Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wild Cub (Keegan DeWitt) Plays Bowery Ballroom on August 9th / Natalie Prass and SACCO (Andy & John from Guards' Touring Band) are Opening

DOWNLOAD: Wild Cub - "Black Tide" (hosted on

(Photo: Will Morgan Holland)

Wild Cub (Keegan DeWitt) Plays Bowery Ballroom on August 9th / Natalie Prass and SACCO (Andy & John from Guards' Touring Band) are Opening
I love this quote from KEXP (and am envious that I didn't write this): Wild Cub's "brand of darkly-tinged new wave recalls elements of the youthful abandon of John Hughes soundtracks, the baleful allure of Greg Dulli, and the clockwork electronics of New Order’s middle period."

Formed in early 2012 by songwriter-composer Keegan DeWitt and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Bullock, Wild Cub’s debut LP, Youth, was released last August in the US, and showcases the now five-piece band’s dexterity in seamless transitions between infectious electro-pop, tropical rhythms, and quiet washes of cinematic reflection.

Wild Cub is headlining a show at Bowery Ballroom on August 9th and is supported by Natalie Prass and SACCO.   The show starts at 9PM (doors at 8PM) and tickets are $13 in advance and $15 DOS.

Wild Cub is: Keegan DeWitt (vocals/guitar), Jeremy Bullock (guitar/synths), Dabney Morris (drums), Harry West (bass), and Eric Wilson (keys/synths).

Wild Cub

Simple Minds - 'Celebrate' CD Review / Show at Roseland Ballroom on October

DOWNLOAD: Simple Minds – “The American” Live at Sands Centre Carlisle, 5/29/13
{Note: RIAA wackjobs – link is posted on SimpleMinds.Com – no bootlegging/piracy here so...move along}

Simple Minds - 'Celebrate' CD Review / Show at Roseland Ballroom on October
Simple Minds was last in NYC for a show at Beacon Theatre (with INXS) in June of 2002 so it is a pretty big deal that the band is returning to the US for the first time in over a decade. This is probably the longest that Simple Minds has had a consistent line-up as, 4/5 of the 2002 lineup are still in the band - Jim Kerr (Vocals), Charlie Burchill (Guitar), Mel Gaynor (Drums) and Andy Gillespie (Keyboards) are joined by newcomer Ged Grimes (bass).

The band is playing a seven-date mini-tour in October and which includes stops at Roseland Ballroom on October 24th (ticket prices range from $59.50 - $79.75 and Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey on October 17th.

Simple Minds are touring behind a new 3CD / 50-song greatest hits collection, Celebrate, and had been playing 25 of these songs (with no variations) each night during the UK leg of the Celebrate tour which took place earlier in the spring.

Simple Minds – Celebrate Tour - Spring 2013 Set List

Set One:
Broken Glass Park
Once Upon A Time
Up On The Catwalk
Let There Be Love
All The Things She Said
War Babies
Glittering Prize
I Travel

Set Two:
Book Of Brilliant Things
Neon Lights (Kraftwerk cover)
Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
She's A River
This Is Your Land
Blood Diamonds
The American
Love Song
See The Lights
Don't You (Forget About Me)
Promised You A Miracle

New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
Sanctify Yourself
Alive And Kicking

Celebrate is an interesting and enjoyable listen as the thress discs trace the band’s evolution from the jittery ‘art school’ punk of the band’s first recording to the experimental, minimalistic post-punk sounds of the following albums to a brief sojourn through New Romantic, finally breaking big in the US with bombastic stadium rock.  This evolution of the band's sound is full captured on Disc One this disc ends with the band shaking off the last bits of new wave.

In an interview last year with The Guardian UK, Jim Kerr talked about the band's move to stadium rock:

Does he regret that? "Regret is a strong word because it implies that you carry it around, and I wouldn't say I do. I'd hate to seem begrudging of success, but at the same time I'd like to be honest enough to say maybe we shouldn't have cashed in all the chips. It's a bit overwhelming when your band is no longer your own, you become an industry within an industry, but I'm very wary of going 'poor us'. C'mon, it's what you dream of. We wanted to be a great band and take it around the world, that's still what we work for."

Disc Two starts with “Don’t You Forget About Me” and, after getting past the radio hits of Once Upon a Time, the band seemingly tries to follow Bono, Mike Peters (The Alarm) and others down a path of bombastic activism. Simple Minds lost their mojo with Street Fighting Years (along with long-time keyboardist Mick MacNeil) and Disc Two ends with two tracks from 1991’s snooze fest Real Life.

Disc Three is a great compilation as it pulls out the best tracks from Simple Minds’ somewhat hit and miss early 90’s – mid 00’s releases. This disc ends on a strong note as Simple Minds seemed to hit a second wind with albums like 2005’s Black and White 050505 and 2009’s Graffiti Soul. [Q Magazine said that Graffiti Soul “…might be the best album Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill have put together since 1984's "Sparkle In The Rain."] The final two tracks on the disc, “Blood Diamonds” and “Broken Glass Park”, are new and follow in the spirit and sound of Graffiti Soul.

Given the recent flood of Simple Minds’ box sets and compilations, I think the real question with this release is whether the world needs yet another ‘best of’ compilation as the two new tracks can be purchased individually from iTunes. As points of comparison: this CD is available for $22.82 on Amazon, last year’s X5 release (the first five [best] Simple Minds albums + some non-LP singles] is on Amazon for $33.99, Live 5x5 documents the band’s 2012 tour with five songs from each of the band’s first five albums (essentially a live greatest hits compilation). This 2CD set is available on Amazon for $17.21. Lastly, there is the 2CD + DVD set, The Best of Simple Minds, which is available from Amazon.UK for £8.43 (which shouldn’t be more than $16, with shipping). The DVD included with this set is the “Live in Verona” show, which include 13 songs recorded in Paris in 1989 and 6 songs recorded in Newcastle in 1982.

Simple Minds

Saturday, July 27, 2013

At The Gates, Taake, Solstafir, and MGLA will be making exclusive US appearances at the 2014 Maryland Deathfest

At The Gates, Taake, Solstafir, and MGLA will be making exclusive US appearances at the 2014 Maryland Deathfest
The first bands to confirm for Maryland Deathfest XII were posted to the festival's Facebook page earlier today:
The following bands have already confirmed for MDF XII:

GORGUTS (Canada)
TAAKE (Norway)
MGLA (Poland)
DIOCLETIAN (New Zealand)

We thought there would be more to announce today, including a band that will definitely headline one of the days, but that will take another week or two to finalize. Expect the next announcement in about 2 weeks.

Notes: At the Gates, Taake, Solstafir, and MGLA will be making exclusive US appearances at MDF.

We have a feeling many of you will ask what's going on with Carpathian Forest, so here's what's going on. We had preliminary discussion with them right after MDF XI and all parties understand what needs to be done for them to come to the US next year, but since our contact person for the band has been on vacation with no access to e-mail, we have to wait until he's back before confirming that officially. So, as of now, they are NOT confirmed, but chances are likely that they will confirm sometime soon.

Maryland Deathfest

HUFF THIS! (Alison Clancy) Play Show Tomorrow Night, July 28th, at Highline Ballroom

HUFF THIS! (Alison Clancy) Play Show Tomorrow Night, July 28th, at Highline Ballroom
HUFF THIS! has returned to its roots with a new, all-girl line up. It's a performance that lives in the worlds of of both music and dance, born in the basement of The Metropolitan Opera where Alison Clancy and Allison Jones dance together. In the past year, during breaks between opera acts, they started jamming and singing in the ballet studios, and recruiting other Met girls to dance. They recently joined up with impish drummer Erica Mancini and producer Benjamin Ickies and are ready to crash the Highline Ballroom on Sunday.

Clancy, notorious as the wild and emotive front woman for a few bands, leaves you no choice but to get involved in her shows. Her electric singing and dancing shakes the room with feline energy and her crew of seductive creatures weaves back and forth between the stage and crowd, literally consuming the audience. Echoing the raw energy of Patti Smith and PJ Harvey, HUFF THIS! delivers visceral performances of adoration and murderous vengeance.

HUFF THIS! at Highline Ballroom - Sunday July 28th
band: Alison Clancy, Erica Mancini, Allison Jones
dancers: Erin Moore, Lucy Struever, Ali Castro, Kyla Erst-Apler
produced by: Benjamin Ickies
tickets: $10 in advance and $12 DOS
Also on the bill: Strip Darling, Eric Dash, The Candy Apples and Colin McShane


The Ocean (Metal Blade) Unveil New Video for 'Bathyalpelagic II: The Wish in Dreams' / Show Aug. 7th at Best Buy Theater (Summer Slaughter Tour 2013)

The Ocean has launched a brand new video for "Bathyalpelagic II: The Wish in Dreams" from their most recent album, Pelagial. The band's first official music video, not counting previous videos composed of live footage, was directed by Alexander Kraudelt and Lukas Hambach and produced by Frameshock, with additional visuals by Craig Murray.

