MIEN release first single, “Black Habit,” and it’s a doozy.

Is it too early to say I’ve already heard one of the best singles of the year?  MIEN, consisting of the Black Angels‘ Alex MaasElephant Stone‘s Rishi Dhirthe Earlies‘ John Lapham, and the Horrors‘ Tom Furse, have released “Black Habit,” the first single from their debut self-titled album due out April 6th.

The single is a heady, almost nightmarish trip blending psychedelia with a bit of dark wave.  The album is available for pre-order and the band will play live at Levitation Austin this April.  I already have my tickets for their performance.  Don’t wait to get yours, or to order this record.

Keep your mind open.

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Elephant Stone’s “Remix of Fools” now available for pre-order.

Montreal’s Elephant Stone have a remix album of their Ship of Fools record, entitled Remix of Fools, now available for pre-order.  Two of the tracks are instant downloads once you pre-order the full album.

PRE-ORDER the EP today and get instant downloads of both singles: http://smarturl.it/RemixOfFools

WATCH ‘Love Is Like A Spinning Wheel’ (Xavier Boyer Remix) here: https://youtu.be/teO4UmdGLLQ

WATCH ‘The Devil’s Shelter’ (Young Galaxy Remix) here: https://youtu.be/_cpXRAjRT-U

Don’t forget to catch them on tour across Europe! Paris, Leicester and an Acid House Ragas (check out this live recording) London date just added!

9/16 Angers, FR @ Theatre le Quai TICKETS | FB EVENT (ES + Acid House Ragas classical set)
9/17 Paris, FR @ SuperSonic FREE/GRATUIT FB EVENT
9/18 Le Havre, FR @ McDaid’s Live FB EVENT
9/19 Leiden, NL @ Gebroeders Nobel TICKETS | FB EVENT
9/20 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso TICKETS | FB EVENT
9/22 London, UK @ O2 Forum TICKETS | FB EVENT
9/23 Liverpool, UK @ Baltic Triangle TICKETS | FB EVENT (ES + Acid House Ragas)
9/25 Leicester, UK @ The Soundhouse
9/26 London, UK @ The Social FREE | FB EVENT (Acid House Ragas only)
9/27 Theossaliniki, GR @ Rover Bar 
9/28 Arta, GR @ Miles Bar 
9/29 Athens, GR @ Death Disco FB EVENT
12/3 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups TICKETS
12/4 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall TICKETS
12/5 Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line TICKETS
12/6 St Louis, MO @ Off Broadway TICKETS
12/7 Nashville, TN @ High Watt TICKETS
12/8 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl TICKETS
12/9 Raleigh, NC @ Stag’s Head Music Hall TICKETS
12/10 Richmond VA @ Capital Ale House TICKETS
Om shanti om,

Elephant Stone announces Europe and North America tour dates.

Elephant Stone have been on tour for seemingly all of 2017, and now they’ve added more tour dates throughout Europe and North America that go into the winter.  They’re playing gigs with the likes of the Black Angels, A Place to Bury Strangers, and the Dream Syndicate.  Any of these shows would be well worth your time and money.  Here are the dates:

8/11 Quebec City, QC @ Le Cercle TICKETS | FB EVENT

8/12 Gaspe, QC @ Festival du Musique au Bout du Monde TICKETS | FB EVENT
8/13 Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, QC @ Sea Shack TICKETS | FB EVENT
9/1 Rouyn Noranda, QC @ Petit Theatre de Rouyn Noranda TICKETS | FB EVENT ^
9/7 Berlin, DE @ Bassy TICKETS | FB EVENT *
9/8 Cologne, DE @ Gebäude 9 TICKETS | FB EVENT *
9/9 Hamburg, DE @ Molotow TICKETS | FB EVENT *
9/12 Malmo, SWE @ Plan B FB EVENT
9/13 Copenhagen, DK @ Pumpehuset TICKETS | FB EVENT #
9/16 Angers, FR @ Theatre le Quai TICKETS | FB EVENT ~
9/18 Le Havre, FR @ McDaid’s Live FB EVENT
9/19 Leiden, NL @ Gebroeders Nobel TICKETS
9/20 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso TICKETS | FB EVENT @
9/22 London, UK @ O2 Forum TICKETS | FB EVENT #
9/23 Liverpool, UK @ Baltic Triangle TICKETS | FB EVENT &
9/27 Theossaliniki, GR @ Rover Bar 
9/28 Arta, GR @ Miles Bar 
9/29 Athens, GR @ Death Disco FB EVENT
12/3 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups TICKETS  +
12/4 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall TICKETS  +
12/5 Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line TICKETS  +
12/6 St Louis, MO @ Off Broadway TICKETS +
12/7 Nashville, TN @ High Watt TICKETS +
12/8 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl TICKETS  +
12/9 Raleigh, NC @ Stag’s Head Music Hall TICKETS +
12/10 Richmond VA @ Capital Ale House TICKETS  +
^ w/ A Place to Bury Strangers
# w/ The Black Angels and A Place to Bury Strangers
@ Indiestadt Festival w/ The Black Angels,A Place to Bury Strangers, Beach Fossils
& Liverpool Psych Fest with sets by Elephant Stone and Acid House Ragas
+ w/ The Dream Syndicate

Elephant Stone – Live at the Verge

Elephant Stone (Rishi Dhir – lead vocals, bass, sitar, Miles Dupire – drums, vocals, Gabriel Lambert – guitar, vocals, Stephen Venkatarangam – keyboards, synths) never disappoint live. I’ve seen them three times in three different settings: A music festival attended by thousands (the main stage Levitation Austin at the Carson Creek Ranch), a mid-sized indoor / outdoor venue with a couple hundred people there (at the Mohawk in downtown Austin), and at a tiny pub with barely anyone there (Howler’s in Pittsburgh). Each show has been good and their first live EP, Live at the Verge, is a nice release that puts me in the mood to see them again.

The EP is five tracks from their latest record, Ship of Fools, starting with “The Devil’s Shelter” and plunging you straight down a rabbit hole of psychedelia. Venkatarangam’s pulsing synths meet Dhir’s echoing vocals and Joy Division-influenced bass while Dupire knocks out a beat so precise that you could knife fight to it.

Dhir breaks out the sitar on “Silence Can Say So Much.” It’s one of the loveliest songs on Ship of Fools, and the recording of it here is outstanding. Lambert plays some stadium-level riffs on “See the Light,” and the rest of the band cooks alongside him. His guitar lifts you into orbit on “Andromeda” and is something out of a groovy 1960’s sci-fi / Euro-spy film you’ve never seen.

The EP ends with “Manipulator,” which sounds even better live than you hope it will. Elephant Stone puts down a serious groove and each launch into the chorus pumps you up more. The bridge will leave you slack-jawed.

The whole EP is impressive, and I hope they release a full-length live album sometime in the future. Whoever recorded Live at the Verge deserves special credit, because it sounds fantastic. It’s only a digital release, so snag it while you can.

Keep your mind open.

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Elephant Stone release live EP and UK / European tour dates.

First, Canadian psych-rockers Elephant Stone have released their first live recording – Live at the Verge.  It’s only available in digital format and has five tracks from a show at the Toronto nightclub recorded in February 2017.  Elephant Stone never disappoint live, so this is more than worth the low price.

Second, the band has released dates for a European and UK tour taking them from the Netherlands to France.

05/24 EKKO, Utrecht NL

05/26 Moth Club, London UK

05/27 The Printworks, Hastings UK

05/28 Eiger Studios, Leeds UK

05/29 Mono, Glasgow SCO

05/30 Picture House Social, Sheffield UK

05/31 The Hope & Ruin, Brighton UK

06/01 La Cave Aux Poètes, Lille FR

06/02 Supersonic, Paris FR

06/03 La Sirène, La Rochelle FR w/ The Black Angels 

06/04 Carte Blanche à Rock in the Bar, Giverny FR

Catch them if you can.

Keep your mind open.

Elephant Stone announce Canada and U.K. tour dates.

Psych-rockers Elephant Stone have released a big batch of tour dates across their home country and in the United Kingdom.  Catch them if you can.  You won’t regret it.

Feb. 08 – Grad Club – Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Feb. 09 – Starlight – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Feb. 10 – Adelaide Hall – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Feb. 14 – Casbah – Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Feb. 15 – E-Bar – Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Feb. 16 – Red Dog – Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Feb. 17 – Zaphods – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Feb. 18 – Theatre Fairmount – Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Mar. 24 – Trou de Diables – Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada

Mar. 31 – Petite Boite Noire – Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Apr. 01 –  La Sainte Paix – Drummondville, Quebec, Canada

May 26 – The Moth Club – London, UK

May 27 – The Moon Club – Cardiff, UK

May 28 – Eiger Studios – Leeds, UK

May 29 – Mono – Glasgow, UK

May 30 – Picture House Social – Sheffield, UK

May 31 – Hope & Ruin – Brighton, UK
BTW check out this live in-studio performance they did of Ship of Fools sitar track “Silence Can Say So Much”. Listen to Ship of Fools HERE.

Keep your mind open.

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My top 25 albums of 2016 – #’s 25-21.

Don’t let anyone tell you that there’s no good music anymore.  There is always good music.  You just have to find it.  I hope this list and this blog helped you discover some good stuff in 2016.

I reviewed close to 50 albums released in 2016 last year, so I’ve decided to highlight the top 25.   Here are numbers 25-21.
25.Slaves bring great British punk that skewers not only the elite rich, but also Millennial slackers and even the stupidity of drunk driving.

24.Dunsmuir is a metal supergroup featuring members of Clutch, Fu Manchu, The Company Band, and Black Sabbath.  Their debut is a concept record about a shipwrecked crew fighting monsters on a remote island.


Canadian psych-rockers Elephant Stone have yet to put out a bad record, and this one added electro touches to their mix of 1960’s psychedelia and bhangra.


Birth is a fine piece of stoner rock from this three-piece Australian outfit.  I was on a big stoner rock kick in 2016 and ORB certainly fit the bill.


Klaus Johann Grobe were a delightful discovery this year, and their latest album, Spagat Der Liebe, is a fun electro / lounge record suitable for both late night parties and making out.

Who cracks the top 20?  Come back tomorrow to find out!

Keep your mind open.

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Live – Elephant Stone, the Tilt Room, One Day Steady, Paul Labrise – October 20, 2016 – Pittsburgh, PA

We made the 5-hour drive to Pittsburgh through the rain and got in a nice romantic dinner before settling in at Howlers – a local rock / dive bar in Pittsburgh to see Elephant Stone.  My wife and I have been fans of theirs since we first saw them at Levitation Austin in 2013, and I was eager to hear tracks from their new album, Ship of Fools, live.

We had to wait a little while, however, because we were surprised to learn there were three bands playing before them.  The first was a local hero – Paul Labrise – who played in a rock three-piece that laid down a good mix of surf, rockabilly, and garage rock.

Paul Labrise (on guitar) and crew.

Following them were One Day Steady – who were only on the second date of their current tour.  They played loud, enthusiastic that reminded us of Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and a little bit of Red Hot Chili Peppers for good measure.

One Day Steady

The Tilt Room were another three-piece, but this one played Americana / acoustic jams and didn’t mess around.  They got on stage, blasted through a short set, and sounded good.

The Tilt Room

Elephant Stone got on stage after 11:00pm and ended up played a shorter than normal set due to the late start time.  It was, nonetheless, impressive as always.  This is the smallest venue in which we’ve seen them, and hearing tracks like “Andromeda,” “Manipulator,” and “The Devil’s Shelter” in such a space was uplifting.  Many of the members of the other bands stuck around for their set and were impressed by their sound and efficiency.

Elephant Stone

We got to chat with Elephant Stone frontman Rishi Dhir, and it was great to finally meet him in person after a couple years of seeing them in Texas and swapping Tweets.  He gave us a hug before and after their set, which was (unbeknownst to him) the best birthday gift he could’ve given my wife – as it was officially her birthday by the post-midnight end of their set.  It was a fine set at that, and shame on you if you missed it.  Catch them on this tour if you can.

Set list, albeit there wasn’t time for them to play every song on it.

Keep your mind open.

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Go see Elephant Stone and learn to play sitar.

ESPsychedelic rock trio Elephant Stone have announced an impressive fall – early winter touring schedule, and lead singer / bassist / sitarist Rishi Dihr is offering a sitar lesson at each stop of the tour.  You can contact him through the band’s website for details.

The band’s tour starts in their home province of Quebec and then into the Midwest, a brief stop in New York, out to the west coast, back up through Canada, and then into Europe by the time November gets here.  By the way, their show on October 19th in Cincinnati is free.

Keep your mind open.

Elephant Stone – Ship of Fools


Canadian psych trio Elephant Stone’s (Rishi Dihr – lead vocals, bass, sitar, and keys, Miles Dupire – drums and vocals, Gabriel Lambert – guitar and vocals) newest record, Ship of Fools, brings a new element to their fine mix of psychedelia, power pop, and Eastern Indian music – electro.

“Manipulator” comes out with strong guitar, groovy bass, and both electronic and traditional percussion. The guitar squelches on the bridge as Dihr and his backing vocalists soar, and then it turns into a bit of an industrial electro song. “Where I’m Going” continues this light electro touch with deep bass and dance floor drums, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of reverbed guitar to keep us psychedelia fans happy (and how about that great synth solo?).

I love how Dihr’s bass turns up the fuzz on “The First Stone.” I don’t know if he did it to challenge Lambert in a fuzzy guitar contest, but Lambert gleefully accepted the challenge if he did because his guitar solo sounds like it was pulled out of a beehive. The second half of the song pops open your third eye with psychedelic madness.

“Photograph” isn’t a cover of the Def Leppard hit (although that would be an interesting choice), but it is a lovely song highlighting the band’s Beatles influence with its piano work, beats, and vocal styling. Dihr’s bass takes lead on “See the Light,” and the song encourages us to look past material wealth and pettiness so we can experience the divine. The ship mentioned in the album’s title is the planet Earth, and we are the fools who spend most of our time stumbling around it instead of enjoying all it has to offer.

“Run, Sister, Run” is dreamy psych, with Dihr’s sitar floating around it like autumn leaves before it blooms into body-moving bhangra beats. After that, I can’t help but think that the wheel mentioned in “Love Is Like a Spinning Wheel” is the wheel of reincarnation. “Andromeda” is appropriately spacey. The song cuts in samples of space launch commands and seems free from gravity. It’s a wonderful track.

“The Devil’s Shelter” brings back the electro bass (so Dihr can play more sitar) and has some of Dupire’s hottest chops on the record. Alex Maas of the Black Angels provides backup vocals and they bring a cool, slightly creepy vibe to the song. It’s only right for a song that mentions Old Scratch.

The title of “Silence Can Say So Much” is one of the truest statements I’ve heard on a record. It’s lush with sitar, tabla, and chant-like vocals. The vocals on the closer, “Au Gallis,” are heavily synthesized, to the point they sound robotic as the band builds a powerful electro track behind them.

I like this new addition of electro touches. The answer to Dihr’s question on “Where I’m Going” might be “to more fans who will groove to this record and spin it in dance clubs.”

Keep your mind open.

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