The Atomic Bitchwax Stream New Album Gravitron in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on April 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the atomic bitchwax gravitron

It would be wrong to say The Atomic Bitchwax‘s sixth album, Gravitron, is a return to the form of their early days, if only because it would somehow imply that the record — which is out tomorrow on Tee Pee – is backward-looking. The New Jersey-based outfit released their self-titled debut in 1999, and the only remaining member from that record is bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik, so it’s not like The Atomic Bitchwax are trying to hearken back to some glory-days ideal from 16 years ago. Frankly, they don’t need to. The material across Gravitron‘s 10 tracks blazes in the best way possible, Kosnik, guitarist Finn Ryan and drummer Bob Pantella tearing into what’s become the band’s signature winding riffage and delivering it at a head-spinning pace on instrumental cuts like “Down with the Swirl” and “War Claw” (a tribute to Wroclaw, Poland, maybe?) and the early rager “No Way Man.” The Bitchwax‘s last outing, 2011’s The Local Fuzz (review here) was more of a concept piece than an album — a single extended track of riff-barrage, almost mocking the idea of “it’s all about the riffs,” and to considerable effect. With Gravitron, they reincorporate what’s always been their truest strength: Songwriting.

And they do so with considerable intensity. The first moments of opener “Sexecutioner” tell the tale — Gravitron begins at full blast and offers precious little letup until the penultimate “Roseland” transitions to the slower groove of closer “Ice Age Hey Baby.” It’s a tumult of head-down forward drive, KosnikRyan and Pantella, maybe having benefited from getting “The Local Fuzz” out of their system — a grand purging — getting immediately down to business. For those who came aboard with The Atomic Bitchwax since the release of in 2005, which was Ryan‘s first in the band, Gravitron will easily be the heaviest, meanest album encountered. The trio is tight, the turns are crisp and the flow of the album is thrust along with momentum that only builds as they dig into the catchy, classic Bitchwaxian “It’s Alright,” Ryan and Kosnik putting on a Rushy technical clinic without showing off or making the fact that they can play like that the point of the song while Pantella translates their twists into an accessible, memorable groove that’s one of the high points of the album. Add to that the momentary slowdown of “Coming in Hot,” which closes out side A with another on-fire jam, this one shifting out of the chorus with a drum solo that the guitar and bass join seamlessly in a manner fitting for the chemistry The Atomic Bitchwax have developed on stage in recent years. Killing it, in short. The trend continues on side B.

the atomic bitchwax

Proof that we’re dealing with a more confrontational Bitchwax? How about “Fuck Face?” Punctuated by a jabbing snare and led by the guitar and bass simultaneously through an under-three-minute instrumental run soaked in wah, it’s nonetheless a fast-swinging barnburner and not the first or the last. “Porto World” follows and while it’s the first song to touch the four-minute mark — only “Ice Age Hey Baby” is longer, at 4:45 — it still rages, with Kosnik warning, “I hope you brought your battle axe” as they run at a sprint into a cowbell-inclusive groove before trading back to the next verse and hook, the cowbell returning again as a bridge before a final chorus closes out, quickly, classically-structured but still brimming with energy, which is all the more fitting for “Down with the Swirl”‘s jazzy turns and solo-topped build. They barely stop to take in the view as they reach that mountaintop in “Down with the Swirl,” but the song provides emphasis on the newfound vitality of the trio anyway, not so different ultimately from some of what “The Local Fuzz” had to offer, just in a different, more upbeat context, like a disgruntled In Rock-era Deep Purple raised on Red Bank burgers and fries. While “Porto World” and “War Claw” could easily be Euro-minded, “Roseland” is purely regionalist homage, taking its name and lyrical basis from the long-running venue in Manhattan (my grandmother danced there in the 1930s) turned into luxury condos just in case anyone needed a convenient example of how New York City has degraded itself in pursuit of profit post-9/11 and the financial collapse of 2008. The Atomic Bitchwax take a more sentimental view, bidding the big room goodbye with due sentiment and thud in what seems like a landmark hook until the handclaps start on “Ice Age Hey Baby.”

