Thursday, March 28, 2019

Pinkish Black to play New Mexico fest

It's been a tumultuous year for Fort Worth experimental heavy rock duo Pinkish Black. Last spring, singer-keyboardist Daron Beck and drummer-synthesist Jon Teague hunkered down at Cloudland Studios with producer Britt Robisheaux to begin work on their fourth album in nine years as a band, Concept Unification. The record -- including some synth-only pieces that will be released digitally -- was completed, and they were in the midst of formulating tour plans when Beck (who'd also been working on the soundtrack for The Orange Years, a documentary about kids' TV network Nickelodeon) suffered two heart attacks in the same week in June.

At first, their future as a band was uncertain, but as Beck regained his health over months of rehabilitation, they realized they could still perform and tour, and they capped 2018 triumphantly, opening three Texas shows for doom metal pioneers Sleep. (Teague avers that one of his greatest musical experiences was hearing Sleep bassist Al Cisneros playing the version of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" he recorded with the Melvins for Amphetamine Reptile, solo during a soundcheck.) There's also a collaboration with Dallas free jazzers Yells At Eels that's partially completed, and Teague has been playing some solo synth dates under the rubric Zeitmorder. Pinkish Black has resumed local gigging, and their next big milestone before Relapse releases Concept Unification will be an appearance at the inaugural edition of a new heavy music festival, Monolith on the Mesa, that takes place in Taos, New Mexico, on May 17-18.

Curated by mastermind Dano Sanchez, the fest combines a picturesque location, replete with outdoor activities -- Taos Mesa Brewing, at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, on the edge of the Rio Grande Gorge -- with interactive art, a light show, and two days of music on two stages, featuring "heavy riff-rock acts from across multiple sub-genres including stoner rock, heavy psych, doom metal, sludge, drone, and retro rock." (Not sure where the uncategorizable Pinkish Black falls in this continuum, but they play on the inside stage, Saturday night at 8:45pm.) Friday night is headlined by Al Cisneros' "other" band, Om, while Saturday night's headliner is The Obsessed, fronted by the iconic Scott "Wino" Weinrich (St. Vitus, Spirit Caravan) -- who also plays a solo acoustic set to close things on the inside stage Friday night. Sounds like a heavy weekend. Tickets available here.


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