Thursday, December 7, 2017

First/Last - The Stars of Disaster


"Hi, I'm Anthony. I make music under the name The Stars of Disaster. I'm often joined by friends, acquaintances, and occasionally a complete stranger. I love loud rock and poppy hooks."

The Stars of Disaster is the moniker of musician Anthony Schiappa, who creates catchy garage pop hooks which is evident on his latest single "Adderall b/w On Yer Feet" which was released this week. 'Catchy' is the key word as I have been playing this a lot in the last week. I want to thank Anthony for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Can't remember which came first, either the first Porno For Pyros record or Automatic for the People by R.E.M., both of which I still like. This does not include the records I stole from my older siblings.


Your last album bought?
Ted Nugent’s Greatest Hits. It was in one of those giant bins at a supermarket for like 6 bucks. A loathsome person, but he is one of the best rock guitarists ever. “Great White Buffalo” is worth the price of admission for me.


Favorite album of all time?
There’s A Riot Goin’ On by Sly & the Family Stone. To this day, it sounds like it’s from another planet.


Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Ween has been one of my favorite bands for pretty much my whole music-listening life, and I was really disappointed by La Cucaracha. It didn't even suck, it was just kind of unremarkable, which I guess is the most damning thing you can say about a record.


First concert attended?
They Might Be Giants at Metropol in 1994.


Last concert?
Elvis Costello & the Imposters at Heinz Hall this past summer, doing Imperial Bedroom in its entirety.   always saw him more as a singer/songwriter than a guitarist, but he's really good.  I managed to snap a pic of his pedal board, like a true nerd (see below).


Favorite concert ever?
Prince at the Gund in Cleveland on the Musicology tour. It was unreal. He did a 5-song solo acoustic set in the middle, including the best version of “Cream” I’ve ever heard. And he was super casual, interrupting songs to joke with the audience and tell stories. He used to get flack for taking himself too seriously, but he didn't, really. Watching old TV clips of him, you see he had such a great sense of humor, especially when it came to slapstick.


Least favorite concert?
A Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis double bill at the Fox Theater in Detroit in the early 2000s, after eating a bunch of pot brownies. The audience was a mix of ruthless hecklers, drunken affluent suburbanites, and people who were obviously there on some kind group tour. I've never seen a show go that sideways, ever. It was a complete train wreck in every way imaginable. About halfway through, it felt like a riot was imminent. People were jumping up on stage and messing with Chuck's guitars and amps during the songs, which to me is grounds for summary execution. During one song, he was actually begging people to get back in their seats instead of singing the lyrics. It's the first and only time I've been frightened at a concert. If you've ever seen the film “Jacob’s Ladder,” that about sums it up. Gorgeous venue, though.


Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, about 45 minutes away, but came here a lot as a teenager for shows and to buy records you couldn’t get at NRM. Since moving back, into the city, several years ago, I’ve gotten to play with many people in lots of one-off gigs. Not only were those all a blast, but they afforded me the opportunity to meet, befriend, and collaborate with Pittsburgh musicians, writers, and visual artists whose work I admire.  A little kumbaya, perhaps, but I’m having fun.

Thanks, Anthony. That Chuck / Jerry Lee show sounds absolutely horrible, in the best way possible.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

First/Last - Jordan McLaughlin


"A voice with a smidge of grit marks the sound of Jordan McLaughlin. His country tunes fuse with an alternative sound onto full-band songs, while the solo music he performs maintains an intimate folk feel." - Pittsburgh City Paper

Jordan McLaughlin is a local songwriter who recently was named Best Alt-Folk/Alt-Country Band by the readers of the Pittsburgh City Paper. He often plays out around and you can catch him this Saturday (11/25) supporting Full Circle Band at Kendrew's Lounge in Aliquippa. I want to thank Jordan for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
Green Day – Dookie.

Your last album bought?
I opened for a band called The Steel Woods and bought their album, Straw in the Wind, before leaving the gig.

Favorite album of all time?
Further Seems Forever's How to Start a Fire. Growing up, Jason Gleason's vocals on this album were a huge inspiration of mine.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Taking Back Sunday's New Again. Taking Back Sunday provided the soundtrack to some of my most influenced years growing up, and this album just didn't live up to the others.

First concert attended?
The Bouncing Souls and Tsunami Bomb!

Last concert?
Matthew Mayfield, a songwriter from Birmingham, AL. My first ever solo gig was an opening spot for his show a few years back. I haven't missed him in Pittsburgh since.

Favorite concert ever?
Further Seems Forever at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia. Bought a ticket, drove there alone, and stood so close to the stage that I could touch the band.

Least favorite concert?
John Mayer at Post Gazette Pavilion after he released his album Born and Raised. It just wasn't the John Mayer that I listened to and loved.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Between the festivals and other outlets for exposure, I think Pittsburgh has an up and coming music scene that is going to begin to attract people from outside the city to experience it, and I'm excited for my opportunities to be a part of that growth.

Thanks, Jordan. Love that Further Seems Forever commitment. I cannot recall ever going out of town alone to see a band like that. I've done many with other people but that is something I should definitely do sometime.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

First/Last - Vanessa Silberman and Carissa Johnson


Photo via Silver Media Agency

"Vanessa Silberman (LA national Rock touring singer / guitarist) & Carissa Johnson (Boston Rock artist) are teaming up for "The Hearts & Crowns Tour" the most badass rock tour of the fall!
Vanessa will be performing varied solo electric sets (with special guests!) and Carissa will be performing acoustic and full band sets.
Vanessa's live show stirs up memories of Nirvana, The Pretenders, The Ramones, Patti Smith & Neil Young. Such comparisons are worthy for a musician like Vanessa who's performed OVER 330 shows in the last 2 years!Vanessa recently wrapped up a western US tour this summer with Carissa Johnson and a west coast trek with Reed Mullin (drummer) of Corrosion of Conformity and Mikel Ross (producer/musician).
Carissa Johnson and her band became the first female-led band to win the storied Boston radio festival Rock and Roll Rumble since the Dresden Dollswon it in 2013. Carissa's debut full-length album was recognized as "Album of the Year" by the Limelight Music Awards."

