The New Pornographers stunned at Liberty Hall Saturday night, even without its heavy hitters

The New Pornographers stunned at Liberty Hall Saturday night, even without its heavy hitters

The New Pornographers Liberty Hall, Lawrence Saturday, August 12 The ticket buyers baffled and/or confused by the absence of both Neko Case and Dan Bejar...


Green Day brought the crowd onstage last night at the Sprint Center

Green Day brought the crowd onstage last night at the Sprint Center

Nick SpacekGreen Day The Sprint CenterFriday, August 11 Crowd participation was the theme of last night's Green Day show at the Sprint Center. The arena w...


Review of Glass Animals’ ‘How to Be A Human Being’ at Modern Vinyl

While I’ve listened to Glass Animals’ How To Be A Human Being nearly a dozen times — I’m literally listening to it as I write this review — I can’t remember a single thing about it. It’s made absolutely no impression on me in any of those spins, despite trying headphones, sitting in front of the turntable, throwing a digital copy on my iPod and listening to it at work; it’s just mental vapor.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 10/3/16

Photo gallery of the Mountain Goat & Oh Pep! at the Madrid

mtn-goats-05 For soaring harmonies and gorgeous music, there may be no finer venue in the metro than the Madrid Theater. In its intimate confines, Melbourne, Australia's Oh Pep provided charmingly wonderful music. The quartet won over hundreds of new fans as they opened for the emotionally charged, yet no less beautiful music of the Mountain Goats. It was an evening of sing-alongs and almost bursting into tears (at least for your photographer). The Mountain Goats [gallery link="file" ids="19012,19010,19011,19013,19014,19015,19016,19017"] Oh Pep! [gallery link="file" ids="19022,19021,19020,19019,19018"]

Q&A with Oh Pep! at the Pitch

For the benefit of anyone drawn into the hotel room by the charming music, the band’s name was spelled in wooden letters on the floor. This was the 2015 Folk Alliance International conference, and the musicians who’d made this endearing gesture had come a long way: Oh Pep, of Melbourne, Australia. Oh Pep is primarily the work Olivia Hally (the Oh) and Pepita Emmerichs (the Pep), who released their debut LP, Stadium Cake, on the Dualtone label this past summer. I spoke with Hally and Emmerichs via Skype about writing and producing the record.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 9/29/16

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

Q&A with Mikey Erg at Modern Vinyl

Ever since the breakup of beloved pop-punk trio the Ergs in 2008, drummer and singer Mikey Erg (né Mike Yannich) has been busy…insanely busy. He’s played drums for nearly every pop-punk act on the East Coast, he’s toured constantly, and all the while he’s been the drummer for the LLC, the house band for Fusion’s The Chris Gethard Show. However, musical output focusing solely on Yannich’s distinctive songwriting has been frustratingly scarce. While he’s been making music pretty constantly, hearing that voice has been limited to less than a handful of singles and splits. That thankfully came to an end with the release of his debut solo LP, Tentative Decisions, on Don Giovanni at the end of June.
Read the complete interview at Modern Vinyl. Published 8/17/16

Josh Berwanger on his new split with Dwight Twilley

[caption id="attachment_4776" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Berwanger Berwanger[/caption] At this point, the output of the Josh Berwanger Band is starting to rival that of the bands for which Berwanger was formerly best-know, the Anniversary and Only Children. The band's just finished recording their second LP, and just release their third single -- a split with power-pop idol Dwight Twilley -- on Good Land Records. We asked Berwanger a few questions via e-mail about the split and his upcoming plans. The Josh Berwanger Band seems to follow an older release model: several singles, then an LP. What's the rationale behind that? I want to consistently have something coming out on a format to keep people interested until the next LP comes out. Back in the day, bands were able to put out a record a year and still be relevant. Nowadays, from recording the record to the time a label needs to set it up properly it takes nearly a year. cover - berwanger twilley split sinleWhose idea was it to do a split with Dwight Twilley? This was something I was talking to Jonny Phillip of Good Land Records about one day. We often talk on the phone about what albums we've been listening to, and then I mentioned how much I love Twilley's Jungle LP. Then from there the idea of doing a split with him spawned. Where does "Some Other Guy" come from -- was it recorded for this split, or a leftover from something else? We were in rehearsals for an upcoming tour, and in-between songs in our setlist Ricky started playing "Crazy Horses" by The Osmonds. After 15 minutes of jamming on it, we had the song down. The first day on tour, I thought when we get back we should record "Crazy Horses" at Element Studios. I booked the studio. As we were on the road we started listening to all the layers that song had and thought to do it right, we would need more then a day. So, we ended up recording "Some Other Guy" instead. When's the next album coming out? It's done. No word on when its coming out yet. The plan now is to play all new songs at SXSW and then we have a tour with Field Mouse and Lithuania (a Dr. Dog side band) in May and June. In that time, there should be a better idea on the release date. How did you come to work with Jay Shaw for all your releases? I've been a huge fan of Jay's work for some years now. When I was halfway done recording Strange Stains, I sent him an email with some songs as well as some images of early Eastern European movie poster art that I love. I figured he wouldn't respond or not have the time to work with me. But he wrote back and said he dug the tunes and also loved those posters, as well. We just kept talking and from there have developed a great friendship. It's very true: if you don't ask, the answer is always no. [embed][/embed] The Josh Berwanger Band plays an electric, full band set and Dwight Twilley plays acoustic as part of the release party for their split 7-inch this Saturday, March 7, at Love Garen Sounds in Lawrence. You can also purchase the Twilley / Berwanger split from Good Land Records on some gorgeous splatter vinyl, limited to 100 copies.

