The night that I went to review Bella Morte at NYC's Batcave's eight anniversary started out like some sort of example of Murphy's law. On my way down the stairs leaving my house, I tripped, totally destroying my camera. Not the worst thing in the world, as it was only a point and click, but leaving me without a way to take pictures nonetheless. Of course the "F" train was absurdly late, and I wound up missing the open bar. If none of this was bad enough, I grabbed a pen with no ink in it, forcing me to write this review in chunky black eyeliner.
But none of that really matters, because I have a new favorite band (next to The Misfits, of course). The Cruxshadows will always have a place in my heart, but Bella Morte has overwhelmed me.
I've heard about the band for quite awhile, but I've never been smart enough to go and check out the band from Charlottesville, VA before. I knew I was in for a good time when I saw them take the stage to set up. Total Pothic Gunk. Andy, the singer, had green hair sticking straight up (something I haven't seen all that much of lately). The bassist, Gopal, had a short mohawk; with just three lines of greasepaint, his thin face became skeletal. The band members were even wearing the old skool leather jackets with the spikes on them, which has all but become extinct since Gouliani has turned this city into one big cash register.
I knew I'd been missing out on something by the amount of people that were there, cameras in hand, waiting for Bella Morte to take the stage. I should have known how amazing the band would be when I saw my married couple friends who'd come all the way up from Philly to see the band play. They have the best taste in music. A Bella Morte virgin, I'm not familiar with any of the song titles or lyrics, so please bear with me. The opening song just fit so perfectly. I wanted to jump up and down, and scream that this is the music I've been waiting for my entire life, but instead I managed to keep a stoic, reviewer look. The song had a strong synth opening, 80s style, but with an aggressive edge to it. I couldn't understand the lyrics but that was OK; I can buy the album later. Andy's voice was deep and soothing, yet fragile. It's only his voice that makes the band even remotely classified as gothic at all, but that's a good thing. I have scrawled on my smeared notes that the band's so good, they should be British. They're the first band that I've ever encountered that can seemingly seamlessly merge 80's synthpop, punk, and goth.
My mask of objectivity shattered hen the band started their cover of Berlin's "Metro", which far surpassed the overplayed original. I had no choice but to pogo around. The band stayed close to the original, but tweaked it just enough to give it a much harder edge.
I can't stress enough how fuckin' rocking the show was. I'm only completely kicking myself for not knowing about them sooner.
Fear of Dolls, Abney Park,
Written in Ashes
The Catwalk - Feb 2000
~review and photos by Blu
Fear of Dolls
I'll tell you the truth - I went to this concert just to see Fear of Dolls - a unique and captivating band whose CD I reviewed last year and I was curious to see how they pull off their live show. I was in for quite a surprise, not only did Fear of Dolls FLOOR me with their performance, but Written in Ashes - with a new lineup, made me stop and take notice.
Fear of Dolls -- how to describe them? Much like the background wall paper on their website, you don't quite notice the sharp, violent things at first. The danger isn't overtly obvious...that is, unless you're the preppy sweat-shirt-wearing half-drunk fella at the bar who's suddenly stopped midway through a brutish come-on attempt at the bar maid when he hears Bonni Suval SCREAM out of no where.
Like someone is violently murdering her on stage. I wish you could have seen the look on the drunkard's face. It was priceless.
More akin to performance art than just some gothic band on stage, Fear of Dolls makes seeing a live show a whole new experience. First you have to understand what they're attempting to do. On their website it says:
"Bent on creating confrontational psychological experiences, Fear Of Dolls draw upon a schizophrenic mix of musical suspense, psychotic nervousness and tension, angelic beauty, emotional frailty, and violent cacophony. The approach is naïve and childlike (minimal, exaggerated and irrational), often resulting in what sounds like parodies of songs; like a child using it's toys to write music about a murder it has just witnessed."Do they accomplish this lofty task? Indeed they do with all the blood and gore and precision of a skilled but deranged surgeon. The music itself is enough to freak you out if you let it wander in and through the dark caverns of your mind. Child-like melodies, mixed up and pushed about by violent nightmares, coarse through your ears. Tiny bells ring, xylophones chime, dolls talk. They take you on quite a ride. Its a complex fear-scape of sound and syncopated rhythms (kudos to Bonni for her carefully placed percussion additions). The drumming by Shaun Richards is brutal at times - forceful, invading drum beats that smash and interrupt. Its amazing. Greg and Thomas round out the band with guitar, bass and keys creating some of the spookiest melodies ever played in minor chords. Its your childhood nightmares brought to life. Incidentally, it seems quite fitting that Greg is a huge Edward Gorey fan. He has one of the best pages I've seen at http://www.fearofdolls.com/gorey.html.
