Mothership Tour Starts Tonight in Oklahoma City

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 3rd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Mothership (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Yeah, these dates were posted before, but that was in August, so you might be forgiven for having let go of the fact that the Dallas-and-then-some three-piece were headed out this week in the Midwest/Southeast. They’ll do Doomed & Stoned in Wisconsin and Snowblind Fest in Atlanta on what’s a pretty tidy run hitting good spots to hit. I bet Mothership pull people on a Friday night in Lincoln, Nebraska, and I mean that as a compliment to both them and the city.

You know what’s awesome about Mothership shows at this point? There’s so little to prove. Have these guys ever had a bad gig? Maybe like in 2012 even? I feel like the most oldschool thing about Mothership at this point, more than riffs and swing, groove and vibe, is how utterly reliable they are. Going to a Mothership show? Well, sweet. They’re gonna deliver or die trying. Guaranteed. Enjoy.

They’re simply not a band who half-ass it.

I guess the point ultimately is show up when they play if you can. 11 shows in 11 days, two fests. I think that’s pretty emblematic of who they are.

From social media:

Mothership nov 2022 tour poster

It’s been a long ass time, but we are finally heading back out on the road this week!

Maybe I’ll see ya out there? #mothership

Thu 11/3 – Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Note
Fri 11/4 – Lincoln, NE – 1867 Bar
Sat 11/5 – Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
(Doomed & Stoned Festival)
Sun 11/6 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s
Mon 11/7 – Hamtramck, MI – The Sanctuary
Tue 11/8 – Youngstown, OH – Westside Bowl
Wed 11/9 – Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
Thu 11/10 – Louisville, KY – Portal
Fri 11/11 – Nashville, TN – The Basement
Sat 11/12 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
(Snowblind Festival)
Sun 11/13 – New Orleans, LA – Santos Bar

Mothership is:
Kelley Juett – Guitars/Vox
Kyle Juett – Bass/Vox
Judge Smith – Drums

Mothership, “Lunar Master” live at Psycho Las Vegas 2022

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Mothership Announce November Headlining Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 31st, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Mothership at Psycho Las Vegas (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’ve had the good fortune to see Texas trio Mothership four or five times now — most recently at Psycho Las Vegas about two weeks ago and at Desertfest New York in May — and they never seem to disappoint. The Juett Brothers — Kelley and Kyle or Kyle and Kelley, depending on whether you start at stage left or right — and drummer Judge Smith haven’t put out an album since 2016’s High Strangeness (review here), but they’ve been on the road consistently and as much as possible in the years since, and they’ve taken part in numerous tribute compilations and other sorts of outings.

They could probably stand to put out another live record, but to be honest with you, I’m not sure I’d mess with what they’ve got going as it is. They’re a dynamic, hard-rocking, classic-style-but-not-actively-retreading-old-ideas power trio with stage presence that goes even beyond Kelley Juett‘s guitar-face. Not that what I have to say about it matters in the slightest, but as far as I’m concerned, they can do whatever the hell they want.

They’ll be out headlining in November. They announced the announcement, as one will in the Algorithmic Age, and then announced the dates, and whatever comes or doesn’t from them studio-wise, if you make it out to one of their shows, you probably already know you’re getting a rock gig par excellence and sans bullshit. If you didn’t know, well, show up and find out for yourself.

Dates follow, as per socials:

Stoked to be back on the road this November!

We’ve got some headlining dates as well as a couple of killer festivals on this run.

See you on board (#128760#) #tripontheship

11/03 – Blue Note – Oklahoma City, OK
11/04 – 1867 Bar – Lincoln, NE
11/05 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI (Doomed & Stoned Festival)
11/06 – Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
11/07 – The Sanctuary – Hamtramck, MI
11/08 – Westside Bowl – Youngstown, OH
11/09 – Ace of Cups – Columbus, OH w/ The Obsessed
11/10 – fifteenTWELVE – Louisville, KY
11/11 – The Basement – Nashville, TN
11/12 – The Masquerade (Heaven) – Atlanta, GA (Snowblind Festival)
11/13 – Santos Bar – New Orleans, LA

Mothership is:
Kelley Juett – Guitars/Vox
Kyle Juett – Bass/Vox
Judge Smith – Drums

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Psycho Las Vegas 2022 – Day 1 Notes

Posted in Features on August 20th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Hippie Death Cult (Photo by JJ Koczan)


You never have to wait long when you’re on the strip to see the next plane fly overhead. That’s part of the image of the whole thing. Movers and shakers, people going places. I don’t see myself that way. I’m more the wiggly type.