Founding guitarist Robin Staps comments: "This clip is blending performance footage with excerpts from Craig Murray's Pelagial movie, which was released along with the limited edition CD and vinyl boxset versions of the album. We've never really done a clip like that before, but it was great fun making this."

Pelagial, the latest album from The Ocean, has been received with open arms and ears across the globe. RockARolla, bastions of taste at the experimental end of heavy music, emphasized how revered The Ocean currently are: "With Isis gone, no one has yet taken their place as intelligent and sensitive masters of post‐metal but, with this, there's no doubt that The Ocean are shoe‐ins for the title."

The Ocean play New York City on August 7th as part of the Summer Slaughter Tour. This show is at Best Buy Theater and doors are at 3:30PM (obviously they aren't expecting anyone who has a job to get there for the first few bands). Tickets are $29.50 in advance and $35 DOS. Other bands on the bill include: Animals As Leaders, Periphery, Norma Jean, Cattle Decapitation, The Ocean, Revocation, AEON, Rings of Saturn, Thy Art Is Murder and Dillinger Escape Plan is headlining.

The Ocean on The Summer Slaughter Tour [remaining dates]:
7/24/2013 - Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
7/25/2013 - The Scott Inn – Austin, TX
7/26/2013 - House of Blues – Dallas, TX
7/27/2013 - House of Blues – Houston, TX
7/29/2013 - House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL
7/30/2013 - The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
7/31/2013 - Old City Courtyard – Knoxville, TN
8/01/2013 - House of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC
8/02/2013 - The Filmore Silver Springs – Silver Springs, MD
8/03/2013 - The Palladium – Worcester, MA
8/04/2013 - The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
8/07/2013 - Best Buy Theater – New York, NY
8/08/2013 - Sound Academy – Toronto, ON
8/09/2013 - Metropolis – Montreal, QC
8/10/2013 - Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY
8/11/2013 - The Majestic Theatre – Detroit, MI
8/12/2013 - House of Blues – Chicago, IL
8/13/2013 - The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
8/14/2013 - The Cabooze – Minneapolis, MN
8/15/2013 - Club Antares – Omaha, NE ***
8/16/2013 - Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
8/17/2013 - The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
8/19/2013 - Snowbox Sodo – Seattle, WA
8/20/2013 - Roseland Ballroom – Portland, OR
8/21/2013 - Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC ***
8/24/2013 - Circo Volador – Mexico City, MX ***
9/01/2013 - The Wall – Taipeh, TWN ***
9/04/2013 - Hidden Agenda – Hong Kong, HKN ***
9/05/2013 - B10 – Shenzhen, CHN ***
9/06/2013 - SD – Guangzhou, CHN ***
9/07/2013 - Vox – Wuhan, CHN ***
9/08/2013 - 46 House – Changsha, CHN ***
9/11/2013 - Yuylntang – Shanghai, CHN ***
9/12/2013 - Nuts – Chongqing, CHN ***
9/13/2013 - Little Bar – Chengdu, CHN ***
9/14/2013 - Mao – Beijing CHN ***
9/15/2013 - 13 Club – Tianjin, CHN ***
9/19/2013 - Megapolis – Irkutsk, RUS ***
9/21/2013 - Era – Krasnoyarsk, RUS ***
9/22/2013 - Mayak – Tomsk, RUS ***
9/23/2013 - Rock City – Novosibirsk, RUS ***
9/25/2013 - Plan-K.Tone – Tyumen, RUS ***
9/26/2013 - Nirvana – Yekaterinburg, RUS ***
9/28/2013 - Plan B – Moscow, RUS ***
9/29/2013 - Arktika – Saint-Petersburg, RUS ***
***THE OCEAN headlining shows

The Ocean

Jon Oliva: 'Raise The Curtain' Interview with BrooklynRocks, July 14, 2013

Jon Oliva: 'Raise The Curtain' Interview with BrooklynRocks, July 14, 2013
Three years ago, I reviewed Jon Oliva’s last outing, Festival, (released as Jon Oliva’s Pain) and compared the disc to Alice Cooper’s mid-70’s work. That same comparison still stands with the follow-up to that disc, Raise the Curtain, which was released earlier this month on AFM Records. This time out, in addition to the Alice Cooper influences, Raise the Curtain touches on 70’s prog rock (Yes comes immediately to mind), jazz/fusion and roots-rock of John Lennon. This is an eclectic disc but fans of Jon Oliva’s past work will surely enjoy it.

I had the pleasure of talking with Jon about the making of his debut solo disc, his recording plans with Jon Oliva's Pain and Trans-Siberian Orchestra and his upcoming 'storytellers' tour.

Check out the interview - the link is posted above.

Jon Oliva's Pain

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Orange Goblin Returns to North America for Fall Tour / Show at Saint Vitus Bar on Nov. 2nd

Orange Goblin Returns to North America for Fall Tour / Show at Saint Vitus Bar on Nov. 2nd

Britain's premier stoner metal band Orange Goblin will return to perform at venues throughout North America this Autumn.

Following the band’s huge success earlier this year as main support for Clutch on their Earth Rocker North American tour, the Brits return for a full headlining run. Kicking off in New Orleans on September 27, the band will visit 38 cities around the United States and Canada before concluding in Nashville on November 9. Support on the tour will come from Holy Grail and Lazer/Wulf.

The trek finds Orange Goblin continuing a year-long commitment to performances in support of their latest studio album, A Eulogy For the Damned (2012), and first live CD/DVD released earlier this year. This rigorous schedule has seen them perform in over 25 countries across the globe, ensuring that the band is firing on all cylinders and maintaining their reputation as one of the fiercest and most exciting live acts on the planet! In fact, Clutch's own Neil Fallon was recently seen on That Metal Show wearing an Orange Goblin shirt and proclaiming them to be one of his favorite bands!

Released March 12, A Eulogy For The Fans/Orange Goblin Live 2012 includes Orange Goblin’s complete performances from England’s Bloodstock Open Air and France’s Hellfest. The package’s DVD includes the official Tom Cronin directed videos for “Red Tide Rising” and “Acid Trial,” the latter courtesy of Scion A/V. It further includes the Matt Chance directed “Red Tide Rising” documentary and Gaetan Chataigner directed “Highway to Hellfest” documentary. Art and design was provided by Jimbob Isaac under the direction of vocalist Ben Ward. The live album follows the release of A Eulogy For The Damned, now Orange Goblin’s highest selling album in North America. Produced by Jamie Dodd and mastered by two-time Grammy-nominated engineer Andy Jackson (Pink Floyd), the album entered the UK charts at position 96 and for the US landed on Billboard Magazine’s Heat Seekers chart at position 38.

Orange Goblin - Fall 2013 Tour w/ Holy Grail, Lazer/Wulf

09/27/2013 - One Eyed Jacks - New Orleans, LA

09/28/2013 - Red 7 – Austin, TX

09/29/2013 - Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX

09/30/2013 - Club Dada – Dallas, TX

10/01/2013 - Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM

10/02/2013 - Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ

10/04/2013 - The Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA

10/05/2013 - The Satellite - Los Angeles, CA

10/06/2013 - Soda Bar - San Diego, CA

10/08/2013 - The Observatory - Santa Ana, CA

10/09/2013 - Oakland Opera House – Oakland, CA

10/10/2013 - Oak Street Speakeasy – Eugene, OR

10/11/2013 - Fall Into Darkness Festival – Portland, OR

10/12/2013 - The Highline – Seattle, WA

10/13/2013 - Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC

10/15/2013 - The Palomino – Calgary, AB

10/17/2013 - The Pawn Shop – Edmonton, AB

10/18/2013 - Amigos – Saskatoon, SK

10/19/2013 - Windsor Hotel – Winnipeg, MB

10/20/2013 - The Aquarium – Fargo, ND

10/21/2013 - Triple Rock – Minneapolis, MN

10/22/2013 - Reggie’s – Chicago, IL

10/23/2013 - Pyramid Scheme - Grand Rapids, MI

10/24/2013 - Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH

10/25/2013 - Rockstar Arena – Dayton, OH

10/26/2013 - Rex Theater – Pittsburgh, PA

10/27/2013 - London Music Hall – London, ON

10/28/2013 - The Opera House – Toronto, ON

10/29/2013 - Mavericks – Ottawa, ON

10/30/2013 - Foufounes Electriques – Montrea, QC

11/01/2013 - Empire – Springfield, VA

11/02/2013 - Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY

11/03/2013 - The Note - West Chester, PA

11/05/2013 - Strange Matter – Richmond, VA

11/06/2013 - Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC

11/07/2013 - Broadway’s – Asheville, NC

11/08/2013 - The Earl – Atlanta, GA

11/09/2013 - Exit/In – Nashville, TN

Orange Goblin

Havok - 'Unnatural Selection' CD Review / Show at St. Vitus Bar on August 7th (Candlelight Records)

Havok - 'Unnatural Selection' CD Review / Show at St. Vitus Bar on August 7th (Candlelight Records)
Denver thrash metallers Havok are back with their third full-length disc, Unnatural Selection (released last month on Candlelight Records) and their first headlining tour of North America, which kicked off this week at Launchpad in Albuquerque, NM. The local tour stop is at St. Vitus Bar on August 7th and Havock is playing with TBA (let’s spread a ‘stupid’ rumor – TBA = Municipal Waste). Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 DOS.

