Daily Music
HELLYEAH: FUCKNO
In a WORLD EXCLUSIVE!, Revolver, “The World’s Loudest Rock Magazine,” announced earlier this year that the planets aligned for the creation of the “ultimate metal supergroup!” Its members? Paid staff columnist and Dallas-native Vinnie Paul (who fields hard hitting journalistic inquiries like, “If you were gay, who’s the first dude you would bone?”), Mudvayne’s Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbet, previously known as Kud and Gurrg, respectively, during their masked nu-metal heyday, and some dudes from Nothingface.

The problem is that nothing about HELLYEAH (caps intentional), is, in fact, super. Gray is an even more
one-dimensional vocalist than Damageplan’s Pat Lachman, while his attempts at Texas thrash are simply laughable. It takes more than whiskey and weed to sound like a true cowboy from hell. That’s one of the reasons that Rebel Meets Rebel, the collaboration between David Allen Coe and Pantera’s rhythm section, which included the late, great Dimebag Darrell, as well as bassist Rex Brown, sounded so raw and real. Those were true musical outlaws forging an alliance at a unique crossroads. In contrast, HELLYEAH is nothing more than another forgettable Mudvayne album. After all, Matt McDonough (sPaG) is actually a pretty decent drummer.

1:10PM Fri. Jun. 29, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Attack Formation's Proclamation
Taking a cue from John and Yoko's ubiquitous Vietnam-era slogan, Attack Formation now has a shirt to express your views, perhaps of our current war, as seen on the right here.

"There isn't going to be any [Attack Formation] logo or our name," says frontman Ben Webster. "All the money we make off the shirts goes to make more shirts. To me, besides talking trash or joining in the apathy, not too many people in music are making an effort. I just wanted to do something that would reflect our viewpoint."

Just in time for summer! The shirts will be available at Attack Formation shows (like tomorrow's at Emo's), and if you want to reach out and touch someone, hit up wearealiveintune@hotmail.com.

4:27PM Thu. Jun. 28, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Jandek Does Fort Worth
If you missed Jandek's stellar performance during SXSW, here's another chance. Saturday, July 21, the Tall Pale One plays Fort Worth's historic Rose Marine Theater, just north of downtown. Tickets can be purchased at Good Records in Dallas, or at our own beloved End of an Ear.

And the backing band – Susan Alcorn on pedal steel and guitar, Ralph White on banjo/fiddle, Ryan Williams of the Baptist Generals on bass, and Will Johnson of Centro-Matic on drums – ain't too shabby either. Hurry!

12:31PM Wed. Jun. 27, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Emo's Anniversary Weekend: Another Year, Another Beer (Spilled on Your Shoes)
Friday night, Emo’s: First drink spilled on myself at roughly 10:30pm. But it was done in a rush to get away from the wankfest organized by Orthrelm guitarist Mick Barr. Dude can noodle. Later, 'round midnight, Gang Gang Dance cleansed the hippie/hipster masses with cerebral electro/rave/space waves, and a confused passerby in a “You Looked Better on MySpace” T-shirt spilled part of his drink on me. Nevertheless, GGD were engaging, if only for those in an altered state.

Geez, but what do they sound like? Well, as one friend put it, “Like Animal Collective being chased through SeaWorld by my Jamaican landlord.” At one point a guy up front tried feeling up his female companion during a tribal drum solo. Nice one. The Glorium reunion outside was a far tamer affair, save for singer Paul Streckfus whipping his mic chord around in a jaunty, lascivious manner.

Equally unclassifiable was Sunday's final anniversary show. Radio Birdman easily sold out the inside, but it was more surprising that Battles was moved outside. Halfway through "Atlas," from their excellent Warp debut Mirrored, the power went out, almost as if someone had willed it so that the whole crowd could scream the screwed sing-song beat. We stood there in the dark for a good five minutes before the power slowly returned and someone dropped their beer nearby.

2:38PM Mon. Jun. 25, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

La Dolce Rota
Ennio Morricone, 78, dwarfed by a visibly bemused Clint Eastwood, nevertheless cut a monumental figure onstage at the Academy Awards in February. Receiving an honorary Oscar “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music,” the Rome native’s public profile – practically speaking – lost out 40 years ago to a whistled refrain from Sergio Leone’s grimy West world. Getting a glimpse of Morricone felt like John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing, one of composer’s most compelling film scores: There he stood, in the flesh.

Morricone’s sonic alchemy endures in copious modern soundtracks, from Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to the epic, statuette-nominated The Mission. 2005’s Ipecac-sponsored Crime and Dissonance found avant-spazzmen John Zorn and Mike Patton on the compilation tip of the maestro’s universal ear, as one ripe example. Were that Morricone’s grand precursor, Milan-born Nino Rota, Federico Fellini’s musical wingman for nearly 30 years, was equally celebrated contemporarily. The Ultimate Best of Federico Fellini & Nino Rota: Originals recently stuck its finger in the dike.

1:22PM Fri. Jun. 22, 2007, Raoul Hernandez Read More | Comment »

Hot Freakin' Tuna
I wasn’t planning on it. But there I was sitting next to the soundboard at the Cactus Café Tuesday night. The SRO crowd was buzzing for the second Hot Tuna show of the night.

An acoustic show usually finds them at their best, allowing the rock legends to vibrate with a singular resonance. Jack Cassidy, Jorma Kaukonen, and MVP Barry Mitterhoff didn’t disappoint with a mix of Tuna classics like “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” and a particularly languid “Hesitation Blues,” as well as a couple of tracks from Jorma’s latest solo effort, Stars in My Crown (Red House). Mitterhoff was quite impressive on a variety of stringed things, including mandolin, tenor guitar, banjo, and bazuki, and was allowed as much space as he wanted to explore the extended hypnotic grooves. Local bluesman Steve James was called up for a boisterous take of his “Saturday Night in Jail.”

“A force of nature if there ever was one,” Kaukonen exclaimed when James left the stage and the audience hooted their approval. It was a rare chance to get thisclose to Cassidy’s eyebrows dancing along to his basslines, Kaukonen’s dusky vocals and distinguished finger picking, and ensemble play that only comes with decades of shows together. The trio delighted with an encore of “Embryonic Journey,”Jorma’s notorious contribution to the Jefferson Airplane canon, done in a kind of walking blues mode, which left the crowd buzzing a whole lot more than they were when the music began.

5:28PM Thu. Jun. 21, 2007, Jim Caligiuri Read More | Comment »

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For the Sick: An Interview With Michael D. Williams
In “Last City Zero,” the opening poem from Cancer as a Social Activity: Affirmations of World’s End, Michael D. Williams, the volatile frontman for NOLA sludge pioneers Eyehategod, asks, “If New Orleans is the Big Easy, why is life so fucking hard?” The murky memoir was published in May of 2005, just months before Hurricane Katrina. The natural disaster changed Williams’ definition of Southern discomfort, setting in motion a complicated string of events that ultimately forced him to abandon his home, which later burned down, and led to a 91-day stint at the Morgan City Jail, where he underwent a painful detoxification process.

After making bail and being released on probation, things appeared to be looking up. Eyehategod had recently released Preaching the "End-Time" Message, a collection of demos, live tracks, and singles that spanned the group’s career. In March, 35 bands, including Unearthly Trance, Kylesa, Minsk, and Mouth of the Architect, paid their respects with For the Sick: A Tribute to Eyehategod.

Then, mere days before the band’s highly anticipated performance at May's Chaos in Tejas Festival at Emo’s, Williams was thrown into the Orleans Parish Prison (known to locals as “OPP”) due to previous parole violations. One week after his release, through the aide of MySpace and Kitten, the self-proclaimed “she-beast of Mr. Williams,” Into the Void spoke with Williams, who finally set the record straight on his recent string of unfortunate events.

Sort of.

11:00AM Wed. Jun. 20, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Love Man: Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye’s tears, like Levi Stubbs’, endure as a natural phenomenon, no less than a magnolia tree or Tammi Terrell. Every drop was precious and each succeeding one only brought the end nearer. “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” we all did.

Hip-OSelect.com, home of the awe-inspiring and ongoing The Complete Motown Singles series, a new Love fest, and plenty more mouth-watering Internet-only boutiquery, expands yet again. In Our Lifetime?, Gaye’s final album for Motown, finds new life in a deluxe, 2-CD makeover. 1981 wasn’t a good year for the tortured singer, but then the point of In Our Lifetime? isn’t how good or overlooked it might be. Rather it’s how astonishing it is despite the blessed mess.

By 1984, when Gaye was shot and killed by his father during an argument, the singer had been drowning in bad marriages and drugs for the better part of a decade. His final run of albums were all open addresses to his partners, beginning with last master class Let’s Get It On, 1973, and dwindling in classicism through ’76’s I Want You, ’78's Here, My Dear, and finally the “Sexual Healing” of last supplication Midnight Love (1982). Penultimate LP In Our Lifetime? boogies toward oblivion with Gaye writhing between conjugal withdrawl and religious salvation. While the eye-popping cover art pits God vs. Satan, the music itself, the grooves and sexual come-ons, matches God against Pan.

12:54PM Fri. Jun. 15, 2007, Raoul Hernandez Read More | Comment »

Twangfest: Goes to 11
When it began in 1997, after a ‘let’s put on a show’ moment among Internet friends, Twangfest was at the heart of the then-burgeoning alt.country movement. At the time, few would have imagined it would continue for 11 years and provide some of the best underground talent in the country with an audience starved, and rabidly appreciative, of good music.

Held last week at the Duck Room in St. Louis, Missouri, where Chuck Berry still sells out once a month, this year’s Twangfest was light on the twang – alt.country’s dead, stick a spork in it – but heavy on the kinds of American rock that will never die.

While Geezerville didn’t attend the first night of the fest, which wasn’t held at the Duck Room, the three remaining evenings were packed with enough surprising performances and genuine thrills to make the weekend a success. Two trios, Columbus’ Two Cow Garage and Detroit’s the High Strung, brought a punkish sensibility to the stage. Two Cow has matured tremendously since the last time I saw them and their Replacements-meets-Neil Young crunch was appropriately juvenile and crisp. The High Strung had a late-Sixties power trio vibe that recalled the Who with musicianship and melodies to match.

Nashville’s Elizabeth Cook brought to mind a young, spunky Dolly Parton possessing enough ‘alt’ sensibility to cover Lone Justice. Austin’s Slaid Cleaves managed to hush the crowd with his dynamic stage presence and stellar songs, while Carrie Rodriguez, all wistful and glitter, failed to calm the party. Honestly, it might have been the wrong stage for the fragile singer-songwriter.

The biggest surprise was the reunion of Mississippi’s Blue Mountain. One of the original touchstones of the mid-Nineties alt.country movement, the trio gave no hint that this would be its first show in seven years. The mix of country and blues, aided by the manic guitar of Cary Hudson, brought back memories, and catalog songs like “Bloody 98,” “Sleeping In My Shoes,” and “A Band Called Bud” sounded remarkably fresh.

Other glimpses: Graham Parker is better with a band, which he proved by bringing out the Figgs after a long solo set to rock out on “Soul Shoes,” “Local Girls,” and other classics from his past … Tim Easton sounds more like Dylan with each appearance. When he was joined by Two Cow Garage, it wasn’t like the Band showed up, but almost as energizing … Chicago’s Dolly Varden, a personal fave, played a set that veered from arty to spiritual to rockin,’ but seemed unfocused … Saturday night headliners the Figgs closed things with an exhilarating and sweaty set of power pop. Why they aren’t more well-known remains a mystery. Take a gander at the photo gallery for more.

11:31AM Thu. Jun. 14, 2007, Jim Caligiuri Read More | Comment »

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