VIDEO: Brain Tentacles’ “Fruitcake”


With a name like Brain Tentacles, what would you title your debut album? Perhaps the most obvious would be to not call it anything, just say “this is self-titled” and that is what they did with a record that will be released on September 30th on Relapse. Have a bit of Brain Tentacles flavor by taking a nibble from the “Fruitcake”.

SOME STUFFS: Årabrot return to North America for spring tour

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Norwegian rockers Årabrot are returning to North America for a tour in May in support of their album The Gospel. This is also the first time the band has been on the road since vocalist Kjetil Nernes recovered from having throat cancer. Things are doing good for him and thus the rest of the band and they’re ready to prove it with shows galore. Check out the dates:

May 11… Seattle, WA (The Highline) *
May 12… Vancouver, BC (The Media Club) *
May 13… Tacoma, WA (The Valley) *
May 14… Portland, OR (Panic Room) *
May 17… Sacramento, CA (Starlite Lounge) *
May 18… Oakland, CA (Golden Bull) *
May 19… Los Angeles, CA (The Complex) *
May 20… Tucson, AZ (Exploded View Gallery)
May 21… El Paso, TX (The Sandbox)
May 22… Austin, TX (Sidewinder)
May 23… San Antonio, TX (Paper Tiger)

* = w/ Helen Money, Insect Ark

AUDIO: Mike & The Melvins’ “Chicken n Dump”


18 years ago, Melvins were going to release a collaborative album with bassist Mike Kunka, who had taken a break from GodheadSilo to work with Buzz and Dale. They were that close to releasing it and for whatever reason, nothing was heard from it, not even a single. They all returned to the project last year and decided it would be a very good time to finally have it out so here it is. They’re calling themselves not Mike & Melvins but Mile & The Melvins and the album, due out on April 1st, is called Three Men And A Baby. Despite the release date, this is not a joke, no April fooling here, it will be out on that day. From it is a song called “Chicken n Dump”, which is said to have been written by a 9-year old girl. Well, she was 9 years old at the time but she is now 23 and will hopefully earn whatever royalties an album like this could lead to.

Here’s the track listing. Sub Pop are releasing this one.
1. Chicken n Dump
2. Limited Teeth
3. Bummer Conversation
4. Annalisa
5. A Dead Pile of Worthless Junk
6. Read the Label (It’s Chilli)
7. Dead Canaries
8. Pound the Giants
9. A Friend in Need is a Friend You Don’t Need
10. Lifestyle Hammer
11. Gravel
12. Art School Fight Song

SOME STUFFS: Jason Hodges releases new solo project as Brown Piss


You may know of Jason Hodges for his time with The Yes Sirs, Supression, Rectal Pus, Mutwawa, or Kojak, or perhaps as the founder of Chaonic Noise Productions. If doing all of these tasks isn’t enough, he also has been releasing solo music under the name Brown Piss, with a number of albums and EP’s plus split efforts throughout the year. He released a new EP last month called Maggot Shack so if your musical interests are more on the experimental/avant-garde adventurous side, you’ll want to pick this up. Cassettes are available by heading here or obtain it digitally via Bandcamp.

SOME STUFFS: Columboid to release “Magi” at the end of November


Columboid has a new album mixed, miastered, and ready to go, in fact you can listen to it in full right now before its November 30th release date. Six brand new songs, with two either running close to or going beyond the 8-minute mark, so you know it has to be a trip and if you don’t know why, get your good pair of headphones, press play, and find out how their music works on you. The Brooklyn band are ready to unleash some goodness so if you like what you hear, consider pre-ordering the album. They say things are leaning on the Cabaret Voltaire/This Heat/Throbbing Gristle side of things so now that you have been prepared, get a knife and slice into the goodness of Magi.

REVIEW: Lightning Bolt’s “Fantasy Empire”

Lightning Bolt photo LightningBolt_cover_zps2h1zcho0.jpg To say I was anxiously waiting for this album to be released would be putting it mildly and lightly. When Lightning Bolt create something new, I want to concentrate with all nine of my ears. There was a bit of a worry that Fantasy Empire would’ve sounded more polished, the songs would be more mainstream in how they were put together, and you would be able to hear drummer Brian “Black PUs” Chippendale sound in the same way Virgin Records made a cleaner mix of “American Woman” so you could hear a much more crisp Lenny Kravitz. Did it happen? Oh hell no.

