audiObelisk Transmission 034

Posted in Podcasts on January 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

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Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

I was all set to pat myself on the back for making a podcast and posting it when someone might actually see it, unlike the last two (033 and 032), which rather impractically both went up on the eve of a major holiday, and then I remembered today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Whoops. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Oh well. There’s always next month.

This one took kind of a strange and fun turn in the making and got very languid, very spaced out and sort of dreamy but still heavy in the bottom end. We start out with new stuff from We Hunt Buffalo, Truckfighters and Dwellers right in a row, and I guess that set the tone for a heavy roll that carried through a lot of the rest of the nearly-two-hour span. Not a complaint. I think it flows really well, and of course I hope you do too.

Once again, no real theme, though in addition to the aforementioned, you’ll also find new tracks from Sahg, Papir, Radar Men from the Moon, Pontiak and The Wounded Kings, the latter providing a grim finish after All Them Witches and Black Skies offer prime terrestrial psychedelia. It’s a good mix, all told. It grooves. It nods.

First Hour:
We Hunt Buffalo, “Blood from a Stone” from Blood from a Stone (2014)
Truckfighters, “Get Lifted” from Universe (2014)
Dwellers, “Creature Comfort” from Pagan Fruit (2014)
Salitter, “But I am Not Consoled” from Salitter EP (2013)
Papir, “I” from IIII (2014)
Radar Men from the Moon, “Surrealist Appearance” from Strange Wave Galore (2014)
The Ravenna Arsenal, “The Desert Shows No Mercy” from I (2013)
Pontiak, “Surrounded by Diamonds” from Innocence (2014)
Sahg, “Blizzardborne” from Delusions of Grandeur (2014)

Second Hour:
Doctor Cyclops, “Cobweb Hands” from Oscuropasso (2014)
Mammatus, “Brainbow/Brain-Train” from Heady Mental (2013)
Sun Voyager, “Space Queen” from Mecca (2013)
All Them Witches, “Swallowed by the Sea” from Lightning at the Door (2013)
Black Skies, “Lifeblood” from Circadian Meditations (2013)
The Wounded Kings, “Consolamentum” from Consolamentum (2014)

Total running time: 1:58:52

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 034

 

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Black Skies, Circadian Meditations: Crowned in Stars

Posted in Reviews on November 26th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Whether or not Black Skies had Richard Strauss in mind when they put together the introduction of “Lifeblood” that opens their second full-length, Circadian Meditations, I don’t know, but there’s a definite resemblance to that composer’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” AKA the main theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey. That would be fitting as well with the North Carolina three-piece’s space-themed artwork and the overall more psychedelic approach that comes up throughout the album, but life is rarely that neat. Still, the Circadian Meditations opener arrives with enough circumstance to make the actual start of the song feel like an event, and as the rest of the 37-minute LP plays out, it gets easier to think of it that way. “Lifeblood” is the longest track on the record at 10:08 (immediate points), and together with closer “The Dusk/Invisible Fingers” (9:21), forms an apparent bookend around shorter songs that had me searching the final moments for similar crashes and guitar noise. I didn’t find them, but what was there satisfied anyway, as does entirety of Circadian Meditations, as the Black Skies core duo of bassist/vocalist Michelle Temple and guitarist/vocalist Kevin Clark (also synth and shruti box drones) — joined here by drummer John Crouch, imported from somewhat likeminded North Carolinian outfit Caltrop in apparent place of Tim Herzog, who played on 2011′s On the Wings of Time debut LP — have gracefully expanded their aesthetic reach without sacrificing either the spaciousness of the recording (helmed like the last one by Kyle Spence of Harvey Milk) or losing the impact of the songs to excessive indulgences. Not that the album doesn’t have any, it’s just that as Temple and Clark trade vocal lines back and forth once “Lifeblood” gets underway, they’re quick to engage with warm tones, hypnotic riff repetitions and the aforementioned vocal tradeoffs. The sense of movement is palpable throughout “Lifeblood” — knowing his work in Caltrop, part of that credit has to go to Crouch – and still the band is able to hone in on a contemplative, exploratory feel. In that way, the opener sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the album to follow.

A smooth build brings “Lifeblood” to an apex topped with wah-soaked guitar leads propelled by Crouch‘s punctuating snare and held steady via Temple‘s rumbling bassline. The rush toward the end, the cycles it goes through, sound a bit like space rock, but that’s a designation that would seem to pull away from the earthiness of their tones, which isn’t to be understated. “Celestial Coronation,” which follows the opener, features one of the album’s best choruses, with shades of what always worked best about Kylesa being repurposed into a structure that loses none of its appeal for telegraphing its moves through the first two verses, whereupon it departs to a brooding instrumental stretch that in turn shifts back first to a solo over the chorus riff and then to the hook itself, rounding out in traditional fashion a construction given a more avant feel by the subdued psychedelic wandering of the last minute-plus which devolves as the drums get softer into a kind of measure-by-measure lull, ultimately ringing out to silence. On a lot of records, this would be standard trickery. The band puts you to sleep in order to wake you up again. Black Skies, to their credit, play it differently. “The Dawn,” which would seem to be the end of a vinyl side A, is a two-minute pastoral exploration led by Clark‘s guitar, and even when Temple and Crouch crash in after about 40 seconds, the serene vibe is maintained, a patient sway holding some tension but keeping steady to a sustained final rumble and another few seconds of quiet. There isn’t a physical pressing of Circadian Meditations yet, though one can only imagine it’s bound for the aforementioned vinyl if not both that and CD (I’ll be the last holdout hoping for CD), but it’s worth noting that the experience of “The Dawn” into “Black C” would be completely different were the album to be broken up onto two sides. In the linear, digital version, it’s a sudden kick after a moment of peace. If one had to flip a record between, to be pulled out of that moment by the physical act might play into the effectiveness of “Black C”‘s swaggering launch.

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If You Only Download Seven Releases Today…

Posted in Features on November 19th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

It happened at the start of last month that there was a Tuesday during which I was so overwhelmed by the sheer awesomeness of the releases available that I had no choice but to present a rundown of all of them. No choice. You would ask, “Couldn’t you just –” and I would cut you off to say, “No I couldn’t.” It had to be all of them.

So it is today. Last night, Young Hunter posted a new EP, and Across Tundras guitarist/vocalist Tanner Olson released a new folk/Americana solo outing, and today has been more or less an onslaught of “out today!” and “don’t miss it!” and so on. Well, I’ve whittled what I’m sure is an incomplete list down to seven brand new releases currently available for download. Some of them — like the Stone Machine Electric and Tanner Olson — are pay-what-you-will, but even those asking for a cash deposit should prove well worth the investment. You can always get a sampling beforehand, and I’ve included players below to facilitate.

Here we go:

1. Black Skies, Circadian Meditations


This one’s a gem. The North Carolina duo of guitarist/vocalist Kevin Clark and bassist/vocalist Michelle Temple teamed up with Caltrop drummer John Crouch and the result is a more patient collection and exploratory feel than that which reared itself on 2011′s On the Wings of Time debut. Progressive but not pretentious, atmospheric but not letting go of its rocking side, it’s an album that begs for multiple listens and satisfies even more with them. Both Clark and Temple come off as more confident on vocals, and extended bookends “Lifeblood” (the 10-minute opener) and “The Dusk/Invisible Figures” (the nine-minute closer) showcase a burgeoning affinity for heavy psych mindgaming. It’s as much fun as it is a journey. Get it here.

Black Skies, Circadian Meditations (2013)

2. T.G. Olson, The Bad Lands to Cross


If you haven’t yet started to obsessively keep tabs on the Across Tundras/T.G. Olson Bandcamp page, it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Olson is a prolific and experimental songwriter, and as much as he works in the traditional forms of country twang and Americana spaciousness, so too does he bend those elements to the will of his material. His latest outing, The Bad Lands to Cross, is a relic waiting to be unearthed. Recorded live with one Shure SM57 microphone, it’s an hour long collection as prone to beauty as tragedy, songs like “Return from the Brink” hovering somewhere between the canyon sides of the anxious and secure. He sings, which he doesn’t on all of his solo releases (see The Complete Blood Meridian for Electric Drone Guitar), and one might consider The Bad Lands to Cross a spiritual companion to Across Tundras‘ 2013 outing, Electric Relics (review here), but it more than stands on its own, whether it’s the minimalist folk of “Rarefied Blue” or the harmonica-laden melancholy of the Gene Clark cover, “Some Misunderstanding.” Get it here.

T.G. Olson, The Bad Lands to Cross (2013)

3. Sandrider, Godhead


Sandrider are the antidote to stagnation. Their second album for Good to Die Records, Godhead (review here), pummels with reckless glee and abandon, but don’t let that lead you to believe it isn’t also precise. The post-Akimbo three-piece of drummer Nat Damm, guitarist/vocalist Jon Weisnewski and bassist/vocalist Jesse Roberts returned to Matt Bayles to record the follow-up of their clarion 2011 self-titled debut (review here), and the continued partnership found Sandrider all the more gnarly and aggressive, but also with a development in their melodic sensibility to match. Songs like the opener “Ruiner” and punkish “Champions” are an unabashed good time — get loaded and call them “epic” — and cuts like “Godhead” and the closer “Traveler” work in more complex terrain, showing the dynamic at work between all three members of the band, each of whom proves essential in crafting the atmosphere of the whole. Listen to it for a party or for thinky-thinky bludgeoning. Either way you don’t lose. Also available on gatefold vinyl. Get it here.

Sandrider, Godhead (2013)

4. Second Grave, Antithesis

They call it an EP, but it eats like a full-length. Fronted by former Warhorse guitarist/vocalist Krista van Guilder and featuring Black Pyramid/The Scimitar bassist Dave Gein along with guitarist Chris Drzal and drummer Chuck Ferreira, Second Grave revel in doomed atmospheres and heavy metal stoicism. Their Antithesis EP follows last year’s self-titled debut outing (review here) and over the course of its two tracks, “Mourning Light” (6:37) and “Drink the Water” (11:41), it showcases what’s working in the band’s quickly solidifying approach, whether it’s the solo and riff interplay of the two guitars, undulating heavy grooves in the bass and drums, or van Guilder‘s propensity for throwing in ripping screams along with her melodic clean singing. The more rocking “Mourning Light” and “Drink the Water” play out the duality shown on the Cory John Heisson artwork, and recording by Black Pyramid‘s Clay Neely at Black Coffee Sound and a mastering job from Revelation‘s John Brenner wrap Antithesis up as a doom metaller’s delight in style and affiliation. Get it here.

Second Grave, Antithesis (2013)

5. Stone Machine Electric, 2013.02.07


When Arlington, Texas, riffers Stone Machine Electric released their self-titled full-length (review here) in January 2013, they had recently added third member Mark Cook on Warr guitar. Cook didn’t appear on that album, which was produced by Wo Fat‘s Kent Stump, and is seemingly since out of the band, but was on board alongside guitarist/vocalist William “Dub” Irvin and drummer Kitchens for this recorded show, which as the title would indicate was taped on Feb. 7, 2013. They were at The Grotto that night in Ft. Worth, and they played a considerable set. 2013.02.07 clocks in at 53 minutes, and extended pieces like “Carve” and “No/W/Here” give the trio plenty of space to jam out. Naturally, they take advantage, and though the lineup was new and the recording is rough, what purports to be the first in a series of free live albums from Stone Machine Electric seems to come as a document of an already bygone moment. One hopes their lineup issues get sorted soon one way or another so they can follow 2013.02.07 and the self-titled in good time. Get it here.

Stone Machine Electric, 2013.02.07 (2013)

6. Summoner, Atlantian


Didn’t I just write about this album? Well yes, yes I did. Summoner‘s second offering under the moniker and third overall, Atlantian (released by Magnetic Eye Records), is an ambitious and unrepentantly proggy heavy rock record. You’ll find some riffy thrust on “Horns of War,” but notice that they lead with “The Gatekeeper,” a track which couples its big-bigger-biggest plod with some of Summoner‘s most accomplished melodicism to date. Atmospheric explorations like “Changing Tides” (presumably the end of side A on the vinyl) and peaceful closer “Taken by the Sea” show the Boston foursome branching out beyond the reaches even of 2012′s Phoenix, and while the crushing progressions of “Into the Abyss” and the forward rush of “The Prophecy” offer contrast to these sleepier stretches — too substantial and precariously placed to be interludes — the full-album flow that runs across Atlantian demonstrates in no uncertain terms just how far Summoner have come since starting out as Riff Cannon with 2009′s Mercury Mountain. Get it here.

