Doug Young: The Hardcore King Of Powerlifting

See that beast in the main picture?  That motherfucker right there is THE reason I became a fan of Powerlifting to begin with.  This is the story of Doug Young, more than a man’s man, but an absolute GOD in the early era of the sport.

I had already gained some interest into what Powerlifting was the day I started surfing YouTube videos thanks to the growing popularity of Starting Strength, a beginner’s strength routine.  I found an old video of a televised Powerlifting event on NBC Sports with commentary from Canadian Powerlifter and coach Terry Todd and a very young Bryant Gumbel.  It turned out to be the 1977 IPF World Championships, held in Perth Australia.  After watching Squat World Record cat fight between Paul Jordan and Larry Pacifico, which resulted in Paul hurting himself in three places because he went for heavier weight than he could handle like a retard, as well as Vince Anello winning first place in the Mid Heavyweight division for Team USA it was the Heavyweights’ turn.

Around the minute mark of this particular video Doug Young appeared as he was getting ready to Squat 699lbs.  The intensity in his eyes could burn a hole right through anyone.  Then, as he began to set himself up, you heard that fucking growl.  This wasn’t no ordinary growl, it truly sounded like a bear was coming out.  It was Doug’s inner rage, having to squat that much weight after dropping thirty pounds in just one week in order to make the 242lbs weight class for Team USA.  Oh he made the squat alright, but in doing so he also broke three ribs.

It clearly was pretty unlikely that he’s continue.  But he did, managing to Bench Press 535lbs, Deadlift 710lbs, and even win first place, all while fainting twice in the process.  “Holy fucking shit this guy is hardcore!” was my initial reaction.  I doubt that Larry Pacifico, who Doug even called out before his 710lb Deadlift attempt, would have balls that big as to compete with three broken ribs after dropping thirty pounds in seven days.  I’m not claiming to be the toughest son of a bitch alive but I doubt highly that even modern day guys like Dan Green or Eric Lillibridge would be brave enough to do that.  Well…maybe Eric would be.

doug_young in color

Power Bodybuilding

In between lifters and attempts interviews were shown with the lifters.  But when they showed Doug’s interview he said something interesting.  He revealed that when he wasn’t training specifically for Powerlifting he’d train “for physique”, claiming that everyone should train to be equally as “pretty” as they do to be strong.  This is called Power Bodybuilding today and, as shown in those interview clips, it’s a lot higher in volume than most people would think, as these training clips shown him performing Bodybuilding type moves, such as dumbbell flyes, dumbbell curls and Skull Crushers.

Doug at his best had a 56 inch chest with a tapered waist.  So not only did he have muscle but also didn’t have much fat on him.  It seemed, for a while, that lifters, regardless of their goals, lost the point but I think it’s coming back now, especially with programs like Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1, which I’ve been using for almost two years now, and Chad Wesley Smith’s Juggernaut system.  It’s that equal balance of stimulating the muscles for both growth and strength, while conditioning yourself too.  Doug Young was the early forefather for what it is to truly be in shape.  Oh and by the way, a year he broke his rib Doug was the first man under 300lbs to Bench Press 612lbs.  With just a t-shirt on.

Doug Young, he was to forbearer of what it is to truly be in shape and be the total package, and one day in his lifting career was most hardcore than your entire life.

Final Thoughts

Unrelated to Doug Young, I just found out that Kai Green has signed up with Super League and, while it appears he’s not leaving the IFBB, it looks like he’s done competing for them.  That’s a fucking shame!  I don’t follow Bodybuilding like I used to but Kai was my boy.  He may have not won 1st place but he has a legacy so much stronger than his win-loss record.  I looked up Super League and realized that I did actually hear about it maybe a week ago.  Looks promising…but on the flipside, is Kai really that insecure about never beating Phil Heath?

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

https://www.instagram.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

Advertisements

Municipal Waste – Slime And Punishment

I really wasn’t sure if Municipal Waste were ever going to pull it off; but what they released just over month ago, Slime And Punishment, is truly the album we’ve been waiting for.  It’s been five years since they released their Nuclear Blast Records debut, The Fatal Feast, a bit of a musical departure from the usual Thrash/Party Metal they’re legendary for at this point, to more of a Crossover type sound.  I wasn’t bad but neither that or the album before it, 2009’s Massive Aggressive, could EVER amount to their 2007 masterpiece, The Art Of Partying.  Hell, upon listen to Massive again while getting ready for this review I remembered why I stopped listening to it after three spins tops (maybe even just one!) – they were trying to hard to top The Art Of Partying.  You could barely hear the drums, and it felt like Tony Foresta struggled horribly with keeping up with the tempos.  Same unfortunately goes with Ryan Waste.  He couldn’t speed pick fast enough to keep up with the rhythm section for shit.

So what a huge shock it was when they dropped their first single of the new album, “Amateur Sketch”, back in April.  It was faster than a lot of The Fatal Feast.  But not only that, but the intensity was back and everything, guitars especially, was so much louder and so much sharper.  When mixing an album it’s so important that everything can be heard no matter what.  But one track doesn’t mean shit after a five year absence.  So I waited then I heard the title track, released a month later.  I wasn’t fast but it hit just as hard.  It was more old school Metal than Thrash but it was quick, catchy and did the trick.  I was sold and bought the record a week after it was released.

“Breath Grease” kicks this one off with a real BANG!  No slow, prodding intros, no instrumentals, just straight into a fast tempo song, which leads into “Enjoy The Night”, which sees the pace kicked up even faster…as if to say “good luck banging your head to this without snapping it!”. Upon hearing most of this album two things come to mind: the addition of Nick Poulos as a second guitarist was the smartest decision the band made last year, and the band as a whole clearly realized that it’s better to let the music come naturally, as opposed to forcing themselves to play a specific style.  The results are that of a band that sounds absolutely refreshed; just all of the things they’re good at and nothing they can’t do.

The one thing I’m really impressed with on Slime And Punishment is the incredibly high pitch in Tony Foresta’s vocal approach.  If you’ve paid attention to him outside of Waste then you know that this is the exact approach he’d been using with his other band, Iron Reagan.  But for this collection of songs he without a doubt NEEDED to go this high.  Especially on tracks likes the balls to the wall “Bourbon Discipline” and “Parole Violators” (featuring Vinnie Stigma of Agnostic Front), where he screams out “fuck you man!”, it’s as if he’s legitimately living out the audio party as it’s happening!

As mentioned earlier, hiring a second guitarist had to literally be THE smartest decision the band made recently.  Sure, even with one guitarist you can track as many guitars on a recording as you can.  But with two guitarists comes an extra set of ideas.  It’s readily apparent on “Poison The Preacher”, one of the way more serious tracks here, where some of the riffs just don’t sound like they were just written my Ryan.  There’s so much more of an old school Hetfield-like crunch to them (I’m talking …And Justice For All era Hetfield, when he still had balls along with two years worth of emotional rage).  Extra props for that chorus hook – one of THE heaviest moments on the entire record!

Another big surprise here is the instrumental track, “Under The Waste Command”.  Oh yeah, it starts off like classic Waste, breaks into a very Maiden-like harmony, then breaks into a solo section with a rhythm that sounds like something right out of…a Megadeth album??  With a solo that sounds like it was played by Mustaine himself??  As of this writing I’m still not sure of whether or not Nick or Ryan played it.  But one of those two clearly did their homework.  It kind of reminded me of “Dialectic Chaos”, probably one of the ONLY tracks I liked on Endgame.  Fuck, even some of the riffs on the album closer, “Think Fast” sounded like latter day Megadeth at a certain point.

Slime And Punishment, to me, is everything we all love about Municipal Waste with a few great add-ons.  The album just shits frantic riffs played in a way only Ryan Waste can play them – but now with more of a crunch.   There are plenty of songs about humor, drinking, tons of debauchery, but now with even more energy than ever before!  The songs are all under three minutes and that’s actually fucking perfect.  Songs that sound like this would totally risk becoming stale if it went over that mark for sure.  Then again I’m personally a little biased for shorter songs more and more these days.  I blame it on my growing taste for Grindcore and Powerviolence bands.  But more so than that, the album can also be seen as a glimpse into the future for Municipal Waste.  If they stick to what they did here their next few records can proof without a shadow of a doubt that they still have yet to reach their full potential after all.  So was Slime And Punishment worth the five year wait?  You fuckin’ bet it was!

Key tracks: Breathe Grease, Enjoy The Night, Shrednecks, Parole Violators, Poison The Preacher, Under The Waste Command, Think Fast

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/4OjYHchQyvgOF2zAeGjyFh

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

https://www.instagram.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

 

Chris Cornell And The REAL Death Of Grunge

As I write this today, it’s probably been a few hours now since the funeral for Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who literally shocked the shit out of everyone by hanging himself with a resistance band in his Detroit hotel just hours after he got off stage with the band.  How the fuck could Chris Cornell do this to himself, and why??  To everyone he seemed like the LAST person to be tempted to do such a thing.  A lot of things have been coming to light since the news passed, such as the fact that he’d apparently been taking the anti-anxiety drug Ativan.  One of the things that triggered Chris’s wife to called security on him in the first place was that, according to her, Chris sounded very slurred on the phone.  One side effect of a benzo such as Ativan is a drowsiness that happens to last for a long time.

But there clearly was no fucking way that Ativan alone could cause anyone to just say “fuck it” and hang themselves.  As I discovered the aspects of his horrid childhood in preparation for writing this post, including becoming a full blown junkie at just 13, having full access to heroin and prescription pills, we all discovered yesterday that there were visible signs of fresh track marks on his arms.  If he just relapsed recently it had to be while on the road, and therefore there could be no way his wife would’ve known.  Even creepier, in a way, is that during their set closer, “Slaves and Bulldozers”, Chris slickly slipped in lines from Led Zeppelin’s classic “In My Time Of Dying”.  No shit.  Here’s the proof:

Yeah, I’m sure him requesting to the band to actually play the actual song would’ve clearly raised a few eyebrows.  Lets face it, he probably knew what he was going to do.  But I’m not writing about this to discuss the details of his death, or his apparent life long struggle with drugs and depression.  You can clearly find that anywhere else.  I’m here to write about Chris Cornell the ICON.  Because like it or not, depending on who you ask he was probably more of an icon in music than that little bitch Cobain EVER was.  Why?  Because he literally was one of the originals.

There sadly is a lot of historical significance to his death, that can easily be compared to the day Soundgarden originally broke up a little more than twenty years ago.  Again, depending on whose opinion you ask for, especially the mainstream media shitheads, Grunge died when Cobain offed himself in 1994, causing record labels everywhere to find as many copycats as they could, or face the unnecessary fear of losing money quicker than Wall Street on Black Monday.  But ask anyone else, and they’ll most likely say that Grunge died the day Soundgarden called it quits because they were one of just two bands remaining from the original six band from Seattle to not just manage to stay together, but actually find success.

Long before Shitvana was even a thought Soundgarden was formed by Cornell, Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto in Seattle in 1984.  In 1986 the band were featured on a compilation called Deep Six.  The first release by C/Z Records, it showcase the burgeoning Seattle sound featuring multiple songs from them, The Melvins, Skin Yard, Green River, Malfunkshun, and The U-Men.  While Chris’ immense vocal talents were not yet fully developed, you can clearly hear signs of things to come on this original version of “All Your Lies”, which was later re-recorded for their SST Records debut album, Ultramega OK.

Before I go any further I need to make something clear.  I truly feel now, as an older man of 33, that the term Grunge itself was blown out of proportion too much.  I understand the according to musical standards Grunge is supposed to be the combination of Punk and Metal, with each band leaning toward either genre over the other.  But I honestly feel like Grunge was just a scene, not a musical style.  Hell, just listen to any of the Big Four: Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Perl Jam.  Fuck the visions of flannel and stories of rampant heroin use among all of them – did ANY of them truly SOUND alike??  If you’re smart then you don’t need me to tell you that the answer is hell fuck no!  Especially in the case of Soundgarden and Alice!

But in the history books, it was Soundgarden who was the first Seattle band from that scene to be signed​ to a major label before any of them.  And while most people clearly weren’t ready for them just yet, it was clear that Cornell was a GOD on the mic, lending to a sound that was easily comparable to Robert Plant fronting Black Sabbath.

For example!

Did you hear that beginning scream blending in beautifully with Kim Thayil’s guitar feedback??  Just tell me that wasn’t EPIC as fuck!!  There are many Soundgarden/Grunge purists who favor Louder Than Love over the later albums, and it’s easy to see why.  But…they clearly didn’t listen to him, as Henry Rollins said in 2000, “peel the paint off walls!” during the song “Jesus Christ Pose” off their 1991 breakthrough album, Badmotorfinger.  Go straight to the 5:13 mark to here the wail of a GOD.

That’s the other most important quality of Soundgarden and especially Chris.  Dave Navarro just yesterday stated that the band were one of the rare few bands of the late 80’s to come out that had both talent AND substance.  The substance?  Chris’s lyrics.  The song “Jesus Christ Pose” is clearly a song about religious hypocrisy, as he sang:

And you stare at me
In your Jesus Christ pose
Arms held out
Like you’ve been carrying a load
And you swear to me
You don’t want to be my slave

But you’re staring at me
Like I, like I need to be saved
Saved, like I need to be saved
Saved

It was lyrics like these that made Soundgarden the thinking man’s metal band in the early 90’s.  But it didn’t end there.  Take this little sample from the song “4th of July” off their 1994 masterpiece, Superunknown:

Pale in the flare light
The scared light cracks and disappears
And leads the scorched ones here
And everywhere no one cares
The fire is spreading
And no one wants to speak about it
Down in the hole
Jesus tries to crack a smile
Beneath another shovel load

I know even Layne Staley or Jerry Cantrell couldn’t even think of lyrics like that.  Add the sludgy riffs and it sounds like a song not even a band like Crowbar could come up with!

This right here is pure Sabbath worship!

That’s what made someone like Chris Cornell a true icon of the Seattle scene, the so-called Grunge scene.  He was THE total package.  He had the talent, the substance, the deep thoughts.  His vocal talents alone were a legitimate RARITY in rock music, with a powerful wail that rivaled ANYONE’s singing during the 90’s.  His lyrics were thoughtful, his riffs could absolutely crush you, they could be so dreamy, and he could even weld them together seamlessly and it’d all make total sense.  Here’s one of my favorite tracks off Superunknown, called “Limowreck”, as an example.

It’s a shame that it took this album and the single “Blackhole Sun”(which I’m blatantly staying away from here) for Soundgarden to finally get the recognition they deserved, ten years after they formed and long after everybody that came along AFTER them got recognition.  This is actually important because Superunknown was released just a month before Cobain died, signaling the beginning of the slow death of what had become a trend so big that flannel was even being worn at fashion shows and sold at even Macy’s.  If you’re old enough to remember seeing the “Gen X” section in Macy’s then congratulations – you’re old!

As said earlier, a sizeable number will tell you Grunge died the day Soundgarden broke up in the spring of 1997.  They were one of the two original surviving bands from the Deep Six era, the other being The Melvins (Thank King Buzzo for introducing Chris and Kim to Drop D tuning).  So while it was a major shock when Soundgarden got back together in 2010, after Chris did several albums with Audioslave (Chris with the jerkoffs from Rage Against The Machine) and an abortion of a solo album with Timbaland, his sudden death is now of even more historical significance than ever.  Yeah, this is beyond tragic and my thoughts go out to Chris’s family.  But from a musical standpoint, we all can sadly say now that if you were to give Grunge a real death date it would be May 18th, 2017, as this so far is the ultimate Heavy Metal tragedy of the year unless something far worse happens.

Rest In Peace Chris Cornell

July 20th, 1964 – May 18th, 2017

Make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/

https://www.instagram.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

The Bottle Flip “Challenge” And Other Stupid Trends

Another long, annoying, demeaning year with New York City Department of Education is coming to a close – and not soon enough!  But if there’s one thing I can say without even thinking about it, and this is something I already said to few friends at work, it’s that if there’s one thing that will stand out to me about this past year, it’s this stupid shit.  I apologize in advance for not being able to find any clips under three mintues:

No shit.  This is an actual fad right now and has been since probably before I went back to work.  I remember seeing my idiot seventh graders throwing bottles up in the air in excitement during their recess on day one in September and wondering out loud if these dumb little shits seriously had nothing better to do over the summer but to throw around bottles and see if it lands on either end.

