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Topics - Michael

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Melvins Discussion / Poll: Best Album Since "H.A.T."
« on: January 04, 2015, 01:48:54 PM »
I think "(A) Senile Animal" will take the cake here but I'm curious nonetheless. For me, "Freak Puke" is the band's most consistent, cohesive, and interesting record since "H.A.T.". It's easily the one I return to most frequently.

Melvins Discussion / Finest Swine
« on: July 01, 2010, 10:33:41 AM »
I'm going "Pigs of the Roman Empire" for the following reasons:

-Longest song

-Only one to garner album title honors

-It totally rules.


Melvins frontman rocks stat geek cred
Every day is 'Gameday' for King Buzzo

Buzz Osborne can only laugh when recounting the rare privilege of being spotted by Minnesota Twins broadcasters in the Metrodome stands because of his outrageous signature hair.

Naturally, the commentators had never heard of Osborne or his legendary underground metal band, the Melvins, so they only noticed former Twins slugger Kent Hrbek, who was sitting a few seats away, and the "weird guy."

"I thought it was good," says Osborne, the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the Melvins, who have been playing since they formed in Aberdeen, Wash., in the early 1980s. "I'm all about the media. Any chance for me to get on TV, I'll take it. Of course, the guys calling the game didn't have much interest in me. But that's OK."

The more Osborne tours, the more likely it'll be that he'll pop up on baseball broadcasts.

The singer, also known as "King Buzzo" to his legion of fans, says he's become obsessed with baseball in the last few years.

"A friend of mine, Dan Raymond, who knows an astonishing amount about baseball, got me heavily into it," he says. "It helps that I totally understood the game from playing as a kid, but one day about five years ago I just started realizing that I was massively into this and took it from there."

He is constantly on his laptop watching Major League games via's Gameday feature, and he's not ashamed to admit that he's a bit of a stat geek, too.

"Sabermetrics have changed the whole way I look at baseball," he says. "Some people think it's taking away the human element a little too much, but I think they're onto something.

"The things I'm really interested in are things like how much walks count. That's incredibly important, and that's why the book 'Moneyball' is so good. But in my humble opinion, (Oakland A's general manager Billy) Beane isn't doing so great right now. I mean, building a team is great and loading up on young talent is important, but aren't they supposed to win?"

Yes, King Buzzo has his opinions, but when it comes to rooting for a team, he's relatively impartial. He lives in Los Angeles and probably goes to Dodger Stadium more than any other ballpark because of its convenient location, but he doesn't really have his own team to root for.

"One of his quirks that bothers people is that he loves all baseball," says Greg Werckman of Ipecac Recordings, which released the Melvins' latest album, Nude With Boots.

"If you push him, he might cop to being a Dodger fan, but he does not understand those of us that hate certain teams. He likes them all! He gets as excited for the opposing teams as he does for the home team. I am an A's season ticket holder and I brought him to a game a couple years ago against the Twins, and he said, 'Don't you love Torii Hunter?' And I said, 'No! He kills us.' He just does not feel that way. Very interesting."

Equally interesting are some of King Buzzo's unique takes on some controversial issues in the game.

Osborne, for example, loves the fact that his hardball heroes make millions upon millions.

"I'm into the high salaries," he says. "If people are going to games, players should get the money. I think teams should have to spend more money on payroll than a lot of them do. I also think the Tampa Bay Rays should move to Santa Monica. Then I could get to three games a week."

And if the Melvins ever get asked to play the National Anthem at a ballpark, they're ready.

While Osborne says he won't "hold (his) breath" waiting for such an invitation from the Dodgers or even a Minor League team, he says the band has been playing the "Star-Spangled Banner" during their current tour, although their rendition isn't exactly traditional.

"Confusing is the best way to describe it," he says. "It's not a diss. It's respectful. It's just a more neutral version of it, I guess."

Osborne also is hardly neutral when it comes to assessing the merits of live baseball vs. the televised game.

"It's like the difference between sugarless chocolate cake and real chocolate cake," he says. "On TV, you can't see the player shifts, what the coaches are doing, really most of the stuff that's really important. I mean, I'll still watch games on TV, but there's nothing like live baseball.

"It's a chess match. And I'm completely into the idea that managers and coaches wear the same uniforms as the players. That shows you how much of a team sport it is. It's awesome."

Osborne likens the travails of a baseball team over a 162-game season to what he and the Melvins have been doing for a good portion of the last three decades.

"We've been playing a long time," he says. "We figured out we've played close to 2,000 shows, and not all of them are going to be good. And that's the way it works. You get out there and you do what you have to.

"That's what's good about baseball. It's such a long season, and even the best teams are going to lose more than 60 games. It's very human that way."

Osborne picks the nearby Angels to win the World Series this year and says their outfielder, Vladimir Guerrero, is his favorite player to watch.

"I've never seen that guy when he wasn't smiling," Osborne says. "And can you blame him? How could he possibly be happier? He's playing baseball for a living."

But even though King Buzzo loves the game and likes the Angels and wishes he could hit like Vlad, one thing you won't see him in is a baseball cap. Not on that head.

