Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Arrivals #342

We did it again! You'll find the new list posted Friday night, here.

Records Of The Week:

BLACK BUG "s/t" (FDH) lp $14.98
Furious feral synth driven Swedish new wave garage punk, ultra blown out, bloodied and bruised, gloom-wave noise-pop genius! We've been DYING for this record!!
ZOLA JESUS "Stridulum" (Captured Tracks) cdep/12" $11.98/$14.98
Incredible new record from this long time aQ fave, her most polished, emotional, epic and haunting record yet, classic eighties style dark gothic pop. So good.
OMAR KHORSHID "Guitar El Chark" (Sublime Frequencies) 2lp $30.00
Latest Sublime Frequencies winner, a double LP documenting of the genius of this '70s Egyptian electric guitarist, so good!!

Also, we've got a few of the LIMITED EDITION SAVAGE PENCIL POSTERS from our SXSW show!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And a lecture too

For the, ah, intellectuals out there, looks interesting...

An evening with Steve Goodman (Kode9) & Erik Davis (TechGnosis)

Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
55 Taylor Street
Friday, March 26th 7pm – 9pm
Recommended $5-10 donation, however no-one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Recombinant Media Labs SF (in collaboration with Gray Area Foundation For the Arts) is excited to announce +DIALOG, a symposium series inviting local and global artists, scholars and polymaths to present and discuss their work in an intimate environment.
In a time when the information we consume is unprecedentedly estranged from its origins, +DIALOG will provide a forum to commune, collate and derive fresh context direct from the source.

For our second chapter we are fortunate to welcome London based cultural theorist, electronic musician and label owner Steve Goodman (aka Kode9) to present and discuss his first book Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear (MIT Press, 2009).

A flag bearer of the Dubstep movement, Steve Goodman founded Hyperdub Records in 2004, releasing critically acclaimed records by artists such as Burial, Zomby and The Bug as well as his own productions and collaborations.

Holding a Ph.D in Philosophy from the University of Warwick, Steve is a member of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) and practicing academic, lecturing in Music Culture at the University of East London.

For this occasion Steve will be joined in conversation by San Francisco based kindred spirit Erik Davis, whose work is regularly referenced in Sonic Warfare.

Erik Davis is the author of The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, the cult classic TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Information Age, and a critical volume on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. He also hosts the net radio show Expanding Mind. A frequent speaker at universities and festivals alike, Davis has contributed articles and essays to scores of books and publications, and posts regularly at

The event will take place at 7:30pm on Friday, March 26th 2010 at Gray Area Foundation For the Arts, 55 Taylor St. San Francisco. Recommended $5-10 donation, however no-one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Press inquiries, general questions and suggestions are welcome at mat [├ąt] rml-sf [dot] org

7:00 – 7:30pm reception
7:30 – 8:00pm Steve Goodman presentation
8:00 – 8:30pm Discussion with Steve Goodman & Erik Davis
8:30 – 9:00pm Open Q & A, closing.

And a cool show next week too

Wow, there's all kinds of cool shows happening this month. Next week, both Pentagram and Acid Mothers Temple, ferinstance (unfortunately, on the same night... different venues).

And this one, over in the East Bay, an AQ co-presentation...


Shit & Shine
(UK, feat. Eugene Robinson of Oxbow)
Mokele Mbembe

Tuesday, March 23rd @ 7:30pm, $7, all ages
21 Grand, 416 25th St, Oakland

METAL on the BUS, tonight!

Yes, another killer show on The Bus, and it'll probably be a nice night for it tonight! Three heavy bands we're big fans of here at aQ:

(maybe not necessarily in that order)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 8:00pm
15th and San Bruno (under the freeway)

Here are some notes on each band, drawn from our reviews:

Bizarre, and hauntingly beautiful alien black metal. Not sure what else to call it, it's definitely black metal, but it's weirdly blissy and electronic sounding, more like Alcest or Amesoeurs than old school grimnity, but even then, it's still weirder, like it must have been played by robots or insects, or some massive black metal machine
assembled beneath the surface of some mysterious moon. You can almost picture some mechanical monstrosity, pieces of human flesh, various organs, somehow built into the machine's inner workings, everything grinding and sparking all in a Herculean effort to produce this glorious droning buzzing blackness. A cloud of black buzz that will eventually drift through space and time swallowing any planets in its path, and extinguishing all life it encounters.
The sound of Servile Sect is epic, and majestic, the guitars glistening sheets of sound, the surface of that sound peppered with bits of electronic shimmer, causing the long drawn out riffery to reflect and refract, tiny little sonic events occurring every second, the surface alive and constantly squirming and changing color, but viewed from afar, it's simply a blown out undulating buzz. Those guitars are digitized and processed, spread into thick smears of warm glowing whir, the riffs barely discernible beneath the constant roar of Servile Sect's sonic swirl.
The vocals add just more buzz to the mix, howling and wailing, but stretched into streaks of sonic violence, and drums, assuming there are any, are buried, festering beneath layer after layer of crushing guitar fuzz, emitting noxious rhythms that don't so much blast or pound as they do explode into tiny squalls of still more buzz.
Occasionally, the buzz abates, leaving the guitar to sway lazily, the notes ringing out, the guitars lurking in the distance, but it's never long before the lilting melody is engulfed by a colossal buzzing roar, and the band locks into another extended psychfuzzblackdrone.
Fans of the new wave of droned out dreamy metal, black and otherwise: Nadja, Angelic Process, Ameseours, Alcest, etc. will dig this, as will dronelords who like their drones heavy and loud and yeah, a bit metallic...


Prizehog are a trio who specialize in slow building, brooding of slow motion heaviness. It's metallic, but not really metal, heavy and sludgey and dark, but with weird bits of epicness and majesty mixed in. There's definitely a Harvey Milk thing going on, and we'd be WAY surprised if fans of that band didn't dig these guys as well. Not so say they're aping HM, more like they're sort of orbiting the same sonic black hole.
Plus Prizehog have a lot more spaciness going on, lots of swirl and shimmer, long drawn out stretches of dark drift, rumbling low end and ominous dronescapes, often sprawling into moody abstract slowcore drifts, peppered with synths, skeletal rhythms and blooping bleeping effects, that slowcore sometimes sounding almost like a blackened doom metal, before returning to their glacial downtuned pound, impossibly slow crawls through near static metal riffage, and squalls of drum splatter, and a howled guttural voice that sounds like it's gargling glass and spitting blood, the whole band a lumbering beast, lurching from chord to chord, note to note, occasionally pausing to rest beneath the glimmering starlight, before rising again to continue on its path of utter destruction.
Heavy, fucked up, freaked out, distorted and brutal, space-y and sometimes sorta pretty, and these guys destroy live, prepare yourself to witness this filthy heaviness and sludgey crush in the flesh.


A super heavy, fairly hairy power trio (boy drummer, girl bassist, bearded dude guitarist / sometime vocalist) who kick out the jams big time, sorta like a scrappier, scuzzier Melvins, in their earliest, fastest, punkiest incarnation. Like, with some more Motorhead mixed in. A speaker shredding blast (of distortion, among other things).
Sometimes slow and sludgy, equally often full of frenzied jamming, pure metal-punk underground awesome, with more than a few nods to classic rock catchiness. Pigs traffic in Black Sabbathy riffs, their songs furthermore having plenty of rollicking swing to 'em a la both Sabbath and Sleep. The guitarist constantly peels off tangly, widdly leads like they're coming back into style. All their jams rule, rife with sick-o smartassery, gnarly Ginnish licks and hoarse, strangled vox that could almost be an old Tad tune, wasted doom, even some Champsy chops, not to mention a wicked stoner sense of humor. Is it possible to imagine an unholy hybrid of, um, Electric Wizard, Breadwinner, and, er, Pissed Jeans?? Pigs might be it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

AQ x WFMU x SxSW 2010!

This year's South By Southwest Music Fest in Austin TX is getting underway soon (it runs March 17th-21st, that's next week, I guess you know if you're going already or not). If you are going, don't miss the showcase gig we're putting on, again in conjunction with our friends at radio station WFMU in NY/NJ. And if you go, be sure to look for Andee and say hi!

If you're not going, you'll still be able to listen in via WFMU's live audio broadcast, check their site for info on that, you'll be able to tune in online or get it over the air if you're in the NYC area.

So, here's the details. Our show is on Friday March 19th, at the club now called Encore (formerly Spiro's, which is the place we did it last year too). There's two stages, indoor and out, and a grand total of 14 bands performing. Several of 'em, past AQ Record Of The Week honorees, plus other longtime faves!! They are:

Incredible Cambodian garage pop from these long time aQ faves, former members of Dieselhed teamed up with vocalist and Cambodian pop princess Chhom Nimol to not only cover classic 'Cambodian Rocks' pop and psych rock gems, but to also compose originals, which are just as fantastic as the songs and singers they pay homage to. One of the best live bands around, we're so honored to have them playing our show!


Crusty, filthy, pummeling noise rock, think Brainbombs, Twin Stumps, Billy Bao, Rusted Shut, total crushing noise drenched heaviness, wild, unhinged, chaotic, blown out and plenty fucked up. We'll be highlighting their 7" on tomorrow's list!


Mysterious rhythmic drone / doom outfit, whose sound is somewhere between, tripped out blackened psychedelic kraut doom, and pulsing minimal Chain Reaction style minimal murk, heavy and dense and druggy. We just sold about 10,000 of the two two cd-rs of theirs we listed recently!


Texas trippers Headdress, have expanded from a duo, to a four piece, as they've shifted sonically from psych folk to druggy, spaced out heavy psychedelic dronemusic, shoegazey and dreamy, but definitely dense and heavy, think Brightblack meets Earth Meets Nadja...


Super noisy and fucked up, totally irresistible, sloppy, chaotic garage power pop, that actually sort of ends up sounding a bit like noise rock guys unleashing their inner power pop demons. Home Blitz are responsible for one of our pop jams of last year ("Two Steps") and had an aQuarius Record Of The Week.


Veteran Maryland doom metal legends, heavy and fuzzy, doomy, dramatic, epic and totally metal. Fans of Black Sabbath, The Obsessed, Trouble, Candlemass, Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus, Solitude Aeternus and all of that sort of heavy doomy stuff should worship at the altar of Iron Man (who themselves obviously worship at the altar of Black Sabbath)!


"PURE TRANSCENDENTAL BLACK METAL" from New York City. One of our favorite black metal outfits, whose sound is a strange hybrid of raw blasting blackness, and epic soaring high end trills, which make the songs sound like black metal composed by Arvo Part, sprawling and majestic, explosive, exhausting and incredible.


This two piece psychedelic drone groove offshoot of psychedelic space rockers Wooden Shjips, treads similar ground, but moves further away from the Shjips overt rocking, exploring a sound much more fuzzy and abstract, sprawling repetitive drone rock, hypnotic and mesmerizing, a sound motorik and krauty, absolute super-rhythmic, dreamy psychedelia.


The band formerly known as Dead Moon, Fred and Toody Cole return with a new drummer, but the same glorious stripped down scuzzy retro rock sound, fuzzed out and melodic, catchy and raw, driving and steady, absolute classic sounding Pacific Northwest garage rock.


Multiple drummers, multiple bass players, occasionally someone playing lawnmower, crushing, noisy, tribal, hypnotic, a sound equal parts vintage Butthole Surfers, classic Hawkwind, and modern kraut-psych-drone-rock a la Circle or Pharaoh Overlord or Cave. Supposedly performing a new song written just for SXSW, with a phalanx of drummers gathered from all over Austin... Also a former aQ Record Of The Week!


Awesomely sunshine-y jangle pop from right here in SF, fronted by local luminary Sonny Smith, backed up by a who's who of local rockers, which sometimes includes Kelly Stoltz, John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees, Shayde Sartin of the Fresh & Onlys, Flying Canyon and Kelly Stoltz's band and Tim Cohen (Fresh & Onlys, 3 Leafs, Amocoma!), from brooding moody lope, to shimmery doo wop flecked surf rock to stripped down classic power pop, to fifties style balladry, to twangy back porch folk...


A recent discovery for us, these Colorado thrashers totally destroy, a killer mix of Venom and Motorhead (and a little Bad News!), with a vocalist who is a dead ringer for Lemmy, crushing riffage, pounding drums, tracks range from full bore neck snapping frenzy, to loping hooky groove, to pounding almost doom, totally heavy and insanely catchy, dying to see these guys live.


Riffy and raw, rhythmic and heavy and in the red, a pounding and relentless blowout a la Brainbombs and Rusted Shut and Twin Stumps and White Mice and the Mayyors, howled marble mouthed vox, riffs crumbling with distortion, bowel rattling bass rumble, the drums pounding and frantic, from unhinged Scratch Acid / Jesus Lizard noise rock, to seasick post rock groove, to lurching sludge-y doom, to full on filthy space rock trip out.


Incredible, totally intense and brooding, nineties style slowcore, heavy and dark, epic and so catchy, one of our most listened to records last year (and even still!), and one of the most freaked-out-over Records Of The Week ever, and for good reason, amazing songs, irresistible hooks, gorgeous production, lush and warm, and so goddamn good. They were awesome playing with P.E.E. at Noise Pop the other week).
Not bad, eh? So you don't miss anything, here's the show schedule with set times for the venue's two stages, indoor and outdoor:


7p Liturgy
8p Speedwolf
9p Iron Man
10p Moon Duo
11p Shit & Shine
12m Pierced Arrows
1a Dengue Fever


7p Epileptinomicon
8p Drunkdriver
9p Home Blitz
10p Headdress
11p Sonny & the Sunsets
12a True Widow
1a Todd

Please come check it out or listen in at home. And if you're at the show, we'll have some amazing silkscreened posters for sale, with amazing art by Savage Pencil. We'll post the image on this blog soon so you can see it... Only a limited run have been printed, but we're pretty sure we'll also have some to sell at AQ and via mailorder after SXSW is over.

Thanks again to WFMU for asking us to do this with them once more, it's gonna be fun!! Andee doesn't like to go to shows, but even he's excited (he'd better be!).

Also, we're co-sponsoring a free daytime outdoor party on Thursday March 18th, curated by our pal George Chen of Zum, that we're co-presenting along with LA's KXLU, part of something called What By What-Ever. Some of the bands playing include Eternal Tapestry, Weird Weeds, Total Abuse, Abe Vigoda, Infinite Body, Earn, among others! For more info on that and the other WXWE activities, go check out the WXWE site.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dep't of Corrections

It seems that somehow a couple minor mistakes crept into this past week's list (well, maybe more than a couple, but there's definitely two we know about)...

It's been pointed out to us (repeatedly) that Pantha Du Prince's excellent "Black Noise" album is not his debut full-length, he's got a bunch of other records as well, whoops. You can be sure that the person here who wrote our review is pretty stoked to find that out!

And the Saint Vitus "Die Healing" vinyl we listed is actually a single LP, not a double, it was mis-entered in our database as such, sorry for the confusion (if anyone even noticed our mistake).

Otherwise, we're pretty sure everything on the list was 1000% correct and factually accurate, including our opinions.