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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet


My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet
I know what you are thinking: the internet is a pretty big place. Well, bravo, genius, did you come up with that all by yourself? Or did I just come up with it for you? It doesn’t matter, the fact is that, yes, it is a big place. I myself reached the end of the internet once, and it was a complete mess of long-forgotten cat images, a bunch of gore videos primarily focusing on genitalia, and a gigantic demon with Nicolas Cage’s face who claimed to have my bank details. It took a while to get home from there.

Just listen to me for one second. While the task of writing a list such as this may seem impossible to some one like you, I am no ordinary person. For example: the ring and pinkie toe on my right foot do not bend. There are other things too, I'm sure. I reckon by now this introduction has reached a decent enough length so that it wraps around the main image, and now I will move on.


My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 05. The Beetlejuice Twitter Bot

05. The Beetlejuice Twitter Bot

Imagine my horror when, upon writing this entry, I discovered that this once beloved Twitter account was now defunct, the genius retiring the idea around August this year. GODDMANIT, WHY DOES EVERYTHING I LOVE END UP LEAVING ME?

But even if its existence has evaporated into the afterlife, its presence still lingers in the joy it once granted me, hence why I cherish its memory by keeping this point intact. I just feel sorry for you lot only discovering this anomaly now, as you will never know the joy of tweeting the words “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” only to have this bot proudly spring into action upon your mentions, proclaiming “IT'S SHOWTIME!”, just like in the mooovie! Lolyay!

A moment of silence for its passing, and while we do that, let’s look at some other funny botty Twitter accounts in hopes that this passage justifies its worth afterall.

Yes, You’re Racist
An account which calls out people who tweet “I’m not racist, but...” because any sentence that starts that way is more than likely racist.

Your in America Bot
An account which corrects people when they say something to the effect of “Your in America, speak English!” Oh, the irony.

Stealth Mountain
Similarly, this account corrects people when they say “sneak peak” instead of “sneak peek”. I enjoy such things.


My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 04. The Same Photo of Jim Carrey Every Day Facebook Page

04. The Same Photo of Jim Carrey Every Day Facebook Page

Nothing will brighten up your life more than the same photo of Jim Carrey, every single morning, delivered straight to your Newsfeed. Trust me, I live a very active and rewarding existence, but when this post shows its smiling face, I know my beautiful day has truly just begun. And I am not alone, as the page itself boasts over 150,000 Likes, while the identical image racks up 1000s of further Likes on a daily basis—many of which are my friends. They probably don't know this, but I desperately spend most of my early hours attempting to Like said post before they get a chance, as if some sick competitive ritual.

However, the secret magic of this image lies not in the daily delivery, but in the comments. Here you will find many different users honouring the practice of routinely commenting the exact same thing every day, to the point of madness. There are many, but the most popular by far revolve around Cody’s story, like so:

“It's good to see that in this world of changing chaos, that there are some things that will never change” - Cody Hendricks (close to 200 Likes a day)
“Lean on me, when you're not strong. And I'll be your friend.” - The Official Page’s response to Cody Hendricks (over 50 Likes every day)
“I'm not the Cody you're looking for.” - Cody Mann (around 100 Likes a day)

Naturally, it doesn’t end there, and so I encourage you to go forth and find your own favourites, whilst welcoming the safe regularity of this wonderful distraction.


My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 04. The Same Photo of Jim Carrey Every Day Facebook Page

03. Spinal Tap’s IMDB Rating Goes to 11

If you haven’t seen This Is Spinal Tap, you should. Immediately. Stop reading, find it online, watch it, and then come back. Do not eat nor sleep nor speak nor fuck your boyfriend nor lick your teeth until you get this done, and then thank me in the comments below, to which I'll respond with "you’re welcome".

Did you do what I said? If so, great! I have a few more things I’d like you to do, mail me for details. And please continue reading.
If you have already seen the mockumentary, good on ya! You understand the importance of keeping up-to-date on significant cult classics. And please continue reading.
However, if you have chosen to proceed without viewing the film, you are an idiot, and I experience no guilt as I ruin this particular scene for you, primarily because the “up to eleven” idiom has become such a large part of popular culture parodies, that you’ve missed far too many jokes already. In a way, I’m actually just helping you out. Once again, you’re welcome.

ANYWAY, a very quick summary: the scene in question from the film presents guitarist Nigel Tufnel, as he shows-off the Spinal Tap Marshall amplifiers, which go to volume 11 rather than 10. It’s one louder.

Here is that exact same thing I described, except the actual video clip, which I probably should started have with.

Which brings us to the great dudes at IMDB, who recognised the significance of such a potent line, and took it upon themselves to ensure that this movie’s rating went to 11. God bless you all, really.


My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 02. All Wikipedia Articles Lead to Philosophy

02. All Wikipedia Articles Lead to Philosophy

Unlike the other entries on this list, the “All Wikipedia Articles Lead to Philosophy” phenomenon is just that: a phenomenonon. This was not some intentional man made lolsies, but rather, something that just kinda ... happened.

It works like this: by clicking on the very first (non-parenthesized, non-italicised, non-external) link in the main text of any Wikipedia article, and then continuing to do so as you ride along subsequent articles, you have a 94.52% chance of ending up on the Philosophy page (usually within 23 clicks). Granted, you may get stuck in a loop or fall on a linkless piece, but that more than likely won’t happen. Try it yourself! Go to a random article and start clicking! Count your steps! Tell your friends! LOVE YOURSELF.

And you know what the best part about this is? Nobody is entirely sure why it happens, ooooooh. However, there are some theories, the most popular of which stating that (due to the Wikipedia Manual of Style guidelines on how to write the lead section of an article) contributors are encouraged to start an article by defining its topic, leading the user into a wider more umbrella subject. And seeing as philosophy is known as the "mother of all sciences", I guess it kinda makes sense that every road leads there. Man, that’s some deep shit.


My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 01. Futurama Neutral Balance YouTube Likes

01. Futurama Neutral Balance YouTube Likes

I have no strong feelings one way or the other.

Which is to say, I do! I really do! I mean, what is going on here? WHO KEEPS DOING THIS????

It’s pretty much the simplest thing ever: Six years ago some dude uploaded a 4 second video to YouTube, a clip from Futurama titled Neutral Response, and the internet decided they liked this. In fact, they liked it so much that they've watched it over 4,850,000 times. And, before we knew it, a suicidal mission had developed, one to maintain the neutral balance, proving that we all have strong feelings about having no strong feelings one way or the other. If you’re confused, just look at the Likes and Dislikes, and then you’ll be part of the team. Godspeed.

Of course, as is the nature with such a fragile system, it has become a little bit of a war, and there will always be those kids on the playground who want to watch the world burn. With that in mind, you might be unfortunate enough to see the Likes/Dislikes sway one way or another, much to everyone’s embarrassment. However, generally by simply refreshing the page, you should find that order has been swiftly restored. If not, maybe try help rectify the situation yourself? Be a pal. Make yourself useful for once.

Regardless, it’s my favourite thing on the internet, excluding this one porno video where Hillary Scott takes it ass to pussy over and over again, risking an infection but proving she is a professional whose priority is to please the part of my perverse brain which has retarded beyond recognition.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil

reportedly...

10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil
Sneaking a deal with Satan is far from a modern concept, and by now I assume we are all aware that for the simple price of eternal damnation, any ordinary person can obtain anything they are struggling to acquire for themselves, thanks to good ol' friendly Lucifer. What a guy! How one goes about making said deal, I’m not quite sure, but I imagine it has something to do with goat’s urine, a pentagram drawn in salt, a handshake covered in blood, and the Lord’s prayer spoken backwards in front of the mirror.

The origin of the tale goes back to the 500s decade, where Saint Theophilus the Penitent (Theophilus of Adana) turned down the opportunity to become a bishop out of humility. However, once someone else took his place, he writhed in jealously, regretting his decision so much that he contacted the Devil, renounced Christ, signed his contract, gave up his soul, and ultimately became the bishop he wanted. Years later, Theophilus freaked out about his evil deed and fasted for 70 days in repent, during which time the Virgin Mary shouted at him but eventually granted his forgiveness. He died shortly after, and floated gracefully into Heaven, although then again, maybe that Mary thing was a hallucination due to his starvation? Perhaps Theophilus is still burning in Hell as we speak? Who knows how death works anyway?

An even more popular fable which helped push the wicked notion into a higher awareness, was that of Faust. While the myth is often cited to be based on the true life story of Dr. Johann Georg Faust (1480–1540), the details have been skewed in so many directions that it’s difficult to pick one interpretation to tell. However, the general consensus is that Faust called upon the Devil to swap his soul for knowledge and superpowers. They agreed on a 24 year contract, and Faust got everything he wanted, including: the ability to perform the miracles of Christ; a young girl to sodomise; and a dog which could transform into a servant. Near the end of the legend, Faust also began to regret his decision, but a deal is a deal, and after the 24 years were up, people discovered Faust's bedroom plastered with blood while his body lay dead in the courtyard outside.

Since then, popular culture is abundant with pact references, from fictional accounts to real life accusations—the latter of which this article is based around. For (like any jealous average human being), I refuse to believe anybody has achieved more than me via legitimate means, and so I write these words to expose the truth behind those who took a shortcut to my dreams.
That, and I’m also kinda hoping this blog sends the message loud and clear to Lucifer that I am ready and want in.
Hail Satan, here they are:


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 10. Katy Perry

10. Katy Perry

Born under the thumb of two Pentecostal pastors and initially pursuing a career in gospel music, Katy Perry was everything the Christian community adored in an entertainer. She was attractive. She was talented. She was wholesome. But then she kissed a girl and BAM the Devil burst in with an erect cock, supporting her rise as she sold upwards of 11 million records worldwide as well as receiving three Guinness World Records (in a suspiciously short space of time).

We can all imagine her Daddy's face as she shoved cupcakes on her tits whilst publicly dismissing her religious upbringing, stating that she didn’t “believe in a Heaven or a Hell” and that she was “not Christian” anymore. Little did we know at the time, but she was already on a slippery slope towards Satanism, the final confession taking place on some Australian talk show where the pop singer ADMITTED she had indeed sold her soul to the Dark Lord.
As follows:

“You know what was going on in my life at 15, and ... that’s how I got introduced to the music industry, because I swear I wanted to be like the Amy Grant of music, but it did not work out. And so I sold my soul to the Devil.”
- Katy Perry

Well that settles that. And now that I mention it, her performances of Dark Horse do look a tiny bit like some sort of Satanic ritual, don’t they? Yes, they do.


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 09. Bob Dylan

09. Bob Dylan

Selling over 100 million records and receiving every honour you could possibly imagine, Bob Dylan has gone through some weird phases in his life. Probably the most alienating of these phases blossomed in the late 1970s, where the man apparently made contact with some sort of otherworldly entity which changed his path of spirituality forever. In his own words:

“There was a presence in the room that couldn’t have been anybody but Jesus ... Jesus put his hand on me. It was a physical thing. I felt it. I felt it all over me. I felt my whole body tremble. The glory of the Lord knocked me down and picked me up.”
- Bob Dylan

But was it really Jesus? WAS IT, DYLAN? Well, he sure thought it was, as he spent the next few albums preaching the Good Word in the contemporary gospel scene, and nobody was particularly impressed. The sales fell flatter than Dylan's monotone vocals and his fans mumbled as they left the stadium, betrayed that their special prophet had found his very own prophet. Thankfully, Bob chilled out a bit later in his career, even downplaying the details he had so openly delivered in the past decades, but this was not over. In 2004, further rumours flared up about his partnership with the powers that be, after the following conversation on 60 Minutes took place:

Interviewer: Why are you still out here?
Dylan: It goes back to that destiny thing. I made a bargain with it, you know, long time ago. And I’m holding up my end.
Interviewer: What was your bargain?
Dylan: To get where I am now.
Interviewer: Should I ask who you made the bargain with?
Dylan: With the Chief Commander.
Interviewer: On this Earth?
Interviewer: In this earth and in a world we can’t see.

Now, some are quick to argue that he was talking about Jesus or the Christian God here, but I am not entirely convinced. I mean, have you ever heard of someone making a deal with Jesus to receive fame and fortune? If so, I want to do that! It seems a lot less dodgy than the Devil route, anyway. Otherwise, sorry Dylan, but I think you got played.


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 08. Ke$ha

08. Ke$ha

I imagine it must be quite annoying when Satan gets a phonecall from someone like Ke$ha. I mean, no offence to the girl, but she isn’t exactly as naturally talented as everyone else on this list, is she? However, props to the Devil as he definitely did his best, granting the girl a number-one album and two number-one singles, most notably Tik Tok which is among the best-selling digital singles in history—14 fucking million units, to be exact. You did well all things considered, Lucifer.

And, at a guess, it would seem part of Ke$ha's deal was to praise the dark name publicly, which she did, the most explicit example found on her b-side track Dancing With The Devil. Here are just some of the lines featured in that song to help you understand how serious this is:

“You and I made a deal. I was young and shit got real. We've been through Hell and back.”
“Your love is made of dirty gold, but I’m the one who sold my soul. So go ahead and take my hand.”
“So I’m all yours until the end. A holy war, I’ll never win. So I’ll keep dancing ’til I die.”
“He’s got my mind (you got...), he’s got my soul (...Hell to pay), Mama... he won’t let me go!” - Ke$ha, Dancing With The Devil

Furthermore, Ke$ha also admitted to Ryan Seacrest that her song Supernatural is about this one time when she had sex with a ghost, so maybe that was part of the deal too? Not to mention her trendy tendency to flash pentagrams and upside down crucifixes in her fashion choices, so perhaps this is actually a decent example of where everyone got their money’s worth?


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 07. Giuseppe Tartini

07. Giuseppe Tartini

So here’s a name you’ve never heard before. But if you had lived in the 1700s, you’d not only be dead by now, but you would also more than likely be aware of the Baroque violinist, Giuseppe Tartini. This is because the man’s compositions were so technically demanding (even by today’s standards) that many people believed he was born with six fingers on his right hand—blatantly the only logical explanation as to how anyone could play such insanely difficult licks. Although ... perhaps, there was another reason?
In Tartini’s own words:

"One night, in the year 1713, I dreamed I had made a pact with the Devil for my soul. Everything went as I wished: my new servant anticipated my every desire. Among other things, I gave him my violin to see if he could play. How great was my astonishment on hearing a sonata so wonderful and so beautiful, played with such great art and intelligence, as I had never even conceived in my boldest flights of fantasy. I felt enraptured, transported, enchanted: my breath failed me, and—I awoke. I immediately grasped my violin in order to retain, in part at least, the impression of my dream. In vain! The music which I at this time composed is indeed the best that I ever wrote, and I still call it the ‘Devil's Trill’, but the difference between it and that which so moved me is so great that I would have destroyed my instrument and have said farewell to music forever if it had been possible for me to live without the enjoyment it affords me." - Giuseppe Tartini

Said track (Devil's Trill Sonata) has gone on to be one of Tartini’s most famous works, a song so weirdly potent that the rumours outgrew the tale, various sources claiming that the man was actually in frequent contact with the Devil for inspiration since that dream. But regardless of the reasons, he has gone down in history as (the often cited) “greatest composer and violinist of the XVIIIth century,” as well as named the “Master of Nations” by his own country. So that's a pretty good deal right there.


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 06. Rihanna

06. Rihanna

With over 200 million records sold worldwide (one of the best-selling artists of all time) and thirteen number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (the youngest and fastest solo artist to accomplish this feat), the stories about Rihanna selling her soul to the devil are rife throughout her career, and not exclusively from the mouths of others.

Take this 2012 Tweet, for example. Here you will see RiRi politely putting the Devil down, by quietly proclaiming “FUCK U SATAN!!! Fuck right off!!!!!” Woahhh, what happened there, I wonder? Did you not read the fine print or something, Ri?

Beyond even this, was during an interview with Hot 97’s Angie Martinez. Here, Rihanna was asked why she was covering her eye on her album cover Rated R, and her response was as simple as:

“Because I am a devil worshipper, what are you talking about?"*
- Rihanna

* - Warning: this quote is totally taken dangerously out of context.

But, for me, the most incriminating evidence came from other people, most notably Tiffany Evans (“known” for her single Promise Ring with Ciara). After Rihanna’s Russian Roulette hit came out, the definitely not-jealous Tiffany had the following to say:

“Russian Roulette = suicidal rate gonna sky rocket! [...] Man! I really wish I could tell you guys what the industry really is and what stars are a part of destroying this world. The stars who worship Satan, and those who have killed (blood sacrifices) to get the respect they have now. You’d be verrrry surprised. Some of your favorite people pretend to worship God but they only do that to save face. Or seem innocent. Satan was head of music in Heaven [...] Once you make a certain amount of money, just know that that’s when they ask you to join. To get in you have accept the beast worship. Once you join they assist you with your career. Make you huge, only if you agree and obey to destroy God’s word and his children. People listen and pay attention. It’s a war going on right now between Good and Evil. Evil will rule this world for a min. The people that have this power are the people that RULE the whole world. I’m done I won’t say anymore before I get in trouble.”
- Tiffany Evans

R&B entertainer and Rihanna friend Omarion (who?) weighed in on this subject too, with:

“I don’t personally know Rihanna’s beliefs but I think there’s a very dark and very sinister part of the entertainment business and I think it’s very visible [...] With God and the industry, it’s really dark. The dark side is having to get in, there’s a certain submission you need to have. Just like a gang, so to speak. You might have to do something against your moral code. I’m not saying that it’s always this way, but when you’re someone that is young and you’re coming up in the industry and you really don’t have a grip on your morals it can be very dark [...] I don’t know if Rihanna has fallen victim to those pressures. I’ve never really heard her speak about it. I hope that she doesn’t believe in that stuff and I don’t think that she does, but I don’t know. It’s not just been a Rihanna thing, there’s has been religious speculation about a lot of artists.”
- Omarion

As if this wasn’t enough to blow your precious pop goddess out of the clouds, there is even more coming on this lady very shortly...


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 05. Jay-Z (and associates)

05. Jay-Z (and associates)

While researching for an article such as this, one cannot help but run into countless mentions of the dreaded “Illuminati” word, again and again and again and zzzzz. I have tried my very best to separate the two subjects (hence why anyone desperately searching for Gaga’s name within this piece will be highly disappointed), but was quick to realise I could not avoid the topic completely. Which leads us into this chunky entry, serving a spot where I can slap them all in one place and leave them behind, with Jay-Z as the leader of the pack.

As one of the world’s most financially successful artists of all time ($520 million net worth; more than 100 million records sold; 21 Grammy Awards; consistently rated as one of the greatest rappers in history; etc), Jay-Z also has the unique honour of being dubbed the head of various weird conspiracy theories. Not only has he often labeled himself as a God (see the song Crown, as well as his countless self references as J-hova) and taking the original credit for flashing the diamond-Roc hand symbol (one of the more popular Illuminati trademarks, so I'm told), he was also the founder of Roc-A-Fella Records. That very name itself is an allusion to the Rockefeller title (one of the most powerful families in history, often hypothesised as the originators of the Illuminati group because of something money something something). Within this label, it seems many of his associates and their performances are abundant with occultish and masonry symbolism, and here are some of the more popular ones so you don’t have to leave my blog ever again:

Rihanna!
She's a signee of Jay’s, and we touched on her only moments earlier. But beyond what we’ve already established, there are some other creepy incidents related to this topic. Just one example: blink and you miss it, but during her S&M video, the words Princess of the Illuminati flash up behind her. Oooooh.

Kanye West!
He and Jay-Z have worked together on tons of albums, so much so that Kanye received most of his initial recognition from these very collaborations. One such collaboration is that Jay-Z track named Lucifer which Yeezy made the beat for—and that’s the Devil’s name! Furthermore, Kanye’s videos for Runaway and Power are dripping heavy with Illuminati analogies (or so they say), and even the artist himself rapped the following on his GOOD Music BET Cypher freestyle:

“I sold my soul to the devil, thats a crappy deal. Least it came with a few toys like a happy meal.”
- Kanye West

Beyoncé!
And, of course, there's Jay’s lovely wife. She too has not escaped the fingers of accusations, many pointing out her own evil imagery during shows, especially when she couldn't help morphing into a demon in front of our very own eyes at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show.

There are some even more mental people who swear they can see a skull and crossbone logo in (their daughter) Blue Ivy Carter’s eyes, but I can’t be thinking like that for the sake of my own sanity.

Now, some might say all of this is far too speculative, and doesn't really have anything to do with Jay selling his soul to Devil whatsoever. And you'd be right. But it's hard to deny that if there were some sort of Devil soul-selling conspiracy theory shit going on, Jay would know about it. Hell, Jay would be the kingpin of the whole operation. I guess that's why in Nas’ track Ether (known as one of the greatest diss songs of all time), he boldly accused Jay of exactly that, using the plain and simple line:

“You traded your soul for riches.”
- Nas, Ether

WELL IF NAS SAYS IT, IT GOTS TO BE TRUE.

One final side note of interest, on the Beatles/Jay-Z mashup Grey Album, the song Lucifer 9 reversed clearly features Jay-Z saying “666” and “Murder Murder Jesus”. But unless Danger Mouse knows something we don’t, I think this may have just been his little fun time.


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 04. Black Sabbath

04. Black Sabbath

You surely knew this was coming. Because where would anything Satan be without their main musical disciples here on earth; the pioneers and probably the most influential heavy metal band ever; selling 70 million records worldwide; inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and winning two Grammys—all despite their open affiliation with Lucifer (or perhaps, because of it?).

"I really wish I knew why I’ve done some of the things I’ve done over the years. Sometimes I think that I’m possessed by some outside spirit. A few years ago, I was convinced of that—I thought I truly was possessed by the Devil. I remember sitting through the Exorcist a dozen times, saying to myself, ‘Yeah, I can relate to that.’"
- Ozzy Osbourne

This blasphemous story begins with bassist/primary lyricist Geezer Butler. By his own account, he received some book on the occult as a gift, and placed it in his cupboard without much thought. That same night, he awoke to a Satanic being stood at the foot of his bed. When this creature finally disappeared, he was understandably spooked and promptly went to his cupboard to throw the book away. But it was gone. Since then, the figure followed not only Geezer, but the whole band, each member reporting similar events until they all kinda got used to it and proclaimed the mysterious force to be the ‘fifth member of Black Sabbath’.

"I was putting upside down crosses on my wall and pictures of Satan all over. I painted my apartment black. I was getting really involved in it and all these horrible things started happening to me."
- Geezer Butler

If there was indeed a deal here, I think it would be easy to work out the terms. Sabbath admitted that when they first started jamming, songs would appear to them already written (the first three albums hardly a result of their own hands, reportedly). In return, the band did everything they could to preach the dark word: they placed Satanic symbols and demonic themes throughout all their work; they bit the heads off small animals; they took all the drugs; and of course, they fucking named their band Black Sabbath in the first place. They even titled their 1976 compilation album We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll, but I think we all know what they really meant.

“I've always had this thing about Satan from the time I was small ... the Devil is within us all the time.”
- Ozzy Osbourne

As if the above quote wasn't enough evidence, the majority of the band’s evils were carried on the shoulders of lead vocalist Ozzy Osbourne (aka the Prince of Darkness) alone, by far the most popular member due to his highly regarded solo career and relatively embarrassing reality TV show spells. It would take a whole independent article just to highlight the insane rockstar antics this madman has managed to accumulate over a life that should have ended decades ago, but I’d rather focus on the time he tried to kill his wife. In her own words:

“I was downstairs reading. He came down with just his underpants on. And he's like, 'We've come to a decision.' And I'm like, 'We've'? And he said 'You have to die'. And then he just dived on me and got me down, and was just strangling me. But he was gone. There were blinkers on his eyes. He had gone. It wasn't Ozzy.”
- Sharon Osbourne

Yeah, so that might be enough to wonder if the deal went a bit too far, hey? Damn, Satan, you bad! But even if this is still not enough to convince you, the final evidence came as recent as 2014, when the singer was asked what he would sell his soul to the Devil for. His response?

"I already have. Well, you sell your soul to the Devil when you do something yourself that you shouldn't, and I already have. I've fucking lived my life to the fullest. If there's an afterlife, I've got a good fucking spot in the furnace, you know?"
- Ozzy Osbourne

You see! Right there! He confessed! Done.

"I don't know if I'm a medium for some outside source. Whatever it is, frankly, I hope it is not what I think ... Satan."
- Ozzy Osbourne


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 03. Niccolò Paganini

03. Niccolò Paganini

Know him or not, Niccolò is one of the highest praised violin virtuosos of all time, standing as a huge influence on modern violin techniques and inspiring endless composers to this very day. And how did he become so good? Well, Satan, obviously.

Legend has it that his mother was the negotiator, making a pact with the Devil herself, trading her son’s then six-year-old soul for a career as the greatest violinist in the world. Whether this tale was true or not, Paganini was well aware of the reputation, and never denied any of the allegations, rather exploiting his seemingly supernatural superpowers until the whole world was in awe of his otherworldly abilities. Some of the more incriminating incidents include:

He once won a Stradivarius violin by playing a piece so technical that it was said to be impossible to perform, even with preparation. Niccolò played it on sight.
He was capable of playing three octaves across four strings in one hand span—a feat which is considered nearly impossible even by today’s standards.
For many years, no other violinist was even capable of playing any of his music.
His performances were said to be so compelling that his audience would either watch in tears or from a trancelike stupor.
Once, when a string on his violin snapped in an intricate passage, he simply continued playing the piece on three strings, which was unheard of at the time and froze the crowd’s facial expressions into gaping holes of mouths. After that day, Paganini often purposefully played on worn out strings in hopes that they would snap, forcing him to play on less and less strings much to the audience's delight. He even started writing entire pieces for a single string.
Finally, inspirational composer Hector Berlioz once stated that Niccolò was “one of those artists of whom it must be said: 'They are because they are, and not because others were before them'".

Due to such stories (and many others) he was worshipped and feared by all. The talks of the soul selling incident slowly morphed into rumours that Niccolò was in actual fact the son of the Devil, and then eventually, many swore that he was the Devil himself. People claimed they noticed a double figure of Paganini in the audience at every show he played. Others believed they watched a demon with horns and hooves just off of the stage, who would guide Paganini’s bow arm with its tail throughout the performance. Once, after borrowing a fellow musician's violin, the lender refused to take it back, anxious that he would become possessed by Niccolò’s Satanic powers. Whispers such as these became so loud that people would make the sign of the cross in his presence. It eventually got so out of control that Paganini was legally forced to publish letters from his mother to prove he came from real human parents after all.

But, in the end, we all have to die, and Paganini did die too, from internal haemorrhaging in 1840. The issue came when no Church would touch the body, denying him any Catholic burial whatsoever. In fact, it took 36 years and an appeal to the Pope just to get his body buried at all, which I’m sure Lucifer found hilarious as he welcomed this definite soldier to his side.


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 02. Led Zeppelin

02. Led Zeppelin

Here’s another crowd pleaser, as the reports about Led Zeppelin selling their souls to the Devil have existed since ... well, since they’ve existed, really. But why? Where did it come from? What is the meaning of this? I took a look around and discovered that it all started with Jimmy Page, (one of) the (best) guitarist(s in the world, ever). In his own words:

"My interest in the occult started when I was 15. I do not worship the Devil, but Magick does intrigue me. Magick of all kinds. I read ‘Magick in Theory and Practice’ when I was about 11 years old, but it wasn't for some years that I understood what it was all about."
- Jimmy Page

Jimmy’s interest in the unknown grew so strong that he had ‘the wickedest man in the world’ Aleister Crowley’s dictum “Do what thou wilt” inscribed into the grooves of the original Led Zeppelin III vinyl, and even went on to purchase the philosopher's old house. Now, what was it that my Mom told me? The fastest way to get a visit from the Devil is to meddle? How else would you explain the 200-300 million records sold worldwide? Every album entering the Billboard top 10? Six of which hit number 1? Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Each member so incredibly talented that not one could out-perform another? Arguably the most influential hard rock band in history? Nope, you simply cannot explain this. Nobody can explain this. Only the Devil could be behind such a monumental success.

Naturally, it goes even deeper than this, the biggest helping of evidence coming (quite fittingly) from their biggest song ever, Stairway to Heaven. The story goes that singer Robert Plant wrote the majority of his lyrics in one quick sitting, as if the words poured through him and were not of his own. Something like:

“Robert was sitting in the corner, or rather leaning against the wall, and as I was routining the rest of the band with this idea and this piece, he was just writing. And all of a sudden he got up and started singing, along with another run-through, and he must have had 80% of the words there.”
- Jimmy Page

“My hand was writing out the words, 'There's a lady is sure [sic], all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to heaven'. I just sat there and looked at them and almost leapt out of my seat."
- Robert Plant

And so, if something else was moving that pencil for Plant, he really couldn’t be blamed if, say, some bored High School kids reversed the vinyl and found Satanic messages hidden within the music, right? Because that’s exactly what happened. People were shocked and appalled to discover that various dark phrases were hidden within the backwards grooves, which are generally agreed to say something like:

“Oh, here's to my sweet Satan. The one whose little path made me sad, whose power is Satan. He'll give those with him 666. And all those fools who made us suffer, Sad Satan.”
- Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven (reversed)

Naturally, the band denied all of this, but if Robert also claims he never technically "wrote" those lyrics, who is he to say, really? It’s also a little eerie and coincidental that aforementioned Aleister Crowley advocated his followers to learn how to speak backwards too, hmmm? But whatever you think, I stand by the hypothesis that if there was ever a song the Devil wrote himself, this would undoubtedly be it. I mean, think about it, if you’re taking the Stairway to Heaven backwards, you are...

Many attribute this deal with Satan to a lot of the horrible things that happened to the band since, for example, drummer John Bonham choking to death on his vomit in 1977 (ending the band) and Plant’s five-year-old son dying from a stomach infection. But whatever the case, I think Jack Black summed it up best, with:

“They say that Led Zeppelin sold their souls to Satan ... come on guys, you know you did! There’s no other way to explain your ungodly talents! But while you’re in hell, the human race will cherish your heavenly jams 'til the end of time.”
- Jack Black


10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil: 01. Robert Johnson

01. Robert Johnson

When it comes to any story about the Devil trading talent for a musician’s soul, not a single one rides higher than the tale of Robert Johnson. So much so, that the legend often overshadows the man’s artistic legacy, even when considering how highly praised he is by those who know (cited as a major influence on Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, early Fleetwood Mac, and, yes, Led Zeppelin).

The myth goes a little something like this: all Robert Johnson ever wanted to be was a great blues musician. Unfortunately, he simply wasn’t that good, labeled mediocre at best, absolutely terrible at worst. That was until the fateful day he received the “instruction” to mission to some unknown crossroad at midnight, taking his guitar with him. There, he met a very tall black man who took the guitar from Johnson, tuned it, played a couple of songs, and then handed it back, the act essentially sealing the deal. The musician returned home, soulless, but overnight had somehow inherited the uncanny ability to play the blues like no other, much to everyone’s confused surprise.

Even if you ignore the fact that no one could explain how this man had become a master in such a rapid timeframe, other evidence included that Robert always turned his back to the audience when he performed (even in the studio), prohibiting anyone to see his hand in action, probably because it wasn’t his hand. He had also returned with some newly found powers over women, possessing them as they fell hopelessly in love with him whenever he wanted them to. Another interesting fact is that six of Johnson’s 29 songs mentioned dark and supernatural forces in one way or another, which much like anyone on this list, seems like a standard part of the pact.

“The thing about Robert Johnson was that he only existed on his records. He was pure legend.”
- Martin Scorsese

Another reason as to why this myth runs thick, is due to how obscure the man was. Indeed, there are reportedly only five dates in Johnson’s life that can be used to assign him to any place in history, his songs one of the very few items of proof that the man even existed, leaving one poorly documented life with far too much breathing space for the myth to grow without much restraint. But whatever the truth, his contract was short lived, as one night whilst flirting with some woman at a dance in 1938, Johnson was handed a poisoned bottle of whiskey and was murdered, becoming one of the original and more famous members of the 27 Club.

“I came upon a crossroad, the night was hot and black. I see Robert Johnson, with a ten dollar guitar strapped to his back, lookin' for a tune. Well here comes Lucifer, with his canon law, and a hundred black babies runnin' from his genocidal jaw. He got the real killer groove, Robert Johnson and the devil, man. Don't know who's gonna rip off who.”
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds; Higgs Boson Blues


Outtakes

Snoop Dogg
Why he should have been included: Exclusively for his lyrics on Murder Was The Case.
Why he wasn't included: Stoners can't sell their soul to Satan, they are far too paranoid.

John Lennon
Why he should have been included: Both books The Lennon Prophecy (by Joseph Niezgoda) and Lennon: The Definitive Biography (by Ray Coleman) state that Lennon made a pact with the Devil to become "bigger than Elvis".
Why he wasn't included: There are a lot of books which like to say damaging things about John, and so I take such allegations with a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

Lil Wayne
Why he should have been included: For his lyrics from Here We Are (Rich Gang) and some backwards messaging in I Feel Like Dying.
Why he wasn't included: Because he sucks.

Tommy Johnson
Why he should have been included: His own brother was adamant that Tommy sold his soul to master the guitar.
Why he wasn't included: His story, while a good one, is so often mixed up with Robert Johnson's (no relation) that it became pointless to write the same thing twice.

Eminem
Why he should have been included: Eminem has admitted in many songs that he sold his soul to Satan for fame, namely Rain Man, Demon Inside, Say Goodbye to Hollywood, and (most notably) My Darling.
Why he wasn't included: Because he talks a lot of shit. He simply sold out more than anything (lol).

new blog

Pretending anyone gives a fuck: there is a very good reason as to why these news items have become less and less frequent with all the legroom between. I’m going to open the next paragraph with said reason, but let it be known, I am a touch embarrassed over what it is.

Fitness! Oh my God, I can’t believe it, I am actually admitting this out-loud. I have these terrible day nightmares where I am running to work and a bus hits me and then I die. Can you imagine? In some newspaper it might say “Jared Woods, a runner, was killed by a bus this morning”. A runner? A RUNNER!? Will this one tiny aspect of my daily quest for greatness serve to summarise my entire life existence? Would all my countless projects dilute into irrelevance as a direct result of my untimely demise just because I went for a jog?? Imagine the horror!

But the truth is the truth: I (quite a long time ago) decided it was time to go to the gym. My reasons for joining were ones of vanity, but my reasons for staying were ones of euphoria. And the fact is, I am no longer happy unless I spend a fairly decent amount of designated week time towards helping my body look better naked, which is something the books recommend anyway. However, this approach of actually improving myself has come with the cost I fear most: less time.

As a result, projects have been brutally slaughtered and a strict enforcement of priorities has been implemented. As always, one of the first things to go would be these news items, because I don’t care. What this does mean though, is that I’ve worked on quite a few ventures which have gone undocumented, and I guess this has now hit boiling point because here I am, demanding this very news item receives a slot in my schedule somehow. So be warned, there is a big list of Jareds following, but if you have any interest in how this recession has affected my creative routine, they are scattered in amongst the following entries:


This Is Your Brain On Drugs

Rightfully so, this became the highest priority, and after four years in the making, I am beaming to announce that it’s complete. Written, designed, illustrated, formatted, print-ready to order. The only thing that’s missing ... is you.
That’s right. You. Simply put, I need your money. It sucks, because I hate asking for stuff (and I never have), but it simply won’t exist otherwise. But when considering it's pretty much the coolest thing I’ve ever done, I reckon it's worthy of the funding, which is probably why it has already done very well. I mean, I wrote a book! Do you know how long this takes? I’m super proud of it anyway.
So please, for the love of God, check it out. I get interviewed by a hot girl and everything.


Juice Nothing

These blogs will always be a permanant priority. However, due to the aforementioned full-fucking-length novel, it has been pretty difficult to keep my head above the water on this front, but I managed (oh-so-fucking-barely). Last month's piece was late, and I’m not sure there will even be one for this month, but the way I see it is this: I wrote a book, so it’s fine. Did I mention I wrote a book?
Here are three articles you may have missed:

The 15 Greatest Smiths Lyrics Ever
The epitome of a throwaway piece, the history of this article comes from a short story I was writing. I intended to release said story in April, but as the end of the month approached, I realised I could either shove out a rushed pile of spaghetti, or I could quickly crap something else out and grant myself an extra month to perfect my craft. This Smiths blog, ladies and gentlemen, was that crap, taking about an hour to complete and the perfect example of style over substance. That said, it truly was a list I have always wanted to cover, and I’m still fond of it, oh-ho-oh.

Worst To Best: Stanley Kubrick
My fourth Worst to Best so far, and perhaps the landmark where I got sick of it all, idk. It’s a difficult concept to approach because my initial intention is to always stay true to myself, but when the fanboys on Reddit tell me how shit I am, I start to doubt my own opinions. Why did I put Lolita so high, again? Anyways, the point stands that it’s still a decent post, and at least I have proof that I’ve seen every Kubrick now, which makes me better than most people, I reckon.

10 Musicians Who Sold Their Soul To The Devil
This was launched right now! The idea itself has been knocking around for a few years, originally I wanted to submit it to Bizarre magazine, but then they shut down and my emotions mourned, unable to face the topic for decades. But, finally, it is here, and may I say that in a year of short stories and Best to Worsts, this is the only proper researched piece of writing I've managed in 2015. I hope you read it, because I think it's up there.

Ok, once the dust on this book thing settles a bit, hopefully I can push out another post before the customary best artwork of/worst artwork of/best albums of/Dear 2015 jazz comes out, but no promises.


The Goat's Nest

Much like the Juice Nothing blog posts, my short stories are treated as a constant priority: if it’s their turn, they will get their time.
That said, they have had way more than their fair share of attention in 2015. This Is Your Brain On Drugs aside, two completely unrelated short stories exposed themselves, which is unusual for any year. They were:

The Kübler-Ross Model
The idea for this short story actually hit me directly after The Triangular Theory of Love was released, as the sorta sequel. I even first mentioned way back in December 2012, here, just in case you were wondering how long this rubbish has been knocking around my brain. I even attempted to write it back then too, but completely scrapped the whole plan and still have no idea where those notes are.
Regardless, it took a few different angles to penetrate it, I penetrated it, and I am glad it’s out—perhaps not as my most immediately enjoyable story, but definitely a large one which boasts very thorough concepts (imo). It feels like a proper story, if you know what I mean. It’s also because of projects like this that I don’t have a girlfriend right now.

Raining Teeth
On a long distance plane ride to India, this one was written, and I am still not 100% sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, it really flowed so naturally out of me, was a blast to write, and I think it has quite a few good ideas packed into a nice short space of time, as one very important piece to a much bigger story (isn’t everything?). On the other hand, I feel like I failed on some of the subtexts and it isn’t as linear as I would have preferred, in hindsight. Still, I love the characters, and at least I’m writing something, what are you up to?

As always, I know what my next short story will be, and I’m particularly excited about this one. The only thing I’ll reveal for now is that it will be aimed at a younger audience. Ooooh.


Coming Down Happy

The tragedy of CDH is that nothing (literally, NO-THING) has been nor will be released from the outlet this year. I tried various approaches, but the whole "time" thing again. Here is an elaboration on what I just said:

Sex is Disgusting
As yet another high priority, work for this EP has never fully ceased, and I have definitely hit some sorta wind at the moment, finally enjoying the process, and eager to work on it everyday. I’d say 6 of the 8 songs are 90% - 95% complete (excluding vocal recordings), but even with that kind of progress, it simply is not going to see the light of day in 2015. Hopefully it won’t be too far off that, but at very least you know I am not going to rush something shit out. Although it might still be shit, I’m not sure.

Music Video
This quickly became a low priority in the scramble. Pity, because it’s 100% shot and maybe like 65% edited, but how important is something like this? Not. However, as per everything else, once the book is out the way and we have more breathing room, it shall resurface and shouldn’t take too long after that. I guess I might as well tell you that it’s for the song The Best Stitches I’ve Ever Had.

If you remember, I also promised another new huge section on the Coming Down Happy website this year, but this got the hierarchy shit mauled out of it, and will have to chill. Don’t hold your sleep, because this is about as low as a priority can go (even if it’s pretty cool).

Hey, did I ever mention the spoken word album I was planning? No? Ok, don’t worry about that either then.


Band

Fuck, has it really been so long since I’ve addressed this? Obviously the band was hiiigh priority, but then Milz left London and the whole thing fell apart. There is no band anymore, and allow me to be the first to say GODFUCKINGDAMNIT ALL TO HELL THIS IS WHY I DON’T JOIN BANDS ANYMORE. This was a really special one too! :'(
Aaaanyway, I did find another guy, we jammed, we didn’t sound like Sonic Youth, so I quit.
There is another thing in the extremely recent pipeline as I type this, but until I squeeze the book out and get laid, I really shouldn’t be wasting too much energy.


Painting

This fell immediately into the depths of low priority, but fortunately only moments before the plummet, two new pieces solidified, and I quite like them both. They were:

Teletubbies Picasso
Ammr Khalifa

There probably won’t be anymore this year, but in January I have furious intentions of running full force back into these for a while. SO LOOK FORWARD TO THAT THEN.


The Funpowder Plot

Literally nothing. Based on what I’ve heard (I haven’t heard anything) and what I have planned (I haven’t got anything planned), I doubt we'll receive anything from this collective until 2016.
However, it should get much better from there. Personally, I have three (or four) ideas I would love to see next year, which include the ever elusive CDH video, a pilot for a friendly series, and something more cartoony like that Valentine’s Day thing.
The main issue is how impossible it has become to even get hold of these fuckers right now, but at least the Freewheelin’ Troubadour will be back from India in January, so I can probably rope him into something or other.


One final high priority is that a lot of my energy has gone into sorting my citizenship out, which obviously dominated a lot of time. This is fairly important, but I am getting there, and once it’s done I’ll travel the world and forget about all of you.

Which kinda relates to how much I have already been traveling this year. I was in India at the beginning of the year, and then skipped onward to Croatia a month or so ago, plus I’ll be visiting Spain in two weeks, so all in all, this hasn’t been the most creative year for reasons of inner-peace. It’s called Life people, you should try it out sometime.

ENOUGH.