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Archive for the ‘King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’ Category

[POSTPONED: October 22, 2020] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Leah Senior [rescheduled from May 22; moved to October 23, 2021]

indexI was bummed when KGATLW had to postpone a show in May. I mean, come on, Coronavirus, would certainly be over by May, right?  Well, now it’s October and things are still crazy.  I really hope they can do this again next year.

Of course, knowing them, they’ll have three more albums out by then.

I have become a huge fan of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (are there any other kinds of fans of them?) since I first heard about them a few years ago.

I’m sad that I missed them on the tour just before the first time I saw them (at a smaller venue when newbies like me hadn’t heard of them yet), but I have seen them twice since.

In both cases, the band overcame somewhat unpleasant (to me) situations (obnoxious capacity crowds and unreasonable heat) to change my mind from swearing I’d never bother seeing them again (before the show), to hoping they’d come back really soon (after the show).

I’m not at all surprised that this show was postponed and they have already rescheduled the new date.  So we’re all good.  I just hope the damned air-conditioner works next time.

The last time I saw KGATLW, the two opening bands were kind of doom/psychedelic–perfect matches for KGATLW’s more recent sound.  This year’s opener is a singer named Leah Senior.

Leah Senior did the narration on KGATLW’s Murder of the Universe album.  But her music is a completely other thing.  She sings gentle folk songs with delicate guitar playing and her beautiful soft voice.

I can;t imagine how well she would go over with a rowdy KGATLW crowd and I also wonder if that means that KGATLW would play their more mellow stuff?  Nah.

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[CANCELLED: JULY 18 & 19, 2020] Sparta / Emily Davis and The Murder Police [rescheduled from May 1& 2]

indexWhen At the Drive-In broke up, they split into two bands: The Mars Volta and Sparta.  The Mars Volta went in a wild, psychedelic/prog metal direction and Sparta maintained a more tradition heavy rock sound.

I enjoyed the first Sparta albums but I hadn’t heard anything recently.  I considered going to this show because I’d heard they were really good live.

Emily Davis and The Murder Police [EDMP] are an alt-folk-punk band living in the desert southwest with an affinity for writing aggressive, introspective music.  I’ve listened to a few songs and I like what I heard–I feel they are a bit more folk-leaning, but there is a punk edge.

These newly rescheduled dates wound up conflicting with a Ministry show on the 18th.  I probably wouldn’t have had the energy for this show, so maybe when they come around again, I’ll be free.

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SOUNDTRACK: LOS BITCHOS-“Trapdoor” (2018).

trapThe first time I played this song I thought it sounded vaguely familiar.  I don’t know that I ever would have guessed that it was a cover.  But upon reading that it is a King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard song, it absolutely makes sense.

They get the opening guitar sounds perfectly right and the lead guitar even sounds vaguely flute-like.

Of course, since the original is jam packed with words, it’s easy to not realize it’s the same song, but the melody is so great it works perfectly as an instrumental as well.

Los Bitchos keep the psychedelic feel of the song and just slow it down a bit (until the end) to make it even more dreamy.

Incidentally, I found out about Los Bitchos because their song came on right after King Gizzard’s new song on YouTube.  Good programming, there!

[READ: July 14, 2020] “My Madeleine”

This issue of the New Yorker has a series of essays called Influences.  Since I have read most of these authors and since I like to hear the story behind the story, I figured I’d read these pieces as well.

These later pieces are all about one page long.

Spark starts by saying that Marcel Proust is well-known for his Madeleine fetish.  He put the cookie to his lips and is memories flooded back.

Spark’s “Madeleine” is an empty notebook–as soon as she sees one she wants to fill it. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD-“Honey” (2020).

honeyA new King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard song is never a surprise (few bands are as prolific) but it is always a delight.

After the seriously heavy metal of their last album and accompanying live records (I do wish they’d release a live show that’s not so heavy metal-dominated since they have such a wonderfully diverse catalog), this song drifts back to their more psychedelic sound.

Stu Mackenzie says he wrote it a few years ago.  It starts out with a middle eastern microtonal acoustic guitar (I’ve never seen an acoustic microtonal guitar).  It’s lovely melody, fluid and open.  After about a minute, the bass comes in and rumbles the song along adding a complex texture to this mostly mellow song.

Stu’s guitar is simple but has some tasty bending notes.  But since nothing is simple, there some wild drum fills and unexpected falsetto vocals.

The third part shifts gears a little with what I think is a (processed?) flute solo.  and because no KGATLW can be traditional, there’s another part in the middle that’s almost  a bass solo with a few sitar-like strummings.

It’s always exciting to get more music from KGATLW and this promises some great new stuff in the near future.

[READ: July 10, 2020] “The Constant Muse”

This issue of the New Yorker has a series of essays called Influences.  Since I have read most of these authors and since I like to hear the story behind the story, I figured I’d read these pieces as well.

Although I have never read anything by John Le Carré.  I don’t even really know what he writes–spy novels?

Anyhow, as I started this I recognized the name of his novel The Constant Gardener, although as I say I don’t know anything about it.  He says the novel follows a British diplomat as he searches for the people who killed his wife, Tessa.  The story opens with Tessa dying on the shores of Lake Tukana in northern Kenya.

When he finishes a novel, John asks where the ideas came from–a stupid question, but one he likes to ask himself.  He says he got the initial idea for this story twenty years earlier when he saw a man come into the restaurant where he was eating and begin handing out flowers to everyone–refusing to accept any money.  The proprietress gave him a glass of wine and a kiss. She told John that they call him the mad gardener.  He had suffered a great loss and he felt better handing out the flowers from his large garden. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: May 2, 2020] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Leah Senior [moved to October 22]

indexI have become a huge fan of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (are there any other kinds of fans of them?) since I first heard about them a few years ago.

I’m sad that I missed them on the tour just before the first time I saw them (at a smaller venue when newbies like me hadn’t heard of them yet), but I have seen them twice since.

In both cases, the band overcame somewhat unpleasant (to me) situations (obnoxious capacity crowds and unreasonable heat) to change my mind from swearing I’d never bother seeing them again (before the show), to hoping they’d come back really soon (after the show).

I’m not at all surprised that this show was postponed and they have already rescheduled the new date.  So we’re all good.  I just hope the damned air-conditioner works next time.

The last time I saw KGATLW, the two opening bands were kind of doom/psychedelic–perfect matches for KGATLW’s more recent sound.  This year’s opener is a singer named Leah Senior.

Leah Senior did the narration on KGATLW’s Murder of the Universe album.  But her music is a completely other thing.  She sings gentle folk songs with delicate guitar playing and her beautiful soft voice.

I can;t imagine how well she would go over with a rowdy KGATLW crowd and I also wonder if that means that KGATLW would play their more mellow stuff?  Nah.

Read Full Post »

[POSTPONED: May 1 & 2, 2020] Sparta / Emily Davis and The Murder Police [moved to July 18 & 19]

indexWhen At the Drive-In broke up, they split into two bands: The Mars Volta and Sparta.  The Mars Volta went in a wild, psychedelic/prog metal direction and Sparta maintained a more tradition heavy rock sound.

I enjoyed the first Sparta albums but I hadn’t heard anything recently.  I considered going to this show because I’d heard they were really good live.

Emily Davis and The Murder Police [EDMP] are an alt-folk-punk band living in the desert southwest with an affinity for writing aggressive, introspective music.  I’ve listened to a few songs and I like what I heard–I feel they are a bit more folk-leaning, but there is a punk edge.

I had tickets to see …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead on the 1st and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard on the second, so the postponement worked out nicely.

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[WATCHED: April 17, 2020] Chunky Shrapnel

In 2020, the ever productive King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released a soundtrack and a live documentary/concert film.

NME explains:

Chunky Shrapnel was supposed to have premiered earlier this month in two sold-out screenings at the Astor Theatre in the band’s stomping grounds of Melbourne. But the coronavirus pandemic put paid to that, so the movie will now premiere for 24 hours on Vimeo, April 17-18. Stewart promises that plans for wider distribution – including a theatrical release in cinemas around the world – are in the works.

Primary filming was done by John Angus Stewart.  In that NME interview he says

because I was shooting on film, and you don’t really know what you’ve got until you’ve got it processed, which takes a few weeks. I was shooting things, in a way, blindly.

With documentaries about musicians or even about filmmakers, a lot of the time, to give it a narrative thread, they pry into artists’ personalities or whatnot, trying to extract this deeper narrative to make it feel like a three-act film.

But to me, I think [King Gizzard’s] performance and their music is so fuckin’ interesting that you don’t have to do that.

If you like this music, you’ll get an insight into who these people are. But I didn’t want to frame them as these godlike figures, because to me that’s kind of bullshit. They’re just normal dudes.

So what’s the film like? (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 30, 2019] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

I’ve already stated that I’m really happy for King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard that they are finding so much success here.  I mean in Philly, they jumped from a 1,500 to a 2,500 capacity venue.  Plus, they got to headline a concert in Central Park.

One of the guys in line next to me had been to Central Park the night before as well.

But I couldn’t believe the line to get in the place when I arrived 30 minutes before the opening band was supposed to go on.

Turns out most people are there for the merch.  The merch line was insanely long.  And, when the show was over–I have never seen this before–they had a hand written sign that said “all King Gizzard shirts and posters are sold, why not try our vinyl?”

Not band for a bunch of guys from Australia with a goofy name and a completely unpinnable style.  Indeed, they have released two albums this year and one was a full-on blues boogie type pf album and their most recent release was a blistering heavy metal album in the spirit of early 80s thrash.  And they played songs from both of those albums (as well as ballads and just about everything else). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 30, 2019] ORB

After the great stoner/groove vibe of Stonefield I still wasn’t If I had missed ORB or not.  We had heard a band playing while we were waiting on line, but it seemed too early for the opening act to end.

On the other hand, ORB went on first in Central Park the night before.

Well, we didn’t need to worry because after a very brief window, ORB came out and continued with the stoner/groove vibe.  They impressed me by adding a whole lot of prog elements to their songs–time changes, keyboard solos, extra long drum fills, nifty riffs and long songs. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 30, 2019] Stonefield

I was very excited to see King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard again.  I was a little less excited that they were playing at Franklin Music Hall (formerly The Electric Factory).  I’ve had some pretty bad show experiences there and the venue is fairly narrow and quite long.  (Although good for KGATLW for moving from the 1,200 capacity Union Transfer to the 2,500 capacity Franklin (not sure if they sold out)).

My worst experiences were with parking–huge lines, high fees.  Then I discovered you can park for free on the streets a couple blocks away, so that made things much better.  But those parking issues often meant that I got in the building later than I wanted to.  For Nick Cave I was so far back I was next to a very ill-placed bar in the middle of the floor.  Franklin has removed that bar, thankfully.

So, I made sure to arrive super early (for me).  Doors opened at 7:30, show at 8:30.   I arrived at 8 and the line to get in was around the building!  Usually people don’t arrive all that early for shows–they blow off the openers, which is fine by me.  But this crowd was nuts.  Turns out Franklin is REALLY slow about checking people in.  Not as bad as the abyssal Starland Ballroom, but pretty bad.  I did not get into the building until 8:25.  Which is unbelievable.  We also heard a live band playing while we were on line, which we all assumed was the opening band going on early (it wasn’t, I have no idea what it was). (more…)

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