Entries tagged with: Torche
photos by Greg Cristman, words by BBG
The Aquarian: How was the Floor reunion for you?Floor has only one date left on their calendar, at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin next weekend (11/5 - 11/7, tickets), but Torche is still on the road.
Steve Brooks of Torche/Floor: It was great ...The Floor shows were the best Floor shows we ever played, and there was an audience. Normally, back then, we'd just be playing in front of the other bands or friends. The biggest audience Floor ever played for, too.
The Aquarian: I was at the Brooklyn show, and it was amazed to see people singing along and jumping around. I imagine it was cool to play for.
Steve Brooks of Torche/Floor: Yeah, it was pretty mindblowing. We're like, "What? Huh?" (Laughs)
The Aquarian: Do you feel like Torche has taken what Floor started and brought it to fruition?
Steve Brooks of Torche/Floor: It's a different beast. Floor was only going to go so far, I think. I played in that band for over a decade and it was just time to move forward ...I went full-force with this one, where Floor, we didn't really go full-force as far as touring and everything, until 2001. We did one little tour in '96, but none of us had the confidence. We thought it was pretty much a project, and some of us relocated and stuff like that, but we didn't really tour where we should have back then. It probably would have been a lot different for us. But Torche... is also a learning experience as we went along, but I've gone further with this band than I have with any other band, and I'm 36 years old. I'm still doing it. It's pretty awesome.
Torche played NYC for the second time in three months, and the third time in five months, when they played with High On Fire and Kylesa at Webster Hall Sunday night. Torche drummer Rick Smith was not at the Webster show due to a family emergency, and was replaced by former Kylesa skinsman and current Shitstorm/Capsule member Eric Hernandez.
On Monday, Torche appeared on Red Eye on Fox News (after cancelling their Generation Records appearance). On the show, Governor Mike Huckabee said he is a Torche fan.That video with more pictures, video and the setlist from Webster, below...
Torche at The Charleston earlier this year (more by Samantha Marble)
Everything goes in cycles and with one cancellation comes another addition. Like Walter Schreifels before them, Torche have cancelled their appearance at Generation Records "due to unforeseeable circumstances", but OFF! will play the store on 10/22 at 7 PM. Buy the 7" from the store "to get priority entrance" to the CMJ-time show.
In somewhat related news, Fun Fun Fun Fest is getting closer. Not long after CMJ, Off!, High on Fire, Kylesa and Floor (members of Torche) will all share a bill at the three day Austin Fest.
Torche at The Charleston in May (more by Samantha Marble)
Torche will play their new LP, Songs for Singles, in it's entirety at an all ages in-store (in-basement) show at Generation Records on 10/25 at 5:30PM. That's one day after the band plays Webster Hall with High On Fire and Kylesa (tickets). Songs For Singles is out NOW via Hydra Head. Cop it. All dates below.
That in-store doesn't happen for over a month. Much sooner: a performance is going down at the store on Wednesday (9/29) with Fake Problems and Walter Schriefels (solo). The show is also all ages, and starts at 7PM.
Walter was supposed to play Generation Records in April, but the show was cancelled due to volcano. Walter's band Rival Schools, who recently opened for Weezer at Williamsburg Waterfront, is going out on tour with Gaslight Anthem next. Those dates include the September 30th show happening at Radio City Music Hall.
All Rival Schools and Torche dates below...
DOWNLOAD: Metal Swim Compilation (Zipped MP3s)
Zoroaster at The Studio at Webster Hall (more by Markus Shaffer)
Adult Swim have posted an album of FREE downloadable tracks. The record, entitled Metal Swim features rare and unreleased tracks from some familiar names around these parts (Isis, Boris, Skeletonwitch, Ludicra, Zoroaster, Red Fang, etc) including new tracks from Withered's forthcoming LP Dualitas, Torche's Songs for Singles, AND Kylesa's Spiral Shadow among many many others. Download the album at the site or above, and dig on the tracklisting (and some video) below.
Kylesa at Irving Plaza (more by Chris LaPutt)
Call it the "holy shit" tour. High On Fire will team up with Kylesa for a US tour that will include alternating support from Municipal Waste and Torche. NYC gets the look on October 24th at Webster Hall with the killer trifecta of High On Fire, Kylesa AND Torche. Ticket info is forthcoming. Get stoked.
Full tour dates for the trek are below, which include the previously announced date at Fun Fun Fun Fest as well as an appearance at The Fest 9 in Gainesville between Oct 29 - 31. Full The Fest 9 lineup is below. Tickets are on sale.
Full tour dates, The Fest Lineup, and some videos are below...
words by BBG, photos by Greg Cristman
I don't know where you were on Friday night, but if it wasn't at the sold-out Boris and Torche show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, I feel bad for you....If there is a US band that the diametric opposite of humorless/boring on stage, it's the touring-as-a-four-piece (do I smell a trend?) Torche. The Florida band supported Boris and Russian Circles at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (8/6) as part of the ongoing Blackened Music series - one of three killer metal shows going on that night: Cynic, Intronaut, and Dysrhythmia played Bowery Ballroom, and a later afterparty of Keelhaul/My America shindig at Acheron was a similary good time. The MHOW show doubled as a coming out party for the oft-delayed Boris/Torche split, out now on the venerable Hydra Head Recordings.
Torche's set was great. Melodic doom? If I had to guess, I'd say Torche might be the heaviest band playing in standard tuning. And if that's not standard tuning [ED: it definitely isn't], these guys play a lot of happy chords, but can still run a nasty bass line underneath for a giant cosmic explosion at the end. I'm not sure if a lot of bands not Boris ever used Boris' equipment, but Torche was allowed and it sounded great. My one complaint was the music could stand on its own without singing, maybe even profit from less.
Boris opened with "Farewell." The set was up and down in terms of slow beautiful Boris songs to fast crazy-as-hell Boris songs. I think sometimes the audience wanted more of the latter, but "Rainbow" with hired gun Michio Kurihara's guitar shredding and Wata's "16:47:52" were highlights for me. I was standing near Wata because I'm in love with her. She's so serious! I've seen Boris plenty of times and for some reason I always describe the sets as a lot of fun and Boris is not like U.S. metal bands-the members actually have a lot of fun. I don't know why I say these things because Wata, Michio and Takeshi are expressionless. Japanese metal stoicism?...
...When I see Boris play, I'm embarrassed for the entire U.S. metal scene. -[NY Press]
More pictures from MHOW below...
Rick Smith of Torche at MHOW (more by Justina Villanueva)
Torche closed out the room with an assist from a fill-in drummer in the absence of Rick Smith (who broke his hand while touring with his side project Shitstorm). Although Smith's theatrics were missed (you rarely ever see anyone standing and jumping down TOWARD the kit, save for Rob Shaffer of Dark Castle and a few others), the band played a well-executed set of bubblegum pop which contained one song from their upcoming split with Boris, and a ton of thundering but sugary classics. [BV at SXSW 2010]When Torche played the BV show at SXSW (and again at Beerland) sans drummer Rick Smith, it was all because of his pummeling work in Shitstorm, a grind side project. Now said grind venture that once shared a split with Magrudergrind (who are playing NYC on August 7th) and who now also feature Jonathan from Torche and Eric of Capsule/ex-Kylesa fame, will hit the road for a string of east coast dates.
Look for the band to brutalize NYC at The Acheron on September 1st alongside the fantastical Pollution (also see them at Acheron with Megasus and The Love Below!), Syphilitic Lust (playing another show with Coffinworm and Unearthly Trance), Curandera (who just played with The Body), and Divorce Money.
Full Shitstorm dates, and some video is below...
Boris @ Scion Rock Fest (more by Steven Brown)
As hypothesized, Boris will team up with Russian Circles for a NYC show on August 6th. It's at Music Hall of Williamsburg. What I didn't foresee? It's with TORCHE. Tickets are on sale, full tour dates are below. Um, I'm in.
words by BBG, photos by Samantha Marble
"After a lot of waiting, Torche were utterly enormous at The Charleston last night. Hope they raised some cash to replace their stolen gear." - HeavierThanAir
Torche with touring guitarist Matt @ The Charleston
In light of the recent jack move done on their van, Torche played a surprise intimate show last night (5/26) with Tournament and Passive Aggressor at The Charleston. The trio (previously a four piece) featured a touring guitarist, "Max from Miami", who helped further fill out the band's sound, and add to the general mayhem at the show (and make them a four piece again).
Torche plays NYC again TONIGHT (5/26), this time with Coheed & Cambria and Circa Survive at Rumsey Playfield.
In addition, the pending Boris/Torche split FINALLY has a release date, July 16th. Current Torche dates and more shots from The Charleston are below...
Torche at Beerland during SXSW (more here)
After their recent van robbery in Chicago, Hydra Head Records said that, "Torche is already sorting out potential DIY gigs in the states...tentatively for Vermont, Providence, and Wilkes-Barre, PA". Add NYC to that list. Torche have scheduled a benefit show on May 25th show at The Charleston in Brooklyn with Tournament and Passive Aggressor! The band plays Rumsey Playfield with Coheed & Cambria the next day (5/26, tickets) and previously had 5/25 listed as a day off.
All dates, their recently-released video for "King Beef", and the full list of items missing from their van, below...
Torche at BV Day Party at Emo's (more by Samantha Marble)
When we woke up [Saturday] morning there was a frowny face text from Stevo saying Torche's van was broken into overnight while in Chicago, and piles of shit was stolen....needless to say, it hasn't been a good day for them. We're getting a full listing from them of what was stolen, but the quick rundown is that equipment, guitars, laptops, passports, personal belongings and, sadly, more was taken. They are out with Coheed and Cambria this month, and unfortunately had to cancel [last nights] show in Detroit, and are also forced to cancel the Canadian dates as well due to passports having been stolen. While C 'n C is in Canada, Torche is already sorting out potential DIY gigs in the states...tentatively for Vermont, Providence, and Wilkes-Barre, PA. We will have updates on these (presumably) basement shows the second we get them from the band...(which pretty much means we'll have an update for you an hour before they play the shows;)Frowny face indeed. If you would like to help out Torche, a paypal donations email address was set up: TLCforTorche@gmail.com. Torche is scheduled to be at Rumsey Playfield in NYC on 5/26 on that Coheed & Cambria tour (tickets), and Steve Brooks will be back in NYC a month (to the day) later at Europa with his old band Floor (tickets).
Many of you have emailed us and the band about donating to help the band through this stretch. You guys are all sweet and thoughtful, THANK YOU. The band ain't livin' large, and although this Coheed tour is a chance to play in front of a shitload of potential new fans, its still a very hand to mouth touring commitment for them. That's the round about way of saying that these boys could use any love right about now.
- [Hydra Head]
Floor at The Earl (more by Rich Gaccione)
South Florida's FLOOR were around for roughly 10 years and recorded well over a dozen times during their on-and-off existence... and only in the wake of their demise did underground audio followers finally take note...And now, that next level is RIGHT HERE IN NYC! Brooklyn Vegan & 1000Knives are pround to announce the return of Floor with Unearthly Trance on June 26th at Club Europa in Brooklyn as part of the Northside Festival! Tickets go on sale at NOON TODAY for this all-ages, early show (7pm doors), or get in with your Northside badge. It's gonna be a rager.
From the living rooms and basements of 1992 to the studios of 2001/2002, FLOOR had an incredible evolution from the GODFLESH and early-MELVINS-inspired sludge worship, to the unrivaled sugary doom/pop amalgamation which would eventually pave the way for TORCHE, HOUSE OF LIGHTNING and others. The changes in sound from recording-to-recording... against what would eventually follow, it becomes crystal clear that FLOOR were consistently operating on that fabled "next level". [Robotic Empire]
It's one of two shows the reunited Floor are going to play during their visit North. The first will take place one day earlier, 6/25 at First Unitarian Church in Philly with two great openers, Gods & Queens and Javelina.
And it's one of two shows that the great Unearthly Trance has in store for NYC, including June 3rd as part of the Tones of Death monthly shindig (which includes Gnaw, Bubonic Bear and Sin of Angels this week, May 6th). For more on that show, head to the Facebook invite.
Floor at Eruopa is an earlier show, so you should be able to make it across town to catch at least part of BV's other show that same night at MHOW, with Memory Tapes, Twin Sister, DOM and ZAZA. Tickets are up, or try to use your Northside badges.
Floor are supporting their recent mega-boxset, out NOW on Robotic Empire.
Show flyer for Europa and some video from their show at The Earl on 4/3, below...
Floor at The Earl in Atlanta (4/3/10)
Floor is slow-thudding metal royalty... Know the following: South Florida is the asshole of the music world. It is almost impossible for a band to make it hailing from this sequestered swamp. But Steve Brooks and Anthony Vialon did it. For better or for worse, they trudged along with different drummers and made an honest stab (a refreshing stab if you will) at the burgeoning doom/sludge market of the early '90s. Bands will wear their loves on their sleeves, and the whole Black Sabbath thing is okay, but when you factor in geographical isolation receding into the "guitar bomb" and pop nuances into some real macho music, you know you have something special at hand...The above review comes from Floor's reunion show at Churchhill's Hideaway Pub in Miami on 3/27, one of a few shows that the band played as part of a celebration of the recent release of the Floor boxset (out now on Robotic Empire). Although, we don't have any pics from Miami, we do have shots from all of the others including Common Grounds in Gainesville, FL (4/2, care of Rich Gaccione) and TWO at The Earl in Atlanta (4/3 & 4/4, courtesy Rich Gaccione and Anthony Childs respectively). Pics from those show are below.
And it is with great pride that I can say that I was there. There to witness the stacked amps and unrelenting fog machine as Churchill's Hideaway Pub got a taste of the building blocks it is built upon... [The show started with] Brooks and Vialon on double axes with founding drummer (and awesome local artist) Betty Monteavaro on drums for a solid half-hour set. Sludge mayhem that was as unpolished as what they committed to vinyl in the early '90s. Delicious and crucial. Followed by a second set featuring next-in-line drummer Jeff Sousa tearing through the No Idea Records maroon Dove LP. A highlight was most certainly their fogged-out rendition of "Namaste." And then, as the piece of resistance, was a short break followed by drummer Henry Wilson aiding the cause as the band ripped through the "full-length" album, opening with crowd pleaser "Scimitar" in its full guitar-bomb goodness. - [Miami New Times]
words by BBG, photos by Samantha Marble
Mike Hill, who wasn't the only guitarist in Tombs at SXSW...
While I was thrashing my rear off between the two stages at Mohawk on 3/17, Samantha Marble was also nodding away at the Relapse showcase at Red 7 down the street. She managed to capture shots of Kill The Client, Howl, Mammoth Grinder, Graves of Valor, and Tombs who were playing with a second guitarist (!) before scooting back to Mohawk to catch High on Fire (like I did). Ah, the lure of the Pike is just too great.
High on Fire's new album, Snakes For The Divine is out NOW, and the band is hitting the road with Bison BC, Priestess, and Black Cobra is celebration. Tickets are still available for the 4/9 date at Gramercy.
Tombs are scheduled to team up with a dream team of heavy music greats on 6/12, as Eyehategod, Nachtmystium, Brutal Truth, and Black Anvil will team up at Europa as part of a BV/Osiris production. Tickets are on sale monday (3/29) at noon.
More photos from Relapse & High on Fire are below...
words & photos by BBG, Off! photos by Brian Reilly
Steve Brooks of Torche is all smiles
OK, guilty as charged. Though there were a zillion other incredible bands all rockin across Austin at that exact same moment, but I chose to see Torche a SECOND time at Beerland on 3/18 (the first was at the BV Day party). The party was called Kill Your Idols and its lineup proved to be much more eclectic, featuring various strains of punk (old school, indie, bratty, garage, post) amongst the lineup with bands like Off! (featuring Keith Morris of Circle Jerks, Mario of Earthless & others), Gun Outfit (80s Sonic Youth-y style post-punk currently on Post Present Medium, owned by Allen Spunt of No Age), Audacity (super bratty punk featuring Damian Edwards of Crystal Antlers), and Charlie & The Moonhearts (garage-y melodic punk).
Off! (by Brian Reilly)
Hey All!I missed Off! at this show (Brian was there though), but caught them later at MWTX (pics for the latter still to come). Their short blasts of riffy 80s punk rock bliss were awesome. Hopefully this band is real, and not just a one off project. I arrived at the show in time to see Gun Outfit who featured some excellent song-writing but lacked in the live show department; I'd be curious to hear their full-length. Audacity were unhinged with energy -almost irritatingly so. Charlie & The Moonhearts struck a balance between the two with both fun stage energy and catchy songs. Torche, well they whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
Keith Morris has a new band.......OFF! which is made up of Steve McDonald from REDD KROSS on bass, Dimitri Coats from the BURNING BRIDES on guitar, Mario Rubalcaba formerly of HOT SNAKES,CLIKITAT IKATOWI,ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT and currently in EARTHLESS on drums, & Keith on vocals.
Add OFF! to your friends & check out their upcoming shows @ SXSW in Austin,Texas!
More pics and some video of Torche performing "Tarpit Carnivore" (my favorite Torche jam) are below...
"Emo's Jr. is way too tiny to handle [Torche and] their enormous sludge, enormous hooks, enormous energy, enormous crowd." - Rolling Stone.com
Landmine Marathon (by Tim Griffin)
While Fucked Up and six other bands were causing a ruckus on the bigger stage at Emo's (3/17), the BrooklynVegan day party began early and STRONG with a hot blast of Kill The Client at noon on the indoor stage. The newly Relapse-d and semi-local (partial Austin/Dallas) grinding four piece was a metallic triple-espresso to kick start the day.
Trophy for busiest metal band goes to The Atlas Moth, who booked a whopping seven shows in Austin during SxSW. Their trek began with Emo's and a killer set from their new album A Glorified Piece Of New Sky. Jovial singer Steve was all smiles at the show, and the band's epic sound echoed throughout Emo's.
Philadelphia's Javelina followed The Atlas Moth with their positively pummeling sludge filth, keeping momentum going. Bands like Buzzoven, Eyehategod, and others come to mind when listening to this quartet, but their driving sound is decidedly more punk rock in it's gallop but just as "fuck you" in it's 'tude. A big thank you goes out to the band, who also went on to fill in for the broken Nebula at Red 7 on Saturday (3/20). They rule, and can't wait to see them again on Wednesday (3/25) at Cake Shop with Howl, Sea of Bones, and Flourishing.
Though the band spent a good hour circling Emo's, Dark Castle did manage to squeak into the venue and be only a touch late for their designated set time. Again the Florida duo impressed. Dark Castle's sound is positively mammoth, and through the large PA at Emo's they sounded bigger than ever.
Salome was similarly massive, and I felt fortunate to have the band booked for their only unofficial appearance at SXSW. With the band having issues unloading gear due to street closures and general parking malaise, it seemed like vehicular frustration bred more stage-side fury. The trio's sludge doom caused numerous screams of joy and lots of recitations of the word "amazing". Agreed, and I truly believe that Salome was one of the best bands at SXSW this year.
Grace Perry may have been given the dubious ranking of one of the "hottest chicks in metal" according to Revolver (even though I agree), but don't think that Landmine Marathon's success is attributable to anything but hard touring. This band's strength is in the live show, which was firing on all cylinders at Emo's and leading to circle pits, including one with Perry on vocals! Video of that is below.
Withered's icy blasts were the antithesis of Torche's pop bliss, but the band were as sinister and powerful. I caught them again at Mohawk later that night (pics coming). I was honestly worried about Withered and Dark Castle's lighting rigs, and their ability to translate on stage during the day time, but I forgot about the most important part of those bands: both have intense and kinetic live shows, whether with or without a fancy stage setup.
Torche closed out the room with an assist from a fill-in drummer in the absence of Rick Smith (who broke his hand while touring with his side project Shitstorm). Although Smith's theatrics were missed (you rarely ever see anyone standing and jumping down TOWARD the kit, save for Rob Shaffer of Dark Castle and a few others), the band played a well-executed set of bubblegum pop which contained one song from their upcoming split with Boris, and a ton of thundering but sugary classics. The band closed with my favorite Torche track ever, the sickeningly heavy "Tarpit Carnivore" from their killer In Return EP.
