Festival Alert: Reverence Festival, Sept. 12-13th, Valada, Portugal

Another one for the “things I would attend if there were not an ocean in the way” file:


The line-up draws from a variety of -rock genres, including psychadelia, stoner, shoegaze, doom, prog, and garage. Some highlights of the bill, in alphabetical order:

A Place to Bury Strangers

Crippled Black Phoenix

Crippled Black Phoenix - Northern Comfort - Official Video

Mao Morta

Mão Morta "Novelos da Paixão"

Psychic TV

Ringo Deathstarr

Ringo Deathstarr - "Rip" (Official Video)


Friday Link Session

The “Freaking Pile o’ Links” edition (this is what happens when I don’t do one of these for a couple of weeks).

Bits: Nicole Atkins, The Meat Puppets, The Twilight Singers, The Black Keys, A Place to Bury Strangers

  • Nicole Atkins will be playing a live acoustic session and chatting on livestream Wednesday, 1.19, at 1:30 PM ET/10:30 AM PT.
  • The Meat Puppets will be releasing their new album, Lollipop, in April, Paste reports. Their line-up now includes Shandon Sahm, son of Texan multi-instrumentalist Doug Sahm, on drums.
  • The Twilight Singers’ upcoming album, Dynamite Steps, is available for pre-order at Sub Pop. The pre-order entitles you to stream the album online immediately, and if you pre-order by 2.15, you’ll receive two non-album tracks.
  • Though they’ve had to cancel their Australia/New Zealand tour and part of their European tour, the Black Keys juggernaut rolls on with an appearance on Austin City Limits airing 1.22 on PBS, in a split episode with Sonic Youth. (The Keys’ appearance was taped about three months ago. I am very excited about this, having hoped for a Keys ACL for a long time now.)
  • A Place to Bury Strangers will hit the road again this spring, including SXSW gigs where they will premiere material from their forthcoming, as-yet-untitled album. These guys are amazing live.

    THU 3/10 – ATLANTA, GA – Masquerade*

    FRI 3/11 – DURHAM, NC – Motorco Music Hall*

    SUN 3/13 – DENTON, TX – 35 Conferette Festival*^

    TUE 3/15 – SAN ANTONIO, TX – Korova*

    WED 3/16 – AUSTIN, TX – SXSW

    THU 3/17 – AUSTIN, TX – SXSW

    FRI 3/18 – AUSTIN, TX – SXSW

    SAT 3/19 – AUSTIN, TX – SXSW

    SUN 3/20 – HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, AR – Valley of the Vapors

    MON 3/21 – HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, AR – Valley of the Vapors (pedal workshop)

    TUE 3/22 – OXFORD, MS – Proud Larrys*

    WED 3/23 – GREENVILLE, SC – The Handlebar*

    THU 3/24 – BALTIMORE, MD – Ottobar*

    *with Hooray for Earth

    ^with Dan Deacon, !!!, How to Dress Well & Local Natives

Speaking of APTBS, they’ve treated us to a tale of hopscotch gone awry with the video for their remix of Holy Fuck’s “Red Lights”, directed by Thomas Smith as a gift to APTBS.

Holy Fuck – Red Lights (A Place to Bury Strangers Remix) from Spool on Vimeo.

Bits: A Place to Bury Strangers, Hell and Half of Georgia, Clean Hands, The Low Anthem, Drive-By Truckers

  • A Place to Bury Strangers had their van stolen in Rome. Here’s some info from their Facebook: “Looks like we had over 15K in merch money and belongings stolen from the van. Add in the cancelled shows, the excess van rental charges and we have been pummeled financially. We’ve set up a paypal donation link if any of you feel like helping us replace the belongings of our crew. We hesitate to do this but feel horrible about what happened to everyone’s things:” If you can, donate here.
  • In better news, our friends in Hell and Half of Georgia will be playing a gig on December 11 in Lake Forest, California.
  • Nick Berg of Conrad Plymouth has released an EP with his band Clean Hands. We’re digging it. D/L it here.
  • You can download “Ghost Woman Blues” from the forthcoming Low Anthem album on their site and check up on their 2011 tour dates.
  • And if you don’t have enough downloads today, Drive-By Truckers have made an mp3 of their awesome song “Used to be a Cop” available on their site.

Bits: The Flaming Lips, The Due Diligence, A Place to Bury Strangers, Liars, The Like, Gin Blossoms

  • Pitchfork is featuring a doc on the making of the Flaming Lips’ Embryonic, and since the week is almost over, you’d better get over there.
  • Hooray for the Due Diligence! Isaac Gillespie and company surpassed their Kickstarter goal, so I Will Wreck Your Life will get a vinyl pressing, and the album is streaming at their Bandcamp site.
  • “But what I really want to do is direct…” A Place to Bury Strangers are holding a contest for aspiring music video directors. Create a video for APtBS’ song “Deadbeat” and upload it to the Deadbeat contest YouTube channel for a chance to win a signed boxset, 4 tickets to an APtBS show of your choice and have your video posted to all APtBS websites with credit as the official video.
  • Additionally, do yourself a favor and see A Place to Bury Strangers live:

    9/30 – Nashville, TN – Next Big Nashville Festival at Exit In with Yeasayer, Waaves, & Javelin

    10/1 – Durham, NC – Duke Coffeehouse

    10/2 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter with Ceremony & Soundpool (Killer Pimp Night)

    10/3 – New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge with Chapterhouse, Soundpool & Ulrich Schnauss

    10/15 – Minneapolis, MN – Whole Music Club at University of Minnesota

    10/26 – Brooklyn, NY – Death By Audio with Japandroids

    10/30 – West Palm Beach, FL – Respectable Street

    11/3 – New York, NY – Billboard Showcase at Gramercy

    11/11 – Monterrey, Mexico – Escenica

    11/13 – Mexico City, Mexico – Festival Sonorama

    Leave your pansy earplugs at home.

  • This could be worth wading into the murky depths of iTunes: Liars have released a live EP of their May 27 Shepherd’s Bush gig, cleverly entitled Live at Shepherds Bush Empire, exclusively through iTunes.


    1. Scissor

    2. Proud Evolution

    3. The Overachievers

    4. Clear Island

    5. A Visit from Drum

  • I finally watched We Jam Econo: the Story of the Minutemen last night! This is not news. It’s just an excuse to post this video:


Jennifer adds:

  • The Like are on a U.S. west coast tour now-right-now.
  • The Gin Blossoms’ new album No Chocolate Cake is streaming on AOL Music.

HotChaCha/Freedom/A Place to Bury Strangers at the Grog Shop in Cleveland, OH, 9.27.10

Ah, Grog Shop, someday I’ll learn not to be fooled by your posted show times. Someday, I will learn that in Grogspeak, 8 p.m. means “sometime after 10”. But enough of my kvetching. How about some fucking rock ‘n’ roll?


HotChaCha are like an answer to my prayers – or, at least, a solution to the complaint I’ve made in this blog before about all the twee girly girls in music today. Singer Jovana Batkovic is probably more manly than most of the other men who hit the stage Monday night. Taller, too. Her long-legged presence, mic-phallic gyrations, forays into the audience and rolling around on the stage bring an undeniably entertaining aspect to HotChaCha’s live show, but it’s not covering up or compensating for anything else. Her energy feeds off of and perfectly complements the punk-spirited rock churned out by this four-piece. At once at ease and energetic, HotChaCha’s vigorous show is a credit to Cleveland, to women in rock and to the spirit of rock in general.


To be honest, I think I didn’t quite get Freedom. After hauling out enough drums, guitars, pedals and padded Kustom amps to make the Grog Shop stage look like a music showroom, it felt like Freedom never quite capitalized on all that gear. In the end, it felt like a lot of noise that never coalesced into anything other than noise.

A Place to Bury Strangers

They will tell you A Place to Bury Strangers is a loud band. They will tell you to wear earplugs. They are not to be trusted. Yes, APtBS are loud. Gloriously loud. But fuck the earplugs. APtBS should be experienced without barrier.

From the surf-rock opening of “Deadbeat” to the free-for-all ending of “Ocean”, an A Place to Bury Strangers show is about being ensconced in sound – not experiencing it from a safe distance, with you here in the audience and the music there on stage. It is about the sound waves rattling against your bones. It is about feeling your brain swim in your head. It’s about the rainbow tracers left in your peripheral vision by what may just be the APtBS light/media show but may also be the music taking control of your cortex. It’s about sounds so intense and unexpected that your heart races and your breath catches. It’s about leaving the mundane world and entering sound.

A Place to Bury Strangers Coming to Cleveland

“Fucked up” is a phrase Oliver Ackermann likes to use to describe music, especially the music made by his band A Place to Bury Strangers. “Loud” is a word that critics like to use for APtBS’ music. This could drive some listeners away, but as any connoisseur of the seedier side of life can tell you, the loud and fucked up can also be beautiful.

A Place to Bury Strangers pull from a range of influence that includes, most obviously bands from the gothier end of the spectrum, like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Bauhaus and even Sisters of Mercy. But influences like the Ramones, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and ‘60s rock and pop also surface. And surfacing is an appropriate word for many aspects of APtBS’ sound as Ackermann and bandmates create an ocean of sound, often augmented via pedals created by Ackermann’s own guitar effects company Deathy by Audio, wherein bass lines and guitar riffs can seem to surface like jagged rocks on the coast.

A Place to Bury Strangers will be returning to the Grog Shop on September 27 (Freedom and rad Cleveland quartet HotChaCha will be opening), and I am looking forward to be awash in sound, happy for the throbbing in my head that will drive the rest of the world away for a while. For a taste of what you can expect from the Brooklyn-based trio, checkout this live in-studio version of the gorgeous “Ocean” that APtBS created for KEXP.


A Place to Bury Strangers Official Website
The Grog Shop
Death by Audio

Bits: Infantree, Justin Townes Earle, Vic Chesnutt & Elf Power, Neil Young, A Place to Bury Strangers

  • Infantree’s first full-length album, Would Work, is out today, and you can take a preview listen at Spinner (also up: Watchmen, Black Angels and Grinderman, among others).
  • No Depression wants you to interview Justin Townes Earle, and they want to compensate you for it. Submit a question for JTE, and you could win an autographed copy of his new album, Harlem River Blues
  • Pitchfork‘s One Week Only feature is currently running a documentary of Vic Chesnutt’s 2009 European Tour with Elf Power.
  • For those excited about the new Daniel Lanois-produced Neil Young album, Le Noise, Stereogum has a preview for you in the form a video for “Angry World”.
  • A Place to Bury Strangers has a five-song EP – “I Lived My Life To Stand In The Shadow Of Your Heart”, “Girlfriend” and three remixes of “I Lived” – and you can download the Secret Machines remix from Mute. APtBS will be kicking off a fall tour with a free show at Thirteenth Floor in Massillon, Ohio, on September 24 and swinging through Cleveland on September 27 (more on that next week).

They Shoot Music Don’t They talked Oliver Ackermann of A Place to Bury Strangers, tagged “the loudest band in New York”, into going acoustic for an evening stroll in Yppenplatz, Vienna. Sweet results.