Nate Fitzbutler did a remix to Kanye West’s and Kendrick Lamar’s “No More Parties in LA” called “No More Parties in SD”. He said, "we made this track to try to bring some national buzz to our city that’s always been in the shadow of the LA music scene."

Niko Sitaras from the San Diego based dream rock band Paper Days says, "We just released our new EP 'Fun For Family & Friends'. Our release party is on Feb 19th being hosted at the Irenic (with The Bash Dogs & Splavender). 

Panic Is Perfect is an indie-pop group from San Fran and they are touring in support of their new album, Cellspace, which drops tomorrow on Strange Loop Records. They'll be playing at The Loft @ UCSD on Feb. 12!






Daniel Higgs - Ancestral Songs Holy Mountain
by Keith Boyd 10.27.6 (Editors note: Most Highly Recommended)

Despite their overuse as plot devices for countless episodes of "Star Trek" and "The Twilight Zone", parallel universes do exist. I'm not going to get all wound up in either a scientific treatise or a religious debate here. I'm not concerned with any sort of physics based description of reality and neither am I willing to defend this thought against Biblical, Koranic or Torah scholarship. I'm more concerned with simply conveying a version of the truth, my truth I suppose I should say. A bit of learned wisdom, won after spending a little time wandering around this planet and thinking about it.

A general assumption most of us make is that "underneath it all" we are essentially the same. We feel that despite skin color, geographic location, family history and cultural norms we're all motivated by and looking for similar thing. Our American society is almost predicated on this notion. The corrosive and homogenizing influence of our meg-corporate nation insulates us against too much true diversity. Wherever we go we have the opportunity to buy the same meal, hear the same songs and drink the same latte. I suppose some people revel in sameness. There is a predictability and comforting essence to it that speaks of safety. Never mind that nature, in its every movement and system, avoids the stasis of monoculture. Never mind that uniformity of intent and action are both the purview of mobs and fascists. If we find safety in sameness then by God we're going to have it!

At first blush the popularity and access we have in the States to certain media might seem to contradict this. On any given night you can tune in to documentaries about the coming of age rituals of the Kalahari Bushmen. You can go to the store and pick up a copy of National Geographic and by flipping a few pages spin around the globe. But the rub is it's still a sameness being projected. Despite the plumage we see that the Papua New Guinea natives simply want the same creature comforts we do. We learn that regardless of what savage war zone they're growing up in, kids will be kids. The nice part about this process of confirming our suspicions is that it's cleanly. No need to get exposed to all those nasty intestinal bugs and just plain filth, the glossy pictures and edited footage tell us all we need to know. A quick jump from this of course is the impulse to enforce this sameness. Our government wields the double edged sword of military force and free market economics as a sieve which when straining an entire culture and country, yields maximum profit and obedience. A seemingly benign thought, that we're all the same, plays out as a world where we're willing to make everyone and everything the same. The problem with all of that is folks, it's just not so. We aren't all the same. People do want different things out of life and our underlying reasoning and motivations are so unique unto us that to force any other thought is to succumb to the above described paradigm.

While living in Africa I met a wandering cowherd named Sidi. Sidi and I had an amazing conversation one afternoon while sitting in the shade of a Baobab tree drinking some tea. I was asking about his life and at every turn my expectations were flouted. I asked about the hardships of a nomadic existence with no fixed home and he said he'd never want a home and how by not having one the whole world was his home. Furthermore he had nothing to worry about like a home owner. No messes to clean up no need to protect valuables against thieves. We spoke about food and I opined that his diet was a bit bland. He thumped his chest and said that since a child he'd only ever eaten 3 things; milk, couscous and cow's blood and for me to see how healthy he was. He also went on to describe in intricate detail the various flavors of cow's milk and blood depending on the season and what the cow was eating. Every notion I held as familiar or regular seemed to be rejected by Sidi. The more time we spent together the more I was forced to simply accept and eventually admire our differences. Rather than divide us they seemed somehow to expand the world around us and our acceptance of each other felt calming and just. It's just this type of process that comes to mind while listening to Donald Higgs's amazing new release, "Ancestral Songs".

Daniel Higgs is an artist who operates as a universe unto himself. The dispatches we receive from his specific domain; art, music, tattoos, poetry and music are so singular that they almost defy description. As the lead singer of post-punk freaks "Lungfish" Higgs has been churning out album after album of highly emotive music since 1988. In more recent years he has done many solo performances, art shows, put out an album of Jew's harp playing and now brought forth the ominous, stark and apocalyptic folk of 'Ancestral Songs".

Higgs's worldview is resolutely non-dualistic. Lucifer and Christ blend into one hermaphroditic "All Pervading Nameless Lord of Perfect Mystery". This deep acceptance and exposition of seemingly opposite forces produces a sonic and lyrical content with a tension both compelling and scary. The music produced here is a mirror to the lyrical reconciliation of opposites. It is at once folksy acoustic (Living in the Kingdom of Death ) and metallically alien (Moharsing and Schoenhut). This is a deeply bent and off-kilter music but it's delivered by such a sure hand that its power and singular truth are brought home all the more effectively.

I would classify this album as a kind of private or personal music. This isn't something to casually throw on at your next shindig and expect the kids to fill the dance floor. It's music with room for the listener's thoughts. With this space provided we have a moments pause to consider our sameness and our differences and the parallel universes that each of us occupies. This is music as the intergalactic and all seeing bagpipe of God. This is music as the all knowing vacuum cleaner of Shiva. As a stellar dispatch from the fructifying womb of myriad realities, it is a cause for celebration!


    Lotushouse MP3 Sampler
    Maquiladora - The Revenge of Becky Royal (New Piano)
    Tenniscoats + Maquiladora - Hours
    High Mountain Tempel - Processional (An Invocation to Thee Angelic Sister)
    Raagnagrok - HJD
    Beggars - Will We Call It Love
    Maquiladora - Termez 1936
    Maquiladora - Song 26
    Buzz or Howl - Sendhe Mortu Chin Rigore
    Earthling Tempel - Celestial Inhabitants of the Sun
    Buzz or Howl - The Sins Of The Flower Are Visited On The Shunned
    Maquiladora - Light of the Rain
    High Mountain Tempel - The Ascended Master (Hang Gliding in Heaven)
    High Mountain Tempel - Fluctuat Nec Mergitur
    High Mountain Tempel - Tempel Walk
    Buzz or Howl - 05 Oct 05
    Buzz or Howl - Sun as the Destroyer of Dreams
    Live version at the Make Room SF 2005
    Maquiladora - In This Life
    Maquiladora - Simply to See You
    Maquiladora with Kawabata Makoto - Nampasen
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Drunk and Lighting Fires (A Waltz)
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ritual of Hearts
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ankle
    Maquiladora - Mayday
    Loraine Loraine - Pasqually Old Pasqually

    Beggars - S/T
    by Pierro Scaruffi

    Maquiladora's Eric Nielsen and Bruce McKenzie joined forces with Skygreen Leopards' Glenn Donaldson to form Beggars, whose double-disc Beggars (Lotushouse, 2013) is a tour de force of ecstatic Eastern-influenced freak-folk. Mostly these pieces lean towards the traditional song format, although inevitably deformed by the musicians' pedigrees.

    The ghostly hyper-dilated drones of Ghost Coyote are imbued with quasi-Morricone western-movie guitar twang and even harmonica. The sweet lullaby and the trotting pace of Eureka My Love as well as the romantic honky-tonking Justine (with a refrain a bit reminiscent of Dylan's Blowing in the Wind) hark back to the heydays of country-rock. 2-3-74 Floating evokes the martial laments of the young Neil Young although diluted amid discordant guitar jamming and lulled by waves of funereal vocal harmonies. Berserker's Boogie is a lively and poppy almost-bluegrass tune. They even intone the singalong Queen Anne's Lace with drums, banjo and all.

    Thankfully, the spaced-out yodeling of Lullaby de Bourbon (memories of Aoxomoxoa-era Grateful Dead), the free-form quasi-jazz guitar and vocal interplay of Will We Call It Love, the seven-minute dreaming psalm Big Pink Sun and its sublimely disintegrating coda, remind us of what Maquiladora are best at. The 23-minute Midget Decapitates Clownis an ambitious concerto for suspense and agony. Far from being just a droning piece, it piles up sonic event after sonic event, producing the trancey effect out of a multitude of traumatic sounds. The chirping and tweeting that accumulates half-way into the piece decays into a nervous organic filigree and dies away in the most cryptic manner; one of the high points of Maquiladora's career.

    Earthling Tempel - Pilgrimage To Thunderbolt Pagoda
    by Aquarius Records

    Not sure if this is part 4, or just the first in a new multi part epic, hardly matters, what does matter is, this is another glorious expansive collection of meditative psychedelic abstract dronefolk ambience. Every High Mountain Tempel disc we're reviewed thus far has gotten played to death here, and this one doesn't appear to be any different. Well, at least in that respect. In one distinct way it is very different, HMT are not going it alone this time. They've assembled a pretty impressive collection of sonic alchemists and musical conjurers to help with this ritual, Isis Aquarian from the Source Family, Charles Curtis from La Monte Young's Just Alap Raga Ensemble, and two crews from the UK we've never heard of, Earthling Society and Astarism, but even with all those cooks in the kitchen, HMT and friends have managed to weave another dark minimal masterpiece, all hushed barely there guitar shimmer, drifting whispered vocals, delicate crystalline melodies, dense swirls of piano, warm swells of tape hiss, mysterious voices and field recordings, whirring organ, bowed steel strings... so lovely.

    If the liner notes are to be believed, two of the tracks feature Earthling Society on their own, and those tracks do sound different, much less free and sprawling, a bit more structured, like seventies UK acid folk, swirling and melodic and quite lovely. The final two tracks find the two groups in full on collaborative mode, and the gears shift to something much more space rocky and Hawkwindy, all blissed out and heart-of-the-sun, until the final track which is a strummy, delicate, moody chill out closer, a sort of dour doom folk drift, that makes a perfect ending.

    Super nice packaging, silkscreened oversized 4 panel sleeve, white on black, with the cd-r affixed to the inside. And of course, SUPER LIMITED!

    High Mountain Tempel - The Glass Bead Game by Aquarius Records

    Part three in the ongoing series of limited cd-r explorations from mysterious drone combo High Mountain Tempel, and like the two before it, the band continue to delve into some murky sonic underworld, again presenting loooong songs, each separated by brief sonic interludes, this disc seems feature more actual vocals, the opening track features a processed voice, that sounds a bit like throat singing, or a Speak And Spell, intoning some arcane message, interwoven with long drawn out tones, and a thick ropy buzz, super dark and intense and atmospheric. Elsewhere sampled voices surface, there are bits of chanting here and there, all peppered throughout the disc. But even with the extra voices, the focus here is still on dark, lugubrious, extended dronescapes.

    The sound of High Mountain Tempel is probably closest to Expo '70, as their various permutations of dronemusic seem to have a definite krautrock vibe, that gives the sound a sort of spaced out quality, and a subtle propulsion, but unlike Expo '70, HMT seem to have a distinct Eastern influence, much of the music is meditative and subtly dramatic, a bit soundtracky, and some of it sounds like it could be Japanese. Especially the way field recordings are incorporated into the sounds. Giving everything a definite texture, some of it sounding like it was perhaps recorded live in some hilltop temple. Which we would imagine is the idea.

    Not sure what else to say actually. This is indeed fantastic, brooding and malefic, but also shimmery and dreamy, sonically it has much in common with the first two installments, so definitely check out those reviews to read more about their 'sound'.

    Needless to say, fans of the drone and folks into the current crop of cd-r soundscapers will for sure dig this, but like the other HMT discs, this is more than simple drone music, this is ritualistic alchemical soundwork, one can almost imagine stumbling across a group of cloaked figures huddled around a fire in a forest clearing, tossing various powders into the flames, causing the fire to change color and cast beastlike shadows on the branches above, and this is the sound filtering through the forest like a black moonlit fog...
    SUPER LIMITED of course, packaged beautifully in a foldover silkscreened sleeve, gold metallic on red on the outside, black on red on the inside.

    High Mountain Tempel - A Screaming Comes Across The Sky - The Faultline Scriptures
    by Aquarius Records

    Record number two from this mysterious drone-kraut styled duo. Their last disc was a huge hit around here, so we were pretty thrilled to get our hands on this one, a logical sonic extension of the first, delving deeper into some murky tripped out twilit soundworld.
    The disc opens with shimmering clouds of gongs and cymbals, whirring and sizzling, suspended over a deep distant rumble, a delicate intro to a record at once hypnotic and lovely, dark and dense.

    The record is arranged into three epic tracks, interspersed with short sonic interludes, ranging from field recordings of crickets, looped chants (Elizabeth Clare Prophet if we're not mistaken), spirituals and mysterious liturgical songs, whirring drones, and backwards percussion, but it's the long tracks where the duo get to spread out, let their dense soundscapes sprawl.

    The three long tracks sounds like movements of a greater whole, clocking in at 15 minutes, 11 minutes and nearly 17 minutes respectively, each rife with creepy delayed vocals, churning guitars and smeared chords, roiling muddy whirls, which often dissipate leaving streaks of fragmented melody and haunting slowed down voices. Buried amidst the drones and whirs, are lullaby-like melodies, skittery percussion, streaks of grinding distortion, hidden voices, more field recordings, thick swaths of cavernous rumbles, little bits of electronic glitch and lots and lots of low end buzz.

    Packaged in a fancy navy blue fold over sleeve, screenprinted in white ink, with a photocopied insert with liner notes and song credits.

    LIMITED TO 150 COPIES! Each one hand numbered.


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