In Ghettoblaster 37 (on stands now), we had a chance to interview Andy Daly on his new Comedy Central show, Review. Watch the hilarious “Pancakes; Divorce; Pancakes” episode tonight and enjoy these outtakes from Lorie Moulton’s photoshoot for us.
Chicago-based experimental act counterfeit i is the brainchild of songwriter and front man Derek Allen. Taking cues from Mogwai, Coltrane, Penderecki and Depeche Mode, they create a unique mixture of intense soundscapes and swooning melodies.????
Still Vol. II, out April 8 via Bit Riot Records, is the second in their series titled Still, with Volume 1 surfacing in 2013 (the UK’s Intravenous Mag called the release “a cross between the sublime dissonance of ‘Mourner’ era Caina and the haunting emotion of Deftones by way of Mogwai”). Mastered by Colin Jordan (Xiu Xiu, Pigface) at the Boiler Room in Chicago, Still Vol. II, shares some of the same emotional intensity and melancholic melodies with its predecessor.
The group is currently planning a series of Midwestern dates throughout the spring and an East Coast tour in May. First though, Ghettoblaster caught up with Allen to discuss the record. This is what he told us about it..
When did you begin writing the material for Still, Volume 2?
I started writing Still (Vol. II) right about when I was finishing up Still (Vol. I), which was over a year and a half ago. There was definitely some overlap. It was a slow process, which was nice because it wasn’t very stressful.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
I wouldn’t say that any of these songs were troublesome, but one that required a lot of tweaking and time was “The Point is a Circle.” All of the sound design in that piece was taken from a small recording I made of a short conversation that was heavily processed. I used three different software programs to create the soundscapes, so it definitely took some time.
Which of the songs on Still, Volume 2 is most different from your original concept for the song?
I think I’d have to say “The Point is a Circle” again because when I recorded that conversation, I had no idea what I would use it for. “Between the Suns” was another surprising one. It ended up developing out of a bunch of improvisation and experiments.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
I actually used the guys in the live band for this EP. Tyler Kirgiss played all of the drums, and Ryan Worthy the bass. It was exciting to record with them and feed off their energy while recording my own parts.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Still (Vol. II) was self-produced. Tyler and Ryan definitely helped with that aspect though. I would show them the parts and they would add their own spin to them. This EP is a lot more representative of our live show than previous releases.
Is there an overarching concept behind Still, Volume 2 that ties the record together?
Like the first volume of Still, this EP is meant to give a kind of introspective experience to the listener. Most of the lyrics and singing aren’t understandable. There’s a lot of glossolalia and effects, similar to Still (Vol. I).
How do the songs differ when you play them live?
A lot of the vocal parts were improvised, so those will probably change from night to night. But apart from that, I think most of songs will be pretty similar. With our other releases, we always had to rearrange the songs to be played live, especially in regards to the electronics. But since this EP is so organic and uses acoustic drums, I think we’ll be able to mostly play the songs as is.
(Visit the band here: https://www.facebook.com/counterfeiti.)
In Ghettoblaster 37 (on stands now), JerseyBeat.com founder and editor, Jim Testa profiled the scene in Jersey City, NJ by speaking with Iris Records’ Stephen Gritzan, WFMU’s Ken Freedman and the Jersey Journal’s Summer Hortillosa. As a web bonus, Jim also spoke with local promoter, “Dancing Tony” Susco.
Local Promoter, Tony Susco
Very little happens in Jersey City’s music scene without the participation of “Dancing Tony” Susco. He’s that one key person that every scene turns to, the guy who makes it happen, often at great personal sacrifice and without much in the way of remuneration or glory. During the cold winter months, you can find him spinning records at local watering holes like Lucky 7 or the Lamp Post, and this year he hosted a New Year’s Eve bash with several local bands at a newly-opened recording studio in downtown JC. But Dancing Tony is busiest during the warm weather months, when he books and hosts a weekly live music series outside the Grove Street PATH station, or puts together multi-band benefits at the Historic Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery, a beautiful site that pre-dates the Civil War and relies on private donations to operate.
“It definitely is a challenge to promote live music in Jersey City,” said Susco, “which is why the biggest shows I do are in a cemetery. But that’s what comes with the territory here. I think a lot of us are hoping that by next Spring, there will be a couple of new venues that will open up the market. And the city has already helped things by amending the entertainment ordinance, so that more places are hosting music. So I think you’re going to see an upswing in Jersey City”.
Part of that optimism comes from rumors that Todd Abramson, former booker and co-owner of Maxwell’s in Hoboken, will be doing live music at White Eagle Hall, which is currently being renovated. And Jersey City’s new mayor campaigned on a pro-arts program. “What people have to understand is that while Jersey City is a fairly large urban city, it still operates like a small town in many ways,” Susco said. “And that’s especially true with music. When you have a smaller scene, you have more support in a way. All the bands here know each other, they all play shows together, they all are willing to play for free when we do our benefits. Everyone’s really behind you. In a way it’s like one of those high school sports movies and the basketball team from the small town that makes the state championships. And everyone in town is pulling for them. That’s what our music scene here is like.”
“Live music is a business, like any other business, and you always have to look at the question of whether people can make money from it,” Susco added. “On the one hand, we have all these new businesses moving into town and that’s great. On the other hand, are struggling artists finding it harder to live in downtown Jersey City because the rents keep going up? Damn right they are. It’s all a matter of striking a balance.”
The Shackeltons had all the makings of a band to watch about five years ago – great reviews, blistering live shows and tastemaker radio championing the band. All of that was sadly sidelined when singer and principal songwriter Mark Redding got word of his mom’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Mark decided to put everything on hold so he could spend whatever time she had left at her side only recently returning to playing music. Here is the outfit’s first release since 2008, a fine slice of post-punk from PA titled Records.
Spin said this of the band: “What makes bands like Pixies, Fugazi, and Les Savy Fav so exciting — and what makes the Shackeltons, from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, similarly thrilling — is a breathlessness, a creeping sense that crouched behind the towering melodies and heard-’em-before razor guitars (think Television, in addition to the aforementioned bands), there’s complete breakdown. A half-dozen times on their debut, the Shackeltons sound completely convincing, and that’s about six more times than most bands ever manage.”
We agree whole-heartedly, so Ghettoblaster caught up with Redding to discuss the record, which drops via TLE Records on April 22, and was recorded by our good homie David Klug. This is what he said about it.
When did you begin writing the material for Records?
This recording has been in the works for the past four years. Due to the fragile nature of life, my band members and I took a break so that I could care for my mom. I was in LA mixing the record with Tom Biller (Warpaint, Liars, Beck) and was touched by Tom’s reaction. Tom’s eyes watered up as he told me about mixing the vocals/words into the music. He realized this record was coming from a place few have expressed (a recording about losing your closest friend, your mother). Tom said we made a “universal record” that was not whining- but a record of hope, trembling, and love’s return.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
The band has always worked out the struggling in rehearsals. Each member owns their own parts, and stands by what we lay down. We leave all the resolved drama on tape. We get the difficulties out before we go to the studio. One song, “Black Mary” (7:14 in length) is an epic journey of a song, due to the nature of its many musical turns and narrative. Mary is a mysterious lady who pulls a cart around town and used to tell me she was watching out for my mother. Mary’s words in the song are verbatim to words she spoke to me in person.
Which of the songs on Records is most different from your original concept for the song?
We pretty much keep our recordings true to what we have always played. We did add a group chorus to “The Ache”. Other than that, the record is true to original forms of the songs.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Teodross Avery (Verve Records) played sax on “Call Call” and “The End”. Teo has played on records for Aretha Franklin, Lauren Hill, Joss Stone, and Amy Winehouse. He’s played live with us in NYC and Philly, and it’s been an incredible honor and thrill to have him on our team. He has since moved to the west coast. Out of sight, but not out of mind.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
The record was recorded in Pittsburgh by David Klug and mixed in LA by Tom Biller. Tom recorded and mixed our last record. Tom’s mixes are royal. I went out to LA a couple times to sit in on mixing sessions, work on levels, and to add some vocal parts. I would say the record was produced by all parties involved: The band, David, Tom, and myself. It took me over a year to find a record label to listen to the record. Think Loud Entertainment (our new label home) is perfect fit. We are label mates with Live and Dana Alexandra. Jeremy Weiss (label president) and the members of Live knew of our band, and believed in this record. They are the game changers.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
The ache of this life will someday be met by equal joy/love, and then some. As Otis Redding said, “A little pain in my heart just won’t let me be.” “Somebody gotta stop it”. We are all waiting for some sort of redemption. When it comes, it comes in waves, and makes good on all those graves. Johnny Cash’s cover of “Ain’t No Grave” says it quite well enough.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We are playing these songs live. “Kindest Words”, “Call Call”, “Lights” and “The End” have been fan favorites. The whole record is a vibration worth it’s thrill.
In Ghettoblaster 37 (on stands now), we had a chance to interview Brendon Small on his latest Metalocalypse project, The Doomstar Requiem A Klok Opera. Here are some outtakes from Lorie Moulton’s photoshoot for us.
My name is Steven Griffin – otherwise known as Griffin Cosplay on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GriffinCosplay and Twitter @GriffinCosplay – and you have run across my new blog for Ghettoblaster. This is my very first entry so I thought I might start out with a small introduction to myself and what my posts will be about.
As I said my name is Steven but I like to go by Griffin or Grif. I am a Cosplayer from Dayton, Ohio. I am very new to the world of cosplay and have only just begun. I commissioned my first couple of costumes a few months ago and then decided that I wanted to learn how to start building all of my own props and costumes. This blog will follow me as I learn how to do this. It will document my successes as well as my failures. I will go into as much detail as I possibly can so that maybe someone can learn from my mistakes or maybe even give me advice on my next project.
In addition to following my progress I will also be going to conventions and documenting my experiences there. This will give people a chance to see the conventions through the eyes of a cosplayer. I have been going to conventions for years but never in costume so this will be a very new experience for me.
My very first convention in costume will be Lexington Comic & Toy Con. I will be documenting this convention and taking pictures as well so you will get to follow me from the very beginning! Let’s hope I don’t scream and run away.
To top it all off, I will also be writing up features in which I will be talking to other people in the community. Cosplayers, event organizers, photographers, etc. We will talk about their experiences as well as finding out a little more about where they come from and how they got started. I am very excited to work on this blog and give everyone a glimpse inside of my world. I hope that all of you will follow me on my journey and enjoy what do!
Paradise releases their sophomore record, Soldiers of the Modern Age, April 22 via Teen Sound Records. Recorded over two days in a living room at the Magic Closet on the south side of Portland, Oregon, the record is an authentic representation of Paradise’s uniquely vintage-inspired sound complete with Farfisa and Hammond Organ.
Soldiers of the Modern Age explores the complexities of growing up sheltered in the Bible Belt of the United States. Poetically narrating a young man’s adventure from boyhood to manhood, singer Steven Denekas tells his story without hesitation. Armed with only a microphone and his guitar, he relives the complications of youth in a raw, didactic and personal way.
The spirit of Soldiers of the Modern Age argues against monotony and routine. It’s a sound which contends with the music industry standard of masking a band’s true identity behind the digital machine of sound-altering options. Driven by unique storytelling and an unfettered sound, Soldiers of the Modern Age is a liberated exultation for the listener…and the journey is triumphant.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering Paradise’s cut “Born and Bound”. Enjoy it here:
South By Southwest starts this week turning Austin, TX into one giant concert where musicians from around the world will be vying for attention. Here are the bands that we recommend giving your attention to if you’ll be there:
Buffalo Killers are a hook-heavy homegrown rock ‘n’ roll band from Ohio, lead by songwriting brothers Zachary and Andrew Gabbard. The band has drawn the attention of big names such as Chris Robinson, who invited them to open a string of dates for The Black Crowes, and Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys, who produced their sophomore effort Let It Ride, to name a few.On their fifth full-length album Heavy Reverie, The group worked with platinum producer Jim Wirt who is known for his work with Incubus, Fiona Apple, and many others. The record will be officially released on May 13 through Sun Pedal Recordings (distributed by Warner/ADA).
SXSW Day Party @ Botticelli’s – 3/14 – Austin, TX – 6PM
SXSW New Frontier Touring Showcase @ Holy Mountain – 3/15 – Austin, TX – 12AM
Uncle Doug’s Chili Dog Fest V @ The Side Bar – 3/16 – Austin, TX – 6:15PM
Brooklyn-based punk band Cerebral Ballzy are getting ready to release their forthcoming album Jaded & Faded. Cerebral Ballzy announced in the fall that they had signed to Cult Records. The label’s owner, Julian Casablancas, says Cerebral Ballzy are “probably the coolest band in the world at the moment, a truly legit modern hardcore/punk band, and by far my favorite. It’s beyond exciting to try and help them in any and all ways we can and we’re honored to put their deliriously great new record out on Cult Records.” The band’s new album, produced by TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek will be out this year, with more details to follow.
03.12 – Austin, TX @ SXSW – Maggie Mae’s
03.12 – Austin, TX @ SXSW – House Of Vans at The Mohawk (7:30pm performance)
03.14 – Austin, TX @ SXSW – The Control Room – Blundertown Showcase
Cheap Girls’ fourth full-length Famous Graves arrives May 13 via Xtra Mile Recordings Worldwide – the label’s very first U.S. release. Previously they have released artists such as Frank Turner, Against Me! and Tim Berry in the UK and Europe.
Famous Graves was recorded in Chicago and Grand Rapids by Rick Johnson (who recorded Cheap Girls’ first two records, 2008?s Find Me a Drink Home & 2009?s My Roaring 20?s) and Jeff Dean (The Bomb, Dead Ending, All Eyes West). Recorded over three months, the band self-produced the record and mixed it with the assistance of Dean. The follow-up to their 2012 release Giant Orange (which was recorded and produced by Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace), Famous Graves sees the band continuing to grow their authentic Midwestern rock that’s drawn comparisons to bands such as The Lemonheads, The Replacements, and early Smoking Popes.
3/12 – Brixton/Run For Cover SXSW Showcase @ The Liberty (2:55pm)
3/12 – Brooklyn Vegan Official SXSW Showcase @ Red 7 (10:00pm)
If you’re unfamiliar, pull up a chair – helmed by John Dwyer (currently of Thee Oh Sees/Damaged Bug) from 2001 to 2005, they were fast, nasty, unintelligible, brutally and primally basic. A telephone through a guitar amp, half a drum kit, a shitty Casio organ, and primal speed-trash riffs never sounded so good.
03.11 – Hotel Vegas – Austin, TX
03.12 – Panache Bruise Cruise – Austin, TX
03.13 – Brixton Party – Yellowjacket – Austin, TX
03.14 – Castleface Party – Hotel Vegas – Austin, TX
03.14 – Sailor Jerry Party – Gypsy – Austin, TX
03.15 – Spider House – Austin, TX
03.15 – Beerland – Austin, TX
# w/ Mary Ocher, Hyenaz, Nad, HOTT MT
The duo from New Jersey has been dubbed as leading the “emo revival” that seems to have the entire music world buzzing after the release of their latest EP, Pretty Good (6131 Records). Pretty Good finds the indie-rock leaning Dads exploring darker territory on the four-song effort. Earning praise everywhere from Pitchfork (“irrepressible spirit and ambition”) to NPR (“one of the bands I’m most excited about right now”) to the AV Club (“it strikes [a] balance of proficiency and punchiness”), it’s clear that Dads have captured the attention of wider audiences with just four tracks.
3/12 – Brixton/Run For Cover SXSW Showcase @ The Liberty (3:35pm)
3/13 – Audiotree Showcase @ Licha’s Cantina (6:30pm)
3/14 – 6131 Records SXSW Showcase @ The Liberty (TBA)
Gainesville, FL post-hardcore quintet’s upcoming full-length Loom will arrive April 29 via Topshelf Records. It was recorded by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor, Comadre) in his Atomic Garden Studios in San Francisco. The record sees Frameworks sprawling into more experimental territory, expanding beyond their post-hardcore roots to create a record which is brightly evocative, emotional, overwhelmingly gorgeous and one that sees the band genre-bending to carve out space for what they manage to create in Loom‘s 11 tracks.
3/12 – Brixton/Run For Cover SXSW Showcase @ The Liberty (4:40pm)
3/12 – Brooklyn Vegan Official SXSW Showcase @ Red 7 (9:10pm)
3/13 – Topshelf Records Showcase @ Soho Lounge (1:30pm)
3/13 – NNHO Fest @ 21st Street Co-op (10:40pm)
3/14 – Meatspin 3 @ Habanero House (TBA)
Long running Canadian hardcore punk perpetrators, Fucked Up, will discharge the sixth installment of the “Zodiac Series” with Year Of The Dragon this Spring. Melding all the prime tenets of rock, punk, metal and psychedia into a comprehensive and imposing opus of unyielding enormity, the band are sonically and conceptually devouring in ways few bands can emulate.
3/13/2014 French Legation Museum (Pitchfork Day Party) – Austin, TX
3/13/2014 Mohawk (Stereogum Party) – Austin, TX
3/13/2014 Scoot Inn (Converse/Thrasher Death Match) – Austin, TX|
3/14/2014 Empire Control Room (Altamont Party) – Austin, TX w/ Powertrip
Ghetto Ghouls wield the torch of sloppy ‘80s noisy punk like The Dicks, Stick Men, Scratch Acid and work with a drunken urgency best summed up by the fact that their debut album was recorded in just four hours. From Austin, the band have played in bands together since they were fourteen years old. Inside the cinder blocks of legendary venue and bar Beerland, the Ghetto Ghouls have grown into one of the best punk bands in town. In an over saturated landscape of ‘70s worshipping garage bands, a stripped down Texas punk band like this is most definitely needed. Look out for Ghetto Ghouls on tour this April – May, plus a single this summer on 12XU.
Wed: Ping Pong Booking showcase (Hotel Vegas) 2PM
Wed: Monofonus showcase (Beerland) 2:45PM
Thur: Thread Pull Records Showcase (Trailer Space) 5PM
Sat: Monofonus Official show (The Hideout) 9:20PM
Sun: Panache Hangover show (Beerland) 9PM
Greys will tell you they’re a “loud rock band from Toronto”, but that’s deceivingly simple for the sound the quartet has managed to hone to caustic, powerful perfection. After the release of three EPs in as many years (2011?s Ultra Sorta, 2012?s Easy Listening and 2013?s Drift), Greys have finally found their way home to Carpark Records and Buzz Records to release their debut full-length If Anything on June 17.
If Anything sees Greys scraping raw the influences of their punk heros, bands such as Drive Like Jehu, Shellac, and Unwound, combining them with a dirty tapestry of angular guitar textures and irregular rhythms that propel the album’s 11 tracks forward at breakneck speed. Yes, the band writes noise rock, but it’s also some of the poppiest music that’s ever been allowed to lay claim to such a title.
3/12 Austin, TX @ The Liberty (SXSW – Brixton Agency Showcase)
3/13 Austin, TX @ Parish Underground (SXSW – Carpark Records Showcase)
3/14 Austin, TX @ Hole In The Wall (SXSW – Exploding In Sound Showcase)
Seattle rapper Grieves returns to deliver his fourth studio album, Winter & The Wolves, on Rhymesayers Entertainment. The insatiable, devil-may-care MC is well known for his meticulous exploration of life, love and loss, through a unique medley of hip-hop and soulful music. Together with B. Lewis, Grieves created 14 new tracks, combining organic pianos and guitars with boisterous synthesizers, to paint a colorful backdrop for his unique blend of rapping and singing.
A reflection on growth and maturity, Winter & The Wolves is about the instinctual fight for survival. It’s about suddenly finding that you’re all alone, facing countless hindrances to your livelihood, and having the courage to overcome them all. Tackling difficult obstacles like addiction and heartbreak, Grieves wrestles with the realization that life doesn’t get any easier as you get older. His signature combination of humor and gloom culminate to depict the struggle of a man’s inner turmoil between abandoning the dreams of his youth, and carving out a new path for himself in this world.
Wed 3/12 – Antiquiet Showcase @ Rusty’s/Outlaw Roadshow – 5:30PM (405 E 7th Street) *
Thurs 3/13 – Audiotree Showcase – STREAMED LIVE @ Licha’s Cantina (formerly Papi Tinos) – 5:40-610PM (1306 E 6th St.) ^
Sat 3/15 – Copy Cats Showcase – 5:00-5:40PM @ Blind Pig – (317 E. 6th Street) %
Sat 3/15 – SXSW Official Showcase @ 1:30 – 1:50AM 512 Bar (408 E 6th Street) $
* = w/ Nicole Atkins & Ume
^ = w/ The Hood Internet & Psalm One
% = w/ Sol & Astronautalis
$ = w/ Sage Francis & B. Dolan
Formed in 2008 in Athens, GA, among indie- and math-rock contemporaries, Lazer/Wulf is an experimental metal trio that’s easy to get behind, but hard to peg. It’s instrumental but with flashes of distant vocals, a jazz collective with thrash roots, funk players with sludge issues, or a prog band reeled in by a satisfying hook. Every cathartic fit backs against a tense silence. Whatever it is, it’s useless to describe. Just imagine L/W as a trampoline rigged to explode: it’s fun for just about anybody, but likely to kill them at any moment.
The band announced today that Retro Futurist will be releasing their debut full-length, The Beast of Left and Right. They’re circling a May release.
3/11 The Lost Well, Austin, TX
3/12 Wonderland, Austin, TX
3/15 Red Eyed Fly, Austin TX
Male Gaze is a trifecta of bad vibes from the dudes that brought Blasted Canyons, Mayyors and The Mall. Sheets of fuzz, feedback peeking out the corners, and a B+ Ian Curtis impression dress these diet pill pop tunes in your favorite sweater from 1996. Records to come, and a teaser of some demos for their upcoming release on Castle Face:
3/14 – @ Hotel Vegas (Castle Face Showcase), Austin
3/15 – @ The Owl (Castle Face party show), Austin
As the title to Austin trio Megafauna’s sophomore album Maximalist might suggest, it’s optimistic, expansive and unabashedly over-the-top; an endeavor to take music to its utmost potential. The band’s supercharged mixture of sounds ranging from prog-rock flash to alt-rock iconoclasm to pithy power-pop and garage rock energy is as infectious as it is inclusive. Megafauna paves their own hook-laden path — much like the Pixies and Queen, who taught the world that even the most unusual pairings of styles can result in unforgettable and eternal classics.
Maximalist was mixed by legendary engineer Tim Palmer (U2, Pearl Jam, David Bowie; recently featured in Tape Op Magazine) and recorded with Dwight Baker (Blue October, Bob Schneider) in Austin. Maximalist will be available on LP, CD and download on April 15 via Danimal Kingdom.
03/11 Austin, TX @ Guero’s (Future of Indie Showcase)
03/15 Austin, TX @ Shiner’s Saloon
03/16 Austin, TX @ Danimal Kingdom Party
September Girls arrive in Austin this week for SXSW in the wake of their new album Cursing The Sea. Cursing The Sea, the debut album from Ireland’s September Girls, is a dark kaleidoscope of echoey drums, buzzsaw bass, angular guitars and reverb-drenched vocals that blends garage rock and post-punk to extraordinary effect.
Named after a Big Star song via The Bangles, September Girls are comprised of Paula (Bass/Vocals), Caoimhe (Guitar/Vocals), Lauren (Keys/Vocals), Jessie (Guitar/Vocals) and Sarah (Drums). Drawing inspiration from the likes of Phil Spector, The Velvet Underground, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus And Mary Chain, the five-piece play reverb-soaked noise-pop of the finest order, with distant layered harmonies, swirling organ and distorted guitars once described as “sounds from a transistor radio abandoned in a rural cinema.”
Cursing The Sea is out today through Fortuna POP!
March 13 – Austin, TX – Austin Psych Fest Presents: Levitation Austin – Hotel Vegas, 1500 E. 6th St – 9:30pm
March 14 – Austin, TX – Music for Listeners Party – El Sapo, 1900 Manor Rd – 2pm
March 14 – Austin, TX – Full Irish Breakfast – BD Rileys, 204 E. 6th St – 4pm
March 15 – Austin, TX – Waterloo Cycles Party – 2815 Fruth St – 4pm
March 16 – Austin, TX – Panache Booking Hangover – Beerland, 711 Red River St – 2pm
Prolific Chicago noise-rock three-piece Sweet Cobra has just announced the completion of their upcoming new album Earth set for release this summer on a label still to be announced. Recorded by Matt Talbot (Hum) and Kurt Ballou (Converge) at Earth Analog Studios in Champaign, IL (mixed by Kurt Ballou at Godcity Studios Nov 2013), the new album follows the band’s previous full-length album Mercy released in 2010 on Black Market Activities.
In addition to the upcoming full-length, the band is announcing a series of smaller releases, including the Young Widows / Sweet Cobra “Live at Three Floyds” Split LP (out April on Hawthorne Street, art by David M. Cook), and Sweet Cobra / Get Rad “Split” 7? out later this month on Hawthorne Street, Lifeline, and Underground Communiqué Records.
03/11 Austin, TX @ Spider House (Texas Is Funny & Better Days Will Haunt You SXSW Showcase) *
03/12 Austin, TX @ The Annex at 1808 (Ground Floor Booking Unofficial SXSW 2014 Day 1)
03/13 Austin, TX @ The Grackle
Boston’s Topshelf Records has announced the lineups/schedules for their Unofficial SXSW Party and Showcase, happening Wednesday, March 12 and Thursday March 13, respectively.
Check out a teaser video here. More details below.
Topshelf Records SXSW Party (unofficial)
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
6pm – 2am
21st Street Co-op (707 West 21st Street, Austin, TX 78705)
All ages, free.
6:00 – 6:25 – Foxing
6:40 – 7:05 – Duck. Little Brother, Duck!
7:20 – 7:45 – Caravels
8:00 – 8:30 – Diamond Youth
8:45 – 9:15 – Donovan Wolfington
9:30 – 10:00 – Special Explosion
10:05 – 10:35 – Bob Nanna
10:40 – 11:10 – Joliette
11:15 – 11:45 – No Somos Marineros
12:00 – 12:30 – You Blew It!
12:45 – 1:15 – Prawn
1:30 – end – Empire! Empire!
Topshelf Records SXSW Showcase (unofficial)
Thursday, March 13, 2014
11am – 6pm
Soho Lounge (217 East 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701)
12:00 – 12:30 – Special Explosion
12:45 – 1:15 – Donovan Wolfington
1:30 – 2:00 – Frameworks
2:15 – 2:45 – Wild Ones
3:00 – 3:30 – Diamond Youth
3:45 – 4:15 – Prawn
4:30 – 5:00 – Caravels
5:15 – 5:45 – You Blew It!
Warm Soda (aka. Matthew Melton) has done it again! Just when it seemed as though he’d reached the pinnacle of power-pop confection with last year’s excellent Someone For You, he’s topped himself with his latest masterpiece Young Reckless Hearts. The unlikely addition of cello only serves to bitter-sweeten his teenage pop fantasias, the hooks are deviously barbed to lodge themselves into your memory, and the production (done himself at his Fuzz City Studios in Oakland) is dimensional, technicolor, and wide-screen. This is the record to fall into and possibly out of love to in 2014. Out on Castle Face Records March 11 (tomorrow).
03.11 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Cheer Up Charlies – 01:00 pm
03.12 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Hotel Vegas – 10:30pm
03.13 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Trailer Space Records – 09:45pm
03.14 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Hotel Vegas – 06:30pm
03.15 – Austin, TX – SXSW – Hotel Vegas – 11:45pm
Austin, TX hyper-kinetic duo Zorch are knownfor playing shows numbering in the double digits every year during SXSW — in 2011 they played 19 times, in 2012 they played 20 times during the event. So, it may be surprising that they’ve scaled back this year to a comparatively sane nine sets during this year’s festival. The band’s full length debut Zzoorrcchh was released everywhere on CD, LP and download via Sargent House on July 23, 2013.
03/11 Austin, TX @ No Play Music at Cheer Up Charlie’s (4:30pm)
03/11 Austin, TX @ Official Showcase at The North Door (11pm)
03/12 Austin, TX @ Local Gold at Spider House (5pm)
03/13 Austin, TX @ SXSWendys at Chain Drive
03/14 Austin, TX @ Snax by Snax Wonderland at Wonderland (4pm)
03/14 Austin, TX @ Volcom Party at OK Mountain
03/15 Austin, TX @ Breakthru Radio Day Show at The Liberty Bar (4:15pm)
If the third full length by L.A. duo Qui sounds like a radical departure, you probably were never really listening properly in the first place. Sure, perfectly taut vocal harmonies and precise, sparse instrumentation supplants much of the band’s early fume-huffing punk-noise here, but their penchant for challenging, button-pushing ideas is stronger than ever. Qui also employed harmonies and experimental structures on their previous album Love’s Miracle (2007) with former vocalist David Yow (The Jesus Lizard). But, Life, Water, Living… is clearly the band’s most meticulously refined effort at using melody and harmony as subversive weapons.
After a 5-year absence, Qui is once again back to the original duo formed in 2000 by drummer/vocalist Paul Christensen and guitarist/vocalist Matt Cronk. Life, Water, Living… features inventive song structures and warped pop sensibilities reminiscent of early Sparks and Frank Zappa with Queen-style harmonies… or something like if Badfinger were the Melvins. Throughout, it’s an album that subtly commands attention as it shifts from a soft whisper to a chuckle to a scream.
Life, Water, Living… was released February 25 on LP, CD and download in partnership with Cobraside Distribution. Ghettoblaster recently spoke with Cronk about the album, the departure of Yow, and who he’d like to collaborate with in the feature. This is what he confessed.
It’s been around five years since we’ve last heard from Qui, can you tell us quickly about some of the other projects that have kept you busy since then?
In 2009, we played All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, UK. That was also the first of the Jesus Lizard reunion tour that went for the rest of the year. During that time, Paul started a band called Help with Pete Lyman (Dumb Numbers, owner of Infrasonic Mastering) and Pete Beeman (Guzzard, Burning Brides). I was dealing with some health problems and out of commission for a while. Paul also began playing with his ongoing duo, Paulene. They play bossa nova and classic country/western.
I know that Qui started as a duo, but did you ever have any hesitation in returning to the project without David?
Not really. We were a duo for much longer than David was with us. We released a record, toured, all of that. Certainly, we got a great deal more attention with David in the band and that is not lost on us. But when we began playing together again we talked about it, and talked it over with David and we all agreed that it was appropriate. It’s not as though there is any acrimony between us. In fact, David has done the artwork for our new record as well as couple other things.
How do you think the band is different now that you’re a two-piece again?
Well, there is one less guy on stage! There is also one less guy involved in writing and arrangement. David contributed a great deal to all the songs we wrote together. What was so surprising and cool was that he fell in so easily with the way wrote; it was seamless. I think what we are doing now is more dynamic in range than before, but that’s not to say we wouldn’t have done the same thing with David.
I suppose it is difficult for me to answer that objectively. A third party might have a better slant on it.
Does it feel like more of a continuation to the work you had done before David got involved or would you think it falls in line with the entirety of the band?
Again, I may not be the best person to ask. To me, it is all cohesive and makes sense. On the record we did with David, there was plenty of ensemble singing, quiet passages and so on. On the new record there is plenty of noise and dissonance. We have always done that.
How did the two of you reconnect? Was there an initial intent in wanting to do a new album?
We were in touch throughout our inactivity. Once I was back on my feet we got together and made some noise and found we still enjoyed it. For about a year, we just got together regularly and wrote songs. At that point we had no agenda beyond that. Once we had a batch of songs, and were feeling good about the whole thing, we decided to make a record.
Can you talk a little about how the songs on Life, Water, Living came about? Are you both still based in LA and able to meet and rehearse new ideas or did you have to use digital means to get the frameworks together?
Yes, we’re both in LA and have a practice space where we rehearse. When we started writing what would become the new record we hadn’t played in a few years and had tons of song ideas and riffs floating around in our heads. So we just started hashing them out in the practice room. It was a lot of fun. While there was no grand design, we did feel that since there was no one waiting anxiously for us and no gigs booked, we could stretch out a bit and play with some ideas we had about the sound of the band. As much as we absolutely love the record we did with David, we didn’t want to try to do the same thing again. We aren’t really interested in being beholden to a specific sound or scene like, “noise rock,” or “stoner metal,” or whatever. I find that really boring.
There’s definitely a lot going on stylistically with Life, Water, Living – do you think there are any songs or ideas here that might have surprised you back when you started the band?
Yes, I suppose so. Songs like, “Whateryadoin,” and “Awkward Human Interest,” weren’t really my speed back then. The rest of it I think I would have been quite pleased with.
Can you talk about how you ended up partnering with Toshi and Dale for the recording of Life, Water, Living?
We had known them both for years and Toshi had always expressed an interest in recording us. Prior to this record we had done almost all of our recording with Pete Lyman at Infrasonic and had a good working relationship with him. In the time we were inactive he had stopped engineering, sold his recording studio and began mastering full-time at his new Infrasonic Mastering. I liked the production Dale and Toshi had done for Tweak Bird so I called Toshi to see if they’d be into doing it. After checking their schedules we booked the time and off we went. The entire experience of making the record with them was wonderful for start to finish. We look forward to working with them again on the next one.
I know the album is being released in partnership with Cobraside, but it is a self-release, right? Is there any reason you decided to go this way?
The deal we have with Cobraside is for production and distro. They handle all of the manufacturing and distribution to retailers. So they are doing a big chunk of what a traditional label would do. However the day-to-day nuts and bolts stuff we do ourselves; mailings, PR, filling internet orders. It’s a fair amount of work but we enjoy it. As for why we chose to go this way, of the options available, it was by far the best. Prior to our deal with Cobraside, we spent a year signed with a label run out of Warner Bros. It was not a subsidiary, but a boutique label run by Warner’s staff with Warner’s distro and a few other perks. It was, by and large, a very disappointing experience that, after a great deal of bullshit, yielded very little. They did release our split 7” with Mike Watt, and for that we are grateful. Their operations manager is a great guy and was a pleasure, but the owners of the company jerked us around for a year before we just bailed.
When we started talking to Cobraside they were enthusiastic about our record, yet very pragmatic. There was none of this, “kid, we’re gonna make you a star,” nonsense. They explained how and what they could do, we felt comfortable with them, and that was that. So far they have done everything they said they would do and have been nothing but a pleasure to work with.
Do you think you’d consider working with another third member for Qui? Is there anyone that you’d particularly like to work with? Maybe let’s just restrict it to living folks – heh.
Absolutely. We are always game to try things like that. As for a wish list of collaborators, I could go on all night. Off the top of my head, Mike Watt, Marc Ribot, any former member of any lineup of Capt Beefheart’s Magic Band, Shannon Selberg of the Cows. We have done a little writing for female voices and would love to do more of that. We would both like to write for large orchestral ensembles and strings. It would sure be neat to play with a Melvin or two.
Really, anyone with something interesting to do or say could be fun. We’re game for whatever.
(Visit Qui here: https://www.facebook.com/quiband.)
Sleepers Work is the alias of Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist William Flynn who has toured with St. Vincent, and has worked with Acrylics, Aufgang, and others. No Turn Before The Shoreline is the first full length release from Sleepers Work which shows off his moody, ambient R&B. The album’s out March 11 via Primary Records.
The record release show is tomorrow at Bossa Nova in Brooklyn, with SHRAF and Joel Ford.
This week, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of streaming the album. Check it out here: