5FriSeptember 5, 2014
Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar -- before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin -- Ramblin' Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. From Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, Beck to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder to Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones, they all pay homage to Ramblin' Jack Elliott.
In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today's fancy.
There are no degrees of separation between Jack and the real thing. He is the guy who ran away from his Brooklyn home at fourteen to join the rodeo and learned his guitar from a cowboy. In 1950, he met Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and traveled with Woody to California and Florida, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. Jack became so enthralled with the life and composer of This Land Is Your Land, The Dust Bowl Ballads, and a wealth of children's songs that he completely absorbed the inflections and mannerisms, leading Guthrie to remark, "Jack sounds more like me than I do."
In 1954, along with folksinging pals Frank Robinson and Guy Carawan, Jack journeyed south through Appalachia, Nashville and to New Orleans to hear authentic American country music. He later made this the basis for his talking song, 912 Greens.
In 1955 Jack married and traveled to Europe, bringing his genuine American folk, cowboy and blues repertoire and his guitar virtuosity, inspiring a new generation of budding British rockers, from Mick Jagger to Eric Clapton.
When he returned to America in 1961, he met another young folksinger, Bob Dylan at Woody Guthrie's bedside, and mentored Bob. Jack has continued as an inspiration for every roots-inspired performer since.
Along the way he learned the blues first-hand from Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie Mcghee and Sonny Terry, Jesse Fuller and Champion Jack Dupree.
He has recorded forty albums; wrote one of the first trucking songs, Cup of Coffee, recorded by Johnny Cash; championed the works of new singer-songwriters, from Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson to Tim Hardin; became a founding member of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue; and continued the life of the traveling troubadour influencing Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Tom Russell The Grateful Dead and countless others.
In 1995, Ramblin' Jack received his first of four Grammy nominations and the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, for South Coast (Red House Records).
In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Jack the National Medal of the Arts, proclaiming, "In giving new life to our most valuable musical traditions, Ramblin' Jack has himself become an American treasure."
In 2000, Jack's daughter, filmmaker, Aiyana Elliott produced and directed The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack, her take on Jack's life and their fragile relationship, winning a Special Jury Prize from the Sundance Film Festival.
Through it all--though agents, managers, wives and recording companies have tried--Jack resisted being molded into a commercial commodity. He played his shows without a written set list or including any songs that did not ring with his gut feeling of what mattered to him.
Ramblin' Jack's life of travels, performances and recordings is a testament to the America of lore, a giant land of struggle, hard luck and sometimes even of good fortune. Ramblin' Jack takes us to places that spur us on to the romance and passion of life in the tunes and voices of real people.
At seventy-seven, Ramblin' Jack is still on the road, still seeking those people, places, songs and stories that are hand-crafted, wreaking of wood and canvas, cowhide and forged metal. You'll find him in the sleek lines of a long haul semi-truck, in the rigging of an old sailing ship, in the smell of a fine leather saddle.
6SatSomething To Do, The Lousy Trouts, The Bang Bang
8:00pm $10 (includes free digital EP download card)
show detailsSeptember 6, 2014Something To Do
The Lousy Trouts8:00pm $10 (includes free digital EP download card)The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel chose the album, "Music for Fine Dining" by Milwaukee area based horn-driven rock band "Something To Do" (S2D) as one of the top 10 Milwaukee albums of 2012. Something To Do earned nominations for "Album of the Year" and "Best Rock/Pop Act" in the 2013 the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards.
S2D spent the first part of the 2012 tucked away in their practice space in an industrial park writing songs while simultaneously raising over $5000 onKickstarter.com to fund the recording and production of "Music for Fine Dining". The band worked hard to keep new material fresh and diverse on this release. S2D felt that the press gave some of the greatest compliments and salutes to the album. Connor Maoil stated in a review onDyingscene.com, " If I have one pet peeve musically (and I assure you, I have many), it's when a one-trick pony band claims a thousand genre-spanning influences, and then releases stylistically-limited music. That's not the case here, as the diversity of sound stands out track-by-track." Jamie Lee Rake, in a Shepherd Express review wrote, "Something to Do engages in some stylistic shape-shifting. Fitting their horns and pop-punk guitars into the occasional '60s soul motif and a bit of metal shrapnel could be expected moves for such a band, but slo-mo mournful klezmer? It works! ...Something to Do keeps doing music worth hearing".
