new Howling Hex / Neil Hagerty brings the funk!

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Wowzers, this record is SO good. More groove / funk based than anything he's ever done, and probably the most Royal Trux-esque of his solo albums. The last legit full length is tough to top but I think I like this new one even better (despite the dearth of guitar solos!). The mysterious girl from the limited LPs is back full force - she sings just as much -if not a little more - than the 'Hag. Not to scare anyone, but some of it is very Make*Up esque - as in, repeated guitar lines and throbbing bass, while very 'in the know' vocals sermonize on top. A very consistent tone - very few songs vary much in 'feel,' which I think is very much to it's credit, and why it succeeds in ways that the last album didn't.

I'm really, really into this record (and by the way the book is brilliant too). Anyone else heard this yet?

Roger Fidelity (Roger Fidelity), Sunday, 13 February 2005 21:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Yep, I like it a lot, although that consistent tone you mention sort of makes it a hard record to sit through in one go. But yeah, girl vox + boogie makes this very interesting.

Omar (Omar), Sunday, 13 February 2005 21:40 (fifteen years ago) link

All-Night Fox is fantastic. It's the greatest rehabilitation of JJ Cale's laid-back boogie funk ever (not that there are a lot of these about, but still). And one of the female vocalists is in her 60s--bonus.

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Sunday, 13 February 2005 22:18 (fifteen years ago) link

JJ Cale is about the greatest not v recognised WHIZZ of ever but the Make Up are the shittiest bunch of dorks in likewise, so oh man I have NO IDEA about this now (except it's Neil H. so we've got 50x the use of the Make Up musically already I guess), hmmmmmm

Andrew Blood Thames (Andrew Thames), Monday, 14 February 2005 14:10 (fifteen years ago) link

I like it alot. I haven't yet burned it off my computer, so I've only listened on shitty laptop speakers, but I'm actually waiting to buy the thing for real...
I heard a story a while back about how Neil was playing a solo acoustic gig somewhere and on the spur of the moment, he invited the opening band, a sheezy local 'blues funk' outfit to back him up. The immediate chemistry was so strong, Neil invited them to accompany him for the rest of his gigs on the west coast.
I'm fairly certain this was between Good Old RNR and the 1st Howling Hex record, but All Night Fox, with it's near complete lack of chord changes, variations on a riff, etc. sounds alot like I imagined this ad hoc combo. My educated guess: Neil formed this band on the spur of the moment and ran with the results. A very Royal Truxian move, yes?

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Monday, 14 February 2005 17:24 (fifteen years ago) link

I like it more every time I hear it. I think your hypothesis is very astute, Mike - it DOES sound like an ad hoc assemblage of anonymous show-offs. It's tied for my favorite record of the year so far, easily.

Roger Fidelity (Roger Fidelity), Monday, 14 February 2005 20:56 (fifteen years ago) link

Pitchfork gives it a 6.8, but those guys are geeks...
Also, this review I found on the Beating Hearts yahoo group reveals the identities of the ladies singing on this album. I didn't bother to find out where it's from.

The Howling Hex featuring Neil Michael Hagerty, "All Night Fox" (Drag City) -- Once upon a time, not so long ago, they were called Neil Michael Hagerty and the Howling Hex. The new incarnation of the band, however, has apparently grown up enough to stand on its own. The Howling Hex, now "featuring Neil Michael Hagerty," continues its rock 'n' roll onslaught with "All Night Fox," a welcome addition to the Drag City discography.

"All Night Fox" is a mess of sloppy sounds that are continually scooped into a listenable form by Hagerty and crew. By far the best album from the group under the Howling Hex name, "All Night Fox" sounds a little old, a little new and a whole lot awesome.

The best improvement is the addition of female vocals, supplied by Lynn Madison, who also plays drums, and July McClure, who plays bass guitar. The female vocals add a sexiness to the music that compliments Hagerty's hard-hitting, drier vocals. Peter Denton supplies a tight rhythm guitar that holds it all together. It's rock music done in the best fashion: loud, raucous and over far too soon, leaving you wanting more.

It looks like this may be a cd only release, by the way...

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Tuesday, 22 February 2005 21:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Tied for first with what, Roger?
For me it's the Om album.

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Tuesday, 22 February 2005 21:42 (fifteen years ago) link

It looks like this may be a cd only release, by the way...

That it is. I saw it in two stores last week and was told that same thing, so I didn't buy it. I have four HH LPs, I'm not switching formats for another.

