Tag Archives: Skull Alley

ZAK RILES, DAVID DANIELL & DOUGLAS McCOMBS with special guest TIM BARNES at SKULL ALLEY, Thursday, October 14th

(from Louisville, member of GRAILS)
with special guest TIM BARNES (from Chicago, Illinois; members of SAN AGUSTIN and TORTOISE, on Thrill Jockey)

1017 E. Broadway (near the corner of Broadway and Barrett)
8 PM, $6, All Ages! Beer available with ID.

ZAK RILES is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in the Important/Temporary Residence band Grails. His creative contributions to the group are immeasurable and can be heard clearly on this self-titled debut solo outing. In fact some of the pieces on this solo record have been reinterpreted into Grails favorites. Like his band Grails, ZAK RILES’ solo work is an elaborate mansion built of inspiration but with so much strength and originality that it stands firmly on its own. On these rocky shores come crashing waves of Sandy Bull, Mogolar, Deuter, Popol Vuh and the Ventures while Persian breeze drifts by wafting the melodies of Hossein Alizadeh. Essential listening for followers of Important Records who favor the likes of Grails & James Blackshaw.

DAVID DANIELL & DOUGLAS McCOMBS first met in early 2006 while touring as members of Rhys Chatham’s six-guitar Die Donnergötter band. Following that tour, the two spent several months trading albums and discussing making music together; they began their musical collaboration when Daniell moved from New York to Chicago later that year to study pedal steel guitar.

 These humble beginnings do little to reflect the depth and breadth of each of their talents; both are highly-respected musicians within their circles. Over the years Daniell has collaborated with many notable musicians, including Loren Connors, Rhys Chatham, Tim Barnes, Jeph Jerman, Thurston Moore, Greg Davis, and Jonathan Kane, as well as releasing numerous albums under his own name and with his band San Agustin on labels such as Table of the Elements and Family Vineyard. McCombs is more often seen wielding a bass guitar, whether as a member of Eleventh Dream Day, the acoustic collective Pullman, or the pioneering and inimitable Tortoise; in his role as the driving force behind Brokeback; or through his varied work with the likes of Tom Ze, Azita Youseffi, Will Oldham, Yo La Tengo, and Calexico.

Listen to a track off the DAVID DANIELL & DOUGLAS McCOMBS album Sycamore here: The Deshabille.

At this performance, the duo of Daniell on electric guitar and McCombs on electric guitar and lap-steel will be expanded into a trio via the addition of TIM BARNES, Louisville resident and drummer extraordinaire. The list of BARNES’S collaborators is too long to list here, but it includes Jim O’Rourke, Silver Jews, Neil Michael Hagerty and the Howling Hex, The Tower Recordings, and countless others. Most recently, TIM BARNES played drums with the newly resurrected lineup of The For Carnation.

Check out the Facebook invite here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113567252037198.

To join our email list, send an email to hstencil@gmail.com.


EGRET (from Louisville)
ELEPHANT MICAH (from Bloomington, Indiana)
PILLARS AND TONGUES (from Chicago, Illinois; on Empty Cellar Records)
MIKE TAMBURO (from Pittsburgh, PA; on the New American Folk Hero label)

Sunday, September 5th
1017 E. Broadway (near the corner of Barrett and Broadway)
8 PM, $6, ALL AGES!

EGRET is a newer Louisville band composed of Greta Smith on vocals, autoharp, and guitar; Paul Rushford on lap steel and guitar; Chet Gray on cello, guitar, kazoo; and Zack Kennedy on drums and percussion. They recently released their first album Bright Up There! which can be purchased at ear X-tacy or Underground Sounds.

ELEPHANT MICAH is music by southern Indiana based singer and sound recordist Joseph O’Connell.  Taking cues from 1970s songcraft (Townes Van Zandt, Joni Mitchell) as well as midwestern lo-fi rock (Guided by Voices), ELEPHANT MICAH has gradually built a cult audience over a decade of do-it-yourself releases and tours. His latest release, Echoer’s Intent, is the first ELEPHANT MICAH album to fully foreground O’Connell as a writer and solo performer.  These minimal, mostly live recordings often approximate more “traditional” blues or Appalachian stylings.  In the same breath, O’Connell takes up imitation and authenticty as his central lyrical themes, producing an album that is both a critique and an example of what can only be termed folksploitation.

Listen to “Loon Call” by ELEPHANT MICAH here: http://www.elephantmicah.com/Loon%20Call.mp3.

PILLARS AND TONGUES is a trio based in Chicago, Illinois whose musical pursuits seem to defy genre categorization. The ongoing result of these pursuits has been called, variously, “holy” and “sexy” and it may well be the tension between these two concepts which lights the fire under (over?) PILLARS AND TONGUES. Think on those things which are so beautiful they become obscene. Speaking literally, the trio makes extended use of the human voice, violin, double bass, drums, bells and organs. The music is perhaps distinctly American in both its affair with American forms and its refusal to adhere to them at all. Their most recent album, Lay of Pilgrim Park, was released this year on Empty Cellar Records.

Listen to a track by PILLARS AND TONGUES from Lay of Pilgrim Park here: Made Sheen

MIKE TAMBURO is a 21st century Renaissance man who has forged his way into the consciousness of the American underground music community. For the past 13 years, Tamburo has been relentlessly releasing records (31 releases and counting) under different monikers and projects including Meisha, Arco Flute Foundation and various imprints under his own name. He has performed over 500 shows all over the United States, traveling to every nook and cranny, searching for some kind of an understanding of what America truly is. Though always considering himself a multi-instrumentalist, he gained fame and notoriety with his fingerstyle guitar playing and his idiosyncratic use of effects; only to swear himself off of the acoustic guitar, eventually setting it on fire and hurling it off of Pittsburgh’s 40th Street Bridge. His effects soon followed. Tamburo is a man who continues to reinvent himself, recently finding his new musical passion in the hammered dulcimer; building upon his own unique compositional stylings, he has developed a voice for the instrument that is very much his own. He is greatly inspired by American folk and minimalist music traditions as well as Indian classical music, but often expands outward to include influences from avant-garde to noise to modern compositional music. A Tamburo performance is always a very transportive experience. Tamburo is also an artist, film maker, writer, instrument builder, curator of the Fantastic Voyagers Festivals, Kundalini Yoga and Pranayama devotee, and inner state researcher; exploring alpha and theta states, floatation tanks, ethnobotany, orgone energy, and ecstatic states of being. He also runs the New American Folk Hero label, which continues to release an eclectic roster of creative and experimental musics.

Check out the Facebook invite here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=101904136535547.

To join our email list, send an email to hstencil@gmail.com.


WAND (from Lexington, on Young God Records)
LITTLE GOLD (from NYC, on HeartBreakBeat Records)
INOCULIST (from NYC, on HeartBreakBeat Records)
STATE CHAMPION (from Louisville/Southern Indiana, on Sophomore Lounge Records)

Saturday, August 21st
1017 E. Broadway, at the corner of Barrett
8 PM, $6, ALL AGES!


James Jackson Toth has been playing and recording (and releasing) music for over a decade, most notably as leader of the now-defunct New York-based collective Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice. After a solo album in 2007 on Rykodisc, and Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! label and the Mad Monk label, he continues under the name WAND with his new release on Michael Gira’s Young God Records label with Death Seat, due this October . Abandoning the psychedelic wail of WW&VV for a starker, more direct songwriting style, WAND’s most recent tunes are harrowing and hellaciously good. Michael Gira writes that Toth is “a passionate singer and guitar player and inhabits the songs as he performs them with straightforward, unpretentious, and confident gravitas. I’ve been listening to this record over and over for the last several months—we went through dozens of equally compelling songs before choosing the line up of tracks—and the more I listen, the more honored I am to be associated with James Jackson Toth.”

