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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Evildead/Hirax-House Of Blues,Hollywood,CA 8/23/11



Every once in a while there's a show were I say,"Now that's a perfect line up!". This was one of 'em.

They made this show 18+ cause the last Evildead show I reviewed the thrash kids just HAD to get wasted and therefore ruined it for the kids who are underage (most of whom go for the music only.) So a bunch of  kids were denied entry. It sucks. I went late so sadly, I missed Witchaven. Go here and read the review of them the last time I saw 'em. They rule.

So first band I saw was Deathriders (or as I call em, Poor Anthrax). Yep you've never heard of em. Lead singer is actually Neil Turbin, the original singer of Anthrax. Now you'd think people would be excited about this... Sadly, that wasn't the case. They headline everyone once and a while and for whatever reason, many people leave before they get on stage. Ive seen 'em once cause I loved the first Anthrax album. They are whatever live. I do respect Neil for trying to do shows even if they're in backyards or music stores. They are not an OG Anthrax band.... But if you ask me....they should be.

Neil still has his badass voice but his non-thrax songs are Power Metal/Hard Rock. Which I don't like. I was only into the classic Anthrax songs like "Metal Thrashing Mad" and "Armed in Dangerous". He has a solo album out but I don't recommend it. I do recommend his only album with Anthrax "Fist full Of Metal". It is a freakin classic. Of course he mentioned The Big 4 and stuff. The Deathriders are a great band to open up a show, but not one to headline. (Sorry Neil, much respect but I gotta be honest here.)

Deathriders aka "Poor Anthrax"

Up next was the band I was really excited to see, the legendary Hirax. I was disappointed they wern't headlining. They are older, bigger,and better. I've met singer Katon before and he's one of those dudes that would take a picture with EVERY single fan who wants one with taken with him. He is a super nice guy. Hirax got on stage and I was pumped since it was my first time seeing 'em. Right away he came out and shook hands with fans and sang his ass off. They were the highlight of the night playing old songs and new songs.  Katon was psyched about the turn-out and apologized about the age limit. I was up front singing along to the songs I knew. See Hirax live. I'm not kidding. And if you're new to them check out their first album Raging Violence. This was one of the best metal performances Ive ever seen.


Hirax

Evildead headlined again. Once again they kicked ass and people were pitting hard and stage diving. Read my last Evildead review so you know what I'm talking about. Theyre badass live, go see 'em.


Evildead

The English Beat-Pershing Square,Downtown L.A. 8-20-11


Ok ...first thing to clear something up. Everyone who's into Reggae/Ska/New Wave/ let alone good music knows The Beat. But in case you didn't know, there are two different band versions of the English Beat alive and playing today. The original band had two singers originally. They ended up splitting apart, and the one with Ranking Rodger only plays in England as The Beat while the other (with Dave Wakeling) calls themselves The English Beat and play here in America. That's the one I saw.

They played in a park for free and all the rude boys, rastas, punks, and random dudes just walking by the park were excited for this old school ska show.

 It was crowded and the last of  several free concerts in the park (I missed A Flock Of Seagulls damn it!). They started and I was immediately into it, as were my punk friends. I was dancing my ass off. In fact, everybody was. The English Beat actually sounded more reggae than ska but what the heck. They played their classics from "Save It For Later", "Twist And Crawl" and the only song people knew the lyrics to,"Mirror in the Bathroom". Over all it was good free show and for seeing one of the pioneers of the Ska genre it was a must. I prefer Madness and The Specials more but that's just me.

Either way see The English Beat live if you get a chance. Maybe in a park near you... If you are new to them, try their compilation, Beat This!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rules of the Road: A Female Perspective

What Happens on the Road Always Comes Home: The Female Perspective

In light of the latest installment of Grant's Tomb, I thought that it would be fun to provide a female perspective to the "rules of touring" conversation. After all, touring in a band is not just a guy thing... Girl bands seem to be more popular now than ever before and also, it's not uncommon to find a band who's front person is a female. Like their male counterparts, these bands certainly tour, and they obviously have adopted their own parameters of what's acceptable behavior while on the road.

I asked three female musicians to provide to me their own top ten rules of touring, and all were happy to do so.

They are: Moon Chaplin, Jamie Holm, and Tamra Spivey.

In a lot of ways, the lists that these girls provided to me have similarities to the lists that the guys provided to Grant for his article. But obviously, there are also glaring differences that come from the female point of view.

To accomplish a successful tour, each person in a band needs to do his or her part to ensure that it's as smooth a ride as possible. There needs to be a high level of common sense and each member needs to be gracious to a shot or two of  wisdom along the way... I think that these three ladies demonstrate that.

Taking nothing away from the guys that Grant used in his article, I think that you will enjoy what these women came up with.

Moon Chaplin
Moon Chaplin  - Vocalist for Moon Chaplin and the Magic Men

Moon Chaplin and the Magic Men Official Website

1. Remember that you are in the presence of a lady. Don't make or let her carry heavy equipment even if she offers. Open the doors for her and go to the bar to order her drink first. You should know her favorite drink without being told. Be polite, considerate and make subtle comments like, "I don't know how you perform in those heels, but I'm impressed!" If she is a smoker, light her cigarette. If she chews her nails, keep quiet about it. And at the end of the night, tell her how great her hair looks no matter how sweaty it is.

2. Keep the creeps away! Creeps sneak up on you fast and linger forever. Take charge! No need to be macho about it, but nonetheless, the creep needs to go away. Interrupt the creep if he/she is forcing a conversation with your female band mate and she is clearly annoyed by the situation. If a creep rushes the stage, have a back up plan ready. You don't want to piss off a creep, because, after all, they are still a fan and they could turn aggressive or the situation could get worse with violence. So remember, don't be macho. Just find a way to keep the creeps away.

3. Are you trying to save money by cramming the entire band into a hotel room with one bed? Then this requires healthy boundaries. Remember your manners...Ladies first! Lady gets the bed, first shower that night and in the morning! Don't invite people to the hotel for an after party so that even more people can be crammed into that room.

4. Don't take your girlfriends to the van to get hot and heavy or to a show and have public displays of affection. It's just....gross. And don't ever let any girlfriend carry the money bag. That's not ever cool. Girlfriends or significant others (unless they are in the band) should have no responsibilities or given responsibilities in the business of band matters.

5. If you're going to pee in a bottle in the van, it better an emergency and it better be removed right away. And you better not brag about it! There's nothing more disgusting than pulling up to a stop sign and having a bottle of pee roll under the seats of the van right onto your feet. Total yucko!

6. Belching and farting are not as funny as you think they are. Just sayin.  Excuse yourself when you belch. And just go outside alone if you need to pass gas.

7. Bathing and hygiene are vital for touring! Shower everyday, brush your teeth, and take the time in every city to wash your clothes. And for crying out loud, don't leave your sweaty clothes from the show all over the van for days.

8.8) iPods. If you don't have one, get one! Keep it charged at all times. And use your headphones. When playing a show until 2am requires packing up right away and driving through the night to get to the show the next day by 2pm, we all want some peace and quiet.

9. Women love feedback! Compliments are always welcome and enhance the self esteem and confidence of the female(s) in your band. Compliments should be frequent, genuine and assist your female band mate in polishing her performance in the group. It's a win/win for everyone.

10. Women operate and function better by establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships. Acknowledging this is key for chemistry of the band. A band is like a family really and women enjoy this. Bands, I believe, operate better when friendship is the priority. You have more fun, you play better, you listen to each other and you don't have to worry about "the rules", because people understand and respect each other. Be good to each other whatever the gender. And know that a disagreement doesn't mean the band has to break up or things will forever be awkward. It's just how people learn from one another really. I have learned more about meaningful relationships by playing in a band. It takes a lot of compromise and a lot of work. The Magic Men bring out the best in me and make me want to do better. They're not just my band mates, they are my friends and just as they respect me and my wishes, I honor theirs as well. You know James Brown said, "This is a man's world, but it wouldn't be nothing without a woman or a girl." I say, this world wouldn't be worth it without my Magic Men. They're my boys. They always will be.


          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jamie Holm
Jamie Holm - Bassist for Sick of Sarah

Sick of Sarah Official Website

1. Only sign boobs with someone else's Sharpie. It ruins them.

2. No long phone conversations in the van.

3. If you are driving the music selection is your choice. Even if it means a 3 disc country collection.

4. Wake your ass up and pee every time you stop at a gas station.

5. Don't invite anyone into the van until all band members are informed.

6. Shower time is your only alone time. if you have to pee...Hold it.

7. If you make an ass of yourself you are required to pull more weight for at least 3 shows.

8. If you stray from the group it is your absolute responsibility to find your way back. On time.

9. Clothes are community. So is hairspray.

10. Everyone is required to be a therapist.

          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tamra Spivey
Tamra Spivey - Vocalist for Lucid Nation

Lucid Nation Official Website

1. Do not tour with vintage gear. Not only do people want to steal it because they want to sell it for big bucks, some want to possess it and they know you are moving on and too poor to matter to the cops. Most vintage gear is hard to repair (rare parts). Find a good sound in gear that's so easy to replace you barely care if it gets broken or stolen. New Les Pauls, for example, may not sound as holy as vintage ones, but no one including you will be able to tell the difference live.

2. You're going to see ugly shit out there, literally and metaphorically. Territorial pissings is more than a song title. This is not limited to bodily functions. People may take liberties with gear, lighting, sound, food, significant others. Sometimes it's like a frat haze. If you take it in stride you might make some friends. Other times it's just downright mean. You will be moving on. They will not. You win.

3. I want to tell a Spitboy story. An all female punk band touring the world, they were pretty inspiring to a beginner. They showed up hours late for the show I went to but everybody stayed anyway. When they finally arrived they were stained with tire rubber and car grease. It looked like war paint, and the lesson was clear: self sufficiency. When the van broke down Spitboy fixed it themselves. So go recruit a mechanic who plays something to join your band or learn automotive repair because there's long empty highways in the US of A.

4. Sometimes a bad surprise can turn out to be a good one. So don't overreact. We were told Sleater Kinney was headlining and there would be a full stage and PA. Instead we found a concrete square in a park with a combo bass amp for a PA. The kids seemed surprised we actually showed up. Most of us didn't want to play. We were pissed. Driving way out into the Ozarks for what we thought was going to be a well paid gig. But we decided to play anyway. We got to see the locals play and met some cool people stranded in a dry town in Arkansas. We encouraged the kid who booked us and his band to follow their dreams and move to Olympia. You know them as The Gossip.

5. You're going to want to get drunk, stay up all night and get laid. Everyone knows all the worst case scenarios involved, but they always forget the band cold. Once one of you gets it most of you are doomed. As a singer I can tell you the first sniffle makes me want to toss the guilty party out the window. Band camaraderie just isn't the same when everyone is sick. Singers must pack a supply of whatever legal substances help them to sing with a cold. It's more important than your lucky shirt and personal mic cozy. So don't just spazz out. Get healthier before you tour, do some healthy things to counterbalance the unhealthy things. Otherwise most of your tour memories will involve snot.

6. Salt. Yes, salt. Earth's gift to touring musicians and other humans. A wise grande taught me salt is Mexican penicillin. Got a sore tooth? Hot salt water. Sore finger or wrist or elbow? Soak em in hot salt water. Sore feet? Want to sweat out sick? Hot salt water, you're soaking in it. Sore throat? Gargle. Cuts? It stings but it keeps em clean.

7. Keep a tour journal, blog your tour, take pictures, create a place for your friends to share their pictures of the tour with you and each other, flip cam the tour. Driving, eating, surviving, unloading, setting up, playing, tearing down, loading and all the unexpected distractions good and bad can make it really hard to do this. You're going to want to just pay attention to what's right in front of you. But somebody needs to become official keeper of the records. You know who you are.

8. If at all possible do not tour with Oregon plates. Washington State isn't much better. We toured with Oregon plates and got to meet officers of the law all over this great land of ours. But that was nothing compared to the trouble magnet that is California plates. Look at me, I'm in a band, I'm from California, dude! Hey man, that's a prescription! I expect to get that back!

9. Remember this is your next wave of ideas, songs, riffs, beats. This is your inspiration. The adventures and misadventures, the people you meet, the things you discover about yourself and your band mates, the stupid drunken moments and the sublime dawn over a green field on the road. Makes one wax almost poetic, huh?

