Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Someone's in the Kitchen with Dianogah


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Dianogah - Qhnnnl, released 2008 (Southern Records)

[Paste Magazine] You really can rely on Dianogah. Besides the obvious sturdiness of the bass-bass-drums lineup and an established tradition of pushing the envelope of post-rock, the very fact that the band will pull something new out of its formidable hat every time out has become more or less an expectation. This time around, on fourth full-length Qhnnnl, it’s a newfound attitude towards the heavily layered, melodic drive that’s defined the band for the bulk of its 13-year career. Dianogah’s usual propensity towards oscillating rhythms and challenging composition has given way to playful experimentation with vocals and additional instrumentation.

Rather than yelping over intricate, would-be instrumentals as he has in the past, Jay Ryan uses his voice as another sparse, carefully calculated layer on the sometimes-flowing, sometimes-jarring 5/4 clomp of album opener “Oneone.” Vocalist Stephanie Morris (Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, The Pawners’ Society) lends her pretty coo to a duet with Ryan on “A Breaks B” and takes lead vocal duties on the plucky, almost poppy bounce of “Sprinter.” Guest instrumentalist and diminutive indie rock badass Andrew Bird adds lush, dynamic violin to “A Breaks B” and adds a few echoing strains of his famous whistle to the pillowy bed of strings that propels “Andrew Jackson” past lovely to transcendent.

Speaking of transcendent, Dianogah fans may have come to expect the unexpected from these post-rock trailblazers but the band has yet to grow complacent in its own curiosity about the limits of rock music. Qhnnnl is another chapter in the group’s library of musical theory: That theory is for those who need parameters, and Dianogah needs only to know where they are so it can push past them.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All The Young Saints...


ALBUM OF THE DAY
All The Saints - Fire on Corridor X, released 2008 (Killer Pimp)

It's not surprising that a new band might have some of the sense of epic reach as prime Jane's Addiction, say, but it's all the more interesting to hear a newer group exploring some of the sonic choices of bands that had initially followed in that band's wake, like the still underrated God Machine and the more obscure Pusherman — or even, at a stretch, the earliest work by Verve. Thus the feeling of All the Saints, whose Fire on Corridor X reconnects dots from arena-scaled riffs and amplifiers to an almost dreamy, lost-in-it-all singing approach, not too far removed from the equal number of hordes trying to clone Spacemen 3 but not simply aiming to rewrite Playing with Fire, either. At its strongest, with songs like the archly titled "Regal Regalia" and "Papering Fix," the band kicks up a huge sounding storm while still providing space for the almost preternaturally clean singing boring through the mix — not as an artificially high volume element, more like serenity in the midst of a storm. Perhaps rightfully, the title track, with its imagery of destruction and near-science-fiction sensibilities, is the most successful take on this approach. On relatively calmer moments like "Hornett" and especially "Leeds," things aren't as interesting, but still make for an enjoyable enough of the time. - Ned Ragett (allmusic.com)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Buddyhead Holiday Havoc


[filter-mag.com] The Buddyhead Holiday Ho Ho Hodeo last Sunday night was an annual holiday party thrown by the folks at Buddyhead, an LA-based record label and music blog. There were a great number of performances making the night pretty chaotic. Among the artists playing were Dios (malos), Sean Wheeler Zander Schloss, Nick Jago and Alain Johannes. Although the night did have its kinks, the show still proved to be a special one.

Dios (malos) strolled onstage with a casual demeanor. But make no mistake, they treated the event like a show of their own. Frontman Joel Morales wanted their performance to be no less than epic, and enlisted the sound guy to aid in this mission. When setting up their microphones, Morales instructed the audio technician to give them as much echo as possible, so it sounded like they were playing in an arena rather than the tiny confines of LA's Hotel Cafe. The sound guy proceeded to answer his command soaking the band's lush sounds in tons of reverb. After they finished their first song, the audience politely clapped, but Dios (malos) were already prepared for this less-than-impressed response: they played an audio clip of thunderous applause. Only then did we understand what a proper reaction to their music should sound like - hey, sometimes you gotta be the leader of your own destiny. They played a few songs and then ended their set with a throwback cover of Pink Floyd’s "Comfortably Numb." Morales introduced the song with a comical vignette of his time as an adolescent getting high with the guys of Buddyhead. Oh, to be young. The audience was immediately captivated by the way he exaggerated the lines “Helllooooooo is there anybody out therrrrrrreeeeeee…”, triggering familiarity in the lyrics most people only remember. The band not only looked like they popped out of the seventies, but their manager was also on stand-by, kind of like that of the bands in Almost Famous. The manager stood right in front of the audience during their performance and had a proud, stoic look on his face.

Sean Wheeler and his friend Zander Schloss played a surprise set that was very folk-blues based. This is a completely different type of music than what Wheeler is known for. He is the singer of Throwrag and Charley Horse which have apparent Rockabilly overtones. One thing that did carry over is Wheeler’s undeniable sense of style in both his performance and fashion. Before he took off his coat, he told the audience that Zander originally did not want him to do this because he would then be the best looking guy in the room. When he removed his coat, he revealed a fitted suit jacket covered in colorful rhinestone turkeys. One month late, but no less awesome.

Nick Jago followed with a set that was not a complete departure from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. He is more popularly known as the drummer for BRMC and had announced a few months ago that he would be leaving the band to pursue a solo career. This was his first public solo performance and was accompanied onstage by a full band. The sound of his music was very stripped down reminiscent of BRMC’s Howl mixed with 60s hippie vibe. The audience lost their attention during his performance and was so loud, it was difficult to hear him sing. Because of this, he decided to skip one of his songs. He claimed to have ended his set with a cover of a Brett Anderson song, but his witty sarcasm made it difficult to decipher if this statement was serious or in jest.

Alain Johannes really set the bar with his performance. He approached the stage with his acoustic guitar looking polished and commanded the audience’s attention right away. The room was packed and unlike the previous performance, the crowd was absolutely silent once Johannes approached the mic. He is an accomplished musician and proved this onstage with only his voice and guitar. After two songs, he left the stage (all the performers for the night played very short sets) with the crowd screaming for an encore. He did not return, but left the crowd no less awe-struck.

