Posted in audiObelisk on August 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
I’m always happy to post streams from Roadburn, and I think I’ve made that clear over the last half-decade, but this batch in particular features two of my favorite performances from this year’s fest, namely Brooklyn’s Hull, who played Day One, and Boston’s Gozu, who played Day Three. The two bands are pretty far from each other sonically and aesthetically, but both are fantastic at what they do and for me represent where I come from (the New York area) and where I’m at now (the Boston area). So in addition to having enjoyed watching these guys wreck up Stage01 and the Green Room, respectively, I’m happy now to have the chance to revisit those memories. Heavy riffs and fuzzy feelings.
Also cool to hear Mansion‘s set again, which was something of a sleeper, and Carlton Melton, who were so psyched out I almost broke a vinyl-buying embargo, as well as acts I missed like E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, New Keepers of the Water Towers and ASG. As ever, all the sets were recorded by the venerable Marcel van de Vondervoort and his team, and they’ll be available into perpetuity so that future generations can know just how much they suck in comparison to the rock and roll we beheld.
ASG – Live at Roadburn 2014
Carlton Melton – Live at Roadburn 2014
E-musikgruppe Lux Ohr – Live at Roadburn 2014
Gozu – Live at Roadburn 2014
Hull – Live at Roadburn 2014
Mansion – Live at Roadburn 2014
Nicklas Barker & Reine Fiske – Live at Roadburn 2014
New Keepers Of The Water Towers – Live at Roadburn 2014
Thanks as always to Walter and the Roadburn crew for permission to host the streams. To check out past streams from Roadburn 2014 click here, here and/or here, and to read the coverage from this year’s fest, click here.
Posted in audiObelisk on March 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Once, a very, very long time ago — okay, it was last December — thoroughly-synthed doom rockers From Beyond traveled from their native Houston to a much different land, Los Angeles. There, they met head to head in riffy combat with North Carolina’s ASG. Alright, so maybe it was less “riffy combat” and more of a Scion Rock Show, but either way, it happened. The date was Dec. 4, the show was free with an RSVP, and to continue their Rock Show series of releases that’s already resulted in the pairings of Fu Manchu/Moab and The Dirty Streets/Indian Handcrafts, Scion A/V is set to issue a split between ASG and FromBeyond, and I’m happy to be able to present the latter’s “The Fall to Earth” as a streaming debut to mark the occasion.
That gig, held at the Satellite, was From Beyond‘s first in L.A. and their first as a four-piece. When they put out their 2012 The Color out of Space EP (track stream here), they were a trio, but it was the lineup of Robert McCarthy (guitar/vocals/synth), David Grooman (guitar), Dick Beeman (drums/vocals) and Stephen Finley (bass, Moog Taurus) that landed in Silver Lake, and their Moogery and theatrical atmospherics obviously made an impression. “The Fall to Earth” makes the most of both of these, but that doesn’t take away from the crunching largesse of the rolling riff itself once it gets going. Shades of Electric Wizard give way to spaced-out vocal harmonies, creating a strong hook and a rare balance of emotional resonance, lyrical narrative and doomly engagement.
Structurally, “The Fall to Earth” is pretty simple, setting an ambient bed with its intro before launching into verse/chorus tradeoffs and finally marching out on its fuzzy central figure, but From Beyond remain cohesive in the atmosphere and make the track more than just a meandering freakout while also keeping a decidedly open feel. The Color out of Spacewas an impressive release from a band who knew where they wanted to be in terms of aesthetic, but we may have only seen the beginnings of From Beyond.
Please find “The Fall to Earth” on the player below, courtesy of Scion A/V, and please enjoy:
The ASG track is set to release March 25. Scion A/V announced yesterday that this year’s Scion Rock Fest will take place in Pomona, CA, on May 17. More info at the links.
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 26th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Oft-touring Southern heavy rockers ASG have joined the lineup for the 2014 Desertfest in Berlin. The four-piece, who released the album Blood Drive this yearon Relapse to much hullabaloo, were also previously announced for the London edition of the festival, and they’ll be playing a couple weeks earlier at Roadburn as well. Since it doesn’t seem likely they’ll fly to Europe for that, then fly back to the States only to return to Europe two weeks later, I’d expect full European tour dates are forthcoming sometime in the near future.
ASG also recently premiered a new video for the song “Scrappy’s Trip.” Desertfest had this to say about them being added to the Berlin lineup:
*** DESERTFEST BERLIN 2014 – ASG ***
Hey Desert-Folks !
We go on with another amazing announcement ! Today, North Carolina’s finest psychedelic stoner-punks ASG join the DESERTFEST BERLIN’s line-up !!
This year has been a triumphant one for ASG whose success with their last release “Blood Drive”, and we can’t be more excited to have these guys on board at DESERTFEST BERLIN !!
LIMITED HARD-TICKETS can be ordered by sending an email at TICKETS@DESERTFEST.DE (85€ + shipping costs) !!
************************************ 24th, 25th, 26th April 2014 : DESERTFEST BERLIN ************************************ SPIRIT CARAVAN* Asg* Black Rainbows* Causa Sui* Elder* Gozu* Huata* Prisma Circus* Radar Men From The Moon* Sardonis* and many more tba !
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 17th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Huge news out of the Roadburn camp today for the 2014 lineup. In addition to a pre-sale party for tickets that features New Keepers of the Water Towers and SardoniS, YOB will headline the Afterburner playing 2009’s The Great Cessation in full, and Sourvein, Graves at Sea, Crowbar, ASG, Lord Dying, A Storm of Light and Anciients have been added to the bill, ensuring that however much psychedelia has been announced and may yet still come, Roadburn 2014 won’t lack for crushed skulls either.
Oh, and in case you missed it, let me just repeat: Graves at Sea. Graves at fucking Sea. So yeah.
Here’s the latest:
Roadburn announces ticket prices and pre-sales party; Crowbar, Sourvein, Yob and more added to the line-up
Roadburn Festival 2014 Ticket Pre-Sales Start Friday October 11th 2013 at 21:00 CET; Pre-Sales Party at the 013 venue (NL) with New Keepers of the Water Towers and Sardonis.
Yob to Headline Roadburn Festival 2014 Afterburner; Crowbar, Yob, Sourvein and Graves at Sea among others added to 2014 Roadburn Festival Lineup.
As previously announced, tickets for Roadburn 2014 will go on sale on Friday, October 11th 2013. Set your alarm and get ready to score your tickets at 21:00 CET!
The majority of Roadburners live outside The Netherlands, which is why ticket pre-sales will start at 21:00 CET. This should be convenient for most time zones. Apologies to our friends in Oceania who will have to wake up early (or just stay up late)!
We are pleased to report that there will be NO price increase this year. Three-day tickets will be available for 165 euros; four-day tickets will cost 185 euros. Afterburner-only tickets will cost 32.50 euros. Please note that one-day tickets are not available for the Thursday, Friday or Saturday Roadburn dates. Online buyers can order a maximum of four tickets.
For everyone in the Netherlands and Belgium: we are aware that your local ticket outlets will not be open when pre-sales start, which is why we are throwing another pre-sales party at the 013 venue in Tilburg (NL). From 19:00 CET – 20:30 CET you will be able to purchase a maximum of two paper tickets for Roadburn Festival 2014. Guaranteed!
In addition to making it easy to get tickets, the pre-sales party is going to be a blast! This year, we have invited Sardonis and New Keepers of the Water Towers to provide the soundtrack. Both bands have been on the Roadburn radar for quite a while and this is the perfect opportunity for Belgium’s Sardonis to share their riff-heavy explorations and Stockholm heavyweights New Keepers of The Water Towers to take us on a progressive psychedelic trip. The live music part of the evening starts at 20:30 CET.
Roadburn’s artistic director/promoter Walter Hoeijmakers will be on hand to share the latest festival updates, too.
Roadburn favorites Yob will be making a highly anticipated return appearance in 2014, playing two crushing sets of their unique doom. They will play The Great Cessation for their album set on Saturday, April 12th, and headlining the Roadburn Festival Afterburner on Sunday, April 13th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Yob founder Mike Scheidt says, “Coming back to Roadburn for a third time… to play our fifth and sixth sets total at this festival… it is difficult to come up with words to adequately express our feelings. We have made it very clear how much we love the spirit of the Roadburn Festival. It is an unparallelled experience encompassing everything we embrace as both artists and fans. We will bring what we hope to be the best we have ever done in both of our sets of music. Playing The Great Cessation live in entirety will be a YOB first. For our 2nd set, we will perform songs covering our entire discography, including something new as well. To be able to play, to be in attendance as fans, and to once again to walk the streets of Tilburg and live in the soul that is Roadburn is something we are very grateful for. April 2014 is too far away.” More info on Yob here:http://wp.me/p1m0FP-8aX
From deep in the earth you can feel massive vibrations… soon they become audible — huge distant riffs growing louder and turning into a sonic assault with a familiar feel and groove. Suddenly you realize… NOLA is in the house! Roadburn 2014 welcomes legendary New Orleans riffmasters Crowbar to the 013 venue main stage on Thursday, April 10th. With ties to Down, Eyehategod, Acid Bath and Pantera, Crowbar will definitely provide Roadburners with a perfect cure for their New Orleans metal jones in 2014. More info on Crowbar here:http://wp.me/p1m0FP-8aZ
Sludge legends Sourvein will be ratcheting up the sheer brutality of their damaged, blackend misery by playing all three of the band’s much acclaimed EP’s, Emerald Vulture, Ghetto Angel and Imperial Bastard, in their entirety exclusively at Roadburn Festival 2014. “We’re beyond excited to return to the mighty Roadburn Festival on our 20th anniversary tour” says T-Roy Medlin, “and this year we have a very special set prepared just for the Roadburn crowd. We will be doing our trilogy live, all three EP’s back to back and some songs off the first record that we’ve never done live… So we really look forward to this being an awesome time. See you at Roadburn 2014.” More info on Sourvein here:http://wp.me/p1m0FP-8b3
Underground favourites Graves at Sea will bring their crushing brand of slow, sluggish despair to Roadburn Festival 2014 on Thursday, April 10th at the 013 venue. More info on Graves at Sea here:http://wp.me/p1m0FP-8b1
Roadburn 2014 just got a whole lot heavier: Anciients, ASG, A Storm of Light and Lord Dying have been confirmed for Roadburn Festival 2014 as well.
Holland’s very own Roadburn Festival has become Europe’s leading festival for psychedelic, avant-metal, doom, heavy 70s or any other variation of leftfield sonic pleasures that push the boundaries of music.
Roadburn Festival 2014 (including Mikael Åkerfeldt’s curated event, Opeth and Loop) will run for four days from Thursday April 10th to Sunday April 13th, 2014 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Posted in Whathaveyou on June 7th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
I assume the drummer position in Weedeater will once again be filled by Travis Owen (Whores), who took on the role for the trio’s short tour around Maryland Deathfest a couple weeks ago replacing founding member Keith “Keko” Kirkum, as well of course as for the fest itself, though I guess you never know. Maybe they found a permanent replacement. Maybe it’s him. One way to find out would be to show up at the gig, I suppose.
So it goes. As volatile as their on-stage persona can be, Weedeater had a better run with their original lineup than most. Joining them throughout the summer dates below are ASG, whose new record Blood Drive has apparently been met with a welcome reception, and Lo-Pan, who are currently on the road with Torche.
Here’s the latest from the PR wire:
WEEDEATER AND ASG ANNOUNCE U.S. TOUR
ASG’S BLOOD DRIVE MARKS N.C. BAND’S HIGHEST DEBUT
Weedeater and ASG have announced a four-week tour across the United States, kicking off on June 27 in Savannah, Ga. at The Jinx.
The tour comes as ASG celebrate their highest charting and most critically acclaimed album to date, the breakthrough release Blood Drive. The twelve-song collection landed at #15 on Billboard’s Heat Seeker chart and also had impressive debuts on the trade magazine’s Hard Music (#32) and Indie (#67) charts. The album is streaming via Bandcamp at asgnation.bandcamp.com.
Weedeater & ASG presented by Brooklyn Vegan and Invisible Oranges June 27 Savannah, GA The Jinx June 28 Atlanta, GA The Earl June 30 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks July 1 Houston, TX Fitzgeralds July 2 San Antonio, TX Korova July 3 Austin, TX Red 7 July 4 Denton, TX Rubber Gloves (Free Show) July 5 Norman, OK The Opolis July 7 Tempe, AZ Pub Rock July 9 San Diego, CA Soda Bar July 10 Los Angeles, CA The Whiskey July 11 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst July 12 Oakland, CA Oakland Opera House July 13 Portland, OR Ash St. Saloon July 14 Seattle, WA The Highline
ASG only July 16 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge July 17 Lawrence, KS The Replay Lounge July 18 Oklahoma City, OK The Conservatory July 19 Nashville, TN Springwater July 20 Asheville, NC Broadway
Weedeater July 16 Vancouver, BC Electric Owl July 18 Calgary, AB The Palamino July 20 Edmonton, AB The Pawn Shop July 23 Winnipeg, MB Windsor Hotel July 24 Fargo, NC The Aquarium July 25 Great Falls, MT Machinery Row July 27 Missoula, MT Farmageddon Festival July 30 Denver, CO Marquis Theater
Weedeater & Lo Pan August 1 Chicago, IL Ultra Lounge August 3 Nashville, TN Exit/In August 4 Johnson City, TN Hideaway August 6 Asheville, NC Broadways August 7 Charlotte, NC Chop Shop August 8 Richmond, VA Strange Matter August 9 Raleigh, NC The Maywood August 10 Wilmington, NC Soapbox
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 29th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
…Well, they are. And that’s just the first sliver of big news for Kings Destroy, who’ve got a new record coming that’ll be announced and given its well-deserved hyping over the next few months. While you’re waiting for that and the new video the shoot for which was the source of the woodsy photo above, Kings Destroy have a bunch of other dates coming up, including Days of the Doomed III in Wisconsin, to check out. Behold:
April 21 Northstar Bar, Philadelphia with Orange Goblin, ASG, KEN Mode, Roadsaw April 22 Saint Vitus , Brooklyn with Orange Goblin, ASG, KEN Mode, Roadsaw April 23 Middle East, Boston with Orange Goblin, Roadsaw June 7 Brooklyn, NY TBA June 20 Chicago, IL TBA June 21 Days of the Doomed Fest, Milwaukee, WI June 22 Columbus Ohio, with Hollow Leg plus TBA
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 2nd, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
It seems like every time I turn around, ASG are on some fucking awesome tour. They’ve hit the road with Weedeater (review here), Fu Manchu, Karma to Burn, Torche, on and on. Nothing against them, I guess, but god damn, that must be one hell of a poster collection.
The band has just finished putting together their Relapse Records debut and will tour next month with C.O.C. and Royal Thunder, keeping the streak alive and all that.
As goes the PR wire, so goes the nation:
ASG: Complete Recording; Announce Tour Dates
North Carolina psychedelic stoner punks ASG have completed recording their highly anticipated Relapse Records debut and first album in four years. The band’s 4th full-length was recorded with renowned producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet) at the Sunset Lodge in Hollywood, CA and is planned for a Spring 2013 release.
Additionally, the band has announced a short run of tour dates alongside label-mates ROYAL THUNDER and crossover kings CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. The 10 date run begins November 7th in Richmond, VA and wraps up with a pair of headlining dates in VA and NC. A complete listing of dates is included below.
Impossible to pigeonhole, ASG has been wheelin’ and dealin’ in kick-ass rock n’ roll since forming in 2001. The band has previously released four albums with including their most recent, critically acclaimed effort Win Us Over in 2007. ASG has gained a reputation for their wildly energetic live shows, and has found themselves on the road with heavy-hitters Motorhead, The Sword, CKY, Fu Manchu, Torche and The Dwarves among others.
ASG Tour Dates:
***All Dates Nov 7 – 16 w/ ROYAL THUNDER and CORROSION OF CONFORMITY***
Nov. 7 Richmond, VA Kingdom Nov. 8 Philadelphia, PA North Star Bar Nov. 9 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Nov. 10 New London, CT El n Gee Club Nov. 11 Ottawa, ON Maverick’s Nov. 14 Hamilton, ON Corktown Pub Nov. 15 London, ON LondonMusic Hall Nov. 16 Detroit, MI Harpos
***Headlining Tour Dates***
Nov. 17 Virginia Beach, VA Shaka’s (Localpalooza) Nov. 18 Kill Devil Hills, NC Outer Banks Brewing Station
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 24th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
I think I’m gonna go to this show. I don’t know yet whether I’ll go to Brooklyn or Philly, but I haven’t seen trio C.O.C. — whom I’ve been secretly referring to as “C.O.Three” to myself mostly because I don’t have any friends who would know what I was talking about if I said that kind of thing to them — since they played last New Year’s Eve with Clutch, and, well, I’d kind of like to sing along to “Psychic Vampire” and maybe pick up a t-shirt if they have appropriate fat-dude sizes. Their self-titled album (review here), has an enduring appeal that’s hard to ignore as 2012 winds down and list time comes.
Dig the good news, fellow worshipers:
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY Announce North American Fall Tour Presented By Scion A/V
Eye For An Eye Reissue To Drop November 6 Via Candlelight Records
Following a hearty summer of live takeovers throughout North America and Europe, today North Carolina crossover kings CORROSION OF CONFORMITY announce a string of Fall and Winter dates through November and December. Presented by Scion A/V, the tour will include support from a host of esteemed ear-bleeders including Zoroaster, ASG, Royal Thunder, YOB, and Saviours. Additionally, the band will play a string of special shows with High On Fire, Goatwhore and LoPan on select dates. See full itinerary below. Tickets for all CORROSION OF CONFORMITY headlining shows go on sale TODAY through all local ticket outlets. GoHERE to get yours now!
The journey comes in conjunction with the North American release of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY’s Eye For An Eye full-length, set to drop November 6 through Candlelight Records. Originally issued in 1984, the special reissue has been remastered/packaged and includes the Six Songs With Mike Singing EP, both of which have been long out of print. A deluxe digibook edition of the album, limited to 1000 for North America, will be available at limited retailers and via Candlelight’s official webstore. The digibook version includes extended liner notes and a rare pictorial gallery.
CORROSION OF CONFOMRITY Fall/Winter Tour 2012 11/06/2012 Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Zoroaster, Royal Thunder 11/07/2012 Kingdom – Richmond, VA w/ ASG, Royal Thunder 11/08/2012 North Star – Philadelphia, PA w/ ASG, Royal Thunder 11/09/2012 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY w/ ASG, Royal Thunder 11/10/2012 El ‘N’ GeesNew London, CT w/ ASG, Royal Thunder 11/11/2012 Mavericks – Ottawa, ON w/ ASG, Royal Thunder 11/13/2012 Revolutions – Kingston, ON 11/14/2012 Corktown Pub – Hamilton, ON w/ ASG, Royal Thunder 11/15/2012 London Music Hall – London, ON w/ ASG, Royal Thunder 11/16/2012 Harpo’s – Detroit, MI w/ ASG, Royal Thunder 11/17/2012 Mojoe’s – Joliet, IL w/ Zoroaster, Royal Thunder 11/18/2012 Cosmic Charlies – Lexington, KY w/ Zoroaster, Royal Thunder 12/11/2012 The Biltmore – Vancouver, BC w/ Saviours 12/12/2012 The Crocodile – Seattle, WA w/ YOB, Saviours 12/13/2012 Dante’s – Portland, OR w/ YOB, Saviours 12/14/2012 Oak Street Speakeasy – Eugene, OR w/ YOB, Saviours 12/15/2012 Harlow’s – Sacramento, CA w/ YOB, Saviours 12/16/2012 Uptown Theater – Oakland,CA w/ Saviours 12/18/2012 Catalyst – Santa Cruz,CA w/ High on Fire, Goatwhore, LoPan 12/19/2012 The Brickhouse – San Diego, CA w/High on Fire, Goatwhore, LoPan 12/21/2012 The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA w/ High on Fire, Goatwhore, LoPan
Formed in Raleigh in 1982, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY quickly transformed heavy music. Politically charged and socially aware, the band has influenced countless others and today remains humble about their accomplishments. With over 1.1 million albums sold in the United States, the band continues to find new fans via nonstop touring.
Posted in Whathaveyou on December 5th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Kudos to North Carolinian heavy rockers ASG on living the stoner rock dream and getting picked up by Relapse. The acronymic outfit kicked a good deal of ass with Weedeater and Naam in NYCearlier this year, and though they haven’t had a record out in four years, their work on the road has obviously paid off. So well done.
Here’s the announcement, plus tour dates and new album details, off the PR wire:
Relapse Records is extremely proud to announce the signing of NorthCarolina’s finest psychedelic stoner punks, ASG! Impossible to pigeonhole, ASG has been wheelin’ and dealin’ in kickass rock ‘n’ roll since forming in 2001. The band has previously released four albums with including their most recent, critically acclaimed effort Win Us Over in 2007. ASG has gained a reputation for their wildly energetic live shows, and has found themselves on the road with heavy-hitters Motörhead, The Sword, CKY, FuManchu, Torche and TheDwarves among others.
ASG plan to enter the studio in February 2012 to record their highly anticipated Relapse debut with producer MattHyde (Slayer, Children of Bodom, Fu Manchu). More details will be announced shortly. Additionally, the band has confirmed a string of Southern US dates in January plus a special appearance at next year’s Hellfest in France. A complete list of tour dates are included below.
ASG guitarist/vocalist Jason Shi commented on the signing: “To be part of such a well respected music label like Relapse and to be included in their roster of bands both past and present is quite an honor for us. We plan to record our first release on Relapse in the winter of 2012 with MattHyde and are very excited for everyone to hear it! We are amping!”
01/04 Savannah, GA The Jinx 01/05 Jacksonville, FL Brewster’s Pit 01/06 SatelliteBeach, FL The Sports Page 01/07 NewSmyrna, FL Beachside Tavern 01/11 Orlando, FL SIP Art Gallery 01/12 LakeWorth, FL Speakeasy Lounge 01/13 Vero, FL Filthy McNasty’s 01/14 Daytona, FL Frank’s Front Row 01/20 Wilmington, NC Soapbox (w/ Hail!Hornet, SSS) 01/21 Charlotte, NC Tremont Music Hall (w/ Hail!Hornet, SSS) 06/15 Clisson, FranceHellfest 2012
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 2nd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Just because I have them and figured why not. Review of the show is here. It was Naam, ASG and Weedeater in NYC at Santos Party House on Feb. 24. Here’s more of the bands in that order. Click the images to make them bigger.
Posted in Reviews on February 25th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
It was my first time at Santos Party House. The club, famously shut down last year for dealing drugs, resides in that not-quite-Chinatown, not-quite-financial-district section of Manhattan below Canal St., down by where the Knitting Factory used to make its home on Leonard. It’s kind of a nether-region in New York, at least after 6PM when all the suits have gone home. Stores close. There’s parking. Santos seemed to be doing alright anyway for attracting a crowd; last night’s was the most packed Weedeater show I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a few.
Over in the Webster Hall basement, The Brought Low and Puny Human were opening for Danko Jones and if I’d had half a brain in my head or a memory to retain what goes into said brain, I would have headed into the city early to catch their sets before hitting up Santos, but no, I was playing it cool, waiting to get to the club at around 9:30. Clubs in NYC can go either way these days. In Brooklyn, you’re more or less guaranteed a late night, but you never know who in Manhattan is going to decide at 11PM that it’s time for the dance party to start. To Santos‘ credit, the dance party was downstairs by the bathrooms and Weedeater, ASG and Naam played upstairs. A few years ago, that would have been the other way around.
Naam were on stage when I got in, bathed in blue light, playing songs from their self-titled Tee Pee Records debut and Kingdom EP, which, try as I might, I still can’t find a copy of on CD. They had the vinyl for sale, but any disc smaller than that was a no dice. I’ve seen them a couple times now, and as they make ready to head over to Europe for a Tee Pee label tour that includes a stop at Roadburn, they sound ready for it. “Kingdom,” which they closed with, sounded especially killer, beardo bassist John Bundy‘s backing vocals giving that last chorus an extra push behind guitarist Ryan Lugar.
There are printed signs posted all around the club with messages like, “Santos Wants You To Be Happy” and “No One Knows Who You Are” and an attendant in the bathroom to hand me a paper towel, so there were some mixed messages in terms of what the vibe of the club overall was supposed to be, but I could easily see it being a rave-type place. Still, a ton of people came out for the show, and young people, and girls. Not just girlfriends, either. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know quite what to make of it.
For their part, ASG — who share Weedeater‘s hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina — were heavier than I thought they’d be. I vaguely recall their 2008 Win Us Over debut on Volcom, and it was passable in terms of West Coast-style riff rock, but nothing really landmark. Likewise, their live set was full of killer guitar work, and crowd ate it up each time drummer Scott Key locked into a half-time groove (who could blame them?), but overall, I was left somewhat cold by the performance.
When the lights came down at the start of their set, guitarist Jason Shi took an extra five minutes to check and get the levels on his mic, feeding back into the crowd and apologizing for it, but doing it anyway. Maybe I never got over that. Not to hold wanting to sound as good as possible against the guy, but come on dude, at some point it just has to be what it’s gonna be. I’m sure thinking that makes me a prick. I’ll live.
The last time I remember seeing Weedeater (which, since it’sWeedeater, isn’t necessarily the last time I saw them) was a few years back in an Alphabet City basement that’s not there anymore called Club Midway. Or if it’s there, they stopped putting on this kind of show because they weren’t making any money. Anyway, the place had a decent amount of people in it — not a crowd by any stretch, but a good showing of the NYC faithful. Santos was jammed. I guess the people who’ve moved to the area over the last five years, mostly Brooklynite hipsters, but some humans as well, are of a different mindset than the last generation of showgoers — mine — and more open to this kind of thing.
Part of me wants to be the grumpy old man and tell the damn kids to get off my lawn, but on the other hand, fuck it, good for the bands. If Weedeater can pack a house in NYC and have people moshing to songs on an album that isn’t even out yet, maybe Manhattan will start getting more shows again. And if that saves me driving two hours to Brooklyn at any point, it can’t be all that bad.
Weedeater opened with the start of their new record, Jason… the Dragon, which they were also selling in advance of its release date. “The Great Unfurling” intro led into “Hammerhandle” led into “Mancoon” led into “Turkey Warlock,” and it was a violent, energetic start to the set. Guitarist Dave “Shep” Shepherd sounded huge through a spraypainted Marshall stack, and recent Obelisk interviewee “Dixie” Dave Collins might have the best bass tone in sludge. His cackling vocals seemed to be swallowed up in the distortion and groove surrounding, but he managed to cut through well enough, on more or less equal footing on the stage with Shepherd and be-dreadlocked drummer Keith “Keko” Kirkum.
The highlight of the set and the night for me was “Homecoming,” which Collins introduced by saying something like “Here’s a new song, I hope you fucking hate it.” That riff is one of the best they’ve ever come up with, and whether or not the audience had heard the track before, they dug it hard. Moshing at a stoner show. I guess that’s what happens when the kids show up.
Some bands act angry on stage, posture and look pissed off, but there’s something about the contempt with which Collins delivers his performance that makes me believe it’s genuine. And being in New York, I’m used to bands coming through who hate the town — half the time I’m there, I feel the same way, and it’s only going to take me an hour to get home — but with Weedeater, it was more than that. Some kind of drunken misanthropy-turned-rage that only got more visceral as the set wore on. Toward the end, when Collins said, “We’re gonna play a couple old songs now,” and then launched into “God Luck and Good Speed” from the 2007 album of the same name, I wondered if maybe there was a little extra edge of “fuck you” in his voice, as Weedeater had two albums out before then that, in all likelihood, the crowd wouldn’t know nearly as well.
Their Skynyrd cover of “Gimme Back My Bullets” followed “God Luck and Good Speed,” and they closed with “Weed Monkey,” also both from God Luck and Good Speed, and at the end of the set, Collins — if I heard correctly — advised everyone to “get high as eagle pussy on stilts.” Sound advice, and a little ironic after I watched Santos security drag a dude out by his hairpresumably for smoking something he shouldn’t have been, but I didn’t take it.
Instead, I headed down the block to the car and drove back to the valley to be up for work this morning, the wackiness of my recently-purchased Leeches of Lore CD keeping me company along the way. I wound up with a bunch of extra pictures from the show, so if you want to have a look, feel free after the jump.