Get a Drummer, or Get Off the Fucking Stage

Recently I attended the Best New Bands of 2010 at First Ave. One thing I couldn’t help noticing was the number of drummers replaced by fucking mac laptops. Now I know laptops are lighter, easier to work with, drink less (far less), and are more reliable (far more reliable) than real drummers.  But if that’s the case, why stop there? Aren’t laptops more reliable than any musician? So why not replace the bassist, guitarist, keyboardist and singer with laptops too!

In fact, you could replace them all with one laptop! Just think of all the advantages:

  • The show will take up very little space. No need for a stage! More space for people to stand, so you can sell more tickets!
  • All band members would arrive at the exact same time, ready to go.
  • The show will sound exactly like the mp3.
  • Cleanup is a snap.

But why stop with just the band? Computers are more reliable than anyone, so let’s replace the audience with computers too! Hell, just stick a laptop on the dancefloor, point its webcam at the laptop on the stage, and the benefits grow exponentially:

  • No more time wasted on getting ready for the show! The audience can enjoy the show in the comfort of their own homes wearing easy clothes!
  • Less fossil fuels wasted by all those people traveling to the club!
  • Drinks are much cheaper!
  • No more D.U.I.’s!

I think I’ve made my point. Get a real person to play the percussion, or get off the fucking stage. At least have someone pretend to be talented and trigger the sequencer. I saw Crystal Method live, and watching two fat guys turning knobs is about the least fun I’ve ever had at at live show. It’s a tiny step above a CD listening party, but at least there’s someone making the music in front of you.

Pressing Play onstage is fine… if you’re audience is blind and deaf. Otherwise, it sucks. I go to clubs to SEE artists make music. I go to shows to HEAR an original, immediate work of art. If I wanted to push play, I’d have saved the cover charge and pushed play on my mp3 player.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Halloween 2010 with Jagged Spiral

Colin and Jess threw another top-notch Halloween Party this year. We had a great time, and I can’t wait to see the pix. Wish I’d had my camera. The Spiral was all on-hand and took a stab at a couple songs late in the evening, and being the soberest of the group at the time, I have several observations to make:

  1. I probably shouldn’t even pick up my bass unless I’ve had three alcoholic drinks.
  2. Colin probably shouldn’t pick up his guitar after thirteen alcoholic drinks.
  3. None of the band should pick up anything until everyone in the audience has had about thirty alcoholic drinks.
  4. We should only take requests for songs that we know. At the very least, songs that are completely finished.
  5. We should practice before playing an improvisational show.

Regardless, we slaughtered Invasion, Prophet, Horrorcloud and covered Sister of Mercy’s “Temple of Love”.

Quote of the night goes to Josh. While getting ready to play drums on the Rock Band game, Nirvana’s “About A Girl” came up as an option. His reply? “I don’t want to play Nirvana. I’m already in Nirvana.”

Second place quote goes to Saveau, who said, “You guys should always dress like that onstage. A pirate, a dark priest, and that guy from The Office.”

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Jagged Spiral Concert at Target Center – CANCELLED

I had a press release armed, locked, loaded and ready to spread fear into the hearts of music purists, music reviewers and real musicians all over the world. Josh, Colin and I were excited to announce what was sure to be the concert event of the summer at Target Center with Jagged Spiral and S.B.I.

‘Tellin ya, it woulda brought tears to your ears.

On behalf of Jagged Spiral, Inc. I regret to inform you that due to circumstances beyond our control, the concert originally scheduled for Wed August 19th at Target Center has been canceled. All tickets purchased for the show will be refunded.

Our legal department is working nonstop to declassify our music as a threat to National Security. Until such time, Josh, Colin and I will continue writing/practicing/drinking/recording until our music can be more properly classified as a threat to the security of the entire planet.

Then, we’ll be able to play anywhere and anytime we want. Or else.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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City Pages Picks Best Local Minnesota Rock Band

…you probably think it’s Jagged Spiral, but the City Pages doesn’t. They think it’s a band called Knife World.  Readers Choice was Vampire Hands. I love Vampire Hands myself, they put on a good live show with lots of energy.

However, neither of these bands really strike me as “Rock”. Neither does Jagged Spiral for that matter. Maybe its just me, but they sound too ‘indie’ and not enough ‘rock’. Seems there are better selections for best Rock band:

Any one of these bands would Rock the piss out of Knife World AND Vampire Hands AND Jagged Spiral, and they’d do it with two guitar strings tied behind their back.

Gay Witch Abortion would probably get my vote for best local Rock band. Two absolute madmen with savage tone, who don’t really need bass or vocals to rock the planet. Catch one of their live shows if you get a chance, before their music is banned for being “Too Rock”.

Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the City Pages annual “Best Of”.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Jagged Spiral Incorporated?

We’re pleased as punch that Jagged Spiral Incorporated has been listed at Hot Frog.  Apparently, our products and services are classified as “Heavy Metals”! Isn’t that nice!

As much as I’d love to thank the brainless meatstick who put this together, its no doubt the work of a scraper site, pulled together by a computer simply to waste space on the internet.

Thankfully, a Google Search for Jagged Spiral still turns up the truth.

Meanwhile a quick search on the owner of Hot Frog turns up a piece of trash called Reed Business Information, providers of Variety Magazine, Asia Food Journal and many other periodicals that kill trees, weigh down your mail-carrier, and clog up your mailbox and recycle bin.