And for the longest time I never understood the point, being left to just assume they all lacked the common sense required to just leave their homes during the day and go hit the basketball courts.  Oh sure, some of my kids explained to me at one point that the game is a “challenge”, but I still didn’t get it.  That is until last night.  I wanted to finally know how this seemingly global “phenomenon”/nuisance to all school teachers everywhere started.  Then I found this link to the video that started it all:

http://fusion.kinja.com/a-teen-flipping-a-water-bottle-may-have-just-created-th-1793857082

Why the fuck wasn’t it obvious to me before??  Of course it was invented by some fuckin’ redneck down south – what the hell is there to do down there anyway?  So, some redneck throws a fucking water bottle on to a desk at a talent show and suddenly it’s now being down in schools EVERYWHERE.  Not only that: I was waiting for my girlfriend to run in the Central Park Spring Classic recently and while waiting I actually saw a GROWN ASS MAN flipping a bottle right in front of me.  Pathetic.   Hell, just look at the bottom video in the above link.  This has actually become outlawed in most schools…unless the school in question is mine because my administration is absolutely SPINELESS.  But that’s a different story.

So in the last nine months I’ve have numerous confrontations with students, sometimes my own, sometimes other kids in the cafeteria, who wouldn’t think twice about attempting to flip bottles onto high windows in our auditorium, flipping them in the cafeteria and then absolutely refusing to clean up their mess when the bottle opened up, flipping them in class – I’m talking right in front of their teachers.  Oh here’s my favorite; sometime in December our kids were getting ready to go downstairs to lunch when five of them began running down the stairs in a stampede while screaming so fuckin’ loud.  The other witness aside from me?  Our principal.  Not embarrassing at all.

We got them back up and, while at least four of them were smart enough to own up to their fuckups, they explained to us that they threw a bottle down a flight of steps to see how it would land and THAT was what set them off.  This is literally the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen.  The fifth boy, who I actually do get along with very well these days, has definitely developed an addiction of sorts.  If he’s not flipping a bottle he’s taking markers in his math class and he’s flipping those too!  Nothing is sacred – even pencils and pens!

How did it get to this point?  Now, history has shown that kids have always had that one fad toy or object that they had no business taking with them to school or it’d get taken away…but then again, while I do work in the ghetto, I did grow up in the suburbs.  I’m a child of the nineties, where most of the kids had those gay as fuck Tamagotchi’s (this was a legit digital pet that was released just in time for Black Friday in 1996; you actually had to feed it, and it would even die if you didn’t take care of it) and POGs.  I loved POGs.

Image result for batman pogs

If you remember these then congratulations, you’re old.  There were many, many different types of POGs.  I simply chose to use this picture because if memory serves me right then I actually had this set in the fifth grade.  Now this game was fun.  Every pack of POGs had a nice, thick slammer to go with it.  We would stack up as all of our POGs and hit them with the slammer, watching the POGs scatter.  The player who’d slam them would keep whatever POGs were face-up, and each player would continue until  the stack was empty, the winner obviously having the most POGs.  But the difference between us and these kids today is that, as far as I remember, we weren’t stupid enough to play with our POGs IN CLASS where we’d clearly be seen as several milk cap sized pieces of cardboard go fuckin’ flying across the room.  So, like fifth graders with common sense (GASP!), we simply waited until we got into the yard for recess.  What a fuckin’ concept!

Now, I clearly don’t know how other schools or school systems nationwide are handling this situation but in NYC there are so many laws that were not in place twenty years ago regarding how we can approach children and I feel like such a target that I feel that if I just take the fucking bottle certain kids would do everything in their power to fuck me over.  Problem is these kids definitely know their rights, courtesy of their enabling parents.  And they’re very lucky because I’d totally love to shove those bottles down their fucking throats.

Honorable Mention goes to those so-called fidget spinners that nearly everyone in my school now plays with – in class.  When I asked a few kids for an explanation for their playing with them in class one boy told me “they help with anxiety”.  I had to call bullshit, considering that there was not one anxious kid in that particular group.  None of them know what anxiety is.  Upon doing research I read that they alleged help students hold their attention in class but I unfortunately don’t buy that shit one bit because in class I watch some of them just get lost with them.

Make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for updates on new posts and random rants.

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

https://www.instagram.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

 

Album Of The Year

C’mon…if you’ve been reading my blog for the past several months then my first ever pick for Album Of The Year should’ve been PAINFULLY obvious.  I was a fan of Nails for months before it was even released, but it was upon the June 17th 2016 release of their grindcore masterpiece, You Will Never Be One Of Us, that they – especially guitarist/vocalist Todd Jones – became absolute GODS.  And if you’ve never heard anything off this beautiful shitstorm of an album here’s a quick taste.  No really, it’s only a minute and a half long!

Yeah, exactly.

So, for those of you new to this blog, why did I pick You Will Never Be One Of Us?  Surely, I could’ve picked any number of albums; Crowbar and Meshuggah – two of the heaviest bands on the fucking planet – both released two really badass albums.  Gatecreeper released a new album around the same time and one of my YouTube subscribers just declared the new Blood Incantation album is his own pick of the year.

nailsterrorizer

There’s reason number one right there.  Not sure how many grindcore bands make it to the cover of a magazine like Terrorizer.  We can also discuss the fact that You Will Never Be One Of Us was somehow able to reach #129 on the Billboard Charts among it’s release.  I don’t know about you but I personally don’t know of any of grindcore or powerviolence style bands that can hit that kind of a milestone.  Fuck, before they went on hiatus without warning over the summer their tour schedule was to be significantly bigger than it had ever been, including a spot on the Ozzfest 20th anniversary card.  That’s HUGE for a band like Nails!  They’re about to make a comeback in just a few days at The Power Of The Riff Festival, they just released a 12″ split with Full Of Hell eight days ago and now have more dates planned for next year with Gatecreeper, including stops in Philly and at Williamsburg Music Hall in Brooklyn, NY.  Needless to say 2016 was Nails’ year.

It’s easy to assume that You Will Never Be One Of Us is on ANY album of the year list due to hype…but why was there so much hype?  Easy.  Because throughout the record you can feel Todd Jones’ anger, his hatred against those trying to make a living off something his kind have worked so hard to put together only to be working a full time job (although he seems to prefer that), against society…against the fucking world.  His vocal delivery alone here was a major change from 2013’s Abandon All Life.  Gone was the high pitched scream and in it’s place Todd found his true voice, one of slobbering anger, growling and screaming like a lunatic in a straitjacket, wanting to get out and just murder you.  There’s no way you can listen to it and tell me that it isn’t genuine either.  And that’s why this is my first album of the year pick…it’s real.

This will be my last post for the year, the next few weeks will be busy.  But be sure to follow me on facebook and Instagram.  My IG handle is @confessionsofanangrymetalhead

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/

R.I.P. New York City…or Why I’m Glad I Got Out!

This is actually going to be full article based on a random thought I wrote about just last year, regarding the decline of New York City’s diversity and character because let’s face it…it’s just gotten worse and will continue to do so.

So it all started just two nights ago, when I came across this article:

http://ny.curbed.com/2016/8/12/12452636/target-east-village-opening-date

Wait…what the fuck?  A new, two floor Target in the East Village?  With a 30-year lease on the building?!  First off, I’m a bit biased here because I used to work at Target but…ew!  Also…why?  Why Target and why in the East Fucking Village??  Then, I reminded myself of exactly why: money talk$.

I wrote a year ago that many of the places I used to know were going away at a pretty steady pace, especially at my old haunts, specifically St. Mark’s Place, which I had said was at least hanging on a thread so long as Sounds was still around, even if it was open just three days a week by that point, if anything for the sake of posture.  Whoops!  Not too long after I wrote that piece Sounds finally did close down for good, signaling THE end of the more culturally diverse St. Mark’s Place I used to know once and for all.  Why?  Because who the fuck can afford these fucking rent hikes?  Oh wait…chain stores can!

Oh, I can go on and on about when I first noticed this change, and how it changed the entire landscape of Manhattan alone – don’t even get me started with Brooklyn!  But instead I’m going to rant about who we can all blame for this and if you live or used to live anywhere in New York City (like me) you already know why: yuppies and especially hipsters.  The hipsters started fucking everything up when they came to Williamsburg, Brooklyn from whatever bumfuck towns/states they grew up in during the late 90’s/early 2000’s with their daddys’ checkbooks in search of somewhere cheap as hell.  In just a few years time a once extremely dangerous part of Brooklyn now had hipster themed bars and vintage record shops on almost every street corner.  And not only that, rent was now fucking sky high.  I was an intern for a music marketing firm in Manhattan in 2007 and a considerable portion of the hipster fuckheads I worked with lived in “Billyburg”.  The only way they could be living there was if their parents were paying the rent because I can tell you right now they sure as fuck weren’t making even remotely decent salaries at this particular firm.  I’d look for apartments in Brooklyn on craigslist and some of these prices were retarded.  $2000 for a studio off of Bedford Ave?  Really?  But if you want to know how I truly feel about hipsters just watch this amazing clip from The Gentlemen’s Rant.  Skip to the 1:50 mark for my favorite part!

This was just the beginning, of course.  Soon, the resulting trickle down effect happened: Manhattan followed suit.  The hipsters lived in Williamsburg in order to be as close to Manhattan as possible so before anyone knew it any area near the Williamsburg Bridge, especially the Lower East Side, started changing at that steady paced I mentioned before to cater to these motherfuckers.  The trickle down effect here?  Long standing Mom and Pop stores began to close shop to be replaced by some really strange fucking things.

This also spread, of course, throughout most of Manhattan, not just the Lower East Side.  Old buildings were being knocked down to make room for high rise condos that I know I sure can’t afford.  Here’s a quick story.  My dad’s been in real estate since 2005, having gotten his real estate license from NYU in 1988, and he was responsible for one of these buildings in the Lower East Side being knocked down in 2007.  He told me that while on site a girl came up to him asking him to please sign her petition to stop these developers from knocking the building down, obviously having no idea she was talking to the very person behind the whole thing.  Oops!

To some of you reading this I risk coming off as yelling at yuppies and hipsters to get off my lawn like a bitter old man.  You’d be wrong.  Yeah, I hate yuppies and REALLY hate hipsters.  But my big problem is that because of them, and more specifically about their lack of history, having not grown up in the city like I did, they appear to truly lack any appreciation for the charm New York City once had.  It was once such a diverse city.  I don’t just mean for the reputation of it’s many areas – not just the parts I mentioned – but because you could go into any street corner and find something completely random and enjoyable.  Hell, twelve years ago I could just turn to W 48th St in the tourist trap that is Times Square and I’d just happen to find the once infamous Music Row.  You’re reading correctly, there was once an entire block of just music instrument stores.  Several Sam Ash buildings, each one dedicated to specific instruments, Rudy’s, the world famous Manny’s Music, just to name a few.

Oh, here’s my favorite.  A 111 year old art supply store right around the corner from Webster Hall is being forced out of business because the building was sold to some jerkoff who plans to make the building into a hotel geared toward…millennials??  What the fuck does that require exactly that a piece of HISTORY is being forced to close down for this?  Someone please tell me.  What exactly makes millennials so fucking special?  Is it the computer thing??  Since the age range for millennials is between 1982 and 2002 I guess I’d be considered a millennial on paper, being that I was born in 1984.  But I’m no millennial because just about anyone born in the 80’s knew how to survive without cellphones and computers.  Ask the kids today when they last experienced a fleeting, random moment.  You’d probably hear crickets for a long time because that’s how often their heads are down at their smartphones they honestly have NO BUSINESS carrying around at twelve years old.

So here’s my main point to all of this.  Gentrification my ass!  If I wanted to go to an outdoor strip mall I’d go to probably any other city…or an outdoor strip mall.  I used to live in a city that had a very special charm to it, one that was different, one with so much diversity and excitement, one with character.  These were the things that made it The Greatest City In The World, because it’s not that anymore, not when I see Subway restaurants on nearly every street corner and increasingly more homeless people on the streets because they were evicted for their inability to pay their rents.  If you’re reading this and are as disgusted with what’s become of it all like I was, do yourself a favor and get out while you still can…like I did, because it’s no longer just the East Village that’s dead – all of New York City is!

There are times now where I drive on Route 3 E and if I catch it around sunset I get a gorgeous view of the city from afar.  But every time come across this brilliant view I sadly can’t help but always think to myself the same thing over and over again: “New York City…beautiful to look at…ugly to live in…”

If you like what you read then be sure to like my facebook page or follow this blog so you never miss an update.

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/?notif_t=page_fan&notif_id=1472611247940427