Tonight I’ll climb up into the booth at the world-famous Ground Kontrol classic arcade for my monthly Black Sunday gig. All metal. All vinyl. From extreme black to bands that just wanna rock and roll all nite, I’ve got you covered. Also, no cover. It’s a holiday tomorrow so come have a drink(s) and play some Ms. Pac-Man. 8 p.m. – 2 minute to midnight.
What else would I be listening to on this unholiest of days? (I bought this original German Vertigo pressing a decade ago for 10 bucks, for you nerds). Released in the UK on February 13, 1970–Friday the 13th, of course–Black Sabbath’s debut invented an entire genre–guess which one? Fifty years ago. There were a lot of hard rock bands at the time (Sir Lord Baltimore, Coven, Blue Cheer), but no one conjured the bleakness or evil that these four blokes from Birmingham had. Or the riffs. Or that voice. Tony Iommi rightfully gets credit for creating some of the most menacing riffs ever put on tape, but Ozzy Osbourne’s vocals were from another dimension. Add to that a rhythm section of bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward, and you have a band that would release six straight untouchable records that can still crush anything that has come since. Heavy metal as we know it started right here. Let us pray. And let us listen to my favorite cut from this slab o’ doom.
(20 Buck Spin, 2013)
I was in the mood for something extra gnarly, and Vastum always delivers the gnarlies with some extra gnar. But even more to the point–this Bay Area four-piece has been the best death metal band going for years. The riffs are righteous, the tempos ooze, and the subject matter is the stuff typically discussed from a therapist’s couch. Patricidal Lust is Vastum’s second album, and it’s one of their best…but who am I kidding, they haven’t put out a bad record (2015’s Hole Below is also a classick). Vastum is coming to Portland March 21, and I shall not miss it.
I’ll be in the DJ booth at one of my favorite Portland watering holes tonight, spinning all vinyl. Rock. Psych. Punk. Glam. Prog. Metal. 8 p.m. till the beer runs dry.
(RCA Victor, 1971)
This gem has been in steady rotation for a long time around these parts. I got to thinking about it again since Los Dug Dug’s (well, guitarist/vocalist Armando Nava and a new crew) played a show in San Francisco last night–lots of friends went, and I’m extremely jealous.
The Durango, Mexico band’s 1971 debut is heavily influenced by a little group called The Beatles…but with more flutes. Opener “Lost In My World” remains a psychedelic classick, and sounds–much like the rest of the band’s output–as otherworldly today as it did five decades ago. Their records got more unhinged as they went (album number two, Smog, contains more overdriven guitars and extended drum solos), but this record is a wonderful bit of psychedelic pop.