Tad Doyle to Release New Solo Album Incineration Ceremony

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

Whatever you’re thinking a solo record from Thomas Andrew Doyle — aka Tad Doyle of TAD, Hog Molly and the megacrushing Brothers of the Sonic Cloth — is going to be, stop. Cast off your preconceived notions, all who’d enter into Incineration Ceremony, as the first preview of the album in the streaming track “Silent Incineration” is more classical-via-cinema-score than whatever it is you’re probably expecting. You thought maybe he’d go folk-country? Not that he couldn’t pull it off. Full-on experimentalist noise? Yeah, he could probably do that too. Instead, he’s thrown an even bigger curve and gone orchestral. If that doesn’t spin your head, congrats, you’re the hardest-to-surprise motherfucker in the world. A trophy will be sent to you in the mail from a warehouse in Ohio. Keep an eye out for the package.

Incineration Ceremony is out May 16 via Yuggoth Records (see also AnechoicSky Shadow Obelisk), and is available to preorder now. Info follows from the internets:

thomas-andrew-doyle-incineration-ceremony

Thomas Andrew Doyle new album “Incineration Ceremony”

We are proud to announce a totally new release by multi-instrumentalist, song writer, audio engineer Tad Doyle.“Incineration Ceremony,” slated for release on June 1, 2017 on Yuggoth Records is the new work by Thomas Andrew Doyle (TAD, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Hog Molly) and is a return to roots of sorts.

Spending his formative years in music playing in Jazz clubs while attending school studying classical and jazz music at Boise State University, Doyle comes forth with a symphonic take on what is going on in his head. Spawned from the dark and dreary recesses of Doyle’s psyche comes an immense sound of textures, rhythms and material suitable for film and stand alone listening, disquieting all who are within an earshot. People who are familiar with his music should expect the unexpected. Doyle’s entry into the world of symphonic composition is no novice beginner’s attempt. Incineration Ceremony is a musical journeyman’s expression that is genuine, heartfelt, honest, uncompromising and authoritative.

Doyle started working on this new project last year and as the work continued he became obsessed with writing and making the work come together. About the songs Doyle shares, “It has been a very organic process of putting this all together and I have had so much fun in the process.”

Guest musician friend and composer Peter Scartabello adds additional percussion on two of the songs. Cover artwork and layout by friend Demian Johnston puts the mood of the record into a visual representation of some of the musical content.

Thomas Andrew Doyle – vocals, piano, acoustic instruments, soft instruments, analog synthesizers

Peter Scartabello – additional wood and metal percussion on ‘Asleep in Arrhythmia’ and ‘Bio-illogical Functions’

Artwork and layout – Demian Johnston

Track Listing:

Silent Incineration
Lost in Abysmal Waters
Desire
Asleep in Arrhythmia
Bio-illogical Functions
Nurtured in Grief
Meditations in Null
Born into Sorrow
Prognati ignis ignis

Pre-order the CD now at this location!
$10.00
Official release date is Tuesday May 16, 2017

https://www.taddoyle.com/
https://twitter.com/TadDoyle_Tad
https://www.facebook.com/WitchApeStudios/
https://www.instagram.com/sonicbrethren/
http://peterscartabello.com/yuggoth-records/

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Melvins Announce Three Months of North American Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

My feelings on heavy rock legends the Melvins remain unchanged. I probably don’t ever need to see the band live again. Barring some seismic shift in their approach or my own personal taste, I probably don’t need to hear another Melvins record for as long as I live — even less a double-album, sorry. I know for a fact I don’t need to read another bloated-journo thinkpiece about how experimental or important they are or how everyone from Seattle got famous and they didn’t and therefore, integrity. These feelings are what they have been.

I also continue to respect the crap out of the fact that as they get ready to release their who-even-knows-anymore-th album, they’re doing so with 12 weeks of touring. In North America. You know they’ll be in Europe again before the end of the year as well. Sorry, but however Meh-lvins you (or I) might feel, they’re aren’t a lot of bands who either can or would be willing to break their collective ass like that on the road at this stage in their career.