More pics and some videos from the show are below...
As previously mentioned, we've lost our minds and are doing seven shows in Austin during SXSW this year. The first of those parties kicks off at Emo's at noon on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 (doors @ 11:30am) on two 100% FREE stages:
Outside/Main StageWe previously announced the entire metal stage for this Wednesday day party, but Dallas's Kill The Client is an even newer addition. They start the inside stage of off right, right at noon (as you can see above).
12:45 The Rural Alberta Advantage
01:30 The Morning Benders
03:00 Titus Andronicus
03:45 The Black Angels
05:15 Fucked Up
DJs: Finger on the Pulse
FREE DRINKS COURTESY OF: Magic Hat & Firefly Vodka & Vitamin Water (while supplies last)
FREE VEGAN BREAKFAST TACOS COURTESY OF: Mr. Natural
(starting @ noon. while supplies last)
MORE FREE FOOD COURTESY OF: Daily Juice (catering from 2-5)
MORE FREE FOOD COURTESY OF: Raw Revolution Bars
MORE FREE FOOD COURTESY OF: Hail Merry
Thanks Zach Jaeger for the sweet flyer.
The Morning Benders, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Austin's own YellowFever, AND GZA are all being announced for the first time in this post. Those following along already knew about Fucked Up, The Black Angels, Titus Andronicus, and Japandroids.
It should be a wild first day in Austin and needless to say, we're very excited for this one. And did we mention this was all free? No RSVP. No Badges. Just stop by. Get there early if you want a free vegan breakfast taco. Stay around if you want even more catering by Daily Juice. Drink for free from our 10 kegs of Magic Hat beer and the many bottles of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka that we'll be pouring. Then after the show, if you're still hungry (and standing), get dinner quickly and head over to the official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase at Club DeVille right down the block (Dawes go on at 8, Serena Maneesh finish things off at 1am). Then get some rest because you've got 19 more bands to catch on Thursday afternoon at Spider House.
And for those in NYC, don't forget that we're also hosting a free Morning Benders show, TONIGHT (3/8).
GZA's "Liquid Swords" video below...
Withered with Mayhem at Irving (more by Paul Birman)
Enough of the onesy-twosy crap! We've already let it slip that the BrooklynVegan Day Party at Emo's on 3/17 will feature some heavy hitters like Torche, Fucked Up, The Atlas Moth, Dark Castle, and Salome. But now we are proud to announce more details! Kicking off at noon, the first (of a few) free BV Day Parties will be held across the two stages at Emo's (not the Annex). The "outdoor stage" will feature a headlining set from the hardcore hooligans in Fucked Up with a jawdropping lineup to fill out the rest of the bill (including Titus Andronicus, The Black Angels and Japandroids). The "indoor stage" will be where the darkness happens, and will feature the following lineup:
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 @ Emo's Indoor Stage - daytime lineup::For those keeping track at home, that's an addition of ATL black metal overlords Withered and the blistering Arizona death destruction of Landmine Marathon (who have a new album coming and are playing Scion Rock Fest). It's gonna be a seriously great show.
The Atlas Moth
Landmine Marathon and The Atlas Moth will also play our show at Hoeks Death Metal Pizza the next day (3/18) with Zoroaster, Coffinworm, Kill the Client and others (flyer reposted below).
We will announce a third heavy music leaning show at Red 7 on 3/20 in the coming days Stay tuned for that along with more information on our seven shows in Austin this year, and don't forget to follow @bvSXSW on Twitter for lots more SXSW coverage!
Steve of Torche, riding the (fat) waves (more by Justina Villanueva)
Over the coming weeks, we'll be announcing details of some of our (many) day & night shows happening in Austin during SXSW this year. Emo's on March 17th is the first of these shows, and mark my words, it will be utter pandemonium. Proof? The first announcement of more than twelve bands slated for the free gig is Torche. Stay tuned for more announcements, but until then, save the date.
Later that night we move over to Club DeVille for an official showcase featuring Serena Maneesh, Califone and more TBA. Then on Friday, we've also just revealed, that we'll be hanging out at Club DeVille again for another day party with Lucero and many more TBA there too.
The Wednesday BV Day Party is one of a handful of Austin dates for Torche before the band takes a breather, only to reignite for a string of dates with Coheed & Cambria and Circa Survive that include May 26th at Rumsey Playfield (aka Central Park Summerstage). Ticket info is forthcoming.
In related news, Torche will team up with Boris to domestically release Chapter Ahead Of Being Fake for Hydrahead. No word on an exact release date. Torche's Steve Brooks is getting his old band Floor back together. Robotic Empire will release a mega-mega-mega boxset for the band. Preorder it here.
A new-ish video for "King Beef" and full Torche dates are below.
Laura of Kylesa (more by Paul Birman)
Earlier I discussed my favorite LPs of the year, but why leave the fun to just one? I asked some of my favorite artists and promoters for their 2009 highlights. The responses were great. You already saw some of them. Justina listed some quotes, Liam Wilson talked about Philly, and Josh Graham listed good things about 2009. They continue below. You'll find lists of favorite songs and albums of the year, not to mention answers to crucial questions like:
- What are Coalesce's favorite pizza toppings?
- Which one of my top 20 artists of the year tried to get in a cab with Kirsten Dunst?
- What is the #1 sauce/condiment of 2009?
Ohhhhh goodie goodie goodie!
FLOOR:Floor are getting back together, though unfortunately their two announced dates (below) only include the South so far. Floor recently announced their mega-mega-mega boxset Below & Beyond available for pre-order now from Robotic Empire.
We'll be playing select tunes from the "Below and Beyond" boxset with all 3 original drummers (Betty, Jeff and Henry). This is gonna be a blast! 3 Birthdays that week too (Betty, Steve and Jeff)
You may recognize the name Steve Brooks (the guy on the far right) from another band that we love, Torche, who are prepping the domestic release of their split with Boris, Chapter Ahead Being Fake. Look for that on Hydra Head next year, and look for Torche at the Harvest of Hope Fest in Florida on March 13th (their only upcoming show for now).
Dig on a video trailer for the Torche/Boris split, as well as a few killer Floor, Torche, and Torche performing Floor videos below.
The one-day-fest's lineup is a combination of bands that are coming to NYC soon (Black Lips, Kurt Vile, TNV, Cold Cave, to name a few) and bands that hopefully will be coming back to NYC sometime soon (Dillinger Escape Plan, Fucked Up, Mika Miko, "Tim & Eric Special Musical Performance"). The full schedule and more is below.
August 25th, 2009 (Austin, TX) - Transmission Entertainment is pleased to announce the lineup for the 2009 Fun Fun Fun Fest, taking place on November 7th and 8th at Waterloo Park in Austin. Fun Fun Fun Fest made its first appearance on a cold Friday evening in 2006, offering a unique approach to festival booking, filling stages with talent bubbling from the underground: what sounded great, and what was making an impact, regardless of what mainstream media said was cool. What started out as a show for a few touring acts and local favorites has become a movement -- a festival that fans and bands alike realize needs to be experienced year after year.Greatest. Festival. Ever...
Now in its fourth year, Fun Fun Fun Fest has made a significant impact on the country's winter calendar, successfully combining the vast worlds of indie, punk, rap, electronica and comedy while showcasing some of the city's most unique local businesses.
words by Black Bubblegum, photos by Justina Villanueva
Harvey Milk salutes you!
Pop quiz! Name two things that are kind of awkward at a Torche / Harvey Milk show!
My answers are mosh pits and dry-humping, but unfortunately, I witnessed both when the pair played Music Hall of Williamsburg on 7/26 as part of an ongoing tour/victory lap in the wake of their critically acclaimed 2008 LPs. Since the release of those LPs, both bands have undergone lineup shifts (one officially, one not so officially- Joe Preston was absent from Harvey Milk again) and, at least for one band, their live firepower recently seemed diminished (see Torche at Scion).
Pollution was the first band on the bill, and it was beyond odd (but very welcome) to see the band's crust-laden metal pouring from the stage at MHOW. The venue is larger than they usually play, and they were playing to a much larger crowd then I've ever seen them play to at The Charleston or Union Pool.
Harvey Milk followed, and though they were sans Joe Preston and his voice, the otherwise soft-spoken Creston Spiers's cro-magnon howl needed no such vocal accompaniment. The band ran through moments from across their output including "I've Got A Love" and my favorite from Life... The Best Game In Town, "Motown". With Joe absent, along with the base layer of heavy rhythm riffage that he provides, it becomes apparent what Harvey Milk really is: a cross-eyed, demented, southern heavy-blues band.
"Is this fucking George Jones?" someone yelled jokingly at the stage.
From behind a trucker hat emblazoned with "fresh frozen vegetables", bassist and smiley southern boy Stephen Tanner laid down a rumbling low-end to match the goings-on outdoors (it was raining like a mutha). Meanwhile, clean cut drummer Kyle Spence kept time, adding Keith Moon-style fills.... when the song was over 80 BPM that is.
"How many people saw Torche last time they were here?", asked Creston Spiers of Harvey Milk.
That may be a testament to the (lack of) power of dredg (who Torche played with last time they were here) and the short opening set Torche played on that tour, or that may be a testament to the growth of Torche since their days on Robotic Empire. Both make sense to me. Either way, call it a small victory that the band played to a mostly-full bottom floor (mezz was closed) as opposed to the house shows of days passed.
Torche hit the stage around 1130. One of my main complaints from their performance at Scion Rock fest was the lack of middle tones along with that patented "thunder string" that make up the signature Torche sound. Those middle tones are still not present in the wake of Juan Montoya's departure, but the trio have figured out a way to make a fuller sound which approaches that high watermark... an impressive feat.
And the band is a trio of showmen. Steve Brooks crowd-surfed, rubbed his ass on the first row, and pogo-ed around blissfully while Jonathan Nunez thrashed about. Besides the fact that Rick Smith is an absolutely punishing drummer, which in and of itself is a spectacle, he did his part to be as showy as his bandmates. Smith would stand up and smash down on his kit, forcing his whole body downward as he swung his drumsticks. As they closed the set, Rick Smith raised his cymbal above his head triumphantly like a Tusken Raider (yes I am a Star Wars nerd).
The band played new-new material (as in "King Beef", post-Meanderthal) and relatively older ("Meanderthal", "Across The Shields", and "Healer", the latter of which started a mosh pit) including my favorite Torche jam, the uber-heavy "Tarpit Carnivore" off of the monolithic In Return EP.
Besides my admittedly petty gripes about the loss of Juan Montoya, as well as the lack of any encores, the show would have been otherwise beyond incred-amazing if it weren't for a pair of "fans" standing next to me during the show. The couple were literally making out and dryhumping during a good portion of Harvey Milk and into Torche. (Gag) This ain't no R. Kelly people.
More pictures from the show below...
by Black Bubblegum
Torche at Highline Ballroom (more by Justina Villanueva)
If you somehow missed it, the Torche/Harvey Milk mega-bonanza swings it way into Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg (and our hearts?) on Sunday (July 26th) with the mysterious but crushing Pollution. Tickets are still available. Good times.
Sunday is also the Trail of Dead Pool Party just a couple of blocks away. Consider the show at Music Hall the unofficial afterparty.
In addition, Harvey Milk recently released a split 7" with another fave around these parts, Wildildlife, which is available via Volcom's split 7" series. That 7" is extremely limited, much like Harvey Milk's other 2LP which is limited to 300 copies, the S/T "Tour Edition" LP more commonly known as The Bob Weston Sessions. Who wants to win one of them and/or a pair of tickets to Sunday's show? Details at the end of this post.
Torche recently dropped a video for "Healer" from Meanderthal and the Healer/Across The Shields 12" (which features exclusive tracks). Check that out below. Floor, which featured members of Torche, recently reissued their first 7".
And while we can neither confirm nor deny that members of Pollution are also members of Unearthly Trance, we CAN confirm that Unearthly Trance will be at Public Assembly one week after MHOW... at the BV-BBG Show No Mercy show! Set aside August 2nd to catch Keelhaul (who have a kick ass new album on the way), Minsk (who have a new album of their own), STATS (who gives away free music), and Defeatist (who recently played with Hatred Surge), and in the meantime, dig on the new Seldon Hunt flyer below!