Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Shinging Path On

Shining Path laid down an unexpected but rather right on hip-hop top ten list for Duste today.

The Shining Path

The Shining Path is the 'rock unit' formation of psych-minimalist duo Monosov Swirnoff. Ilya Monosov and Preston Swirnoff have released four highly acclaimed LP's of wide-ranging music on Eclipse Records and have just released The Shining Path debut self-titled full length LP/CD on Holy Mountain this month. The record oozes with damaged rock songs, disorienting feedback, pulsing unsettling rhythms, and beautiful sheets of white noise. Their sound has been compared to a mix of Les Rallizes Denudes, Suicide, and no wave groups like Mars with the free outbursts of Abe Kaoru or Takayanagi. The group will be releasing a cassette later this year on Brooklyn's T.B.T.D. label, a crushing live ep to follow, and will be recording a new studio record with a live dvd this Fall.

Monosov and Swirnoff are also releasing respective solo records later this year on Language of Stone and Last Visible Dog. They also collaborate in Habitat Sound System, a hard-hitting dub/dancehall project in association with Mad Professor and others.

We chose to write about rappers and hip-hop producers because from our record you can already guess that we love Suicide, Takayanagi, Rallizes, Velvets, and etc, etc… I almost wrote on Russian underground bard singers, but that would be, I feel, less related to what the Shining Path is. We play a music that is inspired by American musical traditions from old blues of Tommy Johnson, to Suicide, to LaMonte Young, to The Velvet Underground. We wanted to tell you about music you probably would not think we listen too, but that has influenced both Preston and I on our musical journey. - Ilya Monosov.

Ilya chooses 5 rappers:

1. Big L
One of Harlem's greatest, and probably one of the best free style poets from the NYC hip hop scene. The music he rapped over is funky, full of great samples of various winds, and up-tempo beats. His lyrics were lean, and mean. An American original, like Suicide, Velvet Underground, and the Stooges. RIP.

2. Too Short
People misunderstand the importance of this East Oakland singer-songwriter. Todd Shaw (aka Too $hort) has pioneered the Oakland rap style and was around way before e-40, Mac Dre, and Rbl Posse. His musical style is deeply rooted in 70's funk and full of catchy synth lines, great bass lines, and amazing lyrics that don't seem to stop popping out of his mouth.

3. Public Enemy (Chuck D)
The only mistake Chuck D has made in his career is collaborating with the Anthrax (a horrible example of hair metal, but wait, the lead singer did not have hair anyway, but he sure loved to head bang). So brushing that aside, Chuck D is to be considered one of the pioneers of rap music and as the other's on this list has contributed greatly to American traditions of poetry and minimalism.

4. Dr. Dre
Hands down The Chronic is one of the best produced funk rap records of all time. Just listen to Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain" LP and than flip on the Chronic. More psychedelic than the CD-r you just purchased in the 'file under psych drone genre"!!!

5. Rakim
One of NYC's greatest. As much as we love Big L and Gangstarr, Rakim stands on top. Simply the best rapper on this list.

Preston chooses 5 producers:

1. J Dilla
Brought the rough gritty sound of Detroit to the masses and became the new gold standard in beats and production. His early death was tragic and has propelled him to mythical status. The new king.

2. Timbaland
Yes, he's gotten pretty cheezy lately but you can't mess with his innovative, incredible beats that he laid down for Missy, Aaliyah, and Magoo.

3. Kool DJ Red Alert
One of the pioneers of modern beatmaking and sampling. His work with the Boogie Down Productions crew and his longstanding World Famous Radio Mix show on New York's Power 105.1fm have made him a legend.

4. Eric B
Still very underrated and unappreciated because he was in Rakim's shadow and never went on to much after they split. But in his day he changed the game for dj's with his stripped down hard beats and his borrowings from eastern and arabic music.

5. Kool Herc
Have to give respect to the probable ORIGINATOR of hip hop. Came to NY from Jamaica and when the crowds didn't dig the reggae dancehall sound he changed it by finding drum breaks from American soul and funk records and playing them over and over to keep the dance party going. Set the stage for Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaata to carry the torch.

By Dusted Magazine

Thursday, June 21, 2007

8.6 Neurosis Review On Pitchfork

Neurosis' Given To The Rising received a very impressive 8.6 rating from Pitchfork yesterday. The deluxe 180-gram double vinyl triple gatefold version of Given hits the shops next Tuesday. Neurosis will be playing a few Euro dates ending in London at the Shepherd's Bush Empire on June 30th. Sadly this will be the band's last live show for this summer. U.S. dates tba for late 2007.

