Category : rock

Metaverse promo video

Good news everybody! I’ve got a video to share. It’s not the one I’ve been talking about, it’s just a teaser, but I think you’ll dig it. It’s the promo video for our album, Metaverse!

Support Darkfold and buy our album! Thanks!

Darkfold's web site is live!

Hey everybody: Good news! Darkfold’s web site is live!! Check it out:

http://darkfold.underutopia.com/

Edit: I’ve got the Darkfold.com domain transferring now! It’s bliss.

Let me know what you think of the site. It’s got two different music players, 4 downloadable MP3 tracks, plus links to a bunch of pages that are hosting the full album, like Bandcamp, AmieStreet and Jamendo. It’s rock and roll overload!!

So now you know why this blog hasn’t seen many updates lately. I’m hoping to get back to regularly scheduled posting soon, but I post on two other blogs as well as this one! ::wipes sweat from brow::

I’m also working on a super-secret video project that I hope to be able to share with you guys soon! I’m pretty stoked; it’s coming along really well. More info soon…

Fear and Loathing in Maplewood

Catch my review of a recent All-American Rejects show in Maplewood over at PerfectPorridge.com! Despite what you may think it was a pretty crazy time. Here’s a quick excerpt:

Just when I was about to write the youth of today’s idea of rock’n’roll off as about as rebellious as a church picnic, the crowd started to raise some hell. Crowd surfers erupted in the pit and the girl next to me tried to climb onto the stage. When security dragged her back down she refused to stand up and had to be physically removed from the building; outside there were cop cars with lights flashing and sullen occupants in the back seat. Clearly, a good time was had by all.

Read the rest of it!

Hey kids, my band Darkfold is playing the Dinkytowner Cafe this coming Wednesday. It’d be great to see you there, but I totally understand if you can’t make it on a weeknight — plus we don’t go on until 11 pm. But we’d love to see you if you can make it! We’re gonna bring the rock and there’s no cover!!

I’ve got two Darkfold shows coming up in October (plus two more in November). Sorry for the short notice on the first one, but it’s on Thursday October 16th at the legendary 400 Bar in Minneapolis!

Then the next gig is on Friday October 24th at Station-4 in St. Paul at 10pm. Both shows are with Foresight for Sore Eyes and Human Bean.
Check out a quick review on PerfectPorridge and find our tunes on MySpace or Last.fm. Be sure to check out PerfectPorridge for a chance to win the album just by saying you deserve it!

Incommunicado – Darkfold

I’ve been piss poor at updating this blog lately, huh?

That’s because I’ve been working on the album. Yep, my band, Darkfold, are readying our first album — finally — after months of delays as life interceded, as it often does. But no more! I think we’re finally getting close. I’m gonna get this sumbitch out if it’s the last thing I do!

It’s called Metaverse and it’s a quick, powerful album full of bruisingly loud, but always-melodic songs that we think are pretty cool. I’d say it has elements of The White Stripes, Nirvana and Iron Maiden in a stew that we’ve definitely made our own. I’m pretty psyched about it. I can’t wait until people can finally hear it!

I’m finishing up the album artwork. Here’s a preview of the CD cover; let me know what you think!

Oppressotron video!

My band, Darkfold, has a new video. It’s fucking crazy and disturbing; I know you’ll love it! Let me know what you think. It’s called Oppressotron!!

edit: Okay, we weren’t totally happy with this video so we took it down. Unless we can think of some really cool imagery to go along with it we’ll just let Oppressotron exist solely in your mind… and the government.

I forgot to mention my concert

Shit. We had a poster and everything. I’m posting it anyway, dammit.

There. Don’t you wish I had posted this earlier so you could’ve gone to see Darkfold lay down the rock? I’m such a bad promoter.

But wait!! There is a chance to redeem myself. We’ve got another gig this Friday at the Whiskey Junction! We’re playing with a band called Foresight For Sore Eyes and a few other bands.

Oct. 5th @ 9:30pm! Whiskey Junction! Darkfold will be on early so get there fast and be ready to rock.

Bob Dylan is so fucking overrated…

…But he’s still good. People have been talking about Dylan’s new album, Modern Times, saying it’s one of his best. I got my hands on a copy and I must disagree. I thought it was quite disappointing except for the last track, “Ain’t Talkin’” which is damn good. Too bad the rest of the album is impotent and paint-by-numbers tripe.

I don’t expect Bob’s voice to soothe me or even sound decent. Shit, there’s tracks on the album where old Bob sounds like he’s just been gargling with battery acid and peanut butter. He sounds like Zombie Dylan on a couple tracks. I think maybe Dylan’s been dead for a few years and he’s been re-animated with some Frankenstein-esque machine, doomed to wander the world as the undead while recording songs when his rotten voice box feels up to it.

But that’s not what bothers me about his new album.

No, it’s his backing band. On most tracks they sound like a shitty wedding band, playing the blandest, most inoffensive tunes your Aunt Marge could possibly ask for. I know, I know; it’s Dylan, not Killswitch Engage. But c’mon, Bob! Crank it up a notch. The band sounds like they’re on horse tranquilizers and auditioning for a gig as studio musicians for the Muzak corporation.

I saw Dylan live on this tour and the band was a bit better on stage, but maybe that’s because you have to be loud in a 20,000 seat theater. They seemed a little more energized, even playing (sort of) the Jimi Hendrix version of “All Along the Watchtower.”

Still, Bob’s not what he used to be. He’s a living legend, but it’s not like he could write “Like a Rolling Stone” or “The Times are a-Changin’” at age 66.

Instead we need a new generation of musical geniuses to move things forward; guys like Colin Meloy of The Decemberists. Their new album, The Crane Wife, is fucking brilliant.

The Decemberists are so fucking literary they sound like a band fronted by your old college English teacher, but in a good way. Despite the focus on words and lyrics (like Dylan) the band is about much more than that. They actually have great tunes! Their sound has been described as progressive-folk rock. They’ve clearly listened to a few Pink Floyd albums, but also a lot of Dylan.

Like Dylan, Colin Meloy has a…. uh.. “unique” voice. It takes some getting used to, but he can sing and hit the notes, just like Dylan used to be able to. Colin’s timbre is reedy and somewhat nasally, but he sings with more melody than dear old Bob.

If you’re a little disappointed with 7th decade Dylan, check out a band in its prime: The Decemberists.

I’ve been thinking about music a lot lately. Okay, I always do that, since I’m obsessed with music, but you wouldn’t know it from this blog. I don’t know why, but I don’t usually like to write about music (it’s like “dancing about architecture” or so says Frank Zappa).

There’s an article over on Slashdot that got me thinking. It’s about the decline of the CD as a medium. Yeah, an article on that subject comes out every couple weeks, but I didn’t even read it. More important, I thought, was the ensuing discussion. It seems everybody has a different take on the state of the music industry. For me, no, CDs are not dead. I prefer my music uncompressed and pre-backed-up before I put it on my iPod. Plus, if you count CD-Rs, CDs are more popular than ever. I burn CDs all the time, whether its a copy of a CD a friend gave me or mixes from my band’s recording sessions.

Band Update – finally
Speaking of the band, I know I haven’t posted about us in awhile, probably because I didn’t want to jinx anything. People have been asking me when our album’s coming out for years and I keep telling them, “pretty soon. It’s right around the corner!” For the last few months I’ve been saying, “in a few months!” Well, it’s been a few months and it’s not out yet, but not for lack of effort. To be honest, we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing, but whatever we’re doing is shaping up pretty nice. We’ve got about 7 songs pretty much in the can — which is to say 90% or more recorded. They all need some mixing, but we’re going to try to bust out 2 more tracks before mixing begins in earnest. The songs are heavy but not punishing. They are melodic, but not sappy. They are all fairly unique but I think they will sound pretty cohesive together on an album (except for maybe one oddball).

We’ve learned so much about recording over the last 7 months, I don’t know where to begin. But we’ve also had some setbacks. I’m not blaming anybody (*coughMattcough*), but my Digi 001 suddenly went from an 8 track recorder to 6 tracks. Not good. But we’ll pull through. We’re recording all of the instruments separately for maximum flexibility (and it just sounds better in my opinion), so this shouldn’t cause too many problems. After all of the overdubs are added on we typically end up with over 20 tracks anyway, now we’re just limited to recording 6 tracks at a time.

So anyway, the band: I haven’t even told you the name yet. We’re Darkfold. We’re on UnderUtopia Records, which is our own independent net-based label and our album is yet to be named. Darkfold consists of me, Matthew R. Coon (esquire) and Andy Riedinger (esquilax). We trade off instruments. Matt does much of our singing, but I do a bunch, too. We play heavy rock music, at least that’s what we’re focusing on at the moment. The second album could be totally different; who knows?

Anyway, I’ll try to keep y’all better informed as the album nears completion. We hope to start gigging soon, but we want to get this album done before Armageddon (which could be any day now… in fact… we’d better hurry!). This making an album thing is fucking difficult, especially with 3 fulltime jobs between us. Of course, it would be impossible without money coming in. I really respect anybody who can start a band, even a shitty one, because there’s so much that goes into making it work.

Music, Money & Class
I’ve been thinking about music and money — more specifically, music and class. A question to ponder: How much music is the world being robbed of because the would-be musicians are too poor to start a band? I mean, becoming a professional musician is basically like taking a vow of poverty to begin with (unless your name is “Paul McCartney”), but you have to have a certain level of wealth before you can even take that plunge. Buying guitars, drums, amps and assorted gear is expensive. So is buying recording equipment and practice space and a van for touring. Then, after doing that you need to find time to practice — but how can you do that if you’re working all the time to afford food, clothing and shelter, let alone the aforementioned gear/space?

So needless to say, I’m kinda shocked anybody can afford to start a rock band these days. That’s why I wasn’t too surprised to find out that many successful rock musicians were wealthy before they hit the top of the charts. Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, for instance, had rich parents to help him out when he was just getting started:

Conor: Dark? Not really. Actually I had a great childhood. My parents were wonderful. I went to a Catholic school. They have, I had money, so it was all easy. I basically had everything that I wanted anytime

Gee, wouldn’t that be nice. If my parents were bankrolling my musical endeavors I think we would’ve released 5 albums by now. Curse my middle-class upbringing! (j/k) It seems like every other star is the child of someone famous, from Norah Jones to Jakob Dylan. Rock and roll music was sparked by working class kids like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Elvis. Would those same kids have a chance in today’s cut-throat economy with all its barriers to entry?

America’s Famous Poverty Machine
So my question is: Do you have to be upper-class or at least well-off to have a good chance of making it in music these days? Do the rich people in America make the rules? Music has evolved and the bar for “good” music has been raised and if you don’t want to sign your soul away to a near-extinct dinosaur of a record label what choice do you have?

Personally, I get the feeling that we’re being fucked. The economy seems to be devised to deprive of us our hard-earned money. After inflation, college loans, housing bubbles, gas prices and the fucked up healthcare system, most people are barely scraping by. I have several friends who are still living with their parents because moving out just doesn’t make economic sense. Rent is sky-high and wages are down (even as productivity is up!). Most of my other friends have massive debt (myself included) and no easy way out.

This is the richest, most prosperous nation on earth?! Bullshit. We are being fucked by the rich. The fascist/capitalist oligarchy that controls our government is all about extracting ever more money from the poor and the middle class, not because the rich need another yacht (they don’t) but because the whole system is set up this way. It all needs to come crashing down. And at the rate the dollar is falling, it might just do exactly that. And we’ll have Bush to blame. The “legacy” they keep talking about will be one of fascism, terrorism, poverty and incompetence.

Music and class is not something most people like to talk about. It’s fair to ask, “does it matter? If the music is good, so what?” I would argue that it does matter, and we miss their unique perspectives. If you need a lot of equipment or players (like rock
and classical, respectively) the poor simply can’t play that game. And music education is already cut to the bone in inner city schools.

We’d be condemned to hearing only music created by the offspring of rich people if it wasn’t for hip-hop. Hip-hop, thankfully, can be made on the cheap if you know your way around the software (and if you have a computer) or mixer. But not everybody wants to be (or can be) a rapper. And what is the manifest goal of almost every single rapper on the radio — that’s right; getting filthy rich. (not every rapper is like that)

I don’t wanna be rich; I just want to make some music. I would love to do it for a living, but that just doesn’t seem possible these days. Signing a record contract is a great way to feel rich for a couple years before you discover the terms of the contract have impoverished you and stolen the most valuable thing you have — the copyright to your own songs. So we’re going the indie route, even if it kills us (and it might). In the meantime, I urge you to give some thought to the idea that lower and middle class folks are being shut out of the music game. Just like the other games.

I should make it clear that the most valuable commodity the rich have is time; specifically the time that comes from not having to work.

If only rich people are able to make popular, radio-friendly music we’d lose about 90% of all potential music, and we’d be subjected to endless songs about Jacuzzis, Mercedes Benz’s and Courvoisier. Thankfully, there are a lot bands out there struggling against impossible odds and making songs about real shit, like trying to pay the rent, finding their way in the world and dealing with relationships. Shit, music used to be the province of poor folks — look at all those old blues albums. Leadbelly was poor as piss, but now people think there’s a lot of money in the music game so the rich’s kids have invaded… and conquered.

Shit, the music business ain’t even worth that much, monetarily. But its cultural and entertainment value is immense! I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m whining, but I certainly have a new respect for musicians of modest means who have managed to carve out a good living for themselves without signing to a major label. I just don’t know who those bands are… -

Oh yeah — The Goodyear Pimps!

And WookieFoot! Represent, bliss junkies!

Do you know any others? Give me a shout-out!

Brad Delp, lead singer of Boston, dead at 55

This came as a shock. It’s still not clear what caused his death, but it is confirmed that Brad Delp is dead. There are no indications of foul play.

This sucks. Boston was a great band, and Brad will be missed. I caught them live back in 1995, I think it was, for their Walk On tour. It was a great show. Matt and I had 2nd row tickets. They did a killer version of A Man I’ll Never Be.

In Brad’s honor I want to post a video of More Than a Feeling. The outfits they were wearing are fucking ridiculous, but the music still holds up, 30 years later. RIP, Brad Delp.

Sad news: Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett has died

Syd Barrett, RIP

I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan, so this one hits close to home. Syd’s era isn’t my favorite part of Pink Floyd’s catalog, but he was really the cornerstone of the band. Everything they did after that point was influenced by Syd in some way or another. Pink Floyd’s second masterwork, Wish You Were Here, is considered a concept album directed at Syd Barrett. It’s one of my favorite albums and a fitting tribute to the genius that was Syd.

Looks like Syd may have died from complications related to his diabetes:

Syd Barrett, the troubled genius who co-founded Pink Floyd but spent his last years in reclusive anonymity, has died, a spokeswoman for the band said Tuesday. He was 60.The spokeswoman – who declined to give her name until the band made an official announcement – confirmed media reports that he had died. She said Barrett died several days ago, but she did not disclose the cause of death. Barrett had suffered from diabetes for many years.

Barrett co-founded Pink Floyd in 1965 with David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright, and wrote many of the band’s early songs. The group’s jazz-infused rock made them darlings of the London psychedelic scene, and the 1967 album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” – largely written by Barrett, who also played guitar – was a commercial and critical hit.

However, Barrett suffered from mental instability, exacerbated by his use of LSD. His behavior grew increasingly erratic, and he left the group in 1968 – five years before the release of Pink Floyd’s most popular album, “Dark Side of the Moon.” He was replaced by David Gilmour.

I’m actually kind of surprised that Syd lived this long. He had long since fried his brain on LSD. Actually, that might not have been the case. Gilmour has speculated that his mental problems were deep-seated and that he would’ve flipped out either way. In Gilmour’s eyes, the drugs just acted as a trigger, although Pink Floyd’s sudden fame might have been even more disorienting for Barrett.

Either way, it’s sad to see Syd go. I’m not sure that his life was all that great these days, though, so it may be a blessing for him to go peacefully. His stature in the music industry will only continue to rise with his passing. He founded one of the greatest rock and roll bands ever, and his creativity sparked their genius long after he was out of the group.

Let me be the first imagination-deprived blogger to say: Shine on, you crazy diamond.