Archive | May, 2012

iLL and Jolly

20 May

On the recommendation of an ally of mine, I ventured out to the suburbs of my rock city to go and see a show. The bands on the bill were new to me. Before I left, I quickly listened to the headliner online, just to make sure I wasn’t in for a huge surprise. But it seemed to be “my thing”, so I decided to just go with it.

When I walked into the venue to wait for my ally, the support was playing. It took about 10 seconds to fully sink in, but there it was – the answer to one of my many musical prayers. Somebody had finally combined a little Seattle sound and Layne-esque vocals with a little Southern rock, added in a touch of the classics and then bundled all that in an extremely contemporary, masterfully composed package. The band onstage was iLL, a lively three-piece out of Atlanta, GA. On a side note, I know what you’re thinking. I agree. Something’s up with that city. With the amount of awesome bands springing from that place we can only hope it’s the dawn of another rock revolution. Anyway, since the show I have had some time to listen to and digest the current album “Gotten Gains”. I am telling you: get your hands on it now. It’s one of those that gets better with every spin. I am definitely keeping my eye on these guys. I would recommend you do the same. Here’s a tune for you to listen to:

After iLL, NYC’s prog rock four-piece Jolly took the stage. Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, they dropped me into a beautifully designed musical layer cake of cerebral sounds, awesome riffs, rich bass lines, heavy beats and grab-your-soul vocals. And this layer cake made me…uhm….elated, I guess. Intrigued by the mood-changing powers of the performance, I googled and found out that the band incorporates binaural tones which can have an effect on your emotions by altering the brain’s natural frequency. Scientifically, I understand it works only when listening to the actual recorded work. But judging by my mood when I left the suburbs, I guess when someone sets out to make “emotional music” like that – whether the science of it would carry over into a live set or not – those tunes still have the power to make you smile. My advice: Get your hands on their “An Audio Guide to Happiness”, put on those headphones and enjoy. Here’s a snippet to try before you buy:

More on iLL here.
More on Jolly here.
Program for the venue Das Rind here.
Sorry, no Flickr for this show as the attendance was spontaneous. I’ll hopefully get pics next time!

Black Tusk and Red Fang

3 May

The first time I crossed paths with Portland rockers Red Fang was at an institution called Rock n Roll Couch. Located at the abode of a dear friend and ally, this happening generally attracts a good number of rockers. The aim of the game is to sit, eat, drink, talk, and take turns “DJing” youtube.

Red Fang @ Schlachthof Wiesbaden

Red Fang @ Schlachthof Wiesbaden

For anyone interested in music, there are numerous advantages to this event. First and foremost, there is always the chance of coming across a new band. When one of the regulars added Red Fang to the mix. A fun music video, a good song, real people. Not much more you could ask for, really.

When Red Fang announced dates to come to town in support of their current record “Murder the Mountains”, I couldn’t be more happy that they were bringing Savannah-based Black Tusk, who I had recently seen at SXSW, along for the ride. Some original sludge metal to start off, then some wonderfully heavy stoner metal as the main course.

Black Tusk @ Schlachthof Wiesbaden

Black Tusk @ Schlachthof Wiesbaden

Taking the small stage at Wiesbaden’s Schlachthof, both bands blew the roof off the place. There was sweat, there may have been some blood, and there certainly was enough opportunity for me to almost get murdered in the non-existant press pit. As favorites from Black Tusk’s “Set the Dial” and Red Fang’s best tunes echoed through the fully packed venue, there wasn’t a soul that wasn’t rocking out and having a good time. Honest rock makes for honest fun once again. Although I’ll come prepared and wear full body armor next time.

Black Tusk are:
Andrew Fiddler – vocals, guitar
Jonathan Athon – vocals, bass
James Mays – vocals, drums

Red Fang are:
Bryan Giles – vocals, guitar
Aaron Beam – vocals, bass
David Sullivan – guitar
John Sherman – drums

Flickr the show here and here.
Find out more about Red Fang here.
Find out more about Black Tusk here.
Get the program for Schlachthof Wiesbaden here.