Unnatural Selection has everything that you would expect in a thrash album: political themed lyrics, winding, chugging guitar riffs and screaming solos, aggressive sneering vocals and rapid fire drumming. What is refreshing is there is a mix of old school metal in the band’s sound – the disc’s lead-off single, “Give Me Liberty…Or Give Me Death” has some blistering riffs and a nice bass/drum groove that could easily be compared to bands like Megadeth and Exodus. Immediately shifting gears, this is followed by “It is True”, which comes across somewhat like an 80’s arena-rocker, though with some funky bass grooves and off-kilter, winding guitar lines intermixed with the crunchy hard-rock riffs. The band’s sound starts moving toward doom toward the back-end of the disc, with the down-tuned “Worse Than War” and this track is a perfect lead-in to the band’s cover of Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave”. The band ends the disc on a “thrashy” note with the aggressive and galloping title track “Unnatural Selection”.

On the majority of the songs, in addition to the chugging thrash riffs, there is some great guitar interplay between David Sanchez and Reece Scruggs whose playing ranges from technical shredding to AC/DC meets Iron Maiden hard-rock riffs. Sanchez’s vocals also spans the range from a clean “punkish” sneer to Dave Mustaine style throat shredding rasps and most of the song choruses are shout-along gang vocals. Pete Webber pounds the drums unmercifully (there is a nice, but brief drum solo on disc opener “I Am the State”) and does a nice job of locking into a groove with newcomer, bassist Mike Leon.

The new disc has a really clean sound and was produced by vocalist/guitarist David Sanchez and mixed by Terry Date (Pantera, Overkill, Deftones). The album also features original artwork from Polish illustrator Rafal Wechterowicz (Slayer, Mastodon) and was mastered by James Murphy (Aborted, World Under Blood, Abigail Williams).

Havok – Summer 2013 North American Headline Tour
7/22/2013 - Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
7/24/2013 - Chameleon Room – Oklahoma City, OK
7/25/2013 - Three Links – Dallas, TX
7/26/2013 - Dirty Dog – Austin, TX
7/27/2013 - Zero’s – Corpus Christi, TX
7/28/2013 - Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
7/29/2013 - Siberia – New Orleans, LA
7/31/2013 - Talent Farm – Pembroke Pines, FL
8/01/2013 - Orpheum Theater – Tampa, FL
8/02/2013 - Back Booth – Orlando, FL
8/03/2013 - Ground Zero – Spartanburg, SC
8/04/2013 - Blue Fox – Winchester, VA
8/05/2013 - Empire – Springfield, VA
8/06/2013 - Mojo 13 – Wilmington, DE
8/07/2013 - Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
8/08/2013 - Church of Boston – Boston, MA
8/09/2013 - Backstage at Champs – Trenton, NJ
8/10/2013 - JJ’s Tavern – Florence, MA
8/11/2013 - Heavy Mtl – Montreal, QC
8/12/2013 - Opera House – Toronto, ON w/Finntroll
8/13/2013 - Token Lounge – Westland, MI
8/14/2013 - Peabody’s, Cleveland, OH
8/15/2013 - Ultra Lounge – Chicago, IL
8/16/2013 - Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
8/17/2013 - Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
8/18/2013 - Fubar – St Louis, MO
8/21/2013 - The Shrunken Head – Columbus, OH
8/23/2013 - The Brass Rail – Peoria, IL
8/24/2013 - Blue Pig – Cudahy, WI
8/25/2013 - The Garage – Burnsville, MN
8/26/2013 - The Aquarium – Fargo, ND
8/28/2013 - The Railyard – Billings, MT
8/29/2013 - The Center – Spokane, WA
8/30/2013 - Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
8/31/2013 - Branx – Portland, OR
9/01/2013 - Red House Live – Walnut Creek, CA
9/05/2013 - The Atrium – Santa Cruz, CA
9/06/2013 - Whiskey – West Hollywood, CA
9/07/2013 - Constellation Room – Santa Ana, CA
9/08/2013 - Royal Dive – San Diego, CA
9/09/2013 - Rocky Point Cantina – Tempe, AZ
9/10/2013 - Orpheum Theater – Flagstaff, AZ
9/13/2013 - Burt’s Tiki Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cold Blood Club (Indie Dance Rock) Plays Bowery Ballroom on July 23rd Alongside Future Bible Heroes (Stephin Merritt)

Cold Blood Club (Indie Dance Rock) Plays Bowery Ballroom on July 23rd Alongside Future Bible Heroes (Stephin Merritt)

Seven member indie dance-rock collective Cold Blood Club are playing Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday, July 23rd, opening for Future Bible Heroes.  Cold Blood Club premiered the song/video "Goodbye to All That" earlier this month which is the first track from this band's forthcoming disc Tear Down The Maps. In a recent interview with Violent Success, guitarist/songwriter Tom Stuart had the following to say about the band's new disc and this first track: "I think almost every song on the record is about a decision and ‘Goodbye to All That’ is like the canary in the cave."

Tuesday night's show starts at 8PM (doors at 7PM) and tickets are $15. Cold Blood Club goes on first and are followed by Luxury Liners (Canter Tanton's latest project), with Future Bible Heroes headlining the show.

Brooklyn-based Cold Blood Club is a gang of musicians, 7-members-strong, who have been conquering the New York Indie dance scene one packed venue at a time since they debuted their edgy blend of soul, rock, and pop in the summer of 2011. Now, Cold Blood Club, who has been hailed as “almost too catchy for their own good” (The Deli Magazine), offers a taste of their forthcoming LP with new single/video, "Goodbye to All That." The New Wave delight, featuring catchy dance grooves, electro-beats and pop sensibilities was produced by Charles Newman (Magnetic Fields, Future Bible Heroes), and mixes in dark overtones to create a bittersweet atmosphere that reflects the nostalgic nature of the lyrics.

Self described as “an open love letter to New York, friendship, heartbreak and making peace with the past,” the follow-up to 2012’s Headlines and Firefights was penned by the band’s creator and songwriter Tom Stuart, as he struggled with balancing the aimlessness of finding a place to live, a thriving nightlife and a tumultuous personal life, themes most young New Yorkers can relate to.

As free-spirited as the group itself and the town that inspires them, the video directed by Kris Merc (De la Soul) depicts the band against a vibrant backdrop of slick city streets, moody dive bars and rowdy karaoke clubs, wrapping us up in a feeling of timelessness that lingers in our hair and clothes like cigarette smoke the next day. It’s the party that lasts all night, and a glimpse into the friendship, reinforced by a shared love of the city, that holds the band together.

Inspired by acts like LCD Soundsystem, Metric and New Order, Cold Blood Club originated as a studio project with Stuart and former Radio America bandmate Jesse Reno (bass) along with newcomer Kendra Jones and Bradley Peterson (Earlymay) on joint lead vocals. After only a handful of shows, Cold Blood Club quickly evolved into the well-matched 7-piece showstopper they are today, joined by agile drummer Shin Kamei (Angela Jane), flame-haired violinist Hilary Davis (Bella Koshka) and classically trained pianist Adina Benno on synth. Their “infectious melodies, not to mention boundless energy” (Sound Dessert) have cemented them as a band to watch in 2013.

Cold Blood Club

Chris Shiflett and The Dead Peasants - 'All Hat and No Cattle' (SideOneDummy Records)

Foo Fighter guitarist Chris Shiflett’s solo project Chris Shiflett and The Dead Peasants has found its mark with band’s forthcoming second disc, All Hat and No Cattle (due out July 30th on SideOneDummy Records). This new disc is a logical follow-up to The Dead Peasants’ 2010 self-titled debut and Shiflett continues to mine his longtime appreciation of classic country artists (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams) and rockabilly (Gene Vincent, Elvis, Eddie Cochran).

