Wino & Conny Ochs’ Freedom Conspiracy Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino-&-conny-ochs-(photo-by-albert-mojica)

Exile on Mainstream and Earsplit Distro have made the second Wino & Conny Ochs full-length, Freedom Conspiracy, available to preorder. It’ll be out March 27 (or maybe March 31?), so if you’re waiting for payday, you’ve still got a minute, but Exile on Mainstream has a deal to get the latest Conny Ochs 7″ tossed in and Earsplit has the exclusive on vinyl for the US so it seemed worth noting one way or another. Not that I’ve heard it or anything, but the record is a gem.

Info follows, duly yoinked from Exile on Mainstream‘s site:

wino & conny ochs freedom conspiracy

WINO & CONNY OCHS “Freedom Conspiracy” available for pre-order

Ladies & Gentlemen – time has come. “Freedom Conspiracy” – the sophomore effort by WINO & CONNY OCHS is available for pre-order.

First 50 pre-orders to receive a FREE copy of CONNY OCHS’ Suiciety 7inch!

Dear fans: as you may notice we needed to increase our price on this vinyl slightly due to increased postage costs and a bit more luxury print than usual. We hope you understand.

Buy this album on CD

Buy this album on LP

Earsplit Distro preorder link

Recorded again at Kabumm Studio with producer Thommy Krawallo, as was their Heavy Kingdom LP, the newest collection of ambitious, harrowing and beautiful music created by Wino & Conny Ochs not only brings forth the same quality of organically conceived folk/rock fans of the previous album should expect, it simply excels in every imaginable aspect. Bearing the title Freedom Conspiracy, the record was written and recorded entirely with Wino & Conny Ochs performing all instruments together, the approach slightly different from Heavy Kingdom as it has been created in a much more organic way with rudimentary ideas brought in by each and then carved into songs by both together. Fusing acoustic and electric guitars and with both artists’ standout vocal styles searing through these thirteen well-crafted brand new hymns, the initial recordings of the album date back to 2013, but even though the songs were done and recorded, these protagonists felt it had been rushed a bit in the end and final touches couldn’t be made with both together in the same room for reasons of other obligations. So it was put to rest and matured several months. In 2014 both went back in and basically stripped everything down to the bare bones, started from scratch, arranging the tracks differently and all of a sudden it clicked and brought forth forty-five minutes of some of the most refined, dynamic and unforgettable folk/rock music in years.

When asked what the album meant to the artists themselves, Conny Ochs states: “Freedom Conspiracy means companionship. It means to have each other’s back. This album is about losing and finding belief. And fighting for it.” Adds Wino on the album: “Shits changin’ fast. With war on every corner, political theatre becoming increasingly more offensive, and Big Brother and the Globalists intensifying their slow takeover, we offer sounds and vibrations of love, death, happiness and pain! With this music and verse we hope the songs will inspire and uplift, and hopefully unite our searching spirits.”

Freedom Conspiracy sees its glorious deliverance on CD, LP and digital download March 27th, 2015. Fans of Woodie Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Bob Dylan, The Black Crowes, Scott Kelly, Mike Scheidt and the like should make sure this duo is on your radar.

http://www.mainstreamrecords.de/
http://www.earsplitdistro.com/search?q=wino+conny+ochs
https://www.facebook.com/ScottWeinrich
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Conny-Ochs/112536815501097

Wino & Conny Ochs, “Crystal Madonna” Live at South of Mainstream 2012

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Wino Wednesday: The Obsessed, “The Way She Fly” Live in Tucson, AZ, July 1992

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

WINO WEDNESDAY

No lie, part of the reason I picked this clip of The Obsessed playing “The Way She Fly” at the Downtown Performance Center in Tucson, Arizona, on July 31, 1992, was for the comedic value. I watched the whole thing front to back — it’s two minutes long, so not a major commitment time-wise, but still — and there’s no shot of the bass player. None. Most of the thing is Wino cam. It’s hilarious, and almost a little creepy, but you never see the bassist in the video, and even the shots of drummer Greg Rogers seem sort of happenstance, like from where the camera is positioned, you have to catch him on a wider shot to see Wino playing guitar and singing. I had to laugh.

Seeing nothing but the bassist’s headstock — and that only intermittently — is of particular interest since I’m not sure who was in the band at that time. Scott Reeder played on 1991’s Lunar Womb alongside Wino and Rogers, but either before or after this was filmed in 1992, he left the band and joined up with Kyuss, replacing Nick Oliveri (who now may or may not have his own project going with Wino, called Royale Daemons), only to have his spot on The Obsessed filled by Guy Pinhas. But I don’t know the exact date on when Reeder departed The Obsessed or if it’s him or Pinhas or someone else playing this show, so yeah, nearly 23 full years later, it might’ve been helpful if whoever shot this clip had at any point seen fit to pan a little bit to the left. No dice.

Sometimes you just gotta toss your hands up and shrug, and if you need me, that’s what I’ll be doing. “The Way She Fly,” which is almost complete here, comes off The Obsessed‘s 1990 self-titled full-length debut. Mark Laue played bass on it, if you’re wondering. Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

The Obsessed, “The Way She Fly” Live in Tucson, Arizona, July 31, 1992

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Wino Wednesday: The Wino Trio, “The Woman in the Orange Pants” Live at the 9:30 Club, 2009

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

Their tenure was brief, but even six years later I can’t look at a clip of the three-piece Wino solo band without wondering what could’ve been had they kept going. With Scott “Wino” Weinrich on guitar and vocals, Clutch‘s Jean-Paul Gaster on drums and Rezin bassist Jon Blank, the group were a classic power trio. Hardly Wino‘s first, with The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan and The Hidden Hand under his belt by then, but the flowing, swinging style of Gaster suited Wino‘s guitar exceptionally well, and Blank held the songs together while solos both stringed and percussive took flight in this or that direction, making sure the two star players had somewhere to return when the song needed to kick back in. On stage, they were dizzying, and 2009’s Punctuated Equilibrium album remains a favorite to this day.

You know the story by now. The Wino trio went to Europe, conquered at festivals like Roadburn and Doom Shall Rise, returned to the States on top of the world and were effectively ended immediately with the death of Blank following a heroin overdose. It was sudden and brutal, and it’s essentially become part of the legacy of the band. Wino went on to do acoustic solo work, Shrinebuilder, the short-lived Premonition 13, the collaboration with Conny Ochs and reunions with Saint Vitus, The Obsessed and Spirit Caravan, Gaster went back to Clutch, and that was it. There was the 2010 Live at Roadburn 2009 release (review here), but there’s been no further mention since of the Wino trio or Wino and Gaster working together in any capacity. It happened faster than you could snap your fingers.

This week’s Wino Wednesday clip comes from just before that European tour. It’s a balcony shot at Washington D.C.’s famed 9:30 Club of Punctuated Equilibrium instrumental “The Woman in the Orange Pants,” and you can already see how well the three players mesh on stage, Gaster‘s fills wrapping around the spaces between Wino‘s power chords and Blank serving as the anchor for all three of them. Very cool band, very sad story, but there’s no denying the power they had on stage, and that’s worth celebrating.

Enjoy:

Wino, “The Woman in the Orange Pants” Live at the 9:30 Club, April 11, 2009

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Wino & Conny Ochs Announce March 31 Release for Freedom Conspiracy

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 29th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’d ask you what has two thumbs and is very much looking forward to hearing what Wino & Conny Ochs have in store for their second collaborative record, Freedom Conspiracy, but I think you already know the punchline. The first Wino & Conny Ochs record, Heavy Kingdom (review here), was a joy, reveling in its own “Labour of Love” as the German singer-songwriter and the frontman of Saint VitusThe Obsessed, etc., each seemed to sincerely appreciate what the other was bringing to the duo. They’ve been talking about “the next record” more or less since the debut came out on Exile on Mainstream, and on March 31, the label will release Freedom Conspiracy with US vinyl exclusive to Earsplit Distro.

The PR wire tells the tale:

wino and conny ochs (Photo by Albert Mojica)

WINO & CONNY OCHS: Exile On Mainstream Confirms Details For Second Collaborative LP From Iconic Singer/Songwriter Duo

Earsplit Distro To Carry Vinyl Exclusively For The US

It is with extreme pleasure for Germany’s Exile On Mainstream to announce the label’s next priority release, with the second collaborative album by one of the most strikingly natural singer/songwriter duos of these troubled modern times, SCOTT “WINO” WEINRICH and CONNY OCHS.

To backtrack a bit, the union of these two gritty, passionate musicians took place in 2010, as American doom/rock legend, WINO (Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand) was touring Europe on his own first full solo album, Adrift, which had just been released by Exile On Mainstream. Simultaneously, contemporary German solo vocalist/guitarist, CONNY OCHS, was preparing to release his debut solo album, Raw Love Songs, through the same label which saw the two artists billed together on this European trek. From there, an instant bond was formed, both as musicians as well as just like-minded humans. Instantaneously, musical ideas formed within this new brotherhood, which quickly grew into a courageous collaborative full-length studio album entitled Heavy Kingdom, released by Exile On Mainstream in 2012. The album showcased the organic songwriting skills through an incredibly passionate delivery. Heavy Kingdom elevated both artists as top-notch contemporary singer/songwriters in the eyes of the media and fans alike, and saw the duo taking their songcraft to the road heavily across Europe as well as North America.

That was just the beginning, as, since Heavy Kingdom was just seeing release, the pair had already began talking about “what was to come” in reference to new material they’d began plotting together. The time is now, as the second chapter from WINO & CONNY OCHS has recently been completed, the project actually having remained virtually unannounced and taking place behind closed doors over the past few years. With the artists being based on two different continents and remaining busy with their own solo endeavors, an opportune time to convene for some songwriting time never arrived, and the pair began trading ideas via email. This was not something that at all brought forth the magic and mastery which took place the first time, and after months of writing, the idea was scrapped, and last year, WINO voyaged back to Berlin to rendezvous with OCHS.

Recorded again at Kabumm Studio with producer Thommy Krawallo, as was their Heavy Kingdom LP, the newest collection of ambitious, harrowing and beautiful music created by WINO & CONNY OCHS not only brings forth the same quality of organically conceived folk/rock fans of the previous album should expect, it simply excels in every imaginable aspect, and now awaits release in early 2015 through their trusted alliance with Exile On Mainstream. Bearing the title Freedom Conspiracy, the record was written and recorded entirely with WINO & CONNY OCHS performing all instruments together, the approach slightly different from Heavy Kingdom as it has been created in a much more organic way with rudimentary ideas brought in by each and then carved into songs by both together. Fusing acoustic and electric guitars and with both artists’ standout vocal styles searing through these thirteen well-crafted brand new hymns, the initial recordings of the album date back to over a year ago, but even though the songs were done and recorded, these protagonists felt it had been rushed a bit in the end and final touches couldn’t be made with both together in the same room for reasons of other obligations. So it was put to rest and matured several months. Earlier in 2014 both went back in and basically stripped everything down to the bare bones, started from scratch, arranging the tracks differently and all of a sudden it clicked and brought forth forty-five minutes of some of the most refined, dynamic and unforgettable folk/rock music in years.

When asked what the album meant to the artists themselves, CONNY OCHS states: “Freedom Conspiracy means companionship. It means to have each other’s back. This album is about losing and finding belief. And fighting for it.” Adds WINO on the album: “Shits changin’ fast. With war on every corner, political theatre becoming increasingly more offensive, and Big Brother and the Globalists intensifying their slow takeover, we offer sounds and vibrations of love, death, happiness and pain! With this music and verse we hope the songs will inspire and uplift, and hopefully unite our searching spirits.”

With cover art by WINO & CONNY OCHS, Freedom Conspiracy will see deliverance on CD, LP and digital download in the US on March 31st, 2015, both LP and CD versions to be available from Earsplit Distro for wholesale and retail purchase (the LP exclusively) The release will be followed by international touring from the duo to be announced throughout the year. Fans of Woodie Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Bob Dylan, The Black Crowes, Scott Kelly, Mike Scheidt and the like should make sure this duo is on your radar.

Stand by for audio samples and further release/tour info from WINO & CONNY OCHS’ Freedom Conspiracy campaign all year.

Freedom Conspiracy Track Listing:
1. Drain
2. Sound Of Blue
3. Foundation Chaos
4. Crystal Madonna
5. Shards
6. Time Out Blackout
7. Timeless Spirit
8. Freedom Conspiracy
9. Dirt Floor
10. Heavy Heart
11. Forever Gone
12. Invisible Bullets
13. The Great Destroyer

http://www.scottweinrich.com
http://www.facebook.com/ScottWeinrich
http://www.connyochs.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Conny-Ochs/112536815501097
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de
http://www.earsplitdistro.com

Wino & Conny Ochs, “Crystal Madonna” Live in L.A., Aug. 8, 2012

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Wino Wednesday: Wino, Nick Oliveri and Members of Saviours Cover “Hellbound Train” in Chicago, 2013

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

Last week, when I posted about Royale Daemons, a new trio featuring Scott “Wino” WeinrichNick Oliveri and Joey Castillo – whose debut show in L.A. got canceled; an auspicious start — I failed to make the connection of how the seeds of the collaboration between Wino and Oliveri likely started. Wino, playing acoustic, toured with Oliveri‘s band Mondo Generator at the start of 2013. Saviours were also on the bill, and at least during several of the gigs, WinoOliveri and some of the members of Saviours got on stage together and jammed. Seems likely that’s where the idea of Wino and Oliveri teaming up got its beginning. The same thing happened with Wino & Conny Ochs, the two having first met while on tour together in Europe.

“Hellbound Train” is a song that kicked around Wino solo sets and sets on the Wino & Conny Ochs tour for the better part of 2012 and 2013. He may or may not still play it, I haven’t seen an acoustic gig from him in a while at this point. Originally by Savoy Brown and appearing on the 1972 album of the same name, it’s open to a smooth guitar jam the kind of which the Wino/Oliveri/Saviours troupe provided, no fewer than three acoustic guitars involved along with Oliveri‘s electric bass and the drums. When that tour was winding down, I posted a full set from Pittsburgh in which the same kind of thing took place, noting at the time that a collaboration between Wino and Oliveri would be “awesome.” Glad to know my feelings on that have not changed in the intervening two years.

This weeks’ Wino Wednesday footage, however, is just the jam itself. It comes from Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago on Jan. 6, 2013, on the same tour and boasts another comfortable-sounding, engaging jam. The crowd seems to like it, if all the “woo”-ing is anything to go by.

Enjoy:

Wino, Nick Oliveri & Saviours, “Hellbound Train” live in Chicago, Jan. 6, 2013

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Wino Wednesday: Wino, Nick Oliveri and Joey Castillo to Debut this Weekend as Royale Daemons

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 14th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

Some exciting Wino-related news today in the announcement that he, former Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri and former Danzig/Goatsnake/Queens of the Stone Age drummer Joey Castillo have teamed up in a new band called Royale Daemons. The trio will make their live debut this coming Sunday at the Complex in Glendale, California, along with acoustic sets from both Wino and Oliveri at what seems to be a matinee put on by Church of the 8th Day. Here’s the info:

[PLEASE NOTE: As per an update from Oliveri, the show has been canceled. More if/when I hear it.]

https://www.facebook.com/events/907190942647186/

That’s about all I know. The possibilities are pretty wide open for what kind of outfit Royale Daemons actually is — other than well-voweled — since Wino, Oliveri and Castillo have all proven over the years to be wildly versatile. Oliveri also debuted with his solo project Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable last year (streamed here), and how this might affect that, I’ve no idea. But whether it’s an acoustic thing, or a full-on heavy rock trio, something jammy, something doomed, or all or none of it, there’s no doubt this crew can handle whatever stylistic turns might come up. Needless to say, I’ll be looking for video next week from the show on Sunday, and whatever I find, I’ll pass along.

Until then, since Wino‘s also doing an acoustic set at the show, it made sense to me to hit up something from his initial solo run. The below clip comes from his European tour in 2010 supporting the Adrift album, and it’s the Motörhead cover “Iron Horse/Born to Lose” that’s been featured in Wino Wednesday probably more times than I can count at this point. This version from Belgium stands out not only for the performance, which is laid back and engaging, but for the setup Wino gives it, talking about seeing Sabbath in ’72, Alice Cooper Band and others and how it inspired his love of heavy rock and roll.

Hope you enjoy:

Wino, “Iron Horse/Born to Lose” live in Belgium, Oct. 10, 2010

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Wino Wednesday: The Obsessed, 1985 Promo Demo in Full

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 7th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

This isn’t the first The Obsessed demo. Starting out as Warhorse in 1976 before switching to the lasting moniker the next year, the band already had at least two recordings prior to this one in 1980 and 1982, and there are other hints of things out there, live recordings and so on, that make the history even harder to chase down. Their self-titled debut was recorded around this time, and there was the whole thing with the lost Metal Blade album, so while I’d like to be able to speak with some authority about where/when this demo falls into place amid everything else, I’d only be pretending — as I think, would most others who attempted the same who weren’t actually involved in the band in some way.

That said, if anyone wants to donate a complete history of 1985 Promo Demo, I’m all ears. Seems likely to me this is compiled from different sources, but if you want to check out some raw versions of “Feelings,” “Kill Ugly Naked,” “Neatz Brigade” and “Mental Kingdom,” it’ll sort you out with all the tape hiss you can ask for. Still, even with only half the story told — the half that goes, “It’s a thing and it exists” — it’s worth a glimpse into the earlier doings of The Obsessed, and after you listen I doubt you’ll need me to point out how well these tracks have managed to hold up even as we hit the 30-year mark since they were put to tape.

With Spirit Caravan‘s reunion having taken such precedent last year, there wasn’t much word from The Obsessed throughout 2014, and I’m not sure how much that’ll change this year with the promise of a new Wino & Conny Ochs album and other projects on the horizon, but they”re always somewhere in the background, and as a vehicle for Wino to return to whenever he feels it’s right, they’ve proven a more than worthy home base.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

The Obsessed, 1985 Promo Demo

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Wino Wednesday: Wino Live at Feast of Krampus, Brooklyn, NY, 12.28.14

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 31st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

wino wednesday

Seems only fair to close out another year of Wino Wednesdays with the most recent clip possible. I guess it’s not really such a novelty anymore that a show can happen and video from it can surface almost immediately — instant gratification isn’t really anything new at this point, at least as regards digital media — but I still get a kick out of it when something like this clip of Wino at the St. Vitus bar in Brooklyn this past weekend comes up. Because, hey, this pretty much just happened. And I’m old. The latter probably has something to do with it as well.

The occasion was a two-night fest called Feast of Krampus held in Philly at Underground Arts and the aforementioned St. Vitus bar. Also on the bill with Wino were Sixty Watt ShamanGodmakerMoon ToothBirch Hill DamWizard Eye and Buzzard Canyon. A stacked lineup, to say the least, and plenty of volume to precede an acoustic set that probably would be a mystery to all but the converted who knew what and whom they were watching. Anyone else might wonder why six loud-as-hell bands might precede a guy playing (mostly) unplugged solo singer-songwriter material.

But you get it, so it doesn’t really need explaining. I’m happy to be able to round out 2014’s many Wino Wednesdays with this latest show from the man himself, and all the better that it was filmed by ubiquitous Brooklyn cameraman Frank Huang, whose work is as admirable as the ethic that so steadily produces it. Seems like it was a pretty cool show, and of course no matter the context, Wino always manages to pull off unmatched heavy vibes.

Hope you enjoy and hope you have a great New Year’s:

Wino, Live at Feast of Krampus, St. Vitus bar, Brooklyn, 12.28.14

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