Search Results for "DS Exclusive"

DS Photo Gallery: The Falcon w/ Kyle Kinane, Arms Aloft & Typesetter (Chicago, IL)

On the eve before Thanksgiving, The Falcon took one last flight before calling it a day, donning their hoods and being placed back in their mews (yeah okay, so I may have Googled some falcon facts or whatever). The four-piece played their last show for the foreseeable future at the Metro in their – kind of – hometown of Chicago. Joining them to round out an amazingly strong lineup were Wisconsin’s Arms Aloft and comedian Kyle Kinane along with Chicago locals, Typesetter.

As all great Metro shows go, the pre-party drink-a-thon started next door at GMan, a bar owned and operated by Metro. For those of you not from the Chicagoland area, GMan is the equivalent of the music scene’s Cheers. There is rarely a time when I cross the threshold without instantly recognizing a few faces; tonight was no different. As I grabbed my Tito’s and soda, I noticed an eight top of friends on one side of the bar and as I walked into the newly remodeled back room, there were about twenty more. The chatter mostly pertained to holiday plans, right wing gun toting uncles and a headcount of how many Malort shots everyone would be doing before the night’s end. I took that as my cue to leave and walk over to the venue.

The room was bare but slowly filling up as Typesetter took the stage. While I’ve covered a number of shows at Metro, I have never been on the photography end of the coverage. Ready to pop my photo cherry, I plodded into the photo pit with my camera out and ready to go. “You can’t have that,” a staff member told me as I passed. “No flash.” He was pointing at my external flash. Ladies and gentlemen, we have just reached the first panic inducing obstacle of the evening. I removed the flash, politely thanked him (always be kind to the venue staff!) and began to pray. Dear Annie Leibovitz – wait you’re not dead. Either way, please don’t let me fuck this up too badly without a flash. After some setting adjustments, I started to see images on my display screen again, hoped for the best and started to calm down.

After frequenting as many shows per week as I possibly can cram into schedule, I have somehow mysteriously never seen Typesetter in the four plus years since I’ve moved back to Chicago. This is not for lack of effort on their part either; they’re always playing. But I was finally able to witness what my friends have been raving about. The five piece plays indie rock that may border on shoegaze. (Complete disclosure: I’m too old to understand what that definition means anymore). Ferocious and melodic, Typesetter plowed through their set as a strong opener for the night.

Arms Aloft was next on the bill for the evening. While the band may still be slightly under the radar throughout most of the country, they have been playing and cultivating a decent sized fan base here in Chicago for years. Their latest LP entitled What A Time To Be Barely Alive was released earlier this year to rave reviews. It’s the perfect commentary on the state of our existence, especially with the results of the recent presidential election. Their set consisted of a decent mix of old and new. But that didn’t seem to matter to the crowd, who were shouting along to every word.

I had previously interviewed Kyle Kinane a week before this show and before he even had joined the tour. The one thing that came across loud and clear was his concern for what could go wrong when being strangely slotted between two musical acts. How would the energy of the crowd hold up? How would the audience feel about just standing around while he paced on stage? His concerns started to meld with mine. How do you actively photograph someone who isn’t moving much? What if all my photos look the same? How do you write a review of a comedian? (Note: apparently, you just talk about your fears and pose a lot of questions to waste line space!). But as soon as Kyle came onstage, all of that went out the window. I thought he was hilarious, as always, and the audience seemed to agree. He even shot down a drunken heckler with the greatest of ease as he joked that he would love to be able to just break into a song and drown out the drunk at that exact moment. All in all, I think that the change in pace of the lineup was well received.

The room went dark. I could no longer see the back of the crowd as I looked beyond the barricade from the photo pit. Someone tried to start up the “Hen-nes-sey” chant before the band was even on stage. Too soon, bro! Too soon. But, it was finally time for The Falcon. The four-piece super-group took the stage to Star Wars’ “The Imperial March”, which was a strangely fitting choice. The band members were introduced just before they rapidly broke out into “Sergio’s Here”, the latest single from Gather Up the Chaps. “War of Colossus”, “If Dave Did It”, “The Routes We Wander”, “You Dumb Dildos” “Unicorn Odyssey” and “They Angry Cry…” also made appearances on the set list. Should I go listing song after song? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Just click around on your iTunes and pretend you were there. That song? Yeah, I’m pretty sure they played that one.

Brendan explained to the crowd that the whole of the band was either sick or fighting off terrible colds. The stage presence did seem a little forced in comparison to the other times I had seen The Falcon throughout the year. But that had little impact on the actual performance of the songs. If a sick and somewhat hoarse Brendan Kelly can power through “Hasselhoff Cheeseburger”, then you can do anything. The audience didn’t seem to take note either, as they screamed along to songs about drinking, blacking out, cocaine and black teeth. As the set ended, the band dismounted the stage and infiltrated the audience as ‘You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon played in the background. They rallied up the audience for one last conga line that became so long that it snaked its way through one door of the Metro and out another. Although it was a party trick that I had seen at their previous shows, it still hadn’t gotten old and somehow it remained the perfect last hurrah of The Falcon… at least for now.

Check out our full photo gallery from the evening’s festivities below!



DS Exclusive: Ryan Young (Off With Their Heads) on “Won’t Be Missed,” touring as an acoustic act, and the prospects of a Donald Trump presidency

On the eve of gigantic clusterfuck that was the recent US Presidential election, yours truly caught up with the one-and-only Ryan Young from his hotel room in Knoxville, Tennessee. For reasons that are personal and professional, I’ve long been an admirer of Ryan’s work both with Off With Their Heads and with the Anxious & Angry podcast and merchandise venture, and find his unabashed and unapologetic way talking about the hard and painful and uncomfortable shit that so many people have gone through is not just refreshing, but that it’s actually been more helpful at normalizing issues of mental health, substance abuse, etc.,than it’s gotten credit for. So when news of Young’s then-upcoming acoustic album, Won’t Be Missed, broke, it seemed the perfect opportunity to pick his brain and, honestly, to find out how he’s been.

The initial intent, obviously, was to discuss not just Won’t Be Missed, but to delve into the transition from an angry, loud, plugged-in four-piece to an angry, stripped down acoustic duo (“Nice John” is joining Young in the acoustic incarnation of Off With Their Heads). But let’s face it; by the time we actually touched base, it was the night before the country ended up electing the Personified Fart that is Donald J. Trump. Young had been touring through the South in the days leading up to that fateful day, and was presently holed up in said Knoxville hotel on an off day. Voting booths on the Eastern seaboard were about twelve hours from opening, and the general pall over the country, particularly those over those of us who care about people and about helping people get better and about looking out for each other, and who are concerned with the concept of general human decency, was just plain weird. Like, fucking shit tons of weird. To that end, you can probably guess where our conversation steered itself pretty quickly, although the two main threads (Young’s professional careers and the coming Trumpification of America) found themselves pretty interwoven pretty quickly.

I’m going to let the text of the interview speak for itself on this one, because in transcribing and editing it, I actually enjoyed reading it and watching how the conversation evolved. So without further adieu, head below to check out our discussion. Once you read all the way through, you’ll find OWTH’s upcoming tour dates at the bottom. Go hang out. And check out Won’t Be Missed right here while you’re at it.

 



November’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

Rise on Everest

Thanksgiving always throws off our timing on Hidden Gems but I guess it’s better late than never, right? RIGHT!??! Look, 2016 has been rough on all of us in one aspect or another but as we near it’s end, we would like to thank you for reading and hope that our silly little article has made this tough, bitter pill of a year a little easier to swallow. This month, we’ve got six sick bands that we’re betting you haven’t heard of, to help get you over this last, awful gulp. Check out November’s stellar selections below and then we’ll see you back here next month for our year end blowout!



DS Exclusive: Brendan Kelly on The Falcon taking a break, firing up the Lawrence Arms and the Wandering Birds…and punching babies in the face?

Dying Scene last touched base with the inimitable Brendan Kelly back in early February. At the time, we discussed the budding relaunch of The Falcon, a band that had already been a pseudo-supergroup and was now adding Dave Hause to the lineup. The band’s first album in close to a decade, Gather Up The Chaps, was still a month-or-so from being released. The band’s first-ever tour dates were booked, but hadn’t kicked off yet. Donald Trump hadn’t yet won so much as a primary, his Presidential bid still widely considered a punchline.

When we learned that The Falcon were going to take a break of indeterminate length after their recent bunch of tour dates, we decided it would be the perfect time to catch up with Beex again to bookend what some (read as: nobody but me until just now) have referred to as The Year Of The Falcon. As it turns out, an awful lot can happen in nine fucking months. Gather Up The Chaps was released to stellar reviews. The initial run of a dozen-or-so tour dates ended up extending to close to four-dozen dates in three countries over the better part of the year. And Personified Fart Donald J. Trump is President-Elect of the United States of America. Talk about taking the good with the bad…

We caught up with Beex in person prior to The Falcon’s recent gig at Firehouse 13 in Providence as a bit of a postmortem on the latest incarnation of the band. “This is it for a while,” says Kelly rather diplomatically, before quickly pointing out that it is not, by any means, the end of The Falcon as we know it. “This is just the last tour on the album cycle. And while there may not be any pending Falcon plans in the near future, don’t you dare use the ‘H-word’ to describe the break in the action. “You know what annoys me?” asks Kelly before diving immediately into the otherwise rhetorical question. “So many bands make these giant proclamations where they’re like (*mock rock star voice*) ‘We’re going on hiatus now.’…It seems to me that it’s just simply a press release so that they can still maintain a little bit of juice while they’re not active on the road. I don’t need to get into any of that nonsense.”

So instead referring to that-which-shall-not-be-named, we’ll call it what it ultimately is: the end of an album cycle.  we just toured on the record, and now tour’s over and there’s other things to do. We’re (all) still cool.” Instead of diving in to a new tour or a new studio album, the individual Power Rangers will focus on their other projects before someday returning to initiate the Falcon Megazord again some day. Hause, for starters, has his third solo studio album in the bag, set for release this coming February. And Kelly? “The next thing I want to do is put out a Wandering Birds record,” he says, much to the delight of yours truly, who still finds I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever amongst his favorite albums of the last half-decade. He adds: “I think The Lawrence Arms needs to get back out on the road a little bit, to remind people that we exist.”

Still, in spite of the fact that the one door closing temporarily allows for the reopening of a few other awesome doors, there are those among us who A) really dig the resurgent Falcon and especially dig Gather Up The Chaps and B) who can envision this project existing as a regular thing going forward. While Kelly is quick to point out that a lot of people seem to agree that this album is something to be proud of and that the shows are a lot of fun, he also points out that “it’s important for us to keep it a little bit lean in order to keep it interesting,” perhaps mindful of making sure they don’t overstay their welcome. He explains: “It’s important to be cognizant of what you’re throwing out there. We’re not a young, hungry, up-and-coming band, like PUP or something where people see it and are like “oh my gosh! There’s this new band you’ve never heard of! You have to come!” With us, it’s like “oh, it’s those guys that you’ve seen in various incarnations for the last twenty years!”

The Falcon project, and the addition of Hause in particular, seems to have recharged Kelly a bit, opening his mind to new, or at least different, ways of working. “It’s easy to get surrounded,” says Kelly, particularly of his working relationship with Andriano, with whom he’s been working since their mid-teenage years in Slapstick, “in this echo chamber, where we all grew up doing things the same way, and now we come into this band, and it’s like “oh, you’re a meticulous, attention-to-detail kind of guy. You’re very precise!” Where meanwhile, I’m more improve, you know what I mean?  That tension is really cool, and it’s informed my worldview. I think it’s informed Dave’s worldview. I think we’ve learned a lot from each other. That’s kinda the coolest part about this journey so far, for me.”

For Kelly and his bandmates, and for many of us, it seems from Jump Street that the prospects of a Brendan Kelly-Dan Andriano-Neil Hennessy-Dave Hause supergroup taking the scene by storm seemed to be more than a little awe-inspiring. “Whenever you start doing something new, you get that kind of “new girlfriend syndrome,” where you think, like, “this is going to be the best ever!” There was a point where I think we all had pretty grandiose ideas about what was going to happen,” Kelly explains, his voice still full of excitement at the prospects. Did those things happen? No. But it’s been awesome. It’s been really, really fun. We’ve made great friends, we’ve played great shows, we’ve become closer as dudes. Those things are so much more invaluable than some sort of fleeting twenty minutes of playing the big stage at Reading or whatever. That shit is fleeting and comes and goes. The real building-blocks experiences out of this have been totally beyond my expectations.”

