Monday, January 31, 2011

Earth: Interview with Drummer Adrienne Davies (Southern Lord)

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Adrienne Davies, percussionist/drummer and core member of the ambient-metal band Earth. Earth's third post-reformation studio disc, Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1, is due out on Feb. 22nd via Southern Lord. To get an advance listen, NPR's “Exclusive First Listen” is streaming the whole album for free until Feb. 7th.

Joining founding guitarist and band frontman Dylan Carlson and percussionist Adrienne Davies, the album lineup this time around also includes cellist Lori Goldston (Nirvana, David Byrne, Black Cat Orchestra, Laura Veirs) and Karl Blau (K Records, Laura Veirs, Microphones) on electric bass.

Earth: Exclusive Interview with Drummer / Percussionist Adrienne Davies (Southern Lord)BrooklynRocks: Can I start off by asking about your musical background? I tried “Googling” you and there isn’t much online about your work prior to joining Earth.

Adrienne: Earth was the first major band that I played in. Prior to this, I played with friends just sort of mucking about but nothing really stuck.

BrooklynRocks: How did you get involved with Earth?

Adrienne: I met Dylan in the early 90’s and kept in contact with him here and there. It was right around 2000-2001 when he moved back up from Los Angeles and I was still in Seattle so we got reacquainted and started playing together. Not with any purpose of restarting Earth or have it come to any fruition – it was just us playing music and having something to do at night. We had some fun and it felt right. We got invited to do a short tour of the East Coast and from there it started getting more serious. A live show from that first East Coast tour ended up being the first Earth release that I was on (Living in the Gleam of an Unsheathed Sword)

BrooklynRocks: Was that the show where you played as a two-piece at Tonic?

Adrienne: It was – the show was completely improvised and we were flying by the seat of the pants. Looking back, it was quite a bit of fun. It was a purative process of getting all of that out. It wasn’t the most focused thing we have ever done but it was definitely energetic.

BrooklynRocks: How did you go from being an improvisational two-piece to the “Morricone western soundtracks” of the last few Earth albums?

Adrienne: People who aren’t from Seattle seem to have this theory about Seattle that musicians fall off the trees here and everyone is waiting to play with everyone else. What we found is that there are a million bands here but to actually find someone who isn’t already in a million other bands, who wants to play with you and is into it and has the time for it is a lot harder than you think. Steve Moore and Don McGreevy are amazing musicians all around and we first met them through Randall Dunn who produced and engineered our last three albums prior to this one. They were sort of the musicians on-hand that Randall would call in at a moment’s notice who could adapt to anyone’s playing style and really knew what they were doing. We loved playing with them and they stuck with us for quite a few years. That was when it really upped the playing and the writing and I thought the music took a huge leap forward with them on-board.

BrooklynRocks: Before we jump into the new disc, I’ve noticed that there has been a limited edition live album from every tour since the 2002 tour. What do you think of these live albums and do they adequately capture the live Earth experience? Is one more of a favorite than others?

Adrienne: Definitely – I would say that the Live in Europe 2006 was pretty accurate for where we were then but I don’t think it captured the magic of what we try to hit live. This disc was good and there are some real peak moments on the album but my favorite album is the Radio/Live one. This disc is a compilation of tracks from a live show from the 2008 tour along with tracks from a radio performance that was recorded before the tour. Everything was really good for this one and I’m happy with how it came out.

BrooklynRocks: Can you talk for a minute about the new members of Earth?

Adrienne: We are kind of going through a transition because Steve Moore and Don McGreevy weren't going to be able to do the album. Dylan and I had been playing with Lori Goldston who plays cello. She is very, very musically adept and has a wide variety of influences, especially experimental. She doesn't play classical which is so great about her and she can play an electrical instrument. We had her come in and knew from the start that we were going to work with her. When you first think about trombone or cello, it is such a distinctive instrument, you kind of go 'can we have this on every song throughout a whole album or is it going to be too much?' Both Steve Moore and Lori are able to play one instrument without it ever becoming 'oh man - that is way too much cello or way too much trombone'. They can kind of lay low with it or pull it out and that is essential to making it work.

Karl Blau is on bass - he is not actually going to be touring with us because he is doing his own thing but he is phenomenal on the album. He is everything that I love about a bass player.

BrooklynRocks: What is the concept behind the new album and why the two parts? (Note: Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II is due out later in the year)

Adrienne: This was kind of a strange time for us as Dylan was going through a health crisis, which has now been cleared up, and I think he was feeling a bit of that sense of mortality. We went into the studio with enough material for what was going to be one album. We had a set of songs that we had been working through on a two-week tour of the West Coast and we were still feeling out these songs as we never like to have anything too concise before we go into the studio as it is so much better to have it evolve. We got into the studio and a huge amount of creativity came flying forth. No one can really put their finger on what caused this but we ended up with double what we were trying to do and it was very effortless. Nothing was forced and it was my favorite experience in the studio - there was no frustration which is usually the norm for studio work.

BrooklynRocks: Looking at some of the other work you have done, what was it like working with Sunn O))) on Altar?

Adrienne: Wow - that was a while ago! I was extremely honored that Greg and Stephen asked me to be on the record - that meant a lot. I loved working with Atsuo and Wata. If I recall, I think I did some brush cymbal stuff and I know I did some snare brush stuff on "The Sinking Belle". Atsuo and I were playing live for that track and it was awesome.

BrooklynRocks: Getting back to the new disc, what are the tour plans? Will there be other shows after the record release show (March 3rd - The Tractor Tavern, Seattle) and the April-May run of European shows?

Adrienne: We took some time off during the second half of last year so that Dylan could deal with some health stuff but 2011 is going to be pretty non-stop. There are a few Seattle shows which are sort of a warm-up for a big festival in Mexico City in March. After that, we are in Europe for six weeks which includes Roadburn and a couple of other festivals. This will be our second or third time at Roadburn which is always one of our favorite highlights of the European tour. We are also talking about going to Australia and Japan toward the end of the year.

We are going to be playing the entirety of the new album and we always like live to come up with stuff during soundcheck. We like to improvise - have to keep it fresh and keep it new. To make the songs work for the audience, we have to make them work for ourselves. If you play the same things the same way so many nights in a row, it becomes laborious and boring. We really try to shake things up and put ourselves out there where things could just go horrendously wrong and that is part of the fun of it. We try really hard to have live shows be what live shows can be.

BrooklynRocks: Thanks for the time today! Is there anything that you want to leave as parting words?

Adrienne: As a band, and how I approach music in this band, we like to keep things simple and intentionally haven't jumped on any of the new technologies of the last decade. We try to deconstruct everything that has been going on, slow things down and pull things apart. I love that about our band and we don't do this as a gimmick or genre. We can't do anything but that and it is reaffirming that people like it.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lohio - Chamber-Pop Band Release Video for "Adelai" from New CD // Feb. Shows at Union Hall and Lit Lounge

Lohio is built around the songwriting of Greg Dutton. The band is based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but Dutton’s songs capture the pastoral nature of a boy who grew up on an Ohio farm. Often paired with the clear and delicate vocals of Liz Adams, Dutton is also supported by an array of musicians handpicked out the tight-knit Pittsburgh scene. Their use of glee-club-like group vocals add to the feeling that you’re listening to the region’s best hometown pageant.

With their newest release, the indie-folk outfit Lohio creates an album every bit as grand and sweeping as the likes of Arcade Fire or The National, but one that might have been composed on makeshift instruments in someone’s backyard workshop. Family Tree has a handmade, almost colloquial feel, and the levity of instrumentation (toy piano anyone?) often belies the weight of the songs. Like a collection of short stories, the EP offers excerpts on life, family, and the inevitable milestones we all encounter, all couched in glowing arrangements and indie-pop hooks.

Lohio kicks off a two week tour starting in Buffalo, NY on Feb 3rd and the band plays local shows at Union Hall on Feb. 7th and Lit Lounge on Feb. 8th. Sharing the bill at the Union Hall show are Donora and Brooklyn locals Ball of Flame Shoot Fire. Tickets are $6 and doors are at 7:30PM.

At the Lit Lounge show, Lohio are playing with Donora and We Loyal. Tickets are $6 and doors are at 8:30PM.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Valdur Play Oakland Black/Death Fest in March + Live Footage from July '10 Show @ Union Pool

Valdur Play Oakland Black/Death Fest in March + Live Footage from July '10 Show @ Union PoolMammoth Lakes, California blackened death horde Valdur, who released their Raven God Amongst Us full-length upon unsuspecting masses this past summer are already working on new tunes. The band will bring their infernal rumblings to the live arena for a very special show at the Oakland Black/Death Fest at the Metro Operahouse on Saturday March 12th. Valdur will be joined by headliners Dispirit, Necrite and Mutilation Rites among others.

Commented drummer Sxuperion on the live shows and upcoming new tunes: “We always look forward to the live event, as we very much appreciate and respect the energy and effort that is required to provide VALDUR’s music immediately! Otherwise, VALDUR has basically kept our determination focused upon the writing of many new songs that will see themselves appear on a new full-length release. We are buried in ten to 20 feet of snow in town which is very conducive to writing and creating. The new songs are faster and more intense than anything that VALDUR has released thus far. This new full-length will be finished and out when we say so.

Valdur are the best black metal band in the United States that you’ve probably never heard of.” —


Creations End – Live Footage from Debut Show / “A New Beginning” CD Review

Creations End – Live Footage from Debut Show / 'A New Beginning' CD ReviewCreation's End is a new progressive/power metal band that is the outgrowth of a long-time collaboration between guitarist Rudy Albert (ex-Zandelle) and drummer Dario Rodriguez. Rounding out the lineup with vocalist Mike DiMeo (ex-Masterplan, ex-Riot), guitarist Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie Band), and bassist Joe Black (Chris Caffery, ex-Zandelle). the band's debut album, A New Beginning was released last November via New Jersey’s Sensory Records.

I had the opportunity to talk with Rudy and Dario right after the record was released and asked how they would describe their sound.

"We have been asked this a lot and have been describing our music as “arena prog. rock”. The music is big and bombastic but we hope that it has universal appeal so that everyone can find something in it that they like."
The band made their live debut at a record-release show on December 3 at New York City's Ace of Clubs.

The new disc contains eight tracks of epic power-metal and the average track is just over seven minutes long. It is extremely refreshing that Creation’s End refuses to succumb to any of the clichés within the prog. rock genre as the disc never sinks into indulgent navel gazing or meandering technical wankery. All of the songs are purposeful, melodic and tight so the disc becomes a fulfilling listen.

As a whole, the songs on A New Beginning are dark and musically dense and contain elements of both American (Dream Theater) and European (Masterplan) power metal. Vocalist Mike DiMeo adds an edge to the band’s sound as he sing with a hard-rock style which doesn’t require a falsetto range to project its power. Guitarists Rudy Albert and Marco Sfogli throw down some solid riffs which are intertwined with soaring solos and Albert doubles up on keyboards, which are featured prominently on some tracks.

The band changes styles and tempos across the disc so each song is distinctive enough to stand on its own. Two of the strongest cuts are disc opener “Of Shadow and Flame” and “World Holocaust” where the band weaves together the best elements of the prog and power-metal genres which are then accentuated by some of Mike DiMeo’s strongest vocals on this disc.

Given the strengths of A New Beginning, expectations are going to be high for whenever the band goes back into the studio to record their follow-up.

Creation's End

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Onslaught - "Sounds of Violence" CD Review (AFM Records)

Onslaught - 'Sounds of Violence' CD Review (AFM Records)British thrash metal band Onslaught reunited in 2005 and the band’s third post-reunion disc, Sounds of Violence, is due out Feb. 8th on AFM Records. In the ‘great’ Onslaught tradition of making line-up changes with every release, post-reunion members James Hinder and Alan Jordan have been replaced by Jeff Williams and Andy Rosser-Davies.

Onslaught plays old-school, angry thrash in the spirit of Testament and Megadeth and, while this release doesn’t break any new ground, Onslaught does what they do well. The disc starts with “Into the Abyss “, which is a symphonic opener that is punctuated by a military drum beat. This serves as the build-up to the brutally aggressive “Born for War” which is guaranteed to get the pit going. Guitarists Nige Rockett and Andy Rosser-Davies alternate between chugging grooves and great non-technical (non-wankery) leads. Steve Grice pummels the double-bass while keeping galloping beat. It has been too many years since I’ve heard The Force (which marked Sy Keeler's debut with Onslaught) so I can’t make a dead-on comparison but Keeler voice’s has held up well over the years. His vocals range from a harsh bark to melodic clean vocals and he doesn’t seem to have lost any of his past force and power.

Lyrically, the band is angry and the dominant lyrical themes seems to be hatred and war. While the band doesn’t go back to the explicitly Satanic lyrics of Power From Hell, a few of the songs (“Children of God” and “Antiheist”) have explicit anti-religious themes.

The disc ends with the aptly titled melancholy piano outro “End Of The Storm (Outro)” before kicking into the bonus track, which is a cover of Motorhead’s “Bomber”. This last track was released as an iTunes single last year with all profits donated to the Help For Heroes charity. The cover version is a straight-forward run-through that features guest appearances from Motorhead’s Phil Campbell and Sodom’s Tom Angelripper.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

History Lesson Part 1: Unreleased Live Footage of The Meat Puppets, Minutemen, Twisted Roots and Redd Kross Out on DVD on March 22nd

History Lesson Part 1: Unreleased Live Footage of The Meat Puppets, The Minutemen, Twisted Roots and Redd Kross Out on DVD on March 22ndIn 1984, a teenage Dave Travis decided to capture punk rock in Los Angeles on video tape, a fascination and hobby that he would continue until 1997, logging in hundreds of hours of Los Angeles area shows and interviews. In "A History Lesson Part 1, Travis presents live footage filmed in the spring of 1984 featuring the Meat Puppets, Minutemen, Twisted Roots and Redd Kross interspersed with interviews of members from each group which examines and puts a perspective on the early years of "psychedelic" punk rock in Los Angeles and Phoenix, AZ. Each song by each group is presented from start to finish.

The Meat Puppets started playing punk rock in their hometown of Phoenix, Arizona out of a feeling of alienation. After sharing a bill in Phoenix, Black Flag invited The Meat Puppets to play a show with them The Cuckoos Nest in Costa Mesa, CA. The group played their chaotic shamanistic psychedelic punk which messed with the minds of the hardcore punks in the audience who started a riot during their set. This prompted Greg Ginn of Black Flag to invite The Meat Puppets to record an album for SST. The group recorded "Meat Puppets 1" over a non-stop three day session while tripping on acid at Unicorn Studios in West Hollywood. A year later, the group returned to the studio and with a more structured and coherent approach for "Meat Puppets 2." Three songs from that album were captured live on May 5, 1984 at Perkins Palace in Pasadena, CA. Melons Rising and Saturday Morning capture the bewitching feeling of "Meat Puppets 1," while Lake of Fire captures the new direction they were moving towards with "Meat Puppets 2."

The Minutemen were the original punk band from San Pedro, California. Bassist Mike Watt, a childhood friend of guitarist D Boon says that Boon's mother taught him how to play bass. When the two first started playing together, they tried to cover rock songs, like American Woman and Black Dog. Then they saw a punk rock showone night in Hollywood and had the revelation that they could play their own music. Boon would write phrases on scraps of paper and Watt would put these to music. Watt would write songs with beginnings, middles, and ends. D. Boon would write songs with just verse and chorus. The songs were short, often less than a minute long. They would write solos into the songs so the other players could rest. Boon had a thing about ideas and principles; he and Watt would talk and argue about everything, even having to pull over at a library while driving between towns on tour to resolve a debate they were having about European History. They philosophized that their world was divided into two parts; Gigs and Flyers. Gigs were the shows. Flyers were everything else which would get people to the shows. Records, radio, videos; these were all flyers to the Minutemen. Six Minutemen songs are featured: A History Lesson Part 2 and Jesus and Tequila from Hollywood's legendary Cathay De Grande and No 1. Hit Song, Martin's Story, The Big Foist, and Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs were captured at The Olympic Auditorium.

Paul Roessler formed Twisted Roots in 1981 after the demise of the Screamers. The original lineup featured Paul's sister Kira on bass and Pat Smear of the Germs on guitar. The band enjoyed instant success as a punk rock super-group followed by a period of chaos emerging with a new lineup featuring Dez Cadena of Redd Kross, Black Flag and The Misfits on guitar. This lineup would soon metamorphosize into DC3. Roessler was heavily influenced by Public Image Limited and took to heart Johnny Rotten's philosophy that it was about musical anarchy not political anarchy. The songs Never Was, Mommy's Always Busy in the Kitchen, and Love Your Friends were captured in May of 1984 at the Music Machine in West Los Angeles

Redd Kross were teenagers from Hawthorne, CA who started playing shows with Black Flag while some of the members were still in Junior High School. Though they gigged with punk bands from the South Bay, they felt that they were outsiders because they were obsessed with pop culture and felt more of a connection with rock star persona than their punk rock peers. Three songs were filmed at the Pomona Valley Auditorium in June 1984: Janus, Jeanie, and George Harrison, Linda Blair, and Annette's got the Hits. The band at the time consisted of two pairs of siblings: Jeff and Steve McDonald and Dave and Vicki Peterson of The Bangles temporarily replacing the freshly departed Dez Cadena before guitarist Robert Hecker joined the group. This was Peterson's only show with the group. Steve McDonald currently plays bass in OFF! with Keith Morris.

Videographer Dave Travis grew up in Los Angeles where his dad worked as a cameraman for NBC and CBS news as well as TV shows such as "Chips" and "Fantasy Island." When he was 15 his dad handed down to him an old video camera and he began shooting punk rock shows in Los Angeles. He eventually became a freelance video editor, working on projects such as Black Flag's "Slip It In" video as director and editor, "1991 the Year Punk Broke" featuring Sonic Youth and Nirvana as editor, the Kurt Cobain memorial for the 94 MTV Music Awards as editor, and many more. Travis also ran a recording studio with his sister, bassist Abby Travis, called Tarantula Ranch and in the mid '80s helped pioneer the desert Generator Shows.

Travis captured punk bands on video in L.A. for 14 years until 1997 when he decided to put down his camera. In 2000 he became a teacher with stints at John Adams Middle School teaching World and U.S. History and Santee Education Complex, a High School in South Central, L.A. teaching History and Economics. After spending nearly a decade as a teacher, Travis re-united with his passion for video and began digitizing and restoring his old footage. "A History Lesson Part One" is the first fruit harvested from his archive.

A History Lesson

The Ferocious Few - "Juices" CD Review (Birdman Records)

The Ferocious Few - 'Juices' CD Review (Birdman Records)Two-piece rock bands have been around long before the White Stripes garnered mass-media attention for (among other things) not having a bass player. Where the White Stripes now have a high-gloss sheen, San Francisco’s The Ferocious Few bash out their brand of lo-fi blues-rock with the fervor and energy of a booze-soaked Southern preacher. In a recent interview, guitarist/vocalist Francisco Fernandez described the band’s music as “stripped down rockabilly rock n' roll. A lot of songs about love and heartbreak and with lots of energy…people have said it's a mixture between Bob Dylan and Motorhead.

Fernandez and drummer Daniel Aquilar got their start busking on street corners in San Francisco and the band started getting national attention when they gave an unofficial/guerilla performance at SXSW a few years back in front of a hot dog stand well off the main strip. After spending the last few years building a strong following by playing anywhere and everywhere, The Ferocious Few was given an official slot at SXSW and Birdman Records released the band’s debut disc Juices early last year.

The new disc’s fifteen tracks run just over 40 minutes and the band clearly works well with this less-is-more format. Fernandez sings in a whiskey soaked voice which is somewhat reminiscent of the Meat Puppets’ Curt Kirkwood as both vocalists have an emotive style that allows them to go from punk to sun-cracked Americana at the blink of an eye. Aquilar keeps the beat with a steady one-two punch and this studio recording allowed the opportunity for the band to add keyboard and bass to a few tracks.

The disc starts out strong with the snarling “Gasoline & Cocaine” which is complete with slashing guitar lines, sneered vocals and pounding drums. The band keeps the pace of the disc moving with other rockers (“Loc’d Out” and “Kathleen”, which features a memorable garage-rock organ line) that are interspersed with smoldering blues numbers (“Cryin' Shame”, “Me And The Devil”). Adding to the musical stew, other songs include elements of soul, alt-country and "Dylanish" folk (“Lord Oh Lord”, "Crazy Love"). Wrapping everything up, the disc ends on a strong note with the acoustic ballad "16th St".

Stylistically, this disc is all over the map but that just adds to its ramshackle charm.

The Ferocious Few - "Crying Shame", "Loc'd Out" and "Ghost In a Shell" (?) Live in San Francisco

The Ferocious Few

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Second Dan - "Angeline" CD Review

Second Dan - 'Angeline' CD ReviewNYC-based Second Dan released their second full-length disc, Angeline, last year which is full of well-crafted Brit-Pop. It has been a couple years since I've heard the band and their sound has matured significantly since the release of their 2008 debut full-length Bringing Down Goliath.

I remember telling some musician friends about Second Dan a few years ago and, when the inevitable questions arose "What do they sound like?", I described the band as sounding like one of the bands that Steve Lillywhite produced in the early 80's. With this release, the frenetic energy of the early material has been smoothed into memorable and melodic Brit-Pop songs. It has been a good three years since I've last seen Second Dan but the band was able to capture a mood on this new disc so the brunt of the songs felt pleasantly familiar and not at all derivative.

The disc starts out strong with the track "Today", which is a Pulp/The Verve style alt-rocker, with hooky melodies that lead to falsetto vocals on the exploding chorus. The band also wears their Beatles influences proudly and this comes out prominently on the tracks "Angeline" and "Wake Up". The songs vary across the disc and range from mid-tempo rockers to stripped-down ballads ("I Want It, I Need It", "More Than The End") to high-energy rock tracks ("Let It Go") that re-capture the sound of Bringing Down Goliath. The disc ends with the anthemic "Advantage" which soars higher than anything Oasis produced in their last few years as a band.

Second Dan - "Angeline", Live at Rockwood Music Hall

Second Dan

King Crimson Releases Improv Bass Jam with Trey and Tony from Thrak Sessions

PLAY: King Crimson - "Two Sticks" (Track hosted on DGMLive)

This week's free download from King Crimson is an improv bass jam with Trey and Tony from the Thrak sessions (recorded 9 Nov 1994).

King Crimson Releases Improv Bass Jam with Trey and Tony from Thrak Sessions What happens when you put two formidably talented Stick players in a room with an idea? They try and try again to iron out the creases and wrinkles. This is Trey and Tony taking time out from the main recording of Thrak to see if they could get an idea to fly. Despite going on for an hour (this is just an extract) it never quite made it from the drawing board stage. Fascinating nevertheless. I don’t know about you, but does this particular idea share some of the same DNA of Trey’s labyrinthine bass line to The ConstruKction of Light?

Robert Fripp
King Crimson

True Womanhood Release New Single "MINAJAH" From Their Reel to Real Series

True Womanhood Release New Single 'MINAJAH' From Their Reel to Real Series Last year, Washington DC's True Womanhood announced the start of their REEL TO REAL series:

This fall we purchased and restored a vintage reel to reel machine monstrosity and we’ve begun to record some new songs. We will be ripping these tracks directly from the reels and releasing them on our blog and via soundcloud as they are completed. Expect lots of new songs, some covers, and lots and lots of experiments.
True Womanhood's newest single MINAJAH "was inspired by the recent creation of the Moombahton dance craze, right here in DC. We didn't use Ableton like everyone else because we are idiots and we thought we could make electronic music using live instruments patched through effects pedals. Also, Stevie Wonder shook our hands the day we bought the synth that this song was played on and told us it was a good choice. His magic apparently rubbed off. (We are not kidding. This is a true story. His hands smell like sandalwood.)"

True Womanhood

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ill Bill: New Track Posted from "Heavy Metal Kings" Project with Vinnie Paz

DOWNLOAD: Ill Bill & Vinnie Paz - "Keeper of the Seven Keys"

Ill Bill: New Track Posted from 'Heavy Metal Kings' Project with Vinnie PazHey everybody,

We’re excited to let all of you know that the new ILL Bill and Vinnie Paz collabo album “Heavy Metal Kings” will be hitting stores on April 5th through Uncle Howie/Enemy Soil. You can now download the first track from the album, “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” produced by C-Lance.

Stay tuned for more Heavy Metal Kings updates and tour dates. This spring and summer, you can catch ILL Bill and Vinnie Paz performing live together as Heavy Metal Kings in a unique live show that will feature songs spanning more than a decade’s worth of indie hip hop classics from their combined catalogs, including songs from their solo albums as well as tracks from Jedi Mind Tricks, Non-Phixion, La Coka Nostra, and Army of the Pharaohs. Help us spread the word and tell your local promoters to book this show.

Ill Bill

Brian Grosz Posts Three New Tracks as Free Downloads

Brian Grosz Posts Three New Tracks as Free DownloadsDOWNLOAD: Brian Grosz - "Lady on the Low" (featuring a remix by Touch)

Originally released on the album Bedlam Nights (Exotic Recordings), "Lady On The Low" is now coupled with a Big Beat remix from one of the album's original engineers, Touch. While the original track represented everything we've come to expect from Grosz (bloozy swagger atop industrial clang), Touch has mangled and man-handled the song to the epic heights (and lows) of Latin dancehalls, gay discos and the over-tanned, fist-pumping legions, popularized by the subhumans of the Jersey Shore. And, in all honesty, that is far from a bad thing.

Brian Grosz Posts Three New Tracks as Free DownloadsDOWNLOAD: Brian Grosz - "Once in a Lifetime"

Drawing heavily from the fever-dream/acid-trip lyrics of the original, Grosz re-imagined the Talking Heads classic "Once in a Lifetime" with a snarling two-string slide-bass and the percussive rhythms of a steam-punk submarine. And while there is "Water dissolving / And water removing" - it's also quite clear that the water Grosz sings about is on fire and the tide is quickly rising.

Brian Grosz Posts Three New Tracks as Free DownloadsDOWNLOAD: Brian Grosz - "Seraphim"

Seraphim - named for the classification of Old Testament angels who sing the praises of God - is a pair of American standard spirituals, "Ain't it a Shame" and "Jesus on the Mainline." The former channels the essence of old Sun Records 45s with the sawdust and sideshows of a state fair while the latter evokes a late-night, kerosene-lit singalong on the front porch of a shotgun shack - having enlisted vocal talents from Emily Zuzik, Earl Greyhound's Matt Whyte, Suzanne Cerreta, Michael Fortner and Sean Toussaint.

Brian Grosz

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Wah Do Dem" - DVD Review (Factory 25)

Wah Do Dem - DVD Review (Factory 25)According to, this film's Patois title translates as "What's Wrong With Them". The title seems to be very fitting as the movie is filmed with a mumblecore esthetic and focuses on Brooklyn slacker Max (played by musician Sean Bones) as he haphazardly attempts to connect those in the world around him.

"In WAH DO DEM, young Brooklyn musician Max (Sean Bones) decides to go on a Caribbean cruise alone when his girlfriend Willow (Norah Jones) dumps him cold two days before the trip. Once in Jamaica, Max quickly escapes the tourist zone for more "authentic" surroundings and in the process is robbed of his possessions and is stranded, and literally misses the boat. As Max sets out for the American Embassy in Kingston on foot, Jamaica is waiting to meet him with unexpected and extraordinary encounters, including a full-moon celebration with the legendary reggae group The Congos, and a dreamy stay with a Rasta prophet (Carl Bradshaw, THE HARDER THEY COME)."

The movie starts with Max getting dumped by girlfriend Norah Jones (who makes a briefer appearance than Burt Reynolds did in Smokey & the Bandit 3) on the eve of their cruise to Jamaica. After attempting to commiserate with friends and finding that none of them liked Jones, he then finds that none of them will join him on the cruise. Bones sleepwalks through his solo experiences on the cruise, failing to connect with the senior citizens or the other single male passenger (who makes an aggresive pass at Bones).

When the cruise ship docks in Jamaica, Max attempts to have an "authentic" Jamaican experience by wandering off to a remote beach with a Jamaican local and his girlfriend. Max enjoys the time by sharing his new friends' weed and attempting to learn phases in Patois but he "loses" all of his possessions (passport, wallet, shoes, shirt, etc.) when he leaves his bag with his new friends while going for a swim. His "friends" leave him on the beach and Max makes his way back to the cruise terminal just in time to see his ship already setting sail. Max is then told by the security guard on the dock that his only recourse is to head to the American Embassy in Kingston (which is hours away).

The road movie portion of the movie kicks in as Max (with no money, no shirt and no shoes) attempts to make his way to Kingston. His "sob story" elicits $10 from American tourists and he uses this to get a bus to Kingston. Like all good road movies, the bus breaks-down midway through the trip. Bones wanders off to play soccer with the locals and the bus, once fixed, leaves without him. Bones makes his way through the beautifully filmed landscape of Jamaica on his way to Kingston. He has a brief encounter with the local shaman (Carl Bradshaw), the Jamaican equivalent of Obi Won/Mr. Miyagi, who tries centering Max and getting him attune with the world around him. The final scene involves Max bonding with a young man who attempted to rob him on the road to Kingston and the implication is that Max, now stripped of his hipster pretensions, has finally found his place in the world.

Wah Do Dem

Jarrod Gorbel and Hurricane Bells Play Bowery Ballroom on Jan. 28th

I'll Do Better- Jarrod Gorbel by Little Operation

Ten Years Older- Jarrod Gorbel by Little Operation

Jarrod Gorbel and Hurricane Bells Play Bowery Ballroom on Jan. 28thJarrod Gorbel, formerly of The Honorary Title, kicked off a national tour last week and he is playing a headlining show at Bowery Ballroom on Jan. 28th. Gorbel released his debut solo album, Devil's Made A New Friend, on August 31st, 2010, and recently completed fall tours with Fun and Steel Train and Hanson. Prior to starting the current tour, Gorbel posted an email addres where fans could request any five songs from The Honorary Title catalog that they'd like to hear Gorbel perform at their city's tour stop. The five songs that received the most votes in each city are then added to that night's setlist.

Opening the show is Hurricane Bells who released a new EP, "Down Comes The Rain", late last year. The five song EP includes two new songs, the gently ringing guitars and brushed drums of "The Waiting Song" and the cascading "The Deep End", along with three cover songs: the jangly power-pop of "Make A Deal With The City" by East River Pipe; the reverb-heavy, undulating "Into The Ocean" by Blue October (with whom Hurricane Bells toured in April); and the sweet acoustic yearnings of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow." The latter, made popular by The Shirelles, is here sung with Ashen Keilyn in a duet that has become a staple at Hurricane Bells' live shows.

Tickets are $15 and doors are at 8PM. Opening the show is Brooklyn duo Kaiser Cartel.

Jarrod Gorbel

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Phantom Family Halo Play Coco66 on Jan. 28th

DOWNLOAD: Phantom Family Halo - "Blackouts and Runaways"

The Phantom Family Halo, “Alive And Well” by karatebody

Praised by the likes of Julian Cope and handpicked by Slint to open the west coast leg of the group’s 2005 reunion tour, Phantom Family Halo refused to rest. In the past two years, principal songwriter Dominic Cipolla released two critical albums, 2009’s Monoliths & These Flowers Never Die and Music For Italian TV last October, and relocated to Brooklyn. This week, Halo announced it will record a split 10-inch called Mindeater with Bonnie “Prince” Billy to be released in April on Sophomore Lounge.

Tickets for the show at Coco66 are $7 and Phantom Family Halo are playing with Spectre Folk, Hubble and Ancient Ocean.

"I’m also right blown away by the catchy and compelling all-purpose psychedelia of THE LEGEND OF BLACK SIX by power trio The Phantom Family Halo. I say ‘all purpose’ because this stuff is useful and should be available by the vat on prescription, because it’s good for the mental health. I say power trio, but this lot are greedy motherfuckers with a hefty set of auxiliary members. The sound is totally reminiscent of that 1970 period when no fucker could control the number of overdubs, and these guys pass through every stage from The Youngbloods and Kalackakra to a kind of Amon Duul PARADIESWARTS DUUL-informed take on David Voorhaus’ White Noise project via early (very early) Chrome on their way to the proto metal of ‘Electric God In Your Galaxy’. This record is vinyl only, I believe, but double check by contacting"
- Julian Cope/Teardrop Explodes

Phantom Family Halo

Rival Sons - Self-Titled CD EP Review (Earache Records)

DOWNLOAD: Rival Sons - "Get What's Coming" (Click-through and enter email address)

From a 2009 Huffington Post interview with Rival Sons

Huffington Post: You guys classify your music as pure rock and roll. What does rock and roll mean to you?

Scott Holiday (guitar): If the question is what is a 'technical definition' of rock & roll ? I'd say its the melting of blues, soul, and country, first off. And it's gotta have a little boogie, or make you wanna dance or pump your fist ... and most importantly, it's gotta be DANGEROUS. It's obviously tough to really encompass this whole concept of rock & roll ... but this is my quick answer.

Rival Sons - Self-Titled CD EP Review (Earache Records)California blue-rock quartet, and recent signees to Earache Records, Rival Sons have just released a new 6-song digital EP via iTunes. This new self-titled EP serves as a stop-gap for the band’s first full-length for Earache, Pressure & Time, which drops in May.

While Earache has some traditional metal bands on the label (Cauldron, White Wizzard), Rival Sons is the closest that I’ve heard the label come to classic rock. Rival Sons play blues-rock in the style of Free and early Led Zeppelin with a bit of 70’s soul thrown on top. “We really connect on old blues, like Muddy Waters, Leadbelly and Howlin’ Wolf,” said guitarist Scott Holiday. “Then you add in Stax and Motown, that kinda soul feel. We’re also into 60s British bands like the Small Faces, The Who and early Zeppelin.” (Quote from

The majority of the new disc features high-energy, bombastic blues-rock which is meant to be played live and loud. In addition to the bass-and-drums explosive swagger, Scott Holiday’s blues licks and solos will make an air guitarist cry with joy and Jay Buchanan’s vocal style falls right between that of Robert Plant and Paul Rodgers. Breaking up the disc and giving the listener a brief interlude where they can catch their breath, the new EP contains one ballad (sort of Rival Sons’ “Going to California”) “Sacred Tongue”. After returning back to the high-octane blues, the disc ramps down with the slower tempo soulful “Soul”.

Rival Sons - "Torture"

While I can’t visualize Rival Sons on tour with some of the thrash and deathcore bands on the Earache label, it is not far stretch to imagine them playing alongside bands like Rolling Stones and The Who.

Rival Sons

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Caulfield Sisters Release New Digital 7" // Show at The Gutter in Williamsburg on Feb. 18th

DOWNLOAD: The Caulfield Sisters - "Caterwauling"
STREAM: The Caulfield Sisters - "Some Candy Talkin'" (Live in NYC, April 2005)

The Caulfield Sisters Release New Digital Single // Show at The Gutter in Williamsburg on Feb. 18thAmerican Laundromat Records announces the release of “Two Songs From Mohawk” an iTunes-exclusive digital single featuring two newly recorded tracks by Brooklyn-based all-girl trio The Caulfield Sisters.

“Caterwauling” and “I See Your Face” are the first new original tracks from The Caulfield Sisters since their critically-acclaimed debut CD-EP “Say It With Fire” was released several years back. Both tracks were recorded and produced by The Caulfield Sisters at front-woman Cindy Wheeler’s house in the Catskills (New York). Mastering was done by Sean Glonek (Tanya Donelly, Kristin Hersh, Frank Black, OK Go) at SRG Studios in New Jersey.

The Caulfield Sisters are a critically praised independent band based in Brooklyn, NY, noted at times for their sonic similarity to Throwing Muses or Galaxie 500. They have appeared at the annual CMJ Music Marathon, were featured in the New York art magazine Esopus, and were named one of “NYC’s 10 Bands to Watch” by Time Out New York magazine. The Caulfield Sisters debut CD-EP “Say It With Fire” was a stunning release that enjoyed critical acclaim, many months as a favorite on the CMJ charts, and earned them invitations to perform live on KEXP as well as opening shows for bands such as Interpol.

"Fans of the Caulfield Sisters are happily getting back into their groove, as the Brooklyn gal trio returned to playing live recently following a four-year hiatus. Even after the lengthy break, there’s a real charm and simplicity to the Caulfield sound, recalling Ray-era Lemonheads and Throwing Muses." - TimeOut New York

The Caulfield Sisters have begun to book shows to support the new release. First up is a show on Friday, February 18th at The Gutter (200 North 14th Street) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Caulfield Sisters are taking the stage at 10PM.

The Caulfield Sisters

EMA (Erika M. Anderson) Releases Debut Single "The Grey Ship" from Forthcoming Full-Length

DOWNLOAD: EMA - "The Grey Ship" (from Past Life of Martyred Saints)

EMA (Erika M. Anderson) Releases Debut Single 'The Grey Ship; from Forthcoming Full-LengthEMA, the new project from ex-Gowns singer/guitarist Erika M. Anderson, will release her debut single "The Grey Ship" via Souterrain Transmissions on March 8th, 2011. "The Grey Ship" is the lead single off EMA's upcoming first full-length album Past Life Martyred Saints, which will be released later this spring by Souterrain Transmissions.

The seven-minute "The Grey Ship" can currently be streamed and downloaded courtesy of Souterrain, and has already received a much-deserved shout-out from Pitchfork, which deemed the cut "suitably epic." The B-side is equally ambitiously glorious: a 17-minute cover of Robert Johnson's "Kind-Hearted Woman," on which she explores and revels in her adoration for lengthy, noise-filled tracks. "I love really long songs, really long pieces, and I wanted to see if I could make an engaging piece using primarily just voice and guitar," EMA explains. "And I love the sound of guitar feedback. Tonal guitar feedback is one of my all-time favorite sounds."

While sharing elements of the spectral, simmering and subdued haunt of Gowns' 2007 debut (and only) album Red State, "The Grey Ship" takes that band's experimental and feedback-soaked electronic folk to new places. The grand track begins with a lo-fi, gauzy yet sunny mix of acoustic and electric guitars and otherworldly tones as EMA's resolute whisper of a voice floats above. Then midway through a sudden, electrifying bass drop marks the shift to high fidelity, her voice and the music's intimacy all the more palpable without the haze. Of the shift, EMA says, "I imagined it being like when Dorothy opens the door to Oz and the whole world turns from black and white to Technicolor." Given the song's subject matter - a rumination on the Viking funeral ships of her ancestors - the change in fidelity also fittingly serves as a "sonic signifier" for transferring from the earthly plane to one beyond.

The South Dakota native, San Francisco by-way-of Los Angeles transplant EMA is an entirely self-taught musician and home-recording engineer. After getting her feet wet as the guitarist for legendary folk/noise band Amps For Christ, she formed the genre bending, cult and critical favorite Gowns with Ezra Buchla in 2004. Gowns' Red State and their entrancing live show earned the band due praise in The New York Times ("an intense but surprisingly pretty album"), Pitchfork ("one of the most jaw-dropping live bands on the American DIY underground circuit"), Village Voice ("totally gorgeous and shattering"), and LA Weekly ("Anderson shreds a guitar, sings, a woman possessed"), among others, burning fast and bright before parting ways amicably early last year.


Floating Action - "Desert Etiquette" CD Review (Park The Van)

DOWNLOAD: Floating Action - "Well Hidden" (from Desert Etiquette)
DOWNLOAD: Floating Action - "Eye of the Needle" (from Desert Etiquette)
DOWNLOAD: Floating Action - "Live at the Grey Eagle" (Free Live Album)

Floating Action - 'Desert Etiquette' CD Review (Park The Van)Floating Action is the “nom de rock” of Black Mountain, North Carolina-based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Seth Kauffman. Kauffman has a second disc, Desert Etiquette, coming out next month which contains ten tracks of low-fi hazy psychedelia which crosses over into country-folk, blues and gospel. The new disc is due out on Feb. 22nd on Park the Van Records and the band will be heading off on a full-band tour of the US this spring which includes a stop-over at SXSW.

Kauffman wrote the lyrics for the Desert Etiquette in two days and then recorded the album over a concentrated period of 48 total hours. Aside from one pedal steel recording on the closing track, every song on Desert Etiquette was written, performed, produced, and recorded by Kauffman himself. Kauffman’s friend and collaborator, Band of Horses bassist Bill Reynolds, mixed the record in a similarly off-the-cuff vein—live and spontaneously over two days, using a vintage Trident console.

This new batch of songs has the space, warmth and feel of a Laurel Canyon-recorded vintage record. The production is crystal-clear and you can hear every instrument – from the brushes on the drums to the sound of the glockenspiel to the Casio burbles. This is also the first disc that I’ve heard in quite some time where the positioning of your speakers is important as the different instruments seem to be spread out across the left and right channels. Desert Etiquette’s songs were recorded without ornamentation or embellishment—often using less than eight tracks per song—and the imagery of Kauffman’s lyrics shines through. There are some lonely and wistful moments on the disc but Kauffman embraces a variety of styles which runs the gamut from "Del Shannon style" rock songs (“Rincon”) to "Troggs style" garage rock (“Modern Gunslinger”). The variety of songs and their catchy, sing-along melodies keep the music fresh after repeated listens.

Kauffman likens the result to Floating Action’s version of Dylan’s John Wesley Harding. With its pared-down instrumentation, Desert Etiquette is distinctly human-scale, a melancholic elegy to the sublime, violent beauty of the American landscape that aims to “capture the feeling you get when you’re in Big Sur.” As Kauffman says, “We're southern band whose hearts are in the west coast.

Floating Action Tour Dates
Feb 28 -- Denver, CO, Hi-Dive
Mar 04 -- Arcata, CA, Humboldt Brews
Mar 05 -- Sacramento, CA, Marilyns
Mar 09 -- Santa Cruz, CA, The Crepe Place
Mar 11 -- Los Angeles, CA, Hotel Cafe
Mar 12 -- San Luis Obispo, CA, Downtown Brew
Mar 13 -- San Diego, CA, Bar Pink
Mar 18 -- Austin, TX, Mi Casa Cantina (Park the Van SXSW Showcase)

Floating Action

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Scound - "At The Point of Death" CD EP Review (Crystal Productions)

Scound - 'At The Point of Death' CD EP Review (Crystal Productions)Scound is a self-described metalcore band from the Czech Republic who released their second CD, "At The Point of Death", on Crystal Productions last year. Scound has been around since 2003 and this new six-track EP follows the band's 2006 full-length No Second Chances.

It took a few listens before I got into this disc and I think the reason was that I was expecting to hear the big choruses and clean vocals of a typical metalcore disc. Scound's music uses some of the melodic double guitar sound of the metalcore genre but the overall sound seems more in line with the death metal genre. Vocalist MicL sings in a standard death-metal growl while the guitar sounds burst in staccato, chugging riffs over the double bass drum. Regardless of whether the death metal or metalcore label sticks, the challenge with "At The Point of Death" is that most of the songs don't go far enough down either path to be memorable. I'm not sure what the purpose is of the disc's final track "Outro" as it doesn't fit (at all) with the other songs but the melodic, acoustic guitar and strings-driven piece is one of the more memorable songs on the disc.

I don't mean to slag the band as they are obviously talented (the melodic guitar leads are killer) but hopefully next time out, they push the envelope a bit as the band's early live videos show that they can work up a good head of death-metal steam. Check out the video trailer for the band's latest disc along with an early live video and see what you think.


Immolate - "Ruminate" CD Review (Impedance)

Immolate - 'Ruminate' CD Review (Impedance)Australian power-trio Immolate expanded to a four piece for the release of their second full-length Ruminate. This new disc’s sound is lumbering noise-metal that is directly akin to the sound of AmRep bands (Hammerhead, Helmet, Unsane) from the 90’s.

To get into the details of the music, vocalist/bassist Nick Irwin has a vocal style similar to Bruce Loose (Flipper) and his angry, spoken-word vocals are mostly buried beneath a wall of guitars and walloping drums. Guitarists Justin Irwin and newcomer Dave Achille wrap repetitive, noisy dirges of guitar feedback around each song but occasionally break into some wild soloing. It is a raw and primitive disc that is helped along by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Eyehategod) who mixed the disc.

The band changes up tempos and song structures across the disc and deftly avoid sinking into a sludgy quagmire. For example, the opening track "Heathen" rumbles like a classic Melvins track and it is followed "Hot Hot Heat", which is an up-tempo alt-rock/grunge track with clean(er) vocals. Almost all of the disc's tracks race by around the three minute mark and the almost nine minute psychedelic dirge "Code" wraps up the disc.

Ruminate was recorded by Russell Pilling (who worked with Immolate on their debut full-length) at Damien Gerard’s studio in Sydney.


NYC Sucks Volume 1: Free Download of the Best of NYC's Metal Scene (courtesy of MetalSucks.Net)

DOWNLOAD: NYC Sucks Volume 1

IT’S HERE! IT’S FINALLY HERE!!! Volume 1 of NYC Sucks, the completely free comp we’ve compiled to spotlight some of the best metal bands currently dominating the New York metal scene. This volume features fourteen songs by as many bands, who run the gamut of genres, from death to tech to prog to grind to black to hardcore to doom and more. We truly feel that this is a great sampling of all that New York’s thriving metal scene has to offer, and we’re beyond proud to be sharing it with you — absolutely, 100% free of charge.

NYC Sucks Volume 1: Free Download of the Best of NYC's Metal Scene (courtesy of MetalSucks.Net)Track Listing:
1. East of the Wall, “The Ladder”
2. Made out of Babies, “Invisible Ink”
3. Tiger Flowers, “Cuts”
4. Black Anvil, “The Evil of All Roots”
5. Naam, “Frosted Tread”
6. Batillus, “The Children of the Night Make Their Music”
7. Meek is Murder, “Sundowners” (demo)
8. The Binary Code, “Encircled”
9. Castevet, “Stones”
10. Hung, “Desert of Sad”
11. Wizardry, “The Falconer”
12. Pyrrhon, “King of All Tears”
13. Mutant Supremacy, “Epitaph”
14. Incendiary, “Victory in Defeat”

Monday, January 17, 2011

Calvin Johnson and Rapper Astronautalis Play a Show in Montauk on Feb. 10 // Private Bus Running from Bruar Falls

Calvin Johnson and Rapper Astronautalis Play a Show in Montauk on Feb. 10 // Private Bus Running from Bruar FallsA BUS WILL TAKE YOU OUT TO MONTAUK FROM BROOKLYN! for cheaper than it costs to ride the train!

Join Mewtant Mewsic for this all ages event in picturesque Montauk. Watch individual solo sets along with a collaborative performance between K Records founder Calvin Johnson and indie folk rapper Astronautalis against the sunset on Fort Pond Bay.

A $30 ticket (only 40 avail!) guarantees you a SPACE ON THE BUS FOR A ROUND TRIP ride to Montauk from Brooklyn and admission to the show. The bus leaves at 2PM from Bruar Falls (245 Grand Street).

For anyone making their own way to the show, it is at Montauket - 88 Firestone Road, Montauk, NY. $5 admission at the door for those not riding the bus.

"Meet Me in Montauk" Facebook Page

Le MOOD: Brooklyn Garage Rock Band Plays Free Show at MOSCOT's Saturday Sessions on Jan 22nd

Le MOOD: Brooklyn Garage Rock Band Plays Free Show at MOSCOT's Saturday Sessions on Jan 22nd Brooklyn garage rock band Le MOOD are playing a free show next Saturday afternoon, Jan. 22nd, as part of MOSCOT Music's "Saturday Sessions" series. The show starts at 3PM and MOSCOT Gallery is located at 118 Orchard Street. As an added bonus, attendees will receive 20% off purchases of MOSCOT branded glasses day of show with proof of flyer.

Le MOOD is led by singer and primary songwriter Marco Argiro (The Killing Floor, Marky Ramone's Blitzkreig), and the band has a new full-length LP, Adventures In Stereo, due out later this month on Outright Rock Records. This disc follows 2008's well-received EP "Synaethesia". The official record release party for Adventures In Stereo is being held at Santos Party House (w/ special guest Des Roar) on Friday, Feb. 18th.

"Synaethesia - flies by with touches of power pop, pop punk and straight ahead summery pop and I find myself reaching for the volume knob, unconcerned about being THAT guy driving around blaring music at ridiculous levels." -HERO HILL l Bryan Acker


Sunday, January 16, 2011

J. Irvin Dally - Los Angeles Experimental Folk Artist Plays Two NYC Shows Next Weekend

Over the last few months, there has been a slow but steady buzz building up around J. Irvin Dally's music and live shows. There are a ton of favorable press quotes out on the 'net and one of them was from Pitchfork's Altered Zones who claim musician J. Irvin Dally is "an artist of abnormal brilliance, as garrulous and uncouth as the title of his EP, Despistado, would have you believe". In reading various press quotes, the funny thing is that most of the writers are looking for a single point of comparison for Dally's music, which has been likened to artists ranging from Devendra Banhart to Cat Power to Jeff Buckley. To my ears, the correct answer is "all of the above" and one could probably throw out another half-dozen comparisons that would be equally appropriate.

Dally is in town next weekend for shows at Googie's Lounge and Pianos.

Friday January 21, 2011
Googie's Lounge (Above The Living Room)
154 Ludlow Street
9:30PM / 21+
with Christopher Paul Stelling (check out his recent Daytrotter Session)

Saturday January 22, 2011
158 Ludlow at Stanton
$10 / 21+ / 7PM
with Christopher Paul Stelling, Anni Rossi and Mercury Landing

J. Irvin Dally

The Builders and the Butchers Release Free Download from Forthcoming LP // West Coast Tour with Murder by Death in Feb.

DOWNLOAD: The Builders and the Butchers - "Lullaby" (from forthcoming disc Dead Reckoning)

The Builders and the Butchers Release Free Download from Forthcoming LP // West Coast Tour with Murder by Death in Feb.Portland folk-rock band The Builders and the Butchers are releasing their third disc, Dead Reckoning, on Feb. 22nd via Badman Recording Co. and are also heading off on tour next month with Murder By Death.

For Dead Reckoning, The Builders went into the studio with the idea of peeling back layers to where the essence of the song lies, and to try and finally fully encapsulate their raucous, impassioned live show. Joining up with Adam Selzer (The Decemberists, M. Ward, She & Him), who worked on their sophomore album Salvation is a Deep Dark Well, and engineer Dylan Magierek (Mark Kozelek, Starfucker, Thao Nguyen), the band created their third album Dead Reckoning using the recording style of the 1950s and 1960s, where the magic of a song was captured by the band playing together live and with minimal overdubbing. The Builders tracked almost all of Dead Reckoning in live takes, with Sollee handling vocals and guitar in one room and the rest of the band playing in the other. Only a few minor overdubs were allowed and they played all of the instruments on every song, save for two guest violin parts laid down by friends Amanda Lawrence and Zy Orange Lynn. With tracking and mixing taking a total of only eight days, the energy and intensity of time spent in the studio is immediately apparent on each song.

A dead reckoning is an age-old method of sea navigation that involves using past position, speed, and drift to calculate current and future location. Dead Reckoning, with its classic, timeless sound, is a measure of where the band and its music, as well as these times in which we live, have been, are now, and where it all might be going. “I thought it would be a perfect title for the album given its stripped down sound, and how most of these songs tell stories, many of which are set in the past, “ Sollee reveals. “Like our previous records, the settings of the songs follow a few main ideas: the father and the son, early 1900s America, absolute good and evil, addiction, and religion. On this album, I really thought a lot about the end of the world and the dark times we live in, how the feelings we feel and the world we experience is not that different from 1930s America, and I thought about the music that was created at that time. This is where the inspiration for these songs originated.


FEB. 05 -- AUSTIN, TX, RED 7

The Builders and the Butchers

Friday, January 14, 2011

Metric Releases 8-Track Acoustic/Electric iTunes Session

Metric Releases 8-Track Acoustic/Electric iTunes Session Metric kicked off the year with an 8-track acoustic/electric session that is only available on iTunes. "When we were in LA playing the Jimmy Kimmel show in December, we spent a day at East West Studios recording off the cuff and live off the floor. We captured for the first time on tape (not a camera phone) the extended versions of a few of our live concert classics as well as a couple acoustic numbers accompanied by a string quartet led by Todor Kobakov."

1. Twilight Galaxy
2. Help I'm Alive
3. Hustle Rose
4. Gold Guns Girls
5. Gimme Sympathy
6. Expecting to Fly (Buffalo Springfield cover)
7. Eclipse (All Yours)
8. Empty
9. iTunes Session Metric Interview

"Over the holidays, our talented pal Christopher Mills, who previously created a short film for our song 'Collect Call,' continued the narrative with his gorgeous video for our cover of Neil Young / Buffalo Springfield's 'Expecting to Fly,'" says Emily Haines

Metric currently has a contest going on right now where you can enter to win an iPod Touch & signed poster if you tweet "I Just Checked Out the New @Metric iTunes Session And Entered to Win an iPod Touch and a Sign Poster! You Should Too!" (ends Jan. 24th).


EULA Plays Death by Audio on Sunday, Jan. 16th

"Their music is packed with the loud, pointed guitar riffs and rapid basslines that would make Northeast pseudo punk proud; think a blown out of proportion and hyped-up Kill Rock Stars release." - FensePost

New Haven, CT post-punk band EULA are in town on Sunday for a show at Death By Audio with Moodrings and I'm Turning Into. Doors are at 8PM and the show starts at 9PM.

EULA has a new three song demo that was recorded late last year which follows 2009's strong six-song EP entitled "Language of Threat". One of the video from this disc, "Fight Riff", won the band the opening slot for the free Mission of Burma show at M.I.T. in 2009.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wormrot Releases New Track "Manipulation" from Forthcoming Disc "Dirge" (Earache Records)

Singapore's grindcore band Wormrot have released a brand new track from their forthcoming album, Dirge. The track below, entitled "Manipulation," is a minute-long burst of ferocity, terror and outright aggression. It hits all of the marks that have endeared Wormrot to the worldwide metal underground. The video also includes a first look at the album's cover art, created by Andrei Bouzikov (Municipal Waste, Skeletonwitch, Cannabis Corpse)

"Manipulation," along with the rest of Dirge was completed less than 10 days ago. Drums were completed on January 4th, guitars, vocals, mixing and mastering were completed in various days ending on January 10th. In many ways, "Manipulation" is as raw as Wormrot gets -- a hell of a way to raise the already high expectations for Dirge.

Wormrot will be coming back to the US for a full Coast-to-Coast tour starting in March. The West Coast dates have been announced (see Wormrot's MySpace page) and the tour kicks off at The Ruby Room in San Diego on March 3rd. Other announced dates include the Scion Rock Festival, which takes place in Pomona, CA on March 5th at the Fox Theater and The Glass House. Dates for the other parts of the country will follow shortly and will include a stop at SXSW.


Hypnos - "Halfway to Hell" CD EP Review (Crystal Productions)

DOWNLOAD: Hypnos - "Burning Again" (from "Halfway to Hell")
(track hosted on band's website)

Hypnos - 'Halfway to Hell' CD EP Review (Crystal Productions)After spending a couple years apart Czech death metal band band Hypnos released a new six-song EP, "Halfway to Hell", last July on the Crystal Productions label. The liner notes on the disc say "Big Sleep is Over * Monster Is Awaken And Gently Crawling Back!" Gentle isn't a word that I would use to describe this disc as it is a solid slab of melodic, blackened death metal. "Halfway to Hell" features the core duo of Bruno (guitar/bass/vocals) and Pegaz (drums/backing vocals) and this is the band's first new disc since 2005's Rabble Manifesto.

In celebration of this release, Hypnos played a comeback show at the Czech metal festival Brutal Assault alongside bands like Cannibal Corpse, Hypocrisy and Napalm Death.

The disc's six tracks go by in just under thirty minute and Hypnos taps on all of the strengths of the black metal genre without succumbing to any of the excesses. Hypnos' music is heavy but has an underlying sense of melody that doesn't detract from the heaviness. Clear production brings out the tension and texture of the music and there are elements of symphonic black metal running throughout the disc. Adding to this, there is also enough musical variation across the songs to keep them individually distinctive and memorable. (There is none of the mindless growl-n-chug sound that some bands utilize where you can't tell one song from another after the disc has played through). One example is "Symphony V - La Resurrezione Ferale", which is a symphonic instrumental that serves as a lead-in to the chugging riffs of "Burning Again". Another is "Where The Rooks Fly to Cry", which starts out as an epic instrumental that builds up to a crescendo where Bruno adds to the tension with growled vocals.

Hypnos announced on their MySpace page that more shows are planned and that the recording of their fourth full-length CD should take place around autumn of 2011.


Nails (Southern Lord) Plays A Short Run of East Coast Dates Prior to Appearance at Maryland Deathfest

Nails (Southern Lord) Plays A Short Run of East Coast Dates Prior to Appearance at Maryland DeathfestNails sits right on the line between hardcore and grind and the band released their debut thirteen-minute full-length album Unsilent Death at the beginning of 2010 on their own Streetcleaner Records, and were shortly thereafter picked up by Southern Lord. The Southern Lord press release for the disc compared Nails to a "cross between the good Amrep bands of the nineties (Helmet, Hammerhead, Today is The Day, Unsane) and Cro-Mags Age of Quarrel riffage played at breakneck speeds."

Nails has just confirmed a short run of East Coast appearances this Spring, as they will attack Boston, Brooklyn and Philly in a straight three-day rampage with support from Burning Love, All Pigs Must Die and New Lows. Nails are also one of the many acts on the roster for this May's annual installment of the Maryland Deathfest, scheduled to play on the first night of the festival alongside Pulling Teeth, Neurosis, Corrosion Of Conformity, Marduk, Kylesa, labelmates Masakari and Goatsnake plus tons more.

Nails East Coast Tour Dates:
3/31/11 -- Great Scott, Boston, MA w/ Burning Love, All Pigs Must Die, New Lows
4/01/11 -- Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY w/ Burning Love, All Pigs Must Die, New Lows
4/02/11 -- The Barbary, Philadelphia, PA w/ Burning Love, All Pigs Must Die, New Lows
5/27/11 -- Maryland Deathfest - Baltimore, MD