Friday, December 31, 2010

Favorites of 2010

I wasn't really aware until I made this list but apparently I bought and enjoyed a lot of Blockade related releases this year. Mr. Nolan, you put out some quality tunes this year in my humble opinion.

Lists are in alphabetical order but not limited by a number.

Favorite releases:
Akitsa-Au Crépuscule De L'Espérance
Ash Pool-For Which He Plies The Lash
The Bastard Noise/The Endless Blockade-The Red List (split)
The Bastard Noise-A Culture Of Monsters
Double Negative-DayDreamNation
Druglord-demo
The Endless Blockade/Unearthly Trance-(split)
Carlos Giffoni-Severance
Joshua Norton Cabal-Inner Light
Juhyo/Joshua Norton Cabal-Human Cargo (split)
Slaughter Strike-At Life's End
Swans-My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky

Integrating my 2010 cassette purchases into my yearly list proved to be a trying task for some reason this time around. I ended up with a lot of really great ones during 2010. Of note, was that Hospital Productions put out a whole slew of really interesting cassettes this year. I was fortunate enough to acquire a good number of them among my cassette purchases throughout these past 12 months. The killer “Lone Gunman” cassette by Raspberry Bulbs is worth noting as well.

Favorite re-issues:
Burning Star Core-Inside The Shadow
Jesu-Heart Ache
Prurient/Cold Cave-Stars Explode (collaboration)

Favorite performances:
The Bastard Noise in Raleigh, NC
Cough in Norfolk, VA
Double Negative (twice in one night) in Richmond, VA
Druglord in Richmond, VA
Druglord in Hampton, VA
Ocean in Richmond, VA
Swans in New York, NY
Wolf Eyes in Baltimore, MD

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Untitled

Art being made for the sole purpose of sale (and on top of that being marketed as something authentic or something possessing the quality of artistic integrity, which obviously makes it the exact opposite of those things) completely goes against the human spirit of creativity and what art is even supposed to be.

A lot of people don’t notice what’s going on and plenty of people that do notice might even tell you that they don’t care. I can see that side of it but I think that this sort of thing is extremely dangerous, even if you don’t notice or care. One of the primary functions of true art is supposed to be it’s representation in some way of the human condition, it’s supposed to mean something and evoke emotion in some way, both for the artist and admirer. That’s my opinion at least. When those things are turned to nothing but business deals and marketing strategy devoid of any emotion it undermines the entire institution of art. It cheapens it for everyone and contributes to the ever growing plastic nature of the modern culture that we live in. True underground/independent culture is the last haven for true art by true artists (but that’s something that I’ve covered multiple times in this blog so I’m not going to focus on it too much in this entry).

Music in the mainstream with any sort of authenticity at it’s root has been on a steady decline. Sure, there’s always been people making and marketing music for the sole purpose of making money but at least in the past you had some “real” artists with integrity to look toward or even cut your teeth on as a youngster. These days things seem to be more horrible than ever, people will no longer embrace anything unique the way they might have in decades past. Within the context of rock music, since it’s creation in the 50’s, even when shit was looking really bad, you’d at least always have these shake-ups roughly every ten years or so where something would rise up and take over, completely underneath the major labels’ noses. Then they’d have to scramble for a few years to reign it in and find a way to turn a profit on it (rock’s creation in the 50’s, the psychedelic/hippie movement of the late 60’s, punk in the late 70’s, “alternative rock” in the late 80’s/early 90’s).

We haven’t truly had another revolution like that in the mainstream since the early 90’s. I’m scared that we may not see another one. Over the years, every time something like this rose up and threw the major label system into a frenzy, they learned. They got better and better at quickly reigning things in every time it happened. They’ve gotten so damned good at containing, manipulating, and marketing youth culture, the concept of artistic integrity, and “coolness” over the years that it’s very rare that anything of quality or with an actual artistic vision can get through their filters untarnished anymore. Unfortunately the majority of consumers don't notice and/or don’t care so nothing gets done about it and something will usually make money whether it has any properties inherent to art or not. Often times, the more homogenized it is, the better it sells these days, only reinforcing the behavior.

I think that the state of things is disgusting and is only going to breed more of the same and create a more oppressive environment for true art and true artists. The money making lowest common denominator is being allowed to have complete control over what the majority of people see as art. There is no longer any room within the mainstream for anything different or authentic or interesting. Anything that might alienate anyone is deemed a financial risk.

I don’t care much for mainstream culture anyway, so I guess this is mostly just commentary from an outsider. I do think this sort of thing is dangerous for all of us in the long run though.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Moutheater-Colonial

The new Moutheater record "Colonial" is now for sale on the Last Anthem Records site. The official release date/release show is Saturday Jan. 8th but you might get yours a little early if you order. It's a 45rpm, 4 song, 2 sided, 12inch, EP (about 20 minutes long). It's $10 and comes with a download card.

The break up of the vinyl colors/alternate covers is: glow in the dark w/ regular sleeve (/100), black w/ record release sleeve (/25), black with regular sleeve (/375).

Ordering from Last Anthem is your best bet for getting a copy on glow in the dark vinyl and obviouly coming out to the record release show is your best bet for getting a copy with a record release sleeve.

There will be two separate raffles for a test press. One online and one at the record release show. For the online raffle, you get a chance to win a test press with every record you order (1 record=your name 1 time in the pot, 2 records=your name 2 times in the pot, etc). Phil will be announcing the winner on Feb. 1st. The raffle at the record release show will be based soley on sales that night at that show and the winner will be announced at the end of the night. You will get a raffle ticket for every record you buy at the show (1 record=1 raffle ticket, 2 records=2 raffles tickets, etc).

Last Anthem also has copies of "Lot Lizard" (7inch) and "Ornament" (CD) in stock.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The things that you won't (and don't) do...

...as an artist are just as important as the things that you will (and do) do.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Future Breed Zine/Halifax Collect Interview

I did an interview over the summer with Birkir from Halifax Collect for the first issue of Future Breed Zine. The issue came out recently. It's a nice little zine and is well worth your $2. Pick up a copy here and check out Future Breed here. You can also read the interview here on the Halifax Collect site.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tonight

Moutheater
Surrogate

@ The Boxx in VB (for their "Metal Mondays" thing)
Starts at 10pm
Free
21+

Surrogate got added to this a few days ago. I'm really glad to have some friends playing too. Maybe it wont be so awkward now haha. I think people are DJ'ing music as well.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Colonial" Record Release Show Info

ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED AT THIS SHOW!!!

Saturday January 8th
@ Double O Recording
(223 Salter's Creek Rd #19
Hampton, VA 23661)
8pm $5 (donation)

Moutheater
Vicegrip
Last Remaining Pinnacle
Debris Amour/Pan Galactic Straw Boss (collaborative set)

This WILL START ON TIME so don't be late or you're gonna miss a set.

There will be 25 record release covers. The pressing is 500 (100 glow in the dark/400 black). Record release version will be on black vinyl. This means there will be 3 different options at the show. Black vinyl w/ record release cover ( /25), black vinyl w/ regular cover ( /375), and glow in the dark vinyl with regular cover ( /100). There will also be a raffle for a test press. A raffle ticket will be given away with every record purchased.

Check out the previous post for info on other shows and various happenings.

Flier:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Upcoming Turds

Moutheater show on December 20th @ The Boxx in VB for their "Metal Mondays" thing. It's free and starts at 10pm. 21+. No one else is playing. It's just us and then I think people are DJ'ing some music afterward.

Moutheater show on December 29th @ The Candle Haus in Washington DC (Fairfax, VA) w/ Natural Law and Lotus Fucker. This should be a real fun show. Probably $5 and probably starts at 7pm. All ages. Has to be over early so don't get there late or you're gonna miss shit. *Edit* We are no longer playing this show. Sorry for the inconvenience. *Edit*

"Colonial" should be in our hands soon. Record release show is in the works.

Swim Harder Cassettes 50% off sale is still going on. Now thru Christmas (or until shit runs out). Everything in the webstore is included in the sale.

Swim Harder Cassettes has a new release planned that will hopefully be out (if I can find some time to sit down and get it done) in January by Panther Modern (members of T.O.M.B.) called "Satanic Logic".

Lastly, I'm in the very earliest stages of getting my shit together for a new Debris Amour release.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Untitled

I think as an artist, the things that you are sort of unconsciously drawn to can be very important and often times say just as much about you as any other aspect of your work. The words and images and actions (etc) that you feel an unexplainable connection to (and desire to implement), all mean something. Even if you don't know it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recent Interview

I've posted the text below (with my answers in red) or you can check it out on the actual site with pictures and whatnot here.

1. Tell me about the origin or Debris Amour, Moutheater, and Swim Harder Cassettes. Moutheater started out as Tim and I. I met Tim through his studio (Doubloe O). My old bands used to record there with him and long story short, we became friends and started working on music together. The initial concept for the band was for it to be the most aggressive elements of the 90's stuff that we both love combined with various other influences. Swim Harder Cassettes started as a result of another cassette label offering to put out a Moutheater release. Things didn't pan out with that label so I decided to do it myself, this became the No Ballet ep and SHC's first release. Debris Amour started as a result of my growing interest in "experimental" (for lack of a better all encompassing word) music over the past 6 or so years. I needed an outlet that allowed both pure sonic freedom and for me to somewhat step outside of the box of the guitar (which I've been playing for 16 years) and guitar oriented music.

2. Do each of your projects fulfill different needs from the other? If so, how? Yes and no. They allow me to do different things and have a wide range of places for my ideas to go but at the same time I sort of look at them as all one big thing underneath the umbrella that is my creativity.

3. Where do you tend to draw inspiration from, creatively? The most horrible parts of existence and me as a person are often the focus.

4. The first Moutheater recordings had a more Jesus Lizard/Shellac kind of vibe going, but a little more aggressive. Recent material seems more direct and heavier. Why has the band progressed this way? To be honest, we just do what we want, how we want, when we want. There's not any conscious effort to steer the band in any certain direction so it's hard to really look back and analyze something like that. We write, and whatever comes out comes out.

5. Your performance style (from what I've seen), or approach, seems a bit different between Debris Amour and Moutheater. Is it just a matter of Moutheater being a full band, or is there some other significance to facing the crowd, talking more, with Moutheater, versus knelt down, back to the crowd, with Debris Amour? Sort of like the last question, it just sort of is what it is. I do what I feel during every performance. So any of it could potentially be different every night. Some Moutheater sets I might talk a lot and interact with people inbetween songs, some I might not say much at all. With DA I just sort of feel that's the best way to present it. I like being right in front of the amp and feeling the sound rain down on me and push against me. There are often points in Moutheater sets where I'll stand in front of my amp and push my head against the speakers for very much the same reason. It all really just comes down to what I'm personally feeling at any given moment.

6. While I haven't read the lyrics to any of the Moutheater songs, the lyrics to Debris Amour seem very hopeless, desperate, and, to a degree, self-loathing. Where does this stem from? Do Moutheater songs tend to follow the same suit? Moutheater and DA lyrics are very similar. When I'm putting together lyrics for either project they're all coming straight from the same source, which is the ramblings and thoughts in my head and notebooks. In reference to where it stems from, I look at my projects as sort of an outlet for the most awful, ugly, horrible parts of me as a person.

7. You performed in both the noise/experimental and metal scenes... What are some of the differences you've noticed between the crowds, or is there any real difference? Do you tend to enjoy one over the other? People tend to be a little bit more open minded in "experimental" circles but for the most part I think they're pretty similar. I enjoy both very much.

8. You run the tape label, Swim Harder Cassettes. What's the reasoning behind the label, and what are you hoping to accomplish? I sort of stated the reasoning earlier. I really have no goals or anything that I feel I need to accomplish. It's something I enjoy doing so I do it.

10. How did you first discover "underground" music? Is there truly such a thing, anymore? The very first band that sort of opened the door for me to underground culture was Nirvana. I write a lot about my thoughts on underground culture in my blog so for the few that might care about what I have to say about it, I would recommend checking that out. It's just too much for me to sum up here in a few paragraphs.

11. What is one movie, one album, and one event that has had the biggest impact on you? Movie: Apocalypse Now, Album: Nirvana Unplugged in NYC, Event: Picking up the guitar for the first time at age 11.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Test Press Problem Solved

After going back and forth with the plant (who have been very helpful during this process) for the last 2 weeks and after coming back to everything with fresh ears and minds, we’ve accepted the test presses for “Colonial”. The issue we had with them was minor, and after doing some further examining under the microscope at Double O Recording and consulting with the plant on an almost daily basis (together, resulting in us finding out that the issue is a lot more insignificant than we had originally thought and/or is very possibly not there at all) we’ve decided to move forward.

Tim and I are a difficult bunch to work with, you can ask almost anyone who has worked with the band on some level over the years and they’ll tell you the same. Nothing ever goes smoothly when we’re involved.

The records and covers are both being pressed at their respective plants now and should be available very soon.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tonight:

The Swim Harder Cassettes holiday sale apply's tonight (and any other time you see me out between now and Christmas) as well.