Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Video Review - Little Barrie + Charles Bradley - 2.24.12 - Rex Theater

My fellow blogger beat me to the punch. We saw a fantastic show this past Friday night. Obviously I was hyping Little Barrie who did a tremendous job. I'll have to say I was not familiar with Charles Bradley. Watching a 64 year old man still making the moves he made onstage was quite impressive (splits, etc). The guy was from my neck of the woods, Gainesville, FL, before making his way to NYC at a young age. He was old school too with a big pick hanging out of his back pant pocket (we saw him outside). I believe my mom would have enjoyed it.

Watch the move at the 2:30 mark


Little Barrie had so much talent on their side. The lead actually strummed his guitar with only his ring finger. Never had I seen that before at such a rapid pace.



Very pleasant evening.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Saw Doctors - Altar Bar - 3.5.12 - Show Preview - Concert Preview

The Saw Doctors will be making a stop in Pgh next Monday, 3.5 at the Altar Bar. The Irish rock band has been recording and touring since 1986. They are quite accomplished in their native country honing 18 Top 30 singles and releasing 7 studio albums while winning several Irish music awards. They recently released a 60's cover of 'Downtown' featuring original singer Petula Clark. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show plus their latest cd which will be mailed to you. As usual to enter just email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name.



Leo Moran and Davy Carton are the driving force behind the band for over 25 years. The music itself has the sound of homespun charm and quaint imagery that reflects their Irish origins. From a recent interview:

"They call Ireland the land of saints and scholars," Moran suggests. "The Irish definitely have an interest in people, in language, and in coming up with new ways of saying things. Creativity is accepted and respected, and that's especially true in Galway. Everybody you meet is in a play or writing or acting or in a band. I suppose you see other people doing stuff, and they're always around you, and when you like what they're doing, it encourages you to do it as well."



Doors are at 7p with the show beginning at 8p. Tickets are $25 and can be found here. More information about the band are at these links:

http://sawdoctors.com/
www.facebook.com/sawdoctors
http://www.youtube.com/user/sawdoctorsofficial

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Interview - Whitehorse - 3.2.12 - Club Cafe - Show Preview - Concert Preview -

Whitehorse will be performing next Friday at Club Cafe. The husband and wife duo of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland come by way of Toronto where they are both well respected and accomplished artists. Individually, the couple have been recognized and nominated for such awards as the Juno, Canadian Folk Music and Polaris. They recently released their first venture as a duet this past year which is self titled. We are giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with your name.

Luke Doucet was kind enough to answer a few questions from us about their writing process as a couple, their lyrical content and his apologies for Sid.

Is this your first official combined output as a couple? You have several albums under your own names. What made you want to write together?

This is the first official record together although we've been a big part of each other's music for a while. I've produced records for Melissa & she's been contributing to mine. We were motivated mostly by wanting to tour together & just accepted that we are always stronger together. We are each other's strongest musical (& personal) asset.



You both have differing groups of fan bases. How has the reaction been to the album from both? How accepting have they been?

There are always a few fans who don't get the blend between us or simply prefer one to the other & that's fair. Mostly, I think people dig it. Most of our fans are used to seeing/hearing us together anyway.

Will this be your main project moving forward for the foreseeable time?

Yes. I have no plans to return to making solo records anytime soon. Neither does Melissa, as far as I know.

This album only has 8 tracks. Do you currently have more songs written and recorded?

Tons. We'll be releasing a longer record in the fall.

How would you say this endeavor is different from past outputs both musically/lyrically?

There's more fiction in Whitehorse. Melissa ia a great fiction writer. I can't tell how different the music is--I'm too close to it--but I know there is a sound that hasn't existed till now. It's that 1+1=3 thing. By agreeing to share all the responsibilities for songs, we've created something that is greater than the sum so to speak.



Did you self produce this album? Was this a different path with both of you working in the studio on the same music?

I did produce it but Melissa had a big hand too. We just work together until we like it. I'll get production credit because once the skeleton of the song is in place, I tend to play most of the additional instruments. But most creative decisions are made together.

I read that Luke’s daughter has offered vocals to some of his past albums. Did she help with any of these recordings?

She usually plays on a few tracks but not on this record. She'll make an appearance on the follow-up.

How did the songwriting process work? Did you both bring lyrics/music to the table? Or?

We each bring songs to the table & then tweak/re-write as needed. Some are fully realized out of the gate & some require some prodding. Our main rule is nothing is personal & the less ego the better. So we really try to put the songs first. Sounds cliche but it's harder that it sounds. Sometimes we are emotionally attached to something and we lose the ability to hear it for what it is. That's where the partnership becomes very useful. I think we trust each other.

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

Our goals don't change much. We just want to make the best music we can. Maybe the definition of 'good music' changes but we are always trying to get that feeling, where we look at each other & go "yeah, yeah, yeah--that's it!".

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

I'm too small for the football team & I wanted to meet girls. And The Beatles' White Album. And I want to spend my life travelling.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

Sorry about Crosby.

This is the early show on Friday at Club Cafe with doors at 6p and show beginning at 7p. Tickets are only $8 and can be found here. You can find more information about the band at these links:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Paul Kelly - Club Cafe - 3.3.12 - Show Preview - Concert Preview - Pittsburgh

Australian national hero Paul Kelly will be making a stop in Pittsburgh at Club Cafe on Saturday, March 3rd. He is touring behind a new 8-cd live box (105 song) set that is being release in the US on 2.28 which you can purchase here. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual, just email us your name to: pghmusicreport@gmail.com 

Not familiar with Paul Kelly? I admit I wasn't until I began researching the legend. The singer/songwriter career spans over 30 years, beginning in his late teens. He traveled extensively in Australia before settling in Melbourne where he quickly made a name for himself. He soon signed to a label began releasing a steady stream of albums through the present. Although only having a cult following in the US, the troubadour is known worldwide, often selling out large theaters and halls. Rolling Stone’s David Fricke called Kelly “one of the finest songwriters I have ever heard, Australian or otherwise.”



From his US press:

An extensive CD re-issue campaign of his entire non-A&M releases will kick off this summer and run through 2014. Gossip became Kelly’s first U.S. release on A&M Records, which also issued his Under the Sun and So Much Water So Close to Home. Those albums won him reams of stateside critical acclaim, while expanding his loyal U.S. fan base. Kelly continued to stake out new territory on such subsequent releases as Comedy, Wanted Man, Deeper Water, Live at the Continental and the Esplanade, How to Make Gravy, Words and Music, Nothing But A Dream, Ways & Means, Foggy Highway and Stolen Apples. He also branched out stylistically with Smoke, a rootsy collaboration with the Australian bluegrass combo Uncle Bill, as well as an eponymous experimental dub-reggae album recorded as part of the techno-groove ensemble Professor Ratbaggy, and most recently a self-titled album as a member of the studio band Stardust Five. A These titles will be released digitally as well, at the same time their physical counterparts are released (many of which have long been out of print, or never released, in America).



In addition to his recording and touring career, Kelly has explored a varied array of other creative pursuits. His interest in aboriginal issues has led him to collaborate with aboriginal songwriter Archie Roach and the multicultural group Yothu Yindi. He wrote songs for, and acted in, the Australian stage play Funerals and Circuses, and has provided music for numerous Australian movies and TV shows, including award-winning scores for the films Lantana, One Night the Moon and Jindabyne. He’s also written songs for several other Australian artists, and was the inspiration for the tribute album Women at the Well, on which 14 female artists performed interpretations of Kelly compositions.

We are very fortunate that PK is making a stop in Pgh. It's the late show at Club Cafe on Saturday and begins at 10p. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. You can find more information about PK at these links:

Official: http://www.PaulKelly.com.au
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PaulKellyofficial
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/paul__kelly
YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/paulmauricekelly

Show Preview - Interview - Ambassadors w/ Lights - 2.29.12 - Altar Bar - Concert Preview - Pittsburgh


Sam Harris has been playing music with his friend Noah and his brother Casey since they were kids in middle school in Ithaca, New York. Years later, the three moved to New York City for college, where drummer Adam Levin joined the group. Despite their years of music together, only in the past six months has their band, Ambassadors, really surfaced in the blogosphere. Their drum-driven song “Unconsolable” has been making the rounds for several months now. In January, the band released their first LP, Litost. On February 29th, Ambassadors will make their first trip to Pittsburgh, opening for Lights at Altar Bar.

Sam spoke with me about the band’s early influences. “I remember going to see the Arcade Fire when they first started touring Funeral, and bands like Fiery Furnaces. But we also listened to music like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and some shit that was on mainstream rock radio.”



The middle school days left a seemingly deep imprint on these musicians. “Somehow, the music has evolved now into something that is almost hearkening back to stuff we were listening to in like 5th grade,” Sam said. “We're drawing on influences of like 90s R&B stuff, like we're doing covers of that kind of stuff.” The core of the music has always remained the same. “Ultimately at the end of the day we have always just wanted to write catchy songs.”

Their catchy songs, blending a range of influences from rock, synth, and tribal, have culminated with their first album, Litost. The title of the album comes from a book by Czech writer Milan Kundera. “Oh man, I looove that book,” Sam exclaims. “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. That was like the book that I was reading at the time I was writing a lot of this stuff. I love his language. I try to emulate as much as possible lyrically. He finds a way to write about something so beautifully, using words that are sometimes really harsh words or ugly or phrases that are a little mean, but when put together it turns into this beautiful, beautiful work of art. I think he's so brilliant.”

This literary record was completed in the spring of last year. The band immediately began shopping it around to labels, before ultimately self-releasing it. “We had our hearts set on getting it on a label. We were like, ‘We're gonna do it!’ We started building our team up , we started working with a great manager, Seth, booking shows, got a lawyer.” Ambassadors chose not to sign with a label, however. “You know the offers we were getting, some of them were OK. But at the end of the day we just had to say no to all of them, because none of them were perfect.”




Nonetheless, Ambassadors released Litost on their own. It can be found on Amazon, iTunes, and Bandcamp. Sam is thankful that the changing music industry has made such a career path possible. “This is the time when you can do that. Now more than ever bands are putting out material on their own. People in the music industry will always tell you to hang onto as much as you can. But it's hard, because things are expensive and you have to figure out ways to make money in order to keep on creating stuff.” Sam laughs. “I mean, if it was up to me I would have given our record away for free and not thought twice about it.”

There is a certain method to succeeding in the internet age. Sam tries to stay ahead of the curve. “I think what's really exciting for us is that we are always writing stuff, constantly recording, and perfecting out sound. And I think what this new way of experiencing music is allowing us to do is to let other people in on that process. If you release as much material as possible, all the time and just keep pumping out the songs, even if it's not a full record, if you're just pumping out EPs, you know, people will love it.” He seems to really understand the evolving relationship between the listener and the musician. “People want to get more and more involved in the life of a band. I keep seeing these demos that Frank Ocean puts up on his blog. You know, he's got all these people who are behind him, repping his stuff and pushing his stuff. And that's all the better, because he can just put this out and say, ‘What do you guys think? I hope you guys like this little snippet of something I'm doing.” He can judge how he's going to make the next record off of the reactions to these little demos that he's putting out.”

In the past two years, since finishing school, Ambassadors have worked hard on their writing and live show. In videos online, Sam can be seen drumming on stage. He explains, “I primarily play bass and what we call 'the indie tom.' I guess I play auxillary percussion and bass. And I sing. That's really my main instrument. When we first were a band back in middle school and high school I didn't play anything.” It wasn’t that he didn’t play anything, it was that he played saxophone. ”I've been playing saxophone since I was 8 years old. Eventually I started writing songs and I wanted to accompany myself, so I picked up guitar when I was around 14. Then I learned how to play drums and some other things like piano. I play a little bit of everything. I like to be able to jump around from instrument to instrument on stage and add whatever sound is necessary. But I would say primarily I am a singer.”


Body Bag by Ambassadors from Big Ugly Yellow Couch on Vimeo.

Ambassadors is one of the few bands today which have something which could be called a logo. The three A’s in the word Ambassadors are represented with red, yellow, and blue triangles. “It was a design that your friend Meryl did for us when she was listening to our record, and we just immediately loved it. I do a lot of the graphic design for the band, I did the album cover. Our friend Diggy Lloyd did the photos on both the first EP and our newest record. She is just incredible. Her work sort of speaks volumes with simplicity. And I think the band logo is so simple. It just allows for so much to be done with it.”

The triangles are thematic for the Harris brothers, Sam said. “Oddly enough, Casey and I both have matching tattoos that I designed of these two triangles with a closed eye and an open eye in each of them. It's sort of symbolic of our brotherhood. I guess the triangle thing has somehow worked its way into the theme of the band. I don't really know what it means, I just like it. It looks cool.”

With Litost completed almost a year ago, Ambassadors have already developed new material as they begin their tour with Lights. They’ll still be playing the songs that are generating buzz for them online, like“Unconsolable,” “Weight/Lightness,” and “Litost” (which was recently played on a television episode of One Tree Hill. Sam says we’ll hear new stuff too. “We have a bunch of songs that are in the works right now that we will be working on the road and playing in front of audiences and getting reactions. We're just going to keep touring and supporting this record that we have right now. Writing stuff, recording stuff on the go. Like I said before, this is the age where you just have to have a volume of material to keep putting out. People want to know what you're doing all the time and what you're working on. And we're always working anyways, so now it's just a matter of remembering to tweet about it, or post it on your tumblr. We're just gonna keep rolling and we're excited right now, and excited for the future.”

“I can't wait to come through Pittsburgh. It's gonna be our first time playing there,” Sam says.

I tell him that Altar Bar should suit their sound well, because it has a big stage.

Sam laughs. “Well, we just happen to love big stages.”  

http://ambassadorstheband.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/ambassadorstheband

-Daniel Hammer

Monday, February 20, 2012

Show Preview - Bess Rogers - 2.28.12 - Club Cafe - Concert Preview - Pittsburgh


Bess Rogers will be appearing at Club Cafe next Tuesday, 2.28 opening for Rachel Platten. She is touring behind her latest LP, Out of the Ocean, released this previous year. Her music can be described as a variety of pop, rock and punk.The Brooklyn based artist bases her latest album on a book entitled "Your Inner Fish" by Neil Shubin. It is about evolution, reaching all the way back to the beginning, and how it has affected our lives today. Many of her songs on Out of the Ocean are inspired by this idea, from titles "In the Waves" to "Water and Dirt". The record was produced partly at her home studio and in a Maine farmhouse with the help of producer Chris Kuffner (Ingrid Michaelson's Girls and Boys).





From her press:

Like her previous releases, Bess Rogers Presents Bess Rogers (2010), Travel Back EP (2009) and Decisions Based On Information (2007), Out Of The Ocean was made and released independently. Knowing that this new record would require a more substantial budget, Rogers put out the call to her fans through Kickstarter. Within two days of launching the campaign, the initial goal of $10,000 was met; and by the end she had raised $26,000 with over 500 backers. "It was amazing." says Rogers. "The amount of support it got was mind-blowing and made me even more excited to make this record and get it out there into the world."




Songs from Out Of The Ocean have been featured by Amazon.com, iTunes-Japan and Google Music. Bess’ music has been featured on such television shows as One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars, Raising The Bar, and Switched At Birth, in a national Motts for Tots television commercial, and in the upcoming German film, Girl On A Bicycle. She has shared the stage with Ingrid Michaelson, Loudon Wainwright, Ari Hest, Ian Axel, Allie Moss, among others, and will be touring this February and March with Rachel Platten.
Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are only $8 and can be found here. For more information about Bess Rogers please go here:

www.facebook.com/bessrogersmusic

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Show Preview - Interview - Little Barrie - 2.24.12 - Rex Theater - Pittsburgh - Concert Preview



Little Barrie will be performing next Friday, 2.24 at the Rex Theater. The band comes by way of England and are conducting their first American tour across the US. The musicians have played for such icons as Morrissey, Paul Weller and Primal Scream. They are touring behind their third lp, King of Waves, which has a 2.28 release date in the US. The trio play a blend of blues, surfer rock and soul. Lead man Barrie Cadogan was kind enough to answer a few questions about their recent trip to Japan, the new album and his love of Chuck Berry and the Stone Roses.

You just completed your third album, King of Waves (US release 2.28). I have read it was recorded over 2 year period. How does it differ from your previous LP’s?

With this album we wanted a harder hitting sound that reflected the energy the bands live shows and the different music we'd been getting into. We were listening to guitar instrumental stuff like Link Wray, Garage/Psych stuff and Krautrock along with being into sounds like Spaghetti Western soundtracks and early studio pioneers like Joe Meek. We wanted a darker more explosive character to the album.

We also realized we had to oversee all creative descisions, Where we recorded, who we worked with, artwork/videos etc. We'd previously left other people to take care of some of these things and it didn't work out. so we reigned it back in.



Alternative rock veteran Edwyn Collins produced this album. What did his experience bring to the table for you?

We did our first album with Edwyn and had known him a long time. We knew working with him in his studio was the perfect place to record. They had the best equipment and are such fun to work with. We also knew they'd understand what we were after, and they love to break the rules when it comes to the recording process . Edwyn was one of the key people in getting us off the ground in the first place by recording us when we had no money or label. It was also amazing to see him back in the studio again after suffering a stroke which could have ended his career if wasn't for his sheer determination and hard work.

It was 5 years between the time you recorded this album and the previous. Why such a long layoff? Did you all think about calling the project quits? Or just wanted to work on other things?


There were several reasons why there was a long break. Firstly it takes longer to write your material once your label stops supporting you and you can't afford a permanent place to work and write songs. We also wanted to record at Edwyn's and it's a very busy place. But we knew it was worth waiting for. Sometimes we'd have a weeks recording and then have to wait 4 months for another four days in there. Inbetween sessions we were trying out the songs at small London gigs to get the arrangements right. I had also been playing and touring with Primal Scream a lot and doing other session work. We never thought about calling it quits. It was better to be patient and get it right.

How often have you toured the US? How do the crowds differ here from Europe?

We've never toured the US before. Only the odd show in new York and LA. US crowds have been great. We're the opening act so you don't assume people will want to watch you, but they have so far. European crowds have been generally really good too. Sometimes in the UK people are a bit too scared to let their hair down in case someone thinks they're not cool anymore.

You recently toured Japan. How is the country after the massive tsunamis?

We were one of the first few bands to return to Japan after the Tsunami. We only played Tokyo and Osaka on that trip and you couldn't see any evidence of the disaster in those cities as it was too far away. Only when you talked to people did you get a sense of how they felt. They were just trying to get on with their lives were incredible audiences. They seemed so happy that some bands were still coming to play for them after many cancelled. A good friend of ours worked for the Red Cross at Fukushima to help the clean up operation. He said it was most shocking thing he'd ever experienced. Thousands had lost everything.



How has the response been to the new album? I know in Japan (released earlier this year) it has caught fire. From what I read you had to block off entire floors of hotels to keep fans at bay. Why so successful in JP?

It's not quite Beatlemania in Japan but it has gone great for us. We're not really sure how things got started there. It may have been when a few people got hold of imports of our early records and started talking about us. Japan has been so good to us. We've made some good friends there. We have been followed on the bullet train and checked into hotels under false names.

Your influence range from surfer rock to blues. How did these influences come about between the 3 of you? Did you all bring it to the table? Or?

We're all into loads of different stuff. I got really interested in early electric guitar instrumental stuff, the reverbs of surf and the fuzz of freakbeat and psych and wanted to put that into our sound. Lewis was really into The Cramps and The Gories amongst other bands. Virgil was into all kinds of stuff and is handy in the studio and engineered our rough demos. he also dj's a lot and has a good take on arrangements and what gets people moving. We were all grounded on Rhythm and Blues, Rock'n'Roll and Soul and Funk too. We're always playing eachother records we've found that we think one of us will like. We've also done loads of gigs between us which keeps your chops up.

How does your songwriting process work? Do you enlist others to assist with lyrics/structure? Or does one of you bring the lyrics to the table and then you workaround that?

A lot of ideas start with me doing a very ragged demo. From there we get in a room and start playing around with it, trying different ideas that anyone shouts out or comes up with, I mostly write the words but it's a collaborative effort in the end. Since Virgil joined we have more scope to improvise without the self indulgence of massive solos. The band is much more dynamic and powerful now.

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

We want to do more recording and tour new territories. Keep being creative. As well as new songs we'd love to do something like a soundtrack for a film in the future. Being able to keep working at what you love is the main thing.

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

For me the two main things were The Stone Roses first album and seeing clips of Chuck Berry and BB King on a TV. I asked my parents if I could get a cheap guitar for Christmas. That was it from then. . .

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

Come down early and see us at the Rex Theatre Pittsburgh X

Show begins at 8p with Little Barrie opening for Charles Bradley. Tickets are $15 and can be found here.

littlebarrie.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Barrie

Monday, February 13, 2012

Show Preview - Interview - Other Lives - Brillobox - 2.22.12 - Ticket Giveaway - Concert Preview

In March of last year, Other Lives quietly released their second full-length, Tamer Animals. Since the album’s release, the band can no longer linger in the obscurity of Stillwater, Oklahoma. They have tirelessly toured the country behind this densely instrumental work from the prairies, framed by the rustic vocals of Jesse Tabish.

The past eight months have included a string of high-profile opening spots with some of today’s best. In addition to The National, they have toured with The Decembrists, Bon Iver, and Rosebuds. In March of this year, they’re upping the ante again, having snagged the opening spot on Radiohead’s upcoming US tour. We had a chance to talk to singer/pianist Jesse about the band’s headlining tour during the month of February which will bring the band to Brillobox on February 22nd. 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.

I began by asking Jesse if the speed with which the band has risen to prominence has been too fast and unexpected.

“We've been doing this for about ten years now,” Jesse said. “Maybe five years ago it would be too fast. I didn't know if I really wanted to even be a touring musician. But in the last few  years it has been something that I have really been wanting to do, to really make this thing work. So all the work has been really welcomed by the band. And we all feel really lucky to be out and be able to be out there do what we do and play with a lot of great act. It's been a really great eight months.”




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.”

Nonetheless, Stillwater is not Brooklyn. Nor does it need to be to produce outstanding musicians.

“I really think that the whole idea of having to move to the East coast or the West coast is kind of passé now.”

The band’s ceaseless touring has inadvertently taken the band out of their natural habitat. While their music seems to draw inspiration from the dusty plains landscape, I asked Jesse if leaving that place will change their music.

“It will, and it already has. Our last record was a real Oklahoman record. It was about the dust bowl and the landscape of Oklahoma. I'm feeling a change in the new lands that we've gotten to, traveling incessantly. There's a more rapid, transient feel to the new music. It's a lot more fast paced. And I think it will change as we continue to stay on the road.”

Tamer Animals album has received some attention for the meticulous manner in which the songs were crafted and recorded. Jesse told me that the instruments used during recording proved to be something of a chore to translate into a live setting.

“We rehearsed it for a long time before we started touring. Some really horrendous seven hour practices, but you know I think we've been able to manage it. Because there was no thought about the live playing while recording the record. So it forced all of the band members to pick up these instruments that they hadn't played. There is so much multitasking going on when we're playing live because we are really trying to play it so close to the record.”

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.”

Jesse has reveled in their lives for the past year, which included highlights like a European tour and seeing bands and places across the US.

“Two things really stand out, one is more general. Being able to go overseas, we didn't know what to expect. But like in Italy, they don't even speak the same language and they know our music. It was a really stunning thing to witness, very heartening. And the other thing was just maybe a little bit of a childhood dream, we got to meet and hang out with Radiohead one evening. That was just a very, a thing that we would always talk about when we were 18 years old, wouldn't it be cool to do that. And now we get to tour with them. We’re very excited.”


Show begins at 9:30p with doors at 9p. Tickets are only $10 and can be found here

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ticket Giveaway Galore - Heartless Bastards (sold out), Whitehorse, Other Lives, Grimes, Cursive, et al

We are glad to add a little section to the blog (left) for upcoming ticket giveaways to help promote the national acts that come through our town. We have had many entries already for the Heartless Bastards who now have been sold out for over 2 weeks at Club Cafe. Congrats!

For all of our giveaways simply email us your name at pghmusicreport@gmail.com with the show you want to see. Or just say 'all of them'. You will be entered for a chance to win. Make sure to read the preview and checkout the music to see if it's a band you would like to see.

pghmusicreport@gmail.com

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Heartless Bastards - 2.19.12 - Club Cafe - Show Preview - Concert Preview


Heartless Bastards will be making a stop in Pittsburgh next Sunday, 2.19 at Club Cafe. The band is touring behind their new album, Arrows, that will be released on 2.14 (V-Day) via Partisan Records. To celebrate the release, the band is promoting by sending out 'Heartless Bastards Valentine's Day Cards' to local independent music stores. You can pick up these cards at local stores Eide's, Jerry's and the Exchanges around town. With each card comes a free song download to the new album.

We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us your name to: pghmusicreport@gmail.com



From their press:

Brimming with confidence and creativity, Arrow sees Heartless Bastards pushing their distinctive sound forward with their most eclectic, energetic collection thus far. The album – the Austin, Texas-based band’s first release with Partisan Records – is marked as ever by singer/guitarist/songwriter Erika Wennerstrom’s remarkable voice, at turns primal and pleading, heartfelt and heroic. Songs like “Parted Ways” and the searing “Low Low Low” expertly capture the Bastards’ multi-dimensional rock in all its strength and spirit. Following upon the difficult introspection of 2009’s acclaimed third album, The Mountain, Arrow stands as a powerhouse new beginning for Heartless Bastards.

Arrow showcases the depth and breath of the band’s indelible sound, with songs like “Got To Have Rock and Roll” and “Down In The Canyon” lighting upon spaghetti western film scores, Seventies soul, psychedelia, funk, blues, glam, and mudhole-stomping hard rock. Two years of nearly non-stop touring resulted in an astonishing musical telepathy among Heartless Bastards, with all four players intuitively able to craft Wennerstrom’s songs into maximum form.



Doors are at 7p with the show beginning at 8p. It is also sponsored by 91.3 WYEP. You can find more information here. 

http://www.theheartlessbastards.com
www.facebook.com/heartlessbastards

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ticket Giveaway - Karl Denson's Tiny Universe - Mr Smalls - 2.11.12 - Show Preview - Concert Preview - Pittsburgh

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe will be performing this Saturday, 2.11 at Mr Smalls with Anders Osborne. It is a themed performance with the band playing The Rolling Stones album, Sticky Fingers, from start to finish. The former Lenny Kravitz band member has been on the funk, groove and jazz scene for over 20 years, based out of New Orleans. He is also a co-creator of The Greyboy Allstars and has recorded with the likes of The Blind Boys of Alabama, rockers Blackalicious and Switchfoot. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual, to enter just email us your name to: pghmusicreport@gmail.com



From their press:

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will perform a soulful rendering of the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers in its entirety this fall with special guests Anders Osborne and more. New Orleans-based, songwriter and guitarist, Osborne has been a stalwart progenitor of rock and rhythm and blues, recording and touring over the past 20 years under his own name. In this new collaboration, Denson and Osborne will share the vocal duties backed by Denson’s Tiny Universe. Denson notes, “I was inspired to perform Sticky Fingers being that it’s my favorite Stones record because of the sheer number of great tunes in one place.”

Karl Denson has led a storied career as a multi-faceted recording and performing artist who first came to prominence as a member of Lenny Kravitz’ band debuting on his first release, Let Love Rule, and staying on for the next five years. While developing a following overseas, he joined Fred Wesley’s band, touring and recording with him on multiple releases. This led to five straight ahead jazz albums by Denson on Minor Music, the last of which was released to rave reviews and featured Karl in a trio setting with Miles Davis alumni Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. In 1993, Denson joined DJ Greyboy in creating Greyboy Records and released the legendary acid jazz staple, Freestylin. Out of that collaboration, Denson formed The Greyboy Allstars, which became world renowned as the ultimate groove band, spreading their “West Coast Boogaloo” style worldwide.

The show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased here. For more information visit these sites:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Local Spotlight - Pet Clinic - February 2012 - Pittsburgh -

Pet Clinic is our artist spotlight of the month. They are releasing their debut album The Dust That Made the Fire That Made the Light. They are getting a great deal of attention surrounding the release from better publications such as City Paper. The official release date for the album is Saturday, 2.11. To celebrate, the band is having a release party at The Shop with Pgh stalwarts the Harlan Twins along with dj TM Eye. The release show will begin at 7:30 and only costs $7. Plus, you can pick up a copy of their album on vinyl. 

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

Mike Arendt and I went to highschool together. I met Kenneth Nelson when he came to hangout during a Landline practice (the band I was playing drums in at the time). Ian Edwards and Kenny had been playing music through highschool and when he came back from college in Amsterdam, he joined up with us to play bass after Alec Mundy respectfully stepped down. John Henderson approached me after a Landline show to swap contacts so we could play music with each other. With all of these people at all of the right times, we decided to call ourselves Pet Clinic.


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

POWER-BALLAD

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

Yes, all except for John's roots coming from Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Do you have day jobs?

Sometimes.

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

There are no limitations on how someone writes a song. Most of the time, it starts with somewhat of an emotion.

What are your goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish?


They say the sky is the limit so.. we'd like to see where that is.

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

Mean what you say.


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

We have gone as far as Philadelphia but we've mostly stayed in Pittsburgh. We will be getting a van very soon which should allow us to see a few new faces.

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

No, our rent is cheaper than most peoples cell phone bills.


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

We are always willing to meet more like-minded musicians.

What are the positive benefits of being in the area?

You get every season.

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

Basement parties have always treated us right.

You can find more information about the band at these sites: