Search Results for "DS Exclusive"

DS Exclusive: Concrete release music video for “Born Lost”

Posted by Bizarro Dustin on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 10:21 AM (PST)

Today we’re excited to bring you the premiere of New York hardcore act Concrete‘s music video for “Born Lost”! The track comes off of the band’s recently released split EP with Orange County hardcore outfit Hammerfist. You can check out the video below!

The Concrete / Hammerfist split was released on November 18 through Irish Voodoo Records.

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There’s an inscription on a plaque inside the base of the Statue of Liberty that bares on it a sonnet called “The New Colossus.” Written by noted American poet Emma Lazarus, the inscription is probably best known for its containing the phrase “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Perhaps, then, it’s no coincidence that Lady Liberty’s trademark spiked crown has been adopted in headdress form by a great many in the punk rock community. This scene has a long, well-worn history of serving as a last bastion of acceptance for people that have been marginalized by the mainstream, viewed as “weird” or “different” or “strange” or, of course, “crazy.”

Enter Craig Lewis. The Boston-area based writer and zine publisher and punker and mental health professional, who’s been profiled on these pages before, has compiled a book called “You’re Crazy – First-Hand Accounts of Mental Illness, Addiction and Trauma from the Punk Rock Scene.” Published by his own Better Days Recovery Press, the book clocks in just shy of 150-pages; by all means a more-than manageable one day read. But instead of Lewis trying to tell his subjects’ stories, the two-dozen-plus stories come straight from the horse’s mouths.

Perhaps the most compelling part of the compilation is that twenty-five authors carry with them twenty-five different stories and twenty-five different styles of conveying their messages. Some come across as nervous; rightfully so, as this may the first time that many tell their stories outside a therapist’s office – or at all. Some authors seem obviously well-versed at sharing, and are able to apply a modicum of humor to what can obviously be dark subject matter. If you’ve ever been in the halls of an AA or NA meeting, some of the stories may sound familiar in a “names are changed but the stories are real” way, with authors presenting the mental health version of a textbook drunkalogue. It would be unfair, or perhaps unnecessary, to give reviews of each individual story, as the goal of many such stories is progress, not perfection. Still, there are some noteworthy highlights.

“Disease,” written by Jessica Rosengrant, serves as my favorite read, both contextually and stylistically. Though this may serve as a spoiler, Rosengrant’s story plays as an allegory, with her struggles with addiction serving as her best friend, and ultimately her worst enemy. Matt Hollender’s “Me Or The World” is more of an essay or a think-piece which serves as general good advice for well-living. “Pat’s Story,” by Pat Thielges, starts with a bang, almost literally, as it begins with an honest description of the author’s unsuccessful suicide attempt. The story that follows, “More Than Just A Tag” by an author known only as Q, is arguably the most compelling read. The author tells a tale of being, by many accounts, a “normal kid,” who somehow ended up in the care of the state mental health system, only to eventually “become sick.” Particularly humbling is the story’s post-script, which reveals that sometimes we’re at our most vulnerable when we feel like we’re at our most stable point.

The common thread weaving all of these stories together is punk rock. The husband and wife duo Eric Blitz and Jenny “DevilDoll” Gonzalez-Blitz tell very different tales (stylistically and materially) and yet wound up together, firmly entrenched in the local community. While the acceptance and judgement-free zones provided by the world of punk rock in many, if not most, cases are seen a a guiding light, it’s important to note, there’s also an overarching need for the scene to continue to take care of its own and and to not stab the backs of the most vulnerable (the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free) and indeed the most passionate amongst us. It’s a necessary looking-glass into our world and the characters in it, and can be an inspirational piece that may hopefully serve to shed a light on one of the proverbial elephants in the room; we may or may not be crazy, but we have each other!

You can get your own copy of “You’re Crazy” here, or go directly to Punks In Recovery to submit a story for the next volume of “You’re Crazy”!

Upstate, NY’s Artisan play melodic hardcore with drive and heart. “Living in a consistent state of pessimism will create a harsh dynamic between yourself and the rest of the world, hindering your friendships, relationships and…well…your life in general really,” opines vocalist Jackson Corbo.

I was looking forward to seeing the band share the stage with Hundreth and Meridian at a recent Poughkeepsie, NY show but the gig was snowed out. I hit up the band and made sure we still connected anyway, because they are doing things right in many ways.

Read the interview and stream their debut EP “Prelude” below.

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DS Staff Picks – Best Albums of 2014 (griffintainment)

Posted by griffintainment on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 5:21 PM (PST)

I’m not going to lie to you. 2014 was a bit of a downer year for music as well as movies. In both categories, it wasn’t easy to scrape together ten shining examples of excellence in entertainment. Which isn’t to say the ten on this list are less than stellar in my own opinion. But with the exception of the first few spots, I wasn’t blown away by much of what the world of punk and quasi-punk had to offer this year. I can only hope that means that old man punk rock has been saving all his gems for 2015.

Below are my top ten picks for the best punk (and punk-ish) releases of 2014.

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DS Exclusive: 2014 – A Year in Concert Pictures (milhouse)

Posted by milhouse on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 12:43 PM (PST)

2015 is nearly upon us, and as visions of upcoming concerts dance through my mind, I reflect on the year that has passed. I think about the concerts I was able to attend, and those that slipped through the cracks. The new friends made, the old friends re-acquainted, the massive heaps of beer, bruises and cuts, hangovers, lost voices, and of course the photos – without which many memories may have gone by the gutter. My photos are like my children, and having to choose favorites just seems so unfair, but there are clearly some standouts.

The year’s first show featured a Dying Scene favorite, Chuck Ragan, with some other incredible moments over the year including joining Bum City Saints for a studio session in February, the annual trip to Las Vegas for Punk Rock Bowling in May, Pirates Press‘ 10th Anniversary shows in October, interviewing Blood or Whiskey in November, and more that I’m sure I’m leaving out. To my surprise and delight, I was able to see one of my all-time favorite bands, Cock Sparrer, four times this year, as well as having the opportunity to present Colin with a framed concert print of himself. Outstanding! Swingin’ Utters, La Plebe, Lagwagon, and others were among many bands whom I would get to see multiple times over the course of 2014.

I have narrowed down my collection to 30 of my favorite shots that I took during 2014, and some of the winners include Nihilist Cunt, Bishops Green, Anti-Nowhere League, Cock Sparrer (of course), Bum City Saints, Street Dogs, Laura Jane Grace, The Adicts, Angelic Upstarts, Total Chaos, and more. Have a look at a year in concert pictures below. Above shot not included in the 30 is PPR owner Skippy stage-diving at an after-party Cock Sparrer show – epic.

Big thanks to Skippy of PPR, Ian of Chapter Eleven, Jay from DS, Alberto from La Plebe, and everyone else who helped make this year amazing!!

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DS Exclusive: 2014 – A Year in Concert Pictures (Meredith)

Posted by Hopeless Romantic on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 3:50 PM (PST)

Descendents

As 2014 comes to a close, I have been reviewing my year in concert photography. It was a great year for music (you can check out my top 10 album list here), which also resulted in a great year for touring. I am lucky to live in Los Angeles, where you can catch live music every night of the week. My fiancé and I try to go to as many shows as possible, including both Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas and Riot Fest in Chicago.

I shot my first show in January and wrapped up my last gallery this past week. Throughout the year, I was able to photograph Off With Their Heads with The Menzingers, MxPx, The Lawrence Arms and Nothington, Propagandhi, The Flatliners, and War On Women, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes with Bad Cop/Bad Cop (a band I shot multiple times over the year), The Bombpops (another band I shot multiple times), Good Riddance with Direct Hit!, Joyce Manor, The Vandals’ Fourth of July eve show AND their Christmas Formal, and the Cyber Tracks Christmas Show (featuring the Implants, Counterpunch, and Ten Foot Pole), just to name a few. The ultimate highlight of my year was shooting the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival in Las Vegas, which included the Descendents, NOFX, Against Me!, Bad Cop/Bad Cop, Masked Intruder, The Generators, Cerebral Ballzy, Devil’s Brigade, Face To Face, Good Riddance, and OFF!.

Narrowing down all of those shots proved to be a difficult task, but you can check out my gallery below. Hopefully these photos make you smile and realize what an awesome year it has been. See you in 2015!

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DS Exclusive: 2014 – A Year in Concert Pictures (Jay Stone)

Posted by jaystone on Monday, December 29, 2014 at 1:02 PM (PST)

Regular Dying Scene readers may well be aware, I think 2014 was a pretty great year for music. If you need a refresher, here’s my “Best of 2014″ list. It wasn’t only a great year for new releases, however. I consider myself lucky to live in the greater Boston area and, thus, to have the ability to catch a lot of great live music. For myriad reasons, (many of which include having the opportunity to bring my wife and daughter to shows), 2014 may be one of my favorite concert-going years yet.

Here at Dying Scene, we’ve been trying to step up our live music coverage over the last couple of years. Because 2014 was full of so many great moments, I took the liberty of condensing a stellar year into a couple dozen shots that I was lucky enough to capture. Included are shots from three different Chuck Ragan shows (at three different venues), the Lagwagon/Swingin’ Utters tour, Dave Hause and Continental upstairs at the legendary Middle East nightclub (different shows), an intimate acoustic performance from Street Dogs at the Midway Cafe, two Frank Turner shows in the same day, two Against Me! shows (the first, a headlining show that also included Big Eyes, the latter an opening slot with The Gaslight Anthem), The Business and The Attack ripping up Church on a Wednesday night, and, of course, the Summer Nationals tour, featuring The Vandals, Bad Religion and The Offspring. A pretty great year indeed; check out our gallery here and stay tuned to see what 2015 has in store!

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DS Exclusive: Powernap premiere music video for “Girls from Bars”

Posted by Bizarro Dustin on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 9:00 AM (PST)

Today we’re excited to bring you the premiere of “Girls from Bars”, the newest music video from Montreal punk act Powernap. The song comes off the band’s brand new EP, Oreosmith, and is the fifth video that the band has released to promote the EP. Director Olivier Thériault, whose previous work includes the homemade video for Masked Intruder’s “Weirdo”, had this to say about “Girls from Bars”:

“[Powernap vocalist] Hugo Mudie gave me “carte blanche” for the video. And when I showed it to him, he told me that he felt like he was stoned, zapping in front of the TV of a cheap motel room after a show.”

The video features clips from various movies, TV shows, and internet videos. Take Mudie’s words into consideration and watch at your own risk below.

Powernap released Oreosmith earlier this month through Asian Man Records, and you can order your copy here

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Dying Scene Photo Set: Chuck Ragan and The Camaraderie, Cambridge, MA

Posted by jaystone on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 3:38 PM (PST)

Chuck Ragan wound down the 2014 touring cycle in support of (my favorite album of the year) Till Midnight (SideOneDummy Records) by getting his band, The Camaraderie, together for a jaunt through most of the northeastern United States. Dubbed the “Winter Haul,” the tour rolled through Cambridge, Massachusetts on a chilly Thursday night in December for a stay at The Sinclair, this writer’s choice for best venue in the greater Boston area. The Sinclair is one of those places that almost feels too fancy or classy for a punk rock show, though it doesn’t seem afraid to book high energy, high intensity shows (I’ve done previous show reviews from Face To Face/Teenage Bottlerocket/Blacklist Royals and Frank Turner/Rebuilder from that venue).

In many ways, it’s a perfect venue for the likes of Ragan, particularly in his solo work. The venue’s sound was crystal clear from jump street, which is important for the dynamic stylings of the Camaraderie. Having seen the same band at other venues, there can be a tendency for, say, Todd Beene’s pedal steel to get lost in the mix, or for Jon Gaunt’s fiddle to come in too bright, or for Chuck Ragan’s trademark field holler to overpower every damn thing in the place. The staff at Sinclair (not to turn this into an advertisement) seem to really know what they’re doing, allowing the band to sound at their absolute best.

And that they did. The lengthy set included Till Midnight in its entirety (though not in order), and a majority of 2012′s Covering Ground, as well as rowdy, rollicking crowd-pleasers like “California Burritos” and “The Boat.” Ragan also dedicated his “cover” of Hot Water Music’s “Drag My Body” to this “day job” band, presently in the midst of celebrating its twentieth year together. Also included was a cover of the great Cory Branan’s “Survivor Blues,” a rather intimidating song to try to pull off live given Branan’s unique vocal phrasing and inimitable guitar style. That said, there’s enough of an overlap between Ragan’s and Branan’s fanbases to turn the song into a fairly rollicking singalong in its own right, and Ragan seemed much appreciative of the crowd’s support and interaction.

Support on this night (and every night on this leg of the tour) came from Little Rock, Arkansas’ Adam Fawcett. Many in the crowd (myself included) were not overly familiar with Fawcett’s work, and as he sauntered on stage, he didn’t cut the stereotypical figure of an engaging frontman. Such a set of circumstances can sometimes lead to a less than enthused reaction from the crowd, but Fawcett quickly silenced any skeptics with his voice that, well, to be blunt, sounds like a goddamn angel. He’s definitely one to get into, and quick.

Check out our photo set from the night below.

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I’m not too proud to admit that when news broke a few months ago that Lagwagon and Swingin’ Utters were not only putting out new albums around the same time but teaming up for a tour surrounding those release, I had more than a momentary lapse into “16-year-old fanboy excitement mode.” You see, I’ve got a bit of a confession to make. It may result in the permanent revocation of my punk card, but whatever; I’m 35 years old, it’s been a good run. Though Lagwagon and the Utters have been firmly entrenched on my short list of favorite punk bands, it somehow happened that prior to December 2014, I had never seen either band in concert. (Actually, that’s not necessarily 100% true: I was at Warped Tour 1997, but I’m pretty sure Lagwagon were playing opposite Suicide Machines or something, since I have absolutely no recollection of their set.) 

Anyway, it should probably go without saying that I had December 3rd circled on my calendar from the moment the tour was announced, as that was the day the two bands, alongside opener This Legend, wound their way to Boston’s Brighton Music Hall. As the day approached, however, I became a little tentative about the show. Not about going to it, but about how well it would be received. See, Boston is a bit of a finicky place to play sometimes, particularly for some of the stalwarts of the 1990s punk explosion crowd. So an all ages show on a Wednesday night in December didn’t necessarily give yours truly a case of the warm fuzzies.

It is more than worth mentioning that any trepidation on my part was wildly inappropriate, as the venue was at or near capacity, resulting in a sweaty, raucous show, particularly during Lagwagon’s headlining set. (In the interest of full disclosure, yours truly arrived from suburbia just as This Legend were finishing their set. Early shows make for many a show-opener missed.) Though the show was admittedly not without its technical difficulties, the general consensus is that the issues plagued the bands more than they did the crowd. No names are necessary, but I think we all know that there are numerous bands well in to their second or third (or fourth…) decades that continue to phone in performances night after night, essentially serving as almost unrecognizable shells of their former selves. It should be stated for the record that both the Utters and Lagwagon remain at-or-near the top of their live performance game, and both have put out some of the more highly-touted releases of their respective careers in the very recent past. The current wave of popular punk bands…if there is such a wave…should take notes (and with two-thirds of up-and-coming Boston punk band The Barroom Heroes in attendance, it seems that’s exactly what was happening).

Check out our photo set below. 

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DS Interview: Tim Barry on being “Lost and Rootless”

Posted by jaystone on Monday, November 24, 2014 at 9:43 AM (PST)

Tim Barry has a well-earned, albeit Chuck Ragan-esque larger than life reputation of being a bit of a vagabond, the living embodiment of a character from a Tom Waits song. Hell, his last studio album, 2012′s 40 Miler (Chunksaah Records), is a tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating nod to his pastime of riding the rails.

Dying Scene caught up with Barry in early November to chat about Lost & Rootless, and it seems unquestionable that a lot has changed in the years since 40 Miler. Barry’s assumed new roles as a husband and a father; his wife, Sarah, and now-two-year-old daughter Lela Jane appear on the cover of his upcoming release, Lost & Rootless (due November 28th on Chunksaah), and a second daughter, Coralee, was born two weeks ago (editor’s note: Tim and I talked two days before Coralee was born, hence a couple of the references in the conversation below). If there were a time in his professional life where Barry should feel anything but lost and rootless, at least on paper, that time should be now, no?

“I don’t know where I stand. Like, voting day was yesterday. Who the fuck do I vote for? You know what I mean?” Barry asks rhetorically. “In so many aspects of contemporary life in the United States or life in music, who are my peers? I have very close road friends, but I’m lost and rootless. I don’t know…what genre of music do I play? In what group of train riders do I fit with? In what group of workers in Richmond do I fit?”

Those questions are at the core of a number of tracks on Lost & Rootless. This time around, though, the story songs and the scorched-earth vitriol that are part-and-parcel of much of Barry’s traditional work are replaced by what can only be referred to as lighter, happier fare. Marriage and fatherhood will do that to a man, and songs like “Older and Poorer” and “Lela Days” are prime examples of that. Still, it’s not all joy in Mudville: “While I was just on tour, we lost our fucking health insurance,” Barry tells me.  ”We have a baby due in two weeks. So what the fuck do we do? We’ve got a two-year-old, an insulin-dependent diabetic family member, which will bankrupt a family right there, and then you have a baby on the way with all the risks involved. And then someone presents to you this unrealistic fucking charge of $1850 a month for insurance? That’s why people lose their fucking insurance. That’s why people start hustling. That’s why you start doing anything you can to get by.”

Better than perhaps most songwriters going nowadays, Barry has an ability to tap directly into the vein that provides depth and feeling to any situation, and many examples of that abound throughout our conversation. Check out the full text of our interview below. It’s a long one, but it may well be the most candid, compelling read to appear on the pages of Dying Scene.

 

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DS Exclusive: A day in the studio with Rebuilder

Posted by jaystone on Monday, November 17, 2014 at 10:35 AM (PST)

Things are happening in the Rebuilder camp. Great things. Potentially awesome things, even.

The assorted members of the Boston-area five-piece spent the first week of November holed up in Getaway Recording, the Haverhill, Massachusetts, recording studio owned and operated by Jay Maas (pictured above) of Defeater fame. The goal? Recording their debut full-length, Rock And Roll In America. Due out in February 2015 on Panic State Records, ”RNRIA” will serve as follow-up to the band’s debut self-titled EP and their four-song Christmas EP, both released last year on their own Refuse Rethink Rebuild Records label. 

There’s a bit of a buzz growing around Rebuilder, and for good reason. Formed early last year from the ashes of bands like Dead Ellington, The Rimmons, The Great White North and occasionally Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One, the band have already shared the stage with the likes of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dropkick Murphys, Banner Pilot, and in a particularly triumphant two-night stay at the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA last spring, Frank Turner. The band recently wrapped an eleven date US/Canada tour during which they debuted all of the songs that’ll appear on Rock And Roll In America. Immediately upon returning home to Boston, the band jumped right into the studio. “The goal of that tour was to have all of the material down before coming here, rather than waste time in the studio figuring things out,” Ellington and Stanton tell me. I quote both of them, because the duo give the impression that they’re on the same page all the time, expounding on each others’ thoughts and words during our conversation.

Ah, perhaps I missed a step there. Yours truly had the privilege of joining Rebuilder’s Sal Ellington (lead vocals/guitar) and Craig Stanton (lead guitar) as they tracked guitars under Maas’ watchful eye. As stated above, Getaway Recording is located in a quiet residential street in an otherwise fairly rough, working-class Boston suburb. There’s little about the drive up through the nondescript neighborhood filled with newer Colonial-style houses like Maas’ that screams  ”high-profile hardcore punk recording studio,” except for maybe the American-made touring vans parked piggy-back style out front. Maas’ mini pinscher, Niles, came barreling out of the house upon my arrival, loudly (for a “min pin”) making his presence felt. This, my friends, is where the magic happens.

Admittedly, guitar day in the studio is not always the most dynamic of recording days. Drummer/tambourinist Brandon Phillips and bassist Daniel Carswell had spent the first part of the week committing their respective parts to tape (or hard drive, as it were), leaving Ellington and Stanton alone with Maas (and Niles) to lay down guitars before wrapping things up with vocals and Rick Smith’s keyboards by the week’s end. There’s something instantly comfortable and laid back about the setup at Getaway. The operation’s command center has the feel of a living room; the leather couches, Goose Island brews and Little Caesar’s Soft Pretzel Crust pizza (seriously guys…that’s a thing) certainly help.

As I arrived, Stanton was wrapping guitars for songs labelled on the white board as “Hope” and “Dread.” The former of those tracks Ellington would refer to as the album’s “pop track.” He’s not wrong, necessarily, though that understates the pop sensibilities of the remainder of what Rebuilder does. There’s a certain 90s-skate-punk-meets-post-punk quality to the area that is the Rebuilder wheelhouse; I’m instantly reminded of bands like No Motiv and Big Awesome, though perhaps Bouncing Souls-meets-Samiam is more appropriate. While laid-back in nature, Maas remains focused on getting the most out of the band. “The great thing about working with Jay,” Ellington tells me when Maas leaves the room to take a call from his band’s manager, “is that he already knows the sounds we’re looking for.” “Unlike maybe some other engineers who work on a broader variety,” Stanton adds,”Jay already speaks the same language. That makes things so much easier when you’re in the studio.”

After plowing through rhythm parts on the the last couple of songs, Stanton and Ellington, in that order, moved on to recording leads for a few of the album’s tracks. “We’re throwing out all the rules here,” Stanton stated jokingly at one point during a brief lull between takes, as the left-handed Ellington was trying to work out a part on Maas’ right-handed EverTuned Telecaster, while the right-handed Maas was trying to tune the left-handed Ellington’s Telecaster for a particular lead. Light-hearted nature that was the theme of the evening aside (“just a tad sexier” was Maas’ advice to Stanton after a not-particularly-sexy take at a lead on the album’s opening track, “Natty Bo”), Stanton’s quote wasn’t really all that much of a joke. Removed from anything that could be considered the context in which it was stated, Rebuilder were essentially formed by throwing out all of the rules that governed many of their other musical projects. “We’ve got four drummers in this band,” Ellington tells me. He, Stanton and Smith all play or have played drums in other projects. “And our drummer (Phillips) is one of the best guitar players around, easily better than the two of us,” Stanton adds.

Hey, if the philosophy worked for Neil Young when he put Crazy Horse together, there’s no reason it can’t help a band of Boston punks as it tries to help do its part in revitalizing a scene. Stay tuned for Rock And Roll In America…it’ll be worth the wait. Check out more pictures from my visit with the law firm of Ellington, Stanton and Maas below.

 

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Once upon a time not long ago, the future seemed very much unclear for Lagwagon. The seminal California punk band played occasional tours and festival shows, but the members each had what seemed to be increasingly-mounting outside obligations (perhaps most notably frontman Joey Cape also had his own increasingly busy solo career, he and drummer Dave Raun staying active in Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, former bassist Jesse Buglione leaving the band and being replaced by Joe Raposo, and Chris Rest joining No Use For A Name). Though they never officially went away, there were no plans to record any new material after the band’s 2005 ode to late-drummer Derrick Plourde, Resolve.

But a funny thing happened on what seemed to be the road to Hiatus-ville (or at least ‘Extended Break-town’). The band embarked on a lengthy tour in support of their 2011 Putting Music In Its Place boxed set. Somewhere on that run, the creative juices got flowing again. According to Cape, “something happened during that period of time where I felt like we kinda got re-fired up. A lot of synergy and chemistry came back into the band through that process.” Over the ensuing several years, Cape would begin writing new music specifically for Lagwagon. In spite of nearing the quarter-century mark fronting the band (and his own half-century mark on this planet), the music that Cape found himself writing was arguably the most aggressive, heavy music of his career. “It seems to me like it’s heavier than anything we’ve ever done!” He continues: “I think it’s a matter of where the band is now. We always try to make records that are appropriate to the collective personality the band has at the time. We all grew up on different kinds of music, metal and punk and rock and really heavy stuff. I think that most of the guys in my band prefer the really heavy stuff.”

But it wasn’t just angry music Cape was composing; the lyrics he found himself writing were also amongst the angriest of his career. “But the basic, central theme of the record is just my view of the world that I live in now, that I’m raising my daughter in. This is just a series of rants that (you’d hear) if you were my pal and hung out at the pub with me on a Wednesday night.” Fatherhood may have softened Cape in some ways, but it’s also made him more frustrated in the world around him. “I think it’s a bit cheesy to say that ‘we’ve got to hold on to hope,’ you know, because I honestly don’t have a lot of hope. That said, I’m dealing with what I’m dealing with, so how do I make the best of it.”

The result of Cape’s frustration and, perhaps, lack of hope is Hang. Due out October 28th on their longtime label home of Fat Wreck Chords, Hang is a dozen of the heaviest, most earnest songs that Lagwagon have recorded to wax. While much of the material is no doubt focused on society’s woes, there’s also an ode to the band’s longtime friend and touring partner Tony Sly, whose 2012 death rang loudly throughout all corners of the scene. While you might expect “One More Song” to be a mournful, acoustic number, in reality, it’s anything but. “I had no intention of writing a song for Tony like this because I just didn’t feel in this case that words or melodies or anything would really suffice. I didn’t feel like anything would be deep enough or good enough to represent anything that I wanted to say or feel. And I didn’t for a long time, but that song just kinda came out of the blue one day. I just couldn’t deny it, I had to do it.”

Head below to read our full, in-depth conversation with Cape. It’s a long one, we’ll admit, but it finds the always good-natured Caper in an honest, thoughtful and increasingly candid mood. Be sure to check out Lagwagon on the road with Swingin’ Utters and This Legend later this fall; full tour details here. Who knows…maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch Hang start to finish!

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I recently caught up with The Murderburgers frontman Fraser Murderburger. During the interview, we discussed his record label Round Dog Records, new songs being worked on for The Murderburgers, his new musical project with Flav Giorgini of Squirtgun called The Phase Problem and loads more.

You can read it below.

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The Gaslight Anthem (L to R): Alex R., Brian, Benny, Ian, Baby Wade and Alex L.

While it may be a little self-serving to admit, news that The Gaslight Anthem were bringing Against Me! out as direct support for the first US leg of the U.S tour in support of Get Hurt quickly made for one of the more eagerly-anticipated concert events in recent memory (save, maybe, for the nostalgia-inducing Summer Nationals tour that featured The Vandals, Pennywise and Bad Religion supporting The Offspring as the latter band celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their breakthrough hit album, Smash). In this lowly writer’s opinion, both Get Hurt and Against Me’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues have been on the short list of Best Albums of 2014 since their very spins on the trusty old record player.

Technically speaking, this writer must offer a mea culpa to Twopointeight: the Swedish punks were first opener on this evening, however the early start time and infamous Boston traffic and parking conundrums meant that, like many people, I was unable to catch the majority of the band’s set. Next time, fellas…next time.

While I haven’t talked to her in order to confirm my suspicions, I strongly believe that while 2014 may have been trying in myriad ways (the least of which include replacing the band’s entire rhythm section and dealing with patronizingly tone-deaf reviews of Transgender Dysphoria Blues by at least one major publication with whom I share a last name), performing the intensely personal new album live alongside longtime friend and bandmate James Bowman appears to have had immense cathartic value for Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace. Grace has made a career of being the type of intense, cut-a-vein-open-and-bleed-out-on-stage performer that the foundation of the protest punk ethos was built upon. And while that intensity is still ever-present, what’s equally obvious is the amount of fun that Grace is having (despite, on this night, seemingly being plagued by a little vocal hoarseness as the night went on). The rhythm section of the great Atom Willard (drums) and Inge Johannson (bass) paced the charge, each playing like a man possessed (the latter an almost comically demonic end, as evidenced in the pictures below) as the band ripped through “Pints Of Guinness Make You Strong” as the opening song. What followed was a fairly decent career-spanning forty-five minute set. Highlight tracks from the Transgender Dysphoria Blues, including the title track, “True Trans Soul Rebel” and “Black Me Out” have a natural home alongside longtime favorites like “I Was a Teenage Anarchist” and “Don’t Lose Touch.” Though the crowd was not perhaps a stereotypical AM! crowd given their opening slot, the bulk of the audience seemed just as energized by Against Me!’s set as they were with the headliners.

Though Against Me!’s current lineup has only been touring as a unit for under a year, they’ve quickly solidified as a tight, dynamic force on stage. When in a support role, this has the effect of keeping the headliners honest, making sure that the main act are primed and loaded for bear.  The Gaslight Anthem responded in kind with all guns blazing, ripping through a tight rendition of Get Hurt opener “Stay Vicious.” As expected, the band’s stellar new album featured prominently in the set (seven of the twenty-one TGA originals). Those familiar with a little of the back story in the Gaslight camp over the past year or so will note that, like Against Me!, the band (and frontman Brian Fallon) have been met with a fair amount of personal and professional tumult. And while Get Hurt can unquestionably be referred to as Fallon’s breakup album, one can’t help but notice that 2014-era Brian Fallon seems to play with a bit of a weight no longer on his shoulders. Indeed, perhaps the only person on stage all night visibly getting more enjoyment out of playing live more than Laura Jane Grace on this night was Fallon, whose smile seemed welded on as a permanent part of his face. His trademark between-song banter was lighthearted (introducing “Blue Jeans And White T-Shirts” as the “most circle-pit inspiring song we have” in response to some good-natured ribbing from an audience member).

There was perhaps a Pearl Jam-esque arena rock quality to the band’s set, though the requisite “for the old school fans” songs like “We Came To Dance” and “1930” fit in nicely amongst a set primarily culled from the band’s post-’59 Sound catalog. While some in the crowd may have questioned the band for closing with a cover, The Who’s classic high-energy, youth rock pre-punk paean (and longtime Pearl Jam live staple) “Baba O’Riley” seemed to accurately capture where the band are a decade into their career. Perhaps we (and I’m including myself in this) can finally knock off the cheap Vedder and Springsteen comparisons and fully appreciate what The Gaslight Anthem are: not only willing but, more importantly, perfectly capable of maintaining the authentic, songwriter-inspired American rock and roll torch for years going forward.

Check out our gallery of Against Me! and The Gaslight Anthem photos from the show below. Click on the actual pictures to see ‘em in all their full-sized glory!

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