Sunday, May 30, 2010

B.O.M.B. Fest 2010 exclusive interview with Frank Bombaci

Sunday, May 30 2010:

Durham Fairgrounds
Durham, CT

$60 ($50 advance), 12 Noon doors (Gates open at 10:30am)

Frank Bombaci Sr took the time out of his ultra-busy schedule to answer a few questions from us about the upcoming B.O.M.B. Fest. The key thing is that Frank is an intensely enthusiastic and positive person, qualities that his son Frank Jr shares as well. B.O.M.B. Fest and Bring Our Music Back could never happen without that kind of energy. But it's also the cooperation that matters. It's nice to see that Connecticut's generally Balkanized music scene is finally getting its shit together. Because, let's face it, anything like B.O.M.B. Fest also needs a show-going community, and it's here, and it's about bloody time.

Read on:

CT INDIE: How did you get started doing B.O.M.B. Fest? Did you have a background in concert promotion?

FRANK BOMBACI: The concept of B.O.M.B. Fest (Bring Our Music Back) started with my son Frank Jr who just finished his freshman year at Loyola University as a music business major. He wanted to produce a music festival for his senior project in high school. The concept was to unite undiscovered local talent with national acts - touching all musical genres in a professionally produced concert with all net proceeds being donated to charity. Last year’s event was put together in six weeks with Say Anything and the Cool Kids headlining the show - 6 national acts and 11 local acts. The weather did not cooperate but the music and the people were amazing and everyone had an incredible time and we raised 30K with proceeds donated to charity including the Make a Wish Foundation.

C: Thinking about last year's fest compared to this year's, did you come away from last year's wanting to change anything and/or build upon it?

F: Last year’s festival taught us a lot, especially that Connecticut needs a festival like this - music that is young and fresh - incredible non-commercialized national acts and amazing local artists that need a voice. We wanted to start a new tradition taking our concept and advancing the festival to a whole new level! It is our intent to put Connecticut on the national festival scene. For this year and into the future, we found a great partner in the Durham Fair - the site is amazing, right in the center of Connecticut, and the site will be transformed into a festival village with four stages featuring 13 national and 35 local artists - 11 hours of nonstop music and free rides. We wanted to create fun for all, have great food, and have all types of crafters creating a really cool atmosphere to enjoy Memorial Day weekend with family and friends!

C: What are some of the main things that you hope to achieve with this year's fest?

F: The most important thing we hope to achieve is really establishing our mission and organization Bring Our Music Back, Inc. ( We are a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing life and healing through music, or as we call it "music with purpose". We truly believe that music and art have healing properties and can really help lift the spirit! No one in our organization profits from any of our productions. All the net proceeds from our events are donated to charities and organizations who advance life and healing through music or provide artists education and inspiration to our youth. So many music and art programs are being cut or eliminated in our school systems, which is tragic. Music therapy programs do amazing things to lift spirits and hope for so many people throughout the nation, and here in our own state who need our help. Just watching the results that music can have in lifting the spirit - smiling faces and tapping feet - is all the inspiration I need!
Our charities this year are:
The Hole In The Wall Gang Camps
The Connecticut Children's Hospital
YPI Camp for music and art development

C: Did you look to other festivals, such as Coachella, as inspiration?

F: Frank Jr and I have looked at and attended many festivals all around the country. Things we looked at were layout, look and feel, the overall experience, and purpose, if any, outside of just a commercial effort. One such example is Voodoo Fest in New Orleans. Overall the festival has a great location in a city park, great look and feel, but had a very overpriced and lousy VIP experience. We have tried our best to make the B.O.M.B. Fest an overall fantastic experience - unique, fun, and one that will make fans want more! Our VIP package blows away most festivals that I have been to!

C: How were you able to get such a killer lineup together?

F: Putting a lineup together is a real challenge especially for a new festival and independent one like ours. We had to fight for credibility and were very fortunate to have two really good middle agents working with us - Pretty Polly Productions and Howling Wolf Productions. We start out with two want lists - headliners and support acts. Then we go through the process of availability and cost to make an overall talent budget work. Frank Jr is amazing with his talent knowledge and putting together a great mix to touch on multiple music genres. Local bands start submitting their music months in advance - there is tremendous undiscovered talent out there and we want to give them a voice and opportunity to play a festival like this. We have an incredible lineup of local and regional talent! To that end we already have over 60 submissions for next year’s show.

C: There must be a ton of people that you'd like to thank for their help in making this festival possible. Who are they and what were some of their contributions?

F: We are very fortunate to have a really dedicated and passionate team to make an event like this happen. There are too many to mention all (but I love them all) but without the contributions of Gail Stevens our executive director and glue to the organization, Peter Smith our production manager who is amazing and really knows how to pull the details together, and Andrea Anderson our events manager who makes sure that everyone has a great experience, this show would never have happened. And of course our partnership with the Durham Fair organization - they have an incredible team of professionals headed up by Gene Chiappetta and Debbie Waz, and the beautiful town of Durham, CT, and their terrific town officials. Without this amazing venue we would not have the great vibe we want to deliver to our attendees. This has been a great partnership and it what will make B.O.M.B Fest the special event it will be rain or shine!

The humongous lineup includes:

Lupe Fiasco
Of Montreal
Girl Talk
30 Seconds to Mars
Mute Math
The Cool Kids
Roots of Creation
Christine Olhman & Rebel Montez
40oz to Freedom
Quintron and Miss Pussycat

Plus local/regional stages with:

1st Class, Alabama Black Smoke, Anna Lennard, Aquaforce, Citylark , Clarias, Contagious Collective, Dan Stevens, Distoria, Do I Dare?, Dr Rocktapus and the Nunks, DS@STR, Edison, EULA , Fugue , G-EAZY, Greg Strong, Kate Manatee, LOLHS Select Singers, M.T. Bearington, Parabellum, Patter Cubs, Pie Boys Flat, Raina Mullen, sayWHAT?, Skyfactor, Sleeping Lessons, Sounds in Silence, States Away, Sun Hotel, The Band Eclypse, The Energy, The Land of Dreams, The Shills, The Tawny 12

Head on over to the B.O.M.B. Fest website for plenty more details.

Friday, May 28, 2010

MONO at Daniel Street

If you asked me 5 or 6 years ago what my favorite label was, I would tell you Temporary Residence Ltd without a moments hesitation. They had all the best bands and all the new releases I wanted but could never afford. I mean they had it all: Cerberus Shoal, Explosions in the Sky, Eluvium, and Tarentel, which was my favorite band for a long, long time. Still, one of the best bands on TR was absolutely MONO. Hailing from Japan, they exemplify everything I loved about the genre; the echoing guitar melodies, the long slow builds, and of course the noisy, aggressive, over-the-top choruses. Loud waves of distortion contrasted with sweet, reverb-laden guitar, blasting cymbals; but at the heart of it all, the driving force behind the music is always pure emotion. I guess there's a reason people are always crying at Mono concerts.

Recently, the post-rock thing hasn't quite lived up to what it meant to me back then, but I still listen to all those old classics and try to keep up with the new releases. Admittedly, I've been slacking a bit, but of course I still follow MONO. Last year they released a real masterpiece; for those of you who don't own 2009's amazing double LP Hymn to the Immortal Wind yet, you should really consider picking it up. In addition to that album, while they were touring around last year with a 24-piece orchestra, which was recorded and just released as their newest live album, a 3LP and DVD set titled Holy Ground: NYC Live With The Wordless Music Orchestra. I think that they're really coming back into the spotlight again, and the new songs are fantastic.

Next Saturday, they'll be coming to Daniel Street with The Twilight Sad, who I've also been listening to for years. The Twilight Sad are from Scotland, and have released two albums that are very different from one another, the early stuff being more gentle and their newer album Forget the Night Ahead being a much noisier affair. They're now heavier than ever, have very dark lyrics and draw a lot of late 80s shoegaze influence, while still maintaining a bit of a post-rock musical and emotional feel. Vocalist James Graham's meandering Scottish brogue is totally unique and layering this ontop of screaming distortion and krautrock beats makes these guys awesome in my book.

Manic Productions Presents:
The Twilight Sad

Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ Daniel Street
21 Daniel Street, Milford, CT
8:00PM, 21+

$14 ($12 adv) (tickets thru etix or @ Redscroll)

MONO North American Tour Dates 2010

w/ Balmorhea *
w/ The Twilight Sad**

Apr 30 Austin, TX @ Emos Outside *
May 01 Dallas, TX @ The Loft *
May 03 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad *
May 04 Tucson, AZ @ Plush *
May 05 Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse *
May 06 San Diego, CA @ Casbah *
May 07 Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre **
May 08 San Francisco, CA @ Slim's **
May 10 Portland, OR @ Berbati's Pan **
May 11 Seattle, WA @ Neumo's **
May 12 Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret **
May 14 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge **
May 15 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater **
May 17 Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room **
May 18 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews **
May 19 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club **
May 20 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon **
May 21 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom **
May 22 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall **
May 23 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick **
May 24 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop **
May 25 Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox **
May 26 Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace **
May 27 Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa **
May 28 Boston, MA @ Middle East Downstairs **
May 29 Milford, CT @ Daniel Street **
May 30 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom **
Jun 01 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church **
Jun 02 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club **
Jun 04 Durham, NC @ North State Sound **
Jun 05 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Hell Stage) **
Jun 06 Nashville, TN @ Exit In **
Jun 07 Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone Cafe **
Jun 08 Little Rock, AR @ Revolution Music Room **
Jun 09 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon **
Jun 10 Houston, TX @ Rudyards British Pub **

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jukebox The Ghost, Free Energy, Miniature Tigers

Thursday, May 27 2010 - Manic Productions presents a co-headline show with:

The Space
295 Treadwell Street
Hamden CT

$12 - 7:00PM - All Ages


Tickets or grab them at Redscroll

DC's Jukebox the Ghost writes a fresh breed of melodic pop tunes driven by fiery rock momentum. With quirky lyrics and inventive songwriting, fans and critics have drawn parallels with the pop sensibility of Elvis Costello, the flamboyance of Queen, the wit of They Might Be Giants, and the creative rock of The Flaming Lips.

Free Energy is a Philadelphia, PA band which includes Scott Wells, Paul Sprangers, Evan Wells, Geoff Bucknam, and Nick Shuminksy. Wells and Sprangers were both in now-defunct Hockey Night. Free Energy broadcasts melodic, hook-laden rock tunes with a heavy dose of bombastic glam and classic dust.
DFA Records

Miniature Tigers’ sound was forged in the bedroom of frontman Charlie Brand, only to quickly outgrow the space, with the band soon finding itself on stage, in the studio and signed to Phoenix’s Modern Art Records in short order. Brand’s lyrics – a mix of deeply personal insights and playful references to the disparate cultural artifacts that have informed his existence – and effortlessly constructed indie-pop arrangements have made fans in his native Phoenix and beyond.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Elm City PopFest, Day One Review

On Friday, May 14th I made my way down to New Haven's workhorse of a venue, Cafe Nine, to catch the first night of Elm City PopFest. Having attended the first Elm City PopFest this Fall I held high hopes for the evening.

(photo by Bob Rock)

After an initial difficulty finding parking nearby "the Nine" (a sure sign of solid attendance), I arrived just in time to miss the first song by openers, The Wee Bees. Although this was only their third show as a band, the quintet seemed to lock in relatively well on stage together; there were no obvious flubs or flaws that distracted the audience from the songs. While I wholeheartedly agree with some previous descriptions of the band's music as "’80s- and ’90s-inspired shoegaze-meets-jangle pop," I'd also argue that the Wee Bees also possessed a slight jazz influence, especially the singer/rhythm guitarist, who repeatedly changed guitar tunings throughout the set. Although the changes definitely helped vary the band's sound, the tuning breaks themselves affected the overall flow of the set. During such interludes other Wee Bees began to tell jokes to fill in the time, which I feel initially worked well to break the ice a bit with the crowd. By the fourth tuning/joke break though it became more of a distraction than anything. Despite the interruptions, the Wee Bees even mix of mellow and upbeat indie pop was a decidedly good way to open the night and the festival.

(photo by Bob Rock)

Next up on the night's billing was singer/songwriter Steven Deal. Deal's brand of punky power pop has long been lauded in local press and I was excited that I finally got to catch one of his shows. In addition his backing band included some pretty accomplished local musicians in guitarist Chris Cretella (Goose Lane) and drummer Dave Parmelee (The Vultures, Atrina). From the get-go though, it seemed the crowd was not as excited as I was. Although each song and performance was solid through and through, Steven Deal & co. repeatedly failed to connect with the audience at large who at times seemed overwhelmed by the band's volume and velocity. To me the lack of response by the crowd was unfortunate, as the band was putting a lot of energy into the performance especially Deal who, at one point, literally had to take a breather before diving into the next song. After a particularly energetic take on Deal's "Caitlin's Crying," which he described as being written at the Cafe Nine bar "twenty years ago," the band launched into a great cover of The Damned's "New Rose,' which also went over everyone's head. It seems to me that on another night and another billing, Deal would have went over much better.

(photo by Bob Rock)

After a brief equipment change, the UK's much anticipated Veronica Falls took the stage. Almost instantly, Cafe Nine was packed, with a significant crowd (for Cafe Nine) gathered near the stage to see the band's first U.S. show. Where the Wee Bees were a bit mellow at times, and Steven Deal a bit hyper-charged, Veronica Falls relied heavily upon texture as well as a relentlessly driving beat. Somewhere in between the chords of non-stop guitar strumming and infinite floor tom, melody began to sneak out, usually led by a mix of male and female vocals from all four members.

(photo by Bob Rock)

(photo by Bob Rock)

Although they definitely weren't hit-you-over-the-head power pop, with each chorus and melodic lift the songs slowly became hummable, working their way into your subconscious whether you liked it or not. Bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine immediately sprang to mind, although the band was a bit more thrashy than all three. There was a palpable energy throughout, especially in the drums which seemed to get louder and more driving with each song. In terms of stage presence, the band seemed slightly awkward, even nervous at times (which makes sense given it was their first show stateside) although this didn't seem to impede upon their performance. By the end of their set, the band finally seemed to lock in, even managing a few smiles. The crowd reaction to the band was strong, with several audience members even requesting an encore, although to no success. Overall, Veronica Falls impressed me, so much so that I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to check out some great new music from the British Isles.

