Not that I need an excuse to post about tonight's Kvelertak show at Exit/In with Black Tusk and Cancer Bats, but I happen to have two: 1) For a band with a name that's Norwegian for "Stranglehold," the above video for "Bruane Brenn" is awfully damn cute; and 2) Hey, back-to-back posts about metal on the Cream. You don't see that every day. Anyhow, resident metal man Sean L. Maloney did the Critic's Pick thing for us, wherein he says Kvelertak shits on rules. Maestro, if you please:
Let’s not mince words — Kvelertak’s Meir is our favorite metal record of the year. There, we said it — even though we know most of you are shrugging your shoulders saying, “Who?” and the rest of you are penning your “Death to False Metal” letters to the editor. We don’t care about your rules, and this Norwegian band makes a perfect score for flipping the bird at genre formalities. With its black-metal overtones, tough-guy hardcore breakdowns and propensity for indulging classic rock whims at the drop of the hat, Kvelertak shits on the very concept of rules. Parties don’t abide by rules, and Meir is one hell of a party. It has an atypical, fist-in-the-air joie de vivre you don’t find in a lot of metal albums. The Norwegian bro-metal party bus is also bringing us Toronto’s Cancer Bats and Savannah-based power trio Black Tusk. —SEAN L. MALONEY
Starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $14. Now, to watch this video again ...
A little over two months ago, Randy Blythe — that's the frontman of Virginia-based metal outfit Lamb of God — was acquitted of manslaughter by a Czech court. The charges came as the result of a young fan's death at a LOG show in Prague on May 24, 2010. Now that Blythe has been cleared of all charges, he and his band are embarking on a roughly monthlong tour that kicks off tomorrow night in Asheville, N.C. The tour's third stop — slated for this Saturday, May 18 — will be at Marathon Music Works, where LOG will be joined by Decapitated and ANCIIENTS. (Scheduled openers Terror dropped off due to "unforeseen health issues.")
So, that brings us to where we are now — staring down the barrel of a fresh caption contest. We've been offered a pair of tickets to Saturday night's show, and we'd like to give those away to the funniest metalhead among us. Have a look at the image you see above, which comes to us, fittingly enough, courtesy of Heavy.com. Dream up the most clever, gut-busting caption you can, and leave it down there in the comments section. Be sure to include your email address in the appropriate field — we won't publish it, but we'll need it in order to contact our winner. We'll pick our fave around noon on Friday, so be sure to keep an eye on your email — if we don't hear back within a couple of hours, we'll have to go to the next person in line. All right, everyone ready? Go!
Update: We have our winner. Thanks for playing!
In a pair of brief statements, the Followill brothers sung Music City’s culinary praises and explained their intention to help grow Nashville’s reputation as what Mayor Karl Dean, who introduced the duo, called “a food city of distinction,” much in the same way Kings of Leon’s international success has been a flash point for distinguishing Nashville as a hotbed of contemporary American rock ’n’ roll. “I think it’s the fastest growing city, and the food is becoming as big a part of the town as the music,” Caleb said.
Tuesday night at Mercy Lounge was about as close to a perfect night as one could hope for — the weather was flawless, nobody snagged The Spin's secret parking spot, and one of our favorite bands of all time was playing one of our favorite albums of all. Yep, The Breeders were in town for the release date of the LSXX, the new 20th anniversary edition of the altena-rock classic Last Splash, and all was right with the world. Shit, it was a packed show and there was hardly a line for booze! (We suspect that the alterna-teens don't rage as hard they used now that they are alterna-thirtysomethings.) Oh, and we're in love with last-minute-addition opener Deerhunter.
Familiar with Future Unlimited? They're the Nashville-based electronic/post-punk outfit that reminded The Spin of Depeche Mode, New Order, The Birthday Party and early Cure when they played the Cream's anniversary party back in August. Last October, Future Unlimited — a duo featuring David Miller and Samuel D’Amelio — released the single "Haunted Love," and yesterday they debuted their music video for the tune via Rolling Stone.
The video, it should most certainly be noted, was directed by star of stage and screen Shia LaBeouf (known for his work in Lawless, Transformers and, I recollect affectionately, Even Stevens). The video stars F.U. frontman Miller as well as Mia Goth, the latter of whom will be featured alongside LaBeouf in the forthcoming Lars Von Trier film Nymphomaniac and has been romantically linked to the Beoufster. The video itself is a wonderfully dark, macabre and — let's be honest — goddamn terrifying affair, with the appropriately monikered Goth playing a victim-turned-murderess. It's truly chilling ... seems LaBeouf took a page out of Von Trier's book. For good measure, hear "Haunted Love" and a couple of other Future Unlimited singles after the jump or at F.U.'s Soundcloud page.
Just about two weeks ago, we at the Scene ran the first feature in our ongoing print-edish series Label Makers, profiling those lovable punk rockers behind local label Jeffery Drag Records. For the piece, I spoke with JDR honcho Adam Moult — he also happens to be frontman of the label's flagship outfit, Bad Cop — who promised that his band's forthcoming Brad Schultz-produced Light On EP would be a lot more Bowie-esque and pop-minded than past Cop releases. Well, here's your chance to see if it's true.
Bad Cop just debuted their black-and-white, Seth Graves-directed video for "Light On" (from Light On), and it features some basement rocking and sinister imagery, not to mention a handily catchy little riff and a cameo from Story Rae of local metal outfit Choking on Ash. Get a load of the vid above. By the way, Jeffery Drag's "The Drag" single series dropped yesterday with a fresh video and single from grunge-sters Fancytramp. So, what do you think? Summer of the Drag?
Well, continuing that trend of unearthing and repackaging important American releases, Third Man has just announced that they will soon reissue a series of 45s from the catalog of Memphis' great Sun Records. The first three releases in the series — available for pre-order beginning today with an official release date of May 21 — will be Rufus Thomas' "Bear Cat" b/w "Walking in the Rain," The Prisonaires' "Baby Please" b/w "Just Walkin' in the Rain" (more on The Prisonaires' fascinating story here) and Johnny Cash's "Get Rhythm" b/w "I Walk The Line." That pre-order is for black-vinyl versions of the 45s, which TMR promises will remain "faithful to its original issue on Sun, replicating the classic logo and label design coupled with a striking Sun company sleeve that dutifully employs the rooster Sam Philips lamented losing as labels switched from 78's to 45's." There's also, however, a limited and special-edition "sun-ray vinyl" version of the 45 that will be available only via Third Man's Rolling Record Store and "random mail orders." Here are the deets on that:
The limited edition versions of these singles will be an eye-catching yellow and black splatter configuration we're lovingly calling sun-ray vinyl. They will be limited to 150 copies per title. 100 copies of each of the limited versions will be sold from the Rolling Record store on May 28, 29, and 30th. The 28th we will sell the lmtd Johnny Cash single at Sun Records in Memphis TN, 29th will be Rufus Thomas at Please and Thank You in Louisville KY, and on the 30th we will sell The Prisonaires Sun Ray at Luna Records in Indianapolis. As always 50 copies of each limited edition record will go in random mail orders for the standard edition vinyl through the Third Man website. Please stay tuned to the Rolling Record Store Twitter account for updates on these sales.
So, what Sun artists might TMR feature in future bundles? Carl Perkins? The King? Roy Orbison? Fingers crossed for "I Was a Fool."
The Spin settled in, and the crowd seemed ready to worship at Rodriguez's altar — it was a slightly raucous houseful of suspense-loving rock fans. Opening act Jenny O. caught the ears of The Spin with her old-fashioned jug-band sound, but it wasn't old-fashioned in any pejorative sense. Her tight, efficient quartet displayed a disarming mastery of '70s-style funk rhythms and slangy guitar licks. Doing tunes from her full-length Automechanic, Jenny O. and band reminded The Spin of some cross between The Lovin' Spoonful and Nick Lowe — their style combines hints of R&B with echoes of 1960s San Francisco hippie-blues bands.
Speaking of crying, I did a lot of it, because it’s easy to forget just how freaking cool, and simultaneously close and distant, space travel is. If I can’t time travel, I’d like to at least space travel: spend a day puking amongst the stars, terrified that I’ll die at any moment. I may not “work hard” or “be good at science” or necessarily “deserve” it, but I want it. And — fake out! That’s the theme. Not space (which I concede is very cool), but an even more human desire that can be found over and over in children’s entertainment because kids are just little balls of cuteness sand WANTING: really really yearning for something.
Nope, the above discussion of Pere Ubu's career trajectory and artistic intent is not an exercise in wantonly antagonizing the press — Pere Ubu leader David Thomas is giving a pretty accurate, succinct, unironic distillation of his philosophy, and it's purely incidental that he doesn't really care about your feelings or opinions. Known at the time as Crocus Behemoth (a pseudonym he also used at his local alt-weekly, called Scene, no joke), Thomas began making music with Cleveland punks Rocket From the Tombs in the early '70s, after he realized that nothing contemporary rockers like Black Oak Arkansas had to say was of any interest to him. After RFTT dissolved, Thomas formed Pere Ubu, whose groundbreaking output has continued to be a major influence despite its inability to be easily defined or categorized; their first two records, The Modern Dance and Dub Housing, are considered archetypal documents of post-punk, and despite hiatuses, solo albums and lineup changes, they've been following this path in a more or less straight line ever since.
On Sept. 8, they will pay a visit to Mercy Lounge in support of their current project. Lady from Shanghai is an examination of dance music, an autopsy of sorts of a genre that Thomas once identified as extraordinarily corporation-friendly. Any other questions? You may direct them here. Your ticket link is here.
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Anything cool going on this weekend though? Seems bleak out there