I’m on three hours sleep today from taking the late train back Upstate after seeing Hether Fortune at Saint Vitus Bar, rounding out a series of East Coast performances that included a stop at Basilica Soundscape (alongside the likes of Insect Ark, Spellling and Lightning Bolt) before she headed back West. The fucked up-ness of the MTA notwithstanding, it was definitely worth attending one of Fortune’s solo performances hot on the heels of the Wax Idols hiatus. I am bummed I had to run for the train before Hilary Woods and the other act so I could get home in time to scrub bar toilets in the morning like a true starving artist. Some strong coffee and an AK-47 vape from a delivery guy from hippie country and I was able to get through most of the overcast day in a sleepy, if reflective gothy haze, so don’t feel too bad for me. I am also proud of myself for not drinking anything but a club soda and a Japanese matcha tea with tapioca balls all night. It was fun to text with my friend Grasshopper from Mercury Rev about how rad the show was last night while he was telling me about how good a time he is having in Madrid right now eating awesome food, haha. I got him and a super talented trans violinist friend to both agree to be on my next solo album last night, so it’s been all win in my neck of the woods today between that and the concert.
It is SO inspiring when a performer can have a lot shift in their life (such as a band hiatus) and bravely manage to not skip a beat and creatively still go deeper than some fear to tread even at their most confident circumstances. I have a ton of respect for that because I know when bands I was in that I spent a lot of emotional energy on went on hiatus over the years I have done everything from just lock myself away doing speedballs (granted thankfully 20 years ago) to being less destructive but unable to be seen in daylight hours without ugly snot crying. So big kudos to Hether for sticking it to the man and just continuing to rock without missing a step. You slay.
Fortune played a short set but it was full of powerful material from a solo album she has been working on for months. A new song “Sister” is as strong as any of the best material she has been a part of over the years with through the roof emotive vocals from a genuine place. There was also a to die for song about The Joker that, honestly, Warner Bros and DC need to just fucking call her now. It would make me almost forgive them for that fucking awful, awful “Purple Lamborghini” video with Skrillex and Rick Ross with Jared Leto’s anemic mall joker on a speedboat, if I recall. Just do the right thing and call Hether up about using this song. It takes the famous “one bad day” Alan Moore theme and adds serious real world emotional weight with Fortune’s trademark melodic vocals that manage to be both mournful and yet uplifting at once.
Anyway, it was awesome to finally see Hether live. Major shout out and never stop what you are doing. Truly one of the most inspiring performers out there who I listen to much more than most other artists. It meant a lot to finally see live someone who has created a lot of music that has moved me even in these jaded ass cynical times. There were some looping difficulties Fortune tweeted about today during a cover of The Verve’s biggest hit “Bittersweet Symphony”, but it really wasn’t the end of the world at all. One small part was a little off time but Fortune made it work by sort of elongating the vocal cadence and it just came off as just more fuckin’ punk and sort of trippy, though she was being a little self deprecating about it afterward. For real though, there was so much pathos, cool ambient guitar sounds that would have raised even Trent Reznor’s eyebrows and poetry packed into that set that I am sure no one there felt anything but stoked.
On November 23rd, Cattle Decapitation will release their new rarities collection, Medium Rarities (that’s fucking hysterical), via Metal Blade Records. Featuring 6 previously unreleased pre-Human Jerky (1999) demos with front-man Travis Ryan on guitar (while also handling vocal duties), plus the long-sought-after To Serve Man (2002) bonus track, “Rotting Children For Remote Viewing” – in addition to other rarities (including the 6 songs from 2005’s split EP with Caninus!) – this compilation spans the band’s 22-year long career and is a must-have for any Cattle Decapitation fan.
Travis Ryan comments: “‘Medium Rarities‘ is a project we started about 10 years ago, and we’re thrilled to see it finally happen! In 2008, I started compiling unreleased tracks, import bonus tracks and 7″ releases for a rarities release – and even had the art created by the legendary Wes Benscoter, when we discovered that a key track was missing that we wanted to include on it. Our album ‘To Serve Man‘ had a bonus track ready in case there was a Japanese version released, but that never happened – and the band members’ copies of the track got lost, seemingly forever! We felt a rarities compilation released without that bonus track would be a weird idea, and so the project got shelved until recently. Heather Parsons of Metal Blade finally was able to unearth the track from an old disc that was tucked away in the Metal Blade vault! The lyrics to the song were unearthed along with it, and so we quickly got to work with compiling and mastering the rest. This is a nice, concise compilation of unreleased and hard-to-find tracks, complete with lyrics and cheeky vinyl color variant schemes, based on how people like their meat prepared. The European vinyl variants also resemble diseased meats…But my favorite part is the cassette, which was created to look like the vintage cassette releases we grew up on – complete with the old school Metal Blade axe logo! A lot of thought and work went into this release, and we are pleased to finally be able to present to you…’Medium Rarities‘!”
For a preview of Medium Rarities, “An Exposition of Insides” (a Japanese bonus track from 2012’s Monolith of Inhumanity) can be streamed now at: metalblade.com/cattledecapitation – where the collection can also be pre-ordered.
Lastly for today, I wanna make sure you all know about great news from Philly post-metal pilots of the subconscious Rosetta!
Both The Anaesthete and Quintessential Ephemera will be reissued on 2xLP on various color variants via Pelagic Records October 5th. For North American preorders, go to THIS LOCATION. In Europe go HERE and in Australia go HERE.
If you haven’t heard this band I want to actually take the rare moment to make myself shut the fuck up and instead of trying to cram a word salad on rye into your ears I am gonna insist you go look them up on Bandcamp and just let them paint worlds for you.
11/01/2018 Backstage – Paris, FR
11/02/2018 The Dome – London, UK
11/03/2018 Damnation Festival – Leeds, UK
11/04/2018 Effenaar – Eindhoven, NL
11/05/2018 Sputnikhalle – Münster, DE
11/06/2018 Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, DE
11/07/2018 Le Port France – Sion, CH
11/08/2018 Santeria Social Club – Milan, IT
11/09/2018 Strom – München, DE
11/11/2018 Randa – Bratislava, SK
11/12/2018 Form Space – Cluj-Napoca, RO
11/14/2018 Control Club – Bucharest, RO
11/15/2018 Reflektor – Timisoara, RO
11/16/2018 Blue Hell – Budapest, HU
11/17/2018 Mochvara – Zagreb, CR
11/18/2018 Zet Pe Te – Krakow, PL
11/19/2018 Proxima – Warsaw, PL