Daily Music
Machine Head: Still Pissed
While “Clenching the Fists of Dissent,” Machine Head's lead guitarist, Phil Demmel, makes his descent Into the Void to briefly discuss the band’s punishing new album, The Blackening, due March 26 on Roadrunner Records.

Into the Void: A lot of people feel like they already know what to expect from Machine Head, since the band’s been around for more than a decade now. How is The Blackening turning a new page for the group?
Phil Demmel: I really feel like it was the last record, Through the Ashes of the Empire, which really turned a new corner for Machine Head. After all of the struggles with labels and everything else, the outlook of the band became very focused and determined. This is only the second real Machine Head album as far as I’m concerned. People that think they know the band because they’ve heard Burn My Eyes or Burning Red really need to check this out, because it’s not the same.

1:00PM Fri. Feb. 16, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Lamb of God's Randy Blythe: Survivalist, Wakeboarder
Since delivering the New American Gospel in 2000, Lamb of God growler Randy Blythe has preached his politics and personal hatred from on high. Now he takes Sacrament with Into the Void.

11:50AM Fri. Feb. 16, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Proud to Be a Geezer
Some will be surprised and, perhaps, thrilled that the Chronicle has given "the most hated man in Austin music" (hat tip: Raoul Hernandez) some space on their Web site. The reality is that I'm delighted to be part of this blogging adventure. The concept allows me to get to some music, that would otherwise go unmentioned, with immediacy, and you can now attack me at will, via the accompanying comments. It should make for an interesting read. We went with Geezerville because I'm the elder of the group. You'll almost never find me at Emo's. I rarely get excited about Austinist.com. And I'm a proud member of the crowd that takes Loudon Wainwright's "Watch Me Rock, I'm Over 30" (or is it 40?) to heart. Plus, there's an amazing group of oldsters still making great music, each unwilling or unable to simply fade away.

11:17AM Fri. Feb. 16, 2007, Jim Caligiuri Read More | Comment »

Ross Johnson, Shit Rocker
"Every day I look at myself in the mirror and think, 'Man or manatee?'"

Ross Johnson is one self-deprecating bastard. He's just gotten off the phone with "one of his exes," he's got three kids, and he's anticipating a trip to Austin because, "for a middle-aged man, it's a busman's holiday."

Local maniacs the Golden Boys invited Johnson and Jeffrey Evans, both longtime Memphis players, to play this weekend, Friday at the Scoot Inn and Saturday at Beerland, after a show in Memphis last year.

"After the show, I said, 'All your songs sound like Roky Erickson's "Starry Eyes,"'" he laughs. "And they didn't say no, they just kind of looked at me like, 'So what?' But I just thought they were great; they didn't fit into any sort of garage ghetto. They just have this look in their eye like, 'I'm gonna hurt myself.' … I've been not drunk for a few months, and those boys do live the lifestyle that I've lived. I can't do it anymore so they do it for me."

5:12PM Thu. Feb. 15, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Gojira Smash
Lamb of God’s Sacrament tour, which blesses Stubb’s on Sunday, features one of the best four-band lineups in recent memory. One by one, they will march Into the Void. Opening act and France’s next big thing, Gojira, spews galactic death metal with Prosthetic Records debut From Mars to Sirius. Singer and guitarist Joe Duplantier is the first to take the plunge.

11:33AM Thu. Feb. 15, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Quasars, Photons, and Clint Black
Former Zom Zom and Old-Timer Patrick Healy sounds off about his high-energy solo project Pataphysics, his upcoming ski trip, his Austin City Limits debut with Clint Black, and why he qualifies to play the Make Austin Weirder Fest Saturday at Lovejoy's, starting at 4pm. Might as well jump:

3:33PM Fri. Feb. 9, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

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Doctor Death
Stumbling through the streets of New York City, a sixth sense pulls me to the underground lair of Hospital Productions. Located in the basement of Jammyland Music at 60 E. Third St., the black-and-red painted pit is only accessible by ladder. Destroyed microphones, blood-stained posters, and a mutilated guitar line the walls. This is where metal music comes to die.

The store only sells obscure death and black metal albums with a side of noise. That means no Southern Lord or Hydra Head, though the latter will be ransacked here in two weeks. I needed a guide for this venture into the underworld. Dominick Fernow, the store's owner, has worked with everyone from Thurston Moore to Wolf Eyes as his alter ego Prurient. He was my Virgil, hand-picking these essential albums from 2006.

11:41AM Thu. Feb. 8, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

Hellbent for Pleather
When I saw Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat for the first time last summer at the Chain Drive, it was one of those right place, right time moments. The Mistress, with her jet-black bob and bustier, was Louise Brooks with Norma Desmond’s sense of dark comedy. She ignored, berated, and sung in perfect harmony with Her Melodic Cat, stage left with a guitar, baring ass cheek and wearing a half-interested sneer as their cabaret punk was thrown out with Weimar vitriol. I desperately wanted them to play a cover of the Doors' "Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)," which is actually a cover of a Kurt Weill song, which is appropriate, as some of the set was in German. And this was at a gay leather bar.

4:56PM Wed. Feb. 7, 2007, Audra Schroeder Read More | Comment »

Samurai Sword
Into the Void … With the Sword

Just as Black Sabbath plunged deep "Into the Void," knocking down the Wall of Dis with disorderly riffage, so do I now dwell in darkness with the comfort of the Southern Lord. Each week, together, we’ll traverse this realm of brimstone, fire, and all things metal.

This week, drummer Trivett Wingo, from Austin’s metal messiahs the Sword, which has been dormant for the winter, delves "Into the Void" before embarking on another West Coast crusade with Priestbird and Year Long Disaster.


12:50PM Fri. Feb. 2, 2007, Austin Powell Read More | Comment »

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