It has been awhile since I’ve posted here. Some personal things kept me away for the earlier part of this year. The music is still going strong so I had to jump in and update the blog with a post for our show this weekend in support of Nebula and Sasquatch on the “Holy Shit Tour”. This is their final U.S. date before they head off to Europe, so we expect an epic send-off!
We also just finished recording the next album “Czardust” at Light Rail Studios and are putting the finishing touches on that right now, so look out for that in the near future!
Continued coverage of Turn Me On Dead Man 2018 European tour
After playing to a very small crowd in Salzburg on Sunday, we did not expect much from a Monday night gig. We rolled into Dresden late in the afternoon and aside from the ubiquitous graffiti, there were still remnants of bombed out structures from 1945. This definitely was not lost on us, we all got a bit humbled thinking about the atrocities of the not so distant past.
The venue, Ostpol, was just as interesting, another very old building that survived the times. It functioned as a collective and served as a pub/venue and a live-work space for artists and musicians. The rooms we stayed in were above the venue and the building was essentially left as it was when the revolution occurred in 1989.
The view from the venue:
As mentioned above, we had very low expectations, it was a Monday and it was maybe 30 degrees outside and getting colder as the sun went down. We were prepared to have a fun loose time with our new friends and support act Saloon Bizarre who we hung out with up in our room pre-show.
We talked about our respective music scenes and how The Bay Area is so dominated by tech industry folks and the effect it has on the integrity of the music coming out etc…turns out these guys work in tech in Dresden! We all had a good laugh and we really grew to like these guys.
Saloon Bizarre went down to play and Jonesy went to check them out, after a few minutes he comes back upstairs and says “Guys, the place is packed!” We all went down and sure enough there were bodies to the wall and Saloon Bizarre were killin’ it! They had a cool post punk style with tricky little turn arounds and a powerful sound, nice and tight and clean as a three piece.
Now here are one of those times where you just have to enjoy the experience. I had been making an effort to document this whole trip, especially the performances and tonight all my devices were full, so what happens? We play one of our best sets yet to a packed house and captured none of it! The stage was really shallow so I had to stand front and center and not move too far in any direction lest I get sliced by a cymbal. At one point, and this is something I’ve never seen, Ziggy did a deep back bend during a solo, smacked his headstock on a mic stand or something and knocked himself horribly out of tune. After trying to re-tune on the fly and just making it worse we stopped mid song with the crowd watching in anticipation for a potential melt down while Ziggy quickly tuned back up and we launched into the next part of the song with the crowd right there with us! It was as if it never happened, this weird interlude where the train slid off the tracks for a moment and everyone held on for dear life, but the train kept a rollin’ and we knew we had ’em with us.
The rest of our set was a blast and we really hit our stride at this show, this was also the best crowd yet and a welcome surprise after having such low expectations, not of the Dresden scene in particular but of a Monday night winter gig in general. We had a fun time afterwards mixing it up with the locals and the bartender was playing this excellent proto-punk stuff I just had to know about. I got turned on to Ton Steine Scherben and I’m not sure which album but it was from the early or mid 70’s and had an aggressive sound.
Quite a few people stuck around after the show to hang out and drink beer and socialize. It was so cold out, seemed like the optimal choice! The bar was cozy and festive and the barkeep was playing killer tunes and we really had a great time at Ostpol!
Video of one song from our set surfaced and you can now experience the vibe!
The following morning Ziggy and I took a stroll through town to find an independent record store, any one would do. We rarely had time to do this but we wanted to at least try to get some records into the local stores in all the places we played. I think this was the only successful attempt!
We got loose directions to a spot not too far away that carried independent music and took a jaunt through town.
We saw this spot first but it was closed and looked kinda boring anyway:
We soldiered on and after a few blocks we came to the “Arty” part of town:
Took some promo shots:
Almost immediately we found Drop Out Records and waited a few minutes for them to open. It was a small shop packed with a good selection of vinyl and some cds, mostly punk, indie and metal, they took a few records and we deemed the mission a success!
ZWINGER MUSEUM/EL RODIZIO
We reconnected with the rest of the gang and dialed in a lunch destination. While en route we came across The Zwinger Museum. The architecture was amazing and as with a lot of buildings in Dresden, parts of it were under reconstruction. There is still a lot of this work going on to repair the damages from the 1945 bombings.
This place specialized in Brazillian cuisine and I ordered the Feijoada. Everything looked amazing and my dish was excellent! The owner even came out when he heard some Americans were hanging out, a few ordering tequila at noon. He brought out a top shelf brand and did a shot with us. I don’t drink but I took a swig just for taste and spit it out. If I was a tequila drinker this would easily be a favorite, I think it was Padre Azul, it had a leather jacket on the bottle which the owner gave to us, the jacket, not the bottle of course. Such hospitality and amazing food, highly recommended!
We ate well and high tailed it out of town…next stop Berlin!
It was almost a year ago back in February that we embarked on this journey through parts of Europe. I’ve been, very sporadically, posting pics and video from each town/city we played in. There are still a few more to go, so bear with me. It’s worth it for some of the pics! This post is particularly photo heavy, so dig in. Actually, I have no video to share from this show or the next one, so enjoy the slideshows from the journey.
The drive to Salzburg was a winter wonderland:
This old tunnel bridge was cool:
We made a pit stop to touch the snow and this guy approached us, ranting in broken Germanglish about some esoteric shit while drawing this bird and devil dude in the frost on our rear window, perhaps warning us about Austrian Chupacabras?
It was cold but pretty:
Salzburg was a bust as far as attendance. The venue we played at had had a huge festival event the prior evening and pretty much everybody in town was burnt out. It was also Sunday. We weren’t too concerned as we expected fluctuations throughout the week. When you perform every night of the week and you are relatively unknown, you know that every night is essentially a crap shoot and to roll with it. That being said, the venue was a really unique space and the promoter/club owner was really nice. We were set up back stage with plenty of beverages cold and hot. It was somewhere around 25 degrees outside, so a hot beverage was quite welcome! Another nice thing was that our room was just around back, behind the venue.
The Rockhouse was once an old beer cellar carved out of a mountain, bunker style. It still had exposed walls of rock everywhere and the curved ceiling made for an excellent aesthetic and acoustics.
I encountered a giant squid during my explorations:
Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. We had to explore the city by night. Jonesy, Ziggy and I ditched the pizza party at the venue and went on a jaunt in search of a good meal and Mozarts abode. Crossing the river gave us a great view of the old buildings along the banks all lit up.
In search of The Mozart museum.
Lovers of keys…and doors.
Jonesy wasn’t hungry and he wandered off to explore the streets further while Ziggy and I continued to search for dinner. We window shopped along the way.
We found a great spot and also managed to locate the 2 death rockers that live in Salzburg.
This beef soup dish was amazing:
We got back in time to catch some of the opening band and we played a tight set to a small crowd. I have no video to share from this show, or the next one in Dresden, so enjoy the pics and there are a few more installments left in this rock and travel series. Stay tuned!
ARTICLE COPIED AND PASTED FROM CBS LOCAL. THANKS TO DAVE PEHLING FOR THE WRITE UP!
Local Heavy Psych Explorers Return To SF
November 24, 2018
By Dave Pehling
(SAN FRANCISCO) — With a history dating back to the early 2000s, San Francisco glam/psych/stoner-rock heroes Turn Me On Dead Man twist together the varied strands of heavy music from the past five decades into a uniquely bombastic sound.
Led by songwriting talent and lysergic guitar fury of founder Mykill Ziggy, the group became a local club favorite over the next few years with its penchant for epic, Bowie/Bolan-esque space rock played at paint-peeling volume. The band self released it’s debut album God Bless the Electric Freak in 2005, but soon caught the ear of SF punk legend and Alternative Tentacles Record founder Jello Biafra, who reissued the effort on his imprint to solid reviews.
The fruitful relationship between band and label would continue over the next several years as Ziggy and a rotating cast of musicians (drummer Christopher Lyman being the sole collaborator who has played on all of the band’s recordings) continued to refine their sound, exploring their unabashed love for crushingly heavy riffs and psychedelic filigree. Nodding to the Beatles as much as Bowie and T-Rex, the songs on 2006’s Technicolour Mother and Sunshine Suicide three years later also echoed the sounds of ’90 alt-rock favorites Jane’s Addiction and contemporaries Queens of the Stone Age.
The band would split up for a few years after Ziggy relocated to Austin, TX, but the extended hiatus ended after he reconvened a new line-up of the band to record and release We Are the Star People in 2013. Joined by second guitarist Nick Doom, the band’s first new album in four years found Turn Me On Dead Man delivering a long-overdue round of glorious interstellar anthems.
While it’s live shows have been somewhat irregular since then, the group — now including bassist Jeff Klukowski (formerly of Andalusia Rose) and a host of auxiliary contributors — gradually put together what may be it’s heaviest recording yet. Tracked over the course of several years at San Francisco’s Light Rail Studios, Heavymetal Mothership ramps up the melodic crunch on some of Turn Me On Dead Man’s most anthemic space-rock juggernauts yet. Initially made available for download on the TMODM Bandcamp page, the album was released late last year on vinyl and CD on the appropriately named Italian label Heavy Psych Sounds Records.
For only its second Bay Area show in the past year, Turn Me On Dead Man will be joined at the Knockout in San Francisco Thursday night by a pair of local bands: tuneful, propulsive post-punk outfit Eyes Like Ice and acclaimed SF noise-rock trio the Tunnel, who recently released the new three-song Exoskeleton EP.