lørdag 31. mars 2012

Drammen: RR #6

Møtevert: Ridder Roch N. Råll
Møtedato: 24.03.12

1. Crippled Black Phoenix: Troublemaker (8.8)
1. Tool: Parabola (8.8)
1. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Medley(8.8)
4. Morphine: Gone For Good (8.6)
5. Cold Blood: Kissing My Love (8.4)
5. Black Sabbath: Warpigs (8.4)
5. Herb Alpert: Tijuana Taxi (8.4)
8. Hedvig Mollestad Trio: Ashes (8.2)
8. Motorpsycho: Nothing To Say (8.2)
8. Bob Marley: Don´t Worry (8.2)
11. Deep Purple: Lazy (8.0)
11. Soundgarden: Spoonman (8.0)
11. Blood, Sweat and Tears: When I Die (8.0)
11. Ufomammut: Down(8.0)
11. Mono: Halo (8.0)
11. The Knack: My Sharona (8.0)

onsdag 28. mars 2012

Russian Circles: Empros

Russian CirclesEmpros
Label: Sargent House
Release date: 2011Oct25
Rating: 4/5

I remember the first time i heard Russian Circles’ debut record Enter. Their dark, complex instrumental rock put me under their spell and they’ve been working their magic since then. Their following records, Station and Geneva, didn’t disappoint and continued to evolve the band’s output. Their new record takes a quick look in the rear view mirror before heading into the future with a vicious grin.

It’s no secret that many post rock bands often repeat their former glories as they have to rely on soundscapes rather than on melody. The wellknown policy of “quiet/loud” has been overdone by a huge number of bands since Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor first wrote that template in the end of the nineties. Luckily, Russian Circles has fused the classical post rock sound with a technical and metallic groove. This is clearly evident during the first few tracks on the album.

The opening track “309″ rips a hole through the listener with its aggressive guitars and in-your-face attitude, while follow-up “Mladek” is a passionate post rock crescendo. Neither track let the listener forget that one’s listening to Russian Circles even though the tracks veer from complex math rock to sweeping melodies. They’ve managed through their four records and seemingly constant touring (recently with bands such as Boris and Deafheaven) to weld a unique expression unlike most other bands of the instrumental rock genre. It’s puzzling; other post rock records often have a clear sense of sound throughout an entire record. This makes it easier for the listener to be lulled into a trance; to be lost in the music. That never happens with Russian Circles; they won’t let you tune out. Instead they throw the listener constant curveballs which makes it evermore interesting to keep up with the band.

I’m listening to the vinyl version of Empros which i feel makes a whole lot of difference to the end output. I’m aware that streaming and digital downloads are the future and i cherish the possibility to go outside with tens-of-thousands of songs at my fingertips. Still – i highly value the format of the vinyl record: 7″ singles, LP’s and gatefold record covers help make the music more visual for the listener. Empros is close empty of words; only a few word of thanks along with the titles, but the gatefold picture of a flash light and the reddened cover picture of the sun through forest trees makes the music more epic and visceral.

(Published at Mind Over Metal 06.04.12)

tirsdag 27. mars 2012

Rockens Riddere United 2012!

I 2012 har Rockens Riddere nok en gang utvidet sitt virke. Ikke bare har vi etablert et interaktivt nettsted med ressurser på Facebook og Twitter - vi har fått etablert en avdeling i Drammen Rock City!

Dette er særdeles hyggelig, men det fordrer at vi jobber for å beholde den gode atmosfæren i ordenen. Hvis vi vokser for fort og utydelig, kan vi raskt bli ukjente for hverandre og man mister samholdet og lojaliteten i ordenens indre. Dette føler jeg kan bekjempes på tre måter:

* Et aktivt og interaktivt nettsted: De av våre riddere som registrerer seg som skribenter på vårt nettsted kan bidra med anmeldelser, anbefalinger, bilder, etc. i tillegg til alle referatene fra møtene våre. Ingenting er for lite - ingenting er for stort.

* Uniformering: Sentralstyrets ridder Bergan har begynt å se litt nærmere på muligheten for å anskaffe hoodies til ridderne. Samtidig har avd. Drammen begynt å tenke på å få laget t-skjorter. Dette arbeidet burde vi kunne samkjøre - har noen innspill til hvordan vi kan gjøre dette?

* Årlig konferanse: I 2011 ble det avholdt et spesialmøte i forbindelse med ordenens tiårsjubileum. Da deltok ridderne Nyberg og Vik fra avd. Odalen på et særdeles hyggelig to dager langt rockstevne. Det kunne vært interessant å få gjort dette på nytt i år for alle ridderne i ordenen. Noen tanker til hvordan vi kan få gjennomført dette?

Kjør debatt!

torsdag 22. mars 2012

Crippled Black Phoenix @ Parkteateret

Band: Crippled Black Phoenix
Venue: Parkteateret
City: Oslo, Norway
Date: 2012Mar18

I witnessed Motorpsycho deliver an awe-inspiring concert only two days before, but they would be quickly forgotten as Crippled Black Phoenix burned through one of the best concerts I’d ever seen. The British band, led by Justin Greaves (formerly of Electric Wizard and Iron Monkey), has become one of the premier European prog rock bands today. Their recent record (Mankind) The Crafty Ape is the perfect fusion of Pink Floyd‘s epic scope and Led Zeppelin‘s hard-hitting groove.

Their setup on stage, with militant anarchist banners behind the drum kit reminded me of British sci-fi from the eighties; near-future visions of a totalitarian society. That fit well with the band’s aestethic, though. They’ve always been faithful to the underground and throughout the evening they reminded us of this with songs that remain strongly anti-establishment. OWS, indeed.

The band entered the small stage to the sampled sound of a girl choir. The seven-man strong band quickly shed this angelic feel as they launched into the robotic intro from their latest record; “Nothing (We Are)”. They let of a strong sense of communal spirit, even though Justin Greaves is the band’s sole remaining founding member. The band were in a good mood, and mocked their own petty errors with ease; a faulty pedal and mic stand turned into “we bring demons to the proceedings”, while the Journey song “Of A Lifetime” was introduced as a song “from back when they still were a good band”. Their mix of progressive/post rock, the anti-establishment topics and their outgoing mood gave me a feeling of seeing the good-humoured little brother of Godspeed You(!) Black Emperor and other bands from the Constellation roster.

What blew me away was the crystal-clear-yet-heavier-than-thou sound. This blended with great mood lighting to set the stage for the band as they continued their run through (Mankind) The Crafty Ape with “The Heart Of Every Country” and “Get Down And Live With It”. Their darkened muscle rock enveloped the crowd in a tight grip and didn’t let go until over two hours later. The songs were securely fastened by the solid rhythm section which made it possible for Justin Greaves to let the Karl Dematas guitar shine. This night he was one of the definite highlights with dazzling fretwork and blistering solos that connected the band’s love for seventies progressive rock with more traditional hard rock and heavy metal.

But Crippled Black Phoenix is more than loud guitars; the band’s primary asset is atmosphere. It doesn’t matter if they rock like Deep Purple in ’72, or have a quiet, bluesy session that just as easily could have happened in a dark club in Birmingham in ’69—it’s easy to be transported back in time.

The band shares vocal duties, but most songs are led by singer Joe Volk, who looks like a member of Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand with a hoarse voice reminiscent of WASP‘s Blackie Lawless. Demata and Greaves’ fitting backing vocals give a little extra punch, while pianist Miriam Wolf adds sleek dimension. As their brilliant set drew to an end, Crippled Black Phoenix took it up a notch and launched into the transcendental duo of “Rise Up And Fight” and “Burnt Reynolds”, blazing a swathe of smiles as far as the eye could see, before their inevitable rebirth through ash.

(Published on Mind Over Metal 27.03.2012)

Odalen: RR #24

Møtevert: Ridder Skogbakken
Møtedato: 14.01.12

1. Alice In Chains: Would? (8.75)
2. Queens Of The Stone Age: Feel Good Hit Of The Summer (8.5)
2. Sólstafir: Fjara (8.5)
2. David Lynch: Pinky's Dream (8.5)
5. Blitzen Trapper: The Man Who Would Speak True (8.25)
5. Maybeshewill: Farewell To Sarajevo (8.25)
7. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Candy's Room (8.0)
7. The Gutter Twins: We Have Met Before (8.0)
7. Mark Lanegan Band: Metamphetamine Blues (8.0)
7. Einstürzende Neubauten: Haus Der Lüge (8.0)
11. ZZ Top: I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide (7.5)
11. Roger Græsberg & The Anti-Music Bonanza: City Streets (7.5)
11. Machine Head: Locust (7.5)
11. De Press: Lars Hertervig (7.5)
11. William Elliot Whitmore: There's Hope For You (7.5)

onsdag 21. mars 2012

Motorpsycho & Ståle Storløkken @ Sentrum Scene

Band: Motorpsycho with Ståle Storløkken
Venue: Sentrum Scene
City: Oslo, Norway
Date: 2012Mar16

The phrase “rock opera” is rarely used in music literature today—having been reduced to a joke by egocentric rock bands in the late 1970s. I shudder at the thought of those bloated excesses and egos, and even if I’ve never had any love for punk rock, I appreciate that rock had returned to the small clubs by the end of the punk revolution.

So, why then did I go to see a rock opera last night? Well, partly because I have some love for records like Tommy by The Who and Southern Rock Opera by Drive-by Truckers. But the main reason is the fact that the rock opera The Death Defying Unicorn was made by my favorite band of all time, Motorpsycho. This is a band that started out in the midst of the grunge era with the metallic punk sound of Lobotomizer, proved to be indie cult legends with records like Demon Box and Timothy’s Monster, played jazz with The Source and Jaga Jazzist, did outlaw country as The International Tussler Society, defined modern hard rock with Trust Us and soft rock with Phanerothyme.

After they parted with long-time drummer Håkon Gebhardt and released the aptly-titled Black Hole/Blank Canvas to rid themselves of old habits. They returned as a three-piece with Kenneth Kapstad to fuse their entire past into a mighty monster of sound: pop harmonies, heavy metal riffs, prog rock compexity, and jazz improvisation. This resulted in three wonderful rock albums, earlier this year, a live magnum opus.

I was eager to see how they’d play the songs from The Death Defying Unicorn as a fourpiece since the fabric of many of these songs are a perfect weave of progressive rock, eight horns and nine strings. The answer – the band’s ally on this tour and record: Ståle Storløkken. He has been a integral part of norwegian experimental music since he first surfaced as a member of jazz band Veslefrekk and has become a veritable living legend with bands like Supersilent and Elephant9. His Hammond organ, effects, and synths supplement the band’s sound perfectly. Even when improvising around the orchestral parts of the record, it seemed few missed the horns and strings tonight.

In the last year Motorpsycho have played a few concerts that’s improved the visual aspect of their music. Evenings in cathedrals in Oslo and Trondheim showed a band that’s truly stepping out of time and into a world of their own, helping them reach yet another pinnacle in their career. However, the beautiful lights were only the dressing this chilly March evening, as the band entered the stage to the sampled horns from “Out Of The Woods” rolling over the audience.

It’s difficult to point at particular highlights in the setlist; the songs are woven together both in sound and lyrics. But throughout the concert I noticed the fun and outgoing mood of the band; jests and smiles are shared, nods and quick looks lead through the different musical movements. When the lights flashed, Storløkken’s shrouding monk hood and Sæther’s silver-lined bat cape blazed before my eyes. Though, the most dazzling part of the evening is the improvisation: a much-loved aspect of the Motorpsycho saga. The band’s love of Grateful Dead, King Crimson and Deep Purple underpin their own improv; I’ve witnessed the band expanding five-minute tracks into forty-minute mammoths. They expertly adapted The Death Defying Unicorn where necessary; creating refreshing oases in an ever-expanding desert of mainstream music.

Bassist Bent Sæther and guitarist Snah Ryan have been icons since they first founded the band in the early ’90s and their sound is like hearing the voice of old friends; the rumbling, fuzzy bass and the guitars that’s reminiscent of both Ritchie Blackmore, John Coltrane and Duane Allman. But tonight’s concert would not be possible without drummer extraordinaire/technical wunderkind Kenneth Kapstad, and the unquestionable talent of Ståle Storløkken.They were, naturally, cheered back onto the stage for encores.

The first song was an inspired run through their four-part epic “Gullible’s Travails” from their previous studio effort Heavy Metal Fruit. But their second encore was introduced with fair warning from bassist/singer Bent Sæther (“If you want to go home with a warm, fuzzy prog feeling inside – leave now! We’re ‘trøndere’ – we need to act out!”) before launching into a brilliant version of Deep Purple‘s “Burn”—one of my definitive favorites in the Deep Purple song catalog. [Mine, too! ~Ed.] Motorpsycho did a laid back and wonderfully sloppy version of the classic and it was a fun ending to a great evening with a magnificent rock band.

(publisert på Mind Over Metal 21.03.12)

lørdag 17. mars 2012

Rockens Ridder - en superhelt er født!

Det var vel bare et spørsmål om tid; i kveld har superhelten Rockens Ridder blitt født og står frem som rockens beskytter og den dårlige musikkens erkefiende. Hans identitet er ukjent for å beskytte hans kjære, men han lover at han vil kjempe for hele menneskehetens gode smak.

Hans krefter er elektriske gitarfingre, ultrasonisk heavybrøl samt evnen til å fly hvis låtene han hører på har fått karakter 10. Hans svakheter er lite kjent, men det går rykter om at han er svak for godt sukret te og funk fra syttitallet.

Vi har vært ekstremt heldig og fått de første bildene av denne helten som kjemper for vår sak. Så, mine damer og herrer - la meg presentere Rockens Ridder:

tirsdag 13. mars 2012

Regler for innlegging av div. innspill.

For at denne websiden skal bli oversiktlig og brukbar for alle riddere og avdelinger er det viktig at man følger enkelte grunnregler:

1) Referater: det er allerede beskrevet i egen post hvordan denne typen innlegg skal føres.

2) Konsertanmeldelser: Man kan legge inn bilder, konsertanmeldelser og annen konsertrelatert informasjon på denne siden. NB! Man MÅ dog huske å merke dette innlegget med etiketten 'Konsertanmeldelse' (allerede definert) slik at man lett kan finne tilbake til denne typen innlegg.

3) Plateanmeldelser: Nå holder vi jo en del av kort nært til brøstet når det kommer til plateanbefalinger, etc. Likevel - man kan legge inn slik informasjon (anbefalinger, anmeldelser, etc) på siden. Man MÅ dog huske å merke dette innlegget med etiketten 'Plateanmeldelse' (allerede definert) slik at man lett kan finne tilbake til denne typen innlegg.

4) Hvis man skulle ha noe annet å melde kan man enten bruke vår Twitterprofil eller legge inn innlegget på denne siden. NB! Benytt da en etikett som er forståelig og allment beskrivende for innholdet. Benytt gjerne en eksisterende etikett for ikke å overdrive antall kategorier av emner.

søndag 11. mars 2012

Sentralstyret: RR #35

Møtevert: Ridder Nordal, Oslo
Møtedato: 12.02.12

1. Motorpsycho, Wearing Yr Smell (8.25)
2. Earth, Engine Of Ruin (7.75)
3. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, I'll Cut You Down (7.50)
3. Alcest, Les Voyages De L'Âme (7.50)
3. Tusk, Life's Denial (7.50)
3. Sleepy Sun, Sleepy Son (7.50)
7. OK GO, Needing/Getting (7.25)
7. Madrugada, Vocal (7.25)
9. Fall Of Efrafa, Fall Of Efrafa (7.25)
10. Ulver, Operator (7.00)
10. Thåström, Beväpna Dig Med Vingar (7.00)
10. Swans, Eden Prison (7.00)
10. The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, All Is One (7.00)
10. Morphine, Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer (7.00)
10. Explosion In The Sky, Let Me Back In (7.00)
10. Joy Division, Day Of The Lords (7.00)
10. Judas Priest, You've Got Another Thing Coming (7.00)

Regler for innlegging av referat.

Referatene på denne bloggsiden vil ikke inneholde referater eldre enn 01.01.2012. Den enkelte avdeling bes være ansvarlig for sine egne referater. Referatene bes dog oversendt til ordenens webmaster en gang årlig for dokumentasjon og historiebevaring.

Referatene som publiseres på disse websidene skal inneholde:

1) Møtevert: Ridder (etternavn)
2) Møtedato: (dd.mm.åå)
3) De 15 beste låtene fra kvelden. Formatet på referatet skal være:

* plassering (1. til 15.plass).
* band/musiker.
* låttittel.
* karakter.

F.eks: 6. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sweet Home Alabama (7.75)

Dette vil gjøre referatene mer oversiktlige og gi de andre avdelingene og evt. utenforstående den nødvendige informasjon. De fulle referatene skal selvsagt inneholde all informasjon (enkeltkarakterer, riddernavn, etc).

4) Referent publiserer en spilleliste fra WiMP/Spotify for de fleste av disse låtene på vår Facebook- og Twitterprofil.

5) Etiketten for referatinnlegget skal være avdelingsnavnet.

6) Informasjonen som er spesifisert i dette innlegget skal sendes til webmaster for publisering på disse sidene eller legges inn av avdelingsreferent som er autorisert som forfatter på våre websider.

7) Man kan også legge inn opptil 3 gode bilder fra møtet for å illustrere/dokumentere det som skjedde.