On The Dead Peasants’ debut disc, Shiflett wrote all the songs aside for a Joe Strummer cover. This time out, there is just one original and the other nine songs are classic honky-tonk covers. The band attacks these covers with an enthusiasm and barnstorming swagger that gives these reinterpretations an authenticity that other alt-country/root-rock bands have lacked.

Shiflett was inspired with the idea to learn an abundance of old school honky-tonk songs, and then hit the road as a cover band, while touring with Foo Fighters around their last album. After arriving back home, the Dead Peasants reconvened and spent months rehearsing before playing shows all through spring and summer 2012. Wanting to capture the spirit of these performances, the band headed into Studio 606 in Los Angeles to track a selection of Shiflett’s favorites from their live set. The band recorded All Hat and No Cattle live and all together in one room, with only vocals overdubbed.

The disc starts with country-rocker “Guitar Pickin’ Man” and moves from there to the Carl Perkins-style honky-tonk of “Good Time Charlie’s". Shiflett slows things toward the middle of the disc with bluesy torch song “Happy Part Of Town” but this number is just a brief respite before he cranks the tempo back up. The disc ends with two of the bigger “rock” numbers: the original track “A Woman Like You” is a power-pop number is the vein of Rockpile or The Plimsouls and the disc closer, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” is a boot-stomping Waylon Jennings cover.

All Hat and No Cattle track listing:
1. Guitar Pickin’ Man (Don Rich and the Buckaroos)
2. Good Time Charlie’s (Del Reeves)
3. Pop A Top (Jim Ed Brown)
4. Happy Part Of Town (Wynn Stewart)
5. Skid Row (Merle Haggard)
6. Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young (Faron Young)
7. Playboy (Wynn Stewart)
8. King Of Fools (Buck Owens)
9. A Woman Like You (ORIGINAL)
10. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (Waylon Jennings)

Chris Shiflett and The Dead Peasants will take these songs back on the road for more shows this summer, having recently performed at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, CA and at SXSW in Austin, TX. Currently, there are a small handful of California shows scheduled for early next month.

Aug 6 - San Diego at The Casbah
Aug 7 - Fresno at Strummers
Aug 8 - San Francisco at Thee Parkside
Aug 10 - San Luis Obispo at SLO Brew Co
Aug 11 - Long Beach at Alex’s Bar
*Rod Melancon supporting on all dates.

Chris Shiflett and The Dead Peasants

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Bellicose Minds: Portland Post-Punk / Death-Rock Trio Signs With A389 Recordings

The Bellicose Minds: Portland Post-Punk / Goth-Rock Trio Signs With A389 Recordings
The debut disc from The Bellicose Minds, Spine, hits a 'sweet spot' as it brings back memories of the death/goth-rock sounds (the Rozz Williams-fronted lineup of Christian Death and Bauhaus) of my youth so I'd love to see the band hit the East Coast. The Bellicose Minds did an interview last year with CvltNation which goes a long way toward describing the band's sound, outlook and influences.

Oliver (CvltNation): Who came up with the name “Bellicose Minds” and what is it supposed to mean? In other words, is there any particular story behind the name?

Nick Bellicose: Finding band names is hard with so many good, obvious ones taken. You can either spam the button on the name generator web site or draw words from a hat. We didn’t want that. It feels heartless and cheesy. We really wanted a name that had a meaning, and said something about the band. There were some ideas thrown around, but I ended up coming up with The Bellicose Minds. The rest of the band liked it. It reflects our attitudes towards life and society, to be in a state of agression and warfare. Non-complacent, driving forward through the sea of shit we live in.

Oliver: I really like the vocals – they have a classic sound but also don’t really sound like many vocals you actually ever hear bands having any more these days. They remind me a little of Vex (the UK postpunk band) or later-era The Dark after they got gothier (“Shattered Glass”). Are those conscious influences on your vocals’ sound, or the band’s sound as a whole? If not, what is?

Nick: It’s easiest for me to sing in a lower register. I always liked the way Jim Morrisson and David Bowie sang when I was a kid. That was music I heard from my parents as a very young child. I started finding my own music to listen to at the age of 9 or 10, and always looked for extremes. I love extremes. I listen to a lot of hardcore punk and anarcho-punk from the late 70′s and 80′s. I draw from the aggression and provocation in many of the lyrics from those styles of music. Darker punk/post punk bands definitely have a big influence on how I forge the lyrics and sound in our songs. Singers such as Mark Burgess, Adrian Borland (RIP), and Mic Jowger (Pink Turns Blue) are huge influences because they all had their own style, and felt their words. At the end of the day I always try to come up with my own style and ideas — my own voice. Influences are important, yet it’s important to respect them for what they are and not become a rip off.

The Bellicose Minds likes to keep the music dark, and sinister, always throwing cynical thought to the foreground. Flowing with a dark, early-‘80s Gothic rock edge citing influences from The Chameleons, The Sound, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and Danse Society, and of course the rain the Northwest continually brings, The Bellicose Minds has toured in the US and played at key underground punk festivals in Canada since their incarnation in 2008. While the band has sustained multiple lineup changes, it has always at its core been AJ on drums and Nick on lead guitar and vocals, and the current lineup sees bassist Mira joining the founding pair.

The Bellicose Minds have exposed the rock underworld to a variety of self-released demos and independent releases over the years including two tapes, a self-titled 7” EP, and most recently their first LP, The Spine, released earlier in 2013 via Blackwater Records. One of the act’s seminal releases is 2009’s The Buzz Or Howl Sessions, initially self-released only as a 500 copy run on dubbed cassettes. A389 will now officially re-release the long out-of-print The Buzz Or Howl Sessions for the first time ever on vinyl, the initial masters completely remastered by Audiosiege and artwork and layout to feature a full redesign. It’s coming together to see release late this Fall with a confirmed street date to be announced shortly.

Additionally, The Bellicose Minds is currently in the writing process for their next LP which will also see release through A389 later in the year alongside the band’s first European tour this Fall and additional regional and stateside touring.

The Bellicose Minds

The Damned Live Live Live in London 2002: Tiki Nightmare DVD Review (MVD Visual)

A new live release from The Damned is always a welcome thing as, while the band has already released many live albums, The Damned’s constantly rotating lineup (the only constant has been singer Dave Vanian) along with their willingness to regularly reinterpret their songs means that every one of these live albums sounds different. The Damned Live Live Live in London 2002: Tiki Nightmare captures the band at Shepherds Bush Empire on July 12, 2002. This show is the final night of The Damned’s UK tour, where the band was touring behind their 2001 album Grave Disorder.

Not having seen The Damned since their 1991 reunion tour where (at least at the Atlanta show) they seemed very drunk and shambled through their set in just about an hour, I was pleasantly surprised at how tight this lineup sounds. The Grave Disorder lineup of the band was Dave Vanian (Vocals), Captain Sensible (Guitar), Patricia Morrison (Bass), Monty Oxy Moron ( Keyboards) and Andy “Pinch” Pinching (Drums). The nineteen track set list spans the Damned’s back catalogue and includes five numbers from Grave Disorder (“Amen”, “Democracy”, “Song.Com”, “Would You Be So Hot” and “She”), the expected punk chestnuts (“Smash It Up”, “New Rose”, “Neat Neat Neat”), little heard numbers like “Under the Floor Again” and two numbers from the band’s 80’s albums (“Eloise”, “Street of Dreams”) which were recorded while the Captain was out of the band. The Captain even slides in a quick version of “Happy Talk” when the band goes offstage before the encore and he is joined by a pair of “tiki dancers” and Dave does a brief vocal cameo.

Both the playing of the band and their stage presence show how the band has matured over the years. Captain Sensible’s guitar work is top-notch, leading the band through an extended version of “Amen” and using a beer can as a slide on “Ignite”. Dave Vanian and bassist/wife Patricia Morrison are the epitome of cool. Vanian glides and dances his way across the stage - all in black, with slicked back hair, wrap-around sunglasses and gloves - looking like a punk version of Elvis (when he was cool – not fat Elvis) and Morrison looks like a goth pin-up girl. While Captain Sensible clowns around on-stage, the role of ‘comic relief’ seems to have been handed off to keyboardist Monty, who was part of Sensible’s Punk Floyd solo band. “Pinch” is a capable drummer but more of his personality comes out in the bonus feature interview than behind the skins (…and I continue to hope for Rat’s return to the band).

The show is filmed with multiple on-stage cameras so the viewer really has a “you were there” experience as you see the ‘big budget’ shots of the whole band and, from there, the cameras will cut away to close-ups of one of the band members and/or the audience.

