Friday, September 14, 2018

The Key: The Jesus Lizard — 9.8

All Souls
The Jesus Lizard
Union Transfer

Following my interview with David Yow, I was able to attend the Philly stop of The Jesus Lizard's current run of shows at Union Transfer. I want to state for the record that David Yow is 58 years old and I hope to possess an iota of the energy he burned through during that gig by the time I'm his age. I also never want to see a younger band or performer visibly worn out after a much less physically demanding show. The Jesus Lizard played three encores that were three to five songs apiece after an hour or more of constant crowd engagement, (i.e. body surfing, stage diving, being yanked), while pounding us all with decibel after decibel. The theater of it all was a sight to behold and I'm fortunate I had the opportunity to witness it.

This show review was also written for Philadelphia's The Key. Please check out the live photos by Josh Pelta-Heller, because my iPhone shots are nowhere near as good.

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ex Hex — 9.10.18

Ex Hex
Boot & Saddle, 9.10.18.

Mary Timony continues to rule. I was happy to have the opportunity to watch her play.

Letters From A Tapehead

Saturday, September 08, 2018

The Key: Interview w/ David Yow of The Jesus Lizard

So, I had the opportunity to interview The Jesus Lizard's legendary vocalist, David Yow. As it worked out, I had to take the call in my office at my day job, hoping that no sudden work-related emergencies would interrupt our conversation. Luckily, that didn't happen.

This is my first article for Philadelphia's The Key, which is the editorial arm of 88.5 WXPN. Enjoy.

photo by: Joshua Black Wilkins

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

New Selections — Emma Ruth Rundle, Tropical Fuck Storm, Primitive Man, Private Life, Uniform, Erika Wennerstrom, Djrum, Windhand

Starting August off with some new singles.

Emma Ruth Rundle: "Darkhorse"
(via Rarely Unable / Sargent House / YouTube)

Via Rarely Unable:

“In the wake of weak beginnings, we can still stand high,” Emma Ruth Rundle sings over banks of electrified minor chords and ghostly guitar leads on "Darkhorse". It’s a statement of purpose and a recurring motif throughout the album. “The record is about overcoming—understanding and embracing the crippling situation and then growing beyond it,” Rundle says. “Horses keep working their way into the lyrics and visual dimension of this record. They’re powerful and beautiful yet not free really. So the dark horse works for me in a visual way, as a representation of a contained force that will win the race or exceed the expectation of society and self.”

The songs that comprise On Dark Horses vibrate with restlessness and forward motion. Prodding and preening the wounds unmasked in Marked For Death, Rundle’s third LP for Sargent House brings cinematic instrumentals to her sprawling narratives. These eight new tracks capture the evolution of Rundle as an artist—vestigial traces of 2011's Electric Guitar: One’s savvy guitar work, the heart-on-sleeve intensity of Some Heavy Ocean (2014), and the high-stakes torch songs of Marked For Death can all be heard in equal and harmonious accord.

On Dark Horses is due out on September 14 via Sargent House. Pre-orders are available here, and Emma Ruth Rundle will tour in support of the album this Autumn - check out all tour dates listed below.

Emma Ruth Rundle, On Tour:
September 8 Chicago, IL @ Ars Memoria **art show & listening party**
September 15 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar +
September 16 Detroit, MI @ El Club +
September 17 Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dee’s +
September 19 Portsmouth, NH @ The Press Room +
September 20 Allston, MA @ Great Scott +
September 21 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus +
September 22 Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA +
September 23 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery +
September 24 Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe +
September 25 Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle +
September 27 Davenport, IA @ Figge Art Museum / All Senses Festival
September 28 Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Co.
October 6 Lille, FR @ Aeronef +
October 7 Colmar, FR @ Grillen +
October 9 Bermeo, ES @ Beleza Malandra Ateneo Kulturala +
October 10 Oviedo, ES @ Lata de Zinc +
October 11 Porto, PT @ Passos Emanuel +
October 12 Lisbon, PT @ Music Box +
October 13 Madrid, ES @ Changó +
October 14 Barcelona, ES @ AMFest 2018
October 16 Marseille, FR @ Le Molotov +
October 17 Zurich, CH @ Rote Fabrik +
October 18 Leipzig, DE @ UT Connewitz +
October 19 Prague, CZ @ Klub 007 +
October 20 Köln, DE @ Gebaude 9 +
October 21 München, DE @ Milla +
October 23 Berlin, DE @ Bi Nuu +
October 24 Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang +
October 25 Malmo, SE @ Plan B +
October 26 Oslo, NO @ BLÄ +
October 27 Stockholm, SE @ Strindbergs Intima +
October 28 Gothenborg, SE @ Skjul Fyra Sex/Skjulet +
October 29 Copenhagen, DK @ Hotel Cecil +
October 31 Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown +
November 1 Groningen, NL @ Vera +
November 2 Paris, FR @ Petit Bain +
November 3 Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen +
November 4 Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade +
November 6 Glasgow, UK @ Stereo +
November 7 Newcastle, UK @ The Cluny +
November 8 London, UK @ Oslo +
November 9 Kortijk, BEL @ Sonic City Festival
November 10 Antwerp, BEL @ Trix +
November 30 Nashville, TN @ The High Watt +
December 1 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn +
December 3 Dallas, TX @ Double Wide +
December 4 Austin, TX @ Barracuda +
December 6 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister +
December 7 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar +
December 9 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo +
December 10 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop +
December 12 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios +
December 13 Seattle, WA @ Barboza +
December 15 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court +
December 16 Denver, CO @ Lost Lake +
December 17 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room +

+ w/ Jaye Jayle
** ERR solo gallery show with new large oil paintings and '
On Dark Horses' album listening party**


Tropical Fuck Storm: "You Let My Tyres Down"
(via Speakeasy PR / Joyful Noise Recordings / YouTube)

Via Speakeasy PR:

Tropical Fuck Storm, featuring ex-The DronesGareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin with fellow Australian indie noisemakers Lauren Hammel (High Tension) and Erica Dunn (Harmony/Mod Con), release their debut album, A Laughing Death in Meatspace, in North America on Oct. 26 via Joyful Noise Recordings.

The album, which is available for pre-orders via Joyful Noise’s website (, is already being hailed as a potential best of for 2018 with both The Quietus and Australia’s Double J including the album in their best of 2018 (so far) coverage. Double J said,
“Filled with the sort of acerbic wit only Gareth Liddiard can muster, this is the most essential, moody, pulverising, funny, off-key, venomous Antipodean post-punk album of the year.” Noisey Australia, in an extensive interview with Liddiard and Dunn point to the band’s “anarchic energy” and claim we’re witnessing “the birth of a new rock powerhouse,” while Liddiard’s laid bare in a discussion with The Guardian, touching on the societal influences that imbue the album’s lyrics, from the societal fallout from recent technological advances to the hopes for a new generation of rebellion, leaving the revered British paper to declare Meatspace “a glorious detour into deconstructed rock music, reflective of social malaise and unafraid to tell it like it is.”

“The band and myself are quietly confident that the US release of ALDIMS will bridge America’s political divide and usher in a millennia-long age of peace and prosperity,” said Liddiard.


Primitive Man: "Naked"
(via Earsplit PR / Relapse Records / CVLT Nation / YouTube)

Via Earsplit PR:

One year after each releasing two of 2017's heaviest albums, Denver's PRIMITIVE MAN and New York City's UNEARTHLY TRANCE unite for an exercise in complete and total suffering, coming August 17th via Relapse Records. Across seven apocalyptic tracks, both bands tap into some of the most uncomfortable, vile realms of blackened doom and dissonant, harsh noise put to tape in the new millennium.

PRIMITIVE MAN & UNEARTHLY TRANCE's split LP will be available on CD, LP and digital formats through Relapse Records. Physical packages, digital downloads, and streaming services are available at HERE.

PRIMITIVE MAN will return to Europe next month on a headlining tour with labelmates -(16)-. The tour begins August 29th in Dortmund, Germany and concludes September 15th at Bloodshed Festival in Eindhoven, Netherlands. PRIMITIVE MAN will also make various summer festival appearances such as Psycho Las Vegas and Temple Of Ascension Vol. 1. All confirmed tour dates are available below.

8/17/2018 Temple Of Ascension Vol. 1 - Edmonton, AB
8/18/2018 Psycho Las Vegas @ Hard Rock Hotel And Casino - Las Vegas, NV
w/ -(16)- :
8/29/2018 Junkyard - Dortmund, DE
8/30/2018 IFZ- Leipzig, DE
8/31/2018 KB18 - Copenhagen, DK
9/01/2018 1000fryd - Aalborg, DK
9/02/2018 Hafenklang - Hamburg, DE
9/03/2018 Magasin4Brussels, BE
9/04/2018 Tiefgrund - Berlin, DE
9/05/2018 Poglos - Warsaw, PL
9/06/2018 Fuga - Bratislava, SK
9/07/2018 Desszert Feszt Budapest Opening Party - Budapest, HU
9/08/2018 Reflektor Venue - Timisoara, RO
9/09/2018 Something For The Core VII - Bucharest, RO
9/10/2018 Mocvara - Zagreb, HR
9/11/2018 Circolo Magnolia - Milano, IT
9/12/2018 Sunset Bar - Martigny, CH
9/13/2018 Gaswerk - Winterthur, CH
9/14/2018 Jubez - Karlsruhe, DE
9/15/2018 Bloodshed Fest 2018 - Eindhoven, NL


Private Life: "Hesitation"
(via Earsplit PR / Dark Operative Digital / Pop Matters / YouTube)

Via Earsplit PR:

Pop Matters is hosting a premiere of "Hesitation," the trippy new video from Texas/California-based psychedelic cyber-synth rock duo PRIVATE LIFE - the collaborative project between Christopher Royal King (This Will Destroy You) and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Sam Chown (Shmu) - as their Silent Partner debut album nears August release through Dark Operative Digital.

PRIVATE LIFE's Silent Partner is a fascinating blend of cyberpunk, dream pop, psych, prog, and kraut vibes from the '70s, bits of thrash, and modern modular electronic synths. Think of it as the latest operating system update for a computer with plenty of Talking Heads, Gang Of Four, and Bloc Party on the hard drive. The album is completed with psychedelic cover art by Keith Rankin.

The new video for "Hesitation" was directed by Anthony Ferrara aka Bokeh Monster. Offers Chown,
"The video features Natalie Wetzel, also known as G'NAT. Weirdly enough, I met her through Wayne Coyne, in Miley Cyrus' Winnebago in Oklahoma City, of all places. Fast forward a couple of years later and a friend of mine had recommended I reach out to Anthony to do a music video. I was supposed to fly out to Los Angeles to be in the video with Chris but for whatever reason, those plans got thwarted. Anthony suggested that he hire actors to be in the video instead. He ended up just using footage of Natalie. When I saw the video for the first time, I was like, how do you know Natalie? Apparently, she was his roommate and longtime good friend."

