NPR logo Rock 'n' Roll, Born on the Beast's Day

Rock 'n' Roll, Born on the Beast's Day

Music Producer and Song of the Day Editor Stephen Thompson offers some interesting observations about music on this day, 6/6/06:

As expectant parents do their best to avoid — or, in a few cases, guarantee — a 6/6/06 birthday for their children, many musicians have opted to release new CDs on the big day. The date, which only occurs once a century, seemed like a natural for the overtly Satan-friendly likes of Deicide and Slayer. But both responded with afterthoughts: an EP for Slayer (released exclusively through Hot Topic, no less!), and two new iTunes-only tracks for Deicide, whose entire career should have been building to this moment.

Instead, most albums released on 6/6/06 have little to do with the antichrist: Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint's post-Katrina collaboration The River in Reverse, Scott Walker's impossibly long-awaited (and impossibly bizarre) The Drift, and new albums from the likes of Cheap Trick, Alexi Murdoch, Live, Juana Molina and Zero 7. Some might have trouble choosing between listening to Live's pompous bleating and signing on for an eternity in the company of the Lord of Lies and his cruel army of the night, but don't be fooled. It's a false choice, and you're allowed to pass on both.

Given the symbolic significance of the date, the list of albums released today strikes a surprising balance between the darkness of Gothic Divas Presents Switchblade Symphony, Tre Lux & New Skin and new discs by the (admittedly secular) likes of The Evangelicals and Amps for Christ. So why not land somewhere in the middle? The Seattle "edu-core" band Bloodhag recently released Hell Bent for Letters, an album that looks and sounds Satanic enough, but is instead thematically devoted to celebrating the band members' favorite science-fiction writers. For those who want to dork out in the spirit of the "holiday" without having to spend the afterlife listening to Live albums in hell, here's all 73 seconds of "Orson Scott Card" (audio).

Bloodhag's Hell Bent For Letters hide caption

toggle caption

Hear "Orson Scott Card"

  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">