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Riot Fest 2019 Day 3: Bikini Kill, Teenage Bottlerocket and…The Village People Close Out The Weekend With Help From Others

Words by: Fredric Hall
Photos and additional words by: Meredith Goldberg

For the third and final day of 2019’s Riot Fest festivities, punk sets were, again, on the small side. Still what’s there ain’t too shabby. Against Me! Had an awesome set, playing both “Reinventing Axl Rose” and “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” start-to-finish, while singer Laura Jane Grace was belting out every song with her unique voice that forces you to pay attention. A particular high point was “Osama bin Laden as the Crucified Christ” with its driving, distorted bass line and disturbing lyrics. At one point, someone in the crowd held up a sign saying “You Are My Hero”, a good indicator of the effect the band had on the crowd.

Against Me!

 

Dave Hause & The Mermaid

Frankie Iero and the Future Violents

 

Sincere Engineer

Perhaps the most curious event to take place at Riot Fest’s 15th Anniversary staging in Chicago was a Wall of Death during The Village People’s performance of their most famous tune, “YMCA.” The song has long been a staple at basketball games of all levels and in all communities despite its lyrical content often understood to refer to the YMCA as a gay hook up spot in the 1970’s. Yet on Day 3,  fans young, old and looking to represent virtually every demographic at Riot Fest joined in forming the 4 letters in the title. And per an organized Facebook event, many took part in a Wall of Death in the center of crowd. For the uninitiated, a Wall of Death is basically a move within a circle pit where a large group of people back off and then at the same moment run toward each other. The event even took the life of a photographer’s sunglasses (though not the DS photog’s sunglasses, whew).

The Village People

 

The Village People fans spell out Y.M.C.A.

Patti Smith had her brand of a slow burning performance later on. Now I know the organizers don’t pick out acts all willy-nilly and Patti Smith is a legend in the genre. However, I’m sure there is a good size of the attendees who have no idea who is she and her contributions to the punk genre. And I guess Smith knew this because she really brought it on stage. While not “punk” in regards to modern tastes, there was a energy about it that exuded a punk attitude, even with covers like Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experience”(with some “Third Stone of the Sun” thrown towards the end) and Midnight Oil’s “Beds are Burning”. She did close the set with “Gloria” which really brought the crowd to its knees.

 

Bikini Kill

Finally, we got Riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill, the headliners for the final evening of the festival. Though Kathleen Hanna sang most of the set, she did occasionally switch over to bass, while the rest of the band traded instruments for certain songs. Seriously, they did so many times I couldn’t keep up. Declaring “We’re a feminist band. And we’re headlining a festival” they blazed through songs like “Reject All-American” with the abrasiveness and in-you-face attitude that put them on the map for almost thirty years.

Bikini Kill

If you’ve made it this far, so you might have the impression Riot Fest is straying from it’s punk roots. Well, here’s the thing: I get that festivals like Riot Fest have to carter towards different demographics to stay afloat. To me, this year was more of a history lesson. Teenage punks with Op Ivy back patches on their vests now got to hear Patti Smith and Bikini Kill. They also got to see Slayer which is always a treat (and also played right after Rise Against). So, this is a chance to see all kinds of genres. Limiting yourself to one thing is narrow-minded and stupid. In the end we all need to go beyond our boundaries and explore what’s out there.

Ween

 

Teenage Bottlerocket

 

Please check out the rest of our images from the final day of Riot Fest 2019 below:



Frank Turner announces 9 date UK tour

Frank Turner will be releasing a new album titled No Man’s Land on August 16th through Xtra Mile Recordings. He’s now announced a UK tour to promote the album. 

Details are below. He recently streamed a track from the album, “Sister Rosetta“.



Frank Turner announces new album “No Man’s Land”, stream first single “Sister Rosetta”

Frank Turner will be releasing a new album titled “No Man’s Land” on August 16th through Xtra Mile Recordings and you can get yourself a little taste of what’s to come through “Sister Rosetta,” the album’s first single, below.

The album focuses on women who “have long been ignored by the mainstream” and compliments Turner’s new podcast series “Tales From No Man’s Land,” which you can subscribe to here.

