Dead Meadow’s psychedelic power makes headlines at Chapel Halloween show – CBS San Francisco
By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Modern psych-rock favorites Dead Meadow return to the Bay Area to headline this nighttime Halloween show at the San Francisco Chapel on Sunday.
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Tempering heavy, misty riffs with equal doses of dreamy guitar drones and transporting melodies, the talented power trio Dead Meadow has been crafting their unique style of heavy psychedelic rock for over two decades. Founded in Washington, DC in 1998 by guitarist / singer Jason Simon, bassist Steve Kile and drummer Mark Laughlin, Dead Meadow created a sound that has succeeded in appealing to Sabbath-loving metal fans, to gray-bearded hippies. and for children who love shoes.
Built around Simon’s languid, fuzzy guitar (and fueled by the liberal use of his wah-wah pedal), the trio’s self-titled debut album on bassist Fugazi Joe Lally’s label focused on stoner-rock Tolotta Records’ integrates comfortably with one another from the imprint released by Philly-based instrumentalists Stinking Lizaveta and several of the bands of doom icon Scott “Wino” Weinrich. Dead Meadow’s caught the attention of famous British rock DJ John Peel, who asked the group to follow the first and only “Peel Session” recorded outside of the BBC studios (the recording was eventually released on several labels different at the start of this decade).
Gaining momentum, the group quickly moved on with a second studio album – Howls from the hills – for Tolotta as well as a live album produced and mixed by neo-psychic Anton Newcombe from the Brian Jonestown Massacre which documented one of drummer Laughlin’s last concerts with the band before going to law school. Former drummer for DC slowcore Canyon, Stephen McCarty, completed the line-up in time for the recording of their debut effort Matador Records, Shivering King and others, in 2003.
This album showed Simon and his company to refine their fingering with hazy atmospheres and sprawling psychedelic guitar epics. Dead Meadow would add second guitarist Cory Shane to record their next song collection – Feathers in 2005, but this album found the band in their most understated and popped mode to date.
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While the expanded lineup did not last beyond this album and tour (Shane would be leaving in 2007), the trio would continue, moving to Los Angeles and exploring new creative avenues, including the live-action film project. /Original Sound Track. Three kings in 2010, a brief collaboration with like-minded Australian guitarist Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother and a reunion with original drummer Laughlin.
Simon has also branched out into solo recordings in a similar, albeit more sparse, more folkloric style that echoes elements of Bob Dylan and British acoustic guitar heroes Bert Jansch and John Renbourn (although more solo material recent like that of 2016 familiar haunts switched to a more electric sound). Although there have been occasional tours since the band released their 2013 double album Warble’s belly To keep fans happy, Dead Meadow marked two decades of musical creation last year with their first new album in five years, The nothing they need.
With contributions from former guitarist Shane and the band’s three drummers, including new timekeeper Juan Londono, the latest album finds the team producing heavy psychedelic rock inspired that shows a significant debt to the sounds of Neil Young. and Crazy Horse. The group has yet to release a sequel to that studio album, but earlier this year Dead Meadow teamed up with psychedelic Levitation Festival in Austin, TX to release a spectacular live performance recorded at the Outdoor Amphitheater. Pillars of God at Camp Mozumdar in San Bernardino in 2020 which featured the return of drummer Mark Laughlin behind the kit.
The group returns to the Bay Area to perform at Chapel Halloween night, joined by like-minded Los Angeles band, The Flash Hits, and the ever-synaptic visuals of Mad Alchemy Liquid Lights. The Chapel requires all customers to present valid proof of full vaccination in order to attend indoor performances, which means attendees must have received their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks earlier. La Chapelle does not accept negative COVID-19 tests. Customers are also required to wear a mask at all times indoors, unless actively eating or drinking.
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Sunday, October 31, 9 p.m. $ 20- $ 25