Showing posts with label Robert Dean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robert Dean. Show all posts

Jun 7, 2019

From Amtrak to The Misfits: How I Made it To Chicago


By Robert Dean

Chicago is a place with a lot of memories. It's the city where I was born, and where I'll always cite as home, no matter where I live. It's a complicated, working-class city that takes zero shit. Humble Midwestern town, Chicago ain't. 

When the bat signal went into the sky that the Misfits were playing a show in Chicago, I went numb. They'd played two years prior at Riot Fest, but the impending birth of my second son, Luke prevented me from hopping on a plane to witness Glenn Danzig, Doyle and Jerry Only play together for the first time in forty years. Because our child was on his way, within a matter of days, I watched via live stream in Target. My fellow shoppers were not impressed with my shrieks of joy upon hearing "Skulls."

This time around, a Misfits ticket was my Christmas present. 

Because I lucked out on a cheap flight home, I pulled a few freelance gigs out of the ether. Going up to Chicago from Austin, I took an extra day and booked a roomette on Amtrak. I'd fantasized about writing on a passenger train; I didn't know what to expect. 

Amtrak is not what you think it is. It's ramshackle, a lot of weird, and the experience leaves you to think about the mortal coil. One thing I immediately learned: you're at the mercy of freight trains. I was five hours late getting to Chicago thanks to long haulers clogging up the tracks. 

As the Texas Eagle pulled into the station, I was ushered into my room. While not the most up to date accommodations, the room was clean, and the porter was genuinely pleasant. Whatever millions Joe Biden secured for Amtrak, that cash hasn't funneled down to Texas. 

Riding by train as you might expect is steeped in tradition rather than expectancy. It's not for anyone in a hurry, but instead, is meant to spend the time watching the American landscape whip by from a window while sipping coffee. 

In the dining car I was seated with two older gals from somewhere up in the nether regions of Wisconsin. It’s a pleasant experience mixing it up with complete strangers, people you'd never met in any other circumstance. I had the burger and was surprised at the quality. 

There's something romantic about a sweeping conversation with strangers about love, politics, and our future as collective when you've already forgotten the names of those you're riding with. It becomes less about the pretense of the subject matter and more about honesty. While a steady sound of Motown rocked the car back and forth, the meal was one of the most honest experiences I'd had recently. 

Throughout the trip, I'd stumble my way to the observation car where people talked over hands of low stakes poker, old men chatted up anyone willing to sit down for a cup of joe, and I met an old trucker who told me I was 'cockblocking' him because I was reading and working, but the young stripper who'd just got out of jail wanted to talk to me about what I was reading. "I got my rubbers, and I'm gonna fuck, youngblood.”

I massaged his ego for serving in the infantry and finished my one beer. I gathered my books and laptop and split. Something about a guy who brings crackers and mini-bottles of gin for a train ride doesn't seem like the kind of dude you want to argue with over intention as you're inching somewhere in the middle of a murder dark Arkansas in the rain. 

I met a lovely couple from Belgium, finishing their cross country odyssey through America, sampling our endless supply of meats covered in cheeses and salads topped with fried chicken. 

The more meals I took in with the dining staff, I was entertained by their lack of fucks. As soon as we broke past St. Louis and picked up new passengers with every stop toward Chicago, they grew less and less patient. Requests for tape, (does this look like Home Depot? Why would I have duct tape in a dining car?) or something free to drink (there's a little store full of chips, sandwiches and plenty to drink. If you're not sitting down for a meal, you can shop there for ten Cokes.) As a whole, though, the Texas Eagle staff were wonderful and accommodating, at least to me.

Waking up in my roomette, my anxiety was in full bloom, I missed my family. Laying there, watching a fog hover over craggy hills of nowhere, Missouri, I battled with existentialist, "what does life mean" moments. Dogs roamed property unchained, staying far from the muscle of the roaring train. People sat behind the wheel of rusted out Toyotas, annoyed they caught the train, but thankful our small convoy wasn't hauling freight. Reaching Union Station in Chicago hours late, I was happy to see the skyline.

Chicago was a hurricane. I had one healthy meal while visiting. In preparation for the Misfits, Preston, my best friend and our friend Ben from New Orleans ate with little scruples in regard to our well-being. We had sloppy beef sandwiches at Al's, hot dogs at Superdawg, along with pizza standing with our friends celebrating the opening of Rocket Tattoo. I chowed down on breaded steak sandwiches with my great aunt at Ricobene's. And I successfully avoided Malort. 

We hit Rainbo in Wicker Park, witnessed the awful yuppification of one of my oldest watering holes, Tuman's. We downed cold ones with my editor Jacob in Bob Inn, listened to the classics at The Exit, and paid homage at the wondrous Old Town Ale House. If there's anything you need to know about Chicago, we appreciate a good tavern. 

Pre-gaming around Wicker Park, we took the EL train to the venue out in Rosemont, but two stops away somewhere near Harlem Avenue, those tall Old Style's needed an exit strategy. Racing off the EL through the one-day "only in Chicago snow-cum-sleet" we ran to a Wendy's bathroom for a three-man race to the finish line pee in two toilets.

Because my brothers, friends, and other randoms were all in the house, we didn't go in till just before Fear took the stage. While I love Fear, Lee Ving and Co. didn't translate well into the room full of onlookers dressed in black, ready for one thing: to hear Glenn Danzig belt out the hits.  

When the Misfits came out at 900 MPH, complete with Jerry Only coming from a fucking coffin, it was one of those few times in life that when you want something so bad, to see it actually deliver. It's was a transcendental moment, the songs I'd loved since I was a boy, hearing them, "20 Eyes", "Who Killed Marilyn" or "She" – I've still got the setlist saved in my phone. I was so happy with the performance, the vibe in the room, that it wasn't a bunch of corporate dudes there to drink beer and sit in the suites, I cried. I was that happy. 

Relentlessly, the Misfits delivered. Danzig sounded a little beat up when he spoke to the crowd, like the throat pipe might burst, but as soon they counted off in their signature “1-2-3-4,” Danzig didn't miss a beat. It actually looked like he was enjoying himself, like sure, I'm making a fuckload of cash happy, but a legitimate joy that I hadn't seen in any of my times catching him previous. 

Spending the $150 for the tickets felt like a fair exchange to hear all of my favorite songs in a row as the encore, including my all-timer, "Hybrid Moments," followed by "Attitude" and finally, "We Are 138." 

I accidentally punched the guy next to me in the face, and Preston's glasses were knocked off and we spilled a few beers. Anything is possible when you're high on seeing Jerry Only do a bunch of power slides across the stage. I mean, those shin guards have to serve some kind of purpose, right? 

Despite my utter joy and later elated drinking with my friends at the Exit, the significant moment of the trip came from the bond between myself, my brothers, and Preston. 

My brother Brandon was tight on cash since finding out he was becoming a dad, Preston stepped in and bought him one, which facilitated him and his girlfriend Katie attending. That was a class move so he could be there with me and my other brother Bryan. 

Bryan, like me, is a huge Misfits fan, we both have crimson ghost tattoos. When I rolled into the show, I had my eye on one of the posters. At $30 a pop, it was a pricey piece of memorabilia. I ponied up the cash and bought one, but immediately following found out, they had signed ones for a cool $100. Being that I was already on vacation, spending that extra $60 seemed like a bad idea. I went without. My brother and his wife Samantha knew how much the show meant to me and bought me the signed poster. When they gave it to me, I was touched by their act of kindness. They didn't have to do that. So, by accepting the gift, I gave my $30 unsigned poster to Brandon. 

And now, sitting in my office, I have that poster framed on my wall. It's a reminder that while yes, I had the best time at the show, the bonds with my brothers are unbreakable, despite living across the country. Getting to share that experience with them and Preston and Ben will be a highlight at the end of my movie. A guy can only be so lucky, devil lock or not. 

“In hybrid moments, give me a moment.”





Jun 5, 2019

Say 'How Do' To Austin's The Barnyard Boys

by Robert Dean

Definitely not taking themselves too seriously, The Barnyard Boys have dropped their debut e.p. Barn Yesterday, that covers everything from taking out the trash to just hanging out drinking some beers. And you know what? It's sweet as hell.

While most of the stuff we write about is always super serious and driven by artistic integrity, The Barnyard Boys ain't having any of that. It's fun to hear a band that patently doesn't give a fuck, that isn't chasing stages or streams, instead, these are the kinds of dudes psyched to play their local bar for some friends and drinking plenty of beers in the process. If The Barnyard Boys were a drink, they'd be a cold tallboy of Lonestar; it's accessible, goes down smooth and you can always grab another to keep the party going.  

There are tunes about tractors, getting laid, recruiting new members via song and a whole bunch of other lighthearted concepts. But, while the lyrics aren't serious, the musicianship is top notch. The Boys' don't miss a lick and continue to keep the listener's attention, no matter what rabbit hole they venture down. 

If you're around our fair city of Austin, Texas, you'll probably catch The Barnyard Boys stomping around a local brewery somewhere, or maybe just out playing you know… in the barn. 

Apparently, they play in it every weekend. They even wrote a song about it. Just be sure to bring enough to drink for everyone, it seems like that's their vibe. 





Jun 3, 2019

Album Review / Willard Gayheart & Friends / At Home in the Blue Ridge

Dori Freeman isn't the only person in her family with chops; apparently grandpa has them too

By Robert Dean

In the random goodness section of Farce The Music, I was given the link to check out Willard Gayheart's new record, At Home in the Blue Ridge. While it's straight ahead, down-home bluegrass, that's entirely capable of captivating even the most stringent of fans, what's endearing about the project is that this is Gayheart's first record, and he's 87 years old. 

Gayheart is a famed visual artist in the small town of Galax, Virginia and has been in the bluegrass scene throughout the Blue Ridge Mountain area, but At Home in the Blue Ridge is a substantial collection of songs that is nothing but a sweet surprise. Gayheart should have released a solo record decades ago considering how well the songs are put together. 

The songs on the record are clearly rooted in the Appalachian traditions as well as respect for the local culture. Despite playing in bluegrass bands throughout the years, Gayheart hadn't flexed his songwriting muscles, till it became a family affair as At Home in The Blue Ridge features his granddaughter, the Americana songstress Dori Freeman, her husband Nick Falk, plus Dori's dad Scott Freeman. The record was produced by Teddy Thompson, who's long been a collaborator with Dori.


What gives At Home in The Blue Ridge it's unique and inviting tone is that it was recorded live in Willard's frame shop where he proudly displays and sells his pencil drawings. How homespun is that? One of the most endearing things about Gayheart's songs are the stripped down, honest themes of the bygone days of Appalachia, good times and bad when people still scraped livings from the mountains themselves, growing what they had to eat and sharing what they grew. 

—————


At Home in the Blue Ridge is available on Amazon and other music sites.

May 31, 2019

On Poem, Jeremy Squires Has Finally Found His Sound

By Robert Dean

Jeremy Squires never disappoints. One of the better voices creeping out from the backroads of North Carolina, Squires is back with his new record, Poem. And once again, it’s a slow-burn stunner that reminds listeners of backyard bonfires, and tall tales told over tall boys of PBR in quiet confidence. 

Poem is moody and takes what’s considered “Americana” by its ear and dares us to explore what works within the confines of genre. Much like how Lucero dove on Among the Ghosts and Jason Isbell did with The Nashville Sound. What works about Poem is that it feels like Squires set aside what he couldn’t do, but instead, focused on what was possible by testing what he was capable in the studio. 

Poem is dreamy with haunting guitars that aim more towards My Bloody Valentine or Radiohead than what Squires country-inspired contemporaries are focused on and it’s imprinted all over the record. "Stargazer" and "A Calm Around" aren’t bangers but float through the collection of tunes in a haze, which is perfect considering the vibe of the record overall.


It’s also refreshing to hear songs that that feel earnest instead of trying to catch a wave or appeal to an audience that might not exist. On Poem, Squires has found much more of himself than on his previous releases, which were also solid, but this time around, this batch isn’t as self-serving, this is a man comfortable in his own skin, but also satisfied with what he does. For a lot of us, we’re always chasing that dragon that might never land, and we could all be so lucky to finally our moment as Squires has. 

The back half of the record is decidedly more country but holds its presence nonetheless. If anything, the second half sounds a little more Tom Petty country than it does hard Nashville. 

One thing to definitely take note of is the record’s cover. Whoever did it rules. It’s got this metal well of skulls thing going on. Super cool. Thank you for not wistfully staring out at the sunset or body of water, Jeremy. 

Poem doesn’t go overboard, and no track overturns the applecart, but instead, the songs are dreary, rainy day bummers, which will forever have their places as long as people get sad and need someone else to feel their pain. 

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Poem is available on Jeremy’s Bandcamp page and most everywhere you consume fine music.


May 20, 2019

Get Creepy at Nosferatu Festival

By Robert Dean

If you’re going to be around lovely Austin, Texas around May 31st- June 2, one of the coolest festivals (among the many we have) will be taking a bite out of the Capital City. 

Local horror + music + girls covered in blood magazine Gore Noir is throwing their first annual Nosferatu Festival, which celebrates the 90th anniversary of the U.S. release of the most influential silent horror films of all time — Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror.

If you’re a weird horror nerd like me, this gives my soul a boner. Of all of the iconic figures in horror, Nosferatu remains one of the creepiest still. Whatever the combination of the black and white, the way Max Shrek pulled off Count Orlak, whatever – it’s still 100% viable almost a century later. 

The festival will have a whole load of shit to do: screenings, music, burlesque, games, costume contests, vendors, and photo ops.

“Nosferatu is a film that unites the community; whether you’re a punk, or a goth or just a fan of horror films,” says, Mitch Rafter of Gore Noir Magazine. “The film brings people together.” Mitch is also the creator and producer of the Nosferatu Gore Noir Edition.

(Spoiler: I’ve seen it, and it’s sick. If you don’t believe me, go look at the Nightmare on Elm Street special edition. I wrote the spread for that issue.)

Here’s what information was leaked from the crypt: 

The kick-off will be at Kick Butt Coffee on Friday night followed by 2 full days at 4th Tap Brewing Co-op. Somehow, they managed to dig up three different versions of Nosferatu, including one with live score by the Invincible Czars, and another that will be the “Gore Noir Edition” with an all-new soundtrack by Austin composer/musician Steven Canham.

And the other fun stuff includes sideshow performers, burlesque (wouldn’t be a fest without that, now would it?), live tunes by the skate punk band Nosfera II, and of course, Nosferatu screening all night. There’s also a coffin race, a costume contest and a whole bunch of other nerdy things that go bump in the night. 

If you see me there, say hey and I’ll buy you a beer.



Tickets and VIP packages are available now at nosferatufestival.com.

May 6, 2019

No Sleep Roundup: Cave In, Jericho Woods, Sara Trunzo, Culture Abuse



By Robert Dean

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

Three records you should really listen to: 


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. 


If you’re sitting on public transportation and want to beat the ever-loving shit out of the person next to you, put this on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76WDd27SWtM&feature=youtu.be

It’s Full of Hell’s newest and boy is it not for beginners into metal. 

If you were psyched on whack ass Vampire Weekend dropping a new record, get hip to the new Culture Abuse, it’s a more realized, non-shitty version of what those preppy nerds are doing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6zm0qp8TQU&feature=youtu.be

Plus, Culture Abuse is going on tour, like all summer. You’ll get to enjoy music that’s not next to some asshole in salmon-colored shorts. 

Apr 15, 2019

No Sleep Roundup: Misfits, Vale, Willie Nelson



By Robert Dean

Howdy jerks, 

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:

• Nathaniel Hawthorne & The Night Sweats
• Alison Krauss
• Jamey Johnson
• Luke Combs 
• Ray Wylie Hubbard
• Johnny Bush
• Billy Joe Shaver 
• Colter Wall
• The Casey Kristofferson Band 
• Gene Watson





Apr 5, 2019

All Hail Country's New Queen of Evil, Karly Driftwood

By Robert Dean

Like a gasoline-flavored Sour Patch Kid, Karly Driftwood is your new favorite country singing antihero, you just don’t know it yet. On her debut record, Too Mean To Die, Driftwood is everything you don’t want her to be: a reckless savage with long red hair and a pretty face that will cut you with a broken bottle and leave your sorry ass to die in the gutter. But, while you're bleeding to death, she might leave you a smoke for one last moment of joy - she's sweet like that.

Too Mean to Die is laced with elements of horror, allusions to hard drug use, long nights out, and sin – all of the things Driftwoods male counterparts are allowed to build careers off of. Without sacrificing integrity for a cheap thrill, Too Mean To Die is relentless in that Driftwood took plenty of lumps, slumming it in the Nashville dives to get the tone, the feel, and the vibe right for the record; it’s got equal parts Kacey Musgraves, Stevie Nicks, Lana Del Rey, and Elvira all wrapped up in a tight blunt with weed powerful enough to kick the ever-loving fuck out of you. 

The songs aren’t dreary, in fact, they’re bright and sunny, the subtle nuance lives in the DNA of how razor sharp the lyrics are. Driftwood, aptly named after Rob Zombie’s murderous Devil’s Reject’s clan doesn’t hold back on her faults, failures and never wanting to be a Stepford Wife. 

The only thing is while Nashville would just love to gobble a talent like this up and grind in the wheels of their studded denim flesh machine, Driftwood isn’t interested. She's got Danzig in her soul and despite those luscious harmonies ringing loud, there's blood and violence in them hymns. 

“Baked You a Cake” is almost gleeful with its promises of gore and violence all wrapped up with a cherry red kiss. “Settle for Being Used” is an honest look at Driftwood’s personal life which again, thanks to the devastating lyrics that harken back to the era of early 2000’s emo with bands like Death Cab for Cutie baring the soul to the point of tearing the paper-thin heart. You end up almost feeling sorry for Driftwood, despite the obvious prize of what the listener gets in return. 

The vibe of the record drifts between old school honky tonk and traditionalist country but never loses the rhythmic chops, it’s all killer, no filler without any tired country clichés. There are these moments, though, I don’t know if it’s the old guy in me, or that Driftwood’s dad is a rock and roller, that you can hear the influence of 1990’s alternative in the hooks, the phrasing. It took us a while for the cultural hammer to swing in this direction, but the flavor has the spice that feels like there are some Letters to Cleo, Liz Phair, and even Sixpence None the Richer in that twisted psyche.


“Stripped My Way to Nashville” is a perfect example, while it has some country overtones, but it’s a straight up rock and roll tune that radio in the 1990s would have gobbled up instantly. For all of the societal love for Cardi B making it through the clubs, Driftwood deserves the same treatment. 

It’ll be interesting to see how the music translates live considering if people, women especially, get their hands on the music, there are plenty of anthemic moments that ladies with a few long nights can share as something that’s undeniably theirs. 

In the past, we’ve been good at calling winners. We called Sturgill, Tyler Childers, and Colter Wall. We’re calling it next for Karly Driftwood. She’s going to be everyone’s favorite Halloween witch, and we say bring on the razor blade candy bars. 

Apr 1, 2019

I Don't Know What's Going on Here, But I Like It

By Robert Dean

Gotta respect a dude willing to live for his art. An American Forrest has a new record dropping, O’ Bronder Yonder Donder? And while I have no idea what the fuck that title means, this project is super cool. 

Check out this bio: 

“An American Forrest is the name of Forrest Van Tuyl's western music project. Van Tuyl was recently a featured performer at the 2019 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada (alongside folks like Ian Tyson and Colter Wall, nbd).

When Forrest isn't touring in support of his music, he works as a cowboy in a pack outfit hauling explorers, researchers, and their equipment into the two-million-acre expanse of the Wallowa-Whitman Wilderness. He spends many months of the year on horseback, and training horses. 

As a result, his lyrics are full of contemplative, complex verses that trot and canter as honky tonks, and western hymnals. His new album O'Bronder, Donder Yonder? was recorded at Mike Coykendall's Blue Room Studio in Portland, Oregon. We hope you'll give it a listen. I'm attaching links to his latest videos, filmed in and about the wilderness near his home in Enterprise, Oregon.”

TWO MILLION ACRES. Dawg, I need fried chicken sandwiches in life and Desus and Mero highlights, I can’t be riding in the rain up in God’s Country. But, my man Forrest is all about that life. Check out one of the three new videos they’ve dropped and go buy a copy of the record May 10th, so when this mountain man emerges from the wilderness, he can buy a pair of Vans. 

Also, shout out to all of the cattle roaming through one of the videos. 


And here’s “Yonder My Love”


Mar 27, 2019

Ona Bring The Strange Goodness With "Summer Candy"

by Robert Dean

get a lot of new music sent to my inbox every week. Some of it is good, and some of it leaves me scratching my head, wondering if I’m out of touch, or everyone really does have a new face tattoo? But then when I get music with guitars, I do a happy clap ala Snoopy when Schroder starts banging away on the keys. Rock and roll in all of its mutations are very much alive, and Ona is a perfect example of a band doing something exciting and taking me out of my comfort zone and turning me onto new vibes I’d generally never tread toward.

Nothing drives me more insane is when some dickweed says, “there’s no good music anymore.” And to that guy, I say: go fuck yourself. There’s a ton of great music bursting from every fetid corner of the Internet and record store, you joyless bastard. 

Stumbling onto Ona’s new video for their track "Summer Candy", I was perplexed, yet curious. Somehow, these boys have managed to take 1980’s camera trickery, an office space, a few leisure suits and create something oddly compelling. As the moments unfurled, I just couldn’t look away. The gravitational force of "Summer Candy" is too great, it’s like if Toto, George Harrison, and Tom Petty all got drunk and made a decidedly strange video with a catchy tune. Maybe more aptly, they’re a southern Echo and The Bunnymen, but whatever it is, Summer Candy is a damn fine throwback jam. A guy is in a sparkly cape and a keyboard guy who’s got an A+ mustache and lets the groove take him to the next dimension. The multi-phone clap is a nice touch, too.

I may not understand it, but I like it. Give Ona a listen and fall into the next dimension:


Mar 25, 2019

No Sleep Roundup: Motley Crue, Vale, Sharkmuffin, Brooks & Dunn


By Robert Dean

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. 

ANYHOW, 

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. 


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