And if that was not enough, Bonni puts on a show that is akin to some of the best theater/stage performances I've ever seen. She's childlike and laughing and giggling at one point, hair up in cute pig tails, and suddenly something goes terribly wrong, and she's hyperventilating and screaming and completely loosing her mind - trying hard to convey some gruesome incident that's haunting her memories. Its frightening to witness. I felt alarmed and tense. And those screams - I'd really hate to ask what she draws on to make those come out so real sounding - they seemed ripped from some deeply wounded soul and she genuinely looks completely terrified in the process. In the silence that follows, she's left gasping for breath.
At other points her voice is low and sultry, vaguely like Mazy Starr yet gruffer. She is intoxicating to watch - not knowing what face or voice she'll morph into next. I'm left wondering how crowds in other cities would take their performances. I saw them a second time last night at the Vogue for a benefit concert and they were just as shocking and as exhilarating a second time around.
I must preface what I'm about to say with a note: normally we try NOT to waste our time talking about negative things on StarVox. Its not productive in the least. We don't slam people in reviews, but instead, if we can, we offer up constructive criticism or don't talk about it at all. I was going to skip talking about Abney Park in this concert review, until several people related similar opinions to me on the matter so I hope what I write here will be taken as good-hearted advice. About two songs into their set, Abney Park did a cover song. Not only was it too early on in their set to play a cover, it was Sisters of Mercy. Not only was it Sisters of Mercy, it was "This Corrosion." I winced and shuddered at the bar. That's almost as bad as gothic bands playing "Bela Lugosi's Dead". You just don't do it. And if you must, do it at the end or in an encore. And if you must, at least put your own spin on it.
They also covered Radio Head's "Creep" (which I believe can be heard on their mp3 station). At that point I really stopped paying attention but others have said there were more cover songs that night in their set. From my humble stand point, that's just a bad idea. You don't want to become known as the gothic cover band. Sure, a cover is fun at times, especially when a band takes it and molds it into something new (3SKS's version of "Time After Time" is so different you hardly recognize it as a cover but that "it seems familiar" notion won't leave you alone until you figure it out). However, the covers Abney Park did seemed to hold dully to the original form. Don't get me wrong, they did them well, but that's not very interesting. When I'm out listening to a band, going to the effort and time to see them in concert - I want to know what THEY can do, not hear how closely they can play old stand bys. And perhaps Abney Park has some very good original songs -- but that was all lost because of the cover songs. Perhaps next time I get to see them live, I can hear Abney Park - not Abney Park doing The Sisters.
Written in Ashes
And finally Written in Ashes took the stage. I had seen them at the Pre-Convergence concert in Portland last year, and while they were good, they weren't outstanding or memorable that night. Perhaps it was just an off night for them, or perhaps their old line up was just not gelling. Whatever the case, I felt bad at times because Jett kept harping on how good they were and I just couldn't share his enthusiasm. May I humbly take all that back now? Written in Ashes has a new line up, and contrary to my original opinion, they kick ass. Kevyn Hay, vocalist for Written in Ashes, and drummer, Mr Battrick, and Pete Guzzarid who joined somewhere around May but after the CD was cut, were all that remained the same. I do believe this concert at The Catwalk was the first time the new line up played publicly together. At any rate, whatever prompted the change, the new lineup is divine musically and aesthetically.
Pete Guzzarid, on guitar, is one of the founding members of Monochrome (not to be confused the Monochrome in Atlanta). He brings a more rock n roll sound on guitar to the band by way of the likes of Dave Navarro. Ashe Ruppe, formally of the popular Trance to the Sun and Nocturne PDX, has been added as a bass player. Ashe's rumbling bass lines and inclination towards trip-hop rhythms greatly intensifies and textures the songs with new depths. Jöga, formerly of Son of Rust, brings the quirky talents of greats like Klaus Naomi to the table with his creative keyboard/synth playing. And holding it all together is the precise drumming of Mr Battrick and the soaring vocals of Kevyn. Similar at times to Bauhaus's Peter Murphy, Kevyn takes control of the stage and is an expert at communicating the themes of the song to the crowd. His vocals are impassioned, sometimes whispered, operatic and sultry. His interaction with the crowd is also appreciated and was well noted. His attempt to include them, singing TO them, dancing amongst those on the floor during instrumental parts and then shaking their hands to thank them for coming afterwards, is something that endears me to other bands like the Cruxshadows. Their performance was full of raw energy that night.
I gladly stand corrected in my original
observation of this band. They are hardly dull. And if their performance
at the upcoming GothCon in New Orleans
is anything like the show I saw that night at the Catwalk, I think they'll
have the crowd eating out of their hands. Congrats to Kevyn who seems to
have assembled an all-star lineup. Now hurry up and get a new CD out. You
have an impatient new fan waiting.
Fear of Dolls is:
Greg Forschler - guitar, vocals?, other. Former member of Ninth Circle (Ivy Records)
Shaun Richards - drums, percussion
Thomas Purdy - guitar, bass, keyboard, violin
Bonni Suval - vocals, xylophone, toys
Written in Ashes is:
Kevyn Hay (vocals)
Mr. Battrick (drums)
Pete Guzzardi (guitar)
Ashe Ruppe (bass)
~reviewed by Brian
(photos by Brian)
It's Friday night about 8 pm, the doors are about to open at The Masquerade. I thought I was going to a Ghoultown show featuring Jerry Only, as guest MC but it turned out to be much more. It actually was a benefit for "Wailing" William Sparks. Who is he you say? He's a young fan who with his mom would go to Misfits show's and on occasion he would get on stage and sing with them. So Jerry Only of Misfits put on this benefit for "Wailing" William who also performed that night, and did the blues , very well.
SO to take you back to when I arrived at The Masquerade about 9 pm there was a band playing already, I liked what I heard so I got a beer and returned to the stage area with the other 4 people standing there watching. The band turned out to be The Gettin Headstones from Atlanta. This was the first time I had seen them , they played last year with The Deep Eynde but I missed that show. These psycobilly boy's had some energy , wish I would have caught there entire set. I did not see a cd for them but I did locate a skully records release "Gothabilly Rockin Necropolis, (see Starvox archives) which has the Headstones, Ghoultown, The Deep Eynde, and the KillerCreeps, Count Lyle's and Ghoultown's other project.... So make sure you check that out.
There was two more bands playing one of them Striknine , which Jerry Only son was on guitar I caught a few songs mostly a metalish sound to them . The other band was 101.
Here it is almost midnight and I thought it was going to be an early show , not a chance, that ok since I got to hang out with all the boys and girls from Ghoultown, they were super kuel .
Ghoultown takes the stage and open's with an instrumental piece called "la Noche Diablo" , which set the stage for these Rooting tooting Gunslinging GOth cowboy's from hell. The next song that caught my ear was one I had heard on there promo cd "Killer in Texas"
"I'm a cold blooded killerI got into it on the cd and even more in person!
my soul is ripped and torn
got the black heart of texas
I've got the devil's horns
cuz i spent my life to bring you harm
drank your blood to keep me warm
the moon was full when I was born
I'm coming home it wont be long
I'm a hell raisin outlaw
out here stealin' lives,
I killed a man for starin'
Yeah I cut out his eyes"
About half way through the set they did a few songs with Jerry Only one of the song they covered was "Ring of Fire", I think that was one of the high light s for me that night they had a guest fire breather for this song ,Todd from Impotent Sea Snakes so you could feel the heat coming from the fire it was nice it gave us that open fire feeling.....
