The Skull Announce West Coast Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the skull

Fascinating transition for The Skull, who since the release of their 2014 Tee Pee Records debut album, For Those Which are Asleep (review here), have gone from being more Trouble than Trouble to owing just as much of their collective pedigree to Pentagram with the addition of drummer Sean Saley alongside guitarist Matt Goldsborough — both of whom I’m pretty sure were in Pentagram when I saw them at Desertfest London in 2013. Go figure.

What that means to The Skull‘s overall aesthetic will of course remain to be seen, guitarist Lothar Keller (who was never in either Trouble or Pentagram — yet!) having such a huge role in what they do, as well as bassist Ron Holzner and vocalist Eric Wagner, but wherever they go from their first album, I’m glad to see them getting out for a decent bit of touring, even if it’s headed west instead of east. The rest will sort itself out, but more time on stage can only make them a tighter unit and expand on what they were already able to bring to the studio the first time around.

The PR wire has tour details:

the skull tour dates

The Skull Announces North American Tour Dates

Doom Titans featuring Ex-Members of Legendary Metal Bands TROUBLE and PENTAGRAM Set to Hit the Road

THE SKULL, featuring vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner, formerly of metal legends TROUBLE, guitarist Matt Goldsborough and drummer Sean Saley (both ex-PENTAGRAM) and guitarist Lothar Keller, has announced a North American tour in support of its debut album, For Those Which Are Asleep.

THE SKULL will launch the 16-city trek on September 11 in Milwaukee, WI. The tour will run through September 29 in New Orleans, LA. At the shows, THE SKULL will perform both songs from For Those Which Are Asleep and time-tested favorites from its canon of TROUBLE classics. The just-announced live dates are as follows:

THE SKULL tour dates:
September 11 Milwaukee, WI Metal Grill
September 12 Kansas City, MO Riot Room
September 13 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
September 15 Spokane, WA The Pin
September 16 Boise, ID Neurolux
September 17 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw
September 18 Seattle, WA El Corazon
September 19 Portland, OR Star Theatre
September 20 Oakland, CA Opera House
September 22 Los Angeles, CA Satellite
September 23 San Diego, CA Hideout
September 24 Phoenix, AZ Pub Rock
September 25 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
September 26 Fort Worth, TX Lola’s
September 27 Tulsa, OK Downtown Lounge
September 29 New Orleans, LA Sibera

https://www.facebook.com/troubletheskull
http://theskullusa.com/
https://twitter.com/TheSkullUSA
http://teepeerecords.com/

The Skull, “Send Judas Down” live in Dayton, OH, Dec. 2014

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The Luck of Eden Hall UK Tour Starts July 30

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the luck of eden hall

Long-running Chicago psych rockers The Luck of Eden Hall are getting ready to head to the UK for a round of tour dates between now and Aug. 11, playing in England, Scotland and Wales on a round of gigs ahead of finishing up their new album, The Acceleration of Time. Their most recent release is the single “The Happiness Vending Machine,” for which they made a video you can see below and which was issued back in Sept. of last year. They’ve got a new single in the works with a theme taken from and artwork by Neil Gaiman that has a Kickstarter in progress. This tour was also crowdfunded, so apparently they get some pretty good support.

The stint in the UK will be bookended by two Midwestern gigs, one in Michigan and one later in Aug. with The Psychedelic Furs in Skokie, Illinois. The PR wire keeps us all informed:

the luck of eden hall tour poster

After completing a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for airfare, lodging and rentals, Chicago psych-pop group The Luck of Eden Hall has confirmed the dates for their second UK tour.

The tour, which will begin with a show at London’s 12 Bar Club on July 30 and wrap up with a headlining performance at the book release party for Dave Thompson’s A Séance at Syd’s at The Half Moon, Putney on August 11, will also touch down in Sheffield, Cardigan, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool. In addition, the band will be recording a live album for Fruits de Mer Records at MWNCI Studios, August 3-5.

Upon returning to the states, The Luck of Eden Hall will be supporting The Psychedelic Furs at Skokie’s Backlot Bash on Saturday, August 29 and will be putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album, The Acceleration of Time.

July 25 @ Shakespeare¹s Pub, Kalamazoo, Michigan
July 30 @ 12 Bar Club, London, England
Aug 1 @ The Rocking Chair, Sheffield, England
Aug 6 @ Bannerman’s, Edinburgh, Scotland
Aug 7 @ Nice n¹ Sleazys, Glasgow, Scotland
Aug 8 @ The Magnet, Liverpool, England
Aug 9 @ 13th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival, Cardigan, Wales
Aug 11 @ The Half Moon, A Seance At Syd’s book release show, London, England
Aug 29 @ Backlot Bash w/ The Psychedelic Furs, Skokie, Illinois

http://theluckofedenhall.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theluckofedenhall
https://theluckofedenhall.bandcamp.com

The Luck of Eden Hall, “The Happiness Vending Machine”

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Spillage Release Self-Titled Debut Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

spillage

The Trouble family tree strikes again, bringing forth the self-titled debut full-length from Chicago five-piece Spillage. Aside from guitarist Tony Spillman, formerly of Earthen Grave, the band also featured vocalist Lothar Keller, who plays guitar in The Skull. If that’s not enough lineage for you, it was produced by Bruce Franklin, who, of course, is one of Trouble‘s founding guitarists. So there.

It’s out now through Qumran Records on CD with vinyl to follow, as the PR wire informs:

spillage spillage

Behold! The wait is over!

Nearly 10 years in the making, the debut album from Spillage has just been let loose on the highways of hard rock/metal!

Tony Spillman, formerly of Earthen Grave, has assembled a massively talented lineup that brings the songs of Spillage to life with raw emotion, colorful landscapes, and at times, full blown rage! Lothar Keller (The Skull/Divinity Compromised) lends his incredible range to light up the vocals, Nick Bozidarevic (Band of Brothers) joins Tony to create a very Tipton/Downing-esque guitar duo, and Willie Max (Blackfinger/Shadoz Edge) and Chris Martins (Band of Brothers) hold down an absolutely thunderous rhythm section, and Paul Rau lays down the essential keyboard accents. Special guest lead guitar spots by none other than Trouble’s Bruce Franklin send things completely into the stratosphere.

Taking the best qualities of early Judas Priest & Uriah Heep, and mixing it with Uli Jon Roth era Scorpions, Spillage manages to create brilliant, original music that stands well on its own in today’s heavy scene.

Produced by the one and only Bruce Franklin, the self titled Spillage debut will be released world-wide on June 30th, 2015 via Qumran Records. CD and digital downloads will be available online via the band’s official Bandcamp page: www.spillage.bandcamp.com.

The track listing for the debut Spillage album is as follows:
1. The Darkness
2. Live In Fear
3. The Road
4. Call It Freedom
5. In Hell
6. Insomnia
7. Devil Woman
8. Land Of Opportunity
9. We Are

Limited edition red vinyl will be available soon!

Having already shared the stage with the likes of Trouble, Elder, and Brimstone Coven, and taking part in high profile festivals such as Days Of The Doomed, Spillage is poised to hit the road this summer in full force supporting the release of their debut album. Check listings for a city near you!

Be sure to keep up to date with all things Spillage by visiting following these links:
www.spillage.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/spillagerocks
www.twitter.com/Spillagerock1
www.reverbnation.com/spillage7
www.facebook.com/qumranrecords

Spillage, Spillage (2015)

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Quarterly Review: Minsk, King Bison, Les Lekin, The Vintage Caravan, Jim Healey, Anu, Iron & Stone, Gorgantherron, Elephant Riders, Lend Me Your Underbelly

Posted in Reviews on July 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk summer quarterly review