The new album is a follow-up to Be More Kind, which was released last May.



DS Photo Gallery: Frank Iero And The Future Violents w/Reggie And The Full Effect, Boston, MA

I read an interview with Frank Iero the other day in which he talked about his musical career, and in the process of doing so he mentioned – and I’m paraphrasing here because I can’t find the original quote – that he enjoys the honeymoon period of a new project where you don’t really know what it’s going to turn out like and you’re nervous but excited because you get to figure that out together. When Iero brought his newest project, Frank Iero and the Future Violents, through Boston this past Sunday, barely 48 hours after the release of their debut album Barriers, the excitement was palpable and contagious for an obvious reason: Frank Iero and the Future Violents are a goddamn live freight train.

If you haven’t been keeping score at home, The Future Violents feature Iero and his frequent collaborator/guitarist/brother-in-law Evan Nestor joined by a few longtime scene heavyweights: Tucker Rule of Thursday and a bunch of other bands on drums, Murder By Death’s Matt Armstrong on bass and Kayleigh Goldsworthy of Dave Hause’s band The Mermaid and most importantly her own solo career on…well…just about every other instrument you can think of. Formed after the Iero and Nestor’s ill-fated and nearly fatal trip to Australia with their last project, Frank Iero and the Patience, a couple years ago, The Future Violents are rooted in Iero’s power punk songwriting core with some new sonic textures in the mix. In spite of having a comparatively few shows together under their collective belts, the Future Violents rhythm section of Rule and Armstrong is lock-tight and thunderous already. Rule hits hard and heavy, and is comparable maybe only to the great Atom Willard in terms of sheer live force, while Armstrong’s low end rattled SO low that I could quite literally feel my sinuses shaking. Iero and Nestor are simpatico from having played and performed so long together; they seem to have a knack for playing in support of one another without crowding each other’s sonic space. Goldsworthy’s parts, particularly the violin, seemed a little buried in the mix, though that might be just me projecting what I was seeing (with the stage set up, she was kinda buried behind the PA suspended from the ceiling in front of stage right) onto what I was hearing. That said, The Future Violents are hands-down Iero’s best project to date, and the near-capacity crowd seemed to cathartically, energetically eat up every word (well…except the poor kid who lost a tooth).

Support on this leg of Frank Iero and the Future Violents’ run comes from none other than James Dewees playing songs from his brainchild project, Reggie And The Full Effect. Dewees and Iero have been long time buds and collaborators – Iero did a stint in Reggie that coinicided with Dewees’ own stint alongside Iero in My Chemical Romance – and it makes an old emo kid like myself happy to see such longtime vets still supporting and playing with each other. Dewees’ set was essentially “Story Time with James,” as he told tangential tales of creating characters and his history with Iero and the early days of the Emo Night In Brooklyn movement, though he did manage to get to a few full or at least partial songs, accompanied by either a laptop or what I’m 95% sure was a pretty awesome British racing green version of Iero’s custom Epiphone Phant-O-Matic double cutaway guitars. While maybe not the most astute Reggie and the Full Effect fans, the bulk of the crowd was more than good-naturedly engaged with Dewees’ set, breaking out into full supportive chants on more than one occasion.

Head below for a bunch more pictures from the evening!

 



DS Interview and Photo Gallery: Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings III (w/The Hold Steady, Cory Branan, The Penske File and more)

The first of the four or five times that yours truly had the opportunity to chat with Frank Turner for a story here at Dying Scene was almost exactly five years ago. It was prior to his set at the 2014 installment of the Boston Calling Music Festival, and we found a “quiet” spot on the Brutalist concrete and brick steps on the Congress Street side of Boston City Hall to talk about what was, at the time, his 1567 show rise to “overnight” success. Toward the end of our conversation, Turner made a sincere comment about not taking any of his success for granted, because in five years’ time, “nobody is going to give a shit and I’ll be back playing in a pub again.” Flash forward to the Friday before last when Turner took a few minutes out of his scheduled pre-show preparation at a sold-out House of Blues in Boston to talk about some pretty monumental goings-on in his ever-expanding professional career.

Last Friday’s show was more than just a “regular” Frank Turner show, whatever that means at this point. It was more than “just” show #2341 and counting, all though that’s certainly noteworthy in its own right. But it also marked the second proper night of 2019’s installment of what Turner has dubbed Lost Evenings. If you’re not familiar, here’s a quick synopsis: started back in 2017, Lost Evenings is an annual multi-night festival curated by Turner and his team. While the idea of an artist playing multiple nights is certainly not foreign – here in Boston, our own Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Street Dogs and Dropkick Murphys do so on a yearly basis, and a quick check of my notes confirms a four-day run for The Hold Steady and a three-night run for Lucero coming up before the year’s end – Lost Evenings is not your traditional multi-night string of shows that happen to be in the same location. Sure there were the four main shows at the 2500-capacity House Of Blues on Lansdowne Street, each of which sold out months in advance. But there was also a fundraiser event at nearby tattoo shop, Stingray Body Art. There was a weeklong series of open mic events at neighboring Lansdowne Street bars, curated by Derek Zanetti (aka The Homeless Gospel Choir) which found any number of local and national artists popping in for a few impromptu jams. There were a series of panel discussions on everything from mental health awareness to how to build a career in the music industry to a book talk to active bystander training to, or course, a Frank Turner AMA session.

The first two Lost Evenings festivals took place at the Roundhouse Theatre in London. “We did the first one in Camden, in London, and the on the first one, we literally had no idea what we were doing,” explains Turner. “We were completely flying by the seat of our pants. I wasn’t completely sure what it was or how it worked or, indeed, how to put on a festival. We did it, and it was a Hail Mary pass, but it went incredibly well. We did the second one in Camden just to kind of learn the lessons from the first one, and to try to consolidate what we were doing.” 

With two successful runs on their home turf under their collective belts, 2019 brought with it the opportunity to bring the show on the road. If you’ve been paying attention either to Turner’s career or, at least, the early portion of this article it should come as no surprise that the natural first stop would take place across the pond in Boston, Massachusetts. “By design, (Lost Evenings is) a portable concept. In the very beginning, I always had a vision of bringing it around the world . The idea was always to move it, and to be honest, it was always going to be Boston, because that’s been the biggest city in the US in terms of my career and all the rest of it.”

While the individual show lineups for Lost Evenings’ I and II were impressive in their own right, taking the third installment to the States opened up Turner to a wider array of possible openers. “It’s a slightly odd thing trying to get an American band to come all the way to the UK to do a festival show. It can get pretty complicated.”To do so, as he explains it, Turner basically puts together a dream line-up of acts that he’d hope to have join him in some fashion. “I should leave the credit for the organizational logistics to my team. I tend to just come up with ideas that make more people’s lives more difficult!” he jokes. Difficult though it might be, this year, by all accounts, most of those dreams came true. “I’m insanely proud of the lineup this year,” says Turner. “If I had to pick my four favorite acts in the world, it might well come down to Loudon Wainwright, John K. Samson, The Hold Steady and Against Me! And here we are!” 

As we spoke on Friday afternoon, the giddiness in Turner’s voice as he recalled the previous night’s festivities that included not only Wainwright but Micah Schnabel and Jenny Owen Youngs and Hayley Thompson King, amongst others, was not only palpable but contagious. “We had Loudon Wainwright on stage, which is a thing that I never thought I’d be able to say out loud. Not only that, he’s one of my favorite songwriters of all time, and he completely burned the building down he was so good,” Turner exclaims. “I went to sleep content last night, and woke up this morning and remembered that The FUCKING Hold Steady and Cory Branan are playing today! And The Architects! And then when I go to bed tonight, I’m going to wake up tomorrow and think about John K. Motherfucking Samson and War On Women. And AJJ are playing tomorrow! Again, I threw names at my booking agent, but other people did the work to actually pull this together, and I’m extremely…I’m as happy as a pig in shit, and I’m kind of blown away that I get to sit in the middle of all of this!”

