trippy

KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD AND KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD AND K
June 8, 2016 1:18 pm

You can bet those cringe-worthy getups your parents wore in the early-80s are going to be next season’s hot commodity. Human innovation is less about spontaneous combustion and more about an endless mashup of patterns. ‘Dude! What does mine say?  Sweet! What does mine say?’ If only a rock band capitalized on this notion of the never-ending pop cultural Saṃsāra.

There’s no way to properly brace yourself for King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s latest high-octane concoction. Nonagon Infinity dishes out a blissed-out 42-minute jam served with a blitz of viciously fast guitar-play, fist-pumping lyrics, and a time-warping motorick beat. It’s also King Gizzard’s most righteously ambitious effort to date: an album that’s deliberately designed to seamlessly loop back to the beginning, again and again, for eternity. The disorienting bombastity crescendos into a seemingly abrupt end on “Road Train,” which fits back into the first track “Robot Stop.” The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. C-C-C-Combo Breaker!!

Frontman Stu Mackenzie howls out themes of a dystopian future run by robots (The universe is a machine/That has awoken from a dream), evil flying vultures (People-Vultures waiting to begin/Deadly ulcers feeding on my skin), and the nonsensical (Once I’m Mr. Beat/I only miss a beat).

It’s rare to see a band with seven members, but Australian psychedelic rock septet King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard just wouldn’t be complete without two drummers, four guitarists, and harmonica. Nonagon Infinity was released via According to Our Records (ATO), which features a heady roster including Gogol Bordello, My Morning Jacket, and Old Crow Medicine Show. While certainly conjuring up 70s prog-rock of Pink Floyd and Yes ilk, King Gizzard rev up the ferocity by incorporating the harder edge of metal, and the hallucinatory repetition of Krautrock. Sonically, the band resembles fellow-Melbourne garage-rockers The Oh Sees.

The accompanying music videos also match the novelty-rock theme. “Gamma Knife” features the band circled around a makeshift offering pit as the camera dizzyingly pans around King Gizzard and company shredding guitars and banging drums. Druids adorned in brightly colored robes descend from the surrounding foliage. The video comes to an end as the ritual pit spawns a egg-shaped crystal and knocks out the band and adjoining worshipers. Incidentally this seamlessly leads into the next video, “People Vultures” in which the egg hatches a horrendously lofty paper-mache prop, which King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard painstakingly lug around while performing their instruments (you know, like a People Vulture). They are sporadically attacked by jump-kicking villains reminiscent of Power-Ranger which are vaporized by the vulture’s lazer beams.

If you hadn’t guessed yet, the band has already confirmed they will release a music video for each of the tracks on Nonagon Infinity–which might seem like a page out of Beyonce’s playbook–but this case clearly hints that, yes, there will be a never-ending music video to accompany their never-ending album.

If you’re a connoisseur of Rock’N’Roll’s rich history of novelties Nonagon Infinity is a must have–it fits in right next to Flaming Lips Zaireeka, synchronizing Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz, KISS action figurines, and the complete Guitar Hero collection. Unsurprisingly so, the prized vinyl pressing of Nonagon Infinity is already sold out on their bandcamp. You can start placing your bets on Ebay where I’m sure it’ll fetch a fair price.

I say tuh-may-tow. You say to-mah-to. I call it retro, you call it nostalgia. Certainly you’re familiar with the old adage that Pop Culture comes in cycles.  Some call it the 40-year-rule, but…

MILAN TO MINSK TO MERCURY LOUNGE: EP RELEASE
February 26, 2016 10:15 am

Brooklyn based indie art-pop act Milan to Minsk were out this past Tuesday night to release their debut self-titled
EP at Mercury Lounge. The show brought life and color to an otherwise grey and rainy New York City day. Opening the night was Gobbinjr and a particularly energetic set by atmospheric indie rock band Isadora.

DPP_017Milan to Minsk are a special case of Brooklyn indie rock – a rare combination of classically trained and jazz musicians who initially met within the musical community of Tel Aviv, Israel. The bond is clear in the tightness of their unique sound. A sound which has a definite 90’s influence, with the sophistication of Coltrane, the obscurity of Bowie, and a possibly unhealthy obsession with Sting. The musicality of Milan to Minsk’s rhythm/horn section, coupled with the intellectual yet humorous songwriting of lead singer Daniel Rote is absolutely a show worth seeing.

While the band lacks the visibility that some of the Brooklyn indie scene has garnished, their style remains true to the DIY, community oriented ethos that defines the bushwick neighborhood music scene. It’s a humble approach to an at times vanity filled, ego driven scene which seems to forget about the music.

If true creativity, musicality and originality is something that you have been missing in your musical consumption as of late, then the Beasts highly suggest you take a listen to the brand new Milan to Minsk EP and make sure to check them out at an upcoming show. You can find the dates here.

Out in the Streets Festival
August 12, 2015 4:31 pm

Not so far off from Bushwick, Out in the Streets Festival took place at the Onderdonk House on a spacious lawn where tents were set up for local music, food, and artists. Although this ‘festival’ was on a much smaller scale, it showcased the best of Brooklyn’s indie artists. The sun was blazing and people were chillin on the grass with their friends. People were buying booze and scarfing down on some cheesy Archie’s Pizza slices, while listening to bands play.

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As I step foot into the festival on the bright Saturday afternoon, I was unexpectedly welcomed by a pretty hardcore rock n’ roll band, A Bunch of Dead People. They were badass, to say the least. The rest of the show was just a plethora of awesome, unsung talent waiting to burst through the Brooklyn flames.

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A Bunch of Dead People

Next on stage were the trio Haybaby who rocked their beats out with some catchy bass tunes and smooth female voice from Leslie. As the day started to pass by, the tunes slowly transformed into more chill vibes.

Haybaby

HayBaby

Balancer played some beachy tunes that made me want to close my eyes and just let my body flow with the rhythm. They have a really badass female drummer who made some sick beats which kept me on my feet throughout the set.

I was put in a state of euphoria when Salt Cathedral started playing some electro dream-pop. Her breathy voice really captured my soul left me in a peaceful state.

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Salt Cathedral

Stranger Cat kept the electro indie-pop streak going and did a brilliant job covering Sia’s “Chandelier” which left everyone in awe. As the night approached, more people started to crowd towards the stage and Mr. Twin Sister entered with some trippy psychedelic music and made the audience dance.

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Stranger Cat

Sunday afternoon also started with some pretty guitar heavy rock ‘n rollers KDH. Their long hairs swaying side to side really added an extra touch to their energetic stage presence and music.

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KDH

Spritzer showed some catchy indie rock tunes that were surprisingly titled with the word “die” in it, which seemed bizarre to me since the melody didn’t sound as dark as it’s titles. Nevertheless, they’re still a solid local band that I hope to see more of in the near future!

Spritzer

Spritzer

Heliotropes had some 70’s rock elements which made it sound nostalgic and immediately caused me to fall in love with them. Seeing a female lead singer with badass guitar skills taking over the stage sure did keep the crowd going.

Heliotropes

Heliotropes

The festival ended with a big bang when The Love Supreme tore up the stage. Having over 10 people on such small space, it was already a party starting to happen. As the music started playing the singer hopped off the stage and mingled with the audience which kept everybody excited. They were definitely the right fit to end such a lovely festival where I discovered many amazing upcoming local bands.

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The Love Supreme

 

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Sol Cat Keepin’ it Trippy
July 18, 2015 9:00 am

If somebody’s going to name their band Sol Cat you’d think that they’d be a groovy, old school jazz orchestra…or at least have a liking for cats. “I’m super allergic to cats and I don’t like dogs either. I’m actually not an animal person for the record. Except fish, I love fish” lead singer Brett Myers tells me. Apparently the name was given by some “‘bohemian roulette dealer” that he came across while taking a vacation in the bahamas. “I could be hallucinating still, I still can’t figure out if it happened or not.”

This five piece band hailing from Nashville, Tennessee played a trippy show at Pianos and seemed to attract a wide range of fans from young hipsters to middle aged men in suits. They stay true to their dance-y psychedelic tunes and it’s clear that they’ve pulled influences from classic rock. Brett’s deep vocals echo through the room sending good vibes to everyone in the room who start swaying their body to the music. There’s something nostalgic about their sound that no other band has achieved so far, instantly bringing you back to the 90’s music scene.

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These kool kats met in college while Tom Myers (drummer) was schooling at a different location and eventually connected through mutual friends. “We were most like acquaintances in similar groups that kind of overlapped, so the band didn’t click until pretty much my last semester of college.” They originally envisioned Sol Cat as a World Music genre with “crazy, eclectic, Latin, African percussive influences with more contemporary pop American sort of things. So the original demos are very hilarious.” As much as we’d like to hear Sol Cat jam on congos and bongos, sadly, they are no where to be found on the interwebs.

They’ll be touring pretty much non-stop this month which means they’ll be spending most of their time in a van, sleeping and talking about “weird stuff.” “Jaan threw up a caesar salad on the way to New York [laughs]. We left really early and I don’t know why we had to be up here so early. That’s the most interesting thing that’s happened in the van so far.” Living their life in a van for a month seems pretty adventurous and fun, but Tom mentions the downside of it – “I miss my fiance. I should also plug in my dog, I miss my dog. I miss consistency, being home, and sleeping in my bed.” On the other hand, Brett seems to prefer the tour life. “I enjoy being on the road for the most part. I would say I miss being able to not have a schedule. I just miss waking up whenever I want to and work on music, be productive and just lay low.”

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Unlike every other band that writes music on the road, Brett prefers to write in the comfort of his home. “I don’t really do writing on the road thing. I hardly ever write anything when I’m on tour. My theory is that if I don’t write anything while we’re gone for two weeks, by the time we get home just by the nature of life, I have things that I need to get out after that. So it’s almost like – you’ll fill the glass up for two weeks, and then when you get home you just spill it. I find it really hard to sit in the van or venue and try to write. I think it’s awesome when dudes can go sit in the corner of bar and bring a notepad and channel it, but I can’t do that.”

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Being able to work as full time musicians now, he talks about another great job he’s had in the past working at a zipline when he was a teenager…Which turned out to be sort of a life lesson. “I loved pushing kids off that zipline! Think about it, this kids crying and you’re 40/50 ft up in the air and have a 100 yard zipline rolling down that makes them nervous, but guarantee every time they got to the bottom they came back and wanted to do it again. And that’s life. You just gotta push people ’til they fucking feel so uncomfortable they have nothing to do but have a good time and they come back for more.” So deep.

They released their EP “UNO” a few weeks ago and have another called “DOS” that should be out “August-ish.” They also have an appearance at Austin City Limits at the end of the summer, so don’t forget to give them some love if you come across them!

sol cat band