The night ended with a performance by Tony Bevilacqua. Although his name may not ring a bell immediately, he has worked with both the Distillers and indie heartthrob Har Mar Superstar. He set the tone of his music right away when he approached the stage with his hood on. His music reflected his hood-clad demeanor culminating as mostly electric guitar-driven and strikingly dark. It capped off a really eclectic, always interesting evening of friends getting together to share their craft – simulated handclaps, rhinestone turkeys and all.

Crushed and Dazed


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Isis - Panopticon, released 2004 (Ipecac)

If the glacial dynamics of previous metal and hardcore abstractions Celestial and Oceanic didn't prove that Isis was a heavy band in every sense, then Panopticon should do the trick. The title comes from 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham's prison design, which was later referenced by Michael Foucault in the 20th century. The idea is that a centrally placed guard or watcher can keep track of a large number of prisoners, and it excited Bentham and concerned Foucault. Heavy stuff for a metal band, huh? Both are quoted in the liner notes, bookended by aerial industrial photos laying out society's open sprawl. It fits perfectly with the epic music on the disc itself, which is as angular as post-rock forefathers Slint and as cosmically expansive as Neurosis, yet closer to the intensity of hardcore than either of them. Panopticon has the same cagey wall of noise as Oceanic, although the end product here is a little more polished. Aaron Turner is still howling and growling, but he's less reluctant to actually sing, just as the music is more inclined to stretch out into Pink Floyd's velvet atmospherics, which were a part of Oceanic, too, but just not as pronounced as they are here. Turner's lyrics are impenetrable, buried in the mix, but when they do pop through the haze of guitars and electronics they're appropriately weighty and tied to the omniscient paranoia of the title. - Wade Kergan (allmusic.com)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

You Need Water if You're to Bloom


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Hum - Downward is Heavenward, released 1997 (RCA)

Having scored their fluke hit with "Stars," Hum hunkered down and created a follow-up album that went nowhere, leading to the band's splintering. An unfortunate result all around, because, arguably, Downward Is Heavenward isn't merely the group's best album, but a lost classic of '90s rock, period. Taking their sense of the epic and the equal but opposite sense of the tender and personal to striking new heights, the quartet finds a remarkable balance throughout between world-shaking arrangements and gentle connection. Opening track "Isle of the Cheetah" sets the tone, Matt Talbott's singing the still center of a just wonderful, huge rock-as-symphonic-burst song. Other individual highlights abound: "Ms. Lazarus," which turns from a tight little post-punk skip into a tempo-shift-arrested rock-out, "Afternoon with the Axolotls," and its amazing balance between Talbott's delivery and skyscrapers of feedback and drums, the squirrelly interaction between the watery guitars and Talbott on the verses of "Dreamboat" before another bomb blast. What's especially nice on Downward Is Heavenward is that, while sounding as detailed and precise as possible, even when completely letting go, there's none of the Brian Wilson fetish that ultimately overdetermined so much end of the millennium rock with indie leanings. No orchestral touches, horns, or the like — keyboards, yes — but otherwise the band relies on the traditional rock lineup to come up with its results. Ironically there are a couple of hints of bands inspired by the Beach Boys — "If You Are to Bloom" has the same feel of 1992-era Boo Radleys — while in turns pointing the way to the work of 12 Rods. But ultimately, this is Hum as Hum, catalyzing the calmest of singing and delivery via some of the biggest sounding music around. All this and no cheap attempt to rewrite "Stars" either — Hum, clearly, had something special. - Ned Ragget (allmusic.com)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh Brother!


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Hermano - ...Into The Exam Room, released 2008 (Regain)

While Josh Homme and (for a while there, anyway) Nick Oliveri have used the style of their old band, groundbreaking stoner rock outfit Kyuss, as a launching pad for more adventurous musical endeavors with Queens of the Stone Age, when it comes to their two former bandmates, though they’re not exactly haunted by the shadow of Kyuss’s early ‘90s legacy, they’re not making any concerted efforts to escape it, either. Brant Bjork has gone on to have a rather healthy career since the band split, first contributing his inimitable drumming style to such bands as Fu Manchu and Oliveri’s Mondo Generator, and ultimately singing and playing guitar for his likeable, Latin-infused stoner rock outift Brant Bjork and the Bros. As for singer John Garcia, although he’s never disappeared, his musical projects have been considerably more sporadic. His most consistent work has been with Hermano, a side project he formed in 1998 with a bunch of fellow stoner rock veterans. In spite of its loosey-goosey approach, the band has started to gel in recent years, and Hermano’s third album, …Into the Exam Room, doggedly tries to continue the Kyuss “desert rock” tradition while incorporating more variety, with mixed but mostly enjoyable results.

Unlike the huge majority of stoner rock records, which tend to maintain the same vibe throughout (compelling fans to declare it consistent while detractors simply call it boring), …Into the Exam Room is a decidedly schizophrenic affair. While much of the credit goes to Garcia, who turns in a dazzlingly versatile vocal performance that ranges from searing screams, to lower-register crooning, to an audacious falsetto, the arrangements of the songs themselves are often all over the map as well. Take opening cut “Kentucky”, for instance. Starting with a tetchy Queens of the Stone Age-style opening riff, the song then launches into a terrific blooze rock groove reminiscent of classic Clutch, only to be suddenly interrupted by a flamboyant Garcia vocal overdub, the central riff inexplicably fading in a few seconds later. As the song collapses under its own weight a couple minutes later, a lone guitar facetiously playing the “Dueling Banjos” lick from Deliverance (not exactly the most original gag), it’s enough to make one wonder if these guys can pull themselves together for an entire album after such a haphazardly arranged track.


Amazon Thankfully, they right themselves pretty damn quickly. The funk-fueled stomp of “Exam Room” underscores Garcia’s flamboyant falsetto perfectly (it’s easy to forget how he can trounce Homme in the vocal department so effortlessly), while the 6/8 swagger of “Left Side Bleeding” is more cock rock than stoner rock, Garcia emitting the kind of confident snarl few singers this side of Sebastian Bach are capable of. “Out of Key, But in the Mood” and “Hard Working Wall” both fly a little too close to Kyuss’s red sun, but “Adoption Boy” is inspired, an uptempo chugger again dominated by Garcia’s charismatic delivery, this time awash in distortion and delay effects, further enhancing the song’s hallucinogenic vibe.

Although Hermano is far better when they’re plugged in, the band rolls out several acoustic numbers for a deliberate change of pace. “At the Bar” is on the tepid side, hamming up the done-to-death barfly cliché. “Dark Horse” attempts to project a murky blues vibe, but it comes off sounding as trite as so many ‘80s pop metal bands sounded when they tried a similar stunt to give their music “authenticity”. Much more effective is the darkly shuffling “Bona-Fide”, a distorted slide guitar solo contributing to the song’s ominous atmosphere.

For all its weaknesses, they’re relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, as …Into the Exam Room manages to hold itself together just long enough to maintain our interest throughout. Sure, Garcia and Hermano tread familiar territory, but when it’s done this confidently, it’s very easy to forgive. Besides, would we actually want John Garcia to give us anything but good, solid desert rock? As one song goes, “Our desert home is all he knows”. (popmatters.com)

Still Sleeping


Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham recently checked in to thank fans for their support with bassist Chi Cheng's ongoing recovery from a car crash which has left him in a coma since early November. He revealed that Chi's condition still remains "about the same." The previous update from the Deftones camp specified that Cheng had been moved out of ICU and into a brain rehabilitation hospital. For now, you can read the entire update HERE.

Friday, December 26, 2008

She's A Betty


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Helmet - Betty, released 1994 (Interscope)

On their first two albums the New York neonoise band Helmet flexed and grunted like a steroid-packing bodybuilder, flaunting the size and volume of muscular, downtuned rhythms. But while the group proved its mettle (and metal), earning a loyal following by grafting staccato guitars over agonized vocals, its songs lacked dynamics and cunning.

Learning from its mistakes, the band has broadened its scope on Betty, expressing emotional depth and musical wit along with brute strength. Helmet have realized that lashing out isn't always the most effective means of achieving sonic obliteration, that building tension by holding back a riff can be just as cathartic, and stopping mid-song to insert a volley of turbulent scree can be even more devastating.

Classically trained vocalist and guitarist Page Hamilton has always cited such jazz and avant-garde influences as John Coltrane and Glenn Branca, and with Betty, Helmet finally incorporate such inspirations. Many songs feature atonal guitar bursts, layered chord progressions and harmonic textures generally foreign to hard rock, and the band delves into the possibilities of each without ever losing its menacing, surge-n-stomp groove.

In addition to being Helmet's most experimental album, Betty is ironically the group's most accessible. "Speechless," "Wilma's Rainbow" and "Milquetoast" are replete with melodic vocals and flavorful hooks, tunefully bridging the gap between alternative and metal. And for those who thought Helmet were all anger and animosity, the band reveals its less serious side with the banjo-blues spoof "Sam Hell" and a whacked-out version of the jazz standard "Beautiful Love," which begins with a plaintive guitar intro before being crushed under a cloud of free-form cacophony.

Steroid-free, bursting with intellect and energy, Betty is the culmination of years of heavy lifting. (rollingstone.com)

The Videos of Foo


Gibson.com has posted a cool article about the different Foo Fighters videos througout their career. You can read the article and watch all the discussed videos HERE. My only complaint, no mention of the great "I'll Stick Around" video with the floating meatball thing! Regardless, these are truly entertaining videos you wont want to miss.

Zombie Family News


According to The Pulse of Radio, Rob Zombie's little brother, POWERMAN 5000 frontman Spider, spoke with his sibling about his return to the director's chair for the upcoming "Halloween" sequel, tentatively titled "H2". In an interview at Fearnet, where Spider is a contributor, Zombie said that his decision to return to the franchise "took me by surprise," explaining, "After finishing 'Halloween', I was so burnt out that I had no desire to do it again. For some reason, 'Halloween' was one of those shoots that was stressful and crazed from day one. Everything was a struggle and a problem. So when it was done I was ready to be done. Then time goes by, you regenerate, forget and the idea of a sequel seems okay... I love my version of the characters and can't wait to take them further."

Zombie said that "H2" will be different from "Halloween". By comparison he cited his second film, 2005's "The Devil's Rejects", which was a semi-sequel to his directorial debut, 2003's "House of 1000 Corpses", but a very dissimilar film.

Zombie added that Tyler Mane would return as serial killer Michael Myers, and that he was in talks with stars Scout Taylor-Compton and Malcolm McDowell to reprise their roles as well.

"H2" is scheduled to begin shooting on March 9, 2009 and will be released — when else? — right around Halloween.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2008

I've read nearly all the top countdowns of the year, Spin, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Pitchfork, Decoy, etc... And not a single one of them have included ANY of my choices. Does that make me feel like my choices are less valid, not at all. It just re-assures me the importance of keeping this site going, and getting great rock music out to the people who care. This year I have discovered countless great new bands that will be sure to entertain us for years to come. One of my all time favorite bands, Toadies, got back together, toured all over, and recorded yet another classic album. Failure got the tribute they deserve with "The Nurse Who Loved Me," comprised of an incredible selection of brand new space rock bands to carry on the torch. Hell, even for better or worse...Guns N Roses released "Chinese Democracy." All in all, I'd say that '08 was a great year for music, that is if you were willing to look for it. That being said, here are my TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2008...

1. Toadies - No Deliverance

What can I say? The Toadies have done it again! With their first album in seven years dropping in '08, Toadies prove they haven't lost a step of their grunge rock aggression. Vaden Todd Lewis' songwriting still resonates with the best from the era, with their signature sound only they can deliver still very much in effect. Clark, Rez, and Vaden welcome new bassist Donni Blair into the fold, and the band picks up where they left off with 2001's amazing Hell Below/Stars Above. Toadies manage to keep music evil while writing some of the greatest, catchiest, most accessible alternative/grunge tracks available. "No Deliverance" marks the third album from these Texas legends, and not surprisingly, the third flawless piece of music, with 100% great songs. Look for this album to continue pushing into 2009, hopefully another big year for Toadies and their fans!

2. The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath

In the extremely short amount of time that The Mars Volta has been in existence, a mere 7 years, they have become one of the most important bands of our generation. Blending aspects of progressive rock, experimentalism, Latin rhythms, free form jazz, psychedelics and hardcore/metal TMV have released four full length albums, an official live release, and two EPs within seven years. While their 2006 release "Amputechture" received some negative feedback from fans, "The Bedlam in Goliath" is sure to quiet anyone not convinced. This is personally my favorite release of theirs to date. The entire album explodes with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez' sonic guitar freak-outs and Thomas Pridgen's incredible drumming. Cedric Bixlar-Zavala delivers some of his best and most varied vocal techniques throughout, summoning the greatest aspects of Robert Plant. This album is an instant classic and as far as I'm concerned should be required listening for all.