Given to the Rising
[Neurot; 2007]
Rating: 8.6
Online Review

In the hallowed halls of metaldom, the name Neurosis carries some pretty (no pun intended) heavy overtones: they're a staunchly DIY cult band with the most devoted following and a long track record of highly innovative thinking-man's metal. But anyone even vaguely familiar with their oeuvre would wisely not call them a doom band; they're way too varied for such a tag. On these San Franciscan metallurgists' ninth album, Given To the Rising, Neurosis are simply not fucking around. Within the first note you know you're in for a ride: no staple slow-building intros or atmospheric effluvia, just a crushing primordial mid-tempo riff that eventually falls into one of the album's repeating motifs of bendy, long-hanging funereal guitar lines, all braced with plenty of back-to-basics pummeling. The sense of purpose is developed further on "Fear And Sickness", where disjointed yet dissonantly harmonious axe lines dodge and dart in paganistic call-and-response around a swing-like snare and kick drum beat. These two dimly lit apocalypse-summoning tracks shine light on why Given very well may be the best Neurosis album in over a decade-- or at least since 1999's signature Times of Grace.

First a re-cap: It's difficult making a new album when you're a band like Neurosis. Much like the elders on which they were weaned (Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Black Flag, Swans), aspects of their sound have spawned entire micro-genres. Whether it be their kinetic mega-evil tribal drum-and-guitar interplay or their dense layering of creepy samples and textural atmospherics or their melodic instrumental passages that birthed the "metalgaze" school-- see Isis and bands such as Cult of Luna and Mouth of the Architect for starters-- it's hard to stay fresh when everyone's copping your every move. Which is why Given feels so smart and so standing-on-the-throats-of-our-imitators-and-not-giving-a-fuck confident.

All the past doomsday bells-and-whistles are still prevalent, all the progressive guitar mayhem and Steve Von Till's classic Tom Waits-meets-Michael Gira vocals. But unlike their last couple albums-- most notably 2004's introspective and mostly-delicate and majestic The Eye of Every Storm-- the noodley bits are tethered as if in direct response to all the quiet-loud-brood-quiet-loud brooding copycats. And songs like the two previously mentioned openers, as well as the Jesu-like "Hidden Faces" and the Mastodon-like chug-fest "Water is Not Enough", seem to be cribbing notes from the cribbers (as well as the non-copying competition) and then in turn streamlining the turns the cribbers previously cribbed. Such as the way that soundsculptor/keyboardist Noah Landis masterfully blends the dark ambient textures, not just for spooky intros and outros, but for dynamic passages of their own. Or the way that the songs-- most averaging around seven and a half minutes-- keep morphing from thunderous cacophony to desolate soul-searching melodic phrases, but with a mad scientist exactitude regarding all of the subtle, beautiful, and terrifying spaces in between.

Even dynamically adroit acts like Pelican and, once again, Isis have yet to explore these depths of shifting-- and, most importantly, gradual-- peaks and valleys. Neurosis have once again conjured those ominous trance-inducing dark spaces, but they've placed them in canyons even more broad and deep.

-D. Shawn Bosler, June 20, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

La Otracina's Prog & Metal List On Dusted.

Adam Kriney of La Otracina kicked out a radical top ten list of progressive rock and metal on 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" (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.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Lodger Reviewed On Drowned In Sound

Some records are a barrage of sound and fury, bulldozing the listener into submission; others inveigle their way into our affections through more subtle means. Grown Ups, the debut from Leeds-based The Lodger, belongs firmly in this latter category. Evoking the spirit of Belle and Sebastian, The Sundays and, hallowed-be-thy-name, The Smiths, The Lodger inhabit that peculiarly British world of bedsit indie. They admit as much on ‘My Advice Is On Loan’, boldly declaring: “I live in a bedsit like I have no shame”. Certainly, listening to Grown Ups, it is easy to imagine these three sallow-faced youths ensconced in that bedsit, poetic melancholy wrapped tightly around them as they create their doe-eyed, heart-strafing music.

The songs are tender, thoughtful and depicted by virtue of a painterly eye for detail and some sparkling wordplay – throughout, The Lodger are in doomed pursuit of an idealized, romantic love. Even when they do get the object of their affections it proves only a temporary reprieve. Unrequited love seems their almost constant state of being. In ‘Simply Left Behind’, they yearn for the girl who “falls in love with all the idiots”. Often such sentiments can sound like so much self-pitying, but when they’re so beautifully rendered you can’t help sympathising. Elsewhere the mood is deceptively upbeat, the sweet jangle-pop camouflaging some particularly lacerating lyrics. In ‘Kicking Sand’, vocalist Ben oh-so-sweetly announces: “Say we’re in the same boat, I’m not in yours / I couldn’t care less about your life, oh no.”

The Lodger certainly have a way with a melody, their music for the wilted generation stirring limbs as much as hearts. There are some lovely choruses, too: ‘Getting Special’ coolly glides between the male and female vocal and assumes a distinctly St Etienne feel, whilst ‘The Story’s Over’ is driven by blessed-out rhythms and bracing guitar. What’s more, tracks are kept concise and to the point, all except the penultimate and ecstatic ‘Bye Bye’ hitting the two- to three-minute mark.

Direct, intimate and almost wholly devoid of cynicism, The Lodger have created a record imbued with a cheering, if curious naivety. Let’s hope they never go growing up. - Francis Jones

Pitchfork Covers Team Dresch Reunion

Team Dresch Reunite Anew, Tour, Hint at New Songs

Queercore icons Team Dresch have reunited and de-united more times than Stuart Copeland can shake a stick at. But this time, it's not a reun-off for Donna Dresch, Jody Bleyle, Kaia Wilson, and Marci Martinez. Rather, it's a reuni-on. The team have regrouped, rehydrated, and are ready to get back in on the action with a handful of summer tour dates and the promise of long-awaited new material.

A statement recently posted on the band's website reads:

So here we are, 2007 (huh?) and we're playing shows, writing songs, coming up with new t-shirt designs, full functional band. For reals.... Team Dresch is writing new songs for a new record, to be released in 2008, and we'll be touring sporadically to try and get those new songs TIGHT. SO come see us!!! We are better at playing the old songs than we were back in the day, and we'll be playing new songs and feeling the love.

You can snag a little bit of that love for yourself on any one of a string of shows, setting off tonight in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (You're not seeing double; that's two Philly shows on the same night. The earlier show at the Rotunda is a free all-ages event.)

Opening the shows will be Ex-Members, featuring Team Dresch/Butchies drummer Melissa York. Their EP xoex_ep comes out today, June 19.

Team Dresch shows (all with Ex-Members):

06-19 Chapel Hill NC - Cat's Cradle
06-20 Washington, DC - Black Cat
06-21 Philadelphia, PA - UPenn Rotunda (early show)
06-21 Philadelphia, PA - Mill Creek Tavern (late show)
06-22 Brooklyn, NY - Studio B
06-23 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
07-19 Los Angeles, CA - The Echo (Outfest)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Melt Banana Reviewed In The Latest Exclaim!

Canada's indie authority, Exclaim! Magazine, reviews Melt Banana's latest full length in their June Issue.

Bambi’s Dilemma
By Cam Lindsay
Online Review

Few bands can match the intense excitement of Melt-Banana, which is most likely why none have ever tried. For the last 15 years, these Japanese noiseniks have existed in a world all their own, which has found doting fans in Mike Patton and Adult Swim, which commissioned them to write a song for Perfect Hair Forever. They’ve also managed to create quite the legacy, with a discography currently sitting at 23 EPs/singles, eight albums and numerous compilation appearances. Bambi’s Dilemma continues their foray into the uniformity of two-minute-sized song structures. Again, they keep pushing the melodic promise they’ve always hinted at, even more than ever on the teasingly paced “Cracked Plaster Cast” and punk-y anthem “The Call of the Vague.” But unlike Cell-Scape — where they averaged a whopping three minutes per song — Melt-Banana haven’t forgotten what they do best: abrupt bursts of hammering noise that sit around the minute mark. Bambi’s Dilemma actually works better as a double album, as side two shuns structure for chaos, and the band’s trademark ADD comes into effect. As well, a couple of standout noise experiments grace each side, delving into their idea of what doom sounds like: weighty droning peppered with persistent rhythmic interruptions that reveal another possible direction for these sonic terrorists to explore. With its unwavering ambition and imagination, Bambi’s Dilemma adds yet another notch to Melt-Banana’s bedpost of significant achievements. (A-Zap)

MxBx are in the midst of winding down yet another epic tour of the US. Some of the remaining dates are opening slots for Tool.

06/19 Cedar Rapids, IA @ US Cellular Center (supporting Tool)
06/20 Peoria, IL @ Peoria Civic Center (supporting Tool)
06/21 Chicago, IL @ Abbey Pub
06/22 St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Arena (supporting Tool)
06/23 Fort Wayne, IN @ Memorial Coliseum (supporting Tool)
06/24 Minneapolis, MN @ Entry
06/26 Des Moines, IA @ Picador
06/27 Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
06/28 Omaha, NE @ Sokol Underground
06/29 Denver, CO @ Bluebird
06/30 Salt Lake City, UT / Urban Lounge
07/01 Bozeman, MT @ Zebra Cocktail Lounge
07/03 Seattle, WA @ Neumo's
07/04 Portland, OR @ Dante's
07/06 San Francisco, CA @ Independent

Hurrah, The Fourth Revolver USA Podcast Is Ready For Your Listening!

On the fourth installment of the Revolver USA Podcast you can hear up and coming tracks from such righteous artist as; A Hawk And A Hacksaw and the Hun Hangar ensemble, Black Devil Disco, Blues Control, Chris De Luca vs. Phon.o, Daedelus, Dead C, Mansbestfriend, Michio Kurihara, Neurosis, and Spider Bags.

It's super easy to subscribe.

Simply go to

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Or cut and paste the following RSS feed into iTunes' Subscribe To Podcast box (or via another podcast aggregator) :

Our podcasts will appear on a weekly (or whenever we can get our act together) basis featuring the latest distributed by Revolver USA. They are enhanced podcats featuring album artwork and links to various sites.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Angels Of Light Previews

Though it’ll be another few months before the new Angels of Light album hits the record store shelves there is already some growing interest amongst the online community. Here are a few notable previews of We are Him from such heavies as Coke Machine Glow, Pitchfork & Tiny Mix Tapes. Things appear to be off to a good start.
May 07th 2007
Angels of Light: “We Are Him"
From We Are Him (Young God; 2007)

Michael Gira -- leader of Swans, occasional solo artist, and single best/scariest voice in rock -- is back with a new album under the Angels of Light moniker in August. As always, new M. Gira material is reason to get excited, especially now that he has the daunting task of following up the excellent Sing Other People and a split LP with Akron/Family that had us all worked up back in '05. If the title track is any indication, We Are Him looks to be another jump forward. Working with Akron/Family again, Gira seems to be moving more toward the full-band rock that much of his post-Swans material has avoided. Even though the track heads into familiar territory (especially with the droning intro), the thick rhythm section and driving pulse that Akron/Family bring with them indicates a very different Angels of Light.

Even the best songs off Sing Other People occasionally felt somewhat like lightly-adorned Gira solo tracks; A/F were along for the ride, but they felt added-on rather than integral to the process. "We Are Him," as well as the recently posted "Black River Song," demonstrates the power of a more collaborative relationship. The band chugs along as Gira chants and preaches his way over the top. They rip through a couple of nasty solos, though, and the banshee backing vocals fit the track perfectly. Gira doesn't maintain the grim stoicism or quiet scariness that has informed so much of his solo material and earlier Angels of Light work, but at this point he's more than proven his flexibility as an artist. 25 years and good number of genre jumps after the first Swans EPs and Gira continues to produce innovative, exciting music.

-Peter Hepburn
Posted by Eric Harvey on Thu: 05-10-07
New Music: Angels of Light: "We Are Him" / "Black River Song"

Second acts for rock musicians come relatively often, but those that add something fresh and new to the artist's catalog are rare indeed. Since the 1997 dissolution of goth-metal pioneers Swans, Michael Gira has released a series of records as Angels of Light, a heading that covers his wide-ranging collaborative efforts, which lately includes working with drone-folk band Akron/Family. If these two songs are any indication of the rest of the forthcoming We Are Him-- which also features contributions from industrial multi-instrumentalist Bill Rieflin, former Swan Christoph Hahn, and cellist Julia Kent from Antony and the Johnsons, among others-- it could stand as strong evidence that Gira's post-Swans material can definitely stand with, perhaps even surpass, his earlier work.

The two advance singles from We Are Him continue Gira's solo trend toward a symbolic reversal, perhaps an atonement, for what Gira himself called the "bludgeoning, single-minded violence" of Swans' music, and a fervent procession toward redemption. The album's title track opens with an oscillating, meditative, minute-long drone before launching into the inclement, muscular blues environs of the song proper. Over Akron/Family's sour, watertight rollick, Gira intones a series of fire-and-brimstone three-syllable chants-- "Let him in," "Through your skin," "Set him free," "Be his friend"-- like a preacher unwilling to take no for an answer. The band is equally cyclic and strident on "Black River Song", and the austerity of Gira's vocals, illuminating the dark current running through "every man, woman and child," echo another two-career artist with one foot in the avant-garde, John Cale.
Posted by David Nadelle on 05-21-2007
Hopelessly E-Devotional to Him. Hallelujah! Angels of Light Back with New

I may just have a suspicious nature, or maybe I’m reading into things way too much, but it seems that there has been a lot of God talk finding its way into the Tiny Mix Tapes news section lately (yes, two stories equal "a lot" in my world). It might have something to do with the season or an unconscious, heavenly prod to straighten up after celebrating the summer sun a bit too much too early this year. It might be that writing something original is harder than plagiarizing Macka’s biblical-biased blurb from last week. Still on a TMT tip, it certainly has something to do with my night out with fellow scribe Munroe (who is a fucking heathen, pure and simple), because since that fateful night, I have felt, well, different inside. I cannot shake the feeling that an all-powerful force is at work. I cannot chalk it up to mere coincidence that when I stumblebummed my way into the bar washroom for the nth time that night, I was hit with a sudden rush of strangeness, and I have a vague memory of picking up some sort of ephemeral off the top of the toilet tank at the same time (no, it was not VD or an eighth of a line, you skeptics!). When I awoke the next morning (feeling less than good, and feeling stupid for having dropped my fully loaded fries and Pogo combo on my shirt), I spied a booklet peeking out of my crumpled jeans’ back pocket. The cover asked a simple half-question, Have you heard of…? and the booklet’s innards contained the following Four Fantastic Facts:

#1. God loves you and wants to show you His wonderful plan for your life.

#2. Everyone is born with sin in their hearts.

#3. Only Jesus can clean our sinful hearts.

#4. We must each receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Me, I went back to bed. While many will address these quips and their own spiritual center in their own time by checking out the likes of John 10:10 ("The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way."), Romans 3:23 and 5:8 ("Everyone has sinned. No one measures up to God’s glory" and "But here is how God has shown His love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ dies for us."), and Ephesians 2:8-9 ("God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it."), I already chose the right path when I became a follower of Michael Gira’s teachings. Whenever I hear Gira, in solo artist guise, as the main man behind Swans, and more recently behind his Angels Of Light moniker, I am born again and excited to have received someone into my heart and life that won’t steal my girlfriend and PIN number.

You would have to be the Antichrist to think that a new Angels Of Light album is not at least one and three-quarters of a great idea. Go ahead and test the notion: ask any street corner lunatic you are on good terms with, or that girl you met that trains pigeons inside her apartment, whether he or she isn’t excited as hell about the prospect of a new glorious Angels Of Light album and you will invariably get the same answer: "Righteous!" Tons of news, song snippets, full tracks, and more than appropriate truisms from other artists regarding Gira and the new Angels Of Light album We Are Him can be found on the Young God Records site. The album, Gira’s 73rd, is out August 20 and is chock full of superb guest players and friends and past collaborators from Gira’s days in Swans and recent backing friends Akron/Family.

The only thing as exciting as beginning another great Angels Of Light record adventure would be to see Him live. We sent off an informal e-mail to Gira to find out if and when we can expect to witness the live faith, and he shot back right away with, "I will be touring extensively after release of album August 20 in two-week stints throughout the year following release...Touring solo exclusively... I enjoy solo much more than with band these days. More of a challenge, and in some ways more ’pure’ and just as intense in its own way, I think... it’s a little lonely though — I go out by myself, don’t bring a tour manager or extra driver or anything, hence the two weeks at a time limit..."

"Pure" and "intense" are good words to sum any Angels of Light story. It is a good thing too, because I’m running out of steam... I can’t help it if piling on praise leaves me emotionally winded. It will do the same to you. What more can you possibly want anyway? News of an Angels Of Light album, a quote from the (God)head Himself, and some second-rate witticisms from yours truly don’t come cheap — they come free! Can I get an "Amen"!?!?

1 Black River Song
2 Promise of Water
3 The Man We Left Behind
4 My Brother’s Man
5 This Is Not Here/This Is Not Now
6 Joseph’s Song
7 We Are Him
8 Sometimes I Dream I’m Hurting You
9 Sunflower’s Here To Stay
10 Good Bye Mary Lou
11 The Visitor
12 Star Chaser