Sad news to report as Peter Murphy (Bauhaus) suffered a heart attack last night ahead of his scheduled performance at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, where he is performing this month as a part of a residency at the venue. Peter will recover, the current shows are post-ponded and will be rescheduled. Ticket buyers will have their tickets transferred to the corresponding rescheduled date OR can request a refund by emailing email@example.com by 5PM EST on August 30, 2019. Peter’s cardiologist Jason Song, MD of Lenox Hill Hospital treated Peter and issued the following statement: Continue reading
I’m not going to waste my time going over the importance of the band Bauhaus or how many musicians, artists, and writers their music has influenced since they began in 1978, instead I will assume that either you are already aware of their impact or, at the very least, you have a device that can provide you with some much-needed knowledge. Perhaps a smartphone. You know, the rectangular shaped overpriced object you hold out in front of you at a concert and watch the entire show on instead of experiencing it as it happens right in front of you. If you were in fact, paying attention to the stage and not the lit up screen on your phone you were treated to two of the original members of Bauhaus, Peter Murphy and David J., along with Mark Slutsky on drums and Mark Gemini Thwaite on guitar, powering through the entire first Bauhaus album In The Flat Field (4AD) followed by a healthy dose of classics from the bands catalog. Continue reading
Iconic British rocker Peter Murphy kicked off the second leg of his “Stripped Tour” last night in California, with dates running the next few weeks and stretching to the east coast as well. Continue reading
It has been said that “the best way to predict the future is to invent it”. While I paraphrase The X-Files, there is nothing quite like an anti-hero with an existential crisis to detail that future in a chilling way. I am talking about singer Mat McNerney. Much was made the last few years of his band Beastmilk being the next great hope in underground music. They certainly acquitted themselves well over a demo, an EP and their full-length, the much-loved Climax (Napalm Records). Many bands have since picked up and jumped on the trend they started, bringing the romantic post-punk/No Wave (look it up) sound and style back in a heavy modern context. Few could do it as well as the masters. Of course such magical things cannot last and as the band gave way to lineup changes, and dissolved. What they mutated into is Grave Pleasures. While their début Dreamcrash has been out for a while in Europe, its proper release comes from Metal Blade on a more appropriate gloomy early November day.
Dreamcrash, in spite of the new players in the band is the spiritual child of Climax in many ways. The album plays with a sense of urgency and a dripping sexual swagger that makes you take notice on repeated listens. It is very consistent track after track and when you first hear it all the way through, it is a very satisfying feeling when you think of the progression from the old band to now. McNerney channels all of his energy to his rubber-voiced range, making some stunning melodic choices and killer phrasing per usual. It helps that his lyrics here are among his most biting, yet sad at the same time. Mat has all the dour charm that the Ian Curtis/Peter Murphy/Adam Ant wanna-bees all wish they had. At the same time his vocals have a deeply fragile psychosis about them, not unlike Roger Waters conveyed at his peak. Something tells me Mat would hate that I reached this comparison, but that is what is in my heart listening back to these tracks.
The music is the real equalizer on this album. Although my own jaw dropped at the thought of Linnea Olson (ex-The Oath) joining the Dreamcrash dream-team, her contribution is only part of the special equation. Juho Vanhanen (Oranssi Pazuzu) was the real difference maker in the writing. Together Olson and Vanhanen crafted beautiful menacing tracks, with layers of riffs and motifs that pop up unexpectedly. Songs like ‘Utopian Scream’, ‘New Hip Moon’, ‘Futureshock’, ‘Crisis’, and ‘Lipstick On Your Tombstone’ play like the soundtrack to the end of the world, or at least the end of your love life. If you were somehow in a group of people who were not ready for the sooth-Sayers’ words to come true about the apocalypse, this music would cut right through you.
In terms of originality, Grave Pleasures are not trying to reinvent themselves or music here, and so over time you do feel a sameness in the songs that takes this down a slight notch. However, in the view of the band re-imagining itself a bit and fulfilling their earlier bands’ glorious promise, they get full marks. Hopefully the apocalypse is everything they ever wanted and more.
Publicist UK’s sound is not what I expected to hear when first seeing internet headlines of a group featuring bassist Brett Bamberger of Revocation and drummer Dave Witte formerly of Burnt by the Sun and currently Municipal Waste (among 2,000 other bands). I’ve listened to Forgive Yourself (Relapse Records) three times already today and I’m still slightly surprised by the sound. The compositions here are lush, moody, and at more often than not beautiful.
It’s the kind of music that the cool kids on college radio play while wearing obnoxious hats and chastising Interpol for “selling out.” And I like it. A lot.
Rounding out this supergroup is Goes Cube guitarist David Obuchowski and Freshkills vocalist Zachary Lipez. If you, like myself, are a fan of lower voice ranges, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised with Lipez’s haunting baritone. It alters from Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy to Joy Division’s Ian Curtis while also summoning sounds not unlike Type O Negative’s Peter Steele. Lipez has sounded strong on Freshkills releases, but here he sounds fully committed to the performance.
‘Blood Relative’ and ‘I Wish You’d Never Gone to School’ are world weary and almost shoegaze in nature. Think Deafheaven, but without the black metal edge. Music that can maintain its dark heart all the while remaining tuneful and soothing. Even old man Morrissey would nod his stubborn head to these songs.
Acting as counterbalance to the gloominess is a heavy guitar chug that wouldn’t be out of place on a Helmet record on tracks like ‘Slow Dancing to this Bitter Earth’ and ‘Levitate the Pentagon.’ ‘Away’ closes out the affair while making good use of that heavier dynamic and even throwing in some of Witte’s famous double kick-drums without feeling out of place.
When I cranked this album on my laptop the last thing I expected was the musical equivalent of Joy Division on a collision course with Cave In, but what a lovely wreck it turned out to be.
The 13th Annual Ink N Iron Festival will be held in Long Beach, CA on June 12-14, 2015 at the Queen Mary, and have announced their lineup for the 2015 edition.
The event brings together live music, living art, hot rods-kustoms, burlesque, art shows, fashion and the World Renowned Tattoo Convention, bringing together 280 of the best tattoo artists in the world from 25 states and 25 countries representing all the tattoo styles.
The following is a breakdown of each day’s lineups:
Friday June 12th
Sonny Burgess & the Legendary Pacers
D. On Darax & The Melody Joy Bakers
The Cold Hand Cash Show
War On Women
The Rumble Strippers
The Rockin Rebels
Three Times Bad
Los Rhythm Rockets
Chantilly Lace Vincent with Los High Tops
Saturday June 13th
The Caravans (UK)
Dillinger Escape Plan
Phil Haley & His Comments (UK)
Astro Zombies (France)
Thee G Rave Men (Sweden)
The Hellfreaks (Hungary)
Laura Ashleigh (UK)
Year Of The Dragon
The Memphis Murdermen
Jackson Sloan and the Rhythm Tones (UK)
Flat Top Tom and His Jump Cats
Laura Benitez and the Heartache
Cigar Store Indians
The Hubcap Stealers
Action Andy and the Hi-Tones
The Lovely Creatures
Silvertooth Loos and the Witch
Sunday June 14th
Vinila Von Bismark (Spain)
The Creepshow (Canada)
Big D and the Kids Table
Sick Sick Sinners (Brazil)
Long Tall Texans (UK)
Jackson Sloan and the Rhythm Tones (UK)
Stu Arkoff Plays Zombie Ghost Train
The Johnny Trouble Trio (Germany)
Los High Tops
So Cal Rocket Dynamics
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