Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pixies - "Bagboy"

Seemingly out of nowhere comes the brand new song by the Kim Deal-less Pixies, called “Bagboy.” The song and video came out on Friday, but I wanted to give it some time before I made a final decision. Well… it’s awful.

First off, it doesn’t even sound like a Pixies song. I get that they need to change up their sound a bit so they’re not just rehashing their late 80s/early 90s indie sound, but they’ve updated it to sound like a late 90s Fun Lovin’ Criminals throwaway song. It features a bizarre chant alongside Frank Black’s talk-singing style previously heard in “Subbaculture.” At no point does the tempo change from its mid-tempo plod, and drives straight into boredom. Kim leaving is a huge deal, so the absolute last thing they would want to do is bring in someone to sing who sounds just like Kim, right? So they do, bringing in Frank Black’s friend Jeremy Dubs for the chorus. Black says it’s a coincidence, but he sounds enough like Kim that Black had to address the internet reports that it was recorded with Kim.

Maybe I’m the wrong person to ask, since this Pixies reunion has been monumentally disappointing to me. I bought tickets to see two of the reunion shows in the same week and saw virtually the exact same show (the Avalon one was shorter than the Tsongas Arena one). I was stunned at how the songs were played virtually no emotion. Everyone else I know seems to be happy with seeing them live, so maybe I’m wrong with this new direction they are taking. But, I can’t imagine many fans will like this.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Forgotten Fridays: Salt - Auscultate

Forgotten Fridays is a weekly feature here at If It’s Too Loud... where we go back and find the lost records of our glory days. We played these on our college radio shows, put them on countless mix tapes, and then forgot they existed. Once a week we go back and remind you, and help decide if they were any good.

In 1996, Salt came out of Sweden and became the next Nirvana… for maybe a month. Inspired by the strength of their single “Bluster” off of the album Auscultate, modern rock DJs and music journalists gave them the highest praise imaginable. Their show at TT the Bear’s in Cambridge, MA, was touted as a “must see” show, your only chance to see them before they became megastars. After the show, it was reported that they didn’t address the audience until just before the last song, saying, “We’re Salt, and we don’t do encores,” which is the most and least rock star thing you can say at the same time. After that… pretty much nothing.

Listening to Auscultate in 2013, I’m astounded by how mediocre it is. It’s not bad at all; it’s good. But that’s all it is - just good. Nothing separates it from any of the other mid-90s “Next Nirvana” bands, such as Silverchair. If anything they sound like a poor man’s Gits.

Salt released a follow up, Delay Me Down and Make Me Wah Wah!!, in 1997. After Salt disbanded, singer Nina Ramsby joined electronica band Baxter and has released 3 solo albums since 2004.

Free Supersuckers EP – ”50,000 Middle Fingers Can’t Be Wrong”

To celebrate their signing with Acetate Records, Supersuckers are releasing a free 6 song EP with selections from their back catalog, kind of a mini greatest hits package. The band is about to head down to Willie Nelson’s Arlyn Studio in Austin, TX to record their ninth studio album, their first since 2008’s Get It Together. Arlyn Studio is where Supersuckers recorded their classic Sacrilicious album for SubPop back in 1995, so expect some magic. The self-proclaimed Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band In the World” are expected to release the new album by the end of the year.

To download the “50,000 Middle Fingers Can’t Be Wrong” EP filled with cowpunk classics, click here. Also, check out the video for “Born With a Tail” below, as well as dates for their upcoming fall tour.

09/01/13          Providence, RI                        Fête
09/02/13          DeWitt, NY                Lost Horizons
09/04/13          Cambridge, MA          The Middle East
09/05/13          New Haven, CT          Cafe Nine
09/06/13          Stanhope, NJ               Stanhope House         
09/07/13          Brooklyn, NY             The Bell House
09/08/13          New Hope, PA           Fran's Pub
09/10/13          West Chester, PA       The Note
09/11/13          Baltimore, MD            Ottobar
09/12/13          Washington, DC         Rock N Roll Hotel
09/14/13          Cleveland, OH           Beachland Ballroom
09/15/13          Hamtramck, MI          Small's
09/17/13          Buffalo, NY                Tralf Music Hall
09/18/13          Pittsburgh, PA            Altar Bar
09/19/13          Altoona, PA                Aldo's Lounge           
09/20/13          Lancaster, PA             Chameleon Club
09/21/13          Long Branch, NJ         The Brighton Bar
09/26/13          Lexington, KY            Cosmic Charlie's        
09/27/13          St Louis, MO              Fubar  
09/28/13          Kansas City, MO        Knuckleheads Saloon
09/29/13          Des Moines, IA           Vaudeville Mews
10/01/13          Minneapolis, MN        Triple Rock Social Club         
10/02/13          Green Bay, WI            Crunchy Frog             
10/03/13          Lombard, IL               Brauerhouse               
10/04/13          Lombard, IL               Brauerhouse   
10/05/13          Waterloo, IA               Spicoli's Bar & Grill   
10/06/13          Omaha, NE                 The Waiting Room Lounge
10/08/13          Fort Collins, CO         Hodi's Half Note       
10/10/13          Denver, CO                 Larimer Lounge
10/11/13          Denver, CO                 Larimer Lounge
10/13/13          Salt Lake City, UT      Burt's Tiki Lounge                 
10/16/13          Las Vegas, NV           LVCS (Las Vegas Country Saloon)  
10/17/13          Costa Mesa, CA          Tiki Bar          
10/18/13          West Hollywood, CA Viper Room               
10/20/13          San Diego, CA            Soda Bar                    
10/22/13          Walnut Creek, CA      Blu 42 Sports Lounge
10/23/13          San Francisco, CA      DNA Lounge             
10/24/13          Santa Rosa, CA          Russian River Brewing Company      
10/25/13          Portland, OR               Dante's           
10/26/13          Seattle, WA                Tractor Tavern            

10/27/13          Bainbridge Island, WA Treehouse Cafe

Thursday, June 27, 2013

2 Acts Added to the Nines Festival!

The Nines Festival, which already included Explosions In the Sky, Delta Spirit, Kid Koala, Matt Pond, Dr. Dog, Shuggie Otis, and Walk Off the Earth, just added two new acts to the bill: Brooklyn based rising hip hop star K. Flay and Boston's own Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys. K. Flay is one of indie hip hop's fastest rising stars and will definitely appeal to "the kids." Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys is less a band than an experience, with 7 musical members being joined by all manner of midway and burlesque performers. Both acts add something truly unique to an already diverse line up.

The Nines Festival takes place at Willard Field in Devens, MA on August 10. For more information, please check out their website. Early bird tickets end on July 7, so buy them now!

Paste Magazine Offers a Live Radiohead Album - Free!

I like free stuff as much as the next guy, and there's more than enough good stuff on Noisetrade to keep your ears happy for a while, but Paste has offered a live Radiohead show from 1995 (only a few months after the release of The Bends) for a free download.

No idea how long this will be available, as Noisetrade offerings are often temporary, but you should probably consider jumping at this one.

Bill Janovitz - Walt Whitman Mall

I have no idea how Bill Janovitz finds the time.

Between playing shows with Buffalo Tom, his day job as a realtor, and writing books about the Rolling Stones, he had time to write and record his finest solo work to date. Janovitz’s earlier solo albums were a chance for him to play around with his more rootsy side and go a bit more mellow than he normally would for Buffalo Tom. But as Buffalo Tom aged, their music reflected a more Americana-influenced sound. Their last album, 2011’s Skins, felt more like a solo album that was co-written by each member into a cohesive unit. Walt Whitman Mall feels more like a Buffalo Tom album than a solo project. While there are some of the more folky, acoustic tracks you normally find on a solo album (“Noon Hill,” “Prettiest”) there are still hints of the noise of early Buffalo Tom on songs like “Withering.” The album opener, “Long Island,” is a rollicking power pop song as tight as anything written by Big Star.

Walt Whitman Mall is filled with perfectly crafted alterna-pop songs that evoke a sense of nostalgia. It’s the perfect example of an artist looking back on his youth and not missing it, but fondly reminiscing.

You can purchase Walt Whitman Mall on Bandcamp. Plus, check out Bill Janovitz's website to keep up to date on his various projects and check out the video for "Long Island" below.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Win tickets to the Nines Festival!

Ok.. fine. It's not through us. But we want to make sure you know about a couple of contests to win free tickets to the Nines Festival, happening at Willard Field in Devens, MA on August 10. The inaugural event features Explosions In the Sky, Dr. Dog, Delta Spirit, Shuggie Otis, Walk Off the Earth, Kid Koala, and Matt Pond with more to be announced. There's also a comedy tent curated by Rick Jenkins of The Comedy Studio featuring Erin Judge, Ken Reid, and Jenny Zigrino with more to be announced.

You can enter for tickets through Relix here and CMJ here. Hurry, because the CMJ contest ends tomorrow, June 27! And, of course, check out the Nines Festival website for more info.

First Listen: Interesting New Releases for June 25

A kind of slow week for new releases. Apparently, the heat of the summer means everyone's too busy listening to "Get Lucky" on the beach as opposed to listening to good new music. Anyway, a handful of new releases that might have hit your radar:

Smith Westerns - Soft Will: Smith Westerns were compared to Belle and Sebastian once upon a time, and while I love me some Belle and Sebastian, they've never grabbed me that way at all. While their third album is definitely the most cohesive one they've put out so far, they still come across as the sort of late-1990s/early 2000s indie pop retread that never really catches me these days. I know a lot of people tend to love this band in indie circles, and this will probably grab them some more fans, but unless you're already a fan of theirs or this style, it might not be totally worth your time.

Lightning Dust - Fantasy: Another third album, this time from the electro side project of Black Mountain. The album is as good as their 2009 effort, Infinite Light, but still suffers from the feeling that the music is being held back. Instead of exploding forward musically, it feels very restrained and quiet. This is a common thread with Lightning Dust for me, and speaks more to my preferences than anything else, but it ends up being a quality, constrained effort of indie electro music. Definitely worth a listen at the very least.

Other albums out this week that may be of interest to readers:

* India.Arie - SongVersation
* Mavis Staples - One True Vine
* Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

ShiSho - The Sisters EP

Normally I try to avoid copying a band’s description directly from their bio and have an original thought, but this one is just perfect: “If They Might Be Giants and Kimya Dawson had baby daughters whom they powdered regularly with Joe Jack Talcum, they'd grow up to be ShiSho.”

Hailing from Akron, Ohio (home of Lebron James and The Black Keys) ShiSho are real life sisters (Vivian and Midge Ramone), aged 16 and 13. They’ve been recording together for 9 years. Yeah, I know. I want to hate them. I really do. But they are just too damn good. At first their songs are adorable and cutesy girly pop with accordion, guitar, and ukulele. “The Dead Milkmen Song (featuring The Dead Milkmen)” consists mostly of lyrics from Dead Milkmen songs, which immediately makes your own children seem inferior. Oh, and the Dead Milkmen play on the song. “Shrouded in Silence” captures adolescent angst and awkwardness perfectly, probably because they’re in the midst of it. Sure, they’re literally children, which is kind of odd. But they have the seal of approval from both Dr. Demento and The Dead Milkmen, and do you really need anything more?

You can get a copy of The Sisters EP on Bandcamp where you can name your own price. You can also check out ShiSho’s website here, and below if the video for “It’s Coming to Get You (The Evil Clown Song).”

Newport Folk Festival Band to Watch – Kingsley Flood

Kingsley Flood are one of Boston’s most beloved live acts. They deftly combine the sneer and energy of punk with roots Americana without a hint of irony. Think of Arctic Monkeys as a folk band. They celebrate all their influences equally, and are right on the cusp of breaking through nationally. Since forming in 2009, they’ve won two Boston Music Awards and twice at the Boston Phoenix (RIP) Best Music Poll. They released their latest album, Battles, back in February. It’s filled with pop hooks, raucous sing-a-longs, and is destined to propel them to stardom. Do not miss them when they make their Newport  debut on Friday.

Check out Kingsley Flood’s website for more info and tour dates. Also, check out their video for “Sun Gona Lemme Shine” below, guaranteed to be the best video you’ve seen in a long time.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Outside the Box Festival Preview

For the inaugural Outside the Box Festival taking place in Boston July 13-21, the organizers have planned an amazing spectacle including just about every art form in and around the Boston Common, completely free of charge. There are family friendly activities, theatre events, world music, and more. Since Boston has always been an amazing rock town, music is one of the main attractions. I’m going to focus on a couple of particular events that I can’t recommend highly enough.

The first up is Thursday, July 18 at City Hall Plaza which features David Wax Museum. David Wax Museum take the stage at 6:30 with their blend of Mexo-American indie roots folk hybrid. I’ve seen them at least 5 times in the past 2 years, and they never play the same show twice. They are the rare band that fits perfectly in any stage they take on, from a dark, candlelit basement to a huge summer festival stage. They may just be one of the best live acts out there today. David Wax and Suz Slezak have an unmistakable chemistry between them when they play. Being the only full time members of the band (they have a rotating cast of drummers, horn section, dancers, etc. that play with them sporadically at other shows) they are as tight as any duo you could imagine. Their love of playing is contagious, and I have yet to see a crowd not be won over by them.

On Saturday, July 20, is one of the greatest triple bills in Boston rock history, especially if you came of age in the late 80s, early 90s. Earlier in the day are other fantastic bands I highly encourage you to check out (Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons, Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents), but 5:00 is when the event really kicks in, when Buffalo Tom take the Boston Common stage. Buffalo Tom are one of the most beloved bands from the late 80s/early 90s. They’ve recently begun a 2nd life with 2007’s Three Easy Pieces and 2011’s Skins. It will be great to see them take such a huge stage in their hometown.

Immediately after Buffalo Tom comes one of the most anticipated performances of the year: The Lemonheads. For about 20 years now, The Lemonheads have mostly been Evan Dando and whoever he has touring with him at the moment. This might change all that, as the upcoming Lemonheads album features founding member Ben Deilly returning to the fold for the first time since 1989’s Lick and Juliana Hatfield who was briefly in the band for the recording of It’s a Shame About Ray. This could be The Lemonhead’s version of the P-Funk All-Stars. Oh, yeah, and Ryan Adams is producing and playing drums on the record. While none of these people have been confirmed as performing with Evan, I can’t imagine some version of this line up performing at least a few songs. As excited as I was hearing Ben play some Lemonheads classics such as “Ever” with his current band Varsity Drag, I can’t imagine seeing Evan and Ben recreate songs from the 1st three Lemonheads albums on stage.


Closing the evening will be ska-core legends The MightyMighty Bosstones. It’s been 13 years since the Bosstones played a free, outdoor show in Boston. After reforming in 2007, they’ve released a handful of surprisingly good comeback albums. Their live performances have been limited to their annual Hometown Throwdown, a few dates playing with the Dropkick Murphys, and some sporadic touring. It will be amazing to see them return to their glory playing in front of thousands on the Common. A Bosstones show in Boston is always special. This one is guaranteed to be can’t miss.

For a full line up of all events, check out the Outside the Box website. Below you'll find a video for The Lemonheads performing "Fed Up" at their very first show. Hopefully it's just a preview.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Forgotten Fridays: Saturday Morning Cartoon's Greatest Hits

Forgotten Fridays is a weekly feature here at If It’s Too Loud.. where we go back and find the lost records of our glory days. We played these on our college radio shows, put them on countless mixtapes, and then forgot they existed. Once a week we go back and remind you, and help decide if they were any good.

Cashing in on the 70s nostalgia kick of the mid 90s, Saturday Morning Cartoon’s Greatest Hits features 19 cartoon classics as performed by bands of the moment. It’s a pure novelty album that made perfect sense then, but just feels silly now. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The quality varies wildly between songs, with perfectly fun, infectious tracks right next to one of the worst things you will ever hear in your life. One of the most fun qualities of the album is hearing acts that are normally considered serious artists letting loose and having fun. Right off the heels of Whipsmart, Liz Phair teams with Material Issue for “The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)” from The Banana Splits. Helmet has the most rocking track with the Gigantor theme, while Violent Femmes have the most fun with “Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah (Means I Love You)” from The Jetsons.

When this album is fun, it’s really, really fun. Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly form a 90s power pop dream team with “Josie and the Pussycats.” Another interesting pairing that delivers is Mary Lou Lord with Semisonic for “Sugar Sugar.” It doesn’t hurt that it was actually a hit song when The Archie’s did it in the 60s. Frente!’s version of “Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sun Shine in” from The Flintstones has all the charms of Pebbles’ original, and is just a pretty song. “Spider-Man” by the Ramones is the best known track on the album for a reason: It’s actually fantastic and fits right alongside other classic Ramones tracks. It’s even featured on some of their greatest hits compilations.

But when this album is bad? Yikes. “Go Speed Racer Go” by Sponge? Collective Soul covering “The  Bugaloos?” Awful. Even promising tracks like Tripping Daisy doing “Friends/Sigmund And The Seamonster” and Matthew Sweet with “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?” are just dull. I remember loving Sublime’s version of “Hong Kong Phooey,” but now it’s as unlistenable as I find the rest of Sublime’s catalog. The absolute worst of the entire bunch is Wax inexplicably covering “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” from Ren & Stimpy. This song is an absolute abomination and made me despise “Southern California” for years until I could push it out of my brain.

You can find copies of Saturday Morning Cartoon’s Greatest Hits on Amazon varying in price as much as the songs do in quality, from $3.23 to $59.99. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

This is a Thing That Exists: Kids Bop covering Macklemore's "Thrift Shop"

I'm an unabashed fan of Macklemore's ode to discounted thrifty shopping, and I just tripped up on this magical cover of the song by the Kidz Bop crew. It's not quite as inappropriate as their version of Modest Mouse's "Float On," (although I do love hearing kids cheer about crashing into a cop car), but knowing some of the "Thrift Shop" lyrics, well...

For those unfamiliar with the original song and who are generally lucky enough to avoid #1 songs altogether, Macklemore's version is below. NSFW for language:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

First Listen: Interesting Releases for the Week of June 18

Some highlights and thoughts from this week's new releases:

Sigur Rós - Kveikur: Sigur Rós is a strange band for me, and not because they do their music with lyrics that are a made-up version of Icelandic, but more because, after the beauty of their breakthrough album Ágætis byrjun and the equally awesome follow-up ( ), my reaction to them has been somewhere between mixed to negative. The new album is definitely a shift from the most recent albums toward something more like the original stuff we fell in love with, while still having a good deal of more-accessible fare. Will almost certainly remain in my rotation for the foreseeable future.

Austra - Olympia: Austra is a fairly recent band for me, they do a sort of dance-pop-alternative thing that typically falls right into my wheelhouse, but the previous Austra releases mostly toed the line between solid, mainstream dance numbers and more glitchy, difficult electronic music. This newest album, at first glance, is much more straightforward. Not quite anthemic, but not difficult, either, it fills a void I've had in my listening for some time, and I'm very excited to dive into this one more.

Kanye West - Yeezus: I'm not entirely sure what I can say about Yeezus that hasn't been said by other people already, and that's both a testament to what this album is and what it represents. The album definitely seems to come across as something to be disliked, to be debated and discussed, and on that level, it succeeds: it's abrasive, it has a number of points where neither the beat nor the music are especially enjoyable, and yet the album, as a full-fledged piece of art and as a cohesive unit, succeeds as well. It has a very specific tone that I can't say I've been able to place, and it's unique to this era - you're unlikely to hear something quite like it before now or ever again, as it seems to try and bridge the gap between rap and electronic music, of the electronica revival and dubstep, of challenging glitchy trap beats and old-school sampling. It needs to be experienced more than described, and, on my third listen (it leaked over the weekend), I both feel like I understand the album significantly and lack any capacity to understand what the heck is going on.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Newport Folk Festival 2013 Preview

Old Crow Medicine Show

As you’re most likely aware, Saturday and Sunday for the Newport Folk Festival have been completely sold out for months now, long before the line up was revealed. Friday tickets are still available, and I’m surprised since Friday might be the most stacked day of the entire festival with Feist, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Mountain Goats, John McCauley, Amanda Palmer, JD McPherson, Kingsley Flood, and more. Saturday and Sunday are amazing in their own right, with The Avett Brothers, Jim James, Colin Meloy, Justin Townes Earle, Jason Isbell, Shovels and Rope, Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls, The Lone Bellow, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and more on Saturday, while Sunday features Beck, The Lumineers, Andrew Bird, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Dawn McCarthy, The Felice Brothers, Beth Orton, Black Prairie, Spirit Family Reunion (last year’s break out band), and more, including the just added Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. The only disappointment I’ve had with the Sunday night headliner slot that has been generally reserved for more classic and traditional artists (Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, The Levon Helm Band) is taken this year by Beck, an artist I discovered in high school. Ugh.

If It’s Too Loud… will be covering the festival. This will be my 7th Newport Folk Festival, 3rd year covering it. As we get closer, I’ll be featuring some of the lesser known bands you’ll want to check out as we get closer. If you’ve ever been, you know one of the best parts is watching a relatively unknown band come out of nowhere and blindside a crowd into infatuation. Hopefully I’ll be able to make sure you catch that band this year. For anyone going, I’d love to hear who you’re looking forward to seeing most.
The Avett Brothers

To check out the full line up and buy tickets for Friday’s show, check out the Newport Folk Festival website. Also, please check out the video of Spirit Family Reunion playing the Sennheiser Stage at the Paste Ruins from last year's festival, for an idea of what to expect this year.

The Dead Milkmen - "Dark Clouds Over Middlemarch," "Big Words Make the Baby Jesus Cry," & "The Great Boston Molasses Flood"

Starting last year, The Dead Milkmen started following up their 2011 comeback album by releasing 7” singles, available for both download and as a physical record. The first one to be released was “Dark Clouds Over Middlemarch.” The B-Side is “Ronald Reagan Killed the Black Dahlia,” a song implicating Ronald Reagan in the Black Dahlia murder. Both songs feature Rodney Anonymous at the top of his game. Most punk bands from the 80s/90s tend to have mellowed out with age and even at their most rocking, their new material is almost easy listening compared to their original output. Apparently the secret is to take 16 years off. Rodney just sounds like he’s been festering since 1995, just waiting to get his chance to attack mainstream American culture and politics. There is also a digital bonus track (all vinyl copies come with a download code for both tracks and a bonus song, as well) of a cover of ROME’s “Little Rebel Mine” as a duet with Audrey Crash.

The second single, “Big Words Make the Baby Jesus Cry,” mellows out a little bit while attacking religion and the right wing refusal to accept science and facts. It’s a throwback to such Milkmen classics as “Right Wing Pigeons.” The b-side, “Somewhere Over Antarctica,” is a trippy Joe Jack Talcum song along the lines of “Dean’s Dream.” 

Most recently, The Dead Milkmen have released “The Great Boston Molasses Flood,” which is one of my personal favorite obscure historical events (read more about the subject material here). “The Great Boston Molasses Flood” is a much more noisy and experimental song, while somehow being the most straightforward rock song in any of the 3 singles. Written from the perspective of a victim of the disaster, Rodney even finds a way to name check The Dresden Dolls, his favorite Boston band. “Now I Wanna Hold Your Dog” is an obvious reference to The Stooges, and is one of the loudest, most rockin’ Milkmen songs in existence. The bonus song, “Anthropology Days,” feels like the most standard Milkmen song in the collection.

You can preview all 9 songs on The Dead Milkmen’s storefront and website. You can also purchase them through Amazon, but why not give the money directly to a decent, American artist, like The Dead Milkmen?

Monday, June 17, 2013

DVD Review – Tribute to Ron Asheton featuring Iggy & The Stooges + Special Guests

Recorded live at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater on April 19, 2011, this DVD documents the tribute concert performed by Iggy & The Stooges for Ron Asheton, the late Stooges guitarist who passed away in 2009. For something that could have been such a somber occasion, the performance is anything but, which makes it the perfect tribute for Rolling Stone’s 60th Greatest Guitarist of All Time.

The concert begins with a 20 minute introduction by Henry Rollins. After explaining the creativity Ron’s playing style was and how much The Stooges mean to him (and sharing a story about introducing The Stooges to a young, foreign fan), Rollins joins the Stooges for the opening song, “I Got a Right.” Iggy immediately takes over frontman duties, and dispels any concern this will be a sedate performance by bringing enough fans onstage to fill the entire stage (complete with crowdsurfers) by the 4th song, “Shake Appeal.” The Stooges run through 20 total songs selected from their 3 studio albums. The band is even joined by full string and horn sections for the encore.

Iggy & The Stooges give their all in this performance for their fallen bandmate, and the energy is palpable even on your home tv. My only complaint is there is one stationary camera that faces the stage from a distance head on that looks like it might have been recorded with a webcam. Other than that, it’s a must own for any Stooges obsessive.

Tribute to Ron Asheton featuring Iggy & The Stooges + Special guests is out now, with all profits to benefit the Ron Asheton Foundation. You can find it on Amazon and find out more about the Ron Asheton Foundation here

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nines Festival Preview

Explosions in the Sky
Central Massachusetts used to be a great area for live music. The Wallace Civic Center in Fitchburg used to host bands like Nirvana, Fugazi, House of Pain, Cypress Hill, Soundgarden, etc., there was the Worcester New Aud, shows at the Centrum, and the Fitchburg Municipal Airport even hosted a Warped Tour before it decided to go all Live Nation shed circuit. But, the last show at the Wallace Civic Center was in 1997 (if memory serves me correctly) and the Warped Tour was in 2006. I couldn’t even tell you what the last concert at the DCU Center was. This is where the Nines Festival comes in.

Delta Spirit
The 1st ever Nines Festival is happening in Devens, MA on August 10th. It’s a multistage, multi-arts festival featuring one of the best and most diverse line ups around this summer. You have the post-punk of Explosions in the Sky, neo-psychedelic Dr. Dog, Newport Folk Festival veterans Delta Spirit, Walk Off the Earth (best known for their 5 people on 1 guitar cover of Gotye), blues and funk veteran Shuggie Otis, turntable master Kid Koala, and singer-songwriter Matt Pond with more to come. If that’s not enough, there’s also a comedy tent curated by The Comedy Studio and hosted by Rick Jenkins, to say nothing of the visual artists that will be featured as well. They are also accepting submissions from local musicians to be part of the festival. This is really a welcome change from how homogenous and genre specific most festivals have become. All of this will be set on the 20 acre Willard Field.
Kid Koala

Don’t forget to check out the Nines Festival website and Facebook pages for updates, tickets, and band submission form if you’re interested in performing. If It’s Too Loud… will be covering the festival, so stay tuned here for updates, as well.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Good or Evil Alert: Pink Floyd to Spotify?

So Pink Floyd's catalog, as of this moment, is not available on Spotify. However, there's a fairly unique little promotion happening right now where, if Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" is streamed a million times, the catalog will be released.

I'm not really much of a Pink Floyd fan - the only song that's ever really caught me, interestingly enough, was "The Division Bell" from the album of the same name. So, if I'm feeling a little evil today, maybe I don't go on a streaming party. I doubt my little act of protest will do much, but still, if Floyd's your thing and you've got some spare drugs around...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Band to Watch: Field Mouse

Photo credit Drew Arndt

Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Field Mouse is led by singer/guitarist Rachel Browne and guitarist Andrew Futral They blend a sound as if My Bloody Valentine decided to come back as a new wave band. It’s all the lush drone of shoegaze with all the catchiness of mid-late 90s power pop. It’s a complete 90s throwback that somehow moves forward at the same time. The fact that they have a song called “You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom” will make you feel downright geriatric, even though it brings me back to what I listened to in college. So far they have only released a couple 7”s, but they are working on their debut LP as we speak.

Please go straight to their Bandcamp to get their songs, along with their website and Facebook. You can also check out their new video for "Tomorrow is Yesterday" and a couple of tour dates below.

Friday, June 14          Muchmore's            Brooklyn, NY
Friday, July 19           Trackside               Wilton, CT

Two Kickstarters for Your Perusal

Two Kickstarters for musical endeavors that may be of interest:

A staple of early-1990s college radio as well as a staple of my mixtapes/CDs/Spotify playlists to this day, Toad the Wet Sprocket have been doing reunion tours for the last couple years, and have finally recorded a new album. They're running a Kickstarter to help push it out the door.

I've heard at least one of the new songs live, and it felt like classic Toad to me, so the fact that we're getting new music from them over 15 years after they were done seemingly for good is getting Junior High Jeff ridiculously excited. I've already backed it, hopefully the new album measures up.

Sofia Talvik is a Swedish singer-songwriter who specializes in folk and Americana-style music. Back in 2008 or so, when Amie Street was a thing, I tripped up on her release of her newest album at the time, Jonestown, and I instantly fell in love with the whole thing. I quickly sought out her back catalog, and I've kept up with all the new releases since then.

I did an interview with Talvik over at another site I blog at, Fruitless Pursuits. We talked a bit about the Kickstarter and her music, and if you're looking to support an independent artist who deserves a lot of credit for the work she puts in and output she produces, this Kickstarter is for you.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Album Review - Lady Lamb the Beekeeper "Ripely Pine"

I’m actually glad I waited a few months before reviewing the first studio album from Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. We’ve all had the experience of losing our minds over a new album after a listen or two, only to have second thoughts and a little embarrassment over your initial freak out. However, that is not the case with Ripley Pine. I adore this album as much as I did when it first came out in February and still proclaim it to be the album of the decade.

At first I was disappointed to see that Ripely Pine had a few of the same songs as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s previous album, Mammoth Swoon. After listening, it was like Mammoth Swoon was the equivalent of being handed acoustic demos of Abbey Road and accepting it as a complete album, only to be sideswiped when the true album came out. The most fantastic thing about Ripely Pine is how surprising the arrangements are. There are complete tempo and style changes throughout just about every song, right up until you start to expect it, and then the stripped down acoustic “Florence Berlin” comes along just to make sure you know you have no idea. The album flows seamlessly from banjo songs like “Regarding Ascending the Stairs” to the more orchestral “You Are the Apple” into the almost straightforward rock of “Mezzanine.” My personal favorite track, “Crane Your Neck,” seems like a solo acoustic female singer/songwriter track that we’ve all heard roughly a million times before (not that it wouldn’t be a completely fantastic version of one if that’s all it was), until right around the four minute mark, when it becomes a danceable indie rock track. And then it switches two more times after that. It’s a truly original album I haven’t been this excited about since the first time I heard In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Yes, I know that is indie rock heresy, but I will stand behind it.

Please check out Lady Lamb the Beekeeper's websiteFacebook, and please check out her current tour dates and the official video for "The Nothing Part II" below.

6.11          THREE LINKS                                  DALLAS, TX
6.12          MOHAWK                                       AUSTIN, TX 
6.14          PUB ROCK                                      SCOTTSDALE, AZ
6.15          BOOTLEG                                       LOS ANGELES, CA
6.16          RICKSHAW STOP                             SAN FRANCISCO, CA
6.18          THE CROCODILE                             SEATTLE, WA
6.19          MEDIA CLUB                                   VANCOUVER, BC
6.20          BUNK BAR                                      PORTLAND, OR
6.21          VISUAL ARTS COLLECTIVE                BOISE, ID
6.23          HI-DIVE                                          DENVER, CO
6.25          CZAR BAR                                      KANSAS CITY, MO
6.26         GABE'S                                           IOWA CITY, IA
6.27         THE EMPTY BOTTLE                         CHICAGO, IL
7.23         BEACHLAND BALLROOM                    CLEVELAND, OH
7.24         THE HAUNT                                     ITHACA, NY     
7.26         OTTOBAR                                        BALTIMORE, MD 
7.27         MR. SMALLS                                     MILLVALE, PA  
8.09         KAHBANG FESTIVAL                          BANGOR, ME
8.19         MOJO'S                                           COLUMBIA, MO
8.20         DELUXE @ OLD NATIONAL                 INDIANAPOLIS, IN
8.21         THE MAJESTIC                                 DETROIT, MI
8.22         TAFT BALLROOM                              CINCINATTI, OH
8.23         EXIT/IN                                          NASHVILLE, TN
8.30         LODESTAR FESTIVAL                        CAMBRIDGE, UK
9.06         HOPSCOTCH MUSIC FEST                 RALEIGH, NC