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DS Editorial: A guide to FEST 16 preparation by an overly passionate first-timer

I have to admit something, and it’s not easy. I’m addicted to preparing for The Fest. A cure might be hopeless but I’m hoping that my story can help other like me – first time Fest goers looking for answers to some of the weekend’s logistical questions.

First things first. Lock down your tickets. Then I would suggest locking down your accommodations. The more I deal with the fest, the people, the website, the more I realize that it is meticulously organized and curated. More on that later, but I suggest that people stay in the hotels dedicated to the fest. The Holiday Inn is supposedly located right in the middle of the action. The whole thing is booked by Fest attendees and will thus be an absolute free-for-all during the entire event. I’m not sure I can handle that type of commitment. I booked at the Wyndham. Another Fest hotel that is supposedly a little more chill. Once again I have no frame of reference on this and we shall see. I should also mention that the Holiday Inn has some kind of Flea Market thing happening. I’ve got it pictured where venders and bands can sell merch and other trinkets that would appeal to Fest-goers. Once again, I’m not sure about this. Pure conjecture at this point.

Band Prep: Right now I’m in band-prep stage. You might want to follow my lead on this as it will help you get a handle on the 350 plus bands that are playing The Fest. I was hoping for something a little more user-friendly from the website, but when you’ve got over 100 bands playing a day, there’s probably no “perfect way” to convey the when and where for each band. It looks like this breaks down along philosophical and/or personal-preference lines. Are you looking to stay in one spot and get the most bang for your buck? Then you will be looking at the schedule by location. If you are committed to catching at least a piece of some of the bands on your wish list, then you can break the schedule down by date and time. At this point, I found that I could no longer work with the website, I needed to get some micro-organization going. So I copied the time and date schedules and dropped them into an excel spreadsheet. I broke them up with a tab for each day. I found with a little tinkering you can get the day’s entire schedule in chronological order: my choice for the best way to get a handle on what’s happening when and where.

Phew. Okay. Are you still with me? Step one was to highlight all the bands I definitely wanted to check out. I found it useful to start here and get an idea of what the skeleton of my schedule was gonna look like. I’ve got some locks as you might guess: Against Me (performing Reinventing Axl Rose), Superchunk, Smoking Popes, Hum, 88 Fingers Louie, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Movielife, Pegboy, Off With Their Heads, The Bigger Empty; you get the idea. I had a lot of other bands that I wanted to check as well, and I really want to check some of the cover shows, but I digress. Get you’re a-list, can’t-miss picks in the spreadsheet; mine are highlighted in yellow.

After the skeleton is in place, you can fill in the meat. I chose to highlight these bands in blue. I thought I knew a lot about punk music, emo, screamo, indie, etc. Maybe I do, but I’m always willing to learn more, so I made a dive into some of the bands I hadn’t heard of. Once again the spreadsheet comes in handy for this task. I use eMusic for most of my music purchases these days, so I found it most useful to check out some of the lesser-known (to me at least) bands. You can use YouTube, that would probably be better and I’ve had to resort to it a few times when the band’s music is not available on eMusic. And most of the bands are available on bandcamp as well. One thing that I’m finding as I go through the bands that are new to me: they’re all really good. I spent a day checking out bands and one after another proved to be amazing. Some of the bands I’ve been turned on to (and subsequently really want to check at The Fest): Sinai Vessel, City of Caterpillar (how did I miss these guys?), Apologies I have none, Army of Ponch, Deadaires, Tartar Control and many many more. I’ve got my b-list highlighted in blue. Once again I must tip my hat to The Fest as they obviously know their music and have assembled an amazing lineup this year. I’m thinking you could conceivably just pop into any venue and end up getting into the show happening at the time. Which would require no prep at all. Can’t have that now can we?

OK. So you’ve got your tickets, accommodations, schedule. You’re well on your way to maximum family fun at The Fest. To round out your enjoyment, definitely download the App. Take your spreadsheet and then transfer that info over to the App and it will sort your schedule by date and time. Now you are ready to go mobile! Next, you might want to check out the website. It’s loaded with goodies!! If you haven’t already, download all the Comps!! Get them in heavy rotation on your sonic delivery vehicle of choice. I’m from the old school, so I burned CDs. You might just find one of your new favorite bands in there. I had to juggle my schedule because I came across a must-see through the comp: Tartar Control. I guarantee you’ll find something in there that you might have missed. Hidden gems.

If you are insane like me, you can start planning your wardrobe, but you might not be that hardcore. I just can’t decide if it makes sense to represent for your favorite bands at the fest, or to bust obscure band Ts to give you more street cred. I could go on for days on this subject. Don’t forget your swimsuit!! There are pool parties happening at both the Wyndham and Holiday Inn. I’m guessing that will be a sight to behold.

I really could keep going and drive this whole preparation thing right into the ground, but I think I’ve already lost most of you, so to those who stayed til the end. I’ll see you on Sunday night. Teen Agers and Tiltwheel are my choices to close things out. Let’s get together and toast the fact that we survived. Cheers.



Against Me! covers Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down A Dream”

Against Me! recently paid tribute to the late great Tom Petty at their stop in Cleveland on their current tour.  Check out the video below to hear Laura Jane Grace speak about the influence Tom Petty had on her before the band tears through “Runnin’ Down A Dream.”

Against Me! last released the “Stabitha Christie” 7-inch earlier this year via Total Treble Records.



Laura Jane Grace streams cover from The Mountain Goats tribute album

Against Me!‘s Laura Jane Grace covered The Mountain Goats’ song “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” for an upcoming tribute album for the band. You can give the track a listen below.

The tribute album is titled I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats, and it’s set to release on April 8th, 2018. Head over here to pre-order the record.



Full schedules announced for Fest 16 and Pre-Fest 5

The full schedules for this year’s Fest and Pre-Fest have been announced!

Pre-Fest 5 takes place October 25th and 26th in Tampa, FL, and will feature Against Me!, The Lillingtons, 88 Fingers Louie, and many more. The full schedule can be viewed here.

Fest 16 takes over Gainesville October 27th-29th. Its extensive lineup features most of the same bands, plus Hot Water Music, The Flatliners, and countless others. Check out the schedule here.

Head over here to grab tickets.



Against Me! announce Fall tour

Against Me! have announced a lengthy Fall headline tour, with support from Bleached and The Dirty Nil. Tickets go on sale from the band’s website on Friday.

Full details of the tour are below.



Initial lineup for Fest 16 announced

The initial lineup for Fest 16 has been announced! Bands playing the 2017 edition of the massive Gainesville punk festival include Against Me! (playing Reinventing Axl Rose in its entirety), 88 Fingers Louie, Smoking Popes, The Lillingtons, Mustard Plug, and many others.

Many of the bands playing this year’s Pre-Fest Ybor City have also been announced.

The currently lineups for Fest 16 (October 27-29) and Pre-Fest 5 (October 25-26) can be viewed below. For more info, visit the festival’s official website.

We’ll keep you posted as more bands are announced and schedules are revealed.



Touche Amore announce Europe tour and festival dates with Code Orange, Against Me

California post-hardcore outfit Touché Amoré have announced a run of tour and festival dates across Europe. You can find dates, locations, and the tour poster below.

Touché Amoré will be joined by Pennsylvania hardcore group Code Orange and Against Me! for select dates, as indicated below.



Against Me! announce Record Store Day exclusive 7″

Against Me! have announced that they will be releasing a limited edition picture disc 7″ for Record Store Day.  The release will feature two brand new tracks “Stabitha Christie” and “First High of The Morning.”  You can check out the Record Store Day website for a list of releases and to find a participating record store near you.

Against Me! last released Shape Shift With Me on September 16, 2016 through Total Treble Records and Xtra Mile Recordings.

 



Against Me! debut new video for ‘Haunting, Haunted, Haunts’

Against Me! have debuted their new video for ‘Haunting, Haunted, Haunts’. The song is taken from their 2016 released full length Shape Shift With Me, which we absolutely loved.

Against Me! is kicking off a France tour with The Bronx late May. You can find the video and full dates to those shows below.



Mobina Galore streams new album, “Feeling Disconnected” and announces tour dates

Winnipeg, Canada’s punk/alternative duo Mobina Galore is streaming their new album, Feeling Disconnected, and you can check it out here.  The album is due out tomorrow on New Damage Records.

Mobina Galore is also leaving tomorrow for a 3-month tour culminating at Punk Rock Bowling in May.  You can find the tour dates below, including a good bunch supporting Against Me!.



DS Staff Picks – Bizarro Dustin’s Top Albums of 2016

In a lot of ways, 2016 kinda sucked. You can probably figure out what I’m talking about when I say that, and I hope that you would agree. Yet, somehow it was also a really good year. On a personal level, I moved into a new apartment with my girlfriend, left an emotionally abusive and draining job of three years, and started not one, but two jobs, one of which could very well become a career (the only downside to working two jobs is that it gives me less time to devote to Dying Scene). And then there was the music.

Oh yes, the music. Maybe 2016 wasn’t a great year for most things, but the music was terrific. I started narrowing down my list at the beginning of December, and after a day and a half I decided that, much like last year, I wasn’t going to limit myself to ten records. I know that’s against the rules, but breaking all the rules is punk rock.

You can find my list below.

I guess I’ll also throw this out there: I enjoyed Tacocat’s Lost Time, Chris Farren’s Can’t Die, Jeff Rosenstock’s WORRY., Doe’s Some Things Last Longer Than You, and Petrol Girls’ Talk of Violence this year, but not to the point where I felt like they were essential listening in the same way that the following albums were.

 



New Music: David Dondero streams new EP ” With Love” (prod. by Laura Jane Grace)

If you’ve been more than the periphery of the Against Me! fandom circle for any real length of time, chances are you’ve come across the name David Dondero. As the legend goes, Dondero and Laura Jane Grace, trace their histories back to the mid-90s, when they appeared on the same bill at a show in a laundromat in Gainesville, Florida. More recently, Dondero opened the small handful of solo shows that Grace played earlier this year as a precursor to what would eventually be the release of Grace’s book, Tranny.

Dondero just released a brand-new EP, “With Love,” and the six-song effort was not only produced by Grace in her Florida studio, but marks the first non-Against Me! release on the band’s label, Total Treble Records. Here’s Dondero on how it came about:

In the autumn of 2012, I was touring through Florida and I happened to run into Laura Jane Grace in St. Augustine. I had a batch of new songs, so she was like, ‘You should come by my new studio tomorrow and check it out! It was a happy accident. I just came in, checked out the studio and she was like, ‘You wanna play a couple songs?’ So I played these songs then had to go onto Orlando, and that was that. We ended up recording all six songs in just about an hour. I think we did them all in one take and then they were shelved when the studio closed after being crushed by a falling tree.

You can stream the EP here. Dondero is also in the midst of a brief run of eastern US tour dates. Check out details below, and order your own copy of “With Love” through Total Treble right here.



Watch: Against Me! perform “333” on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (feat. sit-down interview with Laura Jane Grace)

Against Me!, who are currently (and deservedly) dominating the punk rock cultural landscape, totally and completely took over NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers last night. As he’s been scheduled to do all week, the band’s dynamic drummer Atom Willard has been filling in with Meyers’ in-house musicians, the 8G band. Last night, he pulled double duty, as Against Me! served as musical guest, ripping through the track “333” from their latest album, Shape Shift With Me.

Oh, and the band’s inimitable leader, Laura Jane Grace, sat down for a one-on-one interview with Meyers, supporting her recently-released memoir, Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, which A) came out Tuesday (11/15/16) via Hachette Books and B) is as awesome as you’d expect. Check out the performance of “333” here, and check out the first of the interview segments right here; you can figure out how to play the rest from there.

Shape Shift With Me was released on September 16, 2016 through Total Treble Records and Xtra Mile Recordings.



Laura Jane Grace announces US book tour

 

 

 

Against Me! lead singer, Laura Jane Grace, will be going on a tour to promote her new book “TRANNY: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout”, which will be out on November 15, 2016 via Hachette Books.

You can see the dates below



DS Show Review & Photo Gallery: Bad Religion, Against Me! & Dave Hause – St. Petersburg, FL

As you may have already heard, California punk legends Bad Religion are currently touring the US with Against Me! and Dave Hause. When the tour was announced and I found out it would be stopping in my back yard, at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, FL, I knew I had to be there.

Fast forward a few months and the day of the show, Wednesday, October 12th, finally arrived. I packed up my camera gear and made my way down to Downtown St. Pete. After battling rush hour traffic, I got to the venue just as Dave Hause was taking the stage. Being a fan of The Loved Ones who had never seen Dave live before, I was excited to see him play.

Hause played a 45-ish minute set, featuring a mix of solo material and Loved Ones songs. Though a fair portion of the crowd didn’t seem all that familiar with him, heads were bobbing, feet were tapping, and hands were clapping all throughout his energetic performance.

Finishing the set on a high note, Bad Religion bassist Jay Bentley and Against Me! drummer Atom Willard joined Hause in playing a handful of songs, including fan-favorite “We Could Be Kings.”

Next up was Against Me!. It had been something like 5 years since I last saw them (I think it was Warped Tour 2011), so I had no clue what to expect. When the band took the stage, the entire crowd let out an ear-piercing shriek akin to something you’d hear at a One Direction concert. I had never heard anything like it a punk show before, but a few seconds into Against Me!’s performance I understood why the crowd was so damn excited.

I thought Against Me! sounded good on their new records, but they are a whole different animal live. Every song they played was injected with energy and intensity, and the crowd never stopped jumping around and singing along for the full hour-long set. What surprised me the most was how many fans knew all the band’s new music. It’s not often that you see a sea of people who know every single word to songs off an album that was just released. I think that definitely shows how good Against Me!’s new music is.

Now, the grand finale, Bad Religion. As always, BR’s set was a mixed bag consisting of a little bit of everything from their extensive discography (16 full-length albums!). The band played classics like “I Want to Conquer the World,” “Against the Grain,” and “Generator,” as well as songs from their latest record True North. They even played random songs like “New America,” which I don’t think I had never seen live before.

What has always amazed me about Bad Religion’s live show is that, despite the fact that they’ve been doing this for more than three decades, they still look like they’re having the time of their lives on stage. Every time see them live, Jay Bentley’s running all over the place, Brian Baker is shredding on guitar, and Greg Graffin’s got a big smile on his face. It’s extremely admirable for a band that’s been around 35 years.

Recent additions Mike Dimkich and Jamie Miller do Bad Religion’s material justice as well. Dimkich, who joined the band after longtime guitarist Greg Hetson’s departure in 2013, seemed to fit in better than he did when I saw BR on the Summer Nationals tour in 2014. Miller, who took Brooks Wackerman’s place earlier this year, was fast and furious on the drums.

Needless to say, this was an awesome show and this tour is a must-see. Check out the tour dates here to see if Bad Religion, Against Me!, and Dave Hause are playing a city near you.

You can check out the full gallery of photos from the show I went to below.