"I'm not real hat-friendly," he says with a laugh. "Believe it or not."

Melvins Discussion / Juno
« on: December 20, 2007, 12:56:26 PM »
My friend just informed me that Jason Bateman's character, a former rocker/current yuppie, in the recently released Juno refers to the time that his band opened for the Melvins in the early '90's twice throughout the film.

That little tidbit, in addition to the onscreen reuniting of two of the Bluths, means I have to see this movie now, despite my many reservations about the film's quality.

Melvins Discussion / (A) Senile Animal: the best song
« on: October 21, 2006, 11:23:22 AM »
I admit this is incredibly difficult, not only because the album is phenomenal start-to-finish, but it is also a pretty seamless whole.

Melvins Discussion / Melvins Set Lists Wiki
« on: October 16, 2006, 09:12:20 AM »
Why don't we start compiling a comprehensive list of previous set lists?  Sonic Youth's website had a very detailed one going for a while and with the Melvins playing pretty much the same set through an entire tour it shouldn't be too hard.  We could post it on the wikis (both the main one and the one Brian started).

Forgive me if this information is already readily available.

Although they play a lot of the same songs on most tours ("Night Goat", "Let It All Be"), it is really cool to see the songs they played once upon a time and subsequently dropped ("Jew Boy Flowerhead", "Shevil"). 

Here is the setlist for the 20th Anniversary tour:

Let It All Be
Lovely Butterfly
Youth Of America
Night Goat
With Teeth
Tipping The Lion
Promise Me
Black Stooges
It's Shoved
The Fool, The Meddling Idiot
Snake Appeal
Halo Of Flies

Melvins Discussion / Geddy Lee waxes nostalgic
« on: November 28, 2005, 06:48:45 PM »
From an interview Nardwuar conducted with Rush bassist Geddy Lee in 1998:

"N: Well, I just see that you guys had that punk feel, because you had the Melvins open for you guys. Do you think the Melvins were the best band ever to open for Rush, Geddy?
G: Uh, no. I think--Melvins were a pretty interesting band. Unfortunately, they really didn't fare very well in front of our audience.

N: What happened?
G: Well, they weren't very well thought of. (laughs)

N: How about the other bands you've had? Like, you had that band Wrabbit. Do you remember them? W-R-A-B-B-I-T?
G: I can barely remember them.

N: Or Chalk Circle? Didn't the Melvins do as well as Chalk Circle?
G: No, actually Chalk Circle did better."


Melvins Discussion / Melvins/Big Business 2006
« on: November 14, 2005, 11:33:25 AM »
Information concerning the melding of Big Business and the Melvins from an interview with Jared in Disheveled Magazine:

"We went down to L.A. in January 2005 and that ended up turning us into more permanent members of the band.

Melvins Discussion / Buzz sighting
« on: October 24, 2005, 03:57:38 PM »
From devo-obsesso's 2005 tour diary:

"Some notable faces at the Hollywood shows: Buzz of The Melvins, Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go's, and Johnny Brewton of X-Ray Book .& Novelty Co"

I wonder if Buzz hung out with Jane Wiedlin.

Melvins Discussion / Mackie-O at Target?
« on: October 19, 2005, 03:04:28 PM »
I happened to stumble upon the Halloween section at Target yesterday and all of their display artwork looks exactly like Mackie's.

Melvins Discussion / Big Business Update
« on: October 10, 2005, 07:00:42 PM »
I talked to Jared briefly Saturday night at the show they played with The Fucking Champs.  I congratulated him on making it into the Melvins and asked him if it was permanent.  He assured me that it was.  He said that he and Coady were asked to play on the upcoming tour but it was too short notice (they would only have two weeks to practice).  I asked him if Trevor Dunn was filling in on the upcoming dates but he didn't know.

Apparently he and Coady are moving down to L.A. in January and a tour should follow shortly thereafter.

Melvins Discussion / Melvins in Springfield
« on: August 20, 2005, 03:06:28 PM »
I think that it is high time that we made a concentrated effort to get the Melvins on the Simpsons.  It is Buzz's favorite TV show of all time and he practically quotes an episode every time he speaks.  If such musical institutions such as the Ramones and Sonic Youth have been on the show, it is imperative that the Melvins be on.  Maybe there could be tryouts for new bassists in Springfield.  

This isn't as far-fetched an idea as it sounds.  There are numerous ways the Melvins can be indirectly associated with the Simpsons.  Matt Groening went to Evergreen in Olympia, the All Tomorrow's Parties connection....

If someone has the knowhow to create an online petition that we could submit to the show's creators and/or Fox, I would sign in an instant.

Picture a cartoon Buzz.................

Melvins Discussion / Grist for the Mill
« on: August 09, 2005, 04:06:31 PM »
To some this is old hat but here is yet another story of Joe being fired from the Melvins.  I found this on the All Tomorrow's Parties website.  From their bio of the band earth:

 "During show with Screaming Trees the drum machine first becomes a problem , with Joe repeatedly stepping on the pedal and restarting songs half way through. Joe's dream becomes reality. He is asked to join the Melvins. He can't leave earth fast enough. Dream becomes nightmare when his bitter, money-grubbing ways do not endear him to his employers. The Melvins can him. He takes revenge by bootlegging to his employers. The Melvins can him. He takes revenge by bootlegging earth 7in's."