3. Torche - Meanderthal

The metal gods are proudly looking down on Torche, maybe even...smiling! On their sophomore release, and first for Hydra Head, these Florida natives bring the heavy. One of the most devastatingly crushing albums of the year, also contains some of the brightest soaring melodic lines?? You better believe it! Their sound has been affectionately and fittingly named “Doom Pop,” due to the quality of aggressive devastation with lush, bright melodies. Huge crashes of riffs lead into some of the most memorable vocals lines in all of rock's genres, creating a timeless metal masterpiece. The end of the year saw Torche become a three piece as guitarist Juan Montoya left the band. Should be interesting to see how they follow up this monster of an album.

4. Totimoshi - Milagrosa

Upon first listen to Totimoshi's '08 release "Milagrosa" any hard rock fan will be hooked. Totimoshi have been around a while, and have begun to come into their own sound over their past two releases, with the culmination arriving at "Milagrosa". Mixing influences from their peers Helmet and the Melvins with a Latin twist sounds just as awesome as you might expect. The guitar work is stellar with a tight rhythm section that only compliments on this go round for the Bay Area natives.



5. Satellite Tragedy - New Beautiful

The future of space rock is here, and is being brought to the masses by Satellite Tragedy. I was first introduced to this band through the Failure tribute album, "The Nurse Who Loved Me," and haven't looked back since. Their debut album "New Beautiful" is incredibly complete and well put together. Satellite Tragedy deliver hard rock space grunge to softer complex and heavily distorted tracks. A bright future lies ahead for these fellas.



6. Local H - 12 Angry Months

While their mainstream success has faltered away, the passion for making great concept albums is still very much in play for Local H. On their 7th studio album, the duo is back up to its old tricks, bringing yet another fully conceptual album, this time based on one complete year and various stages that follow a bad break-up. In my opinion, they managed to create their best work since their breakthrough success on "As Good As Dead." Heavy, catchy, and simple, Local H just plain rock.


7. The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia

After years of rumors, The Gutter Twins finally released their official debut album. Mark Lanegan's gravel-meets-whisky soaked voice harmonizing with Greg Dulli's sinister R&B fueled howls are truly something to be heard! While the album can get a bit depressing and dreary, what else would you expect from two of the most beautifully tortured souls of the 90s. After a very busy '08, look for new solo projects from Lanegan and Dulli’s Twilight Singers in the new year.


8. Kid:Nap:Kin - Hush Now...

Sometimes a car crash can be music to your ears. Especially when that car crash involves the influences of Glassjaw, At The Drive-In, and Jeff Buckley. Kid:Nap:Kin blend the best aspects of all three of those legendary bands/musicians for a sound unique to this Boston trio. Complex time signatures and prog rock rhythms meet wild jazz experimentation and ever soaring vocals. Kid:Nap:Kin are my favorite new band of '08, and I can't wait to hear what they'll do next.



9. Cage the Elephant - Cage the Elephant

Hailing from Kentucky, Cage the Elephant are no strangers to southern rock. They infuse these roots into a bombastic explosion of heavy southern blues influenced rock n roll. This is the real deal, and these guys should be headed towards stardom. Imagine the White Stripes with a great chaotic band playing behind them, and you begin to see where Cage the Elephant is treading. With a very strong and impressive debut, you’re going to want to be sure to keep an eye on these guys.



10. The Melvins - Nude With Boots

Never ones to be predictable, The Melvins released their second album in nearly as many years with their new line-up that includes fellow sludge stompers Big Business. With huge monolithic guitar and drum interactive power-play, Nude With Boots comes across borrowing more from the pages of Zeppelin than Sabbath, but still distinctly Melvins. King Buzzo and company have extended their sound from (A) Senile Animal to the more bizarre, and ultimately more gratifying. Crank this album up and let it rip, one of the best Melvins albums in close to a decade.

This Album is Hella Awesome!


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Hella - There's No 666 in Outer Space, released 2007 (Ipecac)

By the time you finish reading this review, Sacramento experimental outfit Hella could be broken up. Or they could be releasing a 12-hour DVD concert box set. Hell, they could even have ditched the experimental math rock and become a Tom Jones cover band in Vegas. In other words, when an insanely talented band, frenetically producing material with an endless frontier mentality towards experimentation, operates under the auspices of a cultish fanbase, said band's career path takes on the unpredictability and inconsistency of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. While Hella's longtime, close-knit lineup of founders Spencer Seim and Zach Hill allowed for such a fluid shifting of gears, last year's Acoustic marked the first time the band recorded as a quintet. On There's No 666 in Outer Space, Hella's first release on Ipecac, that quintet gets completely revamped (save for Seim and Hill) and the band's sound gets jacked up.

Although difficult to tell with such a protean group, 666 seems to represent a shift for Hella. This is their first release to feature vocals on every track, and as a result of new singer Aaron Ross' caterwauls, Seim and Hill's once freeform compositions tend to concede more readily to conventional rock structures. Also, Ipecac's hallowed studio walls apparently instilled a sense of the dramatic in Hella's songwriting, as many of the songs-- while not wholly earnest or dire-- soar to lofty heights whereas previous tongue-in-cheek compositions would have them fall flat on their face.

Hmm, carefully deliberate sections? Sprawling compositions? Emotionally intense vocals? If it sounds like Hella's gone prog, they kinda have, veering close to the Mars Volta's shopping mall prog with Eastern-tinged guitar riffs, arcane lyrics and Ross's soaring voice, which eerily resembles Volta frontman Cedric Bixler's. For example, even the most sycophantic fans will experience mild cardiac arrest when, on songs like "The Things People Do When They Think No One's Looking", the band implodes at the four minute mark, only to neatly regroup for a closing chorus featuring Ross' charged lyric "Money doesn't make the world go round."

That said, this is still the freewheeling band that recorded a song titled "Welcome to the Jungle Baby, You're Gonna Live!" On "Hand That Rocks the Cradle", Hella parody monolithic acts like Rush or Yes, farting out goofy synth lines while Ross vacillates between Geddy Lee falsetto and slack-jawed Les Claypool hokum. At times 666 even flashes a calmer, gentler Hella-- relatively speaking. The verse on "Anarchists Just Wanna Have Fun" ripples around Seim's muted faux-Fugazi riff and Ross's sing-song melody, while "The Ungrateful Dead" parlays the 8-bit Nintendo epics covered by Hella side project the Advantage into a stomping opus that'd fry any Castlevania cartridge. Tracks like these don't give 666 a free pass solely because they combine the histrionic with the cheeky. Hella jampacks each song with riffs and hooks at almost the same clip as magnum opus Chirpin' Hard, avoiding the ham-handed ten minute build-ups that Mars Volta trudges through, arriving at a chorus hardly worth the wait. Excusing the album's inherent garishness, 666 expands Hella's core sound to new heights that, although at times hard to stomach, finds the band both at their most playful and regimented. - pitchforkmedia.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Camp Ozzy


OZZY OSBOURNE was among the guest musicians who joined the all-star cover band CAMP FREDDY last night (Tuesday, December 23rd) for the band's performance at the Roxy in West Hollywood, CA. This was the fourth and final show of the month-long Roxy residency for Camp Freddy, which features Billy Morrison (CIRCUS DIABLO, THE CULT), Dave Navarro (JANE'S ADDICTION, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS), Sorum, Donovan Leitch (son of singer DONOVAN), and Chris Chaney (Jane's Addiction).

Morrison commented: "The noise that the audience made when we brought the one and only Mr. Ozzy Osbourne out to the stage was deafening. And 'Crazy Train', 'Iron Man' and 'Paranoid' brought the house down. I don't care who you are — watching a true legend like Ozzy perform in a small club like that is a very special and very intense experience. Standing on the stage with him playing those iconic songs is beyond. Linda Perry, Steve Jones, Juliette Lewis, Naveen Andrews, Chris Vrenna, Mark McGrath and Royston Langdon were all part of the final show at The Roxy. And we closed the month-long residency with Ozzy and huge smiles all around. The energy was electric, both from the completely sold out venue and the band onstage."

Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be viewed below:

'Crazy Train' with Ozzy Osbourne:


'Iron Man' with Ozzy Osbourne:


'Paranoid' with Ozzy Osbourne:

The Mighty Twins


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Gutter Twins - Saturnalia, released 2008 (Sub Pop)

The Gutter Twins' first full-length record may not have shown up until early 2008, but Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan had been working together since the early part of the millennium, Dulli with Lanegan on his solo work and Lanegan with Dulli's group the Twilight Singers, even touring as part of the band and showing up twice on the 2006 EP A Stitch in Time. It therefore makes sense that much of Saturnalia sounds quite similar to the Twilight Singers' material, particularly the songs where Dulli takes full or most of the writing and singing duties. This is by no means a bad thing; Dulli is all powerful, surging hooks and biting, twisting electric guitars, and Lanegan's baritone — when he sings both lead and background vocals — give the words an extra power, subtlety, and resonance, helped no doubt by the visceral growls he adds to lines in "Bête Noire" and "Circle the Fringes." These are songs drawn from the Gothic tradition, where good and evil and pleasure and pain crisscross and entwine facilely and indelibly, where the secular and the sacred have no clear defining lines. Religious imagery weaves its way in and out, as much a part of the tracks as are the sex and violence and drugs and all the other Lanegan/Dulli constants. "I hear the Rapture's coming," they sing in "The Stations," recalling both life and death as Dulli's snarl rises over his partner's moan, while Lanegan takes the lead on the gospel-inspired "Who Will Lead Us?" and the ominous storm cloud of "All Misery/Flowers," which starts with "Little girls might twitch at the way I hitch" and ends with the refrain of "I tell you my story so that you might save me," as Dulli sings softly behind. So well, in fact, do the two voices work together, that the one track to which only one contributed (Dulli wrote and sings alone on "I Was in Love with You") seems almost out of place, shiny nickels and dimes on the offering plate stuffed with bills. Saturnalia is mysticism and hedonism, saints and sinners, dark and light, but this is no clear-cut Manichaean collaboration. Both Lanegan and Dulli represent this, both contain all the good and the bad they sing about, sometimes at different moments but very often together, and it's that joined duality, that very disturbingly human quality, telling us things about ourselves we'd rather not acknowledge, that makes the album so absolutely alluring. - Marisa Brown (allmusic.com)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

These Arms Are...Awesome!


ALBUM OF THE DAY
These Arms Are Snakes - Tail Swallower & Dove, released 2008 (Suicide Squeeze)

More direct than These Arms Are Snakes' first two releases, Tail Swallower and Dove racehorses angrily out of the gates in a tightly harnessed fury. Maintaining restraint and removing meandering interludes from their equation, the post-hardcore quartet holds strong in an unwavering speakercone-shaking volume. Rather than throwing in the atmospheric splash as they did on Easter, the only dynamic shift here is from loud to louder. Vocalist Steve Snere helps to determine the slight difference in decibels by alternating between a snide Afghan Whigs whine to a full-throttled At the Drive-In screech on the choruses. For the most part, the album fits the bill as a post-hardcore/metal explosion of heavy-handed beats and nimble guitar work that doesn't sound all that far removed from albums released on Dischord and Headhunter in the '90s. Chris Common is a skilled producer, playing the role of a Steve Albini-type, who concentrates on strict engineering rather than adding too much production. This gives the record a timeless quality: not too raw, not too slick, with close attention to sonic detail and only the occasional piece of additional flair. Even with moments of vocoder and distorted synth blasts, he's careful not to obstruct the rock grooves, which act as the cornerstone for the album, blending and building from song to song. Common also acts as a hell of a drummer, blasting out skittering fills and providing interesting razor-sharp rhythmic interplay between Ryan Frederiksen and Brian Cook. With nimble hammer-on riffs and a driving ominous intensity of distorted crackle and cymbal smashes, it pays ample tribute to trailblazers Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu. As a listen, the record is focused, but also pretty exhausting, which is probably the primary intention of These Arms Are Snakes: to bludgeon listeners into submission. - Jason Lymangrover (allmusic.com)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Giving Birth to a Masterpiece


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Peach - Giving Birth to a Stone, released 1993 (Vile Beat)

Although little fanfare accompanied the original release of Giving Birth to a Stone in the early '90s, the 2000 re-release of Peach's only album was met with considerably greater interest. This heightened curiosity was almost completely due to the fact that Peach was Justin Chancellor, the bassist who joined Tool in late 1995, following Peach's disintegration. Shortly after Chancellor came aboard, Tool released their hugely successful breakthrough album, Aenima, and soon became one of the most popular heavy rock bands of the latter half of the '90s. However, due to protracted legal difficulties with their label, Tool and their audience were left with an interminably long wait between albums. Along with Maynard James Keenan's quasi-side project, A Perfect Circle, the reissue of Giving Birth to a Stone could almost be viewed as a stopgap for Tool aficionados, intended to satiate their hunger for new material. Because Tool had incorporated two Peach songs ("Spasm" and "You Lied") into their set lists in 1998, many fans were eager to hear more of Chancellor's old band. Indeed, the album even looks like a Tool release, as Adam Jones stepped in to provide the album's artwork. From a sonic standpoint, however, Peach differs considerably from Tool. Yes, they prove themselves wholly capable of churning out thick, bass-heavy Sabbath/Crimson riffs at will, yet they temper their sound with healthy doses of ethereal, Cure-inspired textures as well. The album's production tends to highlight the latter; rather than accentuating the tight, visceral guitar parts, the sound is more expansive and reverb-drenched. Depending on one's tastes, this could be seen as either good or bad; admittedly, the coolly detached vocals require some getting accustomed to when heard over the heavier passages. The songs that work best, though ("You Lied," "Burn") are those that combine these disparate elements into a seamless whole. While sluggish in spots (the silly lyrical content of "Catfood" sinks the entire song), the album seldom strays off course, and should be of interest to Tool diehards. - Steve Bekkala (allmusic.com)

**I don't personally agree about the lyrics of "Catfood," a King Crimson cover, where the lyrics are meant to be "silly". I HIGHLY recommend this album to any TOOL fan!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen!!!

For your listening pleasure, a BRAND NEW Dredg song from their upcoming album, to be released on 3/24.

Don't Miss This One!


These Arms Are Snakes and Clouds will hit the road together in February for a tour with All The Saints. The following dates have been confirmed thus far:

2/22 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
2/24 Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Saloon
2/25 Iowa City, IA @ The Picador
2/26 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
2/27 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
2/28 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
3/1 Dekalb, IL @ House Cafe
3/2 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
3/3 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
3/4 Buffalo, NY @ Soundlab
3/5 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
3/6 Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Polish Club
3/7 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
3/10 Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary Coast
3/11 Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
3/13 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
3/14 Gainesville, FL @ Common Grounds
3/17 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon

The White Witch Arrives


WHITE WITCH CANYON, the new Northern California band featuring GREENHOUSE EFFECT guitarist/vocalist Eric "Lando" Hagen, ex-SYSTEMATIC frontman Tim "Krete" Narducci on drums and vocals, and ECHO OF SOULS creator Aaron Leigh on bass, was at S.I.R. sudios in Hollywood December 9-11 showcasing for several record labels and private investors.

The band recently completed its debut record at Sonic Room Studios in Livermore, California. There are a few limited edition pre-release copies signed by the group available for purchase through the WHITE WITCH CANYON web site.

WHITE WITCH CANYON's first single, "Escape Pod", will be featured in the upcoming indie movie "Nacho Mountain" starring Comedy Central's Jay Larson.



For more information, visit www.myspace/whitewitchcanyon.

Back to the Cave?


Hydra Head are teasing the release of a potential new Cave In 12" next year. No further details aside from word that it 'may' be in the works were offered.


Dark Driving (Album Version) - Cave In

Don't Be a Hater


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Hater - The 2nd, released 2005 (Burn Burn Burn)

Although he's best known for his work with renowned Sabbath-punkers Soundgarden, Ben Shepherd has turned his back on his former band's style in his other musical projects — as evidenced by Hater. Originally comprised of Shepherd, his Soundgarden pal Matt Cameron on drums, and a host of Seattle-based friends, Hater issued their debut in 1993, back when Shepherd's main band was taking a much deserved break. Two years later, while Soundgarden was gearing up to write what would be their final studio album, Down on the Upside, Shepherd, Cameron, and friends laid down some demos. When one of the engineers wrote down on the tape 'Hater Sessions Two,' it accidentally became Hater's follow-up release. Only thing is, Shepherd was not entirely happy with the mix, and decided to hold off on releasing it. Come 2005, a few friends of his offered to finally release 13 of the tracks, which he accepted. Unsurprisingly, Second is quite comparable to the group's first release — "Try," "Curtis Bligh," and "Wish On" are all loose n' fun garage rockers, straight out of '68. Interestingly, two tracks from these sessions were later reworked for Down on the Upside — "Dusty" and "An Unkind" — but they are not included here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blinker the Zadrozny


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Blinker The Star - Bourgeois Kitten, released 1996 (A&M)

Zadrozny's first major release is an obvious, yet perfectly enjoyable, fusion of power-pop sensibilities and post-grunge/alternative styles. He's not a new Brian Wilson or anything, but he does sound like he's having fun with what he's doing and is able more than once to bring a giddy, anthem-like drive to the proceedings. There's even indirect flecks of Sonic Youth's free-form noise at points, suggesting that Blinker's closest contemporaries might be similar avant-guitar-gone-popsters Placebo. Cheap Trick might be a closer model, if one had to be chosen, though his singing is nowhere near Robin Zander's nuclear-strength sweetness, being rougher and held back a bit in the mix even at the times when he's in full yell. More than once this makes him sound like Kurt Cobain as a result — check out "My Dog" when the music fully kicks in — but thankfully, he never sounds like he's trying to imitate Nirvana out and out either. Turning up the amps actually suits him quite well all around; "Soldier III" is one of his best screamers, with a rushed pace and some sharp riff work. Quieter songs like "Undergrowth" and "Pixie Jane" help leaven the mix and show Zadrozny's ear for arrangements in general, trying out different effects on guitar or vocal harmonies as the mood seizes him. Despite having a core touring lineup, he works with a variety of musicians throughout Kitten, more than once just going ahead and recording everything on his own (on the lovely "The Pick" he even eschews drumming entirely for a rhythm box). Other general standouts on the record include the title track, an effective rocker that shifts between full-on energy and quieter but still dramatic chiming, and "Bicycle Freedom." - Ned Raggett (allmusic.com)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Syd Space


Newly launched is a wonderful official website for founding member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett. It is a celebration of his life and work, covering not just his music, but with a strong focus on his major passion which spanned his whole life - art.

The site includes a news section, a biography, discography, and a webstore which features some newly created t-shirts that are bound to be extremely popular.

The main attraction of the site for many though is the gallery, split into Syd's artworks, and photos of Syd. The former displays some seventeen fascinating images, some only seen at the recent exhibition as part of The City Wakes, and the latter has twelve pictures of Syd on his own, and with the rest of the Floyd. Great stuff, and they promise more to come!

So, don't delay, visit www.SydBarrett.com now...

Jingle Jangle January


A message from Lamb Handler...

"Here's a track listing of the new Lamb Handler album Jingle Jangle coming out Jan 6. The album is packed full o' RAWK with 16 songs and clocking in at over 55min.

Git your money's worth with some of your Christmas $$$ that grandma gives you."

1. You should shut your mouth
2. New things to do to you
3. Old country music saved the day
4. End of your days
5. Devil dawg
6. Nylon trucker
7. You're missin'
8. Finding the light
9. Music city's dead
10. Jingle jangle
11. Blood pump
12. Sittin' on the bottom of the river
13. Everyone deserves good things
14. Rock in my boot
15. Jager monster
16. Peace sells... but who's buying

You can hear several of these new songs on their myspace page, located HERE.

The Township of Boston


Township's self-titled sophomore release was featured in The Boston Globe's top ten best Boston released of 2008. Here's what they had to say about the album...

"Township"

The band's Thin Lizzy-meets-KISS logo font is a dead giveaway for what's in store: Seventies-style muscle-car classic rock powered by sinewy guitar riffs, swamp-metal boogie, and soaring vocals that would make Deep Purple or Dio proud. Sinister ministers indeed.

Out From The Gutter


Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan have added 4 West Coast shows to their stripped down "Evening With" tour. They will be the final shows of the tour.

February 10 West Hollywood CA at the Troubadour
February 11 San Francisco CA at the Independent
February 13 Portland OR at Doug Fir
February 15 Seattle WA at the Showbox

Opening the shows will be Happy Chichester except for Seattle which will be Shawn Smith as well as Happy Chichester. Smith and Chichester collaborated with Dulli on the Twilight Singers debut, Twilight As Played by The Twilight Singers.

Following the conclusion of these dates Dulli will begin work on a new Twilight Singers album, while Lanegan has an upcoming project with Soulsavers and will begin work on his first solo album in five years. This does not, however spell the end of the Gutter Twins. "I see no reason why this can't go on indefinitely", says Lanegan of the project.

Said Dulli; "It's been one of the highlights of my musical life and I look forward to doing it again someday soon."

Leaves Keep Falling

Dredg have posted the 18th installment of their "Leaflet" series. Their yet-to-be-titled album will be available March 24th. Here is the new video...

Clutching Bakerton


Preliminary dates have been revealed for Clutch's upcoming tour with The Bakerton Group (Clutch), Willem Maker and Red Fang and run as follows:

February 11th Huntington, WV - V Club
February 12th Louisville, KY - Headliners
February 13th Little Rock, AR - The Village
February 14th Springfield, MO - Remmigtons
February 15th Urbana, IL - Canopy Club

Expect more to be unveiled in the coming weeks. The Bakerton Group will release their new album "El Rojo" through Weathermaker Music on February 17th.

Let the Zombies Sleep


[Billboard] Assembling the White Zombie boxed set "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" was "weird" and somewhat bittersweet for Rob Zombie.

"The funny thing was when I was putting it together, it seemed so long ago," Zombie told Billboard.com. "It felt like I was putting together a box set of someone else's band. It just seemed like forever ago, and some of the early songs are, like, 20 years ago or something. It just seemed weird."

Zombie said that compiling four-CD, one-DVD collection, which includes 63 tracks and a wealth of rare video footage and other memorabilia he's held onto, "brought up a lot of things I'd forgotten about -- unfortunately, some of it was negative." He was particularly reminded of the waning days of the band, when the group members would tour in separate vehicles and not see each other except at shows. None of the other band members were involved in the set.

"The main reason White Zombie ended was the people who were White Zombie didn't get along anymore," said Zombie, adding that he finished the group's final show in 1996, walked off stage, into a car, went to the airport and "didn't look back.

"That band had a lot of growing pains and a lot of baggage all the way through. I think we did a lot of good stuff and we were ahead of the curve in the beginning and did some groundbreaking stuff. But it was a painful situation most of the time, actually."

Nevertheless, Zombie hopes "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" -- pointedly titled, he acknowledged, for those who might wonder about a White Zombie reunion -- will feed the appetites of younger generations of fans that continue to come along.

"I can see it, strangely enough, in the royalty checks. Every year the band makes more money," Zombie said. "Hot Topic is doing a new line of White Zombie merch. It's just one of those things that happens, I think. There's always a new wave of kids that gets super-jazzed on a band that's not around anymore."

Zombie, meanwhile, is working on his next studio album, which he predicts will be finished by Christmas and out in 2009. The sessons did yield the new songs "War Zone," which is featured in the soundtrack to "The Punisher: War Zone."

Zombie also just finished the animated film "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto" and hopes to get cracking on his fourth feature film, "Tyrannosaurus Rex," in the new year.

All Grown Up


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Silverchair - Young Modern, released 2007 (EMI)

Arguably, each album released by Silverchair has been an improvement on the last, or at least a marked change in direction. It is a natural progression for a band to evolve away from its early influences, and in this instance the world has listened to the boys become men. As major songwriter Daniel Johns' teenage angst turned into youthful enthusiasm and experimentation, there has been a distinct maturity in the band's songwriting and production. Gone are the heavy Sabbath riffs, the lazy adolescent poetry, and Ben Gillies trying to invoke Bonham or Moon. In their place are catchy melodic hooks, inspired lyrical themes, and stunning string arrangements. This album is the pinnacle of the band's fascinating development. Titled after Van Dyke Parks' nickname for Johns during their time together working on 2002's Diorama, Young Modern is a highly ambitious work that happily jumps from glam rock to sweeping orchestral pastiches and almost everywhere in between. Once the opening sonic aural frenzy of "Young Modern Station" effortlessly segues into the instant rock classic (and Aussie number one hit) "Straight Lines," there is an overwhelming feeling that all bets are off — there has never been a Silverchair album like this. Diorama and 1998's Neon Ballroom offered a few musical surprises, but ultimately strayed into the familiar grunge-tinged formula that heavily peppered the band's first two long-players. You can hear in Johns' vocal performances a playfulness and energy that never dared show itself in previous works. There can be no doubt that his eclectic 2004 side project release with renowned DJ, remixer, and keyboard player Paul Mac as the Dissociatives opened Johns' musical landscapes wide open, and his vocals on this album are versatile enough to fit into each genre jump. Another contributing factor to the change of the band with this album is Julian Hamilton, of the Sydney duo the Presets, who appears on four of the 11 tracks as a co-writer (the last two Silverchair albums were completely written by Johns). Young Modern made history in the Australian music charts by becoming the fifth straight album by an Australian act to debut at the number one spot. Silverchair are also the only Australian act to achieve five number one albums, eclipsing native heavyweights INXS, Midnight Oil, and Cold Chisel. - Clayton Bolger (allmusic.com)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More of the Eagles You Want!


Eagles Of Death Metal have announced another run of dates that will see them continue to support their latest album ‘Heart On’.

The band completed a co-headlining tour with The Hives earlier this year, following that with their own national outing.

The tour kicks off February 3 in Solana Beach, CA, and will run until February 19.

The dates are:

Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern (February 3)
Hollywood, CA Henry Fonda Theater (4)
San Francisco, CA the Fillmore (5)
Reno, NV New Oasis (6)
Hard Rock Hotel, Wasted Space Las Vegas, NV (7)
Scottsdale, AZ The Martini Ranch (9)
Oklahoma City, OK The Diamond Ballroom (12)
Little Rock, AR Juanita's Cantina (13)
Columbia, MO The Blue Note (14)
The Eagles Club Milwaukee, WI (15)
Cincinnatti, OH 20th Century Theater (17)
Cleveland, OH Agora Theater (18)
Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls Theater (19)

Enjoying the Mountains


[Jam! Music] Sebastien Grainger is in a good place.

Sure, he's crammed into a hybrid car with members of his band, trying to manoeuvre the snow-covered roads of central Alberta, but he's still in good spirits.

"It's the best thing to be with a group of super close friends, playing music in front of people," says Grainger, who has been on the road for the past week as part of the six-city Jingle Bell Rock tour.


AmericanNames -

Two years ago, the Toronto-based musician didn't have as much to smile about. Then as drummer for dance-punk noisehounds Death From Above 1979, he had just gone through an rather acrimonious split with bassist Jesse F. Keeler.

Citing creative and personal differences, Keeler made the disbanding official by posting a blog entry on the duo's website.

Grainger knew it was coming and took it in stride. But the end of DFA 1979 meant he had to get used to civilian life again.

"Going back to regular life was one thing, but relearning to be a musician and a songwriter was something else," he said.

But it wasn't long before Grainger started writing songs and performing again with his new band The Mountains.

In October, Grainger and The Mountains released their debut CD, American Names.

Its spiky, melodic rock has been compared to power pop titans Cheap Trick and shares more than a little in common with The Strokes' catchier songs.

But even though stylistically DFA 1979 seems miles away from what he's doing now, Grainger says his songwriting hasn't changed much.

"I feel like that's what I was bringing to the other band," he says. "In many ways it was a collaboration. (Keeler's) interest in music was different than mine in the beginning. But I think that was the magic of that band, that we came from two different directions. This is what happens when that collaboration doesn't exist anymore."

The Jingle Bell Rock tour -- featuring Metric, The Dears and Tokyo Police Club -- lands in Calgary tonight and tomorrow at the University of Calgary's MacEwan Hall.

"We're the high-energy opener that sets an unfair bar for the other bands in terms of volume and stage energy," Grainger says. "People should expect energy and they should expect to come early, because we're on really (expletive) early."

My Little Pony

Check out the making of Far's recent cover of R&B singer Ginuwine's hit song "Pony" below...

Under the Tehitian Moon


ALBUM OF THE DAY
Porno For Pyros - Good God's Urge, released 1996 (Warner Bros.)

By the time Porno for Pyros issued a follow-up to their gold-certified, self-titled debut, 1996's Good God's Urge, bassist Martyn LeNoble had left the band (although he had already played bass on most of the album), replaced by ex-Minutemen bassist Mike Watt. The music was even more atmospheric than its predecessor, comprised almost entirely of laid-back compositions — only a few tracks could be considered hard rock. Inspired by the beautiful Zuma Beach in California where the band's recording studio was located, the songs sound like the perfect soundtrack to a tranquil beachside setting. The free and easy feel of the first two tracks, "Porpoise Head" and "100 Ways," is comparable to Love and Rockets' more serene moments (L&R members Daniel Ash, David J, and Kevin Haskins actually guest on the former track), while the driving "Tahitian Moon" was an alternative radio hit. The beautiful acoustic ballad "Kimberly Austin" remains one of Perry Farrell's most personal lyrics, while Mike Watt's fluid basslines stand out on another highlight, the title track. Also of note were the guest spots by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and then-Pepper guitarist Dave Navarro on "Freeway," which marked the first time Navarro and Farrell played together since their less-then-amicable split from Jane's Addiction in 1991. After the tour in support of Good God's Urge, Porno for Pyros went the way of J.A. and broke up. - Greg Prato (allmusic.com)

Puscifer Preview

Video trailer for Puscifer's (Maynard James Keenan) live shows in Las Vegas! The first two nights are already sold out. If anyone wants to take me to the third one, haha, that'd be amazing! Check out the trailer...

Rage Againt the Nails


Rumors have begun to surface that Nine Inch Nails' upcoming mid-April North American amphitheater tour will also feature Rage Against The Machine on the bill. Thus far, band frontman Trent Reznor has only hinted in recent interviews that the tour will be with another well-known band and that he is as yet unable to officially announce it.