Tag Archives: Siltbreeze

Some Music We Missed in 2013

While we’re waiting and working on some (hopefully) awesome shows for you in 2014, we thought we’d take a moment to mention some excellent records from last year that we overlooked in our best of. While record reviews have taken a backseat to booking/promoting shows here at The Other Side of Life, there’s still some great stuff we’d like to tell you about. So here goes…

LETHA RODMAN MELCHIOR, Handbook for Mortals LP (Siltbreeze)

Way back in the 1990s, Letha was one of the guitarists in Ruby Falls, which was one of our favorite bands. Since their untimely demise, she’s explored other musical regions, sometimes without guitar, under the name Tretam. This year, under her own name, she released Handbook for Mortals, and it’s fantastic. Inspired by what I would call the “quotidian audio collage” style of Graham Lambkin (whose Salmon Run is a classic in the not-quite-genre), there’s everything from re-appropriated musics by other composers, spoken dialogue that at least seems vérité, video game interludes, you name it, all carefully constructed with a fine balance of pathos and bathos.

Over the past two years, Letha’s been dealing with health issues related to cancer treatment, and with every sale of Handbook for Mortals, a portion of proceeds will be donated to her. You can also buy the album direct — as well as make a donation — here: http://melchiorfund.blogspot.com.

Additionally, if you’re in New York City, there’s a BENEFIT FOR LETHA RODMAN MELCHIOR this Saturday, January 18th at Secret Project Robot. Endless Boogie, Crystal Stilts, Love as Laughter, The Rogers Sisters (wow!), and more will be appearing — more information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/721038087915201.

CHRIS FORSYTH, Solar Motel LP (Paradise of Bachelors)

 We kinda slept on this one, not really sure why, but while it’s not our favorite “guitar band” record of the year (that’d probably be Time Off by Forsyth’s label mate Steve Gunn), it’s still really awesome. Imagine the members of Television trying to play alongside one of Glenn Branca’s guitar orchestra, attempting to steer the musical dialogue from sheer blistering-and-bludgeoning rock to delicate moments of melody. Something like that, yeah.

Chris Forsyth’s SOLAR MOTEL BAND will be in Louisville on Wednesday, February 19th — more details here soon as they become available!

HELADO NEGRO, Invisible Life 2LP (Asthmatic Kitty) —
One of our favorite electronic releases of the year, Helado Negro’s Invisible Life has been on constant rotation in our house since it came out last March. So why did we leave it off our best of? I have no idea. Stupid oversight, most likely. Sweet soul mixed with (almost) club bangers in a syrupy, sweaty stew. Hell, just the track “Dance Ghost” is worth the price of admission. Killer fun live show, too.

SIGHTINGS, Terribly Well LP (Dais) — We were with heavy heart when we heard that Sightings, one of our favorite New York bands of all time, called it quits in 2013. But if you’re gonna go out, might as well go out on top, and Sightings did with Terribly Well, their ninth album. Despite the many that try, there’s not many bands out there that really capture truly terrifying intensity — and in a post-Sightings world, we’re not sure anyone should even try.

COPPICE, Big Wad Excisions CD (Quakebasket) — The first release on Tim Barnes’ resurrected Quakebasket label (which you might remember from those incredible Angus MacLise reissues in the late 1990s) isn’t a reissue at all, but a new work by a Chicago electro-acoustic duo who put the whomp back in free improv. Highly recommended if you like early Merzbow, early Wolf Eyes, but not early mornings.

MDOU MOCTAR, Afelan LP (Sahel Sounds) — A late entry, because we slept on this July, 2013 release all the way until December, and we really wish we were tipped off earlier! Mdou Moctar’s Afelan has the heaviness we also heard in the debuts by Group Inerane and Bombino, recorded entirely live on location in Niger.

REISSUES:

U.S. MAPLE, Long Hair in Three Stages LP (Skin Graft) — We’ll be honest: the first time we saw U.S. Maple play (at the Skin Graft “Irritational” in Chicago in January, 1995), we thought they were terrible. Couldn’t figure ’em out, honestly weren’t sure where they fit, even within the non-specific post-no wave aesthetic that Skin Graft was minin’ at the time. But then, a year or two later, it clicked and Long Hair in Three Stages was a must-have! The original 1995 LP was just about impossible to find, though, and even if you could find it, it had a pretty hefty price tag, since it came only in a sheet-metal sleeve. Thankfully, this past year the fine gentlemen at Skin Graft reissued the album, in multiple with-steel-or-without formats, so even if you weren’t there, you can pretend you were.

RODAN, Fifteen Quiet Years LP (Quarterstick)
LABRADFORD, Prazision LP 2LP (Kranky) —
Two of the most important bands to me in the early 1990s were Louisville’s Rodan, and Richmond, VA’s Labradford, and their debut records (1994’s Rusty and 1993’s Prazision LP, respectively) both have had a profound influence on how I think about music to this day. Fifteen Quiet Years compiles Rodan’s odds-and-sods, which — while certainly gratifying — exudes a melancholy sense of longing for what they could’ve achieved had they stayed together. Meanwhile, the Prazision LP reissue is a perfect re-casting of what was, for me, a gateway to entirely new sonic palettes. Both of these releases are essential!

MOUNT CARMEL, NEIGHBOR, and LAST YEAR’S MEN at LISA’S OAK STREET LOUNGE, Wednesday, May 22nd

Astro Black Records, Cropped Out and The Other Side of Life are proud to present:

MOUNT CARMEL (Columbus, OH; on Siltbreeze Records)
NEIGHBOR (Louisville, KY)
LAST YEAR’S MEN (Chapel Hill, NC; on Sophomore Lounge)

Wednesday, May 22nd
at LISA’S OAK STREET LOUNGE
1004 E. Oak Street
9 PM, 21-and-over, $6
Please note: Lisa’s Oak Street Lounge accepts CASH ONLY!

For those swayed by the magisterial authenticity of MOUNT CARMEL on their eponymous 2010 debut album: its 2012 follow-up Real Women finds the band honed and sharper, thus delivering what might be the best sophomore album released by an American blues-based power-trio since ZZ Top’s Rio Grande Mud. Nods to Free, Humble Pie, even Trapeze can be sussed out in the mix, but at the end of the day, Real Women is straight-up MOUNT CARMEL all the way. Searing leads, smokey vocals, thundering rhythms, cascading drums, hyperbolic hyperbole… it’s all here. MOUNT CARMEL brings back the spirit of 1973 like no one else. The only difference now is better weed and shittier barbiturates. It’s hands-down pure rock, no frills. Nary a retro contrivance is to be heard. These guys live it for real. Honest.

Watch the Red Bull Sound & Vision documentary on MOUNT CARMEL here:

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NEIGHBOR of Louisville, Kentucky draws from punk, experimental and underground influences as well as classic soul, country and western to produce a unique breed of heavy American rock n’ roll. Recommended for fans of Big Business, Harvey Milk, and Motorhead. Featuring former and current members of Bu Hao Ting, Twenty First Century Fox, Waxeater, and ZCFOS.

snapshot-Last-Years-Men-photo-by-Jeremy-M.-Lange-21

“When I first met [LAST YEAR’S MEN] songwriter and guitarist/vocalist Ben Carr through our mutual friend (and producer of their last record) Dan McGee, a couple years ago in their shared stomping grounds of Chapel Hill, NC, the skin-and-bones, baby-faced frontman wasn’t old enough to be allowed into the bar. To be honest, I’m not sure he’s even old enough as of today, but the kid can write songs beyond his years, and if the acned, nervous, no-bullshit garage-pop punk of Clawless Paw isn’t glaring proof of potential, I’ll grab the gas, skate to the sock-hop, and burn the gym down myself… LAST YEAR’S MEN play a full on intoxicated and intoxicating wall-of-sound garage rock that has us transfixed as the first time we heard the Reigning Sound or the Drags. A little touch of the flower punk of the Black Lips, a lot of the fiery revolt of the Nashville garage scene (Ranch Ghost, Jeff The Brotherhood, Useless Eaters, etc) and much love for the back catalogs of Crypt and Sympathy For The Music Industry all concentrated… Recommended for those into Ty Segall, G Green, White Fence and all those aforementioned bands.” — Permanent Records.

Check out the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/164707180363175.

To join our email list, send an email to hstencil@gmail.com. You can also join our Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/232825523444477/. Twitter: @OtherSideShows.

MOUNT CARMEL and TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN DAWN at ZANZABAR, Friday, November 23rd

Cropped Out and The Other Side of Life are proud to present:

MOUNT CARMEL (Columbus, Ohio; on Siltbreeze Records)

and

TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN DAWN (Louisville, Kentucky)

Friday, November 23rd
at ZANZABAR
2100 S. Preston
9 PM, 21-and-over
$5 advance online tickets available here: http://zanzabarlouisville.ticketfly.com/event/187621/;
$7 day of show admission

For those swayed by the magisterial authenticity of MOUNT CARMEL on their eponymous 2010 debut album: its follow-up Real Women finds the band honed and sharper, thus delivering what might be the best sophomore album released by an American blues-based power-trio since ZZ Top’s Rio Grande Mud. Nods to Free, Humble Pie, even Trapeze can be sussed out in the mix, but at the end of the day, Real Women is straight-up MOUNT CARMEL all the way. Searing leads, smokey vocals, thundering rhythms, cascading drums, hyperbolic hyperbole… it’s all here. MOUNT CARMEL brings back the spirit of 1973 like no one else. The only difference now is better weed and shittier barbiturates. It’s hands-down pure rock, no frills. Nary a retro contrivance is to be heard. These guys live it for real. Honest.

Watch the Red Bull Sound & Vision documentary on MOUNT CARMEL here:

TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN DAWN was founded in early 2012 for the purpose of studying spiritual awakenings through low-frequency bombardment as well as transcendental mind expansion using electric six-string techniques. The founding four members (Scott Brooks [guitar, vocals], J. Brian Reese [guitar, vocals], J Brent Stewart [bass], and Pinker Lichvar [drums]) have come together from the remnants of other Orders & Secret Societies (Les Debutantes, L&N, Manchuria, The Ravenna Colt) to seek, together, further enlightenment and a Universal Knowledge.

Check out the Facebook invite here: http://www.facebook.com/events/432878283427381.

To join our email list, send an email to hstencil@gmail.com. You can also join our Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/232825523444477/. Twitter: @OtherSideShows.

SAPAT, BLUES CONTROL, PARLOUR, and WET at the CATHOUSE, Thursday, July 26th


(Flier by Ryan Davis.)

Black Velvet Fuckere, Cropped Out, and The Other Side of Life are proud to present:

SAPAT (on Siltbreeze; from Louisville, KY)
BLUES CONTROL (on Drag City; from Coopersburg, PA)
PARLOUR (on Temporary Residence; from Louisville, KY)
WET (from Louisville, KY)

Thursday, July 26th 2012
at The Cathouse
747 S. Preston
All Ages! Doors at 8 PM, $5


(Photo of Sapat by Ginger Goss, from Loin Seepage.)

Spawned from the formidable Louisville, KY collective known as Black Velvet Fuckere, SAPAT resides as the centrifugal force in this Midwestern psychedelic madrigal set in the psychosexual backwaters of the mighty Ohio River. For the entirety of the ‘00 decade, members have kept busy collaborating with and/or massaging the egos of various and sundry avant-pontiffs such as Robert Fripp, Magik Markers, Dead Child and Eugene Chadbourne – when not honing the orgone energy of SAPAT.

Don’t lose control — dig BLUES CONTROL! Following a circular path in order to access the unknown, Russ and Lea nab chaos in a plastic cup and crush rock into diamonds, or something that looks like them anyway. Valley ho! Their new record, Valley Tangents, “is like drugs for your ears.”

Watch the video for BLUES CONTROL‘s “Love’s a Rondo” here: http://youtu.be/BlUyUvSaZKo.

PARLOUR originally began as a solo project from Tim Furnish following the mid-90s dissolution of CRAIN – the seminal Louisville rock group he co-founded in the late ’80s. Currently playing with new drummer (Greg Morris) and synth player (Brian Sweeney), Furnish’s PARLOUR evokes “A unique combination of interweaving guitar shards… driven by a dark, relentless rhythm section.” Their most recent album, Simulacrenfield (released on Temporary Residence), was one of our favorites of 2010.

WET is an electronic outfit comprised of three Louisville high schoolers (Hank Paradis, Evan Booker, and Jeff Bryant) who began playing in 2010. Together the group uses an array of electronic, acoustic, and self-made instruments to find humor in their common fears as young people — fears of excessiveness, ignorance, and estrangement that perhaps cannot be destroyed, but absorbed and released again in a series of musical elations. WET’s full-length debut Wetter Than Wet is now available for free download at: http://thewet.bandcamp.com/album/wetter-than-wet.

Find the Facebook invite here: http://www.facebook.com/events/121230094685490.

To join our email list, send an email to hstencil@gmail.com. You can also join our Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/232825523444477/.

UPDATE, 7/25/12: Read this great interview with BLUES CONTROL in today’s LEO Weekly:http://leoweekly.com/music/spiritual-station-blues-control.

New Reviews at Still Single, May 13th

A new batch of reviews I’ve written for Doug Mosurock’s Still Single column have been added to the tumblr site. Apparently they just missed the cut for the latest Dusted column, presumably that means they’ll be present in the next one. Anyway, without further ado, check ’em out here:

The C&B, 1991 Pre-Shadow Ring Recordings 7″ (Siltbreeze)

It is almost completely impossible for me to articulate to the uninitiated my love the Shadow Ring, why they were one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen, and why they were so crucial to the dialogue of music in the ‘90s. Frankly, if I play Put the Music In Its Coffin or City Lights for anyone who hasn’t heard them before, and doesn’t know what they’re about, I’m usually challenged with the canard that what we’re listening to is “retarded.” Offensive language by philistines aside, the relative musical ineptitude with which the Shadow Ring confronted its listeners was kind of the point: decades past punk’s exhortation to do it yourself, the Shadow Ring were able to take absolutely stark musical elements (monotone vocals, poorly tuned guitar, abrasive percussion, absurd tape manipulations) and meld them into an expressive whole, far greater than the sum of its parts. Thankfully, many years past their demise as a group, Siltbreeze has released this single of early recordings by Shadow Ring founders Graham Lambkin and Darren Harris, under the name the C&B (short for the Cat & Bells Club). Stylistically, these recordings are just a small step removed from what would become the Shadow Ring’s sound, and indeed, I suspect the riff from “Kent Cluster” was recycled more than once afterwards, but for a fan that only adds to its charm. Edition of 300. (http://www.siltbreeze.com)

Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble, Three Christs of Ypsilanti LP (Siltbreeze)

Hot on the heels of the super-limited Butte County Free Music Society Induced Musical Spasticity 4xLP box set comes this related platter on Siltbreeze. Because of the notable guitar droning and occasional industrial noise present, fans of the ‘Breeze may liken some moments on Three Christs of Ypsilanti to Harsh 70s Reality in spots, though there’s hardly anything on it that approaches the Dead C.’s more rock moments, which isn’t a bad thing, of course. What’s even more notable about this Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble recording – aside from its decidedly rural origins in Chico, California – is its completely cut-up methodology, which places Three Christs alongside such almost-contemporaries as Throbbing Gristle, Smegma, or Nurse With Wound, yet without the name-brand cachet. (http://www.siltbreeze.com)

Nudge Squidfish, 20,000 Leagues Under Nashville LP (Columbus Discount/Old Age No Age)

Despite the horribly prescient title, as Music City USA recovers from terrible flooding this past May, this “25th anniversary reissue” of solo recordings by V-3/Mike Rep and the Quotas member Nudge Squidfish is oddly satisfying, and a good companion piece to the two mysterious, recent appearances on LP of Vertical Slit’s Slit and Pre-Slit and that V-3 bootleg. Of course, there are plenty of stylistic differences between this release and those of Shepard’s. For instance, “Drinking for Christmas” could surprisingly fit in with C86 bands of the same period, while songs such as “Goodbye Princess” recall Big Star if Chris Bell was high on Whip-Its. “The Stranger” and “Backlot of Gilligan’s Isle” anticipate The Pod-era Ween (that’s a compliment). Elsewhere there’s tearjerkers like “City of Sorrow” and “Wonder Where You Been,” tributes to fellow Ohioans such as “They Call Me Mike Rep,” two otherwise-unrecognizable Shepard covers (“Metal or Meat?” and “Signals & Warnings”), some spoken-word nonsense, and an overall vibe of loner weirdness that probably couldn’t be replicated in any convincing way today, even if anyone had the balls to try. (http://www.columbusdiscountrecords.com)

Various Artists – Æsjo LP (Escho)

These days, it’s very rare for compilations to hold my attention, unless they’re filled with sidelong Afrobeat jams. Knowing absolutely nothing about Æsjo, or the Escho label that released it, my apprehension towards reviewing it was high, until I actually gave it a spin, and my apprehension turned to dread. Presumably filled with Danish artists, the record begins with songs that reside somewhere between lush pastoralism akin to Morr Music releases from a decade ago, and fart noise wackiness a la DAT Politics. Then, abruptly, a fiercely lame rock song (“Kimberly Shyboy” by KloAK – yes the mis-capitalizations are intentional) that sounds like a throwback to the great major label grunge signing sweepstakes of the early 1990s, makes an appearance, and the mood changes from “whimsical but tolerable” to “just plain bad.” A Six Organs of Admittance rip-off and some other jointless messes finish off side A, and the flip doesn’t redeem the session, as the wackiness continues with some sub-Gang Gang Dance nonsense and gets worse from there. Still, the packaging is fairly nice, as it comes with 32-piece “memory game,” ironic in that the comp is not that memorable. (http://www.escho.net)

As always, you should check Still Single for the latest reviews of all sorts of interesting vinyl, written by all sorts of interesting characters.