Death Alley – Live at Roadburn (2017)

Death AlleyLive at Roadburn (Tee Pee Records, 24 February 2017)

 

Hey, have you heard the news — the Netherlands’ biggest annual hard rock party Roadburn is coming up this weekend! (Oh wait, of course you already knew that — because you read this review yesterday of a band who’ll be playing there!)

But first, why not check out this local (well, only about 100km or so away) band who appeared at the festival in 2016? Following their 2015 Tee Pee Records debut Black Magick Boogieland, Amsterdam’s Death Alley was invited to perform at Roadburn, where their set was reportedly so “moving” and “magical” that Tee Pee decided to document it and make it available to the public in various physical and digital formats.

 

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Ruby the Hatchet – Planetary Space Child (2017)

Ruby the HatchetPlanetary Space Child (Tee Pee Records, 25 August 2017)

 
I’m putting the finishing touches on writing this article during breaks between watching Philadelphia’s hockey team getting demolished during the first game of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Entirely by coincidence, that city (a place whose biggest claim to fame is striking a beloved holiday character with snowballs) happens to be the home base of psychedelic ensemble Ruby the Hatchet. But I’ll implore you not to hold that against them.

As you may recall, we wrote about this band’s 2012 debut album Ouroboros when it was reissued back in 2016, and then last summer we mentioned that they would have a new album out soon. Today we’re discussing that album, as RtH prepare to head out on a whirlwind tour of the country over the next few weeks (kicking off this Friday, 13 April 2018). Check out the full list of dates at the bottom of this page.

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Ketchup Day: Misery Signals, Cormorant, Incantation, Ruby the Hatchet

 
I remember one year in elementary school — it might have been fourth or fifth grade — when our teacher would occasionally come in and draw a ketchup bottle on the chalkboard. This was an indication that it would be a “ketchup day” or “catch-up day”: where we wouldn’t have any new lessons that day, but could use the time to get current on homework assignments or whatever else we needed to do.

Looking back as an adult, that sounds an awful lot like a scene from the movie Bad Teacher when Cameron Diaz’ character would show her class videos all day because came to school hungover. But in any case, today’s going to be a ketchup day for some recent news items that have come across the VOS editor’s desk …

 
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Ruby the Hatchet – Ouroboros, Mars Red Sky – Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (2016)

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Ruby the HatchetOuroboros (RUR Records, 29 April 2016)

 

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Mars Red SkyApex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (Listenable Records, 20 May 2016)

 

Good afternoon. Today I’d like to talk to you about two different bands who each fall under the general umbrella of “psychedelic/stoner rock.” Both have new releases out (recently, or within the next two days), and both will be hitting the road (separately) playing various shows and festivals across the USA over the next few months. First I’ll introduce you to those recent releases, and then head down a little further to the comments section where I’ll share the scheduled tour dates!

 

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Karma to Burn – Arch Stanton (2014), The Atomic Bitchwax – Gravitron (2015)

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Karma to BurnArch Stanton (FABA Records, 18 August 2014)

 

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The Atomic BitchwaxGravitron (Tee Pee Records, 30 December 2015)

 

Hey folks, HAPPY FRIDAY! As you’ve surely noticed, we’ve spent a lot of time this week talking about tours kicking off this weekend, and bands who are coming to Pittsburgh, but believe it or not I’ve got another announcement for you!

Starting TONIGHT (Friday, May 13th) instrumental legends Karma to Burn from West Virginia and long-running stoner trio The Atomic Bitchwax from New Jersey will be heading out on a month-long tour all across America, opening for The Obsessed (which was one of the earliest of Wino‘s plethora of bands).

The full list of dates for this tour (including a stop at Pittsburgh’s Altar Bar tomorrow night) will be listed down at the bottom of this page — in the comments. But first, lets take a closer look at a (relatively speaking) recent album from each of those two supporting bands …

 

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Stangala – Klañv, Blaak Heat – Shifting Mirrors (2016)

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StangalaKlañv (Finisterian Dead End, 24 March 2016)

 

Blaak Heat - Shifting Mirrors_album cover

Blaak HeatShifting Mirrors (EU: Svart Records, 15 April 2016 | US/world: Tee Pee Records, 13 May 2016)

 

Hello out there, readers! Welcome to a new month, with more new music to send your way. Today I’d like to share a pair of recent albums (one of which is still about ten days away from its release in America and the rest of the world, but both have been out in Europe for a few weeks now) which are both filled with uniquely avant-garde variations on psychedelic-doom-rock. Good stuff, I think you’ll enjoy these.

But first I just wanted to share a thought I had, while walking down the hill to the bus stop at way-too-damn-early-o-clock this morning, still half-dazed from another late-night playoff hockey game last night. As a word of warning, this is Game of Thrones-related, so if you aren’t one of the millions currently watching that HBO phenomenon, this won’t interest you, so feel free to skip ahead, just below the next photo will be the music-relevant stuff.

For the rest of you: this isn’t anything earth-shattering or anything (and there won’t be any spoilers — no new information directly related to the latest episode or current season), just something that happened to pop into my head that I wanted to write somewhere before I forgot it. I don’t have a tv show website, so I had to put it here.

Anyway, so many events with potentially huge implications transpired in this week’s episode, it’ll take a while to sort it all out. And some of the storylines, even major ones, might even have fallen between the cracks because there was just so much to pay attention to! One of the main plots right now is the Bolton family’s rather tenuous hold on the North — a huge area of stubbornly traditional folks, many of whom probably retain loyalty to the House of Stark.

A large part of the current Bolton story, over the past couple of seasons, has revolved around the lineage of heirs to family head Lord Roose, who had declared himself Warden of the North, taking over the estate at Winterfell after the slaying of King Robb Stark. Specifically, Roose’s only living son has been the bastard-born Ramsay Snow, until it was discovered that the Warden’s new wife was expecting a baby. Of course this would be cause for concern for Ramsay: even author George R. R. Martin himself has stated that the legitimization of a bastard child happens so rarely, there really aren’t explicit legal precedents for determining how one would fit within the hierarchy of ascendancy — particularly if there should be a younger, natural-born son. Would a naturalized bastard simply be inserted among other offspring based on birth order? Or would all legitimate children come first regardless of age, then the bastard-born, before the line of succession would move on to uncles or more distant relatives? No one really knows, until such a thing would actually take place.

In this case, the questions run even deeper. Even absent the possible threat from a younger (but born in wedlock) half-sibling, and notwithstanding any promises or assurances Roose might make to his son, the fact remains that a bastard can only be legitimized by an official royal decree. The documentation that officially made him Ramsay Bolton, you’ll recall, was signed by the current occupant of the Iron Throne: King Tommon Baratheon by name, but as viewers (and practically everyone in the show as well) are aware, like his siblings, this “king” is only related to the late King Robert Baratheon because their mother had been married to him; since his parentage is exclusively of the Lannister family, Tommon is in actuality just as much a bastard as Ramsay Snow had ever been.

With the Northerners’ allegiance probably torn between the Boltons and Starks, one thing they all share is a mistrust and lack of respect for the Lannisters, particularly one who is falsely wearing a crown, calling himself the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. So my theory is that very soon, Ramsay’s legitimization documentation will be called into question by his fellow countrymen, throwing the leadership of the North into an even more chaotic state than it is already. As they say, “The North Remembers” …

Well, that’s it for now; we’ll returning to our regularly scheduled programming. Anyone who has anything to add to the discussion can hit the comments section below. Or if you think I should just shut the hell up and stick with writing about music, feel free to say so.

 

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