Skid: Have you shrugged your kids today? Now this part is kind of an interesting vocal, and then everything just stops. This changes everything.

Rux: Musically it is somewhat interesting, but it’s not captivating.

Skid: Well, they are starting to grab me.

Rux: Now they are?

Skid: Yeah, I don’t like all the cymbal bashing, but they are adding different elements and bringing the energy up… slowly. I feel like a lobster in a pot, and they’re bringing the heat up slow. So that I don’t scream.

Rux: But now they are approaching that Rage Against The Machine thing for me, and I’ve got nothing for that.

Skid: What are those thingys?

Rux: Extra sounds? Stop the tape machine in the truck!

Skid: That’s a scream. There’s your screaming.

Rux: I think they’ve brought it up to the peak, and now its just going to stay here…for the last 2 minutes.

Skid: I like that double bass, and what he’s doing with the guitar with it. Marrying each other. I think that I’m going to come away from this liking Tool better than I have before.

Rux: I’m afraid I am… Well, I’m not afraid I am. But I definitely am going to. Because I don’t think I ever actually sat down and listened to it. I don’t think they are everything that everyone thinks they are, the rabid fans… But they’re definitely better than I remember them… (sings) I am just a bitter boy, la la lalala la la.

-disgustipated-

Skid: This is called disgustipated. They’re disgustipated that its 16 minutes long.

Rux: Ugh.

Skid: But I think 4 minutes is this silence.

Rux: Oh wait. You see it’s just counting tracks now. It’s just counting through the tracks. So they’re going to go to track 99 and then that’s going to be the song.

Skid: Oh, it’s the hidden track thing, but they listed it.

Rux: It’s not so much a hidden track. They’re just going through all the tracks, using all their track space. Oh wait… here’s the joke… it’s track 69, dude…

(A lot more Beavis and Butthead sounding stuff)

I think its just going to be a noise-scape, you know?

Skid: Could be. It’s like the roof is leaking, and someone is listening to the radio.

Rux: Oh, they’re listening to some preacher on the old time gospel hour. Slappin’ ‘em down. 100. 200.

Skid: And now they’ve gone into an Alien Sex Fiend tribal track here.

Rux: Yeah, the trash can tribal. I think that… He keeps telling me this IS necessary, but I’m thinking that this track is fairly unnecessary.

Skid: I think you are right.

Rux: I don’t really see all that much necessary about it. It’s kind of reminding me of Marilyn Manson, actually. Although this precedes Marilyn Manson by a few years.

Skid: It’s pretty close.

Rux: I like the squeaky, squeaky noises… whatever they are.

Skid: I like the sproingy bed springs. Like in the Fat Albert band, and the guy was playing the bed springs. But all the prints of Fat Albert have been destroyed by Bill Cosby.

Rux: Hey, I am the Prince of Fat Albert. Hey hey hey.

Skid: Really?…  The Fresh Prince of Fat Albert…

Rux: Then it stops again, and then goes back into trash can tribal, telling me its necessary. I like this though… Life feeds on life feeds on life feeds on life.

Skid: This is pure Alien Sex Fiend right here.

Rux: I guess they’re slowly building it. After about 12 minutes it might be doing something…. Nope. now its just been about 5 minutes of crickets. They’re losing me. This is too much silence for you and me. We are like 13 minutes in and its still just crickets. I feel like we should be sleeping.

Skid: They are just using up the track space.

Rux: Just making crickets…

Beavis and Butthead Moments: upwards of 3

Honest mistakes: 15

Outright Lies: 23


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


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