Lonely Umbrella's Prescient Dream II

A blog of Toby Driver

Today’s mailinglist message:

Hello from Kayo Dot!

Haven’t sent out one of these in a while because it’s been a totally insane year for us. Firstly, our entire year has been taken up by trying to fulfill pre-orders and orders for our 2013 triple-LP, Hubardo. I have a few things to say about it - One: The interest and support you guys have shown us for that album has been AMAZING and overwhelming, and we have great love and appreciation for you (If you haven’t heard it yet, head on over to our bandcamp page, http:kayodot.bandcamp.com/album/hubardo or Spotify or wherever suits you)!!! Two, the experience has almost been a bit too overwhelming in terms of trying to do a self-release of this scale. As a result, I know that there are some of you out there who are still waiting for your packages. Please know that they are trickling out gradually and that it is at the forefront of our minds. The slowness has to do with the fact that I’ve been balancing handling mailorder with my busy tour schedule (as usual), and also that postage ended up being quite a bit more expensive than we had anticipated, so we can only send out packages as quickly as our bank account allows. Additionally, many packages have been returned to us and we haven’t been able to get in touch with those people via email. If you are one of the people who hasn’t received your Hubardo package yet (or if there’s any other order that you have questions about), please feel free to email me at band@kayodot.net. This is our official address, so please use it for all correspondence… we don’t check our Facebook inbox.

Three: We are never doing this again!!!*** Between making the music itself, handling artwork, layout, record production, T-shirts, hand-manufacturing theSword of Satan booklets, mailorder… it was (and continues to be) just way too much work and expense for our tiny, independent, band-run operation. Kayo Dot actually exists right now in this weird purgatory space that small businesses often go through, where the demand for your stuff is high but the income isn’t enough to be able to hire anyone or outsource any of the grunt-work. We’re trying hard to get out of this purgatory. Your support always helps!

On that note, we put up some older live performances on our bandcamp page that you can buy digitally for cheap. I would especially like to draw attention to the live performance of Coyote on WMBR-FM from 2010 (http://kayodot.bandcamp.com/album/coyote-live-on-wmbr-august-31-2010). I think this performance of Coyote really does the piece justice, and it makes me feel very proud of my band. Please check it out, along with the other live albums, and throw 5 bucks down if you’re so inclined. Your support will help us get the outstanding mailorder out faster, and will also help us cover some old bills that hang over our heads.

***Speaking of never doing a self-release like Hubardo again, hopefully we will never have to, because we finally have some label support again! And, it’s with the great Flenser Recordings out of San Francisco. They’ve just announced our next album, Coffins on Io, to be released later this year. Check out the blurbage, and visit this link http://theflenser.com/kayo-dot-coffins-on-io/ for images of the album cover and band photo:

Kayo Dot - Coffins on Io

Led by founding member Toby Driver (also of Secret Chiefs 3), Kayo Dot emerged in Boston, MA in 2002 from the ashes of metal group Maudlin of the Well. Since then, Driver has led Kayo Dot through several lineup changes and dramatic stylistic shifts: from traditional metal, to atmospheric, avant-garde metal; and now with their new album Coffins on Io, the bats-in-your-belfry hard rock of Sisters of Mercy meets Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, Scritti Politti and early Roxy Music.

In 2013, Kayo Dot demarcated the beginning of a sonic change by releasing their critically acclaimed conceptual double-album, Hubardo. Undeniably experimental, but largely unclassifiable, Hubardo received rave reviews: SputnikMusic ranked it among their best albums of 2013, and CVLT Nation called it, “mesmerizing avant garde blackened doom,” and a “towering achievement.”

But when it comes to Kayo Dot, change is the only constant. And like the best pop culture chameleons of the past, Kayo Dot’s evolution is governed by an inscrutable inner-logic. Despite the accessible songwriting of Coffins on Ioand the emphasis on vocal melody and electronic percussion, Kayo Dot fans will find the record’s darkness and intensity familiar and relatable. For example: the dark wave of Coffins on Io album-track “Off-Ramp Cycle, Pattern 22” might be unrecognizable to Kayo Dot’s metal fans. “The sound is kind of like a sexy combination of Type O Negative, Peter Gabriel, Sisters of Mercy,” Driver says. But the track also encompasses the brooding menace of classic Bauhaus as well as current dark wavers Cold Cave and Crystal Stilts: artists young and old who live and die in those unknowable corners where heaviness meets delicacy and sincerity meets theatricality.

Elsewhere, Driver’s penchant for prog rock surfaces in the ethereal “Spirit Photography,” complete with a saxophone melody line—strikingly gentle when compared to Kayo Dot’s brutal back catalog. “Long Time Disturbance on the Miracle Mile” could be a Bryan Ferry-era Roxy Music cut, and “The Mortality of Doves” could be Eno-produced David Bowie.

Driver says there’s also an element of sexuality in Coffins on Io. “Basically the vibe that we’re going for here is inspired by 80s retro-future noir— Blade Runner,” Driver explains. “I wanted to make a good record to put on while you drive across the desert at night under a toxic, post-apocalyptic atmosphere,” he says, adding, “There’s a weird underlying theme of murder, shame and death.”

Coffins on Io is slated for on October 16th release via San Francisco’s Flenser Records. Pre-orders and more information coming soon.

1. The Mortality of Doves
2. Offramp Cycle, Pattern 22

3. Longtime Disturbance on the Miracle Mile

4. Library Subterranean

5. The Assassination of Adam

6. Spirit Photography


We’re looking into touring for Coffins on Io for December/January for the United States and Canada, and South America/Mexico for February/March. Interested in hosting us? Let us know! And please follow us on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/kayodot.official and Twitter https://twitter.com/KayoDotOfficial for further updates about this (and anything else)!

Also, did you guys know that our guitarist Ron Varod has a solo project calledZvi? He’s doing a tour next month up to Canada, so check it out if you may:https://www.facebook.com/ronvarodmusic and help him fill in any off-days that he has, if you can.


Some of you probably remember this Kickstarter for a dance film,Ichneumonidae, that I started two years ago and that is still in the process of completion. As far as the film/DVD portion go - that’s still in the works (of course), but since I felt bad for taking so long, I released the audio-only version of Ichenumonidae on bandcamp earlier this year.http://kayodot.bandcamp.com/album/ichneumonidae-official-soundtrackCheck it out! If you were one of the backers and you didn’t receive this in your email, let me know and I’ll send you a free download.

I have another band called Vaura - we released our second album, The Missing, late in 2013 on Profound Lore and on vinyl on The Flenser a few months ago. Check it out! http://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-missing

There’s a band called Stern that I’m a part of, along with Keith and Tim from Kayo Dot and Chuck Stern of Time of Orchids. It’s the most insane music I’ve ever played. It’s basically like really slow-moving, through-composed disgusting Lynchian vibes. We just completed our second album and are looking for a label to release it. Also, if anyone knows how to get a copy to David Lynch, please let me know. :) Here’s a link to the first Stern album, which was shamefully a bandcamp-only release a year ago:http://entitlement.bandcamp.com/album/entitlement

Tartar Lamb 3 is a thing. We’ll be performing new music on November 13 at The Stone in NYC. The lineup is the usual crew (Driver, Cymerman, Byrnes, Means) along with Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on drums.

I’ll be touring with Secret Chiefs 3 to Russia, Finland, Scotland, Israel (maybe???), Turkey, and the US and Canada from August 21-November 9 or so. Here are some of the dates, with more to be announced shortly:

Aug 23 - Doune the Rabbit Hole - Scotland
Aug 30 - International Kansk Festival - Siberia w/ Krasnoyarsk Russian Traditional Orchestra
Aug 31 - TBA - Moscow, Russia
Sep 01 - TBA - St. Petersburg, Russia
Sep 2 - Kuudes Linja - Helsinki, Finland
Sep 9 - Corsica Studios - London, United Kingdom
Sep 10 - Corsica Studios - London, United Kingdom
Sep 11 - Corsica Studios - London, United Kingdom
Oct 2 - Sait’s The Gateway - Calgary AB, Canada
Oct 3 - The Starlite ROOM - Edmonton AB, Canada
Oct 4 - Vangelis Tavern - Calgary AB, Canada
Oct 5 - West End Cultural Centre - Winnipeg, Canada
Oct 7 - Turf Club - Saint Paul, MN
Oct 8 - The Cactus Club - Milwaukee, WI
Oct 9 - Double Door - Chicago IL
Oct 11 - Lee’s Palace - Toronto ON, Canada
Oct 14 - la vitrola - Montréal, Canada
Oct 15 - la vitrola - Montréal, Canada
Oct 16 - Black Sheep Inn - Wakefield, Ottawa QC, Canada
Oct 17 - Café Culturel de la Chasse-Galerie - Lavaltrie, Montreal, Canada
Oct 18 - Le Cercle - Québec, Quebec, Canada
Oct 19 - Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA
Oct 21 - (le) poisson rouge - New York, NY
Oct 22 - Saint Vitus Bar - Brooklyn, NY
Oct 23 - Boot & Saddle - Philadelphia, PA
Oct 24 - Gallery 5 - Richmond, VA
Oct 26 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
Oct 31 - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO

Thanks for reading this far and bearing with our insane overambitiousness! We really appreciate your fandom and are always working hard to bring you as much interesting music as possible. :)

Very warm regards,
Toby Driver on behalf of Kayo Dot


new KAYO DOT song here!

It’s with great pleasure that we present to you the first preview track, “And He Built Him a Boat,” from Kayo Dot’s forthcoming double-album, HUBARDO, due this fall.


"And He Built Him A Boat" is the record’s ninth track, so the lyrics have to do with events about 5/8 of the way through the album’s narrative. Along with the band’s core members, the song also features guest backing vocals by Jessika Kenney (who has also sung for Wolves in the Throne Room, Sunn0))), ASVA, and many others), and BC Campbell.

We hope you enjoy this song, and please spread the link around if you may!
We’re still running the preorder for the 3xLP at http://kayodot.bigcartel.com - we need to sell about 150 more copies of the vinyl in order to have enough money to manufacture it, so please don’t hesitate to snap this up.

We also have a few shows coming up in NYC:

This Saturday, July 13 at Spectrum as part of the NYX II: New York Progressive and Experimental Rock Festival. Playing all new material!

Friday, August 16 at St. Vitus Bar with MIRRORGATE, their first show in two years and possibly their last ever?

New KAYO DOT album details and pre-order!


Boston-born, and now New York City-based veteran avant-metallers KAYO DOT, led by Toby Driver, are set to hit the studio for their 7th album, Hubardo, this April. This album will mark the 10-year anniversary of KAYO DOT’s debut and landmark release, Choirs of The Eye, and the band will trek out to Avast Studios in Seattle, Washington, with producer RANDALL DUNN (SunnO))), Wolves In The Throne Room, Black Mountain) returning to the helm.

Hubardo is an approximately 90-minute conceptual epic double-album, with story and lyrics written by longtime lyricist and former MAUDLIN OF THE WELL vocalist, Jason Byron. Musically, the album covers the spectrum of all of the band’s works, from the sparse doomy elements of Choirs of The Eye, to the blast-beat, woodwind-driven Gamma Knife, the chorus-bass goth fusion ofCoyote, and even lush orchestrated prog moments harkening back to the days of their previous band, MAUDLIN OF THE WELL, and, as with all the band’s releases, Driver and Co. venturing into new territory.

The album sees a returning cast of characters with Toby Driver on Bass, Keys, Guitars and Vocals, Terran Olson on Keys and Woodwinds, Daniel Means on Woodwinds and Synth, Mia Matsumiya on violin, Tim Byrnes on Trumpet and Horn in F, the first proper studio recording with Keith Abrams on drums, and the first recording contribution of longtime live collaborator Ron Varod on Guitar. Hubardo will also feature a very special guest vocal appearance by Jason Byron - his first recorded appearance since MAUDLIN OF THE WELL’s 2001 albums, Bath andLeaving Your Body Map.

This album will be self-released on the band’s own imprint, ICE LEVEL MUSIC, and pre-orders will be taken to help fund the recording and travel costs. Pre-Orders will be offered in 3xLP Deluxe, Standard, and Digital-only editions, featuring limited 200g colored vinyl in triple gatefold (six huge panels of artwork), a 5-chapter poem by Jason Byron entitled The Sword Of Satan, signed poster, T-shirt, guitar pick, and sticker. The Pre-Order system is now LIVE at http://kayodot.bigcartel.com

Here is the track listing for the album:

  • 1. The Black Stone (~7:00)
    2. Crown-In-The-Muck (~9:00)
    3. Thief (~5:30)
    4. Vision Adjustment To Another Wavelength (~5:00)
    5. Zodelida Caosaji (To Water The Earth) (~6:00)
    6. The First Matter (Saturn In The Guise Of Sadness) (~9:30)
    7. The Second Operation (Lunar Water) (~10:30)
    8. Floodgate (~7:00)
    9. And He Built Him A Boat (~7:00)
    10. Passing The River (~8:00)
    11. The Wait Of The World (~18:00)

The Pre-Order system is now LIVE at http://kayodot.bigcartel.com and the records will be limited to 300 copies for the Deluxe Edition and 200 copies for the Standard Edition. Hubardo is slated for a fall 2013 release to coincide with Kayo Dot’s tenth anniversary.

Ice Level Music

Here’s the just-launched bandcamp site for my label: http://icelevelmusic.bandcamp.com/

Just posted a few more!

Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know there are a couple more entries up at ficklecompass.tumblr.com  


because goodbye.: On the word 'pretentious':


It’s a fascinating word, right? It’s fluid and multi-directional, and nearly always ends up saying more about the person who says it then the person it’s said about. Only one thing about its usage remains constant, which is the (iron-clad and ironic) rule that the more you call other people…

The advice blog!

I posted the first one…! Here it is. Hope I don’t fuck this guy up too much. http://ficklecompass.tumblr.com/

Follow me, ok?


Been wracked by some bad insomnia for the past several days. A lot of it has to do with my schedule being askew, and a lot of it has to do with the manic state I get into when working on a new record. I would say that about 50% of my composition process occurs in my head when I’m away from an instrument or a desk - I’ve always tried to advise my students that one of the best ways to get inspiration is to go for a walk.

Due to realities, however, I find it impossible to do much of any kind of creative work, mental or physical, this late at night in a quiet apartment out of respect for those who are sleeping nearby. I also find going for a walk at this hour in my part of Brooklyn in the freezing cold to not be feasible. What I can do though, is read and type, hence this blog post, which I can’t help turning into a news post, so please read on.

As I mentioned above, I’m feeling pretty restless and manic working on a new record. That would be the Kayo Dot 10th anniversary progstravaganza double-album, due this year, about which I’m itching to post details, but must restrain myself for the time being. We’re just waiting to get some confirmations on a few things, but then I’ll let you have all the info.

I bet you didn’t know that I had a record label of my own, but I do! It’s called Ice Level Music - yeah it’s a video game reference, ok - and I have already released a few legit things - Tartar Lamb’s Sixty Metonymies on CD, Tartar Lamb II’s Polyimage Of Known Exits on vinyland the digital versions of maudlin of the Well’s Part The Second and Kayo Dot’s Gamma Knife. I came up with it really only as an imprint for these purposes, but I’m about to release my first record that’s not by me and that I don’t appear on. Yoshiko Ohara, who you may know as the singer of Bloody Panda, just completed a truly twisted and beautiful solo album, and I’m very proud to put it under the Ice Level Music umbrella. We’re still figuring out what the label’s role in the release is going to be, but I generally have looked down at labels who exist to offer nothing to the artist (there are many), so I’ll make sure that Ice Level does something of value to her. 

Not that I really have time to do this during the day, but in the likely event my insomnia continues for the next few months while the Kayo Dot album is being conjured up, it’d be nice to have more to type in the middle of the night. And I kind of hate talking about myself - it feels a little gross. I was thinking - what if I started an advice column (to be published in its own brand new blog)? People could write in anonymously with questions about life as a musician, but what I would really like to help with is questions about life in general, with musicianship as a sort of refracting lens. So like, questions about personal relationships, love, sex, death, violence, faith, depression, domestic abuse, friends, family, scenes, queer issues, etc. Let’s really get deep. My qualifications are only as a living person, but if you know my music, then you can imagine some of what informs it.  It could be therapeutic for me as well… a way to get me to write words, which is always good for a person, without doing the whole journal thing, which doesn’t suit me. For some reason I feel like it’s important for me to open myself up to these kinds of incoming energies right now.

Here is the email address: ficklecompass@gmail.com

And by emailing that address, you agree to have your letter republished on the blog, with all identities protected of course. Try it!

All the west coast tour dates, starting next week

There are a couple weeks’ worth of Kayo Dot shows coming up on the US West Coast very soon (next week!!!). Just thought I’d send the dates along to you in case you’d be interested in attending/spreading the word/whatever! This will be our first headlining tour of the west coast since 2008, and our first EVER in a few special towns, such as Vancouver, and others! So, we’re really excited about it, and would love to share the excitement with you.

I also just want to quickly say that we are able to come out to the west coast and do these dates ONLY because of the generosity of some of our friends out there who are supplying us with gear and transportation, crash space, opening local bands taking beans at the door, and especially, those of you who purchased GAMMA KNIFE directly from us on bandcamp. All profits from the sales of GK went towards getting our airfare to come out there. So, thank you VERY much!

Saturday, August 18, 2012 Kayo Dot with Thrones @ Slabtown 1033 NW 16th Ave., Portland, OR 97209 (United States) Set: 8:00 PM 21+ Also Playing: Thrones, Hang The Old Year, Proqxis

Sunday, August 19, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Northern 414 1/2 Legion Way, Olympia, WA (United States) Set: 8:00 PM All Ages Also Playing: Shadows, Ragana

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Oakland Metro an Opera House 201 Broadway, Oakland, CA (United States) 510 763 1146 Set: 6:00 PM All Ages Also Playing: Hollow Mirrors, Wild Hunt, Marching Mind

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 Kayo Dot on some mountaintop in SLO??? @ a mountaintop?? some mountaintop, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (United States) Set: 8:00 PM All Ages

Thursday, August 23, 2012 Kayo Dot in Fresno @ Chinatown Youth Center 901 F Street, Fresno, CA 93706 (United States) Set: 8:00 PM All Ages Also Playing: Wreck and Reference, Ovarian Office, Strawberry Jam

Friday, August 24, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Biko Garage 6612 Sueno Rd., Isla Vista, CA (United States) Set: 8:00 PM All Ages Also Playing: The Yiffs, Prof. Cuddlecore, Maribelle

Saturday, August 25, 2012 Kayo Dot with miRthkon and The Anti-Job @ The Mezz 501 S. Spring St. 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA (United States) RETURN OF MIA Set: 8:00 PM 21+ Buy Now

Monday, August 27, 2012 Kayo Dot @ The Blue Lagoon 923 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (United States) Set: 8:00 PM 21+ Also Playing: Author & Punisher, Blue Lagoon

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 Kayo Dot with miRthkon @ Elbo Room 647 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA (United States) Set: 8:00 PM 18+ Also Playing: Mirthkon, Author & Punisher

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 Kayo Dot with West By Swan @ Cafe Coda 265 Humboldt Avenue Chico, CA, Chico, CA (United States) Set: 8:00 PM All Ages Also Playing: West By Swan, Bogg, Akasa

Thursday, August 30, 2012 Kayo Dot plays a special chilled-out set plus solo performances by the members @ Common Grounds Coffee House 4321 Se Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215 (United States) Set: 7:00 PM All Ages

Friday, August 31, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Zoo Zhop Record Store 223 Main Street , Vancouver, BC (Canada) Set: 8:00 PM All Ages Also Playing: Bubonic Bear, Yellowthief, Heavy Medical

Saturday, September 1, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Highline 210 Broadway E, Seattle, WA (United States) Set: 8:00 PM 21+ Tickets: $10 Also Playing: Rose Windows, Dog Shredder

Banishing Ritual


Grey Dream

Sometimes I get lucky enough to hear a song in a dream and then wake up with enough of it in my memory to actually turn it into reality. This here was one such recent occurrence:


Kayo Dot’s upcoming shows! West coasters, especially, Behold! Our first west coast tour since 2008!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 Kayo Dot with Mosselek (Mick Barr, Chuck Bettis), and MV Carbon @ St. Vitus
1120 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, NY (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 Kayo Dot in Syracuse! Our first Syracuse show ever! @ Club Fusion
3705 Brewerton Rd., N. Syracuse, NY (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
All Ages
Thursday, July 19, 2012 Kayo Dot with Triple Cobra and The Big Con @ The Bowery Electric
327 Bowery, New York, NY (United States) - Map
212-228-0228 Set: 8:00 PM
Friday, July 20, 2012 Kayo Dot in Danbury, CT! Our first Danbury show ever. @ Heirloom Arts Theatre
155 Main St., Suite 103, Danbury, CT (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
All Ages
Sunday, July 22, 2012 Kayo Dot in Boston @ Church
Boston, MA (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
Saturday, August 18, 2012 Kayo Dot @ East End
203 SE Grand Ave, Portland, OR (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
Sunday, August 19, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Northern
414 1/2 Legion Way, Olympia, WA (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
All Ages
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Oakland Metro an Opera House
201 Broadway, Oakland, CA (United States) - Map
510 763 1146 Set: 8:00 PM
All Ages
Thursday, August 23, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Z Club (The Z)
2010 Parker St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
Friday, August 24, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Biko Garage
6612 Sueno Rd., Isla Vista, CA (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
All Ages
Saturday, August 25, 2012 Kayo Dot with miRthkon and The Anti-Job @ The Mezz
501 S. Spring St. 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
Monday, August 27, 2012 Kayo Dot @ TBC
Santa Cruz, CA (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
All Ages
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 Kayo Dot with miRthkon @ Elbo Room
647 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 Kayo Dot with West By Swan @ Cafe Coda
265 Humboldt Avenue Chico, CA, Chico, CA (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
All Ages
Friday, August 31, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Zoo Zhop Record Store
223 Main Street , Vancouver, BC (Canada) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM
All Ages
Saturday, September 1, 2012 Kayo Dot @ Highline
210 Broadway E, Seattle, WA (United States) - Map
Set: 8:00 PM


Charles Darwin, to Asa Gray, 1860:

Charles Darwin, to Asa Gray, 1860:

"I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice."


Kayo Dot west coast tour!

In case any of you have missed it, Kayo Dot is coming on a west coast US tour in late August. We have almost everything booked already, but still need a few shows:

August 22 in Fresno or Bakersfield

August 24 somewhere around LA but not LA proper (maybe like, Irvine, Santa Ana, etc)

August 26 in San Diego

August 30 in Humboldt County

If you or anyone you know can book a show in any of these places, please let me know asap. Thanks!!!

Lots of musicians I know have been sharing this around, over the past few days

This article will hopefully make you think: