We were introduced to The Power of the Riff last summer, when they threw an all day festival. They are Sam Velde (Night Horse), a man who knows everyone, and Greg Anderson (Southern Lord, Goatsnake, Sunn O))) & more), a man everyone wants to know. It was an unqualified success. A rarity for a first-time festival, and they pulled it off by not being too ambitious. It was free, utilized connected venues that were battle-tested for music, and all ages. Low risk, high reward. The place was packed from the outset. And when it was all over, the only question was whether these busy guys would be interested in doing it all over again. It turns out they are, and they want to do it more often and in more cities. We can subscribe to that.
They're kicking 2011 off with another all ages show this Sunday at the Echo. This time it costs money ($7 advance/$10 door), but the capacity is small, the talent level is high, and you should have no qualms about paying to get in. The headliner is LA's own black metal qunitet THE FUNERAL PYRE. In this season of penance I'm obliged to admit that I just saw this band for the my first time last Friday at Vacation Vinyl. They play a lot of shows and as is prone to happen, you get in that "next time" mentality. Well, I finally got past that unhealthy mindset, and what I experienced in the record store left me wanting more. There's something in the air live that doesn't quite get to you on record, at least yet. But that's a good problem to have. Most BM bands cannot eclipse their studio output. THE FUNERAL PYRE are road warriors, and we are the beneficiaries.
The original draw for me to Sunday's show was the opportunity to see Italy's THE SECRET. There may be no next time to see these motherfuckers. This is my favorite Southern Lord album of last year, and that's saying so, so much, because BLACK BREATH, NAILS, and TWILIGHT, just for starters, got a whole lot of my time. After the first listen I immediately looked to see how people describe it. When it came to classifying in genres, they were all over all the place. And that's because these Italians are mining the essence of metal. Black, filthy, guttural and chock full of riffagr. It's what draws all the best metal together.
So although you should happily part with some cash for this one, a few of you can leave it at the merch table because we're giving three tickers away. Contact us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name to enter. All winners will be informed by Friday at noon.