While we were all watching the Seahawks embarrass the Saints in a game of American football last night, we got a surprise visit from local heavy-hitters Sandrider—who's ear drum pummeling at Neumos was compared to the earthquake-causing crowd down at CenturyLink Field. Unsurprisingly, the battle between Sandrider and the 12th Man was much closer than the actual game on the field, with 'Hawks fans edging out 'Rider 137.6 dB to 126.2 dB (though they did have about a 70,000 person advantage). Sandrider is LOUD, guys, and this is a good look for them. So let's have a poll! If Sandrider's sound was a football player, which would it be? Weigh in below!
He doesn’t like to talk about it, or maybe he just doesn’t recall, yet. But Dave Segal is a Widespread Panic fan. Yes, Widespread Panic, the Athens, GA creek and ivy, long-song, Southern rock highway kings, who aren’t afraid to jam. You may think Segal is all gadgety, studied, and well-worded with a fine-tuned knowledge of electronic, psych, and krautrock (because he is, he's an absolute musical authority). But put on anything close to a Jerry Garcia song, and Dave harks back to his fondness for Widespread Panic (or maybe he doesn’t). He might even do a dreadlock, water-pipe, lightning bear hand-dance. When Charles Mudede was in his pigeon phase, Dave sent six texts a day talking about Widespread Panic’s “Pigeons.” (Or maybe he didn’t.) At one point, he just texted the lyrics, “We've all been waiting/We've been wondering - will we ever know the truth? What it's like washing windows when you know that there are pigeons on the roof?”
What it boils down to is that Dave loves instruments with a lot of strings. The more strings the better. Especially basses. Jam bands? Add another nine minutes to that section. Fanny packin? You better have a backup hacky sack in that thing. And if that bass is fretless, put a seventh string on it. I think Widespread Panic’s bassist Dave Schools plays an eleven-string bass. Schools also plays with the Dead’s Mickey Hart; now it makes sense. See, Mr. Segal and I were at the Thundercat show in Barboza Sunday evening, getting placed in an alternate universe by his inhumanly good 6-string bass playing. (Next time Thundercat is in town, go see and hear him.) I woke up the next day on another planet, where everything was edible, except YouTube videos of Widespread Panic songs. Thundercat’s 6-string bass majesty got Dave and me talking:
Who is the last 6-string bass player you’ve seen play?
The argument still rages on teh internets, surprise, but I'll take a punt here, what band do YOU think was the first hardcore band? Most folks agreed it was SoCals the Middle Class, and their 1978 EP Out Of Vogue was the first hardcore record. They were fast, raw, political, and pre-dated Black Flag.
There are very few bands on which the hardcore template could be hung... especially in 1978. My vote was actually for the Fix. Not so much because they were EXACTLY first to play FAST, but I love the Fix and they sound like they arrived as HC fully formed. Lots of punters suggested Death were somehow the first hardcore band... uh, Death? Nope, but I guess the documentary film/record label marketing ploy worked.
This past week, I’ve heard way too many of my friends give me the excuse of being too old, too tired, or too lazy to make anything out the most wicked of holidays this year. Sure, it’s a little inconvenient for those of us early morning day job jabronis that Halloween falls on a Thursday, but hell, don’t act like you’ve never powered through a raging hangover on a Friday before. Drink for Satan!
If you’re already convinced to get out of the movie on the couch/pass out candy/ho-hum “too old for this” rut with me, there’s a few different solid options as far as heavy music is concerned.
If you’re down to make a little trek up north, Tony V’s in Everett is hosting a night of mighty fine Northwest brutality including the painfully named Chemical Castration, the always awesome Gravenloch and the current longest running local death metal band in the 206, Drawn and Quartered.
Over in Ballard, the Josephine will also be playing host to a local showing of loudness, highlighting riff masters Ancient Warlocks alongside Smooth Sailing, Android Hero and easily one of the heaviest bands in this fine city, Old Iron.
Whichever show you choose, keep in mind you might want to save a few sheckles for the night after, as November starts off with a particularly packed night of what is sure to be pure awesomeness.
Over at Studio Seven on Friday, local spazz lords Czar will be opening up for one of their favorite bands and an obvious influence, The Chariot. To be honest, I’ve never cared for The Chariot much, but if you’re a fan of techy-math-metally bands like Botch, Norma Jean or even Between the Buried and Me, do yourself a favor and check this show out, as it’s their last official tour ever.
This past weekend, I co-hosted the fourth annual "all covers" Halloween episode of my radio show (Metal Shop, every Sat 11 pm-2 am, 99.9 KISW). Seeing as how it's a metal show, we have plenty of updated versions of Maiden, Sabbath, and Priest songs, but the jams that really stand out are the ones that seem to come out of nowhere. For instance, Graveworm covering Bonny Tyler, Children of Bodom covering Britney Spears and, more recently, groove metallers DevilDriver doing that one catchy, overplayed AWOLNATION song, "Sail."
My personal favorite "oddball" metal cover, though, has to be the almighty riff lords themselves, Crowbar, covering Gary Wright's classic "Dreamweaver" in the most heavy of fashion. If you haven't heard this yet, sit back, turn it up, and bang your head—slowwwwwwllllyyyy.
If you aren’t quite in the spirit for Halloween just yet, you might consider hitting up Studio Seven on Monday night to check out one of the current torchbearers of black metal, Watain. First off, the band totally shreds, playing a raw form of punk influenced black metal, even throwing in a trace of crusty d-beat awesomeness. Second, their live show is second-to-none in the category of pageantry. If you’ve ever been to a religious mass, you’ve surely experience the wall-to-wall white drapery, the ornate stained-glass windows and the overall peaceful, calming vibes. Now, consider what the complete opposite of this might be. No expense is spared as Watain creates the ultimate in black metal grandeur —flames of burning candles light up the stage as corpses of rotting animal sacrifices are often displayed on spikes. Upside-down crosses balance onstage and a makeshift altar is formed to give their praises to the Dark Lord.
In an interview I did for my radio show a couple months back, Watain bassist and vocalist Erik Danielsson claimed this is done in an effort to “create an energy force” that allows them to tap into the true evil their music is inspired by.
I tapped into a little bit of that evil energy this past week, as I went to go see O.G. bible bashers Deicide back at Studio Seven Wednesday night. While I love me some Glen Benton and can't deny the overall awesomeness of their set that night, the band that truly stole the show for me was a brutal death-metal band by the name of Disgorge. These dudes haven’t played Seattle in close to 10 years, but they showed no signs of rust, blasting through a powerful set of slams and blast beats that left an ear-to-ear grin on the faces of sick fucks like me. In anticipation of the night’s event, I drew a 3-minute sketch of Mr. Benton at my boring ass day job. (see above)
In case you haven’t heard, the almighty Godflesh had to cancel their gig at Neumos that was originally scheduled for this next week. Apparently there was trouble with their visas and they won’t be able to make it overseas just yet. But fear not, that just means you can save your sheckles to see the masters of fastcore themselves: motherfucking INFEST at El Corazon! Okay, okay, it’s all the way in March, but goddamnit, that announcement got me so amped I was circle pitting my cubicle!! RAGE!
Did you know that today is National Edge Day? When I was a teenager, the person I knew who was most "tied to the X" was named Mark Generic. He was a weightlifter and was totally ripped, I once saw him get run over by a car (no kidding!) and totally shake it off. The last I heard he was living in Jacksonville, FL. He now drinks beer and is into slam poetry. You know what they say, "If you aren't now, you never were."
Regardless, here's a mostly dumb NatGeo documentary narrated by Thurston Moore, who I don't think was ever edge, but probably got a pile of money to say that straight edge "is a community, a way of life, and to some—a military styled menace."
Parts two through five after the jump!
Fear not, fellow Northwest headbangers, this week is ripe with the glory of metal!
Tonight, Studio Seven will be hosting another lineup of classic metal: old-school British heavy-metal band Saxon is headlining, but the real treat for me, considering I am a tried and true professional wrestling nerd, will be the return of Fozzy, featuring former WWE champion “Y2J” aka Chris Motherfucking Jericho on vocals.
We might as well be jumping in a time machine, because the tomorrow night, back at Studio Seven, there’s yet another old-school metal show for all the dads, grandpas, and metal historians. Original NWOBHM forefathers Diamond Head will be co-headlining with Raven.
If Tuesday and Wednesday are for the seniors, Thursday is surely for the kids. Toronto’s very own touring band of misfit weirdos Fucked Up will be bringing their unique brand of shoe-gaze-centric punk-fueled hardcore to El Corazon alongside Los Angeles stage-dive kings Terror. Sing along, but beware of flying limbs.
All of this awesomeness culminates on Friday night when the one and only GWAR comes back to decimate the Showbox SoDo in grand form. There’s nothing quite like a GWAR show—the sickeningly hilarity alone is worth the price of admission. Even if you’re not into the music, the entire spectacle—from the raw spewing of fake GWAR semen, the impromptu decapitations of pop-culture icons and of course, the hilarious onstage banter of frontman Oderus Urungus—GWAR truly creates a world of their own. Bring a white shirt and afterwards you can play a game called “name that stain.”
I've always loved the opening monolog from the early-'80s hardcore documentary, Another State Of Mind! Sean Sterns, singer for Youth Brigade and founding member of Better Youth Organization, speaks some truth.
