Stars have aligned, and East Coast will meet West in a collision of pure, unadulterated, ecstatic rock when Brooklyn-born Endless Boogie return to our shores in April with special guests, acclaimed Oakland-formed outfit Howlin' Rain.
Endless Boogie will be coming for the 4th or 5th time (no one is sure, and, as the saying goes, if you can remember an Endless Boogie tour you weren't really there); Howlin' Rain, who are the creation of Comets On Fire main man and guitarist Ethan Miller, will be visiting for the first time.
Endless Boogie take their name from John Lee Hooker's 1971 LP, which should give you some idea about their minimalist approach and single-minded drive. Their ethos is written clearly in their name and reflected in their practice; Endless Boogie worship the jam. There are no rehearsals, formulas, or setlists to which they cling. Instead, they throw themselves to the bluesy, heavy-psych abyss of beautiful spontaneity and swagger. A beautiful spontaneity that reflects their love of the likes of Can and the Stooges, and a swagger that reflects their love of Australian pioneers like Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls, and Sunbury-era Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs.
Formed in 1997 by a group of like-minded Matador Records employees and legendary record dealer/collector Paul "Top Dollar" Major, the band played its first show four years later opening for fellow Matador alumni and Coloured Balls fan Stephen Malkmus of Pavement. They've never been in a hurry; their first studio album was 2008's Focus Level. Their latest album Vibe Killer, released in 2017, is highlighted by "Back in '74", in which Major describes a misadventure involving LSD and his first exposure to Kiss at a St Louis kite-flying competition. At the same time Major had his first coffee table book published, Feel The Music: The Psychedelic Worlds Of Paul Major; this guy is very much the guru of sub-underground psychedelia and hard rock arcana. More recently they've officially reissued their early collections of rehearsal space jams, entitled Volume I and Volume II, which they self-released in 2005 before their inaugural trip overseas (to play the Slint-curated All Tomorrow's Parties).
Howlin' Rain's arrival will mark the first time that Ethan Miller plays Australia since Comets on Fire blazed a trail across the Southern sky and lit up Meredith with an unforgettable appearance at Golden Plains in 2007. HOWLIN' RAIN came together in 2004. Initially an attempt to do something more rustic, the group found it hard to tone things down; the result was an electrifying sound that mixed high energy with soulful harmony. Rick Rubin signed them to American Recordings and decided to make the Great 21st Century Rock Album with them. They achieved that – their third album The Russian Wilds is both breathtakingly audacious and accomplished, but the slow, painstaking work with Rubin broke the band, and Miller eventually had to start a-fresh. He also started his own label to release his own music and that of his friends. In addition to the most recent Howlin' Rain studio album, 2018's The Alligator Bride and the brand new live album Under the Wheels, Vol.1, Silver Current Records has released material by friends including the Wooden Shjips, the late Neal Casal, Earthless (whose guitarist Isaiah Mitchell was an HR member circa The Russian Wilds), Comets on Fire and Ethan's other current bands, the speed freaking scuzz punkers Feral Ohms and the Sub Pop-signed pastoral psychedelic ensemble Heron Oblivion.
Silver Current describes Howlin' Rain's latest studio album as "indebted to classic rock formations like the Grateful Dead's Europe '72 and Free's masterpiece of atmospheric, minimalist blues, 1969's Fire and Water." Miller references Kerouac: "The guiding principle for The Alligator Bride was to create 'Neal Cassady Rock'. Which is to say, high energy, good-times adventure music, driving the hippie bus, shirtless and stoned, up for four days straight, and extremely fuzzy around the edges."
Special guest in Sydney is the legendary feedtime!
Endless Boogie and Howlin' Rain Together in April
THURS 9 – THE TOTE, MELBOURNE w/Badgers & Smooch
THURS 16 – CROWBAR, SYDNEY w/ feedtime
also playing @ BOOGIE, TALLAROOK, VIC
ENDLESS BOOGIE ONLY - IN APRIL
FRI 17 – ELTHAM HOTEL, ELTHAM, NORTHERN NSW
SAT 18 – BLACK BEAR, BRISBANE