Desert Survival: How to Do Psycho Las Vegas on a Budget

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

psycho las vegas 2017 banner

Hey, if you’re going to go broke, let’s face it: You’re not likely to run into many causes as worthy as the lineup culled together for Psycho Las Vegas. It ain’t cheap — any event that advertises a payment plan obviously knows it’s a considerable ask — but whether you’re going to see Slo Burn for their only US gig or King Diamond doing Abigail or Mulatu Astatke because going to see Mulatu Astatke is a life-event, the arguments in favor are plentiful and convincing. Whatever else you want to say, Psycho Las Vegas is the first annually-held American festival with a focus on heavy and underground rock to really establish itself as world class.

That in itself is a reason to support the cause, whether it’s through a day ticket or a pass for the entire weekend, but it doesn’t necessarily lesson the expense of making the trip or staying in one of the US’ most lucrative tourist traps, let alone things like band merchandise, meals and the occasional adult beverage if you’re inclined to have one. The thought of seeing NeurosisSleep and Carcass share a stage over the course of a weekend or watching Conan, the new trio-incarnation of Pentagram and Yawning Man poolside or from the balcony of a room in the Casino Tower is incredible, and after hearing stories from those who undertook the journey in 2016 or attended the prior Psycho California in 2015, the idea wants nothing for appeal. Fiscal issues can be a bummer. By the time August rolls around, I’ll have been out of paid work for two months. I know how it goes.

And I’m hardly the most responsible person when it comes to money, but the truth of the matter is there are ways to mitigate costs for travel, lodging and other concerns, and if the thing preventing you from picking up a ticket to the show has been the seeming impossibility of affording a stay at the Hard Rock or of finding a cheap-enough flight to get there, maybe it’s worth trying to shift finances around to make it happen. Music is important, and when debt collectors are spamming your phone it’s hard to think about the non-cash value of life experiences, but the fact is the bills you need to pay will still be there. The bill with Corrosion of Conformity in a lineup alongside Kylesa‘s Laura Pleasants, Domkraft, Swans, Elephant Tree and Heavy Temple? Much less so.

Here are a few pointers that hopefully can save you a couple bucks. Some of it’s day-one stuff, but things like hotel picks and transportation nuances are good to know either way.

Check it out:

psycho-las-vegas-2017-poster

Flying In
• Buy tickets on a Tuesday for the cheapest rates.
• Use a discount flight search.
• If you can, fly in on Thursday and leave on Monday for better rates, search different days and times to come in and leave.
• Book early. Rates go up in the summer.

Getting There
• Ride apps cost less than cabs.
• The Hard Rock is less than a mile from the airport. Cheap trip anyway.
• There are free shuttles from most Vegas hotels to the strip and tourist attractions.

Staying There
• This one is huge… don’t stay at the Hard Rock if you can’t afford it! Alexis Park, RUMOR, Red Roof Inn are all across the street and cheap. Scope out a position on a map if you need to; that’s what Street View is there for.
• Partner up to share rooms. You’ve got social media and it’s not like you’re going to do more than sleep and (hopefully) shower there anyway. Might as well join forces and save expense where you can.

Drinks
• BYO. Vegas has open-container laws. If you think hooch is too expensive at the Hard Rock, get loaded on the sidewalk before you go in.
• One way or another, hydrate. You’re staying in the desert in August. Don’t be stupid.

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Lineup
Abbath, Ace Frehley, Black Anvil, Blood Ceremony, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Buzzov*en, Carcass, Celeste, Chelsea Wolfe, Cirith Ungol, Cloud Catcher, Code Orange, Conan, Corrosion of Conformity, Cough, Cult Leader, Cult Of Luna With Julie Christmas Diamond Head, Domkraft, Earthless, Elephant Tree, Eternal Tapestry, Fister, Floorian, Gatecreeper, GEQ, Gojira, Gost, Graf Orlock, Heavy Temple, Hollow Leg, Inter Arma, Khemmis, King Diamond, Laura Pleasants & Special Guests, Magma, Manilla Road, Merlin, Minsk, Morne, Mothership, Mouth of the Architect, Mulatu Astatke, Murder City Devils, Mustard Gas & Roses, Myrkur, Neurosis, North, Oathbreaker, Pelican, Pentagram, Psychic TV, The Rods, Ruby the Hatchet, Sasquatch, Saturndust, Sleep, Slo Burn, Slomatics, Snail, Sons of Otis, Sumac, Summoner, Swans, The Skull, Toke, Urchin, Usnea, Vhol, Weedeater, Windhand, Wizard Rifle, Wolves in the Throne Room, Yawning Man, Year of the Cobra, Youngblood Supercult, Zeal & Ardor.