10.  Let me assure you, take it from me, this won't be the last time you quit music. So try not to take anything too seriously. If I may speak Californian, tours are sped up karma, you can learn things in weeks that would have taken years at home. And be careful. This is a far different world than the world Kurt Cobain and co. travelled in Nirvanavan. Be careful. Watch out for violence. Don't do things that could end you up in jail. It's way easier to get in trouble than it's ever been before.

Thanks to Moon, Jamie and Tamra. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

Cheers... And happy touring!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grant's Tomb: The Rules of Touring




This segment of Grant's Tomb discusses rules for touring. A lot can happen while on the road, both good and bad. The potential for something to go terribly wrong increases every time the vehicle you are touring in makes a stop. This article will hopefully serve as a guide to those who are about to take the plunge, whether it be nationally, regionally or just across the state. It doesn't matter how far you are travelling... There ARE some things that you need to know.

What Happens on the Road Always Comes Home...

Touring is a must for bands, but most of them, especially the young ones, run into familiar traps that can end up being devastating to their friendships and business. Special thanks goes out to some friends and some groupies for letting me bounce ideas off them.

1. This one should be obvious, but if you can’t draw a crowd in your home town of more than 50 people (not including the other bands you might happen to be playing with), then an out of town show is not a good idea. Not only will you be taking an extremely risky gamble on people not showing up, but if you can’t draw a crowd at your own shows, chances are you won’t be winning over any new fans out of town. Another issue you will be running into is promotion. We’ve all heard the stories of promoters scheming bands out of money or just flat out not promoting the show as much as they could. Get it in writing. If you get an offer to play an out of town gig where the promoter is promising sold out shows and a guarantee of $400.00, it’s probably too good to be true. Lastly, if no one has heard of your band, how do you expect to sell merch? But oh, the people will hear the music and know its good! Right, which would be a possibility, but remember, no one in your home town knows who you are, what makes you think Bum Fuck Egypt is going to know who you are?

2. Travelling takes its toll on bands, emotionally, physically, and worst of all, mentally. Road exhaustion is real and water is your best friend, but with all of that hydration, one might have to expel the excess fluid. A couple of rules for travelling in a bus or at worst a van. First off, a tour bus or RV is a privilege, not a right, so do you fellow band mates a favor. If you happen to have a bus with a bathroom at your disposal, do not drop deuce on the bus. That’s a big no no. Most buses have a limited supply of water in them which shouldn’t be wasted on you flushing out your crap. Buses have to stop, not often, but enough for gas that it should not be an issue for you to jog to the public restroom to get your business over with. So what about number one? This is a rather simple obstacle, its called empty water bottle. It may not be glamorous, but as a band on the road, you do not have the time to spare to make a stop every time somebody has to tinkle. If the idea of filling up a twelve ounce water bottle seems a little scary, might I recommend going to your local grocery store and picking up one of the empty gallon plastic bottles. Sure you may get some funny looks at the counter (ie: why didn’t you fill this up?), but it’s under a dollar and best of all, it’ll take multiple loads. If you don’t have a penis, sorry.

3. There is always that one member of the band who is smooth with the ladies. This can be a blessing and a curse. A blessing because if the women dig your lead guitarist, singer or drummer (sorry bass players, you don’t matter) they’ll tell their friends, boyfriends, etc that your band is awesome, whether you suck or not, thus increasing your fan base and bumping up sales. A curse because, well, chances are you’ll be playing in that same town again and those same, ahem; lot lizards will be showing up as well. Tread lightly, as a certain blonde in Chippewa Falls once stated “[guys in bands] come with warning labels,” and nothing could be further from the truth. Fact of the matter is your eye candy band mate can be a liability. Some things you need to clear with them before hand. Do not let them give out their phone numbers, AIM screen names, or any other personal info for that matter. Bring condoms. Yes, yes, that was kind of crude, but what’s worse, a baby momma in different area code or protected sex with the only repercussions being sweat and shame? Another issue that comes up is that groupie wanting to come on the tour bus or wanting to go back with you to the hotel. Generally speaking, the type of girls that are willing to throw themselves at random guys on the road are not the type you’re going to be happy with waking up next to in the morning.

