Staff Andy


Senior Staff Writer


Andy's last content update – June 30, 2020, 2:02 p.m.

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Andy's most recent reviews
Jacoti Sommes - Travel Time album cover

Jacoti Sommes

Travel Time, 2020

7.9 / 10

Clocking it at just under 27 minutes, Columbus, Ohio electronic music producer Jacoti Sommes’ 2020 release Travel Time is all around better than his excellent 2018 effort Ubermensch. I think the album’s title ...

Euglossine  - Psaronius album cover


Psaronius, 2020

7.0 / 10

Created using a combination of physical instruments and various synthesized elements, it wasn’t particularly surprising for me to learn that one of the major concepts behind Gainsville, Florida-based musician Euglossine’s Psaronius (a ...

(මහසෝනා​)​* - යන්ත්‍ර.මන්ත්‍ර.ගුරුකම්! album cover


යන්ත්‍ර.මන්ත්‍ර.ගුරුකම්!, 2020

7.0 / 10

Given that I’ve put together year-end lists of the strangest albums I heard for the past couple years, I was pointed to this release coming out of Sri Lanka. It’s ...

Puppy and the Hand Jobs - I Hate Everything album cover

Puppy and the Hand Jobs

I Hate Everything, 2019

6.3 / 10
200 Words Or Less

It'd be quite easy to write off (the fantastically named) Puppy and the Hand Jobs for making self-described “trash rock and roll.” Much as is the case with bands like The ...

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Andy's most recent features
SXSW 2018

Music SXSW 2018

Posted April 8, 2018, 12:53 p.m.

The year's third month is always a crazy time to be in Austin, what with the South by Southwest Festival taking up March's middle third, but the overall ...

Cindy Marabito (The Dicks From Texas)

One Question Interviews Cindy Marabito (The Dicks From Texas)

Posted Dec. 5, 2017, 1:13 p.m.

Cindy Marabito (The Dicks From Texas) SPB: Living in Austin and being a part of South by Southwest for the last several years, I'm often struck by the, what ...

SXSW 2017

Music SXSW 2017

Posted April 15, 2017, 1:38 a.m.

A year after the standing President of the United States attended and lectured at the South by Southwest Festival, politics were again front and center for much of 2017's ...

Scene Point Blank - Spryos Stasis

One Question Interviews Scene Point Blank - Spryos Stasis

Posted June 1, 2016, 3:33 a.m.

Spyros Stasis SPB: (How) Has work in sound engineering affected your music tastes and/or reviewing? Spyros Stasis: It has not affected so much my outlook on the quality of ...

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SPB Premiere - "The Time Past" by Han Gan

Records SPB Premiere - "The Time Past" by Han Gan

Posted June 30, 2020, 2:02 p.m.

Based in the Capital metro of Washington, D.C., three-piece Han Gan returns with The Time Past EP, a follow-up to 2018 full-length The City of Magnificent Intentions. This group ...

The Time Past by Han Gan

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SPB Premiere - "Part None" By Valentina Magaletti & Marlene Ribeiro

Records SPB Premiere - "Part None" By Valentina Magaletti & Marlene Ribeiro

Posted June 4, 2020, 11:40 a.m.

"Based on the idea that cultural creation is enriched by the exchange of knowledge and the crossing of ideas, the project Hysteria held in Porto, Portugal in 2019 aimed to ...

Thus describes the Hysteria artistic residency in Portugal that eventually led to a musical collaboration between UK-based experimental musicians Valentina Magaletti (a percussionist and composer who has recorded both solo and in groups such as Tomaga, CZN, and Vanishing Twin) and Marlene Ribeiro (a solo artist as well as core member of psych/noise group Gnod). Self-described as being “tropical concrete,” this resulting album, Due Matte, features tracks that range from feeling quite free jazzy to me to ones that are almost industrial in nature to those quite otherworldly in both their sound and adventurous approach. Overall, this album combines more recognizable sonic elements and even the occasional vocal part with all sorts of things, both acoustic and otherwise, one wouldn’t normally encounter.
In light of (troubling) current events, I found myself imagining that the hypnotic Due Matte captured the very essence of the world circa 2020. In that context, the percussion instruments at the center of almost every track represented the forward motion of time, with the accompanying wide array of fluttering, sputtering, lurching, creaking, and even pleasant tonal elements seeming to reflect the elements of chaos that seem to all the more frequently intrude on modern life and society - as well as the moments of genuine beauty that motivate us all to keep on carrying on in the face of struggle and hardship.
Undoubtedly, Due Matte won’t be to all tastes, but I found it thoroughly engrossing. If you’re game, free your mind and enjoy the premiering track below. The album releases June 11th on the Commando Vanessa label.
Due Matte by Valentina Magaletti & Marlene Ribeiro

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Video Premiere - Joey Karam and David Scott Stone Live at the Che Cafe

Videos Video Premiere - Joey Karam and David Scott Stone Live at the Che Cafe

Posted May 21, 2020, 12:33 p.m.

With most or all in-person live music performances seemingly postponed indefinitely, jump in the time machine with the Scene Point Blank premiere of a video capturing a live show from ...

For decades the Che Café has been a magnet for outsider pop and earth-scorching punk, playing host to diverse shows as awesomely weird as they are high voltage. This particularly sweaty evening in July that I headed up to see Some Girls deliver their furious take on noise-fueled hardcore proved to be no exception.
I arrived early to see the stage completely covered in synthesizers, and not just the kind with piano keys. To my excitement there was a wall of old school modular gear as well, patched together with cables like a phone operator switchboard. Eventually, Joey Karam and David Scott Stone emerged wordlessly from somewhere offstage and approached the synth fortress. At a volume level that did not permit any sort of counter-arguments from the growing audience, they set about manipulating the controls of their city of circuitry. Drones soared, rhythms pulsed, robots spoke in tongues, and there was no choice but to be sucked into the new world that was being born before my very ears! Following a crescendo of chaos invoked by Stone attacking a piece of sheet metal that was wired into the machinery, they concluded as quickly and methodically as they had begun, leaving the stunned audience to wonder what had just happened and what more was in store.
Of course, there was no way from seeing Karam and Stone’s performance to have predicted the next act- Harry Merry. The wall of gear was replaced by a single keyboard and a guy with a Dutch accent wearing a sailor suit. Whereas the preceding synth assault had seemed to arrive like an alien invasion, a number of attendees seemed to already know who this man was and what we were in for and they were not hiding their giddiness in the slightest. He queued up a drum machine and began to play these kind of goofy, carnival-esque songs that seemed to be aimed at children, one after the other. It was a delight, but kinda in that wtf is going on here, this dude is trollin’, way. That being said, Mr. Merry definitely had his act together, his herky-jerky songs were perfectly executed, and he owned what he did. Well over a decade later “Sharki Supermachine” still pops into my head at hilariously inopportune moments like anytime I’m trying to do anything remotely adult. Imagine trying to have a serious talk with your significant other but you start smirking a bit in the middle because “Shaaaaaar-keeeeeeeee” is playing in your mental jukebox at the same volume it was at this show. Game over, Harry Merry wins. Flawless victory. Fatality.
In keeping with the theme of joyous tonal whiplash, following Harry Merry were the never not off the rails Some Girls. Their set of music from their recently released “Heavens Pregnant Teens” album was preceded by an eerie near-silence, where you could only hear the hiss of the cranked amps yet to be played through as they non-verbally made sure everything was good to go. There was a lone snare crack, followed by about 20 minutes of what sounded like Godzilla coming through the roof of the Che. The drummer conducted the mayhem from behind the kit with all the mercy of a runaway jackhammer as some members of the crowd were compelled to abandon the typical moshing, resorting instead to swinging around from the rafters. This was a fantastic show to see Some Girls, possibly at their peak, as they disbanded only a few months later to pursue other projects: Wes Eisold with the synth-laden Cold Cave, Chuck Rowell with the more pop-infused Crocodiles, JP and Nathan with the abrasive, dance-noise All Leather, and Sal with his long-lived duo Secret Fun Club.
Concluding the evening and providing some very cool cool-down from Some Girls’ aural brimstone were Quintron and Miss Pussycat, who began their set of grooving organ, drum machine and maracas sing-alongs with… a puppet show. Soon enough they started in with the musical part of their set and the whole club fell under the spell of their rhythmic, somewhat campy, B-52s via David Lynch spell. This was especially fun for me as my roommate at the time had been wearing the grooves out of her copy of their “Are You Ready for an Organ Solo?” LP for months. I was thrilled to finally hear them live and they, and all the other acts that night, delivered the goods.
The beginning is footage from around the Che and during the sound check and the actual set begins at 18:55.

While we wait for the time when we can get back to attending live music performances, dig the synth madness in this rare and pretty unique video document below.

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SPB Premiere - "Catastrophe" by SNST

Records SPB Premiere - "Catastrophe" by SNST

Posted May 14, 2020, 11:44 a.m.

I suppose it’s not the least bit surprising that politics and general frustration at the state of the world seems to be creeping into a lot of the art ...

Dig the track premiere of "Catastrophe" below, and check out SNST on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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Andy's most recent blogposts

Seeking Respite from Ubiquitous Holiday Pop...

Posted Dec. 25, 2015, 4:03 p.m. by Andy

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 ...

Andy's Favorite Horror Film Soundtracks

Posted Oct. 31, 2015, 11:11 a.m. by Andy

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 ...

Film Review - 1988's Not of This Earth

Posted Oct. 31, 2015, 10:27 a.m. by Andy

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 ...

Film Review - Profondo Rosso, a.k.a. Deep Red

Posted Oct. 31, 2015, 10:09 a.m. by Andy

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 ...

Andy's bio

At times, I've done stuff. 

Andy's favorite bands

Female singers who curse.  Electronic that's not all about the drop.  Copious amounts of noise.  Good soundtracks from questionable movies.  Stuff that makes you go, "huh." 

Andy's SPB contributions

107 reviews 22 features 35 news posts 5 blogposts
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