Visual Evidence: Ancient Warlocks Headlining VALIS Release Show in Seattle with Mos Generator

Posted in Visual Evidence on November 12th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

This poster was sent my way and it was too badass not to post. Not to mention the show is awesome. If you’re in Seattle, I don’t know what else might be going on Saturday, Nov. 24, but I do know that if anything’s going to knock you out of post-Thanksgiving MSG blues, it’s a gig with Mos Generator, VALIS and Seattle’s own Ancient Warlocks. Start making the excuses to your family now.

It’s the release show for VALIS‘ new album, Minds through Space and Time, and Mos Generator will have their new one, Nomads, on hand as well. Ancient Warlocks play third and so appear at the top of this killer poster, put together by Adam Burke of the band Fellwoods:

Show is at Sunset Tavern. More info on the gig at the Ancient Warlocks Thee Facebooks or the event page.

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VALIS to Release Minds Through Space and Time on Oct. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 10th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

If I was going to trust anyone to deliver on a record called Minds Through Space and Time, it’d probably be Washington heavy psych rockers VALIS, who’ve been in search of space since their first split with Kitty Kitty showed up on Man’s Ruin all those many years ago. They seem to have made a jump — at least as regards the digital issue — from Small Stone to their own Strange Earth Records, but as the PR wire says below, there’s a physical pressing to follow, so I’m not quite sure what the deal is there.

In any case, new VALIS is good news, as 2009’s Dark Matter (review here) was inter-stellar. Examine the following closely, and dig:

VALIS Announce Release of New Album Minds Through Space and Time Out Digitally On October 5th

Band Releases Free Single and Music Video for “Space Station”

Rock-trio VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System) are excited to announce the release of their newest record Minds Through Space and Time on October 5th via Strange Earth Records. Minds Through Space and Time, the band’s fourth full-length album and first since 2009’s Dark Matter, will be available at all online digital outlets, with release of 180 gram colored vinyl and CD to be announced in the future. The album was produced by Jack Endino (Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and Nirvana).

The Pacific-Northwest band is currently made up of former Screaming Trees band member Van Conner (bass, vocals) and his brother Patrick Conner (guitar, vocals), with Matt Vandenberghe (drums) rounding out these two original members. Formed in the basement of Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters back in 1996, VALIS began as a casual side project for both Conner and Peters along with Van’s brother Patrick (Kitty Kitty) and Kurt Danielson (TAD). In 1996, VALIS released their first record, a split release with Kitty Kitty on Frank Kozik’s Man’s Ruin label followed by releases for the European label Lunasound, and Detroit’s Small Stone.

Over the years, the lineup has changed several times and has included the aforementioned Dan Peters, Kurt Danielson (TAD, Vaporland), Sean Hollister (King Krab), Adrian Makins (All Time High), as well as producer Wes Weresch. Matt Vandenberghe joined the lineup in 2008. Following the 2009 release of Dark Matter, Adrian left the band and Van switched back to his native bass. On Minds Through Space and Time, Van and Patrick share the vocal duties, and Matt lays down the heavy groove.

Free Download:

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Frydee VALIS

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 4th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Because I’ve just woken up from a nap and feel barely conscious yet with a mind racing at a million miles an hour, I’ve chosen to cap off this week with VALIS, who know all about altered states of mentality. For me, it’s just lack of sleep last night, but them, it’s the title track of 2004’s Head Full of Pills. Not much mystery what that song’s about, but it’s a cool video anyway.

I’m headed out in a bit to catch Kings Destroy and Droids Attack in Brooklyn. If you’re in the area, the show is at The Charleston. If you’re not in the area, Droids Attack are on tour, so maybe they’re coming by you. Feel free to have a look.

Stick around for next week. In the interview can are chats with T. Dallas Reed of Stone Axe and Buzz Osborne of The Melvins, but I think the next to go up will be the talk with Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson, which was an interesting conversation to be sure, as it happened around midnight as he stole a couple free minutes from working at his restaurant. I’m looking forward to seeing how it comes out and I hope you are too.

Enjoy the weekend.

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Under VALIS’ Will

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 27th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Though it’s been a while since the interview with Van Conner, I find myself more and more these days with VALIS songs from their new album, Dark Matter (Small Stone), stuck in my head. In particular, “Under Satan’s Will” is catchy beyond catchy and a near constant in my mental jukebox. Looking for a clip on the YuberTubers to represent the song, I stumbled on a home-made video for it by Conner himself that’s actually pretty cool. If you haven’t heard the track yet, you’ll soon come to understand why there’s no escape from it.

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Northwest Mind Meld: Six Ways from Washington

Posted in Reviews on June 24th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Oddly enough, this was also used as the cover for the Tijuana Mind Meld.Here I’ve been kicking myself for days trying to come up with some kind of vaguely apt descriptor for what’s going on with Small Stone‘s new Northwest Mind Meld release, and it’s right there in the title the whole time. Is it a compilation? Is it a six-way split? Nope, it’s a melding of the minds; a coming together of various acts and outfits linked in one way or another — if nothing else by geography — for a singular rocking purpose. A putting together of the heads, so to Here's VALIS rocking out.speak.

Gathered by none other than VALIS guitarist/vocalist Van Conner, Northwest Mind Meld features not only his band, but other Washington luminaries Mos Generator and Golden Pig Electric Blues Band alongside newcomers like Skullbot, The Valley (a name I can appreciate) and All Time High. Each band gets two tracks divided up over the course of the CD in a mixed order, like a compilation where half the bands didn’t show up and the rest just filled in the time.

One has to wonder about that. For a region so fertile when it comes to creative music — stoner or otherwise — it seems a little strange to only have a half-dozen bands melding their minds. Was this all Conner could find, or was it just a matter of who he thought fit with what the others were doing? In any case, the six present and accounted for each give solid showings, the two VALIS and Mos Generator cuts being particular highlights, as well as Golden Pig Electric Blues Band‘s “Pentagram” living up to its name.

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VALIS and the Space Between Space

Posted in Features on March 18th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Them Bros. ConnerTaking their name from the titular satellite that beamed messages to author Philip K. Dick in the 1981 novel, Stanwood, Washington residents VALIS will put out their fourth full-length, Dark Matter through Small Stone next month. As I said in last month’s review of the album that loosely coincided with it being released on iTunes, it is by far the band’s most straightforward affair, but it doesn’t completely abandon the psychedelia so typical of their earlier work. At its heart, it is a rock album, done just right.

Aside from introducing new drummer Matt Vandenberghe to the fold with guitarist/vocalist Patrick Conner and bassist/vocalist Adrian Makins, Dark Matter also reunites guitarist/vocalist Van Conner (ex-bass, Screaming Trees) with producer Jack Endino. In the interview that follows, Van discusses that, the many changes that have taken place in VALIS over the years, tour possibilities and whether he feels his past in Screaming Trees has helped or hindered his work since.

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The Matter with VALIS

Posted in Reviews on February 23rd, 2009 by JJ Koczan

I've seen this somewhere before...I’ve sat with the new VALIS record, Dark Matter (Small Stone) for a couple days now, ever since I posted the mp3 of opener “Resurrection Sickness” a little while ago, and the only two words I keep going back to for it are “catchy” and “stoned.” Guitarist/vocalist Van Conner, once bassist for Screaming Trees, has outdone himself in stripping away a lot of the spaced-out confusion that pervaded past Small Stone albums, 2004’s Head Full of Pills and the next year’s Champions of Magic, and where those albums had a hazy, heady, tripped out feel, Dark Matter is much closer to the ground — “closer” being the key word there.

Since each track on the album has a remarkably distinct personality, the best way to analyze Dark Matter seems to be one song at a time:

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EXCLUSIVE: Hear New Music from Valis!

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2009 by JJ Koczan

Valis - Dark Matter CoverClick on the album cover above to bask in the Sabbath-y goodness of “Resurrection Sickness,” the rocking opener from Valis‘ upcoming album, Dark Matter! The fourth album from the Seattle band, Dark Matter was produced and engineered by Jack Endino (Nebula, High on Fire, etc.), is available now on iTunes and will enter the physical realm — i.e. CD stores — April 14, 2009, thanks to Small Stone Records. Enjoy the track and keep your eyes open for the review and interview to come!

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