From Swans to Zoviet France! An active week of listening, playing and listening some more!

Beginning with The Swans on Monday and ending with Zoviet France on Saturday, this was to be a week packed to the gills with quality and sometimes challenging listening with a bit of playing in between.

Monday: Swans and Carla Bozulich

SF Independent 9.8.14

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Carla Bozulich was an artist I’d never had the chance to see perform. She was a friend of ‘Jane’ the early muse for Perry Farrell and very much a part of that creatively rich early-mid 80’s LA underground. I was just recently reading the Janes bio ‘Whores’ and she’s a featured player in that early part of the book.

She’s most known for her band The Geraldine Fibbers and the lesser known Ethyl Meatplow who also featured Johnny Napier who recently passed away (RIP). Johnny Napier was also in a short lived band with Chris D. (Flesh Eaters) called Stone By Stone, so there’s a bit of a musical family tree connection between us.

Carla’s set was dark and sometimes frenetic. She played abstract guitar sometimes singing through a low-fi mic drenched in delay, accompanied by her band who switched between various instruments consisting of synths, drum machine, bowed saw, flute (probably many more items) and both side players had drums which made for some nice tribal breaks.

The over-all effect, for me anyway, was an authentic representation of what was interesting and cool about the LA sound from those days when none of the bands sounded alike and there was a rich cross fertilization of art, fashion and decadence with a DIY punk ethic running throughout. Such a refreshing thing to hear that sound from someone who was there! Go see Carla if you ever get the chance, she’s the real deal!


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It was a Monday night so I was already tired and feeling good and light like that, so when Thor (Swans percussionist/multi instrumentalist) came up alone and started a slowly swelling gong solo that went on for over 8 minutes, I was pulled right in. Eventually drummer Phil Puleo and Cristoph Hahn (Lap Steel guitar) joined in with more sweeps and ominous drones building up to the entrance of the rest of the band including Michael Gira who guided the dirge up and up leading right into ‘Frankie M’.photo (65)photo (46)

That whole gong intro into Frankie M. took us 36 minutes into the journey! Most bands are done by then, they were just getting started!

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For the next hour and a half The Swans demonstrated their integrity and musicianship as they pounded out muscular dirges and suspenseful drones that prove why they are a lasting force in the world of industrial/experimental music. Though there is that element of experimentalism, they still maintain a rigid structure to the pieces and a solid rhythmic framework that keeps it moving along and keeps you engaged. Michael Gira also guides the ship in a very physical way with hand signals, sometimes leaping to emphasize a stop.

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And we are saved!


Tuesday my ears still hurt after the ‘Aural Iron Man’ that was The Swans the night before, but I had to rehearse for Fridays show with my band Andalusia Rose. We ran our set once and also rehearsed an acoustic version of our set that will be debuted when we play up in Seattle on Sept 21st at The Mix.


I spent some time wed. allowing my ears to recover and working on this flyer for my upcoming experimental show with my side project Alphastare on Oct. 18th at The Stork Club in Oakland,

Alphastare at The Stork Club SF 10.18.14

Thursday I worked on Alphastare tracks and prepared for Friday.


Andalusia Rose w/ Fast Piece of Furniture

I was excited to finally meet Todd Swalla who was the drummer for Ohio’s old school Hardcore Punk band The Necros. We’d been in contact about doing a thing together for a few years and it was great to finally make that happen. We played second, and unfortunately I missed the opener as I had to go pick up my wife, so I’m sorry I have nothing on them besides that they were called Stephen Michael. I snapped a quick pic on my way out. Very nice folks.

Stephen Michael

Fast Piece of Furniture

Fast Piece of Furniture have a nice blend of classic rock meets a bit of a 90’s college rock without sounding dated. Excellent musicians and solid songs, check them out! We look forward to doing another show with them on October 10th at The Stork Club in Oakland.

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I also unfortunately missed the last band that night as I had to beat tracks back to SF before the last train. They were called Picking up Pieces.


San Francisco Electronic Music Festival

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Program Info



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Zoviet France are one of those mysterious, nebulous sort of acts that I never expected to get the chance to see, so I was quite surprised and pleased to hear about their rare appearance here in SF for the 15th annual San Francisco Electronic Music Festival!

They built up intriguing layers of sound using various samples, sound sources and processing. There was also an electroacoustic element with noisemakers and various reed instruments that sounded otherworldly when fed through whatever majik they had up on the table. The set lasted an hour and ended with some of the same sound they started out with, a little cyclical feedback blip, that closed the circle nicely. I went somewhere a few times during their set and what a treat to be able to experience them live.

On a related note, Zoviet France have been consistently and diligently releasing this weekly Podcast ‘A Duck in a Tree’ full of wonderful obscure ambient field recordings and other abstractions infused with some of their own stuff. Highly recommended!!


Zoviet France were the perfect end to the week, from one end of the abstract spectrum to the Swans at the other, who started my week.

If that wasn’t enough music action, on Sunday I went over to our producers place to listen to final mixes of the Andalusia Rose EP. We made some minor tweaks and solidified it. I look forward to the vinyl version with much anticipation. While waiting for files to transfer, we watched a bunch of Roky Erickson live footage and Some old Cramps footage while swapping stories and talking shop. There’s nothing like sitting in another room full music bio books and records and old tape recorders and other objects to look over and talk about. It’s good to feed the head.

Music Music! A busy season ahead!


It’s gonna be a busy couple of months for Andalusia Rose as we are putting the finishing touches on our EP ‘First Stone’ and preparing for a short jaunt up to The Pacific Northwest.

Recording has been a blast and this is the first proper release by this Line-up consisting of:

Wendy Lee Gadzuk (Vox/Guitar).

Wendy Lee Gadzuk
Wendy Lee Gadzuk

Paul Jarvis Hopkins (Drums/backing vox)

Paul Jarvis Hopkins
Paul Jarvis Hopkins

Jeff Vengeance (yours truly) Bass/Baritone Guitar/Guitars/vox

Jeff Vengeance
Jeff Vengeance

Tracking has been done for awhile now, final mixes and artwork are currently being finalized and I’m more than excited to fulfil a lifelong dream of releasing a record of my own music! Yes, this will actually be a record…as in vinyl. There will be cds and digital dl’s of course, but I have been a vinyl collector since I could walk, so it’s a pretty personal achievement.

Record Collectors are Pretentious Assholes
‘Record Collectors are Pretentious Assholes’ (me circa 1994?)
My record room (well, one of 'em!) 2014
My record room (well, one of ’em!) 2014

I’ve been involved with an album in the past that was only released on CD. Considering digital and a vinyl release, the process has been really interesting and daunting at the same time. For digital you get a pretty close representation of how it will sound via pre mixes/mastering, so that’s not too stressful, but with vinyl there is the extra step of sending off the master (not the same master for digital) and in turn waiting for a test pressing to be reviewed before finally giving the go-ahead. Anticipation on top of anticipation! It’s a lot like X-mas when you know what you’re gonna get but not how well it will stand up to your expectations.

In addition to this exciting step in our growth as a band, we will be embarking on a 3 city 4 day tour up in the Pacific NW region.

Sept 18th-Dante’s (Portland)

Sept 19th-The Two-Bit (Seattle)

Sept 20th-McCoys Tavern (Olympia)

Sept 21st- The Mix (Seattle) early accoustic show

Prior to that we play this Friday (Sept 12th) with Fast Piece of Furniture At Roosters in Alameda Ca. and upon our return we will be playing Brick and Mortar in SF (Sept 28th)

We also have a new t-shirt design available here! All funds will be used to help out with our tour and record release! This was designed and printed by me!

Andalusia Rose 'Basilika' t-shirt
Andalusia Rose ‘Basilika’ t-shirt

 Alphastare News!


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This is a more personal project for me and sort of exists and moves in it’s own way and time.

Here’s a new track I released recently via soundcloud:

I’m also currently curating a show for October 18th at The Stork Club in Oakland Ca. This will consist of Alphastare and Infinite Plastic Internal as well as a massive collaboration between the two! Our last outing can be heard here.

I plan on performing with Drummer Jon Weiss again as well as a possible addition of a bassist. This will be an experiment in sound and I’ll plan nothing, but I am creating some raw material to be kept at the ready. Last time I recorded some sound from the act prior to us, and used it in my set, so spontaneity is always at the forefront.

Infinite Plastic Internal is Mark Pino, who tells me he plans to build up a wall of sound with drums and he plans on taking his time doing it, should be fun to observe the process!

Also in the works is a limited cd release called ‘Current Birds’. A digital version of it is available here. The cd release will have some extra stuff, so if you wait to get a physical copy you’ll get that as well.


Available Now!!!

Cheers from SF!