And so, it’s on to the next phase, and on to writing music under the umbrella of a Trump Presidency. But he’s also, got to get a real job. “My job kinda…ended. I was like a permanent freelancer at this ad agency, and they let go all the freelancers at once. And I had been there for four years. So…I mean it’s fine. But I’ve got to get a job.” That’s a bit more of a daunting task when you’re forty, and when you’ve only had to get a job once before. “The thing is, I never really had a job before. I’ve always done this. The band I was in in high school (Slapstick) was fortunate enough that, through whatever stroke of cosmic dumbassery, we became very popular and I haven’t had to have a real job since then. I’ve been lucky enough to stay on the road and keep making music. So this job that I was at for four years was the first job I ever had… before that…”drank beer in a van for twenty-five years!”

Something tells us that ol’ Beex will do just fine for himself. Head below to check out our full interview. We talk about more than just The Falcon, naturally. There’s the whole but about “punching babies in the face,” and a particularly interesting story about an encounter with a fan in Texas while on the tour as a seventeen-year-old that continues to influence the way that he writes music as a forty-year-old! And if you’re so inclined, check out our photo gallery from the aforementioned Providence show here.



DS Photo Gallery: The Falcon w/ Kyle Kinane, Arms Aloft, Rebuilder + Jenn Lombari (Providence, RI)

It probably goes without saying that the reemergence of The Falcon over the last year from their previously indefinite period of hibernation has been one of the coolest and most welcome bright spots over the course of the miserable year that was 2016. (Wait…do falcons hibernate? They don’t, do they? Should have thought that metaphor through.) Dave Hause was added to the already heavyweight lineup of Brendan Kelly, Dan Andriano and Neil Hennessy, and together they put together what’s easily one of the year’s best and most interesting albums (Gather Up The Chaps, Red Scare Industries). they also hit the road for the first ever Falcon tours, playing somewhere in the neighborhood of four-dozen shows across the country (and one at Groezrock) since April.

The Falcon might be the musical brainchild of the delightfully twisted Kelly, and it may have started all those years ago as a fun studio side project, but in a very real sense, they have morphed into a “band” on stage in surprisingly quick fashion. Dying Scene was lucky enough to be at the first show of the Gather Up The Chaps tour in Cambridge back in April, and to have been at one of the last shows for the foreseeable future in Providence last week. In some ways, both shows served as apropos bookends to what was a fun and disturbing train wreck of a year. The Providence gig, rather perfectly, took place at Firehouse 13, a 160-year-old former working firehouse that’s been repurposed as a bar/concert venue after a lying dormant in the middle of a sketchy neighborhood for roughly a quarter of a century. It’s a gritty, no-frills kind of space that, according to the locals, also used to house a swingers club upstairs. Now, what’s great about this apparent set-up is that the holes that used to surround the firepoles are now just plexiglass skylights, meaning that if you’re upstairs, you’ve got a clear view of the concert space below and vice versa. So…do the math in your head on this one, kids. Anyway, both on paper and in practice, it seemed the ideal setting for a band like The Falcon.

Over the span of a little more than an hour, the band ripped through the bulk of The Falcon’s recorded catalog, drawing equally from Gather… and from their Hause-less 2006 debut full-length, Unicornography. It’s a bit of a strange phenomenon when a band goes on its first real tour ten years into their history of making music, creating a situation where all of the fans present are hearing the music for the first time, meaning that decade-old songs like “The La-Z-Boy 500″ and “Little Triggers” and “Blackout” appear woven into a setlist alongside newer tracks like “Sergio’s Here,” “Hasslehoff Cheeseburger,” and the deceptively powerful “Black Teeth.” I’ve mentioned on these pages before that drummer Neil Hennessy is one of the more vastly underrated drummers in the scene, and I’m not entirely sure that a Falcon set would operate as seamlessly as it does without Hennessy behind the kit, particularly with music that is as purposely flawed and angular as the subject matter here. If this run is, in fact, the last run for The Falcon for the foreseeable future, both live experiences Dying Scene has covered this year have been positive, fun evenings that left showgoers privileged to know that they had just witnessed something pretty effing cool.

Stand-up comic Kyle Kinane provided direct support on this leg of The Falcon’s tour. Kinane has collaborated with fellow Illinoisian Kelly in the past, and due in part to Kelly’s belief that The Falcon’s sound is left-of-center enough to not necessarily allow for a sonic perfect fit of a touring partner, now seemed the perfect opportunity to hit the road with each other. On paper, it might sound a little strange for a bill at a punk show to feature local openers and a national touring band before a stand-up comic would have the effect of driving down the energy level of the crowd, the exact opposite intended effect of an opening act. But Kyle Kinane is different. Having been in and around the punk scene for the last few decades (Google his set at SideOneDummy Storytellers to get that rundown, or, hell, just go here), Kinane has a grasp of not only what it means to be in front of a punk rock crowd, but what it means to be in the crowd itself, perfectly cognizant of both the sense of community and the searching for relief that so many of the rest of us are. Kinane’s fifty-ish minute set contained pitch-perfect bits about getting kicked out of Canada due to a years’ old DUI arrest in the States, his love of ghost-hunter shows (in spite of their logical fallacies), and perhaps most poignantly, a great and seemingly newly written topical riff about the Ku Klux Klan.

Arms Aloft, the Wisconsin-based four-piece whose Red Scare Industries released full length What A Time To Be Barely Alive is one of the best albums of this calendar year, also serve as touring support on this run. Led by passionate frontman Seth Gile, Arms Aloft play a fierce, emboldend version of punk rock that still maintains some hooky, poppy sensibilities, with boldly left-leaning lyrics that hearken to the core of what socially-conscious protest punk is all about. Like most of us Gile and the fellas are not only pissed off but seemingly legitimately scared about the direction the country took a couple of weeks ago, and while the knee-jerk reaction for many might be to run and hide (or move to Canada), they seem emboldened to fight on, to rail against racism and sexism and hatred and intolerance (not to mention the bullshit going on in Standing Rock), and that’s a really great thing. We’re going to need a few brazen torchbearers, and that’s exactly what Arms Aloft can be.

It’s probably no secret to anybody that checks Dying Scene on the regular that Boston-based punk band Rebuilder ranks pretty high up on my list of favorites. They served as the second local opener on this night and, even correcting for my personal feelings for the quintet, they always are more than deserving of the times that they get to share the stage with much bigger acts. Rebuilder live is a lesson in controlled intensity, as none of the five have much of a penchant for leaving anything on the stage (although, on this night, bassist Daniel Carswell would, in fact, leave the stage for a little bit, searching for a replacement four-string after a technical malfunction with his own). Co-frontmen Sal Medrano and Craig Stanton have an interesting stage relationship, having played together long enough that they push and pull against each other without managing to step on each other sonically in the process.

Rhode Island’s own Jenn Lombari served as local opener, kicking the evening off not long after doors opened at Firehouse 13. Normally one-third of the awesome pop-punk band Lucky United, Lombari took to the stage on this night armed with only an acoustic guitar and her dynamic voice as she scorched through a set that included songs from her own solo catalog and from her “day job” band. Lombari is passionate, and has a lyrical wheelhouse that deals with loss and unrequited love in a way that’s inspired by the high points (yes, you know there were some) of the emo heyday, without coming across as overly saccharine or sappy.

Check out our full photo gallery below!



Belvedere talk Canadian punk scene, new UK tour dates, and a lot more in fan Q&A

In our first attempt at an interactive video Q&A interview singer Steve Rawles of Canadian skate punk veterans Belvedere braved the interwebs to answer 40 questions posed to him from fans around the world. A lot of ground was covered including pre-show rituals, recording of their new album “The Revenge of the Fifth”, the future of melodic punk, upcoming UK shows and festivals, why they decided to go on hiatus after “Fast Forward Eats The Tape”,… ah, hell, just check out all the questions that were posed right here and play the ones that most tickle your fancy!

Belvedere released The Revenge of the Fifth on May 5th through Bird Attack (US), Effervescence(FR), Funtime (BE), and Lockjaw Records (UK).



DS Exclusive: Nathan Leigh (Folk) Premieres Music Video For New Song “The Slumlord’s Kids”

When they said a Trump presidency would be good for punk music,we figured it would most likely start with the folk punkers! This modern day renaissance man (musician, activist, author, playwright and “other stuff sometimes”) has fired the opening salvo with “The Slumlord’s Kids”. The song itself is incredibly rustic, honest and of course, anti-establishment but we enjoyed the video built around the song even more, with it’s dashes of Bob Dylan inspiration. If you’re in the Burroughs, you can catch his next hometown show on December 21st at the Way Station in Brooklyn. The rest of us will just have to settle for watching the video below!



DS Exclusive: Feral Ponies debut title track from upcoming “Blame It On The Classics” full-length

Dying Scene are stoked to debut a brand new track from Newark, Delaware’s Feral Ponies! The track is called “Blame It On The Classics,” and it serves as the title track to the band’s upcoming full length album. Check it out below.

“Blame It On The Classics” is due out December 10th on Panic State Records. Like what you hear? You can pre-order the album on vinyl right here or at the link on the player down below if you’re in to that sort of thing (and you are). The album artwork (pictured above) was designed by the band’s bass player, Pat Higgins, and comes with 3-D glasses!



DS Exclusive: For I Am (Pop Punk) Covers Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” in New Music Video

We’re not quite sure how the whole Taylor Swift/punk music cross-over thing came about, but the craze has now made it’s way to Antwerp, Belgium!  Flemish phenoms, For I Am are the latest punk act to pay tribute to the ubiquitous singer/songwriter with their cover of “Blank Space”, which will be featured on their upcoming record, due out in early 2017 via Bearded Punk Records.  As a teaser for the new album, the female fronted fivesome also debuted a music video for the raucous rendition. Get an exclusive first peak, below!

For I Am’s last release was the debut EP, 15 Minutes Lates. in 2015.



DS Feature: Stacey Dee (Bad Cop/Bad Cop) – The Fall and Rise of a True Punk Rock Lifer

The music scene in general, and the punk scene more specifically, is notoriously riddled with tales of immensely talented artists who were taken from us way before their respective times should have been up. Many of them turned in to tragic figures, at least in hindsight, due to their respective early passings due to having succumbed to addictions, accidental overdoses, insurmountable mental health issues, or some combination therein. For specific examples, one needs to look no further than the present entry on their This Week In Punk History calendar, which marks not only what would have been the 46th birthday of the great Tony Sly, but the one-year anniversary of the death of Teenage Bottlerocket drummer Brandon Carlisle.

And yet, as long as the list of tragic, gone-before-their-time punk rockers is, there is a small but growing list of punk rockers who’ve waded through the muck and the mire that is drug addiction and come out the other side all the better for it. A non-scientific survey of this writer’s memory bank finds current and former members of Social Distortion, NOFX, Dropkick Murphys, Street Dogs, Strung Out, The Loved Ones, Fake Problems, and no doubt countless others who have put down the bottle or the baggie or the pipe or the needle in years past and still continued to make powerful, meaningful work. Hell, even the inimitable Fat Mike got rather notoriously sober over the last year, if only for a while.

That small-but-growing list can add to it one of the more powerful female figures in the current punk scene: Stacey Dee. After starting to play guitar at the comparatively late age of twenty, Dee spent years in bands like The Angry Amputees and Compton SF and Blacktop Idol and Park Royal before finally striking gold with Bad Cop / Bad Cop. The four-piece all-female “freight train of fuck yeah!” signed to Fat Wreck Chords, released one of the best albums of last year (Not Sorry), and have toured fairly regularly, including the seven-week, nationwide run as direct support for The Interrupters that they’re currently about halfway through.

Yet just as quickly as the BC/BC freight train started to pick up significant speed last year by way of their opening spot on the Fat Wreck Chords 25th anniversary tour, there was, in hindsight, the very real possibility that things could have derailed for Dee in rather dramatic fashion. A combination of years of Xanax abuse coupled with increasing amounts of alcohol, painkillers, and, as it turns out, bad cocaine in Minneapolis resulted in a bottoming out that left Dee at a crossroads: get clean and fast, or lose everything and faster.

But let’s back up. Because while stories of redemption after years of despair and descent into the abyss (and this is certainly one of them) pull at the heartstrings, it sometimes helps to start the tape at the beginning to provide context and understanding. Stacey Dee grew up in California, the daughter of a working-class singer-songwriter father. “I grew up in a very rock-and-roll, drug-infused party house,” says Dee, adding that while she considers her parents great and “fun as shit,” they also did little to impose boundaries or discipline. This marks the first of a couple of themes from childhood that would rear their heads going forward.

