Sunday, August 23, 2009

To all who volunteered, played, roadied, attended, supported, enjoyed: thanks a ton, this was our largest TF yet both in terms of attendance (roughly 400+) and number of bands (50). We who put it together appreciate the energy and community spirit, and it seems to get better each year. Thanks again.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Muchas gracias are due to KBGA, the radio station responsible for underwriting the travel of Drunk Horse! Drunk Horse play tonight, Saturday night, at the Badlander.

Two days and a Big Dipper Record Swap Matinee later, we're well into Total Fest VIII. Highlights thus far are too numerous to mention, but here's a short list: Le Force, heavy, fast, agressive. Blind Shake: focused, powerful, excellent creep! the Bugs: charmariffic and a new record along to boot. Underground Railroad to Candyland: Beautiful, fun, tight. Rebreather: heavy, cinematic. Razz M'Tazz: loud! Reptile Dysfunction: rocking and focused.

Tonight's logical highlights are many and varied: Japanther, Glassell Park 3, Pine Hill Haints, DRUNK HORSE, This Runs on Blood, Socks and Sandals, etc. etc. etc. We'll see you there--

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Whether you are a Western Montanan, anti-government type from an enclave like Noxon (MT), or a Spokanite, looking to get away from the town with the gayest...yet weirdly anti-gayest mayor ever (or, we guess "former mayor"), Total Fest VIII is anticipating you, and awaits you with arms spread wide. Or as wide as you could expect from friendly Missoulians who spend the better part of 9 months making sure these three days rock hard as fuck.

It's hard to talk globally about a festival that goes to painstaking lengths to choose individual bands that we think represent the best shit going on in music currently, but hell, what's the harm: I honestly believe that we are proof that a festival can be thoroughly non-commercial, but feature some awesome talent that you'd be hard pressed to find at any larger/expensive/bogus fest. This year we've got rap, folk, punk, hardcore, metal and boogie rock, and everything in between and it's all unified by the same oneness of purpose: Quality. If you're these parts, please come out and bring a friend with you! Thank you, and we'll see you at the Badlander Thursday, August 20th!

Monday, August 17, 2009


"Punk as Folk,” on a perpetual broken string count, and some of the best good-time sounding, acoustic punk, The Hail Seizures embody the DIY spirit that sits at the core of Total Fest. They’ll set-up shop on the street corner, curbside, parking lot or available open space and pound out the catchiest, scream-filled tunes from a set of guitars, a cello, snare, violin and toy piano. Their positve, crusty and honest vibe is epidemic in its ability to stretch a smile across your face – the spirit of resistance is alive and well, my friends. The band is taking a hiatus at the end of the summer so we should all heed their request to “please come dance, sing, and spit beer at us. it's been endlessly fun, thank you so much for being our friends in real life. stay punk."

watch for the tie around the 0:42 mark

Saturday, August 15, 2009

(Transmission from Total Julie):
Everything is unknown but understood in this collaboration of Lauren K. Newman (LKN) on drums and Terrica Kleinknecht, guitar. Righteously synched, Palo Verde follow each other's cues while drawing on each other's chi, man. Amid bombastic jungle toms swirl Champs-like endless riffs... A runaway freight car travels backward downhill into a hedge maze somehow executing each turn. Take a cue from this playbook, enter the audience blindfolded and try to score.

Friday, August 14, 2009

(Transmission from Total Organizer Bobby):
In three short years, The Damage Done have become a northwest favorite. From house shows to opening for MDC, the Real Mckenzies and Mike Park, the Damage Done’s “happy hardcore” keeps sweaty kids singing along and wins over even the most jaded punk rocker (read: old). Their energy and passion is welcome in such a vast and saturated scene. TDD’s pulls its self-described “aggro pop” sound from influences ranging from Jawbreaker and Alkaline Trio to Tom Petty and Thin Lizzy. Their great sound isn’t the only root of their popularity. These guys tour hard and put on an intense and genuine live show. Lead singer Ryan Korseki’s stage presence is insane – I’m telling you, this guy really commits to providing the audience with a wild show. He keeps you singing along while he screams until his eyes pop-out. This is The Damage Done’s 2nd appearance at Total Fest, and with a record coming out on the 16th, you’ll want to be sure to catch them again this year.

