Shows and shows and shows.

Anyone who knows me knows my main M.O. in life is being submerged in live music.  I crave the vibrations rattling my brain, the sweat from dancing and jumping and being thrown around in the pit.  I love the stage and being in front of the lights with the world watching.  I love the anticipation as the lights go down.  It’s my happy place.  The few times when I’m completely free and unburdened.  This list is more for my own personal accounting than anything else; the history of my obsession if you will.

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A moment 15 years in the making.

Let’s rewind shall we? It’s 2002.  I’m 13 years old and starting to dive head first into the world of Japanese Rock and Visual Kei.  I’ve started veering away from the big names and am getting into the indie scene.  That’s when I hear it, Pop Is Dead. I’m instantly obsessed.  I eat up everything I can find.  His previous band, Due Le Quartz, his fashion and modeling career, everything.  For the next 6-7 years, half of everything I do is influenced by this musician.  The way I cut and dyed my hair, my clothes, my mannerisms.  My senior prom hair style? From a fashion ad he did for Atelier Boz.  My first tattoo? The placement and style were heavily influenced for the tattoos he had.  In fact all the way up until 2011 or 2012, I still had every album he released preordered and in my mits within days of the release.  Over the years I’ve since lost my absolute enamorment but his impact never went away and my admiration for him is still strong.  Despite all of this though, I had never seen him live.  His first few shows in the US were always few and far between and never accessible.  Later, I would find out about shows days or weeks AFTER they happened.  I had basically accepted that in this case, I would just never have the opportunity to see him live.

So why do you care? Time to move forward in time to Saturday, April 22, 2017.  I sleepily pull into the office and set up at work, ready for the day.  I’m exhausted from the busy week and plan on heading home and gluing myself to the couch and not moving until the weekend is over.  I start going through my morning grind on the Twittersphere when I see it. Someone is talking about their tickets for Miyavi. Wait, what? Somebody is talking about Miyavi in reference to my job? Crazy, is he playing shows in the Us? Is he on tour?  As I always do when I catch wind of Miyavi potentially touring the US, I immediately looked on his website for tour dates and there it was.

SATURDAY APRIL 22, 2017 BRIGHTON MUSIC HALL, BOSTON.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.  You’re telling me that my childhood idol is playing a tiny venue in the state I live TONIGHT?!?!” I immediately checked online for tickets, found 2 for $10 each, proceeded to lose my mind even more, purchased them, and texted my best friend that we are going to fucking Boston to see Miyavi and she better be ready.  Even my best friend, who is a hermit and does nothing without at least 1-2 weeks notice, couldn’t say no.

The show was sold out and when we got there about 20 minutes before doors the line was wrapped all the way down the block and around the building.  Being old people, we went across the street to the bar to pregame.  Once the line was moving we hopped into it.  It was such a weird and surreal experience.  This is a scene that at this point in my life I’m completely disconnected from yet when I look at it now I can see that it is still vastly the same.  The only difference? The fandom is no longer strictly super immersed Japanese fans.  Now people of all kinds are showing up and that’s really pretty cool.  15 years ago, it was such a closed scene and one that I quite honestly wasn’t a huge fan of.  Now everyone is either grown up or the new kids are coming into the scene with a much wider scope.

We had never heard of the openers, Kiha and the Faces from South Korea followed by Slot Machine from Thailand, but both put on really engaging shows.  Kiha and the Faces are fucking weirdos and it’s great; check them out.  The music might not hit home, but their ridiculous videos are worth a look. Slot Machine was pretty underwhelming when I googled their music but on stage, they had passion and energy and their bassist was a goddamn riot to watch.

As for Miyavi himself? Well.  It’s actually hard to describe.  Don’t take this the wrong way, but I genuinely wish I could have had this moment 5 or 10 years ago.  Where he is in his career now is mostly playing insane guitar riffs over techno.  It’s not bad and his performance was still amazing and I was still so fucking psyched to be there and had an amazing time, but it just wasn’t the same.  It was almost like getting a stripped performance.  Just the man and his guitar with an awesome DJ set playing in the background.  I’ll say it again, I’m not disappointed and I knew full well this wouldn’t be the live tapes high school me used to scour the internet to watch, but there is definitely still a scratch left to itch.  If there is one thing to take away from this other than “holy fuck I finally got to see Miyavi!” it’s that you need to pursue opportunities when you have them.  Go to the show, see the game, check out the art gallery.  Because even though, those opportunities may swing around again, they’ll likely never be the same.

But I’ll say it a third time, I’m so insanely grateful for this experience and so happy I finally got to see the love of high school Katt’s life.

With that, I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

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A little preoccupied.

I had figured this, but this year is definitely going to be a slow show year.  After the Havok debacle, the promoter made good and we went to see Iron Reagan and Power Theory.  It was a blast and we finally got to check out Once Ballroom.  It’s quaint but doesn’t sound like shit.  Our only real complaint is parking there is a royal pain in the ass.  There is a “lot behind the building” but the spaces are micro and most of them are restricted.  There is another lot across the street too, but we have yet to actually find parking there and, in true Boston fashion, basically every single street is resident only parking.  Moral of the story here is to take an Uber to this venue, get there well before doors, or plan to walk.

The next show I had planned after Iron Reagan was Steel Panther at HOB in Boston.  These are always super gratuitous, guilty pleasure shows.  But after being completely disenchanted with their new album and having several bouts of allergy funk and spring cold sickness, I took the hit on the tickets and decided to stay home.

Probably the biggest upset was calling off our Philly trip to the Decibel Metal and Beer festival.  Between work, money, and adding a new addition to our family (she is furry, 4 legged, and her name is Ramona) we decided it really wasn’t the best time to take a trip and we really needed the money back from the tickets.

That being said, there have been a few really exciting things to happen with music.  The biggest being, Eren landed a gig as the bassist for the Western Mass bastard thrash maniacs, Goblet.  His first show with them was playing the semi-finals for the Wacken Metal Battle USA.  They killed it and are moving on to the finals (duh).  And the next day we all got weird for a 4/20 show in Florence, MA.  He goes on tour this weekend and will be on the road until 5/7.  Much to my chagrin, for the same reasons we had to cancel Philly, I won’t be able to head out to any of the shows except the home show. *shakes fists vehemently at whatever gods, forces, or shit luck have made this so*  Anyway, check out the tour poster below.

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NEWS: Wacken Metal Battle USA Final – May 20th – Philadelphia w/ Corpse Hoarder, Goblet, Power Theory, Upheaval

(contact info below)

NEWS RELEASE

Montreal, QC – April 25, 2017

MetalBattleUSA.com | Facebook | Twitter

Wacken Metal Battle USA Final – May 20th – Philadelphia
w/ Corpse Hoarder, Goblet, Power Theory, Upheaval

One Champion To Play At Wacken Open Air

One band, one champion, thousands of metalheads! 

Wacken Metal Battle In America For The First Time! 



Wacken Metal Battle USA is proud to present the first ever final to send one American band to play at this year’s Wacken Open Air in Wacken, Germany as part of the festival’s international Metal Battle competition. After battles hosted in Boston and Philadelphia, the final four Corpse Hoarder (Philadelphia), Goblet (Boston), Power Theory (Philadelphia) and Upheaval (Boston) will compete for one to be crowned champion and play the stage at Wacken. The national final will be held in Philadelphia on May 20th at the Whiskey Tango where all four bands will be judged by a panel…

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Failure to communicate. The cautionary tale of why consumers still can’t rely on the system.

It’s been a hot minute since we went to a show so the boyfriend and I were pretty excited to head up to Boston Monday night to see Havok and Exmortis.  A 2-hour drive later and we’re pulling up to the venue at 745, trying to figure out where the fuck to park with all this goddamn snow.  At this point, we pull over and I go to the venue’s website to see if they had any parking information for nearby lots.  Imagine our surprise when this is the first thing we see on their homepage.

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So we call Ticketfly. Why the hell weren’t we notified? Their response, “We are not aware that the event was canceled.” So we take to social media. The venue’s response, “We notified Ticketfly”.  We checked the band’s facebook page to see a post from 7 hours early saying the show was canceled, and 2 hours before the show someone posted the above screenshot to the event page. Wait? Someone posted on the event page? Shit, Katt, that’s totally your bad you should have noticed that! Actually, no.  I shouldn’t have noticed it nor would I because it wasn’t posted by the host of the event and nothing in the actual event information was updated. If you’re like me and can’t stand getting a million FB notifications every time Bob, Sue, or Nancy wants to make a comment on an event page, you have notifications set to HOST ONLY.

So who do we get mad at? Did we do this to ourselves? Because we didn’t search the internet for any social media mention made by one of the bands or the venue is this our bad?

The answer to this question should be no. It’s 2017. We purchased tickets to an event and it’s the promoter/ticket agencies job to make sure the customer is notified in an appropriate amount of time.  The band had made the call 7 hours earlier to cancel the show which left the venue/client rep more than enough time to reach out to the ticketing agency.  They claimed that they did, in which case the blame falls on Ticketfly for having a faulty system that didn’t process the request.

In the end, we never really got an answer on who fucked up since both parties continued to volley the blame back and forth but we did get our refund.  And later, the event promoter even reached out to Boyfriend and offered us tickets to another show, so all in all, we were made whole.

But let’s get back to why I said the answer SHOULD be no. The answer should be no because we live in 2017 and this kind of failure to communicate is pretty unacceptable for either party.  BUT this was an important reminder that as a consumer, we shouldn’t blindly rely on the system to work for us.  Obviously, this situation doesn’t represent the entire character of either business but it shows that this kind of thing is possible.

So remember kids. Do your homework. Before you leave for the gig, check Facebook, check Twitter, check the website. Leave no stone unturned and hopefully, you won’t waste 4 hours mindlessly driving up and down the Mass Pike.

 

 

Ending the year with a whisper.

Without a doubt this year has been a wild and wacky ride.  I flew across the country 4 times and saw more shows than some people see in their lifetime.  I haven’t posted anything since Psycho, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve been hibernating.

September brings my annual journey to the end of the world, Wasteland Weekend.  The 4 day post apocalyptic festival in the middle of the Mojave Desert.  Well, the event itself is 4 days, by I spend a total of 7+ days in the desert lending my hands to help build the event.  I could spend days telling you all stories from the event, but words to paper in this case are hard.  Pictures are a much better way to showcase the beautiful madness and you can see a bunch of mine, here.

Since Psycho, I have been to a few shows.  Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats with The Shrine and Danava (or mini psycho fest as I like to call it); Wolves in the Throne Room; and most recently Red Fang with Torche and Whores.  Unfortunately, my brain is failing in the succinct reviews department.  Basically they were all amazing shows, they were all in New York, and at Red Fang we kind of brawled in the pit.

Next year will be a quieter year, but I definitely plan on continuing to write about my adventures.  No matter what, I’m proud of myself for finally sticking to this for an entire year and putting some effort into it.

May your Yule be Merry and may the Krampus bring you many cute kittens and no spiders.

Happy New Year, ’til next time,

K. Woolf

Going Psycho in Las Vegas

Let’s rewind to 6 months ago.  One of my best friends and I are hanging out at one of our favorite bars throwing back a few too many.

She says, “I want to do more things! People don’t invite me places because they don’t think I’d be into it, but I totally am!”

Immediately, I respond, “Omg! There’s this insane festival I want to go to in Las Vegas in August and I was trying to justify not going.  But let’s do it!”

“Ok, lets! I’ll buy my ticket right now!”

“Ok, me too!’

And that’s how we ended up broke as a joke in Nevada last week for Psycho Las Vegas.  A 4 day stoner doom fest dream land.  As far as music festivals go, I’d say this was the one to be at for 2016 and I’m not saying that just because I was there.  The festival officially spanned from Friday to Sunday, but you also gained entry to the all day pool party on Thursday which hosted a pretty solid lineup including bands like Electric Citizen, Mothership, Mac Sabbath, and Mudhoney.  For a couple days the Hard Rock was transformed into a time capsule and looked like it was plucked straight out of the 60’s and 70’s.  There was a basic uniform amongst men of long hair, chops, aviators, bell bottoms, and vests with either band shirts or no shirts.  The women were clad in a never ending supply of fringe and halter tops.  And if you weren’t tattooed, you were the odd man out.

Needless to say, I was in Heaven.

To try and sum up every band I saw would be impossible, and long, an boring.  Instead I’ll hit the highlights of each day.

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REPOST: Stream: Stranger Things Season 1 Soundtrack – Volume 1 — Consequence of Sound

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After an overwhelming amount of fan requests, Netflix is releasing the soundtrack to its hit fantasy series Stranger Things. The first installment is out digitally today, with a CD release following on September 16th. It’s also available to stream in full below via Apple Music. The second volume is scheduled for digital release on August 19th and CD…

via Stream: Stranger Things Season 1 Soundtrack – Volume 1 — Consequence of Sound