Podcast #131, “Karina Denike”

Posted in interview, podcast on April 15th, 2015 by Nick – 3 Comments
karina denike header Just in time for her album release shows this week, we have an interview with Karina Denike. You likely know her best for her tenure with ska-punks Dance Hall Crashers, but her new album Under Glass, is anything but. A wonderful melange of torch songs, indie pop, and the slightest hints of reggae, Under Glass is that most wonderful kind of album, revealing further details the more you listen. The album came out this week, and you can buy it from Denike's website while you listen to our interview with her. Podcast #131, "Karina Denike" Interview with Karina Denike --- Dance Hall Crashers, "Don't Call" (The Show Must Go Off!) --- Interview with Karina Denike --- Karina Denike, "Anchors Away" (Under Glass) --- Interview with Karina Denike --- Karina Denike, "Golden Kimonos" (Under Glass) --- Interview with Karina Denike --- X, "The World's A Mess, It's In My Kiss" (Los Angeles) --- Interview with Karina Denike --- Karina Denike, "Az Budes Velky" (Under Glass) Release shows for Karina Denike's Under Glass are this weekend in California: Thursday, 4/16 - Amnesia, San Franciso w/ Lily Taylor, Cosimo Lissy Friday, 4/17 - Awaken Cafe, Oakland w/ Lily Taylor and more TBA Saturday 4/18 - Dave's Record Store, Berkeley w/ bunches of others for Record Store Day

Earl Sweatshirt / Vince Staples / Remy Banks at the Granada

Posted in hip-hop, live music, photos on March 26th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
Earl Sweatshirt [gallery ids="18337,18338,18339,18340,18341,18342,18343,18344"] Vince Staples [gallery ids="18345,18346,18347,18348,18349"] Remy Banks [gallery ids="18352,18351,18350"]

Podcast #130, “Jeff Rosenstock”

Posted in interview, podcast on March 23rd, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
jeff rosenstock Jeff Rosenstock's new album for SideOne Dummy, We Cool?, debuted on the Billbroard Heatseeker Charts at #7. Not a bad accomplishment for a guy I once saw play a basement three blocks from my house. We interviewed the former Bomb the Music Industry frontman for The Pitch and took the opportunity to get Rosenstock to chat with us about songs he likes for this latest installment of the podcast. Podcast #130, "Jeff Rosenstock" Michael Damian, "Rock On" (Where Do We Go From Here) Bobby Brown, "My Prerogative" (Don't Be Cruel) --- Everclear, "Heroin Girl" (Sparkle and Fade) --- Shinobu, "Violence House" (10 Thermidor) Father John Misty, "Bored in the USA" (I Love You, Honeybear) Sleater-Kinney, "A New Wave" (No Cities to Love) Alvvays, "Adult Diversion" (Alvvays) --- MU330, "Got Caught" (Chumps On Parade) Chinkees, "Another Angry Man He Goes to War" (Bay Area Ska Volume 2) Operation Ivy, "Sound System" (Energy) --- Jeff Rosenstock, "You, In Weird Cities" (We Cool?) Jeff Rosenstock is currently on tour with with Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Smith Street Band and Chumped You can find tour dates and more info at his Tumblr.

Podcast #129, “Miguel Chen of Teenage Bottlerocket”

Posted in interview, podcast, punk on March 9th, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
miguel chen teenage bottlerocket It's another installment of "special guest DJ" on Sunglasses After Dark. This go-round, we have Miguel Chen, bassist for Teenage Bottlerocket. The pop-punk road warriors' seventh album, Tales From Wyoming, is due out March 31 on Rise Records, so after we interviewed Chen about the new record, we asked him the litany of questions we have for any artist willing to answer them. His answers are interesting. I suggest not looking at the playlist until afterward. The surprise is worth it. Podcast #129, "Miguel Chen of Teenage Bottlerocket" Green Day, "Having A Blast" (Dookie) NOFX, "Whatever Didi Wants" (Heavy Petting Zoo) --- Voodoo Glow Skulls, "Human Piñata" (Band Geek Mafia) --- Ramones, "Listen To My Heart" (Ramones) --- Teenage Bottlerocket, "Skate or Die" () Teenage Bottlerocket, "Don't Want to Go" () --- Pears, "Terrible" (Go to Prison) The 20Belows, "In Heavy Rain" (Wreckage) Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off" (1989) --- Teenage Bottlerocket, "Nothing Else Matters (When I'm With You)" (Tales From Wyoming) Thanks again to Miguel for taking time to do the podcast. Teenage Bottlerocket's new album, Tales From Wyoming, is due out March 31 on Rise Records. You can pre-order it in a variety of formats and bundles at the Teenage Bottlerocket store.

Josh Berwanger on his new split with Dwight Twilley

Posted in interview, pop, rock 'n' roll, upcoming events on March 3rd, 2015 by Nick – 5 Comments
[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]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6oMHHmm_Pw[/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.

Podcast #128, “Whether the Weather”

Posted in podcast on February 23rd, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
thundersnow It's cold. It's overcast. I'm as tired of grousing about the weather as you are of hearing about it. Let's have the music reflect some dour moods, and then try to redeem things with a bunch of pop. Podcast #128, "Whether the Weather" Louder, "Secret Fiction" (Louder) The Spits, "Come With Me (Yeah Wontcha)" (split with Dan Melchior) Sheer Mag, "Hard Lovin'" (Sheer Mag) Sam Vicari, "Mad At You" (Giving Up) --- Viet Cong, "Bunker Buster" (Viet Cong) The Smiths, "The Headmaster Ritual" (Meat Is Murder) Jeff Ament, "Pendulumorphosis" (Ten Club 2014 single) Grizzly Bear, "Two Weeks" (Veckatimest) --- Josh Berwanger, "Some Other Guy" (split with Dwight Twilley) Pushin' it 2 the Limit, "Pushin' it 2 the Limit Saves the Fish" (Pushin' it 2 the Limit) No Love, "Dogs//Wolves" (North Carolina Singles Series) John Wesley Coleman III, "I Found A Home" (Windian Subscription Series #3)

Celebrity Art Party with Krysztof Nemeth

Posted in art, interview, rock 'n' roll on February 20th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
Celebrity Art Party is a semi-occurring feature, wherein the artists we enjoy interpret their favorite song. This installment features Krysztof Nemeth. Anyone else think it's weird that both installments of Celebrity Art Party have been by people in bands? I find that odd. Anyhow, Nemeth is guitarist for the noir rockers the Latenight Callers, as well as a very excellent pinup artist in his own right, so it was natural that he was one of the people we reached out to for this (very) occasional series. Krysztof Nemeth - The Cure 'A Forest' web Song title: "A Forest" Artist: The Cure Version of song (live, album, remix, etc.): Regular album version from Seventeen Seconds [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqgIUq5SkQM[/embed] Why this song? It's sort of the perfect late night driving song... When did you first hear it? 14, probably ... as a budding young goth kid in Southern California. How does music such as this inspire you in your work? As far as my artwork, The Cure is great to have playing in the background while I'm drawing. As far as my music, it was instrumental in helping me become the musician I am, today. How has this song changed for you since you first heard it? As a song to listen to, it still holds up! I play this song live in Magnfuckingnificent, KC's The Cure cover band ... so it's only changed in as much as what I can now contribute to it as a live song. I suppose that means that I can give it a regular go out in public where others can appreciate it as well! What upcoming projects do you have? I continue to explore the world of pin-up art as the definition continues to evolve, and I continue to explore the world of dark storytelling in my full-time band The Latenight Callers. You can find out more information on Nemeth's artwork at the Pin-Up Art of Krysztof Nemeth, and on the music he makes via the Latenight Callers' Facebook page..

Louder, “self-titled” LP

Posted in punk, reviews, rock 'n' roll, vinyl on February 18th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
cover - louderThe self-titled LP from Japan's Louder would be a lot better if it could decide what it wanted to be. Half the cuts are big sugar-metal jams, like album opener "Idiot Mind." Hearing them, one can only assume that the band's name is both homage to and one-upmanship on the early '80s Japanese band Loudness. Those kinds of songs are catchy, they're fast, they're fun -- and, ultimately, transient. Louder's standard rock 'n' roll is good, but it's not particularly noteworthy enough to stand above any of the other bands which have come before them. Stacked up against Guitar Wolf, Electric Eel Shock, or even Gito Gito Hustler, they just can't compete. However, when you listen to something like "Prank" or "Dog Off," with strange, skronky guitar lines and snottier vocal delivery, Louder becomes way more interesting, and something worth checking out. For the most part, you get one or the other: either standard pop-metal or weirdness. The pop-metal overrides the strange by a 3:1 ratio, but for one, brief, shining moment in the middle of the LP, Louder manages to combine angular guitar weirdness and pop to create "Secret Fiction," which is the highlight of this collection of songs. From its build in the middle that leads to the slashing riffs which acommpany the gang vocals ... it's fucking great. As to what it is that leads to these songs being either or, for the most part: given that this is a power trio, with guitar, bass, and drums, I think that given the limitations, there's not a lot of room to do both at the same time. If they added a second guitarist, I feel like Louder could not only beef up their sound, but more fully explore every aspect of what they do without having to choose between them. That said: I enjoyed it. The packaging is stellar, as per usual from Sorry State. The reverse printing on the jacket, along with the printed inner sleeve, make this a seriously cool-looking release. The versions are hand-numbered, with 500 copies on black, and 100 on clear vinyl. It's available now from the Sorry State store.

Windian Records’ Subscription Series Number 3 is bonkers cool

Posted in garage rock, punk, reviews, streaming audio / video, vinyl on February 16th, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
windian subscription header Let us discuss the amazingness that is the new Subscription Series from Windian Records. We really enjoyed the singles we heard from the last round, with music from the Ettes and Mrs. Magician, but those were just solo copies, not as part of the whole collection. In other words, how do you talk about a box set when you have neither the box, nor the set? Well, we've the third installment sitting here in the Nuthouse basement, and it is the bee's knees. It's six 7-inch, bog hole, 45rpm singles in a custom box with a big, glossy booklet that showcases the sleeves these singles would have, were they to be purchased individually (which you can, with the art for an additional 79 cents). There's even a download code, and a glow in the dark 45 adapter. The cardboard shipping container the set came in was custom-stamped with the Windian logo, and the pieces of cardboard inside the box, holding everything tight were stampd with the logo of the Subscription Series on the top piece, with another on the bottom saying "Thank You, Come Again." That is devotion to an aesthetic ideal far beyond anything I can remotely conceive of. How's that for vinyl fetishism? This is beyond fetish object into full-on totemic territory. As a bonus, you can get two versions, on black and clear vinyl, limited to 150 and 100 copies, respectively. However, for $6 a single, I'm assuming you want some quality music, too, unless you're just one of those peopel who buys things and sticks them on a shelf to stare at. It's a bit of a mixed bag, as are all single series. In this case, I wasn't familiar with any of the artists being featured, so it was rather like getting a label sampler and hoping for the best. Norfolk, Virginia's the Seeers do a rather nice straight-ahead garage power pop. It's a little muddy and midtempo, but I can really see myself getting into those harmonies come springtime, while DD Owen (aka Drew Owen of Sick Thoughts) rocks dirty electronic punk with enough reverb to drive you mad. Platinum Boys hail from Wisconsin and certainly do have the guitar chops of Thin Lizzy, if a bit skinnier in terms of tone. "Candy" is pure pop sugar, while "Wild Child" has an underlying scuzzy fuzz. NYC's Church Bats could be accused of worshipping a little too devotedly at the feet of cavestomp artists. The way they ape that whole lo-fi, hollow recording aesthetic on "Foreign Man" could come across as fake, were it not for the fact that the song's a genuine rave-up, excellently contrasted by the perfect fuzzed-out instrumental "Half Man, Half Shellfish" that does Link Wray's grinding strip club undertones in a way I've not heard in ages. War Party's a-side is absolutely perfect psychedelic pop, but the b-side is another garage song about being drunk, and if you're not going to bring anything new, find something else to write about. Finally, John Wesley Coleman III's a-side is the cut that really doesn't grab me. "I Feel Like A Sad Clown" is fine enough power-pop, but "I Found A Home" is so absolutely off-kilter musically (that keyboard really goes freaky at points), but absolutely touching lyrically. It sounds like nothing so much as the Troggs covering "Care of Cell 44," and I can't get enough of it. You can listen to 8 out of the 12 tracks below, via Soundcloud. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/windian-records/sets/windian-subscription-series-3[/embed] The Windian Subscriptions Series #3 is available for order through the Windian Records store

JD Wilkes on the Dirt Daubers and writing

Posted in interview, rockabilly, upcoming events on February 12th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
[caption id="attachment_18282" align="aligncenter" width="560"]The Dirt Daubers (l-r): Rod Hamdallah, JD Wilkes, Jessica Wilkes, Preston Corn Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins The Dirt Daubers (l-r): Rod Hamdallah, JD Wilkes, Jessica Wilkes, Preston Corn
Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins[/caption] If there were a position for the artist most likely to cause a ruckus, it would be JD Wilkes. As frontman for the Dirt Daubers, to say nothing of th' Legendary Shack Shakers, the man's known for being a growling rockabilly frontman, and absolutely captivates when he's on stage. If you live in the Kansas City area, you'll get several chances to catch Wilkes in the coming weeks: JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers perform at Springfield's Outland Ballroom on Sunday, February 15, and then Wilkes performs solo several times during the 2015 Folk Alliance International conference, which runs Wednesday, February 18 through Sunday, February 22. Wilkes was kind enough to answer a few questions for us via e-mail in advance of these shows. How do you balance the expectations of those who saw you with the Shack Shakers with what you want to present with the Dirt Daubers? I try to be honest to the music in both bands. Hopefully our true fans will appreciate the depth of our commitment to both projects and understand that "the music must win" in the end (as cliched as that sounds). "It's about the music, man." (Said in a stoner voice) Do you feel as if people expect you to be some sort of shirtless rockabilly madman? Yes, but there are those who like the harmonica and banjo work too, as well as the lyrics and the songs I've worked out with my band mates. We're more faceted than what some knuckleheads can comprehend. But the tail shall not wag the dog & I'll keep doing what is true to my "vision". God, I'm full of clichés today! The Dirt Daubers' direction seems to be the roots of rockabilly itself. What acts inspired you to take this direction? I'm inspired by everyone from Dock Boggs to Tom Waits to Magic Sam. Blues is the basis for everything I attempt. The Dirt Daubers allows me to focus more on a more well-rounded approach to music for music's sake. There I go again! You're performing at the Folk Alliance International Conference. What things can folks expect from that performance? Me, a banjo and a chair. Playing as many shows as you do has to take its toll. When do you find the time to write? There's nothing but downtime when you're on tour. Driving, waiting around before the gig ... days off in a hotel room while on tour and weeks at home when you're off the road. Thank goodness for iPhones and voice recorders! You can drive and think and dictate ideas all at the same time. I just completed a novel, of sorts, too. 42,000 words linking all my song lyrics into one story. I'll publish it as soon as I can. These are the things you can do if you allow yourself the freedom to live a life of creativity. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o899EgWDDxQ[/embed] You can find more information about JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers at their website, as well as their Facebook page.