Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ticket Giveaway - Flaming Lips w/ Spiritualized - 7.16.13 - Stage AE - Show Preview - Concert Preview

A freaking great double bill is on Tuesday night July 16th at Stage AE. The Flaming Lips, one of the pound for pound best live shows you'll see, will be teaming up with Spiritualized a band born in 1990 with a huge cult following here in the US (based out of the UK). If you have ever seen The Flaming Lips live, on youtube or any other medium, you know that they are band not to miss live. With stuffed animal costumes, plastic bubbles in the crowd, psychedelic imagery on screen, et al Wayne Coyne and company put on the most entertaining concert you will see this year. The band is touring behind their latest LP, The Terror, released this past April on Warner Brothers Records. The group continues to stretch their two decades of existence with groundbreaking material, that only can be described by any other act as awe inspiring. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at to with your name to enter.

From their press:

Having already announced a series of summer tour dates, including shows with The Black Keys, Spiritualized, as well as several outdoor festivals and the Rock For Oklahoma Benefit Concert in July, THE FLAMING LIPS will perform a string of East Coast dates with Australian rock band Tame Impala this fall, including shows in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia. The band are touring in support of their latest album THE TERROR, their thirteenth studio album, which is out now and has amassed critical praise:
"Before the confetti cannons and sci-fi Day-Glo-pop operettas, The Flaming Lips made great acid-nightmare rock records about the high cost of transcendence. The Terror is that darkness returned: a gripping middle-age-mystic crisis with rude, cosmic-German electronics crowding Wayne Coyne's tremulous boy-explorer voice. The beauty is fleeting but piquant. A choral glow cuts past the clatter and seizures...Heaven, on Earth or anywhere else, doesn't come easy." -Rolling Stone (4 out of 5 stars)

Spiritualized - Hey Jane from Fat Possum Records on Vimeo.

Show begins at 7:30p with doors at 6:30p. Concert is outdoors rain or shine. Tickets are $35 and can be found here.

Show Preview - The Maine w/ This Century - Altar Bar - 7.7.13 - Concert Preview - Pittsburgh

The Maine will be appearing next Sunday, 7.7 at The Altar Bar in the Strip. The group is touring behind their new LP, Forever Halloween, which was released this past June independently. Their fourth album was produced by none other than The Raconteurs’ own Brendan Benson. Opening for The Maine is catchy pop sensation This Century. The Phoenix, Arizona band is touring behind their May released LP Biography of Heartbreak which was also released independently here in the US.

From their press:

Phoenix, Arizona’s The Maine as released their fourth full-length studio album Forever Halloween. The album has been released independently in the US in partnership with their management team Eighty One Twenty Three, via Universal Music in Canada, and Rude Records in Europe, UK, Australia and Japan. The record, produced by Brendan Benson of The Raconteurs, is the band’s second consecutive independent release.The band has also just released their video for the newest single off of Forever Halloween entitled “These Four Words”. The single-shot video was directed by Daniel Gomes and the song is what frontman John O’Callaghan is calling the “most revealing song [he] has ever written”. This is the second single from the band’s latest effort.

Phoenix-based This Century began chipping away at the rock scene with their sweet, jangly2011 debut, Sound of Fire. Their second album, Biography of Heartbreak, out on May 14, pushes their sound forward with some new rhythmic tricks and production depth (courtesy of knob-twiddler Colby Wedgeworth).
Deadly Weapon" closes out Biography of Heartbreak and was designed to send listeners out happy. "We wanted to close the record on an uplifting note, feeling completely unstoppable in the face of adversity," guitarist Sean Silverman said. "We had been through so much as a band and had finally come to terms with the fact that no matter what obstacle was in front of us, we could move past it. This song had all the emotion of finally breaking through those confines that you encounter." Not only is it the final song on the album, it poetically was the last track the quartet -- which also features singer Joel Kanitz, bassist Alex Silverman, and drummer Ryan Gose -- wrote for Biography of Heartbreak.

Show begins at 6:30 with doors at 6p. Tickets are $20 and can be found here

Local Spotlight - Group - July 2013 - Local Artist - Pittsburgh

Our local spotlight for the month of July 2013 is a bit different from focusing on a normal 'band'. The project is entitled 'group', a two person stage performance led by Scott Andrew and Nina Sarnelle that utilizes 90 minutes of original music and projected video content. Drawing upon conventions of rock concerts, spiritual rituals, exercise classes, team-building exercises, self-help seminars and group therapy, this immersive audiovisual experience leads participants through a number of activities designed to generate intimacy, physicality and energetic connection between them.'Group' is raising money towards the release of their self-titled album via an Indiegogo campaign running until July 1 (I am a little late here obviously). Supporters can listen to a few sample tracks on the group website, and pre-order a download of the album for as little as $10. A $25 donation includes the download as well as a reserved spot for the live show this October. Each donation will help to fund production and distribution costs of this self-released album, available in August. To donate go to

How did the project come together? What are you trying to accomplish?

We devised group primarily as a live experience, but in the process, we're also creating a recorded version of all of the music and instructions so that people can recreate the experience on their own. This is the time to plug the Indiegogo campaign we've launched to fund the album, which is closing July 1! If you like what we're doing here, please consider chipping in $10 to get a download of the album in August, or $25 for a download PLUS a reserved spot at our show in October.  Space is limited to approx 50 people per show so this reservation could be really important.  :) 

What is your live experience/video?

The live show:
group contains 90-mins of original music and video projection, an inflatable set/projection screen, and a series of interactions that guide an audience through progressive levels of interaction: agree, breathe, ingest, trim, contact, voice, act, fatigue, release. These activities are a mash-up of things we've learned in group therapy, yoga/group exercise classes, team-building exercises and spiritual retreats. They may be a bit challenging at times, asking you to participate in an impossibly fast group karaoke or a touch a stranger's hand in the dark, but they are all designed to be fun. Dont be afraid. Nothing bad can happen in group.

We came up with this concert/group therapy/workout/meditation session as a means of harnessing the incredible energy we’ve experienced at music shows, churches, jazzercise, etc. We wanted to create a stage performance expressly for the purpose of generating this kind of group energy. What if an electronic music show was not an immersive experience where one stands silently watching, but a ‘social’ event, compelling audience members to interact with each other in an absurd, intimate, or ecstatic manner? Of course there are elements of this energy in every mosh pit or dance floor; we don’t wish to reinvent the wheel, here. We’re simply focusing on this energetic reaction as the core intention of group. As artists, our work is typically designed to provide some sort of transformative physical or metaphysical experience for its participants. Take a look at some of our past collaborations to see how this has manifested:

How would you describe your music?

Just to be clear, Scott and I usually identify ourselves as interdisciplinary performance artists rather than musicians; we both have diverse music backgrounds, but this is the first long form music project we've worked on in quite some time. We want our music to be at times soothing, absurd, immersive, bizarre and infectious, a blend of electronic dance music, new age sensibilities and dream pop. We have some specific influences from Steve Reich, Enya, Laurie Anderson, but we're also into a lot of the acts that VIA brings through, and have a number of friends making amazing dance music in NY and elsewhere.

More specifically: probably some affinity to bands like Yacht, Prince Rama, Young Galaxy. Big fans of the incredibly talented (local pal) Majeure.
Best show I've seen in a while: Trust @ Brillobox.
Favorite albums: The Sounds of American Doomsday Cults, Vol 14 (seriously if you haven't heard this, it's amazing--our first track on the album is a direct reference to the Church Universal and Triumphant), Anne Gillis Aha, Bruce Haack.
I listen to a lot of shows on

From the area?

Neither of us are from Pittsburgh (although Scott grew up not too far away)--we met while in graduate school at Carnegie Mellon, getting an MFA in art. We don't have any specific plans for trying to get signed to a label right now, we're pretty busy making music and figuring out ways to self-fund it. To make a living, we scrap together a number of freelance jobs and teaching, which is relatively easy to do in Pittsburgh. We've also received a fair amount of grant funding and awards that covers the expenses of our projects. We are definitely interested in touring the live show and have identified a few interested art/music/performance venues. I doubt we would attempt a massive tour, but we'd like to do some shows in other cities, provided that we can generate an audience. This particular performance will only work with a small, yet full audience. We really can't perform for more than 100 people, and probably can't be paired with another act unless it is somehow related. We have a few unusual tech requirements (like the floor of the venue must be clean and safe for people to lie down) so all this limits our touring capabilities a bit. But there are lots of interesting hybrid performance venues across the country, so it's just about finding the right fit. 

For more information on the project visit these sites:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Ticket Giveaway - Belle & Sebastian - 7.13.13 - Stage AE - Show Preview - Concert Preview

Scottish power pop band Belle and Sebastian will be making an appearance Saturday, July 13th at Stage AE. To my knowledge the band has never set foot in Pittsburgh so this will be a special night. I always enjoyed their music growing up beginning with the seminal LP If You're Feeling Sinister back in 1996. I first saw the band in in San Diego back in 2006 and was apprenhensive since they aren't a real 'rocking' act. But man, they put on a really fun show and knew how to entertain with their soft pop melodies. Their last album was released in 2010 entitled Write About Love, so be expecting them to try some new material. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual, just email us at with your name to enter.

From their press:

Scottish indie pop vets Belle and Sebastian haven't gone on a full tour of North America in over two years, but once they were announced as a headliner for this year's Pitchfork Festival, we knew they'd finally be crossing the Atlantic again. And now, a full tour leading up to their slot at that festival has been announced.
Belle and Sebastian are also the subject of a new "Pitchfork Classic" documentary, which is an hour-long exploration of their 1996 album, If You're Feeling Sinister, directed by RJ Bentler. You can watch that documentary and check out a list of all upcoming dates below...It’s been a long 10 years since everyone's favorite Scottish indie band has graced the Bandshell stage, but thankfully Belle and Sebastian will be back in the park for our 35th Anniversary season.

Hailing from Glasgow, Belle and Sebastian have enjoyed much critical success since their first album Tigermilk in 1996. Since then they’ve sold over three million albums and have captured the hearts of anyone with even the slightest penchant for indie pop.Despite their large band, Belle and Sebastian’s music comes across as effortlessly cool and deceptively simple. That said, they are consistently lauded for their musicality and no album review can avoid praising the band’s songcraft.

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Show is outdoors on the lawn. Tickets are $35 and can be found here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ticket Giveaway - ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - 7.12.13 - Rex Theater - Show Preview - Concert Preview

...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead will be appearing at the Rex Theater Friday, July 12th. The band hasn't appeared in Pittsburgh in over 8 years; it's long overdue. They are touring behind a new EP, Tao of the Dead Part III, their latest release in a career that has spanned over 15 years. Opening for the band is Ume a band we featured back in June 2011. Both bands are known for their intense, crazy live shows that put crowds into frenzies. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at to enter.

From their press:

On the heels of successful tours of Europe, Asia and Australia, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead has announced a US summer headlining tour which includes a performance at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival on July 20th and has the band bringing fellow Austinites Ume out with them. Along with news of the tour comes the kick-off of a PledgeMusic campaign for a Tao Of The Dead Part III EP, tentatively set for a September 24th release. In partnership with Superball Music and Richter Scale, Trail of Dead has already launched a pre-order for the EP (available on limited edition CD and 12” vinyl) that will give fans the opportunity to be involved during the creation of the brand new 20-minute long composition, produced by long-time collaborator Chris “Frenchie” Smith. 


There are a variety of different exclusives that can be obtained, including handwritten lyric sheets, signed CD’s & LP’s, damaged cymbals and even paintings by Conrad Keely. Not only that, but a portion of the money raised will go to the charity APLE  which helps protect children‘s rights in Cambodia. You can find out more about the pledge campaign and get involved here. In addition, on July 9th Superball Music in conjunction with Richter Scale will re-release the band’s entire indie catalogue – 1998’s …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, 1999’s Madonna, 2009’s The Century of Self, 2011’s Tao Of The Deadand 2012’s Lost Songs – on 180g audiophile vinyl. To get fans psyched up for these re-releases, the band just released lyric videos for “Mistakes & Regrets” (Madonna):  and “A Gargoyle Waiting” (…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead): and all re-releases will be available at the start of the band’s US tour that kicks off on July 10th at Spaceland Ballroom in New Haven, CT. Confirmed US and European dates below…

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $18 and can be found here

Monday, June 24, 2013

Show Preview - Fitz and The Tantrums - 7.8.13 - Mr Smalls - Concert Preview

Fitz and the Tantrums will be appearing Monday, July 8th at Mr Smalls Theater in Millvale. The band just released a new LP on Elektra Records entitled More Than Just A Dream. The Motown revivalist of pure soul sprung onto the landscape in 2010 with their breakout album Pickin Up the Pieces. This record finds the band breaking away from their pure soul with a more brazen modern sound abandoning the guitar in many cases. The group still holds dear to their R&B roots, but shows they are quite capable of much more.

From their press:

Brimming with imagination, energy, and genre-smashing scope, Fitz & The Tantrums defied the odds to become an indisputable phenomenon, a chart-topping, show-stopping modern pop combo unlike any other. Now, with their spectacular Elektra Records debut, More Than Just A Dream, the Los Angeles-based sextet have ramped up the timeless songcraft and soul sonic force that made them a worldwide sensation to fashion a kaleidoscopic milestone that delivers on the promise of their 2010 breakthrough, Pickin’ Up The Pieces. Songs like the impossibly catchy first single, “Out Of My League” are positively brazen with verve and vivacity, demonstrating all the drama and passion of the band’s famed live shows. From the charged back-and-forth between co-lead vocalists Fitz and Noelle Scaggs to the incontrovertible power of The Tantrums in full flight, More Than Just A Dream is the sound of a great band taking it right to the edge.

While their first record was conceived as a homage to 60’s pop soul music, More Than Just A Dream sees Fitz & The Tantrums propelling their sound towards their own distinctive, utterly contemporary vision. Nothing was off the table as the band sought to “create these interesting hybrids of styles and influences that embrace and repel each other all at the same time,” synthesizing everything from soul to pop, from indie to electronic with a dose of hip-hop.Songs like “Spark” and the anthemic “Break The Walls” celebrate “pushing through, personally and artistically,” while “The End” and “6AM” find Fitz continuing to grapple with questions of the heart. To record the latter song – a much-loved staple of The Tantrums’ live set – Hoffer suggested Fitz and Scaggs sing together at the same time for the recording, much like they do on stage. The result is a stunningly soulful dialogue that defines the two lead singers’ special chemistry.

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets can be found here

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ticket Giveaway - Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell - 7.1.13 - Heinz Hall - Show Preview - Concert Preview

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers Featuring Edie Brickell will be making an appearance at Heinz Hall next Monday, 7.1. The band is touring behind their album Love Has Come for You released this year. The band plays bluegrass, country and pop that blends in all the right ways with this quintet. The group was recognized in 2011 by the International Bluegrass Music Awards as the 'Entertainer of the Year' along with a Grammy. Edie Brickell contributed to the album by supplying lyrics to some of the banjo tunes created by Steve Martin. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at to enter for a chance to win. 

From their press:

Although the new musical partners have already built widely-loved individual bodies of work, their inaugural duo effort is a substantial departure, as a well as a creative milestone, for both artists. Love Has Come for You offers 13 eloquently rootsy Martin/Brickell compositions that combine the former's inventive, expressive five-string banjo work with the latter's heart-tugging vocals and vivid, detail-rich lyrics. Steve Martin is currently in the fifth decade of a uniquely varied and accomplished career in which he's excelled as a comedian, actor, author and playwright, and as a Grammy-winning, boundary-pushing bluegrass banjoist and composer. His fellow Texas native Edie Brickell initially burst onto the national scene in the late 1980s fronting the New Bohemians, and has since carved out an iconoclastic solo career that's solidified her reputation as a uniquely compelling singer and a songwriter of rare insight. 

Love Has Come for You is the product of a vibrant songwriting partnership that took on a life of its own after Martin invited Brickell to write lyrics for a banjo tune he'd recently come up with. "I played it for her, and she walked around the room and hummed some lyrics, which she later recorded and sent to me," Martin recalls. "I realized that Edie's approach is that she works best when she goes away and does it herself, and that became the blueprint for how we worked together."

Show begins at 7:30p and tickets can be found here

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ticket Giveaway - Jimmy Eat World - 6.30.13 - Club Zoo - Show Preview - Concert Preview

Jimmy Eat World will be making another appearance in Pittsburgh next Sunday, 6.30 at Club Zoo. The forever emo band is touring behind their new album entitled Damage. Producer immy Eat World teamed up Alain Johannes whose fingerprints can be found on releases ranging from Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Chris Cornell and Arctic Monkeys. This is the eighth album for the band from Mesa, Arizona. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at to enter.

