Tag Archives: show


4 Oct

After much thought and many personal struggles, we have decided to put an end to USoT. It is with heavy hearts that we look towards the future without this important part of our lives. USoT was so much more than music and it will be nigh-impossible for us to replace this passion, activism, and community going forward. Thanks everyone.

We are playing two final show in the next few weeks:

  • Friday October 19 @ The Dragonfly in Madison with our good friends Knife The Symphony, Nonagon, and Dick The Bruiser.
  • Saturday October 20 @ Quenchers in Chicago with KtS and Nonagon again.

Blown-out Goodness

29 Aug

Five songs from our set at the Frequency on Saturday, August 25. Revel in the blown-out goodness.
  • Revolutionary Panic Attacks (part)
  • The Contrition of the Addict
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
  • The Concept of the Urban Guerrilla
  • State-Sponsored Terrorism

Watch carefully as Russell wipes out half of Jason’s kit at 5:55.

Thanks to Randal West for the video.

Post-rock is dead. Long live post-rock.

28 Jul

By now post-rock has devolved into a parody of itself — all pleasant noodles, slow builds, and soaring highs. The glut of Mogwai-clones has left us cold. But there ARE still bands out there building on that foundation and injecting new and startling original takes on the form. We’re proud to be playing shows with some of these people.

8/17 The Garza + Things Falling Apart + Tyranny Is Tyranny @Project Lodge

Our post-metal side project Tyranny Is Tyranny is playing a show with the mysterious Things Falling Apart from DeKalb IL (not to be confused with the Madison band of similar name). TFA is a collective noise-orchestra that smears post-rock from the perspective of Bitches Brew rather than Explosions In The Sky. As an added bonus, Madison punk super-group, The Garza (ex-Droids Attack, Brainerd, Pachinko, Bongzilla) headline.

8/25 United Sons of Toil + The Paver + El Valiente @Frequency

The United Sons of Toil host our new crush The Paver from Chicago. The Paver mixes cello, violin, synths, and crushing aluminum bass with a vocalist who sounds like Steve Albini singing Codeine songs. They bridge the gap between baroque art pop and funeral metal — the combination is devastating yet oddly comforting. In addition we reunite with our pals El Valiente who undoubtedly have their own take on post-rock. Just when you think they’re all about limitless desert vistas and parched bones glowing in the moonlight, they let loose with an explosion of guitars that takes you back to the glory days of post-punk.

Tyranny Is Tyranny

9 Mar

Tyranny Is Tyranny is a side project helmed by Russell and Jason of The United Sons of Toil. The band is simpler and heavier than USoT —  focusing on dynamics, repetition, and the dismantling of capitalism. Tyranny Is Tyranny is the title of the fourth chapter of Howard Zinn‘s A People’s History of the United States.

Like USoT, Tyranny is influenced by the 90s noiserock of Amphetamine Reptile but also draws inspiration from the post-rock/post-metal hybrids of bands like Cult of Luna and Fall of Efrafa. As hinted at by the titular homage to historian Howard Zinn, the lyrical themes are an excoriation of capitalism.

Line Up

  • Russell Emerson Hall: guitar, vocals
  • Jason Jensen: guitar
  • Ben Aldis: drums
  • MDF: bass

First show: Saturday April 14, 7pm
Project Lodge, Madison WI
Perhaps a bit premature, but nonetheless…

We play first and we play five songs, so don’t be late.

Mickey’s Tour Send-Off

11 Jun

Two days before flying to Europe, we played a send-off show at our local watering hole. We had put out a call for requests for the set list and ended up with a great 10-song set comprised of both oldies and new songs. Our friends Canyons of Static opened the show and with addition of Northless guitarist, Nick Ehlert, they sounded more massive and more awesome than ever. We played really well and had a blast. My brother, in town from Boston, pointed out that it appeared as though we all played as if we were 100% into it, believing in the sound we were making. As I said to him, there is no reason to do it otherwise. We fly to Paris Monday!

Noise abortion: UW Memorial Union Rathskeller

8 Jun

USoT @ Memorial Union, photo by Michelle Damitz

We were asked to play a local band showcase series outside at the UW Student Union. We arrived to threatening skies and were informed that show would be inside. So we humped our gear from the outdoor stage to the indoor one.  Sound check was basically a half an hour of the kid behind the sound board telling us to turn down. After we agreed to turn down three or four times, he seemed satisfied. After our first song, the building manager told us to turn down again. We did. After our second song, the student promoter asked us to turn down again. We did. After our third song, management again asked us to turn down. We did.

At this point, I told the crowd that we would just be turning down after every song until no one could hear us. Things started getting blurry after that. At some point I thought the soundman said we were “fine.” At one point I responded that all we could hear was drums and that we couldn’t turn THOSE down. “Why not?” was the reply. “Because they are acoustic instruments,” I answered. “I’m not a musician. I don’t know what that means.”

We played a few more songs and several management personnel confronted us and told us to turn down again or they would shut down the show. I dutifully started to turn down, even though all I could hear at this point was drums, but Bill, who had been crouching close to his amp and the monitors to hear something/anything, astutely pointed out that he couldn’t even tell his amp was on. “I’m done,” he told me and walked off stage. I addressed the crowd: “Fuck you. We’re done.”

Later I pointed out to the promoter that we had, in fact, not been shut down and that we had finished our set (albeit a truncated six-song set) and as such we expected to be paid. She reminded us that we had signed a contract stating that we would not exceed 104 dB. Not owning a dB meter or really knowing how loud that was, I pointed out that it was a rather artificial condition. She told me that “once you play a few more shows, you’ll understand…” I was remarkably civil as I pointed out that between the three of us, we had probably played more than 1000 shows. That shut her up. We’re still waiting to get paid.

Last Madison Dates Until 2012

5 Jun

Upon returning from Europe, The Sons will be on hiatus until 2012. There are two remaining domestic opportunities to experience the live spectacle:

  • June 08 Union Terrace, Madison. With El Valiente. 8pm. FREE. All Ages.
  • June 11 Mickey’s, Madison. Tour kick-off with Canyons of Static. FREE. 21+