Julian Casablancas + The Voidz at Chicago’s The Vic (11/18)

Julian Casablancas - voidz-roffman

Julian Casablancas – voidz-roffman

Photography by Phillip Roffman.

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz remain just as abrasive onstage as they do on record. Late Tuesday night, following agreeable sets by Cerebral Ballzy and Shabazz Palaces, the Strokes frontman’s scruffy, ragtag team of no-names* shuffled onstage at Chicago’s The Vic to roll out Tyranny track “Xerox”. It’s slotted ninth on the album, and for a good reason, as the hypnotic melody acts as a moment of respite between the lo-fi guitar wizardry of “Business Dog” and the conga rhythms of “Dare I Care”. As an opener, though, it’s a curious decision, but then again, this whole band, the entire album, and essentially everything about Casablancas this year is curious — even down to his demeanor. These days, the guy looks less like a boyish Lou Reed and more like a strung-out Todd Ianuzzi, whose denim vest and tattered, baggy jeans scream of better days in 1986. The thing is, he’s smiling.

That’s what makes these Voidz shows so intriguing. In the past, Casablancas has typically been a morose character onstage, speaking either sarcastically or not at all. Despite his microphone sounding like 808s-era Yeezy, little asides and jokes of his peppered a number of future Tyranny classics last night. He teased the audience at one point by saying they’d take things down a few notches, only to unleash the hyper-kinetic “River of Breaklights” off Phrazes for the Young. He eventually followed up on his promise, especially during an encore performance of “I’ll Try Anything Once”, which found him tickling his inner Pat Boone as he sang in harmony with his many adoring fans, some of whom camped out seven hours prior to catch a front row glimpse at their one-time rock ‘n’ roll hero. Actually, that’s a pretty bullshit, cynical thing to say…

Julian Casablancas

Julian Casablancas

Casablancas is a rock ‘n’ roll hero. His latest album might be affronting to those wishing they could hear more “11th Dimension” and less “Nintendo Blood”, but they said the same thing about Reed when he dished out Metal Machine Music back in 1975. No, Casablancas is making scrappy, eccentric post-punk that either evolves towards an assembly of noises or, if you’re lucky, tumbles into a chest of reluctant harmonies. It’s political, anti-consumerism, and, most of all, angry. For the first time in over a decade, the guy has an edge, and he does not give a shit if you’re with him or against him. But doesn’t he deserve that? Think about it: Casablancas stepped onto the scene with one of the greatest albums of all time — 2001’s Is This It, if you’re lost — and followed that up with another rare diamond. He never had a chance to test the stakes. He never struggled as the confused artist. That’s not to say there weren’t conflicts or hurdles with The Strokes; they were just a little safer than what he’s doing now.

And what exactly is that? Well, based on his supplemental song selections — “Ize of the World” off 2006’s First Impressions of Earth, the aforementioned “River of Brakelights” — Casablancas is finding solace in the chaos. Those two songs are far more focused and refined than anything off Tyranny, but they only corral the chaos. Broken down, each instrumental part is a testy, punchy slice of energy that bounces around with the cadence of an 11-year-old antsy with ADHD and a bottle of Squeezit. That’s pretty much how each song by The Voidz works conceptually; they’re just not as aligned. Yet there’s something beautiful and intriguing about that erroneous marriage, which might be what Casablancas gets off on these days. It’s not clean. They’re not perfect; instead, The Voidz thrive on existing on the fringe, an area that Casablancas can finally experience. If you’re a longtime fan, it’s probably the most exciting time to catch the guy since, well, 2003. Though, if you’re attempting to itch that early ’00s nostalgia, you’re trying your luck.


Let’s give credit where credit is due. There’s guitarist Jeramy “Beardo” Gritter, other guitarist Amir Yaghmai, bassist and synth player Jacob “Jake” Bercovici, the rather superb percussionist Alex Carapetis, and their trusty keyboardist, Jeff Kite. “If you actually listened during ‘Human Sadness’, you’d know they’re all capable musicians, Mike,” one might argue, and I’d agree 100%. That’s why I’d secretly love to hear them reined in some, as they all were on their “covers.” Though, that’d also negate pretty much everything that makes them The Voidz.

Father Electricity
M.utually A.ssured D.estruction
Human Sadness
Where No Eagles Fly
Ize of the World (The Strokes cover)
Business Dog
Crunch Punch
River of Brakelights (Julian Casablancas song)
Nintendo Blood
I’ll Try Anything Once (The Strokes cover)
Dare I Care

Metal bassist ruptures testicle on stage, keeps playing


Dutch band Delain

 December 2, 2014

There’s been many gruesome feats done by musicians on stage: Iggy Pop gouged his skin with broken glass, while Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bat. However, Dutch symphonic metal outfit Delain might have them all beat with their immense commitment to the trope “the show must go on.”It’s tradition for Delain to launch confetti cannons during their song “The Gathering”. Typically they’ve done this without any incident, but during a show in Birmingham, England last week, bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck found himself taking a shot straight to the groin. Despite the pain and bleeding, Schimmelpenninck finished out the show.In a subsequent Facebook status, Schimmelpenninck revealed that after the show his scrotum had ballooned up to the size of a grapefruit. He was quickly rushed to a hospital where they removed 500 ML of blood from his scrotum and had his ruptured testicle stitched up. He described the event as “one of the most unpleasant adventures I’ve ever had to endure.”You can see surprisingly not gruesome footage of the performance below.

True to the story,Schimmelpenninck seems initially unfazed by the incident.


Published on Nov 27, 2014

Dutch group Delain performing The Gathering at the O2 Academy in Birmingham on 26th November 2014.





Singing the blues for the music scene


Musician Matt Phillips hold up a picture of his “wrap sheet” after a gig. Tom Maxwell

For young and ambitious musicians, there is strength in numbers

Video: The Panacea Boiler Room Berlin DJ Set



Mathis Mootz is a prolific German electronic musician and DJ from Germany. Mootz is best known as The Panacea (until 2005, simply as Panacea), his drum and bass stage name and main musical project, and as m2 (pronounced “Squaremeter“), his dark ambient side project and alter-ego.

Born August 18, 1976 in Wetzlar, Germany, Mootz served an apprenticeship in classical music and was a member of the boy’s choir of Windsbach. After studying music engineering at the SAE Institute, Mootz worked with the experimental hip hop/illbient label Chrome, an offshoot of Force Inc Music Works. Over the course of several drum and bass albums and many singles, and as A&R manager for Chrome, later renamed Position Chrome, Panacea became known for pushing the bounds of the drum and bass genre into industrial and hardcore territory, and for energetic DJ sets which fused these genres in a live setting. With his side project m2, he explored a more minimal side of electronic music, first in the realm of clicks ‘n’ cuts, and later in the dark ambient territory pioneered by the likes of Lustmord. Mootz lives and produces in Sommerhausen, a countryside town near Würzburg.

The Hardest Tour on Planet Earth (2001) documented his partnership with fellow German drum and bass artist Cativo, where elements of oldskool hardcore and other early rave music began entering his products. Underground Superstar (2002) found him fusing early hardcore and jump-up with modern production techniques. The album included “The Evil Seed”, a vocal track for which a music video was produced, and “The Last Brotherhood”. Adopting an extremely energetic DJ persona, he became known for sets that were equal parts hardcore and drum and bass. He also began collaborating with Luna-C, one of the champions of the breakbeat hardcore revival known as hardcore breaks. Panacea Shares Needles with Tarmvred, a collaboration with Needle Sharing and Tarmvred in 2002 on Ad Noiseam, combined drum and bass, hardcore, and noise.

Position Chrome ceased activity briefly in 2004 when Force Inc.’s distributors EFA-Medien went bankrupt, but in 2005, Mootz revived the label, changing his name to The Panacea. He has since returned to somewhat darker sounds, releasing a number of singles on Position Chrome, as well as UK labels Outbreak and Offkey Records, the latter run by UK producer Raiden and specializing in Techno-DNB.

Currently, The Panacea is part of the Anger Management booking agency roster as well as Freak Recordings, which led him to headline several events of the Therapy Sessions franchise.

Panda Bear at Chicago’s Thalia Hall (5/21)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Panda Bear is the alias used by experimental musician Noah Lennox of Animal Collective, Jane and Together. He plays drums during Animal Collective’s live shows. He chose the name Panda Bear because he drew a picture of a panda on one of the first recordings he made. He is married and lives in Lisbon, Portugal with his wife and child, Nadja. He and Avey Tare are the only members who have contributed to every Animal Collective release.

Bio from Wikipedia’s article on Panda Bear

Categories: Music | Alternative


Right now, based on what he’s delivering with his new live set, here’s what we can expect from Noah Lennox’s forthcoming fourth album, tentatively – and so, so misleadingly – entitled Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. This is the most rhythmically seductive and consistently uplifting music Lennox has ever made as a solo artist – or otherwise, if not for a little Animal Collective album called Merriweather Post Pavillion.

If his formal 2004 debut Young Prayer set out to stretch the role of the human voice, and 2011’s Tomboy did the same for the electric guitar, and his 2007 generally-agreed-upon-masterpiece Person Pitch challenged (obliterated) the thought that borrowed samples can’t construct an individual voice, then here, Lennox only wants to warp our mindset of what ingredients are essential for songs to register as really, really good pop music. There’s no other necessary term for the hour of new material Lennox is currently rolling out.

Lennox, with and outside of Animal Collective, has mainly used live shows for newly written material, last night being no exception, save for a three-song (guitar-less) Tomboy encore. This might be the best it’s ever gone over with audiences on the first round. The fourth song of his set, possibly called “Black Cloud”, is all sunshine and finds his looped voice agilely jumping octaves over a 2/4 beat that aims for “My Girls”-caliber happy feet. Though it’s likely his strongest of 10 or so new songs – maybe, just maybe ever – there was one in the middle of his set, a sighing pace-slower with mimicked harp arpeggios possibly called “Can’t Come Back”, that drew the strongest crowd reaction, by far.

Animal Collective visual collaborator Danny Perez was on hand to man the graphics swimming on the screen behind Lennox, who remained stationary pretty much all night. Amidst typical Perez bits – fruits, snakes, chromatic shapes and patterns – the only non-cryptic one was a clip of the Grim Reaper taking a stuffed panda bear, ripping its head off, and tearing it to shreds. Despite the new album’s working title, it went up during the Tomboy encore, over “Scheherazade”. Lennox signed off by thanking Perez and his crew by name and giving a genuine endorsement to Thalia Hall, a 124-year-old performance space and national landmark (with a tavern now, too) in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood that he was also there to christen: He was its first headliner upon reopening for the first time since the 1960s.

Are panda bears cuddly as fuck? Duh. But does that mean we know them? They’re still weird creatures that live and thrive on far-away landmass and tend to eat an odd stick-shaped vegetable. Noah Lennox happens to possess both the gold-toned vocal cords and the melodic ear of Brian Wilson, but the way he puts them to work aims to show that a natural Beach Boy can be anything but familiar. Again, he’s succeeding.


UK Band Gnarwolves Live At Hit The Deck Nottingham

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Gnarwolves Live At Hit The Deck Nottingham

Gnarwolves have revealed they are heading out on tour around the UK with support from WOAHNOWS.

Brighton punks Gnarwolves have revealed pre-order details of ‘Chronicles Of Gnarnia’, which will be released through Pure Noise Records. The release combines the bands last three EPs on 12-inch vinyl and CD with new artwork. The tracklisting for the album looks a little like this:

1.Party Jams
2. Decay
3. No Time For Old Bones
4. Reaper
5. Chlorine In The Jean Pule
6. History Is Bunk
7. We Want The Whip!
8. Community, Stability, Identity
9. A Gram Is Better Than A Damn
10. Oh Brave New World
11. Coffee
12. Melody Has Big Plans
13. Tongue Surfer
14. Limerence
15. High On A Wire

Upcoming Shows
May 07
The Star & Garter
Manchester, United Kingdom
May 09
Southampton, United Kingdom
May 31
Various Venues Camden Town
London, United Kingdom
Jun 14
Jera On Air
Ysselsteyn, Netherlands
Jun 20
Various London Venues
London, United Kingdom