Friday Full-Length: Dead Meadow, Dead Meadow

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

As clarions go, the opening riff of “Sleepy Silver Door” is as much a call to the converted as it is a call to convert. The lead track of Dead Meadow‘s 2000 self-titled debut, released by Joe Lally of Fugazi‘s Tolotta Records, has become a staple of the then-Washington D.C./now-L.A. outfit’s live work, and it was apparently enough in their heads that it received a reprise on their fourth album, Feathers, in 2005. It is a landmark riff, languid in rhythm, fuzzed to the nines and in a matter of seconds, it tells you much of what you need to know about the band.

As the microgenre of stoner rock was beginning to shape itself in the wake of Sleep and Kyuss‘ demise, the advent of Queens of the Stone Age and rise of Nebula and Fu Manchu out west (let alone what was happening in Europe or South America at the time), Dead Meadow managed to outdo the vast majority of their West Coast counterparts in terms of crafting a sound that was both mellow and heavy, and with Jason Simon‘s floating voice over the proceedings, they were as much shoegaze as psychedelic rock, as much indie as stoner. They made Dead Meadow in their practice space, and for the sounds they were making, anywhere else wouldn’t have worked the same.

There are few who can roll a groove as they do, and “Sleepy Silver Door” demonstrates that in its first minute as it moves into that willfully repetitive note of the verse. There are twists and turns to be had, but that root is always there, and with Steve Kille‘s bass and Mark Laughlin‘s popping snare and dirty hi-hat, the jammy feel is resonant but still so righteously heavy as the track takes off into its solo — long, jammed, eventually falling apart because who cares anyway man. “Indian Bones” picks up at a more immediate run and answers some of the opener’s repetition, but is more active and freak-crashes in its second half for a minute before getting its head back together, a formative janga-janga riff that’s still mellow with the push behind it.

The beginning pair make up about 14 minutes of the album’s total 44-minute runtime, so a not insignificant portion — “Sleepy Silver Door” is 7:31, and the only longer track is side B’s “Beyond the Fields We Know,” at 9:31 — but the dreamy, drifting vibe of “Dragonfly” that follows is a pointed chill kept together by the drums, like the sunshiniest of grunge but distinct in its purpose from what the ’90s had on offer a few years before, even at its most psychedelic. The bass, the drums. It’s a heavy tune, and fades out on a march to “Lady,” which rounds out the record’s first half like the reason wah pedals were invented. dead meadow self titled

Seriously, it’s dizzying. Eventually the track evens out, such as it is, and shuffles a bit in its second half, but the earlier stretch still comes across like the bastard son “Electric Funeral” never knew it had. In comparison, “GreenSky GreenLake” is positively clear-eyed, opening with a stretch of quiet guitar before unveiling its Hendrix-at-wrong-(or-right?)-RPM central figure, pausing before the bass and drums enter, keeping an exploratory feel as it plays out in linear, instrumentalist fashion. I don’t know if we’re ending up underwater or out in space there — what planet that lake is on, etc. — but I remain ready to submit a resume to work for their tourism board.

On the sundry vinyl editions that have shown up over the years — Planaria Records in 2001, the band’s own Xemu Records in 2013 and 2015, and so on — “GreenSky GreenLake” opens the second side, and on whatever format, it’s all the more notable for leading into the utter hypnosis that is “Beyond the Fields We Know,” which even 21 years later feels like someone did to time what Mad Alchemy does to lightshows. Loose enough to make “Sleepy Silver Door” sound like punk rock. And they, they get it going with the tambourine and the push and all that, but by the time they’re five minutes in and you’re hanging out there with Kille‘s bassline for company before Simon‘s guitar comes back and you’re wondering like what the hell happened I thought we were cool, it’s Dead Meadow‘s go-wherever jam getting one over again, because where they’re headed is back to the verse — a masterful turn that contradicts earlier departures from structure and reinforces the craft underlying all of the album’s songwriting elements. Maybe there has been a plan all along.

Like the shorter pairing of “Dragonfly” and “Lady,” on side A, Dead Meadow rounds out with “At the Edge of the Wood” and “Rocky Mountain High,” the former three and a half minutes of unashamed acid folk, acoustic strum and voice put to tape with a spirit that, if it wasn’t done live, is as much of an approximation of same as one could ask it to be, and the latter just over four minutes of tambourine-laced wah victory lapping, pushing vocals below weightier fuzz and pitting roll against boogie until the wash of melodic tonality takes us all into the wormhole off to who knows where. Find me a more fitting end to this record, I dare you.

In the context of when it came out — now some 21 years ago — Dead Meadow‘s Dead Meadow offered something different from much of the heavy rock of its time, and it, as well as 2001’s Howls From the Hills and 2003’s Shivering King and Others are essential documents of stand-apart turn of the century heavy. The band of course continue to deliver. They’ve got a new release coming out through PostWax, and their latest album was 2018’s The Nothing They Need (review here), a win to be sure, even as Simon has split time with solo work and other projects like Old Mexico. With steady reissues along the way — CD and tape in addition the vinyl already noted — Dead Meadow remains that relevant clarion it started as being, and maybe it ultimately feels so timeless because it is.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Rough week with the kid home from school and still healing in the leg culminated yesterday with me getting pissed off and throwing a Lightning McQueen toy. The Pecan was adamant that I didn’t put his shorts on — yet he won’t go nap without them — and mommy do it mommy do it and I’d said I was doing it and so I was on the hook and when I put them on him he scratched and hit and kicked and even bit me which he hadn’t done in a while and then when he ran over to The Patient Mrs. after and pulled his shorts back off, I just lost it. Threw the toy, scared the kid, got his shorts back on and sent him upstairs to nap where he was consoled by his mother for 40 minutes before being left to go to sleep under his blanket. The dynamic in this house sucks right now and I think we all know it.

He and The Patient Mrs. are going to Connecticut for tonight and maybe part of tomorrow. I think I’m staying home to try and catch my head. Honestly, I’m hoping for a carbon monoxide leak or something like that so I can maybe just kind of pass out on the couch and not wake up and everyone can move forward for the better. Probably with a new couch.

I’m doing my best and it’s just not good enough. Ever. For anyone. Oh, and then DYFS or whatever they’re called now came back to the house to close out the case they opened because it was his second fracture in so short a time and I had to cancel the Monster Magnet interview I’d slated because I didn’t know when the case worker was coming. She showed up later anyhow. What a fucking trench of an existence this is.

He’s home next week too then starts camp. I took a xanax this morning and hope to spend as much of today as possible in bed. Make myself a protein shake and try to chill the fuck out. He has a follow-up x-ray at 9:15 on the leg. Still limps a bit, but is out of the boot. We see the orthopedist on Monday. I don’t know anything.

Fuck it. He’s up so I’m out. New Gimme show today at 5. You’re not gonna listen. It’s okay, I get it. Don’t feel bad. The world is not short on internet radio. But I feel obliged to give a plug because the Gimme crew is very tolerant of me.

And thanks if you’ve bought merch. More coming.

Great and safe weekend. Drink water. Wear a helmet. All that shit. Next week, more.

The Obelisk Collective FB Group

The Obelisk merch

Tags: , , , ,

Dead Meadow to Release The Unhounded Now for PostWax Vol. II

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 4th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Okay, count with me. Dead Meadow, Acid King w/ Jason LandrianRezn & Vinnum SabbathiLowrider & Elephant TreeJosiahMammoth VolumeDopelordThe Otolith. That’s eight.

As Blues Funeral Recordings wrapped the well-over-its-goal by crowdfunding this past week for PostWax Vol. II, and as this announcement of Dead Meadow‘s The Unhounded Now is reported to be the final one by the label’s own social media posting, I can’t help but notice that somebody’s missing. I know I’m the guy who does the liner notes for PostWax, but I tell you now I have no idea who the ninth act is.

The PR wire below acknowledges one more to come, so I guess we’ll see soon enough. Here’s looking forward, also to Dead Meadow getting weird and jamming out for this:

postwax year two logo

DEAD MEADOW to issue special project as part of PostWax Vol.II vinyl series on Blues Funeral Recordings.

Washington-based modern psych rock luminaries DEAD MEADOW are set to release a special concept record as part of Blues Funeral Recordings upcoming PostWax Vol. II vinyl series. Also confirmed to take part in the series are Acid King, Lowrider, Elephant Tree, Mammoth Volume, Josiah, REZN and Vinnum Sabbathi.

Emerging in Washington, D.C. in the late 90s, DEAD MEADOW reached critical mass in the mid-2000s, creating a dreamy, universe-expanding blend of classic and forward-thinking psychedelic rock that puts them at the top of modern psych-rock tinged with post-metal, carving out a space somewhere between the Black Angels and Explosions in the Sky.

On the heels of a sublime Levitation Sessions performance at The Pillars of the Gods earlier this year, the band set to work creating a special release for PostWax Vol. II. They were encouraged to push even further into the cosmos, and for a band like this, who knows what far-reaching dimensions that might take them to? Of their forthcoming PostWax recordings, singer and guitarist Jason Simon says: “Dead Meadow present ‘The Unhounded Now’, a mostly instrumental outing of fuzzed-out drone, otherworldly melody, and eastern tinged celebration.”

Announcing a total of nine releases for their upcoming PostWax Vol. II series, Blues Funeral Recordings have already confirmed the participation of Acid King, Mammoth Volume, Josiah, as well as one-off collaborative albums between Lowrider / Elephant Tree, and REZN / Vinnum Sabbathi. The final band to join the series will be announced soon; don’t forget to head over their Kickstarter page to sign up for the series before it ends on Friday 30th April. The purpose of Postwax Vol. II is to create a curated series of releases that stand alone yet also connect, both through art elements and a musical throughline, in the form of next level collectible records for all heavy rock fans worldwide.

=> Get more info & subscribe to PostWax Vol. II at this location: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bluesfuneral/postwax-vol-ii

https://www.facebook.com/bluesfuneral/
https://www.instagram.com/blues.funeral/
https://bluesfuneralrecordings.bandcamp.com/
bluesfuneral.com

Dead Meadow, “Rains in the Desert” Levitation Sessions

Tags: , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Boris, DVNE, Hydra, Jason Simon, Cherry Choke, Pariiah, Saavik, Mountain Tamer, Centre El Muusa, Population II

