Tag Archives: Alternative

Bonesaw Podcast: Episode 37 – Shawn Knight of Child Bite

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Generating pools of video blood, sweat and tears it’s Shawn Knight of Child Bite. Knight sits down to talk music, business and more as he opens our eyes and ears to the wild life of Child Bite.

The Melvins Wreck the Music Hall Of Williamsburg

 

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When my friend Doug and I saw that The Melvins were coming to NY with a stacked bill including Napalm Death and Melt Banana, there was no way we wouldn’t be seeing this.

As a grunge head, Doug felt he needed to see The Melvins at least once and they were always a band I was curious about. The only date that was convenient for us was Saturday, April 15th in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, also known as the hipster capital of America.

Doug used this as the opportunity to overcome his fear of city driving. As we ventured through New York City’s lower east side slumps and narrow streets we finally got to “The ‘Burg.” Getting there was a weird experience as the area looked very run down and ghetto, yet artsy at the same time. Instead of scary looking people walking around it was mostly all hipsters and punks. We even found a supermarket that was 90 percent vegan and organic food. At 8:00 P.M. we walked into the venue and waited for the first band.

Melt Banana

The big opener was Japanese noise rock titans Melt Banana. I’ve seen them once before at Maryland DeathFest and while it was wacky there they somehow manged to make this set even wackier.

They started their set with wierd video game sounds being played on both the vocalists phone and the guitarist’s guitar. After this they transitioned to their grind and pop influenced noise rock.

Throughout the majority of their set the vocalist would move her arms up and down like a robot while flashing green and red lights on her white shirt. This all helped the bands signature sound of lazer beam guitar riffs and chirping vocals feel even wilder. Mid-set the band did a medley of about six of their shorter songs in one. This included “Dog Song” that was mostly clean vocals with a barking chorus (yes, a barking chorus). After what felt like an amazing drug trip it was time for The Melvins.

Melvins

At around 10:00 P.M. the duo of Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover got on stage with guest bassist Steve McDonald of the Los Angeles, Calif. alternative rock band Redd Kross.

They started out with The Melvins’ classics “Eyes Fly” and “Queen.” After these two songs the set list was mostly a mixture of later numbers like “Sesame Street Meat” and covers including the grunge classic “Leech” by Green River, “Halo of Flies” by Alice Cooper (which they closed with) and a song from Redd Kross which McDonald got on vocals for.

The band had a very loud and heavy live sound which fit perfectly with their slower droning tracks. While it was a very long set, it wasn’t boring for a minute as these guys are born performers.

After their set, Doug and his brother decided to leave. We wanted to see Napalm Death but we also didn’t want to be home so late plus we had all already seen them before (I’ve seen them twice and Doug’s seen them once). As we drove back, we instantly wanted to find an excuse to return to the city. Chelsea Wolfe is playing next month and director John Carpenter will be performing his iconic film soundtracks live  in July so hopefully my return will be sooner than later.

David Bowie – Icon

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By William Kennedy

Legendary space oddity David Bowie died Sunday in Manhattan, NY after an 18 month battle with cancer.

Bowie was a global icon that contributed to music and fashion so much over the course of his 50-year career that his look, sound and theatrics became synonymous with pop culture. During his career, Bowie constantly redesigned his image and sound through the creation of several characters, most notably “Ziggy Stardust,” “Aladdin Sane” and “The Thin White Duke.” Bowie’s life was one of wild experimentation whether it was drugs, booze, musical genres or sexuality and was also unapologetically original (something that embodies the essence of the human spirit while still being such an alien concept to most).

“Space Oddity” was one of his earliest hits and was a fitting phrase to describe him as cosmic grace and originality made him seem like a visitor from another world. Bowie’s influence is something difficult to quantify as he inspired countless artists over his five decade career including Madonna, Lady Gaga, Marilyn Manson, Steven Wilson, The Killers and Radiohead (just to name a few).

Born David Jones in Brixton, London, England on January 8th 1947, the singer changed his name in the 60’s to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of The Monkees. In his lifetime, Bowie released 26 studio albums that ranged from pop, rock and alternative to new wave with electronic, funk and soul flairs.

Bowie had numerous collaborations with other artists throughout his career, working with The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger for the single “Dancing in the Street,” Queen’s Freddie Mercury for “Under Pressure,” John Lennon for “Fame” and Trent Reznor for a remix of “I’m afraid of Americans.” Bowie performed at the 1985 “Live Aid” concert to raise funds for an ongoing Ethiopian famine. In 1987, he performed in a divided Berlin where his track “Heroes” became an anthem for the tensions during the cold war. A lyrical selection from heroes is as follows:

“I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, forever and ever
Then we could be heroes, just for one day”

When asked about the performance Bowie claimed, “It was one of the most emotional performances I’ve ever done. I was in tears.”

Shortly after, Bowie met Somali fashion supermodel Iman. They wed in 1992 and had their only child, Alexandria Zahra Jones in 2000. Both Bowie and Iman had children from previous marriages.

Bowie also pursued an acting career, appearing in such films as “The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976),” “Labyrinth (1986)” and “Basquiat (1996).” His music has appeared in countless movies and television shows to this day, some of which he had written for (such as a 2015 episode of “Mad Men,” in which he also performed).

Bowie was diagnosed with cancer of the liver in 2014. He released his final studio album “Blackstar” in 2016 on his 69th birthday. Two days later, the man known as “Ziggy Stardust” went to his cosmic paradise for the last time. Bowie is survived by his second wife, Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, and children Duncan, and Alexandria Jones.

Bonesaw Podcast: Episode 20 – The Unravelling’s Steve Moore


In a long-overdue return host Chris Butera sits down with The Unravelling’s Steve Moore to talk about his music, Moore’s battle with Cancer, and The Unravelling’s new album “Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision” (available at theunravelling.bandcamp.com).

Chelsea Wolfe Discusses ‘Abyss’, ‘Game Of Thrones’ Fandom, & Top Secret Upcoming Project

Edited by Doug McCausland

Chelsea Wolfe, a California singer/songwriter, is one of the most eclectic artists on today’s scene. With her lo-fi sound self described as “doom-folk”, Wolfe has gained an underground following among metalheads, art kids, and goths alike while touring with major acts such as Queens of the Stone Age. She’s probably one of the youngest musicians to say that Mark Lanegan covered her!

Meanwhile, in the realm of television, major networks have taken notice of her cinematic potential: last year, her song “Feral Love” was featured in trailers for the hit HBO show Game of Thrones, while more recently Wolfe has been gaining even more exposure via ads for AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead.

Chelsea’s making critical waves with her ethereal new opus, “Abyss”, and I recently had the chance to interview her via email. We discussed her new album, rising fame, and other topics relating to her work.

On the heavier direction of Abyss: We’ve been touring a lot for the past few years so for the first time I kept the live show in mind while writing an album. I knew I wanted to have some heavy songs that would translate well live and be fun to play. I played Roadburn, I love that festival. I think our audience is really varied, actually.

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On the themes of sleep paralysis permeating Abyss: It’s just something I’ve had for years so it started creeping into my music, into my daily mindset. I’ve had sleep and dream issues since I was a kid, but as an adult I started getting this version of sleep paralysis where I wake up, and my body wakes up, but I can still see the figures from my dreams in the room, like shadows moving towards me. At times I’ve lashed out or tried to fight them off. While I was writing this album I started talking about my experiences of sleep paralysis with other people, and got some books on sleep, and it all just kind of happened naturally. Not every song is specifically about sleep or dreams, but every song has a nod to it, at least.

On visualizing Abyss‘s music: I think it would be really stylized with deep colors, lots of blue. It would be like the painted world in What Dreams May Come.

To continue reading on Alternative Nation, click here.

Broken Guru: Bent Up Halo Review

When a band’s motto is “I don’t like my future,” one is unsure what to expect.

That band is New York’s own Broken Guru and their motto is proudly displayed in their blast from the past debut, “Bent Up Halo.”

Notable tracks include the Iggy Pop inspired “Tryin,” “28 Cents” and “Got to be Mean.” There’s a lot going on that can easily channel some dancing, pogoing (remember that?) or just plan shaking a fist in the air.

Arguably the best song is the title track as it not only has a solid rhythm but has early Alice Cooper written all over it.

The three piece from Forest Hills take a number of alternative routes in the last quarter of the album with “My Universe,” “Gimme More” and the closer “Like A Whore.” The Rolling Stones, The Melvins and Sonic Youth have nothing on the laid back in-the-pocket style that Broken Guru taps into.

Broken Guru’s “Bent Up Halo” is a fuzzy punk/garage rock album that takes you back to yesteryear. Had this have been the late 70’s or early 80’s, one could certainly see the outfit playing CBGB’s alongside Blondie and The Ramones on a weekly basis. Blending groovy riffs with a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” attitude, “Bent Up Halo” is an enjoyable 30-minute trip with good vibes and high times.

Attik Door: “Never in Agreement” Review

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Thanks to a gritty, but beautiful female voice, top-notch guitars and eclectic drum and bass work, Bay Area rockers Attik Door’s new album “Never in Agreement” is simply awesome.

Their sound is easily described as a Mad Scientist’s concoction of awesome alternative rock. Part DeVinyls, with some Disturbed, a nice-sized chunk of No Doubt and a side of Fly Leaf, as well as some Red Hot Chili Peppers, Attik Door have a sound that changes from song to song, but it’s always catchy. There’s not a bad song on the album, even if they share a consistent theme of borrowing things from more established bands. But in their defense, not many bands can emulate the elements of such a wide array of talent.

Because of that, Attik Door will immediately catch your ears.

There’s no way around it- lead vocalist Liana Tovmasyan is a treat. It would be easy to call her a younger sounding Gwen Stefani, but she’s so much more. With the accent appearing in some of her work and her pure grit, she’s not the cute punker Stefani is. She’s the type of rocker that’ll outdrink you and slap you in the face before winning you back over with her smile. Ballsy, but smooth, she’s got a ton of depth and heart. In every song she brings something different to the table, from “California,” where she sounds like the new female voice of RHCP, to “The Front,” which could easily be a track on No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom.” “Cosmos” is another song that’ll sound familiar, as the opening guitar riff is super similar to Flyleaf’s “All Around Me,” but with a more Stefani-esque vocalization, it has a unique feel to it.

By the end of the album, it’s apparent that Toymasyan is super versatile. She can rap rock, she can wail, she can tantalize like a siren off the Greek Coast. She’s a star in the making.

It also helps that she has a wonderful backing band behind her. Obviously a bar/cover band at one point in their careers, guitarists Alex Shrayber and Tim Shulepov have a polish that defines each song. They’re are definitely the types of guys that grew up on mid-late ‘90s alternative and metal. Their seamless play just screams it. The same goes for bassist and Margarita Grabarova and drummer Igor Boyko, who possess the speed and skill to make a song extra ballsy or groovy. On “Bleed,” the drum and bass work maintains such a consistent speed throughout that you can’t deny their skill. Driving the song from start to finish, you’ll want to put the bass boost up so you can hear it even closer.

At the same time, the familiarity sounds the band consistently experiments with comes with a caveat. The riffs and vocals work off of established and successful tones and sounds. They don’t stretch the medium and as a result, you can say that Attik Door aren’t challenging themselves to create something as new as they could. Rather than redefine, they are masters of the rehash. However, Lady Gaga has made millions of dollars doing the same thin with pop music, so what’s wrong with Attik Door doing the same thing?

Either way you try and spin it, Attik Door’s “Never in Agreement” is the type of album you can leave on repeat for hours at a time. Thanks to an accessible assortment of tunes and a wonderful vocalist with plenty of talent behind her, “Never in Agreement” is one of the best indie rock albums of 2015.

You can also read Patrick Hickey Jr.’s review here and more at Reviewfix.com.