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
My first band of the second night was a muscular rock ‘n’ roll quartet. It looks like I’m going for a theme, huh? Actually, Kansas City’s Admiral of the Red would pair nicely with the Vedettes. The KC act definitely leans more toward modern rock in their sound, but definitely knows how to lock in to more than just shredding and screaming. There’s a punk verve and melodic hook to what they do, and while it’s not earth-shattering in terms of novelty, it’s certainly worth watching.
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.
Kids! 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.
Handclaps. Sing-alongs. Jangly guitars. It’s been weird to hear Josh Berwanger‘s songs on develop live over the last year or so, and then hear them in their final, polished form on Strange Stains. Some of the songs here are so much different that it almost takes a moment to get what you’re listening to.
“Mary,” for instance, has this chunky guitar riff live that, on album, becomes strummed acoustic guitar. It goes from power-pop to something almost folksy in its recorded form — all stomps and hanclaps. While that power-pop live version is killer, the folksy rendention just shows the strength of Berwanger’s songs — the presentation can change entirely, and I’ll still love ’em.
On last week’s episode of the Nothing to Write Home About podcast, host Matt Pryor (the Get Up Kids, New Amsterdams, et al) was interviewing friend and fellow musician Joshua Berwanger about his time in the Anniversary and the Only Children, as well as talking about Berwanger’s new musical project, Berwanger.
In the course of the interview (which is really quite good, and a must-listen for anyone who was seeing shows in Kansas City during the mid-90s), Berwanger discusses the possibility of a reunion of his most well-known band, the Anniversary, and reveals something pretty astonishing: Continue reading