Posted in Reviews on December 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Kind of a spur of the moment thing, this Quarterly Review. I’ve been adding releases all the while, of course, but my thought was to do this after my year-end list went up, and I realized, hey, if I’ve got like 70 records I haven’t reviewed yet, maybe there’s some of that stuff worth considering. So here we are. I’ve pushed back my best-of-2020 stuff and basically swapped it with the Quarterly Review. Does it matter to you? I seriously, seriously doubt it, but I believe in transparency and that’s what’s up. Thought I’d let you know. And yeah, this is going to go into next week, take us through the X-mas holiday this Friday, so whatever. You celebrate your way and I’ll celebrate mine. Let’s roll.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Boris, No

boris no

As a general project, reviewing Boris is damn near pointless. One might as well review the moon: “uh, it’s big and out there most of the time?” The only reason to do it is either to exercise one’s own need to hyperbolize or help the band sell records. Well, Boris doesn’t need my push and I don’t need to tell them how great they are. No is 40 minutes of the widely and wildly lauded Japanese heavy rock(s) experimentalists trying to riff away existing in 2020, delving high speed into hardcore here and there and playing off that with grueling sludge, punk, garage-metal and the penultimate “Loveless,” which is kind of Boris being their own genre. Much respect to the band, and I suppose one might critique Boris for, what?, being so Boris-y?, but there really isn’t a ton that hasn’t been said about them because such a ton has. I’m not trying to disparage their work at all — No is just what you’d expect as regards defying expectation — but after 20-plus years, there’s only so many ways one wants to call a band genius.

Boris on Thee Facebooks

Boris on Bandcamp

 

DVNE, Omega Severer

DVNE Omega Severer

Kind of a soft-opening for Edinburgh’s DVNE as an act on Metal Blade Records, unless of course one counts the two songs on the Omega Severer EP itself, which are post-metallic beasts of the sort that would and should make The Ocean blush. Progressive, heavy, and remarkably ‘next-wave’ feeling, DVNE‘s awaited follow-up to 2017’s Asheran may only be about 17 and a half minutes long, but it bodes remarkably well as the band master a torrent of intensity on the 10-minute opening title-cut and answer that with the immediately galloping “Of Blade and Carapace,” smashing battle-axe riffing and progressive shimmer against each other and finding it to be an alchemy of their own. Album? One suspects not until they can tour for it, but if Omega Severer is DVNE serving notice, consider the message received loud, clear, dynamic, crushing, spacious, and so on. Already veterans of Psycho Las Vegas, they sound like a band bent on capturing a broader audience in the metallic sphere.

DVNE on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

 

Hydra, From Light to the Abyss

hydra from light to the abyss

There’s no questioning where Hydra‘s heart is at on their debut full-length, From Light to the Abyss. It belongs to the devil and it belongs to Black Sabbath. The Polish four-piece riff hard and straightforward throughout most of the five-track offering (released by Piranha Music), and samples set the kind of atmosphere that should be familiar enough to the converted — “No One Loves Like Satan” reminds of Uncle Acid in its initial channel-changing and swaggering riff alike — but doomly centerpiece “Creatures of the Woods” and the layered vocal melodies late in closer “Magical Mind” perhaps offer a glimpse at the direction the band could take from here. What matters though is where Hydra are at today, and that’s bringing riffs and nod to the converted among the masses, and From Light to the Abyss offers no pretense otherwise. It is doom rock for doom rockers, grooves to be grooved to. They’re not void of ambition by any means — their songwriting makes that clear — but their traditionalism is sleeve-worn, which if you’re going to have it, is right where it should be.

Hydra on Thee Facebooks

Piranha Music on Bandcamp

 

Jason Simon, A Venerable Wreck

jason simon a venerable wreck

Dead Meadow guitarist/vocalist Jason Simon follows 2016’s Familiar Haunts (review here) with the genre-spanning A Venerable Wreck, finding folk roots in obscure beats and backwards this-and-that, country in fuzz, ramble in space, and no shortage of experimentalism besides. A Venerable Wreck consists of 12 songs and though there are times where it can feel disjointed, that becomes part of the ride. It’s not all supposed to make sense. Yet what happens by the time you get around to “No Entrance No Exit” is that Simon (and a host of cohorts) has set his own context broad enough so that the drone reach of “Hollow Lands” and sleek, organ-laced indie of closer “Without Reason or Right” can coexist without any real interruption of flow between them. The question with A Venerable Wreck isn’t so much whether the substance is there, it’s whether the listener is open to it. Welcome to psychedelic America. Please inject this snake venom and turn in your keys when you leave.

Jason Simon on Bandcamp

BYM Records website

 

Cherry Choke, Raising Salzburg Rockhouse

Cherry Choke-Raising Salzburg Rockhouse-Cover

You won’t hear me take away from the opening psych-scorch hook of “Mindbreaker” or the fuzzed-on, boogie-down, -up, and -sideways of “Black Annis” which follows, but there’s something extra fun about hearing Frog Island’s Cherry Choke jam out a 13-minute, drum-solo-inclusive version of “6ix and 7even” that makes Raising Salzburg Rockhouse even more of a reminder of how underrated both they are as a band and Mat Bethancourt is as a player. Look no further than “Domino” if you want absolute proof. The whole band rips it up at the Austrian gig, which was recorded in 2015 as they supported their third and still-most-recent full-length, Raising the Waters (review here), but Bethancourt puts on a Hendrixian clinic in the nine-minute cut from 2011’s A Night in the Arms of Venus (review here), which is actually less of a clinic than it is pure distorted swagger followed by a mellow “cheers, thanks” before diving into “Used to Call You Friend.” A 38-minute set would be perfect for an vinyl release, and anytime Cherry Choke want to get around to putting together a fourth studio album, well, that’ll be just fine too.

Cherry Choke on Thee Facebooks

Cherry Choke on Bandcamp

 

Pariiah, Swallowed by Fog

Pariiah swallowed by fog

It’s a special breed of aggro that emerges as a result of living in the most densely populated state in the union, and New Jersey’s Pariiah have it to spare. Bringing together sludge tonality with elder-style New York hardcore lumbering riffs on their Trip Machine Laboratories tape, Swallowed by Fog, they exude a thickened brand of pissed off that’s outright going to be too confrontation for many who take it on. But if you want a middle finger to the face, this is what it sounds like, and the six songs (compiled into four on the digital version of the release) come and go entirely without pretense and leave little behind except bruises and the promise of more to come. They’re a new band, started in this most wretched of years, but there’s no learning curve whatsoever among the members of Devoid of Faith, The Nolan Gate, Kill Your Idols, Changeörder and others. I’d go to Maplewood to see these cats. I’m just saying. Maybe even Elizabeth.

Pariiah on Bandcamp

Trip Machine Laboratories website

 

Saavik, Saavik

saavik saavik

So you’ve got both members of Holly Hunt in a four-piece sludging out with spacey synth and the band is named after a Star Trek character? Not to get too personal, but that’s going to pique my interest one way or the other. Saavik — and they clearly prefer the Kirstie Alley version, rather than Robin Curtis, going by drummer Beatriz Monteavaro‘s artwork — are damn near playing space rock by the end of “He’s Dead Jim,” the opener of their self-titled debut EP, but even that’s affected by a significant tonal weight in Didi Aragon‘s bass and the guitar of Gavin Perry, however much Ryan Rivas‘ synth and effects-laced vocals might seem to float overhead, but “Meld” rolls along at a steadier nod, and “Horizon” puts the synth more in the lead without becoming any less heavy for doing so. Likewise, “Red Sun” calls to mind Godflesh in its proto-machine metal stomp, but there’s more concern in Saavik‘s sound with expanse than just pure crush, and that shows up in fascinating ways in these songs.

Saavik on Thee Facebooks

Other Electricities on Bandcamp

 

Mountain Tamer, Psychosis Ritual

mountain tamer psychosis ritual

There’s been a dark vibe all along nestled into Mountain Tamer‘s sound, and that’s certainly the case on Psychosis Ritual, with which the Los Angeles-based trio make their debut on Heavy Psych Sounds. It’s their third full-length overall behind 2018’s Godfortune // Dark Matters (review here) and 2016’s self-titled debut (review here), and it finds their untamed-feeling psychedelia rife with that same threat of violence, not necessarily thematically as much as sonically, like the songs themselves are the weapon about to be turned on the listener. Maybe the buzz of “Warlock” or the fuckall echo of the prior-issued single “Death in the Woods” (posted here) aren’t out there trying to be “Hammer Smashed Face” or anything, but neither is this the hey-bruh-good-times heavy jams for which Southern California is known these days. Consider the severity of “Turoc Maximus Antonis” or the finally-released screams in closer “Black Noise,” which bookends Psychosis Ritual with the title-track and seems at last to be the point where whatever grim vibe these guys are riding finally consumes them. Mountain Tamer continue to be unexpected and righteous in kind.

Mountain Tamer on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

 

Centre El Muusa, Centre El Muusa

centre el muusa centre el muusa

Hypnotic Estonian psychedelic krautrock instrumentals not your thing? Well that sounds like a personal problem Centre El Muusa are ready to solve. The evolved-from-duo four-piece get spaced out amid the semi-motorik repetitions of their self-titled debut (on Sulatron), and that seems to suit them quite well, thanksabunch. Drone trips and essential swirl brim with solar-powered pulsations and you can set your deflectors on maximum and route all the secondaries to reinforce if you want, there’s still a decent chance 9:53 opener an longest track “Turkeyfish” (immediate points, double for the appropriately absurd title) is going to sweep you off what you used to call your feet when that organ line hits at about six minutes in. That’s to say nothing of the cosmic collision later in “Burning Lawa” or the just-waiting-for-a-Carl-Sagan-voiceover “Mia” that follows. Even the 3:46 “Ain’t Got Enough Mojo” lives long enough to prove itself wrong. Interstellar tape transmissions fostered by obvious weirdos in the great out-there in “Szolnok,” named for a city in Hungary that, among other things, hosts the goulash festival. Right fucking on.

Centre El Muusa on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Population II, À La Ô Terre

Population II a La o Terre

The first Population II album, a 2017 self-titled, was comprised of two tracks, each long enough to consume a 12″ side. Somehow it’s fitting with the Montreal-based singing-drummer trio’s aesthetic that their second long-player, À la Ô Terre, would take a completely different tack, employing shorter freakouts like “L’Offrande” and “La Nuit” and the garage-rocking “La Danse” and what-if-JeffersonAirplane-but-on-Canadian-mushrooms “À la Porte de Demain” and still-more-drifting finisher “Je Laisse le Soleil Briller” amid the more stretched out “Attaction,” the space-buzzer “Ce n’est Réve” while cutting a middle ground in the greaked-out (I was gonna type “freaked out” and hit a typo and I’m keeping it) “Il eut un Silence dans le Ciel,” which also betrays the jazzy underpinnings that somehow make all of À la Ô Terre come across as progressive instead of haphazard. From the start to the close, you don’t know what’s coming next, and just because that’s by design doesn’t make it less effective. If anything, it makes Population II all the more impressive.

Population II on Thee Facebooks

Castle Face Records website

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review & Track Premiere: Dead Meadow, Live at Roadburn 2011

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Dead Meadow Live at Roadburn 2011

[Click play above to stream ‘What Needs Must Be’ from Dead Meadow’s Live at Roadburn 2011 on Burning World Records. Preorders go live next Friday through Bandcamp.]

It was the most fuzz. And Roadburn wasn’t exactly light in that regard circa 2011. The renowned Dutch festival that year featured the likes of Zoroaster, Quest for Fire, Naam, Acid King and The Atomic Bitchwax… on the first day. L.A. by way of D.C. three-piece Dead Meadow played the last day, what was then called the Afterburner (review here), and their slot could not have been more appropriate. Sandwiched between Coffins and evening headliners Black Mountain on the Main Stage, they offered a mellow-heavy hour that was utterly consuming. People in the back sat down. Not out of fatigue, though it has been a long weekend by then, but just to let the warmth of Jason Simon‘s buzzing guitar wash over them. Joined by Steve Kille on bass and Mark Laughlin on drums, Simon‘s urfuzz and unfailingly drifting vocals filled that space with a laid back vibe and groove that that Burning World Records‘ Live at Roadburn 2011 presents in all its Sasquatch-inclusive righteousness.

Of course, Dead Meadow by then were on their way to being veterans already. More than a decade into their career, they’d released Three Kings (discussed here) in 2010 as a semi-live album/video, and that followed their fifth album, 2007’s Old Growth. Their Peel Sessions collection would show up in 2012, but as regards live records, they’d also done Got Live if You Want It! in 2002 following their 2000 self-titled debut and 2001’s Howls From the Hills (discussed here). Strangers neither to performance nor captured-performance, then, and Live at Roadburn 2011 brings that spirit to bear. Though the Alexis Ziritt cover art offers a glorious mania of colors and lines, planets, stars, an undead wizard and hooded mandrill acolytes, the 53-minute set itself is more about what Dead Meadow do within that abiding sense of mood, seeming to go deeper and deeper into nod until finally, with “Sleepy Silver Door,” it engulfs everything.

That set-closer was also the opener of the self-titled, and if Dead Meadow have a signature riff, that might be it (they’d revisit it in 2005 as part of a 13-minute jam), but on Live at Roadburn 2011 it’s also part of the larger story of side B and of course the LP as a whole. After launching with “Good Moanin'” and “Let’s Jump In” from 2003’s Shivering King and Others and 2005’s Feathers, respectively, their course is set between dense Orange-toned riffing and open-stretch psychedelia, and even as “What Needs Must Be” from Old Growth pulls back from the farther reaches of ‘far out’ to bring a bit of boogie to the proceedings, the ethereal sensibility remains in the solo even though the overarching rhythm is tight in its stops and starts, a kind of rolling swing that reminds that Washington D.C. was once the funk capitol of the US as well as the seat of government.

dead meadow and sasquatch (Photo by JJ Koczan)-2000

I’m trying really hard not to say the word “vibe” too many times, but that’s really what it’s all about. Heavy chill. As side A plays out, Dead Meadow speed things up through the first half of “Indian Bones,” bliss out in the middle and bring it back around in time to squeeze in “September,” which would close 2013’s Warble Womb, and “Rocky Mountain High” from the self-titled ahead — if nothing else, you’ll know it by the repurposing of the riff to Black Sabbath‘s “Iron Man” — of the big turn to “Beyond the Fields We Know.” One doubts Dead Meadow were thinking of putting the set out on vinyl at the time — you can’t ever be sure — but as regards the LP, it’s telling that side A features six tracks and side B only three. The band structured their set to follow a linear path outward. That’s not to say it lacks dynamic along that. Certainly as “Beyond the Fields We Know” hits nearly 10 minutes and “Sleepy Silver Door” nearly 11, for all the jamming going on, those two songs still come with the relatively straightforward strum of “At Her Open Door” from Feathers in between.

And just as certainly, that song trips out far and wide in its second half, riding its solo jam to the finish, so Live at Roadburn 2011 isn’t just one thing or the other, but the let’s-get-gone is palpable, and they invite the crowd along with them on their way. The performances of “Beyond the Fields We Know,” “At Her Open Door” and “Sleepy Silver Door,” compiled together on a single vinyl side, would be enough to justify this release. That they happen to occur at the end of an already right-on set is a bonus. I don’t remember at what point it was they brought out Sasquatch, but I remember whoever it was in that hairy, had-to-be-really-really-hot costume sleeked out onto the stage with the trio, sort of slow-’70s groove-walked around, checking things out. Went behind the drum riser. Went over by Kille and by Simon. Kind of hung out in the middle and danced for a bit.

But the thing about that moment — yeah, it was a novelty — but it was also a perfect fit. You stood there and, oh, here comes Sasquatch. Well of course. In the interest of full disclosure, I took the picture that appears on the inside gatefold of the LP of the elusive North American Skunk Ape hanging out with the band on stage (no money changed hands), but in the interest of fuller disclosure, no one gives a crap. What’s important for you to know is that the vibe — there’s that word again — was such that when it happened, you just went with it. It was unexpected, and hilarious, but it just became another part of what Dead Meadow already had going on that Sunday evening in Tilburg. And so, incredible.

Maybe it’s 2020’s effect of making one extra nostalgic for live music, the festival spirit, but the intervening nine years have done nothing to dull the luster that Dead Meadow show on Live at Roadburn 2011. I can only speak as someone who was fortunate enough to be there to see it, but that set was something special, and not just because of the ‘squatch. Dead Meadow sounded glad to be there, like they were rising to the occasion, like they realized it was more than just another gig, and Live at Roadburn 2011 resonates all the more for documenting that so well.

Dead Meadow on Thee Facebooks

Dead Meadow on Instagram

Dead Meadow website

Burning World Records website

Burning World Records on Thee Facebooks

Burning World Records on Instagram

Tags: , , , , ,

Jason Simon to Release A Venerable Wreck May 22; Streaming “The Same Dream”

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

jason simon

Now we’re talkin’, but the catch is we’re talkin’ in a language only aliens can understand. Jason Simon of Dead Meadow will issue his first solo LP since 2016’s Familiar Haunts (review here) on May 22 through Chile’s BYM Records. Titled A Venerable Wreck, the record is advanced by the banjo-based “The Same Dream,” which is… just gorgeous. It’s just gorgeous. Clean out your ears and take a listen. Really. I could go on and on about what Dead Meadow have contributed to psych-gaze over the years, or how I dug Simon‘s last record and the Old Mexico self-titled (review here) he was a part of that came out last year on Cardinal Fuzz, but it’s more important that you spend your next three-plus minutes listening to the track, so whatever, just go do that. It’s at the bottom of the post, like always.

Some PR wire info to read while you listen, preorder link included:

jason simon a venerable wreck

JASON SIMON: A VENERABLE WRECK LP OUT ON 5/22

NEW TRACK THE SAME DREAM

Anachronistic troubadour, Jason Simon has announced the release of a new solo album for May 22nd. A Venerable Wreck will be released on LP/Digi via Chilean label, BYM Records (Föllakzoid, Chicos de Nazca, The Ganjas). With this announcement is the leak of first single The Same Dream which is a bucolic dose of lysergic Americana mainly composed of Simon’s banjo-picking and voice.

Speaking on the track (which he has already been playing in live shows recently) he said The Same Dream was written on a banjo where I’ve attached a 60’s gold foil pickup to the head allowing it to be amplified in way akin to an electric guitar and using a tuning I picked from the likes of Clarence Ashley and Dock Boggs. Lyrically the song investigates our shared delusions inherent in the concept of endless economic growth.

Though Simon has explored the amplified range of psychedelia for the past two decades fronting Dead Meadow, his solo material is used for the exploration of intimate and stripped-back music that touches upon country-tinged Psych-folk and more avant-garde moments. While it’s mostly Simon on the record, a circle of musicians including Nate Ryan of The Warlocks and Mark Laughlin, his band-mate in Dead Meadow were brought in to add their ingredients to a melting pot of arrangements.

Album pre-order: http://bymrecords.com/releases/148

https://www.facebook.com/DeadMeadowOfficial/
https://jasonsimon.bandcamp.com/releases
http://deadmeadowstore.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BYMrecords/
https://www.instagram.com/BYMrecords/
https://bymrecords.com/

Tags: , , , , ,

Stoned and Dusted 2020 Announces Lineup with Corrosion of Conformity, Los Dug Dugs, Masters of Reality, Brant Bjork, Earthless & Many More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

stoned and dusted 2020 banner

So let me get this out of the way and say that the whole friggin’ Stoned and Dusted 2020 lineup is incredible. Kudos to the California Desert Wizards Association, which is the mysterious entity putting on the festival out in the Mojave, both at Pappy and Harriet’s and in the open air itself, taking place outside with camping and all the rest of it. Whole thing, great job. Okay. But seriously, at the first night of the thing, they’ve got Los Dug Dugs from Mexico City playing, and if you’ve never dug-dug into their stuff, it’s yet another lost classic of the heavy ’70s that’s begging to be heard. That’s an impressive get through and through. Nicely done.

Now, onto the rest. Yawning ManBrant BjorkCorrosion of ConformityMasters of RealityDead MeadowEarthlessMos GeneratorBig Scenic Nowhere, The Well. The inclusion of all of the last three I assume means that Tony Reed of Mos Generator and Ian Graham and Lisa Alley of The Well will take part in the Big Scenic Nowhere set — could be a package tour in the making there — and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect Mario Lalli might be on hand to play bass either, as Yawning Man will be playing the first night.

Toss in Hippie Death CultHelms AleeThe Heavy EyesBALAJesika von RabbitSean WheelerHammer of the Ozz and a few more TBA, not to mention Mad Alchemy doing the lights, and you’ve got a three-night desert party that’s very, very clearly going to be something special for those fortunate enough to be there to witness it.

To that end, tickets go on sale Saturday, as per the PR wire:

STONED AND DUSTED 2020 LINEUP

Yeah buddy! Here it comes again! Are you ready?! Finally the scoop on this year’s Stoned and Dusted party, brought to you by your California Desert Wizards Association.

In 2020 we have THREE NIGHTS of fun: Friday May 22nd; Saturday May 23rd; and Sunday May 24th.

STONED AND DUSTED WELCOME PARTY: On Friday May 22 we have a very special lineup at California’s most famous cantina, Pappy & Harriet’s. Friday’s show is on the indoor stage and we are proud to present 1970’s psych legends from Mexico City, Los Dug Dugs, with desert legends Yawning Man and more TBA.

STONED AND DUSTED ROADHOUSE: On Saturday May 23 we are doing it up again at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace (outside stage), our favorite dusty, desert roadhouse. Pack your earplugs, rolling papers and bring a designated driver for this insane lineup: Corrosion of Conformity, Masters of Reality, Brant Bjork, Helms Alee, BALA and a late show inside from Jesika von Rabbit.

STONED AND DUSTED CAMPOUT: On Sunday May 24 we invite you to a generator party – a Memorial Day concert, cookout and campout at a secret desert location. You can camp on site and party with your friends and fellow desert wizards late into the night. The boulders are there; we are bringing the rock! Dead Meadow, Earthless, Big Scenic Nowhere, The Well, The Heavy Eyes, Mos Generator, Sean Wheeler Y Los Caminos, Hippie Death Cult and Hammer of the Ozz. The Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show will light up the desert once again this year.

General on-sale begins late this Saturday night, Feb 8, around midnight into Sunday morning. Go to our website and join our email list for more information.

STONED AND DUSTED PRE-PARTY $22
STONED AND DUSTED ROADHOUSE $60
STONED AND DUSTED CAMPOUT $230

For the STONED AND DUSTED CAMPOUT, we also offer a camping gear add-on for those who can’t fly with a tent and want to camp out under desert skies.

https://www.facebook.com/StonedandDusted/
https://www.instagram.com/stonedanddusted
www.StonedAndDusted.com
http://www.californiadesertwizardsassociation.com/

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Desertfest NYC 2020 Makes First Lineup Announcement with Corrosion of Conformity, Conan, Stoned Jesus and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest New York 2020 has made its first lineup announcement, with Corrosion of Conformity, Stoned Jesus, Bongzilla, Dead Meadow, Conan, Crypt Trip, Yatra, Toke, Leather Lung, R.I.P., Huntsmen, High Reeper and The Atomic Bitchwax confirmed. That’s a first North American appearance for Stoned Jesus, and I’ll be honest, I was gonna show up anyway after being there for the inaugural Desertfest NYC this past Spring, but even if I wasn’t, that would be enough to get me on board. Throwing in C.O.C.Dead MeadowConan and The Atomic Bitchwax, along with Bongzilla and, well, everybody, is a righteous bonus. One way or another, you got me early with this one, Desertfest. The calendar was marked. I’ll mark it again just to be safe.

Early-bird tickets are gone, but regular-type tickets are on sale now.

Just off the PR wire:

DESERTFEST NEW YORK REVEALS FIRST ACTS FOR 2ND EDITION TAKING PLACE SEPTEMBER 2020

DESERTFEST NYC 2020 11th – 13th September 2020 | Brooklyn, NY, USA

– TICKETS NOW ON SALE –
http://www.desertfest.nyc

Desetrfest returns to Brooklyn in September 2020, after a wildly successful first edition in April 2019 the globally renowned stoner and doom event solidifies its position in the U.S.A. Adding an additional day at Bushwick venue, The Well from Friday 11th – Sunday 13th September, whilst moving its already cult status pre-party at Saint Vitus Bar to Thursday night. Early-birds have sold out already, but regular 3-day & 4-day passes are now on sale, as the first 13 bands are announced for the second celebration of underground heavy music.

Desertfest NYC is pleased to welcome genre defining legends CORROSION OF CONFORMITY to proceedings, the masters of Southern boogie will bring their signature stomp and impeccable live show to The Well in September 2020. After the recent loss of founding member Reed Mullin, we can’t wait to show C.O.C some serious Desertfest love.

Joining C.O.C across the weekend will be psychedelic stoners DEAD MEADOW, dreamy trips into a galaxy of guitar laden fuzz and the melodic drawl of frontman Jason Simon puts the band in a league of their own when it comes to genre-bending rock’n’roll.
Making the trip from further afield we are pleased to welcome long-time friends of the Desertfest clan, Liverpool’s most revered doom band of the modern age, the battle-hammer of CONAN will make a mighty blow upon New York with the uttermost ferocity. Britain seems like the town next door compared to the distant lands of Ukraine, where STONED JESUS will make the pilgrimage for their long-awaited American debut at DF NYC. Heavily regarded as one of the leading bands in the stoner/doom scene in Eastern Europe, the bands defiant anthem ‘I’m the Mountain’ is close to perfection in eyes, and ears, across the globe.

After their unfortunate tour cancellation in 2019, we are pleased to welcome back riff-centric power trio THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX for a high octane set of thunder-boogie. Some of our favourite people to get loose with, Wisconsin premier party-starters BONGZILLA will fire off a sativa induced bacchanal of sludge. Street-walkin’ sleaze demons R.I.P have honed a sound, look and attitude that is entirely their own and will make no apologies or explanations for how utterly crushing it is. Whatever’s in the water in North Carolina seems to cultivate some of our favourite sounds and you’re damn right in thinking that includes TOKE, old-school 70’s worship comes in the form of doom metal quartet HIGH REEPER – a band who repeatedly turn our heads with their unique take on breaking new ground. Speaking of new ground, Americana doom pioneers HUNTSMEN have grabbed our attention with their fresh take on metal, an exceptional blend of Springsteen-equse melodies with crushing heaviness makes an otherworldly combo. Finally, to round off this excellent first reveal, we’re pleased to play host to the superb, CRYPT TRIP, YATRA and LEATHER LUNG.

3-day passes (The Well only) and 4-day passes which includes access to the pre-party at Saint Vitus, are on sale NOW via THIS LINK

https://facebook.com/events/2433172340128497
https://www.ticketweb.com/event/desertfest-nyc-2020-the-well-tickets/10315455
https://facebook.com/Desertfestnyc/
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_nyc/
http://www.desertfest.nyc/

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Psycho Las Vegas 2019 Full Lineup Revealed; Megadeth, Opeth & Electric Wizard Headline

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

psycho las vegas 2019 logo

Megadeth, Opeth and Electric Wizard headlining. Performances from the likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mark Lanegan to Carcass and The FaintHigh on Fire and The Crazy World of Arthur BrownTruckfighters and Fu Manchu and Clutch and GraveyardPower Trip and Rotting ChristYOBUncle AcidThe Obsessed.

I’m not sure what else really needs to be said about the Psycho Las Vegas 2019 lineup. For a festival that’s so much about spectacle, and which has grown its reach every year thus far in its relatively short tenure, this would seem once again to up the scale and reach a new level. But here’s the thing. There’s a lot of ground covered in this lineup between the varying kinds of metal and rock, etc., included — but that’s part of Psycho too. That sheer moment where you have to step back and realize that Tom G. Warrior‘s Triumph of Death and Glassjaw are sharing a bill, and you’re like, “What? How should that work?” But it will, somehow. And those taking over the Mandalay Bay for that weekend in August will be treated to a once-in-a-lifetime assemblage. As regards heavy fests, I’m hard pressed to think of anything that’s ever been done in America on this scale.

You’ll be telling your grandchildren about it. They’ll be like, “Who’s Opeth?” Ugh. Kids these days, right?

From the PR wire:

Psycho Las Vegas 2019 Full Lineup

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2019: Megadeth And Opeth Join Electric Wizard To Headline America’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Bacchanal; Final Lineup Including Mogwai, Beach House, 1349, Yakuza, And More Revealed + Tickets On Sale Now

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2019 continues to make waves as it confirms its final lineup for this year’s three-day, four-stage takeover of Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino August 16th – 18th, 2019.

Swedish progressive metal titans Opeth and Grammy award-winning thrash metal legends Megadeth will join UK doom icons/PSYCHO LAS VEGAS alumni Electric Wizard as this year’s mainstage headliners. Opeth’s performance will mark their only US appearance of the year. As if that isn’t enough, the curators of the event have also added Scottish post-rock unit Mogwai, former Screaming Tees frontman/alternative rock icon Mark Lanegan, the multi-talented Bruce Lamont who will appear with his avant metal unit Yakuza as well as his Led Zeppelin tribute band Led Zeppelin 2, psychedelic stoner rock unit Dead Meadow, Norwegian black metallers 1349, and American thrash veterans Vio-lence among others.

Additionally, the world’s only heavy metal talk show, Two Minutes To Late Night, will bring its popular YouTube show to the festival stage while multi-talented recording artist, music producer, and self-help guru Andrew W.K. will bring the weekend ceremony to a close for the second year in a row with a DJ set.

See a full list of confirmed artists below.

The highly-coveted “Psycho Special” passes and “High Roller VIP” passes are now sold out, however “Tier 1 Weekender General Admission” passes are still available at $249 but will increase to $299 once the first tier sells out. Single-day tickets priced at $109 will be available in the coming weeks. All ticket prices are exclusive of taxes and fees. Tickets and more information are available at VivaPsycho.com.

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2019:
When: August 16th-18th, 2019
Where: Mandalay Bay Resort And Casino – Las Vegas, NV
Tickets: VivaPsycho.com

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2019 Final Lineup (alphabetical):
1349
Amenra
Andrew W.K.
Bad Religion
Beach House
Black Mountain
Candy
Carcass
Clutch
Cold Cave
Dead Meadow
Deafheaven
Devil Master
Dvne
Electric Citizen
Electric Wizard
En Minor
Fu Manchu
Full Of Hell
Glassjaw
Goatwhore
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Grails
Graveyard
Hangman’s Chair
Have A Nice Life
Hell Fire
High On Fire
Ilsa
Kadavar
L.A. Witch
Led Zeppelin 2
Levitation Room
Mark Lanegan
Megadeth
Mogwai
Monophonics
Mork
Mother Mercury.
Motorbabe
Night Horse
Nothing
Old Man Gloom
Opeth
Oranssi Pazuzu
Perturbator
Polyrythmics
Power Trip
Rotting Christ
Royal Thunder
Soft Kill
Spindrift
The Black Angels
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
The Faint
The Obsessed
Tobacco
Tomb Mold
Triumph Of Death
Truckfighters
Twin Temple
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats
Vio-lence
Warhorse
Yakuza
Yob

And be sure to kick off the weekend with PSYCHO SWIM, the previously-announced all-day, prefest pool party at Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay on Thursday, August 15th featuring Corrosion Of Conformity, Lucifer, Danava, ASG, Primitive Man, Idle Hands, Howling Giant, and Thrown Into Exile. Tickets are separate from the three-day festival and on sale now for $35 (excluding tax and fees) for those 21 and older. Grab your tickets today at VivaPsycho.com.

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2019 Pre-Party:
When: August 15th, 2019
Where: Daylight Beach Club – Las Vegas, NV
Tickets: VivaPsycho.com

** This is a 21+ event **

Lineup:
Corrosion Of Conformity
Lucifer
Danava
ASG
Primitive Man
Idle Hands
Howling Giant
Thrown Into Exile

https://www.facebook.com/events/2035404693146567/
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas/
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas/
http://vivapsycho.com

Electric Wizard, Live in Athens, Greece, Feb. 23, 2019

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,