It seems like forever since we ran a ticket giveaway, so we're making up for it with a pair of them: Copeland at Altar Bar Friday, and July Talk at the Rex Thursday:
First up is Copeland at Altar Bar, who are visiting Pittsburgh for the first time since the release of their most recent LP Ixora, their first in six years. In some ways the album is a gift. The band broke up in 2008, did the whole farewell tour and everything. But Aaron Marsh & co reformed last year -- all the original members are back -- and Ixora is the result.
The guys are in their 30s now, a little bit wiser (presumably), and so its no surprise the album has a more mature and complete feel to it. Allmusic says that Ixora has "the same moody and thoughtful musical approach that marked their best-known work." Absolute Punk gave the album a perfect 10, stating that "quite simply, there hasn’t been a Copeland album as complete as Ixora." Listen to the track "Ordinary" and judge for yourself:
Next up, from Toronto, is July Talk. You can't listen to a single track without thinking, wow, that guy sounds like Tom Waits. In fact, you can't read anything about July Talk without hearing a reference to lead singer Peter Dreimanis's Waits-ian growl. But what really makes the band unique is that there are two lead singers, Dreimanis and Leah Fay, the latter of which plays the yang to Dreimanis's yin, the light to his darkness, or whatever other dualism you want to use. "It just works," says NPR, calling the contrasting vocal styles "remarkable."
The band plays scowling, rip-roaring blues-rock. Despite only releasing a self-titled LP so far they've already made a name for themselves. They were nominated for Breakthrough Group of the Year at the 2014 Juno Awards. Their live shows are as raucous and energetic as their music. Check out lead single "Paper Girl"for a taste of what's to come:
To enter, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put the name of the show you're entering to win in the subject line. We'll announce a winner the morning of the respective show. Tickets are available online for Copeland for $20 and July Talk for $13.
Eisley and We are the City are opening for Copeland; Little Hurricane and Daly Grind for July Talk.
-- Brian Conway