Nothing

Saturday June 25th | Doors at 8pm
with Culture Abuse, and Wrong

After getting his start as the brains behind the late 90s/early 2000s hardcore/punk act Horror Show, Domenic Palermo founded NOTHING in 2011 with the release of the demo Poshlost. Following the release of Poshlost, Palermo met Brandon Setta, who would bring lush, rich soundscapes and a fresh approach to Palermo’s vision for NOTHING and to the band’s next two EPs, Suns And Lovers (Big Love, 2011) and Downward Years To Come (A389, 2012). NOTHING then signed to Relapse for their debut 2014 full-length Guilty Of Everything. The album, which was inspired by the events surrounding a prison sentence Palermo served from 2002-2004, found widespread critical acclaim from publications such as Rolling Stone, NPR, Stereogum, Spin, Noisey, and many others. Guilty’s reception also enabled the band to tour Europe and North America extensively, including performances at festivals including Osheaga, Roadburn, Firefly, Budweiser Made In America, and SXSW. 


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Following a tumultuous series of events that left the band personally and professionally distraught, NOTHING experienced a drastic change in mindset, which is clearly apparent in the band’s new record Tired Of Tomorrow. Tired Of Tomorrow was recorded over the course of a month at Studio 4 with Will Yip (Title Fight, Superheaven, Touche Amore, etc) this past October, and is the band’s most heartfelt work today. Borrowing from personal memoir and external works alike, NOTHING have worked the deepest influences of their youth & maturation into a package that’s ultimately at its most relevant in the present day. Tired Of Tomorrow is a brooding yet mellow release, inspired as much by 90s rock as it is by the darkness of NOTHING’s past.

NOTHING is:

Domenic Palermo, 
Brandon Setta, 
Kyle Kimball

Skeme

Funk Thing

Friday June 17th | Doors at 8pm | $5
Skeme Richards, Rock Steady Crew (Philly)
Renato aka RIM, Diggin’ Ain’t Easy (LA)
SUG-TVC (Albuquerque)

13239939_1114091925280712_8634846446769357399_nDigging and spinning genres across the board from Hip Hop, Funk & Soul classics to Disco, Nu Disco and beyond, Skeme keeps things classy and continuously strives to separate himself from the pack. Skeme is known within a large circle of Funk & Soul 45 aficionados, DJs, vinyl purists, record labels and promoters as a heavyweight collector.

Blockhead

Friday June 10th | Doors at 7pm
Bells & Whistles Tour

James Anthony “Tony” Simon, better known by his stage name Blockhead, is an American hip hop producer based in Manhattan, New York.

Aside from his solo efforts released on the Ninja Tune label, Blockhead is most associated with producing for Aesop Rock, a rapper for the indie hip hop labels Definitive Jux and Rhymesayers. He is also a member of the comedy hip hop group Party Fun Action Committee and has previously worked with rappers Cage, Hangar 18, Open Mike Eagle and Murs. According to him, his stage name comes from the shape of his head: “While it’s not square, it’s pretty close.”

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blockhead 2 hmtSimon was born and raised in Manhattan. He is the son of the late Sidney Simon, a well-known sculptor in New York City, and Renee Adriance, a social worker. He has one brother and five half siblings. From a young age, he loved hip hop—both the lyrical and musical aspects. In his early teens, he and his friends made a group called the Overground where Simon first started making music. As an aspiring MC, he enrolled in Boston University in 1994. He only remained at Boston University for one year, but in that year Simon’s real music career began when he first met and starting working with Aesop Rock who was also a student at BU. At this point Simon put aside his ambition to be a MC and focused on producing music.

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TOKiMONSTA

Friday June 3rd | Doors at 8pm
Fovere Club Tour

Los Angeles native, TOKiMONSTA (Jennifer Lee) is known for her unique take on electronic,hip hop, and dance music. Her classical upbringing and eclectic taste in music has allowed her to create vast textural soundscapes—a reverberation that fuses vintage sensibilities with progressive inclinations. Since 2010, she has released 2 full albums, 2 EPs, 2 vinyl only singles through Ultra Records (US), Sony (Korea), Brainfeeder/Ninja Tune (US/UK), Art Union (Japan), Black Acre (UK), Ramp (UK), and All City (Ireland).

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Her music has been recognized by the very best in tastemaker and mainstream media. TOKiMONSTA has been featured on various worldwide radio programs such as: BBC Radio1 (UK), NPR (USA), BBC World Service (UK), J Wave (JP), Studio Brussels (BE), Radio Nova (FR), KCRW (LA) to name a few. Subsequently, DJ Mag, Pitchfork, The Guardian, XLR8R, Paper, LA Times, Dazed and Confused, SPIN, Wax Poetics, MTV, VIBE, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Sound and Recording and more have covered her. She has been ranked by LA weekly as LA’s best female DJ (noting her versatility as a producer). Additionally, Resident Adviser featured her for their “Breaking Through” series, which focuses on the next break through artist. Not only has she caught ears of many as a different dimension of Los Angeles-based music, TOKiMONSTA is notably the first female to join Flying Lotus’ crew/label BRAINFEEDER, which is on the forefront of LA music scene.

Recognition of her music has given her the opportunity to tour the world. In a never-ending effort to stay on top of technological and musical advances, she uses cutting edge technology with pieces of musical and multimedia gear. She participated in the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy in London in 2010. In the summer of 2012, she was apart of the Full Flex Express tour, the first electronic music themed train tour that traveled across Canada with Skrillex, Diplo, Pretty Lights, and Grimes. She performed on the very first SS Coachella–Golden Voices’ first ocean cruise festival. Some notable past performances were at Coachella, Sonar Barcelona, DEMF, WMC, Electric Zoo, SXSW, Camp Bisco, Decibel Festival. 2014 will include festival plays at Sonar Barcelona (2nd time), Glastonbury, Roskilde, Sasquatch, with more to be announced.

Guitar Legend Dick Dale

Monday May 9th | Doors at 8pm
w/ special guest Phantom Lake

Dick Dale invented surf music in the 1950’s. Not the ’60’s as is commonly believed. He was given the title “King of the Surf Guitar” by his fellow surfers with whom he surfed with from sun-up to sun-down. He met Leo Fender the guitar and amplifier Guru and Leo asked Dale to play his newly creation, the Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar. The minute Dale picked up the guitar, Leo Fender broke into uncontrolled laughter and disbelief, he was watching Dale play a right handed guitar upside down and backwards, Dale was playing a right handed guitar left handed and changing the chords in his head then transposing the chords to his hands to create a sound never heard before.

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w2wphe2eseyr8acji8pyLeo Fender gave the Fender Stratocaster along with a Fender Amp to Dale and told him to beat it to death and tell him what he thought of it. Dale took the guitar and started to beat it to death, and he blew up Leo Fender’s amp and blew out the speaker. Dale proceeded to blow up forty nine amps and speakers; they would actually catch on fire. Leo would say, ‘Dick, why do you have to play so loud?’ Dale would explain that he wanted to create the sound of Gene Krupa the famous jazz drummer that created the sounds of the native dancers in the jungles along with the roar of mother nature’s creature’s and the roar of the ocean.

Leo Fender kept giving Dale amps and Dale kept blowing them up! Till one night Leo and his right hand man Freddy T. went down to the Rendezvous Ballroom on the Balboa Peninsula in Balboa, California and stood in the middle of Four Thousand screaming dancing Dick Dale fans and said to Freddy, I now know what Dick Dale is trying to tell me. Back to the drawing board. A special 85 watt output transformer was made that peaked 100 watts when dale would pump up the volume of his amp, this transformer would create the sounds along with Dale’s style of playing, the kind of sounds that Dale dreamed of. BUT! they now needed a speaker that would handle the power and not burn up from the volume that would come from Dale’s guitar.

Leo, Freddy and Dale went to the James B. Lansing speaker company, and they explained that they wanted a fifteen inch speaker built to their specifications. That speaker would soon be known as the 15” JBL -D130 speaker. It made the complete package for Dale to play through and was named the Single Showman Amp. When Dale plugged his Fender Stratocaster guitar into the new Showman Amp and speaker cabinet, Dale became the first creature on earth to jump from the volume scale of a modest quiet guitar player on a scale of 4 to blasting up through the volume scale to TEN! That is when Dale became the “Father of Heavy Metal” as quoted from Guitar Player Magazine. Dale broke through the electronic barrier limitations of that era!

Dale still wanted to go further, and as the crowds increased, Dale’s volume increased, but he still wanted a bigger punch with thickness in the sound so that it would pulsate into the audience and leave them breathless. The JBL-D130 was doing its job until Dale froze it in the frame that held the speaker, the speaker cone would twist from the heavy playing from Dale and it would soon twist and stop to fluctuate back n forth.

Leo, Freddy and Dale went back to the JBL speaker company and told them to rubberize the front ridge of the speaker allowing it to push forward and backward from the signal of Dale’s guitar without cocking and twisting. The new updated version was called the JBL D-130F; the F stood for Fender.

Leo, Freddy and Dale designed a speaker cabinet and in which they installed 2 -15”-JBL-D130F’s. This caused Leo Fender to have to create a new and more powerful output transformer, they would call it the Dick Dale Transformer and it was made by the Triad Company.

