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High Bias

Eels/Chelsea Wolfe Live Shot

Silently taking the dimly lit Paramount Theatre stage on Friday night, making her way through a stage full of Eels equipment – xylophones, an upright piano, double bass – extreme metal-influenced chanteuse Chelsea Wolfe looped her breathy soprano into an a cappella “The Way We Used To,” from her 2012 acoustic disc Unknown Rooms. Read More | Comment »

1:50PM Mon. May. 19, Michael Toland

Austin Psych Fest Live (Sunday): Loop

Crowning a music festival as artistically successful as this year’s APF constitutes a hell of a challenge. Fortunately, organizers had a particularly sharp arrow in the quiver: Loop. After a near-quarter-century absence, the UK quartet returned to the colonies, its Sunday slot in Austin the centerpiece around which its U.S. tour was built. Read More | Comment »

4:20PM Mon. May. 5, Michael Toland

Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Medicine

Have Nineties alt-rockers been gone long enough for reunions to be major occurrences? Medicine’s Psych Fest set Saturday night in the Levitation Tent seemed to be one of the three-day event’s most anticipated – at least as far as this giddy crowd was concerned. Read More | Comment »

2:20PM Sun. May. 4, Michael Toland

Austin Psych Fest Live (Saturday): Destruction Unit

Arizona’s Destruction Unit left no noisy stone unturned during its short APF set. First paint-peeling feedback, then hair-whipping thrash, then a driving pound – and that’s all in the first song. Drums and bass rumble forward like tanks on a NASCAR track: loud, faster than may be safe, but on target. Read More | Comment »

12:30PM Sun. May. 4, Michael Toland

Austin Psych Fest Live (Friday): King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

On disc, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard revels in eclecticism, spraying its profligacy across pop, grunge, spaghetti western soundscapes, and whatever tweaks its fancy. The Melbourne septet’s Oddments offers proof. Live, however, the band wastes little time getting down to the entirely different business of feverishly rocking. Read More | Comment »

10:00AM Sat. May. 3, Michael Toland

A Gilded Eternity: The Return of Loop

Beginning in 1986, British troupe Loop evolved from a spacy garage band to a smoke-obscured, atmospheric monster that all but abandoned traditional songsmithery for tuneful stasis. A Gilded Eternity, the band’s 1990 masterpiece, remains a striking convergence of riff and drone that still influences mantra-minded musicians. Read More | Comment »

11:00AM Thu. May. 1, Michael Toland

Bloodletting Behemoth

After 23 years and 10 LPs that began in the Polish port of Gdańsk, extreme metallers Behemoth appear unstoppable. Even bandleader Nergal’s leukemia didn’t derail the band, The Satanist arriving full of surprises. Longtime bassist Orion spoke to these matters and more, including Crimea, prior to Behemoth’s show Saturday at Emo’s. Read More | Comment »

11:07AM Thu. Apr. 10, Michael Toland

SXSW Live Shot: Lou Reed Tribute

It’s the nature of a beast like this tribute organized by Alejandro Escovedo and Richard Barone that the constant turnover of artists kills momentum. Despite all the equipment adjustments, unprepared artists, and unplanned additions, the show moved along efficiently enough to finish a half-hour early. Read More | Comment »

11:11AM Sat. Mar. 15, Michael Toland

SXSW Live Shot: Bob Mould

The Workbook days, apparently, are over. Though Bob Mould set out on tour to support the reissue of his first solo album, his Thursday night SXSW set revealed an artist tired of looking back and ready to move forward – as loudly as possible. Read More | Comment »

12:09PM Fri. Mar. 14, Michael Toland

SXSW Day Party: Wild Seeds

Since its permanent resurrection in the wake of SXSW Creative Director Brent Grulke's death, the Wild Seeds have evolved into a guitar band. That's not to say the catalog isn’t prominent. Any band with a songsmith as skilled as Michael Hall, a writer uncelebrated as one of Texas' best only because he's not a troubadour, will be known for its tuneage. Read More | Comment »

9:17PM Thu. Mar. 13, Michael Toland

SXSW Live Shot: INVSN

As proud papa of Refused and the (International) Noise Conspiracy, Dennis Lyxzen invites high expectations with any new project. INVSN, the Swedish firebrand’s latest venture, comes after his laying low for a while, or at least keeping a lower profile outside of his home country, so anticipation from fans Wednesday night was double. Read More | Comment »

2:55PM Thu. Mar. 13, Michael Toland

SXSW Panel: Music Discovery – Man vs. Machine

Does the popularity of algorithmic aggregators like Pandora, Beats Music, Spotify, etc. democratize the search for music and dismiss the need for rock critics and music rags? Or have they simply thrown everything against the wall all at once, making it nearly impossible to discover things in the morass and thus necessitating a guide of some sort? Read More | Comment »

8:27PM Wed. Mar. 12, Michael Toland

SXSW Preview: Kadavar

German trio Kadavar rippled the hard rock underground with its eponymous 2012 debut, but it was second LP Abra Kadavar that stormed the international castle of psychedelic power rock. The Berlin-based threesome returns to Austin twice this year, first at South by Southwest, then in May for Austin Psych Fest – with a U.S. tour in between. Read More | Comment »

12:01PM Wed. Mar. 12, Michael Toland

Monster Magnet Comic Con: Dave Wyndorf

Monster Magnet hasn’t toured the U.S. in over a decade, its last local appearance beyond even that. In the wake of galvanizing new LP Last Patrol, New Jersey’s cosmic rockers crash down on Monday, Dec. 2, at Red 7. Founder-leader-overlord Dave Wyndorf raved about the new disc while revealing a chief lifetime inspiration: comic books. Read More | Comment »

3:15PM Tue. Nov. 26, 2013, Michael Toland

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Television

A sizable crowd anticipated Television on Fun Fun Fun Fest’s Orange stage Saturday night, minus the hipster kids waiting for a chance at a prime spot for Deerhunter next, and no wonder. The NYC innovators tour Europe far more than their own country, and rarely – if ever – perform in Texas. Read More | Comment »

11:11AM Sun. Nov. 10, 2013, Michael Toland

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Venomous Maximus

“We’re Venomous Maximus, and we’re fucking hungover,” singer/guitarist Greg Higgins informed the sparse opening crowd for Saturday’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. “It’s very, very difficult for us to be up this early.” Technical problems didn’t help. Read More | Comment »

9:15AM Sun. Nov. 10, 2013, Michael Toland

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr defines rock star. When the former Smiths co-leader walked onstage in his crushed velvet jacket, skinny jeans, striped tee, and rooster cut, his status would’ve been obvious even without the Jazzmaster guitar around his neck. Read More | Comment »

10:19AM Sat. Nov. 9, 2013, Michael Toland

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Quicksand

Quicksand’s early-evening set underscored one prime raison d’être for FFF’s existence: the reunion of acts sign-posting the festival founders’ childhoods. The NYC guitar rock quartet and its old-school hardcore pedigree left behind a pair of influential platters in its brief career, including the landmark Slip. Read More | Comment »

9:22AM Sat. Nov. 9, 2013, Michael Toland

Fun Fun Fun Fest Interview: Sparks

Los Angeles brothers Ron and Russell Mael launched the pioneering Sparks in 1971 with an impish, sometimes bizarre sense of humor and an arty power pop sound defiantly outside the norms of early Seventies rock. Read More | Comment »

11:07AM Fri. Nov. 8, 2013, Michael Toland

Housecore Horror Live Shot No.3 – Day Two

Hard to believe that Clifford Antone ever imagined savage fantasy creatures onstage in the club that bears his name, but there they were: Santa Cruz, CA.’s A Band of Orcs, who invaded Antone’s on Saturday, the second full day of Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film & Heavy Metal Festival. Read More | Comment »

12:20PM Sun. Oct. 27, 2013, Michael Toland

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