Ghost @ The Palace Theater 06/01/18

These are really late, but I worked all weekend and haven’t been feeling great so we’ll pretend those are valid excuses. BUT last Friday I got to shoot for Ghost, the Swedish pop-metal band, on the day of their fourth album release. This show had been sold out for quite some time, and while I’m not a huge fan of their music (it should be way heavier considering their whole occult image, in my opinion) the theatrics and novelty of their performance made up for it. I’m glad nobody died at the Minneapolis show, Cardinal Copia paid respects to the passed fan from Milwaukee just two songs into the first set. Sad my dad couldn’t be there with me to people watch, but enjoy the photos, they were fun to shoot!

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Maia’s Dad’s top ten albums of 2017

This year, as I’ve already shared my best-of lists with The Current, my dad is bringing us his top ten albums of 2017 – enjoy! 

“What makes a great record? For me a great song or album should evoke some emotion, get a mosh pit going in my head, or just a good zone out. With those parameters in mind, I hope that this list will hit some of you like they did me. If you haven’t heard of some these bands I really encourage you to step out of your music panic rooms and give them a spin.

10. Junius – Eternal Rituals for the Accretion

I stumbled upon these guys after Maia and I saw Caspian live this past year. They have that post rock feel, but with vocals. The song writing is brilliant, and has pounding percussion and heavy low end riffs throughout the record. Stand out track: “March of the Samsara”

9. Pallbearer – Heartless

Hailing from Arkansas, these gents have a sludgy groove and spacey sound to them. This record has been in a constant rotation on Spotify. Stand out track: “I saw the End”

8. Marilyn Manson – Heaven Upside Down

Love Him or hate him, he’s had a good run and showing no sign of slowing down. Although this record feels like left overs  from his previous album, The Pale Emperor (2015). Still a great album, give it a go. Stand out track: “Blood Honey”

7. Nine Inch Nails – Not the Actual Events / Add Violence

I am combining these two EPs to make one full length album. This record feels like Trent Reznor might be beginning a return to the the agro-industrial titan he was early on in his career. I have, will, and always dig anything Trent does. Fan boy? Yep! Don’t care! Stand out tracks: “The Idea of You,” “Less Than”

6. Code Orange – Forever

Ok, so when this album dropped, the entire metal world went, and still are going ape shit over this album. I gave it a couple of plays and was like, “I don’t get it, I don’t hear the magic.” As the year went on, I gave it another spin and was like “Ok, I think I hear it,” but still wasn’t all in. Then, when I heard they’re nominated for a flipping Grammy, I thought, “I have to be missing something, let’s give it another go.” And like a switch went on in me, I get it.

This album comes out the gate wind-milling sledgehammers. It is some of the heaviest music I have ever heard. They have taken sounds and stylings from hardcore, metal-core, and industrial, brilliantly mashed it together, and have come up with an amazing sound. This may take a couple of spins to get but it’s worth it. Stand out tracks: “Forever,” “Bleeding the blur,” “Adeline-shade” (Alt J cover)

5. Prophets of Rage – Prophets of Rage

Having grown up with all three of the bands that make up this super group (Public Enemy, Rage Against the Machine, and Cypress Hill), together they fight improprieties of the current presidential administration, and social and environmental injustice. Tom Morello, the outspoken mouth piece for the band has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Harvard, he knows his shit. If you want to get your protest on, or just need a good release from our current state of political affairs, this is the record for you. Stand out track: “Unfuck the World”

4. Kamikaze Girls – Seafoam

I don’t know a whole lot about this Brit duo having just recently came across them, but I do know that this record is a gem. They have fused punk, shoe gaze, and some early nineties alternative, and came up with an absolutely amazing album. This is one of those records that from the opening chord, it’s a good one and has been on heavy Spotify rotation. This is a must hear. Stand out tracks: “One Young Man,” “I Don’t Want to Be Sad Forever”

3. Hundredth – Rare

Here’s a band that has had a career as a hardcore band and has been successful. At some point they had become uninspired by the music they were making, so they changed it up. They created a very different, dark, and moody album. They felt so confident in their new music, that on the 2017 Vans Warped Tour they only played tracks from this album. A bold move, giving them some very mixed reviews from older fans. This is a must listen if you’re a fan of The Ravonettes, Lush, Low, or My Bloody Valentine. Stand out tracks: “Vertigo”

2. Chelsea Wolf – Hiss Spun

The album title is the only thing I don’t like. This is a very dark record with A plus musicianship and production. She has taken her sound and song writing to the next level, and holy hell has she nailed it. If you’re into the darker, melodic, industrial, goth sound – this is a great record start to finish. Stand out track: “16 Psych”

  1. 3TEETH – Shutdown.exe

Maia and I were fortunate enough to see these guys live last summer. I wrote a review of the show, but I don’t feel like I did it justice. I will make up for that now. This record is everything the industrial revolution of the late 80s – early 90s was. These guys have nailed the sound, the right amount of guitars, drums, programming, and keys, and have honed in on the massive sound that is industrial music. 3TEETH are on the leading edge of a new revolution in industrial music. The chugging guitars, pounding percussion, and lyrics are very reminiscent of early NIN, Ministry, KMFDM, and Skinny Puppy. I can’t say enough good stuff about this record and band. If given the chance to see them live, do it! Stand out track: “Pit of Fire”

So there it is the top 10 of 2017 – what a flipping year!

Heads Up and Be Well,

JJ (a.k.a. Maia’s Dad)

In closing, I would like to send my condolences to the family, friends, and fans of the late Chad Hanks, from Minneapolis’s own American Head Charge – “To Be Me”

 

 

Dead Cross @ First Ave 09/19/17

I will do my best not to get too lengthy with this but there is a lot of history and some major players involved.

Dead Cross is a new band with two very influential members. If you are unaware of who Faith No More are then shame the F*CK on you. They are hands-down one of the most influential bands in music. The frontman for Faith No More, Mike Patton, just happens to be the front man for Dead Cross and several other bands – Mr. Bungle, Lovage, Fantomas. Patton is one of the most versatile singers in music history and his vocal range can and will go from a smooth jam to a complete spastic lunatic. I encourage any younger readers to check out some of the above-mentioned bands.

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Dave Lombardo is formally of the band Slayer and current drummer for Suicidal Tendencies. Slayer is without question the most influential band in heavy music. Dave is also one of the most revered and badass drummers of all time.

Without intention, Maia and I made it in time to catch the opening act Secret Chiefs 3. I’m going to be short: They’re really f*cking loud – the drummer hits like a freight train. Also, an electric mandolin?

As the main room began to fill up, I was not concerned about coming out of mosh retirement tonight. I questioned whether this was going to be worth the late night with having to work at 5 am and Maia having classes the next day. As the infamous screen in the main room rolls up, Dead Cross came out swinging hard. Patton led the charge with his Hawaiian shirt, menacing lurch and spastic vocals. Lombardo was tucked behind a modest Tama drum kit in comparison to his days in Slayer, nonetheless, he beat those skins into utter submission. They blasted through their entire album in all of 40 minutes.

As the band took the stage for the encore, Lombardo started to play the opening to “Raining Blood” which is one of Slayers biggest songs. This got the room all worked up in frenzy. Just as the main guitar hook comes in, they stop and go right into “Epic”, Faith No More’s biggest hit. Patton utters the vocal hook and stops, moving right into their now famous rendition of the classic Dead Kennedys’ song “Trump Nazi Punks F*ck Off” to end the night. To answer my earlier question about a late show on a weekday night, f*cking right it was worth it.

I would like to thank my baby girl, Maia, for enduring yet another one of my concerts. You’re a good sport and good company. And to Dead Cross, for the tickets and allowing Maia to get some truly rad pictures!

Words by Joel Jacobson. Photos by Maia.

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3TEETH @ Amsterdam Bar and Hall 7/21

“Maia’s Dad’s Second Concert Review”

So growing up in the 90s, the music culture was ripe with all kinds of new genres of music most notably was the Grunge movement that swept the scene. Along with grunge was the industrial sound that spawned such bands as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, KMDFM, Skinny Puppy to name a few. This style of music was based around fusing several styles new wave, sampling/programming, electronica, and metal.

This brings me to 3TEETH; they are an Industrial band out of Los Angeles that has come on to the scene with guns blazing. They were tapped by Tool to open for them on several of their tour dates also for Germany’s own Rammstein. I was fortunate to witness their show last Friday night with my lovely daughter Maia.

They have a stage presence that is high energy, aggressive, calculated, and at times a little intimidating. The banter with the fans was friendly, humble, and amusing. They have nailed the sound and imagery of what an industrial band was and should be. They have a powerful sound with pounding beats and crushing guitar riffs that not only get the blood pumping but is amazing to watch live. I would highly recommend giving these guys a shot if you have even a little interest in the industrial sound.

My hopes are that they reopen the door for this genre and pave the way for others, the same way NIN did back in the day. Check out their latest release, Shutdown; they also have some very provocative videos on YouTube. Here are some Pics Maia shot at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall. Thanks!

Editor’s note: Thanks to my dad for being the coolest and writing this, but he asked me to add some of my own input on the show, so here’s where I’ll do that! I honestly hadn’t listened to 3TEETH at all before the show, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My dad likes to “prep” me for the crowds when we go to shows together, or if I’m going to see a band he’s into, but think I can handle a lot when it comes to crowd rowdiness – I’ve seen more people hurt in basement mosh pits than any venue with a touring metal band.

Whenever I roll up to shows like this with a real tough looking crowd and get in for free and get to shoot the bands, I feel like a real bad ass haha. I ended up really enjoying 3TEETH a lot more than I thought I would; they have an incredible stage presence that really keeps your attention the entire time and are extremely photogenic. I haven’t decided what I think about the lead singer wearing his own band’s logo on the back of his jacket, but I am very into the prehistoric-transformer-looking mic stand; that’s dedication to the look lol. Overall, super impressed and I’d definitely go again!

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Testament, Sepultura, and Prong @ First Ave Mainroom 5/3/17

I had the opportunity to shoot the First Ave Mainroom for the first time a few nights ago for one of my dad’s favorite bands actually. Although he couldn’t be there with me, it was still a very cool experience and I felt like such a badass being not only the youngest, but also the only female photographer that night. Also I saw a girl punch a man in the face for trying to keep her from going into the mosh pit and that was pretty cool too.

Katatonia, Caspian, and Uncured @ Fine Line 4/14/17

“Maia’s Dad’s Inaugural Concert Review”

First off, I would like to thank my little girl, Maia, for letting me live vicariously through her and her website. A brief history of me, Maia’s dad: I have been a fan of music my whole life, and the late 80s and early 90s music scene had the biggest influence on me. I have a very diverse taste in music – Industrial, Metal, Grunge, Hardcore, Indie, Alternative, almost all things music. I am that guy that loves to find new bands and share it with anyone who will listen. I could talk music and bands and concerts all day, just ask Maia. I’ve attended hundreds of shows, and live music is the absolute best way to experience music. There’s just a certain feeling that you can’t get anywhere else when you see an artist or band perform live.

Opening the show is a new band Uncured hailing from New York City. The core of the band is two brothers, Rex and Zak Cox, with some massive skills. If you are into guitar driven old school thrash like Megadeath, Anthrax, Overkill, and you like some east coast hardcore like Biohazard, Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, and also some progressive metal like Periphery, Animals As Leaders, Porcupine Tree, then here ya go. I was absolutely blown away by their guitar skills, and for only being 16 and 18 years old, they will have plenty to offer in the coming years. A shout out to James Callahan, Uncured’s Tour Manager, thanks for the beer and conversation.

Up next was Caspian, and being a fan of what I have dubbed as metal shoegaze, these guys fit the bill. Having recently seen my favorite of this genre, This Will Destroy You, and having been unsure how well this genre would play out in a live set, but I was pleasantly surprised by how powerful and emotional this style is live. These guys fucking blew me away- each member working off of one another in perfect unison like a well-oiled machine. Their stage present demanded your attention all without saying a word, and mainly using back-lighting made for a very intense and ominous, yet appropriate vibe to their live show. If given the chance, go see Caspian live – they will not disappoint.

Having been a fan of Katatonia for 10 years or more, and to finally get to see them live was an absolute thrill for me. They were everything and more to see live. Treating the crowd to nearly a 90 minute set with a 3 song encore just didn’t seem to be enough. Being a fan of all things music, you tend to put bands on the proverbial pedestal. Having spent the evening with these guys, Katatonia’s humbleness was obvious; they were as grateful to be playing for us as the fans were to be there. These gents proved that they can transcend beyond the stigmata of a questionable time period that is the nineties.

Having a history of several lineup changes, I was a little concerned that I might not get the fix I so badly needed from Katatonia live. Undoubtedly, they delivered a strong performance; the harmonies and dual leads were spot on, and the drummer – holy fuck! With the new/newer members playing together as if they were part of the band from start made for a stunning performance. I would like to personally thank Katatonia and their management for allowing my daughter, Maia, and I to attend an amazing show and get some kick-ass pictures.

Thanks again to my little girl, I had a blast!
Love You Kid.

Words by Joel Jacobson. Photos by Maia.