Friday, May 28, 2010
April Smith and the Great Picture Show will be playing Club Cafe Wednesday, 6/2. The show is schedule for 10p with Cry Fire opening. We are giving away a pair of tickets to the show. All you have to do is email us at email@example.com with your name. From their bio:
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.
Movie Loves A Screen by April Smith and the Great Picture Show
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The Twilight Sad played a furious set Tuesday night at the Brillobox. Coming out to a sea of noise over the speakers the band jumped onstage and began pounding away. Lead James Graham was definitely the focal point with his wailing vocals and manic moves onstage. He really feels the music and gives it his all when he performs.
The band played a majority off their new lp Forget the Night Ahead with a mix of older songs thrown in. The group played with a wall of sheer fury holding the audiences attention with every tune. At times it was difficult to hear the vocals especially on tracks from the new album. "I am a Prostitue" was crystal clear when the band played which such force and intensity that it had me in awe. Andy MacFarlane played lead guitar with waves of sound and energy that presented a nice layer for the audience's ears. The only snafu was during one song the microphone and part of the instruments lost power cutting the set short. They were able to get back online after a minute delay. It was a great night...check out the videos.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
This month's local spotlight is on Delicious Pastries. We first came across these guys when they opened for Miles Kurosky at the Brillobox. They put on a fine show, even without a drum set, playing their brand of Elephant 6. Below is a interview they were kind enough to give us with streaming tracks.
If you like what you hear, they will be playing a show this Friday, 5/28 at the Brillobox.
Dad by Delicious Pastries
How did the band come together? Were you all friends that went to school? or?
Jonathan met Jesse a little over ten years ago while playing a pick-up frisbee game. He was immediately struck that some of the other kids playing that day were wearing t-shirts with Jesse's face on the front. The shirts said "King of Bee". Jesse came highly recommended. While at their respective colleges Jesse and Jonathan would go see shows together, climb on the roofs of buildings, and play bottle cap frisbee. Jesse would pay for haircuts with mix tapes. Jonathan met Burr while in grad school in Wisconsin. Burr's wife Natalie, a talented artist, went through the same program as Jonathan a few years earlier. Burr was pursuing his PhD in computer science, and filled the rest of his time playing music and writing songs. This leveled him out and brought him down from the clouds. He and Jonathan would join up and share songs, but never wrote or performed together.
While pursuing his MFA in Wisconsin, Jonathan and Jesse would talk on the phone about starting a band that would solve all of the problems of the post-napster music industry. For a lark, and in response to the faceless myspace, they started a fictional band Delicious Pastries, with no plans to record, and signed themselves to their invented label Totally Snakes. It served as an avenue to dream about the best band that never happened. After school Jonathan had moved around a bit, and Jesse had spent time touring with a couple bands. Through some crumbly circumstances in Chicago, Jonathan was forced to think about moving. After a brief visit to Pittsburgh, where Jesse was living, they would finally make music together. He moved in with Jesse after not seeing him for almost a decade, and Delicious Pastries, now a reality, set up camp in Jesse's living room. Songs about unrequited love, girls across the street, and snakes emerged overnight. With the addition of some new dear friends, Delicious Pastries performed briefly as a 6-piece, briefly as a 2-piece, and was recently reborn 4-piece – with the addition of Burr and Jacob who had recently met after moved to Pittsburgh for post-doctoral research at CMU. Jacob was introduced to the group as a "guy who plays bass really well". Nothing truer could have been said. Jonathan, glad to be reunited with Burr, eagerly introduced him to Jesse, who took a shine to him immediately. The new grouping practiced for two weeks and started playing around town again.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
We make a self-aware brand of pop music, with 60s retro sensibilities, and a late-90s delivery. We find ourselves comfortably situated with many of the bands on the now-dissolved (recently revived?) Elephant 6 Recording Label. Pretend Jeff Lynne, Brian Wilson, Alex Chilton, Rod Argent, and Caetano Veloso had a dinner party at which we were waiters, and then ate all the leftovers after everyone went home. We swallowed 5 decades of pop music in one sitting, and the result is an unbridled pop explosion
Mistakes by Delicious Pastries
Are you all originally from the Pittsburgh area? Families here as well?
Jonathan and Jesse were born in Pittsburgh. Jesse was raised a little up the Allegheny from the city and moved closer in the last few years. Jonathan left when he was 15 and just came back. Burr and Jacob moved here recently. Jesse is the only one with family here.
Do you all create music full time or is this more of a part time venture? Do you have day jobs?
We all have day jobs. Jacob and Burr are scientists, Jonathan is an artist, and it can be argued that Jesse listens to music full-time. Thank God for rent each month! If any of us make music close to full-time, it's Jesse. His room is surrounded by keyboards. He might even sleep on one.
Something Else! by Delicious Pastries
How do you create your music? What is the song writing process?
The song writing process is different every time. Most of the early songs were penned by Jesse and Jonathan, together or separately. Now Burr and Jacob are entering into the process, and compositions are becoming more varied. The band churned out a ton of new material during the month of February for February Album Writing Month (FAWM), a venture that Burr started with a few friends. It has grown to include thousands of participants. It can be seen at www.FAWM.org
What are your goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish? Are you trying to get signed to a label?
Rather than say something as lofty as "to have fun" or "to get famous", or as arduous as "to tour the country", our answer sounds more like: to produce the highest quality product we can with the materials we have, through hard work. This way we can hopefully stand behind it without wincing. Oh yeah, and to put on killer live shows! We generally look at fun or money as a byproduct. They both come in handy down here though. We hope to put out an album this year. We'd HOPE to. It's a shame we don't have one already. Recording would tie a bow on this entire process. Labels could make anyone wary. We don't want to put the cart before the horse. If things get too hot, we can always sign ourselves to Totally Snakes Records.
Press House Installation by Delicious Pastries
You have a new project you are working on. Can you describe it? Are all members involved?
We have quite a few things in the works right now. It's all top secret. We make pop songs! It's more like pop secret. All members are involved.
Have you all toured nationally? Or do you usually stay more regionally?
We have not toured nationally yet, or internationally. Haha. We've done what we like to call “microtouring”. By that we mean that we have played a few shows outside of Pittsburgh.
Being in the Pgh area, do you find it more difficult to try and succeed?
Pittsburgh is great. No complaints here. We sell out most of our shows and we haven't even released a recording yet! There are some great bands here that are our brothers-in-arms. We love to play with Mariage Blanc, Meeting Of Important People, Good Night, States, and other locals. Most of them have releases for later this year. You can do things here that you can't do elsewhere. Things like: pay rent and practice in your living room.
It's So Perfectly Arranged by Delicious Pastries
What are some of the obstacles you face trying to create some 'success' in Pgh?
It's been hard to reach the universities so far. Most of our shows are 21+. The university environment has become insular. Live music is cheaper than a night of Keystone Light Ice. We'd like to have more students involved with the "scene". We'd also like people to wear brighter colors.
What are the positive benefits of being in the area?
The area has many decently sized venues. It's easy to pack the house. People who participate are enthusiastic. It's nice to not be completely over-saturated and have four Kaiser Chiefs cover bands living on your block.
Safe And Sound by Delicious Pastries
Is there a venue you have enjoyed playing more than others in the area?
We've played most of shows at the same few local venues. We think Howlers does a great job. Our list is still growing. Things generally function the best when less people have their hands in the cookie jar.
Friday, May 21, 2010
We did our 'spotlight' on local artist Wise Blood a few weeks ago. The positive responses we received were pretty amazing. In honor of your admiration, there is a free EP by the artist entitled '+' available at this link: hazemotes.bandcamp.com. Also, below is a streaming track not on the EP.
Make sure to leave feedback in the comments section.
BSMNT RVE @ MY HOUSE by Wise Blood
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Twilight Sad will be performing at the Brillobox on Wednesday, 5/25 with Mono. I was lucky enough to catch them when they came to Gooski's back in 2007. That was my first and only show I ever attended there and it was one of my favorites. I recall being crammed into the back room, right up against the stage. Twilight Sad put on a very powerful show, almost haunting. I don't recall if the lights were broken or if they requested the lights be turned off......I believe I remember lead James Graham fiddling with the light and it falling down. The band played their set practically in the dark. Graham was off to the side of the stage standing sideways and screaming into the microphone; his silhouette appeared like a shadowy force to be reckoned with. I don't know if they can pull that off again, but can't wait to see them try.
Below is an interview James Graham was kind enough to give us. There is also some songs streaming for you listening pleasure.
In February your original bassist (Craig Orsel) left the band. How has the transition been? Any hard feelings from him moving on? Has new bassist (John Docherty) fitted in?
its been pretty easy to be honest. johnny was the obvious choice, we were friends and he was a really good bassist. nothing has really changed as it was always andy and myself who wrote the songs. if anything i feel we have become a better live band. craig leaving was a surprise but we all understood why he left and remain friends with him.
The Neighbours Can't Breathe by The Twilight Sad
I read that you write the lyrical content. With your last album Forget The Night Ahead did this change? How does the band create the song structures?
the lyrical content on "forget the night ahead" was all pretty heavy to be honest. our first album was pretty dark as well but i had a really rough two month period of my life whilst writing FTNA and lost someone very close to me and didn't deal with it too well. when we are writing songs andy sends me some music and i write my vocal melodies and rough lyrics then andy puts them together and then we all get together and arrange the song and add the layers of noise/instrumentation ect..
In past interviews you mention the aversion to the business side of the industry. How do you feel about it now?
its still something that i cant get my head around, some people are business minded and enjoy that but not me. i just like playing live and writing etc. there's alot of dicks in the music industry and hangers on and i like to steer clear of them. i am not in this to make money but i do know we need to do that to survive as a band so i am going to have to get my head around it at some point.
Twilight Sad - Reflection Of The Television by The Twilight Sad
Could you explain your vision from some of the album artwork? Is there a meaning behind it? The art looks like it was produce in the 40’s?
well we work with a guy called Dave Thomas who works for our label Fatcat. andy and dlt have similar interests in 40's 50's artwork so the talk about what kind of style they want to go for then i send DLT the lyrics and he relates the artwork to them.
You have been well rcvd in the ‘indie world’ of North America; how is it in Europe?
we do really well in Scotland and England but we have only really toured mainland europe supporting bands such as Mogwai and Beirut. those tours went really well and we hope to get back out there some time. we would also like to get over to North America a lot more.
I Became a Prostitute by The Twilight Sad
Your first single was called “I Became a Prostitute”. Was the label ok with that title? Or did they meet you with resistance?
to be honest they weren’t too happy with it but we stuck to our guns and we got to keep it. it probably isn’t the best idea to call the first single of the album that as far as radio play etc. its just a metaphor for becoming something that you don’t want to become and you can see it happening and there is nothing you can do about it. none of us have ever prostituted ourselves.....yet
How are the shows you play in Europe compared to the ones in the US? Are you getting the same attendance? How does the audience differ in responding to the music?
we aren’t the kind of band where people go crazy and dance around and start mosh pits, our crowds are very respectful and show their appreciation by either singing along or shouting abuse at us in between songs. the US crowds are great they do go a bit more crazy and we like that but they still are very respectful and supply us with a lot of alcohol at the end of the show which is fine by us.
That Birthday Present by The Twilight Sadt
Paul Savage has been producer on both your albums (really loved the Delgados). What does his experience bring to the table? How does he influence your sound?
to begin with he is a good friend which creates a relaxed atmosphere in the studio and nobody is scared to voice their opinion. paul co-produced the records with Andy our guitarist and they knew exactly what they were looking for before entering the studio. Paul’s worked with so many great bands such as Mogwai, the delgados, The Phantom Band and Arab strap so we were lucky that he wanted to work with us.
Is there an album or show that made you want to dedicate your life to music?
we write music because that was all there was to do where we stay, that and drink. we are influenced by a lot of albums/bands but our main influence is where we are from and the old/new stories from home.
What are the goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish?
i think every band wants as many people as possible to here their band. but our main goal is to keep making albums that we are proud of and playing live all around the world. to be making a living out of making music is a privilege because there are so many bands that are trying to that, so i am happy if we can get by whilst making music we are proud of.
Is there a theme behind your new album Forget the Night Ahead? Or are these songs that shouldn’t be grouped together?
to us Forget the night ahead is an album and not a collection of singles. it should be listened to in its entirety to really get it and it’s also an album that you need to give time to to really appreciate it. as i said before lyrically its about a rough time in my life and its also a very honest record - every word you hear is meant to be heard. its a very dark album but that’s how i like my music.
Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?
Saturday, May 15, 2010
The Wailing Wall is multi-instrumentalist Jesse Rifkin. He will be opening for Tim Fite on Friday 5/21 at the Warhol. Below is an interview he was kind enough to give us plus streaming audio of a song from his forthcoming album The Low Hanging Fruit.
You grew up in a Jewish home even attending an Orthodox HS. How would you characterize your beliefs today and how does it influence how you create your music?
