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Steel Panther & Slash @ Hordern Pavilion

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

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 who parlayed Spinal Tap-ness into a full-time career. Their show celebrates everything that is both praiseworthy and ridiculous about rock music. Charisma by the bucket load, dirty jokes, histrionics, classic rock showmanship--and accomplished musicianship. An enjoyable show regardless of whether the recipient knows the source material. It works on its own merit as the protagonists are smarter than the people they are parodying, which is again a sure sign that less smart people are taking it for face value--which is when the gross yet admittedly funny jokery gets slightly uncomfortable. At least in theory. With Steel Panther even the ones on the receiving end of their over the top misogynist banter seem to be amused, which gives substance to the notion that the more unapologetically sexist characters are, the more women are attracted to them in person.

The Panthers' set list included songs from their entire three studio albums, the first of which was on constant rotation in your humble narrator's household after its release, laced with every bit of the rock theatre you missed out on in the 1980s.

After both the male voyeurs and females exhibitionists of all shapes and forms had ample opportunity to sate their appetites during the Steel Panther set, the appearance of the mere silhouette of the Sunset Strip survivor with the top hat and Les Paul sent the audience into a frenzy. Teaming up with Myles Kennedy, Slash backed by the Conspirators delivers a two-hour "best of set" with songs spanning his whole career, including the occasional round from the Velvet Revolver, a bite from the Snakepit and Gunner thrown in for good measure. Myles Kennedy was refreshingly humble for a lead singer and pulled off the old GNR classics convincingly without changing the style or trajectory of the originals. A solid Sidewave show.

--

Words: T, "era vulgaris"

Photo: Gothic Mario

Blind Idiot God: A Retrospective

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

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 experimental act had a huge impact. The three Blind Idiot God releases revealed some of the most intriguing work of the experimental music scene in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Still, it has not been since 1992 that we heard new material from the act. So not only they come up with a new album, but it also seems that it is their most ambitious in a long time. The band has stated that the songs of their newest albums do not follow conventional structures (not that this band ever did to be honest) and that there has been more emphasis on improvisation.

Blind Idiot God has been one of the most exciting acts of the ‘80s. The way in which the band merged punk, rock, noise, dub and funk was definitely ahead of its time. They initially formed in St. Louis by Andy Hawkins, Gabe Katz and Ted Epstein, who have been the core of the act since 1996. Soon enough they moved to New York in order to work with Martin Bisi, a producer that had worked with other amazing acts like Sonic Youth, Swans and John Zorn.

The result of this process was their self-titled album, released in 1987. To showcase their unique identity and outlook the instrumental trio actually kicks off the album with one of Stravinsky’s compositions. That alone grips you by the neck. From that point on the band goes on an insane display of post-hardcore sovereignty led by Hawkins distinctive guitar sound. Mathcore blends into funk and everything just fits together perfectly.

Sonic tidal waves come from the guitar amps when “Shifting Sand” is brought forth, and more dissonant offerings are conveyed in the form of “Wide Open Spaces” and “Subterranean Flight.” And there lies the true ingenuity of Blind Idiot God unravels. Suddenly the music takes the form of a desert rock anthem in “More Time.” Such a shift must seem quite surprising, but it is nothing compared to the dub trilogy of “Wise Man Dub,” “Stealth Dub” and “Raining Dub.” Suddenly, a band that has been named after one of the Elder Gods of Lovecraft’s world turns the table on us and starts to play, what practically is, reggae. It is not a surprise that the album got the attention of some serious names such as John Zorn and Henry Rollins.

The band would continue to work with Martin Bisi for the recording of their next two albums but that is also where Bill Laswell comes in. Laswell is a pioneering figure in the experimental music scene and has his fingers in many pies. He was the founder of Axiom a record label that started as a subdivision of Island Records and has been involved with other great acts such as Praxis, The Golden Palominos, Massacre, Material, Painkiller (with John Zorn) and Table Beat Science. He also recently launched M.O.D. Technologies. To this day, Leswell has been involved in the production stage of every Blind Idiot God album since their sophomore release, Undertow.

Undertow saw the band continue to move in the path they set with their debut album. “Clockwork Dub” and “Major Key Dub” reveal their dub tendencies in all their glory. Obviously the blend of post-hardcore, mathcore and free rock keeps on strong in this release. The two most interesting moments though have to be the appearance of John Zorn in the final track of the album, “Purged Specimen,” with a sick saxophone part, and the unbelievable Funkadelic cover “Alice In My Fantasies.”

Hawkins had already started to find different areas in which his musical endeavors could expand. With Azonic, Hawkins released two albums, based solely on guitar sound and sonic experimentation. The debut album of the project found Hawkins working again with Laswell on the production of the album, using experimental rock motifs and drones in order to push the boundaries. The second release of Azonic was in the form of a split album with Justin Broadrick of Godflesh, another great instance of experimental music. Unfortunately after the release of Cyclotron, original drummer Ted Epstein left the band, and Blind Idiot God went in hiatus.

As time passed Blind Idiot God remained in a state of slumber, but there was still some progression. The addition of Tim Wyskida (also of Khanate) in the line-up seemed to signal the return of Blind Idiot God after ten years of inactivity. The band was said to be working on new material, giving more room to improvisation and their free rock identity. Around 2006 they started performing live around New York. Before Ever After, the much awaited follow-up to Cyclotron, contains material that the band has been working on since their reunion back in 2001. Unfortunately the original bassist of the band, Gabe Katz had to also leave the band in 2012, with Will Dahl being announced as the newest addition to the band.

The hope is that Wiskyda and Dahl will bring an air of rejuvenation to Blind Idiot God and that Hawkins will keep pushing the boundaries of experimental music. Before Ever After might be the album that fans have been waiting for decades from Blind Idiot God. Hopefully it will not be the last we hear from them.

 

 

Swami John & The Blind Shake @ Turf Club

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

Bombay Sweets, Pink Mink, Swami John & The Blind Shake

Turf Club

St. Paul, MN

February 19, 2015

 

No review, see photo gallery below.

Shonen Knife @ The Factory Theatre

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

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 are an infectiously enthusiastic trio and a lot of fun to watch. Songs with Descendents-esque novelty value about what food and drinks had been consumed earlier (“Banana chips” the entrée, “Ramen” was had for lunch, washed down with “Green Tea” – Osaka is not for nothing known as “Japan’s kitchen”). Their well-rehearsed live shows are a polished affair with choreographed dance moves, synchronized devil-horn throwing and headbanging in unison. Bubble-gum punk influenced ‘70s hard rock meticulously performed in a light hearted and upbeat manner. Enter Ramones, AC/DC, Buzzcocks infused with saccharine sweet 1960s pop group melodies, peppered with a lyrically simplistic content.

Band member introductions and polite explanations of how much they enjoy meeting us in “insert name of town of the night”-rock city. The politeness of the three ladies clad in shiny dresses was reciprocated by the audience who respectfully lapped up stage banter. Smiles all around.

--

Words: T, "era vulgaris"

Photo: Mike Higgott

Napalm Death & Voivod @ The Republik in Calgary

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

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 experiences with the band could shape ones' perception of how good or band the band may be regardless of skill or consistency. Regardless this tour was announced and contains a little bit of everything in metal. 5 bands that play varied corners upon the genre spectrum. So with open ears but a bit of experience with each band prior i filed in to see what could be a very interesting night overall. 

To begin the band that i knew the least overall about, Black Crown Initiate. The Pennsylvania band had just released their first LP and devoted their relatviely short set time to it. What came as a surprise it the band has quite varied but substantial sound. Deeply rooted in death metal but using atmospherics, acoustic instruments and various vocal tones to convey a strong spacious style of metal without going too far into the ether by the time the band finished thy had only played 4 songs but with the variance of styles contained in those songs it felt full.

Shortly thereafter Iron Reagan came upon the stage and anyone with prior experience in seeing some of the members prior (or other current) band, Municipal Waste, would be able to confirm the party hard fun as hell trainwreck that is on display. Iron Reagan doesnt change that part of the formula. This idea is only bolstered by the further lack of pretension in the bands songs and faster tempos overall. The band clearly had fun and made it hard to not have fun seeing them.

Exhumed is a band that has existed for quite awhile and has stayed true to frontman Matt Harvey's vision more so than nearly any other band. That is to say proper old school death metal with bits of grind played with ferocity and a griesome attitude. The band played through mostly old songs as they are touring upon a re-recording of their first album and this let everyone see what this band is from front to back. Best of all, considering the small size of the stage, the band kept their theatrics having a friend play a chainsaw wielding doctor and eventually using a guillotine to take off the guitarists head. While not on the massiv scale of say Gwar the theatrics felt consistent with the band.

Voivod came next, and while i fully respect and undderstand their place in metal (particularly of the Canadian variety) they have never really been my thing all told. There is certainly nothing wrong with this and honestly was waiting to eat my words. Meanwhile the most surprising thing was the energy the band showed while playing. The songs, were played with a strong sense of accuracy to the original recorded versions but did little to sway my initial though process. The band deftly switched from varying eras of their existence and closed with a song for their fallen member Piggy in their rendition of "Astronomy Domine" by Pink Floyd. 

Finally came the final band Napalm Death. It is really tough to say something that hasn't already been expressed about this band (they have been around since 1981). Meanwhile they are a band that is relentlessly interesting, intelligent and energetic. So without much segway the band burst into a set of songs that kept the forward movement without sacrificing a broad spectrum of their songs. One thing worth noting and respecting is that within the week prior to this show Barney (Napalm's vocalist) broke his arm. Now as a band of older guys (main memebers Shane and Barney were born in the 60's) it shows tremendous will and respect for their audience to continue the tour and play as hard as ever. The band played some songs that one would expect (Scum, You Suffer) as well as songs off of their new album. While the band has never fully deviated from their initial grindcore style this type of set shows how much they've gornw and what kind of thoughts they've managed to insert within their initial framework.

Overall this tour is a must for any metal fan with varying types of styles on display and a list of bands that all play hard and show off their styles well. Regardless of age or overaching interest this could be a show worth seeing as it proclaims the forebearers of the genre and shows a deep interest in it's newer bands as well. 

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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 Prime
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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