Monday, September 30, 2013

Stream It from The Mountain: Matt Pryor and James Dewees EP



Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids and James Dewees of Reggie and the Full Effect and The Get Up Kids have recently been touring and podcasting together and both have new albums due out this November; Pryor, with his third solo effort, Wrist Slitter and Dewees with a long-awaited new Reggie album. 
In anticipation, the duo has collaborated on a new self-titled EP out now from Rory Records/Equal Vision Records.  The 3-song EP perfectly combines the anthemic pop sensibility of The Get Up Kids and the synth-driven heaviness of Reggie.  After Pryor’s quieter folk musings, it’s fun to hear him let loose again. 

Stream the Matt Pryor And James Dewees EP here:



For more info: http://www.ntwha.com/ and http://ratfe.net/

Friday, September 27, 2013

Free Friday: Ian C. Parker - "Somebody Else"


Nashville indie-folk singer-songwriter Ian C. Parker recently released his new album, Somebody Else as a free download via his Bandcamp page ahead of its official CD release on October 15th with Wax Zion Records.  The album, recorded in warm analog is the follow-up to his highly-acclaimed album, Push The Child.  The eight-song album is a great mix of solo acoustic folk numbers with fractured rhythms and affecting vocals mixed with rollicking early Wilco-like full band songs.
Standout tracks include the loping beat and jangly guitars of “Forty Hour Dreams” and the title track, “Somebody Else” with its forceful acoustic guitar rhythm, folk-inspired narrative and haunting, noisy electric guitar outbursts.  Also, the reverb-rich “Either/Or”, which is not an Elliot Smith cover, stands out as well with shuffling drums and catchy, psychedelic-laced melodies.

Stream/Download Somebody Else here: http://iancparker.bandcamp.com/album/somebody-else

For more info: http://iancparker.com/

Thursday, September 26, 2013

VIDEO PREMIERE: Fourth Of July – “Berlin”


Lawrence, Kansas indie rock band, Fourth Of July recently released their excellent third album, Empty Moon, via new K.C.-based label High Dive Records.  Led by the clever and observational lyrical storytelling of vocalist/guitarist Brendan Hangauer, they create a folk-inspired brand of Midwestern indie rock complete with country-leaning ornamentation and catchy melodies.
They have released a video for their new single, “Berlin”, an aching tale about a long distance relationship gone wrong.  Directed by Matthew Toplikar, the metaphorical video captures a day in the life of Hangauer and his mannequin girlfriend as he serenades and cooks for her, while she blankly stares back at him.  It’s the perfect visual complement to the song.  Check it out here:




Download the shout-along first single, “Drinking Binge” here: http://soundcloud.com/230publicity/drinking-binge  

To purchase Empty Moon or for more info: www.highdiverecords.com and https://www.facebook.com/fourthofjulymusic 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat


The Proctors – “Trouble With Forever” (The veteran guitar-centric indie-pop trio return with their long-awaited new album, Everlasting Light, their first album release since 1995.  Out now on Shelflife Records, frontman Gavin Priest and Margaret Calleja blend their beautiful vocals with jangly guitars, Byrds-like 60’s pop and melodic choruses that stick with you forever.) https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Proctors/147843178561745

The Dodos – “Confidence” (The duo of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber recently released their fifth album, Carrier through Polyvinyl Records.  Long forgoes the rhythmic force of his acoustic guitar and instead uses an electric almost entirely to give the deeply personal album - which comes after the loss of guitarist Chris Reimer – a softer, slower, and darker textural vibe.  Although, glimmers of hope do prevail like in the bright, swirling melodies of the first single, here.) http://www.dodosmusic.net/

Migrant Kids – “Lucktear” (Emerging Austin art-pop trio create anthemic and melodic yet psychedelic and rhythmic soundscapes that are laced with druggy electronics, surging blasts of synths and guitar-led atmospherics on their stunning self-released and self-titled debut album out now.) http://www.migrantkids.com/
Download: http://soundcloud.com/teamclermont/migrant-kids-lucktear

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

INTERVIEW: Ohio Knife | Cincy garage-punk band set to play MPMF 2013


Up-and-coming Cincinnati indie rock band Ohio Knife is led by vocalist/guitarist Jason Snell, drummer Joe Suer, and keyboardist Andrew Higley - all formerly of indie favorites The Chocolate Horse and Readymaid - along with bassist Scotty Wood.  Together they create a grease-smeared brand of blues-soaked garage rock with Snell’s raw and soulful howl on their promising debut EP, Ohio Knife Is OK! released in early 2012 via the Detroit-based imprint Fountain Records. 
Since then they have performed at such high-profile events as SXSW and the Bunbury Music Festival and this weekend they will bring their rumbling rock-and-roll show to the MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati - playing Thursday night at the Mainstay Rock Bar on 301 W. 5th St. 
In anticipation of their upcoming performance at MPMF, Snell and Suer were kind enough to chat with me about the band’s lofty yet attainable future plans, their festival experiences and more.  

The Chocolate Horse were the darlings of the Cincinnati scene but disappeared after three albums - when Higley moved to Nashville and played with Ben Folds and Brendan Benson – during which you formed Ohio Knife.  What signaled the change in style and moniker?  
The Chocolate Horse has never really broken up, [it’s] on a long vacation as I really wanted something really simple, down, dirty and sweaty. I wrote fifteen tunes pretty quick with Joe and Andrew as he was still living in Nashville. Our first show was a venture to SXSW, and from there, things have been erupting. Style-wise, it was time to pull back with all the colors and flavors…and it was time to really start [to] throw down some rock and roll. – Jason Snell
…After recovering from my neck injury around 2011, I slowly started playing drums again on Jason’s heavier sounding, guitar based tunes and we came to the conclusion that these songs were super fun and needed an outlet…I think Jason found an article about a company called “Ohio Knife” that had recently closed down and we thought it was a cool sounding name for the “stab you in the gut” sounds we had just produced. – Joe Suer

You have played some of the big outdoor festivals like SXSW and recently, the Bunbury Music Festival in your hometown.  How was that experience and how did the crowd respond?
It’s been fantastic. If we could make a living playing festivals, I would! [The] crowds have been awesome, super-supportive and hopefully it only grows as we continue to rock. – J. Snell
...We’ve had great audience feedback experiences at the festivals we’ve played and would like to play more festivals.  It’s a great chance to play in front of brand new potential fans - open minded music lovers that will take a chance on actually listening to new bands.  Plus, we’ve met other great bands from around the world with whom we hope to work in the future….SXSW was Ohio Knife’s planned introduction to the world and unlike any other festival we’ve done…. – J. Suer

Your debut EP has garnered great praise, are you currently working on new material for a full-length album?
First off, thanks! We think it’s a great intro, alas, we have written many more songs since, and feel we've focused the sound and the direction. The new songs are just waiting for a good patron of rock and roll to help us deliver to the world…- J. Snell
Yes, we just finished mixing 6 demo tunes this past weekend…So far we are very happy with the results of this first batch and there are about 6 more tunes in various stages of recorded completion that we will continue to focus on now that we’ll have bassist Scotty Wood of Murder Junkies, and Andrew as part of the permanent live band. – J. Suer

What can we expect from your live show?
Loud, sweat, booze, beats and straight up ripping. – J. Snell
You can expect some down and dirty rock n roll music to be played.  That’s for sure… - J. Suer   

What does the future hold for Ohio Knife?
[To] continue playing, bring Andrew back into the fold and get someone one interested enough to put out the first full-length.  The coordinates have been set to rock, we're working hard, trying to navigate it, paying dues and throwing down. Our time will come. – J. Snell
…In the distant future, Ohio Knife will achieve total planetary media domination.  It may seem a lofty goal to some folks, but we shoot for the stars. – J. Suer



