A few years back, Galaxy Dynamite seemed to be everywhere on the regional scene. Playing shows and festivals like their lives depended on it. I wasn’t paying attention back then. I missed it. And then they sorta disappeared.
Now they’ve stepped out of the cave replete with a Rock Opera sensibility and are gearing up for big things: The simultaneous launch of a comic book and an album, along with a a brand new festival branded: “Starfire.” — Slated for April 22nd at O’Connor’s Brewery in Norfolk.
This is a group I’ve been hearing about for some time now and I’ll admit to a certain cynicism. There’s been a relentless amount of promotion around this band, they reek of being well funded, and my Post-Punk roots are generally suspicious of anything that smells like there’s money behind it. Their central organizer, Michael Mahgerefteh aka DynaMike Megaraptpr, is a force of nature when it comes to getting word of his shows out there. Add to that the fact that I had a mixed reaction to the group’s first single, I approached this show with measured expectations.
Now I totally get it. These guys are fantastic live.
It’s a difficult sound to explain.. I don’t think there’s anyone else like them in the local scene. Auditory-wise they strike me as a modern interpretation of something like Genesis. Not electronica, but rather Electronic Rock – which is a different beast all together. Aggressive Prog with a Jam component. But eminently dance-able. Mixed in with.. There was a point in Pearl Jam’s life when it was experimenting with recorded snippets filtered into delightfully weird sound tableaus that share a similarity to what Galaxy Dynamite’s playing with here.
AltDaily: You guys are coming off a hiatus, right?
Galaxy Dynamite (Michael Mahgerefteh, Eric Tuthill, E.J. Toudt): Oh yeah.. We formed up back in June of 2010 at an open mic night at 37th and Zen. We first met at the open mic. One of us was the sound guy. We’ve cycled a few members. By 2014 we were still playing a few shows to keep things going, but not actively promoting anything. We weren’t actively writing anything new. Shows with our friends. A couple of festivals. Just for fun really.
We picked up E.J. this March and almost immediately began to kick back into gear. We went totally gung ho on it, wrote out a schedule for the next year. When we’re going to release a single. When we’re going to do a residency. When the album’s going to hit. When we’re going to do this graphic novel series.
Tell me about the graphic novel?
Oh yeah. We’re publishing a comic book series. The first issue will be dropped at the Starfire Festival. Each issue will be named after a song from the album, released in the same order. So as you listen to the album, you can read each issue of the comic and get more of the story of what’s going on in the album.
And what is Starfire?
That’s happening April 22nd at O’Connor’s, it’s going to be a free festival. We’re trying to take the classic, American transformational hippie music experience and bring a comic book convention into it. Mashing the two together. Hula hoop workshops. Cosplay contests. Video game tournaments. Firespitters. Live painting. And it’s all going to be free. Oh, and O’Connor’s is making a line of beer named after us. They’re using Galaxy hops from Australia. We’re getting the lineup set now, but already I’m super excited for the bands were going to have here.
We’ll have two more singles by late winter. We’re doing a residency at FM Restaurant. We’ll be headlining Shaka’s on November 23rd.
My apologies to Bended Light — I got there just after they played, but I’ll catch them next time. By all accounts I heard they were great.
Vacant Company stopped in on a leg of a tour from out of their home base in Raleigh. The sound here is heavily reminiscent of 90’s Seattle, with nods to Mudhoney, The Melvins, and of course — Nirvana. High energy and raucous, these guys were the surprise of the night for me, providing everything I look for in an evening of basement style rocking the fuck out. I want them to come back soon.
. . .
This Week’s Shows
Catfish and the Bottlemen / The Worn Flints
25 October at 18:30
Band of Horses
The NorVa, Norfolk, VA, US
Bleeders / Roky Erickson Picture Show / Venus in Velvet / E Kelley
29 October at 21:00
Charlie’s American Cafe in Riverview
The Storyweavers at Five Points Farmers Market
28 October at 18:00
Five Points Community Farm Market
Touche Amore / Tiny Moving Parts / Culture Abuse
28 October at 19:00