Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Great Falls

Go get this immediately if you like or liked noisy music a la Kiss It Goodbye or Playing Enemy. You will not regret it.

Get it from the band here

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Year End build full of pseudo suspense...

Our propensity and obsession with making year end and even decade end lists is preposterous, but still, we continue to see it and do it ourselves. I am not sure what drives us to rank or list anything, but it seems such a part of our human nature to do so; the sad thing is, I totally am into these types of lists.

So far this year, I have top LPs, Top EPs, Top overall, Top CD packaging, Top record packaging, top debuts, top discoveries for 2009, Top Re-issues/ compilation releases, and Top Missed in 2008 that will all be hitting SPB. I have a few goodies hitting here; I am just hoping to complete some reviews before the end of the year for their inclusion.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009...the year in review

I guess it is that time of year again. Time to review the year's scores and triumphs as well as the troughs of hopelessness. Seriously, 2009 has been an excellent year in many ways and hope that it continues that trend for the remainder of my years on this rock.

As always I will be posting a bunch of year end lists at Scene Point Blank. But the extras will be showing up here in the meantime, and will probably beat my SPB lists by a couple of weeks.

I heard a ton of great music this year...a ton. So hoping that 2010 is the same.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Records, specifically of the vinyl persuasion...

...blow. Seriously, the ones that I am interested in never seem to stop coming out.

It blows.

And when I am on the lookout for other older releases to complete my various collections, it only makes the matter worse.

I have been able to get my hands on some personal gems lately though:

The Explosion- Sick Of Modern Art LP Test Press
Lotus Eaters- Alienist On A Pale Horse LP (on orange of 100)
Lotus Eaters- Mind Control For Infants 2xLP (on white of 100)
Nadja- The Bungled and the Botched LP Test Press

Yes, I am a nerd. And their might always be more on the way...

Stupid records.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


OK, I had every intention of getting more content on this, maybe I will in the future.

But until then, I hope to finish the year with a flurry of activity.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Checking In Again

Very busy again lately...

Life moves really damn fast sometimes, and no, I am not one of those that thinks time is speeding up as I get older. I hate time and try to avoid using it as much as possible but have to pay attention because of activities like work. Some day, time will mean nothing to me.

On a more grounded note, the Richmond Tattoo convention was a big success for Jenn. She was busy all of Saturday and got to do some more work the Friday night. Sunday was a wash for most of the artists it looked like. I must admit that I nerded out when I saw Civ there.

I've been listening to a lot of Lotus Eaters (the vinyl release of their Mind Control For Infants is exquisite), Coalesce (OXEP rules), Cave In, Jesu, and Nadja with smatterings of Bane and Cult of Luna thrown in for good measure.

The progress on the Gholas LP is moving forward. We have settled on Drew from Circle Takes The Square to handle the artwork for it. Recording still looks good for the end of January. We get to try out a couple of the songs live this coming Saturday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's been a while

Well, it certainly has been a while (no, I am not going into the particulars here), suffice to say that the absence of content has not been entirely because of my laziness…entirely. It has been a busy and good several weeks though since any updates hit here; so we’ll try not to get into a long expose but hit on some brief lives.

A couple weeks back, I got better acquainted with someone at my wife’s aunt’s birthday get together, and it turned out that he was a DJ at WLFR (the old radio station that allowed me to spin some records on the airwaves). Well, this meeting gave rise to a semi lengthy discussion on the love of vinyl records, hosting a radio on WLFR, and some of the going’s on concerning the station. Lots of reminiscing and such went on through the conversations, as well as talking about everything going on with the station now. Low and behold the station’s 25th anniversary was coming up shortly, and the station managers were throwing a bit of a celebration in its honor; so, I was invited and decided to go.

Gholas is just about through writing our first full length, and we are shooting for a late January of 2010 recording session. On a personal level, I am very excited about the songs and hope they come out as we envision them. I am also hoping to record a Fissures album before the end of this year.

I did get to see Rorschach on their reunion tour, which was awesome. They were super tight and played a large amount of material. It definitely brought on a great deal of woolgathering and nostalgia.

Jenn’s tattooing is moving along, and she is getting better and better. We have the Richmond tattoo convention coming up in November that we are both looking forward to attending.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

...and Let Me Introduce You To Some Friends of Mine...

...By the Grace of God

And that was my introduction to Louisville's punk and hardcore scene. The resulting burst of energy as "Remora" from the band's debut record For the Love of Indie Rock hooked me forever (I still think it is one of the greatest punk rock songs ever). This EP does not let up at all for the next 15 or so minutes; it is pure energy and passion blasting through your speakers, headphones, what have you. Not a single song is bad and it rips like the great punk records do, and this is great.

"Yeah! Self worth derives from affliction..." follow an umistakably explosive drum and guitar intro to "Remora"; This is just a great punk rock song with one hell of a riff. Following that beast up with an equally fiery track called "Goliath" is perfect; the breakdown in this song makes me go nuts everytime I hear it, and when Rob Pennington screams "Fuck Your Crusade", it is priceless. The driving and melodic sound of "Pallbearer's Hymn" is just what belongs next on the EP along with the rolling drums and guitar squeals and short group sing along is perfect.

"November's Lie" is the crown jewel of For the Love of Indie Rock. The song is fast paced and contains one of the most under rated and amazing pieces of punk music on wax at about the halfway point of the song. Guitarist Duncan Barlow's wail of frustration into the instrumental breakdown is amazing and when By the Grace of God brings it back up with another amazing and much more melodic breakdown, it caps the song exactly the way it needs to be.

For the Love of Indie Rock slams down a poignant, superb example of melodic hardcore with "Fissures". I never can resist singing along to the words, "When We Can't Move On". Pennington shows why he is one of the best writers of emotional hardcore lyrics with this song.

The band closes the record off with the crunchy "Navigator" (sounding the most like Endpoint than the band ever does), the tense "Ipecac", and a cool cover of Poison Idea's "Plastic Bomb".

I owe so much to By the Grace of God. Not only were they great, but this EP introduced me to Louisville punk and hardcore.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

75% of the Year Is Already Over???!!!

They were not lying when they said that time flies as you get older. I remember a while back when I would dread this time of the year because it meant going back to school; actually, I still dread it because that means fighting with the ridiculous amounts of school buses on the roads in the morning. In any case, this year was a hectic one so far; graduate school has really kicked my ass, but I remain optimistic as I have almost completed it. I know I failed on so many of the goals that I set out to achieve this year, but there is still three months left.

September, this sucks. At least we all have the awesome fall weather to look forward to.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Doghouse Records?

I remember Doghouse Records; I remember them well as the label released some of my favorite records back in the day: Threadbare's Feeling Older Faster and Midas, Cable's Variable Speed Drive, and the Endpoint albums (If the Spirits Are Willing, Caste, Aftertaste, the Last Record, etc). Hell, Split Lip (Endpoint JR.?) was also on the label. Later the label was responsible for releasing albums from the criminally underrated As Friends Rust; the self titled EP, Won, and an early retrospective An Anthology of Short Fiction And Non-Fiction.

I guess the release of pop garbage like All American Rejects should have clued us all in what the label really was headed for down the road.

Well, the David Moore album is the final nail in the coffin. I know that the label released records in the past with him (see Split Lip and their eventual emo pop garbage evolution into Chamberlain), but that does not mean every record the guy does should be released. His solo album, My Lover, My Stranger is the absolute worst pop tripe. It is so slick sounding and just the type of garbage you would see on VH1.

Well Doghouse, welcome to the land of adult contemporary deserve it.

You should give back all your old albums to their artists because I would be embarrassed to have released anything with you.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Song Writing

Have you ever hit what you think is a turning point in your song writing?

I think that Gholas did just this past Saturday. We wrote a moody damn song that seemingly is what my brother and I have been going for composition wise since we started writing together again. It is not often that I listen to my own songs over and over again, but I genuinely love this song. It is one of the ones that I am most proud of at this point.

I cannot wait to record this in a studio.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gholas show highlights

OK, so yes this is a little late, but I wanted to mention the show that Gholas played with Battlefields (from the Dakotas area) and Overmars (from France) and Hulk Smash (from Philly area) because of how much fun it was. Battlefields was excellent, playing some of the songs of their latest record from Translation Loss of which the name escapes me. Hulk Smash was entirely entertaining, a two piece assault on the ears.

Gholas played a shorter set, playing one song off our EP, and three songs off of our upcoming full lengths, provided we can record them. Except for some broken string issues, the set was much better than our one the previous night. It felt good to play it.

Overmars was awesome, quite a bit of Neurosis and Swans influence going on with them from the sound and presentation. They had great visuals that somehow came off nicely in the small space that is the Khyber. Definitely the high point of the show was seeing and then talking with them afterward, nice group of people.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Motivation is dead

It is times like these that being honest with oneself is necessary. My motivation is dead right now. This is why these posts are so few and far between right now. Vacation seems necessary, but it will not be happening for quite a while.

At least GREYMACHINE and Jesu are delivering right now. And a new Coalesce EP coming in November brings a definite smile to my face.

I am on the lookout for possible recording dates for Fissures right now, and I am hoping to have something out before the end of the year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finished least for now, having completed my most recent graduate school course. The way it finished reminded me of two things: one, of the end of my undergraduate studies classes and the rushing around to get the projects finished; and two, that I am not 20, 21, 22 anymore. I was up until 3 AM pacing back and forth while hoping that the other people who were working on the project would get their parts completed. Luckily, they did and with just nine minutes to spare for the project's deadline.

Now, I guess I will see how the stress affects me. Finishing one of these is not unlike coming down off of drugs or running a marathon. Even after you finish, it affects you for days afterward as your body attempts to return to its normal state.

As the class closed, I was listening to (and still am) Jesu's Inifinty, and the song "Deflated"from their upcoming Opiate Sun EP as well as the GREYMACHINE album, and Clint Mansell's soundtrack to the movie, Moon...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

All I Can Say... what a relief. I just finished my last paper for my most recent graduate course, and I feel about 90 pounds lighter. Relief, is such a good word for the feeling. I spent more than 20 hours on this sucker and it sucked my will to live for the better part of a week and a half.

Some notes...

GREYMACHINE - Disconnected: WOW
Jesu- Infinity: Double WOW.

That's it for now.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cave In- Planets of Old

It is nice to see Cave In pulling it together and putting out a new record. Planets of Old is due out at the end of the month in a limited edition 12" EP and will contain four songs, one of which is available at iTunes now ("Retina Sees Rewind"). Too bad the band is only scheduled to play Boston right now, it would be quite excellent to see them play again.

In any case, make sure to check out Planets of Old.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

El Scorcho...

So as I am licking my mental wounds during a rare slow week for Grad School, I am listening to Weezer's "El Scorcho" on repeat. The lead single off of the band's sophomore effort Pinkerton, "El Scorcho" is easily my favorite song by them. Quite frankly, the subtle humor and smooth harmonies of their debut album never quite grabbed me at the time; I quite literally remember calling the band a bunch of dorks (ironic isn't it).

The first time that I watched the video for "El Scorcho", there was an immediate connection to the weird melodies and off kilter sounds from the guitars. To this day, I still think it is Weezer's best song, even though I have come to enjoy a bunch of their other tracks.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


OK...being from Jersey, I love Rorschach. Always have since the day I first heard them. Their musical progeny are legend as well, but these guys always held a soft spot in my heart.

So I am psyched I get to see them soon:

September 23 - Richmond, VA (Probably ALLEY KATZ) with FORENSICS and PULLING TEETH.
September 24 - Asbury Park, NJ ASBURY LANES with BLACK KITES +1
September 25 - New York City SANTOS PARTY HOUSE with CELEBRITY MURDERS(Last Show) +1
September 26 - Boston, MA
September 27 - Philadelphia, PA Unitarian Church with 1.6 BAND + 1

I wish I could hit every show of these.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Long time...

So just as I was getting in the writing mood, Grad School kicked in immediately thereafter; it kind of snuck up on me really. I did get quite a bit of writing done for Scene Point Blank right before it started, which is good because this class is crushing me under the weight of all the "written" work that is due (mostly because I am not in the mode for school work, even now two weeks down into in the class). Ah well, I am not completely insane yet and there is less than four weeks to go.

Thankfully, I have been finding a huge amount of new music and rediscovered some older records that I guess that I just never gave its just due. Some of the newer records (some chronologically new some not so much) that are easing through the headphones right now include: Donnacha Costello's Together Is the New Alone, Clint Mansell's Moon soundtrack (the movie is awesome and well worth seeing), and a bunch of House of Low Culture rarities (I am still trying to figure out what everything is). Some of the rediscovering going on includes last years collaboration between Black Boned Angel and Nadja called Christ Send Light as well as some of Aidan Bakers solo material (Green and Cold specifically).

I am still anxiously awaiting the GREYMACHINE full length as well as the new records coming soon from Jesu and the Nadja Under a Jaguar Sun album.

I am hoping to finish up my mid year music write ups that I promised last within the next couple of days, but we'll see what Grad School says...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mid Year for Music

What a great year for music it has been thus far, but while I am enjoying it; there has been so much that has come out as well. From the ridiculous amounts of music that Nadja is responsible thus far to the latest album from Isis to the "comeback" album of Coalesce, 2009 has exceeded my expectations.

And there are still a slew of records on the way, including Jesu's attempts to catch up with Nadja (which is going to be tough as Nadja still has a bunch of records on the way) as well as other records like GREYMACHINE's Disconnected and the Bad Secrets EP.

For the rest of this week, I will be posting a bit about each of my top 10 records so far this year.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Extraordinarily Rare Logical Reasoning

This is now the name of the concept formerly known as "Common Sense" because it just is not common; in fact, it is all too rare. We are all culpable of making brash or illogical decisions without thinking of the consequences down the line, and while some people call this "Going with their gut feeling", it more than likely will end poorly for people that make decisions in this manner.

So I have changed the name of the concept formerly known as "Common Sense" to "Extraordinarily Rare Logical Reasoning".

Tuesday marks the beginning of another graduate class for me (leaving me with just one more class to go once this is completed), and I am doing my best to psyche myself up for the intense workload that this will bring on me for the next several weeks. I have never done 3 in a year so this is a new experience, and with the fourth following sometime later in the year, I am sure that it will turn out to be exhausting. I have to admit that my major has little to do with my actual academic interests and often complain and argue that the major is academically inferior to other majors, but this major is simply a business and career move. Call it a decision based on "Extraordinarily Rare Logical Reasoning".

