Thursday, November 16, 2017

First/Last - Dylan Rooke


"Singer-songwriter Dylan Rooke experiments with the intersection of folk, rock, and some punk grit. Joining with some old friends who formed the accompanying band Red Coal, together they have overlaid vocal harmonies, modern electric and traditional acoustic instruments, to orchestrate a balance between the dynamics of their songs, bringing with them many anthems to be sung arm in arm."

Dylan Rooke is an artist/songwriter from Pittsburgh who will be taking part tonight as part of this months Local 913 Live featuring performances by three recent WYEP Singer-Songwriter Competition winners. Along with Trinity Wiseman and Mike Meiers, Dylan will be playing this always all-ages/free event and if you happen to be over 21, you can enjoy a few adult beverages courtesy of Dos Equis. These are always very laid back, chill shows that are no brainers if you are like me and love to support the Pittsburgh music scene. I want to thank Dylan for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.



The first album you ever bought?
Man, I want to say something real cool and sound legit, but I'm pretty sure it was an album called Bloom by Audio Adrenaline, a 90's alt-rock Christian band - there ya have it folks.

Your last album bought?
Really loving Adios by Cory Branan that I just picked up last week.

Favorite album of all time?
Definitely one by the only band that matters, The Clash, but it's so hard to pick which one - probably London Calling, is that cliche'?

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Cut the Crap by The Clash, it didn't cut it... such a painful way for them to go out (thankfully Joe came back with The Mescaleros to give us all some redemption!)

First concert attended?
The Orange County Supertones, maybe the year was 1996? Oh man...

Last concert?
Cory Branan with Jared Hart and locals Tim Vitullo and Bryan McQuaid. It was such a solid night of singer-songwriters.

Favorite concert ever?
Probably the Bouncing Souls w/ Gaslight Anthem circa 2008. One of the most fun nights of live music I've ever been a part of.

Least favorite concert?
Oh goodness, probably one I played when I used to tour in a punk band, there were a lot of bad ones we experienced...

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
That is also difficult, this town has so many stories it has invited me into. but in relation to music though I'd say every time I'd come back to town after I used to tour with my former band and I'd feel this well of joy as we came through a tunnel (usually) and see the skyline and I'd know I was back home, only to get the itch to leave town again in almost no time! I always thought I’d find some other place to settle down in our travels but by the time I was ready I knew there was nowhere else for me to put down my roots - they were already here. I'm happy to see where the music scene is going here, seems like there's been a lot of people diggin' in and supporting each other - I've certainly felt the love since getting back into music over the last 2 years after a hiatus from my punk band days.


Thanks, Dylan. Seriously, bad stories from touring with a punk band? Dude, I would love to hear some of those....

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

First/Last - Truth in Advertising


"Some people say there is no truth in advertising. They’re wrong. The truth is Truth in Advertising has been hanging around the Pittsburgh area since 1999. What started out as a group of friends hanging out and making each other laugh has evolved into a beloved acoustic act with two full-length albums, years of performing experience and a love song written for a cat."

Truth in Advertising is a folk rock duo from Pittsburgh who have been performing on and off in the area for almost two decades. Their latest release from June is called Another Wanderlust Melon via Monkey Corner Records.The band is kinda quiet lately but expect some possible solo stuff next year. I want to thank Fred Betzner (Harmonica/Accordion/Vocals) and Seán O'Donnell (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
Fred Betzner: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles.
Seán O'Donnell: U2's October on cassette from Ames.

Your last album bought?
Fred: Whiteout Conditions, The New Pornographers.
Seán: Finally found an LP of Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy).

Favorite album of all time?
Fred: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Neutral Milk Hotel.
Seán: Tough one. Contenders are Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, Blur’s 13, and Radiohead’s OK Computer. Time is relative, though, and so are my choices. Oh, and what Fred said.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Fred: Pure Guava, Ween.
Seán: Amazing Grace by Spiritualized. Anything would be hard to top after Ladies and Gentlemen....

First concert attended?
Fred: Michael W. Smith (it was a Christian thing).
Seán: They Might Be Giants at Metropol, 1998 or 1999.

Last concert?
Fred: Phish.
Seán: Phish, 12/29/2017 at Madison Square Garden.

Favorite concert ever?
Fred: They Might Be Giants.
Seán: Sparklehorse and Mercury Rev at Graffiti, 1999.

Least favorite concert?
Fred: John Adams Conducts a Series of Discordant Notes he Strung Together While the Names of 9/11 Victims are Read Thereby Insulating it From Being Called Terrible at the PSO.
Seán: Devo, at the Amphitheater at Station Square in 2010, because I had center, front-row tickets and VIP passes to meet the band and they had to cancel the show.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Fred: I love this city, but if I had to pick the best thing The Pickle Barrel on Carson Street used to have ridiculously amazing fries. Then it apparently burned down. COINCIDENCE?!?!? WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gifSeán: Frick Park. I'm really lucky to live very close to it.


Thanks, fellas. Damn, that Devo story sucks, Seán. As a music fan, nothing is more frustrating than to be all psyched to see a particular band and have them cancel a gig. I'd rather see a terrible performance than not see one at all.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

First/Last - This Pine Box


"This Pine Box was founded in March of 2016 by Jake Knight (Lead Vocals/Guitar) and original member Sean Warpenburg (Bass). The band released its debut EP in July and were featured as Firenotes artist of the month on Bandcamp. This Pine Box is currently recording at Ultrasuede Studio with John Curley of the Afghan Whigs. They are WNKU's artist of the month for January and have released a single called "Point of View" in promotion of their first full length album. The current line up of the band is Jake Knight, Sean Warpenburg, Joe Tellmann (Guitar), Braden DeVine (Piano/Keys), Tony Parsons (Drums), and Carsen Holaday (Vocals)."

This Pine Box is an Americana alt-rock band from Dayton, OH who's latest single "Way Out" is available now via Old Flame Records. The band is gearing up for a big 2018 which maybe includes a debut stop in Pittsburgh? I want to thank Jake Knight (Guitar/Lead Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
It
was when I was 6 or 7. I bought the Brother Bear soundtrack and always listened to the Phil Collins song "On My Way".

Your last album bought?War on Drugs' most recent album called A Deeper Understanding.

Favorite album of all time?
That
is a tough one. I'd say that it is probably Let it Be. Ever since I was a kid, my dad would always play "Get Back" in the car and now that album is just timeless to me.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
It's hard to choose a disappointing album, I'd say i was somewhat disappointed by Radiohead's Kid A. I discovered Radiohead pretty late in high school and started off with Pablo Honey, and pretty much listened to them in order. I got done with OK Computer and was expecting the next album to be like Muse's Origin of Symmetry with heavy guitars and weird spacey transitions. With that said, all of Radiohead's more synth heavy stuff has grown on me quite a bit recently. Instead of driven guitars, the synth drives the song which makes them really thick. It's pretty awesome.

First concert attended?
It
was actually Elton John, and it was pretty incredible.

Last concert?
I saw Billy Joel in Indianapolis which was also great.

Least favorite concert?
P
robably this Christian Screamo band I saw open for someone, I can't remember who. I was running the lights for the show and couldn't catch a break to go outside it was miserable.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I actually have only ever driven through Pittsburgh, but my uncle is a huge Steelers fan! I hope to bring the band to play more shows up there! I've heard it's a great city!


Thanks, Jake. I am right were you are in terms of Radiohead, except the part where the 'synthy' stuff has grown on me. After The Bends, I am done.

Monday, November 13, 2017

First/Last - Bombadil


"Fences is something new for our band Bombadil. It is more than just an album; it is a new path, a reset after several challenging years. The path began in January 2015, when a longtime member of Bombadil unexpectedly left our band. Daniel Michalak and I sat down to discuss our next steps. It was a time for soul searching. A duo of a bassist and drummer did not feel like a band. Moving forward seemed daunting, but we both felt like there was more to say with the band. We wanted to make music. So we began simply by making some. Writing and recording the Still Bombadil EP was fun. A fast and dirty exploration of a creative idea, no room for fiddling, deadline looming. Our last album, Hold On, had not been like that. It had been an ordeal. "

Bombadil is a folk rock pop trio from North Carolina who will be swinging through Pittsburgh this Wednesday (11/15) supporting their latest release via Ramseur Records entitled Fences. Opening up for the band at the always cool Snake Hill will be local duo and blog faves Scott & Rosanna. I want to thank James Phillips (Percussion/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
Green Day's Dookie.


Your last album bought?
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's The Kid.


Favorite album of all time?
Paul McCartney's Ram.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I have a copy of the White Album on vinyl that skips a lot, which is super disappointing because it’s one of my favorites.


First concert attended?
1998 HFStival - Highlights were Green Day, Foo Fighters, Everclear and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.


Last concert?
The Courtneys.


Favorite concert ever?
Sufjan Stevens on the "Carrie & Lowell" tour.


Least favorite concert?
Once we played an outdoor show in NC and it was 102 out and we were in direct sun. My synthesizer went out of tune because of the heat. I'd say that was definitely my least favorite.


Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
My favorite memory of Pittsburgh was visiting the giant rubber duck that was moored in the river. I've also enjoyed many a fish sandwich. Also, my dad spent his early years there, so I like to walk around and think about him as a wee tyke.

Thanks, Daniel. Ahhh... the big rubber duck. The entire city absolutely wigged out over that thing. I have to say, the artist Florentijn Hofman was way cool enough to be on my blog, so there's that.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

First/Last - Diane Coffee


"Former Foxygen drummer Diane Coffee (aka Shaun Fleming) just released his PEEL 7” on Polyvinyl. Often described as “psychedelic Motown," Fleming’s music has caught attention from notable outlets like SPIN, Pitchfork, Uncut, Magnet, Interview Magazine, and more. Of Diane Coffee’s live show, NPR Music raved, “Diane Coffee gives the kind of live performances you talk about for weeks after seeing. Conjuring both Mick Jagger and David Bowie, Fleming swaggers and shimmies on stage.”

Diane Coffee stops in Pittsburgh this Sunday (11/12) at Spirit for a tour ending show supporting the 7" Peel with locals Wreck Loose and THOUSANDZZ OF BEEZ. Word is, this will be the last show (this year) of the ultra-cool installation The Vault by artist Ian Brill. I want to thank Shaun Fleming (Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.




The first album you ever bought?
Stone Cold Rhymin' by Young MC.

Your last album bought?
The Party by Andy Shauf.

Favorite album of all time?
That’s almost impossible to decide. I have different favorites for different moods

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Chinese Democracy by Guns N’ Roses.

First concert attended?
Nine Inch Nails.

Last concert?
Alex Cameron.

Favorite concert ever?
Roger Waters “The Wall”.

Least favorite concert?
Bob Dylan.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
With more than 700 sets of steps throughout the city, Pittsburgh employs an Inspector of Steps whose responsibilities include maintaining and inspecting all city-owned steps and public stairways that comprise approximately 15 miles, nearly double the number of steps in San Francisco and Cincinnati. Its Inspector of Steps is essential to preserving Pittsburgh’s more than 100 major stairways, roughly 44,645 risers and more than 712 individual stairs that help city residents navigate the region’s extremely uneven topography. Pittsburgh’s steps are so iconic to the city that a book titled “The Steps of Pittsburgh: Portrait of a City” was written by Bob Regan, a geophysicist with the University of Pittsburgh. In his book, Regan reveals that, when combined together, Pittsburgh’s steps equal more than four miles in height, greater than the height of North America’s tallest mountain, Mt. Denali, by nearly 4,000 feet... so that’s pretty cool.



Thanks, Shaun. We do have steps EVERYWHERE. A bunch of those seem to go nowhere... which is actually kind of cool when you stumble upon them.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

First/Last - Sierra Sellers


"Sewickly native Seirra Sellers grew up on a steady stream of R&B, rock, country and gospel thanks to her family’s eclectic taste. She found herself gravitating towards neo-soul artists like Jill Scott, India Arie and Lauryn Hill. Sellers found encouragement in a very good group of friends she’d met throughout her life, especially at St. Vincent College, where she recently graduated." - Cindy Howes (WYEP)

Sierra Sellers is an up and coming Pittsburgh based R&B/Soul songwriter who recently released her latest single "Gimme" produced by Washington D.C. based K-Ron. Sierra will be bringing her festive vibe (along with a who's who of local musical talent) as part of the 7th annual Holiday Hootenanny presented by WYEP on December 7th at the August Wilson Center. I want to thank her for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
Dangerously in Love by Beyoncé.


Your last album bought?
A vinyl of Carlos Santana live.


Favorite album of all time?
Who is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1, or The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I was disappointed with Drake's most recent album. There was so much hype with it and I just could not catch a vibe.


First concert attended?
Britney Spears and *NSYNC.


Last concert?Chance the Rapper.

Favorite concert ever?This local band called Starship Mantis was nothing like I have ever experienced, and for that reason they were my favorite concert.

Least favorite concert?
Jesse McCartney... my sister made me go...


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh has been great to me. I think it is a great place to build my sound and grow in such a supportive environment. My only wish is that there are more r&b/soul shows for me in the future.

Thanks, Sierra. Yes... I am definitely on board that Starship Mantis love vessel! They are so much fun!

Monday, October 23, 2017

First/Last - Tears of Joy


Tears of Joy is a Pittsburgh power pop band who recently dropped a 'mini-album' called Fat Money Summer. The band recorded with Jake Hanner of looooongtime blog faves Donora and it's hard not to hear the influence he had on the proceedings. I want to thank Evan Kadan (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
The first record I really remembering picking out in a store and buying with my own money was the self-titled The Clash album, I think was in like the fifth grade.

Your last album bought?
Goths by The Mountain Goats.

Favorite album of all time?
This one is really hard but as far as my favorite record to hear in one sitting, it's Madvillany by Madvillan (MF DOOM + Madlib).

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I bought Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division on vinyl because I thought I was into it and got home and threw it right on and had this epiphany that it was just awful. Still my least favorite album.

First concert attended?
Bob Dylan did a tour of farm team baseball stadiums and I caught him when he came through Frederick, MD where I grew up.

Last concert?
The Gorillaz at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Favorite concert ever?
My mom took me and some friends to see The Cure for a 14th birthday present. They played for like three hours and did so many encores we left before it was over because it was 2:00 am. That ruled.

Least favorite concert?
I saw A$AP Rocky at PPG when it was Consol and some twerp got sick on my new shoes.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
It has been cool to move from the DMV to another area with a good music scene and history, I even got to see shows at Garfield Artworks and 222 Ormsby before they closed down.

Thanks, Evan. There are many 'beloved' bands that just I never got. Joy Division might be at the top of that list.