http://www.vivapsycho.com
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas

Pentagram, “Relentless / Broken Vows” Live in Richmond, VA, 2017

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Psycho Las Vegas Completes Lineup: Ace Frehley, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Corrosion of Conformity, Sasquatch, Mothership, Ruby the Hatchet, Heavy Temple & Many More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

The Psycho Las Vegas lineup wasn’t exactly lacking in ‘holy shit’-factor before, but, uh… holy shit. The poster below is so god damned packed it’s got me wondering if they’re going to sneak in an extra day to fit it all. Well, I guess they are if you count the pre-party — a fest unto itself with the additions of Ruby the HatchetSasquatch, ConanYawning Man and Great Electric Quest — but to see acts like EarthlessCorrosion of ConformityDiamondheadLaura Pleasants of KylesaMothershipSaturndust, Heavy TempleToke and so many others added to the bill for the fest proper, it borders on the overwhelming. Sons of OtisYear of the CobraEternal Tapestry? I take back that part about “borders on.” Shit’s giving me the vapors.

Swoon.

Blah blah blah tickets, blah blah blah on sale, blah blah blah how much you don’t need me to tell you this is probably the best heavy lineup the US has ever seen. Also Ace Frehley will be there.

Full lineup follows:

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS

Psycho Las Vegas 2017

-CONFIRMED LINEUP-
KING DIAMOND (USA 2017 Exclusive)
THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE
ACE FREHLEY
GOJIRA
SWANS
NEUROSIS
MAGMA
SLEEP
MELVINS
CARCASS
MURDER CITY DEVILS
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY
SLO BURN
DIAMONDHEAD
CIRITH UNGOL
ABBATH
CHELSEA WOLFE
CULT OF LUNA WITH JULIE CHRISTMAS
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
MULATU ASATKE
PSYCHIC TV
EARTHLESS
SUMAC
MANILLA ROAD
CELESTE
WINDHAND
PELICAN
BLOOD CEREMONY
CODE ORANGE
WEEDEATER
MINSK
COUGH
VHOL
ZEAL & ARDOR
OATHBREAKER
MYRKUR
BUZZOV-EN
THE SKULL
INTER ARMA
SLOMATICS
GOST
YOUNG AND IN THE WAY
GATECREEPER
MOTHERSHIP
CULT LEADER
LAURA PLEASANTS & SPECIAL GUESTS
MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT
SONS OF OTIS
SNAIL
MORNE
DOMKRAFT
KHEMMIS
ETERNAL TAPESTRY
JEX THOTH
FISTER
NORTH
WIZARD RIFLE
USNEA
ROYAL THUNDER
YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT
TOKE
SATURNDUST
HEAVY TEMPLE
SUMMONER
BLACK ANVIL
FLOORIAN
HOLLOW LEG
YEAR OF THE COBRA
MERLIN
ELEPHANT TREE
CLOUD CATCHER

PSYCHO PRE-PARTY:
PENTAGRAM
CONAN
YAWNING MAN
SASQUATCH
MUSTARD GAS & ROSES
GRAF ORLOCK
RUBY THE HATCHET
URCHIN
GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 is set for Aug. 18-20 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Tickets are available at https://www.vivapsycho.com

http://www.vivapsycho.com
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas

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Abraxas Events Announces Abraxas Records Label Venture; Necro, Saturndust, Fuzzly and More Signed

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

In what can only be called a natural extension of the impulse to spread quality music, Abraxas Events announces a new label venture in the form of Abraxas Records. For the last three years, brothers Felipe Toscano and Rodrigo Toscano have worked under the Abraxas banner to bring outside acts to Brazil and wider South America, and from Mars Red Sky to Stoned Jesus to Kadavar the recently-announced March 2017 run for Samsara Blues Experiment (info here), they’ve been wildly successful. My understanding is that Radio Moscow‘s first South American tour has already become something of a legend.

When Mars Red Sky couldn’t get into the US in 2014 and wound up recording their second album, Stranded in Arcadia (review here), in Rio at Estudio Superfuzz with Gabriel Zander, that was coordinated through Zander‘s partnership with Abraxas. In fact, the company has handled logistics for multiple Superfuzz recordings, and as Abraxas Records comes together, they seem to be keeping that relationship as a central feature of what they have to offer.

The key switch? Where Abraxas Events is known for bringing bands in, Abraxas Records seems more immediately geared toward spreading South American and particularly Brazilian acts to the world at large (it’s worth noting that anyone the company books from elsewhere is usually paired with choice locals as well, so not like they weren’t promoting South American acts before). And they’re not exactly starting off light. First release is from boogie rockers Necro, who today unveil the album art for their third full-length, Adiante, which will be out through Abraxas Records on Dec. 20.

That’s hardly the end of the story. The label has also picked up SaturndustFuzzlySon of a Witch, Anjo Gabriel, Monster Coyote, and The Muddy Brothers. Seven bands on day one. Hard not to be impressed by the ambition, and given the quality of work Abraxas has done up to now, I look forward to this next phase and wish good luck to the Toscano brothers. Like my nation’s vice president once said, “This is a big fuckin’ deal.”

As it should be, there’s a lot of audio linked below, but you’ll also find the details of the label’s formation and background, as well as two new tracks from Necro, whose album will be streaming here one week from today in full.

Dig it:

Abraxas Label Announcement – Necro New Album Release – Artwork Revealed

After 3 years booking tours in South America for international bands like Radio Moscow, Mars Red Sky, Kadavar and Stoned Jesus, just to name a few, and also actively promoting the Brazilian heavy rock scene, Abraxas officially announce a new record label branch.

“Although we have already recorded and released a lot of albums of Brazilian bands in the past years, we have never considered ourselves a proper label, more like a booking agency and event planning company (what is in fact what we do the most), but now it’s time to formalize this other aspect as well.” explains Felipe Toscano, founder of Abraxas with his brother Rodrigo.

The label’s first release will be Necro’s third studio album named “Adiante”. Now singing in Portuguese, the band had a substantial creativity boost, as it is much easier to create complex and interesting lyric structures in their mother language, not to mention the rhythm parts that have gotten even better due to such smart change.

As it couldn’t be different, Necro’s forthcoming album was recorded and produced by Gabriel Zander at Superfuzz in November 2015. The amazing cover was designed by Brazilian artist Cristiano Suarez (https://www.facebook.com/CristianoSuarezArt) and the first two singles are available at their bandcamp page: “Deuses Suicidas” – https://necronomicon.bandcamp.com/album/deuses-suicidas-single and “Viajor” – https://necronomicon.bandcamp.com/album/viajor-single.

São Paulo band Saturndust will be another solid name in the label’s roster. Their first album (https://saturndust.bandcamp.com/ – LP released by Helmet Lady Records) was recorded by the Abraxas brothers and Gabriel Zander at Superfuzz studio in Rio de Janeiro back in September 2014, and the hazy doom trio had just finished recordings of their second work, release due March 2017.

“All bands in the label are long time friends and have supported and worked with us several times since the beginning of Abraxas. Actually, some of them have already been produced/recorded at Superfuzz in our partnership with Zander, like Saturndust and Son of a Witch (https://sonofawitch666.bandcamp.com/ – LP released by Kozmic Artifactz) and I think all of them have opened for a foreign headliner at least once in the tours and gigs we have organized”, Felipe highlights.

The label will comprise Brazilian pioneers of stoner-rock Fuzzly (https://fuzzly.bandcamp.com/) and psychedelic titans Anjo Gabriel (https://anjogabriel.bandcamp.com/album/o-culto-secreto-do-anjo-gabriel) as well as many of the ascending bands of the country’s rich and constantly growing heavy rock scene, like The Muddy Brothers (https://themuddybrothers.bandcamp.com/releases), and Monster Coyote (https://monstercoyote.bandcamp.com/), among others.

From Psychedelic Prog to Sludge Metal, Abraxas aim to erect a milestone in Brazilian rock scene, and as from December 19 all of those bands will be strategically delivered by ONErpm. For physical needs, Abraxas plans the launch of the e-commerce with CDs, LPs, t-shirts and many more stuff by April 2017.

https://www.facebook.com/abraxasevents/
https://twitter.com/abraxasfm
http://abraxas.fm/

Necro, “Deuses Suicidas”

Necro, “Viajor”

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Saturndust to Release Self-Titled Vinyl on Helmet Lady Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 9th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

saturndust

Well that didn’t take long. Brazilian trio Saturndust released their self-titled debut album on Jan. 26 — the song “Realm of Nothing” was included in the latest podcast — and today word came down that the São Paulo unit have signed a deal with Nashville newcomer Helmet Lady Records to release it on vinyl. Pretty indicative of a good reception when your record gets snagged for a physical pressing in about two weeks’ time. Cheers to Saturndust, who recorded at Estudio Superfuzz, which was where Mars Red Sky also did last year’s Stranded in Arcadia, and to Helmet Lady on the cool pickup.

If you haven’t heard the record yet, the full stream from Saturndust‘s Bandcamp is below:

saturndust saturndust

HLR Announces Signing of Saturndust

We are extremely excited that Brazilian space/stoner/doom trio Saturndust has joined the HLR family!

This is an album we fell in love with right away and knew we wanted to get out on vinyl in a special, limited release. The album is full of nasty, crushing doom coupled expertly around a backdrop of space psych and cosmic tone. It’s a stunning embodiment of what Helmet Lady Records cherishes in the heavy music and art realm, and we know that you will love it, too!

Keep your eyes peeled for release particulars and pressing information, but until then, please head over to the Saturndust bandcamp and enjoy the heck out of these wonderful tracks.

Bio:

This year, Saturndust enters the void to give life to the first full-length. After months of a negative phase, they are ready to drop their self-titled album, until now the deepest experience.

‘Saturndust’ transmutes the weight of the asteroids into the magnitude of the riffs, explosive grooves, and bleak vocals that absorbs you to unknown realms of the deep space and in your mind. The 6 tracks show how the human is weak and small, closer to it’s own discoveries and the infinity of the cosmos.

With a different perspective than the previous work, ‘Gravitation Of A Hollow Body’ opens the album with an astonishing doom-heaviness, ‘All Transmissions Have Been Lost’ ascends calmly between it’s parts, until decay in bitterness. The side-B begins with ‘Hyperion’ which explores the melodies and more crushing cadenced riffage. There is no god in this journey to beyond.

https://www.facebook.com/saturndustofficial
http://saturndust.bandcamp.com/album/saturndust
http://helmetladyrecords.com/

Saturndust, Saturndust (2015)

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audiObelisk Transmission 044

Posted in Podcasts on January 29th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

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

I’m happy to report that of all the podcasts I’ve ever put together, front to back, I think this one came together the smoothest. No programs crashed, no uploads were interrupted halfway through. Unless I click “Publish” and the internet eats this entire site, it’s safe to say this was the easiest time I’ve had putting together a collection of tracks to be featured here. Could it be I’m getting better at it? Nah. Dumb luck all the way. As I recall, last time I said something of the sort, the next month my editing software crapped out and it was a year before I got another program that worked. You’d think I might learn to keep my mouth shut.

Keeping current with this month was something of a concern. It’s hard to fill out 2015 releases since we’re only a month into the year, but even if some of this stuff is 2014, it’s later 2014 for sure, and the vast majority of it did wind up being 2015. The second hour, which has become a sort of psych blissout over the last however-many podcasts, actually gets pretty heavy and doomed this time around. Change is good for the soul. As always, hope you enjoy:

First Hour:
Torche, “Loose Men” from Restarter
Bloodcow, “Crystals and Lasers” from Crystals and Lasers
Elder, “Compendium” from Lore
Lacertilia, “Do Something!” from Crashing into the Future
Ruby the Hatchet, “Tomorrow Never Comes” from Valley of the Snake
Carpet, “Riot Kiss” from Riot Kiss 7”
Black Moon Circle, “Supernova” from Andromeda
Desert Storm, “House of Salvation” from Omniscient
Spidergawd, “Fixing to Die Blues” from Spidergawd II
Bellringer, “Von Fledermaus” from EP
Romero, “Gold for the Hunt” from Gold for the Hunt Single
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, “Lava” from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth

Second Hour:
Sumac, “Blight’s End Angel” from The Deal
Horsehunter, “Stoned to Death” from Caged in Flesh
The Devil and the Almighty Blues, “Storm Coming Down” from The Devil and the Almighty Blues
Saturndust, “Realm of Nothing” from Saturndust
Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin, “We are Entering a Place of That” from Nomadic

Total running time: 1:55:50

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 044

 

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