(photo by Bob Rock)

Last but not least on Elm City PopFest's opening night was NYC's Boy Genius. Somewhat of an honorary New Haven band due to their frequent appearances in the Elm City as of late, Boy Genius did not disappoint. Even from the beginning, the band was on fire, ripping through their set of catchy melodic pop tunes with abandon. The band seemed particularly happy to have guitarist Mr. Ray Neal (formerly of Miracle Legion, a.k.a., one of the band's biggest influences) joining Boy Genius for their set, which without a doubt directly impacted the band's stage presence and energy. Even as the crowd dwindled slightly due to the late hour (the band didn't hit the stage until after 12:30), the quintet (including Neal) only seemed to strengthen in intensity. After a series of rockers, the band ended their set with a particularly long but particularly awesome jam (dedicated to one Jason Devin), thus sealing the first night of Elm City PopFest with a bang.

(photo by Bob Rock)

Despite some initial ups and downs, Elm City PopFest's first night ended strongly and, overall, was a resounding success.

Be sure and catch the Elm City PopFest follow up show tomorrow night (May 26th) at Cafe Nine!

Elm City Pop Fest Day Three: Wednesday, March 26th

Though “Sex, drugs and pop” might not carry the same ring to it, Danny Goodwin of Tweefort Records thinks the genre needs a little more attention in New Haven. He went about this by kick-starting a record label, releasing local talent, hosting frequent shows and eventually presenting Elm City Pop Fest, a barebones three-day festival (the last day is to be held this Wednesday, May 26th) showcasing pop music from home and abroad in New Haven’s venues.

The festival is an incarnation of everything Tweefort revolves around: bringing nationally touring pop bands to New Haven where they can play with like-minded locals. This year is the second run of the event—the first installment launched the weekend of the 14th—during which bands performed at Café Nine and Tweefort’s makeshift home-base venue ArtSpace Underground. Locals in the lineup like EULA and The Fictional West originate in New Haven, but this year Goodwin broadened the Connecticut portion of the lineup with acts like Steven Deal (Milford) and the Field Recordings (Danbury). On Saturday evening, ArtSpace was a gallery turned venue full of wine glass toting music fiends. They have hosted Tweefort concerts since last spring.

“I was a little surprised when we first started — although I shouldn't have been — that a lot of the fans of our shows are people that were really involved in New Haven's punk/pop heyday in the '70s and '80s,” said Goodwin. Late Saturday evening, around 60 bodies hovered around the performance space with drinks in hand, alternating between conversation and focusing on the talent. A gallery assistant flitted from wall to wall ensuring that no shoulder blade or stray elbow of an audience member touched one of the suspended paintings. One particularly inspired audience member with a ball of tight curls danced alone in the front lines to New Haven’s Butterflies of Love. A sound technician from East Rock Recording Studio, another longtime supporter of Tweefort’s mission, sat among the clumps of audience to check the bands.

All proceeds from Saturday’s show went directly to ArtSpace as a thanks for what the organization has done for New Haven arts. “[My wife] Aileen and I would travel to Boston, Northampton and New York City to see pop shows and then we kind of realized that could and should be trying to get these bands to play in New Haven,” Goodwin remembered. “New Haven has a diverse and open-minded music and arts scene plus students from all the nearby colleges and universities.” This Wednesday’s last installment of Pop Fest at Café Nine on State street coincides with New York City Pop Fest, allowing Elm City to piggy back on acts like Horowitz and Allo Darlin’, two bands from the UK.

“I think we knew there was a lot of potential fans in New Haven,” Goodwin said. “There is a whole worldwide community of indiepop fans and I knew we could tap into that with a lot of the music we promote.”

A Reply to Rich's "An Open Letter to Sub Verso and every little band in CT"


By way of Daniel from The Field Recordings:

(This reply will certainly be a mess because most of it is aimed for the Author of the article and some is aimed at the Figureheads at the blog)

I suppose this will have to be short as I haven't heard Sub Verso's record, nor has my band ever played with their band, ETC. But here are a couple things that struck me about the write-up: No one does this anymore. Interviews are meant as fluff & to push records, record reviews don't even bother describing what a record really sounds like, nor do reviewers ever come right out and say which songs they LOVE, ETC. And--here's my point, I think--the time of Grand Artistic Statements (or, The Time When Grand Artistic Statements Could Be Taken Seriously & Dangerously) in Rock'N'Roll (or anywhere else, for that matter) has been over for 30 years.

But the "Open Letter" is precisely that: a grand artistic statement. (I can only imagine how it's sitting with the guys in SV--I can only imagine how I'd feel if one of our albums was ever the Genesis for something like that) But nevertheless, THAT'S what's missing from post-Rolling Stone music journalism: Disappointment! Dejection! The Fan's pain at someone else's failure! That's what was all over Lester Bangs' writing--the Morals Game--and not in any healthy or holy sense, but in the way that every choice for a band, for an album, for a song was a choice between Truth & Lies, ETC. and the people who made the wrong choices & let him down seemed to injure him, and the resulting pieces weren't so much about the records he heard,but the records he COULD have heard.

So I think I've finally reached my point: What struck me about your article (and the blog publishing it) is how INJURED, how HONEST, & how UNFLINCHING it is. In this era of EVERYTHING IS MEANINGFUL (even Meaninglessness), it's becoming more & more rare for anyone to actually try and rally a group to some kind of Purpose--because to do that would be to reject SOMETHING, or ANYTHING. Unfortunately, no one has left a Comment on the post, so I have no idea how anyone is taking it. I don't know--the sheer Politics of printing something like this are staggering--and it brought to mind the negative show review published about Slam Donahue only to then invite them to play the ChiliFest... Are you guys afraid you'll get shunned one of these days? Do you care? Have you heard any kind of reply from Sub Verso?

Ah, Bravery! In this state where all our talent goes to New York! Where most of the people left don't seem to care! Where all the clubs smell like Estate Sales! Where all the bands keep to themselves! We at least have a website that takes us as a SCENE, as a THREAT, as a REALITY, and holds us accountable when we betray their support! THANK YOU!

The saddest part is that all Bangs' honesty got him killed by cough syrup in a crappy Chinatown apartment,

PS--Sorry, this thing kind of got away from me. I hope my Mess hasn't offended either of you.

A reply-

Running this site is kinda tricky considering that as much as I do my best to keep the peace, deep down I always want to go for the jugular. That Slam Donahue post was one of the best we've seen, and a huge thank you to both the "John" that posted the review (not John Hall, who runs CT Indie with me) and to Slam Donahue for being cool with it.

I'm not going to speak for Rich, but I can tell you he mulled over how to address that Sub Verso release quite a bit, and had plenty of arguments conversations about it before writing it.

I can talk about this site, though. Trying to keep enthusiasm and motivation as high as possible has come at the cost of dancing around mediocre bands and releases. Most anyone that has written for this site has gotten an email from me about the fact that our goal is to support our local music scene, not shit all over it.

I'm usually the last person to review releases because of this. Unless I have something good to say, mum's the word. I don't really know how I feel about that anymore. I mean, obviously there are ways to be critical without being a blatant douche pickle, right?

Up until now, I thought I was totally uncompromising about the necessity of communication. Actually, I have been, but I choose to focus on the positive. But there is a whole lot more to say about music than how great it is. I'm not saying I'm going to start tearing into everyone about how much they suck, but I definitely think it's time to take the lid off and say what needs to be said.


Monday, May 24, 2010

An Open Letter to Sub Verso and every little band in CT


We're here because of Within The Hour. I'll start where I will end.

Do it again.

There are some tonal issues with the vocals, mixing is spotty but more important than anything, the EP lacks passion. Passion by way of nuance, passion by the way of conviction, passion as evinced by an attitude that conveys "I need to tell you this."

Why the broad assessment? Why so little specifics? Because the point is this: You don't suck. You're just not doing what you set out. I've literally spent hours on your review because I want this to be crystal clear to you and every talented band in CT. CT needs you. More on that in a second.

Everything is in the right place. All the notes are played well all the changes are crisp, however not groundbreaking. But that is my point. 99% of music and art is nothing new. It's made worthy of attention by a uniqueness that is the artist's. No one is going to give you a second look if you aren't unabashedly yourself. And it is the sincerity that carries the music through triteness, through rehashing of old genres, through themes that have been explored a thousand times. The author is the message. Throughout Within The Hour I hear a concern for the presentation and not the intent.

Somehow, at some point, being "too cool for school" became, well, cool in music.

Fuck that.

Anyone who actually listens can hear the "look at how good I am at this!" quality in a recorded performance.

Fuck. That.

The aim should be to convey to the listener not "Look at how good I am" but "Look at how much I love this" or (for the tortured) "If I don't show you this I'm going to explode". I don't get a too cool attitude and I do get a detached innocence that is charming. In addition the four songs fit together well, but that's where it ends.

You don't suck, and CT needs you. Why employ such a backhanded compliment? I mention it because on the face of it, one of the missions of CT Indie is to build the CT music scene. Something I believe in. (tips hat to Mr. Devin, and Mr. Hall)

Being born between two major markets and seeing first hand medium sized bands (very often the only bands worth a damn) go to Boston, New York or even Providence for more money and a scene that isn't blazed about their arrival is angering. So Connecticut needs good bands that hit the notes at the right time but also create with a presence of mind. We need good bands to tip the balance and create a culture where original music is valued and where cover bands don't earn 5 times more a gig (if a tiny original band is even paid). I've seen too many of my friends work to the bone for pennies, fighting the apathy that is rampant between Greenwich, Enfield and Stonington. Killing that apathy should be every one's aim. In addition, if I bullshit you about your art, I'm part of the problem.

So do it again, Sub Verso. You have it in you. Otherwise I wouldn't spend hours on listening, discussing at length with much more knowledgeable friends and writing this. If you have to walk around inside yourself for a while to find the back room where it resides, well, start walking. If you play with sincerity, you won't fail.

Don't fucking fail.

With more concern than you know,
Rich P.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's a mighty nice town if you look at it right

<a href="">This Time by Get Haunted</a>

From Get Haunted's blog:

The first album, Get Haunted, Vol. 1, is being mastered and is almost ready to be released. We are packaging a very small (36 copies) first run of cd's with illustrated lyric cards. These will be for sale for $10 in early summer. If you would like to reserve a copy, email us and we will put one aside.

Also, an EP "From the Basement", will follow in mid-summer.

Vol. 2 is nearing completion. Stay tuned.


Popeye's Garage, Judge's Cave released, Estrogen Highs news

Here's some interesting news: Popeye's Garage is on Wordpress. There is a little info about their first gallery opening and the schedule for the remainder of the month of May. Popeye's Garage is also on MySpace, including their event schedule.

Now check this out - Never Heard Of It Records release number 006:

Judge's Cave: The Hidden Sounds of New Haven

Featuring 8 of New Haven, CT's finest. Judge's Cave is a 4 cassette box (3 C30's and 1 C10) with zine (features history of Judge's Cave and information on each band on the comp). The boxes have all been hand spray painted/stenciled. Limited to 66 copies. The bands are...

Medication (first ever full band recording)
Sudden Walks (pre-Estrogen Highs, from aborted LP recording session)
Permanent Feels (Stefan from Estrogen Highs solo and EH demo tracks)
Roman Wolfe (synth explorations from 1/2 of Arabian Blade)
Colorguard (noise and a little Patsy Cline from 1/2 of Heaven People)
Female (noise and synth weirdness)
Ehrgeizig (black metal from some of NH's usual suspects)
Bible Frost (more black metal, crushing!)

US/Canada $25 PPD
World $30 PPD

paypal to jsgc138 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Finally, maybe best of all, Estrogen Highs will be on tour August 13-22. The last two shows with Chip on drums will be two Cafe Nine shows, one on June 5 (Ideat Village) and one on June 10 (with Jacuzzi Boys and The Beets). New drummer kicks off maybe in late June. Werd to the herd.

Age of Reason and The Peacock Flounders at Cafe 9

May 22nd at Cafe 9, you can catch three long-running local bands that have been doing there thing since before most of you were born. It's going to be a night of solid old-school rock; a total blast from the past.

The show is a CD release party for Age of Reason, which features Ed Leonard, who's been running Beatnik 2000, a local open mic at Cafe 9 for many years every Monday night. Also in the band is Dave Davino, who runs the local Studio 23. They'll be releasing their newest CD "Vox Humana" which I just heard a sample of on Rob DeRosa's Homegrown radio show yesterday (which I hope everyone else was listening to...)

The Peacock Flounders will also be playing, which features Ron Sutfin and Kerry Miller, both of them long-time rockers from back in the days of New Haven club Ron's Place in the late 70s. Their album "Hello Beautiful" was released on Independisc a couple of years ago to great reviews and a lot of acclaim. Sutfin is probably the busiest musician in CT, in addition to playing or having played in a ton of bands, he also runs the eponymous Sutfin Studios. Just check out the website and you'll see the long list of things he's been involved in.

Also on the bill are Shrinking Violets, who feature members of The Who Whos, Peacock Flounders, and Rope.

Cafe 9
New Haven, CT
10:00 PM, $5

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fake Babies, The Back Pockets, and Netherfriends

Friday, May 21, 2010: The Submarine Presents:

~Netherfriends got the win on the image for this post. Fake Babies are all over this site already, and The Back Pockets had too many to dig through.

Cafe Nine
250 State Street
New Haven CT

$5 (also saw $3 ??) - 10:00PM - 21+

Directions: Click

The Submarine crew emerges from the depths of Daggett this Friday, May 21, to bring you an evening of experimental (and slightly disturbing) pop with Fake Babies, The Back Pockets ("sounds like a rainbow trippin on dirty shoelaces") and Netherfriends. DJ You B spins crazy crunk and erotic electronica.

Netherfriends are also playing a house show with Sub Verso, Everyone Everywhere, Midi and the Modern Dance, Birth of Flower, Stegosaur, Salty Grapes, and Sleep Well on Sunday sometime in the early afternoon. Dig the web if you want to find out more.

The Eclectic Community Room

So there's a new place in New London on Union Street. It's just a block from the El N Gee club that's right inside Eclectic Wear, which they're calling The Eclectic Community Room. It's a room that anyone can go and rent for only $150 to put on any show - an art show, a concert, etc. They'll be putting on a few shows coming up in conjunction with a few local bands. It looks like this is going to be a great up and coming place to put on DIY-type shows and for touring bands to come through and put on small shows at a unique venue.