And so we cruise into day three. Not sure how you’re holding up, but I feel like I’m hanging in pretty well. We pass the halfway point today, which is significant, but of course there are still plenty of records to come. I’m not sure I have a favorite day — I tried to spread stuff around as best I could when I was planning the whole thing — but there are definitely a couple highlights today as well. No doubt the standouts will stand out as we make our way through.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Minsk, The Crash and the Draw

minsk the crash and the draw

Six years after the release of their third album, With Echoes in the Movement of Stone (review here), the 75-minute breadth of The Crash and the Draw (on Relapse) marks a welcome resurgence for Illinois post-metallers Minsk. Only keyboardist/vocalist Timothy Mead and guitarist/vocalist Christopher Bennett (also of Lark’s Tongue) remain from what was a four-piece and is now five with Aaron Austin on guitar/vocals, Zachary Livingston on bass/vocals and Kevin Rendleman on drums, but Minsk’s cascading heft is well intact as they show immediately on 12-minute opener and longest cut (immediate points) “To the Initiate.” True enough one is bound to be initiated after it, but it hardly scratches the surface of the atmospheric sludge Minsk continue to develop over the course of the four-parter “Onward Procession,” the glorious later melodies of “The Way is Through,” or the tribal tension in the percussion-led “To You there is No End.” They cap with the 10-minute “When the Walls Fell” and find themselves standing after all else has crashed down. A sprawling and triumphant return.

Minsk on Thee Facebooks

Minsk at Relapse Records

King Bison, King Bison

king bison king bison

Not to be confused with New York’s King Buffalo, Michigan’s Bison Machine or any number of other large mammals in the well-populated fur-covered contingent of American heavy rockers, King Bison make their self-titled debut via Snake Charmer Coalition, comprising seven riffy bruisers owing a deep debt to Clutch and, in that, reminding a bit of their Pennsylvanian countrymen in Kingsnake. Songs like “One for the Money” and “March of the Sasquatch” signal a watch for stoner-roller grooves to come in “Queen of the South” and “Pariah,” the dudeliness of the proceedings practically oozing from the speakers in the gruff vocals of guitarist/vocalist Chris Wojcik, who’s joined in the trio by bassist Dean Herber and drummer Scott Carey. The penchant for booze and blues, ladies and US auto manufacturing holds firm in “Night Ride” and the slower “I’m Gone,” and while one might expect a closer called “Space Boogie” to flesh out a bit, King Bison instead reinforce the foundation they’ve laid all along of Southern-style heft, remaining light on pretense and heavy on riffs.

King Bison on Thee Facebooks

Snake Charmer Coalition

Les Lekin, All Black Rainbow Moon

les lekin all black rainbow moon

Originally issued digitally late last year, Salzburg, Austria, instrumental trio Les Lekin are set to give their debut long-player, All Black Rainbow Moon, a second look with a 180g vinyl pressing in Fall 2015. Comprised of six tracks, the record is a spacious 49 minutes, and the three-piece of guitarist Peter G., bassist Stefan W. and drummer Kerstin W. enact a fluid heavy psych groove, somewhat less dense in its fuzz than the post-Colour Haze sphere and following plotted courses throughout, whether it’s in the Arenna-esque “Solum,” which unfolds after the album’s wash of an intro, the efficient exploration of “Useless,” which seems to pack a 12-minute jam into a six-minute song, or the still-open-sounding bluesy stretchout of “Loom,” the longest inclusion here at 13:16. Familiar in aesthetic perhaps, the songs are nonetheless complex enough to represent the band’s beginnings well, the closer “Release” coming to a heavier apex that could perhaps foreshadow future expansions of the chiaroscuro elements at which the title of this debut is hinting.

Les Lekin on Thee Facebooks

Les Lekin on Bandcamp

The Vintage Caravan, Arrival

the-vintage-caravan-arrival

After releasing their 2012 debut, Voyage, on Nuclear Blast last year, young Icelandic trio The Vintage Caravan return in 2015 with their sophomore full-length, Arrival – the second record seeming by title to be an answer to the first. Maybe that’s the intention musically, but the 10 tracks/55 minutes comprising Arrival do well to stand on their own, with the impressive lead work of guitarist/vocalist Óskar Logi never too far from the fore on songs like the standout “Babylon” or “Sandwalker,” though backed capably by the rhythm section of bassist Alexander Örn (also backup vocals) and drummer Stefán Ari Stefánsson. While unquestionably a more mature outing than their debut and more accomplished in its chemistry and songwriting, Arrival still gives a sense of the progression to come, and it’s easy to worry that by the time the listener gets to the powerful closing trio of “Innerverse,” “Carousel” and “Winter Queen,” the dizzying play throughout will have dulled the senses past the point of full appreciation. Room to tighten? Perhaps, but still a strong second outing for a band loaded with potential.

