Conan talks to Donna about the Djunah full length Ex-Voto. Going over on a song by song basis, as well as the VERY BUSY YEAR that the band has had.
There is talk of Donna’s previous band Beat Drun Juel as well… and gosh darn it, it’s just a great talk.
- Helms Alee – Noctiluca
- Hurry Up Shotgun – This Crystal Vessel
- Djunah – Ex-Voto
- SEMINARS – Iniquity Signals
- B. Hamilton – Nothing and Nowhere
- Big Business – the Beast You Are
- Austerity Program – Bible Songs 1
- J. Robbins – Un-becoming
- Tropical Fuck Storm – Brain Drops
- Drug Apts. – Clean Living Under Difficult Circumstances
- Christian Fitness – You Are the Ambulance
- Nervous Curtains – I Tried To Fight It But I Was Inside It
- CUNTS – CUNTS
- Multicult – Simultaneity Now
- Magpies – Terrain
Alternately (and sometimes simultaneously!) heavy as hell and laden with soaring beauty, Helms Alee are the oncoming storm. No band currently working effectively works in such a deft and unique field. That’s because there are none like them. What can I say? This is an essential record and I listen to it regularly. Not many bands can put out their 5th album and having it arguably be their best.
Helms Alee, long may they run.
Both brooding and soaring, intense but never boring… Oakland’s Hurry Up Shotgun have yet again delivered one of the best records of the year. Not explicitly any one genre, but pairing innovative arrangement and discordance with melody and harmony, HuS continues to took away and make adventuresome and worthy records that most people have never heard. Recommended for fans of the Chavez, The Afghan Whigs, Mudhoney, Les Savy Fav and the more danger laden QOTSA stuff.
I’ve said a lot about Djunah, and I imagine I will in the future. Remarkable band with a unique sound, an iconoclastic presence and a leg for a bass player. Weighty and worthy art worth paying attention to. Dive in and see what they have to offer. RIYL: Brainiac, Marnie Stern, Oxbow, Le Butcherettes, early PJ Harvey… but they really have a voice all their own.
SEMINARS is a badass band, and everybody oughta know. Still the downstroke kings, but now introducing elements of moodier post-punk and nuanced rhythmic interplay. The songs are great, the sound is top notch, what is not to love?
One of the most iconoclastic, yet easy to understand bands I can think of that almost nobody knows. It’s been literal years since B Hamilton’s last record and civilizations have risen and fell since then.
There’s still a melding of Kevin Shields like guitar atmospherics with Frank Black style noisepop, but the blues is strong with this record. Without ever sounding a bit like Blues Hammer.
B Hamilton can be a hard band to describe, because they are more inventive, interesting and downright enjoyable than most bands that are genre adjacent to them.
Also, drummer Raj’s work in Once and Future Band and now Black Crowes (!), means that B. Hamilton remains a jewel of a treasure for those that know and a new favorite band for those that don’t.
45 and Straight is a slice of octave laden insistence that ought to be a well known hit, but there isn’t a weak song on the record.
Sounding both completely of it’s time and timeless at the same time. It’s the: “ok boomer” of rock records, but I mean that as the highest compliment.
- Bandcamp: bhamilton.bandcamp.com
- Facebook: B.HAMILSTAN
- Twitter: @B.HAMILSTAN
- Instagram: @B.HAMILSTAN
Whoa! Big Business come out ripping with an absolute monster of a record. Heavy use of keyboards and melody paired with assailing rhythms makes this record one of Big Business’s best with a vitality and ear for melody rarely found in “heavy” music.
For a guy that gets REALLY sick of “dudes yelling” over heavy riffs, Big Biz manages to be very tuneful while maintaining both intensity and heavy riffs.
- Bandcamp: bigbigbusiness.bandcamp.com
- Facebook: bigbigbiz
- Twitter: @bigbigbiz
- Instagram: @bigbigbiz
the Bible, but just the dark and weird stuff. The world of the austerity program has not changed, it’s still bombast, indignance, drum machines and bullet points. In this case Justin and Thad’s focus on “the good book”, allow for some thematic Old Testament style brutality that fits like a dogmatic glove.
- Bandcamp: austerityprogram.bandcamp.com
- Facebook: theausterityprogram
- Twitter: @usterityprogram
- Instagram: @theausterityprogram
Utter badassery by J. Robbins of Jawbox, Burning Airlines. etc. mature and vital yet simultaneously wiry and energetic. You get everything you could hope for, erudite and hooky wordplay the jagged and melodic and much more.
Some songs would not be out of place on a new Jawbox record, while others are different thing entirely and would seem at home next to Brian Eno soundscapes and wiry lost post-punk classics.
I really hope this album doesn’t get lost in the mix, because if I didn’t have the slightest idea of who J. Robbins is. i’d love it.
The inexorable & indefatigable Aussies are back and they mean business. Braindrops is an utterly befuddling and “wrong” sounding record that is oh so “right.”
There isn’t a clear monster single like “tyres” on this one, but the whole thing has a snakey, baked in the sun vibe that works its way into your subconscious.
I’m fully present for TFS brand of non-euclidian geometry rocking.
RIYL: Polvo, Bad Seeds, Dead Rider, Leonard Cohen, the KnifeAt this point: they just sound like themselves.
- Bandcamp: tropicalfstorm.bandcamp.com
- Facebook: TFSBand
- Twitter: @tfs_theband
- Instagram: @tropical_fuck_storm
The propulsive and relentless Sacramento rockers come back with their most fully realized and articulated record yet.
Evoking the creativity and free feelings of the Ex, while sounding very well slotted into the more nuanced side of the noise rock revival. Drug Apts are both immediately familiar, and enjoyably offputting.
Angular guitars, insistent vocals, and a rhythm section that can groove while it grinds.
Recommended for fans of Unwound, Gang of Four, Wire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Talking Heads and The Ex
The indefatigable and unstoppable Falco strikes again! Staggeringly clever, ceaselessly hooky and required listening for fans of mclusky and future of the left, who are seeking new sounds. Gleefully irreverent music of consequence.
The Kings of Dallas synth are back at it with a strong offering. There’s more sequencing this time, and the song material veers towards the explicitly political. The record rides an interesting line by being explicitly psych oriented, but lyrically grounded in harsh and brutal reality. Music to canvass to.
- Bandcamp: nervouscurtains.bandcamp.com
- Facebook: nervous.curtains
- Twitter: @nervouscurtains
- Instagram: @nervouscurtains
A Brutal and confrontational name, but fitting for the name and surprisingly song oriented. Recommended for fans of KARP, and noise rock infused hardcore. The record is deliberate and irreverent, while being deadly serious about what they are doing. Featuring members of Qui, Retox, Dead Cross and hepa.titus. The music of Cunts fills in nicely between noiserock weirdos like the Jesus lizard, the Cows and Butthole Surfers, while not sounding like a worshipful retread of any of those things. This is very smart music in a relatively dumb genre and it’s got a 2×4 on its shoulder, not a chip.
Tense. Terse, nervy and insistent. Multicult is a relentless machine of precision and tenacity. There are hooks to glom on to with their proggy sojourns, it never gets indulgent, it just invites you along to the adventure.
Missoula’s magpies would be indie darlings if they weren’t based in Montana. Strong songs paired with mid-period sonic youth discordance allows for magpies to have free reign in a genre that few others travel in. Moody, and assured. This record has certainly flown under the radars of most. That’s a shame. It’s great.
It’s long overdue! But Greg Saunier of the mighty Deerhoof is finally on Protonic Reversal!
-San Francisco then vs. now and various tech stories.
-Music scenes where everybody participates
-Deerhoof finding it’s audience, an audience that likes to be surprised.
-Corporations consolidating music together.
-Greg and Conan talk about the early beginnings of Deerhoof.
-Major label sell outs being an anachronism.
-George Horn and mastering the crazy first Deerhoof 7″ for Kill Rock Stars
-Satomi joining the band after only being in America a few weeks.
-Brief forays into politics.
-The complete lack of “development” in music now, and it’s vitality to Deerhoof becoming it’s thing.
-tourin’ tourin’ tourin’, at medium sized places around the world.
-Spotify and the gross insustainability of things that “seem like the future” but benefit everybody but the artist.
-Underground and independent spaces worldwide!
-Ed and John.
-John’s pickup soccer games.
-Political stances in 2019.…
The mighty Bill Barbot! Guitar player for Jawbox, singer and guitar player for Foxhall Stacks, Bassist for Burning Airlines and thorn in the side of Brett Kavanaugh comes on the mighty Protonic Reversal to talk about Jawbox reunion shows, work/life balance, living punk rock vs. just playing it, his new power-pop/glam band’s cassette and so much more. Come on in!…
- -Documentaries, keys to the city and being Brainiac in 2019
- Honoring Tim’s memory
- revisting material and the perspective of age.
- Tyler, coming back to playing music and his son “getting” Brainiac.
- Multigenerational audiences
- the reunion industrial complex
- Tim’s dad: “are you going to keep going?”
- Getting back together for a benefit and reconnecting
- Familiarty for better or worse.
- Idiosynchratic music, context and impact
- Tim Krug (the missing link/understudy)
- Picking who does what (singing songs, etc.)
- Subbing for the local legandary hardcore band and destroying the floor in the process.
- “We’ll Eat Anything.”
- “oh, that was awful” “That was the best show ever!”
- Being claimed as an influence and embracing doing something different than what others do.
- Hostile or baffled audiences?
- the band playoffs (and WINNING it)
- The Brainiac – internationale ep with Kim Deal
- When John joined the band, Bonsai Superstar, etc.
- Brainiac as the all boys Brady Bunch.
- Hissing Prigs
- Tyler gets new drums, and how they shaped the sound of that record.
- Recording “nothing ever changes”Recording Electro Shock for President, distortions and learning how to record (usually the wrong way)and bringing that hodge podge to Jim O’Rourke
- Keyboards, samplers, etc. and bringing that out live.
- Playing “New/unreleased songs” for the reunion show, songs that might have been on the next (major label?) record.
- Being a “weird” band and infiltrating mass cultureB
- Brainiac covers and legacy, overall take on things, and the rights to the back catalog.