Archives for album


NEW ALBUM: The Electric Witch – Live at Homegrown 2016

Live at Homegrown 2016
by The Electric Witch

Selected tracks recorded live at Pizza Luce Duluth, Minnesota, on May 7th, 2016, as a part of the Homegrown Music Festival.

Original photo by Kip Praslowicz.

The Electric Witch is:
Eric Anderson: Keyboards
Steph Bentz: Keyboards
Zac Bentz: Programming, Keyboards
Mary Bue: Vocals

4 and 5 featuring Marcus Matthews on vocal.

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Live at Homegrown 2016

Live at Homegrown 2016
by Dirty Knobs

Recorded live at Amazing Grace Bakery & Cafe in Duluth, Minnesota, on May 7th, 2016, as a part of the Homegrown Music Festival.

Original photo by Steph Bentz.

Performed by Zac Bentz and Eric Anderson.

NEW ALBUM: The Surfactants – Live at Homegrown 2016

Live at Homegrown 2016
by The Surfactants

Recorded live at the Main Club in Superior, Wisconsin, on the night of May 5th, 2016, as a part of the Homegrown Music Festival.

Original photo by Starfire.

The Surfactants are:
Eric Anderson – Bass
Steph Bentz – Live Keyboards
Zac Bentz – Programming, Drums
Greg Cougar Conley – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Marcus Matthews – Vocals
Brett Molitor – Guitar

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Live at the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium 4​-​8​-​2016

Live at the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium 4​-​8​-​2016
by Dirty Knobs
released April 10, 2016

©2016 Xero Music

Everything by Zac Bentz (ASCAP)

NEW ALBUM: OBLITERATION BALLADS

OBLITERATION BALLADS
Lovesongs by Dying Supermachines
Performed and Recorded
by Dirty Knobs

1 – YOUR PULSING BIOSTRUCTURE
2 – SAD SEX MACHINE
3 – BROKEN, DEATHLESS, LONGING
4 – THE LOVE DRAINS
5 – LIKE TEARS IN THE ACID RAIN

Available to stream and download now.

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – True Norwegian Black Drone

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http://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/true-norwegian-black-drone

“Listen to the aching, end of the world atmosphere in Låtefossen Tåke posted above, and imagine yourself climbing the hill posted in the artwork to take a final, knowing breath of air before the world permanently clouds over and snuffs away all life in oppressive blackness.” – toiletovhell.com/gazing-too-long-into-the-abyss-erasing-the-sun/

“The waves and gentle drones are prevalent holding you in place, feeling the world around you. But something is beginning to seem quite wrong with this picture.” –terrarelicta.com/index.php/reviews/all-reviews/5158-dirty-knobs-true-norwegian-black-drone

Top 9 Xero Music Albums of 2014

As the year draws to a close and as the vast Minnesota wastes slowly slip into a long period of frozen stasis, we thought it was a good time to look back at what this year has delivered. From the 12 hour long The Hermit Seeks the Stillness from Dirty Knobs to the dreamy, gloomy electro-pop We See the Shapes from The Electric Witch, it’s been a strange year, to say the least. So while we go put the kettle on and light some fires, here’s the Top 9 Xero Music Albums of 2014 in a totally subjective order. (And yes, that is in fact all of the Xero Music albums of 2014.)

#9: Dirty Knobs – Live at Drone Not Drones 2 8 14

Recorded direct from the stage during the DRONE NOT DRONES 28 hour live show at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 8th, 2014. This was right in the middle of one of the must brutal Minnesota winters on record. I remember it being around -20F outside at the time. My hands were so dry, cracked and bleeding that after I got back from the show it looked like I had gotten in a fist fight. Keep that in mind while you listen. And you can get the entire 28 hour long show here, with all the proceeds going to a good cause.

#8: Dirty Knobs – Amusia: 2000​-​2004

This is a collection of early Dirty Knobs recordings, taken from various albums. Some of these tracks are already over 14 years old, but much of the spirit will be recognizable in all of this year’s recordings.

#7: Dirty Knobs – Descent Ascent Dissolution – Live at Homegrown 2014

This was recorded live in Duluth, MN at the annual Homegrown Music festival (as well as live in-studio). 2014 was a very busy year for DK live. I’ve played a dozen Homegrowns, but this was the first proper DK show in my hometown. As you will see, it would not be the last.

#6: Dirty Knobs – The Zeitgeist Experiments

Let’s just get the last collection of live albums out of the way. The Zeitgeist Experiments was a series of live shows I put together over a four month period at Teatro Zuccone. It was a very fun time and we met some amazing fans of whatever it is you want to call what it is we do. I hope to be bringing it back again sometime next year, so keep an eye out.

