Preview by Jessica Kaminski
When the powers of Erin Tate (Minus the Bear), David Totten (The Quiet Ones, Scriptures), Eric Sturgeon (The Lonely Forest) and Matt Benham (The Black Swedes, Argo) combine, the musical super power known as Black Hills unleash the forces of rock. Black Hills began as a side project between Tate and Totten as a way to explore the influences of psychedelic and schizophrenic prog rock and stretch their respective songwriting skills. The foundation of the resulting sound is shredding solos and screaming vocal melodies all hung on the solid framework of their unyielding rhythm section. With Sturgeon on bass and Benham working his multi-instrumental magic, Black Hills is a satisfying sonic experience. You might even go so far as to say “there is gold in them there hills.”
Hustle and Drone are another band that has familiar parts but you might not recognize the whole. Ryan Neighbors the former keyboardist from Portugal the Man and Kirk Ohnstad from Hello Electric have embarked on a musical quest to bring soulful vocals and atmospheric arrangements to the ears and hearts of the Pacific Northwest.
Also on the docket Wednesday night is the band Ships.
Tonight, the Tractor Tavern will be shaking with loud psychedelic blues rock and massive riffs as Radio Moscow takes the stage. Radio Moscow’s sound combines the classic 60s/70s blues rock of bands such as Cream, Blue Cheer, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience with sludgy stoner rock inspired by bands such as Black Sabbath.
The band got their start with a lucky break – an unsolicited demo tape passed to the merch guy at a Black Keys show ended up impressing singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach enough for him to want to produce their debut for Alive/Natural sound records (who had also signed the Black Keys on the strength of an unsolicited demo). This was quickly followed up by their second album in 2007, Brain Cycles, which added a heavy element of stoner rock to the band’s classic 70’s hard/blues rock sound as well as bring the psychedelic elements more to the forefront. Their most recent release is 2011’s The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz.
Radio Moscow won’t be the only band rocking the Tractor stage tonight. Opening are Seattle bands Antique Scream and Ancient Warlocks, who also play very heavy blues rock, and The Dirty Streets from Memphis who dial back the metal side of things a bit to emphasize their psychedelic sound (they also claim to be from space).
Other goings on this Wednesday include a benefit for the Cafe Racer tragedy at the Comet featuring Out on the Streets and Klondike Kate plus Strong Killings at the Sunset.