(in fairness to bobby, "old" is a josh h. annotation. put the teeth back in the jar.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Missoulian by birth, Spokanite by choice, James Two (AKA "James Nasset," of the musical-as-all-hell Missoula Nasset clan) is half of the hip-hop duo known as Jiggywatts. The other half, Locke (AKA "Andrew Walters") is from the gritty, self-proclaimed capital of the "Inland Empire," Spokane, Washington, the current home of Jiggywatts.

Jiggywatts' rhymes and stories flow, mesmerizingly, like a calm wind over a wheat field, or something equally E-WA. Rooted in less-serious subject matter than the solo work of Locke and James two, this group has a great knack for self-reference, and making the listener hungry for pizza. Recent tours/shows have seen Jiggywatts opening for Akil from Jurassic 5, and Crown City Rockers, among others. We're stoked to finally have hip-hop at Total Fest, and we're ultra-stoked to see Jiggywatts!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

'Round about 1994, three University of Montana students started playing music together. Long-haired and somehow cut from a different fabric – one the son of a K-Tel exec, one a Masshole, and the third a Michigander with a Subaru – thee Hedons shirked the common wisdom of the day for bands in Missoula: either "be a godawful hippy jam band or try like hell to be close to as good as the Fireballs of Freedom.” thee Hedons were formed with the singular mission of bringing authentic, reverb-irrigated surf music to Missoula and Montana. thee Hedons practiced, played and honed their sound for several years, until at the end, their surf acumen was pretty damned impressive. Generally speaking, wearing a heavy Link Wray/Trashmen influence on your sleeve is a commonplace theme, but remember, these were the days before Pulp Fiction, and every fratboy wasn't yet familiar with that spooky, pioneering work. Josh May, Greg Twigg and Scott Moore did something notable in keeping the strong tradition of landlocked surf music alive and well, in one of the last places for the music to touch. Twigg for years hosted the region's only surf-themed radio program on Missoula's KBGA, and thee Hedons regularly traveled up the Mission, over the Mountains to Bozeman, and around Montana plying their trade. Their music was loud and clear, and flowed like the froth of the pacific after a huge beach break. Now, re-united if-ever-so-briefly, Total Festers will get to enjoy a unique taste of the famed '90s Jay's Upstairs scene.

Monday, August 10, 2009

(Total Transmission from Organizer Marty) The old school country and punk fans unite when Minneapolis' Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels take the stage at TF8. Dual electric guitars, stand-up bass, high tempo drums and an acoustic guitar thrown in the mix come together and ring forth forlorn tales for the heartbroken, weary, drunk and damned. The outlaw chords and lyrics could surely make the legends proud. Haggard, Jennings, but maybe more specifically Jones surely could have penned the lyrics: "This life that I live/ It don't go nowhere at all/ It just intersects with loneliness and alcohol/ The hardest part of living/ Is living with myself/ And if the drinkin' don't kill me I'll think of something else."

PBT&TFNAS are not another hop-on-the-bus alt country band.......these fellows are prairie-sourced, county-punk at its damned finest. Throw your arm around your best-bud, raise your glass and have a blast with Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

(This Total Transmission from Organizer Lou)
These Tacoma, WA gals, Justine Valdez (drums) and Hozoji Matheson-Margullis (guitar/bass), return for a third time to Total Fest. Hooray! Prepare yourself to be lulled into a false sense of whats-to-come-next by body-swooning melody; pulsing, almost tribal, drumming. Serenity is suddenly annihilated as crushing guitar, and crashing cymbals bear down upon you. Rhythmic chanting will swerve you through sweet melodies, only to crash into more rhythmic chanting. Then there you are again, right back where it all started... with your body swaying from side to side, and left wondering if you didn’t just help summon the spirit of Lozen, herself. And like their namesake, who led hundreds of native woman and children to safety, Lozen, the band, wants to take you on a journey that is for your own good as well. Let them. You won’t be sorry.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

If occupying the aural space halfway between Behead the Prophet No Lord Shall Live and (circa British Steel) Judas Priest is something you think sounds excellent, then I'd like to introduce you to a band called Filth Mattress. Originally introduced to Missoula on the FilthHawk tour of 2008, along with equally epic, and unfortunately RIP'd, Doomhawk, Filth Mattress ripped from the outset. Their short, NWOBHM-inspired hardcore blasts were a fresh-assed treat from a too often dreary genre. Their energy is infectious, with one of those front people that knows it's his job to loosen people up, and thrash, but not to intimidate. I've had their Longway-released 7" on perma-repeat for the better part of a year. Prepare your inner Hessian and malt liquor-drenched crusty for this onslaught of excellence.

Friday, August 7, 2009

(Transmission from Total Organizer Niki)
"Young bucks (and one buckette) playing strummy, Nuggets inspired folk-psych. Rea-al excellent!" I couldn't come up with a more accurate, concise one-liner to describe this band so we'll start there. You might remember The Sherlocks from last year's Total Fest, similarly young and talented, kicking out lengthy psychedelic jams and dreamy lyrics. I always got a 13th Floor vibe from those kids, how I loved them... and how I love The Electric Dandelion. More mature, more psychedelic, more keyboards, less tambourine, ex-Sherlocks and friends continue to do what they do best. Filling a hole in Missoula's music scene with a youthful, yet decades old, psweet psych psound. While I hear comparisons made in local crowds to The Velvet Underground, Spacemen 3 and the Kinks, I'm also reminded of more contemporary favorites, Liverpool's The Stands, Brooklyn's Oneida and Olympia's Nudity. It's good, it's everything.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

(Another transmission from Total Organizer Wendy)

Remember when rock was fun? Well, get ready for some good-time rock-n-roll with The Coloffs. Everyone needs to enjoy a band like this. No gimmicks. No pretense. Just squealing guitars and a pulsing back beat. So if you’re looking for the answers to life, love, and the universe…look somewhere else. These boys are here to party! Hailing from the Seattle/Tacoma area, these veterans of such bands as Midnight Thunder Express, The Valentine Killers (editor's note: Midnight Thunder Express are vets of TFII!), and the Kansas City Faggots are here to get the party started. So grab a beer and raise it high and get ready to have yourself a blast!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

You may find it hard to narrow down exactly what Birds Mile Home
sounds like. None have yet been able to staple these guys. This may be one of the greatest factors to their appeal.
Not quite punk, not really alt-country, not folk-punk; yet, definitely a little country, sure enough punk, folk in story-telling, a whole lot of DIY and a deep love for music should put these guys on anyones must see list.

Their country tinged-punk paced songs will sure to inspire the first circle pit hoedown in Missoula with the stories they tell. From tales derived from Sherman Alexie( Family Portrait) to inspiration from The Minutemen (San Pedro Blues) to (Winona) a tale of a trip to Minnesota last fall. Not only will Birds Mile Home inspire all to dance, sing and have fun they will cause you to think too.

Monday, August 3, 2009

(Transmission from Total Organizer Wendy)
The Limbs is a very unique act, creating a creepy beauty – a refined rawness that can only be accomplished when all members works as one. This band has that down, considering they’ve been working together as a team, whether playing music or not, for quite some time now. Formed in the 70’s (without even realizing it at the time), The Limbs is one of the longest-running acts to play Total Fest . And yet the music has not become stale…. the passion to create together is still fresh. Good thing for head guy John Mazzucco, since this is a one-man band! And The Limbs may be the only one you’ve ever heard that will make it hard to believe that it’s true. That one person can be this coordinated is still amazing to me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

(This transmission from Total Organizer Wendy)
Rarely does a band come along who can mix soul-pounding heaviness with trance-inducing melodies. Rebreather is one of those bands. Formed in 1999 in Youngstown OH, Barley, Chad and Steve create a musical dichotomy that is as seamless as breathing. Harmonic riffs give way to screeching guitars as the the rolling bass and driving drumbeats keep everything moving in sync, while the vocals take you on a fantastic voyage to the depths.

One night only alert: Biga Pizza's third Total Feast fundraiser is tonight, Sunday August 2nd! $10 buys you all the Biga pie and salad you should eat, and all the proceeds go to benefitting Total Fest, our bands, and the our all-ages-welcomeness. See you there! (Biga Pizza, 241 W. Main, Missoula)