Friday, March 14, 2014

First/Last-Bastard Bearded Irishmen

"The Pittsburgh-based Bastard Bearded Irishmen are cutting their own path with an original, ferocious blend of rock, punk, acoustic and traditional, as well as contemporary Celtic sounds. Bastard Bearded Irishmen, or BBI, began playing in October 2008, originally meant to be a short-lived side-project in tribute for a friend. The initial fun and fan reaction kept them going and they have now expanded their resume to include a sponsorship with Jagermeister, an opening slot for the Dropkick Murphy’s “Shamrock N Roll” tour in Pittsburgh (2011), an opening slot for national act, Gogol Bordello (2013), as well as slots on regional festivals such as Erie’s “Roar on the Shore,” Morgantown’s “MountainFest” Johnstown’s “Flood City Music Festival” and Ocean City’s “OC Bike Fest.” (2013) Their formula is simple: upbeat tunes about beer, whiskey, booze and pretty lasses. They’ll play classics like “Black Velvet Band” and “Whiskey in the Jar” with their own style, and rock you with originals like “Mutiny” and “Drinkem’, Drankem’, Drunkem’.”

Check out the band at their official Website, Facebook, ReverbNation and Twitter. It's St. Paddy's Day Pittsburgh... get loaded and see these guys in their element at the Rex Theater or go home. What do I know about Irish? My middle name is Duffy... beat that, then kiss me. Thanks to these awesome Bastards for First/Lastin'!

The first album you ever bought?
Jimmy Bastard: MC Hammer.
Danny Rectenwald: Wow, good question. Since my older brothers are music lovers I was handed down a good bit of Van Halen. I think the first album I bought was Jimi Hendrix “Are You Experienced”.
Jon Pitcher: Metallica “Kill Em All”.
Paul Dvorchak: The first tape given to me was probably MC Hammer. The first CD I bought was one of those shitty punk compilations from NRM for .99 cents.
Dan Stocker: The first album I ever bought, I think, was Pearl Jam “Ten”.
Ben Jaber: Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” on cassette.

Your last album bought?
Jimmy: Pour Habit.
Danny: Since the advent of the internet I barely ever buy albums. Buuuttttt.... Ummm.... Jason Vieaux “Works for Lute” (Jason is a classical guitarist and my teacher from the Cleveland institute of music).
Jon: Dr Dog “Be The Void”.
Paul: The Harlan Twins "Old Familiar”.
Dan: Pearl Jam “Lightning Bolt”.
Ben: Against Me!’s “Transgender Dysphoria Blues”.

Favorite album of all time?
Jimmy: Pennywise “Unknown Road”.
Danny: Hard to answer since it depends on what mood I'm in. So I'll say a mixed tape my brother made me which introduced me to a lot of great music including: Led Zeppelin, Pat Metheny, Stevie Ray, Paco de Lucia, Al Dimeola, and John McLaughlin.
Jon: “Led Zeppelin 1”.
Paul: Uhhhhmmmm… either NOFX "Punk in Drublic" or Streetlight Manifesto "Everything Goes Numb”.
Dan: Any Pearl Jam (except “Binaural”); Weezer “Blue Album”, “Pinkerton”; “Self-Titled” Foo Fighters album; “Self-Titled” Jimmy Eat World.
Ben: Swingin’ Utters “Five Lessons Learned” or Lagwagon’s “Blaze” (tie). Both have it all. Perfect punk rock albums, in my opinion.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Jimmy: Weird, but I don't listen to anything that isn't awesome. I don't really get disappointed in albums cause i don't expect them to be great. I like to keep a low expectation that way I'm not let down. But if you're asking what bands have I once liked and then completely went down the crapper I could name a million... Offspring, Rancid, Weezer, 311, Green Day, Metallica, Sugar Ray, Strung Out, etc... the list goes on By the looks of this list, one can see I’m old.
Danny: “Believe” (acoustic) by Justin Bieber. I had my hopes high for that one.
Jon: Don't know?
Paul: Streetlight Manifesto "Somewhere in the Between”.
Dan: Pearl Jam “Binaural”.
Ben: I was fairly disappointed with Propagandhi and Bouncing Souls last efforts, respectively.

First concert attended?
Jimmy: Metallica, Star Lake Amphitheater.
Danny: A Christian rock/rap group called DC Talk. My parents thought it would be O.K. since I was going with a pastor's kids but they later introduced me to swear words and pornography.
Jon: CCR.
Paul: Presidents of the United States of America at Metropol sometime in the 90’s.
Dan: I think it was Pearl Jam in '98. There was probably a concert before that that I refuse to acknowledge.
Ben: 5th grade. Billy Joel at Civic Arena. I still have the T somewhere…

Last concert?
Jimmy: Bastard Bearded Irishmen (every freakin’ Friday and Saturday).
Danny: 28 North and Coastal Remedy. I think.
Jon: Avett Brothers.
Paul: I forget. Some band at Gooski’s.
Dan: Pearl Jam (notice a pattern here?).
Ben: The last national act that I went to see was the ‘Revival Tour’. Sad to say that was 8 months ago! As a working and touring band with a family, I don’t get out to shows as often as I would like.

Favorite concert ever?
Jimmy: Probably one I got laid after. But if not my own, I'd have to say Gogol Bordello and Primus.
Danny: Gerardo Nuñez. Flamenco jazz fusion, sexy dancers, then we all partied together after.
Jon: Black Keys or Mumford.
Paul: Delfest 2012.
Dan: Only time I saw Weezer in '02.
Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters have never let me down and I've seen them a total of 10 times. 311 at Metropol in the late 90’s was awesome.
Ben: Every show that I saw between 1995 and 1999 was my favorite concert ever. I was still in high school, just absorbing as much live music as possible. Probably the most memorable and one that I’ll never forget, I want to say 1997, Jim and I went to Graffiti for a huge ska show. I believe the lineup had The Slackers, Pilfers, Otis Reem, (locals) B-3’s and more. Anyway, the power went out. Instead of cancelling, all the bands gathered around Graffiti’s piano and freestyle jammed all night. It was a sweaty, wonderful mess. Bonus: Graffiti used a blacklight hand stamp, so anyone that stepped outside could not get back in and missed it!

Least favorite concert ever?
Jimmy: Alice DJ. I didn’t go for the concert. I was pursuing a young female and did what was necessary! It paid off ‘cause I eventually married that girl but... it was close.
Danny: David Byrne at Bonnaroo, 2003.
Jon: ‘Weird Al’.
Paul: I forget. Some band at Gooski’s (different night).
Dan: 311 in '04 at the Amphitheater at Station Square.
Ben: I saw Street Dogs and Tiger Army together at a popular local club. The sound was so terrible that all you got was drums. Bouncers were choking kids out of the crowd. Mike McColgan threatened to walk out… Love those bands, but what a terrible, terrible show.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Jimmy: I love playing music here. I've been playing in the underground music scene in this city for 20 years now. There are great bands here and unfortunately they don't get the support that they deserve. I will always give props to our local music scene and have learned a great deal from it.
Danny: I think right now is a great time to be living and playing music in Pittsburgh. There are so many passionate creators in the area that support each other and make high quality art and music. You don't necessarily need to be in a "bigger" city to be exposed to great artists or innovators. I think the best days are still ahead of us as a band and a city but it's nice to be growing with local artists and contributing to the culture.
Jon: Takin’ the T in town when I was a kid.
Paul: Love it. Tried to leave it and came back. All different types of music spread out across this city. In the summer months there seems to be a new trend of outdoor festivals (in North Side, Lawrenceville) that I didn't see (or notice) when I was younger. I hope this trend keeps on going.
Dan: With such a really rich musical history, not just in rock and roll, I'm surprised it hasn't had a huge breakout like Seattle did in the 90’s. I think the scene is as good as it's ever been, and that includes the mid-90’s. I was young then, but I was paying attention, and it was very alive then.
Ben: I couldn’t ask for a better place to have my musical roots. At times you have to search, but Pittsburghers love live music. There is always good live music somewhere close. Right now, I think the whole scene is experiencing a major renaissance. Dozens of great bands of all genres and ages. I’m just glad that we’re a small part of it.

Thank you, fellas. I'm drunk...

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