Search Results for "Rock"

Video: Modern Baseball’s Brendan Lukens does acoustic versions of “Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind” and “Just Another Face”

Brendan Lukens of Modern Baseball is this week’s Punks in Vegas Stripped Down Session artist. They filmed two songs with the emo band’s co-frontman at the Las Vegas Zine Library while he was on tour with his other band Broken Break.

Check out Brendan doing acoustic versions of “Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind” and “Just Another Face” below.

Both songs come from Modern Baseball’s 2016 album Holy Ghost, which is available now via Run For Cover Records.

Modern Baseball kicked off a California tour that includes dates with Chris Farren, Walter Etc., the Descendents and more yesterday and will be hitting the road again later this October for a full US tour supporting Brand New and Front Bottoms.



Unwritten Law (punk, San Diego) hit the road with Pennywise

San Diego’s Unwritten Law will be on a tour of the US with Pennywise this autumn. You can check out the full list of dates below.

Unwritten Law’s latest release was an acoustic collection of tracks, aptly titled “Acoustic”, released via Cyber Tracks in spring 2016.



Album Review: The Julie Ruin – “Hit Reset”

Hit Reset is an album that I like a lot, but it’s also one that I really wanted to love. With their previous album, The Julie Ruin had created something unique yet uneven. Their sound mixed foundations of garage-punk with heavy doses of electronica, experimental rock, and noise pop, creating melodies as catchy as they were weird. Probably the most remarkable part of their sound came from the sheer force of will exuded by front-woman Kathleen Hanna, whose unapologetic feminism was conveyed in a remarkable style of singing that could alternate playful monotone and outraged screaming in a heartbeat.

From the opening eponymous track, the band’s tremendous creativity shines in a way that’s far more cohesive than anything they’ve put out before. A tight drum beat and a swaying guitar rhythm set out a faint set of structure that the band proceeds to build on with a playful cavalcade of vocal harmony’s, electronic rings, and Hanna’s lyrics, which bounce from playful taunts like “I don’t think your sorry at all” to grainy shouting and high-pitched shrieks.

The album proceeds to then take a pretty daring step by following all that poppy energy with “I Decide,” a slower guttural track that gives lays out a metronome-like drum and bass combination, that seems to restrict the guitar’s flourishes within a dark, oppressive scaffolding. This sudden sense of restraint creates a tension that is only magnified by cryptic lyrics like “I belong to the wolves who drug me, in their mouths just like a baby.” The whole contraption speeds up, but there’s never any breakdown, leaving a feeling of haunted dissatisfaction.

These two tracks sum up the intriguing emotional core of Hit Reset, a back and forth between playful teasing, and dark outrage. As the album develops, the group’s feminism emerges much more front-and-center. “Rather Not” re-frames the old narrative of unrequited love from the uninterested party’s perspective, turning advances into a dangerous nuisance with lines like “your fantasy about us is just a cheap mirage.” “Mr So and So” creates the narrative of a strange significant other who fabricates the most superficial levels of feminist theory to make himself look smart. Both these songs are bursting with humor and energy- the former layering dreamy teasing upon mounting bass-lines, the latter using fast talk-singing above zipping guitar riffs and chirping synth beats- and yet consistently manage to take their nestled ideas seriously.

Yet, the strange thing about the album as a collection, is that one of its greatest strengths also becomes its undoing. While Hanah’s voice is strong and defiant, it’s also limited in its range. This first becomes apparent in “Be Nice”, in which she over-saturates the song with audio distortions of her own inaudible yelling. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem, were it not for the fact that her singing has a habit of overpowering the immensely talented musicianship at play. In “Roses More Than Water,” the drums, guitar, and keyboard delve into the realms of groove to give a nice respite from what’s come so far, and yet the vocals then step in to the deliver rapid-fire talk singing that really pushes the all that goodwill to the background. This all leads to the biggest misstep of the album; with the conclusive track “Calverton” we’re given a slow and somber piano piece with genuinely touching meditations on loss and the feeling of defeat. The shame here, is that Hanna’s voice just can’t maintain the beautiful sincerity of the song, leading to something that just isn’t very pleasant to listen to.

I don’t mean to come down hard on Hanna, because I still believe that the sheer force of personality that she conveys through the album is immensely powerful. I just wish the album had a slightly better sense of when to step back and let the instruments speak for themselves.

4 / 5  Stars



Cheap Girls streaming new song – “The Same Thing”

Michigan’s Cheap Girls are now streaming a new song, titled “The Same Thing.” Give it a listen below.

