Interview with Big Eyes’ Kait Eldridge at Modern Vinyl

In the six years since the release of their demo 7″, Big Eyes has gone from being a scrappy pop-punk band to being an act whose music really reflects the Cheap Trick song from which they take their name. With the release of their third LP, Stake My Claim, the former trio — now quartet — returns to Don Giovanni Records, and owes just as much to classic rock as it does the punk scene from which the band first came. Hearing the opening dual guitars on the title track, one’s instantly hooked. And while even the band’s first single had songs like “You Ain’t the Only One” aiming for the back of the clubs, Stake My Claim has cuts like “Cheerleader” that blast clear to the rafters of an arena. “Leave This Town” sees frontwoman Kait Eldridge’s voice the clearest and strongest it’s ever been, and if album closer “Alls I Know” doesn’t leave you wanting more, you’re probably dead inside.
Read the full interview at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/20/16

Review of John Prine’s ‘In Spite of Ourselves’ at Modern Vinyl

When In Spite of Ourselves was first released in 1999, it was pretty noteworthy, serving as John Prine’s first album since beating neck cancer. His voice is raspy and worn, if not a little battered by his battle and surgery, and so he’s paired himself with nine different female singers. And these duets hearken back to the era from which Prine has drawn all but the title track. Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, duets were a matter of course — George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Porter Waggoner and Dolly Parton, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, to name but a few.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/19/16

Interview with Death Valley Girls’ Bonnie Bloomgarden at the Pitch

Calling Death Valley Girls a garage-rock act undersells it. While the music on the Los Angeles quartet’s second full-length, Glow in the Dark, has a lo-fi aspect to it, there's definitely a whole lotta death rock goin' on. The band's video for “Disco” is a freaky pagan affair, featuring legendary L.A. DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, and directed by Troma ingenue Kansas Bowling, and will instantly drag you into Death Valley Girls' aesthetic. The Pitch spoke with the band's frontwoman, Bonnie Bloomgarden, by phone from L.A. about Death Valley Girls' cult appeal and the appeal of cults.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 9/19/16

The Perfect John Carpenter LP at Modern Vinyl

Perfect LP is a feature in which the Modern Vinyl writers take on the tall task of summarizing an artist or band’s career in an LP sized selection of tracks. Bypassing what was the single, what was the “hit” and what fans call for throughout shows, it’s time to decide what makes up the Perfect LP.

The Rules

The selections will total no more than 50 minutes. The selections are arranged in logical fashion, as in how you’d like to hear them in a real tracklisting.

The Subject

John Carpenter, horror and sci-fi director, is known for iconic films such as Halloween, Escape From New York, and The Thing, but deserves as much credit as a composer and performer, primarily accompanying his visual work. After a lengthy hiatus in both films and music, he returned in 2015 with the release of full length Lost Themes on Sacred Bones. It was a collection of original music, ostensibly composed music for various things, but never used. It was followed up with the release of Lost Themes II earlier this year, as well as a sold-out international concert tour.
Listen to the LP and read my comments at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/19/16

Interview with Chrome Sparks at the Pitch

In his guise as Chrome Sparks, Jeremy Malvin makes electronic music that is absolutely entrancing. You can dance to it, but calling it dance music would be reductive. He has released a slew of singles, EPs and remixes (of such acts as Fred Falke and the Glitch Mob). After four years, he's finally poised to release his first full-length, out next year on Counter Records.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 9/16/17

Interview with Mac Sabbath manager Mike Odd at the Pitch

Mac Sabbath is the world's only clown-fronted, fast-food themed, Black Sabbath act. There are costumes, a light show and songs, which don't so much glorify fast food as warn of its dangers. It's a strange cross between “Weird Al” Yankovic and Michael Pollan, but it works. The band doesn't do interviews, so we spoke by phone with Mac Sabbath's manager, Mike Odd, about the whole strange affair ahead of Wednesday’s show at the Jackpot.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 9/14/16

Interview with Rusted Wave’s Jake Lamme at Modern Vinyl

Rusted Wave — those who released the amazing Wet Hot American Summer soundtrack — recently launched a Kickstarter for a vinyl release of Anthony Marinelli and Brian Banks’s score to the 1988 western, Young Guns. Despite the star power of the film, which starred the likes of Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Dermot Mulroney, the score’s never been released in any format. It’s rather amazing to think about, especially as the 1990 sequel saw not only the release of Alan Silvestri’s score, but an attendant 11-track album by Jon Bon Jovi, titled Blaze of Glory, which was a collection of songs “inspired” by the film.
Read the full interview and preview at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/14/16

Anniversary reunion feature at the Pitch

Josh Berwanger is hanging out in my living room, drinking an iced coffee, expressing admiration for three of the four cats roaming the house. Ostensibly, we’re discussing the reunion of his former band the Anniversary, for which he plays guitar and sings. But we keep getting sidetracked talking about horror movies.
Read the full feature at the Pitch. Published 9/13/16

August Cine Local at the Pitch

If you've read this week's issue, you're obviously aware there are tons of great local releases out now. And now, if you watch your way through all of these videos, you'll know all about the releases coming out in the next couple of months. Whether you like Keef Mountain's stoner doom, Various Blonde's genre-breaking beats, the heartbreaking pop of Heidi Lynn Gluck, or Berwanger's glam power-pop, there's something to catch your eyes and ears. We even have some classic footage from the Wilmas in this month's Cine Local.
View all the videos at the Pitch. Published 9/1/16