Ferrara adds, "Somewhere out there is a feedback loop with your name on it — I sincerely hope all of you get to experience the same immersive, chrono-sensory breakdown I had trying to deconstruct PRIVATE LIFE's 'Hesitation.' It defies the nesting boxes I put it in, and this struggle became the appeal. Endless love and gratitude for Gnat's exquisite character work as the Scarlet Cardinal running through those hallways, forever and ever. The only way out is to stop and change."

Pop Matters posts in part, "The absence of the band in the clip adds to PRIVATE LIFE's overall enigmatic presence, the tune imagining the Lemmy-led Hawkwind covering Pink Floyd in a chill backstage lounge somewhere in Middle America. PRIVATE LIFE sounds like the American landscape today: Odd noises, thunderous layers and time that passes with almost hallucinatory rapidity. How do you take a journey to the center of the mind when the mind is rapidly eroding? PRIVATE LIFE seeks to answer that question and, maybe, in its own way, remind us that the best we can do is enjoy the ride."

Dark Operative Digital will release Silent Partner digitally on August 17th; find digital preorders HERE where the track "Bloody Blister" is streaming and watch for a physical version to follow.

The impetus for PRIVATE LIFE stemmed from King's desire to start a high BPM, futuristic cyber-synth group comprised of him on modular synths with the accompaniment of drums. After a series of conceptual meetings and rehearsals, the duo hatched out schematics and installed configurations wherein Chown's drums would trigger additional modular synths beyond King's main melodies. Demos were cut, and the duo saw tremendous sonic potential in their unique approach. A few months later, the duo holed up in Austin's 5th Street Studios to capture the seven songs that would become their debut album, with overdubs recorded in both Austin and Los Angeles.


Uniform: "Alone in the Dark"
(via Rarely Unable / Sacred Bones Records / YouTube)

Via Rarely Unable:

Today, Uniform unveil the second single off their highly anticipated album, The Long Walk - coming August 17th on Sacred Bones. "Alone in the Dark" is an homage to Jack Sholder's slasher flick of the same name. Vocalist Michael Berdan explains that "in the film, Jack Palance, Martin Landau and Donald Pleasance star as a gaggle of mental patients who escape an asylum during a power outage and proceed to hunt down their psychiatrist. In our song, I'm referencing my personal feelings of isolation that come in the middle of the night, when I'm left with only the sensation of college level existential terror and prayers to a God who may or may not be listening, if even there at all."


Erika Wennerstrom: "Staring Out the Window"
(via Big Hassle Media / Relix / YouTube)

Via Big Hassel Media:

Erika Wennerstrom shares her new video, "Staring Out The Window," today on Relix. A contemplative, self-loving and relatable song -- the lyrics say it all: "Want to be among good people that make you feel good / That don't make you feel so misunderstood / And sometimes it's so much easier said than done." The new video release comes with new tour date announcements, as well, starting on the east coast, and heading down to North Carolina.

Aug 1 - Washington, DC - Gypsy Sally's
Aug 2 - Baltimore, MD - WTMD First Thursdays
Aug 3 - Philadelphia, PA - WXPN Free At Noon
Aug 4 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
Aug 6 - Manchester Center, VT - Billsville
Aug 7 - Woodstock, NY - Colony
Aug 8 - York, PA - Sign of the Wagon
Aug 11 - Harveysburg, OH - Bellwether Festival
Aug 12 - Nashville, TN - Basement East
Aug 14 - Pisgah Forest, NC - Bent River Farm


Djrum: "Waters Rising"
(via Julian T. Schoen - Artist, Event & Project Management / Bandcamp)

Via Julian T. Schoen:

R&S is locked in on Djrum, the London based producer readying his latest full-length, Portrait With Firewood, coming August 17. Slithering electronics weave through ghostly vocal samples on "Waters Rising", the second cut shared from the LP. 


Windhand: "Grey Garden"
(via Relapse Records / NPR / YouTube)

Via Relapse Records:

Richmond, Virginia's psychedelic heavyweights WINDHAND unveil "Grey Garden," the video and lead single off their forthcoming album Eternal Return. Today NPR debuted the Jordan Vance directed piece describing the song, "is led by Morris' towering riff and a guitar tone so deep, so thick that it's like sipping on a frothy pint of the void...there's a serious undercurrent of grunge. Windhand spends a good section of the track to drop out of distortion and meditate on flannel-powered flange and EBow as Cottrell's voice drifts in and out of space." Read all about it here and check out NPR's 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women which recently featured WINDHAND's classic, "Orchard".

Eternal Return is a complete life-to-death journey. As unplanned things go, it's an observation of as well as a reflection on life's ups and downs, joys and sorrows, beginnings and ends. Between the band's 2015, highly acclaimed Grief's Infernal Flower, and 2018's Eternal Return, WINDHAND welcomed new life, survived lineup changes, and mourned unexpected death. The songs and song ordering are the direct result of those experiences. Where "Halcyon" is assured in its opening, the closing track "Feather" is its funeral march.

Eternal Return all throughout the winter. Out of the sessions, "Halcyon," "Grey Garden," "Red Cloud," and the monstrous "Eyeshine" emerged as the heaviest tracks, while "Pilgrim's Rest," "Diablerie," and "Feather" embodied the more reflective side of WINDHAND. The juxtaposition of heavy, psychedelic and pensive is less like Black Sabbath or Sleep and more like Soundgarden or Veruca Salt. But the name-drops aren't absolute so much as signals of WINDHAND's ability to stretch beyond genre confines.

