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.