The infrequently-updated site blog, featuring a range of content including show reviews, musical musings and off-color ramblings on other varied topics.
Taking Back Sunday
170 Russell Street
March 21, 2017
Taking Back Sunday have come a long way and I don’t necessarily mean the distance between terra australis and Northern America.
Starting out as a melodic hardcore band with a sound akin to a conglomerate of the best moments of bands like Glassjaw, Sunny Day Real Estate and Thursday and seamlessly fitting in with the direction Tony Brummel was taking Victory Records at the dawn of the new millennium, they eventually made the transition into mainstream territory, with all the shebang that comes with it, including Late Night Show appearances and soundtracking teen dramas.
Despite having crossed the rubicon at the peak of the emo explosion along with bands like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Panic! At the Disco and with the band’s core oeuvre channeling melodramatic teenage angst, tonight’s audience reflected the range of audience Taking Back Sunday appeals to with teenagers mingling with older folks who seemed to have grown up with the band and reunited with them to relive their follies of youth.
Taking Back Sunday is well-oiled live act - polished but devoid of sterility and pretence.
The fact that they seem to have fun performing, the sense of authenticity they convey and their appreciation for the crowd is reflected in the audience’s engagement.
The earlier heart-on-sleeve material of their catalogue got the warmest reception, which goes to show that it has stood the test of time, with a chunkier version of frontman Lazzara holding court with his swagger intact and microphone swinging antics being the focus of the show. His grittier renditions of songs along with his theatrical mannerisms give the whole affair an additional layer of charm.
It seems like Taking Back Sunday is acutely aware what guns to stick to and they play to their forte – meaty riffs, simples choruses and their own brand of catchiness. While the days of youthful exuberance might be gone, their newer songs with more elaborate guitar parts and driving rhythms give their emissions anthemic qualities, which shines through live.
Photos by T
Chain & the Gang
Newtown Social Club
March 15, 2017
It is going to be difficult to keep this review objective as Ian Svenonius’ emissions and incarnations have had a massive influence on your humble narrator during his formative years.
His first band, Nation of Ulysses (and Cupid Car Club later on) was one of the many great, innovative bands from the ever creatively fertile grounds that is the Dischord family and the context of Washington, DC at large.
Iconoclastic in its ways, Ulysses shook up dusty punk rock standards and its stale clichéd rituals by drawing on the energy of 60ies soul performances and infusing their live shows with physicality.
The Make Up rose from Ulysses’ ashes to create an altar to gospel, soul and garage rock’n roll and what the French refer to as yé-yé music: The delightful strand of pop music that influenced France and beyond with its particular camp style throughout the 1960ies.
If you are ever interested in learning where Refused’s Dennis Lyxzen got his moves from and the inspiration for framing “The shape of punk to come” in a socio-political context (and basically the template for The (International) Noise Conspiracy, including fashion style), you might want to check out The Make Up or pretty much any of Svenonius’ projects. There is something to be said for the fact that even the epigones that channeled Svenonius’ swag became at times even more successful than its originator.
2017 – enter Chain and the Gang!
Devoid of unnecessary ideological weight, “Chain”, i.e. Ian, and his “Gang” of three ladies focus on the essence of, hmm, gospel-funk with a big punk heart and the aura of 50s / 60s vocal quartets?
Chain and his Gang call it “crime rock”.
Ian is radiating with charisma and in the flesh executes a rare mélange combining seemingly oxymoronic self-awareness of a host and free-form stream of consciousness performer. It is not too difficult to see shades of a range of great performers in his on stage antics, e.g. Iggy Pop, Nick Cave and pretty much everyone who managed to convincingly shake his hips to 60ies Motown greats.
Chain and the Gang is a fantastic live band. With their matching suits they look like a mod-soul band and present themselves accordingly.
They channel sing-songy tunes, surf guitars, vaudevillian call-and-response, Ray Charles, the grit of garage rock with alluring female back-up vocals.
Chain and The Gang is another one of Svenonius’ subversive endeavours, i.e. tongue firmly placed in cheek and subtly critiquing conventions and standards of “pop and rock music” while at the same time reveling in its essence and having a great time doing it.
The concept behind Chain and the Gang is based on carbohydrates more than protein, i.e. less heavy on ideology and less trying to reinvent the wheel and instead focusing on the groove, charm and personality. Chain’s subversion is its anti-innovative approach.
You dig? Sounds like a great time to experience and check out Chain and his Gang?
Photos by KAVV
Taste of Sydney
March 9-12, 2017
Now, who does not love an opportunity to sample vittles and enjoy carefully selected libations? While the common denominators for a willing culinary inclined audience are easily defined, demonstrating creativity and innovation when it comes to offering tasty and interactive experiences and taking consumers on a carefully curated epicurean journeys to uncharted territories in terms of taste, all the while ensuring that the local food and hospitality industry gets exposure and making the visitor’s point of view a priority, is a balance act and no mean feat.
Sydney has established itself as a significant gastronomic tourism destination and in its ninth year, Taste of Sydney has become THE event to get an idea of the status quo, by discovering and indulging over four eventful days with a diverse lineup of pop-up bars, restaurants, chefs, live music courtesy of Australian artists, artisan producers, special menus and hands-on live cooking demonstrations, cook offs and master classes conducted by culinary luminaries.
In a world where most food festivals are in essence merely glorified markets, Taste of Sydney creates a massive village fete atmosphere and an enjoyable day out for free-form followers, descending upon and nestled in Sydney’s green and leafy Centennial Parklands and bringing out a diverse crowd.
The 2017 incarnation of Taste of Sydney food and wine fest had a lot to offer:
A far as restaurant highlights are concerned, authentic flavours of Turkey – be it the elements of Ottoman court cuisine or the Black Sea Region – found their way to the festival courtesy of Anason; Bouche on Bridge brought their approachable fine dining experience and won the Best in Taste award for their wallaby skewers with spiced cashew sauce; new Latin American bar restaurant Tequila Mockingbird convinced with their pairings and exquisite marriage of fresh Australia produce with a curated beverage list from around the globe – their ceviche taco is was one of the many highlights.
The fish whisperer Josh Niland’s seafood hound Saint Peter proffered his signature Pambula Sea Urchin Crumpet; Four in Hand by Guillaume brought French classics with a twist; Spain was represented by the meat heavy Mercado Restaurant with its signature Berkshire Porchetta; and Poteño stayed true to their motto “barriga llena corazón contento” (i.e. “full belly - happy heart”) with their signature BBQ beef belly with fried Brussels sprouts and won an award for Best Dressed.
David Thompson’s Long Chim presented a Thai cocktail menu to go along with his fiery hot food based simple ingredients with flavours that explode in your mouth, and with Charred rice noodles, chicken yellow beans & Chinese broccoli being one of the faves of your humble narrator.
Wine enthusiasts got to sit in on intimate classes at The Wine Society, while Meat and Livestock Australia hosted their Cooks Corner with the Food Network, where meat mastery was the focus.
An array of artisan producers was on hand to showcase their products in between all of that queuing and eating:
666 Pure Tasmanian Vodka, the name being an ode to the native Tasmanian Devil, presented their range of velvety smooth, yet distinctively clean tasting purity, which is achieved through a slow, single batch distillation process using copper pot stills, mellowing the spirit with charcoal and a final filtration via activated charcoal, ensuring that all the impurities are removed.
As if that was not pure enough, their emissions are then blended with the world’s purest rain, Cape Grim Water - a water that is fabled to be diluted if you add ice to it.
666 also presented the world’s first natural butter vodka, which might sound odd at first but makes sense with Tasmania having one of the best dairy industries in the world.
It is hand made with a slow fat-wash process using low heat, loads of local butter, giving the resulting vodka a creamy, complex flavour, which is quite an interesting taste experience given that vodka seems to be commonly known for the fact that the more common brands actually lack in taste.
Mexico and tequila was represented by Arette from the "El Llano" distillery - one of the oldest distilleries in the town of Tequila. Arette and other tequilas will get an in-depth review in an upcoming feature on Mexico.
Another discover that had not been on my radar is Verano Cider, which is handcrafted in the Basque region to a recipe known by five generations of the Soroa family. Made with local handpicked apples, sun-ripened and freshly pressed it creates a crisp, sharp, flavoursome cider with a refreshing finish. It proved to be a nice accompaniment to grilled salmon.
Not usually a fan of sweet liquors, RumChata, a blend of Caribbean rum, which is then homogenised with dairy cream from Wisconsin, won me over. It goes exceptionally well with everything from baked goods via ice-cream to your mixed drinks or is delicious simply served over ice.
Botella is a local family operation producing a range of sculptural Mediterranean-style olive oil and balsamic vinegar decanters. Each bottle has two separate chambers, the inner chamber for the balsamic vinegar and the outer chamber for the olive oil. Botella bottles create a visually appealing sensory experience that transforms into an artwork and sits like a glass sculpture on the table or kitchen counter. Elegant, sophisticated and functional.
Jeff de Bruges catered to the ones with a sweet tooth – Belgian artisan chocolate, no matter if you like it intense, fruity, creamy or spicy – Jeff de Bruges kept things simple yet at the same time delicate.
Little Green Kitchen is a bespoke baking business in Drummoyne, Sydney that takes great pride in hand-making products from family recipes. Their natural muesli with oats, almonds, macadamias, sunflower seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds, sultanas, cranberries, cinnamon, ground ginger, apple juice, honey is simply of thing of beauty and ideal to greet the grimmest mornings with.
Henri Abelé champagne offering tastings of their luscious sparkling emissions with honeyed floral aromas, and a toasty, biscuity, full-bodied palate. The mousse is fine and smooth, the finish long, lovely and persistent. Too pretentious? In layman’s terms: A bubbly with character and resonant aftertaste.
One of my fave exhibitors was Pic’s: Pic's Peanut Butter was launched just nine years ago. Devoid of nasty emulsifiers and sugar, they use hardly anything else than 100% Hi Oleic Australian Kingroy nuts, which provide a high dose of protein, good fats, and more fiber than rope. Once it enters your gob, it is both a sensory and sensual experience tickling your tonsils.
See, saying that I harbour a weak spot for a good slab peanut butter would be an understatement par excellence and I have sampled quite a few on different continents, yet Pic’s takes it to the next level and sampling their range made me an instant convert.
The fact that everything from the labeling to the way the jars are created (including hidden messages) provide a sources of both information and amusement does not hurt either. One does not come too often across such a coherent product and brand. Pic’s will certainly take a prominent position in an upcoming special on peanut butter.
Proceedings of the day were finished off with a pre-mixed Negroni courtesy of East Indian Trading Company. Usually not a big fan of pre-mixed concoctions, EITC’s cocktails provide a sharp edge. A Negroni might look like a simple composition of equal parts gin, vermouth and campari, yet it depends on the quality of ingredients and EITC seems to have it pat down: A clean, navy strength gin strong on the botanicals complementing the forceful finish of the Campari. The perfect palate-cleansing settler for a day filled with culinary adventures and new discoveries.
Taste of Sydney 2017 was another seamlessly organized event with the right mix of newcomers, established old hands and a festive atmosphere.
Australian Tattoo Expo 2017
International Convention Centre
March 10-12, 2017
With over 45,000 visitors annually, the celebration of creativity and art The Australian International Tattoo Expo proudly represents, has become the biggest in the Southern hemisphere.
Boasting over 300 local and international talented exhibitors from a myriad of tattoo genres showing their craft and techniques, the convention offered opportunities galore over three days to either just enjoy the art on display, have a chat with the artists, be inked or pierced on the spot or stroll through markets of merchandise, aftercare, tattoo supplies and hand crafted gifts.
This year’s incarnation at Sydney’s schmick looking new International Convention Centre was the biggest to date.
Meet some of the featured artists:
Arlo Dicristina from Arlo Tattoo started Tattooing in 2010 and has a pedigree in professional wrestling and boxing before he decided to focus on mastering his tattoo skills and his other artistic endeavours, i.e. oil painting, airbrushing and wood burning. Influenced by Jeff Gouge, Tony Mancia, and Justin Nordine, his area of expertise is face morphs and colour realism.
Benjamin Laukis from Black Mark Tattoo started his craft in 2008 in Queensland, Australia and eventually among other international awards, scored the “Artist of the Expo” award at one of the previous incarnations of the Australian Tattoo Exhibition. Some consider his style “neo baroque” – call it what you may, fact is that his emissions are informed by contrasts and look painted: Shadows and harsh light give them depth, which accentuates the colours and makes them pop. His work shows that he is inspired by fine artists like Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Reni, as well as contemporary artists like Hussar, Kassan and Llewellyn. Other than tattooing he – not surprisingly – given his inspirations, likes to paint in oils and also uses aerosol. While is tattoos are realistic, i.e. portrait work, he manages to gives it a twist by infusing it with his own style.
Brodie Pedersen, aka “Leisure Bandit”, is a tattoo artist that sticks out with his trademark retro styled neo traditional. His style is based on 80s culture: Think bright, fluorescent colors, weird shapes, wacky animations, and questionable fashion choices, adding animalistic elements for hilarity.
He’s the go-to if you fancy getting a winking dolphin decked out in Miami Vice gear sipping a cocktail against a sunset.
Tater Tatts focuses on colour realism as well: Inspired by artists like Boris, Nikko, Carlos Rojas, Carlos Torres, Mike Devries, Mick Squires and others who earlier on really pushed realism tattooing, he encapsulates a wide ranges with both black / white contrasting as well as using colours.
The convention was framed by appearances of the multi-skilled performance group Fuel Girls, who entertained with scantily clad fire and aerial shows; an Australian Pin Up Pageant; the Girls of Ink contest as well as Australia’s most extensive tattoo competition which was comprised of five rounds and subcategories that ranged from best neo-traditional via best lettering / script to best Polynesian tattoo.
As far as tattoo culture is concerned, it does hardly get any more comprehensive than this expo.
With the effective way proceedings are organized and the enjoyable and immersive atmosphere it provides, it’s a fun day out no matter what sort of body modification strikes your fancy.
Photos by KAVV
March 12, 2017
It has been twelve years since I last saw Meshuggah and while their performance at Cleveland’s Peabody’s Downunder was tight and technically impressive, it pales compared to the relentless force of nature Meshuggah has matured to as a live band.
With so many things going on simultaneously and despite all the intricate arrangements, i.e. complex polyrhythms and Djent antics, technically ferocious death metal riffing and a detailed, sumptuous laser light show that bathes the protagonists in silhouettes while at the same time being in sync and accentuating the music, the adjectives that come to mind to describe Meshuggah’s performance is “pulverizing” and “vitriolic”.
Framed by Keerych Luminokaya’s album artwork, which was appropriately illuminated and animated with the light show, and songs from their new album The Violent Sleep of Reason, no time was wasted on banter as the Swedes powered precise like clockwork through signature changes, syncopations and every other odd thing their progressive metal on steroids has to offer.
Tech-metal, djent – call it what you may – has become a genre. Bottonline is that Meshuggah invented it and for the first half of their career there was no one to even come close to them.
What to the untrained ear might sound like seemingly repetitive riffs with offbeat drum patterns and barking on top on record, reveals itself as a complex adrenaline fueled symphony that both bludgeons, completely absorbs and digests the audience.
It shows that Meshuggah’s live show is well thought out and expertly orchestrated with no move going to waste. It takes their music to the next level with the band being completely in control, pushing buttons with maximum impact focusing on the essence of their craft and thereby appealing to man’s primal instincts.
A layered, unwavering wall of sound that feels solid enough to lean against emitted from a band with an imposing presence – an understated presence as the protagonists behind Meshuggah take a deliberate step behind the music, literally and figuratively.
A unique,pummeling and immersive live experience.
Photos by KAVV
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The Security Project The Center for the Arts Natick December 2015 When I was first informed that this show was being put together I immediately started to recruit some of ... read more
As fans many draw a close relationship with their favorite artists. For whatever reason a personal statement shared within this realm seems to strike many in a very serious way. ... read more
Agent Orange Factory Theatre Sydney, AUS January 3, 2016 The Factory is a purpose built, dedicated live entertainment venue. Comprised of differently sized performance spaces it hosts an array of ... read more
El Vez Newtown Social Club Sydney, AUS December 26, 2015 1977. The Germs play their first show ever opening for The Zeros, followed by The Weirdos. ... read more
In the month leading up to the holiday, it's often difficult to escape the near-continual assault of schmaltzy Christmas music. It seems virtually every artist of note in the last ... read more
The Misfits Manning Bar Sydney, AUS December 12, 2015 The Misfits. One of the most iconic punk bands. These days they are fronted by bassist Jerry Only, framed by ... read more
With the full line-ups unveiled for Soundwave 2016 in Australia, Scene Point Blank has put together a quick primer to help prepare. Without further adeiu, SPB's Bands to See at Soundwave ... read more
MONO Newtown Social Club Sydney, AUS December 7, 2015 "Mesmerizing" and "cinematic" are the adjectives that come to mind when one is asked to describe the epic, vast instrumental ... read more
The Ghost Inside “Locals Only” Altar Bar Pittsburgh, PA November 6, 2015 Los Angeles-based melodic hardcore band The Ghost Inside dropped their latest album, ‘Dear Youth,’ last year on ... read more
Though usually panned by the majority of film critics – the mainstream ones anyway- horror films seem to be a Hollywood mainstay that just won't go away. This is hardly ... read more
Made in 1957, director Roger Corman's typically efficient low-budget sci-fi flick Not of This Earth came to be regarded as a minor genre classic in the years to come – and ... read more
In the midst of the opening credits sequence for Italian director Dario Argento's 1975 Profondo Rosso (a.k.a. Deep Red), the viewer is treated to a truncated scene appearing to show ... read more
Titus Andronicus Brighton Music Hall, Boston, MA October 15, 2015 Like any show I’m excited about, I was really scared of disappointment while driving to this Boston Titus Andronicus ... read more
Run The Jewels First Avenue Minneapolis, MN October 23, 2015 “I’ll apologize now. If you are wearing glasses, you might want to put those away. If you hate being slammed ... read more
Sick Of It All Manning Bar Sydney October 10, 2015 In this very real world, good does not drive out evil. Evil does not drive out good. But the ... read more
Lucero Lee's Palace Torononto, Ontario October 15, 2015 In support of their new album All a Man Should Do, Lucero have been pulling double duty on their latest tour and ... read more
Paradise Lost w/Tribulation and Lucifer October 4th @ KOKO, London Hype surrounding a band is either indicative of said band being incredibly talented and worth your time, or, on the ... read more
Algiers Brighton Music Hall Boston, MA September 17, 2015 Photos by Lindsay Corry; more photos here Algiers self-titled debut this year blew me away with its raw, layered sound and politically ... read more
THE TOP FIVE ACTS ON THE RIOT FEST UNDERCARD Last year I started my Riot Fest coverage by getting kicked in the head and ended it with a man drinking whisky ... read more
Earlier this week I was browsing my twitter feed when I noticed the a number of posts using the hashtag #ImagineOctober20th . The tweets were Canadians speculating on what the ... read more
NOFX, Lagwagon, Dillinger Four, Strung Out, Swingin' Utters, The Flatliners, Masked Intruder, toyGuitar, Bad Cop/Bad Cop The Myth Maplewood, MN August 28, 2015 No review, see photo gallery ... read more
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Manning Bar Sydney August 7, 2015 As Karl Marx said, the relationship between a band and the context it is playing in is metabolic. Both ... read more
“We were standing in the middle of the square. There were snipers on the roof. Riot cops all around. People had already been killed. And she turned to me and ... read more
The So So Glos, Desaparecidos Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA August 4, 2015 I went for Desaparecidos - Conor Oberst’s (of Bright Eyes fame) hardcore band - who put out ... read more
Radioactivity, Birthday Suits, Butcher’s Union Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN July 22, 2015 It’s nice to live in a city where some great out of town bands have ... read more
Ex Hex, Tweens, Pink Mink Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN July 20, 2015 I go to a lot of shows. Sometimes it’s nice to be surprised, and that’s what ... read more
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
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 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 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, 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 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 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. 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 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 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 (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
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
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 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
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 @ 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 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
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
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 & 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 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
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
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
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
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 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, 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, 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, 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 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
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, 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
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 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 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, 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 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 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
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
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
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., 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, 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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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
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 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
(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 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, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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 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, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
They could make me look not so good to certain people. Nobody read them anyways. read more
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
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
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
Imagine being in this kid's place... Interview w/ Henry Rollins read more
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, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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