There are about 40 minutes of bonus features which are predominately interviews with the individual members of the Damned. Captain Sensible’s interview runs the longest and he sounds remarkably coherent (this isn’t to say that the Captain isn’t off-kilter but I was expecting a raving loony) when talking about The Damned’s place in music, his solo career and more. The other two interesting interviews are Dave Vanian, who is never shown on the screen but rather he talks behind what appears to be found footage of World War I / World War II military bands, and “Pinch”, who sounds like a bit of a nutter. The bonus features wrap up with some very brief (too brief in my opinion) home-movie footage from The Damned’s 2002 Warped Tour appearances.

Set List:
Street of Dreams
Plan 9 Channel 7
Wait for the Blackout
I Just Can’t Be Happy Today
Would You Be So Hot
Disco Man
Under the Floor Again
Neat Neat Neat
Happy Talk
New Rose
Smash It Up
Feel Alright
Love Song

Official Damned

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Von Shakes (Ireland to Brooklyn Power-Punk) Play Late Show at Knitting Factory on July 20th

Von Shakes (Ireland to Brooklyn Power-Punk) Play Late Show at Knitting Factory on July 20thJust over a year ago, I reviewed Von Shakes debut EP "Almost Nobody" and called the disc "an enjoyable slice of power-punk that is reminiscent of bands like Rooney and Weezer...high-energy, guitar-driven rock with the focal points being Paddy Brazel’s vocals and the band’s slashing guitar lines."

Von Shakes full-length debut, Bohemia, will be out in October and the band describes the album as capturing the sensation and passion of a live show. In a recent interview with Downtown Magazine, Brazil said: "“Bohemia was recorded live, on tape…the artwork is simple, and we’re producing the record onto vinyl...There’s no fiction in our lyrics, we like to believe everything is real.

The show at Knitting Factory is listed as starting at 11:55PM (why not say Midnight??) and tickets are $5.00.

Von Shakes

Secret Colours (Chicago 'Psychedelic-Newgaze') Release Tripped-Out Tarantino-Style Video for 'Blackbird (Only One)'

Somewhere between Natural Born Killers, Pink Flamingos, and Porky's rests the disconcerting new video for Secret Colours' "Blackbird (Only One). If one finds the glorification of guns, pointless use of the word of "f*ck," and general reinforcement of the well worn and pernicious media stereotype that cross dressing men are always up to no good, then you'll not want to miss this one.

Secret Colours' Tommy Evans describes the overall vibe… "We wanted to have fun with this video by making something not so serious. Its our satirical journey of two dudes, under heavy doses of peaches, thinking they're Bonnie and Clyde fused with Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo. All the while, keeping congruent with the 60s and 90s influence of the song."

Secret Colours revel in being the bastard seed of the ’60s psychedelia and ’90s Britpop bloodlines. Since their eponymous debut in 2010, the band moved swiftly from neophyte in the Chicago psychedelic-newgaze scene to crusader over the course of unforgettable performances at Austin Psych Fest and Levitation in 2012. Appearances with Night Beats, Ringo Deathstarr, Elephant Stone, Spindrift, Asteroid #4, Raveonettes, and The Warlocks, have continued to keep Secret Colours in the hearts and minds of their Chicago faithful, but all the while, they’ve been hard at work with producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Gomez, Sage Francis, Iron and Wine) sharpening the edges of their polychromatic sophomore album, Peach.

Secret Colours

Monday, July 15, 2013

AlunaGeorge (UK Electronic Music Duo) Sign to Vagrant / First US Tour in Sept. Includes Stops At Music Hall of Williamsburg and Bowery Ballroom

AlunaGeorge (UK Electronic Music Duo) Sign to Vagrant / First US Tour in Sept. Includes Stops At Music Hall of Williamsburg and Bowery Ballroom
I'm generally not much for dance music but I've been getting into the minimalist trip-hop glitch meets R and B/soul sound of London duo AlunaGeorge.   I like the quote from the BBC which describes the band as "strik[ing] a rare balance between dancefloor legitimacy and pop nous."

The band just signed with Vagrant Records and their debut disc, Body Music, will be released July 30th. The band is also kicking off their first US tour at the end of August at Chicago's North Coast Music Festival and are making their NYC debut with shows at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sept. 5th and 6th.   At both shows, AlunaGeorge is supported by Chicago's Supreme Cuts. Tickets for each show (Bowery Ballroom, MHOW) are $15 in advance and $18 DOS; each of these shows start at 9PM.

Taking the boom of British bass culture and marrying it to the sweet slickness of classic American R&B, AlunaGeorge – aka Aluna Francis and producer George Reid – are excited to announce the details of their eagerly awaited debut album Body Music, released on July 30th via Vagrant Records.

Body Music – Track List:
1. Outlines
2. You Know You Like It
3. Attracting Flies
4. Your Drums, Your Love
5. Kaleidoscope Love
6. Bad Idea
7. Diver
8. Lost And Found
9. Best Be Believing
10. Superstar
11. Just A Touch
12. Body Music
13. Friends to Lovers
14. This is How We Do It (bonus track)

In the 12 months since their first release went viral, AlunaGeorge’s DIY video for “You Know You Like It” has clocked up over 2 million views, the band were crowned the most blogged artist of 2012, they sold out a European tour, performed at Moschino’s catwalk show during London Fashion Week and made the top 3 for both last year’s prestigious BRITS Critics Award and the BBC Sound of 2013 (#2). On top of all of the above, scored a #2 single in the UK with their Disclosure collaboration “White Noise”.


Ke$sha 'Borrows' (aka Rips Off) Iconic Imagery from The Residents

It was a bad idea when Rerun ("What's Happening!!") agreed to bootleg The Doobie Brothers....

This also seems like a bad idea (Ke$ha - Live at Jones Beach 6/1/13).  In an interview with Yahoo! Music, film maker Don Hardy, a filmmaker who's working with The Residents on a documentary, said:"They don't know what to do," adding that there is a consensus that Ke$ha is "interfering with their intellectual property. Her people definitely didn't call in to say, 'Hey, can we use this?' They're debating what to do. One potential way to deal with it is to ask for a cease-and-desist and have attorneys sort it out. I think they'd rather see a different outcome, though. When you're a smaller group, what do you do? If you file suit, people say, 'Oh, it's the small guys trying to get in on something big.' It's a no-win situation."

There could be a kinder, gentler resolution. "It could be a five-minute conversation," Hardy says, "if Ke$ha will acknowledge that the look came from the Residents and that she's giving them a tip of the hat. Telling people, 'If you've been to my show, it's an homage' might encourage some of her fans to check out the Residents, and the bigger win would be that bit of recognition."

In case anyone might think the appropriation was coincidental, Hardy says that "even down to the color of the eyes, it's what the Residents have used all these years. It couldn't have just happened."

The Residents

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Automatic Children Play An Early Show Tomorrow Night at Mercury Lounge (along with Emanuel and the Fear)

Automatic Children Play Early Show Tomorrow Night at Mercury Lounge (along with Emanual and the Fear)
The always brilliant Automatic Children return to Mercury Lounge for an early show tomorrow night, opening for Emanuel and the Fear.

"We last played there in 2010 to promote our then-new album "New is Beautiful." This time we are playing the early show opening for this great 6-piece Brooklyn band. You may have heard about them in The Guardian, Paste, Rolling Stone (Germany), Paper Magazine, NME, Village Voice, or recently on Daytrotter. They just toured Europe in support of their new album "The Janus Mirror." We are looking forward to playing with them. Our original bassist Teddy Williams will be joining us on bass for this show. Come hear some new music." - Automatic Children

For tomorrow night's show, Automatic Children go on at 6:30PM and Emanuel and the Fear go on at 7:30PM.  Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 DOS.

NYC collective Automatic Children sound a little bit like every cool rock band your older sibling or somewhat friendly record store clerk told you about growing up, thrown into a blender and spit out, creating an entirely potent blend of upbeat, guitar-driven pop. 

On their latest 7" Johnny/Now You Know, loud hooks recall Surfer Rosa-era Pixies, while the high-registered vocal delivery of Adam Lippman echoes The Get Up Kids, matched with the world/weary smarts of Paul Westerberg. Influences aside, the simple fact is that Automatic Children are a rock band, streamlined to the basics, who have taken the best of the best and reflected it back in their own way, creating music for discerning fans who are too old to care about trends and like their rock lean, fun, and unpretentious. 

Rounded out with Ed Vail (bass/backing vocals) and Kevin Letsch (drums) Automatic Children is at heart the combined songwriting efforts of Adam Lippman and Crista Giuliani. The two met when Adam auditioned Crista to sing and play backup in his solo band in 2006. Once the connection was made and the chemistry and mutual influences obvious after a few shows, the decision to form a proper band was solidified and the rest is history.

"The music is based on our lives, and our experiences, with a little bit of politics thrown in," explains Lippman. Adds Crista, "I think with multiple songwriters, you get a very diverse sound. I think it's good to have different songs for different moods. Who would want to eat the same thing every night for dinner?


BELT (Brooklyn Indie Punk/Funk Band) Plays CD Release Show at Bowery Electric on July 16th

The happy go-punky sound of BELT provides those who still wish to dance at shows reason to do so“ - High Times

BELT (Brooklyn Indie Punk/Funk Band) Plays CD Release Show at Bowery Electric on July 16th
BELT, a five-piece indie rock band based in New York City, is set to release their latest full-length album All The Cool Kids Are Doing It! due out July 16, 2013. The album will include 14 tracks featuring the band's signature lush guitar sounds and smooth yet gritty vocals provided by frontman Terrance Brennan. All The Cool Kids Are Doing It! features two previously released singles, "Lions and Whales" and "You Shit on My Heart". In true BELT style, the album crosses genres and features reggae beats, glossy guitars and punk lyrics.

BELT's songs draw from the rock classics such as The Clash and Pixies and incorporate 90s dance qualities from bands like Weezer. Over the last ten years, BELT has gone through 33 lineup changes before settling on the current five-man piece and released an EP, as well as two full-length studio albums including their most recent independent release DISQUIETUDE.

The release party for All The Cool Kids Are Doing It! is scheduled for Tuesday, July 16 at the Bowery Electric - Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the doors. The lineup for the show is Stevie and the Lion (7:30PM), Mallet Brothers Band (8:30PM), BELT (9:30PM) and Planeside (10:30PM).

More About BELT:
BELT started out as a duo consisting of singer-songwriter Terrence Brennan and singer Paul Munoz performing acoustic sets in New York City in 2003. In addition to their own releases, BELT helped record a kids album (Strange Kidz,) and helped produce an exclusive singer-songwriter showcase at Tainted Blue Studios in NYC. Currently the BELT line up includes Brennan, long-time lead guitarist Mike Bell, drummer Mike "Pain Train" Sutton, bassist Paulie Testagrossa and backing vocalist Dan Testa.


Smashing Pumpkins Announce 6CD + 1DVD Deluxe Reissue of 'The Aeroplane Flies High' (71 Bonus Tracks)

(click-through on box set to go to Amazon pre-order page)

Smashing Pumpkins Announce 6CD + 1DVD Deluxe Reissue of 'The Aeroplane Flies High' (71 Bonus Tracks)
As part of the continuing series of reissues of The Smashing Pumpkins’ acclaimed catalog via Virgin/UMe, the iconic alternative band is set to release four separate versions, all fully remastered, of their platinum-selling 1996 box set The Aeroplane Flies High: 6-CD +1 DVD; 5-LPs and Deluxe Digital and Standard Digital editions. The CD/DVD, 5-LP version and digital configurations will be released July 23.

The original The Aeroplane Flies High was a five-disc box set that featured expanded versions of singles from their acclaimed 1995 double album Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness, including “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “1979,” “Zero” “Tonight” and “Thirty-Three.” Mellon Collie achieved Diamond certification by the RIAA for sales of 10,000,000 discs and digital equivalent per disc (5 million copies of the double album).

These new limited edition box sets of The Aeroplane Flies High feature the original 33 track version—remastered by Bob Ludwig—and expanded to 104 tracks (90 audio and 14 audio-visual) encompassing unreleased demos, alternative versions and live recordings. In addition to expanded versions of Aeroplane’s original 5 discs, a 6th disc contains live recordings from the 1996 Mellon Collie tour, while the DVD content is taken from a July, 4 1997, performance in Belfort, France. Included is a 46-page book with liner notes written by David Wild, plus extensive track-by-track notes by The Smashing Pumpkins founder-singer-songwriter-guitarist Billy Corgan—for the original release’s 33 tracks. The box set has unique packaging with embossed foil wrap and twinkle stock for jackets.

Full Track Listing: The Aeroplane Flies High

CD1: Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Bullet with Butterfly Wings
...Said Sadly
You're All I've Got Tonight
Clones (We're All)
A Night Like This
Destination Unknown

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:
Movers and Shakirs
Germans in Leather Pants
Blaster Caster
Little Ditty
Verily I Say
New Waver
The Groover
Ravi Revi Roo
On The Loose
- Tracks 8 – 22 Recorded at Gravity Studios, Chicago, IL, March 15, 1994 – March 16, 1994

CD2: 1979
The Boy
Set the Ray to Jerry
Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:
Tonight, Tonight (acoustic version/instrumental rough)
Jupiter's Lament (billy solo)
Zero (8trk demo)
Marquis in Spades (8trk demo)
Have Love Will Travel (8trk demo)
Infinite Sadness (siamese outtake)
1979 (acoustic)
Aeroplane Flies High (acoustic snippet)
Take me Down (instrumental)
Star Song (dat mix/vocal rough)

CD3: Zero
Mouths of Babes
Tribute to Johnny
Marquis in Spades
Pastichio Medley
LP Only: 7. Pastichio Medley (with fades)

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:
By Starlight
Set The Ray to Jerry
Mouths of Babes
Cupid de Locke
To Forgive
Lily (my one and only)
Here is no Why
- Tracks 8 – 15 Recorded Live at the Double Door, Chicago, IL, February, 27 1995

CD4: Tonight, Tonight
Tonight, Tonight
Meladori Magpie
Rotten Apples
Medellia of the Gray Skies
Jupiter's Lament
Tonite Reprise

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:
Meladori Magpie
Hello Kitty Kat
Special Winner's Song
I Just Wanna Make Love To You
- Tracks 8 – 16 Recorded Live at the Double Door, Chicago, IL, February, 21, 27, 28, 1995

CD5: Thirty-Three
The Last Song
The Aeroplane Flies High
The Bells
My Blue Heaven

Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:
Silverfuck (live 7/10/96)

Deluxe Edition Live CD:
CD6: Live Inside the Dark Globe
Where Boys Fear To Tread Cleveland, Ohio 7.3.96
San Francisco, California 2.7.96
Fuck You / An Ode To No One
Stockholm, Sweden 4.10.96
Los Angeles, California 2.3.96
To Forgive
Washington, D.C. 1.6.96
New York City, New York 1.11.96
Tonight, Tonight
New York City, New York 1.11.96
Lily (My One And Only)
Washington, D.C. 1.5.96
Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans
Cleveland, Ohio 7.3.96
Gent, Belgium 4.6.96
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Los Angeles, California 2.3.96
By Starlight
Buffalo, New York 7.2.96
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7.5.96
Copenhagen, Denmark 4.9.96

Deluxe Edition Concert DVD:
Malsaucy Lake, Belfort, France, July 4, 1997
Where Boys Fear To Tread
Tonight, Tonight
Thru The Eyes Of Ruby
The End Is The Beginning Is The End
By Starlight
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans
The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)

As David Wild writes, “The Aeroplane Flies High is a trip, and perhaps fittingly for Billy Corgan, it was an exciting, exhausting and scary one that reveals a lot about the Smashing Pumpkins at this point in their musical journey.” Notes Corgan in the 46-page book: “What I like about The Aeroplane Flies High is that it’s almost the existential backwater of the Mellon Collie album,” Corgan says today. “Listening to the music gathered here is a little bit like seeing what goes on behind the walls of Disneyland. I’ve always been fascinated with places that are very well constructed, and finding out what’s really going on just over the fence. You look over that gate and notice that things on the other side are not well painted—or maybe you spot that guy dressed as some character sneaking a smoke on his break. At least for me, the behind the scenes feel heard on The Aeroplane Flies High represents something revealing not found on the main album. In retrospect, it’s a nice document of how we arrived at the apex of Mellon Collie—and also what standing on that apex did to us personally.

As The Smashing Pumpkins get the fully remastered treatment via these reissues, the band is excited to be moving forward by creating new music. They will soon start recording the follow-up to 2012’s acclaimed album Oceania (Martha’s Music/EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution). It was created by the band—singer/guitarist Billy Corgan, guitarist Jeff Schroeder, drummer Mike Byrne and bassist Nicole Fiorentino — at Corgan’s private studio in Chicago as a true album experience for listeners to fully immerse themselves in. It entered the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart at No. 4 and earned the No. 1 spot on the Independent Albums Chart. Marking The Smashing Pumpkins’ 7th studio record, it is “an album within an album,” part of their 44-song work-in-progress Teargarden By Kaleidyscope. The band launched their 2013 world tour in Mexico this past March and is heading to Europe and Japan for summer dates through August 11.