As should be apparent, Dee grew up in a musical household, and learned piano and drums at a relatively early age. Upon reflecting on that childhood, Dee reports “knowing that from the time I was four or five years old, if you had asked me what I wanted to be, I was going to be a famous singer… I always fucking knew.” That said, the guitar playing and the songwriting that not only marked how her father made his living but would eventually come much, much later; Dee didn’t start playing guitar until the age of twenty. So if you know from the age of four or five that you want to be famous in music, why not pick up a guitar early on? “I was real poor growing up, but I came from an affluent area,” she explains. “I couldn’t have nobody like me because I was poor. I couldn’t have it. So all of my energy went into making sure people liked me, and that was a problem I had up until this last year, even.” Instead of focusing on what she knew was her passion, Dee focused from an early age on being accepted by other people. Herein lies the second of our recurring themes…

After the breakup of a long-term relationship, Dee finally picked up an acoustic guitar at the age of twenty and armed with a few newly-discovered barre chords, she followed her instincts by moving to Santa Barbara, an early baby step toward taking a gamble on herself, and to support what would eventually become her career. She would return home from Santa Barbara three years later with a budding confidence in her newfound talent for songwriting and a desire to be “that girl in the punk rock band,” but also with a decent taste of the ‘real world.’ “I got this pretty good job for a twenty-three year-old kid — I was selling floors, making almost 50 grand a year, which wasn’t bad,” states Dee. While the job provided a certain comfort level and while she and her boss remained friendly, they also engaged in a fair amount of butting of heads. As Dee tells it, “one day, he came downstairs and he was mad at me about something. And he was like ‘I want you to lock all these doors, go upstairs, and write me a letter about how you plan to better yourself as a human being!’ And I wrote him a letter of resignation, and decided that day that music was going to be my life.”

And so began a life of splitting time between semi-stable temp jobs and a series of bands with varying levels of success, perhaps most notably The Angry Amputees. A European tour with said band brought her in contact with the man she’d eventually marry and move to the UK to be with. After a stay across the pond, the pair eventually moved to Los Angeles, where their marriage would start to deteriorate. As is the case when any relationship goes belly-up, there are obviously myriad things that can be pointed to as the catalyst for the demise of Dee’s marriage. For starters, says Dee, “around 32 or 33, a really bad thing happened in my marriage and it wasn’t my fault. I’m still trying to find what my place in all of that was, but it was really damaging.” Moreover, there was perhaps more importantly what Dee perceived as a lack of spousal support of her musical aspirations. Remember that point about growing up with a lack of boundaries and structure and normalcy? Dee’s husband, she says “wanted to be a firefighter and he wanted me to be a nurse and have that whole white picket life, and I wanted to be that person so bad. My whole life I wanted to be that person. And this is going to make me cry, but I never had that life, so I don’t know what that person is.”

And then there were the drugs, specifically benzodiazepines. “Somebody in my family had started getting a prescription for Xanax,” says Dee, an event that marked the beginning of what could conceivably had been the end. “I had been looking for a doctor to give me a fucking prescription for Xanax since I was maybe 18 years old… I would go sing on people’s records if they could fill me a prescription of Xanax or get me a bottle. But then I decided that I wanted to check out. I finally found a doctor in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and she would give it to me; I could get whatever the fuck I wanted.”

After a period of time where she was “getting launched on drugs,” Dee and her husband finally called it quits in the year 2011. Commenting on what it took to get her to leave, Dee reports that she “felt like I needed to get out of the way of my marriage so that…we could both be happy,” adding rather matter-of-factly that “it was very sad.” As one might imagine, the drugs didn’t stop with the dissolution of her marriage, particularly as she had recently torn her ACL after falling off a stage. “When I first moved out of my husband’s house and got my own little apartment,” she explains, “I was just sitting there popping Xanax and painkillers and taking Benadryl on top of that.” After realizing that, perhaps, she shouldn’t be living on her own, Dee reports that she “moved to Inglewood, California, and let the quality of my life really just go down. I was living in the basement of this house for four years. I barely left. The only time I would leave was to do music.”

While a divorce and a growing reliance on drugs could have made 2011 the worst year on record for Dee, it also coincided with what could have been the most pivotal positive moment, though it might take some years to realize. The “music” that Dee would leave the house to do was, increasingly a new band. Bad Cop / Bad Cop, you see, started that same year. As should be obvious if you’ve listened to the band or, more specifically, you’ve seen them live, it should be no surprise that this new project caught the attention of some of the punk scene’s heaviest hitters, most notably NOFX’s Fat Mike Burkett, who’d also shown an interest in a prior Dee project, Compton SF. Burkett signed the band to his genre-defining label, Fat Wreck Chords, and produced their stellar debut full-length, 2015’s Not Sorry. And though the band’s level of success continued to increase and she “should have” been happy, Dee’s drug use would continue. “I kept telling myself that I was this broken artist and that that was somehow romantic, you know what I mean?

By the time of Not Sorry, Dee was the closest she’d get yet to seeing that dream of becoming “that girl in the punk rock band” approach fruition. The bar would raise again by mid-2015, as Bad Cop / Bad Cop would earn the opening slot on Fat Wreck Chords’ 25th anniversary tour, where they’d be sharing a stage with such legends as Strung Out, Swingin’ Utter, Lagwagon and, of course, NOFX. And while the tour would raise the band’s status yet again and be the latest in a string of increasingly monumental events for Bad Cop / Bad Cop, it was very nearly the end of their run too. The culprit, of course, was drugs. “I had been partying a lot,” explains Dee, noting that she increased her drinking and “had added cocaine to the mix,” that already included abusing her prescribed Xanax and Klonopin (a total of 120 pills a month) and snorting painkillers. The band were becoming increasingly stressed out, in part because their opening slot meant that they needed to arrive notoriously early to the respective venues. By the time they reached what, by all accounts, was a rough night of August 18th in Minneapolis, things bubbled over. “Every band fought,” states Dee, adding that by the end of the evening, “from what people tell me, because I don’t remember, I fought everybody. I was like “fuck this, fuck you guys, fuck music, fuck this, I’m not playing this game anymore.

Things went from bad to worse, and quickly. Dee explains, with a great deal of heaviness in her voice: “I got taken away, driven to the hotel. I tried to kill myself. I took handfuls of pills, I took an X-Acto knife that I had that was dull, thankfully, and was like AHHH (*makes hacking motion towards forearms*)! I called my dad to tell him I was done. Fat Mike called me and begged me, he said “Stacey, what are you doing? You can’t do this. I love you, stop it!” I got flown to Vegas, continued to party, left my band in Minneapolis to where they had to drive back. They couldn’t play any fucking shows. They couldn’t make any money. And I left them in the lurch, you know what I mean? It was a point where I hated them and they hated me.

Dee eventually made it home, where she was joined on September 4th (coincidentally her fellow Bad Cop Jennie Cotterill’s birthday), by her band. At that meeting came the ultimatum: get help, or they were done. Though feelings may have no doubt been hurt, Dee’s bandmates (Cotterill, Myra Gallarza and Linh Le) stood by her side. Her parents stood by her side. Fat Wreck Chords stood by her side as a label, and Burkett and both his former wife/ label co-owner Erin and his current wife Soma stood by her side personally. Burkett’s bandmate Aaron “El Hefe” Abeyta and his own wife, Jenn, offered to help. “Friends from out of the woodwork” offered to help. And so, with that support, Dee got clean on September 7th. She went to detox for ten days, and emerged bruised, battered and broken…but alive.

And while it would take some time to learn how to think and feel and see and function again without drugs, particularly benzodiazepines, Dee wouldn’t have much time to wait. “I had this acoustic thing booked five days after detox and I was like “there’s no way! I don’t remember any of my songs! They’re gone!” she explains, adding that BC/BC drummer Myra Gallarza gave her the supportive push she needed. “I managed to remember three or four songs, Myra came and picked me up because I couldn’t drive! It was like I was disabled.” She made it through that set, and the band’s first subsequent set sober, and relatively unscathed, relying primarily on muscle memory to get her through

Fast-forward just over a year, and Bad Cop / Bad Cop is as successful as ever. They’re presently halfway through a seven-week full US tour (their first), and are playing killer shows in front of high-energy packed houses night in and night out as direct support for Epitaph/Hellcat Records’ The Interrupters. In the process of getting clean and going to counseling over the last year, Dee has learned not only a lot about herself, but has learned how to become positive. “Every tour since I got sober has been so great. We have the best time together, we laugh. I’ve said this before and I saw this in a book recently, but we are a freight train of ‘fuck yeah!’ We love everything. We don’t talk shit. Once you let a tiny crack open to let negative in, it will infiltrate you quicker than you know.”

Once they get off the road, Bad Cop / Bad Cop will dive right back into the studio, in anticipation of the June 2017 release to their follow-up to Not Sorry. The writing process is progressing, as Dee points out that Cotterill is presently writing and singing better than she ever has. For Dee, however, it’s gone a little slower. “I’m having a hard time. Songs don’t come as easily now, because when you’re negative, you have shit to bitch about. But I think through all the self-awareness, the things that I am writing are better and more meaningful and will help other people if they want to listen. That’s the one thing that I’ve been frustrated about in my recovery. It’s not happening fast enough, but I just have to be patient.” Learning to be patient means going against how the drug-addicted brain is accustomed to functioning, but as a beacon of newfound positive energy, Dee has given herself more than a fighting chance, and is incredibly mindful of having to do the work and stay the course; that the band is on their most successful tour as she’s newly sober is not coincidence. “It’s almost like you’ve gotta tell the universe you’re open for more things to come. As soon as you’re closed off and guarded about taking those chances, you’re not going to get the opportunities.”

Head below to read the full transcript of our conversation. It’s well worth the time, we promise!



Video Premiere: NGHTCRWLRS – “Coffee and Weed”

The election madness is almost over – so check out a fresh new music video to hold you over through the political mess that is your life. Here at DS, we’re pleased to bring you the premiere of NGHTCRWLRS new music video for their song “Coffee and Weed” (watch it below). The track is taken from the band’s upcoming sophomore record Raging Hot out November 11th via Sniffling Indie Kids Records.

The New Jersey band comments on the video, “Don’t take life so seriously all the time. Don’t be afraid to get goofy with your friends. For crying out loud, have some damn fun once in a while. Oh and also Donald sucks.”

Keep up to date with NGHTCRWLRS via Facebook here. Don’t forget to check out Raging Hot when it’s released this week.



DS Photo Gallery: The Interrupters, Bad Cop Bad Cop, The Doped Up Dollies and Mickey Rickshaw take over Boston

To refer to The Interrupters current nationwide tour featuring direct support from Bad Cop Bad Cop as “highly anticipated” would be understating things in every possible way. The seven-week run circumnavigates the lower 48, and serves as not only The Interrupters first full US headlining tour, but Bad Cop Bad Cop’s first lengthy full US tour as well. For those reasons, and I’m sure many others, the tour rightfully ranks as a giant milestone moment filled with countless smaller milestone moments in the careers of both bands. But there is something about the tour that also feels like a milestone moment for the observer. For starters, it feels like a bit of a throwback to the groundbreaking glory days of Epitaph Records and Fat Wreck Chords, respectively, a time period that formulated the punk rock listening habits of a great many of us. But more than that, and you’ll have to forgive my occasionally foggy-at-best memory, but in the recent annals of punk history (and probably the not-so-recent ones too), you’d be hard-pressed to find such a lengthy, well-received tour involving not one, but two female-fronted punk bands playing in front of such high volume crowds. To put things bluntly, the tour feels, on paper, to be important. (Check out our recent tour-previewing interview with Kevin and Aimee from The Interrupters here.)

If you’ve been following the tour via the respective bands’ social media accounts, you’re probably well aware of just how fun and positive and high energy things seem to be as the tour rounds into its second month. But just like calling the tour “highly anticipated” is an understatement of epic proportions, so to is referring to its individual shows as an amalgam of “fun” and “positive” and “high energy.” So when you add to that already stellar lineup two intense and passionate local openers (The Doped Up Dollies and Mickey Rickshaw) the net result is that the Boston stop equated to one of the better showgoing experiences of this or most any other calendar years. Touring in support of their stellar sophomore album, Say It Out Loud, The Interrupters overcame a few early-set microphone-related technical difficulties to blast through a 21-song set that left little-if-anything to be desired.

From the very first notes of set opener “A Friend Like Me,” the foursome never really took their collective feet off the gas pedal. Anchored by the rock-solid Jesse Bivona on drums, the front-of-stage trio of Kevin Bivona (guitar), Justin Bivona (bass) and of course Aimee “Interrupter” Allen on vocals served as a continuous ball of frenetic energy, endlessly dancing, bouncing back-and-forth across the venue’s rather small stage. There are very few bands going who seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs and interacting with crowds night-in and night-out like The Interrupters do. Loyalty and family are recurring themes throughout the band’s body of work, and they seem sincere in referring to their fans as part of their extended family. Another of their family members, David McWane of Big D and the Kids Table fame, joined the band on stage for a true-to-the-0riginal cover of the Operation Ivy classic “Sound System,” while all available members of the collection of opening bands joined the foursome on stage for a dance party during encore closer “This Is My Family” before posing for a now-trademark post set group shot.

As mentioned above, Bad Cop Bad Cop are providing direct support for the duration of this tour. If there were another band in the scene that can match The Interrupters level of frenetic energy and their seeming enjoyment of taking the stage and playing night in and night out, it would o doubt be Bad Cop Bad Cop. Making only their second-ever Boston stop – and their first with bass player Linh Le in the house (Masked Intruder’s Intruder Yellow filled in when the band opened up the Fat Wreck 25th Anniversary tour last year as Le was attending her best friend’s wedding), the band seemed intent on making up for lost time in front of a crowd that seemed all-too eager to welcome them back to town. Drummer Myra Gallarza, who is easily one of the more underrated pace-setters in the scene provided a stable foundation for the three-part monster of co-frontwomen Stacey Dee and Jennie Cotterill to trade riffs and three-part harmonies with the whirling dervish that is Le.

Speaking of three-part harmonies, direct local support came by way of The Doped Up Dollies, a trio that rather famously started as supporting vocalists for David McWane and his band of Boston ska veterans, Big D and the Kids Table, before branching out as a unique, standalone act. The Dollies bill themselves as a three-piece act that play a “fusion of hopscotch/double dutch, ska, reggae, blues and soul,” and backed by a band that I’m pretty sure consisted of eighteen parts (honestly, I lost count but I think there were a total of nine members on the small club stage), including McWane himself, the trio of Brie McWane, Sirae Richardson and Erin McKenzie (pictured in that order above) present one of the more unique newish acts in the game. The variation in styles keeps the band from being pigeonholed, and allows them to fit in perfectly in myriad settings, and they proved to be a fantastic sonic change of pace on this particular bill without sacrificing much, if anything, in the way of overall energy.

Mickey Rickshaw, another stage-crowding local band (I’m relatively convinced that there are 8 of them, but again, the stage was small enough that I might have lost one or two or seven of them), opened the show off with about as frenetic a set as you can get. The band play an unapologetically fast and loud blend of Celtic punk that somehow, because of their energy level, make that occasionally well-worn sound seem fresh and vibrant. In a scene, particularly locally, that can seem crowded and redundant, Mickey Rickshaw have rather quickly made a name for themselves as the cream that has risen to the top.

Check out our full photo gallery below!



DS Photo Gallery: Dan Webb and the Spiders/Bundles Album Release Show (Boston, MA)

Dan Webb

A couple of yours truly’s favorite hometown bands recently teamed up to throw a record release party in honor of their new split 12-inch, and the result was one of the most enjoyable show-going experiences of the year in the local music scene.

The two bands of honor in this case were Dan Webb and the Spiders and Bundles. Their split, which you can still stream here, marks the first release on the American imprint (run by Webb himself) of German-based Gunner Records. The evening’s festivities took place at O’Brien’s Pub in Boston’s Allston neighborhood, a no-frills bar in one of the few no-frills neighborhoods left in an increasingly gentrifying city. O’Brien’s has long provided a dark, sweaty bastion for up-and-coming local and smaller national touring bands (shoutout to the great and terrible Ryan Agate), making it the perfect backdrop for the occasion.

Birdwatching

The first band out of the chute on this particular evening was Birdwatching. For the uninitiated (as I was until showtime), Birdwatching are a local three-piece who, despite being a newcomer to the scene in ever sense, seem to have perfected the sort of lo-fi, odd-time signatured indie punk sound that’s been building over the last couple years. They’ve got an album release show of their own in a couple weeks that Bundles will actually be opening, a clear sign that Birdwatching aren’t going to be “up-and-coming” for very long.

Dan Webb and the Spiders

While they very easily could have been headlining this particular show, Dan Webb + The Spiders actually played second out of the four bands on the bill. As I’ve told you before, they’re a four-piece that grew out of a one-man project, and they grab you by the scruff of the neck and forces you to pay attention, with a sound that owes more than a little bit of inspiration to the heyday of punk-infused ’90′s garage rock. On the split that this show was celebrating, tracks like “”No Excuse” pay sonic homage to Brit-pop bands, while the band bring more of an uptempo banger vibe to “Odd Combinations” and a throwback Lemonheads vibe on “Running Around” and “Inside the Cage,” though only the former and latter tracks made it into the setlist on this occasion.

No Weather Talks

Germany’s No Weather Talks played third, and marked a pleasant surprise if ever there was one. I’d admittedly not heard them…or heard of them…prior to this occasion, but they made quick fans out of myself and many others in the crowd by midway through their first song. Playing entirely on gear borrowed from Webb and his cronies, the Hamburg-based five pieced play a surprisingly tight set of tunes that are sort of a modern rock take on a classic skate-punk sound. The only band listed on their Facebook page as an influence is Samiam, and I would go so far as to say that a No Weather Talks – Samiam comparison is entirely accurate, if Samiam were fronted by a dynamic female vocalist, in this case the captivating Faye Herr.

Bundles

What can I say about Bundles that I haven’t said before? Hmmm…well…let’s see. The band consists of three dudes with questionable tastes in guitar tuners and facial hair and even more questionable penchants for quad-revealing short shorts. I kid. Not really. Well…kinda. Anyway, Bundles have become one of my favorite local live bands in relatively short order. While they band joked that they had no business closing a show after sets by the three bands that came before them, that speaks more to the strength of the bill than it does to their own prowess, as evidence by the way they plowed through their set in prototypical punk rock fashion. While the sound is still an intense version of post-hardcore, what has changed a little as the band has grown over the last year or so is the more toned-down points in some of the newer tracks (like “Welcome To The Rusty Nail” from the aforementioned split), proving that 1000mph isn’t always a necessity to get the point across.

Check out our full photo gallery from the evening below.

 



DS Photo Galley: Lucero and Cory Branan at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY)

If we’re being honest, there’s probably very little to say about a Lucero live show that hasn’t been said ad infinitum at this point. As they approach the 20-year mark since their inception, the band have a well-earned reputation for not only playing a high volume of shows year after year, but of playing some of the more intense, memorable shows within a hundred mile radius at any given time. That sentiment is true whether they’re playing in their native Tennessee, on the West Coast, or up in Yankee country. Time has changed and the Lucero family tree has grown, so, as is (rightly) the case with many a band of their tenure, the lure of family has pulled them increasingly off the road, paring the 200-250 show a year mentality down by about half, the net result for this writer is one New England show in the calendar year, and that was at an outdoor beer festival (covered here last month), you take the “four-hours-on-a-Sunday” trek to literal Yankee country (okay…formerly Dodger country) to catch them in their natural, club show element.

And so it was last weekend, when the band’s three-week run with Cory Branan in tow made its northeasternmost spot at the Music Hall of Wiliamsburg in Brooklyn. Perhaps more than most bands in this genre (and really, Lucero are their own genre), the Ben Nichols-led outfit have continued to grow and evolve, never seeming content with resting on their collective laurels. Because of this, the band have had several distinctly different sounds with myriad different lineups, meaning that no two Lucero tours nowadays are entirely alike. They’re now on the road fairly consistently as a somewhat stripped down five piece that finds one-of-a-kind Nichols joined by equally one-of-a-kind longtime core members Brian Venable (lead guitar), Roy Berry (drums), John Stubblefield (bass) and, of course, Rick Steff (keyboards/accordion). The lack of pedal steel and, more recently, horns, has produced a sound that’s closer to the raw, post grunge of the early years, but one that’s also refined by years of growth as musicians and songwriters and owners of the stage.

This particular show found the band taking the stage promptly at 9:15pm and slowly ramping up the intensity level over the course of the first handful of songs. As has been the case at more than a handful of shows over the year since their last album, All A Man Should Do, debuted, the slow, brooding “Went Looking For Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles” kicked the evening off in slow-burn fashion. When the band went opener-free on the tour for that album, they filled the evening by playing both an acoustic and an electric set. That formula seems to have grown legs, as the evening’s first eleven songs all featured Nichols and his newfound Martin acoustic. While it’s to be expected on songs like “Texas & Tennessee” and “The Man I Was,” this gives a little bit of a fun, intricate vibe to older show staples like “My Best Girl” and “Raising Hell.”

Never one to abandon his trademark Epiphone Sheraon II for too long, however, Nichols and company increased the volume (though, admittedly, not the level of happiness…) around 10:00pm sharp, beginning the electric portion of the evening with “Downtown/On My Way Downtown” from 2012′s Women & Work. Though 2016-era Lucero shows tend not to devolve into the occasionally chaotic events that they did in earlier times, Nichols’ constant need to continue pushing boundaries still creates a ‘seat of their pants’ energy that leaves the effect of having both the audience and the remainder of the band left guessing as to exactly what’ll come next.

And what came next was a pretty representative cross-section of the band’s near-twenty-year catalog. Sure All A Man Should Do remained well-represented,  though the band’s 2002 release Tennessee was most represented, producing rambling jams on staples like “Here At The Starlite” and full-crowd singalongs on tracks like “Chain Link Fence” and, of course, “Nights Like These.” “Tears Don’t Matter Much,” from 2003′s That Much Further West, and which name-drops Cory Branan rather famously, garnered probably the most lively crowd response at the 550-capacity Muic Hall, with Berry’s machine-gun-caliber snare and Berry’s steady, heavy groove pacing the way through, providing a launching pad for Nichols and Venable to trade guitar lines. The evening slowed down again toward the end of the set, easing out in much the same way as it eased in, with Nichols donning the Martin acoustic again for “Me & My Girl In ’93″ before a brief respite and set closers “Drink Til We’re Gone” and “Fistful Of Tears,” the latter of which found Nichols going guitarless, accompanied only my the always steady, dare I say classy, Steff on keys.

The aforementioned Branan opened the evening’s festivities. (Editor’s note: This marked yours truly’s fourth Branan show in four different States this calendar year, having previously seen him in Connecticut with Brian Fallon and in Rhode Island and Massachusetts with Chuck Ragan). Branan and the Lucero camp, Nichols in particular, obviously go back until about the beginning. Branan is equal parts self-aware (almost painfully so) and self-deprecating, and has long been not only known for his gut-wrenching, razor sharp lyrics but for the curiosity surrounding why, exactly, he hasn’t jumped up to the next level (or two…or four) and become more widely known. When on point (and that’s more often than not in more recent years) about as talented a solo performer as you’ll find, with a unique ability to vary the dynamics of both vocal stylings and his near-virtuoso guitar abilities in a way that will extend its way to all corners of the venue, regardless of the size, and force the listener to pay attention, often times rendering new listeners curious as to what they just heard. Branan’s eleven song set included it’s fair share of long-time crowd favorites (“Prettiest Waitress In Memphis,” “Tall Green Grass,” his own personal Born To Run, “Survivor Blues”) and a handful of tracks from his as-yet-publicly-untitled studio full length, due out next March on Bloodshot Records. Seriously…wait til you hear the song about his dad…

Check out our full photo gallery from the evening below, with a massive mea culpa to Branan for not having been properly in place at the start of his set. I blame New York City… You can still read our ode to the band’s debut album, Lucero, here, and our follow-up ode to the band with help from Dave Hause, Frank Turner and Sal Medrano right here.



October’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

Foxtrot

Oh Yea!!! It’s October!! Why all of the excitement? Well, October = Halloween and Halloween = office costume contest!! While we normally don’t get too excited about such a childish and menial event, rumor has it that Phyllis over in Accounting was so amped about the Misfits reunion a few months back that she has been working on a Glenn Danzig costume (ed: Oh god…is that what the fishnet tank top is for? Has HR been alerted?). Needless to say, there’s considerably more excitement around DyingScene HQ this year! If envisioning questionably attired, 62 year old accountants isn’t enough to get you stoked, it’s also time for this month’s installment of Hidden Gems of Bandcamp! This month, we’ve uncovered five fantastic bands that we’re betting aren’t on your radar yet. Check ‘em out below!