Friday, May 20, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Andy Shauf – “The Worst In You” (The emerging Canadian multi-instrumentalist creates sophisticated and evocative music  that combines 60’s pop and 70’s singer-songwriter folk with modern synths, and chamber-pop ornamentation alongside his vivid, emotionally-charged narratives on his new album The Party.  Out today, his first recording for his new label, Anti Records, delivers the goods and should gain him the recognition he deserves.)

Gruesome – “Forces Of Death” (Nearly a year after their savage debut album, the old school - late 80’s and early 90’s - death metal revivalists return today with a brutal new EP, Dimensions Of Horror, via Relapse Records.  Vocalist/guitarist Matt Harvey of Exhumed along with current and former members of Possessed, Malevolent Creation and Derketa create a nostalgia-inducing sound that specifically references and pays homage to Death’s pioneering debut album, Scream Blood Gore with its growling grooves and horror-movie inspired lyrics along with more grotesque artwork from Ed Repka.)    

Megadeth – “Dystopia” (The thrash metal pioneers returned in January with their 15th album, Dystopia to prove they remain a force to be reckoned with in the metal community after over 30 years.  Alongside Dave Mustaine and Dave Ellefson, are new guitarist Kiko Loureiro (ex-Angra) and Lamb Of God drummer Chris Adler who add a fresh new perspective.  They are currently on tour in support of the album including a stop at the Rock On The Range festival in Columbus this weekend.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SHOW ALERT: Rock On The Range - featuring interviews with Between The Buried And Me & comedian Nate Bargatze

Rock On The Range - the largest rock festival in the United States - is celebrating its ten year anniversary this year with its best lineup yet.  Headliners Disturbed, Rob Zombie and the Red Hot Chili Peppers along with Deftones, Megadeth, a recently reunited At The Drive-In and over 50 more bands and comedians will perform in Columbus at Mapfre Stadium on May 20-22.     
Standing out among the bands on the schedule are prog-metal wizards Between The Buried And Me who will bring their blend of classic 70’s-era prog-rock and technical death metal to the Rock On The Range stage on Sunday, May 22 in support of their recently released seventh album, Coma Ecliptic, out now via Metal Blade Records.
The Dayton City Paper spoke with bassist Dan Briggs about their theatrical new album, playing outdoor festivals and more.   
Your music is very experimental – Coma Ecliptic is described as a “rock opera” - yet it remains cohesive; what was the inspiration for the album musically?
“…Musically it was just from writing on piano, acoustic guitar…it just made [us] write in a different way, thinking of the focus being on the vocals, in the keyboards, just shifting all around. It really made for a dynamic writing experience in which we outwardly wanted to do something more theatrical.” – Dan
Do you ever feel like you have to reign yourself in creatively to fit into a fan-based perception of your band?   
“No, we write music for ourselves. I think that’s evident by the path the band has taken artistically over the years. We have no intentions of repeating ourselves.” – Dan
What do you like best about playing the big outdoor festivals like Rock On The Range?
“They’re all so different, I have no idea what to expect from Rock on the Range. Hopefully people will find something interesting about our band and there will be some choice catering.” – Dan
Many fans are excited to see your band perform but what bands are you most excited to see during the festival?
“I’m just excited to see my friends in Code Orange really. They’re a fantastic band that I feel a kinship with in terms of not abiding by any rules artistically and really pushing yourselves creatively as much as you can each time around.” – Dan 
Your headphones-worthy arrangements are intricate yet highly-energetic, translating well to the live stage.  What is your favorite song to play live and why?
“It always changes, and I’m so excited to play the full new album right now, but on this tour ‘Ectopic Stroll’ is a blast to play. It shows how theatrical the album really gets with our singer Tommy fully in character throughout and musically, it’s super quirky. We’ve got a fun surprise we’ll be playing at the fest so hopefully people are into that as well!” -  Dan

