I’ve been a fan of the early industrial scene and sounds since I was a teenager in the late 80’s early 90’s. Throbbing Gristle were at the forefront and Chris Carter’s synthesizer work has always been largely, if not wholly DIY, and his sounds have always had that edge and grit or ‘gristle’ if you will, that defined the genre.
I always loved that he built his own synths from the beginning and now he has his own line of eurorack style modules, The Gristleizer line.
In the video below you can watch Chris do a short set with his new line of modules that will actually be available to the public. In the video following that is a rig rundown and a chat about the line with a couple of the developers who helped design and build them. From what I can tell, this is just the beginning and there will be more of these to come, very exciting!
These were shot by DivKid who has an excellent youtube channel that covers the modular world in depth. His is an excellent resource for checking out gear demos and modular events around the UK. He also has a way of making this heady topic make sense and he does it in a way that is engaging and unpretentious, go check him out!
People wonder why I can be really hard to impress when they try to turn me on to the latest Trash Rock band with the ‘junky chic’ aesthetic, loads of which have been stumbling out of LA and Brooklyn forever now and this is why.
I lived in LA from 1996 until roughly 2004 and this was hands down my favorite band to come out of that scene and according to many, the best. I saw them twice and I consider myself very lucky. Over the years and as recently as a couple years ago, I’ve also been lucky enough to become friends with and share the stage with Jimmy James and his other band The Hangmen and he is easily the most solid rock guitarist in town and has been for years and The Hangmen are still at it.
I briefly knew Divo Garcia and met Gio Vitanza a few times and they were the nicest guys. I was really saddened to hear about Gio’s passing a few years ago back in Florida. Check out this live set from 1995 with Divo on guitar (when I saw them he had switched to bass) and I believe this was their first drummer Grant ‘Bo’ Johns who had passed away by the time I caught up with them. I used to have a copy of their Syl Sylvain produced 7″ which was signed by Grant which I’ve since lost, though I still proudly own their ultra rare 12″ EP. But really, they were a live band, fun, ferocious, they came from the heart and went straight for the nuts as you can experience in the video below.
“There was deliciously seamy underground in LA rock n’ roll in the 1980’s, filled with freaks and weirdos and druggy shamans and bleary-eyed dead-enders who ran all the way to the end of the America to find somebody to love, and still came up wanting.
The most infamous character in that whole scene was probably Jeffrey Lee Pierce of voodoo gospel-billy blues-punks The Gun Club, a man who allowed rock’n’roll to thoroughly destroy him, but there were plenty of other would-be rock messiahs trawling that town, from the Leaving Trains’ cross-dressing gonzo rock journalist Falling James to displaced cow-girl Texacala Jones of Tex and the Horseheads to The Flesheaters’ punk poet Chris D. There were bands that took the Hollywood glam template and turned into something remarkably more perverse, like future-shock rockers Rebel Rebel, needle-punks Stars from Mars or gender-bending provocateurs The Ultras, and then were the bands that were just plain ol’ mean, like the aforementioned Motorcycle Boy, The Humpers, The Hangmen, and The Coma-Tones, bands that took the basic Stones/Aerosmith template and dragged it right into the depths of LA’s sun-bleached depravity.”
Again, a big thanks to Louis Elovitz for being there!
Some inspiring words about the liberation of sound and artistic autonomy, cutting out the gatekeepers and getting back to the DIY philosophy and moving away from being contained and controlled by the tools available to everyone…make your own tools and create alternative choices.
Anarchestra is a DIY instrument maker out of Tucson see more instruments in action via youtube: Anarchestra Instruments
Enjoy this beautiful chaos. It’s a wonder the bands got through this show. This footage puts you on the stage with the bands as they navigate crowds of rowdy fans pushing up on the stage and the security crew with their backs to the band to protect them and gear from getting trashed. Many stoppages and busted mics but the show went on and looked like blast. Skate rock at it’s best!