Think I’m over generalizing here? Go here and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Something that could be potentially worsening towards the situation is that all too familiar instances when said eye candy member decides that he is going to go home with random hussy. By no means should you allow them to leave. This will put you in an awkward situation, but remember you have to be up at noon to make it to the next venue by 9. Again, what’s worse, dude being pissed or having to scramble to find the missing dude in the morning when his phone is magically dead or shut off?

4. Alcohol. It ruins things, especially your ability to decipher right and wrong, but even worse, what song you’re playing and possibly your relationship with your other band members. First impressions are everything, and if you’re too drunk to play your songs not only will you piss off your fellow band members, but you’ll also smash any chance of gaining new fans due to your lack of self-control. On a personal note, I’ve been there, believe me, it was not cool and while I managed to hang in there, it was not my best performance and definitely hindered my band mates ability to perform. Although the temptation of free booze and the obliteration of your stage fright might be enticing, remember moderation and good pacing will always make for a better night. Something I always challenged myself towards the end of my gigging career was no drinking on stage and it always made for a better night.

Don't be this guy on tour.
5. Food. This is a tricky one, as stated above; touring takes an extreme toll on your body and sometimes it’s really hard to make good choices as far as food is concerned. Most musicians subscribe to the “ein” diet, that is, nicotine, caffeine, and protein. Just do your best to hit up buffets and avoid the burger joints. If you roll into town some time around noon, most restaurants will have an early bird special, and you can always suggest that you’ll clean the dishes if your meal is free.

To add some flavor to this post, I asked some of my friends who play/have played in the local scene to list some rules that they have, or general guidelines that they try to follow while on the road.

Eric Davidson/ Vocalist (Dead Horse Trauma)
  1. No Taco Bell (or any foods that make you extremely gassy on the bus)
    2. Most short conversations should be sung to the tune of "Blackened" or "Come and Knock on my door".
    3. What happens on the road, stays on the road.
    4. When you open a water [bottle], you must drink it all.
    5. Make sure all cabinet doors are shut, or you may be beat in the head a lot with books and other hard objects.-
Patrick Davis/Vocals, Guitar (Patrick’s Beard and the Rusty Razors, ex-A Dead Hero)
  1. DON"T worry if you don't finish that bottle of Jaeger, it'll make a great breakfast
  2. DO take pictures of your sleeping band mates, it will be hilarious -there are some examples in this album
  3. DO go to the liquor store that appears to be run by Russian mobsters. It'll be cheap and they might be listening to Slayer.
  4. DON'T spill milk in the van. It will smell like a prostitute's vagina.
  5. DO slam on the brakes and scream while your band mates are asleep in the back seat. They will wake up expecting death.
  6. DON"T forget to take your epilepsy medicine the day of a show

Dan Powell/Vocals (ex-Burning the Broken), Guitar (ex-Autocrat)
  • 1. Don't sleep in the van, you'll get sick
  • 2. Don't feel guilty for taking anybody's food without paying them. If Jesus were that hungry, he'd do the same thing
  • 3. Avoid road rage in South Dakota with a guy who just got outta prison.
  • 4. Play every show u can possibly get your name on, even if you have pneumonia and you feel like your body cannot go any further. Pop some Dayquil... it'll be over in 25 minutes.
  • 5. Do not play a set that is 40 fucking minutes long. You're not fucking Aerosmith.
  • 6. Make friends often and quickly, especially in sketchy towns.
  • 7. Always come back to the same venues you have played before.
  • 8. Save up your own money... you're going to be broke when you get done, and so will the band.
  • 9. Don't bring your fucking girlfriend on tour with you. Girlfriends are NOT allowed on tour.
  • 10. Don't have a girlfriend while on tour. She won't be loyal and neither will you.

Thanks guys, you have no idea how much I appreciate your input and even the sarcasm has some validity too it as well. Something also to consider is that not all of these rules may apply to you, take it with a grain of salt.

(Written by Grant Peter)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tripping Icarus Kicks Out The Jams

It happens every year in the NFL... A player gets traded to a new team and based on the availability of  that player's jersey number, he might have to negotiate it from a new teammate currently on the roster. That happened this summer when Donavon McNabb was sent to the Minnesota Vikings. McNabb has always worn number 5, and as luck would have it, that number was already being worn by the punter on the Vikings team, Chris Kluwe. Kluwe, upon hearing the news that his team would be getting the star quarterback, immediately sent out this tweet on his twitter account: “So here’s the deal, If McNabb comes and wants 5, it’s his, BUT he has to promise to mention Tripping Icarus in at least 5 press conferences.”

Chris Kluwe as you know him. He now wears the number 4.
Tripping Icarus is the band that Kluwe plays bass in, and he was simply trying to gain some exposure for himself and his band mates. It worked... All the media giants picked it up and for about a week, it was a headline on all the major networks.

Kluwe is actually quite famous for other tweets he had sent out criticizing Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, so his twitter account was already on the national media's radar. Here is a guy who doesn't sugar coat what is on his mind, and I respect him for that. How genius is it that he promotes his band through negotiations with McNabb? As far as band marketing goes, it doesn't get much better than that. People flocked to the Tripping Icarus Facebook fan page and scoured iTunes to buy their music.

Out of curiosity, I went to Tripping Icarus's Reverb Nation page to check out their sound. I honestly wasn't expecting much. Hype is often fueled by inability, in my opinion. I was instantly surprised. The band has a very unique sound that I would describe as being dark and mysterious, and dare I say a bit folksy? They've got deep lyrics and rich hallowing bass tones. The lyrics are haunting and the vocals are delightfully menacing. If you take the pyschobilly out of Deadbolt, you might have Tripping Icarus. Fugazi came to mind as I listened, as well as Type-O Negative. The music is catchy, and well... Very good. I felt as if I had unlocked a golden door and found a musical treasure.

I contacted two members of the band, Jesse Damien Revel (vocals and guitar) and Chris Kluwe, to post a few inquiries about Tripping Icarus. It's interesting to note how much their answers seemingly differ, especially when it comes to issues about the band and football.



How did the name Tripping Icarus come about?

Jesse: We brainstormed it in the parking lot of our old rehearsal space in a rush to come up with a name to use. We were going to record our EP, The Sideshow Sessions, that weekend or the next and there was going to be press there, so we needed a name. I had just joined the band about a month earlier and refused to go with the name they had previously been using (a name so foul and unpoetical I won't even write it here). So we sat down and decided not to move until we had one. We just brainstormed until it happened. It was a combination of words and ideas that instantly hit.

Chris: It was the night before we were going to record and we hadn't agreed on a band name yet so we spent a couple hours just bouncing names back and forth until one stuck.

Please tell me a bit about yourselves...

Jesse: My least favorite question. I'll say I'm in my late 20's and that's about it. This, of course, says something else about me: I'm private.

Jesse Damien Revel

Chris: I play video games, tabletop miniature games, read books, and write music. Oh, I also play football.

In light of the recent media blitz, is there concern within the band that it is becoming well known for the wrong reasons?

Jesse: I think that concern is shared as we've definitely talked about it before. It's always bothered me personally because I hate professional sports. I consider music sacred and the profaning of it via poor associations concerns me greatly, be it our band or music in general in a consumer culture. But the flip side to this is the overwhelming amount of music out there and the crap shoot that it's become. I rationalize it and accept that, if we make it somewhere because of a gimmick, it's ok if and only if what we create is above and beyond pop music. This is a difficult thing to elaborate upon, but I hope you get the gist.

Chris: I don't think so, but that's something we've always had to deal with just because of what I do for a living. I hope that the initial curiosity draws people in, but then they realize it's good music and enjoy our stuff.

What is the single most surprising thing to happen to Tripping Icarus in association with Donavan McNabb signing with the Vikings?

Chris: So far, the media attention. Who knows, maybe he'll become a fan.

Jesse: Nothing surprises me at this point. I've seen people come to shows in Vikings jerseys just to watch Chris play, having never heard the music and most likely not listening to the music as we play. This sort of celebrity worship is so foreign to me that the surreality dumbfounds me in any of its many manifestations.

Chris, what do your teammates think of your band, and has Donavon responded to your now infamous tweet?

Chris: Donovan hasn't responded yet.. A bunch of my teammates actually listen to our stuff, I try to put copies of our cds in the locker room for them when we finish recording.

(Editor's Note: Since this interview was conducted, McNabb has met with Kluwe and agreed to terms. See a video of their negotiations here.)

Your sound is very distinct. I really can't out a name on who you remind me of, other than the fact that I do hear glimpses of Fugazi in your songs. It's surprisingly unique and has an unmistakable dark tint... Who are your (individual) musical influences?

Jesse: My influences are all over the board. My roots are in the blues. Hill country blues in particular. Delta blues. Bob Dylan. Pink Floyd. But also a lot of turntableism, drum and bass.

Chris: Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Audioslave, and Tool.

How much impact does the NFL have on the band throughout the football season in terms of practice, studio and playing gigs?

Chris: Well it affects our playing schedule for sure, we can't do weekend gigs, and we can only do Friday gigs if it's to open for a big band (since it definitely affects me on Sunday). Practice-wise we try to get together 3 times a week at night for a couple hours; we'd like to have more time available but some of these guys have day jobs :) Studio time we generally save for the off season so that way we can get a bunch of uninterrupted time to record.

Jesse: Too much. It limits our ability to gig and to tour. It doesn't affect practice at all. But on the positive side of things, we get to record often, which is fun and a good learning experience.

Does the band get out of Minnesota much, or does it predominately play the Twin Cities area?

Jesse: We've never played outside of Minnesota. Hopefully this spring we'll be able to hit the road.

Chris: Primarily the Twin Cities so far, but we have done some shows in Wisconsin and outlying Minnesota areas. Again, the main issue is trying to schedule stuff around football.

Chris Kluwe playing bass

We all know what Chris Kluwe does for a real job... What about you Jesse?

Jesse: I make music and write.

What is the best way to get a copy of your latest album, Perfect Citizen?

Jesse: Right now it's to download it from Itunes or other online retailers. In a few months we'll do a hard release of it.

Chris: iTunes for now, but we will have CD's at our next live show, which will most likely be a CD release show for Perfect Citizen.

What else would you like the world to know about Tripping Icarus?

Chris: Judge our music based on the music, and not what I do for a living. I can promise you that this is not some hobby, I really enjoy making music with these guys and would definitely like to take the next step towards touring when we can.

Jesse: Music saves. Life, without music, would be a terrible existence. If we can be a drop in the universal bucket of good sounds that offer catharsis, thought provocation, or just a slight relief from the difficulties of being alive, that's enough. But we'd like to do that at stadium size shows with an audience of forty or more thousand people!  Thanks for the opportunity, sir!

No, thank you! It would be really good to see you play in Des Moines soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Grindcore Backyard shows. LA/El Monte 7/23 and 8/5


I usually don't review backyard shows because they ALWAYS get raided but I decided to review these two shows cause both had very great bands that needed to be exposed outside L.A. All of these bands (minus 1) are local Grind bands that are mostly known here in L.A. The first show got raided after 4 and a half bands which sucked ass cause touring bands and other badass bands didn't get to play. I'll review the 5 that did. (And though ACxDC didn't play I was able to get a back patch and some pins.)

The first band was Warwhore. I've seen 'em before and they do a really good job. They reside from Long Beach but I actually went to High School with the lead singer. Last time I saw 'em everyone was into them and the songs were badass. This time however the house didn't supply a PA system, so the singer couldn't do his job. Instrumentally they were still good and the kids around me were doing their own vocals. Great way to start a show. Demo Download!


Warwhore
Now, the last time I wrote I  posted about Civil Liberates. Remember... The guitar player wore a dress and hit me in the face with a huge crossing guard thing? Yeah. That dude sings for a Grind band named Tension. These guys being from OC as well are already gaining attention playing with some known names making a name for themselves. And, they didn't have their own PA system. The Dawson's Creek looking guy amazed me once again by singing without a mic. Holy shit. I was in the back and I heard 'em yelling. People were moshing like crazy and front man Chris was yelling at everyone's face. Everyone at the show became a fan of them that day. I'm sure of it. Demo!


Tension
 Malpractice Insurance was up next. They were good, but the singer wasn't loud enough (cant blame him,he was guitar player too). People moshed hard when they played and it was a really good set. They gave me a demo (cant find a link to DL) but its really good. Ill be checking these guys again for sure.

Malpractice Insurance
 Up next was a local favorite by many, a band called Goner. They are very popular and people were going nuts for em. I myself  was trying to get a good view above all those people. They have records out and I wanna see em again only without the PA problem. Go see 'em.

The last band of the night (before the raid) was one of the 3 touring bands: Transient from Portland, Oregon. The female fronted band was having a great set before they forced to stop playing. Sadly there were assholes in the crowd asking her to show off her breasts and stuff. But she did the greatest job of the night. She gave me a free CD! Their show was fuckin' sick. For fans of Fuck the Facts, Romantic Gorilla, etc. Sadly on their way to Georgia a couple days later the band was in a big car accident a singer Krysta had to have surgery and stuff. She's all good now and Transient got added to big fest I'll be attending to month.

This band is now one of my favorites. For more info,Official Site


Transient



The next show I will review was in a nice area in El Monte. Though it didn't get raided, I left early to get food and I regret it now. The main reason I went to this show was because ACxDC was added at the last minute. I risked seeing them in a backyard again (and a raid) since they are one of my all time favorite bands.

First band was Stresscase. A veganviolence band. They played a really good set, although it was short. This is another female fronted band. The lead singer gave me a cupcake afterwards with her band's logo on it. Great first impression. Demo!

Stresscase

Slave was next. They also have a big reputation and are playing some big fest this weekend. The lead singer growled in his sludgy voice and people were moshing hard. They reminded me a lot of bands like Trap Them, Mammoth Grinder and such. He actually complemented my TT hat. They were heavy as fuck and I loved it. I can see 'em getting bigger soon. I loved em a lot. EP for Download!

Slave

Up next was ACxDC. Once again I was pumped as fuck and feeling happy as they were sitting up since the last two times I saw 'em they've been making new music. And their new stuff  rules just as hard as their first EP. The singer, Sergio was talking about how everyone's favorite venue (The Blvd) was shut down temporarily (hopefully) and that their show had been moved to a 21+ place. They refused to play it and said they'd rather do a backyard "any fuckin time."

"No punk show should be 21+" he said.

They started their set and I went nuts. People were already pushing and I was screaming the words to "Milk Was A Bad Choice". From there they did their usual 10 minute set of genius which I always enjoy. As the last two songs were sung by him 3  kids were jumping on him, singing along... One being me. They ended their set and I jammed for pizza. ACxDC's new EP comes out in a month,which I'm super stoked for. Til then Download their first EP with 2 compilation songs. Its seriously the best Grindviolence you'll ever hear. This pic was taken at the show and you see yours truly being a silly fuck in the center. EP Download.

Me, Turtle Boy, shredding wirth ACxDC

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Melting of Manhood

Apparently it was very hot in Dallas last week. It was so hot in fact, that Caleb Followill of the Kings of Leon cut out early during his band's sold out concert due to "exhaustion and dehydration."

Hmmm. Kinda has a familiar ring to it, doesn't it?

Caleb's just a little unfit to play the rest of the show," said Kings of Leon bassist Jared Followill. "We love you guys so much, but I know you guys fucking hate us. I'm so sorry. It's really not our fault, it's Caleb. He can't play the rest of the show. We will be back as soon as possible."

And just like that, the Kings of Leon left the stage.

When is the public going to wake up and realize that not only does this band's music suck beyond description, but every time a ticket is purchased to one of their shows there is a huge chance at being sucker punched with a pissy fit by Caleb Followill and the concert being cut short? Why can't this guy just do us all a favor and give up music and maybe crawl back up into his mother's womb? Those kids from Nickelodeon, Big Time Rush, have more cojones than these toddlers.

Big Time Rush has a bigger sack than The Kings of Leon
When Frank Zappa was shot with a flare gun while playing at the Montreux Casino in Switzerland in 1971, he didn't throw a temper tantrum and stomp off the stage in a childish fit of rage... He played as long as he could until the entire stage was engulfed in flames. When the Grateful Dead were on stage at Woodstock underneath a heavy electrical thunderstorm, they didn't run back stage and hide under a bed somewhere, they stuck it out like men and owned their allotted time slot. Rock and roll history is rich with stories like this... Bands finishing shows even if it the situation does get a bit out of their zone of comfort. But then you get this group of adolescents called The Kings of Leon who constantly put their manhood in question every time they strap on a guitar.

It's getting late and I've got a headache...