In addition to the great music lineup, stand-up comedians such as Nate Bargatze, Saturday Night Live alumni Jay Mohr and Bethany Dwyer will also perform sets on the comedy stage during the festival.  The Dayton City Paper spoke with comedian Nate Bargatze about performing at music festivals, his influences, pilgrims and more.
What was the first joke you ever told?  If you don’t remember, you can just make it up.
“If an educated guess is so educated then why is it a guess?  That was the first joke I ever came up with. It's not good. I know that now.” -  Nate Bargatze
Who influenced you as a comedian and who inspires you now?
“[Jerry] Seinfeld and my dad, who is a comedic magician. Bill Burr, Kurt Metzger, and Big Jay Oakerson were my influences when I got to New York.” – NB  
How would you explain the concept of “comedy” to a pilgrim?
“Making fun of situations that you get into.  Like you if you get lost walking around, we will make fun of that guy who got lost. If that makes sense.” – NB
You will be performing your insightful and unique brand of comedy at the Rock On The Range fest and at Bonnaroo.  Do you do anything differently to prepare for performing at these big outdoor music festivals?
“Not really. Just do the jokes I want to tell. Usually it's younger crowds at Bonnaroo. So I might not do a ton of marriage jokes…” – NB
Are there any bands you are excited to see during your time at the festival?     
“I'm not good with knowing bands. For Bonnaroo…Pearl Jam. For Rock On The Range, I'll go [along] with Big Jay who is also there. He knows good bands.” – NB
If you had not become a comedian, what would you be doing?
“Moving people. That's what I did before and what I will go back to when this all falls apart.” – NB  

Rock on the Range takes place Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22 at Mapfre Stadium, 1 Black and Gold Boulevard in Columbus.
This article originally appeared in the Dayton City Paper here:

Friday, May 13, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Arbor Labor Union – “Belief’d” (The Athens, Georgia art-rock band – formerly known as Pinecones – are set to release I Hear You, their new album and label debut for Sub Pop Records.  Their genre-defiant blend of Krautrock-laced post-punk rhythms, unhinged yelps and talk-sung vocals along with sludgy and psychedelic guitars equal out to a sound that recalls both Public Image Ltd. and the defunct Baltimore band Wilderness but new and entirely unique.)  

Nothing – “Eaten By Worms” (Philly’s alt-rock/shoegaze hybrids return this week with their highly-anticipated new album, Tired Of Tomorrow, released by Release Records.  The 90’s-indebted hooks are catchier and more anthemic this time around and they soar above the noise-addled layers of grungy fuzzed-out guitars with arena-worthy purpose for their best and most assured album yet.)

Fruit Bats – “Humbug Mountain Song” (After abandoning the Fruit Bats moniker in 2011 and releasing a solo album in 2014, Eric D. Johnson is back where he belongs with his sixth Fruit Bats album, Absolute Loser, out today via Easy Sound Recordings.  The cathartic new album is deeply personal and confessional – focusing on themes of loss and love - but retains his distinctly sunny vocal melodies and poppy yet fractured folk-rock sound for a most welcomed return.)      

Friday, May 06, 2016

3 Songs: On Repeat

Aloha – “Faraway Eyes” (The Cleveland art-rock band returns today after a lengthy hiatus to deliver their sixth album, Little Windows Cut Right Through via Polyvinyl Records.  This time around their rhythmically-driven brand of introspective indie-rock is emblazoned with 80’s prog-pop and soft rock alongside the unique jazz-informed instrumentation - vibraphone, marimba and flute – fans have come to expect for an album well worth the wait.)   

Abandoned By Bears – “Good Terms” (The Swedish easy-core quintet recently released The Years Ahead, their new album and first for label Victory Records.  Anthemic sing-along pop-punk melodies and energetic bouncing beats are combined with thunderous metalcore riffage and positive lyrical vibes for a heavy yet highly melodic sound that recalls former labelmates A Day To Remember.)  

Rogue Wave – “Ocean” (The veteran California indie-pop band - led by Zach Rogue and longtime bandmate Pat Spurgeon - also recently returned after a long wait with their sixth album, Delusions Of Grand Fur, via Easy Sound Recording Co.  The grand new album is graced by their trademark gentle folk-pop and melancholic yet infectious melodies but is laced with new experiments in psychedelic electronics and sparkly synths, adding new textures to their tried and true sound to great effect.)