Posted in Whathaveyou on March 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
A Fu Manchu tour would be good news enough, but to have a list of dates come with word that the band’s new album, Gigantoid, is currently in the mixing stages is even better. Southern California’s Godfathers of Fuzz will embark on a spring run across the US at the start of May, making their way into Canada to hit Toronto and Montreal en route to the East Coast, presumably with some new material from Gigantoidin tow. Hopefully, anyway.
Gigantoid will also be theFu‘s first new full-length through their own At the Dojo imprint. If the recent 20th anniversary vinyl reissue for their first album, No One Rides for Free(review here), is anything to go by, they should be more than up to the task of handling the next record themselves. Freedom of choice, right?
Here’s the latest:
FU MANCHU ANNOUNCE US TOUR DATES, FINISH UP NEW ALBUM
California rockers FU MANCHU announce their Spring USA INVASION Tour 2014
Fu Manchu are hitting the road in May 2014 to bring their new album “Gigantoid” to fans in the Unites States and Canada. Tickets go on sale Friday March Friday March 7th 2014 for all shows in the US and Canada. The band is currently mixing the album, their first new studio album in 5 years, with Andrew Giacumakis (MOAB). The album was recorded by Giacumakis and Jim Monroe(The Adolescents, X) at the end of February 2014.
The band recorded and released the single “Robotic Invasion” with Andrew Giacumakis last October for Scion Motors.
This is the bands 10th studio album, their 14th release over all and follows on two years of touring in the US, Europe Australia and New Zealand on successful reissues of the classic records ” In Search Of” and ” The Action Is Go.” This will be their first new full length release on their own AT THE DOJO label. The band celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2015 and this year marks the 20th Anniversary of their first album “No One Rides For Free” recently reissued on AT THE DOJO.
FU MANCHU INVASION USA TOUR/ SPRING 2014 Thursday May 1st San Francisco CA Bottom Of The Hill Saturday May 03 Portland OR Dante’s Sunday May 4th Seattle WA El Corazon Tuesday May 06 Salt Lake City UT Club Sound Wed May 07 Denver CO Marquis Theatre Saturday May 10 Chicago Il SubTerranean Sunday May 11 Detroit MI Smalls Tuesday May 13th Columbus OH Ace Of Cups Wednesday May 14th Cleveland OH Grog Shop Friday May 16th Toronto ON Horseshoe Tavern Saturday May 17th Montreal QC Cabaret Mile End Monday May 19th New York City NY Mercury Lounge Tuesday May 20th Boston MA The Sinclair Wednesday May 21st Philidelphia PA Barbary Friday May 23rd Washington DC Rock N Roll Hotel Saturday May 24th Raleigh NC Kings Sunday May 25th Atlanta GA The Earl Tuesday May 27th Austin TX Red 7 Wednesday May 28th Dallas TX Gas Monkey Bar and Grill Saturday May 31st Mesa AZ Pub Rock Live
Los Angeles / San Diego show info soon… Europe tour info soon… Australia / japan tour info soon… Canadian tour info soon…
San Francisco/Toronto doom rockers Castle have a new single coming via Ván Records ahead of their third full-length. The band have a lyric video for the lead track, “Second Coming,” an Alice Cooper cover originally appearing on 1971′s Love it to Death paired with “The Ballad of Dwight Fry.” Castle are also set to tour in Europe next month, playing with Conan and The Graviators as well as putting in an appearance at Desertfest in Berlin. Their second record, Blacklands, came out on Prosthetic in 2011, and the new one is expected in spring.
My brain is pretty fried, but it’s a cool cover and the video design follows suit, so have at you:
Castle, “Second Coming” lyric video
Castle cover Alice Cooper’s Second Coming; release single / video
San Francisco doom-tinged metaller’s CASTLE have released a 7″ single on their European label Van Records. The limited edition single features the band covering Alice Cooper’s “Second Coming” as well as a demo track, “Labyrinth of Death” from their upcoming full length. Details for the follow-up to 2012′s “Blacklands” will be released in the coming weeks. For now the band have also unveiled a lyric video for “Second Coming” and European tour dates in support the single.
CASTLE were formed in 2009 and released their debut album “In Witch Order” via the German label Van Records (The Devil’s Blood) in the spring of 2011. The album brought light to the newly formed band and gained them the title of Metal Hammer Norway’s album of the year as well as Roadburn Festival’s “Newcomer of the Year”. The follow-up record “Blacklands” was nominated for a Canadian Juno award for best metal album of the year in 2013.
European Tour Dates 4/11 Cafe Cairo, Würzburg, GER * 4/12 Boröm Pöm Pöm, Oberentfelden, CH 4/13 Slow Club, Freiburg, GER 4/14 La Zone, Leige BEL 4/15 Feierwerk, Munich, GER 4/19 DNA, Brussels, BEL 4/20 Doornroosje, Nijmegen, NL 4/21 Little Devil, Tilburg, NL 4/24 Kulturpalast, Wiesbaden, GER ^ 4/25 Vera, Groningen, NL ^ 4/26 Desertfest, Berlin, GER 4/27 Underground,Cologne, GER ^ 5/1 Katy’s Garage, Dresden, GER
02.26.14 – 2:46AM Pacific – Wed. morning – En route from SF
“You can never win…” – Bobby Liebling
Not sure what to say about tonight, really, but we’re on the move out of San Francisco and it’s getting late. The show was fantastic. Another sellout crowd, a killer venue, great sound, cool mood, everybody’s locked in and coming across excellent. I moved around a bit more rather than just sit tight up front, so got a couple different views and even snapped some shots from the side of the stage. We were rolling. Things were rolling along. When Pentagram were finished, I came out to the van to at least get the night’s photos onto my laptop and ready to post and found two of the passenger-side windows, the two in back, had been blown out.