(This interview was originally published in the Dayton City Paper here: www.daytoncitypaper.com)  

Monday, September 23, 2013

INTERVIEW: Young Heirlooms | Cincy folk duo set to play MPMF 2013



Young Heirlooms are an emerging folk duo hailing from Cincinnati, made up of singer/songwriters Kelly Fine and Chris Robinson, formerly of indie-pop band Walk The Moon. Their gorgeous, close-knit vocal harmonies and sophisticated country-leaning folk-pop melodies embody a modern, yet timeless, quality. Kelly’s smooth and sultry voice recalls Allison Krauss, and Chris’s mandolin and guitar styles are heavy on bluegrass rhythms that they weave into the fabric of their unique Americana quilt.
Their very promising self-titled debut album was released in April to great praise. They are currently playing out in support of its release and will perform during the Midpoint Music Fest on Saturday, September 28 at Arnold’s Bar And Grill.
In anticipation of their upcoming MPMF performance, Fine chatted with us about the band’s Appalachian roots, their diverse influences and more.

How did Young Heirlooms form and what other musical projects were you involved in prior?
Young Heirlooms formed via Barn Jam in 2010 – a University of Dayton fundraiser for a service program I was involved with in undergrad called UDSAP (University of Dayton Summer Appalachia Program) – where 15 students go down to Salyersville, Ky. to foster communities with the Appalachian culture. Chris and I each played that night. I watched his set on the main stage and really only noticed him out of the group … I didn’t get to stick around to say anything to him because I was up next on the solo stage. He came up to me right after my set and we jammed that night. We started writing the next day. Chris has been in a wide variety of bands throughout his musical journey, his most recent involvement was in Walk The Moon. I had been performing as a solo artist for three years before I met him, and dabbled with Dayton project Honey and The Milk with BJSR (Ben Rivet). It didn’t take long for Chris and I to realize we wanted to truly commit to Young Heirlooms, so we had to walk away from our other projects to give full life to this one. So far, it’s working. – Kelly Fine

In reviews of your music, you have been compared to some great musicians like Brian Wilson and Fleet Foxes, but who else influences your diverse sound?
We are influenced by Ryan Adams and have been sort of thrown into that singer/songwriter category. We take great influence from Punch Brothers, which is headed by Chris Thile, [the] mandolin mastermind that inspires Chris and I. We are inspired by Father John Misty … I think that we have our own distinct sound though. We pull from these contemporary artists, but Chris and I have been raised on a musical foundation of jazz, bluegrass, The Beatles and Dylan. All of our influences sort of meld together into this new sound. – KF

Your very promising self-titled debut album came out in April. How has the response been?
So much hard work and love went into its writing, performing and production. The response has been incredible. We are so proud of it and so excited that people are so interested in it. We have been asked to press it to vinyl and we would love to. It really lends itself to that kind of warm sound. We recorded it analog, so it only makes sense to someday press it. – KF

The jaunty rhythm and locomotive-like vocal melody of “Workin’ Man” is my favorite on the album. Which is your favorite song to play live?
Thank you. “Workin’ Man” is such a dear song to me personally! I’m so glad you like it! All of these songs are really like our babies … These songs are written with intention, and sometimes that meaning changes over time. For instance, you write a song about one thing and then a year and a half later you find that song guiding you through another experience with an entirely different meaning. In those times of re-realization and new meaning, those are the times the songs feel like the best to play … the songs are deep and rich with memories and emotions, and it’s nice to exercise those memories and emotions through our music. It’s a total plus that we’re being well received simultaneously. – KF

Are you currently writing in preparation for your next album? Will you be playing any new songs at your upcoming Midpoint Music Fest show?
Yes. We are working on writing our new album. We might be playing a new tune or two…but we really like to let the songs breathe during our writing process. I would go into the evening expecting to be moved, and entertained. – KF

What can we expect from your live show?
Honest storytelling that hopefully touches you! – KF



(This interview was originally published in the Dayton City Paper here: www.daytoncitypaper.com)

Friday, September 20, 2013

SHOW ALERT: Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati on September 26-28



The MidPoint Music Festival is scheduled to invade downtown Cincinnati for its twelfth year on September 26, 27 and 28.  The growing annual music festival will showcase over 170 local and national indie-rock bands in its “SXSW-style” takeover of the Queen City
Some of the acclaimed headlining acts scheduled to play are The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Kurt Vile, Shuggie Otis, Bleached, The Thermals, The Head And The Heart and The Breeders.   
Additonally, emerging local Cincinnati-based bands such as Healing Power, The Mitchells, Young Heirlooms, Ohio Knife and You, You’re Awesome will peddle their unique musical goods to the crowds as well. 
A variety of tickets options are available.  Wristbands granting access to all of the shows for all three days are still available for the low price of $69.  As well, individual tickets to certain shows and one-day wristbands are also available.
The Midpoint Music Festival is a cheap way to see a lot of great, quality bands for a low price right here in your backyard.  I hope to see you there!

Stay tuned to Atlas and the Anchor for more MPMF-specific coverage including interviews with some of the bands playing the fest.
For more information: www.mpmf.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat - Featuring 2 Songs From Yourself And The Air


Yourself And The Air – “The Great Outdoors” & “Home Photo” (With four excellent EP’s already under their belt, Portland-by-way-of Chicago trio create a colorful and catchy brand of off-kilter psych-pop on their long-awaited debut album, Spirit Mixers out now on Lujo Records.  Propulsive rhythms and swirling, spacey synths meld with knotty guitars, child-like nostalgia and pitch-shifted vocal weirdness for a captivating sound all their own.) https://www.facebook.com/yourselfandtheair
Download the standout first single, “The Great Outdoors” with its cagey drums and twinkling guitars here:  http://www.lujorecords.com/media/GreatOutdoors.mp3
Download the rollicking and cosmic opening track, “Home Photo” here: http://www.lujorecords.com/media/HomePhoto.mp3


Pink Frost – “Ruins” (Formerly known as APTEKA, the Chicago quartet recently released their stellar sophomore album, Sundowning, via BLVD Records in conjunction with Notes and Bolts.  They create a thunderous "crusining-with-the-top-down-in-your-T-Bird" style of psych-rock with anthemic melodies and surging, molasses-thick guitars that pay homage to 90’s Chicago guitar-rock kings Hum and the Smashing Pumpkins.) www.thepinkfrost.com     

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Scraper - "Scraper" 7"


 The San Francisco street-punk trio, Scraper recently released their self-titled debut EP as a limited edition 7” and digital download on the new Drag City Records imprint, God?.  The EP was recorded by psych-pop prodigy Ty Segall and Eric Bauer and is the follow up to their limited cassette release on Wizard Mountain.  Scraper’s appropriately abrasive yet groove-laden and grimy skate-punk sound pays homage to the classic punk of the late 70’s with an old school New York punk aesthetic that defies expectations of a band from San Francisco.   
The anthemic charge of the opening track, “Liquid Lips” with its sloppy riffs is the perfect introduction to their gritty, lo-fi punk ethos and frontman Billy Schmidt’s husky and hoarse voice, which recalls that of James Johnson from defunct Baltimore art-punk band, Wilderness.  The outstanding first single, “Alien Eyes” follows with an infectiously catchy, chanting chorus and a rhythm that chugs along, trying to shake off the sludge.  Another standout, “Electric Hairpiece” highlights the band’s off-kilter sense of humor with surreal lines like, “your girlfriend is a cabbage” and “drip your face to plaster”; all set to thrashing guitars and crashing cymbals.  Their psychedelic-leaning lyrics and noise-addled sound is probably what attracted Ty Segall to the band in the first place.     
Next, “Plastic Head” flirts a little with revved-up rockabilly and features some crazed background vocals, while “Third Wheel” is built upon a fuzzy bass guitar-led rumbling rhythm that is bombarded with unhinged guitar freak-outs and paranoia-laced lyrics.  The six-song EP closes out with “Time”, which opens with a slower pace made up of churning guitars and fractured melodies, before launching into an energetic outro; sounding like a mix of post-punk and 90’s slacker rock for a nice change of pace.
 Scraper’s debut EP is very promising and offers a glimpse into the weird greatness we can expect from a proper full-length release from the trio.        