#5: Dirty Knobs – Trees at Sea

This one marks a bit of a change, at least in my mind, to the direction of Dirty Knobs. Taking a bit of the techniques used on last year’s more traditionally song-like BEDLAM album, it was a larval stage for what would become the next proper DK album The Hermit Seeks the Stillness. It was also made while developing the live show and also has a bit of that tossed in.

#4: Dirty Knobs – I Want to Live Inside the Sun

This was the first release of 2014, during the aforementioned Most Terrible Winter Of All Times. Life can be a struggle when then environment is more hostile than the surface of Mars. But we find a way…

#3: Dirty Knobs – Welcome to the Terrordrone

And this is the last release of 2014. It seems as though winter brings out either the most hopeless or the most aggressive tendencies. This is the latter. And also where things will be going to for foreseeable future, again with the hopes of bringing this new, distorted and thrumming aggression to the stage.

#2: The Electric Witch – We See the Shapes

Somehow this was the only thing The Electric Witch managed to release this year. But then we did focus entirely on our live show and had to say goodbye to singer Marcus Matthews when he departed to a new life in California. (Turns out that decades of miserable weather isn’t for everyone.) But we did say hello to our new singer Mary Bue, and our time with her has already been fantastic. New music is being worked on, but for now our live show continues to be the priority. We hope to see you soon.

#1: Dirty Knobs – The Hermit Seeks the Stillness

Of course the 12 hour long album had to be number one. This was truly a grueling project. At first I didn’t even know what it was. It was just a Thing That Had To Be Done. About mid-way into these explorations I read the story of the North Pond Hermit and there it was. This was all about finding that place away from everything. Those perfect moments of stillness. These songs were meant to be a space for those moments to live and expand.

Thanks to everyone who has supported Dirty Knobs, The Electric Witch and all that is Xero Music this past year. Getting this music onto the stage has become a high priority, so the studio work may slow a bit. But rest assured that much more is on the way. Watch this space.

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New Album: Dirty Knobs – The Zeitgeist Experiments

Over the past four months I’ve curated a night of experimental music titled The Zeitgeist Experiments at Teatro Zuccone in Duluth, Minnesota. Two of the tracks here are examples of my live sets, one recorded from the stage on the night and one recorded in the studio as preparation for the following live performance (which was not recorded, unfortunately). I’ve also included an out-take of sorts from the recently released 12 hour album The Hermit Seeks the Stillness.

More information about The Zeitgeist Experiments can be found through various links here.

LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

New album from Dirty Knobs, The Hermit Seeks the Stillness

The Hermit Seeks the Stillness is the new album from Dirty Knobs. It is twelve songs, each exactly one hour long. It is currently available to pre-order for $1/pay-what-you-want and will be officially released on September 18th, 2014. The full description is below.

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It took me a long time to understand what these songs were about.

At first I had an image in my mind of an empty room. A room left to its own devices. Maybe just for a moment, maybe for decades, maybe several lifetimes. The still air slowly drifting motes of dust from one corner to another. Sunlight and the moonlight sliding across the walls and the floor. Objects settling, sighing as they slowly dissolve. Rooms full of automation that still ran, its purpose lost.

Then I read a story (http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201409/the-last-true-hermit) about a modern-day hermit who managed to live in the woods quite near to society for almost thirty years without anyone ever seeing him. He was eventually captured and sent to jail where he quickly fell to pieces.

When asked what he had learned in all that time alone, he replied “Get enough sleep.” Then:

“‘What I miss most,’ he eventually continued, ‘is somewhere between quiet and solitude. What I miss most is stillness…I’d stretch out in the water, float on my back, and look at the stars.’”

And there it was. That’s what these recordings were. The stillness. Whether it’s thirty years of it or just the world pausing for a breath for a couple minutes, that’s what I was looking to capture.

It happens to me often, if not often enough. A still moment. Where I live, when it gets very cold (much colder than the winters our hermit friend managed to endure), this is easy to experience. Sometimes, after the temperature nears more-or-less absolute zero for the twelfth day in a row and you step out into that cold, you can imagine atoms sluggishly clinking together. But there are also summer nights when frog-talk is the only sound, or the wind turns the tall trees into a white noise generator. One can try to hold on to these moments of stillness, but they always pass.

These songs are meant to be…not background music exactly. But something to change the environment around the listener. A sort of sideways transportation to artificially slow time, just as those moments of stillness are ultimately artificial. These songs are not meant to capture those moments, but to instead provide a space for those moments to be captured.

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Trees at Sea

New album from Dirty Knobs, Trees at Sea. Recorded while working on new live material for a series of upcoming live shows. Bass feedback, distortion, dying jet engines. Get it here.