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!





 

 

 

 

Sea Hags - Sea Hags (re-issue) (Rock Candy Records) – Keith Boyd – 12.14.7 (editors note: a previous band I worked in had the pleasure of a few death dealing sessions with the Hags guitarist after they imploded. It was a very bright SDSU neighborhood we walked out of and into the darkness of scorching guitar blackness, never to be forgotten. It was so over the top it was elegant and blinding at the same time.)
            Once upon a time Good Old Fashioned Hard Rock had lost its edge. Somewhere between the late 1970’s through the mid 1980’s Rock went flaccid and most of the edgier offerings were coming from the realms of Punk, Hip-Hop and even New Wave. Gone were the days of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker” and Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin”. Now all the Rock Children had to listen to were the more corporate sounds of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Journey. Okay there were a few stand-outs. The mighty Motorhead and the eternal AC/DC both put out stone(d) cold classics (check out “Ace of Spades” and of course “Back in Black”) during the period but they were the exception rather than the rule. Your other alternative were the “Hair-Bands”. God-awful messes and monstrosities such as Cinderella, Poison, Ratt, and Motley Crue were all pedaling various forms of derivative Glam come Pop that simply DID NOT satisfy. Look, I don’t care if they were million dollar sellers. I don’t care if you spent your entire trust fund on Aqua-Net and spandex during the period. I don’t even care if you copped your first feel while “Every Rose Has its Thorn” played on your crappy car radio. IT JUST WASN’T HEAVY-DUTY HARD ROCK!! Stepping into this mix and laying waste to it all in 1987 came Guns-n-Roses with their amazing debut, “Appetite for Destruction”. In one fell swoop (just as they would be fell swoop a few years later by Nirvana’s, “Nevermind”) the book was re-written. That album had its Stones’ swagger. It had its punky edge. It pushed up the ante with relentless songs, screamed vocals and amazing guitar playing. Instantly the scene was divided. A darker, leather pants clad drunken sexuality stumbled in and in the wake of it came a group of other bands determined to sleaze it up even more. Some of these were interesting (Faster Pussycat), some were uneven (LA Guns) and some were downright terrible (Skid Row) but they all shared a scrappy, underdog vibe and they were all aiming towards at least trying to bring back the “Hard” in “Hard Rock”.
One of the best bands to come out during this period blazed through so quickly most people don’t even remember them was, “Sea Hags”. Hailing from San Francisco they were around long enough to record one album, tour a bit and they dissolve in a blaze of drugged excess and bad timing. It was on one of these all too few tours that I saw the band play at San Diego’s legendary dive, “The Spirit Club”. With their bikery swagger and killer Aerosmith meets New York Dolls meets a punked up Guns-n-Roses they really put on a show. The band seemed poised on the brink of whatever that next great step might be. I’m sure that with another album and tour under their belt it would have blown up huge. They might have even had just enough ragged glory to bridge the up-coming Grunge divide. Alas it wasn’t meant to be. In 1991 bassist Chris Schlosshardt died from a heroin overdose and in the fallout no stable lineup could ever be assembled. The one album they put out was a rip-snorting Bluesy-Rock monster with some bonefide classics, “Doghouse” and “Half the Way Valley” and the obvious potential of great things to come. Originally put out on Chrysalis the set was produced by Mike Clink who had done the honors on G-nR’s “Appetite”. Under his tutelage the band tightened up its sound and found a way to translate their wild live energy into a studio. The result was an excellent rock album you wouldn't be embarrassed to have sitting in your stacks next to The Clash’s, “London Calling” or The Rolling Stones, “Exile on Main Street”. I’m not trying to imply an equal status or similar tonality between these records. It’s more that they came from a genuine, heartfelt place and as such carried the same aura of authenticity. The Sea Hags even had the taste to have Bay Area 60’s album/poster artist Rick Griffin do the album cover.
            We can all play the “what might have been” game and we can usually play it ad nauseum. Sea Hags could’ve been one of the greats. They should have recorded more. They should’ve cleaned up and gotten sober. The fact still remains that this is the one document we have of this band and it’s all we’ll ever have. As such we can all be thankful to Rock Candy Records for re-discovering a gem. They’ve re-mastered it, added two outtake demos and interviewed most of the guilty parties for the liner notes. All in all its’ a great package and manages to still blow out some serious rock 20 years later.

 


    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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