The band began recording at Howl Street Recordings in Bay View with Shane Hochstetler in May of 2012. Ryan Carter of Whale Skin Illustrations, designed the album art around the band's theme of 1930's era movie posters. "Music for Find Dining" was completed and released in July. The release party, aptly surrounding the theme "Music for Fine Dining", offered fans discounted admission for wearing formal wear, hours d' vours were served by wait staff between bands and videos and commercials from the 1930's were played between acts. A few weeks later, Something To Do got a last minute opportunity to open for The Offspring in the Eagles Ballroom before touring the Midwest in the Fall, supporting Michigan based, veteran ska band, Mustard Plug.
"Music for Fine Dining" is the fifth album by Something To Do. All S2D albums are available on itunes, Amazon and over 100 other download sites and streaming radio stations. To date the band has sold tens of thousands of CD's and downloads and played over 600 of their high-energy shows during their career. Something To Do has opened for bands such as; Reel Big Fish, The Beach Boys, The Offspring, Less Than Jake, The Spin Doctors, Goldfinger, G Love and Special Sauce, Old 97's, The BoDeans, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Cowboy Mouth, the Toasters, Patti Smyth & Scandal and The Skatalites.
11ThuSeptember 11, 2014
Despite their name, the band is anything but Comatose. "It's just one, big, extended Morrison music party," they say. Ben and Alex Morrison, guitar and banjo, and lead vocalists, front this rocking string band that has become a West coast headliner and national touring act in a mere four years. With stellar accompanists Phil Brezina on fiddle and Ryan Avellone on mandolin, and bassist Ryan Lukas on high harmonies, their high energy, audience engaging shows have caught fire with fans from San Diego to Seattle to Salt Lake to Silk Hope, NC and beyond. In home turf Northern California they sell out shows in San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Petaluma and are booked at the enormous Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco this August.
During early 2014 the band enjoyed incredible success on extended tours with Devil Makes Three and Yonder Mountain String Band which led to their own headline and festival touring this summer and fall. Along with numerous club dates, upcoming appearances include Sisters Folk Festival, Grey Fox Festival, Hangtown Festival, shows opening for Lake Street Dive in Colorado, and a much coveted showcase slot at the Americana Music Conference in Nashville on September 20.
At the heart of this remarkable ensemble are the songs. With two cds released and plans for a third album in 2015, the band draws from a deep knowledge of folk, rock, traditional and other genres. Stand out originals such as The Scout and Pie For Breakfast have become anthemic sing-a-longs at shows. Well chosen covers have ranged from Norman Blake to Keith Richards to Cake. They can also slow down the pace with beautiful original ballads such as Morning Time which was released as a duet with Nicki Bluhm on their current CD, 'Respect The Van'.
12FriSeptember 12, 2014
It's that ability to please, entertain, and amaze audiences with his staggering guitar skills that make the 16-time Blues Music Award nominee one of the top draws on the blues circuit and most exciting, dynamic performers working today. Noted author and historian Bill Dahl has praised Nick's "mastery of the classic Chicago sound" and declared him "a prolific songwriter, and the most exciting blues guitarist we have around here." That's quite an accolade from a man who has interviewed icons like Bo Diddley, written liner notes and overseen massive retrospectives of giants like Freddie King and Sam Phillips' historic Sun Records label, and written a respected book about the history of Motown.
Nick Moss demonstrates his mastery of the classic Chicago sound and so much more onstage -- and has also been recognized by the International Songwriting Competition for his ability to add amazing new songs to the venerable blues canon. His creativity, which has advanced his sound to incorporate new styles and ideas, has made an impression on blues master Jimmy Thackery, who says, "Nick is at it again, pushing the evolution of his music, stylistically as well as sonically." His recording career has brought him numerous accolades and his albums have been staples at blues radio nationwide, but he crosses boundaries now, and his songs have scored at rock and jam band stations as well. As a result, 2011's release Here I Am debuted at #2 on the Relix/Jambands.com Radio Chart.
Moss' aptness to please purists and cross boundaries that have helped him connect with audiences worldwide, winning fans and making friends every night in every city when he and his band take the stage. All the great ones make their mark onstage and that's where Moss is at his best. His superior talent is evident on his studio albums but it's his live albums and performances that put him in the rarified territory with the greats. Discovery for yourself what Bill Dahl, Ronnie Earl, Jimmy Thackery, Hall of Famer Buddy Guy, and audiences the world over already know: an evening with Nick Moss is an unforgettable experience and one not to be missed!