So there you go. New double-album, A Walk with Love and Death, is out in July on Ipecac. Tour starts July 5 with support from Brooklyn’s Spotlights.

PR wire has it like this:

the melvins

THE MELVINS PLOT 12-WEEK NORTH AMERICAN TOUR IN SUPPORT OF FORTHCOMING DOUBLE ALBUM, A WALK WITH LOVE & DEATH (JULY 7, IPECAC RECORDINGS)

IPECAC LABELMATES, SPOTLIGHTS, OPEN ON ALL DATES

The Melvins, who release the double album A Walk With Love & Death on July 7 via Ipecac Recordings, announce their most extensive North American tour to date, with dates stretching from July 5 to Oct. 3.

Tickets for the tour, which stretches from Florida to British Columbia, from Southern California to New England, are on-sale this Friday at 10 a.m. local time.

With A Walk With Love & Death, the trio of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Steve McDonald showcase two distinct sides of the band’s music: Death, a proper Melvins’ release and Love, the score to the Jesse Nieminen directed, self-produced short also titled A Walk With Love & Death. A release date for the short has not been announced yet but a trailer has been made available. The albums, which include guests Joey Santiago (The Pixies), Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes/Crystal Fairy) and Anna Waronker (That Dog), were co-produced with Toshi Kosai.

A Walk With Love & Death tour dates:
July 5 San Diego, CA Casbah
July 6 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
July 7 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour
July 8 Fresno, CA Strummer’s
July 9 Sacramento, CA Goldfield Trading Post
July 10 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
July 12 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
July 14 Vancouver, BC Venue Nightclub
July 17 Edmonton, AB Union Hall
July 18 Calgary, AB The Marquee
July 20 Winnipeg, MB Pyramid Cabaret
July 21 Fargo, ND The Aquarium
July 22 Minneapolis, MN Grumpy’s Bash
July 24 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom
July 25 Chicago, IL The Metro
July 26 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme
July 27 Detroit, MI El Club
July 28 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
July 29 Columbus, OH A&R Music Bar
July 31 Pittsburgh, PA Rex Theater
August 1 Syracuse, NY The Westcott Theater
August 2 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
August 3 New York, NY Irving Plaza
August 4 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
August 5 Asbury Park, NJ The Stone Pony
August 6 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
August 8 Richmond, VA The Broadberry
August 9 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
August 10 Knoxville, TN The Concourse
August 11 Louisville, KY Headliner’s Music Hall
August 12 St. Louis, MO The Ready Room
August 13 Lawrence, KS The Bottleneck
August 15 Englewood, CO Gothic Theatre
August 17 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
August 18 Las Vegas, NV Psycho Fest
August 20 San Jose, CA The Ritz
August 21 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst
August 22 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
September 5 Phoenix, AZ Crescent Ballroom
September 6 Tucson, AX 191 Toole
September 8 Austin, TX The Mohawk
September 9 Dallas, TX Tree’s
September 10 San Antonio, TX Paper Tiger
September 11 Houston, TX Warehouse Live (Studio)
September 13 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s
September 14 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall
September 15 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbit’s
September 16 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
September 17 Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Culture Room
September 18 Orlando, FL The Social
September 20 Athens, GA 40 Watt Club
September 21 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade (Hell Stage)
September 22 Nashville, TN 3rd & Lindsley
September 23 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone
September 25 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
September 26 Rock Island, IL Rock Island Brewing Co.
September 27 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s
September 28 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
September 30 Ft. Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
October 2 Albuquerque, NM The Launchpad
October 3 Flagstaff, AZ The Green Room

Spotlights, who will release their Ipecac debut this fall, open on all dates.