The track comes from the band’s upcoming rarities and b-sides collection, God’s Ex-Wife. It’s due out September 16th via Asian Man Records. Check out the tracklisting below the music, and pre-order your copy of the LP right here.

Cheap Girls’ latest album is Famous Graves, which they released in May 2014 on Xtra Mile Recordings.



Bullet Proof Lovers (Rock and Roll from Spain) stream new album

Bullet Proof Lovers are a group of veteran Spanish rockers who have been together since 2014. Their most recent self titled CD will be released in October on Boston’s Rum Bar Records.

Listen to the full album below.

 

 

 

 

 



Dog Party announced as support for Green Day’s upcoming club shows

Yesterday, California pop-punk icons Green Day announced two tours. We already knew The Interrupters would be opening on the European tour, but it has since been announced that Sacramento sister duo Dog Party will provide support for most of the US club shows.

Check out the North American tour dates below to see if there’s a show near you.

Green Day’s upcoming album Revolution Radio is set to release on October 7th through Reprise Records. Listen to the album’s first single “Bang Bang” here. Dog Party released their new LP ‘Til You’re Mine in August on Asian Man Records. Grab it on vinyl here.

UPDATE: 3 shows have been postponed and 1 has been cancelled. According to a press release, this is “all due to illness affecting several members of the band and its crew.”



Pansy Division streaming new album “Quite Contrary” in its entirety

Pansy Division have made their new album Quite Contrary available to stream ahead of its September 9th release through Alternative Tentacles. You can listen to the entire record below.

Quite Contrary is the band’s first album in 7 years, following 2009′s That’s So Gay.



The Cult announce Australian and New Zealand tour dates

British rock legends The Cult have announced dates for a tour of Australia and New Zealand, which will take place in November. The dates and locations are below, and you can get your tickets here.

The Cult’s latest album Hidden City was released last February via Cooking Vinyl.



Jimmy Eat World detail new album “Integrity Blues”, announce world tour dates

Arizona legends Jimmy Eat World have revealed the artwork and track listing of their upcoming album Integrity Blues, which will be released on October 21st via RCA and will be the band’s first record since 2013′s Damaged. The album’s track listing can be seen below.

Starting tomorrow, just before the release of Integrity Blues, Jimmy Eat World will embark on a two-month tour of the UK, Europe and the United States. The dates and locations are below as well.



Pansy Division talk queerness and punk, past and present

Queercore legends Pansy Division are back at it again! With their highly anticipated upcoming album “Quite Contrary” coming out in a few days, the band’s frontman Jon Ginoli  had a chat with Alt Press and Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce from up and coming Brooklyn queercore group PWR BTTM to discuss queerness in punk. You can read the transcription below.

The band has already released two songs, “He’s Trouble” and “Blame the Bible” which you can listen to here.

“Quite Contrary” will be Pansy Division’s first full-length album in 7 years, serving as a follow-up to 2009′s “That’s So Gay”.



DS Exclusive: Rob Rufus (Blacklist Royals) talks about his upcoming memoir, “Die Young With Me”

The market for music-industry memoirs is a cluttered, albeit typically enjoyable one. There’s a bit of a standard flow to what makes most of these works successful: one-part entertainment, one-part shock value, one-part precautionary tale, one-part paean to the music that helped guide them through. Special attention is typically paid to those times when an individual crashed and burned due to their own behavior, only to have mustered up some redemption on the other side. As long as the names are somewhat familiar and the stories are lurid and riddled with enough sex and drugs and rock and roll to go around, it generally makes for a compelling and fulfilling (though not entirely ground-breaking) couple of days to dissect cover-to-cover.

If we’re using that, then, as the sort of loose framework from which many a good (or at least widely-read) rock and roll story was generated, it makes little-to-no sense for a guy like Rob Rufus to throw his trademark fiddler hat in the proverbial ring. If you’re even a casual peruser of Dying Scene and you’re not familiar with Rufus by name…well…that’s exactly the point; over the last half-dozen years, we’ve written four- or five-dozen stories about the band for which Rufus is not only the drummer but one-half of the twin-brother duo that makes up the band’s core (hint: they’re called Blacklist Royals).

Rufus’ memoir, Die Young With Me, is due out September 20th (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster) and it is, by no stretch of the imagination, a standard fare rock and roll tome; the bulk of the story takes place largely between Rufus’ 12th and 19th birthdays, and a quick run through the “sex, drugs and rock-and-roll” litmus test reveals intimate encounters that rarely escalate above teenage backseat-of-mom’s car heavy petting, drugs that include names like “bleomycin” and “cisplatin” and “something called VP16,” and a rock and roll band that’s effectively unknown to the masses. Put ‘em together and what have you got? Probably the most compelling page-turner of the genre (or any true-life genre) in recent memory.

You see, the Rufus twins grew up in Huntington, West Virginia, a middle-of-nowhere town if ever there were a middle-of-nowhere town; a rest stop on the way from..well…from Louisville to Pittsburgh, I guess? Punk rock culture, or most any culture really, was virtually nonexistent. Were it not for one fateful trip the brothers took to a family reunion in Richmond, Virginia, that might still be the case. The duo spent the better part of a long weekend poring through the music collection of their cousin Anthony, who despite being only a few years older than Rob and his brother Nat, was already steeped in Richmond’s mid-1990s punk scene.

With a newfound love for punk music in tow, the brothers headed back to rural West Virginia with a new outlook on life and music…and a healthy dose of inspiration. “The best thing about punk rock to me (was) that nobody was really that good!” says Rufus with a laugh. In many ways that trip spawned a period of what has now been close to twenty years of writing and making music. “In a lot of ways,” explains Rufus, “(Die Young With Me) is a kind of love letter to punk rock music and how awesome it was for a kid from the middle of nowhere to hear anything like that.”

At first glance, the phrases “love letter to punk rock” and “most compelling page-turner of the genre in recent memory” may not realistically overlap. But then again, there’s a huge part of the story that’s been left out so far unless you’re familiar with the drugs listed above. At the age of seventeen, just as his band (then called Defiance of Authority which frontman Nat would later refer to in an interview as “pretty much the worst band name of all time”) had gotten an offer to play a week’s worth of shows on the Warped Tour (a huuuuge deal for a band of high school kids from West Virginia, or anywhere for that matter) Rufus got diagnosed with cancer; a rare, and fairly progressed cancer. “It’s called a germ cell tumor, which is basically the same makeup of testicular cancer except that it starts somewhere else in your body,” says Rufus rather matter-of-factly, at this point probably well-rehearsed in telling the details. “It was basically like a big fucking tumor in the middle of my chest.”

Coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis is an unfathomable thing for most people to comprehend at any age, let alone being a 17-year-old punk rocker from Nowheresville, USA. In fact, the latter confluence of facts led to an initial inability to even get a diagnosis. The signs and symptoms were there but, as Rufus tells it, “I’d been getting progressively more sick for months, and my normal doctor was on sabbatical, and then every time I went to the doctor at a local hospital, I would see whoever was available. It was very fucking clear that something was wrong with me. But a lot of times I would go the local hospital and they would look at me, and I was in my super punk phase with big spiked bleached hair and a Black Flag shirt with a middle finger on it or whatever it may be, and they would just dismiss me.”

Once the diagnosis came, treatment came quickly and aggressively, and just in the nick of time:  “It was so bad that if I would have waited another week before getting diagnosed, I would have died. My lungs were on the verge of collapse because this tumor was so big and wrapped around my organs.” Treatment also meant shipping out of West Virginia altogether, by way of a speedy ambulance ride to Columbus, Ohio. The treatment was aggressive, about as aggressive as you’ll find for chemotherapy in a “child.” And it seemingly worked, at least for a while. Fast-forward the tape to age nineteen and the cancer would make an unfortunate, and very grave, return.

“I was first cancer-free for not even a year, or six months,” says Rufus, before explaining in detail that “the cancer came back in my hip and went in my legs and mutated. That was the only time that I really realized that they thought I was gonna fucking die. They were basically like, “well, we have this treatment that they’ve used a couple times in Japan and we can try that and we can try to make you comfortable.” And I’m like “what the fuck does that mean? I don’t want to be ‘made comfortable’!” That was a really surreal moment in my life. It was the only time through all of that that I really was like “I’m so fucked,” and that it really sunk in like that.”

Treatment for the second round of cancer involved another bout with chemotherapy, intense radiation therapy, removal of his right lung and half his diaphragm, and a series of other lengthy complications. But it also worked successfully. Now in his early thirties, Rufus has a good, if somewhat uncharted, prognosis. Before Rufus’s generation, kids with most childhood cancers didn’t really…survive. They didn’t really get better, at least not in any great numbers. “Doctors and oncologists and everybody are very aware that they don’t know what issues will come from those treatments and what issues will develop as you get older and older,” he explains insightfully. “I’m aware of all that, but I also know that there’s nothing I can do to change it other than what I’m already doing. At this point, I’m trying to enjoy my life as much as I can. I want to create as much as I can create and do my thing and have a good fucking time!”

