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March 30th, 2010
Triumphant. I will keep it at that when describing this band, making the US its own. From Montreal, Canada, Think About Life is getting quite a lot of buzz lately. I guess that is what happens when you are bold and demented enough to successfully blend a unique and deeply beautiful probing music style that seems to move you by mixing an Andre 3000 meets Dolbish sound with some deep Prince sounding inspired melodies and vocals. What? Yep, the band will take you all over the place sonically. Think About Life creates an invigorating music noise bubble that will resonate around you in some form of weird music atomization that leaves you tingling all over. The sound is new and a freshly provocative vibe all their own and had me grasping for a way to describe them...and that is what music should do! They are on a major tour right now and worth checking out live.
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March 27th, 2010
This is from our buddies @ Sideways Media who are involved with APLA. Uncovering a Cure will be released digitally Tuesday March 30th, and the album is currently up and streaming on our website. Our coinciding benefit show will also take place at the Roxy on March 30th. Tickets are $10.
Sideways Media has partnered with Black Unicorn Music and Strange Machine Entertainment to produce a record of covers from up and coming California based artists to benefit one of our wonderful local charities APLA (AIDS Project Los Angeles).
Ruby Friedman Orchestra
Castro (formerly The Prayer)
March 25th, 2010
Seattle music is alive and well. Again. This time with Feral Children. They are anything but a ravenous bunch. Unless you consider the depth of their honesty, which simply sucks you up with a subtle, brooding, yet welcoming, all encompassing sweetness that lends weight and worthiness to its music and keeps coming for you.
Feral Children let the wildness they feel inside, ooze gently outwards via an eclectic and swirling music that is both radiant and dark, powerful and caressing, and knocks you along so you can listen to their story on their new album, "Brand New Blood."
Play On A Frozen Beach
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Buy the album here:
With a shot of nostalgic, amp'd up f*&! you we're doing it our way sound, the band is starting to storm Seattle's famed music scene with a powerful sound all their own, a growing and loyal fan base along with inspired ears everywhere that tingle with delight when their music is played. As the album grows in sound and complexity, so does the resonating music of Feral Children. And what I like the most is that each song seems to find its own defining genre so it makes you realize this bands' sounds may jump all over the place, but who cares when it is just all sooo good!
March 22nd, 2010
By. B. Bennight
Austin, Texas. Reporting from SXSW
The Hipster Olympics, that's the phrase that pays here in SXSW, that's the expression that defines the SXSW experience as Karen shared with me. I challenge any athlete to run this gauntlet of drinking, binge eating, sleeplessness, standing, running, jumping, clapping, screaming, lying and fronting to finish this course in as fine a shape as they started. And with that said we found ourselves at the corner of 4th and Trinity next to the Austin Convention Center hungry and exhausted at 1PM in the afternoon wilting after 5 hours of sleep and no food from 5PM the previous day. An epiphany of sorts took place in my clouded brain. There was a badge only meet and greet called Music City The Hague behind us serving food, that is Brisket and the fixin's for Barbeque or more precisely called "Texas BBQ". As we filled our plates and our belly's with BBQ and beer we started noticing more and more the talent behind playing us. It was a melodious female vocal that reminded me of Karin Bergquist from Over The Rhine, but a little softer and more folkish. The spot light was on Annie and the Bee Keepers, providing a romantically influenced country folk sound with beautiful other worldly vocals while we dined and reflected on our adventures and solidified our plans for the day.
We hooked up with Karen at the Convention Center and plotted. Even with the best laid plans there are misses and we missed many times. Because of the thunder storm and rain the night before amplified by the general coolness and wind made the covered venues a huge demand, creating exceptionally long lines for many events. Conversely, open air venues were essentially empty. We missed some great up and comers because of this situation. While we were disappointed by our efforts, we moved on until we settled on Antone's for Alex Chilton's Big Star tribute and memorial. Early in the week we were all stunned to hear of the death of legendary Pop star Alex Chilton at age 59. As the lead singer of the Box Tops he was a hit maker with The Letter in the sixties and writer for such fun romps as "In the Street" that was the theme song that opened That 70's Show and noted producer of the Cramps.
More and more as the evening progressed, the crowd grew to pay their last respect and various bands preformed until the official memorial happened. This was an excellent chance for young artist to pay tribute and expose their talents to a crowd that loved this musician's musician. The bands performances I found of note were Saint Deluxe. The band put on an energetic and noisy set. Dwight Twilley's ,own brand of Country blasting off from Buck Owens' left off, with his own hard driving frolicking kind of Rockabilly was an accent for this night. This Okie, Dwight Twilley, was a natural born performer with all the musical chops and he had a panache for style and presence that few could rival. The night wouldn't have been complete without peers and loved one's tribute to the musical genius that was Alex Chilton. There was set side at the end of the evening an opportunity for various artists to come up and perform a song or two to honor Chilton.
A sampling of the tributes came from M. Ward, Cut Kirkwood, and John Doe to name a few that left their mark on this occasion. It was all touching and beautiful as the paid homage to their hero. Karen took the reins and we sprinted over to The Galaxy to catch Black Angels close out SXSW. Their sound has some space guitars and trippy vocal in cased as in a swirl of psychedelia. Though this is the end of my trip I'm still poised to cross the finish line for next year SXSW's extravaganza ready and willing to take this grand adventure on again. Austin, Texas, see you in 2011!
March 20th, 2010
By: B. Bennight, Austin, Texas. SXSW Report.
I feel like a "Rounder" that's gotten around and around. Bob and I filled up on Pho at Mekon River, because we needed real nourishment after the body killing street fare we've downed over the last few days. Karen hooked us up with the Spin party badges. Then we dropped by the Austin Convention Center for Elvis Presley's 75th panel on our way to the Spin party Stubbs. From this point on everything wound tighter and tighter as the day progressed We hammered to make the Spin party and the much anticipated appearance of Hole. When we arrived Fucked Up, were in high gear and the photogs were loving every moment of Damian's off stage antics with him rolling around in the dirt and in his underwear! I joined in because who can resist such a photo opt with the wherring drive a buzzsaw guitars and ramming drum beats. Fucked up finished their set with the Sex Pistols cover of "Bodies."
This was followed by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. They pulled of a stunning and "soulicious" set. Soul in the truest sense of the term, like Sam and Dave or James Brown. Girlfriend delivered! Then tension and electricity was in the air for Courtney Love's, newest version of Hole. At 5:13, a "Witchy" time to arrive, she entered the stage and the filled the audience with glee. She opened the set with "Skinny Little Bitch" and gave it the touch of an angrier Hole we know and loved. She mixed it up with the new and the old alike. From my perspective, we were all very receptive as the crowd was pressed to the front to hang on Courtney's every nuance and phrase.
Immediately after Courtney's set, we powered walked to Elvis Presley's 75th talking panel which Karen had put together. Some guests were legendary Rockabilly singer Wanda Jackson, and James Burton, Elvis' guitarist. There were some great stories being exchanged including the one were Bruce Springsteen jumped the fence of Graceland to try to meet Elvis or the one where Elvis' father asked Elvis why he had bought 50 El Camino's in one year. All great and entertaining fare. James Burton took aside while we were eating Elvis' peanut butter and banana 75th birthday cake and shared a story where Elvis stopped Colonel Parker from Blue Suede shoes so Carl Perkin's had a chance at charting his single first before Elvis would dominate and obliterate Carl's chances. James was the ultimate Elvis insider and you could feel the closeness of the relationship developed over many years.
We then moved on to the Rolling Stone showcase that featured none other than a fav of mine, John Doe of X , doing a solo show with his electric and acoustic guitars. Hecas accompanied by Cindy Wasserman and on occasion they preformed as a duet. John covered Golden State and encored with "Suppose To Be The New World" a part of the X catalog. The word Awesome come to mind. He was intimate and real while making eye contact with the crowd as it swelled to be in on the action.
After this we moved on to the Dollyrot, and enjoyed their brand new type of Pop Punk. They were lively and playful while delivering the goods to all the appreciative devotees reveling the rocus lighthearted jams. They closed their set with Joan Jet's Bad Reputation and then Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas tumbled into Chris Black's drum kit finishing the show and our night of shenanigans and Austin rounding. SXSW and Austin keep getting better and better!
March 19th, 2010
By. B. Bennight
Austin, Texas. Day Two! Well, hum... hum... I think yesterday was an angry man day. Now, that's not a bad thing per-say, but more of an unexpected thing. Bob and I arrived by bus to the KXLU,
Zum and Aquarius Records party. I wanted to be a part of this cool "Alty" vibe but I was crazy hungry from not having breakfast and I parted to discover much needed coffee and food. On my approach to Downtown Austin I happened by Emo's and it was like Who-ah!? No quarter mile line!
But I passed because I was famished and needed to feed my face. That being said, I was back at Emo's, after a manic feed to check it out. There were only 5 people in front of me and I was excited. This is where the term "Emo" came from to describe a musical sound and genre. Now I am inside The Full Metal Texas showcase and I'm ready to have my panties rocked off. There was a healthy crowd in the courtyard, but I drifted back to find Emo's Jr. This is where I found Howl. They were barking and growling through, grinding on with a shier metallic precision driving and brutal guitar riffs and a throbbing double bass. It was much like a "Breakfast Beer" it seemed so wrong but felt so right. They hammered through a set of 5 songs, to nearly a full house at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. This is not the time of day you'd expect a vampire crowd to be out in numbers rocking the house. I found myself head banging to the hits! They closeed their set and I thought it was time to reunite with Bob and lock in on the Gilbert Shelton interview for the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.
