Search Results for "Folk"

Music Video: Hoist The Colors – “Mourners”

Los Angeles folk-influenced punk act Hoist the Colors just celebrated the release of their latest album,”Mourners”, and we featured a full album stream which is available here.

Today, the band has premiered a new music video for the album’s title track “Mourners”, which you can check out below.

“Mourners” was released September 24th through Hardline Entertainment and serves as a follow up to their 2012 release “Miles to Go Before We Sleep”.



DS Photo Gallery: Lucero close out the Copenhagen Beer Celebration (Boston, MA)

God bless the City of Boston for continually trying to breath life, by way of art and music, into the embarrassingly decrepit portion of town that is City Hall Plaza. To paraphrase (read as: steal verbatime) myself from an older story about the Boston Calling Music Festival, City Hall Plaza is, for the non-New Englanders among us, a barren, steaming brick-and-concrete turd located adjacent to a number of otherwise vibrant areas, and has been criminally under-utilized over the years, a literal eyesore for the fifty years since it opened. Boston Calling brought more than a handful of acclaimed national and international performing artists, but it’s since shrunk from biannual to once a year, and has moved away from City Hall entirely. The same team that put it on, however, managed to lire the Copenhagen Beer Celebration to the States for the first time, and provided a pretty eclectic lineup of musical acts to go along with the even more eclectic lineup of microbreweries.

Unlike Boston Calling and other festivals in the past, the focus on the Copenhagen Beer Celebration was beer, not music. And so, in spite of the fact that the stage was located immediately inside the venue’s entrance, most people bypassed the musical festivities for most of the weekend (one session Friday night, two sessions Saturday, all different lineups at each) and opted to hang up the hill at the brewery and food tents. That all changed in time for Lucero, however. As we’ve acknowledged, Lucero are one of “those bands” for people, and engaging with a great number of people Saturday night revealed that the Venn diagram of “people there for the beer” and “people there for Lucero” was, for the most part, a largely concentric circle.

Though the scale might have been larger than most of Lucero’s shows (at least in this area) and because the setting involved the band being fairly separated from the crowd (and despite the fact that it was cold and windy by the end of the 85-minute set), the show still had the feel of a Lucero show. Operating as a five-piece (no horn section for the fly-in/fly-out gig) gave the bulk of the band’s setlist a more raw, stripped-down feel that, while it certainly falls in line with the bulk of the first half of Lucero’s history, has not necessarily been par for the course over the last half-dozen years. Age and the wisdom that comes from spending years as one of the hardest working bands in this or any genre have dulled some of the more intense partying, borderline trainwrecky nature of early Lucero shows, and that’s probably a good thing. I’ve always thought that Roy Berry and John Stubblefield composed one of the steadier and underrated rhythm sections out there, allowing Rick Steff (keys, accordion), Brian Venable (lead guitar) and, of course, frontman Ben Nichols the freedom to wander and take chances and stray pretty far, at times, into the sonic ether. The lack of horn section pushes that issue to more of a forefront, particularly on nights like this that were still peppered with occasional false starts and equipment failures (Venable was relegated to losing his guitar and, as fate would have it, his shirt by the end of the night due to a faulty amplifier).

It was fun to see the band a little bit outside their element for this part of the country, only to then realize that with a band as varied and influential as Lucero, there really isn’t any getting outside their element, as they seem to be their own element, having outlasted myriad bands across genres and carving out their own niche and their own sound.

Check out our full photo gallery from the evening below. While you’re at it, check out our 15th anniversary Lucero retrospective pieces here and here.

 



Moon Bandits (folk) stream new song “I Don’t Want To Drink, I Don’t Want To Die”

Los Angeles 3-piece folk band Moon Bandits are streaming a brand new song called “I Don’t Want To Drink, I Don’t Want To Die.”

This tracks is off a split they spontaneously released with Pat The Bunny, appropriately titled, Surprise. Check it out below.

This song follows the band’s 2015 album Property Damage: A Love Story. 



Mixtape Saints (folk) stream new EP “Bright Lights/Burned Out”

UK based punk rock/folk outfit Mixtape Saints have launched the full stream to their EP Bright Lights Burned Out and you can give it a listen here.

The EP is available for pre-order via Little Rocket Records (who shall be releasing the record on 16 September 2016).

Mixtape Saints shall be embarking on a full UK Tour with Wolves&Wolves&Wolves&Wolves and LRR label mates The Run Up this September. The tour stops off in Bristol (18 September 2016), London (19), Leamington Spa (21) and Brighton (22).



The Ghostwrite release two songs off upcoming EP “Slarity”

PA solo folk/punk artist The Ghostwrite has released two songs, “John Bruce Wayne” and the titletrack “Slarity”, from his upcoming EP “Slarity”. The songs both sounds really great, but you can be the judge of that by listening to them below.

The EP is set to drop October 21 and it is his most recent release since “Personal Political” from 2013. 



Hoist The Colors streaming upcoming album “Mourners”

Los Angeles folk-influenced punk act Hoist the Colors is gearing up to release their latest album “Mourners”, and has just made the entire work available to stream.

Check it out here.

“Mourners” will be released September 24th through Hardline Entertainment and will serve as a follow up to their 2012 release “Miles to Go Before We Sleep”.



Music Video: Crash Nomada – “Ljuset som du sökte”

Swedish gypsy punk group Crash Nomada have released a music video for their new song “Ljuset som du sökte”

You can check it out below.

The song was recently released as a single through all the normal digital platforms like Spotify and Itunes.  Additionally, you can pick up a physical copy in the form of a 7″ here.



Fifteen Years of Raising Hell – Part Two: Frank Turner, Dave Hause and more on the impact of Lucero

Toward the end of May, Dying Scene published a feature piece marking the fifteenth anniversary of Lucero‘s self-titled debut album. You can read it here if you haven’t done so already. In the course of digging around on the band’s history, however, it dawned on us pretty quickly that any sort of retrospective on Lucero was going to have to dive much deeper than just reexamining their first album. Because, to paraphrase the first couple of paragraphs of that last story, Lucero are, for a great number of people and due to an equally great number of reasons, one of those bands. A band that has a way of not only writing music and lyrics that strike you right in the emotional core, but fundamentally changing

When I started this project a few months ago, I had visions of turning it into a 5,000 word ode to Lucero in my own words. As you’ve probably established, they’re one of those bands for me. The mark of a good storyteller and songwriter is that you are able to paint a picture and strike a nerve that’s so poignant that you put the listener in your shoes, making them feel as though you’re not only singing to them but about them. For myself, like most Lucero fans, the list of songs penned in Ben Nichols’ trademark tone that were probably written precisely about me is at least a couple dozen deep, primarly because the band’s canon is part heartbreaking, part self-deprecating, part cathartic good-time anthem and filled with ever-evolving sonic differences. But let’s be honest; one part-time pseudo-music blogger’s opinion on what he thinks is one of the most important bands in the foundation of this scene isn’t, well…it isn’t that interesting. I mean who do I think I am, Dan Ozzi?

Anyway, with that latter sentiment in mind, we sent out feelers to a couple friends of the scene that we know share our admiration for the ever-changing band of misfits from Memphis, Tennessee. What follows below is, we think, a pretty compelling look at just what makes Lucero Lucero, and what it means to be a fan of the band and of Ben Nichols penchant for songwriting (never that good with words anyway my ass). There are stories of personal encounters (wrapping Christmas presents…drunken tour bus hijinks…etc), there are comparisons to bands like Slayer and NOFX…equal parts entertaining and enlightening and, thanks to the guys we talked to, incredibly thoughtful read. Many thanks to Frank Turner, Dave Hause, and Rebuilder‘s Sal Medrano for the assists! You can head here to scope out Lucero’s upcoming run of US tour dates, which kicks off next weekend (September 24th) in Boston.

 



Frank Turner announces UK tour dates

Frank Turner has announced a big 21 date UK tour that will see him gallivanting around his home country in November and December.

You can check out all the dates and locations below.

Frank Turner last released Positive Songs For Negative People in August 2015 on Xtra Mile Recordings / Interscope Records.



The Vansaders (Folk-Punk) Stream New EP, “This Time Around”

Asbury Park, NJ folk-punk band The Vansaders, have just released a stream of their brand new EP “This Time Around”. The album collects five fast and fun tracks that mix together elements of rock, folk-punk, and country. Check it out below.

This Time Around is The Vansaders’ first major release since their EP “Jumping At Shadows”, released in August, 2015. The EP is available to stream or purchase through Bandcamp.



Album Review: AJJ – “The Bible 2″

There’s a certain level of goodness that makes things hard to talk about, and maybe even harder to fully digest. There’s the very good, where perfection is attained and you’re left with the rather dull prospect of pounding out what sounds like hyperbole for four to six paragraphs. There’s very bad, that while more fun to write, is often a dedication of time and energy to describe something you most likely never cared about in the first place. And then, there is the pretty good– the okay– which leaves you sorting through tracks looking for the exact moment a listenable album just didn’t do enough to make you love it.

It’s never fun to write the latter. Because, for me, it oftentimes becomes a chronicle of when one of your favorite bands ceases to be your favorite. You all know the Frost line, “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.” That’s how it always goes. A great band doesn’t just turn in an album that wrecks your appreciation of them in one mighty display of incompetence, usually it’s a simpler and subtle deviation from the roots that made you love them in the first place. Against Me! was one of those bands for me. Where I loved the first three, really liked the fourth, uncomfortably liked the fifth, and then Transgender Dysphoria Blues came out and finally solidified my alienation: this band isn’t mine anymore. And it wasn’t. But it wasn’t a bad record either, it just wasn’t for me. That was my whimper– no satisfying bang of hatred and confusion, just a whine and a “move along, folks, nothing to see here.”

AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) was my band for awhile. I remember watching videos of them with buddies, cringing and laughing aloud at some of their more cutting lyrics. They were an introduction into a punk I didn’t know existed. Watching them play on trains, on sidewalks, and wherever else they could was watching someone make good on all the promises punk made. People Who Can Eat People…, Can’t Maintain, and my favorite, Knife Man became veritable classics for me and my close group of friends. It just clicked.

And then Christmas Island came out and I liked most of it. It came burdened with production choices I couldn’t quite jump on board with, along with an increasing diminishing of their folk punk early days. But still, this was my band, damnit! I loved them still, and I met them halfway and ended up finding a bunch of songs I really dug.

And now, we have The Bible 2– a continuation of latter-day AJJ as much as it is a rebranding– packaged with the same codifying authority as a self-titled record. It calls in a deep booming voice: “Behold ye mighty and despair, we were Andrew Jackson Jihad, but now we are AJJ.” The new name comes with a new identity and it wouldn’t even be unfair to call this a first album by a new band. And while, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the band would welcome this consideration, the similarities and love of what once was might be too hard to shake for some listeners.

This problem rears its head immediately, as a lot of The Bible 2’s faults are holdovers from Christmas Island. The vocal distortion effects are present, and they once again open the album with a fast punk track covered in them. “Cody’s Theme” (name checking the “kid who is most-likely named Cody” from “Angel of Death”– further solidifies the kinship between Christmas Island and The Bible 2) throws some synth melodies in too, but isn’t catchy or specific enough (save for the chorus, which I like decently enough) to form an attachment to.

And the thing is, everything is still there. Nothing has quite changed enough to say that they have turned their backs to their roots or have decided to go soft to get love from the kids. I believe the decisions they made were made in earnest. AJJ has a different focus than Andrew Jackson Jihad, and it maintains elements of the latter, but diminishes others. The greatest example is The Bible 2’s mission statement, detailed in the song title: “No More Shame, No More Fear, No More Dread.” They’ve switched gears into something vaguely positive and inspirational, like Christian rock for misfits. Of course, it is most likely agnostic and probably irreligious, but it carries the same sense of affirmation. No More Shame, No More Fear, No More Dread is the YOLO for teenagers who feel like they don’t belong.

If I’m being fair though, I have to admit that Sean Bonnette’s lyricism has grown on this album (while the more cynical part of me would say it has simply changed, politely excluding for better or for worse). Christmas Island was mostly decent, but it showed a trend of Bonnette giving into some of his worst tendencies as a songwriter, leaning hard on non-sequitur lists and free association surrealism. The Bible 2 feels more personal and focused overall, even adhering pretty well to its own themes, where Christmas Island felt a little scattered and less cohesive than the epic concept album that was Knife Man.

And, despite my whimpers, there are some great lyrics across The Bible 2, and some of the best songs here are the best AJJ has ever written. “Goodbye, Oh Goodbye” is one of its catchiest, and its bridge has one of my favorite lines across the album. “7th grade was hard enough/ Someone thought that they knew me/ If I stay in bed long enough/ They’ll go to church without me.” It’s packed with honest pathos and relatable imagery, while continuing the album’s themes of childhood, and how childhood experience forms us.

