Ranting, Raving, and Rocking by Sal Canzonieri

This was my third column in AMP magazine. This one Rants on religious fanatics, Raves on rock poster artists, and Rocks on 3 new bands: glam pop-punk band Crimson Sweet, heavy punk-metal band On Parole, and 70s style fuzz rock Gorilla.

Loud Fast Rules magazine issue 1
AMP magazine
(May 2005 issue #33)
Column #3

Welcome to my third column for AMP magazine.

This Month's Rant:

The whispered rule that everyone who has day to day business dealings knows is "Never do business with a Born Again Christian." Why is that you may ask? Because invariably they totally justify screwing you out of money or goods and stab you in the back with the excuse that God inspired them to do it so it must be the will of God or He would never have let it happen in the first place! How's that for taking responsibility as an adult for one's actions? And this is what is creeping into the White House. God told me to do it so I did it; God is never wrong and since I am an agent of God whatever I do is God's will.

Hmm, so first of all, how do you know it is really God is talking to you and it's not the other guy (you know him, the guy in all the Coop stickers) masquerading as God. Obviously this voice is telling you to do something that is wrong (bad) to do according to God's rules, so why would God tell you to something he told everyone else not to ever do? What's so special about you that God makes you free from following His normal set of rules? Why does your religion make you better than someone else or more worthy of God's insight?

What is religion anyways? A bunch of nerds get together and decide on all the cool ideas and rules they are going to make and the super powers their heroes will have, wow, just like Dungeons and Dragons or Sym games on the computer. So, in essence they are saying their cartoon world is the best cartoon world around. Then another group says their cartoon world is better than someone else's cartoon world. So, then these groups hate each other and then they fight, either in words or actions. Why is it a cartoon world? Well, physically show me one religious entity. You can't because it is one's faith that they exist that make's one act as if they exist. But each cartoon world says that not only are the people of the other cartoon world wrong since they believe in something different than they do but also that the god of that other cartoon world must be then fake. If it weren't fake, then their own cartoon world god is fake. Sure, some cartoon world's say that some other people's cartoon world's are okay and good (like if they had split off from that world in the past), but they secretly think they stink or they would have abandoned their own cartoon world for the other people's one.

Don't get me wrong, I know that God exists for real and that God is a creative positive energy that you can experience by the very virtue of being alive in the universe, but it makes no sense that God would prefer anyone's cartoon world's over another's, it's enough work letting everything exist in the first place. The true alternative to all false man-made religions is Spirituality, which is the result of experiencing the real positive energy generated by the universe. Spirituality does not require beliefs in un-provable ideas that some person made up and forced other people to follow. Reality shows us that all things are part of the universe and thus they are part of you and you are part of them. All things that exist are made of matter and/or energy. That universe and its matter/energy is there whether you believe it does or not because the universe simply exists whether you do or not and whether you believe it does or not. The universe existed before you were born, exists while you are alive, will exist long after you are dead. Obviously then, everything that exists everywhere in the universe collectively is part of a larger whole and this larger whole contains all the matter/energy that exists; at the universal level it is always now. All this matter/energy interacts with itself at all times and everywhere to form a dynamic and non-static larger whole, an entity that is an entity, much like the cells in your body are collectively doing the same thing to make you exist and to make you know that you exist. God is our given English name for this dynamically existing larger whole. God isn't a ghost or a person or planet or a star or a galaxy; God is beyond any one particular thing. God is all that exists all at once, and since everywhere at any time something is happening, the universe is not static but dynamic. God is the constant dynamic-ness of everything and since it is everything it knows about everything in it. Thus, God is there for you to experience if you choose to. Whether you believe in God or not matters nothing, because that belief cannot change the fact that God, since God is everything in the universe and more, exists with or without your beliefs or even your existence. IF it was any other way, God would be a thing separate from the rest of the universe and would be a finite object that could be measured and controlled. Obviously, this is not true. And, as a result, God is loving because it is impossible for the this larger whole to hate something within itself since that would mean that it would hate it's own self, since it is all that exists all at once. Only a finite thing can hate, because it has to separate something else from itself in order to hate it. Since God is not a thing but all existence at one time, only love is the result. You can choose to experience this love or separate yourself from it.

