Thursday, July 30, 2015
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
This Friday is Teenage Takeover 3, featuring local rock bands The Nox Boys, Chase the Monkey, and Pachyderm. The Yetis headline the event. Hailing from Allentown, PA (the city, not Mt. Washington), the band is made up of Christian (lead guitar), Nick (rhythm/vocals), Patrick (drums), and Freddy (bass), four guys situated between high school and college. Their classic surf-rock sound gained the attention of LA's Lolipop Records, who released the band's demos on cassette. We spoke with Nick about the band's new LP, their love for California, and what it's like to party in Allentown.
PMR: First of all, you are performing at "Teenage Takeover." How old are you guys? Can fans buy you a beer after the show?
Yetis: Yeah! We're really excited to play in Pittsburgh for the first time. I, Nick (bass guitar/vocals), am 20 years old, Patrick (drums) is 17 and Christian (lead guitar/vocals) is 22. Fans can buy us a beer after the show but Patrick and I just can't drink it at the bar! [ed. note, PMR does not condone underage drinking. Buy us beer instead.]
PMR: You've obviously got a west coast, surf-rock kind of vibe going. Is that just the type of music you guys grew up with?
Yetis: We definitely grew up with The Ventures and The Beach Boys but I think we got into the west coast, surf-rock sound when we were older. It was something that was just funny and exotic to us. We never tried to be a full-on surf-rock band, we just wrote a couple surf/beach songs for fun.
PMR: Who are some of your favorite bands, both new and old.
Yetis: We love Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala, The Sonics, The Beatles, Serge Gainsbourg and Chuck Berry! We really love rock 'n' roll mainly -- some new favorite bands that are around our age are Hidden Charms, Iceage, The Parrots and Twin Peaks.
PMR: I dig that line at the end of "Little Surfer Girl," where it goes "surfing's not the same out in the snow." How long do you plan to stick around in Allentown? Is it inevitable you end up in Cali?
Yetis: Thanks! That line came up because we wrote "Little Surfer Girl" in the dead of winter when it was really snowy. Our practice space has no heating so we were freezing in pea coats and scarves and everything. We like the snow but at the moment of inspiration it was kind of a drag! We want to move out of Allentown as fast as possible -- California is definitely in the cards!
PMR: Do you have a date yet for your debut LP?
Yetis: We are currently demoing songs right now. Hopefully new stuff will come out pretty soon!
PMR: How'd you get hooked up with Lolipop Records, who are way out in LA?
Yetis: We e-mailed them our demos and Wyatt was touring the East Coast at the time. They listened to the demos in the van and told us they wanted to put them out right away. Lolipop has been so great for us, we got a lot of new fans in LA and it's been so cool to see our demo tape part of so many Lolipop cassette collections.
PMR: What do you do for fun in Allentown? Is it pretty much the same as the "Little Surfer Girl" video? What's the music scene like?
Yetis: It's totally like the music video, but the most fun thing for us to do in Allentown is to play music. Patrick, Christian and I get together every morning and we work on songs, go swimming, renovate our practice space and pack up for shows. We play three-hour sets at bars and restaurants in Allentown every week but we drive to New York and Philly to play "real" shows. The cool thing about Allentown is that it's really close to those cities. But speaking of music scenes, we were just in Chicago and we were blown away by the camaraderie and sheer amount of great bands they have there...lots of young, talented garage rock bands supporting each other and playing together. We played with Modern Vices and Liqs. Along with letting us sleep at their house, Alex from Modern Vices invited us to a party at The Orwells' house where they had a band called The Symposium play and all the kids watching the band were freaking out and knew all the lyrics. It was such a great time.
Teenage Takeover takes place this Saturday, August 1, at The Shop in Bloomfield. Tickets are just $5 and available at the door.
We are very pleased to announce that we are giving away a copy of this fabulous Teenage Takeover poster, designed by Joe Mruk, and signed by the bands and Mruk himself. To enter, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be announced at the show on Saturday.
-- Brian Conway
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
One of the ongoing series that the Pittsburgh Winery hosts every so often is the Songwriter In The Cellar series, each hosted by different local Pittsburgh artists. July's edition of these series was hosted by singer/songwriter Brooke Annibale, who was joined on stage by Judith Avers of The Early Mays, Casey Hanner of Donora, and Mark Ramsey of Cold Weather.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Only days ago at the Pittsburgh Winery, our city was graced by Icelandic indie folk rockers Árstíðir as part of their first ever headlining tour in North America. Straight from their solar-powered tour bus in support of their most recent release, "Hvel", the quintet charmed a captivated Pittsburgh audience.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Christina Perri and Colbie Caillat at Stage AE, w/ Rachel Platten - July 12th, 2015 - Photos and Concert Review
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Mondo Drag w/ Electric Citizen, Slow Season, and Carousel - Interview and TIcket Giveaway - July 12, 2015 at Club Cafe
Inevitably, as a person falls deeper in love with a certain genre of music, they will become fans of a particular record label that shares their same aesthetic sensibility. As a fan of psychedelic rock, I'll listen to pretty much anything put out by Subliminal Sounds, a Swedish label that's home to Dungen and The Amazing.
Tuesday at Club Cafe is showcase for RidingEasy Records, based out of Hermosa Beach, California. The label churns out great, heavy psych rock and metal, including a recent compilation of vintage stoner psych, Raw Meat, that drew some press from the AV Club. Electric Citizen, Mondo Drag, and Slow Season are all signed to the label, and all three are in the middle of a nationwide tour together.
All three play a variation on early-70s hard rock/heavy metal. We were fortunate to have the guys from Mondo Drag answer some questions before the show:
Pittsburgh Music Report: You're on a great label for fans of hard rock and heavy psych. Did you know labelmates Electric Citizen or Slow Season before this tour?
Mondo Drag: Yes, we did know both bands prior to this tour. They have both played in the bay previously, so we've had the pleasure of seeing them and meeting them prior to touring together.
PMR: Out of all three bands, who is the heaviest?
MD: Well, that is a hard question to answer. Although we all three share some common musical threads throughout our music, we are very different from each other - this tour package is very well-rounded. In regards to our heaviness/lightness, we like to display a broad spectrum of aural ideas and dynamics in our songs and live performances. Variety is the spice of life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel.
PMR: Your new album was 5 years in the making. Why such a long gap between albums? I know that there was a cross-country move, at one point.
MD: Yes, there was a significant amount of time between the recording of the album and the eventual release of it. This delay had to do with a number of reasons:
- We could not find a rhythm section to join the band / tour to support a new album
- We ended up moving to California in search of said rhythm section
- We had to seek out a label to release it
Sometimes you have to let things sit and ferment for an extended time to let unseen flavors appear.
PMR: This album feels more muscular than the previous. Did you go into the recording with any particular goal or vision in mind?
MD: Our sound is constantly developing and evolving and at the time of the writing and recording of the self-titled album, there were definitely bands, films, and approaches to songwriting that were really turning us on. We really delved into these areas of art to extrapolate what it was that made them appeal to us.
PMR: How's the Bay Area psych scene now that Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall have packed up and moved to LA?
MD: It's doing just fine! People get too hung up on a couple of familiar names and ignore the fact that the bay area has an ever-present wealth of artistry. There are a handful of bands, mostly based in Oakland, that have really served as sources of inspiration for us and in turn have caused us to push ourselves to write better, play better, and step up our game in general.
PMR: Did you pack the acoustics for this tour? I love some of those tunes like "Black River" off your first album -- they sound like something off of Zeppelin 3.
MD: I wish we could have brought them along, but on this run there was just no room in our van for them. We keep getting more synthesizers and seem to amass more "essential" gear with every passing year, but the acoustics have certainly not been forgotten.
PMR: Lastly, Mondo Drag -- Does that mean what I think it means?
MD: Sure it does.
Tickets to the show cost $10 and are available via ticketweb. Or, try your luck and enter our giveaway. Simply email your name to pghmusicreport [at] gmail.com and put "mondo drag" in the subject line. We'll announce a winner by 10am Tuesday, the day of the show.
Local metal favorites Carousel open. Expect to hear some songs from their soon-to-be-released new album, 2113.
-- Brian Conway
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
|Lauren DeLorenze of the Red Western. Photo credit: Long Hong|
Who is ready for some great local music this weekend? Deutschtown Music Festival is of course this Saturday. Over 125 Bands spread out over 24 stages. All day long, all of it free. Read a preview over at NEXTpittsburgh: http://www.nextpittsburgh.com/events/deutschtown-music-festival-rocks-northside/
You can catch André Costello & The Cool Minors at Deutschtown at 4pm at the Penn Brewery. Click here for the full schedule.
To tide you over, here are some photos taken at Brillobox of Andre and the Red Western, along with Seafair, from Cleveland. All photo credit/praise belongs to Long Hong (@longqhong on instagram)
Thursday, July 2, 2015
|Katie Jayne Earl of the Mowgli's. Photo Credit: Long Hong|
The last time The Mowgli's came to town they opened for Manchester Orchestra. I had commented that it was an odd bill, given The Mowgli's sunny disposition and Manchester Orchestra's heavy, post-hardcore sound, especially in support of their album Cope. Anyway, about one year later and The Mowgli's were back at Smalls as headliners, with an equally sunny band, Vinyl Theatre, in support. It was an ideal bill for a summer evening. Relive the show with these glorious photos from Long Hong. (Handsome Ghost opened.)