Tag Archives: Bands

The War On Drugs “Slave Ambient” [NEW MUSIC]

Tuesday’s are funny days.  In most cases I hate Tuesday far worse than I hate Monday’s.  I don’t really have a point to make here just a casual dumb statement from the mind of me.  Tuesday’s suck, but one good thing came out of yesterday’s specific Tuesday, The War on Drugs.  Dum dum dummmm.  Now I’m not here to give you a lecture about the pot you hide in your sock drawer or under your mattress, I’m giving you the good tuneage to listen to while you may or may not use said drugs.  An indie rock outfit who embraces mellow sounds and intense euphoria, The War On Drugs might just be the next big thing.

Best Night – The War On Drugs

The War On Drugs most recent release is called “Slave Ambient.”  It has all kinds of goods.  It has the elements of a great 60’s/ 70’s classic rock record mixed with awesome effects and synth touches we have come to love from modern indie rock.  Bright guitars and cool laid back vocals are the keys to this record.  Easy going back beats with keen bass work all come together for me on this record.  Upon first listen I was immediatly hooked.  This is music I like to listen to.  This is the kind of stuff when you play it in your office on re-peat people ask you “who are these guys.”  And then you say nothing and just point to the album cover on your spotify.

I Was There – The War On Drugs

The War On Drugs is from Philedelphia PA.  Current members include Adam Granduciel who seems to be a jack of all trades on vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards and samplers.  He is joined by Dave Hartley on bass and other guitars and Mike Zanghi on drums, percussion and sampler.  Past members included Kurt Vile who had some fame on his own with his solo project and was recently chosen by Animal Collective to perform at this years All Tomorrow’s Parties.  But he’s not in the band any more so enough about him.  Stripped down to three members this record doesn’t sound like it at all.  With all the samples and loops coming from all different directions its easy to get lost in the harmonic and euphoric over load.

It’s Your Destiny – The War On Drugs

I read a bunch of reviews (pitchforks rave review is here) and people dig this band just as much as I do.  I think it brings new appreciation to a tired classic rock folk scene elevating it to a new level while keeping the continuity from past to present.  It’s almost as if they are re-inventing the wheel in the best way possible.  These are new sounds for a new generation who happen to love the music of the old generation.

Come to The City – The War On Drugs

The theme of Americana runs steadily throughout this record.  This music is well traveled.  There is experience behind the words.  Ramblin’ and drifting as is quoted from that last track “Come to The City” seems to be what it’s all about.  This music will put your ass in a euphoric trance from first track to last simple as that and I don’t think I’m alone in saying it’s pretty rare for bands to do that these days.  I listen to this record (for the 4th time now) and each time I hear something new in the songs and bob my head along even more so than the first or second time.

Baby Missiles – The War On Drugs

I’m excited to see where this band goes from here.  They have a pretty extensive tour in the works hitting Europe and multiple spots in the US.  Having already appeared on big time indie music blogs (this one included) I wouldn’t be surprised is these guys blew up more than actual Baby Missiles (hilarious/ terrible to think about, but your thinking about it already so you might as well chuckle).

Their tour page is HERE if you can read it.  I had to squint so hopefully they fix that shit soon because I have a feeling people are going to want to see them live.  They are playing The Satellite Lounge in LA on October 22nd and at 10 bones a ticket it’s 100% completely and utterly worth it to go and go twice.  I bought a pair of tickets already so basically if you have a poor excuse for a credit card like me you don’t have an excuse not to.

Black Water Falls – The War On Drugs

That was the last track.  I would give these guys some serious attention.  I know I say a lot of bubbly good things about a lot (all) of the bands I write about and I mean it all, I really do.  Once in a while a band comes around that has the potential to do a little more damage than your average small rock club indie band.  Mark my words.  Let them get some shows under their belts and soon they will be playing big venues in a city near you.  They have a sound that people have liked for decades.  They have taken that sound and turned it on its ass… so you should listen to them.  It’s as simple as that.  Oh yea and buy their record here.

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Heavy Cream, Useless Eaters, and Feral Beat at The Basement in Nashville, TN [SHOW]

It’s a Sunday evening in Nashville and you’re not quite done with your weekend, so what do you do?  You check out the bands that you could possibly see for only five bucks at The Basement on 8th Avenue South!  This past Sunday was a night filled with indie punk rock music derived from soul and rock-and-roll influences.  The show started at 10:00pm with a band called Feral Beat.  I had a chance to talk with their lead singer Seth Sutton after the first set, and learned that he was also fronting Useless Eaters and playing bass for Heavy Cream.  A very talented guy from Memphis, TN, Seth moved to Nashville to fully pursue music, and you can tell that he’s going after it.  The second set required a change at bass and drums in preparation for Useless Eaters, a Neo-soul trio from Nashville.  After a driving, high-energy set, Heavy Cream took the stage as the headline act, which closed out a great night of underground Nashville indie punk rock.

Feral Beat is a very new band in Nashville, TN featuring Seth Sutton on guitars and vocals, Allison Waid on drums and vocals, and Mimi Galbierz on bass.  It seems as though the group formed as a side project from Useless Eaters and Heavy Cream.  This was a fun new band to see live, and I hope that they continue to play around town.

Useless Eaters is an indie neo-soul band from Nashville, TN.  With pumping beats and infamous bright guitar tone, they seemed to have locked in a sound that suits them.  It almost makes you feel like you’re part of a early 90s garage band show, but this band is far removed from playing for themselves in some old box with poor acoustics and oil on the floor.  They have positioned themselves in a new light within Nashville’s independent scene.  Check out this song from Useless Eaters called “Daft Love.”

Heavy Cream

Heavy Cream is a local punk rock visual band featuring Mimi on guitar, Daniel on bass, Tiffany on drums, and Jessica on strings.  They are the most well known of the three groups that played on Sunday night, and their performance showed it.  The band describes their journey simply; “We started in 1997, broke up in the fall, got back together January of 2009 and sealed the deal on Valentine’s day.”  They also uniquely describe their genre as “Stonehenge punk.”  Check out one of their songs called “Tina.”

Be sure to check out The Basement’s “New Faces Nite” most Tuesdays for free shows with great local artists!

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play, Music Without Labels, LLC

Dive Bomber Live at Brick by Brick in San Diego, CA [PHOTOS]

Dive Bomber Live at Brick By Brick in San Diego, CA

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Photography By: Shane Suski |Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA| @shanewithmwl | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC

 

Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue at Rock The Desert in Midland, TX [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

Earlier this month, I was invited to hop on the tour bus with the production crew for a band called Skillet.  The weekend included a 15-hour drive to Midland, TX, a six-hour load-in/setup, a three-hour load out, and another 15-hour drive back to Nashville.  This is only a portion of what goes into the band’s hour set filled with lights, pyro, cryo, mechanical stage pieces, and a drum riser that lifts 20 feet in the air and spins 360 degrees.  It all makes for a pretty awesome concert experience.  That’s almost a given when a band invests their money in production, but most bands don’t have the money to afford even a basic lighting rig.  Well, how are independent bands supposed to compete with thousands of dollars of production gear?  Easy answer.  They don’t have to!

This is where Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue come into play as a prime example.  They pre-headlined before this set filled with monster production.  He didn’t have fire, or strobe lights, or a crazy drum riser, but he didn’t need it.  The energy, positivity, and musicianship that he brought to the stage with his band was enough to get everyone’s attention.  The band members, including Mike Farris, are pros and touring veterans with many years of experience.  For example, most touring bands encourage their drummer to play with a click and a lot of bands have backing tracks that make this necessary.  Mike’s band and drummer was so tight and so raw that they didn’t have to use either.  With horns, organ, electric guitar, bass, drums, and the McCrary Sisters, their music was driving, pure, organic, and fun.  Unfortunately, the band doesn’t have any live videos from their recent tour, but check out this video of Mike Farris playing “The Night the Cumberland Came Alive.”

Mike Farris was the founder and lead singer of a blues-rock band from Nashville, TN called Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies, but has continued his career as a solo act since 2001.  He won an Americana Music Award for New/Emerging Artist Of The Year in 2008 and a GMA Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year for SHOUT! Live in 2010.  Today, he tours and makes music as a gospel music artist with his band called the Roseland Rhythm Revue.  His music focuses on early American gospel and blues, distinguishable from today’s contemporary gospel artists.  The Roseland Rhythm Revue has some of the great touring musicians of today including the McCrary Sisters (Bob Dylan’s backup singers).  Mike’s latest project is a six song EP released last year called The Night the Cumberland Came Alive, which was created to support the victims of the Middle Tennessee floods that occurred nearly two years ago.

All facts aside, Mike Farris is a truly incredible live performer.  If you ever get a chance to see him play, don’t let the opportunity pass you by!

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

P-Nuckle Live at The Gothic Theatre in Englewood, CO [Photos] [Free Download]

P-Nuckle Live at The Gothic Theatre in Englewood, CO

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play P-Nuckle

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Check Out P-Nuckle!!!

Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Operations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Roundhand Rowan live at The Hardscuffle (CMC) in Nashville, TN [SHOW]

When I moved into my new house in Nashville a couple days ago, I had a decision to make.  Should I stay at home and keep unpacking or put it off to go see some friends at a hardcore show?  Well, I’m glad I went with the later because I got to see Roundhand Rowan take the stage with full production.  I’ll be honest.  I don’t get out to too many hardcore shows, but these guys had some fresh ideas and killer stage presence.  Their creativity was reflected the most in their breakdown sections with different time signatures and various intricate combinations of rhythms and melodies.  I’m sure glad that I brought my -15db earplugs because like most hardcore rock shows, it was loud.  Here’s a photo from the show with sweet production.  (I did what I could without the luxury of an SLR)

Roundhand Rowan, aka RHR, is a melodic-hardcore band from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and last night was the last out-of-state stop on their summer tour.  The band is composed of Jesse (vocals, guitar, synth), Cody (guitar, synth, vocals), David (drums, vocals), and Derek (guitar, synth, screams).  They started playing together two years ago, and have really started to develop within the last year.  RHR has shared the stage with The Devil Wears Prada, Attack Attack, Asking Alexandria, Gwen Stacy, For Today, and many more.  Check out their music video for one of their songs called “They Hunt the Defeated.”

One of my favorite things about Roundhand Rowan (besides the gut-wrenching screams from Derek) is their message.  A lot of hardcore, screamo, or metal bands out there don’t relay a very positive message in their music.  Roundhand Rowan has made it a point to “spread love and positivity to those they entertain.”  Even though their music is hard, loud, and one of the furthest things from Jack Johnson or Colbie Caillat, RHR strives to “lift up others to rise over the negativity perpetuated in this world.”  These aren’t your typical cookie-cutter straight edge rockers, but they certainly long to express a positive lifestyle through their music.

I talked with a couple members from the band for a while after the show.  Having toured with a band myself, I know from experience that the road can take a toll on a person physically and emotionally.  Despite a busted van and trailer, the guys seemed to be in good spirits coming into the last leg of their travels.  Touring with little to no budget is a huge test for any independent band.  The financial struggles alone can cause doubt and frustration to set in.  RHR might have been tired, but their spirits were high and they put on a good show.  For more information on Roundhand Rowan, check out their Facebook page or Myspace.

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Two Door Cinema Club from Northern Ireland [SHOW/MUSIC]

The summer drag in the music industry is coming to an end and the touring season begins!  Things are about to get a little nutty in the music industry.  Bands will be starting their fall tours, students will be back at college, and I will be officially moved into my new house in Nashville.  Fortunately, there won’t be any mid-terms, lectures, or group meetings because I finished up with school in May!  As I look back on a solid year of changes, music, and transitions, I can’t help but think about my favorite bands and concerts that I experienced last year.  One of those bands is Two Door Cinema Club.  From only being active for four years, this indie rock group from Northern Ireland claimed my attention from first listen of their debut album Tourist History.

This spring marked the year anniversary of this historic album released by their Europe-based label called Kitsuné, and let me tell you, it’s still just as good as it was a year ago.  Two Door Cinema Club filled my summer of 2010 with pumping grooves and fresh original music.  Well, enough of me trying to describe their music, give yourself a listen!

For me, last fall was my first time in Nashville, and I wanted to experience Music City in all of its glory.  If it meant eating less so that I could afford to go to more concerts, that’s what I did.  I never regretted that decision, especially after seeing Two Door Cinema Club at Mercy Lounge.  The place was packed with your typical indie-rock crowd, but the show was anything but typical.  Alex Trimble (lead vocals, guitar, synths), Sam Halliday (guitar, vocals), Kevin Baird (bass, vocals), and Benjamin Thompson (drums) put on a killer show with high energy from start to finish.  They truly own their sound, which can be easily recognized over their contemporaries.  Songs like “I Can Talk” have been featured in video game soundtracks and TV, while other songs have appeared in dozens of other promos around the world.  Want to hear more music?  Check out their newest music video for “What You Know.”

Two Door Cinema Club has gained a lot of attention in a short amount of time since they started in 2007.  With previous interest and support from fans online, the band released their first recording on an EP “Four Words To Stand” in January 2009.  After quickly increasing in popularity in only six months, they decided to begin recording their debut album in July.  Tourist History was released in the spring of 2010 in Ireland, the UK, and the USA.  This strong dedication to producing music didn’t go without reward.  The last year for Two Door Cinema Club has featured countless advances in all aspects of their music.  From new remixes to appearances, they have been hard at work and their music has been well-received.  The band has played a number of festivals this year including Orange Evolution, Glastonbury, Coachella, and Lollapalooza, and has toured with bands such as Phoenix, Metronomy, and Tokyo Police Club.

Two Door Cinema Club will be touring the US in September 2011 with special guests Bombay Bicycle Club and The Lonely Forest.  Unfortunately, Nashville will not be one of their stops next month, but be sure to check out if they are coming to a city near you.  This is going to be a tour that you don’t want to miss!

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Big Slim & The Blues Invaders LIve at Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub in San Diego, CA [PHOTOS]

Big Slim & The Blues Invaders LIve at Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub in San Diego, CA

Big Slim & The Blues Invaders– “When We Were Young”

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From BIO:  “Born in Muncie Indiana, John “Big Slim” Anderson started playing music at 9 years old. He played most of the brass instruments and by the age of 16 played the trumpet in his first professional band. Since that time, Big Slim has been in many bands, playing many styles of music. He switched to the bass and has never looked back. Since moving to San Diego, Big Slim has played in several bands as the front man. During this time, he began writing and performing his own music, a mix of blues, rock, and R&B…”

CHECK THEM OUT

Photography By: Shane Suski |Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA| @shanewithmwl | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC

O.A.R. “King” [NEW MUSIC]

HOLD ON A SECOND!   I can hear you yelling at me for this post already.  Jeeze louise.  I will cautiously start this post by saying I LOVE THIS BAND so take a hike if you’re a hater.  I always have and they have always held a special place in my heart right near where my 17 year old self lives.  OAR is awesome.   Crazy Game of Poker, Night Shift, Hey Mr. Brown (NOTE:  So the title “Hey Mr. Brown is wrong and I got called out on it.  The song is actually titled “ABOUT Mr. Brown!”  Man I was wayyyyyyy off… And for the record yes I do listen to this band.  Also for the record I hate the word “about” so I changed it to “hey” cuz I can do whatever I want.  Just saying),  Ok now we’re back… City on Down and many many more are songs that we all listened to while drinking our first underaged beers or attending our first concerts (Sprite Liquid Mix Tour!  What! What!)  I honestly don’t know if it’s cool or not to love this band anymore and I don’t care.  I can hear you stripping me of the little/ any indie cred I may or may not have had.  I don’t give a shit.  The boys in OAR have just released a new record and I got to say they are sporting somewhat of a new sound with the same old roots rock vibe they’e always worn on their sleeve.  Their new release is called “King”.  Clocking in at 16 tracks take a listen as we go through this.  You might stay in love with these guys or fall in love all over again., no homo.

King – OAR (feat. Russell Simmons and DJ Logic)

WHAT?  Yea, I know, BOOM!  DJ Logic and Russell Simmons in your face, first track!  See, I told you they were sounding different these days.  As the record moves on they have embraced the pop music they are oh so good at creating and have added more production, samples and goodies.  Moving on.

Heaven – OAR

Horns are just killing it all over this record.  OAR tours with Jerry and his signature sax sound, but I think the addition of a larger horn section on the recordings really supports OAR’s cause.  I think lead singer Marc Roberge has a great voice and with the addition of great backing vocals makes him sound even better.  With Benji on bass and Chris on drums they are just building on a great root sound they have perfected over the last 10 years if not more.  The next track I love has a little island flare and once again features big horns and great vocals by Marc.

Are You Low? – OAR

As I moved through this record.  I’m in love.  Big electric sounds, samples and under it all is the OAR we all know and love.  The sound is bigger, heavier.  The guitars rock and blare like I have never heard from this band.  They are firing reggae infused roots rock on all cylinders.

Gotta Live – OAR

I think I am running out of things to say about this band, but I will say this.  Since “In Between Now and Then” I have been a fan.  Years later, I admit, I have fallen out of love with OAR and moved on to other musical tastes, but after stumbling on to these guys again I immediately remember why I was drawn to them in the first place.  Great songs, melodies and rhythms.  They are just a fun band.  If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing them live you will know ten fold what I’m talking about.  I think I saw them upwards of 10 times in high school and college and those were some of the best shows that defined my earlier years as a music lover.

Almost Easy – OAR

The dudes are currently out with Dave Matthews and their traveling caravan.  They are also wrapping up their tour and are making a stop locally in San Diego on October uno.  Road trip anyone?  Here’s the tour page, hopefully they are coming to a city near you and I’m sure they will announce more dates soon.  Here’s the last tune from OAR’s “KING” as well as a sweet bonus track.  You can buy thier record just about anywhere, even on the internet.  Enjoy the new sounds OAR is making.  I know I am.

Back to One – OAR

World Like That – OAR

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Lady Dottie and the Diamonds LIve at Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub in San Diego, CA [PHOTOS]

Lady Dottie and the Diamonds LIve at Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub in San Diego, CA

Lady Dottie and the Diamonds– “I ain’t mad at ya”

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Just awarded the 2011 San Diego Music Award for “BEST BLUES BAND”!!!

Photography By: Shane Suski | Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA |@shanewithmwl |Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC