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Kali Masi "Guilt Like A Gun"

Kali Masi has released the third single, "Guilt Like A Gun", from their forthcoming album, [laughs], which is due out on March 26th via Take This To Heart.

This is the sophomore album from the quartet of Anthony Elliott, John Garrison, Wes Moore and Sam Porter.

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Save Our Wicked Lady

Having lived all over this city and its vicinity for a good number of years (Jersey Cit-tay!) this blog writer finally ended up in the borough of Brooklyn in 2019 and felt a sense of unrestrained joy at being in the middle of a live music mecca and seeing tons of shows at tons of venues. And one of the most special of these venues has been Our Wicked Lady aka OWL.

Ever since the pandemic first hit, OWL done everything right. They’ve sold food and delivered beer and bottles of liquor and sold shirts and other merch and even held an online auction. They've supported their staff and their customers by opening OWL's rooftop bar with safety precautions in place, and supported live music by hosting and livestreaming audience-less shows for anyone to stream, with optional donations, and even made those shows viewable in real time from the rooftop.

But despite their efforts there's one major catch. New York's regulatory laws for bars and nightclubs are famously complex and capricious--even under the best of circumstances--harder to discern and follow than it is to figure out what exactly is going on with Andrew Cuomo’s nipple rings or clamps or piercings or pasties or breast milk pumps under his form fitting polo shirts. So no big surprise then that a worldwide pandemic and the subsequent chaotic and disorganized response has only made things that much more difficult for small business owners, bars and clubs in particular.


Regrettably but understandably, the proprietors of Our Wicked Lady have recently come to the conclusion that they must shut down for the time being, and raise significant funds to continue on in the future. So please, if you can, OWL is a crucial venue to this borough and its inhabitants and its music, and all those who enjoy its music, and they deserve your support if you’re someone who reads this blog and if you have the wherewithal which, sadly and understandably, many don’t. But if you do, you can donate to the Our Wicked Lady go.fund.me HERE or buy sexy OWL merchandise HERE and also read more about the people behind OWL and their plight in a recent Reckless Magazine feature HERE.

And now for the personal testimonial part. Two shows in particular at Our Wicked Lady are extra vivid in my mind at this moment even in my quarantine addled state. The first was a packed rooftop show in late summer 2019 as part of Jonathan Toubin’s Sunday Soul Scream series. It was an interesting bill to say the least with its diametrical extremes between the two featured acts but they worked perfectly together, kind of like one of those McDLT sandwiches. Appearing on stage first was L.A.’s Warm Drag with their cool vibez and programmed beats and textured noise and waves of fuzzed-out psych guitar complete with reverb-laden male-female vocalizing kind of like a darkwave Cramps. 

 

And then next they were followed by the King Khan and BBQ Show which was just straight up god damn rock ‘n’ roll (referencing the Cramps again) something like watching a combination religious tent revival and illicit basement burlesque show led by a man inhabited simultaneously by both Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis but with less sense of restraint than either. (!) Truly it was one of those shows where it feels like the crowd turns into one big amorphous organism all moving and shouting and singing and dancing and jostling together--fully achieving a sense of pure ecstatic rock ‘n’ roll communion that’s sadly lacking in these covidly times. 

The other show that stands out at Our Wicked Lady was one of the last shows I saw period in March 2020, an indoor show that had more of an indoor feel to it--like a private party between friends, and indeed there were many friends and fellow musicians there, but with a vibe where anyone could join in and be comfortable. I won’t go into musical details on this one since there were four acts but I’ll list them off--Kino Kimino (see below), Vanessa Silberman, Catty, and Janet LaBelle--and this was another one of those “something kinda magical happening here” shows.

Thinking back on this Kino Kimino et al. show highlights something that’s only been reinforced by witnessing the recent outpouring of love and concern around the plight of Our Wicked Lady. And that's how OWL in its four or five years of existence seems to have created and sustained an authentic community among its regulars, musicians, and employees (categories that easily overlap) which is not the kind of thing that can be easily replaced or replaced at all. Also, during the four or five months that I’ve been the blogger for this site, it’s become that much more apparent how much OWL is a central hub for Brooklyn’s music scene, and certainly for quite a few of the individual bands I’ve written about, some of which I’ve never even gotten to see live so I have my own selfish motives here.

And finally, for any aspiring filmmakers out there, here a little tip: there’s a Decline of Western Civilization Part IV just waiting to be made at OWL alongside other local venues (I’m sure Penelope Spheeris will license the franchise no problem) (LA is over) (jk) so we just need to get these venues around the last lap of this thing and get some bands up on stage like maybe OWL stalwarts like Ash Jesus and Bipolar and Spite FuXXX (see above) plus some others and this’ll be ready to happen. (Jason Lee)

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Devon Kay & the Solutions "Oh My, Oh My, We're Far Past That Now"

Devon Kay & the Solutions have released a new single called "Oh My, Oh My, We're Far Past That Now". This is the band's second single since the release of their 2020 album Limited Joy.

This is the indie rock of Devon Kay (Guitar/Vocals), Ryan Scottie (Drums/Vocals), Jacob Horn (Trombone), Jake Levinson (Bass), Ian Terry (Trumpet), and Joram Zbichorski (Keyboards/Guitar).

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2020 Year in Review: Death Valley Girls

This writer is still stuck in "2020 Year In Review" mode because this writer refuses to believe that 2021 has even begun yet. Let's agree this past week was merely the afterbirth of 2020 and move on to the real start of the year next week mmm'kay? And let's pray we're not dealing with evil 2020/2021 twins because I'm guessing they'd make those twins from The Shining look like nothing more than the "cousins...identical cousins" from The Patty Duke Show. Anyway, here's one of my fave rekkids from last year I mean this year:

Artist: Death Valley Girls
Record: Under the Spell of Joy

Imagine if the Manson Girls had talked Charlie out of that whole Tate-LaBianca nonsense and instead wrote a bunch of cool songs and talked Mr. Helter Skelter into murdering his guitar parts instead of writing drivel like “Look At Your Game Girl” and then enrolled as a group in some EST seminars and you may have ended up with something like this album rather than a bunch of dead bodies. On the Death Valley Girls’s fourth full-length, frontwoman Bonnie Bloomgarden and company subtly expand their sonic palette with a mix of funhouse organ and guitar, fevered sax squalls, motivational mantras (a children’s choir is even brought into service!) and a clutch of songs that put the “mesmerism” back into “mesmerizing.”



Opening track “Hypnagogia” sets the tone with its cascading layers of sound enveloping the listener in the liminal state of its title--a word for the twilight consciousness between wakefulness and sleep--a state that holds sway more or less to the last track with its declaration that “life is but a dream / that is really happening.” A kinda concept album about joy made by a gothy garage-psych band previously drawn to all things dark and spooky it’s unsurprising that DVG doesn’t offer up too many bromides here--”You will survive / while you’re alive” is pragmatic uplift--but the joy on offer *is* unhesitating and unadulterated. Best of all UTSOJ manages to capture something akin to the blissful state I’ve experienced alongside many others at DVG’s incredible live shows. And that’s a joyous thing indeed. (Jason Lee)

photo credit: Abby Banks

 





Devil's Dildo unleash "Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker"

To be clear this writer doesn't know a lot about Devil's Dildo but that's ok, here's all you need to know: 1) They livecast a DJ set and new-song-unveiling two nights ago on Baby TV that felt like it was beamed from deep inside the duo's collective unconscious and it was a spooky, sexy, strange place to be. Leading up to the witching-hour the DJ stream cut out periodically--and just as mysteriously resumed--for violating something called "community standards" but I can tell you on my end the violation was quite consensual. I mean what's a little crotch thrusting and foot licking between friends? 2) The DJ set was a perfect teaser for this Devil's Night/All Hallows' Eve weekend. Hearing "There's A Moon In The Sky (Called The Moon)" and "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be" played back-to-back is a pretty magical thing. 3) Judging from their debut single below--named after an early '80s sleazoid shocker that fits the Devil's Dildo like a glove--the duo's aesthetic is in fact not unlike AC/DC-meets-the-B52's. Or maybe just maybe this leather-clad, freak-flag-flying pair is the second cumming of the Cramps but translated to drum machine, bass guitar and sculpted noise. I doubt Lux (R.I.P.) and Ivy would mind the comparison.

Most important of all: Devil's Dildo will appear tonight as part of what looks to be an epic all-covers variety show spectacular featuring the music of the Stooges, TSOL, The Damned, Cocteau Twins, Poison Idea, Void, Ramones, Misfits, Las Vulpes, and more if you ask nicely. The show will broadcast from Greenpoint's very own Saint Vitus in case you had any doubts of its heavitude. Proceeds of the show will benefit Black Trans Femmes In The Arts. (Jason Lee)

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