Friday, May 30, 2008

Devon Williams Favs List Posted On Dusted Today.

Fresh off his recent tour opening for Destroyer, Devon Williams shares a top ten with today.
Original post

Devon Williams spent much of the last year touring as a member of Lavender Diamond and opening for Destroyer. But the Los Angeles songwriter managed to fit in a little bit of alone time, too. Over the course of 18 months and three studios, Williams recorded his full-length debut, Carefree, a quaint but confident album that one could legitimately call "intelligent pop music" (some prefer the term "a grower"), inspired by the likes of Alex Chilton and the Go Betweens. It's a collection of songs that take their time sinking in, and hint at something more significant than search results on Hype Machine. A final sheen was added by his pal Steve Gregoropoulous, of Lavender Diamond, who supplemented Williams' guitar work with pristine string arrangements. Carefree is out now on Ba Da Bing Records.

1. The Beach Boys - Today
My bandmate Peter really hates Mike Love, but LOVES the Beach Boys. He has a button with red line going through Love's face, and after watching some early TV performances, it's easy to see why: Mike Love - hammin' it up, takin' the credit. Thankfully, Today is where Love gets kind of out of his element. Where "Little Deuce Coup" may be the budding of Brian Wilson's complex songwriting, Today really shows how much Wilson admired Spector - and this album shows Wilson tackling subject matter equal to his complexity.

2. Clifford T. Ward - Home Thoughts
Through and through, Home Thoughts is the most beautiful album. I first heard "Wherewithall" on a comp, and loved it. Upon first listening, I for sure thought the first song was the best song, NO, the second one is the best song, NO wait!... I finally decided that "Where would that leave me" is the most perfect pop song, with "Nightingale" a close second. "Home Thoughts From Abroad" was voted one of the best songs of England. He sings, "Oh, and by the way, how's your broken heart?" -It's so earnest, some feel compelled to laugh, whereas, I feel utterly and completely moved.

3. The Church - Heyday
The Church mastered guitar interplay forevermore, and almost three decades since they began, they're still making really great records (Uninvited Like the Clouds). Before they got a little too bloated (Gold Afternoon Fix), they were on a super streak with Séance, Remote Luxury, Heyday, and Starfish, the high point being Heyday. The band's subdued moments can be described as atmospheric, whereas Heyday leans more to the straightforward songs, never letting up - "Disenchanted," "Tristesse." This band is why I use a chorus pedal on a 12-string guitar.

4. Destroyer - This Night
I love this album, the first guitar notes of the opening track "This Night" do something very special to me. When we had the "fortune" to tour with them, I harangued them until they actually did play "This Night," and when they did play it I found myself front row, singing along like a superfan. I transcended everything and lost myself in the eternal moment. The album is fragile yet loud, with a verbose Dan Bejar holding it together. Smack in the middle of the record is the righteous "Modern Painters" where Bejar sings: "You could always stay in tonight, and see if what the walls have been whispering is right … I mean, that shit is right up your alley, isn't it?" Their new album Trouble In Dreams might be even better than This Night and that says a lot coming from me… the superfan

5. FYP - My Man Grumpy
FYP were from San Pedro, and though they broke up, their self-sustaining community continues to make super fun music and put on great shows. Their Toilet Kids Bread album was a big step in the pop direction, but My Man Grumpy was a step in the great songs direction. Short great songs with lines like "Your PhDs, you can shove 'em / Your SAT's can make like a tree and leave."

6. The Go Betweens - Spring Hill Fair
I myself am a Grant McLennan man, so even I am surprised to say this is my favorite Go Betweens album, because it's heavy on the Forrester. But this 1984 record starts with the most-earnest "Bachelor Kisses" and ends with my favorite Forrester "Man o' Sand." McLennan, who wrote the sweetest pop songs, placed his most un-pop song "River of Money" here and its inclusion serves as a huge breath for the listener to just simply listen - "It was only the wind in the curtains brushing against the open strings." I can't really stress how much this band impacted me so quickly.

7. The Replacements - Tim
I heard the Replacements' Pleased to Meet Me when I was 15. Still long after their hey-day and break up. I inadvertently started with their latter, polished side, which is probably why I can listen to Don't Tell a Soul and sincerely call it one of their best. But Tim is where their Sorry Ma stage met their love of pop. "Left of the Dial," "Little Mascara" – these songs should be the bar by which bands should be measured - a lot of heart and so much power. We have a Replacements cover band in L.A. called Puzzle, and after a show at The Smell, a nice girl came up and said she thought "our" band was "cute," but she didn't know that those weren't our songs at all. Me and Allen thought that was "cute." We are still waiting for Tommy Stinson to sit in with us.

8. Nirvana (U.K.) - The Story of Simon Simeopath
A 14-year-old me once stumbled across the U.K. Nirvana in the U.S. Nirvana bin, but didn't hear them until seven years later, who I now proudly claim as the best 60s band. This is the first REAL concept album pre-dating Sgt. Pepper's (which isn't really a concept album, just costumes and a reprisal of songs – lazy). "Courtyard of the Stars" and "Pentecost Hotel" are otherworldly baroque pop, and their follow up All of Us is equally as beautiful. In summation, Nirvana U.K. is better than the '90s Nirvana and the Beatles.

9. The Everly Brothers - Heartaches and Harmonies Box Set
In 1973, Phil Everly smashed his guitar and stormed off the stage at an Everly Brothers show at Knott's Berry Farm. The next night at a solo show, Don Everly declared that the Everly Brothers had died 10 years prior. The Everly Brothers definitely have a golden period, but with harmonies this majestic, their worst songs still shine brighter than the best of others. I get chills when I hear the demo of "Hey Doll Baby," hearing the chatter before the strum of the first chord, hearing the two voices align … it's criminal how good they are. Disc Two is my most played with "Carol Jane" and "Love Her."

10. Honorable mentions: I really don't think I could've made Carefree without hearing Barry Ryan's song "The Color of My Love." The first time I heard it, I listened to it, oh… about 200 times in my car. It still is the perfect song to me. Same goes for the heavy synth work of The Chameleons on What Does Anything Mean? Basically, "One Flesh" and "P.S. Goodbye" are my blueprints for synth work. Same goes for half of Prefab Sprout's Two Wheels Good.

Slim Cessna's Auto Club Cipher Contest!

Reverend Dwight of the Auto Club gave Alternative Tentacles two riddles in SCAC cipher. The first riddle was posted today on AT's site, the second will be posted next Friday (June 4). Decode the cipher, and win prizes.

One Grand Prize: A collection of Alternative Tentacles releases by Slim Cessna's Auto Club and Munly on CD.

Two Runners Up: A copy of Slim Cessna's Auto Club Cipher (Virus 383) on CD.

Click here and get smart.

Terry Riley Plays "Hurricane Mama Blues" At Walt Disney Concert Hall!