Vanessa Silberman and Carissa Johnson begin their co-headlining tour this Friday (11/24) in Pittsburgh at Hambone's with support from longtime blog fave Nik Westman (NYC via PGH), Merilette (TX), and local songwriter Lyra. This show might be the perfect gig to blow off any of those Thanksgiving cobwebs accumulated over the past few days. I want to thank both Vanessa and Carissa for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.



The first album you ever bought?
Vanessa Silberman: First album was a tape of Green Day Kerplunk! at Rasputin in Berkeley & shortly after I got 10 CDs for a penny through Columbia House (that included Nirvana, Silverchair, Weezer, Green Day) but I also was bought an Inner Circle (they had the “Cops” theme song) CD by my aunt around this time.
Carissa Johnson: Avril Lavigne Let Go.

Your last album bought?
Vanessa: Carissa Johnson's 7" “Tomorrow in Melbourne.”
Carissa: Alvvays Anti-Socialites.

Favorite album of all time?
Vanessa: Nirvana Nevermind.
Carissa: Joan Jett Bad Reputation.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Vanessa: See below regarding least favorite concert.
Carissa: N/A.

First concert attended?
Vanessa: Kamp Kome radio concert at Shoreline Amphitheater with Filter, Foo Fighters, No Doubt, Goo Goo Dolls, 7 Year Bitch & others.
Carissa: Avril Lavigne and Simple Plan.

Last concert?
Vanessa: Ha-ha, I can't remember. I just played over 330 something shows in last 25 months but I think Foo Fighters at the Forum.
Carissa: The Last Internationale.

Favorite concert ever?
Vanessa: Foo Fighters at Henry Kaiser Auditorium. Filter at the Warfield.
Carissa: Grace Potter and The Nocturnals in 2010.

Least favorite concert?
Vanessa: I had one that I was so let down by I went home & cried. The singer/guitarist (who's name I prefer not to mention) I think was on a lot of drugs & probably going through a very difficult time. So in a way it's made me really want to focus on the positive & not destroy my life especially being a public figure. As an artist, it's what I signed up for & my duty to set a good example & help bring a positive message through music & give people that in a live experience somehow too.
Carissa: N/A.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Vanessa: Love it! Love the historical aspects to the city & it has such a cool supportive music scene. Had some amazing experiences playing at there & really looking forward to this show at Hambones & connecting with the community.
Carissa: I went for the first time in the fall of 2015 and loved the lights and bridges of downtown.

Thanks, ladies. Hambone's will be pumpin' on Friday with that great lineup. Have fun!

Monday, November 20, 2017

First/Last - Moses


"We love music; we'll make our own for awhile. We love everyone."

Moses is a spaced out jam rock band hailing from Grand Rapids, MI who just last month dropped their debut full-length entitled New Mood. I want to thank Nate Zinzi (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.


The first album you ever bought?
In the first grade, 1998, my first album, which was technically purchased by my dad for me, was Blink 182’s Enema of the State. It luckily didn’t have the Parental Advisory sticker on it for whatever reason, so I was good to go.

Your last album bought?
Protomartyr’s Relatives in Descent, which I got at their record release boat show in Detroit in September.

Favorite album of all time?
That is tough, but up in my top three would be mewithoutYou’s Brother Sister or Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Definitely Minus the Bear’s Infinity Overhead. Total facade ruiner that sort of lessened, to me, their discography as a whole. Very boring, very forgettable.

First concert attended?
I sort of remember as a wee child it was Wayne Newton, but I saw Blink in third grade, around 2000/2001 on their ‘Take Off Your Pants and Jacket’ tour. Still have the set list memorized.

Last concert?
I just saw Kurt Vile/Courtney Barnett last week, awesome show, made me appreciate their new album a whole lot more.

Favorite concert ever?
That is pretty tough too. I’d probably have to go with mewithoutYou, The Dear Hunter 4th of July, 2009. Went with the drummer of our band, John, and it changed our world. First of nine times seeing mwY.

Least favorite concert?
It was probably one I was forced to go to in high school — A Day to Remember/August Burns Red — LAME!

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Brief, but hilarious Pittsburgh story: we were on tour with The Cardboard Swords for a couple weeks the summer of I think 2013 or 2014. We didn’t play Pittsburgh, but we were staying the night on our way from New York to Ohio. Couldn’t tell you where we were, but it wasn’t a pretty area, far from downtown. Spent a few solid hours at the bar, closed it out, stopped in at a gas station to get some water and snacks before heading back to the house. I said some stupid shit, like not aggressive, but like I was feeling sick or something and some girls were very put off by it. When we were all purchased and heading out, a man in a wheelchair, missing a leg, no shirt on, started talking shit, saying we disrespected “his ladies” and that he could take us all out even with only one leg. He didn’t know it was me who was saying the bizarre comments, so he hopped up and sucker punched our drummer John, knocked him down, a couple more dudes were headed our way at his asking, so we yanked John up and sprinted full-bore down the hill to the house we were staying crying laughing as our feet were clapping down the hill. Supposedly, our friend Lauren said there were some dudes outside casing the place, but we didn’t see it. We all woke up at like 7am and dipped as quick as possible.
We still love Pittsburgh though!! Saw Pig Destroyer at Altar Bar with my dad a few years back with my dad — 6/7 hour drive for the show… ha!


Thanks, Nate. Jeez, what part of Pittsburgh were you staying?

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.