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We Lost the Sea @ Oxford Art Factory

Posted June 30, 2016, 2:22 p.m. by T

We Lost The Sea

Oxford Art Factory

Sydney, Australia

June 25, 2016

 

Vita contemplativa.

The beauty of reveling in sadness.

Saudade.

A fond remembrance and the hope of recovering what is lost by creating something that will provide consolation.

The longing for something that is gone but might return in a distant future, with the repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return.

The nostalgic feeling for something that has disappeared.

Saudade.

 

We Lost The Sea has it by the bucket load.

The sextet from Sydney, Australia, has re-invented itself as an instrumental band after the suicide of their frontman Chris Torpy in 2013.

Their noisy, cinematic post-rock is not one of active discontent but one of indolent dreaming wistfulness.

We Lost The Sea’s stop at the Oxford Art Factory was the culmination of their first Australian headline tour.

“Atmospheric,” “epic” and, at times, “bleak” came to mind while watching WLTS’s weave their rich, melodic tapestry; the trio of guitars building over bass and drums, layer after layer, peaking in crescendos and subsequently letting it cascade down on you.

We Lost The Sea is an instrumental band that is not only playing music but telling stories while being consumed by them.

The audience at the Oxford Art Factory was eager to listen to the sonic storytelling and thoroughly enjoyed being set adrift.

Make sure to catch them on their upcoming European tour.

Dark Mofo 2016 @ Hobart, Tasmania

Posted June 29, 2016, 8:30 p.m. by T

Dark Mofo 2016

Hobart, Tasmania

Australia

June 2016

Dark Mofo is the winter equivalent to MONA FOMA Festival – an outdoor extension of David Walsh’s subversive Disneyland, the home of sex and death, the Museum of Old and New Art, meant to celebrate the winter solstice and wash away the dust of daily life off our souls.

MONA and its art-led non-festivals have grown in scale and, while the city of Hobart has served as a stage over the last four years, the 2016 incarnation pervaded every fiber of the city.

Backed by Tasmanian government funding, Dark Mofo 2016 captivated, excited, and confused its audience on an unprecedented scale from the second you touch down at Hobart Airport, where its sign greets you on the tarmac: More than 400 artists across seven festival precincts and 245 venues ranging from Funeral Parlours, cathedrals, museum, music venues, theatres and a mental asylum.

Dark Mofo and MONA are not only changing the face of what lies in the lap of the snow-capped Mount Wellington – they are changing the face of arts internationally and pushing the limited of what is commonly thought to be possible.

If you like the arts and you have grown tired of festivals catering to the lowest common denominator of what is palatable to mainstream taste, it does not get much better than MONA’s engaging, envelope pushing celebrations of human creativity. If you visit Australia and leave out Tasmania because lazing around beaches is the pinnacle of your Down Under experience, you are missing out.

The concept and dictum behind Dark Mofo is the exploration of contemporary and ancient mythologies, meandering along des Weges alles Vergänglichen and Auferstehung.

Curated by Leigh Carmichael who has been involved in the creation of MONA brand since MONA’s brewed emissions needed labels for its bottles, his fabulous team has created a risk-taking program of art, music, food, film and theatre that stretches over 12 days.

Let’s take a walk in the park:

Dark Park is Dark Mofo’s large-scale, dimly lit outdoor interactive art playground located at Macquarie Point behind the city’s docks in a largely fallow, unused industrial area.

A ”dark” park in the truest sense - illuminated only by log fires and towers spitting gas flames in intervals.

Red illuminated cables lead the way through the dark.

Boutique-y mobile eateries and MONA’s excellently themed pop-up bars sustain the ones daring to immerse themselves in the Dark Mofo ethos, roaming through the eclectic mix of installations which are placed throughout the playground.

The opening of the Dark Park was serenaded by the 36-part choral performance of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus dressed in silver druidy thermo cloaks. Their faces eerily illuminated, following Michaela Greave’s microtonal cues to sonify stellar data to create sound and visual composition unique to their exact location in space and time: Spatially mapped across the forum with each pitch, rhythm, volume and panning corresponding with individual stars, they sang the galaxy into life.         A beautifully haunting exercise aesthetically accentuated by a cathedral of searchlights that would have made Albert Speer proud.

Gleave’s homage to Werner Fassbinder’s iconoclastic 1974 film Angst essen Seele auf, a masterpiece of what was to be labeled “New German Cinema,” her Fear Eats The Soul LED ark display looms over the audience.

Reminiscent of an abandoned theme park ride, it questions the degree to which we let fear dictate our behaviours. Rest in power, Brigitte Mira!

All the while Grupo EmreZa’s Dada-esque Bodystorm rummages through one of the warehouse spaces: With its suited protagonists writhing around in dust created from smashing bricks with sledgehammers and mortars, they blow pathways and explore the relationship between natural phenomena and their dying shells.

At the other end of the Dark Park, the barren soccer pitch sized Sea Road Shed houses London-based United Visual Artists’ contemplative yet dramatic installation Our Time: A computer controlled mesmerizing display of duality, play of light and shadow, inquiring the tension between real and synthesized experiences with a bank of 21 saucer like downlights swinging in various computer programmed patterns to the sound of deep bass and meditation bells.

As an artful take of the Sideshow attractions, Keith Courtney and Christian Wagstaff’s kaleidoscope had people stumble around the House of Mirrors, trying to discern themselves from their reflections. What appears easy to navigate upon first entering, turns out to be challenging, disorienting and maze-like puzzle.

Another installation in the vein of funfairs, Melbourne based calligrafitti artist Richmond Maze had people wandering around a grungy pop-up industrial maze:  The aptly titled Labyrinth harboured hidden art and live performances by Melbourne street artist Mayonaize. The installation and its performances were ever-morphing as the festival progressed.

Anemographs positioned out in the open at Dark Park did their own form of painting by visualizing the speed, direction and duration of the wind.

A ferry ride away, Cameron Robbins’ anemographs and other weather powered instruments worked and drew away at MONA, each controlled by different power sources: His solo retrospective Field Lines visualizes immaterial flows and invisible forces such as magnetic anomalies, the flow of the wind or the tide of the river Derwent by having his instruments propelling pens around paper to represent time and bringing nature’s shape into the world by giving form to the unseen yet omnipresent.

