Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Total Fest VIII: Just 9 Months Away!
It's hardly newsworthy, but somehow, 3/4 of a year makes me excited. So mark your calendars for August 20-22, 2009. Dmitri (pictured left) has got his passes already.

In other, perhaps more interesting news, we've launched a mailing list which you can join here . We'll do Total Fest updates (i.e. when we're taking submissions, when we've got a line-up, when we add bands, where the barbecues will be) as well as Wantage USA label release information. The first 100 people to join will get entered into a drawing to win a handful of ultra-rare test pressings, so you know, like, do what you feel, man.

Other notable things: Diane Kamikaze, one of our favorite DJs on WFMU recently had (one of TFVII's sleepers) Triclops! on her show . It's conveniently archived here, and is well worth the admission price. TF alums Black Elk have got a new record on Crucial Blast, it's called Always a Six, Never A Nine and we're sure it rules. KBGA should have it soon, and stores ought to as well! The wildmen of Akimbo have a new record out called Jersey Shores. Neurot, who're based just down the road from us in Idaho, put it out. It's a concept record about a shark-filled summer on, yes, the Jersey Shore. Not since Queensryche has a self-proclaimed Seattle Hair Band had the gumption to release a concept record, and we're STOKED. Chris Fuller just got us a couple CDRs worth of Total Fest VII photos, and those'll be going somewhere, soon. Probably our myspace, maybe our photobucket, etc. etc.

In the spirit of entering into the Best Of list time of year, we'd be interested in seeing your best of lists for 2008! Throw them up as comments, if you would, and we'll post them on the blog. Here's what mine, kind of truncated looks like: Bridgebuilder: LIVE!, USAISMONNSTER: Space Programs CD, Group Inerane: Guitars of Agadez, V/A Top Notch: Hits from the Hive LP, Poor School/Wiggwaum Split LP, Harvey Milk: Life.. the Best Game In Town CD, Miss Lana Rebel: All I Need LP.

Go about your business.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Harvey Milk: Loud Band For the Ages
From the Where Has This Music Been All My Life file, comes Harvey Milk. They're an Athens, Georgia-based group who've been largely ignored since they began, back in the 1990's. Sort of the perfect antithesis to the crushing metal that takes itself too seriously, theirs are essentially love songs, Leonard Cohen covers, and other, less-than-manly fare played with more ooomph than handfuls of black-clad, neck-tattooed, and corpse painted heshers trying desperately to be heavy.

There's poetry in this stuff too, and from a guy with a general disdain for most poetic things, I've come to appreciate it, especially when set to music that's got the bombast, restraint and tonal excellence that this stuff does. Where heavy music can generally go one of two ways, total stoner riff repetition, without much to set one song apart from another, or dull dronery ala Sunn, Harvey Milk just play slow, tight, sad/triumphant shit, and it's pretty excellent.

Chunklet recently re-released their My Love Is Higher Than Your Assessment of What My Love Could Be on beautiful double LP. More to come in the re-issue dept. from them, sounds like. Hydrahead's responsible for their newest piece of work, entitled Life... The Best Game In Town, which is thoroughly a winner, on par with their best work.

Oregonian and Total Fest alumnus Joe Preston, whose Thrones is one of the best "bands" to ever rock, is currently the bassist for this outfit.

Not sure what the connection their gay California politician namesake is. NPR's doing a special on him soon.