Monday, July 5, 2010
July Band of The Month!!! B4SKIN
Courtesy of Adrienne Lake:
In the great tradition of tongue-in-cheek satanic Tucson bands like Molton Leather and Helldriver, comes another… meet B4skin.
It may be a sin to name the true identities of the two members of B4skin, after all, the male/female duo have performed their first two performances in identity-obscuring costumes. But lets just say that the band is the evil lovechild of the man that is the force behind electroshockbox (and is also a member of George Squier Orchestra) and his trampoline bouncing, masked partner in crime.
And by the way, B4skin has a back story, which is something along the lines of this (those who are sensitive to poking a little fun at religion, please leave the room) – God was seeking an earth girl “to give Satan a better name.” His plan was to, “find this girl, seek her out, and have her create a band to make happy music about Satan.”
So I guess you could say the duo are Satan’s cheerleaders. And occasionally, they even sound a bit like the long gone, little known, garage-surf-sleaze band, Satan’s Cheerleaders.
Speaking of their sound, it ranges from upbeat indie pop, to electro-infused to downright spacy. In fact, they do a surprisingly dreamy, slow version of “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones. It’s purty. Oh, and there’s a Theremin. And it’s attached to the guitar.
Additionally, the songs are augmented by an Echoplex and a pile of effects pedals. You’ll hear everything from slide guitar to techno dance beats and ‘60s pop to piano and a little bit of everything in between. You know… all the musical elements that a good old-fashioned Satan worshipper loves.
But no death metal. It’s passé.
Live, the male half of the duo (whose face is obscured by a welder’s mask) handles guitar duties, but a good chunk of the music is prerecorded, including beats. This frees up the female member to bounce on the mini trampoline, hand out CDs and glow sticks and dance with members of the BBQ Gang, when she isn’t singing.
The costumes make them look like an evil harlequin and a tattooed, preppy welder (sorry, but an Izod is the most un-Satanic type of clothing that I can think of, even if it is red). There are projections and a screen behind which a dancer undulates sensually. And there is the aforementioned trampoline and BBQ Gang girls. No, there is no dozing off at one of these shows. Especially during highlights like the perky “Go, Fight, Win!” in which cheers were shouted whilst the harlequin bounced on the trampoline. And you can’t argue with song titles like “Jesus Christ, Your Daddy’s Got a Temper.” You just can’t.
Over the years I have enjoyed many a band that has dedicated most of, if not their entire, repertoire to singing praises of dark forces.
There is even a newer group, also called Satan’s Cheerleaders, who a group of Austin women who do just that – dress up in vinyl cheerleading outfits and shout rhymes in praise of the Beast. There’s Gwar, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, The Cramps, Satan’s Pilgrims, countless gothabilly bands, a staggering number of metal bands, ¾ of the bands that come out of Finland and Norway, a handful of Tucson bands and the list goes on and on.
Why is this a theme that keeps drawing musicians into its dark, ironic web? Why is it so entertaining and enjoyable for musicians to pretend to/want people to think they worship the devil? What’s so cool about Lucifer?
God only knows.
Back to B4skin…
It’s almost as though they had some powerful force on their side. As though they had I don’t know, say, sold their souls in exchange for quick success.
B4skin need MySpace frienemies, so join the dark side by going to www.myspace.com/b4skin. Once again, hail Satan
In the beginning.
In the year 2006, I was visited by an angel in my dreams for a period of forty nights. In those dreams, the angel, who wore white and emanated bright light from his eyes but otherwise resembled an ordinary man, told me every night that "the time is nearly at hand" and that I must prepare myself. So, in preparation for whatever religious crisis was about to befall me, for surely, I assumed, these dreams are some kind of cry for help from the depths of my subconscious mind, I visited my shrink. She fully agreed with my diagnosis and suggested that I reconsider my atheistic beliefs by revisiting the church of my childhood. I happened to have a business meeting in the area of that church on what happened to be the forty-first day of my visitations, and I went in among the stained glass and crucifixes and sat in the back. The priest who was there came to me with the cup and plate of the Eucharist, and he blessed me as I ate and drank. After I sat a moment and gave praying a go, I wandered off into the forest. I thought I'd have a peaceful moment to consider whether my inner self felt satisfied with the experience, when the angel from my dreams came and led me to a clearing. In the mist I saw what appeared to be a man on a red horse, but the light that shown from his eyes differed in magnitude from the eyes of the angel with whom I was acquainted. I asked the angel, "Who is this?" and the angel replied, "Which of these men do you mean?" I opened my eyes again and there were others there whom the angel called Sons of God. One of them was in the act of burying a heavy scroll, while another called the snakes of the forest to inhabit the clearing to prevent others from entering. Another answered my question, saying, "We are they who were sent by God to walk the earth to and fro and up and down." Then the one who sat on his horse overseeing the events called me to him by the name Mortal. I was afraid, because my mortal mind knew him already. Seeing my fear, he dismounted and led me to a stream where we sat on rocks. After a moment he said to me, quite comfortably, "You've got me all wrong." He said, "Since the advent of man's consciousness, the angels of the earth have been the eyes of God, walking the earth to and fro to monitor all God's creation, and rarely do we raise God from his holy habitation to judge, but that time has come again, and for you, God has a message." I sat in disbelief. He continued, "You weren't the easiest mortal to find, mind you, considering that in the Book of Names, you are the only soul without one." "Why don't I have a name?" I asked, and he replied, "Because you are not worthy of being named, which brings us to the point at hand. Your soul, being so very unworthy, will not be granted the bliss of eternity unless you diligently obey the voice of God. The commandments written for you, who will now be known as He Who is not Worthy of Being Named, you will find buried in the center of the clearing. You are to read them, put them to heart, and then bury the scroll where you found it. The snakes will persist until the scroll is buried again, at which point you may leave to carry out the work of God." I closed my eyes to consider the fact that I was being persuaded by the devil to make a deal, and when I opened them again we were back in the clearing. As he mounted his horse, he said, "All that is written in the scrolls and the salvation of your eternal soul will come to pass, as long as you obey the words thoroughly." With the blinking of my eyes, I was left alone in the clearing with snakes circling all around. I immediately began digging with my hands in the fresh dirt and found the scroll. I opened it all the way and read it, and as I did, time seemed to stand still. The text began with a blessing, and then a warning. It essentially said that the message is intended for the eyes of one who is not worthy of speaking the words of God, and promised eternal damnation should I ever transcribe the words therein verbatim. However, in an effort to record the events that have taken place to now, as prescribed in my message from God, I will briefly paraphrase its contents. The text described a scene at God's holy home on the eighth day of the earth's creation. The angels came, and Satan was there as well. God said to Satan that he needed him to lead a legion of angels on Earth to watch over man and to guide them. Satan expressed his concern, that man would be unkind to the messenger, so to speak, and rightly so, because we have been. So God told him that a time would come when the world would appreciate Satan, and when that time is near, He will send a messenger, a woman, ahead to sing his praises, and the people will listen, acquire the truth, and learn to love Satan as they love God. The prophecy section of the scroll addressed current events, beginning with the angel who visited me in dreams and the tasks assigned to me who am not worth of being named. Once I'd finished reading, I buried the scroll, and as I sprinkled grass over the disturbed earth, the snakes retreated and disappeared. I left the forest and went to find the girl--she was exactly where the text said I'd find her--and I led her back to the clearing in the forest, where there was a sword growing out of the ground where the text had been. She took the sword, and since that time I have been guiding her along her path in God's work, enabling her to sing praise for the Dark Lord and show others the light. At the risk of losing my eternal soul, I leave you with these words: Let the one with understanding solve the secret of the text, for it is the number of a man.