Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Top Lists Albums & Shows - End Of Year


We have reached the end of another year here in the burgh. The holidays are over and my family just left...so it's time to for our reviews. Will we remember 2012 as one of the better musical years? Probably not. But here are our lists for best of shows and albums:

Jonathon Puff:


Albums 
  1. El-P - Cancer for Cure - EL-P continues to produce the most unique hip hop rhymes and beats like no one else.  
  2. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind - Their best since Jane Doe and beginning first five song rampage ever.
  3. Lotus Plaza - Spooky Action at a Distance - A surprise gem from Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt showing his overall talent.  
Shows
  1. Refused - Fox Theater - Oakland, CA -  Refused going out in style.  Easily the best show I saw all year.  
  2. Cloud Nothings - Brillobox - Pittsburgh, PA - Dylan Baldi didn't say much, but him and his band basically tore the roof off the place.  Last time we'll be seeing them play in a venue so small.
  3. Radiohead - Blossom Music Center - Cuyahoga Falls, OH - The King of Limbs live  The King of Limbs the album.  That plus classics "Like Spinning Plates", "Climbing Up the Walls", and "I Might Be Wrong" and other rarities including "Supercollider" still showing Thom and company still got it.
And here are mine:

Shows

6. Florence + The Machine - Paris - 11.27.12 -  As I mentioned here, FTM has a magnetic live show that just sucks you in. It helped that this was in Paris for me and met some great people. 
5. Fiona Apple - Stage AE - 10.21.12 - Loved her at this show. I know a lot of people are 'meh' on her, but she really put on a great effort. I enjoyed. 
4. Metric - Stage AE - 9.18.12 - I have a huge thing for Emily Haines. Metric can do no wrong. But they honestly put on a fantastic live show never disappointing the many times I have seen them. And they didn't this time either.

My top 3 didn't change from my midterm list. So here is a recap:

#3 M83 Carnegie Library Homestead - 8.2 - Amazing show in a good venue. Beach House and Sleigh Bells lighting crews should attend and see how a professional setup is done. If you were at either of those shows you know that every 3 seconds you were blinded by a strobe directly in your eyes. Plus, silohuettes are cool and add ambiance, but at some point I would actually enjoy seeing the band. That wasn't a problem at this show. The lighting was remarkable with no issue of actually making out the faces of the band. Plus, I felt I was watching more of a theater performance than an actual concert. I wish more had seen opener Big Black Delta because they would have enjoyed. You can't take alcohol into the theater (most were drinking outside), but you can drink water and soda inside. Makes sense.

#2 The Tallest Man On Earth - New Hazlett Theater 8.1 - If you missed this sold out show at this venue, with this artist, shame on you. There is something to be said for a sold out concert that is seated in a stellar theater where there isn't a bad seat (although we were 4th row floor). As with recent capacity concerts (Beach House, Sleigh Bells) sometimes they can annoy with constant bumping by drunk individuals or not being able to get a decent view of the stage. This wasn't the case this evening. I was a bit worried when TMOE ventured onstage in a wife beater looking like a Swedish Gypsy, but my concern was soon laid to rest. Kristian Matsson was onstage with only a microphone, stool, piano, and a few guitars. His reach and tone were unmistakable, even haunting at times. He had the quiet confidence of someone who enjoys the spotlight, but is not overwhelmed by it. My girl Sam was almost brought to tears by his performance holding back a couple of times next to me (she's also an uber fan). I won't go that far, but the performance will stay with me quite some time. Oh, and in this theater, you can drink alcohol in your seat. Step it up Homestead.

#1 Jaymay - Club Cafe - 1.25 - I already spoke about this show here. Let's just say Jaymay has what a solo performer should: wit, charisma, captivating, etc. Fantastic performance, hand's down my favorite still this year, although TMOE is a very close second.

Albums

I had a difficult selecting even a few albums I was mesmerized with. So, this list is very short with no real reasoning.

5. Jack White - Blunderbuss
4. Grimes - Vision
3. Metric - Synthetica
2. Fiona Apple - The Idler.....
1. Still trying to figure it out.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Girls - HBO Series - Season Two Trailer


Not sure if many of you have seen the series 'Girls' on HBO, but it's simply one of the best written situational comedies I have seen. It amazes me that the main star, Lena Dunham, is also the writer, director and creator of the series. Plus, she is only 26. Twenty freaking six. Unreal talent. Judd Aptow is listed as the executive producer, but honestly, that is just an honorary title for him. Oh, and she just signed a book contract for $3.7m to 'give advice'. Nice.

I just saw the new trailer for season two which I am sharing. She has a great musical ear as well.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Local Artist Spotlight - Douglas Lowell Blevins - December 2012


It's been a while since we posted our monthly feature. Our final local spotlight for this year is is focused on Douglas Belvins. Mr Belvins answered our normal sampling of questions about his music, song writing process and the reason he writes/performs solo. 

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

I'd prefer that this was a band, but I'm going the solo route because it's so hard to keep a band together.  I've been writing songs and playing guitar in bands since I was in high school (I'm 31 now).  Eventually I got tired of spending so much time getting a new band project practiced up and ready to go, just to have members leave and have to start the whole process over again.  I've been doing solo acoustic shows for the past five years, and it's been a really enjoyable experience learning how to write good enough songs that can keep an audience's interest with just a guitar and a vocal, which is such a different approach than with a full electric band.  

For my new album "Wellspring," I'm hoping to do some shows with some help from my friends Jarrod Svezeny (drums) and Derek Scalzott (bass) as an electric band, and we're also going to do our best to work in Tarra Layne (vocals), though she's busy enough doing shows of her own.  I recorded most of "Wellspring" (& my first album "Dust Sketches") playing all the instruments myself only because it's so difficult to get people's schedules to miraculously align for long enough to do a few recording sessions.   