The Vintage Caravan on Thee Facebooks

The Vintage Caravan at Nuclear Blast

Jim Healey, This is What the End Looked Like

jim healey this is what the end looked like

Guitarist/vocalist Jim Healey is known more for the aggressive edge he’s brought over the years to bands like We’re all Gonna Die, Black Thai and most recently Shatner, but his solo material brings a different look. Joined in this “solo” endeavor by guitarist/vocalist/organist Joe McMahon, cellist/backing vocalist Dana Fisher, drummer Kyle Rasmussen and accordionist/backing vocalist Bridget Nault, Healey’s songwriting is nonetheless front and center across the nine tracks of This is What the End Looked Like, memorable cuts like “A Whole Lot of Nothing,” the more subdued “Radio” (written by Eddy Llerena) and closer “World War Eight” fleshing out arrangements that could work and/or have worked just as well on solo acoustic guitar for Healey in live performances. Worth noting that for all the vocal and instrumental embellishments on the studio incarnations, the songs lose none of the heartfelt feel at their core, Healey’s voice remaining a lonely presence despite obviously keeping good company.

Jim Healey on Thee Facebooks

Jim Healey on Bandcamp

Anu, Nighthymns

ANU Nighthymns

Nighthymns marks a return for ANU and the band’s sole inhabitant Chad “Drathrul” Davis (Hour of 13/Night Magic, Tasha-Yar, The Sabbathian, and so many others) after a four-year absence following the release of 2011’s III EP. Offsetting blasting, ripping black metal on cuts like “Enter the Chasm” and “The Eternal Frost” with the ambient drones of “Risen within the Mist of Obscurity,” the longer “Winterfall” and the title-track, Nighthymns nonetheless gnashes its teeth in a dense blackened murk, screams far back in “Enter the Chasm” beneath programmed-sounding thud and full-on guitar squibblies. A project Davis has had going in one form or another since releasing a first demo in 1999, and likely before that, ANU’s slicing extremity and atmospherics rest well alongside each other, but neither is accessibility a remote concern. If you get it, you get it, and if you don’t, you don’t. Nighthymns is way more concerned with separating wheat from chaff than it is with making friends, and that plays much to its ultimate success.

Anu on Thee Facebooks

Wohrt Records

Iron and Stone, Old Man’s Doom

iron and stone old man's doom

Comprised of gruff-shouting vocalist Henning L., guitarists Christopher P. and Stephan M., bassist Matthias B. and drummer Torsten H., German riff idolizers Iron and Stone debuted in 2013 with an EP titled Maelstrom and Old Man’s Doom is a follow-up short release. Pressed to DIY cassettes, the three-tracker preaches loud and clear to the nod-ready converted in “Place in Hell” and “Into the Unknown,” big riffs lumbering out stone vibes, intertwining rhythms and leads in the latter as Henning works his shouting into a corresponding notation. “Into the Unknown” ends large and Sabbathy, but speedier closer “Bliss of Diversion” is a high point unto itself for the consistency of the tonal morass that the uptick in pace brings out of the guitar and bass, resulting in a kind of noisy, dense-in-the-low-end punk that suits Iron and Stone well despite operating in defiance of the EP’s title. New material reportedly in the works as well.

Iron and Stone on Thee Facebooks

Iron and Stone on Bandcamp

Gorgantherron, Second Sun

gorgantherron second sun

Their first album, Second Sun follows a 2012 self-titled EP from Indiana trio Gorgantherron, but is in a different league entirely. A well-set mix balance establishes itself on the opening title-track and develops throughout “Superliminial” and “Bookbinder” as they get rolling, and Gorgantherron – guitarist/vocalist Clint Logan, bassist/vocalist Toby Richardson and drummer Chris Flint – continue to foster grooving largesse over the nine tracks/47 minutes, veering skillfully between boogie and doom on “Pre-Warp Civilization” before airing out an atmospheric take on “Seventh Planet,” the rough-edged vocals prevalent in quieter surroundings. Richardson’s fuzz on “The Stone” ensures the song lives up to its name, and the soft guitar noodling that opens “Paranoia” brings a surprising touch of Colour Haze influence out of the blue before a count-in from Flint puts the band’s roll back on its appointed track. Closing duo “Entropy” and “Defy” offer some shuffle and chug, respectively, but by then the trio have already made the album’s primary impression in their heavy riffs, burl and more than capable execution.