Vic Funk, Tuesday, 22 February 2005 23:17 (fifteen years ago) link

That SUCKS.

(ps Mike - the Dredd Foole album on Ecstatic Yod)

roger adultery (roger adultery), Wednesday, 23 February 2005 01:25 (fifteen years ago) link

don't listen to this record if you have a hangover.
maddening in its insistence///////////////
that said, not like any other record of which I can think

The Argunaut (sexyDancer), Friday, 25 February 2005 18:41 (fifteen years ago) link

why does this record, ur cd, remind me of PBS kidz educational showz?

The Argunaut (sexyDancer), Friday, 25 February 2005 18:46 (fifteen years ago) link

according to Google image search this is Haggerty's backing band:
http://www.discovercolumbusnewmexico.com/Jgimages/dajudge.jpg
ihttp://hometown.aol.com/hdhn2003/images/brooklynchase6.jpg

The Argunaut (sexyDancer), Friday, 25 February 2005 18:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, Drag City now says Cd only. WellI'm not buying it then, that'll show em. Three Lp only releases then this, what a cunt Neil's turned out to be (surprise)

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Saturday, 26 February 2005 01:41 (fifteen years ago) link

c'mon dude, don't deprive yrself of a great record (err, 'disc') because, frankly, Drag City / Hag et al probably don't care too much whether you buy it or not, and you really oughta hear it because it's great (so is Superwolf - man I just can't bring myself to file that one away since I downloaded it over a month ago - there's a vinyl release on that, right?? Cuz I'll need that soon)

roger adultery (roger adultery), Saturday, 26 February 2005 02:17 (fifteen years ago) link

There is a vinyl version of Superwolf. I don't know why, but I really have no interest in a CD version of HH. By not putting it on vinyl, it's just one less album for me to have to pick up.

Speaking of DC and weird practices, anybody know why they recalled the Bastro releases? DC's just reissued a shitload of Louisville/Grubbs material (the two Squirrel Bait records, a bunch of Gastr Del Sol stuff, a bunch of Dexter's Cigar stuff, the first King Kong single), but these Bastro albums which they'd been declaring for months would be reissued suddenly aren't.

Vic Funk, Saturday, 26 February 2005 02:51 (fifteen years ago) link

I had this dream earlier in the week that I went to go see Howling Hex, and they had three guitarists, two bassists, and two drummers, most of which were hot girls. They played one song that sounded like the album, then they went off stage and started wheeling on all this electical equipment like a Tesla coil and those things from sci-fi movies that shoot up sparks and monitors with video games on them. Then I woke up.

n/a (Nick A.), Saturday, 26 February 2005 03:01 (fifteen years ago) link

All-Night Fox is fucking fabulous. Hagerty plays better Magic Band guitar lines than the Magic Band did.

Also conclusively demonstrates what a flimsy piece of shit that RTX album was/is.

Yoluka, Saturday, 26 February 2005 07:39 (fifteen years ago) link

"Hagerty plays better Magic Band guitar lines than the Magic Band did."

I express the skepticism.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 26 February 2005 07:44 (fifteen years ago) link

I like that Roger took Andrew seriously. Roffles.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Saturday, 26 February 2005 08:00 (fifteen years ago) link

also Tim, you don't think it's possible that Hagerty is ultimately a better, more creative guitar player than Harkleroad? seems perfectly tenable to me ... in fact I think I agree!!

(and I am a total Beefheart freek-a-zoid)

Stormy Davis (diamond), Saturday, 26 February 2005 08:07 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm a Beefheart fanatic as well, but that doesn't preclude me from thinking that Hagerty is a better, more innovative, and more versatile player than anyone Van Vliet ever employed. Maybe you could argue that the Magic Band players were kept on a short leash by the Captain, and we never really heard the true extent of what they were capable of (probably true), but the proof is in the recordings, and I believe that Hagerty is the superior musician in every respect.

Yoluka, Saturday, 26 February 2005 08:34 (fifteen years ago) link

This CD makes me so happy. Track 4... yowza.

morris pavilion (samjeff), Wednesday, 2 March 2005 17:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Tightness was key to the Magic Band, though. I think of Hagerty as being more like a stoner rock version of Blood Ulmer or something.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Wednesday, 2 March 2005 17:43 (fifteen years ago) link

(xpost)
... though the recent Don-less Magic Band album was (someone correct me if I'm wrong) comprised of nothing but freshly cut instumental versions of Beefheart chestnuts. Which doesn't *prove* they can't come up with their own stuff, but it doesn't make the case otherwise, either.
I heard some of it on the radio, though, and meant to buy it, but I forgot.