Sorry, Reed Business Information, but our Publicity Policy clearly states that we have to point out Weapons-Grade Fucknuttery when we see it.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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PS: Thanks to our good friend Saveau for the stellar classification of “Weapons-Grade Fucknuttery”, we’ll be using that one A LOT here at jaggedspiral.com

Musicians Jump on the TorrentWagon

Seems other bands are beginning to realize what Jagged Spiral knew a long time ago: the recording industry is dead, and Do-It-Yourself is the new Black.

Before bands were only seeing their music as a ‘product’ something that they ‘sold’. But not anymore. Bands like Jagged Spiral, NIN, Radiohead, and Atmosphere have broken the paradigm: they front all the costs themselves: engineering, production, mastering, duplication, graphics, packaging, etc…  They have a pro-quality ‘product’, but they give it away for free.

This article on TorrentFreak points out that artists are catching on. They are realizing that the possibility of popularity is more likely than the possibility they can sell one-thousand CDs.  They drop their music on bittorrent and other file-sharing clients in the hopes of publicity (which is free) versus advertising (which costs $$$$).

This is great news for fans of real music. Leave the music industry behind for suckas who will gladly pay $18 for the latest piece of over-hyped, over-processesed, under-talented garbage. Dive into myspace, torrent and band websites to find the real thing . Music that the creators care about, and gatekeepers-be-damned.

What do you think? Is this behavior undercutting the perceived value of music?  Will the internet drown in a deluge of crap-rock? Is this empowering artists to usher in a Renaissance of music? Drop your comments below.

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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Jag Bomb – The Official Drink of Jagged Spiral

Jagged Spiral doesn’t generally do product endorsements, but sometimes something comes along that surprises us with its simplicity and moxie. Things like that warrant public approval, especially when all three of us are in agreement.

At the Apocalyptica concert last April, Jagged Spiral discovered the Jag-bomb. (Pronounced Yag-Bom) At least, I only remember having two.

Jag Bombs have been around for a while now. For those not in college, a Jag-Bomb is a combination of Jagermeister and Red Bull.

I know what half of you are about to say. “Are you Insane? Mixing something that makes people Fight with something that gives people Energy?” The other half were going to say, “Are you Insane? Mixing something that tastes like Cough Syrup with something that tastes like Radioactive Camel Urine?”

Agreed on both counts, however, there is some strange co-mingling of effects and flavors with the two ingredients, and the end result is less undesirable than you would expect.

The drink is an interesting dichotomy of emotional directions, much like Jagged Spiral’s music. Therefore, we are announcing that the Official Drink of Jagged Spiral is the Jag-Bomb. If you ever come see us live, [Editors Note: Like at the July 11th CD Release party for example…] try one out, it will definitely put a unique spin on your perception of our live sound…

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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The Gospel According To Jagged Spiral: (7:1-20) The Death of Emo

And lo, God looked out upon the Earth, and saw the multitudes listening to wretched music.

“What the hell is this?” The Lord yelled in a voice loud enough to…well, to shake the heavens. “What is this abomination?”

“It is called Dashboard Confessional, Oh Most Merciful and Joyous Lord.”

“I find it difficult to be Joyous,” the Lord snapped, “listening to that pitiful wailing! Pete, pull up skype and get me Lucifer on the webcam. Now!”

“At once, my Lord,” St Peter murmured.

And lo, the face of That Accursed Fiend; Lucifer, appeared on the computer screen. Her eyes flashed a caustic black, her red lips pulled back in a sharp sneer.

“What do you want now?” she growled.

“What in Hades is going on?” The Lord winced. “What is this sound I hear rising up from the world? Music, if it can be called such, which makes even the tortured souls of the damned sound pleasant in comparison? What have you done to Chris Carrabba? What have you done to Spider-Man 3?”

“You old Wanker!” Lucifer interrupted. “It’s called EMO, and it’s a device of mankind’s own free will, and none of my doing!”

“Ha, as if I would believe the Princess of Lies! Only someone as sick and evil as yourself could come up with such an atrocity to music, that it makes those who listen to it cry and cut themselves…”

“Alright,” Lucifer snapped, “that’s it! You just called me on the Wrong day. I have a hangover like you wouldn’t believe, and I’ve been on the rag for three fucking days, and now you call to bitch about a musical genre that’s been old news for months, and you wanna blame that pansy-rock on me? You want a musical atrocity? You got it. I’ve got something I’ve been waiting to release; a weapon that’s going to decimate Emo, Alternative AND Indie Rock! By the time I’m done, you’ll be begging me to play you some Fall Out Boy!”

“You wouldn’t *dare* bring back Black Sabbath!” the Lord turned a shade pale.

“Worse.” Lucifer smiled sweetly.

The Lord’s mind reeled at the possibilities.

“Blow me,” he said. “Thou art bluffing.”

“Swear to God,” the Old She-Satan spat, and hung up on the No-Longer-Joyous Lord.

Lucifer spun, and stormed off, her heels clicking echoes down the dreary black marble halls. A robe of smoke fluttered around her.

“Who does he think he is?” she said to herself as she picked up her i-phone and dialed a number from memory.

“Sugar here,” a voice answered through a haze of bad cellular reception.

“Sugar, dahling,” Lucifer drawled. Her face lit up with a pleasant smile. “I have some openings for Jagged Spiral to play, do you think they might be interested dear?”

[…to be continued.]

Conrad Zero LogoYours Darkly,

Conrad Zero

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