Frydee Roachpowder

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 30th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Kind of hard to believe, but an Obelisk search for Roachpowder brings up nothing. This means either I’ve mentioned them before and all my back posts are deleted (and if that’s the case, I don’t want to know), or this post is the first time the Stockholm band have been discussed on the site. They were pretty killer. End of discussion.

Stay tuned next week as we’ll wrap the month of July. I have exciting news regarding both my life situation and The Maple Forum, so look for that to come before next Friday, as well as reviews from Horseback, Black Sleep of Kali and several others. Next week is my last in Vermont, and The Patient Mrs. and I are headed to Burlington over the weekend, so I hope to come back with some Buried Treasure-type goodies to report on.

Good fun all around. I hope you enjoy the Roachpowder track above and I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Cheers.

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New U.S. Christmas Due September 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 30th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Speaking of bands heavily influenced by Hawkwind, the PR wire informs that North Carolina upstarts U.S. Christmas — who as I understand it are all the rage with the kids these days — will have a new album out on Neurot come September 20. I still consider myself in the “I just don’t get it” camp when it comes to these guys, but rumor has it they’ve got a whole new lineup, so maybe Run Thick in the Night is the record that’ll turn me around.

Here’s the latest:

Neurot Recordings is proud to unleash the latest full-length from psychedelic, high-volume blues rock ensemble U.S. Christmas on September 20. Titled Run Thick in the Night, the band’s fifth long player was recorded by Sanford Parker at FahrenheitStudio in Johnson City, Tennessee, mixed by Parker and USX members Nate Hall, Matt Johnson and Josh Holt at Semaphore Studios in Chicago, IL and mastered by Collin Jordan.

Run Thick in the Night track listing
1. In the Night
2. Wolf on Anareta
3. Fire is Sleeping
4. Fonta Flora
5. Ephraim in the Stars
6. The Leonids
7. Suzerain
8. Maran
9. The Quena
10. Deep Green
11. Devil’s Flower in Mother Winter
12. Mirror Glass
13. The Moon in Flesh and Bone

U.S. Christmas will kick off the weekend performing two special shows with Corrosion of Conformity before heading out on a handful of one-off performances in September throughout North Carolina including at stop at the Hopscotch Music Fest in Raleigh. The fest features countless artists from all genres including Weedeater, Harvey Milk and Public Enemy. Confirmed dates below. Further dates TBA.

U.S. Christmas live:
7/30/2010 Stella BlueAsheville, NC w/ Corrosion of Conformity (Animosity lineup), Zoroaster, Righteous Fool
7/31/2010 The Pour House Music HallRaleigh, NC w/ Corrosion of Conformity (Animosity lineup) Black Tusk, Righteous Fool
9/05/2010 Static Age RecordsAsheville, NC w/ Body and Enoch
9/11/2010 Hopscotch Music FestRaleigh NC
9/16/2010 Legitimate BusinessGreensboro, NC w/ Caltrop
9/17/2010 The MilestoneCharlotte, NC w/ Caltrop

U.S. Christmas is:
Hall – Guitars, Words, Vocals
Matt Johnson
– Synthesizers, Guitars, Sounds
Chris Thomas
– Guitars, Bass
BJ Graves
– Drums
Justin Whitlow
– Drums, Experimental Sounds
Josh Holt
– Bass, Drones
Meghan Mulhearn
– Violin

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Hawkwind Interview with Dave Brock: Inner Visions from Outer Space

Posted in Features on July 30th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Modern psychedelia would not be what it is without Hawkwind. In fact, it’s debatable whether it would be at all. The UK outfit, now in its 41st year of interstellar sonic exploration, so much embody the genre of space rock that their name is practically interchangeable with it. You do not have space rock without Hawkwind. It is that simple. Everyone who’s come since has been influenced by them, and they all know it.

Blood of the Earth (on Plastic Head; review here) is the first Hawkwind studio release in half a decade. Kind of a big deal. The band, centered around lone original member Dave Brock on vocals, guitar and keyboards, consists of drummer Richard Chadwick, bassist/vocalist Mr. Dibs, guitarist/bassist Nial Hone and keyboardist Tim Blake replacing Jason Stuart, who died of a sudden brain hemorrhage in 2008. On Blood of the Earth, their will to push deeper into rock and roll’s uncharted galaxies remains strong, and it was a thrill and an honor to be able to discuss the band, the album and how Hawkwind has changed over the years with Dave Brock.

After the jump, please find the ensuing Brock Q&A. Special thanks to Jon Freeman for making this happen, and, you know, to Hawkwind for kicking ass lo these many years.

Amidst barking dogs, shoddy international lines and a newly rebuilt home studio, we find Brock in jovial spirits, eager to share a laugh…

Read more »

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Making Peace with Anathema

Posted in Buried Treasure on July 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

In the spirit of the other day’s Buried Treasure post, I thought I’d make it known that after initial dejection and first encounters tainted by prejudice against it, I’ve finally and officially come to make peace with UK melodic proggers Anathema‘s latest album, We’re Here Because We’re Here.

This has been an emotionally charged process. First they didn’t tell me the album was coming, I had to find out and order it on Amazon and wait weeks for it to arrive, then I had to get over the fact that it’s neither A Fine Day to Exit nor A Natural Disaster, but rather a different, brighter sound altogether. We’re Here Because We’re Here is unrepentantly not the album I wanted and hoped it would be, and while it’s true I don’t know Anathema and they don’t owe me notice or anything else and it’s been seven years since the last album came out, you bet your ass I took it personally. But, I put the disc on while I was in the car last week on a trip I knew would be long enough to sustain a full sitting, and after that, I’m not ready to say I’m a full-blown convert, but I’m not holding a grudge either.

I’m sure everyone reading this and the band themselves will sleep better for knowing, so I just thought I’d share.

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The Howling Wind: Frozen, Dead, Eternal

Posted in Reviews on July 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

The Cryosphere being that part of the planet covered in ice (the poles, etc.), one would expect, Into the Cryosphere (Profound Lore), the second album from cross-country black metallers The Howling Wind to sound pretty cold and desolate, and it does at that. I don’t know if it’s a concept album in the narrative sense, but the record is certainly thematic, and the theme is chilly. Five of the seven total tracks have some mention of ice or frost or snow in the title (I count “Will is the Only Fire Under an Avalanche” among that number), and even unto the album’s design work, layout and cover art, the feel is frigid, desolate, and bleak.

Guitarist/bassist/vocalist Ryan Lipynski (Unearthly Trance) from Brooklyn, New York, operates here under the moniker Killusion and Portland, Oregon-based drummer Parasitus Nex is known for his work in Aldebaran and Splatterhouse, but though a country divides them, the two players are inevitably on the same page with Into the Cryosphere, constructing an atmosphere no less vivid for the fact that it’s too cold to support most forms of life. The two players work some of their doom influence into the songs, but the material here is much more geared toward the new breed of psychedelic black metal championed by US acts like Nachtmystium and seemingly founded by Norway’s Enslaved, though in general The Howling Wind seem much more geared toward aural pummel than the avant garde; a type of black metal more Swedish than Norwegian. Still very dark, cavernous, and frozen.

Into the Cryosphere gets off to a curious launch with “The Seething Wrath of a Frigid Soul,” which has some start-stop riffing that, because of mutes in the digital files, sound unnatural and contrary to the instrumentation. This is a minor gripe. Colin Marston of Behold! The Arctopus produced and mastered the album at his The Thousand Caves studio, and though in general I think he did a good job allowing enough space and breadth to the mix, those pauses are something I’ve continued to stumble over in repeat listening. The slower, more doomed “Teeth of Frost,” feels more natural, if utterly inhuman in its style and execution.

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WhiteBuzz Post New Video, Decide Not to Name It

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Whathaveyou on July 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

You know the scene in Pootie Tang where Pootie has the hit single that’s completely silent and Chris Rock is the DJ who has to introduce the song without a name? I was reminded of that as I scoured the great big truck known as the internet looking for what the title of the song WhiteBuzz‘s new video is for (duh, it’s the one that sounds like Sleep — oh wait).

That title? “Untitled.” Glad to have put in the time. Sometimes life is just silly.

WhiteBuzz‘s Book of Whyte came out in 2009 on MeteorCity (read review). Here’s that video:

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Quest for Fire See the Lights

Posted in Reviews on July 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

When Tee Pee Records put out Quest for Fire’s self-titled full-length last year, I got a promo of it, and it went promptly on my shelf. I didn’t even listen. You know why? Because I knew that if I listened to it, I’d like it, and then it would be one more god damn album to buy, one more god damn band to like, one more god damn show to trek out to. Blah.

Of course, I got mine in the end, as Tee Pee now releases the follow-up from these Toronto argonauts, Lights from Paradise. Sure enough, a promo of the record came in the mail, and I put it on, and now I want both albums. So yeah, thanks a lot.

Lights from Paradise is eight tracks of sprawling psychedelia from the Canadian four-piece, ranging from the ritualistic stillness of opener “The Greatest Hits by God,” which seems to capitalize on what Om might sound like with two guitars, to the semi-raucousness of “Set Out Alone” or the Dead Meadow freakout of “In the Place of a Storm.” Of the sundry personality traits the band shows on the album, I prefer the moody, subdued side that comes out on the first track or “Psychic Seasons,” which boasts one of Lights from Paradise’s few excursions into acoustics and also features some strings for a classy touch. Of course, there’s something to be said for the extended Beatles-style solo in closer “Sessions of Light” as well, which shows Quest for Fire as a band with more than just a reverb pedal and propensity for jamming, complex as its melody structure and progression are. Take your pick, really.

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Mondo Generator to Tour for Dog Food

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

I don’t think I’m breaking any new critical ground when I say that Mondo Generator‘s last full-length, Dead Planet, wasn’t exactly blowing the doors down. Nonetheless, as the figure so critical in bringing any kind of edge to the songwriting of Queens of the Stone Age, to whom I can only hope and imagine he’ll return eventually if not sooner, I have faith in Nick Oliveri to pull a killer record from out his often-seen ass, and I look forward to the Time to Destroy LP that will follow the band’s new single, Dog Food.

The PR wire has the goods on Dog Food, which features Happy Tom (Turbonegro) and Dave Grohl, and some Mondo Generator tour dates. Be friends with it:

Mondo Generator have announced a run of shows through August and September in support of their new single Dog Food (available on August 10). Special guests for all shows will be Tweak Bird with Its Casual and Violent Soho also joining for selected shows. Tickets are on sale now at venues and usual outlets…

Aug. 4- Elbo Room, San Francisco CA
Aug. 6- Dante’s, Portland OR
Aug. 7- Studio 7, Seattle WA
Aug. 9- Club Vegas, Salt Lake City UT
Aug. 11- 3 Kings Tavern, Denver CO
Aug. 12- Riot Room, Kansas City MO
Aug. 13- Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis MN
Aug. 14- Frequency, Madison WI
Aug. 15- Double Door, Chicago IL
Aug. 16- Southgate House, Newport KY
Aug. 17- Smalls, Hamtramck MI
Aug. 18- Bug Jar, Rochester NY
Aug. 19- Santos, New York NY
Aug. 20- Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge MA
Aug. 21- North Star Bar, Philadelphia PA
Aug. 22- 37th & Zen, Norfolk VA
Aug. 24- Casbah @ Trenton Music Hall, Charlotte NC
Aug. 25- Stella Blue, Asheville NC
Aug. 26- Hi Tone Cafe, Memphis TN
Aug. 27- The Conservatory, Oklahoma City OK
Aug. 28- Emo’s, Austin TX
Aug. 29- Skillman Street Bar, Dallas TX
Aug. 31- Launch Pad, Albuquerque NM
Sep. 2- Spaceland, Los Angeles CA

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