Author Archives: Toi Brownstone

What a great day it was!

How many times have you enjoyed such a great time that you come to the conclusion it’s been one of the most thrilling days/time in your life? Think of it. Not many, huh?

I tend to enjoy spare time as much as possible, and always find amusement in very simple things. Watching movies, listening to records, water my plants, writing a post or just having a conversation. To sum up, my aim is never to get bored. I know some people unable to fill free time in something not necessarily productive, but just pleasant, except for sleeping. That’s not my situation, and as you already know, I feel very frustrated when I waste too much time sleeping due to hangovers or simply because I feel exhausted.

hawaii tetis

Anyway, I’m being too repetitive. Been to Zaragoza, last weekend, to attend a mini rock fest named ORF. This time Veronica, aka Dra Feelgood, was also joining me for one of our sessions as Las Tetis DJs on Saturday night to close the event at La Ley SEca. It was a good chance to go out in the afternoon for one of our intense open-air vermouths with close friends of mine, and some other guys attending the festival we are acquainted with through the music forum we participate in.

The mixture of different people getting on well was terrific, beer never abandoned us, and the quality of conversations and laughs was super high. I don’t know, everything was so easy and natural…

And then our session started, with high spirits and people absolutely in the mood for partying hard, so we gave them what the attendants demanded and spent more than 5 hours playing music nonstop super loud. Everybody was drinking, dancing and singing wildly. To be honest, I was damned excited when we jumped onto stage and friends were calling out “Tetis, tetis!” like craze.

Today it’s Tuesday night, and I’m still knackered. My voice’s ruined, my eyes are puffy and I’m very slow, both in motion and thinking. Fortunately we’ve not been  too busy at the office, otherwise it’d have been Hell, but man! No matter how much I complain now, It’s been worth every minute and every beer.

Every time I remember conversations, or see any pictures circulating, think of my friends, I can’t help smiling. Because at the end of the day, what is real happiness but a succession of these moments and memories?

*** Thanks Tani for the pic.

Album of week 16: LA SEXORCISTO: DEVIL MUSIC VOLUME 1.

SEXORCISTO

22 years ago the American band led by that unique character named Rob Zombie, released his best work, La Sexorcisto. With this personal statement fans and not so fans have been served the bait for an argument in a silver plate, and there are reading this text rubbing their hands ready to attack when the time comes. Wish it was like that, but you seem too quiet lately, and this is not a universal assertion, but my humble opinion.

I’m sure many people disagrees on behalf of their following and last work, Astro Creep…, which sounded more industrial, and overproduced, but my favorite, remaking the fact that I’m not a huge fan of Zombie, and even less of his attempts to establish as a horror director (Lords of Salem, motherfucker, what a shitty joke), is La Sexorcisto regardless.

To put you in situation, this album came out in March 1992, through huge Geffen Records, and was produced by Andy Wallace, who had worked with Slayer, The Cult, Sepultura or L7, and was the man behind Nevermind. The odds for succeeding were obviously good, and they had a single. THE single.

Thunder Kiss ’65 could be included in a list of my top 10 most headbanging songs. We used to do it so hard and intensely it wasn’t rare any of us would get dizzy afterwards. Whenever I listen to it nowadays I remember going out was like attending an intensive gym class. Devizio was the venue, beer and calimotxo were running the whole night, and we had such energy we could be dancing for hours. Not to mention one of my teenager specialties: stage diving. I’ve always been very serious about how to have fun, you know?

Days ago I was accompanying someone to run some errands, and he played this album on the car stereo, really loud. My feeling was that it was more rocking than I remembered, very powerful but fresh at the same time. The samples of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Kill!, classic Batman of Plan 9 From Outer Space, was providing La Sexorcisto of a classic sci-fi horror halo, which became a constant feature within Rob Zombie’s universe.  It’s true that at some point I always think it’s too long, and therefore I lose interest after a while. But hey! It’s always great to travel back in time, and songs such as ‘Black Sunshine’ or ‘Grindhouse (A Go-go)’are pretty cool.

Album of week 15: DO TO THE BEAST

do to the beast

It’s funny the way we change our minds with the passing of time. years ago Greg Dulli was denying the possibility of a reunion of The Afghan Whigs. Probably he felt comfortable with his band  The Twilight Singers and other projects such as The Gutter Twins with his friend Mark Lanegan.

According to the singer, it had to be an acoustic concert in Chicago, with his pal John Curley, in 2010, which made him be at peace with the band, the wonderful legacy they’d left behind and those past times. Suddenly he found a extreme pleasure in playing old songs he had written himself, and probably it was a feeling of nostalgia what made him look for the band to play some live shows.

As you know I was lucky to attend their performance at Primavera Sound Festival in 2012, and I was even luckier to enjoy a 5 minutes talk with Dulli when I found him in the middle of a path at the fest. It was a delightful experience, and the dude seemed to be so friendly and attentive, leaving his beautiful blue eyes staring at me aside, I really had a crush on him.

I’ve been following him on different networks, and love the pics he posts on Instagram. He started uploading pictures at a recording studio and I started getting excited. When the band announced their first album to be published in 16 years through Sub Pop records, I was thrilled.

If there was some doubt of the quality of Do To The Beast, when the first single ‘Algiers’ was premiered , I felt some sort of relief mixed with joy, as it’s so brilliant! The vibe brings you to Sergio Leone’s westerns, and you can feel a taste of the dry sand of the desert. Very catchy, very classy.

I was assigned the review of the album for Rockzone, and spent at least 5 days just listening to it exclusively, to get deeply coated by its essence, and I concluded it’s an outstanding record, different from the past works, yet keeping 100% of the essence and sound of the band, but taking advantage of the freshness of a new beginning.

It was funny to discover about the spending opening track ‘Parked Outside’ on a track-by-track analysis written by Dulli himself, defined as a stripper song, because I had this same impression. there’s filth and decadence, and at the same time it’s sexy. I like this combination, I got a taste for the decadent-sensual imagery and music.

AfghanWhigs

I’m not gonna dissect Do To The Beast in depth, but affirm that it’s one of the best comeback albums I’ve recently listened to, and I feel optimistic thinking it will encourage The Afghan Whigs to stay active for a long time.

This band is not easy accessible at a first hearing, but with the time melodies, guitars, piano parts, that perfect imperfection in Dulli’s singing, the elegance and the atmospheres of their albums eventually seduce you, as if it was one of the hardest drugs, until you are completely hooked to them.

Hats off to the gentlemen!

And 37 years ago a MIRACLE happened in Heildelberg

FASS-BEN-DER

…And the world became a much better place.

fassy miracle.

Michael Fassbender

michael-fassbender

Anxiety Reducer

Just a quick post before I go to sleep, to share with  you the single Fu Manchu has just advance few hours ago through Brooklyn Vegan, to introduce their upcoming album Gigantoid, published by their own label, Dojo Records.

Check the album cover. It’s stunning.

gigantoid

I’ve just listened to ‘Anxiety Reducer’ 4 times, and apparently that it moves on the same path as the band’s previous work, Signs of Infinite Power. Fuzz to the must, heavy, repetitive riffs, first grade lyrics and the voice of Scott Hill at his purest. It’s definitely a great single, very catchy. I fuckin’ love it!

Let’s see what my belove Californian guys have in hands. Fingers crossed.

Can’t wait for the party!

Fire Walk With Me

tp

Gorgeous Norma refills my cup with one of the best black coffees I’ve ever tasted in my life, while I’m waiting for Shelley to bring me a piece of that fantastic cherry pie. Agent Cooper sits next to me, and we both smile at each other in pleasure, and deeply inhale at the same time. Everything is so peaceful here! The warm scent that makes me feel home, the buzz created by Donna and Maddie gossiping, the doorbell sounding, the noises coming from the kitchen and… the lady with the log chewing gum hysterically. That little bitch of Audrey Horne flips a coin into the jukebox, and this sensual and hypnotic jazzy tune spreads in the air, and makes me feel like dancing with her, in the middle of Double R diner, moreover, I wish I was that little adorable creature.

horne

Yes, I’m back in Twin Peaks, after so many years, and it feels like being at home. You know, a familiar place, surrounded by objects, sets and people you get the feeling of having been acquainted with for long time.

This is how I feel these days while enjoying my third time watching the series. And you know what? The more I watch the more I want. This time I’ve enjoyed the comedy remarks, the characters, the locations, and the coffee you know it has to be terrific but cannot smell nor taste.Every single detail is there for a reason, everything is planned and designed to fit perfectly.

laura 25

It’s been few days since I wrote this, and today it’s March 26. I’m very bad at calendar references mentioned in series and films but Twin Peaks fans sent me a remarkable reminder. March 25th 2014 was the date Laura Palmer referred to when she said to Agent Cooper she will see him in 25 years. Did it happen anything last night between them? In our minds it did, even though we didn’t have any news about it, but it’s amazing and way too cool to realize there are still people celebrating this kind of events, proving the magic of great and catchy stories which really left a mark on us, a particular generation .

Damn Lynch! You had a great day when your mind created all the Twin Peaks universe. It’s so unique! Let’s dance with the dwarf to celebrate!

ALBUM OF WEEK 12: TRANSGENDER DYSPHORIA BLUES

Against Me! has burst onto my life intensely. Not only thanks to their last record, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, but also because of the fascinating leader, Laura Jane Grace.

To be honest few I knew about this band, only that they had an album named Reinventing Axl Rose, with, obviously, Mighty Axl on the cover, and a couple of songs heard. You know, sometimes you can’t cope with everything and have to set your priorities. Against Me! Wasn’t one, even though some friends had told me I had to give them a chance.

against me transgender dysphoria blues

With the release of the new album, the right time to start digging arrived. The impression caused by Transgender Dysphoria Blues was very positive. A pretty intense 10-track album, a straight declaration of principles, with lots of released energy, revelations and deep lyrics full of message. Solid composition and compact sound, and very very powerful.

The case of Laura Jane Grace is terrific. She was born Tom Gabel, and ended up leading a quite respected and popular band. After lots of years of inner struggle, having wife and kid, two years ago he discloses his change into HER. Tom is now Laura Jane, and will go on leading Against Me! No matter what it takes.

The more details I got acquainted with, the harder my crush on her was, up to the point that, giving so much thought to the impact of her decision on his/her female fans, I decided my monthly text for Rockzone March issue would talk about her. The thought of his fans in shock after discovering Laura Jane was no longer Tom, and their teenage crush fallen to pieces, was very inspiring. On one hand your concept of someone changes completely, and on the other the fact that he proved great balls going under treatment and making it public. Very brave.

laura jane

Her guts, her story, her suffering…everything in Laura Jane is inspiring, and now I only wish some day I get the chance to talk to her.

Recently  I’ve been dissecting one of the most likely to 5 albums of 2014 (sorry, I cannot tell yet), so obsessed, I’ve been listening to the same record nonstop for 5 days, until Tuesday, when the mailman finally brought me my copy after  long delay. Today I’ve spent my evening with Transgender Dysphoria Blues. 28 minutes of emotional release, passion and rock. This album easily gets under your skin, as if the poison of a mosquito was, getting hooked right away. I’ll have to wait until mid June though to get the chance to enjoy them on stage.

Don’t want to start with forecasts yet, but I got the feeling I will talk about this album again at the end of the year. totally dig it!

INK CELEBRATIONS

Nowadays, with all these business closing down due to bad economic situation (I hate abusing of the word crisis), it is really a great pleasure being able to join the celebration of the 13th and 5th anniversaries of my two favorite tattoo studios in Barcelona, Aloha Tattoos and Barcelona Electric Tattoo.

electric tattoo

The quality of many of the artists working there is outstanding and their work worldwide renowned, as they are constantly on the move, attending conventions and working as guests at other studios: El Monga, Javi Castaño, El Carlo, Tai Iglesias…I’m very proud of getting inked myself by Alvaro Llorar and Rotor myself. Those who are into this world can feel very lucky to have such great artists so close at hand.

david tejero

Parties were held last week and both were a blast. Probably the first one, Aloha’s at Nervermind was wilder, because expectations weren’t so high and took us by surprise. Contests, very cool decorated walls, gifts, free tattoos, Black Thunders live performance…and Toi volunteering as a beer drinking contender. Of course I didn’t win, and didn’t aim to, but it was insane and I had a laugh. And got wasted.

On Saturday, the party took place at BeGood. There was still a trace of the previous party so everybody took it easier, but the live performances, including a mini burlesque show, really cheered us all up. I flipped with Tort especially, with their new singer and guitar player. The show was impressive.

tort

What I particularly enjoyed was the comradeship among the artists, who attended each other parties, and the community of tattooists from other cities in Spain who joined the celebration. It was very interesting to know other people, their working style, and the humility to admire others’ work. I felt observe, but in a good way, and I was given some business cards to bear in mind. Never been able to attend a convention, but this was in fact a great experience.

I tend to admire what’s abroad first, rather than what’s at home, but after quite some time observing and getting acquainted with the tattoo world, I have to admit Spain has a great bunch of fantastic artists. Still there are some things to improve, which do not have to do with them, but us and the society we are currently living in, and our narrow mindset. I only hope tattoos are not a temporary fashion, society stops regarding tattoos as something weird or bad, and these studios remain open, allowing these wonderful artists to stay here, so we can celebrate many more anniversaries.

aloha tattoos

I’ll go to Aloha Tattoos to get my 13 drop inked soon. It’d be great I’d be able to get another one celebrating 25 years.

Keep up the excellent work and good luck!

N-O.

Since the day we were born, we’ve all been raised in the belief that NO only means prohibition and rejection. This reminds me of that day I questioned why we are not taught to lose. We are chasing the acceptance, the success, and all the positive connotations of everything, we are brought up to be obedient and act for the sake of the others.

Let me tell you something. At age 37 I’ve finally learned to say NO, and for the first time I’ve understood that it can also mean freedom of choice and determination. And I’ve recently discovered there’s some deal of satisfaction and pleasure in saying it.

Just think for a moment.  How many times have you accepted doing something you didn’t want to which wasn’t implying any benefit for you except for pleasing someone? I might sound selfish, but I’m not. I’m devoted to my beloved, been an idiot and a puppet when I was deep into a relationship. and  love making people around happy, so as to contribute to their happiness. And I really mean it. But at some point, in order to make sure you are the number one priority in your own life, sometimes you have to set a limit, always bearing in mind you’re not really bothering anyone.

Few days ago I was chatting with my parents and the subject of summer holidays was brought up, because I was considering my attendance at a festival near my parents’ summer getaway. I saw some hope in their eyes for an instant, as if they were expecting me to say something about joining them for few days. Of course that wasn’t gonna happen, and for the first time in all these years, rather than repeating the same excuse (which is real), I explained them I don’t fit there anymore, and would feel locked and wouldn’t have fun. Perhaps it was shocking at first, but at the end of the day it was honest, and I’m sure they perceived it as such.

This is an example of what I’m talking about.

Sometimes you get involved in plans you don’t feel like participating in, just because. Sometimes you don’t feel like doing something for no apparent reason, and if you are honest, people look at you disappointed, because honesty is sometimes not so well assumed as a lie. You know, I was telling someone that if you are committed to do something is because you want and you’re 200% convinced and motivated. Otherwise it’s a waste of time, and you won’t get satisfied, and probably the others won’t be as pleased as they’d expect either.

There are sometimes you have to say NO because you also know your limits and your capacity to face and focus certain circumstances and events, and your performance will be worse than usual. It is time to be humble and admit you just can’t do it. And if it’s not a life/death extreme situation it’s not that bad.

Thus, this chance to say NO can apply to many different scenarios, and if you use this option without abusing, I’m sure it can improve your life.

So, give it a try someday and just say NO.

GARCIA: WHAT HAPPENED?

No doubt John Garcia has one of the most powerful and unique voices in stoner-metal rock. His role as the lead singer and frontman of Kyuss created a pattern and meant a huge influence for many bands and musicians. The legacy left by this band is outstanding and meant the foundings of the style.

kyuss band

Unfortunately at some point, like many bands, members decided to split ways, being Josh Homme the most successful thanks to Queens of the Stone Age, a project whose first album saw the light back in 1998 and has been following a rising career up to the stardom. John Garcia though, throughout these years, has been trying luck with different projects, which were never steady nor constant, and characterized by remaining in a more underground (almost nonexistent) scene.

Many people sure think it’s not fair to compare both artists, but as a fan, in an attempt to understand what’s going on with Garcia, it’s difficult not to do so.

Back in the day, Garcia released with Slo Burn one of the most epic ep’s I can remember, Amusing the Amazing. 4 songs of pure energy and rage, proving there was life after Kyuss, and creating great expectations among fans, who were delighted. Slo Burn kept part of the desert essence of Kyuss, but at the same time it was more metal, and very straight to the face. I missed their last show in London for 2-3 weeks, a pity. I’m sure probably I’d be adding it to my fave shows, but fate didn’t want to favor me this time.

Once the project was over, Garcia set up another band he led named Unida. They only released an album, Coping with the Urban Coyote, which was also terrific. I remember back in Spain, when internet was a modem (not modern)  luxury and downloading a song used to take ages, there was a second album rumored which never saw the light, and there were leaked songs circulating, which were pretty good, actually. I never understood what happened. Again, the project didn’t manage to stand for itself, and the band disintegrated.

At the same time, Homme, who had been collaborating with Mark Lanegan among others, finally created QOTSA, a band which has been rising step by step, with no major quality failures except for the weird Era Vulgaris, but lots of changes in the lineup, which didn’t affect the evolution of Homme, who was and still is in control of everything.

Garcia came up to the ring with Hermano, band which released three albums. Only a Suggestion, the debut, was pretty cool, the second, Dare I Say, is expendable and not quite remarkable, and the third, Into the Exam Room wasn’t that bad. And then again, the union failed. Hermano hasn’t officially split, but hiatus has lasted for long time.

garcia

In the last years Garcia has been attempting to try luck by resurrecting his old projects, including Kyuss, under the name of Kyuss Lives, with Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork, which was followed by a lawsuit from Homme and Scott Reeder, for bad use of the trademark. I saw them a couple of times at two festivals, and it was a good exercise of nostalgia, obviously, and the band was tight and solid, but…you know, that wasn’t Kyuss. After this trouble, Vista Chino rose from the ashes of Kyuss Lives as a trio, but frankly speaking, the work sounds repetitive and monotonous, and eventually I’ve finally lost my interest completely.

Last week Unida were confirmed as part of the lineup of a Spanish festival and I just couldn’t believe it. Unida again? WTF? John, man, what the hell is going on?

Trying to be as much respectful as possible, these continuous attempts to succeed through the reunion nostalgic effect are, in my opinion, a way to creep after your legacy in a classless way, and I find this whole decline a bit pathetic. I don’t care whether it’s for the money or the success, I thought Garcia was really taking care of his business, trying to go on with his style avoiding becoming mainstream, but now, I only see a caricature of the powerful leader he used to be, and that makes me really really sad.

John, man, what happened?

* Currently listening to Coping with the Human Coyote