Com Truise Has Seen Blade Runner 300 Times, Will Out Sci-Fi Your Ass

Charles Bergquist
Seth Haley has long been mesmerized by how people in the past once processed the future. As Com Truise (one of many musical aliases used by the 20-something from Princeton, NJ), Haley maps out "mid-fi, synth-wave, slow-motion funk" (his words) that's deeply smitten with science-fiction-heavy storytelling, sounds, and visuals that emulate aesthetics from the 1980s and, to a lesser extent, the 1970s and 1990s. His 2011 record Galactic Melt houses a plot that roughly follows the world's first android astronaut making his initial trip to space, with technobabble-fixated, futuristic-sounding titles--"Terminal," "Air Cal," "Flightwave," "Hyperlips"--augmenting the scenery. Melt is really one of those instances where you have to keep your senses prepped for minor story cues ahead of time for them to count (there's no way to trace it otherwise), but they do work well to flesh out the synthetic scenery when you hear about 'em. If you have any doubts regarding Haley's deep allegiance to the works in the genre from the Reagan years, you have any number of items for proof: Com Truise's palette of stargazing synths, the tripped-out geometry of Galactic Melt's cover art, or the Terminator-goes-gangster-noir clip for that record's "Brokendate."

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Q&A: Crime in Stereo Talk Breaking Up, Reuniting, What Cleveland Means, and the Two Types of Hardcore

Group shot by Reid Haithcock May 25 2009.jpg
Reid Haithcock

Back in 2007, when Long Island-based sorta hardcore band Crime in Stereo decided to call their third record ...Is Dead, it seemed to foreshadow an event that would happen sooner or later. Any fears were pacified at the time by the band sticking to its regular touring activities and issuing another record in 2009, but it wasn't long until the prophecy was finally fulfilled.

On August 9, 2010, a Facebook/Twitter update from the band declared, "Crime In Stereo Is Dead (2002-2010)"--a particularly cruel twisting of the knife since the phrasing implicitly remind fans of an album whose songs they wouldn't be hearing in person anymore. Shortly thereafter, band member Alex Dunne issued a lengthy, vague statement discussing the breakup, and the five-piece scheduled a handful of final appearances. The last Crime show happened on their native soil at Bergen Point Country Club in January 14, 2011.

Then, on this past October 3, using one of the same social media outlets they did last time, the group announced, "Hiatus rescinded." Along with revealing information of note (they would start making new music immediately, they missed working together, they'd play a single show in 2012, etc.), they thankfully also had the sense to acknowledge how little time they spent in the grave. "We know," they wrote. "We were 'only' broken up for two years." It was some comic book death kinda shit, but really, quite the positive if you were familiar with how their arc was going before it was halted.

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Live: 2 Chainz, Asher Roth, Ace Hood, Vado, And Gunplay Pass Through The Gramercy Theatre

2 Chainz, Asher Roth, Ace Hood, Vado, and Gunplay
Gramercy Theatre
Tuesday, February 21

Better than: Clicking through the 50 best hip-hop jumpsuits.

Is a show still a success if the audience has a great time, but never quite figures what's being promoted? Last night at the Gramercy Theatre, a website called Best of Both Offices brought a handful of rappers from along the east coast to help them re-launch their website and announce a new partnership with Complex Media. Yet the next morning I'm still not exactly sure what that website is. The company refers to itself as a "fully equipped lifestyle and artist development brand designed to creatively develop, market, promote and establish brand new upstart or prominent artists or brands into the marketplace," but that doesn't help much, and Complex claims that it has "successfully marketed, developed and digitally promoted artists including... Jay-Z," which I have trouble believing.

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The Juggalos Are Coming to Manhattan

photo by Nate "Igor" Smith
This dude will fit right in on 29th Street.

You'll hear about this one way or another, so might as well be from us. Insane Clown Posse will headline their first Manhattan show in eons at the Gramercy Theater on Friday, April 29. Horrorcore harlequins Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope were already going to be in the TriState area that same weekend for their Bamboozle stint with Mötley Crüe, Lil Wayne (!), and Das Racist (!?!), but have extended their local visit to somehow magically play a Friday night show. This is a big deal for a few reasons:

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Live: Suffocation Command A Death-Metal Army At Gramercy Theatre

And now, a word from Suffocation's Frank Mullen

Suffocation/The Faceless/Through the Eyes of the Dead/Decrepit Birth/
Fleshgod Apocalypse/Suppressed Theory
Gramercy Theatre
Saturday, October 16

Better Than: Taking an actual beating.

Jesus H. Christ. There was a time (I'm not gonna say I remember it, because I was five) when the words "death metal" meant pretty much one thing: ugly, dissonant, knuckle-dragging evil. But 20 years later, even a "pure death metal bill" draws bands from such distinct movements as deathcore, tech-death, brutal death, and progressive death, all of which made an appearance at Gramercy Theatre Saturday night for the Decibel Defiance Tour. Purists might deride the subgenre-spawning phenomenon as a perversion or dilution of their core values, but I believe it's a testament to the influence that death metal has had on extreme music around the world. New York-born headliners Suffocation were present at the genre's inception, and it's safe to say that every band on the bill owed them a great debt.

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Live: Triptykon, 1349, Yakuza, And Immolith Paint It Black At Gramercy Theatre

triptykon 1.jpg
Tom Gabriel Warrior, on to the next phase. Pics by Daniel, more below.
Gramercy Theatre
Wednesday, October 6

I admit I groaned upon learning that New Jersey's Immolith would open the otherwise killer lineup of Yakuza, 1349, and Triptykon at Gramercy Theatre last night. Both times I'd seen them previously, I was nonplussed by their mid-'90s black attack, and wasn't looking forward to politely headbanging through their set again. But much to my shock and enjoyment, Immolith played with a little more fire and conviction this time, sharpening their riffs and kicking the speed up a notch, elevating them from (blackened) white noise to a band worth unpolitely 'banging for.

Either those guys sacrificed a few extra goats during their pre-game ritual, or they were just flat out freakin' pumped to open for Tom G. Warrior. What kind of self-respecting metal musician wouldn't be? Tom was a crucial part of the force that pushed metal down into the darkness in the '80s, away from glitz and glam and closer to the dissonant, evil, and occult. His first two bands, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, helped create the template for the death- and black-metal to come; Triptykon, his third creation, was undoubtedly the star attraction tonight.

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