Ryoji Ikeda’s remarkably enjoyable frequency study supercodex performance at the custom-made music venue Blackbox was the sonically completed his spectacular, digital-based work supersymmetry, which is exhibited in a customized section of the MONA mothership:

Conceived during his residency at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Geneva, a long row of projections and screens display data collected from three square lightbox structures consisting of glowing white screens with metal balls forming patterns as they are magnetically manipulated. Deafening digital noise and epileptic attacks inducing strobe lights enhance the visual and aural immersive overload of information.

Ikeda’s supercodex live performance explored the data of sound with raw material coming from re/de/meta-constructed excerpts from his first two albums.

Hyperprecise and abstract in nature, a huge screen provides complex visual patterns and, once you get absorbed, serve as a Rorschach test like canvas for your projections, hypnotically challenging your concept of perception.

Brian Williams, aka Lustmord, filled the Blackbox venue with dark, primordial droning ambience the following night: An array of low end buzzing sub-bass frequencies producing tectonic, hypnotic textural, lingering sounds, which invite you to space out and have the abyss gaze back into you.  Smoke, clouds, flames and morphing three-dimensional shapes projected on the big screen behind him, complete the experience for which the minimalist, industrial “Blackbox” proves to be the perfect venue.

The Songs of the Black Arm Band was a nice change of pace: The Black Arm Band is an Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander music theatre organization. Founded in 2005, it has produced seven large-scale productions since its debut performance at the Melbourne Festival of the Arts in 2006 in addition to ongoing educational and development work in remote Aboriginal communities.

With a revolving cast of performers, the soulful show at the Odeon Theatre, another venue that is now also owned by the fine folks of MONA, provided complex harmonies that served as a soundtrack to the immersive journey across rural Australia displayed in the background on a cinematic screen.

Willow Court, located at New Norfolk 30 minutes out of Hobart, was Australia longest running mental asylum, which ran continuously from 1827-2000.

The festival long installation Asylum at the derelict former ward for female inmates confronts the recipient with the darker terrains of human experience and institutional policies of the past. Admitted on presentation of a mirror, which is meant to be left behind at the premises, the public was allowed to enter Willow Court and wander through the decrepit, decaying buildings without supervision or barricades 24-hours a day.

Scattered with veteran performance artist Mike Parr’s past work, i.e. confronting endurance performances and mutilation exercises, crowds were invited to navigate their own way through the damp premises. Buckets of the artists’ excrements are placed throughout the building, mixing with the odor of animal waste providing a John Waters-esque odorama experience without sniff’n scratch cards.

While Asylum was a festival long installation, Entry by Mirror only was a 72-hour endurance piece, during which the 70-year old Mike Parr became an inmate of Willow Court: Performing for three full days in a mind altered state, drawing disturbing self-portraits and paying tribute to his schizophrenic brother Tim, who himself was a patient of a mental institution and died of alcohol poisoning in 2009.

Appetite still not sated?

The Blacklist parties, the winter equivalent to the MONA summer festival’s Faux Mo extravaganza, provided wicked after hour entertainment with a myriad of performers literally lurking in every nook and cranny, running the gamut from the weird to the wonderful.

Think fancy dresses, multi-genre DJ sets, stages with performers popping up in different areas of the venue and engaging, challenging performances eventuating where you would least expect it and MONA’s excellent bars. Sensory overload ‘til dawn.

Festivals end as festivals must, in my case after only three days which is why this feature merely scratches the surface of Dark Mofo 2016 and covers only a fragment of what was offered over the full 12 days - but fret not; the gears are already in motion for MONA FOMA in January 2017.

Judging by the scale, program and extent of the Dark Mofo 2016 festival, it is hard to imagine that it can be topped.

While it might not be an easy feat, it is exactly what MONA does – taking risks, pushing the envelope and creating fantastic, interactive and immersive experiences.

All you have to do is undergo them.

Dates and locations for MONA FOMA w2017 will be announced soon.

---

Photos by KAVV

Steel Panter @ Luna Park

Posted June 27, 2016, 8:48 a.m. by T

Steel Panther

Luna Park

Sydney, Australia

June 17, 2016

They are the biggest glam rock band that never was from 1985, in 2016. 

Steel Panther has become bigger than any act that served as their source material.

Histrionic comedy rock? Metal cabaret?                                                          

Subversion of the entertainment industry?                                                             

Performance art?                                                                                                   

Expert banter without cynism, stereotypes of self-aggrandizing machismo rock conventions lead ad absurdum.                                                                                

Self-deprecation.                                                                                             

Virtuosic musicianship.                                                                                   

Seasoned jokers. 

Charismatic.

Costumes.

Image.

Wigs and hair sprayed coiffures.

Prowess.

Precision.

Aware of their roots and signifying them.

Itch for publicity.

Poses.

Intelligence.

Stupidity.

Pushing boundaries.

Ever feeding on the lowest common denominators.

Oversexed.

Un-subtle.

Impressive.

Inclusive.

Likeable personas.

Vanity.

All out sexism and misogyny, which gets uncomfortable with the audience taking it for face value.

Stupid.

Memorable hooks.

Persiflage.

Authentic.

Satirical.

Scatological.

Hyperbolic.

Meta-faux.

Cartoonish.

Suggestively taunting.

Attentive to detail.

Painting with broad brushes.

 

See more than a few contradictions there? 

Steel Panther embodies it all. 

Jokes do get old but Steel Panther's one is well crafted and perfectly executed.  

Do you need more than one trick if it is executed well? 

Does the fact that perfectly tasteless jokes are made on a meta-level justify them?  

Would I even ask the same questions if I reviewed a Will Ferrell / Ben Stiller movie with exactly the same comedic content? 

Steel Panther is a fun act. 

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: 

Their staple opener “Eye of the Panther” kicked off the proceedings and opened a tour de force through the highlights of their 3 studio albums. 

Expertly taking the local context into consideration, the scandalously high prices that Australians have to dish out for Peruvian marching powder were denounced and tribute was paid to Satchel’s crystal meth cooking clan in Adelaide, which may or may not have inspired his trademark mid-show solo performance to culminate doing the locals proud with his Hendrix-ian take on the national anthem of Australia.

As time goes by it seems to take less and less prompting to have loose females jump on stage to frame SP’s performance of the song “17 Girls in a Row” in various states of undress and dry humping the band in the most outrageous manners.

“Party All Day” and the sing-a-long crowd pleaser “Community Property” ended the show on a high note.

Even after having seen them various times with largely the same show, an intelligent band with great songs and likeable characters never gets old.

--

Photos by KAVV

Björk Digital @ Carriageworks

Posted June 9, 2016, 9:49 p.m. by T

Björk Digital

Carriageworks

Sydney, Australia

June 4, 2016

The term “third place” was coined by Ray Oldenburg, an American urban sociologist, most prominently known for his elaborations on the importance of informal gathering places for a functioning civil society, democracy, and civic engagement.

In short, where we meet our social needs through creative interaction with others.

The “first place” is home where we place to role of son, daughter, mum, dad, etc. The “second place” is work where the role is whatever position one represents.

The “third place,” according to Oldenburg, denotes territory that is inexpensive, easy to get to, welcoming, offers food and drink and people to chance to meet new people and feel companionship.

Carriageworks is a “third place.”

A general industrial precinct converted into multi-venue arts centre in its heart that has evolved to become an epicenter of Sydney’s art scene.

With much of the décor of the Railways of New South Wales workshops intact--think concrete, exposed brick, industrial light fixtures, steel appliances, weathered wood--the repurposed iron and brick charm radiates distinct nineteenth century flair.

Committed to the reflection of social and cultural diversity and artist-led in nature, its resident organisations produce diverse multidisciplinary programs and collaborations in its capacious halls, corridors and spaces with local and international artists.

An ideal location for Björk’s new project and exhibition:

Björk Digital, an installment of Sydney’s annual Vivid Festival, which celebrates “light, music, and ideas.”

Björk’s collaboration with digital luminaries, programmers, and visual artists has spawned seven 360 degree videos for her recent album Vulnicura, a personal emission of public grieving inspired by the feelings before and after the breakdown of her marriage with artist Matthew Barney.

The multi-media experience for the recipient and attendant of its Sydney premier is less in the form of an exhibition and more of a festival; Carriageworks’ vast industrial area is divided into designated spaces to celebrate all facets of Björk:

The “Björk Digital” 8x12m antechamber features a visceral 12-minute cinematic experience of her song “Black Lake,” which was filmed in the lava fields of Iceland – a canvas of natural beauty with the main protagonist crawling through its crevasses.

The custom built room has the audience encased in a chasm in between two big screens, surrounded by 54 speakers spinning their immersive sonic webs.

Emerging from the black lake and as a natural continuity of the audiovisual poetry of the medium music video, the audience now meets Björk up and close and gets to know her literally inside out: “Mouth Mantra,” as the titles suggests, lets one meander through her mouth as she sings the song and “Stonemilker” offers panoramic 360 degree views of her on a desolate beach in Reykjavik.

Entering the next room, which is partitioned off into small squares, one gets up close for a dance with the slowly growing, glowing outlines of the Icelandic shape shifter with the help of virtual reality devices.

The headphones and headsets create a focused, intimate all-encompassing experience that enhances every aspect of Björk’s songs as it allows you to enter her world.

Björk’s Biophilia was billed as an “app album.”

A multimedia project that was released alongside a series of apps linking the album's themes to musicology concepts. It was followed by a series of educational workshops in four continents.

The last part of the digital extravaganza allows the audience to explore and experience the custom made instruments and the Biophilia app, which is comprised of a series of 10 separate apps, one for each song, all included in a "mother app" which contains a menu made up by a 3-D constellation which the user can shift, zoom and orbit by swiping their fingers to open the apps.

In another section of Carriageworks, the “cinema room” offered a curated loop of Björk’s video oeuvre spanning her 24-year career.

The songs have been remastered for the occasion and feature her collaborations with the likes of Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Nick Knight, and Chris Cunningham,

Sandwiched in between the futuristic, virtual reality component of the Björk Digital experience and the cinema documenting her past, Björk performed an eclectic 5-hour marathon DJ set in the flesh the here and now for the two opening nights.

Björk has always been a pioneer and maverick.

Using interactive technology to her advantage, Björk Digital creates an experience that mimics the way we use our senses and enables the perception of information that is outside of our sensory spectrum:

The vision of experiencing music as digital synesthesia reflecting the way she has come up with her songs.

While Björk Digital is per definitonem inextricably linked to her art and persona, it does not merely serve as a forum to put on her on a pedestal and idolize her. It is all about content.

--

Photo courtesy of Carriageworks

 

Le Butcherettes @ Summit Music Hall

Posted May 31, 2016, 3:14 p.m. by Kevin Fitzpatrick

Les Butcherettes

Summit Music Hall

Denver, CO

July 17, 2015

When Melvins rolled into town in July of 2015, they of course put on a great show. It seemed after that night, however, all anyone could talk about was the opening band and Ipecac labelmates Le Butcherettes.  So we find ourselves less than a year later at the Lost Lake Lounge eagerly awaiting the first headlining set by Le Butcherettes in Denver.

Opening act Sugar Candy Mountain from Oakland, CA was experiencing mechanical difficulties getting to the show, but they managed to make it in time for an admirable, albeit abbreviated set before Le Butcherettes hit the stage. Frontwoman Teri Gender-Bender (née Suárez) stomped onto the stage, with an almost primal chant before launching into Burn The Scab.

Approximately 75 minutes later, everyone in attendance would be on the same plane of understanding that what was just witnessed was something very special. Suárez, who is a true force of nature, grabs the audience by their collective throats and refuses to loosen her grip for a second. It's rare to see a live act with this much passion for their art.

Le Butcherettes are an exhilatating live act and one that should be seen by as many, as soon, and as often as possible.

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July 22, 2015, 1:19 p.m.

Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses Oxford Art Factory Sydney, AUS July 19, 2015   Pizzazz. Omph. Charisma. If your music depends entirely on that, the dependency is too great. ... read more

Trying to Explain the Flaming Lips

Posted by Graham Isador
July 21, 2015, 3:20 p.m.

Picture this: You’re looking at the front of a stage. Above you a man in a suit made entirely of muscles walks on in a shroud of fog. From far ... read more

Babes in Toyland @ Rock the Garden

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
June 24, 2015, 12:13 p.m.

Babes in Toyland Rock the Garden Minneapolis, MN June 21, 2015 It’s difficult for me to write about Babes in Toyland without sounding at least a little bit gushy. Like ... read more

Belle and Sebastian @ Rock the Garden

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
June 22, 2015, 11:03 p.m.

Belle and Sebastian Rock the Garden Minneapolis, MN June 20th, 2015   As a hot and humid day began its turn towards much needed cooler temperatures, Scotland’s baroque pop sweethearts ... read more

Shonen Knife, CJ Ramone @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Posted by Loren
June 14, 2015, 6:28 p.m.

Shonen Knife, CJ Ramone, L’Assassins Amsterdam Bar & Hall St. Paul, MN June 10, 2015   Amsterdam is a venue that’s not new by any means, but still feels to ... read more

White Lung @ 7th St. Entry

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
June 12, 2015, 1:26 p.m.

White Lung 7th St. Entry Minneapolis, MN June 11, 2015 Abandoning my beloved NBA Finals, I bounced somewhere during the third quarter and rushed downtown to catch White Lung. Upon ... read more

Boris @ Newtown Social Club

Posted by T
June 4, 2015, 6:09 p.m.

Boris Newtown Social Club Sydney, AUS May 29, 2015     And then there was Boris. The Japanese unikum named after a Melvins song. Cue labels that span the spectrum ... read more

Art Is Masturbation by Joseph Chiccarelli

Posted by Andy
May 21, 2015, 12:18 p.m.

Art is Masturbation. It’s a sensational, attention-grabbing statement for sure and one that presents an idea that many artists and people who create have probably toyed with at one point ... read more

Fuckface Unstoppable @ Manning Bar

Posted by T
May 10, 2015, 2:18 p.m.

Fuckface Unstoppable Manning Bar Sydney, AUS May 7, 2015   It’s about 6 years ago and I am sitting on the balcony of a stilted house right by Cambodia’s Tonlé ... read more

Mastodon @ Big Top Luna Park

Posted by T
March 31, 2015, 4:16 p.m.

Mastodon Big Top Luna Park Sydney, AUS March 28, 2015   The red volcanic soil in the surrounding region of the city of Tequila is particularly well suited to the ... read more

Steel Panther & Slash @ Hordern Pavilion

Posted by T
March 18, 2015, 10:13 a.m.

Steel Panther, Slash (feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators) Hordern Pavilion Sydney, AUS February 24, 2015   Satire is a lesson, parody is a game: Steel Panther are seasoned performers ... read more

Blind Idiot God: A Retrospective

Posted by Spyros Stasis
March 4, 2015, 4:15 p.m.

Now that was a band that I did not really think I would hear from again. Named after the description of the Elder God, Azathoth, in H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmos, this ... read more

Swami John & The Blind Shake @ Turf Club

Posted by Loren
March 2, 2015, 12:48 p.m.

Bombay Sweets, Pink Mink, Swami John & The Blind Shake Turf Club St. Paul, MN February 19, 2015   No review, see photo gallery below. read more

Shonen Knife @ The Factory Theatre

Posted by T
Feb. 25, 2015, 5:32 p.m.

Shonen Knife @ The Factory Theatre Sydney, AUS January 24, 2015   Grin-inducing Japanese energetic, upbeat and catchy all-girl pop punk entertainment with the ingredients of a classic rock show: Shonen Knife ... read more

Napalm Death & Voivod @ The Republik

Posted by Jon E.
Feb. 23, 2015, 7:19 p.m.

How does one go to a show of a band that has been around consistently for longer that you have been alive and not have expectations? This along with possible ... read more

Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses @ Enmore Theatre

Posted by T
Feb. 20, 2015, 3:13 p.m.

Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses @ The Enmore Theatre Sydney, AUS November 23, 2014   The Newtown area was part of the land of the Cadigal band of the Eora people, who ranged across ... read more

The Dwarves @ The Bald Faced Stag Hotel

Posted by T
Feb. 17, 2015, 7:41 p.m.

The Dwarves @ The Bald Faced Stag Hotel Sydney, AUS October 8, 2015   Parramatta Road is the east-west artery of metropolitan Sydney. On its 23 kilometers long strip, the road is ... read more

Mayhem & Watain @ Black Metal Warfare

Posted by Jon E.
Jan. 26, 2015, 11:53 p.m.

While it may be a bit grandiose to title a tour "Black Metal Warfare" or really any kind of warfare after witnessing a show on the tour in question it ... read more

Nick Lowe with Los Straitjackets, Cactus Blossoms

Posted by Scott Wilkinson
Dec. 29, 2014, 7:55 a.m.

 It seems as though we are in a period of time where we read of a famous musician dying almost daily, this tour was supposed to have Ian McLagan in ... read more

Nick Cave @ State Theatre

Posted by T
Dec. 15, 2014, 5:26 p.m.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds State Theatre Sydney, AUS December 11, 2014   "All that has dark sounds has duende, that mysterious power that everyone feels but no philosopher ... read more

Run The Jewels & Ratking @ The Fine Line

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
Nov. 22, 2014, 11:31 a.m.

Run The Jewels, Ratking The Fine Line Music Café Minneapolis, MN November 20, 2014 Earlier this week I attended an artist’s talk/writer’s workshop-type thing here in Minneapolis. Kevin Bowe, who’s ... read more

Gaslight Anthem & Against Me! @ First Avenue

Posted by Loren
Oct. 22, 2014, 5:50 p.m.

The Gaslight Anthem, Against Me!, Cory Brannan First Avenue Minneapolis, MN October 15, 2014 It had been many a year since I’d seen Against Me! and I hadn’t seen Gaslight ... read more

Pixes @ State Theatre

Posted by Loren
Oct. 14, 2014, 6:02 p.m.

The Pixies, Royal Blood State Theatre Minneapolis, MN October 11, 2014   There’s a lot that can be said about The Pixies and their 2014 tour—well, about any tour of ... read more

Alice In Chains @ The Enmax

Posted by Jon E.
Aug. 21, 2014, 8:53 p.m.

Lethbridge is a suburb of sorts to Calgary to give you, the reader an idea of the towns size. Usually the Enmax (where this show took place) is host to ... read more

Arcade Fire @ The Forum (Night 1)

Posted by Aaron H
Aug. 21, 2014, 6:21 p.m.

 Unless you've been living under a rock, you know Arcade Fire are currently shaking up North America with an enchanting spectacle of a tour. I caught the tour in Los ... read more

Too Many Rappers: July 2014

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
July 18, 2014, 3:34 p.m.

Too Many Rappers: July 2014 7/18/14 - Minneapolis, MN Commuting earlier than usual this morning means it’s nice and cool. I ride by a kid who’s wearing an old 3rd ... read more

Guided By Voices @ Irving Plaza

Posted by Eli Zeger
July 13, 2014, 12:35 p.m.

Guided By Voices, Crystal Stilts   Irving Plaza New York, NY July 11, 2014     Photo courtesy of Gerald McBoing-Boing     See Guided By Voices before you die. ... read more

Agalloch @ Irving Plaza

Posted by Eli Zeger
July 7, 2014, 10:11 a.m.

Agalloch, Jex Thoth   Irving Plaza New York, NY June 30, 2014     Agalloch were one of the first metal bands to combine black/doom’s monsoon of carnage with ambient, ... read more

Eyehategod @ Club Europa

Posted by Eli Zeger
June 11, 2014, 2:55 p.m.

Eyehategod, Ringworm, Enabler, Shitkill   Club Europa Brooklyn, New York June 7, 2014       This past weekend, the mega-festival Governors Ball hit hard in NYC.  People from all ... read more

Boston Calling Music Festival

Posted by Eli Zeger
May 29, 2014, 5:20 p.m.

Boston Calling Music Festival 2014 City Hall Plaza in Boston, MA May 23-25 2014   (All concert photos courtesy of Mike Diskin)   Over Memorial Day weekend, I experienced the ... read more

Mogwai @ Terminal 5

Posted by Eli Zeger
May 10, 2014, 11:44 a.m.

  As my friend David and I were being hurled around the mosh pit at the Terminal 5 show of legendary post-rock ensemble Mogwai, I thought back to how earlier ... read more

Chuck Ragan @ Triple Rock

Posted by Loren
April 19, 2014, 9:03 a.m.

Chuck Ragan, White Buffalo, Jonny Two BagsTriple Rock Social ClubMinneapolis, MNApril 15, 2014 It had been many a year since I’d seen Chuck Ragan perform, and that was with his ... read more

From Indian Lakes @ Studio at Webster Hall

Posted by Eli Zeger
March 28, 2014, 1:59 p.m.

Written by Eli ZegerPhotos by Hadar Sagi From Indian Lakes     From Indian Lakes is a group of five pretty boys who make poppy emo music, but with post-rock riffs ... read more

Russian Circles, KEN Mode, Inter Arma

Posted by Chris Brown
Feb. 24, 2014, 8:17 a.m.

Russian Circles, KEN Mode, Inter Arma at Underground Arts, Philadelphia, 2/19/14 Last week, Chicago's Russian Circles touched down in Philadelphia as a part of their current tour with Ontario's KEN ... read more

Too Many Rappers: Fall Roundup

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
Nov. 14, 2013, 7:45 p.m.

Too Many Rappers: Fall Roundup The Minnehaha Creek is just one of the many places I do my thinking. I mean, as a human being with a fully functional brain, ... read more

HIM @ Southampton Guildhall

Posted by David Rutherford
Nov. 10, 2013, 1:02 p.m.

HIM, Caspian Southampton GuildhallSouthampton, Hampshire, UKOctober 28, 2013 It has been three years since HIM last played on the shores of the UK, with a lot of uncertainty whether they ... read more

Beacons Festival 2013

Posted by Fin TJM
Nov. 9, 2013, 7:53 p.m.

Beacons Festival 2013 North Yorkshire August 16-18, 2013 Beacons Festival is a pretty novel addition to the British concert scene. Taking place in Skipton (Lancs > Yorks) away from the ... read more

Elliott Smith: a personal remembrance

Posted by Matt
Oct. 24, 2013, 4:34 p.m.

Elliott Smith at his last-ever NYC show, January 29th 2003. He killed himself that October.Photo: Alexis I have this friend, let's call her L. We "met" on a music messageboard ... read more

Terror, Counterparts & Guests @ Golden Age Club

Posted by Jon E.
Oct. 15, 2013, 6:33 p.m.

October 12, 2013 Calgary, Alberta @ THE GOLDEN AGE CLUB   After a few hiccups in the booking process (venue issues, etc.) the day finally came for Terror to come back ... read more

What Inspires You? A (Sort of) Tour Diary Part 2

Posted by Aaron H
Oct. 14, 2013, 9:44 p.m.

 A couple weeks ago, I went on a trip to the middle of the country to see my favorite band, AFI, play shows up and down the midwest. Some of ... read more

What Inspires You? A (Sort of) Tour Diary

Posted by Aaron H
Oct. 10, 2013, 1:03 p.m.

  A couple weeks ago, I went on a trip to the middle of the country to see my favorite band, AFI, play shows up and down the midwest. Some ... read more

FLAG, T.S.O.L. @ First Avenue

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
Sept. 17, 2013, 12:17 p.m.

FLAG, T.S.O.L., Cerbral Ballzy, Off WithTheir Heads First Avenue Minneapolis, MN September 13, 2013 After spending a few hours in a sports bar down the street, where my compadres and ... read more

Caïna @ The Unicorn

Posted by Cheryl
Sept. 8, 2013, 3:25 p.m.

Caïna, Hordes, Barshasketh The Unicorn London, UK September 6 2013 We've been talking a lot about the rebirth of Caïna of late and we'll soon have a review of the new ... read more

The Progressive Music Awards II: Futile Sequence

Posted by Sarah
Sept. 2, 2013, 4:11 p.m.

It's that time once again! The fabled Progressive Music Awards are tomorrow night, and I've spent the last few weeks getting myself familiar with the best of the best in ... read more

Too Many Rappers: Summer Wrapup

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
Aug. 28, 2013, 6:27 p.m.

Holy crap, has this summer been hot or what? Like, hot as in temperature hot.  Like, literally hot.  Which might be confusing now that Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries as well ... read more

The Nines Festival - Devens MA August 2013

Posted by Scott Wilkinson
Aug. 26, 2013, 8:52 a.m.

The NINES Festival Devens, MA   I must admit I was anxious to attend this festival when I heard the lineup featured none other than Shuggie Otis. I have had ... read more

Blur 21: The Exhibition @ IMMA, Dublin

Posted by Aideen
Aug. 2, 2013, 12:20 p.m.

  It's a tray in a hotel room, fairly unremarkable when put back to basics. The tray is littered with cigarettes, beer bottles, a can of coke, a crumpled McDonald's ... read more

Melvins, Negative Approach, Mudhoney @ Grumpys

Posted by Loren
July 29, 2013, 8:27 p.m.

Die Kruezen, Hepa/Titus, Mudhoney, Gay Witch Abortion, Negative Approach, Honky, Melvins Grumpys Downtown Minneapolis, MN July 20, 2013   It’s a shame that Amphetamine Reptile Records quit putting out new ... read more

Postal Service @ The Greek Theater

Posted by Aaron H
July 26, 2013, 3:17 a.m.

The Postal Service are making their rounds again in support in the Deluxe Edition re-release of their 2003 album, Give Up. Scene Point Blank had a chance to check'em out ... read more

Dave Hause @ Cabooze Plaza

Posted by Loren
July 10, 2013, 5:05 p.m.

Dave Hause @ Cabooze Plaza Social Distortion, Cheap Time, Dave HauseCabooze PlazaMinneapolis, MNJuly 2, 2013 Dave Hause is a busy guy. I swear I get an email a week here ... read more

Too Many Rappers: Spring

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
May 6, 2013, 6:32 p.m.

Well here we are into the first part of May, and I'm wondering where the fuck March and April went.  I apologize for dropping the F bomb on you in ... read more

Record Store Day 2013 Wrapup

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
April 22, 2013, 10:56 p.m.

Minneapolis, MN, 4/20/13 Despite being fairly worn out from the previous evening—one which had me visiting three different venues, seeing six different bands, and imbibing at least twice as many ... read more

The Men @ 7th St Entry, Mpls, MN

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
April 14, 2013, 2:38 p.m.

The Men 7th St Entry Minneapolis, MN June 12, 2013 On just the third night of their North American tour, Brooklyn-based band The Men landed in Minneapolis for a packed-in ... read more

Book Review: Davey Havok - Pop Kids

Posted by Matt
April 7, 2013, 3:02 p.m.

(This review contains copious spoilers: if you intend to read the novel yourself, proceed with caution. We're posting it as a blog since it's not strictly music-related, despite being written by ... read more

Tegan and Sara @ Upstate Concert Hall

Posted by Stephanie Preston
April 7, 2013, 12:27 p.m.

Tegan and Sara were appreciated by Albany, NY last month when they came to the Upstate Concert Hall, the first time they've visited since the duo released So Jealous, which ... read more

Anthrax, Exodus @ First Avenue, MN

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
April 6, 2013, 1:16 p.m.

Anthrax, Exodus, High On Fire, Municipal Waste, Holy Grail First Avenue Minneapolis, MN April 4th, 2013 Continuing their recent-ish trend of performing classic albums in their entirety, Anthrax rolled into ... read more

This Beastie Boys Footage Needs to be Addressed

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
March 20, 2013, 1:40 a.m.

In the days following Adam Yauch’s passing in May of last year, many of us nostalgia-stricken fans were searching for words to express how deeply saddened we were by not ... read more

Too Many Rappers: February Wrapup

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
March 6, 2013, 8:31 p.m.

February 28th, 2013 As I write this, I am overlooking the Sea of Cortez on the Baja Peninsula from the balcony of my room at a vacation resort outside of ... read more

Too Many Rappers: February

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
Feb. 15, 2013, 6:02 p.m.

This hip-hop train just keeps on rolling.  And although I would like to think I’m fully on board, it feels more like I’m running beside it, trying to keep up, ... read more

New Column: Too Many Rappers

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
Feb. 5, 2013, 4:41 p.m.

Well, here we are, a whole month into the New Year, and as usual January was spent catching up on all the music I slept on last year.  Normally the ... read more

Winterfylleth @ The Black Heart

Posted by Cheryl
Jan. 29, 2013, 7:50 a.m.

The tiny Black Heart in Camden holds court to an evening of droned out sludge, traditional heavy doom, and more English black metal than you can shake a stick at ... read more

Show Review: The Great Old Ones w/Terzij de Horde and Oblivionized @ The Unicorn, London (January 5th 2013)

Posted by Cheryl
Jan. 9, 2013, 12:17 a.m.

The Unicorn is suffering from a severe lack of air con tonight, the tension in the air made all the palpable by the insane levels of heat and the anticipation ... read more

Show Review: Neurosis and Godflesh @ Kentish Town Forum, London (December 2nd 2012)

Posted by Cheryl
Dec. 8, 2012, 8:39 p.m.

The view that Scene Point Blank has been afforded for tonight’s performance is beautiful, and the sea of heads below on the floor is all the more astonishing seen from ... read more

Show Review: Minus the Bear/Cursive @ The Glasshouse

Posted by Aaron H
Nov. 13, 2012, 4:20 p.m.

Minus the Bear and Cursive have been on tour for the past few months in support of their 2012 releases. Minus the Bear put out Infinity Overhead in August, while ... read more

Show Review: Murder by Death @ House of Blues Anaheim

Posted by Aaron H
Oct. 8, 2012, 4:34 p.m.

Murder by Death have just begun to tour for their new album, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, by supporting pop-punk troop, Say Anything. It's an interesting combo and Murder by Death ... read more

Show review: At The Drive-In @ Brixton Academy, London (08/28/12)

Posted by Matt
Aug. 29, 2012, 2:43 a.m.

It's rare that you attend a show that feels like it has the weight of history riding on it, but seeing At The Drive-In play what is likely to be ... read more

Show Review: fun. @ The Wiltern

Posted by Aaron H
Aug. 19, 2012, 4:58 p.m.

Fun. are back on the road selling out shows again. This time however, they didn't just sell out one show, but 3 nights at the illustrious Wiltern Theater in Los ... read more

Show Review: Murder by Death @ The El Rey Theater

Posted by Aaron H
Aug. 9, 2012, 2:25 p.m.

Murder by Death are preparing the release of their 6th studio album, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, while celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their first LP, Like The Exorcist, but More ... read more

Sarah Deconstructs the Progressive Music Awards Nominees

Posted by Sarah
July 4, 2012, 9:39 a.m.

Well, it's high time that progressive music got a good, high-ish-profile awards show, and now, thanks to Prog Magazine, we have one. The bad news is that it stlil shows ... read more

Japandroids @ 7th St. Entry

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
July 3, 2012, 5:07 p.m.

Japandroids 7th St. Entry Minneapolis, MN July 7, 2012 When a touring band starts their set by saying, “It feels like we’re back home, Minneapolis”, the natural instinct is to go ... read more

LeBron James - Stay Hatin'

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
June 22, 2012, 1:56 a.m.

LeBron James is Four Titles and a Rape Allegation Away From Becoming Kobe Bryant: How the Miami Heat Winning is Bad for Basketball Now I know that we here at ... read more

Royal Headache @ Triple Rock Social Club

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
June 10, 2012, 4:50 a.m.

  Royal Headache, The Arrivals, Condominium Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN June 9, 2012 It was with some intrigue and, admittedly, mostly trepidation that I made my way to ... read more

Show Review: Hot Water Music @ The Glasshouse

Posted by Aaron H
May 28, 2012, 5:28 p.m.

Hot Water Music just released their new album, Exister, and recently spent a couple nights in So-Cal to warm up the new songs before they head out to Europe this ... read more

Rock on the Cowbell Slowly

Posted by Sarah
April 14, 2012, 12:27 p.m.

There are a few cultural constants we all come to understand depending on where we come from, and growing up in Vermont is no exception. Amongst other things, many develop ... read more

Show Review: fun.

Posted by Aaron H
March 29, 2012, 3:08 p.m.

Once again, fun. are on the road and Scene Point Blank was there to catch another great show. The band's playing the clubs in support of their sophomore record, Some ... read more

Musink Fest: A Review

Posted by Aaron H
March 6, 2012, 3:44 p.m.

I had the pleasure of attending the 5th annual Musink Fest in Costa Mesa, CA--a festival blending live music and an appreciation for tattoo art--hosted by LA Ink star, Kat ... read more

Show Review: Cursive @ The Glasshouse 02/25/12

Posted by Aaron H
Feb. 27, 2012, 3:43 p.m.

Cursive recently began touring in support of their 7th studio album, I Am Gemini. I had the privilege of catching their show in Pomona, CA where they played a great ... read more

Catholic Dating Sites

Posted by Sarah
Feb. 17, 2012, 10:45 a.m.

I know we don't usually review websites here at Scene Point Blank, but we just couldn't help ourselves after our editor in chief Loren received the following request: Hi,I'm Pheiné, ... read more

Vermont Counterpoint(s)

Posted by Sarah
Nov. 18, 2011, 12:51 p.m.

The piece ended rather suddenly, almost completely without warning. The conductor held his position for a moment, then slowly brought his arms down. The theater erupted with applause as the ... read more

Show Review: Bayside/Saves the Day @ The Glasshouse

Posted by Aaron H
Oct. 28, 2011, 1:35 a.m.

  Saves the Day and Bayside decided to team up this Fall to deliver a thrilling show fans of either could appreciate. Joining them on the tour are I Am ... read more

Show Review: The World/Inferno Friendship Society @ The Key Club

Posted by Aaron H
Oct. 8, 2011, 2:05 p.m.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society recently started their US tour supporting their new album, The Anarchy and The Ecstasy, with sci-fi-psychobilly (psy-fi?) band, The Phenomenauts. You could not ask for a ... read more

Cannabis Corpse - A Live Review

Posted by Cheryl
Sept. 12, 2011, 7:36 a.m.

Last Thursday, The Purple Turtle in London's infamous Camden held what is likely to be the most fun headlining show I've seen this year. Cannabis Corpse, fresh off the back ... read more

Motley Crue and Poison - A Live Review

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
June 29, 2011, 6:33 a.m.

Motley Crue and Poison live, Target Center, Mpls, MN, 6/24/11 The New York Dolls opened the show but I couldn’t tell you damn thing about them. The girlfriend and I  literally ... read more

Midwest Hell Fest Wrapup-Day 2

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
May 31, 2011, 12:51 p.m.

Read Midwest Hell Fest Wrapup-Day 1 here. Despite intermittent sleep, I wake up feeling fairly well rested.  If memory serves correctly, I’m somewhere deep within the confines of enemy territory—Wisconsin.  ... read more

Midwest Hell Fest Wrapup-Day 1

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien
May 17, 2011, 7:02 a.m.

After losing a year of my life behind the wheel, I finally arrive at my destination: Kimberly, Wisconsin. Upon walking into the hotel—and I use this term loosely—lobby, I am ... read more

Show Review: Fun. @ The Glasshouse

Posted by Aaron H
May 2, 2011, 8:31 a.m.

After a long wait and two opening acts—the clock struck 9:30 and Fun took the stage, while the boys and girls cheered. Suddenly, the beautiful overture to “Be Calm” opens ... read more

Fest 8 Wrapup

Posted by Loren
Dec. 16, 2009, 6:53 a.m.

200 bands, seemingly as many beers, and only three nights. Where do I begin my recap? My stomach is still shrunken from not eating right, and I continue to drink ... read more

Converge/Mastodon/Dethklok - A Live Review

Posted by Edson
Oct. 31, 2009, 6:11 p.m.

Let me start off by saying that I love all three of these bands, and I have been looking forward to this show since I got confirmed to photograph it. ... read more

Portugal. the Man - A Live Review

Posted by Edson
Oct. 24, 2009, 3:41 p.m.

Portugal. the Man is a Portland, Oregon based experimental indie-rock band, fronted by native Alaskan John Gourley. If you haven’t heard the story about this up and coming group, Gourley’s ... read more

Moving Mountains: A Live Review

Posted by Edson
Sept. 23, 2009, 3:17 p.m.

I don't know how many of you have heard of Moving Mountains. A band from Westchester, NY, they are fresh off a tour with Thursday, about to embark on a ... read more

500+ Reviews

Posted by Michael
May 31, 2009, 11:36 p.m.

I hit the 500 review mark last week with my Narrows review. That's a lot of reviews. Sometimes I get burnt out with all the stuff coming through, especially when ... read more

Braffed!

Posted by Michael
May 6, 2009, 3:41 p.m.

So I just got done watching the season finale of Scrubs. It was Zach Braff's final episode. His character is saying goodbye, but I think they gave it a nice ... read more

Remember Those Browns?

Posted by Michael
Nov. 13, 2008, 11:16 a.m.

Two months ago I had high hopes for the Cleveland Browns. Now I am left with a fairly mediocre season.  We shall see how the remainder plays out. I'm looking ... read more

Intro

Posted by Graham Isador
Sept. 22, 2008, 8:27 a.m.

Might as well has this here too, it's been three years since I wrote it. I think it still holds true. Space for rent. Your ad here. My name is ... read more

Go Browns!

Posted by Michael
Sept. 14, 2008, 3:26 a.m.

I forgot to post this prior to week one, but given the outcome of that game, maybe it was for the best. Anyway, the Browns season is underway and that ... read more

End Of An Era: Life Long Tragedy

Posted by Michael
July 2, 2008, 7:23 a.m.

Over the weekend a band that was very dear to my heart announced their sudden breakup and played their final show. I first became acquainted with Life Long Tragedy over ... read more

The return of the blog

Posted by Cory
April 23, 2008, 12:45 p.m.

I was yelled at again for writing this, and since I am applying for a job at a local newspaper, I don't really want this hanging over my head.  Sorry ... read more

It's been a long time

Posted by Bob
March 16, 2008, 2:56 a.m.

Last night my band played with Souvenir's Young America, City of Ships, and Monolith at Siren Records in Doylestown, PA; it was a fun time all the bands played real ... read more

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

Posted by Michael
Feb. 12, 2008, 9:09 a.m.

If you didn't hear the news, Roy Scheider died this week at the age of 75. Jaws is one of my all-time favorite films. I am extremely sad.  I fully ... read more

I'm deleting my blogs because

Posted by Cory
Feb. 2, 2008, 6:48 a.m.

They could make me look not so good to certain people.  Nobody read them anyways. read more

In Remembrance of Kid Kilowatt

Posted by Bob
Jan. 29, 2008, 11:04 a.m.

So, back when Cave In's Until Your Heart Stops dropped on the hardcore masses several years back, I had the chance of catching the band at Middlesex County Community College. ... read more

Oh Gehenna...how you make me smile

Posted by Bob
Jan. 8, 2008, 11:45 a.m.

I broke out my CD for the Gehenna- The War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness and saw something that always made me smile. Allow me ... read more

Issue 2 of my print zine "I'm A Pretender" - available now!

Posted by Matt
Dec. 7, 2007, 2:29 a.m.

Hello. Some of you might remember (or have participated in) my experiment over the summer collecting people's wishes on this page. I got over 160 entries and published them all ... read more

Most Awkward Interview Ever?

Posted by Michael
Nov. 7, 2007, 11:22 a.m.

Imagine being in this kid's place... Interview w/ Henry Rollins read more

Colbert '08

Posted by Michael
Oct. 17, 2007, 11:27 a.m.

Even though it is just a joke, I'd still vote for Stephen Colbert for president before I'd vote for anyone else for running, outside of the longshots that have no ... read more

Dear Atreyu

Posted by Michael
Sept. 4, 2007, 2:32 p.m.

 Dear Atreyu, Please stop. No seriously, please stop...now. - File has been removed. It was up for a month. It was the band's cover of Faith No More's "Epic." - ... read more

Nut Pain And Stereotyping Seattle

Posted by Jason
Aug. 18, 2007, 11:41 p.m.

I woke up today at 5:30am to get my ass to the store to open it for what I figured would be another boring Sunday at work. Work has been ... read more

Tony Wilson R.I.P.

Posted by Peanut
Aug. 10, 2007, 8:23 a.m.

So the man that founded Factory Records and helped Joy Division become as huge as they did through hype died today. Not alot of people repect what Wilson did for ... read more

Today Is For The Living

Posted by Jason
Aug. 2, 2007, 9:56 a.m.

Yesterday during rush hour traffic on 35W the bridge than spans the mighty Mississippi fell. There was no earthquake. There was no terrorist attack. The bridge just buckled and toppled ... read more

Be Afraid Vol.1

Posted by Bob
July 19, 2007, 8:36 a.m.

Part 1: Mission Statement, Introduction, and first terribly nostalgic musing A number of years ago, a few friends of mine, myself, and people who would quickly become my friends used ... read more

Bands I Like: Shook Ones

Posted by Josh F.
July 15, 2007, 12:24 p.m.

Shook Ones, for the uninitiated, are a melodic hardcore band from Seattle, Washington. Their debut LP, Sixteen, had some serious Kid Dynamite aping going on, without a doubt, but it ... read more

Friday The 13th

Posted by Michael
July 13, 2007, 2:19 p.m.

Remember when the idea of Friday the 13th used to be scary? Maybe its because I am a grown adult, but there just does not seem to be any horror ... read more

Scene Point Blank: July Relaunch

Posted by Matt
July 7, 2007, 11:02 p.m.

You have no idea how wonderful it is to be finally typing these words. Not that my work is done: a SPB staffer's work is never done! But seriously: typing ... read more

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