August 20, 2014
The Ancient Forest Band — THE ANCIENT FOREST BAND from the OLE BECK

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Sometimes you just gotta wait for the stuff. THAT stuff, you know, the stuff you’ve been waiting for. It doesn’t necessarily have to be groundbreaking (it isn’t) but that stuff is still there waiting for you whenever you wanna recognize it’s there. Missoula’s had that stuff for a long long time in the form of Kalen Walther’s Ancient Forest, our resident hermetic psych-folk-rock chanteuse.

The last few times we’ve been lucky enough to catch Ancient Forest it’s been a sublime affair. He’d graduated to the world of two-man band with the addition of a man named Cooper on bass. There was something unsettlingly beautiful about that lineup. I don’t think it lasted very long because here we have what I think may be the first full-band Ancient Forest recording. Sam Molstad rounds out the ‘Forest on drums and though I was skeptical at first (I really liked the percussion-less sets) this version is phenomenal.

It’s a live album. So you know that, I mean. It’s a live album recorded at the Ole Beck VFW Post, presumably made during their show with Iji a few weeks ago.

Syd Barrett, Skip Spence, and White Fence references may abound and really, they’re all true, but Ancient Forest is still a kind of mirage in a town that doesn’t have anything even approaching this level of depth within what (I guess) I’ll call the “psych idiom.” We need Ancient Forest. We need Ancient Forest to succeed. This record is really great and it’s the kind of document I’d like to see as the tea leaves predicting an absolute masterpiece of an album, hopefully to come. You can do it, guys. 

Some fave tracks, dunno if Tumblr is still weird with Bandcamp links or not:

You can purchase THE ANCIENT FOREST BAND from the OLE BECK at a cost you choose from their Bandcamp site. We highly recommend it. 

August 20, 2014
We Be Sad

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We had such High Hopes for you guys this month. It Was Not To Be. First off, the projected show (that would’ve happened two Sundays ago) with Arizona’s Prom Body didn’t materialize. They had van problems and had to abruptly return home. We understand and all. Still a bummer.

Secondly, Minneapolis’ Tender Meat (pictured above) was gonna roll through with Midwestern weirdo/sports columnist Matthew Saint-Germaine August 30th. That would’ve been one killer night to remember but alas, they too have canceled their tour. UGH. You guys!

Take some solace, the boys in Tender Meat just released an album today via Minneapolis label Totally Gross National Product. Entitled Hello, World, it’s available for streaming in its entirety today. Check it out.

We be sad. Two cool things planned for you, our friends and readers getting by in our fair Missoula-town. Though we’ve taken a bit of a sabbatical from booking shows, we hope to have something available for you guys in the not-to-distant future.

MUCH LOVE.

August 17, 2014
Total Weekend XIII: All I Want Right Now Is Fried Chicken

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Once again this Missoula-place turned into a mecca for the sweater-toothed and right on, it was worth it. It was really worth it, guys. We saw more than we have in years previous, we’re still reeling from minds blown despite the fact our illustrious editor felt like an Old Man for much of the weekend. HELL IS REAL. I’ve been getting there, feeling 10 years older every day for the last week. I’m 203 now. I look awesome. I feel like all I want right now is fried chicken.

So after our favorite-thing-that-happens-in-Missoula is over, what the hell do we do now? No idea. This was kind of a watershed Total Fest for us. You may or may not know this but two Important Missoulians left town. They’ve left marks on festivals past and neither was in attendance. You were missed, Dane “Naked” Hansen and Colin “University” Johnson. It doesn’t help either that Important Missoulian Mikki “Internet” Lunda announced plans to leave town too. I’m beside myself, guys. What are we to do??? I totally understand the need-to-leave but I’m sad and these three folks are/and have left massive holes in our little town. :(

Oh well….still had fun this year. Most memorable to these ears (in no particular order): Dreamsalon, Darto, Chastity Belt, American Cream, Chemical Lawns, the last bit we saw of Shramana, KITTEN FOREVER, J. Sherri, King Lollipop, Toupee, Nerve Beats (wow!), and of course WOLF EYES. Saw some girl that looked like a blonde version of our friend Martha, watched some lady enter the festival with her dog and complain the music was too loud, Reggie Watts crashed the thing again, someone threw up outside, debauch debauch debauch, after parties that were probably amazing that I didn’t go to (Old Man Excuses). Another year, guys. We have to wait another fucking year.

And because I love lists, here’s some cool groups that come to mind should the Total Fest committee have trouble thinking of bands or whatever for next year (no order):

1. Punishment. From Seattle, he’s pretty hard to describe. Some of you may remember the time we brought him to town along with solo-Megabog at the ZACC about a year or something ago.

2. U.S. Girls. From Chicago (or maybe Canada now? dunno). Just listen to her shit and fucking do it already. One of the best.

3. Megabog. Seattle again. In a similar vein with say, Chastity Belt (bring them back too!), and they cover Kevin Ayers so they’re golden in my book(s).

4. Naomi Punk. They live in Olympia now and are thankfully nothing like those joyless poli-prudes that seem to overpopulate the place. The Only Grunge I Like. Killer live, doods. Bring them to this festival.

We could probably think of more but hey, we don’t wanna be too annoying. Bring back all the good bands too, we never get sick of good bands. CYA next year.

August 9, 2014
Weird Missoula’s Total Fest XIII Top Ten With That Stuff

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Missoula Punk News’ Kate Whittle just posted a list of the top ten or so bands she’s anticipating at Total Fest this year. Good idea. We’re just going to take that and run with it it. This is very very loosely ranked, btw.

1. Wolf Eyes (pictured above)I’ve been lucky enough to see Wolf Eyes multiple times in the past and I can attest to the absolutely mind-melting effects their music has in person. You’ll be on the edge of the abyss knowing full well that that abyss is looking right though you (pardon le cliche). You will go insane. Wolf Eyes is easily the heaviest band to have played Total Fest in the history of Total Fests. (playing Saturday, Aug. 16th at The Palace Lounge)

2. Nerve Beats. Who would’ve thunk there’d be a band like Nerve Beats playin’ Total Fest? Not this guy. Nerdy post-punk angular jizz jazz fusion or whatever. Shit’s taught, Wire-y, just up my kind of anti-punk Punk alley. They would totally rule that Punk Alley. Can’t wait. (playing Saturday, Aug. 16th at The Palace Lounge)

3. J.Sherri. Together with Boys (also playing Total Fest this year) and anything Max Roberston is doing, this is my favorite band in Missoula right now. (Re)Joining forces with their drummer Sam (who is a big part of the Sherri’s Prince-esque public language), their performance at Total Fest is something that really shouldn’t be missed. I remember hearing a rumor that one veteran member of the TF committee “doesn’t really get it” but to be honest, I don’t think “getting it” is the point. These kids got the stuff and to define the stuff is to completely misunderstand what the stuff is doing to your groin. (playing Saturday Aug. 16th at Big Dipper during the Record Swap)

4. Dreamsalon. Seattle seems to have a glut of good bands spewing out of the ashes of their ill-advised grunge experiment from howevermany years ago that was. I dunno. I was in middle school. Most kids today touting Nirvana are/were younger BY FAR. Don’t mean to pull out Mr. Older-Wiser, but come on, there are some better ideas floating around in the music ether and Dreamsalon just got that stuff. Dreamsalon = psych rock without all the wishywashy un-fun blokes running down yer good time. (playing Friday, Aug. 15th at The Palace Lounge)

5. Sediment Club. Rhode Island has always been known as the prime purveyors of The Weirdness, The We-Hate-New-York-School, and the General Fucked-Up-Ed-Ness of the East Coast. Sediment Club plays that card and then just pretty well runs with it. We don’t necessarily have a Lightning Bolt on our hands (thank gawd) but we almost have an Arab on Radar. These dudes write some seriously fucked up amalgamations of sound that the better part of me would classify as songs. True Total Fest children, Queen Mab, these guys. (playing Friday, Aug. 15th at The Badlander)

6. Woolen Men. This is for you ten (x50) Burger Records fanatics that probably lose your mind every time Thee Oh Sees come to Missoula. They didn’t come this year? Boo hoo, there are a ton of bands better that have been doing the same damn thing. Woolen Men, they’d tickle your fancy. Garage Rock has been slowly ebbing and flowing since 1963 and dudes, take one last look before you turn 30. This is the soundtrack of the last fun you’re ever able to have before the realities of life, debt, relationships, adulthood, whatever you wanna call it, have destroyed your ability to party. Cheers! To no more parties! (playing Thursday, Aug. 14th at the ZACC)

7. Chastity Belt. Fuck men. No. Seriously. I have it on good authority a person-that-is-well-known-in-Missoula yelled “My friend wants to BONE YOU!” at the guitarist in Chastity Belt while they were playing the Treefort Music Fest in Boise, ID. She belted back “I’m a lesbian!” Fuck you, guys. Come see Chastity Belt and be grateful that such a killer band of Seattle ladies have figured out how to essentially make the late 1980’s indie-rock moment irrelevant. (playing Saturday, Aug. 16th at The Palace Lounge)

8. King Lollipop. Cody, one of the folks I’d tab for BEST GUITARIST EVER is finally gracing Missoula with his superb solo concoction known only as King Lollipop. He’s that dude-voice you’ve heard on every Shannon & the Clams record, btw. Think children-sing-along-doo-wop. This shit is candy-coated and perfect for the record swap Saturday morning/afternoon. (playing Saturday, Aug. 16th at Big Dipper during the Record Swap)

9. American Cream. If anyone’s ever been asking why there isn’t more Krautrock or something you might mistakenly define as Krautrock at Total Fests past, there’s no reason to look no further than American Cream. These Minneapolis weirdos write songs in REAL TIME. Confound your notions as to what a band really is supposed to be with these guys. They too, they got the stuff. (playing Saturday, Aug. 16th at The Badlander)

10. Criminal Code. Read Echo & the Bunnymen + excess chorus, punk, some other shit that sounds nothing like Echo & the Bunnymen, you almost get the idea. Sing like you’ve got a nasal injury. Play guitar like you’ve no idea that chorus is a thing you can use some-of-the-time. It won’t matter. You’ll still rule. You’ll still be Criminal Code. This may be the sound in which we get the closest to Olympia via listening to a band from Tacoma. Check it, dudes. Broken Water a few years or so or whenever ago, Criminal Code is that cool band right now. (playing Saturday, Aug. 16th at The Palace Lounge)

July 1, 2014
Lozen, Qui, Shramana, Fuuls @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209, Sunday July 6th

Any Total Fest veteran should perk up at the mention of the name LOZEN. They’ve played the fest at least twice (I think) since I’ve lived in Missoula and as a better writer has waxed on these killer ladies better than I, I give you a quote from the Total Blog ala 2012:

Lozen, as a band, has been around since 2005, but their friendship extends further back to those ever so foundational bonds of high school. Taking their name from the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache warrior, the duo melds an isolating vocal cacophony with some well-tested droning sludge. Straight up reinvigorated riot grrrl.
Somehow this all does them a disservice. They’re more unique than reviewers give them credit, and their song writing is more innovative than the easily applied Melvins, Unwound comparisons suggest. As women artists go, we’re still in the habit of trying to make them fit into some pre-established mold. Performative contradictions aside, sure the influences are there and nothing is created in a vacuum, but after almost eight years of playing together and evolving their sound, it’s somewhat degrading to keep throwing out comparison after comparison, as if that somehow legitimates what they’re doing.
Lozen and Qui (who apparently have a pretty sweet Jesus Lizard connection) are playing the Ole Beck VFW Post #209 on Sunday, July 6th along with locals Fuuls and Shramana. Show is starting at 9pm and it’s a $5 cover.

July 1, 2014
Web of Sunsets, Crow’s Share, Ancient Forest, Jacob Milstein, June West @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209, Thursday June 3rd

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What with the glut of “dream pop” bands that seem to spill overflowing out of most college radio station playlists, I figure it’s time I retire all the Mazzy Star comparisons. I mean, sure, Web of Sunsets definitely brings that shit to the forefront of my mind but I’m not gonna go out there and just say it, nahmean?

Think lazy music. Lazy pretty dusk-time Stevie-Nicks-if-she-was-actually-a-witch music. Web of Sunsets makes beautiful songs that resist becoming “precious.” That’s a strength that’s more impressive than you might think. Well I think it is. Come see them play Missoula with a local host of equally lazy pretty music people.  

Web of Sunsets plays the Ole Beck VFW Post #209 with Crow’s Share, Ancient Forest, Jacob Milstein, June West, and possibly some more this Thursday (June 3rd). Show is at 10pm. It’s $4 for those of drinking age and $6 for the kids.

June 26, 2014
We Talked To Needlecraft’s Hana MT For Our First Interview Ever

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We sat down with Needlecraft drummer/founder Hana MT about her move to Oakland, her new band, Hunk Out, and some other cool stuff. The conversation took place via Facebook as Hana was getting ready for and then on her way to work. I edited it a little to make the whole thing read smoother but here goes, the very first Weird Missoula interview:

Weird Missoula: So, how’s the move to Oakland been?

Hana MT: Haha. Ah…I don’t know, it’s been good. Pretty darn good. Very different.

WM: In what way? Just the size?

HMT: Yah, size I guess. There’s just so much going on all the time and it’s pretty sunny out regularly. I skateboard now, haha. And play the saxophone. Big changes.

WM: Oh really? You’re into jazz now? It almost sounds like you’re describing yourself as Bart Simpson.

HMT: Ha! I want to be. Right now I’m just trying to figure it out and play with a as many different people as possible.

WM: Well it sounds like you’re doing pretty well out there.

HMT: Yah, I don’t know. It’s been pretty challenging too. Especially coming from like such a close security blanket of a town as Missoula. But I have made a few good friends so far, that make every day so great. I’m very grateful to be here. 

WM: I know you started Born Yesterday before you left Missoula but you’re playing Total Fest this year. You keeping that band going in Oakland or is it more of a bedroom kinda thing?

HMT: Ya, Born Yesterday changes alot. I have been exploring some different kinds of projects this year and just being expressive. It’s mostly the same though: guitar and drums. Right now I’m trying to work with some friends on doing something more orchestrated for Total Fest. Like, Born Yesterday rules because it’s like therapy, I can do whatever I am feeling and really get something out of it. The last show I played was a Valentine’s Day show at a silly rock and roll show [sic] and so me and my drummer Yacob just wore scary masks and I played no wave guitar underneath a cardboard tombstone with his percussion and screamed for 15 minutes. I think I actually ended up filing all of the strings off my guitar with a rasp by the end of it. Yac and I date too so it was a very special V Day performance. 

WM: So who is in Born Yesterday right now? You’re still working on a lineup for the festival…

HMT: Been playing with Yacob on drums since December and my friends Val (from Night Nurses/Pink Pile) and Jessica (from Pink Pile) are gonna help fill us out on electronics and bass.

WM: Oh! So this won’t be a straight garage band kinda thing?

HMT: No. I have def been straying from that kind of thing. I’ve been listening to a lot of no wave music, especially Mars.

WM: They’re great.

HMT: Still writing pop songs though, just a little bit atonal. Still very into girl groups and harmonies and stuff.

WM: So this latest Needlecraft tour is more than just a farewell to the band? Kind of a farewell to the whole garage rock deal in general?

HMT: NO. NEEDLECRAFT IS HELLA DIFFERENT. Needlecraft is more of a 60’s pop group. We are about having harmonies. And being sassy and empowered. And having really great hair. And being in charge and confident. And being yourself. Ya dig?

WM: Are you excited to be back in town for your release show next week? The songs I’ve heard sound great. Probably some of my favorite recorded work Needlecraft’s done since that split with Oll Breds forever ago.

HMT: Ah…I’m anxious. I don’t know. Ha. I feel like it could be a very overwhelming time but I’m looking forward to seeing some of my favorite people.

WM: There seems to be a lot of hype here in town surrounding this show.

HMT: Really??? Like what? I hoped it would be shrouded in mystery but be powerful like thunder.

WM: Well a lot of people here still really love Needlecraft.

HMT: Aw, I really love Needlecraft.

WM: And like I said earlier, the songs I’ve heard are some of the best recorded versions of Needlecraft I’ve heard to date.

HMT: Yeah dude, I’m so into them too! I think it shows variety!

WM: Variety you say?

HMT: Yes, variety. It’s very hot and cold with a little bit of heart in there. I learned a new drum beat. We get very dramatic.

WM: How’d you get hooked up with Minor Bird (Records, who are releasing Needlecraft’s new album, Hunk Out)? Is that more of Mikki (Lunda, singer in Needlecraft)’s doing?

HMT: No. Marty (Hill, who runs Minor Bird Records) and us all have been pals til death. He booked us our first show when were just babies! He has been a Needlecraft supporter since basically day one.

WM: It’s a shame he’ll never read this interview. He’s almost more of a Luddite than Mikki.

HMT: Ha! We shall see about that.

WM: I’ll make sure he gets to borrow someone’s iPhone for twenty minutes or something. So the new record is called Hunk Out?

HMT: Yeah dude. Hunk out! You know we wrote that song after hanging out with you and Colin (Johnson, of Skin Flowers and Shahs) one time because y’all were wearing tank tops or something.

WM: ?

HMT: Yeah, and then you both just had to prove who was the buffest or something. Ya hunked out.

WM: He’s more buff than me.

HMT: Right now show us.

WM: Well Colin isn’t here but I’m almost certain he can do more pushups than I can.

HMT: Ok, Dr. Science whatever.

WM: I am watching Star Trek 3 right now.

HMT: And I am on a bus in Berkeley right now.

WM: Sounds fairly comparable.

And that’s where we had to leave it. Hana had to work door for some show at a place filled with teenagers. She made a point to mention that Green Day had donated the PA. Thanks, Green Day! 

Needlecraft celebrate the release of their latest LP, Hunk Out, at Stage 112 on Friday, June 26th along with Mass FM, Boys, J.Sherri, and Cool Death. It’s 18+, costs $5 and starts pretty promptly at 10pm.

June 21, 2014
The Renderers, Artemis @ The ZACC, Monday June 23rd

I really have to give it to the ZACC, the quality of their shows lately has been pretty astounding. Jonathan Richman is playing there later this month, Wooden Wand & Simon Joyner recently stopped in, and now there’s this thing: New Zealand’s The Renderers and California’s Artemis. Two bands I admittedly knew little to nothing about before hearing about this show.

I’m really, really liking The Renderers. They seem to have lodged themselves into a weirdo style of Americana common to non-Americans like The Mekons or the Nick Cave or something. It reads as cinematic, dusty rock & roll. Lazy, but lazy in the same way I’d use that word to describe Mazzy Star. I’m really horrible at describing things half the time so I hope you’re at least nodding along. Thank you.

The Renderers and Artemis play the Zoo Arts Community Center (ZACC Above) on Monday, June 23rd. Show is at 7pm I believe, and though I’m sure there will be a cover, I cannot seem to find it listed anywhere.

June 20, 2014
Garage Rock Sale / Mikki’s Birthday / Spikeball Tourney / Camp Daze Fundraiser @ Northside Park, Saturday June 21st

So…I don’t think we’ve mentioned much on the blog about this yet, but Camp Daze is the newest music festival in our stupid weird town. Much like our annual Total Fest, Camp Daze is a semi-DIY, homegrown celebration of local, regional, and touring acts. It’s a little smaller than its big brother but this is the first year these guys have done anything like this. My optimism runs high that this could eventually become a pretty big thing.

Tomorrow (Saturday), a pretty sweet garage sale is gonna be taking place at Northside Park in Missoula. It’s sounds kinda like the Total Fest Record Swap minus a ton of records and plus a lot more random stuff. There’ll be live music featuring neo-R&B(aby) phenoms J. Sherri and inconsistently bearded chanteuse Javier Ryan. It’s Mikki’s (of Pancakes & Needlecraft) birthday and some folks are gonna hold a tournament of some weird lawn game called Spikeball. I have no idea what that is but I’ve been assured it is really fun. The dudes from Boys seem to play the shit out of it so I imagine they’ll be there.

This multi-event including a garage sale, Mikki’s Birthday, a Spikeball Tournament, and a Camp Daze fundraiser will be starting at noon, Saturday June 21st at the Northside Park in Missoula, Montana. It’s totally FREE, assuming you won’t be buying anything. (but don’t do that)

June 20, 2014
HIGH LIFE 6-16-14 (Time Out of Mind Edition)

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Here we go again. This is the latest episode of HIGH LIFE we’ve done. We’re taking the next week off, another week on, and then our summer vacation hits so both HIGH LIFE and Weird Missoula will be quiet for the first part of July. Taking it easy, guys.

HIGH LIFE is a radio show that is currently affiliated with the Weird Missoula blog and caters to the people that don’t just like noise, don’t just like skuzzy pop, don’t just like garage rock, and don’t just like fucked electronic music. We’re all over the place and thanks to KBGA we’re on every Monday afternoon from 2pm-4pm on 89.9FM KBGA in Missoula, Montana.

Here’s the playlist:

 Steely Dan - Time Out Of Mind
 Howard Nishioka - I’m a Pilgrim
 Virgin Insanity - Touch the Sky
 Dr. John - Babylon
 Amen Dunes - Love
 Klaus Johann Grobe - Les Grecks
 Naomi Punk - Television Man
 Prom Body - Ears Drum
 Cate Le Bon - No God
 Broadcast - Goodbye Girls
 Pink Floyd - Chapter 24
 Copeland - Fit 1
 The Barbarians - Moulty
 Harumi - What A Day For Me
 Klaus Johann Grobe - Schlaufen Der Zukunft
 La Düsseldorf - Geld
 Naomi Punk - Eon of Pain
 The Mallard - A Form of Mercy
 Sativa Flats - Cha Cha
 White Fence - Pink Gorilla (Live)
 The Nazz - Open My Eyes
 Klaus Johann Grobe - Kothek
 Boys - Breaking Sad
 Chrisma - Gott Gott Electron
 Truck - Earth Song
 Caetano Veloso - Empty Boat
 Paul McCartney - Ram On
 Sativa Flats - Sativa Flats
 Unknown Artist - Blue Basket
 Klaus Johann Grobe - Koffer

Stream it here: HIGH LIFE 6-16-14 (Time Out of Mind Edition)

*Seems that due to licensing restrictions and the fact that there are more than 3 songs by a single artist on this show, Mixcloud has disabled the stream for anyone attempting to listen within the United States. Ah, hell. (EDIT: I just fiddled with the artist listings so it should be OK now)

2:55pm
  
Filed under: HIGH LIFE Missoula Montana KBGA 89.9FM