Nashville’s “rock ‘n soul powerhouse” (Rolling Stone) Sarah Potenza is taking her fierce voice and sharing it with the debut of MONSTER, out August 19. Her sound is reflective of the formidable soul and rock voices of the past, with the passion and depth of Janis Joplin, Etta James and Mavis Staples. She has been tapped for the prestigious Americana Music Festival, and will perform on September 22 (location TBD).
MONSTER is an all Nashville affair, with producer Joe McMahan (founder of Luella and the Sun) serving as the jack of all trades on the release, contributing electric guitar/acoustic guitar/bass/keys/backing vocals/percussion. Other musicians on the album include Michael Webb (Pistol Annies, Will Hoge) on piano/keyboards and Josh Hunt (Alison Krauss) on drums. Sarah Potenza leads with vocals and rhythm guitar, while her husband Ian Crossman rounds out the sound with the baritone guitar.
About MONSTER, Potenza shares her years of joys and frustration that come with the life of a touring musician. She notes, “This album is about my journey from imitation to creation. I set out to make this album because I wanted to let off some steam, I wanted to commiserate with people about the struggle and frustration that comes with being human, that comes from trying your hardest and coming up short. I wanted to tell myself to keep going. In fact, some of the songs are just a pep talk to nobody but me, and they took on a whole new life when I shared them with people.”
After years of touring with her band Sarah & The Tall Boys, Sarah Potenza headed south to Nashville to start her next chapter. She quickly integrated into the local music scene and she became a staple at the world renowned Bluebird Café and the globally broadcast Music City Roots program. She earned raves for her big voice, which seamlessly blends roots, rock and soul. Praise includes:
“A big personality and even a bigger voice.” Yahoo! Music
“A bluesy, soul-singing, rock & roller.” American Songwriter
NBC’s The Voice recruited Potenza for Season 8, where she received a four chair turn and ended up being in the Top 20. The show may have introduced Potenza to millions of television viewers, but the down-to earth singer took those lessons back home to Nashville, where she quickly got back to work touring and recording. She incorporated that experience into the making of MONSTER.
Sarah Potenza is currently on tour and will be featured on numerous festivals this summer, including Strawberry Music Festival, MerleFest and Rhythm & Roots and more. A full list of dates is below.
Sarah Potenza Tour Dates:
6/18- Rhode Island Pride Festival- Providence, RI
6/24- Poor David’s Pub- Dallas, TX (w/ Hannah Kirby)
7/24- Eddie’s Attic- Decatur, GA (w/ Meghan Linsey)
7/27- The Pour House Music Hall- Raleigh, NC
7/28- Dangerously Delicious Pies -Washington DC
7/30- Spring Lake Community House Theater- Spring Lake, NJ
7/31 -Drom – New York, NY
8/2- Chirp Concert Happenings,Ballard Park- Ridgefield, CT
8/5- The Assembly Theater- Harrisville, RI
8/6- Falcon Ridge Folk Festival- Hillsdale, NY
8/7- Falcon Ridge Folk Festival- Hillsdale, NY
8/8- Catskills Distillery- Bethel, NY
8/10- Club Cafe- Pittsburgh, PA
8/11- The Listening Room- Port Clint, OH
8/18- Myrna Loy Center- Helena, MT
8/26- Family Wash -Nashville, TN
For more information:
Formed from the ashes of Braid only months after the band’s well-documented final shows, Hey Mercedes provided a more melodic, accessible alternative to Braid’s aggressive interpretation of “emo,” winning over the hearts of fans both old and new. The band’s output during their five year existence was impressive, with three EPs and two full-length LPs released; and over 350 shows under their belt. The decade since the band’s premature 2005 breakup has brought them comparisons to Jimmy Eat World and The Get-Up Kids in terms of their influence on the emo-leaning, alt-rock sound of the late 90’s and early 2000s.
Esmé Patterson released her gorgeous new album We Were Wild last month, and she’s bringing songs from the new album to Club Cafe in Pittsburgh on July 28th.
PRESS HERE to watch her rollicking, folky-yet-fiery set at NonComm 2016 to get a taste of what to expect from one of her live showsand HERE to watch her new video for “No River” which premiered on NPR’s First Watch.
“No River” was also dubbed an NPR “Songs We Love,” premiered as Zane Lowe’s “World Record” on Beats 1, and was reviewed inThe New York Times’ Playlist, with Jon Pareles saying “A 1960s-soul backbeat, a laconic electric rhythm guitar, some pinging keyboard tones and backup voices going ‘ooh ooh are all Esmé Patterson needs in ‘No River…”
“Her voice is wiry and candid, backed by arrangements that roll along the folk-country borderline.” – New York Times
“a singer with roots in folk music and a new album that stretches into the world of gritty rock.” – NPR Music
“…’Wantin Ain’t Gettin,’ a barside ballad that serves as the epitome of [Patterson’s] deeply personal return. The ripped-from-her-diary tune revisits her Americana roots, reflecting on a love affair’s sour demise amid solemn acoustics and a swaying, downtempo twang.” – Entertainment Weekly
“It’s pop with a smidge of punk. Pop with claws.” – Noisey
“subtly charming LP” – Rolling Stone (3.5/5 stars)
“We Were Wild is wildly good.” – PopMatters (8/10 stars)
“…a gorgeous new batch of songs…”– Paste
“…Esmé Patterson merges the worlds of pure rock’n’roll, garage and country-western music…” – The Line of Best Fit
“…a warm, organic-sounding album that splits the difference between indie pop, folk-rock and coffeehouse jazz.” – American Songwriter
“It didn’t take me much convincing to love Esme Patterson’s sound…” – Indie Shuffle
“…enthralled from the beginning.” – KEXP
Beverly, the duo of Drew Citron (Avan Lava, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Frankie Rose) and Scott Rosenthal, recently announced a new album, The Blue Swell. Today, they’ve shared a video for “South Collins.” Directed and edited by Pitchfork’s Jim Larson, the clip mingles shots of vast woodlands with footage of an eerie bar—which becomes “a wild and progressively sinister party,” according to Citron. Read her description below, and scroll down to watch the video. The Blue Swell is out May 6 on Kanine.
I originally wrote the song “South Collins” as a noir film script, the music and lyrics describe a murder at an art deco hotel. One weekend after a friend’s wedding in the Catskills, I came across The Colonial Inn, and it was the perfect setting to film the video. It’s a 150 house replete with 150 years worth of taxidermy and tchotchkes. The place definitely had a surreal and creepy vibe, and the owner Steve was amazing. He has a friendly relationship with a brown bear named Baby, who comes into the hotel occasionally to eat leftovers, much to the dismay of the neighbors and wildlife protection service… Steve was totally down to let me and 20 of my friends take over the hotel for a weekend, and we ended up casting him as the older bartender.The idea behind the video is that I walk into a hotel, and the sight of me triggers the bartender’s flashbacks to a nightclub singer he met decades before at the same hotel. A wild and progressively sinister party ensues. Years later he is still haunted by it – what happened that night? Director Jim Larson created the perfect look of an eerie “Twin Peaks” orThe Shining-like world, without getting too overtly into ghost stories and the supernatural.
Having completed their European tour, Pere Ubu return to the USA and Canada for ‘Coed Jail! v.1.1,’ performing songs from the two recent box set releases, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982’ and ‘Elitism For The People 1975-1978’ (Fire Records),
Tracks from the inaugural ‘Modern Dance,’ through to what was described as “the scariest album ever recorded,” ‘New Picnic Time,’ will be performed in a fast moving set lasting 1½ hours.
Pere Ubu are David Thomas, Steven Mehlman (Drums), Michele Temple (Bass), Robert Wheeler (Synth and Theremin), and they will be joined by Gary Siperko (Rocket From The Tombs, Whiskey Daredevils, Mofos) on lead guitar
This isn’t a reunion. It isn’t a greatest hits tour.
“We don’t promote chaos, we preserve it,” Thomas explained. “Now more than ever – just like Nixon said – you need the sort of utterly gratuitous mess that only men of conviction can provide.”
16 Jun: Lee’s Palace, Toronto, Canada
17 Jun: Marble Bar, Detroit, MI
18 Jun: Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
19 Jun: Zanzabar, Louisville, KY
20 Jun: Exit/In, Nashville, TN
21 Jun: The Earl, Atlanta, GA
22 Jun: Pilot Light, Knoxville, TN
23 Jun: Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
24 Jun: Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington, DC
25 Jun: Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, PA
27 Jun: The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
28 Jun: Fete Lounge, Providence, RI
29 Jun: Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
30 Jun: The Haunt, Ithaca, NY
01 Jul: Club Café, Pittsburgh, PA
02 Jul: Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
03 Jul: Ace Of Cups, Columbus OH
For updates please visit: http://www.ubuprojex.com/calendar.html
Pere Ubu is a rock band that considers itself to be working within the mainstream of the genre. Pere Ubu make a music that is a disorienting mix of midwestern groove rock, “found” sound, analog synthesizers, falling-apart song structures and careening vocals. It is a mix that has mesmerized critics, musicians and fans for decades.The Pere Ubu project was supposed to be an end, not a beginning. Assembled in August 1975 to be the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young of the Cleveland music underground, the plan was to record one, maybe two singles and exist no more. Within months, however, those first self-produced records were being snapped up in London, Paris, Manchester, New York and Minneapolis. Pere Ubu was changing the face of rock music. Over the next 34 years they defined the art of cult; refined the voice of the outsider; and inspired the likes of Joy Division, Pixies, Husker Du, Henry Rollins, REM, Sisters of Mercy, Thomas Dolby, Bauhaus, Julian Cope and countless others.
Singer David Thomas named the band after the protagonist of Ubu Roi, a play by Frenchman Alfred Jarry. The single, “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” b/w “Heart of Darkness,” released in 1975, was the first of four independent releases on Hearpen Records and, along with Television’s “Little Johnny Jewel,” signaled the beginning of the New Wave. In the early to mid-70s the musicians who were to form Pere Ubu were part of a fertile rock scene that also produced 15-60-75, The Mirrors, The Electric Eels, Rocket From The Tombs, Tin Huey, and Devo.
The group’s first album, The Modern Dance (1978) was a startling work that influenced an entire generation of bands. Its follow-up, Dub Housing (1978), was the masterpiece, “an incomparable work of American genius.” Pere Ubu toured Europe extensively in 1978, supported by the likes of The Pop Group, Nico, Human League, The Soft Boys and Red Crayola. Late in 1979 Tom Herman left and was replaced by Mayo Thompson, the guitarist from 60s Texas psychedelic-rock legends The Red Krayola. The Art Of Walking (1980) followed, a challenging stew of inside-out song structures. Anton Fier (The Feelies, Peter Laughner’s Friction, The Golden Palominos) replaced Scott Krauss in the middle of 1981 and recorded Song Of The Bailing Man (1982). At the end of an American tour in December 1981, and after months of growing friction between two members of the group, the band ceased to exist as a functioning unit.
In 1981, Thomas recorded the first of two albums with British folk-rock guitarist Richard Thompson. Three more solo albums featured members of the dormant Ubu. The last of these, 1987’s Ubu-like Blame The Messenger (by David Thomas and the Wooden Birds), led to the reanimation of the Pere Ubu projex. The line-up had been Thomas, Allen Ravenstine, Tony Maimone, Chris Cutler and Jim Jones. Jones was a stalwart on the Cleveland scene and a member of nearly every good band to come from it, at one time or another. Cutler, drummer in English prog-rock outfits Henry Cow and Art Bears, was an early advocate of Ubu and subsequently became a friend of the band. At a Wooden Birds appearance in Cleveland, Krauss sat in with the band. The two drummers line-up sounded good. Later, at the beginning of a European tour, in the lobby of a hotel in Ijmuiden, Holland, Pere Ubu was reactivated. Krauss was asked to join as a second drummer. The clattering Tenement Year, recorded for a British label (Fontana) headed by Ubu fanatic Dave Bates, followed in March 1988.
Teamed with another Ubu fan, producer Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order, etc.), Ubu shifted gears for 1989’s Cloudland, an epic journey across the landscape of America. Tired of touring and the grind of it all, Ravenstine retired to take up a career as an airline pilot for Northwest Airlines. He was replaced by Eric Drew Feldman (Captain Beefheart, Snakefinger) who appeared on Stereo Review’s Record of The Year, Worlds In Collision (1991), produced by Gil Norton (The Pixies). Cutler, unable to juggle all the demands of his many musical projects, had to leave. The Pixies invited Ubu to support them on an extensive tour of America in 1991. Feldman, subsequently, joined The Pixies as a sideman and worked on Frank Black’s solo projects. When Feldman was unable to record with Ubu because of these commitments the band decided to record what would be the last Fontana album, Story Of My Life (1993), as a four-piece.
Garo Yellin, playing an electrified cello, and veteran of The Ordinaires and several of Thomas’ solo projects, was recruited to fill the “synthesizer” slot. They Might Be Giants invited Ubu to support them on a tour of America in 1993. Subsequently, Maimone left to work in the They Might Be Giants band. He was replaced by Michele Temple who had previously replaced him in the Jones/Krauss 80s side project, Home & Garden.
In January 1994, again without a major label, the band recorded demos for a projected album, Songs From The Lost LP, intended to be a tribute to Smile. Krauss left… again. Yellin, busy with his quartet in NYC, was replaced by Robert Wheeler, organic farmer, Ravenstine-protegé, and president of the Thomas Alva Edison Birthplace Foundation. Thomas announced that he was now ready to become the producer for Pere Ubu and that was what he was going to do. Raygun Suitcase (1995), awarded CD Review’s Editors’ Choice Award, was recorded to a click track in the hope that Krauss would change his mind. When he didn’t, Scott Benedict, the drummer in Temple’s group, The Vivians, came in over a weekend, the last weekend of production, and recorded all the drum parts in one of the most magnificent displays of studio-craft the band had ever experienced. The next week he retired to take up landscape gardening. Steve Mehlman, Benedict’s replacement in The Vivians, replaced him in Ubu.
In August 1995 Jones retired from the road for health reasons. Herman rejoined the group for the Raygun Suitcase tours, and together with Jim Jones recorded Pennsylvania (1998), a highly acclaimed album nominated by one of America’s preeminent rock critics, Greil Marcus, as the best of 1998. In 1999 the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame promoted a special event, “55 Years of Pain,” honoring Pere Ubu and the grand-daddies of the Cleveland scene, 15-60-75. The event was repeated at the Royal Festival Hall in London later in the year, and at the “Fall of The Magnetic Empire Festival,” curated by Thomas and staged at New York City’s Knitting Factory, and during which Wayne Kramer of the MC5 joined the group as guitarist for one show.
The release of St Arkansas (2006) was celebrated by The Mighty Road Tour. A “splinter” group within the band, referred to as The Pere Ubu Film Group, premiered a live underscore to a rare 3-D screening of Ray Bradbury’s “It Came From Outer Space” at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in October 2002. A highly successful 6-date tour of the underscore in the United Kingdom followed in November 2004. The group premiered its underscore to Roger Corman’s “X, the Man With X-Ray Eyes” at ‘Celebrate Brooklyn’ (New York City) in 2004.
After a decade of perfecting a “hyper-naturalistic” recording method (junk-o-phonics), Thomas produced Why I Hate Women (2006). It was recorded, for the most part, without the use of ‘professional’ microphones. Instead an array of ‘junk-o-phones’ designed by long-time engineer Paul Hamann were used. These included an array of speakers salvaged from broken devices, wooden boxes, metal horns, panes of glass, even doors, wired into specialized electronics.
The band’s most ambitious project, which would culminate in the release of “Long Live Père Ubu!” (2009), began in July 2007. It was an adaptation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, recorded, again, using junk-o-phonics in such a way that the acoustic quality of the sound itself becomes a narrative voice. A theatrical production, Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi, and a radio play of the theatrical production became part of the project. British singer Sarah Jane Morris joined the group for the project. Cult filmmakers, The Brothers Quay, created animations for the theatrical production. On April 24 and 25, 2008, “Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi” premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, and was subsequently staged in its full theatrical state at the Animator Festival in Poznan, Poland, July 11 2009, and at the Festival Scènes d’Europe in Reims, France, on Dec. 16 2009. A concert version called “Long Live Père” toured in Europe and the USA.
Lady From Shanghai (2013) marked the fulfillment of a twenty year project working out the Chinese Whispers methodology. A book of the same name, written by David Thomas, accompanied the release. (It was his second book; the first was called The Book of Hieroglyphs.) In July of 2013, an underscore to the 60s cult film ‘Carnival of Souls’ was premiered at the East End Film Festival in London. Songs and musical pieces written for the underscore were developed over the course of a tour of the United Kingdom, Italy, Croatia and Ireland, in November 2013, undertaken by a ‘shock troops’ version of the band. Each night ideas were improvised from scratch. The album Carnival of Souls (release date September 8 2014) resulted. Clarinetist Darryl Boon had contributed to a couple songs on ‘Lady From Shanghai.’ Over the course of the making of ‘Carnival of Souls’ he was fully integrated into the group.
In 2014, Pere Ubu renounced its ‘US citizenship’ and applied for creative asylum in Leeds, England, after a cabal of the American Federation of Musicians and a clique of government clerks in a small town in Vermont determined that Pere Ubu was unworthy of being granted permission to perform in America.
“By 1978 they had achieved what no other group would even attempt, before or since, they had become the world’s only expressionist Rock‘n’Roll band, harnessing a range of rock and musique concrete elements together in a sound which drew its power from, and worked on, levels of consciousness previously untouched by popular music. The music Ubu made in 1978 was heart and soul, body and mind, in one.”Andy Gill – NME
What’s Your Rupture’s latest signee Savoy Motel are a Nashville pedigree of power-pop, garage and punk (Members previously of Cheap Time and Heavy Cream).
Young musicians come to Nashville to chicken-pick and twang. They come to sing about trucks, girls and girls in trucks.
Not so with Future Thieves. They came to rock.
You hear it in the first seconds of the first track of their first album. Horizon Line, available now on all major digital media, kicks off with a punchy drum intro. Then the band comes in: a quiet verse with urgent lead vocals, crashing guitar chords and thundering bass licks power into the chorus and then it ends suddenly, leaving listeners exhilarated and hungry for more.
That first track, “Rosie,” is just the beginning. Throughout Horizon Line, lead singer/rhythm guitarist Elliot Collett, lead guitarist Austin McCool, bassist Nick Goss and drummer Gianni Gibson lay down a sound so compelling that you’d think they’ve been hammering it together for a decade on the road.
In fact, Future Thieves is just a little over two years old. Yet in that brief time, they’ve stirred up plenty of attention from fans throughout Music City and then beyond the city limits, onstage at Bonnaroo and Summerfest and back home for Live On The Green, on tours with the Black Cadillacs and 10 Years and at venues in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta and throughout their expanding territory.
They’ve also garnered press raves any band would kill for. Read what No Country For New Nashville had to say about one of their local shows: “They oozed charisma from the start. … Halfway through their set, a buzz could be felt in the air, like we were all at a legitimate big-time rock show, with national touring headliners. … They were pulling people in off the street in droves. Tourists, locals, vagrants, all bobbing their heads to the beat. … The band was dripping in sweat, giving it their all and rocking so f**cking hard it was easy to forget that we were just a stone’s throw away from country cover honky-tonks.”
Similar accolades have greeted the release of Horizon Line, with Rory Brown of Brown Town Productions noting, “This record is jam-packed with energy, rock and well thought-out songs that draw your ears in immediately and never let go until the last note of the last track.”
All of which leads to some fundamental questions: How did Future Thieves get it together and hit their high peak of excellence so quickly?
It comes down to the four guys involved. Austin and Nick grew up as friends in Evansville, Indiana, and went to Purdue University together. Four years ago, after graduation, Austin moved with his band at the time to Nashville; Nick followed after a while, ostensibly for music industry studies at Belmont University but inevitably to start a new band with his buddy. Meanwhile, Elliot made his own say to town with his band from Kentucky, got to know Austin and Nick and joined their search for a perfect drummer. They found him in Gianni, whose journey began in his hometown of Los Angeles and continued with traveling to the East Coast with a band. He eventually spent time in London before deciding to check out what was going on in Nashville.
They began by learning some songs that Elliot had written while spending a few months in L.A. “Then,” Nick recalls, “about two weeks into it, we decided to start jamming out some new stuff. About a month later, we had enough songs to play a 30-minute set at The Basement.”
Before getting to that debut gig at one of Nashville’s most respected showcase venues, pause to consider how Future Thieves create new material. “We’ve always had a collaborative process, without discussing much in advance,” Nick says. “It just kind of happens. Except for ‘Liar’ and ‘Joel’s Song,’ which Elliot had written before we got together, everything on Horizon Line began with all of us in the same room. Austin might have a guitar riff or Elliot will have a chord progression or Gianni and I will have an idea for a groove. Then it gets hashed out instrumentally, with Elliot fitting lyrics to match the feeling of the song. We get instant feedback into how it’s going to sound when we play it live.”
In other words, right from the start, the music of Future Thieves is based on the excitement of real-time, live action; performance is embedded into their writing. This explains much of why they rocked The Basement at their first show.
But there’s more to their sound than that. Each member of Future Thieves plays a distinctive part in defining the feel and personality of the band. “Gianni brings chops and execution and amazing talent to not only match the song but throw something interesting into it,” Nick says. “Austin has listened to a lot of bands — Brand New, Delta Spirit, Local Natives — that build up their sound with minimal but huge guitar parts and lots of effects. Whatever he plays, it’s always unique. And obviously, Elliot has a very impressive set of pipes; he’s sung everything from country to folk to Ryan Adams as he was growing up. And his singer/songwriter mentality is essential to what we’re doing.”
(As for his own contribution, Nick is a bit modest, suggesting “I try to keep it creative.” Just check out his restless, riff-driven work on “On Fire,” “The Floor” and pretty much every other track on Horizon Line and draw your own conclusions.)
Most of Horizon Line was cut in the band’s basement studio, with Elliot, Austin and Nick playing live as Gianni laid down the drum tracks and then layering their final parts afterwards. With performance being the seed of each song, capturing the thrill of their live sets in the studio proved no problem. “We’re always excited to play,” Nick says. “Even if we’re rehearsing down in our studio, even if it’s the third time we’re doing a tune, we’ve got that energy because we know how important it is that we’re doing what we do. I don’t think we’ll ever lose that.”
That’s evident in the thrashing power of “Secret,” in Elliot’s wordless vocal ecstasies at the peak moments of “Liar” and the magical “Golden State,” the title track’s aching romanticism and the crescendo from delicate intimacy to deep, keening emotion on “Joel’s Song,” with Leah Blevins’s guest harmony adding to the urgency conveyed by Elliot’s vocal.
As for the band’s horizons, Nick can only marvel at their ride over these few brief years. “Honestly, it’s been incredible, almost like a snowball effect,” he says. “We’ve always wanted to be known as a pretty straightforward rock band. There’s not any fluff to what we do. We’re really just an old-school rock band from Nashville.”
Again, Nick’s modesty is becoming. But the truth is, with major festival dates already behind them, a killer album in their pocket and the likelihood of even broader acclaim just around the corner, for Future Thieves the horizon line has no limits at all.
Wheeler Brothers have announced their first round of U.S. tour dates for the new year! The Austin, Texas quartet will kick off their 2014 concert run later this month in Texas, followed by a hometown series of shows during the SXSW Music Festival in March. The band will then hit the road with Provo, Utah’s roots rockers Desert Noises before embarking on the Great Northwest Music Tour in April with Austin local Graham Wilkinson to join as a special guest. Fresh off a wildly successful, break out year that saw the Wheeler Brothers release their new critically-acclaimed album Gold Boots Glitter (Bismeaux Records), the band tirelessly toured performing on featured slots at major summer festivals including the historic Newport Folk Festival and eclectic three-day music fest Lollapalooza, alongside Forecastle, Austin City Limits, Americana Music, Utopia, SXSW music festivals and more. An updated 2014 tour itinerary is listed below, additional dates to be announced.
Wheeler Brothers have spent their fair share of time on the road, along the way performing with The Avett Brothers, Gary Clark Jr., The Lumineers, Drive-By Truckers, and Houndmouth. The band made their national television debut on Last Call with Carson Daily and received widespread acclaim from tastemakers includingRolling Stone, Paste Magazine, AOL Spinner, The Washington Post, Elmore Magazine, The Austin Chronicle and performed searing live acoustic sessions withDaytrotter [http://bit.ly/1i8kzmm] and American Songwriter [http://bit.ly/1ctib9d], among others.
The rave reviews only continued for this family affair on their second full-length albumGold Boots Glitter saying, “the brothers Wheeler have a knack for gussying up their tunes with rootsy instruments without sticking to the confines of any single genre,” [iTunes]. And have been described as tracing a personal lineage of rock, folk, roots, and blues, “the Austin five-piece melds innovative indie-rock elements with their Americana sound” [Paste]. The bands’ debut album Portraits swept the “Austin Music Awards” at SXSW 2012, garnering five awards. Additionally, their label Bismeaux Records was named “Best Local Label”.
Wheeler Brothers are Nolan Wheeler [vocals, guitar], Patrick Wheeler [drums], Tyler Wheeler [bass], A.J. Molyneaux [guitar, lap steel, back up vocals], and Nathan Rigney [guitar, backup vocals]. Fans can contact the band while they’re on the road at 512-983-5934.
WHEELER BROTHERS 2014 U.S. TOUR DATES:
DATE VENUE CITY/STATE
February 28 Sam’s Burger Joint San Antonio, TX
March 7 Granada Theater Dallas, TX
March 8 Fitzgerald’s Houston, TX
March 11 SXSW TBA Austin, TX
March 12 SXSW TBA Austin, TX
March 13 SXSW TBA Austin, TX
March 14 SXSW TBA Austin, TX
March 15 SXSW TBA Austin, TX
March 18 Eddie’s Attic Decatur, GA
March 20 The Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall Asheville, NC *
March 22 The Hamilton Washington, DC *
March 23 Rams Head Annapolis, MD *
March 25 Club Café Pittsburgh, PA *
March 27 World Café Live Philadelphia, PA *
March 28 Mercury Lounge New York, NY *
March 29 Great Scott Allston, MA *
April 1 Beachland Tavern Cleveland, OH *
April 3 The Basement Columbus, OH *
April 4 Schubas Tavern Chicago, IL *
April 5 7th Street Entry Minneapolis, MN *
April 8 Missoula Winery Missoula, MT *
April 10 Edgefield Troutdale, OR #
April 11 Sand Trap Gearhart, OR #
April 12 Hotel Oregon McMinnville, OR #
April 14 Lola’s Portland, OR #
April 15 Olympic Club Centralia, WA #
April 16 Old St. Francis Bend, OR #
April 17 Kennedy School Portland, OR #
April 18 Grand Lodge Forest Grove, OR #
April 27 Texas Crawfish Festival Old Town Spring, TX
May 16 The Parish Austin, TX
May 17 The Parish Austin, TX
June 14 Snowmass Mammoth Fest Snowmass Village, CO
June 24 Santa Fe Bandstand Santa Fe, NM
July 26 Pizza Palooza Sylvania, OH
* with Desert Noises as support
# Great Northwest Music Tour with special guest Graham Wilkinson
For more information, visit Wheeler Brothers online at:www.WheelerBrothersMusic.com
Acclaimed musical collective LOST IN THE TREES will be coming to PITTSBURGH, PA on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25 at CLUB CAFE in support of their new album Past Life, which they will release on February 18. The record is the follow up to the group’s widely praised record A Church That That Fits Our Needs which Esquirecalled “a luxuriantly orchestrated remembrance that ping-pongs between introspection and celebration” and The Wall Street Journal hailed as “the best album of 2012.” All Tiny Creatures will be opening the show.
Watch a cinematic preview of Lost In The Trees new album Past Life here:
When Lost In The Trees set out to record Past Life, they knew they needed a break with the past. On previous releases the band’s singer-songwriter Ari Picker utilized an expanded six-member band to render his classical-inflected songs. For the new album, the band was pared to a lean electronic-rock four-piece. The sound of Past Life evidences more than a band pared down; the arrangements are modern, spare, minimal, emphasizing groove and rhythm.
For their latest, the band has also elected to work with an outside producer for the first time. Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Dirty Projectors, Atlas Sound) helped to refine the band’s new minimal aesthetic. The question while making Past Life became, “How much can we strip away?” With an approach that forefronts beats and bass-lines, Vernhes and the band lifted away the orchestral density of previous albums – leaving a more direct framework of soul-inflected guitar lines, throbbing groove, and Picker’s soaring vocal hooks. There is a pop quality, buried but always present in previous efforts, that shines on Past Life; not pop in any trivial, retro sense, but the yearning lilt of a Harry Nilsson or Mark Hollis, that floating melodicism that Relix found so “achingly beautiful.”
For more information: http://www.anti.com/artists/lost-in-the-trees/
24 year-old New York City singer/songwriter Jillette Johnson who released her Wind-up Records debut album, Water in a Whale, on June 25, 2013 has been named by Elle Magazine as one of ten under the radar albums you should have listened to in 2013.
2013 was a break out year for Jillette and 2014 will further her trajectory as she gets ready to release her anthemic single “Torpedo.” She closed 2013 with a performance of the song on Rachael Ray. Jillette has received numerous accolades for her powerhouse vocals, live performances and debut album. She’s “…one of our favorite new artists…” says VH1 who featured “Torpedo” prominently in the season finale of “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”; Jillette performed the song on Big Morning Buzz Live With Carrie Keagan, ABC Family’s “The Vineyard” featured the song as well. Johnson is also a Fuse “Fresh Cuts” artist.
Johnson is an artist that draws you in with her depth and maturity in her songwriting, her soaring vocals and thoughtful lyrics. Each song tells a story. With the bravely vulnerable song “Cameron” Johnson explores the struggle of a transgendered friend. Perez Hilton said of it, “If Sara Bareilles – whom we love – made a gay song, it would be this! So sweet and pop and good!” “When Jillette Johnson sings, you can’t help but to stand up and listen. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter has a voice that fills the room…” said CBS News who featured Johnson in their “In Tune” series. She’s been called “…the best of what Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, and Adele have to offer. Melancholy and powerful, poetic and whimsical, her voice is a powerhouse” by The Daily Front Row, praised by Nylon Magazine “Her VOICE. Jillette can sing and she’s not afraid to let everyone know about it” and hailed by Baeble Music as the #1 artist you won’t want to miss at Bonnaroo exclaiming, “With a voice like Adele and a songwriting style akin to Fiona Apple, it’s easy to see why Jillette Johnson has so many people excited.”
In celebration of Jillette’s poignant song, “True North” fans can go to Jillettejohnson.com beginning today to share their True North with their friends. Earlier today an interactive map launched allowing fans to drop a pin on any location in the world that they identify as their “True North.” Fans can add their location, name and easily share it on Facebook and Twitter.
Jillette wrote all of the songs for Water in a Whale which was produced by Peter Zizzo(Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Vanessa Carlton) and Michael Mangini (David Byrne, Joss Stone). She played Bonnaroo and Firefly last year and has been touring throughout the United States. She recently played three sold out shows in New York City – two at Joe’s Pub and one at City Winery. She will hit the road with Wakey! Wakey! beginningFebruary 28 at Bowery Ballroom in New York.
Tour Dates With Wakey! Wakey!:
Feb 28 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
Mar 04 Brighton Music Hall Allston, MA
Mar 05 The Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, UT (without Wakey! Wakey!)
Mar 06 Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, Canada
Mar 07 Musica Akron, OH
Mar 08 Schuba’s Chicago, IL
Mar 09 The Demo St Louis, MO
Mar 18 Last Exit Live Phoenix, AZ
Mar 19 The Casbah San Diego, CA
Mar 21 The Bootleg Bar Los Angeles, CA
Mar 22 Brick & Mortar Music Hall San Francisco, CA
Mar 24 Barboza Seattle, WA
Mar 25 The Media Lounge Vancouver, Canada
Mar 26 The Doug Fir Portland, OR
Mar 28 Kilby Court Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 29 The Walnut Room Denver, CO
Mar 30 The Slowdown Jr Omaha, NE
Apr 01 7th St. Entry Minneapolis, MN
Apr 02 The Frequency Madison, WI
Apr 03 Radio Radio Indianapolis, IN
Apr 04 The Rumba Columbus, OH
Apr 05 Club Café Pittsburgh, PA
# # #
Keep an ear out for Sol Cat
Written by: Valerie Wallach
Have you ever stumbled upon a band so sensational that you just have to rant about it and listen to their album on repeat? Sol Cat achieves this effect.
An up-and-coming, six-piece band all the way from Nashville, Tennessee, Sol Cat stunned the audience at Club Café in Southside on Wednesday night. They opened with a new song which manifested the band’s swirly, melty, psychedelic style. Jeremy Clark on the synthesizer added a whimsical layer while Ryan Usher kept a steady backbeat on the drums, and Brett Hammann’s deep, sultry voice seemed to meld into the instrumentals perfectly. The bouncy bass part played by Aaron Martin was light and infectious, while Johnny Fisher transported us to a far-off island on the wings of his guitar. Jaan Cohan, the lead guitarist, also demonstrated impressive, face-melting abilities – always well-timed and ringing out crisply. With each musician playing a key role and cooperating nicely, Sol Cat proved that they can make the most of their size. During the third song, “Earth Queen,” Cohan switched from the guitar to the keyboard, and Clark incorporated various spaceship-like sounds on the synth which produced an out of this world quality. Not a single person at the bar, or on the stage, could keep from bouncing and swaying their bodies to the music. The small, mixed crowd – representing college-aged kids and older folks alike – was patently entranced by the band’s performance. “What’s Wrong with What?” and “Ups & Downs” kept the good vibrations going. “Let It Slide” represented Sol Cat’s beachy side, with the clam-shell noises and slow, breezy synth sounds creating a tropical escape.
Before diving headstrong into “Dirty Glasses,” singer Brett Hammann noted, “We’re happy to be here with the Pittsburghians… Pittsburgers?” which gave everyone a good laugh, and the song that followed brought the whole house down. Ending the show with two unreleased, untitled songs, Sol Cat showed off spotless vocals, a perfectly-timed drumbeat, and haunting guitar pieces. The intense, spooky sound was enhanced by an organ-like synth part and a deep, gravely bass that reflected the band’s eclectic style. It became clear that – as great as their recordings sound – Sol Cat must be heard live. People began chanting for “twenty more songs!” as the band quickly complied and performed “Pedro” for a dreamy, well-constructed encore that wrapped up everything flawlessly.
Unfortunately, the band is heading back down south, but I can guarantee we will be hearing much more from Sol Cat as they plan to record another album in the near future, so, keep an ear out!
Getting to know Sol Cat
An interview by: Valerie Wallach
Q: How did you all become involved in music initially?
A: “We kind of, uhh, I guess everybody was involved in other projects in Nashville for a while. We all grew up playing a little bit, but I didn’t really start writing tunes until Sol Cat came about. Eventually, we scooped up everybody; Johnny and I were trying to start something, and it took us a few rounds of people to figure out who was actually going to stick around. We stole Ryan from a band; we stole Aaron from his art; and we stole Jaan from Jaan – his other goals in life. (laughter)” – Brett Hammann
Q: How did your debut in Nashville, Tennessee – “Music City” – affect the formation of your band?
A: “You see a lot of shows… People are constantly playing music, so being in that atmosphere keeps us on top of it. You can’t help but write all of the time because any second you’re not, your friends are, so it’s like they’re leaving you behind in some respects. So, as far as Nashville goes, it definitely molded us into a more productive band. I can’t speak for the sound as much, but it definitely made it like a machine.” – Aaron Martin
Q: Who are your main musical influences? What inspires you?
A: “Well, on our Facebook page we have the video of a drunk James Brown on the news, and that’s pretty much it. Most if not all of our inspiration comes from those three minutes of James Brown yelling at the newscaster. But, musically, it’s pretty across the board; Jeremy plays keyboards or synths, and I’d say he’s largely responsible – at least for myself – getting more into wider ranges of music as far as electronic and hip hop goes. Aaron is kind of the psych king, so if we’re looking for new rock and roll kind of stuff, Aaron usually has a good ear for that. And umm, Jaan hates music.” – Brett Hammann
“I can’t stand it.” – Jaan Cohan
“We’re learning how to deal with that. So, musically, it’s definitely a wide range, and it definitely comes across in our tunes. We pull from a lot of different genres to create our Sol Cat.” – Brett
“Sometimes we go from words. This month’s word is ‘spooky.’ Last month was ‘space.’” – Aaron
Q: What was recording your first record like?
A: “I guess we did the record which came out in February of this year, and we tracked that out at the end of last summer. We did everything for that at our house, and Jeremy kind of engineered and mixed everything. So, the recording process is always really fun for us; we’ve always had a blast. We went out of house for the first time with this EP and still had a blast. We took our fog machine… I feel like most of the time we have a pretty good idea of what we’re trying to get done; we don’t really do much writing in the studio, per say. If we’re gonna be recording a song it’s probably one we’ve been playing for a while and everybody feels really comfortable with it. So, it’s been really smooth.”
Q: Would you consider doing any covers?
A: “Yeah. We’ve always tried to figure out one. We have a bunch recorded; we’ve got a Laid Back cover recorded, Ricky Martin ‘Livin La Vida Loca,’ and ‘Ain’t Nobody Gonna Break my Stride’ by Matthew Wilder. They’ve all turned out kind of goofy. We just did one with a band called Kansas Bible Company – ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ by Lou Reed – as a Lou Reed tribute. We’re going to record that one soon.”
Q: If you had one message that you would like to project to your audience, what would it be?
A: “On a serious level, I think a lot of people have something that they really want to do, and, for some reason, ‘the man’ is telling them that they shouldn’t do it. So, I’d say, you gotta stick it to the man. We’ve got a serious case of stick-it-to-the-maniosis. I think everybody could have a little bit more of that.”
Q: What are your upcoming goals for the band?
A: “We’re gonna be off the road for a little while; December, January, and February we’re probably gonna lay really low. Not that we’ve done a crazy amount of touring, but since August we’ve been out almost every weekend doing the extended weekend warrior thing, so it’s the most we’ve ever done. But we’re going to be writing a bunch; we have about fifteen songs right now for a new record, and we’re hoping to have close to double to that by the time we actually sit down and start picking and choosing. I don’t know if that will come out in 2014; we don’t have too rigorous of a deadline. So we’re going to take the next few months to hone in on that. I think we’ve always been happy with the stuff we’ve put out, but we’re just trying to step it up a little bit personally.”
Following the successful release of their live debut album in May 2013, folk rock ensemble, The Mike Medved Band, returns to Club Cafe for a Christmas show on December 21st, 2013. This year’s holiday event benefits The Salvation Army & WTAE’s Project Bundle-Up; a local charity dedicated to helping needy senior citizens and children purchase new winter outerwear in Western Pennsylvania.
A year marked by numerous ‘firsts’ – 2013 saw The Mike Medved Band not only release their debut EP to local acclaim, but also receive radio airplay on WDVE, as well as a live in-studio performance on the WDVE Coffeehouse segment. The band’s front man and songwriter, Mike Medved, also embarked on a solo tour across the UK over the summer.
As the year comes to a close, the band is preparing to record their debut full-length studio album, but not before they give back to the city that has nurtured their growth and supported their music. Recently, Mike Medved recorded his heartfelt sentiments for the city that he calls home and his thoughts on the music scene here in Pittsburgh, http://youtu.be/D-Yj-gYZNe0.
“We really caught the charity bug last year when we played a Project Bundle-Up benefit concert amongst other Pittsburgh musicians at Stage AE. Since then, we have also performed for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the American Cancer Society,” said Medved. “The local music scene is a great place to promote selfless acts of kindness, and as a band we enjoy giving back to the community.”
The event will feature tracks from the band’s debut EP as well as an array of classic holiday music. Throughout the evening, guest musicians will be joining the Mike Medved Band onstage to lend their instrumentation to the Christmas melodies. All proceeds from the event will benefit Project Bundle-Up and the band’s first studio album.
The Mike Medved Band will be returning to the stage at Club Cafe on Saturday, December 21st at 10 p.m. Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchased at http://tktwb.tw/18sWanW.
For further information regarding The Mike Medved Band, please visit the band’s website at www.mikemedvedmusic.com or on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mikemedvedmusic. You can also find live performances of the band on their Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/mikemedvedmusic.
Less than a month after releasing his new project, BIG BIG WORLD, acclaimed songwriter Scott Miller will perform at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh on Thursday, November 7 at 9:00 p.m. Miller will be accompanied by Rayna Gellert on fiddle, who also graces the recording, as well as Bryn Davies.
Miller, who the Austin Chronicle described as “One of Virginia’s best exports,” with “Southern tales that are both sharply satirical and vividly told,” is supporting this new album with a series of fall/winter tour dates (including several with Patty Griffin) throughout the U.S.
Miller’s new album, BIG BIG WORLD, was recorded, mixed and produced by Doug Lancio, with Lancio and Miller playing the parts of what would normally have been Miller’s backing band, The Commonwealth. Miller and Lancio met back in 2007 when Scott opened for Patty Griffin while Doug was bandleader and playing guitar for Griffin.
Miller first came to national attention with the V-Roys, the roots-rock band signed to E-Squared, an indie label founded by the late Jack Emerson and Steve Earle. After several critically acclaimed albums with the V-Roys, Miller signed as a solo artist with Sugar Hill Records, recording three studio albums and a live record with The Commonwealth. BIG BIG WORLD is the third release on Miller’s record label F.A.Y. Recordings.
Ever since Steve Earle declared Miller a “world class” songwriter, Miller has been known as a writer’s writer. Even on the next four albums Miller recorded and released on Sugar Hill Records from 2001 to 2008, Miller’s songwriting remained genuinely thoughtful, for the most part regional and history based– but always cloaked in what one New York Times reviewer called an “epic vernacular.” In other words, he wrote big.
The last two years have seen big changes for the malapert Miller. “Like many with elderly parents I heard the call: Now is the time for all sons to return to the land of their raising, smother their parents with a pillow and collect their social security,” Miller deadpanned. Moving home to take over the family cattle farm and establishing a new base from which to tour in Staunton, VA – all while embracing a new life of sobriety – has been challenging and time consuming. “Most of my touring the last couple of years has been in spurts, not like I used to do. I can’t leave my cows for that long. I need their guidance.”
“Scott Miller tells stories better than most novelists. His intuitive lyrics hide universal heartbreak behind humor. His empathy is unsurpassed. He bestows dignity on dirt, elevates our pettiest concerns to poetry. He makes himself an everyman when he is anything but. A single listen reveals how Miller is exceptional, with a delivery so piercing and true you hardly notice how thoroughly you’ve been shot through. See him sing live once, and you’ll never feel lonely again.”
– Allison Glock, Garden and Gun
ARTIST: Scott Miller
VENUE: Club Cafe, 56 S. 12th St., Pittsburgh, PA 15203
DATE: Thursday, November 7, 2013
TIME: 9:00 p.m.
ADMISSION: $10, $12 door
Venue URL: www.clubcafelive.com/
ARTIST URL: www.thescottmiller.com
Wednesday, November 20th | 7PM | $8
The psychedelic groove-rock 6-piece Sol Cat are kicking off the Fall announcing the release of their latest EP Welcome to Cowabunga – just released on October 1st. This EP is a follow-up to the band’s self-titled LP, which released earlier this year and debuted at #142 on the CMJ Charts. The album landed the band featured Official showcases at SXSW and at the upcoming CMJ Music Marathon. Sol Cat also announces today they will hit the road this Fall to support the new EP with dates spanning from New Orleans to Cincinnati to New York City. For more on the EP and the tour, visit: www.solcatmusic.com
Before landing in Nashville, Sol Cat’s members spent their time across the country, from Miami to Los Angeles, New York City to the Gulf of Mexico. Musical influences span just as wide, yet an eclectic and oceanic resonance remains prevalent in their sound. With George McCrae-inspired grooves, semi-psych synth layers, bouncy bass and slick guitar riffs reminiscent of The Talking Heads, it’s no wonder Sol Cat was just named The Nashville Deli’s Artist of the Month. The band puts on an energized, electric live show that The Deli explains, “brings out the best dance-rock music that will get your bodies moving.”
With such a range of cultural and artistic influences, Sol Cat’s creative process is equally interesting. Brett Hammann (lead vocals/songwriter) steers the musical direction of the band while Johnny Fisher (guitar) leads the group into new and uncharted territory. Ryan Usher (drums) provides the rhythmic backbone for Aaron Martin (bass), who also acts as Sol Cat’s Art Director. Jaan Cohan (lead guitar) brings catchy licks and skills to melt any face, leaving Jeremy Clark(keyboard/studio engineer) to play intuitively as the music essentially produces itself.
To best explain Sol Cat, think of a midnight drive somewhere warm, certainly the top is down, and yes, a beauty is in the passenger seat. The six-piece band suggests that you can take this foggy, dreamlike scenario with you wherever you go.
Music Video for “Sea of Light”: http://y2u.be/3YqhgxGC_n4
Check out more on Sol Cat here:
Fall Tour Dates:
Nov 5 – Auburn, AL @ War Eagle Supper Club
Nov 7 – Birmingham, AL @ Avondale Brewing Company
Nov 8 – Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
Nov 10 – New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar
Nov 14 – Saint Louis, MO @ The Gramophone Details
Nov 15 – Bowling Green, KY @ Tidballs
Nov 16 – Knoxville, TN @ The Bowery w/ The Weeks
Nov 19 – Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlie’s
Nov 20 – PIttsburgh, PA @ Club Café
Nov 22 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
Nov 23 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
” …[BEACH] can throw down like the devil in Georgia.” – Under The Radar
BEACH is the indie-electro rock project fronted by the artist also known as Bitch. She recently released her new album In Us We Trust via her own Short Story Records to critical acclaim from the likes of Ladygunn, MAGNET & VIBE. From its opening track, In Us We Trust beams the bold attitude listeners can expect from the woman who, among other things, learned how to fiddle from Andrew Bird and has worked with Kill Rock Stars. “My lady parts all kicking in the dark,” she sings, to introduce her new project BEACH.
To celebrate the album’s release, BEACH will take to the road on a full US tour this fall, including stops in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia & more! Today, she unveils the strikingly colorful video to accompany the title track, shot in Brooklyn. The “In Us We Trust” video premiered with Time Out NY, and is available HERE.
Produced in Brooklyn with Roger Paul Mason, the album marks a notable shift in sound for the artist who was born Karen Mould. “BEACH is a place where everything shifts,” she says. “This album was such a sonic shift for me, I wanted to mark that.”
In Us We Trust fuses electronic beats and poppy production. Bitch was writing with her live show, BEACH, in mind, calling on the powers of humans gathering in real spaces and not just the Internet. After having some ‘digitally-caused’ misunderstandings with some of her public, she says, “I wanted to write songs that would let me wield my electric violin like a super-hero’s sword.” And in an homage to Judy Blume’s Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, she sings, “There’s a Sister-hood/ That isn’t all cutting and biting/ There’s a Mister-hood/ That’s more than war and fighting/ But we must, we must, we must increase our trust.”
BEACH US Tour Dates
10/17: Chicago, IL @ The Hide Out w/ The Shondes
10/23: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
10/24: Buffalo, NY @ Ninth Ward
10/25: Rosendale, NY @ Rosendale Cafe
10/26: Maplewood, NJ @ Burgdorff Center for the Arts
10/27: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory*
10/28: Cambridge, MA @ Club Passim*
10/29: Vienna, VA @ Jammin’ Java*
10/30: Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live*
11/1: Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
11/2: Indianapolis, IN @ Metro Nightclub
11/3: Columbus, OH @ The Woodlands Tavern
11/7: Minneapolis, MN @ Aster Café
* w/ Our Lady J
American Babies on tour to support new studio album Knives & Teeth
“Multiple listens prove this to be one of the better rock records of the year.” – Relix
Stream American Babies’ “Old Fashioned” https://soundcloud.com/calabro-music-media/03-old-fashioned-wav
w/ Derek Woodz Band
American Babies are on tour to support their new studio albumKnives & Teeth. They stop at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh, PA on Wednesday, October 23rd for a headline performance.
At some point in every man’s life, he looks in the mirror and is surprised by what he sees. For Tom Hamilton that day is today and the questions are being asked on Knives & Teeth, the powerful new album he’s recorded with his band, American Babies. The 10 songs on the album range from uplifting to heartbreaking as Hamilton considers the secrets of childhood, the impending doubts of adulthood and the weight of strained friendships, all set to a soundtrack with the brashness of The Replacements, the sonic intensity of David Bowie and the acoustic majesty of Led Zeppelin. When asked to describe his new record, Knives & Teeth, Hamilton’s answer is short and compact but, like his lyrics, is loaded with deeper meaning: “It’s a 40-minute existential breakdown.”
Hamilton is best known as one of the founding members of the highly successful electro-rock band, Brothers Past, an endeavor that infused the song structures of The Grateful Dead into the experimental music of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher (a sort of “Pink Floyd with laptops,” as Hamilton calls it). When the strictures of band life became creatively stifling, Hamilton decided in 2007 to form American Babies.
56 S 12th St
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Wednesday, October 23rd
We here at Static Jacks believe every new album should feel like a fresh start; A time for painting the walls a different color, or maybe just knocking holes in them… Maybe seeing if there’s anything cool stashed away in there, like stacks of money or whatever. “It’s all about the benjamins” – Puff Daddy (1997). With that in mind, we would like to introduce to you our sophomore long player, In Blue.
In the midst of extensive touring in support of our first album (If You’re Young, 2011) and followup EP (Spray Tan, 2012), we began to feel a transformation taking place. Without necessarily doing it consciously, we seemed to stop putting on quite so many Buzzcocks and Replacements songs in the van, and started putting on the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, and Christian Death. Unfortunately they sounded like shit because the van speakers are garbage (we also started listening to more Garbage), and at 65 mph the very frame of the vehicle produces a constant tone that the tuning apps on our phones approximate to be a high C#.
Upon returning from tour and beginning to write more material, the harshly fuzzed and often-creepy soundscapes created by these bands, further distorted by our sub-standard listening environment, began to creep into our consciousness. One of the early products of this was lead-off single “Wallflowers”. The energy of the first album and the tones of the second are wedded perfectly, forever and ever, never to be divorced, unlike the parents of ~ 50% of people reading this. And the man responsible for officiating that wedding is none other than Andrew Maury.
Having collaborated on various projects over the years, we decided Andrew Maury was, without a doubt, the man for the job. He just seemed to “get it”. We’d be all, “but do you, like, get it?”, and he’d be all “yeah you guys, I get it.” So as you can see, it was a no-brainer. His years of experience as both a producer and touring front of house mixer (Ra Ra Riot, Givers, RAC, Princeton, Mathieu Santos, Chairlift, Surfer Blood) have developed the skills and imagination required to bring our musical dreams to life, and manipulate them like so many little puppets.
And so we dug in. Making the short daily commute to Retromedia Studios in Red Bank NJ, we explored new territory with the wide-eyed wonder and curiosity of children. Tracking songs, deleting them and starting over, lifting from homemade demos, experimenting with the plethora of strange instruments at our disposal (pi-a-no?), were all crucial stepping stones along the path to completion.
In the end, we decided that we just want to watch the audience slowly headbang and lose their hearing. We believe In Blue offers us just that opportunity. It’s a record about not reaching one’s potential. It’s a record about doubting whether there even was any potential in the first place. It’s a record about buying another fuzz pedal and starting over.
09.26 – Subterranean – Chicago, IL
09.27 – Frankie’s Inner City – Toledo, OH
09.28 – Double Happiness – Columbus, OH
09.29 – Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA
10.02 – DC9 – Washington, DC
|Click Here To Pre-Order ‘In Blue’ LP (Physical)
09.22 – Philadelphia, PA – North Star Bar
‘In Blue’ LP Tracklisting
01 Horror Story
Forcing the oft-clashing worlds of art and rock-and-roll to make nice, J. Roddy Walston & The Business (including guitarist/vocalist Billy Gordon, bassist/vocalist Logan Davis, and drummer Steve Colmus) deal in a scrappy yet sublime sound that honors both their Southern roots and punk spirit. For the latest example of this, head to the A.V. Club for the debut of their new track “Black Light” from the upcoming album Essential Tremors(out 9/10 via ATO Records). You can also stream the song HERE.
Co-produced by Matt Wignall (Delta Spirit, Cold War Kids) and Grammy-winning producer/engineer Mark Neill (The Black Keys) at Neill’s own Soil of the South Studios (a Valdosta, Georgia-based facility where J. Roddy Walston & The Business were the first to ever record), Essential Tremors is the follow-up to 2010’s much-acclaimed self-titled sophomore album also finds the band crafting lyrics that ultimately serve as a secret language to the initiated listener.
Endlessly shifting from snarling and stompy to warm and soulful—and often encompassing all of the above within the same note―Essential Tremors opens with “Heavy Bells,” a powerhouse lead single that starts out breezy then gives way to a blistering chorus that threatens to rip Walston’s sweetly ragged vocals right open. The album amps up that brutal energy on songs like “Hard Times” (an epic anthem built on a mercilessly driving bassline) and “Sweat Shock” (a track that comes off like dance-floor war cry for Native American metalheads), while “Marigold” keeps it blissfully catchy and “Black Light” offers a glammed-up bedroom boogie that could be the soundtrack to a metaphysical seduction scene. Even when turning tender (such as on the heart-on-sleeve serenade “Boys Can Never Tell,” the harmony-soaked “Nobody Knows,” and the album-closing stunner “Midnight Cry”), Essential Tremors burns with a raw passion that’s nothing short of glorious. To see the new album live in person, check out the band’s upcoming US tour dates below.
9/5/13-Cleveland, OH-Beachland Ballroom and Tavern
9/7/13-St Louis, MO-Loufest
9/9/13-Minneapolis, MN-7th Street Entry
9/10/13-Milwaukee, WI-Club Garibaldi’s
9/11/13-Madison, WI-High Noon Saloon
9/12/13-Chicago, IL-Double Door
9/14/13-Cincinnati, OH- PNC Pavilion at Riverbend
9.20/13- Baltimore, MD- Rams Head Live
9/24/13- Pittsburgh, PA- Club Cafe
9/25/13-Louisville, KY- Waterfront Park
9/28/13- Kansas City, MO- Czar Bar
9/30/13-Denver, CO- Hi-Dive
10/1/13- Salt Lake City, UT- The State Room
10/3/13- Portland, OR- Mississippi Studios
10/5/13- Vancouver, BC, Canada- Biltmore Cabaret
10/7/13- Seattle, WA- Tractor Tavern
10/10/13- San Francisco, CA- The Independent
10/11/13- Los Angeles, CA- Troubadour
10/12/12- San Luis Obispo, CA- SLO Brewing Company
10/13/13- San Diego, CA- Soda Bar
10/15/13- Phoenix, AZ- Crescent Ballroom
10/18/13- Austin, TX- Stubbs Jr.
10/19/13- Dallas, TX, INDEX Festival
10/21/13- New Orleans, LA- One Eyed Jacks
10/23/13-Birmingham, AL- Bottle Tree
10/24/13- Atlanta, GA- Terminal West
10/25/13- Athens, GA- Georgia Theatre
10/26/13- Nashville, TN- Exit In
10/28/13- Charleston, SC- The Pour House
10/29/13-Raleigh, NC- Kings Barcade
10/31/13- Richmond, VA- Strange Matter
11/2/13- New York, NY- Bowery Ballroom
11/4/13- Boston, MA- Great Scott’s
11/6/13- Philadelphia, PA- Theatre of the Living Arts
11/7/13- Washington, DC- 9:30 Club
When did the musical entertainer die? I would opine that, at least within indie-rock circles, it was the rise of “shoe-gaze.” The name alone implies an audience whose focus is shifted away from the act on stage and instead on, you know, their shoes. Pretentious front-men and women have attempted to buck that trend with a heavy dose of noodling guitars, drawn out solos, or worse, lasers and lights. And pop-rock acts like Beyonce and Usher just take their cloths off. Oh sure, they shake their ass pretty well but everyone likes sex, it’s easy to entertain that way. Musical entertainment has gone the way of most of America–just cater to the lowest common denominator and you’ll get your viewers.
There is a voice of one crying out in the wilderness, however. A voice that is imploring our culturally stymied nation to fix our gazes upon the stage once more, one who resists the temptation to overly sexualize the act. That voice belongs to David Mayfield and all praises to him and his band, The Parade.
At Club Cafe on May 8th, The David Mayfield Parade presented their brand of alt-country to a crowd of roughly fifty viewers spanning generations from baby-boomers to X-ers. Touring in support of their recently released Good Man Down, Mr. Mayfield and his Parade showed that good songs are made even better live when the act takes seriously the value of entertainment.
While The David Mayfield Parade’s latest offering brushes past a multiplicity of genres: rock, grunge, industrial, and singer/songwriter to name a few, the bluegrass element which has been at the foundation of Mayfield’s musical exploits since childhood stands firm with pristine, sometimes 4-part harmonies, stand-up bass, and violin rounded out by keys, drums, hand bells, and tambourine.
“The first record I didn’t have a band together. The first record was sort of an AM radio, throwback sound. But I realized that I’m a little rowdier, and a little weirder than that record and so when it came to do Good Man Down I really wanted to bring those elements in. The biggest criticism I get from industry people is that every couple of songs sounds like a new album, and I’m like, is that a bad thing? But in a lot of ways Good Man Down is even more bluegrass than anything I’ve done before.”
Bluegrass has always been an inherently entertaining genre. From Uncle Dave Macon to Steve Martin, the bluegrass musician, for some reason, has always had his or her finger on the pulse of the audience. This tradition is being kept alive and in David Mayfield one can see the influence of generations of past flat pickers, banjo wielders, and fiddle fondlers whose stage personas ring through the halls of musical history.
The act, for David Mayfield, is treated with the utmost respect. His band gathers on stage before him and this allows Mayfield to triumphantly enter demanding the attention of the audience. Weaving his way through his fans, some standing some seated, on his way to the stage invites them to be just as much a part of the show as the performers. Even if the crowd is reluctant to accept such an invitation, David demands it.
“So much of what I do is directly related to engaging the audience. If we see that not happening, it’s really hard to make it happen. We have to wrestle them into submission, and usually, by the end of the night, we succeed.”
A David Mayfield show, while complete with staggeringly good songs, also contains rehearsed jokes such as “Now I would like to take the time to introduce the band.” Which is then followed by David introducing the band…to each other. He also makes it humorously sexy by purposefully dropping his guitar pick and turning around to pick it up, showing off his back-side in the process. Some of these sexy moves he seems to have picked up from a drag queen Bugs Bunny.
David Mayfield as an entertainer is certainly at the top of his game but his musicianship is also of the highest pedigree. Though when one listens to Good Man Down Mayfield’s fluent flat-picking may go unnoticed. The avoidance of showcasing his skills on the record is a deliberate choice by Mayfield, one that allows the rest of his band to fill out the sound.
“We’ve all seen front men who are guitar slingers and sometimes it gets a little pretentious. It’s like, ‘ok, brother, we get you.’ And sometimes in my live shows I’ll parody that. But for the most part I just like surrounding myself with talented people. I like being in an ensemble.”
Such pretentiousness is avoided at all levels by Mayfield. Alt-country vocals are one thing that rarely comes off as genuine. Most attempt a nasally, southern accent that usually comes off as annoying at best, asshole-esque at worst. But David, hailing from Kent, Ohio, avoids the forced southern accent and just sings.
“I made a bluegrass record when I was a lot younger and when I listen to that now I realize that I sound like I’m trying to be from Kentucky. The lack of accent I think comes from playing in Cadillac Sky. We played bluegrass, instrumentally, but with an indie-rock element, which was a shift from my hillbilly roots.”
With such a high respect for the music and the performance The David Mayfield Parade is seeing their audiences almost double in size when a city is revisited. Such a fact is indicative that Americans want to be honestly and wholesomely entertained. And really good songs help too. Long Live The Entertainer!
Steelesque has been making headlines as of late. Their debut ep, Johnny on the Spot, is being release by U.K. label, Tuppence a Bag Records, they’re playing the Three Rivers Arts Festival on June 11th, they’ve garnished praise in the Pittsburgh City Paper, and due to their high energy stage presence complete with genuine gratitude for their audiences they have acquired enough street cred to stand on their name alone.
Steelesque works for a number of reasons, not least of which being the solid, well rehearsed rock songs. But there is something else that the band brings to the stage, something a bit harder to notice, and that is balance. There is certainly a balance in rock persona that is easy to spot (here I list the rock persona by appearance on stage from least rock ‘n’ roll to most: 5. Mark Shearman-Bass; with his Penguins shirt and camo cargo shorts he’s content with laying down a slick bass line and leaving the rock ‘n’ roll looks to Rob. 4. Bobby Bell-Drums; it’s easy to forget that he’s back there behind his wooden fortress. This is high praise for a drummer, he locks in the beat and it becomes so natural attention drifts elsewhere. Only when he throws in a quick fill do you realize just how competent a drummer he is. 3. Scott Hazuda-keys/vocals; his fluent left hand shows a well rounded understanding of the instrument and his harmonies are spot on. 2. Eric James-lead guitar; he never noodles, every note has its place and he never upstages anyone which can’t be said for a majority of lead guitarists. 1. Rob Eldridge-lead vocals/rhythm guitar; so rock ‘n’ roll–from his sunglasses to his trademark fedora he’s the perfect front man. Unapologetic yet unpretentious, sincere and gracious, he’s a magnet for the audience’s attention.)
Appearance, though isn’t the only balance that Steelesque provides. The sound itself is a melting pot of dynamic rhythm, precise harmony, and polyphonic swells. This band clearly believes in what they are doing and trusts each other’s skills. They are a brave band, one moment playing to their strength which is the energized American rock song a la Black Crows/.38 special, the next moment morphing into a dreamy ballad, and even have some hippie shit up their sleeve with drawn out lead guitar solos and punchy, Primus style bass.
There is nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to Steelesque, and yet there is nothing predictable.
Demos Papadimas is a singer-songwriter based in Northeast Ohio and isplaying Club Cafe on June 1st with another Cleveland-based band, The Womack Family Band.
Demos had a successful CD Release show at Club Cafe in February and is a former Pittsburgh resident and Pitt graduate. Since December Papadimas’ band has garnered significant regional attention (see the article below from Scene Magazine’s “13 Bands to Watch in 2013”). They have also performed in many of Cleveland’s best venues including both the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern, The Grog Shop, Brother’s Lounge and The Kent Stage located in Kent, Ohio.
Please visit www.demospapadimas.com for more information.
Scene Magazine’s “13 Bands to Watch in 2013”:
Often compared to Bob Dylan, Papadimas himself cites string bands such as Old Crow Medicine Show and The Hackensaw Boys as major inspirations for their rock and roll approach to traditional music. He also has been inspired by Leonard Cohen’s marriage of American folk and Mediterranean-based World music evident in Cohen’s most recent touring ensembles.
Papadimas considers American roots music to be aesthetically in line with Greek Rembetiko music–the “Greek Blues.” Challenging prevailing attitudes that label such music as archaic or irrelevant, Papadimas argues that both are rebellious expressions of our search for meaning, relevant and vital today. He’s found a kinship with modern twisters of American sounds like Old Crow Medicine Show, who blend foot-stompin’ bluegrass with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude. “They’re expressing what I’m feeling, the whole idea of being young and jumping back into the roots and making something new out of that.”
Discussing his new album, Papadimas states that “[a]lthough the album explores varied musical territory, including back porch Americana, Bob Dylan-esque ballads, Gypsy Tango, and Greek Rembetiko, it is still very much a songwriter’s album. The lyrics certainly take the spotlight, even though there are rich musical arrangements and diverse stylistic twists from track to track. I think this is the best I can summarize my style and the approach.”
Lyrically, this self-described “cynical optimist” infuses glimmers of hope in his often world-weary lyrics. When Papadimas sings, “Somehow I’ve dodged so many evil eyes, that I ain’t got religion is really just a surprise” he shares his sense of bemused wonder. His meditative travelogues are often Guthrie-esque ramblings translated from the Dust Bowl to the Euro-Zone, from freight trains to bullet trains, and are perceptive companions to his rootsy musical approach.
The Womack Family Band:
Since their debut in 2010 The Womack Family Band has captivated audiences all over the eastern U.S. with their spot on three part vocal harmony, tight musicianship, and old soul songwriting. Calling on the spirit of The Beatles, The Band, Paul Simon, and James Taylor, the Womack Family Band combines the vibe of the 60’s – 70’s songwriter with the roots of American folk, blues, jazz, country, and rock music.
The group consists of brother and sister, Noah and Haley Heyman, and long-time friends Cory Webb and Tony Schaffer. All four “Womacks” grew up within 10 miles of one another and all shared the same passion for music. The group began performing in bars together in 2009, playing everything from Simon & Garfunkel and The Beatles to Tom Waits and The Talking Heads. These all night pub sessions would prepare the group for touring 150 dates or more a year and cultivate their eclectic approach to song building.
After releasing their self-titled debut record the WFB was named Folk Alley’s “Featured Artist of the Month”. After a performance on NBC Cleveland the group hit the road with fellow Ohioan, singer/songwriter Chris Castle. In September 2012 the Womack Family Band released their 3rd record and hit the road again for a 40 day, 14 state tour.
Mike Medved, one of Pittsburgh’s burgeoning folk rock musicians, and his band are very pleased to announce the release of their debut album, Live At Club Café, on May 11, 2013. The band’s release will be available to download on iTunes and physical copies will be sold through the artist’s website, www.mikemedvedmusic.com.
Unlike most debut albums, Live At Club Café is just that – live. Each track on the eight-song release was recorded at the popular Pittsburgh music venue in January of 2013, and remained untouched throughout the course of the disc’s mixing and production. For Medved and his band mates, the unconventionality of their debut album speaks volumes about their candid approach to their music.
“We want people to hear us exactly as we are,” says Medved. “The songs on the album are me, as I am – there is no hiding, no fabrication. Releasing an overly produced four-song EP as our debut wouldn’t really do justice to the music that means so much to me.”
Although his talents off the stage have allowed him to pursue other endeavors in sports and education, Medved has always returned to his music for personal growth and inspiration. It is his commitment to music that allows him to continually explore various genres like blues and Americana and infuse those influences with his folk rock roots, while ultimately developing his own distinctive style. This album is a testament to that.
To celebrate the release of Live At Club Café, The Mike Medved Band will be returning to the stage on Saturday, May 11th at 7 p.m. where the album was originally recorded. The evening will begin with support from fellow local performers, Paul Luc and the North County Gentlemen. Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchased at www.ticketweb.com.
For further information regarding The Mike Medved Band, please visit the band’s website at www.mikemedvedmusic.com or on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mikemedvedmusic. Three tracks from the debut album have been made available for streaming at https://soundcloud.com/mikemedvedmusic. A video of “Muscles and Skin” can be viewed here http://youtu.be/2BDvTp5ldfM. Please feel free to contact me to set up an interview with The Mike Medved band or for further information regarding the album or CD release show.
Read a very cool interview by Pittsburgh Post’s Scott Mervis with Reid Paley here.
Demons can be understated. They can be mild-mannered and just ripple some, burn slightly like a heart pain that could have been caused by anything. They can be brushed aside with only the tiniest of thoughts, only to be considered again with the next brief episode, an encounter that could bring the same sort of dismissal. It’s just the pitter-patter of words, of echoes from the past, conversations that have haunted in their own solemn ways. These little buggers have lodged themselves into our insides, where they remain in remission for long stretches of time before flaring up once again and causing us to think about what they mean, to think about who we used to be and what it was that we did.
Hannah Georgas, a brilliant Canadian songwriter, lifts the demons of others, tapping into their energies as well, writing stunning examples of what it means to never be able to shake what you have inside. It’s that inner graffiti, the etchings that were scribbled in your darkened hallways for permanent memory. They are the fragments of self and the poignant details of others that are never to be lost or forgotten and if they’re meaningful enough, they can hurt and they can make you feel the need to address them. Something goes on with Georgas and the song, “Ode To Mom,” a piece that feels as if it’s spoken from a daughter who just wants her mother to be happy, despite it being possible that she’s caused some of the pain that’s made such a thing difficult to pull off. Only with time, have the rifts ironed themselves out, has the stubbornness given way to empathy and appreciation.
She sings, “If I were in your shoes I’d live, I’d live a little,” as if it were time to finally shed some of the baggage, some of the demons that have plagued her, and live for herself, finally. The thought comes from someone who has finally had it become clear how tough it can be to make the right decision – to be selfish when it’s called for, instead of trying to give of oneself so much that the damage is catastrophic. Georgas sings about being a sucker, waiting for someone to call and then, elsewhere, singing, “I fantasize all the time about letting you, letting you go.” It’s likely the result of that person finally calling and a realization being made that this wasn’t at all what she’d hoped it would be, but there’s no way of getting out of this now.
These are stories of the sacrifices that people constantly make, knowing that there’s a good chance that they’ll be paying for them for a long while. They are stories about determining to get out from under the weight that these sacrifices tend to carry. It’s what Georgas wants for her mother and for herself as well, writing, “I’d go out once in a while/Flash my curves, show my style/And I’d turn this old town upside-down/Yeah, I would/Yeah, I would/So, let’s drive, let’s pass this by/Forget what we did, forget why/We left in the first place/Why we left in the first place/ If there is magic on this planet, it’s in the water/If there is magic on this planet it’s in my blood.”
February 12, 2013 – Great Scott – Allston, MA
February 14, 2013 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York City, NY
February 15, 2013 – Milk Boy – Philadelphia, PA with Lucius
February 16, 2013 – Jammin Java – Vienna, VA with Lucius
February 17, 2013 – Club Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA with Lucius
February 19, 2013 – Do317 Lounge – Indianapolis, IN
February 20, 2013 – The Demo – St.Louis, MO
February 22, 2013 – Hi-Dive – Denver, CO with Desert Noises and Sarah Slaton
February 23, 2013 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT with Desert Noises and The North Valley
CBC RADIO 3 SESSIONS
WOODS & FIRES SESSIONS
“ENEMIES” INDABA REMIX CONTEST