Thursday, October 19, 2017

First/Last - Kahone Concept



"I put a lot of thought into each song and everything about this project. Except grammar. I am terrible at grammar, but that is besides the point. Everyone has their own beliefs and or thoughts and it is very important to be aware of those things. Without questioning ourself or our existence we would never be able to progress as individuals or as a whole. Although just listening to music to hear noise is very very enjoyable to myself, I want to make it mean more than just a pattern of frequencies that keep myself and others entertained for a few minutes. I want the music to be the trigger that sends your brain exploding with thought and positive growth and hopefully inspire you to become aware of yourself and everything. You will never be able to find every answer in this world, but you can learn a lot along the way just by being concious that there is more to life than what society promotes. In this world there are two kinds of people, you either get it, or you don't. Kind of like grammar. "

Kahone Concept is the moniker of Pittsburgh based alternative songwriter Ben Orvick who has independently been releasing music for a couple of years now. His latest EP is called Towers. You can expect some very cool things from him in the future. I want to thank Ben for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
Oh geez… growing up I didn't really buy albums I basically stole from my dad’s CD collection. One of the earliest CDs that comes to mind is Green Day's Dookie but as for me personally buying I think it could have been a Van Halen album.


Your last album bought?
I don't usually buy albums unless they are super good then I'll go back and buy them after I listen. I normally just use a streaming service. The last album I downloaded was Pinegrove’s Cardinal. I've just been getting into them lately.


Favorite album of all time?
This is a really hard question. I can't name a certain single one but I can rattle off a few that I think are fantastic, Coldplay - A Rush of Blood, Bastille - Bad Blood, Bon Iver - For Emma Forever Ago, Catfish and the Bottlemen - The Balcony.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I don't know that I have a least favorite. Maybe an album I haven't heard.


First concert attended?
My family never really went to shows so I never got to go to one until I was like 17 and could drive myself. Anyways my first official concert was Twenty One Pilots.


Last concert?
I think it was Kings of Leon this summer at KeyBank. I went with a friend ‘cause he got us free tickets. Although I woulda ended up paying for tix and going anyways because I really like KOL. “The Immortals” is one of my favorites. The chorus gets me every time especially with the bass line.


Favorite concert ever?
I really enjoyed seeing Smallpools. It's a mixup between them and Twenty One Pilots ‘cause it was my first.


Least favorite concert?
One time I went to see Milky Chance with some friends and a few drunk older ladies kinda ruined the show for us. They kept grabin’ us and being a little overly friendly if you know what I mean. I just wanted to watch the show and they wouldn't back off. I think I made one cry ‘cause I might have told her off a lil bit. In the end I felt bad for being mean and gave her my spot and left ha-ha.


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I genuinely love Pittsburgh. Every time I come around the bend and see the skyline I get a little fuzzy feeling. It's ridiculous but I don't care I love it. I like how small it is yet so diverse. Walking down the street you'll hear 5 different people speaking 5 different languages. It's just a nice place to be and learn a little bit about different cultures all in one city.

Thanks, Ben. I am totally with you (as many people are I am sure) about that skyline of ours never, ever getting old each time I see it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

First/Last - vireo


vireo is a lo-fi psych folk band from Pittsburgh who's excellent debut release vireonidae dropped last year. The band is finishing up a mini state-wide tour this Thursday (10/19) opening for out of towners Esme Patterson and SUSTO at Cattivo. I want to thank Chris Beaulieu (Guitar/Vocals/Loops) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
Oh boy! I think the first album I ever bought was the soundtrack to the Fellowship the Ring. When I first started developing a taste in music as a youngster it was mostly all symphonic soundtrack music. It wasn't until I was about 11 until I started really listening to solo artists and bands.


Your last album bought? 
I just bought Julie Byrne's first album off of iTunes. She makes such gorgeous and lush music. The last physical album I purchased was Deerhoof's Friend Opportunity.


Favorite album of all time?
Gosh, this is always one of the toughest questions. I feel inclined to list a whole bunch but I'll just say that every winter I end up listening to Greetings from Michigan by Sufjan Stevens at least a bajillion times.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all!


