Monday, January 21, 2019

Pickathon Announces Insane 2019 Line Up!

Last night Pickathon announced their 2019 line up, and it has us seriously considering an early August trip out to Oregon. They've always pushed the boundaries of what is considered Americana music, and this year they're pushing them the hardest yet, and it has made for an amazing line up. You get some more traditionally folk/country artists like Nathaniel Rateliff (doing two separate shows with two different bands), Mountain Man, Mandolin Orange, Tyler Childers, Julia Jacklin, Black Belt Eagle Scout, and more. This year they push the boundaries with the indie rock of The Beths, the doom metal of YOB, the North African Tuareg guitar of Mdou Moctar, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the freak dance of Bodega, the folk-ish dance of Lucius, and more!

The whole thing goes down August 2-4 at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley Oregon. You can get more information over at their website. They've put together a Spotify playlist, which you can find below. The complete line up is below the playlist.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Mandolin Orange
Nathaniel Rateliff
Tyler Childers
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Fruit Bats
Mountain Man
Damien Jurado
Laura Veirs
Julia Jacklin
The MarĂ­as
Miya Folick
Sudan Archives
Bonny Light Horseman
Mdou Moctar
Courtney Marie Andrews
Lido Pimienta
Cedric Burnside
Town Mountain
Jupiter & Okwess
The Beths
B Boys
Our Girl
Young Jesus
Sam Evian
Black Belt Eagle Scout
Mike and The Moonpies
Nap Eyes
Soft Kill
H.C. McEntire
Helena Deland
The Cordovas
Lauren Morrow
David Nance Group
The Po' Ramblin' Boys
Virginia Wing
Garrett T Capps
Martha Scanlan
Gold Star
Colton Turner
&more (Chill Moody & Donn T)
David Bragger & Susan Platz 

Funeral Advantage - "Black House"

I first discovered Funeral Advantage at the 2015 Harvard Square Mayfair
Back then, I described them as sounding like just about every song was a Smiths cover, and since I've compared their recorded output to The Cure.

They have a new song out, which is going to lead to some new comparisons. "Black House" might be their peppiest song to date, which may be strange since it's from a band called Funeral Advantage and the song is called "Black House." There is a strong early 80's New Wave sound to the song reminiscent of early Depeche Mode and really early Ministry. This is definitely a dance song that has some throwback elements but still sounds fresh and current. The vocal effects, which are very Autotune-esque at some points, help add to that. It's an interesting slight change of sound, which makes the upcoming album that much more intriguing. 

You can listen to "Black House" below. Nectarine, the new album from Funeral Advantage, will be out February 22 and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. For more on Funeral Advantage, be sure to check out their website.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Piroshka - "Everlastingly Yours"

I've always loved a good supergroup. Piroshka might have one of the better pedigrees we've seen in quite a while. It features Miki Berenyi of Lush, KJ "Moose" McKillup of Moose, Mick Conroy of Modern English, and Justin Welch of Elastica.

Their single, "Everlastingly Yours," is exactly what you'd want it to be. It has a distinct shoegaze vibe, but in this almost groovy tropicalia kind of way. It's a smooth, chilled out song. It's definitely the sound shoegaze/Brit pop/New Wave bands should be making now, 20-30 years into their careers. Piroshka are the rare supergroup that have taken all their parts and blended them perfectly together into a more mature and modern sound.

You can listen to "Everlastingly Yours" below. Piroshka's debut album, Brickbat, will be out February 15 on Bella Union. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Piroshka, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Potty Mouth - "22"

Photo by Nazrin Massaro
Los Angeles's Potty Mouth have this 90's infused blend of alternative pop rock that we can help but get into. Their new single, "22," is an absolute blast. It's a fun pop punk song, leaning very heavily onto the pop side of things. It has the catchiness and the crunchy guitars of early Letters to Cleo, but the punk attitude of The Donnas, especially with singer Abby Weems's vocal delivery. A warning to all of us old fogies out there: The song is about being nervous about turning twenty two. Not thirty. Not even twenty five. Twenty two. Just let that sink in for a bit... Regardless, if you can get past that, there is no way you won't love the song.

You can listen to "22" below. SNAFU, the new album from Potty Mouth, will be out March 1 on Get Better Records. Pre-orders of the album on blue vinyl will come with a comic book titled Potty Mouth: Situation Normal All Fucked Up that was written and illustrated by Abby Weems. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Potty Mouth, check out their website.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Allie Crow Buckley - "Cherry Stems"

Allie Crow Buckley is a singer/songwriter from Malibu, and her latest single, "Cherry Stems," definitely reflects what you'd expect from a singer/songwriter from Malibu (in the best possible way). The song is light and breezy, not really folky but not quite pop, either. It's pretty laid back. You can't quite dance to it, but you could get a really great sway going on. But it does have this unexpected intensity to it, like a darkness just under the edges. Plus, there is some unexpected killer crunchy guitar work that comes in like an unexpected attack. It takes a mainstream sound and turns it just slightly in an unexpected direction enough to help keep it interesting.

You can watch the video for "Cherry Stems" below. Allie Crow Buckley's debut EP, So Romantic, will be out on February 5. It will also feature Jason Boesel and Dylan Day from Jenny Lewis's band and Mike Viola as her backing band. For more on Allie Crow Buckley, be sure to check out her website.

Priests - "The Seduction of Kansas"

Photo by Drew Hagelin
Fans of Priests's debut artsy noise rock album Nothing Feels Natural might be shocked by the first single off their new upcoming album, "The Seduction of Kansas," is pure shimmering pop, but with an insanely dark side, and it's just off enough to suck in those of us that hate pop music. It's 100% a song you can dance to (and you should), but it also has a disturbing edge. Plus, the song gets far more highbrow than pop music gets. From the press release for the song: "As journalist Thomas Frank explored in 2004’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?, the ideological sway of Kansas has often predicted the direction in which the U.S. will move—whether leaning socialist in the 1800s or going staunchly conservative in the 1980s." Yeah, this isn't mindless Swedish produced pop music. This is pop music for the art rock crowd, and we should all be thankful for it.

You can watch the video for "The Seduction of Kansas" below. The new album from Priests, also called The Seduction of Kansas, will be out April 5th on their own Sister Polygon Records. For more on Priests, check out their website. Their current quite extensive tour dates are below the video.

Fri. March 8 - Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover Music Festival
Sat. March 9 - Birmingham, AL @ The Firehouse
Mon. March 11 - Fri. March 15 - Austin, TX @ SXSW
Sun. March 17 - Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
Mon. March 18 - Knoxville, TN @ The Pilot Light
Mon. April 15 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Tue. April 16 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
Thu. April 18 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Fri. April 19 - Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo
Sat. April 20 - Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
Sun. April 21 - Detroit, MI @ El Club
Mon. April 22 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Thu. April 25 - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
Fri. April 26 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Sat. April 27 - Omaha, NE @ Reverb
Sun. April 28 - Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
Tue. April 30 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
Wed. May 1 - Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
Sat. May 11 - Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape
Sun. May 12 - Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade
Mon. May 13 - Manchester, UK @ YES (Pink Room)
Tues. May 14 - Glasgow, UK @ The Hug and Pint
Wed. May 15 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Thu. May 16 - London, UK @ 100 Club
Fri. 17 May - Lille, FR @ Aeronef
Sat. 18 May - Paris, FR @ Supersonic
Mon. 20 May - Brussels, BE @ Botanique (Witloof Bar)
Tue. 21 May - Cologne, DE @ Bumann & Sohn
Wed. 22 May - Munich, DE @ Import/Export
Thu. 23 May - Zurich, CH @ Rote Fabrik
Fri. 24 May - Heidelberg, DE @ Queer Festival (Karlstorbahnhof)
Sat, 25 May - Amsterdam, NL @ London Calling
Mon. 27 May - Aarhus DK @ Tape
Tue. 28 May - Copenhagen, DK @ Loppen
Wed. 29 May – Berlin, DE @ Kantine am Berghain
Thu. 30 May - Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklag (Goldener Salon)
Fri. 31 May - Hilvarenbeek, NL @ Best Kept Secret Festival
Sat. 1 June - Neustrelitz, DE @ Immergut Festival
Sat. June 15 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Sun. June 16 - Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
Mon. June 17 - Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
Tue. June 18 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
Thu. June 20 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Fri. June 21 - Austin, TX @ Barracuda
Sat. June 22 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
Mon. June 24 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
Tue. June 25 - Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Wed. June 26 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Thu. June 27 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Sat. June 29 - Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club
Mon. July 1 - Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall
Tue. July 2 - Vancouver, BC @ The Bitmore
Wed. July 3 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Sat. July 6 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Sun. July 7 - Denver, CO @ Lost Lake
Tue. July 9 - Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar
Wed. July 10 - St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Hot 8 Brass Band Covers Joy Division

Few songs are as iconic as Joy Division's immortal "Love Will Tear Us Apart." It's just one of those songs that stays with you forever, and all covers I've ever heard are faithful, even if they're more on the emo/pop punk spectrum.

Well, New Orleans's Hot 8 Brass Band will change all of that. Of all the "Love Will Tear Us Apart" covers I've heard, I don't believe I've ever heard a brass band rendition. This is a complete and utter reworking of the gothic/post punk classic as a boucy, joyous celebration, so Joy Division purists beware. It's mostly instrumental, and you will definitely recognize the song through just the music. All verses are completely removed from the song, with the only lyrics being the occasional "Love will tear us apart again." It's not what you'd expect, but it's quite fun if you can get into this sort of thing.

You can listen to Hot 8 Brass Band's version of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" below. It will be included on their upcoming EP, Take Cover, which will also include covers of The Jacksons, George Benson, and Michael Jackson. It will be out on February 22. For more on Hot 8 Brass Band, check out their website.

Leyla McCalla - "Money is King"

I've been fairly obsessed with Leyla McCalla ever since discovering her at FreshGrass years ago. She has always had this incredibly unique and fresh take on classic folk that I can never get enough of. Her latest single, "Money is King," shows McCalla pushing towards the mainstream... kinda. "Money is King" seems more like a classic folk song than anything I've previously heard from McCalla, but more the ragtime/jazz side of folk music. Plus, "Money is King" attacks capitalism harder than any mainstream song I've heard since Rage Against the Machine. This seems like it will be a recurring theme for McCalla's upcoming album Capitalist Blues. According to McCalla, "Capitalist Blues is comprised of songs that reflect my experience living in a capitalist society, where we are always expected to do more, be more, and have more. While many of these songs are drawn from my most personal experiences of motherhood, I also find myself questioning the myriad inequities of the world that we live in and how that juxtaposes our ideals in a democratic society."

You can listen to "Money is King" below. Capitalist Blues will be out January 25 on Jazz Village. For more on Leyla McCalla, check out her website.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Gabriel Birnbaum - "Stack the Miles"

Photo by Ellen Askonas
You may know Gabriel Birnbaum better as the frontman of Wilder Maker, but he also is a member of Debo Band and has played with Sharon Van Etten, Lady Lamb, and more. Right now he's releasing a solo album later this year, and we can check out the first single, "Stack the Miles."

"Stack the Miles" may sound like pretty standard solo album, singer/songwriter material at first. However, that helps mask how interesting and unique the song is. Despite having a relatively full sound, the song is quite sparse. It's basically the same riff repeated over and over throughout the entire song, with some secondary flourishes sprinkled in regularly. It creates an odd, but intriguing song.

You can listen to "Stack the Miles" below. The song will be included on Gabriel Birnbaum's upcoming debut solo album. To keep up on details when they are announced, head on over to Wilder Maker's website.

Monday, January 14, 2019

STL GLD - "The New Normal, Pt. 1"

Photo by Eran Shaysh
I don't think I'll ever understand how STL GLD aren't one of the biggest bands in America. Notice I didn't say one of the biggest hip hop acts in America, but one of the biggest bands. It seems every time they release new music they just keep getting better and better. Their new single, "The New Normal, Pt. 1," might be what finally puts them over the top. It's something completely rare in modern hip hop: It's unique and creative while still having a huge amount of mainstream appeal. The song reminds me of everything I loved from hip hop back in the early 90's. It's not a throwback song at all. "The New Normal, Pt. 1" sounds completely current. This song has an edge to it and completely ignores what everyone else is doing out there. STL GLD do their own thing, and we should all come to the party ASAP.

You can listen to "The New Normal, Pt. 1" below. The new STL GLD album, The New Normal, will be out February 1. You can pre-order the album here. For more on STL GLD, check out their website.