Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Tommy Victor Of Prong

Earlier this month Mark from ZED wrote about his appreciation for Prong and their recent concert in San Jose.  In case you missed that one the link is below.

Graciously Tommy Victor took the time to be interviewed by Mark.  Even better, he allowed Mark to record the interview!  Now presented for your listening pleasure...

-ZED Mark

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Waxing With Waveriders

With a few blog posts now focusing on the crew behind the Ripple scenes, we thought it would be fun to put a spotlight on some of you hardcore Waveriders. Not only as a way to get input directly from the people who keep this train a-rollin and see if there’s any way we might be able to better serve you as customers, but to get a better understanding of who our Waveriders are and what keeps you coming back riff after riff after riff.

First up is a bit of a special instance, as Bucky Brown isn’t just a fan – he’s Ripple Family. Quasi-crew, if you will. He’s been a Waverider for a long while and has had his hands in some of the business side of Ripple here and… well, let’s just see what he has to say.


Bucky! Your love for music is apparent, and your support for the bands and labels that you dig is second to none. Much appreciation for all that you do to help spread the word and influence growth within the scene. On that note, a couple questions for ya:

o        What motivates you to listen to and share as much music as you do?

That’s an interesting question and one that a lot of us die-hard fans probably don’t think about too often. For me I guess it’s just what feels natural and something that I really enjoy and get excited about. I can’t imagine a life without a constant flow of music anymore as it’s kind of all I know. As far as the motivation to share the music, I think that I have just grown to realize I have a strength in that area based upon feedback from peers and others in the music scene. When you know you are good at something and care about it enough it’s natural instinct to want to share with others. My instincts are telling me to spread the love so that others may hear what I am hearing. Most importantly I genuinely enjoy doing it. If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t be so active in doing it. In fact it’s really the main reason I am even using social media at all. Besides the occasional food picture or cloud porn shot I also enjoy.

o        You’ve been the catalyst behind a few band signings at Ripple – how did those happen?

Long story short, I listen to a shit ton of music and it just so happens a bunch of folks seem eager to listen to the bands I recommend. One of them being President Todd Severin. It all started on bandcamp believe it or not in the early days. I was one of the first folks to become active at regularly writing short reviews (blurbs) on bandcamp about albums I wanted others to hear. Folks started noticing and following along. Gary over at Grip of Delusion radio reached out to me first to see if I wanted to write reviews on his new blog for the station, and I thought it sounded fun. I was then approached by the Sludgelord Blog to write reviews for them back when Steve Howe was running the helm. I was a big follower of the blog at the time and was flattered to say the least. That lasted a while and then it was time to move on as I later responded to The Ripple Effect “classified” add to join the Ripple team to review albums at the Ripple Effect Blog. This is where me and Todd became closer friends. From there the vision of Ripple aligned close with the kinds of bands I was already recommending to total strangers online via the Review sites and bandcamp. Todd instills trust in my taste by asking for my input on bands that approached him and asked me to keep a list of bands I had been listening to as well. He pronounced me what I like to call the “Officially Unofficial” A&R guy at Ripple Music. Between me Todd and Pope it came down to a formula of sorts that we both agree on albums worthy of the Ripple stamp, and Todd works his magic from there.  These are a few of the bands I’ve been a catalyst into their signing or inclusion with a Ripple release. Doublestone, Fire Down Below, Salems Bend, BoneHawk, Plainride, Ozone Mama, The Hazytones, The Trikes, Red Mesa, and more to come in the work. Some stuff in the pipeline I am very excited about.

o        And to piggyback on the last question – are there bands on any other labels that you had a hand in getting signed?

You know I can’t say I directly handed over bands to other labels to sign, but I do regularly converse with other labels and bands behind the scenes such as with Jadd at Magnetic Eye Records, Ric at Twin Earth Records, Neils at Cursed Tongue, Steve at STB, etc… and am not scared to recommend other labels to bands who have reached out hoping to get on Ripple where I know the timing is not right or it may be a better fit for them to approach another label. We are all on the same team, and that’s another thing that keeps me motivated to keep doing what I do. The entire scene is so family oriented and the more we can act as a part of the same team to help each other out, the stronger the scene can become and I think the more people we can convert to the dark side. I do like to think I indirectly have a hand in regular signings in the heavy underground Indy labels. There are a handful of fans out there all doing similar things, it’s not just me. We all know who we are and its good company. I think the labels generally know who we are too and pay attention. Its free for them, why not. The way it seems to work in today’s scene is that we all have a hand in getting bands signed, whether we’re credited for it or not.

o        Are you a musician in any way, shape or form?

I am a tall and skinny, balding and tattooless, middle aged white dude with a professional engineering license in civil engineering. I excel at math and science, which I think goes hand in hand with musical strength. I guess you could say might play in some kind of indie rock band on the side, that is if I got a tattoo and grew out my beard? In reality I am not a musician at all. I do have an acoustic guitar I used to play around with 15+ years ago, that still sits out of tune in the corner of my music listening room. If I could go back and do it again I would definitely pick up an instrument at an early age and hang out with the nerdy kids in band more as a kid. I guess it’s never too late to pick up and I have young kids myself right now. I think I have a good ear for a groove, and could write some killer riffs if I put my mind to it and got off my ass. Someday maybe. I learned pretty fast using tablature back when I first started using the internet. Much respect for musicians.

o        What’s your favorite Album released on Ripple?

That’s kind of like asking what my favorite taco filling it man. As for current releases the biggest surprise of 2018 for me has been the Against the Grain album. That one came out of nowhere and I really dig it. As for other favorite Ripple albums I might have to go with Bonehawk and Salem’s Bend albums. The new Ozone Mama album is great, I am a big fan of Stubb, who have been relatively inactive lately. Stubb and Bonehawk need to get a new album out. Hurry up guys!!

o        What’s your preference - Vinyl, CD or Digital?

I would have to say in reality I listen to 90% digital anymore as I am constantly on the move and it’s the only logistical way to listen to as much music as I listen to. Streaming, and mp3s on my mobile device takes the cake for format most listened to anymore. I just don’t sit still very often.

I prefer vinyl for the tangible aspect of it and knowing that it supports the bands and labels the most. The artwork I’ve really grown to appreciate as well. The collector aspect of it is also very fun. These are just excuses to cover up the negative connotation of the real reason being “addiction”. The #vinyljunkie hashtag didn’t just fall from the sky.

§         If Vinyl, how many records do you own?

I don’t have an exact count, I’d estimate honing in on the 1,000 range including 7-inchers. I’ve really took a step back this year due to finances. Vinyl is a very expensive hobby, nearing that of a hardcore drug addiction only it doesn’t fuck you up physically like Chrystal meth. I’ll also mention my collection is almost exclusively new albums by new bands. I am not a digger so much as obtaining old used records. I want the new artists and the first-time owner stuff. I have a hundred or so classic used records, but prefer to keep it fresh and new.

·         And is there one of those that you listen to the most?

To be honest, the records I listen to the most are the softer albums. The soulful, country, or Americana type albums that the whole family can enjoy together. I don’t have a lot of alone time in the record room. I do a lot of listening to records by Jason Isbell and the Drive-By Truckers who are my favorite active band going right now. The record I’ve spun the most this year has got to be the new album by The Sheepdogs called Changing Colours.

o        What’s your favorite live music memory of the last 5 years?

There have been many great memories in the last 5 years. Kind of like picking a favorite Ripple release (or child). In terms of overall experience, I’d say the trip to Psycho Las Vegas in 2017 was a favorite memory recently. It wasn’t so much the music that made that trip memorable it was getting a chance to hang out with new and old friends that I’ve grown close to online the last several years. Everyone together in one spot was surreal. Hands down best musical memory. Other runners up for similar reasons would be the Borderland Fuzz Fiesta trip to Tuscon back in 2016 as well as the first annual Beers in Hell festival later that year. It’s always a memorable experience meeting up with the musicians and other fans that you aren’t physically around in your day to day routine.

o        As a fan/customer, is there anything you would like to see Ripple do differently?

Yes, I would like Ripple to come to fucking Reno and do a Ripplefest because I live here and like every other fan out there, I want a god damn Ripplefest and I want it now!! In all seriousness, I think Ripple is doing a fantastic job and it’s no wonder every hard rock band in the scene wants to be part of the Ripple family right now.

Another thing I just thought of, me being a big bandcamp nerd and all, would be for Ripple to include some PR of each album on their bandcamp page for that album. Similar to some other bands and labels such as Small Stone where each album has a short little story or bio at the bottom left to publicize the album a little more individually. Currently I’ve heard feedback from other fans about certain albums on labels bandcamp pages, where the tags are all the same and the description on the album page just talks about the label and not specifically the album of note. Not every band on the album fits the labels general tags or styles. Ripple is pretty good on the tags, but the individual attention on each albums purchase page could benefit, maybe? I know this would require more work, but I think the PR companies have already written some of this type of stuff and could simply paste it into each albums page. I like reading those little bios and reviews quoted on an album’s bandcamp page to differentiate it from the actual label. Not to sound nitpicky, you asked, and I like to be honest.

Also tell that Matt Bacon kid if he wears black pants and boots to the pool party in Vegas this year I am going to be very disappointed. I was sweating for him in the hot sun last year. If I see him this year I’m bringing a knife to cut those jean legs off and he can still wear the boots. It is Nevada so that sort of shit flies anyway.

- Sludge Buns

Friday, April 27, 2018


“No novelty, the B-52s may be the most subversive band America ever gave us…Campy? Yes. Colorful? Yes. Fun? Very much so. But none of this should take away from their value as vanguards”- Salon

“The greatest white dance band in the world”- Interview Magazine

Now over 20 million albums into their career, there can be no doubt as to why The B-52s remain one of rock music’s most beloved and enduring bands. As The B-52s gear up to celebrate their 40th Anniversary, what better way to celebrate then hitting the road with Grammy Award winning legends Boy George and Culture Club for a major 2018 U.S. summer tour. The Life Tour: starring Boy George & Culture Club and The B-52s, will visit 40+ cities across the U.S. kicking off June 29 in St. Augustine, FL going thru October 3rd. Tickets are on sale now! Click HERE to purchase.

Today, The B-52s announce they will be offering a VIP Preshow Party Mix Package. Come join the band for a 40th anniversary toast pre-show and meet and greet. Packages are limited, so don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to hang with the band! VIP packages are on-sale now, please click HERE to purchase.

The B-52s will also be playing solo dates beginning May 27th. These dates kick off in Cincinnati, OH at Taste of Cincinnati and go through June 10th. Listing of the full tour dates below!

May 27** Cincinnati,OH Taste of Cincinnati
June 1** Philadelphia, PA SugarHouse Casino
June 2** Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
June 3** Portland, ME Aura
June 5** Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
June 8** Grand Rapids, MI Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
June 9** Madison, WI The Orpheum Theater
June 10** Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee PrideFest at Henry Maier Festival Park
June 29 St. Augustine, FL Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
June 30 Tampa, FL USF Sun Dome
July 1 Pompano, FL Pompano Beach Amphitheatre
July 11 Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Amphitheater
July 12* Tulsa, OK River Spirit Casino Resort
July 13* Memphis, TN Live at the Garden
July 15 Houston, TX Smart Financial at Sugar Land
July 17 Cary, NC Koka Booth Amphitheatre
July 18 Vienna, VA Wolf Trap
July 20 Charleston, SC Volvo Car Stadium
July 21 Charlotte, NC PNC Music Pavilion
July 22 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheater
July 26* Verona, NY Turning Stone Casino
July 27 Boston, MA Wang Theatre
July 28 Forest Hills, NY Forest Hills Stadium
August 19** Lake Buena Vista, FL House of Blues
August 28 Lewistown, NY Artpark
August 30 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
August 31 Chicago, IL Ravinia Festival
September 1 Chicago, IL Ravinia Festival
September 3 St. Paul, MN Minnesota State Fair
September 6 St. Louis, MO Fox Theatre
September 7 Kansas City, OH Starlight Theatre
September 8 Denver, CO Fiddlers Green Amphitheatre
September 15 Portland, OR Theatre of the Clouds
September 16 Murphys, CA Ironstone Amphitheatre
September 18 Saratoga, CA The Mountain Winery
September 19 Saratoga, CA The Mountain Winery
September 21 Salt Lake City, UT Maverik Center
September 22 Reno, NV Reno Event Center
September 23 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl
September 28 Cabazon, CA Morongo
September 29 Las Vegas, NV Downtown Las Vegas Event Center
September 30 Phoenix, AZ Talking Stick
October 3 Los Angeles, CA The Greek Theatre
October 6** San Diego, CA Humphreys Concerts By the Bay

All dates and venues subject to change. The lineup will feature Boy George & Culture Club and Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey for all dates unless otherwise noted below:
* B-52s and Boy George & Culture Club
**B-52s only

About the B-52s
It is well known that the B-52s are The World’s Greatest Party Band. Nearly 40 years and over 20 million albums into their career, there can be no doubt as to why they remain one of rock music’s most beloved and enduring bands. Any mystery concerning the band’s longevity and ongoing appeal is immediately solved when exposed to a B-52s concert experience. From groundbreaking songs like “Rock Lobster,” “Dance This Mess Around,” “Private Idaho,” “Roam” and “Deadbeat Club” to chart-topping hits like “Love Shack,” to their thrilling reemergence on the pop scene with their 2008 CD Funplex, which bowed at #11 on the Top 200. The B-52s’ unforgettable dance-rock tunes start a party every time their music begins.

Formed on an October night in 1976 following drinks at an Athens, GA, Chinese restaurant, the band played their first gig at a friend’s house on Valentine’s Day 1977. Naming themselves after Southern slang for exaggerated 'bouffant’ hairdos, the newly-christened B-52s (Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson and Ricky Wilson) began weekend road trips to New York City for gigs at CBGB's and a handful of other venues. Before long, their thrift store aesthetic and genre-defying songs were the talk of the post-punk underground. A record deal soon followed and their self-titled debut disc, produced by Chris Blackwell, sold more than 500,000 copies on the strength of their first singles, the garage rock party classic “Rock Lobster,” and “52 Girls.” The album placed at #152 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and #99 on VH1’s “Greatest Albums of All Time.” The B-52s began to attract fans far beyond the punk clubs of the Lower East Side — galvanizing the pop world with their 'stream-of-consciousness' approach to songwriting and outrageous performance. They had clearly tapped into a growing audience for new music that was much larger than anyone could have anticipated.

1989’s watershed Cosmic Thing elevated them to another galaxy altogether. It moved 5 million-plus units and spawned a string of Top 10 smashes in the form of GRAMMY®-nominated “Roam” and “Love Shack”—which Rolling Stone lauded as “Single of the Year” and also #246 on the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” “Love Shack” also earned the MTV Moonman that year for “Best Group Video.” Their marathon tour in support of the record would be highlighted by an Earth Day gig at Central Park for 750,000 fans.

As they take their party-music revolution into the 21st century, the B-52s show no signs of slowing down, serving up their own unique blend of music and showmanship to millions of fans around the world.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Folks Behind The Music: Into The World Of Ripple - Mighty Odin!

How did you first get involved in Ripple?

I discovered Ripple when I was looking for some Stone Axe vinyl. I got a handwritten note on my packing list when I received my order, and I kept checking out all the releases that Ripple was putting out in the early days. I bought everything Ripple put out for several years. The handwritten notes evolved into emails and messages and we got to know each other a little. One day I asked Todd if there was anything I could do to help out with the label. He said he really needed help with the all the bookkeeping so we worked out how we could get the information back and forth and how we were going to make it work. I think it says a lot for our organization and communication that we've worked together since 2013 but just met face to face earlier this year.

What made you want to be an accountant for an independent record label?

I love accounting and I have loved music for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a house where my parents listened to a wide variety of music. My mom tells the story that whenever she needed to get me out of the way when I was a toddler, she'd put on a Fats Domino record and I would just sit and hold the album cover and hardly move. I have that actual record today. Anyway, I had been looking for some way to work in the music business and this was the perfect way to combine two things I love.

Your responsibilities with Ripple have grown a lot over the last few years. What’s your favorite aspect of the work?

Good question. I really enjoy the “behind the scenes” aspect of what I do. I get to hear about the projects that are coming down the pipeline. I get a little inkling in how Todd works with the bands and the different agreements between Ripple and the bands. It's fun to see that Todd is creative in his approach and tries to give the bands the things that are most important to them. And I really enjoy meeting the Ripple bands when they come through town on tour and introducing myself as the Ripple bookkeeper.

What are some things you have learned while doing this job?

I've learned several things. I've learned how royalties work and what labels are required to do, and the different types and levels involved in royalties. I've gotten a chance to gain some new knowledge of contracts. It's been really enjoyable to learn about vinyl manufacturing, that's probably the one thing I've loved the most. Ripple was kind of at the forefront of this vinyl resurgence, not necessarily in the quantity of units that we move, but certainly in making an effort to put out as many releases as possible on vinyl and its been a cool thing to learn about. I'm very curious about things so any time I get a chance to learn about something I'm interested in is a very good thing for me.

How did previous life experience inform your work with the label? Asides from accounting, have you worked in music before?

I've never worked in music, but I've appreciated as I said from a very early age. I play several different instruments and have played in a variety of types of bands over the years. And I've attended way more than my fair share of shows. I think I bring a lot of enthusiasm to my work with Ripple, and as Ripple has grown over the years I have the experience to suggest changes to the way we do things to be more efficient on the administrative side of the label. Certainly in the areas that I am responsible for, I appreciate that Todd gives me the freedom to basically figure out how I want to do things.

How does this type of work differ from the accounting you normally do?

This work is very detail oriented, in that I literally have to track each individual sale so that it gets posted properly to each band and whether or not it is physical product or a digital sale so that the proper level of royalties are paid. I also have to keep track of the individual contracts with each band, as there are different agreements in place. And then tie that all together to keep track of each release as a project so we can report to the bands on a regular basis and let them know how each release is doing. So its very different from working in the construction industry, or for a restaurant, or a dog groomer, which are some of the other businesses for which I do accounting.

What inspires you with stoner rock?

I really dig the heaviness and the riffs that just repeat and pummel the listener. It may sound weird but I find music like that very relaxing. I can put on an album of stoner rock and just let it pound me into submission and wash away all the stress and whatever other bad things I've accumulated from the day. I'm an old fart and I used to listen to Black Sabbath's “Mob Rules” when I was in high school whenever I had a bad day. Just crank it up and let go of all the bad stuff. Kind of like a deep tissue massage for the ears and psyche.

What do you think separates Ripple from other labels?
I think that Todd and Pope are always trying to up their game and bring new things to fans of the label, and I think that is one of the reasons there are so many diehard Ripple fans out there. They are also both guys with a lot of integrity and men of their word, and its easy to work for guys like that, and easy to support what they are doing. I think the commitment to vinyl has also been a key to success, and continuing to bring cool versions and colorways of vinyl. Series like the Second Coming of Heavy also sets Ripple apart.

Where do you see the label going and where do you see yourself going within the label?

I hope that the label will continue to grow and prosper and my ultimate dream would be to come to work full time for Ripple, but there's a lot of work to do to get to that point. I am in for the long haul though and I will be a part of Ripple for as long as they will have me.

What is your favorite Ripple related memory?

I can think of three. Todd accepting the offer of my services was pretty cool. I had a chance to interview Mothership for my former radio show and that was a good time. Getting to be a part of Ripplefest in San Francisco this past February was right up there as well. I got to meet several of the bands and hang out with Todd for a weekend and it was one of the more enjoyable weekends I've had in a while.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Xroadie Files

Lord of Pagathorn – Diamono Philia
Sedit – Bass, Hellwind – Vocals/Drums, Corpselord – Guitar/Bass/Vocals

Intro Nietzscherion  strange  guitar sounds evil enveloping you.  Evil To Destroy Evil full fury and force rammed down your throat with evil intentions.  Ghosts Among Us grab on and try to keep from falling into the dark abyss.  Prayer of Desecration slow steady evil walking up behind you to devour you then its slams you with ferocity.  Rise of The Celestial a mid-tempo marching beat ready to squash anything in its path.  Builders of The Higher Places evil demonic souls rise from the black underworld ready to take over the world.  The Spirit Of Perversion fast heavy aggression that just takes you down with it.  Spiritual Spiral Stairs eerie sounding music that just takes you over and makes you wish you were dead.  Throne of Lucifer has spoken words then evil sounds and it makes you kneel at the feet of Lucifer.

Maidavale – Madness Is Too Pure
Matilda Roth- Vocals, Johanna Hansson – Drums, Linn Johanesson – Bass, Sofia Strom – Guitar

Deadlock overdriven guitars tribal drums psychedelic guitar sounds with female vocals.  Oh Hysteria take a trip back to the psychedelic 60 and get ready for a wild ride.  Gold Mind a very catchy beat and some interesting vocals that just stick in your brain for days.  Walk In Silence foot stomping head banging hard psychedelic rock that makes you just groove to the music.  Spaktrum is an excellent blues based acid rock song.  Dark Clouds slow and melodic with some great musicianship that just works its way into your very being taking you on a strange wonderful trip.  Trance excellent bass pounding drums swirling guitars has a Jefferson Airplane feel.  She Is Gone if this song was done in the late 60s it would have had the entire club dancing and swaying to the beat.  Another Dimension close your eyes and trip to the music it will be a strange excellent trip.

Pagandom – Hurt As A Shadow
Martin Carlsson – Guitar, Christian Jansson – Bass/Vocals, Soren Fardvik – Drums, Anders Bjorler - Guitar

Forever thrash speed metal in your face and pounded down your throat aggression.  An Entity A Ghost get the pit a moshing and slamming these guys are full on speed metal.  Hurt As A Shadow is more of a power metal riff that will have the entire crowd movin to the rhythm and singing along.  Behind The Worlds fans of speed thrash will love these guys they are relentless.  Catapults And Trapdoors fist in the air hair flying heavy metal that gets the crowd bouncing and slamming.  Monochrome Vision a very catchy riff that works its way into your brain and stays there for hours.  Breather melodic guitar is just what this song is called a breather from the thrash fury.  Not Of Diamonds back to the speed metal thrash fury with some fist pounding riffs.  Bridges Burn great guitar riffs pounding drums thundering bass get ready to kick some ass.  Terminal Narcissist interesting beats reminds me of Anthrax man these guys are tight and professional.  No Hope To Be Lost head banging at its finest you will have a sore neck by the end of this album.  Flooded City slows down but is still just as heavy and relentless with its power.         

Powerhouse – Adrenaline
Andy Montoya – Drums, Lance Martinez – Guitar, Niko Valdez – Guitar, Luke Peterson – Vocals, Nate Crocker – Bass, Quinten Lawson – Guitar/Vocals, Jaelum Herrera – Bass, Seth Amos – Drums

Heavier Than Thunder fist pumping power metal that just gets you ready to rumble with the music.  Trigger Warning excellent metal that will make you stand up and scream hell yeah and play air guitar along with this great riff.  Project X tribal beats that just work their way into your brain and a riff that just takes you over along with some scorching lead guitar.  Through The Ringer fist in the air sing along and move to the very catchy rhythm lets rock.  Crush’ Em the title says it all get ready to be crushed and enjoy it.

Retched – The Overlord Messiah
Roger – Bass, Mike- Drums, David – Guitar, Tom – Guitar, Doug Vocals

Black Leather And Me power metal from the glory days with great sing along vocals and an very catchy riff.  Insane more of a speed metal riff that just grabs you and takes you down the road on a trip.  Metal Knights classic metal mixed with some prog elements.  The Overlord sounds of war and a thundering rhythm that reminds you of classic Iron maiden.  The Pharaohs Curse sounds of wind and evil surrounding you with gongs from hell then the thundering of hoofs bringing hell down on you.  Rock Me power glory thunder and lightning raining down with melodic guitars then a steady riff and some soaring vocals just pure power metal at its best.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Folks Behind The Music: Into The World Of Ripple - Penfold

How did you first get involved in The Ripple Effect?

Once upon a time there was a young man looking to expand his musical horizons.  He regularly navigated the world wide web looking for well written recommendations which tickled his fancy.  One day this young man landed upon a blog entitled The Ripple Effect.  Knowledge of the first review/writeup he encountered has been lost to time, but this budding connoisseur quickly became a regular site visitor.

Alright, enough of that fairytale nonsense!  After reading the site for awhile I came across a 'Writers Wanted' ad.  Racer and Pope were needing someone to help them review the growing number of music submissions flowing in, specifically the extreme metal/indie rock submissions that were outside the wheelhouse of the existing writers.  Well, that didn't accurately describe my musical tastes so I took no action.  Fast forward a couple of weeks and they ran the 'Writers Wanted' ad again.  I honestly can't explain what made my brain throw up it's hands and say "Screw it, what do you have to lose?", but I decided to throw my hat in the ring.

One, maybe two days later I submitted reviews for a couple of my favorite albums (Mr. Bungle's California and Blackalicious' Blazing Arrow).  Much to my surprise I heard back from Racer and Pope who told me they dug what I wrote and asked if I would like to contribute to The Ripple Effect.  I replied ABSOLUTELY!!! and the rest is history.

What kind of stuff do you get to do with the site?

When I first joined the ranks of the "Kiddies In The Pool" I was simply reviewing music.  In order to differentiate myself from the other superb writers on staff I landed on the idea of writing little pieces of fiction inspired by song titles/album titles/the band's name that would precede my actual review.  Actually...that last sentence makes it seem like it was a conscious decision on my part.  In truth inspiration struck while I was reviewing a Watain album, I enjoyed writing my little story, and the template stuck.

Other activities I've taken part in over the years include being a guest on our currently-dormant blog talk radio show and helping put on the first RippleFest in Dallas, Texas.  When it came time for Racer to devote the majority of his time and energy into growing Ripple Music, I took over the care of The Ripple Effect.  I've been editing our writer's reviews and formatting news posts ever since.

Your responsibilities with The Ripple Effect have grown a lot over the last few years. What’s your favorite aspect of the work?

I appreciate being a part of something bigger than myself.  Racer and Pope started this blog because of their love of music, and being able to help support them in their quest to bring righteous tunes to the masses makes all the formatting worthwhile.

What are some things you have learned while doing this job?

One, you can absolutely have too much of a good thing.  I burnt myself out for a good chunk of time when I attempted to listen to an obscene amount of new music.  Kids, unless you are a trained professional like The Huntsman or Xroadie, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONSUME MORE MUSIC THAN YOU CAN HANDLE.

Two, working on the site helped open my eyes to how interconnected the Internet makes us.  I post a review on The Ripple Effect.  Racer will then link the review on our Facebook page.  The artist or someone representing them gets wind of the review and posts links on their website.  Word spreads quickly nowadays.

How did previous life experience inform your work with the website?

Life has taught me to strive towards being a trustworthy individual.  Hopefully the people who frequent The Ripple Effect feel that they can trust me/us to bring them information that they will find interesting.

You have been creating content and developing this site for eight years – why?

The music is the juice for me.  Always has been.  Always will be.  Also I like to think that what I do, in some small way, helps artists get paid for what they create and allows them to continue making music.  If something I've written turns someone onto a band/artist they would otherwise have never heard of and they then buy a copy of their album or go see them perform that makes me ecstatic!

What inspires you within the world of stoner rock?

I am constantly inspired by the burgeoning, well-intentioned, caring community that has sprung up in the stoner rock world.  It's truly special.  Oh, and the riffs too.  All the riffs.

What do you think separates Ripple from other labels and The Ripple Effect from other sites?

Other than our debonair attitudes and dashing good looks?  Ripple Music is a special entity that is different from everyone else thanks to the tireless efforts of my two bosses, Racer and Pope.  Their singular focus on delivering high quality musical tonnage to the deserving masses is unparalleled!  It doesn't hurt that they have a fine ear for all things heavy either.  I haven't met anyone who wants their business partners and friends to succeed more than those two gentlemen.

As far as The Ripple Effect goes, I can't rattle off too many other music sites which never print negative reviews or features.  Because we only stress positivity that means we don't waste any time on stuff we don't like.  Readers always know we're recommending what we're writing about.  Another differentiating factor is that absolutely nothing is out of bounds regarding what we review.  I am free to pinball between reviews of rock/punk/hip-hop/funk/jazz/americana/electronica/etc all I want and no one will tell me to stop!

Where do you see the website going and where do you see yourself going within the website?

The Ripple Effect will continue to be a site readers can put their faith into.  I'd love to see the site continue to grow in terms of expanded readership.  The more eyes the better!  I'd also love to reestablish some form of Ripple Radio.  As for myself I'll keep plugging away for as long as possible, in any capacity I'm needed.

What is your favorite Ripple related memory?

That's tough but I do have a favorite.  Back in the day I reviewed an album called Forever Famicom by the emcee Mega Ran.  I'd been a fan of his for a few years and I learned that he would be playing a concert near where I live.  Great, I thought!  Then I found out that the concert was to be held inside a hotel hosting an anime convention.  To see the concert I needed to buy a day pass for the convention.  Nothing against anime conventions, but that wasn't something I was particularly interested in attending.

So I contacted Mega Ran by email, identified myself as the guy who reviewed FF for The Ripple Effect, and asked if there was any way I could simply pay him to see his show?  He emailed back and informed me he would figure it out.  Fast forward to the day of the concert.  Mega Ran calls me and tells me to meet him in the entry hall to the hotel.  I wait there for a couple of minutes until he shows up with his partner in crime K-Murdock.  They hand me a bag and tell the convention staff that I'm their merch guy.  I get in for free, and proceed to hang out with the two artists until their performance.

Sometimes it pays to write nice things about people and their work.

Monday, April 23, 2018

HOREHOUND to Re-Issue Self-Titled Debut on CD and Vinyl on April 20th via Hellmistress Records; Current Live Dates & Fest Appearances.

Pittsburgh, PA's HOREHOUND announce their teaming up with Hellmistress Records to re-issue the Horehound Self-titled 2016 debut for both CD and first-time colored vinyl variants. The seven original tracks have been re-mixed, re-mastered, and now include a bonus song of Portishead's, 'Mysterons', covered a la doom!

Digital Streaming on Bandcamp and other outlets, as well as the new CD will be available 4/20/2018, which is the second anniversary of the original release date.

Vinyl press is expected to be available on June 1st.
Horehound - Track List:

1. World to Come
2. Sangreal
3. Crowns and Thrones
4. The Dead Don't Lie
5. Waters of Lethe
6. Myope
7. Waking Time
8. Mysterons (bonus track on re-issue only)

Recorded by Matt Schor at War Room.
Mastering by James Plotkin at Plotkinworks.
All music written and performed by Horehound, with the exception of "Mysterons", originally written and performed by Portishead. 
Cover Art by Sasaya Orenda Hamer-Pennisi
Photo by Trevor Richards
HOREHOUND is (left to right):

JD Dauer - drums
Brendan Parrish - guitar
Shy Kennedy - vocals
Nick Kopco - bass

Horehound had become a Pittsburgh, PA hometown heavy underground favorite quite soon after forming in early 2015, performing with both local legends and well-known touring acts. In one year, Horehound released their self-titled debut album (both digital and CD) in April 2016, via Blackseed Records. The album immediately coiled around the heavy music media world, appearing for two consecutive months on the Doom Charts collaborative, and cemented their standing as more than just local favorites.

Recently Horehound has engaged that debut album for a 2018 re-release with Hellmistress Records, the new East Coast label of veteran Melanie Streko (All That Is Heavy, Meteor City Records). The re-release is anticipated in early spring and will be re-mixed/mastered for both CD and vinyl pressing, including a bonus cover song, "Mysterons" originally written and performed by Portishead.

Fans have described Horehound as “fucking heavy, doomy, catchy, and downright amazing.” Horehound would not disagree, citing their inspirations as Kyuss, (the) Melvins, and Alice in Chains, but you can hear a heavier sludge inspiration dwelling in the grinding guitar, haze-laden bass, bruising drums, and ethereally demanding vocals.

Horehound has made it quite evident in recent performances that their current lineup – including founding members Shy Kennedy (vocals) and Brendan Parrish (guitar) – have found their true sound with drummer JD Dauer and bassist Nick Kopco.

The quartet is fiercer and impassioned to demonstrate it in sharing their next recording, currently being mixed and mastered for a 2018 release. The six track, Holocene, maintains the original Horehound-heavy, but has driven into deeper depths of dark, hardened post-doom metal. More information on the new release and the band to come.
HOREHOUND - Upcoming Live Events:

04I19I18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Century (w/Wasted Theory, Void King
04I20I18 - Brooklyn, NY @ Hank's Saloon (w/Eternal Black, Begotten, Somnuri)
05I10I18 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox (w/Mos Generator, Limousine Beach)
05I26I18 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo (w/Ufomammut, White Hills)
06I16I18 - Aliquippa, PA @ Fallout Shelter (w/Rule Of Two, Everyone Hates Everything)
09I28I18 - Pittsburgh, PA @ DESCENDANTS OF CROM

Media Reception to Horehound:

"Horehound is a fantastic band on the way up, and 2018 should be the year that doom metal fans outside of Pittsburgh start buzzing this band up." ~ Metal Injection

"Horehound deliver stoner doom grooves, drenched distortion and fuzz underpinned with solid, tight rhythms and fronted by powerful and distinctive vocals... Horehound play it real, with feel and attitude." ~ Doom Charts

"Horehound is a band that all fans of Thee almighty riff should put on their watch list.  There’s great balance to be found on their debut Self-Titled and they constantly fluctuate their songwriting tactics so that each of the album’s seven original compositions stands apart from one another." ~ Teeth of The Divine

Saturday, April 21, 2018


This Fall, multi-platinum Grammy-nominated band Goo Goo Dolls will embark on the SiriusXM Presents: Goo Goo Dolls - Dizzy Up The Girl 20th Anniversary Tour, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their iconic album, Dizzy Up The Girl. The band will be performing the record in its entirety at each show, followed by an additional set packed with surprises and more of their many unforgettable hits. Singer John Rzeznik added "I am incredibly excited to share this album in its entirety with our fans". The band also took to social media today, posting a special video to announce their tour, watch it HERE.

The tour kicks off in Phoenix, AZ on September 30th and will run through mid-November, wrapping up in Las Vegas, NV on November 18th. Please see below for a full list of dates.

First released on September 22, 1998 via Warner Bros. Records, Dizzy Up The Girl is often noted for being the album that catapulted the band into mainstream success and is one of their most successful albums to date. The record sold 6 million albums worldwide, went 4x platinum in the US and had five top 10 singles, including "Iris" (3 GRAMMY nominations, Certified Platinum, 275M Spotify Streams) and "Slide" (Certified Gold, 57M Spotify Streams).

Fan Club and VIP Package pre-sales begin on Tuesday, April 10 at 10:00AM local time. Various package tiers include meet and greets with the band, backstage tours, premium reserved seats, and many more exclusive offerings. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 13 at 10:00AM local time. For more information on VIP Packages and tickets, visit

Sun., September 30     Phoenix, AZ    The Van Buren
Tues., October 2          Houston, TX   House of Blues
Wed., October 3          Dallas, TX       House of Blues
Fri., October 5            Saint Louis, MO         The Pageant
Sat., October 6            Indianapolis, IN          Old National Centre
Sun., October 7           Nashville, TN      Ryman Auditorium
Tues., October 9          Atlanta, GA      The Tabernacle
Wed., October 10        Charlotte, NC     The Fillmore Charlotte
Fri., October 12           Philadelphia, PA         The Fillmore
Sat., October 13          Washington, DC         The Anthem
Mon., October 15        New York, NY            Beacon Theatre
Tues., October 16        Red Bank, NJ    Count Basie Theatre
Wed., October 17        Boston, MA    House of Blues
Fri., October 19           Buffalo, NY    Shea's Performing Arts Center
Sat., October 20          Buffalo, NY    Shea's Performing Arts Center
Sun., October 21         Toronto, ON    Rebel Complex
Tues., October 23        Detroit, MI      The Fillmore
Wed., October 24        Grand Rapids, MI       20 Monroe Live
Fri., October 26           Chicago, IL     Chicago Theater
Sat., October 27          Minneapolis, MN        State Theater
Sun., October 28         Kansas City, MO        Uptown Theater
Tues., October 30        Denver, CO     Paramount Theater
Thurs., November 1    Salt Lake City, UT      The Depot
Sat., November 3        Seattle, WA     The Paramount THeater
Thurs., November 8    San Diego, CA            House of Blues
Fri., November 9         Los Angeles, CA         Hollywood Palladium
Sat., November 18      Las Vegas, NV            The Joint

The Security Project Feat. King Crimson & Peter Gabriel Members East Coast US & Canada Tour May/June 2018

New digital release of “Here Comes The Flood”!

The Security Project has once again reinvented itself, this time with vocalist Happy Rhodes. Together with Jerry Marotta (drummer from Peter Gabriel's first five records, Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Michael Cozzi(Shriekback) and NY keyboardist David Jameson, the group continues reimagining the early work of Peter Gabriel (and also on this disc - Kate Bush), but with Happy's impressive four-octave vocals adding an entirely new dimension.

The band's latest digital release of the classic Peter Gabriel song “Here Comes The Flood” is now available. This follows on the heels their last live album CONTACT released in November - material culled from their US and Japanese tours.

“The Security Project live is a beautifully reverential and creative reinterpretation of these Peter Gabriel classics!” – Kevin Killen, engineer of Gabriel's “So” record

The Security Project will be on tour in the North East USA and Canada with dates in May and June.

May 24, 2018  Bearsville Theater - Woodstock, NY
May 25, 2018  The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN) - Natick, MA
May 26, 2018  Sellersville Theater - Sellersville, PA
May 27, 2018  The Heights at Brother Vic's - South Salem, NY
May 31, 2018  Lovin’ Cup - Rochester, NY
June 1, 2018  The Garrison - Toronto, ON, Canada
June 3, 2018  Petit Campus - Montreal, QC, Canada

“Great to see some of the original members doing it the right way.” – Steve Hackett

The Security Project:
Happy Rhodes - Lead Voice
Jerry Marotta – Drums, Vocals
Trey Gunn – Touch Guitar, Vocals
David Jameson – Keyboards, Eigenharp
Michael Cozzi – Guitar, Vocals

 Scorching reviews:

“The Security Project expertly reimagines Peter Gabriel’s groundbreaking early output, creating an immersive experience both in performance and on its debut release Live 1. The group goes far beyond conventional tribute band territory, infusing the songs with new arrangements and elements while staying true to the spirit of the material. Gabriel enthusiasts across the board will be taken by the band’s high-octane approach full of drive, determination and energy.” – Anil Prasad, Innerviews

“What Security Project does is accomplish what's been too long in coming: positioning Peter Gabriel's music as repertoire. It's clear that while the band treats Gabriel's music with no shortage of reverence, it's also about a more open-ended approach to the music.” – John Kelman, All About Jazz

“Somehow, like Gabriel, the Security Project’s performance strikes the right esoteric balance between the tribal groove of world music and the inscrutable logic of the best progressive rock.” – Peter Lindblad, Elmore Magazine

To purchase The Security Project downloads and CDs:

Record Label: 7d Media
Official website:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Khost - Governance

U.K. duo khost released their third full-length album titled Governance in June of 2017.  What Damian Bennett and Andy Swan have created is a nightmarish soundscape that will leave you feeling battered, bruised and irrevocably altered.    

Throughout Governance the harsh industrial noise, distorted guitar loops, punishing vocal snarl and intoxicating chants combine to create feelings of fear, anguish and unassailable desperation.  Opening track Redacted Repressed Recalcitrant makes it abundantly clear that themes like hope and salvation will find no tenor in this punishing aural tome.  Tracks like Subliminal Chloroform Violation, Cloudbank Mausoleum and Defraction are permeated with the strong feeling that an individual force is working at a quite deliberate pace to prolong the listener’s torment.

Image resultNumb and despondent, the torment continues unabated with the tracks Demenized, Depression and Stockholm Syndrome.  However, the individual force mentioned above has been violently replaced by multiple forces working in conjunction to further precipitate your pain and suffering.  The hour of reckoning is near and the only question that remains is will you survive this ordeal with your soul intact. 
Governance plays like the soundtrack of a movie about the final gasps of a being whose life force has all but extinguished, but refuses to die.  If you have ever wondered what it is like to witness a battle for soul and sanity then Governance is the album for you.     

-El Pedo Caliente (aka Uncle Jameson from the Fistful of DOOM show)
PS: This one pairs well with The Temptress Imperial Milk Stout from Lakewood Brewing Company.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast – Roger Glover and Guests

What if I told you that shortly after leaving Deep Purple, Roger Glover wrote a concept album based on a children’s poem. And what if a young Ronnie Dio, as he was known at the time, co-wrote some of the songs and did some vocals. Oh, and let’s throw in Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale and their vocal talents as well. Michael Giles, a co-founder of King Crimson, played drums. Before you think I wrote this on 4/20, check out the album online, and you’ll see that all of this and more is true.

I had no idea this album existed before stumbling across it at a used record store. I saw Roger Glover’s name attached and thought that it certainly had to be worth four dollars to check it out. It is a cool album and has some very interesting music. One song from the album, “Love Is All”, was a number one hit in the Netherlands and Belgium, and an animated video for the song has gotten a lot of play on television over the years. There was even a one-off concert in October 1975 performing the whole album in running order with an all star cast, including Jon Lord and Ian Gillan, and Vincent Price as the narrator.

This is a fun album to listen to and definitely shows off a different side of Roger Glover. He certainly has some songwriting skills that didn’t see enough of the light of day in Deep Purple. The album was released in 1974 and a lot of it is in the vein of the pop and psychedelic pop that was all the rage back then. There are a couple of tracks, though, that would be right at home on a Deep Purple album of that time period, and one song is positively ELP-esque, so Glover was obviously drawing on several influences. It says a lot for Glover that he wrote or co-wrote the entire album, produced it, and convinced many of the leading British rockers of the time to take part.

There are several songs on this album that I really like. The first track, “Dawn”, is all synths, and first few seconds make you wonder the direction of this album, but it resolves into what you think it would be. Track two, “Get Ready”, is a nice little rocker that gets you in the flow for what is to come. “Old Blind Mole” is barely over a minute but its a cool song, with a half spoken, half sung delivery over tablas and finger snaps. Its almost what you imagine a beat poet reading would be. I really like “No Solution”, another straight ahead rocker with a horn section and a message about pollution and the damage that mankind was doing more than 40 years ago. Lastly, “Sir Maximus Mouse” rails against the evils of commercialism and letting a mind for business  take precedence over any other concerns.

This album is really surprising and the more you listen the more you get out of it. There's a lot of meat to these songs and you can hear how this seemingly innocuous work based on a children's poem really tackles some of the larger concerns of its time. And there are some damn fine performances here to boot. Ronnie Dio could have been a straight up pop singer if the heavy metal thing hadn't worked out, but I think we're all glad that it did. For me, this is a lost gem of the 70's and I'm glad I dug it out of the discount bin. This will provide some great listening time and time again.


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