An excellent LA Times review of Terry Riley's performance at the Disney Concert Hall.


Terry Riley at Walt Disney Concert Hall

The organist rides 'Hurricane Mama' into cosmic depths.

By Mark Swed, Times Music Critic

May 27, 2008

AT 4:53 p.m. Sunday, NASA's Phoenix spacecraft landed on Mars, and two hours later pictures from the dusty red planet arrived at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to prove it.

But sound doesn't travel as fast as light, so it took a half-hour longer before we had an indication of extraterrestrial life stirring. That is when Hurricane Mama awakened and began to make miraculous music a few miles from JPL at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Terry Riley -- a Space Age Prospero dressed in black, wearing a black skull cap and in striped stocking feet, his long gray beard flowing -- walked to the organ consol. The hall was darkened. The wooden pipes were illuminated deep purple. No longer "French fries," a nickname Riley told the audience he felt inelegant, the pipes were newly dubbed "radiant columns of Orfeo." Hurricane Mama is his name for the Disney organ.

For the next two hours, Hurricane Mama howled and roared. Orfeo's columns traced the shapes of swirling galaxies and accompanied accelerating quanta as they collided releasing astonishing quantities of energy. They strung out strings of space-time and hymned drones of mystical oneness with the universe. All of that came before lift-off, which occurred in a long-held ground-shaking, gravity-defying final chord.

Riley and the organ are a match made on the other side of Mars, namely heaven. As the composer who launched Minimalism in 1964 with "In C," he was an obviously crucial figure in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's "Minimalist Jukebox" festival two years ago. At that time, the orchestra invited Riley to create a new work for the organ. "Universal Bridge," which began with an Anthem for Disney Hall and concluded with nature unleashed in "Hurricane Mama Blues," was the result.

"Minimalist" is a strange tag for Riley. It suits him in that he has never lost his love for interlocking repetitive figures imbued with the strength to send the brain into psychedelic reverie. But Riley is really a musical accumulator.

Years of study in India have made him a master of raga, played on the keyboard and sung. A virtuosic pianist and inspired improviser, he began as a jazz player and, at 72, remains a brilliant jazz player. Hardly remaining in or anywhere near C, he roams through modes and microtones continually enriching his harmonic palate. Melodically and rhythmically he flows naturally between East and West, ancient times, recent music history and the present.

Although he has performed before on the pipe organ, Riley's main instruments are piano, electric organ and synthesizer. To prepare for Sunday's concert, he made several trips from his home in Northern California to spend nights familiarizing himself with the Disney organ, typically practicing from midnight to 6 a.m., a period when he could play in the dark uninterrupted with only the night watchman looking on. His original idea was to give an all-night concert, from around 11 to dawn, but he had to scrap that when the Philharmonic put him on its regular organ series.

For the first half of his program, Riley revised two classic pieces, first updating "Persian Surgery Dervishes," a study in whirling repetitions for electric keyboard and tape delay. (A famous performance of that was given and recorded in Los Angeles in 1971).
Sunday's new "A Persian Surgery Dervish in the Nursery" made his performance on the old electronic technology seem downright primitive. On Disney's instrument, Riley achieved a sense of awe-inspiring vastness with thick church-like diapason textures. For an arrangement of a few themes from his epic 1985 string quartet, "Salome Dances for Peace," Riley began with spellbinding rumbling of low notes and then traced trilling fanciful melodies, at one point adding raga-like vocalization.

The "Universal Bridge" premiere was after intermission. Its opening Anthem for Disney Hall proved an embracing celebration of succulent chords in grand progression. The second movement, "The Bull," began with Middle Eastern melodic figuration over an arpeggiated ostinato base that had a faintly tango feel and slowly evolved into Bachian exuberance.

In the next movement, "The Shape of Flames," calm, soft-grained Mexican-like figures radiated into musical styles from near and far, with occasional long dissonant blasts, as it built into the rapturous, overpowering, indescribable "Hurricane Mama Blues."

On a personal note, I am not a disinterested observer of Riley's music. I have been attending his concerts since the '60s. I lined up with other students waiting for a Berkeley record store to open to buy "In C" the day the first recording of it was released. I attended Mills College in Oakland when Riley taught there in the '70s (although I didn't study with him). I got goose bumps watching him receive an honorary doctorate at CalArts this month.

My expectations for Sunday's concert were impossibly high. They were exceeded.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Matt Baldwin In The East Bay Express.

Beyond Fahey
After paying homage to the influential steel-string player, Berkeley Guitarist Matt Baldwin tries psychedelia.
By Tom Chandler
May 21, 2008
Original post

On the 2006 compilation Berkeley Guitar, three very talented steel-string guitar players, all friends who migrated to Berkeley from in and around Monterey, displayed their love for John Fahey and his legacy on Takoma Records. Matt Baldwin was one of those guys (along with Sean Smith and Adam Snider), but when you approach his debut CD, you pretty much need to forget what Berkeley Guitar led you to believe.

That compilation, while a very fine set, was trying to spread the word about this revival of solo steel-string guitar playing, centered in Berkeley, the longtime home of Takoma. While that's all very fine, it turns out that Baldwin and company are all much more than just solo guitarists. Smith's latest release featured quite a few guest musicians, and Baldwin's Paths of Ignition is layered with overdubs, features vocals (on one tune), and is ripe with psychedelia — all in tremendously good way.

The disc opens in the solo vein, with an extended take on Krautrock legend Neu's "Weissensee," when suddenly an electric guitar sneaks in. Hey! What happened to John Fahey? Oh yeah, Fahey played electric too. "I've been working more on electric guitar lately," Baldwin said. "I grew up listening to Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer. I've always loved Priest." But he looks suspiciously like a '60s holdout, with long straight blond hair held down by a headband. He has an earnest demeanor, and clearly thinks a lot about music.

His playing can go from doubling the acoustic fingerpicking to a wailing, electric, metal-influenced lead. It's pretty stunning. "The thing is that when I play in standard tuning I have a pretty generic blues-rock sensibility," he said. "So I did all the solos in other tunings, which helps me develop a more original lead-guitar melodic sensibility."

While evoking some music of the past, what with the Fahey influence, as well as a certain Krautrock and prog kinship, Paths of Ignition is utterly original. There's a radical reinterpretation of a Judas Priest song called "Winter," with Baldwin singing as if in an echo chamber. Then there's the solo tour de force of "Rainbow." Throughout, Baldwin's guitar playing remains understated yet amazing.

Produced by Baldwin and local songwriting/recording madman Sam Flax Keener, Paths of Ignition is a project of love and inspiration. "What's fun about these songs is they capture that moment of when you create something," Baldwin said. "I just went in with really basic ideas and started messing around, and Sam would say, 'What if we did this?' I would try it out, and say, 'What if I do it like this?'" He laughs, then continues: "Then we would hit some wall, and we'd both be thinking, 'What are we going to do?' So we'd go get some beer and do another take and it would all jell!"