Shelton created the comic, but just as importantly, he was responsible for some historic 13th Floor Elevators concert posters in the sixties, and thus, was a part of Roky Erickson legacy. His work was as profoundly seminal and influential as R. Crumb's work. I had the honor of being informed of the occasion by John Pochna the head honcho and primal purveyor of Low Brow Art and owner of 01 Gallery. Shelton brought to life stories of how art and music intertwined during the revolutionary counter culture period of the sixties. It was an amazing journey given a real and intimate perspective. Bob and I left fulfilled and ready for the next leg of mayhem. We found it at the AP party at Speakeasy.
Upstairs, the electro beat had the twenty-something getting jiggy who were "Cocktailed" and randy. The energy was off the hook and the view of downtown Austin as stunning as any I've seen. I ran into Kelly the music artist agent again and performance/music artist Kym Priess, AKA, Tammy Tomahawk , much to my pleasure and surprise. She'll would be performing SXSW as well. We drifted downstairs to the more lounge inspired part of the Speakeasy.
It's amazing how things speedily creep up on you and it did, because we came near to missing OFF! (OFF! is: Steve McDonald from REDD KROSS on bass, Dimitri Coats from the BURNING BRIDES on guitar, Mario Rubalcaba formerly of HOT SNAKES, CLIKITAT IKATOWI, ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT and currently in EARTHLESS on drums, & Keith on vocals.) at Emo's Jr. We fretted by the door for the badge only to show. As we stood there Keith Morris, magically appeared and perfectly opened the door and we were "In like Flynn." Now we're back to the "Angry Man" scenario because when OFF! started their set it was ON!!! It was Hardcore and I mean the real "agro" in your face thrashing anti-parent music 0f the early-mid eighties! Wow, I was in happy land and they delivered and delivered to the core! It was manic, thrashing pounding minimal straight-a-head no compromise Rockin' short songs delivered just like it was in the Old Days. It was joyously nostalgic and completely real in every aspect. Everybody was into it. If you wanted to know what the fierce face of Hardcore looked like Keith "brought it" last night. OFF! plays one more set today, for one heated performance that shouldn't be missed. SXSW and Austin, I'm reeling, but I'm coming back for more!
March 18th, 2010
By: B. Bennight
Austin, Texas. A few thoughts as I set out to enjoy my day and night at SXSW. We muddled out of the house a little past 12 to take the 17 bus. Economy was the the idea here. We arrive downtown to seek some much need nutrition. We landed at Beerland's First Come First Served. We arrived in time for Frito Pie in a bag and a set from the hard rocking, Garage Punk Iggy inspired, Woven Bones. They played a hard driven set that careened and swerved out of control as we fed on our on cheap Texas fare. But our real passion was to catch the Legendary Roky Erickson at the Paste party in the Galaxy. We had a short line by Austin standards. We arrived in time for the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a special brand of Bluegrass twisty blend of soul, R&B and Hip Hop. They were an excellent surprise as a crowd of 300 or swelled to listen in. Soon we sauntered back and Roky, was already knocking out his set that was both excellent and an accurate performance of his timeless cult favorites and hits. I got close and tight to shoot photos and videos of the Legendary Rock star that has had such a troubled past and a remarkable comeback. He burned through his set with passion and humility. It was a historic moment for me and my buddy Bob. As the evening progressed we settled on catching a mid-night show of The Muffs. Kim and I go way back to the Cavern days when she was with The Pandora's. I'm not going to get into the details, but boy we have some pretty hot history together! We made it in time to catch The Muffs at The Elysium and Kim burned bright as she sang her more popular tunes: many from Blonder and Blonder. By the way, Kim was the blondest I've ever seen her last night. It was a nice time going down memory lane and hearing some old favorites from one of my favorite females singer songwriters. We all hung out after wards to catch up and share stories. I still love the Courtney Love story Kim told about Courtney walking while they were all sitting on a couch when she walked in to the dressing area. Courtney, upon seeing Kim with new blond streaks in her hair spontaneously uttered under her breath and directly looking at Kim saying "Blonder and Blonder." It was good to see old friends in the hottest place in the USA. It was a busy day setting-up even far busier days ahead. Austin, Texas and SXSW we look forward to more amazing nights.
March 18th, 2010
By -A. Holdridge
vis·cer·al [vis-er-uhl] –adjective: characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect; or dealing with coarse or base emotions; earthy; crude.
After experimenting with different bands along the way in the Dallas, Texas area, the five man compilation of Anthony, Issac, Josh, Daniel, and Nick, finally came together to form Visceral, one of Dallas’s rising bands on the punk, rock scene. In a land home to country legends, and twang, it may surprise you the number of rising stars Dallas has cultivated who will blow you away with pounding lyrics and room shaking bass. Turning on any of Visceral’s songs, you are immediately hooked. With perfectly timed riffs and a touch of screamo, Visceral definitely channels your base emotions.
In no way, shape, or form, has Visceral let their atmosphere hold them back. It would be safe to say that they have embraced it, admitting that their music does include some “southern influence.” Yes, they have developed quite the local following as a result of their many hometown shows, but they are branching out every minute. Talking with Josh, lead vocals, “it seems that the further we get from the North Texas area the better we’re perceived. I think it's mostly because the area is so overly saturated with bands.” As a past North Texan who has recently drifted down to Austin, I can attest to the fact that on any night of the week, go downtown Dallas, and you will find yourself faced with a plethora of bands to see live. However, unlike many of the local bands you may come across, Visceral has created a light at the end of the tunnel for out of state fans. Currently on tour, the band has shows planned across New Mexico, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Illinois. The band hopes that after getting a solid record deal, they will embark on a world wide tour.
For myself, coming across a band and really liking them, requires establishing a relationship with the music and musicians. Visceral isn’t just your cookie cutter rock band singing about the same old stuff. They provide inspiration for the underdog, the extra push you may have been needing, a simple smile on your face. A big belief of the band members is that, “God has given us an ability of creating music to spread the word of him.” The more you listen, the more you realize Visceral’s efforts to connect with their fans in every way possible. After talking more with Josh, I believe he explains it well, “the best part of being a musician has definitely got to be that great feeling of people knowing your words and songs and knowing that they get a special feeling listening to it.” Fans quickly realize that not only can Visceral play on tune and write a good song, but they genuinely care. Their music and their interaction with their fans shows this compassion plain as day. Visceral currently has two EP’s available for purchase on iTunes, We All Draw Straws which was released in October of 2008, and Rapture released August of 2009. Give Visceral a chance and I promise you won’t regret it. Like their website says, “this is our soul and passion. This is as much yours as it is ours. This is Visceral.”
March 17th, 2010
By: C. Sanchez
I don't know much about Fargo, North Dakota...actually, here is exactly what I know about Fargo: the Coen Brothers put it on the map for me and super rad band called, Secret Cities
, emerged from it. Secret Cities
is a relatively new band signed to Western Vinyl. Other bands coming out from under Western Vinyl's umbrella include Dirty Projectors and Ola Podrida. Bright Teeth
is the name of Secret Cities'
double A-side single LP. "Pink Graffiti Pt. 1" is the track available for download here. It beckons the subtlety of electronics. The space between vocals and instruments is un-timed to my ears allowing inspirational moments abound! The other song on Bright Teeth
is "Bright Teeth." I might call this song the older brother of the LP with darker beats and slicing synth. We are not making it available for download, but it would be a shame for you to not check it out. When Secret Cities
comes to your city do show them props and see 'em! No tour schedule as of now, but keep them on your radar!
Download Pink Grafffiti, Part 1
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Napster
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album
March 10th, 2010
Got a whiff of this band a while back. At that time I had heard just enough to capture my imagination. And like an eager kid awaiting something in the mail that you had sent away for, I have been waiting for the album to magically show up. And it finally has. Yeah! And dam, it is just what I needed to hear. It reinvigorated me with a much needed infusion of something refreshing, new and great. What is there to say other then this. The Dig will be dug by many many people in the upcoming months.
Play Already Gone
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Forget the catchy one liners that make a critic's day. This band is not condensed into a sound bite or a cliche one liner. It just needs to be let loose, allowed to continue to inspire the crowds of people piling outside clubs on chilly nights just for an opportunity to see them live. The Dig are a band that is lighting up the scene in New York City. This time, in The Dig we have another band that is delivering inspired rock anthems that need to be heard by the masses.
The Dig's forthcoming album Electric Toys is out on April 27. The Dig are on tour with Portgual The Man and Port O'Brien. This New York band is currently out on the road! Tour Dates:
3/10 - Crowbar - Ybor City, FL
3/11 - The Social - Orlando, FL
3/12 - Harvest of Hope Fest - St Augustine, FL
3/13 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
3/18 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
3/19 - Highline Ballroom - New York, NY
3/20 - Mr Small's Theater - Pittsburgh, PA
3/21 - 20th Century Theater - Cincinnati, OH
3/24 - Mojo's - Columbia, MO
3/26 - Bluebird Theater - Denver, CO
3/27 - The Sandbar - Vail, CO
3/28 - Belly Up Aspen - Aspen, CO