PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | When the boys from Duluth took the stage, they did so in reverent harmony. Each entered the stage and picked up their instrument without addressing the crowd as Dave Simonett began “Wild Animals.” Everyone settled in and got comfortable, ready for show.
In the last few years as Bluegrass has resurged in popularity, it’s also created a very specific fan-base. You can rest assured that whoever lists Bluegrass among their favorite music won’t be an asshole. Trampled by Turtles, or Trampled, or TbT, whichever you prefer—their fans are no different. That “Minnesota Nice” that we’ve heard about on the East Coast is something their fans seem to have taken to heart.
Despite the subject matter, Bluegrass has an easy way about it, and Trampled reminded us of that. “Valley” is an especially acute reminder throughout the chorus: “There’s peace in the valley/ Just give it some time.” It’s no wonder that as our lives get busier, as we surround ourselves with distractions, as the world often seems to be crumbling—solace can be found in acknowledging this fact through music, which can just as easily dismissed. Something else will happen tomorrow, and we’ll get through that too.
Last Tuesday, the New Orleans-based modern folk heroes, Hurray for the Riff Raff performed at DC’s 9:30 Club and indulged their audience with a genuine taste of real Americana.
To commence Tuesday’s performance, vocalist Alynda Lee Segarra took the stage alone and brought to life “The New SF Blues” minus the accompaniment of her band, delivering the lyrics with a commanding voice and an unassuming, graceful swagger. Segarra then turned to welcome her band to the stage for the next song with a “…here comes the rest of the Riff Raff” and smiled as the audience welcomed her and her full combo to DC.
Hurray for the Riff Raff immediately dove into the night’s second song “Blue Ridge Mountain” from their latest full length release, Small Town Heroes. The band proceeded to fill the room with beautifully orchestrated, yet simplistic tones well into the night. Despite their modest stage set up and use of only essential instruments—guitar, piano, drums, fiddle, and bass—the Riff Raff unquestionably fills the room with a very full sound. I suppose that when you use only the key ingredients to make a soup, that’s exactly what you taste the most. Point being—simple is a really good thing.
Broken Boy have released their latest single, “Just To Leave You” and it’s an absolute banger.
The track kicks in straight away with Stewart Black’s punchy lead guitar, before being joined by brother Cam Black’s distinctive vocal tone to really carry the track to it’s indie-rock potential. The verse breaks down into a minimalist yet catchy verse you will want to hear on repeat before falling back into that heavy, indie vibe the likes of The Strokes and The Vaccines are famous for.
Lyrically, the boys tackle issues of growing up and taking control of your own destiny while escaping the mundane aspects of everyday life—something we can all relate to, I’m sure.
All in all, this track seems like the perfect comeback for the trio and should definitely be on your radar for ones to watch.
“Just To Leave You” is released on 27th April 2015 via Canvas Records.
Holy Pinto is a band with an unmistakable indie pop-punk sound and their latest EP “Stenography” is definitely a testament to that.
The lads formed in late 2013 during their final years at college; Aymen Saleh (guitar and vocals) and Ryan Hurley (drums and backing vocals) started writing together in Manchester, inspired by bands such as The Front Bottoms, Death Cab For Cutie, and Say Anything. Already having two EPs under their belt within their first eight months of working together, the duo went on to tour the UK as much as possible before eventually finding themselves in mainland Europe.
Holy Pinto is now ready to release their third EP, “Stenography” which is filled with catchy melodies, sharp, staccato riffs, and some heavy distortion thrown in for good measure. These boys are on a mission to get their sound out and we really hope 2015 will be their year.
“Stenography” will be released on May 5th 2015 via Monkey Boy Records.
Like any visionary artistic movement, the late-‘70s explosion known as No Wave was both ahead of its time and intrinsically related to its era. This is no more apparent than in the work of James Chance. As leader of the Contortions he debuted on the ’78 Brian Eno-produced compilation that essentially provided No Wave with its name, but Chance and his crew’s long-playing shining moment remains Buy. Initially released in ’79 on the ZE label, a 180gm gatefold edition with bonus cuts is currently available from Futurismo.
As the decades have piled up, the whole No Wave shebang has grown in stature from a dissonant and divisive intersection of punk and art into one of the 20th century’s more striking outbursts of indigenous creativity. It couldn’t have occurred anywhere other than the old, cheap, dangerous New York City, its geographical location but one of the factors causing many to disregard its emissions; hey, it’s just a bunch of arrogant Gothamites peddling pretentiousness.
For those less sensitive to matters of attitude in presentation, No Wave’s haughty stridency is inherent to its appeal. Amongst the scene’s most surly was James Chance; as detailed in his notes for Futurismo’s reissue, he left his hometown of Milwaukee after three years of conservatory study, saxophone in hand with an intention to play jazz. Sensibly he landed in NYC, but things didn’t go as planned.
It became clear that Chance, who’d gained experience playing the music of the Stooges and the Velvet Underground back in Wisconsin, was an ill fit for the burg’s loft-jazz milieu; in turn he gravitated toward CBGBs/Max’s Kansas City. Of course, he wasn’t quick to find belonging there either, and Chance and his pocket of cohorts shaped an alternative to creeping commercialism.
An interview with Qrates, the start-up trying to make pressing vinyl easier for small labels: For all the talk of a vinyl resurgence, it’s not easy for small labels to press plastic and turn a profit.
