Friday, May 7, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 16: May 7, 2021

When I first decided to do this post every week, the idea was simple: I wanted to listen to more music than I had in years past, and I wanted to write more.  Durf's Weekly Workout is literally just the easiest way for me to do both, incorporating music and writing into my already daily routine of working out.  So now that it's been almost four months, I figured it was time for a check-in from me/update for you on how that's all working out.

As of April 30th, I had listened to 164 albums, EPs, splits, and singles; by the time you read this, there's a very solid chance that I've surpassed my 2020 total of 176 albums listened to.  So it's hard to complain about anything there.  I was curious when I began this quest as to whether or not increasing my musical intake would just lead to my listening to more trash, but quite the opposite has happened.  Sure, there's been a few duds, but the amount of solid or great music that I've listened to this year is almost overwhelming.  My fears of not finding anything new by listening to more music appear to be as dumb as they sound; there is SO MUCH great music being produced right now, and so it makes perfect sense that listening to more music in general would reveal more of that great stuff to me.  I've also become a lot more open to a few genres (hello, grindcore!) that I've normally shied away from, which is definitely a cool feeling.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 15: April 30th, 2021

This was one of those weeks where I have absolutely no idea how I got to five workouts, let alone how I found time to write about the five albums I listened to while getting those workouts in.  Small miracles, man, small miracles.  Anyway, because of that, I'm skimping on this intro a little, by which I mean it's now over already, and we're on to the lifts and music!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 14: April 23rd, 2021

A couple of weeks ago, I was minding my own business, doing nothing in particular, when I stumbled across this.  I was intrigued, and then confused, because it all seemed so familiar, and yet so different.  I feel like there's already a pretty definitive blog dedicated to workouts and metal, I just can't quite remember where.  Maybe I should ask Decibel about it; they clearly found this other, superior blog post and then tweaked the idea to fit their needs...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 13: April 16th, 2021

With spring here in Idaho in full bloom, the weather is starting to warm up and the yard work is starting to begin.  Outside of the difficulties in wrangling a toddler while trying to pull weeds, or finding energy to get some work done on a random Wednesday after a ten hour day, I really enjoy working in the yard.  It's incredibly rewarding to see the results of a day (or hour's, sometimes) work, and I can feel myself totally slipping into the Wranglers of a washed, mid-thirties dad who takes way too much pride in his yard because he's convinced himself it's a hobby since it's the only thing he has time to do on the weekends.  But I digress.

Naturally, 90% of my yardwork is done with headphones in, listening to either Tigers games or music.  This year, I'm going to add yardwork to commuting and working out as "Time When I Can Listen to New Music," but I'm not as confident in that sticking as much as it has with the other two.  For whatever reason, when I step out to mow the lawn or trim the hedges, there is a certain je nais se qua that I'm looking for in an album, and I have turned off the lawnmower to switch albums mid-mow, despite being certain that what I was listening to was what I wanted to hear.  It's weird, man.  And it's definitely albums, not bands; Khemmis' Hunted is probably my all-time favorite yardwork album, but none of their other albums have it.  Sunbather and Ordinary Corrupt Human Love have it; Roads to Judah and New Bermuda don't.  Metallica's first four albums have it in spades.  Kanye's The College Dropout is an amazing yardwork album; My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a much better album but doesn't hold up as well to the grind of the grass.  You get the idea.  Anyway, as I start mowing the lawn again, and looking for new music, maybe I'll find some new classic yardwork tunes to add to my rotation and then talk about them here.  Or maybe I won't, and I'll just listen to Ride the Lightning again and keep it to myself.  Try not to let the suspense bother you.  On to the workouts!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Paysage d'Hiver - Geister

Black metal in its purest form, which I associate with the Norwegian, second wave mold, is an area that I've never spent a ton of time deep-diving. I've listened enough to appreciate the contributions its had in metal's evolution, but aside from A Blaze in the Northern Sky, the rawness of this sub-genre's sound has never connected with me on the primal level you often hear it being touted for. That all changed for me when solo project Paysage d'Hiver emerged from obscurity last year with his release of Im Wald. Though one would understandably think an album with a two hour runtime would be a bit of slog, Im Wald managed to cultivate an aura that elevated it from "just" a black metal album into an all-encompassing journey. It made clear to me that Paysage d'Hiver's 20+ years worth of demos was something I had to dig into. I have yet to take that plunge, but the project's second full-length endeavor, Geister, is here to remind me of how that procrastination is, for lack of a better word, dumb.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 12: April 9th, 2021