This became the 100 watt output transformer that would actually peak 180 watts. Nothing like this had ever been done before in the world of guitars and amplifiers. This became known as the Dual-Showman Piggy Back Amp. This is why Dick Dale is called the Father of all the power Players in the world!

Sunn 0)))

Tuesday, May 3rd | Doors at 8pm
w/ Big Brave and Hissing

For sixteen years, Sunn O))) have been challenging the way we think about music. In that relatively brief time, core members Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson have forged connections between the worlds of Metal, Drone, Contemporary Composition, Jazz and Minimalism with startling results while remaining true to the eternal principles of volume, density and weight.

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sister sunn o fb coverThe release of The Grimmrobe Demos (1999) sent tremors throughout the underground with its bold realisation of hitherto unimagined heaviness. Building on the innovations of Seattle pioneers Earth – and naming a track in honour of their leader Dylan Carlson – Sunn O))) forged even deeper into a realm of reverberating darkness. However it was with the release of ØØ Void (2000) that the duo staked their claim as an outfit that would redefine how we view – and hear – guitar music in the early 21st century. There were detractors and skeptics, of course. But, undeterred, O’Malley and Anderson continued to refine their sound with 2002’s Flight Of The Behemoth, featuring contributions from legendary Japanese Noise artist Masami Akita aka Merzbow.

Evolving at a rate contrasting with the pace of their diurnal riffs, Sunn O))) unleashed White1 in 2003. This ambitious sonic document constituted many listeners’ first contact with the outfit and demonstrated the flexibility of their aesthetic. Contributions from Runhild Gammelsaeter (Thorr’s Hammer), Joe Preston (Melvins/Thrones) and the arch-drude himself, Julian Cope, assisted the music’s rapid radiation from its molten core of heavily amplified ambience. Around this time, the mainstream music media started to take an interest: the baffled curiosity that greeted ØØ Void gave way to the suspicion that something not unlike a paradigm shift was taking place. In interviews, O’Malley and Anderson revealed themselves as engaged and articulate ambassadors for the world of sound they had created. Meanwhile, rumours of hooded figures grinding out immense, immersive riffs suggested that Sunn O))) were a live experience to be reckoned with. This was confirmed by a succession of actions including a thunderous performance at London’s Underworld on Halloween 2003, an event preserved for posterity on the live album The Libations Of Samhain (2004). Sunn O)))’s live career is littered with such landmark shows. The group’s performance at Bergen Cathedral, Norway as part of the Borealis Festival was immortalised on vinyl as Dømkirke, for example, and they have staged similarly memorable interventions at many international music festivals including Barcelona’s Sonar (2009), Krakow’s Unsound (2009), CTM Berlin (2013), Japan’s Earthdom (2007) and Leave Them All Behind (2012), North Carolina’s Hopscotch (2012), Australia’s Totally Huge New Music Festival (2007) and All Tomorrow’s Parties/The Nightmare Before Christmas (2003, 2004, 2007 and 2009) and Supersonic (2007 and 2009) in the UK. Sunn O))) also curated the 2011 edition of Holland’s legendary Roadburn Festival, bringing together Keiji Haino, Winter, Scorn, Earth, Voivod and Circle among other heavyweights.

By the time White2 followed in 2004 there was no denying the group’s impact. The shockwaves travelled internationally and were received eagerly by an audience notable for its diversity. Metalheads, Noiseniks and experimental aficionados were united in their appreciation while countless artists and groups attempted to incorporate Sunn O)))’s visceral churn into their own creations.

For their next full-length release, O’Malley and Anderson journeyed deep into the abyss. With Malefic (Xasthur) and Wrest (Leviathan) on vocal duties, Black One was misinterpreted by some as Sunn O)))’s attempt at a Black Metal record. In fact it was, as O’Malley told The Wire Magazine in 2009, “a stark exploration” of certain aspects of their work. However bleak and unforgiving, Black One was their most collaborative effort to date, an approach which similarly informed O’Malley and Anderson’s other major release of 2006, Altar. Co-credited to Japanese rock mutants Boris, this album explored a broad spectrum of sonic strategies from thick, oily miasma to graceful, almost country-ish songcraft. The two groups came together for triumphant live performances of the album at London’s Kentish Town Forum in December 2007 and at ATP New York in September 2010.

