Clouds Hill Notes Acquires Catalog, Masters of Artist Omar Rodriguez-López’ Vast Musical Library

Clouds Hill Notes announced today the acquisition of the catalogs and masters of musician Omar Rodriguez-López’ vast musical library. The acquisition includes the catalog of works published under Rodriguez-López Productions, including dozens of solo albums. Clouds Hill Notes, in partnership with Wise Music Group, will also handle the catalog publishing of The Mars Volta.

It’s about the right time to announce the acquisition of the RLP catalog and The Mars Volta publishing now. After being Omar Rodríguez-López’s friend and business partner for such a long time, I am honoured and proud that he decided to also entrust me with this catalogue. Our HQ in Hamburg is now responsible to push this unique catalogue back into everyone’s minds.

Johann Scheerer, Music Producer, CEO/Founder of Clouds Hill Group

The acquisition comes months after Clouds Hill released a trio of albums ORL recorded with the label: The Clouds Hill Tapes I – III.

I hope this means that many of the albums/projects ORL worked on from 2004 – 2013 under various names (The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Quintet, The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group, The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Quartet, El Trio de Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, etc.) will see the light of day once again via official streams and reprints of physical media. This man wants a copy of Mantra Hiroshima!!

Other groups that were part of the RLP imprint include De Facto (another project I hope gets republished asap!), the dub group before TMV, and Antemasque, the band that reunited ORL with long-time friend & collaborator Cedric Bixler Zavala following the dissolution of TMV. I also hope Zechs Marquise, the defunct group from El Paso that featured ORL’s siblings, is included in the catalog as well.

Clouds Hill Notes is the publishing arm of the Clouds Hill Group, a company that includes a record label, a recording studio, a film production company, and a boutique pedal company.

The first order of business following this announcement will be the release of TMV’s Tremulant EP on streaming platforms this Friday, Feb. 26th!

Antemasque Wrap Debut Tour With Energetic Set At The Roxy

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala performing with Antemasque
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala performing with Antemasque

Note: This review was originally written for another publication three weeks ago. That website never published it nor did they ever inform me as to why they didn’t publish it despite previously accepting the pitch. In the industry, we call this situation “bullshit.” So I’m publishing it here.

The concert at The Roxy in Hollywood this past Wednesday, August 13th was a homecoming and a public display of reconciliation for singer Cedric Bixler Zavala and guitarist/producer Omar Rodriguez Lopez, the founding members of Antemasque, who wrapped their debut US tour that night. The duo had been here before 14 years ago with At The Drive-In as the opening act for Rage Against The Machine.

A lot happened during that time. Zavala and Lopez left hardcore outfit At The Drive-In and formed the much more experimental The Mars Volta a year after that show. That much-loved, Grammy winning band came to a sudden end in 2013 when Zavala lashed out against Lopez on Twitter and officially ended TMV. Two lifelong friends were suddenly enemies much like Morrissey and Johnny Marr.

But then, earlier this year, the two reconciled and announced Antemasque, their new project together. They quickly released their debut self-titled album online and announced their first tour featuring Le Butcherettes as the opening act.

If anyone ever had any doubt as to the duo’s reconciliation, those doubts were put to rest the instance Antemasque stepped foot on the stage. Zavala and Lopez, flanked by drummer Dave Elitch and Lopez’s brother Marfred on bass, performed together as they have for years.

If there’s one word to describe Antemasque, that word is “freedom.” The duo have long been tied down to one genre or another for much of their careers: Hardcore Rock/Punk with ATDI, Dub with short-lived project De Facto, and Progressive Rock with TMV. As Antemasque, they’re free to do as they wish jumping from Classic Rock to Pop-Punk/Pop-Rock to Punk to Acoustic ballads.

Age has yet to slow Zavala down as he jumped, shimmied, leapt off Elitch’s drum kit, and smashed his cymbals on the floor as he’s done since his days with ATDI. Lopez joined on backup vocals a few times throughout the hour-long set where the band played all but one song from their debut album. They performed an untitled new song in its place.

Lopez, who in the past had a reputation for noodly guitar antics, kept the guitar solos to a minimum until the second-to-last song of the night, “Providence.” Halfway through the song, the band gave its Volta fans a nod with a drawn-out jam session during which Zavala ad-libbed new lyrics on the fly.

Openers Le Butcherettes set the tone for the night as singer/guitarist/keyboardist Teri Gender Bender (Teresa Suarez), drummer Lia Braswell, and tour bassist Chris Commons fired up the crowd for an hour playing a mix of tracks from their latest album, Cry Is For The Flies, and their debut, Sin Sin Sin.

Q: When is The Mars Volta NOT The Mars Volta?

A: When it’s the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group feat. Cedric Bixler-Zavala OR when Omar says it isn’t.

SXSW_2011_122

The backstory: The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group headlined the Sargent House Showcase last Saturday at SXSW at Emo’s Annex, an impromptu stage and concert area built in a small lot on the corner of 6th/Red River. Fans lined up as early as 2 p.m. for a show whose doors/gates opened at 7 p.m. Zavala appeared on stage about 10 minutes before opening time to soundcheck with ORLG. Predictably, Twitter, Facebook and many a carrier-pigeon were sent into the skies of Austin to carry the news prompting the line to stretch out like an intestine up the street and behind the “venue.” The group (Rodriguez-Lopez, Bixler-Zavala, Deantoni Parks, Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez, Juan Alderete and Lars Stalfors) took the stage at 12:50 a.m. to a capacity crowd that included fans who filled up the alley behind the stage and down the sidewalk.

Here’s a clip of the madness and the music by Refused TV:

Continue reading “Q: When is The Mars Volta NOT The Mars Volta?”