Songbyrd Record Cafe is what happens when you combine a sandwich shop and a record store: “Take a record store, combine it with a sandwich shop, and you’ll get Songbyrd, a new Adams Morgan hangout that hits the right notes. Last week, the retro-cool cafe began dishing out lattes and simple but tasty sandwiches named after musicians and songs.”
‘Phantasm’ Soundtrack Coming To Vinyl After 35 Years! “Mondo has announced that it will be releasing the soundtrack to the 1979 slasher/cult horror classic Phantasm! This is the first time that the soundtrack, which was composed by Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave, will be pressed onto vinyl in over 35 years.”
Alan spins new venture in Spalding out of lifetime vinyl collection: One of the largest personal record collections in South Lincolnshire is on sale as part of a new business venture.
Edward McKay, which sells used books, tries to keep up with the times: “For four decades, Edward McKay Used Books & More has kept things simple: Customers at the Capital Boulevard store peruse the rows of shelves to find the perfect book or vinyl record to take home. But times change, even for stores that sell old books…”
Sebastian Bach Apologizes To Skid Row Fans: “I go to Amoeba Records and I buy a 180-gram vinyl Rush ‘Fly By Night’ and it is the greatest feeling. I am so excited that they put out these albums and I can go there and get a new copy with all the packaging and the stickers and the downloads. The RUSH ‘Sector One’ box set with the first album—I took it out and put the poster on the wall of our garage. It’s so fun. Skid Row fans do not get that opportunity. I would like to say it’s out of my control…”
PHOTOS: BRIGID GALLAGHER | Touring to promote his new album, Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan Stevens played his first of two shows at famed Chicago Theatre last Friday and created a beautifully intimate experience for the mesmerized, sold out crowd. Stevens focused mostly on his new material, playing all 11 songs on the album, while also sprinkling in fan favorites throughout the night. As opposed to his previous tours, this show leaned more towards a poetry reading than a rock production, but like always it highlighted Stevens songwriting prowess and intense passion.
Little Scream opened up the show, and while they were a bit timid, they fit with the mood in the room and worked well to warm up the audience. Lead singer, Laurel Sprengelmeyer, made a point of telling the audience how much she’s been enjoying touring with Sufjan Stevens and how she cries every night during his performance.
After a short break, the lights came down and the crowd cheered with excitement as Stevens entered the room. From the moment he stepped onstage, Stevens was completely in the moment and never stepped outside his focused demeanor. In fact, it almost seemed as though he was unaware that there was a crowd in front of him at all, and instead concentrated inward toward the memories of his past. Stevens’ new album is an honest and emotional piece, centered around the passing of his mother in 2012. As he sings each song, you can see the anguish in his eyes and feel the passion behind his words. You simply can’t help but be drawn into his captivating energy.
All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.
Tune in to Garden State Sound with Evan Toth to explore the diverse music with connections to New Jersey. You’ll hear in-depth interviews with some of Jersey’s best music makers and have the opportunity win tickets to some of the best concerts in the state.
“This week’s show features a few stalwart NJ players, but mainly focuses on new things; it is spring, after all. Let’s hear some music that is hopefully new to you but is also new to me! What are we doing here if we’re not really digging around to find the future? We feature Lauren Marsh, Jersey Jung, River City Extension, The Milwaukees, and many more.
We’ll also chat a bit about Record Store Day, and fully engage the new fully engaged video component at WFDU! Out with the old, and in with the new: click play already!” —EZT
“For me vinyl has always brought controversy, rebellion, love, hope, philosophy, sex, truth, irony, and mind expansion. From making up dances to Beatles tunes on my sister’s close n’ play as a toddler, to dropping my new 180g Lights On white vinyl on my vintage Dual turntable, it never ceases to amaze. My dream as a young musician would not be realized till I saw the needle meet the spinning platter and play my song… and now that day is here… a long time coming.”
“My parents had all those crazy records like Martin Denny’s Jungle Themes or A Flurry Of Bongos or Native Ports of Call. I would be entranced in the hipster lingo of the liner notes and the faraway bird calls—who were these exotic cultivated people? Then there was Jobim, Sinatra, Carole King, Neil Young, and all kinds of soundtracks. Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell all played in my home.
In Florida I was living Linklater’s Dazed and Confused reality with Zeppelin, Floyd, Hendrix, Frampton, and the Stones. My sister reported back from college with Bowie, The Clash, The Jam, The Specials…the lyric sheet, the double gate fold, the pictures, the lifestyle I would imagine—many many afternoons with a hifi setup thrown together from whatever was available at the local thrift store or garage sale down the street.
Hundreds are Hamburg duo Eva and Philip Milner, and their latest single “Ten Headed Beast” is a showcase for their ability to create haunting and sumptuous soundscapes combined with thought-provoking lyrics.
Eva’s evocative vocals lift up an already impressive piece of composition that blends minimalist beats with layered piano and strings to transcendental heights. Regarding the meaning behind the lyrics, Eva states: “[Ten Headed Beast] stands for all the conflicting perspectives and feelings in me.”
“When you make an important decision, afterwards you try to find out if it’s the right way…” says Hundreds vocalist, Milner. “I tend to question my own decisions again and again. That’s hard sometimes and to put the ten headed beast to silence isn’t easy.”
If you’re in the UK, we’d thoroughly recommend checking out Hundreds captivating live show at the following dates: 22nd April at Ramsgate Music Hall in Ramsgate, and 23rd April at the Garage in London.
Single “Ten Headed Beast” and album Aftermath are released via Sinnbus. You can keep up to date with the duo on their official site.