Sunday, December 30, 2012

End of the Year Rant


Praise of Alabama Shakes: 4th Grade lyrics, bland blues by an open jam band and too much hype for the heavy chick.

Sloppy Duos like Japandroids and Jeff the Brotherhood: Get a fucking bass player, sing in tune.

Critics who actually like Japandroids -spent way too much time in their basements without a bass player.

Rhianna-Take a yearlong break without a goddamn release, put on a shirt and visit a shelter for battered women.

"songs" from Bob Dylan masquerading as bad poetry night croakings presented by an asthmatic with blood in his throat, pushing verse through crusty polyps, from albums that make best of lists without fail.

comparing Gary Clark Jr. to a variety of famous Texas blues guitarists by using the word incediary or because he's from Texas. Not worthy of the comparison or the adjective.

Billy Corgan criticizing the bands who came up in the same era as his did, that allowed him to be famous enough to get press in the first place by criticizing them. This criticism of "playing oldies" doesn't hide the fact that Oceania was worse than any of the music that made him famous.

Beyonce at the Superbowl. Dancing those thick legs around while making millions of drunk white men angry as she's singing "Single Ladies" and "should have put a ring on it"  Makes sense.

Less Rick Ross. He's bloated, cliche-ridden, his bling has crumbs and ketchup on it, oh, and he's talentless.
Much like the bulk of poular hip hop, his output contributes to the complete dumbing down of society.

eh, I could go on and on about what's wrong with music. I sound like a cliche.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Top Ten Albums of 2012

Another commencing year leaves so much to be desired, so much yet to be consumed then forgotten and of course, so much to chuck to the proverbial curb. Here is Circle of Fits' best albums of the year list  to sum it up from our perspective.

Top Ten Albums of 2012

1) Blunderbuss-Jack White- A piano and prophecy prominent collection of purely beautiful and sometimes savage song craft. What can't this boy do? Weary, lovelorn, protective, private, jubilant, boogified..its all here. The most played album in our cardboard cubicle this year.  Choice cuts "Hypocritical Kiss", "Sixteen Saltines".

2) The Russian Wilds- Howlin Rain- Highly under radar and under rated Northern Cali band bust through with a Rick Rubin produced?( Yes) masterpiece somewhere on the fringes of a jam band/blues crammed fringe. Impeccable harmonies, grace and gruff included. Choice cuts include "Self Made Man" and "Cherokee Werewolf".

3) Blues Funeral-Mark Lanegan Band- One of our perennial favorites returns with his most diverse and emotionally stretched -out set of songs of his career. Quite simply, if his charred and seasoned voice and sullen bliss don't take you somewhere else(anywhere but here) you've got to be having a hard time finding a pulse. Choice Cuts include "St. Louis Elegy" and the darkest dance floor anthem of all time "Ode to Sad Disco".

4) Arrow-Heartless Bastards-Please, I beg of you, forget the Alabama Shakes. This is the real deal. We beat you over your hard heads with the importance of a standout vocalist often here at Circle of Fits and Erika Wennerstrom from Austin's Heartless Bastards fills that void. This is the strongest outing yet from the band with chock fucking full of soaring melodies and tight super singable song structure, with just enough moody Texas gritty groove for y'all. But the centerpiece is Erika and her one of a kind silky warble vocals, just smacking you into the stratosphere. Choice cuts " Simple Feeling", "Only For You".

5) King Animal-Soundgarden- A straight- up surprisingly brilliant return from the NW fearsome foursome. Four guys hovering around fifty show the kids how to plug in, rock hard or stay home. Chris Cornell, even having lost a step in his sonic sustain, still sweeps aside most vocalists with a mere exhale. Kim Thayil still weirds us out with his psychedelic rhino stomp style, Ben Shepherd shakes the bottom through with brutal force, but the real hero of this epically varied set, rolled out of the studio for the first time in 16 years is drummer Matt Cameron. Finally he's truly showcased as a monster of switching time structures and unheard of precision,  his chops in check from years of riding the throne in Pearl Jam (albeit with much simpler beat structures) King Animal puts his prowess and style in the spotlight, and into the high echelon of skin men, he goes. Choice Cuts- the eerily elegant frailty of "Bones of Birds" (our most played song of the year), "Crooked Steps" and "Rowing".

6) Harmonicraft- Torche- A metal meets powerpop cauldron of curiosities from the Floridian band of bros. The myriad of tonal washes over gutty crunch(with a peppering of prog thrown in) should be enough for you to love this album. Or you could just stare at the cover while basement bound in the midst of a bath salt rush.  Choice cuts "Kicking", "Reverse Inverted".

7) Lonerism- Tame Impala- The latest outing from the Aussie wunderkind kids was the last entry to this list. We were flabbergasted with the production and the sheer depth of beauty for these dreamy pop songs and while we don't like to attach "esque" to the end of an adjective comparing another band with these lads, yet a few talented Liverpudlians come to mind.  Choice cuts " Apocalypse Dream", "Endors Toi".

8) Kill My Blues- Corin Tucker Band- Nobody is talking about this debut album from the recently birthed band from the former Sleater -Kinney frontwoman, and we wish we knew why. I know Wild Flag and Portlandia have put a certain Ms. Brownstein on a much broader map, but this set of tracks rocks socks. Don't put Corin in a corner. She'll bust out with her baby and knock you over with a bottle of husky punk and bruisey blues. Choice cuts " Summer Jams", "Kill My Blues".

9) A Different Kind Of Truth-Van Halen -Yeah, a lot of it is rehashed demos and Diamond Dave's lustre is a bit glassy but it makes the list for putting the I Can't Believe This Album Doesn't Suck Meter into the red over and over again. EVH is still pretty much untouchable, even while being sober and without Frankenguitar. And after pre- ragging on Wolfie not being able to do Michael Anthony's back up voxes a solid, we were sorta proven wrong. Shit, puberty must have contributed in some way. Anyhoo, we bought it. Choice Cuts- "She's The Woman" (holds up to the '77 demo] and "Big River"

10) Lovelessness-Bison- A brutal,slayful album about a dog dying. ("Is Don on the Phone??-very inside reference)
The cover has a pic of the tumor that guitarist/vocalist James Farwell's dog succumbed to, yeah, that brutal. This crushing,dynamic metal band from Vancouver has yet to get its due, and damn it people let's give it to 'em! Or at least give them a shower the morning after they sleep on your floor. Choice Cuts- "Clozapine Dream", "Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness"


Locked Down-Dr. John
Ugly-Screaming Females
I Bet On Sky-Dinosaur JR.
Open Your Heart-The Men

What'choo got?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Soundgarden Returns

This is what rock sounds like. Rock thrashed out by a quartet of late forty- somethings who took a decade and a half off to pursue Pearl Jams and be Audio slaves. Four men with something to prove to the vastly changed landscape chock full of processed schlock pop and skip hop,among the festering  plague of ADD teens attached to their screens and lazy button pushers with wacked haircuts.

 At first through tenth listen, the track is laced with a little more grit and gruff than the density of the Badmotorfinger stuff, but I'm not bored, I'm on board.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Icky Thump

I am an avid complainer. I have honed its qualities down to a sharp tip and have plunged them deep into the femoral vein of many targets, mostly of a musical nature.

Today's complaint may very well be deemed racist by those of you who embrace hip hop as anything but a background for blunt consumption and bleary head nodding, but no. No

It is an observance of a well researched and unwillingly tolerated activity that is so mind boggling and rude to me that I just have to well as question it's purpose.

Why do many hip hop afficionados, (many of whom just happen to be African American, but clearly not ALL...  in the neighborhood where my research was conducted) have to expose every last person in a two block radius to the braggadocios- laden, bass heavy, soul- sucking hoodified thump of that blasphemous rap that most selfish of noise pollution known to man while driving.....anywhere, at any time...and at maximum volume?

What purpose is served by having all of the windows in the vehicle you own, rolled all of the way down while you enjoy your wretched, grammatical fail laden hip hop in the privacy of your vehicle, at the calm, relaxed expense of every human around you?

I cannot fathom that this activity is in any way connected to an aversion to air conditioning, nor is it strictly reserved for warmer weather and within the guidelines for the activity known as "cruising". I've seen it in a swirl of falling leaves on a crisp and quiet Sunday morning in October. I've seen it in quaint boring neighborhoods while people walk their dogs with expectations of peace and solace. Places where there is nothing to "cruise" and even less to do. Places where people people just want to live their lives without a slow rush and deafening roar of some half assed aggressive poetry expounding upon the merits of acquiring wealth and self congratulating.

Frankly, I don't get it. Is there a "fuck you" attached to the mindset of this extreme selfishness? Is there a certain disruptive plan of payback  by blanketing the world around you with a good old rousing chorus containing a handful of "niggas" and "muthafuckas" while kids in strollers are within earshot?

I'm a man who needs reasons.

Please give me a reason that may help me understand you. It may prevent a potato from being mysteriously places in the tail pipe of your LeSabre. It may prevent your rims from being spray painted pink while you sleep.

Because from my vantage point, as a musician and a fanatical loud music lover, I'm just not as fucking stupid as you. I would gladly keep my truck windows all the way up if I wanted to crank the fuck out of something so loud that my steering wheel vibrates, yet in private as to not offend anyone around me just trying to enjoy their day.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Top 44 at 44

My dad broke his neck. 4th vertebrae. My divorce is almost 4 years old. I haven't spoken to my mother for another 4. Meg's been dead for 4 years.  It's been 4 score and 4 ever since I gave a fuck about music, this blog, writing anything except my name on medical forms, and ....yeah. You get it.

What is it about four? Nothing but a gimmick for a blog post, that's what.

I did a Top 40 at 40 on the 40 days leading up to my 40th back in the daze.

It was a simpler time then (even though subconsciously entrenched in a survival plot for the rest of my life) and it surprisingly prefaced the end of my sweet sister.

I know now how foolish coasting through life without a back up for a backup plan can be.

I know what Michael Bolton sang of in his suberb hit "Fools Game".

I know now what Bon Scott meant when he said, "Hell Ain't A Bad Place to Be."

Hell would be like an unreachable paradise. A staycation I would relish to the fucking hilt. Mai Tais and a bucket of grenades in a basket next to me to lob at simpletons, the one percenters, the overly tan......

Ehh. Maybe thats the drugs( that are supposed to keep me baselined, yet fail on the front line) talking...

