Archive for the ‘The Vacant Lots’ Category

[ATTENDED: October 18, 2022] The Black Angels

The Black Angels are a psychedelic band from Austin, Texas.

I’ve known about them for about ten years.  Their music sounds pretty similar from album to album–fuzzy guitars, catchy riffs and Alex Maas’ recognizable haunting voice.

I Wasn’t really sure what to expect in a live show from them–I assumed some psychedelia.  So I was a little surprised at how stripped down their stage was.  There was a five panel screen and some vertical lights between them.  The l ights shone all different colors and patterns and set the tone of the stage.  The overhead lights were mostly there to add mood.

In other words, I could barely see anyone.  Which was kind of cool.  It created a dark ambiance and meant you focused more on the music than the band members.  The only person I could see with any real clarity was drummer Stephanie Bailey, who pounded the hell out of the drums.  The other three guys, Christian Bland, Jake Garcia and Ramiro Verdooren all played guitar or bass or keyboards.  There was so much switching around of instruments–even though both Bland and Garcia play left handed guitars!

I stood in front of Bland and it was really fun watching him solo and riff and make some really interesting sounds out of his pedals and amps.  He had a bicycle bell on his mic stand (the roadie rang he bell while setting it up), but he never used it in the set. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 18, 2022] The Vacant Lots

The Vacant Lots are two guys from Brooklyn.  And wow are they loud.

The two guys are Jared Artaud who played guitar and sang and Brian MacFadyen who did pretty much everything else.  MacFayden stood at a keyboard rig and played keys and drum loops (I’m not exactly sure what was looped, as some of the songs were repetitive, but it was clear he was trigger some drum sounds live.  He also played a cymbal, which was a nice live touch and meant that he was never not busy.

The music was essentially electro, but Artaud’s live guitar added a layer of “live-ness” that elevated the whole affair.  As did Artaud’s whole vibe.  He had on big black boots, a fringed jacket and sunglasses.  He stood there playing Jesus and Mary Chain kind of drone guitar and it worked a treat. He also walked around a bit and added some feedback, really cementing the live feel.

But it was MacFayden’s rig that was so loud.  The drums were maxed out and echoing and I had earplugs in from the get go.

I slightly preferred the songs that MacFayden sang, but they weren’t radically different from each other.  I don’t think I’d listen to them as a studio band, but live they were pretty great.


  1. Departure (single)
  2. Never Satisfied ψ
  3. Consolation Prize ©
  4. Thank You ©
  5. Fracture
  6. 6 AM ψ
  7. Mad Mary Jones ψ

© Closure (2022)
⇔ Interzone (2020)
ψ Departure (2014)



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