Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The COMPLETE Desolation Tour 2010 Post


(All Media Collected July-November 2010)

Here's ALL the Vlogs, ALL the Desolation Videos (plus some extra goodness) and ALL the Blog Posts from our epic Odyssey last year. Looking at all this stuff assembled in one place is pretty intense.

So much happened. I SAID GOD DAMN!

Well, here it is. Now on to the next thing...

(Did someone say Live album? Burlesque dancers? Interactive psychedelic BRAIN applications?)

The Complete Vlog Series

The Complete Desolation Videos

(bonus) Live @ Astor Place, NYC

and Live for BreakThruRadio (in the BATTLEVAN):

Saturday, March 12, 2011



I really don't know what to say.

(New York City?)

What else is there to say about New York that hasn't been said in countless books, movies, songs, albums, poems, ETC. ("E! T! C!" - D. Boon/The Minutemen)


It's the (THE!) American City.

LITERALLY NEVER SLEEPING! (I really thought it was hilarious how New Yorkers complained about how they hated people that stood on the sidewalks... even for like 5 seconds, PEOPLE SHOULD BE MOVING CONSTANTLY!!!!!!!!!!)

NYC was a big part of our tour.
At least 1/4th of the whole adventure.
We used it as home base for 6 weeks.
We LIVED in New York basically.

It was a madcap adventure.... full of dizzying highs and trying lows....
but most of all it was just simply an astounding adventure. So many things happened in those 6 weeks, I could ramble for days and days... pages and pages... hours and hours... and still leave out noteworthy things that happened.

How could I even TRY to convey what it felt like to go to that city for the first time and REALLY experience it and LIVE in it.... The thrill of seeing Time Square in ACTION.... The frustration of dragging our gear through the subway system (that includes our battery bank which is the heaviest thing ever)... the elation of our Astor Place gigs (dig some of those videos, yo... it was heavy!)... the nerdy pleasure of walking past Kyp Mallone (the beardy dude) from TV on the Radio like it AINT NO THANG.


I think that in this situation, it might be best to let the vlogs and the videos speak for themselves. And dear friends we got A LOT of footage while in New York. The sheer amount of footage that we amassed in New York alone was staggering.... sifting through it all was a daunting task. Dizzying. Just like the experience itself. But I do feel that even if I can't express the FULL scope of our New York experience with the following videos, I do feel like one does get a sense of what it felt like for our band to be husling in the city... looking for fortune and glory!

.... even when I was there, I had trouble communicating/understanding what it felt like for me personally to be in New York... the city was/is just PULSATING with energy... constantly bustling.... living and breathing and expanding....

And here I am, in a coffee shop at the corner of 21st and Bryant in San Francisco.... been home for months... and I feel like I'm still reeling from my time in New York... still processing it.... making sense of it... and ACHING to get back as soon as I possibly can.



  • Various songs from our residency at Pianos

  • A video of us playing at the DUMBO street fair for a bunch of wild lookin' little kids can be found by clicking on THIS LINK.
  • Various Songs from Astor Place

  • "Someone To Remind You" (unreleased song) - In our van, driving through Bushwick, for Break Thru Radio

  • "Boog Woogily" - Union Square Subway Station

  • "Red Tide" - Washington Square

  • Various Songs From our set at The Levi's Photo Workshop

  • "Get Ur Freak On" (MISSY ELLIOT Cover w/ Kira from Magicland)


Our original plan was to tour all over the East Coast and use New York as home base. However, for various reasons (weather, booking SNAFUs, etc.) we never managed to really get out of the city that much. Besides a quick trip up to Danbury, CT (birth place of CHARLES F&$#$# IVES - father of America composition!) early on in our stay, we only managed to successfully get away from New York for one gig in Boston.... Jamaica Plains to be more specific.

Anywho, we played a house party that was TOTALLY ludicrous. We played in a tiny, sweaty room and everyone in the audience THREW DOWN HARD. In fact it was so rowdy at one point that the people who lived at the house had to stop the show to ask people to stop jumping up and down. They were afraid that we were gonna rock the house down. BOOM!
That video is down below and I think it might be my favorite live video of us every filmed. I'll never forget that night, fo sho.

We also had a rather enjoyable time street performing at Boston Common as well.

We didn't get a chance to sample Boston's INFAMOUS clam chowder, though.

Next time. And there WILL be a next time.....

  • "Seraphim (unreleased song)" - Boston Common

  • "Hope (unreleased song)" and "Only Baby Sharks" (featuring the Jamaica Plains Mutha-ship Tabernacle Choir) - Jamaica Plains

Battlehooch live in Boston from Angelina on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 10, 2011



(THE REALNESS) Out of all the places we visited on the 2010 Desolation Tour, Detroit sticks out as being the most Desolate place we visited... except for maybe that 12 hour drive from Austin, TX to Las Crucas, NM... there is literally NOTHING out there.

(Far as I can tell) Detroit is essentially the ghost town of America. One day while we were staying there, I took a cursory look around the neighborhood and realized that AT LEAST 80% of the nearby buildings were condemned. FACT: the population of Detroit has gone down from 2 million to 900,000 in the past 20 years. MARINATE ON THAT, YO.

It never occurred to me that places like Detroit exist in America.

A Brokedown Palace.

America is supposed to be the land of prosperity.... Yet Detroit is literally crumbling at this very moment. We shot a desolation video there in an abandoned car factory... whole floors had collapsed.... there was graffiti and broken widows everywhere... tons of piles of JUNK and CRAP. Spooky as all hell. Don't even get me started on what the downtown area reminded me of....

(PRODUCTION NOTE: This particular desolation shoot was cut short because we got spooked by all the homeless people that were lurking around the car factory, eyeing our expensive gear and our scrawniness... far from "police protection"... that's why that particular video is a little more on the raw side... cause it was MORE RAW. RAW-ER. RAAAAAAAAAAAAWR. (P.S.) - They were filming Transformers 3 nearby. No joke.)

The people I saw walking on the streets of Detroit looked SO HARD.... as if their bones were made out of steel. COLD SKELETONS.


SORRY. sorry. You are correct. No need to dwell on how messed up Detroit is... because Detroit is also TOTALLY GREAT! Don't believe me? Watch the #15 VLOG and you'll SEE that we had a great time...

SERIOUSLY. We had a $%#^@ (Hi Ryan!!) great time in Detroit. Hung out with our booking agent Kim Paris, visited the original Motown studios, etc. and so forth... good times. We found this excellent street fair called the DALLY IN THE ALLEY and got in some much needed (musically, spiritually and financially) street performing. Lots of new friends. Even though the city seemed kinda dour and down in the dumps, there was still lots of friendly smiles and dancing feet to be found.

Good vibes from the people of Detroit.

So peep the VLOG, dig the latest Desolation Video and enjoy a collection of some of the band's favorite jams that came from the Motor City:

Stevie Wonder - "I Was Made To Love Her"
(There are simply too many Motown songs we love so I just picked this one cause its... well... you know... just listen....)

Iggy Pop/The Stooges - "Penetration"
(FUN FACT. We played this song at the very first ever BATTLEHOOCH show. Were YOU there?)

DJ Assault - "Yo Relatives"
(DJ Assault is a genius. The end.)

The Amboy Dukes - "Journey To The Center Of Your Mind"

The White Stipes.....


The White Stripes broke up last week.

13 years and 6 amazing albums (seriously, not one of their albums if close to bad... all awesome in their own way).

No one died so I'll spare you a long winded rant about the White Stripes and how important they are to me a la my homage to Captain Beefheart (Audience member: "THANKS!"). Bottom line, I thought they were the bees knees and Jack White is easily one of my very very favorite songwriters and guitar players. I was lucky enough to see em live a couple of times (on the Elephant tour. boom.) and it really did feel like I was seeing one of the GREATS. Ya, know. They were HUGE. Titans. Giants. My favorite memory of seeing them live was when they busted out a medley of "Lets Shake Hands", Bob Dylan's "Isis" and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Man". It was REALLY exciting. So stoked I got to see the epicness that was their cover of Death Letter Blues LIVE!!! Just two people laying it down HEAVY and I could've listened to it for hours.

Anywho. LOVE THEM. And really.. kinda glad they stopped when they did. That way, they'll have never released a bad album... goin' out on top. What a career.


Here is a small hand full of some of my favorite White Stripes songs (songs, not VIDEOS, even though pretty much ALL their videos are epic...)






Thursday, February 3, 2011



Part 1

Part 2


What you will learn about is the following: Reality.

Yes, we toured for 4 months. Yes, it was the most fun I've ever had in my life. Yes, we met some incredible people/bands. Yes, there was something enjoyable every where we went...

(here it comes.....)


(Here's where Reality creeps in...)

Life on the road during this trip was not one glorious sequence of huge victories. Before we reached New York we had a roughly 2 week stretch of shows/driving that literally zig-zaged (spell check didn't like that last word) across the heartland of America. These weeks were more trying than previous weeks, which had seen an abundance of memorable shows, insanely good times and steady financial standings. Which brings us to THE SPRAWL: The place where skin was thickened and dues were paid.


What is THE SPRAWL you may ask?

THE SPRAWL is the space in between the coasts. THE SPRAWL is the guts of this country. THE SPRAWL is miles and miles and miles of (apparently) very little. THE SPRAWL is a different country. The SPRAWL is THIS country. THE SPRAWL is MOST of this country. THE SPRAWL is different from everywhere else I've been.
(THE SPRAWL is also an Arcade Fire song... about the same place. It is amazing and was definitely was on my mind while we were traveling through this area. )

THE SPRAWL is the land of HUGE churches. Sarah Palin voters. Midwestern Kindness. Vast oceans of wheat. The sweetest corn I've ever eaten. Salt of the Earth. REAL America. Drawls. Drawls in the Sprawl. (Space all around me where my soul can breathe.)

Each day the drives were enormous... something like 8-9 hours on average (cue the sound of violins playing tragic music). We were rapidly arriving/leaving from brand new places at a disorienting rate. In some cities, we only spent 4 or 5 hours in it before we hit the road. It was hard to wrap my head around the fact that each place was a unique entity, with it's own vibe and personality. More so than almost any other stretch of the tour, our time in THE SPRAWL felt the most like a dream.

When you're an up and coming band booking your own shows in new towns, it's inevitable that there will be some bummer shows. (FACT OF LIFE). More specifically: sparsely attended shows with bands that we don't really enjoy that much (Don't worry THE MATT DAMON EXPERIENCE, I'm not talking about you guys. Ya'll are boss in my book). These shows get ya down but like I said, its part of the gig... part of payin' DUES. However, when shows like this start to become more common, it gets harder and harder to remain cheerful and keep the cynicism at bay. This started to (kinda) happen during our time in THE SPRAWL.

One starts thinking about THE BIG PICTURE. One starts to compare the amount of time and effort expended with the net result of what they get back and it often seems wildly lop sided. You suddenly realize that you're miles and miles from home, eating poorly, sleeping poorly.... and you don't even know what CITY you're in. (Bring back the sad violin music, please). It can also get pretty strange because we're constantly playing the same songs over and over again. You know how if you have to write a word over and over again it starts to just look like gibberish after a while......


(You know where you are? You're in THE SPRAWL, baby. You're gonna die!!!!!!!)

Now, lets be clear... I'm not saying THE SPRAWL is a bad place and I'm not saying that all our shows in THE SPRAWL sucked. We had amazing shows (Holla Chicago! Newport! Detroit!), met wonderful peeps (Brendasaurus Rex! Another shout out to The Matt Damon Experience!) and we are hugely grateful for the hard work of our booking agent Kim Paris. She did an awesome job helping us with our tour and we know booking shows is seriously BRUTAL. We love her and are thankful for all her hard work.

The way I see it, these Blog posts are meant to sort of help tell the story of the Desolation Tour Experience. (RIGHT?) Therefore, the bleak and trying times must be represented as much as the fun and silly times. Driving those huge distances, having bunk shows.... it really gave me a sense of how mammoth the task is that we're embarking on.


We're trying to operate on a national level and on this tour I really got a taste of what doing such a thing really MEANT. Our country is huge! So many different kinds of people! So many different kinds of philosophies! So many unknowns! Nowhere else was this concept more vividly experience than during our time in THE SPRAWL. This was a crucial part of the overall Desolation Tour experience because this was essentially what the whole tour was about.... seeing the WHOLE country and seeing what happens when BATTLEHOOCH dives into it's center.


I don't know.

Even just thinking/talking about THE SPRAWL I feel like I'm getting overwhelmed. Trying to keep my head above water. It's so big... (SOOOO BIIIIG) There's so much space between thoughts... between people... and somehow we have to figure out how to tell THE SPRAWL about BATTLEHOOCH.

I think in the end all I can say about my time in THE SPRAWL on this tour... much like the tour itself... it was utterly dizzying and it's grandeur and scope was almost too much for me to fully take in...

...but I'm intrigued. It would be easy to just write it off and look at the negatives. ("It is kinda boring, barren and backwoods", says the hater) It would be easy to just say "FUCK THE SPRAWL". But that would be a disservice to all the wonderful peeps that dwell in SPRAWL (and love living in the SPRAWL!) The SPRAWL is too big and unexplored to write off at this point. As weird as it may seem, THE SPRAWL is still part of America... and from what I've seen America is a pretty groovy place and worth giving the benefit of the doubt.

We're going back into THE SPRAWL in the near future... when we know how to maximize the effectiveness of our time spent there... and I look forward to exploring it more and trying to connect with it further.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

RECAP! Episode 1-11 of BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour 2010

Parts 1-11: Chronicaling our journey from San Francisco to Florida

Part 1 - Tour Kick Off

KICK OFF Vlog Episode

  • Link to Tour Kick Off Blog here (and footnote here)
Part 2 - Technical Difficulties
  • Link to Technical Difficulties Blog post here
Part 3 - Seattle, WA

SEATTLE Vlog Episode

  • Link to Seattle Blog Post here.
Part 4 - Portland, OR

PORTLAND Vlog Episode

  • Link to Portland Blog Post here.
Part 5 - Eugene, OR - Solar Living Institue - San Francisco (Visit) - LA

EUGUENE Vlog Episode



  • Link to Eugene - SLI - SF - LA Blog Post here.

Part 7 - Las Vegas, NV

LAS VEGAS Vlog Episode

  • Link to Las Vegas Blog Post here.
Part 8 - Moab, UT - (UTAH Music Park)


  • Link to Moab, UT Blog Post here.
Part 9 - Denver, CO

DENVER Vlog Episode

  • Link to Denver, CO Blog Post here.
Part 10 - Oklahoma City, OK


  • Link to Oklahoma City Blog Post here.
Part 11 - The South (New Orleans, LA and Florida)

NEW ORLEANS Vlog Episode

FLORIDA Vlog Episode

  • Link to The SOUTH Blog Post here.

"Trumpet Poop on the ground with Peanuts" or "A Tribute to Captain Beefheart"

Don Van Vliet, AKA Captain Beefheart, has died.
Long live the Captain.

I didn't get my license until I was 19... so I used to get rides to high school with my dad. We'd drive in his '88 White Toyota Corolla (that's OOF OWF to ya'lls) and listen to cassette tapes of dubs he'd done of his old record collection. This is where I first heard such future favorites as "Box of Rain" by the Grateful Dead, "All Along The Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix, "Camarillo Brillo" by Frank Zappa and "Positively 4th Street" by Bob Dylan. It was on one of these car rides that he first showed me Captain Beefheart. The Captain was a favorite from his college days and he showed me two songs that were among his favorite in the whole world : "This is The Day" from Unconditionally Guaranteed and "Tropical Hot Dog Night" from Shiny Beast.

For YEARS, I thought "Tropical Hot Dog Night" was the weirdest song in the world. Stranger than strange lyrics and the backing band sounded like they were stumbling backwards through a samba parade. The song in general sounded like it was telling the wackiest joke ever. On top of it all, Captain Beefheart sounded like a Muppet with mad cow disease.
Obviously, nobody at High School gave a shit about Captain Beefheart. Some of my friends knew about him cause he sang "Willie the Pimp" on Zappa's Hot Rats album, but that was it. It was just strange music and I was the only person in the world who knew about it. As a matter of fact, I remember once I read a quote in some magazine where Trey from Phish said "Tropical Hot Dog Night" was one of his favorite songs ever and it blew my mind that someone else knew about Beefheart!
Whenever I tried to show "Tropical Hot Dog Night" to people, they'd just glare at me and get angry that I was playing such annoying crap. Heck, at this point I wasn't even sure what I thought about "Tropical Hot Dog Night". I appreciated how it was odd, bizarre and impenetrable but I wasn't sure if I REALLY liked it yet at that point. The music had a veneer of novelty, as if it was too weird to be really true.

I think my dad and myself are part of only a hand full of people on earth that really love "Unconditionally Guaranteed". The more I researched Beefheart, the more I found that the album was pretty much universally loathed by all his fans for being too "pop" and too "smooth". I guess I understand why that would be... After all, here was the dude who laid down "Lick My Decals Off, Baby" and "Frownland" playing smooth, laid back AM radio music with the dudes from BREAD! Might be a tough pill to swallow for some....
...But I don't care! I love the album and after all these years, I still think "This is the Day" is one of the most beautifully haunting songs I've ever heard. The album wasn't released on cd for years, so for the longest time the song only existed to me on vinyl. In other words, I only heard it when I would hang out with Grant Boardman, a friend who had a record player. (I have many fond memories of listening to the vinyl at Grant Boardman's house: black light, candles, shitty orange carpet and all. The music still evokes that room EVERY time I hear it.) The fact that it wasn't easily accessible and existed only on an outdated form of media created a spectral feel to the music. Fleeting, like an old memory. Also, I knew it was one of my dad's favorite songs, and Unconditionally Guaranteed was one of 3 record albums he brought with him when he dropped out of college and headed west. I think the combination of a unique back story, the fact that the album was out of print and the sweeter nature of the music created a sort of aura to the album that I always found compelling. It was like the tender feelings of my young parents preserved in amber. It was also an interesting balance to "Tropical Hot Dog Night". "This is the day" sounded like the same monster that was barking on "Hot Dog", but now he was sad and lamenting love long gone. A poignant example of seeing the sensitive side of the bizarre.

Either way, these two songs established an emotional and intellectual connection with the Captain that came to full fruition in years to follow.

When I got to college, I became obsessive about discovering new music. I was always asking people about what music they were into, downloading albums in bulk and trying to learn as much as I could about rock history. As I became exposed to artists like Os Mutantes, Fela Kuti and Syd Barrett, I started to realize that my musical tastes generally steered towards the direction of the more bizarre, outer reaches of rock music. It became obvious that "weird" was what I liked. So, inevitably I began to come across Beefheart's name more often and gradually got exposed to more of his music.

In the latter part of my college time, I moved into a house with some of the members of my band and it was there that I (we) started to really get into avant garde music. We spent hours and hours making experimental recordings - sound collages, white noise, atonal jams, you name it. In this environment, Trout Mask Replica became a very important musical reference point and the first full Beefheart album that I personally got into for my own reasons. The fearless spirit of Trout Mask Replica was extremely influential to my band mates and I and informed much of our experimentation. Heck, we even covered "Moonlight on Vermont" for a while. (Apologies for the kinda brutal sound quality... but that's SEX WITH JON for ya.)

Also, the deeper into Beefheart I got, the more I realized how relevant he was to my music studies. At the time, I was getting into the abstract regions of music theory in my college courses and being exposed to people like Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Webern. All the things we were learning about (atonalism, chromaticism, poly rhythm, word painting) were elements that he explored extensively in his music and presented in a much more intriguing way than the stuffy classical dudes I was learning about (no knock on Stravinsky et all, just sometimes I like my atonalism without a bow tie, feel me?). When the world of classical music became too heady and mathematical, I'd go back to Trout Mask and it would take me back down to earth... back to the human body. He became more and more crucial to the way I thought about music... I even briefly considered writing my entire senior thesis on Trout Mask Replica.

Eventually, I graduated from UCSC and moved to San Francisco. While I didn't get over Captain Beefheart, for a while he stopped being something that I referenced constantly. While still retaining a desire for progressive, forward looking music, I was no longer spending most of my time actively wading in the choppy waters of the avant garde. He was with me more and more in spirit and not in active practice...
Then, one day last year a good friend of mine showed me how to do BitTorrents. (If you don't know what it means to do a BitTorrent, it's basically the reason why no musicians can make money anymore off their recordings.) Long story short, I soon found myself with the full Captain Beefheart discography. As I started to revisit old favorites and dig through all the tracks I hadn't yet heard, it started to dawn on me: This was music that was crucial to ME.
This wasn't just music that I was intrigued by or that I thought was technically important... This was music that I profoundly connected with! Music that I really loved! I realized how his whole body of work was a vast treasure trove of brilliant ideas that pointed in a thousand directions... most of which had yet to be explored! It was (in my mind) the very definition of artistic bravery. It showed how much was left to be found out. It was music that STILL sounds like it was made tomorrow.

I may be venturing into hyperbole, but this is REAL TALK here, yo. I loved his weird music AND I also loved his simpler, more melodic music. I liked his simple, brutal blues work outs AND his obtuse, intricate compositions. I loved the musical complexity AND I also loved his abstract lyrics and surreal word play. I loved the fact that the dude who made "This is the Day" also made "Pena". (Seriously, marinate for a moment on what those two songs say about the scope Beefheart's music covers. It's staggering, yo.)

When I listen to his music, I feel like I'm able to go to a place of limitless creative fertility. It's like sitting in a garden where you can watch the most incredible flowers blossoming right before your very eyes. The longer you're in the garden, the more incredible the flowers are that you see. The day after he died, I sat in my room and listened to Trout Mask Replica front to back and I was knocked out (like I've been many times before in my life) at how singular that album is. He had forged a completely new musical (and lyrical!) vocabulary that was wholly separate from everything that came before it (and after). Yes, you can hear elements of things like Howlin' Wolf, Ornette Coleman, Stravinsky, Shakespeare, et all but these elements are so disembodied that the music transcends mere pastiche. It's like genetic recombination. It's musical mutation. A wholly new organism with it's own distinct characteristics and DNA.

This is tip of the ice-berg type material. I could ramble for much longer about Beefheart. I could talk at length about all his albums, his side men, and I haven't even touched on the fact the he was a painter for much more of his life than he was a musician (and a damn good one too. SHEESH!). But, I will say that I the man made a whole self contained universe with his art and it's a universe I can go to whenever I want and feel a unique and special kind of freedom and inspiration. For that, he'll always be huge in my mind.

R.I.P. Don Van Vliet (January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010)

-Archaeology Johnson

P.S. - a couple more crucial Beefheart videos from YouTube. Never enough.

BATTLEBLOG 2011 UPDATE (Includes info about the Tour Videos, New Album and More)

Quiet, but not Forgotten. (The BATTLEBLOG).

("I will begin again" - U2)

It's 2 days into 2011 and that means I'm surging with the awesome power that is NEW YEAR MOTIVATION. Yes, dear friends, Archaeology Johnson has a "To Do List" - filled with all manner of things that will (hopefully) enrich my life and (hopefully) infuse my existence with purpose and meaning. That's just a fancy way of saying that for the next few days I'm gonna be sitting around in my PJs listening to Mothers of Invention bootlegs, goofing around with my crazy new distortion pedal and spending money to get broken stuff fixed. (Really?)

This post is meant to be an update of sorts. A State of the Union, if you will on some BATTLEHOOCH related topics.

The Status of the Vlogs from the BATTLEHOOCH 2010 U.S. Tour.
  • We are obviously home and the tour has obviously been over for a couple months now. Yes, there hasn't been a peep on this Blog for a couple of months but what can I say.... we got home and I needed to take a break from the self contained universe of madness that was the tour and focus on the NEW, the COMFORTABLE and the FRESH. I visited home a couple of times. I got majorly caught up on sleep (Ed note: Still relishing in the novelty of having my own room and my own bed. Each night of sleep since being home has been delicious boys and girls. Delicious.) I spent long stretches of time working on new songs. FRESH PERSPECTIVE. However, to prove that we weren't just sitting on our asses, here's a video of us playing in Berkley since we're been home.
  • Now, it's a New Year and it's time to resume telling the tale. In the next few days we'll have the next official Tour Blog post which documents the conclusion of our winding, wayward jaunt to the east cost. (These episodes will cover the existential conundrum that was BATTLEHOOCH IN THE MIDWEST. Profound. Deep. Exhaustive.)
  • If you followed our trip via Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, Carrier Pigeon, etc. you know that we spent over 6 weeks in NYC and had a ridiculous amount of adventures. An overwhelming amount of said adventures were captured with our cameras (Thanks Kickstarter Backers!) and will be presented in some form (short film? concert movie? episodes?) shortly after the next Blog post. STAY TUNED!
  • While you await the exciting conclusion of the story of our 4 month Odyssey, please feel free to revisit all the prior episodes. A collection of all the Vlog episodes and accompanying posts can be found if you press THIS LINK.


We have started working on the next BATTLEHOOCH album. However, unlike past releases where we would work on a hand full of songs for a while and then record them on the cheap as quick as possible, we are going to be trying things differently.... cause we like to be
(said in sarcastic mocking tone. we're so meta, yo)

So this new plan kinda is shaping up as follows:
  • Everyone is writing songs/riffs/progressions/rhythms/concepts/etc. (We'll call these little musical units TIDBITS.)
  • We're gathering together each week and showing each other the new tidbits. The tidbits are then demoed, jammed on, rehearsed, altered and generally molested and mutilated.
  • We move on and do it all over again with a new batch of tidbits next week.
  • Net Result: LOTS OF TIDBITS. A Whole Pile of New Ideas that we cherry pick the tastiest, funkiest, most mind-blowing parts.
  • We put it together so you can listen to it while you a) do your homework or b) get high. (Ed note. BATTLEHOOCH does not endorse doing homework or getting high.)
  • If any of these demos are presentable, we'll share on this blog.
This doesn't mean that you'll have to wait indefinitely to hear the next new, sexy and official BATTLEHOOCH recording. No ma'am/sir! In fact, if you've seen us in the past year, you'll know that we already have 7-8 new, unrecorded songs that have been prominent parts of our live sets. The plan as of this moment (Sun 1-2-2011 - 1:16 PM - In bed, listening to "Mud Shark" by Frank Zappa) is to go into the studio in the next month or so and record one or two of those songs. The sad fact of recording music is that it always takes way longer for the song to come out than you ideally want, so these recordings probably won't be out until spring BUT... still Spring will be here before you know it. Promise. :) STAY TUNED!

What Are They Listening To? - New Years 2010/2011 Edition

  • Captain Beefheart -

He died. Here's my post about Captain Beefheart. Avant Garde Sentimentality. True Hero.

  • Ariel Pink -

2010 was a big year for Mr. Pink. The men of BATTLEHOOCH were among the throngs that fell in love with the twisted alchemy of his music and we fell hard. It started with a friendly interest in this year's BEFORE TODAY album. The interest continued to grow, so when we were filling up my Ipod with new music for our 4 months on the road I made sure to get a whole gaggle of Ariel Pink albums. It wasn't until New York that we started digging through them. First it was THE DOLDRUMS, whose "For Kate I Wait" became a band favorite. Then "L'estat" and it's epic "(Popping noise)-CHEER UP!" breakdown became another favorite. Then we discovered "Among Dreams" and it's serpent bass line and sun burnt beach boys wobble. Then we found out WORN COPY was an amazing album. Now, we're obsessed with it all. On our recent drive down to LA, our van playlist was utterly dominated by Mr. Pink. BEFORE TODAY is hands down my favorite album of 2010 and seems destined to be one of my favorite album ever. (He also gets points for reminding me a lot of early Mothers of Invention albums and leading me back into yet another major Frank Zappa kick.)

  • Can - "Turtles Have Short Legs"

Grant showed me this jam last night. So good. Tago Mago-era B-side. I love how the piano kinda sounds like "Penny Lane" style Beatles but the rest is pure juicy KRAUT. Also, a Damo lyric for the ages, "Turtles have short legs, not for walking". Wonderful example of juxtaposition working out (i.e. Bouncy 60s style pop AND tribal, sprawling, textural future beats)

  • Tame Impala

INNERSPEAKER was another album that got played a ton during the tour. Different members had different favorite songs, but it could always be counted on to provide a sweet blast of hazy rainbow bliss. Recently discovered their EP is pretty baller also (accompanying video is of a song from said EP). Saw them recently at the Independent and it was totally epic. They opened their set with "It Isn't Meant to Be", "Solitude is Bliss" and "Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind". It was fucking beautiful and me and my homies danced like tripped out animals.

  • Depeche Mode - "Everything Counts"

I don't know if everyone else in the band feels this way about this song, but I always kinda felt like it was a "Theme Song" of sorts on the tour. Or at least I often found myself thinking about the chorus during brutal points of the tour: "It's a competitive world. Everything counts, in large amounts".

  • Tobacco -

This music is filthy, trippy and funky in all the right ways. Both FUCKED UP FRIENDS and MANIC MEAT are flaming gobs of awesomeness. Don't eat the berries around you.

  • Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

A quick RANT, if I may.....
This album wasn't a band favorite per se. In fact, I think at least half the band hates this album. But this album has been a big topic of discussion as of recent in the music world (I guess getting a 10.0 from the fork will do that.) and that includes the world of BATTLEHOOCH. We listened to the whole thing as a band on the drive back from LA and it lead to some interesting debates (Is he any good at rapping? Does it succeed based purely on ambition? Are the incredible beats compromised by his tabloid status? What does a 10.0 rating mean?)
Personally, I think the album is pretty staggering. When I listened to it by myself for the first time, I couldn't help but feel like I was being enveloped... Like I was in the presence of something GARGANTUAN. I'm amazed by the scope of the music: how unabashedly ECCENTRIC and WEIRD it is AND how unabashedly EPIC and POP it is. And dig the half hour video for "Runaway". That's some seriously mind bending Fellini style shit at points.

This is a GRAND artistic statement. It sounds like the Future.

I think it proves Kanye West is very simply the bravest pop musician out there currently. Lady Gaga might be more conceptually out there, but she still is seriously lacking in the over all jams department (Even though I admit Paparazzi influenced the bass line in our song "Joke"). Even if you don't dig his raps, you can't deny he makes HUGE BEATS and has some straight up EPIC HITS. (Or as the man himself says, "At the end of the day, I'm KILLING THIS SHIT. I know damn well you're feeling this Shit"). I don't think the album is perfect but I don't think that's what these mags/blogs are talking about when they drop a 5 star/10.0 review on it. I think this album's ambition is undeniable. Just the other day, a homie told me that to make this album Kanye block booked a whole studio indefinitely, flew in his favorite musicians (RZA, Bon Iver, Elton John, etc.) and would work all day at making this music!!! He would take a 90 minute power nap every 4 hours but otherwise, this dude was working all day to bring this vision to fruition. I think that's tight and quite inspiring as a matter of fact. I feel like it'll be a while before this album really sinks in and peeps can really discuss what this album means, what it attempts and what it achieves. For now, I'm kinda just in awe of it.

That's all for now. Peace and Love (and Kanye West).

-Archaeology Johnson