First concert attended?
Ha! My first concert ever attended was a ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic show. I was probably 12. I'll never forget feeling amazed by the amount of spit being sprayed into the air while he sang. It was great.


Last concert?
I went to see Deerhoof a little bit ago and it was incredible! They didn't bring any background sets or extra lighting rigs, no bells or whistles, just the four members standing in a line and rocking out. The entire band looked like they were genuinely having the time of their life on stage. Satomi, the lead singer/bass player, is such a gem and by far has the best dance moves of any front person I've ever seen.


Favorite concert ever?
Another toughie. tUnE-yArDs puts on a really fun, unique show with a refreshing stage set up, I had a blast seeing them. Fleet Foxes and Animal Collective also put on fantastic shows as well. In high school I saw the band Mutemath and they put on one of the most energetic and interactive live performances, I'm not the biggest fan of their music anymore but seriously one of the best live shows ever.


Least favorite concert?
I saw Lady Lamb play in Portland, Maine and the show was really lackluster. I was pretty bummed out because she is one of my favorite singer/songwriters and I had pretty high expectations. However, I saw her again here in Pittsburgh about a year later and it sounded wonderful! I guess it just goes to show that everyone has off performances now and then, even your inspirations.


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I'm constantly being blown away by the amount of talent that's in this city. There are so many artists (both musical and visual) that I would still be a huge fan of had they come from anywhere else! It's really inspirational. I also love spending time walking in Frick Park and Schenley Park. Lastly, the voices that tell you when to cross at crosswalks fascinate me. Why do some parts of the city use different voices? To whom do the voices belong? How does one be selected to be a crosswalk voice? So mysterious!

Thanks, Chris. I have never once noticed the 'crosswalk voices' enough to realize that there were different ones? That is kind of fascinating!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

First/Last - Cisco Kid



"In September of 2015, drummer Marc Martinka started putting together a live band to support his recent solo album, River Rat. In order to do that, he called on former bandmates Brian Swed, Richard Stanley, and Martin Connolly. This iteration of the band quickly realized that they were on to something bigger than the River Rat material, as they quickly began to develop new material and work up their own unique sound. As fall progressed to winter, the foursome rounded out their line up with vocalist Nick Guckert and keyboardist Andrew Van Treeck, finalizing the Cisco Kid lineup."

Cisco Kid is a psychedelic-soul rock band from Pittsburgh who just released their full length debut this month called Beautiful Day to Die. Out of the ashes of the late great Pittsburgh band Coronado, River Rat, and (still going strong) My Friday Slacks comes a new 'supergroup' who are quickly making their mark on the local scene. This album is really good and you shouldn't miss them live. I want to thank Martin Connolly (Bass) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
Poison - Open Up and Say.....Aaaaah!


Your last album bought?
Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger.


Favorite album of all time?
Allman Brothers Band - Live at Fillmore East.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I think the last one I remember feeling was a real dud was the second Fun. album. I liked that first one so much... the second one was kind of a heartbreaker.


First concert attended?
Aerosmith - Get A Grip tour, must've been '94? Star Lake Amphitheater.


Last concert?
Just saw Millvin and the Etnoids, Smoke Wizzzard, and Fuck Yeah, Dinosaur.


Favorite concert ever?
In recent memory, Bruce Springsteen on 9/11 of last year. It was incredible.


Least favorite concert?
I remember seeing the Avett Brothers last year and thinking the folks in the lawn were talking so much I couldn't even hear the band. It was super annoying.


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is coming home from a trip away from the city and coming through the Fort Pitt tunnels.  I always feel like I am home when I see the point and the skyline coming out of those tunnels. We really have quite a beautiful city.

Thanks, Marty. I experienced a similar bummer as your Avett Brothers experience with Steely Dan at Star Lake. The band was so hard to hear that normal chit chat on the lawn made it unbearable. I think a bunch of people complained and they actually turned up the band but not much. Crazy!

Friday, September 29, 2017

First/Last - Kaelber


"On December 10th, 1999 at 7:30 PM in Santa Cruz, California, the bassist for Kaelber, Tabor McLeod, was born. Two hours later and 2,700 miles away in Morgantown, WV, lead guitarist/lead singer for Kaelber, Noah Myers, was born. Who would have guessed that 15 years later these two would meet and form the nucleus of Kaelber. During the summer of 2016, the addition of Matt Reese on drums was the final piece to Kaelber and sealed the band's hard driving, yet fluid sound."

Kaelber is an up and coming alt rock band from Greensburg who infuse their sound with eclectic elements of funk, psychedelia and thrash metal. They tore it up at the Deutschtown Music Festival this Summer and the sound tech from the venue they performed at, made it a point to let me know that these dudes were the best 'young' band he has seen in a long while... if ever! Come see what he was gushing about as the band takes part in The Skyline Party at 2pm, sharing the stage with God's Green Apples (Noon), Old Game (4pm), and Dinosoul (6pm). Be sure to check out the adjacent stage with performances by London Johnson's Magnificent Street Entertainment (1pm), Colonel Eagleburger's Highstepping Goodtime Band (3pm), and Timbeleza (5pm) rounding out the all day festivities hosted by your's truly. I want to thank Noah Myers (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.



The first album you ever bought?
Nirvana – Nevermind.


Your last album bought?
Gary Clark Jr – Blak and Blu.


Favorite album of all time?
Opeth – Pale Communication.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Don’t have a least favorite album… like all of the albums I have purchased.


First concert attended?
Dinosaur Jr in Austin, Texas – 2014 (my Uncle lives in Austin, Texas – we were visiting during the fall 2014 and I realized Dinosaur Jr. was playing in town that weekend and asked to go.)


Last concert?
Dinosaur Jr. in Pittsburgh.


Favorite concert ever?
Buckethead in Pittsburgh at Altar Bar.


Least favorite concert?
Don’t have a least favorite concert. All concerts I have attended have been fun.


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I got to play with Marty Friedman of Megadeth on stage at Altar Bar on 9-11-15. There is a video of this on YouTube titled “Me Jamming with Marty Friedman (9-11-2015 Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA). Also, I have seen several of my favorite bands at the awesome Pittsburgh venues (i.e. Gary Clark Jr, Opeth, Dinosaur Jr., Lucky Chops at Rex Theater, Marty Friedman at Altar Bar, and Buckethead at Altar Bar.)

Thanks, Noah. Jeez, you are a youngin'. First show in 2014? I was a decade into HughShows by then. Looking forward to hearing you rock out, man!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

First/Last - God's Green Apples


"4 piece alt rock band from Pittsburgh that began playing thorough out the tri state area back in the early 90's. Recently re united and playing live while writing new material for release."

God's Green Apples will be opening up the festivities this Saturday at Noon for The Skyline Party that I am thrilled to be serving as host at. I never heard of these guys until I listened to their music as they submitted to be included in the Deutschtown Music Festival and was blown away. I cannot wait to see them rock out live. I want to thank Michael Evans (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
12” Village People debut, I remember it distinctly. I was spending the evening with my grandparents; we went out for the dinner and afterwards off to K Mart where I convinced them to put it in the buggy for me.


Your last album bought?
The Horrible Crowes – Elsie. Pretty much had the Brian Fallon solo stuff repeating, I’ve been re visiting some of the Gaslight Anthem material as well.

Favorite album of all time?
That’s a tough one, probably should list a Beatles record which would hold true. Going to go with The Replacements - All Shook Down. Everything is perfect from the song writing to the production and arrangements, probably into it even more based on the evolution of the band from the early records that I love as well.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
The National by The National, it comes to mind right out of the gate for some reason.


First concert attended?
Hall and Oates, at the Civic Arena in the early 80’s. My Mom took me; I remember the grand scale of everything and smelling funny cigarettes for the first time.


Last concert?
The Shins last month.


Favorite concert ever?
I guess that’s a tie with my first concert of Hall and Oates and seeing 7 Seconds at the Banana in 89’ I believe. Pretty cool experience when you first start attending club shows and the intimacy of it all, nothing like seeing a band you’re totally into playing  a few feet away from you, then getting to chat with them afterwards.


