Live Music

Tobin Sprout & Elf Power

Wednesday August 2nd | Doors at 8pm
w/ Phantom Lake

Tobin Sprout, former guitarist / songwriter of indie-rock icons Guided By Voices, has a new album (his first in 7 years), The Universe And Me (Burger Records), out on January 27. The Universe and Me takes a deliberately primitive approach that focuses on feeling, as opposed to production. The result is a vague bridge between the ballads of psych-era Beatles, and the haunting vulnerability of Daniel Johnston’s Hi, How Are You?.

Sprout penned and sang GBV classics including 14 Cheerleader Coldfront, It’s Like Soul Man, Awful Bliss, Ester’s Day, To Remake The Young Flier and Islands (She Talks In Rainbows). Burger Records will also be reissuing Sprout’s out-of-print 1990s Matador solo albums, Carnival Boy and Moonflower Plastic. In 2017, Sprout will be performing throughout the US with his 4-piece band.

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Elf Power
Elf Power formed in 1994 and over the last 23 years have released thirteen albums, two eps, and a handful of singles, while touring North America, Europe, and Japan many times. Albums such as 1998’s Dave Fridmann-produced “A Dream In Sound” and 2008’s collaboration with the late Vic Chesnutt, “Dark Developments” have cemented the bands’ reputation as the finest purveyors of modern melodic psychedelic folk rock around. Their tour in support of their last album , 2013’s “Sunlight on the Moon” , took them on an extensive tour in support of Neutral Milk Hotel’s much acclaimed reunion tour, as well as dates with Broken Bells and headlining dates.

Their latest album “Twitching in Time” combines experimental arrangements and sublime songwriting with their powerful live bombast, into their strangest, most cohesive, and most exciting sounding album yet. Opening track “Halloween Out Walking” combines minimal and beautiful folk rock arrangements with otherworldy Moog synthesizer gurglings to awe-inspiring effect. Other highlights include “Watery Shreds”, a piano ballad that transforms itself into an explosive an unexpected distorted guitar drone freakout, sounding like an unlikely marriage of avant-garde keyboardist Laurie Anderson and drone metallers Sunn 0)) . Songs like the title track and “Cycling Aimlessly” are classic fuzzed out melodic rock songs the likes of which the band has become known for , while songs like “Gorging on the Feast” explore a jazzy, melancholy terrain before descending into a shredding heavy rock assault. The constant shifting of sounds and styles makes for one of the band’s most diverse and satisfying albums yet. On this album, singer/songwriter Andrew Rieger and longtime collaborator multi-instrumentalist Laura Carter are joined by Matthew Garrison on bass, Peter Alvanos on drums, and Davey Wrathgabar on guitar.

The album is released on May 12, 2017 on the band’s own Orange Twin Records, that has released almost 50 albums since 2001, including releases by Neutral Milk Hotel, Vic Chesnutt, Jeff Mangum, Jack Logan, Nana Grizol, Gerbils and many more.Orange Twin Records works in conjunction with The Orange Twin Conservation Community, 155 acres of beautiful land on the outskirts of Athens, GA that has initiated the development of a highly progressive, self-sustainable and ecologically-minded cluster village and nature preserve.

Thor & Friends

Monday July 17th | Doors at 8pm
with Heather Trost / James Whiton

Having spent five years as the touring percussionist for Swans, Thor Harris has launched a new, very different project called Thor & Friends. Heavily influenced by minimalist composers, the rhythmic instrumental songs are built around such instruments as marimba and xylophone. Other instruments and sounds come into play, often bringing an experimental edge to the music, but the compositions are never allowed to get too cluttered. The result is a catchy, whimsical sound that would appeal equally to those seeking out avant-garde music and those who are afraid of it. Thor & Friends recently released a self-titled debut album and are currently out on tour.

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Stream the album on Stereogum:
http://www.stereogum.com/1902407/stream-thor-friends-self-titled-debut-album/mp3s/

Heather Trost
https://www.tinymixtapes.com/news/heather-trost-release-solo-album-agistri-premieres-new-track

James Whiton

Loefah

Thursday July 6th | Doors at 8pm
(Swamp81, DMZ, UK)

Loefah (real name Peter Livingston) is one of the pioneering founders of dubstep, releasing on one of the labels involved in the genre’s genesis DMZ. Loefah started off collaborating with the Digital Mystikz on the DMZ nights run in Brixton and was part of Mary Anne Hobbs’ Dubstep Warz radio show that contributed to breaking the genre to the mainstream. He was known for having a dark and minimal style that used powerful basslines and menacing vocal samples in order to create a sense of dread.

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Quintron & Miss Pussycat

Sunday June 25th | Doors at 8pm
with Sleepdepth / DJ Cassyle

Quintron is an American musician and leader of the eponymous one-man-band, “Quintron”. He is a celebrated nightclub organist and inventor, who has patented a number of his own inventions and often performs at his own private club, the Spellcaster Lodge in New Orleans. He frequently performs with his wife, musician and puppeteer Panacea Pussycat (also known as Miss Pussycat), co-founder of the 9th Ward’s defunct Pussycat Caverns. Quintron’s most notable invention to date is the Drum Buddy, a mechanically-rotating, five-oscillator, light-activated drum machine.

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Merchandise

Monday June 12rd | Doors at 8pm
w/ B Boys / Nuzzzle

Merchandise have announced details of their new album, A Corpse Wired For Sound, due for release on September 23rd, alongside the video for a second new track, ‘End Of The Week’. Formed nearly a decade ago, galvanized by Tampa hardcore and inspired by its miscreant noise, A Corpse Wired For Sound signals a new chapter for Merchandise.

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Following 2014’s After The End — a full-band effort recorded in a closet — the band stripped back to its core of Carson Cox (vocals, electronics), Dave Vassalotti (guitar, electronics) and Pat Brady (bass). The trio travelled to Rosà, Italy for their first ever sessions in a recording studio, La Distilleria, with a local, Maurizio Baggio. The nine-song nocturnal A Corpse Wired For Sound was recorded half in the studio and half at home, in Tampa as well as Cox’s newly adopted bases of New York and Berlin – the culmination of a long-distance collaboration between Cox and Vassalotti.

The album’s metallic title is inspired by a science fiction short story by JG Ballard, but equally sums up the band’s current state of mind. “We were ‘reborn’ as a rock band for After The End,” says Vassalotti, “and then we straight-up died again. It couldn’t last. The result is this distended corpse responding to you from
both sides of the Atlantic, forever singing in spite of everything.” Cox continues further “It’s about the truth of growing up. You can’t take your friends or lovers with you. It’s about finding peace with that loneliness.”

The second song to be aired from A Corpse Wired For Sound, ‘End Of The Week’ is “really about personal reflection and horror,” says Cox, who is responsible for the song’s visuals (he also created the video for lead single ‘Flower Of Sex’). The video is a subliminal homage to Italian film director Michelangelo Antonioni and his motion pictures Blow Up and Zabriskie Point. “The smashed mirror isn’t just a symbol of death,” Cox continues. “It’s the broken image of humanity reflecting back at everyone when they read the news. Reality is an unbearable pill to swallow this year. Somehow the evil people that make up society can still wake up everyday and look at themselves in the mirror.”

Conan

Saturday June 3rd | Doors at 8pm
w/ Graves At Sea / North / Jagged Mouth

Conan are as heavy as interplanetary thunder amplified through the roaring black hole anus of Azathoth. Remember that sentence, for it is writ large in virgin blood on the walls of the forgotten temple of Bol-Krastor, deep in the steaming forests of forgotten Lemuria. Conan, a monumentally brutal three piece (in the grand tradition of all the hallowed three pieces through time) hold a sinew-tight line and an iron-grip command over the uber-synchronised powerchord changes and tempo-shifts of the anti-holy trio of bass, drums and guitar. Two weary yet defiant men have the task of vocalising wretched thoughts over the turgid weight of Conan’s metalized bombast. They bear it well, for the task is immense.

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Way back, in 2006, Conan formed as a two piece near the old port of Liverpool, and cut a now mythological demo (‘Battle In The Swamp’). The years dragged by, and fellow warriors came and went (we raise our tankards to their memory). Now they have crystallised into a final configuration – founding member Jon Davis still raging on guitar and vocals, but ably assisted by fellow acolytes of the absurd Chris Fielding on bass and vocals and the dexterous Rich Lewis on drums. Collectively their plans are clear: they seek nothing less than the crushing of a billion skulls.

They have committed their filthy, ocean-sized sound to wax (and the slightly less cool compact disc) several times thus far – with more fetid brooding output always on the reddening horizon. First came the hulking mass of a debut album (in 2010) that was ‘Horseback Battle Hammer’ (Throne, Aurora Borealis), followed by the now much sought after split with like-minded Northern Irish sludge-lords Slomatics (Head of Crom, Burning World) in 2011. In December 2011 Conan returned to the remote wilderness of Foel Studio, Wales, and into the capable hands of producer Chris Fielding (now their bassmaster) for the next album which was to released on Burning World Records in Spring 2012 – the mighty eardrum-warping ‘Monnos’. A triumphant recording of their live destruction of the 2012 Roadburn festival was released in 2013 as ‘Mount Wrath’. This was followed by a fearsome 12” split with Chicago doomfuckers Bongripper in 2013 (Holy Roar Records) and a new devil-deal with Napalm Records, resulting in the evil turgidity of third album proper ‘Blood Eagle’ in 2014. Many tours across the blasted wastelands of Europe and the old lands across the Oceans have resulted in a tight slaying unit that pauses for no weakling and decimates all who will not nod to their titan-riffing. Latest album ‘REVENGEANCE’ was RELEASED IN EARLY 2016 – A FOURTH ALBUM OF SUCH IMPLAUSIBLE WEIGHT THAT AZATHOTH ITSELF THREATENS TO IMPLODE IN A COSMIC SUPER-SHOWER OF BLACK DEATH-SHIT. Hear the roar of battle. Smell the stench of split blood. A thousand heads piled high like a grim mound of suffering – a blasphemy to nature. Hail Conan!

Nicola Cruz

Saturday May 27th | Doors at 8pm
w/ Dylan Stevens and 1960sfe

Nicola Cruz’s music invokes the landscapes and rituals of his homeland, Ecuador, a country that is both home to the Andes mountains and the Amazon jungle. His music is an exploration of folkloric traditions and ancestral mythologies in a modern setting. Nicola was born in Limoges, France, to Ecuadorian parents. His upbringing was surrounded by a musical education rich in both indigenous traditions and occidental theories and from a young age he took to percussion.

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From this musical connection between past and present, traditional and modern, an ongoing South American movement has arisen, exploring local indigenous and Afro-cosmologies through a carefully crafted analogue sound.

In 2012 Nicola collaborated with Nicolas Jaar’s now defunct label, Clown & Sunset. Prender el Alma, Nicola’s debut album, will be released later this year on ZZK Records.

Colibria is the feminine name in Spanish of a colibri, an artisanal instrument used in the recording of this song. The song speaks of primitive origins, water, survival, the basic elements that make up who we are. Huaira, the singer and eternal companion and collaborator of Nicola says “Colibria was born when I was living at the foothills of an active volcano where daily we watched it bleed, this track signifies an inward search and the journey of being reborn.” The track was recorded in an old warehouse in Quito, Ecuador with high ceilings that vibrated throughout the recording, giving the sound of water flowing throughout the song.

Guitar Legend Dick Dale

Wednesday April 5th | Doors at 8pm
w/ Steve and Dad

The Dick Dale Phenomenon. His style is something different and unique. Since his first appearances Balboa, Ca. at the famed Rendezvous Ballroom, he has set and broken attendance records everywhere he’s performed. His appearances at the Rendezvous Ballroom broke every existing record for the Ballroom by drawing capacity crowds of over four thousand screaming dancing fans every weekend each night down on the Balboa peninsula.

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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.

Leo 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!

Dead Meadow

Friday March 3rd | Doors at 8pm
w/ The Flash Hits & Holy Glories

Dead Meadow formed in 1998 with Jason Simon on vocals and guitar, Steve Kille on bass, and Mark Laughlin on drums. They began to combine 70s hard rock and 60s psychedelic rock with far out and sometimes mystically minded lyrical themes occasionally even hinting at the obscure genius H. P. Lovecraft and other far out writers of the bizarre and weird.[1] The first album, Dead Meadow, was released in 2000 on Tolotta Records, a label run by Fugazi bassist Joe Lally. The LP version was released by Planaria Records. This was quickly followed by 2001’s Howls from the Hills, also released on Tolotta Records. At the completion of “Howls from the Hills” John Peel asked Dead Meadow to record a Peel Session which was recorded in Fugazi’s home studio, the first time a Peel Session was recorded outside the BBC studios.

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In Spring 2002, Laughlin parted ways with the band in order to pursue a career as a lawyer. He was replaced by long-time friend Stephen McCarty ). A live album, Got Live If You Want It, was released in mid-2002, which documented one of the last shows with drummer Mark and was produced by Anton Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre. In early 2003 the band signed with Matador Records and released Shivering King and Others. Along with the heavy song and blues-influenced songs as on the previous two records, the band continued in their psychedelic style, with acoustic elements and ballads. With the addition of second guitarist Cory Shane, Feathers was released in 2005. Simon’s guitar virtuosity is influenced by the droning modal character of Eastern music as by classic rock riffs.

Jason Simon is the nephew of The Wire creator David Simon. Dead Meadow’s music was used briefly in the episode React Quotes in season five of The Wire.

In 2007 the band has reverted back to a three piece, made an appearance at the 5th annual Green Man Festival in Crickhowell, Wales and relocated from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, California.

In the beginning of 2008, Dead Meadow released Old Growth on Matador Records. A collection of songs that brought the band back initially to the same farm that their second release Howls from the Hills was created and eventually finished up at the legendary Sunset Sound studio in Los Angeles. As with the last three albums Old Growth was produced by bassist Steve Kille.

Later in that same year a brief session with Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother led to the reinterpretation of the Dead Meadow song “Everything’s Goin’ On” as a new song “Pilgrim” landing on the second release for Wolfmother, “Cosmic Egg”.

In March 2010 the band released a feature length live film and soundtrack, “Three Kings”, that spotlights their stage show along with psychedelic dream scenarios. The live footage and audio was captured at the bombastic final show of the five month “Old Growth” tour. The film premiered at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California[2] and was released on the NYC label Xemu Records, co-run by Kille.

Jason Simon also announced his September release of his first solo “self-titled” acoustic album on TeePee Records.

The song “Sleepy Silver Door” and “Greensky Greenlake” were featured in the skate video “Emerica, Stay Gold.”