Tag: The Mars Volta

Over the course of his 30+ year recording career, Greg Dulli has developed and maintained a reputation as a poet laureate of the bizarre whims and cruel tangents of desire and all things dark, mysterious and brooding as the frontman and creative mastermind of The Twilight Singers and JOVM mainstays The Afghan Whigs.

Although Dulli has been involved in a number of collaborations and projects throughout his lengthy career but interestingly, enough, his official full-length solo debut Random Desire is slated for a Friday release through Royal Cream/BMGRandom Desire can trace its origins to the aftermath of The Afghan Whigs’ most recent album, 2017’s critically applauded In Spades: Patrick Keeler was about to take a short sabbatical from the band to record and tour with his other band, The Raconteurs. Dulli’s longtime collaborator and bandmate John Curley went back to school. And the band’s longtime guitarist Dave Rosser tragically died after a battle with colon cancer.

Dulli wound up returning to his teenaged bedroom roots, finding inspiration through the model of legendary, one-man, multi-instrumentalist band visionaries like Prince and Todd Rundgren, with the Hamilton, OH-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter writing and playing almost every part of the album — from piano and bass lines to drums. Much like he’s always done throughout his career, the music came first and the lyrics completed later. Written and recorded in several different locations including Dulli’s Silver Lake home; Crestline, CA, in the mountains above San Bernardino; and New Orleans — with the bulk of the album being done at Christopher Thorne’s Joshua Tree, CA-based studio.  While Dulli handled most of the album’s instrumental duties, he managed to collaborate with an all-star cast of musicians including his Afghan Whigs bandmates Jon Skibic (guitar) and multi-instrumentalist Rick G. Nelson, his Twilight Singers bandmate Mathias Schneeberger, Dr. Stephen Patt (pedal steel and upright bass) and Queens of the Stone Age‘s and The Mars Volta‘s Jon Theodore (drums).

I’ve written about two of the album’s previous singles — the swaggering “Pantomina,” which delved into the psyche and emotions of a deeply fucked up, dysfunctional narrator, who has a series of fucked-up dysfunctional relationships, and the atmospheric and brooding “It Falls Apart,” a sinuous track that seems to evoke the swooning, rug-has-been-pulled-out-from-under-you sensation of the end of a relationship and the things left unsaid.

Random Desire‘s latest single is the cinematic and Ennio Morricone-like “A Ghost.” Centered around strummed acoustic guitar, shimmering blasts of pedal steel, an expressive and gorgeous string arrangement a gypsy-like shuffle and Latin percussion, “A Ghost” can trace its origins back to when Afghan Whigs were working on In Spades. “It did not work then, so I just put it back in the ‘working on’ folder and then pulled it out last year and recut it…,” Dulli says in press notes. “It started to come together when I went down to New Orleans. The song just reminded me of a journey across the Sahara or something, like a gypsy version of Ennio Morricone.”

Dulli will be embarking on a tour to support his long-anticipated solo debut. The tour begins with a Ireland, UK and European tour throughout March and early April. The Stateside leg of the tour begins in Minneapolis on April 24, 2020 and it includes a May 6, 2020 stop at Webster Hall. Check out the tour dates below.

2020 Tour Dates

March 19 – Róisín Dubh – Galway, IRELAND

March 20 – Whelans – Dublin, IRELAND

March 22 – SWG3 Warehouse – Glasgow, UK

March 23 – Gorilla – Manchester, UK

March 24 – Islington Assembly Hall – London, UK

March 26 – Paradiso Noord – Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS

March 27 – Muziekodroom – Hasselt, BELGIUM

March 28 – Trix – Antwerp, BELGIUM

March 30 – Luxor – Cologne, GERMANY

March 31 – Lido – Berlin, GERMANY

April 02 – Hotel Cecil – Copenhagen, DENMARK

April 03 – Debaser Strand – Stockholm, SWEDEN

April 04 – Parkteatret – Oslo, NORWAY

April 24 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN

April 25 – Metro – Chicago, IL

April 26 – St. Andrew’s Hall – Detroit, MI

April 28 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH

April 29 – Woodward Theater – Cincinnati. OH

April 30 – Mr. Smalls – Pittsburgh, PA

May 01 – The Great Hall – Toronto, ON CANADA

May 03 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA

May 05 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC –

May 06 – Webster Hall – New York, NY –

May 07 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA

May 09 – The Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC

May 10 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC

May 12 – The Loft – Atlanta, GA

May 15 – One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA

May 16 – 3Ten @ ACL Live – Austin, TX

May 17 – Granada Theater – Dallas, TX

May 19 – Bluebird Theatre – Denver, CO

May 22 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR

May 23 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA

May 26 – August Hall – San Francisco, CA

May 28 – Palace Theater – Los Angeles, CA

 

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New Audio: The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli Releases a Shimmering and Brooding New Single

Best known as the founding member, frontman and creative mastermind behind JOVM mainstays The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, Greg Dulli has a well-established reputation as a poet laureate of the bizarre whims and cruel tangents of desire and all things dark and brooding.

