Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
The tribute show is an essential part of the rock and roll Halloween experience — bands essentially dressing up as other bands, if only in sound — and kudos to the guys from NYC trio The Brought Low for teaming up with Carl Porcaro from Kings Destroy and Sweet Diesel‘s Nat Murray (of course The Brought Low have their own connections to that outfit as well) for hooking up a gig and not just doing a set of Misfits songs like probably hundreds of other acts along the Eastern Seaboard will be doing that weekend. On Oct. 28, performing as The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas, the five-piece will hit The Gutter in Williamsburg to pay due homage to the MC5. Maybe not the kind of thing I’d always post about, but given the personnel involved and the thought of how killer a time this one would actually be to attend, you’ll get no argument out of me.
And I gotta be honest with you, I could use another The Brought Low album. It’s been a surprisingly long six years since their Third Record (review here) came out in 2010 on Small Stone, and as early as 2012, there was discussion of a fourth, but nothing has yet materialized. Would be awfully nice, is all I’m saying.
While I go back and put on their last one again, here’s the highly exclamatory show info for The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas this Friday:
The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas – MC5 Tribute @ Gutter
The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas is The Brought Low and Carl from Kings Destroy on second guitar and Nat Murray from Sweet Diesel on lead vocals doing MC5 covers. We have a show at The Gutter in Brooklyn Friday, October 28th. Here’s the info:
Friday, October 28 The Gutter Bowling and Fine Brews 200 N 14th St, Brooklyn, New York 11249
Brothers and sisters!!!!!!! It’s time to see a sea of hands!!!!!! It’s time to kick up some noise!!!!!! It’s time to get down with it this Halloween weekend and I want to know… Are you ready to testify?!!!!!! Are you ready to testify?!!!!!!
I give you a testimonial….
The Rama Lama Fa Fa Fas!!!!!!!!!! A musical tribute to the MC5 with members of Breakdown, The Brought Low, Killing Time, Kings Destroy and Sweet Diesel!!!!!!!
Join us at The Gutter Friday, October 28th to kick out the jams motherfuckers!!!!!!!!!
Posted in audiObelisk on October 19th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Just how far ahead of their time were New York riffers Begotten? Take a listen for yourself to these two lost cuts from 15 years ago and find out. I’ve gone on at some length over the last couple years about the effect that a changing social media landscape and generational shift has had on a period of heavy rock in the late-’90s and early-’00s, so I’ll spare (most of) that, but like NYC compatriots in Atomic Number 76, Kreisor, Puny Human, M-Squad and a host of others — The Brought Low might be considered survivors — the trio Begotten were a prime example of a band about to have their time who found it cut short. Tracked in 2000 and released in 2001, their self-titled debut was the final CD to come from the groundbreaking Man’s Ruin Records, and like many of that imprint’s acts — Suplecs, Mass, Cavity, etc. — they were left wondering what to do next when label honcho and design artist Frank Kozik pulled the plug. The record, a quality offering of post-Sleep tonal weight with flashes of New Yorker edge and more psychedelic impulses, never got the push it deserved, and they never did another. End of story.
Yes and no. The MySpace era and many of the acts who thrived in the day may have dissipated, but in the case of Begotten, before they went their separate ways, they took part in what seems to be numerous studio and taped rehearsal sessions after the album came out, and it’s from those that “Apache” and “Nomad” come. The two songs — other versions of which you can actually still find archived on their MySpace page, linked below — are presented here in somewhat raw fashion, but give credence to what I’m talking about as regards those years in general, which is to say that if it showed up in my inbox today, the work of guitarist/vocalist Matthew Anselmo, bassist/vocalist Amanda Topaz and drummer Rob Sefcik — the latter of whom would resurface years later in Brooklyn’s Kings Destroy — would fit right in.
Insert your favorite cliche about the old being the new here, but listen to Begotten lumber their way through “Apache” in the context of what bands like Monolord are doing now and I think you’ll hear the adage is easily applied. In tone and the emergent jammed-out feel of “Apache,” as well as in the more intense initial chug that follows in “Nomad” (Sefcik‘s drum intro reminding a bit of Kings Destroy‘s “Stormbreak” from their second album) before that song nears the halfway mark and gloriously spaces itself out, ne’er to return, Begotten‘s emphasis on swing and laid back heft seems prescient in hindsight.
