Peter Pan Speedrock Announce Retirement

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

Can this possibly stick? Am I crazy for thinking that after 20 years, Dutch trio Peter Pan Speedrock might not just be able to put the band down and walk away? It’s like slamming into a brick wall at 100 miles an hour. I mean, right now and for the last couple nights, they’re in Japan. They toured in the US back in October. They’ve got an extensive run through Europe set up for before and after the New Year. Granted, they might need a break, but I have to think that sooner or later Peter Pan Speedrock will pick up again and continue their assault. It’s what Motörhead would do.

Until I hear otherwise though, they’re calling it a retirement. News came down the PR wire:

peter pan speedrock (Photo by Brendy Wijdeven)

Peter Pan Speedrock announce retirement and plan international farewell tour for 2016

“It was loud, mean, fast & dirty”

An international farewell tour in 2016 will be the last chapter in the saga of the loudest band from the Lowlands. Dreams came true, goals were achieved, Peter Pan Speedrock had their say and left their mark, so the book may close. After twenty years it’s time for singer-guitarist Peter van Elderen, bassist Bartmann and drummer Bart Nederhand to embark on new endeavors. Meanwhile the Dutch speed rockers take off again, for their Japanese tour starts on November 27.

The farewell marks the end of an era, because Peter Pan Speedrock are more than a band. This force of nature is a counterweight for Holland’s lack of earthquakes and hurricanes. Since PPSR arose from Eindhoven in 1996, the sonic landscape in the Netherlands has been shaken up and blown to smithereens. This relentless approach eventually gained PPSR worldwide recognition. Alas their roller coaster ride will come to an end somewhere in 2016.

While they are flying to Japan, the three Lighttown diehards are probably reminiscing about a long and lively career. In 1996 they had a damn good feeling about the road ahead, but no-one foresaw it would lead Peter Pan Speedrock across the length and breadth of Europe numerous times, cut through by tours in North America and Australia. To top it all PPSR instigated the grand slam of rock on Dutch soil: Speedfest. Last Saturday this annual international festivalhalla celebrated its tenth anniversary.

With over 25 releases under their belt PPSR are still on top of their game: supercharging their own brand of rock & roll vigor and winning crowds over by playing scorching live shows. Initially they strived to play 2247 shows, as much shows as the Ramones, but the counter will stop at around 2000 shows next year. If that’s the only unreached objective, it must have been a wild and wonderful ride. And the million visitors who witnessed PPSR live over the years will agree. Let’s drink to that with some Speedrock Premium Heavy Lager. That’s right, PPSR even have their own beer brand as part of their legacy.

No matter what the future holds, Peter Pan Speedrock shall ring on forever and a day!

Peter Pan Speedrock tour dates:
27.11 – Nutty’s (Machida, Japan)
28.11 – Vertex (Yokkaichi, Japan)
29.11 – Gramhouse (Ina, Japan)
30.11 – Metro (Kyoto, Japan)
1.12 – Varit (Kobe, Japan)
2.12 – Hokage (Osaka-Shi, Japan)
3.12 – Huckfin (Nagano, Japan)
4.12- Sunash (Shizuoka, Japan)
5.12- Earhdom (Tokyo, Japan)
11.12 – Rock School Barbey (Bordeaux, France)
12.12 – Secret Place (Saint Jean de Vedas, France)
13.12 – Le Mars Attack (Angouleme, France)
17.12 – Gleis 22 (Munster, Germany)
18/12 – Hafenklang (Hamburg, Germany)
19.12 – East Club (Bischofswerda Germany)
15.1 – dB’s (Utrecht, Netherlands)
20.1 – La Scene Michelet (Nantes, France)
21.1 – Sala Sidecar (Barcelona, Spain)
22.1 – King Kong Club (Zaragoza, Spain)
23.1 – Libertados (Leon, Spain)
24.1 – le Bukowski (San Sebastian, Spain)
26.1 – Sala Son (Pontevedra, Spain)
28.1 – King Creole (Estepona, Spain)
29.1 – Gruta 77 (Madrid, Spain)
30.1 – Hell Dorado (Vitoria, Spain)
31.1 – Edaska (San Vicente De Barakaldo, Spain)
1.2 – Le Tigre (Selestat, France)
12.2 – Patronaat (Haarlem, Netherlands)
13.2 – Neushoorn (Leeuwarden, Netherlands)
26.2 – Café Nord (Essen, Germany)
27.2 Westwerk (Osnabruck, Germany)
17.3 Club 007 (Prague, Czech Republic)
18.3 Groovestation (Dresden, Germany)
19.3 Lido (Berlin, Germany)

https://www.facebook.com/peterpanspeedrock/
http://www.peterpanspeedrock.nl/
http://www.suburban.nl/en/
http://www.shopturbojugend.com/category/selfdestructorecords

Peter Pan Speedrock, Live at Speedfest, Eindhoven, Nov. 21, 2015

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Mondo Generator and Peter Pan Speedrock Tour Starts Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 8th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Nick Oliveri‘s Mondo Generator and Dutch rippers Peter Pan Speedrock are both celebrating their 20th anniversaries this year, and they’ve joined forces to take what’s sure to be a riotous cross-country trip together this month. It’s Mondo Generator‘s first US run since early 2013, but Peter Pan Speedrock have that beat easy: It’s been 13 years since the last time they came Stateside. Seems only fair to expect they’ll be in lively form to stand up to the occasion.

The PR wire has dates and whatnots:

peter pan speedrock mondo generator tour

Peter Pan Speedrock and Mondo Generator announce US tour in October

High octane powered Dutch machine Peter Pan Speedrock have confirmed and announced a Fall tour in the United States with Los Angeles based punk/metal hybrid Mondo Generator that has the hell ride begin in the city of Brotherly Love and conclude in the Emerald City.

Dates:

10/9 – North Star (Philadelphia, PA)
10/10 – Wonder Bar (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/11 – Bowery Electric (New York, NY)
10/12 – Ottobar (Baltimore, MD)
10/14 – Hard Rock Cafe (Pittsburgh, PA)
10/15 – Small’s (Hamtramck, MI)
10/16 – Brauerhouse (Lombard, IL)
10/17 – Rock Island Brewing (Rock Island, IL)
10/19 – The 5th Quarter (Indianapolis, IN)
10/21 – Larimer Lounge (Denver, CO)
10/24 – Shredder (Boise, ID)
10/25 – El Corazon Lounge (Seattle, WA)

This tour ends a thirteen year long hiatus and a long awaited return of Peter Pan Speedrock to US soil and it is perfect timing for them to do this. 2015 is a significant milestone in their world as they are marking twenty years strong as a band, the ten year anniversary of their Eindhoven based metal/punk festival Speedfest and a North American release of their latest album Buckle Up And Shove It!(first release in North America since 2005). Their success is accredited to a solid foundation, nonstop touring and a work ethic that’s as heavy as the 2015 lineup for Speedfest.

Their latest album Buckle Up And Shove It! was released across Europe by Suburban Records/Steamhammer and picked up earlier this year by Self Destructo Records for North American audiences. Fourteen powerful tracks that blend crushing metallic guitar, powerful low end bass and hammering drums that were recorded at their new in house recording Mecca Bootleg Studios in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Their career includes ten full lengths along with split albums with names like Zeke, Danko Jones, Batmobile, Gluecifer, V8 Wankers & Death Alley. Their workhorse ethic has taken their live shows across the European, Australian and North American continents with their first visit to the Asian continent occurring in wintertime. With this ethic, they draw themselves closer to their goal of surpassing The Ramones number of live shows played of 2,263.

Mondo Generator is celebrating twenty years as a band as well! Reactivated after being put on ice due to Nick Oliveri’s touring/recording commitments with Bl’ast, Moistboyz and Dwarves, as well as releasing his solo album Leave Me Alone (Schnitzel Recordings) with tours across California and Europe in support. The break also had him rejoining his old band Queens Of The Stone Age on the stage during their final show of 2014 in Los Angeles at The Forum as well as a performance in Portland, OR. This tour will conclude for Mondo Generator at the Day Of The Shred festival in Santa Ana, CA where they will play alongside the likes of Torche, Crowbar, Yawning Man, Saviours, The Body and Nick’s old band mate from the Kyuss years, John Garcia. It will be the first US tour for Mondo Generator since they shared the road with Wino and Saviours back in 2013 in support of their last album Hell Comes To Your Heart (Mondo Media/No Balls Records).

Says Mondo Generator founder Nick Oliveri of the tour: “Looking forward to touring with Holland’s finest motor rock punk kings PPSR, on our 20th year of Mondo Generator being a band.”

Buckle Up And Shove It! is available now from Self Destructo Records on vinyl and CD in North America and through Suburban Records for the rest of the world.

Leave Me Alone and Hell Comes To Your Heart are available through the Nick Oliveri webstore.

https://www.facebook.com/officialmondogenerator
http://www.freewebstore.org/nickoliveristore

https://www.facebook.com/peterpanspeedrock
http://www.peterpanspeedrock.nl/

Mondo Generator, “The Last Train” official video

Peter Pan Speedrock, “Get You High” official video

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Radar Men from the Moon: New Album Subversive I Out Now

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

radar men from the moon

I’ll admit, I’m not really sure how we gar around to Subersive I being the third release from Netherlands-based instrumentalists Radar Men from the Moon. Their debut was 2011’s Intergalactic Dada and Space Trombones (review here). Then came 2012’s Echo Forever (review here), and after that was last year’s Strange Wave Galore (podcasted here). That puts Subversive I as number four, unless they’re counting the first one as a demo these days. Didn’t sound like a demo at the time, but I guess that kind of thing will happen.

Whatever number it is, Radar Men from the Moon‘s Subversive I is out now and available in a pressing of 500 total copies, most of which seem to be gone, from Fuzz Club Records. It will serve as the first in a series of three releases — presumably all titled Subversive — that, according to the PR wire, will explore a range of styles:

radar men from the moon subersive i

Radar Men From The Moon (Fuzz Club Records) release new LP “Subversive I”

On the border between an instrumental Psychedelic Rock quartet and a Dadaist collective open to contamination and to merging with other art-forms and musicians, Radar Men From The Moon is an Eindhoven-based outfit consisting of Glen Peeters, Jan-Titus Verkuijlen, Tony Lathouwers and Bram van Zuijlen.

“Subversive I” is their third release. They have been consolidating their fan-base over the last 4/5 years, thanks to a series of European tours and appearances at some of the most important Psych festivals, such as Freak Valley, Desertfest Berlin, Eindhoven Psych Lab, Roadburn, Yellowstock and (just a few days ago) Liverpool Psych Fest…

It is the first of a triptych of albums from a band that has set itself to conduct sonic experiments transcending the boundaries of any genre they explored so far (from Shoegaze to Psychedelia, from New Wave to Krautrock).

RMFTM – Subversive I is limited to 400 copies. 180 gram transparent purple vinyl.

RMFTM – Subversive I Deluxe edition is limited to 100 copies. 180g white vinyl with purple.

https://www.facebook.com/radarmenfromthemoon
http://radarmenfromthemoon.nl/
https://twitter.com/RadarmenftMoon
http://fuzzclub.com/collections/fuzz-club-releases/products/radar-men-from-the-moon-subversive-i?variant=6219311235
https://www.facebook.com/FuzzClubRecords

Radar Men from the Moon, “Deconstruction”

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Peter Pan Speedrock to Release Buckle up and Shove It! on March 31

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 10th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

peter pan speedrock (Photo by Brendy Wijdeven)

When it arrives later this month/next month, Peter Pan Speedrock‘s Buckle up and Shove It! will be the Netherlands-based trio’s first North American release since 2007’s Pursuit until Capture, leaving 2010’s We Want Blood! ripe for reissue. Self Destructo Records will have Buckle up and Shove It! out on CD on March 31 with vinyl to follow in April. The album was also released by Suburban Records in Europe last year, but as Peter Pan Speedrock have never really gotten their due from the heavy punker Stateside contingent, a separate North American distribution seems like a fair move. Maybe they’ll tour. I’ll try not to get ahead of myself.

We turn to you, oh PR wire, with your copious informando and upcoming (European) tour dates:

peter pan speedrock buckle up and shove it

Self Destructo Records to unleash Peter Pan Speedrock in North America with the release of Buckle Up And Shove It!

Peter Van Elderen (Guitar/Vox) – Bart Geevers (Bass) – Bart Nederhand (Drums)

For the first time in a decade, the Netherlands prevalent group of balls out/motherfuckering rock n’ roll Peter Pan Speedrock will service their North American fan base in late Spring with their latest offering entitled Buckle Up And Shove It! to be released on CD and limited vinyl through Self Destructo Records.

Peter Pan Speedrock is hands down the hardest working band to come from the Dutch rock n’ roll scene. That can be said with absolute confidence on our end. The band derived their name from a condition called “Peter Pan Syndrome” (a popular psychological term regarding male social immaturity) and have a career together spanning nearly twenty years which includes 1800+ shows, eleven full lengths, a handful of E.P’s and split releases with appearances by fellow neck breakers Zeke, V8 Wankers, Batmobile, Gluecifer and Danko Jones. They’ve done transcontinental tours (Europe, Russia, Australia and USA), played to massive audiences at some of the largest festivals in the world (Pinkpop, SXSW, With Full Force, Dynamo Open Air) and organize/curate their own festival called Speedfest, which happens annually in their hometown of Eindhoven “Rock City” and draws 5,000 + from around the globe to the festival grounds. They’ve done tours with Turbonegro, Zeke, Honky (to name a few) across Europe, toured the US with Nashville Pussy and have opened up for Motörhead and Anthrax during tour stops in the Benelux. At Speedfest, they’ve shared the stage with some of the biggest names in underground hard rock (i.e. Monster Magnet, Suicidal Tendencies, The Fuzztones, Red Fang, The Reverend Horton Heat, ..And You Will Know Us By Trail Of The Dead, Doomriders, Napalm Death and TONS of others.)

Buckle Up And Shove It! consists of thirteen blistering tracks that blur the lines for anyone attempting to categorize them as a punk or metal band. Just a pure sonic assault on the ears. For 37 minutes, these cats exhibit their love for Motorhead-like heaviness, AC/DC like riff structures, the speed and ferocity of Zeke and conjure the swagger of The Damned. Recommended tracks like “Murdertruck” and “Get You High” bring out exactly what any hard rock fan wants: Illegal activity praise, POUNDING drums and down strokes on the strings on a Les Paul and Fender Jazzmaster through Eindhoven amplifiers (these dudes support as much local Nethelands business as possible). The album will be released on CD and highly limited vinyl in a first run flaming translucent beauty for North America. Buckle Up And Shove It! will be made available through Shop Self Destructo, Shop Turbojugend and wholesale through Cobraside Distribution.

As mentioned earlier, its been a decade (and countless amounts of Grolsch consumed by these lads) since a Peter Pan Speedrock album has been picked in North America for a release (last one being Pursuit Until Capture c/o Prophase Music). The last time Peter Pan Speedrock made a presence in North America was at the turn of the century with two appearances at SXSW (2001 and 2003) and a 25 date tour through the US and Canada with Georgia based sex, riff n’ whiskey thumpers Nashville Pussy. We here at Self Destructo Records have been avid fans of these guys for years and the opportunity to work alongside Suburban Records to push these guys in North America is something we’re not taking lightly, we’re proud to have Peter Pan Speedrock be a part of our roster alongside The Meatmen, The Hip Priests, Against The Grain, Razorbats and the rest of our brothers here.

Release Date and formats for North America
Digital – March 24
CD – March 31
Vinyl – April 21

2015 Tour Dates
2/13 – Victorie (Alkmaar, The Netherlands)
3/6 – Mezz (Breda, The Netherlands)
3/14 – Helling (Utrecht, The Netherlands)
3/20- Gebr, De Nobel (Leiden, The Netherlands)
3/28- Nitrofest (Hannover, Germany)
4/3 – 4/5 – Paaspop (Schijndel, The Netherlands)
4/11 – Manifesto (Hoorn, The Netherlands)
5/7 – Schabule (Kiel, Germany)
5/8 – Mavericks – Club Sin (Tampera, Finland)
5/9 – Beta (Copenhagen, Denmark)
5/16 – Duycker (Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
9/25 – Paard (Den Haag, The Netherlands)

http://peterpanspeedrock.nl/
https://www.facebook.com/peterpanspeedrock
https://twitter.com/ppspeedrock
http://www.shopselfdestructo.com/
http://www.shopturbojugend.com/
http://www.cobraside.com/

Peter Pan Speedrock, “Get You High!” official video

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Eindhoven Psych Lab 2015 Announces Lineup; Earth and Moon Duo to Headline

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

earth

Looks like a pretty far out lineup for this year’s Eindhoven Psych Lab, which though it’s going head to head with Freak Valley in Germany, seems to be hitting into more of an indie vibe than heavy rock. Does it still count as a conflict if the fests are happening in different countries? Not being fortunate enough to head to either, I’ll leave the philosophy out of it. In any case, if you were wondering what Earth were up to that weekend, they’re headlining at the Effenaar in gorgeous Eindhoven on a bill that also includes the formidable likes of The Cult of Dom Keller, Kikagaku Moyo and Portuguese jammers Black Bombaim.

Info follows, hoisted from the PR wire:

eindhoven psych lab banner

Eindhoven Psych Lab (5 + 6 June) announces Moon Duo, Earth as headliners, full line up Trouble in Mind stage and many more

EINDHOVEN PSYCH LAB
5 + 6 JUNE 2015 – EFFENAAR / EINDHOVEN / THE NETHERLANDS
2 DAYS / 30+ BANDS / 2 INDOOR STAGES AND A GARDEN
PRESENTED BY LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF PSYCHEDELIA & EFFENAAR

Eindhoven’s Effenaar music venue and Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia are thrilled to announce Moon Duo and Earth as headliners for this year’s festival, alongside the already announced The Soft Moon. The Trouble in Mind stage is now complete with the additions of The Limiñanas , The Soft Walls, Ultimate Painting and Klaus Johann Grobe. But that’s not all; The Telescopes, Kikagaku Moyo, Hey Colossus, K-X-P, The Lucid Dream, zZz and Dead Rabbits are also added to the bill.

Full line up so far:
Moon Duo + Earth + The Soft Moon
Trouble in Mind Stage: Morgan Delt + Jacco Gardner + The Limiñanas + Doug Tuttle + Soft Walls + Ultimate Painting + Klaus Johann Grobe
The Telescopes + The Cult of Dom Keller + Kikagaku Moyo
K-X-P + Black Bombaim + Pow! + Hey Colossus + Pauw + The Lucid Dream
+ zZz + Teeth of the Sea + Dead Rabbits

Visual Happenings
Three amazing visual happenings in the form of an expo by Glenn Peeters (Radar Men From The Moon) and Pernilla Ellens, Ed van der Elsken’s 80’s photographs of the Natlab in Eindhoven and the ‘Waterballet’ universe of Kamiel Rongen, situated in the Research Module will run during the festival as well.

More to be announced.

Tickets:
Weekend tickets: € 67.50
Day tickets: € 37,50
Weekend including hotel for two people € 275,-

http://www.eindhovenpsychlab.com
https://www.facebook.com/eindhovenpsychlab
http://www.twitter.com/EhovenPsychLab

Earth, Primitive and Deadly (2014)

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Wooden Shjips, Gnod, The Cosmic Dead, Weird Owl and More to Play Eindhoven Psych Lab on June 6 & 7

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Call me a glutton for self-punishment for constantly dangling kickass European festivals in front of my own face that I’ll never in a million years be able to attend if you want, I doubt it’ll stop me from doing it. Whilst I torture myself with visions of being able to catch the jammy likes of The Cosmic Dead or Wooden Shjips at the Effenaar in beautiful Eindhoven, you can get the rest of the info from theEindhoven Psych Labfest, which will kick off its first installment on June 6.

Two days, much swirl:

EINDHOVEN PSYCH LAB

6 + 7 JUNE 2014 – EFFENAAR / EINDHOVEN / THE NETHERLANDS
2 DAYS / 30+ BANDS / 2 INDOOR STAGES AND A GARDEN
PRESENTED BY LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF PSYCHEDELIA & EFFENAAR

Eindhoven’s Effenaar music venue and Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia and are thrilled to announce EINDHOVEN PSYCH LAB on 6 + 7 June 2014. Eindhoven Psych Lab is a new European festival, located in the Netherlands and established to explore and showcase the futuristic sights and sounds of the modern psychedelic condition.

Line up:

Friday:
Friday (doors open at 4.30 pm untill 4.00 am):
Cosmonauts (USA) / Crows (UK) / Great Ytene (UK) / Hookworms (UK) / Nisennenmondai (JAP) / Peter J Taylor (UK) / Spectrum (UK) / The Oscillation (UK) / Wooden Shjips (USA) / Gnod (UK) / Teeth of The Sea (UK) / Lay Llamas (IT) / Anthroprophh (UK) / Terminal Cheesecake (UK)
DJ’s: Liverpool Pzyk Pzoundsystem / Bernie Connor’s Sound of Music / Chris Rocket / Walter Roadburn

Saturday:
Saturday (doors open at 2.00 pm until 4.00 am):
Dans Dans (B) / Disappears (USA) / Elephant Stone (CAN) / Föllakzoid (Chile) / Mugstar (UK) / Night Beats (USA) / Pink Mountaintops (USA) / Suuns (CAN) / Terakaft (Mali) / The Growlers (USA) / Weird Owl (USA) / Sonic Jesus (IT) / Cosmic Dead (UK) / Wall of Death (FR) / Radar Men From the Moon (NL) / The Underground Youth (UK) / The Wands (DK) / The Woken Trees (DK)
DJ’s: Al Lover (USA) / DJ Fitz (IE) / Wiekes (Le Guess Who) / dj .bOb / Pomponette
http://www.eindhovenpsychlab.com/line-up

Tickets:
Weekend tickets: € 62,50 or £52,-
Day tickets: € 35,00
Weekend including hotel for two people early bird: € 235,- or £195
Weekend including hotel for two people € 270,- or £225,-
http://www.eindhovenpsychlab.com/tickets-accomodation/

Website: http://www.eindhovenpsychlab.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eindhovenpsychlab

Wooden Shjips, “Back to Land” official video

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Selim Lemouchi of The Devil’s Blood Reported Dead at 34

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Though as of this post, we’re still waiting on some official word of the cause, it’s been reported today and confirmed by his management that Selim Lemouchi, former guitarist and founder of Dutch cult rockers The Devil’s Blood, has died. Lemouchi, who was 34, disbanded The Devil’s Blood in 2013 just prior to the release of their third and final album, III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars, and had already issued a full-length from his follow-up project, Selim Lemouchi and His Enemies, who were also slated to play Roadburn this year. As of now, there has been no comment from either Metal Blade, who released the last two The Devil’s Blood records in the US, or Lemouchi‘s European label, Ván Records, which released Earth Air Spirit Water Fire, the 2013 debut from Selim Lemouchi and His Enemies.

That LP showcased a more psychedelic side of the ritual-minded songwriter, but Lemouchi will likely be most remembered for his work in The Devil’s Blood in which, along with his sister, frontwoman Farida Lemouchi, he provided much of of the foundation of the modern cult rock revival. The Devil’s Blood‘s 2008 EP, Come, Reap, and ensuing 2009 full-length debut, The Time of No Time Evermore, were met with massive popular response and have proven influential in the half-decade since, elements of the band’s Satanic devotion and chaos-minded rock showing up in groups from both Europe and the US, as though The Devil’s Blood were the reminder point of the marriage between evil and beauty that once permeated underground rock and folk musics. In delivering that reminder, The Devil’s Blood was a groundbreaking outfit, and their live performances — soaked in blood — quickly became the stuff of legend.

On behalf of this site and myself, I wish to extend condolences to Lemouchi‘s family, friends and acquaintances. I know that when I interviewed him in 2012, I found him to be personable and deeply charismatic, and his loss is significant.

The Devil’s Blood, The Time of No Time Evermore (2009)

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Euroventure Pt. 3: Behind the Wall of Sleep’s Holy Mountain

Posted in Features on April 17th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

04.17.13 — 15.56 — Wednesday — Best Western Arthotel, Eindhoven

It was a foggy, wet kind of morning when the plane landed at Schiphol, and as towns whizzed by on the train, it was a measure to see it had rained here, hadn’t rained there. It’s about an hour and a half by rail from Amsterdam to Eindhoven — and did I sleep on the plane no of course I did not sleep on the plane — so I got out of the airport as quickly as possible. 35007 (Phase V was perfect for the weather and made me realize again how much one less tired than I could argue they set the stage for the explorations of bands like My Sleeping Karma) and the new split between The Machine and Sungrazer were my accompaniment, as well of course as my luggage Big Blue, which according to the scale back in Newark weighs over 60 pounds this year. It doesn’t even have any CDs in it yet! They put a tag on the handle that says, “Heavy.” Fat people can’t go anywhere these days.

There was some debate on my part whether to bring them, but in the end, I think lugging the DVDs of Arrested Development along for this trip was the right idea. When I told The Patient Mrs. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have them with me on account of thinking that when you’re traveling you should sort of put yourself out of your comfort zone — as if I fucking am ever comfortable anywhere, ever, ever — she more or less said to drop the hackneyed bullshit, grow up, and put them between the t-shirts and my socks so they didn’t get bounced around. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea. She was right, in any case. As I slammed into bed to crash out for a few hours, it was a much appreciated comfort of home.

And anyway, I brought my fucking pillow and the place I’m staying calls itself an “Arthotel,” so I’m hardly roughing it. I have no idea what “Arthotel” means, but it’s easily the nicest Best Western I’ve ever set foot in. Even at reception, Mike, whose last name according to the tag was Trainee, checked me in from behind a giant transluscent plastic flower. There were three of them set up instead of a registration counter. It being the Netherlands, I went to the orange one. So far what I can surmise about the “Arthotel” aspect of the thing is that the signs with the room numbers in the atrium-type hallway are whacky and don’t match and the walls have different paints and wallpapers on them.  Apparently in Eindhoven, the artists also enjoy 10-ft. ceilings. Also the toilet is in a little room separate from the shower and the sink, which means you have to pee in one spot and then go over to the next room to wash your hands. That’s performance art.

Eindhoven is beautiful though, which is more or less why I’m here. I got off the train and stumbled, dragging Big Blue — whose wheels made loud clacky sounds on the brick walkways as I went as if in a gallop announcing to anyone awake that, yes, there was an American in town — and had some trouble finding this place. Thinking it was a Holiday Inn didn’t help, and neither did not knowing what street it’s on. I turned on my cell phone, which I’ll be keeping off as much as possible to avoid incurring roaming data charges, and looked in my email for the note from The Patient Mrs. with the confirmation. Of course she booked the room. She booked this whole thing. I’d be lost without her.

For evidence, I’ll give you the picture of greasy, post-flight, no-sleep me, clomping around early morning Eindhoven trying to find a hotel when I’ve got the name wrong and no address. I went a couple blocks in the direction of the Markt, where I stayed last year, and then looped around after checking the address and eventually found it on my way back to the train station to look at the map. Surprisingly, “Holiday Inn” wasn’t on the map when I looked on the way in. No word on Best Western.

In a couple minutes I’ll jump in the shower (while I’m giving pleasant images), and then find coffee and get on a train to Tilburg to do a bit of record shopping at a place called Sounds that I’ve wanted to visit for a few years now but never had time. In case I need to fire up this post and look later, it’s down Stationstraat (which is by the station) after it merges with Nieulandstraat. I love the Dutch language, the sounds of it, and wish I was not entirely ignorant of it as I am. There’s a lot I feel that way about, but I’m away and lucky enough to be here in this gorgeous place, and if feeling like you’ve just said all the most embarrassing things you ever said in your life all at the same time every time you open your mouth is the price to pay (aside from the actual price), I’ll chalk it up to being an American abroad.

It felt good to sleep, and I’m confident that if I got back in bed, I could do it for much, much longer, but it’s time to get up and get out of this room. So that’s what I’m going to do.

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