Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned 30 Weight
Backwoods Payback Momantha
Dixie Witch Let It Roll
Tia Carrera Cosmic Priestess
Freedom Hawk Holding On
All Small Stone CDs/LPs
Detroit’s Small Stone label has slowly but surely gained a reputation since its 1995 inception for quality heavy-rock across a wide variety of retro styles. After releases by such luminaries as Dozer and Acid Witch, the label’s roster has grown rapidly in the last few years to feature more quality new bands than ever – a small cross section of which are reviewed here.
Gideon Smith third full-length album (following the snappily titled South Side Of The Moon) is a strange brew of stoner, southern and dark gothic heavy-rock. Smith’s adherence to the outlaw code is writ large all over the vampiric desert sound of this album. The covers of Saint Vitus and GG Allin numbers show his clear outsider lineage while his evil croon is a pretty unique blend of Tom Waits and Jim Morrison. This whole album is a dark treat.
Backwoods Payback are from Pennsylvania and channel the dark stoner blues of Clutch and Alabama Thunderpussy. This album is mostly catchy riff-rock like the standout ‘Mr Snowflake’, though my favourite moments are the doom of ‘Velcro’ and the tortured vocal howls on ‘Timegrinder’. A real grower of an album, after several plays it had burrowed deep into my psyche.
Dixie Witch are a rough, tough Texan power trio playing super-heavy Southern rock. Perhaps a bit too metallic for the average Shindig! reader, their album is a hugely catchy quality classic rock album for all those who like that sort of thing.
Another Texan trio that will probably appeal more to Shindiggers are Tia Carrera (no relation to the Wayne’s World actress). Playing wild ’n’ heavy psychedelic space-rock that’s both instrumental and improvised the band really impress across four long tracks packed with wild wah-wah and memorable telepathic jamming. Highly recommended to all.
Last up are Freedom Hawk who have unleashed a great ’70s-influenced noisy stoner album, Holding On. What sets it apart from the pack is the really great songwriting and riffs that traverse areas of light and shade to provide a real diversity and power to every song. One of the very best super-amplified stoner albums of the last 12 months.
Monday, 30 January 2012
Friday, 27 January 2012
FLAMINGO DRIVE (right)
Flamingo Drive are intelligent, timeless, guitar pop with a dynamic voice, inimitable razor-sharp psychedelic verse and the best twin guitar play-off since Verlaine met Lloyd or Kramer duelled with Sonic-Smith.
Manchester's garage rock'n'roll sensations, banging out an irresistible sound between garage & soul. Think The 13th Floor Elevators, The Count Five, The Stairs, The Electric Prunes, Joe Meek, Captain Beefheart, & Small Faces...
London's sweet country rockers. IPO said "Think of all your favorite music from the 60s - be it the intricate harmonies of soft pop Left Banke style, Merseybeat, or the bubblegummy mod sounds of The Monkees, these have got it all!
Then DJs Phil Istine, Charlie Salvidge (Toy) and Imogen (Velvet Cave Vintage) will spin your world via ’60s/’70s dancefloor psychedelia, garage, beat, and general rock’n’roll wondermints!
@ The Drop
below The Three Crowns, 175 Stoke Newington High Street London N16 0LH
8pm-4am, £6 entry. Buses: many. Train: Stoke Newington (from Liverpool St)
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Goat supposedly stem from the tiny Swedish village of Korpolombolo (a settlement that practiced voodoo before being burned out by the crusaders). Dressed in masks in a suitably satanic promo pic a similarity to acts like Gwar emerges, but rather than dealing in monstrous forms of metal Goat however trade in a cinematic rock gumbo parts Performance, Dr John, Ruth Copeland's sleazy ’70s voodoo grooves and the put together afro rock of the Demon Fuzz album. That said, the production is quite contemporary and elements of such ’80s noise droners as Loop can be picked out by a discerning ear, drawing closer comparisons to fellow Rocket acts.
This then is clearly the product of likeminded hipsters akin to the muse of Votel, Cherrystones and co. And no, it's not a bad vibe either. It's just that the real sense of both the horned one and the tunes of pioneering dark arts groovers like Graham Bond is evidently missing.
