King Buffalo Announce Dead Star EP and Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

King Buffalo

When King Buffalo put out their early-2018 EP Repeater (review here) ahead of their second full-length, Longing to Be the Mountain (review here), it was an opportunity for the Rochester trio to explore new ideas and adventure into what at the time was new sonic terrain for the band. To try new things and introduce their audience to the same. It smoothed the transition between 2016’s Orion (review here) and the follow-up LP, and complemented both works.

Their new “short release,” Dead Star, is more substantial. As in, it’s 36 minutes long. From where I sit, that’s an album one way or the other, and certainly the flow of its six tracks bears that out as well. But the function is similar to Repeater in that King Buffalo once again embrace their creative drive in an open and exciting way. The six songs of Dead Star are thrillingly progressive, taking on aspects of synth and new textures and atmospheres that enrich the band’s core melodies and grooves so as to broaden their scope and make them all the more engrossing. Beginning with the 16-minute pair “Dead Star Pt. 1 & 2,” and running through the finale closing track, Dead Star works to push the boundaries of expectation of what King Buffalo can accomplish as a band, and thereby accomplishes them as well.

Preorders go up later this week, and they’ve got tour dates and a track streaming as of next week. Official release of Dead Star is March 20 and I’m hoping to have more to come as we get closer to then.

In the meantime, here’s a press release I kind of wrote:

King Buffalo Announce their 4th EP “Dead Star” and 2020 Tour Dates

King Buffalo will release their fourth EP, Dead Star, on March 20. The widely-hailed progressive heavy rock trio from Western New York will stream the single “Eta Carinae” Jan. 28 from the six-song, 36-minute release now via Bandcamp with preorders available at kingbuffalo.bigcartel.com on Jan. 24. Extensive tour dates will follow.

Their most brazenly experimental offering to-date, Dead Star will self-release throughout North America and see European issue via Stickman Records.

Self-recorded in late 2019 and early 2020 by guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson, Dead Star continues to push King Buffalo’s psychedelic aspects deep into the cosmic ether, and basks in elements of ambient drone, space rock, prog, mantra-style heavy and synthesizer soundtracking, as well as the bluesy, classic riffing and creative urgency that has underscored their particular style since their 2013 demo and 2016 debut album, Orion. A depth of mix comes courtesy of Grant Husselman, while Bernie Matthews mastered.

“In the early stages of Dead Star, we made the decision to make a strong commitment to experimentation,” explains guitarist/vocalist Sean McVay. “From exploring different time signatures, tunings and textures, to tweaking the song writing processes themselves. We’re extremely proud of these recordings, and feel it’s some of our most ambitious work yet.”

King Buffalo’s discography includes two full-length albums, Orion (2016) and Longing to Be the Mountain (2018), as well as three prior EPs – 2013’s Demo, a 12” split with Le Bétre in 2015, and 2018’s Repeater.

Dead Star continues the risk-taking that fueled Repeater, honoring the core dynamic of King Buffalo as a band while boldly introducing new ideas and sides of their sound to their audience.

Recent years have found King Buffalo touring throughout North America and Europe, with highlight festival performances, support slots and headlining shows, and they bring that experience to the songwriting of Dead Star’s six tracks, be it the sprawling two-part leadoff “Red Star Pt. 1 & 2” or the John Carpenter-esque instrumental “Ecliptic” ahead of the chug-and-crash-prone “Eta Carinae.” All the while King Buffalo maintain a flow and atmosphere that has served as a hallmark of their approach.

“These six songs deviate and expand on horizons that we as King Buffalo haven’t yet reached,” says drummer Scott Donaldson, who also handled the graphic layout of Dead Star with Ryan T. Hancock’s striking cover art. “It’s extremely exciting to make something familiar, but unlike anything we’ve previously done. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”

Vinyl Details:

Test Press – Limited to 20, hand numbered, and ship mid-February. Includes a download code of the Deluxe version, poly bag, a signed “thank you” from the band with wax seal, an exclusive poster and hand numbered insert.

Deluxe Edition – Limited to 250 units and pressed to 12″ Black and White Vinyl. The Deluxe Edition includes a polybag, a hand numbered insert, and audio commentary by the band. A One-Time Only pressing. They’ll be shipped as soon as mid-March.

