Thursday, March 24, 2011

Details on the new USX album

Nate from USX posted on the band's Facebook page today that their new album will be out May 31. I messaged him for details and here's what he had to say:

"cd on Neurot, vinyl will be on I'm Better Than Everyone Records. Title is "The Valley Path", just one track 40 minute record. Should have album pic soon."

One 40-minute track! Should be some spacey stuff. Looking forward to it!

Video of Agalloch and Worm Ouroboros

The first thing I want to do is apologize because this post will not do Sunday's Agalloch show at Kings justice. If you know me, or are just friends with me on Facebook, then you know I had to have my 15 and 1/2 year old dog, my beloved Mr. C, put to sleep Tuesday night. So I'm not in the mood to do much blogging, but since this show was so amazing, I needed to go ahead and post the video. I do want to thank Dr. Jennifer Frey from Peaceful Passings. If you find yourself in the same situation I did, you really should consider using her services. She was incredibly gentle and compassionate, and made an awful situation at least tolerable.

Now, Agalloch really and truly put on one of the best shows I've ever seen in my life. And I liked Worm Ouroboros too (another band with Agalloch drummer Aesop Dekker). The thing I liked about both bands was how sensual they both were, with incense, candles, and Christmas lights. It was appropriate that the guitarist and bass player for Worm Ouroboros both came on stage with glasses of red wine because their music gave me the urge to relax by a fire on a velvet chaise lounge with a bottle of really good old vine zinfandel. The word that kept occurring to me as I listened to Agalloch was "organic." While listening to them I could close my eyes, breath in the smoky incense, hear the crashing guitar and imagine myself walking through a maritime forest still smoldering from a fire.

Agalloch - "Falling Snow" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Worm Ouroboros from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Five Questions with Batillus

Well, this heavy-music week sure had gotten off to a great start because Agalloch put on one of the top shows I've ever seen in my life last night at Kings. More on that in my next post.

To round out the week we have the Metalliance Tour tomorrow night in Greensboro, Batillus/Hull/Caltrop at Reservoir on Wednesday, Devour/Arabrot/Wizard Rifle at Kings on Friday and The Body at Motorco on Saturday. I'm sure there's something happening on Thursday too. I hope you're following my lead and resting up tonight.

Brooklyn industrial doom band Batillus impressed me with their crushing, gnawing sound when I saw them with Kowloon Walled City and Machete! at Dive Bar back in September. Their first official full-length, the Sanford Parker-produced "Furnace," will be out in April, but if you check the answers below, there's going to be a pretty cool tour-only vinyl edition available.

Even though I'm telling you to go to this show, I unfortunately probably won't be there. My BF got us tickets to see Prince, which is that same evening at RBC. I know myself well enough to know that after a show like that, I probably won't want to hop in the car and drive to Carrboro. If you're not going to see Prince, or if you have more stamina than me, you need to be at Reservoir for this show.

1. The first time I ever Googled you guys, I found all kinds of info about this big-ass supertanker, which I thought was pretty apt considering your massive, heavy-laden sound. Who's the maritime history buff in the band, and what did you find so inspiring about this vessel?

greg: i guess that would be me. i'd been reading a book about the history of measurements, and there was a section about supertankers. we were in need of a name at the time, and Batillus seemed totally fitting, as you realized.

2. A lot has been written about how Fade Kainer helped take the band in a more industrial direction when he joined the band. Was this a direction you wanted to go in, and did you seek him out for this reason? Or did the sound mostly evolve after you began collaborating?

Willi: I think it happened after he joined; but we knew that he would bring that sound to the band, and it was definitely something we wanted.

3. How come y'all don't like Waffle House? You're going to have a hard time finding late-night food in the South if you put them on your banned list.

Fade: After spending a few days in a hotel room reenacting the exorcist a few tours ago I cant bring myself to eat there again.

Willi: Staring at a plate of raw hash browns & lukewarm eggs swimming in frying grease at 3am is enough to send any Yankee a-runnin'. What you need to have more of is 24-hour BBQ! I can eat that for all 3 meals, no problem. (Editors note: I totally agree with the 24-hour BBQ idea)

4. Tell us about the new album, and the tour-only vinyl version you'll have on the road.

Geoff: The album is called 'Furnace,' and it's our first true full-length. We recorded it with Sanford Parker in Chicago, who was really a pleasure to work with. The tour-only version is basically a pre-release pressing limited to 55. The LPs themselves are hand-stamped and hand numbered, the jackets are hand-silk-screened, and once they're gone, they're gone. We just wanted to give our friends and fans something a little more personal and collectible than a shrink wrapped CD, you know?

5. What do you think is a good social media strategy for bands? Are you as tired of Myspace as every other band I know, and if so, have you found any other site that works better.

Geoff: I don't know, I mean, the internet is constantly changing. Who has the time to keep up? MySpace one day, Facebook the next. Twitter. Basically, for us, we just want to make information about our music and shows easy to find for people. We don't want people to have to go on a wild goose chase just to find out when our next show is or how they can get our records. That's the most important thing for us.

Fade: We started our own blog site, just so we can keep the info consistent and available to people.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Video from Skullbuckle

Unlike most people, I kind of like the traditional drinking holidays -- the ones where all your friends post on Facebook that they're going to stay home and leave that particular night to the amateurs. St. Patrick's Day has always been one of my favorites. On Thursday I there was a really cool celebration at Big Boss (which will always be Horniblow's in my mind) with food trucks and bands. My companion wasn't feeling well, so we left before The Trousers played, but I did get to see Skullbuckle for the first time. Despite -- or maybe because of -- the atmospherics, my photos really didn't come out well. But I did get video of "Girl in a Truck."

Skullbucke - "Girl in a Truck" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

I also decided during the evening that someone around here really needs to start an all-N.C. fried seafood truck. If I had more restaurant experience I'd borrow the cash and do it myself. If someone knows of one already in the area, please let me know.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This week's cool shows: Agalloch, The Trousers, Saint Vitus and more!

This week, there are at least four contenders for Show of the Week, but I'm going to have to give the nod to Portland atmospheric black metal band Agalloch (above), who will be at Kings this Sunday, March 20 with Worm Ouroboro and Aerial Ruin. But before we get to Sunday, there's the Big Boss party at Horniblow's on St. Patrick's Day, with The Trousers, Skullbuckle and The Hammertons. Get there early because it starts at 7 p.m. 

If you're up for a drive, one of the best metal tours to come round here in a while will be in Greensboro on Tuesday, March 22. The Metalliance Tour includes some of the best bands I've seen in the past year (Kylesa, Howl, The Atlas Moth), and one classic band I've never seen (Saint Vitus). 

The following night , once again, there will be two great shows at opposite ends of the Triangle. I have tickets for Prince, who only announced last week that he's coming through the area. If you aren't going to see Prince, or if you really think you can do both in one night, there will be an amazing show (Batillus, Hull and Caltrop) at Reservoir. 

Other cool shows this week: 
Thursday, March 17: Paddy's Irish Cover Band party featuring "Thin Lizzy", "Stiff Little Fingers" and "The Pogues" at Casbah
Friday, March 18: Chatham County Line at Casbah (two-night stand)
Saturday, March 19: Polvo at Kings; Kerblocki reunion at Local 506, Holy Ghost Tent Revival with House of Fools at Cat's Cradle and Chatham County Line at Casbah.
Monday, March 21: Minor Stars at Casbah

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Yes, I'm still here

(Backwoods Payback)

I've been a bit MIA lately. Not really going out at all since the Cough show. There are lots of reasons for that, one of which is that I'm now heavily involved in The Beehive Collective, a giving circle composed of young (ish) Raleigh women (mostly) who support progressive causes. If you're Facebook friends with me, or if you follow me on Twitter, you've seen my appeals to new members during our Membership Drive. If you're interested in knowing more about us, let me know. 

I did actually go out on Friday, which was a night in which -- music wise -- you really couldn't win and you really couldn't lose. There were two great shows in Raleigh, a great show in Chapel Hill and a great show in Durham. No matter what you chose to do, you saw a great metal band. And no matter what you chose to do, you missed at least three other great metal bands. 

I started off the evening at a house party where I saw Richmond garage punk band Human Smoke  and local sleaze rock genius the Infamous Sugar. This was my first time seeing Suge in a while, so I hadn't heard his new Hot Dog song, but it definitely got all the metal heads singing, and has been stuck in my head for two days. 

During Human Smoke's set I was asked not to take photos, which is weird because now that I look at their Myspace page they have all kinds of videos on there. Not sure what was up with that, but it worked out because I honestly wasn't in the mood to take pictures anyway, and what I got was pretty crappy. 

We missed Might Could (who, I heard, rocked) and went to Slim's for Backwoods Payback, an awesome Southern-style sludgy band from Pennsylvania. Again, I just wasn't in the mood to take pictures. The only thing I got that I liked was the total accident at the top of this page. 

I'll be out again soon. Will definitely be at Agalloch on March 20 at Kings, and I will be at Neil Young on April 15. Don't expect photos from that one! Still debating whether or not to make the Tuesday night trek to Greensboro for Saint Vitus. I also really want to see Batillus, Hull and Caltrop on March 23 at Reservoir, but may actually skip out on that to see Prince at RBC Center. We shall see what happens.