It was a horse Opera from hell with Mephistopheles at the reins tearing through a 21 song set , of western dark Twang.
GhoulTown is :
Count Lyle ,vocal and guitars
Queeno deVamps , bass and vocals
Jake Middlefinger, lead and slide guitar
Lizard Lazario, acoustic guitar,vocals
X-Ray Charles, drums and Percussion
Angry Planet Records
Dallas , Texas
The Flowers for Luci
9 Lives Saloon - Atlanta
~review and photos by J.
Ah, the 9 Lives Saloon. If you want to see a local metal band that is sonically (and perhaps even actually) from decades gone by, this is the place. Album covers and posters from Kiss and Meatloaf are the primary decoration. It¹s not really the place you¹d expect to see the Flowers for Luci, but they're good about varying where they play.
Immediately upon arrival, I headed to the bar for a drink and found Gors and Shane sitting there. I was shocked when Shane told me that he had quit the band a few months ago. I can remember one FFL show at the Point years ago they did as a three-piece--Gors played some keyboards here and there--but otherwise, Shane has always been the keyboardist at shows I've seen. I saw them at the Echo Lounge late last year, and although the rhythm section was new to me, Shane was like there like always.
Somebody (Gors?) said it was about time to get started, so we all wandered into the side room where the stage is. There was a good-sized crowd milling about. Without much ado, the band launched into their set, like some slick black car that does zero to sixty in a way that pushes your head into the seat.
FFL's sound hearken back to a day when
everything sounded big. The drums alone sound cavernous. You
can like it or not, but it¹s one of those sounds you can't ignore.
They favor the middle tempos and a dump truck full of reverb. Sort
of like a tape of Joy Division played at half speed, but not so happy.
The best part, though, is Gors's voice. It's about as deep as can
be and still be pretty. It wasn't as effected as it is sometimes,
it's inherent quality was much more apparent.
The band went through a mix of songs I knew and songs I don't recall having heard before. Shane's replacement on keys was more than competent. As the set built up to slightly faster and harder numbers, the guitar work came more to the forefront, becoming less textural in favor of a bit of riffery here and there. I'd guess Gors probably spent some formative years playing metal, but now has the good taste to hold back and only use those skills only where appropriate.
It was after one a.m. when they knocked off, but the place was still full of people yelling after the last song.
I also got my hands on the newest Flowers for Luci CD. It looks like a lot went into it, and it even has a live track with the current lineup. Check back here next month for a review of that.
The Flowers for Luci
Pineal Ventana is hazardous to your
~concert review and photos by J
I had to step through the paramedics and cops to get into the Earl. It seems a gentleman had had a bit much to drink and had collapsed on the sidewalk outside the establishment. The prognosis was that he'd be fine, excepting the feeling of a railroad spike through his head in the morning.
The band attracts a rough crowd. I arrive just as Pineal Ventana begins setting up their plethora of gear, including two banks of synths and a rack of associated gadgetry, tubular red lights, a bunch of drums, and an odd set of guitars and a bass with matching metal headstocks. This band's been at it for years and years, and you can tell it from the crowd. Most everyone knows the band, and there are several members of other Atlanta bands from days gone by, such as the El Caminos and Tweezer, in attendance.
Pineal blurs lines. There are times when I've been uncertain if the show has started, or if it's ended. But tonight, Mitchell Foy comes out of the back carrying a large metal sink. He pushes through the crowd and lifts it over his head. Some wit cries out "Ah, the kitchen sink!" The sink crashes to the floor, which, I think, is the start of the show.
The men of Pineal start playing, warming up with a minimalist dirge. Clara Clamp makes her way through the crowd and hops up on the stage. She has a creepy, little girl quality to her voice and a pathologically introverted stage manner, singing as though she's locked up alone in an attic room.
One song ends. Quickly, another begins. The shifts are big. Droning noise is followed by an almost punk aggression. Instruments are exchanged. I'm pretty sure I've seen everyone in Pineal play guitar at one time or another, though Clamp, sporting a cast on her wrist, is just singing tonight. Foy might play keys on one song, yell though a distorted mic on the next, and drum on the one after that.
The drumming is what drew me to this band originally. It's frenetic and tribal, focusing on toms. There is no snare. In it's place is an inverted, stainless steel pan that looks like it may once have been part of a hospital sink. Rarely do the drummers sit, so there's little kick drum, either. There are also free-floating toms that one or two other people sometimes play on the more aggressive numbers. I am transfixed by the multiple drummer songs; it's like watching some sort of Blue Man Group from hell.
And then Clara Clamp screams. It sounds like it hurts.
My favorite song of the evening was a very haunting one late in the set. Clamp delivered it like she was on the very of a breakdown. It was slow and sweet, with a refrain something along the lines of "you dance so slow". I don't think Foy played anything on the song, just danced and stumbled around behind Clamp and looked bewildered, like an absent-minded lover who is not quite aware that something is terribly, awfully wrong.
The finale was chaos. The song was full-out Pineal Ventana, earsplitting and harsh. After several minutes, where most bands would end the song, Clamp disappears from view, but the band keeps playing. Foy wanders into the crowd with an insecticide sprayer, leaving a liquid trail across the floor. Whatever the liquid was, it was flammable; Foy's next move was to ignite it. So now the floor in front of the stage is on fire, and the rest of the band is still playing full tilt. Foy wanders backstage, and someone tries stomping out the fire. It mostly works, except for a few cracks in the floor that have collected detritus and are still burning fairly well.
Foy returns with a large metal tank that might be the gas tank of a riding lawnmower or small car. He slams the tank down on the remaining flames. He goes backstage for another tank. From the stage, drumsticks and drums are thrown off. The sink from the beginning of the show reappears. Kneeling in front of the stage, the band and its associates bang away on these things. (It sounds like they may have practiced doing this; it is a fast, interlocking series of simple rhythms that add up to an interesting whole.)
A keyboard is making noises like a radio dial turned rapidly one way and then the other. The insecticide sprayer is now used to set the floor percussion on fire. A member of the crowd insists on standing in the flames. Whichever band member was playing keyboards on this song is gone, replaced by some guy who had previously been videotaping the show.
Things begin winding down. Someone is walking through the crowd and playing a clarinet. I'm not really sure how they decided it was over.
Commuion MP3 Artist Night
~article by Rev. Alexavier S. Strangerz, picts courtesy of Cyberhag Productions and DAVID from cabaretdesade.com
Nov 19th , 2000
Put yourself in Los Angeles...
Mp3-artist support night. Communion, 9575 W. Pico. Beverly Hills, CA. DJ's Xian and Nacht.
An e-mail requesting coverage in LA for an event with various artist either showing, or sending give-aways, promo's, and latest release info, came to me direct. How thrilling! I have a hot and cold feel about LA. I have been quoted as saying, always buy two return tickets when going to Los Angeles. Yet some overwhelming positively about this whole adventure seems to be overriding any past skepticism's.
"Hollywood is about as glamorous as my ass..." -Gruesome Tuesome.
Flights selected, this time I take the Laptop and the DAT player. Over-all time in LA will be just less than 24 hours. I was not sure what type of event this was at first. A regular club? A one off event? It seemed that just enough mystery surrounded the event. I found the URL to the actual club after listening to Mp3's and getting more on the artist themselves. (http://www.communion-club.com)
Some favorites of mine were listed, but many more that I needed to know better. That Is what this was really about. Getting support from new artist, and playing their music. Music that Is not played every single night across America. Well not yet anyway. It Is however available via the fine website of www.mp3.com, many stations are there to help you listen to selected tracks without being overwhelmed. Including the ones that DJ Xian herself has set up.
Xian has a passion for harder and louder music. So her first station Is geared towards that. Yet her ear Is not limited to a small range of genre's , and this shows In her Gothic collection of music. Ranging from Old School, New Wave, and New Romantics, to the stuff so new, they are not even on Mp3.com yet. Xian has a massive ability to cut through all the available bands, and songs. Also an apt designer, her sites show some great flow, and gets you Into the page. I hope the multi-media trend continues for her. It would be nice to see a video DJ In this genre soon!
I haven't even scratched the surface of what Is going on here. lets continue onward, and Into the night, where many shall fall victim, to the Idea of sharing 'Communion'.
I am at PSP/Aemyrinthe home studio for Xian, and DJ Nacht now. Nacht has left us to burn give-aways, and I am writing and phoning. Xian is a craft master. She is playing anything new, or unusual that I might want to know about, I feel she may be testing me, yet my tired self here could overlook one of my own songs. Odor of Pears comes on, "Fuck Christianity" and I almost don't recognize it. Naptime!
Before we go on to some of the events, and pictures from this fabulous evening. I would like to highlight the fact that Xian and Nacht, made sure that any participants/press received three Mp3.com CD's. In exchange for doing such a great job at throwing even the CD's together. I decided to give some simple reviews of all the tracks, and how well they worked together. It can be very frustrating to come up with the correct adjectives for musical expression. Or to describe a feel from an act without diving Into who they sound like. I did what I could. luckily EVERYTHING LISTED Is from http://www.mp3.com , so you can judge for yourself, and send any feedback to me directly here. As a music enthusiast, I would love to here It.
01: Deep Red "Darkwaters"
02: Deep Red "Slowslidings"
Opening the whole trilogy is the mysterious
sounding 'Deep Red.'
"these Dark waters run, drowning my sorrow..." Some great throaty style vocals from a passionate female vocalist. The simple pulse , and rock n roll arrangement quickly changes into a more synth-line based arrangement after the main chorus. Nice changes and a great way to start the set of new music.
"Slowslidings" starts off in an 80's-esque fashion. Single synth-line building a hook, and then the kick of a drum machine, to start the pace of a song that slowly slides in and out of rhythm and mood. Another good song by a new artist.
Deep Red - http://www.deepred.com/
03: Zeitmahl "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove"
OK, wow! How do you review an out of nowhere remake of the ultra-gothic dance floor classic "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove." This song is so familiar, that even this remake with different vocal qualities, and fantastic drumming, still has people at the clubs thinking they are in the midst of the original. The drumming replaces other elements that Dead Can Dance themselves built around hard to find instruments, and great folksy vocal arrangements. I am not sure if this sing is aptly more industrial via this interpretation, or maybe more drum-n-bass. It is different, yet still a quality song. That is the most important thing.
Emerge Recordings - http://www.elpro.com/emerge/
Zeitmahl - http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/19/zeitmahl.html
Lavender Hill - http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/20/lavender_hill_mob.html
05: SPF-1000 "Consumption"
"Haunted House" = Industrial/gothic joy. A song that seems to be reminiscent of a haunted house at Disney land. Or a ride through Hell, but only for a little while. "Die , die, die! Kill, kill, kill, kill!" Samples are a great thing, and so are great string arrangements, and searing angry voices, all dancing around like a sickened symphony. SPF-1000 have a classic here!
"Consumption" Builds slower into
the mix. Once again, we have strings, and metallic things.
Making this great for the mixed club space. No need to compromise
good gothy darkness, or strong Industrial rhythms. Not with SPF-1000
at the helm.
"My Throat is numb, my lips are numb, my mind is numb, my will is numb, do you want to kiss me? "
SPF-1000 - http://www.spf1000.net/
06: Spanking Machine
"Dethryde To Mommiez" (Elektro Trash Mix by Erektor)
07: Spanking Machine "Evil Kitty"
Heavy use of over effected voices. Nice stop and starting of sampled percussion, and drum machines. Gives that tight Jazz band kinda feel. This is not Jazz though, Industrial at least, for lack of a better word. EBM even maybe. Spanking Machine too, shows us some promise. Look em up, and see what else they have to offer.
"Evil Kitty" gives us a bit more of a clue about the 'gender' of the vocalist. A great song for any girl to sing. "Best damn pussy you ever had." I would like to hear some more from these artist. I am sure there is plenty at Mp3.com
The Sleeping Prophet - http://www.crosswinds.net/~sleepingprophet/evil.htm & http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/55/the_sleeping_prophet.html
08: Enrapture "Of The Flesh"
One of my favorites. This song
is a club classic already in my book. Great introduction that takes
you on its own journey into the rhythmic space of 'Erapture' way before
they even lay down the lyrical content.
"You will see, I will love you , I will be just what you need. "
Enrapture - http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/29/enrapture.html
09: Mindless Faith "Plaything"
Nothing mindless here! "Plaything" is exactly what you think it is. A very sharp new band playing with you mind. Or at least your sensibilities. Great for the dance floor, the headphones, the bedroom, or even the Laundromat. Vocals show some real soul. All instruments drone in time, and reach perfect climaxes, yet still hang about to cuddle later too. Best analogy I could come up with, sorry. This opening CD is really a good one. I recommend looking for stuff from all these artist so far.
10: Vampire Tea Party "Special H"
I may need some time for this one to rally grab me. Yet it is not a week track, just a bit on the jaunty side. Reminds me of an earlier techno project from Canada. "X-Drone" Wow, maybe I should see if they have been resurrected on Mp3.com too? I can see how they may be making a reference to the Mad Hatter being a vampire. Once again, I may need to come back to this one.
11: Impakt Devices "In Gun We Trust"
An LA based band, that I think ha some promise. I am not sure, but I think the members of this band are relatively young. I hope the creation of Industrial noise music is not a fad for this project. I want to see the progression of idea, and musical ability within this group. A nice track though, a bit calmer for them. Not to jolting. Here is some more info about 'Impakt Devices'. Look for future releases from this group as well. This is very self produced stuff so far.
Impakt Devices - http://www.impaktdevices.com/
12: Temple of Rain "White Shade"
The opening of this song was very 'Switchblade Symphony' like. The female vocals quickly got a bit more gruff, and maybe borrowed more form Joan Jett, for lack of a better example. As the song moves in and out of chorus though, you'll find many textures available to the singer. I wish there was more to compare to here. Yet this is a great direction from the string of industrial songs that precede it. More Gothic-Rock orientated, and worth the ride.
Temple of Rain - http://www.templeofrain.net/
13: Transum "Decay"
Thirteen is a perfect number, (look to the Mayan calendar to support this. ) The darker male vocals of this song contrast the previous one as well. Giving some true credit to the ear of DJ Xian in the making of this compilation. If you have every searched through Mp3.com I am sure you have been as overwhelmed as I have. To find such greatly diverse songs, with such similarities as well, is a true talent. I strongly advise those of you with good streaming on your home computers to checkout both stations by DJ Xian.
Over all impression of Mp3.comp Vol. 1. is fantastic. As a DJ myself, I feel I have cheated time by having this CD. I have not hesitated to try almost all of these out. Never have I had a request to stop playing a single song, and many times I find people looking at me with that "what is this" kind of face! Any true music lover really enjoy sharing new music. It is very apparent that Xian and Nacht are true music lovers too! If you wish to see what the other two Mp3.comps held, click here!
At the club
Between Nacht, and myself, we have Xian running a touch late. When we arrive Nacht is already laying down some classics. Many of the 'bands' and promo people are there. They are awaiting our presence. We settle in, and I get the materials. It seems I will be representing both Starvox, and CD-Baby.
I am busy almost Instantly. Xian was really nice In announcing my presence, and so Instead of feeling like an outsider, I was feeling more like a guest of honor. The artist are curious about CD-Baby. They are all very LA , yet they are ready to get their sound out. The bands present Included Die My Darling, Carol Tatum (Angels of Venice ), Impakt Devices, and NANO!
They were all fantastic. Later I talked with many of them on a more personal level. I tried to get more before the 'fun' of Communion took over. The space Is very fun though many would consider this a 'smaller' club for the area. I don't know the exact capacity. Yet there was around 200 In the space at a point. The dance floor extended well past the area set up for dancing. Poles were being taken advantage of, and the second floor balcony sometimes had dancers showing off to the floor below. You had many areas to lounge, or relax and take in the show. Ahh, the show. A very open attitude permeated the space. So many exhibitionists. No wonder David of Cabaret de sade productions (http://www.caberetdesade.com) ,and Blue of Cyberhag productions (http://www.fangclub.com) both were clicking away. Almost no time to gain composure between shots. I think it Is great that Blue got a shot of David's concentration on his camera. He was always checking light and levels, and the quality of his work it reflects in the varied shots of this fantastic super star audience! ( http://www.cabaretdesade.com )
No time to dance yet, no time to pose either. While getting the Info to artist about CD BABY, I am finding that two individuals are wanting to Interview A.S.A.P! Regan of Nano is the most persistent, I will have to get to Carol Tatum later. I grab a drink, and my Digital Audio Tape deck, and run off to a forbidden room with Regan. I guess it was a private party, because we get distracted by some of the semi-private happenings while talking. Here Is the interview: http://www.starvox.net/intview/nano.htm
As I transcribed the interview, I noticed how great the music in the background was. Xian always writes down her setlist. This is admirable. I have trouble with that one, as an artist. You can find almost any setlist by going to her site (http://members.aol.com/djxian/xian.html ) here Is the list for this night though.
Doppelganger - Sanctuary
Everyone stuck to their guns, and danced as if their sexiness depended on It. Will I get to dance? I decide to have just another drink. After all this Is part business and part pleasure. I noticed that when I bought my drink they handed me a ticket, and no sooner did I notice this did they dim the lights, and music, and announce the give-away time.
Many labels and artist had sent singles, flyers, and full length CD's ! Wow.
The numbers were called, and a winner walked away with one of the promotional boxes. I decided to look at my ticket, just In case. Yeah , I got some stuff already ,but hey, If your number comes up. It comes up! Another box of goodies goes bye-bye. That Is It right! No! There Is one more. Two numbers In, and I am reaching for my prize. What a great night. If I wasn't going to review as many of these as possible, I'd probably give them away to people right there. Actually I think I did give one duplicate away. here Is the list of what I got.
This Ascension, "Sever" Full Length
Clan Of Xymox "Out of the Rain" 3 song EP (looks like a 1997 release.)
Enrapture, "Self Titled"
Tapping the Vein, "Undone"
Angels of Venice, "Awake Inside A Dream" (review)
NANO, 4 song EP
NANO and Mother, EP 4 songs each. (review)
Die My Darling, "Sleep" (review)
Impakt Devices, "Fallen" (look for review soon)
Transum, "Fundamental Slavery" (look for review soon)
Some of these bands are already covered by Starvox. Look to the archives for those reviews. I should rap this up now. I don't really want the night to end. I have been spending the last couple of months in contact with many of the people I met at this party/club/experience. Although I love the Midwest for my centralized ability to travel. I can see why those In LA are claiming to have one of the best club scenes. I will be checking out SF and Chicago soon. Two cities that have great music as well. One thing for sure though. There are many things on the west coast for music lovers. Clubs, bands, and sexy attitudes. no matter where you are though you can at least tap Into the music. You can get many free listens from Mp3.com and via various file trading systems , the most notable being Napster. So support your scene. Wherever the artist who help make it may be. don't be afraid to dig for new material, and go tell everybody about what you have found. Indeed there are so many acts that I would not be playing now If It were not for an enthusiast. Yes I got to dance, just enough , and I had some more conversation with Regan, and with Carol Tatum. Carol and I agreed on a later engagement. We'll do lunch or cyberlunch as the case may be. I got well caught up In the fun, and the work. This Is a job I hope to keep for a long time. so If you want your scene/club covered, contact me direct. (e-mail Iink) I have a D.A.T. and I will write for food. Don't be shy, new DJ's , bands, promoters. It Is time to be heard. I don't expect to always be blessed with such an event that the Mp3.com Artist Support night was. Many thanks are due to all those who made It a real Hollywood event. I would love to be surprised though. I had Communion with the Angels, and I will never be the same. Yet what Is everlasting life. Without the next party to look forward to!!!
Rev. Alexavier S. Strangerz