From their press:

The public has two different perceptions of Jimmy Eat World. One is the band known for the classic pop single “The Middle” -- the ubiquitous summer smash hit of 2002 and that propelled the 2001 album “Jimmy Eat World” (originally titled “Bleed American”) to multi-platinum status, as years of slogging it out under the radar were finally rewarded with sold out tours, an appearance on Saturday Night Live, an MTV Video Award nomination, invitations to tour with Green Day, Weezer and Blink-182, and critical acclaim on year-end lists from Spin, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Blender and Alternative Press among others.

The other is a band who made it the hard way and continues to do so: paying their dues, toiling for years outside the mainstream, releasing records on indie labels, building a dedicated fan base through incessant touring and by crafting albums like 1996’s formative “Static Prevails,” 1999’s “Clarity,” a pioneering record that resonated immediately with young listeners who wanted (read: needed) a little substance with their rock and roll, and 2004's "Futures," which featured the irresistible singles "Pain" and "Work" and marked the band's second taste of gold sales and year-end best lists.The pressure of successfully reconciling two such disparate images, making music that appeals to both constituents, has made lesser bands implode. Jimmy Eat World however has risen to the challenge, and for its new album Damage.

Doors are at 7p with show beginning at 8p. Tickets can be found here

Ticket Giveaway - David Byrne & St Vincent - Palace Theater - 6.30.13 - Show Preview - Concert Preview

David Byrne & St Vincent will be making an appearance next Sunday, 6.30 at the Palace Theater in Greensburg. The duo are both well known for their solo albums and musical acumen. The artist released a collaboration this past year entitled Love This Giant which was met with solid reviews. It's a dramatic collection of uptempo pop songs glued together by brass elements and bit avant garde. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us your name to to be entered.

From their press:

Though Byrne and Clark each have an unmistakable sound and persona that have made them such compelling performers on their own, their voices manage to blend naturally, effortlessly, here. Sometimes they trade verses; at others they sing in unison. Like friends who can finish each other’s sentences, when one takes the spotlight alone, it’s often with words that the other provided. The brass lends the songs an appealing theatrical sheen while programmed percussion provides a contemporary feel. The inventive arrangements have clearly sparked some remarkable vocal performances—check out Byrne on the syncopated I Should Watch TV or Clark on the grand Optimist. Though there’s no overarching theme to Love This Giant, surreal images of nature dominate the lyrics, most of which were worked on in tandem by Byrne and Clark. The threat of natural disaster promises an emotional epiphany; urban apocalypse gives way to a garden party.

Happenstance brought these artists together, but the work they’ve made together feels more like fate. David Byrne’s own boundary-erasing approach to pop music had arguably laid a broad foundation for a new generation of independent-minded artists in Brooklyn and beyond, including Clark, who’d been constructing bedroom recordings for several years before publicly assuming the moniker of St. Vincent. Byrne, a peripatetic concert-goer who can often be glimpsed arriving at New York City venues on his bicycle, reckons he first caught St. Vincent in 2008 at Bowery Ballroom, not long after she’d released her debut Marry Me, and he continued to follow her career since then. Clark thought of him as “a ghost figure,” who would discreetly come to her shows: “I wouldn’t really see him, but I’d hear he was there. And I’d get really excited.”

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets can be found here

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ticket Giveaway - Low w/ Mike Doughty - Altar Bar - Show preview - Concert Preview

Low will be making an appearance next Tuesday, 6.18 at the Altar Bar with a special guest appearance from Mike Doughty. The band is touring behind their new LP The Invisible Way released this past March via Sub Pop Records. For a new twist, the band enlisted Wilco headman Jeff Tweedy to produce the new record in his Chicago studio. The Invisible Way sounds crisp and live, produced to emphasize the individual instruments and to highlight their natural reverb. The sustain of the piano is a major component on "So Blow" and “Waiting”, and the Loft shapes the fading tones of Sparhawk’s sharply picked acoustic guitar on “Amethyst”. We are happy to be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. As usual just email us at with your name to enter.

From their press:

“While driving though Chicago, on tour, we stopped finally to visit Wilco at their studio, The Loft. They had invited us to come check it out several times over the years, but this would finally be the day. It’s a great place—a sea of instruments in a relaxed, open working environment. It’s cool, but what really converted us was hearing the new Mavis Staples tracks they were working on: big, simple, raw, and intimate. Plans were made then and there. 'Don’t break my Grammy streak.’

We have worked with many of the great engineer/producers. Jeff Tweedy has been on our side of the microphone for over 25 years, however with engineer (and fellow Grammy winner) Tom Schick, he has of late become a formidable and eclectic producer. He spoke a language we understood, but then took us effortlessly into the mystery. We’ve made many records, and you know our M.O.: slow, quiet, sometimes melancholy, and, we hope, sometimes pretty…How is this different from any other Low record?

Mimi sings lead on five of the eleven songs (she usually only does one or two, despite being a fan favorite).  Piano, lots of piano… and an acoustic guitar. Songs about intimacy, the drug war, the class war, plain old war war, archeology, and love. Thank you for your time again and please enjoy what we made. I think it’s beautiful.”

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $18 and can be found here

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ticket Giveaway - Interview - Crocodiles w/ Japandroids - 6.16.13 - Mr Smalls - Show Preview - Concert Preview

Crocodiles will be appearing Sunday, June 16th at Mr Smalls Theater. The band will be opening for Japandroids as part of Mr Smalls 10th Year Anniversary Celebration happening this month. We had the pleasure of covering Crocodiles this time last year at Brillobox and they put on freaking great show. The band are touring behind their soon to be released (August) third LP Crimes of Passion. The band was again kind enough to answer a few of our questions below. Their first single "Cockroach" is streaming as well. We again have a pair of tickets to giveaway to the show. As usual just email us at with your name to enter.

Your new album Crimes of Passion comes out later this August. Was there anything you were attempting to accomplish with this record?

I suppose we were trying to retain a bit of the rawness we have live that sometimes gets lost when we record. Even though it's just Charlie and I on this one someone it feels more live than our previous stuff.

How is the new album Crimes Of Passion differ from your previous output?

Perhaps this is the first one where we've reconciled some of our musical schizophrenia. We wrote every song to be a potential single and so there is definitely the pop element we've been exploring since the last record but we also applied a heavier dosage of the weird stuff on top.

Was there a different way you recorded the new album? Produced the songs?

This record comes out of a particularly shitty time in our personal lives following the death of a close friend. That, coupled with the chaos that endless touring can bring to a person's life, informed a lot of this I think. It felt very cathartic when we were doing it and relatively easy. We just sat in Sune's bedroom with and carried on with each song with very little discussion. Everything felt instinctual.

You recorded the new album in LA from what I read. How was being in that metro area compared to London/NYC/SD?

We actually recorded in the suburbs, in a house in Mount Washington. It was the most rural recording experience we've had since Sleep Forever

You split your time residing in both London and NYC. Do these places have any impact on how you write your music? Any differing influences from your previous home of San Diego?

Living in different cities we aren't able to just go over to the other person's house with some little fragment of an idea and run with it. We both had to do a lot more individual work this time around so that when we did meet up for a week or two here or there we would have plenty to go off of. Both cities are obviously more interesting than San Diego, you just see a wider range of people and attitudes and personalities; I'm sure that informed the music in some way.

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?

Most of these songs were largely written by one of us and then the other would help flesh out the skeleton. We both contribute to all aspects of the writing, lyrics included. 

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

We're happy if we can eat.

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

I'm just terribly scared of living a boring life. When I was younger I feared falling into the "college, marriage, kid, work, die" thing so I decided it was worth risking destitution and ruin to try something else. Music is the only thing I'm decent at, so there you go.

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $15 and can be found here. More information on the band can be found at these sites:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Show Preview - Coliseum w/ Baroness - Mr Smalls - 6.14.13 - Concert Preview

Coliseum will be opening for Baroness next Friday, June 14th at Mr Smalls Theater. The event is part of Mr Smalls 10th Anniversary Celebration happening this month. The band is also celebrating their tenth anniversary of existence recently releasing their fourth proper LP. The album is entitled Sister Faith released this past April on Temporary Residence Ltd Records. The Louisville based trio plays a brand of punk, hard rock and post hardcore that blend together into a wall of noise.

From their bio:

Celebrating their 10th year as one of independent music's most substantive bands, Louisville's Coliseum return with their fourth full-length, the stunning Sister Faith, released on April 30, 2013 on Temporary Residence Ltd. Expanding on the anthemic direction the trio veered toward on 2010's highly acclaimed House With a Curse, Sister Faith's 13 songs are the most dynamic and immediately captivating of the band's career, bristling with galvanizing melodies at the collision point between punk and noise-rock.

The first album to be recorded in producer J. Robbins' recently relocated Magpie Cage Studios, Sister Faith is also the first Coliseum recording to feature new bassist, Kayhan Vaziri, in addition to contributions from some of the groups' closest friends and musical peers: Wata of Boris, J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines), Jason Farrell (Swiz, Bluetip), Elizabeth Elmore (Sarge, The Reputation), Chris Colohan (Burning Love, Cursed), Sam James Velde (Night Horse, Bluebird), and Jason Loewenstein (Sebadoh, The Fiery Furnaces) all make small but memorable contributions.

John Baizley of Baroness recently wrote, "Musical progression tends to come at the expense of quality or ethics, and Coliseum have sacrificed neither. Though punk-rock may have been the template (and paradigms DO shift), songwriting and emotional content have become Coliseums focus, and to that end they have gracefully transitioned from the unrelenting anger, rage, and rawness of youth to a more thought-provoking, yet no-less-powerful or insightful sound that is entirely their own." Sister Faith is the encapsulation of that slow and steady transition, the new peak of Coliseum's highly creative and inspiring career.

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $15 and can be found here. More information about the band at these sites:

Show Preview - Flag - 6.7.13 - Stage AE - Concert Preview

Flag will be making an appearance this Friday, 6.7 at Stage AE. The band is made up of several former Black Flag members including Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Bill Stevenson, and Dez CadenaThe band plays the music of the seminal punk outfit including over 30 songs from their catalog. In December 2011 they reunited for a surprise performance at L.A. promoter Goldenvoice’s 30th anniversary concert. Inspired by the crowd's enthusiastic reaction, Morris (whose post-Black Flag career includes fronting the Circle Jerks and, most recently, hardcore revivalists OFF!), Dukowski (who, after exiting Black Flag in 1983, founded SWA, Würm, United Gang Members, October Faction, and, his current outfit, the Chuck Dukowski Sextet), Stevenson, and Egerton joined forces with Dez Cadena (who sang lead, then played guitar in Black Flag from 1980 to 1983, before fronting DC3 and joining the Misfits in 2001) decided to extend the legacy. 

From their bio:

On January 27, 1979, at a Moose Lodge in Redondo Beach, California, Black Flag took the stage for the first time. Whipping up as much meat energy as possible, they didn’t so much play songs as create rapid-fire, rhythmic drives. Everything was short. Stripped-down. A wall of distortion, built on a relentless series of riffs. And vocalist Keith Morris ran around the stage like an escaped lunatic, eventually wrapping himself in one of the venue’s American flags like it was a straitjacket. It was hardcore punk-rock before anyone ever started calling it that. It was great. You could ask anyone who was there.

Although Black Flag’s line-up -- Morris, bassist Chuck Dukowski, guitarist Greg Ginn, and drummer Robo -- would splinter within a year, the band’s ever-shifting membership released a half-dozen LPs (including the now-classic Damaged, My War, and Slip It In), two live albums, two compilations (Everything Went Black and The First Four Years), and several EPs that incorporated heavy metal, free jazz, and break-beats into the mix before they finally imploded in 1986. Meanwhile, Dukowski served as co-owner and booking agent at the band’s own SST Records label, which became one of America’s most influential independent labels, issuing more than 100 records from such future stars as the Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Hüsker Dü, Bad Brains, and the Meat Puppets, for openers. More importantly, Black Flag and SST’s acts hit the road, building a nationwide touring circuit for indie recording artists that continues to this day.
This D.I.Y. ethos, along with the band’s anti-rock-star attitude and refusal to follow any fashion dictates, would be their greatest legacy.

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

Show Preview - Metric - 6.5.13 - Mr Smalls - Concert Preview

Metric will be appearing this Wednesday, 6.5 at Mr Smalls Theater in conjuction with their 10th Anniversary Celebration. The band just recently made an appearance this past September at Stage AE to a packed house. They are touring behind their latest LP, which made my 'top 3' end of year list, entitled Sythetica. The  album was released this past June to very positive reviews from both the mainstream and internet press. The band also made my top 5 concerts of this past year. They consistently put on one of the best live shows you will see. From our review:  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.

From their press:

Haines first envisioned the word “Synthetica” as the name for a particularly resilient skin-job from Blade Runner, a female replicant who voices an inner monologue of all your human imperfections. “If you imagine a nightmarishly fake version of me as a pop star, that’s her,” she says. “And this record was about me saying, I’m going to give more to the music than ever, but there’s no way I’m going to turn into someone like that.” As she sings on the album’s hard-rocking title track, “We’re all the time confined to fit the mold / But I won’t ever let them make a loser of my soul.”

“Synthetica is about insomnia, fucking up, fashion, all the devices and gadgets attached to our brains, getting wasted, watching people die in other countries, watching people die in your own country, dancing your ass off, questioning the cops, poetic justice, standing up for yourself, sex, the apocalypse, doing some stupid shit and totally regretting it but then telling everyone it made you stronger, leaving town as a solution to unsolvable problems, owning your actions, and owning your time.”

Show begins at 8p with doors at 7p. Tickets are $35 and can be found here. More information about the band can be found here:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Local Artist Spotlight - Suavity's Mouthpiece - June 2013 - Local Spotlight

Our local artist spotlight for the month of June 2013 is Suavity's Mouthpiece. The band made up of Meredith Bigatel and J Trafford perform what is best described as experimental pop. They just released a live album on 5/28 via Broke Whore Records. The duo was kind enough to answer our normal questions including their composition, goals and their sound. 

J = J. Trafford (composer/producer) M = Meredith Bigatel (live bassist)

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

J: I arrange and produce sound that engages me. A slice of what this entails is that each tone and timbre thrives upon its own purpose in the song. Each competing countermelody and polyrhythm is individual, pared primarily to stimulate my brain activity. I like hues of sonic textures that have been employed by others in the past — the brittle mid-highs of an electronic snare — but when it comes to the craft of carving out melodies, nothing can be too familiar.

M: Unique, would be one way to put it. Our sound has previously made children run away from us to their parents. That should tell you something.

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

J: Yes. North Hills area. But don’t let that fool you.

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

M: It's a part-time gig for me. I've known Justin since high school, and got roped into being his live bassist when we became friends. I just graduated with a BFA in Metalsmithing, so that's going to be my main path for a while once I get integrated into Pittsburgh's art community.

J: It’s all that goes on inside my head. Nothing else matters.

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

M: I've always been into punk, and Justin takes that into consideration, when apparently I told him to write a punk song. This resulted in a song so fast that none of us can play it live. So, my personal style isn't exactly ideal for SM, but we make it work.

J: There’s something so wonderful about the fact that one is able to “play” out songs sound-for-sound in one’s head. It’s like recalling a friend’s voice. I’m given to understand that perhaps some people are incapable of doing it — maybe they just can’t do it as vividly. But I am fortunate enough to be constantly and involuntarily arranging sounds and melodies in my head. In an ugly world, I can assure you, it is very, very beautiful. To lose this trait would be to lose all sense for living.

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

J: I will continue to do what feels completely necessary. Whatever recognition or court-appointed exile such action accrues will be taken in stride. 

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

J & M: We’re in no position to comment on that.

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

J: I’ve never particularly been pulled by the concept of touring. It can seem at times condescending and grossly impersonal. Naturally, I’d like to visit other places. But not to regurgitate a facsimile performance from the night before. A routine is definitely not worth the perceived benefit of the supporters.

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

J: Not so far. The arts community has been fiercely welcoming of us. Always so kind and considerably collaborative. I couldn’t give a second thought to whether our name is on the tips of the tongues of the club-goers.

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

J: Construction on the Middle Road bridge.

What are the positive benefits of being in the area?

J: Not Jackie Evancho.

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

J: We like dragging our supporters out from the frequented oases of “local hotspots” to more considerate, less condescending spaces. For that, the Penn Avenue Arts corridor is immaculate.

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