Vacation Club, “Heaven Is Too High” LP

cover - vacation club heaven is too highThe first full-length from Indiana's Vacation Club, Heaven Is Too High, took a couple listens to really work its way into rotation. Samuel James' vocals are an acquired taste -- they're high, they're snotty, and they're fairly monotonic. It took picking the LP up after a little time away from it, putting it on the turntable, and hearing the opening strains of "Gas Station" to get what Vacation Club's doing -- this is a trimmed-down, lo-fi version of something like the Sweet or Slade. The stomp's all there, along with the bubblegum catchiness. It's 100% pop, despite the echoing vocals and pretty basic song structures. "Hound" will instantly remind you of something like the Dave Clark Five's "Anyway You Want It," and much like that stomping bit of circular pop joy, you'll want to get the hell up out of your seat and dance. This is sugary-sweet, like Vacation Club distilled oldies radio into a syrup you pour directly into your ears. It'll go straight from your ears to your brain to your hands and feet. Dancing will happen, your teeth will rot, and your cavity-riddled mouth will be fixed with shiny metal fillings. That metal will, in turn, start picking up radio stations. Radio stations that only play the Association, the 1910 Fruitgum Company, and on and on and on ... until your brain will accept only the finest sugary choruses. At that point, you'll be hit with "Boiled," your face will melt in the face of its psychedelic madness, and you won't know what to expect. [embed][/embed] Vacation Club's Heaven Is Too High is out now from Magnetic South Recordings, and comes in a pressing of 500 LPs on black vinyl. You should really go buy a copy. The cut-and-paste, Xeroxed aesthetic of the cover extends to the back, the insert, and even the LP labels. It's a cool-looking package.

Josh Berwanger, “Oh Bis!” 7-inch

cover - berwanger too much rockKids! Kidskidskidskids! Guess what? Josh Berwanger put out a new single! And it's part of the too Much Rock single series! And it has a cover of the Jags' "Back of My Hand" on the b-side! I literally responded to the initial news of this with a linked article on Facebook and something along the lines of "THE FUCKING JAGS?!?!" But, really, everybody: I'm a huge fan of Josh berwanger as a musician and just a guy to chat with in general, and this might be my favorite thing he's thus far done. "Oh Bis!" has been part of Bernwager's live sets for a while now, and the fact that he uses the word "bozos" has always endeared the song to me. I also really like the fact that the song flips the usual pop song narrative, working in a certain element of self-awareness, wherein Berwanger's singing about how "he could never love you like he does," rather than railing about how he could do so much better. It's a clever bit of mirroring, and the lyrics give lie to the postivity of the music. [embed][/embed] The flipside, a cover of the Jags' "Back of My Hand," is pretty much perfect. The addition of Heidi Gluck on backing vocals is always a welcome addition -- her work on Berwanger's album, Strange Stains, resulted in some of that record's highlights. The cover's pretty straightforward, but fits in nicely with the band's previous cuts. The single's out tomorrow, and can be found at Lawrence's Love Garden Sounds, as well as Kansas City's Mills Record Comapny, who will play host to a release show for the single on Thursday, June 5. If you're not able to get to either shop, you can buy it from Josh Berwanger's online store (which, in the interest of full disclosure, is my day job). You've your choice of black vinyl (a pressing of 416) or random color (a pressing of 109, which includes blue, turquoise, purple, and red, amongst others). Additionally, the Jay Shaw artwork lends a bit of continuity to the look of Berwanger's releases. Nice job on the reto picture sleeve. This sucker looks straight out of 1981.