Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Newcomer collaborative duo Robb & Pott go to warp five on “Flesh ‘n’ Steel” from their debut album, Once upon the Wings — out in September through mega-respected purveyor Nasoni Records, now in their 20th year — and that’s still before they get around to covering Sam Gopal, so yeah, it’s pretty fair to say the record’s tripped out. The two-piece is made up of Robbi Robb of Californian desert jammers 3rd Ear Experience and Paul Pott of German space rockers The Space Invaders, and the record boasts five tracks from “Space Ear,” the title derived from the players’ main outfits, to the 16-minute blissery of “Prophecy #1,” each of which proves immersive and basks in chemistry that it would seem even continents couldn’t separate.
From the PR wire:
Robb & Pott – Once Upon the Wings
We are pleased to announce the release of Once Upon the Wings – a collaboration between Robbi Robb of 3rd Ear Experience and Paul_Pott of the German space rock band the Space Invaders.
Cds will be available in July 2016 and Vinyl will be released in September 2016 through Nasoni Records.
Most musicians after they have discovered their instrument of choice, enjoy playing with their friends, jamming in garages, at backyard parties and around campfires. Though some go professional eventually – there remains the attraction to return to those days of jamming and making music with good friends and like-minded musicians we meet on the way. It is this underlying sentiment that inspires this project simply called Robb&Pott. The last names of two friends.
When Robbi performed with Tribe after Tribe at the Burg Herzberg Festival he briefly met Paul who was part of the film crew Andi Weimann put together to capture Tribe live. Years later Paul would help Robbi to get his new album with 3rd Ear Experience to labels and promoters. At that time Robb did not know that Paul played bass in one of his favorite Space rock bands: the Space Invaders. This came as a great surprise. Slowly over the years their friendship developed until it was inevitable that the desire arose to do an album together – just for fun. Thus was born Robb & Pott.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Look, I’m not even gonna wax critical on this one, just read everything about the new Helen Money record, Become Zero, below and then preorder it. Couldn’t be simpler. The album is out on Sept. 16 through Thrill Jockey and follows 2013’s Arriving Angels (review here) and a 2015 collaboration with Jarboe. This Spring, Alison Chesley, the sole inhabitant of the band Helen Money, toured alongside French progressive rock legends Magma, and like them, she speaks a language entirely her own. Damn. I said I wasn’t gonna wax critical.
Save me, PR wire!
LP version pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged with artworked inner sleeve and free download coupon. CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package.
Limited quantity pressed on opaque yellow gold color vinyl
Helen Money’s Become Zero continues cellist Alison Chesley’s exploration of emotive and intense music. Written after the death of both of her parents, Become Zero amplifies Chesley’s musical ferocity with palpable sadness and striking beauty. Using her extensively manipulated cello, Chesley joins forces once more with drummer Jason Roeder (Sleep, Neurosis), Rachel Grimes (Rachel’s) and collaborator and co-producer Will Thomas (who provides sound effects and samples) on an album that is incredibly personal and visceral.
Through her music, Chesley takes us on a journey as she grapples with the concepts and the emotions of life’s end: loss, isolation, sorrow, peace and resolution. “Vanished Star” imagines a place where this life and what lies beyond it intersect in an eerie waltz between the piano and cello. “Facing the Sun,” takes its title from the loosely-translated name of the Tataviam Indians, who lived in the San Fernando Valley where Chesley grew up. “It also refers to my father who loved the Valley and loved sitting outside and feeling the sun on his skin,” Chesley says. “Radiate” begins in a place of struggle and hardship which is eventually transcended. The song starts with a dissonant, distorted chord on the cello and builds to a place where it fights with itself before finally falling apart. “To end the piece I wanted it to sound like it was dissolving into space – another reference to my father, who worked on the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs,” says Chesley. “Will and I even managed to replicate the sound of a satellite pinging at the end. The ending feels very peaceful to me. Resolved.”
On “Blood and Bone,” Chesley brought in pianist Rachel Grimes. While “Blood and Bone” is acoustic, don’t assume that it’s a gentler piece. “One of the things I struggle with as a composer is writing for my cello without any effects, especially music that is as powerful as my amplified pieces,” Chesley says. She had been practicing the 5th cello suite by JS Bach, a “very dark piece,” as she wrote Become Zero. In this suite, Bach has the cellist tune the top string down a whole step, and the music itself is very dissonant and powerful. Chesley wanted to incorporate the piano which adds a nice depth and percussiveness to the texture. So she opened the piece with those very stark chords and brought the cello in, letting it gradually take over.
