|Star & Dagger; band featuring ex White Zombie, Cycle Sluts, QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal|
Star & Dagger is a blues-rock/metal group made up of good friends Sean Yseult (White Zombie), Dava She Wolf (Cycle Sluts From Hell), Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal), Gene Trautmann (Queens of the Stone Age), and the sublime vocalist Von Hesseling. They have a full album titled Tomorrowland Blues recorded at Rancho de la Luna, produced by Ethan Allen and Dave Catching, and mastered by J. Yuenger (White Zombie) to be released on Cauldron 333, distributed by MRI July 23.
Star & Dagger was formed with auspicious beginnings: Sean and Dava were drinking late one night with the legendary Lenny Kaye (noted rock journalist and founder member of the Patti Smith Group) and he declared: "You two must start a band, I see it!" They took his word and set to it.
The band layers dense guitars onto a heavy groove, strung together by Von's towering vocals, which have the soul and presence of Tina Turner crossed with Cherie Currie. The band has recently attracted much attention, selling out their first show in LA and opening for High on Fire, Helmet, Eagles of Death Metal, Down and Saint Vitus. They performed at the 2012 Voodoo Fest and have plans for shows on the West Coast and the UK for Spring 2013. Star & Dagger's first recording emerged a few months ago, a 12" vinyl titled In My Blood.
|Chrome releasing vintage unreleased tracks this June|
Seminal avant-punk psychedelic outfit Chrome will be releasing a full album (1 CD or 2 LPs) of previously unreleased material from 1979/80 on the King of Spades Records label this coming June. The album is titled: Half Machine from the Sun, The Lost Chrome Tracks from '79-'80.
Guitarist Helios Creed explains: “Damon Edge & I made these ‘Lost Chrome Tracks’ during recording sessions for Half Machine Lip Moves & Red Exposure. We had so much material, good tracks went unused. I didn’t even realize the tapes were lost (and sold) due to an unpaid bill! I forgot about them until they were played for me recently, some 30 years later, but listening to the work I was brought right back in time where we had left off. I remembered for instance that I felt ‘Something Rhythmic’ was a special track, maybe even a hit. I guess it wasn’t time to complete these tracks then, because now is their time.”
Known for their experimental, de/re-construction of rock and roll, many of these Lost Chrome Tracks have a tendency towards catchy melodies and strong hooks, while still maintaining chrome’s signature innovation, weirdness and pile-driver rhythm. Other numbers are pure experimental noise. In all, this double album opens a window into the diverse sounds of this groundbreaking band and this groundbreaking era in rock and roll.
Chrome’s blend of raw energy and mind-bending audio manipulation influenced a wide range of musical genres, from the avant-rock of Sonic Youth and the Flaming Lips to Industrial rockers like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. Theirs was “a Cyber-Punk vision of the future that came a decade before the term was coined,” as psychedelic connoisseur Julian Cope put it.
Chrome was founded by vocalist/drummer Damon Edge in 1975, inspired by proto-punk pioneers the Stooges as well as the radical experimentation of John Cage. After releasing their debut album The Visitation on Edge’s own Siren label, guitarist and vocalist Helios Creed joined Chrome, replacing their original guitarist. He played bass as well as guitar, sang and composed songs with Edge, coming in to make their commercial and artistic breakthrough Alien Soundtracks Chrome’s 2nd album -- an immediate underground hit. Creed’s guitar work “exploded the possibilities of what psychedelic, punk, new wave and industrial rock could sound like” claims Examiner.com’s Andrew Stecz.
Creed and Edge comprised the main creative force behind their next album, Half Machine Lip Moves, as another founding member left. “Nobody ever started an album with as much fire as Chrome did with the opening of Half Machine Lip Moves” proclaims Cope. “[it] remains my favorite beginning to any rock n’ roll record, surpassing even Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power." Chrome continued Alien Soundtracks’ Sci-Fi-Punk, collage of searing rock with noise, sound-bites, scrap-metal percussion and unusual manipulations of their instruments and amplifiers, but done heavier with Creed’s guitar feedback and Edge’s powerful drumming to the fore.
Chrome signed to the UK’s Beggar’s Banquet label for their fourth album Red Exposure and Third From the Sun, their fifth which included contributions from Edge’s new wife Fabienne Shine (of French punk sensations Shaking Street). They also released 5 EPs and singles on various labels from ’79-’82. Afterwards Creed left the band and established himself as unique and powerful solo artist, touring extensively and recording prolifically. He continued to be a influence through the grunge and noise rock indie scenes and he toured with Nik Turner’s (Hawkwind) band “Space Ritual.” Creed turned out 21 solo albums and several singles in his own right, from 1985 to 2011. After Edge’s death in 1997, Creed took the helm of Chrome on stage and in the studio, making four more Chrome albums, completing one Edge had started before his passing, Angel of the Clouds, released in 2002 (and re-released by King of Spades Records this year).
“I’ve created new music for close to 40 years now,” states Creed.” This ‘Lost Chrome Tracks’ release & a new Chrome album I’ve been recording this year, will be my 37th & 38th albums.”
|Himalayan Bear announces E Coast dates - 3rd album|
Victoria, BC’s Himalayan Bear aka Ryan Beattie will be celebrating the release of his third album Hard Times, with a series of East Coast performances. On Hard Times Beattie (guitarist for Frog Eyes, Chet), exhibits an indisputable level of ingenuity, a fetish for reverb and a voice that is as delicate as it is potent. The new album was recorded in Victoria, BC Canada primarily at close friend Myke Hall’s basement studio at The Last Resort as well as part at Beattie’s own studio co-produced by Myke and Ryan. Hard Times is being released October 11 on Absolutely Kosher Records. Early press response has been excellent:
…He's been making music since his teens, but it wasn't until his early twenties that Beattie discovered he could sing as mournfully as his heroes. His voice can be low, soothing, and subdued in one moment, only to launch into a howling falsetto in the next.
Although Hard Times often evokes the leisurely tropical repose of the Hawaiian music Beattie enjoys, it also meanders into the shadowy, foreboding wilderness where he resides…France Cappell /Bay Guardian 10/18
I know this one sounds like a downer, but I find beauty in this track from the artist otherwise known as Ryan Beattie. Whitney Matheson/ usatoday.com/communities/popcandy 7/13
Ryan Beattie, the Himalayan Bear, has obviously sprung from the same roots as Buddy Holly, Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison, Billy Burnette, and the twangier side of Lindsay Buckingham. He takes an intensely personal tack in all he does, so there's a decidedly eccentric bent to the old-timey environment he sets up, … There's that kinda Twin Peaksy vibe here, reminiscent while weird and almost creepy (so, yeah, think of Blue Velvet and madman Dennis Hopper as well)… Mark Tucker/AcousticMusic.com 7/22
… Beattie crafts some great sounding songs and atmosphere throughout the record and keeps things interesting from start to finish. Keep an eye out for this one. Adam Bubolz/Reviler.org 10/11
This Bear sounds like a Morrissey who could change the oil on his car. Jake Austen/Rocktober.com 6/25
Hard Times was recorded over the course of a year between Feb 2010 and Feb 2011. The core personnel on most tracks comprised Marek Tyler on drums, Dennis Siemens on double bass, Dan Weisenberger on lap steel, Eric Gallipo on trumpet, Scott Henderson on saxophone and Tolan McNeil on electric bass and lap steel. The Last Resort is the home of pirate-country singer Carolyn Mark and Myke, but it also operates as an informal hub of musical activity in Victoria with local musicians dropping in to hang-out, brainstorm and jam at any time of day or night. As a result, there were plenty of occasions when a friend or colleague was relaxing upstairs who played, say, saxophone. "I think this song needs some loose-cannon sax here." Myke would say and I’d reply, "Scott Henderson's upstairs!! I'll get him." It was a very casual and social environment to record.
Hard Times finds Beattie once again exercising his unbridled ability to take his listeners to an emotional breaking point only to release his lyrical grip and lead them to another region of consciousness through a song by song lineage that is as beautiful as it is merciless. The listener is given full allowance to bear witness to sounds that may resemble the slow jubilation of a lazy tropical contentment or a foreboding acceptance of a hypothermic state where the brain tells a freezing body that everything is just fine. This is the true power of Beattie’s words and arrangements, his merits lie solely in his restraint, wavering on a threshold that can lift the heart one minute only to break it the next, but no matter what the outcome - leaves the listener yearning for more.
Ryan is a Victoria native, having spent his teen years Vancouver before moving back in the late 90’s. He started making records in his parents’ basement as a teenager having completed some 15 recording projects to date. In 2003, he started the critically acclaimed band “Chet” which is currently on hiatus. For the past four years he’s been the guitarist for Frog Eyes, touring extensively with them.
Hard Times marks the third album from Himalayan Bear, following 2005’s Lo Lonesome Island and 2007’s ...Attacks The Brilliant Air. He plans to tour in support of his Himalayan Bear pursuits for the next period of his musical life.
Himalayan Bear Tour Dates
Nov. 26th – Victoria, BC – Lucky Bar +
Nov. 29th – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern +
Nov. 30th – Ottawa, ON – Raw Sugar Cafe +
Dec. 1st – Montreal, QC – Casa del Popolo +
Dec. 2nd – Quebec, QC – Le Cercle +
Dec. 4th – Hamden, CT – The Space +
Dec. 5th – Boston, MA – Church of Boston +
Dec. 6th – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory * +
Dec. 7th – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s +
Dec. 8th – Arlington, VA – IOTA Club & Cafe +
Dec. 9th – Durham, NC – The Pinhook +
Dec. 10th – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn +
Dec. 11th – Knoxville, TN – Pilot Light +
Dec. 12th – Nashville, TN – The Basement +
Dec. 13th – St Louis, MO – Cicero’s +
Dec. 14th – Chicago, IL – Double Door +
Dec. 15th - Grand Rapids, MI – The Pyramid Scheme +
Dec. 16th - London, ON – Call the Office +
Dec. 17th - Waterloo, ON – Jane Bond Restaurant +