Desert Survival: How to Do Psycho Las Vegas on a Budget

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

psycho las vegas 2017 banner

Hey, if you’re going to go broke, let’s face it: You’re not likely to run into many causes as worthy as the lineup culled together for Psycho Las Vegas. It ain’t cheap — any event that advertises a payment plan obviously knows it’s a considerable ask — but whether you’re going to see Slo Burn for their only US gig or King Diamond doing Abigail or Mulatu Astatke because going to see Mulatu Astatke is a life-event, the arguments in favor are plentiful and convincing. Whatever else you want to say, Psycho Las Vegas is the first annually-held American festival with a focus on heavy and underground rock to really establish itself as world class.

That in itself is a reason to support the cause, whether it’s through a day ticket or a pass for the entire weekend, but it doesn’t necessarily lesson the expense of making the trip or staying in one of the US’ most lucrative tourist traps, let alone things like band merchandise, meals and the occasional adult beverage if you’re inclined to have one. The thought of seeing NeurosisSleep and Carcass share a stage over the course of a weekend or watching Conan, the new trio-incarnation of Pentagram and Yawning Man poolside or from the balcony of a room in the Casino Tower is incredible, and after hearing stories from those who undertook the journey in 2016 or attended the prior Psycho California in 2015, the idea wants nothing for appeal. Fiscal issues can be a bummer. By the time August rolls around, I’ll have been out of paid work for two months. I know how it goes.

And I’m hardly the most responsible person when it comes to money, but the truth of the matter is there are ways to mitigate costs for travel, lodging and other concerns, and if the thing preventing you from picking up a ticket to the show has been the seeming impossibility of affording a stay at the Hard Rock or of finding a cheap-enough flight to get there, maybe it’s worth trying to shift finances around to make it happen. Music is important, and when debt collectors are spamming your phone it’s hard to think about the non-cash value of life experiences, but the fact is the bills you need to pay will still be there. The bill with Corrosion of Conformity in a lineup alongside Kylesa‘s Laura Pleasants, Domkraft, Swans, Elephant Tree and Heavy Temple? Much less so.

Here are a few pointers that hopefully can save you a couple bucks. Some of it’s day-one stuff, but things like hotel picks and transportation nuances are good to know either way.

Check it out:


Flying In
• Buy tickets on a Tuesday for the cheapest rates.
• Use a discount flight search.
• If you can, fly in on Thursday and leave on Monday for better rates, search different days and times to come in and leave.
• Book early. Rates go up in the summer.

Getting There
• Ride apps cost less than cabs.
• The Hard Rock is less than a mile from the airport. Cheap trip anyway.
• There are free shuttles from most Vegas hotels to the strip and tourist attractions.

Staying There
• This one is huge… don’t stay at the Hard Rock if you can’t afford it! Alexis Park, RUMOR, Red Roof Inn are all across the street and cheap. Scope out a position on a map if you need to; that’s what Street View is there for.
• Partner up to share rooms. You’ve got social media and it’s not like you’re going to do more than sleep and (hopefully) shower there anyway. Might as well join forces and save expense where you can.

• BYO. Vegas has open-container laws. If you think hooch is too expensive at the Hard Rock, get loaded on the sidewalk before you go in.
• One way or another, hydrate. You’re staying in the desert in August. Don’t be stupid.

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Lineup
Abbath, Ace Frehley, Black Anvil, Blood Ceremony, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Buzzov*en, Carcass, Celeste, Chelsea Wolfe, Cirith Ungol, Cloud Catcher, Code Orange, Conan, Corrosion of Conformity, Cough, Cult Leader, Cult Of Luna With Julie Christmas Diamond Head, Domkraft, Earthless, Elephant Tree, Eternal Tapestry, Fister, Floorian, Gatecreeper, GEQ, Gojira, Gost, Graf Orlock, Heavy Temple, Hollow Leg, Inter Arma, Khemmis, King Diamond, Laura Pleasants & Special Guests, Magma, Manilla Road, Merlin, Minsk, Morne, Mothership, Mouth of the Architect, Mulatu Astatke, Murder City Devils, Mustard Gas & Roses, Myrkur, Neurosis, North, Oathbreaker, Pelican, Pentagram, Psychic TV, The Rods, Ruby the Hatchet, Sasquatch, Saturndust, Sleep, Slo Burn, Slomatics, Snail, Sons of Otis, Sumac, Summoner, Swans, The Skull, Toke, Urchin, Usnea, Vhol, Weedeater, Windhand, Wizard Rifle, Wolves in the Throne Room, Yawning Man, Year of the Cobra, Youngblood Supercult, Zeal & Ardor.

