Thursday, November 20, 2014

First/Last-LoFi Delphi

"Born from the ashes of several Pittsburgh rock bands- LoFi Delphi is a catharsis of creativity and collaboration. We don't strive for a sound, we all have input, and we play because we love music. Everybody writes the songs, everybody plays the songs."

LoFi Delphi are a Pittsburgh based rock band who are dropping their debut album, "Victor" this Saturday at Howler's with a duel CD Release gig with fellow locals Paddy The Wanderer and openers City Steps. I want to thank Becki Gallagher (Keys/Vocals), Mike Stancil (Guitar/Vocals), Tyler Jessup (Drums), and Andrew Belsick (Bass) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Becki Gallagher: Hanson “Middle of Nowhere”.
Mike Stancil: I didn't really buy albums into much later in life - I used the original Pirate Bay: taping songs off the radio.
Tyler Jessup: Days of the New “Green”.
Andrew Belsick: The Offspring “Smash”.

Your last album bought?
Becki: Secret Sisters “Put Your Needle Down”.
Mike: mewithoutYou “Ten Stories”.
Tyler: Mike Doughty “Stellar Motel”.
Andrew: Nirvana “Heart Shaped Box” Remaster.

Favorite album of all time?
Becki: David Gray “White Ladder”.
Mike: Tie between Portugal. The Man's “Waiter: You Vultures!” and mewithoutYou's “Brother/Sister”.
Tyler: Dave Matthews Band “Before These Crowded Streets”.
Andrew: The Clash “London Calling”.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Becki: Weezer “Make Believe”.
Mike: Nearly every subsequent Portugal. The Man album.
Tyler: Alice in Chains “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”.
Andrew:  Band of Horses “Mirage Rock”.

First concert attended?
Becki: Jan and Dean, 1990, Conneaut Lake Park.
Mike: The Get Up Kids with either Appleseed Cast or Hot Rod Circuit - can't remember which came first.
Tyler: Tantric, 2001, The Beehive.
Andrew: Warped Tour, 1999, IC Light Amphitheater.

Last concert?
Becki: Secret Sisters/Nickel Creek.
Mike: Foxy Shazam.
Tyler: Tonic.
Andrew: Secret Sisters/Nickel Creek.

Favorite concert ever?
Becki: Weezer/Ozma/Saves The Day, 2001, Civic Arena.
Mike: Thursday.
Tyler: Pearl Jam, 2006, Mellon Arena.
Andrew: Reverend Horton Heat/Murder By Death, 2007, Beachland Ballroom.

Least favorite concert?
Becki: David Gray, 2010, Atlanta Civic Center.
Mike: Jars of Clay - but, really, it shouldn't have been a surprise.
Tyler: Days of the New, 2009, The Warehouse Nightclub.
Andrew: Black Keys, 2012, Bojangles Coliseum (Charlotte).

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Becki and Andrew will take this one since we moved away in 2010 and moved back late 2013.  When we moved away, we were super excited to get the hell out of this town. However, we quickly realized the grass isn’t always greener. Between the blue collar history, urban grit, quirkiness, the current renaissance, and the thriving local arts/music community, there’s just no place like home.

Thanks, all. Should be a really fun show this week. Love those other bands you are playing with!

Monday, November 17, 2014


"We are just a little band. If you are a person who is interested in listening to music, please do not listen to our music or come to any of our shows. Thank you."

Brightside is an indie rock band from Pittsburgh who I have recently flipped for. I love what they are putting out and this is a band you have to see live, regardless of what their bio states. Their latest release is the fantastic "Now and Loud" album. I want to thank Matt Vituccio (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
With my own money, some Punk-O-Rama compilation from the dollar section of The Exchange (back when it was the Record Exchange).

Your last album bought?
“Remain In Light” by Talking Heads. I got it at a record store in Philadelphia on our last tour. It's only in decent condition but it plays.

Favorite album of all time?
I'll stick to the album I know best, front to back, and respect for basically everything that went into it's creation. “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
So many bad albums. I really didn't understand the hype around that Alex G record. It just didn't seem like anything special or new.

First concert attended?
Green Day on the ‘American Idiot Tour’ with My Chemical Romance supporting. Classic.

Last concert?
Tigers Jaw at Altar Bar.

Favorite concert ever?
Algernon Cadwallader on their last tour, at 222 Ormsby. They played to about 20 people. Very intimate and filled with uncompromised joy.

Least favorite concert?
Some hardcore show probably.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh is incredibly unique, in and outside of art and music. And we're finally being put on the map, in one way or another. One of the things I hope people take away from experiencing our band is that Pittsburgh is where creativity gets real. Really real.

Thanks, Matt. Really real for sure! Can't wait to see you play again, man. And I will forever regret missing that Algernon Cadwallader gig at Ormsby.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Image of the Day-Shark Week

Scrap Kids / Brightside / Roger Harvey & The Wild Life at Shark Week House on Saturday, October 25, 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA

Scrap Kids
Roger Harvey & The Wild Life

Friday, November 14, 2014

First/Last-Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

"WISC originally consisted of the acoustic duo of Jason Gamble and Brendon Bassler, who began playing together in 2011. After building and performing a large repertoire of original music (primarily written by Jason Gamble) the need for the group to expand became more evident. Over the next few years, the group gigged with several different musicians, finally settling on their current lineup in December of 2013 - with Josh Williams on percussion, and Nick Adams on double bass. The goal had always been to have a brush oriented drum player, and an upright bass player to incorporate elements of jazz into the compositions."

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing are an acoustic progressive rock band from Indiana, PA. They released their debut "Underground Lullabies" this past Spring and you can hear them play live tonight at Cattivo as they support my bros in Nevada Color along with William Forrest and soon to be on the blog My Friday Slacks. I want to thank Brendon Bassler (Bass/Backing Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
I remember I wanted Beck’s Loser. You know, ”Soyyy Un Predator – I’m a loser baby so why don’t you kill me?” I thought the music video was so weird and dark and scary and cool, and I wanted to know more about what this was and where it was coming from. My mom, however, thought otherwise. She scolded me once while singing the lyrics along to it in the car and changed the station. Kids are going to hear it somewhere. Although he didn’t swear in it, I guess my mom wanted to put off my knowledge of the existence of suicide as long as possible. I ended up getting the latest Presidents of the United States of America tape in my stocking for Christmas. Which as it turns out, I really enjoyed. I love ‘Peaches.’

Your last album bought?
I bought or traded Mike Miller from Endless Mike and the Beagle Club for their newest release, “Side B”, I think it’s called. It’s so cool. Check it out. I don’t want to buy anything else at the moment because I know I will be let down. It’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in awhile. However, I have high hopes for the Homeless Gospel Choir care package I am expecting. I also recently bought the new Counting Crows and the new Ryan Adams albums.

Favorite album of all time?
I’m sure everyone says that this is a tough one. I would like to talk about the fact that people don’t listen to albums anymore, for a second. With the recent explosion of digital/downloadable music, people have really gotten away from buying and listening to albums. I personally can say I don’t download music. I’m old school, I guess. There’s just  a certain appreciation you get for an album when you buy it and hold it in your hand, and flip through the inserts during that first play-through.

Again, not to sound cliché here, but I don’t think I can pick just one. Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” and “III” are great. Bob Dylan’s “Freewheelin’” is great. Third Eye Blind’s self-titled, Counting Crows “August and Everything After”.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I didn’t really love Norah Jones’ follow up to “Come Away With Me”, which to my ears is a near perfect album. The Black Keys are great, but nothing has really struck a chord with me like “Chulahoma” did, and I feel like I keep chasing that sound. I dunno’, sometimes I like stuff more at a later listen. I also try not to put unrealistic expectations on artists. We are all human.

First concert attended?
I saw Elton John and KISS at a young age, but can’t remember which was first. I saw a hair metal band that almost made big, called Friction. I also saw BB King when I was a kid, and Chick Corea and Pat Matheny.

Last concert?
I saw the Punch Brothers. They were too good. I think they are aliens or robots or something. I also saw PICKWICK an up and coming band from Seattle. Good stuff. There is a speakeasy style place in Cleveland, OH called The Velvet Tango Room. The house band there is three fine local gentlemen that play bass, piano and sax 6 nights a week together. They are the real deal. Saw them recently.

Favorite concert ever?
I really liked seeing The Roots when I was 16. Phish at Merriweather in 2012 was great. I saw both Sean Jones and James Carter play separately at two small venues and it was a beautiful display of modern jazz and soul surviving.

Least favorite concert?
I thought I would give Daft Punk a try but it turned out it was a cover band. I accidentally saw a Daft Punk cover band. I still don’t get it. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I always like to stop in the strip. Walk around. Stop by the shops get a coffee and street food and people watch, and blend in the best I can. I remember driving there from Erie when I was a kid; when the skyline reveals itself there’s this cool feeling I can’t really describe. I still get it. I love the venues we have played in the South Side and the Thunderbird in Lawrenceville. I like to stay at the priory in the North Side, and I’ve spent some time at the James St. I have fond memories of weekends in Mt. Washington and Oakland neighborhoods with my college friends. Shadyside is cool too, but I only go there to get my apple stuff fixed; I’m pretty low brow. The quaint blocks of Bloomfield and Friendship always remind me of a girl I dated for awhile. One time after a show in the South Side, a random yinzer through an unopened PBR pounder at my windshield and smashed it. Buzz-kill… and a waste of perfectly good hipster juice.

Thanks, Brendan. You know, nothing screams disappointment as when you are all excited expecting to discover a new band and they turn out to be a crappy cover band... oof.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


"Melo is an indie-rock band that sounds similar to American Football smashed with Pinback. Take these sounds and add a bit of post-hardcore snarl and you get close to describing it. Intertwining melodies, concussive rhythms and impassioned vocals define this Pittsburgh trio."

I want to introduce you to Melo, an alt-rock band from Pittsburgh that recently released their debut "Leaf E.P." The band's influences are alt-rockers Pinback, The Pillows, Kyuss, and Thursday. I want to thank Shane Montgomery (Drums), Forrest C. Wheeler (Guitar/Backing Vocals) and John JP Perry (Bass/Lead Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

First album you ever bought?
Shane Montgomery: “Full Collapse” Thursday.
Forrest Wheeler: Alice Cooper's “Dragon Town” and Weezer's “Green Album” at the same time.
John Perry: Offspring “Ixnay on the Hombre”.

Your last album bought?
Shane: “I Am King” Code Orange.
Forrest: Panel Donor “Lobedom and Global”.
JP: The Naked and Famous “In Rolling Waves”.

Favorite album of all time?
Shane: “No Devolucione” Thursday.
Forrest: Drive Like Jehu “Yank Crime”.
JP: Pinback “Blue Screen Life”.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Shane: “Stadium Arcadium”. Was kinda hoping somehow I would enjoy the Chili Peppers again.
Forrest: The Jesus Lizard “Blue”.
JP: 311 “From Chaos”.

First concert attended?
Shane: Too embarrassing to admit.
Forrest: A band called Marbles For Eyes in southeast Ohio.
JP: X-fest in '99. Headlined by Green Day and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Last concert?
Shane: Code Orange's album release show.
Forrest: Electric Six.
JP: Fitz and the Tantrums.

Favorite concert ever?
Shane: Thursday's final show in Pittsburgh.
Forrest: Melvins
JP: Pinback.

Least favorite concert?
Shane: The one I'm not willing to admit.
Forrest: Dinosaur Jr.
JP: Long Beach Short Bus.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Shane: This is a nice, pocket-sized city with a lot of hidden gems. If you get bored with the scenery, go five miles in any direction and it’s a completely different city.
Forrest: I really did a lot of growing up in Pittsburgh after moving in from Ohio for college. Good cultures, good food, and good music. You can't go wrong here if you're trying to enjoy yourself.
JP: The city is beautiful. I love how the rivers coalesce at the point. Remnants of a noble old working class still remain here with a strong understanding of what is truly valuable. Newer citizens bring with them an inexhaustible enterprise and ambition. I love this city, it's aesthetic and its potential for coolness. :-)

Thanks, guys. Looking forward to seeing you play out sometime soon. And Shane, your first album is almost always supposed to be too embarrassing to mention... that's kind of the point, man.