This album review was originally published in Fabricoh Magazine here: www.fabricohmusic.com   

Friday, September 13, 2013

SHOW ALERT: Healing Power (formerly the Pomegranates) with strangewave & Forage at South Park Tavern TONIGHT!


Cincinnati-based psych-pop band Healing Power (formerly the Pomegranates) will finally bring their infectiously danceable and soulful brand indie-pop to Dayton for a show at the South Park Tavern on Friday, September 13.  Doors at 9 p.m. and admission is $5.

Formerly known as the Pomegranates, they recently changed their name to Healing Power to reflect a slight change in style that now leans toward a more synth-driven dance-pop sound with a sharper focus on their uplifting and positive lyrical message.  They are currently gearing up to record a new album, the follow up to last year’s excellent Heaven. 
Also playing is Dayton’s own dream-pop duo strangewave.  Their recently released debut album is brimming with catchy pop-leaning melodies that bloom beneath a bed of glimmering synths, beautiful, breathy vocals and layers of 90’s-inspired guitars.  In addition, Dayton band Forage will showcase their bittersweet Death Cab For Cutie-like sound.   

Download “Pass Away” from Healing Power here: http://www.modernoutsider.com/radio/pomegranates_passaway.mp3
Download a 2-song single from Forage here: http://forage.bandcamp.com/

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat


Obits – “Spun Out” (The veteran Brooklyn-based indie-rock band featuring former members of Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes and Edsel return with their tremendous third album, Bed & Bugs, out this week on Sub Pop.  The tremolo-heavy surf-punk charge of single, “Spun Out” stands out among the album’s genre-defiant garage-rock flurry.) http://www.obitsurl.com/  

Dot Dash – “(Here’s To) The Ghosts Of The Past” (This veteran D.C. based band features former members of Julie Ocean, Velocity Girl and hardcore pioneers, Youth Brigade.  Their third album, Half-Remembered Dream was recently released via The Beautiful Music and blends infectiously catchy power-pop melodies with super-charged post-punk rhythms for a sound that is both modern and slightly nostalgic all at once.) http://dotdashdc.bandcamp.com/

Okkervil River – “Stay Young” (Okkervil River return with their new album, The Silver Gymnasium, their debut for new label ATO Records.  It marks the first time frontman Will Sheff has written about himself in song, as he reminisces about growing up in small-town New Hampshire in 1986.  Produced by legendary 80’s producer, John Agnello (Cindi Lauper, John Mellencamp), the album evokes nostalgia for cassettes - the album is even available on cass. - and VCR’s and features additional instrumentation such as sax solos and synths to set the stage for Sheff’s distinct storytelling.) http://okkervilriver.com/    

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Belle Adair - "The Brave And The Bold"


The Muscle Shoals, AL based folk-pop band Belle Adair recently released their highly-anticipated debut album, The Brave And The Blue via Single Lock Records after self-releasing their very promising self-titled debut EP in 2011.  The band, led by singer-songwriter and guitarist Matt Green - with his inviting vocals that recall that of Eric Johnson of the Fruit Bats - create crafty folk rock arrangements that incorporate catchy power-pop melodies and rootsy country & western ornamentation with hints of ethereal synth-driven atmospherics.    
 “Be Brave” opens the album with ambient washes of eerie noise that sets the scene for the contrastingly less harsh cascading guitars and wispy pedal steel of standout track, “Sister”.  The churning, psych-leaning “Slowest Routine” follows with an unhinged Nels Cline-like guitar solo. “Unwelcome Guest” features a loping, slow waltzing beat with tinkling piano, close knit harmonies and some aching pedal steel for another standout moment.  “Clouds Never Break” continues with the slower pace and sullen melodies, set to cyclical acoustic guitars.  Next, “Golden Days” sounds like early Wilco with swells of rafters-reaching organ, chiming guitars and some swaying melodies.  The Gospel-soaked “Easy Way Out” is filled with vintage organ provided by keyboardist Ben Tanner, a touring member of the Alabama Shakes, who also engineered and mixed the album and co-owns Single Lock Records.  The jangly guitars, bright horn section and laid-back vibe of the single, “Losing My Train” stands out with an early 90’s college rock sound.  Later, “Comes A Time” deals with issues of trust and love but seems to find a glimmer of hope by the end with pretty, complementary female vocal harmonies.  The ten-track album closes out with the gorgeous violin and horn-adorned arrangement of “The Search”. 
With their excellent debut album, The Brave And The Blue, Belle Adair are a band on the rise.  Catch them on tour now.


For more info: http://belleadairmusic.com/ and http://www.singlelock.com/

Friday, September 06, 2013

International Cassette Store Day 2013



Well, it is now official…cassettes are back!  Just as vinyl has grown in popularity recently, as music fans are choosing the tangible product over the soulless “zeros and ones” and as 80’s and 90’s nostalgia has boomed, many indie labels are releasing their music onto cassette once again. 
Revivalists like San Fran’s Burger Records (King Tuff, Extra Classic, Burnt Ones) are leading the way and the very first International Cassette Store Day will take place this Saturday, September 7 in the US and UK.    
So bust out your Sony Walkman and rollerblade over to your closest participating indie record store to pickup some of these exclusive and limited cassette releases from Guided By Voices, Waxahatchee, At The Drive-In, Suicidal Tendencies, The Flaming Lips, Haim and more. 

For more information including a full list of special releases and participating stores and events visit: http://cassettestoreday.com/
Locally, here in Dayton, be sure to check out Omega Music in the Oregon District.  For more info: https://www.facebook.com/OMEGAMUSICDAYTON

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

3 Songs: On Repeat


Califone – “Stitches” (After a year-long writing hiatus for Tim Rutili, Califone returns refreshed with new album Stitches, out now on Dead Oceans.  Recorded for the first time outside of Chicago, haunting electronics soar and sear into the fabric of his fractured folk quilt on standout tracks like, the title track and first single, “Stitches”, for an album that nods to the past but is planted in the present.)   http://www.califonemusic.com/     

The Julie Ruin – “Oh Come On” – (Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre fame returns with her riot-inducing new punk-leaning project The Julie Ruin and new album, Run Fast, out now on TJR Records.  She and her distinct voice are joined by former Bikini Kill bandmate Kathi Wilcox along with Kenny Mellman, Carmine Covelli, and Sara Landeau.) http://www.thejulieruinband.com/wp/  

Little Big League – “My Very Own You” (The Philliy based band creates the perfect marriage of 90’s emo-punk and guitar-centric indie rock on their impressive debut album, These Are Good People, out now on Tiny Engines.  The band is led by the striking vocals of Michelle Zauner and Kevin O'Halloran both previously of Post Post along with Ian Dykstra of Titus Andronicus and Deven Craige of Strand of Oaks.  The dark yet infectious first single here, is the perfect introduction to your new favorite band.) http://tinyengines.limitedrun.com/bands/little-big-league
Download: http://beartrappr.com/press/Little%20Big%20League/My%20Very%20Own%20You.mp3