After touring for Berkeley Guitars and doing countless solo shows around the Bay Area and down in Big Sur (where the Folk Yeah! series is gaining increasing fame), Baldwin says his next step will be a full band. Spawned by Paths of Ignition's explorations into electric territory, the new project will consist of musician Kephera Moon playing a chopped B3 Hammond and piano bass, and Keener on drums and doing some delay effects in real time. When asked if the electric concept will open up more venues, where people talking won't interfere with the quiet acoustic guitar, he laughs. "That can be nightmarish! On this tour there were certain nights, like in Nevada City, it was a really hard-drinking night. During the entire set, I could hear people yelling 'Jaeger!'" But then he extols the virtues of playing in places like Big Sur, where a room of one hundred people can get dead silent and focus on the actual music.

So perhaps Baldwin isn't leaving the Fahey ghost behind entirely, but rather broadening to encompass more than the Berkeley Guitar idea. If the current indie scene has taught us anything, it's that there's still plenty of need for organic, tweaked-out folk-oriented music, and Baldwin has a voice that's original and distinct even within that parameter — more like a worldview than just a few guitar tunes. Iconoclast? Yes. 

Good Times With Andy Cabic Of Vetiver On The Revolver USA Podcast.

Uli and Postie catch up with Mr. Andy Cabic to discuss the inner workings of Vetiver's new all covers album Thing of the Past. Check here to be teleported to the Revolver USA podcast download page. Choose from either an AAC enhanced version or the just steam a meat & potatoes MP3 version.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lengthy Gates Of Slumber Interview Posted On Pitchfork.

Pitchfork talks with Karl Simon of Gates Of Slumber about Saint Vitus, Celtic Frost, Conan and everything metal in between.

Column: Show No Mercy

Column by Brandon Stosuy
Original post

Next week, Indianapolis trio the Gates of Slumber are releasing their third album, Conquerer, the follow-up to 2006's Suffer No Guilt. The band-- vocalist/guitarist Karl Simon, bassist Jason McCash, and drummer Bob Fouts-- formed in the late 1990s, but have taken their time putting together a certified crap-free oeuvre. I caught up with Simon to discuss the new album, along with his longstanding obsession with the fantasy author Robert E. Howard and the band's awesome post-St. Vitus sound. McCash jumped in to explain the band's Darfur tune, "Children of Satan".

Pitchfork: What's going in Indianapolis these days?

Karl Simon: Same as usual. Indy tends to be a sleepy town. Right now I'm in Germany for a visit and it's even sleepier. Just north of Hamburg reminds me of how it used to be 20 minutes outside [Indianapolis'] 465 loop about 20 years ago: Nice and quiet, rural actually. There are cows within walking distance of here and it actually smells like spring and not a Taco Bell. The stars are just starting to come out. It's very sad to mark how horrible the air and light pollution has become in Indy. When I was a kid I could see stars all the time. Now it's an urban toilet, a real shame.

Pitchfork: Musically, Gates of Slumber are tapping into a St. Vitus, Black Sabbath, Pentagram-style doom sound and Conqueror was recorded in analog. Are you intentionally rejecting contemporary digital recording and sounds?

KS: Well, yes and no. I reject contemporary notions about music as it's written. I prefer the styles affected in the 70s and 80s: That was the real time for heavy metal. I don't know how strong those influences are on this album, but for sure they are there-- at least Saint Vitus. To be honest, I don't even listen to Pentagram anymore. I have the records, but I never play them. Vitus on the other hand was a really magical band. There was something there that one can't explain. On paper the thing shouldn't have worked, but it did and is responsible for some of the best music ever. I defy anyone to point to a heavy metal band of that era that has more soul and power. I don't think you can do it. There were great bands, but few and far between created such weird and awesome music-- and in such an original and lo-fi way. I would love to get a semi-clean video of an early Vitus set playing in front of a crowd of hardcores.

Another huge influence would be the music of Cirith Ungol-- there is a lot of Ungol and Saint Vitus on this record; also late Black Sabbath, the Tony Martin era. I'm currently obsessed with Lucifer's Friend, Cirith Ungol, and the Eternal Idol, Headless Cross and TYR records by Sabbath. Also, that new stuff that Black Sabbath is doing with Dio.... holy fucking hell, can anything legally be that heavy? I mean aren't there statutes or something about that?

So if Conqueror sounds like anything, it's probably a mash of all that mixed in with a heavy dose of Wagner, a strong mix of Basil Poldouris, and a dash of Deep Purple or Budgie for flavor. But with regards to the recording, it has, until this last record, always been done by the skin of our teeth, so in the past the most cost-effective way has been to use a computer. But we've managed to get our sound, and I think a good part of our soul, onto the virtual tape as it were. This time out it was 2" tape, and while in the past I was one to scoff at the audiophiles who swear by analog only...I'm forced to eat my words a bit. Tape does have a special sound. Of course it's also the engineer too. Sanford [Parker] is a genius...and something like the master of a dying, if not lost, art.

Pitchfork: How important is it to you to maintain this more classic metal approach? Obviously you're bringing innovations to these older sounds, but you're paying homage to the lineage.

KS: I can't say it's by design or not by design, it's simply what I do; what we do really, as a band. I've never played guitar in another band. Sure, I've done other bands as a singer or as a bassist or both, but lead guitar, no. I've never been more than mildly curious about what would happen if I did play in another band. I pick up the guitar and start to riff and the Gates of Slumber stuff starts to come out: My favorite chord progressions, my favorite rhythms to play. There is no design, per se.
The music that I play is what comes out of me-- I toy around with thrash rhythms and what not, but that is boring to me, and it never gets beyond just toying around. As a band we play around with that stuff in rehearsal, but it feels fake to me-- it's not what we do; not what I do. If we were ever to tackle a different style of metal I think that it would end up being very different than what was originally intended. It could be interesting but, frankly, I just play what I like, and if other people enjoy it as well that is awesome, but it's not a motivation at all.

Pitchfork: You talk about classic Dio, Iron Maiden, Celtic Frost, Ozzy, Motörhead in the liner notes. Are you digging any contemporary bands?

KS: I like quite a few modern bands, but many are deep in the underground. A short list of favorites that are current would be Slough Feg, Orordruin, Ironsword, the Lamp of Thoth, Lord Vicar, Warning-- a band that is currently shifting the landscape of what metal can be I think, Midnight.
I'm one of the people who actually champions new stuff in metal. I'm not a nostalgic by nature. In fact, there is only one inactive band in the list you mention, and Frost only dissolved like a week ago, though they never should have gotten back together. Dio is still proving that he can do it better. Maiden is maybe as big as they ever were now! Ozzy, yeah, what should I say. He badly needs to lose Zack Wylde and get in touch with his roots more. I still think he could do a credible metal record with a fresh guitarist and a solid, classy rhythm section and a strong producer like Rick Rubin-- someone who could get him back to the glory days, but it needs to be fresh, [and] as great as Mike Bordin is he has to go too. But shit, the dude can buy and sell me so what the fuck do I know? And Motörhead...well Lemmy said it all a few years back when he said, "We were the first and we still may be the last." You can't argue that. He hits harder than any of these kid bands and the punch is always coming from the floor. Metal might have gone underground, and there might be a lot of fake stuff out there, but it's never died, never bent and as long as there are misfit mutants out there will always be a vibrant metal scene. No one needs to save it because it's never really been in trouble you know?

