Those who’ve known me for some time will have had their ears blunted by my constant praise for Birmingham, UK Industrial Doom duo Khost. Equal parts sampled violence, malevolent strings and vocal apocalypse, beautiful Eastern lamentations often deflect from that harsh path and create a nuance flavoured by the likes of VAST and Moby. Their fourth album Buried Steel (Cold Spring Records) sees a band now truly at ease with its style, happy to have edgy two-minute psalms populating a set in the knowledge that they serve a purpose for the whole.
It’ s amazing how switching a couple of letters around can turn a toy into something huge and imposing. Then there’s the spaced-out Electronica with ancient Mesopotamian lyrics…it’ s something that could only be the work of Current 93 figurehead David Tibet and, sure enough, the master experimentalist is back with new outfit Nodding God, whose debut album Play Wooden Child (House of Mythology) is a blissfully madcap echo through the cosmos. Continue reading
We should start with a statement of the obvious. David Bowie will never be forgotten. However, as we approach the one-year anniversary of his passing, it seems like an entirely apposite moment to pause for a moment. To reflect and consider in our ADHD, always on culture about the power, influence, and imagination of The Thin White Duke. Continue reading
Former White Zombie co-founder Sean Yseault is curating a photography exhibit featuring other prominent musicians as well as her own work. Presented by Heron Arts, B-Sides: Nine Crossover Hits is a group show exhibiting artists including Moby, Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal), Mike Watt (Minutemen & The Stooges), Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs), Pat Sansone (Wilco), Henry Butler, and Louviere+Vanessa (The Quaalords) and Yseult herself. B-Sides opens on September 10, 2016 with a reception from 6:30-9:30 PM and runs through October 1, 2016.
Each musician tells a story through their work. Sean Yseult depicts a secret society party in 1870s New Orleans that turns from decadent to deadly – based partly on research and fact coupled with a dash of fiction. Dave Catching depicts haunting beauty in his black and white photos, capturing images lost in time, from Jerusalem to Joshua Tree. Chris Coleman uses texture and nature to play tricks on the eye, glittering pavement turning into a starry night. Punk legend Mike Watt captures the surreal in photographing his hometown of San Pedro, somehow making a beautiful day on the water look like a post-apocalyptic meltdown. Greg Dulli similarly makes the everyday appear surreal in every shot, capturing some very unexpected moments. Pat Sansone exposes the sleepy south beautifully with his Polaroid, like a Wilco soundtrack. Moby’s work depicts the isolation and alienation that arise from spending years in lifeless and anonymous spaces. Legendary blues pianist Henry Butler captures typical Louisiana subjects – Mardi Gras and the swamps – in the most atypical way, where he has turned being a blind photographer into a plus. Also from New Orleans, photo duo Louviere+Vanessa not only play in bands, but have created an entire show based on photographing music.
Yseult, who has had several new exhibitions and gallery shows in the last few years is best known as the bass player from the multi-platinum band White Zombie. Sean spent her formative years studying music and attending the North Carolina School of the Arts for ballet. She changed majors to visual arts in her senior year of high school due to injury. Her photographic work lead to a scholarship at Parsons School of Design in New York City, where she earned a BFA in photography and graphic design. Following White Zombie’s breakup, she moved to New Orleans in 1996 and returned to her original love of photography and design.
About Heron Arts
Heron Arts was founded in 2013 by Mark Slee, an active member of San Francisco’s creative community, organizing events since the mid-2000s.
Location: 7 Heron Street, San Francisco CA 94103
Gallery Hours : Wednesday through Saturday 3-7PM and by appointment
AXS TV will be launching an all new original music series Breaking Band on Sunday, January 24, 2015 at 9:30 PM EST. The documentary style series is hosted by Donovan Leitch (of Royal Machines) and features six 30-minute episodes of the country’s most talented emerging acts to be mentored by Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray); chart-topping music artist Belinda Carlisle (The Go-Go’s); rock legend Robin Zander (Cheap Trick); award-winning producer and techno star Moby; master of metal Sebastian Bach (Skid Row); and beloved guitar guru Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction). Breaking Band was filmed at YouTube Space LA, and concert highlights are available on youtube.com/axstvconcerts.
The Complete Episode Schedule is as Follows (All Times Eastern):
• Dave Navarro mentors “Andie Case” (Seattle-based band) – Jan. 24 at 9:30 p.m.
