Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Freeks - Full On

Conceived by Ruben Romano, ex of Fu Manchu and Nebula, The Freeks began as a collaboration between Ruben and friends of his from bands such as Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Parliment Funkadelic and others. This alliance spawned a self-titled CD and from there, Ramona formed a "regular" band with Jonathan Hall (guitar master of Backbiter, the Angry Samoans, Motorcycle Black Madonnas, etc.), Esteban Chavez on keys, Tom Davies on bass, and Hari Hassin on drums (the line up for this album). The most current line-up now includes Bob Lee, the Keith Moon-like drummer from Backbiter, Clawhammer, Crawlspace and innuerable others.

The Freeks describe themselves as high octane psychedelic punk rock'n'roll and they should know! There are heavy metal/stoner rock influences, to be certain, but just as many Detroit, high-energy punk'n'roll riffs, fired'n'fueled with ferocity'n'intensity. I just saw them live a few days ago and every player is highly talented and adds creative, inventive, drivin' riffs.

Opening with a bit of atmospheric noodling in "Before", the groups wastes no time in showing their true mission with blasts of rollin' drums, walls of wah-wah'n'fuzz and "the end of the human race" in "Big Black Chunk". Shriekin' screams, riffs galore, wild solos and furious potency drive this and a good portion of the album. Romano howls his voice raw in "Weirdness", they get powerfully psychedelic in "The Secret Pathway", get a little more mellow on the vocally harmonic freak-beat of "Splitting Atoms", then intensely frantic on the piano-pumpin' , Hypnotics-like"On a Whim", a bit more stoner in the riff-rocker "Fast and Black", trippy in the psych-slide'n'electric piano, effects-laden "Vitamin D", wild punk'n'roll in "Bitchin'" and ending with another piece of atmospheric-ness in "After".

I dig this a lot and they're even better live! Modern hard-psych is a-happenin'. man!

Vulcher #3 (fanzine)

Vulcher is an honest-to-gawd print fanzine put together by the Gizmos Eddie Flowers, Kelsey Simpson and Sam Murphy (editors) and which all the Gizmos contribute, including Krazee Kenne Highland, Ted Niemiec,  myself and my wife, Melanie, who is this ish's cover girl! Lots of other legends add their two cents, as well - Lindsay Hutton (Next Big Thing), David Laing (Dog Meat/Grown Up Wrong), Gary Pig Gold (Pig Paper), Chris Stigliano (Black to Comm/Blog to Comm) and many, many more.

Reviews, interviews, free association verse, photos, comics and all kindsa other mania fill the pages in an attempt to fill your mind with much-needed esoterica, rock'n'roll, jazz and whatever else happens along. I'll damn near guarantee that you will be runnin' to your Amazon list (or whatever wish list you may have) with some new ideas that you can't live without via these pages.

So, for true 70's-style fanzine writing (with better quality lay-outs'n'printin' than most could afford back in the day), go to the Vulcher Facebook page to order your copy! Quantities are limited! Act now!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Black Pussy, the Freeks, FreeLSDBadTrip, Sonolith at Backstage Bar and Billiards, Thursday July 27, 2017

I've missed most of Brian Moy's (Dirty Rock'n'Roll Dance Party) "heavy" shows, but when he got LA's The Freeks, featuring my old pal (and guitar god) Jonathan Hall, I had to make it out!

Opening the night was Sonolith, a self-described "Las Vegas Stoner Doom Band", which sounds about right. Heavy, Sabbath-y, three-piece hard rock - no-nonsense, down-tuned stomp. Cool'n'fittin' start to the night!

Also from Vegas, the six piece combo, Free LSD Bad Trip, is a super-psychedelic, acid-drenched band of long-haired misfits who live up to their name as they look'n'sound as if they are trippin' their brains out. Effect-laden jams dominate but there are songs there with cool dynamics and mind-bending instrumental prowess. Two guitars, bass, drums, keys and percussion fills out the aural expeditions ala Pink Floyd, whose "Lucifer Sam" they freely steal from and turn into one of their own. Reminded me of the 80's Yellow Sunshine Explosion and made me want to take drugs again! (Also dug the suitcase/effects board!)

(Promoter Brian Moy)

Led by ex-FuManchu/Nebula guitar-man, Ruben Romano, the Freeks now include previously-mention buddy Jonathan Hall (Backbiter, Motorcycle Black Madonnas, and many more) on guitar and vocals, Clawhammer/Crawlspace's (among even more) drummer Bob Lee, keyboardist Esteban Chavez and a new bassist whose name I've naturally forgotten (cuz I'm a terrible person). With this kind of line-up I expected high-energy psych/garage rock and I was certainly not disappointed! Ruben and Jonathan both sing lead (and harmonize) and wail on their dual Guild guitars while the rest power the backing with amazing skill. Plenty of dual lead guitars, hip effects, psychedelic slide, electric piano, synth, drivin', flowin' bass lines and rollin'n'rumblin' drums. Real songs, an incredible punch of energy and a great show. These cats knocked me out and I hope to see them again soon! Catch them on one of their many tours or local LA shows!

Portland's Black Pussy has one of the odder visual schticks I've seen on a heavy band - they dress in bad polyester/old man golfer clothes to offset their extreme long hair and beard - a weird, definitely un-hip take on the 70's, whose heavy rock they are mining. Another two guitar, bass, drums, keys set-up with cool git-licks and neat, old-school synth riffs augmenting their 70's sound. For extra visual appeal, they also had dancer Chelsea La Vone stirrin' up things. Some psych influences here'n'there among the heaviness, and more vocal harmonies, as well. The crowd was a bit sparse on this Thursday night in Vegas, but plenty of people showed up for the Pussy!

Once again, thank you to Brian Moy and the Dirty Rock'n'Roll Dance Party for bringing cool music to Vegas!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

recommended gigs

Thursday July 27 - Black Pussy, the Freeks, Freelsd's bad trip at Triple B
Thursday July 27 - David Allen Coe with Brandon Madejek and more at the Dive Bar
Thursday July 27 - Le DomiNiki with JC Brooks at the Beauty Bar

Friday July 28 - Asphalt Socialites, Midnight Clover, Newsense, The Basswud Poets, Olan at the Artisan

Saturday July 29 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki
Saturday July 29 - LOKA from Japan and the Super Zeroes at the Double Down

Wednesday August 2 - MOVED TO AUGUST 10 - the Delta Bombers at the Beauty Bar
Wednesday August 2 - The Moonshiners and the All Togethers at The Space Las Vegas

Saturday Aug 5 - the Unwieldies at the German American Social Club

Monday August 7 - the New Waves with the Kilaueas at the Double Down

Wednesday August 9 - Punk Rock Karaoke at the Golden Tiki

Thursday August 10 - the Van der Rohe, Avon and Void Vator, Sonolith at Backstage Bar and Billiards
MOVED TO AUGUST 10 - the Delta Bombers at the Beauty Bar

Friday August 11 - Goddamn Gallows, Fuzz Solow, the All Togethers at the Dive Bar

Saturday Aug 12 - the Sloths at the Golden Tiki
Saturday Aug 12 - the Unwieldies at the Dillinger
Saturday August 12 - the Super Zeroes at the Double Down

Friday August 18 - FreeLSD's Bad Trip, Sleeping Jesus, Shayna Rain at the Velveteen Rabbit

Saturday August 19 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki
Saturday August 19 - the Psyatics, Negative Nancys, Desert Tundra at the Double Down
Saturday August 19 - Angie's Birthday Celebration with the Mapes, the Sheiks of Neptune and Lean 13 at the Dive Bar

Wednesday Aug 23 - Les Grys Grys and the Van Der Rohe at the Griffin

Friday Sept 1 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki

Sunday Sept 3 - the Mapes, Gentlemen Prefer Blood, Odd Robot at the Dive Bar

Thursday Sept 7 - Sept 10 - Big Blues Bender at the Plaza

Friday Sept 8 - Mitch Ryder at the Golden Nugget

Saturday Sept 23 - Danzig at the Brooklyn Bowl

Wednesday Sept 27 - Giuda at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Thursday Sept 28 - Thee Fourgiven reunion show with the Darts, the Jackets (from Switzerland) and the Laissez Fairs at the Bunkhouse

Friday Sept 29 - Shanda and the Howlers at Evel Pie

Tues Oct 24 - Genitorturers at the Dive Bar

Saturday Oct 7 - Melanie and the Midnite Marauders, the All Togethers, The Legendary Boilermakers, Water Landing at the Double Down

Saturday Oct 28 - Agent Orange, the Heroine, Sheiks of Neptune, the Psyatics at the Beauty Bar

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

RIP June Foray

June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99
These cartoons were about as rock'n'roll as they get. Here's to a long life giving joy to millions!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More photos of the Gizmos at the Midwest's Alright Festival, the East Room, Chicago Il, Sunday July 23, 2017