Monday, October 31, 2011

Marissa Nadler Posts Covers of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Clinic from Forthcoming "Covers Volume II" CD

The River (featuring Faces on Film and Red Heroine) by marissanadler

Farewell Angelina (featuring Red Heroine) by marissanadler

Distortions featuring Red Heroine and Faces On Film by marissanadler

Marissa Nadler Posts a Cover of Springsteen's Boston-based dream-folk artist Marissa Nadler has announced the release of her Covers Volume II available on November 8 as handmade CDs at her Etsy shop. As a special Halloween treat Marissa has shared three tracks: covers of Clinic's "Distortions," Bruce Springsteen's "The River," and Bob Dylan's deep cut "Farewell Angelina. Covers Volume II follows her critically acclaimed s/t full-length out now on her own Box of Cedar Records.

After releasing several albums with Kemado (and having one of her songs inspire the name for vinyl start-up Mexican Summer), Nadler ventured out independently for her critically acclaimed self-titled album, which has been featured on NPR "World Cafe: Next," NPR First Listen, Vogue, KEXP, Pitchfork 'Overlooked Records of 2011' with an 8.1 album review, and as one of SPIN's "5 Best New Artists for June," among others.

Covers Volume II track listing:
1. Winter Lady
2. Learning To Fly
3. Birds
4. Farewell Angelina
5. You Don't Miss Your Water
6. The River
7. Motel Blues
8. Distortions
9. Sara
10. The Book of Love
11. Avalanche
12. All My Trails
13. Close Your Eyes I'll Be Here In The Morning

Original Artists:
1. Winter Lady- Leonard Cohen
2. Learning to Fly- Tom Petty
3. Birds- Neil Young (off of After the Goldrush)
4. Farewell Angelina - Bob Dylan (off of Bootleg Series vol. II)
5. You Don't Miss Your Water - William Bell
6. The River- Bruce Springsteen (off of The River)
7. Motel Blues - Loudon Wainwright III
8. Distortions- Clinic
9. Sara - Bob Dylan (off of Desire)
10. The Book Of Love- The Magnetic Fields (off of 69 Love Songs)
11. Avalanche - Leonard Cohen (off of Songs of Love and Hate)
12. All My Trials (spiritual, traditional)
13. Close Your Eyes I'll Be Here In The Morning (Townes Van Zandt)

Marissa Nadler

Yes - "Live On Air" CD Review (XXL Media)

Yes - 'Live On Air' CD Review (XXL Media)Yes - Live on Air documents the band on the last stop of the 90125 tour and this show was recorded at Estadio C. A. Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires, Argentina on February 1, 1985.

Ignore all the track lists for this disc that are posted on the internet as they list the complete set list for the 2+ hour show and this disc runs exactly 60 minutes. Sadly, even the track list on the package is wrong. Here is what is on this disc:

- "Leave It" (4:18)
- "Hold On" (6:27)
- "Changes / And You and I" (13:26)
- "Soon" (3:43)
- "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (4:57)
- "It Can Happen" (6:58)
- "City of Love" (9:34)
- "Starship Trooper" (6:19)
- "Gimme Some Lovin'" (3:54)

This show was pro-shot and was likely broadcast on TV as a Spanish-speaking announcers cuts in briefly between "Changes" and "And You and I". There are also a couple tracks from this show posted to YouTube.

While I think this is a disc that Yes fans are going to want to hunt down, I want to mention two 'issues' with the disc that may scare off hardcore audiophiles. The first is that the disc was recorded track-at-once so there are gaps between the songs. The second is that there is some slight "noise" in the recording that brings the overall sound down to a "VG+" as opposed to being a crystalline soundboard recording.

Regardless of these minor flaws, this disc captures an energized Yes and does a great job of documenting the 90125 tour. (Note: I always considered 9012Live: The Solos a complete throw-away so there is really no comparison between the two discs).


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Hive Dwellers: Stream Forthcoming Single "Lynch the Swan" from Calvin Johnson's Latest Project

The Hive Dwellers by BrooklynRocks

Pretty cool stuff from K Records main man Calvin Johnson...

The brand new Hive Dwellers 7” (“Lynch the Swan” b/w Selector Dub Narcotic - “Dub the Swan”) comes out on November 15th and features a brand new creepy town USA, Hive Dwellers original on one side, and then a remix of that same song (done by Calvin Johnson himself) on the other side.

Also, The Hive Dwellers have a couple of Portland shows (all ages) coming up!

Dec. 10 // Project Grow at Port City
8:00 PM - ALL AGES

Dec. 11 // Studio 1996
“French toast at 12:30 PM, music to follow”

K Records - Web Store
K Records - Facebook

Neil Young - "Live on Air / The Lost Tapes Vol. 2" CD Review (XXL Media)

Neil Young - 'Live on Air / The Lost Tapes Vol. 2' CD Review (XXL Media)This second volume of Live on Air / The Lost Tapes captures an electric performance by Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Rock in Rio III. The show took place on January 20, 2001 and was simulcast in digital stereo so the sound on this disc is near perfect.

This 65 minute / six track disc captures the second half of Neil's 11 song performance and, as this was Neil's first performance in Brazil, the crowd responds enthusiastically as Neil plays extended versions of some of his better known songs. Below is the track list for the CD along with some videos from the show. One of the highlights of the disc is the false ending on "Like A Hurricane" and the feedback drenched, broken guitar string, bloody wrist jam that Neil goes into during the last few minutes of the song.

Live on Air / The Lost Tapes Vol. 2 Track List
- "Cortez the Killer" (12:23)
- "Like A Hurricane" (14:43)
- "Rockin' In The Free World" (9:58)
- "Powderfinger" (7:20)
- "Down By The River" (12:29)
- "Welfare Mothers" (8:14)

This is a solid release with my only complaint being that this disc, like all of the Live on Air discs I've heard thus far, was recorded track-at-once. This isn't a big deal though as a spare 5 minutes and a wave editor will quickly solve this problem. All that is really needed is for the first half of this show to come out on Vol. 3.

Neil Young

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hurricane Bells - "Tides and Tales" CD Review (Invisible Brigades)

Hurricane Bells - 'Tides and Tales' CD Review (Invisible Brigades)On October 25th, Steve Schiltz is releasing Hurricane Bells' second disc, Tides and Tales, on his imprint Invisible Brigades. This 12-track / 40 minute disc builds on the melancholy late-night vibe of 2009's Tonight is the Ghost but, this time out, Schiltz utilized a full band during the recording process which leaves this disc sounding more cohesive than its predecessor. Contributing to this disc are: Ashen Keilyn (Scout), who’s toured with Hurricane Bells from its inception; Christian Bongers (bass) and Colin Brooks (drums), who round out the live band; Travis Harrison (drums); Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October, who plays harmonica on two tracks; and Dave Doobinin (who is in Son of George along with Steve Schiltz), who sings on “Let’s Go.”

The disc starts where Tonight is the Ghost left off with the track "I've Got A Second Chance", which takes its inspiration from a sign posted by the owner of Coney Island’s Steeplechase Amusement Park after the park burnt down that read: “I have troubles today that I had not yesterday. I had troubles yesterday which I have not today.” This track also sets the lyrical tone for the disc as most of Shiltz's songs are tales of loss and love gone bad.

Musically, Hurricane Bells touches on Byrdsian-pop ("The Ghost of Her"), swirling indie-rock ("Hours Like Days", "Possibilities"), Teenage Fanclub style alt-rock ("Let's Go") along with a number of other styles. There are also two upbeat instrumentals - "Piano Stunt", which breaks in mid-way through the disc and "The Hunger Moon" which closes out the disc. Rather than sounding schizophrenic with all of these stylistic jumps, the songs flow and sound like the band had fun recording them. The track "Let's Go" ends with a snippet of studio banter where someone says "That was pretty good, right?".

While I don't think any of the tracks on this new disc are going to hit as hard as "Monsters" (from The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack), up-tempo tracks like "Possibilities" and "Let's Go" show Shiltz's songwriting moving in the right direction.

Hurricane Bells

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pikachunes & The Golden Awesome - NZ@CMJ, Le Poisson Rouge, NYC 10-18-11

The Golden Awesome - Astronomy by AwesomeFeelingFive

I'm not a fan of the craziness that goes on around CMJ as that seems to be the one week out of the year where the clubs are jam-packed full of drunks and photographers. I've skipped the Festival the last couple years but broke down this year as I wanted to see New Zealand shoe-gazers The Golden Awesome.

The Golden Awesome - Le Poisson Rouge, NYC 10-18-11

Le Poisson Rouge hosted a New Zealand @ CMJ party on the first night of the Festival which was fueled by free beer and vodka cocktails (from 42BELOW) and DUB pies. The bands that played were Princess Chelsea, Andrew Keoghan, Pikachunes, The Golden Awesome, Popstrangers, Street Chant and Cairo Knife Fight.

I missed Princess Chelsea and Andrew Keoghan and his violin were interesting, but not my preferred style of music. The evening really got going (and the drinks flowing) when Pikachunes (aka Miles McDougall) took the stage. Playing industrial dance music (think Depeche Mode - Some Great Reward era) using just a synthesizer and moody baritone vocals, Pikachunes sparked the energy in the room. One of the stand-out tracks was "Metronome", which is from the self-titled disc, released about a year ago on Lil' Chief Records.

Pikachunes - Le Poisson Rouge, NYC 10-18-11

Pikachunes - Le Poisson Rouge, NYC 10-18-11

The Golden Awesome didn't disappoint -- the band sounds like they were directly influenced by 90's acts like Ride and My Bloody Valentine and they built up a lush wall of noise beneath which keyboardist/vocalist Stef Animal weaved ethereal vocals.

The Golden Awesome - Le Poisson Rouge, NYC 10-18-11

The band recently signed with Brooklyn's M'Lady Records and below is a video from the label's CMJ showcase at Death By Audio.

The Golden Awesome

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Andy Warhol's Bad - DVD Review (Warhol's last theatrical release)

Bad - DVD Review (Andy Warhol's last theatrical release)Andy Warhol's last theatrical release Bad (1977) was recently re-released on DVD by the label Cheezy Flicks. The movie is classic, black-humored film noir that is set in the urban war zone of late 70's New York and this film may have set the stage for later films like Natural Born Killers and Serial Mom.

The film centers around Queens housewife Hazel Aiken who runs an electrolysis service out of her house but makes extra money by providing ruthless women to do hit jobs. The role is played with an icy ruthlessness by Carroll Baker but it was offered first to Vivian Vance.

Bob Colacello: "We had already tried to get Vivian Vance to play the lead... It was a far cry from the I Love Lucy show, but we thought Vivian Vance would be perfect for the part... Vivian Vance thought differently. 'I'd love to do it, Andy, I really would,' she told us over dinner at La Caravelle. 'But you must understand that for all those people out there I'm still Ethel Mertz, Lucy's next-door neighbor and the nicest woman in America, and that's why I can still go into any dinner theater in the country and get paid $20,000 a week, because all my nice fans in their mink stoles want to see Ethel Mertz be nice. I hate being nice and I hate my fans and I hate their mink stoles. But I love making $20,000 a week anytime I want..."

The movie starts with Cyrinda Foxe trashing a diner and some of the other "jobs" that Mrs. Aiken's girls take on include amputation (dropping a car on the person's legs) and both dog and baby killing. The censors originally gave this movie an X rating and the film was banned in Germany which may have been due to a scene where a baby is throw out of a window. The remorseless violence is consistently mixed with black humored one-liners - as the baby/doll lays splattered on the pavement, a mother turns to her child and says "That's what I'll do to you, if you don't shut up".

Mrs. Aiken's character is equal part cold-blooded killer and "June Cleaver" housewife and she rationalizes what she does as taking personal responsibility and having a professional work ethic. On one hand, Aiken arranges these murder-for-hire killings from a phone in her kitchen and tries short-changing the blind news stand person. On the other hand, she admonishes the trash-talking sisters Marsha and Glenda "I don't like toilet talk in my kitchen. You girls are colorful. A lot of girls today are."

The supporting characters are what gives the movie its character. There is the belching, gas-passing psycho Estelle ("I've got a lot of gas in me. My doctor says I'm an air swallower") who wants her neighbor's dog killed "viciously" as she believes that the neighbor made fun of her weight. There is the mincing and perpetually shell-shocked daughter-in-law Mary Aiken, played by Susan Tyrrell, who is completely out of touch with the world but, at the same time, seems to be the only sane character in this film. There is also Detective Hughes, played Charles McGregor, whose outrageously bad portrayal of a cop on the take, is so bad that it is campy fun.

Things start to go bad for Mrs. Aiken when Marsha and Glenda fail to complete the job of killing Lawrence Tierney's (who is referred to as "O'Reily O'Crapface") dog and layabout nephew L.T. (played by Perry King), who wanted in on the action, finds that he can't go forward with the killing of an autistic child. The movie ends with Aiken losing her cool as her world starts unraveling and taking her frustrations out on the wrong person. To say anymore though would spoil the movie's ending...

Andy's Warhol's Bad - Facebook Page

Nirvana - "Nevermind" 2CD Deluxe Edition CD Review

Nirvana - 'Nevermind' 2CD Deluxe Edition CD ReviewIf the deluxe edition of Nirvana's seminal 1991 disc Nevermind had come out prior to 2004's With the Lights Out box set, it would have broken new ground. Unfortunately, the bonus material on this new 2CD set is an anti-climactic snooze-fest that will likely be of interest only to Nirvana completists.

Jumping in - Disc One contains a remastered version of the original 13 tracks from Nevermind along with the b-sides from the "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Lithium", "Come as You Are" and "In Bloom" CD singles. There is nothing new here and used copies of both Nevermind and the four singles are commonly found in the bargain bins of the local CD shops. Not to pile on but...these remastered tracks fall victim to the "loudness wars" complaints that have plagued many recent reissues.

Disc Two contains the eight tracks recorded at Butch Vig's Smart Studios during April 2-6, 1990, eight rehearsal tracks recorded on a boombox in March 1991 and "Drain You" from a John Peel session (Sept. 3, 1991) and "Something in the Way" from a Mark Goodier session (Nov. 9, 1991). The "problem" with the majority of the tracks on Disc Two is that they sound very close to the final studio versions and offer no new insight to songs or their evolution.

Smart Studios sessions, Madison, Wisconsin, April 2–6, 1990
"In Bloom"
"Immodium (Breed)"
"Pay to Play" (originally released on With the Lights Out)
"Here She Comes Now" (originally released on With the Lights Out)
"Dive" (originally released on Insecticide)

I don't believe that the "boombox rehearsals" were bootlegged (unlike the heavily bootlegged Smart Studio sessions) so a number of these tracks were new to me. I didn't mind the somewhat dodgy sound quality (tape hiss, etc.) but, again, these tracks sound like raw, lo-fi takes of the final studio versions so there aren't any surprises. Butch Vig commented to Rolling Stone: "The boombox recordings are some of the coolest stuff for hardcore fans. They sound super lo-fi and dirty and trashy, really primal."

Boombox rehearsals, Tacoma, Washington, March 1991
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" (originally released on With the Lights Out)
"Verse Chorus Verse"
"Territorial Pissings"
"Lounge Act"
"Come as You Are"
"Old Age"
"Something in the Way"
"On a Plain"

"Drain You", from the Sept. 3, 1991 John Peel radio session, was (for some strange reason) separated from the other two tracks from this session which are found on With the Lights Out. "Something in Way" is the last of four tracks recorded for a Mark Goodier session in Nov. '91 and the first three tracks were released on Insecticide.

Even with the disc selling new (through Amazon third party sellers) for $14.96, there just isn't enough here to justify the investment. Ultimately, this a 'curiosity' that will likely sit on the shelf after a spin or two.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bugs in the Dark - "Hang It On The Wall" CD EP Review

Bugs in the Dark - 'Hang It On The Wall' CD EP ReviewBrooklyn's Bugs in the Dark continue to make major leaps forward with each release. The band's new EP, "Hang It On The Wall", shows them moving almost completely away from slashing, dissonant guitars and tribal drum sounds of their earlier releases to take their new songs in a direction that is comparable to PJ Harvey and/or Sonic Youth.

The four track on "Hang It On The Wall" run just shy of 20 minutes and the overall sound is atmospheric and dark. The disc kicks off "Serpents and Wine" which is a brooding song, powered by Karen's "PJ Harvey-style" vocals and a pulsing guitar line, that builds to a dark crescendo before collapsing into a whispered vocals and a wave of guitar feedback. The disc closes with an Aman Ellis remix of this song where he brilliantly deconstructs the song to morph it into a dark wave dance club track.

Zach sings lead on the second song "Picture". This is a melancholy song, with an undercurrent of feedback and clean guitar leads, that is a perfect fit for Zach's goth/blues vocals and it is a treat to hear him harmonize with Karen on the chorus. The final new song, "Metal Bird", has a prominent angular guitar line, that is reminiscent of Bugs' past work, on top of some atmospheric feedback which provides the backdrop for Karen's angelic and haunting vocals.

Bugs in the Dark just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign which allowed them to finish the new EP, tour Europe and play the Halifax Pop Explosion in Canada and this disc should go a long way toward helping the band break out internationally. While the Kickstarter campaign is over, the promo video that the band made documents the evolution of their sound.

Bugs in the Dark have a CD release party show at Mercury Lounge on Nov. 6 (Bambara, Hilly Eye and Butchers and Bakers are also on the bill. Tickets are $8) and are playing a show at Cake Shop on Dec. 9 along with Gone Bad.

Bugs in the Dark

Paper Thick Walls: Chicago Indie-Folk band Plays Let's Get Messy's Free Day Party on Saturday, Oct. 22nd at Arlene's Grocery

Old Weathered Wooden Dock by paperthickwalls

Paper Thick Walls: Chicago Indie-Folk band Plays Let's Get Messy Free Day Party Show on Saturday at Arlene's GroceryPaper Thick Walls presents an elegant mix of deep, reflective, and at times haunting music, which captures elements of sound similar to acts like Arcade Fire and Sufjan Stevens. The almost orchestral arrangement of piano, upright bass, guitars, drums, fiddle, mandolin, and other various instruments has a fascinating way of complimenting the profound fictional story lines that Paper Thick Walls portray through their lyrics.

Their songs quickly caught the attention of sound engineer Mike Hagler (Neko Case, Wilco) who engineered Paper Thick Walls’ debut record entitled A Thousand Novels which was released on May 3, 2011 and promptly followed by a sold out record release show at “Hideout” in Chicago.

Here is what Rock NYC had to say about the band's debut album:
"My verdict, then, is that Paper Thick Walls’ “A Thousand Novels” is quite good. Not only are their compositions very nicely crafted, with the band displaying a penchant for a number of musical styles, their storytelling will keep you entertained and often contains elements of that darkness that lends a haunting quality to a song. Take a look."

Paper Think Walls are playing Let's Get Messy's unofficial CMJ day party on Saturday, Oct. 22nd. The show is free and the lineup is:

12:00PM: Hey Marseilles
12:45PM: The Damn Choir
1:30PM: Son of the Sun
2:15PM: Sandman Viper Command
3:00PM: Paper Thick Walls
3:45PM: Sydney Wayser
4:30PM: Kellen & Me
5:15PM: Archie Powell & the Exports

Paper Thick Walls

The Soundtrack Series Continues at (Le) Poisson Rouge on November 2nd (Free)

DOWNLOAD: Bridget O'Neill - Stigmata / Ministry

The Soundtrack Series Continues at (Le) Poisson Rouge on November 2ndThe Soundtrack Series is a monthly dose of stories fueled by songs which has been a "Critic’s Pick" in Time Out New York, listed by Gothamist as a "Gothamist Event of the Week" and included among the “Best Events and Things to Do in NYC” by CBS News New York.

Five guest storytellers get on the mic to tell the hilarious or heart wrenching stories and memories they forever associate with a song from their past. Everyone has a song that sparks a great story. Stop by the Gallery at (Le) Poisson Rouge on the fourth Thursday of every month to hear incredible (and often eerily familiar) stories inspired by the songs that underscore the biggest, happiest, or most embarrassing moments of our lives.

