Friday, July 22, 2011


On the heels of last year's "Crusher" EP, and recently back from European dates in Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic (as well as the Obscene Extreme Fest where they performed with the likes of Entombed, Brujeria, Brutal Truth and more), Washington DC/New York CIty grindcore trio Magrudergrind has announced plans to set out on a series of East Coast tour dates kicking off this September. Along for the ride will be West Coast powerviolence veterans Despise You (ex Spazz / East/West Blast Test), who themselves will be taking part in their first ever East Coast tour in support of their recently released and critically acclaimed split LP with Agoraphobic Nosebleed on Relapse Records.

Making stops in most major cities along the way from Boston to Gainesville, the tour will meet up with special guests including Floor, Suppression, Defeatist, Cannabis Corpse, Primate, Shitstorm, Asshole Parade, and will feature two stops in Florida, a state Magrudergrind has not performed in since 2009.

In addition to the dates with Despise You, Magrudergrind will also be performing at this year's Best Friends Day in Richmond, The California Discord Fest in Los Angeles and TheFest in Florida, and are currently writing material for a new full length album tentatively scheduled for release in 2012.

Magrudergrind / Despise You Live!
9/9 - Washington, D.C. @ TBA
9/10 - Cambridge, MA @ The Democracy Center *
9/11 - Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium ^
9/12 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary w/ Backslider, Callous
9/13 - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter %
9/14 - Raleigh, NC @ Kings
9/15 - Atlanta, GA @ WonderRoot #!
9/16 - Tampa, FL @ Transitions Art Gallery #
9/17 - Gainesville, FL @ The Atlantic #$

* = w/ Vaccine and more
^ = w/ Defeatist and more
% = w/ Suppression, Cannabis Corpse
# = w/ Shitstorm
#! = w/ Shitstorm and Primate
#$ = w/ Shitstorm, Floor, Asshole Parade

Monday, July 18, 2011


On October 23rd Bad Afro Records will re-issue the Baby Woodrose album Love Comes Down. For many people this can be considered the “lost” Baby Woodrose album. It was originally released in 2006 and followed the succesful Money For Soul album. At the time Love Comes Down was only released in Scandinavia and not many people outside here ever got the chance to hear it. Which is a shame as it contains a great mix of pretty straight forward garage rockers mixed with beautiful moodier stuff.The vinyl version was only released in 500 copies which makes it the most rare Baby Woodrose LP to date.

But that will change now when Bad Afro will release it again – this time with extra material included. The 1st press of 500 copies on black vinyl will include a free 7” single on 33 1/3 rpm with two exclusive songs recorded at the same sessions as Love Comes Down. We are talking two hard stoner rock songs called Cheery Bomb and The Keeper that together clocks in at more than 12 minutes. Guest appearances Eduardo Martinez (The Flaming Sideburns) and Yebo (The Tremolo Beer Gut).

Love Comes Down featured the original Baby Woodrose line-up: Lorenzo Woodrose on guitar/vocals, Fuzz Daddy on drums and The Moody Guru on bass (the two last mentioned also play with Lorenzo in Dragontears and Spids Nøgenhat these days).

Deaf Sparrow Zine endorses serious freaks....especially if they sound like transvestite versions of Monster Magnet.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


California trio, TOTIMOSHI, are pleased to announce their long-awaited U.S. tour. Set to commence on August 4, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the trek will weave its way through nearly 30 cities, before winding down on September 3, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. The band will be touring in support of their soon-to-be-unleashed Avenger full-length, scheduled to hit streets on August 16, 2011 via At A Loss Recordings. Avenger was produced by Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Shrinebuilder, Tool), mastered by John Golden (Melvins, Mike Watt, OM) and includes appearances by Dale Crover (Altamont, The Melvins, Shrinebuilder), Brent Hinds (Mastodon) and Scott Kelly (Neurosis, Shrinebuilder).

Commented guitarist/vocalist Antonio Aguilar of the upcoming run of dates: "Totimoshi is looking forward to rocking the fuck out in your town!" 
TOTIMOSHI U.S. Tour 2011 (more dates to be announced shortly):

8/04/2011 Chaser's - Scottsdale, AZ w/ Greenhaven
8/05/2011 The Due Return - Santa Fe,
NM 8/06/2011 3 Kings Tavern - Denver, CO w/ Ume, Self Service
8/07/2011 Duffy’s - Lincoln, NE
8/08/2011 Off Minor - Dubuque, IA
8/09/2011 Garibalid’s - Milwaukee, WI w/ Sleestak, Like Like The Death Deaths
8/10/2011 The Frequency - Madison, WI
8/11/2011 Ultra Lounge - Chicago, IL
8/12/2011 Mac’s Bar - Lansing, MI
8/13/2011 Stone Tavern - Kent, OH w/ Rebreather, The Unclean
8/14/2011 Hard Luck - Toronto, ON
8/15/2011 TBA - Montreal, QC
8/16/2011 Daniel St. - Milford, CT
8/17/2011 O’Brien’s - Cambridge, MA
8/19/2011 TBA - Providence, RI
8/20/2011 Saint Vitus - Brooklyn, NY
8/21/2011 Golden West - Baltimore, MD
8/22/2011 Strange Matter - Richmond, VA
8/26/2011 Milestone - Charlotte, NC w / Music Hates You
8/27/2011 The Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta, GA w/ Zoroaster
8/28/2011 Hi Tone Café - Memphis, TN
8/29/2011 Siberia - New Orleans, LA
8/30/2011 The Mink - Houston, TX
8/31/2011 Scoot Inn - Austin, TX w/ Vaz, Pygmie Shrews
9/01/2011 Korova Basement - San Antonio, TX
9/03/2011 Vaudeville - Tucson, AZ  

Monday, July 11, 2011


While Liturgy is making the first US tour in support of Aesthethica, the Brooklyn-based band has major news on more shows coming this fall, including performances at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; opening for Japan's psych/metal stars Boris on the east coast; and playing at the Pop Montreal International Music Festival, along with the Hopscotch Music Festival, in September.

Liturgy at MoMA - July 29, part of "Grand Openings Return of the Blogs" "MoMA's Performance Program resumes with a new commission by the New York-based artist collective Grand Openings. In collaboration with musicians, performance art scholars, sound artists, filmmakers, writers, and friends, the group is composing a multifaceted live program that relates to the history of performance art in general, as well as MoMA's particular institutional structure." "Liturgy resonates with Grand Openings' zombie move(s) while Mari Mukai constructs a house. " For more information, see: 
 Liturgy tour dates with Boris 
Oct 25 - Boston, MA - Royale Nightclub 
Oct 27 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza 
Oct 29 - Washington DC - Black Cat Current Liturgy US tour dates 
Jul 11 - Kansas City, MO - Record Bar w/Dope Body 
Jul 12 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive 
Jul 13 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court 
Jul 15 - Anacortes, WA - What The Heck Fest 
Jul 16 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon 
Jul 17 - Olympia, WA - Northern 
Jul 18 - Portland, OR - Branx 
Jul 20 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill 
Jul 22 - Santa Barbara, CA - Muddy Waters 
Jul 23 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo 
Jul 24 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar 
Jul 25 - San Diego, CA - Casbah 
Jul 26 - Scottsdale, AZ - The Rogue Bar 
Jul 28 - Austin, TX - Red 7 
Jul 29 - New York, NY - Museum of Modern Art 
Aug 2 - Baltimore, MD - Floristree 
Aug 3 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie 
Sep 9 - Raleigh, NC - Hopscotch Music Festival 
Sep 21 - Montreal, QC - Pop Montreal International Music Festival

Someone should tell the vocalist of Liturgy not to make any more silly manifestos, otherwise he is going to be eating shit for the rest of his life. Liturgy, the band though, get a lot of undeserved crap.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sci-Fi Adventures (Special): The Pilgrim Project, The End of our Space Program and Perhaps an Empire

In case you didn't figure it out from the picture, the title of this blog entry isn't the full title of the book, I simply added a bit more. This is a fitting novel for a fitting time. For those of you who didn't know, and sadly that's probably around 95% of you out there, the American Space Shuttle Program is done, finished. July 8th was officially the last shuttle flight America is ever going to see. It was even on the news, but most of you probably didn't know that. See, back in the day, America really cared about itself, but since then we've lost our way. No just our way but our will. Sure, it comes back occasionally when chaos strikes, but it always sinks back under the surface of rising debt, horrid unemployment, outsourcing, shoddy plastic shit from Lowe's, and politicians that never have a clue. The shuttle program is just yet another example of our eventual end. You may all be indeed witnessing not just the end of an era, but the end of an empire.

Enter The Pilgrim Project. I can't forgive you for not knowing about the above, but not knowing about this novel is another story. Hank Searls is pretty much a total no-name today, which is sad because he basically was the first writer to do what would eventually make Tom Clancy famous. This particular novel was one of a few, and it was even made into a film in the 60s called "Countdown". As far as sci-fi goes, don't expect aliens or weird technology. This is really perhaps the first novel of its kind, a historical science fiction novel that assumes the then near future. In it, a group of researches, scientists, politicians, etc. get together and come up with a plan to beat those dang Russkies to the moon. As a whole, the characters are pretty wooden, and the plot will seem drab at first, but something about The Pilgrim Project makes it incredibly interesting. I'm not sure what it is, perhaps it's the fluid writing style and attention to the details you need, or perhaps it's that part of us that died yesterday.

The main plot revolves around Steve Lawrence, an astronaut who's ship is called down with its crew and eventually becomes the central figure in a race to beat Russia to the moon. Keep in mind, when this was written, the Russians had already beaten us to space and shot up a satellite. Searls here assumes what would eventually happen, America landing the first man on the moon. What follows is a bunch of political intrigue and science, the majority actually really cool in spite of how boring you'd assume it would be. The plan? Shoot a man to the moon, sending a special pod to live in separately so he can survive when he gets there (he'll be there for about a year, alone). It's risky, and he could die due to a number of circumstances. Many people don't think it will work and think it's an unnecessary risk. Others know it's the only way to make America care about itself again, it's the only way to give the people hope. So Lawrence is eventually chosen and decides to move forward in spite of some problems at home and not really having the necessary experience. After some grueling training, and after the Russians secretly try to beat America when the plan is leaked to the press, Lawrence is shot into space.

The ending is actually quite surprising, so if you don't want to blow it, skip this paragraph. Lawrence basically misinterprets a riff on the moon's surface and lands. He has a small window in which to abort and using the pull of the moon, head back to earth. But he doesn't, even though he promised everyone otherwise, he knows what it means to at least make it there, even if he dies within a few hours. So he decides to land, not wanting to think years later he actually saw the pod but aborted the mission. He thinks at first of staying in the capsule to survive for four more days, but then decides to go on the surface, wandering for several miles as he takes it all in with a peaceful, going-towards-death attitude. He eventually finds the shape he saw, and discovers it was in fact the Russian craft, most of it damaged. Out of the port is half of the body of the pilot, with a small Soviet flag nearby. In his last moments, he wanted to make sure it was planted. Lawrence knows he's going to die, so he gets his flag ready and starts to plant both flags in the moon's surface, when, at the last moment, he sees the blip of the light of the pod in the distance, which means it's both fairly close and upright (undamaged), so he goes for it and the novel ends. I kind of thought having him die would be a cool , philosophical ending considering the presence of the dead Russian, but Searls leaves it open to him just having enough air to make it, but you don't know if he does.

One of the things that makes this such a great book is the historical value. Sure, the story is strangely engrossing and fast-paced despite reading tons of material on training. As far as sci-fi goes, it's a pretty solid book. But that's not the value of it, especially considering what's happening to us now. This was a time when America thought it was really going to accomplish something; the Space Race absorbed our attention easily up through the mid to late 80s. After that, it, and we, lost the spark. Since that time NASA shuttle launches have seen a pretty hard decline, and after this final launch, I can't help but feel we're all a little empty and downtrodden, at least those of us that paid attention. It's like seeing everything we were blast one last time, disappear, and then sink into nothingness. The Pilgrim Project is a glimpse into the feeling of the time, and a look at what we once were. Will we ever regain the glory and push to greatness found in this novel? Probably not, this book is sad in a way, it's part of a dead age, one we'll never see again. Troubling, because within the story it's commented that we'll be on mars by the '1980s'. Funny how that didn't work out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sci-Fi Adventures: The Durdane Trilogy (The Anome, The Brave Free Men, and The Asutra)

Time for a good stack of books! Now, unfortunately for us sci-fi fans, sometimes writers milk a series much farther than it needs to be (cough Harry Turtledove you bastard). Thankfully, back in the day when writers knew how to write, series were often kept within three books or a handful. This particular series, usually referred to as the Durdane Series, is contained within three different novels, all by Jack Vance, an incredibly prolific writer who's highly undervalued in the history of American literature. Oh yeah, I forgot, if it has an interesting plot it isn't "literature". Anyway, dude wrote a lot of good shit, this series being one of the more well-known. Original, first-run copies still fetch a few hundred.

So, this little entry in our blog is going to be a short summary of each. First off, a word of caution. These babies are so damn detailed it's almost impossible to cover everything that happens. I don't want to blow too much, but I want to give a general idea of what they're about, so keep that in mind. There's just too much greatness here to touch. So here we go anyway...

The Durdane books all involve the main character, Gastel Etzwane, and his path from boy, to ruler of his planet, to savior. Durdane is ruled by an unseen leader called the Faceless Man, or the Anome, who maintains control by the means of a device called the torc, a metallic device that fits around the neck. Torcs mark off social class and such, and can be used to explode a citizen's head should they get out of line. Durdane is the planet of the novel, but a good portion of the action takes place in Gastel's homeland of Shant and surrounding areas, as well as some other locations as the stories progress. A horrible race of creatures threatens several areas, Gastel takes control of the land, and things eventually come to pass, for the most part. How do each of the books lay it out?

The Anome

This is a good starter. Gastel is a boy in a Shant, which consists of a number of different areas ruled by different types of cults. Gastel, not so willingly, is considered a 'Pure Boy' in his particular cult, which is something to sort of strive for, but he doesn't really care. He gets involved in mischief here and there, but is eventually driven away from Shant when he decides to remove his mother from slavery by appealing directly to the Anome, the unseen ruler of Shant who has passed on his power throughout the years. This book sets up the world and gives you a taste of some of the weird language and creatures. Lots of cool things, but too many to mention here, but I personally enjoyed the weird balloon transportation system the people of Shant used, as well as these weird creatures called the alhuphs, even though you only come upon them now and then. Gastel also learns the identity of his father and starts to become a musician. Eventually, he learns of the general location of the Anome and, with the help of an outsider, figures out a way to disarm his torc and discover where to find the Faceless Man...

The Brave Free Men

This one takes the story further. It's not really possible to read the first one and just leave it at that, because it basically leaves off with the assumption you're going to read the next, so you can't really read this one alone either. Gastel in this one eventually finds who the Anome is, and is kind of shock to find a frail, almost psychotic lunatic at the helm of the land. He, of course, eventually becomes the Anome himself but pretends as if he is simply working for him. This novel focuses more on the Roguskoi, a strange race of beings that look something like men but are incredibly powerful and have horrifying weapons. They have been raiding various areas around Shant, killing the men without taking much damage at all, and impregnating women and girls, who seem to only give birth to more Roguskoi. No transfer of genes takes place. They were talked about in the first book, but this one really focuses on them, and in fact the problem of the Roguskoi is how Gastel is able to gain power. He then goes on a campaign to figure out how to destroy the Roguskoi. Throughout various intrigues and dealings with tons of characters, Gastel creates an army with newly invented weapons. He also creates a group called the Brave Free Men, willing fighters for the cause who are given freedom from the torc for fighting for Shant. With their weapons, and through some really cool fighting scenes, the Roguskoi are forced into huge swamplands that lead into another area south of Durdane. The Roguskoi are oddly found to be organic tanks with strange, insect-like creatures controlling them inside. When Gastel and some of his glider troops begin to wipe out the rest of the Roguskoi in the swamps, they lead them to Caraz, a different part of Durdane rarely dealt with through Shant. Thinking the people of Caraz with their superior technology are somehow responsible for the Roguskoi, more intrigue begins...

The Asutra

Gastel learns more of Caraz and a whole new world opens for the reader with lots of cool creatures, people, and adventures. Again, really, it's almost impossible to detail the amount of depth Vance provides in these books, suffice to say this is the one where it all comes together, so if you don't want to spoil it don't finish this short synopsis. Basically, through various wanderings in an area sort-of fashioned like the Middle East with slavers and lots of crazies, Gastel learns the insect creatures are the Asutra, who have been enslaved (seems the other way around at first until you learn the truth) the Ka, another alien race. They've been herding and using various creatures as different types of slaves, including the humans of Durdane, and Gastel takes it upon himself to brave their ship and destroy them. Later there are some incredible scenes in this slave colony where Gastel learns more about the history of the creatures he seeks. Throughout the rest you learn the truth of the Ka and Gastel eventually returns to Shant after some seriously cool sci-fi adventure, happy that he's essentially saved the entire planet and even more happy to live life as a musician instead of the Anome. Brief summary, and not nearly enough to scratch the surface, but for our purposes we'll leave it be.

Really, overall, the Durdane books are plain fucking awesome. You generally can expect that when a poor, little old blog writer can't even compose a somewhat substantial entry about them. There is simply so much in each of these books you have to read them for yourself to get an idea of what Vance has created. The world of Durdane is incredible, interesting, and more importantly very real. It's incredibly easy to get engrossed in each of these books. No real complaints, though the integration of the Eagle Dukes of Caraz would have been cooler. They touch on them in the second book and just sort of leave it at that. Other than that minor detail, these books fucking school. Great science fiction, real science fiction, and the stuff that's clearly for the hardcore sci-fi reader. You can't be casual with these, you're all in or you're all poseur. It's not like the technology will blow you away because it's so detailed, it's that the world requires the reader to learn about it, it's almost like learning about another country, language and all. It takes time to sink in, and by the end of the first book you're totally absorbed. I personally finished each of these in about a day apiece because they were so fucking awesome. The story never really lets up, even when it's just explaining some history of Durdane or pieces of its culture. Each adventure segment is exciting, it's just, fuck, can't say enough good about them, but unfortunately I can't really explain them totally either. If you're into sci-fi, these books are a must read.