Search Results for "Travis James"

The Blood Feud Family Singers and Travis James & The AAA stream “Cover Your Tracks”

Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists at The Trunk Space in Summer of 2014

Travis James of Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists has always sung loudly the praises of his fellow Phoenix folk punk Daryl Scherrer, and the adoration has always been mutual, a fact held most evident by the frequency with which Scherrer’s The Blood Feud Family Singers pop up on Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonist shows. Of course, the two bands do compliment each other very well, but this musical te ta tet goes deeper than just two bands who sound good one after the other.

Scherrer and James are kindred spirits musically who both come at the art of making folk-punk from a highly romantic standpoint and idolize their musical creations above all others. That’s not said to call them cocky men, or say they are full of themselves, however one of them did release a 30-song record about his divorce entitled Crapheart and the other literally named his band after himself, but I say it more to illuminate the passion which goes into every song they write, even more so the ones they choose to release, and in this case the ones they have chosen to cover.

On January. 17 the two bands released Cover Your Tracks a two-song split EP where TJAAA covered The Blood Feud Family Singers folk-noir masterpiece “Let Me Down and Lay Me Down.” While Scherrer and his BFFS took a swing at James’s high energy punk rock – show tune “Everybody Dies (The Night I Almost Died) of James’ 2014 full-length Overdressed and Under Arrest.

Of The Blood Feud Family Singers handling of his track, James said: “it’s like, how my writing brain works but slowed down and broken up for all the elements to shine.” While Scherrer said, “I often forgot that you, not I, wrote it. In those moments where I forgot it wasn’t my song, I was very proud of what a good song I’d written. And then I’d remember, with a certain amount of disappointment, that I didn’t write it, and I’d think, ‘Well, dammit. Good job, Travis.'”

The EP is on Bandcamp for the low price of free and streaming below.



Show Review: Hallowmas 20 With World/Inferno Friendship Society

All photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
World/Inferno Friendship Society truly puts on one of the best Halloween spectacles in the world.

Danielle Kolker of Brooklyn based folk-punk band Out of System Transfer had to turn down a gig with her other project, Funk Rust Brass Band, on Oct. 31 to tend to a religious obligation. That spiritual commitment was World/Inferno Friendship Society’s annual Halloween rowdy down Hallowmas at The Warsaw. As much as Kolker was half joking with her bandmates about why she had to miss the show, calling what transpired in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on All Hallow’s Eve a religious experience isn’t that far from the truth.

The chief pontificator of The Great Pumpkin Jack Terricloth lead his congregation of crusties, misfits, punks, and weirdos on a nearly two-hour long vision quest of intrigue and drama culminating in a rousing rendition of the old World/Inferno hymn “Pumpkin Time.” Terricloth is a cult unto himself and with his absurdly talented brood behind him, it’s hard not fall hook, line, and sinker for his silver-tongued sermons revolving around the aforementioned gourde, the history of WIFS, and the finer points of mischief-making.

It goes without saying that Halloween is a big night in New York City and even with the likes of Gwar and the Parliament Funkadelic putting on competing shows within the borders of the Big Apple WIFS loyal Infernites still made their way to the National Polish Home in Northwest Brooklyn to worship at the altar of the Great Pumpkin. For those who were counted, they were given a real treat of a show for the 20th annual Hallowmas.

It was definitely an intimate affair for World/Inferno and all the Infernites.

On this special evening World/Inferno decided not to open with their usual score “Tattoos Fade” and went instead with “Ich Erinnere Mich An Die Weimarer Republik” and allowed the crowd to sing out the masterful lyrics “I’m a fag, I’m a Jew, how do you do? That’s Mr. Anarchist to you,” but really the whole evening was just one big singalong. The band went through tunes like “Politics of Passing Out,” “The Brother of the Mayor of Bridgewater,” “And Embarked on a Life of Poverty,” “American Mercurial” “Addicted to Bad Ideas,” “Your Younger Man,” and slew of others while the crowd sloshed along dancing, singing, and drinking. WIFS even had their opening act the Lowdown Brass Band jump on stage to add a few extra horns to certain numbers including the opener and “Pumpkin Time.”

With all the costume-clad dancers and the overall design of The Warsaw the whole event kind of felt like a school dance … if your school hired a band fronted by the twisted love child of Frank Sinatra and Elvira who was possibly baptized by satan. But that’s the real fun of Hallowmas, it’s a night to leave the pretension at home and just jump in the Moshpit dressed as Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan.

There was no way Bill and Ted were going to miss this rock show.

After 20-years of being one of New York City’s best kept Halloween secrets World/Inferno says they are ready for 20 more. Hell, when the fans who are now half the age of the band still come out in droves for the chance to party it up with the Pumpkin King it’s easy to see why Hallowmas is still one of the best punk events in NYC and by far the best yearly punk shows still kicking in the Volcano.

The Lowdown Brass Band really takes their name to heart as they decided to get down low onto the venue’s floor to entertain the hordes.

The Lowdown Brass Band and Of Death opened the evening. Lowdown captured the crowd with their marching band style tunes and high energy. While the crusties got to moshing to Of Deaths almost alt-country affectations.

Here’s hoping Travis James and the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists can open Hallowmas 21 and hats off to Terricloth and the gang for giving all the miscreants something to do on Halloween until the bars close and the real fun can begin.



Album Review: Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists / Diego Galvan- ‘Hostility // Heartbreak

As long as I have known the enigmatic Phoenix folk-punk Travis James, he has been threatening to retire from songwriting and performing, and yet still here he is with a fresh new offering in the form of a split EP with his co-conspirator Diego Galvan. The two crusty buskers have been carrying on a social media bromance for more than a year now, so it makes perfect sense that they’d decide to band together for a team-up record.

Hostility/Heartbreak is a noisy little 8-song album where both James and Galvan lay bare some raw emotions, and it really shows through on their well recorded (for folk-punks) EP.

The record starts off very punchy as most James recordings tend to with the track “Enough.” The song is upbeat and drum-driven with Aaron Hjalmarson turning in a stellar percussion performance while James’s brilliantly simple lyrics make it meaty enough to grasp on to. “I’m setting out to prove that I’ve got nothing to prove, and I’ll prove it, don’t assume it’s got something to do with you,” says James in the track’s chorus as his almost supervillain-like cackle rises above the thunderous cacophony made by his Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists.

But as punchy as “Enough” is, the fiercest fighter on the record might just be the the third track “Like it or Not,” where James seems to shed his persona as the Penguin of Punk and takes on a sound best described as the Oogie Boogie Man of Anarchy. The track is a huge accordion-driven show tune, brought to life by TJAAA’S own Voldemort of the keys Mark Sunman and delivered masterfully. The song also satisfies James’ tradition of having a waltz on every album.

Galvan brings a little less of the World Inferno/Friendship Society side of folk-punk and a whole lot more of the Johnny Hobo side. There is much less musicality and far more lyrically driven tunes banged out on an acoustic guitar. While James is an over-the-top cartoon character when he is inside of his songs, Galvan is as much an everyman as one can possibly be.

The Heartbreak side of Hostility/Heartbreak is a pretty minimal piece of music. It’s just Galvan on guitar and vocals, some percussion, and a female backing vocalist, but it’s beautiful in its simplicity; the young punk really shows off some songwriting chops and a knack for arranging a great pop song.

This first taste of Galvan comes off as an homage to his folk-punk forebears, but it also hints at tremendous upside for a young artist who is just getting going on his musical path.

4/5 Stars



Travis James (anarcho folk punk) release music video for “Everybody Lies (Truth Be Spoke)”

Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists, who play a unique brand of piano and accordion infused anarcho folk punk,  have just released a music video for their song “Everybody Lies (Truth Be Spoke)” and you can check it out below.

The song appears on the band’s latest full-length “Overdressed & Under Arrest” which was released in August, 2014.



Something Refreshingly Different: Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists (full-album stream)

When reading the bio on Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists I must admit they had me at “the Meat Loaf of punk”.  Perhaps a better comparison could be made to World/Inverno Friendship Society but either way these guys are worth a listen.  The band just put out a new full-length titled “Overdressed & Under Arrest” that any fan of piano and accordion infused anarcho folk punk is going to seriously dig.  If that’s you, or you’re just looking for something a little different, give it a listen below.