Monday, March 30, 2009
Japan's Coffins is finally making it back to the US after last year's successful East Coast tour. This time they will bring the doom/death to the American West Coast. Going along for the ride are their Oakland label mates Stormcrow. The tour will start in Seattle on April 30th and culminate with both bands appearing at the infamous Los Angeles Murderfest alongside such bands as Samothrace, Eyehategod, Despise You, General Surgery, 16, Abscess, Ghoul and many others.
Coffins released their 3rd LP Buried Death in 2008 to much critical acclaim in the metal world. A split release with Stormcrow will come later in 2009, followed by their 4th LP to be released on 20 Buck Spin in 2010. Stormcrow have a vinyl only split release, Sacred Death, with 20 Buck Spin label mates Laudanum coming out on 20 Buck Spin in April.
The tour dates are as follows:
Thu 4/30 in Seattle, WA @ El Chorazon w/Skarp, Grey
Fri 5/01 in Olympia, WA @ Northern w/Thrones, Sixes
Sat 5/02 in Portland, OR @ Satyricon w/Thrones, Aldebaran
Sun 5/03 in Eugene, OR @ Oak St Speakeasy w/HC Minds
Mon 5/04 in Eureka, CA @ Auntie Moe's
Wed 5/06 in San Jose @ KFJC radio live recording
Thu 5/07 in San Francisco, CA @ Annie's w/Laudanum, Samothrace
Fri 5/08 in Berkeley, CA @ Gilman St w/Aldebaran Sat 5/09 in Los Angeles, CA @ The Knitting Factory (LA Murderfest)
Friday, March 27, 2009
Upcoming Papercuts shows:
04/24 San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord (Record Release w/Finches & Cryptacize)
05/02 Arlington, VA @ IOTA (w/ Vetiver)
05/03 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom (w/ Vetiver)
05/04 Peterborough, NH @ The Glass Musuem (w/ Vetiver)
05/05 Winooski, VT @ Monkey House (w/ Vetiver)
05/06 Allston, MA @ Harper's Ferry (w/ Vetiver)
05/07 Brooklyn, NY @ Bell House (w/ Vetiver)
05/10 Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop (w/ Vetiver)
05/11 Athens, OH @ Union Bar & Grille (w/ Vetiver)
05/12 Chicago, IL @ AV-Aerie (w/ Vetiver)
05/13 Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room (w/ Vetiver)
05/14 London, ON @ Call the Office (w/ Vetiver)
05/15 Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern (w/ Vetiver)
05/16 Buffalo, NY @ Soundlab (w/ Vetiver)
05/17 Pittsfield, MA @ Copperworks (w/ Vetiver)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
SXSW Leftovers: Talkin' [Expletive] With Psychedelic Horse[expletive]
As I was talking to Psychedelic Horse[expletive] dude Matt Whitehurst on Thursday night outside of Soho before his band's set at Siltbreeze's SXSW showcase, I knew he was going off. But listening back to it as I was transcribing left me slackjawed and somewhat conflicted. His band plays fractured, damaged songs with snotty vocals and barbed hooks that, on record, sound like they were recorded using equipment that no longer exists. Much to his chagrin, that's a pretty popular sound these days. Bands such as Wavves, Vivian Girls, No Age and Times New Viking have become superstars on the indie scene by adhering a similar approach. This doesn't make Whitehurst too happy.
Without any prompting he was immediately hurling every insult in the book at those bands. (Except for Times New Viking, his friends. He tried to explain that one during the interview, judge for yourself whether his reasoning is sound.) Was he just putting on a show? The skeptic in me thought maybe it was all a work and it's all part of a plan to get some attention. Or maybe he truly is this angry at bands that he feels have appropriated something near and dear to him, who have sanitized it, stylized it, cashed in on it, and are now representing him as leaders of a lo-fi movement.
You could say that Whitehurst exists in a small bubble, one that he takes very seriously and is very protective of. He compares message board Terminal Boredom to Rolling Stone, calls Matador a major label and considers a band like Wavves - currently touring couple hundred seat venues - a big star. It's sort of a matter of semantics, but the point is that you start to realize that it really isn't a front, and he's just a guy who feels his scene and sound have been taken over by poseurs and he can't stand it and doesn't care who knows.
Some of the anger may be misplaced, but the you can't deny his passion. Usually if you hate something so much, it means you love something just as much, and there's something to be said about strong feelings either way and avoiding that boring middle. And he doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. The last time I saw his band play before SXSW was for a dozen people in a musty living room at 12:30 a.m. on a Tuesday night. In the following interview Whitehurst comes off as a bit insecure, a bit shrewd, a bit childish, plenty lewd, a bit inconsistent, very often on-point and always, enormously entertaining and quotable. Good luck figuring out what every [expletive] is. He used some doozies.
Do you like coming down here and playing 13 shows in four days?
Yes. I just like playing with different people. It's always the same crowds when we go on tour and [expletive]. They wanna come out and see Vivian Girls or Wavves or some [expletive]. And we get up there and freak 'em out. So down here it's kind of nice. People don't know what to expect.
Vivian Girls, Wavves - why is everyone in a lo-fi band now?
I have no idea. I don't know. It became in vogue sometime in the last year due to a few figureheads talking a bunch of [expletive] on Terminal Boredom. And now it's exploded into this thing there where Wavves is getting $30,000 to [expletive] crank out this [expletive] generic [expletive].
There's a lot of one-person things now.
Right it's one person with GarageBand and a few chords and like -- Wavves to me sounds like [expletive] TV on the Radio. That band sucks [expletive]. It's one of the worst bands to get popular in a long time. They [expletive] trump No Age because I think it's worse than No Age. No Age is just like, [expletive]. It's really [expletive].
But you're playing at least one show with Wavves down here.
Three of them, yeah.
So how do you reconcile that?
We made "Wavves Suxx" t-shirts with it spelled S-U-X-X. We got tons of people taking pictures with us in those. People are all into it. And actually Wavves came up to our drummer and our drummer had no idea it was Wavves. And Wavves took like six pictures with Rich with the "Wavves Suxx" t-shirt on. So, you know, that little [expletive]'s probably into it or something. And is probably like, Oh, it's like hip-hop, man!
People could know nothing about you but your band name and it would be pretty easy to figure out you're probably not going to be indie rock superstars.
I guess not. We'd love to be but I guess we picked the wrong name for that. We should have named ourselves Wavves. We'd be rich now if we would've. We're better than Wavves, he does the same kind of [expletive].
(Much, much more can't miss stuff after the jump.)
Your band is getting bigger in terms of members but the trend seems to be bands with one or two people.
Bigger and cleaner. Sounding like [expletive] is not ... that's the biggest [expletive] [expletive] crutch I've ever heard. Don't tell me lo-fi, and say, It's a choice and it sounds so much better. Yeah, it sounds cool, but it's only cool when you first start making music and there's the discovery involved in it. And like, distortion is a cool thing. But just because distortion is a cool thing doesn't mean you just record all [expletive] and pawn that off as being good music and you being a valid artist.
[Interruption for when an underage girl comes up to Matt and asks him to buy cigarettes for her.]
What? [She repeats.] Yeah, after this interview. (Ed. Note: Never happened, alas.)
Anyway, so if something sound's real, it sounds real -
Manufactured lo-fi! That's not cool. People can say "Magic Flowers Droned" is manufactured lo-fi if they want but I [expletive] mixed that record as clear as I could [expletive] get it. It was recorded [expletive] really [expletive] and was [expletive] - I was young and we just started the band two years before. I'm not Rick Rubin. But I wanna be. I want it to [expletive] sound like a [expletive] tight-[expletive] hip-hop production. We have enough [expletive] going on to where clean production is just gonna make it sound better, y'know?
If you have to [expletive] keep recording lo-fi then you're a [expletive]. Straight up [expletive] [expletive]. You know? You're hiding. You're hiding behind static. Which is cool, people have [expletive] done it for decades. But it's like a [expletive] easy way out. And you're not gonna [expletive] progress or grow into any kind of good band if you just keep on making lo-fi music.
If you write good songs you don't need lo-fi production, man. Good songs, no matter what kind of production are gonna be [expletive] good. So it's about the songs, not about the production. Production just weeds out the [expletive] idiots. It's like, people that are [expletive] [expletive] and know nothing about music, the first thing they notice is the production values. It's like, Oh, it doesn't [expletive] sound like Rihanna. And it's like, I want to sound like Rihanna because those people will listen to us and take it for what it is. Not like, Oh, this is static-y, it's like the Velvet Underground. And it's like, [Expletive] you. The Velvet Underground, that [expletive] is clean. That is clean as [expletive]! "White Light/White Heat" is a [expletive] album of beautiful, clean static. Clean [expletive] static. That's how it sounded in the room. I don't know, man. I [expletive] hate the new lo-fi [expletive]. Wavves, Nodzzz, Vivian Girls. That [expletive] sucks. It's [expletive] poseur [expletive].
Do you think it'll be fleeting, or will these bands maintain fans?
I don't know. Honestly I hope so because somehow if those [expletive] [expletive]-[expletive] bands, by default, are like the leaders of the lo-fi movement now and we're somehow under that umbrella because we made a lo-fi album. So it's like, if those bands [expletive] don't do good, I'm going to hunt them down and kill them because that's the end of us. They're [expletive] representing a bunch of good bands. Somehow the [expletive] bands get to represent the good bands. But it's like that all through [expletive] history. Psychedelic Horse[expletive] - I think we're better than Wavves, for sure.
I don't know, it pisses me off, kind of. We work hard and I feel like we're pretty sincere about what we do. And to have a bunch of [expletive] no-talent clowns come in and just take the easiest way out and [expletive] rip off - not necessarily even - I don't think that any of those bands are ripping off Psychedelic Horse[expletive]. That's like the furthest thing. I wouldn't pay them a compliment like that. I don't even think Psychedelic Horse[expletive] is that good of a band but it's like [expletive] leagues and years beyond any of Wavves and Vivian Girls and [expletive]. That's elementary [expletive]. Like, [Expletive] my [expletive]. I don't know. Just a bunch of poseur [expletive], honestly.
I don't care if people like Psychedelic Horse[expletive]. It's for me. It's for me to make music that I like. I don't give a [expletive] if anybody likes it. Those bands, they're all about like, Oh, we're girls! Or, Oh, we're skaters! Or, Oh, we're California bros! Yeah, but, can you write a good song? No. You [expletive] put a couple chords together - I don't know. I shouldn't be talking so much [expletive] in an interview about Psychedelic Horse[expletive]. But it's so prevalent now, everybody's getting a [expletive] about all these bands.
Well that's the thing, everyone is getting a [expletive] out of these bands. It seems like now more than ever people load up on a bandwagon.
Well what it is, is the people who have been blogging all this stuff and making this stuff popular. No one has the [expletive] [expletive] to get on Terminal Boredom and be like, No man, that [expletive] sucks. Because no one will [expletive] stand up to those people. People think that all those people who say all that [expletive] and blog on Terminal Boredom, that that's The Word. Like, I love Mike Sniper to death, and he's a friend of mine. But it's like if Mike Sniper says something, that's the [expletive] it. If Mike Sniper says you're good, you're [expletive] the next [expletive] Matador band. And that's [expletive]. Because Mike Sniper, just because Blank Dogs had a prolific career and it was mysterious at first, doesn't mean that he [expletive] should dictate what is good in music nowadays.
And the future of music is [expletive] getting [expletive] by idiots on Terminal Boredom. [Expletive] kids that would be into cool music are listening to Wavves and No Age and thinking that it's really cool. So then there's [expletive] Wavves and No Age copy bands, like third generation, or actually it's like 10th generation [expletive], y'know? Kids are gonna start listening to that [expletive] and be like, Oh, this is cool, it sounds like No Age and Wavves. But it's gonna be even more watered down and we're gonna end up with [expletive] Britney Spears lo-fi.
Is it like the new grunge or something?
I hope it's like grunge or something like that. Because then maybe like someone will give us a couple thousand dollars to make a record and we can actually go into a studio and make an ambitious record. None of these bands getting signed to any of these labels have any ambition at all. It's like, they're comfortable writing two-chord [expletive] fuzzy pop songs. And they all sound the same. (Pauses to check cell phone.)
You gotta take a call? That's cool.
I gotta go smoke this joint with this dude. Can we go over there?
[We go over there.]
It seems like nobody wants to be the bummer on the party and say that something isn't good.
But the only way things get better, though, is if people have honest criticism. That's why music sucks today. All the honest critics that actually wrote good music criticism are [expletive] dead or got [expletive] sold. That's why music sucks. Because no one [expletive] has a [expletive] half a mind about [expletive] telling you when you [expletive] suck. The [expletive] first person that should've been on [expletive] Wavves and Vivian Girls and said they sucked was Rolling Stone. They should've been like, This is [expletive] [expletive]. [Expletive] this [expletive]. Rolling Stone? [Expletive] them! Those are important magazines. They need to [expletive] criticize instead of [expletive] [expletive].
Well Rolling Stone, that's been questionable for a while. You're on the cover then you get five stars the next issue.
Right. It's like being a homeless guy. If you [expletive] [expletive] you'll get money. But if you don't, you're gonna be a [expletive] homeless guy.
Honestly, with the bigger magazines you sort of expect that. But the whole thing was that blogging was supposed be more honest because it could be anyone and it could be anonymous -
Terminal Boredom is the new Rolling Stone. It's just as bad. The bigger heads on Terminal Boredom are ruining music today. Period.
Guy who he had to smoke a joint with: That [expletive] is idiotic. Idiotic!
Matt: That's Rob from Eat Skull. He'll be in the interview, too.
Rob: People who sit around [expletive] typing [expletive] on the Internet all day should be round up and shot.
Matt: I agree.
Dude, that's like, sort of my job.
Rob: Well, you can't fault a man for trying to make a dollar, dude.
Anyway, so you think this will make it harder for the "good" bands to break through?
Well now it's like if we make a record people are gonna be like, Oh, this Psychedelic Horse[expletive] record sounds like Wavves! Because it's lo-fi! No. No, it doesn't sound like Wavves. Wavves sounds like TV on the Radio, which [expletive] sounds like some really bad [expletive].
Yeah, I don't really get that band, they're not the worst.
It's just like Wavves if he had some black dudes and a full band.
I really do just think that people are afraid to be negative, unless it is proven from above that something sucks. Then it's fine.
Truth from above now is [expletive] Mike Sniper on Terminal Boredom. He's God. And I love Mike, Mike's the coolest dude, but it's like, that's why we have a government like we do. It has a balance of powers, there's checks and balances. If everybody is [expletive] [expletive] the figureheads of Terminal Boredom's [expletive] then music's just gonna keep getting [expletive] and it's gonna mask itself as good music and become a disease and kill the youth of America.
Rob: Oh, [expletive]. I didn't realize you were getting interviewed.
Matt: No, it's all cool, stay in.
Rob: Well, I think I gotta play.
Does that make you want to change what you want to do and sound like?
It was like that from the very beginning. I wanna make "OK Computer." You know? I wanna sound like Radiohead. I don't give a [expletive] about lo-fi. [Expletive] that [expletive]. It's stupid. It's a cop out.
So the new record will represent this?
We're trying to make it sound as good as it can. If someone would give us the money we could go into a studio and actually sound like Radiohead instead of trying to do it with lo-fi equipment.
But you have like five new releases coming out over the next few months, right?
Four. Four or five, something like that. Might as well do it, you know, while people will still want to actually put out Psychedelic Horse[expletive] records, which I don't think will be very long. Might as well put out as much [expletive] [expletive] as you can. Things aren't gonna be like they are for this long.
Do you think the inevitable backlash will [expletive] you over without ever having benefitted you?
No, because I don't even feel a part of it. We're just guilty by association. I don't personally feel part of it. We just get lumped in with it. It's inevitable that we're gonna get lumped in with that [expletive]. It's just bad for music.
Rob: You made up that name.
Matt: What? Psychedelic Horse[expletive]?
Rob: No, the name of the genre. (Laughs.)
Matt: Oh, [expletive]gaze. Yeah, yeah. You know what? No one's even made a [expletive]gaze record yet. It hasn't been accomplished. No one's [expletive] taken lo-fi to that next level and made a record as good as "Loveless" and "OK Computer" that is lo-fi and uses the medium in a way that's accessible to millions. I don't know. This took a pretty weird direction I guess. It's just all me going, [Expletive] all this [expletive].
Well, you know, beef is in now, apparently.
It's just I'm annoyed by it. I have to [expletive] see it all the time and I'm [expletive] sick of it. I don't wanna have to [expletive] play with Wavves with his [expletive] gelled hair and his [expletive] skateboard buddies. It's like, [Expletive] off, man.
Well I guess originally lo-fi was about the complete lack of image -
That's all it is now. Lo-fi was kind of cool because the music was different and fresh. But now it's like a thing. It's like clothes. Like, I'm just wearing lo-fi clothes, because that's what's hip right now. This blank [expletive] that has no value in it at all and no passion or spirit. And as long as its stylized, like the logo on the record is something you can put in an American Apparel store, thousands of people are gonna buy it.
OK, so how about Times New Viking. They're your friends, they've done three albums that were all very lo-fi, so -
Yeah, and I've been trying to talk them into going hi-fi. And I think it's like, they're in a position where they could really - they are on Matador Records. They could be making some crazy [expletive] [expletive] with the money that they get and make an ambitious record. But they wanna keep doing the lo-fi thing. And that's kind of even more bad ass because you're on a major label and they want to keep making lo-fi records because it's like, [Expletive] you. We could be going hi-fi, but we don't want to. We're on a big label and that's what everybody does once they're on a big label. So like, [expletive] that [expletive]. Everybody starts sucking once they get on a label. We're gonna stay lo-fi and stick to what we know and keep making good music.
And they might not become the biggest band in the world but in [expletive] 20 years every Times New Viking record that you listen to is gonna sound [expletive] sweet as [expletive] and people are never gonna be like, Times New Viking started to suck. Every one of their records is gonna be like, that [expletive] record was tight. And you know what? It [expletive] came out on a major label. And that's even tighter.
You're doing the Siltbreeze showcase tonight, and it seems like there's a bit of a comeback for labels, where you can trust something will be good if it's on a certain label. But then there's the other aspect which you were talking about before.
There's so much music being made now. It's so easy, it's so [expletive] easy to find good music. It's everywhere. There's a million [expletive] good bands and half of that million no one has ever heard because they don't play out of their bedrooms, or [expletive]. Or they don't make tapes or anything. The best [expletive] is something that people have never heard. It's unfortunate the way things are.
Music has turned into a commodity. It's something that's part of like - I'm sounding like a total hippie right now - but it's like this spirit and it's part of everyone. It's something that connects with everybody on a very basic level and it's something everyone can relate to. And it just sucks that it gets boxed up. And the fact that it got boxed up in the first place, people started making boxes instead of expressing their spirit. It's just a bummer.
But it's fun, though. Everyone should [expletive] make music. Do crazy [expletive]. Just make music and hand it out to everybody. Do [expletive] crazy things. No one's [expletive] wild anymore. Nothing crazy happens. No one tells the truth because everyone's so afraid of what everyone else is gonna think, and their image. Everyone's afraid of being pretentious. And it's like - pretension is necessary to advance art. And honest criticism is necessary to advance art. Failure is necessary to advance art. And everyone's so afraid of all of those.
Papercuts' new CD/LP "You Can Have What You Want" (Gnomonsong) will ship on April 6th, but you can download it now exclusively on iTunes with a bonus digital-only track.
Vivian Girls' "Surf's Up" single is also now available digitally - only on iTunes through April 21st.
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart's "Young Adult Friction" single is also now available on iTunes, as is Crystal Stilts' "Love Is a Wave" 7".
For a complete listing of Revolver USA exclusive titles available for download from the iTunes Music Service, emusic, and AmazonMP3, please visit our Downloadables page.
Monday, March 23, 2009
If the world were just, Kylesa would be a household name. Fellow Georgians Mastodon have rocketed to fame due to hard work, press hype, and acceptance by non-metalheads. Fellow Savannians Baroness have earned plaudits due to a sound that's more classic rock than metal. Kylesa, too, have alloyed sludge metal with melody and finesse. Their star, though, has brightened more slowly. After four albums and thousands of road miles logged, its shine has become brilliant.
Kylesa formed in 2001. From the beginning, it was somewhat of a mutt. Hardcore punk, crust punk, caveman metal, and rough-hewn prog did battle on its self-titled debut. 2005's To Walk a Middle Course was darker, dragging sludge metal through murky depths. The following year's Time Will Fuse Its Worth was a breakthrough for several reasons. First, its production was relatively clear, exposing diverse elements: flashes of psychedelia, dueling male and female vocals, punk and metal at each other's throats. Second, it was Kylesa's first album with two drummers. At that time, though, their impact was greater live than on record. Most importantly, the band discovered catchiness. "Hollow Severer" found guitarist/vocalist Phillip Cope carrying an actual tune, and its video got MTV exposure.
The lessons learned are manifest on Static Tensions. In the past, Kylesa's songs were often about a minute too long. Their head-down pounding worked well live, but dragged on record. Now riffs repeat only when necessary. Songs climb up and down with relentless momentum. "Scapegoat", for example, is basically a hardcore punk two-step. But despite this newfound efficiency, the songs are more baroque than ever. They flaunt melodies shamelessly now. Choruses are insistent. Practically the whole record is hummable. The bright theme of "Unknown Awareness" arcs like a rainbow overhead. "Running Red" alternates Slayer harmonies with riffs redolent of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man". Laura Pleasants' singing, once a buried gem, is often upfront. She ranges from a mysterious coo to more forceful declamation. Both provide a feminine contrast to roiling, downtuned riffs underneath.
Headphones, or a good stereo, reveal this record's masterstroke: production that mostly separates the drummers hard left and right. This yields both greater clarity and density. Together, the drummers form a prickly thicket of percussion. But they often separate into rich counterpoint. "Said and Done", for example, pits blastbeats on the left against slow accents on the right. They're playing in time, but they're almost fighting each other. The body is torn as to how to react.
Such push and pull echoes Kylesa's lyrical obsession with time. Yesterday and tomorrow are common concerns. The specter of aging haunts this record, with repeated references to fading away. "Insomnia for Months" swims in a haze of "Multitude of memories/ Left in a stupor/ Sobriety out of boredom." But the delivery is sharp, with ride cymbals cutting through tumbling syncopations. Kylesa's lyrics lean towards the abstract and personal. They avoid grand gestures or obvious themes that allow for easy grasp. (Contrast, for example, Mastodon and mythology.) This time, though, grasp is almost moot. The band has etched light, dark, sky, and earth so deftly onto wax that it vibrates the very soul.
— Cosmo Lee, March 23, 2009
Upcoming live shows:
03/24 Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
03/25 Savannah, GA @ The Jinx
03/26 Wilmington, NC @ Lucky’s Pub
03/27 Asheville, NC @ Rocket Club
04/10 Birmingham, AL @ Workplay Theater (W/ Mastodon)
04/11 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues (W/ Mastodon)
04/13 Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater (W/ Mastodon)
04/14 Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre (W/ Mastodon)
04/16 Phoenix, AZ @ Martini Ranch (W/ Mastodon)
04/17 Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
04/18 Santa Cruz, CA @ Santa Cruz Veterans Hall
04/19 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall (W/ Mastodon)
04/21 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre (W/ Mastodon)
04/22 Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s (W/ Mastodon)
04/23 Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom (W/ Mastodon)
04/24 Calgary, AB @ MacEwen Ballroom (W/ Mastodon)
04/25 Edmonton, AB @ Starlite Ballroom (W/ Mastodon)
04/26 Saskatoon, SK @ The Odeon (W/ Mastodon)
04/28 Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick W/ Mastodon)
04/29 Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Hall (W/ Mastodon)
04/30 Chicago, IL @ Metro (W/ Mastodon)
05/01 Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom (W/ Mastodon)
05/02 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom (W/ Mastodon)
05/03 Montreal, QC @ Club Diablo
05/04 Montreal, QC @ Le National (W/ Mastodon)
05/05 Toronto, ON @ Opera House (W/ Mastodon)
05/06 Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
05/07 Boston, MA @ House of Blues (W/ Mastodon)
05/08 Philadelphia, PA @ TLA (W/ Mastodon)
05/09 New York, NY @ Fillmore @ Irving Plaza (W/ Mastodon)
05/10 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (W/ Mastodon)
05/11 Baltimore, MD @ Talking Head Club
05/12 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club (W/ Mastodon)
05/13 Carbarro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (W/ Mastodon)
05/14 Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel (W/ Mastodon)
05/15 Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage (W/ Mastodon)
Upcoming live dates:
05/15 New York, NY @ Webster Hall
05/16 Boston, MA @ Paradise
05/18 Chicago, IL @ Double Door
05/20 Austin, TX @ Emo’s
05/22 Seattle, WA @ Showbox At The Market
05/23 Seattle, WA @ Showbox At The Market
05/24 Portland, OR @ Roseland
07/24 Naeba Ski Resort, JPN @ Fuji Rock Festival
09/12 Monticello, NY @ ATP New York
Friday, March 20, 2009
3/21 Waterloo Park side stage - Mess With Texas 6:55 PM
3/21 Waterloo Park main stage - Mess With Texas 8:20 PM
3/21 Spider House Cafe: Courtyard Stage - SXSW party 3:00 PM
3/21 Waterloo Records - SXSW in-store 4:00 PM
3/21 Ms. Bea's - Woodsist Records party 7:30 PM
3/21 Urban Outfitters - SXSW in-store 2:00 PM
3/21 Mohawk SXSW Panache showcase 10:00 PM
3/21 Spider House Cafe: Main Stage - SXSW party 5:45 PM
3/21 Ms. Bea's - SXSW Woodsist Records party 10:30 PM
DASH RIP ROCK
3/21 Austin TX Continental Club - Mojo's Mayhem free show
DEATH SET, THE
3/21 Waterloo Park - Mess With Texas 2:30 PM
3/21 Speakeasy - Turbo Crunk 11:00 PM
3/21 The Music Gym - Victim of Time.com showcase 5:45 PM
3/21 Ms. Bea's - Woodsist Records party 9:30 PM
3/21 Emo's - The Agency Group showcase 10:00 PM
3/21 Spider House Cafe: Courtyard Stage - SXSW party 4:00 PM
3/21 Beauty Bar Backyard - SXSW show 12:00 AM
3/21 Co-Lab - IndieHouston pary 12:40 AM
3/21 Beauty Bar Backyard - SXSW show 8:10 PM
3/21 The Independent Load / Dull Knife showcase 12:00 AM
3/21 Spider House Cafe: Courtyard Stage - SXSW party 6:30 PM
3/21 The Music Gym - Victim of Time.com showcase 5:00 PM
3/21 Tap Room Cortical Songs 2:00 AM
3/21 Emo's Main Room - The Agency Group SXSW Showcase
OH SEES, THEE
3/21 Beerland - SXSW party 5:00 PM
3/21 Ms. Bea’s - Woodsist Records party 9:00 PM
PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, THE
3/21 Waterloo Records - SXSW in-store 1:00 PM
3/21 Okay Mountain Gallery - Autobus Records SXSW Party
3/21 Smokin Music - SXSW Showcase
3/21 The PureVolume.com House - SXSW party 7:30
3/21 Spider House Cafe: Courtyard Stage - SXSW party 3:30 PM
3/21 The Music Gym - Victim of Time.com showcase 6:30 PM
3/21 Ms. Bea's - Woodsist Records Party 8:00 PM
3/21 The Radio Room (medium stage) - Slip Productions and Lovitt Records 2:15 PM
3/21 The Independent - Load / Dull Knife showcase 11:00 PM
SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS
3/21 Urban Outfitters - SXSW in-store 5:00 PM
3/21 The Radio Room (main stage) - Slip Productions SXSW Party
STRANGE BOYS, THE
3/21 Beauty Bar Backyard - SXSW show 11:00 PM
3/21 El Soy Y La Luna - M for Montreal / T for Toronto 1:30 PM
3/21 1107 N. I-35 - Perez Hiton showcase 9:05 PM
3/21 Beerland - X! Records/Sweet Rot Records showcase
3/21 Waterloo Park - Mess With Texas 3 1:35 PM
3/21 Mohawk Patio - Hot Freaks party 2:00 PM
3/21 Waterloo Park main stage - Mess With Texas 3 4:35 PM
3/21 Ms. Bea's - Woodsist Records Party 10:00 PM
Stereogum & Andrew W.K. Interview Daniel Higgs
Tomorrow night (3/17) at 11PM, we offer the third installment of our ongoing Tuesday Sessions at Santa's with Spencer Sweeney. This time we're happy to present a night curated by Matt Sweeney (Chavez, Zwan, longtime Will Oldham collaborator, etc.). He's wisely chosen legendary Lungfish (etc.) frontman, tattoo artist (and straight-up artist), writer, and Baltimore favorite son Daniel Higgs with one-time Lungfish bassist and current Human Bell, Nathan Bell. Both men are set to do solo performances with accompaniment by special guests. You can check out the flyer at santospartyhouse.com.
Growing up, Lungfish was one of the most important bands in my musical cosmology: The Dischord crew that tapped into something incantatory with a questing, spiritual, and (most importantly) punk poetry via an awesome, raga-like minimalism that Higgs has followed into his excellent solo material, where he's shifted his focus to long-neck banjo, jew's harp, and fried/crusty atmospherics. If you're unfamiliar with the man, check out just about any Lungfish album, but especially Rainbows From Atoms, Talking Songs For Walking, Pass & Stow, and (maybe not considered as highly by most) Sound In Time. As far as the new solo works, I really love Ancestral Songs. (Also see Metempsychotic Melodies and the instrumental Magic Alphabet.) We figured we should expand upon all this Higgs excitement by asking him a few questions. Andrew W.K. is excited as well, so he also queried the great bearded one.
From AWK: I first saw Dan Higgs perform as the singer for Lungfish in about 2005. I had never heard the music before, but I heard the band name for many years. Matt Sweeney demanded I had come see the show, but he wouldn't tell me anything about Lungfish other than that I would like it. I've always trusted Matt when it comes to music, but nothing could've prepared me for the power of the performance that night. When Dan Higgs and the rest of the band kicked into their first song, I thought, "This is cool-- what a great vocal phrase!" Then they played another song -- I thought, "Wow! Another amazing riff!" After about four more equally life-changing songs, I was almost passed out in a state of shock and joy. I had never heard better music in my life. And witnessing Dan Higgs on stage was like rolling up a hill with a snowball in each hand! Since then, I can safely say that seeing Dan Higgs and Lungfish perform that night changed my life for the better. - Andrew W.K.
ANDREW W.K.: Have you thought that music could be defined as good or bad? And even if it could be, is all of it still "music" and therefor valid?
DANIEL HIGGS: Music can be defined as True or False, with authority, as it is perceived into the psycho-spiritual-architectonic construct, that is, the unique orientation and vantage of the listener (the musician is a listener). True music may behave as though False -- False music may behave as though True. And True music may become False, False becomes True. I can say more another time.
ANDREW W.K.: Have you defined yourself as "an artist" or "a musician"?
DANIEL HIGGS: Artist and Musician are ways of concisely describing integral aspects of my Vocation, my immediate Pathway.
ANDREW W.K.: I've heard a lot about your amazing work as a tattoo artist. Do you think tattoos give power to those that obtain them?
DANIEL HIGGS: Tattooing is an unclean practice, left-hand -- easily abused.
ANDREW W.K.: Do you have powers?
DANIEL HIGGS: I have powers as dictated by the limits of my immediate human incarnation, that is, limitless powers in combination. I am a power, as are we all. This plain fact should humble one, prior to exaltation in The Lord.
ANDREW W.K.: When you've written your vocal melodies and lyrics, have you written them with the music, or away from the music, only using words and thoughts of music?
DANIEL HIGGS: The lyrics arrive with a seed-melody. Instrumental melodies arrive in Truth and Counter-Truth, weaving. Please consider a type of melodic movement in a stream of images.
I asked Higgs more specifically about tomorrow night, then a bit about present-day Baltimore and the future of Lungfish
STEREOGUM: What can we expect from your and Nathan's set next week? Songs from the recent solo albums? Some long-necked banjo and jaw harp? Maybe you and Nathan will revisit a Lungfish track or two? Any of Nathan's compositions? Human Bell?
DANIEL HIGGS: The show on Tuesday, as i imagine it coming down, will consist of Nathan Bell playing banjo, and perhaps trumpet, performing some composed pieces, improvised pieces, music-pieces, with accompaniment by a variety of other musicians. For my part, I will sing while playing banjo etc. Nathan and I might present one song from a new body of banjo and jew's harp duets that he and I stumbled upon in January.
STEREOGUM: There hasn't been a new Lungfish album in a few years. I guess the band's not officially active, but it seems like you guys have never officially broken up either. Any plans for new work at some point?
DANIEL HIGGS: There are presently minor Lungfish stirrings ... no way to know what comes of that.
STEREOGUM: Baltimore has become a destination for a generation of younger music listeners. As a member of one of the area's formative bands, am curious what you think about Baltimore's current musical landscape.
DANIEL HIGGS: Baltimore is a Magic Garden.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Themselves will be in Austin this week:
3/18 Mohawk Anticon / Ghostly showcase 1:00 AM
3/18 Red 7 Force Field PR & Terrorbird Media SXSW '09 Blowout 3:35 PM
3/19 Beauty Bar The Bay Bridged Bay Area Takeover Day Party 4:15 PM
3/19 Smokin' Music Knitting Factory Showcase / DJ set between bands
3/20 The Sidebar Park The Van Records, Partisan Records, indie outlaw, The Knitting Factory 4:30 PM
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tracksandfields.com is hosting a remix contest for Kid606’s new single "Mr. Wobble’s Nightmare" from his upcoming album "Shout at the Döner". The best mixes will be released on a forthcoming ep release from Tigerbeat6 and featured on Zero”. The remix with the most votes wins a free Ableton Live 7 LE license, while Kid606 chooses his favourite mix for a releases on his label Tigerbeat6. This single will be released in cooperation with the electronic music download store Zero-Inch.com. As Kid606 puts it, there are absolutely no rules to the remix contest, it can be in any style at any tempo. You probably have more chances of winning if your remix sounds as different from the original or released remixes as possible. The contest starts march 16 and ends end may 1st, 2009. Direct link HERE.
Wildbirds & Peacedrums - There Is No Light from Leaf Label on Vimeo.
Video for Wildbirds & Peacedrums' latest tribal stomping, tambourine banging, banshee crying single 'There Is No Light'. W & P will be making a quick stop in the States this month to indulge in some SXSW madness.
03/20 Austin, TX @ The Sidebar (SXSW Park The Van Records, Partisan Records, indie outlaw, The Knitting Factory 4:30PM)
03/20 Austin, TX@ Antone's (SXSW The Billions Corporation showcase 9:00 PM)
Monday, March 09, 2009
Seattle Show Gal
Your Public Servant for Live Show Reviews
To See Rating 8/10
Just Curious Rating 8/10
Band Members: * Casper Clausen (Vocals & Various Instruments) * Mads Brauer (Computers, Seq. & Flute) * Rune Fonseca Mølgaard (Piano) * Thomas Kirirath Husmer (Drums, Trumpet & Choir) * Rasmus Stolberg (Bass, Guitar & Various Instruments) * Peter Broderick (live-band member – Violin, Guitar, Drums, Whatever he feels like, & Choir) * Anna Brønsted (live-band member - Piano, Vocals) * Niklas Antonson (live-band member - Trombone & Choir) * Frederik Teige (live-band member - Guitar & Choir)
I had the pleasure of being at the premier show on Efterklang’s American Tour. This was one of those shows that can’t ever be recreated. There were world premier songs that were played, and songs that were a work-in-progress debuted. For those of you who weren’t able to make it and for those of you who are just curious, here are some highlights.
Efterklang, the Danish word for remembrance and reverberation or ‘after sound,’ bring distinction and light to unchartered waters. Efterklang explores an area of sound that hasn’t been touched. There are so few bands these days that are indisputably original and leave no room for copy cats; Efterklang is one of them.
There are lots of layers and moving parts within Efterklang. I really like Efterklang’s approach to this because their moving parts are created and executed by individual contributors as opposed to being created by one mind and performed many. Having multiple minds at the source of Efterklang adds levels of individuality that translate into depth of sound. Although being created by several different minds, Efterklang has been playing music together for so long that all the sounds meld together as one cohesive unit.
Their approach to music is very story telling and progressive. With gradual mood changes though-out the songs and through-out the set, I was very compelled to put myself over in their world. Sit and listen. Their set was so moving and versatile that it was difficult for me to choose what to feature. I am giving you a world premier performance of a song that is currently called Friendfirmations. I am also going to give you a collage of three other songs in a separate clip that highlight the diversity of sound that is Efterklang. If you have the chance to see them first hand, don’t miss it.
There are still plenty of dates to go:
03/09 Visalia, CA @ Brewery
03/10 Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
03/11 Tucson, AZ @ Plush
03/13 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
03/14 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
03/16 Norman, OK @ Opolis
03/17 Denton, TX @ Hailey’s
03/19 Austin, TX @ French Legation Museum (SXSW Other Music party 2:00 PM)
03/19 Austin, TX @ Habana Bar (SXSW Hometapes/Leaf showcase 11:00 PM)
03/23 Tallahassee, FL @ The Engine Room (w/ Canon Blue)
03/24 Atlanta, GA @ E.A.R.L. (w/ Canon Blue)
03/25 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 (w/ Canon Blue)
03/26 Washington, DC @ DC9
03/27 Philadelphia, PA @ The First Unitarian Church
03/28 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
03/30 Boston, MA @ TT the Bears
04/01 Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo
04/02 Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artwork
04/03 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
04/04 Chicago, IL @ Schubas
Artist: Adam Payne
Label: Holy Mountain
Review date: Mar. 6, 2009
Residual Echoes head instigator Adam Payne deviated from his band’s reckless psych whirlwinds to deliver Organ, an album surprisingly full of power pop, balladry and crisp riffing. The comparisons to various rawk this’s and that’s are gonna fly like pies on a Three Stooges skit, so we may as well get a few of ‘em out of the way. Straight ahead opener, "The One After Eyes" suggests anything from the Only Ones to Thin Lizzy to the Raspberries. "In Hell,” piano and all, begins as an inspired-but-loose Muscle Shoals outtake before settling into bouncy pop.
A listener steeped in rock residue from the past 40 years is going to hear any number of bands tucked into this little record, but that has less to do with Payne’s lack of originality and more to do with guitar rock being something that’s simply been done and done and done. Yet, when it’s done as good as Payne does right here, comparisons mean little. For six songs and 36 minutes, Organ hones in on guitar pop’s core before stretching it out, chomping on chords and spitting out flurries of notes that remind one, ala Dinosaur Jr., why the guitar solo still matters. Just listen to "Never See You Anymore,” which earns the guitar climax Payne peels off toward the end.
The same can be said for the album’s instrumental centerpiece, "Incidental Arrangement." Awash in sputtering suggestions of riffs, it slashes its way uphill, finds its center and then chews on chords euphorically, repeating variations on its theme, surrendering to its own pulse before speeding up again. It’s simply one of the finer examples of electric rock and roll orgasm these ears have heard in a while, and gives the rest of Organ all the excuses it might need to matter.
By Bruce Miller
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Artist: The Moore Brothers
Label: American Dust
Review date: Mar. 3, 2009
The Moore Brothers have been making music since the late ’80s, but their fifth and latest, Aptos, arrives on the heels of a publicity boost courtesy of fellow Californian Joanna Newsom. The duo joined Newsom on 2007 her European tour, and she puts in a guest appearance here, contributing harp to “Good Heart, Money and Rain.” The wider exposure is certainly merited: Aptos is, while humble and unassuming, compelling from start to finish, and both brothers are first-rate singers and songwriters.
The Moore Brothers’ sound is consistent throughout, generally consisting of sparse arrangements of guitars, bass and drums, which leave ample room for the flawless harmonies that are nearly ubiquitous. Despite the acoustic guitars and harmonizing, the brothers deal less in folk than in light pop. While they aren’t strongly evocative of any particular group or period, they clearly owe a debt to mellow early ’70s fare (Simon and Garfunkel in the harmonies, CSN on the David Crosby-esque “Aptos”, and America on the radio-ready chorus of “Heard About You“). The duo split songwriting duties evenly, with Thom penning the odd-numbered tracks and Greg the even ones. Like their almost indistinguishably similar voices, however, their work blends seamlessly together. Thom’s tracks are built around quirky stop-and-start melodies, and are generally brief and tightly wound. Lyrically, they tend towards character sketches, which aren’t fully fleshed out short stories (like those of say, Ray Davies), but rather oblique and evocative portraits (the lonely drummer girl of “Iraq” and the titular recluse of “Henry Alexander,” to name two). Greg’s, on the other hand, are generally mellower and more unabashedly lyrical, at times suggesting nothing so much as a Californian version of the Clientele (both musically and vocally, especially on the title track and “Pet Sidewinder”), evoking their almost-otherworldly melancholic beauty and dreaminess. While not radically different enough to constitute two irreconcilable aesthetics, the two tonalities complement each other well and lay out a propulsive push-and-pull between a more upbeat and energetic approach (Thom) and a less urgent, leisurely one (Greg).
Both lyrically and musically, the songs on Aptos are a strong set. At once effortless and masterful, the album suffers from no missteps or low points. While it may not deliver the utterly unique sound of a Joanna Newsom, it easily fulfills the expectations to which her endorsement gives rise. By Michael Cramer
THE MOORE BROTHERS CELEBRATE THE RELEASE OF THEIR NEW ALBUM THIS FRIDAY (03/06) AT THE MAKE-OUT ROOM, SF. CA.
Monday, March 02, 2009
The concept behind Breakfast At Sulimays is simple but genius. Film three elderly townies from Philadelphia (Bill, Ann & Joe) listening to then reviewing modern indie rock while hanging out at a local coffee shop. It turns out they're not fans of Beirut's 'My Night With The Prostitute From Marseille'.