Eternal Return represents a new era for the group, a chrysalis moment that takes them to new and unforeseen heights. Boosted by Garrett Morris' consistently cool riffs-forged at the crossroads of Iommi's otherworldly import and Kurt Cobain's spontaneous precocity-powered by Ryan Wolfe and Parker Chandler's groove-laden rhythms, and propelled by Dorthia Cottrell's smoky yet wistful vocals, WINDHAND's new album is a two-step jump for Richmond's finest purveyors of the psycho-actively heavy. Adorned by Arik Roper's (Sleep, High on Fire) impressive cover art, Eternal Return not only looks the part of WINDHAND's artistic growth but sounds the part.

WINDHAND brought Jack Endino back into the fold. Together, they spent two weeks recording at Soundhouse Recording in Seattle. Described as "smooth" and "intense," the sessions with the famed producer were just what WINDHAND wanted. Endino also understood the group's artistic progression, chiefly the admiration of and blending in late '80s/early '90s grunge. Out of it all, WINDHAND continued to refactor and refine their vision of heavy. A new era of psychedelic heaviness is upon us with WINDHAND's genre-blurring
Eternal Return. Sweet, fuzzed-out oblivion has never been closer...

Eternal Return sees its release October 5th on Relapse Records. WINDHAND venture on a full North American tour this fall with Satan's Satyrs. Check below for a full list of dates and go to to pre-order your copy.
10/08: Atlanta, GA - The Earl #
10/09: New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa #
10/10: Houston TX - White Oak Music Hall #
10/11: Dallas, TX - Club Dada #
10/12: Austin, TX - Barracuda #
10/14: Albuquerque, NM - Sister #
10/15: Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar #
10/16: Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre #
10/17: Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club #
10/19: Portland, OR - Aladdin Theatre #
10/20: Vancouver, BC - Venue #
10/21: Seattle, WA - Neumos #
10/23: Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge #
10/24: Kansas City, MO - The Riot Room #
11/01: Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts #
11/02: Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere #
11/03: Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall #
11/04: Montreal, QC - Le Belmont #
11/05: Toronto, ON - The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern #
11/07: Chicago, IL - Subterranean #
11/08: Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Cafe #
11/09: Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club #
11/10: Indianapolis, IN - The Hi-Fi #
11/11: Nashville, TN - The Basement East #
11/12: Louisville, KY - Zanzabar #
11/13: Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups #
11/15: Richmond, VA - The Broadberry #

# - w/ Satan's Satyrs

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Guerilla Toss: "Meteorological"

I was elated to find out that Guerilla Toss will be releasing a new LP this September called Twisted Crystal. Last year's GT Ultra spent many days and nights at constant rotation in the confines of my car's CD player. GT Ultra made my top 5 favorite records for 2017.  

You can find GT Ultra here via Guerilla Toss' Bandcamp for preview or purchase. I recommend the purchase option.    

"Meteorological," the lead single from Twisted Crystal, continues the band's foray into funk and electronic dance modes, moving from the noisier output of prior releases (i.e., Eraser Stargazer) to more accessible, albeit characteristically odd, territory, a modern homage to the mutant disco and synth pop that flourished beneath the post-punk umbrella in the early 80s. The video premiered at Stereogum, but you can check it out below.

Twisted Crystal is releasing September 14th via DFA Records. All info, links, music, and tour dates come courtesy of Force Field PR.  

Guerilla Toss announces new DFA LP, Twisted Crystal, shares new track / video via Stereogum, plus fall tour dates

Today Guerilla Toss announces its third LP for DFA, Twisted Crystal, due Sept. 14 (pre-order it now). The video for the album's first single, "Meteorological" was made by Giraffe Studios and is up now at Stereogum, who praised the song's "disorienting forward momentum and catchy hooks." The band has also announced a full North American tour for the fall - see full dates listed below.

Analog synthesizers give tangible life to the works of Guerilla Toss. Whether it be the sound of a rocket ship, a kitten-with-a-wah, distorted dolphins, or a clavichord made out of honey-baked ham, the band consistently finds new ways to bring together the many ideas that combine to shape each new batch of art-rock puzzle pieces.

Twisted Crystal, Guerilla Toss’ new LP, feels more personal than ever for the band. Angular yet irresistibly catchy, this collection of pop songs pulls influence from powerful groups like The Slits, ESG, Gina X, and early Madonna, with sing-speak vocals from Kassie Carlson nodding to legendary artists like Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, and Lizzy Mercier Descloux – combining this all into a twisted, crystalline concoction.

Oracles and enigmatic egos are common lyrical themes, but charismatic instrumentality springs the listener back to extraterrestrial comfort. Old favorite sounds ring true from the trusty Sequential Circuits Six Track Synthesizer and Clavia Drum Machine. New, more refined sounds are molded and polished by drummer/producer Peter Negroponte, whose passion for perfection and creation goes far beyond an all-consuming Tetris effect. Peter has truly excelled on this new recording, creating a complex networks of beats and sound that become easily intertwined with the rhythmic fabric of life.

Raised in a devoutly religious family, vocalist Kassie Carlson started performing at the age of five. She often participated in large pastoral choral performances, as well as her family’s four-part harmony gospel quartet, making her no stranger to the stage. Growing up under the fear of God leaves a distinct footprint on your perception. An omnipresent male dictates not only your present waking life but also the rest of your eternity. Discovering a rock band was more than self-expression for Kassie, it was a manifestation of a self-healing temple, a personal pipeline for power. What better way to part the waters of toxic sludge than a matriarchal shout?