The Melvins will also perform with Tool on June 24 at the Glen Helem Amphitheater in San Bernardino, Calif.

facebook.com/melvinsarmy
twitter.com/melvinsdotcom
instagram.com/melvinsdotcom

facebook.com/spotlightsband
twitter.com/spotlightsband
instagram.com/spotlightsband

ipecac.com
facebook.com/ipecac
instagram.com/ipecacrecordings

Melvins, A Walk with Love and Death album trailer

Tags: , , , , , ,

Samothrace Announce US Tour Dates with He Whose Ox is Gored

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

samothrace

Hard to believe that by the time they finish this upcoming US tour, complete with stops at Maryland Deathfest as well as the 71Grind in Colorado and Northwest Terrorfest in their native Seattle, it will have been almost exactly half a decade since Samothrace released their last album, Reverence to Stone (review here). I’m not trying to tell anyone how to live their life or anything, but I think it might be time for a follow-up. Of course, the megadoomers have toured regularly since that offering landed like a giant-sized concrete slab carrying other concrete slabs — also it landed on a slab of concrete, and from a considerable height — but still, a third album would be welcome, even after they did the Live at Roadburn outing capturing their set from 2014 at the Netherlands-based fest, at which they, naturally, killed (review here).

They go in the good company of prog-sludge rockers He Whose Ox is Gored, and will be joined on select shows by Void Omnia as well. Their announcement went an awful lot like this:

samothrace us tour

It’s been a while since we have done a run in the States. Time to change that!! Headlining dates with appearances at Maryland Death Fest, 71Grind Fest and Northwest Terror Fest

This time being joined by our friends in Hewhoseoxisgored and select dates with our friends in Void Omina!!

See you soon!!

Wed 5/17/17 Great Falls, MT Back Alley Pub
Fri 5/19/17 Fargo, ND The Aqurarium
Sat 5/20/17 Minneapolis, MN The Reverie
Sun 5/21/17 Chicago, IL Reggies Joint
Mon 5/22/17 Cleveland, OH Now Thats Class
Tue 5/23/17 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
Thur 5/25/17 Baltimore, MD Maryland Death Festival
Fri 5/26/17 Atlanta, GA Club 529
Sat 5/27/17 New Orleans, LA Siberia
Sun 5/28/17 Houston, TX Rudyards
Tue 5/30/17 Austin, TX The Lost Well
Wed 5/31/17 Dallas, TX Three Kings
Thur 6/1/17 Oklahoma City, OK 89th St.
Fri 6/2/17 Colorado Springs, CO 71 Grind Festival
Sat 6/3/17 Salt Lake City, UT Loading Dock
Sun 6/4/17 Las Vegas, NV Beauty Bar
Tue 6/6/17 Tempe, AZ Yucca Tap Room
Wed 6/7/17 Tucson, AZ Hotel Congress
Thur 6/8/17 Los Angeles, CA Complex
Fri 6/9/17 San Diego, CA Soda Bar
Sat 6/10/17 Oakland, CA Golden Bull
Thurs 6/15/16 Seattle, WA Northwest Terror Fest

https://www.facebook.com/samothracedoom/
www.samothrace.bandcamp.com
www.20buckspin.com

Samothrace, Reverence to Stone (2012)

Tags: , , ,

Review & Track Premiere: Wounded Giant, Vae Victis

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Wounded-Giant-Vae-Victis

[Click play above to stream ‘Scum of the Earth’ by Wounded Giant. Vae Victis is out April 1 on STB Records.]

Translated from the Latin, the title of Wounded Giant‘s second long-player, Vae Victis, reads as ‘woe to the defeated.’ I’m not sure what contextually that might have to do with the image of Grigori Rasputin, whose wide-eyed glare haunts the mushroom-laden front cover of the regularly-topless Seattle band’s first full-length for STB Records, which arrives following their 2015 split with Goya (review here) on the same label and a self-released 2013 debut album, Lightning Medicine, unless they’re somehow making reference to the Russian Revolution, but if defeat is the theme throughout Vae Victis, the band seem to do an awful lot of conquering for it to work on a meta level.

Rather, from the nine-minute opening title-track — also the longest cut of the seven included (immediate points) — the three-piece stomp and chug their way triumphantly through a dense slog of riffly mud and Pacific Coast grode, gleefully coated in hesher grungus on the Matt Pike-schooled “Vae Victis” itself and all that follows, whether it’s the interlude “Emmanentize the Eschaton” with samples from the Jonestown death tape or the nodding groove they bring to the politically suspect and woefully catchy take on Devo‘s “Mongoloid” that closes. One does not imagine guitarist/vocalist Bobby James, bassist Dylan A. Rogers or drummer Alex Bytnar would be quick to claim any such victories unless perhaps the requisite trophy came coated in mud and had a statue on top flipping the bird, but the LP-limit-stretching 49-minute run of Vae Victis, produced by Billy Anderson and presented in STB‘s usual gorgeous array of limited and deluxe vinyl editions (one includes a ring), could easily put a few notches in its belt if it so chose.

To wit, Wounded Giant have their own nine-percent ABV beer courtesy of Oliver Brewing. Woe to your defeated liver.

The first line of the album? “I love corruption.” What unfolds from there in the title-cut — which includes its own translation — is a deceptive hook that arrives amid blown-out, riff-led sludge rock, somewhere between Sleep and High on Fire that establishes the tones but not necessarily the complete methodology or scope with which Wounded Giant will work on subsequent tracks. As an opener and accounting for roughly 20 percent of the album, though, its willful filth resounds amid all the drop-out-of-life proselytizing and increasingly harsh, noise-soaked paranoia, ending finally in a scream that gives way to the tom hits and rumble at the start of “Dystheist.”

Shorter, the second cut takes momentum from the end of “Vae Victis” and shoves it along via chugging guitar and double-kick from Bytnar, a more subdued vocal from James marking out a low-fuzzed verse that shifts into an explosive chorus, underlining an influence from thrash in its interplay between tension and release and leaving space in the second half for a guitar solo still too slow to call shredding but that gets the job done anyway and adds depth under the resurgent vocals as the apex hits.

An apparent drawdown is in the works, however, as the organ (or effects-guitar) of “Emmanentize the Eschaton” backs an even slower and even quieter launch for that four-plus-minute break, Wounded Giant moving toward the hypnotic perhaps in an effort to lull listeners into a false sense of security prior to the bludgeoning they’ll receive with centerpiece “Scum of the Earth” and “The Room of the Torch,” the two seven-minute slabs that follow. Either way, the Jonestown clips are manipulated for a suitably otherworldly feel and the ambience builds to some measure of payoff, though purposefully restrained.

Effectively so in making “Scum of the Earth” seem like a return to ground. Unless “Mongoloid” is a bonus track left off one or the other of the LP editions, I don’t know where the split between vinyl sides occurs, but presumably it’s “Scum of the Earth” starting side B, and if so, it seems fair to call the ensuing final four tracks of Vae Victis more straightforward than the first three, and as a (potential) second opener, “Scum of the Earth” sets that in motion. Rolling motion. Tense motion. Furious motion. The middle cut offers a hook and a payoff ending that make it a standout among its peer inclusions, again propelled by Bytnar‘s drumming, and the flow into the organ and tambourine intro of “The Room of the Torch,” over which James declares, “This is a love song,” before howling, is palpable; the groove of the subsequent track about as dug in as Wounded Giant get on their second outing. They execute it with a patience that seems far removed from “Dystheist,” but still maintain an energy especially in the later moments, the guitar working in some melody in a plotted lead over galloping kick and metallic winding basslines.

