By Tim Murr
Jade Jackson © Andrew Stuart
Over at The Bluegrass Situation you’ll find the video for the debut single from Americana artist Jade Jackson. The song, “Motorcycle,” is the lead track from the forthcoming album produced by Social Distortion’s Mike Ness. “Motorcycle” is scrappy but soft-spoken and feels like a dusty western noir. I’m really looking forward to this album; if “Motorcycle” is any indication Jackson will be an artist to watch in 2017.
Thrash veterans Overkill return on February 10 with The Grinding Wheel. The first single, “Our Finest Hour,” is exactly what you want/expect from Overkill, which is lightning-fast, squealing-tires-on-pavement, aggressive, and confrontational classic thrash metal. You can check out “Our Finest Hour” below. The album is currently up for pre-order on digital, digi-pak, CD, and vinyl. The vinyl comes in four variants; black, yellow, green, and splatter. You can pre-order from Nuclear Blast Records.
In keeping with the “coming soon” theme of the day, Mastodon released their first single for their March 31 album Emperor Of Sand a few days ago and you can preview it on Loudwire. It’s called “Sultan’s Curse” and sounds like the Mastodon we all know and love. I’ll admit that nothing the group has done since Leviathan has exactly thrilled me as much as their metal adaptation of Moby Dick, but that hasn’t stopped me from being excited every time a new album is announced. In addition to the video in the link, Loudwire also has some info on the album itself. Spoiler alert: it sounds pretty great.
Maiden remains one of the best live bands ever. Their heavy and ambitious Book Of Souls album is a highlight of their nearly four-decade career and with their latest tour they promise to bring back all the Eddies. I saw them a couple years ago with Alice Cooper (who also still knows how to put on a hell of a show) and it was a blast! It’s absolutely worth the experience. (And Ghost is opening!—Ed.)
JUN 03: BRISTOW, VA; JIFFY LUBE LIVE;
JUN 04: PHILADELPHIA, PA; WELLS FARGO CENTER
JUN 07: NEWARK, NJ; PRUDENTIAL CENTER
JUN 09: CHARLOTTE, NC; PNC MUSIC PAVILION:
JUN 11: TAMPA, FL; AMALIE ARENA
JUN 13: NASHVILLE, TN; BRIDGESTONE ARENA
JUN 15: CHICAGO, IL; HOLLYWOOD CASINO AMPHITHEATER
JUN 16: MINNEAPOLIS, MN; XCEL ENERGY CENTER
JUN 19: OKLAHOMA CITY, OK; CHESAPEAKE ARENA
JUN 21: HOUSTON, TX; TOYOTA CENTER
JUN 23: DALLAS, TX; AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER
JUN 24: SAN ANTONIO, TX; AT&T CENTER
JUN 27: ALBUQUERQUE, NM; ISLETA AMPHITHEATER
JUN 28: PHOENIX, AZ; TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA
JUL 01: SAN BERNARDINO, CA; GLEN HELEN AMPHITHEATER*
JUL 03: LAS VEGAS, NV; T-MOBILE ARENA
JUL 05: OAKLAND, CA; ORACLE ARENA
JUL 07: SALT LAKE CITY, UT; USANA AMPHITHEATER
JUL 09: LINCOLN, NE; PINNACLE BANK ARENA
JUL 11: KANSAS CITY, MO; SPRINT CENTER
JUL 12: ST LOUIS, MO; HOLLYWOOD CASINO AMPHITHEATER
JUL 15: TORONTO, CANADAvBUDWEISER STAGE
JUL 16: QUEBEC CITY, CANADAvVIDEOTRON CENTRE
JUL 19: MANSFIELD, MA; XFINITY CENTER
JUL 21: BROOKLYN, NY; BARCLAYS CENTER
By Tim Murr
Gabby Gaborno; Photo © Riff55
The Pacific Northwest’s Dark Palms return with a four-song EP that expands the group’s sound in fantastic ways. Smoke opens with a title track that sounds like Black Sabbath by way of Hüsker Dü with a Funhouse Stooges digression. “Heroes” has a push and pull rhythmic thing going, almost as if the song is fighting against being buried alive. “Salton Sea” is more of a straight-forward rocker, like it could have been on the band’s previous release, Hoxbar Ghost Town, but there’s an aged quality to it, like a hot rod running against a desert wind.
The album closes with “Margarita And The Master” which borrows its title from the Mikhail Bulgakov novel about the Devil visiting the atheistic Russia. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t comment on the lyrics and if they actually reference the novel, but the song conjures an interesting notion. All four tracks are damn good and Smoke is a great companion to the group’s debut from last year.
Ah, Werewolves In Siberia, one of the most kick-ass synth-wave projects out there… This album hits Bandcamp today to coincide with the release of Death Race 2050. You get three tracks: the title track, plus two versions of “Frankenstein, The Indestructible,” one with a sample from the original film and one without. The trailer looks like a direct sequel to Roger Corman’s original Death Race 2000, and it looks fucking awesome. The EP is pretty great itself, as one would expect from WiS.
A while ago during my hiatus from Popshifter, Gabby Gaborno, lead singer of the Cadillac Tramps and Manic Hispanic, passed away after years of struggling with health problems. He was a great singer and frontman and both bands are well worth your time to seek out if you’re unfamiliar with them. From interviews I’ve read Gabby seemed like a really cool, nice guy. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
“I want the politicians, police, and all who stand in the face of democracy with overzealous self-interest to know that their candle is burning at both ends and that the collective WE will never be silenced, and the more they try, the more our voices will be heard. The technology of awareness is solar powered and cannot be turned off.”
Despite creating poetry and spoken-word performances since 1995 and steadily releasing music since his 2001 album Amethyst Rock Star, there’s a consistent rawness and openness in Saul Williams’ work that’s much more typical of someone in an earlier stage of their artistic career. That’s not a knock on Williams at all; in fact, quite the opposite. Successful artists of every sort have a way of closing up and playing things a lot safer as their careers wear on, often to avoid offending the powerful and influential friends they’ve made over the years, or just to maintain a steady stream of guaranteed income. Artists like Williams have an incendiary freeness, a kind of nothing-to-lose sensibility, that allows them to take their projects down lesser-used and unique avenues. This is something that Williams has always been able to tap into, most recently on his new album, MartyrLoserKing.
Christians have always been fascinated by the end of the world. In their version of this inevitable event, Jesus comes back and takes all of his followers with him up into Heaven, while those who do not believe are left on Earth where Satan rules, and something about the Illuminati and the United Nations and the Mark of the Beast and really, it just gets kind of confusing after that. I think it comes down to Christians get to skip last period, which is the class that everyone hates and has a D in.
Based on this interview from The Independent, Dub Thompson members Evan Laffer (drums) and Matt Pulos (vocals/guitar) sound like the kind of 19-year-old guys who play music and have not yet been indoctrinated into only responding to interview questions with pre-packaged sound bites. Which is refreshing.
Also refreshing is their new song and video, “Dograces,” from their upcoming debut 9 Songs (it has eight tracks). It looks like one of those ’70s videos that you used to see on MTV Classic back in the day but then it looks like it might be a new video that was intended to look that way. The song itself is an odd mix of disaffected vocals and heavy bass, with a burst of shiny keyboards serving as a chorus of sorts that will either annoy you or intrigue you. Or both, especially when the band sort of gives up about two-thirds of the way through and leaves the stage. Speaking of which, who are those people, anyway?
9 Songs was recorded by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, who also plays keyboards for the band at their live shows. It will be out on June 10 from Dead Oceans. In the meantime, if you live in New York, you can catch them on April 3 at Pianos and on April 4 at Baby’s All Right.
The Cybertronic Spree
Photo © Paul Hillier Photography
If you haven’t heard of The Cybertronic Spree, listen up. It’s a band of Transformers—well, Hot Rod, Arcee, Rumble, Unicron, Spike, and a Quintesson, to be exact—who perform songs from the soundtrack to The Transformers: The Movie.
Interested yet? They also perform these songs live and in full costume. It’s pretty amazing. They recently released a video of an in-studio performance and recording of “Nothin’s Gonna Stand In Our Way” that must be seen to be believed.
Here’s a video of them performing “Instruments Of Destruction” last August at the Horseshoe in Toronto, as part of Nerd Noise Night.
And yes, they do perform “The Touch.”
For the full spectrum of the band’s online presence, check out TheCybertronicSpree.com
By Julie Finley
This is the fifth installment of a series of visual and aural assaults found on the web. My partner, Jim R. Clark, wrote the first four but since I am currently crippled due to a massive herniated disc in my lumbar region (and I go in for surgery soon), I have a laptop, and a lot of free time on my hands. I have taken the over the reins on this chapter, but to be fair, both of us have found these various videos in this collection. There are no specific genres here; this is crap culled from every toilet bowl!
New this week on Popshifter: LabSplice says DO NOT WANT to Ulli Lommel’s Black Dahlia; Chelsea likes the way Gimme The Loot portrays a side of New York that’s normally unseen; Jeff learns about double entendres in “Midnight at the Oasis”; Paul gets to know Irish singer/songwriter Tiger Cooke; Lisa compares Daniel Jacksons in her article on Stargate; Melissa reviews lots of new releases: Tom McDermott, Allen Toussaint, Kelley Stoltz, and Headstones; I think Simon Killer is an outstanding film and encourage everyone to check out the new Blu-Ray of Two Men in Manhattan; and say a sad farewell to Pat Fear.
The self-titled debut album from Big Black Delta, a.k.a. Jonathan Bates, is one of my favorites of 2013 thus far (review). The first single, “Side of the Road” had a cool video which I blogged about in February.
Now there’s another video from the band, this time for “Money Rain Down.” It’s one of the less bombastic tunes on the album, and that makes it even more interesting, as it shows just how much musical range Bates possesses. It’s incredibly danceable and wisely, the video includes lots of dancing. It’s whimsical and clever but not in a cutesy way. Check it out below.
15th The Fonda, Los Angeles, CA
17th Echo Park Rising, Los Angeles CA
7th Hopscotch Festival, Raleigh, NC
8th Boston Calling – City Hall Plaza, Boston MA
13th Lobster Fest at Port of LA, Los Angeles, CA
14th Summersalt Block Party, San Francisco, CA
21st The Courtyard @ The Getty, Los Angeles, CA
25th Bunk Bar, Portland, OR
26th Decibel Festival, Seattle WA
28th Festival Of Hope, Tulare CA
29th Adams Street Fair, San Diego, CA