This theme is established early on in “Cody’s Theme,” but is brought to a satisfying conclusion with “Small Red Boy.” On it, Bonnette describes cutting a “small red boy” out of his stomach and uses it as a metaphor for the worst parts of all of us, and how they define, destroy, and ultimately provide us with beauty. Reading through the lyrics, while listening to its rumbling crescendo, it would be hard to believe that AJJ has or will ever write a better song.

And that’s what makes The Bible 2 disappointing in some respects. Where “Small Red Boy” is the AJJ I want, the one that I get is weighed down with forgettable songs and unpalatable effects. The best compliment I ever heard the band get was from one of my friends. He said, “Listening to them makes me uneasy.” That’s the AJJ I want, the band that finds beauty in destitution and depravity, that takes long unbroken gazes into the eyes of families on the verge of breaking, on the emotional collateral damage that’ll splatter brains across floral print wallpaper. This is the band that wrote, “Backpack,” a song that you’d probably choose to skip more times than not– and it might still be your favorite off Knife Man. Horror writer Jack Ketchum wrote this essay on violence in fiction, and it boiled down to the idea that as a writer, you shouldn’t “look away.” Violence is real and it is awful, and doing anything less than presenting it and everything it touches does it a disservice. Looking away makes it too easy, it makes it not real. The Bible 2 doesn’t share the same obsession with with transgression that made me fell in love with the band, it dips its toes every once and awhile, but it doesn’t want to tell us how drowning people’s lungs fill with water– it wants to pull them out of the ocean. I think both are valid. But, its not what I want to hear. Which brings us around to an uncomfortable truth worthy of the band at their most gnarly: maybe I’m not the audience anymore. They switched gears and I’m left wanting something they’re not really that interested in anymore. The album is chock-full of their new perspective and direction and the themes of rebirth and perseverance are enough to say that the move was intentional. Like after years of negativity and bullshit, someone just said, “Enough, enough, enough. This is no way to live.” Then one of them grabbed a self-help book, tried to find religion, and then did their best to reconcile it all with who they are and what they know.  There’s still a lot to like, even if its not what I wanted. But for me, it’s summed up as follows: AJJ was a band that didn’t look away. And on The Bible 2, they sometimes still don’t.

 

3.5/5



Brooklyn Folks Come Out in Force to Say Goodbye to Erik Petersen

The same thing that makes a memorial show for Erik Petersen in Brooklyn more intimate and beautiful than one for someone like David Bowie or Lemmy also makes it far more heartbreaking. Far be it from me to say that all those who went out to dance for the Star Man or have a Jack and Coke for Lemmy were not experiencing a personal tragedy. But most of those people never shared a moment, a conversation, or a drink with their hero.

When it came to Mischief Brew’s poetic front-man, it seemed like every punk who showed up to pay tribute to him on Sunday night had had a more personal encounter with the folk punk icon.

“I absolutely hate the reason we are all here tonight” said Brook Pridemore, the evening’s third performer just before he began his set. Then after he’d broken just about half the strings on his guitar he told a story about a time he had spent at Erik and Denise Petersen’s home in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania when he saw Erik squeeze the poop out of one of the more seasoned of the Petersen’s beloved pugs. He followed that story with a singalong rendition of “Old Tyme Mem’ry.”

Christy Road seemed to be working hard to hold it together during her set at the Erik Petersen tribute show.

Before Pridemore, Early Riser, Cristy Road, and two members of Teenage Halloween had performed short somewhat somber solo acoustic sets. During this time the crowd was rather small and subdued, and when it shouted words at the stage they were encouraging. An audience member called out “But it’s beautiful!” to Road when she pointed out a slight mistake in her rendition of Mischief Brew classic “Every Town Will Celebrate.”

At no point did the show ever feel like anything but a celebration of an inspiring man’s life, but until Pridemore, things felt a bit more like a remembrance. After he flooded the stage with his energy and anger it started to feel like a party. The crowd started forming, the mosh pit opened up, and the evening’s pent-up frustration and rage rose to the surface.

If there was one thing that Brook Pridemore had no problem doing it was showing emotion on stage.

Then Out of System Transfer took the stage, and while the Brooklynites definitely represented the more folk side of folk punk — which toward the latter part of their run Mischief Brew expressly shied away from — the people in attendance didn’t slam dance any more subtly for it. The trombone-toting four-piece played a few covers, and their lead singer waxed poetic about his and Petersen’s shared affinity for obscure folk tunes in a set that included tracks like “The Preacher and the Slave” by Joe Hill, “Pancho and Lefty” by Townes Van Zandt, and “Mary Ellen Carter” by Stan Rogers, a track Mischief Brew had released as a single. They also hit Mischief Brew’s “Lowly Carpenter” along with some Out of System Transfer originals.

By the time the folk punk collective Comrades took the stage the venue seemed so packed it was about to burst, and it wouldn’t have mattered whether it was the loud, angsty, and abrasive sounds of Comrades or another solo acoustic act getting on stage; the audience was ready to lose their minds. The melee ensued the moment Comrades struck their first note and the pushing and shoving didn’t end until after their last. Though Comrades didn’t play any Mischief Brew covers, their track “Give Me Coffee or Give Me Meth” is a clear homage to Mischief Brew’s “Gimme Coffee Or Death.”

It was during their set that the show really started to feel like the sort of shindig that Mischief Brew would have headlined. It felt as though at any second Erik might just come through the door from the merch booth or back from the bar after a glass of whisky.

But in the absence of ghosts, Israeli composer and musician Yula Beeri was no consolation prize. Her three-piece band was one of the most exciting and musically proficient acts of the evening; Yula spent most of their set on a stool and still managed to keep the crowd in a frenzy. She also split part of the set with World Inferno/Friendship Society frontman Jack Terricloth. They did two tracks together, one with Yula’s full band and the other a haunting rendition of “Friend to the Friendless.”

Jack Terricloth’s appearance really put the cap on a night that was already as beautiful as it could have been.

“It is one of life’s absurd jokes that I am playing a memorial for Mr. Petersen, rather than Mr. Petersen playing a memorial for me,” said Terricloth. “Comedy is part of the grieving process, take it from me,” he added before raising a toast to the fallen.

After the official performances wrapped up, Out of System Transfer led a rousing singalong of Mischief Brew songs — among others, “Roll Me Through the Gates of Hell” and “Thanks, Bastards” — before the stage was opened up to anyone who wished to jump up and sing a song in tribute to Erik Petersen.

Out of System Transfer leading rousing renditions of some of Mischief Brew’s biggest hits along with the crowd.

While fans of Petersen’s took their turn on the mic and the crowd sang along, the real sadness of the event started to take hold of many in attendance. Terricloth stood stoic in the back of the venue surveying the thinning group, while others sat down on the concrete floor.

As people stumbled over lyrics and pulled out cell phones for quick refreshers on tunes, we all realized that this was it. Denise Petersen watched the clumsy, loving efforts to keep things going for one more song. “It’s a beautiful shit-show,” she said, “like my life.”



Townes Cosentino (Will of Gameday Regulars) to release EP “A New Kind Of Hell”

Gameday Regulars’ Will Romeo is striking out on his own under the moniker Townes Cosentino. He will be releasing an EP next Friday, August 26th called “A New Kind Of Hell.” The EP will be released via Creep Records next friday, August 26th. You can see the tracklist and a demo of an earlier song “Sister Fucker” below.

 

Townes Cosentino’s last release was the “Sister Fucker” demo track.



AJJ announce East Coast tour with Diners and Chris Farren

Arizona’s AJJ is heading out on a fall tour to support their new album, The Bible 2. The tour, appropriately titled The Bible 2′r, will feature support from Diners and Chris Farren. You can check out the dates and locations below.

AJJ will release The Bible 2 on August 19, 2016 through SideOneDummy Records. Chris Farren will be releasing his solo debut LP, Can’t Die, on September 2, 2016 also through SideOneDummy.



Freya Wilcox & the Howl stream cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon”

Freya Wilcox & The Howl are streaming their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 hit song “Rhiannon.”  The track comes off the band’s upcoming split EP with Oh My Snare! , and you can give it a listen here.

The Oh My Snare! / Freya Wilcox & the Howl split  will be released through For the Love of Punk Records. You can order it here.

Both bands are currently touring together around the west-coast US tour. You can check out the full list of dates here.