Video Interview: Craig Riggs of Kind

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on November 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

kind craig riggs

It comes up in the interview, but I’ll note here as well that the discography of buy term paper line click 2014 is odysseus a hero or not financial research paper Craig Riggs is significant. In addition to his time first as drummer then as frontman of Boston heavy rock standard-setters University Binding offers a quick,efficient thesis and dissertation binding & printing service. We only hire writers Writing A Proposal For A Research Paper with Roadsaw, there’s – Who Can I Pay enter site To Do My Homework for Me. TheHomeworkPortal Best online service that can do my homework for me. resume White Dynomite, Los Angeles’ Powerpoint Presentation Samples - Allow us to take care of your Bachelor thesis. Start working on your essay right now with professional guidance guaranteed by Sasquatch for whom he plays drums, and Cake Decorating Business Plan - Proofreading and proofediting services from top specialists. Fast and trustworthy services from industry top company. put out a little Kind, whose new album, Once you use our live chat support and say “Please http://envsci.uprrp.edu/?design-technology-coursework-help online” you will not worry about “Who Can Do My Assignment For Me”. Mental Nudge (review here) is their second behind 2015’s Why You Need Us for Your Looking For Alibrandi Essays About Changing Perspective Service. Do you know how to tweak essay in the shortest time possible? Rewriting an essay requires someone who is Rocket Science (review here). All of that doesn’t take into account either the fact that  If you’re looking for a http://www.joyshop.it/?how-to-plan-an-essay, you will like the quality offered by PapersASAp.com. Check the 10 reasons to choose this Riggs is head honcho at It is hard to confess to yourself that you have no understanding of CPM, let alone confessing to somebody else. Even with, you will spend a lot of time on it. The easiest option is to use an online service that will do your College Admission Essay Online Yale for you. It means that you save time, your pride will not suffer, and you will get a good grade for your homework. Mad Oak Studios, an institution in the Northeast, occasionally puts out releases through  Terrific academic solution to Primary Homework Help Co Uk Saxons from! Unbeatable prices, superb writing, and research quality! Constant discounts for devoted customers! Mad Oak Records, and roasts his own coffee. Dude keeps busy.

Nonetheless, with  Essay-Tigers is a top leading company from where you can ask, “please http://www.hotelsb.eu/completed-masters-thesis/ for me online” and our expert gives you an outstanding paper. Riggs on vocals,  You can get help on someone to write my essay uk by taking a look at various websites that can help you do more with your content while being specific. It can be a Darryl Shepard on guitar,  Cant Write My Essay offering custom essays, amazing research paper writing services, speeches, and term paper writers. If you have ever said write Tom Corino on bass and  Chemistry Helper - Visit us today to get more advantageous deals. Safe payments and guaranteed satisfaction when you buy drugs. Affordable and safe Matt Couto on drums,  Do you want to complete your paper with Career Research Paper Outline? Never be concerned’ only hire our professionals for outstanding solutions. Kind are a special case. A supergroup the pedigree of which spans decades not only through his own but  Shepard‘s as well, the band coalesces around a heavy psychedelic rock that puts emphasis on all three words in that combination. Particularly on Mental Nudge, they are able to harness breadth and shove alike, and as the album was recorded in January with the emerging specter of the COVID-19 pandemic starting to take shape around them, the record brims with the potentiality for what they might’ve done in bringing it to the stage.

Well, so much for that. While Kind are taking part today along with Set Fire and others in a prior-filmed live stream (info on Thee Facebooks) to benefit the esteemed ONCE Ballroom in Somerville, MA, as well as Grayskull Booking, Mental Nudge is the first record in Riggs notable catalog where he can’t get on stage to support it with live shows. In the video interview below, we talk about what to do with that energy — hint: make another record — along with the yet-to-be-released-but-already-in-the-can Sasquatch album, experimentation with melodic layering and effects, changes in the band’s circumstances with the dissolution of what had been Corino‘s main outfit Rozamov and Couto‘s separation from Elder, and much more.

We spoke earlier this week, on the grim-feeling morning after the US presidential election, and that comes up too in its way, as it would almost have to. Not too much. Just a little.

Thanks to Riggs for taking the time to chat and to you for reading and/or watching

Please enjoy:

Kind, Mental Nudge Interview with Craig Riggs, Nov. 4, 2020

One more time, Kind‘s Mental Nudge is out now through Ripple Music. The album stream follows here.

