JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates Jon Andersons 78th birthday.
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms belatedly celebrates the 96th anniversary of Miles Davis’ birth.
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms belatedly celebrates Stevie Nicks’ 74th birthday.
Blinker the Star · Silent Types
I’ve written quite a bit about Jordon Zadorozny, the Pembroke, Ontario-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and creative mastermind behind acclaimed indie rock recording project Blinker The Star over the past few months. Zadorozny initially started the project as a solo project but by the time the act signed to A&M Records, the project expanded into a full-fledged band for their first two albums — 1995’s self-titled debut and 1996’s A Bourgeois Kitten. During those early years, the band built up a profile nationally and elsewhere through steady touring.
In 1997, Zadorozny relocated from Montreal to Los Angeles, where he worked with Courtney Love, helping craft songs for Hole’s acclaimed and commercially successful album Celebrity Skin. While in Los Angeles, Zadorozny began soaking up new influences and became increasingly fascinated with production. Signing with Dreamworks in 1999, the band, which at the time featured Zadorozny, Failure’s Kelli Scott (drums), longtime bassist Pete Frolander and a rotating cast of Southern California-based session musicians recorded and released their critically applauded third album August Everywhere, which they supported with touring across North America with Our Lady Peace, Sloan, Failure and The Flaming Lips.
Returning back to Pembroke in 2002, Zadorozny built his first commercial recording studio and began working with Sam Roberts, contributing drums and producing Roberts’ breakthrough debut EP The Inhuman Condition. Zadorozny also worked on albums by Melisa Auf der Maur, Chris Cornell, Lindsey Buckingham and others.
During the Winter of 2003, Zadorozny wrote and recorded Blinker The Star’s fourth album Still In Rome as a duo with Kelli Scott. Following a brief tour to support the album, the Pembroke, Ontario-born multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter quickly settled into the production side of the things working with an electric array of artists, including collaborative projects like Digital Noise Academy, SheLoom, The Angry Moon, and others.
2012’s fourth album, We Draw Lines was the first Blinker The Star album that Zadorozny wrote and recorded as a solo recording project since he started the project over a decade earlier. Interestingly, We Draw Lines began a rather prolific period that included 2013’s Songs from Laniakea Beach, a one-off single “Future Fires,” 2015’s 11235 EP, 2017’s 8 of Hearts and last year’s Careful With Your Magic.
After completing a short run of shows last fall, Zodorozny began working working on new material at his Skylark Park Studio. The solitude of his environment helped inform his forthcoming Blinker The Star album Juvenile Universe, which is slated for release this summer. So far, I’ve written about two of the album’s singles — the Station to Station-era David Bowie-like “Way Off Wave,” and the jangling, 70s rock-like “Only To Run Wild.” The album’s third and latest single, “Silent Type” is a decidedly 80s New Wave-inspired track, featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, glistening and angular guitars, a propulsive bass line and an enormous hook that reminds me a little bit of Yes‘ “Owner of Lonely Heart.” But under the slick radio friendly production, the track continues a run of ambitious and deliberately crafted material.
JOVM chats with Detroit-based emerging synth pop artist Phaserland about his new single “Flip The Switch” and its accompanying video.
Over the past nine years, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Bay Area-based JOVM mainstays Oh Sees. And as you may recall, the act, which is led by its ridiculously prolific founder and creative mastermind John Dwyer has a cultivated a long-held reputation for wide-ranging and restless experimentation that has seen the band dabble between a variety of genres and styles including lysergic-tinged folk, furious and sweaty garage punk rippers, sci-fi driven krautrock and more — with each successive album being wildly different from its predecessor.
Face Stabber, a 2LP album is slated for an August 16, 2019 release through their longtime label home Castle Face Records, and the album’s first single “Henchrock” was a free-flowing, skronky The Yes Album-era Yes meets Return to Forever-like expansive bit of prog rock. The album’s latest single “Poisoned Stones” continues on a similar vein — skronky prog rock but this time delivered with a muscular and forceful insistence, as the track is centered around enormous power chords and thunderous drumming.
The recently released video for “Poisoned Stones” features 8 bit video game graphic animation by Eaten Alive Illustrations that’s a surrealistic nightmare as it follows our motorcycle riding protagonist being chased through the desert — until the bat-like creature chasing him captures him and drops him off into the lair of a cloaked magician. After killing the magician, the protagonist escapes, feeds something to a wolf, who has a mind-bending trip and allows our protagonist to ride him until they arrive at a castle that will be destroyed by an even weirder, alien-like dragon.
Throughout the course of this site’s nine-year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink on the Bay Area-based JOVM mainstays Oh Sees (a.k.a. Thee Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, The Orange County Sound, Orinoka Crash Suite and other variations). And as you may recall, the act which is led by its ridiculously prolific creative mastermind John Dwyer has a long-held reputation for wide-ranging and restless experimentation that has seen the band dabble and bounce between a variety of genres and styles including lysergic-tinged folk, furious and sweaty garage punk rippers, sci-fi driven krautrock and more. Of course, with each successive album generally being wildly different from its predecessors, it makes the band incredibly difficult to pigeonhole.
Last year’s Smote Reverser found the band meshing classic psych rock and prog rock in a way that brought JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to mind, but with a muscular and menacing air.
Oh Sees’ latest album, the 2LP Face Stabber is slated for an August 16, 2019 release through their longtime label home Castle Face Records. Interestingly, the album’s first single “Henchrock” is a free-flowing skronky The Yes Album-era Yes meets Return to Forever-like bit of prog rock that clocks in at a little over 21 minutes and possesses a lysergic, retro-futuristic air.
The members of Oh Sees will be embarking on a lengthy tour throughout the summer and fall months that includes a three night, October run at Warsaw — October 18, 2019 – October 20, 2019. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.
11-13 Carnation WA Timber! Festival
9 Pioneertown, CA Pappy and Harriet’s
23 Charleville Cabaret Vert festival
24 Guéret Check-in Festival
27 Ravenna Hana-Bi (Free)
29 Vienna Arena
30 Munich Strom
31 Berlin Kreuzberg Festsaal
1 Brussels Les Botaniquesen
3 Bordeaux BT 59
4 Toulouse Le Bikini
5 Paris Le Bataclan
6 London Troxy
7 Amsterdam Paradiso
30 San Francisco, CA The Chapel
1 San Francisco, CA The Chapel
2 San Francisco, CA The Chapel
4 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
7 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre
10 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue Ballroom
11 Chicago, IL Thalia Hall
12 Chicago, IL Thalia Hall
14 Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall
15 Montreal, QC Le National
16 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair
18 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw
19 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw
20 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw
22 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
23 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
24 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge
25 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
26 Austin TX Hotel Vegas
27 Austin, TX Hotel Vegas
29 Albuquerque, NM Sister Bar
31 Los Angeles, CA Teragram Ballroom
Throughout this site’s eight year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Bay Area-based Oh Sees (a.k.a. Thee Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, The Orange County Sound, Orinoka Crash Suite and other variations). And as you may recall, the band which is led by its ridiculously prolific primary songwriter John Dwyer (vocals, guitar) and currently comprised of Tim Hellman (bass), Dan Rincon (drums) and Paul Quattrone (drums) have a long held reputation for a wide ranging experimentalism that has seen the band dabble and bounce between lysergic folk, furious and sweaty garage punk, sci-fi driven krautrock and countless others — with each successive album generally being completely different from its predecessors.
Last year’s Orc was a muscular and darkly inventive turn for the current lineup with the material balancing a cosmic vibe with some of their most punishing tendencies in some time. They promptly followed that up with Memory of a Cut Off Head which found the band revisiting the sound and approach of their early years, However, their latest album, the recently released Smote Reverser was recorded at the dusty pecan farm, where they recorded Orc — and the album’s latest single is the expansive “Anthemic Aggression.” Clocking in at almost 13 minutes, the track is centered by a spacious, lysergic-tinged and percussive, krautrock groove and explosive blasts of cosmic ray-like feedback and bursts of fuzzy guitar. And while the song brings a cerebral, prog rock sensibility to mind, as I’m reminded of Yes, Rush and King Lizard and the Gizzard Wizard, it balances that with a primal, forceful groove that subtly hints at Afrobeat — all while directly drawing at krautrock.
Directed by John Dwyer and featuring puppets, a spaceship and green screen work by Dwyer, the recently released video follows two intergalactic space travelers fleeing our tiny little section of the galaxy and the mind-bending things they see as they go through dimensions and further galaxies.
Deriving their name from their name from the fictional spice in Frank Herbert’s sci-fi saga Dune that makes intergalactic travel, telepathy and longevity possible, Madrid, Spain-based psych rock quintet Melange, comprised of long-time friends Adrian Ceballos (drums and vocals), Daniel Fernandez (bass and vocals), Mario Zamora (keyboard and vocals), Sergio Ceballos (guitar and vocals), and Miguel Rosón (guitar and vocals) formed back in 2014, and they are among their hometown’s most accomplished and acclaimed musicians, as individual members of the band have played in a number of locally and regionally recognized acts including Lüger, RIPKC, and Bucles and others.
Now, as you may recall, the members of Melange brashly emerged into Madrid and the Spanish music scenes with their self-released, double LP, which featured a highly conceptual narrative reportedly influence by the diverse experiences of the bandmembers with materially thematically touching upon evolution, comprehension and transformation through music — while sonically, the Spanish rockers sound drew from prog rock, psych rock and folk. And as a result of their unique sound and approach, the Spanish rockers received praise from El Pais, Mondo Sonoro, Sol Musica, and Ruta 66 as well as airplay from Radio 3, and played at some of their homeland’s biggest and well-regarded festivals including Low Festival, Sonogram Festival, Sala Stereo Festival, Sala Planta Baja, Festival Noroeste, Festival Wos, Fueu Festival and others.
Building upon a breakthrough year, the band spent their free time writing and recording their soon-to-be released Carlos Diaz-produced sophomore effort Viento Bravo live to tape at Gismo 7 Studios in Motril, Spain and Phantom Power in Madrid Spain. Reportedly, the band’s sophomore effort finds them refining and honing their sound while retaining the elements that first won them national attention — who the album’s first single “Rio Revuelto” being reminiscent of of JOVM mainstays Boogarins, Junip , Jose Gonzales and The Yes Album-era Yes. The album’s second single “Cotard” while continuing along in a similar vein as its predecessor featured an expansive, mind-bending song structure emphasized by arpeggiated organ chords and some impressive guitar work, reminiscent of The Doors‘ “Light My Fire,” Yes’ “Roundabout,” and “I’ve Seen All Good People.”
“Armas Preparadas,” Viento Bravo‘s third and latest single is the most straight forward psych rocker of the album, as it features an incredibly tight melody, an uncannily lush sense of harmony and some impressive guitar work paired with an expansive, twisting and turning song structure. And perhaps most important, possesses an urgent improvised at the fly of a moment feel, revealing them to arguably be one of Spain’s most interesting and beguiling bands of the moment.
Forming in 2014 and deriving their name from the fictional spice in Frank Herbert’s sci-fi saga Dune that makes intergalactic travel, telepathy and longevity possible, the Madrid, Spain-based psych rock quintet Melange, comprised of long-time friends Adrian Ceballos (drums and vocals), Daniel Fernandez (bass and vocals), Mario Zamora (keyboard and vocals), Sergio Ceballos (guitar and vocals), and Miguel Rosón (guitar and vocals) are among their hometown’s most accomplished and acclaimed musicians — with the band’s individual members having stints in locally renowned acts including Lüger, RIPKC, and Bucles and others.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the summer, you may recall that the members of Melange brashly emerged into both Madrid’s and their home country’s music scenes with their self-released, double LP, which featured a highly conceptual narrative influenced by the diverse experiences of the bandmembers. Thematically, the material touched upon evolution, comprehension and transformation through music — all while sonically drawing from prog rock, psych rock and folk music, and as a result, the band received praise from El Pais, Mondo Sonoro, Sol Musica, and Ruta 66 as well as airplay from Radio 3, and played at some of their homeland’s biggest and well-regarded festivals including Low Festival, Sonogram Festival, Sala Stereo Festival, Sala Planta Baja, Festival Noroeste, Festival Wos, Fueu Festival and others.
Building upon a breakthrough 2016, which included a busy touring schedule, the band spent their free-time writing and recording their h ighly-anticipated, Carlos Diaz-produced sophomore album Viento Bravo, which live to tape at Gismo 7 Studios in Motril, Spain and Phantom Power in Madrid Spain. Reportedly, the album finds the band refining their sound — with the album’s breezy, tropicalia-like first single “Rio Revuelto” reminding me quite a bit of JOVM mainstays Boogarins, Junip , Jose Gonzales and The Yes Album-era Yes. The album’s second and latest single “Cotard” continues in a similar vein as its predecessor but with an even trippier song structure emphasized by arpeggiated organ chords and some impressive guitar world — but unlike its predecessor, it has a more direct psych rock and prog rock-based sound, seemingly nodding at The Doors‘ “Light My Fire,” Yes’ “Roundabout,” and “I’ve Seen All Good People” among others.
Renowned psych rock label Beyond Beyond is Beyond Recordswill be releasing Viento Bravo on November 17, 2017.