Time to get yer old school dance party on with the debut from Curtis Harding. Reaching back to sixties and seventies southern soul, fueling it with gospel, and cranking it from the garages of Atlanta, Harding gives his smooth R&B tunes a little grit, a little edge. It’s an honest approach that keeps the songs contemporary, despite their retro-leaning ways, while simultaneously setting them apart from his contemporaries– those who get so bogged down in bullshit vocal theatrics that they lose sight of the fact that soul music’s power comes from the raw shit deep inside us. Harding clearly knows this and ain’t afraid to lay shit down.
Soul Power is out now via Burger Records. Check it out here.
I am 18 feet tall
lumbering through a field
headed to town
swinging my cock
over my shoulder
like a lasso
I have raw bear meat scraps
in my teeth
my hair is on fire
and I’m comin around
If I were you
I’d either have offerings
to give me,
‘My Hair is on Fire’ is taken from local actor, author, rocker, roustabout, merry wanderer of the night, and otherwise Puck-ian spirit Karl Anderson’s new book of poems, published by Austin’s Monofonus Press and available as a part of its Spring Zine Pack (which also includes new works from Tim Kerr, Stephen Fishman, and Chrissy Paszalek, among others). Check it out here.
Among the many rockers Karl might turn to 11 as his hair blazes in the wee hours of the night are Queens of the Stone Age and Mark Lanegan.
Taking more cues than just their band name from King Diamond, Sweden’s Portrait rock old school occult metal with a lead screamer who alternates between a Diamond-indebted falsetto and a Paul Stanley-esque vocal strut. Backed by chunky, melodic riffs that both rumble and soar, it’s a combination that works to not only lay bare the band’s influences but also elevate it beyond mere revivalism. Fans of similarly-minded retro-metal rockers such as In Solitude and Ghost take note– this is the soundtrack to your next graveyard slamdance party.
Portrait’s latest album, Crossroads, is out now via Metal Blade Records. Check it out here.
Back in 1988 I watched King Diamond take the stage at San Antonio’s Sunken Gardens, pull some weird doll from a coffin amidst a maelstrom of dry ice, stab it through its little doll heart, then launch into his set, bone-cross microphone in hand. The spectacle of it all, though most likely intended to haunt my very soul, filled my 16-year-old, metal-worshipping self with nothing but pure elation, so I couldn’t be more psyched at the chance to witness such hell-raising theatrics again all these years later on the grounds of the ninth annual Fun Fun Fun Fest. And as full-on fucking fun, fun, fun as King Diamond’s theatrics are, let’s not forget that beyond his solo output, he’s also the guy behind Mercyful Fate– that’s a fuck ton of seriously seminal metal.
And if King Diamond doesn’t bring enough satanic panic to 2014’s festival o’ fun for you, then there’s also a little band named Judas Priest you might want to check out. Maybe they’ll play all their songs backwards.
Beyond the King and the Priest, there’s plenty more to put Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014 at the top of your to-do list, including Rocket From The Crypt, Dinosaur Jr., Neutral Milk Hotel, Nas, Amon Amarth, Gary fucking Numan, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Pallbearer, Sky Ferreira, and the beer-hoisting, anthemic Guided By Voices, plus a ton of other acts and a soon-to-be-announced comedy lineup. Check out the Fun Fun Fun Fest site for more details and to pick up tickets, which went on sale today.