I'd describe my sound as folk- and blues-influenced songwriter-rock, though that's a bit lengthy!  I'm hugely influenced by musicians that are focused on the song, rather than just a particular sound.  "Wellspring" consists of my best efforts at really paying attention to songcraft, as The Beatles did with 1960s rock, or Dylan has done with blending the folk storytelling tradition into rock, or blues greats such as Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker did turning rambling, one-chord dance music of their generation into a three-minute soundbite that told a story within the constraints of a record.  (I'm in no way comparing my music to these guys, I'm just fascinated by their work and their processes) 




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

I grew up in Vandergrift, PA, about thirty miles northeast of Pittsburgh.  I've lived in the Green Tree/Crafton area since 2005.  My parents and their families are originally from northeast Ohio, so I'm the first Pittsburgher of my family.  Plenty of my songwriting inspiration comes from here - "Not My Place," "Around Here, "Been There," "Easy," "Build," "Rest of the Night," and "Emergency" from "Wellspring" are all referencing people or places or events from Vandergrift or Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh is the little city that refuses to let anything get it down, and I love how stubbornly we cling to the past while continually evolving into a better place to be.  It's impossible to not be influenced by it. 

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

I definitely don't survive on an income from music, so in that respect it's part-time.  But songwriting is something I can never stop doing, it's just how I process the world around me, so I'm constantly writing even if I don't get to perform or record for long stretches of time.

Do you have day jobs?

I've never been a "full-time musician".  Most recently, I worked for an insurance company for almost seven years, doing data entry all day and listening to music on headphones the whole time.  I wrote most of my first album "Dust Sketches" and a few songs from "Wellspring" while I typed away at work, so it was a pretty convenient day job for an amateur songwriter.  I'm happy to have just started a new career that's much more rewarding; however, it doesn't allow me to sit around listening to music all day, giving me ideas for my own writing



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

I prefer to have the music written first - it's always nice to have a chord sequence ready to go so I can just mumble along to it.  Whatever's been on my mind lately usually somehow ends up falling out in little phrases here or there that I can piece together and guide into an understandable song.  However, I just don't get free time to pick up a guitar anymore, due to work & family & everything else life brings these days.  So over the past few years, the process has turned into scribbling down lyrics whenever & wherever inspiration hits, and hoping I can put a tune to it later.  A line or two, or maybe a chorus, or a possible title will come to me, and it's almost as if I'm trying to tune in to the feelings associated with those lines to try to figure out what I need to do with them.  

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

I think anybody who puts all the time & effort into making an album would be fooling themselves if they said they weren't hoping to hit it big somehow!  However, I do feel one of my most useful talents as a musician is knowing my strengths & weaknesses very well, and being able to set realistic goals with them in mind.  I'd love to have the promotion & distribution help of a label, but I'm not really able to set off on tour whenever I feel like it, so I realize I wouldn't have much to offer a label if I can't promote myself beyond the Pittsburgh area.  My immediate goal for "Wellspring" is just to try to get a bit more immersed in the local Pittsburgh scene, and try to develop a bit of a fan base that can come out to enjoy live shows.    

What advice would you give to local acts trying to make it?

For me, "making it" hasn't had any commercial connotations yet.  I consider myself a success if I leave a show I've just played feeling like the audience's time wasn't wasted during my set, and maybe one or more of my songs made them feel as good as I do when I listen to my favorite musicians.  So looking at it that way (in a capacity I'm somewhat qualified to give advice in!), I'd advise anybody who steps on a stage or puts out an album to just consider what it is you expect from a musician as a listener & a fan, and tailor your own musical efforts to those expectations.  Annoyed by overly indulgent solo after solo?  Embarrassed when a performer rambles on incessantly about their next awesome song for five minutes before actually playing it?  Bored by long intros or overly long songs?  Well...don't do those things yourself either!  Sounds simple, but I always remember I've been an audience member far longer than I've been a performer, and you never stop learning as both, as long as you just keep paying attention.  Nobody's more of an expert than anybody else when it comes to knowing what they like about music.

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

I've never toured, but I'd really love to do it some day. 

Being in the Pgh area, do you find it more difficult to try and succeed?

I think the internet levels the playing field a bit in that way.  You don't necessarily have to go to New York or LA or Nashville to be taken seriously anymore.  You can still choose to be the big fish in a little pond, or a little fish in a big pond.  I wouldn't blame Pittsburgh for my current "entry level" success status, I just need to get out and do my thing.  


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

It does seem unnecessarily difficult to get people out to shows in areas of the city they're not familiar with, even though they're not incredibly far away.  Just cross the river, it's okay!  And though it's looking a bit better than it used to, there's still a strange emphasis on cover bands and too many venues that are just bars with a stage, instead of venues made for music that happen to also have bars, that really appreciate original music being played in them.  And don't even try to play a show on the day of Steelers game.  Or the day after, if the Steelers lost the night before.  Love ya, Pittsburgh!

What are the positive benefits of being in the area?

The cost of living in Pittsburgh is definitely a benefit to bands.  We've got some great venues (Club Cafe, Rex Theater, Howler's, Brillobox, Shadow Lounge, Mr Small's) where you can see plenty of incredible national acts, as well as other great locals (Harlan Twins, Boca Chica, The Pump Fakes, Donora, Tarra Layne Band, Lohio, Good Night States, Emily Rodgers, etc etc!)...so it's cheap and there's plenty of inspiration, the perfect ingredients for a great scene. 

Is there a venue you have enjoyed playing more than others in the area? 

I've pretty much camped out at Club Cafe the past few years while I've been getting my act together as a solo performer.  I pick national acts that I really want to see, and I do the 30-minute opening sets.  I get in for free to the shows I would've paid to see anyway, get to meet the performers (always humbling & inspiring!), and hopefully appeal to some of their fans as well, if I've picked the right shows.  Plus they've got great sound, and it's ten minutes from my house.   

You can find more information at these sites: 

http://douglaslowellblevins.bandcamp.com/album/wellspring
http://www.reverbnation.com/douglaslowellblevins
www.cdbaby.com/artist/DouglasLowellBlevins
http://dougblevins.musicfloss.com

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Programming - 91.3 WYEP


As the holidays creep ever so closer we here at the blog slow down more than usual. But take note that the good people at 91.3 have your local music programming taken care of during this time. First up on their plate will be a rebroadcast of the Holiday Hootenanny which was held at the New Hazlett this past Thursday, 12.13. Local artists that performed included Chet Vincent & The Big Bend, Neighbours and Mark Dignam and The House of Song. The rebroadcast will be done on Christmas Day from 4-5p.

On New Year's Eve (12.31) Cindy Howes will be presenting the 'Local Year In Review' from 10a - 12p. It will be a countdown of the top local bands in the area for this year. It will surely feature many acts that have been interviewed in our 'local spotlight'. Other programming includes:


December 24th, Christmas Eve
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Holiday Christmas Music
On Christmas Eve, WYEP’s Afternoon Mix will feature a unique sampling of classic holiday
tunes.


Top 50 Year in Review
Rosemary Welsch hosts this look back at the Top 50 recordings, selected by the Programming staff at WYEP. After receiving thousands of recordings, WYEP will announce who made 2012’s list. The segment is enhanced by Rosemary’s essential information on the artists, as well as spots from a few of the artists who have made it to the WYEP studios. (*Will rebroadcast on 1/1 at 12 midnight to 4 a.m. and 12 noon to 4 p.m.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Florence + the Machine & Ty Segall - Show Review - Concert Review

Just got back from a European excursion that included seeing two shows: Florence + the Machine in Paris and Ty Segall in Brussels. Thanks to my friendly connections I was able to get into these without issue. FTM played to a sold out crowd at Le Zenith, a large theater with both a pit and grandstand seating. With a stained glass backdrop and a chorus of singers behind Florence, the stage resembled a pseudo church.  Florence has a pitch perfect voice that boomed across the auditorium mixing with harps, vocals, strings and drums. It wasn't only her voice that gains your attention, it's her pure energy and theatrics onstage. She gracefully pirouettes her way across stage, from one side to the other, imploring the audience for a response. She really didn't need to plead with the crowd because as soon her silhouette appeared behind the glass, they were sucked in for the night



Throughout her set she told the crowd of her wild jaunts in Paris and how she really loved the city. She finished with a 10 minute impromptu song of 'Dog Days Are Over'. The crowd was bouncing while singing every word.



Another sold out show, this time in Brussels watching the spryly Ty Segall. The venue this time was in an old theater reminiscent of the Rex called Atelier 210. With a few rows of seats in the back, the front was wall to wall people in an open pit. While the previous opener (Florence) was hardly memorable, White Fence did make their mark.I missed part of their set, but from what I saw, they were impressive and the crowd was eating it up.



Ty Segall with his backing band hit the stage and began playing a thunderous of garage rock. They brought energy and stamina to an audience that was craving a good time. I left the atmosphere of the 90's quite a while ago, but Brussels is still keeping the tradition going. Stage diving, moshing and an overall feeling of sweat and heat. Not sure if I miss those nights, but it was a good bit of nostalgia. I had to bail out a bit early to catch the last train, but from what I saw they were going to keep the crowd going all night.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Other Lives - 12.3.12 - Brillobox - Show Preview - Concert Preview


The blog has been slowly treading along the last few months. We just completed our 65+ hour work weeks this past Saturday. Now we are venturing into vacation time with a trip overseas and a couple of stops at some festivals. Thanks to our friends, we will be reporting on a couple of these shows from Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris. Be on the lookout. In the meantime, Other Lives will be appearing at Brillobox next Monday, 12.3.

Other Lives was last here back in February touring behind their second LP Tamer Animals. This time they are promoting their new EP Mind The Gap. If you missed them earlier this year, they are a band to catch live. Their sound, energy and overall presence demonstrates why they opened for Radiohead and Bon Iver. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name to enter. 


From our previous interview with the band: 

Stillwater, Oklahoma is rarely heard from on the national music scene. It is home to the invention of both the parking meter and the drive-in car hop restaurant. Jesse feels like their location has not hindered the success of the band. Instead, it has been central to the band’s sound and tempo.

“I think that it's taken a long time, but because of the isolation it's allowed us to really work without being rushed. We've spent basically the last ten years hiding away and writing music, I think that kind of isolation allows you to get to know yourself. It gives the band a chance to breathe and grow.”


When the band comes to Pittsburgh, they will be the headlining act, something which the band approaches differently from opening.

“As an opener you kind of play your 'best stuff', you are really physically working to win over the crowd. As a headliner, maybe some of the people are already with you, it gives you a little bit more of a confidence that you have some good will there right off the bat. One of the biggest things is knowing how to not just play a tune, but to create excitement and a dynamic in a live setting.”

The show begins at 9:30 with doors at 9. Tickets are $12 and can be found here

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Martha Wainwright - Mr Smalls - 11.20.12 - Show Preview - Concert Preview


Martha Wainwright will be appearing at Mr Smalls this Tuesday, 11.20. She is touring behind her new LP released this passed October entitled Come Home to Mama. This is her first album of own songs in over four years. She has quite the pedigree as she is the daughter of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, and the sister of singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. She recorded this album after the death of her mother (who the album is dedicated to) and birth of her own child. Her first single 'Proserpina' was actually written by her late mother. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name to enter. 



From her press:

Produced by Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto, Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono), and written by Martha Wainwright, Come Home To Mama (MapleMusic Recordings) is an emotional roller coaster that dazzles throughout. Recorded earlier this year in New York City, mostly at Sean Lennon’s home studio, Come Home To Mama has the passionate angst of her 2005 self-titled debut coupled with the twisted pop of 2008′s I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too.



In the past, Wainwright worked with husband Brad Albetta, but this time out chose Honda to add a feminine touch. Honda’s husband, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, provides the musical thread throughout this captivating disc. Guest musicians on the new album include Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), keyboards; Brad Albetta, bass and drummer Jim White (Dirty Three).

“Making this record was a totally different experience,” Wainwright says. “Yuka’s approach was very open. Sometimes I would just demo the song, singing in the closet which served as the vocal booth, then she would build the track around that. In other instances we would jam with a few musicians and try to get a live take.”
“This record is a culmination of my life experiences so far. Everything changed for me a couple years ago and this record is a representation of that and a return to the reason I started writing songs,” she adds. “I can’t wait to hit the road with my family and new band in tow.”

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $13 and can be found here. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Show Announcement - Black Moth Super Rainbow - Mr Smalls - 11.10.12 - Show Preview

Pittsburgh's very own Black Moth Super Rainbow will be releasing a new album, their first in over three years. This is their fifth proper LP, entitled Cobra Juicy, released by the band's own label Rad Cult Label. The record was funded by donations from fans, family and individuals in the amount of over $125k via Kickstarter. This will be their album release show for our fare city. The first time I saw these guys was opening for Apples in Stereo way back in February of 2007. I was clueless to who they were at that time, but did they put on a performance. I picked up their album that evening and have been a fan since.



From their press:

There nearly wasn't a new Black Moth record at all. In hindsight, 2009's Eating Us seemed too soft, too '70s. Tobacco felt he'd lost control of his main project's sound and so focused on "solo" work. But while crafting 2010's depraved beat beast Maniac Meat, he found himself writing more freely, rediscovering the sickly sour to Black Moth's sweet. Then he realized, fuck it, this thing is his baby anyhow. He cleaned house on the live band—now Seven Fields of Aphelion, Iffernaut, Ryan Graveface and Bullsmear—and got to work, alone, on a brand new BMSR album. Then he threw that one away and made Cobra Juicy.


Opener "Windshield Smasher" lays down the difference with a hefty thud. The grinding electric guitar and smacking drumbeat play like de-glammed arena metal before the gooped-up electronics arrive. It’s a more aggressively skewed pop, instantly followed by the drop-top drift of "Like a Sundae," whose melted melodies ride atop a sturdy bed of modern blips and bloops. "Hairspray Heart" is another early highlight, boasting a thickly Rick Rubinesque beat while Tobacco wickedly chants, "I can hypnotize you." Later, "Gangs in the Garden" splices '80s robo-pop with DFA dance for more beautifully upbeat violence.

There are quieter moments too, but Cobra Juicy lets them live in their own time. "Psychic Love Damage" takes its name from the scrapped album and—along with its neighbor "We Burn," combines rattling slide guitar with cascades of crystal synth and bit-damaged MPC drums. The aptly named "Dreamsicle Bomb" is glassy and gorgeous, its reverbed notes and shuffling drums eventually clarifying in a bassy breakdown suggestive of Matthew Dear's productions. "Smash all the mailboxes and headlights," Tobacco whispers in a snakelike sibilance, while "Spraypaint" is surprisingly sweet— a love song Black Moth style.

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are only $14 and can be found here

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Show Announcement - Sleigh Bells - 11.10.12 - CMU - Show Preview

Just a quick show announcement as I was just informed of this today. Sleigh Bells will be performing next Saturday at CMU's annual Fall Festival. Quite the booking compared to recent years for the student run activities board. The show will be performed in Wiegand Gym within the University Center. I really would prefer Rangos Ballroom, but hopefully SB will know how to play a very echo filled gym. If you were at their sold out Mr Smalls appearance this past July, you know the band puts on a sweat fueled dance party.



This concert is free to all CMU students and a measly $10 for non. It will surely sellout again, so make sure to get your ticket soon. One hope for me is that they aren't able to setup that horrible light show they have. I whined about it here. It really gets old when you can't make out people onstage and are constantly blinded...but that's just me.



More information about the show can be found here.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Bassnectar & Passion Pit - 11.5 - 11.6 - Stage AE - Show Preview - Concert Preview


My apologies for getting behind on posts, giveaways and previews and interviews. Been extra busy these past few months and have been seriously slacking. So, I am doubling up on this with two great shows appearing back to back with our friends at Stage AE. We have ticket giveaways for both shows....as usual, just email us with your name to pghmusicreport@gmail.com. Winners will be selected at random.

Bassnectar has unleashed yet another brain-rattling release. His latest 6-track EP Freestyle, which features four originals and two remixes, is everything you would expect from mega-producer Lorin Ashton and more. Following the release of his 10th studio album Vava Voom, earlier this year, Freestyle is the newest of many EPs available for purchase on his record label Amorphous Music and iTunes.

The EP as a whole encompasses many of the dominant styles of today’s EDM scene. The title track opens the EP with tasty 808s and the aggressive, in-your-face lyrics of young hip-hop artist Angel Haze. Bassnectar cakes it all with his signature dubstep sound to remind you that you’re listening to the Bass King. Simply put, it’s his latest take on trap music.


Passion Pit really doesn't need much introduction. Running high off their latest release Gossamer, the band is expanding their sound and making waves with sold out shows across the country. From their press:

The band's first full-length studio album, Manners, was released in 2009. The song "Let Your Love Grow Tall" was featured in the TV series Ugly Betty. The album's second single, "To Kingdom Come," was used in the Rhapsody commercial for its iPhone application. The song "Moth's Wings" was used in the CW teen drama Gossip Girl and in the closing credits of HBO's Big Love.


Gossamer, which was released on Columbia Records, debuted at #4 on the Billboard top 200 and immediately earned rave reviews from the New York Times, The Guardian, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone magazine.

"We did the vast majority of the vocals for the record with the Copperhead," continued Chris Zane. "It has a super-natural and very pleasant curve to it. Warm, but clear — not jumpy or spiky, just very smooth. It sounds like the way you want a vocal to sound without having to do anything to it. I’ve been using it ever since Gossamer on a bunch of records, with great results every time."

Both shows begin at 8p and doors at 7p. Tickets can be found here

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Wolf Gang w/ Atlas Genius - Stage AE - 10.29.12 - Show Preview - Concert Preview

Wolf Gang and Atlas Genius will be making an appearance next Monday, 10.29 at Stage AE. Wolf Gang will be headlining the evening just coming off a tour supporting Coldplay. The band come by way of London began by lead vocalist Max McElligott while taking a year off from studying social anthropology at the London School of Economics. He recorded what would be the debut album for the band entitled Sugeo Faults which was released in June of last year. The album features a mix of indie, alternative and symphonic rock being produced by legend  Dave Fridmann. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual, just email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name to enter. 



Opening for Wolf Gang will be Australian based band Atlas Genius. The band is touring behind their debut EP, Through The Glass, which was released in June via Warner Brother Records. The album is filled with shimmering pop melodies and infectious, soaring vocals that compliment their wistful, warm spirit.
The group sold more than 50,000 downloads of their breakout single, “'Trojans',” before they were even by any label. “From their press:



In November 2009, the members of Adelaide, Australia’s Atlas Genius set about building a studio where they could write and record music for their newly formed band. For two years, brothers Keith, Steven, and Michael Jeffery devoted their days to constructing their dream studio and spent their nights performing songs by The Police, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones at local pubs to pay the bills. “We really got down and dirty with dry walling and literally laying the floorboards, and at the same time we were taking a couple of days a week to focus on writing songs,” recalls Keith, Atlas Genius’s vocalist/guitarist. The studio was designed and outfitted by the brothers with the help of their father (who comes from a music and engineering background). Once the studio was complete, the first song that Atlas Genius finished was a song called “Trojans,” which they wrote, recorded and produced in collaboration with their friend Darren Sell. After many weeks tweaking the song, Michael insisted that the song was ready to be heard outside of the studio walls. Within an hour, “Trojans” was on the Triple J Unearthed Website, SoundCloud, and for sale via TuneCore on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify worldwide.


Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets can be found here and are $12. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Xavier Rudd - Carnegie Music Hall - 10.29.12 - Show Preview - Concert Preview

Singer, songwriter Xavier Rudd will be appearing at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead next Monday, 10.29. The Australian creates his music with a variety influences and instruments including Aborigine culture, contemporary guitar with the didgeridoo, stomp box, percussion and other devices. Rudd just released his seventh studio album entitled Spirit Bird that was released this past June. The new LP combines soft, melodic vocals with unique instrumentals to create a sound that is all at once inspiring and heartbreaking. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name to enter.



From his press:

"Spirit Bird" is the sprawling title track from Australian singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd's seventh studio album, set to drop on June 5th. The song was constructed in two sections over the course of as many years, Rudd says. The first part came during a trip to Kimberley country in northwest Australia, where he encoutered a mob of red-tailed black cockatoos, a rare site up close.

"One old-woman spirit bird locked eyes with me," Rudd recalls, "and began to creak and groan her message of time passed and changes to her country and the fear in her heart. It was all very heavy, and as she looked through me with her eyes and passed this message I felt like I sank into the earth, and my mind was racing with imagery of things that were clear, but that I had never seen previously on my journey. Almost like I was looking through someone else's eyes with someone else's memories. That night I wrote the first half of 'Spirit Bird' in the sand on a sacred beach. It poured out of me and was quite emotional."



A few years later, Rudd had started recording, and while sitting by a lake in Canada he started plucking at the first part of the song, and the second half came right then and there. The next morning, he awoke to the news that the Australian government had taken that land at James Price Point in Kimberley. Police had forcefully removed protesters and longtime land owners from their homes so construction could begin on a proposed gas plant. "It just so happens that at the exact time as that was happening," Rudd continues, "spirit was ripping through me on the other side of the world by a fire in Canada, and the result was the completion of the song 'Spirit Bird.'

Show begins at 7:30p with doors at 6:30p. Tickets are $25 and can be found here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Dinosaur Jr - 10.24.12 - Mr Smalls - Show Preview - Concert Preview


Legendary indie rockers Dinosaur Jr will be making a stop at Mr Smalls next Wednesday, 10.24. The band just released their new LP I Bet On Sky this past month. It's their third album since reforming back in 2005 and their tenth studio recording. The trio of Lou Barlow, Murph and mainstay J Masics have been recording now for over 27 years and their new album demonstrates that experience and knowledge. Receiving solid reviews, I Bet On Sky is heavy on head bobbing rythms and lyrics. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name to enter. 



From their press:

There is nothing quite like a Dinosaur Jr. album. The best ones are always recognizable from the first notes. And even though J tries to trip us up by smearie been laughed out of the tree fort. The trio's early shows were so full of sonic chaos, such a weird blend of aggression and catatonia that we all assumed they would flame out fast. But the joke was on us.

I Bet on Sky is the third Dinosaur Jr. album since the original trio – J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph – reformed in 2005. And, crazily, it marks the band's 10th studio album since their debut on Homestead Records in 1985. Back in the '80s, if anyone has suggested that these guys would be performing and recording at such a high level 27 years later, they would have been laughed out of the tree fort. The trio's early shows were so full of sonic chaos, such a weird blend of aggression and catatonia that we all assumed they would flame out fast. But the joke was on us.



The trio has taken everything they've learned from the various projects they tackled over the years, and poured it directly into their current mix. J's guitar approaches some of its most unhinged playing here, but there's a sense of instrumental control that matches the sweet murk of his vocals (not that he always remembers to exercise control on stage, but that's another milieu). This is head-bobbing riff-romance at the apex. Lou's basswork shows a lot more melodicism now as well, although his two songs on I Bet on Sky retain the jagged rhythmic edge that has so often marked his work. And Murph...well, he still pounds the drums as hard and as strong as a pro wrestler, with deceptively simple structures that manage to interweave themselves perfectly with his bandmates' melodic explosions.

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $25 and can be found here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Blake Mills w/ Fiona Apple - 10.21.12 - Stage AE - Show Preview - Concert Preview


Blake Mills will be opening for Fiona Apple next Sunday, 10.21 at Stage AE. Known mainly as a session musician supporting the likes of Cass McCombs, Lucinda Williams, Jenny Lewis and Band of Horses, Blake just released his debut solo album entitled Break Mirrors.The twenty five year old songwriter released the casual, intimate record back in 2010 after recording it in between tours with other bands. For this tour, while opening for Fiona Apple, he is also supporting her on guitar during her set. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com to enter.



From his press:

At 25, the Venice-based musician has already stacked up a career’s worth of gigs as a session and touring guitarist, playing with a diverse array of musicians that span from Lucinda Williams to Fiona Apple. Artists of all kinds seek out Mills when they’re looking for something extra special. When producers like Rick Rubin need a guitarist, Mills is the first call. His flawless technique, uncanny confidence, and unique interpretation of every piece of music he touches has turned Mills into one of the most in-demand players in the music business. It’s not just the notes he plays, it’s often the notes he doesn’t. There’s something singular about discovering a truly great record before the rest of the world calls it their own. For an ever-increasing number of music fans, that’sBreak Mirrors. The original intention of the album was to serve as a calling card for Mills to get session work. But despite the low-key nature of its release, friends and fellow musicians began testifying about the strength of the album. Within months, as burned CD’s and cassettes were passed around, that small group of fans quickly turned into a mass of believers. By the end of 2011, a handful of web sites and bands were hailing Break Mirrors as one of the year’s very best.



Blake Mills is often compared to legends like Ry Cooder, Jon Brion, even Beck and Elliott Smith. Flattering as comparisons are, Mills has already carved out his own unique musical identity. There’s a real visceral and antagonistic edge to his personality that, when augmented with the elegance of his musicality, yields an uncompromising vision. It’s not always easy and it doesn’t always end up the way one might expect, but when it comes to Blake Mills one thing is always true: it will be extraordinary.

Doors are at 7p with show beginning at 8p. Tickets can be found here. More information about Blake can be found at these sites. 

www.blakemillsonline.com/
www.myspace.com/breakmirrors


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Dodos w/Calexico - 10.14.12 - Mr Smalls - Show Preview - Concert Preview

The Dodos will be appearing at Mr Smalls opening for Calexico next Sunday, 10.14. The band played here last September at Mr Smalls presenting a memorable show. At the time they were touring behind their new album No Colors, so be expecting new material at this concert. Back in 2008 they made our #1 best show seen for that year. The duo is very much a percussion driven band, with front man Metric Long strumming intensely on his guitar while belting out rhythmic lyrics. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us with your name to pghmusicreport@gmail.com to enter. 



From their press:

The drums hit you in the chest first, spraying your speakers like swift gunshots. But then Meric Long’s finger-picked chords kick in, cascading across Logan Kroeber’s brass knuckle beats like only the best Dodos songs can. This forward motion feeling has driven the duo since 2005, but several key changes lift their fourth LP (No Color) to another level. For one thing, the band reunited with Portland producer John Askew, the man behind the boards of the Dodos’ first two full-lengths, Beware of the Maniacs and Visiter. Having an old friend around was like adding an honorary third member; a voice of reason who isn’t afraid of vetoing ill-fated ideas.



The main focus of No Color was to bottle the frenzied folk approach that’s been there since the beginning. And it works damn well, from the dagger-drawing dynamics and brain-burrowing choruses of “Black Night” to the hairpin turns and splashy percussion of “Good.” And then there are the songs that’ll make you want to dub old episodes of 120 Minutes, including the instrumental break of “Don’t Stop” and the sneak attack solo that weaves its way around the steely rhythms of “Don’t Try and Hide It.”

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $20 and can be found here

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Good and Bad Live Acts - The List


Haven't had a chance to write much lately, but have a little time this evening. If you saw my tweets from a couple of weeks ago, you know I was gushing over the Metric show at Stage AE. Let it be known I am definite Emily Haines uberfan. It got me thinking about artists that I have seen on multiple occasions which   have never disappointed, and those who disappoint every single time. Here is a short list.

Never Disappointed

1) Metric - Admittedly I have a grade school crush when it comes to EH and this band. But honestly, seeing them five times, they have never let the audience down. EH is constantly jumping and dancing always showing off the best gams in the biz. They always put the crowd into a frenzy, boogying on the floor and most of the time singing along. This time I noticed a good portion of the audience didn't appear to recognize their excellent new album Synthetica. But this didn't deter the crowd showing their passion by bouncing constantly to each song.

2) Arcade Fire - Been lucky enough to see this act a few times and I don't know that they could ever put on a bad show. Constantly interchanging instruments, all members singing in unison, they are the definition of a 'family band'. Providing energy, sweat, tears and a perpetual flow of emotion, AF provide every audience member all sorts of fervor during their shows.

3) Dismemberment Plan - Saw these guys over seven times back in the day. And they put on one of the best, entertaining live shows. No schtick, just pure indie rock at it's best. It always is a good time, usually in a small venue. If you have the opportunity to see them at a reunion show, make sure you do.

Most Disappointing

1) Animal Collective - Seen these guys a couple of times and walked away from both shows. While creating some of the most diverse, appealing LP's in the last decade, their live concerts make you want to put a gun to your head. You can read my feelings more here.

2) Andrew Bird -  I absolutely loved his breakout LP The Mysterious Production of Eggs. I really wanted to like AB, but he constantly disappointed me live. I saw him over five times and he is just awful. Boring, boring, boring. The last time I saw him I wanted to walk onstage, demolish his pedals, trash his phonograph and destroy Doss's drum set. Oh, I am exaggerating. He just isn't good.

3) Spoon - I love these guys. Really do. But something about their live show just makes me say afterward "meh". For the money you have to pay to see them, their should be more energy, more interaction, more anything. They just don't do much for a $25 fee.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Infantree/w Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Interview - 10.9.12 - Petersen Event Center - Show Preview


Infantree will be opening for Neil Young and Crazy Horse Tuesday, October 9th at the Petersen Events Center. The quartet just recently released their new LP Hero's Dose this past June on Vapor Records. The The young 20-somethings play old souls, hybrid of garage psychedelia, folk and pop that’s based on meticulous craft rather than fuzzy production. The band was kind enough to give us an interview an anticipation of their upcoming show. They are also kind enough to offer a ticket giveaway to the show. As usual, just email us your name at pghmusirecport@gmail.com to enter. 

You just released your second LP Hero’s Dose. How did this record differ from your first? What were you attempting to accomplish with this record?

On Would Work we changed instruments a lot more from song to song, for instance Don and I (Matt) would switch between bass and guitar and keys, whereas in Hero's Dose we don't really switch. There's also more electric instruments and MIDI on the new album. We also recorded it to 192khz, which is a little over 4 times as much data sampled per second as normal CD quality (44.1khz). Normally we would record at a lower rate like 98khz, but advances in technology make 192 the highest "resolution" that's digitally possible. We recently had an opportunity to listen to some old Aretha Franklin recording that were re-mastered at 192 and it literally felt like we were in the studio listening to it live. Also Hero's Dose is the first album with a song written by all three singers (What You Wanna Do), we actually wrote and recorded it in the studio at about 3am....and then fell asleep.

We wanted to make a more focused album than the previous ones in terms of the arrangements and lyrical content. We also made a point of being more involved with the recording process. With Would Work, we had a group of songs but not really an idea of what direction we wanted to go when it came to recording. We were also not used to being in a professional studio with the first album. I guess you could say we were a little nervous about the whole process. By the time we recorded Hero's Dose, the studio felt a little more like home, and we felt more comfortable making decisions about what we wanted or didn't want.


How did you all get tabbed to open for Neil Young? How does it feel to open for a legend in substantially larger venues? 

We have been signed to Neil's label for the past 2 years, and when we were on tour in May we got a call from our manager at the time saying we were opening for him. He really pushed the idea to our label and helped us seal the deal.

We just feel lucky to be involved with this tour, it's unbelievable.

I read that the band met each other through a ‘community music program’ in Calabasas, CA. What was this place about? Did you share similar interests? 

