Miscellaneous Short Stories

Transgenerational Inheritance (feat. Limp Bizkit): A Personal Essay

In the days after my cousin died, things were chaotic. We gutted her apartment, tossing the groceries that had been left to rot on her countertops — she’d had them delivered, but never made it home to put them away — and sorting through boxes and boxes of glittery soaps, salves, tinctures and ointments.

My extended family, worn out both from the flight down here from New York and the drive down to Myrtle Beach to claim my cousin’s body, had us trash most of it.

Over the course of two days, the dumpster filled with more and more of my cousin’s things: garbage bags packed almost to splitting with sunglasses, costume jewelry and random, unused items from television ads that had long gathered dust.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

My youngest brother uncovered a custom hookah shaped like a badazzled machine gun, and lamented as our mother (“hell no! absolutely not!”) refused to let him keep it. My other brother found a lockbox filled with “miscellaneous pills and powders,” which he quickly resealed. The key (with a fob reading “Italian Girls Have More Fun”) remained jammed inexorably into the keyhole.

We didn’t throw away everything. While my living cousins made off with designer bags, photographs and a glass-blown pineapple-shaped bong (“for sentimental value,” one cousin stressed), I found myself gravitating towards stranger things. Bric-a-brac, tchotchkes and glorified trash.

A box of rave kandi. A bottle of orange liquer shaped like a dachshund. An old ID from the community college she’d dropped out of in 2006.

Scanned kandi

After we emptied her apartment, everyone went back home. My grandparents and great aunt flew back to New York. One of my cousin’s long-time friends came and collected her bereaved yorkie. I went and took my board-op test to become a DJ. They had the memorial service up in New York and everyone got stoned (or so I heard.) So it goes.

Somewhere along all of this (it all feels nonlinear to me, like skipping through a movie in 10-second incremends), I ended up with a bag of CDs.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

“Here, do you want these?” My mother held them out like one does a dirty diaper, pinching the bag (it was one of those plastic sleeves people keep duvet covers in) by the corner so the CDs puddled in the bottom. They were loose and probably scratched to all hell; probably unusable, really; probably trash.

I took them anyways, stuffing the bag under my bed to rot.

Over two years later (specifically, March 30, 2024), I decided to finally work my way through them. Here’s what I learned:

Laying Out the Particulars of My Inheritance

Parsing through my cousin’s CD collection was like cracking open a time capsule from the early 2000s. As I sat on my bedroom floor and fed disc after disc into my cheap CD player, I felt like I was talking to her — and my adolescent self — again.

“God, you really liked Ludacris, didn’t you?” I said to someone who wasn’t there. Not physically, at least.

It was a 21st century seance, a transgenerational ceremony conducted via polycarbonate. I was channeling my cousin’s spirit, and rather than imploring her to answer my burning questions (“What is life like after death?” “Did you understand what was happening?” “Are you at peace?”), I silently judged her drippingly-2010’s music taste.

Like me, she’d constructed most of her young life around music. I could trace her progression of style, the alt rock and grunge of the 90s and early 2000s giving way to the hip-hop renaissance of the 2010s.

I laid out tall stacks of custom CDs with titles like “Summer 2006,” “Hot Sh–” and “My Mix” lettered in girlish sharpie. I imagined how old she had been when she wrote them, whether or not she’d had her nails done and if her wrists were heavy with gaudy beaded bracelets.

Scanned CDs

In a time before iPods and bluetooth and — heavens forbid — Spotify, burning CDs was a sacred practice. Music was corporeal, and one’s affinity for the stuff became something physical — piles of CDs, stacks of vinyl, etc — that demanded real estate. By comparison, my preferred method of music consumption (streaming) seemed compressed.

In my adolescence, I myself burned songs onto discs — pirating the tracks online, then meticulously ordering them by “vibe” — and eventually did the same on my first iPod. But those were all long gone, sublimated into a single app on a phone I often misplaced.

Sitting cross-legged with a plethora of discs fanned out before me, I picked out several names: System of a Down (one of my top artists of 2023), Nirvana (also one of my top artists), Kittie, Korn, Slipknot and an obscene amount of Limp Bizkit.

Cover for “Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water” by Limp Bizkit

I’ll be honest: I’m not all that familiar with Limp Bizkit’s discography. I’m more familiar with Fred Durst, who I’ve mentally elevated to the status of a sort of mythical folklore hero (or antihero?). Anyways, I decided to put on “Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water” and was utterly shocked by how awesomely stupid it was. It’s great.

I could imagine my cousin, a teenager or perhaps in her early twenties, speeding down the highway in her little blue SUV and cranking the radio up to full blast, singing along to Fred f–ing Durst and reveling in the invincibility of youth and the heat of a seemingly endless southern summer.

I’m a renegade riot gettin’ out of control
I’m a keepin’ it alive and continue to be
Flyin’ like an eagle to my destiny
So can you feel me? (hell yeah)
Can you feel me? (hell yeah)
Can you feel me? (hell yeah)

“Livin’ it Up” – Limp Bizkit

Transgenerational theory posits rules for the ways in which rrituals, practices, behaviors and philosophies move down generational lines.

Think transgenerational trauma: agony passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter over three lifetimes. Her mother was my mother’s aunt, second eldest of seven first-generation Italian immigrants. Evidently, not a fan of Fred Durst or Serj Tankian or any of the other yelling men my cousin liked to listen to.

And while the CD collection made its way into my hands (unceremoniously, I might add) intergenerationally (i.e., it was literally passed down), the physical discs themselves weren’t the only thing I was given. There was something else in transference, something intangible. A transgenerational impulse.

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Energy, maybe. A parasocial connection to a teenager I’d never met who grew up to be an adult I loved and lost, a teenager who probably wasn’t much different (if anything, less emo) than my own teenage self. A teenager who meticulously curated mixes for each season, each new year, each new release.

I pop in a disc without a name — it’s hazy green on the front — and watch it spin, and instead of frenzied guitar and drums, I hear a delicate strumming and familiar, dreamlike voice.

I don’t miss you
I don’t wish you harm
And I forgive you
And I don’t wish you away

“Soothe” – Smashing Pumpkins

It’s “Soothe,” a demo tape by Smashing Pumpkins. I’ve never heard it before, but for a moment, I can imagine I’m my cousin: young, alive, lounging before a CD player. For a moment, two dimensions in time: mine here and hers there, run parallel.

New Album Review

LYSOL’s “Down the Street” EP

More epic garage punk descended from the heavens and blessed our ears with LYSOL’s newest release, “Down the Street”. LYSOL hails from the outer reaches of the United States in the infamous punk breeding ground of Seattle, WA. 

This short, four-track EP, was released on March 24, 2024 and has a total run time of about five minutes. LYSOL seems to be most known for their live performances as noted on the EP page on Bandcamp. The members include: Anthony Gaviria, Xtine Lundberg, Chad Ringo Bucklew, and Noah Earl Fowler. It’s a compact band playing short, heavy and fast. 

In “Down the Street”, I’ve found “Grease Paint” to be my favorite hitting track so far. With the off-beat rhymes and in-the-mud lyrics, the undeniable punk nature screams out for attention, but dashes from the limelight and will “put my grease paint on\ act like it’s all ok” (lyrics from “Grease Paint”).

In “15MG”, it’s way more rock based guitar like Wipers, but again in typical punk fashion the song is too damn short. I want more. More! 

Also, we can’t forget the epic drums and explosive introduction to tis EP from “Sonic Thrill“. The band knows want we want. Maybe they want it too, a sonic thrill. Something that will get them going. Some noise that will start up our blood. Activate our desire to rage and change and bump the body next to us a little too hard.

I cannot wait to see more from LYSOL. That’s how I feel about most young bands these days. I don’t ever want anyone to stop making music. I want to see the scenes grow and evolve. The next new hit genre is probably already here in our ears, but I cannot wait to be a part of the masses when it comes to fruition and the spotlight. LYSOL will be one of the bands up there or at least orchestrating the whole damn show. 


Review: WKNC Shack-a-thon Back Wall Topster

From March 24th to 29th, there was the Shack. On the Shack, there was a Topster. The Shack is now gone, but the Topster lives on in my heart. Today, I will attempt to assess the quality of this Shack Topster, despite having only heard like half of them.


“Lair of the White Worm”: Movie Review

Who doesn’t love phallic, campy, vampire flicks? I thought I’d seen the best and the worst of the vampire film genre, but it looks like the caverns of lore and art are endless because “Lair of the White Worm” is an absolute treat to view. 

This horror-comedy from Britain’s Ken Russell stars Hugh Grant, Amanda Donohoe, Catherine Oxenberg and Peter Capaldi. All of these actors are fantastic in their over-zealous enactments of their characters. You can see a sneak peak of their performances in the trailer on YouTube

Hugh Grant’s portrayal of a young rich inheritor is classic and always goes down well. It seems he found his niche of playing rich a**holes really early on in his career. Donohoe’s pagan worship is hilarious and gross at the same time with the phallic instruments that are attached to her character’s pelvis. Also, you can never go wrong with multiple blonde heroines needing to be saved by a strapping Scottish lad portrayed by Peter Capaldi. 

This being a British flick, there were probably a ton of humorous ins I missed being a silly American, but it didn’t matter. The best parts of the film were the strange horror bits that Russell included. 

The bizarre hellscapes stemming from hallucinatory fever dreams, the constant phallic and gore imagery, and the wonderfully foreboding atmospheric music all combined and created a true vampiric masterpiece. It rises from the backlogs of film watchlists again and again, never to grow old or die. This film will be loved in some fashion by those fantasizing about Hugh Grant, or those in love with strange spurts of viscous green liquid on the faces of this cast. Gore fans have their moments of pleasure, as do comedy fans. 

“The Lair of the White Worm” encapsulates the campy horror-comedy genre perfectly. I cannot wait to watch this film again in a few years with a renewed appreciation for it. If you can, check this film out. I’m sure it’s to die for.

Music Education

The Metal Minute: Death Metal

Do you hear it? Just over the horizon, clanging and rattling like a thousand empty soup cans?

It’s the Metal Minute. Last time, we discussed doom metal, a slow and more articulate version of metal. For this installment, things are getting grotesque and growly as we explore the world’s most brutal musical genre: death metal.

What is it?

Death metal can trace its roots to the 80’s, with major stylistic influences derived from early black metal bands like Venom and thrash bands like Slayer and Hellhammer.

Cover for “Realm of Chaos” by Bolt Thrower

Early death metal bands were inspired by these sounds, but wanted to create something harsher — more deathlike — and began to experiment with heavier instrumentation, more abrasive vocals and increasingly grotesque subject matter (see: “Frantic Disembowelment” by Cannibal Corpse).

What’s it Sound Like?

According to Chris Krovatin of Kerrang! magazine, “When a non-metal person describes metal by making a growling noise, they’re thinking of death metal.”

Cover for “The Enduring Spirit” by Tomb Mold

The genre features fast-paced tempos, overdriven guitar, blast beats on double-bass drums and abrupt changes to tempo and time signature. The resulting sound is heavy, distorted and aggressive. Combined with guttural, often inhuman-sounding vocals, the genre presents an intense and expansive listening experience.

Subgenres Within Subgenres

Like many other subgenres, death metal has several sub-subgenres. They include:

  • Brutal death metal

Pretty self-explanatory, brutal death metal favors faster, heavier and more brutal playing styles. The death metal nesting doll continues, as a sub-sub-subgenre called slam death metal has emerged from brutal death metal, infusing hardcore punk and even hip-hop elements into its sound.

  • Deathcore

The “deathification” of metalcore. I.e., the collision of hardcore punk, metal, and death metal. Like metalcore, deathcore is a label often rejected by metal dudebros who see the subgenre as “inauthentic.”

  • Death doom

The marriage of doom metal with death metal. Slower tempos and a more broody atmosphere with the growls and blast beats of death metal.

  • Melodic death metal

Pioneered in Sweden, leaning closer towards mainstream metal with a more melodic style.

  • Technical death metal

Also known as tech-death or prog-death, presents progressive metal with a death metal slant. Time signatures, rhythms and instrumentation becomes more complex — or, some would say, progressive — within this sub-sub-genre.

Who Makes it?

The death metal scene is robust. Here are several genre heavy-hitters:

Weekly Charts

Top Charts 4/2/24

Top Charts

2MYRA KEYESFlower In The BrickSelf-Released
3GOTTS STREET PARKOn The InsideBlue Flowers/PIAS
4TEENS IN TROUBLEWhat’s MineAsian Man
5RATBOYSThe WindowTopshelf
6TRUTH CLUBRunning From The ChaseDouble Double Whammy
7YUNGATITAShoelace & A KnotSelf-Released
8DANNY BROWNQuarantaWarp
9HIDING PLACES“After Image” [Single]Self-Released
10HOTLINE TNTCartwheelThird Man
12CHUCK STRANGERSA Forsaken Lover’s PleaLex
13GLASS BEACHPlastic DeathRun For Cover
15GOAT GIRL“Ride Around” [Single]Rough Trade
16HORSE JUMPER OF LOVEHeartbreak RulesRun For Cover
17METEOR POLICENew Type DestroyerSelf-Released
18PARIS TEXASMid AirParis Texas/The Orchard
19PEARL EARLIt’s DreadGreen Witch
20SLEATER-KINNEYLittle RopeLoma Vista/Concord
21SOFTCULT“Haunt You Still” [Single]Easy Life
22SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVEi’m so lucky [EP]Saddle Creek
23SPRINTSLetter To SelfCity Slang
24SWEET PILLStarchild [EP]Hopeless
25OFFICE DOGSpielNew West/Flying Nun
26STALEFISHStalefish Does AmericaHappen Twice
27TOUSSAINT MORRISONThe Very Best Of Ricky & JaneUrban Home Companion
28SEAFOOD SAM“Saylo” [Single]drink sum wtr

Top Adds

2ROSALIBite DownMerge
3NON LALike BeforeMint
4EELS“Goldy” [Single]E Works/PIAS
5TEENS IN TROUBLEWhat’s MineAsian Man
6NO MANGlitter And SpitIodine
7PORIJ“My Only Love” [Single]Play It Again Sam
8POWERWASHEREveryone LaughsStrange View
9ST VINCENT“Flea” [Single]Total Pleasure
10CRUMB“AMAMA” [Single]Self-Released
Weekly Charts

Underground Charts 4/2/24

Underground Charts

1CHUCK STRANGERSA Forsaken Lover’s PleaLex
4CAKES DA KILLABlack SheepYoung Art
5CLAN SPRMThe Great American EclipseHumblux
7TOUSSAINT MORRISONThe Very Best Of Ricky & JaneUrban Home Companion
8WAHIDfeast, by ravenInnovative Leisure/Praises Due
9CZARFACECzartificial IntelligenceSilver Age/Virgin
10STOVE GOD COOKS X STOUPE“Carbone” [Single]Mankind/Babygrande

Underground Adds

1WAHIDfeast, by ravenInnovative Leisure/Praises Due
2SCOTT Y LOS PELMAZOSAnalog Machine Presents – Scott Y Los PelmazosAnalog Machine
3JAY HOLLYWOOD“the eulogy” [Single]Self-Released
4POTATOHEAD PEOPLE“Keepin’ It Kool” feat. Kendra Dias [Single]Bastard Jazz
5PROZACK TURNER“Misunderstood” [Single]Hungerstrike
Weekly Charts

Jazz Charts 4/2/24

Jazz Charts

1NUBYA GARCIA“Fortify” [Single]Concord Jazz
3BUTCHER BROWNSolar MusicConcord Jazz/Concord
4DANA AND ALDENQuiet Music For Young PeopleSauna Boys
5ALFA MISTVariablesAnti-
8MATANA ROBERTSCoin Coin Chapter Five: In The Garden…Constellation
9THE FLYING BIG HORSE BANDA Message from the Flying Horse Big BandSelf-Released
10VIN VENEZIAThe VenetianInnervision

Jazz Adds

1WILLY RODRIGUEZSeeing SoundsOutside in
2KELLY GREENSeemsGreen Soul
4GHOST-NOTEMustard n’OnionsArtistry
5HENDRIK MEURKENSThe Jazz MeurkengersCellar
Weekly Charts

Chainsaw Charts 4/2/24

Chaisaw Charts

1ABORTEDVault Of HorrorsNuclear Blast
2BRATSocial GraceProsthetic
3FREYAFight As OneUpstate
6AMIENSUS“Vermillion Fog Of War” [Single]M-Theory
8BOUNDARIESDeath Is Little More3DOT
9ESHTADUR“Fire Above Mountain Below” [Single]Self-Released
10HORNDALHead Hammer ManProsthetic

Chainsaw Adds

1MY DYING BRIDEA Mortal BindingNuclear Blast
2GATECREEPER“The Black Curtain” [Single]Nuclear Blast
3WYRMHAVEN“Midnight Altar” [Single]Self-Released
4STRYCHNOSArmageddon PatronageDark Descent
Weekly Charts

Afterhours Charts 4/2/24

Afterhours Charts

1CLUB ANGELSoundbwoy’s Destiny [EP]Astral People/PIAS
2TATYANAIt’s OverSinderlyn
3JULIA HOLTERSomething In The Room She MovesDomino
6BLU DETIGERAll I Ever Want Is EverythingCapitol
7COR.ECE AND BAD COLOURSBeen Here BeforeBastard Jazz
82AT X SUKUBRATZ“Tu Perrito VIP” [Single]Angels Gun Club
9PORIJ“Unpredictable” [Single]Play It Again Sam
10BAD TUNER“maybe so” [Single]Foreign Family Collective/Ninja Tune

Afterhours Adds

1CLUB ANGELSoundbwoy’s Destiny [EP]Astral People/PIAS
2BLU DETIGERAll I Ever Want Is EverythingCapitol
3COR.ECE AND BAD COLOURSBeen Here BeforeBastard Jazz
4BAD TUNER“maybe so” [Single]Foreign Family Collective/Ninja Tune
5SAM GIRLING AND THEO BLANK“Always Pretty” [Single]Southern Fried