The Regency, San Francisco, CA – 10/09/2016
Compendium wasn’t just another chance to see VNV Nation; it was a celebration of music and joy. No opener… just VNV Nation for three solid hours playing whatever the band wanted.
The Metro, Chicago, IL – Saturday, 09/24/2016
Not nearly enough good can be said about ColdWaves, Chicago’s yearly event celebrating the life and music of Jamie Duffy, raising funding and awareness for suicide prevention, and providing a communal experience for what has often been referred to as the “biggest smallest scene” – industrial/rock. Taking inspiration as much from the more atmospheric, experimental, and purely electronic styles that underlie virtually every permutation of the genre and infusing them with the tonal and lyrical heaviness that pervades alternative rock and metal, ColdWaves has done well to represent all of these disparate elements in equal measure, with past events often dividing the focus among its various nights – i.e., one night would be more rock-centric with the other night more on the electronic side. While ColdWaves V maintained this arrangement, the variety of bands on display at this year’s event blurred the lines between these divergent styles further than ever; while it can be said that the first night was more centered on the electronic and poppier aspects, all of the bands exhibited an energy and dynamism on par with the more guitar-oriented rock stylings that this second night presented. Not to be outdone by the first night’s roster, the acts that took to the stage at the Metro on Saturday seemed determined to give the audience a powerful and memorable helping of industrial/rock.
The Metro, Chicago, IL – Friday, 09/23/2016
“I can’t believe it’s the fifth year.” Such were the words uttered to this writer at this year’s ColdWaves V in Chicago, the fellow patron’s face bearing the simultaneous traces of astonishment at so monumental an achievement and sadness for the circumstances that brought the event about – the passing of Jamie Duffy, one of the Windy City’s most beloved and celebrated musical personalities. Having earned a formidable reputation on and off the stage, in and out of the studio, Duffy’s life and music helped to shape what we now think of as the underground industrial/rock scene, his skills having served to strengthen both longtime veterans and up-and-coming acts. Carrying on this legacy, ColdWaves has served as a platform not only for new and burgeoning bands to make their mark but also for long defunct legends to reunite and remind audiences of the music that created this scene, with this year’s events heralding some of the most anticipated performances from both ends of the spectrum.
Stimulate, New York City – 09/16/2016
On August 16, 2016, Kate Van Buren announced that her ex-husband, James Woolley had passed away over the prior weekend. If that name sounds familiar, it is rightly so – he was perhaps most widely known as the keyboardist for Nine Inch Nails, having served in the band from 1991 to 1994. If you’ve seen the music videos for “Wish” and “March of the Pigs” or perhaps glanced at some live clips of the band from Lollapalooza, then you’ve seen him in action… but his contributions to music don’t end there. He was a major collaborator with fellow industrial bands Die Warzau and Sister Machine Gun, and even toured with the short-lived band 2wo (y’know… that time Rob Halford of Judas Priest went industrial with John 5). To say that he was a key player in the development of the industrial music scene during one of its most productive and creative periods would be an understatement, but as is usually the case with any artist, revered or unsung, it doesn’t come close to telling the whole story… but even I won’t attempt to tell that story here; for that, and to know what a loving human being he was, you should read the Facebook post from Kate Van Buren. And if that’s not enough (and it never really is when we remember the kind of impact any person makes on us), Jim Marcus has shared with ReGen his thoughts and memories of the man James Woolley was… [..]