13SatSeptember 13, 20148:00pm $6.00Failure To Launch is a hot Milwaukee cover band will keep you on your feet dancing and singing along the entire show. You'll hear hits ranging form the 70s all the way to the current top 40. Classic Rock, Pop, and even a little Hip Hop are blended seamlessly. Keep an eye out for them in the Milwaukee bar scene as they've played venues such as the BBC, Whiskey Bar, and other Milwaukee area hot spots.
18ThuSeptember 18, 2014
In a strange barroom or a grand music hall, at a barn dance or on the sunny street corner, Spirit Family Reunion keep the book open, and that old familiar feeling that was almost lost is again new.
"Dusty acoustic guitars, wailing fiddles and weeping accordions, with a woozy-yet-skintight rhythm section-- and topped off with burr-edged vocals that sound like they've been soaked in a Mason jar for generations -- it's the type of music that blurs the line between past and present so thoroughly, and so deftly, that time feels irrelevant."
19FriSeptember 19, 2014
That question having been explored in bold fashion on their 2011 debut "Let the 7Horse Run," the blues duo returns with an even deeper sense of purpose on the follow-up, "Songs for a Voodoo Wedding" (due June 10). The larger question: What if the mission were not to locate rock 'n' roll's chewy center, but to find and channel their own personal identities?
"I'm a grown man with wants and needs and temptations and faults, and I'm not gonna be afraid to write about any of it," says Leavitt, the singer/drummer whose sometimes-bawdy, always-honest narratives are filtered through an array of vintage microphones. "Everybody now wants to tell you how sensitive they are. Enough of that. Where's the attitude? Where's the swagger? If we can be a two-man Rolling Stones, I say we go for it."
Adds Calio, who spent much of his career as a bassist before refining the finger-picking and slide skills asked of a blues guitarist: "I feel like on a base level this is what I'm all about as a human being. I feel like we've found a renewable source of energy."
It's all the more remarkable considering 7Horse started as a trial balloon, with Calio and Leavitt exchanging riffs, lyrics and song sketches via iPhone from their homes in Seattle and Los Angeles, respectively. Those ideas in hand, the pair blew through studio sessions that saw them arrange, refine and record one song per day. The results coursed with rawness and immediacy, and it's a process they replicated in making "Songs for a Voodoo Wedding."
Part of what informed the sophomore album, however, was the "quality" time Calio and Leavitt spent together in the interim. Though accustomed to touring in the relative luxury of a bus for much of their careers, the pair piled into a van to tour the U.S. behind their first record. On the vehicle's stereo for most of the slog: The masters, such as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Merle Haggard, along with early blues legends such as Little Walter.
"The more country we listened to, the more it percolated in me," Calio says. "On the first record we were just creating the essence of the band right there in the studio and we had no well to go to. Now we have a really good idea of what we want to tap into."
It was during the time between albums that 7Horse received the phone call that would change their lives -- at least, the life of their new project. It was from a representative of director Martin Scorsese, saying that the single "Meth Lab Zoso Sticker" was being considered for use in the film "The Wolf of Wall Street."
"Every night we were out playing like it was our last show, lugging our gear, putting our nose to the grindstone," Calio says. "The movie was not a sure thing, but we weren't going to sit around waiting for the phone to ring. We kept looking forward."
The song ended up with a nice cameo in the movie, as well as an appearance in the trailer. "There's a certain level of validation when Martin Scorsese thinks your song is good enough for his movie," Calio says. "That was the proverbial shot in the arm. We weren't looking for it, but we had done everything right. We'd worked our asses off. And sometimes stuff like that comes to you."
The unfinished business of making "Songs for a Voodoo Wedding" awaited, and Leavitt and Calio attacked it with vigor. Sessions for the album were divided between three locales -- In the Pocket Studios in Forestville, Calif.; Sage & Sound Recording in Hollywood; and Third Ward Records in Milwaukee. Each of the album's 11 tracks were recorded live, with as little overdubbing as possible, with Jon Chi, Scott Gordon, Gregory Haldan and the band co-producing. The album was mixed by Dave Way and mastered by Howie Weinberg.
Much of the inspiration for the record came thanks to an actual voodoo wedding -- some friends of Leavitt, in renewing their vows, staged one in New Orleans. The Big Easy is a city the drummer had visited often while on tour, but he'd never spent considerable time there. "It got the juices flowing," Leavitt said. "You hear about how great New Orleans is, what a mecca it is ... It's all true. It's exactly what I was looking for."
Leavitt drew from the trip to conjure up the initial idea for the album's first single, the country-fried "Flying High (With No ID)." Imagine negotiating airport security 1) having left your driver's license at home, and 2) sucking on a cannabis lollipop. It adds a whole new meaning to reaching cruising altitude.
Other songs found their spark in the simple explorations of off-the-beaten-path New Orleans, the sights and sounds of which gave the co-writers plenty of fodder. "It's inspiring just to walk down the streets there," Leavitt says. "You are just overcome by the sense of freedom, and to embrace life. There's a spirit you can't find anywhere else."
The Stonesy "Carousel Bar" was born during tours of the French Quarter. The pugilistic "Some MF" pulses with grooves inspired by the Rebirth Brass Band. And "Headhunter Blues" is testosterone-charged chin music with a baseball metaphor -- "You're comin' up and in on me" represents an unflinching batter's reaction to a high-and-inside fastball.
As if "Songs for a Voodoo Wedding" doesn't sound boozy enough, there's a song the duo hatched about Leavitt's favorite drink, the predictably woozy "So Old-Fashioned." Then there's the other side, "Before the Flood," a paean to the inevitable hangover.
But it's the almost-boyish enthusiasm with which Leavitt and Calio undertook the album that shines through. One night during the Forestville sessions, Leavitt had an ah-ha moment and rushed out of bed toward the studio -- only to run face-first into a sliding glass door, busting up his nose. On a side trip to San Francisco, Leavitt became smitten with a street musician playing a cane flute, so he asked the man to give him a lesson, recording it on his iPhone, naturally. Then he bought a cane flute and incorporated it into a song. And the album-closing ditty "A Friend in Weed" ("is a friend indeed" goes the rest of chorus) was written on the fly for a gig at a music festival in the town of Weed, Calif.
From Calio's dirty blues licks to Leavitt's earnest, unadorned vocals, "Songs for a Voodoo Wedding" sounds like the work of two guys who've turned over the soil and found the roots. In other hands, the barebones rocker "I Know the Meaning of Rock 'N Roll" would sound like an audacious declaration, but, as they say in country circles, this is not the duo's first rodeo.
Even if, Calio points out, it doesn't feel like a do-over.
"We don't feel like this is the second bite off the apple," he says. "That was a different apple. This is the one."
Certain Stars is an indie rock band from Milwaukee. Since 2004 they have made skilled power pop nods to Big Star, Guided By Voices and continue to write, record and release original music in partnership with Cuba Libre Records.
Band members Greg Hein (drums), Chris Voss (guitar), and brothers Kyle (bass) and Chris Hernandez (guitar), all take on songwriting and vocal duties; blending their unique writing styles into a cohesive rock sound. The band has released a 7" vinyl single, and three CDs, most recently 2012's full-length "The Great Destroyer". Clocking in at 11 songs under 38 minutes, The Great Destroyer mixes powerpop hooks with big rock reverb, in tales of disaffected romance and woe. Recorded at HOWL Street Studios in Milwaukee, the album is a big step forward for the band, as electric guitars give way to touches of piano, trumpet, acoustic guitar and layered vocal harmonies.
But the best way to hear a Certain Stars song is live. The band thrives on giving energetic, driving rock 'n' roll shows, never "phoning it in". As guests of the annual memorial Alex Chilton Birthday Bash at Chicago's Empty Bottle, their tight 3-song set of Big Star covers drew the accolade "You guys got off the stage before you even got on!" A high compliment to Certain Stars' well-rehearsed live shows, which blend their catchy original songs with covers from the likes of their heroes the Ramones, the Troggs, Badfinger, and others who perfected the 2-3 minute pop song and delivered it with an attitude.
Certain Stars' music can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and many other digitial music websites. Their unique brand of indie rock 'n' roll is also matched by their merch table, where they sell hand screen printed t-shirts, posters, bags, as well as CDs, pins and stickers. Never standing still, the band continues to write new material and test it out onstage. Catch them live or on the Web, Certain Stars remains a band to follow.
20SatSeptember 20, 2014
Early on in the sessions, Sutkiewicz felt the recordings would not be able to be replicated in a live atmosphere due to a lack of instrumentation. Sutkiewicz and Moore were in disagreement regarding the direction of their music and the expansion of band members. Ultimately, Moore decided to leave the project while Sutkiewicz continued to work on the EP by himself.