So here it goes...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fissures Recap

Last night was an interesting excursion as I played another show as Fissures. The night began with me loading equipment and setting up late (something I hate being and was disappointed in being last night); while testing out my set up, some 15 year old in tight grey jeans (actually they were almost white) and fluorescent sneakers told me to chill out on the feedback and berated me haha. The sad thing was, I was just turning on the equipment and making sure the sound was coming out of the speakers at decent levels; so much for the open mindedeness of the new tight jeaned hippies. It threw me a bit but made me laugh at the same time.

The first 2 pieces that I made were very tentative, and I am not a hundred percent sure just why that was; but these pieces never developed to my satisfaction ( I think my self consciousness over the volume was one reason for the tentativeness) and were extremely mellow and meandering. When I began the third piece of the night, something clicked and the third piece, while being a bit rough around the edges, turned out much more satisfactorily. The fourth piece also came out rather well for my taste too. A short break followed.

There was no strange banter, but people seemed more interested or at least there were more people witnessing the event than the first performance. It was earlier in the day that I decided to eschew any and all acoustic performance in order to focus on the ambient pieces more, and a short discussion around that as well as some of the awful music I was being subjected to when I was not playing haha.

The fifth and final piece of the night was a huge success and one that I received several bits of positive feedback from those that were listening. Somehow, the different layers all seemed to gel just the right way and my intention of injecting bits of melodic qualities to the night actually came to fruition. This fifth piece definitely made me happy to have played. Maybe next time I will be able to finally add an organ and also set up recording gear to record the event.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


So tonight is supposed to be the second Fissures performance. This will be interesting as I will be playing more of the ambient material than the last time. If I play anything acoustic, it will not be much simply because my time in California ate into my practice time for that material. Still, I hope that my attempts to inject some more "melodic" sounds into the ambient pieces will make for an enjoyable experience all around. Hope to see some of you tonight.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Big Update

Luna was adopted by a loving family. The wife and I are extremely happy for her and them. The wife feels much better and is now looking towards renewing her search for a canine addition to our family.

Back from California

Just got in from California. I am exhausted, hungry and my head aches from a nasty migraine. Thanks to Teri and Ryan for looking after the Black Panthers for us. Thanks to Clint and his girl for rescuing us in our moment of need (oh where were my wife and my heads haha.).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Still Missing Luna

Last night was really tough. I put off going directly home after work so that it would not be so bad, but I came home remembering that I usually walk her soon after coming in the door; so much so, that I went for a walk along the familiar routes that I had been taking her. I think this is one of the aspects of her living with us that I enjoyed the most. The first night she was gone, the wife said that I could always volunteer to take Luna for walks at the Vet hospital; I think I might do it.

I miss her deeply. I know my wife does too. I really wish that it worked out.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Missing Luna

It was very strange not having an excited Luna around to let out of her crate when we got home last night. I started to remember all sorts of little things about her when she was with us. I enjoyed taking her out in the early morning and the late night to relieve herself (her excitement at being outside must have been contagious). Her constantly wagging tail made me think that she was enjoying every minute of life. 

Hell, even though it annoyed me to no end, her whining at bed time was replaced by an eerie quiet throughout the house.

It is so weird how much she impacted both my wife and I (positively and negatively) that even though she was only with us for 10 days, we miss her a great deal.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Goodbye Luna

Honestly, this situation is heartbreaking. The wife took Luna back to the shelter this morning. Before I left for work, I had to say goodbye to her, and it was really tough. It makes me sad that she is not going to be excited to see me when I come home tonight; I really enjoyed that loving aspect of her personality. It must have been really hard on the wife to drop her off while I was at work.

As I said previously, She is really sweet and deserves a great home. I hope she gets a nice family who will give her that.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Changes? not so fast

A little over a week ago, I posted how Luna came to live with us. For the past week plus, the house has been in uproar. Many good times have been had, because Luna is a great dog. However, our three cats do not agree. Being the curious cats that they are, they have indeed upset Luna several times and provoked a response which is definitely not a good thing. Chasing a dog while screaming as she chases your cats is not cool and has happened several times with increasing frequency. 

Unfortunately, another instance occurred tonight. We care about Luna a great deal, but we also love Mr. Ex, Alia, and Jag just as much. The wife and I decided that it would be unfair to both the cats and the dog to continue having her live with us. So, we must end our foster care of her.

On the plus side, Luna is a great dog (very sweet, very loving, listens well, learns quickly). A house with no other pets or small children would be an ideal home for such a loving dog. I hope she finds a good home because she deserves it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fissures...a second helping

Apparently, the fine folks at the "Venue" that I recently played were so thoroughly entertained that I was asked to come back again. So on Thursday, June 18th, they will get their wish. I am working out a set now as we speak and hope to be posting some more information in the next few days.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The wife and I now have a new addition to our little family. We adopted a dog (a mutt) and are bringing her home later today. This is exciting for me. I hope she likes playing catch. We are calling her Luna. Hopefully, I will have pictures up here soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

More Burning Fight "fallout"

So Disembodied just played a couple of reunion shows, including Burning Fight in Chicago. I wish I could have seen them again. Then again, rumor has it that besides the upcoming rarities collection that is coming out for them, Disembodied may be entering into the studio and recording a new album. Apparently prepping for these reunion gigs has given the band the bug again, which is awesome. They have already released some of the most vicious music to begin with...check "Anvil Chandelier" and "Forget Me" off of Diablerie, "7 Stitches" and "Amaranth" and "Nemesis" and "Barbituate" and "One for the Wicked" off of Heretic, as well as "Heroin Fingers" and "Bloodshed Rain" off of If God Only Knew The Rest Were Dead... 

Disembodied were one of the heaviest hardcore bands of the 90's. It would be nice if they reclaimed that crown.

Trial Update

Apparently, which is great for the band, the vinyl of the Trial 10th anniversary edition of Are These Our Lives? is sold out already.

This 12" will be a limited press of 500.
250 on Brown Vinyl (SOLD OUT)
250 on Maroon Vinyl (SOLD OUT)

A Digital Download of this release is also available. Comes complete with full album artwork and lyrics. - $7.99 Digital Download

Nice development for the band.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Burning Fight...damn with Trial news

One of my biggest disappointments this year so far (and probably will be at the end of the year) was not getting to go to Burning Fight. So many bands that I like that are no longer with us played that thing: Unbroken... Threadbare... Disembodied... and others. Since the fest, some interesting news has been coming out.

Trial has re-released their last album that appeared on Equal Vision Records entitled Are These Our Lives? in a tenth anniversary edition. This was posted on Stuck In The Past and figured it could bear repeating as that band is a great group of guys.

Hello Friends,

We're writing this to ask for a little help and support. Trial has released a CD version of our 1999 LP “Are These Our Lives?”. This was originally released in 1999 on another label. Throughout the years that label decided to discontinue the lyrics in the booklet of their version. We protested immediately. They continued to sell this version over the years and we (Trial) have continued to receive emails from people who have bought the record asking why we didn’t include the lyrics in the record.

Originally the lyrics were included. Why would a hardcore band not have the lyrics included in their record? And especially us? Lyrics have always meant so much to us. It’s a huge part of hardcore and a huge part of our band. When we first learned about this, we asked the label why the record no longer included the lyrics and we were told that it was because it was cheaper for them to print the booklet without out the lyrics. Understandable. We then asked if we could pay the difference. We also offered to send them photocopies of the lyrics to send out with the orders so that they were included in some form. We also asked if we could have our contact information (a website) placed into the booklet so that people could go online and find the lyrics. In short they said “no” across the board to these requests, but they said it aggressively.

If you’re in a band you understand how much work and time goes into a record . For your record to be misrepresented is heartbreaking. We don’t care about the money, we never expected to see a dime from the record. It could sell a million copies and we wouldn’t care as long as it was represented in the light that we intended it to be.

This is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to release a 10 Year Anniversary Edition of “Are These Our Lives?” that includes the full lyrics and expanded explanations, along with additional writing about the origins of the ideas for the songs themselves. We’re not putting this out to make money. In fact, we only care to have the record available in the form that we intended it. We’re selling it for $5.00 in hopes that people are no longer bummed when they buy the record and don’t get the full record.

Since we’ve started playing shows here and there, the other version has picked up in sales…please spread the word that the version that is being sold currently by the other label does not include the lyrics and the band (Trial) have never seen a dime from that record and probably never will. This also includes ITunes and other digital outlets.

Because we’re sick of our record being in the hands of a label that cares nothing about our record or us, we paid for the manufacturing of this record out of our own pockets. We had hoped that we’d have them in time for our two most recent shows. We unfortunately did not receive them in time and now we’re hoping that we’ll be able to sell enough to cover our costs.

If you want to help us break even on the CD and pick up a copy, we’d be grateful. Again, we’re selling it for only $5.00 and that includes a digital download of the songs.

Thanks for your time..

Seattle WA

Visit Panic Records (Timm from Trial's Label) to get the record.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 far...maybe.

This is surely shaping up to be one hell of a whirlwind year in the music department; maybe I am getting old (maybe I am just busier than normal), but I feel like it is getting hard to keep up with all of the records this year. My review writing is behind (I do have a bunch in backlog that are starting to be completed), and acquiring everything that is dropping.

Curse you Nadja (Aidan and Leah, I am looking at you)!

Curse you Hydra Head records (Chel, your list is breaking me)!

So far, it has been an excellent year for music, well, what I listen to anyway. Quite a few of the records which I was looking forward to have come out: the new Isis (pretty damn good), the Narrows album (pretty good as well), the Supermachiner discography, and the new Tombs album. Ones that I was not expecting but are awesome include several Nadja albums and splits and the last record from Khanate (just wasn't expecting a new one). 

In the next several weeks there is the new Coalesce album, the GREYMACHINE ep and album, several more Nadja records, and maybe the new Integrity...maybe. Good year so far...good year.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More Birthday Recap

I do not usually make a big deal about birthdays, but this year was quite exemplary. Some highlights include getting several HR Giger art books courtesy of my lovely wife, spending my birthday with my wife and then the subsequent evening in good company, and topping it off with an awesome feeling that only comes from having good friends.

I know I say it often, but pictures may just creep on here some day haha.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Birthday recap

My birthday was quite excellent yesterday. Thanks to all of my friends who were there and the well wishers that were not. 

Also, my wife is awesome.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Damn, I am getting up there is my birthday. I feel younger now than I have in years while at the same time feeling ten times my age in my bones.

Still here though...

Still making a racket.

Will some things never change?


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fissures...a Recap

Last night's Fissures show was incredibly fun and completely surprising in some ways while in others it was entirely predictable. First, the predictable outcomes of the show still were funny. Even though the show was mostly attended by friends, it was that aspect that allowed for the humor to really come through; and my friends were extremely kind and offered immense encouragement. 

The surprising can only be described in that when I looked up and saw me staring back at myself while I was playing, confusion and fits of laughter followed.

It was a long set as the people at the store were gracious enough to allow me the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. Rick, Robbie, and company were awesome...thanks for putting up with everything. The set was fun with 2 ambient/ noise pieces that clocked in at a half hour then an acoustic song (In Waves, a song from a previous band that I was in called Walk Like Ghosts), another ambient/noise piece that clocked in at about 20 minutes and then two more acoustic songs (awful but heartfelt renditions of Damien Done's "Ass Crack Is the New Cleavage" and the Angels of Light's "The Man We Left Behind"). Rick then gave the go ahead for a closing ambient/noise piece that ran about another 15 to 20 minutes.

All in all it was a very successful night. Thanks to everyone involved and everyone who participated.

Friday, April 24, 2009


So it is finally here. Fissures first show is tonight. Nervous is the wrong word. Anxious, in a strange way, is the main emotion that I am feeling about it. The venue is a strange way to try something for the first time so we shall see what happens. 

I hope I will have some pictures for those that will not be able to attend.

Friday, April 17, 2009

FISSURES first show...

Here is the simple flier (designed and made by my wife) for the show next Friday.

Anyone interested should come out and say hello.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yes, Angels of Light

I have to admit straight off, Angels of Light never crossed my path until several years into my fixation with Swans; but in a strange twist of fate, my first exposure to them was through the first album New Mother. Still, their new album, We Are Him, contains one song that I can honestly call my favorite, "The Man We Left Behind". It means a lot to me. Angels of Light has really meant a great deal to me as well as Michael Gira striking out with that group has encouraged me to do the same with Fissures.

Hope to see some people next Friday. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Weird Childhood Memories

When I was a young tike, I used to watch movies on Saturday afternoons on TV. On one particular Saturday I was entranced by a movie whose title has completely eluded me for rougly 25 years. This movie has driven me almost to the point of madness as I vividly recall several scenes that bring back a sense of wonder and excitement. Now that I have discovered its title, I will be seeing it in the near future, much (surely) to the chagrin of my wonderful wife as it is a cheasy B-movie sci fi  flick entitled Laserblast. 

I understand that Mystery Science Theater 3000 lambasted this movie (I missed it then too); but I do not care. To call this a relief is an understatement.

Now, there is just one more movie from childhood that haunts me. If anyone can drop me a line if they recognize what I describe, it would be greatly appreciated. A scene inolves two rival pilots or something like that where one of the pilots assaults the other pilot and tosses him into a ventilation shaft where he is subsequently chopped to bits. Then the pilot flies the mission...

This is all I remember, but the memory is very vivid and real to me. It is the last movie that I cannot remember the title of and hope to one day find it.

Monday, April 13, 2009


As Akron/Family's "Don't Be Afraid, You're Already Dead" plays in the background, waves of relief and accomplishment splash across my psyche as if I was sitting on a warm beach at dusk as dark water laps at my feet. My latest term of Graduate School is finally complete. I now have, besides a great deal of free time to pursue some activities which I have put off for Grad School, just two more classes remaining for my Masters degree. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though they will never know it, and it is completely inconsequential to them, Isis, Nadja, Mamiffer, Everlovely Lightningheart, and KTL all helped me to complete this term without completely going mental.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Last Paper


I just completed the bulk of my last project for this term of grad school. I am really looking forward to wrapping it up this coming Monday. 

My immediate plans following include: 

prepping my lawn and new gardens for the house
Practicing for the Fissures show
Enjoying some much needed down time
Turning in a bunch of writing to SPB.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I am embarking on a new musical endeavor in addition to Gholas in the coming weeks. It is basically going to be my exploration of more ambient and mellow sounding music. No, this will not be pop music at all; but those who know me and my obsession with Angels of Light, Swans, Jesu, and more recently Nadja may recognize those influences. Some random friends and bandmates more than likely will pop up from time to time to join in the fun, but who knows what will actually happen; that is the fun of this.

My first public performances will be happening at the end of this month, actually April 24th; so, it will be a challenge to polish up the material that I have by then. This will be a new experience as I have never stood on my own in music. Keep an eye out for dates and sounds forthcoming. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Strange trips...

What a weird week, oh how I despise how my weeks are largely being determined by the weird format of graduate school. Frantically scrambling to finish one of my last individual assignments of class, this signals roughly one more week  of this term for me. Then, a much deserved break will be had. Once I am finished, I will look back at the wreckage (nothing bad) of the last 3 or so months and try to make sense of it all since I pretty much put my head down and just barrelled through everything with just this and talking to about 4 people to keep me sane.

Thankfully several records have really been able to keep me contrating on finishing my work:

Nadja- Bodycage
Nadja- Bliss Torn from Emptiness
Nadja- Guilted By the Sun
Nadja & A Storm of Light- Primitive North
Mamiffer- Hirror Ennifer
Everlovely Lightningheart- Cusp

I should really do something about Nadja considering the amount of listening to their records of late. Maybe I will.

My wife has really been getting a bunch done with her tattooing and am really psyched to see where she goes next with it all. Sooner or later, I will post pictures. I promise.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ah April

March is gone. April is here, and I have a little less than two weeks left of this school term and am definitely getting antsy. There is a ton of work to be done outside the house and all the recent rain is making it even more difficult than usual to get things like seeding and fertilizing my lawn done.


What is wrong with me?

Other than that, the wife is in full swing with her apprenticeship and might be tagging quite a few more people in the next few weeks. It is pretty awesome that she can do what she does already,  and at this rate she'll be sitting pretty by June or July. 

There are a bunch of new records coming out that I am currently excited about:

Isis- Wavering Radiant
Coalesce- Ox
Nadja- Under A Jaguar Sun
Coliseum- new single on Deathwish
Young Widows- split 7" series
Mamiffer/ Oakeater split cassette (yes a cassette)
Playing Enemy- Here’s To What We Made
Greymachine- Disconnected
Greymachine- Vultures Descend' b/w 'We Are All Fucking Liars (Version)'12"
Jesu- Opiate Sun
Jesu- Heart Ache 2xCD reissue
Jesu- Infinity
Narrows- New Distances
Integrity- The Blackest Curse

So the rest of this half of the year is looking pretty sweet

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My brain is fried. Thinking is pretty hard right now. I am over the half way mark for this current graduate class term, but this back to back situation that I put myself in really is hurting my brain. And while Rainer Maria is playing in the headphones, I cannot seem to bring myself to do to much at this point. Oh well, less than 3 weeks to go.

Monday, March 23, 2009

And a second...

My wife started her second and completed her first tattoo (which is actually the 2nd tattoo as the 1st tattoo that she started was only an outline) this past Saturday. Everything is looking good so far as she really has a sense for shading that some tattoo artists take years to understand and accomplish in their tattooing. Her confidence is building and she is getting better at the line work as she goes. I will keep updating progress in the coming weeks with pictures soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A First...

Last night, my wife started her first tattoo. So far, it is looking pretty strong, particularly for a first one. Once we get them together, pictures will start being posted. Now it is time to line up more people for her to experiment on...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yes, that Serious...

Busy, Busy, Busy

Full swing with lots of happenings and little time to actually think. Maybe this is solely a perception that I have right now, but it is a strong impression that is pretty pervasive in how my time is occupied. Somehow, my time management skills are working pretty well right now and almost in a habitual way, which is actually scary. Ah well, I guess that is something I have to resign myself to being able to do.

Only a month left for this term of graduate school and I have to say it will not be a moment too soon. Right now, I am falling behind in house work, both inside and soon to be outside as the weather is warming up around here.

Nadja is my latest musical obsession, and good thing that the duo has a full slate of a bagillion releases coming out soon. Their split, Primitive North, with A Storm of Light is awesome, and I can't wait to get the records in my hand. If interested, check out Robotic Empire and their webstore to purchase.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More Great news...this time from the Justin Broadrick camp

Jesu, GreyMachine news & 2 more new digital download releases

jesu NEWS

Live at ATP Festival 'Fans Strike Back' 08 May 2009 to 10 May 2009, Butlins Holiday Centre, Minehead, England
Live at ATP / PRIMAVERA Festival , Barcelona, Spain From 28th To 30th May
'Opiate Sun' EP Caldo Verde July 2009. CD & Vinyl
'Infinity' LP- Avalanche Recordings June 2009. One song LP. CD, Vinyl & digital Download.
'Heart Ache' - 2xCD Hydra Head Version (2nd CD Bonus Unreleased EP from 2003) Sept 09
ENVY/jesu - Split LP (Hydra Head CD Version) Inc. Unconfirmed Bonus Mix


- 'Disconnected' CD - June 23rd, Vinyl - May date TBA.
'Vultures Descend' b/w 'We Are All Fucking Liars (Version)'12" Vinyl Single only. LTD. April/May Hydra Head.

Avalanche Recs. two new digital download only releases :


White Static Demon is a new Justin K Broadrick project for which he has been working on recordings for over one year. Again, like Council Estate Electronics, White Static Demon was inspired by Justin collecting and compiling material from Final cassette releases on his Post Mortem Rekordings label circa 1984-87, specifically the early uncompromising brutal power electronics driven Final, unlike Council Estate Electronics which was inspired by the more open ended Throbbing Gristle / Tangerine Dream ('Phaedra' most notably) inspired Final of old. JKB, excited again by this eighties power electronics sound and what inspired Final to take this direction initially in 1984/85, namely Ramleh / Broken Flag, Whitehouse / Come Org, Consumer Electronics / Iphar and M.B (Maurizio Bianchi) set about revitalising and revisiting this hateful / black / power electronics sound, utilizing analogue electronics and voice only, coupled with a now more mature, textured and psychedelic approach to the production of such material, JKB throughout 2008 and now 2009 has been recording sessions for this new and what will become a prolific project. Presented here is the first album, available in the digital format only, like Council Estate Electronics, there are many releases forthcoming on both vinyl and CDr across many labels. 'Decayed' has three tracks running with a total time of 54 Minute approx. Short mid quality MP3 extracts are downloadable at the Avalanche Store

SOLARIS BC - 'Submerged Technology' (AREC015)
Solaris BC was yet another short lived Justin K Broadrick project, designed to be released on his also short lived label Lo Fibre circa 1995-96. Lo Fibre released four 12" EP's throughout this period, the label was intended to be an outlet for JKB and related to release minimal / lo fi techno. Around this same period JKB and Kevin Martin (The Bug / Techno-Animal / etc) also worked the minimal / maximal techno project The Sidewinder for Mille Plateaux/Force Inc and Virgin, this culminated in two releases, the album 'Colonized' which was released on the aforementioned labels and the 12" Vinyl only EP 'Implant' for the Lo Fibre label, The Sidewinder and Solaris BC projects ran parallel to each other around this period, and both recorded albums - 'Colonized' saw a release whilst the Solaris BC album presented here for the first time waited for release on Sentrax whilst the label re-assessed its distribution, unfortunately Sentrax then folded and JKB shelved the Solaris BC album indefinitely until now. 'Submerged Technology' is the full album as it was intended for release in 1996, remastered by JKB in late 2008. Eight tracks in 55 Minutes approx. of completely unreleased material.Short mid quality MP3 extracts are downloadable at the Avalanche Store

Recent & Forthcoming JKB Remixes / Production

LUSTMORD Justin K Broadrick Remix
CONSTANTS Justin K Broadrick Remix
N.I.C JKFlesh/JKB Album Production & Mix

Forthcoming Justin K Broadrick Collaborations

Justin K Broadrick & Andrew Broder - LP

FINAL - 'Dead Air' CD. UTECH
FINAL - 'Reading All The Right Signals Wrong' Vinyl LP. NO QUARTER (CD Version with exclusive mixes July 09)

FINAL - 'Fade Away' LTD Vinyl Version . IMPORTANT RECS
FINAL - 'Origins 1983-87'. LTD 5xCD SET. LTD 5 xLP BOXSET.
FINAL - 'Infinite Guitar 3'. LTD CDR
FINAL - 'Guitar & Bass Improvisations'. LTD CDR
METHOD OF DEFIANCE - 'TBA'. JKB - Guitars (Project with Bill Laswell, Wata (Boris), Submerged, Dr Israel, Enduser).

Coalesce update

This is just in from Coalesce's MySpace page.

from coalesce:
ox is coming soon. we're hearing mid may. we'll be sure to give you all the date as soon as possible. we're all very excited about how the layout turned out, and can't wait to get our own greasy mits on the thing. And lastly, we'll be heading back into the studio in a couple weeks to record a good 7-9 tracks for a corresponding ep for ox and the opportunity to hang out with ed rose in studio a at black lodge recording studios in the fine town of eudora, ks. bob morley plays there all the time.

keep your ears on the tracks, 

and hopefully we'll be seeing a lot of you real soon.

I am certainly excited.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gholas T-Shirts and Pins

So now Gholas has T-shirts and pins available. If anyone is interested in purchasing any of these items or our fine record, visit here (the Gholas myspace page); and the information for ordering will be there.  The Pins come free with a purchase of a shirt ($12ppd) or, if you have not acquired a record yet $20 PPd for a record, t-shirt, and all three pins. 

Three different kinds of pins. Chris is a nut and made two different designs and a variation of one of the designs and we ended up going with the variation. This one is the variation on the record cover.

This pin is a variation on the t-shirt image.

This was Chris's baby...I think it is a Dore image, but I am probably wrong.

Here are the T-Shirts. One simple design from Chris featuring a famous writer. He originally wanted to get these done using discharge printing, but that was prohibitively expensive for us right now and Chris's design was too complicated. Maybe some day we will be able to get those done; we will have to see.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pseudo Existential Crises...and not Wanting to Work

So, my second Graduate class has started, and boy is the work load intense, a marked contrast to the last class. I would be lying if it did not cause me a great deal of anxiety over the last several days; combine that with the work situation, and I am exhausted by the thought of it all. The class workload probably is no big deal, but the difference in the two is such a shock. I had a great deal of hope that this class would be similar to the last one in every way; in fact, that would have been more than ideal.

Oh, well, time to suck it up and get to work. I find myself letting go and thinking just a little more than five weeks to go and then a break. 

A break? I am really looking forward to that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

End of another term...

So another bout of grad school is winding down (at least for a week before my next one kicks into high gear. It has been nice, let me tell you. I find myself enjoying the quiet time more and feeling more able to enjoy relaxing. My listening habits are very reflective of that...particularly today.

Earth- Hex: Printing in the Infernal Method
Leonard Cohen- a bunch of random songs
Angels of Light- also a bunch of random songs but "The Man We've Left Behind" mostly.
Dusty Springfield- a bunch of random songs
and some Porno for Pyros.

It just feels nice to relax a bit.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

108 new album???

Here is some neat news:

108 is currently in the studio recording a new album titled "Forever Is Destroyed." The band spent this past weekend tracking the effort with engineer Alex Garcia-Rivera (ex-Give Up The Ghost), and according to label Deathwish Inc., "the album is extremely raw and intense, ala 108's Threefold Misery album." Notably, the album will feature Mike
Justian (Trap Them, Unearth) on drums.

Now, 108 has always been a band which I took a keen liking too. Three Fold Misery is a favorite of mine, and their first post reunion album A New Beat From A Dead Heart (Check out my review at Scene Point Blank) was pretty excellent. This makes just one more release for which I am excited about this year.

Friday, February 13, 2009


So I was finally able to write some for Scene Point Blank again. The motivation was in full force. It felt good. Hopefully, soon the reviews will be available to read over. It definitely feels better to be able to write again for it because I do enjoy it a great deal.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Holy Busy... Torrid Life

Dear lord...

...the past couple of weeks have been completely insane. Grad School has really kept me busy as well as a whole host of other things, but this is good. I feel very much in control and satisified with the whirlwind of activity.  One downside to having such a full life is not being able to fit in everything that one would like, and this is one of several such outlets which are inadvertently getting shuffled to the back of the room to vy for my attention.

Still, it feels good to have so much going on lately. 

My playlist of late has been fairly similar

KTL- all
True Widow- all
Nadja- Radiance of Shadows
Mamiffer- all
Everlovely Lightningheart- all
With some Rocket from the Crypt thrown in for good times.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Supermachiner...This Week Keeps Getting Better

...just a short bit about Supermachiner whose latest album, Rust (actually a compiling of the first album Rise of the Great Machine and some unreleased material), was put up for order today at Deathwish Inc. 

Supermachiner was a side project of one, Jacob Bannon, the vocalist of Converge, a while back and this record has been a long time coming. Rise of the Great Machine was an underrated release when it first came out and continues to be mentioned mostly as just a side project with little other mention of its quality. Though, as much as I may enjoy Converge, I find myself listening to Supermachiner much more often and more religiously. 

Rust's release is exciting to me and a few others I know. Check it out if you get the chance.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grad School

So, my first week of this latest Grad school barrage is complete. To be honest, it was a cakewalk; we'll see what the future holds for this class. My learning team seems eager, but I am not getting my hopes up for them yet. The 2nd week has the first real Team project so I will know after that if they will be adequate people to work with this time. 

Thus far my soundtrack for the school work has been pretty typical for while I am in grad school with lots of instrumental and ambient work:

Mamiffer- Hirror Eniffer
Everlovely Lightningheart- Cusp
Everlovely Lightningheart- split with Oakeater
Everlovely Lightningheart- Particles and Fields
House of Low Culture- Gettin' Sentimental
House of Low Culture- Submarine Immersion Techniques
Jesu- Sun Down/ Sun Rise
Nine Inch Nails- Ghosts I-IV
Nine Inch Nails- the Slip
Old Man Gloom- Seminar III: Zozobra

All great for working to so far.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coalesce...DAMN RIGHT

So the new Coalesce was announced today or whatever. It is going to be called Ox. Today, with the snow now officially awesome.

I love Coalesce... LOVE THEM.

Hearing that Ox is coming out is like a kick in the ass. At 14 songs and 35 minutes or so, it is sure to be a blistering record.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cars, Vehicles, and Pains in the Ass

Cars suck. I hate them. If I lived in a big city I would not have to worry about having one, but I live in the burbs so it is a necessary evil. In truth, cars are nothing more than money pits that we constantly dump money into to keep them running or running efficiently or running well. $30- $50 to fill the car with gas, roughly $25- $40 every 3,000 miles for an oil change, $20 or so for tire rotation every 6,000 miles, $1500 for car insurance a year, etc etc, forget it if something like an accident occurs. So much of our yearly income simply goes towards maintaining our mode of transportation.

I hate cars.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finding New Music

So, my friend Dave had been bugging me for weeks to listen to this new record called Hirror Eniffer by Mamiffer; and it continually got pushed to the backburner until I received the record to review. When I initially popped their debut EP in, the subtlety of the Hirror Eniffer was lost to me; but something compelled me to play it again...and again...and again. While listening to it repeatedly, unbeknownst to myself, Mamiffer had sunk in to my thick skull; I realized how much I actually enjoyed the album and immediately understood my friend's proselytizing enthusiasm for Mamiffer (to which I also began to do the same as my wife and brother can attest).

After some minimal snooping on the internet, I found that Faith Coloccia (the person which Mamiffer revolves around) also was involved with the recently ending project, Everlovely Lightningheart. Now, I had heard some of their work on the Pyramids remix record and did highly enjoy those remixes that they did, so intrigue began to set in for the band. Also, around the time that I found myself subconsciously indoctrinated into Mamiffer's goodness, Hydra Head announced that they would be finally releasing the last Everlovely Lightningheart recordings. So naturally, I did everything I could to acquire the Everlovely Lightningheart discography. Thus far, I believe I need two releases, the upcoming Sein Weal Tallion Rue 2xLP on Hydra Head and a super limited record the band self released.

I must say that I have not been disappointed in anyway by Mamiffer or Everlovely Lightningheart. It would definitely be worth anyone's while to check out both bands. It is really funny the path which people find new music.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Graduate Class

Yes, another intellectual hurdle to conquer is just getting started. During my last class, I suffered a pretty serious nervous breakdown which combined with severe anxiety attacks almost destroyed my life. Now, I am continuing to pick up the pieces and mending. So, it is with some trepidation, much determination, and the end in sight that I tackle the one of the final four classed which I need to complete to obtain my Masters of Information Systems.

We'll see how I hold up this time around, but I do think that my mental health is in better shape to handle the stress and work. Combine all of this with my terrible overachieving academic career (a 3.93 GPA currently in grad school), and my main emotion is one of excitement. The end is in least for now. I have not decided what, when, where, or how I am going to do my Ph D; but first things first.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Radio and Playing on It

Gholas was able to play on the radio, 91.7 in Philadelphia (Drexel Radio) on Sunday. It was a real good time. All of us enjoyed it, and I hope Adam (the host/engineer) did as well. Adam rules. We played a decent batch of songs; here is the setlist (with pertinent and anecdotal details):

1. And the Lives Come Flooding (this song is almost a year old to the band; we think it came out well)

2. the Witch (working title, this seems to be a band favorite, possibly the beginning of something new)

3. 9000 Reasons (Us playing really damn heavy and discordant; again it sounds pretty good)

4. Untitled (This was not broadcast due to some issues; I can't wait to hear it though)

5. Her Trainwreck (Off Here I Am, Here Is Infinity, a decent version)

6. Do We Dream (Another off the record, and another decent version)

7. The Void (A really old song that is affectionately called the room clearer; we hope to record this the right way some time soon)

8. Walk Without Rhythm (Working title, not broadcasted...we just played this to lay down a demo)

We also attempted to play our newest work. It was a mess haha. But the rest of the set was pretty awesome. During "Walk Without Rhythm" a weird whistle like someone trying to get us to stop playing happened. Adam, Chris (our guitarist), and myself heard it. None of us knew where it came from or how it happened, but it was very distinct and very real.

Once Adam gets the session all together for us, we will be releasing it in a very limited quantity on cassettes and maybe a small CD run. We will see. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gholas Plays with Tombs

This past Friday, Gholas was given the opportunity to play with Tombs as well as our drummer's other band (Deathbeds) and another band that I can't remember the name of at this moment (which sucks because they were all great dudes)...wait...Bastard Sapling (that was their name). It was a fun night because we were playing with a bunch of good bands and friendly people as well as it being on a weekend which meant I did not have work the next day.


A bunch of hardcore kids playing sludge a la Eyehategod. I think that I went through this phase as well and can relate. They rely heavily on Sabbathian riffage and pummeling drums to drive their point home.  The singer does a real nice job of being engaging which can be difficult at times when one just sings, but he does it real well. It will be interesting to see what happens next for these guys; the second batch of songs usually has a band moving beyond their initial inspiration and can make or break a band. 


We played. The sound man hated us, did not listen to us about our equipment, seemed to hate life that night (he did not even take a cookie when we offered one as a peace offering). Our set was short at only 4 songs...

1. the Witch
2. Her Trainwreck
3. And the Lives Come Flooding
4. 9000 Reasons

We had fun. John (the bassist) was upset, but people were nice and said we sounded pretty good; although I kept kicking my cable out of my amp (because it was lying on the floor due to space issues) and Chris (the other baritone guitarist) broke a string. We are still working out some kinks in the live situation. I cannot wait to play our next show. We have been talking a bit about expanding our set.

Bastard Sapling:

Their drummer was awesome both playing wise and personally (very friendly). And even though their bassist was MIA, the two guitarists did not seem to miss a beat. Their vocalist was highly entertaining. And even though their set was a bit long, it was definitely enjoyable.


It is difficult to explain their set. "Gossamer" is an awesome song. It was excellent finally getting to see them. Their set made me super excited for the upcoming full length, Winter Hours. Tombs is definitely on my list to see again.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Revolution Summer

The last few days, I have been reading Mark Anderson and Mark Jenkin's book, Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital here and there. This is something that I seem to do regularly and cannot really answer why. The last few times, there is a bunch of skipping, usually straight to the section on Revolution Summer. When this occurs, it is inevitable that the next few weeks of my music listening is spent on the related bands, which I do enjoy immensely.

Embrace might be my favorite of Ian MacKaye's bands. They strike a huge chord with me and find myself listening to their sole record more than any of the other Revolution Summer bands. The really crazy thing is that the band played roughly 9 shows in 9 months and that was the extent of their existence. Still, their lone album is a great record that never seems to get old. Sometimes, as much as I like Fugazi, I wish MacKaye and company could have kept this going for a few more years. "Said Gun", "Dance of Days", "Spoke", "Do Not Consider Yourself Free", "I Wish I", "Money", "No More Pain"...are all classics of punk rock and are usually sadly overlooked in comparison to Minor Threat and Fugazi (but still nowhere near as obscure as other MacKaye projects like Egg Hunt or Skewbald/Grand Union).

I would be completely remiss if there was no discussion of Rites of Spring at all when speaking of Revolution Summer; because in many respects, they were a major catalyst in its occurrence. I guess the best word to describe this band would have to be catharsis; any other explanation fails horribly. It is simple and complete. On record, I am sure there is much lost in the translation, but it is still there for those of us not there at the time.

Seriously, search out this book.  Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital is an excellent document of several stages of DC punk and hardcore with lots of great anecdotal material.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The "Rock N Roll" Hall of Fame

First off...

I know that the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame is really a big joke. But if the electors continue these types of shenanigans, it will lose all credibility. I mean, if it was a popular music hall of fame or something more inclusive sounding, go for it. But, if it is going to be called the "Rock N Roll" Hall of Fame. Then let's get with the program.

Seriously, Run DMC? They are not remotely related to Rock N Roll. I know there are other rap artists in there too, and they do not belong either. It is a shame that they all get in before the Stooges, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, MC5, etc. 

The same goes for Metallica. What the hell is that? Eventually, yes, but there are other deserving groups and people that should be in there before them. 

John Reis better get in when his 25 years comes up or heads are gonna roll.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reading the Classics

In preparation for writing my own novel, I figured that I would get into it by first reading several classics some of which I already read and some new. Lately Russian literature has been really gripping my reading time. Dostoevsky has always been a favorite of mine ever since reading Crime and Punishment in high school, and after reading The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiots, I developed a deep and abiding appreciation for his work. So with that in mind, I drafted a reading list for the month of January.

- Crime and Punishment
- The Brothers Karamazov
- Anna Karenina
- War and Peace

 and finishing it up with Victor Hugo's Les Miserables (Yes, I know this is not Russian).

For this past Christmas holiday, Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina found its way into my hands. Now, I must admit that Tolstoy had until recently remained an untapped well for me; but, dear lord, this book has been quite amazing thus far. Thus far, this novel has flowed with an artistic precision which I have not experienced in quite some time. It is not something that I am zipping through as I do with so many other books. Instead, I am purposely taking my time as if I am savoring every word like a morsel of my wife's vegan baked ziti.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

While We Are At It

So since looking back at 2008, I recently found my top 25 lists for past years. Here is my Top 25 from that year and a bit about how I still feel about each one. After time, some records definitely grow in stature and some fall; tastes change as does critical thinking. 

1. Young Widows- Settle Down City (Jade Tree)

Surely, almost three years on, a record might just grow old, but that really is not the case with Settle Down City. It still holds a special place in my collection, and based on their follow up, 2008's Old Wounds, I feel completely justified in this record being my #1 of 2006.

2. Tom Waits- Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (Anti)

Ah the great Tom Waits, this monster of a record at 3 CDs and not a bad song on it. I still feel comfortable with this here as well.

3. Tragedy- Nerve Damage (Tragedy)

Tragedy is a force. Love the records. Love seeing them play. And even though this might be their weakest record, it still destroys 90% of what others put out.

3. Black Heart Procession- The Spell (Touch and Go)

Such a good record. I remember not being able to choose between this or Tragedy as my #3. I still can't. The Spell really is a gem.

5. Isis- In the Absence of Truth (Ipecac)

Ok...this one drops, although I am not sure where yet. I love Isis, but this is the first record that they recorded which disappointed me in some way. Not that In the Absence of Truth is bad, but I definitely do not find myself listening to it as often as anything else they have done. 

6. Sunn0)))/Boris- Altar (Southern Lord)

Another one that drops, Alter was good; but it was not amazing to me. SunnO))) was another band that was gold up until this point for me, and I am still waiting for them to fully recover. Pentemple and Domkirke are getting there though but neither really gets them back to top form. Boris on the other hand does nothing for me at all and that might be another reason why this languishes more and more for me.

7. Isis/ Aerogramme- In the Fishtank Vol 12 (Koncurrent)

This record still rips, and I still listen to it pretty regularly. Something about it just continues to strike a chord with me.

8. Jesu- Silver (Hydra Head)

Yes, Silver was down at 8 for me in 2006.  Not sure if this rises, but I have come to enjoy it more now than I maybe did then.

9. Converge- No Heroes (Epitaph)

Converge is one of those bands. I am really into what they do; I respect them as artists and musicians. No Heroes was another feather in their cap.

10. Hope Conspiracy- Death Knows Your Name (Deathwish Inc)

Death Knows Your Name was one hell of a comeback record.

10. Planes Mistaken for Stars- Mercy (Abacus)

So was Mercy which is why they tied.

12. Micah P Hinson- And the Opera Circuit (Jade Tree)

Micah is great. I still enjoy this record thoroughly.

13. Envy- Insomniac Doze (Temporary Residence)

Here is one that would jump a ton of places. Insomniac Doze was the record which put Envy on my map. 

14. Coliseum/ Young Widows (Auxiliary)

A good record and has Young Widows material not available anywhere else.

15. Red Sparowes- Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Neurot)

Red Sparowes is interesting to me. I enjoy them live much more than on record. This is their 2nd album and is good, but does not match their first for me. I still think this would fall around here though.

16. Sonic Youth- Rather Ripped (Geffen)

Another album that would relatively stay put. Rather Ripped is a good record. 

17. Mastodon- Blood Mountain (Warner Bros)

Blood Mountain would plummet. I really like a couple of songs on the album but that is pretty much it. Does not have anywhere near the potency of Leviathan.

18. Versoma- Life During Wartime (Robotic Empire)

OK, so I really think that this record would move up quite a bit. I listen to this more and more. Versoma just had a that I still want to hear. The fact that this band spawned two really good bands also helps its case and will probably be one of those criminally underrated records in a few years that people talk about like a religious experience.

19. The Draft- In a Million Places (Epitaph)

Yes, I still really like this as well. It certainly would not fall.

20. Johnny Cash- American 5: A Hundred Highways (American)

Same here. Probably Cash's last album, American 5 does have quite a bit of sentimental value; but I still listen to it. 

21. Rainer Maria- Catastrophe Keeps Us Together (Grunion)

Catastrophe Keeps Us Together probably would move up if I am being honest. I still really dig this record even if it is not Rainer Maria's best.

22. Rocky Votolato- Makers (Barsuk/Second Nature)

Seriously, Rocky makes good albums, this one probably jumps a few spaces as well.

23. Rise and Fall- Into Oblivion (Deathwish Inc)

This might go up a bit as well. Still waiting for a new album from Rise and Fall.

24. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan- Ballad of the Broken Sea (V2)

Really enjoyable record. It would still make this list.

25. Sick of It All- Death to Tyrants (Abacus)

I love these guys, but I probably would not include this in the list again.

25. Cult of Luna- Somewhere Along the Highway (Earache)

Somewhere Along the Highway would definitely move up the rankings here, Big time. I still think my review of this record is right on, but I like it more and more in any case. For a while, earlier this year, I listened to this album obsessively.

25. Fleeting Joys- Despondent Transponder (Only Forever Recordings)

OK, I probably would still include Despondent Transponder still. Fleeting Joys are another band which I am awaiting a follow up from them.

Starkweather- Croatoan (Candlelight USA)

Now this record just might peak up into the list. I should have included them in the first place.


It is a bit different, but I think this is more accurate as per what my listening habits and desire to hear the record have become. Here is my revamped list:

1. Young Widows- Settle Down City (Jade Tree)

2. Tom Waits- Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (Anti)

3. Tragedy- Nerve Damage (Tragedy)

3. Black Heart Procession- The Spell (Touch and Go)

5. Envy- Insomniac Doze (Temporary Residence)

6. Jesu- Silver (Hydra Head)

7. Isis/ Aerogramme- In the Fishtank Vol 12 (Koncurrent)

8. Cult of Luna- Somewhere Along the Highway (Earache)

9. Versoma- Life During Wartime (Robotic Empire)

10. Converge- No Heroes (Epitaph)

11. Isis- In the Absence of Truth (Ipecac)

12. Micah P Hinson- And the Opera Circuit (Jade Tree)

13. Rainer Maria- Catastrophe Keeps Us Together (Grunion)

14. Coliseum/ Young Widows (Auxiliary)

15. Rocky Votolato- Makers (Barsuk/ Second Nature)

16. Hope Conspiracy- Death Knows Your Name (Deathwish Inc)

16. Planes Mistaken for Stars- Mercy (Abacus)

18. Red Sparowes- Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Neurot)

19. Sonic Youth- Rather Ripped (Geffen)

20. The Draft- In a Million Places (Epitaph)

21. Johnny Cash- American 5: A Hundred Highways (American)

22. Rise and Fall- Into Oblivion (Deathwish Inc)

23. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan- Ballad of the Broken Sea (V2)

24. Starkweather- Croatoan (Candlelight USA)

25. Sunn0)))/Boris- Altar (Southern Lord)

25. Fleeting Joys- Despondent Transponder (Only Forever Recordings)