Brant Bjork with special guests

Brick by Brick presents

Brant Bjork with special guests

Mezzoa, Razor Nights

Tue · October 9, 2018

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 9:30 pm

$12 adv & $16 day of

This event is 21 and over

*Online sales end at 6PM day of show unless otherwise noted. After that, limited tickets will be available at the door.

Brant Bjork
One severely doubts it’s a coincidence that a Brant Bjork set would start with “Buddha Time (Everything Fine).” That laid back, instrumental, rolling desert groove speaks to an aspect of Europe ’16 that’s apparent before the needle even hits the wax of the Napalm Records release, and that’s the manner in which Bjork — whose career pedigree in as drummer/songwriter in Kyuss and Vista Chino, drummer in Fu Manchu, guitarist/vocalist in Ché and multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and songwriter in the various incarnations of his solo work from Brant Bjork to Brant Bjork and the Operators, Brant Bjork and the Bros. and Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band has made him the undisputed godfather of desert rock — directly acknowledges the stoner side of who he is and what he does.

It’s right there on the cover of Europe ’16, which is the first official live album of Bjork‘s nearly-20-year solo career which began with 1999’s Jalamanta on Man’s Ruin, a full-length that continues to resonate and inform his soulful, funk-infused delivery to-date, and while so many others of Bjork‘s ilk, geographical cohort and generation have tried to distance themselves from a “stoner” tag, he’s made it a part of his aesthetic. Some might say an essential part, and it’s become a defining piece of the ultra-laid back, groove-ready persona he showcases throughout Europe ’16, which captures 12 tracks and 85 minutes of Brant Bjork on the road last year with The Low Desert Punk Band supporting his two studio albums for Napalm: 2014’s Black Power Flower and 2016’s Tao of the Devil — both of which, it’s worth noting, were of a similar leafy theme in terms of their artwork.

Is it fair, then, to think of Europe ’16 as the third in a trilogy of offerings for Napalm? Bjork has said openly that Tao of the Devil was the final studio outing on his contract for the Austrian imprint, and if one presumes a three-album deal, then it’s quite possible Europe ’16 is the farewell piece. If so, it marks a righteous summary of what Bjork has accomplished as a songwriter and performer over the last few years, returning to solo output after a successful run with Vista Chino following much tumult around touring as Kyuss Lives! and the also-Napalm-backed issue of 2013’s Peace offering with that band.

Highlighting cuts from Black Power Flower like “Controllers Destroyed,” the aforementioned mindset-setting opener “Buddha Time (Everything Fine)” and the later “Stokely up Now,” and even more from Tao of the Devil in “Humble Pie,” “Stackt,” “The Gree Heen,” as well as the later and more extended jams “Dave’s War/Dave’s Peace” (based on “Dave’s War” from the record) and “Biker No. 2,” Europe ’16 finds Bjork, guitarist Bubba DuPree (formerly of Void), bassist Dave Dinsmore (Ché) and drummer Ryan Güt at the proverbial top of their game in terms of chemistry, and of all the times Bjork could have issued a live album over the last decade-plus, it’s easy to hear why now would be an obvious choice.

Joined by guest vocalist Sean Wheeler in the second half of the set, this incarnation of Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band saunter through pieces from Bjork‘s substantial catalog like “Low Desert Punk” and “Lazy Bones/Automatic Fantastic” from Jalamanta, “Freaks of Nature” from 2007’s Somera Sól and “Let the Truth be Known” from 2005’s Saved by Magic, and while live albums rarely exist that don’t make the performing act come out on the positive side — that is, nobody wants to put out a shitty-sounding show — neither does Europe ’16 shy away from the rawer side of the band’s presentation, especially as regards Wheeler‘s vocals in “Biker No. 2” and “Freaks of Nature” and the natural movement and flow of the group’s jams, which unfold beginnings and endings organically here, sounding unretouched and all the more engaging for that. Whether or not it’s the last in a series of three, Europe ’16 is a document of an era in Bjork‘s career that has not only seen a rise in his profile, but resulted in some of the most memorable material he’s ever written.

To wit, songs like “Stackt” and “Humble Pie” not only stand up to the landmark riff of “Automatic Fantastic,” but they underscore the progression that’s played out over time and a span of 11 LPs in Bjork‘s approach, and by embracing a jammier vibe later in the set in “Dave’s War/Dave’s Peace,” “Biker No. 2,” “Freaks of Nature,” “Low Desert Punk” and “Let the Truth be Known,” which includes a finale take on the Rolling Stones‘ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Europe ’16 sets an immersive trajectory that feels true to the live experience. Of course, there’s a big difference between watching a band onstage and soaking in an 85-minute live record, and the latter process is no minor undertaking, but even if one thinks of Europe ’16 as a fan piece, it more than earns its place in Bjork‘s catalog, and the poise with which the band handles its turns and the commanding presence of Bjork at the forefront speak to not only the well-earned maturity of his craft but a showmanship that a studio outing simply wouldn’t be able to bring into focus.

Not saying much in terms of stage banter throughout, the man himself gets on mic before the get-your-ass-stoned advising of “Let the Truth be Known” to thank Berlin specifically after several “dankeschön”s earlier on, and that brings to mind the relationship between desert rock and the EU heavy underground. There’s a bit of irony there, since the Palm Desert scene, as it was in the ’80s and early/mid ’90s and as its legacy has grown in the years since, is so much based on the Californian landscape and American suburban culture, but no question Bjork has become the key ambassador for that movement and for the unique creativity and sound those sands helped to foster.

He’ll head back abroad this fall to mark the release of Europe ’16 and perhaps take a victory lap with The Low Desert Punk Band before moving on to other projects and ideas (or at least another outlet), but that stint, like this live album built from the last one, should only serve to reaffirm what Black Power Flower and Tao of the Devil continued to establish: that when it comes to desert rock, there’s only one Brant Bjork. Nobody else brings the same level of soul to their sound, the classic feel and the steadiness of vibe that he does, and on Europe ’16, some 17 years after first embarking on a solo career, he continues to show that in new and exciting ways.

Brant Bjork hails from Palm Desert, California, where he began gigging at the age of 13. By high school Brant had begun Kyuss with locals Josh Homme, Chris Cockrell, (later Nick Oliveri) and John Garcia. Kyuss was signed to Elektra and became the first desert rock band to achieve international success by spearheading a musical movement that brought heavy and psychedelic sounds back to rock and roll and served as a prototype for all "desert/stoner rock". In 1993, Brant left Kyuss and moved to Humboldt to flip pizzas and play soccer. Too much rain moved him back to his natural habitat where he started an independent record label, EL CAMINO, played drums in hardcore punk band De-Con; and played guitar with desert legend Mario Lalli in Fatso Jetson. In 1996, Bjork hooked up again with Homme, to begin the DESERT SESSIONS saga and work on what became Queens Of The Stone Age. However, Brant decided to take the road less travelled and rock with his surf buddies Fu Manchu, an adventure that took him into the studio for five records and around the world in four years.

Feeling the need to embark on his own personal musical journey, in 1999 Brant released his first solo record, JALAMANTA, on premier independent label, MAN's RUIN. (Re-released in 2003 on DUNA RECORDS.) This landscape record certainly has underlying rock elements, but is more of an embodiment of fluidity in motion between cool jazz, break beats and Rasta grooves. Bjork plays all of the instruments on the record and sings with such a quiet soul and conviction it not only confirms Bjork as one of the baddest rock drummers of our time, but also legitimises him as a premier talent on all levels. Bjork's follow-up and heaviest record, CH'E, was recorded and mixed in three days with Alfredo Hernandez (drums) and Dave Dinsmore (bass), and truly captures Brant's classic rock & roll roots. In 2002, Brant released his third solo record, BRANT BJORK AND THE OPERATORS on DUNA RECORDS. The Operators record demonstrated Brant's capabilities indicative of his formative years being spent in the 80's underground and creates a low-brow, hi-fi approach to traditional new wave. This record convinces us that Cheech & Chong and The Cars must have had a love child… named Brant Bjork.

On Bjork's fourth solo record, KEEP YOUR COOL, Brant rocks, swings and soars to new heights by cutting through the petty and getting back to the sweaty. This record takes you from insightful, unconcealed testimonials to getting laid in the back seat of a trans-am. With the momentum of these four highly diversified albums under his belt, Brant Bjork takes an even more interesting turn with his latest and most introspective and laid-back record to date, LOCAL ANGEL. With this record we are assured that Brant Bjork is first and foremost a songwriter, with drums taking a quiet backseat on this one. His bittersweet lyrics and warm vulnerability allows us to feel pains and emotions generally untapped in rock music. The first Brant Bjork and the Bros group record, SAVED BY MAGIC, was released in August 2005 on DUNA RECORDS, followed by SOMERA SOL in the Spring of 2007. In 2008 PUNK ROCK GUILT was the first release on Bjork's new label LOW DESERT PUNK and his sixth solo release to date. Recorded in Dave Raphael's fully analog basement studio in the outback forests of New Jersey, Punk Rock Guilt clearly expresses his need to make a no-bullshit and full-on rock record.

As a philosophy, artistically and otherwise, Brant Bjork has always stayed true to his Punk Rock roots as the corner-stone of his creative energy. "To do your own thing, your own way, for your own reasons". Being an independent artist with no shame and a keen sense of humor, Brant Bjork took the term Punk Rock Guilt and simply let it represent his personal Rock-n-Roll freedom.

In March 2010, a new album called GODS AND GODDESSES was released on LOW DESERT PUNK.

Brant Bjork and his band have toured for much of the past years all over Europe, The States, Canada, and Australia. Their live shows are fast becoming recognized as the best live rock and roll going and as Aussie rag put it, "The closest thing we'll get to seeing the Hendrix Experience."
Mezzoa
Sun burnt Southern Californians, unleash this Gnarly Thunder belly of Hard Rock. Sit back and sink your ears into this. Combining elements of Stoner Rock, to Power Punk, Acid Rock and Polka. These dudes bring home the chitlins . Set dials to eleven.
Razor Nights
Razor Nights
We are Razor Nights straight out of San Diego California we play loud raw rock and roll
Moonrunner on vocals
Diana Death on guitars
Franco on drums
Venue Information:
SPACE.
3519 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA, 92104
http://www.spacebarsd.com/