It’s me, your pal Robert Dean. I’ve been MIA lately because of some pretty big life changes, making a television show is stressful, and I’ve been trying to finish my new book all while keeping my shit together. So, forgive my absence.
That aside, let’s do the dance.
My Chemical Romance are coming back. Nerds who used to wear women’s jeans in 2003 are fucking stoked. Hopefully, they write new music that’s more “Three Cheers for The Black Parade” and less of whatever the whack Queen shit was.
Rage Against The Machine are finally playing some shows. Thank god Zach has agreed to come out of hiding. I only wrote about this very thing like, three years ago or whatever. They’d better play Calm Like a Bomb or I’m going to be pissed. (Yes, I’m flying to one of the shows because I’m a fanboy.)
RANDOM THOUGHT: Go buy Joshua Hedley’s record, Mr. Jukebox. It’s a fucking crime people slept on that dude. He should be household name for dudes who wear embroidered shirts unironically. Easily one the best country records of the last five years and people don’t know it.
Sturgill and Tyler are going on tour together. That’s going to be a massive deal. They’re playing the United Center in Chicago. For context, that’s where Paul McCartney plays when he comes to town. All this for a guy who wrote a song about turtles while on acid. Shit is wild.
Clark County, NV declared November 1st ‘Five Finger Death Punch Day’ and yes, that dude still has a beard of dreadlocks.
Evan Felker apparently recorded a tune with Carrie Rodriguez before Turnpike Troubadours went on stupid hiatus. Look, man. The song was fine. It sounds like Shovels and Rope. But for fucks sake, get sober, go to church, whatever. Get Turnpike Troubadours back on track.
Cody Jinks dropped a pair of records….and they both went to number 1. In the words of the mighty Jack Nicholson, “watch out. Big balls comin’ through.”
Need a random album suggestion? Go back and listen to the first Stevie Wonder record. When he was a kid. That shit will blow your mind. “I was made to love her” is my jam.
Recently, Lucero made a bunch of the Among the Ghosts demos available for streaming. You know our nerd asses were all about that. Collectively between Trailer and I, we’ve probably seen Lucero over 30 times.
Hey friends, compatriots, Commies, and everyone in between. Down here in lovely Austin, I’ve been busy as hell. Lots of articles and essays to write, and I’m even making a tv show. My therapist wants me to sleep more, so I’m doing that and eating healthier. I haven’t had bread in over two weeks. I miss tacos.
But, that ain’t what you’re here for. You’re here for the latest and greatest of what the fuck is going on in the world of music. And I’m here to tell you. So, let’s get sloppy. Let’s Roundup.
ASHRR have just dropped their debut and holy shit if you like David Bowie, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Radiohead, and The Talking Heads, you’ll freak out. How this record isn’t blowing up is beyond me. It’s easily something I’ve listened to over 100 times since dropping last month. It’s synthy 1980’s dancey rock and roll with very little fat on the bone. The record is sleek and sexy and you need to own it.
Another record I absolutely love right now is the debut from Austin’s own Black Pumas. Think Leon Bridges, Cee-Lo, Sam, and Dave but musically closer to neo-soul without drifting into a place that’s too nichey. When Black Pumas blow way up, you’re going to remember this little tidbit and wave your finger in agreement.
Hollis Brown is back with a new record Ozone Park and it’s taken a new direction. On this one, the boys from New York are a lot less country and more dialed into Vampire Weekend meets Kings of Leon. It’s pop-driven and definitely the kind of stuff you’d hear on a mainstream station. If that’s your bag, you can find it wherever you’re streaming music.
The mighty dark bastards in Cult Leader have a new video for their gloomy banger, “A Patient Man” and like everything these dudes do, it’s dark as fuck.
SUNN O))) have a new record. If you’re into doomy, droney low stuff, you’ll have a chance to see them if you’re in Texas or on the West Coast.