Where we live in Calabasas and Agoura Hills there really isn't a music scene, it's pretty suburban and there aren't any venues. We rent a practice room from a music store in our area that also gives lessons, and sometimes we play shows there to help cover rent...but thats about it. We drive out to Silver Lake, Hollywood, and Downtown to play shows. We are always trying to be more involved in the scene out there, it's a little tough because we don't live there, but from what we have experienced the people are very supportive of each other's artistic pursuits.


What was it like recording this album with Niko Bolas? How did his work affect your sound? Did you feel like you were all on the same page?

We recorded both albums with Niko, the first time we were just getting to know him but by the second album we were a family. We learn so much from being around him, it's hard to describe how much he has influenced what we do. He has no reservation to say if a take sounds like we are just going through the motions as opposed to discovering it. Sometimes he would pick a take that we would have overlooked because we thought we messed up, later to realize that he was right.

How will you contend with opening for such a diverse crowd with Neil Young? You all are 20 somethings playing to people in their 60’s. Will you do anything different to try and win over this crowd?

We are just going to do our best and play as good as we can. Our fans are pretty diverse as it is so hopefully Neil's fans will like us too.

What do you think of the current media/social music world? Now being a solo artist is it difficult/time consuming to maintain a relationship with fans/public?

We think its fun to be able to directly measure progress and to keep in touch with fans. Its great validation if you feel a show didn't go well and then you see a post someone made saying they thought it was good.

The downside can be that sometimes it feels like you are on the computer more than you are playing music. Its a little overwhelming to have a dozen different sites and pages to update.

With albums being able to d/l for free, what changes need to be made to maintain an ‘indie’ act such as yourself? What modifications need to be made in your opinion?

A strong live show is basically the best way to combat not making money off of album sales. We have definitely been getting more creative with our merchandise, but at the end of the day it all comes down to getting people to the shows. There are a lot of cool outlets like BandCamp where you can put up music and make money off of tracks/ albums directly.


What are your upcoming goals? What would you like to accomplish?

Our main goals are to better our live show and to finish this Neil tour successfully. Hopefully make some money one day.

What made you want to dedicate your life to music? Was there a show or album?

We love playing music, and we want to be successful doing something we love.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

We have never been to Pittsburgh before and we can't wait to play for you!

The show begins at 7:30p with tickets ranging from $50 - 150. You can get them here. More information about the band can be found at these sites:


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - SSION - 10.5.12 - VIA - Show Preview - Concert Preview


SSION (aka Cody Critcheloe) will be appearing at VIA next Friday, 10.5. The Kansas City, Missouri native, now currently residing in NYC, is touring behind his debut album Bent. He happens to be on the same label as Pittsburgh's very own Wise Blood, one of our favorite artist's. Not just known for his music, Cody is very much a visual artist as well creating/producing his own videos. His music features bouncing punk grooves with trembling synth. And his live shows are a must see event with his band featuring campy stage acts ala Of Montreal. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us with your name at pghmusicreport@gmail.com to enter. 



From his press:

Hailing from the upper echelons of Manhattan's downtown scene by way of Kansas City's unexpected art world, SSION is gearing up to tour across the US and Canada this fall. The brainchild of visionary Cody Critcheloe, SSION combines the synth of early 80s New Romantics and 90s avantpop to make lastingly catchy, crude and iconic music for the future. Cody has notably DIY directed dozens of videos for himself as well as others, including Peaches, Gossip, MNDR, CSS and Santigold, replete with over-the-top high concept visuals and theatrics. The energy from these videos is guaranteed to cross over to SSION's live show, but with more emphasis on Cody's visceral musicianship. Sweat, glitter and poppers will undoubtedly fill the dance-charged air.


Show begins at 7p. More information can be found here.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Show Preview - Aesop Rock - Altar Bar - 10.4.12 - Concert Preview


Legendary indie hip hop artist Aesop Rock (aka Ian Bavitz) will be appearing at the Altar Bar next Thursday, 10.4. Since the early 1990's Ian Bavitz has been at the forefront of the underground scene residing in NYC during those years, but now living in San Fransisco. He is touring behind his new LP Skelethon released this past April on Ryhmesayers Records. It's his first album in 5 years and his sixth LP to date. The record is dark and dense with melancholy throughout the lyrics and sounds. Featuring songs from musicians as ZZ Top and Kimya Dawson, Bavitz stretches his rhymes and rhythms to areas he has only touched on before.



From his press:

Iconic New York-born, San Francisco-based rapper and producer, Aesop Rock, is joining forces with Rhymesayers to release his sixth studio album, Skelethon, on July 10th 2012. Since the release of None Shall Pass in 2007, we've seen Aesop Rock touring the world, launching online arts outlet, 900bats.com, and collaborating on LPs with Felt, Hail Mary Mallon, the Uncluded and more. Skelethon not only sees the rapper back waxing poetically on his own but also marks his first wholly self-produced effort. While the sounds are familiar, we see Aesop venturing in some exciting new directions with guest appearances from indie rock archetype,Kimya Dawson, as well as Allyson Baker of Dirty Ghosts, Hanni El Khatib, Nicky Fleming-Yaryan, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz and the Grimace Federation. Aesop's new album follows in the wake of several deep personal losses and highlights subject matter that deals with the sometimes-futile ways people try to cope with serious issues. The cover art comes from Barcelona-based painter Aryz. Skelethon is set to be both a showpiece for his illustrious career and a serious payoff for his droves of ever-patient loyal fans.



Show begins at 7p with doors at 6p. Tickets are $20 and can be found here

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Local Artist Spotlight - Instead of Sleeping - November 2012


Instead of Sleeping is our local artist spotlight for the month of November. The local quartet formed back in 2008 and has previously released two EP's and one LP. They are currently releasing their new EP entitled The Reds, The Blacks, The Grays. The album is built around different emotions from the songs. Red is for the energetic, black demonstrating the darker side and gray for a bit of mix between the two. There will be a CD Release Show this Friday, 9.28 at the Smiling Moose. Doors are at 6p with show beginning at 6:30p. Tickets to the show are only $10 and can be found here. You can find the album streaming below. 

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

For the most part, we were friends from high school except for our drummer Corey. I met Corey at a party that got busted at RMU (this was 4 years ago when we were underage by the way). After we ran and got away safely, he told me he was a drummer. We've been best friends ever since. True story.

Black Light Music Video from Josh Elsass on Vimeo.


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

I would tell them its melodic indie rock. Lots of pauses and dynamics. We draw a lot of influence form Minus the Bear, Manchester Orchestra, and The Dear Hunter.

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

Yes, we are all from Pittsburgh except Corey who comes from Butler PA




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

For the time being, we have only been able to be musicians playing weekend shows. I'm lucky because I am a guitar instructor for my part time job, so technically music is my full-time job.

Do you have day jobs? 

Yes, we have part time day jobs.

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

The song-writing process for Instead of Sleeping is pretty much 100% collaborative. Every band member has brought in a song at one point or another and we all rip into it and tell them how stupid it is. Sometimes somebody brings in something half decent, and we build it up together from there. I write the lyrics.






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

The goal for Instead of Sleeping is to play as many shows as we can, broaden our audience, increase our fan base, and (long-term) have the band become a primary source of income providing a livable and comfortable income for each band member. A label would probably help us with making more contacts, gaining notoriety, and spreading our music faster than we can independently, but we will see if we go that route with the release of our new album.

What advice would you give to local acts trying to make it?

The advice I would give to local acts just starting up is to not burn any bridges with other bands you work with. Everyone really needs to work together, and you can miss out on so many great opportunities if you ruin a relationship with a fellow Pittsburgh band. Also, quit playing in Drop C, B, or even Drop A. It's been done, and you are now 5 or 6 years late (haha).

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

We have toured as far south as Nashville TN, or Greenville SC. As far East as Bloomington IN. And as far North as Rochester, NY or New York, NY. We definitely want to do more touring though.




Being in the Pgh area, do you find it more difficult to try and succeed?

A lot of people bitch and moan about how tough the Pittsburgh music scene is, but I'm not really one of them. We have played in a lot of other cities, and, yes, there are towns that are more receptive to original music, that go out to shows more, have a more diverse range of bands, and pay a lot more money to bands… Okay, Pittsburgh definitely is not as easy to succeed, but I look at it as a positive. If it's this hard at home, then that only further prepares us for tougher towns, tougher shows, and tougher times. We aren't spoiled here is what I'm trying to say here I guess. We have met a lot of very helpful people in this city though, so it's really not all bad.

Is there a venue you have enjoyed playing more than others in the area?

Our two favorite venues would probably be Mr. Small's and The Smiling Moose. We usually go with the moose though because it's right in South Side, pays well, and Drusky Entertainment is pretty easy-going with us on setting up shows there. Best venue of all though is a house show. Nothing beats just setting up at a party, having a bunch of drinks, and going nuts with a bunch of close friends.

More information about the band can be found at these sites:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Show Preview - Cursive - 9.21.12 - Stage AE - Concert Preview


One of our favorite acts is making another stop in the burgh, this time at Stage AE. Cursive will be opening for Minus the Bear this Friday, 9.21. They are still touring behind their seventh album I Am Gemini which was released earliest this year via Saddle Creek Records. The album tells the story of twin brothers Cassius and Pollock, one good and one evil. An unexpected reunion at a house that is not a home ignites a classic struggle for the soul, played out with a cast of supporting characters that includes a chorus of angels and devils, and twin sisters conjoined at the head. This will be Cursive's second appearance in Pittsburgh, most recently at Mr Smalls this past March.



From our previous interview with Tim Kasher:

What made you decide to write an album about a fictional set up conjoined brothers?

It kind of evolved into that. I had loosely planned on writing about conflicting voices in one's heads, it spun out of control from there.


It’s the story of good v. evil from what I have read/heard. Is this something you see as a screenplay?

I had some daydreams of doing other things with this story, but set those ideas aside to ensure the story of the album was told completely. I didn't want it to be a companion piece to other proposed mediums, but rather a story in and of itself.

We had spoken before you had written a couple of more screenplays and were trying to film your first movie. Have you been able to do this? 

I got tripped up a few times in the production aspect of film making, enough times to leave me exhausted. I still write plenty aside from songwriting, but continue to consider it a hobby.

How did writing the structures of these songs compare to your past albums? Was this a much different process from more of ‘personal’ albums?

It wasn't incredibly different, we approached the compiling of songs in the same fashion as we have in the past, the main difference was we sequenced the songs in their correct order before writing the lyrics or recording. This way I was able to write the story linearly from track one to the end of the album. It also gave us a lot more insight whilst recording, knowing in advance which songs went into which songs.


Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $22 and can be found here.

Ticket Giveaway - Laetitia Sadier - Thunderbird Cafe - 9.26.12 - Show Preview - Concert Preview


Laetitia Sadier will be making an appearance next Wednesday, 9.26 at the Thunderbird Cafe. The former Stereolab member released her first solo album two years ago (The Trip) and just released her followup LP entitled Silencio in July via Drag City Records. On the new album, the French songstress plays meditative acoustic guitar with flute solos with much texture in between. Lyrically the album screams of controversial topics such as the economy and the political landscape today. Her socialist leanings are evident on the LP, questioning and showing her mistrust of our environment, that it comes off more as a political album. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us your name at pghmusicreport@gmail.com


From her press: 

Silencio! It's been two years since we took The Trip with Laetita Sadier. Her first true solo album since exiting the bedrooms of Monade and Stereolab, The Trip breathed freshly and deeply as both a personal homage to life's journey and as a grieving process for the separations that are unavoidable within it. Born from a similar, natural need for stillness as well as agitation, Laetitia now delivers her follow-up LP,Silencio - an album exploring the individual connection to a deeper self, placed in a broader environment, in a similarly fresh kind of way. Silencio! That noise preventing your connectivity comes from society - the noise of commercialism and the marketplace overwhelming your ability to cut deeply inward, prohibiting your inner-connections. Silencio may help you understand how to resist the rules of these systems, but only if you listen!



Within Silencio's dynamic song structures, the album features some exciting collaboration: there's a new jammer with former Stereolabber, Tim Gane; and musical drifter-man James Elkington provides writing for two tracks in addition to recording and playing on much of the record. Need some other freaky names? OK! Sam Prekop shows up mysteriously. But that's a story for another time. Guests aside, we're more concerned with the singularity of Laetitia Sadier. That voice, the one that reaches you and wraps you up each time you hear it. Calm, direct. Cool and hot. If you're unable to attain an inner connection with yourself, Laetitia will connect to it for you. Silencio is your human modem.

Show begins at 9p with tickets only $10. They can be found here. More information about Laetitia Sadier can be found here: