Tuesday, May 26, 2015

First/Last-Joshua Fletcher


"Born in Macon, raised in the Atlanta suburbs, living in Nashville. Grew up on Punk, fell into country, currently really into reverb. Josh Fletcher loves Coca-Cola, vinyl records, Atlanta Braves Baseball, Georgia Tech Football, old Gibson guitars, and rock and roll."

Joshua Fletcher is an Americana singer-songwriter based in Nashville who's latest album "Ready, Aim" was produced by Alex Dezen of The Damnwells and is available today. I want to thank Joshua for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.



The first album you ever bought?
The first album I ever went to a record store and purchased was No Doubt's "Return of Saturn", but I convinced my parents to buy me a lot of soundtracks when I was a kid. Think ‘Space Jam’, ‘Batman Forever’, etc.

Your last album bought?
I bought the new Alabama Shakes record the day it came out. In the time since, I've listened to it about a hundred thousand times.

Favorite album of all time?
I can't choose just one: “Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison”, Ryan Adams "Heartbreaker", The Damnwells "Bastards of the Beat", The Replacements "Pleased to Meet Me".
There are more. I'll stop there.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
That I own? Probably the Rolling Stones' "A Bigger Bang." I think it's hard to write blues rock when you've been filthy rich for 50 years. That said, I'll still drop a great deal of money I haven't got to see them live.
But there are PLENTY of records I'd put in the category of "generally disappointing."

First concert attended?
I think it was Jars of Clay at the Capitol Theater in Macon, Georgia. To my 6th grade brain, it was the most rock-n-roll thing that ever happened. I'm still not entirely convinced it wasn't.

Last concert?
Shaky Knees in Atlanta last weekend. I got to see Ryan Adams and The Damnwells in the same day. 18 year old me was almost as excited as 28 year old me. I also met Danny Clinch, Vanessa Carlton, and Vanessa Carlton's dachshund.

Favorite concert ever?
Ryan Adams two nights back to back at the Tabernacle in Atlanta. July 29th and 30th, 2006. My best friend and I got to the venue four hours before doors opened both nights so we could get a spot in the front row. It was a truly life changing experience.

Least favorite concert?
I'll plead the fifth, as I'd still do terrible things to open for all the artists that have ever disappointed me live.


Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I've tragically never been to Pittsburgh, and the only actual experience with the city was on the phone with a talent buyer at a club who listened to one of my songs while we were on the phone, and before the first verse was finished just said "No." It was brutal. But, we press on.

Thanks, Joshua. Bummer about that guy from Pittsburgh on the phone. Don't let his douchiness skew your perception of our city. In fact, I bet I know who that dick is.

Monday, May 25, 2015

First/Last-Supervoid


"Supervoid blends many influences resulting in crushing riffs, high energy and huge dynamics. Never letting their style be restricted to one category, tracks range from big energy rock and roll, soul crushing sludge, and atmospheric melody."

Supervoid is a Pittsburgh 'sludge & space roll psychedelic metal' rock band who's debut "Filaments" was released a couple years ago. The band's next gig is opening for Portland's Black Pussy this Wednesday night (along with locals Spacefish). I want to thank Greg Kemper (Drums), Brian Urban (Vocals), John Braymer (Bass), and Joe Madia (Guitar) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
Greg Kemper: AC/DC “High Voltage”.
Brian Urban: Can't remember cassette but the first CD I bought was Silverchair “Frogstomp”.
John Braymer: Weird Al “Bad Hair Day”.
Joe Madia: Oh man, the first albums I ever got were when I was a real little kid, maybe 6 or 7, my dad took me to what at the time was Oasis Records (or Record Oasis, I forget which it was) on Rt. 88 in Bethel Park. I remember getting the ‘Ghostbusters’ soundtrack and "Make It Big" by Wham!... not off to an auspicious start as a rocker. I do remember the first real album I got was Metallica's ”Black Album” shortly after it was released.

Your last album bought?
Greg: Clutch “Earth Rocker”.
Brian: Death From Above 1979 “The Physical World”.
John: Dot Legacy S/T.
Joe: The last thing I ordered was the newest record by a band called Giant Squid, "Minoans". Also the newest 7" by Pittsburgh locals Shaky Shrines.

Favorite album of all time?
Greg: Led Zeppelin “Physical Graffiti”.
Brian: Local H “Pack Up The Cats”.
John: Mastodon “Blood Mountain”.
Joe: So many different favorites from so different times in my life. I guess the one band I've listened to for what feels like most of my life is Strung Out. I bet I've listened to “Twisted By Design” more than any other record in my life. Which is weird, because I've never been in a punk band like that or ever played punk rock as a musician. I still think they keep putting out good stuff.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Greg: Metallica “Load”.
Brian: Anything Converge does... I just don't get the hype.
John: Mastodon “The Hunter”. God I hate that album.
Joe: Like millions of other people, probably "Load" by Metallica. I started playing guitar because of them, and as I said above, the black album was my first 'real' rock record I ever bought. Having spent the previous 4-5 years absorbing everything on those first 5 records, the haircut sound was not what I was expecting.

First concert attended?
Greg: Men At Work (I'm old.)
Brian: Aerosmith.
John: Bad Religion with Blink 182 at the Civic Arena in 2000!
Joe: Bad Religion in 1994 at Metropol.

Last concert?
Greg: Clutch - Earth Rocker Tour.
Brian: Mastodon (I'm going this week ha-ha).
John: Elder at Gooski's.
Joe: National act was Helmet at Altar Bar. Locally, LadyBeast at Cattivo.

Favorite concert ever?
Greg: Lollapalooza '93.
Brian: It's really hard to pick but Mastodon/Gojira/Kvelertak, CKY or Horse The Band.
John: Probably get a different answer every time you ask me, but I'll go with Red Fang, Big Business and American Sharks at the Beachland Ballroom.
Joe: Probably Andrew WK at Metropol right when “Party Hard” came out, 2002 or so. And a bunch of shows when I was a teenager at then Starlake… Dokken, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, etc.

Least favorite concert?
Greg: George Thorogood.
Brian: I'd be hard pressed to remember one I didn't enjoy but I remember seeing Marilyn Manson on a festival show later in his career and he was HORRIBLE.
John: The Sword... love their albums but was incredibly underwhelmed by their live performance.
Joe: Somehow I ended up seeing Muse at Consol. Dude can play guitar for sure, but I can't take his voice. Also I took my college girlfriend to see Nelly and Destiny's Child. That show wasn't that bad actually, but I do remember getting in a fight with her because I said that it was only a matter of time before Beyonce left the rest of them behind, and she said "NO SHE WOULD NEVER DO THAT THEY'RE A GROUP!!"


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Greg: I'm from a small town and farm area (Butler), so moving down here and meeting a lot new and interesting people, playing in Pittsburgh bands and experiencing a great city that I love is something I'll never regret.
Brian: I really enjoy meeting people that go to shows, as I've gotten older I don't get out to them as much as I used to but the connections and friendships you make through local and touring music shows are great.
John: I've only lived here for a few years but the camaraderie between musicians is great. I've met and made friends with a lot of great people in my short time here thanks to the music scene.
Joe: Outside of four years in college and a year spent living in Austin, Texas, Pittsburgh is my home, and I don't really want to live anywhere else. There are certainly things that can be improved about the city, but I'm always perplexed when I hear people say there's nothing to do. So many good restaurants, art, shows, etc. Incredibly talented musicians and songwriters too, I'd encourage everyone to go out and check out some bands that are outside of the scene your band plays in.

Thanks, fellas. I totally agree, Joe. Go check out bands outside your scene! There is soooo much going on and the variety of musical styles we have in Pittsburgh is amazing!

Friday, May 22, 2015

First/Last-Unraveler


"Pennsylvania-based queer-centric rock music."

Unraveler is an 'indie bullshit' band from Pittsburgh that happens to be the moniker of songwriter Dakota Fiona Bahney. Check out the music here as I thank Dakota for taking the times to participate in this edition of First/Last.



The first album you ever bought?
I am pretty sure it was either Cake's "Comfort Eagle" or a compilation CD called "Rock Hits Of The '70s".


Your last album bought?
Saddle Creek just released "Painted Shut" by Hop Along -- I bought it as soon as it went up for preorder and just got the record in the mail the other day. It looks beautiful. And of course, it sounds beautiful as well.


Favorite album of all time?
Yeeeeesh, this is tough -- I’d have to go with either "The Sunset Tree" by The Mountain Goats, or Third Eye Blind's self-titled album. Those two albums represent two different things that I actively seek out when listening to music and that i strive to embody in my own music. "The Sunset Tree" is all about purposeful, powerful lyrical contemplation, touching on themes of trauma and survival. Meanwhile, I think the Third Eye Blind album is an example of brilliantly-crafted melody & structure.
Ask me in a week though and I’ll probably have different answers, ha-ha. Already I’m wondering why I didn't say "Bear Hair" by The Island Of Misfit Toys.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Every album I’ve released. Ha!


First concert attended?
The first concert I ever saw was The Spice Girls, but I was still a wee lass and I barely remember it. The first concert that I actually can recall going to was They Might Be Giants, when I was 13 years old.


Last concert?
I booked a show for Terror Pigeon (from Nashville), Cousin Boneless, Dumplings, and Middle Children here in Pittsburgh.