After a few more recording sessions, Sutkiewicz began posting demo's onto the projects Myspace page hoping to recruit other musicians. Shortly after, Sutkiewicz received a message from Guitarist Jake Wachal who showed interest in helping continue the EP. Impressed with Wachal's previous work, Sutkiewicz invited Wachal to a recording session to track guitar for the song 'Talk of the Town'. Immediately after the recording, Sutkiewicz asked Wachal to join the group.
Sutkiewicz and Wachal simultaneously worked on the EP while auditioning more band members.
After multiple auditions and discussing potential drummers to join the group, Wachal called his former roommate/bandmate Ryan Claxton to join in on a jam session. The three immediately clicked, and Claxton joined the group full-time. With the band 3/4 complete, the band invited Jake Wachal's brother-Ben Wachal to fill in as a temporary bass player until they could find someone permanent. Ben Wachal contributed to recordings as well as a few live shows until his departure in 2011, where he joined local metal act 'Candy Machine Guns'. Upon Ben Wachal's departure, Sutkiewicz invited Greg Calhoun-the bassist of 'Phantom Lovechild' to temporarily fill in to help finish the EP.
In March of 2012, the band had completed the recordings for their 7-song EP entitled 'Long Wait, Slow Lines'. While rehearsing for their CD-Release party, the band hired bassist Adam Plew to join the group full-time. The Appalachians released their EP April 29th 2012.
In 2012, The Appalachians enjoyed local and regional success following their debut release. The new rock outfit headlined club shows all over the state of Wisconsin, which garnered them enough attention to make multiple appearances at Milwaukee's 'Summerfest'. With enthusiasm at a all-time high, the band decided to keep the momentum going by beginning a new album. During the writing sessions for the new record, personal tensions developed between Jake Wachal and the rest of the band. In December of 2012, Sutkiewicz, Claxton, and Plew asked Wachal to leave the band.
Rather than recruiting a new guitarist, the newly acclaimed trio used this as a new opportunity to revamp their sound as a three-piece. Making a total musical transformation, the new indie/garage/rock trio once again began debuting their new material around the city. Within months, The Appalachians were outgrowing the success of their previous EP. The group embarked on a midwest tour, as well as playing an evening slot at 'Summerfest'.
In December 2013, the three entered the studio at DNA Music Labs in Madison, WI to begin working on their full-length debut with engineer/producer Nate Gessner. The album is slated to release August 5th, 2014.
Energetic Pop Rock/Punk from Milwaukee, WI.
No Coast is the result of five individuals, all with different backgrounds, coming together with a shared passion for music. With their first EP releasing Winter of 2013, the band looks forward to hitting the road.
We can't wait to see what the world has planned for us and hopefully we can make some new friends along the way.
Formed in 2012 and largely inspired by a disfigured, pocket-sized bronze horse, Bron Sage is a rarity: a six-piece indie band playing heavy horn and guitar-driven rock and roll that naturally incorporates elements of blues, dixieland jazz, prog rock, psychedelica, and much more.
Close attention is paid to crafting bizarre song forms that remain digestible. and by finding lyrical inspiration in a variety of subjects that range from holiday-related mental breakdowns ("my baby, she lost her mind on christmas day") to fabled elephant graveyards ("elephant law") to coming-of-age in the wrong generation ("skizzards and scoundrels"), each original song proves to be a distinct character in the Bron Sage repertoire.
Never described the same way twice, Bron Sage's good, old-fashioned american weirdness has been described once as, "an art rock mixture of heavy guitar and horns that produces a brand of truly polyphonic big band rock and roll that occupies the space between 70s prog rock and contemporary blues. It sounds a bit like Led Zeppelin picked up Jim Morrison hitchhiking and brought him to a club to jam with the house horn section...and then some of them took a little acid, perhaps." Whether you're checking into a no-tell motel, climbing out of your steam-powered time machine, or sun tanning in the parking lot of an abandoned taxidermy shop, Bron Sage aims to make you feel right at home.
24WedSeptember 24, 2014
Miggs is made up of band members from New York, Tampa and Seattle. They have been touring for 10 years, circling the country countless times a year. Miggs can be described as Rock with Pop influences, a mix of Kings of Leon and Maroon 5. They are signed to Capitol Records, with a single release coming out in July 2014.
Their accomplishments are many...
Two singles on the Billboard HoT AC charts.
Their video for "Let the Games Begin", featuring Lindsay Lohan got over 1.5 Million views!!
Their music has been used in national campaigns for Champs and Footlocker.
Their last album is produced by legendary producer Phil Ramone and mixed by Jim Scott.
They rock at over 100 dates year...touring with artists like Plain White T's, KT Tunstall, Cowboy Mouth, and others. They have played at events with Aerosmith, Meatloaf, Maroon Five, and Train.
25ThuSeptember 25, 2014
Everything, however, began with a boy's room in the Luleå suburb of Herstön. A boy's room and two brothers.
Johan and Anders Rensfeldt started making music together in the early 2000s. Under the name of Planeten Jorden they released the EP "Frihetssånger i retroadidas" in 2004. It had an acoustic sound with influences of Swedish folksinging and reggae, Anders' stripped down beats spiced with Johan's melodical rap. The album was well received and the brothers were invited to join Riksteatern on a summer tour. With them they took the friend and saxophonist Joakim Nilsson, who later became a permanent member of the constellation.
Working on their first album, Movits! happened to hear a recording of Benny Goodman's "Sing sing sing". That experience came to put a big mark on the development of the band's music. The energy of the horns and the intensity of the drumming replaced the djembe and melodica and overnight Movits!' distinctive sound was created. With a new name they released their debut album "Äppelknyckarjazz" in the fall of 2008. An album which gave them good press and a prize at the Swedish Manifest Awards.
Tours in Sweden and Scandinavia followed on the album, but the big breakthrough came with an appearance on the U.S. TV show "the Colbert Report" in the summer of 2009. It was a pure coincidence that the show's namesake Stephen Colbert had found Movits! video for "Fel del av garden" but a coincidense that resulted in an invitation to participate in the program. What happened next is modern music history.
Sales of "Äppelknyckarjazz", which then was only available on import via Amazon, went up by 85,000%. When the record was released on US iTunes it instantly reached the first place in the hip hop category, ahead of giants like Kanye West and Eminem. In an instance Movits! went from being an unknown act to becoming a global concern.
After two years of touring in both Europe and the United States Movits! released their sophomore album "Ut ur min skalle/Out of my head." With a heavier and more solid sound, the gold single "Sammy Davis Jr." and the platinum single "Na na nah!" the album cemented the band's status in the world. The album was critically acclaimed and got nominations in both the P3Guld and Grammy Awards in Sweden.
Movits! have continued to broaden their horizon and today the band tours in Scandinavia and Europe, Japan and the USA. Live the trio is often expanded with David Fraenckel on trombone and Petter Olofsson on bass. The band is notorious for always delivering fast paced and energetic live shows, whether they are on a festival stage in front of 10,000 people, or at a club in front of 100.
In the spring of 2013, Movits! once again entered the studio to record a new album. "Huvudet bland molnen/Head among the clouds" is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2013.The singles "Röksignaler/Smoke signals", "Nitroglycerin" and "Limousin", shows a development of the sound that has become synonymous with the band. But it still beats, horns and rap. And it is still in Swedish.
The O'My's are a band of scoundrels and hooligans holding down Rock'n'Soul for the windy city. They will not be stopped and are taking all of the booty. "Free your mind and your ass will follow" -Dr Funkenstein
26FriSeptember 26, 2014
27SatSeptember 27, 20148:00pm $10.00Bursting out from Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a bang, comes pop rock hybrid band The Royal. This new supergroup formed when leaders from two major bands, Mechanical Kids [Universal/Motown Records] and Take the Day, decided to redefine "pop band" with a mix of pop, rock, and electronic dance music. Expect an energetic show, addictive melodies, aggressive beats, and a unique performance on the drum machine by Jonny The Maschinist.
Their music can be found in marketing for Applebee's, NCAA, and numerous other places. They played the Warped Tour in 2013 and are touring from the East Coast to Chicago in 2014 in addition to college shows and Summerfest.
Chicago's disco-punk outfit Bring Your Ray Gun are a rare breed of performers for their genre. Though their sound relies heavily on 4/4, dance-oriented elasticity, their live assault of guitar, bass, and drums is razor-sharp, bringing a vital pulse while incorporating bold programming.
BYRG dropped their debut (a four-song, self-titled EP) in November 2013 as a digital and 10" vinyl release. The band retooled a few live favorites and brought some cunning new material to the table as well. Recorded by Nick Schubert at Bobby Peru Recording Studio in Milwaukee, Bring Your Ray Gun's debut is both headphone- and dancefloor- worthy.
