AMN Reviews: Brownout – Brownout Presents Black Sabbath, Vol. 2 (2016; Ubiquity Records)

unnamedIn 2014, we reviewed one of the more unique recordings that had come across the AMN desk in quite a while. And the irony is that it was an album of cover tunes. Two years later, here we are addressing its follow-up offering.

Brownout is a 9-piece heavy Latin funk band with a penchant for Black Sabbath. On their previous Sabbath tribute, they focused on classic tunes from Ozzy and company’s first two albums. Here, they are more oriented on later material, namely from Master of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and the like. Nonetheless, two tracks from Paranoid (Fairies Wear Boots and Electric Funeral) are featured as well.

The modus operandi across these eight songs is to provide the trademark riffing with the distortion cranked up to overdrive. Accompanying this is a brass section either paralleling the guitar lines or complementing them. The rhythm section includes bongos and adds to the dense, thick vibe. Various guest vocalists appear on different pieces, some of whom mimic Ozzy quite well, while others don’t even make the attempt.

And that is the beauty of Brownout. These arrangements put a singular mark on the Sabbath oeuvre. At some point, you might not realize, or even care, that you are listening to covers.

High points include the martial rhythms and staccato horns punctuating the intro and main riff to Children of the Grave, the unrelenting instrumental power and bongo break of Supernaut, and the retro-lounge chorus in Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

If you grew up listening to Sabbath and can’t get enough of the 1970-75 period, don’t hesitate to try Brownout – either set of covers. They have managed to add both soul and joy to some rather dark subject matter.

The album is released on October 28.  In the mean time, you can stream Fairies Wear Boots on NPR.

Interpretations Performances in NY

English: Erik Friedlander live at Saalfelden 2...

Source: Interpretations.

Erik Friedlander’s Black Phebe
David First & The Same Animal Band

Thursday November 17, 2016, 8pm

Two ubiquitous New York composer/performers present new music for new ensembles with long-time collaborators.

Cellist Erik Friedlander presents music from his recent CD “Rings”, featuring his new trio Black Phebe, with Shoko Nagai (piano, accordion, electronics) and Satoshi Takeishi (percussion). This eclectic music is one of the rare occasions where one can hear Friedlander incorporating electronics and looping – a central theme in the title work ‘Circles’. Various pieces on this program find the group operating as more of a chamber ensemble, a accordion-heavy world music band, or a jazz piano trio – but whatever the context the trio finds itself, the results will always include the unexpected.

David First (Vietnamese vong co guitar, overtone sitar, harmonica), Jeanann Dara (viola), Sam Kulik (trombone), Danny Tunick (percussion) will present new works exploring First’s concepts of gestural improvisation—a set of hyper-minimalist procedures that release various species of psychoacoustic phenomena through subversive micro-tuning, overtone isolation, fricative noise production, slippery poly-rhythms, and the elevation of the imperceptible to the highest level of foregrounded significance. Dara, Kulik and Tunick have been working extensively as a unit with First for the past four years in the development of these ideas.

Upcoming concerts:

Thurs Dec 8: Reinier Van Houdt plays Robert Ashley // Brian Schober & Joan Ross Sorkin: White Witch (A Monodrama)

Thurs Feb 9: Robert Dick & Ursel Schlicht // Gustavo Aguilar Get Libre Collective

Upcoming Philadelphia Shows: Kim Gordon and Nels Cline

Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) at Rock en Seine Rout...

Source: Ars Nova Workshop.

Friday, November 11 – 8:00pm
with Kim Gordon, guitar + vocals; and Bill Nace, guitar

PhilaMOCA, 531 North 12th Street
$16-18 General Admission

Ars Nova Workshop and R5 Productions are pleased to present a performance by Body/Head, the experimental electric guitar duo of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace. Kim Gordon is of course best known as a founding member of influential noise-rock icons Sonic Youth, while Bill Nace is a veteran avant-garde guitarist who has collaborated with Thurston Moore, electronic artists Jake Meginsky and John Truscinski, percussionist Chris Corsano and jazz saxophonist Paul Flaherty, among others.

Together as Body/Head, the duo create minimalist, lacework drones that The Wire calls “Just the thing for listeners who always found Sonic Youth too timid and bound to rock convention” and The New York Times refers to as “A call-and-response of healing, oceanic feedback.”

Gordon and Nace have worked together in various configurations for several years, but Body/Head became a primary focus for both of them in 2012. They’ve since released two EPs and the full-length album Coming Apart, all on Matador Records. Their music relies on hypnotic, minimalist patterns and interwoven layers of feedback, creating an immersive and emotionally cathartic sound world that swathes the listener in swells of distortion and viscerally confessional poetics.




Thursday, December 8 – 8:00pm
with Nels Cline, el. guitar; Larry Ochs, saxophone; and Gerald Cleaver, drums

with Sarah Lipstate, el. guitar

Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue
$18 General Admission

Tickets will sell out in advance:


Sunday, December 11 – 8:00pm
with Nels Cline, el. guitar; Larry Ochs, saxophone; and Gerald Cleaver, drums

with Nick Millevoi, guitar; Johnny DeBlase, bass; and Kevin Shea, drums

Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue
$18 General Admission

Tickets will sell out in advance:

Musique Machine Reviews

Source: Musique Machine.

Lustmord – Dark Matter
Yannis Kyriakides – Lunch Music
When Black Birds Fly(DVD/ Blu Ray) – When Black Birds Fly(DVD/ Blu Ray)
Padang Food Tigers & Sigbjørn Apeland – Bumblin Creed
Bee Spit – Gold Codes
Black Matter Phantasm – Spiritual Retreat To The Holy Mountain
Klaus Schulze – Moondawn
Hawkwind – The Charisma Years 1976-1979
The Stargazer’s Assistant – Remoteness Of Light



October 21, 2016
Lee Ranaldo, Susie Ibarra, Brian Chase, The Stone
Brian Chase Susie Ibarra Lee Ranaldo

October 18, 2016
Sam Newsome Solo, Spectrum
Sam Newsome

October 18, 2016
Nate Wooley Quartet Knknighgh, Spectrum
Dre Hocevar Brandon Lopez Chris Pitsiokos Nate Wooley

October 18, 2016
Dre Hocevar Surface of Inscription, Spectrum
Bernardo Barros John Escreet Michael Foster Dre Hocevar Charmaine Lee Joe Moffett

October 18, 2016
Lester St. Louis group: Hv Moda, Spectrum
Jeremy Corren Alec Hall Lester St. Louis Ben Stapp

A John Zorn Weekend Reviewed

John Zorn (cropped version)

Source: The New York Times.

As far as performance marathons go, the 10 hours of John Zorn’s bagatelles on Saturday at National Sawdust in Brooklyn may not have been the most sprawling. (Taylor Mac’s full day of drag-pop two weeks ago, for one thing, was more than double the length of this Zornfest.)

But Mr. Zorn, 63, is a master of packing the greatest possible density of music into whatever vessel is available. Even a brief dip into his bagatelles — short, playful pieces that he unveiled last year in weekly concerts, featuring a variety of ensembles and styles — leaves your head spinning: exhilarated, exhausted. Ten hours on Zorn time is like spending weeks with most other composers.