Neurosis – Live at Union Transfer

I saw Neurosis in 1997 when they were featured on the second stage for the Oz Fest, touring Through Silver and Blood and it was life changing.

Yeah, it was hot. In the parking lot of Mile High Stadium. Black top cooked the gum of my All Stars. I got dared into having my nipple pierced, cuz, well, that was a thing people did at the time.

“Locust Star” was the song that made me a convert. The outro was decidedly more tribal with Steve and Noah and Scott banging the shit out of floor toms. I think they might have only played three songs.

After their set I got to hang out with them. We had beers and smoked cigarettes. They made fun of me for getting my nipple pierced. Well-deserved.

We had beers and smoked cigarettes. They made fun of me for getting my nipple pierced. Well-deserved.

They made fun of me for getting my nipple pierced. Well-deserved.


I’ve been following Neurosis and their off shoots for over twenty years and they never cease to leave me in awe. From the last show with Josh Graham on visuals at the Fox Theater in Oakland to a New Years Show at the Great American Music Hall on Dec. 31st 2007 with Saviors and Earth, the band expands and hones their sound with each outing.

This video/performance from Union Transfer is remarkable. Noah Landis mastered the audio and I’m hoping they make this an official release because it’d be worth documenting on vinyl.


Oathbreaker New Album Rheia and Song

Oathbreaker, Belgium’s all-audio solution to swimmer’s ear and constipation, drop their new album Rheia Sept. 30 via Deathwish. The menacing four piece is sure to make America Great Again as they hit the road in support (tour dates below).

With boards, mixing and mastering helmed by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Loma Prieta) Rheia, continues the band’s legacy of churning riffs, epic metal infused hardcore and stoic group band photos.

For a full frontal audio assault, point your browsers to the song, “Needles in Your Skin” available at

9/28 Asheville, NC – Mothlight #
9/29 Atlanta, GA – The Earl ^
9/30 Savannah, GA – The Jinx ^
10/1 Tampa, FL – Crowbar ^
10/2 Gainesville, FL – The Atlantic ^
10/4 New Orleans, LA – Siberia ^
10/5 Houston, TX – White Oak ^
10/6 Dallas, TX – RBC ^
10/7 Austin, TX – Barracuda ^
10/9 Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge ^
10/10 San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick ^
10/11 Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy ^
10/12 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge ^
10/14 Portland, OR – Panic Room ^
10/15 Seattle, WA – Highline ^
10/17 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Bar ^
10/18 Denver, CO – Marquis Theater ^
10/19 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room %
10/20 Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews %
10/21 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock %
10/22 Chicago, IL – Subterranean %
10/23 Indianapolis, IN – 5th Quarter %
10/25 Pittsburgh, PA – Cattivo %
10/26 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts %
10/28 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus %
10/26 Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery %
10/30 Richmond, VA – Hardywood Brewery %
# with Skeletonwitch, Iron Reagan, All Hell
^ with Skeletonwitch, Iron Reagan, Gatecreeper
% with Skeletonwitch, Iron Reagan, Homewrecker

Genracion Suicida “Flexi Para Latinoamerica” E.P.

This new two song release by LA punk band, Generacion Suicida is stellar. I love how clean it is. In the spirit of The Zeros with a nod to “Night Time” era Killing Joke — mostly the chorused guitar effect — and the immediacy of Los Crudos. Their full-length, “Con La Muerte a Tu Lado,” released a year ago, is also available at their bandcamp page. There is a significant evolution in  the execution and production of the songs on their full length and their latest effort. You can hear the band growing as song writers. Hope they come down to San Diego soon.

K-Oh! “Knock On Wood” and Kristian’s E.P.

Of the five tracks on MC K-Oh’s Kristian’s E.P., the standout is “Knock On Wood” (posted below). K-Oh deftly moves from verse to verse, mezclando español e Inglés sin problemas, slipping effortlessly among producer Nova’s beats. The subject matter of the EP is confessional, from “Fuck Friends” a track that deals directly with the realities of making music and art to “Therapy,” a song that speaks to the challenges of a strained relationship and being a long-distance father.

Keep an ear out for K-Oh!

Empress Of “Me” to be relased Sept. 11 2015

Had this plodding, noisy gem of counter-pop in my head the past few days. I’d love to have Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway explode this track.

Check out “Kitty Kat” from the forthcoming Empress Of “Me” LP due from XL in Sept.

Pre-order LP at

Nightmare Fortress “No Exit” on Purple Trans Vinyl

Sometimes I’m late to the party. Most of the time. Actually. The river is deep and the valley is low in music. The internet, for music, is the cool older brother most music dorks wish they’d had.

Mi compadre and No Bad Songs alum, Eddie Tesla, turned me on to the exquisite dark wave beauty for Pac North Westers Nightmare Fortress  who released their debut The Wanting earlier this summer on translucent vinyl, no less. I impulse bought the LP without considering I might want the t-shirt too. Fuck. It was a steal. That and the Mr. Tube and the Flying objects record today. I’m almost glad I inadvertently forgot about the release of Chelsea Wolfe’s Abyss record (nice write up in the latest issue of High Times for the Wolfe).

Nightmare Fortress exists in that Dark Wave realm but it’s really just Goth/new wave revisited. They could easily share a bill with Cold Cave or Chelsea Wolfe. Sweet spot between Siouxsie and the Banshees Join Hands and Depeche Mode’s Black Celebration, two perennial favorites in the No Bad Songs oeuvre – plus I’m partial to the nostalgia b&w weirdness of the “A Question of Time” music video, having danced the smurf shuffle to the tune at Ground Zero in Boulder in the long-time-agos.

So. The party started and I was there when I got the invitation but I was distracted by something else, some other pretty thing in the hallowed screen, and missed the introduction to Nightmare Fortresses when I got the link to the KEXP performance…But, timing man, it has a funny way of penetrating the noise. Like when a song hits you and you’re like, “How the fuck haven’t I always heard this song – looking at you Ryan Adams “Give Me Something Good” and QOTSA “The Vampyre of Time and Memory.” Is there a theme here?

No Exit is a play by Jean Paul Sartre about three souls in the waiting room in hell attended by a functionary. They suffer in mediocrity. Banality. Bored by one another’s company. Unable to feel pleasure. Unable to escape the stupidity of themselves or their companions or their confinement. Perceived confinement.

“No Exit” by Nightmare Fortress is a song about possession. Control. A struggle between everything and nothing and reconciling those experiences. Existential ennui. Of course. A dysmorphic reaction to the externality of the self. This KEXP performance is pretty spot on to the recording. No fidelity loss and the studio version is note for note except for a pop of breath on the mic windscreen.

The LP is great. Got a purple trans version on the way. Gonna do the smurf-toe dance late at night and dream about clove cigarettes and crunchy energy drinks.

L.A. Witch “Kill My Baby Tonight”

Psych punk/rock and roll outfit L.A. Witch’s new single, “Kill My Baby Tonight” is on repeat today.

It’s dark and driving and full of moody quips, like the Ronettes on acid with a healthy dose of EM Cioran.

Their full length is due later this summer from Lollipop Records, also home to dream rock outfit, Sunshine Mind, among other excellent artists and bands.