The City of Boston itself took note of how meaningful the Lost Evenings experience is, which may not come as a surprise given the ties that current Mayor Marty Walsh has with the local punk rock community. “Dude, I’m from suburban England, do you know what I mean? And I’m in Boston, which as far as my childhood self is concerned was a borderline fictional place. And here we are! The fucking mayor made yesterday Be More Kind Day in Boston. So much of my life is frankly ridiculous to me, in the best possible way. It’s like “wow…that happened?”

As stated above, to Turner, the ability to use his public position as a platform for some causes that are near and dear to his – and the community’s – part is vital. “So much of my career – so much of any musician’s career – involves standing on a stage shouting “please buy my new CD! Pay attention to me!” And that’s fine! That’s part of the fucking deal! But if you can find time within your busy day of shouting about yourself to shout about things that are objectively more important, than I think that’s a no-brainer, you know what I mean? You’ve got to do it.”

Yours truly got to the venue on Friday a little later than intended, but still arrived in plenty of time to watch The Architects kick off the main stage at House Of Blues. It was a meaningful opener for Turner, as both his band and the Kansas City rockers appeared as support for Flogging Molly on Turner’s first stop in Boston proper a handful of years ago. From there, the evening consisted of bouncing back and forth between the main stage and the “Nick Alexander Stage.” Named for the young man killed while working for Eagles of Death Metal during the terror attack at Bataclan in Paris several years back, the Nick Alexander stage was located at the complete opposite end of the venue, in a space normally reserved as the House Of Blues’ restaurant. This resulted in a series of energetic performances on the intimate stage, set no more than six inches off the ground. The immensely talented Kayleigh Goldsworthy was first up for me. After a few years of seeing her as a master-of-all-trades accompanying the likes of Dave Hause and Frank Iero, it was nice to see Goldsworthy solo playing her own powerful music.

It’s worth including that the main stage’s action was emceed all night, and all weekend, by Koo Koo Kangaroo. Turner’s labelmates and frequent tour partners led the crowd in a variety of different activities throughout the course of the night, from games to singalongs to Twinkie-eating contest between two members of The Architects (with the grand prize coming as a box of Target-brand fruit snacks). Next up in the big room was Cory Branan. I’ve been a fan of Branan for a long time and seen him close to a dozen times, but when he makes his way to the northeast, it’s almost exclusively as a solo act, never as leader of a band, but the latter is exactly how he appeared on this night. Trading in the acoustic that normally accompanies him on solo shows for a Telecaster, Branan led his three piece through a high-energy half-hour set that highlighted his guitar playing virtuosity while providing some different textures and tempos than he normally attempts solo.

Branan was followed by The Hold Steady. Like Turner said above, The Hold Steady have been on my very, very short list of favorite bands and songwriters for as long as I can remember. For a variety of reasons, they’re also a band that I’d never had the ability to shoot from the photo pit before. I’d also never seen them as a full-on six-piece band, the way they’ve been appearing since the inimitable Franz Nicolay rejoined the band a couple of years ago. Frontman Craig Finn led the three guitar attack (joined by Tad Kubler and Steve Selvidge, the latter of whom played with the above-mentioned Branan on his performance on Letterman well over a decade ago) with the rock-solid-as-ever rhythm section of Galen Polivka and Bobby Drake, who, unfortunately, didn’t actually appear in pictures. Trust me, he was there. Anyway, this was a pretty meaningful set for me – haven’t really gotten misty-eyed in a photo pit in a while – but I’ll let the pictures say the rest.

From there, it was back out to the front for the last Nick Alexander Stage set of the night, featuring none other than The Penske File. The Canadian trio burned through a blistering half-hour set that occurred, sadly, less than forty-eight hours before having their van and all of their gear stolen while in Montreal for Pouzza Fest. You can still kick in to their GoFundMe here, and really, you won’t find a trio of nicer, more deserving dudes to help out.

Last but obviously not least, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls took the main stage in the big room. This particular show was Poetry Of The Deed night, in honor of the pending tenth anniversary of Turner’s often-overlooked third studio album of the same name. Coincidentally, POTD was released on my thirtieth birthday, and so it doesn’t take an advanced mathematics degree to realize that means I’m turning forty in a few months, and so that’s got me feeling some type of way. Anyway, for an album that maybe doesn’t get the same kind of attention as Love, Ire and Song or certainly than the quartet of albums that have followed it, Poetry Of The Deed night was incredibly well-received, with trademark singalong after singalong after harmonica-playalong peppering the evening.

 

On more than one occasion, Turner seemed genuinely humbled by the scene playing out not just on this particular night, but over the course of the weekend in general. As he told me before the gig, “when I was a kid, the biggest fucking shows I ever went to were 2000-cap shows. I’m not trying to sound like a scene kid for saying that, but I’d never been to an arena show before I headlined one. You know? The thing is, I reached the point in my career a long time ago where somebody said “hey, do you want to play an arena show now? Because, you can.” And instead of tying myself up in punk rock purist knots about it, I decided to just laugh and say “fuck it, man, why not!” This shit is ridiculous, but yes, okay!

Plans for Lost Evenings IV were also announced during the course of this night’s set. In case you missed it, next year’s festivities will take place in Berlin, Germany. Oh, and they’re also, already sold out. But fret not, Turner faithful’ 2021 will mark the tenth anniversary of his breakthrough album England, Keep My Bones, and so you can guess what might serve as the centerpiece for Lost Evenings V!

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

 



Frank Turner and Xtra Mile Announce Opening Slot Competition for Lost Evenings – Boston

Well this is a pretty cool opportunity if you’re in the Boston area (because we don’t have enough cool things going on here)!

As you probably know by now, the great Frank Turner will be holding the third installment of his Lost Evenings shows in Boston, Massachusetts, in a couple months. The four-night run of sold-out shows at House Of Blues features a different theme each night. The final night, May 19th, has been dubbed the Xtra Mile Night, and finds Turner teaming up with his long-running UK-based label hosting a handful of Xtra Mile Recordings vets like Against Me!, Skinny Lister and Trapper Schoep as openers. They’ve also announced a contest that will allow a kick-ass opening band a chance to kick the festivities off. Think you’ve got what it takes? Head here to find out how you and your band can enter!

Turner recently wrapped recording sessions for his eight studio album, which will serve as follow-up to last year’s Be More Kind.



Frank Turner finishes new album

Frank Turner recently announced that he has finished recording his eighth studio album with producer Catherine Marks. He tweeted:

“It’s a wrap! Just finished tracking album 8 with the incredible @cjmarks. Keeping the details close to my chest for now, and we have yet to mix, but very excited to have a sprawling experimental bunch of songs in the bag. Should be out later in the year!”

The new album will be the follow-up to Be More Kind, which was released last May via Xtra Mile Recordings.



Ducking Punches announce UK acoustic tour with Harker and George Gadd

Norwich, UK based folk-punks Ducking Punches have announced some UK acoustic tour dates with Harker and George Gadd.

You can check out all the dates and locations below.

Ducking Punches is getting set to release their new album, Alamort, on February 16th via Xtra Mile.



Frank Turner releases “Don’t Worry” EP

British singer/songwriter Frank Turner has released an EP titled “Don’t Worry”, featuring a single of the same name from his last album “Be More Kind” as well as 2 new tracks. “Bar Staff” is one of those newbies and it’s going to be a Frank Turner classic, mark my words. You can stream the release on Spotify

Be More Kind was released May 4 via Xtra Mile Recordings.



Beans on Toast (Comedy, UK) Streams Video for “Alexa”

UK comedy folk punker Beans on Toast has released a music video for an hilarious tune about internet retail giant Amazon’s voice activated “home assistance” unit, Alexa. The track, also titled “Alexa”, questions the eventual capabilities of such a device monitoring every aspect of people’s lives, culminating in a future in which the sun itself is blocked out by an ominous shadow of Amazon delivery drones.

You can check out “Alexa” below and you definitely should because it’s bloody funny.

The track also appears on Beans on Toast’s 10th studio album, A Bird In The Hand, set for release on December 1st.



Against Me! stream “People Who Died” for Songs That Saved My Life compilation

A few weeks back Hopeless Records and Sub City announced an amazing project called Songs That Saved My Life. The compilation features bands covering songs that have inspired and helped them get through the toughest of times in life. The latest teaser is Against Me! covering the Jim Carroll hit “People Who Died”. When asked why they chose this song Laura Jane Grace had this to say: ““Choosing to cover a song that is filled with death to be featured on a compilation dedicated to the thought that music can save your life seemed completely fitting to me. I’ve always thought music was about taking all the sadness, pain, fear and trouble that you have weighing on you and turning it into something empowering, celebratory and life-affirming.”

You can check out the stirring Against Me! cover below.

A few weeks back Neck Deep released their cover of “Torn” and if these two songs are any sign of what the rest of this album will sound like, we are in for a treat. This project benefits a variety of mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Currently, this project benefits Crisis Text Line, Hope For The Day, The Trevor Project, and To Write Love On Her Arms. As well, last month, the Songs That Saved My Life grant was announced. The $10,000 grant will be awarded to a fan or band partnering with a non-profit organization related to mental health awareness and/or suicide prevention. 



Oxygen Thief release new track “Uncommon People”

Bristol based acoustic punk artist turned rock-trio Oxygen Thief are to release their third album, Confusion Species, via Xtra Mile Recordings on 16th November. Following first advance track “Graffitti; Irony; Lists” the band have followed up with another track “Uncommon People”. Have a listen below.

Album pre-orders are up now.



Oxygen Thief to release new album “Confusion Species”

Bristol based acoustic punk artist turned rock-trio Oxygen Thief are to release their third album, “Confusion Species”, via Xtra Mile Recordings on 16th November. The album is the follow up to “The Half-Life Of Facts”, which came out four years ago.

To mark the announcement, you can have a listen to lead single “Graffiti; Irony; Lists” below (along with upcoming tour dates). Pre-orders are also up.



Andrew Seward rejoins Against Me!

Five years after parting ways with Against Me! after serving as the band’s bass player for more than a decade, Andrew Seward is back in the fold!

In a statement that accompanied the above picture (taken by Joe Leonard) on her Instagram page, band leader Laura Jane Grace reported the news that had been rumored since Seward sat in on a surprise show in Detroit late last month:

As some people may have noticed there’s been some change happening within @againstme recently and the shows we played in Detroit, Cleveland and Lansing a week ago were Andrew’s first shows back with the band in over 5 years. I don’t really know how to succinctly explain the reasons behind this happening so I’m going to pass on trying. All I want to say is that I love Inge, am forever thankful for our time playing together and what I learned from it and wish him nothing but the best in life. Been going through a period of great change in general lately and this is probably not the last time this year I’m going to have to ask that people be understanding of a choice made, there’s no maliciousness behind my intentions, I just gotta go after what I want.
We head back out on tour again last week of July and 1st week of August.

For his part, now-former bassist Inge Johansson, also issued a statement with a similar tone via Instagram:

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: After 5 years, 2 albums and 515 shows I’m no longer a member of Against Me! I had a good run! I was a fan of the band before I joined, and I will always support them. I wish them good luck in the future, and I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you fans who showed me so much love from day one. I never took that for granted. A lot of you people have reached out to ask me if I’m ok and I appreciate that, but haven’t had time to get back to you all. Life changes, but the music is still in my soul and my heart is always to the left so I consider myself to be in a good place. Much love and respect to you all and I hope to see you soon again!

Against Me! have been busy working on a follow-up to their last full-length, 2016’s Shape Shift With Me. Seward last appeared on 2010’s White Crosses and it’s 2011 follow-up Black Crosses.



Frank Turner announces tour of the United States


British singer/songwriter Frank Turner will be touring the United States in support of his latest album Be More Kind. He’ll be touring with his backing band The Sleeping Souls and supporting him on the tour will be Lucero and The Menzingers.  Check out the dates and locations below.

Be More Kind was released May 4 via Xtra Mile Recordings.