Friday, July 19, 2024

Josephine Network - "Fat Doll"

Photo by Loren Lenox

It's a Friday, and that means we could all use a song like "Fat Doll" to get us pumped for the weekend. The latest single from Brooklyn based queer glam rock artist Josephine Network is a glam rock number that owes quite a bit to predecessors like T. Rex. "Fat Doll" also has more than a little grit in its glam, so to me it sounds like T. Rex meets Thelma and The Sleaze. Josephine Network have crafted a "... celebration of transfeminity doubling as an ode to big girls who rock," and turned it into a killer party ready rock anthem. Even if that doesn't describe you, you'd have to be devoid of a soul to not love "Fat Doll."

Josehine Network describes her new single as "a fun body-positive banger that breaks through Ozempic-era beauty norms with the power of rock and roll."

You can watch the video for "Fat Doll" below. The song is currently available via Bandcamp. For more on Josephine Network, check out the artist on Instagram.

Sparxsea - "Roses in the Street"

Photo by Will Bradford

Hailing from Maine, Sparxsea is making indie-pop that doesn't quite sound like anyone else. Her latest single, "Roses in the Street," combines piano syths, acoustic guitars, and programmed drum beats into a surprisingly organic singer-songwriter goes indie pop song. The song merges such diverse sounds into such a compelling composition that is strikingly fresh yet familiar. It's like a melding of trip hop, mainstream 90's folk-rock, and modern indie pop. Sparxsea feels like one of those artists that you're either going to dislike or be infatuated with, with very little in between.

Sparxsea says of her latest single:

“This is a ‘darkest before the dawn’ song. That last hour before dawn, before that rose breaks through the concrete into the street and becomes something beautiful for people to appreciate. I write about what I need to get through hard times, words that I need to hear. It's a song about abundance. There’s enough love out there for everyone. You just have to be open to it. Everything can seem very hard until you break through.”

You can watch the video for "Roses in the Street" below. On the Sea is due out September 13. For more on Sparxsea, check out the artist's website.

Derek Smith and the Cosmic Vultures - "Tomorrow Morning"

Photo courtesy of Derek Smith and the Cosmic Vultures

Boston's Derek Smith and the Cosmic Vultures have crafted one of the more unique yet mainstream sounds coming out of the city for their latest single. "Tomorrow Morning" has a psychedelic and glam sound, but it's also laced with a heaping dose of soft rock. The song is trippy and glammed up, but it sounds like something that could have been played on an easy listening station decades ago. Plus, there's an unexpected alt-rock meets jam band thing going on here. "Tomorrow Morning" is well worth a listen, and it's certainly one of those songs that shares more with the listener on repeated listens. What should be a jumbled mess of sounds instead works magically in Derek Smith and the Cosmic Vultures' hands.

Derek Smith says of his band's latest single:

“I always sort of go back to a song after I have written it and realize it can have many different meanings or mean something completely different later down the road. I think the one thing I am trying to convey with this song is that no matter what happens to you – tomorrow is another day. A new feel, a new outlook, a new opportunity. Don’t be hasty with how you feel. Give it some time; mull it over and be strategic.”

You can listen to "Tomorrow Morning" below. Derek Smith and the Cosmic Vultures are expected to have a new album out this fall. For more on the band, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram.

Live Shows: The Greeting Committee and Toledo, The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA 7/17/24

Sometimes it's good to step out of your musical comfort zone a bit, and that's what I thought I was doing Wednesday night at The Sinclair with The Greeting Committee. The just released Everyone's Gone and I Know I'm the Cause is a little bit more poppy than I'm used to, but is still a great album. Once I got into the venue, I wasn't sure what to expect. First, the crowd was much younger and more mainstream than I'm used to. I was hardly the only attendee sporting some grey in my beard, but it was a young crowd. Plus, it was the type of crowd that was shouting along to the Chappell Roan songs in between bands, and doing the hand gesture/dances that apparently go along to the songs. Like I said, not my usual crowd for a show.

But... then the music started and none of that mattered. The Greeting Committee and quite simply a stellar live band. They were kind of like a more energetic Alvvays or a less punk Mannequin Pussy. Singer Addison Sartino is one of the most engaging frontpeople I've seen in ages, and it seemed to be her personal mission to make sure each and every person in The Sinclair was having a fantastic time. Not that she had to, because the crowd was engaged the instant they started playing. And how could they not be? Songs like "How It Goes" are just begging to be heard live. It's hard to tell if The Greeting Committee were feeding off the crowd's energy, or if the crowd was feeding off the band's. It was like an endless loop of energy and joy that just kept building off of each other. Everyone in the crowd could not have been more thrilled to have been at the show Wednesday night, and The Greeting Committee gave them plenty of reason to be.

I also feel the need to point out that despite the young age of the crowd, there was barely a cell phone out during the show. The under twenty five crowd gets far too bad of a rap when it comes to phones at shows.

Boston's Toledo opened the show as a solo act. It was just Jordan Dunn-Pilz taking the stage with a set of downbeat but not quite emo acoustic songs. His performance kept the crowd engaged throughout. It seemed like Toledo had more than a few of their own fans at the show, and definitely won some more over. If you're into earnest folk-rock songs with a mainstream leaning, you're going to want to check out Toledo.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Doing Anything This Weekend?: July 19-21

Doing Anything this Weekend? is a feature here at If It's Too Loud... where we feature some live shows in and on the far outskirts of the Boston area. Our main rules are that they have to be reasonably priced shows that you can attend last minute. They'll feature If It's Too Loud... approved bands, and we'll provide event links when possible. And since we're in outdoor music season, these events are weather permitting. If you're looking for last minute plans this weekend, we recommend:

Friday July 19

The Dollyrots and The Boreouts at Sonia, Cambridge, MA

Eye for an Eye, Deprogrammer Cult, Wire Lines, and Ancient Domains at Deep Cuts, Medford, MA

Double Star, Foolish Relics, Futon Lasagna, Skaleton Crew, and Solgyres at Hotel Vernon, Worcester, MA

Saturday July 20

Oneida, E, and The Spatulas at Deep Cuts, Medford, MA

Field Day, Lupo Citta, and Tinkertown at Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA

Sunday July 21

The Dollyrots, Heather Rose in Clover, and Gamma Rage at Alchemy, Providence, RI

Devarrow - "Holy Ghost"

Photo by Bells Larsen

Canadian musician Graham Ereaux records and releases under the name Devarrow. His latest single, "Holy Ghost," is a unique little folk-rock track that reminds me of a punked up version of Band of Horses. The song has a ramblin' folk side to it, but it also has a punk tuned guitar solo. Plus, the song just speeds ahead much faster than a traditional folk song, and it clocks in at well under two minutes. "Holy Ghost" is an absolute pleasure to listen to, and it's perfect for fans of bands like Deer Tick and Delta Spirit.

Devarrow says of his latest single:

"'Holy Ghost' is an older song, and its origins are even a mystery to me. I remember the first time I played it was at an outdoor concert in Munich, Germany in about 2018, but beyond that, I cannot recall when it was first conceptualized. What makes this song special for me, is that it is the only song on the record which was performed live. The recording you hear was in fact from a DIY demo session I did with my band in 2018 in an old farmhouse in Nova Scotia. At the time of recording, I had a terrible ear infection, so my vocals were terrible as I couldn't hear myself. The vocals were recorded fresh during the creation of Heart Shaped Rock, but all other instruments are from the original demo. This song is a testament to the fact that you can recreate recordings, but you can’t always recreate a vibe. I tried to re-record this song in its entirety, but in the end, I realized the demo was just the best."

You can watch the video for "Holy Ghost" below. Heart Shaped Rock is due out October 4 on Paper Bag Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Devarrow, check out the artist's website.

Battlemode - "Playlist"

Photo by Dave Green Photography

I didn't expect the latest from Battlemode to work for me, personally. "Playlist" is a pure pop song, which is usually a genre that doesn't do it for me. However, the Boston trio have something that works on their chiptune single. Maybe it's just that the song is saturated with 90's nostalgia, and even music I hated from TRL is now kind of fun. It could also just be the killer synths that propel the track to unexpected heights. Or, it could simply be that at this point in our lives, we could all just use some fun... especially when it involves music that combines 90's pop, hip hop, and video game sounds. Oh, and saxophone.

Atlas says of the band's latest single:

“‘Playlist’ deals with a breakup or loss through music, and how songs and other unsuspecting things remind you of significant times in your life. The idea of having a love song about a playlist — something that exists in a digital format – also plays off of the idea of what our music’s message could be: We make digital music but still have a human touch, with Biff’s humanized instruments and Sam playing his guitar riffs. Musically, ‘Playlist’ is all about mixing chiptune and pop to create a modern, 8-bit, original hit.”

You can listen to "Playlist" below. For more on Battlemode, check out the band's website. To keep the 90's nostalgia going, Battlemode will be performing at Hack the Planet Day at Somerville Theater, which features a screening of the 90's cult classic Hackers.

Velocity Girl - "Copacetic (Peel Session version)"

Photo by John Falls

It may be hard for the under forty crowd to understand, but Peel Sessions recordings used to be gold. We used to pay top dollar for import CD singles to get a song or two from our favorite artists, and some bands would release entire Peel Sessions albums. The recently reunited Velocity Girl have made a version of "Copacetic" available from the upcoming re-release of Copacetic, and it shows exactly why these recordings are so cherished. The Peel Session version of this classic song has all of the noise and energy of a live performance but recorded in a top notch studio. It also shows why the two times I got to see Velocity Girl live are such great memories. This is a top tier 90's indie rock (and what we'd now call indie pop) artist in their absolute prime, and it shows why fans are so thrilled to have them back for live performances.

You can listen to "Copacetic "Peel Session version)" below. UltraCopacetic (Copacetic Remixed and Expanded) is due out August 16 on Sub Pop Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Velocity Girl, check out the band on Instagram and Twitter.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Lunar Vacation - "Set the Stage"

Photo by Violet Teegardin

Decatur, GA's own Lunar Vacation show that they are masters of beautiful noise on their latest single. "Set the Stage" is filled with this giant wall of fuzz and buzzy guitars. It's a monster of a power ballad, with guitarist and vocalist Gep Repasky delivering some of the best slacker vocals of 2024. "Set the Stage" meanders at its own steady pace. It's kinda indie rock, kinda shoegaze, and kinda pop. Lunar Vacation have nailed their own sound that is both fresh and familiar. Odds are that you're going to adore this one.

Gep Repasky says of the band's latest single:

“This song came about after accidentally going to an open mic stand-up comedy show, where, unbeknownst to us, we were the only audience members. No one was funny, and most jokes were made at our expense. I picked this song up again while we were on tour and finished writing it as we drove into Manhattan, which inspired the lyrics about crumbling infrastructure.”

You can watch the video for "Set the Stage" below. Everything Matters, Everything's Fire is due out September 13 on Keeled Scales, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Lunar Vacation, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

July 24 - Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre*

July 28 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer*

July 30 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club*

July 31 - Boston, MA @ Royale*

August 1 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel*

Sep 13 - Atlanta, GA @ Criminal Records (In-store performance)

September 14 - Athens, GA @ 40 Watt 

Oct 30 - Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck

Oct 31 - Omaha, NE @ Slowdown

Nov 2 - Fort Collins, CO @ The Coast

Nov 4 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court

Nov 7 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo~

Nov 8 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO~

Nov 9 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom ^ 

Nov 11 - San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield Theatre~

Nov 13 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium~

Nov 15 - San Diego, CA @ PETCO Park~

Nov 16 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas~

Nov 17 - Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre~

Nov 19 - Dallas, TX @ Southside Ballroom~

Nov 20 - Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center~

Nov 22 - Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern (The Stuffing)~

Nov 23 - Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern~ 


~with Manchester Orchestra & Thrice

^ with Thrice 

A Place to Bury Strangers - "Disgust"

Photo by Ibru Yildiz

New York noise legends A Place to Bury Strangers are moving away from their Sevens singles series to release a new album in October. The first single off the album, "Disgust," is classic A Place to Bury Strangers. It just hits you in the face with a monster wall of sound, and then barrels over you. It sounds like a mixture of the fuzz and noise of Sonic Youth along with the industrial aggression of Nine Inch Nails. "Disgust" is a huge song that is quite obviously not meant for the masses. A Place to Bury Strangers have always been for a more niche audience, but if you belong to that niche, this one is going to melt your face clean off.

Oliver Ackermann says of his band's new single:

 “‘Disgust’ is a song I wrote that was inspired by the way I used to perform ‘Got That Feeling,’ a song by my old band Skywave. There was a long riding open note on the bass that enabled me to play the whole part with my fist in the air.  I wrote this song just on open strings so it could be played with just one hand: dumb and fun.”

You can watch the video for "Disgust" below. Synthesizer is due out October 4 on Dedstrange, and is available for pre-order here. For more on A Place to Bury Strangers, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Fri July 27 - Guimarães, PT @ Lagosto Festival
Sun July 28 - Binic-Etables-sur-Mer, FR @ Binic Festival
Wed July 31 - Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang
Thu. Aug. 1 - Dresden, DE @ Chemiefabrik
Fri. Aug. 2 - Beelen, DE @ Krach Am Bach
Sun Aug. 4 - Transylvania, RO @ Rockstadt Extreme Fest
Mon. Aug. 5 - Budapest, HUN @ A38 $
Tue. Aug. 6 - Bratislava, SK @ Pink Whale $
Wed. Aug. 7 - Munich, @ Milla Club $
Thu. Aug. 8 -  Aschaffenburg, @ Colos-Saal $
Sat. Aug. 10 - Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso $
Sat. Sep. 21 - Groningen, NL @  Vicefest
Mon. Sep. 23 - London, UK @ The Shacklewell Arms
Tue. Sep. 24 - Wed. Sep. 25 - London, UK @ No90 Live Hackney Wick
Thu. Sep. 26 - Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute %
Fri. Sep. 27 - Dublin, IE @ The Grand Social %
Sat. Sep. 28 - Belfast, IE @ Oh Yeah %
Sun. Sep. 29 - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo %
Mon. Sep. 30 - Bedford UK @ Esquire %
Thu. Oct. 3 - Berlin, DE @ Berlin Metropol [Record Release Show] %
Fri. Oct. 4 - Copenhagen, DK @ Loppen %
Sat. Oct. 5 - Oslo, NO @ Goldie %
Sun. Oct. 6 - Gothenburg, SE @ Fangelset %
Mon. Oct. 7 - Stockholm, SE @ Slaktkyrkan %
Wed. Oct 9 - Wroclaw, PL @ Lacznik %
Thu. Oct. 10 - Warsaw, PL @ Hybrydy %
Fri. Oct. 11 - Poznan, PL @ 2progi %
Sat. Oct. 12 - Bmo, CZ @ Kabinet Muz %
Sun. Oct 13 - Jena, DE KuBa Jena %
Fri. Oct. 25 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat &
Sat. Oct. 26 - Raleigh, NC @ Kings &
Sun. Oct. 27 - Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle &
Mon. Oct. 28 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl &
Wed. Oct. 30 - Houston, TX @ White Oak &
Thu. Oct. 31 - Austin, TX @ Levitation &
Sat. Nov. 2 - Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar #
Sun. Nov. 3 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom #
Mon. Nov. 4 - San Francisco, CA @ GAMH Psyched Fest #
Thu. Nov. 7 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios #
Fr. Nov. 8 - Seattle, WA @ Freakout Festival ^
Sat. Nov. 9 - Vancouver, BC @ The Pearl

$ w/ Skelesys
% w/ Stella Rose
& w/ YHWH Nailgun
# w/ Pop Music Fever Dream
^ w/ The Black Angels, Martin Rev, The Black Lips & Shabazz Palaces