Sunday, September 27, 2015

Southern Lord's blistering Seattle invasion

Black Breath, top, and Goatsnake. (All Cat Rose photos)

No words can properly describe it.

Let's try: Four neck-breaking, head-exploding bands that should have left Seattle's Highline in ruins last night. (Maybe they did -- we haven't evaluated the venue today.)

Black Breath. Goatsnake. Battalion of Saints. Obliterations.

Fucking great.

Cat Rose photos:






Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Tulips: rockin' at Barnstormers in Dublin, 1993

The Tulips in Dublin 1993. (Photos by Cat and Andy)

By Andy and Cat

Who are The Tulips and where have they gone?

We were in Dublin, a couple beers in on a Saturday night and we craved some more live tuneage.

It was May 15, 1993 and we had already spent the day bouncing around the Temple Bar area, met some people from the night before at the Rock Garden (indie pop band In Motion played) and then we watched the FA Cup final pitting Arsenal versus Sheffield Wednesday in a pub. (The match finished 1-1 and there was to be a replay five days later, which we attended at Wembley Stadium in London. Arsenal won that one, 2-1, in OT.)

So, on to The Tulips and the gritty biker bar where they played that night: Barnstormers.

We can't remember how we found out about the place, probably just from walking nonstop around the city and luckily spotting a venue that suited us. We passed by one bar along the way that sported a huge Thin Lizzy banner on the front and was to host a tribute band that night. We vowed to return later, but the action inside Barnstormers gripped us and we never made it back that way.

Funny thing first was strolling past a dude with dreadlocks on the street on the way to the bar -- and then he ended up sitting next to us at the bar later. His name was Steve-O, a DJ from London, and we chatted for a while about music. Cool guy.

Steve-O joined us in the Barnstormers gig room -- a dark, cavernish place -- and we settled in for The Tulips, Eerie and Into Paradise.

Eerie opened with their Siouxsie-style tunes and Into Paradise displayed their indie rock in the headline spot and covered Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane."

However, it was The Tulips in the middle slot that really took us by storm.

We recall some of their offerings being along the lines of 999 and a bit of the more rockin' DOA fare. In short, The Tulips ripped it up and their singer spouted lyrics like, "I have to get lost to find you" and "Show me a substance and I'll show you abuse." (Update: We've since heard from a friend of a friend that the band had a new wave edge, as well. It was probably a mixture of styles, and we definitely dug them whilst in our beery haze.)

We never interacted with The Tulips guys. We figured we'd chat after the gig and get the lowdown on them, but they vanished -- never to be seen by us again.

About 10 years ago, we tried to track them down on the web, but nobody in the Dublin area we emailed with seemed to know who The Tulips were. A mystery band, for sure, but what a great one!

Barnstormers is long gone, as well, but at least we experienced a first-rate night in good old Dublin town.


P.S. The night before, we checked out Bliss and The Sewing Room at The Attic. Both bands were great, with Bliss rolling in a poppy vein and The Sewing Room serving up haunting, jangly tunes. We met The Sewing Room guitarist's girlfriend, who told us about the Rock Garden and even asked us to stay with them. We already had a room, but what a nice gesture.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Teenage Time Killers pack an explosive punch, set for epic LA gig

By Andy

While standing in the kitchenette of the Corrosion of Conformity Blind RV in May following the band's gig at Studio 7 in Seattle, singer Karl Agell grinned and pushed play on the stereo.

His howling vocals were sent to bed for the evening in the live setting, but they threatened to tear a hole in the poor RV when the track "Devil in This House" from the Teenage Time Killers Greatest Hits Vol. 1 was unleashed on the half dozen people sitting 'round.

When the tune expired and we were left in a brief moment of silence, Agell humbly noted that he thought the song was a good one.

A member of opening band Lody Kong, glanced at Agell and uttered the only crucial word necessary: "Sick."

Agell's song and 19 others, featuring a stunning host of musicians on the blowtorch-in-your-face TTK release would not see the light of day for another three months, but he and Reed Mullin -- the Pied Piper behind the project -- were amped to get that mega-ton of tuneage into people's ears.

COC man Mullin poked at his phone before the gig, chuckled and beamed with pride while showing us a TTK collage photo of all the critical cogs in the massive metal/punk wheel that brought the project to life.

"Look, there's Dave (Grohl), there's Lee (Ving), there's Randy (Blythe)..." said Mullin while nudging his elbow into my ribs.

Mullin with COC's Woody Weatherman at the Maryland Deathfest in 2011. (Cat Rose photo)

The guy is damn proud of his accomplishment and he'll bring many of the TTK musicians on stage with him Saturday night at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles for the gig of a lifetime.

He'll be amongst good friends for this one, and I even saw a photo of his dad next to the Foo Fighters' wall of amps on Friday before the musicians rehearsed at Grohl's Studio 606 in Northridge.

Along with Mullin, the epic gig will feature Agell, Blythe, Ving, Mick Murphy, Corey Taylor, Neil Fallon, Tommy Victor, Vic Bondi, Phil Rind, Ron Beam, Tony Foresta, Clifford Dinsmore, Tairrie B. Murphy, Jonny Webber, Pat Hoed and Trenton Rogers.

So, what do ya get on the TTK release on Rise Records?

Well, simply put, the songs are explosive and thought provoking, and should be part of one's musical rotation post haste.

A taste of what's inside:

You've got the rage of singers Blythe ("Hung Out to Dry"), Dinsmore ("Power Outage"), Murphy ("Clawhoof"), Jello Biafra ("Ode to Sean Hannity"), Ving ("Big Money") and many others, along with the raw, melodic vocal offerings from Pete Stahl ("Plank Walk"), Matt Skiba ("Barrio") and Aaron Beam ("Your Empty Soul"). Mullin drums and also roars on a pair of stunners ("Exploder" and "The Dead Hand"), and he also enlisted folks like Brian Baker and Pat Smear on guitar along with Grohl on bass.

It's killer stuff. That is all.

P.S. Mullin gets punk points by pairing a Rudimentary Peni song with a Cockney Rejects album title.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Deafheaven: blowing minds since 2010

George Clarke of Deafheaven. (Cat Rose photo)

Here's a ripping photo of Deafheaven's George Clarke that Cat snapped during their skull-jarring opening set for Russian Circles and Helms Alee at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland in November of 2011.

The photo has been circulating on Instagram and here's a few comments from fans who are no doubt at least partially deaf after experiencing the band's pummeling aural live assault:

• "They were mind blowing."

• "That was the show where I first heard Deafheaven, opened for Russian Circles. Have definitely never been the same since that show."

• "It's crazy that they are headlining the Fillmore. I remember them opening for Russian Circles just 3 years ago."