At first it didn’t look like anything was gone, but of course stuff was. Some wasn’t touched, but iPads, Steve’s clothes, etc., got swiped, and Radio Moscow got hit as well, including for laptops and photo equipment. Shitter way to end what would’ve otherwise been an excellent night, though I say “end” and since we’re still driving and in need of a 24-hour glass repair person to fix the two windows which now have gaffer’s tape and poster board where the window used to be, the night’s not actually over yet. All the same, here’s the deal:
Somewhere between thrash and doom and more extreme metal, Oakland’s own Bedrücken are there, probably getting drunk. A double-guitar five-piece with a standalone vocalist, they were easily the most extreme band of the night, kind of a standout in that regard, but seemed to know the room and the people, who were starting to trickle in as the show got underway. West Coast sludge has a long history of sounding as thoroughly fucked as possible, and Bedrücken seemed well aware of the legacy they were upholding, but were well distinguished by vocalist Ami Lawless’ vicious rasp and periodic deviations into broodingly intense clean parts. The crusty contingent in the crowd – and there was one — ate it up.
“The Whittler,” from the first album, replaced the new song “Embers.” I was digging the way that one was coming along, but it had been a while since I heard the older cut, so no complaints. Things had clicked well in Portland and there was no step back in SF despite a hiccup in closer “Blood of Recompense.” For the most part in this band, these guys have all known each other for so long that their dynamic is well set, and I guess seeing it three shows in a row like this, that’s the primary standout impression, how natural they are on stage with each other. And Aaron Bumpus, who’s not just younger but also rooted differently in terms of his influences, fits well in sound and presence. I’ve been trying to think of what separates Kings Destroy from most doom — much as they’re a doom band at all — in how they handle the stage, and really it seems to be a question of attitude. Bedrücken were plenty angry, but Kings Destroy were confrontational, and that’s a big difference. They had started before I even realized it, and their set went quickly.
I’m not sure how one might mosh to Radio Moscow, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t see it happen tonight. Unless 21 got way younger looking when I wasn’t paying attention — possible — this was another all-ages show, and the younger contingent especially was all about Radio Moscow‘s psych-blues mastery. It’s a crazy lineup, the three touring acts, but I think no matter who was on the bill, Radio Moscow would likely distinguish themselves. Guitarist/vocalist Parker Griggs, bassist Anthony Meier and drummer Paul Marrone were so snapped-in it was like you pressed play and then there they were, but they still have personality on stage as well. It’s not like they come across as going through the motions of their material. It’s been incredible to watch. Still dug “Death of a Queen” a lot, “Frustrating Sound” made a return, and while it was on their setlist for both prior shows, I’m fairly certain tonight was the first time they actually broke out “No Time” for a jammy runthrough, which had the kid in the flipped-up-brim D.R.I. hat out of his mind.
The song “8″ left an impression on 2011′s Last Rites (review here) as well, but live it seems to be all the more of a showcase for the richness in Victor Griffin‘s guitar tone. Pentagram, three shows into the tour, are killing it. Each night is better than the last. Bassist Greg Turley and drummer Sean Saley are fluid and energetic players, and of course with Griffin there as the instrumental anchor, Bobby Liebling is that much freer to gyrate his hips, make obscene hand gestures at the crowd, whatever it might be on any given night. That’s all well and good, but Liebling‘s vocals tonight on “Be Forewarned” might also have been the best I’ve ever heard him sound live, so there’s something to be said for settling into the tour. Of course, “Forever My Queen” was again a highlight, among “Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram),” “When the Screams Come,” “Relentless” and closer “20 Buck Spin,” which I stuck around tonight to see. No regrets of course, unless that was when the van window got smashed, in which case, yeah, I probably should have split a little early. Not that I knew that at the time. Finding a little enclave in the back with a solid 18″ of personal space on as many sides as I wanted, I could’ve stayed there until 2AM and been fine. Didn’t come to that, however.
Even though I stayed to the very end of Pentagram‘s encore, I was still the first one back to the van. Two smashed windows, glass on the ground. Some stuff in the back looked untouched, so I thought maybe it was just vandalism, but no, when the Kings Destroy guys came out of the venue and down the block, they confirmed they had stuff missing. Glass was everywhere in the van, but we swept it, loaded out the gear, taped up the windows and hit the road. Not much choice in the matter. It’s 10 hours to Vegas. Gotta go. The staff at the DNA were cool and stuck around to help load-out.
Stopped for the night maybe 90 minutes outside of San Francisco, everyone bummed out, especially those who lost their stuff. The whole block had been hit, and apparently around the corner where Radio Moscow were stationed. A couple of kids I spoke to while I was waiting for the band to come out from the venue said they had camera equipment stolen, and so did Radio Moscow, and electronics stuff as well. Probably just people looking to make a buck, but still shitty for all involved. I’m telling you, if you’re going to steal, steal from corporations. No one even bothered to call the cops because they would’ve done nothing and nothing was insured. Police cars drove by on patrol the whole time I was outside — it was a while — and said and did nothing. Bigger fish to fry, I guess.
Tomorrow is Vegas. It’s after 4:30 in the morning and we need to be out of here at 9AM, so my watch is set for 8:01. If I’m ever going to sleep in the van, tomorrow seems like it might be the day. We’ll see how it works out.
Posted in Features on February 25th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
02.25.14 — 6:16PM Pacific — Tuesday — DNA Lounge, San Francisco, CA
“City on the go…” — Everyone.
My first impression when I walked into the DNA Lounge was a hearty “fuck yeah,” and yes, I said it out loud. Slept as solidly as I could reasonably ask in Arcata last night and got back on the 101 this morning. More redwoods, some coast, more little enclaves of people and wide-open spaces. Creative types and hippies painting the sides of gas stations. Trees like dreams are big. Unreal. We got to the venue a little bit after 4PM. They had a couple guys on hand to help with load-in, and when I asked what the password for the wifi was, got looked at like I was from another planet (which, rest assured, I am) and told, “It’s open.” Fucking a.
Ride down was subdued, but everyone seems to be in good spirits. We stopped off at Russian River Brewing and picked up a bunch of Pliny the Elder, which pretty much is to American IPAs what Pentagram is to doom. I didn’t have any — grabbed a cup of coffee and a muffin from the place down the way from Russian River — but it seemed to loosen up the atmosphere in the van nicely. With Jim Pitts at the wheel calling out the sundry landmarks of his town, we came into San Francisco on the Golden Gate Bridge with minimal traffic and stopped off to buy a guitar cable before loading in, which again, ran like clockwork.
Once everything was offloaded, Jim Pitts and I went over to Aquarius Records for a quick poke through. I didn’t splurge — am more than fairly broke at this point; you might say unfairly broke – but I figured the cash was better spent on a couple CDs than not. Sucks to have your credit card denied. Sucks even more to have it denied when your purchase total is $21. Cue sad womp-womp noise. Was glad to have hit an ATM earlier at a rest stop on the way.
Doors I think are in about half an hour. The Pentagram and Radio Moscow cats are all here, as are Bedrücken, who are opening, and sitting on the balcony I can hear jolts of laughing, and nobody’s throwing punches, so I’ll surmise that things are going well. I think having the shows being sold out probably helps in that regard, but frankly whatever gets it done is cool. Plan is to get out of town after the show and put some distance between the van and the city to avoid morning traffic and allow for cheaper lodging. Should be groovy.
Posted in Features on February 25th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
02.24.14 — 10:28PM Pacific — Monday night — Quality Inn, Arcata, CA
“Fuckin’ giant octopus…” – Aaron Bumpus
Today I saw the sun for the first time in what seemed like at least four months, and I’m not sure I can properly explain how good it felt. Not just the last two days of rain in the Pacific Northwest, but just the whole winter back home has been so soul-retchingly grim. It’s February and I stood outside today without a hoodie on. Whatever else happened, the day was going to be a win from the word go. The tour had an off-date, but with last night having been Portland and tomorrow being San Francisco, it was travel the whole day. That’s not the last time that’s going to happen on this run.
Wasn’t terrible, in any case. Most of the drive I spent nerding out on the landscape, which was deeply, richly beautiful, with tree-lined mountains, properties cut into the forest in straight lines like a border about to be eaten by a wave. So fucking cool. Mountains all over the place, people nowhere. Wonderful, gorgeous land. One hardly thinks of loading into a sprinter van with six other dudes as a way to feel refreshed, but that’s where I was at this afternoon as we made our way south through Oregon. Here we are, rolled into a truck stop in the middle of nowhere. There’s the Subway, there’s the Pilot, there’s the porn shack, there’s Kings Destroy picking up a sixer for the road, and here’s me taking pictures in the parking lot like it’s National Geographic. Still, the sky and the mountains had me well enamored.
Jim Pitts had his work cut out for him on the drive, though Steve took over for a while as well after signing a form, taking a picture of it on his phone and sending it to who knows where. We came south down the 205 out of Portland, romantic visions of the Hawthorne Theatre and surrounding area still lingering in my head to go with my ringing ears, then picked up 99 to 199 in Grant’s Pass, which looked like a cool little town. Sort of these hippie enclaves along the way, people for whom getting away from other people was clearly a priority. Very secluded, some small shops outside of town. One place that made custom treehouses that were particularly righteous. I’m not sure that I’d be able to give up my kneejerk New Jersey prick bred-in anger and restlessness long enough to live that way for any real stretch of time, but it’s a lifestyle I envy.
Late afternoon/early evening found the van on winding roads in the hills, headed toward the coast. The kinds of turns you either take slow or slam into the side of a mountain. By the time we got into California and picked up the 101 at around exit 800, about five hours after starting out, I was starting to drag a bit, but a quick pit stop after coming through some crazy mountain tunnel provided respite. I think everyone got increasingly worn down from there by the drive, but best to keep going. Saw some redwood trunks in the forest, but it was dark by then, so not much more, and nothing really of the water except the blackness where it would’ve been by day and stars overhead. We got to this motel in Arcata, CA, a little bit before 8:30PM, checked in, ate at the Mexican place next door — which officially closed at nine, but were very accommodating all the same — for food and drink. Flautas and iced tea. West Coast Mexican food demolishes the vast majority of what’s available back home, though obviously there are exceptions on both sides. As a general rule though, the standard is higher. The East Coast has pizza though, which isn’t nothing. Talk was of hardcore days gone by, bands, shows, people, scenes, etc. I know next to nothing about any of it, but it’s interesting.
Steve had said something about hitting a beach early in the morning and I think C-Wolf and Jim Pitts were going to go as well, but I’m more inclined to crash out for as long as possible. I got to sleep after four last night and the fire alarm at the motel in Portland went off a little after seven because some doofus left his waffle in the iron too long. Sleep in the van is just about out of the question so far, though I was dozing by the time we pulled into Arcata, so I’ll take what I can get however I can get it. Tomorrow night is DNA Lounge in San Fran, and then on to Albuquerque. I’m looking forward to seeing the Pacific coast again during the day and to the show as well. It’s not an insubstantial trip, but it’s going fast. Tomorrow is Tuesday already and we leave on Saturday. Between, more mountains, forest, desert, rock and roll. I feel lucky to be here, immensely thankful to have been invited.
Posted in On Wax on February 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
“Gas, grass or ass. No one rides for free.” — ancient boogie van proverb
Here’s a fun idea: let’s talk about Fu Manchu. The long-running SoCal fuzz rock progenitors have a vinyl remaster of their 1994 debut LP, No One Rides for Free, out direct from the band on their own At the Dojo Records imprint, following reissues of In Search Of, The Action is Go, Godzilla’s/Eatin’ Dust, California Crossing Demos and a collection of their cover material aptly-titled The Covers. Even as they’re currently in the studio working on a follow-up to 2009′s Signs of Infinite Power, however, they’re going back to their van-worshiping roots in repressing No One Rides for Free. The album arrives in gatefold form, quality card stock with photos of the four-piece from that era, pressed either to yellow (300), clear (300) or black (the rest) platter of substantive heft, and sounds even better than it looks, the eight tracks reading like a gnostic text of the heavy that would follow in their wake over these two decades since No One Rides for Free was first issued.
The lineup of guitarist/vocalist Scott Hill, guitarist Eddie Glass, bassist Mark Abshire and drummer Ruben Romano would be a supergroup if they got together today, with Hill having put out some of CA’s finest fuzz in Fu Manchu over the years while the others went on to form Nebula (whereabouts unknown), Romano now good company and good time in The Freeks — never mind Brant Bjork, who produced the thing — but make no mistake, on No One Rides for Free, there were no laurels to rest upon. Fu Manchu had put out a handful of singles between 1990 and 1994, but what’s widely considered their best work lay well ahead of them, and 20 years ago, the laid back, easy-flowing grooves of side A cuts like the opening one-two of “Time to Fly” and “Ojo Rojo” didn’t fit nearly as easily into assignations like “stoner” and “fuzz,” since they barely existed as a subgenre of rock. It’s easy to imagine No One Rides for Freefinding an audience among the more baked-out contingent in Southern California’s seemingly perpetual punk and hardcore scene — that’s where Fu Manchu‘s roots lie, as the 2010 Southern Lord release of Virulence‘s If this isn’t a Dream… 1985-1989(review here) showed, with Hill, Abshire and Romano in that lineup — but it’s not like it came prepackaged with a sticker that said, “Okay kids, this is stoner rock! Get on board!”
And for everyone who wound up doing that (i.e. getting on board), it’s no stretch to figure there were just as many who heard the acoustics and dreamy leads of “Summer Girls (Free and Easy)” — which here starts side B — and had no clue or context for what to make. If it was next-generation surf rock, however, Fu Manchu could easily fit that bill. No One Rides for Free sets in place an allegiance to that culture that continues to be a part of the band’s identity to this day, and a lot of what they’d later turn into the core of their sound is present in these tracks, let alone a lyrical affinity for good times, vans, Camaros, chrome pipes, ladies, and so on. Is it the record that launched a thousand Spicolis? More likely it’s a piece of that burnout puzzle than a sole actor, but Fu Manchu make it plain by the time Romano starts in with the cowbell of “Shine it On” that they know what they’re doing, and that the rolling grooves preceding are no mistake. Hill sounds like a kid on “Show and Shine” and “Mega Bumpers,” but that only adds to the fun of the reissue, and with the interplay of his and Glass‘ guitars in the jam of closer “Snakebellies” — which they still pull back to the main riff before they’re done – it’s easy to hear where a lot of players might’ve heard it and decided to try their hand at something similar. Like everybody.
It’s not a release that needs to justify its own release. Some reissues you wonder why they even exist. For Fu Manchu to be re-releasing their back catalog as they continue to work on new material wants nothing for rationale, and since they obviously have the rights to the material, all the better they’re the ones getting the chance to profit from putting it back out. Its production might sound dated here and there, but No One Rides for Freehas a righteousness at its core that Fu Manchu‘s unyielding relevance and enduring influence shows to be timeless, and whether you’re a fan looking for an excuse to revisit their early output or a newcomer just getting to know them beyond preliminary investigations, this LP seems to serve all interests in a manner worthy of the band’s legacy. You can’t really lose.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Details are pretty light, I guess, and I even threw in the quote from the band themselves, but basically the takeaway from the PR wire this morning is that heavy blues rockers Radio Moscow will release a new album this May and that that album is called Magical Dirt. Of course, the trio was recently announced as taking part in Desertfest in London and Berlin this year, and as has occupied my mind to and beyond the point of much-needed distraction the last couple weeks, they’ll also hit the road this month with Pentagram and Kings Destroy on the West Coast, the latter of whom were kind enough to invite me and my laptop along for the trip. I can think of way worse things than seeing those bands, Radio Moscow included, seven nights in a row.
Radio Moscow have other shows booked on either side of that run, and the dates are included below. Seems fair to expect a decent amount of new material in the set as the band look forward to following up 2011′s The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz.
RADIO MOSCOW ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF THEIR FOURTH STUDIO ALBUM “MAGICAL DIRT” THIS MAY THROUGH ALIVE NATURALSOUND RECORDS!
PSYCH-ROCK MERCHANTS HIT THE ROAD FEB. 18TH FOR WEST COAST TOUR INCLUDING SEVEN SPECIAL SHOWS SUPPORTING PENTAGRAM!
Says the band: “Can’t wait to share the new sounds. Release date, and more coming soon! Stay tuned”
RADIO MOSCOW TOUR DATES (* supporting Pentagram) Feb 18 @ Winters Tavern – Pacifica, CA Feb 19 @ The Catalyst – Santa Cruz, CA Feb 21 @ The Kremlin – Vancouver, BC Feb 22 @ El Corazon – Seattle, WA * Feb 23 @ Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR * Feb 25 @ DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA * Feb 26 @ The Cheyenne Saloon – Las Vegas, NV * Feb 27 @ Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM * Feb 28 @ Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO * March 1 @ In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT * March 7 @ Til-Two Club – San Diego, CA (more dates to be announced soon)
Posted in Reviews on February 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Moral superiority suits San Francisco metallers Slough Feg. Their sound, rooted in NWOBHM traditions and met with righteousness culled from Celtic folk, is neither that simple nor that limited. They reside in that same hallowed realm of underappreciation as Voivod, whose Killing Technologyis lyrically referenced here, or like what would’ve happened if the early metal of Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road had continued an unabated progression. All comparisons due justice to parts of their sound, none to the whole of it. Slough Feg‘s eighth full-length, 2010′s The Animal Spirits(review here), was organic in its sound and presentation, and while their 2014 follow-up, Digital Resistance (on Metal Blade), feels inherently more aggressive, it’s hard to figure where the line actually resides between band self-awareness and reading a narrative into the songs. Certainly, Slough Feg, who formed in 1990 and are led by guitarist/vocalist Mike Scalzi with Angelo Tringali on guitar, Adrian Maestas on bass and Harry Cantwell on drums, can be expected know what they’re doing by now, and as the title indicates, they’re working in opposition — the position beginning with opener “Analogue Avengers/Bertrand Russell’s Sex Den” seems to be (which I say because I haven’t had the benefit of a lyric sheet) resistance to the digital rather than putting up a resistance via or from the digital — so it’s just as easy to think the signs of a struggle are evoked from the music as they are actually present in it. Who ever knows anything, anyway? Rock and roll, goddammit.
The opener sets both the stage and a dramatic tone befitting it, Scalzi‘s voice clear as ever over the band’s dense and rhythmic churn, but the ensuing title-track offers more of a gallop, and much of Digital Resistanceseems keen to play the two sides off each other. A seamless blend of acoustic and electric guitar is nothing new for Slough Feg, and though the character and theme of this album is different, one can hear traces of consistency and development both from The Animal Spiritsand the preceding outings, 2009′s Ape Uprising!and 2007′s Hardworlder. Slough Feg sounding like Slough Feg shouldn’t be any great surprise to anyone who’s followed the band at any point in their tenure, but that creative will to stand apart suits well the personality of Digital Resistance, and as “Habeas Corpsus” introduces a spacious acoustic strum amid tom roll and multi-layered vocals, the rush in terms of pace is no less prevalent than it was on the title cut — momentum quickly built and even quicker once it gets going. “Magic Hooligan” furthers the pace, bouncing thrash circularity off more technically engaged riff work and slamming into heavy rock groove into its second half as a bed for classic-style soloing and smooth transition back to a double-kick final verse, a sneakier guitar line in “Ghastly Appendage” holding more tension even as it seems to be paying off in its chorus, peculiar and instrumental save for maniacal laughing. Digital Resistancedoesn’t feel overtly structured for vinyl — at 10 tracks and just under 41 minutes, it breaks evenly track-wise at 19 minutes for side A and almost 22 for side B, with “Ghastly Appendage” providing a strange, down-the-rabbit-hole vibe to close out the first half.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
After running a contest to give away the test-pressing on their Thee Facebooks page (I didn’t win), Southern California fuzz innovators Fu Manchu have made available a limited run of vinyl for a new remaster of their 1994 debut album, No One Rides for Free. Obviously this is a scenario in which all of humanity benefits.
That’s not sarcasm. Yeah, No One Rides for Freedoesn’t enjoy the same kind of landmark status as some of Fu Manchu‘s subsequent outings, like 1997′s The Action is Go or 1996′s In Search Of, but it’s amazing how much of Fu Manchu‘s approach was already laid out by the time they got to No One Rides for Freeafter a couple of initial singles. Cuts like “Mega-Bumpers” and “Time to Fly” and “Ojo Rojo” lay out the blueprint for what the band would become, and with the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Scott Hill, bassist Mark Abshire, guitarist Eddie Glass and drummer Ruben Romano — the latter three who’d go on to form Nebula – not to mention production by Brant Bjork, who’d later join on drums, the badassery speaks for itself. It’s like they recorded surfing.
Instructions for how to order follow here, and Fu Manchu are also playing Feb. 8 at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, CA, with Blasting Concept, so one imagines you can pick up a copy at that show as well. From there, the Fu head into the studio to lay down a new album reportedly for release later in the year. Like I said, everybody wins:
Fu Manchu 20 year anniversary of “no one rides for free” remaster / reissue gatefold LP out now. 300 on yellow vinyl and 300 on clear vinyl the rest on black vinyl. We will be selling the colored copies here. CD’s out soon.
Inside the USA $13.00 plus $7.00 shipping fedex priority. email your order.
Outside the USA contact us for shipping.
Paypal and contact is email@example.com
Orders will start shipping out 3rd week of feb. Include order and address with payment.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Next week, airy San Francisco psych rockers Sleepy Sun start a US tour that will cross the nation and turn north into Canada in support of their new album, Maui Tears. It will run from Feb. 13 almost through the end of March before planting the five-piece back on their native soil, and then after that, they head to Europe in April, where they’ll take part in Desertfest Berlin 2014. Busy schedule, but all it means is that by the time they hit the Astra Kulturhaus, they’ll be so locked in they’re likely to have forgotten what life was like before they played a show every night. Which is bad for personal relationships, but good for a rock and roll crowd.
The PR wire sends confirmation:
DESERTFEST BERLIN 2014 — SLEEPY SUN CONFIRMED
We are delighted to announce today in exclusivity that Mammoth Psych Rockers SLEEPY SUN will lead their trippy fresh waves to DESERTFEST BERLIN 2014!!
SLEEPY SUN is an American psychedelic rock band from San Francisco (Ca) first formed as Mania in 2005 by students Bret Constantino, Matthew Holliman, Evan Reiss, Brice Tice and original bass player Hubert Guy.
The band progressed from their original garage rock stylings into psychedelia and in 2007 changed their name to SLEEPY SUN, with the addition of former singer Rachel Fannan. Soon after the band set to work on their debut and self released “Embrace” in 2008 (re-issued by ATP Recordings in 2009), which received favorable reviews. Shortly after the release of the album Guy left the band and was soon replaced by new bass player Jack Allen.
SLEEPY SUN released their follow-up album, “Fever” in 2010, and “Spine Hits” in 2012, the band’s first studio album without Fannan. Now in 2014, they released on January 28th their fourth LP “Maui Tears” via Dine Alone Records: 9 tracks of mind-melting trip exploring festering psych-garage, languid space-rock and stoner-waltz delirium!
During the past five years, SLEEPY SUN also embarked on multiple tours, and the band’s mixture of alchemy and architecture on stage has twisted knowing and discerning heads. With their live show becoming a subject of acclaim, Brit-pop colossus Arctic Monkey’s hauled them out on tour in 2010, and drone-psych leviathans Black Angels did the same a year later. Starting a 35-dates tour in the USA on February 13th, they will reach European lands in April, and will make a stop at DESERTFEST BERLIN 2014, for our pleasure!
Posted in Reviews on February 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster
Second week in a row I’m trying this, since the universe didn’t seem to collapse on itself after the first one — unless you count how bad I fucked up lineups; they’re fixed now. Once again we cover some pretty wide ground geographically and stylistically (also alphabetically!), so let’s get to it:
Buddha Sentenza, South Western Lower Valley Rock
Released last year as their debut on World in Sound Records, the 14-track full-length South Western Lower Valley Rock is Buddha Sentenza‘s follow-up to 2009′s exploratory Mode 0909 (review here). The 46-minute outing from the German instrumental fivesome pairs longer pieces like the classic rocking “Arrested Development” (5:04) and prog-jamming “The Monkey Stealing the Peaches” (2:49) off of brief transitional interludes taking their name from letters in the Greek alphabet. I’m not sure what “A-B-G-D-E-Z-I” is meant to indicate — the tracks being “Alpha,” “Beta,” “Gamma” and so on — but they pair remarkably well with the other pieces, and the emergent feel is not unlike that of My Sleeping Karma‘s 2012 outing, Soma, methodologically as well as aesthetically. Perhaps the highlight of South Western Lower Valley Rockis its longest component, “Debris Moon,” which in just under nine minutes weaves nighttime atmospherics and heavy psych ambience into what’s still a subdued track, never quite paying off the tension it creates until the subsequent “Epsilon” shifts into the aforementioned “The Monkey Stealing the Peaches,” giving even more of a clue that Buddha Sentenza are working in a whole-album mindset, rather than thinking of South Western Lower Valley Rockin terms of its individual tracks. The album makes sense on this level, and on CD presents an immersive, linear listening experience that casts a deceptively wide stylistic berth between keyboard-infused krautrock worship, heavy rock and psychedelia, offering fluid motion from in less skilled hands could easily come across as disjointed elements. They make that My Sleeping Karma comparison almost too easy, but the interludes are ultimately essential in creating the flow, as the ease of movement between the desert crunch of “Tzameti,” “Eta” and Eastern-vibing closer “Psychonaut” underscores. Some of Buddha Sentenza‘s best moments are in playing styles off each other.
Chrome, Half Machine from the Sun: The Lost Tracks from ’79-’80
While the liner notes tell of their having been designated “too accessible” at the time, the 18 songs on Chrome‘s Half Machine from the Sun are still plenty weird. As the title indicates, the release is a compilation of yet-unissued cuts from 1979-1980, the era of Half Machine Lip Moves and Red Exposure for Chrome‘s key collaboration between guitarist/vocalist Helios Creed and drummer/vocalist Damon Edge and arguably the point at which that incarnation of the band’s far-out blend of proto-punk, New Wave, psychedelic rock and experimental pop was at its most potent. Sure enough, Half Machine from the Sun crisscrosses genres on an almost per-track basis, be it the weirdo electro stomp of “Looking for Your Door,” the space rock noise wash of “Morrison” or “Sub Machine,” which turns an almost manic drum beat into the foundation of an otherworldly guitar and vocal exploration. They can and will go anywhere, as “Charlie’s Little Problem” and the creeper keyboards of “Ghost” showcase, but if there’s anything tying Half Machine from the Sun(which is out through King of Spades Records following a successful crowdfunding campaign to have it pressed to CD) together, it’s the fact that nothing is tying it together. Tape loops, analog synth, bizarre vocals, structure out the window — and yes, this is still the “accessible” side of Chrome — these songs nonetheless leave any number of memorable impressions, even if that impression winds up in an overarching sense of “God damn this band was weird.” Gloriously so. Chrome, under the direction of Helios Creed, have reportedly been at work on new material, so maybe all the better to give fans advance notice via this collection, which provides 73 minutes of alternate universe brainfodder to sate the curious and the passionate alike. A fan piece, but a welcome one.
The self-released debut EP from New Jersey-based progressive black metallers Hercyn, Magda, arrives in a full jewel case — the pressing is limited to 100 copies — wrapped in twine. I guess that’s meant to take the place of shrinkwrap, and in that, it’s certainly a more natural-feeling option. Magda‘s namesake track is a 24-minute blend of Euro-doom melancholy, blackened gurgles, grand riffing and ambient weight from the Jersey City trio of guitarist Michael DiCiania, guitarist/vocalist Ernest Wawiorko and bassist Tony Stanziano. About the only thing holding back the EP’s organic vibe is the fact that the drums are programmed, which gives the complex, ambitious “Magda” a mechanical base for what’s otherwise a relatively human sound; the guitars are buzzsaw sharp, but not necessarily without tonal warmth, and particularly in blastbeaten stretches, one almost wants something less precise to go along with the rawness in those guitars, as well as in the bass and Wawiorko‘s vocals. Nonetheless, as lead and rhythm layers intertwine past “Magda”‘s midpoint, there’s beauty in the dismal and a sense of the potential in Hercyn to fluidly cross genre boundaries even more than they already are. That lead is well plotted and sustained, and tempo and chug vary as the song reaches and moves beyond its apex in the second half, with the band offering a bit of Enslaved and Woods of Ypres influence in the interplay of keys and strings. I don’t know if they’ll try to find an actual drummer — for a first release, Magdahardly seems half-assed in its presentation, so maybe this is it; I hear industrial is on its way back — but Hercyn have started with a work of striking intricacy, and prove wholly comfortable in the longer form. An impressive and hopefully portentous debut.
Acid fuzz like a field you could lay down and lose an afternoon in is the contraband trafficked by L.A. freakouts The Warlocks, whose amorphous sonic ooze is every bit in mirror to their lineup, which has seen no fewer than 20 cats come and go and stick around over the course of the last decade and a half. With guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist/bassist Bobby Hecksher as the core around which the eight tracks of the 40-minute Skull Worship swirl, the oft-shoegazing psychedelia isn’t given to complete chaos, but man, The Warlocks go way, way out and don’t seem overly concerned with how they’re getting back. Joining Hecksher for the adventure are guitarist JC Rees, guitarist Earl V. Miller, bassist Chris DiPino and drummer George Serrano, as well as Tanya Hayden, who stops by to add some cello to “Silver and Plastic,” which sounds like what I always secretly hoped Radiohead would deliver instead of the pretentious mopey schlock they put out until they decided they were too smart for albums or whatever. The Warlocks, who had a couple records out on Tee Pee before jumping to Zap Banana/Cargo Records for Skull Worship, at times call to mind the very, very British moments of Crippled Black Phoenix, but then the psychedelic wash of “Chameleon” or “It’s a Hard Fall” takes hold and the whole vibe is groovier, thicker, more multi-colored molasses, whatever other attitude it might convey. The album hits its stride just when you think it might start to drag, and the closing “Eyes Jam” sounds like its backwards cymbals, feedback and drones could just go on into perpetuity, like if the record never returned and the loop kept repeating. Some heady moments, but should be right on the level for those properly tuned in.
Immediately and throughout much of the duration of Polish psychedelic pop rockers The White Kites‘ debut LP, Missing (out on Deep Field Records), the vibe is Beatles. Lots and lots of Beatles, from the Sgt. Pepper-style organ circus swirl of opener “Arrival” on through the McCartney piano bounce of the penultimate “The Missing.” It is a 50-minute album, and much of the lighthearted atmosphere it creates stems from its modern interpretation of the legendary Liverpudlians in their psych era. Hard to rag on a band for digging The Beatles — it’s like yelling at a fish for breathing underwater. And as a seven-piece that includes flute, recorders, keyboards, citole, a variety of percussion, clarinet, ukulele and so on, The White Kites aren’t lacking for sonic diversity — vocalist Sean Palmer has quite a task in tying the album together — but as intricate and progressive as Missing gets, it’s still taking the Lennon/McCartney byway to get there. The corresponding songwriting team for The White Kites seems to be Palmer and bassist/keyboardist Jakub Lenarczyk (presented as Lenarczyk/Palmer), and they’re more than capable in their charge, but hints of early Pink Floyd and King Crimson seem to be waiting to emerge from “Turtle’s Back” and “Beyond the Furthest Star,” like they’re trying to get out and be more prominent in the band’s sound but are overpowered by the traceable poppiness. That doesn’t stop Missing from being enjoyable — unless you’ve never liked The Beatles, maybe — or “Beyond the Furthest Star” from being the highlight, it just means that The White Kites have room to shift the sonic balance should they choose to do so their next time around. Until then, impeccable production and imaginative arrangements throughout give an impression of a band just beginning their discovery.
An obvious pick, maybe, but I’m thinking of it more as correcting the oversight of never having closed a week with it before than taking the easy way out, so if that’s how you want to roll with it as well, I’m cool with that. Or if you don’t give a crap and are happy to have an excuse to groove on Sleep’s Holy Mountainon this late Friday evening/early Saturday morning, that works too. Either way you want to slice it, Sleep‘s second album, released in the US in March 1993 — it’s almost legally old enough to drink, and who wouldn’t buy this record a beer on its birthday? — is among the most influential slabs of Sabbath-worship ever crafted. Not one week goes by that I don’t get hit up by some band playing essentially these riffs in a different order. Sometimes in the same order. It has made gods of Sleep, and helped solidify the second generation of heavy rock and roll in the ’90s, giving a true and loyal update on the potency of the band’s ’70s forebears.
Most importantly, it has earned every bit of the legend around it. To listen to “Evil Gypsy/Solomon’s Theme,” the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros, guitarist Matt Pike and drummer Chris Hakius sound as blitzed out of their minds as they probably were, and as much of Sleep‘s legacy is tied to the legend of Dopesmokerand the band taking their major label advance and spending it on weed and amps and whatever, Sleep’s Holy Mountainis the right album to have come from its time and place, and more than 20 years on, I think we’re still in the process of understanding its impact.
Also it fucking rules. Please enjoy.
I’ve had “day” enough for three days, so I’m going to keep this brief, but please let me say how humbled I was and how heartwarming the response to the fifth anniversary post was. As it happened, I wrote that in a hospital waiting room while a member of my family was having surgery (all seems to be well), and it was a show of support that was even more appreciated in that context. Deeply, deeply appreciated. Again, more than I can say.
We came down to Jersey last night ahead of that procedure — that’s also why there weren’t so many posts today; that premiere for The Socks I wrote late last night to publish this morning — and tomorrow we’ll head back north to Massachusetts after breakfast. I’ve got a lot of email to answer and a lot of stuff to listen to, but I’m going to try to do another roundup this coming week like the one I did this past Monday — though I’m going to do it on Tuesday, because Monday is enough of a pain in the ass without it — and I know I’ll have a review of the Valley of the Sun record, but I’m honestly sure what else at the moment because I’m just not home. Maybe The Warlocks.
Oh, and I’ll have the Alcest interview, finally. Little late on that one, but still. Time to get it posted, so that’ll be up.
I said I was going to keep it short, so I am, since even though I’m not all the way through Sleep’s Holy Mountainyet my eyes are starting to close, but before I go, please, thank you again so much for all the support and encouragement and kind words and thoughts. Five years of this has been fantastic, and I know there’s a lot of really awesome stuff coming in the next few months, with the Pentagram, Radio Moscow and Kings Destroy West Coast tour — fuck I can. not. wait. to go on tour with those dudes — in February and more excellence on tap for the spring. Stay tuned, is what I’m saying.
Alright. Have a great and safe weekend, and please hit up the forum and radio stream.
The desert continues to fascinate. Dual-guitar four-piece Tribesmen make their home in Coachella, California (never heard of it), and their instrumental approach definitely takes some cues from the airy tones of Yawning Man that one imagines are just floating by on hot, dry desert winds, but that’s not quite the end of their base of influence on their latest single, “Alpine.” A strong undercurrent of post-rock à la Russian Circles or, to keep with vocal-less acts, Explosions in the Sky, emerges as the new song plays out its five-minute course, the video featuring the band performing one at a time and then all together in the Coachella Valley Art Center with various projections on and around them. The guitars of Wilber Pacheco and Alec Paul Corral are a big distinguishing factor, coming together periodically for a wash of ringing echo when not exploring their own whims over the foundation made firm by bassist Leslie Romero and drummer Freddy Jiminez, and that gives a somewhat psychedelic feel, but in both their presence in the video and in the meter of the song itself, they show little tendency toward shoegazing.
While that’s the case for “Alpine,” it’s not universally true, as the dreamy sprawl of “Under the Ice” from Tribesmen‘s 2013 EP, Blue, demonstrates. There, Romero‘s bass plays an even more considerable role in providing the anchor around which the guitars wisp, but with “Alpine,” it’s more about the four members all working together on a singular linear build, Jiminez signaling a next stage in the takeoff at around 2:30 in with a steady kick-line where previously he’d been mostly adding to the ambience on cymbals and toms. A break to quiet atmospherics is answered with more fervent pulsating just before the four-minute mark, and what stems from there is where the post-rock element is really most evident, because instead of going for an all-out heavy payoff, they run a few rounds through a kind of indie boogie that comes as a genuine surprise with what precedes. Given the fluidity they’re able to craft, I’m inclined to think of stepping back from that kind of precipice as a conscious choice rather than a songwriting fluke on the part of a young band, but either way, it’s ultimately this restraint that winds up as the most lasting impression of the track.
Tribesmen have a couple singles and the EP available as pay-what-you-want downloads via their Bandcamp, and it seems fodder for an investigation. Post-desert rock? As I said, that part of the world continues to fascinate.
The first time I saw Black Cobra was in a Manhattan basement club called Lit Lounge at a show I put together in 2005, and it was a genuine “Oh shit” moment. The duo of guitarist/vocalist Jason Landrian (ex-Cavity) and drummer Rafa Martinez (who was also still part-time bassist for Acid King at that point) were among the rawest and meanest heavy bands I’d ever come across. Later that year, I’d catch them in a shoe museum in Los Angeles with Torche and to this day it remains one of the heaviest shows I can (barely) remember. Their debut album, Bestial, was released on At a Loss in 2006, and the band relocated from the East Coast to San Francisco, though really, for several years they were nomadic, never seeming to stay too long off the road between tours, hand-delivering punishment to an increasingly devout audience. Southern Lord picked them up for 2007′s Feather and Stone full-length, and their run continued at a gallop as fierce as their own thrashing riffs. 2009′s Chronomega followed and 2011′s Invernal (review here) brought a conceptual edge to their approach, taking the Polar explorations of British researcher Ernest Shackleton to dark and monstrous places, thematically and sonically.
They remain a force on the road, having just completed a week-long West Coast run with Weedeater after having made a stop in Miami to share the stage with Holly Hunt and Shroud Eater in December and another right after the New Year to play Brooklyn’s St. Vitus bar with Throaat and Blackout.
The Obelisk Questionnaire: Rafa Martinez
How did you come to do what you do?
I’m assuming you mean playing music. Growing up I copied everything my older brother did so when he picked up a guitar I followed right behind. He introduced me to metal and punk music. We had a couple bands together but he slowly stopped and it became my life.
Describe your first musical memory.
When I was three I remember learning how to use a turntable with Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Describe your best musical memory to date.
Sharing the stage with Sleep and Neurosis at Hellfest this last summer was very memorable.
When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?
Once we were about to go onstage and the stage manager told us our set was being cut by 15 minutes. I told him that we would do no such thing and that his un-American censorship would be protested by our fans and that they would more than likely do things to him. We did our full set and as the crowd cheered for more, the stage manager obliged to their supplicant cries.
Where do you feel artistic progression leads?
How do you define success?
Feeling good about what you do never compromising your ideals. Getting free pizza once in a while is nice too.
What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?
Seeing that sorry-ass excuse of existence, waste of space, fetid effluvia emitting piece of gonorrhea the world knows as Creed winning a Grammy for Best Rock Performance in 2001. I know it was a slow year and all but there’s no logical reason for something like that to happen. But then again George W. Bush got elected twice so we’re all slowly getting used to events like these that make absolutely no sense.
Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.
Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?
I heard a rumor that both Police Academy and Footloose are being remade at the moment. Looking forward the their premieres.
I bought this album from the Duna Records website when it came out in 2004. I remember it because I had dug Brant Bjork and the Operatorsand Keep Your Cooland waited for Local Angelto come out, and when it did, and it showed up in its glossy digipak, I don’t think I completely got the vibe at first, but I knew I liked it, a lot, and it’s been a record I’ve gone back to periodically ever since. The digipak is still in pretty good shape too.
Brant Bjork would shortly go on to form Brant Bjork and the Bros. and release the double-album Saved by Magic, and his next solo outing was the acoustic Tres Diasin 2007, but until that came out with its sometimes-I-sit-in-a-field-with-a-guitar vibe, Local Angelwas the most peaceful, intimate vibe Brant Bjork had put on a full-length, and it was a record that showed that you could take a desert groove to places that most people probably wouldn’t think of as heavy and make it work. Or that Brant Bjork could do it, anyway. I haven’t heard too many others try and put the same kind of soul influence into what they were doing and make it work as well as the folk of “Beautiful Powers,” the classic rock of “The Feelin’” or the laid back psychedelic funk of “Hippie.” From “Chico” to “Spanish Tiles” and the covers of “Hey Joe” and The Ramones‘ “I Want You Around,” Local Angel was a spirit thateven Brant Bjork never really went back to. It stands alone in his catalog and outside of it.
Part of that is the simple method of double-tracking the vocals over acoustic guitar, the in-and-out of the drums, and particularly compared to later work like 2007′s Somera Sól and 2010′s Gods and Goddesses — his most recent solo outing — much more of an individual feel as opposed to a band presence. So cool. So smooth.
Hope you dig it.
Tonight The Patient Mrs. and I went down to New Bedford, about an hour away, to see William Shatner‘s one-man show. Ever since I finished watching the original Star Trek series, we’ve been on a pretty big kick, making our way through the first seven movies and starting in on The Next Generation and the animated series as well as some of Shatner‘s Trek-centric documentaries like The Captains. All that stuff is on Netflix so it’s pretty accessible, and there’s a lot of it. Shatner’s World, though, which is the name of the one-man show, was awesome. I laughed, I held back tears as he played a clip of an introduction he recorded for the last flight of the space shuttle Discovery, I laughed more when he talked about recording an album with Ben Folds. It was very, very cool, and though it’s a balmy 9 degrees out, well worth leaving the house. I may or may not review it on Monday. I paid for the tickets and got shot down for a photo pass, so I hardly feel obligated, but it might be fun anyway.
This week I reviewed five albums. Last Friday, I laid out the next five reviews I wanted to do — Weedpecker, Colour Haze, Conan, Mammatus and Papir, in that order — and this week I fucking did it. I can’t remember the last time I reviewed five albums in the same week. It’s been at least a year. It felt good, even if it didn’t leave me much time for anything else. Next week I want to try something different. I’ve got a little stack of stuff that’s been around for a while and I’d like to try putting together a roundup that’s somewhere between the Reviewsplosion-style 100-word stuff I’ve done a couple times and the 1,000-ish words (I’ve actually been trying to cut that down too) that a lot of records seem to get around here. Seems like an interesting challenge to try to say everything I want to say about an album in 300 words, still try to convey some of what I perceive of the spirit of the thing in that limited space. Trying to hone a more efficient approach, in other words. I’m still going to do larger-form reviews as well, but maybe once I week or once every couple weeks I squeeze in a roundup of stuff I might not otherwise have room for and at the same time force myself a little bit out of my run-on-sentence comfort zone. I’ll give it a shot this week and see how it goes, and look out for a Green Dragon tape review, a review of the live Leaf Hound record that Ripple put out, the new The Wounded Kings and other stuff as well.
Wherever you are tonight, I hope it’s more than 9 degrees and that you’re grooving out easy on the Brant Bjork and there’s no drama where you don’t want it and that all is cool. We’re coming to the end of January, so I’m thinking about the anniversary of this site, and it’s a big one. I don’t have anything really on tap to celebrate — as I see it, the way you celebrate working on something is by working on it — but we’ll mark the occasion this week anyway, though I think posts might be light on Friday otherwise. We’ll see how it goes.
Have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.