And Roger, yes, Superwolf is on vinyl.
It includes a little card extolling the virtues of cannabis vs. drink by Paul Bowles:
“Cannabis sativa and its derivatives are strictly prohibited in Turkey, and the natural correlative of this prescription is that alcohol, far from being frowned upon as it is in other Moslem lands, is freely drunk; being a government monopoly it can be bought at any cigarette counter. This fact is no mere detail; it is of primary social importance, since the psychological effects of the two substances are diametrically opposed to each other. Alcohol blurs the personality by loosening inhibitions. The drinker feels, temporarily at least, a sense of participation. Cannabis abolishes no inhibitions; on the contrary, it reinforces them, pushes the individual further back into the recesses of his own isolated personality, pledging him to contemplation and inaction. It is to be expected that there should be a close relationship between the culture of a given society and the means used by its members to achieve release and euphoria. For Judaism and Christianity the means has always been alcohol; for Islam it has been hashish. The first is dynamic in its effects, the other static. If a nation wishes, however mistakenly, to Westernize itself, first let it give up hashish. The rest will follow, more or less as a matter of course. Conversely, in a Western country, if a whole segment of the population desires, for reasons of protest, to isolate itself in a radical fashion from the society around it, the quickest and surest way is for it to replace alcohol with cannabis.”

as well as a liner note dedication by Oldham to "the Sween-dog" that made me laugh out loud. The picture of Will and Matt on the back c
over rules as well.

And yes, I'll buy the all-Night Fox cd, and supplement it with the lp if it ever does surface.
(Sweet 16 was never issued on vinyl - the only other Hagerty recording given the same treatment (not counting 'Corpse Love')?)

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Wednesday, 2 March 2005 17:51 (fifteen years ago) link

ergh comparing hagerty and harkleroad, most useless thing ever.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 2 March 2005 17:53 (fifteen years ago) link

four weeks pass...
So...is there any word on whether or not DC is going to reissue the LPs on CD? Because I kind of ignored their existence at the time since Hagerty's solo stuff honestly didn't thrill me much. But I'm listening to All-Night Fox now and I love it a lot. And I'm kind of upset to hear that the LPs sounded more like this stuff.

Or: any chance at all of snagging the LPs on SSK?

Deric W. Haircare (Deric W. Haircare), Friday, 1 April 2005 01:44 (fifteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
I have all 3 lps on slsk. codename: MkDXN.

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Thursday, 28 April 2005 09:25 (fifteen years ago) link

one month passes...
From Drag City's news page:

Have you gotten your email blast from iTunes yet? If not, then let us break the news — there’s an exclusive online-only track from The Howling Hex ready for download now! “Sick and Old” is the name — but make no mistake, it’s for the young at heart as well as the sick and old. A song for everyone, could it be true? If it’s coming from The Howling Hex, anything could be true. Neil and co. are capable of anything — and they got the vision to try, too.

Speaking of The Howling Hex, this iTunes exclusive track is a precursor to the next phase — a phase involving more music, a film and even some live shows! It’s only been a few months since the release of the New Border classic, All-Night Fox, but already The Howling Hex are moving on. And why shouldn’t they? Life is short and inspiration is in ample supply. So before the end of the year, look for an all-new Howling Hex album, a DVD package and the wildest concerts you’ve attended in years. The Howling Hex is now a double-digit entity, with a full complement of musicians, actors and artists coming and going under the conductor’s wand of Neil Michael Hagerty.

We’ll have more news on the latest moves of The Howling Hex as soon as their carrier pigeon returns with the details. Stay tuned —

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Friday, 3 June 2005 14:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Cool beans!

Huk-L, Friday, 3 June 2005 14:58 (fourteen years ago) link

http://homepage.mac.com/santogato/bbt.jpg

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Friday, 3 June 2005 15:00 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
dude, this sucks. i signed up for stupid itunes just to buy this song, which is AWESOME by the way, and can't burn it because nero sez the format is not correct or something. anyone have this on slsk? gimma a break, willya?

roger, Monday, 20 June 2005 09:10 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
I've had it on my wishlist for a month, still no dice.


THis is from the Royal Trux yah00 group:

The show: When I entered the theatre (evidently the audience was prohibited at that
time), a woman, who I assume is Neil's wife, had taken control of the staff and players in the lighting configuration, stage set-up, so forth. When the configuration was complete, she disappeared, only to re-emerge (to my knowledge) at the end of the set. She had a very hands-off, distanced approach as in "I'll take care of these social
negotiations and leave the rest to Neil." ~5'6", brunette, old-hipster vibe, drank a bit.
Her affect reminded me heavily of Kelly. "I'm free for this moment."

Watched the opening band. Recorded one song. (I did not realize the members would later back up Hagerty). Short set.

HHex: 7-piece band. Hagerty, Mike Saenz, Dan Sylvester, and four players from The Theater Fire. No female vocalists! (Is Hagerty afraid of putting his wife, if she is indeed his wife and one of the vocalists, in the public eye?) Neil performed all of the vocals, save for occasional accompaniment. He would sing, then proceed to duck and conceal himself behind a monitor that he had draped with a painted gunnysack. I thought he was quite successful in his vocal execution, though I have yet to fully grasp the meaning of this act.

The band performed as a looped video was projected behind them. (I assume this will appear on the forthcoming DVD.) The band performed all songs on ANF, 60m set.
The theatre was half full, ~60 people

I have 3m of "beautiful boy" (Allyssa) footage of images projected in sequence on Hagerty's face. The fire of a baked-bean can set ablaze.

____

Intellectually I understood that the project known of Royal Trux had reached an end (at least through the participation of N&J), but the woman's presence and the full band really cemented that fact.

More later.

http://theaterfire.com/albums/NewMexico/acq.sized.jpg
(note wedding band. This photo is from the theaterfire.com site.)

Mike Dixon, Saturday, 16 July 2005 17:08 (fourteen years ago) link

He looks good! Roffling at his Raiders t-shirt.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 16 July 2005 17:41 (fourteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Drag City says:
Hot on the heels of their debut down in Austin, The Howling Hex (featuring Neil Michael Hagerty) are planning another couple shows this fall, in anticipation of their musical DVD release (set for November) titled You Can't Beat Tomorrow. Chicago and New York are the destinations currently being mulled, which is good news for Chicago and New York! The word on the Austin ‘Hex show was that it was “wild” and “crazy”, a bunch of people grooving together on stage too small for their size, with the man himself occasionally ducking beneath a rug for purposes unknown. They rocked ‘em in Austin — Chi-town and NYC, you’re next!
More eyewitness coverage from the Austin show:
I would describe the performance as rather comedic. It had a certain dumbness to it, a foil created through so many contending, extraneous elements. The band acted the straight role, trying hard to structure songs they had some control of. Neil seemed to leverage this misdirected(?), but well-intentioned labor to freely stand onstage, sing, sing underneath a banner/sac, and orchestrate the band from these positions.

Neil was very accepting of circumstance, not feeling the need to police the quality of playing. (Though he did make the comment, "I can't afford daycare" which was either a slight against the band and/or a preface to "What, Man? Who Are You?!"). The band performed songs 1-6, 8 from ANF in that order ("Cast Aside the False" being a bit personal?). They sang about 70% of the lyrics of each song.

Stereo(?) stage set-up:
Stage left: drummer (Sylvester), guitarist
Stage center: Neil, bassist, trumpet player
Stage right: drummer, guitarist (Saenz), pedal steel player(? - my memory)

It took about 25m to achieve a fuller sound. Neil stretched the structure/pacing of the songs very harshly through his actions/antics.

Mike2, Sunday, 7 August 2005 16:56 (fourteen years ago) link

So if I love Royal Trux and RTX, but didn't really like "All-Night Fox" that much (every song starts off awesome but then nothing happens and it gets boring), should I bother with any of the Neil Michael Hagerty albums? Which one? Also, is Hand of Glory really bad? They always have like 4 used copies of it at Reckless.

n/a (Nick A.), Friday, 19 August 2005 15:15 (fourteen years ago) link

the first Howling Hex double LP is all-the-way great. ANF is kinda a concept record or sumthin (I didn't like it either). Hand of Glory is only bad if you didn't like Twin Infins.

Outsider Enter Port City (sexyDancer), Friday, 19 August 2005 15:20 (fourteen years ago) link

that's why hagerty loves him! you listen to the new Howling Hex album and notice how he's got those guitar lines just snaking through the entirety of each song, and that sound is TOTALLY Denny Vertigo
-- gear (speed.to.roa...), August 25th, 2005 5:27 PM.

gear (gear), Thursday, 25 August 2005 17:18 (fourteen years ago) link

should I bother with any of the Neil Michael Hagerty albums?

I YSIed the three vinyl-only deals in the Royal Trux thread.

Neil's blog is pretty confounding: http://hhex.blogspot.com/

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Thursday, 25 August 2005 20:00 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
I bet "Howling Hex" refers to Goetia. Goetia, after all, means "howling" and "hex" goes fairly well with "damned" and "curse." Also, the triangle in the circle being the primary symbol on the first HH album, is the "triangle of art" into which the Goetia are evoked. I fully expected to count up the number of triangles on the cover and get 72, since there are 72 principle Goetia, but instead I got 64, which is still a multiple of 8 and only 8 less than 72. And Neil is clearly weird and esoteric.

Devil Made Me Do It, Sunday, 11 September 2005 01:42 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
http://dragcity.com/catalog/records/dc291.html

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Saturday, 1 October 2005 14:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Thank god!

Huk-L (Huk-L), Saturday, 1 October 2005 17:17 (fourteen years ago) link

My most anticipated release of the year. It's gonna rule!

Roger Fidelity (Roger Fidelity), Saturday, 1 October 2005 17:49 (fourteen years ago) link

It DOES rule.

jon dale, Saturday, 1 October 2005 23:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Eyewitness reports from the Beating Hearts yahoo club:
Chicago show: started with Neil doing a reading on
"Van Camp's" backed by a tape of some Operatic type
music, delivered in trademark semi-indecipherable
mumble. Followed by opening act "The Ice Cream Men"
whose members later served as the bulk of the back-up
band for the HHX. HHX next. Six piece. Guitar, bass,
Sax, keyboards, drums, with Neil on guitar and lead
vocals. Painted backdrops, video collage projected
behind. Don't know the names of any members. No
girl/wife unless it was the Asian girl playing
keyboard. I believe Neil has a new guitar. I know dick
about guitars but a friend who went with me to the NYC
show said it was a Gibson Hawk or maybe Night Hawk,
but I don't remember because I don't really give a
shit. Played All Night Fox in its entirety with the
exception of "Cast Aside the False". Neil kept
changing shirts throughout the set. General beaner
aesthetic. Started out in a guayabera and and then
changed to Beans T-shirt. It was funny when he changed
into the Scarface t-shirt (is there a better symbol of
American ambition at this this point?) but it was
hilarious when he changed into the Paco jeans T-shirt.
A subtlety only discerned by being on-sight or
watching a lot of USA (network not the nation). I
guess the New Border Style incorporates wetback style.
During the NYC show he even stopped to comb back
greased up hair. I could say more but I think I
exhausted all my jokes on Sunday trying to come up
with names for the possible Mexico City NFL expansion
franchise. The music itself was top notch. Show very
poorly attended. By the end there were only a handful
of people there. Another entrepreneurial triumph for
Drag City. I thought it was maybe because of the of
the Whitesox/Indians game, but I mentioned it over
dinner with friends on Saturday night and they told me
that the Chicago music scene was not what it once was.
So there you have it. I was out socializing during the
opening part of the NYC show, but the HHX show set was
basically the same, except much better attended. Good
job NY.

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Wednesday, 12 October 2005 16:40 (fourteen years ago) link

No girl/wife unless it was the Asian girl playing keyboard.

nope, the keyboard player did previously play with smog and bright eyes tho.

i could be wrong but i don't think anyone who played these shows (the sax player matt bauder and the bassist josh abrams are the only ones i knew) played on the albums.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 12 October 2005 19:06 (fourteen years ago) link

The fact that HH shows are so poorly attended, as a rule - at least from what I've seen in the big cities - is evidence of how everyone is stupid and ought to be killed. In a world made up of people with tatse, there'd be lines around the block and people camped out in front of the club the day before.

God Body, Wednesday, 12 October 2005 21:10 (fourteen years ago) link

the show in nyc was pretty well attended.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 12 October 2005 21:23 (fourteen years ago) link

HH is great and all, but I loved that Theatre Fire band! Austin is one show too few. Bring 'em back!

George, Friday, 21 October 2005 06:17 (fourteen years ago) link

New Howling Hex mp3 - "Apache Energy Plan" is up on the Drag City site now.
It sounds good.

Mike Dixn (Mike Dixon), Monday, 24 October 2005 14:14 (fourteen years ago) link

I know, right? lol

dad genes (morrisp), Saturday, 8 February 2020 17:16 (three months ago) link

The Best Of... still sounds so great... his playing, the arrangements, everything just smokes. "Green Limousine" is one of my favorite traxx ever -- it's brain-melting, I can't play it loud enough!!

Mocha Sauce (morrisp), Tuesday, 11 February 2020 21:39 (three months ago) link

wooooooooo

i am a horse girl (map), Tuesday, 11 February 2020 21:46 (three months ago) link

Surprising development, to me at least. I figured Howling Hex releases would be Bandcamp or Patreon deals after the break with Drag City.
Speaking of which: https://www.patreon.com/howlinghex
I wonder that maybe sending Neil Hagerty $360/year might actually be worth it.

Also, I've assumed that Trux is broken up again, but that Rolling Stone thing is the first thing that I've seen that suggests so.

Mike Dixn, Sunday, 16 February 2020 22:46 (three months ago) link

Thx for the Patreon link; good to see he’s ramping up & doin’ stuff.

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Sunday, 16 February 2020 22:55 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

He's uploaded a new track called "TILT2" to the Patreon acct. The mix is pretty weird -- his vox are way upfront, the music buried in the background, and he pounds on the mic for emphasis a few times(?) -- but, y'know, it's cool!

tamagotchi revival artist (morrisp), Monday, 2 March 2020 18:56 (two months ago) link

The 2nd Patreon upload is a weird/random video filmed on a phone... (he's already on that tip, lol)

Panic! At The Costco (morrisp), Monday, 9 March 2020 22:07 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Did anyone else who pre-ordered the new Howling Hex album just receive a refund from Fat Possum with no explanation? I'm guessing given that the pressing plants aren't operating that this release and many others have been postponed indefinitely.

Paul Ponzi, Friday, 27 March 2020 16:10 (two months ago) link

I didn't even know there was an album available for pre-order!

(Nice tune - https://www.patreon.com/posts/sailing-on-by-35459094)

morrisp, Thursday, 2 April 2020 17:29 (one month ago) link

Guess MP3s will be available on 4/17: https://store.fatpossum.com/products/knuckleball-express

morrisp, Thursday, 2 April 2020 17:51 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/the-howling-hex-knuckleball-express/

“'Lies,' the most immediate yet least satisfying track on Knuckleball Express, is a slice of heads-down Southern boogie"

I dare anyone to find anything remotely "southern" or "boogie" about that track

Dear Pitchfork: please stop writing about rock music

Paul Ponzi, Monday, 20 April 2020 11:36 (one month ago) link

Jeez - no kidding

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Monday, 20 April 2020 13:29 (one month ago) link

I think I will wait to listen to this until I can listen to it “for real.”

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Monday, 20 April 2020 13:36 (one month ago) link

Is there going to be a "for real"? Even on Fat Possum's website, the only option is mp3 download - is this even getting a physical release?

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 20 April 2020 15:12 (one month ago) link

Yeah, I dunno, it’s not looking good :/

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Monday, 20 April 2020 15:19 (one month ago) link

are pressing plants even open?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 20 April 2020 15:38 (one month ago) link

It'll be a shame if this doesn't get an actual physical release because it's really good (and despite what the Pitchfork review says, none of it sounds like fucking Belle & Sebastian, jesus christ). Some of it actually reminds me of some of Westerberg's low-stakes solo stuff, which I wasn't expecting

Paul Ponzi, Monday, 20 April 2020 17:36 (one month ago) link

Hagerty’s records are difficult to review; I’m not sure I’ve ever read a review that made me think, “Yeah, this gets it.” A lot of them tend to fall back on the usual RTX/drug/etc. references (though, to be fair, so do the press releases).

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Monday, 20 April 2020 18:03 (one month ago) link

Also, I’m glad Howling Hex albums are still getting reviewed at all. The Trux reunion may have been short-lived, but seems like it probably did “boost interest” a lil’ bit?

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Monday, 20 April 2020 18:05 (one month ago) link

the new one makes me think of cate le bon a bit, in terms of song structure/melodies. obviously the influence probably runs the other way.

na (NA), Tuesday, 21 April 2020 14:53 (one month ago) link

gave it a couple listens yesterday and thought it was really strong, I think I like it a lot

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 21 April 2020 15:02 (one month ago) link

Finagled some headphones, listening now... sounds great!

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Friday, 24 April 2020 19:54 (one month ago) link

I think these songs are the most “mainstream” he’s ever done, and it’s really working for me

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Friday, 24 April 2020 19:59 (one month ago) link

"If you wanna die / believe in lies" : anthem for the Lysol Injecting Era

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Saturday, 25 April 2020 00:15 (one month ago) link

"Heavy Curtains" is the closest thing to a Trux song that he's ever recorded on his own.

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Tuesday, 28 April 2020 04:24 (one month ago) link

Some... interesting remarks from Neil in this Patreon post: https://www.patreon.com/posts/story-of-broken-36841876

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Friday, 8 May 2020 18:23 (three weeks ago) link

Any summary? It appears only patrons can view it.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 8 May 2020 18:30 (three weeks ago) link

Oh, sorry, I thought the pages were public:

"Story of A Broken Heart" by The Howling Hex

This is from a bootleg rough mix that someone gave back to me from the rehearsals for my last record. There is no rights owner, I am not the rights owner of this. It's just one of those things everyone tapes on their quality recording devices at rehearsal.

This is the end riff for 'Share a Name'-- a song on the last chance, last call, last album I make for crackers ever. They had a portland boy mix the studio recordings to clean it up and remove the forbidden from it for their "audience". I want showcase the two guitar thing I was trying to work up that wasn't allowed to happen as evidence. This band was shot in the heart and you are to blame.

NMH: guitars, synths

Nicole Lawrence: guitar (the clean leads throughout)

AS on the official release, ethan and ken are the rhythm section, bass/drums. They were locals I could find but they are moving on to other things since they both do serious music not rock and roll. There are no good white rock and roll musicians in Denver, unless someone from elsewhere who just lives here and doesn't work in town. Ken & the Big E helped out but they do not want any part of what I do for a living. They have lives like me.

Personal Note: If you dispute my claims, you are in luck because duel-ing between white people is BACK so knives at the appointed hour in CHESS-MAN PARK. That's the new name of that park full of graves, not the stupid one you use---> because american cheese is disgusting.

ps: the howling hex is wrecked and is retired/done as a name, I am sad I sacrificed such a good name that some dope picked from a list of 10 I made up for a she·nan·i·gans cracker OP but that's how much I cared about them, got to give people a chance to not believe in lies just 1 time, right. AT least in baseball, anyway.

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Friday, 8 May 2020 18:36 (three weeks ago) link

(it's a nice jam; almost Pavement-y, I guess. I don't know what to make of the comments, tho he's been getting elliptically soapbox-y on recent posts.)

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Friday, 8 May 2020 18:38 (three weeks ago) link

<em>last album I make for crackers ever</em>

Mike Dixn, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 21:14 (two weeks ago) link

^^ At first, I read "crackers" as "peanuts", but now I think he means it in the racial/ethnic connotation.
I think I posted in the Royal Trux thread that I hoped Neil wasn't biting the hand or whatever regarding 'who the fuck but Drag City would put out Howling Hex records". The answer apparently is 'not anybody, actually'.
I pay for the Patreon, and kinda felt like it was a ripoff, but Neil seems to put stuff up in chunks. Last week he posted a few musical pieces, a one act play, a self-help coloring book, a harsh assessment of The Wire, and some state of the Hex updates. Worth it, imo.

Mike Dixn, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 21:23 (two weeks ago) link

and *at first* kinda felt like..
**Actually** worth it.

Mike Dixn, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 21:25 (two weeks ago) link

FYI for those who aren't Mike: Neil's little essay on The Wire -- the acclaimed TV show, not the magazine -- also featured very pointed digs at white people.

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Tuesday, 12 May 2020 21:26 (two weeks ago) link

(He also recently suggested that a motivated fan might want to update his Wikipedia page.)

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Tuesday, 12 May 2020 21:27 (two weeks ago) link

The one-act play basically reads like an extension of the little skits in the You Can’t Beat Tomorrow DVD (though it’s very up-to-the-minute; involves “Covid-90”).

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Tuesday, 12 May 2020 21:36 (two weeks ago) link

Soon as I get some income again, I'll subscribe. NMH is prob the one living *celebrity* I'd most want to meet

doktor forstus (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 01:34 (two weeks ago) link

He just uploaded a track labeled - "Return of The Rusted Sled" by The Vicksburg Occupation

New band name(?)

Inadequate grass (morrisp), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 04:43 (two weeks ago) link

Looks like he's used the name for something: https://vicksburgoccupation.yolasite.com/

(that site's metadata includes a ref. to "www.denverbrunchgamesco.com")

Inadequate grass (morrisp), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 04:45 (two weeks ago) link

It's really something -- this increasingly baroque insularity ("the howling hex is wrecked and is retired/done as a name"), blended with fresh stabs at outreach (the Patreon; "I noticed the wiki looked thin (no surprise) so if anyone wants to fuck around with it, say whatever you want. Just spell my name right...").

Inadequate grass (morrisp), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 05:03 (two weeks ago) link

Remember when he sprays the phone in that longform RTX video? Dude was ahead of his time.

Inadequate grass (morrisp), Thursday, 14 May 2020 14:36 (two weeks ago) link

His twitter is chockablock with the most random, inscrutable musings. Like reading replies to questions that you never got to hear from someone else's conversation. I sometimes worry about Ol' Hag.

InternationalWaters, Thursday, 14 May 2020 19:17 (two weeks ago) link

Nahh NMH is as usual using the message to skewer the medium

doktor forstus (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 15 May 2020 01:07 (two weeks ago) link

neutral milk hotel rules at twitter, are you kidding me? if you can make a twit like "beisbol is the sport not crakerball [cannon v hammer, 1817]" and have it not have any hearts, comments, or recycles at all, yet still maintain 2K+ followers, then you're playing games and you're winning

the burrito that defined a generation, Friday, 15 May 2020 03:29 (two weeks ago) link

Aesthetically, I feel like The Best Of was already sort of the “final” Howling Hex album, bookending the project that began with All Night Fox.

Denver felt like something different — it didn’t really feature the New Border Sound any longer (of course, Neil hasn’t lived near the border for years now anyway). The new album is, similarly, a return to more straightforward rock ‘n roll (though you could point out that XI also fit that description, and you’d be right).

Neil has also slowed down, output-wise, which adds to the sense that the old throughline has fallen away. His concerns seem more local and specific now (though no less idiosyncratic) — he’s getting older, we all are.

Inadequate grass (morrisp), Friday, 15 May 2020 11:48 (two weeks ago) link

Lol @ "recycles"

doktor forstus (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 18 May 2020 13:12 (one week ago) link


Neil Hagerty

May 18 at 5:20am

Unlocked

BEISBOL

**working out some place sketches & maybe have an origin story [not wholly fact] by Tuesday

BEISBOL USA

The game many of us grew up playing [& it is a game a person can play into their 80s] was known as “Beisbol”— I learned it in southern california, southeastern atlantic coast, Florida, urban townhouse suburb areas, military housing areas, public schools, central summer league. It differs from Cracker Ball (steam hammer versus electric torpedo) in a few general, gentle ways. 

For example:

1 Ball is used for the entire 9 inning game. Ties stand. Ranking by pts.

2 pitching changes per team.

2 non-injury substitutes. Subs cannot be removed once placed, barring injury.

Advancing as a runner from bases may only occur with the standing runner(s) beginning the play with 2 feet touching the bag.

No steals or other between-pitch live ball action.

The outfield wall is deep, 450ft. minimum recommended. Home runs are rare. 

Pitching mound and home plate are the standard distance. 

The typical backstop should be close to the plate and rounded. Passed balls &c. advance runners 1 base and then are dead balls.

Balk rules are loose.

Infield fly = strike (incl. 3rd.)

Double if ball passes wall NOT on fly.

Foul balls are strikes, even 3rd strike.

Most the rules of Base-Ball are intact if not mentioned.

Mike Dixn, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:31 (one week ago) link

If you want to die, believe in lies.

the burrito that defined a generation, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 01:36 (one week ago) link

I was listening to a Silver Jews live 7” from a rate early gig, I guess it was some sort of Drag City showcase. Berman says something along the lines of “before the gig we were playing monopoly with Royal Trux, and they had an interesting strategy. They bought Baltic Avenue, put one house on it and quit.”.

Cow_Art, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 02:03 (one week ago) link

In the Patreon, Neil shared a pretty heavy story about his childhood, and how the incident shaped his character. I guess I won’t repost it here (even though he gave his blessing to the sharing of audio files and stuff), out of an abundance of caution.

Inadequate grass (morrisp), Thursday, 21 May 2020 23:55 (one week ago) link


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