I would say that music is the medium through which I struggle to figure out what my beliefs are. I read a lot of books about religion and philosophy, so there are constantly new questions being asked, new ideas being examined. Recently I read David Lynch’s book about Transcendental Meditation and creativity (Catching the Big Fish) and that raised some interesting points.
Bones Become Rainbows by The Wailing Wall
You create a majority of your compositions. Do you ever have friends you record with influence any structure, etc. on a track?
Oh for sure! The chords and lyrics are always mine, and I’ll usually bring in some ideas about arrangement, but the beauty of friends coming and going through the band is that they all bring in their own playing styles and ideas. Depending on the players available at any given moment, a song can go through some pretty drastic changes, even down to the very structure of the thing if that’s what has to happen.
With recording your last album I read you used all acoustic instruments. Is this how you are performing live as well?
That was something I stupidly told an interviewer before we even started making the record. Once we started recording, I think we stuck to that rule for maybe an hour or two before the first song we were working on just seemed to be begging for a distorted electric guitar part. That being said, I did insist on using natural/organic sounds whenever possible. A lot of what sounds like a synthesizer on the album is actually a real live pipe organ. We probably could have gotten the same sound from an electronic keyboard, but recording the pipe organ in a church added a lot of natural room sound and ambiance and breath that we would have lost otherwise. To my ears, it kind of makes the record.
This tour, are you with a band or just doing an acoustic set by yourself?
Solo this time, with an electric guitar and a whole ton of pedals. Maybe some other treats here and there too.
What is your songwriting process? Do you create the lyrics and music to follow or?
There’s no one way it happens. Usually the two kind of form independently over long stretches of time, and then at some point (weeks later, months later, years later even) I’ll kind of notice how a lyric and a tune might fit together, and the start to introduce them to each other and do some editing. The songs always point the way and I follow; I can’t ever force it or it just comes out wrong. Takes a lot of patience, for sure. If I had more of a “process” I’d probably have a lot less anxiety in my life, but there you have it.
From your album title to your lyrics have a defined religious undertone. Do you ever find this turns some people off?
I wonder about this sometimes. Nobody’s ever told me that they’ve been turned off, but why would they? If they listen to the music, though, I think they’d notice that there’s a lot more questions asked than answers given. I think of heroes of mine, people like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), Phil Elverum (Microphones/Mount Eerie), Will Oldham (Palace/Bonnie "Prince" Billy), John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats), Mark Hollis (Talk Talk), Sufjan Stevens, Nick Cave, Joanna Newsom, Vic Chesnutt – all these songwriters (and so many more) have grappled with religion and/or spirituality in their work, and as far as I’m aware it hasn’t impacted their secular appeal. Plus – and I really can’t emphasize this enough – I do write about other things as well (like sex, for example).
Is there an album or show that made you want to dedicate your life to music?
It had always kind of been there in my mind, since discovering the Beatles as a little kid. But seeing The Olivia Tremor Control at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, August 2005, was the thing that finally got my ass in gear. Still the greatest show I’ve ever seen. As soon as I left I started making a list of friends that I could ask to join my band.
What are the goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish?
I’d like to be one of those people like Neil Young or Will Oldham who just creates a massive, varied body of work that is consistently high quality, or at least consistently interesting. I mean, no matter what mood I’m in, there’s pretty much never a Neil Young record that doesn’t fit it perfectly. So I’d like to have that be true for WW as well. Also, I’d be super happy if music could facilitate my travelling all over the world.
Do you have any professional training? How did you get your start playing music?
Guitar lessons off an on through my childhood and in college. I had this one teacher growing up in Annapolis, MD, his name was Rob Levit. He was a jazz guitarist. I was never a really devoted student of jazz guitar, kinda hated that style of playing to be honest, but the main thing I really learned from Rob was how to manage your own life as a creative person – both the business end of things, and just doing things like reading and drawing and listening to all different kinds of music to keep yourself creatively engaged and inspired. So for that I’ll always be grateful.
And then on the flip side, playing in punk bands in high school and discovering indie rock and home recording. My friends and I playing with a four-track in a basement, learning how to layer sounds and arrange things. When I finally started playing publicly as The Wailing Wall, the guy who really gave me my start was my friend and mentor Jason Anderson. He was the first real “professional musician” who really believed in what I was doing and brought WW to open some shows for him. He’s been an incredible friend and inspiration ever since, and even plays in WW on occasion.
Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?
As a matter of fact, yes, there is. The only time I have ever come to your city before to play music, which was some time ago, it ended up being one of the worst and most heartbreaking nights of my career. I was really excited for the show, really excited to be in Pittsburgh, and then lo and behold, nobody showed up. Not a single person. To date, that is the only time that has ever happened to me. But I am really excited for this show. I’m excited to be playing with my friend Tim Fite, I am excited to see the Warhol Museum, and I’m especially excited to meet some awesome people and play an awesome show and repair my broken relationship with Pittsburgh.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Show Preview - Futurebirds - 5/18/10 - Thunderbird Cafe - Opening for Jessica Lea Mayfield - Show Announcement - Pittsburgh
Futurebirds will be opening for Jessica Lea Mayfield on Tuesday, 5/18 at the Thunderbird Cafe. They hail from Athens, GA and have been around for a short time. If you enjoy Fleet Foxes, Delta Spirit or Dr Dog you might also like this band. Below is a single from their upcoming album with bio.
Johnny Utah by Futurebirds
Last spring saw the release of their eponymous EP, a euphoric backwoods sing-a-long that made the six guys in Futurebirds a lot of choir buddies. Now, after only a short, hazy lifespan, the band has signed with Autumn Tone Records. With the help of Drew Vandenburg at Athens’ own Chase Park Transductions, there’s a new record in the can—one that sees Futurebirds harnessing the youthful exuberance of the EP to fashion songs of a grander scale.
Hampton’s Lullaby aims to prove that they’re not simply standing on the shoulders of giants like Flying Burrito Brothers, Andre Benjamin and The Band. Four distinct voices telling tales of trials and tribulations provide the strength for it to relate to the masses. New singing buddies are welcome July 13th, when this puppy hits the shelf.
5/16-TT The Bears-Boston, MA
5/18-Thunderbird Cafe-Pittsburg, PA
5/19-Beachland Ballroom-Cleveland, OH
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Twin Tigers are a band that is getting a bit of buzz lately. Hailing from Athens, GA the boys play a mix of shoegaze, rock and pop. They were just recently at Garfield Artworks (which I totally missed) and are touring nationally now. ***They will also be opening for Interpol on a slew of dates, including Mr Smalls on 6/23. From their bio:
Everyday by Twin Tigers
Hailing from the ever blooming Athens, GA scene, Twin Tigers are ready to unleash their dynamic sound unto the universe. Along with other elements of the past five decades of rock music, Twin Tigers blend noise textures with pop structure and shoegaze overtones shaping a sound that’s all new.
PassiveIdol by Twin Tigers
Formed by co-workers at the Michael Stipe-owned Grit restaurant, guitarist/vocalist Matthew Rain and bassist Aimee Morris began Twin Tigers as their previous bands dissolved. In February 2008,Curious Faces / Violet Future EP was released to great reviews. The band quickly started building a solid fan base throughout the southeast and played shows with Deerhunter, Dead Confederate, Jay Reatard, Black Lips, Dungen, Woods, Snowden and A Place to Bury Strangers.
We are giving away 2 vinyl and 2 cd's. To enter just send your name/address to firstname.lastname@example.org and which format you would prefer.
**Thanks to Brian for head's up on Interpol. You can find his work at:
Monday, May 10, 2010
These United States will be performing at Club Cafe on Thursday, 5/13. They just recently played at Sunfest in Florida and will be taking the stage at Lollapalooza in August. Below is an interview that Jesse Elliott was kind enough to answer for us. You can find several songs streaming from their last album Everything Touches Everything. The show will begin at 8:30p with doors opening at 8p.
Everything Touches Everything by These United States
Is there an album or show that made you want to dedicate your life to music?
My parents saw Jethro Tull when my mom was 7 months pregnant with me – the last big concert they ever went to. I remember it all now, as clearly as if it were only yesterday – the lights, the sound, the people, the “Aqualung” encore, the umbilical cord from which I was receiving all my vital nutrients at the time. From that point on, I was hooked.
What are the goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish?
We’re hoping by 3rd quarter fiscal year 2012 to have amassed a large enough fortune to acquire one (1) private island for each (1) band member. This is an ambitious goal, but we feel strongly that by seeing one million faces and rocking them all, it can be accomplished. If we fall short of these projections, worst case scenario, we just keep playing shows and making albums like there’s no tomorrow. Or maybe like there is a tomorrow, but it’s a very loud and rock-and-roll-ish kind of tomorrow.
You are a band that tours heavily around the country. What is the best story you have?
The best story, we can’t remember. Not in public.
The Important Thing by These United States
You recently performed at Sunfest with ZZ Top, Weezer, Nas. How was that experience? Any good stories like hanging with Nas doing lines off a stripper's ass?
It was a great day. Our first ever show in Florida, actually, we finish playin a rollicking early evening set, and suddenly two hours later we’re standing front row, alternately head-banging, crowd-surfing, and introspectively shoe-gazing to the sweet sounds of our teenage anthems “Say It Ain’t So” and “The Sweater Song”?? I mean, c’mon, life doesn’t get MUCH better than that. Except for Nas, probably. But we didn’t meet Nas.
You all are performing at a good many summer festivals including Lollapalooza, Sunfest, etc. Are you doing anything different for these ventures to appeal to a crowd that probably isn’t familiar with you?
We are, yeah. But I’m not sure it has anything to do with appealing to folks who aren’t familiar with us – which is most folks in the universe at this point, wherever we’re playing, to be honest. It’s always impossible to predict what people will love, so I think you kinda gotta just get up there and do it for yourself, and for your bandmates, having fun together, surprising each other, provoking each other into angry but entertaining onstage freak-outs. We’ll be learning some new songs, and having a few guest musicians sitting in on different tour runs and festivals this summer – including Pittsburgh, actually. But that’s mostly just to keep ourselves interested and creatively inspired. Of course, we hope that feeling then translates into audiences getting into what we’re doing, too. That’s all you can really do at the end of the day – hope that your love of what you’re doing comes across in a way that connects with someone else.
Any place you enjoy visiting? Any you wouldn’t go back to?
After last night, Amarillo is our new favorite city in the entire world. There’s a lot of these places out there that you might never suspect – the Maumee Ohio’s and Mobile Alabama’s and Pendleton Oregon’s and Winter Park Florida’s of the world. It’s so amazing to get to see so many of them, doing this thing we do. We’d go back everywhere. We have no shame. We have no pride. We have no regrets. We have extremely short-term memories. We are open vessels, ready for anything and anyone and anywhere. Bring it on, places of the world. Man, we sure do miss George Bush being president – remember how WACKY that was for a while?!?
Conquest & Consequence by These United States
What type of songwriting process? You all bring something or is it more of a dictatorship?
I write skeletons of songs, lyrics and basic progressions and structures, and then all 5 of us together – me and Robby and Tom and Colin and Justin – we slap some flesh on those puppies, see what sticks. Like some kind of scary Halloween zombie puppy thing, or whatever. Some are really beautiful, super grotesque. Others have like entire parts missing. Disgusting.
You have performed over 500 shows in NA, Europe, UK. Has attendance steadily increased? Do all of you still enjoy touring or is it something you wish to cut back on in the future?
Yes and no, up and down, ebb and flow, all depends where we are. We’ll always tour, as long as we’re a band. I think if we could do slightly fewer but much bigger – in terms of the art and the production and the thought and blood and sweat that go into it all – kinda shows, we’d love that. Really make events out of em, like all our favorite bands have always done. But we’ll always love playing live for people, no matter what the circumstances, until we can’t stand up. Then we will play for them lying down.
You have performed several times in Pittsburgh. Any place you like visiting? Any Pittsburgh related story?
Pittsburgh’s been near and dear to my heart for a long time, every since I worked with a guy there named Richard Florida, way back in a previous life. The architecture alone’s worth the trip. And then there’s this wild man, John Lyne, teaches at the university, real big Whitman-y kind of a soul, you’d know his beard if you saw it – people there inspire us. People are always our favorite places to visit.
Your last album came out in Sept 2009. Are you currently working on another now?
Yep. July 20. Be there or be square.
I Want You to Keep Everything by These United States
This is just a curiosity question, probably not for the blog (or maybe) but a few of you I read reside in Lexington, KY. Since I just did a review for Apples in Stereo, do any of you know Robert Schneider? Has he become a fixture in the area with bands?
Yeah, most music folks around Lexington know Robert. He’s a great guy. He’s come out to a few of our shows, him and other awesome folks like Stephen Trask, the dude who made Hedwig and the Angry Inch, who also lives in Lexington. Stephen, not Hedwig, I mean. That’s the great thing about a city and a scene of that size – there’s real integration between the people who’ve been living the dream and making great music for a long time on the one hand and then us relative newcomers on the other hand. It’s a very laid-back non-caste-system kind of a mutual love.
Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh, you are beautiful. We, These United States, would like to make mad, passionate love to you. I’m afraid we’re somewhat constrained by the laws of physics – that is to say, the technical logistics behind a group of 5 human beings actually making real and physical love to an entity as large as an historic American city, especially one that’s made primarily of brick and steel and concrete and bridges – but maybe it’s the thought that counts? Also, Happy Mother’s Day! Also, if you see Jethro Tull, tell them we say thanks.
Broken Social Scene will be making an appearance at the Byham Theater on 9/8. BSS at the Byham is interesting just for the shear fact that ticket prices will be much more than the usual $20 at Mr Smalls. Secondly, can they actually sellout the Byham? Interpol definitely could, but BSS? Maybe I am just totally off base.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Was just at Mr Smalls tonight and saw Interpol will be playing there 6/23 (I believe that date is correct). This will definitely sellout. Bit of a small venue for them, but glad they are coming.
Cymbals Eat Guitars played a ear pounding show this past Monday at the Brillobox. Before the set lead Joseph D’Agostino announced to the crowd that ear plugs were available at the merch table. With that CEG launched into "...And the Hazy Sea" simply tearing up their instruments. Usually when an act plays the first song it's to get the crowd involved. CEG, however, treated this as their last song of the night by just simply killing it wit their energy and intensity. I was wondering if they were going to be able to keep this ferociousness up for the rest of the night which (to my delight) they did. D’Agostino really draws your attention with his constant motion on the guitar and soaked drenched shirt. He definitely held the crowd's attention even though he didn't use much banter. He was playing every song as if it were his last.
A majority of the songs they played were off their first lp Where There Are Mountains. They played a couple of new tunes as well which sounded pretty good on first listen. Each song they played was more like an anthem with no real end. The 3-4 minute tune off the album was stretched out to over 5-7. It was a spectacle to witness. Their quieter moments were still turned up to a decimal splitting level which never stopped. At times I could barely make out the keyboards over the drums and guitars. But if you really listened they were there.
Some in the crowd began to get a bit frisky making bird sounds between songs. They were definitely having a good time but bordered on annoying the band. At one time D’Agostino heard something from the group and asked, "What the f* did you just say?" before launching into another. It was definitely one of the better shows I have seen this year. If you see them be sure to wear earplugs.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Just a reminder that I am giving away a pair of tickets for Friday's show to Lifinity w/ Murder By Death at Mr Smalls. Saturday night I am giving away 2 pairs of tickets for The Middle East w/ Laura Marling at the Warhol. To enter just send an email with your name to email@example.com.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
The Middle East will be opening for Laura Marling (very popular in Europe evidently) at the Warhol Museum on Saturday, 5/8/10. The Middle East are by way of Australia touring behind their first lp The Recordings of the Middle East. They are performing at two music festivals including Bonnaroo and just recently Coachella.
We are giving away 2 pairs of tickets for this show. To enter just send your name to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is their video for "Blood".
5/6--The Ladies Literary Club at Calvin College--Grand Rapids, MI (w/ Laura Marling)%
5/7--Magic Stick--Detroit, MI (w/ Laura Marling)%
5/8--Andy Warhol Museum--Pittsburgh, PA (w/ Laura Marling)%
5/9--Big Orbit’s Soundlab--Buffalo, NY (w/ Laura Marling)%
5/11--Space--Portland, ME (w/ Laura Marling)%
5/13--Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire--Montreal, QC (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
5/14--The Middle East Downstairs--Cambridge, MA (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
5/16--The Fillmore at TLA--Philadelphia, PA (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
5/17--Music Hall of Williamsburg--Brooklyn, NY (w/ Mumford & Sons)
**SOLD OUT** ^
5/18--Webster Hall--New York, NY (w/ Mumford & Sons)
**SOLD OUT** ^
5/19--Mercury Lounge--New York, NY ^
5/20--930 Club--Washington, DC (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
5/21--Beachland Ballroom--Cleveland, OH (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
5/22--Wexner Center--Columbus, OH (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
5/24--Lincoln Hall--Chicago, IL (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
5/25--Varsity Theater--Minneapolis, MN (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
5/29--Sasquatch Music Festival--Quincy, WA
5/30--560 Club--Vancouver, BC (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
5/31--Aladdin Theater--Portland, OR (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
6/2--Slim’s--San Francisco, CA (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
6/4--The Music Box--Los Angeles, CA (w/ Mumford & Sons)
**SOLD OUT** ^
6/6--Belly Up Tavern--Solana Beach, CA (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
6/7--Rhythm Room--Phoenix, AZ (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
6/9--Antone’s--Austin, TX (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
6/10--House Of Blues Cambridge Room--Dallas, TX (w/ Mumford & Sons) ^
6/12--Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival--Manchester, TN
~Dates with Frightened Rabbit
%Dates with Laura Marling
^Dates with Mumford and Sons
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Show Preview - Linfinity Interview - Mr Smalls - 5/7/10 - Opening for Murder By Death - Ticket Giveaway - Pittsburgh
Lifinity will be playing at Mr Smalls on Friday, 5/7/10 opening for Murder By Death. Below is a preview of the show along with an interview we conducted with head man Dylan Von Wagner. We are also giving away a pair of tickets to the show. Just email us at mailto:%email@example.com with your name to enter.
Linfinity are a NYC band who is the brain child of front man Dylan Von Wagner. Dylan didn't get serious about music until his late 20's. He first began to perform as Lifinity nearing 30. Lifinity in 2007 when Von Wagner recorded some demos with a few friends at The Walkmen’s Marcata studio in Harlem. Those songs were later released by St. Ives Records and Lifinity was soon born.
Molly Mar of Rome by Lifinity
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...
Had you written and performed in the past? Or was it more of a hobby?
I started performing solo when I was 28 or 29, then made a demos record and began forming Linfinity.
Did you have any musical training as you were growing up?
No, there was a piano around and some lessons, I played church songs with my grandmother, took a few lessons, but then gave it up for sports.
Martian's Bloom by Lifinity
Could you give some insight to your lyrics for “Holy Rain”. Shown into the doom/fortnight into flames/all ways are blown/so call the room in vain.
A young terrorist teenager in Algiers. it's supposed to be dune not doom, typo, eg terrorist training camp in the desert.
Is there a theme behind your new album? Or are these songs that shouldn’t be grouped together?
They seem to come from a tough place, kind of searching yet disturbed by the surroundings...I think Linfinity will always be all over the map style wise.
Southern Belles by Lifinity
How does your songwriting process work in the band?
Depends, I either have something mostly finished, sometimes I'll work with our guitarist josh collins to help with some sections, a bridge, an outro.....other times, I have a song finished or a sketch and we just start feeling it out.....I try to keep bringing in songs, so I stay militant with my song craft. The band is a round table, so ideas kind of go in a circle and we try a song a lot of different ways till it works, sometimes it comes together quick, sometimes not so much....
What is your goal with the band? How would you deem yourself successful? What would you like to accomplish?
Well, the key is to make yourself a brand for touring so you can attempt to keep playing shows and sustain on the road, so the more touring the better it is for your album. If you happen to do well, then maybe go to Europe and other regions. Beyond the business side, content is king, keep writing songs and get better at song craft. I think that's the band's strongest suit is banging it out in a rehearsal room writing new material. Short term, hope we can tour this album for a bit and get a new album out next spring, I don't like this whole tour for two years and make a record every two years process, think you should attempt to put something out once a year. I understand if you have nothing to say as a band you can wait, but we seem to be frothing with material...
Is there an album or show that made you want to dedicate your career to music?
Led Zeppelin box set, the black one with four discs. I remember I had to have someone steal that for me cause it was so expensive in high school, so thank you jeremy! It was amazing to hear a band with such diversity, one song folk, middle eastern, blues, new wave esque. there songs were unique, they had strong riffs and the arrangements were startling. As for concerts, think an early paul simon concert impressed me, I was taken as a child.
What or who are you describing in “Molly Mar of Rome”: She’s a perennial rose/she shines indeglow/she’s got an irreverent nose/my molly of rome.
She's a roman princess who gives great blow jobs and saves the world from war, the king is so happy he sees no reason for war. this could be the future of nato!
Morning Heights by Lifinity
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.
You are going out on a 37 city tour. Is this your first national tour? Have you playing Pittsburgh before?
This is our first tour ever as a band, so far, we're two weeks in and it's been amazing, we've played great venues to 200 to 300 people a night. Murder by death are amazing, force of nature and their fans are rabid. They're a great role model for how to function and perform as a band, they're very generous and at this stage in their career very grateful to be playing music. check out their new album 'Goodmorning Magpie.' Also Ha Ha tonka are an incredible band, they bring it strong every night. It's good to be on three band bill for all the dates, become a family of sorts.
Anything you would like to say to Pgh?
Never been, you tell me?