Tag Archives: California

European Tour Journal Day 3 (Castelfidardo, Italy)

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We woke up the next morning, still jet lagged in a small town near Pescara or it may have still been Pescara. The architectue around there was a taste of what was to be a constant througout the entire trip, old crumbling buildings, with overgrown vines that really gave you a sense of being somewhere with deep history.

The photos were taken right across from where we stayed and the short video below gives you a sense of the old roads.

 

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Band shot!
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Our driver Davide!

We had a short drive to Castel Fidardo which was very pretty, mostly farmland.

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We passed Loreto where the Basilica Santa Casa sat shrouded in mist. We didn’t have time to stop but what a sight! Read about the legend of the Black Madonna if you’re not familiar. This is one of the biggest pilgramage sites in the world with nearly 4 million visitors per year! We blazed right by it though, we had to bring the spacerock to the people, no time for infamous pilgramage sites!

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Loreto

CASTELFIDARDO

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We got to the venue which was also in a really cool area on a hill. We eventually found out that we were in a very special place regarding the history of the accordian. It turns out that the Stratovarius of accordians are manufactured here, and people travel far and wide to obtain one. Furthermore, and perhaps even more interesting is that the club owner, Giampiero, has an uncle who was the guy who travelled to Houston in the 60’s and set up an accordian shop, which directly fed the Tex-Mex and Tejano scene in a major way. Again, the history of this place was pretty special.

The building the club was in was also a music shop, Casa della Musica which was built by the founder of the accordian in the early 1900’s.

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Aside from the heavy music history here, Giampiero was a gracious host, really excited to have us and treated us like family almost! The food was also amazing, we had a nice spread backstage as well as a bar full of prosciutto and cheese plates to pick at.

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Dining with support band Shaolin
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Bar spread

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Also adding to the family atmosphere…family! I’m guessing from the ‘Shaolin’ gear, these were the bands kids, or friends of the bands kids, or maybe they just really attract a young fanbase. Either way, It was a cool experience to see kids hanging out in a bar scene without it being weird or dangerous. These kids knew their way around a pool table as well as a can of silly string!

One of the first observations I made being in Europe was this openeness of culture. We generally wouldn’t dare bring our kids out to a little dive bar like this, I very rarely ever see bands bring their families out to shows, unless it’s a festival or giant tour scenario, but never little dive bar gigs. These kids were so well behaved around pool cues and pint glasses, and these early social experiences are sure to form them into well adjusted adults, actually. they were better behaved than most adults I’ve encounter in bars!

In The U.S., we have such a different stigma around our bar scene. These are dark places where only dark things happen. Aside from rampant alcoholism being an obvious element, these are places where drugs are obtained and consumed, the focus is usually a search for random sex, and gun violence is a frequent occurence. The club scene often has an intimidating gang element, or a vibe of machismo, groups of “bro’s” out looking for girls, which can easily create a predatory environment. Rock and Roll, punk and indie/DIY shows can seem intimidating from the outside, and there is a real lack of all ages venues everywhere which makes it difficult to expose our youth to more diversity in culture and locally generated creativity.

I’m not saying all of Europe is like this, but this one isolated experience was an eye opener, and made me question if this could ever occur in the US where we fear even sending our kids to school these days.

Let me also add that this was a small humble venue, I say ‘dive bar’ but it was a really clean, well decorated venue with a decent sound system and competent sound guy. The bathrooms were also really clean and everyone kept up on that, another phenomenon I would observe throughout our trip.

Here, it was all about good food, music, family and strong coffee! People were drinking alcohol of course but with a different sort of approach that wasn’t so much to escape from something as it was to enhance an already great atmosphere and experience.

 

THE SHOW

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here’s a couple of minutes of the opener that night. Shaolin were a great bunch of young musicians.

 

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Merch Spread
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Action Shot

Here’s an excerpt from Maharishi from our set that night:

 

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On the stage at The On Stage!

We had a great set, packed up the gear and drove 15 minutes to our digs for the night in Osimo. Stay tuned for more…


All pics by Jeff K.

“Action Shot” by Imanuele Pirani

Look to our Patreon for exclusive content, full shows, pro pics etc.

Vinyl for our current release ‘Heavy Metal Mothership’ and select copies of the back catalog are available via our Bandcamp

 

 

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Turn Me On Dead Man return from Europe

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I haven’t posted in a few weeks because I was on tour in parts of Europe with TMODM. I just wanted to get a brief post up here and mention how eye opening of a trip it was. I’ll go into more detail in time. I plan to share a series of posts covering our journey. I shot a lot of street art and architecture. Look to alphastarephotography for a recent post on some graffiti. There will be some video clips and photos, there will also be links to exclusive content which will only be available to our Patreon supporters. The next step is to record the next album, which should be happening in the next few months and any support for our Patreon will help with production costs, so check that out.

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Below is an excerpt from Jagerklause in Berlin. This was an amazing show and we hope to return again! This is just the last few parts of “Cassiopeia”, an epic song which will be on the next album. The photos in this post are by Andreas Steckmann.

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Outsound New Music Summit: Touch the Gear 2017

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Tom Djil

I was invited to show a few pieces from my set up at Touch the Gear this year. This was part of the Outsound New Music Summit 2017

There were modular rigs as well as custom instruments, though I suppose the nature of modular is also largely customizable. Specifically, outside there were acoustic instruments presented by Pet the Tiger. They had a pretty sizable Kalimba and this giant set up (a metallophone) with metallic plates and a lovely low tone produced by the largest plate. We had an impromptu jam on that and I sampled a bit of it for fun, maybe I’ll use some in a future collage.

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Pet the Tiger

There was some visual stuff

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Tim Thompson

Modular

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Amanda Chaudhary

I brought a few things including a Mother 32, Moogerfooger MF104M Delay, Tascam 414 cassette 4 track, ipad with various sound apps. Easily the most popular item was the Monoscillatron which I’ve posted about before on Youtube

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Alphastare

By total coincidence my friends at Wondersound Industries just released The Monoscillatron for purchase at Reverb.com with a special that runs from today July 28th until July 31st!

Hear it in action in the video below, as well as a few other sounds from my table. I also did a brief walkthrough. For more coverage visit Catsynth 

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Jim Marshall (SF Summer of Love 50th Anniversary Photo Exhibit Lunchtime Tour (feat: V.Vale)

This was one of the many things going on celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘The Summer of Love’ here in SF. If you saw my recent post on Susanne Ciani at the Berkeley Museum you might remember I shared a photo with some friends including V.Vale. from Re/Search Pubs. This post features him speaking in front of a photo taken by Jim Marshall during the summer of 1967. He is featured in the foreground of the photo and just the look on his face captures the awe and wonder of what it might have been like to arrive at that infamous corner of Haight and Ashbury at that time. While most of those people have moved on in life or have since passed, Val manages to still have that curiosity in life and culture/counterculture and remains in a perpetual state of  awe and inquisitive-ness.

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Photo by Jim Marshall

The first few minutes of this video is from part of the guided tour of the photos that line the hall in the basement of SF City Hall including a couple of bits of insight to what was happening in some of the pics, such as the story behind the Moby Grape album cover that was censored and how Otis Redding really stole the show at Monterey Pop. There were plenty of photos of The Dead and Jefferson Airplane as well as some great pics of various Hippies and Diggers and counter-culture icons like Ginsberg and Ken Kesey.

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‘The Unique Mens Shop’

Val’s talk was mostly a deconstruction of the photo he was in which provided some really cool behind the scenes info about the original line up of Blue Cheer. Not a lot of people know that Val was a founding member let alone that Blue Cheer was originally a 6 piece (that was news to me too). They just happened to be on the way to Golden Gate Park for a proper band shoot when this was captured.

 

Enjoy this first hand account of the Summer of Love SF by someone who was there:


TINY BUBBLES

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Left: Roy De Forest ‘detail of homage to Zane Gray 1978/Right: V,Vale ‘Genesis P-Orridge in Heels at Monte Cazzaza’s House’ 1981

SFAC also has a show up called Tiny Bubbles a group show that Val also has a bunch of photos in which is up until August 19th.