Former Woods songwriter and Meneguar member, Christian DeRoeck is back with the Completely Fucked! 7″, his second release as LITTLE GOLD. Vastly different from the melancholy country of LITTLE GOLD’s debut LP On the Knife (2009), these two songs are brimming with fuzzy guitars, sweet harmonies, and what sounds like youthful exuberance. DeRoeck’s lyrical content is morose as ever, but on this record it comes packed in two and a half-minute pop songs. The most immediate difference is the addition of Brian Markham on bass and Pat Broderick on drums, both of Brooklyn psych-rockers Ancient Sky, and Broderick of beloved DC hardcore outfit Majority Rule. Released in an initial run of 300 on NYC label HeartBreakBeat Records, this record is a taste of what’s to come. Little Gold heads back into the studio this year to record the follow-up to On the Knife.

Watch Little Gold – “Bird’s Eye” – Le Loft Rooftop from DUKE STREET on Vimeo.

Through harmony and intricate musical arrangements, INOCULIST crafts an uncompromising scape of eerie pop, jazz progressions, and the swing of old world rhythm and blues. Started as the home recording project of John Hunter (guitar, vocals) in 2005, INOCULIST is a band constantly in the mode of creation. INOCULIST currently operates as a four-piece with Ashlyn Davis (keys,vocals), Ethan Schmid (drums, banjo), and Marc Merza (bass). Their new album Spells has just been released on HeartBreakBeat Records.

STATE CHAMPION started in 2006 as a moniker for the early acoustic experiments of Ryan Davis. It has since evolved into a rock n’ roll band with a Chevy van and a vinyl record. Having created a sound that is a product of its upbringing, with Sweetheart of the Rodeo on the radio, Bleach idle in the tape deck, and a Smog song stuck in its head, Davis & Co. drive through forty minutes of sincerely howled, sloppily executed, stripped down garage-country on their full-length debut, Stale Champagne (released this year on Sophomore Lounge Records). “The band is an under-the-radar phenomenon in the making, the classic style of quality band that Louisville overlooks… The tone is just right for this type of subtle rock. A bit earnest, a bit funny, a bit smart.” – Joseph Lord, Velocity Weekly.

Check out the Facebook invite: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108166219238444.

To join our email list, send an email to hstencil@gmail.com.

Two Great Shows This Weekend!

Louisvillians have the rare treat of two really great shows this weekend. Here’s information on both of them:

CEREBELLUM (from Louisville, on Noise Pollution)
TROPHY WIVES (from Louisville/Illinois, on Noise Pollution)
THE TEETH (from Louisville/Southern Indiana, on Noise Pollution)

Saturday, July 31
1017 E. Broadway
8 PM, $6, ALL AGES!

Here’s what Mat Herron wrote about the show in this week’s LEO Weekly:

Cerebellum was only around from 1988-1989, but the work of the band’s members outlasts its breakup.Three-quarters of the band went on to form Crain — guitarists Tim Furnish and Joey Mudd, bassist Jon Cook and drummer Will Chatham. The team of Furnish, Cook and Breck Pipes — an apropos furniture store name if ever there was one — now hold court in Parlour, Mudd fronts Midnite Sons, and guitarist Drew Daniel [Drew didn’t actually play guitar, but sang/banged metal objects —ed.], who designed the cover of Cerebellum’s lone cassette, is one half of Baltimore experimental duo Matmos

This past spring, Noise Pollution, who has taken up the mantle of curating much of Louisville’s older punk music, re-released Cerebellum’s first tape along with five songs — “Begin,” “Guard,” “Hurt,” “Brighten” and “Crawl Out of the Water” — recorded at Trip Barriger’s Studio K.

The special edition LP came out just in time for the band’s reunion show back in May to raise money for Jason Noble, but their proper release happens July 31 at Skull Alley (1017 E. Broadway, www.skullalley.net). The all ages show is $6. Trophy Wives and The Teeth open.

CEREBELLUM’s performance in May was awesome, don’t miss this one!

Also, Sunday night brings the following show to a new space (in the same building as St. Francis High School):


Sunday, August 1st
233 W. Broadway
7:30 PM, $7-10 suggested donation

This show was curated in part by Michael over at the Decibel Tolls, so it’s bound to be great. Don’t miss it!


JOSEPHINE FOSTER (from Colorado, on Fire Records)
CATHERINE IRWIN (from Louisville, member of FREAKWATER)
STATE CHAMPION (from Louisville/Southern Indiana, on Sophomore Lounge Records)

Friday, May 7th
1017 E. Broadway
$8 in advance, $10 day of show
Tickets available at ear X-tacy or online here: http://skullalley.indieticket.com.

Over the course of just a few years, Colorado native JOSEPHINE FOSTER has captivated audiences & critics alike through a magnetic patchwork of recordings ranging from broken spirited balladry as one half of Born Heller, fiery psych rock gestalt with her rock outfit The Supposed to the voice of an outsider folk siren. The one constant is the utterly overwhelming strength and seductive unease of her voice & the bravery of an iconoclastic spirit. “You might call Ms. Foster’s eerie warbling old-fashioned, except that is evokes a scrambled past that exists only in her own vision: mountain songs that never were, spaced-out hybrids that never will be.” —New York Times.

CATHERINE IRWIN has called Louisville, Kentucky home, or at least her home base, all her life. She began performing by playing guitar in punk bands “and not caring a bit about country music,” she says. Still, the seed for her band Freakwater was inside her: “Most of the country music I heard on radio, I hated. But I loved the Carter Family, the way they would approach songs about death and dying or being saved and rejoicing the same way. That kind of music seems to age better. I can’t see myself playing punk anymore, but this kind of music I can see playing the rest of my life” (Chicago Tribune). Her songs are just packed with sapience, despondency, and wry wit, though you don’t have to look past “Louisville Lip” or “Dirty Little Snowman” to see she’s one of America’s greatest living songwriters. Even so, she remains humble, even self-depreciating: “If I had a master plan, it’d be trying to get people used to the idea of frumpy middle-aged losers singing music” (Boston Phoenix). She will be joined at this show by fantastic Louisville guitarist Michael O’Bannon, formerly of Blinders, Antman, and current member of 1069.

STATE CHAMPION started in 2006 as a moniker for the early acoustic experiments of Ryan Davis. It has since evolved into a rock n’ roll band with a Chevy van and a vinyl record. Having created a sound that is a product of its upbringing, with Sweetheart of the Rodeo on the radio, Bleach idle in the tape deck, and a Smog song stuck in its head, Davis & Co. drive through forty minutes of sincerely howled, sloppily executed, stripped down garage-country on their full-length debut, Stale Champagne (released this year on Sophomore Lounge Records). “The band is an under-the-radar phenomenon in the making, the classic style of quality band that Louisville overlooks… The tone is just right for this type of subtle rock. A bit earnest, a bit funny, a bit smart.” – Joseph Lord, Velocity Weekly.

Check out the Facebook invite here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=109505479085276

For more information, check https://othersideoflife.wordpress.com. To join our email list, send an email to hstencil@gmail.com.


UPDATE, 4/22/10: This show will now be the record release show for Straight A’s new album Self Help, which is being released by Louisville’s own Noise Pollution label!

STRAIGHT A’s (from Louisville, on Noise Pollution)
SIGHTINGS (from Brooklyn, New York; on Brah/Jagjaguwar)
THE TEETH (from Louisville/Southern Indiana, on Noise Pollution)

Thursday, May 6th
1017 E. Broadway
8 PM, $5, ALL AGES!

Louisville’s STRAIGHT A’s will be on hand to dish out their “aggressive and original pitch-shifted, echo-noise onslaught” (as described by Leo Weekly) while supporting their brand new full length album Self Help. They have also been described by one audience member as Arab on Radar meets In My Head-era Black Flag, which sounds bitchin’ and also very apropos.

Listen to STRAIGHT A’s here: Straight A’s – “The Whole Package”

SIGHTINGS has never presented a particularly welcoming façade and their sui generis music has perhaps been passed over by less discerning listeners over the eleven years of their existence, but throughout this they have created a singular body of work appreciated and touted by the likes of Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Andrew WK. If you’ve missed the boat up until now – [their new album] City of Straw is the ideal venue to experience the band’s mastery of extreme timbres, astounding instrumental prowess and yes, extraordinary song-craft. SIGHTINGS will insist that at their core they are a rock band working within the context of pop song-craft. With a deep reach beyond the spirit of their influence from greats like the Birthday Party, the Dead C. and the Jesus Lizard, City of Straw finds SIGHTINGS working at the peak of their creative powers and is the perfect re-introduction to one of New York’s most accomplished bands. “Name any rock band and chances are you can connect its music back to some formal antecedent — Chuck Berry, the Velvet Underground, the Beatles or even just the blues. Sightings are unburdened by — even outside of — that history. The trio’s lineup is as basic as they come: drummer, bassist, guitarist who sings. It’s just that those elements seem based on some intuitive science that the rest of humanity hasn’t quite gotten hip to yet.” – Mike Wolf, Time Out New York. This show marks the first time SIGHTINGS has played Louisville.

Listen to “Tar and Pine” off SIGHTINGS’ new album City of Straw here: http://www.scjag.com/mp3/jag/tarandpine.mp3.

Formed in 2001, Louisville’s THE TEETH have followed their own peculiar path since.  This path is one strewn with one-off cd-r’s, rusty nail helmets, shaving on stage and shifting lineups (the core of which centered around guitarist Matt Dodds and drummer JR Rector).  The lineup stabilized with the addition of bassist Brad Anderson and vocalist Ben Herning in 2005 and THE TEETH have continued to hone their stripped down, strangely ethereal interpretation of post-punk.  The band has since released a full length album and a seven-inch EP, and are currently writing material for a new album.

Listen to THE TEETH here: The Teeth – “The Rubberliner”

Check out the Facebook invite here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=115740458440229

For more information, check https://othersideoflife.wordpress.com. To join our email list, send an email to hstencil@gmail.com.


SHEDDING (from Louisville)
TALK NORMAL (from Brooklyn, New York)
TINY FIGHTS (from Lexington/Louisville)

Wednesday, December 2nd
1017 E. Broadway
$5, 7 PM, ALL AGES

SHEDDING has been a solo project for Connor Bell since 2001, though in 2009 Tim Furnish (Parlour, Crain, Papa M, The For Carnation) and Joey Yates (The Loved, Parlour, Sapat) joined as the rhythm section in SHEDDING’s new lineup. Solo, SHEDDING has already released a few albums, and the new band lineup plans to release a 7″ or 2 over the winter and spring of 2009-2010.

Sarah Register and Andrya Ambro allied as TALK NORMAL in 2007, after years of friendship, and haven’t stopped moving. Since their lightning-strike first appearance, TALK NORMAL’s sound has stormed upward and outward, referencing few and relating to many, a jarringly songful gale of rhythm and noise supporting pleas and plaints, signal-calls and marching orders. Each show builds on past ones: up-to-the-moment updates of ideas previously stated, new phrasings of old upheavals delivered with increasing focus and joy. Darkness and light; fury, silence, space and sound. “Brooklyn-based duo TALK NORMAL create a nice racket that does a deft job of splitting the difference between harsh sonics and the essential song-oriented structures required of noise rock. Neither a band in which noise is merely a bi-product of a savage attack nor an overtly experimental outfit steeped in this or that high concept, TALK NORMAL come off as an organic self-contained unit that extracts as much as they can from their explicitly minimal approach. Sure, there are some obvious touchstones here – Sonic Youth, Magik Markers, Ut, Teenage Jesus – but the songs never feel derivative. Though various sorts of processed sounds work their way in and out of the picture, the bands aesthetic is built on a basic foundation of guitars, drums and vocals. They can sound both hyper and dirgey, calling to mind heat-soaked basement shows and cold moldy practice spaces alike… TALK NORMAL are making their music amidst an increasingly cluttered underground landscape, and the duo’s seeming intrepidness in the face of that fact shines through. They’ve cultivated their own voice that, when combined with that strange festering energy, should make for solid stuff with each successive release.” – Nate Knaebel/Dusted

TINY FIGHTS is an up-and-coming band with members from both Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky. Their recent performance at the Boomslang Festival in Lexington was astounding, and it’s quite possible that this show may be their Louisville debut. Not really sure about that, but either way, they’re definitely not to be missed!

Check out the Facebook invite: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=332581415433.

For more information, check https://othersideoflife.wordpress.com/upcoming-events. To join our email list, send an email to hstencil@gmail.com.