Thursday, June 28, 2012


Cousins. There's something special and very personal about this young band, who come to us from Milwaukee, WI. Maybe it was their type-written note or their demo which came packaged with letter-pressed type and an embossed wax seal. It's an intimate package, both physically and musically, from the get go. 

Setting the tone with waves of towering guitars and static, they've mixed familiar elements of post-punk, shoegaze and at times, subtle hints of doom. They're part of a new wave of young DIY bands taking cues from some old favorites such as Slowdive and Sonic Youth, but set their own course altogether with an interesting take on dark and introspective rock. We at Total Fest are excited to host this fantastic young band and hope that you're just as excited as we are to witness them live.

Check out a few tracks their demo EP, Axthoxy, which they have made available for free download

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


For over a decade, Missoula science rockers (and multi-time TF veterans), Volumen, were known as much for their oddball sense of humor as their licks. Much of that comic sensibility can be directly attributed to lead singer/songwriter, Shane Hickey. Since Volumen went on indefinite hiatus last year, Shane needed an outlet for hilarious his songs about trailer park moms, getting drunk, and poontang; he found that outlet in the tiniest of stringed instruments: the ukulele.

After leading many a campfire sing-along with uke in hand, Shane decided to unleash his musical and comical prowess upon the masses as Shane Hicky And His Magical Ukulele (or SHAMU for short). Along with his drummer Jerry (who usually gets fired at least once during every set) Shane has crafted some really catchy and side-splitting tunes on that tiny ukulele. Having known Shane for years, we here at TotalFest headquarters are unbelievably excited to see what kind of material SHAMU…and Jerry come up with at our expense. (To be fair, we probably deserve it.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Ahem. Yes, the International Playboys of Missoula, Montana. "The Playboys" as they're known to locals, are a band who in the 2000s  arguably accomplished more in a relatively short time frame than any other band from Missoula. They created a (ridiculous, but excellent) set of personas (Cap'n Sextastic, Monte Carlo, etc) as players from some international place, where money, booze and women presumably grew on the same tree. And they never diverted from that schtick for their entire lifespan as a group. They always wore nice clothes when they played. They remained willfully oblivious to the Morissey album named roughly the same thing as their band.

They chewed up and digested a handful of drummers before arriving at the enigmatic Joe Danger, skinsman spectacular. What else... they regularly self-released about three records, including one I printed in the basement, and for which I was both paid and presented with a beautiful bottle of Italian wine. Their career-end record, Cobra Blood Hangover, released by Australian Cattle God in 2006 featured a beautiful, band-commissioned piece of bizarre cover art that was done in oil paint, on canvas.

And they toured the country at least a couple times a year, for about 5 good years, and finally hit the road with Canadian punk grandfathers Nomeansno. That feat alone, which I was thinking about recently, can't be sort of overstated enough. Fucking Nomeansno, man. Rob and John Wright. They hand selected this group. The International Playboys. From here. To tour with 'em.

All this is sort of an inventory, however, and what you want is the Why, right? Well, at their best, the Playboys could absolutely level a room with raunchy, dirty, loud rock and roll. I remember Total Fest IV which they played, and which featured a lot of Playboy blood, sweat and beer. It's a big deal for us to have 'em back. Can we get a warm round of applause, for the International Playboys?

Sunday, June 24, 2012


There isn't much I can say about Needlecraft that hasn't perhaps been summed up better elsewhere, or by the many of the little buzzing bees around Missoula who've been singing their praises since they started playing shows earlier this year. There's a reason for that honeyed excitement around these parts: Needlecraft simultaneously conjure up an adoration for the oh-so-sweet-pre-Altamont-sixties (all bouffants, cat eyed specs, and a pistol-less, knob twiddling Phil Spector), and an extremely sarcastic skewering of those blase, incorrect depictions of women that unfortunately often go hand in hand with those ideas. Some people write dissertations on it--they started a fucking band, daddy-o.

It's easy to hit on certain touchstones within their sound: the aforementioned Spector girl-groups, The Shaggs (not in the playing as much as the weird deadpan enthusiasm and conviction of the tunes), and maybe a little of that 90s Kill Rock Stars/K attitude to round out the whole jam from becoming a nostalgic round of pin the tail on the corpse. All the while, the capital-P Pop isn't lost in there. The songs are tightly structured two minute bursts of off-kilter joy that can often be hilarious if not a little raunchy (in a good way). The harmonies are skewed, the lyrics are cynical, the songs are like glue. Every time I hear "Jeff," I can't help but feel a little sorry for the titular character and his "really nice ass" while still really, really enjoying--hell, reveling in--the candor and dark humor of it all. It's a little like the sonic representation of a John Waters movie. And that, cool cats, is a very groovy thing.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Every so often, the 'underground' produces a band that raises more than a few eyebrows and redefines a genre, offering something completely unique and freshly invigorating. A band that compromises nothing and challenges the conventions of traditional rock, metal, punk, or whatever you want to call it.

For us, that band is Torche. Started in Miami, Florida by four veterans of heavy music, Steve Brooks (of classic sludge/doom heavyweights Floor), Jonathan Nunez, Richard Smith and Juan Montoya (later replaced by Andrew Eltsner), they forged a completely unique, stoner-inspired amalgamation, sprinkled with melody and bits of pop, which they first hinted at on their 2005 self-titled album. They defined a sound of their own that was anthemic, unabashedly catchy and mind-crushingly heavy all at once.

After several years of touring around the globe with the likes of Mogwai, High on Fire, The Sword, Harvey Milk, and many others, and crafting countless top-notch releases (two more albums, a few EPs and splits with Boris and Part Chimp), they've come a long way in developing their refreshing sound. Though heavy metal purists may be quick to judge just where they fall, the music they're making sets them apart from much of what's going on in that world these days. It's exciting stuff and never dull, that's for sure.

If you haven't checked out their recently-released third album, Harmonicraft, please do so. It is full of fast, riffy, fist-pumping anthems, plenty of upbeat, sugar-coated goodness and a couple doom-ladden dirges for old time's sake. Here are a few tracks from it:

Reverse Inverted
Kiss Me Dudely

We want to thank KBGA in helping us to bring Torche (and Dan Deacon) to Missoula, Montana for Total Fest XI this August.They are huge supporters of what we're doing here and this wouldn't be possible without their wonderful support.

Mark your calendars for Friday, August 17th and get ready for Torche.

(Photo by Gary Copeland)

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Denver, with its plains-state grid and and sun-baked yellow-greyness, is the weirdly perfect place for a futuristic, kosmische gloom group like MJOLNIIRDXP. Yeah, all caps. Sort of fucked up Kluster-like, Italian horror dirtier John Carpenter space noise-scape, with that kind of internet non-presence that makes you appreciate a group that has no need for any of this internet nonsense.

I know about MjolniirDXP because one of its members is Mike Reisinger from the excellent thuggy hardcore group Leather Sky and Sleeping Giant Glossolalia label that's responsible for the new Vaz record, Oldest's LP and few more obscuro gems. Here's some more info about them from WFMU, the best radio station in New Jersey.

Yeah, and a Mjolniir is Thor's hammer, made of antimatter, I think.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

(we’re pretty certain) RICK SANTORUM LOVES THIS BAND (as much as we do)

We here at Total Fest love duos, we especially love duos that power through songs better than any normal five-piece band.  Minneapolis’ Gay Witch Abortion shred song after song with sludge riffs cranked to 11 and a pummeling rhythm of drums. These dudes' relentless hang of drumbeats and riffs latch to your brain leaving it in a stew of mush.  The vocals are far and few but with the clout of the percussion and the razor sharp fuzz of guitar there is hardly any room.  It’s no surprise these noise behemoths played a set at AmReps 25th Anniversary, shared the stage with Hammerhead and Melvins earlier this summer and have music included in Junko Mizuno’s new book. Missing their set at Total Fest will certainly be a regrettable decision.    


That's right, Total Folks. We're posting the final batch announcement of this year's Total Fest line-up. Not that we've saved the best for last, but this batch is a gut punch combo: old heads, well worn travelers, noisy weirdness, hefty stoner, playful pop, psych fix, and riff ration. A few strands are still lingering, but we'll have you caught up by the week's end. As with the last two announcements, we'll expand on each of the bands in the following days. Stay tuned.

Cousins Milwaukee, WI
Harkonen Seattle, WA / San Fran, CA 
InternationalPlayboys Missoula, MT 
KingElephant Missoula, MT

Magpies Missoula, MT
MjolniirDXP Denver, CO
Needlecraft Missoula, MT 
ThePharmacy Seattle, WA
Sedan Portland, Or

Tacocat Seattle, WA
Tenement Appleton, WI 
Torche Miami, FL
Unnatural Helpers Seattle, WA
VTO Missoula, MT
Wizard Rifle Portland, OR

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Best Westerns: The Soul of Montana

Sometimes, Missoula is referred to as “The other Montana.” With the university here, and its reputation as the states arts and culture capital, a lot of people consider Missoula “weird” when compared to other Montana cities. And sometimes all that weirdness overshadows Missoula’s connection great American West. But Montanans are a proud people with a long, proud history; Missoulians are no exception. Every once in a great while, a band comes along and reminds us of how proud we are of our beautiful state. The Best Westerns are that band.

From the dulcet tones of the pedal steel guitar to the band all wearing their best pearl-snap shirts and cowboy hats, The Best Westerns are Montana through and through. We here on the TF committee are truly excited to have these guys here to inject a little country and western into our mostly rockin’ festival and help us connect with the soul of the West. 

The Best Westerns (demo)

Funeral and the Twilight: They Put You in the Ground

Fittingly, Funeral & theTwilight's Benjamin Jones practiced post death surgery and facial reconstruction prior to helping craft F&T's dressed-down, macabre sound. Together with Dave Bloxsom and Brandon Keegan, the Minneapolis three-piece crafts haunting theme-music to your own horror epic. One classification that I continually utilize is "machete-rock" -- one of those fantastically brutal apocalyptic convulsions that choreograph the fantasy of a targeted murder spree.

Painstaking, irreverent and indiscriminate, Funeral and the Twilight is like adding a fine wine or polished shoes to the mood, making it more of a waltz than a rampage. It's an eerily aggressive shredding of societal facades. Jones' vocals offer a peculiar vibrato-hued scream, pulsing almost counter to the off-beat melodies. Seriously beautiful stuff going on here. Each song offers an open-ended tale that hunts for meaning within the layered collage of images. It's angst-ridden at its own impotence. Calling attention to the variety of fucked up things that happen in the world, it realizes that any hope for salvation is an immediate admittance of failure. This is what we are -- brutal, bloody, violent, meaningless; yet, jettisoning the despair, we taste joy and love. It's an open-eyed leap into the void, fully embracing the reflection and hoping it shatters upon impact.

In their own words: "Jumped into the Mississippi River to die, but still live years later and onward. Punk as fuck."

Suck on that bubblegum.


The excellent, weird world that Bacon and Egg inhabit is a hard thing to completely grasp. It's part jams. Part beats. Part falsetto screams. Part a lot of things. All of it, grounded in riffs, poppy metal and prog, and a weird fascination with all that awesome fantasy imagery.

This year, Bacon and Egg made the ballsy move of going into the studio for months on end to create a record that attempted to put some kind of enclosure around the hundreds of ideas that are generally contained in a single song. The resulting All In One Basket is a surprisingly cohesive, expansive piece of work. And I say that as a fan who's enjoyed Bacon and Egg since they first started 10 or so years back. I thought they were more a live band, you know. Not always translating super well to a record. But this All In One Basket, with its Priest inspired cover art, is good. It'll suck you in, and you can tell these guys worked at this, forced some edits, made hard decisions, but didn't make a spare album whatsoever. Anyhow, Bacon and Egg, man.

One of my all-time favorite moments at Total Fest was when Bacon and Egg played at Jay's Downstairs at Total Fest II. They told everybody they knew, got a crowd and started the night. They began exactly on time at 8pm, I think (which bands never really did at Jay's) and got people stoked. Said it gave 'em more time to party.  Consummate professionals.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Jensen and Jon, the two dudes that make up Iron Lung, have been twisting out brutal tunes for over a decade. Iron Lung play brutal, bitter, ugly hardcore. Riffs pound, drums push, and it all just leaves one a little desperate for a drink of water, some air. But what makes Iron Lung so damn good, in addition to their well-rehearsed brutality and ability to soar a riff out in the midst of the pummel from time to time, is the presence and humor that's part of the act. Not like it's some big joke or something, just that they have a way of pumping a little levity into the thing and make a show have that much more impact.

They're originally from Reno, later from Seattle, now from Oakland. Their various records, most recently Sexless. No Sex on Prank and a new one apparently being recorded right now, all point to the same dystopian place: Total sonic destruction. Recently, they've started releasing other people's records under the Iron Lung Records label. The label's got lots of awesome variety, and nicely selected set of Australian groups like Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Total Control. Hopefully they've got a distro box in tow for Saturday's Record Swap at the Big Dipper. Here's some footage of them ripping Best Friends Day:


For fear of writing a prolix blog about Olympia’s Criminal Code I will keep this blurb concise.  Criminal Code released their 4-track demo “High Command” only 1 year ago.  “High Command” is an energy charged 8 minutes of urgent vocals and repetitive guitars you can really start to feel.  Since their demo they have since released tapes, EPs, toured the West coast and released a Long-Playing album “Cold Thought” on Inimical Records. 

You can taste this record here and here.  Like what you hear?  Crave more fast paced 80’s guitar rifts ala Husker Du and Adolescents?  Me too.  But these guys must get-off on being withholding because they aren’t going to feed you their music over the Internet.  We are going to have to get off the effing computer and go see these dudes perform at Total Fest XI.  See you there!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Vicious. That's how I'd best describe WALLS. These four men from Seattle and Portland have been cranking out damaged, blown-out noise and punk for the past few years now. With members of Northwest outsiders Cold Sweat, Iron Lung, and Pig Heart Transplant, they are no strangers to creating relentless, aggressive music with a complete disregard for convention and make no attempt whatsoever to fit into one particular genre -- whether it be hardcore, punk, sludge or noise rock.  They carry plenty of sweat, angst, terror and frustration, and are fronted by one mad man of a vocalist, backed by feedback-soaked guitar and a pummeling rhythm section. Walls bring to mind bits and pieces of off-kilter classics like Born Against, Black Flag, and Unsane, but ultimately, they craft a vicious beast all their own. 

Be sure to check out their recent album The Future is Wide Open (Iron Lung Records) and prepare yourself for their set at Total Fest XI.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


…are back AGAIN, folks!  This guitar and drum duo of dorky Northwesterners will be at Total Fest XI.  The Bugs, from PDX, are punky but not crusty, poppy but not pretty and sweet but not salty.  Paul and Mike have played music in Missoula many times in their several incarnations.  They happen to be seasoned musicians from familiar bands like the Last of the Juanitas, Truman’s Water and the Plastic Harmony Band.  The Bugs have been a psych-y, good-time-rock-bandy band since 1998.  Be sure to catch these bugs this august!  You want to add this band to your have-seen collection so don’t forget your net and homemade killing jar.
RIYL:  Super Furry Animals, Violent Femmes, Last of the Juanitas, Buzzcocks, Gollipops

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Mr. Coley is a renaissance man of sorts known around Missoula to fill many shoes.  He is an artist, musician, homesteader, Home Resource guy, guitar builder and whatnot.  He also topped KBGA’s Top 30 in April with Cabin Recordings 2011 his newest release. 

Those Cabin Recordings are a musical journal of the months between May and December of 2011 with a guitar and a drum machine.  His atmospheric experiments are scuzzy like a play-a-long with Rain Dogs but without the Tom Waits vocalizing.  Come see “Abe the Babe” Coley perform at Total Fest XI!  Tons of Bands! Tons of Fun!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Getting east coast bands to come all the way out to Missoula, Montana is a bit daunting at times. So with a move from Brooklyn to Seattle, daunting changes to definite when Big Eyes take the stage this August.

Big Eyes seem to get grouped in with so many bands these days, who are unnecessarily, labelled as "pop punk". Saying this may seem to be in the same manner as generalizing past TF alumni such as Todd Congelliere, RVIVR, The Arrivals or Tacocat. All distinct bands with varying sounds.

Big Eyes play straight forward, catchy rock n' roll in the vein of The Replacements, The Muffs or even more contemporary bands like The Measure. It's 3 piece energetic music with DIY roots and a real earnest midwest sound. With recent releases on Grave Mistake and Don Giovanni Records, it can not help but lead to bigger things for Kate, CJ and Chris. 
They tour extensively and are no strangers to Missoula, having played several memorable shows here in the past, including a set this past fall at Zoo City Apparel. Their non-stop touring schedule has been sprinkled with opening slots for heavyweights such as Dillinger 4 and, TF alumni, Pierced Arrows. 

We look forward to sharing Big Eyes with you this August at Total Fest XI!

Dan Deacon's first tours were done using the Greyhound. That's the first time I saw him, I think. He played a show at Area 5 in maybe 2003, probably to 20 people grand total. I think Tyson set it up. He had a small table. Small PA. Pile of electronic stuff. MP3 player. Keyboard. Drum machine, sampler pedal and a creepy green plastic skull. I think he was carrying it all in a plastic garbage bag. And, somehow, he turned it all into surprisingly cohesive and extremely powerful set of jams, squeezing more, and more totally bent sounds out of his gear than most full bands that I could remember.

And where electronic music is generally the most passive of musics to watch, with Dan you kind of forget it's a guy with a pile of toys, suspend disbelief and enter into his psychedelic-creative world for a handful of minutes. For a kind of unassuming guy, he also goes apeshit wild, had an awesome and hilarious presence and worked the crowd like few people I've seen. He's toured like a man possessed, often with fellow-Baltimore freaks with full-on sonic carnival/comedy/play shows in tow.

Roll forward around 9 years and the guy's toured China, released Spiderman of The Rings and Bromst (recorded at Snow Ghost in Whitefish) LPs, is all over Pitchfork, tours with orchestras, and released the Ultimate Reality DVD with this 23 minute Conan montage over a soundtrack of excellently spasm-inducing loops and beeps and beatz. All that's under his belt, and now there's a new record too. Jeesh.

He's coming. Playing our opening night, Thursday August 16 at the Top Hat. Thanks to KBGA (Missoula's only radio station) which is responsible for getting Dan here!

Lozen: Punchy, Sludge.

photo by Chris Fuller
Hozi (Hozoji Matheson-Margullis) and Juice (Justine Valdez), the ladies of Tacoma, prove that smart lyrics, pounding melodies and menacing rock are not mutually exclusive.

Lozen, as a band, has been around since 2005, but their friendship extends further back to those ever so foundational bonds of high school. Taking their name from the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache warrior, the duo melds an isolating vocal cacophony with some well-tested droning sludge. Straight up reinvigorated riot grrrl.

Somehow this all does them a disservice. They're more unique than reviewers give them credit, and their song writing is more innovative than the easily applied Melvins, Unwound comparisons suggest. As women artists go, we're still in the habit of trying to make them fit into some pre-established mold. Performative contradictions aside, sure the influences are there and nothing is created in a vacuum, but after almost eight years of playing together and evolving their sound, it's somewhat degrading to keep throwing out comparison after comparison, as if that somehow legitimates what they're doing.

Back to the vacuum: listen to Enemies Against Power (2007) followed by oona (2009) on their own merits. While I'm still partial to the rawness of EAP, the obvious progressions to oona evidence a subtle yet powerful evolution of a sound that generates its own aggression. Live, Lozen is a fucking blast. The intensity quickly builds as Hozi and Juice build off one another, smiling, scowling, flailing, screaming, laughing, slaying ....

An anti-establishment wrecking crew at its best. Intuition says wake the fuck up.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Man,  I don't get how these Oakland bands channel the seventies hard guitar rock into their punk so well. It's gotta be in the water or something. I saw the Lazy Dogs in Austin a year ago at Chaos in Tejas, and it was 100% Thin Lizzy/ZZ Top and James Gang worship, done so fucking incredibly well that you wondered what year you were in. It wasn't some ironic jokey homage to seventies excess or anything, it was just a shredding, power-rock buffet. Served up with total passion, energy and insanity. There was a pit. It was pretty bluesy. "Pot rock," or maybe "acid rock" wouldn't be a bad way to describe it. People went apeshit. I can't really describe it. Probably it's the fact that the Flag/Sabbath worship balances the blues stuff out, like a hearty red wine, cutting the richness of cheese. There are no jogging shoes, tucked in shirts, or Wilson Pickett covers either.

Lecherous Gaze is part of that California scene (Saviours, High On Fire, Howlin' Rain, Earthless, Drunk Horse...) that's been among the most generative in the country at this hard rock renaissance. They've put out a handful of records, toured Europe with Danava, and the coast with Red Fang in their pretty short band-life.

Ex-Annialation Time too. man. Prepare.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I’ll be the first to admit that I often jump to conclusions. Whether it’s your layered polo shirts, with popped collars *plural*, or your weird facial hair choices, I will judge you immediately. This isn’t to say that if you have a neck tattoo you can’t contribute to society, or that my presumptions are always accurate, but it’s just something that I do, and I’m not the only one.

Anyway, point is, when I first heard the band name “Guantanamo Baywatch” on the bill for the Burger Boogaloo in San Francisco earlier this year, I had high hopes. It takes quite a group of folks to pull off a name like that. And needless to say, as I sit here typing this, months later, I was not disappointed.

Guantanamo Baywatch rock.

Critics have cited surf greats like Dick Dale, but this isn’t your typical Socal fare. This PDX-based threesome don’t shy away from their roots in the Northwest, with darkness and recklessness, appealing to my pit-going sensibilities. This stuff isn’t just danceable, it’s freak-out inducing.

The prestigious tastemakers at Dirtnap Records released GB’s second LP last month, and they will be touring all over in support of it, including, of course, Total Fest XI.

You can stream the ENTIRE new record here. Enjoy, and don’t miss their set here in August!

Monday, June 4, 2012

White Walls

You may be sitting there asking yourself why you're looking at an impressively defaced back side of a TJ MAXX receipt instead of a picture of the band White Walls. That's because it's the most accurate visual representation of music I've ever seen in my life (found on their austere blog). Disregard the content of that bogus advice scribbled there, and instead consider the way the whole thing looks: crumpled paper, off kilter neon pink lettering, and some scrawled, bad advice. Imagine a band that sounds like that. Doesn't that seem like a pretty fucking sweet band?

Check the video out below. Can't see a goddamn thing? Me too. Who cares. Push play, open a new window, google-image-search the word "blank" and listen to this band break shit down. Consider--oh, um--emptiness or something real philosophically heavy and appreciate the cool-kid-destructo vibes that radiate off their music. I'm doing my best to resist that lame music-writer thing by comparing them to other bands (Pissed Jeans? Condominium?), so instead, I'll compare them to an experience: getting detention. You fucked up doing something that was probably awesome (throwing snowballs, telling your teacher to "eat your shorts") and thusly, are punished unjustly. Fortunately, this results in creating an ideal headspace to stew on new and exciting ways to tell everyone to "eat your shorts" via song. White Walls are the voice of your fun, inner-brat that the square world seeks to squeeze out of you. The nerve of those bozos.

Their music is an in the moment thing: visceral, immediate, unpredictable. White Walls encapsulates that glorious teenage mindset where getting in trouble is fun and every possibility of risk is answered with an ill-or-under-judged "YES." Bands too often forget that people love saying "yes," especially for the joyous occasion of when any random occurrence becomes an invitation to a new-rude-zone.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Second Fiddle to No One: Total Fest 2012, Round 2

By now, you're bubbling as much as we are. Things are really coming together, and the line-up grows more exciting by the day. We're working hard to solidify everything. If you're waiting to hear from us -- our apologies. We'll have everything set in stone over this week.
We're up to our second blast this week. Couldn't be happier. It's an impressive list that should have your rock-fist pumping in no time. As with the last one, we'll follow this up with more detailed descriptions, observations, delusions, analogies, etc. over the following days. Stay tuned.
There are some old friends in here, stirred around with a few homegrown miscreants, shaken and topped with exotic tastes from the east and midwest. It's a list that you can't afford to gloss over. A fair blend of the weird, loud, and fun ...
Installment number 2 forTotal Fest 2012.
Abe Coley Missoula, MT
Bacon and Egg Missoula, MT
The Best Westerns Missoula, MT
Big Eyes Seattle, WA
Bugs Portland, Or
Criminal Code Olympia, WA
Dan Deacon Baltimore, MD
Gay Witch Abortion Minneapolis, MN
Guantanamo Baywatch Oakland, CA
Iron Lung Seattle, WA
Lecherous Gaze Bay Area, CA
Lozen Tacoma, WA
Walls Seattle, WA
White Walls Cincinatti, OH

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I think it was Neil deGrasse Tyson who once said, “Eat me!” The astrophysicist certainly has a way with words, don’t he? Now imagine, if you will, the moment some early Belgian mason first spit [literally] on the grave of Elvis Presley. All this is to point out the absolute accuracy that sanitation workers maintain with the history of Haruki Murakami’s juvenile development.

Ok, ok. Listening to Rock N Roll Adventure Kids gives me little-to-no reason to believe that they would endorse any of these propositions. But these East Bay sonic murderers would probably be able to agree that the ridiculousness of the previous assertions finds some congruity with the flippancy and fun (alliteration, eh?) necessary to be a loud trash rock outfit in the bustling Bay Area scene.

RARAK (as they’re known by their followers) have been shredding your earholes for a good 5+ years now, but have been more prolific in their touring regimen then their release output. Which all seems pretty rational, given the fact that they are a band to be EXPERIENCED, FELT…and not on low volume. It’s no wonder they were the choice band to tour with Nobunny in 2009: this stuff verges on cartoony, in the best way possible.

Just watch this video:

 Then look at their cover art for 2009’s Hillbilly Psychosis:

What you need to know: Loud, fast garage rock with a Southern flair. A blast to see live. DGAF.

Simply put: Into it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

No-Fi Soul Rebellion. …is for dancers.

          It’s been said before. This band is dance-y, excitable and sweaty.  No-Fi Soul Rebellion returns for Total Fest XI.  You’ve had two years to recover from Total Fest IX when they filled the Badlander with more dancing bodies than the Dead Hipsters ever could.  Mark and Andrea are hard-core veterans of the all-ages/DIY stage and, a little disclaimer: they will probably leave you with some form of Post That-was-the-best-dance-party-ever Stress Disorder (PTSD). 
If you threw a rock in the direction of the Clark Fork River it is almost guaranteed to hit someone who has listened to or seen a No-Fi show.  In fact, you could throw a rock anywhere in the Northwest and hit someone who has seen Mark perform in his green jersey, black tie and converse.  Again, it is quite the performance.  His wife Andrea is an artist in her own right and performs with Mark “playing” a guitar outfitted with an iPod.  
But, if you have not seen them before, or in a while, I suggest you watch some videos and get pumped.  And if you Youtube like I do you will be asking yourself “How did I end up watching Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag”?” 

*photo by Andrew Kemmis, Total Fest 2010.  Check out his other TF photos @ DO IT!