my name is brian cook. here's a bunch of random stuff.
y’all like cocaine? (at Time Bomb Records)

y’all like cocaine? (at Time Bomb Records)

gotta give credit where credit is due…

I’ve noticed that a lot of the lyric websites have pretty off-base interpretations of “Praise Be Man”. Here’s the actual lyrics, for anyone that gives a shit:

praise be man, he lives in milk.

take heed, young soul. and do what thou wilt.

smoke hangs along the ceiling.

the floor and walls are breathing in with you

grind your teeth, son. taste the dirt and tires.

tread on with ease, boys. rooftop babes on wires.

tar and earthen treasures yield forbidden pleasures.

all is kin. 

The first albums I ever bought were on cassette. It was the mid-’80s, and that was the dominant format. You could still buy LPs, but everyone wanted to listen to music on Walkmans, or in their car, or on a boom box. Vinyl wasn’t a very portable format. 

Then the CD came out. Overnight, vinyl shelves were cleared out to make room for CD longboxes. We were told that CDs were permanent. It was the pinnacle of music technology. The grooves would never wear out; the tape would never get tangled in your car’s cassette deck. But they were noticeably more expensive than LPs and tapes. Big Black dubbed the compact disc as “the rich man’s 8-track”, a snide prediction that the format would eventually be seen as outdated.

That prediction came true with the rise of the mp3. Granted, even in 2014 the compact disc makes up the majority of music sales (or at least that’s the case for my bands), but most folks prefer to listen to music on their phone, computer, or mp3 player. CDs just take up space. Plus, we were told that mp3s were permanent. It is the pinnacle of music technology. Mp3s don’t get scratched; your friend can’t borrow it and never return it. As long as you have your library backed up on a hard drive, and as long as you can cart that hard drive around for the rest of your life without it crashing, then your music library will last forever.

Some folks put up a stink about how they favored physical formats. They liked the tactile experience of putting a record on the turntable, or making a mixtape on a dual tape deck, or hand-building custom art for the CD demo instead of just dumping it somewhere online. Those people were labeled as old fashioned, stubborn, and stupid.

Now everything is streaming. You don’t need to use up precious hard drive space with mp3s. You just need Spotify. You don’t need to own anything, because we’ve arrived at the pinnacle of music technology. Streaming services will be around forever. Just like 8-tracks, Walkmans, CD longboxes, your first generation iPod, Napster, and Myspace. 

new tattoo courtesy of @jebbriley : St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers, carrying Raymond Pettibon’s torch-bearing kid from the cover of Minutemen’s “What Makes A Man Start Fires” album.

new tattoo courtesy of @jebbriley :
St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers, carrying Raymond Pettibon’s torch-bearing kid from the cover of Minutemen’s “What Makes A Man Start Fires” album.

escapistrecords asked: Any chance of Roy resurfacing, even in the form of releasing new music? Was there any unreleased material? Been on a huge kick the past few weeks and would love to hear something new.

Nice! Thanks for the Roy love.

Roy never broke up or went on an official hiatus. We just kinda realized that we weren’t a very strong live band and consequently stopped playing shows unless it was a very special occasion. I think we’ve played 3 shows in the last 7 years. Every so often someone in the band will suggest getting together and recording more songs, but things are kinda tricky with touring schedules, full-time jobs, families, and living in different cities.

There are a few unreleased songs out there. Sean from FYF Fest was supposed to release a 7” single of “Reno, I’m Coming Home” with two b-side songs. I’m not really sure what happened with that project. There are a few rough demos floating around too, but nothing really worth sharing with the public. 

I actually showed an early version of “Praise Be Man” to the guys at one of the last Roy practices as it seemed like an appropriate song for the band. But then it was allocated to a solo thing I was working on. When I ditched that idea, I ran it by Russian Circles. Lo and behold…

Long story short, the band might resurface, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for it. I think all the three EPs and both full-length CDs are officially out of print. I’d love to see them come out on vinyl, though I don’t think the demand for it exists. And there is no new material in the works at present.

I do suggest Roy fans scoping out Helms Alee and Canyon Canon. You can hear vestiges of Ben’s songs in his work with Helms Alee, and Canyon Canon is Mike’s solo project. Good stuff on both counts. 



Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a Straight Pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.

There’s been a lot of online discussion about YouTube’s aggressive move against independent artists today, and a friend of mine mentioned that he wouldn’t miss streaming music if it disappeared tomorrow. While I definitely think the ability to share and check out music online is a positive thing, it got me thinking about the last time I heard something online that really blew me away. It’s been a while. Just today I checked out the new How To Dress Well album that everyone’s freaking out over and felt literally nothing while listening to it. 

I read a handful of music blogs every morning. I check out bands that people mention on social media. I’m on email lists for several music PR firms. I hear new music online every day. But where do I hear new music that actually makes me feel something? At a party. Out at a bar. In a club. At a record store. At a friend’s house. On the radio in the car. Really, just about anywhere besides in front of my computer. Most of the new music that catches my ear is playing in a context that doesn’t involve me sitting at a desk staring at a screen. I hear a song and I associate it with a time and place. It serves as a soundtrack to a moment. 

The irony is that I post music online all the time. I share videos. I talk about bands I like. I hope that people will check out my recommendations and feel the same way I do about the songs. But ultimately, I realize that music sounds best when you’re experiencing it away from your desk.