The Starbucks — there might be two — wasn’t crowded and tastes a bit like burning but I don’t care. I found some THC tablet things up at the dispensary the other night and because I’m 40 years old and someone who thinks and operates in precisely this manner, I budgeted them out for the next few days and will accordingly be mildly stoned from here on out. My original plan had been to come here, get ahold of a bunch of mushrooms and blow my brains out for the weekend, writing all the while in what I’m sure would be a fit on too-damn-long sentences that I’d think were brilliant until I read them later and realized they were all about dragons and tearing down the capitalist uberstructure that allows shit like this to exist in the first place, let alone me to get away with being here to see it. The singer from Uniform yesterday, between one pissed off song and the next, started talking between songs and then shut it down. “Never mind. You don’t want to hear what I have to say.” I kind of did.

Curious at least where the commentary might start. Making thongs and heels the apparently-mandatory pool attire for waitstaff? The $15 water bottle? This is a party town. Party don’t come cheap, and in terms of vibe I’ve never experienced anything else like where I am now. Divorcing the fest from the inherently predatory aspects of any casino experience for a moment — which I don’t think you’re supposed to do, but I have neither the cash nor inclination to gamble, so there it is; and there goes another airplane — because it’s all a fucking trap and we’re dancing around the edge of it, addled with drink and chemical reactions in reckless checked out bliss. Heard Cancer Christ ripped up a Bible in the Redtail last night after I went to bed. Somebody had to sweep that up.

I think I’d like another tattoo. Any ideas?

Sanguisugabogg (Photo by JJ Koczan)

But again, to remove the fest from its surroundings, to try and separate ‘sub-‘ from culture, is nearly impossible. And the true innovation Psycho had made isn’t so much in getting GZA to come play chess — though that’s awesome too — but in taking the aesthetics of underground culture, mostly based around metal even when it’s not metal specifically, and using them as a means to infiltrate a broader cross-section of institutions. I heard “Lady in Red” on my way to Starbucks to get coffee. In about half an hour, Sanguisugabogg are going to take stage in what I’m pretty sure is a seated ballroom. Guess I’ll find out. That achievement, as well as the procuring of the significant financial backing to make it happen, isn’t to be understated. An accomplishment of scale and scope the results for which will manifest over the next three days.

Thankfully, that will mostly happen inside.


The death growls of Sanguisugabogg are blending with the mall tunes, distortion underlying safe ’80s-ish synthpop, and I almost hate to say it, but it’s kind of working for me, sound-wise. I’m pretty sure this is what my nightmares sound like.

Watched enough of them — the ones with all the esses and gees, please don’t make me type it again — to know that they’re a good time musically. And that there are no seats up there. One way or the other, 11AM death mosh is perfect for Psycho Las Vegas. It should be a tradition if it already isn’t. More coffee called and I made my way out, but no regrets for having seen the Rose Ballroom, which is kind of just up in the corner of the third floor. I’ve come to understand this might just be what casino hotel resorts are, but I promise you I have no idea in that regard. Also watched enough of them to know that every dude in that band could and just might on a given day beat my ass. I’m sure they’re sweethearts though. They had Mike Gitter out at 11AM, which is all the endorsement you’ll ever need as far as I’m concerned.

Dreadnought (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’ve lost just about all sense of time now. If not for my phone giving me minute-by-minute updates on the matter I’m pretty sure I’d be a goner. There’s a horn being played somewhere. It’s cutting through the echoing distorted noise from Sanguisugabogg and the bassy muzak and goodness gracious maybe I’m a goner anyway. Gotta hydrate.

Sitting outside the pizza place, where I’ve been a good portion of the morning by now. It’s almost a chair and it’s definitely free, so it gets the prize. Festival types are up and about by now, either getting food, outside smoking, whatever it is. I feel like I’m from another planet. Maybe everyone does? I look at people going about their business though, just living, and that’s not how I operate. Even in this weirdo microculture, in my most honest moments I never quite feel like I belong. Anywhere. There goes another plane.

In other words, it’s not the world with the problem, it’s me.

I wish that was new information.

Stinking Lizaveta (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Later again

Dreadnought and Stinking Lizaveta present dueling and likewise accurate visions of what constitutes salvation. Hippie Death Cult back this with unexpectedly metallic progressions; a bit of march from that expansive drum kit. This allows me to rediscover the antidote to that feeling, that so-in-my-own-head isolation, which of course is the fucking music. Granted, being unworthy is kind of my running theme of Psycho so far — underscored by various security personnel who’ve all been polite enough in telling me I can or can’t bring this or that to stages, or go here or there or take pictures or whathaveyou; my ‘I’ve got an email that says I can be here’ is getting a workout — but watching Dreadnought is pretty goddamned special. Even compared to seeing them here in 2018 — well, not here, but at Psycho — they played like a band who know they’re on fire, and they are. Don’t let me get all hyped up, but after missing them in NYC, to see them here is a boon.

Same goes for Hippie Death Cult, and Stinking Lizaveta I’ll watch any day of any week and call it a good day. The music radiates joy.