Hearsay? Rumors?  Conjecture?

Melvins Show Reviews / 1/1/05 Super Secret Seattle Instore
« on: January 02, 2005, 10:04:37 PM »
Okay I have been quiet long enough.  

The Melvins played a surprise secret show for about fifty lucky fans at the great new record store Electric Heavyland in the Wallingford district.  The show was at 2pm New Year's Day and was free; on a word of mouth, ticket-only basis.  Buzz, Dale and Adam Jones arrived around 1:30 and starting setting up.  In tow was Maureen, Camilla, Dan Raymond, Kurt (the sound guy/Matty Luv-lookalike) and  Kevin Willis.  Dave Scott Stone was absent as was Jeff Thomas and Jello; who was supposed to guest star on "I am the Owl".  

At 2pm the crowd filtered in and Kurt put a whoopie cushion down on Dale's drum throne.  The band came out and Buzz introduced himself and told us we would all be getting our money's worth today.  He then said that their bassist had simply disappeared (apparently the agreed upon answer for Kevin's absence) and asked if anyone in the audience would like to play bass.  A girl named Ursula volunteered and while she played three note thing, Dale came in and Adam played guitar.  Buzz howled a few unintelligible things and it actually sounded pretty slamming.  Ursula then sat down and was graciously thanked by the band.  Buzz then strapped on the bass and while Adam made noise on the guitar, he and Dale played the opening to "Eye Flies", and then an instrumental version of "Sky Pup".  Buzz and Adam then switched instruments while Dale called Jello on his cellphone (we all screamed on Jello's message machine).   Right before Buzz picked a member of the audience to fill in for Mr. Biafra, Nardwuar was spotted walking across the street.  He was quickly hustled inside and informed of his role as surrogate Jello.  Adam started playing the bassline for "I am the Owl" and Nardwaur crowdsurfed in lieu of not knowing the lyrics (which I found funny because he was wearing an Alternative Tentacles shirt).  The band ran through the song instrumentally with Dale coming in on the chorus vocals and then that was it.  Buzz thanked us all and we all got our money's worth.

And then some.

I took an entire roll of film but I have no way of posting/hosting them.

Happy New Year.

Melvins Show Reviews / 12/31/04 Seattle Jaded Drunks Show
« on: January 01, 2005, 12:38:06 PM »
The second show at Neumo's in Seattle celebrating the demise of 2004 was identical in set, which I may be able to recall from memory.  Here goes nothing:

McGruff the Crime Dog
When You Get Drafted
California Uber Alles (2004 lyrics)
Yuppie Cadillac
Voted Off the Island
Life Sentence
The Owl
Islamic Bomb
Enchanted Thoughtfist
Dawn of the Locusts
Lessons in What Not to Become
The Lighter Side of Global Terrorism
Holiday in Cambodia
Moon Over Marin

Okay, so the first four songs are in the right order as are the last three.  I am sure that I am missing something and the middle is all jumbled up; but that's the set in a nutshell.  The set was much noisier than the show the night before.  Dave Scott Stone was rubbing his guitar cord around before plugging it in making prickly noises during the intro for "Plethysmograph".  They also did at least three extended feedback segments in between songs.  

In the latter half of the set Dale had a drum mic problem and while waiting to get it fixed, Buzz started to play the riff from "Day Tripper" over and over while Jello ranted about the corporate bottled water that he was squirting on the audience.  It was funny because throughout the night I noticed certain people getting really mad at what Jello was saying.  I am not trying to start a thread about his politics and whether or not you or I agree with them (there are at least three going as we speak) but people were getting offended over the strangest things.  Particularily his new lyrics to "California Uber Alles" citing Schwarzenegger, Bush and Enron; and during his rant preceding "the Lighter Side of Global Terrorism".  The girl in front of me was shouting "fuck you!" and giving Jello the finger presumably because he was talking about how perverse and fucked up it is for security checkpoints to invade your privacy and fondle your privates which I thought was weird because there was an awful lot of misogynistic assholes leering and sometimes groping girls at this show.  I much preferred the younger, albeit more confused crowd the night before.  Obviously these people could have been annoyed at Jello's banter for other reasons but I don't think that was the case.

The highlight of the night overall was Mr. Dale Crover, who was on fire.  For the "Never Breathe.." songs he has been playing much simpler, more straightforward punk stuff than he does on a typical Melvins song, but last night he was going off.  He also came out from behind his drumset when Jello did his dramatic fall during "the Owl" and with Dave Scott Stone he jokingly kicked Jello and mockingly conquered him.  Before "Islamic Bomb" when Jello introduced the band, Dale said the quote of the night: "And this is our stand-up singer, Jello Biafra.  He wrote this next song with his mouth."  Later in the set Dale said that "Enchanted Thoughtfist" is his favorite song which I wholeheartedly agree with.  I have now seen the Melvins more times than years I have lived.

Another update after the next show.........

How mysterious.

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