Archives for dirty knobs


Thank You x10

I have nothing but massive thanks and humble appreciation for the first ten subscribers to my various musical efforts. I hope you’re enjoying all the extra stuff. And don’t worry, non-subscriber fans. Lots of regular releases are in the works (NEScapism 2??? Finally??? Maybe???) and will be rolling out throughout the year.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to swim in a lake of very black coffee…Good morning.

MORE INFO ON SUBSCRIPTIONS HERE

Dirty Knobs and The Electric Witch at Homegrown 2015

The 2015 Homegrown Music Festival schedule is out! Both Dirty Knobs and The Electric Witch will be playing on seperate nights, and TEW singer Mary Bue will also be playing her own music. Check the info below and we hope to see you out there:

Monday, April 27
Red Herring Lounge
5pm Opening reception for Homegrown Photo Show
5:30pm Tim Kaiser
>>6:30pm Dirty Knobs<<
8:15pm Superfly McFlash
9:15pm Lorenzo’s Tractor
10:15pm I Am the Slow Dancing Umbrella

Friday, May 1
Pizza Lucé
10:30pm Retribution Gospel Choir
>>11:30pm Mary Bue<<
12:30am WOLF BLOOD

Saturday, May 2
Duluth Flame Nightclub
10:15pm Danecdote
11:15pm The Horror
>>12:15am The Electric Witch<<

Xero Music Subcriptions

You can now subscribe to Xero Music. What? Why?

This is music that’s not for everyone. This is why I value your support so dearly.
I make a lot of music and this is the best way to get everything in one place. Everything from Dirty Knobs, The Electric Witch and more. Exclusive access to secrets that might not be ready for the wider world. All will be gathered in one place so you will never miss a release and can avoid having to chase things down on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Soundcloud etc. All without any added noise.

And you will also get the ENTIRE back-catalog…that’s over 30 albums!

Of course, if you’re supporting one artist, you are likely to be supporting several artists. With that in mind, I wanted to make your choice as easy as possible by offering a simple year-long subscription for what I hope is a reasonable price. Of course you CAN pay more if you feel so compelled. How much music did you buy last year? At what price? What is this all worth? Adjust accordingly. (Note: I released 9 albums last year, as well as several odds and ends.)

Another thing to consider is that you can stream the entire catalog anywhere, anytime. I do NOT get paid AT ALL for these tens-of-thousands of free streams a year. How often do you listen to Bandcamp songs right from an album page or the app? What might that be worth?

So, what’s in it for you? What’s in store for the next year?

I’m currently planning four (4!) new Electric Witch albums/EPs, a lot of new Dirty Knobs stuff (hoping to play a lot of live shows this year and make as much of that available) as well as an entirely INSANE new project that’s been swimming around for a couple years now. Subscribers will get early access to all new releases as well as exclusive in-progress demos, photos and anything else I can think of. I hope to capture as many live performances as possible on video, which will be subscriber exclusives as well.

Your support will go towards more live gigs, more time spent recording, merch (at a huge discount for subscribers), physical releases (who wants vinyl?) and general musical-life-sustaining needs.
As always, thank you for your continued support. You are all I have.

MORE INFO ON SUBSCRIPTIONS HERE

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.

The Zeitgeist Experiments – A Music Series Curated by Dirty Knobs

tze_july_mc_header

Dirty Knobs will be curating The Zeitgeist Experiments, a monthly live event dedicated to exploring and advancing musical experimentation. Basically I put amazing people on stage and stuff an audience all into a cozy black box and we see what happens. The first gig is Saturday July 19th and you can learn more about it here. August will be announced soon (hint: Drone Not Drones fans should keep an ear to the ground). September sees me playing a live score to a silent film (still TBD) at the Umbrella Cloud Festival. Then it’s back to TZE for an early Halloween show in October. Facebook is probably the simplest way to follow all this while I spend the next few months becoming increasingly unhinged.

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.

See Dirty Knobs and The Electric Witch Live at Homegrown 2014

Both Dirty Knobs and The Electric Witch will be performing live at Duluth’s Homegrown Music Festival this year!

Dirty Knobs will play Friday, May 2nd, at Teatro Zuccone, along with Tim Kaiser and Troy Rogers.

The Electric Witch will be performing Saturday, May 3rd, at Tycoons along with Mr. Kickass and Duck Duck Punch. Not only will this be the first live show from TEW, it will also be their new album release party! (At least in their own minds.) So come by, move to some synth gloom and maybe pick up the new (digital only) album.

Get all the info HERE.

AUDIO: Dirty Knobs – Live at Drone Not Drones 2/8/2014

Dirty Knobs live from the DRONE NOT DRONES 28 hour live show at the Cedar Culture Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 8th, 2014.

Recorded by a robot directly from an on-stage mixer, so some of the sound may be distorted. Blame the robot.

You can find much more Dirty Knobs music at zacbentz.bandcamp.com.

Thanks to all involved who helped make this event happen.