AMG reviews as we head into fall…

And another large batch here. I really need to try and be more timely with these updates…

Terrastock Friday — live reports!

As with yesterday, live reports on the sets as they happen, plus photos here and there in the Flickr stream [EDIT: and now that all the photos are up and tagged and all, I’ll add some plus direct links back to appropriate band websites; however, my initial impressions will stand as they are.]:

United Bible Studies preach the gospel

United Bible Studies — another fine surprise, specially recommended by sleeve on ILX. Reminds me a bit of a more electric/folk and less goth Unto Ashes given the blend of styles that resolve into a dark lilting intensity, both loud and fragile. Sharron Kraus guested, which leads me to…

Sharron Kraus takes it solo

Sharron Kraus — unsurprisingly wonderful, performing on violin and banjo. Heavy and expected anticipation for this one given her many collaborations. After a fine solo set on banjo, she’s joined by the United Bible Studies on vocals and drums while she plays violin on a ‘midsummer song.’ Quite lovely and rich sounding, a great closer!

Ignatz — took a break to chat outside with friends and otherwise relax a bit, but what I heard sounded good, v. Loren Connors spiked with harsher edges.

Antietam do their thing

Antietam — never really had an opinion on them in the past, a certain respect but no more. Their set confirms this — loud, energetic, a couple of strong moments but little else to add.

Black Forest Black Sea let it all fall apart just so

Black Forest/Black Sea — a beautiful fragmented glow. This has always been the case with Black Forest/Black Sea, and this afternoon is one of their best. Working without a PA and letting their voices and spindly, crackling performances set the tone, and we’re all duly enraptured. A highlight.

Sleeping Pill — aka Ira and Georgia from Yo La Tengo. It’s an experimental set for them but again, it’s time for chat and circulation for me. I do like what I hear though!

Tanakh, Terrastock 7 version

Tanakh — Jesse Poe rapidly pulls together an ad hoc group — and I helped! In a small way. Kawabata was already on board, I grabbed Joe Turner and he got Brendan Quinn in, flagged down the lead fellow from United Bible Studies when Jesse mentioned he’d love to see if they could help, looks like Tara Jane O’Neill is there too maybe (whoops, I’m wrong — it’s a fellow in a very Tara like hat, wait it’s Kris Thompson, of course! Three quarters of Abunai!) and the end result is magic, everyone playing following Jesse’s lead and doing a damn great job. Kawabata and Brendan’s filigrees stand out but the whole is as lushly romantic as Tanakh is at their best. A pleasure and I hope there’s an official recording, and Jesse’s wideeyed humility and generosity is evident.

Plastic Crimewave lights up

Plastic Crimewave Sound
— biker spacerock messiah crucified strutting feedback motorik YEARGH! Total goddamn compliment. Makes the sunset seem like a nuclear blast. Give these guys a B-movie to star in!

Linus Pauling Quartet and their littlest fan

Linus Pauling Quartet — somewhere between the volume, the educational films and Satan and Dungeons and Dragons, I saw God and he said YARRRRRRGH!!!!! From Texas. Naturally.


Major Stars — Wayne and Kate are very much in love for how else would they fondle each other’s feedback so well? “Just” another Major Stars set, in that hair was everywhere as was the fog from the fog machine. The neighbors up the hill hopefully have escaped to local bars.

Damon and Naomi — skipped this one as I’ve seen them at past Tstocks and enjoyed them well enough but conversation called and I took it easy…though I did see their last couple of songs accompanied by…


Helena Espvall and Masaki Batoh — noise, chaos, serenity, reflection, epic rock. I would say more but it is late. Roll on Saturday!

Some more AMG reviews for January