Adam Kriney of La Otracina kicked out a radical top ten list of progressive rock and metal on DustedMagazine.com today. Apparently he really likes King Crimson.
Adam Kriney has been bumming around the New York psych scene for a little while now. He runs Colour Sounds Recordings and plays in bands like Castanets, Blizzards and Rust Ionics. But for all intents and purposes, today Kriney is La Otracina, the finest provider of Brooklyn acid-prog bliss-out during the early months of '007. The OC , as we like to call it, has been jamming around town for about two years now, but have really stepped in something with its new record, Tonal Ellipse of the One on Holy Mountain. One Dusted contributor described it as, "I think this is what all bands who label themselves "psych-rock" think they sound like, but don't. This is some real shit - dark, hypnotic jams with near-virtuosic playing...wow." (That was after we had already invited Kriney to contribute to Listed, jsyk.)
Kriney and teammates Ninni Morgia and Evan Sobel are on the road as you're reading this. Check them out when they come to your town.
June 15 - Spazzatorium Galleria (807 Dickinson Ave), Greenville, NC
June 16 - Secret Squirrel (766 West Broad), Athens, GA
June 17 - The Whig (1200 main street), Columbia, South Carolina
June 18 - Nashville/Murfreesboro, TN
June 19 - Murphy's (1589 Madison Ave), Memphis, TN
June 20 - Spooky Action Palace, St. Louis, MO
June 21 - Lazer Mansion (133 54th street), Moline, IL
June 22 - Hideout (1354 W Wabansia), Chicago, IL
June 23 - South Union Arts (1352 S. Union), Chicago, IL
June 24 - Basement Show (216 E Hillside Drive), Bloomington, IN
June 25 - Skull Lab, (271 W McMicken ) Cincinnati, OH
June 26 - Columbus, OH
June 27 - Pat’s In The Flats (2233 West Third), Cleveland, OH
June 28 - House Show (114 1/2 Erie Street), Edinboro, PA
June 29 - Garfield Artworks (4931 Penn Ave), Pittsburgh, PA
June 30 - Test Pattern Gallery (334 Adams Ave), Scranton, PA
July 1 - Helderberg Palace (96 Sycamore St,) Albany, NY
July 2 - Brilliant Corners (163 water street), Keane, New Hampshire
July 3 - Grow Room, Providence, RI
July 5 - Soundfix Records (110 Bedford Ave), Brooklyn, NY
Nine extremely important recordings and one DVD, by Adam Kriney
1. Metallica - And Justice For All
This is what started EVERYTHING for me. Seeing the video for 'One' when I was 12 or 13 helped me realize immediately that this type of aggressive music was for me, and such my teen identity was born as a headbanger as opposed to a hip-hop kid, and yes it HAD to be one or the other, and I still dislike hip-hop to this day. I would listen to this album in the shower. I would set up plastic containers in my room and play along with chopsticks as a mock drum set, which is also what ultimately led to me being a drummer. Sure, Cliff Burton was a crucial member of the band, and clearly his absence on this record is obvious (as was JasonNewsted's, hehe ), but nonetheless, an utterly brilliant progressive/thrash/metal album with more subtle and unthinkable and yet-to-be-matched complexity than this time-signature analyst could ever transcribe, and I still listen to my original cassette copy with as much goose-bump/hair-raising excitement as I did 17 years ago. And I even love the production on it!
2. Misfits - Earth A. D.
It was METALLICA, of course, who turned me onto them. I remember so vividly my purchase of this cassette. I had been scoping their albums in record stores for a few months and was utterly terrified and intrigued with their relentlessly evil, scary, and ghastly artwork and song titles.But I also knew my mother would inspect every purchase I made for 'suitable' content, so clearly I could not buy an album with the song "Angelfuck" on it.But 'Earth A. D.' seemed to have the tamest titles, so one night at Monmouth Mall while she was off shopping for clothes, I bought it, nervous and shaking, and shoved it into my sock so she wouldn't know (would she see it?).We got home and I was dying to put it on, so at bedtime, I got mywalkman out, put the tape in, hid the artwork under the covers and hit 'PLAY', and was completely floored and bewildered at the evil and other-worldly vocals and shredding punk chaos of the songs! At some point, my mom did walk in on me, and I froze, she kissed me goodnight, and left me to the addictive and possessed horror of howling Glenn. And I still listen and submit to the same tape that I once tucked into my sock over half my life ago. Another important aspect of getting into these guys was entering the world of record collecting, bootlegs, and mail order catalogs, ah, the good old days!
3. Danzig - s/t
I figured out the MISFITS/SAMHAIN/DANZIG lineage pretty quickly and became obsessed with all of it! The evil-satanic skull cover art of this album drew me in so easily, I was sold. I was probably confused by the album the first time I heard it, as it's pretty bluesy, with some metal leanings, lots ofDanzig's vocal trademarks, but little of the punk energy I'd thought it was gonna have. But eventually it grew to mean as much as 'Earth A. D.' with tracks like 'She Rides', 'Not Of This World' and 'Possession', there was a whole new world of evil lurking in there and I wanted to submerse myself in it! Funny though, even back then I thought 'Mother' was the worst track on the album, and so weird that several years later it'd be a breakout single hit, only as it was released in a live version on the 'Thrall-Demonsweatlive' mini-album. After I heard this album, I wrote a letter to Danzig and received an actual reply from Eerie Von on official 'DANZIG' letterhead(!!), which I unfortunately sold in college along with my entire MISFITS/SAMHAIN/DANZIG vinyl/bootleg collection to help pay tuition. Assignment: Listen to the first 30 seconds of 'Possession' with headphones on and I guarantee it'll scare the fucking hell outta you! I still have my original cassette copy of this.
4. Emerson Lake & Palmer- Brain Salad Surgery
There were some benefits to having a pot-smoking ex-hippy mom, her friends. Jerry Tobler was a guy I always thought was The Coolest, he'd play Frisbee and paddle ball with me at the beach, always blasted wild music in his car, and made funny jokes imitating The Three Stooges. One particular summer day, I was about 13, it was raining, so we didn't go the beach, but we were all hanging out at one of my mom's friends' places, and Jerry puts headphones on me and has me listen to this album as well as The Who’s Tommy, in one sitting, they blew my mind! But theELP stuff really intrigued me the most, especially the complex-otherworldly cosmic weirdness of the second track 'Toccata', what with electronic percussion, unthinkable drum/tympani solos, keyboards and synthesizers I'd never imagined, and the ENERGY of it all. I didn't know whatProg was then, but I know now, and Jerry is surely the one who doth planted that little seed. Goose-bumps still exist every time 'Jerusalem' kicks in and the magic of 'Still…You Turn me On' sweeps me to unknown bliss, but I can understandanyone's shoulder-shrugging dislike of 'Benny The Bouncer', and the B-side totally gets progressively worse till the end, but still I do declare, "Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends…"
5. Honeywell - s/t LP
Having absolutely no one to introduce me to cool music such as punk/hardcore, in my mid-teens, I was left to figure things out myself, and in '94 eventually stumbled onto the local hardcore/straightedge scene in NJ and began immersing myself in it. In addition to the local stuff, I eventually discovered a boatload of absolutely insane music that was being made by kids in the California scene at the time (early versions of the now-taintedemo tag), completely harsh, noisy, passionate, and INTENSE stuff, on labels such as Gravity, and Ebullition, (but that Is not to say that the east coast was lacking, surely theBloodlink scene was pumping out great stuff as well).But when I finally heard HONEYWELL, nothing had ever compared to it then or now. Till this day I have no idea what the hell this record is all about, was it just "Ryan and Bobby, the drums and the guitar…fuck off!" as the opening sped up(?) sounds declared? Did they play everything? And what about all the noise/sound collage brilliance? Were they really 15/16 as rumor told it when they made this, how? And the track "Mesh Control" could level anything that the modern noise scene could muster up, and probably with 1/10th the irony and 10 times the true passion/energy! I would listen to this LP every single day in High School, on my walkman, while all of 'them' went about their normal teenage stuff, I was transported to the noisy void that Ryan and Bobby created for me, a true escape during one of my more alienated years.I didn't know it then, but now I can feel there are parts of this album that truly channel the flow ofavant -jazz as well as the most primal-punk spew as if they just flicked it on like a light switch. I still have the original LP I bought at Vintage Vinyl in Ocean Township, NJ in 94.
6. Faith & Power: An ESP-Disk Sampler
As teens turned into twenties and my punk bands turned into indie rock bands and then into math/avant rock bands, I began to become a better musician and things began to get…weird. Side note, I had absolutely no introduction or awareness to jazz in my life at all growing up, in fact I doubt I ever even listened to one single jazz tune my entirepre-college life, and then during college, it was only at jazz coffee houses that I would half-heartedly watch VERY square groups perform standards, and I was always very impressed with the drummers’ abilities, but never really their energies, you could easily quote me saying "I hate jazz". So around 2000, once I got hip to The Wire which showed me gobs of new music I had never had any exposure to, I began to get into all new shit, like my earlier hardcore days, it was excitement all over again! When I heard this particular sampler that came with The Wire, I had been mildly aware of some of the artists on it (Ornette, Ayler, Sun Ra), but never had I heard so much insane jazz music in my life on one concise little sampler, and I couldn't believe people SCREAMING and HOWLING during jazz songs, and the frantic energy of it all, I was floored and knew this was the first REAL and TRUE punk music, it felt bloody and nuts.I had to study this shit, listen to it, figure it out, and learn to play it. Enter free-jazz into my life.
7, 8, 9 & 10. King Crimson - Beat, Discipline, Three Of A Perfect Pair, and Neal And Jack And Me DVD
About 6 years ago, while living in Boston I was working as an assistant to an estate/antique buyer. One dead man's house we were cleaning out had ELP and KING CRIMSON cassettes in it, so I pocketed them quick. Years later I finally got around to checking out that CRIMSON cassette cryptically titled "Three Of A Perfect Pair" and I was very confused by it, and was that DavidByrne singing? This was unlike the earlier classic-prog I had heard from them before, in fact I couldn't explain WHAT it was, so I kept it in my car tape deck for a LONG time and one day I GOT it.Soon after, at the restaurant I worked at, I was chatting with a (dickhead pretentious) regular customer and remarked about my recent 'understanding' of that album and he asked if I had heard "Beat" and "Discipline" to which I replied that I hadn't. Soon after a CD-R was left for me at thecafé saying "Discipline & Beat for Hippyfuck", (he liked to call me hippyfuck ).Little did I know that CD-R would change my musical world, as I would now be hip to the complete early 80's CRIMSON catalogue, a trilogy of conceptually connected works featuring RobertFripp (of course), Bill Bruford (top form Billy, and what a way with melodic percussives and little/no cymbal use),Tony Levin (oh, play bass/chapman stick and synth at the same time?, no sweat), and Adrian Belew (ex-Zappa/TAKING HEADS multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/genius). This world encompassed a seemingly contrasting entanglement of prog complexity, 80's production, electronic drums, odd guitar/synth sounds, the other-worldy vocals of Adrian Belew (NOT David Byrne), upbeat afro-fueled dance beats, industrial noise/rhythms, curious love ballads, and some very avant-garde rock. But it all makes perfect sense, in fact it's fucking brilliant. It is by far my favorite CRIMSON music and I play it at parties all the time. The real clincher though was last year, seeing the DVD of all these albums performed live in the 80's, and realizing that every single note, nuance, squeal, strum, pick, roll, squawk, hit, hammer, chord, noise, scrape, crash, and thump heard on the recorded albums was actually performed live, effortlessly, gracefully, and enthusiastically, withBelew shining at the helm, exemplifying the definition of a front man.I bow down in honor, truly gone are the days of rock gods.