I've never heard of Diamond Rings prior to seeing him open for Stars at Webster Hall. In talking with the woman next to me, she described him as sounding like Vanilla Ice. Haircut aside, I think a more relevant comparison is to either Klaus Nomi or David Gahan.
For anyone who also hadn't heard of Diamond Rings, here is some background from Wikipedia on the artist: "John O'Regan (born July 6, 1985) is a Canadian artist and musician best known by his stage name Diamond Rings. In addition to writing, recording, and producing his own music, he is also noted for transcending traditional representations of gender and identity in his live performances and videos...His debut full length album, Special Affections, was released in North America on October 25, 2010, by Montreal's Secret City Records. Lead single "Something Else" was released a month prior and features a cover of the Milla Jovovich song "The Gentleman Who Fell," with string arrangements by Canadian musician and Polaris Prize winner Owen Pallett. Diamond Rings has since signed with New York City-based Astralwerks Records a division of Virgin/EMI Records, which re-released Special Affections on June 21, 2011."
Diamond Rings' October Tour Dates
10/09/12 - Lawrence, KS, Bottleneck w/ Stars
10/10/12 - Tulsa, OK, Cain’s w/ Stars
10/11/12 - Little Rock, AR, Revolution Room w/ Stars
10/12/12 - Houston, TX, Fitzgerald’s w/ Stars
10/13/12 - Dallas, TX, Granada w/ Stars
10/14/12 - Austin, TX, The Mohawk
(Austin City Limits Official After-Party w/ Friends)
10/17/12 - San Diego, CA, House Of Blues w/ Stars
10/18/12 - Los Angeles, CA, The Mayan w/ Stars
10/19/12 - Santa Cruz, CA, Rio Theatre w/ Stars
10/20/12 - San Francisco, CA, The Fillmore w/ Stars
10/26/12 - Chicago, IL, Empty Bottle w/ Gold Fields
10/27/12 - Minneapolis, MN, 7th Street Entry w/ Gold Fields
10/28/12 - Madison, WI, The Frequency w/ Gold Fields
10/30/12 - St. Louis, MO, Off Broadway w/ Gold Fields
10/31/12 - Nashville, TN, The Hi-Watt w/ Gold Fields
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
For Art History, the band worked with producer Claudius Mittendorfer (Interpol, Neon Indian, Wild Nothing) for the eleven tracks that present a cohesive gallery of modern‐day pop portraits framed with a retro '80s fit. The new Art History CD follows the band's 2010 EP "Affair", which won over local and national press, with My Old Kentucky Blog raving, "This could be the next buzz band everyone is talking about."
For folks like me who "shot up" on college radio in the 80's, this disc has an immediately recognizable post-punk sound with a gauzy shoe-gazer core which the band is able to build upon with some incredibly catchy hooks and melodies. I haven't given a lot of thought to an end-of-year list as of yet but, as this disc hasn't yet left my iPod, Art History will likely be toward the top of the list.
The disc starts with two of its strongest tracks - "Blood Red Youth" and "Tokyo" - before heading into the wistful indie-pop of "Marianne". "Blood Red Youth" sets the tone for the disc with its 80's-sounding New Wave synthesizers coupled with strong guitar lines and a driving beat. "Tokyo" is a bit more chipper and sounds somewhat like a Smashing Pumpkins song, though, with more self-restraint and less bombast. This track also pulls some ringing guitar lines out of the shoe-gazer swirl. Adding to California Wives' big sound, guitarist/vocalist Jayson Kramer sings in an understated voice so that his vocals become another "instrument", guiding the songs and melodies but never riding on top of them. The band is also able to replicate the 'big sound' of their new disc in concert. Below is a live clip from the show at Webster Hall that I found on YouTube.
Overall, the disc doesn't stray far from its core - "The Fisher King" is swirling and moody and sounds like a cross between The Cure and the Cocteau Twins, "Los Angeles" sounds like it could have come out of The Church's back catalog, and "Photolights" has the atmospheric ambiance and ringing guitar lines of U2's Joshua Tree coupled with a nagging New Wave synth line. While the disc comes close to capturing the urgency and energy of the opening tracks on "Purple" some of the other tracks on the back-half of the disc sag a bit. "Better Homes" gets a bit too close to 70's schmaltz rock and "The New Process" sounds strangely like post-Waters Pink Floyd (the later isn't a bad thing, just unexpected).
All-in-all though, it is a strong disc from a band that shows a lot of potential.
California Wives' tour with Stars and Diamond Rings run through the Midwest and West Coast next month. Here is a link to upcoming tour dates.
This Fall, English Beat will hit the road alongside The Paul Collins Beat. “It’s the essence of power pop, which is wider than continents,” says Dave Wakeling, mastermind behind English Beat about the recently announced tour. “Short, sharp, catchy, exciting and memorable!” It’s the first time ever, and all thanks to a Facebook friendship,” says Wakeling. “Paul and I originally met back in '83 and have been in touch occasionally over the years, but recently we've been in closer FB contact, which led to this idea becoming a reality....Two beats, hearting as one!” The tour kicks off on October 11th in Asheville, NC and wraps up on October 27th in Minneapolis, MN (tour dates below).
Hot on the heels of the recently released career-encompassing box set The Complete Beat, a single disc greatest hits Keep The Beat: The Very Best of The English Beat, and a live double CD/DVD package, Live At The US Festival, ’82 & ’83, English Beat's irresistible blend of ska, reggae, and punk has made them undeniable stars throughout the last three decades. As a testament of their ongoing longevity and impact on modern music, their songs have been heard recently in Hot Tub Time Machine ("Save It for Later"), Shrek Forever After ("Click Click"), television shows (TBS's Glory Daze), and even in Target commercials ("Tenderness" as their post-English Beat break up band, General Public). Among the other uber-memorable hits include “Mirror In The Bathroom”, “I Confess”, "Doors of Your Heart", and "Tears of a Clown" among many others.
