Posted in Whathaveyou on February 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
If Baltimorean four-piece The Flying Eyes‘ propensity for return trips to tour Europe is anything to go by, this won’t be their last trip to South America, but you only get one chance to make a first impression as ’80s commercials once informed me, so it’s a landmark for the band all the same. Pretty much a new continent. They’ll head down to play in Argentina on March 3 — that show with Buffalo, who rock like a whole season of hurricanes — and then follow-up with five shows in Brazil on the run presented by Abraxas Produtora, based in Rio. Shirts are pressed, shows are confirmed, the poster by Victor Bezerra is duly nipple-ized. They’re ready to roll.
The Flying Eyes‘ latest release was last fall’s Leave it all Behind Sessions on Noisolution, though they also took part in Summer 2014’s four-way Heavy Psych Sounds split with Naam, White Hills and Black Rainbows (review here), and have just recently posted a new demo recorded by Noel Mueller for a song tentatively titled “Heavy Fate” that finds them, as ever, comfortably nestled somewhere between heavy psych jam-outs and classic blues-based heavy rock. After releases on World in Sound and the aforementioned Italian imprint, The Flying Eyes are probably known more abroad than here in the States, but one could hardly say that’s slowed them down. Their reach, as this latest tour proves, continues to expand.
Dates and that demo follow, culled from various updates:
Two weeks South America!!!
March 3rd- Buenos Aires, Argentina @ Uniclub March 6th- Florianopolis, Brazil @ Célula Showcase March 8th- Petropolis, Brazil @ Grito Rock Festival March 12th- Rio de Janiero, Brazil @ Rio Rock & Blues Club March 14th- Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Inferno Club March 15th- Volta Redonda, Brazil @ TOCA DO ARIGÓ
Here’s one of the new demos we recorded last weekend. Recorded and mixed by Noel Mueller.
Spirit Caravan‘s reunion last year earned them no shortage of love on both their US and European tours, and while that will no doubt continue in 2015 as the band comes together to headline gigs like the inaugural Maryland Doom Fest this June (info here) along with The Skull. The prospect of new material looms pretty large when it comes to Spirit Caravan. Their most recent outing, such as it is, is the 2003 MeteorCity compilation The Last Embrace, which culled together the bulk of their discography from their early singles as Shine on through to their final recorded tracks. That was, however, 12 years ago, and we’re even further removed from Spirit Caravan‘s classic 1999 debut, Jug Fulla Sun. What would become a landmark in Maryland-style heavy will be 16 this year — old enough to drive in some states — and while Wino certainly showed with Saint Vitus‘ 2012 reunion album, Lillie: F-65, that such outings can produce righteous results, particularly with Vitus/Spirit Caravan drummer Henry Vasquez propelling them, it remains to be seen whether Spirit Caravan will even get to the point of writing new material.
And it was three years before Vitus got to that point as well, so even if they do, there’s no guarantee such a thing would happen in 2015 or even 2016. That’s not to say it can’t — Wino‘s certainly a prolific enough cat, and one imagines bassist Dave Sherman would be on board despite his commitments with Weed is Weed and Earthride – but I’d rather err on the side of caution and call it unlikely than expect it and not have it show up. Fortunately, there’s enough documentation of both Spirit Caravan‘s reunion tours and their original run to get by in the meantime. We turn to the latter for this week’s Wino Wednesday, and find the original Spirit Caravan trio — Wino on guitar/vocals, Sherman on bass and Gary Isom on drums — live on stage at The 8×10 in Baltimore, Maryland. We don’t get the full set, or at least it looks that way since they’re tuning at the end of the video as opposed to breaking down the backline, but it’s certainly enough time for them to get their point across in cuts like “Black Flower,” “Dreamwheel” and “Retroman.”
Spirit Caravan, Live at The 8×10, Baltimore, Maryland, July 22, 2000
If time has taught us anything at all about rock and roll, it’s never say never. Shrinebuilder put out its self-titled debut in 2009 on Neurot Recordings with the staggering lineup of bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros, guitarist/vocalists Scott Kelly and Scott “Wino” Weinrich and drummer/vocalist Dale Crover, played here and there, followed-up with a single and a live record, played some more shows, and then receded. It was never intended to be a full-time project, and when they were done, everyone went back to their own bands, whether it was Sleep and Om for Cisneros, Saint Vitus for Wino, Neurosis and solo work for Kelly or the Melvins for Crover. Rumors of a second album persisted for a while and then similarly receded.
We may never get another Shrinebuilder record. Hell, we might not even get another Shrinebuilder tour, or a single show, but it seems just as likely that at some point and in some form — whether with all four of the same players or not — they’ll get together again for some purpose or other. The full set snagged for this week’s Wino Wednesday revelry was filmed by TubeVision, a long-running East Coast taper, and captures Shrinebuilder on their inaugural run from Nov. 2009, not yet a month after the release of the self-titled, live in full force at the Sonar in Baltimore, Maryland. I was fortunate enough two nights later to see Shrinebuilder take the stage in Manhattan with Rwake (review here), and while it was just over five years ago now, I can still readily recall the powerful presence they had as a band on stage and the weight the performance carried because of who it was standing up there.
They might or they might not ever do another album, but whatever winds up happening, we were lucky enough to get it once. Hope you enjoy the video:
Shrinebuilder, Live at The Sonar, Baltimore, MD, 11.13.09
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
For Darsombra‘s sake, I hope they have a really comfortable van. I thought it was pretty admirable when the Baltimore drone/video duo of Brian Daniloski and Ann Everton hit the road for 10 solid weeks earlier this year — they were awesome to watch when they opened for Floor in Allston — but the plan for 2015 goes even further. Three legs of touring, each of them more than most bands dare to take on for a year in itself, and it’s made up entirely of places the two-piece wanted to visit within the US. Fucking a.
Hard not to admire the work ethic. I guess Everton and Daniloski have just sort of figured out how to make being on the road a significant portion of their lives. They’re (rightly) calling it the “Three-Legged Monster” tour, and it starts off Feb. 12. They still have some work in putting it together and finding venues, so if you’ve got a place that needs some drones and cool visuals, hit them up. Unsurprisingly, they seem pretty flexible on the whole thing.
Jaw-dropping list of dates follows:
Darsombra’s Three-Legged Monster Tour 2015
Hi Everybody! Happy fall!
We had so much fun on our ten week tour of the United States this past spring, that we pulled out a map and counted all the cities in North America we wanted to try and visit next year. . . and it ended up being over 100 places! A little much for one fell swoop, so we’re splitting the tour up into what we have been affectionately calling the “Three-Legged Monster”.
Nothing like dreaming big! If you can help us with anything in your town, please be in touch. We’ll play in your music venue, house, gallery, bar, cave, head shop, museum, botanical conservatory, nudist colony, burn, orgy ;) …wherever we can!
And of course, as always, thank you! Thank you for encouraging us to keep doing what we do as artists, as musicians, as travelers, as friends. We’re looking forward to visiting with you all in 2015!
The proposed dates are as follows:
1st Leg: Feb 12 – Washington DC Feb 13 – Richmond VA Feb 14 – Norfolk/VA beach VA Feb 15 – Raleigh/Chapel Hill NC Feb 16 – Wilmington NC Feb 17 – Charleston/Columbia SC Feb 18 – Savannah GA Feb 19 – Jacksonville FL Feb 20 – Orlando FL Feb 21 – Miami FL Feb 22 – The Keys FL Feb 24 – St. Petersburg FL Feb 25 – FL Feb 26 – Winterhaven FL Feb 27 – Gainesville FL Feb 28 – Tallahassee FL Mar 1 – Montgomery/Birmingham AL Mar 2 – Atlanta GA Mar 3 – Athens GA Mar 4 – Chattanooga TN Mar 5 – Knoxville TN Mar 6 – Asheville NC Mar 7 – Johnson City TN Mar 8 – Winchester VA
2nd Leg: Mar 27 – Charleston WV Mar 28 – Cincinnati OH Mar 29 – Louisville/Lexington KY Mar 30 – Nashville TN Mar 31 – Memphis TN Apr 1 – Little Rock AR Apr 2 – Hot Springs/Fayetteville AR Apr 3 – Shreveport LA Apr 4 – New Orleans LA Apr 6 – Lafayette LA Apr 7 – Houston TX Apr 8 – Austin TX Apr 9 – San Antonio TX Apr 10 – Marfa TX Apr 11 – El Paso TX Apr 12 – Tucson AZ Apr 14 – Tempe AZ Apr 15 – Las Vegas NV Apr 16 – Los Angeles CA Apr 17 – So Cal CA Apr 18 – Santa Cruz CA Apr 19 – San Francisco/Oakland CA Apr 22 – Eureka CA Apr 23 – Redding CA Apr 24 – Reno/Carson City NV Apr 25 – Salt Lake City UT Apr 27 – Cheyenne/Laramie WY Apr 28 – Denver CO Apr 29 – Colorado Springs/Boulder CO Apr 30 – Santa Fe/Taos NM May 1 – Albuquerque NM May 2 – Amarillo/Lubbock TX May 3 – Oklahoma City OK May 4 – Lawrence KS May 5 – Kansas City MO May 6 – St. Louis MO May 7 – Indianapolis IN May 8 – Bloomington IN May 9 – Dayton OH
3rd Leg: Aug 14 – Philadelphia PA Aug 15 – NJ Aug 16 – NYC Aug 17 – Hartford CT Aug 18 – Providence RI Aug 19 – Boston MA Aug 20 – NH Aug 21 – Portland ME Aug 22 – Burlington VT Aug 23 – Montreal CANADA Aug 24 – Albany NY Aug 25 – Rochester/Syracuse/Utica NY Aug 26 – Buffalo NY Aug 27 – Toronto CANADA Aug 28 – Detroit MI Aug 29 – Ann Arbor MI Aug 30 – Lansing MI Aug 31 – Grand Rapids MI Sept 2 – Marquette MI Sept 3 – Duluth MI Sept 4 – Minneapolis MN Sept 5 – Fargo ND Sept 6 – Bismarck ND Sept 8 – Bozeman MT Sept 9 – Missoula MT Sept 10 – Spokane WA Sept 11 – Seattle WA Sept 12 – Portland OR Sept 14 – Bend OR Sept 15 – Boise ID Sept 17 – Billings MT Sept 18 – Rapid City SD Sept 19 – Sioux Falls SD Sept 20 – Sioux City IA Sept 21 – Omaha/Lincoln NE Sept 22 – Des Moines IA Sept 23 – Iowa City IA Sept 24 – Peoria/Ft. Wayne IN Sept 25 – Madison WI Sept 26 – Milwaukee WI Sept 27 – Chicago IL Sept 29 – Toledo OH Sept 30 – Columbus OH Oct 1 – Cleveland OH Oct 2 – Pittsburgh PA Oct 3 – Baltimore MD
Posted in Reviews on October 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Baltimore’s Soundstage is right down by the bay, so after Pentagram‘s soundcheck, I went down and looked at the water for a bit, listened to a street musician play drums on buckets of various sizes. He was alright, but the main attraction was the water. After being in the Midwest for a couple days, it’s good to be back near the coast. Even all the lakes in Michigan, rivers and whatnot on the way, there’s something different about salty water, even if it’s the kind you’d never want to get in and go for a swim. Makes the brain feel less claustrophobic, which is kind of ironic given all the open spaces in states like Ohio, Wisconsin, etc.
A five-band Wednesday night got started around 7:45PM. The sound was solid and it was the best lighting of the tour so far. I like Baltimore, have spent some significant time in the city over the years and was happy to run into Chuck Dukehart from Foghound (new stuff on the way) and Vang from Foehammer and chat for a bit. The Pilgrim opened:
Not to be confused with Rhode Island’s Pilgrim, Baltimorean five-piece The Pilgrim released their self-titled debut back in 2012 (review here), and as vocalist Mis Zill announced from the stage, this was their last show for an indeterminate amount of time. They played well and obviously had the crowd in their corner, and I recognized some of what they played from the record, which was satisfying two years after the fact. Stylistically, they’re somewhere between ’70s boogie and classic metal, the two guitars working smoothly together while the bass and drums made up a definitive rhythm section. It’s a pretty classic dynamic, but The Pilgrim wore it ably and seemed to fit as they spread out on the wide stage, Mis Zill having room for leg-up Shiva poses and/or yoga moves while pushing out high notes.
A little bit of changeup from Kings Destroy in opening with “The Mountie” from the first record into “Smokey Robinson” and “The Whittler.” The difference was notable immediately, and where “Old Yeller” often feels like the band is lurching to life, the crash-in with “The Mountie” was more immediate. At this point in the tour, it’s gonna work either way, frankly, and it did. I knew it was going to be a joy to watch these guys play every night. I don’t know if I’ve hit 20 times yet seeing them this year, but it has to be at least 15, and I’ve yet to walk away disappointed. Vocalist Steve Murphy called an audible at the end of the set, going around to guitarist Carl Porcaro, drummer Rob Sefcik, bassist Aaron Bumpus and guitarist Chris Skowronski to switch the closer from “Embers” to “Old Yeller,” and it looked pretty touch and go as to what song was about to start, but it worked out and “Old Yeller” made an excellent finale after “Casse-Tête” and the always raucous “Mr. O,” the value of which in the set isn’t to be understated in how the hook and uptick in tempo draws in a crowd on any given night, including at Soundstage.
Another tight set from Bang. “Redman,” “Our Home,” “Last Will and Testament” and others from their 1971 self-titled debut have become pretty familiar by this point in the tour, and it’s been satisfying to watch them come together over the course of these shows. Baltimore was a workman set. Bang — guitarist Frankie Gilcken, bassist/vocalist Frank Ferrara and drummer Jake Leger — got on stage and were all business from there on out, and as usual, they had a few fervent supporters in the crowd who had obviously picked up one or another of the various reissues they’ve had over the years. There was less Ferrara/Gilcken in the middle of the stage, but they were as tight as they’ve been all along anyway, and Leger‘s swinging style continues to be a perfect fit for their classic material. “Questions” closed out as it has, its resounding groove a reminder of the influence that era continues to have even now. Bang play off that well, with their vintage gear and swagger, but the prevailing vibe continues to be how glad they are to be back on stage.
Slayed. Almost to a terrifying degree. Radio Moscow have demolished stages more or less since the tour began, but I guess the difference this time around was nothing went wrong, their set wasn’t cut short, there was no hiccup and Parker Griggs, Anthony Meier and Paul Marrone could just wail on their songs. They had the best sound of the night coming out of the Soundstage P.A., and there were a couple moments — “Broke Down” is still stuck in my head, along with “250 Miles” and “Rancho Tehama Airport,” not to mention Marrone‘s drum solo in “No Good Woman,” which closed out — where you just had to step back and let out a “holy shit” at how hard they were hitting it. They’ve been a big part of the draw for this tour, and while Soundstage wasn’t as crowded as some of the other shows have been, even at its most packed, t was clear that a lot of the people who showed up were there in no small part because Radio Moscow were rolling through. They did so at top speed, impossibly tight and with zero pretense. I feel like people who don’t see this band have no idea what they’re missing.
I feel like I’m repeating myself every day, but the truth is that at this point, the tour is locked in. All four bands are delivering their show. It doesn’t really matter where they are, who’s there to see it, whatever. They get on stage and just go for it. Pentagram is no different. They came on after their foreboding intro with guitarist Victor Griffin, bassist Greg Turley and drummer Sean Saley starting “Death Row” ahead of the quick arrival of frontman Bobby Liebling, who’s never failed to carry the stage of any size on this tour, whether it was the huge church in Pittsburgh or Soundstage with the back bar blocked off. This was as close as Pentagram will come to a hometown show on this run, and Baltimore is arguably the center of their influence — or at least in the central region of it — and they put the work in to show why they’ve earned the legendary status that they have. I continue to look forward to a follow-up to Last Rites and hearing this lineup take on more lost ’70s cuts and maybe a new composition or two.
Even at the end of the night, I felt better for this show than in Pittsburgh, took a couple minutes to just sort of enjoy it and let the night soak in before load-out had to start and I drove to the Comfort Inn in North East — which is both the name of the town and its geographic location — Maryland, about 45 minutes outside Baltimore. The plan was to hang around the motel for most of the next day, since it’s a relatively short drive to Philadelphia for the show at Johnny Brenda’s, which is sold out, but you know how it goes with plans.
“He is an epic failure.” — Aaron Bumpus, about anyone, ever.
Tour ebola is better today, or at least that’s what I’ve been forcing myself to believe as I mainline vitamin C and DayQuil. Tried to pick up some more Advil as well at a truck stop along the way, but failed. I wound up trying to charge an orange juice and had to buy a York Peppermint Patty to get past the two-dollar minimum for credit cards. Feels good. Rock and roll.
Jim Pitts picked up some Who and Thin Lizzy CDs and we listened to them in the van. Probably the right call as we made our way through cold, grey, bum-you-right-out Pennsylvania. I don’t know how many different weather systems we’ve seen — it was like 75 degrees when we got to Cleveland — but it’s been at least three so far, and there are still five shows left. It’s a small wonder the van resounds with coughs.
Slow start to the day, but the good news is I slept and slept hard. I didn’t necessarily feel like I had a choice in that — it was going to happen whether I wanted it to or not — but I’m glad it did. There was about an hour to kill before we left out of New Stanton, where we stayed last night, and headed to Baltimore, so I nodded back off after showering as well. The more the merrier, even if I continued to wake myself up coughing, and likely Carl as well, who has the misfortune to be sharing my room.
Trip to Baltimore was uneventful in the extreme except for Aaron introducing all of us to Mandrill Is, the 1971 second album from NYC’s Mandrill, who ran a line between funk and soul and rock and about five other genres before they were done. I was way into it. Pretty expensive on CD, but I’ll keep my eyes open for a copy. We stopped at a music store so Rob could get a backup head for his kick drum, and there was a barbecue pub right next door so the pre-show meal was had there. Early dinner, I guess. I had yet another in my ongoing series of chicken caesar salads. Chicken was good but the salad itself had almost no dressing on it. I didn’t care. I’ll take raw ruffage at this point. As long as it’s not from a gas station. Jim also bought dinner for everyone, which was very kind, but I threw in cash for myself since it didn’t feel right. Dude certainly doesn’t owe me anything and it’s not like I’m in the band. I don’t know.
Baltimore’s own The Pilgrim are opening the show tonight at Soundstage, so it’s five bands. I remember their self-titled CD from a couple years back was cool, so it will be interesting to see them live and see where they’re at now. Pentagram were soundchecking when we got here and I got to hear them do “Walk in the Blue Light,” which was right on because it’s a good song and though it’s written on the setlist for each night, they haven’t actually been playing it, I guess opting for the Animals cover instead. No complaints there, but if it was one or the other, I’d probably take the original. Whatever my druthers are worth in things like salads and Pentagram setlists.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 12th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Baltimorean ambassadors of bluesy heavy psych The Flying Eyes have nailed down the remaining dates from their previously announced “Baltimore Invasion” tour of Europe, set to launch next month. They’ll be joined on their latest Euro trek by Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children, and while I’ve yet to see any word of what it might actually entail, they’ve posted what looks like cover art for something called Leave it all Behind Sessions, which presumably would be a new release of one kind or another. They keep busy anyway, so it’s not surprising they’d have something coming out, and both their style and dynamic is suited to live recording, so if that’s what it is, all the better. I’d take a collection of B-sides as well, or, you know, whatever.
Full routing for the tour follows. It looks to be a beast, but that’s nothing new for these guys:
The “Baltimore Invasion Tour” is complete!!! New shows added in France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Luxemburg…
All shows supported by LAZLO LEE & THE MOTHERLESS CHILDREN!
Presented by eclipsed, Slam, Stonerrock.eu and Magnificent Music:
18.09.2014 – DE Essen, Panic Room 19.09.2014 – NL Leeuwarden, Asteriks 20.09.2014 – DE Mannheim, Mohawk Open Air 21.09.2014 – DE Karlsruhe, Alte Hackerei 22.09.2014 – DE Köln, Sonic Ballroom 23.09.2014 – FR Chambéry, Le Brin De 24.09.2014 – ES Zaragoza, Ley Seca 25.09.2014 – ES Barcelona, Rocksound 26.09.2014 – ES Gijon, Casino Acapulco 27.09.2014 – ES Burgos, Estudio 27 01.10.2014 – CH Zürich, Kuba 02.10.2014 – CH Olten, Le Coq D’Or 03.10.2014 – CH Luzern, Bruch Brothers 04.10.2014 – CH Frauenfeld, Kaff 06.10.2014 – CZ Praha, Klub 007 07.10.2014 – AT Wien, Arena 08.10.2014 – SK Bratislava, Uocka 09.10.2014 – DE Jena, Kuba 10.10.2014 – DE Dresden, Beatpol 11.10.2014 – DE Stuttgart, Goldmarks 13.10.2014 – LU Luxemburg, Rocas 15.10.2014 – DE Würzburg, Café Cairo 16.10.2014 – DE München, Backstage 17.10.2014 – DE Frankfurt/Main, Sky High Festival @ Das Bett 18.10.2014 – DE Leipzig, UT Connewitz 19.10.2014 – PL Wroclaw, Disorder 20.10.2014 – DE Hamburg, Hafenklang 21.10.2014 – DE Kiel, Schaubude 22.10.2014 – DK Aalborg, 1000 Fryd 23.10.2014 – DE Bielefeld, Forum 24.10.2014 – DE Berlin, Cassiopeia 25.10.2014 – DE Lübeck, Treibsand
Posted in Whathaveyou on July 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Baltimore heavy psych rockers The Flying Eyes have announced plans to return to Europe this fall for more touring. They were there late last summer with Golden Animalsand will be joined this time by Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children, with whom the band has shared the stage at the Moving the Earth fest. The Flying Eyes were most recently heard from on a Heavy Psych Sounds four-way split with Naam, Black Rainbows and White Hills (review here) and their most recent full-length was last summer’s sun-soaked Lowlands(review here), which delved into natural-sounding blues rock without losing a classically-influenced edge. They are, simply put, a better band than people seem to know.