They have shared the stage with both national heavy-hitters (ON AN ON, Stepdad, Walk The Moon) and local favorites (Blah Blah Blah, Hey Champ), and a recent tour to SXSW is quickly spinning the quartet from best kept secret to next big thing status.
29MonSeptember 29, 2014
But let's start smaller: The Shape I'm In is a strong opening statement from a charismatic singer who's a little hard to pin down. At heart, Scibilia is a New York-born, American singer-songwriter with a little Nashville flair (that's East Nashville, mind you. Think the sweatier, grittier side of town).
And one helluva backstory.
It's a story that dates back before the singer was even born. "My grandfather grew up playing bass in a pit orchestra," says Scibilia, talking from his home studio in East Nashville. "He grew up with guys like [famed jazz guitarist] Tommy Tedesco. But his mother died when he was 11, so he became a barber at a young age to support his family. He played bass in big bands and jazz combos five nights a week, but he never had the luxury to take his music outside the city."
Music ran in the Scibilia family. His father also played in a band -- and his brother is a musician as well. Given that history, it's easy to understand Scibilia's early musical aspirations. "Growing up, we always had instruments around the house, never video games or things like that," he says. "I started with drums, then piano and guitar. I'd just pick them up and play." But it wasn't technical thing -- even though Scibilia studied classical piano for ten years, it was always about the feel of the music.
Scibilia grew up in Buffalo, not necessarily a thriving musical community but one that he credits for developing a tough skin. "It's very cold there," he says, laughing. "It gave me this 'get the job done' mentality. I've got three minutes and fifteen seconds to do it right."
Outside of his father, Scibilia found little initial support for his musical dreams. "Everyone had more conventional thoughts for me," he says. "I had a counselor when I was 15 who became really concerned with my grades. Finally, she sarcastically said, 'What are you going to do, go to Nashville and write songs?' I thought, 'That's not a bad idea!'"
Scibilia moved to Nashville one month out of high school with $300 in his bank account and his mother crying in the driveway as he pulled away from his NY home and family.
Fortunately, he found success, including the #1 iTunes singer-songwriter single "How Bad We Needed Each Other" (from his 2012 self-titled release) and tours with the likes of Dave Barnes, Ben Rector John Oates and Sixpence None the Richer.
For his Sony/ATV debut The Shape I'm In, Scibilia recorded in his home studio ("guitars in the kitchen, vocals in the closet, drums in the main area"), with some additional production at the famed Blackbird Studios and Electric Lady Studios. "I like the mix of two worlds: recording the music in my house, then going up to mix in NYC at Electric Lady. It doesn't hurt getting a guy like Michael Brauer (Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, John Mayer) to pull all the sounds together," he says.
While he's released music before, The Shape I'm In serves as a real introduction to Scibilia, who proves both a huge talent and a tough artist to pigeonhole. "You can hear the mix I'm going for in this EP," he says. "I love the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty. First record I bought; the drum sounds on there are amazing. But I also grew up really loving Lauryn Hill, and songwriters like Tom Petty and Paul Simon. You can add those influences together and see where I'm going. No preconceptions; if something serves the song and the groove, that's what I do."
A good example is the album's rollicking' title track, "The Shape I'm In," which was originally recorded a bit slower. "It was 3 a.m., we were doing some acoustic scratch tracks at Electric Lady, and this riff just came to me after we had already finished a version of," he says. "It felt so good I thought it was worth re-recording." The later version based off that riff made the current EP.
"I had doubts we had chosen the right version but while we were mixing one of my musical heroes, Dave Grohl, happened to walk in the studio and hung out for a minute -- it was a sign to me we were going the right direction. It was awesome."
A more melodic, story-centered side shines on album standout "Shining Like America," a semi-true "be careful what you wish for" tale. "I had no money when I started out in Nashville. I was just living in a drum closet of a recording studio, and for some reason I was watching this beauty pageant on TV," he says. "It was dark times. I was like, what would it be like to meet up with a girl like Miss Tennessee?" [The irony: Scibilia did end up dating a beauty contestant later on. He admits: "It wasn't quite what I was expecting."]
With the EP finished and a full-length on its way early next year, Scibilia plans to hit the road soon and often. Along for the ride: multi-instrumentalist Eric Montgomery and Scibilia's brother Matthew, a well-respected session player in his own right (including touring and recording with the likes of Cory Chisel and Brendon Benson).