Paul Collins formed his version of "The Beat" in 1979, a high energy, skinny-tied rock group in the style of The Ramones, Blondie and The Dictators. With a handful of heavily-revered albums (The Beat, The Kids Are All The Same), The Paul Collins Beat continued making melodic, powerpop hits till the tail end of the 90s. Collins launched a critically-lauded solo career, and after a ten year hiatus, The Paul Collins Beat resurfaced in 2004, releasing a string of new records, that combine their classic sound with the raw energy of his solo works.
The tour stops at B.B. King's in Times Square on October 16th. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 DOS.
English Beat - October 2012 Tour Dates
Sep 28 - Coach House San Juan Capistrano, CA
Sep 29 - Saint Rocke Hermosa Beach, CA
Oct 05 - Romano’s Concert Lounge Riverside, CA
Oct 06 - The Canyon Club Agoura Hills, CA
Oct 11 - The Orange Peel Asheville, NC *
Oct 12 - The State Theatre Falls Church, VA *
Oct 13 - The Center for Arts Natick, MA *
Oct 14 - World Café Live Philadelphia, PA *
Oct 16 - BB King’s New York, NY *
Oct 18 - Rapids Theatre Niagara Falls, NY *
Oct 19 - Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, ON *
Oct 20 - Hard Rock Café Detroit, MI *
Oct 23 - SPACE Evanston, IL *
Oct 24 - Hard Rock Café Pittsburgh, PA *
Oct 25 - Hard Rock Café Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 26 - Turner Hall Milwaukee, WI *
Oct 27 - Mill City Nights Minneapolis, MN *
Oct 30 - Knucklehead Tavern Kansas City, MO
Oct 31 - The Blue Note Columbia, MO
* with The Paul Collins Beat
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Originally established in 2001, Metadox had rose quickly in the New York metal circles when signing with Metal Mayhem Music, to opening for respected artists Dragonforce, Kamelot, and Moonspell. The band imploded prematurely during their studio recording sessions in 2006. Frank Tosi mentions “Metadox deserved a lot more than what was afforded at the time. I'm a little older now, I have more knowledge, contacts, and I'm a much better musician now. As much as I will always love and cherish the good points of what DesDemon became, I know Metadox will be much more appealing to a broader spectrum of metal fans."
Metadox is currently holding vocalist auditions globally. If interested and have the passion and the vocal range similar to: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, King Diamond, Huntress, Slayer, or Firewind, then contact us. Frank Tosi states, “We are looking for someone who is seasoned, dedicated, have similar interests, able to front a band, and write quality lyrics”. Metadox will revamp their existing material and collaboratively write new music for pre-production of their debut release.
Provide some information about yourself, any audio, video, or EPK links.
All interested, please contact Frank Tosi at: Auditions@MetadoxMetal.com
Deleted Scenes: DC/NY Quartet Release Video for "A Bunch of People Who Love You Like Crazy" (Park the Van)
D.C. post-punk band Deleted Scenes released their second disc, Young People's Church of the Air, over the summer on Park the Van Records and just released a new video for the song "A Bunch of People Who Love You Like Crazy".
Young People's Church of the Air originated in frontman Daniel Scheuerman's basement and assumed a live identity over the course of 300 tour dates. Recorded at the Garden Center in Hockessin, DE, with Nick Krill (The Spinto Band) and Birdseed Shirt producer L. Skell, the album mixes themes of family, love, death, and joy incorporating studio sounds and home-recorded lo-fi noise. Young People's Church of the Air's title was fittingly taken from a 1930's radio-church hymnal Scheuerman found in an old piano bench at the Garden Center, and evokes the elusive and sometimes illusory nature of hope.
Directed by Ben Usie, the video for "A Bunch of People Who Love You Like Crazy" spans at least three levels of consciousness. The man (tier 1) dives into his own psyche to see what appears to be a wonderful encounter with a beautiful woman (tier 2). They are spinning through space and time, as the greater universe spins around them. As time goes on, the tier 2 man and woman suffer from visions of evil in their own heads (tier 3). Not only does the audience get to see how the tier 2 man and woman react to these visions, we also get to see the tier 1 man's reactions to seeing all of this unfold in his head. These thoughts and emotions are not always logical or linear. While the man and woman in the vision show fear and lack of control, the man watching them beams with voyeuristic excitement. Only after the vision is finished does the tier 1 man show disapproval. The video leaves one asking "Did that vision disappear completely or does it still exist in someone else's brain now? Can anyone ever escape his own perverse inner universe?"
Not this way. The show also features comic songs—brand-new and satisfyingly old—as well as tributes to some of the giants of the comedy world and to the Old Jews Telling Jokes website, which inspired the show. If you’ve ever had a mother, visited a doctor or walked into a bar with a priest, a rabbi and a frog, OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES will sit in the dark, give you a second opinion and ask you where you got that. You'll laugh 'til you plotz.
Fans can enter for a chance to win 4 tickets to OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES, dinner at 54 Below, an exclusive selection of OLD JEWS merchandise, and an opportunity to meet the cast after the show and get their picture taken with them! The contest runs until October 1 and can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OldJewsTellingJokesOnStage/app_143103275748075.
OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES is playing at The Westside Theatre, 407 West 43rd Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues).
Old Jews Telling Jokes Onstage
Thursday, September 20, 2012
In January, Murder By Death traveled to Dallas, TX to record with producer John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, St. Vincent, Black Mountain) over three weeks. While Bloodshot Records is putting out the CD and digital editions of this new release, the vinyl edition is being released by the band and was funded via a Kickstarter campaign (which ended up being the third most successful music Kickstarter). The deluxe edition vinyl release ($24.95 from Bloodshot Records) is on moon-colored vinyl and comes in a die cut jacket with vellum interior sleeves. "You can shine a light through it and it looks all pretty! Also comes with a reversible zoetrope (which is an old fashioned animation you can set up on your record player) and a Japanese lantern."
While Murder By Death seems to be frequently compared to Nick Cave, Adam Turla's somber, almost spoken word baritone vocals, accompanied by minimalist instrumentation on the disc opener "My Hill", brought to mind Johnny Cash's American Records recordings. The following track, "Lost River", starts slow but picks up the tempo with a full range of cinematic instrumentation which build to a rich crescendo. Continuing to mix things up, "Straight at the Sun" is a tight punk-rock number which that sounds like something out of New Model Army's playbook. Some of the strongest cuts on the disc are the next three tracks: "No Oath, No Spell", "I Came Around" and "Hard World". "No Oath, No Spell" is a shuffling blues-rock number with prominent piano, oboe and horns coupled with Adam Turla's world-weary vocals. "I Came Around" is a barroom rock number similar to one of The Pogues' songs - with lyrics about death and settling debts and music that builds from a subdued intro into an explosion of energy. "Hard World" is a rough-edged punk-rock sing-along number with a driving beat.
Following a hometown record release show in Bloomington, IN at the Bluebird Nightclub on September 27th, Murder By Death will join Say Anything for a three and a half week tour in October. The tour begins in Anaheim, CA at the House Of Blues on October 4th and wraps up on October 28th at Korova in San Antonio, TX. Unfortunately, there is no NYC show for this leg of the tour so the closest stop is Starland Ballroom in Sayreville.
Murder By Death Tour Dates:
SEPT. 27 -- BLOOMINGTON, IN -- BLUEBIRD NIGHTCLUB
OCT. 4 -- ANAHEIM, CA -- HOUSE OF BLUES*
OCT. 5 -- TUCSON, AZ -- RIALTO THEATRE*
OCT. 6 -- ALBUQUERQUE, NM -- SUNSHINE THEATRE*
OCT. 7 -- FORT COLLINS, CO -- AGGIE THEATRE*
OCT. 9 -- KANSAS CITY, MO -- THE BEAUMONT CLUB*
OCT. 10 -- DES MOINES, IA -- WOOLY'S*
OCT. 11 -- MILWAUKEE, WI -- THE RAVE*
OCT. 12 -- PALATINE, IL -- DURTY NELLIES*
OCT. 13 -- GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- THE INTERSECTION*
OCT. 14 -- COLUMBUS, OH -- NEWPORT MUSIC HALL*
OCT. 16 -- SYRACUSE, NY -- LOST HORIZON*
OCT. 17 -- PROVIDENCE, RI -- LUPO'S HEARTBREAK HOTEL*
OCT. 18 -- LANCASTER, PA -- CHAMELEON*
OCT. 19 -- SAYREVILLE, NJ -- STARLAND BALLROOM*
OCT. 20 -- HUNTINGTON, NY -- PARAMOUNT THEATER*
OCT. 21 -- SILVER SPRING, MD -- THE FILLMORE*
OCT. 23 -- NASHVILLE, TN -- EXIT/IN*
OCT. 24 -- ATHENS, GA -- 40 WATT CLUB*
OCT. 25 -- PENSACOLA, FL -- AMERICAN LEGION HALL POST 33*
OCT. 27 -- FORT WORTH, TX -- RIDGLEA THEATER*
OCT. 28 -- SAN ANTONIO, TX -- KOROVA*
* supporting Say Anything
Murder By Death
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Believers: Columbia, MO Polyrhythmic Post-Punk Band Releases Ltd. Edition Vinyl EP as a Free Download / Show at Glasslands on Oct. 7th
After listening to the debut EP from Columbia, MO's Believers, the disc struck such a chord that I started it over again from the beginning. The post-punk label that I used above really doesn't do justice to the band's new disc as the closest comparison is the post-punk, polyrhythmic experimentalism of later period Talking Heads without any of the pop dross/gloss that plagued the Heads' later albums. Columbia, MO's True/False Film Fest touches on Believers' core sound in a recent interview with guitarist and singer Wesley Powell.
True/False: "A striking feature of your live sets is that you have two percussionists at the center of the stage while the rest of the band fills the edges with guitars, samples, vocals, and bass. What’s the reasoning behind that setup? Is it just a space issue, or is there a purpose for such a configuration?"
Wesley Powell: "For much of what we play live, the rhythm section carries us. Taylor and Pete are the metronomic backbone, so it makes sense to have us all focus on them. And we like to have the two of them close together so they can feed off of one another’s energy, and the rest of us can feed off that. Some kind of parasitic vibe feast."
Believers are off on a trek to the East Coast which hits Cake Shop on Oct. 6th and Glasslands on Oct. 7th. No information is posted yet about the show at Cake Shop. For the show at Glasslands, Believers are playing with Landlady and RAILBIRD and advanced tickets are $10.