Now every religion basically says the same things about God being all knowing, all powerful, all consuming, all loving, etc., in the long run. But, In the short term, religions try to separate God from all that exists by assuming that God is just like their ideas about God and thus they can speak for God. Which is impossible because no one can know everything that exists all at once or they would be God. Thus, these people instead are really separating themselves from God and creating hate automatically. The proof of this is easy to see. Every religion that says God is like so and so and this God told them to do such and such a thing has done nothing but destroy the very things that God lovingly created as part of the universe: other people! What has killed more people since the dawn of man than any natural or manmade disaster, war, or disease? Religion. In the name of their ideas of what God is and says to them, in the name of the cartoon they have designed, these religious people have actually killed other people who did not like to watch the same cartoon as them! Millions and millions of people have been massacred in every time period since the beginning of religions. And the joke of it is that EVERY religion says not to hate and kill other people. But, you name the religion and they have been involved with death. The Buddhists, the Taoists, the Jews, the Moslems, the Christian, and other more ancient religions in the last 5,000 years , all have had "extremists" or even regular "practitioners" that have waged wars or persecutions against another religion for whatever reasons they saw fit to at the time.

Today, what is readily apparent is that many of these Born Again Christian mental cases are gleeful for WW3 to start because they actually believe that is the only way that Jesus will come back. And, they think that Jesus will personally deliver them in the "rapture" and they will be free from facing the aftermath of WW3. Fat Chance, Buddies! Get Real. Likewise, thousands of Moslems have died in the last few years not at the hands of war against the US but at the hands of factions within their religions (Sunnis vs. Shiites, for example). When Moslems base their daily life on their tribal allegiances, they stay at peace with each other, even when within their tribes and families some members are either Shiites or Sunnis, as is the case in pre-Gulf War Iraq. It's the outside non-Iraqi Moslems that were trying to cause a civil war between the two factions, but historically in Iraq the two factions coexisted peacefully because people instead identified with their tribe first and foremost. So, the outside agitators are totally willing to kill as many of their fellow Moslems as they can just and disrupt this peaceful coexistence that has been there for centuries just because they believe their ideas are the best ones. Thanks to these insane guys millions will die and that is the only thing that will happen. We do not live in a cartoon. These Moslems and Christians are willing to kill many other people just because they think something totally unprovable: "My God is Thougher than Your God!" And SO WHAT, who cares about that anyway! What's even more insane is that the God of Islam and of Christianity is supposed to be one in the same God! See? In order to hate and kill other people because of their beliefs, these people have to demean and anthro-morphize God and separate God from itself and have God hate itself? Is there anything more EVIL than this? Is there anything more blasphemous than this? Is there any bigger "sin" against the Spirit of God than this? The Joke is that they can't make God do anything, not one thing, so everything they do is done out of total personal selfishness and hate.

The score:

Religion = man-made artificial rules based on un-provable ideas that do not really exist and hatefully separating oneself from others, which results in Insanity and Evil.

Spirituality= natural universal law based on the real fact of all of existence being in one dynamic, creative, and thus energetic positive relationship to each other, which results in Sanity and Love. Take your pick, join a religion or experience spirituality.

This Month's Rave:

Coolest Pop Culture artists around that should be fully appreciated. Many people have heard of such great poster/pop culture artists as Frank Kozik and Coop, both have really prospered thanks to their great imagery to the point that they and their art pieces are practically icons in our modern times, but there are a few unsung heroes that should be looked at as well.

Johnny Ace - Coming from the Texas area, Johnny is a big influence to many people in pop culture art. His work goes back to the early 1980s when he known as Johnny Childish and was a huge part of the skate-punk scene, with his Zorlac board. He was heavy into Famous Monsters magazine, Rat Fink /Big Daddy Roth, The Misfits, Bad Brains, and other great hardcore bands and that shaped his artwork style. By 1986, Thrasher magazines was featured his art in Thrasher Comics. He had tons of great hand drawn flyers for all the best bands as well. Eventually he become Big Daddy Roth's longest running assistant and still does artwork for the Roth estate today. He has designed a ton of record covers and concert posters for bands, including Electric Frankenstein, and Dark Horse is publishing a 160 page book featuring art from all aspects of his career from the last 20 years, it will be out late this year. Check out: http://www.johnnyacestudios.com

