Acid Mothers Temple and Space Paranoid is the latest, umpteenth version of the Japanese psychedelic rock collective, and on this go-'round, Black Magic Satori, it's less psych and more doom. I mean, seriously: DOOOOOOOOOOOOM! No, but really: there's some super down-tempo Black Sabbath love on this LP -- "Black Sabbth" the song, specifically, right down to the ringing bell. On the title track, "Black Magic Satori," Acid Mothers Temple and Space Paranoid takes the sound out of the grave and into outer space, courtesy of Higashi Hiroshi's madman synths. The same goes for the chooglin', Goblin-esque progressive boogie of "Devil Inside." It's freaky, freaky shit that's hypnotic, yet terribly panic-inducing doom at its most accurate. You get goddamned uncomfortable listening to this record. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/crooked-house/acid-mothers-temple-space[/embed] The lone exception is "Space Paranoid" itself, a disposable and not-terribly-interesting legitimate cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid." Strangely enough, Acid Mothers Temple actually covering Sabbath isn't nearly as interesting as their interpretation of it. It's a 12-inch vinyl LP, limited to a pressing of 500.It's not due out until mid-November, but you can pre-order it now from the Safety Meeting Badcamp.
Handclaps. Sing-alongs. Jangly guitars. It's been weird to hear Josh Berwanger's songs on develop live over the last year or so, and then hear them in their final, polished form on Strange Stains. Some of the songs here are so much different that it almost takes a moment to get what you're listening to. "Mary," for instance, has this chunky guitar riff live that, on album, becomes strummed acoustic guitar. It goes from power-pop to something almost folksy in its recorded form -- all stomps and hanclaps. While that power-pop live version is killer, the folksy rendention just shows the strength of Berwanger's songs -- the presentation can change entirely, and I'll still love 'em. "Baby Loses Her Mind" has been the centerpiece of the Berwanger live shows, and it's much the same here. With it's Tom Petty-esque chorus, and the way the instruments drop out at one point, just leaving vocals and handclaps? It's fucking magic. Like the majority of the tracks on Strange Stains, there's an AM-radio vocal effect, just adding to the album's timeless quality. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/brixton-agency-pr/josh-berwanger-baby-loses-her[/embed] "All Night Long" could've been written at any point since 1960, really -- it's one of those songs like "Someday, Someway" by Marshall Crenshaw or Nick Lowe's "Cruel to Be Kind," reaching all the way back to the Everly Brothers and proto rock to create a song that sound simultaneously familiar and refreshingly new. Dig the amazing front cover by Jay Shaw, as well. He's known for his work with Mondo and Death Waltz, and it's cool to see his style applied to something unique, rather than an interpretation of someone else's work for once. Not going to lie, though -- the name on the front of Strange Stains is Josh Berwanger, but the live shows have featured both the names Berwanger and the Josh Berwanger Band, and it's fucking confusing. Pick a name, dude. I kid. Regardless of the name, you should totally snag a copy of Strange Stains from the Goodland Records store. There's a pre-order LP version, limited to 100 copies on red vinyl you might be able to snag if you get your order in before it gets released tomorrow.
[embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udMGjzuYNTw[/embed] St. Joseph, Missouri's international kings of rock 'n' roll, Radkey, premiered the video for "Romance Dawn" via New Music Express on Monday. We were impressed by the vibrant video, and reached out to the band with some questions. Bassist Isaiah Radke was kind enough to respond via Facebook (because that's how things get done in the modern world). The new video looks amazing. Who did the work on it? It was directed by Shaun Hamontree and Cyan Meeks. They rule. There are elements of anime and comics -- specifically manga -- in the "Romance Dawn" video. Whose idea was that? Shaun Hamontree's idea. He found a great way to get all of that cool stuff that we're into in a music video. He had us send him a list of like, all of the manga, comics and artist/writers that we were into. Were you inspired by any particular title when the video was being put together? It's inspired by an anime called One Piece. It's one of our favorites and that's what the song's about. This isn't the first manga / anime-inspired thing you've done. "Spirals" was influenced that way, too, right? Yes, bigtime. Though that was more blatant. While the title of the E.P. and song are obviously One Piece inspired, the lyrics are a lot more obscure. You'd have to be pretty caught up on the manga/anime to get which arc it's about. Given that all these questions are about comics or cartoons, what are you reading these days that folks should check out, and why? Still reading One Piece pretty religiously. And we'd totally recommend that everyone check out Attack on Titan, Kids On The Slope, and Sword Art Online. Get on Crunchyroll.com and watch that shit. Radkey's new EP, Devil Fruit, which features "Romance Dawn," sees release on October 15, and you can catch them on BBC2's Later ... with Jools Holland on Tuesday, October 1, at 10:00pm GMT. Take a listen to another track off the EP, "Overwhelmed," below. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/radkey-band/overwhelmed[/embed]
There are times where I wish I'd just use all of the outtakes to the show, just so you can see how utterly amused I am by myself. It gets a little silly down here in the basement sometimes -- there are things I say and do that leave me utterly in stitches. Additionally, I feel Like I should let you know what i listen to as I type up these previews as the podcast encodes. Currently: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Damn the Torpedoes. I've not had a copy on vinyl in the decade I've been in possession of a decent turntable, and it's astonishing how much better it sounds than any of the innumerable singles when they're on the radio. All ranting aside, we've some great music from Slovenly Recordings, amongst others, to say nothing of an interview with Rick Miller of Southern Culture on the Skids about the upcoming three-way split double LP they have with Los Straightjackets and the Fleshtones. It comes out October 1 on Yep Roc, and is entitled Mondo Zombie Boogaloo. You can find tour dates and order the record at Yep Roc's site. Podcast #102, "In Advance Of" The Replacements, "Takin' A Ride" (Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash) Heavy Times, "Might Not" (Fix It Alone) Old 97s, "Jagged" (Fight Songs) The Front Bottoms, "Au Revoir (Adios)" (Talon of the Hawk) --- The Penetrators, "Baby Dontcha Tell Me" (The Kings of Basement Rock) Diarrhea Planet, "Ugliest Son" (I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams) Bent Shapes, "Brat Poison" (Feels Weird) Terry Malts, "Well Adjusted" (Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere) --- Interview with Rick Miller of Southern Culture on the Skids --- Los Straitjackets featuring The Fleshtones & Southern Culture on the Skids, "Que Monstruos Son" (Mondo Zombie Boogaloo) The Atom Age, "When You See Me Hurt" (The Atom Age EP) Wau Y Los Arrrghs!!!, "Rescate Griego" (Todo Roto) The Stooges, "Fun House" (Fun House) --- Big Boys, "TV" (Wreck Collection) Murphys Law, "What Will the Neighbors Think?" ("What Will the Neighbors Think?" single) The Humpers, "For Lovers Only" ("Fast, Fucked, and Furious" single) Psyched to Die, "Permanent Solution" (Sterile Walls)
My day job requires a healthy amount of time in front of computer, so I spend a good portion of my time in the office listening to music. New albums, day after day after day. It's a great way to start to draw conclusions. Firstly, the new album from Wau y Los Arrrghs!!!, Todo Roto will likely sell far fewer copies than the newest release from King Khan and the Shrines, Idle No More. And, I mean ... it's fucking great and all that Khan's back, and the story behind why it's been a six-year wait for a new album is absolutely fascinating. However, after the entirety of the Shrines' output, Idle No More just seems like a letdown. It's a better album than most, but for a recording from King Khan and the Shrines, it's fucking dullsville. Which is why the fact that Todo Roto will sell fewer copies is such a fucking shame. It's a party platter of the first level. It's entirely in Spanish. It's dirty. Above all: it's fun. There's been a sense of reckless abandon on every previous Wau y Los Arrrghs!!! record, and it's entirely present here. While the band obviously takes their music seriously -- translating Kinks lyrics, layering the sound with Farfisa and wicked licks, and the absolute intensity with which Juanito Wau delivers his croaking scream -- there's an element of laissez faire about the whole thing.
It's not that you'll notice flubbed notes or anything like that, but the band dances on the precipice of destruction. Todo Roto moves fast, and it moves hard. If you were dancing to it, you'd likely slip a disc. It's intense, and to properly tear up the dancefloor without injury, you'll need a rug-cutting professional to assist you. The way "Maldito Modales" switches from surf-rocking fuzz to organ-pounding hip-shaking and back again so swiftly, it astonishes.
Wau y Los Arrrghs!!! Todo Roto comes out on October 15, but you can pre-order it now on CD or LP from the Slovenly Records Bandcamp.
