Chelsea Wolfe “Carrion Flowers” – Official Video

I have been eagerly anticipating news of Chelsea Wolfe’s forthcoming album “Abyss,” due in August from the brilliant folks at Sargent House (Cathy Pellow & Company).

Over the past few weeks they’ve thrown some bones. A set of lyric vids for “Iron Moon” and “Carrion Flowers” plus a headlining tour with Woven Hand was announced for the Summer/Fall.

Chelsea skirts easy genre classification. That said, it’s certainly not Pop music, not in the literal definition of the term.

Her songs exude a Lynchian charm. There is a comforting ambiguity to her fearless approach to song craft. Which can also be unsettling.

“Carrion Flowers” is no exception. The middle eastern melody that acts as counterpoint to the droning synth waves and industrial drumming is familiar yet new.

A petit deja entendu for the Mise en abyme

The video was directed by Wolfe and longtime collaborator, Ben Chisholm.

US CD/LP Store:
UK & EU CD/LP Store:…


Leon Bridges “Coming Home” – Mahogany Sessions

Between producer/composer Adrian Younge’s work in hip hop and neo-soul, Raphael Saadiq’s stellar musical output of recent memory and brilliant artists like RZA exposing old music to new ears, Leon Bridges inhabits that sweet spot between familiar and inspiring. His latest effort, Coming Home, is an analog purists dream. A mini-masterpiece comprised of soulful three-minute tunes. If you need any more excuses to buy a turn table, receiver and pair of speakers, this is it. Slow dance your Sunday away with your sweetheart to the title track, “Coming Home,” or nod your head along to the swinging back beat of “Smooth Sailin’.”

The folks at Mahogany Sessions have had their fair share of rad performers (Allen Stone, Hozier, Flogging Molly) in their format of performers in transcendent locales, but hearing Leon with a guitar, sax and two back up singers in an abandoned house ranks top marks.

Check OUT the performance

What do you think?

Coming Home” is available for download on iTunes:

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CODAS “Currents” streaming via Ghost Cult

Sleep Lady guitarist and ex-San Diegan, now Brooklyn transplant, Mario Quintero, is set to release CODAS “Currents” on June 2.

The record is streaming via Ghost Cults now. This is some spectacular guitar-based riff worship in the tradition of Mogwai, Don Caballero, And So I Watched You From Afar with nods to prog, hardcore and a little bit of Jesu for good measure.That’s just referential shit for lazy listeners, CODAS is doing some really interesting work in that space. Manipulating the template in a way that is new without losing momentum.

I only wish he didn’t have to move across the country to do it. Hope they’ll play SD in the future.

Listen at the link below.

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Flight Waiting

A girl

Writes in taut letters that run together in long streaming sentences and in great blocks, sprawled judiciously across lined pages, simultaneously self-conscious of her subject — herself — and her surroundings (airport bar) wrapped up in the milieu of new sobriety.

Orders a diet coke.

Sneezes quietly.

I sit across the aisle, eyes blood shot,

glancing sporadically toward the obscene white glow

of a broadcaster’s award-winning dentation,

gnawing in rhythm with melodious Zanex.

Flight waiting.

Girl, the same one, in form-fitting yoga pants, shoulders casually slung in a light blue v-neck sweater, punctuates heavily.

She underlines me in every sentence of her black notebook.

Page 100 gets special treatment.

Islands of words surrounded by black ball-point ink.

A candid gliphial conjurer.

I think,

mine is a reservoir I can’t quite fill.

So she pours words like concrete.

But it won’t quick dry

harden fast enough to form a foundation.

She is saddened by sadness.

Longs to be enrobed by it.

And wear it as a gown.

She flips through the pages and retraces her words, bent over the page, hair loosely dangling above the paper.

Iska Dhaaf “Dependency” – Video

I met musician, singer and songwriter and all-around beautiful human, Benjamin Verdoes over a decade ago while he was a member of the critically overlooked Seattle indie rock band, In Praise of Folly. I was writing and editing pieces for the now defunct, and featured his band a few times.

Over the years, I’ve kept in touch with Ben via Facebook.

A generous and genuine spirit, Ben always reached out via text message or call, with an invitation to come hang out and see his band, Mt. Saint Helens Vietnam Band whenever they happened to tour through San Diego.

I’ve relished watching him grow as an artist and person.

His latest project, Iska Dhaaf (Somali for “let it go”), is an NYC-based duo with guitarist and singer, Nathan Quiroga. The band released their album, Even the Sun Will Burn last year.

The video for the song “Dependency” is poignant and features singer Nathan Quiroga’s father, Armondo Quiroga.

While it is an extremely personal song, the theme is universal. Be it drug, substance or dependency on a person, “Dependency” addresses the faults and frailty of being a human in this world without casting aspersions or inhabiting some morally righteous high ground.

Algiers “Black Eunuch” – Video Single

These talented Atlanta cats are poised to drop their self-titled on Matador.

Definitely worthy of more than a cursory listen.

Can’t wait to hear the full LP.

Is Algiers a reference to Old Bull Lee’s LA. home? Or the the capital city of Algeria?

There’s some voodoo in this tune.

Keep an ear open for the ghost of Joan Vollmer.

Disappears – Halcyon Days (video)

Chicago band, Disappears have been sculpting moody and paranoid sonic compositions, altering the notion of structure on each subsequent release since forming in 2008. On the band’s latest, Irreal, they manage to ratchet up the tension with a minimalism that is calculating and precise. I appreciate their sonic aesthetic even more, now that the band seem to be moving toward the type of music they made on the 2013 12″, Kone. They’re delving into the IN BETWEEN space, creating music in an era where you can easily spend 90 minutes in a isolation chamber. Not to be confused with cold or isolating but fluid and viscous.

Some writer with more time and a better grasp of metaphor likened them to David Lynch.

Sure, Disappears make Lynchian-post kraut rock. Now it’s dark…

Disappears are accessing something unique. Getting farther and farther out. The use of repetition, recursive riffs and motifs paired with Brian Case’s monotone vocal delivery of haiku-like lyrics that often end in ellipses rather than declarative cliche, escape the velocity of rock pastiche.

They’re playing at the Casbah on April 3, 2015. The night after TV On the Radio plays the Observatory in North Park.

Another important distinction, Brian Case has an affinity for Taylor Swift, which I share so he and his band get top marks in my estimation.

Haiku 3/3/15

Twirling in the sun

A noose hung on cottonwood

Blade marks in the bark

– Tajomaru Thiret