Festival Recon part 3

It would be one thing if there were a portal in the back of Will’s Pub to teleport me to Roadburn. However, there is not and most festivals are diluted events with a few good bands and a bunch more mediocre ones from random genres.

Which is fine, but it does not make sense to travel a long distance to attend such an event. Seriously. Orlando has plenty of good food, good beer, good pot and it is legal to bring a firearm almost everywhere. There is little motivation to travel away from Florida.

Here is an account of Roadburn from someone who attended and not just speculated,


old fort at NSB

Festival Recon, Roadburn part 2

Festivals are the cruise ships of the music world. Large venues created specifically to generate profit through prolific mass consumerism. Which is fine, however, Florida has 8,436 miles of coastline and good weather almost year around. A music festival really needs to be a stellar event for me to justify putting on shoes and socks. This is part two in a series exploring weather music festivals are worth traveling to attend.

Roadburn 2019 began late on a Wednesday with a few bands that hold absolutely no interest for me, which isn’t a big deal. The line-up for Thursday begins with acts such as Myrkur. At first they seem cool, but that impression quickly passes with cheesy vocals and generic guitar riffs… no, no, no. Sherpa was playing at the same time and their 2018 album Tigris & Euphrates is psychedelic, mellow and a solid vote in favor of attending. After that Crippled Black Phoenix played and I thought they were supposed to be good. However, after watching their official video of Northern Comfort and I was unimpressed and underwhelmed.

Next Bismuth is playing and while I had not heard of them until researching this festival, they are defiantly a vote in favor attendance. Slow-core/sludge, awesome.

Great Grief, Icelandic “hardcore” was playing the Hall of Fame stage at the same time. Listening to their official video, Ivory, it sounds good at first, like proper old school east coast hardcore. Then quickly it devolves into bad metalcore. This is a textbook example of why metalcore is a bad word to so many people.

Another band playing at the same time is Molasses playing as “commissioned music” on the main stage. Listened to their EP Mourning Haze & Drops of Sunlight and it isn’t bad, but they seem to be trying to hit three genres all at once, like a mellow version of L7 imitating Luca Turilli with a surf-rock sound popping in occasionally … no, not so great.

Treha Sektori is playing Thursday as well, but experimental dark ambient does not motivate me out of my chair much less across the Atlantic. Who wants to watch a dark ambient band play? That sounds horrible and I like the genre.

Rakta is playing Thursday as well, but again, experimental post-punk does not sound appealing. That’s the type of thing that will either be really good or wretched and not a vote in favor of attending.

Hexvessel is Finnish psychedelic folk rock, they have a different sound anyway and pretty good. I probably wouldn’t sit through their entire set but I would go see them play, for sure. On another stage is Slægt, a Danish band that plays proper black metal. Definitely a vote in favor of going.

Emma Ruth Rundle, oh no. Let’s just leave it at that. Petbrick, no. Experimental noise? Fotocrime new post-punk, no. Crowhurst post-black metal, mediocre at best. Ovtrenoir it sounds like a butt-rock/hardcore hybrid. Bad vocals are pretty lame coupled with cheesy generic guitar riffs, come on now. Mono is experimental soundscape with a female vocalist and pretty good.

There were some good bands playing during the first full day of the festival. There were also quite a few stinkers as well, so the final post in this series will compare my conclusions to those of someone who attended.

The old British Fort at NSB

Festival recon, Roadburn, part 1

Music festivals pose a problem. They are far away from the recliner. I have to get up, put on shoes and then I still have to find a bag when I get there. Then half the bands are going to blow anyway. A daunting proposition involving a lot of effort and movement for an uncertain result.

Initially there was the idea of attending the Maryland Deathfest which is supposed to be the best metal festival in North America. However, Maryland in late May holds the promise of sweating profusely, slight dehydration and jock-ich. Maryland is infested with Yankees as well, so scratch that idea.

Roadburn would be next on the list, mainly a stoner and psychedelic rock festival with a few metal acts thrown in for good measure. A five day event held during April in Tilburg, Netherland with an average day time high of 58 degrees. It sounds more reasonable than deathfest. The plane ride is a deterrent, but Sleep is playing multiple sets and that is compelling.

The 2018 Roadburn line-up was stellar and I honestly regret not going. Greenmachine, Bell Witch, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor played among many other notables. This year there were a lot of questionable acts playing. But questionable does not mean bad per se, so this bears further investigation.

Festivals really do pose an enigma because no one wants to spend a couple of grand just to see crappy bands play. Can stay home and do that. The promise of seeing a handful of stellar acts all at the same venue is quite tempting as well too. Next post I will investigate some of the acts that played at Roadburn this year and in the last compare my conclusions with those of someone who attended.

The old British fort, NSB


Punk/Rock show in New Smyrna Beach

New Smyrna Beach is an old Florida beach town with a tourist problem, 300 surfable days a year and a surprisingly vibrant local music scene. People move there to get away from the traffic and noise of Orlando. A quiet little surf town full of familiar faces half remembered from blurred memories of half forgotten venues.

Obviously a punk-rock show there is an event not to be missed, so I booked a room, packed a valium and drove the 50 miles to NSB arriving just in time for drinks with friends before the first band set up.

The first band, IVVI Berry was good, groovey Shoe-Gaze. They claim to be Math Rock, but whateves. They put on a good show, however I felt the need to make fun of them for some inexplicable reason. I’m guessing a glance at the comments in their high school yearbooks would explain my gut feeling on the matter. Either way, it was a good set and found a pair of Costa sunglasses and a hash oil vape pen on the ground.

Birds on a Kill started off their set with a lot of energy and since this is Florida not everyone was wearing shoes; dad punk at it’s finest.

Around their third song things became fuzzy and I began experiencing personal earthquakes, possibly brought on by IPAs and whiskey. Nothing too serious though, the quakes being in the area of 5.6-5.8 on the Richter scale. I managed to snap a picture of the moment. Things were getting lively and I needed to seek shelter back at the hotel room, quickly.

“I’ve known Matt a long time, and when he starts repeating himself he is pretty hammered” -Danger Dobbs, member of the search and rescue team.

Because of the adverse conditions I missed Rush More‘s set, but I am sure it was stellar. In fact, my departure was so abrupt that friends mounted an abortive search and rescue effort. Despite numerous strategic and tactical difficulties my withdraw to the hotel room was completed with a minimal of casualties. I happened to be struck by falling debris. Or I fell into debris.

Regardless of the inherent hazards of falling debris and personal earthquakes, the show was a roaring success and I am looking forward to the next one.

Triumvir Foul- Spritual Bloodshed (2017)

Triumvir Foul is Portland death metal and this album fits squarely into that category. Not much more to say beyond that. The sound is not generic with elements of black metal seeping in along with well blended hints of techinal death. Which comes as a mild surprise because until now I had been under the impression that technical death metal only appealed to people in TDM bands. This album actually incorporates elements of TDM in a manner that doesn’t bore the listener. Overall, it is exactly what one would expect when hearing a description of Portland death metal. Not mind blowing, not generic and very listenable; 89%.


Some homeless musician started screaming and smashed his guitar again the light pole and then stomped off.

Black Moon Circle (2017)

, today’s selection is Black Moon Circle, Norwiegan space rock. BMC just released a new album so it seemed a like a good time to revist  their album from last year, Flowing into the 3rd Dimension. It is jammy, session ready space rock offering that rolls and meanders in an appropriate and fitting manner, recommended 93%.


This is Mosquito Lagoon just north of Cape Canaveral. This was the day I learned that mangrove snappers have teeth. Sharp teeth.