Alan Forbes - Alan is another big influence on many people for his artwork, which goes way back to when he worked for The Black Crowes, he first gathered attention for designing their logos and posters. He began his career in Los Angeles area painting displays for Tower Records and touring with Guns N’ Roses as a roadie. Since then, he has also designed numerous album covers and concert posters for acts such as 311, Queens of the Stone Age, Electric Frankenstein, and The Phantom Surfers. Alan also created all of the artwork for Ozzy Osborne's website. Recently, Alan did artwork for AFI. Alan also has made poster illustrations for pre-production scenes in many Hollywood films, such as The Matrix, Planet of the Apes, etc. Check out: http://www.posterpop.com/merchandise/artistmerch/forbesmerch.html or www.alanforbes.com

Art Chantry - Art is the epitome of PUNK style graphic design! Art's name and work is synonymous with the Garage Rock scene, with the do-it-yourself raw 'found art' look. All the best bands from the last few decades have had posters for their shows in the Seattle area (and now the St. Louis area) by Art, who is an exceptionally creative and prolific designer. Art is also most known for all the artwork, logos, and record covers he has done for Estrus Records, he has also done a lot of commercial art work for many companies and even theater posters. There are a few books out now showing his artwork, such as "Some People Can't Surf", showcasing his covers and layouts for the music magazine The Rocket, to album covers for such bands as Mudhoney, the Reverend Horton Heat, and the Fastbacks, etc. He is often credited as one of the most formative posters artists of the early 1980s, falling between the late 60s hippie poster artists and the Post-Kozik poster art scene, pioneering most of the hand done screen poster design techniques, without having to resort to computer programs. Check out:http://www.artchantry.com/

Mark Arminski - Another long time poster artist, going back into the 1980s, Mark created the CLASSIC poster art look that is copied by many people today. Hailing from the Detroit area, Mark started out as a modern art style painter on canvas of nudes and other figurative designs. By the early 1990s, Mark was commissioned to do screen prints. His posters were very impressive because he combined bold color, strong central images, and a whimsical sense of humor that helped connect the audience with the event depicted in the poster art, which ranged from designs for local bands like Loudhouse (soon to become Sponge) or national acts such as Smashing Pumpkins or Iggy Pop. Soon enough Mark's poster art harkened to the glory days of the Detroit rock n roll poster art scene and by the today, his poster art is in strong demand for many record covers, concert posters, and more. Check out: http://www.arminski.com/

This month's Rocking:

Some more Real Rock & Roll bands that you should dig are:

- On Parole (from Gothenburg, Sweden): powerful is the best way to describe On Parole's sound. Arising out of the ashes of The Speedfreaks, On Parole have only a demo CD out but it contains great sounding songs somewhere between The Stooges and The Backyward Babies in sound, but louder and heavier and more tuneful. You can listen to some mp3s at their site and hear for yourself. Check out: http://www.on-parole.net/

- Crimson Sweet (from Ohio and now NYC): This is probably one of the best female-fronted, straight-up punk'n'roll bands. Crimson Sweet are a three piece, with a real blonde beauty on vocals and guitar, who can really rock with both melody and strong anthemic passion. Their music is uniquely High Energy without aping any other bands while they draw from diverse roots such as 70s Glitter Rock, old school Punk (like The Avengers), Cheap Trick like Power Pop, and good old Hard Rock. The band released three 7"s and an EP before their debut full-length album was released on San Francisco's On/On Switch label. The record racked up rave reviews and is now in its second pressing. Crimson Sweet this fall released a 7", "Blood Transfusion," to be followed by a full-length, "Eat the Night," both on the Shake It Records label. Check out:

- Gorilla (from the UK): WOW! is the only way to describe Gorilla. This three piece (with female bass player) grab you by the throat with a fat and raw 70s analog hard rock sound harkening elements of Grand Funk Railroad, Blue Cheer, The Who, Mountain, and more. Ripped speaker sound on the guitars and twisted blues rock riffs that spill into lanky jazz metal dirge rhythms without having to cop anything from Black Sabbath or Stoner Rock for once. Original sounding Kick-Ass non commercial rock n roll, made to make you sweat. If you like The Melvins, The Super Bees, and Bell Rays, then you will like this band. Twisted noise rock punk metal scronk n roll. Check out:

That's it for this issue! Click here to read column #4

Sal Canzonieri - www.electricfrankenstein.com / www.myspace.com/electricfrankenstein

(c) 2005 BGT ENT / Sal Canzonieri