Brant Bjork, Tao of the Devil: Desert Iconic (Plus Lyric Video Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on September 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


[Click play above to watch a lyric video premiere for Brant Bjork’s ‘The Gree Heen.’ Tao of the Devil is out Sept. 30 on Napalm Records.]

Brant Bjork didn’t invent desert rock, but there’s nobody who more closely epitomizes it or whose work has become so synonymous with it. Whether one is considering his pioneering work in Kyuss and Fu Manchu, the stylistic exploration undertaken with Ché or his 17-year solo career, which has undoubtedly become his greatest contribution at this point, in songwriting, style and persona, Bjork is a singular icon and a touchstone of the desert underground — by now a worldwide phenomenon long grown out of the confines of its initial Southern California home.

His second through Napalm Records after 2014’s righteous Black Power Flower (review here), the newest outing, Tao of the Devil, is also the second to feature the backing of The Low Desert Punk Band, with guitarist Bubba DuPree (formerly of Void), bassist Dave Dinsmore (Ché) and drummer Ryan Güt (who makes his debut here replacing Tony Tornay), and it presents eight songs/50 minutes in a spirit of celebrating the laid back, soulful groove of which Bjork has long since established himself a master, while tightening the songwriting some from the last outing, so that tracks like opener “The Gree Heen” — with a roll worthy of Goatsnake — and “Luvin'” stand out early and the later section of the record gives way to longer-form jamming on “Dave’s War” and “Evening Jam,” which run nine and 13 minutes, respectively, and are smartly divided with the ultra-languid mega-vibe of the title-track between them.

Counting outings with The Operators (not quite a full band, but still some other players involved), The Bros. and The Low Desert Punk Band, as well as those solely under his own name — the most recent of which was 2010’s Gods and Goddesses (review here) — Tao of the Devil is upwards of the 11th full-length to bear Bjork‘s name, and longtime fans will to some extent know what’s in store.

Hard to imagine seeing that as anything other than cause for jubilation, and be it the classic ’70s boogie of “Humble Pie” that takes hold after the massive stoner-is-as-stoner-does riff of “The Gree Heen” or the in-conversation-with-the-blues slow-motion shuffle of “Biker No. 2” later on, which gets a sleek pulled-string solo as it moves into its second half and boasts one of the album’s many resonant hooks, if it’s a familiar form, it’s one still changing and progressing as well.

In that way, “The Gree Heen” sets the tone for a lot of what follows it, in that it’s instantly memorable, though its thicker tones are actually something of an aberration in themselves and go unmatched throughout, despite a more aggressive lyric and rhythmic push on “Dave’s War” before the jam takes hold — marked out by lines like, “No ass left to fuck/No cock left to suck/Well you must be on top” — but if it’s the songwriting that stands out across Tao of the Devil as much as Bjork himself, the songwriting feels like it’s more than up to that considerable task.


I’ve jumped around a bit in the tracklisting to this point, but it’s also worth pointing out the flow from one song into the next and just how easy Bjork and company make it to traverse the album from to back. From “The Gree Heen” through the funk hypnosis of “Evening Jam,” it’s a collection that speaks directly to its audience with a complete lack of pretense about needing anything more than a good time and maybe to crash for a couple days if that’s cool? Won’t be more than a couple days, I swear? Awesome. You’re the best.

To the point, the early personality that comes through in “Humble Pie,” “Stackt” (video posted here) and “Luvin'” digs deep into quality, classic songwriting after the opener’s larger push and weedian anthemic — the first lines, “I got all that I need/I got the gree-heen,” tell the tale — and it’s probably fair to put “Biker No. 2” in that category as well to comprise an A-side that hits its target head-on without fail. I don’t actually know where the vinyl split is, but it’s likely with “Dave’s War” leading off side B, and between that track, “Tao of the Devil” and “Evening Jam,” which by the time it hits nine minutes in has morphed into minimalist progressive bass noodling, only to surge forward again in grander-finale fashion — still pretty laid back, which works — side B opens wide from the crisp delivery of Tao of the Devil‘s first half, only really letting go when it wants to as it jams out toward natural-sounding purposes.

