Author Archives: Toi Brownstone

When you realize THAT is the band of your life

Hi guys! How you doing?

Very busy lately and with too much stuff in my head which prevents me from focusing on writing something readable and interesting. Been travelling, finishing summer in the best way possible, and enjoying my Panama way of life…till now.

Finishing October at the moment, here in Barcelona good weather is still struggling to remain against cold, but with the time change, you can almost feel the terrible winter whispering in your ear: “Fuck you. Now it’s my time.”

But I’m not in the mood of explaining how this midseason is getting me crazy and how confused makes me feel, unable to settle a daily routine. Well, the fact that I’ve been travelling a bit does not help either. I’m a bit messy now, trying to catch the train of sanity? Whatever you want to call it. Fuggedaboudit!

Even though it’s just been a month since I attended the Wildhearts show in London, celebrating the 25th anniversary of their second album P.H.U.Q, it’s been impossible to write about it earlier. It’s not fair, considering it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen this year, thus I’m in the mood of writing about The Wildhearts once again, as it’s been too long since I don’t bother you with probably my favorite active band on earth. Well, since last year, telling about their show. This could be kinda déjà vu, but it’s not going to be.


Ginger Wildheart is become my curse. The damn bastard is so creative, he’s all the time involved in projects to take our money. For good or for bad, work delivered is outstanding, so as far as I’m concerned, he can suck me dry. Lucky I’m not a collector, otherwise I’d be fucked up. I’m waiting for a book he’s written which should have been finished by March, but apparently is being shipped at the end of the year. I’m patient, because I feel curious about the content, but maaaan! C’mooon!

He’s currently recording a new album with Hey! Hello! Which will be released in April 2016, meant to do more Mutation stuff, and in September, as advanced, due to the 25th anniversary of PHUQ, he brought the band together, except for the bass player, put them to rehearse, and announced a UK tour.

After our experience last year, Jaume and I couldn’t miss the event, and as kind of silent agreement, we decided that whenever the band reunited for several shows, we’d move our asses to Shitsville, London, to see them. So that was it. We saw the shows announced and didn’t have to discuss anything, just apply for a couple of days of vacation at work, and the rest would be done.

Whenever a band play an album at its entirety, there’s no doubt on the set list. From the beginning to the end, song after song, will be played, but the surprise comes with the encore, and once again, it drove us nuts: ‘Suckerpunch’, ‘Red Light Green Light’, ‘Sick of Drugs’, ‘29X the Pain’… What a blast!


Emotion is the key. A band can be a piece of crap but if you feel moved, excited, passionate and crazy, then for you it can be as good as The fuckin’ Rolling Stones, or even better. During the show, there were several moments and songs which made me stop and think to myself “this is it. This is the reason why I love rock.” Moreover, I realized there’s no band currently in active which moves me in the way The Wildhearts do.

During many years you know I’ve reckoned by fave band is Guns N’ Roses. I grew up with them, and they’ve been in my life since I was 15 or so. I still blush when I hear ‘Rocket Queen’, ‘Coma’ or ‘Estranged’ at a bar, and due to so many experiences and years we’ve shared, they’ll be the band of my life, and Appetite For Destruction the best album in my record collection.

Nevertheless, once this been stated, I gotta confess that it’s The Wildhearts the band of my life, and Earth Vs The Wildhearts my favorite album. The process was slow as first, it took me years to realize they were a great band, and second, I had to develop my own status of fan on my own, because I was highly influenced by diehard fans. And I love that all the way I’ve been doing it alone, enjoying the pleasure of discovering and falling in love with a band little by little.

Can you imagine my tears dropping while yelling ‘Everlone’, or ‘Sick of Drugs’? It happens to me every time I listen to those songs being played on stage. Same as whenever I watch the Death Star trench battle of Star Wars I start crying. And I’m glad such thing happens from time time, because it means I feel alive.

God bless The Wildhearts!

Album of week 36: BLACK AGE BLUES

Thanks Universe for Twitter once again, for I discovered one of my favorite albums of 2015. Apart for wasting my time tweeting nonsense, I follow many international magazines, record labels and bands. It was a surprise when Southern Lord Recordings announced the release of a new album of Goatsnake, because I thought they had split 15 years ago.

goatsnake black age blues

This band was originally formed by a couple of guys, Guy Pinhas and Greg Rogers, after The Obsessed split, to be joined by Greg Anderson (Sunn O))) ), and the vocalist Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool). They were active for barely 3 years, and released 2 albums and 4 eps.

How did I get acquainted with this band? It was by chance, in 2000, at London’s Underworld. I attended a double lineup show with Goatsnake and Orange Goblin opening for them. I had been told they were heavy, doom and good, thus I waited to see them. When they jumped onto the stage it was as if the air was thickened, and the atmosphere turned suffocating, but they were so intense I felt somehow like hypnotized or something. It was a great show. I often remember it even though I’d never be able to recall any song played that night. I bought their ep Dog Days, which some years ago “vanished” from my CD collection, which included a cover of ‘Hearbreaker’ of Free, and ‘Long Gone’ and ‘Man of Light’, which I used to like.


For many years I had totally erased this band from my mind, till, as advanced, I read a tweet announcing the release of Black Age Blues, their new album in 15 years, and immediately felt curious about it. It tool just a couple of listenings to get hooked.

It keeps the essence of what I remember Goatsnake were back in 2000, if not better. Super heavy riffs very Sabbath influenced, doom yet very rooted bluesy sound, and Stahl’s voice, which is not the most brilliant nor amazing, but still has something that really appeals me.

When you start listening ‘Another River to Cross’, with a guitar intro by David Pajo of Slint, is as if you were transported to an evil suffocating swamp, with mosquitoes sucking your blood. Approaching an album with this feeling of awesomeness from the first second, nothing can be wrong. ‘Black Age Blues’, ‘Jimi’s Gone’, or ‘Grandpa Jones’ grab your balls, but if there’s a song, THE song, is ‘A Killing Blues’. It’s simply insane. The more it advances, the more intense it gets, to the peak with Stahl repeating “Lightning, Thunder, Wash my Soul to the Ground” a capella as a kind of mantra. Oh, shit! It’s terrific!

Goatsnake are not gonna change the world, and will keep on playing at small venues, but with this renewed business card, I’m really glad they are back.

It’s been 5 years already.

yeah! 5 years ago this site was born. The reason perhaps was the most stupid one of all, but I thought it was a good idea. Till I stopped posting self-pity crap because it was too depressive, and then I started focusing on the things I live, or the things which hit my head from time to time.

Never been good at keeping a diary, I’m terrible at being constant except for music, my friends and drinking beer. I never give up on those, many of you can tell. Thus I’ve been absent for some time, perhaps too much, and many of you won’t be interested in what I have to tell anymore. And I can understand it.  But as long as I have energy and have to say something I will recover this blog and will write whatever sprouts from my mind, with mistakes and lack of sense sometimes, but with passion and love, not feeling a slave of this, not thinking of this as a burden. I might write often, or seldom, who knows, but I won’t apologize anymore. I got a life outside, even though many of you think I’m so hooked to social networks I don’t have a life of my own, or I expose too much. I’m much more than this, and really, I live, and enjoy, and suffer, and get upset, like everyone else.


This stupid statement said, after few beers and a terrible day behind, is just a confession that in the end does mean nothing, but I feel much better now, which is what actually matters… to me.

Thanks to all who’ve been supporting me on this.

Album of weeks 21-26: SOL INVICTUS

And this is my last obsession.

Sol Invictus

Been listening to Sol Invictus in a loop for more than 4 weeks, and now I reckon it’s gonna be one of my top 5 fave albums of this year.

Faith No More has always been a difficult band to connect at the first listening with. Their style gathers plenty of sounds and influences, and Mike Patton, with his unique voice, has always provided this histrionic and unclassifiable mark to the band he leads. It took me long time to surrender to Angel Dust back in the day, and nowadays I’m a passionate fan of that album.

Lately I’ve been encouraging the idea of listening to albums in depth, to spend proper time in digging and catching the essence of the music, rather than consuming in a hurry to approach the next big thing, and it’s really working for myself, no matter that I’m missing many other things. I’m enjoying and tasting they way I’d never done before, and it’s really really pleasant. On the other hand, King for a Day… trapped me quickly, probably because it was an easier album, with simple patterns and straight tunes. You know how this goes, sometimes you’re not ready mentally to certain things.

If I wasn’t giving tries to the albums, I’d probably have left Sol Invictus on a corner after a couple of hearings, because, I insist, it needs an evolution and a slow digestion. The first time I listened to one of the most expected comeback albums left me cold. I was having a beer at the bar round the corner of my house, and, I don’t know, it didn’t fill my expectations at all. it was like a weak ‘yay’, not bad but not amazing either. A couple of tracks caught my interest, ‘Superhero’ and ‘Separation Anxiety’, but those apart, I couldn’t understand the excitement risen around me.

FNM 2015

I guess I was in the mood to give it another try, because I started listening to it every time I had the chance to do so, I started enjoying ‘Cone of Shame’, ‘Matador’ and even ‘Motherfucker’, which I first thought it was terrible, and then I started appreciating the album more and more, to the point I was waking up in the morning whistling different tunes, till I realized I was hooked. My feeling is that his album differs from the rest in its tone, darker and more sinister.

I remember a couple of weeks ago, Jordi was driving me home after a show, and he had the  album on his car stereo and remarked how much he liked the song ‘Sol Invictus’. We were both silent, listening to the amazing chorus, with the piano arrangements, and I felt fascinated immediately.

It is definitely a more than adequate album, even though critics weren’t too positive. When you reach a high peak as Angel Dust, it seems that, in order to get back in the track, you must deliver something of the same quality level at least, and that’s seldom possible. You can choose if you wanna stick by the old stuff, or evolve and grow, as Faith No More has done, conscious or unconsciously. I’ve recovered my faith in them, if it was lost at some point, but I can assure you I feel absolute respect for their current performance and the way they’re getting back in the track.

Now it’s a matter of time some enlightened promoter books some shows in Spain.

Feel the good hit of Summer

Hi friends!

Sorry for being so absent here. In case you are wondering this spring has been one of the craziest and most exciting seasons in the last 5 years. Absolutely insane! Lots of shows, events, affairs, booze and euphoria.


I’ve just come back from a ten day break, during which I’ve attended Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria, my favorite festival ever, and spent a whole week at my parents’ detoxing and chilling out. I could have written something but didn’t bring my computer this time, so I’ve been surfing the net but in very low profile. I’ll try to tell you a bit about the festival, which has been amazing, not only for the great bands I’ve had the chance to see, such as L7, Kvelertak, Red Fang or DGeneration, but also for the tons of fun I’ve shared with my beloved friends. The older I get, the more fun I have. Whenever I think I cannot enjoy more, something happens and everything turns into a wild party. Awesome, really.

I’ve been listening to some new releases but I’m totally hooked to Faith No More last album, Sol Invictus, listening to it obsessively. I’ll tell you about it in my next post.

Summer is here and it’s super hot. In fact, for the first time in ages I’m sort of tanned, and I’ve even been bought a swim suit and have gone to the pool. What’s going on with me? am I crazy? I think the Van Halen’s Panama spirit has invaded my body and soul, and I’m in the mood of fun. Got lots of work waiting for me at the office tomorrow, but, who cares? As long as there’s a cold beer waiting for me somewhere, everything will be alright in the end.


Whatever you do these months I hope you enjoy as much as you can, because, dear friends, there’s only one life, it’s too damn short, and winter is always round the corner.


Album of weeks 16-20: GIVEN TO EMPTINESS

Has it ever happened to you that you love something so much is terribly hard to put it into words? Well, I’m nowadays experiencing that feeling lately whenever I listen to Arenna’s last album Given to Emptiness.

Arenna Given to Emptiness

Arenna is a band from Vitoria I discovered 3 years ago when Las Tetis were invited to DJ at Siberia festival in the same city. I already explained here about the high level of the bands, and if I remember well I already mentioned this band very enthusiastic.

Their first album, Beats of Olarizu, was splendid. Very lysergic but focused on powerful riffs. Their style was quickly labelled as stoner rock. To be honest, it’s a definition I don’t completely agree with, because it’s always used to name both bands featuring heavy riffs, and those trying to recreate the Kyuss sound. Whatever! If I had been told these guys came from Germany or Sweden, I would have bought it, because I hadn’t ever listened to something so good here.  Obviously they started to be known abroad not only because of this album but also because of their amazing live act. Really, both shows I’ve attended in the past were life travelling to another dimension. Amazing!

Due to the closeness of some of the members of the band, after the shows and through social networks, when I heard they were recording a new album I proposed them to write a review for RockZone magazine, and of course they accepted.

When I listened to the first single, ‘Butes’, I was completely overwhelmed. The hypnotism, the power of the bass lines leading, the melodies of Txus Dr. Sax really seduced me. Not being really acquainted on mastering and producing stuff, I reckon it sounds terrific. I thought this effect might have been caused by the fact that I was using headphones at that time, but them I’ve realized the sound is incredible.

Given To Emptiness reminds me of the experience of tripping on acid. Your mood and state of mind must be in certain condition, and you have to take some, not exactly precautions, but advantages, to enjoy the experience to the max. As I advanced, it is very hard to define the concept on an albums whose songs are in constant change and seem to be alive. The more you listen to them the different you realize they’re evolving.

‘Butes’ inspiration was the story written by Pascal Quignard, about a guy who didn’t accept getting unchained with Ulysses, and eventually he was irresistibly seduced by the siren songs. This is somehow, the same effect that Given To Emptiness causes. It’s so attractive you just let yourself be embraced by those hypnotic and dreamy tunes not caring about the consequences. Arenna, instead of focusing on the riffs, have become explorers of sound. They can help you to cross the threshold to a wild dimension, unknown and very evocative.


It’s taken me a month to start writing about this album, no matter how many times I’ve been listening to it ceaselessly on a daily basis. Sometimes I wake up in the morning with ‘Drums for Sitting Bull’ or ‘Move Through Figurehead Lights’ stuck in my head. I’m starting to reckon it’s become some sort of addiction or obsession.  I might be moved by enthusiasm but I reckon at this point Given To Emptiness will be included in my top 10 of 2015.

Trust me, this is something you cannot miss.

25 years of Goodfellas

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster

With this sentence, Henry Hill starts telling his story of rise and fall inside a mob family. It’s not fictional, Hill was a mobster for real, and passed away not too long ago. As fascinating it is, the responsible for delivering it to the mass on a silver plate was Martin Scorsese, who masterly directed one of his best films, and I dare to say, one of the best films in the history.


Believe me if I reckon I’ve watched it more than 20 times, and I still find it awesome. One of those films every time you watch them you discover some details which you didn’t earlier, from actors, to locations, or any tiny detail. I never get tired of Ray Liotta laughing at Joe Pesci at the Bamboo Lounge, and how he scares the shit out of him.

This week it’s been celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of the movie. It’s nice to see the cast gathering for the celebration of a great project, and it’s sad at the same time because you can see time does not forget anyone.

Is Goodfellas the best Italian mob film? Probably not, if you start thinking of The Godfather or Once Upon a Time in America, but it’s definitely one of the best.

The dynamism of a story told in 146 minutes is brilliant, separating the most remarkable episodes in the life of Hill. How he started being the kid running errands and grabbing an umbrella to protect one of the big bosses, the time he’s a successful young guy “well positioned” and falls in love with Karen, the Lufthansa Heist planned with Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito, and the devastating consequences for most of the people involved, the jail time, the drugs…everything supported by amazing performances by Liotta, DeNiro, Lorraine Bracco, Joe Pesci and Paul Sorvino, among many others, a terrific soundtrack, and many other features a good film analyst would be able to list.

I love the way Scorsese introduces the viewer to the family, as if making us one of them, going through all the Bamboo Lounge greeting everybody. The little man repeats this formula several times, one when Henry takes Karen to Copacabana, and instead of using the front door, they get into the restaurant by the kitchen access until a table is immediately set for them right at the moment they reach the lounge. Everything filmed with a steadicam, and the other at their wedding, when Karen tells about how overwhelmed she was with such a large family, so many people and so many envelopes.

Goodfellas was also the seed for David Chase at the time of creating The Sopranos. Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco were considered as candidates to play the roles of Tony and Carmela, but the idea eventually was turn down, although Bracco became Dr Melfi, Tony’s shrink, proving what an amazing actress she is. Also many actors were hired for the series, from Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti to Frank Vincent as Phil Leotardo or Tony Sirico, the great Paulie Gualtieri.

I think there’s nothing else to say. If you don’t like Goodfellas you’re missing a hell of a great film.