March 13: "Simultaneous Conjugation of Four Spirits in a Room"—Alan Moore & Stephen O'Malley at Laing Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne

martindestruction

Above: The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin

From the Laing Gallery:

Alan Moore & Stephen O’Malley

Simultaneous Conjugation of Four Spirits in a Room: 2010

13 Mar 4 – 4.30pm

For the opening of ‘The Great British Art Debate: Turner Versus Martin,’ AV Festival 10 brings together two great forces in contemporary culture, the graphic novelist Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen), and musician Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O))), KTL, Gravetemple). Alan Moore will write and perform a new text responding to the energy of the two paintings on show: John Martin’s The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and Hannibal Crossing the Alps by JMW Turner. Stephen O’Malley will create a new ambient soundscape, sonically melting in the radiance of the paintings.

TONIGHT (Tues, Aug 11): Arthur presents SUNN 0))) in Eagle Rock…

sunno

FYF Fest, Arthur Magazine and the Eagle Rock Music Festival Present

Sunn O))), Eagle Twin and The Accused
Tuesday August 11, 2009
7:00pm
$16.50 Advance // $18.00 At The Door
All Ages

A sunset show with Sunn O))) in the intimate setting of a historic 1914 library.

Please take note that Sunn O))) will hit the stage at 9:00pm sharp.
Limited tickets available.

2225 COLORADO BLVD.
LOS ANGELES CA 90041
323.226.1617

Arthur goes back a way with Sunn 0))). We featured a beautiful photo of them to accompany the editorial in Arthur No. 3 (January 2003). Our second release on the Bastet (now Arthur) label was a Sunn o))) live recording in an edition of 500 entitled “The Libations of Samhain” with a cover by Savage Pencil, specially pressed by the genius W.T. Nelson, released in 2004. Long sold out, it now fetches $100-plus on internet auctions. Here’s the cover:

bastet0002

Sunn o))) at the September 2005 ArthurFest at Barnsdall in Los Angeles was one of the weekend’s most anticipated sets, and was easily the weekend’s biggest fiasco—as the set was climaxing, with vocalist Xasthur about to emerge from his coffin, the sound cut out. Totally. Not to return. Frustrated Sunn o))) members felled speaker towers, resulting in near-injuries to audience members and minor damage to the stage, which in turn led to near-arrests of Mssrs O’Malley and Anderson by on-location LAPD. Yikes. Plus, their van got towed! It’s funny now, but it was pretty harsh at the time. Here’s the poster by Arik Roper, now sold out, for ArthurFest:

Anyways. The guys ended up on the cover of Arthur No. 20 (below) and now they’re international weirdstars. Go figure. Actually, go see them. Actually, go feel them in Eagle Rock next week. We will be.

"Younger": a new short story by BRIAN EVENSON

Fugue 978-156689-225-4

Arthur freaks may remember Brian Evenson from his cover feature on Sunn 0))) and Earth, published in Arthur No. 20, and his short bit on an imaginary disease in Arthur No. 7. Following is the opening story from Brian’s newest collection of short fiction, Fugue State, published by Coffeehouse Press and available now from Powell’s, Amazon and the best bookstore near you.

Download: “Younger” from Fugue State by Brian Evenson (pdf)

Younger

Years later, she was still calling her sister, trying to understand what exactly had happened. It still made no sense to her, but her sister, older, couldn’t help. Her sister had completely forgotten—or would have if the younger sister wasn’t always reminding her. The younger sister imagined, each time she talked to her sibling on the telephone, each time she brought the incident up, her older sister pressing her palm against her forehead as she waited for her to say what she had to say, so that she, the older sister, the only one of the sisters with a family of her own, could politely sidestep her inquiries and go back to living her life.
     Her older sister had always managed to do that, to nimbly sidestep anything that came her way so as to simply go on with her life. For years, the younger sister had envied this, watching from farther and farther behind as her older sister sashayed past those events that an instant later struck the younger sister head-on and almost destroyed her. The younger sister was always being almost destroyed by events, and then had to spend months desperately piecing herself together enough so that when once again she was struck head-on, she would only be almost destroyed rather than utterly and completely destroyed.
     As her mother had once suggested, the younger sister felt things more intensely than anyone else. At the time, very young, the younger sister had seen this as a mark of emotional superiority, but later she saw it for what it was: a serious defect that kept her from living her life. Indeed, as the younger sister reached first her teens and then her twenties, she came to realize that people who felt things as intensely as she were either institutionalized or dead.
     This realization was at least in part due to her father having belonged to the first category (institutionalized) and her mother to the second (dead by suicide)—two more facts that her older sister, gliding effortlessly and, quite frankly, mercilessly, through life, had also sidestepped. Indeed, while the younger sister was realizing to a more and more horrifying degree how she was inescapably both her mother’s and her father’s child, her older sister had gone on to start a family of her own. It was like her older sister had been part of a different family. The younger sister could never start a family of her own—not because, as everyone claimed, she was irresponsible but because she knew it just brought her one step closer to ending up like her mother and father. It was not that she was irresponsible, but only that she was terrified of ending up mad or dead.
Continue reading

Roadburn: "A time and place to get high en mass [sic] and bask in the heaviness"

Whether you’re looking for leaks and bootlegs from across the spectrum of doom and stoner rock, or you simply want to peruse Photoshopped images of topless, winged women wielding a variety of Renaissance Faire weapons, Doomed To Be Stoned In A Sludge Swamp is the audioblog for you.

Sludge Swamp is a collaborative affair, and right now their contributors are commemorating last weekend’s Roadburn Festival — an annual Dutch gathering focused on the hard rock underground, well known among European burners as a “time and place to get high en mass [sic] and bask in the heaviness,” to quote from its MySpace profile — by uploading live sets from Roadburns past.

Right now the archive includes recordings from Witch, Sunn O))), The Melvins, Om, Wolves in the Throne Room, Brant Bjork & The Bros, Masters of Reality, Hawkwind and Earthless (along with loads of lesser knowns) for your downloading pleasure.

Check out the full list of sets available by clicking here.

New Arthur CD: "Transmissions From Sinai," curated by AL CISNEROS (Om, Sleep) with artwork by ARIK ROPER – NOW AVAILABLE

sinai

“TRANSMISSIONS FROM SINAI”
(Arthur 0005)
curated by AL CISNEROS (Om, Sleep)
cover artwork by ARIK ROPER

Track listing:

1. Lichens – “Kopernik Trip Note” (previously unreleased)
2. Linval Thompson – “Wicked Babylon”
3. Grouper – “Everyone in Turn”
4. Current 93 – “Mockingbird”
5. Quixotic – “The Breeze”
6. Scott Kelly – “The Ladder In My Blood”
7. Hush Arbors – “The Valley”
8. Mia Doi Todd – “Night of a Thousand Kisses”
9. Six Organs of Admittance – “Bar-Nasha” (previously unreleased)
10. Holy Sons – “Drifter’s Sympathy”
11. Pantaleimon – “At Dawn”
12. Grails – “Acid Rain”
13. Sir Richard Bishop – “Almeria” (previously unreleased)
14. J. Mascis – “War” (previously unreleased)
15. Wino – “Silver Lining”
16. Alpha & Omega – “David and Goliath”

All proceeds go to supporting Arthur Magazine’s mission. Edition of 1,000. Now available from the Arthur Store.

“Here are sixteen reports, differing approaches that, through their own individualized methods, access the one ground. It’s a privilege and blessing to have known many of the musicians on this disc, to have shared in song with some, and stages with others. In all cases I have been the healed recipient of their craft sitting alone with my headphones… Here is their auditory journal.” —Al Cisneros February 2009

ALBUM OVERVIEW
by Daniel Chamberlin, Arthur contributing editor

For a while there was a lot of talk around Arthur HQ about the idea of “life metal”–as opposed to death metal–and how that applied to a lot of the bands we were listening to. These were artists making introspective, expansive metal that stood out as flashes of color in the unified spectrum of blackness that dominates the genre. Think about the sunshine Sabbath jams of Wino’s various incarnations, the core-cleansing live rituals of Sunn O))) and most of all, the contemplative rhythms of Om.

Om rose from the ashes of long-form drone-metal icons Sleep, and has since produced three albums of thoughtful, minimalist metal composed entirely of bass, drums and vocals. Transmissions From Sinai, the compilation curated by Om’s bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros plays like a companion piece to those albums; the band’s influences and fellow wanderers united by a deep narrative thread of rhythm, resistance and meditation.

Transmissions opens with Lichens’ “Kopernik Trip Note,” eight minutes of vocal tones flowing like liquid mercury through a haze of keyboard drones. The focus on rhythm is clarified with Linval Thompson’s “Wicked Babylon,” a rocksteady classic from the guy that, in addition to producing endlessly satisfying reggae albums of his own, was also responsible with lacing dub legend Scientist with some of his best rhythms.

Grouper’s “Everyone In Turn” is a cascade of vocal melodies underscored by a fog-shrouded piano. The cryptical envelopment continues with Current 93, David Tibet’s long-running Gnostic-apocalypse folk project, and is reinforced by acoustic work from former Neurosis guitarist Scott Kelly, the brushed marching drums of Quix*o*tic’s “The Breeze” and Hush Arbor’s mournful guitar dirge, “The Valley.”

Om tour-mate Mia Doi Todd marks the midpoint of the journey with the romantic bongo jam “Night Of A Thousand Kisses,” followed closely by Six Organs of Admittance’s shimmering “Bar Nasha,” one of several previously unreleased songs in this collection. This flows into the narcotic beats of Om drummer Emil Amos in his Holy Sons guise. A counterpoint follows with Pantaleimon’s gentle folk, all crisp guitar melodies and cool, clear whispered vocals.

From there it’s a downhill run through the blissed-out sunshine psychedelia of Grails’ “Acid Rain,” the intricate contortions of Sir Richard Bishop’s finger-picked raga “Almeria,” and a twin blast from two legendary guitar lifers: J. Mascis, performing the previously unreleased “War” and Wino with a churning anthem of hope, “Silver Lining.” Transmissions concludes with “David and Goliath,” a melodica-and-keyboard-drenched fable of resistance and survival from contemporary British reggae outfit Alpha & Omega.

Transmissions is a countercultural signpost: a diverse collection of music–from searing life metal through gauzy ambient piano ballads to the heaviest of dub –that serves as a soothing balm for whatever may ail you in these troubled times.

Now available from the Arthur Store.