Jon 'Mojo' Mills
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
This UK tour presents the Trembling Bells playing, singing and duelling with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, performing a new collection of songs written by the Trembling Bells some of which appear on the forthcoming collaborative album 'The Marble Downs', out on Honest Jon's on April 9th with a taster EP slated for release before this. This will be the first time these songs are going to be performed live … list of tour dates below.
Trembling Bells lead vocalist Lavinia Blackwall will sing in duet with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy. Alex Neilson, the chief songwriter for the Trembling Bells, plays drums, while Simon Shaw on bass and Mike Hastings on guitar make up the pack. Originals, covers and traditionals will be featured in the sets.
With a limited Christmas 7” single already under their belts, Trembling Bells and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy kick off 2012 with a collaborative album of male/female vocal duets.
Alex Neilson has synthesized his love of seat-of-your-pants improv and raw folk into his songwriting with the Bells. While Bonnie has long since shed the Appalachian dirt of his earlier records to enter a fertile period of grace. Now these paths converge on ´The Marble Downs´ - a triumphant exercise in major key ensemble playing concerned with minor key heartbreak, and a marriage of some of the most mercurial and imaginative musicians of our time.
The shows will encompass a special select route around the South West of England with support from Routes South West to take place around the 'Obby Oss' May Day celebrations.
Wed 25th April – Edinburgh / Queens Hall
Venue Address: Clerk Street, Edinburgh EH8 9JG
Ticket Price: £18 adv + booking fee
Thurs 26th April - Holmfirth / The Picturedrome
Venue Address: Market Walk, Holmfirth. HD9 7DA
Fri 27th April - Leeds / Picture House
Venue: Hyde Park Picture House
Ticket price: £15 adv
Sat 28th April – Cheltenham / Frog and Fiddle (part of Routes South West)
Venue: Frog & Fiddle
Venue Address: 313 High Street, Cheltenham,
Ticket Price:£15/£12 adv
Mon 30th April – Exeter / Phoenix (part of RSW)
Venue: Exeter Phoenix
Venue Address: Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter EX4 3LS
Ticket Price: £15 adv
Wed 2nd May - Penzance / Acorn (part of RSW)
Ticket Price:£15 adv
Thurs 3rd May – Bristol / Trinity Centre (part of RSW)
Venue: The Trinity Centre
Venue Address: The Trinity Centre, Trinity Road, Bristol,BS2 0NW
Ticket Price: £12 adv
Fri 4th May – Oxford / Bullingdon Arms
Venue: Bullingdon Arms
Venue Address: 162 Cowley Road, OX4 1UE
Ticket Price: £15 adv
Sun 6th May – London / Union Chapel
Venue: Union Chapel
Venue Address: Compton Terrace, Off Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 2UN
Ticket Price: £17.50 adv
A Swinging London spectacular with theatre school kids in cool clobber and psychedelic music galore. A real forgotten period piece tailor made for the weird, wired and wonderful readers of Shindig! and Happening.
To win the entire series on DVD courtesy of Network answer the below question:
"Which British psychedelic/progressive group provide the theme tune for The Tyrant King?"
Please email answer to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title WIN – THE TYRANT KING in the subject line. Results will be drawn on March 1st.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Audio Montage CD
Israeli-based trio Boom Pam add some spice to our musical lunch today, with their third studio record Alakazam. Served up is the lesser-spotted Mediterranean surf rock - the primary instruments here are the electric guitar, drums, and tuba. Yes, you read that right: tuba. It works, miraculously - the musicianship is first rate (I’m not surprised to hear they have performed with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra), the Fender licks a mixture of east and west (Hava Naglia meets Dick Dale you might say). The production is a bit processed for my tastes, but the energetic performances cut through that. ‘Surfing Tuba’ is the offspring of Dave Allen’s classic biker anthem ‘Blues Theme’, whilst things get a bit anarchic and well, a bit Benny Hill, on ‘Hamdulila’. Some tongues in cheeks may have been utilised whilst recording. The Farfisa-sounding organ on ‘The Fall’ give it some 60s authenticity, plus the song is simply great: flailing drums, a memorable riff, and enough changes to keep things interesting.
There is just three vocal tracks here, and they aren't as convincing as the instros: the singing just doesn’t fit the sonic mood well (and using a vocoder is simply WRONG). Having said that 'Light Up' is redeemed with some lovely harmonising and a sticky fuzz guitar line. This release shares much DNA with Denmark’s The Good The Bad, so something good must be in the sea air. If you like your surf rock non-conformist then perhaps you should check in at Alakazam.
THE CRAMPSAs Lindsay Hutton, creator of the group's official International fan club 'The Legion Of The Cramped' points out in his sleevenote, The Cramps may not exist as a physical entity anymore, but the frightening legacy they've left behind will continue to be embraced by future generations. This handsome box set of their rare early singles, and more, goes some way to explaining just why that is.
File Under Sacred Music: Early Singles 1978-1981
Munster 10 x 7" Box Set / CD
There haven't been many groups who have managed to hurl excess rockabilly fever and sickly ’60s punk slime at the wall and get it to stick together with as much vigour and vengeance as The Cramps did. Their exultant noise exudes something so inviting the listener is beckoned in to a thrillingly strange, and hitherto unknown world. Evidence, if needed, is here in spades, whether original or remake: 'Garbageman' and 'Goo Goo Muck', 'TV Set' and 'Surfin' Bird', 'Human Fly' and 'Domino', all deranged, all pent-up, and all outta control, pushing unheard levels of tremulous cacophony in your eye, and causing heart-bumping palpitations upon hearing the late Lux Interior's impassioned vocal extrapolations. Ivy Rorschach and (the also late and great) Bryan Gregory's frenetic guitars unleashing a furious sound battle each screaming for mercy, or supremacy, or both, while clad-in-black Nick Knox keeps track with primitive jungle drums.
If you've never been sure of the missionary motivation of The Cramps, or have only ever heard (of) them from the 'A Date With Elvis' era on, then I suggest you start back-pedalling now, cos you'll be more than amazed at some of the findings.
Vinyl edition comes complete with envelope containing reproductions of vintage artefacts.
The long wintery wait is almost over…
Green Man is delighted to announce that tickets for his 10th anniversary festival go on sale next Monday, January 30, at 9am.
To celebrate, the first batch of amazing artists lined-up to play Green Man’s big birthday bash in Wales’ breathtaking Black Mountains from August 17-19 will be announced soon, including one of three unbelievably great headline acts!
All Earlybird tickets for Green Man 2012 were snapped up in record time, and the entire festival has sold out for the last three years in a row. We’re expecting demand to be high once again, so don’t miss out!
|Tickets cost:||Adult Ticket||£145|
|Live-In Vehicle Ticket||£60|
|Car Park Ticket||£5|
|Resident Day Ticket||£50|
Quite how the festival will head without Jo and Danny steering the good ship will only be seen once the line-up is finally announced. We at Shindig! pray that it won't move further into the mainstream.
Monday, 23 January 2012
Friday, 20 January 2012
But right I can barely breathe the room is so heaving. No matter, we're here for music and such discomforts are soon forgotten once the set begins. The band is flanked by two hair monsters who earnestly frug their hearts out, creating motorik rhythms and cascading sheets of sound, as does Korg twiddler Alejandra Diez. We are treated to an enticing mix of psychedelia, krautrock, shoegaze, and stoner rock. Think Red Krayola, think Broadcast, think The Psychedelic Furs. They are tailor made for Shindig! types to lap up. Don't let the less than perfect melodies stop them being embraced by musically progressive types, this band is the antidote to all the insipid indie you normally come across in the UK right now. They finish the set with a frenetic version of debut single 'Left Myself Behind' that threatens to take off at any moment with us onboard. Heavenly.
Thursday, 19 January 2012
Lovely. What with books making such a huge loss it's promising to see a small publisher doing in print what could be so boringly done on the web.
The premise for this 10" book is simple. It takes a record sleeve and then features a host of imitators, rip offs and homages to the cover design. Along with the more known Beatles/Beach Boys/AC/DC entries we also find The Psychedelic Sound Of... The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Buffalo Springfield's Again and Q65's Revolution. Shindig! friends that have taken their cue from the stars include The Cynics, Gorilla, The Perverts, The A Bones and The Chesterfield Kings. Compiling all of this must have been hard work.
A great project and hell of a lot of fun. This is definitely a fine book to flick through when friends are over for a music session. Long live print!
Jon 'Mojo' Mills
The prog-rock spectrum is long and extreme. At one end sits the jazz-inflected strand, often harsh and atonal and as inviting as a concrete housing block in Soviet-era Poland. At the other rests the warm, psych-folk style, best suited for free festivals on The Isle Of Wight and doing mushrooms in Middle Earth.
Diagonal are squarely at the first end, coming on like Red-era King Crimson covering Derek Smalls’ 'Jazz Odyssey', fronted by a shaved-headed saxophonist who looks like he’s wandered in from an Oasis gig. Everything is played in complex time signatures, and the set moves between slow fast loud quiet passages with impressive technical finesse. It’s striking and cacophonous and perfect for stroking your wizard’s beard to, but very hard to love. They could also do with wearing more capes.
Wolf People meanwhile exist at that other fuzzy end of prog, and they are the GREATEST BAND IN ENGLAND TODAY*. Beneath their unassuming Open University looks, these four have the hearts of Dionysian behemoths and they let rip like the superstars they would be if we all took acid with our tea. ‘Silbury Sands’, the opening track from recent album Steeple, is dispatched only two songs into the gig, but it shows off everything that is immense about the band; this is a quintessentially English noise, half pastoral beauty and half rabble-rousing stomp, drawing a line from Fairport Convention through to Traffic and on up to Led Zeppelin and even Black Sabbath. Front man Jack Sharp’s vocals, sometimes fragile on disc, ring out live with unexpected clarity and strength, and if you removed the tight CS&N harmonies or took away the amps, you’d still be left with song writing that would make Martin Carthy or Roy Harper proud.
Which isn’t to say that this is simply bucolic pastiche. Wolf People are former hip-hop kids who have swapped their decks and linoleum for guitars and madrigals, and they still know how to bring the noise - especially when they introduce their mad afro-ed flautist for the encore. Under his freaky guidance, single ‘Tiny Circles’ comes off like Focus with the funk or Jethro Tull with B-Boy attitude.
This is not music for a miserable January night on the Holloway Road; Wolf People deserve to be seen in a clearing in The Forest Of Arden, or at the very least watched in split-screen Panavision with a quadraphonic soundtrack. It may be freezing outside, but when Wolf People play, it’s the summer of Pan in our souls. With added breakbeats for luck.
* who sound like they should be headlining the second night of Glastonbury circa 1971.
RIP Kearney Barton – From Light In The Attic's BlogWednesday, January 18th, 2012
The one thing that I could never wrap my head around was the wealth of material Kearney recorded since entering the business in the 1950s. It didn’t seem humanly possible. There were few, if any, bands who didn’t record at least one tune after walking through the doors of his Audio Recording Studios. And if it made a sound, he’d record it.
Digging through Kearney’s archive years later, this becomes all the more evident to our eyes and ears. We discover analog reels of operas, country western, big bands, psych, advertising jingles, downer songwriters, soul, high school jazz bands, crooners, funk, classical, folk, modern rock, radio shows… and whatever else I’m forgetting he probably recorded that too.
It’s a rare thing to master your craft at any point in your life. To do it in your thirties and stick with it for another 45 years, up until almost the day you die, is a beautiful thing. RIP Kearney. We’ll miss you.
- Matt Sullivan, the Light In The Attic crew
Tags: Kearney Barton, Northwest, R.I.P., seattle, Wheedle's Groove
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Illusion was recorded in a variety of bedrooms, practice spaces, the Murray residence, as well as AVAST! and Fastback studios in Seattle, Washington with the help of engineer Jared Hankins with guest performances by many a musician friend.