Search Results for "Folk"

EP Review: Dollar Signs – “I Need Some Space”

Dollar Signs, the Charlotte based folk-punk powerhouse, have released a short but very sweet EP of re-recorded tracks from their early days. I Need Some Space, released on January 18th, 2019, is only four tracks long, coming in at a tight less than 10 minutes, but is a little something anyone who hasn’t heard the band before should dive into.

Dollar Signs always bring this lively, humorous, and often painfully relatable energy and with I Need Some Space they just keep killing it. A mixture of pop-punk, the fun of ska, the melancholy of emo, all set to a depressive backdrop masked with a partying atmosphere. In a sonic sense Dollar Signs bring a pleasing sound, bringing new life to these old tracks. It’s hard not to bounce along to each and every track, even the slower more downbeat tracks have a decidedly Dollar Signs rhythm to them that makes them addictive.

It’s only four tracks, less than 10 minutes in all, but it’s a great way to dip a foot into Dollar Signs’ extended catalogue and check out some rad tunes from their earlier days. Whilst it’s only a new coat of paint to older tracks, it’s still good fun, and after the brilliance of their latest album This Will Haunt Me, going back to their earlier days to show they’ve always had a special something is a great feeling. The opening track, “Endless Bummer,” comes from an album of the same name released in 2012, which is perfectly within the era this EP takes place in.

The method of storytelling, literal representations mixed with harsh metaphor, and consistent references to drinking gives off a bit of a Wil Wagner/The Smith Street Band vibe. Though even with the connection, Dollar Signs have their own style, and manage to talk about relatively ridiculous events and use rather strange choices of words whilst still maintaining a very real and emotional vibe. “It’s not my party, but do you guys gotta do coke off the TV?” on “2011,” “That was the Summer, when I first got rocky mountain spotted fever,” on “Endless Bummer,” almost awkward lines with an almost awkward delivery which just add to the charm and appeal of the band.

With the leaps and bounds the band has taken over the year, and the growth the band’s music has undergone, it’s great to hear them up-scaling their old tracks. There are of course a few tracks I think would’ve fit perfectly on this little release and been an amazing experience to hear re-done from their past, such as “Come On Eileen, Seriously,” “Hikikomori,” or even “The Pizza Man Cometh,” but the four collected here are also perfect choices.

I Need Some Space is a delightful EP detailing the past of a delightful band. With last year marking the release of what could be Dollar Signs’ greatest album, revisiting some deeper cuts is a good refresher on their journey forward. You can listen to the EP below.



Jake and the Jellyfish release video for “Reading List”

Leeds UK punks Jake and the Jellyfish have released a video for “Reading List”. The track is taken from their 2018 album “Long In Winters”, the band’s third full length.

You can have a watch below.



Jake and the Jellyfish (Folk, UK) Stream Video for “Reading List”

UK folk punkers Jake and the Jellyfish have a new single out from their 2018 album, Long in Winters. The track chosen for individual release is titled “Reading List” and the group have put out a video for it. Despite the band’s folky reggae punk roots, their latest single will likely excite fans of mid-tempo melodic punk stuff like Flatliners.

Check out “Reading List” below.



Lucero announce full lineup for 2019 Family Block Party

Happy Lucero Day, Memphis!

It’s still a few months away, but Lucero have announced full details for the 2019 installment of their annual Family Block Party. It takes place outside Minglewood Hall in their hometown of Memphis on Saturday, April 13th. This year’s lineup includes Austin Lucas (one of our favorites), Ben Abney and the Hurts, Nashville’s Will Hoge and southern rockers Blackberry Smoke. Tickets went on sale today; grab ’em here. We traveled down from Boston last year — here’s proof — and trust us when we say the Family Block Party is a barn-burner of a time. We’ll see you there!

Lucero’s most recent album, the stellar Among The Ghosts, was released on Thirty Tigers last year.



Pinata Protest to play Beauty Bar (PRB)

Piñata Protest have announced they are returning to Punk Rock Bowling this year to play The Beauty Bar, along with Amigo the Devil, Bridge City Sinners and Louise Distras, all making their PRB debut for an intimate and rowdy folk punk gathering spectators won’t soon forget. Tickets go on sale Feb 23 on the PRB site.



Excuse Me Mister (Acoustic, Canada) Stream Cover of Millencolin Classic, “No Cigar”

Québec City acoustic duo Excuse Me Mister have covered one of the absolute staples of melodic punk rock. Their take on Millencolin’s “No Cigar” off the classic turn-of-the-century album Pennybridge Pioneers features just guitar, piano, and vocals, and is an emotion-stirring rendition of a track that is partly responsible for turning an entire generation onto punk rock.
Check out this beautifully re-imagined version of “No Cigar” over at Excuse Me Mister’s Facebook page now.

 

 



DS Exclusive: The Live Music Year In Pictures (Jay Stone)

Another year in the books, and while I scaled down the amount of shows I shot this year for a variety of reasons, it was still pretty awesome and eventful. The year started with a trip to Jersey to catch Jared Hart and a barn-burner of a Ben Nichols solo performance at the inimitable Crossroads venue booked by the equally inimitable Andy Diamond. There was also a trip to Connecticut to see Lucero and Jake LaBotz, a trip to Memphis for Lucero’s Family Block Party-slash-20th birthday celebration, another trip to Connecticut for the last installment of the Warped Tour (so, mostly, to see The Interrupters) and another trip back to Jersey for the Bouncing Souls‘ annual Stoked For The Summer throwdown that featured sets from Against Me!, Tim Barry, Titus Andronicus and Smoking Popes. Then there was a whirlwind Brooklyn trip to see Brian Fallon and Craig Finn. Oh, and there was another trip to Connecticut for a rager of a Bouncing Souls/Swingin Utters show. And a trip to New Hampshire for another Utters show. And a Frank Turner show in New Hampshire with Bad Cop/Bad Cop too.

Michael Kane

 

Oh The Humanity

Johnny Rioux (Street Dogs)

Rebuilder

But don’t think that means there was a lack of spectacular shows here on the homefront. There were stellar nights with Bundles and Birdwatching and Michael Kane & The Morning Afters and Art Thieves and Street Dogs and of course Rebuilder and of course Rebuilder again and Dan Webb and the Spiders a few times and Mint Green and Depressors and Oh The Humanity and KCUF and Weathered Friends.

Jared Hart and his better half, Casey

Ben Nichols

Trever and Dennis of Face To Face

Kayleigh Goldsworthy (Dave Hause)

National acts of all shapes and sizes came through the Boston area as well. Of course there was Lucero. And the same Brian Fallon/Craig Finn tour. And The Penske File. And The Lawrence Arms with Sincere Engineer and Red City Radio. And Fallon again. And Face To Face with Austin Lucas. And Dave Hause a couple times in a couple different formats. And another Frank Turner show. And Iron Chic. And Dead Bars. And Noi!se. And of course there was Pearl Jam at Fenway.

CJ Ramone

Bouncing Souls

Dave Hause crowd surfing during Frank Turner

Sincere Engineer

If you check this site out a lot, you’ll know I take a ton of pictures at most shows, and I try to present some of my favorite ones on a regular basis. Below, however, is a few dozen of my favorite pictures of the year. Some of them came out great, some of them came out less great but tell a cool story or evoke a great and personal memory. That’s ultimately, I guess, what I try to do when I’m shooting shows. Thanks for reading, and for looking, and for supporting the people and the venues that keep this thing chugging down the road.

Click on the individual pictures to see blow them up. Bring on 2019. -JMS-

 



DS Staff Picks: Jay Stone’s Favorite Albums of 2018 (w/Spotify playlist)

Hey boys and girls, Jay Stone checking in with yet another year-end list. I’m the dopey one on the left up there. Anywho, as is par for the course, I put way more than ten albums on my “top ten” list, because rules are for squares or whatever. I tend to have a tough time coming up with a definitive number one, but my choice here has occupied that spot for the last eight months and never really got knocked off. A lot of the top half of the list is almost interchangeable based on my current mood, and might have even changed in the time between when I typed this list and when I actually published it. There’s a pretty extensive (fifty-ish song) Spotify playlist that features at least a couple tracks from each of these releases, so check it out and maybe find some new music! Check it all out below!



Crash Nomada release music video for “Under en mörk europeisk himmel”

Swedish folk punks Crash Nomada have released a music video for their song “Under en mörk europeisk himmel,” which comes from their latest self-titled album that was released on November 9th.

You can check out the new album below.

Crash Nomada last released the single “Leih Ya Hamam” in 2017.



