Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Citizens Arrest: Maryland Deathfest 2011 Photos

"Citizens Arrest is a New York-based band that existed from 1989 to 1991 and reformed in 2010. The group often blended hardcore punk, Grindcore and Powerviolence styles. Their main inspiration in the early days of the band were from Boston area hardcore from the 1980s like DYS and SSD. They also derived influence from early Powerviolence pioneers, Infest." - Wikipedia

The reunited Citizens Arrest, which is now a 5-piece band w/ Ted Leo on guitar, played on the last day of Maryland Deathfest immediately following Orange Goblin.

From Citizens Arrest - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Citizens Arrest - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Citizens Arrest - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Citizens Arrest - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Citizens Arrest - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Citizens Arrest - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Citizens Arrest - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Citizens Arrest - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Citizens Arrest - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

Citizens Arrest

The Residents - "Meet The Residents" CD Review (MVD Audio)

The Residents - 'Meet The Residents' CD Review (MVD Audio)Keeping on with their ambitious reissue campaign, MVD Audio has brought back into print the original mono mix of The Residents' Meet the Residents (where the band is noted on the cover as ‘North Louisiana’s Phenomenal Pop Combo’) which was the band’s first full-length release. This album was originally issued in 1974 and allegedly sold just 40 copies in its first year of release. This album is where The Residents' musical vision was birthed as the disc contains an aural free-free explosion of Dadaist sounds and textures across the disc’s twelve tracks.

It is hard to describe the early work of The Residents to the ‘uninitiated’ as you have to listen with an open mind to hear the structure and pop sensibilities beneath the seemingly musical chaos. There are musical elements that are shared with free-form improvisational artists like Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart but there are also atonal elements that sound like a precursor to the "Industrial Music" genre that rose up a few years later. However one cuts it though, The Residents are in a class of their own.

The disc opens with a twisted deconstruction of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” which is the first of six songs that segue into each other to form multiple ‘movements’ of a single body of work. Most of the tracks are instrumentals that mix ‘traditional’ instruments (predominately a piano) with sound effects and tape loops along with various (often unexpected) woodwind, string and percussion instruments. Vocals, where used, are generally twisted but provide enough structure so that you can recognize the intent behind adding them to the song but the vocals never become the focal part of any of the tracks.

The band still plays "Smelly Tongues" from this disc and below is a video of a live performance from a recent show.

Showcasing their sardonic sense of humor, the band blatantly takes a ‘swipe’ at The Beatles with their Meet the Beatles parody cover (which is fully reproduced for this reissue). At the time of the LPs original issue, Capital Records allegedly threatened to sue over the cover which resulted in the band replacing The Beatles photo with suit-wearing crawfish identified as George, John, and Paul Crawfish and Ringo Starfish.

The Residents

Monday, May 30, 2011

Orange Goblin - Maryland Deathfest 2011 Photos & Setlist

I'm dead tired and still going through my photos but MDF was one h@ll of a lot of fun! There were a lot of great bands but Orange Goblin, Hail of Bullets and Citizens Arrest were definite stand-outs.

Orange Goblin played the festival on Sunday night after having played Santos Party House the night before. While all the bands at MDF played aggressive sets, singer Ben Ward was the only performer that I saw during the whole fest who actually got into the crowd.

A buddy sent me the set list from Santos (below) and here is how it compared to the show at MDF:

01 The Ballad Of Solomon Eagle (played at MDF)
02 Vagrant Stomp
03 Shine
04 Cities Of Frost (played at MDF)
05 Magic Carpet (played at MDF)
06 Cosmo Bozo
07 Hard Luck
08 Round Up The Horses (played at MDF)
09 They Come Back (Harvest Of Skulls) (played at MDF)
10 Blue Snow (played at MDF)
11 Aquatic Fanatic (played at MDF)
12 Some You Win, Some You Lose (played at MDF)
13 The Man Who Invented Time
14 Quincy The Pigboy (played at MDF)
15 Scorpionica (played at MDF)

From Orange Goblin - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Orange Goblin - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Orange Goblin - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Orange Goblin - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Orange Goblin - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

From Orange Goblin - Maryland Deathfest, Baltimore, MD 5-28-11

Orange Goblin's US tour continues into June and here are the upcoming tour dates:
Wednesday, 1st: The Earl, Atlanta, GA
Thursday, 2nd: One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans, LA
Friday, 3rd: Liquid Sludge Festival @ Scoot Inn, Austin, TX
Saturday, 4th: Launchpad, Albuquerque, NM
Sunday, 5th: Clubhouse, Tempe, AZ
Monday, 6th: Troubadour, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, 7th: Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA
Thursday, 9th: Dante’s, Portland, OR
Friday, 10th: Studio Seven, Seattle, WA
Saturday, 11th: Alehorn Fest @ Double Door, Chicago, IL

Orange Goblin

Friday, May 27, 2011

Whitesnake - "Live at Donington 1990" CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Whitesnake - 'Live at Donington 1990' CD Review From the mid-80’s until David Coverdale put the band on hiatus (for the first time) after the band's 1990 tour, Whitesnake was a top concert draw. Abandoning the “Deep Purple style” blues-rock of the band’s first few albums, Whitesnake morphed into a powerhouse hard rock band that featured some of the top-notch musicians on the scene at the time. The band released Slip of the Tongue in 1989 and the lineup for this album featured Steve Vai (fresh off touring with John Lydon and Public Image Ltd.), Adrian Vandenberg (from Vandenberg) and Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge (both of whom had recently played with Ozzy and M.A.R.S.).

This new 2CD set, Whitesnake Live at Donington 1990, captures the band’s second headlining appearance at the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington which took place on 8/18/1990. This was a big year for the Monsters of Rock festival after taking a year off after the death of some fans during Guns N’ Roses’ appearance at the festival in 1988. In addition to Whitesnake, the 1990 festival lineup featured Quireboys, Poison, and Aerosmith. Aerosmith, who went on right before Whitesnake, raised the bar high as they closed their set with “Train Kept a Rollin’” and "Walk This Way" where they were joined by Jimmy Page but Whitesnake rose to the challenge and played a blistering 105 minute set in front of 100,000 hard rock fans. This show has been floating around as a bootleg from the BBC broadcast of the show but this is the first legitimate live CD from Whitesnake’s arena-rock lineup. As the band's previously released live albums jump from the blues-oriented 1978/80 lineup on Live...In the Heart of the City to the acoustic Starkers in Tokyo (1997), Live at Donington is a great document from this era of the band.

The focus of the band’s set is on material from the band's three Geffen albums - Slide It In, Whitesnake and Slip of the Tongue - but “Fool For Your Loving” and “Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City” are holdovers from the band’s blues period. Here is the full track list:

01. Slip Of The Tongue
02. Slide It In
03. Judgement Day
04. Slow An Easy
05. Kitten's Got Claws
06. Adagio For Strato
07. Flying Dutchman Boogie
08. Is This Love
09. Cheap An' Nasty
10. Crying In The Rain (featuring Tommy Aldridge drum solo)
11. Fool For Your Loving
12. For The Love Of God
13. The Audience Is Listening
14. Here I Go Again
15. Bad Boys
16. Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City
17. Still Of The Night

This recording is noticeably well mixed and highlights David Coverdale’s distinctive vocals, killer guitar solos from both Vandenberg and Vai and Tommy Aldridge’s top-notch drumming. (This isn’t to ‘slur’ Rudy – I just didn’t hear a lot of bass in the mix). Adrian Vandenberg showcases his stuff on “Flying Dutchman Boogie” and Steve Vai does the same on “For the Love of God” which runs right into “The Audience Is Listening”. Tommy Aldridge also takes a solo on the 13+ minute “Crying in the Rain”. The ‘Whitesnake choir” rises up on “Ain’t No Love In the Heart of the City” and “Crying in the Rain” and the band closes the set with a strong and swaggering version of “Still of the Night”.

Frontier also released this set on DVD and you can check out the video trailer below.

Whitesnake just made a brief small club tour (which included a stop at Irving Plaza) and the band is coming back this summer for a full tour of the outdoor sheds with Tesla, Sebastian Bach, Lita Ford and Firehouse. Local tour stops are at:

- August 23: PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ (Tickets range from $15 - $110)
- August 24: Jones Beach, Wantah, NY (Tickets range from $25 to $110)


Night Ranger - "Somewhere In California" CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Night Ranger - 'Somewhere In California' CD Review (Frontier Records)Night Ranger’s newest disc, Somewhere in California, was a pleasant surprise as all I knew of the band prior to listening was the song “Sister Christian” (which sounds rather dated at this point in time). The new disc is full of arena rock anthems that feature memorable melodies, big radio-friendly hooks and anthemic choruses. This new disc is being billed as the band’s “return to form” after 2008’s Hole In The Sun – I can’t comment on this as I haven’t kept up with Night Ranger in many years, but this disc does prove the band’s continued relevance as they celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Clear production showcases the band’s musical talents and they build up a layered sound across the disc’s eleven tracks that takes elements from both progressive and hard-rock genres. The band complements this with multi-part sing-along harmonies so most of these songs have both a riff and a chorus that will stick in your head after a small number of spins. The lyrics aren’t necessarily deep (i.e.: “Growin’ Up In California” pays tribute to growing up in California and “Rock N’ Roll Tonight” is simply about going out and having a good time) but they are neither dumb nor pandering. This is an infectious “summer” album where even lyrical content of the more ‘serious’ songs (like the kiss off “Bye Bye Baby”) has never sounded so good.

The band doesn’t deviate much from the disc’s overall sound but they utilize each of the eleven tracks to explore different variations around this core. Some examples are “Time of Our Lives” starts off as a piano ballad before building up to a big chorus and some solid guitar work kicking in and “Live for Today” brings in more of a psychedelic prog-rock sound. With each song clocking in over five minutes, each track gets an opportunity to develop on its own.

Night Ranger is on the road this summer with Journey and Foreigner and here are the upcoming area tour dates:

- August 17: Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY (Tickets range between $31 - $135)

- August 24: PNC Bank Arts Center, Holdel, NJ (Tickets range between $20 and $160)

Night Ranger

Warrant - "Rockaholic" CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Warrant - 'Rockaholic' CD Review (Frontier Records)While I’ve heard some Warrant tunes in the past, I’ve never paid much attention to the band but…having read about Jani Lane’s struggles for the last few years along with the stories about his return and subsequent departure from Warrant, I was curious to hear the band’s latest disc, Rockaholic, Pre-conceived notions can be a dangerous thing as I dropped this disc on expecting the band would have a radio-friendly “Sunset Strip” sound (something like Ratt or LA Guns) and was disappointed to find most of this disc is more comparable to the “light metal” sounds of bands like Bon Jovi and Extreme.

To give a frame of reference, I wrote this review while on the train to Baltimore for a weekend at Maryland Deathfest so I’m likely not in the right frame of mind to write an unbiased review. Musically, Rockaholic is a mixed bag – it seems more slanted toward the 80’s “lighter in the air” hair metal ballads (a huge turn-off for me) but the disc also contains a handful of solid hard-rock tracks. I generally focus on a band’s music over their lyrics but new singer Robert Mason’s (x-Lynch Mob) vocals are prominent and clear in the mix which ‘forced’ me to give equal focus to the words. Lyrically, this disc seems to contain more tales of love, loss and heartbreak than an emo album. Going back to the comparisons that I’ve mentioned above – I’ve made fun of Bon Jovi for years for their rhyming couplets (“Living on a prayer / halfway there / we’ll make it I swear”) and Warrant falls into this same camp (“Tears in the city tonight / two less people you will have to fight”). Once again, I’m out of my element these lyrics strike me as something that a high-school boy would be singing to his girlfriend.

Once you get past the ballads, musically, the handful of hard-rock tracks on this disc have some teeth. The disc starts out strong with the leadoff track “Sex Ain’t Love” which features some cutting guitar riffs from Joey Allen before moving into the raw “Innocence Gone”. After slogging through the ballads and soft rockers that follow, the band’s harder-edge pops back up with the Kix-style rockers “Show Must Go On” and “Cocaine Freight Train”. This is followed by more ballads and brief forays into alt-grunge (a la STP) before ending with the strong hard-rocker “The Last Straw”.

While this disc simply isn’t my preferred style of music, the tracks “Tears in the City” and “The Last Straw” did have some ‘sticking power’. Check out videos for two songs from the new disc below and see what you think.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Contest: Enter "Music That Moves You" Contest and Win an ITunes Gift Card

Contest: Enter 'Music That Moves You' Contest and Win an ITunes Gift CardSticking with the contest theme tonight...Transit Systems Inc. is running a contest where you submit your favorite moving song and you will be entered into a drawing for a iTunes gift card or a multi-touch Nano. Here is the link to the "Music That Moves You" entry form.

Below is the list of song choices but you can also write in choices of your own. Personally, I'd pick The Wombats or write in Judas Priest - "Heading Out to the Highway" (...or Quiet Riot's "Slick Black Cadillac").

"Movin' On Up"- Ja'net Dubois (Theme Song from The Jeffersons)
"I'm Coming Home"- P.Diddy ft. Skylar
"Funky Town"- Lipps, Inc.
"Move it on Over"- Hank Williams
"Moving Along the River"- The Beatles
"Moving Out"- Billy Joel
"Breakaway"- Kelly Clarkson
"Moving to New York"- The Wombats
"Move"-Miles Davis
"Peaches (Moving to the Country)"- Presidents of the U.S. of America

Paul McCartney: Upload Your Cover of "Maybe I'm Amazed" and Win CDs

Hmmm...I'm not sure what would be more interesting - a band like The Canon Logic could probably do a dead-on cover or, on the other hand, one of the local black metal bands doing a complete deconstruction of the song. Anyway, below are the details of the contest.

Following the huge success of last year’s Band on the Run competition, MPL and Concord Music Group are very excited to offer fans another chance to win a host of Macca goodies with the brand new "Maybe I’m Amazed Cover’s Competition" in celebration of the upcoming deluxe reissue release of McCartney & McCartney II on June 14th.

Whether you’re a part-time guitar twiddler, a karaoke crooner or a serious music maker in a band, all are welcome! Just film your cover of Paul’s track "Maybe I’m Amazed", upload it to YouTube and follow the simple steps below to enter. Then get all of your friends to ‘like’ your video. The video with the most ‘likes’ wins! Good luck!

Follow the steps below for your chance to win:

1. Record your own Cover version of "Maybe I’m Amazed".
2. Visit Paul’s YouTube Channel
3. Log in and submit your response to the official "Maybe I’m Amazed" music video.
4. Get as many of your friends to like the video in order for it to win!
5. The winner will be the video with the most likes.

The competition starts on the 26th May 4pm. (GMT) Only videos uploaded to YouTube and submitted to the competition between these dates will be valid. (please don’t submit videos that have been already loaded onto YouTube) The competition will close for new entries: 16th June 4pm. Votes will still count until the competition fully closes on the 23rd July.
Competition Ends: 23rd June 2011 4pm

The winner will receive the deluxe reissue editions of McCartney, McCartney II and Band on the Run.

The lavishly packaged 3 disc (2 CD, 1 DVD) McCartney Deluxe Edition includes an exclusive bonus DVD featuring rare and previously unseen footage, an extraordinary 128-page hard bound book containing many exclusive and unpublished photos by Paul and Linda McCartney, original album artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album and bonus audio tracks, an illustrated history of the making of the album, and expanded track by track information for the two audio discs as well as detailed historical information on the film content.

The 4 disc (3 CD, 1 DVD) Deluxe Edition of McCartney II not only includes an exclusive bonus DVD featuring rare and previously unseen footage (including performances of "Coming Up" and the new video for the unreleased track "Blue Sway") but includes an additional seven rare bonus audio tracks exclusive to this edition. Additionally, the McCartney II deluxe edition contains an extraordinary 128-page hard bound book featuring many previously unpublished photos by Linda McCartney, original album and single artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album, an illustrated history of the making of the album, and expanded track by track information for all three audio discs plus detailed historical information on the film content.

The 4 disc (3CD, 1 DVD) deluxe edition of Band on the Run includes an extraordinary 120-page hard bound book containing many unseen and unpublished photos by Linda McCartney and Clive Arrowsmith, album and single artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album and bonus audio tracks, a full history of the album complete with a new interview with Paul and expanded track by track information for all four discs. The deluxe edition also includes a special Band on the Run audio documentary (originally produced for the 25th Anniversary edition.)

Paul McCartney

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crack The Sky - "Cut" CD Review (Aluminum Cat Recordings)

Crack The Sky - 'Cut' CD Review (Aluminum Cat Recordings)After spending my youth in Baltimore, I’m pleasantly shocked to see some of the long out-of-print discs from Baltimore hometown heroes Crack the Sky back in print.

As most people outside of the Mid-Atlantic never heard of the band, Crack the Sky were Baltimore transplants that played “thinking man’s” progressive rock and the band’s debut album (1975) was picked as "debut album of the year" by Rolling Stone. Crack the Sky always put on a strong live show and often blew away the bands that they were opening for (and this list includes Yes, Styx and ELO). Unfortunately, the band was never quite able to turn the corner and some of this was due to poor label support, frequent breakups and (in later days) recording for impossible-to-find micro-labels. After releasing (what-should-have-been-a-breakthrough-album) From the Greenhouse in 1989, the band broke up again in 1990. After an eight year absence, principal songwriter / vocalist John Palumbo regrouped an early 80’s lineup of Crack the Sky and released Cut in 1998.

Cut is an eclectic release (but, then again, so is Crack the Sky) that shows the band still having a relevant voice in the music scene, both then and now. John Palumbo and crew have a slighter harder edge this time out and, while Palumbo never fully departs from his Roger Waters meets Steely Dan muse, the band’s four guitar attack give a number of these songs more teeth than the atmospheric From the Greenhouse. Interestingly enough, it sounds like some of Baltimore’s urban soul has made its way into CtS’ music as Cary Ziegler (bass) plays some slow-burning funk rhythms which are complemented by John Tracey’s drumming.

There is more than enough of the classic Crack sound on this disc which includes a harder edged remake of “We Want Mine” (originally from 1976’s Animal Notes), “Cut (the sequel)” which sounds like a close cousin to 1980's "Hot Razors in My Heart", “The Art of Wondering” which touches on all the elements that made CtS great and a John Lennon style reflective ballad “God”. On the eclectic side, there is a rap/funk tune (sung by rapper H-1) about a post-downsizing shooting rage (“Hey Earl”) and a shuffling bar-room delta blues number (“Little Stinky”).

Crack the Sky is still going strong and released their fourteenth disc, Machine, last year (see review) and the band also posted demos from this disc as a free download.

Crack the Sky

Sunday, May 22, 2011

This Frontier Needs Heroes: "The Future" CD Review / Show at The Rock Shop on May 27th

This Frontier Needs Heros: 'The Future' CD Review / Show at The Rock Shop on May 27thThis Frontier Needs Heroes’ sophomore release The Future (released May 10th) is my first exposure to the Brooklyn neo-folk duo and this new disc is a striking and mournful walk down the lonely backroads of Americana. This new disc follows the band’s 2009 self-titled debut and, this time around, the band decided to leave the studio for a more intimate approach and recorded in an old school house in Wassaic, NY, with engineer Justin Pizzoferrato (MV & EE, Dinosaur Jr., Thurston Moore). While I’ve never paid much attention to CD art, The Future’s 3D cover art and accompanying 3D glasses were immediately eye-catching.

This Frontier Needs Heroes is comprised of brother-sister Brad and Jessica Lauretti and the duo wrap textured vocal harmonies with a minimalist guitar work and various hazy electronica to create a mood around their rich narrative lyrics. Brad Lauretti sings lead vocals with a road-weary “Johnny Cash” style delivery and Jessica’s backing vocals, which span a wide range, help set the mood of each of the songs. Her vocals touch on a number of genres that range from ethereal backing vocals on “Space Baby” to co-lead vocals on the traditional alt-country “Don't You Treat Me Like A Dog”. As strange as it may sound, parts of this disc are almost akin to Neil Young crossed with one of the atmospheric 4AD bands.

The lyrics range from somewhat cynical tales of love and loss to absurdist ramblings as Brad spins stories about the Old West, Ernest Hemmingway and past relationships. Musically, the band extends their core neo-folk sound with tracks that range from the shimmering 4AD-sounding “Space Baby” to the blissful 60’s pop of "Key West" to the fuzzed psychedelia of "No Need to Sleep".

This Frontier Needs Heroes have an upcoming show at The Rock Shop on Friday, May 27th. Tickets are $10 and The Donkeys and Snowmine are also on the bill.

This Frontier Needs Heroes Tour Dates:
May 27 -- The Rock Shop, Brooklyn, NY
May 29 -- Club Passim Campfire Festival, Boston / Cambridge, MA
Sep 01 -- Brixton Windmill, London, UK
Sep 01 -- End of the Road Festival, Dorset, UK

This Frontier Needs Heroes

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Residents - "Randy's Ghost Stories" DVD Review (MVD Visual)

The Residents - 'Randy's Ghost Stories' DVD Review (MVD Visual)I missed The Residents’ Talking Light tour (late ’10 – early ’11) so I don’t have the complete context around the band’s new DVD, Randy’s Ghost Stories, but I've read some reviews of the tour that stated that portions of this disc were shown on the backdrop at the live show.

Randy’s Ghost Stories is a collection of eight ghost stories and two bonus videos that feature newly composed music from The Residents. These stories aren’t for children or the faint of heart as the subject of the stories include serial killers, psychosis and self-destruction. Each story is narrated (most frequently by “Randy”) and feature off-kilter and disturbing music from The Residents and “bad acid flashback” animated videos. This aura of unease is accentuated by the visual “twisting” of the narrator’s image so that, visually, they look either completely mad or like one of the wide-eyed waifs from the Dondi comic strip. All of this is punctuated with a few TV commercials for food from the 70’s and 80’s that highlight the “perfect” American family and this serves as a striking contrast to the severely dysfunctional people narrating and described within each story. The common thread between each of these stories is that each of the narrators are tortured (whether they acknowledge it or not) by ghosts from their past.

