Thursday, December 23, 2010

Best of 2010 Part 4 (cont)


And the editors picks:

Albums:

I haven't listened to as many albums (as in past years) for various reasons. These are the albums I could listen to over and over again and never get tired.

3) Sleigh Bells - Treats
    I wonder if this female singer wasn't attractive would their live shows be considered so revered? She really doesn't add much to the lp with all the distortion/sampling that careens over her voice. Saw them live and thought they were fun, but a 'must see'? I am not sure.

2) Miles Kurosky - The Desert of Shallow Effects
    I love Beulah and I really loved this album. Not just because I am a fanboy, but because it was freaking good. It took me a couple of listens, but it never left my player.

1) MGMT - Congratulations
    While many didn't appreciate this like Oracular Spectacular I found it enchanting. I enjoyed this album even more than Oracular just because they created a sound soooo different. While one of the most boring live acts I saw this year, it still makes my #1 album.

Shows:

3) Tie: Miles Kurosky - Brillobox 3/29/10 /Tim Kasher - Thunderbird Cafe - 11/22/10 - This was a toss up for me so I included both. These guys provided the audience with so much showmanship and crowd interaction that it made it a disappointment if you missed out. From Kasher (Cursive fame) buying a shot of Jameson for everyone at Thunderbird (when is the last time you heard of that), to Kurosky inviting anyone and everyone on stage to play with the band. Pure satisfaction.

2) Apples in Stereo - 4/17/10 - 123 Pleasant Street - This was in Morgantown, WV but damn what a show. People openly smoking on the floor, old folks in E6 shirts and AIS in futuristic outfits. I had so much fun I forgot I was in Morgantown.

1) Paul McCartney - 8/19/10 - Consol Energy Center - Never seen him, probably never will again. But talk about a musician that has performing down to a science. That is PM. Best show I have seen in quite some time and one that will be in the memory banks until the day I die.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best of 2010 Part 3 (continued)

Part 3: Laura Lee Burkhardt

Top Three Albums:

1.) Defiance, Ohio- "Midwestern Minutes"

Although a far step from the normal acoustic-punk sound, Defiance, Ohio still delivered heart-felt and thought-invoking lyrics and songs that stole my heart this year.

2.) Bad Books- "Bad Books"

When you hear the line-up, you'll know why this makes my number two: Kevin Devine and members from Manchester Orchestra. It is the most perfect ten song album this year.

3.) Girl Talk- "All Day"

If you have heard it, you know why.

Top Three Shows:

1.) MewithoutYou, Murder By Death, and Buried Beds August 10th at Mr. Smalls. (See Review)

2.) Fun., Jarrod Gorbel, and Instead of Sleeping October 2nd at Mr. Smalls. (See Review)

3.) Such Gold, Koji, Into It. Over It., and Wifebeater November 8th at The Smiling Moose.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Best of 2010 - Part 2 (continued)

We continue with our 2010 top albums and shows:

Johnathon Puff

Albums

1. Interpol - Interpol

An unlikely best of album I'm sure and it took much time to grow on me, but it did a few weeks back. A major improvement over the previous OLTA.

2. Spoon - Transference

Spoon are kings of the studio album. Everything they put out is pure brilliance and this one is no exception.

3. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma

Clock Catcher pulls you in and it's hard to get out. Flying Lotus's best work to date.

Shows

1. Arcade Fire - 8/6/2010 Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD

My second time seeing them, first at a major venue, and by far the best show I saw of 2010. "Power Out" into "Rebellion" is the best one-two punch I've ever heard.

2. My Morning Jacket - 8/27/2010 The Amphitheater at Station Square Pittsburgh, PA

The best Pittsburgh show. Two hours plus of pure rocking on a beautiful Friday evening at the end of summer. It just doesn't get much better than "Lay Low" next to the Mon and a Pittsburgh backdrop.

3. LCD Soundsystem - 4/16/2010 Empire Polo Fields Indio, CA Coachella

An unexpected dance crazy set at the first show of their 2010 American tour. "Losing My Edge" the clear highlight of the entire weekend with a tribute to GIL SCOTT HERON!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Top Albums of 2010 - PMR Writers


Editors Note: The past couple of years I have ranked my top 10 albums and shows. This year I decided to do things a little different. Instead of being bored with my questionable prose, I asked the contributors of the blog to provide their top 3 for each category. This will stretch out the rest of the week. The blog will take a vacation over the winter break. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Without further ado:

Favorites of 2010 - Daniel Hammer

In recent weeks, some blogs and critics have been tossing around the comment that 2010 has been a “good, but not great” year for music. Really?! My head is still spinning from all that great music that I’ve blasted through my speakers and headsets this year! The pretentious nerds who are unhappy with 2010 are upset that the year did not produce the kind of consensus favorites that years like 2009 gave us. Last year, it was a fairly simple task to identify the five or so albums that would appear at the top of nearly everyone’s lists. Merriweather Post Pavilion was the clear favorite for the top spot. ‘Big’ albums from the likes of Grizzly Bear and The Flaming Lips provided a sense of stability, and new acts like the XX and Dirty Projectors (has anyone even listened to them since last year?) were collectively agreed-upon top-ten prodigies. There doesn’t seem to the same indie consensus for 2010—which to some obviously means it was a weak year in music. Personally, I enjoy years like 2010. Music has been all over the map this year, and my favorites have not always been the same as my friends or favorite bloggers’ favorites. What’s more, I have the feeling that these types of musical years have already become the norm rather than the exception. Each year is delivering an ever greater volume of bands, albums, musical styles, and remixes, along with opportunities to discover them all through constantly growing channels of media, networking, and sharing on the Internets. My favorite albums of the year are just that—favorites. I have tried not to over-think the list. I just went with the albums that I had the most fun with and that I kept listening to again and again. Here are my favorite 8 ½ albums of 2010.

Top Three

Crime in Stereo—I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone

I listened to no album more in 2010 than this one. This collection of post-hardcore gems is creative, diverse, and a perfect balance of melody and aggression. A more complete album than their previous Is Dead, Crime in Stereo broke up less than two months after this was released. An excellent final release for a band too few people outside of hardcore took the time to discover.

The National—High Violet

The National have easily established themselves as one of the most intelligent and meaningful bands of the past several years. Their music and, especially, Matt Berninger’s voice and lyrics absolutely capture the place in which I find myself—grown up (mostly), done with angst, but thoughtfully struggling with what we love, don’t love, and just aren’t yet sure about in life and the cities we live in.

Twin Shadow—Forget

No better voice debuted this year than George Lewis Jr. His album looks to the sound of the 80s while hurling his moving voice into new musical territory. The songs on this album are so complete, finely crafted and cohesive while pursuing different dynamics of sound and emotion. I listened to nothing but this album for at least four days when I first got it.

Runners-up

Future Islands—In Evening Air

This album is so much fun to listen to. It’s haunting, moving, and danceable. I don’t give a shit if Pitchfork thinks others have done new wave before. Who’s doing it better than Future Islands? No one, that’s who.

Avey Tare—Down There

I am thoroughly surprised by how much I like this album, and it’s not only due to the swampy atmospherics and awesome alligator cover art. Unlike Panda Bear, Avey Tare doesn’t do childlike. He makes dark, murky and absolutely engaging tapestries of sound with enough melody to let you simply listen to the music, rather than study it like homework. That would be boring. This is not.

Indie Folk (because I love how good this genre has become)

The Tallest Man on Earth—Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird EP and The Wild Hunt
How quickly has Kristian Matsson risen in the ranks of the indie and folk world? His first full-length came out in 2008, and this year he has dropped a flawless full-length, followed by an even better EP just two months ago. His debt to Bob Dylan is evident—but this is part of what makes folk so great. Everyone is working with the same simple components of a guitar and voice, but musicians are able to create stirring songs, emotions and melodies that capture your heart. Matsson has done that with both of these releases.

Mumford & Sons—Sigh No More

Appalachian bluegrass folk from London? Yes, and amazingly good.

Sharon Van Etten—Epic

I first heard the single “A Crime” from Van Etten’s second full-length and was hooked on her voice. Absolutely unique and stirring. After hearing “Don’t Do It” I simply had to have the album. I still love those two songs the best, but the whole album is great and I’m very happy to have discovered her this year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Local Artist Wise Blood Signs to Dovecote Records - New Video for BIG EGO

The blogs favorite local act Wise Blood just signed to Dovecote Records and will soon be releasing a new ep in 2011. He has a new single out entitled "Loud Mouths" which you can stream below. He also has a new video for BIG EGO which features a naked female hopping out of bed.

LoudMouths by Wise Blood


"B.I.G. E.G.O." from david parker on Vimeo.


From his press release:

Following the release of his free "+" EP in the Summer of 2010, Pittsburgh’s Wise Blood (aka Christopher Laufman) splashed hard and quickly gained the attention of the online music community with stealth and ease. His weirdo party jams came out of nowhere introducing his warped, screwed collages full of finely detailed compositions backed by tremendous soul. The free EP made impact with Pitchfork who labeled him as a “Rising” artist and the music lovers in general ranging from Fader to Stereogum, Altered Zones, and so forth. Wise Blood has now signed to rising label Dovecote Records and plans to release a new EP in early 2011. By day, twenty-one year old Laufman works in a cemetery as an undertaker. When the sun goes down he is better known as Wise Blood, turning out heavy sample based pop bliss in his bedroom. The youngster, who is influenced by anyone from Prince to Madonna to Slim Thug, is very ambitious... At the age of sixteen, Laufman turned down a scholarship to the highly prestigious Julliard claiming that he "will attend the school only after he takes over pop-music". He’s jumping in head first with this.

I should mention some of his songs have been featured in a couple of commercials. Glad to see someone is making it from the burgh.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Show Review - Ghostland Observatory - 12/10/10 - Mr Smalls - Live Review - Concert Review - Pittsburgh

I'm going to be honest, I had never listened to or seen anything by Ghostland Observatory until earlier this week. My only exposure was seeing them as sub headliners on a Coachella or Bonnaroo poster some years back making me curious when they decided to roll through Pittsburgh following in the footsteps of Girl Talk and Wiz Khalifa by playing back-to-back shows. With a venture to youtube I then understood why they were those sub headliners of those popular festivals. Performance.

With an unusual 9:00 PM start time at Mr. Smalls I entered without the usual long wait and was met with warning signs cautioning of haze, lasers, and strobe lights. Oh My. I was late to the show, but you wouldn't of thought it based on the low number of people in the venue. It clearly wasn't sold out even with another hour until Ghostland were to grace the stage. Opener Mux Mool with a laptop and beatbox started while I was walking in mixing beats with cymbal crashes and you could tell something was very, very wrong. Half way into his set he mentioned that they were having technical difficulties, but based on the set remainder one would have to wonder if it even made a difference.

Thirty minutes later the lights went down, bass started to drop, and my ear plugs went in. Positioned at the back I waited to finish a drink before moving closer to the stage and was glad I did. Producer, drummer, and caped crusader Thomas Ross Turner came out first getting his equipment ready then a minute or so later a long haired pigtails-less Aaron Behrens strutted onto the stage. Then, all of a sudden, LASERS! I'm not talking a few laser pointers, I'm talking the most lasers I've ever seen. Seeing the youtube videos is one thing, but seeing them in person left me speechless. Being centered in the back of the venue made it even more remarkable as you could take in the entire show the way it was meant to be seen. After opener "Glitter" from their latest album Codename: Rondo they exploded into "Piano Man" while making their way through different songs from their four album catalog. The highlight of the show was the track tile "Codename: Rondo" as Behrens wondered the stage talking the song's lyrics with bass hits that could probably be heard across the Allegheny River. For different songs Behrens would play guitar with Turner only playing the drums for one song. Makes you wonder why even bring a drum set with you on tour if you're only going to use it once. It didn't matter though, fans and weekend warriors covered in glitter to wearing fairy wings danced the entire set.



For the encore Aaron gave shout outs to the Pittsburgh natives who were responsible for the amazing laser show we had witnessed for the past hour before starting into their hit "Sad Sad City".

Media releases mention Ghostland Observatory as not a band, but rather an agreement between two friends to create something that not only heals their beat-driven hearts, but pleases their rock ‘n roll souls and seeing their show this night proved this to be true. Whether you're into electronica, rock 'n roll, or just pretty lights and lasers having a band like Ghostland in Pittsburgh is something you don't want to miss as they more than likely won't be back anytime soon. You have one more chance tonight and I highly recommend you don't miss it.

--Jonathon Puff

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Show Review - The Chariot - Altar Bar - 12/1/10 - Pittsburgh - Live Review - Concert Review

Typing with a broken left thumb is not an easy task, especially when you could have a potential concussion, judging from the size of the bruise and lump on your forehead. (The dry blood under your nose may be a clue as well.) I am not really able to tell you exactly when any of these injuries occurred to my body, besides a general blanket statement that any hardcore music fan would understand, “I saw the Chariot last night.”

My friends and I were more than excited to go to this show, considering our very good friends’ band oldfears. were opening. As my friend Becca put it, “I get to see my favorite band, and my best friend’s band on the same bill!” The day before the show is where the mental preparation began, and up until the show, we were all getting ourselves psyched up to throw down, get hit, and face the pit.

The beginning of the show was relatively quiet crowdwise, with two Pittsburgh local openers playing, Dinotrax and Arcane Haven. It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen either of these bands, and though they both deserve respect for what they do, neither performance was anything special. After these two bands played, it was then time for oldfears., one piece of the night that we were all excited for.

It was, in total, oldfears’ fourth time on a stage, and I can proudly say I’ve been there for every single performance. They started off with the first track of their newly released EP, and for the first time that night, the crowd was able to get into the music, and a pit got started. Close to the end of their set, they played what most of the “oldfears. crew” decided was their favorite song, and the rest of the crowd looked a little jealous when all of our friends got the mic for “disloyal and divine.”

After oldfears. came a New York, Staten Island based band, Stray From The Path. I was nowhere near as excited for this band, because the kind of crowd they draw are the hardcore ‘bro’ type kids. I saw way too many flat-brim hats and basketball jerseys paired with cut-off shorts and snakebites for one day. Needless to say, while they were playing, I was happy to sit at the oldfears. merch table.

Beyond Stray From The Path is when the show really started to gain the intensity I was hoping for. The Cancer Bats played next, a hardcore/punk band hailing from Canada, and their set was fantastic, for lack of a better word. They had a fairly big pit going on, with plenty of people screaming the words, and their interaction with the crowd was awesome. They finished with a song called “Hail Destroyer” and even included a Beastie Boys cover in their set. When it was over, though, we all knew what time was, and a rumor had started to circulate throughout the venue that The Chariot would be setting up on the floor due to lack of a lead singer.

Josh Scogin, who screams for The Chariot wasn’t able to be there, because his wife had just had their second child, and I don’t think anybody held that against him. Without a vocalist, they were able to set up on the floor, and used guys from other bands and the audience as a fill-in for Josh. As soon as they started the first song and the microphone got handed into the audience, the raw emotion of that show began to pour out, and didn’t stop the entire time.

It was the kind of show where you just let everything go, you hit whoever you need to, you scream at the top of your lungs, you dance like it’s your last day. For every single one of their ten or so songs, I was in the middle of a crowd of people, being thrown around and throwing people around.

Most people might look at this performance and say, “How could the band let that happen?” The Chariot was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen because of this, anyone who wanted to scream could go ahead and do it. I got the mic for a portion of “The Audience” and “Daggers” and led the crowd with my friends and my voice. That wasn’t all though, my friend Adam essentially played drums for “Deaf Policeman,” and another friend of mine, Ben, acted as the entire Chariot that night, screaming and even playing guitar for them.

It was pure emotion, with no barriers or walls, every person did what they felt in that moment, and despite anything else that we had going on at that point in time, for those three hours we were free. As Chariot bassist Johnathan Kindler’s Twitter read that night, “I will never forget tonights show. Long Love Pittsburgh, Long Live floor shows, Long Live the King”

longlive to everyone - Sam Ritzer

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Show Preview - Ghostland Observatory - Mr Smalls - 12/10 & 12/11 - Pittsburgh - Concert Preview

Ghostland Observatory, an electro duo of sonic and conceptual polarities, makes their first ever appearance in Pittsburgh for 2 days at Mr. Smalls Theatre, December 10 and 11, 2010. Ghostland Observatory is “not a band, but an agreement between two friends to create something that not only heals their beat-driven hearts, but pleases their rock ‘n roll souls.” With four albums and sold out performances at prominent venues and festivals coast to coast, the pair continues to produce sounds undefined by any preceding genres. Front man Aaron Behren, who possesses a stage presence likened to Freddie Mercury and Prince, collides with Producer/ Drummer Thomas Turner’s raw electro rhythms influenced by Daft Punk, The Clash and David Bowie.



Ghostland, presented by Opus One and Näkturnal, will perform Friday, December 10, 2010 with supporting acts Mux Mool and DJs Cutups and Keeb$ (Lazercrunk, Stakin Paper), with an encore show Saturday, December 11, 2010 supported by Expensive Shit, Keeb$ and DJ RA (Fuzz). As Mux Mool, Minneapolis native Brian Lindgren creates homespun electro-hip hop, recently joining Lotus on their U.S. fall tour. His 2010 full-length debut SKULLTASTE, released by Ghostly International, received a 7.5 rating on Pitchfork and four stars in URB. The local percussion/synth/machine duo Expensive Shit consists of Eric Yeschke and Modey Lemon’s drummer Paul Quattrone, who is currently touring Europe with !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Doors open at 8:00 pm both nights. Tickets for each performance are $25 and 2-day passes are available for $45. Both nights are open to all ages.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Show Preview - Linfinity - Brillobox - 12/9/10 - Pittsburgh - Concert Preview

Linfinity will be making another stop in Pittsburgh on Thursday, 12/9 at the Brillobox. The group was here this past May opening for Murder by Death at Mr Smalls. We conducted an interview the last time with lead man Dylan Von Wagner which you can find here. Dylan was developing this project over several years, him as the sole creator. He didn't begin performing until his late 20's and began recording soon after that. Most of his songs are fleshed out by his backing band which does a wonderful of job performing them live as well. These videos were taken from their performance here at Mr Smalls.



From our interview:

You didn’t start getting serious about music until your late 20’s. What was your career before this? What made you want to try this at such a late point in your life? Anything trigger it?


I had a desire for music since high school, but in my area in upstate ny, no one I knew played anything, then I went to Universtity of Vermont and music was more prominent. During school and after I graduated I went to london and soaked up a lot of music, but still didn't pick up an instrument. It wasn't till I moved back to ny when I was 23 24 where I decided i best give this a go. After that just years of learning and trying to write etc...

Your father passed away while recording your first ep. Did this experience influence that recording and lyrics?


It was horrible, norm's song, southern belles, martian's bloom kind of came out of that, he was the guy who ran 5 miles a day, thought he was going the long haul and it's even more bittersweet for he's not around for our record and shows. he saw us once at mercury lounge in nyc a month before he passed.



Southern Belles by pghmusicreport

The band, with Dylan, create a nice wall of sound for the audience. Some of the songs off the debut lp Martians Bloom can be a bit genre bending, but still stay within the same framework of the album. In a live setting they are fleshed and performed with precision. Really good band in concert. Check them out if you like the tunes.

Show Review - Javelin w/ Girl Talk - Stage AE - 12/3/10 - Concert Review - Live Review


Stage AE had its grand opening this past Friday with local mash up artist Girl Talk taking to the stage with Javelin (out of Brooklyn) opening. My first reaction to Stage AE was that it was a bit impersonal, reminding me of an abandoned three-tiered theater. It was extremely dark and a bit gloomy on the inside, not that a venue needs to be bright and cheery, but I felt I was in a refurbished factory. The floors were all industrial strength concrete with 2 large bars on different levels. On the bright side, the sound was incredible and what you would expect at a state of the art facility. There was no issue with maneuvering through the crowd even with the sellout.


Javelin was the second act up of the evening as we missed the first. The duo of Thomas Van Buskirk and George Langford play their live setting with a full drum kit and a table filled with electronics. They play in front of a wall of colorful boom boxes with wires sprawling everywhere. Buskirk raps over the samples that are produced with vocals often poking fun of pop culture. Langford backs him up playing the drums and keep a steady beat with the sampling. The crowd was reacting to the duo as they would later on with Girl Talk, dancing away to party-esque music. Buskirk was full of energy, jumping around and enjoying the audience's intensity. It turned into more of a dance club and was a perfect warm up to Girl Talk. The duo ended their set by knocking down the boom boxes which created a wave of excitement and heavy steps from the crowd. 

Girl Talk came out with a huge video screen behind him showing images and live video throughout the performance. There was a small delay before people poured from the sides of the stage creating the customary atmosphere. These must have been pre-arranged participants because several times I saw attendees trying to climb the fence to get onstage before being rebuffed by security. The new feature to GT show was a mini cam on his platform directed towards the screaming crowd and showing up on the big screen. I don't believe there was an individual in the theater that wasn't moving to the sample heavy show. Towards the end, GG said he was going to end on that note, but then proceeded to play another few tunes that he prepared for the next night's show because he was loving the audience.

Only real downside to the evening for me was the bar operations for AE. It was so crowded, and understaffed to get a drink that you literally almost had to push and fight your way to the bar. It would have helped if they had it roped off to create lines around that area, but instead you caught elbows and nasty glances from patrons just trying to grab a drink. One cute girl next to me continued to smile and look at me as her bf pushed her in my space. Unreal. I felt bad for her.

It will be interesting to see if the new venue will destroy the competition among local promoters. Opus One appears to have a tie in with PromoWest Productions, but other entities such as Joker, Drusky, etc. may have to take a hit as more money will be thrown the artists way from GW. The competition in the city was already tough enough, but now, it's going to be even more difficult to turn a buck. I could be wrong of course.

**My dumbass for got the camera battery, so special thanks to Hugh for the pics.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Show Review - Delta Spirit - Brillobox - 11/30/10 - Pittsburgh

Serious rock music. Delta Spirit played to a packed house (sold out, in fact) on Tuesday night at Brillobox. The band is touring their excellent summer release History from Below, along with a new EP, The Waits Room (see our interview with singer Matt Vasquez below for details). It was impressive to see how many fans Delta Spirit has in the Pittsburgh area; earned not just on the strength of their two full-length albums, but also through constant touring and building a reputation as must-see live act. They played their hearts out tonight, and the crowd loved it.

I first listened to Delta Spirit’s new album this summer. Oddly enough, I put it on during a run through the Allegheny Cemetery. Their music made the perfect companion to the ornate gravestones, passing trees, and cemetery soil. Delta Spirit’s sound comes from the roots. Somehow the association of the setting and the music has stuck with me, in a good way, and I was excited to see them live. Rock, soulful singing, and driving rhythms dominated the night. “Bushwick Blues” was every bit as good live. “Ransom Man,” “White Table” and others all demonstrated a band which has complete control over their craft and the audience. Delta Spirit, after all, pride themselves on a hard work ethic and commitment to a high energy show.

Playing against a giant banner backdrop of the History from Below album cover, it was great to see a band with such a ‘big’ sound in an intimate space like Brillobox. I was not the number one fan tonight, though—looking around the crowd I saw many who knew the words to each and every song and clearly have followed this band for years. After interviewing Matt earlier this month and coming away from the conversation with a great deal of respect for their musical ethic, the live show solidified for me Delta Spirit’s appeal with the people. Good luck on the rest of your tour, from Pittsburgh.

--Daniel Hammer

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Show Preview - Javelin - Stage AE w/ Girl Talk - 12/3/10 - Pittsburgh

As mentioned previously Girl Talk will be opening the new Stage AE on the North Shore this Friday and Saturday. On Friday night Javelin will have the pleasure of opening, being one of the first acts to grace the stage of the new venue.



Javelin are a electro base duo with R&B influences from the 80's and 90's, straight out of Brooklyn, NY. They are known for their live shows broadcasting a FM signal that allows the audience to participate with the sound via mobile boxes. The band is touring behind No Mas, their first lp coming out this past April.



They will definitely be a great addition to a night that should be more than memorable.

Hou Gives A Flute Concert Tour - Freelance Whales - 12/4/10 - Brillobox - Pittsburgh

Houlihan's and VH1 are teaming up to promote "Save the Music Foundation". This weekend they will be making a stop in Pittsburgh at Saturday's Freelance Whales show at the Brillobox along with Friday's Girl Talk conert. The purpose of the stop is to araise awarness of the educational programs The Music Foundation supports. From the press release:

VH1 and Houlihan’s brand ambassadors will arrive in Pittsburgh to go backstage at two local concerts to obtain music artist’s signatures on an acoustic guitar valued at $1,000. Multiple signatures have already been added to the guitar in support of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation which is dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education.

During Houlihan’s lunch hour or happy hour, the signed guitar will arrive at the Houlihan’s restaurants throughout the market to be showcased in a plexi-glass case for guests to view. Patrons will have the chance to register to win free concerts for a year through Live Nation and also the decked out guitar by partaking in an online auction on www.charitybuzz.com. The guitar will be given to the highest bidder and the proceeds will benefit the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. Since 1997, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has successfully restored and sustained instrumental music programs in 1,600 public schools in more than 100 cities across the country, including Memphis, Houston, Chicago, New York, Denver, Baltimore and Milwaukee.

Be sure to stop by and support this important initiative to keep music alive in for our next generation.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Show Preview - Girl Talk - Stage American Eagle - 12/3 & 12/4 - Pittsburgh


We have a new venue in Pittsburgh right in between both PNC Park and Heinz Field called Stage AE (American Eagle). This is something Pittsburgh has been missing to attract those mid-size shows of 1-1.5k concertgoers. Hopefully this will turn the tide. It also appears we have a new promotion company along with the stage called PromoWest http://www.promowestlive.com/pittsburgh/.



The first 2 shows will be played by Pittsburgh's own Girl Talk. If you haven't ever seen a GT show you are missing out. Last year the show at the Amphitheater at Saton Square made our second best concert (see review here). GT is one of the most electric performers today. I don't know anyone who didn't have a good time at last year's show and these two should be no different. He also just release his new cd entitled All Day which you can download for free at various locations across the internet. Videos are from the last show.

Be sure to check out a historic weekend Friday or Saturday or both.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Show Preview - Freelance Whales - 12/4/10 - Brillobox - Pittsburgh

Freelance Whales will be playing at the Brillobox on Saturday, 12/4. They are an indie pop outfit from Brooklyn, NY. They are compared to the Postal Service in most reviews for better or worse. But they really don't fall into that category. They have only been performing live since for the past two years but have received a heap of blog buzz in that time. It recently landed them a spot at this year's Lollapalooza festival where I happened to catch their set. They put on a darn good show.



They are touring behind their debut lp Weathervanes which was released this past year on Frenchkiss Records (Les Savy Fav, Dodos). From their press:

To call them multi-instrumentalists might be a little overdone. The kids in Freelance Whales are really just collectors, at heart. They don’t really fancy buffalo nickels or Victorian furniture, but over the past two years, they’ve been collecting instruments, ghost stories, and dream-logs. Somehow, from this strange compost heap of little sounds and quiet thoughts, songs started to rise up like steam from the ground.


Weathervanes, the groups debut LP, finished tracking just a few nights earlier. Swirling with organic and synthetic textures, interlocking rhythmic patterns, and light harmonic vocals, the record works to tell a simple, pre-adolescent love story: a young male falls in love with the spectral young femme who haunts his childhood home. He chases her in his dreams but finds her to be mostly elusive. He imagines her alive, and wonders if someday he’ll take on her responsibilities of ghosting, or if maybe he’ll join her, elsewhere.





The doors open at 9:30 with the show beginning at 10p. The Minature Tigers and Mia Riddle are scheduled as the openers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Show Preview - Gay Blades - Garfield Artworks - 11/29/10 - Pittsburgh

The Gay Blades will be appearing at Garfield Artworks this Monday, 11/29. They have an interesting marketing campaign, they are creating a song for each town they visit on this tour. From the band:

As a thanks to the towns who are having us on this tour, we are writing each city a our own personal anthem. I thought I would share this tune with the PGH music community. Pittsburgh is a town I've always felt comfortable touring through. Growing up pretty poor gives you a quality that you can't shake off, and sometimes you can feel totally out of place. Pittsburgh never made me feel anything but ready to drink and play a great show.

"I'll Leave My Heart Here In Pittsburgh"



From their press:

Over the past three years, The Gay Blades have built an international following on their side-stepping demeanor, their unpredictable live shows and, of course, their unhinged manic sound. But while their fan base is still marveling at how the larger-than-life duo can fill aural spaces so completely as a two-piece, the band is ready to unveil their sophomore album, Savages, which promises to astonish both their current devotees and future fans alike.


The Gay Blades into an eclectic mix of songs, which cannot be defined by any one genre, but does pay homage to artists such as the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Adam Ant, Spoon, Wilco and Weezer. “Rock N' Roll (Part I),” the album’s emblematic opener, kicks off with scathing guitars and commanding drums, writhing in true Gay Blades fashion. The horn arrangements make their most prominent appearance on “Try To Understand,” a song about “the patience we need to love those who test our love the most,” Wells explains, adding, “it’s a monster of a song, and it might be my favorite on the record.”

O Shot - The Gay Blades





Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Show Review - Tim Kasher - Thunderbird Cafe - 11/22/10 - Pittsburgh - Concert Review


This past Monday Tim Kasher (Cursive, The Good Life) graced the stage at the Thunderbird Cafe. If you are a Kasher fan and didn't go simply because you don't know his solo work, you made a mistake. Kasher brought the goods this evening entertaining the crowd with both his wit and musicianship. He is touring behind his new solo album The Game of Monogamy with a full band to flesh out the sound.


I was wondering how this album would translate in a live setting with it's dark, often depressing content. Thankfully the band was up to the challenge backing TK with a great deal of energy and sound. Of course TK was the main attraction soaking the audience in with his charismatic delivery. He was in good spirits the entire night sharing stories, taking a request and chatting with the crowd. While the main focus was on songs from The Game of Monogamy, the band also performed Good Life tunes including "You're No Fool" and "After O’Rourke’s, 2:10 A.M". They also branched out and added a cover of David Bowie's "Soul Love".


At one point Kasher stopped the show and stated he was going to buy the entire crowd a shot. He only had two requests, it had to be Jameson and you had to wait until the band did it. I thought it might be a joke but sure enough TK whipped out a credit card and handed it to a patron in the front row. Soon enough everyone had a shot of Jameson and knocked one back with the band. Towards the end TK began taking requests. He asked the audience what they wanted to hear...someone from the second floor suggested "Album of the Year" and with that he launched into a solo rendition.


Sometimes you go to shows and hear good music and say afterwards, "they were good" with nothing else. This performance I said that as well, but also "I had a lot of fun". More videos here: http://www.youtube.com/pghmusicreport


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Show Preview - Delta Spirit - Interview - Brillobox - 11/30/10 - Pittsburgh - Concert Preview


Southern California’s hard-working, hard-rocking Delta Spirit will play at Brillobox on Tuesday, November 30th. Relentless touring behind a great live show along with the critical success of their sophomore album, History from Below, have ensured Delta Spirit a growing and appreciative fan-base. On the heels of their full-length release in June, the boys have put together an EP, The Waits Room, specifically for this tour—it is only available at the show on vinyl or on iTunes. Much cooler to come to the show and get yours on wax!

Delta Spirit’s music is a soulful rock, steeped in the roots of Americana. They are known for putting on a great live show. We talked with singer/guitarist Matt Vasquez last week about the band’s live show, touring, and the connection between their new EP and Tom Waits.

What has changed for the band since your first album came out in 2008?

Well, we were a four piece and now we are a five piece again. And we’ve been on tour a lot since then. We toured our first record for 3 years. We did a lot of work and got to tour with bands like Cold War Kids, Dr. Dog, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

We had only been a band for like 6 months when our first record came out. We had a lot more time to write this last record.

As far as what kind of band we are, our schtick is no schtick. Our band is not selling t-shirts at Urban Outfitters. We love writing songs. We're influenced by our friends’ bands. That's what we do. That "our" thing.

Bushwick Blues by Delta Spirit

Your album History from Below has been getting great reviews.

Yeah, it's going great! For us, in the US, it's not like we have to create some gimmick. Our fans have usually seen us live and they like the songs. So instead of some single that they heard on the radio, it's because they like the whole record and the whole sound. We're all very proud of that. It just takes longer than your average Pitchfork-exploding band scenario.

As far as getting more attention now than with our first album, I feel like the difference from any recognition we have is from all the road work. Just touring so much and getting new fans that way.

With this record, we tried to make the record as good as we could and to sound like what we sound like live. Which is also a tricky thing, because what we sound like live is always changing. Sounds continue to be honed in and recreated. I think our real strength is playing in front on folks.

You just finished a tour in Europe with Ben Kweller. How was the tour? Were there cities and audiences that you felt you really connected with?

Yeah. Glasgow, Berlin. London...they're just so informed. They know what's going on a lot better than your average college town. Playing out there it's like playing in certain areas of the mid-west where you only have the internet to tell you what's cool and certain media and press is so important. And for us, press has never been a real big deal....or maybe we've just never done it right. You know what I mean? How do you sell a band that's just friends who just write music?

Your sound evokes the roots of American rock. How does your sound and your lyrics translate to a European audience, who may not have the same cultural context as your American fans?

People get the lyrics a lot more I figure in the U.S. But it's not rocket science to figure out what we're saying in our lyrics—we're pretty direct. And it's even more obvious in a live situation where you can see the sincerity in the musicians. That comes across. We didn't worry too much about playing slow songs where people had to focus on the lyrics, though—we were busy trying to play loud and have fun and get people to have a good time. We have shorter sets out there, and because of that we just try to kick ass as much as possible. Leave a good impression.

With the US shows, we have room to do the songs which are centered more on the lyrics, and it's nice. Depending on the fans and the mood of the night, we'll play a lot of slow songs. Sometimes if a crowd is just too talkative, you don't want to stretch people too far and you just play rock. You want to make sure everybody has fun. You know, the way these tickets are these days with surcharges of $15 bucks sometimes, and even if you paid $10 bucks—y ou paid for a night of fun with a band that you like and you like the songs. You want to play as many of those songs that people want to hear. Even if people want to hear the slow songs, sometimes it's maybe better that they don't hear it. But when the mood is right, it's awesome.

White Table by Delta Spirit

It sounds like your basic philosophy for a live show is to make sure everyone has a good time.

Yeah! Well, we want to read everybody. We're always trying to read out situation and go from there.

What’s the idea behind this upcoming tour?

We'll be on tour for about a month, and we're starting in Lawrence, Kansas and working our way up to Pittsburgh. Doing New York, Boston, Chicago, and hitting the cities that we didn't do last tour. We missed Pittsburgh, and Nashville, and a bunch of places we would have liked to. So we thought...well, we'll put out this EP and...

Yes! Talk about the EP.

The EP is a funny situation. Our record label, in their infinite wisdom, paid us to go back up to the studio in northern California and lip-sync a few songs after we had already finished the album. They wanted video of us tracking the record. So we did that and it ended up on a few blogs. It’s funny, because every record label makes the bands do these kind of silly things. And they had the opportunity to do it while we were recording the record, they just didn't think of it. We had, but nobody listened to us.

So we went back to the studio, even though the record was already done, and videotaped ourselves lipsyncing with the record. It took all of two hours to do. But we had a whole weekend with the film crew, the studio, and the engineer who did our record. So we thought...well, let's do this EP. We had this crazy idea of doing different versions of songs. Like the song “Bushwick Blues,” which sounds like a really driving rock song. On the EP we did everything live, and it sounds kind of like Harvest Moon. There's a library of congress song called “John Henry” that we turned into a kind of Nick Cave-punk-soul song. And a few other songs that were unrecorded of ours.It's only on vinyl on the tour and on iTunes. There are only 300 copies of the vinyl, and you gotta get to the show to get you hands on it. And it sounds great.

Golden State by Delta Spirit

Where does the name The Waits Room come from?

We tracked the EP in this room at the studio that we barely fit in, with a 10 x 10 floor and about a 15 foot tall ceiling. It's a concrete-floored barn room—just this excess room the studio used for storage space. But it turns out that Tom Waits had done every sound of his record Mule Variations in this one room, and it got dubbed the "Waits Room." And it's a cool room, and that's what we did. So the EP is called The Waits Room.

Well, I hope you have still have some of those 300 copies by the time you guys get into Pittsburgh on November 30th.

Definitely! Come out and get a one.

Thanks, Matt. I’ll see you at the show.

--Daniel Hammer

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Local Spotlight - Commissioner Jams Gordon - November 2010 - Pittsburgh


Commissioner Jams Gordon is our local spotlight for the month of November. Matthew Ciaramella and Joseph Kameen are the original members with several other musicians contributing. Below is an interview we conducted with CJG along with several tracks off their cd The Six Year Bus to the Sun. You can find more information about the band on their site http://www.commissionerjamsgordon.com/ along with a free download of the album.

How did the band come together? Were you all friends that went to school?

If you go all the way back to the beginning, the idea of forming a band came from Matt's guitar instructor. We were friends in school, and both interested in music, so it just happened, though other friends have come and left since then.

Mighty Mouse by Commissioner Jams Gordon

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?

It sounds like you gave four dudes $150 and a MacBook and told them to record an album. And one of them plays ukulele. And one of them is very full of mediocre mexican food.

As far as the music is concerned it sounds like The National meets Beirut meets Yo la Tengo, if such a thing is even conceivable.

Are you all originally from the Pittsburgh area? Families here as well?

Yes, we all grew up here, although now one of us lives in Boston and another in New York for school.

Do you all create music full time or is this more of a part time venture?

We are all currently enrolled in school, so being a full time band is not really an option at this point.

This Spot by Commissioner Jams Gordon

How do you create your music? What is the song writing process?

Usually Matt comes up with a melody and lyrics, and over time each person adds their own bits and pieces over multiple practices. Eventually, after successive meetings and recording sessions, the song get's finalized into something more concrete, though minor changes keep getting made up to the final moment.

What are your goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish? Are you trying to get signed to a label?

Getting signed to a label would be great, but honestly, the big dream is to start our own.

Western by Commissioner Jams Gordon

Have you all toured nationally? Or do you usually stay more regionally?

We've done mainly open mics around towns and small shows for friends and friends of friends. Eventually, we plan to start playing shows in Boston and New York.

What are some of the obstacles you face trying to create some 'success' in Pgh?

There isn't a huge scene for indie rock, or at least there isn't a very apparent one. It works ok for us though, since we tend to work more on the recording side of the equation.

What are the positive benefits of being in the area?

I like trees, so there's a lot of those. Also, recording in my basement is free, so that's nice. Also, Rey Aztecas is cheap, delicious, and near by.

But in all honesty we really do love the area and being home. Its almost like the shire or something to us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tim Kasher - Interview - Show Preview - Thunderbird Cafe - 11/22/10


As previously mentioned, Tim Kasher will be playing at the Thunderbird Cafe this coming Monday, 11/22. We previously had spoken to TK in March when Cursive  was opening for the Alkaline Trio at Club Zoo. He was kind enough to answer a few questions ranging from his screenplay to his love of Pittsburgh.

The last time we spoke you were ready to shoot your screenplay in March. Did that get completed? And how did the project go? Will we see a release anytime soon?

No, did not get a chance to get it shot - still working on getting that made, as well as a couple other scripts!

Your new album Monogamy came out in October. How is this a progression from other Cursive records?

Well, better to ask how it's a progression from Good Life records, as it stems from that style of writing. I tend to write "rock", for lack of a better word, for Cursive, and more traditional music for Good Life/this project. This record differs in the sense that I'm not writing with/for a band, so I was afforded more flexibility for arranging with different instrumentation.

Is there a theme behind your new album? Or are these songs that shouldn’t be grouped together?

There is an overall theme of a monogamous relationship, the challenges this couple faces.

Where do you see your career going from this point? You created a screenplay, albums, etc. Is there anything else you would like to try? What goals do you have now?

Not really anything else I'm up for at the time, pretty busy with music and what I would currently call a "hobby" of writing screenplays. I don't expect much, career wise, I just keep writing and releasing albums, and am fortunate enough to keep doing so!

You now reside in Montana compared to LA or a metro area. Have you been able to spend time there? Has this had any influence on your writing, etc? Do you enjoy it more than the city?

Whitefish is a great town, whether it has any influence on writing, I can't be sure. I love living in both small towns and big cities, for different reasons. I may prefer the small town, only because there is more solitude, more time for writing.

Has the current state of the economy affected any plans you had for your band from travel or recording? To marketing?

Fortunately, not yet, though I never have made too big of plans for travel or recording!

Are you traveling with a full band on this tour?

Yes, we have a full band: Dylan Ryan on drums, Patrick Newbery on keys and trumpet, and Lewis Patzner on cello and bass.

Is there a show or album that made you want to dedicate your life to music?

Perhaps seeing Fugazi at an earlier age - their approach to writing and to the industry is inspiring.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is amongst the most underrated beautiful towns in the country!! But I think i've said that from stage a few times.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Show Preview - Tim Kasher - Thunderbird Cafe - 11/22/10 - Pittsburgh

Tim Kasher (lead man of Cursive, The Good Life) will be performing at the Thunderbird Cafe Monday, 11/22. Kasher just released his first solo album in his name this past October titled The Game of Monogamy. If you are a reader of the blog you know we are huge fans of TK. Just this past year we did a sit down interview with TK  which you can find here. He is one of the pioneering musicians of the 'Omaha scene' which includes Conor Oberst. He doesn't get as much attention as the latter, but he truly should.

Cold Love by Tim Kasher

The Game of Monogamy is a bit of a departure for what Cursive fans might expect. The teen angst is replaced by a more mature sound bordering on orchestral pop. TK wrote, produced and recorded the entire album that was released by his normal label, Saddle Creek. You can hear the multiple arrangements including strings, horns and wood instruments. The lyrical content is definitely depressing, speaking of a relationship that has gone stale: We both stopped servicing/Oh we're definitely missionary/Our official position. On the titled track 'Monogamy' So we're stuck in a few ruts/my independence is all but shriveled up/I guess that's the price we pay for monogamy We both have regrets; Those roads we never drove/But it's pointless to dwell in the what if's/I mean what if we had never met.

A Grown Man by Tim Kasher

From his press release: The album’s classical opening and its closing begin with an uneasy refrain of plucked notes on a harp, setting the tone for The Game Of Monogamy.  The theatrical arrangements and lush instrumentation of the album’s moody orchestral pop evoke a 1950s, pre-sexual revolution atmosphere, and set the stage for a dilemma that remains thoroughly modern.  The protagonist’s arc in The Game of Monogamy spans the wide range of distinctly human emotions tangled up around relationships in a starched shirt society.  Call it the score for our collective sexual plight: expression routinely becomes repression in the name of romance.  Kasher’s vision is as keen as ever, unapologetically honest, unflinching, and self-reflective.

There Must Be Something I've Lost by Tim Kasher

In concert Tim Kasher brings the goods and intensity that the audience pays for. Cursive played here back last May and put on one of our top 10 shows of the year. I am sure he will not disappoint in the smaller venue.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Girl Talk - All Day - Free Download

Resident musician Girl Talk just released his latest album All Day via Illegal Art. There is a free download that you can get here: http://illegal-art.net/allday.

Celebrating 10-plus years of sample-obsessed production and relentless touring, Gregg Gillis returns with All Day, his fifth album as Girl Talk, and his most epic, densely layered, and meticulously composed musical statement to date. Continuing the saga from the previously acclaimed albums, Night Ripper and Feed The Animals, Gillis lays down a more diverse range of samples to unfold a larger dynamic between slower transitions and extreme cut-ups. With the grand intent of creating the most insane and complex pop collage album ever heard, large catalogs of both blatantly appropriated melodies and blasts of unrecognizable fragments were assembled for the ultimate Girl Talk record (clocking in at 71 minutes and 373 samples).

Earlier this year, Girl Talk finally took a break from touring, festival dates, and college shows, in order to create this album that is now being released immediately after its completion. While posting the album as a free download on the Illegal Art label's site allows All Day to reach his fan-base quickly and with minimal cost, Gillis spent more time on this album than any previous release and considers it the most fully realized and evolved manifestation of the Girl Talk aesthetic.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Trip Back to School - Vinyl Fever

I am headed back to my alma mater to catch a game this weekend. Back in the day the best music store in the world was Vinyl Fever. It had a huge used selection, special items and vinyl that was matched by no other store I had been to at the time.

I was looking forward to going this time as well, but I just found out that the store closed. Turns out they had to shut down due to the piracy, singles, etc. that many independent stores are competing with in today's market. Truly sad. I remember getting Sufjan's album for $1, Pavement vinyl for $3 and an Arcade Fire single for $2.

It's disappointing to see these stores you grew up with no longer existing. But I guess this is the nature of the business. The internet has changed everything for good or bad.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Show Review - Gogol Bordello - 11/5/10 - Mr Smalls - Pittsburgh


Thursday night at Mr. Smalls, the party known as Gogol Bordello visited our kind city. Gogol Bordello is one of the more celebrated live acts touring today—and with good reason. Tonight, they whipped the sold-out crowd into a frenzy with infectious, gypsy music-inspired punk, folk, and funk. Gogol Bordello’s show starts and stops with front man Eugene Hütz, whose onstage persona is bursting at the seams with wild-eyed charisma and tireless energy, delivered with a wink and a bit of a snarl. After openers Forro in the Dark had left the stage and the excitement began to build, many of us in the 21+ back section of the club began our migration to the front—not willing to merely witness the spectacle, but wanting to be a part of it as well. Once Gogol finally took the stage, the musical party began, arms went into the air, and the floor bounced with under our feet. Hütz led the charge with his music and his dancing. The gypsy musical sound is set by his acoustic strumming and the sometimes lulling, sometimes manic, accordion. As Hütz belts out his mad peasant croon, Gogol Bordello’s music is given strong groove and rock by heavy doses of bass, drums, violin, and Pedro Erazo’s rapping.

Highlights of the night for me were songs “Imigraniada” and “Break the Spell,” both off the most recent album Trans-continental Hustle. “Break the Spell” is one of those live songs that just keeps giving—the band was able to rock out an extended version which kept the crowd jumping and enthused. They even returned to this refrain during the encore. Erazo demonstrated a novel method of crowd surfing at one point, passing his marching-band style bass drum into the audience and then standing on top of the drum itself, from which he soon jumped into the arms of people below. My own (un-regretted) souvenir from the evening came in the form of a stain on my shirt from Hütz’s bottle of wine when he splashed it onto the crowd. Some talented Pittsburgher’s gave Gogol Bordello souvenirs as well. After the encore, the band came back to the stage and accepted two gorgeous oil paintings (one of Hütz and one of violinist Sergey Ryabtsev) that were being held above the crowd as the show started. Hütz seemed genuinely moved by the gesture, and rewarded us with one last song before the night ended. As the band bowed and left the stage, Hütz said, “Thank you, Pittsburgh. We are your friends, Gogol Bordello.” I think that many people tonight couldn’t help but agree with him.

--Daniel Hammer

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ticket Giveaway - April Smith and the Great Picture Show - Club Cafe - 11/8/10 - Show Preview


April Smith and the Great Picture Show will be playing Club Cafe Monday, 11/8. The doors will be open at 7p. We are giving away a pair of tickets to the show. All you have to do is email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name.




April Smith and the Great Picture Show play sassy pop music informed by the 30s and 40s, juke joints and cabaret, the Andrews Sisters and Tom Waits. Smith -- born and raised in Toms River, New Jersey, and now based in Brooklyn -- covers a wide range as a singer and songwriter, from the heartbroken ballad "Beloved" to the cheeky tell-off "Stop Wondering" and the sexy swagger of "Wow and Flutter". Her voice swoons and seduces, and then escalates to breathtaking peaks, backed by piano, upright bass, drums, guitar, horns, ukulele, accordion and even, when the occasion warrants, a suitcase used as a bass drum.

April Smith supported a national tour by singer and Eagles/Linda Ronstadt songwriter J.D. Souther in 2008 and played Lollapalooza 2009, in addition to appearing on an episode of the syndicated TV show Fearless Music and recording sessions for New York radio stations WRXP-FM and WFUV-FM -- all as an unsigned artist with no current album. In the summer of 2009, Smith sought to raise $10,000 to record and release Songs For A Sinking Ship from her fans via Kickstarter.com, a fundraising site for artists and creators. In the two months allotted for the campaign, Smith exceeded her goal, eventually earning more than $13,000 in pledges as fans eagerly anticipated the new album. Smiths song Terrible Things is currently featured in a promo spot for the Showtime TV series Californication.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Show Preview - Gogol Bordello - 11/4/10 - Mr Smalls - Pittsburgh


In August I caught Gogol Bordello's set at Lollapalooza in Chicago. I had heard of them, but never really bothered to seek them out. What a serious mistake. They put on one of the best show's I have seen in quite sometime. They play a manic variety of gypsy punk rock that keeps the audience in constant motion (not too mention themselves). They bring a mesmerizing combination of spectacle and musical mayhem, with a variety of musicians onstage. The traditional folk sounds and rhythms are accompanied by punk rifts, drums, acoustic guitar and scruffy vocals.




The band just recently released their latest album (and first on a major label) entitled Trans-Continental Hustle. GB are no gimmick, they bring the goods. Even though they are older and supposedly a bit slower, they show no signs of age. Lead Eugene Hutz has a relentless hunger to bring a party atmosphere onstage and a vision of how a band should entertain. The band just isn't for the young, they bring a number of of old punks, metal-heads and your normal indie attender where age and musical genre do not reflect the norm. This is definitely a must attend, if not for the music, then for the atmosphere.

Gogol Bordello will be playing at Mr. Smalls this Thursday, 11/4 at 8p.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Morning Glory Coffee House Closing


Just received some bad news, Morning Glory Coffee House will be closing its doors tomorrow 10/30. They are one of the more friendly independent shops around town and will be sorely missed. They put on a lot of great shows over the 2 years of existance, but nothing lasts forever. Here is the Dark Dark Dark video we captured from Moglo.



Tomorrow they will be open from 9a-9p. Be sure to stop by if you can. Everything will probably be on the house or close to it. RIP

Show Preview - Cloud Cult - Mr Smalls - 11/2/10 - Pittsburgh


Cloud Cult will be appearing at Mr Smalls next Wendsday, 11/3. They are touring behind their new album Light Chasers released in September. They have made a stop in Pittsburgh only 2 times before while being together for over 15 years.


From their press release:

With the release of Light Chasers (their 8th album in the past 15 years) this past September, Cloud Cult has returned to the indie-rock scene with what Pitchfork has called ““…Epic, millennial indie rock…”. John Richards of KEXP has also praised their latest effort, saying Light Chasers is "The best thing Cloud Cult has ever done, which is saying a lot as everything they've done so far is near perfection". The band will be heading out on tour this fall in support of Light Chasers, including a stop in their hometown of Minneapolis where they will headline First Avenue on November 17th and 18th. This comes after First Avenue honored Cloud Cult with a star on the side of their venue. Previous honors have gone to the likes of Aerosmith, Nirvana and Metallica.