Summer shows - Europe
July 30 Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg w/ Caspar Brotzmann
July 31 Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg w/ Caspar Brotzmann
August 1 Amsterdam, NL @ Dekmantel festival
September 2019 - U.S. West Coast
September 1 Dallas, TX @ Granada *
September 2 Austin, TX @ Emo’s *
September 4 Denver, CO @ The Gothic *
September 8 Los Angeles, CA @ The Mayan *
September 9 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore *
September 11 Seattle, WA @ Showbox ^
September 12 Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall ^
* w/ Papa M, Big|Brave
^ w/ Papa M
October 2019 - Europe + UK
October 7 Munich, DE @ Backstage Werk %
October 8 Karlsruhe, DE @ HfG / ZKM %
October 9 Basel, CH @ Kaserne Basel - Rosstall %
October 10 Leipzig, DE @ Felsenkeller %
October 11 Krakow, PL @ Unsound Festival
October 13 Vilnius, LT @ Kablys %
October 14 Tallinn, EE @ Vene Theatre %
October 15 Helsinki, FI @ Kulttuuritalo %
October 17 Stockholm, SE @ Kraken
October 18 Oslo, NO @ Kulturkirchen Jakob
October 19 Oslo, NO @ Blä *duo show (Greg and Stephen only)
October 21 Copenhagen, DK @ Koncerthuset
October 22 Nijmegen, NL @ Doornroosje
October 24 Bristol, UK @ SWX
October 25 Glasgow, UK @ QMU
October 26 Birmingham, UK @ The Crossing
October 27 Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall
October 28 London, UK @ Roundhouse
Hesitation Wounds (Torche Amor, Slipknot, Trap Them, Hope Conspiracy) have a new song, “Paragon of Virtue” and of course it goes hard AF. If you like grinding, straight up hardcore, these dudes bring it every single time.
Jacob Bannon of Converge has a side project called Wear Your Wounds, which is a continuation of this new trend of heavy bands writing super slow scary sounding music that’s straight from a horror flick. Originally conceived as a collaborative thing with rotating musicians, Wear Your Wounds has an official lineup now along with a new record, Rust on the Gates of Heaven.
The official lineup features some hardcore all-stars, to say the least:
Jacob Bannon (Converge), Mike McKenzie (The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Unraveller, etc), Adam McGrath (Cave In, Nomad Stones, etc), Sean Martin (Twitching Tongues, ex-Hatebreed, ex-Kid Cudi), and Chris Maggio (ex-Trap Them, ex-Sleigh Bells, etc). The record also features musicians Ben Chisholm (Chelsea Wolfe, White Horse) and Gared O’Donnell (Planes Mistaken For Stars, Hawks, and Doves) collaborating throughout.
The band has a tour on the books as well:
WEAR YOUR WOUNDS, ON TOUR:
May 8 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
May 9 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
May 10 Toledo, OH @ Ottawa Tavern
May 11 Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
May 12 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
May 14 Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
May 15 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
May 16 Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage Lounge
May 17 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
May 18 Boston, MA @ Sonia
May 26 Seattle, WA @ Highline
May 27 Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
May 28 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
May 29 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
May 30 Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
May 31 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
June 1 Mesa, AZ @ Underground
Boris is back with two reissues of Akuma No Uta and Feedbacker via Third Man Records. They’ve also got a new record dropping, their first in two years: LφVE & EVφL and look, this is what the press release says about the record, “LφVE & EVφL exist as two independent works, encapsulating conflicting connotations that interweave and become intricately entangled with one another, gradually eroding before becoming utterly singular. Continuing to tinker and toil with their sound since the release of DEAR, Boris have pivoted onward a more organic, non-grid literary style that LφVE & EVφL showcases.”
Did you expect anything less from Boris? I didn’t. Anyhow, they’re coming back to America, too.
BORIS — On Tour w/ Uniform:
August 19 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
August 20 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
August 22 San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
August 23 Austin, TX @ Barracuda
August 24 Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
August 25 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
August 28 Mexico City, MX @ Galera *
August 30 Tampa, FL @ Orpheum
August 31 Gainesville, FL @ High Dive
September 1 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
September 3 Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
September 4 Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
September 5 Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Festival *
September 7 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
September 8 Jersey City, NJ @ White Eagle Hall
September 10 Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
September 11 Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
September 12 Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
September 13 Montreal, QC @ Theatre Plaza
September 14 Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
September 15 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
September 17 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
September 18 St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
September 20 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
September 21 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
September 23 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
September 24 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
September 26 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
Looking for some new music? My inbox has been overflowing, so let’s do the roundup. Last week, I ventured to Chicago to see a show I always dreamt about but never thought I’d get to see: The Misfits. I saw Jerry Only, Glenn Danzig and good ole’ guitar puncher himself, Doyle. I’m going to write this up into a long form piece, so stay tuned for that.
But, for now:
Cave In’s newest and (probably last) record, Final Transmission will hit the streets on June 7th. It’s a mixture of the Until Your Heart Stops hardcore, but a lot of the out there Jupiter stuff, as well. Gone-way-too-soon bassist Caleb Scofield appears on all of the tracks. From what interviews and press releases tell me, the band were all torn up when finishing the record, and rightfully so. Losing a band member and a best friend is never easy. But, at least we’ve got 20+ year’s worth of records and one last time to hear Caleb’s weird ass basslines.
Sara Trunzo’s got a new record dropping soon, Dirigo Attitude, it’s meat and potatoes bluegrass/country stuff. I like it, it’s very “clean” sounding, reminds me of mountains or long grass near a creek. Can’t go wrong with that.
Jericho Woods have a new one out that’s a little poppy for my tastes, but if you lean toward the more “Nashville” driven stuff, this will totally bang for you. It’s not cheesy whatsoever, but it does have to those massive harmonized hooks that people love to holler along with. It reminded me Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in The Dark” – so if you love that late 1980’s – early 1990’s country, you’re going to love this.
Speaking of Stephen Brodsky of Cave In, New Idea Society is back for their first record in a few years. Think shoegaze played by a bunch of hardcore dudes. It’s frantic, heavy and quenches a thirst when waiting for new stuff from We Lost The Sea.
All of the bands are out on tour and instead of just being lazy and firing up the good ole’ Spotify, get your fat ass to a show.
If you’ve got an itch for stuff that sounds like Depeche Mode, The Cure, or other awesome synthy bands, Drab Majesty has a new record dropping this summer. This stuff is unbelievably pleasing. If you’ve ever spent a night drunk out of your mind dancing with goths at 3am, this will speak to you on a different level.
What’s good? I’m about to head up to Chicago to see The Misfits, and I’m peeing my pants with excitement. I’ve waited 28 years for this show, and you best believe that I’m going to howl my ass off when I hear some “Skulls” or “Hybrid Moments.” I wonder if Doyle will be there to bitch about having to meet people when he doesn’t get to play Rockstar for a night.
In other non-Danzig news:
Helms Alee is about to go on tour with Earth and are also dropping a new record, which is described by this wild shit, “Named for a bioluminescent marine algae that glows when excited, the Puget Sound trio’s forthcoming album Noctiluca bears a radiancy all its own.”
Watch the music video for “Spider Jar” here:
A few weeks ago, I talked about Vale, the black metal band from Oakland that sound pissed as fuck. They’re going on tour. If you feel like coming to Austin, come hang out. I’ll be at the show.
VALE - ON TOUR
June 21 Colorado Springs, CO @ Triple Nickel
June 22 Denver, CO @ Hi Dive
June 24 Minneapolis, MN @ Hexagon
June 25 Milwaukee, WI @ Walkers Point Music Hall
June 26 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
June 27 Detroit, MI @ TBA
June 28 Toronto, ON @ Hard Luck
June 29 Ottawa, ON @ TBA
June 30 Montreal, QC @ Brasserie Beaubien
July 1 Quebec City, QC @ L’Anti
July 2 Manchester, NM @ Ohmen DIY
July 3 Portland, ME @ Gino’s
July 6 Brooklyn, NY @ Kingsland
July 7 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
July 8 Boston, MA @ O'Brien's
July 9 Baltimore, MD @ Sidebar
July 10 Richmond, VA @ Wonderland
July 11 Chapel Hill, SC @ Local 506
July 12 Atlanta, GA @ 529
July 13 Jacksonville, FL @ Nighthawks
July 14 Miami, FL @ Las Rosas
July 15 Orlando, FL @ Uncle Lou’s
July 16 New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
July 17 Austin, TX @ Lost Well
July 18 Dallas, TX @ Regal Room
July 19 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar
July 20 Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
July 21 Los Angeles, CA @ Lexington
Sharkmuffin, has a new record, Gamma Gardening and it’s a fun cocktail of glam, punk, shoegaze, and indie rock. If you’re looking for some old school Riot Grrrl stuff to get powerful to, check these ladies out. I love them, this is fun rock and roll in at a time when people are being way too serious.
Don’t forget to check out Karly Driftwood’s banger, Too Mean To Die – I wrote about it and it’s still awesome.
Billy Ray Cyrus is on some Soundcloud rapper’s song, fuck that noise.
Willie’s annual 4th of July show has been announced. If you’re anywhere near Austin, this is a yearly thing and has been going on for 50 years. Check out who’s playing along with our living legend:
There’s a whole lot of music stuff to talk about, so let’s get to the business of telling you about a whole bunch of cool stuff.
I just listened to the new NEKRASOV and this is some wild shit. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on here, but if you like super heavy, dark one-man industrial that sounds like Battle Bots gone wild, fighting in a barbed wire-covered steel cage, then get on the new record, Lust of Consciousness.
If you’re looking for something to satiate a pang of hunger for stripped down, old-timey banjo-driven tunes, Kelly Hunt’s new record, Even The Sparrow is a tasty choice. Hunt’s style is very much in the early Bob Dylan meets Pete Seger tradition with sharp phrasing and tonal melodies. The ghost of Hunt’s depression-era banjo Ira Tamm is omnipresent throughout the record, and there are some exciting quirks happening all throughout the project. Give it a listen, this is interesting stuff.
If you follow anything about me, it’s widely known that I love New Orleans and lived there for a few years. When you live in New Orleans, there’s one thing that’s always a topic of discussion: Jazz Fest. In celebration of Jazz Fest turning 50, venerable record label Smithsonian Folkways is dropping a massive box set of live recordings from the festival’s past. Five records. With as many banging acts who’ve come through over the years, there’s gonna be a lot of good shit on there.
Pickathon is happening again in August in Portland, and the line up is hot: Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Khruangbin, Mandolin Orange, Tyler Childers, Nathaniel Rateliff, Lucius, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Fruit Bats, Mountain Man, Caamp, YOB, Damien Jurado, Makaya McCraven, The Richard Swift Hex Band, Lambchop, Laura Veirs, Julia Jacklin, The Marías, Ibibio Sound Machine, Dan Mangan, Altin Gün, Miya Folick, Sudan Archives, Courtney Marie Andrews, Lido Pimienta, Cedric Burnside, The Beths, Sam Evian, and probably a few more.
I’ve never been to Pickathon, but apparently, it’s dope as well. Which “has built a reputation over the last twenty years as the best festival experience, combining groundbreaking programming focused on discovery, sustainable ethics, and a lineup that pushes the boundaries of genre.”
Look at some videos of the stage. If you’re going, bring drugs*. You’re gonna need them.
6131 RECORDS is launching a vinyl subscription service, which is dope as hell. The label is consistent with putting out solid records that aren’t just one style of music. If you lean more towards hardcore, they’ve got that, just as they do a lot of weird indie stuff for chicks with straight bangs.
YO. Is it me or is everyone crazy busy right now? It’s probably that we’re all bursting at the seams with that warm weather optimism, thinking about living in shorts for a few months, drinking in the garage, summer shows, tubing, the smell of the grill. All the best things about life happen in the warm weather.
Anyhow, in the spirit of spring officially here, let’s get y’all up to speed on some of the rad shit happening around and in the world of music, shall we? Let’s Roundup.
Ok, so first off, The Dirt dropped last week. People who love the Crüe are happy while everyone else with two eyeballs says it sucks. [Editor’s note: (insert eyeroll emoji)] I was going to review it, but my best friend likes to remind me that I hate the band and everything 1980’s cock rock. So, I have nothing to add to this except, while I like rock and roll stories, seeing Tommy Lee in a thong doesn’t interest me in the least. Shit is so wack.
Jerry Lee Lewis suffered a stroke and has effectively canceled his New Orleans Jazzfest appearance. Big up’s to The Killer and hopefully, he’ll have a speedy recovery.
If you’re into Chelsea Wolfe’s brooding, check out Louise Lemón’s new record, “A Broken Heart, is An Open Heart.” It’s got all of the doomy witch vibes one needs. It’s a little spooky and moody, but ultimately, solidly evil. Listen to it here.
Another female-fronted kick to the neck, Low Dose is dropping a raging new album that feels like a mix of the Big Business + Melvins era, but approachably singy, sprinkled with a touch of the riot grrrl sound. Featuring ex-members of Fight Amp, Lose Dose is an easy winner if you’re looking for something that’s heavy but 100% relatable if you’ve ever had to deal with adult emotional problems.
Brooks and Dunn are nominated for the Country Music Hall of Fame, and honestly, if you haven’t had a lonely night to “Neon Moon,” you’re not doing it right.
Vale is a new death metal + black metal band that’s doing some seriously grim shit. If you need something KVLT as FUCK, this will whet your appetite. Check out Vale here.
Three new records you need in your life are dropping within the next week or so:
Yawpers - Human Question
Mekons - Deserted
Vandoliers - Forever(out now)
Don’t sleep on any of these, I’ve covered all three and they’re all bangers.
Sharkmuffin’s new jammer “Fate” is straight up sick. If you’ve got a love for My Bloody Valentine, get on this ASAP. I wish I’d of caught their SXSW sets because apparently, they kicked the shit out of everyone and I had no idea.
Dick Dale, the King of Surf Rock died. Mad respect to the man who wrote “Misirlou” aka the best tune to ever open a movie.
ALBERICH UNVEILS “CHILSONG CHAMBER” - I don’t really know what to make of this, other than it reminds me of living with my friend Mike in my early 20’s. He was on all of this stuff. Took me to see KMFDM, Venetian Snares, all kinds of good stuff. I was hanging with dudes in black boots and shorts and saw folks headbang to synthesizers. So, get on this if that’s your speed.
And finally, Full of Hell is back. If you’re looking to get your teeth kicked in. Look no further. They’re easily one of the best new pissed off, heavy bands in the game. Watch their new one here.
Ok kids, it’s been a minute. Blame the life of being a freelancer, and honestly, I’ve not been myself. I’ve been tired. Like, real tired lately. I don’t know if it’s getting up there in age considering I’m staring down the barrel of 40 in a few years or that I pretty write myself to death week in and week out.
So, it ain’t you, it’s me.
Let’s do a Round-up so I can clear out this here inbox because a lot of people are doing cool shit right now. So, shall we?
Saw Patrick Sweany a few weeks ago. Was hoping to interview him since he was recording in Austin, but no dice. Anyhow, the show was incredible. I’ve been wanting to see him for quite a while now and I was damned excited to get the chance. If he comes to your town, get the fuck to that venue. He’ll give you your $15 worth and then some and then some.
If you’re in my former stomping grounds of New Orleans, Margo Cilker and An American Forest will be in town the week of Feb 10-12 playing shows around town. One of which will be at Dragon’s Den. If you’ve never been, it’s easily one of the best small venues in town you can catch a good show. I’ve seen some insanity in that building.
Pickathon released its lineup and it’s nasty. If you’re in Portland, might wanna pony up some cash for this one. TBH, you might want to grab them just to see Tyler not play a stadium at this point. It seems like each time he rolls through a town the venue triples in size. He’s got TWO sold out shows at Stubb’s down here.
Anyhow, here’s the lineup:
To go deeper into the lineup, here’s Pickathon’s Spotify playlist:
Jeremy Short is headed back to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Short has placed as a semi-finalist in the past, but let’s hope this year he wins this shit. That dude’s record smokes, plus he’s gets something right: blues records aren’t meant to sound clean, they’re supposed to sound vintage and dirty. Short’s records keep the spirit of the music intact and if you’re need some voodoo magic from a dude who sings about chicken shacks, you’ve got your man.
Vandoliers have a new record, Forever dropping the end of Feb and it’s a mixture of the best stuff about Texas: it’s a little red dirt country, but has a Lucero punk flair to it which pleases me. What’s nice about Vandoliers is they go to places musically I wasn’t expecting. A lot of times, you can guess where the songs on a record are going to go and I was legit surprised the collection Forever had some huge hooks and even parts that reminded me of Mariachi El Bronx.
If you’re feeling that old school Appalachian style bleeding from the hollers right now, Allison De Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves have a record dropping that will satisfy the purest of country sweettooths. The duo dance around that Flatt & Scruggs banjo meets fiddle style that honestly so few can do correctly. Give it a spin, you can find it here.
Austin Terrorfest just announced its lineup. Indian and Pig Destroyer are playing. Consider me psyched.
I guess Static-X is doing a memorial tour…. without Wayne Static. The surviving members of the band are going do a massive summer thing with Devil Driver in tow. I think this is going to become the new thing for fans. I’m waiting till they do the Nirvana tour with Dave, Kirst, and Pat. So, while it seems stupid on the surface, it gives people the chance to holler along to the songs they have so many times in cars or sitting around at a party talking about how they wished they could have seen ‘that’ band.
Side note: Devildriver are going to be playing a bunch of Coal Chamber tunes. Dez keeps talking about how good they’ll sound.
Jessie Leach is taking a break from Killswitch Engage again, so is Howard Jones coming back?