Musician Bekah Wagner is probably soon to be better known as the eponymous "Roo" of Colorado act Roo and the Howl. Per the band's press kit: "The word 'roo' derives itself from the Old English word for 'quiet.'" It's an apt description, as the band's music has a softly haunting aspect to it. Yet, "howl" is equally as applicable. On their most recent cut, "Love Lost," you can hear a quiet power behind the sweetly-sung melodies. Roo and the Howl is currently on their first big tour, and they play the Record Bar in Kansas City this Thursday, August 29, opening for Akkiles and La Guerre. Wagner was kind enough to answer some questions via e-mail about the band's tour, as well as their upcoming LP. You started out performing as a solo artist. What do you find playing as a band, under a name other than your own, given one, offers? Well, it's kind of fun to have a different name. It allows you to push your music in new directions and explore new themes without it being tied so heavily to a single person. With that said, to me, 'Roo' is just as much my name as my real name. And I enjoy the team effort. Do you find there's less up-front judgment than if you were perceived as a singer-songwriter (ridiculous and vague as that term is)? I have been on the road with just me and my guitar, it's a totally different experience and expectation. In some ways I love the simplicity of that. People hide behind instrumentation and when you sing with just a guitar, the songs either stand or they don't. It can be brutal though. There’s nothing more humbling than playing in a coffee shop and realizing you’re just the background noise for the evening. It’s probably a good thing for every artist to experience as it makes it so much sweeter when you have even a handful people truly listening to your music and engaging with you. I'm not familiar with your work as Bekah Wagner, but it seems that many acts change their name from the such-and-such band to something more proper in order to reflect what the rest of the band brings to the table. Is that the case with the Howl? I played with musicians in the past, but the music we are playing now is much different. The fact that I’ve moved to playing electric in a few songs is a big shift and really changes the sound. I wanted the name to reflect me ... to be personal. But it does reflect the style we are playing and the fellas that are in this with me. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/roo-the-howl/love-lost-demo[/embed] Your latest song, the demo of "Love Lost," features some lovely guitar work -- it sounds almost Soweto. It's a bit different from the other songs of yours, in that it's more upbeat and less wistful, too. Is there anything behind that? Well I just had to google Soweto, so I'm not sure if it sounds similar or not. It is a slight venture, we like lots of different sounds and have many influences that then spill out in our playing. Is this the group's first major tour? If so, what do you expect from it? Yes, yes. We are having a grand time. We love playing our tunes and meeting good people. Lots more touring on the horizon. I’m sure each member of the band has different expectations, but for me it’s a chance to meld as a band and really develop our sound. There’s something about playing night after night after night that grows a band into something more than the sum of its parts. Do you consider this a chance to test out material you're considering for your next album, or is that already in the can? Most of the stuff people hear this tour will be on the album. But a lot of what we will record I am saving for the record, before we play it out. Gotta have some surprises right? What's in store for that debut full-length? Ohhhhh, good things. We are recording it all live as a band. It's a good challenge for us. I love simplicity and spontaneity. It'll be out in the spring. Is there anything you'd suggest people who've not heard of Roo and the Howl know about you or the band? If you want to know anything about us, listen to our music ... come to a show, I think that tells the story. You can find more information about Roo and the Howl at the band's website.
Three weeks, and here we are with another podcast. I think this might be the start of something good. Here's to hoping, right? Anyhow, a goodly amount of new / newly-acquired tunes, along with an interview from Kevin Dredge of New Orleans-based soundtrack reissue label, Waxwork Records. We talked with Dredge about the ins and outs of reissues, as well as the label's upcoming releases. Their first release, a reissue of the Re-Animator soundtrack, is out tomorrow. They also just announced last week that they'll be reissuing the Krzysztof Komeda score for Rosemary's Baby. You can find out the details on that (as well as order things) at the Waxwork Records website. And if you're really hyped on the Waxwork Day of the Dead reissue, they're having a release for it in Hollywood, in late September. According to Dredge, "There will be a screening of the film, and George Romero and John Harrison will be there to do a Q&A after the film." No date's set, but keep your eyes peeled. Podcast #99, "Pop Scares" Barge, "Where's the Violence" (No Gain) Best Practices, "Home For Halloween" (Sore Subjects) Night Birds, "Last Gasp" (Maimed For the Masses) Sad Boys, "Frolic" (Sad Boys) --- Lawnmower, "Team Spirit" (Whack Yer Brain) Tyler Daniel Bean, "I Was Wrong" (Everything You Do Scares Me) GRMLN, "Coastal Love" (Empire) Shannon & the Clams, "Rip Van Winkle" (Dreams In the Rat House) --- Interview with Kevin Dredge of Waxwork Records --- Lemuria, "Oahu, Hawaii" (The Distance Is So Big) Mixtapes, "Swirling" (Ordinary Silence) The Bubble Boys, "10th & Mass" (Ownlife Records) Revolvers, "Marrianna" (Marley) --- The Hussy, "Zzuf" (Pagan Hiss) Diarrhea Planet, "Juggernaut!" (Loose Jewels) Radkey, "Out Here In My Head" (Cat & Mouse EP) Rocket From the Crypt, "Pigeon Eater" (Both Good Songs)
Windian Records, based out of Washington D.C., is a fascinating label. Not only do they put out a seemingly bottomless trove of obscure (yet assuredly worth hearing) reissues, but they've been on the cutting edge of garage rock 'n' roll lately, releasing singles and LPs from everyone from Heavy Times to the Shirks. Label head Travis Jackson was fantastic enough to take time out from following a crawling infant and working to answer some questions via e-mail about the label's releases. The label puts out both new releases -- upcoming stuff from Ar-Kaics, the Hussy, and others -- and reissues of some pretty crucial Penetrators records. How do you decide what new bands you'll release? Is it just a case of what appeals to you, or do some bands seek you out at this point? It's a little bit of both. The majority of releases I either knew from touring or really dug the band and asked if we could do a single. I think the only band I've released through the demo process was the White Faces LP. I plan releases early for the whole year, and sometimes more is added. With the reissues, I've always just reached out to one of the members work from their. Getting to work with The Penetrators releasing their whole singles collection, Testors, Bizarros, and Crushed Butler has been amazing. Definitely learned a lot. I'm more than ever focused on the reissue side of the label, it's a lot more work and research, but it pays off when you put your imprint on some classic sounds. When and how did the Penetrators' connection come about? I contacted Spike a couple years ago about reissuing the "Gotta Have Her" 45 and the hopes of putting together a Fred Records retrospective LP. The single did really well and we decided to just reissue everything from the Fred catalog on 7" just as they came out initially (printed paper sleeves, promo sticker) 30 years ago. We are still working on getting to the Basement Anthology Volume 2, doing a lot of digging. Some labels choose to just say, "Hey, trust us," when it comes to singles series, but yours listed all the acts out in advance. Why do the latter, instead of the former? When I decided to start a subscription series, I wanted the restrictions that come along with most other series to be limited. One of the most important is not signing off on a series you have no idea what you're expecting. Every year you get to choose if you want the next set. So far we've had nearly an 85% turn around for #2, and I'm beyond flattered. I'm glad people were happy with the inaugural set, and I'm working really hard to make sure this years set tops last years. One thing that worked really well was the reserve. I never liked paying a large sum and waiting for it to arrive. Also, pre-selling 200 box sets and getting 200 emails every week asking "where's my records" will drive a healthy man to the brink of blowing their head off. So we decided to take reserves for $1 and when the set was ready to ship, sent an invoice. Their were some that couldn't pay right away, but we held their set for 2 months in some cases until they could. Once reserved, it's yours. What's involved in setting up a subscription series? Packaging and sound. It has to be presented very well for someone to pull the trigger on 5 singles if they are only interested in say one of the bands. The response we received from our subscribers from the art of the factory sleeves, to the booklet, the button, the stamped mailing box it was shipped in was huge. I've been cut, folding, and glueing our sleeves since we started, and I was very involved with the art book as I designed and manufactured by hand. Sound I think is vital with this series as I hired an old friend Eric Brady to do the mastering. He's done everything since for Windian as I was just blown away with his work on the series. Going back to the reissues: your next reissue is a compilation of DC "stompers" called Capitol Rock 'n' Roll Volume 1: Garage Unknowns. Where did you pull the twenty tracks from? This project has taken a lot of time and research. I've been working with Mark Opasanek who wrote a book about DC Rock and Roll a few years ago. A lot of them are from a killer comp that was released in '84 called "Signed DC". Ever since I heard that LP, I wanted to reissue it. The others I found through research or by talking to friends who had some original 45's. This first volume is mostly 60's stuff while volume 2 will focus on the 70's punk scene (not Dischord) and volume 3 going back further to the 50's focusing on early Rock and Roll and Soul. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/windian-records/the-flys-be-what-you-is[/embed] Did you have an idea of what you wanted to included going into Capitol Rock 'n' Roll? Link Wray. In my opinion, he is the most important musician to make music here in Washington DC. He performed "Rumble" for the first time live at a dance in Fredericksburg, Va., the town I grew up in. It's amazing I even have the opportunity to release anything he ever recorded. I named my kid after him! What should people know about Windian if they're not already familiar with the label? Born to lose, out to lunch.
It's been a while, blah blah blah. The podcast returns with some excellent music and a compelling interview with Brandon Phillips of Kansas City punk rock 'n' rollers the Architects. Phillips and his three brothers (two literally, one "in rock") release the first installment of their five-episode concept album / graphic novel Border Wars this Saturday, July 13, with a show at the Riot Room in Kansas City. The journey to release the first episode has been a long and interesting one. It was great that Brandon was able to take time to speak with us about the inception, creation, and execution of the album, because the story's fucking fascinating. In addition to the interview, we've a track from Border Wars: Episode One ... along with about 16 other great tracks to kick your week off properly. Podcast #98, "Border Wars" Ex Friends, "Vexed Question" (Twisted Around) The Shirks, "Don't Tell Me" (The Shirks) Livids, "Midnight Stains" ("Midnight Stains" single) Rough Kids, "So Sophisticated" ("Into The 'OOs" single) --- Nuclear Santa Claust, "Time Machine" (Order of the New Age) Terrible Twos, "Alcohol & Adderall" (A+A) Radkey, "Spirals" ("Spirals" single) Mouthbreathers, "Nowehere Else to Go" ("Nowehere Else to Go" single) --- Interview with Brandon Phillips of the Architects --- The Architects, "We're Goin' Live" (Border Wars: Episode 1) Dry Bonnet, "Do It Clean" ("Hey You" single) Kid Congo Powers & the Pink Monkey Birds, "Lose Your Mind" ("Conjure Man" single) The Perfect Fits, "Songs About Girls" ("Radio Transmitter" single) Stolen Hearts, "Fire" ("Heart Collector" single) --- Salt the Earth, "Concrete Vs. Cranium Pt. 2" (split with Tablets of Orion) Jowl, "Sway Slow" (Cursed) State Lines, "Plenty of Time" (State Lines) Laura Stevenson, "The Fire" ("Runner" single)
[caption id="attachment_16873" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Death band members and brothers, David Hackney, Bobby Hackney Sr and Dannis Hackney from A Band Called Death. Courtesy of Drafthouse Films.[/caption] This week has been occupied with putting together an amazing interview I was fortunate enough to conduct with the Hackney brothers from Death, along with the directors of the film about them, A Band Called Death. The initial interviews came to nearly 4000 words, meaning some stuff had to get cut. However, the Hackneys had some information regarding their upcoming releases that seems rather pertinent to you, my vinyl-loving friends. Lots of new, amazing stuff will be released by Death this year. In addition to pre-Death Hackney brothers band, the RockFire Funk Explosion, seeing release on Third Man Records, Death will be releasing the first new recordings from the band since their reunion. In addition to your lost album, ...For the Whole World to See, getting released, you’ve had the demos and the b-sides come out, and now the RockFire Funk Express. How did it come about that you went back that far - pre-Death, even? Bobby Hackney: Well, you know, that was just a part of the story and we happened to have that master tape. Dannis Hackney: That was the first part of the story, really, because that was the first recording we did at United Sound, before the Death tapes were recorded. In our search for a name, that was the first name we came up with, but that segment of the band lasted, what? Oh, eight or nine months - something like that. From that eight or nine months of being RockFire Funk Express came that particular recording. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/thirdmanrecords/rockfire-funk-express-people[/embed] I've read that the band has been working on new material. Is that the case? Dannis: That is the case. Bobby: That is the case, yeah. Dannis: The album that we want to come out in the next year has some new music on it. As I call it, the new writing team - Bobby Duncan, Bobby Hackney - and I threw my two cents in, and we came up with some new tunes, and Bob put some of the old tunes that were never heard or recorded back in the '70s, and we kind of culminated a new album with all that material. It’s got some of the best of the new Death, and some of the best of the old Death kind of combined into one album. So, it bridges the past and the present? Bobby: Exactly. It has six songs on it that David and I wrote in the '70s and it has three songs that Bobby Duncan wrote, along with our assistance, and it has one song that we all three put together. So, yeah: it's definitely a bridge. Now that the movie is coming out officially, what is the plan for Death over the next year? Bobby: The great thing about it is, some wonderful things have happened, that we've just said, "Well, this comes along. We'll work with it." First of all, we’ve got this new album we completed. We’re very excited about it. Drafthouse Films put out a limited edition replica of the original 45 we put out in Detroit, with the Tryangle Records label, and that inspired us. We're going to put out a limited edition of two of the new songs from the new album on that Tryangle Records label. 'Course, there may be some other things goin' on. We have a good relationship with Drag City. There'll be some more historic Death. That'll be on the horizon. Musically, we love it. I mean, it's what we love to do - put out records. We've always loved that. We've got a lot of that coming up. A lot of surprises, coming up this coming year.