Monday, April 27, 2009

THE HAUNTED

I gathered with little more than 100 or so metalers the other night to catch the staggeringly splendid, thrashy, Swedish metal band, The Haunted, at the Masquerade in Atlanta. Despite the not so great turnout, the band played a pulverizing set to a youngish crowd, which had a lot of heart and made the Swedes very welcome, like they tend to do here in the South. My imaginary friend Eddie didn’t show. The heaviest music he digs is Limp Bizkit and No Doubt. I was surprised that the crowd was so youthful and pint-sized. More often, your average headbanger is tall and skinny like the members of the Haunted or short and buff with tattoos. And almost always, they are ancient-style old and Geezer Butler-like. In the mosh pit (not sure if that that term is still in use), there was a plump young lady holding on to a large purse and a little skinny stick figure boy who was so rambunctious that some other dudes knocked him to the floor. The spastic stick figure boy was fortunate that the security guys with the big hoop earrings pulled him away ‘cause one of those other little dudes was going to sock him. You could see that coming. There was also the bearded, long-curly-haired troll-like man wearing a skirt. It could have been a kilt, but it looked more like a skirt. Either way. He was not in the mosh pit, but jumped up and down doing the devil horn finger salute.

The singer of the Haunted, Peter Dolving, was very charismatic and grateful for the warm reception, while the rest of the group were your classic, garden-variety metal dudes of the long, wavy hair and monotonous headbanging. My wife has a friend who has dated ten or so of these guys, almost always with the long, wavy hair (usually Dutch metalers, ‘cause she lives in Holland). We can never tell them apart.

The Haunted play speedy, complex thrash and also have some soft-loud, Poison the Well-type songs. They are not dissimilar from fellow Swedes Arch Enemy, but faster, more pissed and a bit uglier. If I may offer a criticism for one of my favorite bands, I would suggest that they spend a little more time on the lyrics. There’s too much black heart/rotting carcasses/immoral savagery/human debris/sickness and scars metal clich├ęs in their screamed verbiage. What about a song about a favorite kitty or what a pain it is to take out the trash? Those subjects can be dark and evil too.

http://www.myspace.com/thehaunted

Saturday, April 18, 2009

MY IMAGINARY FRIEND EDDIE

Since moving to Georgia, I haven’t made a whole lot of friends. Being a married male in my late 30s, I have no idea how to go about making a new friend. I imagine I should probably get involved in some group or organization where the people have similar interests as me, but that would likely require a lot of wasted time and energy for perhaps, one measly, half-ass friend. So rather than join some pathetic group like Westside Jews with Ambivalent Feelings about Living in the South or Gay Death Metalers Who Fancy Squirrels or Homogenized Milk Drinkers, I thought it much easier to conjure up my very own imaginary friend, and that is Eddie.

I call Eddie more often than he calls me, usually about twice a week. Typically, he calls me on Sunday when there’s nothing much to do in the whole state of Georgia except go to church, have a barbecue or shit on a log.

“Hey. Ya wanna have a beers and watch duh footballs,” says Eddie.

“Sure,” I say.

Eddie comes over and gets so comfortable on the couch sometimes that he passes out and drools, but I don’t mind because he’s my pal.

We watch a lot of TV, mostly it’s the jewelry-selling channel or Emeril, the cooking genius, or sometimes we watch the golf channel for hours. Eddie doesn’t ever demand the remote, but sometimes I say “Eddie, why don’t you decide what we should watch?” and pass him the remote and he takes it and inevitably we end up watching a poker game with some guy wearing a big, stupid hat, a gal with enormous boobs, a billionaire in a baseball cap, pink shirt and tie and some pseudo celebrity like El DeBarge, but it’s not really him. Eddie always roots for the girl with the big boobs, but she never wins.

Sometimes, I go over to Eddie’s to watch TV. He has a gigantic bong that we call Bongosaurus, though I must admit the bud Eddie gets is pretty weak. I usually have to pretend that I’m stoned or smoke for a half hour straight to get high. We like to watch the music videos with Eddie’s other pals (I forget their names) and of course, Emeril, or really the same crap that we watch at my house.

When we get restless, we go for a drive through the city on Eddie’s ATVs. He has two of them. Lucky bastard. But he always gets to wear the camouflaged helmet with the deer antlers attached to it. He’s never offered that maybe I could wear it once. Selfish prick. One time, we got pulled over by the police, who told us that you can’t drive ATVs around on city streets and Eddie pretended to be a backwoods hick that was lost in the city and they bought it hook, line and sinker. He had them eating out of his hand. They even pointed us in the direction of the North Georgia hills, so we could git duh hell outta there. Eddie’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but when the hammer falls, wait, stop that!

I think my wife has mixed feelings about Eddie. She likes that I have some social life and have stopped conversing with the air conditioner, but she finds Eddie to be somewhat dim-witted. One time, she called him “dumb” and another time she called him “Beavis.” Not to his face! She didn’t like it that one time when he asked her to bring him a 7-Up. I didn’t like it because that was the last 7-Up in the fridge.

Recently, I had a baby, a little girl, and that takes up a lot of my time. The other day (I think it was Sunday), Eddie called and asked “Hey. Ya wanna have a beers and watch duh footballs.”

I said, “I can’t. I’m covered in baby poop.”

He said “Ah, really, OK,” and hung up the phone. He sounded sore.

I really was covered from head to toe in baby poop. I wasn’t trying to blow him off.

But now the baby is sort of my friend and I can talk to her about all sorts of stuff and we can watch Emeril together. On Sunday, we like to just lie around and she usually poops on me.

Sometimes, I feel guilty that I don’t call Eddie anymore. He doesn’t have a girlfriend and some of his friends are also married and one of them I think has six babies from at least two women. Everybody in Georgia has four to six babies. It’s ‘cause of the Christianity and the general stupidity. Even babies have other babies.

But I digress. What was I talking about?