Least favorite concert?
I don’t think I’ve come out of any show really that disappointed, probably just have to say politely that any show out at Key Bank Pavilion can be a little “disappointing”. If nothing else it’s the logistics and the venue, I’d be fine with it if I could teleport in or have access to a helicopter.


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I love the civic pride the Pittsburghers have, we’re always quick to point out a new award or distinction and put it out there. The music scene is tremendous as well, with getting out and seeing/playing more shows, I’m blown away by all of the bands and artists that are in the region these days and how much talent there is, it’s truly awesome to be a part of. Pittsburgh probably doesn’t get enough credit for being a smaller city that has all the amenities and options just like a bigger town, the art and culture along with a great musical community and of course great sports teams to boot, ha-ha.

Thanks, Mike. I have to reiterate how excited I was to discover your music this past Summer and I am so looking forward to your set.



Monday, September 25, 2017

First/Last - Lawn Care


"For a while there, it was just Cameron writing songs, mostly about travelling, trying not to be a shithead, and the looming inevitability of death--you know, the things you worry about in your twenties. He released a couple of lo-fi solo EPs, a split with Boston's The Michael Character, and shouted in a lot of basements throughout the midwest and northeast.
Towards the end of 2015, Lawn Care went full-band to record the high-energy, three-song EP "Out of Sorts." The new lineup, featuring Harrison Thurman on bass and John Paul Zigterman on drums, honed their live sound, playing shows with Chris Farren, Emperor X, Mal Blum, Sinai Vessel, and Koji."

Lawn Care is a Pittsburgh based mathy pop punkish emo kinda of quintet who dropped their debut full length entitled Replacement Therapy a few months ago. From what I hear, the band is already working up new tunes for their follow-up. I want to thank songwriter Cameron LeViere (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
The first album that I ever bought with my own money was Europop by Eiffel 65. Disappointing, I know. The "cool" answer would be Dookie by Green Day, but truth be told, it wasn't until a few years later that my dad would give me that one.


Your last album bought?
I got a Diana Ross & The Supremes anthology and a live Miriam Makeba record. More recently, I received Magnolia Electric Co. by Songs: Ohia as a gift.


Favorite album of all time?
The Monitor by Titus Andronicus.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I don't know what happened to Joyce Manor, but BOY HOWDY I just can't stomach their new stuff.


First concert attended?
Ehhhh, I think Streetlight Manifesto. I don't think I've seen a band with more stage presence since.


Last concert?
Not counting ones that I've played, the Ratboys show in Oakland.


Favorite concert ever?
Probably one of the ones I booked on the roof of Spider House. We did an 8-band show last year and called it "Fuck It, It's a Fest." A lot of our good friends from Ohio and Massachusetts came.


Least favorite concert?
Aw I dunno, I saw Foghat and they played "Slow Ride" for like 45 minutes, but even that was kinda sweet it its own way.


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I don't know where to start, really. Our next album is going to be all about Pittsburgh; suffice it to say that I never thought I'd feel truly at home in a place until I lived in Pittsburgh.

Thanks, Cameron. Yeah, I really don't see anything that wrong with a 45-minute "Slow Ride" jam. Something to see at least once in one's life.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Farm Aid Pre-Show with Banditos

Farm Aid returns to the Pittsburgh area this Saturday (9/16) with a stacked all day lineup that promises to be an amazing time. Prior to that there are several events associated with the show that highlight the need for this ongoing charitable program now on it's 32nd year.
A full list of happenings can be found here, although if you are into music as much as I am, you want to head on over to Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse Friday night for the official Farm Aid Eve Pre-Show catered by Kimberly Ashlee utilizing food from local family farmers and featuring a performance with Bloodshot recording artists Banditos.
Long a fave of this blog, the Birmingham/Nashville honky tonk,rock band is touring behind it's fantastic sophomore full-length, Visionland.




The show kicks off at 6pm and you can RSVP here.