Rowland S. Howard: Fuji Rock 2009 + documentary

Rowland S. Howard – Life’s What You Make It (Live)
Fuji Rock Festival, 30th July 2009

Tx to miggypop666

FUJI ROCK on Rowland S. Howard’s appearance on 30th July 2009:

Rowland S. Howard, Fuji Rock, 30 July 2009 (Photo by Izumi Kumazawa)

Rowland S. Howard: Heavyhearted Tales Of A Life Lived

Fuji Rock Express 30th July 2009

Feedback. Lots of it. Punctuating near all of Howrd’s songs. A great start with the new Pop Crime, all melancholy wails and licks, a trademark of Howard’s work over recent years. Not much interaction with the crowd, he excuses himself before he even starts with a quick “I don’t know how many of you can understand me, so…”

Rowland S. Howard seems to be a reluctant rock star. Certainly he spend the formative years of his career in the shadow of Nick Cave in Boys Next Door and then The Birthday Party. He sidles up to the mic, cocks his head to the left, and simply sings, barely a muscle moving but for one arm strumming his guitar. Dead Radio states “You’re bad for me like cigarettes / You’re good for me like coca cola” musing on relationships, and is immeditaely followed by Autoluminescent, brooding over mistakes made, and repeated again. The tracks get darker, and slower, as the set progresses. On Wayward Man, the bass barely sets a cadence. As far as I can see, all played today are off 1999’s “Teenage Snuff Film” and the forthcoming album “Pop Crimes”, unfortunately nothing from the earlier bodies of work.

Howard alternates between the mic and the specially set up speaker for near every solo, spitting out the feedback that helped make The Birthday Party’s live shows so cacophonously acute, burning them into legend across the world. It’s a shame not more were here to experience it. Finally, a faster song to close out. I look around, and the crowd hasn’t grown much. But I do note that most here have been here from the very first note. This mournful and pensive set has failed to send anyone searching for something more packaged. A true indication that the fans who came to see him today were as taken with it as I. That more upbeat song? Sleep Alone. Upbeat? Maybe, but the lyrics once again show the darkness. “Shut me up / Shut me down / Stop me if you can / My love, I’ll tell you nothing / I’m a misanthropic man.”

We know. (Written by Dom, Fuji Rock Express)


Rowland S. Howard – Autoluminescent – Trailer for Rowland S. Howard documentary, co-produced by Ghost Pictures & Lindsay Gravinas King Blank Recordings Company…
Tx to Ghostpics (visit link for entire set)

Rowland S. Howard – Golden Age of Bloodshed (Live, Prince of Wales Ballroom, 29 Oct 2009)

LINK: OUTTA THE BLACK & INTO THE ETHER  – Rowland S. Howard fan page & tribute site

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8 thoughts on “Rowland S. Howard: Fuji Rock 2009 + documentary

  1. Oddly, long ago, in about ’86 or ’87 when Camper Van Beethoven first went to London, I spent some time hanging with Rowland. I was a huge Birthday Party fan and had seen them in LA (the gig Rollins was at) in ’83. He was a sweet, kind, decent guy and we talked a long time about guitars and music. I grew up in the land of surf guitar, in Southern California, and to me he was the logical extension of that unique combination of Fender gear. I always loved his version of Chilton’s “Hey Little Child” and thought Pop Crimes was most excellent. Lydia Lunch is right, there’s a price to be paid. Thankfully we got a lot back. Look forward to seeing a full movie. VK

  2. I cried like I’ve never cried before after Rowland died. I still tear up when I think about it sometimes. Months later.

  3. Grief is a strange thing. When you think you’re done with it, it shows up and slaps you across the face, like a vengeful lover. I feel so sad. Watching the trailer. Nick’s face. Rowland as a young man. That final scene. God Bless him.

    • That was my first thought when i watched that. Nicks face, my god…i felt really sorry for him somehow in that moment, he looks so sad, i think i did not see that look in his face before.

  4. I laughed when I heard that about the bananas. I knew there had to be someone out there hating bananas as much as I do! 😀

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