Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2013 releases

The full list of records I worked this year:

January 8 - Comadre - Comadre - Vitriol Records
February 26 - Old Wounds - From Where We Came Is Where We'll Rest - Glory Kid Ltd.
February 26 - Pristina - Hopeless•Godless - The Path Less Traveled Records
April 23 - Globe and Beast - Grandfather's Axe - Melotov Records
July 16 - Stomach Earth - Stomach Earth - Black Market Activities
July 16 - Phantom Glue - A War of Light Cones - Black Market Activities
July 23 - Body Stuff - Body Stuff - The Path Less Traveled Records
August 13 - Old Wounds/Trenchfoot - (split 7") - Melotov Records
August 13 - No Sir - The Future Is Bright - Twelve Gauge Records
August 27 - Self Defense Family - The Corrections Officer In Me - Family Drugs
August 27 - Bone Dance - Snakecharmers (reissue) - Melotov Records
August 27 - Calculator - These Roots Grow Deep (reissue) - Melotov Records
September 24 - Nervous - Nervous - Twelve Gauge Records
October 22 - So Hideous - Last Poem/First Light - self-released
October 22 - Meek Is Murder - Everything Is Awesome Nothing Matters - Threshold of Pain Records
October 29 - Netherlands - Silicon Vapor - self-released
November 5 - Czar - No One Is Alone If No One Is Alive - Cracknation Records

And tour press for these guys:

Circle Takes The Square
Yoshiko Ohara (Bloody Panda)

CR + Steel for Brains

My 2013 year-end vibes, recorded and redistributed by the excellent Steel for Brains, along with lists by Jarboe, Mike Hill, and others: steelforbrains.com/post/70309311283/lust-lists-favorites-of-2013


Vitriol Records launches into 2014 with the February 4th release of the self-titled debut LP by High Water.

Stream "Garage Window", the opening track off High Water, exclusively on BrooklynVegan!

Vitriol Records is the Los Angeles label founded by Justin Smith, member of the bands Graf OrlockGhostlimb, and Dangers. A DIY powerhouse, Smith has churned out a stellar catalog of artfully packaged releases via Vitriol over the past half decade. Although perhaps best known for jaw-dropping collectibles such as Graf Orlock's Doombox (an EP housed in a life-sized, cardstock boombox), the label is no gimmick, nor is it a vehicle solely for Smith's own bands. Recent releases include an LP by French trio Birds In Row (now calling Deathwish Inc home), the final album by Bay Area post-hardcore stalwarts Comadre, and Do You Have Anything To Declare?, a book about touring bands' border crossings, authored by Smith and music journalist Kevin Stewart-Panko. Smith was named "one of the most interesting people in Los Angeles" by the LA Weekly in its "People 2013" issue.

Based in San Mateo, California, just south of San Francisco, High Water is fronted by Smith's bandmate in Ghostlimb, Neal SharmaIn High Water, Sharma is flanked by three of his oldest, closest friends - guitarist Jon Drinnan, bassist Ben Lambdin, and drummer Mike Cross - and to hear them talk about their band is to be reminded of how pure it can be to make music with friends. "We all have known each other for 10-15 years as friends and have grown up playing music together," says Sharma. "It always feels that much more meaningful to be making music with close friends."

A far cry from the hardcore punk of Ghostlimb, High Water makes earnest, stately rock songs, descended from The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr, even Neil Young. In Justin Smith's words, "the sound sits somewhere between guitar-centric rock and whiskey-soaked awesomeness." The self-titled debut album, High Water, was recorded live to 2-inch tape, mixed and mastered, all by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Loma Prieta, Ghostlimb) at his East Palo Alto studio, The Atomic Garden.

In a voice that is weathered yet hopeful, Sharma sings stories of people known and places traveled. He claims his perspective is informed not only by his DIY punk roots but by his current day job at Peninsula Open Space Trust, a nonprofit land trust that works to conserve open space, parkland, and farmland in the Bay Area. References to the power of the natural world abound throughout his lyrics.

Another winner for Vitriol, High Water sees the label plow forth in its evolution, unfettered by any rules about what is hardcore or what is cool. It's a great way to start a new year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

STOMACH EARTH + Rolling Stone

"If Stomach Earth's debut LP is what the planet's gut sounds like, some Pepto Bismol may be in order. This is a good thing!... One of the most compelling and acrimonious doom debuts in recent years."


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CR + Justina

Justina Villanueva interviewed me about my time in Today Is The Day - forever one of my favorite bands: http://blastbeat.us/?p=3737

Saturday, December 7, 2013

2013, 2014

Season's greetings, all! Another year!

2013 in review:

In January I ended Precious Metal, the weekly series of shows I booked and promoted in NY for precisely 6.66 years.

In March and April I did my final tour as drummer of Today Is The Day, six weeks across the US and Canada with KEN Mode and Fight Amp. See Justina Villanueva's new Today Is The Day feature, here.

In July I released the debut record of my new solo project, Body Stuff, and in October I performed it live for the first time (at The Acheron in Brooklyn, with Psalm Zero and Vain Warr).

In PR this year I represented another slew of crucial bands outta the underground depths, including the brilliant Circle Takes The Square, Stomach Earth, Comadre, Old Wounds, Self Defense Family, Nervous, Meek Is Murder, So Hideous, Netherlands, Czar, and many more. As the year-end lists start to roll in, we are seeing the love, including Stomach Earth on Rolling Stone's Top 20 Metal Albums list!

Check out my complete list of 2013 releases, here. 

Now, on to 2014:

The PR machine is revved and we kick things off in 2014 with the debut album by High Water on Vitriol Records, the outstanding LA label owned by Justin Smith of Graf Orlock and Ghostlimb. High Water is fronted by Neal Sharma of Ghostlimb. The self-titled debut was recorded by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Loma Prieta, Nervous). These guys are from deep in the Bay Area hardcore scene but you wouldn't know it. The vibe is earnest and wise - Replacements, Neil Young - and it sounds like a million bucks.

And coming soon, new releases by Tiger Flowers, Old Wounds, Vices, Jar'd Loose, and more! Also, more Body Stuff.


Monday, December 2, 2013

MELOTOV + Deathwish Inc

Melotov Records announces today that the label's releases will now be distributed exclusively by Deathwish Direct, the distribution arm of Deathwish Inc. 

A cornerstone of  the underground for a decade now, and famously owned by Jake Bannon of Converge, Deathwish Inc is responsible for releasing music by many crucial bands of this era, from Converge, to Terror, to Touche Amore, to Cold Cave. 

Founded in 2008 by Melanie Voltz in Los Angeles, California, Melotov has released music by the likes of Ghostlimb, The Banner, and Old Wounds. Rumored to be in the works for 2014 are new releases by Bone Dance, Vices, Tiger Flowers, and more.

Effective immediately, Deathwish will distribute all Melotov titles and will also host the label's webstore and handle all mailorder. Says Melotov founder Melanie Voltz, "Extremely excited to announce that Melotov will now be exclusively distributed by the good folks at Deathwish! Could not be happier about this new venture!" An official statement from Deathwish reads, "Deathwish Direct is now the exclusive distributor of Melotov Records. 2014 looks promising..."

Check out the new Melotov webstore, hosted by Deathwish, here.