NSFWknd: THOU, True Widow, Aseethe, Hand Grenade Job

Parade of Flesh presents . . .

NSFWknd: THOU, True Widow, Aseethe, Hand Grenade Job

Friday, March 17, 2017

7:00 pm

Three Links

Dallas, TX

$14, includes $1 to charity (tickets also available at the door after 7pm)

This event is all ages

Thou is a doom/sludge/drone metal band from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana
True Widow
True Widow
Over the past two decades, we've been bombarded with grunge, with shoegaze, with sludge, with doom metal, with post-rock, with slow-core, with all these examples of loud rock music that reach towards one extreme or another, the sole intent of which seems to be to bludgeon the listener into accepting what they conceive to be a "total sound," one which makes their effort more valid than the others around it, and by association, worthy of your reverence.

Denton, TX trio True Widow plays against type. Listen closely to their new double album As High As the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth
and you'll notice something rare: a band that plays to the notions of the genres mentioned above, one which embodies the best characteristics of each but never repeats something that's been done. The understanding of space, balance, and method exhibited by True Widow is different enough to avoid the trappings of genres done to death; special enough to revere, and to pull away from memories of sounds that once wore you down.

Here is a band that has figured out how to play music that is traditionally recognized as "heavy" and "slow," on traditional rock instruments, in a way that few have been able to accomplish: a melancholy, meditative approach to songwriting and soundscape that draws you in. They figured this out in the space of one album, a self-released, self-titled debut from 2008. On As High As the Highest Heavens, they refine the work even further.

Big guitar, bigger drums and the biggest bass (played by D.H., Slim, and Nikki, respectively) effortlessly recreate the unending skies of prairie America, where storms blow across with fury, horizons are unencumbered by the choke of skyscrapers and electric light, and the atmosphere pushes you down. A rumbling backdrop of distortion churns away, both behind and within True Widow's plaintive song structures, but never overpowers it. Across a 50-minute runtime, the nine songs here range from excavated alt-rock anthems ("Night Witches," "Skull Eyes") to methodical epics like "Boaz" and "Blooden Horse," to triumphant bulldozers of sound like "NH," which splits the difference between dirge and hymn, the instruments staring into the ground while D.H. and Nikki's voices ascend to the clouds.

Plenty of you may balk at both the length and largesse expressed in the title of True Widow's new album, but once its powers seep into your skull, you'll likely find it impossible to doubt the magnitude of what's at stake here – a band that is singlehandedly breaking rank from accepted genres, and carving its own path into history.
Hand Grenade Job
Hand Grenade Job (HGJ) is an experimental post-americana duo from Washington, DC. Both women are vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, with Beck Levy (Turboslut, The Gift) primarily playing guitar and Erin McCarley (Delta Dart, Pygmy Lush, Governess) primarily on percussion. Levy and McCarley both come from DIY punk scenes. Their previous bands were loud. HGJ explores a different mode of heaviness. As a band, they are directed by the values of minimalism, agility, and confrontation. Their live performances include elements of visual and performance art, with a constructed habitat that evolves from show to show.

HGJ's first full length, "Devotionals," was recorded in a cabin in western Maryland between two blizzards. Recorded by Kyle Gilbride of Wherever Audio (Girlpool, Radiator Hospital), the album evokes the setting in which it was created. Some songs are sparse, utilizing only vocals. Others are expansive, employing guitar, accordion, autoharp, cello, marimba, timpani, and field recordings. A haunting, ethereal undercurrent runs throughout. Negative space takes on its own formidable character. Immediately after recording, Levy took up an unconventional artist's residency at the National Institutes of Health, where for 7 months she participated in research on the psychological effects of Ketamine. "Devotionals" is an album bookended by snowstorms and psychedelics—and it sounds like one, too.

This October, HGJ will be performing new original compositions as accompaniment to a production of "An Iliad" at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. In November, HGJ will perform at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of the Luce Unplugged Series. From October 2016 through January 2017, Levy and McCarley will be performing in Ragnar Kjartansson's performance art installation "Woman in E" at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Levy and McCarley, long mutual fans of each other's bands, formed HGJ in 2012. Their sound grew out of necessity, with early practices taking place at low volume during McCarley's children's naptime. In the same basement where HGJ practices, McCarley screenprints subversive children's apparel. Levy is also a printmaker, using letterpress to self-publish art and writing. HGJ has released a self-titled cassette tape, a digital EP, and a digital single. They have toured throughout the East Coast—particularly the Mid-Atlantic region—and New Orleans. HGJ is looking forward to touring extensively in 2017.

Critical Reception:

"D.C. duo Hand Grenade Job dabbles in minimalist fare...through delicate—and sometimes haunting—harmonies, Beck Levy and Erin McCarley compose sparse, eerie devotionals that possess an almost otherworldly quality."
Matt Cohen, Washington City Paper, August 16, 2016

"Beck Levy [of Hand Grenade Job] is responsible for a lot of underpinnings in the framework of modern-day DIY/underground culture happening in the USA right now."
Katie Alice Greer, The Media, January 24, 2014

"Hand Grenade Job makes me feel like I died and they died earlier and they are helping me deal with my new death."
Michael Cantor, The Goodbye Party, July 2015

"This band is more than a band – they are a living, breathing collaboration and relationship made public. They are a multi-media experience. They are a break for a weary heart and soul. They are sonic salve."
Katy Otto, Impose Magazine, June 8, 2016

"HGJ have been classified as experimental or post-punk, but pre-punk seems more accurate, or better yet, pagan—there's a healthy dose of the occult in their sets...Most of HGJ's songs are performed with acoustic percussion, droning guitars, or sounds that feel like they come from a blighted dollhouse. They sing together, with vocals so entwined and harmonized it forms a single, towering, overpowering wave."
Dan Fox, Antigravity Magazine, March 2013
Venue Information:
Three Links
2704 Elm Street
Dallas, TX, 75226