Arian Shafiee, Guerilla Toss’ resident textural-guitar guru, is inspired by aspects of non-Western tuning and extended techniques. He designs moments of dense, glistening, pitch-shifted harmony and measured strumming that link classical impressionism to no-wave and early minimal music. His recent solo work truly comes through on this new record, as he tethers fantastical surreality to noise rock to deconstructed Middle Eastern pop music.

Keyboardist Sam Lisabeth paws the keys with distinct virtuosity and expressive sass. A new member, Stephen Cooper (of the band Cloud Becomes Your Hand), binds the group with an urgent, disciplined, and melodic style. The hypnotic, ostinato-like basslines and up front rhythm tracks guide and grip each song like gravity, keeping the listener from swirling off into the cosmos.

In albums past, Kassie’s performances resembled more of a manic, possessed high priestess; humming at the gates of hell, hacking telepathy and tugging the strings of every audience member.
Twisted Crystal goes beyond this familiar darkness, leading us into a rhythmically calming charm with deep wisdom, serenity, and understanding. What is a twisted crystal? And who told you it would heal?

At times the listener wanders through mazes of dizzying, alternately pulsing time signatures, but the roads always bounce, meet and magically snap back together. That meditative groove, both live and in the studio, has become signature for Guerilla Toss, drawing deep influence from 70s krautrock and experimental rock music like Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Neu!, Cluster, Todd Rundgren, and La Dusseldorf.

A constantly evolving, living breathing entity, the band now presents the album
Twisted Crystal. Enjoy the same surrealistic, kinetic healing energy of live Guerilla Toss, today in your own home.

“Magic is Easy. Hypnotize yourself well.”

09/17 Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House
09/18 Montreal, QC @ l’Escogriffe Bar Spectacle
09/19 Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
09/20 Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s
09/21 Athens, OH @ The Union
09/22 Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
09/24 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
09/25 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
09/26 Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
09/27 Lawrence, KS @ White Schoolhouse
09/28 Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
09/29 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
09/30 Boise, ID @ Funky Taco
10/02 Butte, MT @ Covellite Theater
10/03 Spokane, WA @ Bartlett
10/04 Seattle, WA @ Vera Project
10/05 Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
10/06 Eugene, OR @ Lorax
10/07 Arcata, CA @ Outer Space
10/09 Redding, CA @ The Dip
10/10 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
10/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
10/12 San Deigo, CA @ Whistle Stop
10/13 Tijuana, MX @ Moustache
10/14 Phoenix, AZ @ LBX
10/15 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
10/19 Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
10/20 Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf
10/21 Fayetteville, AR @ Smoke & Barrel
10/23 Nashville, TN @ The End
10/24 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
10/25 Durham, NC @ Wicked Witch
10/26 Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
10/27 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
10/28 Cambridge, MA @ Elk’s Lodge
10/30 Providence, RI @ Columbus Theater

Guerilla Toss
Twisted Crystal
Street Date: September 14, 2018
Purchase here

Track List:
1. Magic Is Easy
2. Jesus Rabbit
3. Meteorological
4. Hacking Machine
5. Retreat
6. Come Up With Me
7. Walls Of The Universe
8. Jackie’s Daughter
9. Green Apple


Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, June 28, 2018

What's (Re)New? — Sunn O)))'s White1 and White2

Sunn O))) is now twenty years old. For those of you who've breathed the frequency all these years and accepted that maximum volume does indeed yield maximum results, the story begins with the LA Rehearsal/Rifftape March 1998 demo, which was recently issued and quickly bought up from Sunn O)))'s webstore. 

Following that release, the band's WHITE1 and WHITE2 albums have been reissued.  Myself a fan of both albums, I am very excited about these reissues, which have been repackaged as 180-gram white vinyl double-LPs with posters.  Both are now available to purchase from the webstore.  

Please leave me a couple of copies: I have to wait a full week until payday.

If you're interested, you can find more Sunn O)))-related stuff here:

• A review of 2009's Monoliths & Dimensions 
• A review of the 2011 reissue of ØØ Void
• A review of Soused, Sunn O)))'s collaboration with Scott Walker
• A review of 2015's Kannon from Daughter of a Tapehead
Sunn O))) w/ Dead in the Dirt and T.O.M.B.: Live at Union Transfer — 9.5.12

All release info, links, and tour dates were provided by the kick ass people at Earsplit PR.

SUNN O))): Southern Lord Is Pleased To Present Both Historical WHITE Albums In Their Fundamental And Proper Forms, Coinciding With The Label's 20th Anniversary

Photo by Kerry O_Sullivan
SUNN O))) is reissuing both WHITE albums this summer, coinciding with Southern Lord's 20th anniversary.

For these reissues SUNN O))) took the original full-length unedited premasters/final mixes to Matt "The Alchemist" Colton at Alchemy Mastering in London for a complete high resolution 88K/24bit mastering and, crucially, cut the lacquers using Alchemy's half-speed method on their Neumann SX 74 cutterhead. The outstanding results allow the original full-length mixes to be pressed at high fidelity on the vinyl format. The new
WHITE masters reveal a broader frequency response, the bottom end is deeper and more intense, low mids are lusher, high frequencies are smoother, and the stereo image is vastly improved, seeming more three dimensional and more dynamic. The sound is clearer, sharper, more direct.

