audiObelisk: Stream Two New Psychedelic Explorations from Tasha Yar

Posted in audiObelisk on October 8th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Full of vague lyrical musings and intentionally languid drift, the two latest jams from North Carolina galaxy-crafters Tasha Yar (who may or may not have dropped the hyphen from their name) represent some of their most resonant work yet. Not quite ever giving in to a sun-drenched psychedelic impulse, there’s a sense of the room, of the rehearsal space, in the two live-recorded cuts, and that makes the tracks sound even more organic. Drummer Tim Greene — who also represents the “front desk” of the band when it comes to mailing out the discs that periodically show up around here — warns that either or both of these freeform jams could turn into songs down the road. Nebulous space rock. What could be more appropriate?

Listen to the guitars and you might hear nods to Neil Young, but rather than sit and pick apart the pieces — which are presumably titled for when they were recorded: “7-25-13, 8:30 PM” and the less specific and bluesier-riffed “‘Bout Nine” — both cuts are far more satisfying to put on and let go, let your mind wander with the echoes, the bits of boogie, the “what did he just say?” and the leftover summer humidity. “‘Bout Nine” is nearly twice as long as “7-25-13, 8:30 PM” and has room for some swing, but it still winds up in hard-panning swirl running from one channel to the next. The crux of what Tasha Yar have sent through the post is in the hypnotic aural meander, and it arrives not a moment too soon.

In case this is the first you’re seeing of the name, over the last couple years, Tasha-Yar have checked in a couple times with updates on their progress and audio to serve as landmarks of this or that captured moment. As they have in the past, songs arrive on CD (a band after my own heart) in a handmade paper sleeve with a note from Greene explaining some of what was going down at the time. This one also seems to have a map of the jam room.

And if you’re wondering, “F.D.T-Y” is “Front Desk, Tasha-Yar.” Click either image to enlarge:

Right on. I always, always enjoy hearing from these cats, and with the permission to share the songs granted so explicitly — he put it in writing and signed it! — there was no way I was going to keep them to myself. What were you doing on July 25? Check out “7-25-13, 8:30 PM” and “‘Bout Nine” on the player below, and please enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Tasha Yar on Thee Facebooks

Tasha Yar on Twitter

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audiObelisk: Tasha-Yar Stream 14-Minute Psych Jam “Make Me Invisible”

Posted in audiObelisk on January 4th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s always a thrill to get mail from North Carolinian space rockers Tasha-Yar. Last we heard from them, the amorphous psychedelic outfit were jamming out the raw bliss of “Casting Lots,” and just before the New Year hit, a package showed up from drummer Tim Greene — who handles the “front desk” as well as his kit — containing the song “Make Me Invisible,” housed in what I’ve come to think of as the band’s characteristic folded-paper sleeve.

Greene, in addition to the song itself and an extra (and much appreciated) separate Thin Lizzy mixtape, once again passed on a handwritten note on the sleeve giving some insight into the background of “Make Me Invisible,” the writing and recording with guitarist Chad Davis (also of Hour of 13 and the recently-unveiled Witchcoven). Click the image below to enlarge:

As ever, awesome. Tasha-Yar continue to charm, and it’s interesting to consider that “Make Me Invisible” is an older song, since it’s a little more structured with verses and some of the most forward vocals I’ve yet heard from the band. Could it be that they’re moving ever further into the reaches of the space jam? I look forward to finding out whenever the next package arrives, and in the meantime,Greenewas also generous enough to send along permission to host the track for streaming, so here you go:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Check out Tasha-Yar on Thee Facebooks here and look for more to come in 2013. “Make Me Invisible” has also been added to The Obelisk Radio.

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US Christmas Run Thick in the Hype

Posted in Reviews on October 14th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ve been racking my brain to try and understand why North Carolinian psychedelic progsters US Christmas (I’ve also seen it as U.S. Christmas, with punctuation, but on the album it’s without and I prefer it that way anyhow) have such a buzz around them. Musically, the six-piece don’t really do anything that’s never been done before, adding some Appalachian ruggedness to the well-established tropes of modern psych and post-rock, but I don’t think they satisfy in either their meandering structures or most spacious moments any need that acts like Naam, Quest for Fire, Farflung, Sula Bassana, and a dozen others don’t already fulfill. Seriously, I’ve been through and through US Christmas’ fifth album, Run Thick in the Night (Neurot), and the only reason I can come up with for why US Christmas has received all this hype and these other bands haven’t is because Scott Kelly likes them. Apparently that makes all the difference in the world.

Not that I wouldn’t also seek to curry favor from the venerable Neurosis guitarist and vocalist for a musical project, and not that this is anything to be held against US Christmas in terms of their sound or the quality of Run Thick in the Night as both a whole album and collection of songs, but clearly these things matter. Since Neurot released US ChristmasEat the Low Dogs in 2008, I feel like a shitload of people have grasped onto the band in a big way as torchbearers for modern space-driven psychedelia, and don’t get me wrong, Run Thick in the Night has its moments — at 76 minutes long, there’d better be a couple in there — and the band has ironed out some of its kitchen-sink approach (lineup changes are also a factor), but in terms of crafting memorable songs, US Christmas seem to take more of a part-construction point of view, making tracks that flow well enough but don’t necessarily stay with you after listening.

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New U.S. Christmas Due September 20

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 30th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

Speaking of bands heavily influenced by Hawkwind, the PR wire informs that North Carolina upstarts U.S. Christmas — who as I understand it are all the rage with the kids these days — will have a new album out on Neurot come September 20. I still consider myself in the “I just don’t get it” camp when it comes to these guys, but rumor has it they’ve got a whole new lineup, so maybe Run Thick in the Night is the record that’ll turn me around.

Here’s the latest:

Neurot Recordings is proud to unleash the latest full-length from psychedelic, high-volume blues rock ensemble U.S. Christmas on September 20. Titled Run Thick in the Night, the band’s fifth long player was recorded by Sanford Parker at FahrenheitStudio in Johnson City, Tennessee, mixed by Parker and USX members Nate Hall, Matt Johnson and Josh Holt at Semaphore Studios in Chicago, IL and mastered by Collin Jordan.

Run Thick in the Night track listing
1. In the Night
2. Wolf on Anareta
3. Fire is Sleeping
4. Fonta Flora
5. Ephraim in the Stars
6. The Leonids
7. Suzerain
8. Maran
9. The Quena
10. Deep Green
11. Devil’s Flower in Mother Winter
12. Mirror Glass
13. The Moon in Flesh and Bone

U.S. Christmas will kick off the weekend performing two special shows with Corrosion of Conformity before heading out on a handful of one-off performances in September throughout North Carolina including at stop at the Hopscotch Music Fest in Raleigh. The fest features countless artists from all genres including Weedeater, Harvey Milk and Public Enemy. Confirmed dates below. Further dates TBA.

U.S. Christmas live:
7/30/2010 Stella BlueAsheville, NC w/ Corrosion of Conformity (Animosity lineup), Zoroaster, Righteous Fool
7/31/2010 The Pour House Music HallRaleigh, NC w/ Corrosion of Conformity (Animosity lineup) Black Tusk, Righteous Fool
9/05/2010 Static Age RecordsAsheville, NC w/ Body and Enoch
9/11/2010 Hopscotch Music FestRaleigh NC
9/16/2010 Legitimate BusinessGreensboro, NC w/ Caltrop
9/17/2010 The MilestoneCharlotte, NC w/ Caltrop

U.S. Christmas is:
Nate
Hall – Guitars, Words, Vocals
Matt Johnson
– Synthesizers, Guitars, Sounds
Chris Thomas
– Guitars, Bass
BJ Graves
– Drums
Justin Whitlow
– Drums, Experimental Sounds
Josh Holt
– Bass, Drones
Meghan Mulhearn
– Violin

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