It comes apart at the end rather than claiming its ultimate victory — so close — but the slowdown into the post-Electric Wizard “Green Scar” is another marked win anyhow, with cleaner vocals and a grueling downer vibe that echoes some of what they did in the first half of the album without such a drastic departure in songwriting. As the last of the originals, “Green Scar” does right to finish with its chorus and a move into fading rumble and noise, as if to highlight the underlying core of structure that’s been at work on Vae Victis all along, if barely recognizable as such for the roughing-up it has received on an aesthetic level. “Mongoloid,” which was controversial upon its release in 1979, rounds out, and to their credit, Wounded Giant do well in recognizing what they can bring to its nodding rhythm tonally. I’m not sure they need it given the heavy lifting their own songs do in conveying their progression since the debut, but I doubt it’ll meet with much protest. Heavy Devo? Yeah, okay.

Across its two halves and six original inclusions, Vae Victis is quick to make a show of its corrosive aspects, but the ultimate story of the record is as much about what Wounded Giant accomplish in putting a spin on the churning semi-metal morass as it is about the thematic woes and defeats that may or may not outwardly define it. That duality can be heard in the interplay between songs on each side as well as in the fuckall that the trio proffer in their general attitude, but though it may seem incongruous at first, over repeat listens it provides Vae Victis with a depth that only makes the experience richer and more satisfying over a longer term. Wounded Giant are good at wallowing, in other words. They get sonic dirt under their fingernails and aren’t shy about putting it on display. And in so doing, they find a way to celebrate defeat without sacrificing the edge of loss amid the revelry.

Wounded Giant on Thee Facebooks

Wounded Giant on Bandcamp

STB Records webstore

STB Records on Thee Facebooks

STB Records on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Year of the Cobra Shows in France and Germany Start March 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

year of the cobra single

No strangers to spending time on the road at this point, Year of the Cobra are set to make their first trip abroad. The occasion is an appearance set for March 4 at Hell Over Hammaburg, but they’ll be doing headlining gigs starting March 1 in Lille, France, with other shows in Germany as they continue to support their 2016 STB Records debut album,  …In the Shadows Below (review here), as well as the limited single you can see above, originally put out by H42 Records and sold through last year, but the final copies of which the Seattle duo will have with them for the shows.

Upon their return, Year of the Cobra will take part March 11 in this year’s Ceremony of Sludge in Portland (info here), and they were also recently confirmed for adding a Pink Floyd cover to the impending Magnetic Eye Records tribute, The Wall [Redux], for which a crowdfunding campaign is on now (info here).

To top it all off, the band gives the hint below that they’ll be back in Europe this fall for a more complete tour. I would be downright amazed if that didn’t include one or more of the autumn festivals — Desertfest Belgium or Athens, Keep it Low, etc. — but that’s speculation on my part for now and we’ll have to see what comes together over the next few months. Seems fair to expect Year of the Cobra to have more US activity in the works as well, so keep an eye out.

Here’s the latest info:

year of the cobra european tour

This is YOTC’s first European tour and we’re heading over to play Hell Over Hammaburg Festival in Hamburg, Germany. We’re playing a handful of headlining dates around the festival in Germany and France.

H42 Records released a limited edition 7″, specifically for Hell Over Hammaburg and our tour – which sold out online within hours. We’ll have a small number of these for sale at our shows, they are the only copies available.

We’re planning on heading back to Europe in the fall for a full European tour.

Year of the Cobra on tour:
March 1 Lille FR
March 2 Essen DE
March 3 Berlin DE
March 4 Hamburg DE – Hell Over Hammaburg
March 5 Freiburg DE

http://yearofthecobra.com
https://www.facebook.com/yearofthecobraband/
https://yearofthecobra.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/H42Records
https://www.facebook.com/H42Records/
https://twitter.com/H42Records

Year of the Cobra, “Persephone” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

He Whose Ox is Gored Announce West Coast Mini-Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

It’s a mini-tour in that it’s four dates, but it also covers the bulk of the geography of the West Coast, so you know, not really all that ‘mini.’ Seattle’s He Whose Ox is Gored are heading out as they continue to support their 2015 debut full-length, The Camel, the Lion, the Child (review here), and over the course of four nights, they’ll trek from Portland to San Francisco to Los Angeles to Sacramento. It’s that Portland to SF part that’s the real trouble, but the ride back northbound from L.A. to Sacramento is hardly an afternoon jaunt either.

Of course, the band aren’t exactly novices at this point when it comes to putting in time on the road, so it’s not like they’re not gonna make it, but one would hardly accuse them of taking it easy on themselves. Or, I suppose, on Dust Moth, with whom they’ll be touring.

The PR wire has it all like this:

he whose ox is gored

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED: Ethereal Sludge Collective Confirms February Headlining Mini-Tour With Dust Moth; Video Teaser Posted

Ethereal progressive sludge collective HE WHOSE OX IS GORED will kick off the New Year with a West Coast headlining tour. The four-date mini excursion will commence on February 16th and make its way through Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Support will be provided by shoe gazing experimentalists Dust Moth featuring Ryan Frederiksen of These Arms Are Snakes.

“We are covering songs off all four releases, and may have a few surprises in the set as well,” issues the band of the upcoming dates. “We can’t wait to hit the road with our dear friends in Dust Moth. They are some of the hardest working, best people we know, and we couldn’t be more excited to share the stage with them for four nights.”

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED w/ Dust Moth:
2/16/2017 Ash Street Saloon – Portland, OR
2/17/2017 Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA
2/18/2017 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA
2/19/2017 The Colony – Sacramento, CA

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED continues to tour in support of their critically-lauded The Camel, The Lion, The Child issued in 2015 via Bleeding Light Records. A monolithic, eight-track, near hour-long exercise in sonic alchemy, with The Camel, The Lion, The Child the Seattle unit travels far beyond the confines of traditional musical boundaries with a sound that’s at once cinematic, ethereal, and sprawling yet unequivocally heavy. Captured at Red Room and Ex Ex Audio in Seattle by Robert Cheek (Serial Hawk, Noise-A-Tron etc.) with additional recording at Avast Studios with Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth, Wolves In The Throne Room etc.), mixed by Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon etc.) and mastered by frequent collaborator, Blake Bickel, The Camel, The Lion, The Child is a truly cathartic audio expedition not to be ignored.

http://www.hewhoseoxisgored.com
https://hewhoseoxisgored.bandcamp.com/album/the-camel-the-lion-the-child
http://www.facebook.com/hewhoseoxisgoredseattle
http://www.instagram.com/hewhoseoxisgored/
http://twitter.com/OxisGored

He Whose Ox is Gored & Dust Moth tour announcement

Tags: , , ,

Snail Post Live Video of “Blood” from The Obelisk All-Dayer

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

snail at the obelisk all-dayer

If you’ll allow me a sentimental moment: I remember quite clearly standing in front of the stage at Kimo’s in San Francisco in 2010 and singing along with Snail‘s Mark Johnson and Matt Lynch to the titular hook of their 2009 return album, Blood (review here). It was among the greatest joys of the day to do so again this past August at The Obelisk All-Dayer at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Some time passed between the two events, obviously, and Snail have put out two more records in the meantime in 2012’s Terminus (review here) and 2015’s Feral (review here) and shifted from a four-piece back to the original trio of Johnson on guitar, Lynch on bass and drummer Marty Dodson, but still, it was something special.

When I announced The Obelisk All-Dayer was a thing that was happening, Snail were among the first acts who got in touch with me, offering to make their way across the continent for what would be their first East Coast appearance ever in a history that stretched as far back as their 1993 self-titled debut (review here). The generosity of that gesture was unbelievable, but the truth of the matter is I’d already dreamed of having Snail involved in the show, as Feral was so decisively their best album to-date and those songs ones I very, very much wanted to see brought to life onstage. I’m hardly an impartial observer at this point, but they were even better in Brooklyn than they’d been six years earlier in California.

The video below for “Blood” was recorded at The Obelisk All-Dayer and takes footage captured by the esteemed Frank Huang and Jennifer Hendrix and manipulates it with some additional psychedelic weirdness suited to the overall vibe. But listen to the sound as well. Snail were so on-point that I was just blown away, and as I watch “Blood,” I can only keep my fingers crossed they follow this up with a companion clip for “Thou Art That,” or, you know, a tape release of the whole set. Either way. No pressure. Ha.

I’ve included the full-stream of Feral at the bottom of this post also. I know you’ve heard it, but hell, you should hear it again.

And please enjoy:

Snail, “Blood” at The Obelisk All-Dayer official live video

Happy New Year! The high point of 2016 (for us) was getting to play The Obelisk All-Dayer in Brooklyn. Matt combined footage from a variety of sources and the board tracks and created a really trippy video of our performance of ‘Blood.’ Check it out! See if you can find the footage of a person giving blood at a blood bank…

Video and Sound Production: Matt Lynch
Footage courtesy of Frank Huang and Jennifer Hendrix. Photos by Jennifer Hendrix.

Special Thanks to: Jennifer Hendrix, Frank Huang, JJ Koczan and The Obelisk and all the folks who came to rock.

Snail, Feral (2015)

Snail on Thee Facebooks

Snail website

Snail at Small Stone Records

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Michael Wohl Premieres “In the Pines” and Discusses New Album Windblown Blues

Posted in audiObelisk on December 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

michael wohl

Seattle-based folk-blues guitarist Michael Wohl will release his new album, Windblown Blues, early next month. He’ll offer the full-length on CD and tape as he did with his prior Eight Pieces for Solo Guitar (review here) in 2013, but while both bask in a warm and organic creative spirit, the two outings could hardly be confused for each other. True to its title, that album was a minimalist affair, Wohl with a recording-into-a-tin-can-in-a-room sensibility to his approach, the whole thing feeling as DIY as it was and instrumental in its entirety. For Windblown BluesWohl expands the scope significantly. Still humble in its acoustic and organic roots, the 12-track/43-minute sophomore outing signals an immediately different intent on opener “Animals” via cello accompanying the guitar, and the arrangements continue to flesh out with fiddle, bass, pedal steel, drums, piano, all played by a range of guests, and — perhaps even more notably — vocals from Wohl and others as he takes on new original songs like the countrified “If I Could,” the semi-plugged “I Said too Much” and relatively minimal “Leaving the House of a Friend,” as well as traditional pieces like “In the Pines” (popularized by Lead Belly, also interpreted by Nirvana and countless others), “Cocaine Blues” (you may have heard Robert Johnson‘s version), and “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor” (see also Mississippi John Hurt). There are still plenty of instrumental pieces, from the aforementioned opener to the rambling solo guitar of “Ship of No Port” and electric-and-drum toe-tapper/near-samba “Ribosome,” but it’s a marked departure Wohl is making here, and one that ultimately serves him well over the course of the record.

The confidence of his vocals should be highlighted outright. Hailing from now-defunct classic-style heavy rockers Mystery Ship, he did sing in that band, but to do so in a context like Windblown Blues, with no distortion or tonal blast to hide behind, feels especially bold. Granted, he’s joined by no fewer than four other guest vocalists throughout — Alex Hagenah (also bass/guitar), Aaron Semer (also guitar), Danica Molenaar and Kate Voss — but his versions of “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor” and “In the Pines” find him standing alone and shining in the performance nonetheless, and as broad as the almost-CSNYian “Drown” seems next to the wholesome fiddle-laden finish of “Eastern Avenue Rag,” Wohl himself remains at the core of Windblown Blues and is responsible for guiding it down its deceptively varied path. That becomes a significant task as the lush melodies of “I Said too Much” shift into the piano-and-guitar “Pajaro,” but Windblown Blues holds firm to a clean-sounding sensibility no matter what its arrangements might bring — it was produced by Wohl and Tom Meyers, who also recorded at Ground Control in Ballard, Washington — and is united across its span by that while still coming across as natural and fluid in its transitions thanks to traditional songwriting and a generally subdued feel to the material. I wouldn’t at all call it humble in the same way as Eight Pieces for Solo Guitar, and Wohl seems to be moving at least partially away from willful primitivism in these songs — there are stretches on Windblown Blues that sound like a full band is playing because, essentially, one is — but this is still genuine Americana and carries with it a ready familiarity, whether that’s in the originals or the other pieces Wohl has chosen to include, and no doubt that will carry forward into whatever he decides to do from here.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting the premiere of “In the Pines” ahead of the proper record release next month. Amid this sonic expansion, it seemed only fair to get Wohl‘s perspective on the changes in approach that Windblown Blues represents, and he was kind enough to offer thoughtful introspection and insight into what went into the album’s making below.