SUNN O))) co-founders Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson originally conceived the
WHITE albums to be "acoustic" but the sessions at Fontanelle's Magnetic Park studios in Portland Oregon quickly took a far different route toward the psychedelic and the electronic/synthetic, with trance and drone experiments.

WHITE1 was originally released in 2003 by Southern Lord as a CD and very limited three-sided LP edition of 540 copies in a white sleeve with a sticker, packaged in an embroidered pillowcase and containing a sleeping pill. The WHITE1 album was a great step forward into the experimental and highly collaborative area which SUNN O))) has metamorphosed via and travelled since. Together with the generosity and talent of the unique and great guest artists Julian Cope, Joe Preston, Rex Ritter, Ulver, and Runhild Gammelsaeter, the concept of SUNN O))) was brought forth from the shadows of the earth unto the broader cosmic spheres.

WHITE2 was originally released in 2004 by Southern Lord as a CD and limited double-LP edition of 1000 copies in a tip-on gatefold sleeve in various vinyl colors. The WHITE2 album was notably the first collaboration with the Hungarian legend and singer Attila Csihar, which has since begat a long and fruitful creative story of the O))) ethos. With the WHITE albums SUNN O))) took a bold step the experimental and highly collaborative path the concept of the group has traveled since. Together with Attila, WHITE2 featured the extraordinary talents of special guests Joe Preston, Rex Ritter & Dawn Smithson. Along with WHITE1, the album brought the concept of SUNN O))) further forth, arriving at a truly transcendent note with the pairing of the "Decay" tracks featuring Attila. And, the sky cracked open.

Southern Lord is offering each these reissues on 180-gram white vinyl, housed in Stoughton Printing old style gatefold tip-on sleeves. Each includes an A1 poster with classic portraits of the band from the period by Kerry O'Sullivan and Glynnis McDaris. T-shirts and other exclusive packages are also available. Limited to 1,000 copies, these shall be made available exclusively via and Other vinyl colors will be available through all outlets later in July.

For twenty years, SUNN O))) has been challenging the way we think about music. From 1999's
The Grimmrobe Demos to 2015's Kannon, core members Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson have forged connections between the worlds of metal, drone, contemporary composition, jazz, and minimalism with startling results while remaining true to the eternal principles of volume, density, and weight. In 2015, SUNN O))) released their first full-length LP in six years, Kannon, with its roots in recent collaborations with Norway's Ulver (Terrestrials) and Scott Walker (Soused).

SUNN O))) will perform live at the Psycho Las Vegas festival on August 19th alongside Godflesh, Goblin, Enslaved, All Pigs Must Die, Wolves In The Throne Room, and many more.

SUNN O))) Live:
8/19/2018 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV @ Psycho Las Vegas [info]

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, June 25, 2018

Notes from The Record Room: Confessions to the Hip Priest — Fall Poseur’dom (or, Being Late to The Fall)

Back in 2006, Henry Rollins exposed me to The Fall via his Harmony In My Head radio show at the now-defunct Indie 103.1. For a while, each episode would feature at least one Fall track and his fanaticism with this band was enough to convince me to run out to the sorely missed Tower Records in King of Prussia and pick up A Part of America Therein, 1981, which is a compilation of live performances. I was not immediately taken with the album, nor the material per se, so I chalked this venture up to just being at odds taste-wise with a diehard fan. The Fall just wasn’t for me.

The first time I listened to Get Up With It, an electric era double-LP from Miles Davis, (I’ve written about the record before, so sorry being redundant), I couldn’t get through the first track. “He Loved Him Madly,” which was written as a meditation on the life of Duke Ellington, was over 30 full minutes of ambient sound and icy guitar notes, scattershot snare rolls arbitrarily placed throughout till an eventual, albeit muted, stride enters well beyond the track’s halfway point. I picked up the CD because it was Miles Davis and it was cheaply priced, ignorant to this phase of the artist’s evolution and expecting something other than what I was hearing. I grew bored and I pulled the CD out of my car stereo, annoyed at the purchase.

But, as the story goes, if something you’re exploring doesn’t resonate right away, you try again. And, if you’re compelled to do so, you try some more. It’s probably not a surprise to say that Get Up With It eventually became one of my all-time favorite records and I spent a healthy portion of time with it, learning to appreciate its subtleties as well as its more abrasive moments. “Rated X” is a contained anxiety attack. The emotional state of the artist is bare and as honest as we all hope our interactions are with the people we know, love, or trust. It’s the sort of truth that you hope to find in any form of art.

We forget sometimes, especially in this reality of media plentitude, to stop for a second and listen. Or watch. Or absorb. Even the simple act of chewing before you swallow seems like a lot to ask of us in this day and age. Immediate gratification is the goal. If whatever you’re devoting your dwindling attention span to doesn’t excite every sensory receptor in the space of five seconds, you’re likely to focus on something else. These are not new observations, but they’re applicable to my relationship with The Fall’s music.

Before Mark E. Smith passed away earlier this year, I’d finally begun to understand and appreciate what he was doing. It took 11 years of occasional listening and it’s because, at some point, I’d made the mistake of making up my mind and deciding that one uneven live CD could sum up a band as prolific and varied as The Fall were. I won’t go into a lesson about how sticking to one’s convictions can limit experience or perspective, (because honestly some things necessitate being treated with an unmoving yes or no), but my stubbornness did me no favors in this case.

And, I’ll admit to some laziness as well. Coming at a band like The Fall so late in the game, it’s an overwhelming discography and history to digest, especially when you consider the band’s numerous line-ups.

So, I’ve been slowing acquiring Fall LPs for the last year or so, beginning with The Fall’s second release, Dragnet. A friend of mine burned a copy of 1996’s The Light User Syndrome for me some years ago, and I’ve been reacquainting myself with it. A posthumous convert or poseur, I’m reconciling with failing to recognize the importance of a sea change level band. Paying penance in the name of the hip priest. 


Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, June 22, 2018

New Selections — DEAFKIDS, Marisa Anderson, Circuit des Yeux, Moaning, Here Lies Man

Some new and not-so-new selections for June. 

DEAFKIDS: "Espiral da Loucura"
(via Rarely Unable / Bandcamp)

Via Rarely Unable:

Brazilian trio DEAFKIDS share a new track "Espiral Da Loucura" ahead of widespread touring this June. This new track was recorded live at Red Bull Studios in Sao Paulo/Brazil on April 2018 - listen below.


Marisa Anderson: "Lift"
(via Thrill Jockey Records/YouTube)

Via Thrill Jockey:

Just after the release of her debut Thrill Jockey album Cloud Corner, guitarist Marisa Anderson has released the video for album single "Lift," directed by Christopher Kirkley and featuring Anderson playing the charango. Anderson kicks off her North American tour tonight in Seattle with Joan Shelley, and will be performing throughout the summer with the likes of labelmates Sarah Louise and Glenn Jones, as well as Tara Jane O'Neil and Nathan Bowles.

Cloud Corner, Anderson’s music is boundless. Rooted in American folk music, her pieces are inspired by 20th century classical and West African guitar techniques. The results are revelatory. Written and recorded in a period of political and personal upheaval, the album was created as a refuge, an ode to stillness in an era of ceaseless noise.


Circuit des Yeux: "Falling Blonde"
(via Rarely Unable/Drag City/YouTube)

Via Rarely Unable:

Haley Fohr, of experimental folk project Circuit des Yeux, presents new visual imagery to accompany her extraordinary long player Reaching For Indigo; a broadcast for the fourth single "Falling Blonde".

The video presented is a super 8 film edited, directed, and starring New Zealand based video artist Veronica Crockford-Pound. It is in response to the song "Falling Blonde", our discussions about the action of falling (the most natural state of all things), and our bodily relationship to gravity. Gravity has the ability to keep us together and depending on our alignment, can result in suffering or balance, both of which we all experience during our time on Earth.


Moaning: "Misheard"
(via Sub Pop/YouTube)

Moaning's self-titled LP is currently available from Sub Pop Records.


Here Lies Man: "Taking The Blame"

(via Us-Them Group/RidingEasy Records/YouTube)

"Taking The Blame" is featured in the new album from Here Lies Man, You Will Know Nothing, which is available now from RidingEasy Records.  

Letters From A TapeheaF

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Online Sounds: The Young Mothers — "Black Tar Caviar" (Single Premiere)

The Austin-based experimental sextet known as The Young Mothers are releasing their second album this week, Morose.  

Currently based in Austin, The Young Mothers tie together backgrounds as regionally varied as Texas, Chicago, New York, and Norway, engaging their multiple influences into a cross-genre synthesis of protest music and aural turbulence.

As if to illustrate this perfectly, for the single "Black Tar Caviar," The Young Mothers compose a discordant, rhythmic tug of war that attempts to merge jazz-based improvisation with the bare-knuckle assault of hardcore or powerviolence.  Somewhat akin to the avant sonics and noise-fetish brass explorations of John Zorn, especially for its frenzy of a finale, "Black Tar Caviar" pairs confusion and aggression in a compelling way, pitting the avantgarde against the underground and reveling in the forms' rejection of each other.  Those opening Albert Ayler-styled sax notes almost seem like a red herring, the steady pulse of a hi-hat sounding tin-like against the phrases of wailing brass that stretch for more than half the track until vocalist Jawwaad Taylor finds his cue.  "No rest for the weak/No power in the streets," Taylor speaks, a throbbing bass riff and percussion section emerging and remaining locked into its pattern despite the scream-laden sections of high tempo violence. 

"Black Tar Caviar" is featured on Morose, which will release this Friday, June 22nd via Self-Sabotage Records.  The album is currently available for pre-order at this link:

You can listen to the track below:

All links, images, and information come courtesy of Us/Them Group. 

On the Web:

Artist: The Young Mothers
Album: Morose
Record Label: Self Sabotage Records
Release Date: June 22nd, 2018

01. Attica Black
02. Black Tar Caviar
03. Bodiless Arms
04. Francisco
05. Untitled #1
06. Jazz Oppression
07. Morose
08. Osaka
09. Untitled #2
10. Shanghai

Letters From A Tapehead

Monday, May 28, 2018

No Ripcord: Lithics

Mating Surfaces, the newest album from Portland rockers Lithics, is out now at Kill Rock Stars.  You can find a review of the album at No Ripcord.

Mating Surfaces
Kill Rock Stars
Released: 5.25.18

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, May 24, 2018

New Selections — Oh Sees, Spectres, Lithics, Covet, Wooden Shjips

Here are a couple of weeks' worth of songs to enjoy. 

Oh Sees: "Overthrown"
(via Castle Face Records / Bandcamp)

This track is to be featured in an upcoming new Oh Sees album, Smote Reverser.


