Friday, December 9, 2016
People in Texas are fond of saying that “everything is bigger in Texas.” While I can neither confirm nor deny that, I will say that there is some big, big music news coming out of Texas. Stone Machine Electric has partnered up with the Kampen, Netherlands label Off The Record for a live album release.
If you are unfamiliar with Stone Machine Electric please allow me to enlighten you. The main thing that you need to know is that S.M.E. is likely the best band that you’ve never heard of. If you find that hard to believe then by all means check out their 2016 self-release titled Sollicitus Es Veritatem. If that does not convince you that you are listening to the best band you’ve never heard of then you have my permission to stop reading now.
S.M.E. was formed in 2009 by Mark Kitchens and William “Dub” Irvin and they have released two studio albums, two live albums (not including the upcoming release) and one album that was “improvised live” in Kitchen’s garage. Technically, I suppose one could make the argument that that makes three live albums, but who’s counting? After dabbling as a three piece with a couple of different bassists they ultimately decided to forge their sound as a two piece. Dub ably handles the axe work, while Mr. Kitchens deftly mans the drum kit. They both share vocal responsibilities. Their sound can be best described as heavy psychedelic doom and the results of the decision to carry on as a two piece have proven to be nothing short of amazing.
For those of you that are counting Vivere (Latin for live) represents the third live release from Stone Machine Electric and their first with a label. In keeping tradition with previous releases Mark will be rendering the artwork for this release. He has provided the album art for all of the duo's albums with the exception of their self-titled release. The album was recorded on June 3rd at the Doublewide in Dallas, Texas by Rob Stercraw and was mixed and mastered by Kent Stump (Wo Fat) and Ryan Lee at Crystal Clear Sound recording studio. As of this writing a release date has not been set. My understanding is that everything is ready except for the artwork.
-El Pedo Caliente
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Please welcome MY SLEEPING KARMA`s first live record of their decade long career: Mela Ananda - Live! This is wildly appropriate!
If you’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the live experience that this German four-piece unleashes, you’ll agree that the concert atmosphere provides a healthy dose of enchantment for their much-loved brand of psychedelic rock.
Today the stunning album artwork, track listing & release date have been unveiled:
The incredible detailed artwork is the great work of Sebastian Jerke.
Mela Ananda – translates directly to “a gathering of bliss” - will be released on February 24th 2017 via Napalm Records.
Read the full track listing here:
Mela Ananda - Live
This 8 page digipack also includes a very special bonus DVD "Let´s give it a try” (video documentary of 10 years of MY SLEEPING KARMA) and My Sleeping Karma live at Rockpalast in Cologne with the following track listing:
2 23 Enigma
Reckless heavy rock and multi-layered melodies to make you groove, freak out and dream away – whether you`re sweating in a tightly packed club or listening to Mela Ananda - Live on your headphones, these instrumental wizards. will bring light into even the darkest of souls!
For More Info Visit:
TYGERS OF PAN TANG's self-titled new album is finally coming to North American for fans on February 24. Following an already successful European launch, band founder/guitarist Robb Weir notes, "its been 34 years since a USA Tygers release and we are super excited to give you this one... it's a monster!"
Who would have predicted that 2016 would turn out to be the most productively successful year since their early days for a band whose history stretches back to the birth of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal? Much has been written about the role the Tygers played in the establishment of the movement and about the comings and goings within the band, but it is safe to say that the current line up brings a creative stability and a shared camaraderie that will keep them together, playing live and making records for some time to come.
The year began the signing of a new record deal with Scandinavia’s premier rock & metal label Mighty Music giving the band the opportunity to record the material they had written and honed in a burst of activity in late 2015. Whilst the band were happy to produce themselves at The Blast Studio in Newcastle they knew that the mix needed a fresh pair of ears.
Mighty Music CEO Michael H. Andersen recommended Soren Andersen/Medley Studio for the mix of the album. Having heard and been impressed by material recorded and mixed by Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes, Mike Tramp) the Tygers sought out his services. Soren was only too happy to work with a band whose credentials were so firmly established. For the mastering, Harry Hess of Harem Scarem fame was the perfect man for the job.
Leaving the music in his capable hands, next stop for the band was South America. Having no idea what reception they would receive they were overwhelmed by the fierce dedication of the fans in Brazil and Columbia, who, in many cases, had waited years for an opportunity to witness the live show. From South America to Europe without a breath and then on to North America where they headlined Chicago’s Ragnarokkr festival. To say they aced it is an understatement and in the words of the promoter ‘The Tygers started the first Ragnarokkr riot because people were so pumped up.
Weir notes, "once in a while there comes a special time, a period where you feel it's all finally coming together and that time I'm proud to say is now."
Robb Weir - guitars
Jacopo Meille - vocals
Micky Crystal - guitars
Gav Gray - bass
Craig Ellis - drums & percussion
Festival Dates 2017
1/07 - Mangualde (PT) - Hardmetal Festival
3/03 - Hamburg (DE) - Hell Over Hammaburg Festival
5/13 - Copenhagen (DK) Nordic Noise Rock Festival
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphanies since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.
What have been your musical epiphany moments?
George Hage: I started playing guitar when I was 13 and Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix were really the first to artists I clicked with. Hendrix bent my mind being a virtuoso and Cobain showed me you could write great songs with just power chords.
A.C. Hill: Two moments stand out for me. One was seeing postal service live in a small bar in Chapel Hill before they were "big". Completely caught me off guard. The other is probably hearing "time out of mind" (dylan) for the first time.
Danny Johnson: The first time I heard Radiohead's Kid A, it hit the reset button for how sounds could be used. For a kid who grew up on 60's rock and folk, it broke the "rules" of song structure and how instruments should be used. The idea that a guitar doesn't have to sound like a guitar was a huge realization. Tom Waits' Mule Variations was another epiphany for me -- innovative sounds with an unconventional voice, but all tied to songs that, for me, are unrivaled in their authenticity.
Chris Sayles: Probably the first time I ever saw Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Huge epiphany moment of yes, that's what I want to do. The music thing.
Talk to us about the songwriting process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?
GH: It’s an ever-evolving process that’s never stagnant. Sometimes it’s a riff one of us brings in or makes up on the spot. Other times it’s an idea or story that inspires me to fully flesh out a song before bringing it to the band. Other times A.C. or I may have a melody and rough lyrics that we take to the band to flesh out together.
ACH: For me it usually starts with a riff and a melody. I'm big on melodies. We all contribute to fleshing out the songs from there.
DJ: Musically, anyone who strives for exceptionalism. Not technical expertise, necessarily, but being the best at what they do. While I love listening to Jerry Douglas be the best dobro player around, I'm more inspired by listening to Jeff Buckley, Ryan Adams, Dawes... artists who worked to figure out their pocket and really dedicate themselves to perfecting it.
ACH: Danny Johnson
GH: There’s too many to name. I try to learn or take something away from any experience whether it’s how someone successfully delivered a song or seeing why something doesn’t always work well. We are very lucky to be surrounded by a wide variety of talent and a diverse community.
Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?
GH: I’ve actually found a lot of inspiration at comic book and indie press conventions. It’s really motivating to see so many artists/creators come together to share their original ideas with thousands of people who are all there to interact with and consume their art. Sometimes I find that same inspiration at a concert but we don’t really have the same set up for music/bands. As far as finding ideas, 2016 has been a hell of year full of death, life changes, and teeth-grinding, local lawmaking and national politics.
ACH: I am honestly bored with most music I hear these days. I do like to listen to hip-hop to get inspiration now and then.
CS: In the least expected of places. Could be a commercial I see on TV, could be a percussion loop in an EDM song I'm listening to in the gym, a solid plate of eggs (how is that NOT inspiring).
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?
GH: Raleigh is a rapidly growing city and it’s an exciting time for us to grow with our city. It’s been amazing to see live music develop over the past decade and the diversity it brings. With festivals like Hopscotch Music Festival bringing some of the best in indie, metal, hip hop, etc, and MoogFest bringing some of the best experimental and electronic artists, and IBMA bringing the best bluegrass players together annually. That mix of talent definitely inspires us to blend several styles in our music.
DJ: Raleigh is such a music town, it's hard not to be influenced by the abundance of talented writers and performers in the city. Raleigh has a big-but-small metropolitan environment that makes it possible to walk down the street and recognize others from the community, but it’s got a big enough population, and steady growth, to seek out and win over new fans.
Where'd the band name come from?
GH: A.C. and I lived together for a bit while we wrote and recorded some early song ideas way back in 2005. We wanted to schedule a few shows to test them out so we needed a name. At the time we didn’t feel like the music we wanted to make was represented on the radio so our thought was to make the kind of music we want to hear and jack the radio. It started as a call to action but it’s somewhat transformed into a character we are fighting with our music.
You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?
GH: Would be totally down to do the remakes of Roadhouse or Dune if they ever decide to do it. Beyond that any western or sci-fi western movie would be rad.
ACH: Schindler's List. Seriously.
DJ: We'll call dibs on whatever film Quentin Tarantino puts out next. Either that, or we could grab a time machine and head back into the hey-day of spaghetti westerns to team up with Ennio Morricone on a flick.
CS: Pi. The black and white movie from the late 90's. Look it up.
You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?
GH: First thought is either Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away” or Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand”. Both have truly memorable and epic moments for me and the reversed guitar solo by Hendrix is a classic.
DJ: That's a tough one... it would be a tie for me, both story-songs. Dawes, "Little Bit of Everything", because it's a great Americana tune, and demonstrates how to tell a touching narrative with direct, contemporary language. Either that, or Tom Waits "Pony", because it gets me choked up every time I hear it, so there's got to be some interesting science behind a song that can do that.
Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?
GH: Still one of my all time favorite moments was playing a rooftop party to kick off a festival in the Berkshires. Playing a rooftop show had always been on my bucket list after watching the Beatles’ last public performance in 1969. The night was full of amazing food, beers and even rocked out with the mayor.
DJ: I definitely got lost backstage at Memorial Auditorium when we opened for George Thorogood, ending up out in the crowd and trying to convince the backstage security staff that I was with the opening band. Certainly effective for instilling humility.
Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?
CS: Live shows are where the magic happens. There have been countless musical interactions that have happened between members of the band that we've been like "Damn, I wish we had put that on the album!" It's where we loosen up and have even more fun than when we record, which is already a lot of fun. I'm not sure we can measure the amount of fun.
GH: Exactly that. It’s a place to directly interact and share moments with the audience. It’s amazing to see what songs or parts of songs people connect with and getting lost in those moments together.
ACH: Carl Anderson.
DJ: In our area, Mount Moriah, Phil Cook, and American Aquarium are really inspirational in regards to sheer exceptionalism -- each of those acts has dialed in a unique sound that speaks to what NC has to offer the national arts scene. Outside of that, Dawes consistently puts out some of the most engaging and well-written songs in years, especially in regards to Taylor Goldsmith's lyrics. He tells stories that are captivating and memorable, which is become less and less common in pop music. Blake Mills is probably my favorite all-around artist out now. As a player, songwriter, producer, sideman... he's as good as it gets.
GH: Jack White, Dan Auerbach, Dave Grohl, Sturgill Simpson, and Blake Mills guitar work just off the top of my head. Locally we have some great talent as well with Wild Fur, Kooley High, The Dead Tongues, American Aquarium and a ton of other great bands.
Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?
GH: Vinyl when I want to sit down and really digest an album. I love digital for the convenience and portability and CDs for long drives but both can come with distractions. It’s a treat to be able to put a record on and hold the cover in hand and read through lyrics and credits.
ACH: No question. Vinyl.
DJ: CD for convenience -- I've got a wall full of CDs and the collection keeps growing, but vinyl for sheer enjoyment. Hanging out with my daughter, pulling a record from its sleeve, and watching together as it drops down on the turntable from the autoloader on my 1950's Magnavox console player... not much better than that!
CS: Digital. Can't play records on my phone while I'm at work or doing other responsible-adulty-type things. And I scratch CDs like a professional. Can't use them within a week.
Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice
GH: Why choose when you can have both. You wouldn’t split up a great duo would you?
DJ: Out and about? Beer. NC breweries are the unofficial fueling agents for many Raleigh musicians. At home or in the studio, a glass of rye whiskey fits the bill.
CS: Whiskey. And not that whiskey needs a defense because it doesn't, but it's less carby. #fitspo
We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your hometown, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?
GH: Schoolkids Records is a staple in the Triangle and the Raleigh store just added a bar so make sure to stop in, grab a drink and enjoy some music.
DJ: Schoolkids or Nice Price are both bountiful treasure troves of music.
What's next for the band?
GH: We’re always working to push our live show and crafting new ideas. Currently we’re in the midst of planning a new Jack the Radio beer collaboration with Trophy Brewing to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of our debut album, Pretty Money for release early 2017 with a new music video for the song.
Additionally we’re working on other exciting album releases with some familiar faces and short tours for 2017.
Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
GH: I’m writing this fresh after the election results. I’ll stay out of politics but want to say despite our differences in this great country, let’s remember to be kind to one another.
OH and music is good for the soul so find more at www.jacktheradio.com and follow on Twitter: @jacktheradio, Instagram: @jacktheradiomusic, and subscribe on youtube.com/jacktheradio
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
RUBY THE HATCHET
(photo: Troy Memis)
Philly heavy psych quintet RUBY THE HATCHET has completed work on its highly anticipated new album. The bewitching rock troop featuring vocalist Jillian Taylor, guitarist Johnny Scarps, bassist Lake Muir, drummer Owen Stewart and organist Sean Hur, recorded the album in an 1800's era estate deep in the Pennsylvania woods with engineers Joe Boldizar (Retro City Studios) and Zach Goldstein (Kawari Sound). The as-yet-untitled album is slated for a spring 2017 release via Tee Pee Records. The upcoming full-length follows the band's celebrated sophomore LP, Valley of the Snake, which was hailed as "trippy, organ-tinged doom metal" by Revolver and "a commanding display of hard rock" by Verbicide.
"Setting up shop and recording ourselves in an 1800's era estate has been a pleasure and a labor," comments Taylor. "We built the studio in house from the ground up – mostly Sean (organ), with help from our friends at Kawari Sound and Retro City Studios. From homemade preamps to third floor room mics hidden in echo chambers, the tones on this album are truly vintage. Putting ourselves into seclusion provided a process that influenced the album's sound, allowing us to create our own pocket of deep space rock inside of a time warp where everything else stopped - politics, personal shit, the day-to-day worries that tarnish the soul…all gone. This album is like nothing we have ever made before."
More details on RUBY THE HATCHET's upcoming album will be released soon. The band will launch a U.S. tour alongside labelmates Earthless on December 2 in Chicago, IL. Fans can expect to hear a taste of the band's new material on the two week trek, which runs through December 17 in Detroit, MI. The tour wraps up two years of heavy touring by the band in support of Valley Of The Snake, which saw RUBY THE HATCHET hit the road with Black Mountain, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and The Sword.
RUBY THE HATCHET tour dates:
* All shows with EARTHLESS
December 2 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
December 3 St Louis, MO The Firebird
December 4 Norman, OK OPOLIS
December 6 Dallas, TX Club Dada
December 7 Austin, TX Barracuda
December 8 Houston, TX Rudyard's Pub
December 9 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
December 10 Atlanta, GA The EARL
December 11 Raleigh, NC Barcade
December 12 Richmond, VA Strange Matter
December 13 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
December 14 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
December 15 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe
December 16 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
December 17 Detroit, MI El Club
About RUBY THE HATCHET
Psychedelic space rockers RUBY THE HATCHET are one of heavy music’s finest on-the-rise bands. Evoking a decade’s worth of growth and maturity gained in just a few short years, the genesis from the band’s 2011 self-titled EP to present day has been nothing short of stunning. Forming after a series of New Jersey basement practices, this doomy quintet bring an organ-driven Deep Purple groove, wailing female vocal harmonies and fuzzy guitar and bass tones that are nostalgic, but not dated. Live intensity and tightness is paramount for these in-the-pocket groovers who not only write together, but live together. RUBY THE HATCHET conjure occult-flavored, evil hard rock with hypnotic and mythical lyrics for a witchy brew of ominous wild rock sounds. If the Wilson sisters had a 5-headed Sabbath love child and Stevie Nicks was the mid-wife, consider RUBY THE HATCHET the bastard that strikes a balance between psych density and metal grandiosity.
Follow RUBY THE HATCHET on social media:
John Garcia's cult desert rock unit SLO BURN to reform for an exclusive performance at DESERTFEST LONDON
What better place for a SLO BURN reunion than DESERTFEST LONDON, folks? The legendary desert rock unit fronted by none other than the master himself – John Garcia – is set to ravish all desert and stoner rock fans from the outset with a one-off performance in Camden this April.
It's been twenty years since John Garcia's desert rock supergroup SLO BURN released their unique album "Amusing The Amazing", leaving the whole stoner rock scene gambling on a plausible return.
After previously welcoming John Garcia's Unida, DESERTFEST LONDON is now more than honored to host another Palm Desert cornerstone act in Camden. The reunion lineup will comprise John Garcia on vocals, Damon Garrison, Erickson Houghton and Chris Hale, whom will perform their all-time classics "Pilot The Dune", "July", "Muezli", as well as songs taken off the Kyuss catalog.
Other bands announced include headliners Turbonegro, but also Candlemass, Lowrider, Samsara Blues Experiment, Black Spiders, Satan's Satyrs, The Picturebooks, 1000Mods, and dozens more to be confirmed.
- DESERTFEST LONDON 2017 -
28th to 30th April in Camden, London
Weekend passes (£100) available HERE
Get more infos on the Desertfest website
Monday, December 5, 2016
Ahoy waveriders! Have you ever needed a push, or two, or three from someone you know or trust in order to discover some music/movie/book/etc. that is right up your alley? The rest of this write-up will clearly show that I have experienced this very situation. Now let's talk about an artist named Sturgill Simpson.
For two and a half years I had been reading sparkling reviews and hearing from reliable sources about this amazing music being produced by one Sturgill Simpson. "He's saving country music," they said. "You've got to listen to these songs! You'll love them," they told me. A slew of people took notice and bought his 2014 album Metamodern Sounds In Country Music. Some of my fellow Ripple Effect writers listed the album in their year-end Top 10 lists. After all that did I take the time to investigate this music? Nope. Not me. I filed the information away and told myself that I would get around to hearing what others were raving about later. Fast forward to 2016.
One day while shopping in Target, a major department store chain in the US for those that might not know, I perused through the dwindling CD section and was drawn to one album in particular thanks to the cover art. Interestingly enough the album in question turned out to be A Sailor's Guide To Earth, the latest release from one Sturgill Simpson. Huh? My memory banks quickly reminded me how this artist came highly recommended so I made the purchase.
Well, well, well. Wouldn't you know? My compatriots were right! This album is amazing! It's also kaleidoscopic in terms of musical scope. What do I mean by that? I'm glad you asked. Overall I like to sell A Sailors... as outlaw country mixed with Motown horns. No, really. The Dap Kings of Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings fame (R.I.P. Ms. Jones) just so happen to be the horn section adding the swing, soul, and funk to these compositions and the combination of sounds is awesome!
Outside of the tracks featuring the horn section there are also the delicate and earnest ballads "Oh, Sarah" and "Breakers Roar". Falling more into the Southern rock template is the insistent "Brace For Impact (Live A Little)". "Sea Stories" reminds me very much of a Waylon Jennings song and that's absolutely fine. Last but not least there is a fantastic cover of Nirvana's "In Bloom", where Mr. Simpson takes the original song and easily makes it his own.
Waveriders. Folks. My friends. Don't be like me. Don't wait years to check into the music of Sturgill Simpson. A Sailor's Guide To Earth is an album that will enrich your listening life right now! Pick up your copy today, listen and become a fan like me, and then recommend the album to somebody else. It's the right thing to do.