Friday, September 29, 2017

First/Last - Kaelber

"On December 10th, 1999 at 7:30 PM in Santa Cruz, California, the bassist for Kaelber, Tabor McLeod, was born. Two hours later and 2,700 miles away in Morgantown, WV, lead guitarist/lead singer for Kaelber, Noah Myers, was born. Who would have guessed that 15 years later these two would meet and form the nucleus of Kaelber. During the summer of 2016, the addition of Matt Reese on drums was the final piece to Kaelber and sealed the band's hard driving, yet fluid sound."

Kaelber is an up and coming alt rock band from Greensburg who infuse their sound with eclectic elements of funk, psychedelia and thrash metal. They tore it up at the Deutschtown Music Festival this Summer and the sound tech from the venue they performed at, made it a point to let me know that these dudes were the best 'young' band he has seen in a long while... if ever! Come see what he was gushing about as the band takes part in The Skyline Party at 2pm, sharing the stage with God's Green Apples (Noon), Old Game (4pm), and Dinosoul (6pm). Be sure to check out the adjacent stage with performances by London Johnson's Magnificent Street Entertainment (1pm), Colonel Eagleburger's Highstepping Goodtime Band (3pm), and Timbeleza (5pm) rounding out the all day festivities hosted by your's truly. I want to thank Noah Myers (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Nirvana – Nevermind.

Your last album bought?
Gary Clark Jr – Blak and Blu.

Favorite album of all time?
Opeth – Pale Communication.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Don’t have a least favorite album… like all of the albums I have purchased.

First concert attended?
Dinosaur Jr in Austin, Texas – 2014 (my Uncle lives in Austin, Texas – we were visiting during the fall 2014 and I realized Dinosaur Jr. was playing in town that weekend and asked to go.)

Last concert?
Dinosaur Jr. in Pittsburgh.

Favorite concert ever?
Buckethead in Pittsburgh at Altar Bar.

Least favorite concert?
Don’t have a least favorite concert. All concerts I have attended have been fun.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I got to play with Marty Friedman of Megadeth on stage at Altar Bar on 9-11-15. There is a video of this on YouTube titled “Me Jamming with Marty Friedman (9-11-2015 Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA). Also, I have seen several of my favorite bands at the awesome Pittsburgh venues (i.e. Gary Clark Jr, Opeth, Dinosaur Jr., Lucky Chops at Rex Theater, Marty Friedman at Altar Bar, and Buckethead at Altar Bar.)

Thanks, Noah. Jeez, you are a youngin'. First show in 2014? I was a decade into HughShows by then. Looking forward to hearing you rock out, man!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

First/Last - God's Green Apples

"4 piece alt rock band from Pittsburgh that began playing thorough out the tri state area back in the early 90's. Recently re united and playing live while writing new material for release."

God's Green Apples will be opening up the festivities this Saturday at Noon for The Skyline Party that I am thrilled to be serving as host at. I never heard of these guys until I listened to their music as they submitted to be included in the Deutschtown Music Festival and was blown away. I cannot wait to see them rock out live. I want to thank Michael Evans (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
12” Village People debut, I remember it distinctly. I was spending the evening with my grandparents; we went out for the dinner and afterwards off to K Mart where I convinced them to put it in the buggy for me.

Your last album bought?
The Horrible Crowes – Elsie. Pretty much had the Brian Fallon solo stuff repeating, I’ve been re visiting some of the Gaslight Anthem material as well.

Favorite album of all time?
That’s a tough one, probably should list a Beatles record which would hold true. Going to go with The Replacements - All Shook Down. Everything is perfect from the song writing to the production and arrangements, probably into it even more based on the evolution of the band from the early records that I love as well.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
The National by The National, it comes to mind right out of the gate for some reason.

First concert attended?
Hall and Oates, at the Civic Arena in the early 80’s. My Mom took me; I remember the grand scale of everything and smelling funny cigarettes for the first time.

Last concert?
The Shins last month.

Favorite concert ever?
I guess that’s a tie with my first concert of Hall and Oates and seeing 7 Seconds at the Banana in 89’ I believe. Pretty cool experience when you first start attending club shows and the intimacy of it all, nothing like seeing a band you’re totally into playing  a few feet away from you, then getting to chat with them afterwards.

Least favorite concert?
I don’t think I’ve come out of any show really that disappointed, probably just have to say politely that any show out at Key Bank Pavilion can be a little “disappointing”. If nothing else it’s the logistics and the venue, I’d be fine with it if I could teleport in or have access to a helicopter.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I love the civic pride the Pittsburghers have, we’re always quick to point out a new award or distinction and put it out there. The music scene is tremendous as well, with getting out and seeing/playing more shows, I’m blown away by all of the bands and artists that are in the region these days and how much talent there is, it’s truly awesome to be a part of. Pittsburgh probably doesn’t get enough credit for being a smaller city that has all the amenities and options just like a bigger town, the art and culture along with a great musical community and of course great sports teams to boot, ha-ha.

Thanks, Mike. I have to reiterate how excited I was to discover your music this past Summer and I am so looking forward to your set.

Monday, September 25, 2017

First/Last - Lawn Care

"For a while there, it was just Cameron writing songs, mostly about travelling, trying not to be a shithead, and the looming inevitability of death--you know, the things you worry about in your twenties. He released a couple of lo-fi solo EPs, a split with Boston's The Michael Character, and shouted in a lot of basements throughout the midwest and northeast.
Towards the end of 2015, Lawn Care went full-band to record the high-energy, three-song EP "Out of Sorts." The new lineup, featuring Harrison Thurman on bass and John Paul Zigterman on drums, honed their live sound, playing shows with Chris Farren, Emperor X, Mal Blum, Sinai Vessel, and Koji."

Lawn Care is a Pittsburgh based mathy pop punkish emo kinda of quintet who dropped their debut full length entitled Replacement Therapy a few months ago. From what I hear, the band is already working up new tunes for their follow-up. I want to thank songwriter Cameron LeViere (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
The first album that I ever bought with my own money was Europop by Eiffel 65. Disappointing, I know. The "cool" answer would be Dookie by Green Day, but truth be told, it wasn't until a few years later that my dad would give me that one.

Your last album bought?
I got a Diana Ross & The Supremes anthology and a live Miriam Makeba record. More recently, I received Magnolia Electric Co. by Songs: Ohia as a gift.

Favorite album of all time?
The Monitor by Titus Andronicus.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I don't know what happened to Joyce Manor, but BOY HOWDY I just can't stomach their new stuff.

First concert attended?
Ehhhh, I think Streetlight Manifesto. I don't think I've seen a band with more stage presence since.

Last concert?
Not counting ones that I've played, the Ratboys show in Oakland.

Favorite concert ever?
Probably one of the ones I booked on the roof of Spider House. We did an 8-band show last year and called it "Fuck It, It's a Fest." A lot of our good friends from Ohio and Massachusetts came.

Least favorite concert?
Aw I dunno, I saw Foghat and they played "Slow Ride" for like 45 minutes, but even that was kinda sweet it its own way.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I don't know where to start, really. Our next album is going to be all about Pittsburgh; suffice it to say that I never thought I'd feel truly at home in a place until I lived in Pittsburgh.

Thanks, Cameron. Yeah, I really don't see anything that wrong with a 45-minute "Slow Ride" jam. Something to see at least once in one's life.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Farm Aid Pre-Show with Banditos

Farm Aid returns to the Pittsburgh area this Saturday (9/16) with a stacked all day lineup that promises to be an amazing time. Prior to that there are several events associated with the show that highlight the need for this ongoing charitable program now on it's 32nd year.
A full list of happenings can be found here, although if you are into music as much as I am, you want to head on over to Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse Friday night for the official Farm Aid Eve Pre-Show catered by Kimberly Ashlee utilizing food from local family farmers and featuring a performance with Bloodshot recording artists Banditos.
Long a fave of this blog, the Birmingham/Nashville honky tonk,rock band is touring behind it's fantastic sophomore full-length, Visionland.

The show kicks off at 6pm and you can RSVP here.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Video Debut - little good bad

"Three artists from three extremely different ends of the music spectrum, inspired by technology and the constant pursuit of innovation, have combined to form little good bad ( + - ). A soulful pop singer, a punk rock drummer and an electronic producer make up this hybrid pop group of musical misfits."

little good bad (+ -) is a new musical collaboration from Pittsburgh who have just released the video from their debut single today entitled "No Regrets" which you can download for free at their website. The band will be releasing a new single as a free download every month. Expect some very cool things to come.

Friday, August 18, 2017

First/Last - Brahctopus

There is a cool benefit show going down tomorrow (Saturday, August 19) at James Street Gastropub for the American Heart Association featuring a bunch of blog faves including Heavy Chest, Essential Machine and The Petals. Opening the night will be an acoustic set from some members of reggae jamsters Brahctopus. I want to thank lead 'Brah' Ethan Kovalcik (Ukulele/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
50 Cent- Get Rich or Die Tryin'. I was young and bought it from a kid on my school bus thinking I was cool since it had a "parental advisory". I absolutely hated it.

Your last album bought?
State of Mind by Quincy Mumford & the Reason Why. Great funky friends from Asbury Park, NJ!

Favorite album of all time?
Sublime - Freedom. Bradley Nowell is one of my biggest influences; without that album I wouldn't be playing the style of music I am today.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Anything from Nickleback or Buck Cherry... Or maybe the 50 Cent one. That's a toss-up.

First concert attended?
*NSYNC when I was 9 years old at Star Lake Amphitheater. And no, I'm not embarrassed by that!

Last concert?
Phish at Petersen Event Center July 19, 2017. Un...real...

Favorite concert ever?
Has to be the first time I saw Phish. I was a freshman in college and traveled to Cincinnati with some close friends. It was quite an epic trip!

Least favorite concert?
The time I went to Warped Tour in high school. I didn't really enjoy any of the music and I also had a minor run in with the police.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is how the local music scene is coming together. It's really starting to flourish for all genres of music. Everyone is working together to set up gigs, festivals and we're starting to see a huge burst of combining the visual arts with the music. It's a great time to be a Pittsburgh Musician!

Thanks, Ethan. Should be a sweet time tomorrow. So tell me how you define 'minor' run in?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Some Kind of Animal Music Video - "Midnight"

Some Kind of Animal is a Pittsburgh based neo-folk band who released their latest eponymous album this Spring via the Get Hip Records Folk Series.
After killing it at the Deutschtown Music Festival a few weeks a go, this week they are all over WYEP as the featured band on The Local 913. as well as cover band to this month's print edition of Sound Scene Express.
Today I bring you the music video to my bud's Ben favorite track on the album, "Midnight." Created by Nick Francis and starring actress/dancer Hannah Vassallo, the images match the mood and atmosphere to the song perfectly.
The band has been a blog fave for awhile and I am really looking forward to what they do next.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

First/Last - The Beagle Brothers

"The hardest working band in Pittsburgh. The Beagle Brothers have been Pittsburgh's premiere country band for over 10 years. They are the foundation of the "Bloomfield Sound," which mixes honky-tonk and classic country with an accelerated, high energy performance."

The Beagle Brothers area Pittsburgh institution. Don't believe me? They have their own day in the City of Pittsburgh (December 12th, 2015.) They are the house band up in Punxsutawney during the annual Groundhog Day festivities. They even made the cover of the City Paper to mark the release of their 4th album, Dancers of the Drunken Two-Step. Now the Brothers are set to release their latest offering entitled Hearts Go By this Friday (8/4) with a banger at Howler's bringing along blog faves André Costello and the Cool Minors and Kayla Schureman for the ride. Much thanks to Ezra Smith (Drums), Gabriel Smith (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar). Kyle Kline (Bass), Noah Smith (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar), and Read Connolly (Pedal Steel) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Ezra Smith: Beggars & Thieves - Beggars & Thieves.
Gabriel Smith: Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry.
Kyle Kline: Michael Jackson - Thriller. My memory of this is foggy, but my mother clearly remembers the night we purchased the cassette at National Record Mart.
Noah Smith: Starship - Knee Deep in the Hoopla.
Read Connolly: "Weird Al" Yankovic - Bad Hair Day. I liked it so much, I bought it twice, so I could have a cassette version to play in the car.

Your last album bought?
Ezra: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Living with the Living.
Gabriel: The Biters – The Future Ain’t What I Used to Be.
Kyle: The Sons of the Pioneers - Cool Water and Seventeen Timeless Western Favorites. Total "old man" crooner Country and I love it!
Noah: Leonard Cohen - You Want it Darker.
Read: Charley Pride - In Person. I've been obsessing over the pedal steel playing by Lloyd Green on this record. Last week I found a mint copy on the shelves at Jerry's Records for $3. Miss you already, Jerry.

Favorite album of all time?
Ezra: The Clash - London Calling.
Gabriel: Rocket From the Crypt – RFTC or The Hellacopters – Rock and Roll Is Dead.
Kyle: Lately it's been a toss-up between Fela Kuti - The Best of the Black President and Merle Haggard and the Strangers  - Swinging Doors...
Noah: Urge Overall - Exit the Dragon.
Read: I'm too mercurial to commit to a favorite record. My favorite right now is Nicole Atkins - Goodnight Rhonda Lee.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Ezra: The Dismemberment Plan – Change.
Gabriel: Robbie Fulks – Upland Stories or Happy.
Kyle: I was excited about Drake - VIEWS, but thought it ended up being a dud.
Noah: Weezer - Blue Album.
Read: Most recently, Katy Perry - Witness. I am a big fan of her last two records, especially her work with Max Martin. They've made great pop music together! Unfortunately, Witness has none of the fun or staying power of her last two records.

First concert attended?
Ezra: The Everly Brothers.
Gabriel: The Everly Brothers.
Kyle: Tommy Page / Sweet Sensation / Linear at the Crawford County Fair. Someone came onstage during Sweet Sensation's set to let them know their single had just hit #1.
Noah: The Everly Brothers.
Read: "Weird Al" Yankovic at the E-Centre in Camden, New Jersey.

Last concert?
Ezra: Robbie Fulks.
Gabriel: Neurosis / Converge.
Kyle: Neurosis / Converge.
Noah: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Read: Nikki Lane.

Favorite concert ever?
Ezra: The Posies (2005) at Grog Shop in Cleveland.
Gabriel: Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Faith No More.
Kyle: Guns N' Roses, Femi Kuti, Nick Cave: all amazing, all seen within the last year.
Noah: Bad Religion (1995) at Metropol.
Read: The Marked Men with Kim Phuc opening at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Both bands played early and late sets, it was an awesome day.

Least favorite concert?
Ezra: Riot Fest 2011.
Gabriel: Riot Fest 2011.
Kyle: Riot Fest 2011.
Noah: Michael Bolton.
Read: B.B. King at the Benedum Center. I don't want to speak ill of the dead... RIP.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Ezra: Partying in the iced-over streets of Bloomfield after the Steelers' 2005 Super Bowl victory; watching the city grow and change in the 15 years since I started college here.
Gabriel: Playing music with my brothers and closest friends. Seeing new vegan restaurants pop up in the city.
Kyle: Making music with my best friends, playing in front of 20,000 people at 4 AM, "Beagle Brothers Day," playing "Big River" with Bill Peduto, stage diving/crowd surfing at Pittonkatonk and Howlers, running the Great Race and the Half Marathon.
Noah: First Karl Hendricks sighting after moving to Bloomfield in 2005, Slim Cessna at the Sunday Night Hayride, Johnny Cash Day, Using my awkward flirting skills to court a particular Whole Foods cashier, the birth of my daughter.
Read: The 2013 National League Wild Card game, Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016 and 2017, Working with Rick Sebak, Learning how to remodel a kitchen, Being made fun of on "The Daily Show" with my best friends.
Thanks, fellas. Very cool resume there, guys. Friday should be a blast. Here's a fun fact, I technically saw you for the first time in 2006 as I walked in Belvedere's during the last few seconds of your final song. To this day, I am still miffed that I missed your set.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Exclusive: Bat Zuppel Single Premiere "The Witch"

I am excited to share with you the lead off single to the upcoming album Dylar by Pittsburgh noise rockers Bat Zuppel which drops September 22nd via Wild Kindness Records. You can actually score it early when the band has their CD release a week prior at Spirit on September 15th with special guests Langston Kelly Human DJ and It It.
The track is called "The Witch" and it's a 7 minute epic smack dab in the middle of the album.
Check out the full album tracklist and enjoy the stream of "The Witch" below

Dylar Tracks:
Dylar VII
Something Else
Her Favorite Song
The Witch
Away To Drown
Living Without Blues
Sneaky Tack


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

First/Last - Chase and the Barons

"Chase and the Barons bring rock n’ roll back out onto the dance floor, donning paisley ties, brightly colored jeans, and a generally groovy look. Since their formation in 2016, the band has been hitting the Pittsburgh music scene hard with memorable shows, filled with energy and style."

Chase and the Barons is an up and coming Pittsburgh rock and roll band who's latest offering is the Propose a Toaster EP via Pioneer Records. Get a 'taste' of what the band has to offer tonight (6/28) as they participate in the Rock 'N Ramen show at Spirit along with blog faves Meeting of Important People (Duo) and upstarts Bikini Islands. I want to thank Tyler Handyside (Saxophone) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
I unfortunately don't buy a whole lot of music (damn millenials), but I think the first CD I actually bought was Radiohead's Hail to the Thief. I think that record is certainly the band's most underrated work and has some incredible songs. All of Radiohead's releases feel so cohesive as individual works of art, and this album is no exception.

Your last album bought?
The most recent album I bought was one of saxophonist Joshua Redman's latest albums, Walking Shadows. The release is a ballads album, and features gorgeous arrangements of everything from jazz standards to Beatles tunes. The production on the album is excellent, as the ballads really give a lot of open space for strings, horns, and percussion.

Favorite album of all time?
Every musician has struggled to answer this question at some point... I would have to say my favorite record ever is Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else. This album made me truly fall in love with jazz, the saxophone, and music in general, all at once. It is one of few albums I remember exactly where I was the first time I listened to it. The musicianship and general mood of this record is truly transcendent.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
A record that I remember being disappointed in recently was Circa Survive's 2014 release Descensus. The record was a transition from atmospheric, catchy, vocal-driven alternative music to a more hard-rock, accessible feel. Their excellent musicianship and lyrics were still present, and I would never expect a band to release the same kind of music forever, but this record just didn't vibe with me, and I was super excited for it to come out.

First concert attended?
The first concert I attended was Rise Against and Bad Religion when I was 14 or so. It was a cool show to see my favorite band at that time, in addition to an act as influential as Bad Religion.

Last concert?
The most recent concert I attended was the band Knuckle Puck at Altar Bar. They had just released their most recent album and they played a great high energy set. The Altar Bar was a cool venue and I was happy to see a few shows there in the months before it closed.

Favorite concert ever?
My favorite concert ever was seeing my favorite band, Title Fight, at the Smiling Moose when I was in high school. I was just starting to really dive into music in general, and they quickly became one of my favorite alternative bands. They had just released another great record, and the small space at the Smiling Moose was perfect, as it made the 100-or so person crowd feel like a few thousand. This show was more than worth all the stage dive kicks to the head I took.

Least favorite concert?
My least favorite concert ever was actually seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Consol. They played a great show, and I was super stoked to have floor seats, but I could hardly see the stage at all and mostly had to watch the giant video screen that they were showing a camera stream on. I was disappointed to not be able to see all of the band interaction and shenanigans as a whole, and just felt like I didn't get the full experience.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
On a non-music note: As a huge sports fan, the first thing that comes to mind is the Penguins' recent run of back-to-back Stanley Cups. It probably hasn't registered with me how fortunate I am to have experienced such a legendary stretch of hockey. I've been able to witness some really cool hockey games here, including the Winter Classic and a few playoff games, and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. The city of Pittsburgh is the greatest sports town in this country, and I could not imagine living somewhere where sports aren't such a huge part of daily life for an entire city.

Thanks, Tyler. I am guessing that you weren't really around for the first Penguins Cup run in the early 90's? That was super fun, too.