Nate Hall and John Baizley Join Roadburn 2013 Lineup with Acoustic Performance, Art Exhibition

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 25th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Something Roadburn continues to deliver year after year is a variety of performances you can’t find anywhere else. Whether it’s a curated set, or an exclusive full-album reunion — hello, Godflesh doing all of Pure — each year at Roadburn, chances are you’re going to find something in the lineup that you’ll probably never see again. A once-in-a-lifetime show, or at very least, something at its genesis point, just happening for the first time in Tilburg.

News came down a bit ago that John Baizley of Baroness and Nate Hall of U.S. Christmas were teaming up for a set of their bands’ material plus Townes Van Zandt covers, and it’s the kind of thing that, who knows what it might lead to, maybe nothing, but whatever comes of it, the beginnings will have been something that only Roadburn managed to make come together.

Dig the word:

ROADBURN FESTIVAL 2013 PRESENTS JOHN BAIZLEY (BARONESS), NATE HALL (U.S. CHRISTMAS) + SPECIAL GUEST FOR EXCLUSIVE PERFORMANCE

We are elated to announce the exclusive performance of John Baizley (Baroness) and Nate Hall (U.S. Christmas) for coming Roadburn Festival 2013. Both will play songs of Townes Van Zandt as well as Baroness and other material from Nate Hall’s highly acclaimed solo record “A Great River”. John Baizley recorded his songs of Towns Van Zandt together with Katie Jones who will be performing with him and brings in some Violin, Cello, and other instruments as well.

John Baizley: “I am thrilled to be coming back to Roadburn to perform this year, it has been one of the supreme highlights of European tours in the past years. Roadburn is a refreshing change of pace amongst the turgid waters of European heavy-music festivals, many of which have gone the way of rampant commercialism. Roadburn remains one of the good-guys, a volunteer driven effort purely for the love and devotion to music. Earlier this year, My Proud Mountain label approached me about contributing some tracks to the second “Songs of Townes Van Zandt” covers collection. I will be sharing the stage at Roadburn this year with some of the other contributors from that upcoming release. While Baroness is preparing to resume touring, I am excited to come to Tilburg and play music that our audience may be unfamiliar with me performing. I have always been an admirer and devotee of Townes, and I hope I can come and do some of his songs justice. This will be a unique opportunity for me, as I will be holding an exhibition at Gust van Dijk Gallery in Tilburg as well.”

Nate Hall: “I have known John for years now, and we are both excited about this show. I love playing solo, and I love collaborating with my friends. I’m sure this show will be special, and will bring out the best in both of us.”

The performance is scheduled for Thursday April 18 at The Patronaat during Roadburn Festival.

JOHN BAIZLEY ART EXHIBITION ANNOUNCED

SEA Foundation in cooperation with Roadburn Festival are proud to announce: “The Virgin Spring: the Process and Work of John Dyer Baizley”. An exclusive John Baizley exhibition at gallery Gust van Dijk in Tilburg.

This will be Baizley’s first ever exhibition in Europe which will be dedicated to his process as an artist as well as a presentation of images and printed work from the past and present.

John Baizley says: “I am excited to have been given an offer to exhibit my work for the first time in Europe at Gust van Dijk Gallery in Tilburg, Netherlands this April in conjunction with Roadburn Festival. It will be the first time many of these works have been shown in public, and the show will offer a brief glimpse into my process as an artist. I’ll be giving a small presentation on the images as well, and showing a few examples of my printed work. Furthermore, this will be the first time many of these images have been seen outside their commercial context (without logos, text, or barcodes) as I’ve always believed they were meant to be seen. This is a very unique opportunity for me, as I will be showcasing a set of music at Het Patronaat stage at Roadburn Festival 2013 as well.”

