This friday at Bogart's in the fan, the local hiphop lineup includes Divine Profitz, Luggage, Black Liquid, Swerve36 and Billy When? Performances begin at 9pm sharp.
We love southern everything, hiphop included. We had an article recently about Atlanta's hiphop scene, and now perhaps Charlotte, NC is on the rise?
From Stranger Day's website:
This Charlotte, NC native is a Whiskey swiggin party starter known for sipping on the brown & getting down. Permanent Vacation is the crew… you’re guaranteed to catch him poolside, pumpin southern bangers as if everyday were a summertime Saturday. Don’t let the party fool you, dude is known for his work ethic, he lives on the road & has no plan of stopping until his liver does…
Featuring Hollywood Hoyt (Throw A Kit On That Bitch):
And Chip the Ripper (Interior Crocodile Alligator):
Emerald Grippa is an illustrator in Richmond, VA. Her work combines graphite, color pencils, and digital manipulation, but in the end, it's all illustration. Are her works vain? I see elements of celebrity worked in (I'm pretty sure I've recognized some famous faces), and there's an almost disturbing cleanliness to her work that seems imposed on the raw pencil drawings. More beneath the break!
When I recently noticed a review for a new Amebix album, the band’s first in twenty-three years, I was immediately hit with an almost completely balanced combination of both trepidation and excitement. While Amebix is one of my favorite bands of all time, bands who reunite after several decades typically lose some of the spark which made early albums worth the time. Albums like Redux, which rework old material in a contemporary studio setting, tend to be particularly odious, riding on waves of nostalgia which drown out any spark of creativity. On the other hand, Amebix had been among the most creative punk bands of their era, combining elements of Killing Joke and Motorhead into a unique combination of galloping guitars, darkly psychedelic keyboards, and snarled vocals which commented on the bleakness of the world without falling into the didactic tendencies of many of their contemporaries. So if anybody could pull off a comeback with aplomb, it would be this band.
The degree to which this album will be regarded as a success will depend on a listener’s expectations. Those expecting an exact rehash of the band’s early material will likely be disappointed. The album has far more professional production than early Amebix albums, which allows many subtleties of the songs to be more easily heard, but also might alienate some older fans who considered the lower-fidelity production of albums like Arise or The Power Remains to be an integral part of the band’s aesthetic. Inversely, those who expect a serious departure from the core elements of Amebix’s sound will not find much to latch onto here – the songs rage against the dying of the light as much as any of the band’s early material.
What Redux has to offer is a refinement of classic Amebix material. Musicianship – in the strictly technical sense of the world – was never the band’s strongest suit, but the performances on this album display an increased proficiency, due in no small part to the replacement of original drummer Spider with Roy Mayorga who has played with everybody from Shelter to Sepultura. His drumming is far more focused than that of any of the band’s previous percussionists, an element which lends the songs a propulsive energy that Amebix had traditionally eschewed in favor of slower arrangements. Singer Rob Miller has expanded his range as well – he approaches the rasp perfected on early albums with a vigorous venom that vocalists half his age would be hard-pressed to conjure and intersperses it with lower-pitched growls which offer a more palpable sense of menace. The only real qualm with the newer vocal approach is the use of a weird warbly effect on the verses of “Chain Reaction” which distracts heavily from the song. In keeping with the band’s spirit of experimentation, the keyboards which had always lent Amebix a distinctive icy ambience feature an expanded tonal range as well, underpinning the songs with swirling psychedelic drones which benefit heavily from the clarity of the recording.
There is a vivacity to these recordings which demonstrates how well these songs have aged. Some fans may be skeptical about such reworkings. Some – this reviewer included – would love some new material. But neither concern is exactly relevant to Redux. All honest music is informed by the whole spectrum of human experience and to revisit these songs over two decades after the fact is to imbue them with as many years worth of life and energy – and, rather than mellowing with age, Amebix has only proven their continued relevance. One only hopes they keep it up.
There's plenty of art that I've seen that creeps me out. Ever since I first learned of H.R. Giger's work via the Alien movies, I've enjoyed a good bit of creepiness in my visual stimuli. But I usually enjoy it in a gallery, or on a screen, and I must say, if I saw Dan Witz's work when I was walking down the street, I might jump out of my skin. This is, fortunately, his intent:
"For this summer’s street art project I’m installing my Dark Doings imagery on highway interchanges, in heavily trafficked bottleneck locations. The idea is that each day, thousands of people stuck in traffic, captive in their cars, roll by my pieces at 2 miles an hour. Almost to a person, the immediate reaction to the pieces seems to be, “WHAT THE FUCK?”, so I’m calling the series, WHAT THE %$#@? (WTF)"
Via Wooster Collective, probably the best source of street art on the 'tubes.
A couple of simple rules for seeing Old Crow Medicine Show: Whiskey is your friend. See them outdoors, if you can. Remember to hoot and holler. And for the love of god, sing along, as loud as you can.
Friday night at Maymont!
The king of pop is dead, and VH1's Pop-Up Video was awesome. Here's both.
Yakuza - Of Seismic Consequence (Profound Lore)
This epic progressive metal group combines so many influences that they sound like nobody else. Heavy, technically complex riffing connects to dark melodies and portentious ambient passages. Best of all, the singer plays saxophone solos that fit perfectly with the rest of the music. Awesomely weird, or maybe just awesome.
School Of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire (Vagrant/Ghostly)
This band is often labeled shoegaze due to their particular melodic sense. However, the clarity of their sound, and its basis in keyboard and drum machine rather than fuzzy guitar textures, is more like mid-80s New Wave. The songs are great, though, regardless of genre. Isn't that what really matters?
Sightings - City Of Straw (Brah)
Imagine Suicide vocalist Alan Vega making an album with a band of angry artificial intelligences stuck between stations on the shortwave radio band. That's what this record sounds like. Foreboding hums, rhythmic static popping, dark mumbles full of portent. Forget freaking out the squares--this record will freak everybody out.
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RVALUTION 15: w/ Designer Drugs and Zombies is happening tonight, this event will sell out so get your tickets now! PROMO CODE: RVA - will get you in cheaper tonight for Designer Drugs. Here is a link for you: RVALUTION TIX
It was hotter than hell, so loud you couldn’t hear yourself scream, and so crowded you felt like a sardine in a can, but given the lineup, none of this came as any surprise. It was Tough Luck, Dead End Path, Stick Together, Back Track, Daylight, Fire and Ice, and Title Fight.
The kids came out of the woodwork for this one, and the place was packed before the opening band even struck a chord. There were plenty of familiar faces, and some new ones, but regardless, the stage was well set for a great show and a great night.
While the show itself was pretty standard fair, it’s this writer’s humble opinion that the real bangers of the evening had to be Back Track, Fire and Ice (who were celebrating a recent record release) and Title Fight. With their set coming almost directly at the midpoint of the night, the duties of reviving the energy of the crowd and preparing everybody for the closing acts fell right on the shoulders of the guys in Long Island’s Back Track, who took the responsibility in stride and killed it, drawing an impressive crowd reaction regardless of the early timing of their set, and placing the bar high for the acts to follow.
Local act Fire and Ice hit the stage hard and didn’t let up until their set was over. It comes as no surprise that the crowd went nuts for these guys, who were celebrating the release of their new 7”, Grim. Front man David Herzing lead the charge, fiery and tight as ever, and collectively the band didn’t miss a step, playing an all-around great set, as fun as it was heavy.
Pennsylvania’s pop-punk group Title Fight filled up the closing slot, and as usual, there were kids hanging from the ceiling before they started the first song. The most interesting thing about these guys besides their music, which is fast, relatively hard, and tightly executed, is the absolute chaos they inspire at any given moment of their set, regardless of who they play with. Crowds rightfully go wild for Title Fight, forming a giant, roiling, human mass all around the stage. They’re a definite fan favorite, and it’s going to be interesting to see where their musical path takes them.
All in all, it was a great show, offering hours of music from some newer, fresher bands, and some current favorites. The show space itself, as well as the generous, hard-working individuals running it, was great as usual, and everybody had a good time and left happy. Many thanks to the bands, the fans, and once again, the folks running the show, for a hell of a fun night like can only be had in the River City.