Although Dulli has been involved in a number of projects during his 30+ year recording career, his first solo full-length album under his own name Random Desire is slated for a February 21, 2020 release through Royal Cream/BMG. Random Desire can trace its origins to the aftermath of The Afghan Whigs’ most recent album, 2017’s critically applauded In Spades: Patrick Keeler was about to take a short sabbatical from the band to record and tour with his other band, The Raconteurs. Dulli’s longtime collaborator and bandmate John Curley went back to school. And the band’s longtime guitarist Dave Rosser tragically died after a battle with colon cancer.

Dulli wound up returning to his teenaged bedroom roots, finding inspiration through the model of legendary, one-man, multi-instrumentalist band visionaries like Prince and Todd Rundgren, with the Hamilton, OH-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter writing and playing almost every part of the album — from piano and bass lines to drums. Much like he’s always done throughout his career, the music came first and the lyrics completed later. Written and recorded in several different locations including Dulli’s Silver Lake home; Crestline, CA, in the mountains above San Bernardino; and New Orleans — with the bulk of the album being done at Christopher Thorne’s Joshua Tree, CA-based studio.  While Dulli handled most of the album’s instrumental duties, he managed to collaborate with an all-star cast of musicians including his Afghan Whigs bandmates Jon Skibic (guitar) and multi-instrumentalist Rick G. Nelson, his Twilight Singers bandmate Mathias Schneeberger, Dr. Stephen Patt (pedal steel and upright bass) and Queens of the Stone Age‘s and The Mars Volta‘s Jon Theodore (drums).

Now, as you may recall, late last year, I wrote about “Pantomina,” Random Desire’s swaggering first single, which delved into the psyche and emotions of a deeply fucked up, dysfunctional narrator, who has a series of fucked up, dysfunctional relationships — but at its core, there’s a hard-fought, world-weary wisdom. The album’s second and latest single is the atmospheric and brooding “It Falls Apart.” Centered around shimmering guitars. twinkling and tumbling keys, atmospheric synths, a propulsive rhythm section, and Dulli’s husky delivery, “It Falls Apart” is a sinuous track that seems to evokes the swooning, the- rug-has-been-pulled-out-from-under-you sensation of the end of relationship and the things left unsaid and unexplained. 

New Video: Greg Dulli Pays Homage to Bob Fosse’s “All That Jazz” in Cinematically Shot Visual for “Pantomina”

Best known as the founding member, frontman and creative mastermind behind JOVM mainstays The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, Greg Dulli has a well-established reputation as a poet laureate of the bizarre whims and cruel tangents of desire and all things dark and brooding.

Although Dulli has been involved in a number of projects during his 30+ year recording career, his first solo full-length album under his own name Random Desire is slated for a February 21, 2020 release through Royal Cream/BMG. Random Desire can trace its origins to the aftermath of The Afghan Whigs’ most recent album, 2017’s critically applauded In Spades: Patrick Keeler was about to take a short sabbatical from the band to record and tour with his other band, The Raconteurs. Dulli’s longtime collaborator and bandmate John Curley went back to school. And the band’s longtime guitarist Dave Rosser tragically died after a battle with colon cancer.

So Dulli returned to his teenaged bedroom roots, finding inspiration through the model of legendary, one-man, multi-instrumentalist band visionaries like Prince and Todd Rundgren with the Hamilton, OH-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter writing and playing almost every part of the album — from piano and bass lines to drums. Much like he’s always done throughout his career, the music came first and the lyrics completed later. Written and recorded in several different locations including Dulli’s Silver Lake home; Crestline, CA, in the mountains above San Bernardino; and New Orleans — with the bulk of the album being done at Christopher Thorne’s Joshua Tree, CA-based studio.  While Dulli handled most of the album’s instrumental duties, he managed to collaborate with an all-star cast of musicians including his Afghan Whigs bandmates Jon Skibic (guitar) and multi-instrumentalist Rick G. Nelson, his Twilight Singers bandmate Mathias Schneeberger, Dr. Stephen Patt (pedal steel and upright bass) and Queens of the Stone Age‘s and The Mars Volta‘s Jon Theodore (drums).

“Pantomina,” Random Desire‘s swaggering and self-assured first single is centered around layers of buzzing power chords, a handclap-led hook and lyrics that alternate between sardonic, desperately lonely, and triumphant — often within a turn of a phrase.  Much like his acclaimed work with The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, the new single delves into the psyche and emotions of a deeply fucked up, dysfunctional narrator with fucked up, dysfunctional relationships — but there’s also a hard fought, world-weary wisdom at its core.

Directed by longtime Afghan Whigs visual collaborator Philip Harder, who stars as Bob Fosse, along with dancers, Paula Vasquez Alzate, Desare Cox, Elayana Waxse, Maggie Zepp, LaTanya Cannaday, Karen Yang, Mia Bird and Reyona Elkins, the recently released and gorgeously shot video for “Pantomina” captures the life behind-the-scenes and on-stage with an intimacy and familiarity of  performer, before going to the frenetically shot performance and the collapse, then death of its hard-living, harder working choreographer protagonist. As Greg Dulli says in press notes. the video “is a homage to the movie All That Jazz. ‘Pantomina’ feels like a show tune to me.”

New Audio: Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers Frontman Greg Dulli Releases an Anthemic Single off Forthcoming Solo Album

Best known as the founding member, frontman and creative mastermind behind JOVM mainstays The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, Greg Dulli has a well-established reputation as a poet laureate of the bizarre whims and cruel tangents of desire and all things dark and brooding. 

Although Dulli has been involved in a number of projects during his 30+ year recording career, his first solo full-length album under his own name Random Desire is slated for a February 21, 2020 release through Royal Cream/BMG. Interestingly, Random Desire can trace its origins to the aftermath of The Afghan Whigs’ most recent album, 2017’s critically applauded In Spades: Patrick Keeler was about to take a short sabbatical from the band to record and tour with his other band, The Raconteurs. Dulli’s longtime collaborator and bandmate John Curley went back to school. And the band’s longtime guitarist Dave Rosser tragically died after a battle with colon cancer. 

So Dulli returned to his teenaged bedroom roots, finding inspiration through the model of legendary, one-man band visionaries like Prince and Todd Rundgren with the Hamilton, OH-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter writing almost every part of the album — from piano and bass lines to drums. Much like he’s always done throughout his career, the music came first and the lyrics completed later. Written and recorded in several different locations including Dulli’s Silver Lake home; Crestline, CA, in the mountains above San Bernardino; and New Orleans — with the bulk of the album being done at Christopher Thorne’s Joshua Tree, CA-based studio.  While Dulli handled most of the album’s instrumental duties, he managed to collaborate with an all-star cast of musicians including his Afghan Whigs bandmates Jon Skibic (guitar) and multi-instrumentalist Rick G. Nelson, his Twilight Singers bandmate Mathias Schneeberger, Dr. Stephen Patt (pedal steel and upright bass) and Queens of the Stone Age’s and The Mars Volta’s Jon Theodore (drums). 

“Pantomina,” Random Desire’s swaggering and self-assured first single is centered around layers of buzzing power chords, a handclap-led hook and lyrics that alternate between sardonic, desperately lonely, and triumphant — often within a turn of a phrase.  Much like his acclaimed work with The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, the new single delves into the psyche and emotions of a deeply fucked up, dysfunctional narrator with fucked up, dysfunctional relationships — but there’s also a hard fought, world-weary wisdom at its core. 

New Video: Los Angeles-based Singer-Songwriter Eva Gardner Releases Sultry Visuals for “Dirty Bird”

Born the daughter of British Invasion-era rock act The Creation’s Kim Gardner, Eva Gardner is a Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and bassist, who has toured and recorded with an eclectic array of artists: Gardner was an original member of The Mars Volta with the bulk of work appearing on their debut EP Tremulant — and although she didn’t perform during the recording sessions of Deloused in the Comatorium, she did write some of the material’s bass parts. She’s had stints touring with The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess, El Vez, Veruca Salt, Tegan and Sara, Pink, Moby, Cher, and a long list of others, all while being in bands of her own, including Lyra and Telstar. 

Slated for a June 14, 2019 release, Gardner’s debut EP Chasing Ghosts finds the Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and bassist stepping into the limelight as a solo artist, singer/songwriter and producer, as the EP was co-produced by Gardner and her former Telstar bandmate Chris Unck and Stew Heyduk. Songwriting has long been a cathartic experience for Gardner, who sees it as another facet of her musical and creative expression — and the EP’s 5 songs were compiled from batches of songs that she had written in hotel rooms while touring across the world.  

Chasing Ghosts’ latest single is the sultry “Dirty Bird.” Centered by a looped, old-fashioned dial tone, angular guitar chords, a throbbing and insistent bass line, propulsive drumming, Gardner’s seductive cooing and an anthemic hook, the track manages to recall New Wave — in particular, the song seemingly nods at The Divinyls’ smash hit “I Touch Myself” but with a darkly seductive and trippy vibe. 

Directed and edited by Jessamyn Violet, the recently released video for “Dirty Bird” balances the song’s dark seductive nature with a light, coquettish air — all while paying homage to Hollywood glamor and classic 80s MTV videos. 

New Video: The Dark and Striking Visuals for At The Drive In’s “Call Broken Arrow”

Currently comprised of founding members Cedric Bixler (vocals), Omar Rodriguez (guitar, vocals), Paul Hinojos (bass) and Tony Hajjar (drums) and Sparta’s Keely Davis, the El Paso, TX-based punk rock act At The Drive In can trace its origins back to its formation in 1994. After several line up changes, the band’s lineup eventually solidified into a quintet featuring Bixler, Rodriguez, Hinojos, Hajjar and Jim Ward, and with its best known lineup, the band released three critically applauded and commercially successful studio albums — 1996’s Acrobatic Tenement, 1998’s In/Casino/Out and 2000’s seminal effort, Relationship of Command — before abruptly splitting up at the height of their popularity, just before they were about to embark on a Stateside leg of a lengthy world tour. 

Following the break up of At The Drive In, Bixler and Rodriguez formed the critically applauded act The Mars Volta while Ward, Hinojoso, Hajjar formed Sparta with Davis, and both acts were a decided departure from their work from At The Drive In — with The Mars Volta specializing in intricate and expansive prog rock and Sparta specializing in much more straightforward rock. The band reunited in January 2012 and played that year’s Coachella Festival and Lollapalooza Festival and re-issued their original material through their own label before splitting up. Interestingly, the following year The Mars Volta went through a bitter break up in which Bixler and Rodriguez refused to speak to each other for a couple of years.  However, the original lineup had reunited to play a series of Festival gigs and announced they were releasing new material, but as the band was rehearsing and preparing to go on tour, Ward left and he was replaced by Sparta’s Keely Davis. 

The band’s fourth full-length effort  in • ter a • li • a was released earlier this year and from the album’s latest single “Call Broken Arrow,” the band manages to retain the explosive and breakneck fury of their previously released material but while revealing musicians who have grown older and bring something different to the table than from their first incarnation; in fact, the song manages to strongly nod at prog rock and math thanks to rapid fire key changes and a punishingly forceful bridge that will absolutely melt faces. 

Directed by Rob Shaw, the recently released visuals for “Call Broken Arrow” act as a prequel to the video for “Hostage Stamps,” as the viewer follows the continuing story of a prisoner and his faceless captors, as well as the appearance of enormous, mechanized spiders. And much like the preceding video, the visuals for “Call Broken Arrow” employs a mix of digital and stop-motion animation while providing nuanced into the already established narrative. As Shaw explains in press notes. “In ‘Hostage Stamps,’ we have a prisoner being tortured and monitored by some sort of authoritarian organization. The guys wanted to show why he was imprisoned, as well as cast doubt over his innocence. It’s funny how in stories, especially film stories, you tend to sympathize with whoever you spend time with. When you watch someone being mistreated, the assumption is that person is the victim. ‘Call Broken Arrow’ is in part about illustrating the prisoner’s culpability, but even that is in doubt as we see the Watcher character who follows him around slipping something in his drink at the end.”

New Audio: Zack de la Rocha Teams Up with El-P for a Fiery, Tweeter and Woofer Rocking Track

As rumored by countless sources, the album would feature production by some of the original collaborators — including El-P, Questlove, Trent Reznor and DJ Premier. So coming across both a friend’s Facebook post and a press email that read “Zach de la Rocha releases ‘Digging for Windows’ from Forthcoming Solo Album” was a moment of stunned disbelief. Naturally, that was followed by a moment in which I thought “Finally! Righteously furious, revolutionary music for these frighteningly uncertain, fucked up times.”

The yet unnamed album is slated for release sometime next year, and its stomping and rampaging first single “Digging for Windows” pairs an ambient and somewhat abrasive, industrial-leaning production consisting of enormous, stomp tweeter and woofer rocker beats, slashing synths, electronic bleeps, distorted vocal samples with de la Rocha’s imitable and furious vocals rhyming from the perspective of the disenfranchised, the downtrodden and fucked with, the victims of abuse, injustice and greed with profound empathy, understanding and hatred of the powerful and unchecked forces behind it. And although he may not ever be in your list of Top 10, Top 20 or hell, even Top 50 emcees, he’s absolutely necessary — now more than ever.