This is a Free event - doors are at 7PM and stories start at 8PM.

This month's readers:

Hallie Haglund
(Emmy Award-Winning Writer--The Daily Show)
"When the Stars Go Blue"/Ryan Adams

Peter Aguero
(The Moth, BTK Band)
"The Entertainer"/Scott Joplin

Lisa Kirchner
(BUST, Salon)
"Bull in the Heather"/Sonic Youth

Dustin Nelson
(InDigest Magazine, Radio Happy Hour)
"Plaster Casts of Everything"/Liars

Ben Lillie
(Story Collider, TED)
"Cat's in the Cradle"/Ugly Kid Joe

The Soundtrack Series

The Mayor of Bad News Plays Trash Bar on Monday, Oct. 24th

Don't Paint Your Kitchen Red by The Mayor of Bad News

The Mayor of Bad News Plays Trash Bar on Monday, Oct. 24thThe Mayor of Bad News, a gleefully off-kilter Brooklyn lo-fi duo, is playing The Trash Bar this Monday, Oct. 24.

I can't find a bio or website for the band (though, there are some free downloads on Bandcamp and Soundcloud) so here is the write-up on the band from a show at the beginning of the year at Pete's Candy Store: "The Mayor of Bad News consists of brothers Max and Sam Seeger: Max writes songs dealing with love, haunted houses, revenge and fainting, for which he sings and plays acoustic guitar; Sam plays guitar solos against his will. Their influences include but are not limited to Coast to Coast AM with George Noory."

Sharing the bill at Monday's show is: Cannabis (11PM), Columbus Priority Mail (10PM) and Portmanteaux (9PM). The Mayor of Bad News go on at 8PM which is also the start of The Trash Bar's hour-long open bar. Cover is $7.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Trick or Treat" - Nitehawk Cinema Screens Rare 35mm Print of Classic Heavy Metal Film on Oct. 21 & 22

Prepare to get caught in a 35mm mosh pit as Wild Eye Releasing presents The Heavy Metal Horror Show! Appearing at Brooklyn's own Nitehawk Cinema for two nights only, Friday, October 21st & Saturday, October 22nd, starting at Midnight.

Headlining the bill is the 1986 headbanging horror classic Trick or Treat directed by Charles Martin Smith. Experience the mysterious death and backwards record-induced return of Rock N' Roll superstar Sammi Curr (Tony Fields) as he haunts his biggest fan Skippy, er, we mean Eddie (Mark Price). Watch as Curr shreds till everyone on screen is literally dead, with special guest appearances by Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons.

And if that isn't enough to satiate your sick minds, make sure to show up early to catch opening act The Ghost Of The New York Grindhouse Trailer Show performing a full hour of spine tingling horror and exploitation trailers from the 60's and 70's that will raise your hair, but without that can of Aquanet.

So cancel your Dungeons and Dragons game and raise your devil-horned hands in the air as we bring Heavy Metal to the silver screen in its purest form, with the entire evening's events being screened from original 35mm prints and the volume turned up to 11.

Avoid price gouging scalpers and get your tickets now! Advance tickets are available at the Nitehawk Cinema box office and at For more information, visit wildeyereleasing on Facebook or

Nighthawk Cinema is located at 136 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg. Tickets are $11 and the show starts at midnight.

Trick or Treat (IMDB)

Hull Plays CMJ Tee Pee Showcase at Union Pool on Friday, Oct. 21st

DOWNLOAD: Hull - "Beyond the Lightless Sky" (hosted on

Brooklyn three-guitar led sludge rock collective Hull will play the Tee Pee Records CMJ showcase this Friday, October 21 at Union Pool in Brooklyn. Also appearing on the show will be Naam, The Fucking Wrath, ELKS, Mirror Queen and Unstoppable Death Machines. Tickets are $8.

Hull will kick off a long-awaited, near month-long U.S. tour on Wednesday in support of their monolithic Beyond The Lightless Sky full-length released via The End Records last week. The band will be joined by The F*cking Wrath on select dates. See updated tour schedule below.

Called "...a concept album for the ages" by Metal Army America, Beyond The Lightless Sky features guest appearances by vocalist Jarboe, keys/ambiance by Fade Kainer (Batillus/Jarboe/Inswarm ) and is raising the eye brows of fans and critics alike for its delicate balance of staggering heaviness and poetic grace. Exclaim hailed the band saying: "Hull have made something immense and nimble, ponderous and powerful," while CMJ noted
of the guitar sound in particular, "They're downright elegant at times, a fantastic contrast to the otherwise intense soundscape." The Obelisk called the band "crushingly heavy in a cerebral sense," adding that "Hull have come into their own and not only join the ranks of forward-thinking American metallers, but position themselves at the front of the pack with a few moments of unabashed, unashamed modern metal," and The Village Voice (NYC) commended the band's seamless versatility: "[Beyond The Lightless Sky] veers between motorcycle-revving D-beat, bog-trawling doom, sinister black metal, Neurosis drum-offs and hypnotic passages that gnash like a venom-dripping cousin to the final Isis album."

Hull Fall 2011 Tour:
10/19/2011 Valentines Downstairs – Albany, NY*
10/21/2011 Union Pool - Brooklyn, NY (HULL at 11:00pm!)
10/22/2011 Mojo 13 – Wilmington, DE
10/23/2011 Golden West Cafe – Baltimore, MD *
10/24/2011 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA *
10/25/2011 Milestone – Charlotte, NC *
10/26/2011 Drunken Unicorn – Atlanta, GA *
10/27/2011 Wormhole – Savannah, GA *
10/28/2011 The Snooze – West Palm Beach, FL *
11/01/2011 Siberia – New Orleans, LA *
11/02/2011 Brian Street Tavern – Dallas, TX *
11/03/2011 Red 7 FFF Kickoff Party – Austin, TX *
11/04/2011 Bash Riprocks – Lubbock, TX *
11/05/2011 The Open Source Project – Phoenix, AZ *
11/06/2011 Que Sara – Long Beach, CA *
11/07/2011 Vacation Vinyl (early show) – Los Angeles, CA
11/07/2011 Mountain Bar (late show) – Los Angeles, CA
11/08/2011 Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA
11/10/2011 Highline – Seattle, WA
11/11/2011 Plan B – Portland, OR
11/14/2011 Bar Deluxe – Salt Lake City, UT
11/15/2011 Old Curtis Street – Denver, CO
11/17/2011 Downtown – Little Rock, AR
11/19/2011 Nightlight – Chapel Hill, NC
11/20/2011 Johhny Brendas – Philadelphia, PA
* w/ The F*cking Wrath


Sick of It All Releases New Version of "Built to Last" From Forthcoming Disc "Nonstop"

"In celebration of our 25th anniversary, we will be releasing NONSTOP, an album of re-recorded classics. The album will be available on November 1st through Century Media and we have teamed up with to premiere one of the tracks. We had a great time re-recording some of our favorite songs, done the old school way, 20 songs recorded and mixed in 4 days! What better way to kick it off than with the new, rawer, heavier version of Built To Last? Hope you like it. Let the trash talking begin!"
- from

Ok...I'll start the trash talk. I get sent a lot of show listing have been looking at a number of out-of-town metal bands that are playing area dates in CT and NJ and completely skip the City. I never would have expect one of the stalwarts of the NYHC scene to go out on an East Coast tour and not play a show in town.

11/25 - Philadelphia, PA @ Broad St. Ministry w/ Trapped Under Ice & Backtrack
11/26 - Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights (Mike Valente's Rat-A-Tat Tattoo Expo)
11/27 - Providence, RI @ Club Hell

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Backwords: Brooklyn Psych-Folk Band Announces CMJ Shows at Bowery Electric and Bruar Falls

And Then Sigh by backwordsmusic

Backwords: Brooklyn Psych-Folk Band Announces CMJ Shows at Bowery Electric and Bruar FallsBrooklyn psyche-folk-pop band Backwords just announced that they have set up one of the last ever CMJ showcases at Bruar Falls on Thursday 10/20, under the umbrella of their basement diy recording studio "Campers' Rule Records".

Campers' Rule Records Presents a FREE daytime CMJ show:

Where: Bruar Falls, 245 Grand St., Brooklyn NY
Noon-1:00pm - FREE BBQ in Bruar Falls Backyard
$3 - Brooklyn Lagers!

1:30PM - Moonmen on the Moon, Man
2:00PM Yanqui
2:30PM Easter Vomit
3:00PM Beat People, (members of Girls at Dawn / Fergus & Geronimo)
4:00PM backwords
4:30PM Fort Lean
5:00PM Radical Dads

Also - Backwords will be touring immediately following CMJ and will be releasing a new album, By the Neck, in the Spring.

10.19 - WED - Tijuana Gift Shop CMJ Showcase, Bowery Electric: Robbers on High Street, Madison Square Gardners
10.20 - THU - Campers' Rule FREE Daytime Showcase at Bruar Falls: w/ Moonmen on the Moon Man, Yanqui, Easter Vomit, Beat People, Fort Lean, Radical Dads - 1:00pm-6:00pm
10.22 - SAT - Fundraiser for the "Bushwick Community Darkroom" - Below Shea Stadium, Brooklyn, NY: The Furies, Broken Glow
10.23 - SUN - The Bug Jar, Rochester, NY
10.24 - MON - Soundlab, Buffalo, NY
10.25 - TUE - The Smiling Moose, Pittsburgh, PA
10.26 - WED - Bela Dubby, Cleveland, OH
10.27 - THU - South Park Tavern, Dayton, OH
10.28 - FRI - Green Lantern, Lexington, KY
10.29 - SAT - Rhino's, Bloomington IN
10.30 - SUN - Transistor in-store, Chicago, IL
10.31 - MON - Swing State, Lake Villa, IL
11.02 - WED - Rudyard Kipling, Louisville, KY
11.03 - THU - The Walnut House, Murphreesboro, TN
11.04 - FRI - The 5 Spot, Nashville, TN
11.06 - SUN - Acoustic Coffeehouse - Johnson City, TN
11.07 - MON - Knox ivi - TV appearance, in early morning - Preservation Pub Evening: Knoxville, TN
11.09 - WED - Strange Matter - Richmond, VA
11.11 - FRI - Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, Charlottesville, VA
11.12 - SAT - Gillies, Blacksburg VA


Friday, October 14, 2011

Lissie Announces an EP of Covers, "Covered Up With Flowers", Due out Nov. 1st (Fat Possum)

Lissie Announces An EP of Covers, 'Covered Up With Flowers', Due out Nov. 1st (Fat Possum) Lissie will release a new EP, "Covered Up With Flowers", on November 8th, 2011 via Fat Possum. The EP is a collection of five cover songs, featuring her fan-favorite versions of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", Kid Cudi's "Pursuit Of Happiness", and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" - live videos of which have garnered more than five million combined views on YouTube. Highlighting both her artistic versatility and the range of her extraordinary, sun-and-whiskey-soaked voice, "Covered Up With Flowers" also includes two new covers: Lissie's soulful, rootsy take on Joe South's "Games People Play" and a haunting version of Nick Cave's "The Ship Song". The EP will be available exclusively on iTunes a week prior to release, beginning November 1st.

Lissie, also a VH1 "You Oughta Know" artist, is now confirmed to support Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers on October 29th at the Benefit Concert for Public Radio Station 88.5 FM KCSN/Los Angeles. The show will be held at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall on the California State University, Northridge campus. Tickets will be sold during a membership Pledge Drive from October 14th through October 23rd; details are available at and by listening to 88.5 FM KCSN.

Covered Up With Flowers track listing:
- "Pursuit Of Happiness" (Kid Cudi cover)
- "Bad Romance" (Lady Gaga cover)
- "Games People Play" (Joe South cover)
- "Nothing Else Matters" (Metallica cover)
- "The Ship Song" (Nick Cave cover)


Thursday, October 13, 2011

First Aid Kit Post Title Track From Their Sophomore Release "The Lion's Roar" / Show at Mercury Lounge on November 16th

First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar by Wichita Recordings

First Aid Kit Post Title Track From Their Sophomore Release 'The Lion's Roar' / Show at Mercury Lounge on November 16thFirst Aid Kit premiered the title track off their upcoming sophomore full-length album The Lion’s Roar yesterday on NPR’s All Songs Considered Blog. Described as “more than just a pretty song…a piercing ballad about the pain and frustration of lost love”. A single of “The Lion’s Roar” will be available digitally and as a 7-inch at the band’s shows beginning November 8th. The 7-inch will also be available at independent retailers on December 6th. The Lion’s Roar LP will be released January 24th, 2012 on Wichita Recordings.

After a short run of UK dates with Lykke Li beginning late this month, First Aid Kit will head westward in November for a US tour also supporting their fellow Swede. These US dates include two headlining shows as well: on the 8th at The Troubadour in Los Angeles and on the 16th at the Mercury Lounge in New York. The show at the Mercury Lounge is an early show (6:30PM doors) at First Aid Kit is playing with Alessi's Ark. Advanced tickets are $15.

The band will then return to Europe for another six dates in late November/early December. Last month, First Aid Kit – who recently performed a moving rendition of Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot” at the Polar Music Prize awards ceremony – spent two weeks touring the US with Bright Eyes. A current itinerary is below.

The follow up to last year’s highly-praised debut LP The Big Black & The Blue, The Lion’s Roar finds sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg at their finest, singing bittersweet songs that frequently juxtapose sadness and beauty. Whether the title track opener, the achingly lovely “Emmylou”, or the exuberant final track “King Of The World” (featuring Conor Oberst and The Felice Brothers), the Söderbergs’ evocative, preternatural harmonies and remarkable songwriting take centerstage throughout the album.

