Felix Martin: Venezuelan Guitarist Wows Pittsburgh

Words and photos:  Stephanie Connell

On Wednesday, March 8, Felix Martin and his band entered the ballroom at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy in Pittsburgh.  The James Street Speakeasy is a unique venue.  It has a jazzy, 1920s prohibition feel.   The ballroom itself, complete with a small bar and a man painting in the corner, felt more relaxed than I expected.  The venue had a formal, historic air mixing with today’s informal culture.

It was the perfect setting for Felix Martin, and his band (bassist Killian Duarte and drummer Victor Alvarez).

I have had minimal experience with musicians who play specialized guitars.  Most of my experience included very traditional sounds.  It had never crossed my mind that a guitar with more than six strings would be used for heavy metal.  Felix Martin greatly raised my expectations of this type of music.  His music has a heavier sound than I expected.

The band had a very positive attitude throughout the show.  Some technical difficulties stopped the show for a few minutes, and, even then, the group smiled and laughed.  The songs they played included Cardboard Roofs and Flashback.  Felix Martin left the crowd smiling and excited for the headliner for the night, Consider the Source.

FELIX MARTIN is a Venezuelan guitarist who is pioneering a style of playing the electric guitar by performing simultaneously with two of them as if they were one, creating a new sound on the instrument.

Felix is pushing music into new boundaries by mixing Rock and Metal with different styles such as Jazz, Progressive, World, Latin, Fusion, etc. The uniqueness of his guitars and technique allows him to create distinguished sounds that makes the music sound unique.

Felix has toured with his band that includes Berklee Alumni drummers and bassist Kilian Duarte throughout the USA, Europe and South America. Played in festivals such as Progressive Nation, SXSW, Euroblast, Tech-Fest and many more.

Felix uses his self-designed 14 and 16-string guitars, which are two regular guitars in one, in a way never seen or heard before. This opens up a new and hidden world for the electric guitar and instrumental music. Felix pioneered this style of playing at the age of 13, and as of 2014, he remains the only one in the world who plays this way (Felix Martin Facebook).

 

Kurt Baker Combo in Pittsburgh on March 27

A master of hooks and melody, Kurt Baker’s music embodies a feel-good spirit wrapped in a punk rock sheen inspired by music of decades past. In support of its most recent release, In Orbit (via Steven Van Zandt‘s  Wicked Cool Records), Spain-based Kurt Baker Combo is coming to the U.S.
 
After releasing several records with The Leftovers, the Maine native struck out solo and released three full-length albums, along with a prolific output of B-sides and covers, touring with the likes of The Offspring and Tommy Stinson. He soon caught the attention of noted tastemakerSteven Van Zandt, guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, radio host of Little Steven’s Underground Garage, and proprietor of Wicked Cool Records–not to mention Silvio on The Sopranos

TUNE IN: Green Day To Perform Today On The Ellen DeGeneres Show on NBC

GREEN DAY TO PERFORM TODAY ON THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW ON NBC
Tune in to The Ellen Degeneres Show today at 3:00 PM* on NBC to watch Green Day perform “Still Breathing” from their latest release Revolution Radio, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.
*Check local listings HERE

Slayer, Anthrax, and Death Angel Reign Blood on Pittsburgh

When the announcement of the Slayer North American Tour was announced, it may have seemed, to some, that a mistake was made.  Slayer with Anthrax and Death Angel?  Three thrash powerhouses who have stood the test of time performing on the same night?  It’s no wonder Stage AE in Pittsburgh was sold out last night, filled to the brim with raucous metal fans chomping at the bit.  All three bands put on killer performances and showed no signs of slowing down, regardless of their ages and band time span.

As far as openers go, well it’s tough to call Death Angel and opener, they have been around since ’82 in one incarnation or another since their landmark hit, “Bored”.  Also, Death Angel is in all essence a subset of the Big 4 thrash bands, emerging from the San Fran scene.  Since their last Pittsburgh visit a fe Halloweens ago, Death Angel has been busy touring their latest The Evil Divide and even producing a “thrashumentary”.  Released last year, the film tells the story of Death Angel from  inception to the present day (get it here).  Singer, Mark Osegueda, was as lively as ever and spot on vocally. Guitarists Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar spew out axe pyrotechnics, while Damien Sisson (bass) and Will Carroll (drums) kept the brutal low end so important to the genre.  The new material may be some of their best and is worth getting in the doors early to witness.

Anthrax was in Pittsburgh last January with Lamb of God and put forth one of the best classic Anthrax laden sets that this writer has ever witnessed.  This night Anthrax played just a bit more of their excellent new effort For All Kings, but definitely played some of their best including, “Caught In A Mosh”, “Got The Time”, “Antisocial” and “Indians”.  Two of those songs (“Got The Time” and “Antisocial”) are cover songs that the band has so uniquely made their own, most people do not know that Joe Jackson and Trust, respectively,  actually wrote them.  Scott Ian (guitar) was once again a model of thrash and was, as usual, showing what a guitar god can do and really have a good time doing so.  Singer Joey Belladonna was in excellent singing condition and has breathed new life into the band since his return.  Newcomer, guitarist Jonathan Donais, is fitting in and also breathing fire into the bands material.  He proved his worth in Shadows Fall and is absolutely killing it as Rob Caggiano’s replacement since 2013.  Charlie Benante and Frank Bello were completely synced in (after all they are family) and a pleasure to watch, although it was tough to get a glimpse of Frank’s face as his hair was in constant motion as he powered through the set.  It’s incredible that this band just keeps getting better after all these years  (1981) and is not only producing top level records, but also matching that with high energy shows.

It took all of 35 seconds upon entry before one heard the infamous call, “SLAAAAAAYYYYYEEERRRR!”  The band has been in high gear as of late, pumping out a trio of videos for Repentless and just starting this N.American Tour.  Like their counterparts and tour mates Death Angel and Anthrax, they have been around since the inception of thrash (1981).  Their material is as fresh and brain damaging as ever and their live show is tough to top in terms of sheer onslaught of power.  Kerry King, massive chains and tribal tattoos and all, stays in the pocket and just rips from there, always a jaw dropper to watch.  Tom Araya was dead on vocally as well and of course his bass playing is underrated.  The addition of Exodus guitar player Gary Holt since Jeff Hanneman‘s illness and eventual death has added a different layer and dimension to the band, the material on Repentless really showing his influence in various ways.  Paul Bostaph’s return on drums is also a different layer, replacing his replacement who he replaced originally (huh?), Dave Lombardo, who is now behind the kit for The Misfits reunion shows.  To sum it up, Slayer was Slayer, they were impressive, loud, fast, and like Conan, crushed their enemies before them.  An awesome night for metal and for Pittsburgh for sure, and one tough to beat.  Maybe Clutch, Zakk Sabbath, and Kyng can try on October 1 when they hit Stage AE.

All photos AWeldingphoto © 2016 .

BEACH SLANG Shares New Album on NPR First Listen/ Live @Cattivo 10/22

Philadelphia‘s Beach Slang will release their new album, A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings, on September 23rd on Polyvinyl Records. The album is available now to stream via NPR First Listen who says, “Beach Slang, pulls off exactly what it promises. A spiritual descendent of The Replacements – as well as a sonic cousin to bands like The Gaslight Anthem and Japandroids, who share its gift for dramatic pronouncements about life, death and rock ‘n’ roll – Beach Slang rattles the rafters with grace, power and concision.” Listen to the album HERE.
The band recently released the music video for their single “Atom Bomb” with Noisey, who called it “the fastest rager from A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings.”
Beach Slang’s second full-length is a crash-and-thunder collection of songs about what it takes to keep yourself going, to make it through the rest of the night-hell, through the rest of your youth-and beyond. Frontman James Alex wrote much of A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings on their first album’s support tour, during which he spent a lot of time with the kids who’d picked up the record.
The band previously shared the song “Punks in Disco Bar.” The video was described byNPR as “a glimpse into what it’s like to be young, misunderstood and out of place, yet finding belonging in each other. It’s the perfect complement to ‘Punks In A Disco Brand an ode to the motifs and life-affirming mission of Beach Slang.” Watch it HERE.
A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings Tracklist:
Future Mixtape For The Art Kids
Atom Bomb
Art Damage
Hot Tramps
Punks In A Disco Bar
Wasted Daze Of Youth
Young Hearts
The Perfect High
Warpaint
Praise for Beach Slang:
“A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings single and song of the day “Punks In A Disco Bar” channels the same exuberant energy found throughout the group’s debut album. Guitar riffs recall the best of 90’s pop-punk and James’ gravely voice emanates enough emotion to fill a stadium.” – KEXP
“Packed with charred guitar riffs, seething feedback and heart-rate-raising drum fills, the song is another of Alex’s unifying anthems. Influenced by the stories of countless fans whom the band (including bassist Ed McNulty and guitarist Ruben Gallego) met during a tumultuous year on the road, the song earnestly touches on the energy and alienation of youth, and on rising above our struggles together.” – NPR Songs We Love


“Punks in a Disco Bar… is fist-pumping rock splendor, all big and wild and free.” – USA Today
“As with everything Beach Slang puts out, the song is a raw, loud, and everything you want in a punk song, but is also still melodic and contains plenty of heart.” – Baeble Music
“‘Punks in a Disco Bar,’ the first track from the record, a typically rousing and clattering track that will probably make your day 20 percent better.” – Noisey
“The song will certainly be instantly recognizable to fans of the band’s previous work, with the same never-caring, heart-punching, loud-things-loving lyrics and thick Minneapolis-style riffing of Beach Slang’s debut LP – if a touch wearier than last time out.” – Spin 
“the heart-on-the-sleeve punks have already become the kind of band that fans rush to get tattooed all over their bodies. Well, those fans had better make room for some new ink…” – Consequence of Sound
“This new track seeps with feelings of youth and their accompanying frustration. Very punk guitar drowns the entire two minutes and 41 seconds, and the vocals don’t hold anything back. It’s just what you’d expect from a song called “Punks In A Disco Bar,” and that’s not a bad thing.” WXPN
Beach Slang continue to tour the world –
9/17 — Wilmington, DE — Dogfish Head Analog-a-GoGo @ Bellevue State Park
9/22 — Fort Wayne, IN — Brass Rail
9/23 — Chicago, IL — Goose Island Beer Co.s Urban Block Party
9/27 — New York, NY — Rough Trade (Album Release Show)
9/30 – 10/1 — Shreveport, LA — Louisiana Music Prize
10/6 — Boston, MA — Royale%
10/8 — Philadelphia, PA — Project Pabst Citywide Festival @ Electric Factory
10/11 — Washington, DC — Black Cat **
10/12 — Virginia Beach, VA — Shaka’s**
10/13 — West Columbia, SC — New Brookland Tavern**
10/14 — Orlando, FL — Blackbooth**
10/15 — Jacksonville, FL — Jack Rabbits**
10/16 — Atlanta, GA — The Masquerade (Hell)**
10/18 — Nashville, TN — The Basement East**
10/19 — Louisville, KY — Zanzabar**
10/20 — Newport, KY — The Southgate House Revival**
10/21 — Cleveland, OH — Grog Shop**
10/22 — Pittsburgh, PA — Cattivo**
10/24 — Columbus, OH — Rumba Cafe**
10/25 — Bloomington, IN — The Bishop**
10/26 — St. Louis, MO — Old Rock House**
10/28 — Minneapolis, MN — Triple Rock Social Club**
10/29 — Maquoketa, IA — Codfish Hollow**
10/30 — Omaha, NE — Reverb Lounge**
10/31 — Kansas City, MO — The Tank Room**
11/01 — Fayetteville, AR — George’s Majestic Lounge**
11/02 — Oklahoma City, OK — 89th Street Collective**
11/4 — Austin, TX — Sound on Sound Festival
11/5 — Mcdade, TX — Sherwood Forest Faire
11/7 — Glasgow, UK — Mono
11/8 — London, UK — Scala
11/9 — Leeds, UK — Brudenell Social Club
11/10 — Brighton, UK — The Haunt
11/12 — Brussels, Belgium — Witloof Room
11/13 — Hamburg, Germany — Knust
11/14 — Hanover, Germany — LUX
11/15 — Berlin, Germany — Lido
11/17 — Leipzig, Germany — Conne Island
11/18 — Bezirk Ottakring, Austria — Chelsea
11/19 — Winterthur, Switzerland — Albani
11/20 — Munich, Germany — Ampere
11/21 — Muenster, Germany — Sputnikhalle
11/22 — Cologne, Germany — Gebaude 9
11/23 — Paris, France — La Maroquinerie
11/25 — Barcelona, Spain — La 2 d’Apollo
11/26 — Madrid, Spain — Moby Dick
** w/ Bleached
beach slang lp2 cover
Album Cover

Slayer…”Repentless” Videos…And Soon They’ll Be Three…

Slayer music videos for their latest album, Repentless
“Repentless”…9/11/15…
“You Against You”…3/16/16…
And soon they’ll be three…..

Bruce Springsteen-CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh Tue, Apr 22…15 New US Tour Dates Announced

Recently announced!

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have announced 15 new tour dates in the US starting with April 8 in Cincinnati, OH, on the heels of concerts in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Tickets on sale beginning Friday, February 14, in some markets.

4/8 – Cincinnati, OH – U.S. Bank Arena
On-sale 10am February 21 – ticketmaster.com

4/12 – Virginia Beach, VA – Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
On-sale 10am February 21 – ticketmaster.com

4/15 – Columbus, OH – Nationwide Arena
On-sale 10am February 21 – ticketmaster.com

4/17 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
On-sale 10am February 15 – ticketmaster.com

4/19 – Charlotte, NC – Time Warner Cable Arena
On-sale 10am February 21 – ticketmaster.com

4/22 – Pittsburgh, PA – Consol Energy Center
On-sale 10am February 14 – ticketmaster.com

4/24 – Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena

On-sale 10am February 21 – ticketmaster.com

4/26 – Atlanta, GA – Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
On-sale 10am February 15 – ticketmaster.com

4/29 – Sunrise, FL – BB&T Center
On-sale 10am February 15 – ticketmaster.com

5/1 – Tampa, FL – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
On-sale 10am February 15 – ticketmaster.com

5/3 – New Orleans, LA – Jazz & Heritage Festival
On-sale now – nojazzfest.com

5/6 – Houston, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
On-sale 10am February 28 – ticketmaster.com

5/13 – Albany, NY – Times Union Center
On-sale 10am February 14 – ticketmaster.com

5/14 – Hershey, PA – Hersheypark Stadium
On-sale 10am February 14 – ticketmaster.com

5/17 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun
On-sale 10am February 14 – ticketmaster.com

5/18 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun
On-sale 10am February 14 – ticketmaster.com

 

Big Something on tour with Zach Deputy Feb 28 @ Rex Theater

BIG Something have just released their highly-anticipated new self-titled studio album to follow up their award winning 2010 debut ‘Stories from the Middle of Nowhere‘.  A purveyor of experimental groove-rock and electro-funk, Big Something is a six-piece ensemble that brings arena sized grooves to every stage they play. This is funk fit for the future, featuring crystalline synths, wailing Saxes, guitars that shred and the unique ethereal sound of the Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI 4000). The band has been moving at a relentless pace with monster live performances all over the East Coast, bringing melodic innovation and evolution to alternative rock, and inspiration to their unceasingly growing audience.

BIG SOMETHING  FREE ALBUM STREAM

DATE: Friday, February 28, 2014 (9pm)
Tour Supporting Zach Deputy (10:30PM)
LOCATION: Rex Theater (1602 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203)
TICKETS: $12/$15
AGES: All
PHONE: 412-586-5295
VENUE WEBSITE: http://www.rextheater.com/

BIG Something

Genre: Rock/Alternative

Hometown: Burlington, NC

Single “Good Man

Live Video “Vibrations All Around

SOUNDCLOUD 

Press

“There is no weak track on this album. It begins unflinchingly, rising and falling, a complete album…This is the album that sets Big Something into the upper ranks, puts them on the map with the greats. I can’t recommend this album enough.” – Angelica Music

“BIG Something is a rock solid release, surely fit for the accolades that’ll be coming in hot and heavy when it officially drops. Ya just can’t knock an old school live rock band kickin’ funk, jazz, and electronica with a fever—this is fun, good times music for yer earhole—no bones about it, nothin’ more to say.” – GratefulWeb.com

“Comparing them to Rush, Widespread Panic, or Bruce Springsteen is lofty praise. For a band called Big Something, they surely live up to their name.”  – Pop Blend

“It’s not a good band, it’s a great band!” – Artie Kornfeld co-founder of Woodstock ’69, former VP Capitol Records

“Rumbling saxophone solos and processed guitars that seem to ding: this is a band where the tone is BIG. Like MGMT or the Flaming Lips, there are plenty of magical moments that make you wonder “how’d they get those sounds?” – Creative Loafing Charlotte

“Magic…Primarily driven by the combination of guitar, synth and sax, the Big Something offer a complexly interwoven series of grooves marked by rich and sonorous mixes.” – YES! Weekly Magazine

 

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