The exhibition will be held from April 18 – June 1
(opening Thursday April 18 from 16-17hrs/ 4-5pm CET)
At
Gallery Gust van Dijk, Home to Contemporary Art,
Tivolistraat 22, 5017 HP Tilburg, The Netherlands
www.seafoundation.eu/Programme.html

Background info John Baizley:

Known by most as the singer and guitarist for the acclaimed band Baroness, John Dyer Baizley is also an accomplished fine artist. Responsible for nearly all the artwork and graphic design surrounding Baroness, John has also created memorable album art for bands such as Kvelertak, Kylesa, Gillian Welch, Torche and many others. Combining Art Nouveau influences like Alphonse Mucha and Aubrey Beardsley along with an encyclopedic knowledge of primitive mysticism, Pagan rites and Jungian archetypes, John arrives at a very different place with his album design than has been typically expected from the world of extreme music like Heavy Metal and Punk rock. While still embracing the seminal teenage icons like Pushead and Raymond Pettibon, John has created an alternative dialect of imagery with his work, taking us the viewer on a new path.

Roadburn Festival 2013 will run for four days from Thursday, April 18th to Sunday, April 21st, 2013 (the traditional Afterburner event) at the 013 venue and Het Patronaat in Tilburg, Holland.

Tickets for the Roadburn 2013 Afterburner are still available: http://www.roadburn.com/roadburn-2013/tickets

Please visit www.roadburn.com for more info.

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Extolling Ignorance: The Top Five Albums I Didn’t Hear in 2012

Posted in Features on January 10th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Just yesterday I was reading a news story about how scientists are regrowing hair cells (pictured above) in mice to restore hearing damage caused by loud noises. Nifty stuff and certainly something that would come in handy if and when they can actually make it work for people, but it still wouldn’t do me any good, because I’m not just talking about records I didn’t hear because I saw SunnO))) that one time without earplugs — I’m talking about albums that I didn’t hear because, for one reason or another, our paths didn’t cross at all. If you want to talk about the other kind of not hearing, ask The Patient Mrs. how loud I keep the tv at night.

But as regards those reasons: In the past when I’ve done this list, it’s usually been with some measure of shame. Last year, I had to admit I hadn’t heard Argus‘ album because I knew I’d like it and wind up buying a copy (which I finally did), and had to admit that I slept on Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. This year it’s a little different. Most of the records on this list I could’ve easily heard — if I’d wanted to hear them. In 2012, it wasn’t just that I missed stuff (though I did, I’m quite sure), but also that some stuff I just couldn’t be bothered to download the promo mp3s. You’d be amazed how often that happens.

So with that in mind, I humbly and ignorantly present my Top Five Albums I Didn’t Hear in 2012. I hope if I missed anything essential, you’ll let me know.

1. Soundgarden, King Animal

It’s a pretty rare thing for me to get a request for a review from someone neither in nor representing a band (i.e. PR or a label, etc.), and I got more than one for Soundgarden‘s reunion full-length, King Animal. I heard the record was great, but seriously, whatever. I was never a huge Soundgarden fan, and the whole tone of their getting back together left me cold — people calling them brave for putting out a rock album that everyone knows is gonna sell like mad and talking about playing arena shows in front of thousands of fans like it’s a bold decision. Sorry, but the bold decision would be for Soundgarden to have stayed broken up and for Chris Cornell to work with Timbaland again. King Animal could’ve been the best rock record of 2012 for all I know, but I’m pretty sure all I’d hear would be tuned vocals and sampled drums. Pass.

2. Baroness, Yellow and Green

I give Georgia natives Baroness the utmost respect for the heap of shit they ate as regards their luck last year, but even their tenacity in recovering from a bus accident — along with the vehement recommendations of, well, the universe — wasn’t enough to get me on board for their third album, Yellow and Green. Here’s a fun fact: Up to this point in the band’s career, I’ve owned just about everything they’ve put out, because I figured that sooner or later, I’d come around. I saw them at Emissions from the Monolith years back and picked up the First and Second EPs because I was like, “Yeah, I’ll probably start digging this band and when I do, I’ll be glad to have these.” I keep waiting for that switch to flip and it just hasn’t yet. Loves me some Valkyrie though, for what that’s worth.

3. The Sword, Apocryphon

While I’m talking about old shows, I caught Austin’s The Sword opening a Relapse Records showcase at SXSW when all they had out was a demo and thought they were bloody brilliant. I even dug Age of Winters when it came out, but my interest level diminished on the quick. I didn’t bother with 2010′s Warp Riders either, and as they made their Razor and Tie Records debut with Apocryphon in October, I barely blinked. These guys get consistent support, and I’ll give it to them that they put in their work on the road supporting what they do and always have, but in terms of what I’m going to listen to for a week straight before I review it, there’s gonna be no shortage of other Sword reviews out there and I doubt very much mine’s going to have anything revolutionary to say, so yeah, there are better ways to spend my time.

4. Rival Sons, Head Down

Maybe I could’ve climbed on board for what SoCal-based Rival Sons had to offer, but frankly the whole thing seemed a little too reality show. Like the headline says, I didn’t hear the record, but with their major label hair, purported classic rock sound and press hype, it just seemed like they were a band I was supposed to like, as if you took what makes kickass heavy rock and broke it down to Lego parts, adding a standalone moustache. I’ve heard from some reliable sources that they are indeed the shit, but the contrarian in me just wasn’t having any of Head Down. Maybe I’m wrong and next time they put out an album I’ll take a listen and have to eat my words. Wouldn’t be the first time.

5. Mark Lanegan Band, Blues Funeral

This one I legitimately regret not hearing. Former Screaming Trees vocalist and frequent Queens of the Stone Age collaborateur, Mark Lanegan has one of those voices that he probably won’t have grown into until he’s 65 years old. You know how Johnny Cash was finally old enough for his voice when he started putting out the American series, or how Tom Waits hit that line in 2011 and everyone was like “holy crap Tom Waits is the best thing ever?” I’m pretty well convinced Mark Lanegan will get there sooner or later. I got a promo of Blues Funeral, but it was a download so I didn’t bother. Too late to review it now, but maybe I’ll pick it up somewhere along the line. Maybe not. Doesn’t seem like Mr. Lanegan‘s hurting either way, unless, you know, you count the existential agonies present in his vocal delivery.

Okay, that’s it. Everything else I heard in 2012 so there you go. No, of course that’s not true. As always, there were tons of albums I missed out on — one of these days I’m gonna sit with Heavy Eyes and give them a real chance — because I’m only one man, I only have two ears, and those ears are only so willing to listen to stuff that’s not Neurosis.

Anything essential you think I missed, or anything essential that you missed that you want to add? Leave a comment below.

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Readers Poll Results: The Top 20 of 2012

Posted in Features on January 1st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Happy New Year to everyone around the world. It’s January 1, 2013, and to celebrate the New Year the best way I know how, I got right to work on tabulating the results of the 2012 Readers Poll. I’ve been tracking the results as they’ve come in over the course of December, and as you can see in the list below, it was a tight race for the top spot right up to the end.

Before we run down the finished list, I want to extend gratitude to each and every one of the 296 people who contributed their top 12 so this list could be put together. It’s an amazing response and I was super stoked that so many of you were able to take part. Thank you for that. Right from the first day the form went up, I knew this was going to be awesome, and it wound up exceeding my every expectation. It was a great sendoff to the year. Much appreciated.