Read this book. Seriously. It’s funny and moving and disturbing and very, very real. And the idea was helped along by a somewhat unlikely source; Blacklist Royals’ former label boss (and Less Than Jake drummer) Vinnie Fiorello. “Vinnie…was actually the first and really the only person to say “what the fuck are you doing writing these stupid fucking rock and roll songs? Your life is so much more interesting than that, and you have so much more to say than that!”

So what do you do when you have an interesting story and you finally figure out how to tell it and what to say, but you’re a punk rock drummer with no ties to the book publishing industry? You go back to your roots. “I just kind of did it like I did when I was a teenager sending out demo tapes,” explains Rufus. “I’d get books I liked and look up the author’s agent and the publisher, and I just started sending out manuscripts.”

The result is, well, it’s due out September 20th. Pre-orders are available a bunch of different places, like here. And check out our full Q&A with Rob below; it’s one of our favorites, if we can be so self-indulgent.



DS Photo Gallery: The Skeleton Beats, Diablogato, Nick Barbarian and The Caughtflies – The Thirsty Turtle, Nashua, NH

The Caughtflies

Alright, so admittedly this may not be the most well thought-out show review, because my goal in attending the show was not to really write anything. Sometimes you just want to go hang out and maybe take some pictures and say hi to some old friends and otherwise turn the “I have to write about this…what am I going to say?” part of your brain off. But then sometimes you end up at a show that is pretty memorable, or that seems like something that’s the start of something bigger, and you need to let people know about it. To set the scene, The Thirsty Turtle is a fairly new establishment right off of Main Street in yours truly’s old hometown of Nashua, New Hampshire. It’s located in an older brick building, as is most everything in downtown Nashua, and it’s been a bunch of different things over the years, although in my 36 years of being in and around the area, I can’t honestly remember the name of any of them except for maybe Amsterdam. That, in a nutshell, sort of explains why there’s been a lack of any real community or scene in southern New Hampshire for the last however many years.

Nick Barbarian

But thanks to a few dedicated individuals, that may be changing. That brings us to last Saturday night at the Thirsty Turtle. Loosely dubbed “Rockabilly Night,” the event featured four acts with loose ties to the above-named genre, as well as a pinup girl competition and a vintage car contest. All of the acts were local to the Greater Boston area (editor’s note: Nashua is located about 45-minutes north-by-northwest of Boston), with one-man drunken-pirate-viking-wrecking crew Nick Barbarian serving as a born and bred Nashua icon and purveyor of songs about booty and murdering the Westboro Baptist Church. While the clashing clientele at the overlapping PokemonGo Pub Crawl and Rockabilly night events made for a quintessentially odd small-city vibe early in the evening, those that stayed for the show were hearty in number and in voice, with the lack of clearly defined stage area at the Turtle leading to, really inviting, a large amount of audience participation.

The Skeleton Beats

Any time a smaller city can create a scene somewhat organically is a truly inspiring thing, particularly in 2016. Just when you think you’ve put the final nail in the coffin that carries the hopes and dreams of up-and-coming musicians and promoters and venue owners, a night like last Saturday happens and gives you more than just a little bit of hope. Check below for more pictures from all four bands!



Mannequin Pussy stream new song “Emotional High” off upcoming album “Romantic

Philadelphia punk rockers Mannequin Pussy are streaming a new song called “Emotional High.” This song is the fourth track off of their upcoming album Romantic. You can give it a listen below.

Romantic is scheduled for release sometime in October via Tiny Engines. It will follow the band’s 2013 debut full-length, GP. 



Jimmy Eat World tease new album

Arizona legends Jimmy Eat World have revealed a teaser video of what appears to be news of a brand new upcoming album. So far, the only thing fans are getting is an instrumental clip and some video footage on the band’s website, which prompts visitors to leave their email addresses and “stay tuned.” You can take a look at the clip here.

We will keep you updated as more details surrounding this release come to light.

Jimmy Eat World’s latest album, Damaged, was released in June 2013 via RCA Records.



Cheap Girls releasing compilation of b-sides, rarities & unreleased tracks

Michigan’s Cheap Girls have announced they will be releasing a compilation album featuring b-sides, rare songs, and previously unreleased tracks. Titled God’s Ex-Wife Collection, the LP is set to release on September 16th through Asian Man Records.

One of the songs appearing on the album is available to stream right now. Give “Twice As Much” a listen below, and head over here to get your pre-orders in.