Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fear (Lee Ving) Re-Records "The Record" - Out Nov. 6th on The End Records

Generally when bands re-record an album from their back catalog, it seems that it is either to screw former members out of royalties (Kiss) or reclaim control of the songs from the record company (Suzanne Vega, Squeeze). I'm not sure what side of the fence the re-recording of Fear's 1982 full-length debut, The Record, falls on but it just doesn't sound like a good idea. Lee Ving is the only holdover from the The Record lineup so this sort of feels like a sham (or a scam). Can anyone image John or Harley trying to re-record Age of Quarrel with a pick-up lineup?

Anyway...The Fear Record (as the new disc is called) contains a re-ordered version of the original disc's fourteen tracks. There was a version of "I Don't Care About You" from the new disc on Soundcloud which doesn't seem to be available anymore. After listening to this track - my thought was that it didn't add anything to the original recording (it isn't like updated production techniques are going to bring out hidden nuances in Fear's music) and the song seemed to be missing a little bit of the edge that the original disc had.

Check out Fear performing "I Don't Care About You" on Saturday Night Live, from Halloween 1981.

Fear - I Don't Care About You Live On SNL 10.31.81 by stogref

The End Records

Bel Argosy - "The Wreck of the Bel Argosy" 7" Review (Power-Punk)

DOWNLOAD: Bel Argosy - "Into the Distance"

Bel Argosy - 'The Wreck of the Bel Argosy' 7-Inch Review (Power-Punk)
Brooklyn four-piece Bel Argosy are a young and fairly new band but they have a familiar sound that is comparable to some of the late 70's CBGB bands. The band just released their debut 7" - a limited edition (ltd. to 200) vinyl single - which comes with a hand drawn comic by lead singer Billy Lopez. Across the disc's four tracks (9 minutes), the band bashes out melodic garage-rock influenced power-punk that seems to draw from bands like the Ramones and Marbles.

The disc starts with "Into the Distance" which is a 'ragged but right' guitar-driven number with Joey Ramone style vocals and a big chorus. The next track, "P-Centric", follows in a similar vein but the vocals are more upfront and the track has a glam-rock swagger. "Yer Business" is a melodic power-punk number with a nice bass line and "World's Not Me" is an old-school 70's punk number about a girl ("You can f*ck who you want to f*ck and that's cool with the world...but its not alright with me").

"Bel Argosy plays pop-rock-punk songs about a series of imaginary, lazily-composed myths and legends involving stone dog statues, familial curses and elevators. And airports. But don’t worry: There are also a few songs about GIRLS! (Girls – aren’t they the best?) Billy Lopez (vocals, guitar) started the band with Julian Graham (drums), Chris Cumming (bass) and Beau Alessi (lead guitar) in late 2010 after deciding it was probably a good idea to get this sort of thing out of his system before he turned 30." - from the band's bio

These guys have to be a lot of fun live but, unfortunately, there are no shows scheduled at the moment.

Bel Argosy

Monday, October 29, 2012

Annie the Musical Hosts Dog-Friendly "Yappy Hour" On Nov. 12th at the Sheraton Times Square

Greeting from Lower Manhattan - given the dire newscast this morning, "the sun will come up tomorrow" seemed a good counter-balancing message.

Annie the Musical (which is currently in previews at the Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway
(between W. 46th and 47th St.)) has been pretty active in raising money and awareness to help find shelter dogs a loving home. The most recently announced dog-related event is a cocktail "Yappy Hour" for guests and their dogs, which will take place at the Sheraton in Times Square on Monday, Nov. 12th.
You and your dog are invited to a very special "Yappy Hour" on behalf of ANNIE the Musical, Pedigree® Brand, and the Sheraton NY Hotel. Please come unwind (and unleash) at Yappy Hour. Yappy hour is a special dog-friendly cocktail party. Come enjoy drinks, complimentary appetizers, and "yappetizers" from Pedigree® Brand with ANNIE producers and cast members Madi Rae DiPiertro and Jaidyn Young. Tony award winner Bill Berloni, Sandy's trainer, will be present to give guests expert animal behavior advice as well.

Come join us on Monday, November 12 from 6pm-8pm at the newly renovated Sheraton New York Times Square at 811 7th Avenue (at 53rd St.).

Space is limited and RSVP is required by Nov. 5.

RSVP at:

Annie the Musical

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Daniel Ash, Will Sergeant and Others Display Eclectic Art in New NYC Exhibit '‘A Portrait of America: Commemorating Visions of Hope, Loss and Celebration 2008-2012"

"21st Century Fallen" by Will Sergeant

Daniel Ash, Will Sergeant and Others Display Eclectic Art in New NYC Exhibit ''A Portrait of America: Commemorating Visions of Hope, Loss and Celebration 2008-2012'
On the eve of Election Day, Joy Wai Gallery will present A Portrait of America: Commemorating Visions of Hope, Loss and Celebration: 2008-2012, a group exhibition curated by LA-based conceptual artist Ramses Granados. Bringing together an eclectic international group of visual artists, musicians, photojournalists and cultural luminaries, A Portrait of America will offer a unique window into our past and present states of mind, and a time when hope bettered our fears.

Comprised of 40 works by 16 artists, this exhibition is a celebration of our country’s vast perspectives and experiences, and the political climate that we all helped shape in just the last four years, both good and bad. Two thousand and eight is undoubtedly a year for the ages, acting for many of us as a poignant counterpoint to the tragedies of 2001. To pay homage to 2008, and the changes the events of this year had on our national psyche, Joy Wai and Ramses Granados have curated a selection of artists who collectively speak to the American experience like no other, with a mix of adoration, loss, critical analysis, and tongue-and-cheek humor. The roster includes Daniel Ash (painter/musician, of Bauhaus, Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets, UK), Will Sergeant (painter/musician, of Echo and the Bunnymen, UK), Shawna Ankenbrandt (photographer, US), Giuliano Bekor (photographer, US), Courtney Chavanell (photographer, US), Wen Chi Chen (painter, US), Jeff Forney (photographer, US), Victor Holt (photojournalist, US), Christian Hooker (painter, US), Phantom Street Artist (graffitist, US), Ramses (conceptual, US), Xany Rudoff (mixed media, US), Paul Seftel (mixed media, US), Jen Starr (photographer, US), Bruno Tamiozzo (photographer, Italy), and Joy Wai (photographer, US).

In Daniel Ash’s mixed-media painting Freedom Ain’t Cheap (2012), the artist appropriates a U.S. flag image and infuses the right-hand portion with a cluster—bordering on chaotic—of stars and blemished stripes, supplemented by a single flying saucer, referencing his own alien status in the U.S. For the peculiarly titled One (2012), Israeli-born photographer Giuliano Bekor portrays two shirtless, star-bespeckled men—one donning an elephant mask, the other a donkey—sitting across from each other, poised to battle in arm wrestling. Atop their centerpiece table a miniature Civil War battle commences around the men’s elbows, while their wrists are tied together with a tattered remnant of the American flag.

While American artists comprise the majority of the show’s lineup, A Portrait of America also speaks to the immigrant experience in this country. “In 2008 I became a U.S. citizen,” says Joy Wai, Founder of Joy Wai Gallery. “It was during this time that I found myself part of the American experience; but it was the 2008 election that moved and inspired me. It made me realize I was witnessing a true moment in American history. This is what led me to create A Portrait of America.

Following opening night at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, A Portrait of America will move to Joy Wai Gallery, where it will remain until December 6.
WHEN: The opening reception for A Portrait of America will take place on Election Day eve: Monday, November 5, from 6:00 to 10:00 pm.
WHERE: Angel Orensanz Foundation, 172 Norfolk Street, NYC 10002
RSVP: By November 3, to

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nails: SoCal Power Violence Band Posts "Obscene Humanity" From Upcoming 7" (Southern Lord)

Stream: Nails - "Obscene Humanity" (hosted on CVLT Nation)

Nails: SoCal Power Violence Band Posts 'Obscene Humanity' From Upcoming 7" (Southern Lord)
Following up on 2010's "Unsilent Death", SoCal power-violence band Nails have released the first track from their forthcoming 7". The Obscene Humanity 7” captures three of the most iconic tracks from the bands’ raging debut 12” EP of the same name, re-recorded during the "Unsilent Death" sessions with their more modern, metallic, pulverizing low-end tonal attack. For anyone interested, Todd Jones details the history behind these recordings and the original sessions on CVLT Nation.

To round out the year, Nails will enter the caverns of Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts with Converge’s Kurt Ballou from late December into early January, recording their anticipated next full-length. The new album, Abandon All Life, will be finished early in the year for a Springtime release on Southern Lord.

NAILS w/ Converge, Torche, Kvelertak:
10/24/2012 El Corazon - Seattle, WA
10/25/2012 Branx - Portland, OR
10/26/2012 Slim's - San Francisco, CA
10/27/2012 Glasshouse - Pomona, CA
10/28/2012 EchoPlex - Los Angeles, CA
10/30/2012 The Nile - Mesa, AZ


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

California Wives: Manchester's NO CEREMONY Posts Remix of 'Marianne' (from 'Art History' - Vagrant)

California Wives - Webster Hall, NYC 9-22-12Chicago new-­wave quartet California Wives released their debut Art History (Vagrant Records) last month and Manchester's NO CEREMONY just posted a chill remix of "Marianne", the original version is on the band's debut album Art History.

The band just finished their Fall tour with Diamond Rings and Stars last week in San Francisco and new tour dates will be announced soon. In the interim, check out this acoustic version of "Marianne" from California Wives' appearance on "Good Morning Arkansas".

California Wives

Monday, October 22, 2012

Earth (Dylan Carlson) Announces Fall 2012 Tour / Show at Littlefield on Nov. 10th

Earth (Dylan Carlson) Announces Fall 2012 Tour / Show at Littlefield on Nov. 10th
Following bursts of worldwide touring in support of their two-part Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light album series, Seattle’s Earth will embark on their newest tour this week, with a nearly month of live performances confirmed across America.

The most extensive American tour Earth have planned since their 1990 inception, the Seattle purveyors of the slow-motion riff will traverse the country and back on a twenty-five date run, kicking off this Wednesday, October 24th in Portland, Oregon. Along the way the quartet will take part in the massive annual Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas alongside literally dozens of international artists of all genres. This will be the first U.S. tour since they hit the road in support of Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I in 2011, the band’s set for the tour confirmed to contain a majority of the material from Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II.

While the band is touring in support of the Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light albums, the Earth lineup for this voyage will be the touring lineup from the band’s lauded 2008 LP The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull, comprised of Steve Moore on keys and trombone, Don McGreevy on bass, Adrienne Davies on drums and founder Dylan Carlson on guitar. Support will be provided by Stebmo (featuring members of Earth and more) as well as Southern Lord labelmates Eagle Twin and Fontanelle throughout the journey.

Earth Fall Tour:
10/24/2012 - Rotture - Portland, OR w/ Fontanelle, Stebmo
10/26/2012 - Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock - Los Angeles, CA w/ Fontanelle, Stebmo
10/28/2012 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA w/ Fontanelle, Stebmo
10/29/2012 - Soda Bar - San Diego, CA w/ Stebmo
10/31/2012 - Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ w/ Balmorehea, Stebmo
11/02/2012 - Auditorium Shores - Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Festival
11/03/2012 - Bryan Street Tavern - Dallas, TX w/ Stebmo
11/04/2012 - One Eyed Jacks - New Orleans, LA w/ Stebmo
11/06/2012 - Will’s Pub - Orlando, FL w/ Stebmo
11/07/2012 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA w/ Daughn Gibson, Stebmo
11/08/2012 - Grey Eagle - Asheville, NC w/ Stebmo
11/09/2012 - Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, DC w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo

11/10/2012 - Littlefield - Brooklyn, NY w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
(Doors at 6:30PM and show at 7:30PM; Tickets are $15)

11/11/2012 - TT the Bears - Cambridge, MA w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
11/12/2012 - Johnny Brenda’s - Philadelphia, PA w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
11/13/2012 - Altar Bar - Pittsburgh, PA w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
11/14/2012 - Grog Shop - Cleveland, OH w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
11/15/2012 - Taft Ballroom - Cincinnati, OH w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
11/16/2012 - Township - Chicago, IL w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
11/17/2012 - Township - Chicago, IL w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
11/18/2012 - Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis, MN w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
11/19/2012 - The Record Bar - Kansas City, MO w/ Eagle Twin, Stebmo
11/21/2012 - Marquis Theatre, Denver, CO w/ Stebmo
11/24/2012 - The Shakedown - Bellhingham, WA w/ The Body, Low Hums
11/25/2012 - The Crocodile - Seattle, WA w/ The Body, Stebmo


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Foreshadowing - 'Second World' CD Review (Metal Blade)

Update: The Foreshadowing have been added to Marduk & Moonspell's "Voices of the Dark" North American co-headlining tour in February/March 2013 and these shows will mark the band's North American debut.

The Foreshadowing - 'Second World' CD Review (Metal Blade)
The Foreshadowing's third disc, Second World, takes me back to the last (Brooklyn) incarnation of L'Amour as I can still remember seeing bands like Lacuna Coil and Moonspell sometime around 2002-3 and The Foreshadowing would have fit well alongside either of these bands. The Foreshadowing are an Italian atmospheric goth-metal band that has been playing high-profile festivals and generating a buzz in Europe but is just now breaking into the US market after signing with Metal Blade. To add some additional color to the 'goth-metal' label - The Foreshadowing sound something like Some Great Reward-era Depeche Mode (less the industrial clanking) meets Woods of Ypres.

The Foreshadowing formed in 2005 and released their debut disc, Days of Nothing (Candlelight Records), in 2007. This first disc was a concept album about an imaginary apocalypse wished by an insane ordinary man and this new disc continues this apocalyptic vision. Second World is guided trip through this post-apocalypse world where the listener gets pulled in by the densely atmospheric and cinematic melodies, which are complemented by singer Marco Benevento 'new romantic' baritone, but there is a dark melancholia in the music that creeps up out of the darkness. The music consistently stays close to its slow-burning 'gloomy' core and, while there are some moments of aggression from the guitars and drums, never reaches the crushing epic doom of some of the band's contemporaries. Second World is more about 'painting' a bleak aural landscape than crushing the listener with waves of despair.

The disc starts off on a strong note with "Havoc", which opens with the sounds of rain and fire before the down-tuned guitar riffs and pounding beat kicks in. Nothing is 'by-the-books' in this universe as the band strips back the pounding rhythms mid-song for a chanted snippet of "Gloria in excelsis Deo" before building back the rhythmic pulse of the song beneath the chant. One of the other standout tracks in the front-half of the disc is "The Foresaken Son", which has a harder-edged guitar sound than its predecessors. The band's sound all comes together on the back-half of the disc with swirling "Reverie is a Tyrant", which ends with the clanging church bell over the chanted "Lord's Prayer" and the world-weary "Colonies", which has a brilliantly executed acoustic opening and closes with an acoustic guitar outro.

The Foreshadowing haven't yet made it to North America but my guess is that the band's signing to Metal Blade and the label's reissue of The Foreshadowing's last two discs will see this changed in short-order.

The Foreshadowing

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chappo Releases Video for "5-0" from their Debut Album / CMJ Shows at Bell House and Party XPO

Brooklyn electro-rock band Chappo has come a long way since I saw them play Dynasty Electric's loft party a number of years ago. The band released their debut LP, Moonwater, earlier this year via Majordomo Records (an imprint of Shout! Factory), which Consequence of Sound described as "explor[ing] the simple splendor of youth through their wide-eyed storytelling and space-y instrumentation, sounding like MGMT coming down off a great acid trip."

The band just released a new video for "5-0" (below) and are screening the video on October 21st at a rooftop party at 151 Kent. Prior to this, the band is playing CMJ shows at Bell House and Party XPO.

Chappo - Fall Soiree Tour
OCT 16 -- (CMJ) Brooklyn, NY: Bell House
OCT 18 -- (CMJ) Brooklyn, NY: XPO 929
OCT 20 – Annandale, NY: The Root Cellar at Bard College
OCT 21 – Brooklyn, NY: 151 Kent – Rooftop Party and "5–0" screening
OCT 22 – Long Branch, NJ: Brighton Bar %
OCT 26 – Philadelphia, PA: The Fire %
OCT 28 – Richmond, VA: House Party (RVA Magazine) %
OCT 30 – Charlotte, NC: Evening Muse %
OCT 31 – Athens, GA: FreakFest Party %
NOV 01 – Atlanta, GA: The Basement %
NOV 02 – Durham, NC: Motorco Music Hall %
NOV 03 – Washington, DC: The Pinch %
% with Nicos Gun


Friday, October 12, 2012

haarp - 'Husks' CD Review (Housecore Records)

haarp - 'Husks' CD Review (Housecore Records)
New Orleans sludge metal band haarp released their fourth disc, Husks, last month on Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records. This new three -track/38 minutes disc is the follow-up to the band’s 2010 full-length debut, The Filth, which also came out on Housecore. Phil Anselmo has been a strong supporter – most recently taking the band on the road with Down and Phil joined the band on stage for a song at the show at Best Buy Theater in New York.

(Note: Video is from last year’s show but there really isn’t a lot of difference between the years)

haarp often mistakenly get lumped into the doom genre due to the band’s slow tempos but they have nothing in common with band’s like Sunn 0))). Phil Anselmo said: “To call haarp 'slow' would be somewhat fair, but to say that they're just 'another slow band' would be sacrilege…Their music is crushing, resolute, dramatic and conceptually insane.” haarp’ s music has more in common with hardcore (though this is the first ‘slow’ hardcore band that I’ve heard) as the band works up a ferocious wall of pummeling riffs over which vocalist Sean Emmons growls and grunts out lyrics about despair, hatred, self loathing, and aggression.

The three tracks on this release are all structurally similar – there are the expected crushing guitar riffs but this is complemented by (down-tuned) melodic guitar lines and almost free-form jazz drumming. The disc’s opener, “Deadman/Rabbit”, and closer, “Fox”, clock in well over 10+ minutes which allows the music to meld and change over the course of the tracks. The music is both melancholy and ferocious but there is “light” and melody within the band’s overall sound and the spirit of the album is perfectly reflected in the album’s cover art, which shows a light in the darkness. Shaun Emmons’ vocals complement the music and range between hardcore growls and death metal shrieks.

haarp’s new disc was produced by Phil Anselmo and he balances the band’s filthy anger and intensity with a clarity that brings out the individual components of the band’s uncompromising sound. Husks was recorded at the University of New Orleans Performing Arts Center, Fountainbleau Room 7011, and Nodferatu’s Lair by Phil Anselmo, engineered by Steve Berrigan and Nathan Weidenhaft and mastered at Visceral Sounds by Scott Hull.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alex Kelly: Electro-Rock Singer Plays CMJ Show at Sullivan Hall on October 16th

Alex Kelly: Electro-Pop Singer Plays CMJ Show at Sullivan Hall on October 16th
Alex Kelly got her start playing with Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac's side-project Amungus. Kelly moved back to NYC in 2010 and released her debut full-length album, Orange Circle, earlier this summer. To expand on her sound, Alex collaborated with Kelsey Warren and engineer Justin Rose. The sassy dance-rock title track “Orange Circle”, is the first single to be released in May. Deli Magazine described this new disc as "showcas[ing Kelly's] clear, free-wheeling vocals backed by energetic beats, grungy guitar riffs, and evidence of an array of influences."

The band will see the addition of DJ Tiger and Howard Alper on drums this coming show season.

Kelly is playing a CMJ Show at Sullivan Hall on Tuesday, October 16th. Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 7:30PM. Also on the bill are the always fabulous Die Pretty along with Brooklyn garage-punkers Mancie and iPhonic.

Alex Kelly

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Circle Jerks - 'My Career As A Jerk' DVD Review (MVD Video)

Circle Jerks - 'My Career As A Jerk' DVD Review (MVD Video)
I’m innately suspicious of music documentaries as too many of them follow the VH-1 “Behind the Music” story arc of ‘the band’s rise to fame and the turmoil beneath the surface that drove the band apart’. The Circle Jerks though are in good hands with director David Markey. While everyone knows Markey’s film “The Year Punk Broke”, he has been a part of the SoCal hardcore scene for a long time and directed “Desperate Teenage Lovedolls” and “Lovedolls Superstar” (co-written by Red Kross’ McDonald brothers).

“My Career as a Jerk” follows the history of the Circle Jerks – from their inception following Keith’s departure from Black Flag through the band’s current hiatus and combines current-day interview footage with Markey’s archival live footage which documents probably every lineup in the band’s career. In addition to the well-known lineup of Keith Morris (vocals), Greg Hetson (guitar), Lucky Lehrer / Keith Clark (Drums) and Roger Rogerson / Zander Schloss (bass), there is also priceless footage of lineups that never committed any recordings to vinyl [outside of the re-recording of “When the Shit Hits the Fan” for the Repo Man soundtrack] which included Flea (Bass), Chris Poland (Guitar - x-Megadeth), Chuck Biscuits (Drums - x-everyone) and Earl Liberty (Bass – x-Saccharine Trust).

The story starts with the band forming out the of the punk/SST scene that was based out of an old church in Hermosa Beach. The band’s rise to the top of the SoCal hardcore pack is told through period live footage and interviews with Keith Morris, Lucky and Greg Hetson. Nothing is held back - Keith tells stories about his early alcohol and drugs problems and Roger’s debilitating drug problems and Greg talks about the battleground conditions that the bands of that time were forced to play under. Lucky is the most nostalgic of the trio and talks about seeing slam dancing for the first time, putting his home phone number on the Group Sex album which resulted in ‘bizarre’ calls from around the world and his attempt to balance law school and the band (which ultimately got him ejected from the band). Earl Liberty, who dropped out of the music business after his tenure with the Jerks, also talks about his time with the band and there are some in-depth interviews with later-period bassist, Zander Schloss – who met the band during the filming of “Repo Man”.

There is some great footage of the Liberty/Biscuits lineup of the band on this disc, which includes a performance on Rock Palace with Morris in full “Michael Jackson” regalia. This lineup fell apart after Biscuits and Hetson got into a physical altercation over Biscuits refusal to play a free after-party at Madame Wong’s and Hetson ultimately kicked Biscuits so hard in the b*lls that it lifted him off the ground.

When the band regrouped in the 90s, they never seemed to capture the intensity of their early days. Whether it was the quasi-revolving door in the rhythm section, inter-band tensions (tensions over Hetson’s splitting his time between the Jerks and Bad Religion is a reoccurring theme) or a poor experience on Mercury Records, the band never seemed to find solid footing. One anecdote that was both amusing and sobering is that the band mentions that original bassist Roger Rogerson called the various band members out of the blue in the mid-90s to try to get the original band back together to capitalize on the major label feeding frenzy. The sobering note is that Roger never turned up to the band meeting that he called as it turned out that he had O.D.’d.

The film ends on a bittersweet note with Hetson and Morris talking about the band’s current hiatus. As I haven’t been keeping up with the circumstances around this ‘breakup’, it was news to me that this was all due to the band finally getting back to their long rumored seventh album. Producer Dimitri Coats thought Hetson’s songs were sub-par which resulted in Coats being fired and Morris following him to OFF!. Morris though describes the door to the Circle Jerks reunion as closed but not locked so the story of the Circle Jerks may still have another chapter.

Circle Jerks

Monday, October 08, 2012

Steve Kilbey Quits The Church Over Frustration with the Music Business

Steve Kilbey Quits The Church Over Frustration with the Music BusinessIn disgust over a $400 royalty check, Steve Kilbey posted the following statement to his Facebook page: "I have decided to leave my own band permanently as a protest to being fucking treated like this. I have decided to illegally and eventually put all Church records up on my bandcamp. You can buy them from me and make sure the money is going to a member of the band."

Second Motion label owner Stephen Judge posted a rebuttal (full text on The Church's Facebook page) and here is a snippet from the message: "First and foremost, the comments about the band making only “$100 each” is totally false. The rest of the band shares our frustrations in the fact that there is information out there saying otherwise, its simply not true and every other member of the band will tell you this is not true and are doing so where appropriate to respond to these comments."

Kilbey posted a furious response to Judge's letter (full text on Steve Kilbey's blog): "i am so fucking sick of being ripped off and underpaid. you are the final straw that broke this camels back. let me make this plain. i am leaving the church because of you"

It is sad to see Steve Kilbey bow out on this note but not shocking as I've been reading about a number of musicians who go out on a sold-out tour and come back owing the label money. For anyone who wants a more in-depth look at the inanities of the music business, Tim Quirk (Too Much Joy) posted on in-depth write-up of the misaccounting on his band's royalty statements.

The Church

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Peter Gabriel: John Cusack Makes Cameo at Hollywood Bowl Show to Kick Off "In Your Eyes"

Photos: Timothy Norris

Peter Gabriel was having some fun with fans this weekend at his sold out Hollywood Bowl concert Saturday night. The Grammy Award winning musician and activist had the crowd roaring when he brought John Cusack to the stage to kick off his song, “In Your Eyes.” The song was famously and prominently featured in 80s cult classic film, “Say Anything.” Cusack came out with boom box in hand, reminiscent of his character Lloyd Dobler.

The 25th Anniversary box set of So is available October 23 as both a special edition 3-CD set and a deluxe "immersion" box-set. The 3-CD edition is priced at $19.99 and comes with a 2-CD live show from Athens, Greece 1987.

Live In Athens 1987 Track List:
This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds)
San Jacinto
Shock The Monkey
Family Snapshot
Games Without Frontiers
No Self Control
Mercy Street

The Family And The Fishing Net
Don't Give Up
Solsbury Hill
Lay Your Hands On Me
Here Comes The Flood
In Your Eyes

The "immersion" edition follows in the steps of the recent Pink Floyd box sets and is also priced similarly - $99.99 on Amazon. This deluxe box contains the 3 discs mentioned above; Here is what is on the remaining five discs:

So DNA [CD] - "A unique insight into the writing and recording of So, experienced via a track by track evolutionary process leading you from the early moments when rhythms, melodies and lyrical ideas were discovered through the various stages of song development and recording."
Red Rain
Don't Give Up
That Voice Again
Mercy Street
Big Time
We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)
This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)
In Your Eyes

An 180grm So LP [Vinyl] - "The vinyl has been mastered at half speed to maximize the audio quality & the track listing, unlike the original, is that favoured by the artist."

Double A side 12" [Vinyl] - "Contains two previously unreleased tracks ‘Courage’ and ‘Sagrada’ plus Don’t Give Up (alternative version piano and bvox mix)."

Live in Athens 1987 [DVD] - "Directed by Michael Chapman, Executive Producer Martin Scorsese. This previously unreleased Peter Gabriel concert live from Athens has now been fully restored and pieced together from over 150 reels of original 35mm negatives and remixed in 5.1, this concert is made available for the first time on DVD."

So: Classic Album [DVD] - "This documentary tells the story behind the making of 'So' and features contributions from many of those involved in the album and videos, with interviews with Peter, co-producer Daniel Lanois and many more."

Peter Gabriel

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Empress Hotel - "Heavy Halo" CD Review (Park the Van Records)

Empress Hotel - 'Heavy Halo' CD Review (Park the Van Records)
For their first full-length disc, New Orleans indie-dance ensemble Empress Hotel cite their influences as "late night listens to the likes of Prince, ELO, and Roxy Music". While I can't hear any of these aforementioned bands in Empress Hotel's music, the band has also cited Sparks and one-hit wonders from the 70's (Ace and The Dwight Twilley Band) as an influence and that seems a bit more on point. Paste Magazine called the band's music "infectious pop" and included them last year in their list of "20 SXSW Bands You May Not Know (but should)".

Empress Hotel predominately plays synth-heavy electro-pop, but this new disc bounces all over the map - from indie-dance to freak-folk to 70's bubblegum and suburban funk. The off-kilter nature of the disc keeps the disc engaging - never allowing it to sink beneath the weight of any one song structure or genre. The dance rhythms keep both head and feet moving and it may take more than a few spins of the disc before the listener realizes that they have no idea what Micah McKee's stream of consciousness lyrics are about.

The disc kicks off with "Mach Bach" (video below), which is one of the more off-kilter songs with its freak-folk vocals and carnival keys. From there, the band completely switches gears with the indie-rock tune "Heavy Halo" and follows this with the 70's bubblegum of "Empress Hotel". The band hits its stride in the middle of the disc with bright, melodic hooks and layered textures which makes tracks like "Baby Octopus", "Holly" and "Last Picture Show" some of the strongest on the disc.

"Empress Hotel at it's core is an assembly of musicians from both New Orleans and afar. Spearheading this New Orleans pop ensemble are brothers Ryan and Eric Rogers on guitar and drums, backed by Haché Horchatta from Portland, Maine on bass, and fronted by the ever so amorous Micah McKee on lead vocals and guitar. Empress Hotel brings a personal, human story to their interpretation of pop songs. It's implemented through stream of consciousness lyrics, dynamic vocal melodies and rhythmic harmonies from individuals who love the glory days and still go see new bands play live more than most. They lust for a music that is inclusive, crowd pleasing and honest. Empress Hotel asks for you to sing along, and dance within it. It wants your company."

Empress Hotel

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Saint Vitus - Live Photos from Best Buy Theater, NYC 9-28-12

Earlier this year, the reunited Los Angeles doom-metal band Saint Vitus released their first new album in seventeen years, Lillie: F-65 (Season of Mist) and the band played two local shows last month. The first show was a headlining appearance at St. Vitus bar in Greenpoint and the second was at Best Buy Theater, opening for Down.

Saint Vitus - Live @ Best Buy Theater, NYC 9-28-12

The band closed the set at Best Buy Theater with "Dying Inside" and "Born Too Late" and Dave Chandler commented to Westword that playing these songs with his then band Debris, Inc. is what got the band back together. "I was in a band with Ron Holzner, the former bassist of Trouble, called Debris Inc. We did the Wacken Open Air festival in 2002, and we were doing, for the last two songs, "Dying Inside" and "Born Too Late." I was tripping out because I'd never done a festival before. All these people, all these years later -- and a lot of them were really young -- were singing the words."

Aside for being a little disappointed that the band didn't play their cover of Black Flag's "Thirsty and Miserable", Saint Vitus played a great nine-song set.

Saint Vitus - Setlist from Best Buy Theater, NYC 9-28-12
Blessed Night
I Bleed Black
War Is Our Destiny
Let Them Fall
The Waste of Time
Living Backwards
The Troll
Dying Inside
Born Too Late

Saint Vitus - Live @ Best Buy Theater, NYC 9-28-12

Saint Vitus - Live @ Best Buy Theater, NYC 9-28-12

Saint Vitus - Live @ Best Buy Theater, NYC 9-28-12

Saint Vitus - Live @ Best Buy Theater, NYC 9-28-12

I missed Saint Vitus' sold-out show at Saint Vitus bar earlier in the week but there is a really nice video of the show posted to YouTube (below).

Lillie: F-65 is available as both a single disc edition and as a CD/DVD combo which contains a 60 minute bonus DVD of live and interview footage which is exclusive to the first pressing. Below is Season of Mist's write-up on the new disc:
"Therefore it is an event of historic proportions in the world of Heavy Metal that after seventeen years since the release of "Die Healing" (1995) SAINT VITUS now return with their eighth full-length masterpiece "Lillie: F-65". This album includes the trademark song writing style so beloved by SAINT VITUS fans: There is the cataclysmic and unmistakable guitar sound of co-founder Dave Chandler full of reverbs, feedbacks, flanger and apocalyptic distortion leading to amazing and magical solos. "Lillie: F-65" is furthermore graced with the deeply resonant vocals of Scott "Wino" Weinrich who returns to record an album with the band for the first time since the glorious "V" (1989) and whom many consider to be the classic SAINT VITUS vocalist. Doom adepts will delight in the honey slow dripping of notes and the sudden energetic outbursts, which are as painfully depressing as sweet."

Saint Vitus

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

R.E.M. - "Document" (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

R.E.M. - 'Document' (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
The 25th Anniversary Edition of R.E.M.'s 1987 disc Document came out last month and, like the previous R.E.M. "deluxe editions", offers little of value to the serious fan. This two disc set includes the original 11-track version of Document along with a second disc which contains a twenty-track live recording of the band performing in Utrecht, Holland on Sept., 14, 1987.

Similar to my complaint about the Fables reissue, the six b-sides ("Finest Worksong (Other Mix)", "Last Date", "The One I Love" (Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop), "Time After Time, Etc.", "Disturbance at the Heron House" (Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop) and "Finest Worksong" (Lengthy Club Mix)) which were bonus tracks on the 1993 reissue of Document have been dropped. There was also a 5.1 mix of the album released in 2005 which would have seemed to have made sense to be included as part of this 'deluxe edition'.

The live show is a nice recording and the energy and drive of these sorts of shows propelled the band into the coliseums when they toured two years later in support of Green. The problem is that this show has been commonly available as a soundboard bootleg for a number of years and the 'deluxe edition' edits out five tracks from the show ("Superman", "Strange", "Funtime", "Harpers" and "Time After Time - Red Rain". Given this, $23.51 (Amazon's price) seems like a steep price to pay when the only new material is a partial live show.

R.E.M. - "Funtime" (YouTube link)

For the long-time fan looking to upgrade from their vinyl version of Document, I'd suggest chasing down the 2005 dual-disc edition. If you have been in a cave for the last 25 years and haven't heard this disc, go chase down the IRS reissue which you can probably find cheap in a used CD shop. If you need the live show, the 25-track "Red Rain" bootleg seems pretty easy to find.


Throbbing Gristle Members Announces New Disc / Genesis P-Orridge Disavows Release

Throbbing Gristle Members Announces New Disc / Genesis P-Orridge Disavows Release
New Throbbing Gristle always seems like a good reason to celebrate. Last month, Chris and Cosey announced the release of a new disc from the three remaining members of Throbbing Gristle, a 2CD set entitled Desertshore / The Final Report.

The ‘Desertshore’ project is a 're-imagined' cover version of Nico’s seminal 1970 album first conceived by the late Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson in Berlin 2006. In 2010 at his home in Bangkok, he refocussed his approach readying to record guest vocalists while Chris and Cosey prepared material in their UK studio for his return there in December. Sadly, Sleazy unexpectedly died in his sleep on the 25th November in Bangkok.

Chris and Cosey made a commitment to Sleazy to complete the ‘Desertshore’ project picking up from where they left off just prior to his untimely passing. With enthusiastic support and contributions from so many who were close to Sleazy, especially the guest artistes whose work he admired; Antony, Marc Almond, Blixa Bargeld, Sasha Grey and Gaspar Noé, the project is now complete.

The Final Report
Throughout their 36 year friendship Chris Carter, Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson and Cosey Fanni Tutti produced many pioneering and acclaimed collaborative works together.
These trio sessions were without exception always very productive; ideas that produced many hours of recordings, sound experiments, research in new performance possibilities, visuals, the ongoing design and building of new and innovative instruments; a constant restless exploration of new paths together.

The Final Report
album has been completed from their final 2009/2010 sessions together at Chris and Cosey's studio in Norfolk. This album stands as the final report; a celebration, a loving remembrance of their unique partnership.

Available from 26th November 2012 in the following formats:
Double Vinyl - Gatefold cover with 12" booklet.
Double Vinyl 'Special Edition' - Details TBC
Double CD - in bespoke CD packaging, 12 page booklet, postcard & bonus track.
Digital Download - with pdf booklet and bonus track. - aac, mp3, flac etc.

'Desertshore / The Final Report' teaser 1 from Industrial Records on Vimeo.

Genesis P-Orridge, who parted ways with the other members of Throbbing Gristle in 2010, posted the following: "CHRIS & COSEY released the TG records without my consent & have kept all the money. We NEVER quit TG.That is UNTRUE.BOYCOTT their records." -Genesis's Vocal Tracks were deleted By Chris And Cosey for this forthcoming release.

Throbbing Gristle

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Stars - Live Photos from Webster Hall, NYC 9-22-12

There is something exciting about the energy of a sold-out show. Stars headlined a sold-out show at Webster Hall last month in support of their sixth full-length album, The North, which came out at the beginning of September via ATO Records. Paste Magazine gave the new disc a "9" and said "The North offers the same sense of depth and darkness that first propelled the five-piece into the limelight with singles like “Ageless Beauty” and “Your Ex-Lover is Dead,” but with an increased sense of awareness and age. The band has grown. The music has evolved. But the message of feeling alive despite all odds is more apparent than ever." Prior to the show, I hadn't heard any of Stars' music so it might of helped if I had listened to the new disc but I really enjoyed watching the crowd sing along to every song and feeling the floor at Webster Hall bounce under the weight of the people "pogoing" in place.

The live video below (is there ever a concert that doesn't end up on YouTube?) does a pretty good job of capturing the energy of the show.

Stars Fall Tour Dates
10/09/12 - Lawrence, KS, Bottleneck
10/10/12 - Tulsa, OK, Cain’s
10/11/12 - Little Rock, AR, Revolution Room
10/12/12 - Houston, TX, Fitzgerald’s
10/13/12 - Dallas, TX, Granada
10/14/12 - Austin, TX, Austin City Limits
10/17/12 - San Diego, CA, House Of Blues
10/18/12 - Los Angeles, CA, The Mayan Theater
10/19/12 - Santa Cruz, CA, Rio Theatre
10/20/12 - San Francisco, CA, The Fillmore
10/21/12 - Uptown Theatre, Napa, CA