Tomorrow night, Jefferson Parish venue Southport Music Hall will host indie rockers The Gallery and their co-headliners Honor by August. They will be joined with support from Alexis Keegan, Shayna Leigh, and Mickey Wax.
Since arriving in 2008, The Gallery have made a name for themselves in the alternative country-rock scene. They even caught the attention of Rolling Stone magazine, which featured the group as contenders for the fan driven “Choose the Cover” edition in 2011.
The group gravitates towards classic song structures and they sound a bit like Tom Petty with a modern LA vibe, although they hail from a small town in western Massachusetts.
Dante return with their free single “Wake” taken from their debut album—the critically acclaimed full length of the same name. The track sums up Dante in 3 indie-folk minutes (or so) as the band show their credentials as one of the standout Celtic folk bands hailing from Scotland right now.
There are moments that make you want to let your hair down break into a ceilidh and dance the night away. These moments are though, smattered with indie influences that remind us of Scottish stalwarts like Idlewild and Teenage Fanclub. There really is a lot going on here as harmonies enrich the music further taking it to almost angelic levels at times.
Having received praise from the music press both at home and throughout the UK, Dante are intent on maintaining their momentum with the release of “Wake” and a number of festival dates and a local Scottish tour.
The Chills, nearly 35 years after coming together in Dunedin New Zealand and fronted as always by Martin Phillipps, are releasing a new vinyl single. “Molten Gold” b/w “Pink Frost,” out now through Fire Records, provides vibrant testimony to the heights of Phillipps’ pure pop vision, its two songs refreshingly unburdened by the stature of his past achievements.
I must confess to feeling just a twinge of envy in regard to the numerous guitar pop fans that have yet to make the acquaintance of the estimable Martin Phillipps. It’s not necessarily that the first occasion is the sweetest, but rather that the initial moment of discovery is distinct, the inaugural taste easy to recollect decades later.
Where was I the first time I heard The Chills? Unspectacularly, in the stereo room of a shared abode, though I did give my freshly acquired copy of “The Lost EP” at least a dozen spins on that day alone, primarily because the songs were so damned good, but also due to my persistent doubts over a batch of simple guitar pop being, well, so damned good.
New Zealand’s breakout indie label had their hands in a diverse range of early offerings, but alongside The Clean, The Verlaines, and Tall Dwarfs, The Chills are a cornerstone act in what’s described today as the Flying Nun Sound; with due respect to more famous countrymen the Brothers Finn (of Split Enz, Crowded House, etc), Martin Phillipps can be accurately (if of course arguably) lauded as the great Kiwi pop auteur, mainly due to assured breadth of artistry.
We have a long history of naming bands after animals. To name a few, we have The Monkees, The Arctic Monkeys, The Turtles, Whitesnake, The Eagles, Grizzly Bear, and Flock of Seagulls. There’s Dr. Dog, Temple of the Dog, Snoop Dog, Three Dog Night, and Blue Oyster Cult. We adore acts like The Stray Cats, Kitten, Ratt, The Eagles of Death Metal, Counting Crows, The Black Crowes, and Animal Collective. There’s even Mastadon, and the Unicorns—extinct and/or fantasy creatures. And then there’s Phish.
No one saw it coming when Phish hit the scene in the mid 1980s cleverly morphing the spelling of Fish to Phish, and in doing so, ingraining their brand permanently into musical culture. The band is actually named after their drummer Jon Fishman, but that’s a whole other story.
If you don’t already know about Phish, they are one of the most prolific and celebrated jam bands in today’s music scene and Saturday night marked night one of their two-day stay at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. Phish is known for playing to a very lively, very large and enthusiastic crowds on every stop of their tours. Saturday evening in Maryland? No different.
We continue our Bonnaroo coverage of Festival Fast Talks we did at the Red Bull Music Academy‘s Basscamp. The Basscamp was a Red Bull mini-school pulling 20 producers from the region, offering them studio time in rooms packed with gear and talks with Mannie Fresh and Thundercat, and encourging them to create and collaborate in their cooldown time from the festival.
Producers involved covered all types of varying electronic sound. One that I was able to talk to quickly was daltn, a house producer whose sound is developed from equal handfuls of thick grooves and relaxing vibes. He creates slow-build atmospheric heavy house tunes that are full of rich synth work and optimistic chord progressions that revolve around tightly locked grooves.
How did you start making music?
I initially started playing guitar in bands, and then I played the drums for a bit. I eventually gravitated towards DJing and producing music with drum machines and synthesizers.
How I started DJing is a funny story, actually; I used to have band practice in my old house in Miami that was empty since it got foreclosed. We were a rock band with a cellist that wanted to sound like Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Around then I started to delve deeper into dance music, and I decided to sell some gear and buy a handful of records and some turntables. I set them up in the space and started throwing parties after our practices, and I was having so much fun that eventually I dove in and sold all my guitar gear and bought records and a copy of Logic.
Retro revivalists Allah-Las have just released the video for “No Werewolf,” a striking cover of The Frantics’ classic. Steeped in West Coast garage rock and roll, Latin percussion and electric folk, Allah-Las add a little wanderlust to the classic rock nugget while indulging their love for 1960s rock.
The video was entirely produced in Russia by the sculptor artist Mikhail Sadovnikov who was inspired to recreate a “dance on the circle” out of wet clay on his potter’s wheel. It’s a surprisingly mesmerizing addition to the fuzzed out audio of “No Werewolf” which adds an appropriate edge to the artsy-fartsy nature of the video.
Allah-Las’ second album, Worship The Sun is out September 16th on Innovative Leisure, the LA-based label which is quickly becoming known for its noisy throwback roster. In fact, one of their 2014 breakthrough artists, Nick Waterhouse acted as in house producer on Worship The Sun.
With a steady schedule nearly every night of the week, Wednesdays at the Maple Leaf Bar have been the wild card. July featured a “no smoking” residency by the latest “buzz band,” Tank and the Bangas. Expect to see some of the best slide guitarists in town in August. Free BBQ Sliders will be on the menu.
Brint Anderson (pictured at top) of George Porter, Jr’s Runnin’ Pardners is featured every week. The series kicks off on August 6 with Chris Mulé and John Lisi. August 13th, Camile Baudoin and John Fohl join him. Fohl returns on August 20 with Colin Lake.
The series culminates on August 27th with Jake Eckert and Papa Mali.
Scary People return with another souped-up, dirty, drawling rock track that is fast becoming their signature sound. New single “Guided By The Blind” follows hot on the heels of two EPs in little over a year, an appearance at the flagship Scottish festival T in The Park, and a forthcoming tour that will see the band continue to impress with their flawless live show.
“Guided By The Blind” chugs, snaps, and ultimately builds into a good old-fashioned, foot-stomping alt-rock song. The track highlights a band at the top of their game technically and further enhances frontman Daniel Forouhar as an emotive presence who’s voice adds a crooning sexiness to proceedings—like a Scottish Mike Patton.
It’s easy to see why Scary People are starting to create a bit of buzz North of the border and, if they continue on this trajectory, it won’t be long until the conquer the rest of the UK.
Those nutty over ‘80s NYC noise-rock and its attendant loose categorization New Music have likely heard Karen Haglof, for she was a player in the guitar ensemble of Rhys Chatham and a member of the undersung Band of Susans. Haglof eventually redirected her energies into the medical profession as a hematologist/oncologist in affiliation with New York University Hospital, but of late she’s scratched a reignited creative itch and produced her debut solo effort, the very appealing blend of bluesy Americana and big city guitar pop Western Holiday.
Prior to moving to New York City Karen Haglof was a resident of Minneapolis and in fact that’s where she began playing music. Subsequent to a trip east she strapped on the six-string under the name Karen Indiana in the trio the Crackers with fellow Minneapolitans Jay Peck, later of the Figures and Let’s Active, and Steve Almaas, previously of the terrific Suicide Commandos (‘78’s Make a Record is a punk classic) and thereafter of Beat Rodeo.
By ’83 Haglof was in cahoots with Rhys Chatham, appearing on the composer’s Factor X, a now scarce LP issued by the German Moers Music label. Roughly three years later she was part of the side-long title composition on Chatham’s brilliant Die Donnergötter. Amongst her cohorts on the track was Robert Poss; together with future Helmet honcho Page Hamilton and drummer Ron Spitzer, Haglof comprised the second lineup of Poss and Susan Stenger’s Band of Susans, her axe a component on their strongest release, 89’s Love Agenda.
She then followed an admirable detour into a medical career. Losing tabs on the scene is not unusual in this circumstance (she’s described her occupational focus as workaholic), but along with conversations with her old (and recently departed) Minneapolis friend and guitar teacher Jeff Hill, catching a screening of the documentary It Might Get Loud helped to reignite Haglof’s creativity.
PHOTOS: ORIANA BELAVIC | Potential can be a real bitch sometimes. When you have potential, you have the tools to succeed and have a level of talent that is far above your peers. You’re right there and you can see success over the horizon. However, on the flip side, that horizon is so far away. Forget the hard work and all the bullshit to get to the place you want to be, sometime there’s just dumb luck and breaks that need to happen to get there.
Last Friday night at the Grog Shop, I saw two acts that I would bet on making it on the music scene—Honeyblood and Jenna Fournier.
I swear this Honeyblood thing is going to happen. However, you’d never know from their show at the Grog Shop that this is a band I’d be ready to bet on. The club wasn’t packed or raucous by any means; sparsely attended with a good number of those people being friends/family of the two local openers.
But while watching Honeyblood play, it all makes sense why you could see them reach an impressive level of success and is a band worthy of your attention.
First of all, sonically they are completely infectious and their sound takes you back to the distorted oasis that was the ’90s. It’s a fuzzy and crunchy mix of alt rock with hooks that are catchy as hell. Singer/guitarist Stina Tweeddale (bonus point for an awesome name) has a bubblegum sweetness to her voice that makes every song approachable, but there’s a smirk or darkness that lays just around the corner of every word. Drummer Shona McVicar provides a simple backbone and adds layers of harmonies that bring the songs to life.