The West Midlands of England has yet another grimy, hooded secret. One as cacophonous and electrifying as Birmingham duo Khost, however, surely cannot be suppressed much longer. Second album Corrosive Shroud (Cold Spring) begins with the sample-driven Industrial swell that defines their sound: a sonic barrage, delivered at an oft-crushingly slow pace, yet fed by walls of the most pulverising low-end chords you’re ever likely to experience.
With the band’s trademark, sampled Eastern chants giving a melodic yet eerie edge, opener ‘Avici’ forces Moby’s Play-era sound into a blender with the clashing steel of Godflesh and the unbearable might of Sunn O))). The howling roars of ‘Revelations Vultures Jackals Wolves’ are initially dwarfed by this unfathomable weight; the horror of their hatred and pain, however, remains undimmed and unmasked, whilst metallic clangs and mashing beats create a cauldron of boiling intensity.
The squalling chaos of début album Copper Lock Hell (Cold Spring) is somewhat replaced here by a more cohesive structure, yet no power is lost, instead being augmented by that heightened Asian influence which lends a unique and emotive diversion. Resonant strikes, when delivered, provide a terrifying alarm call: the slow, steadily pounding sticks of ‘Black Rope Hell’, for example, enter a brief period of quiet in the most invasive fashion whilst filthy, throbbing feedback is suddenly unleashed from the silence, crumpling one’s body. This segues into the magnificent ‘A Shadow On The Wound’, like a sludgy Aevangelist, the salve of those haunting wails a hypnotic contrast, yet as complementary as salt with chocolate. Here is the inexplicable magnetism of Khost – the ability to weave seamlessly the most offensive, deafening, programmed fear with moments of ethereal beauty, creating an experience as captivating as it is nerve-shredding. It’s during those involuntary tics of anticipation, the body often compelled to assume the foetal position for comfort, that one realises how stirring the sound is; an outpouring of emotion and energy, a stretched depiction of a primal scream, essential whilst undoubtedly polarising opinion.
The almost-tribal ‘VMIH’, its surrounding noise less of a contribution than before, exhibits the importance of the participation of rhythm, be it artificially or manually produced. Showing the willingness to incorporate other styles, the last two tracks are remixes of the opening salvo: the former heavily beat-led and mesmeric; the latter a more unsettling encounter awash with deep bass notes, that native intonation falling into oscillating effects and roar-strewn narrative, completing the creation of three songs from one. It’s pure art, invention with a purpose, brutal and occasionally unfathomable yet all the more natural for it.
Brimming with moments of great meaning such as the mournful Shoegaze and pensive poetics infiltrating ‘Inversion’; the exploding violence and skewing electricity of ‘Red Spot’; and the pulsating waves and crashing horror of ‘Bystander’; this is a startling, spellbinding piece of work. Having given us Sabbath, Napalm Death, Godflesh, and Anaal Nathrakh, Birmingham – and Khost – has just provided Metal’s latest evolution.
Richmond, VA based author, photographer, music critic, composer and Lamb of God vocalist D. Randall Blythe will be holding his upcoming photography exhibition D RANDALL BLYTHE: Show Me What You’re Made Of, taking place from May 2 – June 30, 2015 at Sacred Gallery NYC. The opening reception will take place on May 2nd from 8-11pm. Sacred Gallery NYC is located in Manhattan’s SoHo District at 424 Broadway on the northeast corner of Broadway and Canal.
“I’ve been lucky enough to travel literally around the world several times for my job, and for the last few years I have carried a camera with me everywhere I go.”
“Show Me What You’re Made Of will showcase fine art prints of what I consider to be some of the most striking images that I have collected, both at home and during my travels. The body of work is quite diverse, and in an attempt to highlight that diversity, all the photos will be shown in custom made frames made of reclaimed wood, adding to the individuality of each piece. The frames are made by my friend, Richmond, VA musician Greta Brinkman (former bassist for Moby, The Deborah Harry Band, White Cross, and currently with RVA doom merchants Drug Lord). I am especially pleased to have my first exhibit at Sacred Arts, a gallery with such a solid connection to my community- the underground music and arts scene. I hope to see as many of you as possible at the opening, so come on out, check out some photography, and be sure to say hi to me and Greta!”