Downtown Live Music

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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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.”

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!

TV Heads

Thursday February 23rd | Doors at 8pm
w/ Lindy Vision, Tear Pressure, Eph Sharpe

The trio of Sean Galloway, Angelica Tavella, and Vince Gutierrez came together in Los Angeles after more than a decade in and around the Bay Area working on musical collaborations in various bands, on tour, over the Internet, teaching at youth music schools, and performing in drag musicals. The band has since added Los Angeles-based drummer Jessica Lankford, who joined them on the road for their recent West Coast tour supporting the release of “Total Fucker”.

In the making of “Total Fucker”, producer Jeff Saltzman (Department of Eagles, The Killers, Blondie), worked closely with the band to a achieve a balance between the sadistic twisting of oscillator knobs, overdriven vintage amplifiers, and plastic bagged microphones. The band finds it’s sound in the collective experiences of the trio; arching guitar lines, gritty synths, and raw drums and bass. Galloway and Tavella mix their distinctive voices together to create lush vocal harmonies that launch into wild choruses, a’la a Jeff Buckley and Annie Clark fronted Smashing Pumpkins.

The King Khan & BBQ Show

Sunday November 6th | Doors at 8pm
w/ Paint Fumes

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screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-11-36-15-amThe King Khan & BBQ Show are two guys in a band, both writing, performing and singing: Arish ‘King’ Khan: guitar, vocals. His voice is the snotty one. His guitar is the lead one. Mark ‘BBQ’ Sultan: drums, guitar, vocals. His voice is the smooth one. His guitar is the rhythmic one. The drums are played live with his feet.

Bad News Boys is the band’s fourth studio album, their latest since 2009’s acclaimed Invisible Girl. The boys had previously broken up in 2010 after a taxing stretch, culminating in an invite by Lou Reed to play the Sydney Opera House. There was a public (internet) break-up and freak-out, which carried over into the week after in Asia. Words were said; brothers fought like brothers. It was the end of a stretch that had taken the band all over North America, playing festivals like Coachella, starting side projects like Almighty Defenders (with brothers Black Lips), touring the likes of Europe, Israel, Brazil, gaining legions of devoted fans internationally, and kickstarting that whole ‘doo-wop punk’ bullshit movement that still goes on today.

This is rock’n’roll. This is punk. This is early r&b. This is psych. This is doo-wop. This is garage. It’s all this and more, without trying to be anything.

A misconception of the band is that they play a bunch of instruments, which are then overdubbed to get a particular sound in the studio. The truth is that they record live. Their ‘studio’ is usually an apartment or – in the case of Bad News Boys – a basement, and they’re armed a 4-track cassette recorder and not much else. Their ethos is punk. Their mission is to revere rock’n’roll – the real stuff – enough, so that they are permitted to invoke its spirits and ghosts using magick, using their raw soul – for good or for bad – to evoke the smells and feelings that confuse and delight.

The King Khan & BBQ Show is a real band. Sure, their sense of humor is dirty, often surreal and potentially subversive, but the seriousness of their passion for real rock’n’roll should never be taken lightly. They live a lifestyle of pure love for the genre, respecting and understanding its basic tenets, living as lifers, representatives of tradition they feel is important. They cut their teeth together in The Spaceshits, a lightning fast rock’n’roll band formed in 1995 (dead by 1998) and have toured and paid their dues since, sacrificing their mind, bodies, souls, friends, family – all for love.

King Khan went on to underground hero status in many projects, shocking and impressing tastemakers in need of tangible image-icons, worldwide. Mark Sultan is heralded for his incredible voice and top-tier songwriting – rarities, today. Quite simply: they need one another, like yin and yang, to make it all happen. The band has managed to continue to release top-grade material for over ten years, without bowing to business or succumbing to what’s ‘hip’, without changing. They do what they want, take it or leave it. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, but never say they can’t write a great rock’n’roll song – and back it up with one of the best, most magickal, energetic, crass and nonsensical free-form live shows going.

They care so much that they don’t give a fuck.


PAINT FUMES drew first blood together in the year 2011, sharing a mutual love of garage scuzz and brain-chain reaction, and the connection was immediate and fierce. Sounds congealed via weekly seances at the Sewercide Mansion in Charlotte, NC and relentless touring which brought their unhinged reverberations to points all across the USA. Like the lovechild of Link Wray and Cheetah Chrome, raised by Lemmy on the streets of Venus, they sweated out the fever every night in ecstatic style. By the time Slovenly Recs got around to spitting out a couple classic 45s and their debut platter Uck Life, most true heads and even those way out of the know alike had gotten the message. Deep within a blitzkrieg of treble and feedback, there were real live tunes to sink your teeth into – the stuff that’s stuck in your head when you wake up in another dimension.

In the year of the horse, the ‘Fumes swelled in ranks with Ian Rose and Ben Carr of NC synthtopian punks Natural Causes, starting twelve thrash bands and surviving on nothing but hallucinations of vegetarian chimichangas. Together this crew ruined the beaches of Europe with Los Vigilantes, converted hundreds on the all-night diesel-powered festival circuit and in the midst of it all took a vacation down to Puerto Rico and committed to tape a new full-length entitled If it ain’t Paint Fumes it ain’t worth a huff!