Punks are misunderstood. Most people, when they think of punks, they think about violent freaks rolling around in glass beating each other up. (When) I think about punk I think about power, I think about the energy, I think about the the possibilities of change; thats what punk is all about change. It's about music by kids for kids reflecting the frustrations and the problems that kids face every day. The music most of us grew up with in the '70s was by older people singing about partying and cruising and things we just could relate to, thats not what we're feeling in our lives...
So...I FINALLY got around to watching my DVD copy of Another State Of Mind last night. I think the last time I watched this was, maybe, 1990, and on like a blurry fourth-generation VHS. It's funny how the movie still resonates, least with me. Then again I never did grow up.
Are there any contemporary collective groups like BYO?! Honestly, I haven't picked up a MRR in over ten years...just curious if the kids are still giving a shit.
The band name Murder By Death may sound like a brutally chunky death metal band, but they couldn’t be further from it. Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of watching this Indiana five-piece play to a raucous and almost completely sold out Crocodile crowd. While certainly not “metal,” the band sure is heavy, but not in the way you might imagine—lead guitarist and vocalist Adam Turla commands the audience with his passionate, hard-hitting lyrics, combining Johnny-Cash like harmonies with a sort of indie-like delicacy, all the while, keeping things up-beat with a true rock n' roll flare. Perfect whiskey drinking music.
The following night, I dumbed things down a bit over at El Corazon. We all have our guilty pleasures, our palate-cleansers, if you will. Some of us dive head first into reality shows to numb our overworked minds, some read celebrity gossip. Me, I go for dumb, ignorant mosh metal. I know. There is no way you can really take a band like the Acacia Strain seriously. Their by-the-books chugga chugga moshcore sound doesn’t do much in the line of musical progression, and their over the top, “I hate the world” lyrics are far from groundbreaking (they’re, at times, laughable), but it sure is fun to watch a band that just doesn’t give a single fuck making loud music for the sake of making loud music, having fun and inspiring the legions of mosh warriors to fight the invisible ninja.
Without question, this is the perfect weather for a night of doom. With the lightning and thunder raging and the rain pouring, there is no better time to check out something heavy. Lucky for us, the almighty YOB will be bringing their crushing riffs to Chop Suey tonight alongside Tad and his current device of destruction, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, and one of my current favorite local bands, Bell Witch.
In case you missed out on Baroness last weekend at Bumbershoot, you have a second chance to check them out—that is, if you can make it out to The Gorge sometime this afternoon. These dudes are playing Pain In The Grass, a yearly music festival put on by 99.9 FM KISW. Stick around for a couple up-and-coming bands called Alice In Chains and Jane’s Addiction. See you in the mud pit.
I’m only half way through my second listen to this soon-to-be-released Carcass record, Surgical Steel, and I have to say, I’m verrrrry impressed. I am always skeptical about “comeback records,” but to be honest, 2013 has proven to be a damn fine year for a few of them. While Black Sabbath’s 13 is no Master of Reality, it sure does cleanse the pallet of all that shitty modern radio rock that passes for “metal” these days. But I digress...
First off, don’t worry, they seem to have tried to forget Swansong ever existed and went straight back to their Heartwork-era sound, expanding upon their well-crafted melodic death metal formula that they pretty much created singlehandedly. Sure, there are gonna be some critics who wish they would go back to their filthy gore-grind days, but even the most brutal of bands couldn’t please everyone, right? The album will be officially released September 17.
I guess y'all have all heard Urban Outfitters is going to be, if not already, selling properly licensed Minor Threat shirts. The shirts retail for $28, because, "Motherfuckers pay $28, that's what they wanna pay for their shirts."
Turns out the T-shirt is not a bootleg like that Forever 21 design from 2009; it's licensed through Tsurt, a California-based company that Ian MacKaye and Co. hired to produce and oversee sales of the band's official shirts.
"Dischord doesn't make T-shirts," MacKaye clarifies in a phone call. But Minor Threat is another story. Because so many bootlegged Minor Threat shirts are constantly floating around the universe, MacKaye decided the band had to do something about it. The solution: Get another company to oversee their official shirts, and when a bootleg crops up, let them deal with it.
"It's not a political thing for me," MacKaye says. "I just don't give a fuck about T-shirts." At some point, the former Minor Threat frontman said to the band, "This is crazy. I spend so much of my time" chasing down bootleggers. He found that when he contacted the responsible parties about their bootlegs, they just gave him hell. "They get in your face... or they deny it," he says. "It's a complete waste of time."
I understand his frustration, but that it's the less than ethically sound Urban Outfitters as a retailer?! C'mon, GROSS. Perhaps it's time for Dischord to START making their own band shirts, after all you can always TAKE IT BACK!
Full disclosure: In 1987 I made a bootleg S.O.A. shirt. IAN EVEN FUCKING SAW IT, but he didn't say anything.
A couple of weeks ago I posted a mini/web documentary from Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art as it was tied into their "Art of Punk" show; the art of Raymond Pettibon. Pettibon is the brother of Black Flag/SST Records founder Greg Ginn, HE is the mofo who created the infamous Black Flag bars logo and, basically, was their in-house/staff artist. Right, well, if you missed that post, have a catch up look-see HERE. The newest episode, released June 25th, is the Art of Punk—The Dead Kennedys. This documentary features visual artist Winston Smith...AND Dead Kennedys front man Jello Biafra as they were, in some cases, collaborators.
I LOVE that Biafra admits he wanted to take Crass' very serious political stance, which was reflected in their very serious politcal art, and make it funny. Godamn if taking the piss WASN'T the Dead Kennedys' entire angle!!
Also: I hafta say, tho' I was a hardcore kid in the '80s, I didn't do too many things that were text book "punk," however I did make collages,
ripped off from inspired by Smith's work.
The man has been drumming for over 20 hours. Smiling and grimacing. FOUR MORE TO GO. The world record for drumming is in his grasp. Go Andrew!! A feat of absolute endurance. At this point, his mind has got to be a Tibetan Salman Rushdie Glacier-Mountain of Yodas. I say stop hitting that china-splash cymbal, no one ever needs those, even when you’ve been drumming for 20 straight hours. No word on how many cocaine trees he’s eaten.
Right fucking HERE is perhaps the greatest single collection of Raymond Pettibon-designed Black Flag flyers! I really recommend y'all take some time to scroll through 'em. These flyers are from the collection of Bryan Ray Turcotte, the author/compiler of the amazing book of '80s hardcore flyers Fucked Up + Photocopied and Punk Is Dead, Punk Is Everything!
What you see here are the Black Flag flyers that I found with Raymond's art. Some are non-official, but most are straight from the band Black Flag flyers. There’s no real guide to Raymond’s Black Flag flyers that I can find, but I’m pretty sure at this point I have all of them, although I did leave out two insane Black Flag pieces you can see in MOCA's new series, the Art of Punk. I don’t own them.
Also MOCA, via it's MOCAtv Youtbe™ channel, is producing a handful of shorts in an on going video series dissecting the importance of visual design of '70s punk and '80s hardcore. Posted below is MOCAtv's Pettibon/Black Flag episode; godamn, I've been posting a lot about the Black Flags lately.
Here’s a run down of some of the best sets I’ve seen in the last couple weeks.
After a day of rest from the insanity of Rain Fest, I made the trek out to Ballard for the 2 Bit Saloon’s weekly Metal Monday event. While I was there to check out local trio Carnotaurus, I was pleasantly greeted by the stoney sounds of Cake and Bowls (fucking awesome name BTW), a band whose groove-laden riffs give tasteful nods to bands like the Melvins and Down, all the while crushing your ears with bong-rattling heaviness. Though the headliners, Carnotaurus, were forced to play the gig without their bassist, their breakneck style of death-thrash was enough to please even the most jaded of metal heads. The high point of the evening for me was when they busted out a fine-tuned death metal-esque cover of Judas Priest’s classic, “Breaking the Law.”
More brutal awesomeness after the jump...
Jesus Martinez is one of the few photographers gutsy enough to stand onstage (or close by) during the majority of the weekend, dodging spin kicks and pile-ons every which way he looked. The result? Some stunning shots that truly communicate the raw aggression of Rain Fest. Martinez took some time away from uploading his shots from the weekend to answer some questions for The Stranger.
What is your background in photography?
I always liked photography, but i didn't get into it until my Senior year in high school. I fell in love with film photography, then I started shooting digital. Even though I've only had two cameras, I've had some very excellent people who believe in me and what I do.
What is your background in music?
My first exposure and interest in music came from the Punk O' Rama CDs that Epitaph put out—that and Equal Vision records comps. I used to steal them when I was like 7 to 12 from my older brother. I also found out about a local venue called The Matrix Coffeehouse. I went to some of my first punk shows there when I was 13, then I started booking shows at 15 and I fell more in love with it. Shows are the easiest place for me to fit in.
More photos and interview after the jump!
This is what happened at Neumo's this weekend during the seventh annual Rain Fest, a three-day hardcore, punk and metal fest that goes on every Memorial Day weekend.
Here's just one of the many professional-quality videos shot during the fest. This was, for sure, one of the wildest sets of the weekend. Big ups to Boston hardcore band the Rival Mob for bringing it.
A bunch more videos from the weekend can be found on the official Rain Fest YouTube channel right here.