Pentagram, “Relentless / Broken Vows” Live in Richmond, VA, 2017

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Roadburn 2015: Sets from Bongripper, Lo-Pan, Goatwhore, The Golden Grass, Bast, Primitive Man, Black Anvil, Sammal, Salem’s Pot and Scott H. Biram Available to Stream

Posted in audiObelisk on May 27th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

The Golden Grass (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It’s been more than a month now since Roadburn 2015 ended, and that means it’s time to really start digging into the audio aftermath. As always, this batch of streams was captured by Marcel van de Vondervoort and his team, and there are more than a few gems here, from Bongripper playing all of their 2014 album Miserable (review here) to The Golden Grass closing out the fest in the Green Room during the Afterburner.

I was particularly stoked this year for the Afterburner, and not the least because it meant Lo-Pan were rolling into town. The Ohio fuzz four-piece were on their first European tour at the time, capping the first leg of it with Abrahma, who played at Cul de Sac, and soon to pick up again with Black Pyramid and continue their roll, but being a fan of the band and having seen them the many times that I have, it was special to watch them take the stage at Roadburn and level the place as vigorously as they did. That set is included here, along with the devastatingly heavy likes of Primitive Man and Goatwhore, the weird stoned occultism of Salem’s Pot, and Scott H. Biram‘s one-man outlaw idolatry.

They’re all good batches, but I know I’ll look forward to reliving the Lo-Pan set and whether you hit that up or something else, I hope you enjoy:

Bast – Live at Roadburn 2015

Black Anvil – Live at Roadburn 2015

Bongripper – Live at Roadburn 2015

Goatwhore – Live at Roadburn 2015

Lo-Pan – Live at Roadburn 2015

Primitive Man – Live at Roadburn 2015

Salem’s Pot – Live at Roadburn 2015

Sammal – Live at Roadburn 2015

Scott H. Biram – Live at Roadburn 2015

The Golden Grass – Live at Roadburn 2015

Special thanks to Walter as always for letting me host the streams. To read all of this year’s Roadburn coverage, click here. For the first batch of streams, click here.

Roadburn’s website

Marcel Van De Vondervoort on Thee Facebooks

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Roadburn 2015: Eyehategod, Focus, Tombs, Black Anvil, Death Hawks and Pekko Käppi and K:H:H:L Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 14th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2015 flyer

It’s been hours, days even, since the last round of Roadburn 2015 lineup additions, so obviously we’re due. This time around, the venerable Netherlands-based fest adds two sets from volatile New Orleans sludge legends Eyehategod, proggers Focus, Brooklyn genre-twisters Tombs, their Relapse labelmates in Black Anvil and more in Death Hawks and Pekko Käppi and K:H:H:L, who are the kinds of acts who play Roadburn and then I hear them like two months later and really, really wish I’d gotten to see them. Happens every year. It’s part of the thing.

The Roadburn 2015 lineup, as you can see in the flyer above, is wildly diverse but masterfully concocted all the same, and tickets aren’t even on sale yet. The presale — during which they’ll sell out almost immediately, as they always do — starts on Thursday.

Info follows:

eyehategod roadburn 2015

Nola’s Eyehategod To Inflict Double The Anguish And Pain On Roadburn 2015

Dutch prog rock legends Focus confirmed for Ivar Bjørnson’s and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik’s Houses of the Holistic at Roadburn Festival 2015

Tombs, Black Anvil, Death Hawks and Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L have also been confirmed for Roadburn 2015.

We’re beyond excited to welcome seminal New Orleans, Louisana sluge-legends Eyehategod back to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, with two sets of their unique, Southern hardcore-blues-sludge-and-doom on Thursday, April 9 at the main stage, and in Het Patronaat, Friday, April 10.

With its hateful, hopeless, anguished vocals set against extra-slow Iommi-inspired riffing, Eyehategod are credited with founding sludge-core, one of the most vital new genres of metal to emerge from the 1990’s. Countless bands have followed their footsteps, and after more than 20 years of creating some of the most corrosive, vile music known to man, Eyehategod still hasn’t lost the piss and vinegar, propaganda, and despair that fueled them back in 1988.

Over the years, Eyehategod have had more than their fair share of hardship, and recently suffered the tragic loss of drummer and founding member, Joey LaCaze. The new, self titled release from Eyehategod, the follow up to 2000’s Confederacy Of Ruined Lives, sees LaCaze’s drum tracks appear posthumously on this classic of the genre.

The album personifies desperation and addiction in the various backwaters of forgotten America, punctuated by the N’awlins sound of rebellion and pollution resulting in triumph over adversity. Come experience transcendence through malevolence as Eyehategod deface Roadburn 2015.

We’re equally excited to announce that Dutch prog rock legends Focus have been confirmed for Houses of the Holistic, Ivar Bjørnson‘s (Enslaved) and Wardruna’s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik‘s curated Roadburn event on Friday, April 10 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

With their unique brand of progressive rock, Focus established themselves at the start of the 70s as the most successful and appreciated of all the Dutch pop-rock exports. Fronted by founding member Thijs Van Leer, and best known for their hits “Hocus Pocus”, “House of The King” and “Sylvia”, as well as critically acclaimed albums Moving Waves, Focus 3 and Hamburger Concerto, Focus regrouped with a fantastic new line up in the early 2000s, which resulted in several well received albums, like Focus 9 / New Skin and Focus X.

Focus today consists of Thijs van Leer on vocals, flute and keyboards, and famed Focus drummer Pierre van der Linden, who joined the group on their second album Moving Waves in 1972. Internationally renowned for his rhythmic skills, Pierre remains a defining factor in the Focus sound. Bassist Bobby Jacobs, who comes from an acclaimed Dutch musical family and guitarist Menno Gootjes, who participated in Focus at an earlier stage, complete the band’s current line-up.

“If you know anything about prog beyond “old Genesis, not the new stuff”, you know Focus – an extremely influential band for any band in the progressive tradition that came after them; whether its progressive Metal like we try to fool around with, or purer retro-prog (a funny combination of concepts, by the way)”, says Enslaved’s Ivar Bjørnson. “Focus embodies everything that is true “Prog” for me: the incorporation of the classical elements, the tongue-in-cheek playfulness across times, genres and geography – and of course extraordinary musicianship. These highly vital legends has also shown amazing form live these days, so having freakin’ FOCUS accepting our invitation for our curated day. To put it simple, straight-forward and un-proggy: a dream come through!!!”

Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L and Death Hawks have also been confirmed for Ivar Bjørnson’s and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik’s Houses of the Holistic on Friday, April 10.

As huge admirers of Tombs blackened ferocity, we simply couldn’t resist bringing this primordial killing machine back to the 20th edition of Roadburn on Saturday, April 11.

Straight from the filthy sewers of New York City, Black Anvil will hail death at Roadburn 2015 on Saturday, April 11.

In related news: Tickets for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival, set for April 9 – 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, will go on sale on Thursday, October 16, 2014.

Set your alarm and get ready to score your tickets at 21:00 CET! (20:00 UK | 22:00 Finland, Greece | 3pm East coast | 12pm West coast).

Ticket info:

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 four paper tickets for Roadburn Festival 2015. 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 The Machine and Radar Men From The Moon to provide the soundtrack. More info HERE.

Curated by Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Wardruna‘s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, Roadburn Festival 2015 (including Fields of the Nephilim, Skuggsjá, Enslaved, Wardruna, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin performing Dawn of The Dead and Susperia in its entirety, Zombi, Sólstafir, White Hills, Bongipper, Floor, Eyehategod and The Heads as Artist In Residence among others) will run for four days from Thursday, April 9 to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Eyehategod, Live in Brooklyn, June 7, 2014

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