"What are ghosts" ask The Residents - spirits of those no longer inhabiting the flesh, but unable to leave their lives behind? Or could ghosts be a manifestation of something even less tangible, like loneliness, unfulfilled desire or isolation? In a world where nearly everything has become defined and categorized, how do we fill our obvious, purely human need for the fuzzy, vague and supernatural - with TV commercials?

The ghost stories include:

- The ghost of a morbidly obese woman who haunts her lesbian lover, filling the void of death with food and Dr. Phil;

- A man who becomes obsessed by the spirit of an executed serial killer who stuffed the mouths of his victims with Pudding Roll Ups, an extinct kid's food from the 1980's;

- A dead boa constrictor named Leonard (after Leonard Cohen) that plagues the mind of its former owner, who is currently consuming Oscar Meyer hot dogs by the dozen and

- A man who killed his wife while sleep-walking and now believes that his dead wife is giving instruction to their daughter on how to kill him.

The two bonus videos are interesting ventures into the surreal. “Mutts with Mustaches” features an exploration of visuals (with what looks to be tribal photos mixed in) and colors set to an instrumental soundtrack of Eskimo-style piano, keys and swirling background sounds. “Walking Women” is visually set like an early 60’s documentary and follows the evolution of, and is narrated by, a desert. The desert tells the story of a forest overrunning it, eventual man-driven deforestation and the land returning to the desert. This vignette ends with women who have come to (randomly) walk in the desert.

While some discs are perfect for late-night viewing with the lights low, this is the sort of disc that will have you turning on all the lights and checking the locks on the doors. While this disc is disturbing, it is a worthy addition to The Residents’ catalog.

The Residents

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lissie Posts Live Videos for "Bad Romance" and "When I'm Alone" from VH1 "You Oughta Know" Session

Lissie just wrapped up a tour in Australia and will play a few US shows this summer: 7/8 in Minneapolis, MN, at the Cities97 Basilica Block Party; the weekend of 8/5-7 in Chicago, IL, at Lollapalooza; and 8/8 at the Blue Moose Tap House in Iowa City, IA.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Christmas: Download Free Single from Self-Titled Debut LP (CMRTYZ / Highfives and Handshakes)

Christmas: Download Free Single from Self-Titled Debut LP (CMRTYZ / Highfives and Handshakes)About a week ago, I first heard the pre-LP single "Namiot" from Olympia Washington's Christmas and was immediately hooked. Some points of comparison to the band's music are Ponytail and Pylon but there is all sorts of other craziness thrown into the mix as well. Impose Magazine described the band as "a gang of I-dont-give-a-fuckers known for their wildly, electric shows where you're likely to see the guitarist crowd-surfing naked in a drunken fever."

The band's new self-titled ten-track 12" is available as a digital download or as a limited-edition, hand painted 12" through Highfives and Handshakes webstore.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Paul McCartney: Deluxe Editions of "McCartney" and "McCartney II" Due Out June 14th

Paul McCartney: Deluxe Editions of 'McCartney' and 'McCartney II' Due Out June 14thFollowing last year's deluxe reissue of Band on the Run, MPL and the Concord Music Group are pleased to announce McCartney and McCartney II as the next releases in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection on June 14th, 2011.

McCartney was Paul's solo debut which was originally released in April of 1970 and yielded the concert staple “Maybe I’m Amazed.” McCartney II originally issued in May of 1980 was McCartney’s return to solo work after nine years touring and recording with Wings. Reaching #1 in the UK, and #3 in the U.S., the album produced the singles “Coming Up,” “Waterfalls,” & “Temporary Secretary.” Paul McCartney personally supervised all aspects of these two reissues and the remastering work was done at Abbey Road using the same team who recently remastered the complete Beatles’ catalogue.

McCartney will be made available as a 2-disc (2 CD) Special Edition featuring the original remastered album plus seven bonus audio tracks including the previously unreleased outtakes “Suicide” and “Don’t Cry Baby” plus a rare live 1979 recording of “Maybe I’m Amazed”. For collectors, the reissue will also be made available as a lavishly packaged 3 disc (2 CD, 1 DVD) Deluxe Edition which includes an exclusive bonus DVD featuring rare and previously unseen footage, an extraordinary 128-page hard bound book containing many exclusive and unpublished photos by Paul and Linda McCartney, original album artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album and bonus audio tracks, an illustrated history of the making of the album, and expanded track by track information for the two audio discs as well as detailed historical information on the film content.

McCartney II will also be made available as a 2-disc (2 CD) Special Edition featuring the original remastered album plus eight bonus tracks including B-Sides and alternative versions. The bonus audio CD includes the #1 hit “Coming Up (Live At Glasgow, 1979)” and holiday perennial “Wonderful Christmastime.”

The lovingly packaged 4 disc (3 CD, 1 DVD) Deluxe Edition of McCartney II not only includes an exclusive bonus DVD featuring rare and previously unseen footage (including performances of ‘Coming Up’ and the new video for the unreleased track ‘Blue Sway’) but includes an additional seven rare bonus audio tracks exclusive to this edition. Additionally, the McCartney II deluxe edition contains an extraordinary 128-page hard bound book featuring many previously unpublished photos by Linda McCartney, original album and single artwork, downloadable hi-res audio versions of the remastered album, an illustrated history of the making of the album, and expanded track by track information for all three audio discs plus detailed historical information on the film content.


CD 1 – Remastered Album
01. The Lovely Linda
02. That Would Be Something
03. Valentine Day
04. Every Night
05. Hot As Sun / Glasses
06. Junk
07. Man We Was Lonely
08. Oo You
09. Momma Miss America
10. Teddy Boy
11. Singalong Junk
12. Maybe I’m Amazed
13. Kreen-Akrore

CD 2 – Bonus Audio Tracks
01. Suicide [Out-take]
02. Maybe I’m Amazed [From One Hand Clapping]
03. Every Night [Live At Glasgow, 1979]
04. Hot As Sun [Live At Glasgow, 1979]
05. Maybe I’m Amazed [Live At Glasgow, 1979]
06. Don’t Cry Baby [Out-take]
07. Women Kind (Demo) [Mono]

DVD – Bonus Film
01. The Album Story
02. The Beach
03. Maybe I’m Amazed Music Video
04. Suicide [from One Hand Clapping]
05. Every Night [Live at Concert for the People of Kampuchea]
06. Hot As Sun [Live at Concert for the People of Kampuchea]
07. Junk [MTV Unplugged]
08. That Would Be Something [MTV Unplugged]


CD 1 – Remastered Album
01. Coming Up
02. Temporary Secretary
03. On The Way
04. Waterfalls
05. Nobody Knows
06. Front Parlour
07. Summer’s Day Song
08. Frozen Jap
09. Bogey Music
10. Darkroom
11. One Of These Days

CD 2 – Bonus Audio 1
01. Blue Sway [With Richard Niles Orchestration]
02. Coming Up [Live At Glasgow, 1979]
03. Check My Machine [Edit]
04. Bogey Wobble
05. Secret Friend
06. Mr H Atom / You Know I’ll Get you Baby
07. Wonderful Christmastime [Edited Version]
08. All You Horse Riders / Blue Sway

CD 3- Bonus Audio 2 (DELUXE 3 CD – 1 DVD EDITION ONLY)
01. Coming Up [Full Length Version]
02. Front Parlour [Full Length Version]
03. Frozen Jap [Full Length Version]
04. Darkroom [Full Length Version]
05. Check My Machine [Full Length Version]
06. Wonderful Christmastime [Full Length Version]
07. Summer’s Day Song [Original without vocals]
08. Waterfalls [DJ Edit]

DVD – Bonus Film
01. Meet Paul McCartney
02. Coming Up Music Video
03. Waterfalls Music Video
04. Wonderful Christmastime Music Video
05. Coming Up [Live at Concert for the People of Kampuchea]
06. Coming Up’ [taken from a rehearsal session at Lower Gate Farm, 1979]
07. Making the Coming Up Music Video
08. Blue Sway

Paul McCartney

Thin Lizzy: "Johnny The Fox" Deluxe Edition CD Review (Universal)

Thin Lizzy: 'Johnny The Fox' Deluxe Edition CD Review (Universal) Johnny The Fox was was Thin Lizzy's second release in 1976, and seventh disc overall, which which was written after Phil Lynott was sidelined during the band's US tour with Rainbow with a serious bout with hepatitis.

Joe Elliott commented in the disc's liner notes that he felt this disc was better than Jailbreak but, for whatever reason, the disc didn't seem to make an impact in the US. After listening to Johnny the Fox now thirty-five years after its original release, the disc is more introspective than Jailbreak and Bad Reputation. There are a number of solid songs on the disc (like "Don't Believe a Word" and "Borderline") but many of the songs are narrative-driven mini-vignettes that showcase Lynott's lyrical prowess but lack the 'punch' of the singles from either of the two aforementioned discs.

Disc One is the "remastered" ten track (36 minutes) Johnny the Fox album. The ranging internet debate seems to have reached a consensus that this is the 1996 remaster as opposed to the remaster that was done last year by Andy Pearce and Matt Wortham (as per the CD booklet). As I just had a vinyl copy of this record, I can't offer any direct opinions.

The eleven tracks (38 minutes) on Disc Two are, unfortunately, a mixed bag.

Here is the track list:
- "Don't Believe a Word" (Remixed version)
- "Johnny" (Remixed version)
- "Don't Believe a Word" (BBC Sessions 11/10/1976)
- "Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed" (BBC Sessions 11/10/1976)
- "Fools Gold" (BBC Sessions 11/10/1976)
- "Johnny" (BBC Sessions 11/10/1976)
- "Fool's Gold" (Instrumental run-through)
- "Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed" (Instrumental run-through - extended version)
- "Rocky" (Instrumental run-through)
- "Massacre" (Instrumental take)
- "Scott's Tune"

The two Joe Elliott remixes are nowhere near as striking as the remixes on Jailbreak. If you listen closely, the songs have a bit more punch but there isn't enough difference to make the average listener sit up and take notice. In an interview with RUNONROCK.com, Joe Elliott described the remastering process as follows: "We started to filter all the bad stuff out and then set about building each track up again. For instance we had Phil Lynott’s bass parts from 30 years ago coming through a 2010 bass amp and it sounded incredible. We did the same thing with the drums. We kept the guitar parts that everyone is familiar with but recorded a lot of new rhythms.".

The BBC tracks could have been the gem of this collection but "Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed" and "Fools Gold" are studio tracks that were aired on the BBC (not performed live on the BBC). The three instrumental takes are simply that - instrumental run-throughs of the songs that are pretty much on par with the finished studio versions. These are interesting to some degree (i.e. a longer version of "Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed" that kicks off with a false start) but none of these tracks warrant repeated plays. The final cut, "Scott's Tune", is just a two minute guitar jam - like the other instrumentals, no big deal.

Unfortunately, the price point on Amazon ($21.75 new / $17.89 used) for this set is still too steep to warrant recommending picking this up.

Thin Lizzy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

American Speedway - "A Bigger Boat" CD Review (Prophase)

American Speedway - 'A Bigger Boat' CD Review (Prophase)Philadelphia quarter American Speedway released their second disc A Bigger Boat last month (Prophase/MVD) and the music is a welcome throw-back to the days of long hair, ripped jeans, and high-top Chucks. I haven’t heard the band’s first disc Ship of Fools (2008) but just watched the video for the title track (below) and found the new material very comparable. American Speedway has been kicking around the roadhouse circuit for the last few years touring with like-minded bands like The Meatmen and The Supersuckers and the band is composed of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Michael Thursby, bassist Billy Angry, drummer Chris Callahan and newcomer guitarist Lorraine “Dirty” McGurty.

On A Bigger Boat, the band plays gritty pre-punk rock n’ roll with a whole lot of attitude and this is the sort of music that bands like Anthrax, Kix and Twisted Sister were playing in the early pre-MTV days. The music on A Bigger Boat is fast, loud and aggressive and the disc’s ten tracks speed by in just over 30 minutes. There are no “hair metal” lighter-in-the air ballads here as the music, which is driven McGurty’s riffs and Thursby’s yowling “whiskey and cigarettes” vocals, is pumped out in short two+ minute bursts of energy. Most of the band’s songs seem to be about drinking, and fast cars and this is the sort of hard rock that you used to hear blasting out of muscle cars in the early 80’s.

Here is a live performance of two songs from the new disc - "How! (Ya Doin?)" & "Watch Your Step".

American Speedway isn’t getting any closer to the City than New Brunswick but here are their upcoming tour dates:

June 03: The Court Tavern, New Brunswick, NJ
June 18: Astromonkey BBQ @ Saint Michael's Field, Mont Clare, PA
July 01 - 03: Heavy Rebel Weekender @ The Millennium Center, Winston Salem, NC
Sept. 09: Johnny Joe's, Mechanicsburg, PA

American Speedway

Helstar Plays Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on Upcoming 'Summer of Hate' Tour

Helstar Plays Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn on Upcoming 'Summer of Hate' TourVeteran power/thrash metal band Helstar officially reunited a few years back and released their seventh album, Glory of Chaos, earlier this year on AFM Records. This new disc is harder hitting than the band's first post-reunion album The King of Hell (2008) and MetalCrypt described the new disc as "Power, speed and aggression, that's what it's all about."

Helstar are playing a short run of East Coast tour dates next month as part of their Summer Of Hate U.S. tour.

HELSTAR Summer Of Hate U.S. Tour:
6/17/2011 The Rail Club - Fort Worth, TX w/ Solitude Aeturnus, Era De Guerra
6/18/2011 Dirty Dog Bar - Austin, TX w/ Ignitor, Dead Earth Politics, Headcrusher
6/22/2011 Manhattan Room - Philadelphia, PA w/ Wastelander, Season of Mourning, Midian, Machine Dog
6/23/2011 Sonar - Baltimore, MD
6/24/2011 Saint Vitus Bar - Brooklyn, NY
6/25/2011 The Blue Room - Secaucus, NJ w/ Armor Column, Bröhammer


Monday, May 16, 2011

The Felice Brothers Release Video for "Ponzi" // Shows at The Bell House on 5/18 & 5/19

The Felice Brothers Release Video for 'Ponzi' // Shows at Bell House on 5/18 & 5/19Last week, The Felice Brothers released their fourth disc, Celebration, Florida, which also marks their debut on the Fat Possum label. This disc is an adventurous step forward for the band as they combine their core "Americana" sound with elements of acid jazz, bass-heavy dance beats, pounding tribal drums and a mixture of sound bites to come up with an eleven-track offering that is both darkly beautiful but subliminally disturbing.

The band just released the first video from this new disc for the song "Ponzi".

The Felice Brothers are playing two shows later this week at The Bell House on May 18th and 19th. The opening bands for both nights are Shovels and Rope and Rig 1. Advance tickets for each of the nights is $20.

The Felice Brothers

Movers & Shakers: Boston Roots Rock Band Plays The Trash Bar on May 25th

Movers & Shakers: Boston Roots Rock Band Plays The Trash Bar on May 25thBoston's Movers & Shakers plays a style of roots-rock that falls somewhere between the roots/garage rock of bands like the Del Fuegos and Del-Lords and the whiskey-soaked, bluesy swagger of Paul Westerbeg's Grandpaboy project. Singer/guitarist Matt Price gave a quote last year to the Boston Globe that perfectly describes the band's music: "All of us [in the band] grew up listening to punk rock. We were teenagers who got into punk, and it was very much a change-your-life moment. But my mom was, and is, a huge Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty fan, so even when I was younger and listening to loud music, I was always also listening to American rock ’n’ roll.’’

Movers & Shakers are headlining a show at The Trash Bar on May 25th and cover is $7. Movers & Shakers are scheduled to take the stage at 12AM and they are sharing the bill with Counter Riot (11PM), Red Bedlam (10PM), We Buy Gold (9PM) and At a Distance (8PM).

Movers & Shakers

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Coheed & Cambria: Live in Austin, TX 4/11/11 ("CD" Review)

http://www.coheedandcambrialive.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=8“Making it” in the music industry is a Herculean task these days and being signed to a major label seems to mean absolutely nothing for a band’s financial position (see Tim Quirk’s article on how much money Too Much Joy HASN’T made over the years). As such, I admire any major label band that breaks from the ‘traditional’ release cycle of a shrink-wrapped product at a big box retailer.

Coheed & Cambria have made available soundboard live recording from their current Neverender: SSTB Tour through their online webstore which are available on both a USB drive and as a digital download. When Pearl Jam started releasing all of their shows on CD a few years ago, I was doubtful there was a market for so many live albums but I’ve obviously been proven wrong. These Coheed and Cambria shows are available as MP3’s but, before anyone ‘panics’ that they aren’t FLAC, they are recorded at 320kps and the recording engineer has done a nice job of capturing the clarity and precision of the band’s music and blending this with the excitement of their live performance.

Outside of a few metal festivals, I really don’t go to arena shows anymore. I think that I’ve gotten to a point in life where overpriced nosebleed seats and drunken audience sing-alongs just aren’t that enjoyable. As such, I’m probably part of the demographic that this type of offering is targeted to. I picked up a copy of Coheed’s April 11th show from Stubb's in Austin, TX (27 tracks – approx. 2 hours and 20 minutes) and I can clearly hear every guitar note and every vocal line without having to schlep out to (i.e.) Jones Beach with 5,000 other Coheed and Soundgarden fans. The $15 cost of this download seems worth it in comparison to the $52 price per ticket (to sit in the very back of the pavilion). Sadly, just avoiding the concession and parking fees more than pays for this download.

I don’t think there is much point in trying to review this live show (especially this far after the show) as you are either a fan of the band or you aren’t and the band doesn’t break from their established sound in the live arena. The set list (below) consists of one song from Travis Stever's solo project Davenport Cabinet (which kicks off the set), an acoustic set (that includes a new song "Iron Fist") which leads into a complete electric run-through of Second Stage Turbine Blade and the band closes out the set with an acoustic version of "Elf Tower New Mexico" which was a bonus track on the reissue of Second Stage Turbine Blade.

Acoustic set:
Nostalgia in Stereo (Davenport Cabinet acoustic)
Always and Never
Mother Superior
Iron Fist
Who Watches the Watchman
Happy Birthday V Man
Wake Up

Second Stage Turbine Blade
Time Consumer
Devil In Jersey City
Everything Evil
Delirium Trigger
Hearshot Kid Disaster
Junesong Provision
God Send Conspirator
I Robot

Ten Speed (Of God's Blood And Burial)
No World For Tomorrow
Welcome Home
The Black Rainbow

Encore 2:
Elf Tower New Mexico (Acoustic)

I still wonder if there are people who bought every Pearl Jam live disc as I don’t think I need more than this show from the current tour but this is a pretty solid tour souvenir.

Coheed & Cambria Tour Dates:
June 11 - Brooklyn Waterfront, FREE headlining show with Adrian Belew Power Trio & Tigers Jaw

July 02 – Toronto, ON – Molson Canadian Amphitheater
July 03 – London, ON – John Labatt Center
July 06 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
July 08 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
July 09 - Wantagh, NY – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
July 10 – Mansfield, MA - Comcast Center for the Performing Arts

Coheed and Cambria

Thin Lizzy: "Live at Indig02", London 1/23/11 CD Review

Thin Lizzy: 'Live at Indig02', London 1/23/11I’m a huge Thin Lizzy fan but I’ve really started to dislike that various band members won’t let the band ‘die’ a graceful death. It isn’t that I’ve given up on the band but I really believe that the Thin Lizzy name should have been put to rest with the “The Boy is Back in Town” show in Dublin in 2005. Going from memory, at the time of the tribute show Snowy White (guitar) made some comments that Thin Lizzy's time was over and he didn't need to be rehashing the band's old material (you would think I should be able to find the actual quote online somewhere but no luck). I think he was wrong about the Dublin tribute show but…did we really need John Sykes and now Ricky Warwick touring around the world singing “Whiskey in the Jar”. (This reminds me of a time in grad school in the early 90’s when I saw that The Byrds were coming through town. I was curious enough to call the bar and found the band featured Michael Clarke (drums) who was the only original member.)

The current lineup of Thin Lizzy is composed of Scott Gorham, Brian Downey, Darren Wharton, Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell, and singer Ricky Warwick (x-The Almighty) and this lineup toured both the UK and the States earlier this year. This new lineup is essentially equivalent to the millennium reunion lineup (- Sykes, +Warwick) and has more former members than the recent John Sykes fronted lineup but I’m not necessarily sure that one version is better or worse than the other. One somewhat surprising comparison though is that the John Sykes lineup played Don Hill’s while this new lineup played Best Buy Theater in Times Square (and the ticket prices for this later show were too prohibitive for me to go check it out).

The new lineup released two limited edition live CDs from their UK tour and, on a positive note, this version of the band rocks hard, sounds better than I would have thought and Ricky Warwick does a passable Phil Lynott impression. The material that the band covers is predominately from later period Thin Lizzy and is similar to what was on the band’s posthumous Live/Life double CD.

Thin Lizzy: "Live at Indig02" Track Listing:

01 Are you ready
02 Waiting for an alibi
03 Jailbreak
04 Do anything you want to
05 Don't believe a word
06 Dancing in the moonlight
07 Massacre
08 Killer on the loose
09 Angel of death
10 Still in love with you
11 Whiskey in the jar

01 Emerald
02 Hollywood
03 Sha la la la
04 Cowboy song
05 Boys are back in town
06 Rosalie
07 Bad reputation
08 Rocker
09 Black rose

The problem I have with all of this is that this disc breaks no new ground. I’d love to see more live albums like the Tower Theatre 1977 disc but this 2CD set is essentially a live re-recording of Thin Lizzy’s greatest hits by a band with a spotty claim to the Lizzy name, a new vocalist (who misses on some tracks – i.e., he butchers “Still in Love With You”) with a very expensive price tag ($30 on Amazon). I realize that the touring band and control of the back catalog are two different things but I’d rather see more deluxe editions reissues (like the recent reissues of Jailbreak and Johnny the Fox), legit issues of some of the brilliant sounding bootlegs from the band’s (real) final tour in 1983 or a legit reissue of the bootleg rarities series Philip: The Man and His Music.

For anyone who wasn’t old enough to have seen Phil play live (I was fortunate enough to have convinced my father to take me to the ’80 show at the Ontario Theatre in WDC as I was too young to drive), the current live band is close as you can get to the real thing. You don’t need a copy of this disc though unless you already have all of the other Lizzy live albums and are dying for one more live version of their greatest hits.

Check out this fan filmed video from the show and see what you think...

Thin Lizzy

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Black Skies: North Carolina Sludge Metal Trio Play Saint Vitus in Brooklyn on 5/20

DOWNLOAD: Black Skies - "Mancipium Monument"

Black Skies: North Carolina Sludge Metal Trio Play Saint Vitus in Brooklyn on 5/20North Carolina power trio, Black Skies, will kick off their near-month long U.S. tour today in Charlotte. The trek will rock its way through another 23 cities including a host of East Coast locales they've yet to play. The band will be joined by a who's who of awesome along the way including USX, Backwoods Payback, Generation of Vipers, Caltrop, Sons Of Tonatiuh and others.

In celebration of the tour commencement, the fine folks at The Obelisk are currently streaming a new track off Black Skies' soon-to-be-unleashed new full length, On The Wings Of Time. Check out "Valley Of The Kings" here.

The follow-up to 2008's "Hexagon" EP, On The Wings Of Time was recorded, produced and mastered by Harvey Milk's Kyle Spence at his own RJS studios in Athens, Georgia.

The Chapel Hill natives -- Clark, Tim Herzog (drums) and Michelle Temple (bass, vocals, booking) -- have been tuning down and turning up since late 2005, constantly evolving their aural offerings of psychedelic sludge. With a combination of the foreboding heaviness of blues based proto-metal, the spry attitude and approach of punk, and the dynamics of progressive rock, their songs often project a dark & urgent energy.

BLACK SKIES Live - May/June 2011:
5/12/2011 The Milestone - Charlotte, NC w/ Trade, Towering Pyre
5/13/2011 The Crayola House - Harrisonburg, VA w/ Backwoods Payback, Earthling, Trade
5/14/2011 Strange Matter - Richmond, VA w/ Backwoods Payback
5/15/2011 Mojo Main - Newark, DE w/ Backwoods Payback, Holy Dirt, Bubonic Bear
5/16/2011 AS220 - Providence, RI w/ Woozy, She Rides, Villainer
5/17/2011 O’Brien’s - Boston, MA w/ Phantom Glue, The Proselyte, Jack Burton vs David Lopan
5/18/2011 Flask Lounge - Portland, ME
5/19/2011 Elm Bar - New Haven, CT w/ Atrina
5/20/2011 St. Vitus - Brooklyn, NY w/ Atomic Bitchwax, Weird Owl, Mirror Queen
5/21/2011 31st Street Pub - Pittsburgh, PA w/ Rogue Vessel, Oktober
5/22/2011 Carabar - Columbus, OH w/ Prosanctus Inferi, Witchaven, Nocturnal, Locusta
5/23/2011 The Green Lantern - Lexington, KY w/ Stampede, Below
5/24/2011 Southgate House - Indianapolis, IN w/ Mala In Se, New Third Worlds
5/25/2011 The Pilot Light - Knoxville, KY w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers
5/26/2011 The Get Down - Asheville, NC w/ US Christmas, Generation of Vipers, Caltrop
5/27/2011 King’s - Raleigh, NC w/ US Christmas, Caltrop, Royal Thunder
5/28/2011 Will’s Pub - Orlando, FL w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder, Druid Lord, Junior Bruce
5/29/2011 C-Level - Panama City Beach w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder, Death Before Dying
5/30/2011 Siberia - NOLA w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder
5/31/2011 Hi-Tone - Memphis, TN w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder
6/01/2011 The Nick - Birmingham, AL w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder
6/02/2011 529 - Atlanta, GA w/ Caltrop, Royal Thunder, Sons Of Tonatiuh
6/03/2011 Caledonia Lounge - Athens, GA w/ Caltrop
6/04/2011 The Jinx - Savannah, GA w/ Caltrop

Black Skies

The Dwarves - "Born Again" CD Review (MVD Audio)

The Dwarves - 'Are Born Again' CD Review (MVD Audio)I am the Jesus Christ of Sin and Vice” – Blag Dhalia

Can anyone honestly say that they expected The Dwarves to last twenty-five years? The Dwarves' latest release Born Again is the band’s first new studio disc since 2004’s The Dwarves Must Die and the band has come a long way from their speedball punk, violence-inducing (fifteen minute) sets from twenty years ago.

Continuing in the style that the band started around the time of Come Clean (2000), Born Again contains a number of melodic, surf-rock and power punk tunes about sex, sin and debauchery. The band keeps with their ‘less is more’ approach and blast through 18 tracks in just over 30 minutes. While The Dwarves have moved away from 34 second dirges like “Fuckhead” (1990), this disc isn’t all bouncy anthems like “Salt Lake City” (from The Dwarves Must Die). Most of the tracks are under the two minute mark and the band pulls out the punk and hardcore stops on tracks like “You’ll Never Take Us Alive”, “Stop Me’ and “We Only Came to Get High”. Born Again features a number of special guests, who include Vadge Moore and Sgt. Salt Peter from the band’s Blood, Guts and Pussy era, who may have played a role in adding an edge to the music. The band obviously had fun making this disc and the final track, “The Band That Wouldn’t Die”, features a voice-over cameo from Space Ghost Gary Owens.

The Dwarves - "Drugstore" (from Blood, Guts and Pussy)

The Dwarves - "The Band That Wouldn't Die" (from Born Again)

With the band’s musicianship and musical hooks improving with each release, The Dwarves are moving into the space occupied by The Meatmen in the mid-80’s (who had Minor Threat’s Lyle Preslar and Brian Baker on guitar) and the band also shares Tesco Vee’s refreshingly wicked sense of humor In an era where too many bands wear their emotions on their (metalcore) sleeves, one can hope that there is some justice in the world and The Dwarves reach the sort of payday that many of these mall-core/Hot Topic bands have achieved.

The Dwarves

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Creation's End Announce NYC Show with Suspyre and East Coast Mini-Tour

Creation's End Announce NYC Show with Suspyre and East Coast Mini-TourCreation's End is a new progressive/power metal band that is the outgrowth of a long-time collaboration between guitarist Rudy Albert (ex-Zandelle) and drummer Dario Rodriguez. Rounding out the lineup with vocalist Mike DiMeo (ex-Masterplan, ex-Riot), guitarist Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie Band), and bassist Joe Black (Chris Caffery, ex-Zandelle), the band worked with producer John Macaluso (who is also drummer for James Labrie Band, Fool’s Game) to rework eight of the demo tracks that Rudy and Dario recorded during 2003 - 2006. The band's debut album, A New Beginning was released at the end of last year via Sensory Records.

The band made their live debut last December at a show at Ace of Clubs and have just announced a headlining show at Sullivan Hall on June 30th prior to heading out on the Uniting The Powers Of Metal 2011 East Coast Tour (tour dates below). The show at Sullivan Hall is all ages (tickets are $10 for 21+ and $15 for under 21) and sharing the bill is New Jersey progressive metallers Suspyre with more bands to be announced shortly.

Set to take place this August, the quick but solid five-date Uniting The Powers Of Metal 2011 Tour brings together some of the finest contemporary progressive and power metal bands in the country including Artizan, Seven Kingdoms and Widow, in addition to Creation's End, and will make stops in some of the premiere heavy metal markets along America's Southeastern coastline.

Additionally, as previously announced, Creation's End are set to perform at the 2011 installment of ProgPower USA in Atlanta, Georgia this September, where they join an outstanding bill including Therion, Sacntuary, Dream Evil, Ihsahn, Mob Rules, While Heaven Wept, Sensory labelmates Haken, and tons more.

Creation's End Live:
6/30/2011 Sullivan Hall - New York, NY w/ Suspyre

Uniting The Powers Of Metal 2011 East Coast Tour
(Featuring Creation's End, Artizan, Seven Kingdoms, Widow)
8/17/2011 Jaxx - Springfield, VA
8/18/2011 Volume 11 - Raleigh, NC
8/19/2011 The Local - Marietta, GA
8/20/2011 The Haven Lounge - Orlando, FL
8/21/2011 The Local 662 - St. Petersburg, FL

9/16/2011 ProgPower XII - Atlanta, GA

Creation's End

Murder Junkies - "Road Killers" CD Review (MVD Audio)

Murder Junkies - 'Road Killers' CD Review (MVD Audio)The Murder Junkies are probably most well-known as GG Allin's backing band during his final years. The band was formed in 1991, toured with GG until his death in 1993 and played on the Brutality and Bloodshed for All album (1993).

Picking up where Brutality and Bloodshed for All left off, Road Killers is the first album of new material from the Murder Junkies since they reformed in 2003. This time around, core members Merle Allin (bass) and Dino Sex (drums) are joined by Martin "FC Murder" Chivers (guitar) and PP Duvay (from They Hate Us) on vocals, who sounds strikingly similar to G.G.

Following G.G.'s 'less is more' approach, the band blasts through twelve track of sordid filth and debauchery in just over thirty minutes. The opening track "Once a Whore" (Always a Whore) sets the tone for the disc and other song titles include "Two D*cks In Your Mouth", "My Little F*ck Doll" and "Piss Drinkin' Jew" (which is a previously unreleased number co-written by G.G. and Merle Allin). Skipping both political correctness (and taste, by some standards), the three-chord anthemic gutter punk melodies on this disc 'hide' the sort of brutal lyrics that would scare members of Westboro Baptist Church. While the Murder Junkies' music isn't for everyone, this disc is a worthy follow-up to G.G. Allin's last recorded works.

Murder Junkies

Friday, May 06, 2011

God-Des & She: Brooklyn Soul/Hip-Hop Duo Plays Public Assembly on May 10th

DOWNLOAD: God-Des & She - "Love Machine" (from Three)

God-Des & She: Brooklyn Soul/Hip-Hop Duo Plays Public Assembly on May 10thBrooklyn duo God-Des & She first hit my radar a few years ago when the video for their song "Lick It" (aka 'The P*ssy Song') was rejected by MTV. Responding, God-Des said "To me, it's almost blatant homophobia...They'll have guys talking about their lollipop and licking their lollipop all day, and they won't let a woman talk about pleasing a woman."

MTV obviously had somewhat of a change of heart as the duo premiered their latest music video for their single "Love Machine" on MTV's PopLab in April 2011. "Love Machine," the second single off their third album Three, is a retro/80's groove and a highly addictive track which demonstrates the duo's ability to continually surprise the listener by blurring the lines of hip-hop, pop and soul. With the combination of God-Des' smooth lyrical flow, the powerhouse vocals of She, and a unique style that is near impossible to define, this duo is well on their way to breaking into the mainstream. God-Des & She's third album, Three, produced entirely by Brian Hardgroove of Public Enemy fame, is available today via iTunes.

God-Des & She are playing a headlining show at Public Assembly on Tuesday, May 10th. Doors are at 8:30PM and tickets are $10 in advance and $12 (DOS).

God-Des & She

EMA (Erika M. Anderson) - "Past Life Martyred Saints" CD Review

DOWNLOAD: EMA - "The Grey Ship" (from Past Life Martyred Saints)
STREAM: EMA - "Kind Heart" (16 -minute cover of Robert Johnson's "Kind-Hearted Woman")

EMA (Erika M. Anderson) - 'Past Life Martyred Saints' CD ReviewThe debut CD (out May 10th) from former Gowns guitarist/singer Erika M. Anderson is darkly beautiful and haunting. On Past Life Martyred Saints, Anderson weaves hypnotic narratives on top of music that is as delicate and turbulent as her emotionally raw lyrics. This is the sort of music that you could easily imagine being included in David Lynch's next film and Bitch Magazine's blog remarked "this is the music you hear when you're entering into the eye of the storm."

The South Dakota native, San Francisco by-way-of Los Angeles transplant EMA is an entirely self-taught musician and home-recording engineer. After getting her feet wet as the guitarist for legendary folk/noise band Amps For Christ, she formed the genre bending, cult and critical favorite Gowns with Ezra Buchla in 2004. Gowns' Red State and their entrancing live show earned the band due praise in The New York Times ("an intense but surprisingly pretty album"), Pitchfork ("one of the most jaw-dropping live bands on the American DIY underground circuit"), Village Voice ("totally gorgeous and shattering"), and LA Weekly ("Anderson shreds a guitar, sings, emotes...like a woman possessed"), among others, burning fast and bright before parting ways amicably early last year.

It is hard to pin this disc down with a specific genre label as, aside for a consistently dark melancholia and a shimmering "4AD-style" aura, Anderson seamlessly skips between genres that range from lo-fi indie folk to drone to industrial. (Note: EMA opened for Throbbing Gristle in San Francisco on their last tour). While the music pulls the listener into this disc, there are few points of light in Anderson's haunting tales of society's losers and outcasts and the raw intensity of her delivery leaves you out on the ledge with these characters. Her vocals ranges from spoken word to double-tracked choruses to gothic shrieks as she tells tales of ritual cutting and goth murder ("Butterfly Knife"), the bruises of past relationships and the lament of past excesses ("Marked") and the potential for having to repeat one's mistakes in the next life ("Anteroom" - video below). All of this culminates in the surprisingly uplifting "Red Star" which builds to a glorious crescendo as the disc comes to a close.

EMA is playing a few dates in the UK this month (tour dates below) and US tour dates will follow soon.

EMA Tour Dates:
05-11: London, UK - The Macbeth
05-12: London, UK - Cargo (w/ Scout Niblett)
05-13: Manchester, UK - FutureEverything/Islington Mill (w/ Scout Niblett)
05-14: Brighton, UK - The Great Escape @ NME Radar Stage (Horatios)