Spectres: "End Waltz (Mun Sing Remix)"

From Spectres' upcoming remix EP, WTF.  It's available for pre-order at Spectres' Bandcamp page.


Lithics: "Glass of Water"
(via Kill Rock Stars/YouTube)

From the upcoming new Lithics LP, Mating Surfaces.  The album is scheduled to release, 5.25.


Covet: "Shibuya (feat. San Holo)"
(via Speakeasy PR/Triple Crown Records/YouTube)

From Speakeasy PR:



San Jose, Calif., May 23, 2018 – Covet, the Bay Area instrumental trio featuring Yvette Young, David Adamiak and Forrest Rice, release effloresce on July 13 via Triple Crown Records.

Giving fans and newcomers an early preview of the six-song offering, the band shares a video for “Shibuya:” The song features Dutch musician San Holo.

“Shibuya, located in Tokyo, is a bustling place bursting with energy. I feel this song captures the sensation of exploring a place like Shibuya and how the adventure can take you to a magical state of mind,” says Young, who has been heralded by Guitar Player (“Young’s impressive dexterity and two-handed tapping create undulating atmospheres and contrapuntal melodies for her math-rock band, Covet.”), Guitar World (inclusion in the outlet’s She Rocks collection) as well as a recent profile via Vans (

“On this recording, we experiment with different harmony,” explains Adamiak. “I believe this helps dictate the sonic change in mood and tone from Currents.” Currents is the trio’s self-released EP, an offering that brought the band international attention.

Covet play the Northside Festival on June 8 and follow with a two-week headlining tour surrounding effloresce’s release:

June 8 Brooklyn, NY St. Vitus (Northside Festival w/Caspian)
July 16 Portland, OR Lola’s Room
July 17 Seattle, WA Croc Back Bar
July 19 San Francisco, CA Café du Nod
July 20 Santa Ana, CA Constellation Room
July 21 San Diego, CA Voodoo Room (House of Blues)
July 22 Phoenix, AZ The Rebel Lounge
July 24 Denver, CO Lost Lake
July 25 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
July 26 Reno, NV Holland Project
July 28 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst Atrium

effloresce tracklist:
Shibuya (ft. San Holo)
Sea Dragon (ft. Mario Camarena) *
*Mario Camarena is CHON’s guitar player

Pre-orders for effloresce, which include an instant download of “Shibuya,” are available now (

# # #


Wooden Shjips: "Already Gone"
(via Thrill Jockey Records/YouTube)

From Thrill Jockey Records:

West Coast psych mainstays Wooden Shjips will release V., their highly anticipated new album, tomorrow on Thrill Jockey. Arriving just in time for summer to kick into high gear, the record exudes warmth and bright optimism, blissfully in its own world of peace and harmony. On the eve of the album’s release the band has shared a video for the new song “Already Gone,” an anthem advocating a laid back approach to turning on, tuning in, and dropping out. “Why be low? All of us are sitting here, feeling strange / Light a merry cigarillo,” sings bandleader Ripley Johnson. “Ride on.”

The video, shot in Portland, shows the band reveling in sunshine and companionship, including the band showing off their hacky sack skills, Johnson playing guitar outside, and a cameo by labelmate Dewey Mahood, aka Plankton Wat.

Wooden Shjips will be playing songs from V. on the road for the next several weeks, with their North American tour starting tomorrow in Portland, OR, before embarking on a full tour of the UK and Europe this September - full list of dates below. After witnessing a recent set at the Levitation Festival in Austin, the Austin Chronicle wrote that the band “drew as much inspiration from Northern California ancestors Quicksilver Messenger Service as it did from mantra masters like Guru Guru, lowering heart rates with more boogie than blast. Johnson’s lead guitar favors plangent tones and melodic phrases, which may have been just what the wired audience needed.” 

Wooden Shjips tour dates:

May 25 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios [tickets]
May 26 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile [tickets]
June 1 – Nelsonville, OH – Nelsonville Music Festival
June 2 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle [tickets]
June 3 – Chicago, IL – Do Division Fest
June 4 – Detroit, MI – Marble Bar [tickets]
June 5 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern [tickets]
June 7 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater [tickets]
June 8 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s [tickets]
June 9 – Sonoma, CA – Huichica Music Festival

30 Aug - Zurich, CH - Bogen F [tickets]
3 Sep - Berlin, DE - Lido [tickets]
4 Sep - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Noord [tickets]
6 Sep - Antwerp, BE - Het Bos [tickets]
7 Sep - Charleroi , BE - Rockerill [tickets]
10 Sep - London, UK - Heaven [tickets]
11 Sep - Leeds - Brudenell Social Club, UK [tickets]
12 Sep - Glasgow, UK - St Luke's [tickets]
13 Sep - Gateshead, UK - The Sage [tickets]
14 Sep - Liverpool, UK - Invisible Wind Factory [tickets]
15 Sep - Manchester, UK - Gorilla [tickets]
16 Sep - Birmingham, UK - Institute 2 [tickets]
17 Sep - Belfast, UK - The Empire [tickets]
18 Sep - Dublin, IE - Whelans [tickets]
20 Sep - Barcelona, ES - Upload [tickets]
21 Sep - Madrid , ES - Caracol [tickets]
22 Sep - Donosti, ES - DabaDaba [tickets]

V. from Thrill Jockey:

Letters From A Tapehead

The Key: The Jesus Lizard — 9.8

All Souls The Jesus Lizard Union Transfer 9.8.18 Following my interview with David Yow , I was able to attend the Philly stop of  The J...