Kind, Mental Nudge (2020)

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Album Review: Kind, Mental Nudge

Posted in Reviews on October 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

kind mental nudge

What a difference a few years can make. It’s been five since Boston’s Kind released their debut album, Rocket Science (review here), through Ripple Music, and the intervening time has seen a few changes of circumstance that put the band in new light. Vocalist Craig Riggs, heretofore best known as the vocalist of Roadsaw, not only put out a record with that band but also joined L.A.’s Sasquatch on drums. Guitarist Darryl Shepard, whose pedigree of Beantown-based groups might be unmatched — Milligram, Blackwolfgoat, Hackman, countless others — has spent the last few years exploring grunge/heavy-punk influences with the duo Test Meat. And in the rhythm section, what was formerly thought of as bassist Tom Corino‘s main project, Rozamov, haven’t played a show since 2018, despite putting out an awaited debut of their own, while drummer Matt Couto parted ways with Elder in 2019.

The result of all this as it relates to Kind‘s second full-length, Mental Nudge, is a palpable sense of focus. If the songs on Rocket Science were the output born of the four-piece’s initial coming together and learning how to work from a group, then this follow-up is accordingly a moment whereby they take what was established last time around and blast it forward in terms of progression. Notably, that can be heard in terms of the songcraft, as right from the outset with “Broken Tweaker,” Mental Nudge does not shy away from laying down righteous hooks, where the previous collection perhaps pushed back to some minor degree against that impulse to highlight more of a psychedelic expanse. Rest assured, with synth added from Couto and Riggs both, a cut like “It’s Your Head” offers both, and that’s indicative of the modus of the record as a whole, though the tracklisting veers between longer songs (six to eight minutes) and shorter ones (under five) so as much as Kind are dedicated to setting up a full-album flow and letting each song make an impression of its own as a part of that, there’s a willingness to play around a bit and bounce the listener back and forth along the way.

It works well. “Fast Number Two” is a direct sequel to the accordingly titled “Fast Number One” from the first LP, and is emblematic of how the three shorter inclusions on Mental Nudge — itself, “Helms” and the penultimate title-track — manage to balance structural and atmospheric impulses. The sense of space — Alec Rodriguez recorded at Mad Oak Studio; another crucial return — is what unites the material throughout, and in following “Broken Tweaker” laying down the gauntlet in the opening line of the record, “Fuck yeah, I’m willing,” “Fast Number Two” brings a charge without stumbling over its own sprawl. No one in the band is inexperienced when it comes to writing songs, of course, but particular credit has to go to Couto, who handles every turn with grace and a masterful swing, and Corino, whose bass tone brings low-end punch not only to “Fast Number Two” but to the subsequent chug of “Bad Friend” and the closing plod of “Trigger Happy” in highlight fashion. Their work together not only brings impact, groove and weight to the riffs, but broadens and enhances the reach of the band overall.

kind

Along with Riggs‘ layered vocals finding layered and languid apexes in “Bad Friend” and “Helms,” repeating lines in the latter — which is also the centerpiece — as a preface to the hypnosis cast in the finale, and the wash of riffs and leads from Shepard, who spaces out in the midsection of “Bad Friend,” shreds in “It’s Your Head” and pulls out Cantrell-style soul for “Mental Nudge,” Kind becomes bolstered by the quality of each performance without losing sight of the mission in terms either of individual pieces or the album they comprise. Being more than the sum of their parts might be clichĂ© — actually there’s no “might” about it — but that doesn’t make it any less true. Whatever a given song might hold in terms of tempo or melody, the atmosphere of Mental Nudge is immersive and welcomes the listener in plenty-of-room-for-everybody fashion. “It’s Your Head,” “Mental Nudge” and “Trigger Happy” make up a purposeful side B, and while it begins at a charge, the band’s intention to tip the balance toward breadth comes across clearly in both the songs themselves and in the change in structure — i.e., where each longer piece has a corresponding shorter one on side A’s four tracks, “Trigger Happy” (8:29) has the last word on side B.

It’s worth noting that Mental Nudge‘s seven-track/44-minute run is about five minutes shorter than Rocket Science, which also had eight songs, so that might very well be the difference here, but one way or the other, it allows Kind to set the listener adrift in the closing minutes of the album, as “Trigger Happy” picks up from the guitar-led thickened scorch that is “Mental Nudge” and unfurls itself with a surprising edge of psychedelic doom and teases a final surge as it passes the five-minute mark but ultimately cuts back following a quick solo and sets its course toward an eventual dissolution, rolling out on crashes and melodic whispers that in their residual fade-out tones manage to cast an empty version of the space they’ve created. When it’s over, one might feel as though taking in a cliffside view. Kind, then, have pushed as far outward as they’ll go on Mental Nudge, and left their audience in that place. The effect is resonant and lasting.

What Rocket Science put forth, Mental Nudge codifies into genuine sonic persona. Kind are not just a band with members who are/were in other groups — they’ve created this approach of their own and proceeded to work in their own sphere. Obviously there are shades of past work, since it’s the same people, but Kind build something new out of that both because of the combination of players and the individualized intent from which they’re functioning. One hopes it’s not another half-decade before a third Kind record surfaces, but if it is and it represents the sort of accomplished step forward from the standard Mental Nudge sets, it will have been worth the wait.

Kind, Mental Nudge (2020)

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Mad Oak Coffee Roasters Dark Roast: A First Cup and Then Some

Posted in Reviews on October 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

mad oak coffee bag w chemex

My daily coffee ritual is as complex as it is splendid. It begins the night before. The hopper of my Chemex Ottomatic is filled with filtered water from the fridge. It’s an eight-cup hopper and I generally go just a little above the line. Beans are usually already in the burr grinder, so I tap the button on that — and yes, I know you’re supposed to grind immediately before making the coffee, but you go ahead and run a burr grinder that sounds like a jet engine at 3:45 in the morning when your wife is sleeping right down the hall and see how you fare; it’s a question of courtesy — and a corresponding eight cups of rough-grind awaits. Set up the carafe with the filter, pour in the grounds, and go to sleep knowing that when I get up all I have to do is press a button and the best coffee I’ve ever had — because the best one is always the next one; it’s like Neurosis albums — will be waiting for me by the time I’m done brushing my teeth. There are mornings where that knowledge gets me out of bed.

Now then. I am loyal generally to Dean’s Beans out of Massachusetts, and I have two custom roast recipes through them that I order in eight-to-ten-pound batches: a low-acid dark roast I call ‘The Obelisk Dark Roast’ and a medium roast called ‘The Obelisk Heavy Psych Blend.’ But when I read on the social medias that Craig Riggs — he of Kind, Roadsaw, Sasquatch, etc., as well as Mad Oak Studios — was rolling out a fresh batch of Rwandan-bean dark roast through Mad Oak Coffee Roasters, it was time to deviate from the norm. I emptied out the grinder to start entirely fresh when the bright orange bag showed up and felt ready to give it an honest go.

First, the bag. Resealable is always preferable though probably more expensive. You live with it either way. First thing I look for though when I’m opening a bag of any dark roast is how wet are the beans. Gimme those greasy beans. I want to be able to pop a bean in my mouth straight off and taste it before I even take a bite. I’m not looking for something so dark it just tastes burnt and bitter, and from the first sniff to the chewed bean, Riggs‘ dark roast held the promise of balanced presence of flavor. I looked forward to the morning.

And when the AM came — cruelly early, but no different than ever — I brewed the eight-cup pot I’d consume in my big Baltimore mug The Patient Mrs.’ mother gave me a couple years ago that I use every day and travel with if I can (not so much a concern lately, oddly enough), basically splitting it in half. The grounds had a good-looking bloom in the pour-over machine and I let it settle before pouring the first cup, then let that cool a bit as is my custom before finally diving in while working on my laptop on the couch — the ritual complete when the cup gets washed and stuck in the dish drainer, where it basically lives when not in use because it never goes back in the cabinet, though it does make it into the dishwasher sometimes.

Both cups held that smoothness, which is what I was looking for. A velvety flavor to dark roast, and though I know Ethiopian beans, for example, especially in lighter roasts, are much heralded for their fruity sensibilities, that’s not where I’m at. Wood, cocoa, if it’s nutty that’s fine, but I drink it black exclusively and so I want my coffee basically to taste like coffee. Mad Oak‘s did to a satisfying degree. I am no expert when it comes to palette — can’t tell you hints of cherry or identify elements of the terroir — but I’m a snob and my taste in coffee is easily offended. In talking to my wife about it I told her it was a coffee I could live with, and I didn’t mean it like it’s meh and it’s not gonna kill me. I mean like me and the coffee should get an apartment together.

Mad Oak Coffee Roasters has been around in seemingly intermittent fashion for at least the last six years and probably longer. The bags now are snazzier looking. I asked Riggs where he got his beans from and he said a company in California, which means by they time they got to me in New Jersey they went from Rwanda to California to Massachusetts and then south to me, which isn’t an insignificant trip. I would assume based on knowing Riggs that he’s working with fair trade sourcing — crazy, I know, but Rwanda’s known way more for genocide than coffee — and, well, I guess if I was so concerned about the environmental impact of shipping coffee I’d probably move to Africa or South America. In the meantime, complicity for everyone!

When I finished the pot — which I did in good time, mind you — I decided quickly to make myself another cup’s worth, to get the fresh-ground experience. I wish I was erudite enough to honestly say there was an appreciable difference, but really, it was delicious in any case. Riggs only does small batch roasts — limited edition, for those of you who want to think of it like a vinyl release — but if you can get your hands on some when the getting’s good, the balance and depth of flavors happening in my mug this morning were enough to make me look forward to the next time it’s available.

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Set Fire Post Led Zeppelin Cover “No Quarter”; New EP Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

SET FIRE

It is not a huge shocker to find Boston trio Set Fire making the most of their richly melodic dual-vocal approach on their new single. That’s kind of what they do. But given that the new single is a cover of Led Zeppelin‘s “No Quarter” — also undertaken by the likes of Crowbar and Tool on separate occasions — their doing so is of particular note. The song is out today through the usual streaming suspects, and it is intended to herald the arrival of the EP the band recorded earlier this year with none other than Benny Grotto at nowhere other than Mad Oak Studios.

This will not by any means be Set Fire‘s first EP, and in fact it wasn’t intended to be one. But when you say things like “recorded earlier this year,” the usual shrug-ready context doesn’t apply to 2020. In fact, Set Fire were in the process of putting together their first album when life as we used to know it went down the tubes, and rather than continue to sit on the material in hopes of finishing it at who-knows-when time, they’re opting instead to roll with what they’ve got, among which is a pretty rad take on “No Quarter.” I certainly understand the impulse.

Adam O’Day‘s cover art, the info from the band, and the song itself follow here, courtesy of the PR wire:

set fire no quarter

Set Fire to release cover of Led Zeppelin’s No Quarter on 9/14/20

No Quarter is from the forthcoming (yet untitled) EP due in late 2020. No Quarter will be available through Bandcamp, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify as of 9/14/20. No Quarter was recorded in Spring of 2020 by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios in Allston, MA. It was mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA.

Cover art by Adam O’Day.

Set Fire is:
Jim Healey – Vocals and Guitars
Jess Collins – Vocals and Keyboard
Josh Cronin – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/setfireband/
https://setfire.bandcamp.com/

Set Fire, “No Quarter”

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Cortez Premiere “Look at You” Video; Sell the Future out Oct. 22

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on August 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

cortez

Boston heavy rockers Cortez release their new album, Sell the Future, on Oct. 22 through Ripple Music. Preorders are up at the link below, and the long-player — their third — follows three years behind 2017’s The Depths Below (review here), which is the shortest stretch between offerings of the band’s 13-years-so-far career, and all the more so considering the 2018 split with Wasted Theory (review here) that marked their arrival on Ripple. Cortez have never been a full-time, in-the-van-for-weeks kind of band. Most of their shows have been regional to New England or the Eastern Seaboard, and though their first EP, 2007’s Thunder in a Forgotten Town, was put out by Belgium’s Buzzville Records, they are and have always primarily been a Boston band in terms of the traditions they follow in melody and drive and the underlying edge of aggression that has emerged in their material. Or as vocalist Matt Harrington puts it in the opening line of “Vanishing Point,” “Born into a place of cutthroats and of the insane.”

I had the pleasure some months ago of writing the bio for Sell the Future. Not the first I’ve done for Cortez, I think, and hopefully not the last. According to my email dates, I turned in the draft to guitarist Scott O’Dowd on March 15, 2020, at 6:44AM, which might explain the somewhat foreboding tone of the thing as the US was just in the beginning throes of its COVID-19 lockdown. One suspects Sell the Future would have been released sooner than the Fall had that lockdown not taken place, but then, well, blah blah blah. Ultimately what matters is the record itself, which brings together eight Mad Oak-recorded tracks that, beginning right from the outset with “No Escape,” careen along the line between heavy rock and heavy metal, Harrington‘s soulful vocals — he gives the best performance here I’ve ever heard from him — backed by bassist Jay Furlo (plus some gang shouts) as guitarists Scott O’Dowd and Alasdair Swan rip into leads and chunky riffs with a vitality that’s all the more punctuated with the let’s-just-get-this-cowbell-out-of-the-way-now drumming of Alexei Rodriguez. It quickly becomes apparent that Cortez are about to go on a tear, and the 42-minute offering does that and more, be it in speeders like “No Escape,” “Look at You,” Deceivers” and the penultimate “Vanishing Point,” or more mediated pieces like the title-track, “Faulty Authors,” or the seven-minute finale “Beyond.”

Uniting the material of course is the production, which is as crisp, full and unremittingly professional as one expects when one sees the words “Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studio” accompany a release. Dude is a brand you can trust. On a somewhat more subtle level, though, the songs are brought together by a socially conscious thematic that comes across in the lyrics front-to-back. Harrington isn’t naming names, exactly, but neither is he looking around him and ignoring the gross inequalities of the age in which we live. The title Sell the Future itself does Cortez Sell the Future Timur Khabirovmore than simply hint at this, and along with the classic heavy rock methodology the band employs, the pointedly metal riff that launches side B with “Deceivers” and the chug that ensues is met by a critique of capitalist greed that puts it about as straightforward as possible in saying outright, “Why don’t you understand/Can’t trust the businessman,” reminding just a touch of some of C.O.C.‘s more discourse-fueled moments but pushing farther in letting the whole record speak to a variety of issues.

It’s something of a turn on the part of the band — though certainly one could position the three-part saga that consumed the middle of The Depths Below as a metaphor — but the renewed focus fits well alongside the shove of their grooves and the largesse of more lumbering moments like “Sell the Future,” with its seeming lyrical nod to the “gathering” in Sabbath‘s “Sign of the Southern Cross,” or even side B’s “Sharpen the Spear,” which isn’t by any means slow, but still boasts the more spacious feel lent to the title-cut or “Beyond”; a sonic element one might liken to post-thrash Metallica were The Black Album not an eternal thorn in the side of allegedly “true” metal. Cortez, as they will, use it to their advantage.

And aside from the band laying claim to this particular niche of semi-aggro melodic heavy, it’s worth noting that they do so with a consistency in songwriting that is undeniably their own. They’re not in a rush. Even cuts like “Look at You,” which are by no means bloated, can run five minutes long and feature a host of solos and other movements aside from the verses and choruses, and likewise, “Vanishing Point,” which is the shortest inclusion at just over four minutes, spends the entirety of minutes two-to-three trading between guitar leads. Really, it’s on the dot, one minute. They finish in harmony and the verse picks back up. But Cortez have always been a guitar-driven band, and from their 2012 self-titled debut (review here) onward, their project has been about refining their craft along those lines. Sell the Future is the farthest they’ve yet pushed themselves in doing that — if you doubt it, “Beyond” should silence any counterargument with its near-YOB subdued opening and unfolding build and melodic breadth that brings in the recognizable voice of Jess Collins from Set Fire (also ex-Mellow Bravo) to back Harrington and finishes after its apex by allowing itself a genuine moment of comedown to cap the record.

It may or may not be fair to consider Cortez a well kept secret three albums in. Perhaps “underrated” is more like it, and they’re certainly that. Even in such a crowded sphere as that of heavy rock, they prove there’s a place for something that’s less about genre trickery than nuance and a well-honed individualism of approach. Each Cortez release has been a step forward from the one before it, and each one — in part because they’ve generally taken a while to show up one after the other, whatever stopgaps have surfaced along the way — has been a thing to appreciate for aficionados of both traditional and forward thinking heavy rock and roll. Sell the Future is not only no exception to these ideas, it is their epitome, and unquestionably the finest work Cortez have done to-date.

My pleasure to host the video premiere for “Look at You” below. Under that you’ll find the preorder link and the bio I wrote (short and sweet) for the album. Thanks for reading.

And enjoy:

Cortez, “Look at You” official video premiere

Album preorder: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/product/cortez-sell-the-future-deluxe-vinyl-editions

BIO:

The future is fast, the future is sharp, and the future has already been sold, baby, so you missed your shot. Better luck next time.

Boston heavy rockers Cortez have always embodied an underdog spirit, from their 2007 debut EP, Thunder in a Forgotten Town, through their 2012 self-titled debut LP and 2017’s The Depths Below, but they’ve never sounded as supercharged as they do on Sell the Future.

With the precision of heavy metal, the soul of classic rock, and the unbridled attitude of a band who care less about your expectations than they do about writing kick-ass, drive-fast, dynamic, hugely-grooved, hugely melodic and expansive tunes, Cortez arrive at their third album with a well-earned sense of freedom in their approach. It isn’t about what style they play or the genre niche you want to fit them in — it’s about the crawling sleek of Sell the Future’s title-track, the crash of drums in “Sharpen the Spear” and the urgency of songs like opener “No Escape” and “Look at You.”

Sell the Future is a record of and for turbulent times, but its working themes aren’t so pointed as to sound already dated in the fast-moving, unending “No Escape”-is-right news cycle the universe seems to inhabit. As much as the band have come into their own operating as the five-piece of vocalist Matt Harrington, guitarists Scott O’Dowd and Alasdair Swan, bassist/backing vocalist Jay Furlo and drummer Alexei Rodriguez, their dedication to classic, timeless rock and roll songwriting is unflinching.

After taking part in Ripple Music’s The Second Coming of Heavy split series in 2018, Cortez have pushed themselves even further with Sell the Future, finding a passion and instrumental fury that comes through regardless of tempo and makes their songs all the more memorable. Whatever the days ahead might bring, Cortez stand ready.

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Finding Comfort in Live Music When There Isn’t Any

Posted in Features on August 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Bands and festivals have begun to announce 2021 dates and all that, but let’s be realistic: it’s going to be years before live music is what it once was. Especially in the United States, which is the country in the world hardest hit by the ol’ firelung in no small part because of the ineptitude of its federal leadership, an entire economic system of live music — not to mention the venues, promotions and other cultural institutions that support it on all levels — needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. It isn’t going to be just as simple as “social distancing is over and we can all crowd into the bar again.” Maybe not ever.

You’ve likely seen a band do a live stream at this point, even if after the fact, and I have too. Not the same as a real-life gig, duh, but if it helps raise some funds and keeps creative people working on something and gives an act a way to connect with its audience, you can’t call it bad. I’ve found, though, that with the dearth of live music happening and the nil potential that “going to a show” will happen anytime soon, I’ve been listening to more and more live albums.

This, in no small part, is because there are plenty to listen to. Some groups attempting to bring in cash either for themselves or relevant causes have put out live records in the last few months and made use of the downtime that would’ve otherwise been given to actually being on a stage or writing together in a room or whatever it might be. It’s been a way for a band to not just sit on its collective hands and wonder what the future will bring. When so much is out of your own control, you make the most of what you’ve got.

In that spirit, here’s a quick rundown of 10 recent live outings that I’ve been digging. If you’ve found you’re in the need of finding comfort in live music and whatever act you want to see isn’t doing a stream just this second, maybe you can put one of these on, close your eyes, and be affected a bit by the on-stage energy that comes through.

Thanks as always for reading, and thanks to Tim Burke, Vania Yosifova, and Chris Pojama Pearson for adding their suggestions when I asked on social media. Here we go, ordered by date of release:

Arcadian Child, From Far, for the Wild (Live in Linz)

arcadian child from far for the wild

Released Jan. 24.

Granted, this one came out before the real impact of COVID-19 was being felt worldwide, but with the recent announcement of Arcadian Child‘s next studio album coming out this Fall, including From Far, for the Wild (Live in Linz) (discussed here) on this list seems only fair. The Cyprus-based four-piece even went so far as to include a couple new songs in the set that’ll show up on Protopsycho as well this October, so it’s a chance to get a preview of that material as well. Bonus for a bonus. Take the win.

Kadavar, Studio Live Session Vol. 1

kadavar studio live session

Released March 25.

Germany began imposing curfews in six of its states on March 22. At that point, tours were already being canceled, including Kadavar‘s European run after two shows, and the band hit Blue Wall Studio in Berlin for a set that was streamed through Facebook and in no small part helped set the pattern of streams in motion. With shows canceled in Australia/New Zealand and North America as well, Kadavar were hoping to recover some of the momentum they’d lost, and their turning it into a live record is also a part of that, as is their upcoming studio release, The Isolation Tapes.

Øresund Space Collective, Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Øresund Space Collective Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Released April 3.

Of course, I’m perfectly willing to grant that Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 (review here) wasn’t something Øresund Space Collective specifically put out because of the pandemic, but hell, it still exists and that enough, as far as I’m concerned. As ever, they proliferate top notch psychedelic improv, and though I’ve never seen them and it seems increasingly likely I won’t at the fest I was supposed to this year, their vitality is always infectious.

Pelican, Live at the Grog Shop

pelican Live at The Grog Shop

Released April 15.

Let’s be frank — if you don’t love Pelican‘s music to a familial degree, it’s not that I think less of you as a person, but I definitely feel bad for you in a way that, if I told you face-to-face, you won’t find almost entirely condescending. The Chicago instrumentalists are high on my list of golly-I-wish-they’d-do-a-livestream, and if you need an argument to support that, this set from Ohio should do the trick nicely. It’s from September 2019, which was just nearly a year ago. If your mind isn’t blown by their chugging progressive riffs, certainly that thought should do the trick.

SEA, Live at ONCE

sea live at once

Released June 19.

Also captured on video, this set from Boston’s SEA finds them supporting 2020’s debut album, Impermanence (review here) and pushing beyond at ONCE Ballroom in their hometown. The band’s blend of post-metallic atmosphere and spacious melody-making comes through as they alternate between lumbering riffs and more subdued ambience, and it makes a fitting complement to the record in underscoring their progressive potential. The sound is raw but I’d want nothing less.

Sumac, St Vitus 09/07/2018

sumac st vitus

Released July 3.

Issued as a benefit to Black Lives Matter Seattle and a host of other causes, among them the Philadelphia Womanist Working Collective, this Sumac set is precisely what it promises in the title — a live show from 2018 at Brooklyn’s famed Saint Vitus Bar. I wasn’t at this show, but it does make me a little wistful to think of that particular venue in the current concert-less climate. Sumac aren’t big on healing when it comes to the raw sonics, but there’s certainly enough spaciousness here to get lost in should you wish to do so.

YOB, Pickathon 2019 – Live From the Galaxy Barn

YOB Pickathon 2019 Live from the Galaxy Barn

Released July 3.

They’ve since taken down the Bandcamp stream, but YOB’s Pickathon 2019 – Live From the Galaxy Barn (review here) was released as a benefit for Navajo Nation COVID-19 relief, and is an hour-long set that paired the restlessness of “The Lie that is Sin” next to the ever-resonant “Marrow.” Of all the live records on this list, this is probably the one that’s brought me the most joy, and it also inspired the most recent episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal, which jumped headfirst into YOB‘s catalog. More YOB please. Also, if you haven’t seen the videos of Mike Scheidt playing his guitar around the house, you should probably hook into that too.

Dirty Streets, Rough and Tumble

dirty streets rough and tumble

Released July 31.

If you’re not all the way down with the realization that Justin Toland is the man when it comes to heavy soul and blues guitar, Dirty Streets‘ new live record, Rough and Tumble, will set you straight, and it won’t even take that long. With the all-killer bass and drums of Thomas Storz and Andrew Denham behind, Toland reminds of what a true virtuoso player can accomplish when put in a room with a crowd to watch. That’s an important message for any time, let alone right now. These cats always deliver.

Amenra, Mass VI Live

amenra mass vi live

Released Aug. 7

Look, I’m not gonna sit here and pretend I’m the biggest Amenra fan in the world. I’m not. Sometimes I feel like they follow too many of their own rules for their own good, but there’s no question that live they’re well served by the spectacle they create, and their atmospherics are genuinely affecting. And I know that I’m in the minority in my position, so for anyone who digs them hard, they put up this stream-turned-record wherein they play a goodly portion of 2017’s Mass VI, and even as the self-professed not-biggest-fan-in-the-world, I can appreciate their effort and the screamy-scream-crushy-crush/open-spaced ambience that ensues.

Electric Moon, Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

Electric Moon Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

Releasing Sept. 4.

Yeah, okay, this one’s not out yet, but sometimes I’m lucky enough to get things early for review and sometimes (on good days) those things happen to be new live records from Germany psychonauts Electric Moon. The Always-Out-There-Sula-Komets are in top form on Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019 as one would have to expect, and they’re streaming a 22-minute version of “777” now that rips so hard it sounds like it’s about to tear a hole into an alternate dimension where shows are still going on so yes please everyone go and listen to it and maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll really happen. The magic was in you all along.

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Kind to Release Mental Nudge Sept. 11; Preorders & New Single Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

kind mental nudge

New Kind is out in September, and if I need to say it, that’s a reason to hold a spot on your best-of-2020 list. The four-piece of course features members of Roadsaw and Rozamov as well as those formerly tenured in outfits like Elder and Milligram, but here’s one for you — the band also features members of Kind, and if you heard their Ripple-issued 2015 debut album, Rocket Science (review here), you know that means something. Far from being the work of four dudes in other bands with disparate influences, Rocket Science forged a persona for Kind as a separate unit, working indeed from different influences, but toward a common point of heavy psychedelic rock built around memorable songwriting. I’m not saying I’ve heard it or anything, but Mental Nudge, which Ripple will release in September, is very much a worthy follow-up to what was a killer debut.

They’re giving a first sample now in the track “Bad Friend,” and while I’m here, I’ll give a wave to my buddy Lee over at The Sleeping Shaman, who had the premiere. Hey Lee. Hope you’re well.

The PR wire sent the following:

kind mental nudge

Boston stoner rock supergroup KIND unleash first single + preorder for new album ‘Mental Nudge’, coming September 11th on Ripple Music!

Boston-based stoner rock supergroup KIND (with current and former Elder, The Scimitar and Roadsaw members) return with their sophomore album ‘Mental Nudge’ this September 11th on Ripple Music, and share first single “Bad Friend” today..

Featuring Matt Couto (ex-Elder), Tom Corino (ex-Rozamov), Craig Riggs (Roadsaw) and Darryl Shepard (ex-The Scimitar), Boston heavy rock/stoner foursome KIND return with their second full-length, ready to unleash the follow-up to their acclaimed 2015 Ripple Music debut ‘Rocket Science’. Staying true to their sound but expanding their sonic palette, KIND has crafted seven new songs that cover the aural spectrum, from the indie-rock influenced “Helms” to the full-on doom of “Trigger Happy” to the rock bombast of “Broken Tweaker,” all capturing the effortless interplay between the instruments and Craig Riggs’ powerful vocals. The result is a wall of sound that shows the talent and experience these musicians continue to bring to the form.

‘Mental Nudge’ was recorded at Mad Oak Studios by Alec Rodriguez (Lesser Glow, Forn, Chelsea Wolfe live sound) and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering. Artwork was designed by Alexander von Wieding (Monster Magnet, Karma to Burn, Brant Bjork).

Stream KIND’s infectious new single “Bad Friend” right here

‘Mental Nudge’ will be released on September 11th, and available now to preorder via Ripple Music as:
– Rare Test Pressing LP
– Worldwide Edition Classic Black Vinyl LP
– Limited Edition Colored Vinyl LP (150 copies pressed on yellow and mint green half and half vinyl)
– CD and digital

KIND New album ‘Mental Nudge’
Out September 11th via Ripple Music
European preorder // North American preorder

TRACK LISTING:
1. Broken Tweaker
2. Faster Number Two
3. Bad Friend
4. Helms
5. It’s Your Head
6. Mental Nudge
7. Trigger Happy

KIND are:
Matthew Couto – drums
Tom Corino – bass
Craig Riggs – vocals
Darryl Shepard – guitar

https://www.facebook.com/KINDtheband
https://www.instagram.com/therockbandkind/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

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Worshipper Release New Single “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive”

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

If you’re not looking forward to the next Worshipper record, here’s a good reason why you should be. And if you can believe it — I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the notion, to tell you the truth — the Boston melodic heavy rockers’ new single “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive” isn’t about life under a pandemic lockdown, apropos as it might seem.

The cover art for the new single clearly ties it to Worshipper‘s 2018 second album, Light in the Wire (review here), even as it recalls the poster for Hitchcock’s Vertigo and I agree with vocalist John Brookhouse when he cites the Alice in Chains-style vibe of the track. I hear the declining downer riffing of that band’s Dirt-era here, as well as in some of Brookhouse‘s lyric patterning and self-harmonizing. If that’s a thing you have a problem with, I humbly submit that you should consider rethinking your position.

Today is a Bandcamp no-fee day. The song costs a buck. Not sure what else you might want. And by the way, if Tee Pee Records wanted to do a deluxe edition CD reissue of Light in the Wire with “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive” nestled somewhere into the tracklisting, that’d be just fine by me.

Here’s the track info, links and stream:

worshipper lonesome boredom overdrive

WORSHIPPER – Lonesome Boredom Overdrive

https://worshipper.bandcamp.com/track/lonesome-boredom-overdrive

“Here’s a song that we recorded and mixed for our last record Light in the Wire, but couldn’t quite fit on there for one reason or another. (Run time, mostly.) At a time when many of us are stuck at home, not able to do the things we usually do to entertain ourselves, this song has taken on new meaning. Initially, I came up with the lyrics when I was feeling particularly drained by the daily grind, but now, it seems pretty apropos to put this song out, considering the title and the current dynamic.

This song began with a riff that Al came up with and it may actually be one of our heaviest songs. When we play it live, my head feels like it’s going to collapse, so that’s probably a good sign that a song is fairly heavy. It also has a decidedly Alice in Chains vibe to it, which, let’s be honest for a few of us in the band, was a pretty seminal influence, but was more of a happy accident than anything. So, enjoy! I hope this helps tame your boredom for a moment or two.” – John Brookhouse

released June 5, 2020
Lyrics by John Brookhouse
Music by WORSHIPPER

Produced by CHRIS JOHNSON
Recorded June 2018 at God City Studios SALEM, MA
Tracking & Mix July-Dec 2018 at The Electric Bunker BRIGHTON, MA
Mastered by Brian Charles at Zippah Studios BROOKLINE, MA

https://www.facebook.com/worshipperband/
https://www.instagram/worshipperband
https://worshipper.bandcamp.com/
http://teepeerecords.com

Worshipper, “Lonesome Boredom Overdrive”

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