“Evening Jam” may just be that — the jam they recorded that evening — but it’s also the perfect closer after the moody, bluesy title-cut, and the liquefied transition from “Dave’s War” to it and into the wah-twang intro of the closer isn’t to be underappreciated. Not that Bjork needed to demonstrate he knows how to put a record together, but such stretches, particularly when paired with the depth of songwriting, organic tones and spirit of the earlier tracks, only serve to reinforce his position as the Godfather of Desert Rock.

Tao of the Devil‘s greatest victory might be in how much of Bjork‘s own it seems to be even as it expands that definition from its predecessor, and its honesty is crucial to that success. It’s a rare figure who earns that kind of hyperbole, but it’s even rarer to find someone who 17 years on from their first LP is continuing to grow and refine their craft in the way Bjork does on Tao of the Devil, adding to his signature approach here and reveling in a full-band dynamic there as he presents yet another piece in his catalog that should be considered essential to longtime fans and novices alike. Very clearly one of 2016’s best albums.

Brant Bjork on Thee Facebooks

Brant Bjork website

Napalm Records website

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Brant Bjork Posts “Stackt” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

brant bjork

If you can wrap your head around this groove — or let this groove wrap itself around your head, either way — you’ll probably be in good shape heading into the Sept. 30 release of Brant Bjork‘s new record, Tao of the Devil. The upcoming long-player is Bjork‘s second for Napalm Records and second to feature the backing of The Low Desert Punk Band behind 2014’s Black Power Flower (review here), but as ever, it’s his own signature all over the material that makes it up. “Stackt,” a classic laid back groover that underscores a lot of what he’s brought to and innovated in desert rock over the years, doesn’t boogie as much as some of its compatriot tracks, but it should still be enough to give a general idea of what he’s up to this time around.

Throughout the album, the Low Desert Punk Himself plays to various strengths in his sound and the songwriting long honed in acts like KyussCheFu ManchuVista Chino and of course his own 10-plus-record solo career, and those strengths reside in his crafting memorable hooks and irresistible overarching flow, making Tao of the Devil a joy for the desert converted from opener “The Gree Heen” down through the 13-minute capper “Evening Jam.” As for “Stackt,” it’s quintessential driving music, though apparently seems to do alright for a young lady wandering around the desert in a van, playing pool, etc. Fair enough. Not sure what else you’d really do with a song called “Stackt.”

Brant Bjork has a European tour that kicks off in November and recently participated in the Bunny Racket kids’ music project (details here) that continues to be worth your support.

Dates follow the video below. Enjoy:

Brant Bjork, “Stackt” official video

Mr. Brant Bjork is back and with that, he delivers a fresh and uplifting new album entitled Tao Of The Devil – out on September 30th.

Tao Of The Devil is more focused than its predecessor Black Power Flower and boasts a more song-oriented and groovy stoner sound, with a healthy dose of 70s style greatness.

Get your exclusive pre-order HERE.

Low Desert Punk Brant Bjork, king of the sweetest flow and forever kissed by the burning sun of Southern Cali! As the founder of Kyuss, the singer / guitarist / drummer might be the ultimate icon the Desert Rock scene has to offer – but despite all this praise and worship, Brant only concern rests in supplying the planet with unpretentious laid-back rock, adorned with hefty jam-outs!

Find all upcoming tour dates listed below:

03.11.16 DE – Osnabrück / Bastard Club
04.11.16 NL – Deventer / Burger Weeshuis
05.11.16 DE – Erfurt / Stadtgarten
06.11.16 BE – Hasselt / Mod
07.11.16 UK – London / Garage
08.11.16 FR – Paris / Divan Du Monde
09.11.16 DE – Wiesbaden / Schlachthof
10.11.16 DE – München / Backstage
11.11.16 AT – Graz / PPC
12.11.16 GR – Athen / An Club
14.11.16 AT – Wien / Arena
15.11.16 CH – Zürich / Rote Fabrik
16.11.16 DE – Karlsruhe / Substage
17.11.16 DE – Köln / Live Music Hall
18.11.16 DE – Dresden / Beatpol
19.11.16 DE – Berlin / Columbia Theater
20.11.16 DE – Hamburg / Logo

Brant Bjork on Thee Facebooks

Brant Bjork website

Napalm Records website

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Bunny Racket Launch Kickstarter; Post “A Chicken is Not a Fruit” Video

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 6th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

I love this. I love every second of it. I’m so on board with Bunny Racket that I might actually donate to the Kickstarter launched to continue the project and make more videos, and I almost never do that kind of thing (because I’m a bad person). It’s brilliant, it’s ostensibly for kids and it’s called “A Chicken is Not a Fruit.” The project, spearheaded by Australia’s Andy Walker, also involves Brant Bjork — who previously discussed it here — and Robby Krieger of The Doors, so I’m just going to assume Thunder Underground Studios was involved in some way, shape or fashion, since that’s usually how it goes, but wow, it’s so brilliantly and charmingly weird in a way that the best kids’ entertainment should be.

Lots of info follows, but I encourage you to watch the video as well to really get a sense of what the project is about, then go give it all your money at the crowdfunding link. You’ll probably want to do that anyway. Behold Bunny Racket:

bunny racket

Introducing.. BUNNY RACKET

Created by Andy Walker feat. Brant Bjork (Kyuss) and Robby Krieger (The Doors)

There’s a new rabbit bringing some rock’n’roll to the kid’s entertainment patch. His name is King Bunny and his band is BUNNY RACKET.

Today Bunny Racket officially releases its first single, a bass heavy thumper called ‘A Chicken is not a Fruit’. Check it out…

‘A Chicken is not a Fruit’ is a taste of things to come, including an album and an online music video series that follows the adventures of King Bunny – a guitar wielding, skateboard riding, nature loving rabbit with a passion for playing rock’n’roll… LOUD!

The creation of Australian musician Andy Walker, Bunny Racket’s forthcoming debut album ‘Rock’n’Roll Animals’ features the work of some pedigree rock rabbits with Walker’s mate Brant Bjork (Kyuss, Fumanchu) taking on drums and backing vocals, Robby Krieger of The Doors joining the studio line-up as lead guitarist and Sam Cutler, legendary tour manager for The Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead, adding spoken word.

And it doesn’t stop there. Hopping on stage with King Bunny is an all-star, revolving live line-up including members of The Vines, Wolfmother, Skunkhour and Grinspoon. They ruled Little Splendour at this year’s Splendour in the Grass and will soon hit the stage at Aussie kid’s festival Dress Up Attack.

The sound… Imagine the Ramones, KISS and AC/DC joining forces with The Cat in The Hat and you get an idea of where Bunny Racket sits on the musical spectrum.

“Rock’n’roll struck me like lightening when I was 12 and went to my first gig, the Ramones. I was struggling to see the band when some older guys, punks, saw me and put me up on their shoulders. The feeling of that experience has stayed with me. Music brings people and generations together.” said Walker.

It’s this idea of shared experience that brought Bunny Racket to life, driven by Walker’s fierce love for rock music and a yearning for kid friendly tunes that are relevant, positive, educational and inspiring. There are lessons to be learned in spelling, counting, colours, geography and of course music.

With ‘A Chicken is not a Fruit’ set to prick up the ears of both young and old, it’s time to bring Bunny Racket to life. Backed by a great crew and an epic soundtrack, Andy Walker and the team are ready to get filming, but they need help to make it happen.

Coinciding with the release of ‘A Chicken is not a Fruit’, a Bunny Racket Kickstarter Campaign launches today and will help fund the production and post-production phases of the first 4 episodes. Each episode will be released free to air via YouTube, and feature two music videos within each story. Please spread the word!

Bunny Racket, “A Chicken is Not a Fruit”

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Brant Bjork Announces Fall European Tour; Streams New Track “Dave’s War”

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 1st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Uh, hey Europe. Go see Brant Bjork. That’s probably not something you really need me to tell you, Entire Continent of Europe, or one assumes Brant Bjork wouldn’t be headed over in the first place, but I will anyway. His new album, Tao of the Devil, is fucking awesome, has seriously screwed up my under-construction Albums of the Year list, and will be out Sept. 30. For a sampling of the kind of jammy finery with which Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band get down this round, they’ve got the new song “Dave’s War” streaming now in its nine-minute glory. Go on and dig in, whatever continent you might live on. Shit’s all imaginary anyway. Borders and whatnot.

The impending run is presented by Sound of Liberation, who sent the following info along the PR wire:


Brant Bjork joins the SOL roster! Album & Tour coming this fall

Low Desert Punk Brant Bjork is back on the SOL Roster!! The king of the sweetest flow and forever kissed by the burning sun of Southern Cali comes to Europe in November to promote his amazing new album “Tao of the Devil”. The release date for the new album is set for September 30th via Napalm Records. Pre-orders can be done here! Check-out the first video here, check-out the tourdates below and don´t miss his show full of “Sweetest flows, groovy stoner sounds with a healthy dose of 70’s style greatness”!

03.11.16 | DE | Osnabrück | Bastard Club
04.11.16 | NL | Deventer | Burger Weeshuis
05.11.16 | DE | Erfurt | Stadtgarten
06.11.16 | BE | Hasselt | Mod
07.11.16 | UK | London | Garage
08.11.16 | FR | Paris | Divan Du Monde
09.11.16 | DE | Wiesbaden | Schlachthof
10.11.16 | DE | München | Backstage
11.11.16 | AT | Graz | PPC
12.11.16 | GR | Athens | An Club
14.11.16 | AT | Vienna | Arena
15.11.16 | CH | Zürich | Rote Fabrik
16.11.16 | DE | Karlsruhe | Substage
17.11.16 | DE | Köln | Live Music Hall
18.11.16 | DE | Dresden | Beatpol
19.11.16 | DE | Berlin | Columbia Theater
20.11.16 | DE | Hamburg | Logo

Brant Bjork, “Dave’s War”

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Brant Bjork Sets Sept. 30 Release for Tao of the Devil

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

brant bjork

Low desert kingpin Brant Bjork will release his new album, Tao of the Devil, Sept. 30 via Napalm Records. The record, which was first discussed here in an interview back in March, will be Bjork‘s second for the label behind 2014’s Black Flower Power (review here), and though I think the lineup is the same, it’s noteworthy that the full name of the band, Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band has been dropped off the cover art in favor of the simpler Brant Bjork moniker. Whether or not that will factor into the sound of the record itself of course remains to be heard.

The cover art, tracklisting and special edition info came down the PR wire moments ago:

brant bjork tao of the devil

BRANT BJORK – Unveils First Details Of Upcoming Album!

Mr. Brant Bjork is back and delivers some hot new details of his upcoming album including title, track listing, release date and album artwork!

As the founder of Kyuss, the singer / guitarist / drummer might be the ultimate icon the Desert Rock scene has to offer – but despite all this praise and worship, Brant’s only concern rests in supplying the planet with unpretentious laid-back rock, adorned with hefty jam-outs!

Tao Of The Devil is the brand new masterpiece and will see the light of day on September 30th via Napalm Records.

The track listing reads as follows:

1 The Greeheen
2 Humble Pie
3 Stackt
4 Luvin’
5 Biker No. 2
6 Dave’s War
7 Tao of the Devil
8 Evening Jam (Bonus Track)

Tao Of The Devil is available as:
– 4 page digipack
– 1LP Gatefold

– Deluxe Fan LP Edition limited to 500 copies worldwide:

– 1LP Gatefold on clear Vinyl
– 1LP Slipcase Bonus LP (3 Bonus Tracks) on clear Vinyl
– 4 Page Digipack
– Slipmat
– A2 Poster

Pre-Orders will be available shortly.

Tao Of The Devil is more focused than its predecessor Black Power Flower and boasts a more song-oriented and groovy stoner sound, with a healthy dose of 70s style greatness.

Low Desert Punk Brant Bjork, king of the sweetest flow and forever kissed by the burning sun of Southern Cali! We can’t wait to hear more of this stunning new release!

Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band, “Controllers Destroyed”

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Interview with Brant Bjork: Party in the Desert

Posted in Features on March 31st, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

brant bjork 1

Next weekend, April 9, the first Desert Generator festival will be held. Put together by Rolling Heavy magazine, Allnight Allnight and Brant Bjork himself, it brings groups from the desert and beyond to Pappy and Harriet’s Saloon in Pioneertown, California, to play on an outdoor stage in the tradition of the parties held in the middle of nowhere (also the center of everywhere) of yore that helped shape the Palm Desert scene and thus American heavy rock as a whole. In addition to a van show and camp-out, the lineup is Red Fang, Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band, Acid King, Golden Void and Ecstatic Vision.

Sounds like weirdo heaven? Yeah, it just might be. For Bjork, it’s another manifestation of the commitment to a desert art scene that has seen him become one of its most recognizable ambassadors. As the drummer for Kyuss, he played those parties alongside the likes of Yawning Man and Fatso Jetson, and across his solo material and even up to Black Power Flower (review here), the 2014 debut from Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band, he’s remaineddesert generator poster a defining feature of what the rest of the world has come to think of as the sound of that place, of that desert. His work is inseparable from that.

It makes sense in that way that Desert Generator should both exist and should take its name from the by-now-legendary parties that gave Bjork and many others their start, since in its very concept, the one-day fest feeds into and expands on that tradition much as Bjork‘s work has done with desert rock as a whole. From his years in Kyuss and Fu Manchu and his earliest solo work with the Jalamanta album on Man’s Ruin, through time with Brant Bjork and the Bros. on tour in the US and abroad and continuing through the forthcoming Tao of the Devil LP that will complete his current contract with Napalm Records, he’s been far more relentless than the laid back vibe of so much of his output might suggest.

But of course, that’s part of the atmosphere Bjork and his compatriots are hoping will play into the goings down at Desert Generator. In the interview that follows, the godfather of desert groove talks about the origins of this perhaps-inaugural festival, how it all came together with the bands involved and the legacy it’s working from. He also looks forward, not only to the Tao of the Devil release and potential European touring, but to revisiting his substantial back catalog and other projects in the offing.

Complete Q&A follows the jump. Please enjoy:

Read more »

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Desert Generator Set for April 9; Red Fang, Brant Bjork, Acid King, Golden Void and Ecstatic Vision Playing

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 8th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

The tradition that Desert Generator is highlighting is evident right in the name of the fest. By now, the out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-center-of-everywhere parties from which what we’ve come to think of as California’s desert rock scene emerged are the stuff of heavy lore, and as the “stages” such as they were were powered by gas generators — which, though unreliable, have a certain charm — one would be hard-pressed to think of a better moniker for Desert Generator than the one it has. True to form, it sounds like a killer party.

Set for April 9 with a lineup that features Red FangBrant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk BandAcid KingGolden Void and Ecstatic Vision, the inaugural Desert Generator has a reach immediately beyond the locals of Pioneertown, CA, where the venue it will take place — Pappy and Harriet’s — is located, and with a Rolling Heavy magazine-sponsored van show, an outdoor stage and good times on offer, it seems like an atmosphere perfectly in line with the tripped-out and hard-hitting vibes of the lineup. I’d go. Just saying. I would.

Not sure if they’re making it an annual thing or one-shot-only, but what info there is follows, as yoinked off the fest’s website:


Saturday, April 9th, 2016. Rolling Heavy Magazine, Allnight Allnight, and Brant Bjork bring you DESERT GENERATOR, a heavy, psychedelic, rock & roll happening. We are inspired by the legendary generator parties (from which Brant’s band Kyuss originated) and the 1970’s “van-in” campouts. We got five rad bands and a custom van show – one day and one night of laid back fun. It all takes place in a wild west ghost town & dusty desert cantina in the birthplace of Desert Rock and Doom.

The ROLLING HEAVY VAN SHOW starts at high noon and will feature 1960s & 1970s custom vans, vendors, DJS and more (see next FAQ).

The DESERT GENERATOR concert will start as the sun begins to set on the desert. All bands will perform on the outside stage at Pappy + Harriet’s Pioneertown Saloon near Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley, California.

Red Fang
Brant Bjork and The Low Desert Punk Band
Acid King
Golden Void
Ecstatic Vision

DESERT GENERATOR TICKET IS REQUIRED for Concert @ Pappy & Harriet’s. Event is All Ages. Free Parking. Made in the USA!

Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band, “Buddha Time (Everything Fine)” live at Burg Herzberg 2015

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Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band Touring with C.O.C., Saviours and Mothership

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I could and just might get the exact same list of tour dates from each of these bands’ perspective, but seriously, a tour this good, I don’t care if it’s the same shows being plugged four different times. It’s a point worth reiterating. Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band will head out across the US and into Canada to support their 2014 release, Black Power Flower (review here), and they’ll be traveling in the righteous company of Corrosion of ConformitySaviours and Mothership. The thing about this tour? There isn’t one band on it who, if they were coming around alone, wouldn’t be worth going to see. It’s not like if you showed up and just Mothership were playing they wouldn’t hand you your ass. Same thing with Brant BjorkC.O.C. and Saviours. So yeah, if the dates come through two or three more times, I’ll be posting them again. Keep an eye out.

To the PR wire:

brant bjork and the low desert punk band

BRANT BJORK AND THE LOW DESERT PUNK BAND To Tour North American With Corrosion Of Conformity and Saviours

BRANT BJORK and The Low Desert Punk Band released their latest album Black Flower Power last November on Napalm Records. In support of the record, BRANT is hitting the road again in North America this fall alongside the legendary Corrosion of Conformity and Saviours. The tour begins November 12th in Atlanta, GA and will run through December 10th in Raleigh, NC. A complete list of dates can be found below.

No one can fool this man anymore: As a cult figure of the Palm Desert scene, as founder and drummer of the unfortunately no longer active Stoner-Rock legends Kyuss and a permanent member of Vista Chino (formerly KYUSS Lives!), the formation around Kyuss colleague John Garcia, BRANT BJORK is washed with all (musical) waters. Now he is sailing under his own flag and proves once again that his multi-instrumental skills know no creative boundaries. With his excellent occupied Low Desert Punk Band, BJORK lets the scorching heat of California shimmer in his songs. He also scrubs his guitar through all sorts of psychedelic effect pedals and skillfully mixes Stoner Rock, Blues and Doom-bonds to a feverish hazy brew. The Desert Rock Band has reached their oasis.

Black Flower Power is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.

11/12: Atlanta, GA @ The Loft**
11/13: Shreveport, LA @ Riverside Warehouse##
11/16: Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock
11/17: Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
11/18: San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
11/20: Vancouver, BC @ Venue Nightclub
11/21: Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
11/23: Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
11/24: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
11/25: Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
11/27: Racine, WI @ Rte 20
11/28: Cleveland, OH @ The Odeon
11/29: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
12/1: Toronto, ON @ Opera House
12/2: Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
12/3: Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
12/4: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
12/5: Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
12/7: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
12/8: Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
12/9: Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka’s Live
12/10: Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theater

##BRANT BJORK, Local Support##

For More Info Visit:

Brant Bjork, “Controllers Destroyed” official video

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