The Source: December 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Matt Barkley Announces His Return to USC in 2012

December 22, 2011
Heritage Hall @ USC
1:00PM PT

"Press Waits for Matt Barkley's Entrance"

On this day in history Quarterback Matt Barkley of the University of Southern California was to announce his decision whether to enter the NFL Draft or return to USC to play for the Trojans one last year as a senior in 2012. There are several pros and cons for each possible scenario and while every individual has the right to their own opinion, the truth of the matter is that Barkley would relish in a massive volume of success no matter what his decision is. Many of you understand the tremendous importance of this decision and all of the implications that go along with it, but if you want an in depth analysis on the decision, and the main factors contributing to said decision, no one can explain it better than Arrogant Nation's own Zach Jerome of 'Lost Angeles':

My Opinion? I'm a Trojan! Of course I want Barkley to return! While it is obvious that going to the NFL has its financial benefits (could you pass that up?) there is something about USC that is special. I am not an athlete at USC nor do I represent any prestigious stature here but I can tell you from experience that being a Trojan is an enticing and captivating experience and no one should ever run away from that experience. 

Well, he didn't run...



"My Own Personal Cell Phone Footage"

The quality of the video is sketchy (had to prove I was there though right) but there is a high quality video posted to the USC Football website here:

Matt Barkley's Announcement came with these words:
"I will earn my degree, the bonds have been forged, but I know in my heart that I have not yet finished my journey as a Trojan football player. Our USC football team has been through some tough times and we have persevered, but the 2012 team has some serious unfinished business to attend to, and I intend to play a part in it."

This was one of the most exciting experiences of my young life and although I have been to a lot of concerts, sporting events, etc. I have never felt an electrifying presence as strong as I did today when the press sat and stood within the confines of Heritage Hall and applauded the announcement that Matt Barkley would return next season.

2012 may now become one of the most successful season in USC Football History. The National Championship is the Trojans' to lose. The Heisman Trophy is already being engraved with Barkley's name. The anticipation is tremendous and if anyone has the athletic ability and mental capacity to take advantage of this opportunity it is Matt Barkley.

Matt Barkley WILL BE the greatest USC Trojan in the history of the institution. Barkley represents everything that goes along with being a student-athlete of the University of Southern California. I am overjoyed with the decision he has made and I wish him good luck in 2012.



Album Review: Korn - The Path of Totality

In 2011 the most polarizing figure in sports is unarguably Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (But all his friends call him ‘Timbow’). The same love-hate relationship has surrounded the best/worst album of 2011 depending on who you ask. I speak of Korn’s latest album release. My point is that many of you are likely to close this article as soon as you see the mention of Korn because they accidentally created the 2nd most generally hated genre that exists under the ‘metal’ umbrella (let’s face it, glam rock is still #1). However, on this album they have explored the electronic music world as they collaborated with a multitude of today’s top DJ’s in the world! Dubstep and Metal!?! Oh yeah…it just happened.

It was thrust upon the world all the way back on April 11th, 2011 at the Coachella Music Festival. Skrillex, who many consider to be the ‘Prince of Dubstep,’ was tearing through his set when he invited “a couple of friends out” to join him for a couple tunes. Jonathan Davis and Munky of Korn hit the scene and the crowd went fucking crazy!!! 8 months later Korn released their 10th Studio album The Path of Totality through Roadrunner records to sell 55,000 copies in its first week and hit #10 on the billboard charts.

Coachella 2011 - Skrillex Welcomes Korn to the Stage
(Korn introduced at 1:05)

I think the fusion of dubstep and metal is a match made in heaven. They are both genres that inspire a lot of emotional release and physical displays of primitive debauchery. Korn’s music follows a lot of the basic principles that dubstep music typically follows as well as far as the tempo and pitch are concerned. Bass up the ass is the name of the game and no one knows how to play it better than Korn of the ‘90s and Skrillex of today’s new electronic uprising. I LOVE the album. Is this is an ‘experiment’ as they say than consider it a raving success (ha, ‘rave’…see what I did there?). It is certainly a Korn album and all Korn haters will likely continue to hate but they truly executed on a great collection of tunes that weave in and out of guitars, drums, and computers, seamless and with impeccable fervor. While some of the songs seem to kind of run together, there are others like “Narcissistic Cannibal” and “Get Up” that are stand out anthems! Skrillex had the biggest impact on the record and quite frankly the quality of his tracks is far superior to the others. Jonathan Davis pushes his vocal range past his limits which is nice to see as we did on a few tracks from their 2007 ‘Untitled’ album.

The following is a track by track breakdown of my irrational judgments of quality, but before we jump into it let me just say that while Korn may be a flashback to the 90s for many and Metallica’s recent release,  Lulu is a royal piece of shit, we must find some sort of appreciation for trying something new and experimenting! The rock world has grown to be rather cliché, trite, and altogether boring! Whether it turns out perfect or not, I say we have a cheers for the bands out there that are experimenting with new sounds and attempting to revive the rock and metal world! CHEERS!!!

My overall rating of this album is 8.5 out of 10.

1. “Chaos Lives In Everything” (feat. Skrillex)
An album’s opening track often sets the tone for the mood and quality of the rest of the album, and with this album opener, that is certainly the case. Once the verse drops on this song you immediately realize that there is a lot going on here! Jonathan Davis projects a funky goth rhythm over top a perfect intertwining of Munky’s guitar and the electro-shocks of Skrillex. The bridge represents classic (or trite and cliché?) Korn as Davis builds himself into a fit of rage and while it is certainly a good one, I feel as though I’ve heard it before. The chorus echoes the track title and just as you begin to wrap your mind around this “future-metal” as JD calls it; the song is over.

2. “Kill Mercy Within” (feat. Noisia)
The opening notes of this track are particularly curious as it is seemingly a harmony of guitars and computer-based high pitched sound waves. It is in this song’s explosive riffs and the head-bang worthy chorus that we discover the massive brute force that results in the synthesis of electronic, dubstep, and heavy metal music. These first two tracks are undoubtedly not ‘hit singles,’ they manage to project a powerful message and I think that message is: “Metal and Dubstep were made to be together!”

3. “My Wall” (feat. Excision)
Black Sludge. Two words that together describe this third track perfectly. Bass driven, slow-paced, electro-sludge metal. Hahaha I love genre identifiers…so worthless. Anyways, by this time in the album I feel like I’ve heard three songs that sound nearly the same and I’m anxious to move on and hopefully find something a bit more exciting.

4. “Narcissistic Cannibal” (feat. Skrillex & Kill The Noise)
BINGGOOOO!!!! I wanted exciting and this track here is just that! If you have ever wondered what kind of heavy metal music the high-intelligent aliens of a distant universe are listening to (which we all wonder from time to time) than you should probably take a listen to this song! The chorus is catchy and powerful but, it is a bit too perfect and for some reason it sounds a little cheesy (or Korny). Nonetheless this song is another perfect example of a seamless relationship between today’s Dubstep DJ phenomena and the crunching sounds of metal!

Official Music Video

5. “Illuminati” (feat. Excision & Downlink)
In this tune, similar to “My Wall,” the production skills of Excision are obvious and intentional. Barreling bass trudges around like the depressed white ball in the Zoloft commercials. Davis plays with some interesting vocals during the verse that is rather penetrating but the lyrical content on the whole feels bland. Overall this song is forgettable and only the purest of Korn fans will see anything to smile about here.

6. “Burn the Obedient” (feat. Noisia)
A lot of people reviewing this album make claims that much of the album reflects the sound of Korn’s 2002 offering ‘Untouchables.’ For the most part I think this is an exaggeration however “Burn the Obedient” really does sound like something off the previous effort. It fits in somewhere between “Make Believe” and “Blame”….right? Anyways, good tune for the number six slot on an album.

7. “Sanctuary” (feat. Downlink)
This has to be the most interesting recording on the album. I don’t quite know how to put my finger on it but “Sanctuary” is an extremely compelling and overwhelming track. I feel like I’m being hypnotized with what sounds like an attempt at a ‘dubstep-ballad. Altogether I think it is a lovely little gothic number that left me wanting more however I feel like I am in the minority here. Not many that I have talked to seemed to get too excited over this song so maybe there’s some subliminally personal connection for me. One last thought…take Robert Smith and The Cure and slam them together with the sounds of Brock Lesnar pounding on the back of a an immobilized and hallowed out beached whale crying out for help and you get… “Sanctuary.”

8. “Let’s Go” (feat. Noisia)
There are a lot of things about this song that are ‘vintage Korn’ (are they old enough to be vintage yet?). A little repetitious groveling that sounds like that of an adolescent teen who just got picked on for the first time in high school. However, that is what a lot of people appreciate about Korn; their emotional vulnerability. Anyways, this song is great but certainly nothing new added to the music world.

9. “Get Up!” (feat. Skrillex)
The Prince of Dubstep returns for his last track of the album! BOOOOOM WAAAH WAAH WAAH WAAH WAAAH SHUT THE FUCK UP GET UP!!!! There ya go haha my typed impression of this song. In all seriousness this is by far one of the best songs on the album and I hope this shows the world that mosh pits can have fists, glow sticks, leather, lace, weed, and ecstasy in it all at the same time and not only survive harmoniously, but thrive vigorously!

Official Music Video

10. “Way Too Far” (feat. 12th Planet)
Listen up folks because this track gets my official certification for best song on the album! “Way Too Far” just edges out “Narcissistic Cannibal” and “Get Up” for best track on The Path of Totality. What won me over about this track is its perfect storm of heart-thumping power, intimate melodies, and the aura it creates during a live performance. Davis clearly enjoys growling over the electronic bass waves of fury and soon his demonic freak outs turn to lighter-burning sing-a-longs with the crowd! 12th Planet is the featured producer on this one and although it is his only appearance on the album, the American Father of Dubstep leaves no doubt who the master is. I believe this will be the third single off the album and if people could put aside their preconceived notions about Korn and their ‘nu-metal’ stereotype than it could be quite the hit.

11. “Bleeding Out” (feat. Feed Me)
Keyboard intro feels a little out of place here as we quickly jump into the crunching guitar riffs we’ve come so familiar with. All you really need to know about this track is that Jonathan Davis explains that the song is about a rat that lived in a tree at his house where he and his friends would smoke. He got tired of the rat pestering the area so he shot that motherfucker with a gun! Hahaha hence the “…bleeding out” reference….derp. The best part of this song, and one of the most exciting/surprising moments of the album, was the bagpipe solo that enters un-introduced in the bridge. The sustained bagpipe notes lead into a funky collaboration of choppy bagpipe flutters and ‘drum n bass’ rhythm that is to die for (or dance for!).

12. “Fuels the Comedy” (feat. Kill The Noise)
I love the intentions of this song but the execution is just not quite there. It feels like an attempt at a spontaneous and frantic free-styling through a stream-of-consciousness lens that comes off as a bit immature and whiny. However, it is certainly corrected by having a completely addicting and catchy chorus. It’s a track that certainly has its ups and downs and it is understandable as to why this was only released on deluxe albums.

13. “Tension” (feat. Excision, Datsik & Downlink)
This is an all dubstep track with Jonathan Davis performing vocals over a swarm of Datsik and Downlink infused dubstep. Again, it only appears on deluxe versions of the album and it actually seems like it might have been more deserving of a slot of a JDevil EP or LP (cross your fingers). The freak-out that begins around 2:43 completely caught me off guard and if I was at first intrigued; I was quickly thrown back against the wall with amazement. Davis scats harder and crazier than I have ever heard! The violent vocal menagerie is combined with appropriately time ‘drum ‘n’ bass’ thumps that create an exorcist like surrealism.

Subliminal Verse #6

"Boardwalk Empire"

Swift with justice and swifter with crime
This town by the seaside is a melting pot
That isif sin could melt at such a low temperature

I’d invite you in but we’re telling secrets behind these ties
I’ll tell you the secret but remember my friend
That was just a war, but this is Atlantic City
Everyone dies

I guess you’d call me two-faced but I can assure you
The truth is I’ve no less than ol’ Harding
Home of the stripes and the stars, hell, you can keep ‘em
Prohibition? Thanks for the raise and promotion!

Hypocrisy is older than the bible itself
You better hope that when you pray they can hear you in hell
Now everyone shake your fists
Both hands clinched in the air and you never thought twice
Bet you didn’t think once

I want to fuck you
He wants to fuck you
She’s fucking him, I’m fucking that other girl, and oh yea, haha, your also fucking her!

“Here’s to the lost
God damned Darmody; I guess he asked for it
Here’s to Darmodythe lost

Just tales of our history as a country of wealth
The story ain’t half as noble when you look through the bottom of a bottle
Let’s attempt to fight the fighters huh
Reminds you of modern myths of a certain green herb don’t it?

Time is alcohol and alcohol is money
Remember when Jim Morrison spoke of a funeral pyre
Well I did him one better, Welcome to my Boardwalk Empire