Tuesday, April 30, 2024

BEDTIMEMAGIC - "The Slumber Party (Part I)"

BEDTIMEMAGIC are much heavier than a lot of the music we cover here at If It's Too Loud..., but sometimes there's just something about Boston hardcore and metal that just works for me. The band's latest single, "The Slumber Party (Part I)," is a two minute burst of just heavy rock with plenty of screaming vocals. But the duo are more than just your typical heavy band in 2024. The song is a little bit of a trainwreck and insanely discordant in a Lightning Bolt kind of way, but BEDTIMEMAGIC has this heavy groove throughout the song that just holds you in place and refuses to let go. Is "The Slumber Party (Part I)" metal, or is it noise rock? Yes to both?

Vocalist and lyricist Nicholas Pentabona says of his band's latest single:

“Musically, ‘The Slumber Party (Part I)’ is a return to form for us. We eschew the complex and cerebral for piss and vinegar. The track is viciously forward, unrepentantly alive, unapologetically guttural. Lyrically, the song follows a gentle rhyme scheme delving into an inescapable feeling of being stuck. A record skips on the turntable. A feeling of guilt shrouds the room. Leave me alone.”

You can watch the video for "The Slumber Party (Part I)" below. The song will be included on the NEF100: Burn After Hearing Compilation on Nefarious Industries, which is due out June 14 and is available for pre-order here. For more on BEDTIMEMAGIC, check out the band on Facebook and Instagram. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

May 23 - Pittsburgh, PA at Remedy
May 24 - Chicago, IL at Subterranean
May 25 - Madison, WI at Mickey's
May 26 - Minneapolis, MN at Caterwaul Music Festival 
May 27 - Kansas City, MO at Howdy
May 28 - Louiseville, KY at Portal
May 29 - Kent, OH at Zephyr
May 30 - Wilkes-Barre, PA at Curry Donuts

The Laughing Chimes - "Tomorrow's 87" and "The Apologist Effigy"

Photo by Sophia Orhea

Hailing from Athens, OH, The Laughing Chimes are going to make you long for the alternative of the 80's, back before it was known as "college rock." Their latest single, "Tomorrow's 87," has that fuzzy sound reminiscent of early shoegaze and what is now known as dream pop. It sounds like that time period when New Wave was starting to morph into what became alternative rock. And then, just to fully hit your nostalgia button, the B-side, "The Apologist Effigy," sounds like a mixture of classic alternative from Athens, GA and Olympia, WA mixed together. As vintage as these two new songs from The Laughing Chimes can sound, they are more modern versions of these styles and not just a pure throwback.

You can listen to "Tomorrow's 87" and "The Apologist Effigy" below. The single is available now via Slumberland Records. For more on The Laughing Chimes, check out the band on Instagram and Twitter.

The Familyhood Nextperience - "To the Hilt"

Last Thursday saw the announcement of a major line up change with Fishbone, which included the departure of founding member Norwood Fisher. On Friday, a new project of Fisher's was announced: The Familyhood Nextperience. It's a musical collective that also features musicians who have played with bands such as The Skeletones, Social Distortion, The English Beat, Suicidal Tendencies, and more. The project's debut single is "To the Hilt," which is a blend of reggae, rock, and ska in a delightful mixture. If you ever went through a ska or reggae phase at any point in your life (or never stopped having one), "To the Hilt" is going to appeal to you. It's a laid back but intense song. It may not have the high energy of Fishbone's ska-core, but this is an addictive song that is in no way the guilty pleasure a lot of modern ska can be. The Familyhood Nextperience is making great music, no matter if you've moved past your ska phase or not.

You can listen to "To the Hilt" below. The single is out now via DC-Jam Records. For more on The Familyhood Nextperience, check out Norwood Fisher's Facebook and Instagram.

Live Shows: The Town and The City Festival, Lowell, MA 4/26/24 and 4/27/24

This past weekend saw the return of The Town and The City Festival to downtown Lowell over Friday and Saturday. With such a stacked line up and so many bands to see, it was impossible to see them all, or even every band you wanted to see. I tried to take in as much as possible, had to make some tough decisions (or had some made for me), and had a fantastic two nights of music.

I started off my night at Smokehouse Tavern to see The Only Things, , Muck and the Mires, and Linnea's Garden. I've been listening to The Only Things for years now, but this was my first time finally seeing the Lowell band live. I missed a few songs of their set, but from what I saw they out on a great show. Just some solid punk and garage rock and roll played by a group of guys just having fun with it. They closed with a cover of The Replacements' "Bastard of Young," which fit right in with their own songs.

Next up for me was Muck and the Mires. I'm always shocked that the Boston garage rock band only formed in 2001. They just have that vintage garage rock sound from the 60's and 70's down so perfectly that I just assume they've been around for at least twenty years longer than they have. They played a solid set of dance friendly garage rock with punk influences and definitely had some hardcore fans in the crowd. If you love the Boston garage rock scene, you most likely are already a fan of Muck and the Mires. If you're not, check out a show and you'll become one.

Linnea's Garden played next and were the first band to make the space their own by using some extra pink and purple lights, along with some swirling multi-colored lights. (Smokehouse Tavern was a fine, if underlit venue.) They played with Cutty filling in on drums, and I swear if you're a band in Boston in need of a fill in drummer, he just shows up and plays. They played a set of high energy power pop meets punk tracks, which included their upcoming single "Chaotic Bisexual Summer." Linnea's Garden are always a fun show, and are a party band just waiting to happen.

From there I walked down the street to The Old Court to check out Subpunch, One Fall, and Tysk Tysk Task. I only caught the last few songs of Subpunch's set, unfortunately, but what I saw made me an even bigger fan since the last time I saw them. They play a version of emo that's a little more alt-rock based, but Friday night's performance was simply beautiful. It was the genre redefined as art rock, and the three or so songs I saw were wonderfully compelling.

One Fall was up next, who I hadn't seen since the semifinals of last year's Rock & Roll Rumble. They still play a melodic version of punk with some of the best between song banter in the scene. The theme of the evening was fun rock bands for me, and One Fall are just a fun band to see live. Helen McWilliams is still one of the best frontpeople around, and by the time they busted out their cover of Bruce Springsteen's iconic "Born to Run," I was fully invested. How great was One Fall's performance? I had meant to watch maybe half of their show and then skip a couple of blocks away to Warp & Weft to catch some of Orbit, but I completely lost track of time since I was enjoying One Fall so much.

Closing out my Friday evening was Tysk Tysk Task, playing their last show before Boston Calling on Memorial Day weekend. If you've been reading this blog for the last four or so years, you know I've seen them an embarrassing number of times, so I know what I'm getting with each show. This was, by far, the best show the Lowell band has ever played. By the time they were halfway through new song "City Lights," you could feel the crowd become engaged. (And keep an eye out for when that one gets an official release because the way it has evolved makes it possibly their best song.) This was an epic show, with all members of Tysk Tysk Task playing tightly and obviously having a fun show. They even got a decent mosh pit going towards the end of their set. This is a band set to have a break out performance at the biggest festival in the area, so make sure to jump on board the bandwagon if you haven't already.

Saturday did not start off the best for me. I fully meant to get down to Thirsty First to check out TELL and Minibeast, but because of a dumb mistake on my end I had to miss them. I've seen both bands, and I'm sure they were both great.

Instead my Saturday night started off with Colleen Green at Taffeta. I'm a huge fan of Colleen Green's, and Saturday night was the most involved set I've ever seen of hers. She had a screen behind her with projected images. Some of it was either clips from the 50's or 60's, or videos she had made, but it went perfectly with her music. Lyrics were even included, and Green just plowed through her set with very little interruptions or shit chat. A highlight was a karaoke style cover of "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)," complete with a performance video of Rupert Holmes on the screen. Plus, I learned how hooked on TV and/or screens I am since I spent most of my time watching the screen than I did the live performance. 

Dengue Fever was up next, but I only had time for a few songs of theirs. They play a mix of Cambodian rock and pop from the 60's and 70's psychedelic rock. The few songs I did stay for were incredibly fun and had the crowd enraptured. Unfortunately, choices needed to be made and I had to take off.

Next up was Roger Clark Miller at Thirsty First. I truly had no idea what to expect from a solo performance of Miller's, and assumed it was going to be highly experimental and bizarre. Instead, it was Miller with an electric guitar and four pedals playing relatively straight forward rock songs solo. He even played a handful of Mission of Burma songs (including "Forget" and "Red"), which I thought I'd never get to see live again. Add in a cover of Sun Ra's "Space is the Place," and I knew I had made the correct decision (for me, at least).

Closing out the festival for me was Sapling. The band took the winter off and were playing their first show since November, and Saturday's performance felt truly fun for everyone. They always play a loose style and adopt a "let's see what happens" vibe for their live shows, and this one just clicked. They even brought back Roger Miller to play cornet on a version of "Snake Charmer." He even came back to play impromptu for a wonderfully chaotic closer. They key of the festival seemed to be bands having fun during their performances, and as intense as Sapling can be, Saturday night's show was a blast.

Monday, April 29, 2024

New Dangerfield - "Dangerfield Newby"

New Dangerfield is a supergroup that takes their name from Dangerfield Newby, one of five recorded black abolitionists that died during John Brown's raid on a federal armory in Harper's Ferry, VA in 1859. The band consists of Jake Blount, Kaia Kater, Tray Wellington, and Nelson Williams who came together to reignite the black string band tradition. Their debut single, "Dangerfield Newby," is a three minute instrumental track that is a completely traditional folk song, but has a fire underneath it that I have never heard in the genre before. This is folk with a rock and roll and even a punk attitude, but played on nice instruments that your grandma would enjoy. It doesn't get more traditional than New Dangerfield, but they still have put out one of the most thrilling folk singles of the year.

Tray Wellington says of his new band:

“I put together New Dangerfield originally to collaborate with other Black artists that I feel are constantly breaking barriers with their music. It quickly became apparent, though, that this is a project that roots music wants and needs. As we continue to make strides individually in our careers, it influences the music we make as a group. Having a joint goal of further stating roots music is for all people, and with each of us having different backgrounds, it makes for a magical and truly individual sound to add to the Black string band tradition. Working from a shared place of love for Black string band music and culture, we’re developing new sounds and new ideas that keep these traditions fully grounded in the present while steeped in shared history.”

You can listen to "Dangerfield Newby" below. The single is out now on Free Dirt Records. For more on New Dangerfield, check out the band on Instagram and Facebook.

Nervous Eaters - "Don't Need to Make You Mine"

Boston's Nervous Eaters have settled into an amazing new chapter in their career, and we're here for it. The band started off in the punk scene of the late 70's, and while their music has slowed down over the decades, it still packs a punch. Their latest single, "Don't Need to Make You Mine," is more power pop than punk, but they throw in enough garage rock grit to keep it at least punk adjacent. It sounds a little like a lost 80's rock song with its earnest lyrics and impossibly catchy... well, really everything. This is shiny power pop at its most earmworm friendly, and what else could you possibly want in a rock song?

Guitarist and songwriter Adam Sherman says of the new single:

"The song is about loving your partner without limits. Harmonious relationships must have freedom as a guiding principle. Embracing the desires of those closest to us allows our loved ones to show their brilliance and seek their true calling."

You can listen to "Don't Need to Make You Mine" below. The single is out now on Wicked Cool Records with a b-side of "Someone Else in Your Arms." For more on Nervous Eaters, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

Thursday May 16 Sonia, Cambridge open for The Dead Boys

Friday June 14 Fallout Shelter, Norwood

Saturday September 7 The Music Room

Friday September 13 The Rockwood Music Hall, Boston w/Tiger Bomb

Saturday September 14 Alchemy, Providence, RI w/Tiger Bomb

Joe Gittleman - "Plastered in the Rafters"

Since The Mighty Mighty Bosstones broke up back in January 2022, Joe Gittleman has been shockingly prolific. The former Bosstones bass player has released three solo songs on a split with Bad Operation, formed The Kilograms and released a five song EP with that band, and now he has a new solo single and an upcoming solo album. "Plastered in the Rafters" is an upbeat ska song that would sound perfectly at home on a new Bosstones album if that was possible. It has that ska enters middle aged sound Gittleman's former band was working their way into, but "Plastered in the Rafters" has done it much better.

You can listen to "Plastered in the Rafters" below. Hold Up is due out June 21 on Bad Time Records, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Joe Gittleman, check out the artist on Instagram. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

5/9/24 @ Northside Tavern - Cincinatti, OH
5/10/24 @ Smalls - Detroit, MI
5/11/24 @ Appleton Beer Works - Appleton, WI
5/12/24 @ Reggie's - Chicago, IL

Friday, April 26, 2024

Loveletter - "Prophets"

Photo by Lacey Browne

Hailing from New York City, Loveletter are set to release their debut EP, and if you can't get enough 90's inspired alt-rock, this one is for you. The first single, "Prophets," is going to remind you immediately of Sleater-Kinney, mainly because singer Gabriella Zappia sounds similar to Corin Tucker. Loveletter do have their own sound, and what a sound it is. It's 90's alt-rock mixed with No Wave, with a heavy groove and just enough hints of aggression to keep their sound interesting. There is a sense of menace lurking just underneath "Prophets," but we're into that sort of thing. This is the kind of music that's going to work perfectly in dive bars and large outdoor festivals.

You can listen to "Prophets" below. Testament is due out June 7, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Loveletter check out the band on Instagram.

Lightning Bug - "Lullaby for Love"

Photo by Ingmar Chen

Back in March, Lightning Bug released the excellent "Opus," an experimental and mainstream rock song with electronic elements. The band has changed things up quite a bit for their latest single, the absolutely gorgeous "Lullaby for Love." This new single starts off with what sounds like a single note of looped vocals before the rest of the instruments kick in. The result is this wave of dream pop melody that just washes over you. It sounds both intensely personal and absolutely epic in scope. It sounds like Audrey Kang is singing directly to you and an entire arena of people at the same time. "Lullaby for Love" ends up being this truly magical song that keeps Lightning Bug's talent of being both experimental and mainstream alive.

Audrey Kang says of her band's latest single:

I wrote 'Lullaby for Love' as part of a mixtape for an ex-partner. It was actually kind of a joke between us, like leaning into the cheesiness of being in love. But as life flowed on, it kind of stuck with me. When you’re really in love, it feels like a special world that exists outside time and space. I don’t even mean with a romantic partner, necessarily. You could be in love with the ocean, with the sunlight, a really perfect day. And you just want it to go on forever. That’s what I wanted to express in this song. 

You can watch the video for "Lullaby for Love" below. No Paradise is due out May 2 and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Lightning Bug, check out the band on Instagram.

NICE, a fest Announces Their 2024 Line-Up!

Taking place in Somerville, NICE, a fest has been slowly growing and becoming one of the go-to festivals every year despite an increasingly stacked festival schedule. This will be their fourth year, and hyperbole aside, they've grown even bigger and more impressive for 2024. This year will see over eighty bands with ties to Boston playing over four days. They're back to Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theater and The Rockwell for 2024, but they've added a larger outdoor stage for Saturday at the Grove Street lot.

The line-up is stacked and features many of our favorites. Vundabar, Palehound, Model/Actriz, Dutch Tulips, Hannah Mohan, House of Harm, Burp, Jake McKelvie, Sweet Petunia, Noble Dust, TIFFY, Vivid Bloom, Zip-Tie Handcuffs, and many, many more are playing. Every single time I look at the poster I notice a band I had previously missed and get even more excited for! And there are still two unannounced bands that are pretty high up on that poster, so let the speculation commence!

Tickets are on sale now for NICE, a fest through their website. We're including an eight-plus hour Spotify playlist that the organizers put together to help familiarize all of us with the bands playing. You can find all the bands playing below the playlist.

A Day Without Love


Alex Walton

Alright, Thanks

Animal Hospital 

Aubrey Haddard

Axel & Lolo

Barefoot Young

(the return of) Bay Faction


Bus Crush


Cheer Camp


Chris Walton

Coco Smith


Divine Sweater


Dutch Tulips




Grass is Green (Reunion)


Haasan Barclay

Hannah Mohan

Happy Just To See You



House of Harm

Hush Club

Impossible Dog

Jake McKelvie





Little Fuss

Little Low


Makeout Palace


Mercy Ruin


MK Naomi

Model Actriz

Mom Rock

Noble Dust 

Nurse Joy

Ohio State Fair

Otis Shanty


Pet Fox

Pink Navel

Pink Slip



Rusty Mullet


Slow Quit

Summer Cult

Supermarket Parking Lot

Sweet Petunia

The Calendars

The Collect Pond

The Croaks

The Dead Friends Club 

The Invisible Rays

The Rupert Selection



Tyler and The Names


Vivid Bloom



Women in Peril

Zip Tie Handcuffs

Jon Muq - "Bend"

Photo by Devon Hutchins

Ugandan born and current Austin resident Jon Muq has been wowing us lately with his mainstream yet undeniably unique take on the world of folk. His latest single, "Bend," takes his impossible to resist folk pop style and infuses it with more than a little soul. In fact, if this was the first single you've heard of Muq's it would be easy to assume he was a soul artist. "Bend" is the type of song your grandmother could enjoy as well as the snobbiest of us music fans. Muq is an incredible talent that just keeps growing with every new single we hear from him.

Jon Muq says of his latest single:

“I had a problem with self-reflection. I hate mirrors, but I decided to confront myself in a mirror, and 'Bend' is the conversation I had with my reflection. It's okay to give up on yourself on occasion; find an honest conversation with your reflection, and you will truly discover yourself."

You can watch the video for "Bend" below. Flying Away is due out May 31 on Easy Eye Sound, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Jon Muq, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

May 18-19 - Opelika, AL - Songwriter Fest

May 24 - Oklahoma City, OK - Scissortail Park

May 31 - Austin, TX - Waterloo Records in-store

June 2 - Pittsburgh, PA - Three Rivers Festival

June 6 - Houston, TX - McGonigel’s Mucky Duck

June 7 - Austin, TX - 04 Center

June 13 - Bergen, Norway - Bergenfest

June 15 - Utrecht, NL - Tivoli/Vredenburg ^

June 16 - Antwerpen, BE - Queen Elisabeth Hall ^

June 18 - Paris, FR - Casino de Paris ^

June 20 - Barcelona, ES - Forum Karlin ^

June 24-25 - London, UK - Union Chapel ^

July 5 - Marshfield, MA - Levitate Festival

July 6-7 - Orillia, ON Canada - Mariposa Fest

July 10 - Ottawa, ON - Ottawa Blues Fest

July 13-14 - Winnipeg, MB - Folk Fest

July 25 - Glasgow, UK - Glad Cafe

July 26 - London, UK - Omeara

July 28 - Cambridge, UK - Cambridge Folk Festival

Aug 24 - Tonder, DK - Tonder Festival

Aug 26 - Stockholm, SE - Pustervik (Upstairs)

Aug 27 - Gothenburg, SE - Debaser/Bar Brooklyn

Aug 29 - Oslo, NO - Salt Pyramidian stage

Aug 31 - Birmingham, UK - Moseley Folk Fest

Sept 6 - Washington, D.C. - Kennedy Center

Sept 8 - Evanston, IL - Folk Fest

Sept 17 - Tulsa, OK - BOK Center *

Sept 18 - Austin, TX - Moody Center *

Sept 20 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center *

Sept 21 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center *

Sept 24 - Denver, CO - Ball Arena *

Sept 26 - Phoenix, AZ - Footprint Center *

Sept 27 - Los Angeles, CA - Kia Forum *

Sept 28 - Palm Springs, CA - Acrisure Arena *

Sept 29 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre *

Oct 2 - Portland, OR - Moda Center *

Oct 3 - Seattle, WA - Climate Pledge Arena *

* w/The Black Keys
^ w/Mavis Staples