Smashing Pumpkins

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jesse Malin: Vintage Vinyl Posts Live Video from 2003 In-Store Performance / Only Summer 2013 Show @ Drew's, Ringwood, NJ

Jesse Malin: Vintage Vinyl Posts Live Video from 2003 In-Store Performance / Only Summer 2013 Show @ Drew's, Ringwood, NJ
While most people remember Jesse Malin as either fronting D Generation or as a solo artist, I have fond memories of the 'in-between period' when Jesse, Howie and Rizzo formed PCP Highway.  PCP Highway later morphed into Bellevue and somewhere I have a mini-disc bootleg (how's that for dating myself) of Bellevue playing a free show at the Continental in late 2001.  Jesse went solo in 2002 and his debut disc, The Fine Art of Self Destruction, was released in the States in early 2003.

Vintage Vinyl (Fords, NJ) has started posted videos from past in-store performances and, most recently, posted a 60+ minute solo performance from Jesse (below) that was recorded on 3/9/2003.

According to Jesse's website, his only summer show is a 'house party' (Live @ Drew's) on July 20th in Ringwood, NJ.  For tickets - email  For additional details on the New Jersey house party scene, check out this article that appeared last year in New Jersey Living

Jesse Malin

Oliva - 'Raise The Curtain' CD Review (AFM Records) [Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra]

Oliva - 'Raise The Curtain' CD Review (AFM Records) [Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra]
Three years ago, I reviewed Jon Oliva’s last outing, Festival, (released as Jon Oliva’s Pain) and compared the disc to Alice Cooper’s mid-70’s work. That same comparison still stands with the follow-up to that disc, Raise the Curtain, which was released earlier this month on AFM Records. This time out, in addition to the Alice Cooper influences, Raise the Curtain touches on 70’s prog rock (Yes comes immediately to mind), jazz/fusion and roots-rock of John Lennon. This is an eclectic disc but fans of Jon Oliva’s past work will surely enjoy it.

This new disc is being billed as Oliva’s first solo disc and the impetus behind the ‘hiatus’ of Jon Oliva’s Pain (JOP) was the death of JOP guitarist Matt LaPorte. In an interview with Dan Fasciano of, Oliva said: "After the passing of my dear friend Matt LaPorte, I felt very confused about the future of Jon Oliva's Pain. A week or so after Matt's service, I was speaking to my friend Dan Fasciano about what I wanted to do. He suggested that I come by his home where he has a full studio and we just hang out and record whatever I had that I wanted to demo." Making this a real solo disc, Oliva plays most of the instruments (which includes playing drums on three tracks) and other musicians include Fasciano on keyboards and piano and Chris Kinder (JOP) on drums.

This new disc starts with the title track, “Raise The Curtain”, which sounds like a classic Yes (the band) number and Oliva’s guitar lines could easily be interchanged with Steve Howe’s. Completely shifting gears on the next number, “Soul Chaser”, has a similar sound to the melodic hard rock of JOP. Not staying in one place for too long, this is followed by “Ten Years”, which has a swinging roadhouse groove and a classic rock chorus. One of the standout numbers on the disc is “Father Time”, which combines jazz/fusion instrumentals with a memorable keyboard solo, proggy guitar riffs and clean vocals. In addition to these numbers, there are the expected power ballads (“Soldier” and the dark and uneasy “I Know”) and the disc wraps up with two ‘John Lennonish’ cuts (“Can’t Get Away” and “The Truth”).

Like the classic 70’s prog-rock albums, most of the songs are multi-layered and the multiple guitar parts, keyboard and piano (along with non-traditional rock instruments like flute and harpsichord) are all intertwined. The interplay between these instruments and Oliva’s vocals makes for great headphone listening.

Many of Oliva’s recent discs have included music recorded by Criss Oliva (Jon’s brother and Savatage guitarist, who passed away in a car accident 20 years ago) and Raise the Curtain includes the last of Criss’ music. Oliva pays an unspoken tribute to Criss by including his white guitar on the front of the album.

Jon Oliva

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The 1975 Announce Two Headlining Shows at Bowery Ballroom in October (Vagrant Records)

(Photo: Dave Ma)

The 1975 Announce Two Headlining Shows at Bowery Ballroom in October (Vargrant Records)
Manchester buzz band The 1975 have announced a 23-date US tour, which includes two headlining shows at Bowery Ballroom on October 9th and 10th.  The band made their NYC debut this past March with a show at Mercury Lounge and this upcoming headlining tour is in support of the band's full-length debut, which is due out on Vagrant Records in September.

Tickets for the Bowery Ballroom shows go on-sale this Friday, July 12th, at 12PM and the cost is $16 in advance and $18 DOS.

The 1975 Fall 2013 US Tour
Oct 5th - Short Mountain Distillery – Woodbury, TN
Oct 8th – The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA
Oct 9th – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
Oct 10th – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
Oct 11th – Black Cat – Washington, DC
Oct 12th – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA
Oct 13th – The Mod Club - Toronto, Canada
Oct 15th – A&R Music Bar – Columbus, OH
Oct 18th – Firebird – St. Louis, MO
Oct 19th – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
Oct 20th – The Rave Bar – Milwaukee, WI
Oct 21st – Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN
Oct 23rd – Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
Oct 24th – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 26th – Neumos – Seattle, WA
Oct 27th – Venue – Vancouver, Canada
Oct 28th – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
Oct 30th – The Independent – San Francisco, CA
Oct 31st – The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA
Nov 1st – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA 
Nov 2nd – Vinyl @ Hard Rock Casino – Las Vegas, NV
Nov 3rd – Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA
Nov 4th – Club Congress – Tucson, AZ

The 1975 Press Bio:
Critics have been bemused and thrilled by the Manchester four-piece and their amorphous drifts between brooding art rock, crisp electronica, dance-floor R and B, and 80s gloss pop. “I don’t think it’s confusing,” says singer Matty Healy of his band. “Feeling a lack of identity and the searching within oneself to acquire a real understanding of what you want to be, that’s something that loads of people can connect with. It’s so strange that with music people want so many rules.

Matty has known what The 1975 is for some years now, just waiting for the right moment to unveil their stories of lust, intoxication and the unabashed grittiness of modern youth.  “This record is a proper soundtrack to our formative years,” he says of their debut album, co-produced with Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals, The Kooks). “It’s everything that I know and every single song on the album, at some point, has been the most important thing in my life. I’ve spent my adult life working towards this album. It’s literally everything I am.

Matty’s adult life’ started young. He picked up the guitar when his dad’s best friend died, leaving him two guitars. His confrontational attitude was in place early too - the private school kick-out (“I didn’t really care for being there, I got in a couple of fights. I got asked to leave, I never actually got expelled...”) transitioning to public school at the age of fourteen he started drumming in a punk band with eventual band mates Adam Hann (guitar) and Ross MacDonald (bass).

One day, “This weird kid turned up at school, he was really tall but he looked about nine and was this odd character”. This was George Daniel, drummer and soon to be Matt’s co-songwriter and “My kind of boyfriend. Well, not really, but he might as well be, we don’t really leave each others’ sides.” The pair bonded over their dislocated childhoods – Matt moved between London and Newcastle while George was born in Belgium and grew up in Seattle – and the sense of isolation they felt in their new homes in the Manchester suburbs.

Adam had heard of a “hippy council worker” who rented out local space for kids to play shows, and the band formed in order to get involved. “Everyone would go and get drunk and it was a proper scene at a time when there wasn’t really much going on.”  They developed an artful sophistication and electronic adventurism to their punk rumbles, it was an intriguing track called ‘Robbers’ that earned them a manager in 2009.  Based around a violent, cinematic tale of lust on the lam. “I got really obsessed with the idea behind Patricia Arquette’s character in True Romance when I was about eighteen,” Matty recalls “That craving for the bad boy in that film it’s so sexualized, and the gore with the sexual lust really merges together. It was something I was obsessed with.”  For two years, they relentlessly toured the country and interest began trickling in. But the band, operating under a variety of names, waited. They’d seen contemporaries get snapped up, restyled and spat out by the music industry and wanted everything to be in place– the sound, the songs, and the aesthetic – before they announced their arrival.

We said ‘we’re not desperate to be famous, we’re not desperate to be in a massive band, let’s do it our way, on our terms, and make sure that our projection of ourselves is controlled by us’.” Throughout 2011, as their cache of self-produced demos grew to album size they decided to sign to Dirty Hit in the UK and spent 2011 touring and getting the songs just right live.  Though 1975 was the year The Sex Pistols formed and Talking Heads played their first gigs, the moniker has nothing to do with the date itself. Matty found it in the back of a beat-era book given  to him by a “gregarious artist” he met at a yard sale in northern Majorca at the age of 19. “He showed me round his house, it was like a sixties bizarre haberdashery. He had photos of him with Hendrix, I thought this guy was fucking crazy!  He gave me loads of beat generation literature, Kerouac and stuff. When I went home I read them and in the back of one of them there was all these mental scribblings, it was almost suicidal, and it was dated at the bottom ‘1st June, The 1975’. I was quite freaked out when I read it, the use of the word ‘The’ really stuck with me. It was the perfect band name.

The newly monikered group headed to the studio in December of 2011 resulting in the‘Facedown EP’ - the first in a trilogy of EPs to be produced by the band, released in August of 2012. ‘ Sex’ shortly followed in November of 2013. The final EP installment is ‘Music For Cars', which was co-produced by Mike Crossey with the band. The band and Crossey quickly reunited to work on the band’s debut  album, which will be released in September of 2013.

The 1975

Last Shop Standing: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop - DVD Review (Blue Hippo Media)

Last Shop Standing: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop - DVD Review (Blue Hippo Media)
Having spent a good chunk of my youth in East Village indie record stores, the DVD The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop struck a familiar chord and brought back a nostalgia for the gloriously wasted afternoons of the past - drinking and record shopping on St. Mark's Place. Paul Weller, who is interviewed in the film, poignantly sums up the experience of anyone who ‘grew up’ in a record store by saying that the indie shops became “became meeting places, almost like a community center really”.

This documentary is based on author and former label representative Graham Jones’ 2009 book Last Shop Standing: Whatever Happened to Record Shops? and the DVD contains the 60 minute main feature along with 70+ minutes of outtakes. This rise and fall story is a ‘feet on the street’ narrative told through the eyes of well-known UK musicians (which include Billy Bragg, Paul Weller and Johnny Marr) and numerous indie record shop owners.

The main feature starts with “Act 1: The Rise”, which describes the rise of the UK indie records due to a demand for US imports (Elvis Presley, Bill Haley) and this demand continued through the first British invasion bands and the rebirth of the indie music scene that came with the punk era. This act though ends on a hesitant note with a mention on how machines in indie record shops were used to compile chart positions so label reps were ‘gaming’ the charts by giving records away.

“Act 2: The Fall” is a very familiar story to anyone who remembers the pre-90’s vinyl era as the record labels killed vinyl to push the CD format…and the death of vinyl was followed by the iTunes/download era of music. To re-phrase a quote from Richard Hawley (Pulp) – there is a time and place for all of these different formats of music and all could have co-existed together but the industry threw the baby out with the bathwater.

During this act, Jones cites the statistic that, in the 80’s, there were more than 2,200 UK indie record shops and by 20009, there were only 269 shops left. Johnny Marr puts forward an interesting hypothesis that the indie shops didn’t close due to the consumers’ shift away from vinyl but rather it was the industry’s forced death of vinyl that killed the record shops.

“Act 3: The Rebirth” walks the viewer through how the indie record stores have innovated to survive. Indie stores are now selling tickets and food (the shop Pie and Vinyl is highlighted) along with regularly having in-store performances and being an active part of their local music scene. The introduction of Record Store Day is given a lot of positive press for bringing people back into the indie shops and artists like Nick Cave are cited for releasing indie-store only pressings. Johnny Marr attributes some of this rebirth to how vinyl records now mean something to kids in a way it didn’t 8 – 9 years ago.

The bonus features are predominately the unedited interviews with the musicians and shop owners whose memories form the basis for this film. Unlike other outtakes reels that I’ve seen which generally have a lot of filler or (boring) director commentary, the interviews with Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, Billy Bragg, Richard Hawley and Sid Griffin (who doesn’t appear in the main film) are well worth watching.

Last Shop Standing

Monday, July 08, 2013

King Crimson Posts ProjeKct Six (Fripp/Belew) Rehersal Track 'Persian E' as Free Download (Recorded 10/2/06)

DOWNLOAD: King Crimson/ProjeKct Six - "Persian E"

King Crimson Posts ProjeKct Six (Fripp/Belew) Rehersal Track 'Persian E' as Free Download (Recorded 10/2/06)
I had gotten out of the habit of checking Robert Fripp's DGM Live for free downloads of Fripp/King Crimson related rarities but happened to take a look last night as was pleasantly surprised by this most recent freebee. 

ProjeKct Six was the last of the King Crimson side projekcts prior to Crimson briefly reforming in 2008 and this projekct featured Fripp on guitar and Adrian Belew on drums.  The track, "Persian E", which is posted as a free download is described as "[t]aken from the rehearsals at Adrian Belew’s studio, ProjeKct Six sketch out some of the areas they’d be visiting as support to Porcupine Tree later in the month. The mood is somewhat restrained here but there’s a certain intensity present in the wreathes of soundscapes which billow and hover around Belew’s straight-ahead beats. Fripp’s soloing is on slow-burn mode rather than being set to “incinerate” but an engaging little toe-tapper from the team nevertheless."

DGM Live / King Crimson

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Dead Boots (featuring Adrian and Tony Perry) are Playing Mercury Lounge on July 17th with Midnight Spin

Dead Boots (featuring Adrian and Tony Perry) are Playing Mercury Lounge on July 17th with Midnight Spin
While Boston's Dead Boots are making their NYC debut at Mercury Lounge on July 17th, the band came through town a few times over the last year under their previous name, TAB the Band.  Most recently, TAB the Band opened for both Jane's Addiction at Terminal 5 in late 2012 and, earlier this year, opened for the The Annuals at Mercury Lounge.

Dead Boots features Aerosmith's Joe Perry's two sons Tony (guitar) and Adrian (vocals/bass) along with Ben Tileston (drums) and Louie Jannetty (guitar).  While the Aerosmith connection might lead one to make assumptions about the band's sound, the initial tracks that I've heard from Dead Boots' debut album, Verónica, have a glam rock sound that is comparable to bands like Cheap Trick and T. Rex.  

For the show at Mercury Lounge, Dead Boots are headlining the late show.  They take the stage at 10:30PM and Brooklyn's Midnight Spin are going on first at 9:30PM.  Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 DOS.  Dead Boots have posted to their Facebook page that "Everyone who comes out to our 7/17 show at Mercury Lounge with Midnight Spin gets a FREE copy [of Verónica]".

A rock and roll band with an enduring fondness for pure pop and a wicked, sly sense of humor, Dead Boots defy easy categorization. They love The Beatles and Cheap Trick as much as T-Rex and The Rolling Stones, yet as much as Dead Boots draw on classic rock influences, they are a vibrant, contemporary band that blends the vigor of punk, the might of arena rock and the melodicism of power-pop, earning the admiration of Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction and J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, alt-rock stalwarts who requested the band as their opening act.

Dead Boots may be the best example of how great things can come from no expectations. Brothers Adrian and Tony Perry began the group almost as a lark. “I grew up in LA,” explains Adrian, “and whenever I came to visit Tony, we’d always record stuff for fun.” Adrian had a few serious bands while he was in high school and college, continuing to occasionally play with Tony. “A few years ago we said, let’s mess around and record some songs,” remembers Adrian. "Tony invited his friend Ben Tileston to have real drum tracks. We ended up writing nine songs in a week -- it was very organic. Before we knew it, we had a show booked.

Since then, the band has toured extensively in the US, Canada and UK, supporting acts such as Stone Temple Pilots, Cage the Elephant, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Slash. The band has also played major US and UK festivals such as Lollapalooza, the Hyde Park Calling Festival, Download Festival, Mountain Jam, CMJ and SXSW and headlined John Varvatos Thursday Night Live at 315 Bowery.

We started almost like a punk band,” explains Adrian. “We focused on writing short, hard rock songs. It was like sticking it to the weird twee indie rock we’ve been inundated with.” That punk attitude can be heard on the group’s first two full-length albums, Pulling Out Just Enough to Win and Long Weekend, both released in 2008. The band expanded its horizons on 2010's Zoo Noises, a free-wheeling, all-encompassing carnival ride, fueled by such intoxicating singles as the percussive “She Said No (I Love You)” and the breakneck hooks of “Bought and Sold”. All three records were written, engineered, recorded and produced by the band with no outside input.

The band added another member in Lou Jannetty, an old friend of the Perrys’ who showed up on several of the homemade tapes the brothers made in their youth. The band's new album, Verónica (out July 16th), is the first album that Lou has been involved with start to finish. The quartet spent two years concentrating on the new record, more time than it has spent on any prior record, with Tony taking the engineering and production reins. “This is our most mature record,” says Adrian, “it's the culmination of everything we've been through and the best distillation of all of our influences to date. It's a more focused record than Zoo Noises yet is also more adventurous.” Dead Boots are still a rock & roll band at heart but belong to this moment, pulling together elements of the past and present in exciting ways. “Rather than segregating influences, we put them all together. If people listen to the whole album, they’ll get a sense that we can do a lot.

Dead Boots