Entries tagged with: death
As previously mentioned, Rough Francis, who toured through Brooklyn last week, released a new album called Maximum Soul Power earlier this month. The sons of legendary protopunk band Death just teamed up with A Band Called Death director Mark Covino to give one of its tracks, "Not a Nice Guy" video treatment. The video shows the band ripping through the kind of '70s punk that Death helped pioneer at a very rowdy, crowdsurfer-happy show. It makes its premiere in this post and you can check it out below.
By Doug Moore
Death's modern incarnation at 2013 Afropunk Fest (more by Greg Cristman)
For a band that scarcely released anything during their initial five-year run, Death -- the influential Detroit proto-punk band, not the also-influential Floridian metal band -- have some serious legs. Their first "lost" album, ...For the Whole World to See, was recorded in 1975 but wasn't released until 2009, at which point the band -- minus the late David Hackney -- reformed and have been playing since. Their second, Spiritual Mental Physical, was recorded between '74 and '76, but didn't see the light of day until 2011. And now they've announced a third archival album, titled Death III, for release on April 22 via Drag City (who also released the other two Death albums).
One has to wonder how many release-quality recordings can possibly be left in the archives for these guys. "North St.," the first debuted track from Death III sounds inspired, at least. Recorded in 1980, it's a tense tale of urban entrapment, spun over a nervous rhythm-section cadence and interspersed with smoky leads from deceased guitarist David. It's coming out as a 7" on February 18 and you can stream it below.
The currently incarnation of Death have a few tour dates lined up for 2014, including Festival NRML in Mexico in March. All dates (none in NYC) are listed below. Meanwhile, there's always Rough Francis, which features three of Death member Bobby Hackney's sons and who will be playing NYC at Grand Victory on March 23.
Dates are listed, along with the "North St." stream, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Rough Francis, the band led by the three sons of Bobby Hackney of legendary protopunk band Death (who members of Rough Francis now also play in), are releasing a new album, Maximum Soul Power, on March 11 via Riot House Records (pre-order). They're likely more than a little influenced by their father's band (and the vocals are similar too), giving the album a real '70s-era punk vibe. Its newest single, "Home Invasion," makes its premiere in this post, and that can be streamed, along with another album cut, "I-90 East," below. The album artwork and tracklist are below as well.
Rough Francis also have a few dates coming up in March, including a NYC show happening on March 23 at Grand Victory with Don't. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with those streams, below...
Sasquatch! Music Festival is returning for two weekends in 2014 to The Gorge in Quincy, Washington, and the lineups (which are different both weekends) have just been announced. The May lineup (5/23 - 5/25, aka Memorial Day Weekend) includes Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A., Haim, Neko Case, Foals, Cut Copy, Violent Femmes, Elbow, Mogwai, Tyler the Creator, Chance the Rapper, Rudimental, Phantogram, tUnE-yArDs, First Aid Kit, Rodriguez, AlunaGeorge, Panda Bear, Phosphorescent, Bob Mould, Washed Out, Austra, Parquet Courts, Deafheaven, Big Freedia, Liars, Waxahatchee, Tacocat, Princess (feat. Maya Rudolph), Bridget Everett, Eric Andre and more.
The July lineup (7/4 - 7/6, aka Independence Day Weekend) includes Soundgarden, Kraftwerk, New Order, Frank Ocean, Royksopp + Robyn, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon, Broken Bells, Tegan & Sara, Local Natives, Gogol Bordello, Rhye, Black Angels, Deltron 3030, The Horrors, Junip, The Notwist, Kurt Vile, Talib Kweli, of Montreal, Action Bronson, Punch Brothers, Sharon Van Etten, Casey Veggies, RL Grime, Fuck Buttons, Courtney Barnett, Cloud Nothings, Foxygen, Palma Violets, Mikal Cronin, Mac DeMarco, Jon Hopkins, Gold Panda, Majical Cloudz, Duke Dumont, Oneohtrix Point Never, Death, Black Prairie, Latryx, Metz, John Grant, Reigning Sound, Young & Sick, Chad VanGaalen, Mutual Benefit, Helms Alee, Demetri Martin, Eugene Mirman, Kurt Braunohler, John Hodgman and more. There will also be fireworks for the 4th of July.
Tickets (including a 2-weekend pass option) go on sale Saturday at 10 AM.
Full lineups for both weekends below...
Festival Nrmal is back again for 2014 and has expanded to now include an all day concert in Mexico City on March 1 in addition to the multi-day fest in Monterrey (March 5 - 9). (That's right before SXSW.) Tickets are on sale now.
The Mexico City concert features Blood Orange, Silver Apples, Destroyer, Anika, Wolf Eyes, Merchandise, Pional and more.
The Monterrey line-up, as it stands, has Death, Pional, Perfect Pussy, Blue Hawaii, Pure X, Kelela, and more -- with more to be announced.
All announced bands and flyers below...
Gap Dream @ Bowery Ballroom, 10/5/2013 (more by Dylan Johnson)
We mentioned briefly yesterday that Black Lips would be playing this year's edition of Burger Records' Burgerama fest which happens at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA on March 23 & 24. Today, the Burger folks released the initial line-up for Burgerama III which is pretty killer if you're into the rock n' roll lifestyle the store/label has become synonymous with. Among the acts playing this year: Mac DeMarco, Death, FIDLAR, Nobunny, Gap Dream, Kool Keith (!), Allah-Las, The Orwells, The Tyde and loads more. Full lineup below.
Tickets for Burgerama III go on sale Friday (1/10) at noon PST.
Burgerama lineup, poster and a streaming Burger sampler, below...
photos by Greg Cristman
2013 has come and gone but we still have a couple year-end posts to go. Greg Cristman shot a whole lot for us last year -- everything from metal to synthpop and all points in between -- and he picked his 25 favorites from '13 which are in this post.
By Doug Moore
Behemoth at Irving Plaza, 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
Behemoth frontman Nergal is kind of a badass -- he's an extremely gifted musician and a live-performance powerhouse who's played an important role in putting the potent Polish metal scene on the international map over the past 20 years. He's also a cancer survivor; after his 2010 leukemia diagnosis, he underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Two years later, Behemoth were back on the road and plowing through high-energy live sets like nothing had happened. Again, badass.
Behemoth announced a 2014 release for The Satanist -- their tenth album, and their first in half a decade -- a few months ago. I admittedly haven't been too excited by their last few efforts, but after watching the NSFW video for leadoff single "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" (streaming below), my enthusiasm for the band has been rekindled. It's far moodier and more patient composition than the cluttered, robotic death/black metal that they've produced recently. They can still put the hammer down when they need to, though; the song's final minute is both the catchiest and most intense moment I've heard them produce since the mid-aughts. The video is pretty cool too, especially if you're into artsy black-and-white shots of evil rituals happening in slow motion.
In related news, Behemoth were also recently announced as part of the initial lineup for the 2014 edition of France's Hellfest, which will take place from June 20 through 22 (6/20-6/22). The lineup so far is huge and crazy: there's a "huge rock band" stage, featuring Iron Maiden, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Soundgarden, among others; a big-name thrash/black metal stage that spotlights Slayer, Death Angel, Emperor, Iced Earth, Behemoth, and more; a death metal stage that will include Death To All, Carcass, Opeth, Nile, Gorguts, Hail of Bullets, and Weekend Nachos; a smaller black metal stage topped off by Watain, Gorgoroth and 1349; a sludge/stoner stage featuring Electric Wizard, Monster Magnet, Unida, Kylesa, Godflesh, and Clutch; and a punk stage topped by Walls of Jericho, Millencolin, and Turbonegro. Wow. You can reserve tickets now, if you feel like parsing the Google-Translated ticket page.
Check out the Behemoth video and the full set of Hellfest announcements below.
by Doug Moore
Absu at Saint Vitus (more by Fred Pessaro)
The cold hit NYC in earnest over the past few days, but heavy music is a warm-blooded beast -- it stays active regardless of the weather. Here's what went down this week:
Nachtmystium main man Blake Judd fulfilled popular speculation by officially dissolving the band, concluding a sad and lengthy narrative that began with his arrest on theft charges in October.
An all-robot "heavy metal" band played a bunch of (mostly punk) tunes for 7 hours in Union Square.
Stockholm death metal trope-makers Entombed debuted their first new song in years.
Over at Invisible Oranges, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Death's Leprosy, and pondered the utter weirdness of getting into a great band's shitty records first. We also reviewed Brewtal Truth's guide to extreme beers and kicked off a Circle Takes the Square merch giveaway.
On top of that, we debuted new music by Malthusian, Aevangelist (who are playing an IO-presented show in January), Lake of Blood, and Psalm Zero, plus a music video by Beaten to Death. And, of course, we broke down the week in upcoming metal releases.
The live hits keep coming this weekend. High On Fire is playing tonight with Kvelertak and Doomriders. Tomorrow night sees Eyehategod / Trenchgrinder / Syphilitic Lust, as well as Witchtrap / Villains / Ancient Wound / Throoat. Sunday offers Dysrhythmia / Zevious Geryon, and Villains return on Monday for Absu's IO-sponsored return to NYC.
What am I missing?
Delta Spirit (more by Tracy Allison)
Looking for something to do in Chicago? Death will be at Reggie's.
Philly gets Swearin and Screaming Females.
The Breeders will be in Austin.
Washed Out plays Atlanta.
San Francisco gets the Melvins and Mudhoney at the Great American Music Hall Melvins also tour Australia in December. All dates are listed below...
Due to serious health risks, the Electric Zoo music festival on Randall's Island on Sunday, September 1st has been cancelled. The City recommended cancellation and the event promoters have agreed.The Daily News adds:
During the first two days of the Electric Zoo music festival, two concert-goers have died and at least four others became critically ill and have been placed in intensive care at area hospitals. Definitive causes of death have not yet been determined, however, both appear to have involved the drug MDMA (ecstasy, or molly). The Electric Zoo organizers have worked with City officials to reduce health risks at this event, but in view of these occurrences, the safest course is to cancel the remaining day of the event
The electronic dance music festival, in its fifth year, was scheduled to conclude Sunday with headlining deejay sets by Armin Van Buuren, Sebastiona Ingrosso, Steve Aoki and Laidback Luke.Our condolences go out to the families and friends of Jeffrey and Olivia.
But over the first two days of the festival, two attendees died from apparent overdoses of MDMA, nicknamed molly, an illegal drug typically combined with other chemicals in Ecstasy pills, officials said.
Jeffrey Russ, 23, of Rochester, was rushed to Harlem Hospital at 3:10 a.m. Saturday but could not be saved.
Olivia Rotondo, 20, of Providence, R.I., was taken to Metropolitan Hospital at 8:45 p.m. Saturday and died about 50 minutes later, police said. Six hours before she was rushed to the hospital, the University of New Hampshire student posted a final message on Twitter.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Chuck D / Death / Danny Brown
Emboldened by a raise in profile from the recent documentary, A Band Called Death, they were more of a classic rock beast. Extended rum solos, odd time changes. They were strong, and the mix was overwhelmingly crunchy. There were even times, like when performing their 1975 song "You're a Prisoner" , when it struck me that you could shift the emphasis slightly, swap out the guitar tones for something more expensive and add some gross 30-piece drum set, and they might be playing a Metallica song! Or at least what Metallica songs I remember from being 12 were like. "You can't run! You can't hide! YOU'RE! LOCKED! INSIDE! (riff riff riff riff riff). I mean, right? [L Mag]While the VMAs were happening in a different park of Brooklyn, the two-day, free annual Afro-Punk Festival wrapped up in Fort Greene's Commodore Barry Park on Sunday (8/25). The second day gave us sets from legendary punks Death, Chuck D & DJ Lord (performing Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet), Danny Brown, Questlove, Trash Talk, Big Freedia, K-Os, Living Colour, The Coup, and more.
Pictures of the second day are in this post, and there's even more at Facebook and Google+. Plus, there's more of Trash Talk HERE and Big Freedia HERE. If you haven't checked out our day 1 pictures yet, those are up too.
Danny Brown, whose new album OLD comes out on 9/30, can be seen for free in NYC again at Williamsburg Park on Labor Day (9/2) for Fool's Gold Day Off, which also includes Run the Jewels, Migos, A$AP Ferg, World's Fair, and more (RSVP).
More Afro-Punk day 2 pictures below...
Death @ BVSXSW 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
The 2013 Afro-Punk Festival happens this weekend (August 24 & 25) at Fort Greene's Commodore Barry Park with Danny Brown, Mykki Blanco, Le1f, Big Freedia, Death, Trash Talk, Living Colour, Chuck D of Public Enemy and DJ Lord performing PE's Fear of a Black Planet, Questlove, Jean Grae, Saul Williams, K-os and more. As mentioned, it's all-ages, free and open to the public, but they do require you to RSVP. You can also donate on paypal for "fast pass admission" tickets.
The full weekend schedule has been released, with artists playing on two stages from noon - 9:30 PM or so both Saturday and Sunday. Full schedule is below.
Additionally, there will also be "Afro-Punk After Dark" events happening after the fest at various Brooklyn venues both Saturday and Sunday nights. Over 20 After Dark events are happening, including "pop-up performances, celebrity DJ sets, comedy shows, film screenings, art installations, and Story Slams." Full After Dark listings are at Afro-Punk's website.
2013 Afro-Punk Festival schedule below...
Afro-Punk Fest 2012 (more by Gretchen Robinette)
The Afro-Punk Festival is returning to Fort Greene's Commodore Barry Park from August 24-25 this year. The Brooklyn festival lineup is great as always, and includes some of our favorite newer rappers like Danny Brown, Mykki Blanco, and Le1f; New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia, legendary punks Death, younger punks Trash Talk, Chuck D of Public Enemy and DJ Lord performing Fear of a Black Planet, Questlove, Jean Grae, Saul Williams, K-os and more TBA. The festival is open to all ages, and totally free, but you do have to RSVP. You can also donate on paypal for "fast pass admission" tickets.
Full initial lineup and flyer below...
The Northside Film Festival wraps up tonight (6/20), and includes the BrooklynVegan-presented free showing of A Band Called Death at Williamsburg Cinemas. That screening is "sold out" but if you have a ticket, show up early because it's first come, first served to ensure a packed house. A limited number of Northside film badges will be admitted too.
If you can't make tonight's screening, A Band Called Death opens in limited release next Friday (6/28), including a week run at Cinema Village in NYC where the band will be present at certain screenings on Sunday, June 30. For agoraphobics and people who don't live in major markets, the film is also available as a digital download and on-demand (check your local cable/satellite provider).
Death will be in town that weekend as they play Le Poisson Rouge on July 1 and tickets are still available. You can also try and win tickets, as we have two pair to give away. Each pair of tickets also comes with a Death t-shirt (only one per pair of tickets) and we'll award a t-shirt to a third winner as well. The shirt is modeled to look like the ones the band made in the '70s (as seen above). There's a picture of the new t-shirt below.
Trailer for A Band Called Death, contest details and the t-shirt pic, below...
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death. Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in the early '70s formed a band in their spare bedroom, began playing a few local gigs and even pressed a single in the hopes of getting signed. But this was the era of Motown and emerging disco. Record companies found Death's music - and band name - too intimidating, and the group were never given a fair shot, disbanding before they even completed one album. Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family love story, A Band Called Death chronicles the incredible fairy-tale journey of what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (hell...the first punk band!), and are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers.A Band Called Death opens June 28 in limited release around the country, including NYC's Cinema Village (tickets) and then at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg and MIST Harlem Cinema starting July 5. Check out the full list of cities and theaters below.
You don't have to wait that long to see it, though. BrooklynVegan is excited to be presenting a screening which will happen at Williamsburg Cinemas on June 20 at 10 PM, part of the Northside Film Festival. Our screening has limited FREE tickets but do note that a ticket does not guarantee entry. First come, first served, so come early with your ticket to make sure you get in. Limited Northside badges will also be let in. Hope to see you there!
Back in March, A Band Called Death screened at SXSW where the band played two shows, one of which was one of our day parties. As mentioned, Death will play here in NYC on July 1 at Le Poisson Rouge and tickets for that are still available.
A full list of current screening dates and a trailer for the film below...
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
Death to All at Irving Plaza, 2012 (more by Justina Villaneuva)
Chuck Schuldiner may be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten. The remaining members of his legendary band Death reformed as Death to All last year, and return to NYC tonight (4/24) with the Human lineup at Irving Plaza. Anciients play support.
As discussed, the focus of their performance the first four LPs from the death metal giants, leaning heavily on the Human record. Proceeds benefit Sweet Relief, so get them now OR you can try your luck at winning a pair! Details below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Death at BrooklynVegan SXSW party - 3/15/13
Rediscovered Detroit protopunk legends Death are still around, and as they mentioned at our BrooklynVegan Thursday SXSW party, they've got a new album coming out this year. Though details on that album are still sparse, we'll most likely get a chance to hear some of the material when they play a one-off in NYC on July 1 at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets for that show are not on sale yet but check LPR's site for updates.
UPDATE: Tickets are on sale now. Rough Francis and The Everymen open the show.
At our SXSW party, Death played our punk-oriented stage which also included sets from Cloud Nothings, METZ, The Spits, Milk Music, Single Mothers, and Rough Francis (whose lineup features sons of the members of Death). A belated set of pictures of Death and all the other bands on that stage is in this post.
More pictures, and a full stream of Death's 1974-recorded, 2009-released For The Whole World To See, below...
photos by Sarah Frankie Linder
Beach Fossils/The Spits/Parenthetical Girls
The second of our four SXSW day parties at connected Austin venues The Main and The Jr. happened Thursday (3/15). In addition to Cloud Nothings' joyously raucous set, The Main was fairly wild all day. We got reunited Detroit protopunk legends Death, fellow Micheganites The Spits, Pacific Northwest fuzz-freaks Milk Music, highly-excitable Canadians METZ, plus Rough Francis and Single Mothers.
Meanwhile on The Jr. stage, things were a little more indie, with a double shot headlinging sets from two Captured Tracks bands, Widowspeak and Beach Fossils. Not to mention: Dutch artist Jacco Gardner made amazingly precise recreations of late-'60s baroque pysche pop; Scotland's PAWS did raw-throated, seriously catchy yell-alongs; Parenthetical Girls kept Austin strange during their mesmerizing set; Toronto's Moon King gave a dose of shoegaze; plus Japanese singer-songwriter Shugo Tokumaru and the folky sounds of J. Thoven. What a day!
For those reading this in NYC, don't forget Parenthetical Girls play Glasslands on March 25 (tickets) and Bowery Electric on March 26 (tickets); and Jacco Gardner plays Mercury Lounge on March 23 with his Trouble in Mind labelmates Mmoss (tickets)
In addition to the music, Onkyo was there, sampling their new headphones which hit stores next month. mophie, maker of invaluable iPhone chargers, were giving away discount cards good at their pop-up shop which was set up right across the street on Red River.. We were also serving complimentary Jameson, and Zico coconut water, free vegan queso and chips from Food For Lovers, and free vegan breakfast tacos from Pink Avocado. We also had BrooklynVegan t-shirts for the first 50 people in the door, thanks to American Apparel. Also thanks to our other sponsors, Korg, Vox, Blackstar, Creative Recreation, Signazon, Mirrored Media, ASCAP, and Redigi.
Our free Friday day party at The Main and The Jr. just got underway. The Main stage will be crowded for 20-something headliners The Polyphonic Spree, and that side will also have sets from Akron/Family, The Thermals, Shout Out Louds, Diamond Rings, TOY, and Half Moon Run.
The Jr. stage today is curated by out loud brethren at Invisible Oranges, with Today is the Day, Pallbearer, Royal Thunder, Inter Arma Batillus, and Babtists.
Then tonight is the official BrooklynVegan showcase at Maggie Mae's Rooftop with 3421, Brooke Candy, Giraffage, Man Without Country, Mykki Blanco, Pictureplane, The Underachievers, XXYYXX, and Zebra Katz. If you're in Austin, come on down!
More pics from Thursday's day party are below.
Death at Europa in 2010 (more by Ben Lozovsky)
Long lost protopunk band Death, who made a return in 2009 when Drag City released their debut album and have been sticking around ever since, have gotten the documentary treatment. A Band Called Death, directed by Mark Covino and Jeff Howlett, was released in 2012 and it will be screening at SXSW this year (screening times are HERE).
The film description reads:
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was Death. Formed in the early '70s by three teenage brothers from Detroit, Death is credited as being the first black punk band, and the Hackney brothers, David, Bobby, and Dannis, are now considered pioneers in their field. But it wasn't until recently -- when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of Bobby's attic nearly 30 years after Death's heyday -- that anyone outside a small group of punk enthusiasts had even heard of them.Death themselves will also be at SXSW for a couple shows. They'll play at TenOak on Thursday (3/14) at 12:50 AM (so technically Friday), and earlier that day they'll play a BrooklynVegan day party, which happens at the old Emo's location, 603 Red River St. Death's set is a special early one at 1:30 PM on Thursday and the party is totally free. Rough Francis (aka Death's sons band) will also be at the BV party, playing right before them at 12:45.
Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family chronicle, the story of Death is one of brotherly love and fierce, divinely inspired expression.
A Band Called Death trailer and a stream of their track, "Politicians In My Eyes," below...
As you know, BrooklynVegan is returning to Austin for SXSW this year and throwing four days of day parties at The Main & The Jr aka 603 Red River Street at the corner of 6th aka the old Emo's location. Those happen Wed (3/13), Thurs, Fri and Saturday (3/16). All shows are 100% FREE with RSVP.
Metallica at Orion 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Metallica held their inaugural Orion Music & More festival in Atlantic City in 2012, and as mentioned, they'll be moving to Detroit for the 2013 installment. It happens from June 8 - 9 in Belle Isle and the lineup was just announced, including headliners Metallica joined by Japandroids, FLAG, Tomahawk, Gogol Bordello, Death Grips, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Deftones, The Dirtbombs, Death, Foals, The Bronx, The Orwells, Red Hot Chili Peppers, FIDLAR, and more. Full lineup below. The announcement includes no word on Metallica playing full albums like they did last year.
Tickets for the festival go on sale to the general public on Friday (3/1) at 10 AM EST with a Met Club presale starting Tuesday (2/26) at 10 AM and an Orion E-list member presale on Wednesday (2/27) at 10 AM.
Haunted Coliseum (via @thizz31)
As if they didn't take a big enough hit when they found out they lost the Islanders, The Haunted Coliseum, a rave party that went down at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday (10/27) with Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia, DJ Alesso and Otto Knows was cut short due to some pre-Sandy (and unrelated to Sandy) "chaos" caused by drunk teens (between 14 and 18) apparently needing medical assistance less than an hour into the show. Nassau County police Inspector Kenneth Lack said, "We started getting calls for multiple aided cases for highly intoxicated individuals whether it be on alcohol or controlled substances. As soon as it reached a level where it became apparent that something was going desperately wrong, we made the decision to close it down for the good of public safety."
The situation was made worse when when a helicopter pilot decided to land his bird in a grassy area near the coliseum where there were reportedly about 20 people. The 44-year-old pilot was arrested and his helicopter impounded. Needless to say, many of the attendees are unhappy their party was shut down and have been venting their rage on Haunted Coliseum'sFacebook page.
Meanwhile, three people died in Madrid last night (10/31) at a massive Halloween party headlined by Steve Aoki where 20,000 revelers crowded into the Madrid Arena which is meant hold half that. El Pais reports that trouble started when a disturbance in the crowd started a stampede towards the exits and the deaths were caused by "trauma by crushing, possibly having suffered a fall and being trampled." Police are still investigating.
Steve Aoki, who cancelled his show in Bilbao tonight, has issued a statement. You can read it below...
On Thursday June 28th, 2012, Death / Chuck Schuldiner tribute band Death To All rolled into NYC to lay a beating onto a sold-out, sweaty, wood-swellingly humid Irving Plaza. To call them a tribute band sort of trivializes just how mighty an assemblage Death To All actually is; a tribute band generally consists of fanboys and fangirls trying to make a buck playing someone else's music for roomfuls of mouthbreathers with low entertainment standards. The members of Death to All, however, were actual band members of Death during their ever evolving 18 year history, from 1983 through 2001 when the band disbanded following the sad and probably preventable death of Chuck Schuldiner.
For those not in the know; On May 13th, 1999, on his 32nd birthday, Chuck Schuldiner was diagnosed with a high-grade pontine glioma which is a malignant type of brain cancer that invades the brainstem. After a serious onslaught of radiation therapy, the tumor was neutralized and, after a surgery to remove what was left of the tumor, Schuldiner appeared to have a clean bill of health; and a pile of medical bills totaling over $70,000. Uninsured and unable to cover the costs, the metal community rallied in support of Schuldiner with benefit concerts, auctions, and other fundraisers to raise the appropriate funds. After this experience Schuldiner got himself insurance, but when the cancer came back his insurer wouldn't cover the procedures necessary to saving his life as his cancer was a pre-existing condition. More large scale benefits and auctions took place to come to his aid once again, but he eventually succumbed to pneumonia on December 13th, 2001.
This Death To All Tour was not only set about to pay tribute to Chuck Schuldiner who is hands down THE father of Death metal, but it was also devised with the intention of donating 20% of all ticket sales to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund whose aim is to provide "financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems." And, man, this show could not have happened on a more historical day as Thursday June 28th, 2012 is the day the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care overhaul law. Had this existed in 1999, perhaps Death would be still be cranking out ear splitting masterworks in death metal.
The show kicked off at 8PM on the nose with Canadian death metal gods Gorguts. I first came to know Gorguts back in 1989 or 1990 when I saw a small blurb about them in Metal Maniacs. At the tail end of the blurb was an address from where you could order their demo tape. I sent away for the demo and when I got it it blew my mind. Seeing them last night was a personal triumph as I had never seen them before. The years have not slowed them down one bit. Their blast beats and time changes were super tight and brought me back to the day when bands like Gorguts and Deicide dominated the blast beat death metal scene. They played a phenomenal selection of cuts during their 45-minute set, a particular highlight for me being Stiff and Cold.
After a brief intermission for a gear changeover, the lights dimmed, the projector screen ascended, and the crowd absolutely exploded. I can't imagine a more enthusiastic response even if Chuck had shown up in the flesh. Although we wouldn't be seeing Chuck, we would be seeing some of the other members behind one of death metal's greatest bands. They kicked things off with the song "Zombie Ritual" from their 1987 debut Scream Bloody Gore. This song for me is THE archetypical death metal song; it's got speed, classic half time sections, fast double bass pummeling, throat splitting vocals... the works. For them to open the show with this was a stroke of genius because it not only represents the beginning of Death's career releasing records, but it also represents the very birth of death metal as we know it.
Other highlights included Spiritual Healing's "Within the Mind" and Human's "Lack of comprehension," but the set covered their entire canon. At one point early in the evening Irving Plaza's AC clearly stopped working, creating an atmosphere of unbearable heat, humidity, and misery. The humidity level was so appalling that every surface in the venue with the exception of the lower lobby was covered in moisture; stairs, bars, walls, bouncers... the balcony even looked like it was in a fog. It was as though as steam pipe had ruptured or something. At about 10:45 I couldn't take it anymore and so I joined legions of other fans in the lower lobby to watch the show on a TV. It was very disappointing to have to close out the evening like that, but it got to the point that not only was every floor surface a slip-fall-break-something hazard, but breathing was almost impossible. On the plus side I got to meet and talk to Gorguts' main man Luc Lemay at the merch table. Not only was he one of the nicest people I have ever met, he had a hand shake that could crush a bowling ball.
More steamy pictures from Death to All and Gorguts sets are below.
Gorguts at Knitting Factory (more by Greg Cristman)
The Death to All tour got a little more interesting today with the addition of the amazing Gorguts to the lineup. The reactivated death metal crew, which now contains John Longstreth (Dim Mak, Origin, The Red Chord), Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Vaura), and Colin Marston (Krallice, Dysrhythmia, Behold.. The Arctopus) in addition to mastermind Luc LeMay, will participate in all dates on the tour including the previously discussed date at Irving Plaza on June 28th. "VIP Tickets" are currently on sale, with general admission hitting on March 30th.
Reminder: I will I DJ the evening on March 31 at Public Assembly when join Vaura (with Kevin Hufnagel) is joined by Alcest and Deafheaven (both of which played our day parties during SXSW). Tickets are still available, but dangerously close to sell-out.
All Gorguts dates and some video below.