Posts Tagged Commodity Fetishism

US Post Office To Issue Commemorative Jeff Hanneman Postage Stamps

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Earlier this year, the United States Postal Service began to issue a series of stamps to shine the spotlight on some of the finest dead performers in American musical history.  The Musical Icon series has already honored Tejano legend Lydia Mendoza and country superstar Johnny Cash.  At a press conference this morning, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe announced that the newest stamp would commemorate the life and legacy of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman.

Beyond being a founding member of the band Slayer, Jeff Hanneman’s influence on American life can be felt everywhere.  From heavy metal to gospel, from the Halls of Montezuma to the fields of Tripoli, from the outhouse to the courthouse to The White House, Hanneman’s distinct style of riffing has been a major part of America becoming the great nation it is today.  Hanneman, a fighter pilot instrumental in the Allied victory during the Civil War, passed away from a combination of spider venom and Heineken earlier this year.

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Nothing is more uniquely American then buying things in order to participate in a tragedy (or event, as they are now called).  Hanneman’s death has certainly been no exception.  “Jeff In Peace” tee shirts were on sale only days after his passing.  “Angel of Jeff” coffee mugs followed soon after.  The Franklin Mint even issued a series of 1000 collectable plates in order to help those who felt they could only show their appreciation of Hanneman’s work by spending 79.99 on an item that would normally retail for 5 bucks.  They sold out 11 seconds after they went on sale.

While many Slayer fans have shown their grief in traditional ways, like buying Slayer merchandise or pirating their discography, a bizarre fetishization of objects directly touched by Hanneman has taken place among the more devout fans.  A Raider jersey, supposedly caked in the dried sweat of Hanneman from a show in 2002, was auctioned off on eBay for over ten thousand dollars because of its supposed “healing powers”.  Osho von Kegel, a registered shaman and Slayer fan from Sedona, Arizona, has recently begun performing a desert ritual where Slayer fans swallow guitar picks used by Hanneman in order to cure ailments ranging from gout to obstructed bile ducts.

The postal service expects these stamps to be the biggest seller they’ve had in quite a long time.  Fans are already putting in advanced orders even though the stamps won’t be out until sometime next year.  Roger Burlingame, an avid Slayer fan and stamp collector, was overjoyed when he learned of his hero being honored as part of the Musical Icon collection.  “I was hoping that he was going to die at some point soon so that I could buy things to honor his memory.  I was so excited when I found out that there is actually going to be a Jeff Hanneman death stamp!  I have already ordered one hundred of them and plan to put them on the wall next to my  9/11 commemorative coin collection.”

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3,000 Copies of New Carcass Record To Be Released On Limited Edition Goitre

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Fans of the band Carcass have a lot to look forward to in 2013.  First came the news that the band had returned to the studio to record their first album in 17 years.  The album, to be titled Surgical Steel, is due to hit stores sometime later this year.  Now, it has been announced the band will be releasing a limited printing of 3,000 copies of the new album on 780-gram goitre.

For years, goitres were thought to simply be swollen thyroid glands found in people with iodine deficiencies.  Until recently, few music fans realized how effective goitres were for carrying high definition sound.  “Goitre has a much warmer, richer analog sound, but retains that sound quality better over time,” said record producer and sound quality expert Hakaru Hashimoto, who is currently working on Neil Diamond’s first goitre based release “Banned in Boston”, scheduled to come out in late 2014.

Several bands including Portal, Jungle Rot and Manilla Road have recently released limited pressings of their new albums on goitre, but Carcass is, by far, the most well-known metal band to put out a new release in this fashion.

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While new goitre records are still relatively uncommon, the re-release of earlier editions of albums on goitre has quietly become a successful way for artists to cash in.  These rare items have fetched huge sums on websites like eBay.  A goitre version of Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning” recently ran one music aficionado 2,000 dollars.  However, with improvements in goitre harvesting techniques, it is possible that the industry may embrace going “full-goitre” as early as 2021.

Owning albums on goitre has become a major status symbol among some hardcore metal fans.  Seattle, Washington opened America’s first Vinyl and Goitre Shop earlier in the spring.  The store has been flooded with fans seeking early Iron Maiden and Judas Priest goitres.  While many metalheads have jumped on the goitre bandwagon others, like 30-year metal veteran Danny von Hellstorm, lead vocalist from the band Albino Autopsy, claim they have gotten sick of all of the “goitre posers” that are flooding the scene today.

Growing their own goitres has even become a fashion statement among some metalheads in Florida.  Congenital Hypothyroidism, a band out of Punta Gorda, became the first group to grow matching goitres earlier in the year.  None of the members have consumed salt in the past 8 months in order to grow the lumps in their neck that would allow them to call themselves the world’s first “proto-goitrecore” band.  Goitremania can clearly be taken too far, as evidenced when the band’s lead guitarist Neoplasm von Goitrogen was hospitalized after complications related to his attempted goitre piercing.

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Dennis Rodman’s Million Dollar A Month Heavy Metal Habit

As rumors of NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman’s possible bankruptcy fill the news, recent court documents have revealed that his collection of heavy metal albums may be a major factor in his current financial crisis.  Rodman, who is believed to owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to his ex-wife, apparently averaged spending 1.3 million dollars a month purchasing metal records over the past three years.