"I owe my family a lot," says the singer. "They've been so supportive. My grandfather never made it out of town, but his 70's Fender P-bass has toured all over the country with me and my brother and I play it on almost all my recordings. In a way, my grandfather did make it out and I hope this is a realization of his dream, too."
That said, what happens next is Marc's journey. And he plans to make it a unique one.
After nearly a decade of supporting some of Canada's most talented artists, from Deric Ruttan to Imaginary Cities, the Landreth brothers are finally embarking on a project uniquely their own. "We're finally at a place and a time where we feel like we can contribute something of value that's going to stand up with the great music that our peers are making." says Dave. Joey contributes: "After watching these incredibly talented artists that we work with bleed and sweat into their music you can't help but start to covet that sense of ownership and creation. We wanted to make something that is ours." They are currently in pre-production for their debut album as The Bros. Landreth, scheduled to be released in February of 2013. Murray Pulver (2009 CCMA producer of the year, Tara Oram, Doc Walker, Crash Test Dummies) will be producing the inaugural release to be recorded at Unity Gain Studios in Manitoba. 2013 will be a big year for the brothers as they re-introduce themselves as a cohesive unit to the music scene that they already know so well.
Born to a musical family, both sons took to the craft early and quickly. Joey played the guitar before he could speak and Dave experimented with every instrument in the house before eventually settling comfortably on his Dad's old bass guitar. Their father, much respected songwriter and side-man, Wallace Landreth, was an institution in his own right in the Winnipeg music scene where the boys were raised and began to pay their own dues. Wally toured the continent as a musician and developed a wealth of experience that he would pass on to his two young sons. Almost prophetically, Joey in his early teenage years followed in his father's footsteps as a working freelance musician. He was touring across the country and playing nightclubs while he was still finishing high school. In no time Joey quickly amassed a star-studded resumé. He has since toured and recorded with One More Girl, The Wyrd Sisters, Dallas Smith, Deric Ruttan, Steve Bell, and most recently with Juno and CCMA winners, Doc Walker. Meanwhile, his older brother Dave took a similar approach and set to work developing a reputation for his simple and solid bass playing. He's extensively toured North America, Europe, and Australia with such Canadian talent as Romi Mayes, Chris Carmichael, "Big Dave" McLean, Ridley Bent, and currently is the bass player for indie-pop group, Imaginary Cities. To complete the band The Bros. have called on drummer and long-time musical cohort: Ryan "Rhino" Voth. A child-hood friend, he's grown up playing and working with both Landreths, together and separate, in an innumerable combination of musical outings. Some of his most notable credits as a side man include Del Barber, Daniel ROA, Oh My Darling, The New Lightweights, and Fred Penner.
All three hail from the sprawling southern Manitoba prairies and they are fiercely proud to call Winnipeg home. "We're at the epicenter of this great artistic hub, smack dab in the middle of the coldest place in the known universe." Dave playfully exaggerates. "We have to write and play just to stay warm half the year... It becomes a creative incubator -- a survival technique!" The end result of these exercises in self-preservation are The Bros. Landreth's songs. They are alt-country road maps that are sometimes auto-biographical -- hinting at the fallout of a life as a touring musician, and occasionally fictional -- exploring melancholy themes of love gone bad, love gone worse, and the repercussions of being smitten with a stripper. Their record offers a wide variety of music. "Greenhouse" is a dark ballad sung from the perspective of a suicide victim that offers a hint of hope for the lover that was left behind. "Can't Help Myself" contrasts the serious tone as a playful and catchy shuffle. It showcases the band's ferocious musicianship, deep pocket, and puts a special emphasis on Joey's uniquely expressive guitar playing. He describes the character that the poppy, harmony-laden "Tappin' on the Glass" is inspired by: "Do you remember Looney Tunes? There was that character, Elmyra? She was always harassing her pet fish, constantly tapping on it's bowl saying 'Hello little fishy!' Well, that song is about the fish..." Another track -- and a nod to the archetypes of country music -- "Runaway Train" serves as a cautionary tale, warning would-be suitors of the dangers of falling for the protagonist.
Ultimately, the tapestry of diverse influence that makes up their musical pedigree never stands in the way of the most important element:
Their songs speak for themselves.
They unravel unselfconsciously, like an old sweater. Worn in, not worn out.
The Bros. Landreth will be out on the road in 2013, investing their own blood and sweat in support of their much anticipated first release.