Every Day Is No Longer Halloween

ministry.gifThe wife and I have tickets to see Ministry at the House of Blues on May 8th. It’s the first of two shows in Chicago at the end of the North American leg of the C U LaTour. Frontman Al Jourgensen has stated that the tour and corresponding album, The Last Sucker, will be the final act of Ministry’s thirty-year existence. I mention this partly just to brag about having tickets to the show, but also because it represents the end of an era for me, personally. Ministry is one of the reasons I moved to Chicago in the first place.

I first saw the band in 1992 at Lollapalooza. I remember thinking they were kinda like Nine Inch Nails, only with less whining and more balls. The first Ministry album I bought was Psalm 69, their “breakthrough” record, but I quickly dove backward through The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste, The Land of Rape and Honey, and Twitch. Searching for these recordings I discovered that Ministry and their label, Wax Trax!, had been staples of the alternative music scene in Chicago since the early ’80s.

Coming to Chicago in 1994, I dug into Wax Trax! label-mates like KMFDM, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, and PIG, along with Ministry spin-off bands Revolting Cocks and 1,000 Homo DJs. This was mindblowing music to the Nirvana-listening, flannel-and-Chuck-Taylor-wearing version of myself that existed back then. It was a big enough influence that my wife’s and my first date was a Thrill Kill Kult concert. How cool is that?

So, I’m sad to see Ministry call it quits, but at the same time I know that Al Jourgensen has enough projects in the works to keep me entertained for years to come. And I think it’s fitting that he’s bringing it to a close here, in the city where it all began.

3 Comments so far

  1. tankboy (unregistered) on December 11th, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

    I was talking to Al last weekend and he assured me this would be it for Ministry, but not for his other projects.

  2. NYC DJ (unregistered) on December 29th, 2007 @ 12:09 am

    a) 10,000 Homo DJs

    b) Ministry far outdates NIN, as I’m sure you discovered. NIN did serve a good purpose in acting as a gateway for people to go back and find more of that good stuff. But lets get serious, NIN was never intended to out cock Ministry. It was programmed for more of the masses.

    c) Al needs to peel himself off the floor of his studio so he can make some money. It’s not some grand sendoff. Your ticket might just very well be putting more drugs in his body. It’s a sad thing, the former rock star who rides on the good name of his band to make money because he’s living on a couch in his studio.

    d) If you should be impressed with anyone, it should be with the likes of Martin Atkins (see: Invisible Records), who has managed to maintain a sincere work ethic and an ongoing creative career. If it weren’t for him quite literally continuing to bang that drum, people might have forgotten about the likes of Al long ago.

    Impressed with Al? Not at all. Not one bit. I give no credit to a junkie who peels himself up every so often to put out a record when he runs out of dope funds.

  3. martin atkins (unregistered) on January 1st, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

    well, thanks, and, just like the guy with the tickets, I guess I moved to Chicago because of Ministry too……….the scene (1988/89) reminded me of the UK back in the late 70’s and NYC early 80’s and Beijing NOW!, it was really cool back then. I started Pigface the last day of the Ministry cage tour with Bill Reiflin, i give Al credit for putting it together – it was basically everyone on that tour along with Trent and Steve Albini……..
    oh yeas, those were the days………

    Ministry rocks! very very sad to know that Paul Raven ias no longer with us and will not be playing bass on the tour …….would have beena great reason to get up and thrash out so what or something maaaaaad
    happy New Year and, Invisible is 20 years old this year!



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