Rodman’s mind-boggling collection takes up two-thirds of his Malibu estate.  It features a mountain of great metal treasures from original vinyl pressings of Iron Maiden’s “The Soundhouse Tapes” to numbered collectors editions of the first ten Judas Priest albums.

Some experts claim that he overvalued many items and paid ridiculous sums for them.  For example, Rodman spent 40,000 dollars on two copies of the recent Morbid Angel IIud Divinum Insanus Wooden Box Set.  The set, which included a red 180 gram copy of the record, a leather bound CD edition and two red candles, was valued at 199 dollars.  He also spent 130,000 dollars to purchase all six hundred and sixty six copies of the Marduk-Panzer Division Set, valued at 40 dollars per copy.

Rodman was duped into purchasing many “autographed” albums that were fraudulent.  For example, Rodman paid 10,000 dollars for a vinyl copy of Anthrax “Among The Living” that was signed by Johnny Belladonna, clearly not the singer from Anthrax.  He also paid 30,000 dollars for a copy of Danzig III:  How The Gods Kill.  The album was autographed by Glen Danzig, a misspelled version of the singer’s name (which has two n’s).

Rodman even purchased European versions of albums that did not actually exist.  He paid 800,000 for one of the supposed 12 copies of Dimmu Borgir’s “Morbid Fascist Iconoclast”, a demo that the band was believed to have recorded in 1989 (four years before they were actually formed).

In spite of the problems, Rodman’s collection is still a sight to behold.  Imagine a record store with everything from Anacrusis to Znowhite.  Rodman has entire rooms dedicated to genres and sub-genres.  His NWOBH metal room, complete with life-sized photos of Steve Harris and Rob Halford, is located right down the hallway from his thrash room, which features a stuffed and mounted fake heads of Chuck Billy, Steve “Zetro” Souza, and Nuclear Assault’s John Connelly on the wall.

For a brief stretch, he even had the real Paulo Jr. from Sepultura living in a caged room in near the garage.  Paulo was kidnapped by a group of Hamas agents and sold to Rodman for 150,000 dollars.  He managed to escape Rodman’s collection by gnawing through the bars when Rodman was on a weekend vacation in the Bahamas.

Rodman did, for a brief moment, consider selling his collection.  It is, after all, valued at over 8.7 million dollars and would set him up securely for the rest of his life.  But Rodman believed that selling his collection might make him a poser, so he quickly shelved the idea.  He has instead, considered selling one or both of his kidneys in order to get himself back on firm financial footing.

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George Clooney Agrees to Buy Bones of Bathory’s Quorthon For 1.6 Million Dollars

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In a highly awaited auction, film star George Clooney outbid several other interested collectors for the rights to purchase the bones of former Bathory frontman Quorthon at Southeby’s in London on Friday.  Clooney paid a record 1.6 million dollars for the skeleton, the most ever paid for the remains of a metal artist.

Clooney, a lifelong Bathory fan, felt this was the best way to pay his respects to the band that got him into metal.  “I’ll never forget the day I bought Under The Sign of the Black Mark,” said Clooney with a nostalgic, distant look in his eye, “it was the first time I ever fell in love.”

The purchase of the organs and bones of dead metal artists has become a hobby among Hollywood celebrities of late.  Julia Roberts started the trend last year when she purchased the spinal column and jawbone of Ronnie James Dio for five hundred thousand dollars.  Roberts has already offered two million for the corpse of former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno, who has not yet died.  Roberts plans to consume the corpse in a stew with several other diehard Maiden fans while listening to the album Killers at her palatial home in Malibu, California.

The bidding war over the corpse of Mayhem and Burzum’s Varg Vikernes reportedly may run over 10 million dollars.  The country of Albania has already expressed interest in buying his lungs and placing them in the town square in the city of Tirana as a potential way to ward off the evil spirits that have plagued that European nation for the past century.

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The recent surge of interest in the band Bathory contributed to the high cost of Quorthon’s bones, which six months ago could have been purchased on Ebay for only four thousand dollars.  However, since last month’s release of the Bathory celebrity tribute album, “It’s Never a Fine Day to Die”, the band has become a household name.  The first single of off the album, a duet version of Necromansy performed by Elton John and Ke$ha, climbed to number 7 on the Billboard chart this week.  Other major Bathory tributes are popping up all across the United States.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour proposed a bill to recognize February 17th as Quorthon day in the state “for his contributions to the black metal movement” and Dairy Queen has offered to give anyone free French fries if they bring a copy of “Blood Fire Death” into any of their nearly nine thousand nationwide stores for the next month.

Quorthon’s estate upped the bidding by promising to give a full ten percent of the purchase price to The Salvation Army.  Clooney was thrilled not only to be able to finally caress the femur bone of his favorite vocalist;  he was also happy to be able to help out a good cause in the process.  Salvation Army spokesman Marshall Whitcomb praised the donation and remarked “I haven’t heard much of this Bathory, but my daughter assures me they are great.  We look forward to building churches and community centers around America in Quorthon’s name.”

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