Summoner, Atlantian (2013)

7. Young Hunter, Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain


With no more ceremony than a quick, “Hey this is out now,” Young Hunter casually released a three-song follow-up to their wildly impressive 2012 full-length, Stone Tools (discussed here). I’ve gone back to that album often since I first heard it, and Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain is a terrifyingly solid answer to the formative work the doubly-drummed seven-piece did on their debut, whether it’s the mountain gothic stomp of “Welcome to Nothing” or spacious sway of the ensuing “Trail of Tears,” which is dark and otherworldly but tied to the cold clarity of a desert night all the same, picking up in its second half to a joyous guitar-led ritualizing that legitimately earns a Neurosis comparison more than most of what gets compared to Neurosis these days. Rounding out with the moody, percussion-led “Dreamer,” Young Hunter showcase a bit of drama to go with the intensity presented elsewhere, launching into full-bore thickness and fervent, desperate shouts. Someone needs to sign this band immediately. Tee Pee? Hell, Neurot? Someone’s gotta step up. This is too good. Reportedly a new lineup is in construction as guitarist/vocalist Benjamin Blake (and maybe others) has relocated from Arizona to Portland, Oregon (of course), and these tracks will be used as part of a split tape with Ohioan, but they’re free now, so go to. Get it here.

Young Hunter, Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain (2013)

Happy listening. If there’s anything I missed, please let me know in the comments.

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Black Skies Head to the Woods in “Celestial Coronation” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 12th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Look, science has proven over and over that the woods are the best place to shoot a video. North Carolina’s Black Skies know this, and so their new clip for “Celestial Coronation” from the forthcoming Circadian Meditations (more info here) also reflects what studies in well reputed academic journals have shown time and time again: Hanging out in the forest kicks ass.

While we’re working on a boot-to-cheek thematic, it’s worth noting that Circadian Meditations hits next Tuesday, Nov. 19, and the fucking thing smokes. Vibe for days. It’s consuming and psychedelic, but as the track “Celestial Coronation” contained in the video below shows, it’s also got a bit of that post-Kylesa churn to it that 2011′s On the Wings of Time also showcased. Some of the best moments on the new one though aren’t in the driving push — that’s not the discount the work of Caltrop drummer John Crouch, who joined guitarist/vocalist Kevin Clark and bassist/vocalist Michelle Temple for the album — but  reside in the exploration of parts, in those moments right after the release of the tension so ably built is over and band and music alike seem to be taking a satisfied breath. You can hear it at the end of “Celestial Coronation.”

Hopefully in the next couple weeks (or seven months if my current pacing is anything go by) I’ll get a review of the record itself up. I just keep listening to it for the time being, so you’ll hopefully forgive me a period of unfettered enjoyment while I get to know it better. Ahead of next Tuesday’s release, please feel free to dig into the homemade video for “Celestial Coronation” and ponder the correlation between being crowned in heavens and still stomping around on dried leaves among Appalachian hilltops. We live in a wonderful age.

Enjoy:

Black Skies, “Celestial Coronation” official video

Black Skies on Bandcamp

Black Skies on Thee Facebooks

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Black Skies to Release Circadian Meditations on Nov. 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 29th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

There’s little I enjoy more than some out-of-the-blue awesome news, and word of the new Black Skies album, Circadian Meditations, and the new track “Time Lord” now streaming definitely qualify. Black Skies will release the follow-up to 2011′s On the Wings of Time (discussed here) on Nov. 19 digitally and put proceeds from download sales toward an eventual vinyl issue. Founders Michelle Temple and Kevin Clark joined forces with Caltrop drummer John Crouch for the recording of Circadian Meditations, which was helmed by Kyle Spence of Harvey Milk and, true to the band’s stated intentions below, follows a more meditative, exploratory and psychedelic course. I’m just hearing it for the first time as I type this, but so far I dig it.

Here’s PR wire info and “Time Lord” so you can keep an eye and ear out:

new Black Skies releases

Circadian Meditations, the latest full length by Black Skies, will be released digitally Tuesday, November 19th. The album expands on the psychedelic leanings of the band’s 2011 release On The Wings Of Time. The group returned to Athens, GA in May to again record with Harvey Milk’s Kyle Spence. Joining founding Black Skies members Kevin Clark & Michelle Temple for this session was drummer John Crouch (Caltrop, Solar Halos, Horseback). Showcasing experimentation, while not abandoning the heavy elements of their sound, Circadian Meditations displays a musical & spiritual evolution for the band. With careful consideration to the sequencing of the songs, as well as the use of ambient sounds, short acoustic instrumental movements, and drones from an Indian shruti box to create transitions, Circadian Meditations is meant to be listened to as a full, flowing cohesive piece rather than a scattered collection of songs.

