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Archive for the ‘Stonefield’ Category

[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] 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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a1699739273_10nyorkerSOUNDTRACK: STONEFIELD-Bent (2019).

Stonefield is a band of four sisters from rural Darraweit Guim in Australia. Drummer and lead vocalist Amy Lee Findlay (the oldest sister) formed the band when she was 16. The band includes Hannah on lead guitar and vocals, Sarah on keyboards and vocals, and Holly on bass guitar (Holly was 8 at the time, and has turned 21 this year).

They are opening for King Gizzard And The lizard Wizard tomorrow night and I’m really looking forward to seeing them.

Bent is their fourth album and is full of psychedelic stoner rock.  But their songs aren’t epic (even though they sound epic).  The longest songs on the record are just over 4 minutes and the whole album is just over 30.

What sets their music apart is the inclusion of a retro 70s sounding keyboard.  Their songs work with big rumbling riffs; low bass and crashing drums are the name of the game for Stonefield.

Amy’s voice is often slightly echoey, and it works well as a contrast to the heft of the songs.  When the harmony vocals are added it sounds even better.

But it’s the keys that really display the sound.  The keys do most of the solos and many of the lead melodies (unless that’s the guitar pitched to sound like a keyboard).

Some of their songs are faster: “Dead Alive” even feels a little dancey.  Some have a bit more of a metal edge: the main riff of “People” throws in an unexpectedly dark note before propelling off with a ripping prog-rock keyboard solo.

A song like “66” is three and a half minutes long, but the lyrics are only present for a few seconds in the middle: a hazy chant of

Reflection of the one
Confusion has begun

The lightest moment comes in the 85 second “Dignity” which is a pretty keyboard melody accompanied by light drums.  It works as a kind of introduction to the very heavy “Shutdown” which has a surprisingly catchy chorus.

The album ends with the excellent “Woman.”  This is a great disc and I hope it becomes available in the States soon.

[READ: August 28, 2019] “Friendly Skies”

This is a story about a terrible flight.  Since it was written in 2000, it doesn’t ring entirely accurate for 2019.  Especially when one of the passengers gets rowdy.

Eileen is flying from L.A. to the east coast.  She is exhausted from the delays, a little drunk from the booze during the delay, and not very happy about leaving L.A.

She looks out the window to see that one of the engines in on fire.  She utterly freaks out, internally.  But the guy next to her is furious.  He starts banging on the seat in front of him and when the pilot says that they are returning to LAX, he flips out.

Obviously, Eileen is happy that they are going to live, but this guy is mad because he’s going to be late.  He is seething until the guy in front of him calls him an asshole and tells him to calm down.  The man then turns to Eileen–who ignores him–and mutters all kinds of things under his breath.

They land and it is a mad dash as the passengers are given their new boarding information.  While Eileen is heading to her new flight (a layover in Chicago), the obnoxious guy pushes his way past everyone and starts causing a scene because he doesn’t want to check his baggage.

She was sure (and I was sure) that she was going to be seated next to him again.  But no, they are separated by a couple of rows.

The plane was full, but amazingly, the seat next to Eileen was open. She slid into it when she thought it was safe, but at the last possible minute a man came in and  said it was his.  He let her stay by the window though.

Michael turns out to be a very nice person.  He is intent on doing his work, but they do talk a bit and have some things in common.

About half way through the story, Eileen thinks about Roy, a man she is trying to forget.  They were both teachers at a school.  Their relationship was serious.  Until he announced in front of the faculty lounge that he was sleeping with someone else.  And evidently some of the other teachers knew.

She tried to get him out of her mind.  But then the man from the other flight started yelling.  He was screaming for a better seat, “I paid full fare, I’m not going to teak this shit anymore.”  He stormed into the galley and returned with hot pots of coffee.

Flight attendants tried to stop him but he easily bested them, spilling scalding coffee on passengers until he got to the exit and started banging on it, shouting “you’re all going to die!”

Michael hit the man with his laptop which slowed him briefly until he turned and hit Michael over the head with the computer, breaking it and knocking Michael unconscious.

Eileen is fed up with men like this (like Roy) and she was going to act.  Maybe this is why the don’t serve metal flatware on flights anymore.

The story is exciting if not a little predictable..

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