The new tune from Animals As Leaders is pretty sweet

Animals As Leaders debuted their new song, “The Brain Dance”, Sept. 30, preceding their upcoming album The Madness of Many.

With drums that just won’t quit, a Spanish samba version of a metal melody, and some whale song riffs, the new Animals as Leaders tune is math rock at its loveliest.

I can’t wait to hear what the three-man band has in store for us, when The Madness of Many comes out on Nov. 11, this year.

 

Featured image via Bottom Lounge

Listen to Beethoven’s symphonies for the first time at the new Masonic Heritage Center

beethoven
A portrait of the 13-year-old Beethoven by an unknown Bonn master (c. 1783) via Wikipedia

Ludwig van Beethoven was a mason… and now his symphonies will be played during the grand opening of the brand new auditorium, Sunday, at the Masonic Heritage Center in Bloomington, Minn.

This YouTube video provides a virtual tour of the concert hall, for those who can’t make it to the unveiling:

$20 million dollars went into the construction of the Masonic Heritage Center; $80,000 of which devoted to the sound system alone to make you feel as if you’re surrounded on all sides by the musicians while they play.

There are 450 seats in the auditorium, giving the setting an intimate quality.

Beethoven was the impetus for a movement of beautiful classical music to set in motion a standard that is still in place today.

While most of his symphonies are hours long, you can listen to pieces of each of them, courtesy of the fine musicians who carry his spirit passed the realms of the unthinkable into fruition today.

Business Wire:

The Beethoven concert will feature musicians and ensembles from around the Twin Cities, including MacPhail Center for Music’s premier adult choral ensemble, SONOMENTO, the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, pianists Roderick Phipps-Kettlewell and Bryon Wilson, and variety of guest artists.

Now, here’s a video of a man playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” using Glocks.

You can hear an arrangement of Beethoven’s symphonies, live this Sunday, for the unveiling of the new Ives Auditorium at the Masonic Heritage Center.

 

 

Beethoven’s original sheet music via Reddit

‘Versus’ by pg.lost is now available on Spotify

You don’t have to hold your ear to the radio to hear a new song, anymore.

The days of pay-per-play and “hit new single” are over. Now, artists are pushing their new songs out to the public, hitting them in their own homes, via Spotify.

Pg.lost

pg.lostWho is a perfect example of a band who is disseminating their music humbly through the net? Pg.lost.

You won’t see ads extolling the new album. There are no bells and whistles. Their label, Pelagic Records, is even selling the album for 7€ ($7.81) which is unheardof. These guys aren’t looking for celebrity, and yet they consistently make an impact on the lives of their devout fans.

Teasers

They released Ikaros on Aug. 30, then Off the Beaten Path on Sept. 7. These little teasers gave us insight into the new album, showing fans that pg.lost still has their fingers in developing hour-long story arcs of auditory construction that send us on imaginary adventures.

Is there a better band to listen to when you’re playing that one RPG that you revisit every year, ritualisitcally?

Versus

Pg.lost just released their new album, Versus and you can listen to it on Spotify. Of course, no local radio station is going to play lyric-less prog rock, so you’d be hard-pressed to find this tune anywhere, but online.

Listen to Versus, by pg.lost, on Spotify and add a little whimsy to your workday.

Featured image via TEDxTelAviv

Shangri-La Suite is going to be so bloody awesome

From Ashley Greene’s site:

SHANGRI-LA SUITE tells the story of the offbeat star-crossed lovers, Jack (GRIMES) and Karen (BROWNING), and their dark adventure on the road to Los Angeles. After breaking out of the mental institution where they met, the two love birds leave behind a trail of dead bodies to help Jack fulfill what he thinks is his personal life mission: assassinating his idol, Elvis Presley.

Shangri-La Suite debuts at Cannes, May 17-28, 2017.

We’re going to the chapel and we’re going to get married

Except, there is no chapel–this is modern day.

We’re actually getting married in a bomb ass art gallery, so take that, religion!

I’m going to marry one Keith Bohnen and soon my last name will translate as “beans” in German. I don’t think my maiden name has any direct translation, aside from the fact that it has ties to Jewish heritage (I’m pretty sure my great grandpa Snyder was a Jewish refugee who wiled his way into the ranks of the US Army).

This is the main thing on my brain, lately. Not because I regret anything. I do have regrets in life (like, not rescuing my dad’s Heat jacket–which was originally his dad’s–from this storage facility when I intuited that it would be lost forever along with all of my other belongings, at 14) but I really want this.

We’ve only known each other a year and it seems that we’ve been connected for all eternity, somehow. And maybe this is a whimsical 14-year-old dream of mine, but I’m living it, so there’s that.

You can’t deny your fate, especially when it’s slapping you in the face.

I told my friend Rachel the other day that I had found a glowing crystal in the dust and decided it was mine, so I picked it up and put it in my pocket. That’s Keith. He is that crystal. And I’ve dusted him off, put him on a shelf, to remind me every day that there is beauty in this world. And he’s stayed with me. We’ve learned so much about each other, the thought of separation seems impossible.

Where have you been my whole life, dear? Up here, shivering in the cold, while I melted away part of my soul down south, ripening for a taste of you.

It’s really all I can think about. Collision is imminent. And my mom couldn’t be happier. That’s a plus. I’ve lost a cousin due to my insatiable love, but you really can’t help the feelings of others.

You have to look out for number one, right? Number two and number one.

So, here we go. Sept. 24 is the date. And while people are dying, others are having babies, some are creating art by pricking their thumbs and smearing their life’s blood all over the walls, and I’m getting married. It’s a big step. And I feel I’m a little late to the game, but there is no other way. This is the path I’ve chosen. Keith is the one.

 

And here are a couple of photos of our rings, carved from Alan Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams”, courtesy of the artist himself, Jeremy May of Little Fly

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Ever been to a trucking show?

The Great American Trucking Show is all bright lights and goosebumps in the beginning. When you first walk through the glimmering hallways of the Kay Bailey Convention Center, you notice the Dallas skyline through the floor-to-ceiling windows to your right, and on the left, photos of past plays hang on the wall, highlighting the history of the building.

Then, there’s the escalators–which I totally forgot I was afraid of, seeing as how I don’t encounter them too much on my way to and from the Bloomington office. Nelson helped. He offered to stand a step below me on the way down, just in case I fell face first onto the scary-looking steel traps which would invariably diverge and lash out to grab hold of my shoelaces, rendering me pulverized meat in a slow agonizing death.

However, I have survived the escalators and I am A-OK, in case you were wondering.

Aside from the sweetly warm heat of downtown Dallas, I’d expect the slightly stormy weather near the closing of the show to envelop me in a sticky embrace, much like I’m used to in Florida, but, the environment is quite arid, to my liking, and once you roll down your shirt sleeves, you can find yourself quite comfortable in the frigid indoor area of the trade show itself.

The people are nice, here in Texas. Nicer than I thought. Most people go out of their way to offer up a nod and smile at any passersby, and when they decide to stop by your booth, they take their time looking through the marketing department’s carefully designed literature before scrunching up their eyebrows, hitching their glasses back in place on the bridge of their noses, and asking you questions.

I found that letting them ask the questions, instead of launching into a spiel right away helps. In one case, a lady with two guys in tow, asked, “Howdy. What’s your spiel?” Since I overheard her talking to her compadres about getting wifi for their truck, I simply said, “Oh, we don’t have wifi. This is satellite TV.” And she raised her arms, “See?” She had won the battle that day, preventing further confusion among her friends. I let her walk away.

But! A huge percentage of the people we talked to seemed generally interested in the product, and we even managed to sell a dozen or so, so the trip was well worth it, in my humble opinion.

I also had a chance to walk around the quaint little tourist town of Grapevine, TX one night after the show. I took a ton of photos of strange cactus (I was informed that the word’s both singular AND plural, there) and if you look carefully in one of the photos, you can see a mannequin of a man standing guard way high up in one of the bell towers, next to that Cotton Patch cafe with the unicorn mascot pointing the way toward justice for all foods fit for southern stomachs.

Long story, short. GATS was great. I met a TON of cool people and I learned a lot from Nelson, not only about Dealey Plaza, Lee Harvey Oswald, the World Trade Center, and various architectural marvels employing sound engineering in the form of bridge construction, but I learned about the relationship dealers have with customers and customers have with sales people, face-to-face. I also learned that there’s a difference between local truckers and long-haul truckers. HUGE difference—as far as selling our product goes. Oh, and it’s quite possible the first long-haul truck was made in 1939. Go figure!

The Great American Trucking Show was an eye-opener, to say the least, and I’m glad I had the chance to participate. Now, let’s see what happens at MATS next year, in March.

 

To be published in next month’s staff newsletter for KING… 

The boss fight that is Guidance, by Russian Circles

a0095785674_10Russian Circles’ recent release, Guidance, proves that instrumental rock is not dead. With their grinding effects, these guys have created art on wheels, hurling listeners into a dreamlike trance where ghosts and goblins lunge for your throat, and Guidance is the soundtrack to get you through the battle.

I first got sucked into Russian Circles with their album, Empros, when I was on a Red Sparowes, pg.lost kind of kick a few years back.

Up until recently, taking the song names to heart, I thought these guys were actually Russian, but they’re from Chicago, Illinois.

For a three-man band, they get creative with a crapload of pedals to construct an orchestral sound that comes at you from all sides. Each song leads you on a journey of the mind, where stories play out behind chord changes and varying rhythms, dragging your mood either into the gutter or lifting you up to fight the next boss.

It starts out, inobsequious, just slow-jamming, tending toward lighthearted melodies as they’re looking forward to new beginnings, then the static of an untapped FM-radio station starts coming through near the end of the first song, Asa, blighting the sound, and the drums slowly pick up to carry you on to the next leg of the adventure.

Vorel would be the perfect song for fending off demons in Gods Eater or Monster Hunter. It’s almost too much to take in, all the sounds colliding. Then it gets dark and grindy, while maintaining the constant hum of Brian Cook’s up/down strokes, and Dave Turncratz goes wild on the drums, manic, yet somehow still maintaining the pace of the song.

All the tracks on Guidance run seamless into each other, as if they weren’t individual songs, but one 41-minute long story.

Mota‘s a little more hopeful sounding, then it changes, and you’re thinking, “What’s gonna happen?” Then Cook comes in with a single powerful note, left hanging in the air. It’s a predictable turn of events, satisfying the need to take a long drought of water on an arduous hike through the woods, and Mike Sullivan backs up the track taking his time, drawing out long bass notes, while Turncratz is just hacking away. Sullivan’s fingers are running like a spider along the fret board.

With some consistent crashing toms to bring us back from a slight pause, you’re not ready for the end. Russian Circles doesn’t give you a break, as individual notes rush into quick strumming and the next song takes shape.

Afrika has this weird didjiredoo-type sound, Cook’s doing, as he fills the room with bass. With their scientific looping thought experiments, it almost sounds like there’s a xylephone coming through one of the lower layers, or someone’s running their hands along telephone keys. Is there an army of flying monkeys banging around on trash cans in the street? Nope. It’s just Sullivan, messing with effects, giving the impression that 10 guys are all playing guitar simultaneously.

There’s no real structure to the songs. They pluck when they feel like it, roll into drums when it seems appropriate, and let the notes hang when the moment’s right.

Taming things over a bit, with Overboard, the sequence ramps back up with Calla, with super dark, grungy riffs. The image of a burly hulk creature materializes into view, Frankenstein’s take on Highlander, climbing sharp rocks cliff side during a storm. He’s seeking vengeance. His name is Calla and he’s here to kick your ass.

The track gets nasty around the 32:00 mark and Turncratz does not relent and Cook starts djenting. Then the song sizzles out, electricity crackling on the surface of the ocean at night. The giant reaches his hard-earned ascent.

Lisboa proves a quaint little ending to the album, slowly reminding us that it’s all over. The song says, “Go home, sucker,” thus leading you to play the entire thing again, while your eyes glaze over, mesmerized by the guitar’s delay, the crashing cymbals, and the beast roar of a blaze that is the bass.

How fast is Cook’s wrist, anyway? As a child unfamiliar with the mechanics of musical metaphysics, you’d never guess that this guy is likely drenched in sweat while he’s working through a nasty breakdown, cutting off the audience from what might have been another 40-minute voodoo ritual.

On the whole, listening to Guidance is twice as satisfying as devouring loads of heavy comfort food during one of those long-awaited holidays.

And now I’m sucked back into the tar pit of instrumental metal, thanks to Russian Circles. Their sixth studio album will have you gripping the edge of your seat, trying to stave off visions of dark beings with an insatiable thirst for blood.

I’ll listen to this album on repeat until pg.lost releases Versus on Sept. 16.

 

Featured fractal by Deviant Artist, zy0rg