As they close out their sixth album, they seem to have learned the best lesson of their fourth, 2008’s TAB4, which caught some flack for being poppier and more slickly produced even than or the 2006 Boxriff EP, but had more than a couple of gems to its credit as regards songwriting. That record finished with “Wreck You,” one of the band’s most infectious works to date, and “Ice Age Hey Baby” works in similar form, a rolling bassline and simple rhythm backing Kosnik‘s sing-along-ready chorus, displayed immediately and readily throughout the song, departing only to give Ryan some time to bust out a psychedelic lead. After the hit and run nature of most of Gravitron, the closer’s something of a breather, but well placed and well appreciated, mirroring and upping the game from “Coming in Hot” while reminding one last time that no matter how fast the Bitchwax might decide to go, and no matter how many jumps they might make here and there within a track, they’re still serving a bigger purpose. “Ice Age Hey Baby” is an outlier, and it’s positioned to leave a lasting impression when the record is over. No big surprise it succeeds at just that. While Kosnik and Pantella both play in Monster Magnet, still obviously going strong, with the likes of SolaceHalfway to GoneRyan‘s former band Core, and many others gone, The Atomic Bitchwax are sort of the last-band-standing from what was once a fertile Central Jersey heavy rock scene, based around Red Bank, Long Branch, etc. Their reach and their focus have gone well beyond their hometown, which is likely a major contributor to their survival, but to think of all the acts who’ve either outright broken up or transitioned into periodic gigging while KosnikRyan and Pantella stand at the ready to tour Europe for another month and release a triumph of a record like Gravitron makes their having not only lasted but thrived all the more impressive. Whatever else they do from here, Gravitron will be a landmark.

They release the album tomorrow and hit the road in Europe starting at Desertfest in London on April 24. Please find the full stream of the album below, followed by the current tour dates, courtesy of Sound of Liberation. Enjoy:

New Jersey’s legendary, riff-centric power trio THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX (aka TAB) returns with gargantuan riffs and jaw-dropping psych sonics on its sixth full length LP, Gravitron. Now featuring TWO members of MONSTER MAGNET — bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik and drummer Bob Pantella — alongside shred-tastic gunslinger Finn Ryan, the band has perfected its unique style of NYC hard rock that High Times appropriately tabbed, “thunder-boogie”. On Gravitron, THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX’s Rush-like riff mazes and carpal-tunnel-inducing riffs are on full display; every note bleeds with urgency.

On Tour:
24.04.15 LONDON, UK DESERTFEST
25.04.15 BERLIN, D DESERTFEST
26.04.15 WARSAW, POL SKWER
27.04.15 DRESDEN, D OST POL
28.04.15 BREMEN, D ROEMER
29.04.15 BIELEFELD, D FORUM
30.04.15 JENA, D KULTURBAHNHOF
01.05.15 MAASTRICHT, NL TIMMERFABRIEK
02.05.15 LONGLAVILLE, FR CRYSTONER FEST
03.05.15 GEEL, BEL JH DE BOGAARD
04.05.15 DÜSSELDORF, D PITCHER
05.05.15 AACHEN, D MUSIKBUNKER
06.05.15 THESSALONIKI, GR EIGHTBALL
07.05.15 ATHENS, GR AN CLUB
08.05.15 FRANKFURT, D DAS BETT
09.05.15 SIEGEN, D VORTEX
10.05.15 LUCERNE, CH SEDEL
11.05.15 MUNICH, D FEIERWERK
12.05.15 ZURICH, CH KINSKI
13.05.15 MILANO, IT LO FI
14.05.15 NICE, FR LE VOLUME
15.05.15 BARCELONA, SP ROCKSOUND
16.05.15 BILBAO, SP KRISTONFEST
17.05.15 PORTO, POR CAVE 45

The Atomic Bitchwax on Thee Facebooks

Tee Pee Records

Sound of Liberation

Tags: , , , ,

Belzebong to Release Greenferno this Summer

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

belzebong (Photo by Rafal Kudyba)

Weedian Polish five-piece Belzebong (also stylized with a capital ‘G’ at the end) began their association with Michigan imprint Emetic Records in 2013 with the release of a second pressing of their 2013 one-sided 12″, Dungeon Vultures and a reissue of their 2011 full-length, Sonic Scapes and Weedy Groves. The forthcoming four-tracker Greenferno, which I’ve no doubt will serve as Belzebong‘s second long-player, will be the continuation of that alliance, the instrumental outfit proffering ultra-stoner riffs and thematics perhaps best summed up by the title of the first song to be revealed from the album: “Diabolical Dopenosis.”

What’s to note from “Diabolical Dopenosis” that might tell us about the rest of Greenferno? Its resin-caked groove, for one. Beginning with its central nodding riff and a sample from the 1982 film Creepshow about people turning into weeds, it’s not long before Belzebong are dug into the progression that will carry them through the bulk of the track, full-toned riffage, ample bottom end and steady crash resulting in a for-the-converted roll that should meet with much approval as it opens Greenferno. I’ve yet to hear anything of the remaining three tracks on the album — “Inhale in Hell” (get it?), “Goat Smokin’ Blues” and “The Undertoker” — but something tells me it doesn’t get any less stoned from here.

Emetic has put out the artwork for the album and just a couple preliminaries about format and general release time — Summer 2015 — with presumably more details to follow. Dig it:

belzebong greenferno

We are excited to announce the upcoming release of the new BelzebonG full length album “GREENFERNO”:

The track listing for Greenferno :
1. Diabolical Dopenosis
2. Inhale in Hell
3. Goat Smokin’ Blues
4. The Undertoker

Greenferno will be released later this summer by Emetic Records as a LP, CD and cassette. More details coming soon.

Now, hit one and listen to “Diabolical Dopenosis”

Check out the 1st track Diabolical Dopenosis here:
https://soundcloud.com/belzebong420/diabolical-dopenosis

https://www.facebook.com/belzebong420
http://belzebong.8merch.com/services/store
https://belzebong.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emetic-Records/198699170144825
http://www.emeticrecords.com/

Belzebong, “Diabolical Dopenosis”

Tags: , , , ,

Rozamov Opening for Slayer, Playing this Weekend in Brooklyn and Baltimore

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

rozamov

Boston trio Rozamov are keeping busy in a number of righteous ways as they make ready to release a new split 7″ with Deathkings on Midnite Collective. This weekend they’ll head south to Brooklyn and Baltimore to play alongside the noisy/sludgy likes of Godmaker and Wizard Eye, respectively, and next week, they open for Slayer and Doomriders, which isn’t a line that’s going to hurt their CV in the slightest, at a Converse Rubber Tracks show at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA, that will no doubt vibrate the walls of Harvard dorms down the way. Oh yeah, and then next month they head west to go play Psycho California alongside Pentagram, Sleep and about a million others. Clearly not a bad month to be Rozamov.

The band sent a rundown of their killer doings via the PR wire, including a preorder link for that Deathkings split:

rozamov shows

Rozamov Playing Pre-Psycho Fest Shows Including Converse Rubber Tracks w/ Slayer

Rozamov will be performing select dates ahead of their performance at Psycho California, beginning this weekend in Brooklyn and Maryland. Included in this string of shows is an appearance at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA for Converse Rubber Tracks Live with Slayer and Doomriders. Rubber Tracks Live is a free event but fans must enter to win tickets beginning this Monday, April 20th.

Rozamov recently announced plans to unleash a split 7-inch vinyl with Deathkings via Midnite Collective on May 12th. Rozamov’s track “Ghost Divine” will debut later this month, Deathking’s track “Solomon” is being streamed at CVLT-Nation now.

Rozamov Live Dates:

April 24 – Brooklyn, NY – The Acheron w/ Livver, Godmaker, Dead Empires
April 25 – Baltimore, MD – The Circuit w/ Fortress, Wizard Eye
April 29 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair – Converse Rubber Tracks Live w/ Slayer, Doomriders
May 8 – Northampton, MA – 13th Floor Music Lounge
May 16 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory – Psycho California

Rubber Tracks Live Ticket Link: http://www.converse-music.com/boston
Pre-Order Rozamov/Deathkings Split 7-inch Vinyl: http://midniteclv.storenvy.com/products/12489843-deathkings-rozamov-split-7

https://rozamov.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Rozamov
https://midniteclv.bandcamp.com/album/deathkings-rozamov-split

Rozamov, “Ghost Divine” teaser

Tags: , , ,

Live Review: Sun Voyager in Allston, MA, 04.18.15

Posted in Reviews on April 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Sun Voyager (Photo by JJ Koczan)

People who bitch about “kids these days” and the post-Millennials or whatever they’re called and their fast texting and no rock and roll obviously don’t go to house shows. Neither do I, if I can avoid, but the kids are killing it. I’ve gone on at some length before about my general discomfort at being the oldest dude in the room in a basement. Hard not to feel like an invader, like I’m somewhere I shouldn’t be, even though the kid at the door who took my $5 donation for the out-of-town acts was polite in that “I helped an old person today” kind of way. “First time here?” Yeah man, it is.

sun voyager 2 (Photo by JJ Koczan)The Womb — oddly well promoted for a secret location — has come up in Allston in part I suspect because of that neighborhood’s lacking club scene. With the extra gloss of cool added to a basement show, there’s really no need for undergrad-age rockers to even try to get into a bar, and I won’t bother to name names, but a few of the venues around aren’t offering a much better product than a basement to start with, so why the hell not? There were four bands on the bill — Creaturos, Midriffs, Black Beach and Sun Voyager — but I knew that if I was going to be stretching the limits of personal awkwardness to be there at all (something on me, not The Womb itself), I’d mostly want to catch who I was there to see and then skip out.

That was Sun Voyager, incidentally. The Orange County, New York, four-piece have been high on my gotta-see list for a while now, and since I missed them the last time they rolled through the area, it seemed like The Womb was the place to be. They’d played Brooklyn on Friday, in another basement, and were well at home in the packed-out downstairs of The Womb, the walls of the staircase lined with sundry objectificationsSun Voyager (Photo by JJ Koczan) sexual and material, men, women and products in various states of vintage undress, while the walls of the basement itself were painted with various designs. Speakers hung from the ceiling by the A/C duct, a PA was set up on either side of the corner where the bands played. Sun Voyager weren’t on when I got there, but it wasn’t too long before they set up and were ready to roll.

A double-guitar four-piece with Carlos Francisco on stage right, bassist Stefan Mersch in the middle with drummer Kyle Beach behind and chapeaued lead guitarist Steve Friedman on stage left, his slide at the ready, they mostly played material from two recent King Pizza Records tapes, a split with Greasy Hearts and their standalone EP, Lazy Daze (review here). I dug the hell out of the EP — bought the split off Mersch after their set was done — and the prior 2013 demo, Mecca (review here), and I was there in large part to hear how the material translated live. “God is Dead” and “Gypsy Hill” were immediately identifiable in the set, the former for its oft-repeated title-line hook and the latter for its slower, more pastoral rollout.

Something of a surprise in itself that “Gypsy Hill” would be such a standout, since the easier flow with which Sun Voyager play off their more forward garage rock motion of some of their other material is so much a part of what they do on their studio material, but it was nonetheless the set’s most fervent nod, children behind me jumping up and down in sub-mosh form. I laughed as this or that one bounced off or got in a good shoveSun Voyager (Photo by JJ Koczan) and proceeded to fall here and there into the others in The Womb, which started off and remained packed for the duration of my time there. Good clean fun, not so much violent intent as general excitement brought to physical swirl. Sun Voyager had a couple new songs in tow — didn’t catch titles if they were given — but that stuff too had a faster garage edge, giving me a new appreciation for the tension in Beach‘s snare work and Francisco‘s overlaying echoes, which were thankfully preserved even in the raw, basement mix.

More of a concern was how Mersch‘s bass tone would carry over, since it’s such a pivotal aspect of their recorded sound, but it came across well enough and loud, with Friedman‘s leads cutting through on the high end of the shuffling “Black Angel,” the overarching vibe post-grunge and like active shoegaze as if such a thing might exist, a brand of heavy psych waiting for some clever jerk to give it a name and thus define it. Whatever it was, the swirl was righteous regardless of the pace of its churn and Sun Voyager carried it well through the end of their set, which found them, like their studio work, moving away somewhat from the jammier reaches of their beginnings but still carrying that swing with them as they move forward. They’ll continue to grow — they’re fortunate to have a place lsun voyager posterike The Womb to do so — and refine their processes, but I’m glad I braved the weirdness of being the oldest dude in the room to see them now, since the molten, in-progress nature of their creativity made their set all the more exciting.

I hauled ass out of there pretty quick when they were done — again, nothing against The Womb, or Black Beach or Midriffs or Creaturos; it’s not you it’s me — and chuckled as I walked by a dance-club-cum-sports-bar (Hello, Boston) on Mass Ave. that seemed to be hosting a sing-along to ’90s boyband fare that those singing along to it were probably in grade school, if that, when it came out. The perfect target demo on the come-back-around. So odd, so drunk. And me, covered in kid sweat and volume, hobbling my ass back to the car with The Patient Mrs., whose coming along had made the entire thing possible to take, to drive back home with a new tape in my pocket. What year is it again? How do we mash time and place into one strange, market-value nostalgia even as we grope so readily for whatever the next thing might be? Which turn takes me to the highway? Right on.

Sun Voyager on Thee Facebooks

Sun Voyager on Bandcamp

Tags: , , ,

All Them Witches Issue New EP A Sweet Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

all-them-witches-photo-by-robby-staebler-and-james-ford

Nashville heavy jammers All Them Witches have issued a new EP, A Sweet Release. With no coincidence as regards the day of its arrival, the mostly instrumental A Sweet Release marks the second EP the four-piece have done since they put out their second full-length, Lightning at Your Door (review here), in 2013. Following 2014’s single-song Effervescent (review here), it’s worth noting that, for an EP, A Sweet Release is a full 57 minutes long — longer than either Lightning at Your Door or All Them Witches‘ 2012 debut album, Our Mother Electricity (review here).

What makes it an EP, then is the looseness of its spirit. Opening with the 24-minute, three-part, live-recorded “It Moved We Moved/Almost There/A Spider’s Gift,” A Sweet Release is an immediately immersive collection of wandering jams. Both onstage and in the studio, All Them Witches – bassist/vocalist Michael Parks, Jr., guitarist Ben McLeod, Fender Rhodes-ist/violinist Allan Van Cleave and drummer/cover artist Robby Staebler (plus King Buffalo guitarist Sean McVay on “A Spider’s Gift”) — have excellent at matching pace and repetition to hypnotic effect, and A Sweet Release stands as another firm example of this, with the rolling “Howdy Hoodee Slank” a wide-open, stonerly soundscape before the quiet “El Paso Sleep on It” urges caution into “Interstate Beach Party,” which oddly earns its title, missing perhaps only “In Space” off the end of it. The shortest cut of the five, “Sweet Bear” (2:26), closes out, a strong current of feedback running underneath to tie together one last bit of purposeful meandering.

Though All Them Witches just once again made Our Mother Electricity available via their Bandcamp, where one can also find the live recording At the Garage and numerous show bootlegs, Effervescent is all but gone, even given the limited tangibility of a digital release. That is to say, they took it down and it’s unknown whether it will show up again. It gives a certain amount of urgency to A Sweet Release – it might not be there forever — and it’s unknown if All Them Witches will press up any physical copies. You never know, but with their concentration turning toward an impending third LP and no doubt a decent amount of touring to support that, it seems unlikely for the time being. Still, the jams are worth checking out while one can.

Some word from the band below, and some tour dates for the showing-up contingent:

all them witches a sweet release

It has been a crazy past two years and this upcoming one is going to be a wee bit way more gnarly. Thank you for your support. We play for you. The energy is the fire. Now the important notes: As you prepare to meet your maker, which I encourage you to do on a daily basis, remember – it is important to enjoy this experience. Find another? I think not. There is only one whole – eat it slowly.

- Robby

And some extra garnish: We’ll be sharing a great size of new tunes with you soon. We do mean soon. And then more music. A body of music to be tasted in one big bite which we’ll be calling our new LP is on the horizon. There will be some information about experiences very important to us that we’ll shed some light on for you all soon as well. It’s all coming together!

Now…

TOUR DATES:
April 23 – Winston-Salem, NC – The Garage
April 24 – Asheville, NC – New Mountain Theater
April 25 – Nashville, TN – Lightning 100’s Marathon Block Party
May 22 – Chillicothe, IL – Summercamp Music Festival
June 3 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
June 4 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
June 5 – Vancouver, WA – Levitation Vancouver

https://allthemwitches.bandcamp.com/album/a-sweet-release-ep
https://www.facebook.com/allthemwitches

All Them Witches, A Sweet Release (2015)

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Baby Huey, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Baby Huey, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend (1971)

By the time The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend was released in 1971, its title was a misnomer. Based out of Chicago for his short career, James “Baby Huey” Ramey himself died late in 1970, succumbing to a cocktail of heroin and alcohol addiction. He was 26 and had a heart attack. His producer, none other than Curtis Mayfield, set about compiling The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend and released it in 1971 on his own Curtom Records to minimal fanfare at the time, but the album has held up to decades of scrutiny as a classic of heavy funk and soul, moving beyond simple James Brownisms as Ramey‘s band tears into the upbeat jam of “Mama Get Yourself Together,” which follows opener “Listen to Me,” on which Ramey digs into screams that could only fairly be called “face-melting.” In a quick 41 minutes, The Baby Huey Story is told in its entirety, but it’s the best argument around for keeping Ramey‘s legend alive.

Also the only argument. While reissues have attempted to feign some manner of original presentation over the years as Baby Huey‘s cult has grown, The Baby Huey Story remains the only Baby Huey release in earnest, and while its organ-laced take on Sam Cooke‘s “A Change is Gonna Come” and funkified swing on Mayfield‘s hard times and The Mamas and the Papas‘ “California Dreamin'” don’t leave much to be desired, it is worth speculating what Ramey might’ve been able to contribute to soul had he not died so young. “Mama Get Yourself Together” and closer “One Dragon Two Dragon” are original compositions, both using expansive instrumentation, horn sections, mellotron keys, percussion, organ, electric guitar, and though both are instrumentally-focused, they present Ramey as a bandleader of considerable presence and potential. In the context of The Baby Huey Story, they deepen the soulful agonies of “A Change is Gonna Come” (you can hear the pain in the spoken and the sung parts) and the fat, fuzzed-out bass of “Running,” but it’s just as easy to imagine Ramey pushing his own songwriting forward on subsequent releases. We’ll never know.

It’s mighty mighty. Hope you enjoy.

So I have a job interview on Wednesday, which is an interesting development. Having been unemployed for over a year now and not by choice, I feel like I’m ready to get on to something new. Gonna buy a suit and give it an honest shot. We’ll see how it goes, but don’t expect too many posts on Wednesday one way or another. The place is like an hour away and I anticipate a good amount of fatigue one way or another when the interview is over. Not that I’ll be running laps, but you know what I mean. It’s hard work being human, and I haven’t done it in a while.

This week, huh? Wow. Roadburn already feels like a year ago, a distant time out of time, but I feel like the emotional benefits of having gone have carried me back into “real life” — as much as this is and that isn’t — better than I could have hoped they might. I’ve been feeling good this week, in other words. While I’ve been tired, and barely able to keep up with what’s happening around me, musically and otherwise, I think back to being at the 013 and I look out the window at the beginnings of Spring here in Massachusetts and it doesn’t seem so dire. I wound up catching the right train. Things work out.

I may or may not have an interesting project in the works for the months to come. I know that’s very vague, but I want to make note of the development if only for myself, to sort of mark the calendar, and I’m full-on believe-it-when-I-see-it mode, but there’s stirrings in a cool direction and I’m hopeful the planets align in my favor. Ducks in a row, pages bound and all that.

Man this Baby Huey record smokes.

Thanks all for checking in this week. Next week, reviews of Enslaved and Wo Fat and hopefully Lamp of the Universe. Monday is a full-album stream from The Atomic Bitchwax, and I’ll have premieres as well for Arenna and Apostle of Solitude of one sort or another as the week goes on. Busy as ever. Hoping to see Sun Voyager this weekend in Boston as well. Might get a podcast up for Wednesday too, since I won’t be around. Certainly plenty of new stuff to feature.

Have a great and safe weekend. I hope to catch you back next week, and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,

Jim Healey Announces New Solo Release This is What the End Looked Like and Residency Shows

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Guitarist/vocalist Jim Healey, known for his work in Boston acts We’re all Gonna Die, Black Thai and most recently Shatner — whose debut recordings are eagerly anticipated — is set to issue a new solo album on May 5. Its coming heralded by a month-long residency at O’Brien’s in Allston comprised of four shows each Wednesday night of the month with a different supporting cast for Healey and his band, the full-length This is What the End Looked Like is Healey‘s second behind 2010’s Dreams of Odessa, and will boast cuts like “World War Eight” and “Some of Me,” which have been staples in live shows for the past few years.

The PR wire brings album details and the residency lineups:

jim healey

NEW SOLO ALBUM BY JIM HEALEY THIS IS WHAT THE END LOOKED LIKE RELEASE DATE: TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015

PLUS MONTH-LONG RESIDENCY WITH THE JIM HEALEY BAND AT O’BRIEN’S PUB, ALLSTON WEDNESDAYS IN MAY: 6, 13, 20, 27

The Jim Healey Band will release its second album, entitled THIS IS WHAT THE END LOOKED LIKE, Tuesday, May 5, 2015. To celebrate, the band will host and play a month-long residency at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston (3 Harvard Avenue), Wednesdays in May, 2015. The new album will be available for $9 on CD in person at the residency, and online here. The residency live shows are 21+, doors open at 8pm, and tickets are $8 at the door or online here.

THIS IS WHAT THE END LOOKS LIKE is the follow-up to Healey’s first solo album, DREAMS OF ODESSA, released in 2010. “This new album’s main theme,” Healey says, “is the ‘endings’ in life. Whether a relationship, or the loss of loved ones–and moving on from them. It’s something that everyone has to deal with.”

The nine-song collection was recorded and mixed over the past year at Amps VS Ohms studio in Cambridge by Glenn Smith. According to Healey, “I worked with Glenn for over a year on this record, and it really was the most productive, fun, and fulfilling set of recordings I’ve ever done.” The album was mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East Audio in Cambridge.

The album features performances by Jim Healey (vocals, electric and acoustic guitar), Joe McMahon (electric and acoustic bass, baritone and electric guitar, organ, keyboard, backing vocals), Kyle Rasmussen (drums, percussion), Dana Fisher (cello, backing vocals), and Bridget Nault (accordion, backing vocals). “Having a wealth of talented friends,” Healey says, “is really what brought these songs to the elevated state they became on the record. I can’t say enough about everyone that contributed — but special thanks goes to Joe McMahon, because these songs wouldn’t be the same without him.”

THIS IS WHAT THE END LOOKED LIKE, Track-listing (all songs written by Jim Healey)
1. Downtime
2. On and On
3. A Whole Lot of Nothing
4. Powerless
5. Still Warm
6. Some of Me
7. Radio
8. Tomorrow’s Gone
9. World War Eight

Residency Performance #1, Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Jim Healey Band
Gold Blood and The Associates
Crooked Horse

Residency Performance #2, Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Jim Healey Band
Floodwatch
Mill Pond Falls

Residency Performance #3, Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Jim Healey Band
Aaron Shadwell
Chrissy V

Residency Performance #4, Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Jim Healey Band
Matt Charette
Doug Wartman
Jeremiah Tall

In addition to fronting his solo project The Jim Healey Band, he is also singer/guitarist for heavy bands Shatner, Black Thai, and We’re All Gonna Die. As an actor he has appeared in the films Fat and It’s Not Funny Anymore. He is originally from and currently lives in Dorchester.

https://www.facebook.com/JimHealeySolo
https://www.facebook.com/events/1740439849515635/
http://jimhealey1.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/shatnerboston
http://www.obrienspubboston.com/

Jim Healey, Live at O’Brien’s Pub (2012)

Tags: , , , , ,

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Rynne Stump of Stumpfest

Posted in Questionnaire on April 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

rynne stump.jpg

Next weekend, Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon, plays host to the three-night Stumpfest IV. The festival, organized by Rynne Stump, has become a staple of the Pacific Northwest’s fertile heavy underground, and this year is no different. stumpfest roper posterHeadlined by familiar names from the region like Danava, YOB, Big Business, Lord Dying and Sandrider, its reach has only expanded in its years of operation, and with a near-infinite supply of heavy acts to choose from in the Pacific Northwest at the moment — oh wait, six new bands just formed right this second — there seems to be no shortage of fodder for Stump and her compatriots to show their dedication to the cause. With NorskaSons of HunsGraves at SeaMuscle and Marrow, and others on the bill, Stumpfest IV retains a commitment both geographic and stylistic, and its admirable mission has earned it increasing acclaim each year.

Now eight months pregnant and looking forward to the birth of her first son, Stump somehow found time between final fest preparations and packing a hospital bag to answer The Obelisk Questionnaire, and her efforts are appreciated. Enjoy:

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Rynne Stump

How did you come to do what you do?

A lot of doing what the hell I wanted and not listening to other people or caring what people thought of me too much. Making my own decisions in life gave me the courage to take risks and be accountable for myself and my mistakes. Following my heart got me where I am and I wouldn’t change one damn bit of it. Of course it helped having parents and sisters who support me and accept my attitude. My father was a musician and he taught me music, how to listen to it, the language of harmony, and how to sing and perform. My mother taught me how to craft, create and to work hard. To not give up no matter what was against us. To never, ever let someone’s opinion of me affect who I really am inside.

Most importantly, if you are raised to be yourself and supported to be your unique self you will have your own life to be proud of no matter what!

Describe your first musical memory.

My dad waking me up out of bed when I was super tiny to listen to a record. I wish I remembered which record that was. He said to me, “Listen to the bass! Listen to the guitar! Hear that harmony, Zipper?” Then he took me outside to gaze upon the moon. This happened regularly in my house in my first years of life.

Also, performing at the Southern Indiana bluegrass festival Bean Blossom with my dad and sister Sara in my diapers that is a pretty intense first musical memory.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

There are too many to count! In addition to putting on Stumpfest every year, I am also a musician. Some of my best musical memories come from performing with my band leader Craig Elkins. To me, communication on a musical level is absolute! The energy, connection and elevation can take you beyond the moon! Plus, we just harmonize like angels together and we laugh at ourselves constantly. Song birding it up with Craig is the BEST!

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Daily, our beliefs are tested all the time. How we recover from this defines our character and strengthens our bond to our own spirituality.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Artistic progression is the higher evolution of ourselves and our souls. Through it, we can lead others toward their own elevated states of being and influence a positive reaction.

How do you define success?

Finding the happiness in all things. Attaining grounded, self-assured happiness allows us to know ourselves better, laugh at ourselves, forgive and love ourselves. When we do this we can connect fully with others and to do positive things for the universe. That is success in my eye. The idea of Stumpfest was to gather old friends together to do just that, and we have seen success every year.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Everything we see shapes us; our experience, our perspectives, our minds, who we are and who we become. Although things we see can harm our fragile egos we can take every experience and make ourselves better from the exposure. I am thankful for psychedelics, which help us to see things in multidimensional perspectives. They open our minds beyond the plane of consciousness that we operate in daily and further connect us to ourselves, others and the great unknown.

There was one time I saw a bum masturbating on the side of the road and I could probably live without that.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

My partner Danny Carey and I are creating life right now inside of me. I’m eight months pregnant, and that was always top on my list… to create the human form is the ultimate! Also, making my own record. Committing and immersing myself totally to the struggle of that inward path is a huge, frightening goal for me.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

The birth of my son in June. I cannot wait to meet the product of Mr. Carey and myself. I bet he is going to be hilarious!

YOB, “Adrift in the Ocean” live at Stumpfest 2012

Stumpfest tickets

Stumpfest on Thee Facebooks

Stumpfest IV event page

Tags: , , , ,