Believers Tour Dates
9/21 - Columbia, MO - RNBNBBQ Fest (5:45 Set)
9/21 - Columbia, MO - Mojo's (9:00pm)
9/29 - Kansas City, MO - Record Bar
9/30 - St. Louis, MO - Strange Folk Festival
10/2 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox
10/6 - New York, NY - Cake Shop
10/7 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
10/8 - Portland, ME - Space
10/10 - Cincinnati, OH - Mayday
10/11 - Bloomington, IN - Bishop Bar
10/12 - Champaign, IL - Mike n Molly's
10/13 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
10/14 - Rock Island, IL - Daytrotter
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
My belief is that poor promotion from Atlantic Records ultimately doomed both Kix and Baltimore thrash metalers Wrathchild America (whose guitarist/vocalist Brad Divens was briefly a member of Kix). Kix compensated by building up a following by playing multiple nights a week and by playing any club that would let them in the door. Kix played all the local rock clubs (Coast to Coast, The Bayou, Seagull Inn) and an early show at Seagull Inn was broadcast on USA Network’s Night Flight. (video clip below). The band worked their way up to headlining sold-out shows at the local rock mecca Hammerjacks (Baltimore’s version of L’Amour) and played high-profile coliseum shows with bands like AC/DC, Ratt and David Lee Roth.
After 1988’s Blow My Fuse and 1991’s Hot Wire failed to break the band, Atlantic Records released a brilliant, but little heard, contractual obligation concert album from the Hot Wire tour. Kix called it a day in 1995 but slowly the members regrouped around singer Steve Whiteman’s band Funny Money. Kix (minus bassist Donnie Purnell who has been replaced by Funny Money bassist Mark Schenker) officially reunited in 2003 and will release a live CD/DVD, Live in Baltimore (Frontiers Records), on Sept. 25th which was recorded at a sold-out show last year at Baltimore’s Rams Head Live.
There are a couple different versions of this disc (track list(s) below) and this 77-minute/12 track disc touches on songs from almost all of Kix’s discs (with the notable exception being 1995’s Show Business) and shows the band hasn’t slowed down or lost any of their edge over the past 30 years. The band opens with “No Ring Around Rosie”, from Blow My Fuse, and puts some teeth into power ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes”, which they play early in the set. The energy stays high throughout the set as the band powers through “Girl Money” followed by an extended version of “Cold Blood” and this later track includes an audience sing-along. The set also includes some numbers that I haven’t heard in years like 1981’s “Atomic Bombs” and “Kix are for Kids” and (of course) the band goes out with an extended version (16+ minutes) of “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” – a tale of a drunken pick-up that came to a crashing ending.
Kix have announced that there are writing songs for a new studio disc which is due out sometime next year (also on Frontiers Records). KIX singer Steve Whiteman stated: "This is a great thing for us and we hope it's a great thing for KIX fans all around the world. We are so thrilled to finally be able to give the fans what they have been asking for, a live DVD and new KIX music in 2013! We have been hard at work getting new material together that we think will stand shoulder to shoulder with any previous KIX record. It's a really exciting time for KIX!"
01. No Ring Around Rosie
02. Atomic Bombs
03. Lie Like A Rug
04. Don't Close Your Eyes
05. Girl Money
06. Cold Blood
07. Cold Shower
08. She Dropped Me The Bomb
09. Blow My Fuse
10. Kix Are For Kids
11. Midnite Dynamite
12. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
01. No Ring Around Rosie
02. Atomic Bombs
03. Lie Like A Rug
05. The Itch
06. Don't Close Your Eyes
07. Hot Wire
08. Same Jane
09. Girl Money
10. Ronnie "10/10" (Solo)
11. Cold Blood
12. Jimmy "Chocolate" (Solo)
13. Cold Shower
14. She Dropped Me The Bomb
15. Blow My Fuse
16. Kix Are For Kids
17. Midnite Dynamite
18. For Shame
19. Brian "Damage" (Solo)
20. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Digital Edition (audio only)
01. No Ring Around Rosie
02. Atomic Bombs
03. Lie Like A Rug
05. The Itch*
06. Don't Close Your Eyes
07. Hot Wire*
08. Girl Money
09. Cold Blood
10. Cold Shower
11. She Dropped Me The Bomb
12. Blow My Fuse
13. Kix Are For Kids
14. Midnite Dynamite
15. For Shame*
16. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
* Bonus Tracks
haarp: New Orleans Sludge/Doom Band Releases "Husks" (Housecore Records) / NYC Show on Sept. 28th with Down
“Husks is by far and away is haarp’s most ferocious offering. All eighteen minutes of ‘Deadman/Rabbit’ seethe and writhe with terrible energy; it is a song that perfectly embodies the wailing and gnashing of teeth. The sound is clear and bright, without the filthy weight of sludge, with only the sheer weight of the pace of the track forcing the song to its knees, to crawl.” – About.com
haarp tour 2012 w/ Down:
9/21/2012 Pop’s Nightclub – Saint Louis, MO
9/22/2012 House of Blues Chicago – Chicago, IL
9/23/2012 The Crofoot – Pontiac, MI
9/25/2012 House of Blues Boston – Boston, MA
9/26/2012 Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
9/27/2012 Mojo Main – Newark, DE w/ Givethemrope, Backwoods Payback, Altar of Dagon, Sunburster [*No Down]
9/28/2012 Best Buy Theater – New York, NY
w/ St. Vitus, WARBEAST and Down - Advanced tickets are $32.50
9/29/2012 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Automatic Children Post Bandcamp Download of Forthcoming Vinyl 7" / Show at Arlene's Grocery on Sept. 26th
We are so thrilled to announce that our new recordings for our second upcoming vinyl 7" are complete, and online for your listening pleasure! "Johnny" and "Now You Know" were recorded by the super-talented Mark Ospovat at Emandee Recording in Brooklyn, NY just a few weekends ago. You may have heard these newer tunes at a recent show, or the acoustic duet premiere by Adam and Crista of "Now You Know" for Breakthru radio in 2011. We've got even more new songs in the works, but were eager to get our fans some new music for their ipods, and later this year, their turntables. Look for news of the vinyl release by the holidays. Before then we will also be releasing an official music video for "Johnny" online in the coming weeks. You can listen to the songs on our new page on bandcamp and download them. If you want to make a small donation to our noble cause, that would be great, but not required.
We have a few shows coming up where you can hear these, a brand new one, and some old favorites in the tri-state area. Next weekend on September 23rd, we will be playing an all ages show at The Space in Hamden, CT. Bring your family. We go on at 730pm. Its part of the CT Alternative Music Series. We will be back in NYC at Arlene's Grocery on September 26th at 11pm. Both of these shows are $10. We have also lined up a CMJ date, and will update you when we have all the details! - Automatic Children
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Cruiser is an impressive six-song EP (21 minutes) that sounds like the work of a full band rather than a solo project. The disc opens with "The Fritz" which is an atmospheric guitar-driven power-pop number whose sound falls somewhere between The Plimsouls and The Walkmen. The first three cuts on the disc follow in a similar vein and all the songs have a upbeat "summertime" vibe. States slows things down with hazy 60's pop of "Souvenir" which emphasizes his vocals in place of the tight guitar-driven melodies on the first three songs. "Home Turf" picks back up the pace and, with its earnest vocals and vocals harmonies, sounds like a number by one of early 60's doo-wop groups. Continually shifting styles - the disc ends with "Moving to Neptune", which could be mistaken for an 80's New Wave song if it wasn't so chill.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Download: Mission of Burma - "Dust Devil" (lead-off track from Unsound)
From the outset, Unsound was not going to be like any other Mission of Burma album. As you would expect, the material is raw, primal and aggressive. They still have a signature knack of twisting even the most ferocious noise into complex structures. There are, of course, those killer hooks scattered throughout but just not quite where you would expect. Yet with all three lead members resolutely making the decision to deliberately stretch their boundaries even further, they stepped out of their comfort zone to create their most rewarding, bewildering and multifaceted long-player yet. Unsound is Mission of Burma’s fifth studio album, continuing their remarkable legacy. It seems redundant now to even call it a comeback because they’re a dynamic, current band, but having disbanded just four years after they formed in 1979, when they reformed eighteen years later and went on to record ONoffON in 2004, no one expected them to keep putting out records; let alone records that were every bit as vital and influential as their seminal early recordings. Their first album, Vs, is down in the annals of music as being one of the most important post-punk records of all time. Their subsequent recordings continue to expand on that and grow in scope, depth and accomplishment with every step.
So here we see Mission of Burma messing with their comfort zone during their recording session at Woolly Mammoth in Boston. As usual, Roger Miller (guitar, vocals), Clint Conley (bass, vocals) and Peter Prescott (drums, vocals) share the songwriting credits with their very distinct styles. All of them tried their hand at other instruments and sounds, allowing them to take risks with their creativity and giving them a more fluid line-up. Of course regular fourth member Bob Weston (of Shellac) was on hand to provide the tape loops and production duties.
As part of the manifesto to stretch musical boundaries, Roger wrote two of his songs “Opener” and “ADD in Unison” on the bass rather than guitar, and another ("Dust Devil") was based on an acoustic guitar improvisation. Both Clint and Peter also tweaked their writing just enough to make them feel it was actually worthwhile making another record. They also decided to use trumpet on the record, so Bob pulled out his trumpet playing skills to oblige.
Peter Prescott describes the experience: “We are a four headed hydra trying to create unity without canceling or censoring each head. So we juggle melody, groove, noise, depression, disruption, ecstasy… tension, release. I guess it’s thrilling for us to walk that musical plank.”
Clint Conley describes being in the studio: “There were certain technological advances as well, that might have been unthinkable just a few short years ago, in a distant time and century. During the mix at Woolly Mammoth, Peter occasionally opted for a virtual presence. From time to time a hologram of his head would appear, hovering in a darkened corner, issuing directives and encouragement. Not to say there weren't occasional glitches in the system. For a few days the hologram seemed locked in a mystifying loop, calling for more cymbals, regardless of whether the band were working on a mix or ordering Vietnamese food.”
Mission of Burma Tour Dates:
09.14 - Dan's Silverleaf (Denton, TX)
09.15 - Antone's (Austin, TX)
09.26 - Shank Hall (Milwaukee, WI)
09.27 - 400 Bar (Minneapolis, MN)
09.28 - High Noon Saloon (Madison, WI)
09.29 - Lincoln Hall (Chicago, IL)
Mission of Burma
"Repulsion were an early grindcore / death metal band from Flint, Michigan. Their innovations were significant to the development of the death metal and grindcore genres...By 1986 Repulsion's trademark style had matured; characterised by raspy shouted vocals, extremely distorted down-tuned guitars, overdriven punkish riffs, absurd rambling solos interjected as if only as an afterthought, rumbling bass lines, and machine-gun drumming. Repulsion was experimenting with a hammering, static clouded, lo-fi sound that was on a level of extreme that had been touched on by few bands before. To complement the band's sound they penned gruesome lyrics; focusing on fantastic apocalyptic themes ranging from zombie epidemics to nuclear war."
I don't think Repulsion has done a national tour in a few years so it was a real treat to see the band at the Power of the Riff East Festival. In a pre-show interview with BrooklynVegan, Scott Carlson said "We don't want to play too much. The shows have to feel special for us. So, our acceptance of a gig offer is based as much on where it is, who's playing and who's paying rather than how much they're paying. I don't have the stamina for gigs that are just death metal for 12 hours. Events like Power of the Riff are very carefully curated and the acts are chose for other reasons than just 'well, this shit fits together'."
Repulsion were probably my favorite band of the night. Greg Anderson also seemed to share my opinion as I got a big kick out of watching him come out from between the speaker columns during the later half of Repulsion's set - clearly having fun banging his head to Repulsion's last few songs.
Repulsion is back in the area on January 19, 2013 for Decibel Magazine's "100th Issue Celebration Show" at Union Transfer in Philadelphia. Pig Destroyer, Municipal Waste, Tombs and Evoken are also on the bill for this show. Repulsion is also playing Maryland Deathfest XI (along with Carcass) on May 23, 2013.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
The Heiress: Jessica Chastain (The Help) Makes Her Broadway Debut on Nov. 1st / Previews Start on Oct. 7th
Caught between the demands of a controlling father and the attentions of a passionate young suitor, a shy and sheltered woman must navigate the terrain of love and regret, desire and duty, a chance for happiness and the burden of fortune... as only an heiress can. Discover the path she ultimately chooses in The Heiress on Broadway this fall.
(Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson)
Telecharge.com, calling (212) 239-6200 and at the box office of the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 W. 48th St.). Ticket prices range from $50 to $135.
For more information about The Heiress, visit:
James Iha (x-Smashing Pumpkins) Streams New Album on TeamCoco / Tickets Still Available for Show at Mercury Lounge on Oct. 5th
STREAM: James Iha - Look to Sky (The End Records)
Look to Sky sees Iha returning as a solo artist after nearly a decade and a half, newly inspired, a little wiser and proud to share what he's learned and created. "I feel like everything should lead up to something and this is a culmination of my journey".
Perhaps best known as a co-founding member and longtime guitarist for Smashing Pumpkins, James has gathered musical depth and craftsmanship inspired by his many bands (A Perfect Circle, Tinted Windows) as well as his production work (Cat Power, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs), to create this new album that offers listeners a wide range of sounds that touch upon each aspect of James' impressive career.
Songs such as "Speed Of Love" "Gemini" and "To Who Knows Where," three of the ten impressive tracks that tie together James' diverse and stylistic career, showcase his talents as a musician, songwriter, lyricist, arranger, and producer.
Look to Sky was produced by James and Nathan Larson of Shudder To Think and features special guests Karen O and Nick Zinner of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara, Nina Persson of the Cardigans, Fountain Of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger and Tom Verlaine, frontman of New York rock band Television.
"I like the idea of that feeling you have when you're young and you're lying in the grass and looking up at the sky, and you get that feeling of how big the world is" says Iha. "It's a very cinematic moment that captured the overall feel of the album to me. Also, the title sounded like a phrase you'd hear in a '50s B-movie, like a directive: 'The aliens are coming. Look to the sky.' I mean it from the point of view of, 'Look all around you. Here's this incredible world we're in and there are all these beautiful things happening.'"
After a successful performance at this year's Fuji Rock Festival, James will return to Japan this September for a run of tour dates followed by a string of East Coast US shows. Tour Dates below, more to be announced.
Finding success producing and remixing songs for Ladytron and Michael Stipe (among others), James recently remixed a track for the upcoming Halo 4 remix album to be released this October.
September 22 -- Umekoji Park-- Kyoto, Japan
September 24 -- Club Quattro -- Osaka, Japan
September 26 -- Club Quattro -- Tokyo, Japan
October 4 -- The Church Of Boston -- Boston, MA
October 5 -- Mercury Lounge -- New York, NY
This is a late show - Milagres are opening and go on at 10:30PM and James goes on at 11:30PM. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 DOS.
October 6 -- Maxwell's -- Hoboken, NJ
October 7 -- World Café Live -- Philadelphia, PA
October 8 -- U Street -- Washington, DC
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
DOWNLOAD: Aaron Embry - Live on KXLU Demolisten 2-10-12
Former Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes piano player Aaron Embry will release his solo debut, Tiny Prayers, next Tuesday (Sept. 18th) on the Communion Music label. Embry wrote Tiny Prayers in the late summer and fall of 2011, at the tail end of his three-year stint with the Magnetic Zeros. He recorded the album in his Ojai, CA home over essentially four days in April 2012, playing every instrument (including tenor guitar, harmonica, piano, autoharp, octave mandolin, brushes, and guitarrón) on all songs but one.
Referencing Embry's tenure with the Magnetic Zeroes (above) may be somewhat misleading as to the musical direction of Tiny Prayers. Embry's music is predominately stripped-down folk and his acoustic arrangements (guitar and harmonica) bring to mind pre-electric Bob Dylan. Complementing this, the emotional fragility of his lyrics leads to comparisons to artists like Elliott Smith (Embry was part of Smith's touring band) and Nick Drake.
The disc starts with "Moon Of the Daylit Sky" which is a good indicator of the sound of the rest of this disc. The songs are all rustic, "road weary" folk tunes which are carried by Embry's distinctive vocals and spartan acoustic arrangements. "Moon Of the Daylit Sky" backs Embry's vocals with guitar and harmonica and this is followed by "Raven's Song", where Embry's vocals are backed by an ornate piano. "Good-Red-Road Men" adds to Embry's core sound by bringing in elements of a Western campfire under the stars and "So I Turn" adds just a hint of Southern gospel. The lyrics are all fairly introspective and self-reflective. On "So I Turn", Embry wonders "Is my happiness dependent on it's own design? Am I only wakin up to leave my dreams behind?" On "Your Heart and Mine", Embry reflects on a what appears to be a love gone wrong: "It's like we're playin out the rise-and-fall of Rome again...a saviour comes...you nail her to a tree...the pain that sets you free will turn to love..in time..."
Embry will head out on a support tour for Milo Greene in November. The 11-show run will begin on November 1st at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, MI and wrap up on November 17th at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, CA. He most recently supported Mumford & Sons on a handful of August tour dates and as part of their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Aftershows, and previously announced September dates with Father John Misty have been canceled due to personal family matters.
Aaron Embry November '12 Tour Dates: (all dates supporting Milo Greene)
NOV. 1 -- ANN ARBOR, MI -- BLIND PIG
NOV. 2 -- CHICAGO, IL -- LINCOLN HALL
NOV. 3 -- MADISON, WI -- HIGH NOON SALOON
NOV. 4 -- MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- VARSITY THEATER
NOV. 7 -- ST. LOUIS, MO -- FIREBIRD
NOV. 8 -- LAWRENCE, KS -- THE BOTTLENECK
NOV. 9 -- DENVER, CO -- BLUEBIRD THEATER
NOV. 10 -- SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- KILBY COURT
NOV. 13 -- VANCOUVER, BC -- THE MEDIA CLUB
NOV. 14 -- SEATTLE, WA -- THE CROCODILE
NOV. 16 -- SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- THE INDEPENDENT
NOV. 17 -- LOS ANGELES, CA -- EL REY THEATER
Monday, September 10, 2012
Joe Keithley (D.O.A.) seeks the New Democratic Party (NDP) Nomination in the British Columbia riding of Coquitlam - Burke Mountain
DOWNLOAD: D.O.A. - "He's Got A Gun"
Inspired by Woody Guthrie, Canada's godfather of punk, Joe Keithley has always been out to change the world, through almost 35 years of D.O.A., he and the band have taken on all brands of oppressors. Now Joe is trying to do it from inside the system, he is seeking the New Democratic Party (NDP) nomination in the British Columbia riding of Coquitlam - Burke Mountain.
The NDP are a party committed to fairness and equality for all. At the age of 18, when Keithley left Burnaby North High, already a justice minded young student of politics, he joined the NDP. That only lasted a couple of years as his new band D.O.A. started to take off after the release of the "Disco Sucks" 7" EP in 1978.
Now he's back challenging for a seat in the BC Legislature and looking to help the people of Coquitlam , BC and Canada. If you want to help out on the campaign, contact Joe here: JoeNDP@gmail.com.
D.O.A. will out promoting their new album We Come In Peace this fall with a 20 date tour across Canada starting on October 20. This is not the end for D.O.A., but these will likely be the last dates for four to eight years and who knows, maybe forever.
Joe Keithley, Canada's godfather of punk has dug into his collection of rare vinyl and is making it available. Go to suddendeath.com and find items like early D.O.A. singles "The Prisoner/13" and "General Strike". We've got colored vinyl such as: The Modernetttes, D.O.A. and the Vancouver Complication double LP. There's tons more to see as well. LPs like an Out of Print "No Means No" 12" and the Young Canadians LP. Anything you don't see, feel free to ask at email@example.com.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
The Acacia Strain Release "Victims of the Cave" from New Album "Death is the Only Mortal" / Fall Tour Dates Announced (Rise Records)
The Acacia Strain - Oct. '12 Tour Dates
10/4 - Albany, NY - Upstate Concert Hall
10/5 - Allentown, PA - Planet Trog
10/6 - Worcester, MA - Palladium Upstairs
10/7 - Long Island, NY - 89 North
10/8 - Poughkeepsie, NY - The Chance
10/9 - Baltimore, MD - Recher Theatre
10/11 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
10/12 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Altar Bar
10/13 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody's
10/14 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
The Acacia Strain
The Browning: Deathronica Band Continues Touring Behind 'Burn This World' (Earache) with Show at The Studio at Webster Hall
Static-X last night in Sacramento, California.
The "Noise Revolution" tour also features Winds of Plague and Davey Suicide, and ends on September 16th, just two days before The Browning kick off a headlining US tour with support from Casino Madrid and Amyst.
This later tour is playing The Studio at Webster Hall on September 27th. Tickets are $12 and the Webster Hall site lists Meek as Murder and "Special Guests" as also being on the bill.
THE BROWNING w/ STATIC-X, WINDS OF PLAGUE, DAVEY SUICIDE
Sep. 07 - Sacramento, CA - Ace of Spades*
Sep. 08 - Chico, CA - Senator Theater
Sep. 09 - Medford, OR - The Wreckroom (The Browning only)
Sep. 10 - Idaho Falls, ID - Peppertree Lounge
Sep. 11 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Market
Sep. 12 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
Sep. 13 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory
Sep. 14 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
Sep. 16 - Salt Lake City, UT - Club Sound*
* No WINDS OF PLAGUE
THE BROWNING w/ CASINO MADRID, AMYST
Sep. 18 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
Sep. 19 - Lacrosse, WI - The Warehouse
Sep. 20 - Joliet, IL - Mojoes
Sep. 21 - Peoria, IL - The Brass Rail
Sep. 22 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody's
Sep. 23 - Buffalo, NY - Xtreme Wheels
Sep. 24 - Worcester, MA - Tammany Hall
Sep. 25 - Providence, RI - Firehouse 13
Sep. 26 - Poughkeepsie, NY - The Loft
Sep. 27 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
Sep. 28 - Trenton, NJ - Championships
Sep. 29 - Towson, MD - Recher Theatre
Oct. 01 - Spartanburg, SC - Ground Zero
Oct. 02 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
Oct. 05 - Little Rock, AR - Downtown Music Hall
Oct. 06 - Fayetteville, AR - NWA Showcase
Oct. 07 - Kansas City, MO - Beaumont Club
The Browning drummer Noah "Shark" Robinson recently commented: "We are very eager to hit the road again soon! We have a lot of touring coming up and we couldn't be more excited about it all. In September we will be hitting the road with Winds of Plague and Static-X in the United States. Right after that we will be doing a headlining tour with support from Casino Madrid and Amyst. Then we head to Europe for the Never Say Die! tour with We Came As Romans, Stick To Your Guns, and more! We can't wait to perform in new places and make new friends out there. We're going to finish 2012 with a bang! Here we come; I hope you're ready for The Browning!"
Friday, September 07, 2012
Emergency Service (Pop/Rock Band) Plays Two Sets in Central Park at Susan G. Komen 'Race for the Cure' on Sept. 9th
Fusing together elements of pop/rock and hip-hop with a dash of reggae influence, Emergency Service delivers a sound that appeals to a wide range of listeners - and with their (self-titled) fourth album, dropping on November 13th, they are thriving and gaining fans. The band wraps their positive messages up in catchy hooks with hummable melodies, drawing in audiences of all ages and challenging them not to sing along.
The band lends itself to comparisons to Gym Class Heroes, OAR and even The Script. They were featured on MTV and named a finalist in MTV's College Life competition, earning them airplay and exposure. Their explosive live shows, which include opening for acts like Matisyahu, are filled with improvisation and high energy and have landed Emergency Service at some premiere venues in New York City, including Bowery Ballroom, and it's no wonder Harpoon Brewery named them one of the “Best Unfiltered Bands” in the Northeast.
Founded in 2005 by Sam Rivers (guitar/vocals) and Ed Matos (vocals) in New York City, Emergency Service combines big sounds with powerful hooks and verses which mirror the energy of the city they call home. Chris Norton’s trumpet adds a unique flavor to the sound, using the brass as a rare third voice in addition to the two dynamic front men. The rhythm section of George Oberndorfer (bass) and Drew McLean (drums) serves as an anchor and kicks the energy up, both in live shows and recordings. Emergency Service's upcoming self-titled EP harnesses their energy while showing the evolution of a band that has grown into its sound. With radio-ready songs such as the driving lead single, “Lose Control” and "Around the World," which marries a reggae feel with a mainstream edge, it’s easy to imagine the uplifting, hip-pop hybrid sound blasting out of car speakers this holiday season.
The band worked with producer Claudius Mittendorfer (Interpol, Neon Indian, Wild Nothing) for Art History and the eleven tracks present a cohesive gallery of modern‐day pop portraits framed with a retro '80s fit. The new disc follows the band's 2010 EP "Affair", which won over local and national press, with My Old Kentucky Blog raving, "This could be the next buzz band everyone is talking about." Joy Division / New Order's Peter Hook also took notice, appointing the band to open his headlining set at The Light at Chicago's Metro Cabaret.
California Wives are playing Webster Hall on September 22nd along with Stars and Diamond Rings. Tickets are $29 in advance and $34 (DOS). Every ticket includes a digital version of Stars' new album The North.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
From the slums of London to the heights of Hollywood, "Chaplin: The Musical" is the showbiz Broadway musical about the silent film legend the world couldn’t stop talking about — Charlie Chaplin. It reveals the man behind the legend, the undeniable genius who forever changed the way America went to the movies. The show is running into early next year at Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue). Previews began August 21, 2012 and opening night is September 10, 2012.
Chaplin is a fascinating drama about Charlie Chaplin's life off-screen. The first act starts with the story of Charlie's youth, where his mostly absent father was a drunk and his mother went mad and left him in a workhouse at a young age. At a later age, Charlie followed in his mother's footsteps and went into vaudeville on the London stage and this is where he was discovered by California movie mogul Mack Sennett. Not accustom to working with the slapstick of the movies, Chaplin invents his "Little Tramp" character in response to Sennett's demands that he needs to 'do something funny' or he will be fired. Act Two tells the story of Charlie's meteoric rise in Hollywood, where he reached the point of running his own studio. It also tells the story of the tragedies and insecurities within his personal life. Charlie had a number of high-profile, messy divorces and seemed to be haunted by his mother's illness throughout her lifetime. Chaplin's fatal misstep though was ignoring gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, who responded to Chaplin's snub by attempting to have the U.S. government, during the height of McCarthyism, investigate Chaplin as an alleged Communist. The story/play ends on a happy note with Chaplin's marriage to Oona O'Neill and his return to the United States in 1972 to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Leading man Rob McClure is absolutely brilliant as Chaplin. The New York Times did a fairly big write-up on McClure and, in this piece, he had the following to say about his immersion into the Chaplin character: "There’s been a bit of a Chaplin boot camp, with tightrope and roller-skating and violin lessons...Every time I think, ‘Oh God, how am I going to learn all this?,’ I remember he did it. Chaplin did it all.”
Tickets for the show start at $66.50 and are available through TeleCharge.
Chaplin the Musical