Standard Edition – Limited to 750 units and pressed to 12″ Bone White Vinyl. They include a polybag and download code.

Written and recorded by King Buffalo in Rochester, NY at the Main Street Armory in December of 2019 & January 2020.

All arrangements by King Buffalo (c) 2019
Produced & Engineered by Sean McVay
Mixed by Grant Husselman
Mastered by Bernie Matthews
Artwork by Ryan T Hancock
Fonts by Mike Turzanski
Layout by Scott Donaldson

Dead Star Track list:
Red Star Pt. 1
Red Star Pt. 2
Echo of a Waning Star
Ecliptic
Eta Carinae
Dead Star

Tour Dates:
1/31 Montreal, QC @ Le Ministere
2/1 Ottawa, ON @ Dominion Tavern
3/19 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
3/20 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
3/21 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
3/26 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
3/27 Milwaukee, WI @ Colectivo
3/28 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
3/29 Winnipeg, MB @ Park Theatre
3/31 Calgary, AB @ Palomino
4/2 Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret
4/3 Seattle, WA @ Barboza
4/5 Portland, OR @ Lola’s Room
4/7 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
4/8 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
4/10 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
4/11 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
4/13 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
4/14 St Louis, MO @ Duck Room
4/15 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
4/16 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
4/17 Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café
4/18 Syracuse, NY @ Funk N Waffles

King Buffalo is:
Sean McVay – Guitar, Vocals, & Synth
Dan Reynolds – Bass & Synth
Scott Donaldson – Drums & Percussion

kingbuffalo.com
facebook.com/kingbuffaloband
instagram.com/kingbuffaloband
kingbuffalo.bandcamp.com
stickman-records.com
facebook.com/Stickman-Records-1522369868033940

King Buffalo, Longing to be the Mountain (2018)

Tags: , , , ,

Grey Skies Fallen Premiere “Visions From the Last Sunset” from Cold Dead Lands

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

grey skies fallen

New York trio Grey Skies Fallen release their new album, Cold Dead Lands, on Jan. 24. Pick your apocalypse-in-progress and you just might find it in the pages of the story they’re telling across their fifth LP’s six-song/53-minute span, which begins with “Visions From the Last Sunset” and ends with “After the Summer Comes the Fall,” and all throughout paints its point of view clearly in the band’s well-established modus bringing together progressive death and depressive doom melody. The expansive vision the three-piece of founding guitarist/vocalist Rick Habeeb, bassist Tom Anderer and drummer Sal Gregory makes a perfect backdrop on which the theme unfolds, whether it’s the biting extremity of “Procession to the Tombs” and the penultimate “Ways of the World” or the broad reach of longer pieces like the aforementioned opener and closer as well as “Picking up the Pieces.” In these more fleshed-out, 10-minute-plus songs, Cold Dead Lands presents its scope as the first Grey Skies Fallen release in six years and the work of a band who are not just mature in their approach — having come together in 1996 — but who are unwilling to do anything other than continue to push forward and expand their range. “Visions From the Last Sunset,” “Picking up the Pieces” and “After the Summer Comes the Fall” make a kind of mini-album unto themselves, with “Cold Dead Lands,” “Procession to the Tombs” and “Ways of the World” — neither of which lacks breadth for their relatively shorter runtime — expanding the grim palette and theme around which the record is largely based.

The outlier in terms of perspective would seem to be “Picking up the Pieces,” if only because it presents some basic notion of there being any hope on any level whatsoever, but amid its early gallop grey skies fallen cold dead landsand later stateliness of lead guitar and harmonized vocals the prevailing spirit is still markedly doomed. This too is the case with “Visions From the Last Sunset,” which basks in its progressive aspects enough that the standalone guitar line that kicks in shortly before two minutes in reminds of Devin Townsend, and amid all the inevitable Opeth and Paradise Lost comparisons, the prog in prog-death shouldn’t be understated just because it plays out at a nodding tempo. HabeebAnderer and Gregory unfold the opener with a sense of purpose and thoughtful arrangement, not overly dramatic, but with clear intent toward making a statement about the world around them. In this way, Cold Dead Lands is very much built on what the leadoff track lays out. That’s the case tonally and melodically as well, but the title-track and “Procession to the Tombs,” which follow in immediate succession, effectively tip the balance of elements to one side or the other of the deathlier side of their sound. This too is a clear sign of intent as the band executes these changes with grace that might be considered deceptive given the harshness of some of what plays out — those who’d argue there’s no beauty in the grotesque are simply mistaken — and one finds in listening through that as they careen here and there, pauses like that preceding the final march in the title-track and more sudden turns like that from melodic to growling vocals early in “Picking up the Pieces” are united by a sense of creative will to serve the needs of the song and album as a whole at that moment.

In that way, Cold Dead Lands argues to be heard in its front-to-back entirety — so here’s a single track (ha!) — and with as much attention and willing immersion as one is ready to give. It is immediate in its deathly urgency and resonant in its melodicism, not overly emotional in the My Dying Bride sense, but neither unaffected by the decay it convincingly describes and portrays. It’s not an easy thing to position yourself at some distance to comment on the world around you falling apart. Grey Skies Fallen do it well in concept and execution, and if these are the endtimes, at least the fossil record will show we saw it coming.

You can and should stream “Visions From the Last Sunset” on the player below. Some quick band comment and PR wire info follow.

Please enjoy:

Grey Skies Fallen, “Visions From the Last Sunset” official track premiere

Rick Habeeb on “Visions from the Last Sunset”:

We wanted to open the album on an epic note, setting the stage for what’s to come. It’s about the end times and how at that moment people finally realize that humanity is the cause of our own demise. Most of the album shares this theme. We don’t consider it a concept album, but it definitely follows a central theme. There just seems to be a lot of people in denial about the state of the world.

New York-based melodic death/doom metal veterans, Grey Skies Fallen are proud to present “Visions from the Last Sunset.” The track is the second single taken from the group’s forthcoming album Cold Dead Lands. Video was created by former Grey Skies Fallen member, Craig Rossi. Grey Skies Fallen will release the album independently on their own imprint, Xanthos Music on January 24th, 2020. It is the fifth album in the band’s 23-year career.

Cold Dead Lands was recorded and engineered by Keith Moore at Audio Playground and produced by Grey Skies Fallen. Mixed and mastered by renowned musician/producer, Dan Swanö (Witherscape, ex-Edge of Sanity, ex-Bloodbath). Travis Smith (Death, Opeth, Nevermore, Katatonia) created the cover art. Dan Gargiulo (Revocation, Artificial Brain) and Will Smith (Buckshot Facelift, Artificial Brain, Afterbirth) appear as guests.

Cold Dead Lands Tracklist
1. Visions from the Last Sunset
2. Cold Dead Lands
3. Procession to the Tombs
4. Picking Up the Pieces
5. Ways of the World
6. After the Summer Comes the Fall

Grey Skies Fallen is:
Rick Habeeb – Guitar/Vocals
Tom Anderer – Bass
Sal Gregory – Drums

Grey Skies Fallen on Thee Facebooks

Grey Skies Fallen on Instagram

Grey Skies Fallen on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , , ,

Shadow Witch Unveil “Wolf Among the Sheep” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

shadow witch

It’s a Feb. 13 release date for Shadow Witch‘s awaited new album, Under the Shadow of a Witch, through Argonauta Records. So be it. I’ve seen some pics around thee social medias of blacklight shows the band have been doing of late, and they look fairly insane as one would imagine. A touch of the otherworldly or alternate-reality suits Shadow Witch‘s sound well, as does the video for “Wolf Among the Sheep,” which plays up the religious commentary of the track itself.

You know the really fucked thing about Christianity? They tell that shit to kids. Imagine having a kid and being like, “Yo, you better be good because there’s an all-powerful white dude watching you ALL THE TIME EVEN WHILE YOU SLEEP OR PEE and if you’re bad you’ll be set on fire and also that happens forever and ever.” Think about it. That is insane. And I’m speaking as someone who was one of those kids. No wonder people hate each other.

Anyway, you’ll see the snakes, the grainy footage, the speaking in tongues, and yes, the children taking part, as well as the band integrated among the fray — can’t miss them. For further viewing, go back and watch Jesus Camp again. For further listening, stay tuned and I hope it’s not all that long before another track from Under the Shadow of a Witch surfaces. Maybe in January? Hell, I’ll take it whenever it comes. I’m not looking to interrupt anyone’s holiday dinner or anything. Whenever they get around to it is good by me.

Shadow Witch will be at New England Stoner & Doom Fest and will return to Maryland Doom Fest 2020 as well. Because hell yes they will. More dates are reportedly forthcoming, and I believe it.

Dig:

Shadow Witch, “Wolf Among the Sheep” official video

New York Heavy Doom And Stoner Metal Veterans, SHADOW WITCH, Premiere Brand New Music Video!

Under the Shadow of a Witch coming in February 2020 on Argonauta Records!

Shadow Witch, who inked a worldwide deal with Argonauta Records last year, are a heavy rock/stoner metal band from the Hudson Valley region of New York. Forming in the autumn of 2015, the band released their first full-length album Sun Killer to excellent reviews from the international heavy music community in the summer of 2016. A diverse assemblage of songs pulling in Doom, Thrash, NWOBM, and psychedelic and stoner metal, the band backed it up with intense and explosive live shows, opening for King Buffalo, Mothership, and Corrosion of Conformity among others.

Shadow Witch began a new chapter with the release of their second full-length album Disciples of the Crow in December 2017, again gaining excellent reviews from the heavy music community. Countless explosive shows later, the band returns with their highly anticipated third album, titled Under the Shadow of a Witch, coming out on February 13th via Argonauta Records !

To shorten the wait for its official album release, Shadow Witch have just unleashed a brand new video from their upcoming magnum opus! Watch the new clip for Wolf Among The Sheep HERE!

Get ready to kick of into a heavy as hell 2020 with Shadow Witch, and watch out for many more news and album pre-sale infos to follow soon!

Shadow Witch live:
May 15-16, 2020 (US) – NEW ENGLAND STONER AND DOOM FEST
June 18-20, 2020 (US) – MARYLAND DOOM FEST
with many more dates to follow soon!

SHADOW WITCH is:
Justin Zipperle – drums
David Pannullo – bass
Earl Lundy – voice / mellotron / loops
Jeremy Hall – guitars

Shadow Witch on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Witch on Instagram

Shadow Witch on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records website

Tags: , , , , ,

Grey Skies Fallen Announce Cold Dead Lands out Jan. 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

grey skies fallen
New York-based death-doomers Grey Skies Fallen have set a Jan. 24 release for their fifth long-player, Cold Dead Lands, which is about an accurate a description of NY in January as I could ever hope to devise. They’re streaming a teaser for it as well as the whole track “Procession to the Tombs,” and both would seem to speak of a consuming bleakness to come, some inescapable aspects of New York’s death metal crunch making their way into the sound of the tracks. Unsurprisingly, it’s very, very dark. Like 5PM for the next two months.

I’ve observed a phenomenon over the years that when I write about death-doom, no one ever really gives a crap. I don’t know if that’ll be the case here, but I dig the track they’ve posted, so I’m going to try to review the album if I can regardless, so take that, I guess. If you want more fuzz rock, I don’t know, wait five minutes or something. I’m sure it’ll be along soon enough.

Meantime:

grey skies fallen cold dead lands

Grey Skies Fallen to Release “Cold Dead Lands” January 24th, 2020

Grey Skies Fallen will self-release Cold Dead Lands on January 24, 2020. Cold Dead Lands is the 5th studio album from the New York-based melodic death metal/doom band in a 23-year career.

Cold Dead Lands was produced by Grey Skies Fallen. The album was recorded at Audio Playground, and engineered by Keith Moore. Dan Swanö (Nightingale, ex-Edge of Sanity, ex-Bloodbath) mixed and mastered the album at Unisound Recordings Studio.

Travis Smith (Opeth, Nevermore, Katatonia) created the artwork. Dan Gargiulo (Revocation, Artificial Brain) and Will Smith (Buckshot Facelift, Artificial Brain, Afterbirth) appear as guests.

Listen to the Album Teaser
Cold Dead Lands Tracklisting
1. Visions from the Last Sunset
2. Cold Dead Lands
3. Procession to the Tombs
4. Picking Up the Pieces
5. Ways of the World
6. After the Summer Comes the Fall

Pre-order a digital download or digipack CD of Cold Dead Lands via the band’s Bandcamp page. All pre-orders include an instant, high-quality download (MP3, FLAC, more) of the album track “Procession to the Tombs,” plus the complete album the moment it’s released on January 24th.

Grey Skies Fallen is:
Rick Habeeb – Guitar/Vocals
Tom Anderer – Bass
Sal Gregory – Drums

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

Grey Skies Fallen, Cold Dead Lands album teaser

Grey Skies Fallen, Cold Dead Lands (2020)

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Geezer, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I recently had reason to go back and pop on Geezer‘s first record, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues. And I’ll be honest, it’s probably the most I’ve dug into it since it was released in Sept. 2013. Maybe it was the fact that I’d just moved out of the New York region, where they’re from, and the last thing I needed was another thing to be bummed about leaving behind. Maybe it was the fact that Bandcamp was just really starting to come up as an outlet for heavy music and it seemed like every band with a “stoner rock” tag was being mega-hyped on social media as the next Whoever.

Maybe I wasn’t feeling guitarist Pat Harrington‘s gravelly vocal approach — which can sound at first glance like a put-on, but I tell you as someone who’s had extensive conversations with the man, he’s no less ‘whiskey-soaked’ when you’re quietly chatting about your kids than he is on “Full Tilt Boogie” here — or lyrics like “You’re such an evil bitch” in opener “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and “My girl is built like a pony/Long legs and curves that ain’t phony” on “Pony,” which only lace one of the catchiest slide guitar riffs I’ve heard in the last 10 years with a fervent eyeroll even now as I’ve come to appreciate Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues on an aesthetic level, for its songwriting, and for its subtle hints at the band that Geezer would become.

At the time, they were comprised of Harrington, bassist Freddy Villano and drummer Chris Turco, and their stock-in-trade was indeed a heavy blues rock marked out by rolling grooves and the use of slide guitar — something Harrington has pulled back on in years since, possibly as he’s grown more confident in working without it and the band has changed direction — but from their bouncing cover of The Beatles‘ “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road” to the mellow post-Clutch‘s “The Regulator” twanger “Rain on the Highway,” to “Underground” and the penultimate shuffler “I Just Wanna Get High with You,” which boogie enough between them to remind that the blues can be a party as much as it can be anything, their early work reaches beyond those simple stylistic confines. Or at very least it pushes the limits of expectation for them.

Villano and Turco would both eventually be out of Geezer, but the three-piece had a chemistry that worked well and sounded natural throughout Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues and their subsequent offerings together, and that dynamic is clearly established in these 10 songs. For the title and cover art’s speaking to an earlier era of recorded music — too bad I don’t think a 78RPM platter can hold a 39-minute release, otherwise a limited reissue pressing could be a lot of fun; maybe a double-78 just for kicks and collectors? — the production is never especially retro sounding, but the tracks still come though with enough energy to carry their largely comfortable tempos and there’s enough range between them that Geezer give a showing of character and craft that, had I done a list of 2013’s best debut albums, probably would’ve deserved to be on it.

geezer electrically recorded handmade heavy blues

But that’s hindsight, and of course informed by my experience with the band since as well as the group they’d become. I had seen them and written positive things about their 2013 Gage EP (review here) that would become an STB Records LP (review here) in 2014 — so it’s not like they were completely off my radar — but I just kind of missed out on Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues when it came out. I tell you all the time I suck at this. It ain’t like Pokemon. You can’t catch ’em all.

Not yet is mentioned six-minute closer “Still a Fool,” and that’s on purpose. It’s about a minute and a half longer than the next longest track, and something of a standout as well as very purposefully placed where it is on the record. It starts out with an up and down riff and Harrington‘s vocals, talking about back-door-creepin’ on someone else’s wife or some such, and resolves itself in a blues rock cacophony worthy of any ’70s comparison you want to make for it — MC5, Cactus, Zeppelin, doesn’t matter who — before capping off as a gig might. In so doing, Geezer sends advance notice of a skill that would emerge in their sound over subsequent offerings, including that Gage LP the next year, and that is the jam.

Ah, the jam. Take a breath. In. Out. The jam.

As the band began its gradual shift in lineup, it was the jam that would begin to emerge as the dominant force within their sound, and it was through the jam that Harrington‘s true persona came through on guitar. Gage and the Live! Full-Tilt Boogie tape (review here) in 2014 showed more flashes of it, and their 2015 participation in Ripple Music‘s The Second Coming of Heavy split series (review here) alongside D.C.’s Borracho led into their 2016 self-titled LP (review here), their second proper full-length, that really marked their arrival as something more than an object of temporary social media interest.

Now signed to Ripple, they brought that bluesy sound with them as they veered into more psychedelic and melodically adventurous fare, balancing songs and extended explorations in a way that successfully captured their live spirit with studio clarity. 2017’s Psychoriffadelia (review here) followed and built on that principle, and early 2019’s Spiral Fires EP (review here) on Kozmik Artifactz not only kept the momentum and progression going, but tested the waters with drummer Steve Markota alongside the longer-set pairing of Harrington and bassist Richie Touseull. And “waters” is the right word for the fluidity they were able to conjure between the three of them.

Nonetheless, the reason I had for going back and finally giving Geezer‘s debut long-player its due was that in 2020 the band — HarringtonTouseullMarkota — will release another new album that they’ve been working on throughout 2019. I’m not saying I’ve heard any of the tracks or anything, but I will say there’s a good chance it marks another significant forward step in their ongoing sonic evolution and features some of their best and most developed songwriting to-date. I have no release plans or details to share, but consider it something to look forward to, even as you look back at their first record.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the US. Like just about everything in this country — including the country itself — its history is racist and horrifying. Hi, colonialism.

Turkey was good, family time was even better. My Jersey crew and The Patient Mrs.’ Connecticut crew (plus a rare but crucial appearance from the Maryland blood-relative branch) all got together up in CT and we went up with The Pecan on Wednesday, stayed over and then were there until after dinner and at least the first stage of cleanup on Thursday before getting in the car so the kid could fall asleep on the ride and then just basically be thrown in bed. It was good.

I’ve slept an extra hour the last few days, waking up at 5 instead of 4AM. It’s been good for my rest level, bad for productivity. My disposition is still shit either way, so, you know, I might as well at least do what I need to do to get done what I need to get done. Head down, keep working.

Like now. It’s 9AM. I just put up that Roadburn post — actually just got to write it too, with all the inherent chaos of the holiday yesterday — and The Pecan and The Patient Mrs. are playing hide and seek while I’m off watch and buried in my computer. I must really need this as much as I think I do.

I have an appointment to finish up a root canal in about an hour and a half, so that’s a thing to look forward to. This is the follow-up to the surprise root canal I had a couple Fridays ago. Third one on the same tooth. I don’t like the tooth’s chances longterm, but I’ll try and give it as much of a shot as I can. The crown is too big and shaped wrong for the surrounding teeth. The human mouth is a cesspool anyway. Why should my bite be any less awkwardly shaped than any of the rest of me?

So anyway, I’ll probably spend the next 45 minutes or so trying to brush the coffee taste and residual garlic from yesterday out of my mouth (and fail) before I head out and then come back and start to worry about weekend stuff like the press release I need to write for STB Records this weekend — I’ve sworn to myself that I’m stepping back from such usually-unpaid labors as this, liner notes, bios, etc., and I am, but some projects you can’t refuse — and a playlist for the next Gimme Radio show, which airs next Friday. I guess it’s best-of-2019 time already. Go figure.

Anyway, if you’re in the States, I hope you got the four-day weekend thing going. I’ll be in my sweatpants probably the entire time, fretting about this and that and enjoying leftovers. May you rock and roll and have fun and be safe and be kind and have kindness done to you, wherever you are.

FRM. Forum, Radio, Merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Swans Announce June 2020 North American Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I haven’t reviewed the new Swans album, Leaving Meaning, and I’m kind of going back and forth on doing so. Not that my fucking opinion matters about it in the slightest — ain’t like Michael Gira is sitting on his hands waiting for me, or probably anyone else for that matter, to put a post up on the internet — but I didn’t even know about the sexual misconduct allegation against him until the last time I posted about the band and now I’m not really sure where I stand on it. Dude got inappropriate and made a lady uncomfortable. It’s extra fucked because she was on his label. I don’t think there was forced sex, rape in the way we used to think of rape, but still. Doesn’t that matter? Shouldn’t it?

Happened to Bobby Liebling from Pentagram a few years ago as well — not that his troubles are all limited to that — and the woman was basically obliterated for it, like it was her fault Liebling‘s been a reputed scumbag his entire adult life. I don’t know. It just seems like for an underground that counts itself as being vaguely progressive in some inclusionary sense, the dominant voices are still awfully white and awfully male generally. It’s a bummer sometimes, complicit as I am in it.

Countdown to some dude disagreeing in five, four, three…

So anyway, here some Swans tour dates. I may review the record, I may not, but I’ve covered the band to this point since they got back in 2010 (and kind of before that too), so there you go:

swans

SWANS announce North American tour dates for 2020

Having released their 15th studio album leaving meaning. to considerable media acclaim, Swans are announcing North American tour dates for spring 2020, which follow a European tour. Very special guest for these shows will be Anna von Hausswolff. Kicking off in Dallas, TX, the tour will finish with two Brooklyn dates at Warsaw June 26 and 27 – full details below.

Swans live will be: Michael Gira (acoustic and electric guitar and voice); Kristof Hahn (lap steel guitar, electric guitar, loops); Phil Puleo (drums, percussion, gizmos); Dana Schechter (bass guitar, lap steel guitar, keys); Christopher Pravdica (bass guitar, loops, keys); Ben Frost (synthesizer, Mellotron, electric guitar).

SWANS NORTH AMERICAN TOUR – SPRING 2020
6/5/2020 Dallas TX Granada Theater
6/6/2020 Austin TX Oblivion Access Festival at Empire Garage
6/9/2020 Los Angeles CA Regent Theatre
6/10/2020 San Francisco CA The Fillmore
6/12/2020 Portland OR Revolution Hall
6/13/2020 Seattle WA The Neptune
6/16/2020 Minneapolis MN Varsity Theater
6/17/2020 Chicago IL Thalia Hall
6/19/2020 Detroit MI El Club
6/20/2020 Toronto ON Lee’s Palace
6/21/2020 Montreal QC Theatre National
6/24/2020 Allston MA Brighton Music Hall
6/25/2020 Philadelphia PA Underground Arts
6/26/2020 Brooklyn NY Warsaw
6/27/2020 Brooklyn NY Warsaw

leaving meaning. was written and produced by Michael Gira and features contributions from recent and former Swans, members of Angels of Light, as well as guest artists Anna and Maria von Hausswolff, Ben Frost, The Necks, Baby Dee, and a Hawk and a Hacksaw.

Michael Gira explains, “leaving meaning. is the first Swans album to be released since I dissolved the lineup of musicians that constituted Swans from 2010 – 2017. Swans is now comprised of a revolving cast of musicians, selected for both their musical and personal character, chosen according to what I intuit best suits the atmosphere in which I’d like to see the songs I’ve written presented. In collaboration with me, the musicians, through their personality, skill and taste, contribute greatly to the arrangement of the material. They’re all people whose work I admire and whose company I personally enjoy.”

http://www.facebook.com/SwansOfficial
https://swans.bandcamp.com
http://www.younggodrecords.com/

Swans, “The Hanging Man”

Tags: , , , , ,

White Hills Post “Automated City” Video Ahead of European Tour

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

white hills

I believe that if you go back and check the Official Bureau of Records on Such Things, the central thesis of my last post about New York’s White Hills was that nobody has any idea what they’re doing and that people who pretend otherwise are full of crap. It was something like that, anyhow. Or if not, that’s what it should’ve been. Whatever. In support of this argument I may or may not have been making — I don’t have the funds to file a 27B/6 request with the Official Bureau to check the record and find out — I humbly offer the band’s new video for “Automated City,” which they’ve newly posted ahead of the European tour on which they’ll embark next month.

“Band releasing a new video ahead of a tour,” you say. “Not much weird about that.” Correct. However. Check out the track itself before you fully assess. Yeah, you’ll hear some krautrock vibes in there as well as intangibles like the legacy of New York’s noisemaking experimentalist scene such as it was before Thurston and Kim got divorced, and you’ll hear any number of things all coming together as White Hills, but isn’t that the point? Put a tag on that. Call it something other than the band’s name. Double-dog dare you. As I know I said last time, verbatim: “Good fucking luck.”

And once you’ve accomplished that task, I’ll gladly set you on figuring out what might lead White Hills to make a video for a song from 2015’s Walks for Motorists rather than their latest LP, 2017’s Stop Mute Defeat, or maybe even something new they’re working on from their next album in progress.

And once you’ve accomplished that task, I’ll leave you to the video itself, put together by the band’s own Ego Sensation, and looking like something out of a Hitchcock opening credits sequence.

Have fun:

White Hills, “Automated City” official video

White Hills present “Automated City”, a noir vignette shot and constructed by Ego Sensation. Inspired by noir films of the 1940s and the avant-garde stage theater of American director and playwright Robert Wilson, the video traverses a shadowy dream world of shifting perspective. A firm fan favourite, the song is from the band’s 2015 album Walks For Motorists, produced by David Wrench, best known for his work with Goldfrapp, Caribou and FKA Twigs as well as with his own synth-duo audiobooks.

White Hills are currently in the studio working on a new album with Jeff Berner (Psychic TV) at Studio G in Brooklyn featuring a slew of unique collaborators including; Jim Jarmusch (Filmmaker & Musician), Yasmine Hamden (singer-songwriter who also appears in Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive”), Simone Marie Butler (bassist with Primal Scream), Jim Coleman (Cop Shoot Cop) and Alex Macarte (GNOD).

White Hills – Buy The Ticket Take The Ride EU tour 2019 Dates:
14/11 CH Bern Spinnerei
15/11 ITA Busto Arsizio Circolo Gagarin (with Martin Bisi)
16/11 ITA Roma Roma Psych Fest
17/11 ITA Loreto Reasonanz (with Martin Bisi)
18/11 ITA Perugia T-Trane
19/11 ITA Torino BlahBlah
20/11 ITA Padova Nadir
21/11 ITA Ravenna Transmission Festival (with Martin Bisi)
22/11 ITA Ravenna Transmission Festival
23/11 AT Salzburg Dome of Rock Festival
24/11 DE Karlsruhe Alte Hackerei
25/11 DE Leipzig Nato
26/11 DE Berlin Urban Spree (with Martin Bisi)
27/11 SWE Malmo Plan B
28/11 SWE Gothenborg Musikenhus
29/11 DK Copenhagen BASEMENT
30/11 DE Munster Rare Guitar
1/12 NL Den Bosch W2 Poppodium
2/12 BE Bruxelles Mag 4 (with Martin Bisi)
3/12 FRA Paris Supersonic

White Hills Tumblr

White Hills on Thee Facebooks

White Hills on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Geezer Update on New Album Progress; Unveil Badass Shirt Design

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

There’s an awful lot we don’t know about the next Geezer record yet. The increasingly trippy Kingston, New York, heavy blues-psych jammers released their 2019 EP, Spiral Fires (review here), via Kozmik Artifactz this past Spring, but I’ve no clue as to whether that imprint will handle the new full-length, let alone things like the name of this album, the release date, the song titles, what it sounds like, and all of that other fun stuff that goes into record details. But they’ve leaked out a couple videos from the studio and that’s a good time, so I’ll take what I can get in that regard, and they posted that they’re currently in the mixing stage, so maybe it won’t be all that long until some substantive word comes down the PR wire about a plan for getting the thing out there.

I’d assume it’s a 2020 release, just because time’s short in 2019 at this point for an album to be mastered, pressed, properly promoted, etc. They could be part of what’s become the annual February Onslaught, whereby all the records that various parties have been sitting on all winter are finally issued, but it could honestly be March or April before it shows up, especially if they want to line up a tour surrounding, either at home or abroad. Frankly, either would be a reasonable move for them at this point. Hell, I saw them with Sasquatch and Nebula last month (review here) and they were fantastic. Let them go do three weeks in Europe with Sasquatch. Make the world a better place for a while.

Well, anyhoozle. While I’m sitting here planning tours for bands that I won’t get to see, you can dig into what Geezer had to say about where they’re at. Also, I don’t regularly post anything about a band’s merch, because jeez, I’d never post about anything else, but this design by Joshua Wilkinson from The Company was too good not to include, as I think you’ll likely agree. T-shirt is on their Bandcamp now. I bought one this morning:

geezer shirt design

Geezer – **ALBUM UPDATE**

We are currently in the mixing phase of the new full length album. It’s gonna be righteous! This shirt design was done by @thecompanykc and will be available soon through our Bandcamp page… dig!

Things got trippy in the studio a few weeks ago… new album is gonna be killer!

Come for the music… stay for the dog.

https://www.instagram.com/geezertown/
https://www.facebook.com/geezerNY/
http://geezertown.bandcamp.com/

Tags: , ,