Advancing from a self-created world and operating on their own terms, Sunn O))) have proven themselves the model of what King Crimson’s Robert Fripp would call a “small, mobile, intelligent unit”. They are capable of expanding or contracting their line-up according to the needs of each project and of moving fluidly between the concert hall and the academy. For a 2006 collaboration with Banks Violette at the Maureen Paley Gallery in London, O’Malley and Anderson performed inside a sealed room while vocalist Attila Csihar clawed his way, vampire-like, out of a black coffin. The audience were permitted to hear – but not see – the sounds created, although the relics of the performance were later preserved in salt and exhibited. That same year, Sunn O))) performed alongside Liars, Burning Star Core and Leopard Leg as part of the music strand of the Frieze Art Fair, filling the London Hippodrome with wave upon wave of amplification with the assistance of Godflesh/Jesu legend Justin Broadrick.

Pushing forward in their recorded work but unafraid to embrace their past, in 2008 Sunn O))) announced a number of live shows to mark the tenth anniversary of their first release The Grimmrobe Demos. For these dates, O’Malley and Anderson returned to their original two-man line-up, thereby reminding audiences where and how it all began, exposing once again the fundamental core of their sound. The same year saw Japanese label Daymare Recordings reissue ØØ Void with an extra disc of collaborations with legendary British experimentalists Nurse With Wound. Their sixth album nevertheless indicated a group with its feet planted firmly in the present. Monoliths And Dimensions (2009) retained the heaviness of previous releases whilst incorporating elements of spectralist composition and jazz. The album’s finale, Alice, was the most elegiac and beautiful piece the group had ever recorded, its mood of profound melancholy enhanced by veteran jazz trombonist Julian Priester (Sun Ra/Herbie Hancock) and typically masterful group arrangements courtesy of Eyvind Kang.

Recently, Sunn O))) have established a Bandcamp page which serves as an exhaustive archive of their entire back catalogue, including rarities and essential live material. This year has already seen the long-awaited release of their collaborative album with Norway’s Ulver entitled Terrestrials, and the current live line-up, consisting of Stephen O’Malley, Greg Anderson, Attila Csihar and Tos Nieuwenhuizen, is poised and ready to resume live activities.

Boris

Monday, May 2nd | Doors at 8pm
w/ special guest Auma

BORIS has always demolished expectations of what a band can do musically and aesthetically. In keeping with that tradition, they again flip the script for the band’s first official release in three years by serving up their most all-encompassing effort to date. Noise is an amplification of BORIS’ endless pursuit of musical extremes while moving aggressive, intense rock into new territories.

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BORIS has always demolished expectations of what a band can do musically and aesthetically. In keeping with that tradition, they again flip the script for the band’s first official release in three years by serving up their most all-encompassing effort to date. Noise is an amplification of BORIS’ endless pursuit of musical extremes while moving aggressive, intense rock into new territories.

In writing Noise, BORIS was intent upon condensing all that the band had explored over the years, in order to create something more bold, streamlined and powerful. And, upon completion, the band considers Noise its most defining effort, stating, “If we had to suggest just one album for those unfamiliar with BORIS’ music, we will pick this for sure.” That’s a bold statement from a band having released over 20 albums covering a vast array of sounds. Yet somehow throughout the album’s 8 song, 58 minute duration, the band masterfully intermingles sludge-rock, blistering crust punk, shimmering shoegaze, epic thunderous doom, psychedelic melodies and just about everything else they’ve ever done.

Over the course of BORIS’ three previous Sargent House albums (Heavy Rocks, Attention Please and New Album) the band sought to expand its musical vision ever further. And, the results helped redefine the band’s already iconoclastic sound. However, in early 2013 they decided to return to their classic trio lineup moving forward: drummer/vocalist Atsuo, guitarist/vocalist Wata and bassist/guitarist/vocalist Takeshi. Having been able to explore many new ideas as a quartet in recent years, the band was concerned about logistics, until their very successful residency shows and tour in the U.S. convinced them that BORIS could return to the simpler, solid trio without sacrificing artistic growth. Now, having rebuilt the classic trio’s “equilateral triangle” they’re heavier, louder, more confident and incisive than ever before.

Noise is also lyrically the band’s darkest album to date. Bleak lines like, “throbbing pain this world repeats upon us/ Throb, throb / Throbbing pain, this world makes us suffer,” guide the record’s most musically upbeat track, “Taiyo No Baka.” Everywhere else, dark imagery permeates the songs, adding further weight to the proceedings. Kicking off with the fittingly titled “Melody”, the album begins with the uniquely BORIS sound that combines multiple elements into one ferocious metallic-punk-melodic whole. Things take a jagged turn with second track “Vanilla” exhibiting a more experimental edge, while still driven by vocal melody and arpeggiated guitar notes until the song juts into frenzied psychedelic metal riffing. Elsewhere, with Wata on lead vocals, “Heavy Rain” merges the band’s early colossal doom with the latter day shoegaze of Attention Please for a song that’s both brutally heavy and ethereal. “Quicksilver” is a wailing speedcore track reminiscent of classic Japanese hardcore, with screaming voices, screaming guitars and screaming drums that refuses to relent over the song’s first 7 minutes. “Angel” is the album’s nearly 19-minute epic centerpiece that builds from entrancing chiming guitar notes and softly pulsing toms, ultimately breaking into a massive wall of drop-tuned sludge and a howling guitar lead reminiscent of BORIS tracks “Feedbacker” and “Flood.” The song continues to shift gears several times as it builds in tension and emotion toward a very satisfying resolution, taking the entire track full circle to where it began. Throughout, Noise is an exploration of the free-spirited experimentation that made the band an International cult legend.

Chelsea Wolfe

Tuesday, April 26th | Doors at 8pm
w/ special guest A Dead Forest Index

Sleep paralysis plagues singer/songwriter Chelsea Wolfe, and that strange intersection of the conscious and the unconscious has inadvertently manifested itself within her work. Across the span of her first four albums, there is an underlying tension, a distorted and nebulous territory where dark shadows hover along the edges of the sublime and the graceful. But until now, Wolfe’s trials and tribulations with the boundaries between dreams and reality have only been a subconscious influence on her work. With her fifth album, Abyss, she deliberately confronts those boundaries and crafts a score to that realm she describes as the “hazy afterlife… an inverted thunderstorm… the dark backward… the abyss of time.”

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sister Chelsea Wolfe posterChelsea Wolfe’s material has always felt intensely private, from the almost voyeuristic bedroom-production aesthetic of her debut album The Grime and the Glow to the stark themes and atmospheres of 2013’s Pain Is Beauty. “Abyss is meant to have the feeling of when you’re dreaming, and you briefly wake up, but then fall back asleep into the same dream, diving quickly into your own subconscious,” says Wolfe. To conjure this in-between world, Wolfe continued her ongoing collaboration with multi-instrumentalist and co-writer Ben Chisholm and drummer Dylan Fujioka, with Ezra Buchla brought on board to play viola and Mike Sullivan (Russian Circles) enlisted to contribute guitar. The ensemble traveled to Dallas, TX to record with producer John Congleton (Swans, St. Vincent). In the back of her mind burned the words of designer Yohji Yamamoto: “Perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.” The resulting eleven songs reflect that philosophy as they smolder with human frailty, intimacy, quiet passion, anxiety, and deep longing.

Abyss opens with the disorienting lurch of “Carrion Flowers”, where Wolfe weaves a hypnotic vocal melody over monotonic industrial thuds, much as an Indian raga is constructed around a lone note or swara. On “Iron Moon”, the band pushes for extremes in its loud-quiet-loud strategy, alternating between hushed balladry and gargantuan doom. On “Dragged Out”, glacial-paced fuzz riffs underscore Wolfe’s sultry verses, until a howling wail of distortion dominates the chorus. But there are certainly moments when the brutish elements are reigned in—“Maw” could serve as a lullaby and “Crazy Love” harkens back to the humble acoustic compositions of her Unknown Rooms album. But between them we have “After the Fall”, the centerpiece of the album, where the abrupt tonal shifts, descending chord progressions, and climactic vocals illustrate Wolfe’s fascination with Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung. “I let myself drop,” begins one of Jung’s recollections of his dreams. “I was so struck by that visual: the drop into the abyss of one’s own mind, allowing yourself to feel things you’ve hidden away, bringing them front and center. That became the goal of this album,” says Wolfe. That surrender can be heard in the slowly escalating cacophony of “Survive”, the penultimate square-wave hum and yearning of “Color of Blood”, and the clamorous piano loop and disorienting arrangement of the closing title track.

“Sleep and dream issues have followed me my whole life,” remarks Wolfe as she revisits notes from the writing and recording sessions. In a way, these issues have become a part of Chelsea Wolfe’s identity, for whom the notion of sleep as an escape has been subverted. Abyss captures this dichotomy, this battle between the soothing and the upsetting, and demonstrates why Chelsea Wolfe has become one of the most intriguing songwriters of the decade.

– Brian Cook, 2015


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Pints For Pups

Sunday, April 24th
Desert Paws Animal Rescue Benefit
FREE – 12pm

Sister and Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits is teaming up to raise money for Desert Paws Animal Rescue. Join us on Sunday, April 24th from 12-4pm for a little day drinking and some puppy love. All proceeds from every pint of Ballast Point sold will go to Desert Paws Animal Rescue.

The beer selection will be announced soon 🙂