The Not Much More Than Awesome Again Fest brought two days of independent music to Dayton, Ohio on March 3 and 4. Photographer Tim Anderl was there to capture some of the action.
The 1984 Draft:
Debut albums can sound like a group lucked into a sound they’ll never recapture, or in the case of Middle Children’s Earth Angel, a refined result of shared background and years spent putting in the work. The auteur of Middle Children is Patrick Jennings, who writes, arranges, and records the band from his home in Bloomington, Indiana. His music became known to most initially through his band Hot New Mexicans, and later Purple 7. Jennings left Purple 7, a multi-songwriter group, to play music with childhood friend, Ginger Alford, formerly of the band Good Luck. The team enlisted a handful of musicians to make Earth Angel, include Kyle Houpt, Christopher Butcher, and Matt Tobey.
Earth Angel remains sparse and economical, despite additions of multiple guitars, piano, synth, or upright bass. Jennings’s voice is given plenty of space, allowing the listener to catch the many nuances in his delivery, how each syllable seems to emote, quickly shifting from vulnerable to confident, a whisper to a shout. He brings intensity to otherwise melody-driven songs, catching you off guard. An image of Jennings as the songwriter emerges – a hermit of sorts whose focus and dedication brings others warmly into the fold. Together they bring these songs to life, lest Jennings forever be “echoing in [his] shell”
Today Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing the band’s video for “True,” which was produced by Eric Ayotte and which you can enjoy below.
(Catch the band on tour here:
March 3 Knoxville, TN – Pilot Light*
March 4 Raleigh, NC – Slim’s Downtown*
March 5 Richmond, VA – Gallery 5*
March 7 Baltimore, MD – the Windup Space*
March 8 Philadelphia, PA – house show*
March 9 Brooklyn, NY – Don Pedro*
March 10 New Paulz, NY – Lagusta’s Luscious Commissary*
*w/ Erin Tobey)
Human Leather’s Lazy Karaoke is the the ultimate homage to the ’80s, transporting you flawlessly from dark underground clubs to the tropical beaches of a neon lit daydream. Human Leather is near goth pop perfection, reminding us of the days Depeche Mode were not just a band, but the biggest band in the world
Comprised of members of Choir Boy (Adam Klopp) and Sculpture Club (Chaz Costello), the duo have drawn from an amalgam of influences; they present the listener with a fantasy karaoke night, sonically and also aesthetically. Written starting in 2015, the songs are infectious, singing along almost mandatory. Lazy Karaoke is an melancholic celebration drawing on influences as diverse as mainstream pop icons like Whitney Houston and Cyndi Luaper to Orchestral Maneouvers in the Dark and Tears for Fears to italo disco such as Valerie Dore. In fact, vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist Adam Klopp jokingly describes the duo’s sound like this: “[It’s] maybe a shitty version of Tears for Fears mixed with Depeche Mode?” Regardless, Lazy Karaoke, which is currently available for pre-order from Cercle Social Records, is a powerful pop record by two of SLC’s best songwriters.
In addition to the LP, the band have plans to release the album as a collection of videos on VHS, and today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering one of those videos. You can enjoy the video for “Not My Business Anymore” below. Klopp had this to say about the song:
“‘Not My Business Anymore’ is probably the most personal for me. The delivery is casual enough that it might sound like a funny pop song, but I think that’s one of the most literal songs I’ve ever written.”
(Visit Human Leather here: https://www.facebook.com/humanleatherpop/. Preorder Lazy Karaoke here: http://cerclesocialrecords.bigcartel.com/product/human-leather-lazy-karaoke-lp.)
(Photo by Christopher Corn)
Bribing Senators is a four piece power-rock-pop band hailing from Dayton, Ohio. The Senators were originally formed out of a creative outlet for Justin Roseberry and Bruce Hull after the dissolution of their former band, When Sparks Fly. Dayton area drummer, David Pope, was brought on board to round out their act. Bribing Senators was a trio for the first couple of years, brandishing a style of pop rock with influences from ’70s power-pop and ’80s radio rock . Their sound has been described as “punk rock Rick Springfield,” “less-redneck 38 Special,” and “The Outfield with guitars cranked.”
In the winter of 2016 they entered the studio with former Nashville producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Himes. During recording, the band noticed that the layers of guitars and vocals created an opening for a second guitar player and a vocalist. The chemistry in the studio was too great to ignore and Himes ended up becoming the fourth member of the band. Now, as a four-piece, Bribing Senators are ready share their loud guitars and vocal harmonies with packed bar rooms, music venues in the tri-state area, or anyone willing to listen.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing “Growing Up,” from their forthcoming Songs For A Disappearing Class LP.
(Visit Bribing Sentators here:
Catch them live here:
March 3 – Blind Bobs Dayton, OH (CD Release)
March 11 – Oscars Vandalia, OH
May 19 – Rockstar Pro Arena Dayton, OH)
(Photo by Adam Sandor Nagy)
Los Angeles feminist art-punk band French Vanilla are set to release their full-length self-titled album, on March 24 via Danger Collective Records. The nine vigorous tracks regulate the dance floor with socially sensitive lyrics, vocal freneticism, punchy basslines, and catchy sax. Delivering performances filled with infectious energy and enthusiasm, the band has shared stages with Girlpool, Screaming Females, Tacocat, Genesis P-Orridge and Cherry Glazerr.
French Vanilla is made up of Max Albeck (drums), Ali Day (guitar/bass), Sally Spitz (vocals), and Daniel Trautfield (bass/sax). Half-driven by a desire to challenge the established SoCal music scene, dominated by a few influential (male) tastemakers, and half by a desire to hang out with friends, FV started in LA’s queer punk underground and it is in these spaces that they feel the most at home.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing “Social Trappings” (below). This is what guitarist/bassist Day had to say about it:
“We wrote ‘Social Trappings’ in a tiny hallway when we didn’t have a place to practice. It’s about having a toxic attraction to someone and then later realizing that person is nothing like you imagined. It’s about being liberated from that pull and not letting someone else determine your value.”
Evan Andree and Travis Bunn never expected to form TRASHCLUB. The two met by chance in Los Angeles, where they’d separately relocated—drummer Bunn from Arizona, and singer/guitarist Andree from Atlanta—to try their hand at songwriting and producing. The two hit it off instantly, ended up playing each other some tracks they were working on, and decided to link up the following week to make some music together.
While Bunn (who also plays in L.A. indie-pop band Dead Times) and Andree (whose music has been featured on shows like Bad Girls Club and 16 and Pregnant) had originally planned to sit down and work on songs for other artists, they ended up saying screw it and defecting to Bunn’s practice space to just hang out and jam instead. The duo’s partnership is now in full swing with TRASHCLUB, a garage-inspired dance-rock venture featuring Andree on vocals and guitar and Bunn on drums, percussion and backing vox. Sharing production duties, they’ve churned out more than a half-dozen of tracks, the first of which, disco-punk anthem “Out of My Head,” was recently featured on Showtime’s Shameless.
TRASHCLUB’s new debut EP, Black Out (coming March 10 from Position Music), showcases seven strident, hook-heavy rock & roll tracks that play as one hell of a soundtrack to young, reckless and freewheeling city life—albeit with a playfully gloomy and self-deprecating slant.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering “Dusty Midnight,” one of the give-no-fucks rock and roll tunes from the forthcoming EP. Enjoy it below.
(Visit TRASHCLUB here: https://www.facebook.com/TRASHCLUBMUSIC/.
Pre-order the EP here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/trashclub/id1199706292?ls=1&app=itunes)
(Photo by RSDIVA Jessica)
In a gritty industrial area of Van Nuys, California, behind a powder-coating plant, lie a dozen neatly stacked repurposed shipping containers. One of these is ‘home’ to The Knitts, a band with a surprisingly long history and a short fuse, ready to explode onto the music scene with the release of their upcoming debut full-length album Retreat.
The origins of The Knitts go back to the final years of the Knitting Factory on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles where Charlie Volkens worked in the box office while various future Knitts hung out at KF shows. Now The Knitts are made up of the brothers Volkens – Justin (Vocals) and Charlie (guitar), along with Victor Portillo (lead guitar), Jaime “Jimmy” Luque (bass) and Clare Taylor Wilkes (drums).
The band had spent five years playing the show circuit, releasing multiple EPs and singles before linking up with producer and Grammy Award winner Michael Leonhart (Michael Leonhart Orchestra, Yoko Ono, Steely Dan) and engineer Pierre De Reeder (Rilo Kiley) to record Retreat. Recording took place in North Hollywood and Brooklyn, NY within a week’s time, in part because the tracks are ‘live in studio’ recordings capturing that raw energy The Knitts exude during their stage performances.
The Knitts Retreat will be available on digital and streaming formats March 3 via Knitting Factory Records.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing the jangley, swinger “We Got Time.” Justin Volkens had this to say about it:
“‘We Got Time’ was one of the first songs we wrote together as a band. Originally written as a duet quickly evolved into a down stroking garage rock track that forever altered how we say ‘We Got Time’ in everyday conversation.”
(Visit The Knitts here:
The Knitts website: http://www.knittsmusic.com
Savannah Stopover Music Festival announced the complete schedule of 87 bands for the festival’s seventh anniversary, taking place March 9-11 in Savannah, GA’s beautiful and historic downtown district.
The schedule can be viewed here where festival goers can create personal schedules which can be viewed on mobile devices and shared on social media.
The festival, which takes place across numerous venues in Savannah’s historic district, “offers an affordable and walkable experience where you’re likely to see a slew of fantastic bands before they break out of the pack” says Kayne Lanahan, the festival’s CEO and Founder, adding “it’s very unique in today’s world of high priced concert tickets and mainstream headliner-driven festivals. If you haven’t heard of a lot of these bands yet, that’s the whole point.”
In addition to the previously announced Kishi Bashi headlining performance at Thursday’s Opening Night Event, a few other notable schedule announcements include:
The festival has also confirmed four additional bands to the lineup:
Pre-sale passes are sold out. General admission and VIP passes are on sale now. Passes grant attendees access to all concerts on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional ticketing information is available at savannahstopover.com/tickets and through Ticketfly.
Single Day Pass – $34
Weekend Pass – $59
Three-Day Pass – $79
Three-Day VIP Pass – $149
The inaugural Not Much More Than Awesome Again Fest is set to debut at Dayton, Ohio’s Yellow Cab Tavern on March 3 and 4. The fest, which is hosted by Dayton indie rockers The 1984 Draft, will include performances by:
Haymarket Riot (Chicago)
Blind Rage (Dayton)
Kill Surf City (Indiana)
Tender Mercy (Louisville)
Smug Brothers (Dayton)
Actual Form (Akron)
The 1984 Draft will headline both nights.
For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/260911547676390/?active_tab=about
(Photo by Alex Josephs)
Angelina Torreano forms the core of Citris with guitarist and producer Chris Krasnow. The 24 year old New York natives met in the fertile music scene of Purchase, New York, which has produced such beloved artists as Regina Spektor, Dan Deacon, and Mitski. Together, the pair set Torreano’s searching lyrics to an onslaught of distorted guitars and drums that recall ’90s rock greats like Hole, Garbage and Veruca Salt, as well as contemporaries like Dilly Dally, Bully and Courtney Barnett. Torreano and Krasnow play all the instruments on the album – live, the band is rounded out by drummer Clint Mobley and bassist Gianluca Minucci
This Friday, the band release a reissue of their debut album, Panic in Hampton Bays via New Professor Music. The evocative album title, which juxtaposes anxiety and a holiday getaway, is the central metaphor for this muscular, melodic record. Themes of mental illness, emotional abuse, and the inward search for meaning in the middle of the maelstrom also run throughout.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of streaming the album for your listening pleasure. But first, this is what singer, guitarist and songwriter Torreano had to say about it.
“Panic In Hampton Bays is about chaos in a calm, luxurious place. One could say, ‘Trouble in Paradise.’ The underlying theme of the album is how one can deal with anxiety and other mental disorders and the journey that is living life with the enemy that can be your own mind, at times. It can be a blessing and a curse. It can be an opportunity to be strong. It can also damage your personal relationships. But ultimately, the people who deal with these issues everyday are some of the smartest, bravest people I know. And they are also a lot of fun. This album should read as fun, challenging, and real. Visceral and cerebral. Hitting all the right spots while being truthful. I don’t view this album as a downer at all, there always seems to be a resolution. And I think that’s what people need to hear now more than ever.”
(Visit Citris here: