Tuesday, January 14, 2014

KADAVAR: the One Direction of psych/doom/stoner rock?

OMG im loving KADAVAR! (I'm talkin, Ich bin total verliebt mit Kadavar..)

I'm loving every. fucking. thing. about Kadavar. Its getting really debilitating...

I heard that song Doomsday Machine on the mixtape for the austin psych fest, which i am so totally fucking royally stoked to go to this spring with my best bloggin buddy area.personality! Doomsday Machine is totally one of their "hit singles" off the album Abra Kadavar, which came out earlier in 2013, and I am just finding out about.

I had first seen Kadavar on the lineup for APF a month or so ago, and I could tell by their look, they were a band I would be interested in, at least giving a listen to.

SEXY AS ALL HELL. look at that hair, look at that fringe! and they're in a forest?! what?!

OMG and they're GERMANS.

So I decided after hearing the one song, that was enough, I just needed to go ahead and buy the album. They fucking RAWK. 
Being that it was the yuletide season I ended up just buying it on amazon along with a bunch of One Direction merch for my niece. Here goes my haul:

Perhaps its  just that it arrived with all this one dimension crap, or perhaps its real, but I  get the feeling that Kadavar have been manufactured specifically for my demographic. Like they are a boy band concocted by scientists following a series of intense research into my psyche. And you know what? I don't even care. In fact, if they are working overtime to brew up some more of this, then BRANG IT.

I can honestly say I love everything about Kadavar right now. They fucking rock my face off, they're German, and they're cute, which is just the icing on the rawk cake as far as I'm concerned.

I'd like to take a moment to address my extreme boy craziness: When I was a young girl, let's say 7-8 years old, the fucking New Kids on the Block were a thing. All the other little girls were losing their goddamned minds for those little shitstains, and I SO did not EVEN buy into that garbage....

....and yet, i feel their pain. I feel it when I see lawng haiyuhed, bearded wonders, like Kadavar, and the Allman Brothers, Sabbath, and Mike Harrison of Spooky Tooth. If they made a BOP magazine for psychedelic and stoner rock and doom metal, I would SO be all up on that shit.

Imagine this magazine but with their bearded visages on it....mmm

But its not just their pretty faces that have me all in a frenzy: they actually fucking wail. Besides there clearly being "hit singles" on Abra Kadavar, every single song on the album stands on its on. They bring the heavy riffage, the facemelt, the drum roll, the modulations, and the wailing on every track. I'm having a hard time discerning every lyric (which I like the mysterious factor) but the lyrics I can catch, I dig. I wonder if I would like them more if they sang in German sometimes- that kinda goes back to my mysterious factor that I dig so hard in music. Like, I can understand in German quite well, but you better believe that I would be struggling if this shit was in their native tongue, seeing as how I'm already kinda struggling to hear thru the fuzz in English.

They also are way into the hits of yesteryear as evidenced in this totally awesome mixtape they made for some scottish radio program online!  Its just great to hear them wax on about their fave jams, I could hang out with Kadavar all damn day. We srsly have so much in common, music interest wise. I just want to have them over for coffee and Lebkuchen and play records together all night.

Chermans are so serious.  (you must say that in Werner Herzog voice). Their german-ness reminds me of Scorpions a lot (and his singing voice too) Maybe its just cause theyre all Germans. And Germans be so intense. Although they actually seem quite lighthearted to be Deutsch.

This other video for the other hit single off of their most recent album, Abra Kadavar, is also a straight up motherfuckin winner. I need for you to remind yourself while you watch it that they are GERMANS and the whole viedo takes on a new light..

Germans be loving them some wild west shit! and who can blame them really? Its a great vibe/look, and the boys just rock it so well. Goes great with their sound :-)

I like their total Motorhead influenced foto:


I love the story about this motorhead foto, where the band all had this vision of the look they wanted, and they just knew the record company was going to fly them to the States to go out to the desert and have a foto shoot, and instead they just took them to some guy's sandpit outside of London. Still looks legit tho.

I read this interview with Wolf Lindemann of Kadavar last night (which is great) about how their last attempt at US tour was thwarted by visa issues, so they just ended up doing a crosscountry drive thru the desert in a hotrod. I'm glad they did, because thats honestly probably way more fun than touring, and they got so many photo ops out of the situation, not to mention a kickass video. Just enough press to drum up everyone into a frenzy for them to get back and perform.

In that same interview they also talked about how they came up with them name, which was interesting, because they totally dont sound like you might expect from the name, but also its a cool ass name, and the spelling makes it look cool and i just feel them so hard on that shit! Here's the excerpt:

The first time I heard of you, I was like “Kadavar… What is it ? A black metal band ?”. How did you guys come up with such a name ? 
WL : The idea was to find something easy, one word. We also wanted something German that people could understand everywhere. We’re German, so why would we copy all the other American ou English bands ? We sat at my place for three nights, got drunk and stoned, we were just throwing words around on a piece of paper. The name “Kadaver” came up, it sounded dark and evil but actually we’re not. Then we had a photoshoot and that guy sent us the files later with an “AR” at the end, I looked at the names with the three A’s and found it cool.

plus their logo  is amazing with those letters. nice job, Kadavar!! (Totally about to have to buy me some Kadavar merch with that logo, whaaat.

I think its pretty ridiculous that they gave each other animal names, but then, its also totally awesome. They are Christoph "Wolf (Lupus)" Lindemann, Christoph "Tiger" Bartelt, and Simon "Dragon" Bouteloup. All the better to get all tweenaged girl on them with.

But srsly, do you not see the similarities?

Behold: the standing about pose:

The playful scene:

I am SO ready to go dork around on a swing with Kadavar.

the dressed up for date night look:

Oh, where yall taking me for dinner?

Both songs I've featured here were off the most recent album, but their first self titled album also rules. It just doesnt seem to have much "hit singles" or whatever as Abra Kadavar. Here is probably one of the more catchy ones off the first album:

But more important than "hit singles" or whatever, the first album just shreds on and on and on.

In conclusion I have nothing but praise for this hard rocking, facemelting, trio of perfection.  Here is their breakdown based on my archaic star rating system:

heaviness  5/5
flower-power (aka scooby-doo-itude) 5/5
mysteriousness  4/5
fuzziness 4/5
rawness 5/5
shredding 5/5
funk 3/5 (they aint all that funky, but the basslines be poppin)
swampiness 2/5 (not much slide awn it, but it doesnt need to be)
foxiness 7/5

Cant wait to see them at Austin Psych Fest this spring!!!! I sure hope they do a tour of the USA while they are here, and most importantly I hope they play Atlanta, although I would happily travel to other cities to see them, multiple times. They just need to get they dates posted to I can ask off of work accordingly. Bis sp├Ąter, liebe Kadavar!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ms Mabel Florence: Live! at Stone Mountain

Last weekend I went for a walk at Stone Mountain and on a whim I decided to cruise down by the carillon, and guess what: I was just in time for a live show!

Man, I guess there's not many carillons here in Georgia, but according to wikipedia there are many in Europe. Basically its a big ass set of bells, and someone controls them on this keyboard/foot pedal panel thing that looks like an organ. They totally kick ass and they look beautiful too. This is clearly a departure from normal "rawk talk" but the bells are fucking enchanting as fuck, especially in stone mountain and I feel like talking about their particular brand of rawking.

It was cold as all fuck when I was there last weekend, and it was a grey day, so the bell tower looked ominous.....

....or as my friend Kimberly pointed out, it totally looked like Mordor.....

Here's a picture from a sunnier day:

That's actually just the bell tower (which really just holds some big ass speakers). The bells are actually underground from what I understand, and are amplified there. Also I found out that this particular set of bells, while it was originally the largest in the world, in the 60's, is not even really considered a carillon by the snobs over at the Guild of Carilloneurs. I bet Ms. Mabel Florence would beg to differ.

From reading the guild's website I found out that you essentially have to go to college and major in being a carillon player to learn how to play the damn things. Alternatively you can be taken on as an intern or whatever by some carilloneur that believes in you. 

Here's the totally tranquil amphitheater at stone mountain where you can chill and soak in all the epic glory of the bells. The vibes they put off are totally wicked.
Here's a photo I took of the lady playing the console. That thing looks so sweet!! Its all woodgrained and retro! It also totally looks whimsical as fuck. 
In other photos I've seen of her she is all dressed up to perform, but as I mentioned it was cold as all hell that day so she was pretty bundled, even though it appears to be heated inside there. But scope those pedals would you? Its all knobs and switches and magic in there! 

Here's a way better photo of her that this lady took. Apparently she usually has her canine buddy in there with her too, but I'm sure she kept him home and cozy due to the bitter cold the day I was there. 

I've been knowing about those bells for a long time, seeing as how I grew up in stone mountain and all. I don't always make it out there but I do love to swing through on occasion. And being that stone mountain is in the general vicinity of atlanta there tends to be sweet stone mountain related ephemera to be found in junk shops and thrift stores in the area. For instance these sweet combs I found a bag full of at My Favorite Place:

fucking groovy. 

I also found this kickass record of the bells a while back. This was at a thrift store in chamblee as well (a favorite township for junkin in, also where I attended high school) This record is great because it brings all the magic of the bells right into your living room.

Here's some photos of the back of that record, which supplies some info about the bells, the mountain, and the dude who plays on the album, recorded in the 60's. He was totally a carillon composer:

Here is my shitty video of the tailend of Ms Mabel playing Georgia on My mind on the carillon last weekend. She played a bunch of great classic German sounding, magical jewelry box sounding music, but then she also totally played a bunch of covers of pop stuff which was killer.

And finally, here is photo my sister took at legoland with my niece and nephews the other day. This is a fucking LEGO version of the carillon at stone mountain, under attack by clone storm troopers!

Sure hope that never happens in real life!

Carillon live sets are Saturdays and Sundays at stone mountian park at like one and four, I think. Its enchanting as fuck, and great entertainment for people of all ages. and its free, so go soak in the glory of the bells, yall.