My understanding is that Begotten might start jamming together again at some point, but whether or not that comes to fruition, the three-piece left behind a quality curio in their self-titled, the value of which extends way beyond its tertiary trivia, and “Apache” and “Nomad” show there was clearly a progression underway in their sound that, to-date, remains unrealized. Seems to me that in another 10-15 years — maybe sooner; things move quickly these days — when this era of heavy rock gets mined for reissues the way releases from 1968-1975 have been, Begotten will be more than ready for a second look, whatever else their future as a group may hold.
Sefcik offers some comment on the tracks under the player below.
Rob Sefcik on “Apache” and “Nomad”:
So if I remember correctly we went in to record these because we felt we were really hitting our stride. I’m not sure if we had any intention of releasing them at the time but they were definitely a reflection f what we were going for — music that had weight but also an earthy spirit and a sense of freedom. Keeping things super heavy but maintaining a certain loose, jammy vibe is always easier said than done, but we felt like we were getting there with these tunes.
The consensus is that they were recorded late spring/early summer 2001, about a year or so after the record was out. There was a pretty good amount of other material, at least an album or two’s worth. They were recorded in Manhattan but in true stoner rock fashion no one can remember the name…
We definitely have some other recorded material that we have not been able to locate, but I’m sure it will rear its head. For Amanda, these songs for her personally were, ‘an expression of the sublime beauty of the gut-wrenching agony of her existence at the time.’ I was just tying to have a good time, ALL the time, ha.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 15th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Brooklyn’s Kings Destroy will head to Europe this fall. The genre-defiant five-piece will head overseas with Chicago’s The Skull for the first time since the release of their 2015 self-titled third album (review here), which was released by War Crime Recordings, who, in the interest of full disclosure, also pressed up my book. I’ll confess I was invited to go along with Kings Destroy on this tour as I did twice in the US circa 2014, but the basic fact of the matter is those kinds of things are way easier to do when you’re out of work, which, at the moment, I’m not. Unless I get canned between now and then. If that happens, I’m fucking there.
The Obelisk All-Dayer veterans will be keeping good company one way or another, both in touring with The Skull and in bringing aboard none other than the Mayor of Boston Heavy, Darryl Shepard (Kind, The Scimitar, Hackman, Milligram, Blackwolfgoat, so many others) himself — to play bass no less. Shepard had a few words about filling the low-end position this time out, and you’ll find those, Kings Destroy‘s announcement, the dates, and the stream of the self-titled below, because I’m thorough like that when I like a band this much.
Have at you:
Excited to announce that Kings Destroy will be joining The Skull for the majority of their British/European tour in November! Some additional German KD-only dates TBA. See you on the road!
Darryl Shepard on touring with Kings Destroy:
When Kings Destroy ask you to play bass for them on their European tour, you say yes. I’m very honored and excited to be joining these guys on bass for their tour with The Skull in November.
The Skull & Kings Destroy Nov. 2016 European tour: 03.11.2016 GB London @ Koli’s Night Club 04.11.2016 GB Bristol @ Exchange 05.11.2016 GB Milton Keynes @ Crauford Arms 06.11.2016 GB Birmingham @ The Rainbow 07.11.2016 NL Tilburg @ Little Devil 08.11.2016 NL Utrecht @ DBs 09.11.2016 DE Karlsruhe @ Jubez 10.11.2016 AT Vienna Doom Over Vienna Festival @ Viper 12.11.2016 NL Nijverdal @ Cult-Art Shop 13.11.2016 NL Drachten @ Iduna 14.11.2016 DE Wiesbaden @ Schlachthof 15.11.2016 DE Kassel @ Schlachthof 16.11.2016 DE Hamburg @ Hafenklang
I honestly can’t remember the last time I was so tired. Pure physical and mental exhaustion. By the end of the day I could barely stand up, keep my head up, or down one last cup of coffee while watching Mars Red Sky close out the show. It’s been three days. I’m still not sure I have the mental faculties to write this post.
I hereby dub the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer a success.
The day started with The Patient Mrs.’ car breaking down on I-95 in Connecticut on the way south to Brooklyn and continued through flash floods, the first two bands running late (both got there on time, but my nerves were already frayed from being late myself), my camera breaking – again – during Funeral Horse, Death Alley blowing a tire on their way up from Philly, and so on, but there were tacos, the day ultimately ran on time, and everybody killed.
Absolutely killed. I mean it. Front to back. What a show.
From Heavy Temple bringing it for an early 2:30 start through Mars Red Sky dipping back to their first record for a rendition of “Strong Reflection” that nearly brought a tear to my eye, and everything in between. King Buffalo? Funeral Horse? Fucking EYE? Kings Destroy? Snail? Death Alley’s absolute ownership of the room? There wasn’t a dud in the bunch.
Most importantly, it seemed like everybody there had a good time. The tacos went. We wound up with about 170 people in the door, not counting bands and guests, and with the professionalism of the Saint Vitus Bar staff, the show ran smoothly the whole time, changeovers were easy, and my sincere hope is that everyone who came felt welcome, because they absolutely were.
On that note, I’ll say that I’m not going to review the show. Just doesn’t feel right. But I did want to say thank you to a few people who helped make the day so incredibly special.
First to The Patient Mrs., who not only handled money at the end of the night, but sold posters and patches, kept me sane as we stood on the side of the highway and waited for the tow truck, reminded me to eat, and got me that aforementioned last cup of coffee to get me through the last part of the show. She was there (almost) the whole day and it was deeply meaningful to me to have her around.
Thanks to Walter Roadburn, who left the comforts of home to come and co-DJ the afterparty, sat in traffic with The Patient Mrs. and I on the trip from Boston to Connecticut, Connecticut to Brooklyn, and back again. The time we got to spend talking about music, about what he does with his festival, and his insights on the show are memories that I imagine I will continue to treasure for as long as I can remember anything at all. Highlight of the weekend, without question. And thanks to Esther, who convinced him to come.
Thanks to David Castillo, George Souleidis, Sound Guy Jeff and the staff at the Saint Vitus Bar, which leaves absolutely nothing to question as to why it has the reputation it has. The generosity they showed in welcoming the All-Dayer into their rightly-hallowed space, the accommodation of the weird schedule, and just the sheer slog of the hours put in – all handled with professionalism beyond enviable. Other venues should aspire to run such a ship. It was staggering to see it from the end of someone organizing a show. Thank you so much.
Thank you to Steve Murphy for the endless, thoroughly unjustified belief in my being able to pull this whole thing off, for the tacos and for the support across the board. Thank you for your friendship, your kindness, and for your threat to print up bootleg Obelisk t-shirts to give away at random. I hope that works out.
Thanks to the bands. Mars Red Sky coming from France to play, Death Alley from the Netherlands, Snail from the West Coast, Kings Destroy giving New York due representation with a special set – “Planet XXY?” who knew? – EYE from Ohio, Funeral Horse from Houston, King Buffalo from Rochester and Heavy Temple from Philly. And to Walter and Adam Otracina for helming the afterparty. Whether they were coming from near or far, it really felt like everybody put something extra into the show and I was continually humbled and blown away by what I saw and heard all day and into the night. People loaning each other gear, making adjustments on the fly, starting and ending on time, everything came together better than I could’ve hoped, and it was just wonderful to see. I am deeply grateful.
Thanks to Jaime Traba for recording the audio of the sets. More on that hopefully soon. Thanks to Frank Huang for capturing video. Steve Truglio, Randy Blood, Harry Booth and others for getting photos. Like I said, my camera died, so knowing that there were plenty of others around was a great comfort.
Thanks to Skillit for the amazing poster and logo design, and to Dave from Made in Brooklyn for printing the patches. Thanks to my family, Suze Wright, Andy Wright and Rob Jones, for coming and helping sell merch. Thanks to Slevin and Ralph. Thanks to Liz and Dave from Earsplit and Becky Laverty for the plugs. Thanks to Postman Dan for buying tickets even though he couldn’t make it. Thanks to Randy and Laura Blood, Juan Lopez, Jen Hendrix-Johnson, Kenny Sehgal, Phil Moon, Adam Sawford, Nico Liengme and Laurel Jane May, Earl Walker Lundy, Seibert Lowe, Paul John Shaft, Lisa Hass, Melanie Streko, Ron, Jill Lavilette, Brian Schmidt, Ross Colombo, Alex Jakstas, Natasha Padilla, Tad Proshansky, Zack Kurland, Greg Aramini, and many, many others who came out, everyone who had a kind word about the site, the band selection, my book, everything. I’m quite sure I’ll add to this list as I regain even my usual limited use of my mental faculties, but this is for starters and please know that whether you were there in-person or if you shared a link or saw a post about it and liked it or bought tickets in advance or just read the site generally. Thank you. Thank you all so much. Thank you.
I’m going to take a couple weeks and really think about whether this is something I want to do again, but if I do, I know it won’t be an annual thing. Whatever happens moving forward, I want you to know how unbelievable this night was for me and I hope for everyone who attended as well. One more time, thank you.
I don’t have photos of my own, Steve Truglio was kind enough to send me shots of each band who played, and you’ll find them after the jump.
It’s going to be a long day. I know it, you know it. That’s kind of the idea. Some all-dayer it would be if it was a three-hour gig. Nonetheless, I urge you to stick around when The Obelisk All-Dayer is done this Saturday at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NYC, because the afterparty is going to be ridiculous in all the right ways.
Even after Mars Red Sky finish. After Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, Funeral Horse, King Buffalo and Heavy Temple are done, the show will go on. The first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer (just buy your goddamn tickets already) is proud to welcome DJs Walter Roadburn and Adzo for a vinyl-spinning set after the last band to cap the night with a final reinforcement of the show’s party vibe.
All are welcome.
I am thrilled and honored to have Walter Roadburn coming over for the fest. Over the last seven-plus years, there is no single individual who has inspired me more through his passion and relentless work ethic. As the organizer of the Roadburn Festival held annually in Tilburg, the Netherlands, he’s helped shape European and worldwide underground heavy rock in ways I don’t think he’d ever admit to, and the creativity he puts into what he does is second to none. He is someone who has turned “putting on a show” into an art form, a genuine expression of love and reverence that only continues to grow and develop with each passing year. It will be humbling to have him there, let alone picking tracks.
He’ll be joined by DJ Adzo, aka Adam Kriney, drummer/vocalist of Brooklyn natives The Golden Grass. That outfit has been one of the highlights of a Brooklyn psych scene over the last couple years, tapping into a vein of proto-heavy that encompasses a positivity few bands would dare go near. Their unabashed joy for what they do comes through in their recorded output and live shows, and they’re the kind of group you just know has some killer taste. Kriney has made numerous DJ appearances around NYC over the last several years as DJ Adzo, and I can’t wait to hear what he spins as Saturday night creeps into Sunday morning at the Vitus Bar.
That’ll do it for the countdown. Show is the day after tomorrow, and quite frankly, you need to be there. I hope you’ll come. I’ve worked hard to make it a special day front to back, and while I know not everyone will be there from start to finish, my hope is that everyone who shows up gets something memorable out of the experience.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Brooklyn’s Tombs will release their next full-length, as yet untitled and unrecorded, through Metal Blade Records. The semi-blackened genremashers released their last album, Savage Gold (discussed here), in 2014 via Relapse Records, and before they get to the studio for the next one, they’ll head out in November on a round of US tour dates that will take them to the West Coast and a goodly portion of the way back, accompanied by Wolvhammer. Just about everything Tombs touch is massively acclaimed, but Savage Gold was their third outing through Relapse, so it seems entirely likely their contract was simply up and they wound up with a deal from Metal Blade. Really any label would be lucky to have them.
The PR wire brings news, tour dates, and some new video:
Tombs signs worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records; announces USA headlining tour with Wolvhammer; launches official YouTube channel with director’s cut and behind-the-scenes videos for “V”
Metal Blade Records is proud to announce the worldwide signing of Brooklyn-based experimental metal outfit Tombs! Blending bleak, post-punk minimalism with the ferocious attack of sludge and traditional black metal, Tombs has established themselves as an act that’s as committed to consistency as it is to growth, developing smoothly (but never predictably) over the course of their career, and earning a multitude of accolades along the way. In addition to their acclaimed releases, Tombs has also become revered for their captivating live shows, touring extensively with an array of artists such as Eyehategod, Pelican, Isis, Wolves In The Throne Room, The Secret, Ulcerate, and 1349, plus appearing at renowned festivals: Roskilde Festival in Denmark, Roadburn in The Netherlands, and Psycho California and Maryland Deathfest in the USA. Now, having joined Metal Blade’s roster, the quintet is poised to continue the momentum that’s been building since their formation in 2007.
Mike Hill (guitar/vocals) comments: “Metal Blade is a legendary label that has put out legendary records by legendary bands. It’s an honor to be part of the organization.”
Tombs will begin writing their fourth full-length and Metal Blade Records debut after their USA headlining tour this fall. Kicking off November 7th, the trek also features Wolvhammer as support. See below for all upcoming dates!
Tombs tour dates w/ Wolvhammer Nov. 7 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506 Nov. 8 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl Nov. 9 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia Nov. 10 – Houston, TX – Rudyards Nov. 11 – Austin, TX – Barracuda Nov. 12 – Dallas, TX – Three Links Nov. 13 – San Antonio, TX – Korova – downstairs Nov. 15 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad Nov. 16 – Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock Nov. 17 – Los Angeles, CA – Complex Nov. 18 – San Diego, CA – The Merrow Nov. 20 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge Nov. 22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar – SLC Nov. 25 – Indianapolis, IN – Kumas Corner Nov. 26 – Dayton, OH – Rockstar Pro Arena
Tombs will be touring in support of their recently released All Empires Fall EP – a crushingly heavy record that confirms the band as one of the leaders of American – and international – black metal. For a preview of All Empires Fall, fans can visit the new Tombs official YouTube page, where director’s cut and behind-the-scenes videos for the album track, “V”, can be viewed: https://www.youtube.com/tombscult
Tombs line-up: Mike Hill – Guitar/Vocals Charlie Schmid – Drums Ben Brand – Bass Evan Void – Guitar Fade Kainer – Synth / Vocals
I’m gonna need you to take my word for it on this one. Really. You don’t want to miss Heavy Temple as they kick off The Obelisk All-Dayer this Saturday at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. You just don’t. They start the show at 2:30PM, and whether or not you caught onto their first, self-titled EP (review here), it doesn’t even matter because their new stuff blows it out of the water. Bassist/vocalist High Priestess Nighthawk — who needs real names, anyway? — has assembled a lineup of righteous compatriots and as a hard-fuzz power trio, they’re absolutely scalding on stage. Heavy nod, psych flourish, rhythmic density, memorable hooks and the occasional soaring moment that is absolutely bound to leave an impression.
Part of the reason I ask you to take my word for it is that the teaser below doesn’t actually give much of a taste of their upcoming next release, Chassit. The Philly three-piece will have a tape out via Tridroid by November, and presumably some more audio will precede before then, but the bit of noise and feedback proffered by Nighthawk, guitarist Arch Bishop Barghest and Siren Tempestas — who leads the march kicking into the track “Ursa” shortly hereafter — is the first audio to come from Heavy Temple since the self-titled and at very least it lets you know the kind of filthy tonality they’re getting down with these days. Way down.
Rest assured, there will be more to come on Chassit as we get closer to and through the release of the tape, but in the meantime, catch Heavy Temple this Saturday at The Obelisk All-Dayer with Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, Funeral Horse and King Buffalo. If you haven’t gotten tickets yet, get them here.
In today’s The Obelisk All-Dayer countdown post we see Rochester, New York’s King Buffalo laying blissful waste to the venue at which I was first fortunate enough to watch them play: The Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA. This clip is from this past April, and I wasn’t at this show, but having seen the band as recently as June, I can vouch for the righteousness of the textures they inhabit.
They’ll play second at the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer, this Saturday at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NYC (if you haven’t, get your tickets now), joining the bill with Mars Red Sky, Death Alley, Snail, Kings Destroy, EYE, Funeral Horse and Heavy Temple, as well as aftershow DJs Walter Roadburn and DJ Adzo (aka Adam from The Golden Grass).
The three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson come to The Obelisk All-Dayer on the heels of releasing their first full-length, Orion (review here), which continues to unfold on repeat listens and has only come to stand taller among the finest of 2016’s many debut albums. Already they’re no strangers to touring, and this gig will wrap their latest stint directly supporting Orion coming out.
If you haven’t heard the band before, get to the Vitus Bar early. I mean it. Not only are you going to want to see Heavy Temple, but King Buffalo‘s blend of psychedelia and heavy blues is second to none, and they’re precisely the kind of tripped-out and welcoming vibe I want to emphasize with this show, proving that just because something is heavy and has a presence doesn’t mean it needs to be pissed off at nothing or full of testosterone chestbeating. Dig in and look forward to the live immersion.
Special thanks to Steve Truglio of PA’s My Show for the clip. To see the entire gig, click here.
King Buffalo, “Goliath” live in PA, April 16, 2016