Half Empty headspace overdoing the negativity again. Strike that. Reverse it.

So be it.

No time like the present to put out a list of my top 44 at 44. Top 44 songs, that is. A song = Verse, chorus, verse, one voice hovering over your fucking thoughts and engraving your memories with pomp, circumstance, glissandro and god given guitar solo always on deck, painstakingly and purely put to analog tape, entwined in messianic melody and having nothing to do with a fucking dance move or a dub step or a fist pump.

 On the brink of a half empty birthday, in the car today as I was singing Bicycle Race at the top of my lungs hoping my six year old would love Freddy Mercury even one percent as much as I did growing up, I decided to compare and then compile then and now.

Goosebumps and guffaws as I read all of that nonsense.

This list is not a love story.

Not like then. I was hugging and kissing those songs after a lifelong courtship.We were companions. Like an old married couple sitting alone, in silence in a comfortable room admiring each other.

This is a survival guide. Dodge the bombs every day with headphones on. Plant the seeds for truth when I catch my breath. This is my map for battle in 44 steps. A tactical plan for avoiding a plague of triggers...

#44) Unfinished Plan-Alain Johannes- solemn soliloquy for a lost love one.

#43) Astral Weeks-Van Morrison- just takes me places where clouds break and panoramas are dusty through dilapidated row homes.

#42) Thirteen-Big Star- youth's innocence in a perfect picture frame.Hung in your locker.

#41) Why Can't I Touch It-Buzzcocks- because it avoids me.

#40) Little One-Elliott Smith- deep in the hole of self medication, through the eyes of a melting butterfly.

#39) Lazy-Deep Purple- anything but, motherfucker.

#38) Bastard Samaurai- High On Fire- soundtrtack for the people who deserve a head removal.

#37) Out on the Weekend-Neil Young- longing personified.

#36) Albuquerque- Neil Young- a long and craggy road for a tired soul looking for solace and some fried eggs and country ham.

#35) Cafe- Tim Buckley- one of the most divine voices I've ever heard spooking me outside in.

#34) Borracho-Mark Lanegan -borracho means "drunk" en espanol.

#33) Can't Find My Way Home-Blind Faith- If I believed in bumper stickers...

#32) Lawyers Guns and Money-Warren Zevon- Yes, Yes, Yes.

#31) How To Disappear Completely-Radiohead-  self/ help section-emphasis on neither.

#30) No Surprises-Radiohead- self/ help section, emphasis on everything.

#29) Lucky- Radiohead-ends the trilogy.

#28) Pure Imagination-Willie Wonka Soundtrack- A 100 percent pure cacao song of hope and wonder.
#27) Ain't Wastin' Time No More-Allman Bros.- regret and retrospect through years of intellectual neglect.

#26) Dreaming From the Waist- The Who- Pete and I talking over a couple warm brandys.

#25) A Song For the Dead -Queens of the Stone Age-If you're dead, wake up, regurgitate the poison that fell you and wholeheartedly annihilate the world.

#24) These Are My Dress Clothes-Bison BC- judge me and I judge thee. Radiant in the finest denim.

#23) Smashing Pumpkins-XYU- shooting metallic poison quills with every thought.

#22) Kyle Petty,Son of Richard(live version)- Soundgarden-remember what your daddy told you. Punch hard, fast and early.

#21) Play the Game-Queen- know the rules. Know better than those who live to break them.

#20) Pigs(3 different ones)- Pink Floyd- We are Animal Farm. Who are the farmers?

#19) Hooker With a Penis-Tool- What does your t-shirt really mean, asshole. We've all sold out.

#18) Mother Puncher-Mastodon- She is my favorite speed bag.

#17) Coney Island Baby-Lou Reed- I wanna play football for the coach.

#16) Thumb-Kyuss- I don't give two shits on how you feel.

#15) 30 Days in the Hole-Humble Pie- revelry gives temporary gains and no returns on your initial investment.

#14) Cassidy- Bob Weir-  Roll the windows down and witness the beauty vicariously. Even if it isnt there.

#13) Junkhead-Alice in Chains- What have you got?

#12) Evil- Cactus-  this jam wrecks posture and depletes function.

#11) 1-1- Brian Eno- I cannot take a domestic flight without it.

#10) Sabbath Bloody Sabbath-Black Sabbath- What do you have underneath all of that shit you carry? with?
#9)   Into the Void-Black Sabbath- What are you gonna do with it?

#8)  You're a Big Girl Now-Bob Dylan- love song for people who need help knowing what love is.

#7)  Whole Lotta Rosie-AC/DC- precursor to bar room brawl: played on jukebox after "Friends in Low Places"

#6)  Abbey Road-whole album- Beatles-  it is the longest song I know.

#5)  Search and Destroy or Dirt- The Stooges- A New York bulletproof  mean street shuffle soundtrack. For the well- read ticking time bombs of the world.

#4)  Friends/Since I've Been Loving You- Led Zep- Sad stretch of the highest blues wailed from the throne of the golden god.

#3) Regular John/Avon- Queens of the Stone Age- a passion play for obliterating everything disguised as a riff.

#2) Can't You Hear Me Knocking- Stones- Straight on dirtiest jam in history. Wipe yourself off. Go back for seconds.

#1)  Slaves and Bulldozers-Soundgarden-mantra of mantras. Everything I said...Is what I mean.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is it safe to come back?

You tell me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Conceptual Low Tide

Circle of Fits is a blog I created 4 years ago in hopes of sparking some healing creativity in the wake of my sister's death.  Creativity channeled through the written word in the form of music commentary, social commentary, story telling, list making, bad poetry and plain old complaining about what is missing from me.

The creativity as well as the healing come in fits and spurts, centered around the world of rock music, which in my case, is the only thing that comes close to masquerading as a healing quotient for this wreck of a life since my mid twenties. Glass half full, sure. But you see, I'm clinging to a rough underbelly of healing, that keeps dragging on the ground. Even with the tools that Ive acquired to formulate a game plan of defense and good cerebral draft picks for a strong thought line- up for any subsequent season, I stumble, I get random sniper fire and walk into shrouds of shrapnel that pollute certain corners  And the world of rock, that elixir of sonic meds, just isn't taking.  The conversation I crave using music as a vehicle is all small talk here, it starts and stops here in the dusty space under this URL, and collects as sound bites thrown on the pile of anything but the truth.

I'm just not feelin' it.

Ive "threatened" to take a break before...ohhh five or six times. But I got hit with another cloudy buckshot of bad news yesterday...about someone who was a huge creative influence in my life, and I'm just tapped out.

This doesn't matter right now. Circle of Fits will just hover in the inter-ether until I hitch on to some sort of truer meaning, some real healing and conversation that cannot be found here.

There might be a post tomorrow. There might be a post a year from now.  

See ya, 


Monday, March 05, 2012

Radiohead Phinally comes to Philly!

Radiohead let loose with a slew of new June tour dates.  Everything is in its Right Place!

Maybe your city is on the list, or maybe you'll be filling your Priuses with 4 dollar a gallon gas to get to one of these cities before Thom and co. go hibernating in an English manor basement for the next five years.

Radiohead in June

Jack White Kicks Out the Jams on SNL

Jack White has a solo album coming out in April (weren't they all pretty much solo?)called Blunderbuss.

He turned up up on SNL this weekend to show the last three musical guests how it's done. sent them back to the nerdy blogs from which they came with a two song seminar from Rock 101.

Here's " Sixteen Saltines"  from Saturday night.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

High on Fire to release new album De Vermis Mysteriis on April 3rd

In the "Holy Shitterific Surprise on a Saturday Dept!"  An announcement of earth shattering epic-ness....

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Press Release
February 23, 2012
For Immediate Release

HIGH ON FIRE To Release New Album "De Vermis Mysteriis" on April 3, 2012

Award-Winning Oakland Trio Announces Multiple Appearances at 2012 SXSW Festival

    HIGH ON FIRE De Vermis Mysteriis    

     World renowned hard rock band HIGH ON FIRE will release its new studio album De Vermis Mysteriis on April 3 via eOne Music. Recorded in Salem, Massachusetts' GodCity Studios with producer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, the 10 song effort -- touted as "direct, eye-opening and powerfully supernatural" -- is the band's sixth studio recording and the follow up to 2010's Snakes for the Divine which debuted at #62 on the Billboard Top 200 and has been called "wonderful" by The New York Times and "an exhilarating rush" by The Chicago Tribune

     De Vermis Mysteriis (or "Mysteries of the Worm") takes its title from a fictional grimoire created by Psycho author Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the Cthulhu Mythos (Lovecraft mentioned De Vermis Mysteriis as one of the books that "repeat the most hellish secrets learnt by early man"). The album carries a deeply mystical undercurrent, incorporating fantastical themes and lyrics detailing, among other things, time travel, a serum called liao that is made out of a black lotus and "a Jesus twin who can see the past through his ancestors' eyes."  And that's just scratching the surface!

     Musically, De Vermis Mysteriis is absolutely explosive, showcasing the California power trio's thundering roar and expanded harmonic and rhythmic palettes while the songs move confidently through multiple riffs and movements. HIGH ON FIRE construct tough, burly stoner metal that is at once devastatingly epic and mercilessly metallic as superstar guitarist Matt Pike's sizzling ax and avenging-angel riffs fuse with Des Kensel's double-kick-drum onslaught and Jeff Matz's concrete crushing, Burton-esque bass guitar. Over the course of forty-five minutes, HIGH ON FIRE have created an amalgamation of fantastical lyrical ideas and brute force musicianship anchored in an endlessly captivating, punkishly frantic sound. Simply put, the band generates awesome on demand and has a virtual chokehold on monolithic-sounding, masterfully crafted epic music. HIGH ON FIRE is a savage bull in the china shop of modern metal.

     When asked for comment on De Vermis Mysteriis, Pike somewhat cryptically replied, "Prepare for your dark journey." 

                                                     HIGH ON FIRE (photo: Tom Couture)

     The track listing for HIGH ON FIRE's De Vermis Mysteriis is as follows:

     1.) Serums of Liao
     2.) Bloody Knuckles
     3.) Fertile Green
     4.) Madness of an Architect
     5.) Interlude
     6.) Spiritual Rites
     7.) King of Days
     8.) De Vermis Mysteriis
     9.) Romulus and Remus
    10.) Warhorn

     In advance of the new album's release, HIGH ON FIRE will perform a number of live dates as part of the 2012 SXSW Music and Media Festival in Austin, TX. The band is expected to preview new material at the SX shows. The just-announced dates are as follows:

     March 13    Austin, TX      Emo's East (Non-SXSW headline show)
     March 14    Austin, TX      SXSW (MetalSucks day party)
     March 15    Houston, TX   Fitzgerald's
     March 16    Austin, TX      SXSW (Brooklyn Vegan day party)
     March 17    Austin, TX      SXSW TBA
     March 18    Austin, TX      SXSW (High Times day party)

 Finally, on June 30, HIGH ON FIRE will join Slayer, Slipknot, Anthrax and more as part of the 2012 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Tour.  The 26 city jaunt will kick off in San Bernardino, CA and run through August 5 in Hartford, CT.  The itinerary for the monster trek is as follows:

     June 30      San Bernardino, CA                 San Manuel Amphitheater       
     July 1          Mountain View, CA                   Shoreline Amphitheatre
     July 3          Auburn, WA                                White River Amphitheatre
     July 4          Nampa, ID                                   Idaho Center Amphitheatre
     July 6          Phoenix, AZ                               Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
     July 7          Albuquerque, NM                      Hard Rock Casino
     July 8          Greenwood Village, CO            Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
     July 10        Dallas, TX                                   Gexa Energy Pavilion
     July 11        The Woodlands, TX                  Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
     July 13        Tampa, FL                                   1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
     July 14        Atlanta, GA                                  Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
     July 15        Noblesville, IN                             Klipsch Music Center
     July 18        Oklahoma City, OK                    Zoo Amphitheatre
     July 20        Maryland Heights, MO              Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
     July 21        Tinley Park, IL                             First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
     July 22        Clarkston, MI                               DTE Energy Music Theatre
     July 24        Cincinnati, OH                             Riverbend Music Center
     July 25        Cuyahoga Falls, OH                   Blossom Music Center
     July 27        Camden, NJ                                Susquehanna Bank Center
     July 28        Burgettstown, PA                      First Niagara Pavilion
     July 29        Bristow, Virginia                        Jiffy Lube Live
     July 31        Saratoga Springs, NY               Saratoga Performing Arts Center
     August 1     Corfu, NY                                     Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
     August 3     Mansfield, MA                            Comcast Center
     August 4     Scranton, PA                              Toyota Pavilion
     August 5     Hartford, CT                                Comcast Theatre
's work on De Vermis Mysteriis follows more than a year and a half of world touring in support of Snakes for the Divine which included multiple North American headlining jaunts and international festival appearances as well as tours alongside friends and peers in Metallica, Slayer, Mastodon and The Melvins, the latter of which saw the trio caught in both the February 22, 2011 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand and the powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami in Tokyo, Japan on March 11, 2011.
 The popular U.S. group was unharmed, but shaken after surviving its second natural disaster in sixteen days and was able to return to its native Oakland a few days later.  NBC Bay Area spoke with Matt Pike following the Christchurch earthquake; that interview can be seen at this location. 

Universally recognized as one of the most potent acts in music today, HIGH ON FIRE creates modern heavy metal that merges primal fury and aggression, hesher bombast and hall of fame heaviness.  Described as "a supersonic exercise in conquest by volume," HIGH ON FIRE has 
rewritten the hard rock rulebook since its formation in 1998, forging a style and sound that is both critically celebrated and absolutely unique.  The group features vocalist and cult guitar hero Matt Pike, a founding member of the famed underground band SLEEPPike was named as one of Rolling Stone magazine's "New Guitar Gods" and is one of rock's most charismatic figures. HIGH ON FIRE will release its new album De Vermis Mysteriis this April.  
is available to speak with interested media now. To chat with the band, simply contact Carl Schultz @ ACTION! PR via any of the means listed below. Updated news and tour information will be made available via HIGH ON FIRE online (website / facebook / twitter) and ACTION! PR online (website / facebook / twitter). 

     "a beautiful, untamable kind of band" - THE NEW YORK TIMES

     "These Bay Area lifers have so fully internalized metal's sweep that the genre's catalog could go up in flames, and as long as the transcendentally intense "Snakes" survived, we'd be able to reverse-engineer the music's history."

     "music heavy enough to unbalance the Earth's rotation...Pike is one of the best guitarists you will ever the best live bands you will ever see." 

     "High on Fire are the sort of band who put devils or skulls or snake-demon ladies on their album covers just because those things are awesome, not because they illustrate any larger cultural point.  And five albums in, they're very, very good at generating awesome on demand...High on Fire do it right." - PITCHFORK
     "it's not often something rocks this hard...stadium-sized" - STEREOGUM

    " of the best bands in the business." - THE ONION

     "a band that eats Motorhead, drinks Sabbath, and bleeds the absolute pinnacle of their game" - SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN

     "High on Fire are the new Mötörhead. The trio never falter" - ALTERNATIVE PRESS

      "majestic...monolithic-sounding...on the cusp of attracting a much larger audience than ever before." - POPMATTERS

     "Oakland's (and possibly Earth's) heaviest band, High on Fire, is ready for its close-up." - SF WEEKLY

Carl Schultz
ACTION! Public Relations / Media & Marketing 
P.O. Box 302709
Austin, TX  78703 

(512) 926-4511 



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Got a call from my pulmonologist out of the blue yesterday.

"How's your asthma doing.? " Uhh. Good I guess.  "Good."  Listen I was taking a closer look at your most recent chest x ray, and i took it to a radiologist. Looks like there's something small and smooth in your right lung. About 2 cm."

"I'm 98% sure its not something bad. Cancer isn't usually round." But knowing your concerns about what happened to your sister, I think we should do a CT scan next week."

So that's how I started my weekend.

Isn't this life just a dark comedy?

How much can a man take? Am I the Americanized version of a litmus test for humans who haven't been through war, plague,rape,murder or terrorism, but want to experience everything else that could possibly drive them completely insane?

Well it sure feels that way.

My playlist:

How to Disappear Completely-Radiohead
Cafe-Tim Buckley
Changes-Black Sabbath
2:45 am-Elliott Smith
Unfinished Plan- Alain Johannes
Evening Kitchen-Band of Horses
Borrowed Tune-Neil Young
Blindsided-Bon Iver
I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry-Cowboy Junkies

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Baard Kolstad :Drummer

Get this kid a band. Stat.  He's got almost every percussion style covered.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Conductor Dave and the Brown M&Ms Story

A semi- weird video of David Lee Roth whom had just gotten through with his late afternoon shift at the Reading Railroad and returned to his NY Penthouse just in time to find a camera crew there. With the help of city as his backlight, night shades and some stains on his Carhardtt overalls,  he finally sets the record straight on the Van Halen "Brown M&M story" that's been part of rock folklore for almost as long as the Zeppelin "Mudshark Incident" rumor.....some of you have actually heard this, then again, no.

Brown M&Ms from Van Halen on Vimeo.

Bonnaroo 2012 Line- up

To be held June 7-10 in Manchester, Tennessee. Tickets go on sale in 4 days on Feb 18, 2012. 260 bucks for the whole weekend.. A payment plan is available if you buy early.    

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mark Lanegan Live on KCRW

A rare live performance by Mark Lanegan on the Radio KCRW in LA: (and now everywhere), doing Gravedigger's Song. I posted this because he did two US shows, NY/LA and then he's off to Europe( as usual). I got shut out of those and I wanted to see he and his band in real light. Now I'll research who the players are....

Friday, February 10, 2012

from Pod : A review of Van Halen- A Different Kind of Truth

I was going to sit down and review this massive surprise of an album, a throwback, mind you..all that's missing is Michael Anthony (physically). After seeing and hearing the new/old track Tattoo and tearing it a new asshole on C of F, I was worried. I put on my pinstriped spandex, and chaps and pressed on. I acquired, I listened, I allowed for marination.....  But then, my friend Sean Coleman over at Pod nailed it, nailed my sentiment and addressed all of the worries of the Diamond Dave Army, better than I could, and for your pleasure. So, without further adieu....

Here is a link to his excellent review of Van Halen -A Different Kind of Truth

A Review: Mark Lanegan- Blues Funeral

A fuzzed hypnotic bass jackhammers recklessly through subterranean waves of gray. A gravelly dull roar rumbles through the speakers, confidently freezing the marrow of the lazy listener.  The voice of Mark Lanegan and his smoky purr blurts the words "with piranha teeth, Ive been dreaming of you"..and we're leveled. Flatlined in attentive bliss. It's the start of Gravedigger's Song, the first track from Blues Funeral, Mr. Lanegans's first solo effort since 2004's Bubblegum.

There is a familiarity to the presentation. The basement window view of a day's weary underside in the hue of the melody and lyrics..".The magnolia blooms so sweet and it fades just the same"... Onto lines like "Muddy water, celestial flood, you know I feel ya, in my iron lung" from Bleeding Muddy Water...These cold panoramas jumpstart this album. It feels like comfort, a musty tattered sweater of protection reminiscent of his earlier work..Whiskey For the Holy Ghost, I'll Take Care of You...whisps of that era are evident here... A guide to many a broken overcast afternoon...We drift through the icy still of St. Louis Elegy, with its organ laden chorus ringing like a spaghetti western hymnal, .."Down here the winter, will cut you quick, these tears are liquor and I've drunk myself sick.".... it rings with comatose sadness, humming dreary and dried eyed with memory lapses.

And then, a blind spot right turn into a thick thud and screamy riff as "burnouts by the score, strung out in metal cages" line the hazy halls and pollute the ash dust couches of  Riot in My House, a stand out track with a Josh Homme tone and migraine like solo that rips through the before during and aftermath of a seven day stretch in a Yakima high desert drug den. Is Lanegan behind this blurry camera, or a bit player in this meth-merizing scene?

We now come to the curveball and concrete cornerstone of the album, Ode to Sad Disco. Mark finds his faith among the lost mass of revelers dancing in half speed comas while powder driven rhythm makes a phoenix-ful rise from an Erasure- like synth and Linn drum bed . His uncharacteristic break from baritone to an almost falsetto preach is a revelation, soaring sleepily over lines like " A mountain of dust, burns in your mouth, here there's no north or south".

The help is legendary. From Eleven, the Queens and more, Alain Johannes appears as jack and master of all studio trades, Jack Irons(RHCP, Pearl Jam, Eleven) is on drums, Greg Dulli (the other gutter twin) and Masters of Reality king Chris Goss contribute vocals, and the aforementioned QOTSA mastermind and former Screaming Trees touring guitarist Josh Homme brings the thrift shop guitars. Within this collective, the vision and depth of these songs radiate with an ease of effort, allowing Lanegan's vastly under rated lyrical output, to finally stand on its own.

In Phantasmagoria Blues, a hushed clock tick drum and bobbing guitar brushes behind the exhausted introspect and dark shock of lines like "if you found a razor blade and took it to your wrist, then I'd be here in my electric chair because of this" Heavy load. Hardly lifted, emblazoned with an empty beauty.

Next, Quiver Syndrome, an alluring, overdriven dope sickened, allegoric anthem acts as a raced pulse Pt.2 to the fabulously frantic track  Hit the City, from the Bubblegum album.

The muted thump of  80's drums and The Edge- like guitars lift the sigh and sag of Harborview Hospital, a wandering ode to outpatients, basking in the synth sirens, like ghosts of remorse.

Deep Black Vanishing Train veers into Lanegan and Mike Johnson timestamped acoustic guitar category from the Whiskey for the Holy Ghost era, a old man's requiem to the tracks of time, peppered with piccolo.

The electronic drums and three- tiered  Rolands hum behind the dry ice haze and stage fog of Tiny Grain of Truth. This, the final track could be a travel log to the many lanes and collapsed veins of a city in afterglow, with nary a guitar to be found anywhere within its meandering 7 minutes. Neon blurs of endless expressways are connected by an almost Kraftwerk feel as we are led away. It is a jarring, cosmic end to this journey

 The husky narration, breathtaking back line and sheer scope of sound presented this time out should shove Lanegan to an unseen level of respect and infamy with Blues Funeral, a purely massive achievement of an album full of bleak pastiches and beautiful burdens, all transported by a myriad of throwback rhythms and memories.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Shake Up, Spit Out

Circle of Fits in its shape and substance has been levitating on the bland side of a plateau for a while now. Our sweaty night visions of a makeover have been manifesting for some time, so over the next few weeks(months?) we will shed our skin template and run naked with dick swinging through the fields of re- invention.

We are looking for writers, of all shapes and sizes, whip smart and venomous, opinionated and hungry, to contribute to the style and flow of the site. Please look back on some posts, and if you can see anything that rings your writing bell, contact us @

We will keep you posted with any new URL that may or may not take the place of the current one.

Thank you,

C of F

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Video for Mark Lanegan's Gravedigger's Song

I'm going to keep beating it into your heads until you believe me. Mark Lanegan will change your life. Fortunately for you, his new album, Blues Funeral comes out next week. The only voice I've heard more in the last few days is the one or two in my noggin, reminding me to eat and bathe and pick up the pills on the floor before my son comes over.  I will fully review it after it fully saturates.  Until then, here is the video for the track  "Gravedigger's Song".   Disclaimer: None of the creepy children were harmed during the filming of this vid.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wilco's New "Popeye" Video

Wilco bring Popeye back from the animation graveyard, with their new video for "Dawned on Me". If you haven't gotten their latest album The Whole Love yet, then you must feel like you haven't eaten your spinach...all of the time. It was in Circle of Fits Top 5 Albums of 2011. Bluto ain't got nuthin' on Wilco.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Star Spangled Banter

There seems to be a ridiculous amount of armchair fuss and disgust over Steven Tyler's performance of The Star Spangled Banner before yesterdays AFC Championship game. From the internets, tweets and newsrooms I've been privy to words like "TRAVESTY", "disgrace", "butchered", atrocity", even "tasteless" to describe his take on this atrocious song.

Yes, I said atrocious song. I have a lot to say about it, but I may morph back and forth between into some sort of veteran huggin', beer slingin' good ole boy full of lung butter and adrenaline....and yours truly. Because for some reason, this song is sacred. It is symbolic of the good old USA, so you better remove your hat and slap that hand over your heart and pay attention, boy. Because it's the most important song that ever glorified war.

"Because the game wont be the same without it, man. The goddamn game wouldn't even be being played if it weren't for the good old righteous wars. We won the right to play it. Now hear me. We won the right to come into your country when you don't want us to, take over your governments and turn your country into a police state until order is restored and your terrorist leader is punished, killed or driven out of power. Freedom ain't free. Ain't nothin' like a good old war song to get those colors flying, that pride bursting, and heart a poundin'. Ain't nothin' like getting all big chested and misty eyed with a good old outdated, imperialistic sing a long that most of the offensive linemen ignore while they adjust their jocks.   And nobody who has the privilege of an invitation to sing it, better sing it off key, off color or whatnot because that'd be a goddamn sacrilege. An abomination. And goddamnit, you better have a fuckin' tear in your eye when those fireworks drop and drape over the fighter plane flyin low and slow over the stadium. You'd better straighten up while flyin' right."

Hey, butterbean, listen to the words. Your sentiment is disguised by your pride. War has never been the answer to anything through history but rather a disagreement of religion and false gods, and a pursuit of land, power and money.. But now people are pissed off, being civilly disobedient, distrusting their leaders, and the act of being patriotic falls somewhere between cutting back on high fructose corn syrup and Tivo-ing The Bachelor. And you soldiers? Bless your hearts for what you do, even when you don't know why you do what you do, or no longer believe in what you do.

May I suggest an upgrade to Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" to be performed in lieu of the Elitist Anthem. A true panorama and pastiche of what America truly symbolizes-inclusion.

Steven Tyler is still a rock star. Even after having to take the Idol job to fund his various alimony escapades, and his ridiculous Oprah interview, the guy is still a Toxic Twin. He's still the guy who wrote the words to Sick as a Dog and Lord of the Thighs. And that's enough for me. I've been in his company while in his dressing room with my late sister and he was the coolest, intuitive, non self- serving celebrity I'd ever been around.

What he's absurdly up against in this PR debacle, for which I'm convinced that he doesn't give a shit about is the ABOVE played out national  SENTIMENT.... PLUS his much higher profile. Due to his appearance 2x a week on a massively popular faux- starmaking show which is shoved down the throats of a general public who know next to nothing about music, he's a CELEBRITY, now. A 40 second soundbite at the end of every fly- over city's six o clock news broadcast. These couch proud cretins and pasty tweens have most likely never heard a fucking Aerosmith song. Therefore, they would never know that Mr. Tyler sounded exactly like Mr. Tyler SHOULD sound , while singing the NATIONAL ANTHEM. IN BOSTON, WHERE HE'S FROM. He sounded like a ROCK STAR. A 63 year old rock star who can still hit the high notes on this notoriously difficult song to sing. So many vocally white washed or melismally mutilating understudies have tried to go where Steven went and failed by falling off the edge of the key or being a sonic gymnast and rappelling down the ends of the phrases.

If you wanted the slick operatic white bread take on this song, you should have waited for Kristen Chenoweth's sparkly clean version before the Giant/49er game. Her teeth were shining through the misty rain, her vibrato was Rogers and Hammerstein strong and pitch perfect. Shit, I was waiting for jazz hands.We did get the Miss America wave, though.

I was personally much more offended with the New England Patriots who were handed the game with a dropped pass and missed kick. And now that sneering thankless snob Tom Brady gets to dirty up my Super Bowl again. Now that's a travesty.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Darkness Returns

The Darkness Returns! No, not a common go to theme of dread and depression that runs rampant on this blog, but the UK BAND- The Darkness.  Remember them? Need help? Just think of the last time you heard Thin Lizzy glam- dipped guitars and outrageous falsetto on rock radio. In 2003, not 1973. Catchy melodies, guitar solos. and the glitter drenched, Mercury-lite vocal stylings of Justin Hawkins. You know, Rock! From back in the days of yore.... before your Instamatic Idols and Idiots.

Most of you will reluctantly reach back to 2003 to bring their catchy glam rock single " I Believe in a Thing Called Love" to the surface. It was an insanely infectious tune for the time, even soccer moms were scat singing it in their Voyagers. They were massive in England from 2003-2005 and even made a dent here with their Permission To Land album. But with their outrageous and dentally challenged videos and the penchant for shiny pinstriped jumpsuits, nobody knew whether to take the band seriously or not. Surprisingly enough, the Hawkins brothers (Brother Dan on guitars as well) were virtuosos as well as great songwriters.

The second album from 2005, One Way Ticket to Hell and Back, had the boys even nicking Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker, yet it made no dent and hardly a ding, and the fun began to fade.   After the obligatory saturation with fame and the maddening crash into the drugs/rehab/obscurity wall, the band split in 2006, with Justin leaving to regroup and eventually form the one album long project called Hot Leg. The remaining members fumbled along with a new front man in an ensemble called the Stoned Gods. Neither outfit made any real rock traction, and here it is a short two years later, and with the quids running low the world gets  a big whiff of reunion.

With Justin and Dan having realized that a grand glam sum is better then their bland glam parts, the band has regrouped in 2012 and are well into writing and recording a third album. A US tour has been announced with the dates listed below.

2/1 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix – SOLD OUT
2/3 – Boston @ Paradise Rock Club – SOLD OUT
2/4 – New York @ Irving Plaza – SOLD OUT
2/6 – New York @ Irving Plaza
Currently on sale:

2/7 – Philadelphia @ Trocadero
Currently on sale:

2/8 – Washington DC @ 9:30 Club – SOLD OUT
2/10 – Detroit @ St Andrew’s Hall – SOLD OUT
2/11 – Chicago @ Metro – SOLD OUT

2/12 – Minneapolis @ First Avenue
Presale tickets still available:
Currently on sale:

2/15 – Denver @ Summit
Presale tickets still available:
Currently on sale:

2/17 – Las Vegas @ House of Blues
Presale tickets still available:
Currently on sale:

2/18 – Phoenix @ Celebrity Theatre
Presale tickets still available:
Currently on sale:

2/19 – Los Angeles @ House of Blues – Sunset Strip – SOLD OUT
2/21 – San Francisco @ Fillmore
Currently on sale:

2/23 – Portland @ Roseland Theater
Tickets onsale Friday Jan 13, 2012.

2/24 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Commodore Ballroom
Tickets onsale Friday Jan 13, 2012.

2/25 – Seattle @ Neptune Theater
Tickets onsale Friday Jan 13, 2012.

I've got glitter on my fingers as I type this, and my jumper is at the cleaners!   See you there!