Wednesday, November 26, 2014

First/Last-The Weathered Road

"Whether The Weathered Road is performing live or writing music, the word that would build the Word Cloud would be PASSION. Willing to Fall is the second release by The Weathered Road. A drastic departure from the "bluegrass" and pure "folk" sounds of their first album, "A New Road Home", "Willing to Fall" is more Folk-Rock and Americana in nature. Tracks like "I Will", are gaining national attention, with catchy hooks and memorable lyrics. The chorus belts, "happiness is having what you want, and wanting what you have, everything I love fits in my hands, so I am a wealthy man". It truly comes from the heart."

The Weathered Road is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Christopher Bell. The Pittsburgh folk-rock band's latest album is "Willing to Fall" which you should definitely check out, especially if you like Ray Lamontagne, Glen Hansard, Stephen Stills, and Jack Johnson. I want to thank Christopher for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Rush “2112” cassette at Trader Jack's flea market. I bought because the cover looked cool ;)

Your last album bought?
I repurchased Smashing Pumpkins “Siamese Dream” for at least the 9th or 10th time because I saw it on a shelf in Goodwill.

Favorite album of all time?
Hands down Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon”.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I recall being very disappointed with Live “Secret Samadhi” when I was younger and now I listen to the album almost front to back and really dig it.

First concert attended?
Edwin McCain with Jeffrey Gaines at Graffiti.

Last concert?
Jeff Grable at Gene's in Morgantown... last national act was Paul McCartney.

Favorite concert ever?
Ray Lamontagne in DC at Constitution Hall as a duo with just he and an upright bassist.

Least favorite concert?
Mumford and Sons only because I am certain they were playing to a backing track.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Opening for Donnie Iris on the Gateway and getting to see what a true artist acts like and what talent really is. The man simply astounded me. I'll never forget meeting him at Kelly's when a child with Down syndrome was nervously awaiting an autograph from Donnie and when he approached; Donnie called him by his name because he remembered him from meeting him several years before. Class act.

Thanks, Christopher. I totally agree with you... love Donnie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

First/Last-Xavier in the Doghouse

"Costumes, loud noise, and magic during performances."

Xavier in the Doghouse is an experimental 'Apocalyptic Bluegrass' band from Greensburg, PA. You can check out their just released debut EP, "Swallowing Shadows" as I thank Sean Barill (Banjo/Vocals), Caleb Podolinski (Drums) and Trevor Barry (Bass) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Sean Barill: Something by Jethro Tull maybe - can’t remember.
Caleb Podolinski: Probably one of Bob Marley’s “Greatest Hits”.
Trevor Barry: “Follow the Leader” by Korn.

Your last album bought?
Sean: edhochuli/Amaget split.
Caleb: Iron Lung’s “Sexless/ /No Sex”.
Trevor: “Dead End Kings” by Katatonia.

Favorite album of all time?
Sean: “Lonesome Crowded West” Modest Mouse.
Caleb: Favorite right now is “Building Nothing out of Something” Modest Mouse.
Trevor: Not sure, maybe “L’Enfaunt Savage” by Gojira.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Sean: New Flaming Lips stuff is kind of annoying.
Caleb: Slipknot’s “All Hope Is Gone”.

First concert attended?
Sean: My parents own a coffee shop in Greensburg called Dv8, there used to be a bunch of shows there (I run them now) when I was little. Local bands/solo musicians — Tim Krupar, Whiskey Smiles, Sklenik, Channel Scorpion News, Coming Through the Rye. They all inspired me to play.
Caleb: Foo Fighters at Consol.
Trevor: First and only “big" show was Gogol Bordello.

Last concert?
Sean: Lungs Face Feet at the Shop.
Caleb: King Dude and Ghost.
Trevor: Dv8 Metal Fest.

Favorite concert ever?
Sean: Pandemic brought What Cheer? Brigade. It was fucking fantastic.
Caleb: Ghost.

Least favorite concert?
Sean: I’ve seen some really terrible pop-punk bands in Greensburg/Jeannette before...
Caleb: Foo Fighters.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Sean: I went to see my friend’s band Glowworms (he’s now in another heavy brain-melting psychedelic band — Vostok) and Swearin’ (NY) at the Roboto 3/4ish years ago. It was kind of an introduction to how punk shows work. Other than that Pandemic events are always incredible.
Caleb: When I called in to work and said I was in the hospital so I could stay in the strip longer.
Trevor: Probably just playing there different times (Bayardstown w/ Lungs Face Feet, Smiling Moose w/ Hunters, Smiling Moose w/ Electric Citizen).

Thanks, guys. I am always saying that there is something special in the water over there in Greensburg. Love the music scene that is exploding there!

Monday, November 24, 2014

First/Last-Ferdinand the Bull

"This story started in a basement in Kutztown, PA.

Over one inspired, turbulent summer home from the University of Pittsburgh, Nick decided it was time the world heard his stories. He wrote a collection of acoustic-based songs with the modest goal of sharing them with anyone who would listen. Calling upon neighborhood friend Evan for musical depth, Nick got down to business in his parents' home and recorded the tunes: what would become the Ella EP. Upon their return to Pitt, the pair showed their work to school friend and fellow musician/cellist Dan and his friend Mike Dice to fill out the sound, and the quartet began its musical journey together."

Ferdinand the Bull is the 'youngest folk-rock powerhouse' in Pittsburgh. They have playing out live for about a year now and you can check out their recently released debut Eponymous EP. I want to thank Nick Snyder (Guitar), Dan Radin (Cello), Evan Altieri (Banjo), and Mike Dice (Bass) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Nick Snyder: The first I ever had was “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor. The first album I ever bought, though, was “Led Zeppelin III”.
Dan Radin: “Astrolounge” by Smash Mouth was a gift from my parents with my first boombox for Hanukkah when I was 8.
Evan Altieri: “Nirvana Unplugged in New York”.
Mike Dice: NSYNC “NSYNC”.

Your last album bought?
Nick: A British Nu-Folk girl named Marika Hackman. Very cool stuff. Very excited for her new album in February.
Dan: “Torches” by Foster the People, worth every cent.
Evan: “Tomorrow's Harvest” by Boards of Canada.
Mike: Jack White “Lazaretto”.

Favorite album of all time?
Nick: This is way too hard of a question, so I think I'll narrow it down to two albums, The Head and the Heart's debut album, and “Is This It?” by The Strokes.
Dan: “Born to Run”, Bruce Springsteen. Track for track the best album ever and the thing I aspire most to achieve.
Evan: “Around the Well” by Iron and Wine.
Mike: The Beatles “Let it Be… Naked”.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Nick: I used to be very much into Flogging Molly, so I'm going to have to go with “Float”. I just did not like that album at all, unfortunately.
Dan: “Ghost Stories” by Coldplay. Bland experimentation that did not hold up to expectations from one of my favorite bands.
Evan: “I'm With You” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Mike: NSYNC “No Strings Attached”.

First concert attended?
Nick: My first concert was probably James Taylor. I wasn't old enough to appreciate him, though. I'd say the first time I really remember going to a concert was Jethro Tull - they were/are/will always be phenomenal.
Dan: The Clarks, First Niagara Pavilion in Pittsburgh. They played a ‘Homegrown Hoohah’ with Donnie Iris.
Evan: Matisyahu.
Mike: Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Last concert?
Nick: I went to Governor's Ball in NYC this summer, and that was absolutely fantastic. I was actually the first one to buy the 3-day pass - I waited up all night for tickets. The Strokes, The Head and the Heart, Frank Turner, Jack White, Outkast, the Kills and many more played there - it was one of the best experiences of my life. I caught the drummer from Frank Turner's drum head and it was signed by all the members and dated and everything.
Dan: Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden in NYC, October 2014. Amazing show, the dude has killer chops and can still rock.
Evan: Horse Feathers.
Mike: Jack White.

Favorite concert ever?
Nick: Not counting GovBall, I saw The Avett Brothers last March and I had never been so impressed.
Dan: Paul McCartney. First show ever at Consol in Pittsburgh. He played 3 plus hours and told stories about The Beatles and Lennon and traveling and growing up. Some real insights into the songs and lives, and will be the closet we will ever get to seeing The Beatles.
Evan: Jack White at Governor's Ball 2014 or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
Mike: Jack White.

Least favorite concert?
Nick: I can't really think of anything, to be honest. For some reason I found Foster the People not extremely great when I saw them. They're still good, I just wasn't too impressed.
Dan: Counting Crows, First Niagara in Pittsburgh.
Evan: SOJA.
Mike: I feel bad for saying it, but Henry Grimes in 2009. He had to follow Ron Carter though so that might have something to do with it.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Nick: Pittsburgh is such a hidden gem. We've got a great music scene going on here, and I love it. My favorite experience thus far in the city was Light Up Night last year. Everyone just came together for ice skating, public drinking, smoking cigars, dancing in public, walking across bridges, and Market Square is just great.
Dan: Pittsburgh's music scene is really unique and I'm happy to help nurture it and be part of it. Pittsburgh is the best place in the world to call home.
Evan: Light Up Night 2013 was really fun. Hanging out in market square with my friends is always a lot of fun.
Mike: It’s home. It’s where my family is, it’s where I grew up, it’s where my best friends are on Holidays. We’ve got the Steelers, the Buccos, and the Pens but we also have some amazing cultural institutions and the worst accent in the country. It’s a funny town and I love it.

Thanks, guys. Really digging your vibe. I am really looking forward to seeing you out soon.

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.