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!






Zodiacs - Gone
(Holy Mountain) Keith Boyd 03.07.07
America is a noisy place. Every which way you turn we've got big machines ripping up asphalt, knocking down buildings and generally creating a ruckus. The ethos behind this noise making goes back to our country's founding. From soon after the landing of the Pilgrims it's been a steady, God inspired race to maximize the potential of every square inch of land we encounter. This manifest destiny driven fever is the fuel behind the great American noise grinder. The second we invented or ripped off a new technology it was instantly put to service in clearing land, smashing older structures and building new ones. We're in the act of perpetually becoming in this country. Our land may have essentially reached carrying capacity but that didn't stop us, we simply built upwards. Witness the bionic robot fingers of skyscrapers that grew like wildfire from the turn of the last century onward. These metallic spikes punctured the atmosphere and pointed towards the heavens like the hands of some industrial prophet. Soon we answered that call by going into space and not only going into space but projecting the noise of our world ever outward in intergalactic time capsules filled with recordings of our world in the desperate hope that someone would hear them.

Enough with the big picture. Bring it all back home (to paraphrase Dylan). Spend a day really paying attention to what you are hearing. I think you'll be shocked! At any given moment, night or day, you are literally being bathed in a sea of noise. Our survival instinct mind has thankfully given us a filter to comb through this mess and hear only what is important for our safety. We hear the horn of the truck barreling down on us. We hear the alarm clock calling us to another workday. We don't hear the whoosh and grind of every car that passes us on the street. We don't hear the whispering crackle of the power and phone lines surrounding us. This filter works so well that we can get tricked into the idea that perhaps there is real quiet anywhere. True quiet is a hard state of being to find. I'm not even sure it's desirable. I've had a few experiences where I feel I've known what quiet is and they scared the crap out of me. One was in Africa while hiking near the village I lived in. I'd come to a huge outcropping of rocks and decided to do a little climbing. I found a spot through the rocks where there was a crawl space. One rock was leaning against another and I figured I'd slide through to the other side. Well once under I realized that there was another huge boulder blocking the way and I was essentially surrounded by rock on every side. I knew I could get out the way I'd come in but for a few minutes I just stopped. At first it was silent. A silence that had a dead air quality to it. I'd move my hand against the rock surface and the scratchy shuff of pebbles breaking away would literally be eaten as it occurred. The air going in and out of lungs made short burst of noise but these too had a leaden or dead quality to them. Slowly I became aware of the sound of my heart beating, a rushing whirling pulse in my ears. Listening to this only highlighted who very silent everything was. I began to feel woozy and unsettled. I thought to myself how very invisible I was at that moment. After a bit I began to ruminate on what would happen if the rock shifted. I would have been crushed of course and was overcome with the need to get out of this silent place. I started feeling the enormous weight of the rocks I was surrounded by and the cold, indifferent silence that they embodied. I slid out quickly and made for the noisy, living tumult of the village. My other experience of silence was a night in high school when I lived in Maine . The winter in Maine is generally an amazing display of the intensity that nature can muster. Winter in Maine is cold and snowy. It is also quite beautiful. The effect of the long string of sub-zero days is that people tend to spend as little time in it as possible; consequently the outdoors sees less of our human activity. One night I'd gone to sleep during a snow storm only to wake up around 3 am with the moon shining in my window. The light drew me to my backdoor where I couldn't help myself but to step out into it. Sure it was cold. A deep down bone cold that froze my nostrils and made my eyes ache. What really hit me though was the silent silver world I was witnessing. Everything was shining with a deep blue/silver glow. There was no wind. I heard nothing. Slowly the scene went from being beautiful to beautifully sinister. It wasn't a landscape that permitted human existence. While still in awe of its beauty I slowly backed away from the scene not really wanting it to seep into me too deeply. These instances of silence are I suppose the exceptions that prove the rule. It's next to impossible to find true silence or even relative quiet. As stated before however, that's probably not a bad thing. A silent environment is void of human activity. "What noisy cats are we" to quote Mike Stipe.

What does all of this have to do with rock-n-roll hepcat, noise-ters Zodiacs and their new CD Gone you ask? Well, a lot actually. This slab of lo-fi, grunt-rock skronk is committed to the idea of filling every possible second with noise, noise, noise. There's literally no more room available in its dense, hash-oil soaked grooves. The jagged edges of its riff squeeze out the highs and lows leaving a wall of tough as nails middle to contend with. It sounds stuffed. Stuffed with motorcycle oil soaked rags that is. If I were leading the charge in some imaginal insurgency against the Empire of Silence, Zodiacs could well provide the soundtrack. Made up of personnel from Hush Arbors and Wooden Wand, I get the sense that Zodiacs is a fantasy-filled side project for its participants. They don evil sounding monikers and have the cover resembling the back of a biker gang jacket from some sixties exploitation flick. The songs all clock in at super long times and simply pound away at your head. The tempos never really get pushed too far or achieve much velocity. They chug along soaked in tar and echoes filling every void they encounter. After a long listen you start to feel pinned into a sonic corner but one you want to hang out in for a bit. It's a gloriously freaky ride that at times can conjure up the sounds of Fun House era Stooges or a third generation Hawkwind bootleg. Dense and pumping. Maximum amounts of noise and squall. Holy Mountain has brought it again! All hail the end of silence!

    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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