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!






Snack Attack! - Tool at the Cox Arena
5.8.07 Keith Boyd

Lord what a nation of snackers the modern day heavy music crowd is! Okay, I'll admit it that it's been awhile since I've been to a BIG ROCK SHOW (I prefer clubs for the close-up and intimate feel) but this was something new under the sun entirely. I suppose that it only stands to reason that if every venue and opportunity that the food industry has to push more of their product our way has been filled, concerts shouldn't be the exception. But it was shocking, shocking I say, to see the pure volume on offer and the whole-hearted buy in from the crowd. So incredibly "in your face" was it that I felt it overshadowing the excellent and darkly spiritual music of Tool.

I've always liked Tool. As the years have gone by they've mutated from a decent hard metal act to one bent on exploring the darker edges of the soul and identity. With each album their music has become more nuanced and complex while still managing to remain head-bangingly heavy. Their last two releases (Lateralus and 10,000 Days) are complete standouts and to my ears qualify as not only musical but artistic masterpieces. One of the things I enjoy about Tool is their lyrical explorations into the nature of the self. The lyrics of Maynard James Keenan deal with tough realms such as addiction ("I don't need it! I just want it! Nothing seems to satisfy!") and the fragmenting of identity ("I know the pieces fit, cause I watched them fall away.") with a brutal and stark honesty. The commitment that comes through in the delivery of these sentiments is so forceful that it can stun you into silence. Then there is the technical aspect of their sound. The players use odd time signatures, exotic effects and volume to propel their dynamic, shifting compositions in and out of your head. They'll start a song slowly with gossamer tendrils of sound floating in the air. These tendrils will suddenly erupt into lashing whips popping and whirling past your head. Then just as quickly the song will lock into a Middle Eastern modal drone with eerie vocals. The great thing was that in the live setting it all worked. The sound was incredible. The visuals were disturbing yet fitting projections of all manner of objects and scenarios. Vaguely Asian corpses writhed and stutter stepped through Twilight Zone meets Monty Python prisonscapes. Pulsing geometric forms mix with images of UFO's and Alex Grey's spiritually anatomical figures. The whole stage pulses like some living mandala or Tibetan tanka painting. The messages seem to be fairly consistent while remaining somewhat opened to interpretation. What are these messages? Good things like: think for yourself, don't deny your whole person, watch out for control, be aware of your potential and your tendencies, have a laugh, don't trust the government, watch out for gluttony and addiction. I'm not trying to say they stood up on stage and preached these ideals; they come at you more obliquely. It's in the sum total package that the message comes across. So in this light I guess there must have been a mismatch in what I felt that Tool was all about and what I thought their fan base would be.

It's probably better to have fewer expectations when encountering a new experience. That way whatever happens is simply what's been presented to you and you can perhaps reserve some of your judgment for the time being to more fully grasp what you are interacting with. Well that's the ideal I guess but in reality our whole mind seems to be set up as some sort of court, judge and jury passing out value statements on every available second. So what was I expecting at Tool? I don't know exactly. A mix of people I guess. Heavy metal kids, alternative rock crazies, vaguely New Age or Tribally inclined folks. Hell maybe some real weirdoes (in the best sense of that word) like astro-physicist grad students dressed in Ren-Faire gowns. Who in fact was there? Well how do I put it? I felt like I was in one of those, "Where's Waldo?" books filled with an assortment of types. Oh, there's Bevis and by God there's Butthead. Look, look it's the past his prime captain of the High School football team circa 1995 and he STILL wants to beat people up. Wow it's 900 DUDES in baggy shorts, skate shirts, backwards baseball hats and tight to the neck pukkashell necklaces! The Tool show was DUDE central. It was "Dude this!" and "Dude that!" everywhere I turned. Occasionally I'd see some survivor of the Rock underground and we'd almost give each other the high sign as if to say, "I know, I know. I don't get it either". Okay, so I'm old. I mean maybe this was the cause of my aghast but come on! I've been to hundreds of rock shows and in almost every instance I had two ideas in my head: get crazy to the music and get loaded by any means necessary. So I kind of thought that some analogous paradigm would be playing itself out at the Cox arena that night. Let's just say that I was in for a quick education. After being frisked and scanned and admonished by loudspeakers that, "THERE WILL BE NO MOSHING! THERE WILL BE NO CROWD SURFING!" I went in to the outer ring hallway that surrounds the Cox arena and approached one of the ubiquitous "Staff Pro" people as to where I could get a cold beer or drink. She looked at me like I was from Mars. "They aren't serving alcohol tonight". Oh great I thought. "But the convenience windows will start opening soon." Well lets' just say that that was an understatement. With every step I made towards the entrance to my seating section metal slatted door flew up and every time one did hideous aromas of junk food wafted out. Now I'm not blaming Cox for this profusion per say as the crowd was entirely complicit in the arrangement. Droves of people lined up to each and every window with a glazed and hungry look in their eyes. I felt repulsed. This was no rock glory. This was no drunken and howling abandon. This was chili cheese nachos, giant pillows of kettle corn, extra-extra large sodas, long whip like beef sticks, huge hot dogs, massive bags of M&M's and Skittles, Starbuck's coffee, Red Bull and just more, more, more. I found myself thinking that here we are for what at most could be a 3 hour show and how much food can one eat in a 3 hour stretch? Watching the masses filter down the many steps to their seats was a comedy of errors. With food and provisions tucked into every available armpit, crack and crevasse people were having a hell of a time keeping upright. Once seated they'd high five each other and then commence wolfing down the snacks. The unhealthy environment was further solidified by the constantly roaming security guards admonishing everyone to sit down and stay in their seats. It was the old couch potato 1-2 punch being enforced with complete control: eat a lot of bad food and don't move around too much. I guess it was a case of cognitive dissonance for me. There was Tool absolutely ROCKING out and singing songs about the horrors of the very same self indulgent excess to be seen up and down the aisles. I began wondering if I'd slipped through some sort of rift in the time space continuum and landed in Bizarro Land .

Well I guess you could sum it up like this: Tool lived up to their vast and powerful potential. The Cox Arena lived up to its role of being a "goes to the highest bidder" product placement and delivery system. And as for the Tool fans? Well all I can really say is, "Snack on Dudes!"

    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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