Favorite concert ever?
This is an even harder question than the "favorite album" one. If we can count last year's The Fest, in Gainesville Florida, as one concert, then that'd be my answer. If not... I dunno, maybe that time I saw Radiohead?


Least favorite concert?
Arctic Monkeys. I was one of the first people in line for the show and I waited for a very long time just to make sure I’d be able to get to the front row. Then, when the band actually went on, I got pushed out of the way by a bunch of bro dudes. Infuriating!


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh has way too much good stuff going on right now. More and more incredible shows just keep piling onto an already-stacked calendar, and more and more fantastic local bands keep popping up every single day. There are a lot of things I think we need to work on, like unity between the various "cliques" around the city, and better representation/inclusiveness in shows being booked -- but in a lot of ways, I’ve seen things improve a lot around here. Pittsburgh is on an upswing! I love that there's something to do every night.

Thanks, Dakota. Seems oddly familiar, doesn't it?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

First/Last-Sorta Lonely


Sorta Lonely is an indie screamo-punk band based out of Pittsburgh. Things are kinda quiet gig-wise in their camp but you can still check them out via their latest release "what it's like to live on the moon". I want to thank Dakota Bahney (Bass/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.



The first album you ever bought?
I am pretty sure it was either Cake's "Comfort Eagle" or a compilation CD called "Rock Hits Of The '70s".


Your last album bought?
Saddle Creek just released "Painted Shut" by Hop Along -- I bought it as soon as it went up for preorder and just got the record in the mail the other day. It looks beautiful. And of course, it sounds beautiful as well.


Favorite album of all time?
Yeeeeesh, this is tough -- I’d have to go with either "The Sunset Tree" by The Mountain Goats, or Third Eye Blind's self-titled album. Those two albums represent two different things that I actively seek out when listening to music and that i strive to embody in my own music. "The Sunset Tree" is all about purposeful, powerful lyrical contemplation, touching on themes of trauma and survival. Meanwhile, I think the Third Eye Blind album is an example of brilliantly-crafted melody & structure.
Ask me in a week though and I’ll probably have different answers, ha-ha. Already I’m wondering why I didn't say "Bear Hair" by The Island Of Misfit Toys.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Every album I’ve released. Ha!


First concert attended?
The first concert I ever saw was The Spice Girls, but I was still a wee lass and I barely remember it. The first concert that I actually can recall going to was They Might Be Giants, when I was 13 years old.


Last concert?
I booked a show for Terror Pigeon (from Nashville), Cousin Boneless, Dumplings, and Middle Children here in Pittsburgh.


Favorite concert ever?
This is an even harder question than the "favorite album" one. If we can count last year's The Fest, in Gainesville Florida, as one concert, then that'd be my answer. If not... I dunno, maybe that time I saw Radiohead?


Least favorite concert?
Arctic Monkeys. I was one of the first people in line for the show and I waited for a very long time just to make sure I’d be able to get to the front row. Then, when the band actually went on, I got pushed out of the way by a bunch of bro dudes. Infuriating!


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh has way too much good stuff going on right now. More and more incredible shows just keep piling onto an already-stacked calendar, and more and more fantastic local bands keep popping up every single day. There are a lot of things I think we need to work on, like unity between the various "cliques" around the city, and better representation/inclusiveness in shows being booked -- but in a lot of ways, I’ve seen things improve a lot around here. Pittsburgh is on an upswing! I love that there's something to do every night.

Thanks, Dakota. I have been pushed out of the way many, many times by bro dudes (usually drunk). Kind of the worst after standing there for hours securing a spot.

Monday, May 18, 2015

First/Last-Venus In Furs


"Venus In Furs blends a full band with synthesizers and vocals. The live shows are an event with dancing girls and dark, electronic rock. The band, which formed in 1994, has shared the stage with many acts including: Killing Joke, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, Sponge, Violent Femmes."

Venus In Furs is an electronic rock band from Pittsburgh who are releasing their long awaited latest album "Blue" at the end of the month. You an preview some of the tracks live this Wednesday (5/20) at the 31st St. Pub. I want to thank Michael T. Nolan (Programming/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
“Purple Rain”.

Your last album bought?
Mastodon “Crack the Sky”.

Favorite album of all time?
The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”.

First concert attended?
Ready for the World… it was a long time ago… don't judge!

Last concert?
Erasure.

Favorite concert ever?
Meat Beat Manifesto.

Least favorite concert?
Jack White… he gets on my nerves.


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh has fantastic music if you just open up and listen. I am proud to be a Pittsburgh musician.

Thanks, Michael. I am with you on Jack White. Not only do I think he is annoying as well, I just don't like his tunes.