Pitchfork: Conqueror's album art also taps into old-school metal-- Sword and Sorcery. Who came up with the concept? Seems like it was born to be on vinyl.

KS: Well, for me it's always worked. I'm a huge fan of Sword and Sorcery films, books, music and that Frazetta style has always appealed to me strongly. Our debut record featured Brugel's "Triumph of Death" because it just fit. But on the second one Jason and I really wanted to move in that direction it was our thing as it were. The "Conan Crushing Doom" tag had been applied to us and we were both fired up about it. A few zines had pegged us as "The Manowar of Doom Metal" and that fit very well I think. And it was unique...still is. Bands have always used this imagery, but bands in our particular style not really at all. So we went in 100% with a Ken Kelly license for the legendary painting "Revenge of the Viking" on our second disc. And the reaction was pretty killer, a few bands have jumped on that bandwagon now, to our amusement, but it's the end they know. The concept originally was the title of the record. We start with a concept or a title and things flow from there, the art, the songs...for us the title becomes more a rallying cry.

Pitchfork: Did you commission it from Vebjorn Strommen? You bring up Into the Pandemonium in the liner notes (and Celtic Frost in an earlier response). At least in feel, the art reminds me of it.

KS: It was a second license. We were looking for a piece for the new record and a lot of ideas were batted around. We talked about commissioning an artist, but that was going to be out of the budget and a lot of the pieces were not grabbing me at all. I stumbled on Veb's work and sent it to Jason, the painting that ended up being the cover. Jason was into it. We made contact and the rest is the rest. I like Veb's style a lot because it evokes Frazetta or classic Ken Kelly, but it's new. There are a few other artists that I would like to work with. Hopefully we can commission a piece for the next record. I'd like to see what Veb can do.

Pitchfork: The title track's about the Robert E. Howard character King Kull? Can you explain the storyline/inspiration?

KS: Jason wrote the music for that song and it didn't have words early on, but the music fit the overall concept of Conqueror from the start. I was wracking my brains trying to come up with a concept to use for the lyrics. I fell into reading the new compendium of Kull stories that was brought out again a few years back. I honestly had never read any Kull stuff before, aside from the shorts in Savage Sword of Conan, and I was really impressed by the character and construction of the stories. Less vivid and far murkier than the Conan stuff, which sort of lends an aura of intense foreboding.
Also, the character of Kull is very different than Conan. He's a philosopher first, in his heart-- more a victim of circumstance. Kind of like Elric in that sense. It's hard to imagine how Kull became King, except that he's got a rage in him that saves him, like an instinctual thing that won't let him die. His mind wants to be free of the crown, and the world for that matter...he's depressive. But his body won't let him die. I find it interesting and unique. I just started taking images and incidents from the stories and began to construct the song in that way. Lyrically, I was in the booth with a pen and the notebook making notes as the vocals were laid down. So it's at once crafted and spontaneous in that way. I didn't sing any of the songs in rehearsals because I wanted it to have a very natural and honest first impression. With that approach you lose the benefit of polish and what not, but you gain guts and impact, which I will take over polish and shine any day.

Pitchfork: So, you're more into Kull than Conan?

KS: In some respects I find the character a bit more compelling. It's been posited that Kull is more an autobiographical type of character for Howard. And Conan is an alter ego or his father writ larger than life. Conan is who he wanted to be, but Kull is who he was...this, of course, according to biographers.
In the end it's a mood thing. Conan is more of an escape, a world you can slip into and really lose yourself in. More so than say Middle Earth, which was always hazy and uncertain. Hyboria is full of culture and it's a chaotic and vibrant world with a pair of power centers like in Tolkien, but more realistic in the sense that the two are not opposed by nature as Mordor and Gondor are, but more opposed in the real world sense that there are only so many pieces of pie around and each nation wants to have the most that it can. The strongest are the strongest and the rest fall into line behind ancestral or religious or racial lines. Hyboria has that honest feel-- the cruelty is real, the attitudes are real. Good and Evil are not factors in the traditional sense. Noble people are often totally fucked over in Howard's world and the cruel are similarly rewarded...just like in the world we know. And Conan as our avatar in this world is an anti-hero; he's a cold-blooded killer. It's nothing for him to butcher someone over the slightest insult-- rather like some romantic version of a hardened convict or something. His word is his bond and he's got a crude but true sense of chivalry. But he's through and through a barbarian, walking through the horror of his world knowing that he's got nothing to fear. No money? He'll kill who he needs to and steal it. He's ultimately free of the society in which he moves. It's myth on a more detailed scale, and thus compelling to read and easy to slip into. Boss gives you shit over something pointless? You can always slide away into a world where you can hack his belly open for it. Is it "high literature"... no. But for fast paced fiction that fills you with a rush of excitement...well, it's pulp at its best. Howard is also a poet, so the stories have that feel in the sentences.

Pitchfork: In the liner notes, you talk about "Eyes of the Liar" being a departure lyrically for the band-- they're personal, as opposed to mythological or steeped in books. The lyrics are pretty angry. Who's the subject of the song?

KS: Well, I'd rather not say. Some people close to the band and our circle know what's up, others may be able to conclude who it's about, but in the end it's just about a real bastard, a 24-karat motherfucker. It's best to just let old wounds heal up and move on; and really everyone except the subject has. This album has a lot of departures for us lyrically.

Pitchfork: Speaking of which, can Jason talk some about "Children of Satan", his song about Darfur?

Jason McCash: Well the song is basically about the genocide that is taking place in Darfur and how people are so quick to color it in whatever light that their political leanings are, meanwhile trying their damnedest to not recognize the true reasons why it is going on. Yes, there is a drought that has taken place in Sudan and the farmlands in Darfur are rich with water, which the capital so desperately needs. Yes, there is a lot of oil there for all the western and eastern nations to whore those children out on. And, yes, there are rebels from the farmlands that are attacking the national armies. However, when you look at the ones that are committing all the atrocities, the Janjaweed, their real reason in why they are killing off every woman and child they come across is because most of the ethnic Africans in Darfur are Christian and the Janjaweed (who are Arab Africans) believe it is their religious duty to take the land and basically cleanse it. So lyrically, I wanted the song be written from the point of view of the Janjaweed. Trying to express what it is that goes through their minds while they are taking white airplanes that look like UN relief planes and that usually drop food and aid to the refugees, only to drop bombs on them instead. I thought that it would be an unusual point of view-- one that no one really takes, but from that point of view, a sinister brutality can be shown.
As for Karl's part of the lyrics, he basically added the third verse, he felt that it would add a bit more to the song if it concluded with a note of outrage towards the international community: While the U.S. and its allies are invading countries and the Chinese and Russians are buying out countries, that neither at the end of the day shows any sense of obligation to stop the genocide in Darfur. Specifically in the U.S. When the Clinton administration basically said that it was to blame for not stopping the genocide in Rwanda during the 90s, vowing "never again," meanwhile the Bush administration hasn't lifted a finger to stop this genocide.

Pitchfork: The album ends with the 17-minute "Dark Valley Suite", which is described as a "musical tribute" to Howard. We've spoken about his writing and characters. Can you talk specifically about the author's importance to you?

KS: I think there has always been this frantic aspect to Howard's writing that appealed to me early on-- a desperation and a power that touched me when I was very young and has just stuck. It's akin to how Black Sabbath touched me as a young kid. It's a pronounced lack of plasticity in the work, a metal as it were...and I'm paraphrasing my friend Dave Burns here: Howard/Sabbath created works that are not easy to fit into the world, to a degree the world has to bend around it. I think that fans of this kind of stuff have that inflexible trait to themselves in some way: I've always felt out of place in the world and that writing, that music...those things speak to that feeling in my gut and they also speak about the kindred feelings in the people who created it and it makes things easier. Because who wants to be made of plastic anyway? Who really wants to constantly reinvent one's self in an attempt to become someone who doesn't need to reinvent one's self? No, what you get is what you see.
"Dark Valley" is based on the biography by L. Sprague DeCamp, Dark Valley Destiny. It details one story of Howard's early life and the extremely dysfunctional family he lived in. In spite of my horrid grades in school I was able to get into University and in my short time there I did study a bit about abnormal psych. Also my work experience with the mentally handicapped and mentally ill gave me enough lay knowledge to conclude that it's a possibility that Howard was a schizophrenic, and perhaps Conan, Kull, Kane, Hyboria, Cimmeria, Kush, Shadizar...perhaps these places were hallucinations that were just on the edge of his consciousness at all times. There is the story about how he felt like Conan was behind him telling him the stories as he wrote them. That is the subject of "Black River". "Lines" is a poem by Howard that I started to sing on New Year's Eve this morning the music was arranged as well as the vocals. "Call of the Black Gods" is Jason's musical highlight on the record, "Black River II" is the closing volley and the opening volley at the same time.

Pitchfork: Have you read the pieces that tie Howard's work, Conan specifically, to fascism?

KS: Well, I don't think that anything ever tied him to fascism...Howard was an individualist in his heart of hearts. He loved freedom too much to ever be a fascist-- it's diametrically opposed to his entire worldview. He was convinced that civilization itself led to decadence and degeneration, even to the point where people could de-evolve or at least become so degenerated that they could no longer repair the tools their ancestors made. And there is nothing that can stop this according to Howard. Once people become civilized they start to weaken and eventually they must fall over. Now a racialist would have you believe that if you keep the bloodlines pure then everything is okay. Howard doesn't subscribe to this at all-- even though there is evidence that he was a "follower" of Madam Blavatsky. But at least in the confines of his writing Howard does not seem to buy into the magic blood of the Aryan race. In fact, he believed that the Gaelic peoples were the best, not the Germanic.
Anyway: Highly developed societies breed degenerates, and weaklings are the basic motif in all of Howard's work. I think that one would find that he was a pro-confederate who disliked the strong central government that was established with our Civil War: A states' rights nut. He was also a racist. That is something that Howard without a doubt was: To the bone he was a Southerner of his era, at least outwardly. And that means he was a racist...and frankly if we take note of the fact that in his time the Ku Klux Klan was the largest fraternity in the nation, he was not alone, and does not deserve to bear more than his share of the burden for that. Really I think if we knew more about the artists we like we would have fewer reasons to like them.

Pitchfork: You talk a bit about his mental illness in the liner notes-- that he killed himself when learning his mother wouldn't recover from her illness and herself would die.

KS: Well, you also have to realize that his suicide was the completion of a pack she had him make when he was a young kid, eight years old or so. So that magnifies the bizarre nature of his life. But all of this came into the light for me only in the last decade or so, before it was his work, and the character of Conan. The world he created with all of its color. I think it's under-celebrated, and in a way I wish that fewer people knew about it or cared, because you have people working overtime to try and find an acceptable way to deal with Howard's flaws in the context of our modern age. For the real fan nothing can change the opinion of Howard or at least his writing. I think though that the Gates of Slumber are all but finished with the topic...and I'm proud to say that we do not have one song about Conan himself! Which is hard to do. There are other anti-heroes lurking in the shadows with stories that aren't so well known, but faces that are maybe better known. Of course, if a killer line pops into my head the whole next record could be about Conan alone...who knows?

Conqueror is out next week on Profound Lore. The Gates of Slumber are working out their live itinerary as we speak. Check their MySpace for updates (and streaming tracks).

Gates Of Slumber play a Conqueror record release show at the Melody Inn in Indianapolis on May 27th.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Holy Mountain Label Profile In NME.

Holy Mountain bands on tour this summer:

05/22 Evanston, IL @ Block Museum of Art

05/31 Brooklyn, CA @ Grasslands (w/ Harry Flynt)

06/15 New York, NY @ Cake Shop

06/28 Toronto, ON @ Rancho Relaxo

06/29 Montreal, QC @ Casa del Popolo (Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival)


0613 Seattle, WA @ Funhouse


05/30 Barcelona, ESP@ Primavera Festival

06/04 Tokyo, JAP @ Shibuya O Nest

06/05 Nagoya, JAP @Huck Finn

06/06 Osaka, JAP @ Sunsui

06/08 Niigata, JAP @ Z-1

06/10 Tokyo, JAP @ Shibuya O Nest


05/21 Zagreb, HRV @ Teatar & Td

05/22 Padova, IT @ Unwound

05/23 Ravenna, IT @ Bronson

05/24 Torino, IT @ Spazio, 211

05/26 Milano, IT @ La Casa 139

05/27 Geneva, CHE @ Kab de L'Usine

05/28 Grenoble, FR @ E.V.E.

05/29 Toulouse, FR @ La Brasserie Pierre

05/30 Barcelona, ESP @ Primvera Sound Festival

06/04 Paris, FR @ Villetet, Sonique Festival


05/21 San Diego, CA @ Dream Street

05/22-25 Jacumba, CA @ Telemagica 2008 Art & Music Festival

05/26 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill

05/27 Oakland, CA @ 21 Grand

05/28 Austin,TX @ Emo's

05/29 Philadelphia, PA @ Khyber

05/30 Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio

05/31 Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge

05/21 Manchester, UK @ Tiger Lounge
05/22 Nottingham, UK @ Bunkers Hill Inn
05/23 Northampton, UK @ The Racehorse
05/24 Coventry, UK @ Taylor John's House
05/25 London, UK @ Cafe Oto in Stoke Newington
05/27 Paris, FR @ Mains d'Oeuvres

05/23 Big Sur, CA @ Henry Miller Library
06/19 Louisville, KY @ Melwood Arts Center (Terrastock 7 Festival)
07/12 Birmingham, UK @ Supersonic Festival
07/13 London, UK @ Cargo
07/18 Brighton, UK @ Barfly
07/19 Bristol, UK @ Croft

Monday, May 19, 2008

Doing It Up Right For Biafra's Five-O.

Alternative Tentacles and Great American Music Hall present a two night celebration in honor of Jello Biafra's sweet 50th birthday.


Come "celebrate" 50 years of Jello plaguing the earth (and the 30th Anniversary of Dead Kennedys)

June 16th

Jello Biafra with the Melvins
Jello Biafra without the Melvins (new music, new band!)

Drunk Injuns
Los Olvidados
The Melvins play "Mangled Demos"

June 17th

Jello Biafra with the Melvins

Jello Biafra without the Melvins

The Melvins play "Mangled Demos"

both shows 8 pm


Newly hatched Biafra band (as yet unnamed) is Ralph Spight (Victims Family, Freak Accident, Hellworms, etc.) on guitar, Billy Gould (Faith No More, Cool Arrow Records, etc.) on bass, and Jon Weiss (Sharkbait, Horsey, Tonnage, etc.) on drums.

Coady and Jared of the Melvins are recordng the new Big Business album in June, so the Jelvins bassist this round will be Andy Coronado (Wrangler Brutes, White Shit, Skull Kontrol). The emphasis will be on new music, with the occasional nod to the past evil doing.

Tickets are $22 per night in advance or $40 for both nights plus free gift-oid.

To open the shows, the Melvins reach back to their original '83 hardcore days with King Buzzo on guitar, original drummer Mike Dillard and Dale Crover manning the bass. This Melvins line-up goes on first at 8:00 sharp.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Butthole Surfers Reunite And Tour!

Announcement taken from the band's website:

Butthole Surfers will be playing shows on the east coast and Europe this summer.

For these shows, Jeff Pinkus will be on bass and Teresa Taylor (along with King Coffey) on drums. This is the rhythm section the band had for most of the 80s and marks the first time this line up has played together since 1989.

Paul Leary has prior commitments and unfortunately can't play the European dates (he will be on stage for the New York City show and possibly more stateside).

However, fear not, our European friends. Joining the band onstage for all shows in the US and Europe will be The Paul Green School of Rock All-Stars. This mob of teenage geniuses will blow your mind, forming a virtual Butthole Surfers Orchestra when they play with Gibby and company.

06/24 Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
06/26 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
06/27 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
07/04 Glasgow, UK @ ABC1
07/05 Manchester, UK @ Academy 2
07/06 Wolverhampton, UK @ Wulfrun Hall
07/26 London, UK @ Kentish Town Forum
07/29 New York City @ Webster Hall

More European dates announced soon.

The Revolver USA Podcast Page Is Up!

It's been four score and seven years ago since the last Revolver USA podcast was posted. To make up for lost time Revolver has created a new download page which contains every single cast from inception to current (which features a guest appearance from Lew from Ninja Tune). Choose from either an AAC enhanced version or the just steam a meat & potatoes MP3 version. The new page can be found HERE. Good time folks, good times.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Heavy Carson Daly Footage & Rolling Stone Review.

The Heavy finished up their US tour last night, killing it at the Union Pool in Brooklyn. While in the states the band maxed their retro "Stax-on-acid" styles with a live performance on the Carson Daly Show. For those that missed the original airing, can't afford Tivo, didn't want to hook up your half broken VCR, and/or don't want to send time on NBC's website here you go....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mia Doi Todd playing live on KCRW Tomorrow!

Tune in this Thursday (05/15) at 11:15 to KCRW 89.9 fm in Los Angeles or to hear Mia Doi Todd performing live on Morning Becomes Eclectic show.

And if you're in the neighborhood, she'll also be playing at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica on Friday. The show starts at 8pm with special guest, Mariee Sioux.

McCabe's, 3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA. 90405

Vetiver Thing Of The Past Reviewed In The NY Times.

“Thing of the Past”

Original post

Generally for a rock band of at least semiserious intentions, the time for a covers album is when it has grown established and a little confused: its 4th or 5th or 10th record, say. Third is a little soon.

But Vetiver, from San Francisco, is basically a folk group with amps and drums, and covering other people’s songs isn’t a grand statement; it’s a folk ritual, a means of dissemination and cross-pollination. “Thing of the Past,” its third album, renders faithful versions of very obscure songs in their own style, which is Vetiver’s style anyway: late 1960s and early 1970s settled, meditative, West Coast electric folk-rock. The record is super studied, but never bloodless. And it’s much better than that sounds.

Andy Cabic, the band’s leader, doesn’t just choose, for example, a lesser-known Neil Young song. Instead he’s chosen a song whose original iteration contained possibly Mr. Young’s most obscure guest appearance: “Houses,” from Elyse Weinberg’s album “Elyse” (1968). Vetiver’s version is sweet and centered, careful and musical, a balance between larking and scholarship. I can’t quite understand how the band pulled it off.

Such is the case all the way through the album. “To Baby” by Biff Rose; “Lon Chaney,” by Garland Jeffreys; “Hurry on Sundown,” by Hawkwind; “Sleep a Million Years,” by Dia Joyce. (Who is Dia Joyce? I looked her up online and found almost nothing.) Somehow this is not a precious or pretentious record; these versions are delicate and sturdy at the same time. And the band recruits a few of its singer-songwriter heroes, Vashti Bunyan and Michael Hurley, from its favorite era. Mr. Cabic’s voice sounds contemporary with theirs, a little like Doug Yule’s, from the Velvet Underground.

Vetiver centers itself on slow, reliable grooves and drones; it finds the meat of a song and doesn’t grandstand. And yet the record so clearly follows Mr. Cabic’s pleasure principle that it short-circuits the good reasons not to make something like this.


Vetiver will be playing an Amoeba Berkeley in-store at 6:00 PM this evening & tons of Euro dates to follow this summer:

5/16 Brighton, UK @ Theatre Royal (w/ Vashti Bunyan)
05/17 Brussels, BEL @ Les Nuits Botanique
05/18 Fulda DEU @ Das Kreuz
05/20 Zurich, CH @ Rote Fabrik-Ziegel Oh Lac
05/21 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
05/23 Coventry, UK @ Tin Angel
05/26 Cambrige UK @ Barfly
05/27 Leeds, UK @ Faversham
05/28 Liverpool, UK @ Sound City Festival
05/29 Edinburgh, UK @ Cabaret Voltair
05/30 Glasgow, UK @ Arches
05/ 31 Aberdeen, UK @ The Tunnels
06/01 Newcastle, UK @ Cluny
06/02 Nottingham, UK @ Bodega Social
06/03 Bristol, UK @ Cube Cinema
06/04 Manchester, UK @ Road House
06/05 London, UK @ St. Giles in The Fields Church
06/06 Cardiff, UK @ Barfly
06/07 Belfast, UK @ Black Box
06/08 Dublin, IRE @ Crawdaddy
06/10 Birmingham, UK @ Barfly
06/13 Porto, PRT @ Passos Manuel
06/14 Lisbon, PRT @ ZDB Gallery
06/17 Barcelona, ESP @ Sidecar
06/18 Madrid, ESP @ Joy Eslave (w/ Akron/family)
06/19 Seville, ESP @ Teatro Central (w/ Akron/Family)
06/20 Granada, ESP @ Teatro Alhambra (w/ Akron/Family)
06/21 Malaga, ESP @Teatro Canovas (w/ Akron/Family)
06/27 Paris, FR @ Café De la Danse
06/29 Glastonbury, UK @ Glastonbury Festival

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Copester Digs On Matt Baldwin

Head Heritage grand wizard, Julian Cope, gives a tasteful nod to Matt Baldwin's new album in the May Drudion 008.

Next, rising from the midst of the new crop of acoustic guitar virtuosos is California’s Matt Baldwin, an uber tall and blond longhair with an immaculate first release named PATHS OF IGNITION on American Dust Records ( As though appearing out-of-nowhere with just five epic tracks on the whole album were not enough, by choosing to cover Judas Priest’s ‘Winter’ and daring to commence his debut with his cover of Neu’s classic Michael Rother epic ‘Weissensee’, Baldwin sets himself right apart from the pack both in hipness and as one confident motherfucker with an amazing range of guitar playing. Shit, this stuff reminds me of some of the mid-90s stuff Doggen was pulling on the first TC Lethbridge LP MOON EQUIPPED, as hefty distortion rises from behind the spangly acoustic guitars. Hell, he even quotes Funkadelic’s FREE YOUR MIND & YOUR ASS WILL FOLLOW with the track ‘Eulogy and Dark’. Better still, as I listened to this record at 5.20 am last week, Matt’s first vocals from ‘Winter’ (‘In the morning when I wake up’) greeted me exactly as the first light of the spring sun’s orb cut through my window. Now, how righteous is that, motherfuckers? If you want one acoustic guitar record to stick on heavy repeat, make this one your first choice and you’ll not go wrong.

Baldwin will be playing with an electric band on May 26 at the
Historic Brookdale Lodge in Santa Cruz, CA.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Jana Hunter: Exclusive Radio Session For Tom Ravenscroft on Channel4 Radio.

John Peel's son, Tom Ravenscroft, follows in his father's footsteps in a modern way with his own "New Music Download" podcast for 4Radio. This week's podcast features Jana Hunter playing live takes of "Babies", "Poems" & "In Servitude" recorded exclusively for the show. Check here for Tom's page for complete details.

TRACKLISTINGS - Show 9 - 8th May 2008

DJ C & Zulu - "Soundgun Emergency" (DJ C Mix, ft. Aceyalone & Jah Orah) (Mashit Records)

Time Has Come - "Ignorance Is Bliss" (Regain Records)

Jana Hunter - "Poems" (Channel 4 session)

Two 4Unsigned Tracks
Swimfaster God Whisper - "The Blueprints II" (4Unsigned Website)
The Darren Macer Poetry Experience - "Untitled" (4Unsigned Website)

Record that Will Most Definitely Be at Number 1 next week!

Kamal Chamkila - "Pehle Laklkare Naal"

Jana Hunter - "Babies" (Channel 4 session)

Soundmurderer - "Gunshot" (Clash Records/ Kriss Records)

Record We Disagree On

The Heliocentrics ft Percee P & MF Doom - "Distant Star" (Stones Throw)

Jana Hunter - "In Servitude" (Channel 4 session)

Oxford Collapse - "For the Winter Coats" (Channel 4 Session)

Phosphorescent - "Wolves" (Dead Oceans)

Upcoming Jana Hunter live shows:
05/23 Hanover, NH @ Dartmouth
06/14 Baltimore, MD @ Floristree

Monday, May 05, 2008

Vetiver Feature In Last Sunday's SF Chronicle.

The SF Chronicle gave Vetiver the full treatment with a nice two page feature including a track by track review of Thing of the Past in last Sunday's (May 4th) edition.
Original post.

Let's face it: Lots of indie-rock acts have made less-than-riveting covers albums in recent years. But with "A Thing of the Past," San Francisco's Vetiver may potentially have one to eclipse the rest, combining the band's languid folk rock with a compelling cross section of source material from songwriters including Townes Van Zandt, Hawkwind, Loudon Wainwright III, Iain Matthews and Norman "Spirit in the Sky" Greenbaum.

It's probably because the band never intended to make a covers album in the first place.

"After the last record I did, I put a band together to tour," Vetiver front man Andy Cabic says. "Since we had never recorded together, and I didn't have anything ready to go, I just thought doing something like this would be a good way to get something out this year."

Many of the songs were knocked out in one take before the band spent the early part of the year on the road with former Jayhawks member Gary Louris, pulling double duty as both backing band and support act. "A Thing of the Past" also features guest appearances by Vashti Bunyan, the Chapin Sisters and Michael Hurley, who not only appears on his own song but also sticks around to play on a few others.

We asked Cabic to talk us through the track list.

"These are songs that I either felt a connection to or thought that we could do a good job with," he says. "Each song has a different history, and a lot of them are obscure, but there was something in them I felt we could bring back or let people hear for the first time."

"Houses" (written by Elyse Weinberg): "That's a deep cut. She released only one album, but there was a second album that never came out. A small label in Athens, Ga., finally reissued it about four years ago, and that's where I found this song. She was from Canada, and she was a friend of Neil Young's. He plays guitar on the original version. It's a great song, completely memorable."

"Roll on Babe" (written by Derroll Adams): "I love Ronnie Lane of the Small Faces. He's such a charismatic person. This song is from his solo album, even though he didn't write it. But that's his version that we covered."

"Sleep a Million Years" (written by Dia Joyce): "This one is an odd one. I found that record at Community Thrift on Valencia Street. It's clearly a private-press recording with a janky black-and-white cover. It's just raw Bakersfield country. All my friends copied that album from me, and somehow Vashti Bunyan heard it and loved it, so she sang on our version. I tracked down the guitar player in New Mexico and wrote him. He barely remembered it. But a friend of mine found Dia Joyce in San Jose and sent her a copy of the original recording, which she didn't have. She was thrilled and surprised."

