News/Announcements: Shoutouts to Patreon Patrons

Pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns made it extraordinarily difficult for artists and creatives across the world to actually perform their craft and to make a living. With people getting vaccines in their arms earlier this year, there was some degree of returning to normalcy: I’ve been hanging out in bars and going to shows — both indoors and outdoors. As you can imagine, much like the countless artists I cover, I was looking forward to a full schedule of live music to see and to cover. But with the COVID-19 Delta variant being the latest scourge wrecking havoc across the world and the States, I’m beginning to worry about what the Fall and Winter will be like.

Not getting the vaccine isn’t smart nor cool. It actually makes everything we do and love extremely difficult. If you haven’t gotten a vaccine and you’re hesitant, I can tell you that the science and technology behind it are proven: researchers have been working with mRNA for decades and for a variety of uses. The researchers have tested it and it’s safe. Millions of people have had them with minimal side effects and minimal adverse effects. The side effects and adverse effects of COVID are a lot worse — and include death. I don’t think you want to die or to take your chances on leaving your loved ones, do you? Do you really want to risk getting your loved ones sick? Do you want to be broke from medical bills because you got really sick?

I didn’t think so. Go and get a vaccine as soon as humanly possible. You ensure that you protect yourself and your loved ones from the most serious side effects of COVID-19 and its known variants. And you also help to ensure that we can all have the lives we want, do the things we love and enjoy and make money. If we don’t get this under control almost everything we do will be impossible. It’s that simple.

And if you’re about to say to me “But it’s not 100% effective,” I can tell you that there’s only two things in life that’s 100% certain — anything that’s born will eventually die. And if you’re born human, you’ll pay taxes. Nothing else is certain. Condoms are 97% effective if used correctly. People still fuck with condoms knowing that there’s a small chance of pregnancy or an STI. So what’s your issue?

Back to our regularly scheduled programming, right?

Independent artists of all disciplines desperately need someone to champion them and their work. There’s only 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week, and there are so many options competing for your time, money and love. But what I can say is this: because this site has been a DIY labor of love, I’ve felt that I’ve had an intimate and deeply personal understanding of the financial and emotional plight of the artist I’ve covered throughout this site’s history.

Of course, the pandemic has forced me to see things very differently — and changed my thinking on a lot of things. And if you add the conversations I’ve had with artists, I’ve been constantly reminded of the following:

  • Art costs money to produce — and without money, it can’t exist because it can’t be produced.
  • Artists are small businesses. So supporting an artist is supporting a small business. 
  • A small bit of support can go a long way. A $20, $30, $40, $50 or $60 purchase of someone’s work can often mean the purchase of groceries, paying their bills or even the confidence that they can continue with their art.  
  • That same $20, $50 or $60 doesn’t really mean shit to Amazon. 
  • Supporting a local artist/small business can keep money within your community. Caring about your community and ensuring that your hardworking neighbors can make and spend money makes your neighborhood vital.
  • Amazon and the other mega-conglomerates don’t give a fuck about your community or your neighbors
  • Lastly, you won’t be giving your money to companies that actively fuck over their neighbors, the environment or their employees. And that alone should make you feel better about the decision. 

Throughout the 11 years I’ve been doing this — seriously, 11 years! — I hope that my work has led you to artists and bands whose work has become a part of your lives, as they have become part of mine. I also hope that my photography has managed to add some beauty to your day, inspired you to see the new world in a new light — or make you go out to see some of these artists live.

Of course, as always, I’m asking you, dear readers and friends for your support to keep this thing going. And there’s a number of ways that you can support JOVM:  

You can buy photographic prints — from my live concert photography to street photography and even some outdoor/nature photos. I also still have a shit ton of JOVM bumper stickers. All of this stuff is beautiful and could use a loving forever home. You can check out the store here:https://joyofviolentmovement.com/shop/

You can support by becoming one of my Patreon patrons. Every dollar means something. Seriously, it does. There are different patronage levels and different rewards for your support. For more information, you can check out the Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

Of course, while I’m on the subject: I want to send shout outs — and thank yous — to those folks, who have supported me and my work throughout the past year with their patronage. 

Sash

Alice Northover

Bella Fox

Jenny MacRostie

Janene Otten 

Thank you, y’all. Your support means so very much. 

If you’re in the NYC area, you can hire me for photography work. Seriously. I do headshots, portraits and event photography. You can hire me through Photobooker. My listing is here: https://www.photobooker.com/photographer/8582abd8-f01e-43eb-b2be-0ed57157687e?duration=1?duration=1 (If you’re outside the NYC area and you’d still want to hire me, we can talk.) 

If you’re not already a fan of this site on Facebook, please feel free to become a fan here: https://www.facebook.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

Many people out there are struggling to survive. Believe me, I get it and I’m empathetic to that. The past 18 months have been the most difficult and desperate for a lot of us. To that end, there are many ways that you can support:

  • If you dig what I do: Keep reading! Please, keep reading!
  • Pass the word on to friends, family members, associates and anyone else, who will support independent journalism, music and criticism. 
  • Retweets, Facebook shares and reblog things you might dig. Sites need active eyeballs and clicks to survive. Every pair of eyeballs reading and clicking on JOVM means some ad revenue in the coffers. And those hardworking artists I cover will also be grateful for your love and support, too. 
  • Towards the bottom third of every post, there’s a related post section. If you dug the post you’re looking at it, feel free to check out the related posts. You might find something else you could love. 

I’m looking forward to sharing new music and new things in August and beyond. Hopefully you’ll stick with me through the journey.

Last year, I spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the rising Los Angeles-based indie electro rock act Carré that features:

  • Julien Boyé (drums, percussion, vocals): Boyé has had stints as a touring member of Nouvelle Vague and James Supercave. Additionally, he has a solo recording act Acoustic Resistance, in which he employs rare instruments, which he has collected from all over the world.
  • Jules de Gasperis (drums, vocals, synths, production and mixing): de Gasperis is a Paris-born, Los Angeles-based studio owner. Growing up in Paris, he sharpened his knowledge of synthesizers, looping machines and other electronics around the same time that JusticeSoulwax and Ed Banger Records exploded into the mainstream.
  • Kevin Baudouin (guitar, vocals, synth, production): Baudouin has lived in Los Angeles the longest of the trio — 10 years — and he has played with a number of psych rock acts, developing a uniquely edgy approach to guitar, influenced by Nels ClineJonny Greenwood and Marc Ribot.

Deriving their name for the French word for “square,” “playing tight” and “on point,” the Los Angeles-based trio formed back in 2019 — and as the band’s Jules de Gasperis explains in press notes, “The making of our band started with this whole idea of having two drummers perform together. It felt like a statement. We always wanted to keep people moving and tend to focus on the beats first when we write.” The members of the Los Angeles-based act specialize in a French electronica-inspired sound that frequently blends aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops. Thematically, their work generally touches upon conception, abstraction and distortion of reality through a surrealistic outlook of our world. Their visuals tend to feature geometric shapes and patterns.

The act specializes in a French electronica-inspired sound that blends aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops. Thematically, their work generally touches upon conception, abstraction and distortion of reality through a surrealistic outlook of our world. Their self-titled EP was released last year through Nomad Eel Records — and the EP featured the Uncanny Valley-era Midnight Juggernauts meets Tour de France-era Kraftwerk-like “Freeform,” a free flowing and improvised jam centered around glistening synth arpeggios, shimmering blasts of guitar, an insistent motorik groove, hi-hat driven four-on-the-floor and ethereal vocal samples.

“Freeform” was given the remix treatment by Parisian multi-instrumentalist Alex Tran, a.k.a. A.T.M. and interestingly enough, the A.T.M. remix adds a decidedly French house touch to the proceedings with glitchy sequences, muscular guitars, harder hitting beats, vocodered vocals while retaining the song’s free flowing and improvised jam-like feel and dark industrial vibes while essentially giving the song a dance floor friendly air.


 

 

New Video: The Gluts Take Us on a Hedonistic Glimpse of Ancient Rome

Rising Milan-based act The Gluts — Claudia Cesana (bass/vocals), Bruno Bassi (drums) and Nicolò Campana (vocals, synths) and Marco Campana (guitar) — derive their name from a term used to denote unsold goods and symbolically expresses a surplus of energy like the one that drives their work. Since their formation, the rising Italian quartet have established and honed an explosive psychedelic-take on noise through the release of their first three albums, 2014’s Warsaw, 2017’s Estasi and 2019’s Dengue Fever Hypnotic Trip.

The Gluts’ Bob de Wit-produced fourth album Ungrateful Heart is slated for an October 8, 2021 released through Fuzz Club and the album reportedly finds the Italian psych rockers making a decided sonic departure from with the material being rooted in a sound indebted to 70s punk, 80s hardcore and post punk — in particular, Fugazi, Gang of Four, Sex Pistols, Public Image, Ltd. and the Campana brothers’ obsessive with Italian and American hardcore punk. Recorded over a tireless week in which the band and their producer essentially lived and worked side-by-side in the studio around the clock, the Ungrateful Heart sessions were fueled by a forceful intensity and uncompromising fierceness. “Bob’s contribution to this album was essential. He pushed us beyond our limits. It was difficult, we can’t hide it, but it really was worth it,” the members of The Gluts say in press notes.

Ungrateful Heart’s latest single “Love Me Do Again” offers listeners a real taste of what to expect from the album: slashing and angular attack paired with scorching feedback, atmospheric synths, four-on-the-floor that builds up to a frenzied intensity paired with a snarled, old school punk rock vocal delivery and an enormous hook. The new single is a slick and uncanny mesh of Never Mind the Bollocks-era Sex Pistols and Mission of Burma — rooted in unadulterated hedonism. Written by the band’s Bruno Bassi while in lockdown, “Love Me Do Again” was “inspired by the different versions of the myth of Dionysus (the Greek god of wine, pleasure, madness and frenzied ecstasy) and an unexpected excitement caused by imagining how great it would be to be all together again. At the end of the song our fascination for The Sex Pistols can be felt, since Nico screams like Johnny Rotten.”

Directed by Brace Beltempo, the recently released and gorgeously cinematic visual for “Love Me Do Again” is set in ancient Roman times — but while nodding at Caligula and the anachronistic-style of Sofia Coppola, with characters wearing roller skates. Bassi explains ” “In the video Nico plays the role of Dionysus and Claudia a maenad. Dionysus is the God associated with irrationality and the excess(es) of life and that’s what is behind our own name . . . ”

The Milan-based act will be touring to support the new album with stops across mainland Europe throughout October.

Rising Los Angeles-based coldwave/darkwave/dark synth-riot act Violent Vickie — Vickie (vocals, production) and E (guitar, production) — have released material through a handful of labels including  Crunch PodEmerald & Doreen RecordingsRiot Grrl Berlin and LoveCraft Bar, which the act has supported with tours with Atari Teenage Riot‘s Hanin EliasThe Vanishing‘s Jessie Evans, Trans XThem Are Us Too, Aimon & The Missing Persons and others. The duo have also played sets across the US and European festival circuits with stops at Insted FestSolidarity FestShoutback Fest and Gay Prides and Ladyfests. 

Their single “The Wolf” was featured in a National Organization for Women film. Violent Vickie’s Vickie was also interviewed for the documentary GRRL as part of the museum exhibit Alien She. Adding to the band’s growing profile, their album Monster Alley was voted best album by KALX. And if you’ve been frequenting this site, you may recall that their latest album Division, which featured the dark yet dance floor friendly “Circle Square” was released last September.

Since the release of Division, the band has been busy writing and recording material, including their latest single, a Mazzy Star-like take on Johnny Cash‘s “Ring of Fire” centered around a sparse arrangement of strummed guitar and Vickie’s plaintive vocals fed through gentle amounts of reverb. Sonically, the track is a marked departure from the chilly, dark and aggressive coldwave and New Wave-inspired tracks they’re known for, while retaining the longing of the original.

New Video: Mount Kimbie Releases a Brooding Visual for Previously Unreleased Single “Black Stone”

Currently split between Los Angeles and London, the acclaimed electronic music duo Mount Kimbie — Brighton-born, Los Angeles-based Dom Maker and Cornwall-born, London-based Kai Campos — burst into the international scene with their first three critically applauded full-length albums: 2010’s Crooks & Lovers, 2013’s Cold Spring Fault Less Youth and 2017’s Love What Survives.

Since the release of Love What Survives, the members of Mount Kimbie have been rather busy: they’ve produced tracks by an eclectic array of acclaimed artists including James Blake, Travis Scott, Slowthai, Jay-Z, King Krule and a growing list of others. In the past year, Mount Kimbie have produced and featured on tracks on Slowthai’s #1 album Tryon, and have designed and cerated music for Undercurrent, an immersive, interactive multimedia installation that address the climate crisis, that also features contributions from Grimes, Bon Iver and The 1975. They also provided production work on Dave’s critically acclaimed We’re All Alone In This Together and James Blake’s “Say What You Will.” Additionally, Mount Kimbie’s Dom Maker has contributed to the soundtrack of Oscar-winning short film Two Distant Stangers, co-producing with James Blake, the closing track, which features Travis Scott and Westside Gunn.

The acclaimed duo mark the fourth anniversary of the release of Love What Survives with the release of two previously unreleased and unheard tracks from the Love What Survives sessions — “Black Stone” and “Blue Liquid” as a free download by signing up through email and for pre-order on white label 12 inch vinyl. “Black Stone,” is an instrumental track centered around layers of reverb-drenched, twinkling synth arpeggios and a chugging post punk influenced groove.

Frank Lebon, a longtime Mount Kimbie friend, collaborator and art director recruited up-and-coming artist Peter Eason Daniels to direct, the recently released video for “Black Stone.” Shot in a grainy, security footage-like black and white in London, the video captures people waiting for trains or buses, getting on trains or buses and waiting on a train or bus. “The video is about waiting, moving and stopping. Collective moments of solitude experienced between one place and another,” Daniels says. 

New Video: Fotoform’s Hallucinogenic Visuals for Brooding and Atmospheric “Running”

Deriving their name from a mid-century avant-garde photography movement, Seattle-based post punk outfit Fotoform — longtime collaborators and married couple Kim House (bass, vocals, synths) and Geoffrey Cox (guitar), along with newest member, former Death Cab for Cutie and The Long Winters member Michael Schorr (drums) — can trace their origins back to the formation of a previous project, the dark, goth-adjacent dream pop act C’est la Mort shortly after House and Cox married.

Specializing in what they dubbed “pointy-shoegaze,” C’est la Mort released their full-length debut through their own Dismal Nitch label, as well as various compilation tracks, including a limited split 7 inch with Stars for American Laundromat’s The Smiths’ tribute Please Please Please. After a series of lineup changes, House and Cox re-emerged as Fotoform in late 2016.

ouse and Cox released their Fotoform self-titled debut in 2017. Supported with tours of the West Coast and Europe, the album received airplay and praise both locally and nationally: Album single “I Know You’re Charming” was featured as a KEXP Song of The Day. The self-titled album was voted as one of KEXP Listeners’ Top 90.3 Albums of 2017 and it landed on several year-end lists, including The Big Takeover and Part-Time Punks. Building upon a growing profile, the band followed up with 2018’s Part-Time Punks EP, which was selected as one of The Big Takeover’s EPs of 2018.

Blue,” which was recored for voter outreach and the Christmas-themed “They Say It’s Always Lonely” to benefit local food banks. Both singles found the trio expanding upon their sound with the addition of synths. The trio went into the studio with Evan Foster to record the material for their forthcoming sophomore album Horizons in early 2020. And as a result of pandemic-related quarantines and restrictions, the Horizons sessions resumed a year later with Foster — and with Matt Bayles recording drum parts.

Slated for an October 15, 2021 release, Horizons reportedly finds the band pivoting even further from the towering wall of guitars-based sound of its predecessors towards a much more nuanced sound drawing equally from shoegaze, dream pop and post-punk: Pairing synths with layers of guitars and driving bass, the band’s sound seems indebted to the likes of The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Chameleons, Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and others.

Horizons’ latest single, the brooding “Running” serves as a taste of what listeners should expect from the new album: atmospheric synths, swirling layers of guitars, driving bass lines, thunderous drumming and soaring hooks paired with House’s ethereal vocals. Essentially, the new single sees the band pairing patient, painterly textures with forceful motorik pulse in a way that makes the song feel — and sound — like a slick mesh of Garlands-era Cocteau Twins and Souvlaki-era Slowdive.

“‘Running’ was the first song we wrote with the new lineup (myself, Geoff, Michael), almost a statement of purpose as we rethought how we approached our sound and writing,” Fotoform’s Kim house recalls in press notes. “With one less guitar we had more space to play with and fill- or intentionally not fill. It was inspiring, and in some ways freeing, to reconstruct and re-envision everything. I’d just started playing around with a drum machine and 16-track at home, and this one was a result of really stripping back everything to the bass and vocals and then building it up from there. 

“At its core ‘Running’ is about peeling back the layers to connect with your innermost self. Summoning the courage, patience and stillness to distill it down and uncover what truly matters, to listen to our hearts and tap into the subconscious,” House says. “It’s about facing fears and insecurities and having the courage to go after what will truly make you happy (or “make your heart happy” as my dad would say), which oftentimes might be in the opposite direction of what we’re running toward, whether in relationships, life paths and choices, etc. The hardest thing sometimes is to look deep within and listen to ourselves, to follow our instincts and face what we may know is true but are too afraid to admit for fear of change, risk, loss, disappointment, or failure.”

House adds, “On a personal level, ‘Running’ was written in the midst of a period of significant change and reflection. I had just left my role as Footwear Design Director at Nordstrom. It was a whirlwind of a job I held for many years – one which required lots of travel in the US and Europe, intense long hours, and barely enough room for other passions or pursuits. It was rewarding, but almost all encompassing.”

The recently released video for “Running” manages to emphasize the brooding and trippy late night vibes of its accompanying song — all while being gorgeously shot and slickly edited.

Besides the new album, the trio — much like the rest of us — is looking forward to getting back to live shows and touring. They’ve also been writing and working on new material, including a split 7 inch with Savage Republic.

New Video: KUNZITE’S Hallucinogenic and Playful Visual for Euphoric “LEMON SWAYZE”

KUNZITE — RATATTAT‘s Mike Stroud and Abuela’s Agustin White — can trace their origins to each of the project’s individual members occasionally crossing each others paths while admiring each other’s work: When Stroud was busy touring with RATATAT, White went on a spiritual journey that found him exploring yoga, meditation and psychedelics. Throughout their friendship, the duo had been looking to do something together — and KUNZITE allowed the duo the ability to merge their mind and missions with a sound that blends psychedelia with beat-heavy electronic production and live, organic instrumentation. 

The duo’s debut effort, 2018’s Birds Don’t Fly was written and recorded mostly through email. But their forthcoming sophomore album VISUALS, which will be released through Lowly/Wilder Records on August 20, 2021 sees the duo writing and recording material together — in the same space and at the same time. Interestingly, during the album’s recording project, the duo realized that they sounded best when they harmonized.

Earlier this year, I wrote about album single “FROSTY,” a song that found the duo changing things up quite a bit with Stroud taking up lead vocal duties. But at its core, the song is a summery, beach friendly jam centered around a cosmic groove, easy going bass line and Stroud’s laid-back vocals. VISUALS‘ fourth and latest single “LEMON SWAYZE” was recorded between Stroud’s upstate New York barn-based studio and White’s Oregon-based domed shaped studio. Sonically, the track is a decidedly dance floor friendly jam, centered around rapid-fire, four-on-the-floor, buzzing guitars, a sinuous, motorik groove and a rousingly anthemic, euphoria-inducing hook — with a playful nod at Cyndi Lauper. As the story goes while recording the song Agustin stood in the middle of his Oregon-based domed studio and felt a channel of energy through the line that came through the studio, and began singing the first thing that came out of his mouth — which are heard on the final track.

“‘LEMON SWAYZE’ was created with the mission of bringing listeners to their feet, dancing in exaltation while on a crazy joyride,” the members of KUNZITE explain. “The track’s title was inspired by a vision Agustin had of lemons as spaceships, induced by the consumption of a favorite cannabis strain, Lemon Cake.”

Directed by Felix Heyes, the recently released video for “LEMON SWAYZE” follows a day-in-the-life of an effortlessly cool older dude, who is a mix of Captain Lou Albano, Hulk Hogan, Colonel Sanders and The Sopranos’ Paulie Walnuts as he wears a green Adidas track suit and drives around town in a lemon yellow convertible, full of lemons in the back seat. And as he zooms around town, he’s rocking out and having the best life anyone could have, which includes some absolutely hallucinogenic sequences that remind me a bit of segments of 1,2,3 Contact and Sesame Street. “The video’s lead actor, Michael ‘Keysey’ Keyes, is a Colonel Sanders-esque character who also has Hulk Hogan’s mustache, and he asked me if I knew what ‘proanoia’ was,” Felix Heyes says of the video for “LEMON SWAYZE.” “He said, ‘Well, you know how paranoia is the feeling that unknown things are conspiring against you? Proanoia is the feeling that unknown things are conspiring to help you.’ And then he drove off in a 1971 Mustang full of lemons. Being ‘proanoid’ pretty much sums up my experience with KUNZITE and the team behind this music video!”

MMYYKK (pronounced “Mike”) is a rising Inland Empire, CA-born, Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. 2019’s highly praised Electro Soul EP found the Inland Empire-born, Minneapolis-based multi-hyphenate artist further establishing a difficult to pigeonhole sound and approach that draws from soul, future funk, R&B, hip-hop, jazz and fusion — and seems equally indebted to Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Herbie Hancock, and Stevie Wonder.

MMYYKK is also an accomplished ambient artist: Last year’s Mellow Moods and Meditations was released to praise. Earlier this year, he produced PASSAGE, a Black mental health and wellness initiative done in collaboration with the folks at Okayplayer. Building upon a busy year, the Inland Empire-born, Minneapolis-based artist will be releasing the Science EP through London-based label Rhythm Section INTL in September.

Science EP‘s first single is the slinky “Divine.” Centered around MMYYKK’s sultry falsetto, glistening synth arpeggios and a strutting bass line, the flirtatious “Divine” sonically will draw comparisons to D’Angelo and Thundercat, as the crafted manages to be effortless yet carefully crafted. Interestingly, underneath the funky grooves, the song is a much-needed and loving ode to Black women. “Black women taught me how to love. Women literally save the world every day. This track was a way for me to express appreciation and sing praises to the women in my life,” MMYYKK explains in press notes.