Divided Heaven (folk-punk) streaming new single “Generator”

Los Angeles based folk-punks Divided Heaven are streaming their new single “Generator”. All proceeds from the single will be donated to the LGBT Center. Drummer Nic Morreale says, “The Los Angeles LGBT Center is an incredible organization
providing health, advocacy, social, legal and housing services for hundreds of thousands of people in the LA area.
With the rising homelessness/cost of living in our hometown, as well as the disgusting attempt of the President to define
the Transgender community out of existence, we wanted–as a band–to raise awareness and money this holiday
season, and show our support. We stand in solidarity with the LGBT community and we encourage our fans, friends and
family to donate to the Los Angeles LGBT Center as well.”

You can check out the new single below.

Divided Heaven’s most recent release was Cold War, released earlier this year. To coincide with the new single, front man Jeff Berman will embark on solo tour dates in Germany and the North East in December. You can find those dates below.



Sincere Engineer shares video of Paul Simon cover

Chicago’s own, Sincere Engineer has shared a video of her cover of the Paul Simon classic “You Can Call Me Al”. Sincere Engineer does a great job of channeling her inner Paul Simon and this is a pretty awesome cover, if we could only get Paul Simon to cover “Corn Dog Sonnet No. 7”.

Check Sincere Engineers take on “You Can Call Me Al” below.



Band Spotlight: Connor Ratliff and Mikey Erg bring us a secular XMAS with “The Spirit of Ratliff”

The punk rock world is wide and weird, and in a joining between comedian Connor Ratliff and the incredibly busy Mikey Erg, it has just gotten a little weirder. Christmas albums aren’t entirely outside of the punk scene’s wheelhouse (just look to Bad Religion and Chris Farren), but this entry might be the most unique I’ve encountered. The Spirit of Ratliff is an ode to the season, delivered with acoustic gusto via songs like, “Have Yourself a Merry Secular Xmas,” “No One Wants A Pizza on Xmas Day,” and “Xmas is Over (Let’s Keep the Lights Up 4 Awhile).” In a more bizarre twist, this album is as much about hating summer (see: “Summer is the Worst”) as much as it is about loving Christmas—secularly, of course.

It is, in a word: ridiculous. But—for a laugh and a little holiday cheer (or to curse the sun), you might just want to take a trip over to State Champion Records and check out the pre-order. The Spirit of Ratliff comes out, appropriately, on Black Friday (11/23), but for a more immediate taste of what the Chris Gethard alums have cooked up, check out the video below for “XMAS is the Best.”



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.



Stream “Nicrophorus Americanus” the new full-length from folk-punk act Coffin Salesman

Back in 2012, when I had a lot more time on my hands, I released a folk-punk compilation album called “Took Folk To Punk (still available for free download).” It featured a handful of up and coming folk-punk bands that I thought seriously deserved more attention. Since then punk frontmen-gone-solo acts seem to have overshadowed the sub-genre, and the lazy genre groupings of punk media organizations (guilty) probably didn’t help shaping perceptions of what a folk-punk band actually might sound like.

Enter Coffin Salesman, a side project of Boston-based musician Aria Rad (of The RadicalsLive Nude Girls). Fiddles, violins, organs and pianos meet electric guitar and punk rock angst. It’s what I would consider “true” folk-punk and had they been around in 2012 they very likely would have wound up alongside Mischief Brew, The Fucking Buckaroos, and all the others on “Too Folk To Punk.” Their new album “Nicrophorus Americanus” was released yesterday and if you dug at all the bands on “Too Folk To Punk” you’re going to want to stream it below.



Bryan McPherson Launches Kickstarter for New Album, “Kings Corner”

Dorchester, Massachusetts, native Bryan McPherson has spent the better part of the last couple decades touring the country and producing solo music that brilliantly melds traditional folk-influenced storytelling with an aggressive, punk rock playing style and work ethic. After moving to California and touring relentlessly across the country and back over the course of the last couple of years in support of his last full-length, 2015’s stellar – and criminally underrated – Wedgewood, McPherson returned home to his native Massachusetts to woodshed material for a new album.

When he got here and saw first-hand the devastating impact that the opioid epidemic of the last several years has had on his hometown, McPherson changed his mind. He decided to go back into his own personal archive to rework old tracks that never really saw the light of day commercially. Many of the songs were written when McPherson himself was in the throes of his own issues with substance use. Now sober for years, McPherson retooled the old material, approaching it from a person with an extra decade-and-a-half of lived experience. The result is Kings Corner, named after the Dorchester street corner that McPherson and his friends used to hang out on (and, coincidentally, a solid fly ball from my own old apartment).

McPherson has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help Kings Corner see the light of day. Head here to check out the unique pledge options!