Freak Valley 2020 Adds Witchcraft, Pelican, Camera, The Neptune Power Federation & We Hunt Buffalo

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2020 banner

Long-since sold out, Freak Valley 2020 has made its second lineup announcement, and I know it pretty well because I wrote it. I like putting these things together. I’ve done various other fest writeups for years for different events — Roadburn, Desertfest, Psycho, etc. — but as far as I know, I’m the only one doing Freak Valley Festival lineup announcements, so I kind of feel like I’m responsible in part for creating the voice the fest uses to reach its audience. And since I think the thing is clearly driven by passion and a sense of being fans as well as presenters, I hope these posts convey that. I dig what Freak Valley do, and it will be nothing short of an honor for me to step foot in Siegen and witness it for myself next June.

Here’s the latest:

freak valley 2020 squared up

WITCHCRAFT | PELICAN | CAMERA | THE NEPTUNE POWER FEDERATION | WE HUNT BUFFALO confirmed for Freak Valley Festival 2020

Hails Freaks! It’s time to get down!

We’ve been looking forward to this announcement since, well, pretty much since the first one, but we think you’ll agree things are starting to take shape for Freak Valley Festival 2020.

Before we dive in, we here at FVF want to thank you all so much for the tremendous support and faith you’ve shown in us yet again by snagging tickets less than half an hour after they went on sale, so long before the bands are even done being revealed. It means more than we can say to have your trust year after year, and we promise you, we will never take it for granted and stop working to bring you the best and biggest Freak Valley yet!

That said, let’s do this thing. Five bands this time, and like we do, it’s no fillers, all killers:

Witchcraft

From their earliest days defining the course of vintage-style heavy rock and doom to the later modern clarity they’ve found as they’ve followed the increasingly nuanced and progressive path of Magnus Pelander’s songwriting, Witchcraft come to Freak Valley as utter legends, and not just because they pulled out a record called ‘Legend’ either. They’ve left a mark on the underground like few of their generation, and like even fewer, they still hold as much promise for the future as they do glories of the past. In short, Witchcraft are essential. We welcome them to our stage for the first time as fans as well as those working behind the scenes.

Pelican

If Pelican aren’t already on your must-see list for Freak Valley 2020 after just seeing the word above, take a second right now to make the addition. The Chicago natives are also first-timers at FVF, and we’re proud to host them as they celebrate their latest LP, ‘Nighttime Stories,’ which continues their distinguished progressive arc that has both inspired others in their wake on multiple continents and remained vital, as the record itself proves. This one feels overdue, and we can’t wait.

Camera

When we heard Camera’s 2018 album, ‘Emotional Detox,’ we knew it was only a matter of time before their spacey, krauty, gorgeous melodic psychedelia and progressive rock flourished on the Freak Valley stage. Moving past their ultra-krautrock beginnings to a richer form of prog, their work remains equal parts hypnotic and adventurous, and as it will have been two years since the release by the time they get here, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for some new material as well!

The Neptune Power Federation

It will truly be a valley of the freaks when The Neptune Power Federation come to our humble stage. We’ll be blessed to be in the presence of Screaming Loz Sutch herself as she fronts this Sydney, Australia-based troupe of ultra-weirdo freakout psych rockers. Now signed to Cruz Del Sur Music, they’ll hit Netphen-Deuz in support of 2019’s ‘Memoirs of a Rat Queen,’ and if you’re someone who thinks you’ve heard it all, it won’t be half a minute before this album proves how wrong you are. We mean it. Listen to that record. See this band. It is no coincidence that we’re brought them on board.

We Hunt Buffalo

As to what the mighty buffalo ever did to them, we can’t say, but We Hunt Buffalo are a trio from Canada who’ll celebrate a decade together in 2020. Their 2018 offering, ‘Head Smashed In,’ was way friendlier than its title made it sound — we promise — their fuzz rock remains second to none from the Great White North, as they’re more than happy to demonstrate to anyone fortunate enough to stand in front of the stage to see them. Guess what? We think that should include you. Expect a party with your new best B.C. buds when these Vancouver riffoliths bring their game to Freak Valley.

FREAK VALLEY 2020
No Fillers – Just Killers

https://www.facebook.com/events/2434350453469407/
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley/

The Neptune Power Federation, Memoirs of a Rat Queen (2019)

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Quarterly Review: Pelican, Swan Valley Heights, Mark Deutrom, Greenbeard, Mount Soma, Nibiru, Cable, Reino Ermitaño, Cardinals Folly & Lucifer’s Fall, Temple of the Fuzz Witch

Posted in Reviews on July 8th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

More computer bullshit this morning. I lost about 45 minutes because my graphics driver and Windows 10 apparently hate each other and before I could disable the former, the machine decided the best it could do for me was to load a blank screen. Hard to find the Pelican record on my desktop when I can’t see my desktop. The Patient Mrs. woke up while I was trying to fix it and suggested HDMIing it to the tv. When I did that, it didn’t project as was hoped, but the display came on — because go figure — and I was able to shut off the driver, the only real advantage of which is it lets me use the night light feature so it’s easier on my eyes. That’s nice, but I’d rather have the laptop function. Not really working on a level of “give me soft red light or give me death!” at this point. I may yet get there in my life.

Today’s the last day of this beast, wrapping up the last of the 60 reviews, and I’m already in the hole for the better part of an hour thanks to this technical issue, the second of the week. Been an adventure, this one. Let’s close it out.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Pelican, Nighttime Stories

pelican nighttime stories

Split into two LPs each with its own three-minute mood-setter — those being “WST” and “It Stared at Me,” respectively — Pelican‘s Nighttime Stories (on Southern Lord) carries the foreboding sensibility of its title into an aggressive push throughout the album, which deals from the outset with the pain of loss. The lead single “Midnight and Mescaline” represents this well in directly following “WST,” with shades of more extreme sounds in the sharp-turning guitar interplay and tense drums, but it carries through the blastbeats of “Abyssal Plain” and the bombastic crashes of presumed side B closer “Cold Hope” as well, which flow via a last tonal wash toward the melancholy “It Stared at Me” and the even-more-aggro title-track, the consuming “Arteries of Blacktop” and the eight-minute “Full Moon, Black Water,” which offers a build of maddening chug — a Pelican hallmark — before resolving in melodic serenity, moving, perhaps, forward with and through its grief. It’s been six years since Pelican‘s last LP, Forever Becoming (review here), and they’ve responded to that time differential with the hardest-hitting record they’ve ever done.

Pelican on Thee Facebooks

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Swan Valley Heights, The Heavy Seed

swan valley heights the heavy seed

Though the peaceful beginning of 13-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Heavy Seed,” for which the five-song album is named, reminds of Swan Valley Heights‘ Munich compatriots in Colour Haze, the ultimate impression the band make on their Fuzzorama Records debut and second album overall behind a 2016 self-titled (review here) is more varied in its execution, with cuts like “Vaporizer Woman” and the centerpiece “Take a Swim in God’s Washing Machine” manifesting ebbs and flows and rolling out a fuzzy largesse to lead into dream-toned ethereality and layered vocals that immediately call to mind Elephant Tree. There’s a propensity for jamming, but they’re not a jam band, and seem always to have a direction in mind. That’s true even on the three-minute instrumental “My First Knife Fight,” which unfurls around a nod riff and simple drum progression to bridge into closer “Teeth and Waves,” a bookend to The Heavy Seed‘s title-track that revives that initial grace and uses it as a stepping stone for the crunch to come. It’s a balance that works and should be well received.

Swan Valley Heights on Thee Facebooks

Fuzzorama Records on Bandcamp

 

Mark Deutrom, The Blue Bird

Mark Deutrom The Blue Bird

Released in the wee hours of 2019, Mark Deutrom‘s The Blue Bird marks the first new solo release from the prolific Austin-based songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist through Season of Mist, and it’s a 50-minute run of genre-spanning outsider art, bringing ’70s folk vibes to the weepy guitar echoes of “Radiant Gravity” right before “O Ye of Little Faith” dooms out for six of its seven minutes and “Our Revels Now Are Ended” basks in 77 seconds of experimentalist winding guitar. It goes like that. Vocals are intermittent enough to not necessarily be expected, but not entirely absent through the midsection of “Hell is a City,” “Somnambulist” and “Maximum Hemingway,” and if there’s traditionalism at play anywhere, it might be in “They Have Won” and “The Happiness Machine,” which, toward the back end of the album, bring a sax-laden melancholy vibe and a straightforward heavy rock feel, respectively, ahead of the closer “Nothing out There,” which ties them together, somehow accounting for the 1:34 “On Fathers Day” as well in its sweetness. Don’t go into The Blue Bird asking it to make sense on any level other than its own and you should be fine. It’s not a minor undertaking at 50 minutes, and not without its indulgences, but even the briefest of pieces helps develop the character of the whole, which of course is essential to any good story.

Mark Deutrom website

Season of Mist website

 

Greenbeard, Onward, Pillager

greenbeard onward pillager

Austin bringers of hard-boogie Greenbeard reportedly issued the three-song Onward, Pillager as a precursor to their next full-length — even the name hints toward it being something of a stopgap — but its tracks stand well on their own, whether it’s the keyboard-laced “Contact High II,” which is presumably a sequel to another track on the forthcoming record, or the chunkier roll of “WCCQ” and the catchy finisher “Kill to Love Yourself,” with its overlaid guitar solo adding to a dramatic ending. It hasn’t been that long since 2017’s Lödarödböl (review here), but clearly these guys are committed to moving forward in neo-stoner rock fashion, and their emergence as songwriters is highlighted particularly throughout “WCCQ” and “Kill to Love Yourself,” while “Contact High II” is more of an intro or a would-be interlude on the full-length. It may only be pieces of a larger, to-be-revealed picture, but Onward, Pillager shows three different sides of what Greenbeard have on offer, and the promise of more to come is one that will hopefully be kept sooner rather than later.

Greenbeard on Thee Facebooks

Sailor Records on Bandcamp

 

Mount Soma, Nirodha

mount_soma_nirodha

Each of the three songs on Mount Soma‘s densely-weighted, live-recorded self-released Nirodha EP makes some mention of suffering in its lyrics, and indeed, that seems to be the theme drawing together “Dark Sun Destroyer” (7:40), “Emerge the Wolf” (5:50) and “Resurfacing” (9:14): a quest for transcendence perhaps in part due to the volume of the music and the act itself of creating it. Whatever gets them there, the trajectory of Nirodha is such that by the time they hit into the YOB-style galloping toward the end of “Resurfacing,” the gruff shouts of “rebirth!” feel more celebratory than ambitious. Based in Dublin, the four-piece bring a fair sense of space to their otherwise crush-minded approach, and though the EP is rough — it is their second short release following 2016’s Origins — they seem to have found a way to tie together outer and inner cosmos with an earthbound sense of gravity and heft, and with the more intense shove of “Emerge the Wolf” between the two longer tracks, they prove themselves capable of bringing a noisy charge amid all that roar and crash. They did the first EP live as well. I wonder if they’d do the same for a full-length.

Mount Soma on Thee Facebooks

Mount Soma on Bandcamp

 

Nibiru, Salbrox

nibiru salbrox

One might get lost in the unmanageable 64-minute wash of Nibiru‘s fifth full-length (first for Ritual Productions), Salbrox, but the opaque nature of the proceedings is part of the point. The Italian ritualists bring forth a chaotic depth of noise and harsh semi-spoken rasps of vocals reportedly in the Enochian language, and from 14-minute opener “EHNB” — also the longest track (immediate points) — through the morass that follows in “Exarp,” “Hcoma,” “Nanta” and so on, the album is a willful slog that challenges the listener on nearly every level. This is par for the course for Nibiru, whose last outing was 2017’s Qaal Babalon (review here), and they seem to revel in the slow-churning gruel of their distortion, turning from it only to break to minimalism in the second half of the album with “Abalpt” and “Bitom” before 13-minute closer “Rziorn” storms in like a tsunami of spiritually desolate plunge. It is vicious and difficult to hear, and again, that is exactly what it’s intended to be.

Nibiru on Thee Facebooks

Ritual Productions website

 

Cable, Take the Stairs to Hell

Cable Take the Stairs to Hell

The gift of Cable was to take typically raw Northeastern disaffection and channel it into a noise rock that wasn’t quite as post-this-or-that as Isis, but still had a cerebral edge that more primitive fare lacked. They were methodical, and 10 years after their last record, the Hartford, Connecticut, outfit return with the nine-song/30-minute Take the Stairs to Hell (on Translation Loss), which brings them back into the modern sphere with a sound that is no less relevant than it was bouncing between This Dark Reign, Hydra Head and Translation Loss between 2001 and 2004. They were underrated then and may continue to be now, but the combination of melody and bite in “Black Medicine” and the gutty crunch of “Eyes Rolled Back,” the post-Southern heavy of the title-track and the lumbering pummel of “Rivers of Old” before it remind of how much of a standout Cable was in the past, reinforcing that not only were they ahead of their time then, but that they still have plenty to offer going forward. They may continue to be underrated as they always were, but their return is significant and welcome.

Cable on Instagram

Translation Loss Records webstore

 

Reino Ermitaño, Reino Ermitaño

Reino Ermitano Reino Ermitano

Originally released in 2003, the self-titled debut from Lima, Peru’s Reino Ermitaño was a beacon and landmark in Latin American doom, with a sound derived from the genre’s traditions — Sabbath, Trouble, etc. — and melded with not only Spanish-language lyrics, but elements of South American folk and stylizations. Reissued on vinyl some 16 years later, it maintains its power through the outside-time level of its craft, sliding into that unplaceable realm of doom that could be from any point from about 1985 onward, while the melodies in the guitar of Henry Guevara and the vocals of Tania Duarte hold sway over the central groove of bassist Marcos Coifman and drummer Julio “Ñaka” Almeida. Those who were turned onto the band at the time will likely know they’ve released five LPs to-date, with the latest one from 2014, but the Necio Records version marks the first time the debut has been pressed to vinyl, and so is of extra interest apart from the standard putting-it-out-there-again reissue. Collectors and a new generation of doomers alike would be well advised on an educational level, and of course the appeal of the album itself far exceeds that.

Reino Ermitaño on Thee Facebooks

Necio Records on Bandcamp

 

Cardinals Folly & Lucifer’s Fall, Split

cardinals folly lucifers fall split

Though one hails from Helsinki, Finland, and the other from Adelaide, Australia, Cardinals Folly and Lucifer’s Fall could hardly be better suited to share the six-song Cruz Del Sur split LP that they do, which checks in at 35 minutes of trad doom riffing and dirtier fare. The former is provided by Cardinals Folly, who bring a Reverend Bizarre-style stateliness to “Spiritual North” and “Walvater Proclaimed!” before betraying their extreme metal roots on “Sworn Through Odin’s and Satan’s Blood,” while the Oz contingent throw down Saint Vitus-esque punk-born fuckall through “Die Witch Die,” the crawling “Call of the Wild” and the particularly brash and speedier “The Gates of Hell.” The uniting thread of course is homage to doom itself, but each band brings enough of their own take to complement each other without either contradicting or making one or the other of them feel redundant, and rather, the split works out to be a rampaging, deeply-drunk, pagan-feeling celebration of what doom is and how it has been internalized by each of these groups. Doom over the world? Yeah, something like that.

Cardinals Folly on Thee Facebooks

Lucifer’s Fall on Thee Facebooks

Cruz Del Sur Music website

 

Temple of the Fuzz Witch, Temple of the Fuzz Witch

Temple of the Fuzz Witch Temple of the Fuzz Witch

A strong current of Electric Wizard runs through the self-titled debut full-length from Detroit’s Temple of the Fuzz Witch (on Seeing Red Records), but even to that, the outfit led by guitarist/vocalist Noah Bruner bring a nascent measure of individuality, droning into and through “Death Hails” after opening with “Bathsheba” and ahead of unveiling a harmonized vocal on “The Glowing of Satan” that suits the low end distortion surprisingly well. They continue to offer surprises throughout, whether it’s the spaciousness of centerpiece “329” and “Infidel,” which follows, or the offsetting of minimalism and crush on “The Fuzz Witch” and the creeper noise in the ending of “Servants of the Sun,” and though there are certainly familiar elements at play, Temple of the Fuzz Witch come across with an intent to take what’s been done before and make it theirs. In that regard, they would seem to be on the right track, and in their 41 minutes, they find footing in a murky aesthetic and are able to convey a sense of songwriting without sounding heavy-handed. There’s nothing else I’d ask of their first album.

Temple of the Fuzz Witch on Thee Facebooks

Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

 

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Desertfest Belgium 2019 Adds Pelican, Steak, Ungraven & Swan Valley Heights to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

It’s stuff like Desertfest Belgium’s intimate Basement Sessions that goes so far to distinguish it from among the other Fall fests in Europe. Ungraven, the solo-project of Conan‘s Jon Davis has been announced as the first one for 2019, while Pelican will play the fest proper supporting their new album, and Steak and recent Fuzzorama signees Swan Valley Heights have also joined the bill. You know we’re getting closer to the complete lineup when the logos start filling out the poster, but it looks like there’s still plenty more to come from Desertfest Belgium 2019, so well worth staying tuned, especially to see who else will be down in the basement this year.

Here’s the latest off the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 new poster

PELICAN and STEAK Play Desertfest Antwerp, Basement Sessions are back!

We are honoured to announce that the majestic PELICAN will play this year’s Desertfest Antwerp! In June the band will release ‘Nighttime Stories’, their first studio album in six years, so expect them to pummel you hard with a set of new songs.
For those who like their rock’n’roll straight and kickin’ shit with two feet forward, we also have Steak from London added to our bill. And for those who seek deep space explorations, look no further than Swan Valley Heights. You all know by know that Germany plus Stoner equals Tripping Balls, so you know you’re in good hands with these Munich dudes.

The Basement Sessions are also back with a vengeance! Last year, these special limited shows were very well received, so we decided to expand on the idea. Practical details are forthcoming, but we can already let you know the first act we got on board for this: Jon Davis (Conan) will do an exclusive set of his solo project Ungraven, channeling the sound of 90s industrial metal.

We’ll have some more for you next week, in the meantime don’t sleep on them tickets! Have you got yours already?

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Pelican, Nighttime Stories (2019)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Recap: Episode 15

Posted in Radio on April 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

gimme radio logo

It was last Friday about an hour before I had to head out for the start of Desertfest NYC that I cut the voice breaks for this episode, once again on my phone, while in transit. I did the same thing last time and it sounded like crap. I know the stakes are pretty low — that is, nobody really cares — but if you’re going to do a thing, at least try to do it well. I backed off the phone this time and hopefully that cut some of the overmodulation in my voice.

I say “hopefully” because I actually haven’t heard the show yet. I was at the fest on Sunday while it aired, so I’ll be catching the rerun at 9AM this Thursday when that’s on. This is the 15th episode of The Obelisk Show and it’s been an exceptionally busy few weeks, but it’s still fun to put together, and there were some killer tracks included this time from Worshipper, Abrahma, Molasses, Stone Machine Electric, The Well, Kandodo, Methadone Skies, and so on. Any opportunity to throw in some Øresund Space Collective makes me happy, so that was a must, and I was kind of also doing myself a favor in including Natas as the “classic track” (yay! classic track!) for the episode.

So basically, unless I crapped it up, at least the music is good. That’s what matters anyhow, or so I’m told.

Here’s the full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 04.28.19

Pelican Midnight and Mescaline Nighttime Stories*
Abrahma Lost Forever In Time for the Last Rays of Light*
Worshipper Coming Through Light in the Wire*
BREAK
Molasses Drops of Sunlight Mourning Haze*
Los Mundos Subterráneo Mar Jurásico Calor Central*
Kandodo King Vulture K3*
Omen Stones Fresh Hell Omen Stones*
The Well This is How the World Ends Death and Consolation*
BREAK
Natas Samurai Delmar
Smear Old Town A Band Called Shmear*
Methadone Skies Where Were You When We Were into the Void? Different Layers of Fear*
Stone Machine Electric Purgatory Darkness, Dimensions, Disillusion*
BREAK
Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle Afterglow in the Sea of Sirens Freak Out in the Fjord*

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every other Sunday night at 7PM Eastern, with replays the following Thursday at 9AM. Next show is April 28. Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Radio website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

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Pelican Announce New Album Nighttime Stories out June 7; New Single Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Pelican (photo by Marfa Capodanno)

I’m curious to know who did the cover art for Pelican‘s upcoming long-player, Nighttime Stories, as I’d like to put it in my notes for some of the best album artwork of 2019. I’m not big on posters from the merch table, because who the hell wants to carry a cardboard tube around for the rest of the show — or worse, not have the cardboard tube and just the naked poster dodging everyone’s beers — but I’d look long and hard at one with that cover on it. It’s gorgeous. It’s been a whopping six years since 2013’s Forever Becoming (review here), which was the last Pelican full-length, and the new streaming single “Midnight and Mescaline” only further piques interest at what these guys might have going nowadays. As the PR wire tells, they’ve been through some ups and downs in the last half-decade-plus, and they’ve always been able to portray an emotional presence in their work, despite the vast majority of it being instrumental.

This is a band people will like forever. Pelican were never going to capture the biggest fanbase in the world, but the enduring affection for their work runs deep among the converted. I’ve considered myself a fan for a long time, so take it with a grain of salt, but they have been and remain something special, and their influence is greater than they get credit for it being.

Nighttime Stories is out June 7 on Southern Lord.

[Update: the art is by Aaron Turner. Should’ve known.]

From the PR wire:

pelican nighttime stories

PELICAN Announces New LP, Nighttime Stories, Set For June 7th Release Via Southern Lord Recordings; “Midnight And Mescaline” Now Streaming

PELICAN, the instrumental quartet whose singular vision of heavy music eschews classification, has announced their first full-length in six years, Nighttime Stories, is due June 7th via Southern Lord Recordings. The album’s lead single, “Midnight And Mescaline,” is out now digitally and hitting stores as a 7″ with exclusive B-side track “Darkness On The Stairs” as a Record Store Day exclusive last weekend.

The eight-song set on Nighttime Stories marks PELICAN’s first release written front to back with guitarist Dallas Thomas, who took over guitar duties upon founding member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec’s departure in 2012. In the process of writing the album the quartet endured a slew of realizations, tragedies, and glimmers of optimism that guided the creative process to the most potent work of their nineteen-year career. Though the new material veers towards the darker tone characteristic of PELICAN’s early songwriting, it’s hard to imagine a previous incarnation of the band writing songs as meticulously crafted and detail-oriented as those within Nighttime Stories, where the compositions recall everything from the triumphant call-to-arms of classic Dischord, to the vicious troglodyte battery of the Melvins, to the dynamic interwoven melodies of bottom-heavy indie cult heroes Chavez. Nowhere is this evinced as clearly as on initial album single “Midnight And Mescaline,” the album’s lead single.

Nighttime Stories was an album title initially proposed for Tusk, the hallucinatory art-grind band that included PELICAN members Trevor Shelley de Brauw, Larry Herweg, and Schroeder-Lebec, in addition to vocalist Jody Minnoch. The writing of Nighttime Stories was instigated shortly after Minnoch’s unexpected death in 2014, and some of the dissonant viscera and dark psychedelic structures that were characteristic of Tusk’s sound began to unconsciously inform the album’s direction. In homage to their departed colleague, PELICAN applied the previously discarded title and pulled many of the song titles from notes Minnoch had sent to inspire the direction of the unrealized album. As the writing of Nighttime Stories progressed, Thomas also experienced a heavy loss with the passing of his father, to whom the album pays tribute on opening track “W.S.T.” (on which Dallas performed his guitar parts on his father’s Yamaha acoustic).

PELICAN has always excelled at vacillating between the savage sounds of various niches of metal underground and the more delicate and nuanced sounds of Midwest’s cerebral indie community, proving that they can make either end of the spectrum more vibrant and compelling through the art of contrast. With Nighttime Stories, the pendulum has swung back to the angst and ire of their younger years while delivering it with the nuance and wisdom that’s come with nearly two decades of writing and performing. PELICAN heads out on a ten-city US tour in June with more dates in the works for later in the year.

Nighttime Stories Track Listing:
1. WST
2. Midnight And Mescaline
3. Abyssal Plain
4. Cold Hope
5. It Stared At Me
6. Nighttime Stories
7. Arteries Of Blacktop
8. Full Moon, Black Water

PELICAN w/ Cloakroom:
6/20/2019 Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI w/ Greet Death
6/21/2019 Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON
6/22/2019 Bar de Ritz – Montreal, QC
6/23/2019 Great Scott – Boston, MA
6/24/2019 Brooklyn Bazaar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Planning For Burial
6/25/2019 Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA w/ Planning For Burial
6/26/2019 Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
6/27/2019 Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA
6/28/2019 Northside Yacht Club – Cincinnati, OH
6/29/2019 Metro – Chicago, IL w/ Young Widows

http://www.pelicansong.com
http://www.facebook.com/pelicansong
http://www.twitter.com/pelicansong
http://www.instagram.com/pelicansong
http://www.southernlord.com
http://www.southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/SLadmin
http://twitter.com/twatterlord

Pelican, Nighttime Stories (2019)

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Desert Survival: How to Do Psycho Las Vegas on a Budget

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 18th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

psycho las vegas 2017 banner

Hey, if you’re going to go broke, let’s face it: You’re not likely to run into many causes as worthy as the lineup culled together for Psycho Las Vegas. It ain’t cheap — any event that advertises a payment plan obviously knows it’s a considerable ask — but whether you’re going to see Slo Burn for their only US gig or King Diamond doing Abigail or Mulatu Astatke because going to see Mulatu Astatke is a life-event, the arguments in favor are plentiful and convincing. Whatever else you want to say, Psycho Las Vegas is the first annually-held American festival with a focus on heavy and underground rock to really establish itself as world class.

That in itself is a reason to support the cause, whether it’s through a day ticket or a pass for the entire weekend, but it doesn’t necessarily lesson the expense of making the trip or staying in one of the US’ most lucrative tourist traps, let alone things like band merchandise, meals and the occasional adult beverage if you’re inclined to have one. The thought of seeing NeurosisSleep and Carcass share a stage over the course of a weekend or watching Conan, the new trio-incarnation of Pentagram and Yawning Man poolside or from the balcony of a room in the Casino Tower is incredible, and after hearing stories from those who undertook the journey in 2016 or attended the prior Psycho California in 2015, the idea wants nothing for appeal. Fiscal issues can be a bummer. By the time August rolls around, I’ll have been out of paid work for two months. I know how it goes.

And I’m hardly the most responsible person when it comes to money, but the truth of the matter is there are ways to mitigate costs for travel, lodging and other concerns, and if the thing preventing you from picking up a ticket to the show has been the seeming impossibility of affording a stay at the Hard Rock or of finding a cheap-enough flight to get there, maybe it’s worth trying to shift finances around to make it happen. Music is important, and when debt collectors are spamming your phone it’s hard to think about the non-cash value of life experiences, but the fact is the bills you need to pay will still be there. The bill with Corrosion of Conformity in a lineup alongside Kylesa‘s Laura Pleasants, Domkraft, Swans, Elephant Tree and Heavy Temple? Much less so.

Here are a few pointers that hopefully can save you a couple bucks. Some of it’s day-one stuff, but things like hotel picks and transportation nuances are good to know either way.

Check it out:

psycho-las-vegas-2017-poster

Flying In
• Buy tickets on a Tuesday for the cheapest rates.
• Use a discount flight search.
• If you can, fly in on Thursday and leave on Monday for better rates, search different days and times to come in and leave.
• Book early. Rates go up in the summer.

Getting There
• Ride apps cost less than cabs.
• The Hard Rock is less than a mile from the airport. Cheap trip anyway.
• There are free shuttles from most Vegas hotels to the strip and tourist attractions.

Staying There
• This one is huge… don’t stay at the Hard Rock if you can’t afford it! Alexis Park, RUMOR, Red Roof Inn are all across the street and cheap. Scope out a position on a map if you need to; that’s what Street View is there for.
• Partner up to share rooms. You’ve got social media and it’s not like you’re going to do more than sleep and (hopefully) shower there anyway. Might as well join forces and save expense where you can.

Drinks
• BYO. Vegas has open-container laws. If you think hooch is too expensive at the Hard Rock, get loaded on the sidewalk before you go in.
• One way or another, hydrate. You’re staying in the desert in August. Don’t be stupid.

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Lineup
Abbath, Ace Frehley, Black Anvil, Blood Ceremony, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Buzzov*en, Carcass, Celeste, Chelsea Wolfe, Cirith Ungol, Cloud Catcher, Code Orange, Conan, Corrosion of Conformity, Cough, Cult Leader, Cult Of Luna With Julie Christmas Diamond Head, Domkraft, Earthless, Elephant Tree, Eternal Tapestry, Fister, Floorian, Gatecreeper, GEQ, Gojira, Gost, Graf Orlock, Heavy Temple, Hollow Leg, Inter Arma, Khemmis, King Diamond, Laura Pleasants & Special Guests, Magma, Manilla Road, Merlin, Minsk, Morne, Mothership, Mouth of the Architect, Mulatu Astatke, Murder City Devils, Mustard Gas & Roses, Myrkur, Neurosis, North, Oathbreaker, Pelican, Pentagram, Psychic TV, The Rods, Ruby the Hatchet, Sasquatch, Saturndust, Sleep, Slo Burn, Slomatics, Snail, Sons of Otis, Sumac, Summoner, Swans, The Skull, Toke, Urchin, Usnea, Vhol, Weedeater, Windhand, Wizard Rifle, Wolves in the Throne Room, Yawning Man, Year of the Cobra, Youngblood Supercult, Zeal & Ardor.

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

Pentagram, “Relentless / Broken Vows” Live in Richmond, VA, 2017

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Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Makes Massive Lineup Announcement; Slo Burn, Vhöl, Pelican, Chelsea Wolfe, Melvins and Many More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 17th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Take a deep breath before you dive into the new lineup announcement from Psycho Las Vegas 2017. With 35-plus bands added, it officially qualifies as huge, and considering who those bands are — Slo Burn for a US-exclusive, plus bringing over the likes of Elephant Tree to play alongside SummonerHollow LegGatecreeper and others — it can be a lot to take in. If you haven’t had a meal yet today, you might want to eat something. Make sure you’re hydrated. Basically I want to avoid anyone fainting as a result of reading the list of bands. If you’re sensitive to flashing lights… you’re probably okay. But otherwise, check to see you have something soft to land on nearby, should you need it.

I missed Psycho this year owing to a new job and a general lack of funds. I’m not sure I can do the same in 2017. This one might just be a gotta-go kind of scenario. Fuckin’ Slomatics are gonna be there.

There are still more than 40 bands to announce, including headliners, whose names will be out at random points over the next 30 days.

Jeebus.

To the PR wire:

psycho las vegas 2017

Psycho Las Vegas 2017

August 18, 2017 – August 20, 2017
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

Psycho Las Vegas today announces over 35 new additions to its massive 2017 lineup. The festival has quickly become the premier event in the US for underground heavy rock, psych, doom, alternative and beyond, and as the roster grows for this year’s edition, they’re clearly looking to push their boundaries even further.

Headliners remain TBA, but joining previously-announced generation-defining acts like Neurosis, Swans and French prog lords Magma, come UK grind legends Carcass, whose reunion continues to bring gruesome tales of dissections and unparalleled.

They’ll be in good company with Norwegian black metal legend Abbath, formerly of Immortal, who released a raging self-titled debut album under his own name this year, New York’s Myrkur, whose own debut, M, disrupted black metal genre convention on nearly every level, and USBM innovators Wolves in the Throne Room, who continue to refine a style they helped establish more than a decade ago.

Look for the Melvins to boggle brains with their brand of heavy rock – still unique unto itself after more than three decades – as well as for the new project Crystal Fairy with Buzzo and Dale from the Melvins, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta) and Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes) to bring to life their debut album, which releases in February on Ipecac Recordings.

This latest announcement also brings sludge-laden chaos from the pair of Weedeater and Buzzov*en, and Chelsea Wolfe to emit a darkness that even Las Vegas in the summer won’t be able to hold at bay.

The reunited Slo Burn (vocalist John Garcia’s first project post-Kyuss) will play an exclusive US show at Psycho, and a special highlight performance from psych-jazz legend Mulatu Astatke is open eyes, ears and minds alike as he celebrates a career spanning more than 50 years.

Also added have been long-running mischief-makers Murder City Devils, alt-rock legends Echo and the Bunnymen, progressive thrashers Vhöl (members of YOB and Agalloch), Pelican, Cult of Luna, Psychic TV, and as it did with the landmark 2016 edition, the fest digs deep into the heavy rock underground once again to unearth the best of up-and-coming bands from the States and beyond. Along with the already confirmed riff-crushers Windhand, Blood Ceremony, Slomatics and Domkraft, Elephant Tree (UK) have signed on alongside fellow fest-newcomers Khemmis, Sumac, Gatecreeper, Snail, North, Cult Leader, Hollow Leg, Summoner, Floorian, Wizard Rifle, Merlin and Morne.

Further lineup announcements will follow in the New Year — including headliners — so stay tuned for more from the best and biggest heavy festival the US has ever seen.

Psycho Las Vegas 2017 Confirmed lineup:
MURDER CITY DEVILS
NEUROSIS
MULATU ASTATKE
SWANS
CARCASS
WOLVES IN THE THRONEROOM
CRYSTAL FAIRY
MAGMA
CHELSEA WOLFE
SLO BURN
CULT OF LUNA
ABBATH
SUMAC
MYRKUR
PELICAN
WEEDEATER
ZEAL & ARDOR
SLOMATICS
OATHBREAKER
VHOL
COUGH
BLOOD CEREMONY
INTER ARMA
THE SKULL
WINDHAND
BUZZOVEN
MINSK
CODE ORANGE
KHEMMIS
GATECREEPER
NORTH
CULT LEADER
SNAIL
WIZARD RIFLE
MERLIN
FLOORIAN
DOMKRAFT
ELEPHANT TREE
MORNE
HOLLOW LEG
SUMMONER

http://www.vivapsycho.com/
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/psycho-las-vegas-2017-tickets-27758793298
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1636267026703732/
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas/
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Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree (2016)

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Pelican Announce European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

pelican

Chicago stalwarts of heavy post-rock Pelican will head to Europe in April for their first tour abroad since 2013. Last time they went over, it was to play Stoned from the Underground and herald the arrival of their 2013 full-length, Forever Becoming (review here). This time, it’s to support last year’s The Cliff EP — though they may well have an album coming out that will be announced between now and the spring — and they’ll take part in Deserfest in Berlin and London as well as other shows and fests around the UK and Europe.

Last month, you might recall, Pelican went out for a Midwest weekender alongside Goatsnake. The moral of the story? Pelican do awesome shit.

Here’s the PR wire with details:

pelican european tour 2016

PELICAN Announces First European Tour Since 2013

Chicago’s celebrated torchbearers of instrumental metal, PELICAN, will return to Europe for a string of dates this Spring. This marks the band’s first European tour since the successes of their innovative 2013 LP Forever Becoming and 2015’s 4-track EP, The Cliff — both released via Southern Lord — and their 2014 Arktika live 2xLP. PELICAN will take their dense, meditative sounds, affectual melodies, and distorted atmospheric prowess to Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Denmark, including performances at Desertfest, Young Team Festival, A Colossal Weekend and more.

PELICAN European Tour Dates:
4/28/2016 Astra- Berlin, DE @ Desertfest
4/29/2016 MTC Club – Koln, DE
4/30/2016 Electric Ballroom – London, UK @ Desertfest
5/01/2016 The Fleece – Bristol, UK
5/02/2016 Audio – Glasgow, UK
5/03/2016 Gorilla – Manchester, UK
5/04/2016 Le Grand Mix – Lille, FR
5/05/2016 La Maroquinerie – Paris, FR
5/06/2016 Dunk! Festival – Zottegem, BE
5/07/2016 Les Trinitaires – Metz, FR @ Young Team Festival
5/08/2016 Rote Fabrik – Zurich, CH
5/10/2016 Arena – Vienna, AT
5/11/2016 NOD – Prague, CZ
5/12/2016 Hafenklang – Hamburg, DE
5/13/2016 A Colossal Weekend – Copenhagen, DK

PELICAN’s most recent release, The Cliff EP was released in February, featuring new track as well as four remixes of “The Cliff” from the band’s What We All Come To Need Southern Lord LP, including remakes by Justin Broadrick (of Godflesh, Jesu), Aaron Harris and Bryant Clifford Meyer of ISIS/Palms, and, for only the second time in their fourteen year career, vocals. Allen Epley (Shiner, The Life and Times) once again returns to the band’s fold to transform, in a complementary manner, the concept and overall outcome of what we have come to know as PELICAN.

http://www.pelicansong.com
http://www.facebook.com/pelicansong
http://www.twitter.com/pelicansong
http://www.instagram.com/pelicansong
http://www.southernlord.com
http://www.southernlord.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/SLadmin

Pelican, The Cliff (2015)

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