That one-two-three was my must-stuff for the day, which means that everything else is gravy. I sat for a while after Hippie Death Cult finished, found a chair in back of the Dawg House, then decided I’d pop up to the Event Center and see if I could shoot Wolves in the Throne Room. Somewhere along the way someone sent an edict about backpacks I guess.

Wolves in the Throne Room (Photo by JJ Koczan)

There was some back and forth — got that email out again — and yeah, turns out I could shoot Wolves in the Throne Room, and they went on about 15 minutes late but that was still plenty of time to pretend I was in a forest for the second time of the day, pit stop back in my room, and make it to Great Electric Quest’s party back at at Dawg House. In addition to rocking, they did just about everything possible to engage the crowd short of handing out ice cream. Seemed to work for them though and they absolutely brought it. They played like there were 400 people in the room, which there weren’t, and played one more song when demanded by the crowd to do so. Rock and roll show. Pretty sure it’s my first time seeing them. And they used that space on the stage. Up on amps, waving a big green flag, turning classic heavy vibes into epics. They were easy to dig, so I did.

Great Electric Quest (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Later even than that was

A little disorienting? Good. That’s the idea. Time has passed, that’s all you need to know. If you want to know exactly what time it is, you should probably have a different pass. Or not. I’m not really clear on it.

I’m probably the wrong person to be discussing Emperor’s legacy, influence or anything like that, but hell’s bells, I own those records and I can appreciate it. My final three bands of the day were Sasquatch, Mothership and Emperor. So, you know, another night in Anytown USA. Sasquatch came through New York recently but I couldn’t go because let’s face it, my life is way more set up for leaving for a few days once every couple months than it is for going out on a given Friday night, and that’s just where it’s at right now. But to see them any night, anyplace, is a win. Band would seem to have spent the entirety of lockdown on absolute fire, since the second venues opened back up they hit it.

Sasquatch (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Their US tour is almost done, then Australia/New Zealand, then five weeks in Europe. That’s a working fucking band. They played like one. Keith Gibbs on guitar/vocals, Jason Casanova on bass and backing vocals that every time I hear them live I feel like should be used more, and Craig Goshdarn Riggs on drums and a bit more vocals, and they’re just electric. Even in the years since Riggs joined — what, five years ago now? — they’ve gotten tighter in a way that apparently two years without gigs hasn’t dulled so far as I can tell. Or maybe I’m just saying that because Riggs threw a drum stick and hit me with it and I’m worried if I don’t say nice things about the band he might do it again next show. He’s a madman, you know. They all are, those Sasquatch types.

Both they and Mothership brought people into the Dawg House, and fair enough. Neither is an unknown quantity, here or otherwise, but honestly they both killed it dead. Took Mothership about 30 seconds to warm up and they were gone after that. I’d say good luck keeping up, but their grooves make it easy enough to follow where they’re headed, and Kelley and Kyle Juett out front while Judge Smith holds it all together behind. I suppose the kicker there is there’s no real danger of it coming apart, right? These guys are pro-shop heavy rock and roll. They know their sound and their songs inside out, and for all the fucking around, there’s not much actual fucking around, even in jams and introducing the band, saying hi to the members of Rifflord in the crowd and so on. Fuck else do you want to know? They’re a great live act and they played like one. It was not a surprise, but it was a blast.

Mothership (Photo by JJ Koczan)

That’s it. Put Ihsahn from Emperor looking like a black metal Robert Fripp on top — not intended at all as an insult; Fripp just about anything and you’re doing it right — and that’s my evening. I don’t know when the last time Emperor played in the States was, but I’m reasonably sure it was more than a decade ago. And if you’ve ever seen them, they’re basically the reason why black metal both rips and thinks it’s smarter than you. The Event Center/main stage tent is huge. You go outside and then back inside and there’s like a hangar and a massive thankfully air conditioned space that I’m not sure is permanent and I’m not sure isn’t. But I’d been there for Wolves in the Throne Room so knew at least what to expect in that regard.

I won’t say I stayed the entire time for Emperor; it’s just not where I’m at. But I did stay longer than I intended to, and I probably could’ve stuck around for more, but dinner and sleep and that’s-enough-of-that were calling, and I am nothing if not attuned to all of those things.

Emperor (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Kind of terrifying to think this is just day one. Not only is there a whole other day tomorrow, there’s one after that too. Holy shit. It’s not even really the weekend yet.

Save us.

Thanks for reading.

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Notes From Desertfest New York 2022: Night 1 at the Knockdown Center

Posted in Reviews on May 14th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

desertfest new york 2022 friday

Doors are in about half an hour. From the cursory reconnaissance I’ve done at this point, it’s easy to think the Knockdown Center could become a multi-year home for Desertfest New York. It’s big, which certainly helps, and there’s more space than is being used right now. The second stage room is tiny — the sense I get is that by the time Sasquatch go on that will be an issue, but no one’s here yet except for bands and I’ve got basically a warehouse room to myself to write this.

Got in last night at 1AM, woke up around 7AM, so not the worst night of sleep ever. I was destroyed last night by the end of that show. Utterly bludgeoned. But I made it home and I expect I’ll do the same tonight. Hydrate. Advil. Who wants to hear my litany of old man complaints about my plannar fasciitis in my right foot? Nobody, I know. But it’s there. A presence in my life.

Sasquatch are here, and Mothership, John Garcia and the Band of Gold are soundchecking. Geezer and Howling Giant and various others, some I know and some I don’t. It looks like a show. I still have no idea how I’ll cover it but I’ll write when I can while bouncing back and forth between stages and see as much as I can see. That’s pretty much always the plan anyway. With the support of the egg and cheese on chaffle sandwich The Patient Mrs. made me this morning and the bit of pecan butter I finished up on the ride in, I should buy myself a couple hours of go. After that, will need coffee.

But alas, one crisis at a time.

Leather Lung

Leather Lung 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

They had some new songs and asked if there were sleazy motherfuckers in here or not. If not, I think the general humidity in this room should provide some before the night’s out. Leather Lung were one of the last bands I saw before lockdown, and their heavy swinging sludge-rock-plus-extreme-this-and-that remains as nasty as I remembered. They’ve filled the room and heads are nodding, more and more coming in. I can feel the rumbling of the low end in the concrete floor, so take from that what you will. The start of a fest like this is always nerve-racking. You have to find the groove of the place, the groove of the crowd, the groove of the timing and the groove of your own mindset. Fortunately, Leather Lung have plenty of groove to spare to aid that process, and their taking stage isn’t so much a wading into the river of riffs — the riffver??? — as a full-on crazy old-timey Southern church baptismal dunk. Who says you can’t have aggro songs about getting fucked up?

Black Tusk

Black Tusk 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this band before, but I’m also pretty sure it’s been at least a decade, if not longer. They’ve had their ups and some real-life tragedies along the way — like everybody — but they’re a pro-shop metal band and they play like it. First act on the big stage and similar to Leather Lung, The intent seems to have been to roll out with something meaner rather than a languid style. Hey man, mean works. They’re piping them outside to where the food trucks are through a separate P.A., and I guess if you want furious riffs with your souvlaki, that’s a go. I will abscond momentarily to the smaller room again for Howling Giant, whom I’ve only seen at Psycho Las Vegas, but whose shenanigans are already legion in my brain. I’ve been looking forward to it, as I’ve been looking forward to all of this. Black Tusk though, digging that ferocity. Pummeling. And very much in that way of bands who’ve spent forever touring that they could just plug in wherever and make that happen.

Howling Giant

Howling Giant 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

These guys are a riot. A lot of bands can goof off and visibly have fun while playing their songs. Howling Giant can do that, play at a humbling level, and base it around killer material. They might be the only even vaguely prog-leaning heavy band out there who balance that against not taking themselves too seriously, and they absolutely refuse to leave their audience behind. Yeah, it was pretty god damned packed in that little room — they call it the Texas Stage, which is a little ironic considering the proportions — but my reason for walking out before Howling Giant were done had less to do ultimately with the heat and humidity and more with the sudden, very powerful urge I felt to buy a Howling Giant t-shirt. So I did that. Then, because there was no getting in whatsoever as the space was slammed with hoo-mans, I scootched over to the main stage again and chatted to some folks about this and that. Trying to remember to do that. There’s something like 1,400 people here this weekend. I feel like everybody’s everybody’s friend. That’s easier to think while Howling Giant play.


Mothership 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Doesn’t matter who you think of from that infinite set of list ’70s heavy rock bands, Mothership do it better. Texas trio, trip on the ship, all that. Just a great time. I guess they’ve been off tour for a while — who hasn’t? — but they made the big stage feel small with just the three of them and a vitality that few in whichever microgenre can match, and that energy is infectious, particularly from Kelley Juett on guitar, who is the classic wildman on stage. I have seen them three times now, at Maryland Doom Fest, in Boston with C.O.C., and here, and in this big room and that small one, they filled the space with sound and a genuine feeling of celebrating rock and roll. Kyle Juett on bass and vocals is more subdued, and drummer Judge Smith sits back there like he’s about to start laughing his ass off any minute. And then he does. Even better. You gotta be doing something right when Orange Goblin are on this stage next and people are asking for one more song.


Geezer 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Seems silly because I’ve seen them a bunch of times over their years — not much recently, duh — but I was really looking forward to Geezer’s set. It’s okay to like a band, right? I feel like I know their new album, Stoned Blues Machine, pretty well, since I was there when most of the basics were recorded and don’t tell anyone but I’m streaming it this coming Wednesday, but it was nothing but a pleasure to hear those songs come to life on stage. “Cold Black Heart,” “Atomic Moronic,” “Logan’s Run.” That’s a good-ass time. And they seemed in high spirits, no implication intended as to lucidity. Kind of a release show for them, since the record’s out next week, but I still haven’t seen any merch from them around. So it goes. The smaller room — I’ve heard a few complaints; it is what it is; be earlier — has a kind of raised floor along stage left and I went up there for a bit and watched. They’re not quite hometown heroes in NYC, but they draw a good crowd and deliver to them. That made it a little extra satisfying to watch them kill as they did.

Orange Goblin

Orange Goblin 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Orange Goblin. I mean, what do you say about a band like that? This was my first time seeing them with Harry Armstrong — apparently also his first time in New York, as was declared from the stage — but come on, was there any way it was going to be anything less than stellar? My real question is whether Ben Ward will come out for a guest spot with John Garcia later. But I’ve been seeing this band live for well over a decade and a half and I’ve not once been underwhelmed. I’ve seen them here, in London, elsewhere, and all they do is rock and roll. I feel like there are so many other bands I don’t need to see because I’ve seen Orange Goblin, and that’s not a slag on anybody, but god damn. You never know when they’re not gonna come back (to take the living), so I feel like every set should be treasured, and this one certainly will be. That sounds corny as shit, but I mean it. I read they’ve got new material in the works too. How hard will they tour? How feasible is it? I don’t think it’s a question of how much they have in the tank, because watching them play, the answer is plenty, but with all they’ve done, the influence they’ve had, they still get on stage and bring it like a hungry band. They’re one of a kind, much to the chagrin of the many pretenders out there.

Holy Death Trio

Holy Death Trio 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It certainly did get dark in that little room. And I guess not so much with turning lights on. Okay, you make do. Holy Death Trio came up from Texas to play this show, and they played like a next-generation act, like they’ve got it together, have a plan when they go on stage and have put in the work to make their presentation as engaging as possible. One assumes it would’ve been even more so with lights on, but you know, sometimes it can be like a secret. Hey this band is super-cool but shh. Their record came out through Ripple last year in the label’s Blasko-curated splurge and if they’re going to tour for real life, it seems like they’re the kind of act where people are going to ask if you’ve seen them yet. I have now, and I’ll hope to again. They’ve got a party atmosphere — if you want to keep it to Austin bands, they’re like a less frenetic Amplified Heat — but they’re all the more exciting since they seem to be finding and still developing their approach. And make no mistake, asses were kicked. All I’m saying is that if they keep on the way they’re going, more will be in the years to come.

John Garcia and the Band of Gold

John Garcia and the Band of Gold 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

A good mix of John Garcia solo stuff and the requisite Kyuss tunes. “July” from Slo Burn. How could you fit everything from such a career? He said from the stage that they hadn’t done anything in two and a half years. Me neither, dude, one YOB show and a couple outdoor Sun Voyager gigs notwithstanding. Perhaps the weekend’s most brutal conflict is John Garcia on the same time as Sasquatch. That’s a hard one to live through, though not like there’s a wrong answer, except leaving. “Whitewater” felt duly like a watershed moment, the band by then totally warmed up and killing it. I guess you’d say Garcia’s stage presence is quiet. He has his moves but doesn’t go nuts or anything. He thanked the crowd and the Desertfest crew though respectfully and even when Sasquatch went on in the smaller room it was packed. Less all-charge than Orange Goblin, because that’s the music they play, but they tore up that jam in “Whitewater” and earned that whole Band of Gold moniker, even before they kicked into an uptempo take on “Green Machine” to close out. I saw Vista Chino play that song. That was cool too. This is a drunk crowd. Maybe I’m not the only one for whom this is pandemic-breakout, which inevitably is more fun than an outbreak, also happening but let’s not talk about it.


Sasquatch 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I know it’s been a long day because I had to look up whether Sasquatch’s new album, Fever Fantasy, had been announced yet and I’m the one who wrote the announcement. You want rock and roll? There it is. That band. Keith Gibbs, Jason Casanova, Craig Riggs. Holy shit. They are the American heavy rock ideal, unstoppable in their momentum until they pull the rug out from under and lock in another killer groove. They opened with “Just Couldn’t Stand the Weather.” I fucking love “Just Couldn’t Stand the Weather!” How did they know? And I kind of feel like people holding up their cellphone flashlights when the band asked for more light on the stage was as close as the universe was going to come to doing me personal favors tonight, beyond simply being here. But Sasquatch have already been back on tour and they’ve got more in the works as I understand it, but god damn, just go see them. Just go. How many bands pass 20 years since they started and still deliver like that? There are a couple on the bill tonight, actually, but outside this building it’s far rarer. It was packed in the room 15 minutes before they went on, and the lights were low again, but whatever, it’s fucking Sasquatch. Bullshit need not apply.

Corrosion of Conformity

Corrosion of Conformity 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

They went on 15 minutes late, which, you know, so it goes when there’s no one else playing behind you. Plenty of Judas Priest to listen to in the meantime. By the time they were through the jammmy take on “Paranoid Opioid” that opened the set, Mike Dean starting it off quiet on bass — fucking rad — time didn’t matter. Plenty of the standards in the set, including “Vote with a Bullet,” which I wondered if they’d break out (Pepper Keenan said something about it on stage but I didn’t catch what), but I guess it’s been a year since there was an insurrection on the Capitol Hill, so, fair game. Highlight for me might’ve been “Born Again for the Last Time,” which will be stuck in my head forever and that’s just fine, but there was plenty of competition there, and I was just really, really happy to see them again. I wonder if they’ll do another record. That’d be interesting. They probably don’t need to yet, really — I don’t think there was anything from the latest album in the set — but I’d be curious what they came up with after a few quiet years and the road time they put in before and apparently after the covid era, such as it is. Bottom line though is new album or not, I’ve been listening to this band since before I hit puberty and every chance I get to watch them play I’m happy to do it. More so as time goes on.

Other Random Observations:

– Dude in the Ween shirt wins shirts. In general there’s a bit of deviance from the black-shirt-blue-jeans norm. I support that.

– I have good friends here, new and old. It’s important to remember that. I have been and continue to be pretty isolated in regular life.

– Lot of couples attending.

– Knockdown Center could have four stages going, easy, and that’s before you put anything outside other than the food trucks.

– I have hugged and been hugged more this evening than in the last two and a half years.

– I’m still not 100 percent sure if I’m in Brooklyn or Queens. Life, huh?

– Still feels a little weird being out, but I brought a mask and I haven’t felt compelled to wear it as yet, so that’s… progress?

– Thanks for reading.

More pics after the jump.

Read more »

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RippleFest Texas 2022 Lineup Finalized

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 22nd, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Back for its second year and with a fourth day in tow, Ripplefest Texas 2022 confirms its full lineup, a total beast of legends and newcomers. Really, I don’t even know what to say here except that if you’re lucky enough to go, it’s probably the kind of thing you’re going to remember for a long gosh-darn time, and it’s the kind of lineup that serves as lording-over fodder on the part of those who were there to those who weren’t. Well, at least it would if the heavy underground weren’t too cool to each other for that kind of gatekeeping nonsense. In any case, this looks like a massive undertaking to put on, and the roster of assembled acts gets a hearty ‘fucking a’ from my corner of the universe.

Tickets for all four days will run you $150, but I feel like the festival earns that on both quality and quantity of product.

Here’s the announcement, info and links:

ripplefest texas 2022 final poster

RIPPLE FEST TEXAS – The Far Out Lounge – July 21-24

4-day passes available now!

RippleFest Texas 2022 is back and the lineup is as big and hot as Texas itself! 4 days of blistering hot music at Austin’s premier music venue The Far Out Lounge. There will be everything from crushing heavy riffs, to acoustic and banjo picking, to improvisation jam sessions and puppet shows! So many legends and great music that this will be a 4 day weekend you will not want to miss!


Eagles of Death Metal, The Sword, Crowbar, Mothership, Big Business, The Obsessed, Stöner, Spirit Adrift, The Heavy Eyes, Sasquatch, REZN, Fatso Jetson, Heavy Temple, J.D. Pinkus, Lord Buffalo, Lo-Pan, Wino, El Perro, Void Vator, Hippie Death Cult, Howling Giant, Doctor Smoke, Nick Oliveri, High Desert Queen, Destroyer of Light, Ape Machine, High Priestess, Dryheat, Rubber Snake Charmers, Sun Crow, Holy Death Trio, Bone Church, Horseburner, Spirit Mother, Thunder Horse, Mother Iron Horse, The Age of Truth, Salem’s Bend, Las Cruces, All Souls, Kind, Fostermother, The Absurd, Godeye, Ole English, Mr. Plow, Snake Mountain Revival, Blue Heron, Grail, Formula 400, Rickshaw Billie’s Burger Patrol, Eagle Claw, Bridge Farmers.

The Far Out Lounge is located at 8504 South Congress. Winner of Best New Venue at the Austin Music Awards 2020.

Lo-Pan, Live at the Grog Shop, Cleveland, Ohio, Feb 18, 2022

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Ripplefest Texas 2022 Makes First Lineup Announcements

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Expanded to four days and moved to a new home in Austin, Ripplefest Texas 2022 will take place from July 21-24 and has begun to parcel out its lineup to the public sphere. There are four bands included in the first announcement, which is one per day, if you’re counting — mind you I have no clue as to the schedule and who will actually play when — so let’s assume that in the coming weeks and months we’ll be hearing more from Lick of My Spoon Productions, which is putting together the event for its second year in conjunction, of course, with Ripple Music itself.

Two things immediately noteworthy here. Not all the bands are on RippleRezn and Stöner aren’t, at least as of now — and while Mothership are repeat customers and a flagship heavy rock band to represent Texas, Sun Crow are from Seattle, Rezn from Chicago and Stöner from California. Clearly Ripplefest Texas is expanding on multiple fronts. As they open up possibilities for more at what I hope will be a very air-conditioned Far Out Lounge in Austin, the first four confirmations came through social media thusly:

ripplefest texas 2022 header


We’ve added another day!!! Just have too many good bands set to play so it’s now a 4 day fest! We will see you July 21st-24th, 2022 at The Far Out Lounge in Austin, Tx!

ripplefest texas 2022 mothership


We are proud to announce that the intergalactic heavy rock band from Dallas, Tx will be back in 2022! After their bone crushing and high energy performance last year we had to make sure they would be back!

There is not a better band to kick off our daily announcements of bands that will be at RippleFest Texas 2022 than one of Ripple Music’s finest from right here in the Lone Star State.

ripplefest texas stoner


Rad stays rad. A few ideas are timeless. Stöner is Brant Bjork (guitar/vocals), Nick Oliveri (bass/vocals) and Ryan Gut (drums), and from flowing jams to all-out punker blasts, they know what they’re doing. It ain’t nobody’s first time at the dance, and you don’t call your band Stöner if you’ve never heard the word before. Stöner, however straight-ahead their moniker, encompass varied styles and the songwriting of Bjork and Oliveri- both founders of Kyuss, also Mondo Generator, Ché, Fu Manchu, Bloodcot and more between them. Atop the classic-style swing and flow from Gut (also of Bjork’s solo band), Stöner keep it casual and wear the name as only those who helped create the sound could.

We are excited to be bringing these legends of the desert to Texas! They will also be releasing their second record in 2022 on @heavypsychsounds_records

ripplefest texas sun crow


The music churned out by Chicago quartet REZN somehow manages to convey both crushing mass and cosmic weightlessness. The seed for the band’s megaton riffs and psychedelic journeys was planted when guitarist Rob McWilliams and bassist Phil Cangelosi began jamming together at age twelve in the DC commuter town of Leesburg, VA. They relocated to Chicago in 2015, recruited local sound engineer Patrick Dunn to bash on the drums, and set about recording their debut album—the molten amp worship service Let It Burn—after playing just three shows together. They invited their friend Spencer Ouellette into the studio to round out their bottom-heavy sound with the hum-and-squall of modular synth, and the added textural component immediately became a key facet to their sound.

We couldn’t be more excited to be bringing Rezn’s unique sound and live show to Texas! This festival is surely turning into a burner!

ripplefest texas sun crow


Sun Crow is a heavy rock band from Seattle. Rain-soaked doom blues, moss-covered stoner rock, grey sky heavy psych, calling from the old spirits of high volume heavy rock. Clocking a monolithic 70 minutes of gloomy Northwest haze, their debut Quest for Oblivion was well received and highly regarded by the heavy underground. The band joined the Ripple Music family in early 2021 to create a heavy partnership that saw world-wide distribution of their molten debut, and will bring smoldering releases into the future.

We couldn’t be more excited to be bringing this band down to Texas from the Northwest. Their first show in the Lone Star State will not be one you will want to miss!

Get you tickets now! 4 day “early bird” priced tickets are available. Link in our bio or at

Ripplefest Texas 2021 after-movie (director’s cut)

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Psycho Las Vegas Announces Psycho Waxx Label; Recruits High on Fire & More for Motörhead Tribute

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

But wait, there’s more! On the very day it begins hosting its 2021 festival, Psycho Las Vegas has announced a new label imprint, Psycho Waxx. Sadly I don’t think they’re hiring A&R, otherwise I’d surely apply for the job and clog there roster with Swedish bands who won’t sell. Shame though.

Instead, they throw their hats into the tribute compilation game — who doesn’t like a gritty reboot? — with Löve Me Förever, a suitably umlauted homage to Motörhead that will boast new recordings from High on Fire, Blackwater Holylight, Mothership, Nick Oliveri and a slew of others. One expects that by the time it’s out it will be completely over the top, because Psycho is nothing if not on-brand in how they do.

One would remiss not to note that Löve Me Förever isn’t the first of recent heavy underground Motörhead tributes. Midwestern label The Company exceeded a Kickstarter goal to produce Ferociously Stöned: The Company Tribute to Motörhead, which it released in April and has out on physical as well as digital formats, with Keef Mountain, Hyborian and others in the label’s sphere taking part. While we’re on the subject, Psycho Waxx‘s Motörhead tribute probably won’t be the last either. These kinds of thing are going to be happening for a long time. At least as long as they sell, if not longer.

What follows came from social media:

love me forever motorhead tribute vinyl

PREORDERS are now open for LÖVE ME FÖREVER, a @psychowaxx tribute to one of the greatest rock ‘n roll bands of all time.

Motörhead is embedded deep in Psycho’s DNA, which is why we’ve got a slew of this year’s bombers hitting our Downtown Vegas studio during the fest to lay down their love in epic homage to the undeniable legends.

Löve Me Förever arrives on lavish double vinyl in 2022, with insane Motörhead cuts from the likes of HIGH ON FIRE, MIDNIGHT, EXHORDER, BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT, EYEHATEGOD, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, MOTHERSHIP, FOIE GRAS, HOWLING GIANT, CREEPING DEATH and more, plus an all-star collaborative take on “Ace of Spades” featuring Phil Anselmo, Gary Holt, Chuck Garric, Nick Oliveri and Dwid Hellion, among others. It’s everything you’d expect from Psycho as we throw down the gauntlet on our first official release.

2021 Psycho Las Vegas attendees pre-ordering on site at the fest will take home a limited edition cover art print, and receive a deluxe Psycho Waxx slipmat with record shipment. Art prints can be picked up at the Psycho showroom on Sunday, August 22 at 3 PM, held under the name on your pre-order.

Motörhead, “Love Me Forever”

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Psycho Las Vegas 2021 Announces Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 24th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

If you’re looking for insight into the Psycho Las Vegas 2021 lineup, I have precious little to offer. What started out being accused of being an American answer to Roadburn has become a spectacle unto itself, operating at a scale that’s more in competition with the likes of a heavy metal Riot Fest or Coachella, and has likewise developed a community of its own. As for what catches my eye here, Cephalic Carnage for sure, as well as a few carryovers from what would’ve been 2020, and the likes of The Sword, who I guess are back together now? Fair enough. Oh, and the GZA, for good measure. Katatonia and Mercyful Fate and Elder and a couple others aren’t making the trip, but there’s certainly plenty here to occupy your weekend. If the Vegas-in-August heat don’t melt your brains, the riffs surely will.

What’s a guy gotta do to get invited to do a DJ set at Psycho Las Vegas? I’m gonna send Nate Carson an email and see if he’s got any tips.

Ty Segall next to Satyricon. Fatso Jetson and Profanatica. Immolation and Dengue Fever. The Flaming Lips and Cannibal Corpse. If you’re asking for it to make sense, you’re doing Psycho wrong. This is an event that defines its own parameters.

Approach thusly:

psycho las vegas 2021 banner


America’s rock n’ roll bacchanal returns to Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino August 20th through August 22nd, with another resort-wide casino takeover unlike any of its kind.

Now approaching its fifth year in the swirling neon decadence of Las Vegas, PSYCHO will feature over seventy artists across four stages including the world-class Events Center, the iconic House Of Blues, Mandalay Bay Beach, and the vintage Vegas-style Rhythm & Riffs Lounge in the center of the casino floor.

PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2021 will continue to redefine America’s conception of what a festival can be.

Psycho Swim “The Official Psycho Las Vegas Pre-Party”
Old Man Gloom, Bongzilla, Death Valley Girls, Polyrhythmics, The Skull, Blackwater Holylight, Here Lies Man, DJ Scott Seltzer

Emperor, GZA, Mayhem, Obituary, Ty Segall, Satyricon, Watain, Paul Cauthen, The Sword, Cephalic Carnage, Health, The Bridge City Sinners, MGLA, Intronaut, Exhorder, Pinback, King Dude, Khemmis, Mothership, Toke, Lord Buffalo, Psychlona, Claude Fontaine, Hippie Death Cult, Foie Gras, ALMS, Mother Mercury, DJ Ethan MCCarthy, DJ Scott Seltzer, DJ Nate Carson, DJ Painkiller, Danzig, The Flaming Lips, Thievery Corporation, Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Red Fang, Cursive, Pig Destroyer, Poison the Well, Eyehategod, Primitive Man, Death by Stereo, Curl Up & Die, Boysetsfire, Fatso Jetson, Profanatica, Adamantium, Silvertomb, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Withered, Flavor Crystal, Highlands, Vaelmyst, Black Sabbitch, The Tim Dillon Comedy Hour, Down, Exodus, High on Fire, Osees, Amigo the Devil, Drab Majesty, Crippled Black Phoenix, Weedeater, Full of Hell, Midnight, Repulsion, Cult of Fire, Zola Jesus, Tsol, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Guantanamo Baywatch, Immolation, Dengue Fever, Creeping Death, Kanga, Warish, Glacial Tomb, Relaxer, Vitriol, DJ Scott Seltzer, “Ask Doc” Q&A with Doc Mcghee

Psycho Las Vegas 2019 aftermovie

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