We are also releasing a digital single featuring an unreleased track, “Echoes In The Void” b/w “Dead Batteries” (previously released on a Digguptapes limited edition split cassingle with Caltrop). Both songs were recorded with Nick Petersen at Track & Field Recording Studio and feature Tim Herzog (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Milemarker, DesArk) on drums. As an added bonus to our fans who purchase the download of Circadian Meditations, we will include a free download of this single. You can listen to these songs here: https://blackskies.bandcamp.com/album/echoes-in-the-void-b-w-dead-batteries

There have already been a number of people inquiring about the vinyl release of Circadian Meditations, so we want to let you all know that we definitely aim to get this out on vinyl ASAP. Every cent we make from selling this album digitally will be going toward making that happen.

Thank you all for your continued support & we hope you enjoy the music!

https://www.facebook.com/blackskiesnc
https://blackskies.bandcamp.com

Black Skies, “Time Lord” from Circadian Meditations (2013)

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Black Skies and Caltrop to Tour to the West Coast

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 19th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

The only bummer about the news that North Carolinian acts Black Skies and Caltrop have teamed up for a tour is that they’re not coming north and playing a show with Hull. I guess you can’t win ‘em all, and good for you West Coast types getting these bands out your way. Why shouldn’t Long Beach have the best weather in the universe and killer gigs? Seems only fair.

Black Skies‘ last album, On the Wings of Time, will be a year old by the time this tour is over. I never gave it a proper review (to my regret), but it’s a solid record and I’ve included the stream from their Bandcamp page below if you want to check it out. Caltrop‘s latest, Ten Million Years and Eight Minutes (review here), was also a hoot.

Here are the dates [PLEASE NOTE: Dates updated as of Sept. 24]:

North Carolina bands Caltrop and Black Skies announce Fall tour dates

Friends through the North Carolina Triangle Area metal scene, Black Skies and Caltrop were obvious tour mates as the two both share psychedelic sludge leanings and Southern heavy rock roots. This November, the two bands will hit the road for a coast-to-coast tour.

Oct 31 – Lexington, KY @ Sidecar
Nov 1 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s Music Joint
Nov 2 – Iowa City, IA @ Gabe’s
Nov 3 – Omaha, NE @ The Sandbox
Nov 4 – Denver, CO @ Aqualung’s
Nov 5 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge
Nov 6 – Boise, ID @ The Shredder
Nov 7 – Seattle, WA @ The Comet
Nov 8 – Portland, OR @ Plan B
Nov 9 – Eureka, CA @ Little Red Lion
Nov 10 – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
Nov 11 – Long Beach, CA @ Blue Café
Nov 12 – Tempe, AZ @ Yucca
Nov 13 – Albuquerque, NM @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge
Nov 14 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
Nov 15 – Texarkana, AR @ Arrow Bar
Nov 17 – Atlanta, GA @ 529
Nov 18 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Chapel Hill Underground

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audiObelisk: Black Skies Premiere New Song From Upcoming Album

Posted in audiObelisk on May 12th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

What’s that you say? You didn’t even realize North Carolinian trio Black Skies were recording a new album? Well, that just goes to show you how new this shit is. Information is minimal. I don’t yet know when this is coming out, or on what label, but the full-length is called On the Wings of Time, and it was recorded by Kyle Spence of Georgian avant doomers Harvey Milk.

You can hear that in the song, which is called “Valley of the Kings.” It has that high-ceiling-room sound in the drums that Harvey Milk make the most of on their own offerings, and a raw but still distinguished feel. Guitarist/vocalist Kevin Clark would seem to be in the lead across the track’s formidable nine-minutes, but that’s not at all to discount the groove that bassist/vocalist Michelle Temple and drummer Tim Herzog inject into the latter half’s long instrumental finale.

I’d go on, but I’m sure I’ll have more about On the Wings of Time to come, so here’s the song, followed by Black Skies‘ latest batch of tour dates. What an amazing coincidence that the tour kicks off tonight! You’d think these things were planned in advance or something…

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Black Skies Live – May/June 2011:
05/12 The Milestone Charlotte, NC w/ Trade, Towering Pyre
05/13 The Crayola House Harrisonburg, VA w/ Backwoods Payback, Earthling, Trade
05/14 Strange Matter Richmond, VA w/ Backwoods Payback
05/15 Mojo Main Newark, DE w/ Backwoods Payback, Holy Dirt, Bubonic Bear
05/16 AS220 Providence, RI w/ Woozy, She Rides, Villainer
05/17 O’Brien’s Boston, MA w/ Phantom Glue, The Proselyte, Jack Burton vs David Lopan
05/18 Flask Lounge Portland, ME
05/19 Elm Bar New Haven, CT w/ Atrina
05/20 Acheron Brooklyn, NY
05/21 31st Street Pub Pittsburgh, PA w/ Rogue Vessel, Oktober
05/22 Carabar Columbus, OH w/ Prosanctus Inferi, Witchaven, Nocturnal, Locusta
05/23 The Green Lantern Lexington, KY w/ Stampede, Below
05/24 Southgate House Indianapolis, IN w/ Mala In Se, New Third Worlds
05/25 The Pilot Light Knoxville, KY w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers
05/26 The Get Down Asheville, NC w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers, Caltrop
05/27 King’s Raleigh, NC w/ US Christmas, Caltrop, Royal Thunder
05/28 Will’s Pub Orlando, FL w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder, Druid Lord, Junior Bruce
05/29 C-Level Panama City Beach, FL w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder, Death Before Dying
05/30 Siberia NOLA w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder
05/31 Hi-Tone Memphis, TN w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder
06/01 The Nick Birmingham, AL w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder
06/02 529 Atlanta, GA w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder, Sons of Tonatiuh
06/03 Caledonia Lounge Athens, GA w/ Caltrop
06/04 The Jinx Savannah, GA w/ Caltrop

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Black Skies to Play a Bunch of Dates, with a Bunch of Bands

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 25th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

Because there’s roughly no money to be made on the road or anywhere else for that matter, longer tours are a rarity, so to see a band like North Carolinian outfit Black Skies hitting the road as hard as they are — before their album is even out — is encouraging. And they’re playing with some killer acts as well, so make sure you check out the slew of dates below and if they’re going to be where you are, show up and buy something. Hell, you know the drill by now.

If it’s news, it’s gotta be the PR wire:

Heavy North Carolina trio, Black Skies, are pleased to announce a near-month long US tour set to commence on May 12 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The trek will steamroll it’s way through 22 cities – including several East Coast locales they’ve yet to play — before drawing to a ceremonious close in Savannah, Georgia.

Said guitarist/vocalist Kevin Clark of the upcoming bout of live dates: “We are extremely pleased to be spending some time playing across the Eastern part of the country. The last several tours required us to make our way West as quickly as possible due to time constraints, so we haven’t been to some of the places we will be hitting on this tour in far too long. We are also thrilled to spend a good portion of the trek with some of our favorite bands and people: Backwoods Payback, Caltrop, Royal Thunder, and US Christmas. We hope to have a few more songs ready to go for this trip as well. Tim had just joined the band before the last tour — we literally had four rehearsals together before leaving on tour for a month — so we were limited to the same set pretty much every night. Since then, we’ve had time to rework some of those songs and write a few new ones. This will allow us to keep things fresh and interesting, while also being able to play songs we feel would be more appropriate to the audience’s energy at any given show.”

The band — Clark, Tim Herzog (drums) and Michelle Temple (bass, vocals, booking) — will be touring in support of their soon-to-be-issued new full-length, On the Wings of Time. The follow-up to 2008′s Hexagon EP, On the Wings of Time was recorded, produced and mastered by Harvey Milk‘s Kyle Spence at his own RJS studios in Athens, Georgia.

Black Skies Live – May/June 2011:
05/12 The Milestone Charlotte, NC w/ Trade, Towering Pyre
05/13 The Crayola House Harrisonburg, VA w/ Backwoods Payback, Earthling, Trade
05/14 Strange Matter Richmond, VA w/ Backwoods Payback
05/15 Mojo Main Newark, DE w/ Backwoods Payback, Holy Dirt, Bubonic Bear
05/16 AS220 Providence, RI w/ Woozy, She Rides, Villainer
05/17 O’Brien’s Boston, MA w/ Phantom Glue, The Proselyte, Jack Burton vs David Lopan
05/18 Flask Lounge Portland, ME
05/19 Elm Bar New Haven, CT w/ Atrina
05/20 Acheron Brooklyn, NY
05/21 31st Street Pub Pittsburgh, PA w/ Rogue Vessel, Oktober
05/22 Carabar Columbus, OH w/ Prosanctus Inferi, Witchaven, Nocturnal, Locusta
05/23 The Green Lantern Lexington, KY w/ Stampede, Below
05/24 Southgate House Indianapolis, IN w/ Mala In Se, New Third Worlds
05/25 The Pilot Light Knoxville, KY w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers
05/26 The Get Down Asheville, NC w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers, Caltrop
05/27 King’s Raleigh, NC w/ US Christmas, Caltrop, Royal Thunder
05/28 Will’s Pub Orlando, FL w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder, Druid Lord, Junior Bruce
05/29 C-Level Panama City Beach, FL w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder, Death Before Dying
05/30 Siberia NOLA w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder
05/31 Hi-Tone Memphis, TN w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder
06/01 The Nick Birmingham, AL w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder
06/02 529 Atlanta, GA w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder, Sons of Tonatiuh
06/03 Caledonia Lounge Athens, GA w/ Caltrop
06/04 The Jinx Savannah, GA w/ Caltrop

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Black Skies Headed West

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 10th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

Apparently Black Skies released an EP called Hexagon last year through I’m Better Than Everyone Records on vinyl only, which explains why I never heard it. Nonetheless, the Chapel Hill natives are headed out on tour and it seems the very least I can do to post the dates. Just because you have no idea who they are doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go see them. Live a little. Check out their MySpace if you have to be prepared for everything.

This just off the PR wire:

North Carolina disciples of doom, Black Skies, are set to embark on a US tour throughout the month of July. Founding members Kevin Clark and Michelle Temple will be joined by ex-Des Ark drummer/Kevin’s former roommate Tim Herzog. Black Skies‘ new material retains the heaviness of their earlier work, with more dynamic song structures and a psychedelic edge creating a more interesting overall sound. Following the tour, the band will begin preparations for recording what they hope to be their best release to date.

Says guitarist Kevin Clark of the upcoming trek: “We’ve had our share of ups and downs over the past 12 months, but getting out West last year was without a doubt one of the better moments. We are thrilled to be heading out there again this summer, seeing the faces and places that made it such a blast. We played with a lot of great bands and met a lot of awesome souls with a true love and hunger for music. Those people are a big part of the drive for us to continue doing what we love to do, and we are eternally grateful for them.”

Black Skies tour dates:
6/27/2010 Local 506Chapel Hill, NC (pre-tour kick off show)
7/01/2010 The Smiling MoosePittsburgh, PA

7/02/2010 The SummitColumbus, OH

7/03/2010 Cobra LoungeChicago, IL
7/04/2010 The FrequencyMadison, WI
7/05/2010 Blue Moose Tap HouseIowa City, IA

7/06/2010 TBA – Lincoln, NE

7/07/2010 3 Kings TavernDenver, CO

7/08/2010 Burt’s Tiki LoungeSalt Lake City, UT

7/09/2010 Rocky CanyonBoise, ID

7/10/2010 The CometSeattle, WA

7/11/2010 RotturePortland, OR

7/12/2010 TBA – Ashland, OR

7/13/2010 The Hemlock TavernSan Francisco, CA

7/14/2010 The Stork ClubOakland, CA

7/15/2010 TBA – Cayucos, CA

7/16/2010 Relax BarLos Angeles, CA

7/17/2010 The Rogue BarScottsdale, AZ

7/18/2010 Rio Grande Satanical GardensAlbuquerque, NM

7/19/2010 TBA – Oklahoma City, OK

7/20/2010 Red 7Austin, TX

7/21/2010 TBA – New Orleans, LA

7/22/2010 The NickBirmingham, AL

7/23/2010 The Buccaneer LoungeMemphis, TN

7/24/2010 Springwater Supper ClubNashville, TN

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