Here are the results of the Top 20 of 2012 Readers Poll:

1. Om, Advaitic Songs – 108 votes

2. High on Fire, De Vermis Mysteriis – 106

3. Graveyard, Lights Out – 86

4. Neurosis, Honor Found in Decay – 65

5. Ufomammut, Oro – 63

5. Witchcraft, Legend – 63

6. Colour Haze, She Said – 56

6. Saint Vitus, Lillie: F-65 – 56

7. Kadavar, Kadavar – 49

7. Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction – 49

8. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Damned – 46

9. Baroness, Yellow and Green – 39

10. Conan, Monnos – 38

11. Swans, The Seer – 35

12. Astra, The Black Chord – 31

13. Greenleaf, Nest of Vipers – 31

13. The Sword, Apocryphon – 31

14. Royal Thunder, CVI – 26

14. Wo Fat, The Black Code – 26

15. Ancestors, In Dreams and Time – 25

16. Torche, Harmonicraft – 23

17. Corrosion of Conformity, Corrosion of Conformity – 22

18. Enslaved, Riitiir – 19

19. Goat, World Music – 18

19. Melvins Lite, Freak Puke – 18

19. Soundgarden, King Animal – 18

20. Amenra, Mass V – 17

20. Samothrace, Reverence to Stone – 17

16 Votes

Witch Mountain, Cauldron of the Wild
Rush, Clockwork Angels
Stoned Jesus, Seven Thunders Roar
Troubled Horse, Step Inside

15 Votes

Converge, All We Love We Leave Behind – 15
Mighty High, Legalize Tre Bags – 15
My Sleeping Karma, Soma – 15

Pretty wild to have Om and High on Fire so close, and they were tied for a long, long time, but Om retained an early lead and managed to pull it out in the end. As you can see, there were a number of releases that tied with others for their position. Seemed only fair to me to include all of them, and I also threw in those with 16 and 15 votes as well, just because it was close. In total, there were an astounding 1,200+ albums entered into consideration.

Once again, thanks to everyone for making this Readers Poll happen and for taking the time to be a part of it. Already looking forward to some fantastic things to come in 2013, so please stay tuned and keep your lists handy.

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Baroness Post Acoustic Footage of John Dyer Baizley and Pete Adams

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 17th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ve never been the world’s biggest Baroness fan, but if there was any band that earned respect in 2012, it’s them. Following a devastating bus crash in August, guitarists John Dyer Baizley and Pete Adams have just posted their first new footage, playing acoustic. The PR wire sent it over with some info about its origins, which you’ll find below:

BARONESS SHARE VIDEO OF JOHN BAIZLEY AND PETE ADAMS ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE

Baroness’s John Baizley and Pete Adams share an acoustic performance of “Stretchmarker” via their website (www.baronessmusic.com).  The clip, recorded in Baizley’s Philadelphia art studio (www.aperfectmonster.com), marks the first performance the band members have shared since their horrific bus accident in August.

“Simply put: it’s time to get back to it. Since my belated and thankful return to the USA (after our painful test in motor coach-aeronautics) I can definitively say I’ve exhausted my reserve of potential leisure activities (there’s not that many of them, after all).” explained Baizley. “I’ve come dreadfully close to boredom, and in those moments I can’t help but focus on my glaring physical infirmities.  Television offers little respite from this relative stasis; I’m sure by now I have sampled every biker-meth-dealer-zombie-low-talking-cop-crime-scene-serial-killer-real-housewife soap opera that is currently being broadcast (and there’s no small number of them).  I’ve tried to fill my weekly routine with as much physical therapy as possible but the truth is, PT is not fun, and its benefits come with a great deal of mental/physical/spiritual pain and struggle.  Furthermore, I believe I am getting a touch of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to my doctors and therapists (the highlight of my week should NOT involve a clinic).  Music might be the best therapy I have right now.   Perhaps it’s both the cause and the cure (the thought has crossed my mind); but I feel lost without it.  Pete and I have just spent a long week surveying our musical wreckage and, surprisingly, we are quite well and intact.  Sure, there are some substantial obstacles to overcome before we write, record or perform any time soon; but we still have everything we need to get ‘back in’ that particular ’saddle again.’  Most of my peers are familiar with such high-school-gym-teacher poeticisms as ‘risk equals reward’ and ‘no pain, no gain;’ but did any of us every really believe there was any real wisdom in those adolescent platitudes?  I didn’t.  I am, however, starting to understand the essence of these and many of our other favorite clichés.

As odd as it might be for me to write these ‘updates’ after 10 years of personal silence on the internet, I feel that I owe everyone who’s voiced or given their support to  Baroness a brief synopsis of our situation and more importantly a heartfelt thanks.  Honestly, it has made this ordeal much easier on me.  What little publicity that surrounds our crash has given voice to so many people who have shared their own stories of injury, trauma and struggle with us, and has furthered my own faith in the communicative and universal strength of music.  As every singer on every stage has nightly said, ‘we wouldn’t be where we are without you.’  Thanks everyone.  We look forward to seeing you soon.  Here’s a short clip of a song we wrote.”

Limited quantities of the Yellow & Green Deluxe 2xLP Hardbound Book Vinyl edition from the band’s personal collection are available via Baroness’s website (www.baronessmusic.com) with all proceeds going directly to the band.

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So I Finally Listened to the Baroness Record…

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

Ladies (tips hat).…Well, I should be honest. I listened to about half of Blue Record by Baroness before getting bored and deciding to shut it off and watch this week’s episode of House on the DVR. Fact is, it’s not even that bad, or bad at all, really, I just don’t like peer pressure. The Onion rated it as one of the best metal albums of the decade, it’s Decibel‘s album of the year; hell, I don’t think I’ve seen a list yet without it showing up somewhere. That’s a surefire way to turn me off.

Not to mention the pretentiousness of the thing — but I can get down with all kinds of self-indulgence in the right context, so that can’t really be an issue, can it? I guess it’s just something contrary in my nature. Just me being a dick. I own every release Baroness has put out to date. Standing in Snake Eyes Vinyl in Austin, TX, I remember vividly saying to myself, “Well, I don’t really like these guys, but maybe I will at some point, so I better buy this stuff.” That was the First and Second EPs. Then they put out Red Album and it sounded like watered-down Mastodon to me. Blue Record sounds like watered-down Mastodon that’s bought into its own press and everyone exclaiming its genius. I’ve yet to find a reason to care.

But I’m obviously in the minority as regards the band, as critics the world over have been making their shorts sticky to Blue Record since its release in October. Maybe it’s a generational thing. I’ll allow for that. But I like Torche, so it’s not like I’m against the new/hip school entirely. With Baroness though sometimes it feels like people are just kissing their ass so they can get guitarist/vocalist John Dyer Baizley to do the art for their band’s album. His art does rule, and I like guitarist Pete Adams in Valkyrie and bassist Summer Welch in Birds of Prey, so even the component parts of Baroness are inoffensive, it’s just the whole I don’t dig. Blue Record, which will probably get one or two more chances to do so before disappearing to the nether regions of shelf space , has yet to change my mind. Maybe I’ve missed the point.

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Free Baroness Listening Party Tomorrow Night

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 30th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

The children love Baroness, and though I don’t get it, I wouldn’t want that to stop anyone from checking out this combined listening party/show tomorrow night, Oct. 1, in Manhattan. They’re going to be playing the new Baroness record and there will be sets by Fight Amp, Moth Eater and Voyager, as you can see from the nifty poster below. You know you’ve been looking for an excuse to get wasted on Thursday…

That angel is praying it gets in.

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EXCLUSIVE: Ben Hogg on Making the New Birds of Prey Record

Posted in Features on February 24th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

Ben Hogg. Hard to argue with this man.A couple days ago, I sent Birds of Prey vocalist Ben Hogg (also of Beaten Back to Pure and the even more extreme Plague the Suffering) an email, asking him if he would kindly write up a feature on his experience making The Hellpreacher, the third BOP album, due out in April via Relapse. His response was a reassuring, “I’m down. Gimme a few days,” and I knew then the right choice had been made.

True to his word, a couple days later, Ben sent the following report on the origins of the band and the coming together of The Hellpreacher. After the jump, bear witness to the one and only Ben Hogg.

Read more »

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