Thursday, December 20, 2018

COARSE + Revolver

The new Coarse video, "Hoax," has made its premiere via Revolver:

Coarse is the bicoastal duo of Ryan Knowles (ex-Capsize) and Brandon Gallagher (ex-Old Wounds).  Revolver describes the sound as "rough and tumble, violent and furious, owing a debt to noisy, acrobatic hardcore heroes such as Botch while breaking into furious Crossed Out–style blasting hatred..." The band's debut EP, I, is out now:

The "Hoax" video is an ultra-harsh, VHS-nightmare of urban decay, created by Coarse drummer Brandon Gallagher and Sam Gursky.  

Coarse tours Japan in March, followed by an appearance at Groezrock in Belgium. 

Mar 20 - Tokyo, Japan @ Seata (w/ Vision of Fatima)
Mar 22 - Nagoya, Japan @ Reflect (w/ Vision of Fatima)
Mar 23 - Kyoto, Japan @ Growly (w/ Vision of Fatima)
Mar 24 - Osaka, Japan @ Hokage (w/ Vision of Fatima)
Mar 26 - Fukuoka, Japan @ Yojigen
Apr 28 - Meerhout, Belgium @ Groezrock (w/ Jawbreaker, Dropkick Murphys, Coheed and Cambria)

Photo by Angela Owens

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

THE CHAIN: Best of 2018


Curran Reynolds (The Chain, Body Stuff):

My favorite music of 2018 came from the artists I repped as a publicist: Graf Orlock, Planet B, Kælan Mikla, Coarse, ACTORS, Aeviterne, Avola, and so on. Outside of that circle, this music rocked me:

Lingua Ignota - All Bitches Die reissue
Mutilation Rites - Chasm
Candy - Good to Feel
Jesus Piece - Only Self
Vowws - Under the World
Jorge Elbrecht - Here Lies
Ghost - Prequelle
Bhad Bhabie - "Gucci Flip Flops"


Hal Ashby's Rolling Stones movie, Let's Spend the Night Together
The Shangri-Las - "He Cried" / Rowland S. Howard - "She Cried"
Philip Glass - Glassworks
Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
R.E.M. - Green

Sólveig Matthildur (Kælan Mikla):

Some Ember - Submerging the Sun
Selofan - Vitrioli
ROHT - Iðnsamfélagið og framtíð þess
aYia - aYia
Buzz Kull - New Kind of Cross
Herz Juhning - Samsara
IDK IDA - The Bug
The Soft Moon - Criminal
Johnny Blace & Hakki Brakes - Vroom Vroom Vroom
Tanz Ohne Musik - Night

Veronica Avola (Avola):

Aphex Twin - Collapse EP
Daniel Menche - Soundtrack for the book "D'entre les morts"
Black Spirituals - Black Access / Black Axes
Creston Spiers - MMXVII
Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson - Landfall
Oneohtrix Point Never - Love In The Time Of Lexapro
Qui - Snuh
Profligate - Somewhere Else
Drew McDowall - The Third Helix
Barry Brusseau - Quiet Please

Jahmeel Russell (ACTORS):

Candelabrum - Portals
Embrace of Thorns - Scorn Aesthetics
Failure - In the Future Your Body Will Be the Furthest Thing from Your Mind
Ascension - Under Ether
Portal - ION
Cancer - Shadow Gripped
Reversed - Widow Recluse
KEN mode - Loved
Daughters - You Won’t Get What You Want
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wrong Creatures

Gene Fowler (Wetnurse):

Eminem - Kamikaze
Chainsmokers Las Vegas show
Robyn Arzon personal shout out on Peloton Live DJ Ride
Front row tix to Lion King on Broadway 
Body Stuff show at Pyramid, NYC
Renzo Gracie Muay Thai competing at FNF on UFC Fightpass
Master Renzo Gracie fighting and submitting Yuki
David Goggins on JRE
Korean Zombie vs. Pantera MMA fight 
Stereogum "Black Market" column, June 2018

Chip K (Chorizo) & Rob Mayson (Drumstool):

Samara Lubelski - Flickers at the Station
A Place to Bury Strangers - Pinned
Weak Signal - LP1
Wetware - Automatic Drawing
Amen Dunes - Freedom
Phillip Werren - Electronic Music
Mary Jane Leach - (f)Lute songs
Per Nørgård - Expanding Space
Henning Christiansen - PPHC
Crammm - Crammm

Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu):

Top 10 Stuffed Animals of 2018













Thor Harris (Xiu Xiu):

1. Beto almost vanquished Ted Cruz from my stupid state of Texas in the U.S. Senate.

2. The new Low album, Double Negative. If you’re waiting to get it, why? This is a beautiful record and will mark an artistic breakthrough that the next occupants of earth will study for millennia to come. 

3. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She and Beto are the future of our so-called democracy, if there is a future. Green New Deal or 6th Great Extinction. You choose. 

4. William Basinski/Lawrence English - Selva Oscura. It is a mind altering trip you really must take. If you’ve stopped eating acid because you’re unsure how it will interact with your anti-depressants, this is the record for you (us). 

5. Carol of the Tubular Bells. It’s a Christmas song that I recorded with David Yow, Ohmme and many other Joyful Noise greats. I can put my own music on here! Fuck y’all!

6. NOT! I repeat, NOT child prisons on the Texas/Mexico border. This is truly a hideous chapter in our history that will have ramifications for decades to come. Yes, this is on us. 

6 1/2. The viruses currently mutating that will wipe out our destructive species, allowing the earth to heal. Like Angela said, we don’t deserve this beautiful planet. Or the meteorite that is careening our way.

7. Everyone in The Resistance. You protested. You voted. Finally there are starting to be women and brown and black people in our goddam government. Good riddance, Anglo scrotum hate bags.

8. The memories of my mom, Norma Ruth. She died in 2017. She was the greatest person ever. She taught me kindness to people and animals. She was a bit of a pushover. I had to learn toughness on my ow . She was shrewd and skeptical, but never cruel. I have a lot of heroes living and dead, mostly women, but she is my number 1.

9. All the music that was made this year. With the exception of a few posers who would never get laid otherwise, music making is a truly high calling. All artists are non-profit. It’s the worst paying job in the world. If I don’t like your music, like Congelton said, that’s on me. If you are making the art that YOU would want to see, hear, taste, touch, read or fuck, it’s good. 

10. NOT! I repeat, NOT the time I fed my thumb into the table saw. Although it didn’t really hurt. It happened so fast. It took months to heal.  Now it just looks like a thumb. Nature’s miracles never seize to amaze. How did my thumb remember how to grow back? I didn’t really even have to do anything. I just ate plants.

Nick Skrobisz (Multicult):

Bill Orcutt & Chris Corsano - Brace Up! 
Dead Tenants - LPII 
Majeure - Paragon 3 
Blaha - The Long Arm of the Photo Booth 
Aphex Twin - Collapse EP 
Tongue Party - Looking for a Painful Death 
Super Thief - Eating Alone in My Car 
Null - Act of Love 
Voivod - The Wake 
Sumac - Love in Shadow

Justina Villanueva (photographer):

Voivod - The Wake
Wax Idols - Happy Ending
Them Are Us Too - Amends
SRSQ - Unreality
Primordial - Exile Amongst the Ruins
Marcel Dettman - Test-file
Aura Noir - Aura Noire
Kælan Mikla - Manadans
Bragolin - I Saw Nothing Good So I Left
Børns - Blue Madonna
Gnaw - Cutting Pieces (on repeat from last year)

Adam Gnade

Adam Gnade (author/musician):

1) NYC. Flew from Kansas to JFK and had a proper night out in New York City with Elizabeth and Rudy. Mezcal in Soho. Old fashioneds at El Quijote (RIP). Chelsea in the blustering cold. Rudy Ramos was one of my best friends during our pre-21s and early 20s. He's now the chef behind and will soon be launching his own Bareburger restaurant location in New York City. It's called 7 Day Weekend after the New York Dolls cover of a Gary U.S. Bonds song. I'm sentimental when it comes to my friends at year's end, but mostly I'm excited about the future. Rudy's especially. I love the guy. Always will. From his switchblade and greased hair days to his chef's apron and greased hair days, he's the true essense of rock 'n' roll.

2) London. From New York I went to the UK for a month to play a run of tour dates with my boys Andrew, Al, Sam, Hamm, and Graeme from Youthmovies. First off was an immense show in London where I headlined and they were the surprise guests. London (especially Crouch End, thanks Phil Holmes, Ailie, Jim, Tom) is one of my favorite places--all the shades of gray and the bustle and stone. Also got hooked up with ballroom tickets to Thee Oh Sees our first night in town (thanks Woody). After the show we went to some stupid posh all-night afterparty and I got in a fight with this rapey creep while someone sitting on the floor DJ'd Exile on Main Street, Talking Heads, and the Velvets. Everyone was doing coke and the DJ kept hitting on Elizabeth. It was gross. Hurrah London, irrespective.

3) Oxford. Did a couple shows in Oxford, which can rival London for second home status on a good day. I have history with the place and it was beyond good to see so many close friends. Also: The Pitt Rivers Museum. The Star. Band practice on a farm with peacocks outside the window. Walking the canals at night. All the winding cobble streets and the Dreaming Spires. Oxford has my heart. Last night in town I got punched in the ribs and received a nice fracture as a souvenir from my dear friend Andrew Mears. Even that made me happy. Such is the power of Oxford.

4) Hungary. Budapest! Elizabeth and I went on a whim from Ormskirk, where we were staying with my tourmate Al and his excellent Swedish bride-to-be Emma. Right off the plane we fell in love with the wintry streets, the funicular, the bridges, Hungarian wine, the castle, the Turkish baths ...

5) Mexico. It had been ages since my last trip to Tijuana and this was my first time playing a show there. Went down with a proper Three One G family crew of John Brady (Swing Kids, Spanakorzo) and Robbie Chism (Spanakorzo), along with my bandmate Demetrius Antuña and his fantastically magical (and possibly evil, or at least demonic) wife/bandmate Rebecca. Had a lot to talk about. A lot of tacos to eat at Taqueria Vegiee. Here are some photos:

6) San Diego. The hometown kid returns! Anthem Vegan. Soulshine. Kindred. El Cotixan. Saguaro's. Heartwork Coffee Bar. Sitting on the rocks at Sunset Cliffs watching the sea. San Diego Zine Fest tabling with my dudes Justin Pearson and Becky DiGiglio. Also, "neat loaf" at Jyoti Bihanga. Muhfuckin' POKEZ with my boy Jamey Bainer. Verbatim Books. Played a "dark sound bath" one-off performance of our record Voicemails from the Great Satan, which was like the sound baths people do at yoga studios but doomy, political, and maybe (hopefully) cathartic. Had total control of the set-up: all lights off and a giant ring of candles around us; everyone lying on Mexican blankets and mats fanned out from the ring in a massive room (at Bread and Salt Gallery, a former bread factory). Bonus: Trump's head on a pike stenciled on the Consic banner behind us. Here's video from Becky. Here are photos.

7) Canada. Worked on a video up there for our track "Ghost Ship." Winnepeg, goddamn excellent town. If you go, check out the punk club Handsome Daughter, Stella's, the Tallest Poppy, Amsterdam Tea House (which is about the best place you could be on a winter's day in Manitoba), Thermea Nordic Spa (total new age theme park), Boon Burger (especially), and the cafes Thom Bergen and Forth.

8) Driving due north. Kansas to Missouri to Iowa to Nebraska. Omaha for the night. Pageturners Lounge. Dinner at Modern Love. Morning coffee at Amateur. Onto the Dakotas. Side trip to Minnesota. Black earth fields with bright white patches of snow. River bridges. Frozen creeks. Fall leaves in a hot flash of red and orange against all the gray tones. Railroad towns. Grain silos. Pool bars. Deep woods.

9) Books. Some favorites from this year. Juan Rulfo's Pedro Páramo. Spring by Karl Ove Knausgaard as well as book #1 of his My Struggle series. The Silence is the Noise by Bart Schaneman off Trident Press. Bart's work is satisfying, clean, and strong in a way that a lot of contemporary writers can't pull off. His books are like those "books that read like movies" but much deeper and miles more substantial.

10) Planet B's debut LP released by Ipecac and Three One G. Luke's otherworldly samples and Justin's more staccato style of vocals this time around sound entirely new. It's very much music of the times. Every song is catchy and polemic and gives you new ideas for how music can be. I'll be playing this one while the New Year rolls in. It will be my "Auld Lang Syne" to friends not present, big fights ahead, and better times in 2019.

Paolo Mongardi + Luca Cavina (ZEUS!):

There's a ridiculous amount of music nowadays so the attempt to identify the 10 best albums of 2018 sounds just pretentious. That's why we wrote down our list in alphabetical order. These aren't even necessarily our favourite ones. This is just stuff which somehow affected us this year. A fragmented and incomplete map of apparently distant things.

"A Laughing Death In Meatspace" - Tropical Fuck Storm

"Antologia Del Cante Flamenco Heterodoxo" - Niño De Elche

"Double Negative" - Low

"Irisiri" - Eartheater

"My Mother The Vent" - Guttersnipe

"NTS Sessions 1-4" - Autechre

"Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides" - Sophie

"Panic Blooms" - Black Moth Super Rainbow

"Raw Silk And Uncut Wood" - Laurel Halo

"Stadium" - Eli Keszler

Microwaves: Johnny Arlett, John Roman and Dave Kuzy.

John Roman (Microwaves):

Voivod - "The Wake"
If you know me at all then it's probably no big surprise that I'd put this on here since Voivod has been one of my all-time favorite bands for the past 30 years. They've made some missteps, but can do little wrong in my eyes and ears. Not that they needed a return to form since their last couple of releases have been great, but this is also less "business as usual" for them as there are neat little surprises on this one amidst their usual knack for combining melody, dissonance and odd time signatures. 

Boston, MA 11/16/18
After playing a show at the Midway in Boston, we were headed back to crash at our friend Adam's place. He said to be quiet while he made sure any doors were shut so that we didn't wake his wife who had to get up early for work. Johnny and I were still fumbling with our luggage at the van while Dave had already walked into the house with Adam. Once Johnny and I had the van locked and we went in to join them EXCEPT that we didn't realize there was a second entrance that led to the upstairs address (and was unlocked) and that's the one that we entered. Once inside, we stood there in the darkness thinking that Adam was still making sure that doors were closed and lights were going to come on any second. After about three or four minutes of whispering awkwardly to each other in the dark as to what was going on, I realized that we were in the wrong place and needed to get out of there. Just as we were about to leave a light tuned on in one of the rooms and the door quickly swung open to reveal a completely naked man yelling "WHO THE-....WHO ARE YOU?....YOU TRYING TO TAKE MY SHIT!?!?!?" I was so freaked out that I could barely form a sentence and finally blurted out "We're staying with Adam!" to which he replied "Oh, ok...He lives downstairs." then the completely naked man politely walked us to the front door.

Brown Angel spring tour
If you haven't been keeping track add Brown Angel to the short list of bands I play drums in. Since our guitarist/singer/main songwriter, Adam MacGregor doesn't always live in the United States (due to his wife's job working as an agent for the embassy), we hardly get to play shows let alone tour. This past year was his first whole year back in the US, so we figured we'd take advantage of the situation and plan a 10 day tour as opposed to our usual 2 or 3 shows on a weekend. The only snafu that popped up this time was that our bassist, Mike "Mike" Rensland couldn't make it due to his job and also due to being a new dad. Sean Clancy who regularly plays bass in Child Bite was cool enough to use his time off to stop down to Pittsburgh, rehearse and go on tour with us in Mike's stead. For a spring tour that should've been smooth sailing we ended up with some of the worst snow of the year that led to the cancelation of one of the biggest shows of the tour, Adam getting on the local news in Connecticut and me getting sick by the last day or two. I wouldn't trade it. Good times, great oldies. After the tour and once we had reconvened with Mike we laid down basic tracking for what will probably be a new record.

Weasel Walter - "Skhiizm"
If you still pine for the "glory" days of the "Revenge"-era lineup of the Flying Luttenbachers, then you need not sleep on this one any longer. An all instrumental affair where Sir Weasel plays all the instruments, this one leans more heavily toward punk and black metal battery than that of his jazz-oriented oeuvre. It's full of catchy and memorable riffle without sacrificing and of the brutality. You don't need to wear your spikes when you listen to this, but it probably makes it more fun.

Damn The Machine
This may have come out in 2017, but I didn't get around to it until this past year. If you have ever wondered about the inner-goings-on of the Noise Records roster (bands like Halloween, Kreator, Celtic Frost, Voivod, etc) and the drama surrounding it through the 80s and 90s then I recommend picking this one up. You'll probably already have to be somewhat of a heavy metal nerd to get much out of it, but if that's your bag then check it out. I'm a sucker for this stuff. Hell, I even read the Sammy Hagar bio a couple of years back and I really don't like Sammy Hagar.

Daughters - "You Won't get What You Want"
So, add me to the bandwagon. This one is good like all of the other lists have said. I have no idea what's happening for a good chunk of this record, but I like it.

"Via Weightlessness" and "1,000 Miles Of Mud"
After about three years of work, it was nice to have not just one but two records that I played on released by cool labels that have released other music that I like. For awhile, I had little idea of what was going to happen with either one of these, but you keep plugging away. I'm just thankful that these folks took notice. FUN FACT: The drums for a lot of both of these were recorded at the same session.

Kodiak Cakes
I never used to be much of a pancake person, but I can't seem to get enough of this particular mix. It comes in the usual buttermilk flavor as well as almond-poppyseed. It's also cool that they donate a portion of their profits to wildlife conservation, each year.

Space Streakings - "First Love"
This one is a 2018 reissue of this Japanese band's first album, "Hatsu Koi" and their demo that preceded it. It's been said that it's kind of like what a malfunctioning 80s video arcade might sound like. 

Onion Maiden
This place is a heavy metal and punk themed vegan restaurant here in Pittsburgh started by folks in the music scene. Aside from their rock venue inspired decor, one of the things I really like about them is that they play to the strength of their dishes without wasting time imitating non-vegan (ala fake chicken, beef, etc) fare. It's a great spot for a date as well as a cool place to share a meal with your family while listening to Motorhead.

Paul Christenen (Qui):

Instead of compiling a list of the top 10 (fill-in-the-blank) of 2018, I’ve decided to list 10 of my Number Ones and their titles.

Here they are in no particular order:

1. “Best In Show” (Best show I saw): It’s a tie between Cheer-Accident at the Hi Hat and New Primals at the Smell.
I’ve been listening to Cheer-Accident for a while now and have dug deep into their large discography. I didn’t know they still played shows. They so held up to my expectations.
New Primals were a surprise for me. All I knew about them was that they were from Minnesota and that one of the dudes went to my high school several years after I graduated. A very high-energy and off-the-wall performance. Very clever and weird song writing too. Lotsa fun!

2. “Best New Band”: CUNTS
I’m a bit biased because they’re guys I play in other bands with and buddies of mine but holy shit do they rip. Eagerly awaiting their first record.

3. “Best New Band Name”: CUNTS

4. “Best Celebrity Death”: Tied between George H Bush and Billy Graham.

5. “Best Music Video”: “Weird Part Of The Night” by Louis Cole
So, technically this song and video was released in 2016 but I didn’t see it until 2018. AND, the full-length album it appears on, “Time,” was just released a couple months ago in this, here, 2018.
Catchy and creative dance tune with a very funny video leaving you scratching your head.

6. “Best Donald Trump Quote”: Another tie, folks. There’s too many to pick just one.

“Will someone from Kim Jong Un’s regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my button works!”

“I am not smart, but genius… and a very stable genius at that!”

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

“Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama Bin Laden a lot sooner than that. Wouldn’t it have been nice?”

-In regards to retired Navy SEAL William McRaven who led the 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden who has been publicly critical of Trump.

“He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

-Regarding John McCain

7. “Best New Hip-Hop”: “King’s Dead” by Kendrick Lamar Duckworth
Since his last full-length, “Damn,” I’ve been searching for anything else by this exciting artist. I think I’m pretty late-to-the-game with this guy.

8. “Best Hockey Team”: Calgary Flames
Leading up to the Christmas break they’re one of the hottest teams in the NHL. It’s especially fun watching them excel this year because they have stunk for many years leading up to this season. They also have one of the most exciting players to watch, Johnny Gaudreau, who only stands 5 ft 9 in and weighs a mere 165 lbs which is tiny for a hockey player. He skates circles around his opponents and has possibly the fastest hands in the league.
However, I don’t predict the Flames to win the Stanley Cup Final this season. The Tampa Bay Lightning will take the championship. They are in first place by a mile. They’ve got more firepower than any other team. It’s no contest.

9. “Best Tea”: Assam
Dark and smoky and strong and needs no milk or sweetener.

10. “Best Time Signature”: 4/4
Listen, I love nerding out on all the 5/4, 7/8, 3/4 and what-have-you, but it’s the good ol’ four on the floor that gets the job done every time. Give it to me at One Hundred Twenty beats per minute and turn up the goddamn handclaps!

Thanks for checking in and see you in 2019!