"Hook & Ladder" (written by Norman Greenbaum): "This was from the album after 'Spirit in the Sky.' Nancy Sinatra also covered it. I love all of Norman Greenbaum's albums. He sings about having a farm and feeding chickens. This is just a simple song, really innocent and catchy."

"To Baby" (written by Biff Rose): "The original is just a piano and this Kermit the Frog-type voice. But it has a great lyric and melody. The original is its own thing, but I wanted to make it a majestic pop song."

"Road to Ronderlin" (written by Iain Matthews): "Iain Matthews was in Fairport Convention. It's simple and stark. It's a man singing from a woman's point of view, which I always find fascinating. The lyrics are really devastating."

"Lon Chaney" (written by Garland Jeffreys): "I like his early stuff. He wrote a song on John Cale's first solo album. Again, I love the lyrics. It's just about a guy in a hotel room watching a Lon Chaney movie and seeing it as a metaphor for the downfall of mankind."

"Hurry on Sundown" (written by Dave Brock, Hawkwind): "This is from the first Hawkwind album. It's the band in country-rock mode. It's a different style from what Vetiver usually does, but everyone loves Hawkwind."

"Swimming Song" (written by Loudon Wainwright III): "I could stand to have a broader listening of what he's done. This is just one of the songs we started doing live. Everyone can relate to the mood. When I'm on the road, I tend to listen to songs I like over and over rather than a whole album. This was one of them."

"Blue Driver" (written by Michael Hurley): "He's a friend of ours and was around for the recording sessions, so we asked him to join us on a few tracks. This is a trucker song. We recorded it all live."

"Standing" (written by Townes Van Zandt): "Some of these songs we never played until the day we tracked them, including this one. This was a groove we just wanted to try our hand at."

"I Must Be in a Good Place Now" (written by Bobby Charles): "We did this in the first take. He's really a great person and songwriter. It's a very special record."

VETIVER: 9 p.m. Tues. $16. Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco.

Vetiver will be hitting the West Coast with Kelley Stoltz and then covering the globe this summer:
05/06 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
05/07 Hollywood, CA @ The Troubadour
05/08 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
05/09 Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place
05/10 Visalia, CA @ Howie & sons Pizza & Beer Parlor
05/13 Berkeley, CA @ Amoeba Music (in-store 6:00 PM)
05/16 Brighton, UK @ Theatre Royal (w/ Vashti Bunyan)
05/17 Brussels, BEL @ Les Nuits Botanique
05/18 Fulda DEU @ Das Kreuz
05/20 Zurich, CH @ Rote Fabrik-Ziegel Oh Lac
05/21 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
05/23 Coventry, UK @ Tin Angel
05/26 Cambrige UK @ Barfly
05/27 Leeds, UK @ Faversham
05/28 Liverpool, UK @ Sound City Festival
05/29 Edinburgh, SCT - Cabaret Voltair
05/30 Glasgow, UK @ Arches
05/31 Aberdeen, @ The Tunnels
06/01 Newcastle, UK @ Cluny
06/02 Nottingham, UK @ Bodega Social
06/03 Bristol, UK @ Cube Cinema
06/04 Manchester, UK @ Road House
06/05 London, UK @ St. Giles in The Fields Church
06/06 Cardiff, UK @ Barfly
06/07 Belfast, North Ireland @ Black Box
06/08 Dublin, Ireland @ Crawdaddy
06/10 Birmingham, UK @ Barfly
06/13 Porto, PRT @ Passos Manuel
06/14 Lisbon, PRT @ ZDB Gallery
06/17 Barcelona, ESP @ Sidecar
06/18 Madrid, ESP @ Joy Eslave (w/ Akron/family)
06/19 Seville, ESP @ Teatro Central (w/ Akron/Family)
06/20 Granada, ESP @ Teatro Alhambra (w/ Akron/Family)
06/21 Malaga, ESP @Teatro Canovas (w/ Akron/Family)
06/27 Paris, FR @ Café De la Danse
06/29 Glastonbury, UK @ Glastonbury Festival

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Warehouse Knows Best 05/02/08.

Dozens upon dozens of amazing and not-so-amazing new releases arrive at the doorstep of Revolver USA each week. The onslaught of vinyl, plastic, and shrink wrap never seems to cease. For the most part variety and quantity are good things, but the downside is that occasionally a gem or two will get lost in the fray. Here's another instalments of top picks from the folks in the Revolver warehouse. Who know's inventory better than the people who unload and pack up the boxes? Enjoy.

Matt Likens...

Wolf Eyes & Sickness "There is a Great Part of Me You'll Never Know"

Robedoor "Shrine To the Possessor" LP

L "Holy Letters" VHF


Profound Lore becoming exclusive!

Black Moth Super Rainbow "Zodiac Girls" 7" on Suicide Squeeze. I've already played it twelve times.

Chris Fallon...

Orchestre Regional de Kayes "s/t" LP on Mississippi Rec.

Earth, Roots & Water "Innocent Youths" LP on Light In The Attic

Les Rallizes Dénudés "Le 12 Mars 1977 a Tachikawa" CD on Over Level

Devon Williams Carefree Review In SF Weekly.

Devon Williams
Carefree (Ba Da Bing)

By John Garmon

Published: April 30, 2008
Original post

Subject(s): Devon Williams by John Garmon
Devon Williams' debut album, Carefree, evokes '60s girl groups like the Shirelles and the Ronettes and songwriting teams like Goffin/-King and Barry/Greenwich. You know, the kind of music where the singer sounds as if she will surely die if her dreamboat doesn't dock at the chapel of love. It's reminiscent of songs so full of yearning and devotion that they seem to be addressing God directly.

That said, Carefree is by no means a genre exercise, a '60s throwback, or hopelessly cloying. It's simply one of the most straightforwardly gorgeous pop albums released in some time. The first song, "Please Be Patient," establishes a tone with a lilting lead vocal and lush strings courtesy of Lavender Diamond's Steve Gregoropoulos (who contributes arrangements to several tracks). Here and on songs like "Elevator" and "A Truce," Williams is working in an antiquated tradition: writing each tune as if it were a single and packing as much as possible into a heavenly two-to-three-minute listening experience. The instrumentation is tight and ornate. His lyrical preoccupations include calling for truces, asking for patience, longing, and kissing in cars. Yet amidst the hopeful, aching beauty of the aforementioned numbers are songs like "Bells," a punk raver that roars from the speakers with the impact of an early Replacements song, complete with chorused guitar thunder and a mere 89-second duration. In short, Carefree is an increasingly rare example of mature songwriting that retains the essential teenage qualities that define good rock 'n' roll.

Devon & band will be opening for Destroyer this month:

05/13 Edmonton, AB @ The Starlite Room
05/14 Calgary, AB @ Royal Canadian Legion Hall
05/16 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
05/18 Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
05/19 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
05/20 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
05/21 San Francisco, CA @ Independent
05/23 Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater