Valley of the Vapors | Rock Candy

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Valley of the Vapors

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2008 at 4:35 PM

click to enlarge unknown.jpg

Poster by Nate Duvall.

Steadily evolving into the strongest indie festival around (actually, are there other indie festivals anywhere even close?), the 4th Annual Valley of the Vapors is less than a month a way. Over six nights, March 12-17, the Hot Springs shindig will pluck nearly 30 bands from the road to or from SXSW. Th' Legendary Shack Shakers are the biggest name on the bill. Other big deals in the underground world: Peelander-Z, Haale and Ezra Furman and the Harpoons.

Schedule with some video links and VOV-provided band descriptions below.


7 p.m., Low Key Arts, 118 Arbor, $5/All Ages

PEELANDER-Z (Japan/NYC) Video.
Japanese Action Comic Punk Band, was formed by Peelander-Yellow, Peelander-Blue, and Peelander-Red (claim they are from Z area in the Planet Peelander!!) in 1998, and came into action based in NYC. These three dress up in color-coordinated costumes as if they came out of Japanese Animation, which they claim are not costumes but their skin. Their performance is not just playing music; Peelander-Z knows how to entertain the audience by dragging them into the show, quite literally, regularly pulling people up on stage, handing them instruments and chanting. One experience captures you!! Peelander-Z is the best of the universe!

A one man band from Omaha, Nebrasak, A.K.A Darren Keen. For much of 2006, The Show is the Rainbow toured as a three-piece, with Javid Dabestani and Jim Schroeder playing alongside Keen. Currently, Keen is touring as a one-man band. The Show is the Rainbow plays an eclectic mix of rock, electronica and hip-hop inspired by artists such as Todd Rundgren, Frank Zappa, Nina Hagen, Les Savy Fav, and Beck. The Show is the Rainbow has gained a national following by means of near constant touring and energetic live shows that focus on audience interaction.

"Ive said it before and Ill say it again, Mike Lust is one of the greatest live showmen on Earth. His stage antics (I once had his old band play in an apartment and he answered a ringing phone while playing and had a conversation in which he played a solo to the receiving end), coupled with his effortless guitar mastery are a thing to behold and a must for any fan of ZZ Top". -

A traveling three-piece rock'n'roll explosion. They sing about what they know specifically; that is the Midwest and the Farms, Friends, and Family that populate it. SCOUTS HONOR has shared the stage with such great performers as Against All Authority, Leftover Crack, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Minus The Bear, The Velvet Teen, These Arms Are Snakes, Spitalfield, Aloha, Examination Of The..., Ten Grand, and Denison Witmer. The have been on tour all year and have a new album, "I AM THE DUST", out on No Idea Records.

Lipstick Terror, a Mexicali group of bandidos that ripped through a set of fine neo-hardcore without the floor punching, but fully loaded with synths, sexy violence and artistry. These uniformed boys know what they're doing and they do it better than most" - L.A. RECORD MAGAZINE
Low Key Arts, 118 Arbor, $5/All Ages/7 pm

BEAT UNION (United Kingdom) Video
For fans of The Clash, The Jam and Goldfinger. Hailing from two dead-end towns on the outskirts of BIRMINGHAM UK. They take a huge influence from the late seventies early and eighties punk and new wave bands, then 'mix' it up with contemporary rock music and production. BEAT UNION provide a different angle on today alternative music scene.

THE ROPES(nyc)  for fans of Garbage
Speaking four languages and intent on becoming fluent in several more, it's easy to see how The Ropes frontwoman Sharon Shy (yes, that is her real name) came to possess such a way with words. Her lyrics are filled with angst suitable for the bright-eyed teen and time-hardened soul alike. Armed with these words, her haunting yet soothing voice is set to a backdrop of noisy guitars and urgent basslines with the occasional moment of calm and tranquility that never seems to last long enough. Mirroring real life, the sound is a mixture of sugar and dirt.

DEBATE (Brazil)
Sao Paulo 3-piece garage rock
FRIDAY, MARCH 14th - Low Key Arts, 118 Arbor, $5/All Ages/7 pm, 501-282-9057

DIRTFOOT (Louisiana) Video.
Dirtfoot is a blend of eclectic styles as well as diverse personalities. By far, their claim to fame is their high energy shows and overwhelming crowd participation. They involve the fans with infectious grooves, call and response songs as well as their famous "Beancans'. Each show, bean cans (homemade shakers) are passed out to the audience which turns them into a part of the percussion section. Though all of their instruments are acoustic, their energy and ingenuity will make you swear they are plugged in. Featuring instruments ranging from an acoustic guitar, banjo, upright bass, pots n' pans, drums, bells, saxophone, xylophone and more, this band has a truly engaging sound, a real dose of Gypsy, Punk, Country, Grumble Boogie!

OPAL FLY (Eureka Springs)
1/2 Arkansan and 1/2 Swiss, Opaly Fly has been blowing her sax and plucking her ukelele for years. Taking nods from the 1920's nyc, viper music scene, Billie Holiday and a good dose of that au natural vibe so commonly found at Haight Ashbury, Opal is equal parts Jazz. Blues and Folk.

Irresistibly Theatrical South Philly Rock Storytellers who are as much of a band as they are film makers, artists, actors and entrepreneurs.  The quartet utilizes guitar, piano, accordian, banjo and drums to make sounds into songs that could very well fit in a childrens film.  It's a bit wierd and a whole lot of fun.
SATURDAY, MARCH 15th - Low Key Arts, 118 Arbor, $5/All Ages/7 pm, 501-282-9057

For fans of Bad Company, Guns and Roses, this Kansas City foursome plays it like it means it. The 'it' in question is raw, inspired, melodic and, at times, deafening rock music. The Architects have drafted a boozy, bluesy and - above all else - heartfelt sound, where punk fury and whiskey-drunk prowess meet and exchange dirty looks.

HAALE (NYC) Video.
For fans of Ravi Shankar, Yoko Ono, Tori Amos. "Percussionists provided driving rhythms...over which Haale's warm, supple voice unfurled like a curlicue of smoke. Her band's amplified rumble served as a reminder of the extent to which rock bands like the Doors and the Velvet Underground turned to the East for their hypnotic efforts; here their borrowings were reclaimed with interest."
Opener TBA
SUNDAY, MARCH 16th - Low Key Arts, 118 Arbor, $3/All Ages/3 pm, 501-282-9057
All Day Band BBQ Blowout!!

" man band...He kicks drums with his feet and plays guitar with his hands.  EPHB plays loud and noisy using distorted microphones over odd chords and rock and roll rhythms."-Pitchfork Media

UME (Austin) 
"Imagine if Blonde Redhead grew some balls or if Sonic Youth got hungry again.  Actually, scratch that.  Thinking hurts.  Instead just make sure you're in the same room as Houston trio UME when they hit town and plug in."-Philadelphia Weekly 

MOUSER (AthenS) -
Mice are small.  There are a dozen mice in this band.  That is not small.

"Backed by the verable Mercer West on drums, expatriate John-Michael Boling and chronic extrovert Christian Seklecki on keyboards,as well as uncanny multi-instrumentalist Javier Morales, Quiet Hooves has, since its inception, traded in a tender sort of unearthliness not oft heard 'round town.  Julian conjures a host of imagined storytellers with Rhodes and subdued percussion.  Having more recently recruited Cinemechanica's Andy Pruett on trumpet and Folklore's David Specht on violin, the group's sound has become engorged with worm goodness without losing its low-volume charms."-Flagpole

(Hot Springs)-
"This cult started in Hot Springs and has spread considerably around the globe.  The music slithers in (no shock there) and pumps like hot sex on bread served with the sacrificial blood of a virgin.  No really it's cool!"- Localist Magazine


"Despite recent stabs at hip-hop and electronica, local imprint GSL has remained true to a bordering on obsolete style that embraces big hair, arty abrasion, thespian flourishes, and synth-heavy punk.  It's no wonder, then, that LA trio Anavan recently released its self-titled debut on GSL, fueled as it is by prog-noir pulse and no-wave clatter." - The Onion

RED ROCKET (Philadelphia) -
"With a barrage of pedals ready for tweaking front and center, I was ready for something noisy, but pleasantly surprised when the band broke into some of the catchiest pop tunes I've heard from a band in a while that still managed to rock the fuck out.  It seems that's just how things are trending these days."-Jason Glastetter, CMJ


(Alabama) -

"The Western Lands is a three piece instrumental band.  The Guitar is like a hun of rocket debris falling through space.  Hard, burning and fast, but yet lite, airy and seemingly motionless.  The Drums hurt you like watching your lover being beaten in front of you while you're tied up.  Then after its over, you notice that you have a hard-on.  The Bass is steady and true and keeps it all together." -bio

BELLAFEA - (Chapel Hill)

"Bellafea is a completely refreshing change from the norm.  Haunting and basic, these melodies stick to me and evoke excellent ambiance and moods; withing each song delicate strands of soft and loud dance around each other keeping thinkgs interesting and showing me that simple lines don't have to be presented in a simple manner."-Hybrid

CHILD BITE (Detroit)
"Far removed from math rock or electroclash and much closer to the genre-defiance of Devo, with signature doo-wopping-human-Theremin vocals.” - Real Detroit Weekly

THE COAST (Canada)
Sugary, sweet pop!!
Maxines, 700 Central,$5/21+/after the St. Patrick's Day Parade

"Scorching!"- MOJO
Described as "...the last great Rock and Roll frontman" by Jello Biafra (of the Dead Kennedys), Th' Legendary Shack*Shakers started their hell-for-leather, Penta-caustic roadshow just a few years ago and have since earned quite a name for themselves with their unique brand of American Gothic that is all-at once irreverent, revisionist, dangerous, and fun. Led by their wildly charismatic rail thin frontman, the blues-harpist J.D. Wilkes, the Shack*Shakers are a four-man wrecking crew from the South whose explosive interpretations of the blues, punk, rock and country have made fans, critics and legions of potential converts into true believers.

"One of the year's best folk discs, Banging Down The Doors could become the same kind of sleeper classic as the first Femmes album." -  ALARM Magazine
"It's frightening, and it's brilliant. I moaned a few weeks ago that I had yet to hear a 5-star album this year. I've heard one now." - PASTE Magazine

SISSY WISH (Norway)  
In the Norwegian artist flora, Sissy Wish can be seen as pretty weird flower; not only does she refuse to play the piano and write joni Mitchell-ish ballads, but she´s also something as unique as an artist constantly trying to challenge herself, her music, her live-shows; the keywords are humor, an extraordinary talent for pop-melody, for catchy tunes and breathtaking arrangements, but always (remember!), always on the strange part of town, around streets and alleys full of people covered in glitter dust.



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