Gorgantherron on Thee Facebooks

Gorgantherron on Bandcamp

Elephant Riders, Challenger

elephant riders challenger

The two cuts of Spanish trio Elephant RidersChallenger EP take Kyuss-style desert riffing and reset the context to something altogether less jammy. Tight and presented with a near-metallic crispness in their production, both “Challenger” – rerecorded from an earlier EP – and its more rolling B-side “Lone Wolf” push the line between heavy and hard rock, but riffs remain central to their purposes. Having released their debut full-length, Supernova, in 2014, they’re still getting settled into their sound, but a blend of heavy rock, grunge and metal impulses pervades these two songs, and when “Lone Wolf” shifts into a couple measures of start-stop fuzz riffing in its second half, they show off just a reminder nod for where they got their name. Two catchy tracks that maybe aren’t reinventing the stoner rock game, they nonetheless provide a quick sample of Elephant Rider’s songwriting development in progress and plant the seeds of future hooks to come.

Elephant Riders on Thee Facebooks

Elephant Riders on Bandcamp

Lend Me Your Underbelly, Hover

lend me your underbelly hover

When placed next to each other, the five one-word titles on Lend Me Your Underbelly’s Hover – either the project’s third or fourth full-length, depending on what you count – result in the phrase “Everything” “Was” “Deep” “Dark” “Green.” Whether or not that is of special significance to Netherlands-based multi-instrumentalist/sampler Christian Berends, I don’t know. The whole idea across these tracks seems to be experimentation and improvisation, so if the titles were grabbed from somewhere at random or carrying a rich emotional connection, either is just as likely. Not knowing turns out to be half the fun of Hover itself – not knowing that, not knowing what Berends is going to do around the next turn as each track builds, not knowing where all this noise is leading as the swirls and riffs of “Green” close out. Layers careen, appear and disappear throughout, but the wide open structures and creative sensibility remain consistent and tie Hover together as an intricate work of exploratory psychedelia.

Lend Me Your Underbelly on Thee Facebooks

Lend Me Your Underbelly on Bandcamp

 

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Wino Wednesday: Wino, “Dark Ravine” Live in Chicago, Jan. 2013

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

As I suppose will happen when you’re approaching your 200th Wino Wednesday — this is #190, so if there’s a countdown (and there isn’t), then the countdown is on — I went to look up the date when Wino was at Reggies in Chicago early in 2013 and found the info in another Wino Wednesday post. File under “Go Figure.” The date, incidentally, was Jan. 6, and it was after he and Mondo Generator and Saviours finished touring with Clutch for their annual holiday bonanza, and that other clip was of Nick Oliveri and Saviours and Wino jamming out a cover of Savoy Brown‘s “Hellbound Train,” a song Wino had also been performing for over a year in the duo Wino & Conny Ochs.

That set-finishing jam seems not to have been the only exceptional circumstance around those shows. “Dark Ravine” was a track originally included on the first Wino & Conny Ochs album, 2012’s Heavy Kingdom (review here), and as Wino did tours in that duo in Europe and the US, it’s easy to imagine that material was pretty fresh in mind. Still, it’s an interesting take to hear him perform the song solo; its already lonely, melancholic vibe becoming only more so for the solitary rendition. The camera in this clip sticks pretty close to the man himself — it’s a tight shot the whole time through — so there’s not as much a sense of what the crowd’s response would’ve been, but the song sounds good anyway, and we get a little of that good acoustic fuzz, so I’ll take it.

Been curious to see what Wino‘s going to do next, touring-wise. He’ll play with Spirit Caravan at the Maryland Doom Fest at the end of the month, but with the status of his spot in Saint Vitus questionable, it’s kind of an in-between moment. In the past, that’s brought about new projects, and there have been murmurings in that direction with the Royale Daemons collaboration with Oliveri, but nothing has materialized there as yet, so time will tell what’s actually going to happen.

One thing’s for sure, more Wednesdays. Enjoy:

Wino, “Dark Ravine” Live at Reggies, Chicago, Jan. 6. 2013

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Bongripper Announced for ‘Way of the Shred’ West Coast Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

bongripper

The classy gents of Chicago’s Bongripper will head to the West Coast in July to play a quick series of shows. Dubbed the ‘Way of the Shred’ Tour, it will be Thief Presents‘ gearing up for this year’s Day of the Shred fest — preceded, of course, by Night of the Shred — though the tour’s in July and I’d have sworn the fest was in Oct./Nov., coinciding with the traditional Day of the Dead.

Further inspection shows a couple bands have already been announced for Day of the Shred, among them Captain Beyond, as well as Monolord and Black Bombaim — like Thief‘s recently executed Psycho California fest, this one showing a keen eye for European acts — and RwakeTorche and Windhand, lest Relapse go underrepresented. Announcements have reportedly been suspended until next month, at which point headliners and others will be unveiled, but already it seems to be a pretty impressive lineup for the Night and the subsequent Day, listed as Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Lucky Halloween is a weekend, I guess.

So I’m not sure how Bongripper will be involved in that fest — they’ll play Southwest Terror Fest earlier in Oct. in Arizona — but they’re on board for the ‘Way of the Shred’ in any case, and no doubt what will be shredded is eardrums. Also stomped on.

Poster, dates and links:

bongripper-way-of-the-shred-tour-poster

Bongripper – California – July 2015

Night/Day Of the Shred announcements have been postponed until July. In the meantime we are flying in BONGRIPPER for a proper 3 day run up the coast.

Thief presents
WAY OF THE SHRED
July 2015
“A short west coast run leading up to Day Of The Shred 2015 featuring SHRED Alumni and friends.”

7/24 – San Diego @ Brick by Brick w/ -(16)-
tickets: http://wots-sd.eventbrite.com/

7/25 – Los Angeles @ Complex w/ Trapped Within Burning Machinery & YIDHRA *Co-presented by Church of the 8th Day
tickets: http://wots-la.eventbrite.com/

7/26 – San Francisco @ Milk Bar w/ special guests tba
tickets: http://wots-sf.eventbrite.com/

Tickets go onsale today (6/15) at 3pm PST
https://www.facebook.com/events/845175582196152/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/BONGRIPPER/283936697383
https://bongripper.bandcamp.com/
www.dayoftheshred.com
www.facebook.com/dayoftheshred
www.facebook.com/thiefpresents

Bongripper, Live at Roadburn, April 12, 2015

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Dead Feathers Sign to HeviSike Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 11th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

dead feathers

Dead Feathers must keep a stock of vacuum tubes on hand, because if the sound of their debut EP is anything to judge by, they must blow through them about as soon as their amps are switched on. The Chicago four-piece initially released their self-titled EP in 2014 and have just announced their allegiance to HeviSike Records for a reissue of the fuzzed-out four-tracker, complete with all the classy/-ic blues swagger and ’70s vibing one could feasibly ask.

It’s early yet for any kind of word of a follow-up to the EP and whether or not that will also be delivered through HeviSike, but the EP reissue will be out on vinyl this August and that’s a good start as more ears get introduced to the band. Dead Feathers will also join up with Electric CitizenMondo Drag and Slow Season July 10 in Chicago at Reggies for what will no doubt be a good time.

Word came down the PR wire of the signing. It goes a little something like this:

dead feathers dead feathers

Chicago, IL psychedelic rock group DEAD FEATHERS announce signing to UK label HEVISIKE RECORDS.

Five-piece psychedelic rock group Dead Feathers have partnered with English stoner rock label HeviSike Records. The label will release the band’s self-titled debut EP.

The band’s 4 song demo has gained widespread attention throughout the underground music community due to the hypnotic vocals of frontwoman Marissa Allen complemented by guitarists Tony Wold and Shaggy Shadric plus the rhythm section of Rob Rodak (bass) and Jose Bernal (drums).

The young troupe are set to embark on a series of shows including performances with Slow Season, Electric Citizen, The Well, Joy, Bonehawk and Ancient River.

Available as a digital download and limited edition 10” vinyl, August 2015.

Stream Dead Feathers’ song ‘Horse & Sands’ at soundcloud.com/hevisike

Visit:
HeviSike.com
facebook.com/hevisike
deadfeathersmusic.bandcamp.com
facebook.com/deadfeathers

Dead Feathers, “Horse & Sands”

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Friday Full-Length: Baby Huey, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Baby Huey, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend (1971)

By the time The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend was released in 1971, its title was a misnomer. Based out of Chicago for his short career, James “Baby Huey” Ramey himself died late in 1970, succumbing to a cocktail of heroin and alcohol addiction. He was 26 and had a heart attack. His producer, none other than Curtis Mayfield, set about compiling The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend and released it in 1971 on his own Curtom Records to minimal fanfare at the time, but the album has held up to decades of scrutiny as a classic of heavy funk and soul, moving beyond simple James Brownisms as Ramey‘s band tears into the upbeat jam of “Mama Get Yourself Together,” which follows opener “Listen to Me,” on which Ramey digs into screams that could only fairly be called “face-melting.” In a quick 41 minutes, The Baby Huey Story is told in its entirety, but it’s the best argument around for keeping Ramey‘s legend alive.

Also the only argument. While reissues have attempted to feign some manner of original presentation over the years as Baby Huey‘s cult has grown, The Baby Huey Story remains the only Baby Huey release in earnest, and while its organ-laced take on Sam Cooke‘s “A Change is Gonna Come” and funkified swing on Mayfield‘s hard times and The Mamas and the Papas‘ “California Dreamin'” don’t leave much to be desired, it is worth speculating what Ramey might’ve been able to contribute to soul had he not died so young. “Mama Get Yourself Together” and closer “One Dragon Two Dragon” are original compositions, both using expansive instrumentation, horn sections, mellotron keys, percussion, organ, electric guitar, and though both are instrumentally-focused, they present Ramey as a bandleader of considerable presence and potential. In the context of The Baby Huey Story, they deepen the soulful agonies of “A Change is Gonna Come” (you can hear the pain in the spoken and the sung parts) and the fat, fuzzed-out bass of “Running,” but it’s just as easy to imagine Ramey pushing his own songwriting forward on subsequent releases. We’ll never know.

It’s mighty mighty. Hope you enjoy.

So I have a job interview on Wednesday, which is an interesting development. Having been unemployed for over a year now and not by choice, I feel like I’m ready to get on to something new. Gonna buy a suit and give it an honest shot. We’ll see how it goes, but don’t expect too many posts on Wednesday one way or another. The place is like an hour away and I anticipate a good amount of fatigue one way or another when the interview is over. Not that I’ll be running laps, but you know what I mean. It’s hard work being human, and I haven’t done it in a while.

This week, huh? Wow. Roadburn already feels like a year ago, a distant time out of time, but I feel like the emotional benefits of having gone have carried me back into “real life” — as much as this is and that isn’t — better than I could have hoped they might. I’ve been feeling good this week, in other words. While I’ve been tired, and barely able to keep up with what’s happening around me, musically and otherwise, I think back to being at the 013 and I look out the window at the beginnings of Spring here in Massachusetts and it doesn’t seem so dire. I wound up catching the right train. Things work out.

I may or may not have an interesting project in the works for the months to come. I know that’s very vague, but I want to make note of the development if only for myself, to sort of mark the calendar, and I’m full-on believe-it-when-I-see-it mode, but there’s stirrings in a cool direction and I’m hopeful the planets align in my favor. Ducks in a row, pages bound and all that.

Man this Baby Huey record smokes.

Thanks all for checking in this week. Next week, reviews of Enslaved and Wo Fat and hopefully Lamp of the Universe. Monday is a full-album stream from The Atomic Bitchwax, and I’ll have premieres as well for Arenna and Apostle of Solitude of one sort or another as the week goes on. Busy as ever. Hoping to see Sun Voyager this weekend in Boston as well. Might get a podcast up for Wednesday too, since I won’t be around. Certainly plenty of new stuff to feature.

Have a great and safe weekend. I hope to catch you back next week, and please check out the forum and the radio stream.

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