First Aid Kit recorded The Lion’s Roar with producer Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes and Monster Of Folk; producer of Cursive, Lightspeed Champion, Pete Yorn, and many others) in May at his ARC Studios in Omaha, NE. In addition to Klara (vocals, guitar) and Johanna (vocals, autoharp, keys), the album features their father Benkt on bass and Mattias Bergqvist on drums, while Mogis, Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes), and a cast of Omaha-based musicians further round out the sound.

Earlier this year, First Aid Kit released a Third Man Records Blue Series 7-inch single featuring covers of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier” the classic blues standard “It Hurts Me Too”, recorded with Jack White at his own Third Man Studios in Nashville, TN.

First Aid Kit Tour Dates:
OCT. 30 -- GLASGOW, UK -- ABC*
NOV. 1 -- LONDON, UK -- ROUNDHOUSE* (sold out)
* supporting Lykke Li

First Aid Kit

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tyler Ramsey (Band of Horses) - Photos & Live Review, Joe's Pub, NYC 10-10-11

DOWNLOAD: Tyler Ramsey - "All Through the Night" (from Fuel/Friends Chapel Session)

Tyler Ramsey played a solo headlining show at Joe's Pub this past Monday, touring behind his recently released third solo disc The Valley Wind (Fat Possum). It was an intimate evening as Tyler's plaintive vocals established the atmosphere and he alternated between acoustic and electric guitar, occasionally utilizing some reverb and taped backing instrumentation. The show ran for just over 60 minutes, with one encore, and Tyler played material from all three of his solo discs and ended the evening with a cover of Jules Shear's "All Through the Night".

Tyler Ramsey - Joe's Pub, NYC 10-10-11

I found Tyler's stage banter rather charming as, I "see" him as someone who has played some big venues with Band of Horses, he seemed truly surprised and grateful for the number of people that showed up and the warm welcome he received.

Tyler Ramsey - Joe's Pub, NYC 10-10-11

It is worth mentioning that the setting at the newly renovated and reopened Joe's Pub added to the performance. While I always thought the club had great sound, the renovations opened up the sight lines and the lighting seems so much better. Given that all seats have a close proximity to the stage, Tyler's performance held the audience mesmerized (...and quiet, which was a nice change from some shows I've seen at other venues).

Tyler Ramsey's new disc, The Valley Wind, came out September 27th on Fat Possum. The disc is available for via Fat Possum’s webstore and iTunes and iTunes version comes with a bonus track of Ramsey covering Jules Shear’s “All Through The Night” (live version posted above).

Tyler Ramsey Upcoming Tour Dates:
10/13 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café
10/15 – Staunton, VA @ Mockingbird
10/19 – Decatur, GA @ Eddie’s Attic
10/22 - Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar
10/23 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
10/24 - Portland, OR @ The Bunk Bar
10/25 - Seattle, WA @ Fremont Abbey

Tyler Ramsey

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Grates Play Seven CMJ Shows Next Week

The Grates Play Seven CMJ Shows Next Week I guess I've been out of touch with what The Grates have been doing as I didn't realize that the Brisbane, Australia trio is now a duo and had relocated to Brooklyn. I got a kick out of the band's new bio (snippet below) where they talk about how they expected NYC to give them immediate inspiration for their third disc, Secret Rituals (which came out this past June). "They rode their bikes through New York blizzards, ate too much Mexican, joined a food co-op to stalk Entourage star Adrian Greiner and longed for New York to give them an album." Hopefully, they didn't join the Park Slope Food Co-Op as that place will suck the creativity and inspiration out of anyone.

Secret Rituals’ is a giant step forward for The Grates. There are still the infectious choruses, cheeky singalongs, and artfully addictive arrangements that characterised the band’s first two albums, but nobody could accuse The Grates of being ‘cute’ any longer. The band’s latest effort is broader and tougher in scope, more stripped back and bold. While a common thread links the record together, marking an album that is unmistakably The Grates, the individual tracks explore new depths. Without the luxury of having six weeks to finetune her lyrics while Alana and John figured out the songs, Patience was forced to take a more direct approach to her lyric writing.

“Everything had been hidden in metaphors on the previous two albums,” she says. “I don’t exactly know how I started feeling confident but it was probably to do with being in New York and being out of my comfort zone and how scary that is in the beginning, but then when you conquer it you’re left with so many more resources because you’ve got so much more to draw from.”

Patience wrote the lyrics to ‘The Night Won’t Start Without Us’’ in the middle of winter in a crazy, crazy blizzard, on one of the days the band was trapped in the band room for hours. But the only storm you’ll hear in this homage to the beaches of Australia are the whirling guitars and tumbling drums. ‘Welcome to the Middle’ is what Patience refers to as a “death lullaby.” No-nonsense drums punch through swirling guitars as she sweetly sings about life being a circle parade. “That’s the sort of song you’re not really going to want to sing to your kid, but that’s what I would sing to explain how life works,” she explains.

The Grates' CMJ Schedule:
- Oct. 16: The Delancey, NYC, 11PM (FREE)
- Oct. 17: Public Assembly, Brooklyn, 9PM
- Oct. 18: Cake Shop, NYC, 9PM
- Oct. 20: Rosenthal Pavilion, NYU Kimmel Centre, 1:55PM
- Oct. 20: Pianos, NYC, 10:30PM (FREE)
- Oct. 21: Pianos, NYC 5:20PM
- Oct. 22: The Delancey, NYC, 4:40PM

The Grates

French Horn Rebellion and AVAN LAVA Play MOSCOT's Unofficial CMJ Party on Oct. 19th

Lemons by AVAN LAVA

French Horn Rebellion and Avan Lava Play MOSCOT's Unofficial CMJ Party on Oct. 19th MOSCOT Music is presenting an unofficial CMJ Party on Wednesday, October 19th with French Horn Rebellion and Avan Lava. This is a free show that starts at 7PM.

French Horn Rebellion (Robert and David Perlick-Molinari) kicked off 2011 by announcing the US self-release of their debut album, The Infinite Music of French Horn Rebellion. Written, produced and mixed by Robert and David, the album warps together the fabric of dance, electro, rock and funk. Previous to this release, the Brooklyn-based duo has had an illustrious pedigree; David produced MGMT's indie release "Time to Pretend" EP for Cantora Records, and French Horn Rebellion’s previous single “Up All Night” scored Record of the Week on BBC Radio 1 and a slot on the influential Kitsuné Maison compilation series. Pitchfork praised the track as, “irresistible, panting synth-pop, with fat new wave key tones and ecstatic vocals.” The band has also toured with Yelle across the US, and remixed tracks from the likes of MEN, Two Door Cinema Club, OMD and Alex Winston.

Born in 2010 in New York City, AVAN LAVA is the union of singer T.C. (Tom Hennes), musician/producer Le Chev (Michael Laine Cheever), and drummer Ian Pai. After touring playing bass and DJ’ing with Fischerspooner on their “Entertainment” tour, Le Chev began collaborating with T.C., a singer with a performance background in NYC, to create the debut release by AVAN LAVA, an EP entitled “Vapors”. Prior to the first EP’s completion, the record was picked up by Faux Pyre Records, and the duo was flown to Los Angeles for mixing and mastering sessions at the prestigious Infrasonic Sound Studio with audio wizard Pete Lyman (The Mars Volta, Bloc Party). During the initial pre-production sessions for AVAN LAVA’s second release, tentatively titled “Fantasy”, the duo called on Ian Pai, also of Fischerspooner, and to collaborate on the upcoming album and he soon became a fixture in the group. AVAN LAVA is planning its second release in January 2012.

The MOSCOT Gallery and Music Space is located at 118 Orchard Street, NYC (NE corner of Orchard & Delancey Streets). Attendees will receive 20% off purchases of MOSCOT branded glasses the night of show.


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Spread Eagle - "Spread Eagle" CD Review (MVD/Lovember Records)

Spread Eagle - 'Spread Eagle' CD Review (Lovember Records)To give a bit of context for this review, Spread Eagle's self-titled debut was originally released in 1990 (on MCA). This disc is a solid slab of rumbling gutter metal with all the kick of a Skid Row or Gun N' Roses disc but, unfortunately, both the disc and the band got "lost" due to lack of label support and the rise of grunge. The disc was out of print for years until Lovember Records remastered and reissued the disc in 2006 and MVD just signed on as a distributor.

This disc kicks off with the track "Broken City" which is the sound of a band climbing out of the war-zone of early 90's Alphabet City and follows this with the politically incorrect stomper "Back on the Bitch". There isn't a bad track on the disc but the standout tracks are "Switchblade Serenade" and "Scratch Like A Cat", both of which could have had the same radio impact as any of the Gunners or Skid Row hits if they had come out just a few years earlier. Most of the tracks are driving, hard-rock numbers but the band slows down on "Thru These Eyes", which is the disc's only ballad. Slow doesn't mean bad though as Ray's raw vocals and some shredding leads from guitarist Paul DiBartolo keep this track from succumbing to the excesses of 80's hair metal. In an interview a few years ago, Ray described this disc as being recorded on "sheer, sheer anger… and alcohol. "

Ray and Rob started playing a limited number of one-off reunion shows starting in 2006 (Tommi Gallo seems to have fallen off the Earth and Paul DiBartolo (who changed his name to Salvadore Poe) moved into scoring films and documentaries) and seem to have gotten a bit more active this year with the addition of guitarist Dennis Kimak and drummer Rik DeLuca.

Tour Dates:
Oct. 22 - Ray West/All Points West @ Queens Library, Flushing, NY ("Blood Fest 2011")
Nov. 18 - Spread Eagle @ KC Hall, Sanford, ME
Nov. 19 - Spread Eagle @ Voices Rock Club, Lowell, MA
Dec. 10 - Spread Eagle @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ (w/ Kix)

Spread Eagle
Ray West

Friday, October 07, 2011

L.A. Guns - "Acoustic Gypsy Live" CD Review (Favored Nations Entertainment) / Show at Rebel on Nov. 5th

LA Guns - 'Acoustic Gypsy Live' CD Review (Favored Nations Entertainment)I don't know who thought it would be a good idea for the first release from the Tracii Guns led lineup of L.A. Guns to be an acoustic release. This "rehash" of Tesla's 5 Man Acoustical Jam is 20+ years past its stale date.

Jumping in - this fourteen track disc runs close to 70 minutes and contains one new song "Little Soldier", covers of Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine" and Boudleaux Bryant's "Love Hurts" and ten assorted L.A. Guns cuts. The first problem with this disc is that it is flat out boring - there is a bare minimum of crowd banter and minimal energy to the performance. There is no doubt that Tracii can play but his acoustic finger-picking is the stuff you hear at B.B. King's while eating a pre-made, reheated hamburger and drinking grossly overpriced beer. Jizzy's vocals sound pretty good but acoustic takes on some of the slower songs ("It's Over Now") end up sounding like yacht rock cheese and the band's cover of "These Arms of Mine" is positively painful. Unfortunately, the band's one new song, "Little Soldiers", has L.A. Guns sounding like a country bar band so there is no salvation here either. There are some moments of redemption as the band finds its energy on some of the tracks from the first three L.A. Guns albums ("Over of the Edge", "Sex Action" [which briefly segues into "Paint It Black"], "Never Enough", "Ballad of Jane" and "Rip and Tear"). All-in-all though, the bloated portions of this disc take all the life out of this performance and make this one to pass on.

Generally, I'd say wait for the next disc but Jizzy Pearl has dropped out of the lineup and has been replaced by Dilana Robichaux (Rock Star: Supernova runner-up). I think this version of the L.A. Guns franchise is pretty close to having run its course.

For anyone who wants to check out the current incarnation of the band, L.A. Guns is playing Rebel on Nov. 5th along with 20 Shades, Metalfier and Suicide Boulevard. Tickets are $12 in advance.

L.A. Guns

Van Halen - "Live on Air" CD Review (Southworld)

Van Halen - 'Live on Air' CD Review (Southworld)This disc came out last year but I only recently became aware of the "copyright gap" in the UK where previously unheard-of British labels are releasing live radio broadcasts under the premise that the broadcasts are public domain in the US which would make these shows public domain in the UK.

The good news is that this disc marks the first 'official' release of Van Halen's headlining set at the US Festival, which took place on May 29, 1983. This is also the first commercially available live recording of the band with David Lee Roth. I've read reviews of this show which said that the band was pretty drunk before taking the stage (check out the video below of Roth forgetting the words to the set opener) and this show captures the sloppy party rock of classic Van Halen. It is a fun performance as the band's set is loose and they take some chances with the material. David Lee Roth is at his peak and shows why he is one of the more entertaining frontmen in the business and the Diver Down tour marked Eddie's last hurrah as a guitar hero before he got lost in the keyboard and synths of 1984 and the pop of the Sammy-era discs.

Looking at this disc from the other side of the coin (aka: "the bad news") - guess what do you get when you try to fit a 120 minute concert onto a 72 minute CD? The answer is that ~40 minutes were cut out of the concert. Unfortunately, some of the songs are faded out early. "Cathedral" was cut from the middle of the set and so was the encore ("Bottoms Up" and "You Really Got Me / Happy Trails"). The mix is also a bit strange as it appears to be from the soundboard (as the crowd is behind the band) but it is rather unbalanced.

Here is the set list:
1) Romeo Delight
2) Unchained ~ Drum Solo
3) Full Bug
4) Runnin with the Devil
5) Jamie's Cryin
6) So This is Love
7) Little Guitars
8) Dancing in the Street
9) Somebody Get Me a Doctor (includes Girl Gone Bad & I'm So Glad)
10) Dance the Night Away
11) Secrets
12) Everybody Wants Some
13) Ice Cream Man
14) Pretty Woman
15) Ain't Talking Bout Love

Despite this disc's flaws, Van Halen was one of the better live acts during the early 80's and this disc does a good job of showing why the band deserved this reputation. The price point is also a winner as you can buy the disc new through Amazon's UK site for just over $10 (USD).

Jumping forward to the present, according to Ultimate Classic Rock:
"Van Halen‘s long awaited new studio album is completely finished and expected to hit stories in February of 2012, according to an inside source. The new record, the band’s first since 1998′s ‘III,’ and first with original lead singer David Lee Roth since 1984′s ’1984,’ has been the source of much speculation over the past few months.

No title or tracklist has been revealed for the new album yet, which is described, similarly as by other people who have heard it, as a modern-day revisiting of the classic Van Halen sound. The source said a record company had yet to be chosen, with two unnamed major labels reportedly bidding for the right to work with the band.

Van Halen

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Misfits - "Devil's Rain" CD Review (Misfit Records) / Halloween Show at B.B. King's

Misfits - 'Devil's Rain' CD Review (Misfit Records)The good news is that Devil's Rain isn't as bad as I feared, given that Jerry Only is the only original member. It is also infinitely better than that Project 1950, which seemed to be a "The Groovy Ghoulies" [the cartoon, not the band] take on doo-wop songs. The bad news is that this new disc has more in common with Project 1950 than either the Graves or Danzig eras and it also sags in the middle as the songwriting doesn't hold up to the disc's 50 minute run-time.

For anyone who hasn't kept up with The Misfits in recent years, Robo has bowed out of the band and the current line-up is Jerry (bass), Dez (guitar) and Eric "Goat" Arce (x-Murphy's Law, Skarhead) on drums. The band kicked off a Fall tour in September and the current set list contains 14 of Devil's Rain's 16 songs:

(from October 4th show at House of Blues, Hollywood)
The Devil's Rain
Vivid Red
Land Of The Dead
The Black Hole
Twilight Of The Dead
Curse of the Mummy's Hand
Cold In Hell
Dark Shadows
Jack The Ripper
Static Age
Children in Heat
Nike A Go Go
Abominable Dr. Phibes
American Psycho
Dig Up Her Bones
Ghost of Frankenstein
Death Ray
The Monkey's Paw
Where Eagles Dare
We Bite
Death Comes Ripping
Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?
All Hell Breaks Loose
We Are 138

Descending Angel
Hybrid Moments
Die, Die My Darling

It has been years since I've heard 1997's Violent World: A Tribute to the Misfits but I imagine Devil's Rain sounds like something that Pennywise, The Bouncing Souls, NOFX and Goldfinger (who all contributed songs to Violent World) would have come up with if they had been asked to write a Misfits-style song. Producer Ed Stasium gives the disc a high-gloss shine which leaves this current lineup of the Misfits sounding like a cross between Bad Religion or Pennywise and some of the bouncy "second stage" bands from any year of Warped Tour.

Lyrically, Jerry mines the expected b-movie horror themes with songs like "Monkey's Paw", "Jack the Ripper" and "Ghost of Frankenstein". The lyrics aren't deep (and sometimes repetitive) but one can't hold that against Jerry as "138" and "Where Eagles Dare" from the Danzig-era of the band aren't any better. When the band is "on" (with songs like "Land of the Dead", "Dark Shadows" and "Monkey's Paw"), their brand of power-punk sounds great. The two songs that Dez sings ("Jack the Ripper" and "Death Ray") mix things up with a bit of old-school punk teeth. The problem is that the middle of the disc sags into a bland mix of horror-punk.

The Misfits are playing their annual Halloween show at B.B. King's with JuiceheaD (who record for Jerry's Misfits Records) opening. The show is all ages and tickets for the show are $28 in advance and $32 DOS.

The Misfits

Dex Romweber Duo Are Playing Le Poisson Rouge on Nov. 4th along with the Meat Puppets

DOWNLOAD: Dex Romweber Duo: "The Death of Me"
DOWNLOAD: Dex Romweber Duo - "Jungle Drums" (posted on Under the Radar magazine)

Dex Romweber Duo Are Playing Le Poisson Rouge on Nov. 4th along with the Meat Puppets"Dex Romweber was and is a huge influence on my music. I owned all of his records as a teenager, and was thrilled at the fact that we were able to play together recently on tour. His attitude towards music is remarkable. His songwriting, along with his love of classic American music from the south, be it rockabilly, country or R&B, is one of the best kept secrets of the rock n roll underground." —Jack White, White Stripes

If a quote from Jack White helps sell more Dex Romweber discs, I'm all in favor but...Flat Duo Jets were head-and-shoulders above The White Stripes. Things never change in the music industry as gimmicks and a large promotional budget more often than not takes a band further than quality songwriting and blazing live shows.

What distinguished this band from other retro outfits is that the Duo Jets were not really retro at all. While their music was certainly inspired by the rock-n-roll of the 1950s, one got the feeling that nothing was calculated. There was no marketing ploy on anyone's part to capitalize on a trend or movement at the time. Dex and Crow brought the music to life with such vitality and passion that the styles did not seem antiquated in their hands. This was the genuine article. This music was alive and well. - Jeff Arndt's 2001 interview with Dex

Getting back on track...Dex Romweber Duo released their latest disc, Is That You In The Blue?, on July 26th on Bloodshot Records. Dex and his sister Sara (x-Let's Active, Snatches of Pink) are heading out on a limited run of Oct. - Nov. tour dates with the Meat Puppets. The tour stops at Le Poisson Rouge on November 4th -- advanced tickets are $15 and the show is 18+.

Dex Romweber Duo Tour Dates:
10/28/2011 - Dex Romweber Duo / Meat Puppets
George's Majestic Lounge
519 West Dickson St., Fayetteville, AR

10/29/2011 - Dex Romweber Duo / Meat Puppets
Hi-Tone Cafe
1913 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN

10/30/2011 - Dex Romweber Duo / Meat Puppets
Old Rock House
1200 South 7th Sreet, St. Louis, MO

11/01/2011 - Dex Romweber Duo / Meat Puppets
Rock And Roll Hotel
1353 H Street NE, Washington, DC

11/03/2011 - Dex Romweber Duo / Meat Puppets
Johnny Brenda's
1201 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA

11/04/2011 - Dex Romweber Duo / Meat Puppets
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY

11/05/2011 - Dex Romweber Duo
Middle East - Downstairs
480 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

Dex Romweber Duo