He and bassist Brian Gibson remain as twisted and distorted as they’ve always been but as far as the construction of the compositions is concerned? Well, I’m not sure if other writers speak about Lightning Bolt and even bring up the word composition but what changed my view of their music was when Black Pus released his Primordial Pus album in 2011 and closed it with “I’ll Come When I Can”. I said it then and I’ll say it again, it’s the kind of song that I wish more people would cover so that the meaning of the song would be interpreted differently but still retain its definition. It made me listen to Lightning Bolt in a different light, for while it can be close to impossible to understand the lyrics without a lyric sheet, other times you can figure it out or read a song transcription elsewhere and go “I see, it may be twisted but there’s a lot more than that”. Gibson’s distorted bass can sound like a guitar and bass at the same time and other times you have no idea what kind of sounds he’s making. Is it a security signal or is it something he found at a pawn shop and decided to test it on the spot until it chokes? Yes, and more.

On the surface, just listening to Fantasy Empire and hear songs with a kind of spastic energy that will make you wan tto drive a car on a highway and jump out of the window. You may say that there’s a nice punk rock overtone or it’s just a ridiculous extension of 80’s metal. Imagine jamming in a basement and simply wanting to feel the space of electricity, but then knowing it’s a holiday weekend, you blast the amps until the police come over and playing loudly so that the officers will melt in front of your eyes. That’s Lightning Bolt in a sentence or two, and they are easily the best at what they do. “King Of My World” skips around with different tempo textures so that you are unable to dance in one way at any given time, but why should you? Are Lightning Bolt a dance band? Maybe, in a mixed-up world. Then again, we are in a mixed-up world, aren’t we? It’s wonderful to welcome yourself in the double Brian empire and get caught up in the beautiful ugliness they make. Sometimes it makes me wonder why more people have not become Lightning Bolt believers but hey, it’s more for me to enjoy.

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FREE DL: Pleasuredome’s “This Will Last Forever” (EP)

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The full EP may last only six minutes but it will be an intense six minute listen that you will have this year. This Will Last Forever is an incredibly noisy album by Nashville band Pleasuredome, which sounds anything like an actual Pleasuredome, but perhaps that’s the point. It’s noise rock at its best, imagine if Lightning Bolt united with Buzzov•en. They released a song earlier this year so they may end up releasing another EP before the end of the year. we’ll see. Access to the EP is free of charge but if you’re into it, use the “Name Your Price” option.

BOOK REVIEW: “Girl In A Band” by Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon photo Gordonbook_cover_zpsa8e361b6.jpg When I found out Kim Gordon was coming out with her own autobiography, I knew I had to make sure to read it. I first heard of Sonic Youth in 1986 through a Seattle music video show called Bombshelter Videos, where I saw “Shadow Of A Doubt”. The music, her voice, and the visuals of her “sitting” on top of a train car pulled me in while it also made me ask “what is this?” I had been aware of who they were but living in a town without a college radio station made me curious. Thus, my fascination with her and her music, and in truth more about her music than anything about her but Girl In A Band: A Memoir (Bey St.) is her telling her own life how she sees it, which is the way how she writes her lyrics and poems, how she plays her music, and how she paints.

There were two things I wasn’t aware of when I read this. First, I didn’t know she was raised in California. What I know about Gordon is through her songs, albums, and interviews but that’s always one deliberate aspect of an artist wanting people to get to know they have new product available. Second, I didn’t know she and her family lived on Oahu for about a year. When she mentions how she enjoyed living in Manoa Valley, she says it freely as if she’s a local girl, but also states that for the first time in her life, she felt like a minority due to Hawai’i being primarily Asian. Also, having a name like Kim had kids make fun of her as the name Kim is often given to males within the Asian communities.

Her story primarily begins on what was a surprising note. The chapter is called The End and while I had suspicions of what it might be about, I had to read for validation. The End refers to not only the end of her relationship with guitarist Thurston Moore, but the end of Sonic Youth as a group. The official statement states they are now on a temporary hiatus so while fans are always hopeful for a reunion to happen, it’s most likely going to be “don’t bother waiting for the time being.” Reading that chapter is exhausting, only because I as a fan knew the story and what happened, and she explains part of what dissolved. She does get into it in detail but that happens only in the last part of the book.

From there, we bounce back to her childhood and how she became who she is through her mom and dad, essential factors in her upbringing. Also of importance is her older brother, and together they helped to provide what will become her interests, be it painting, writing, or music. It was a need to be creative, and she gets very detailed on her interests. While I am not someone who knows about fashion designers and obscure film directors, she mentions various people and things in a way that is very understandable, nerdy when it needs to be but always done in a way that has her creating a list for those who wish to look it up further. Her brother eventually became mentally ill to the point where he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, physically and mentally draining. While she did her share of traveling with her family, she knew that when it was the time, she would like to move on to somewhere further. In that time, we find out some of the people she dated, including Danny Elfman, another things I learned in this book.

In time she would make it to the East Coast and into New York City, and she clearly states that what she wanted to do was to be able to live independently, on her own terms, even if it meant living in a dingy Chinatown apartment that wasn’t glorious. It is where we learn about 84 Eldridge Street, the apartment where she got into exploring various New York clubs and venues, discovering new forms of music, meeting up with important people and meeting Thurston Moore for the first time. From that point on, the story explores in detail the journey Sonic Youth went through, from recording their first music in a basic recording studio to performing their first international shows to finding their way onto a major label and a bit of fame. While Sonic Youth were always known for their alternate tunings with their guitars, Gordon states that her bass were always one of the anchors of the band and was always tuned the same way for every song. Before the SY story is explored, she touches on her first live performance and how she wasn’t sure if she could do it but once she did it, she felt something she did not expect and one that she wanted to do repeatedly, which she would do for 30+ years. If you know about her story, she does mention people that is part of her path: Kathleen Hannah, Courtney Love, Julia Cafritz, Michael Stipe, Chloë Sevigny, Henry Rollins, and Kurt Cobain, whom she called a dear friend. Some of these people are discussed with the utmost respect while others were ridiculed in a manner that perhaps they ridiculed her.

She does talk about watching her daughter Coco grow up to eventually wanting to get involved in music in her own way but also going to college for the first time. By then, Gordon returns to what happened between her and Moore and one begins to have a greater sense of compassion for her as much more than just an artist. It may be nothing more than an appreciation for her as a person, but nothing wrong with that either. I also really like how this book was written. Outside of being direct and to the point, Girl In A Band is designed in a way that’s not unlike her music, a painting, or even a film. In fact the last chapter is done in a way where the reader may say :wait a minute: so what happened?” or “is there a moral to the story in the way you just told me?” For all I know, she could have been citing the end of a film like 400 Blows or something, where we see people around but the image stops and pans forward. What do we think? What should we think? Perhaps that’s the point in how Gordon told her memoir, to let everyone know about who Kim Gordon is, insecurities and concerns, hopes and dreams, hits and misses, and everything in between. If she’s going to throw out something random, she will and perhaps did. Or maybe the end of the book was written in a manner that is supposed to be. That’s why this book is called Girl In A Band because in a way, that’s who she wanted to be, became, and was. Through the process, she became a stronger person with a better sense of purpose. You may end up wanting to hear her discography from start to finish once you finish this, one of the best biographies I’ve read in some time.

(Girl In A Band will be released on February 24th. An audiobook version, in both CD and MP3 versions, will also be made available.)

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REVIEW: Brighter Death Now’s “With Promises Of Death”

 photo BrighterDeathNow_cover_zpse4ee4509.jpg If you’re going to name your album With Promises Of Death, it better bring to mind the kind of thoughts the title is owed, correct? Brighter Death Now is an album Roger Karmanik has made 25 years into his career as someone who takes industrial music into a darker and disturbing level, enough to where what he does has a new genre name, “power electronics”. The album sounds like someone who just finds a certain distinct sound, turn it up to 11 but then raise it up 500 percent in order to make a point. The actual point doesn’t matter, for what you’re hearing is something that is simply beyond anything you may have heard, especially when it can get unexpectedly rhythmic. The music isn’t painful, what I also liked were songs that may sound like the most distorted part of finding a radio station, coming across something at may sound like a melody but you keep trying to get there but never being able to find clarity. What I also like are the parts of this album that do not sound like music, you just take it for what it is, leave it to your interpretation/imagination and go from there.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1522112487/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/
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