Please enjoy:

Michael Wohl on Windblown Blues:

I started work on this record about two years ago. It represents a period of initial frustration that became one of a lot of musical growth and development . I was writing a lot of the songs as my old band, Mystery Ship, was coming undone. We had put in a lot of work, and I felt like our best days were around the corner, but things didn’t turn out that way. I’d started developing a solo style during the last part of those days, writing, recording, and playing out by myself. All of a sudden I found that to be my only outlet, which was scary and liberating at the same time.

My first solo recordings were all instrumental acoustic guitar explorations. As I continued to play shows by myself, I found that I wound up singing more and more, so this album represents a change in style. It’s not acoustic album; I’ve tried to push myself to write and arrange with respect to what the song calls for, rather than setting up initial parameters in which to work. I was also fortunate to have a huge stable of phenomenal players backing me up. Trying t o figure out which musicians would fit best in what songs as well as which would be better solo was a really cool part of the process. It was a new experience for me, and it brought the songs to a lot of places that I wouldn’t have expected. I’ve found that freedom to pursue whatever sounds I’m feeling to be one of the most rewarding things about my own music. I have a hard time zeroing in on a style to work within, so many times in my life I’ve shelved a song because it didn’t fit in with the aesthetic of a band I was with. I don’t have that problem any more.

In the process of recording, I think I developed as a singer a lot — “found my voice” so to speak — and more confidence in that. I also realized I pretty much blew my voice out and messed up my throat every time I sang with a loud band because I was trying to keep up with the volume.

I didn’t necessarily set out to do so, but I think the album paints a pretty good picture of the threads of my influences. I guess I’m trying to connect the dots and demonstrate that though there are some seemingly-disparate elements, it’s all a cohesive scene in my head. I started playing “In the Pines” a few years ago. I remember singing it with some friends on a lake up on Vancouver Island beneath a black blanket of stars and thinking it would be a good tune to offer up. I’d heard so many versions of it; Lead Belly’s original, the Kossoy Sisters version with the beautiful, haunting close harmony singing, Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, and of course the Nirvana version from “Unplugged in New York”.

It got me thinking about how these days I listen to a lot of these old folk and blues singers, but I’ve known that song through a different lens since I was very young. Like a lot of kids who were picking up guitars in the early-mid 90s, Nirvana and the Seattle scene had a huge influence on me. It was heavy, honest, and intense. Thinking about that really drove home the sense that there is a continuum from the folk, country, and blues tunes of the pre-WWII era through the folk revivals, psychedelia, and singer-songwriter eras of the ’50s/’60s/’70s, through the music of the ’90s and ’80s I was so inspired by when I first picked up a guitar.

Lori Goldston, who played the cello on the album on “Animals” played with Nirvana on that recording. When I thought about that, a lot of things kind of felt like they were folding inwards and like maybe musical development is not a linear thing. When the tunes all sound so superficially different, you start to think of the underlying fundamental quality – – what is it that draws you to a song in the first place, and what keeps you coming back? There’s an intense, unpolished quality to all of it, in which I think some grain of truth can be found. Trying to tap into that feeling is the guiding force for my music. If I feel that way upon playback, I’ll have done what I set out to do.

Michael Wohl on Thee Facebooks

Michael Wohl on Bandcamp

Michael Wohl website

Tags: , , , , ,