It's April, which means baseball is back!  This is two-thirds a big deal for us at Brutalitopia, where a full 66.6% of us are huge baseball fans; Tom loves his Mets, I'm a diehard Tigers fan, and Mick is fully content to spend summer waiting for Bears season to start.  I'm always excited to watch as much baseball as possible, something that I'm sure I will not have to change or adjust at all this year despite my overwhelming sense of having absolutely no time for anything whatsoever.  Maybe I can convince work to pay me to stay home and watch baseball instead of, like, building things onsite.  A boy can dream.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 11: April 2, 2021

You know, when March started and I found myself with a second kid and a scheduled vasectomy and a work schedule approaching 55 or more hours a week, I said to myself "You can do this."  And, shockingly, by and large I've managed to, in fact, do this.  I'm pretty proud of myself, except now is the part where I say that of all the things I thought would drop from these posts over the last month, the last one I expected was this little blurb up top.  I figured I'd always have something to say, always want to shoot my mouth off about something, but that hasn't been the case.  These entry paragraphs have, in fact, been the absolute hardest part of this whole endeavor, and I woke up at 2am three times this week because I had to be at work early and still wanted to lift.  It's crazy how that happens.  And so, in the vein of cutting myself some slack, I hereby declare the intro paragraph over, and the music paragraphs beginning.  Onward!


Friday, March 26, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 10: March 26, 2021

I got my first Covid vaccine on Saturday.  My arm hurt for like a day after, and that was it.  I feel super lucky to have had access to it, and I highly recommend everyone get it when they get the chance.  It feels like for the first time in forever, we’re closer to the end of this thing than the beginning.  There’s still work to be done, and we aren’t out of the woods yet, but for the first time in a year, I can actually picture myself in a record store or at a concert, and that ain’t nothing.  On to the music!


Monday, March 22, 2021

Genghis Tron - Dream Weapon

In a genre of music that is anything but shy in making a concerted effort to clearly subdivide its variations, "experimental" isn't a term that you see thrown around too liberally. Sure there's "avant-garde," but to my knowledge genre-tagging something as "experimental metal" isn't really a thing. Whenever that or related topics come up, however, Genghis Tron is always a band that immediately sticks out in my mind. Between the programmed drums, the not so subtle synthesizer melodies and backdrops, the intense screams, and the spiraling guitar riffs, the output of the band from 2005-2008 encapsulated the frenetic and unpredictable energy one would associate with the likes of the Dillinger Escape Plan and turned it completely into its own brand; a brand so unique I still feel like I haven't heard anything completely like it before or since. Coming off of that hype some 13 odd years later, Dream Weapon marks the band's return with a bit of a personnel change and refinement of their sound. It may not be the kind of refinement old-school Genghis Tron purists may want to give credence to, but it does see the band tapping deeper into certain areas of their repertoire which end up producing lush soundscapes that in many ways are just as gratifying to hear as the older material.


Friday, March 19, 2021

Durf's Weekly Workout # 9: March 19th 2021

Well, the streak had to end sometime.  After eight consecutive weeks, I'm sure you were all so, so sad to open your computers or phones and see that there was no Durf's Weekly Workout last week.  I feel terrible for letting you all down, but on the other hand, after getting a vasectomy because two Durflings is plenty, I really wasn't in any shape to workout anyway.  Which is fascinating to me; I've never once thought about my balls while doing a bench press or deadlifting, but it turns out that exerting yourself can put some stress on your scrotum (if you're a dude), and so after getting the ol' Satan Worsnipping Doom, you gotta lay low for a bit.  And while I could have spent my time laying around with swollen balls listening to music and then writing about it, I instead landed on a steady diet of THC/CBD gummies and alternating college basketball with episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  I have no regrets.  But this week, I'm feeling good enough to (cautiously) resume my workouts, and get back to jamming tunes in the garage.