This is great news! Keep up the great work, guys, I'm excited to hear what's coming in the future. New London's amazing music scene is definitely staying strong.

There's a couple of punk and hardcore shows coming up this weekend, so check out their myspace website for the full calendar details.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chili Cookoff - Thank You

Thanks to everyone who came out to the 3rd Annual Chili Cookoff at my house. Big thanks to Slam Donahue (left) and The Field Recordings (above) for doing great sets. It was a great time, even though TFR set got cut short by the cops. Thanks, anonymous neighbor, for phoning in that noise violation. Anyway, you couldn't have asked for a better day, the weather was perfect for chili, beer and music. Also thanks to Brushback for doing a fun writeup on the show and taking quality pictures! Sorry I didn't record it for you folks that didn't make it, but I was having too much fun to bother setting up all that stuff. We might be doing another one of these in the fall.

Read more about it here: CLICK.


Monday, May 17, 2010

American Legion BBQ show

May 23rd at the American Legion in Wallingford, there's a kickass show with seven bands and it all starts with a BBQ. It's an early one, with bands on at 3pm, so get there early enough to choke down some grilled dead animal (or dead plants... damn hippies) and then mosh your stomach into oblivion. Ah, the start of summer. Choruses of lawnmowers, girls in skimpy outfits, outdoor shows, BBQs and crippling hardcore. Get your pasty skin outside and stick some wieners in your buns.


More information on the facebook page.

45 Grave with Midnight Creeps

Tuesday, May 18:

Cafe Nine
250 State Street
New Haven CT

$10 - 9:00PM - 21+

Directions: Click

Formed in 1979 in Los Angeles, 45 Grave was a horror punk band that emerged during the LA punk movement. They created, along with Christian Death, their own hybrid subgenre of horror punk and goth rock. The original lineup consisted of Dinah Cancer on vocals, Paul Cutler on guitar, Rob Ritter (also known as Rob Graves) on bass, and Don Bolles of The Germs on drums. In 2005, to commemorate its 25th anniversary, 45 Grave reformed with an all new lineup, Dinah Cancer being the single remaining member from any previous incarnations.

"The Midnight Creeps are one of the most authentically sleazy bands around, at least musically. They are the sound of rough sex in a back alley, of a feast of snakes, of that last gratuitous kick in the belly when you're already down." -Sleazegrinder

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Show Review: David Bazan, Titles @ The Space

May 12, 2010

So, there’s some infectious pop ringing through the PA, the bar and patio are vibrating with activity, a packed house—it was a good night on all fronts at The Space. That being said, it was weird to see a five-foot cushion of space between the crowd and Titles, New Haven’s mellow pop child and local opener for David Bazan, put on by Manic Productions.

“Maybe it’s for sitting?” suggested a friend, but the demeanor of the night wasn’t exactly a warm and cozy one. Instead, rows of 20-somethings stood, hands buried in pockets and eyes fixed on the four performers on stage. Titles isn’t the type of band to encourages this response. Though professional in their air, they exude the vibe of nice guys playing nice music. They play tightly strung pop that’s charming at times, cutesy at others (“You’re the antenna and I’m the TV, let’s get together and see what we see”). The highlight of their set came when former member Matt Wilson hopped on stage to alternate between guitar and lap steel on their last song, neatly swapping the pick-up between instruments which added a warmth and depth to their sound. Before the song, he joked about how great it would be if dogs had a sense of humor, since they could do so much damage to their owner through play-dead pranks. The crowd didn’t find this nearly as funny as they should have.
Maybe it was anticipation; maybe it was just an off night. Not for nothing, but the audience may have just been preening for Bazan in anticipation for his performance. By the looks in the eyes of some while he set up, it was clear that there was nobody else waiting in the room—it was just David and them, like it has been since they first heard Pedro the Lion in the 90’s.
The physical change in the room was visible with bodies now clustered around the perimeter of the low-level stage, just under a foot or so of black platform which David Bazan occupied alone. Some stood and some knelt at the lip of the stage, faces raised to him in the pinkish stage light. In a fell swoop, he had shed his red hoodie, pulled his guitar from the case and did a brief sound check. There weren’t any formalities of introducing song or self, just a trio of exploratory chord strums before entering into “Foregone Conclusions” immediately followed by “Transcontinental,” both Pedro the Lion songs. Short bursts of applause bust through the short breaths of silence between each song. This introduction of the set ran more like a playlist than a set list. His mannerism carried the air of performing for 20 years, and the crowd knew it. He is the face of Pedro the Lion, Starflyer 59 and also toured with The Undertow Orchestra featuring the late Vic Chestnutt. He’s also known for Headphones, his brief side project with a penchant for synth. Bazan’s set list reflected this, from “Priests and Paramedics” (Pedro the Lion) and “Hot Girls” (Headphones)—and a wistful Vic Chestnutt cover, “I Flirted with You All My Life.” After his first several songs, he broke the song/applause ratio to ask if there were any questions—lightly at first, but as a matter of procedure after two or three questions were voiced at each pause. Part challenge and part poke at the audience for some entertainment, Bazan picked this up from TW Wilson while touring together in 2000. “Is there going to be a new Headphones album?” “Are you angry at God?” “What is the most difficult song for you to play?” “What was it like going through your change of faith in public?” He met every inquiry with a polite and conservative tone which was just fine to the crowd, evidenced in their sometimes overly eager laughter (re: the unlikeliness of a new Headphones album: “No one bought the albums…I couldn’t justify the amount of money spent on it. I have…” “Bills?” offered a guy in the back to everyone exploding in laughter) and enthusiastic applause.

And as the questions became more personal, Bazan retaliated with answers of greater depth. With each carefully chosen word, it felt like each song carried a heavier burden of shared experience, like he was letting you in on a darkened trial of his. His facial expressions buoyed to the surface in “Bearing Witness,” admitting “And though I’ve repented/I’m still tempted, I admit” above the bluesier, faster-paced chords of his conversely grim realization—he rocked further from his anchored place before the stand, he laughed audibly or furrowed his brow while speaking to the crowd. The evening breathed at ease, and there sat a mutual respect between the wall of faces and the singular Bazan. Though it seemed no one in the room fidgeted from their spot because of being riveted, there wasn’t anyone in particular who sang along with every word—though they hung on them. Bazan acknowledged this by saying how much of a pleasure it was to play to the fans crowded in the warm basement of The Space, and “hopes no one resents” him for playing so long. This probably wasn’t further from the case.

At 16 songs deep, Bazan never cracked from his steady baritone, but let a quick smile go the two or three times he fumbled with his strings. The respect for the performance was in everyone’s eyes, which clung to Bazan as he preceded his last song “In Stitches” with a more secular message to the fans of this generation: to clean up after themselves, and to remember what it meant to be an American before their parents had fucked it up. As he played “Stitches,” uncut strings trembling from the ends of their knobs, the room ached with him in silent acknowledgement. Between songs and responses, it felt like a conversation just ended. It explored the corners of his question of faith, his past, the meaning behind his work. There wasn’t any plea for an encore, because none was needed. “When you write something down you have to go back and account for it. You play these songs and see if they ring true,” he answered during a response about his change of faith. “They let you move on, in a way. “

(Photos: Grace McGovern)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Elm City Popfest

Elm City Popfest returns this weekend for three days and 17 bands of indie-pop revelry. Following the success of the first Elm City Popfest this past November, festival organizer and Tweefort/February Records founder Danny Goodwin had to dig deeper this time around in order to top the original. Effectively doubling in size, this installment of Elm City Popfest offers a range of local, regional, national and even international talent. Also, in addition to Artspace (the original home of ECPF), there will be shows held at New Haven's Cafe Nine. And as with the last ECPF, a portion of the proceeds generated by the festival will go to the aforementioned Artspace, a non-profit downtown gallery, venue and exhibition space. So what's all the fuss about you ask? Well, here's the breakdown...

Day One, Friday, May 14th @ Cafe Nine
Kicking off the festival will be a free, four band blowout at New Haven's Cafe Nine featuring locals The Wee Bees and Steven Deal augmented by the UK's Veronica Falls and NYC's Boy Genius.

New Haven's own The Wee Bees, featuring former members of Manchester By The Sea, The Caligulists and The Inclined Plane, start the evening with their brand of ’80s- and ’90s-inspired shoegaze-meets-jangle pop sound. Although its only been two months since their live debut at March's Artspace Underground, The Wee Bees have quickly established themselves as one of the better 'new' bands in New Haven.

Following the Wee Bees will be one of New Haven's more established singer/songwriters, Steven Deal. Having toured the country fronting bands like Bleached Black, Chopper, The Absolute Zeros and The Naomi Star, Deal recently returned from a 10+ year songwriting hiatus to deliver his debut solo album 'Radio Twelve' this past January. Backed by a band featuring members of The Vultures, Goose Lane, The Naomi Star and Requiem In White, among others, you can bet Deal & co. are going to rip it up well.

Next up on the billing is UK's Veronica Falls. Making their stateside debut at this show, Veronica Falls has received a relatively heavy amount of press for their recent Captured Tracks 7" 'Found Love In A Graveyard.' Described as 'a bit of goth, ..some surf..and a heavy dose of shoegaze with pop vocal harmonies,' Veronica Falls should fit in quite well with the evening's lineup. Be sure to check these guys (and gals) out.

Last but not least will be NYC's Boy Genius. Now a veteran of several Tweefort/February Records shows, Boy Genius have shown that they can write a good tune and play it well. Joining Boy Genius will be none other than Mr. Ray Neal, best known for his work with seminal Elm City jangle-pop band Miracle Legion. Ray most recently joined the band for a song at their April performance at Rudy's. For this show, Mr. Neal will be performing with Boy Genius for their entire set, surely something that does not happen everyday.

For fans of jangle-pop, shoegaze or just plain good music, Elm City Popfest's first night should do the trick, starting off the festival well on a fittingly upbeat and memorable note.

Day Two, 'DAY', Friday, May 15th @ Artspace
Day Two sees the festival moving up Crown Street to Artspace, a great downtown gallery/space that has been at its current location since 2002. Here the Popfest truly begins to 'pop,' as nine bands perform throughout the day. Separated into distinct 'Day' and 'Night' billings, both offer up some great bands no matter how you cut it.

Starting off the 'Day' portion of the festivities will New London's Roadside Attractions. One of several New London supergroups now prowling Connecticut clubs, Roadside Attractions combine a unique blend of jazz, americana, pop and even folk into a sound that must be heard. Currently promoting the release of their new EP 'Whispers' on New London's Cosmodemonic Telegraph label, Roadside Attractions start off the day strong.

Next up on the schedule is New Haven's The Fictional West. Riding the release of their 'Giant Clouds' single earlier this year on Tweefort Records, the Fictional West count as influences artists like U2, The Smiths and The Magnetic Fields. With a mix of serious and satirical lyrical themes, the quartet has, however unwittingly, done well in re-creating late 80's indie-pop. As the Sugar Sours blog accurately pointed out, 'No lie, the Giant Clouds single sounds like it could have been sent in to NME and gotten lost in the post for 20 years.'

Following locals Roadside Attractions and the Fictional West, Elm City Popfest goes all windy city on us with the arrival of Chicago's Midstates and Panda Riot. Currently on tour together, Midstates and Panda Riot collectively bring a psychedelic edge to the proceedings. Midstates (also known as Midstates & The Choir of Ghosts), approach their music with a more 'space-pop' bent whereas Panda Riot have seemingly perfected 'swirl-pop' a.k.a. shoegazer inspired indie-pop that at times is almost danceable. In either case, the tandem should feel right on home at ECPF.

Following the Chicago invasion, Elm City Popfest returns to its roots with an always anticipated hometown performance by EULA. Quite possibly the hardest working indie-rock band in New Haven, EULA has continually sharpened its lacerating brand of indie-pop/shoegaze/punk into an ever finer point over the past few years. Each show by the band seems to top the last, not an easy feat by a band that plays as many shows as they do. Still coming off their opening slot supporting post-punk legend Mission Of Burma last Fall, one would be ill-advised to miss this performance by EULA, and that means you.

Finishing off the 'Day' half Day Two's festivities is Danbury, CT's The Field Recordings. Garnering a substantial amount of press since their debut last year, The Field Recordings are a indie rock/pop trio that, from all accounts, seem to vary their live sound depending on the context of the billing. On record, the Field Recordings sound a bit more edgy than one would expect. Regardless, they've been creating some of the most interesting indie rock coming out of Connecticut lately and are well worth the price of admission alone.

Overall, the 'Day' portion of ECPF, Day Two covers the indie-pop bases well. Despite the fact that it starts at 2:30 in the afternoon, you'd be hard pressed to find a better lineup anywhere in the state, no matter what the start time.

Day Two, 'NIGHT,' Saturday, May 15th
After about an hour interlude following the conclusion of the 'Day' billing, part two (a.k.a. the 'Night' billing) of Elm City PopFest, Day Two kicks off featuring Procedure Club, The Secret History and The Butterflies of Love.

New Haven's own Procedure Club starts off the evening's festivities with their noisy brand of too rough to be cutesy, too cutesy to be rough, drum machine indie pop. Procedure Club have created a significant buzz lately, especially following their performance at the last Shaki Presents @ BAR show this past December. Having recently signed to Slumberland Records, you can expect their debut album to be released this June. In the meantime, check them out at ECPF before they become huge.

Next up on the ECPF evening showcase is NYC's The Secret History. Featuring former members of My Favorite and Mick Ronson's daughter, the Secret History have made a name for themselves writing some mighty catchy pop songs 'about ghosts and monsters and sometimes Italy' (at least according to the band's MySpace page). The band's debut album was recently released this past March on Le Grand Magistery so be sure to check it out.

Closing out Day Two of the ECPF will be New Haven's own The Butterflies of Love. Although relatively inactive in recent years, the Butterflies reformed for the Mark Mulcahy 'Ciao My Shining Star' tribute shows. The quintet liked the shows so much that they decided to play more, including this headlining slot at PopFest. A favorite of the late John Peel, The Butterflies of Love have released several records on the Fortuna POP! label in the UK to much acclaim over the years. Having had the opportunity to see them during their original run some years back, I'd have to say it would be well worth the wait to check them out.

In the end, Day Two of Elm City PopFest creates one the best original pop/indie rock billings seen in New Haven in quite some time. With the mix of great local, regional, national and even international artists contributing, there's plenty here for everyone.

Day Three, Wednesday, May 26th @ Cafe Nine
Although 11 days separate Day Two and Three, this 'follow-up' show (as its being advertised) certainly does not diminish the quality and/or energy of the festival. Performing will be the UK's Allo Darlin' and Horowitz, as well as Brooklyn/New Haven's The Tyler Trudeau Attempt and Women's Basketball.

Kicking off the evening will be the UK's Allo Darlin' and Horowitz. A late addition to the PopFest lineup, Allo Darlin' 'can turn a room in a famous punk venue into a joyous, jumping, sweaty, pop-mosh pit. Or bring a room of 500 to hushed silence with the few strums of a ukulele and a love song about cooking.' Such all-encompassing command of the audience is hard to come by and, in addition tho their rock solid pop songs, a major reason to check this band out. Following Allo Darlin' are fellow Brits Horowitz. Bringing a more fuzzy, danceable bent to the typical indie-pop model, Horowitz have received some pretty glowing press praising the band's flare for super-sweet vocals and melodies, a sure sign that they do indeed belong on this billing.

Closing out the night (and the festival), will be the two projects of singer/songwriter Tyler Trudeau. First up will be the Tyler Trudeau Attempt, an amalgam of New Haven scene veterans (including myself). Although I am not at liberty to really comment on the Attempt (y'know, since I play drums in this band), the New Haven Advocate is and has said of the band: 'TTA looks back to the roots of punk and finds something immensely energetic, often hilarious and always political. On top of that, it's catchy as hell.'

Trudeau's newer project, Women's Basketball, will be making its much anticipated live debut at ECPF. What initially started out as a one-off, purely-for-fun project has quickly gained a lot of press attention. The band's debut album 'An Octopus, But Like, An Octopus With Massive Wings and Junk', released earlier this year on Tweefort Records, has in particular gained a lot of positive reviews and its easy to see why. With an omnipresent drum machine beat and often tongue n' cheek lyrics, Trudeau breaks free from his own songwriting conventions to create a fun, catchy and often more engaging (and revealing) record than his main band's previous EP (which I didn't play on). It should be interesting to see how this all plays out live but, knowing Trudeau, it will probably come off well.

So that's it folks! Surely one of the better festivals in recent memory. But enough of me telling you what to do, its time for you to check it out for yourself on Friday May 14th, Saturday May 15th and Wednesday, May 26th. Don't miss this one!

Elm City PopFest Lineup:

Day One - Friday, May 14th
9:30 The Wee Bees (New Haven)
10:30 Steven Deal (Milford, CT)
11:30 Veronica Falls (UK)
12:30 Boy Genius (NYC) feat. Mr. Ray Neal (of Miracle Legion)
@ Cafe Nine
doors 9pm / FREE / 21+

Day Two (DAY) - Saturday, May 15th
2:30 Roadside Attractions (New London, CT)
3:15 The Fictional West (New Haven)
4:00 Midstates (Chicago)
4:45 Panda Riot (Chicago)
5:30 EULA (New Haven)
6:15 The Field Recordings (Danbury, CT)
@ Artspace
doors 2pm / $5 / ALL-AGES

Day Two (NIGHT) - Saturday, May 15th
8:30 Procedure Club (New Haven)
9:15 The Secret History (NYC)
10:00 The Butterflies of Love (New Haven)
@ Artspace
doors 8pm / $5 / ALL-AGES

Day Three - Wednesday, May 26th
9:00 Allo Darlin' (UK)
9:45 Horowitz (UK)
10:30 The Tyler Trudeau Attempt (Brooklyn/New Haven)
11:15 Women's Basketball (Brooklyn/New Haven)
@ Cafe Nine
doors 8:30pm / FREE / 21+

For more information on Elm City PopFest, check out the official festival blog at

Javelin and Lemonade

Saturday, May 15, 2010. Hartford Party Starters Union presents:

The Warehouse
45 Bartholomew Avenue
Hartford, CT

$5 - 10:00pm - 21+ to drink - 18+ to get in

For performances Javelin use colorfully painted boomboxes that form large speaker totems (“boombaatas”) which can hang from the ceiling or stack up on the floor like pyramids. The signal from the show is broadcast via FM transmitter, thereby fostering audience participation (B.Y.O.Boombox) or fueling battery-powered, mobile parties.

The duo has played venues as diverse as the children’s branch of the Olneyville Public Library (RI), to the Museum of Modern Art. When not performing, Javelin is busy producing. Together they have amassed a vast catalogue of music, varying in its aesthetic range. Songs resemble the record collection from whence they spring, if not literally as when sampling, then figuratively as when past forms are cited and recontextualized.

Sounds range from broken dance jams to relaxed instrumental cut-ups, created with love on their MPCs. Long forgotten samples are chopped and re-assembled with drums, wooden recorders, old keyboards, handmade thumb pianos or whatever instruments are readily at hand. The result is a kind of mix tape fantasy (residing in the mythical “dollar bins of the future”), where R&B impresarios, amateur booty bass producers and Andean flautists hold equal sway.

Lemonade played their first show with roughly 2 weeks of preparation in late 2005. The idea formed a month or so earlier when Alex Pasternak and Callan Clendenin were in Barcelona enjoying their time listening to Rai and Khaliji CDs they had bought at the Raval record shop “Nasifon”, laying on the beach drinking sodas, and going to squat raves until well after the sun came up. Collaborating with Ben Steidel upon their return, they mingled together crude technologies, battered percussion, live instruments, and limitless disparate influence, including: grime, early house and techno, samba, dancehall, island musics, and scary psychedelic noise. The show was mostly improvised, and ultimately a success with throngs of dancers mesmerized by their pulsing beats and clamorous crescendos.

Since that first show, Lemonade became a fixture in San Francisco’s underground, playing everything from basement shows to warehouses, dance clubs to DIY venues, art galleries and rooftops. Their eruptive and exhilarating live experience can be at times unnerving and chaotic, as well as transporting and blissful, but still manages to unify diverse crowds in rapturous euphoria.

In October of 2008, their self-titled debut album/ep, recorded by Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Blonde Redhead, etc.) was released on True Panther Sounds. Days later they moved to Brooklyn.

Mary Anne Hobbs of BBC1 referred to them as “pure, agile, hedonistic pop music,” and Pitchfork rated their debut at an 8.3. Over the course of their career they have toured with such acts as Tussle, El Guincho, and Glasser, as well as provided local support to Modeselektor, Crystal Castles, Buraka Som Sistema, Andrew W.K., Gang Gang Dance, and many more.

The Pist (Reunion), The Black Noise Scam, Feet First, The Havnotz, M13 @ Heirloom Arts Theatre - May 14th

This Friday, May 14th at Danbury's Heirloom Arts Theatre marks the most recent return of one of Connecticut's most beloved punk bands ever, The Pist. Although only active for a little more than three years in the mid-'90s, the Pist made a name for themselves far and wide for their direct but effective songwriting and for their almost unrivaled pure punk rock fury. Following their breakup in 1996, the Pist reunited for a handful of shows in 2001 and 2007. This reunion features the core unit of Al 'Pist' Quimet, Bill Chamberlain and Brian Marshall, along with Gerry Stopper (of Broken) filling in for bassist Rick Abbott. Further shows have already been scheduled through the summer, taking them from CT to LA and back. For those not familiar with the Pist, check out some of their recordings online, or better yet, go to this show!

Opening for the the Pist will be New Haven's newest punk champions, The Black Noise Scam, who follow the Pist with their simple, in your face approach to the punk rock canon. Also performing will be New Haven's M13, which features several members of old school punksters Brutally Familiar (as well as Al Pist himself on bass), NYC's Feet First, who will be joining the Pist at future tour dates, and CT's Havnotz, who will be bringing the punk fury, mohawks and all.

Fans of old school CT punk, or just about anyone worth their weight in punk rock, would be well advised to check this show out.

The Pist Reunion Tour Dates:
May 14th - Heirloom Arts Theatre - Danbury, CT.
May 15th - Club Hell - Providence, RI.
May 29th - Chaos In Tejas Fest - Austin, TX.
June 5th - Club Europa - Brooklyn, NY.
June 25th - Sub/Mission - San Franciso, CA.
June 26th - TBA - Los Angeles, CA.
June 27th - TBA - Los Angeles, CA.
July 30th - TBA - Chicago, IL.
July 31st - TBA - Minneapolis, MN.

If When You Go:

The Pist (Meriden, CT.)
The Black Noise Scam (New Haven)
Feet First (NYC)
The Havnotz (members of Copyright Chaos) (CT)
M13 (ex-Brutally Familiar) (New Haven)

@ Heirloom Arts Theatre
ALL AGES / 7pm / $8/$10

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Show Review: The Blow and Slam Donahue @ The Space

May 10, 2010

I’m not going to lie, I dread going to concerts at The Space. There is always a very uncomfortable vibe there, which I’m going to have to say is due to the layout of the venue. This was especially the case on Monday night when The Blow and Slam Donahue performed there. There was that overbearing awkward vibe in the room throughout the night, and while most acts would freak out under such conditions and throw a temper tantrum (See: Lovvers 7/28/09), Khaela Maricich of The Blow made it her mission to turn what was a terribly awkward situation into a very intimate night of great pop music.

There were only two bands on the bill Monday night, and when I say band I use that term very lightly since it was more like a night of karaoke (no instruments were used at all throughout the night). While The Blow used this technique to her advantage, the first act Slam Donahue could not.

The best way to describe the duo would be to say they are like a Jaguar Love cover band, and the singer is doing his best Johnny Whitney impression (and failing miserably at it). Their songs were all over the place, and though I tried my hardest to find some redeeming qualities in them, I just couldn’t. There was even a point during their set, when everything stopped for at least 5 minutes while the lead singer went around forcing his CDs on uninterested audience members, it was one of the more pathetic things I have witnessed at a concert. Regardless of Slam Donahue's inability to write a decent song, they were successful in maintaining my interest throughout the night and were at least entertaining.

Next up was The Blow, and after an insane and completely unnecessary 40 minute intermission she took the stage. Her set revolved around the storyline of her writing songs for a young unnamed Hollywood starlet (Lindsay Lohan) and how this girl didn’t end up using her songs, etc etc. It was half performance piece and half concert, which worked in her favor. The crowd came alive when she played crowd favorites like “Parentheses” and “True Affection”. Her stage presence and banter was so captivating that at times it was easy to forget she really only played about 8 songs. Maricich’s confidence in herself is inspiring, not many performers could go up on stage by themselves, without any instruments and still captivate an audience. Despite only playing a very brief 40 minute set, The Blow delivered a memorable experience for everyone that was there and provided me with my first positive experience at The Space.

Photos by Simone Gutkin

David Bazan and Titles

Wednesday, May 12, 2010, Manic Productions presents:

The Space
295 Treadwell Street
Hamden CT

$12 - 7:00PM - All Ages

Directions: Click

Tickets: Click or pick them at Redscroll.

Known* for his work fronting the enigmatic rock band Pedro the Lion, David Bazan's emotionally charged narratives, eye for telling detail, and mournful voice have more in common with J.D. Salinger's 'Nine Stories' or Flannery O'Connor's 'Wise Blood' than with the usual lyrical slant of popular music. Bazan is a gifted storyteller, weaving parables of spiritual conflict, suburban ennui, and personal surrender into magnetic, well-crafted songs.

The ever lovely CT Indie faves Titles are opening!

More Bazan dates:
For us nothern CT peeps: Thu 05/13 – Northampton MA – The Iron Horse
20 Center Street Ages: 21+ / Doors open at 9pm, Show starts at 10pm.

Living Room shows:
Fri 05/14 – Beverly, MA – Living Room Show
Sat 05/15 – Philadelphia PA – Living Room Show
Sun 05/16 – Baltimore MD – Living Room Show
Tue 05/18 – Charlotte NC – Living Room Show SOLD OUT
Wed 05/19 – Atlanta GA – Living Room Show SOLD OUT
Thu 05/20 – Birmingham AL – Living Room Show
Fri 05/21 – Birmingham AL – Living Room Show
Sat 05/22 – Nashville TN @ 5pm (early show) – Living Room Show
Sat 05/22 – Nashville TN @ 8pm (late show) – Living Room Show SOLD OUT
Sun 05/23 – Nashville TN – Living Room Show SOLD OUT
Tue 05/25 – Chicago IL – Living Room Show SOLD OUT
Wed 05/26 – Chicago IL – Living Room Show SOLD OUT
Thu 05/27 – Kalamazoo MI – Living Room Show
Fri 05/28 – Toledo OH – Living Room Show
Sat 05/29 – Pittsburgh PA – Living Room Show SOLD OUT
Sun 05/30 – Washington DC – Living Room Show

What's this "Living Room Show" stuff all about? Well, Bazan explains:
Here’s how it works.

1. You have a house or loft space that can comfortably and safely host 40-45 people. A place with a big living room, finished basement would be ideal. There would need to be enough parking nearby and your neighbors should be cool. It would be a huge bummer if someone called the cops because of all the extra cars and people coming to your house. You should probably not do this if you live in a small apartment with a bunch of uptight neighbors or a cranky landlord.

2. The shows will not be open to the public and no tickets will be sold at the door. We will pre-sell a set number of tickets for each show on David’s website before the show. Be realistic on how many people your place can hold. We need to know how many tickets we can sell in advance. We’ve found that 40-45 people is what the average living room can hold. Ticket price will be $20.

3. We will provide you with a detailed list of everyone who will be coming to the show. The host won’t have to deal with any money and will only need to check people off the list as they arrive.

4. The host can have up to 5 additional free tickets for the show. If you have other friends who want to come to the show you can direct them to the link to buy tickets on-line.

5. You don’t need any sort of sound system. All you need is a chair for David to sit on.

6. Your home address will not be published on the web and will only be given to those people who purchase tickets.

7. The shows will not be promoted or advertised anywhere except David’s websites.

Hmmmmm, $20.00 is kinda steep. I usually only charge $10.00 for people to sit in my living room. Of course no one ever comes to my living room shows because my awesome dog Molly is the only performer, with her incessant hound bark not being all that hip in the indie music scene these days. Someday she'll be the coolest thing ever, and you'll all feel like chumps for having missed it. Nyah.

*PS: I was just roundly scolded by Manic for having never heard of Bazan before this show came along. Guess I've just been way too into my dog's barking.