Archives for live


2017 Releases

https://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/30000-days
released January 3, 2017

One song.
Twenty-four hours.
Forty-eight segments, each thirty minutes long.
Originally released exclusively to subscribers once a week across eleven months. Each original release has unique artwork.

(30,000 days is roughly eighty-two years, or one lifetime.)

https://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/ghostship
released January 12, 2017

Recorded as part of the Ghost Ship Benefit in Duluth, Minnesota on January 6th, 2017. facebook.com/events/1205462559544684/

IW/M/DK is:
Mike Trepanier (Ire Wolves) – Guitar
Dustin Fennessey (Ire Wolves) – Bass
Dean Berlinerblau (Modify) – Digital Manipulation
Zac Bentz (Dirty Knobs) – Synthesis

https://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/hallowed
released February 12, 2017

https://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/fuck-it-fade
released February 12, 2017

https://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-drone-not-drones-2017
released February 26, 2017

Recorded live at Drone Not Drones 2017. Recorded direct from equipment on-stage, not the board mix.

Please visit dronenotdrones.com and donate if you are able.

https://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/do-not-let-your-kindness-be-weaponized-against-you
released March 17, 2017

Known around the world for delivering up massive (and massively long) slabs of dark atmospheres like Field Recordings from the Edge of Hell (8 hours), The Hermit Seeks the Stillness (12 hours), and 30,000 Days (24 hours), Dirty Knobs returns from the other end of the spectrum with Do Not Let Your Kindness Be Weaponized Against You, 5 songs clocking a relatively demure 30 minutes. From the robotic whispered warning of the title track set over a family’s shared laughter, to the reverential echoes of “We Sing the Sun,” and the almost-not-even-there of “Endure,” these songs take a much more delicate, almost hesitant approach than the smothering walls of sound that Dirty Knobs is known for. But the analog pulses and wails in “Closed Horizons” and “Welcome to Ghostbridge” do remind listeners of the dread just around the corner.

https://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/kinderchomper-the-soundtrack
released April 19, 2017

Soundtrack to the film Kinderchomper, directed by Mike Scholtz.

A new documentary about a mild-mannered artist from Minnesota who leads a double life as a baby-eating professional wrestler in Japan.

Coming soon to a film festival near you.

https://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/breakdown-dawnbreak
released August 23, 2017

Improvised live and recorded from the stage at Northern Isolation III in Duluth, Minnesota around 9:30pm on Sunday, August 20th, 2017.

https://zacbentz.bandcamp.com/album/from-a-vantablack-heart
released October 1, 2017

I sometimes have a difficult time remembering how I’ve made music. When I listen back to final mixes, it’s a mystery. I could never recreate what I’ve done. Not exactly. That doesn’t mean it was created in some sort of fugue-state. Quite the opposite. But a major component is experimentation and a sense of discovery. If you know exactly what you want to discover, then that’s not discovery. The journey is sometimes indistinct and difficult to recall.

I often have a quote from Warren Ellis’ Morning Computer in mind while working, a mental image of “places that were only ever designed to be passed through.” Maybe that’s what this music is. Music for places that were only ever designed to be passed through. Infinite anechoic chambers absorbing all vibration. Massive underground neutrino detectors catching a glimpse of the universe as it passes through their clear waters. Galaxies of dark matter and voids. Mental spaces where time stutters and anxiety flexes.

Music to be lost and forgotten. Music from a vantablack heart.
-zb

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Stone In Focus (Live at Northern Isolation II)

Stone In Focus (Live at Northern Isolation II)
by Dirty Knobs

An excerpt from the set recorded live at Northern Isolation II, Duluth, Minnesota on 8/21/2016.
Performance and recording by Zac Bentz (ASCAP)
Photo by Steph Bentz
Original by Aphex Twin

NEW ALBUM: Dirty Knobs – Live at the Red Room 7​-​23​-​2016

Live at the Red Room 7​-​23​-​2016
by Dirty Knobs

As part of the fundraiser for Northern Isolation II

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)

The Electric Witch and FREEZEPOP in Mpls, July 18th

The Electric Witch will be opening for the legendary (at least in OUR eyes and ears) synth-pop band FREEZEPOP on July 18th in Minneapolis! DETAILS!!

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<<

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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