Much of Become Zero was recorded at Thomas’ Los Angeles studio. Additional recording was done at Grimes’ studio outside of Louisville, Kentucky, and at East/West Studios in Hollywood. While Chesley had previously exclusively recorded analog to tape with Steve Albini, she went in a new direction for her Thrill Jockey debut. “I wanted to explore the freedom provided by digital recording,” Alison explains. “there is simply more flexibility with regards to multi-tracking…such as interfacing with electronic sounds, supplementing tracks with MIDI sounds, and ease of movement between the analog and digital domain. Become Zero’s songs called for a much wider palate of sounds.” Roeder’s drums were recorded separately at East/West Studios on a vintage Neve console. Chesley’s expanded approach to recording results in a beautiful mix of acoustic and processed sounds, a perfect fit for an album that is at once highly visceral and delicately ethereal.
Helen Money is equally at home in the New Music realm as she is in the New Metal realm. Chesley has toured extensively with an incredible array of musicians, including Shellac, Neurosis, Sleep, Russian Circles, Magma, Agalloch, Earth, and Nina Nastasia. Both Portishead and Shellac selected her for their respective All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals. Helen Money toured with Bob Mould in 2015, including a performance on the Late Show with David Letterman. Her history of collaborations with Chicago improvisers is extensive.
Chesley currently resides in Los Angeles and will be participating in a monthlong residency at the venue Complex throughout August 2016. Helen Money is actively touring throughout Europe and the United States. She will be touring again extensively in the fall and throughout 2017.
Tracklisting: 1 Every Confidence 2 Become Zero 3 Radiate 4 Blood and Bone 5 Vanished Star 6 Machine 7 Leviathan 8 Facing the Sun
[Farflung release their new album, 5, via Heavy Psych Sounds this weekend at Freak Valley 2016. Click play above to stream it in full.]
They’ve hardly been inactive in the interim, but 5 marks the first studio LP from Los Angeles space rockers Farflung in eight years. Released by Heavy Psych Sounds, it follows 2008’s A Wound in Eternity (on MeteorCity) as well as splits with White Hills, Black Rainbows and Fatso Jetson (review here), among others, and finds the long-running outfit past the 20-year mark since their debut, 25,000 Feet Per Second, came out in 1995. Through the bulk of that two decades, Farflung have coursed through the cosmos thoroughly underappreciated for their efforts — similar to split-mates White Hills, who started later, they seem to have found more of a foothold in Europe than in the US.
But 5 brings renewed vitality in its nine miniaturized interstellar voyages/43 minutes, all songs but the opening three under five minutes long but with a significant breadth all the same, dripping in effects and spaced far enough out that the scale of “far out” only seems to begin to cover it. Some vibe can only be measured in parsecs, and with the band comprised of Tommy Grenas, Michael Esther, Paul Hischier, Abby Travis and Chris Nakata with guest appearances from Hawkwind‘s Nik Turner, David Catching and Gene Troutmann (both affiliated with Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal), Farflung‘s vibe pushes outward from the moment of its inception until it closes with the almost tribal krautrock thrust of “The Retreat,” as progressive as it is lysergic.
Naturally, they are right at home in this expanding sphere. “Hive” opens 5 — which by the way is upwards of Farflung‘s eighth album — and is the longest cut on it at 6:53 (immediate points), acting as intro for itself and the record as a whole with its emergent swirl in the first minute that soon launches into kosmiche boogie instrumental save for some buried vocalizations. The push is everything. They’re not quite aping Hawkwind at the outset, but the thrust of the first half is clearly-enough working to break through the atmosphere, which “Hive” seems to do and float for a while in its second half before resuming its outward crunch. Effects start “Proterozoic” as well, but a more forward structure takes hold, with lyrics delivered in echoing deadpan over double snare taps for a garage rock feel that takes off its in chorus.
That hook turns out to be one of the strongest on 5 and is followed by a long stretch of hypnotic, resonantly psychedelic drone and effects near the finish, which sets up the more earthbound riff opening “044MPZ,” with a kind of New Wave synth line underscoring its verse and a sense of space in the chorus behind interweaving echoes. Synth and Echoplex add fluidity to a languid solo, and though it seems like Farflung have hit the point of no return from whence the only thing to do is continue to jam, they turn back to the chorus before shifting into less-plugged acid fervor. “044MPZ” is the crucial third in the aforementioned longer-tracks opening trio, and what follows from there on “27th Sun” and side B read like reports checking in from the various worlds Farflung have visited along their way to wherever it is they might end up by the album’s end.
“Lupine,” the centerpiece, calls back to “044MPZ” in its tone, but with a change in vocals (is that Turner?) that marks it out immediately ahead of the shorter “Being Boiled,” which has a more brooding take. Waves of guitar and repetitive robotic chants position “We Are” as something of a landmark, but at that point it’s really more about the wash in its entirety than any single element — all these layers drawing together to create something immersive and entrancing. Slower and more centered around low end, “Dismal Jimmy” is nonetheless among the trippier offerings on 5, and almost enough to make one wish Farflung hit the brakes more often, but while the penultimate inclusion, it also stands as reinforcement of the fact that as far as the band has to that point journeyed, they’ve still got the warp drive geared toward who the hell knows.
And if you’re looking for that answer in “The Retreat,” good luck. Resolution comes in cinematic percussive drama backed by the ever-present swirl, and is less about making the album preceding more accessible than showing that Farflung could probably keep it as well as all of the ideas presented before it going into perpetuity. In that way, 5 feels somewhat pared down, like these tracks were carved from longer jams during the songwriting and shaped into what they are with effects and layers of keys and synth and so on, but that shouldn’t be taken as an indication that there’s anything happening here other than exploration, since that very much remains at the heart of what Farflung have accomplished on this welcome return.
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 20th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Los Angeles duo BigPig are gearing up to issue their first full-length, Grande Puerco, on June 20. When out, it will be digitally self-released, and to herald its arrival the band has posted the track “C-” as their debut single. So far as I know, this is the first studio recording from the two-piece, which features guitarist/vocalist Dino Von Lalli, also of Fatso Jetson and Yawning Man, alongside drummer/backing vocalist Benny Macias, so it’s also the first chance to get a glimpse some next-generation of desert rock that comes through in strikingly raw and punkish but still heavy form.
The announcement of the single’s release, the lyrics to the song and other recording info — in good hands doing your first recording with Toshi Kasai — and of course the track itself, follow here, as hoisted from BigPig‘s Bandcamp, where it’s a name-your-price download:
(BIG)PIG’S DEBUT SINGLE TRACK OFF OF DEBUT ALBUM “GRANDE PUERCO” WHICH WILL BE OUT DIGITALLY JUNE 20TH!
“C-” lyrics: On a road straight to hell paved with good intentions, Oh well Sick and tired of your lies, Sick and tired sympathize, Oh well You and me are meant to be your 3/4ths demon with a side of cheese, Everybody loves you and I wont and I wont and I wont You and me are meant to be your 3/4ths demon with a side of cheese, Everybody loves you Everybody love me again, Everybody love me oh yeah Ooh baby love me twice, ooh baby fuckin love me thrice You and me are meant to be your 3/4ths demon with a side of cheese, Everybody loves you and I wont and I wont and I wont You and me are meant to be your 3/4ths demon with a side of cheese, Everybody loves you
Benny Macias- Drums, Backing Vocals Dino Von Lalli- Guitar, Lead Vocals
Recorded & Produced by Toshi Kasai at Sound Of Sirens Studios. Overdubs Recorded by Adam Harding at Buttery Jack Studios. Mixed and Mastered by Mathias Schneeberger at Donner & Blitzen Studios. Album Art by CorpseTits.
Posted in Features on May 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Next Thursday, May 26, Radio Moscow, The Freeks, Albatross Overdrive and Grand Old Evils hit The Federal Bar in Long Beach for a show put on by Knitting Factory Presents. Leave a comment on this post to be entered into a giveaway to win a pair of tickets to the show.
Now, if you know this site you know I’m broke as shit, so don’t even think travel is included. But if you’re in SoCal or you’re going to be, the lineup pretty much sells itself. Please make sure that if you enter you’ll be able to attend, and please make sure to put your email address in the comment form so I can contact you if you win. Your email will not be stored, or remembered, or sold, or any of that other shady shit that people do with email addresses these days. The only time you’ll hear from me is if you’re a winner.
So, as you’ve got nothing to lose and a night of kickass rock and roll to gain, I say have at it. Show poster, info, ticket links and so on follow here, and you can leave a comment at the bottom of the post.
Thanks to all who enter:
KNITTING FACTORY PRESENTS
Thursday May 26:
Radio Moscow, The Freeks, Albatross Overdrive, The Grand Old Evils
The Federal 102 Pine Ave Long Beach, California 90802
The power trio led by the Stratocaster genius Parker Griggs have found THE formula: Crunching, heavy Sabbath-style chords topped with fiery solos that earn the right to be called Hendrixian. RN plants their flag firmly in the territory where psychedelic rock and cranked-up blues meet. The sound is unabashedly retro (think Cream, Blue Cheer, Led Zep or Jimi Hendrix Experience)’ so it’s easy to see how it caught the ear of the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who produced Radio Moscow’s 2007 self-titled debut.
With Brain Cycles, their second album, Radio Moscow proved they’re not a cheap time machine but a direct descendant from the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll. In 2011, Griggs continued his psychedelic trip with The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz released by Alive Records. In June 2014, and still with Alive Records, the band released their most recent album Magical Dirt.
Led by Ruben Romano (founding member of FuManchu and Nebula) and supported by Bob Lee on drums (Claw Hammer, Backbiter, Mike Watt), Tom Davies on bass (Nebula), Esteban Chavez on keys, and Jonathan Hall on guitar (Angry Samoans, Backbiter), the Freeks deliver raw, unrefined, screaming fuzzed psychedelic rock’n’roll music that is dream bent with tension and laced with Full On passion.
Albatross Overdrive is a heavy rock band incorporating influences from Sabbath to James Brown. A definite bluesy undertone is present in the earthquake like songs with just a hint of funk. The diversity of melodies will keep the audience focused while the live show will demand respect.
Grand Old Evils:
The Grand Old Evils is Southern California’s newest oldest band, born to drink beer and melt your face with ear blasting dirty rock and massive sound!
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Big news from Big Business. The L.A.-based outfit have stripped back to the original duo of drummer/vocalist Coady Willis and bassist/vocalist Jared Warren and will release their new album, Command Your Weather, on July 8 through Joyful Noise Recordings. You might recall Big Business‘ last long-player, 2013’s Battlefields Forever, had them working with guitarist/vocalist Scott Martin, and they also released a digital single called True Gold last March, both songs from which — “Blacker Holes” and “Diagnostic Front” — will be featured on Command Your Weather.
In addition to those, Big Business are also streaming the new single “Father’s Day” in advance of the new album’s release. Oh, and there’s also the matter of a long, long list of tour dates in the LP announcement below. Big Business as usual in that department:
Big Business Announces New LP Command Your Weather, Out 7/8 via Joyful Noise & Gold Metal Records
Big Business has announced the release of its fifth studio album, Command Your Weather, due out July 8th as a co-release between Joyful Noise Recordings and the band’s own Gold Metal Records. It’s currently available for pre-order on all formats, including gold colored vinyl and a limited VIP edition on clear & gold vinyl.
Command Your Weather sees Big Business return to its original two-man lineup of Jared Warren on bass & Coady Willis on drums (both are current members of the Melvins, and Willis is an original member of The Murder City Devils and plays in the all-drumming project Hew Time with Dale Crover and Joe Plummer.) They describe the upcoming release as “an album about the struggle for dominance of will over the power and unpredictability of nature…or just a really great rock record.”
BIG BUSINESS COMMAND YOUR WEATHER 1. Last Legs 2. Regulars 3. Father’s Day 4. Blacker Holes 5. Popular Demand 6. Own Throats 7. Send Help 8. Diagnostic Front 9. Horses
Big Business will tour in support of their new album this summer — see below for upcoming dates.
Big Business Summer Tour 2016 June 18 – Joshua Tree- Yucca Man Shakedown June 20 – Las Vegas – Backstage Bar & Billiards June 21 – Salt Lake City – Urban Lounge June 22 – Boise – Neurolux June 24 – Bellingham, WA – The Shakedown June 25 – Portland, OR – B Side Anniversary June 26 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile June 28 -Billings, MT- Pub Station June 30 – Fargo, ND – The Aquarium July 1 – Minneapolis, MN – The Triple Rock (D4th of July weekend) July 2 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen July 3 – Ferndale, MI – The Loving Touch July 4 – Toronto, ON – Velvet Underground July 5 – Rochester, NY – The Bug Jar July 6 – Brooklyn, NY – St. Vitus July 7 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge July 8 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts July 9 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop July 10 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe July 12 – Nashville, TN – The Basement East July 13 – Atlanta, GA – Aisle 5 July 14 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn July 15 – Gainesville, FL – High Dive July 16 – Tallahassee, FL – Sidebar Theater July 17 – New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa July 19 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger July 20 – Austin, TX – Barracuda July 21 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey July 23 – El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Palace July 24 – Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge July 25 – San Diego, CA – Casbah July 28 – Santa Barbara, CA – Velvet Jones July 29 – Los Angeles – Bootleg Theater – Bar Stage July 30 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Next year will mark two decades of existence for the instrument of sonic chaos known as Mondo Generator. The project, formed by then-soon-to-be-Queens of the Stone Age bassist/vocalist Nick Oliveri (see also Dwarves, Bl’ast, Kyuss, etc.), released their first album, Cocaine Rodeo, in 2000 via a nascent Southern Lord Recordings and never looked back through a whirlwind of intense punk, speed metal and heavy rock. Across four studio full-lengths and more tours than one could count, Mondo Generator has never been anything less than completely in your face, so that even Oliveri‘s acoustic work arrives dripping with attitude.
On Sept. 23, Mondo Generator will compile tracks from their albums and numerous EPs into an aptly-titled Best Of 2LP to be released on Heavy Psych Sounds. Topped with artwork by Branca Studio and presented on limited blue and black vinyl, CD and digital, the collection will span the career of the band, with guest appearances throughout from Josh Homme, Dave Catching, Dave Grohl, Alain Johannes, John Garcia, Brant Bjork, Alfredo Hernandez, Mark Lanegan, Chris Goss and many more.
As of last fall, Mondo Generator are working as the trio of Oliveri, guitarist Mike Pygmie and drummer Jeff Bowman. They were said at the time to be putting together a fifth album, but no word yet on when that might surface. A European tour sometime in the fall to coincide with the Best Of release is anticipated.
“I’m stoked that somebody wants to put out the best of record and the songs on the album are the best songs over the years, 1997 to the present,” says Oliveri. “I feel that those records slipped through the cracks and now this is a chance for people to get a better presentation of the band. Only the best songs off the records!”
Tracklisting for Best Of follows here:
Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator
Side A 13th Floor F.Y.I.F. Sonicslowmotiontrails Like the Sky Dog Food Smashed Apart The Last Train
Side B So High Simple Exploding Man Four Corners
Side C Dead Silence I Never Sleep Shawnette Jackson Detroit Lie Detector Take Me Away
Side D Like You Want Sleep the Lie Away Turbonegro Must be Destroyed All the Way Down Paper Thin
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 16th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Best wishes to West Coastly heavy rockers Slow Season, who begin this very evening the touring cycle for their upcoming third LP, Westing, due out July 8 on RidingEasy Records. Not at all the first tour for the four-piece, it’s a nonetheless ambitious coast-to-coast run, starting out by heading north to Seattle then looping back through the Midwest before a quick swing into the Northeast and back down through Texas to get them home. It’s a significant amount of road-time, all the more considering the record won’t officially be released until after it’s over, but though they still have a youthful vigor in their sound as the new streaming track “Y’Wanna,” which you can hear below, demonstrates, these guys are practically veterans at this point.
If you didn’t hear their prior record, Mountains (review here), the vibe was strong with it. The song below gives me high hopes for the new one to follow suit. Dates and audio:
Slow Season tour starts [this] week and doesn’t end until the last week of June! Who’s rolling out and where? *w/ @thedirtystreets
MAY 16M – Visalia, CA – Cellar Door 18W – Santa Cruz, CA – Blue Lagoon 19Th – San Francisco, CA – Thee Parkside 20F – Oakland, CA – Golden Bull 21S – Grants Pass, OR – G Street Bar & Grill 24T – Portland, OR – The Liquor Store Bar 25W – Seattle, WA – Funhouse 27F – Boise, ID – The Shredder 28S – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge 29Su – Denver, CO – Hi-Dive 30M – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge 31T – Chicago, IL – The Double Door June 1W – Indianapolis, IN – Bent Rail Brewery 2Th – Kent, OH – Stone Tavern 3F – Pittsburgh, PA – Gooski’s 4S – Rochester, NY – Bug Jar 5Su – Brooklyn, NY – Idio Gallery 6M – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie 7T – Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe 8W – Cincinnati, OH – Northside Yacht Club 9Th – Nashville, TN – FooBAR *10F – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone *11S – New Orleans, LA – PARTY! *12Su – Hattiesburg, MS – The Tavern *13M – Shreveport, LA – Bears *14T – Texarkana, TX – Arrow Bar *16Th – Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Note 17F – Denton, TX – Andy’s 18S – Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas 19Su – San Antonio, TX – The Mix 22W – Phoenix, AZ – Yucca Taproom 23Th – San Diego, CA – The Merrow 24F – LA, TBA