Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ministry's Last Stand

Ministry is my number one favorite band of all time. They have played together for close to 30 years. When I was in college I found this band. Founder Al Jourgensen IS Ministry. He is the singer, songwriter and main voice for all these years. Originally from Chicago, he signed with Wax Trax in 1980, and started Ministry. In the early years, Ministry had a techno/electronic sound. Most Ministry fans refuse to even admit to this. But the song "Every Day is Halloween" is still one of my favorites!!

With the release of The Land of Rape and Honey, Al Jourgensen became the Godfather of the Industrial Revolution. So many bands today credit Ministry for their sound. And this album is considered a classic and one of the most important in the industrial metal sound. Probably my very favorite song, is "Stigmata" from this album. But it's hard to pick. The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste was next to be released. Still one of top-5 Favorite Albums of all-time. With "Burning Inside" and "So What", you can't miss. All that teen angst I had, was released by shouting the words from So What:


So what, it's your own problem to learn to live with
Destroy us, or make us slaves
We don't care, it's not our fault that we were born too late
A screaming headache on the promised age
Killing time is appropriate
To make a mess and fuck all the rest, we say, we say
So what? So what?

What can I say?? From here was Psalm 69, which I know word for word as well. Al had some drug problems in the 90's, which led to an arrest and jail time. But Ministry prevailed (and I'm happy to admit that Mr. Jorgensen has done what many people have never been able to do....and that's completely kick a heroin habit. The man is clean and buff today). Some of their music during the 90's wasn't so great. I didn't like Filth Pig or The Dark Side of the Spoon all that much. But my love of Ministry still stayed strong.


I could write for days on Ministry. Al's very political stance and his hatred of both President Bush's. His political music. His many side projects which include The Revolting Cocks (with Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennedys), 1000 Homo DJ's (with NIN's frontman, Trent Reznor), Lard (again with Jello), PTP (with Chris Connolly)....and even Skinny Puppy. I could write about all the great songs with all the lyrics that really hit me deep inside. I could write about The Thirteenth Planet, the recording studio and record label that Al created. But I won't.

The C-U-LaTour is getting ready to start. The last stand. Ministry's last tour. I have seen Ministry live 7 times. And yes, I will be in Chicago, May 9th for the last concert ever. At the House of Blues. (the last time I was there I saw Ministry and was actually in the middle of a mosh pit!) With a VIP pass, I even get a chance to meet my idol, Al Jourgensen. The last concert will have a 2 1/2 hour set that will include many "special guests". With a little luck, I will be able to meet Jello Biafra too! Dead Kennedys were another band of my past.

I know most of you have never even heard of Ministry. (but if you saw the movie AI, they were the band that played at the Flesh Fair...and their music has been on many soundtracks) I know most of you probably couldn't care less. But this means a lot to me. My favorite band EVER. As sad as I am, that I won't be able to ever hear any new Ministry, I'm ecstatic that I have this one last chance to see them live. And MEET them!! This is my Christmas present from Mike and it's a great one. It doesn't get any better than this!!

17 comments:

kookiejar said...

You are right, I've never heard of Ministry, but I can well imagine your excitement to go to their show and MEET them! (Being a rabid fan-girl of other bands, I understand completely). It must be hard to sleep at night, knowing this is going to happen.

I hope you get your picture taken with your idol...and that you post it. Awesome.

Nicola said...

OK, right now I am at youtube listening to Everyday is Halloween and feeling like I'm 16 again. I totally forgot that song existed! I loooove it!

Lucky you, what a fantastic Christmas pressy.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Mmm. Ministry.

Al's inspired a character of mine, too. He hasn't appeared on the blog yet; it's only a matter of time, though.

Stephanie said...

Kookie - That's right!! I'm a rabid fan-girl!! I will defintely be posting pictures of me and Al!! (if I don't totally chicken out and not talk to him!)

Nicola - Isn't it a great song?? I've loved it for YEARS!! Talk about a flash from the past!

susan - ANY character inspired by my man Al is worth looking at!! I'll have to check it out!

John Mutford said...

My first exposure to them was watching the "Jesus Built My Hotrod" video while my mom added her own, "What the hell is this?" verse. Of course I had to rush out and buy the cd with that sort of endorsement.

Stephanie said...

John - That is too funny!! We actually had Jesus Built my Hotrod played at my wedding reception.
We are probably one of the few receptions in history with a bride in a mosh pit!!

jpderosnay said...

that is sad - but i'm glad you're getting to see them!

i have a vague memory of ministry from the early 90s - i had a few friends who used to like them. and i remember them being electro-ey. weren't they sort of industrial too? or have i got the wrong end of the stick?

Stephanie said...

JP - The first Ministry album was called With Sympathy and it was VERY electronic. But most fans and even the band kind of deny that album...and the next one. When their 3rd album, The Land of Rape and Honey came out it STARTED Industrial music.

Debi said...

Okay, I have to admit it...I am just so totally uncool here...I've never heard of Ministry. (But I have to admit, I already feel a connection to Al if he hates Bush so much!) Anyway, I'm sorry this will be their last tour, but I'm so happy you're going to get to see them one last time! Just hearing your "enthusiasm" has left me energized for the morning. And I'm definitely going to have to check them out.

Carl V. said...

That is a great Christmas present and one that obviously is the perfect gift for you. I'm so happy for you! I know I've heard some of their music before but I don't recall it at all. I'll have to fire up Rhapsody and give them a listen!

heather (errantdreams) said...

I can understand your excitement---congratulations on the most excellent gift!!

Ladytink_534 said...

I've never heard of them either but I know I've heard the "sound" before. Maybe a movie soundtrack?

3M said...

Ministry was one of my favorite bands in college! :-)

Rhinoa said...

Yay for going to meet Ministry! I am more of a NIN fan, but I do like them as well.

jennifer said...

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Alex Garvey said...

Hello,

I stumbled across Ministry in 1996 when i purchased in case you didn't feel like showing up live. The first with the big PARENTAL ADVISORY logo.

It's hard to really ever compare another band to Ministry, NIN and KMFDM are somewhat close, but my love for the band remains.

Filth Pig was surprisingly my favorite album. Dark, heavy, and cold. It screamed over depression. But I loved it, I felt like it brought out the dark side and let me deal with it properly. (Motivation, exercise, etc)

I was lucky enough to see them during the FBTE tour in NYC. Great show, really rough. But I loved it. If in fact they are done, in which I think they are not yet in terms of touring, I would like to see them again.

But sometimes everything good must come to an end. We shall wait and see.

Alex Garvey said...

Hello,

I stumbled across Ministry in 1996 when i purchased in case you didn't feel like showing up live. The first with the big PARENTAL ADVISORY logo.

It's hard to really ever compare another band to Ministry, NIN and KMFDM are somewhat close, but my love for the band remains.

Filth Pig was surprisingly my favorite album. Dark, heavy, and cold. It screamed over depression. But I loved it, I felt like it brought out the dark side and let me deal with it properly. (Motivation, exercise, etc)

I was lucky enough to see them during the FBTE tour in NYC. Great show, really rough. But I loved it. If in fact they are done, in which I think they are not yet in terms of touring, I would like to see them again.

But sometimes everything good must come to an end. We shall wait and see.