Friday, May 22, 2009

5Q :: Portland’s Unit Breed rocks the Pagan party

"Taking influence from the taste of trees, unyielding light, tigers’ bellies, desert mountains, upside-down submarines and the ghosts of martyrs, the Unit Breed creates a surreal experience that bends reality, sight and sound."

By: Matthew R. Perrine, Budgeteer News

The Oregon group Unit Breed plays live to a projection show of short collage animations.

It looks like the crowd at Thirsty Pagan is in for quite the show June 6.

Besides featuring Dave Mehling’s new band, Joe January, and another seed from the Brushstrokes family tree (Dan Dresser and Stephanie Dykema’s Three Song Sunday), Twin Ports music fans will get a taste of Portland’s Unit Breed.

Some highlights from the Oregon group’s tantalizing/slightly confusing bio: “For the last decade, the Unit Breed has been constantly touring, recording, damaging ear drums and expanding minds across the United States and Japan. The group has a strong DIY ethic, producing six full-length, home-recorded albums and a similarly impressive amount of homemade visuals, music videos and paintings. Taking influence from the taste of trees, unyielding light, tigers’ bellies, desert mountains, upside-down submarines and the ghosts of martyrs, the Unit Breed creates a surreal experience that bends reality, sight and sound.”

Intrigued? Read on. The Budgeteer recently sparred with the prolific group’s mastermind, Joe Demaree, for another installment of “5Q.”

Budgeteer: For those of us who haven’t experienced the Unit Breed in the flesh, what should we expect from your Superior show?

Demaree: Storytelling, building rhythms and melodies, visual bewilderment, peaks of clarity and much confusion — all in an effort to search out answers to base more questions around. Or, possibly, just three long-haired travelers happy to play a great brewery and city again [who are] looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.

How would you describe your sound? Do you guys have an intimidating stage presence?

Sometimes we sound like the ocean deep down in a whale’s song, other times we sound like the waves as they crash and shape the earth. We’re not as intimidating as the ocean. We’re not very intimidating at all.

I heard you’re quite adept at air guitar — is this true? Isn’t that just something people without any musical talent are supposed to enjoy?

I’m actually competing as “Captain Nowhere” in Minneapolis the day before we arrive in Superior.

Air guitar isn’t about making judgments; I’m not so sure what it’s about, but it’s one of the funnest things I’ve done. I better get my outfit together and start practicing those pelvis thrusts!

Do you think your career would be in the same place today if the Internet weren’t around? Do you ever miss promoting shows the old-fashioned way?

Never been too good with what-ifs, but it sure is easier to promote and book with the Internet around. Before, I had to call promoters and venues from random phone booths in random towns off of random highways just to get directions. I think in the future we’ll try flying a banner above towns behind a crop duster.

Finally, in addition to being an incredible artist and musician, you’ve also created a board game — can you share any details about it?

I’m working on making this game available before Christmas.

It’s a touring strategy board game called “Shut Up and Play!!!” You book a tour, build a following, have band fights, evade the cops, jump on shows, blow all your money, break down, have drunken dance parties … so it’s pretty much just like touring but you can do it in the comfort of your own home.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Romeo Spike album drops today

Yep - tis true. Romeo Spike's album For the Cause is now officially released as of today.

Listen and buy here:

That is all.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Black Skies vinyl!

Chapel Hill based Black Skies will be doing a 3 week national tour out to the West Coast and back, starting June 16th.


We are excited to announce the limited edition vinyl pressing of "Hexagon" was released on March 26th via I'm Better Than Everyone Records! Orders are now being taken through I'm Better Than Everyone Records at:

The release features:
Exclusive cover artwork by Tom Denney: (photos of artwork available at
500 hand numbered copies
On 180g vinyl
Numbers 1-100 on clear brown vinyl
Numbers 101-500 on black vinyl
recorded at Track and Field by Nick Petersen
mastered by Vince Burke
photo by Mike White @

Romeo Spike "For the Cause" review - Flagpole

1 day ago

Romeo Spike

For the Cause


The debut album from the dynamic duo of Mike Kunz and Donn Aaron is a genuinely solid first effort. Though it might be a stretch to call it "futuristic classic rock," For the Cause is a satisfactory melding of atmospheric space rock and chunky alt rock/ indie pop arrangements. What flows from the speakers is more reminiscent of The Teardrop Explodes than Pink Floyd, with elements of jazz and blues thrown in for good measure. Every now and again it becomes impossible to tell the difference between Romeo Spike and Science For Girls, due the band's wide array of instrumentation and the subtle down-tempo grooves floating in and out of the background. Even Kunz's emotive and slurred vocals become an instrument, especially on the closing track "Yesterday's News" - a perfectly sparse arrangement containing haunting melodies and atmospherics. Thankfully For the Cause is chock full of standout numbers including the bluesy, sexy, drug-love ballad, "Cocaine Slim" and the upbeat synth-laced dream-pop of "Star Power," a song that's sure to be stuck on repeat.

And while Kunz and Aaron are responsible for most everything you hear on the album, they were able to garner the attention of Grammy-award winner and long-time Elton John mix engineer/producer Matt Still who produced, mixed and provided back-up vocals on almost half the album. Though some of the lyrics may be a bit absurd, overall this first effort is resoundingly engaging, resulting in an album that's absolutely worth the fight

Giant Squid review dryvetyme onlyne


Giant Squid
The Ichthyologist
Self-Released; 2009

Guest Contributor: Michael Dallas Miller

I am not a metal guy. Take one look at me or conduct an investigation of any of the reviews I have written and you can easily tell that I am not a metal guy. But, I wasn’t going to let my predisposed tendencies towards folk-driven rock and soul-infused hip hop tell me I wasn’t going to like the new album from once-from Austin band, Giant Squid, just because I knew it was, in some way or another, a metal album.

The opening track, “Panthalassa”, is a dark dirge of a tune—in the beginning—with organ sounds and melodies that cannot be described as anything but creepy. This quickly explodes into shredding guitars, heart-thumping snare hits, and hollering vocal screams. The songs takes a few more hard rock turns before the final note, leaving the listener thinking, “What a hell of a ride!”

Unlike what I might have thought from the opening five minutes of the album, this album is not merely a test in decibel distribution and ear-drum demolition. There is control in the Giant Squid madness with beautiful refrains on tracks like “Mormon Island” (a smooth and straight electronic bike-ride) and “Dead Man Slough,” which takes the reverb only to where it needs to go, avoiding an overkill.

Certain cuts, such as “Throwing A Donner Party At Sea,” move fluidly and quickly, serving as little more than pop songs in length and form, but are no less of a good time. Others are just freaking epic, “Sutterville”, which seems to have musical section than I have nose hairs (which is a lot). Also, the eight-minute conclusion of “Rubicon Wall” drips with pain and anguish in every Fender strum and fiddle hum.

And this is what I have never fully appreciated about metal music. As much as I do not care for the vocals or some of the intensity, I cannot deny the amount of finely-tuned orchestration on The lchthyologist. Nearly every song will take you up, then down, back right, over to the left, in directions you didn’t even know existed. It’s like the Willy Wonka Elevator from hell (and I mean that as a compliment).

Pictures of Then guest editorial in REVOLT


MIKE PARDEW "AZUL" reviewed in current issue of ATHENS BLUR

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mike Pardew's AZUL reviewed by!

Azul Mike Pardew Afan Music (2009)
By Glenn Astarita
Discuss Portland, Oregon area guitarist Mike Pardew executes the first several tracks of this trio date with sleek jazz grooves and meticulously designed phrasings. Then he occasionally undercuts some of the passages with ominous theme building maneuvers atop his rhythm section's deep and pulsating grooves. But on the later tracks, Pardew turns up the heat with distortion and sustain techniques, where he treads upon jazz-rock, jazz-fusion, and progressive-metal frameworks.
With bassist Damian Erskine's cleanly enacted, pumping electric bass lines, and drummer Micah Kassell's brusque backbeats, the guitarist is offered a fluid but sturdy improvisational base. And on pieces such as "Stairwell," Pardew zooms in for the kill via his edgy, soaring, and highly-electric licks to complement the rhythm section's spunky bottom-end. Pardew and Erskine also generate low heat with crunching unison lines. In light of that, the trio pursues a higher-octane and louder musical plane as the program moves forward.
On "Flathead Lake," Pardew puts his guitar into overdrive with some prog-metal overtones amid a freaky answering machine voice message dub, then sojourns into a weighty rock motif, evidenced during the explosive "Bigfork." Ultimately, the band cycles through a consortium of interesting developments, although most of these works are constructed with medium-tempo pulses.
No speed metal or superfluous fuzoid romps here. On the contrary, Pardew merges good taste and formidable chops with a game-plan that progresses into a vivacious feast for the neural network.
Visit Mike Pardew on the web.
Track listing: Shades; Azul; Welcome Home; Road Worn; Transgression; Hwy 93; Velonis; Ferrazzano; Stairwell; Flathead Lake; Bigfork; Alluvium.
Personnel: Mike Pardew: guitar; Damian Erskine: bass; Micah Kassell: drums.
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock