Monthly Archives: November 2013

Crystal Stilts – Live Review (The Bristol Exchange, 27 November 2013)

The Stilts arrived in Bristol slap bang in the middle of an extensive European tour to support their recent album Nature Noir. The recently opened exchange was the perfect venue to accommodate the moody sounds of the New York four piece, not quite open long enough to have attained sticky floors and a background smell of punk rock body odour, but nonetheless The Exchange felt suitably grimy and rock n roll. After powerfully bearded support act An Axe who bashed out a tight set of scuzzy, growly guitar rock with borderline surf guitars followed the slightly more restrained, Proper Ornaments, whose clever intertwining guitar work unfortunately drowned out the groups hushed, mumbled vocals.

The Crystal Stilts’ arrival on stage was heralded by the drone of organs and deeply reverbed bass guitar, hyper real images of shorelines at sunset and beautiful countryside projected on and behind the band in psychedelic colours. The drone built and they crashed into the opener, Spirit in Front of Me, whose woozy stomp got the audience members’ feet tapping and heads nodding. This momentum was kept up with rollicking Future Folklore,with singer Brad Hargett cooing “Back to the underworld, back to the sea, back to the garden, just you and me” and sounding as if Iggy Pop fronted the Velvet Underground. When heard live inevitably Hargett’s voice did not have quite the domineering presence it does on record but it still had power and with layers of reverb and echo the lyrics and message still came across clearly.

The band are incredibly slick live due to years of playing together. Drummer Keegan Cooke stole the show with his tight, thundering and precise rhythms. This sound propelled along new track Sticks and Stones and previous release, Star Crawl; featuring great guitar work from JB Townsend and sounding as good as anything the Stilts have done before. Worlds Gone Weird was another highlight; Hargett singing that he’s been “…walking forever, stretching the tether” with his eyes tightly shut swaying in front of the microphone, sometimes grabbing hold as if for support. In keeping with the bands trippy sound, Hargett spent most of the evening in this trance, leaving front man banter duties to keyboardist Kyle Forrester who, after informing us that they were close to breaking the curfew, joked that they wouldn’t want to upset all the neighbouring late night massage parlours. Forrester’s keyboards were excellent throughout, evoking the classic sound of the doors’ Ray Manzarek. Though Hargett’s more introverted approach to stage craft worked well, you did at times wish he’d show some animation in keeping with the cymbal crashes and numerous guitar flourishes. The band were only half way offstage before the hardcore Crystal Stilts fan club were yelling and encouraging them back on for one more prowling, sinister number. Then after that they were off, taking the muggy groove to the rest of Europe.

By Josh Bennett

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Introducing…Snowmine

Brooklyn quintet Snowmine don’t just want to create music that you hear. They want to make music that you feel, that is in every breath, every corner and settles deep within the heart. That feeling is front and center, filling out all corners of their forthcoming album Dialects which is set for release on February 4 2014 on the band’s own Mystery Buildings imprint.

The widescreen, intertwining instrumentation heard on recent release, Rome (premiered by My Old Kentucky Blog originally) is a good document of this. The band have recently released the Rome video which is distinctly tactile thanks to the found footage throughout and allows the song to truly draw you in. Snowmine have also annnounced their first batch of 2014 tour dates.

The Brooklyn quintet formed out of a longtime friendship between bassist Jay Goodman, drummer Alex Beckmann and lead singer/composer Grayson Sanders. They soon met guitarist Austin Mendenhall after his then recent move from the DC jazz scene and finally invited their old friend, guitarist Calvin Pia, to complete the five-piece.

The band has built a completely organic following to date through successful touring and close fan contact on social media. After lengthy label talks, they recently decided to forego the label system altogether and self release their sophomore album on their own label, Mystery Buildings.

The band said: “To give you some background on the recording, there are no foreign samples on this album. Every single sound and orchestral moment was written, arranged and recorded by us.  The goal of the album was to capture a surreal ambiance that married hyper modern ambient synth tones with vintage 60’s sounding cinematic orchestral motifs. We recorded a choir, strings, woodwinds and reamped synths in a church to capture truly real stereo reverbs so in headphones you can feel physical not artificially created space.”

You can catch Snowmine live on the following dates:
Dec 12 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Feb 5 Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Feb 7 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s (Co-headline with Norwegian Arms)
Feb 8 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery

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Bring Me The Horizon Announce 2014 American Tour Dates

Bring Me The Horizon has announced a headlining North American tour for early 2014 with very special guests Of Mice & Men. These are the first headlining North American dates for the band since Autumn 2011.

Sheffield-based Bring Me The Horizon has had an exceptionally notable year. Their critically-acclaimed, Terry Date produced and David Bendeth mixed album Sempiternal was deemed by Rolling Stone as “appealingly aggressive” and “the year’s most accomplished metal albums” according to NME. Respectively, the band blazed the covers of both Alternative Press and Kerrang!.

In support of Sempiternal, Bring Me The Horizon took their notoriously epic show to the Warped Tour main stage where lucky attendees witnessed the band bring the album to life. Those in the UK were taken by storm with Bring Me The Horizon’s headlining Reading and Leeds show-stealing performances and recent two night stand at London’s Brixton Academy.

Fans left wanting more are in for a treat as the metal band will return to the US in early 2014. Of Mice & Men will join as direct support plus more guests yet to be announced.

Bring Me The Horizon is shaping up to be the biggest breakthrough metal act of 2013. And if one thing is certain, band members Jordan Fish, Lee Malia, Matt Kean, Matt Nicholls and Oli Sykes are ready for it.

Tickets for the tour are on sale now. Fans are invited to seek more information by visiting: http://www.bringmethehorizon.co.uk/.

You can catch Bring Me The Horizon live on the following dates:*
Feb 03 Orlando, FL – The Plaza ‘Live’ Theater
Feb 04 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution Live
Feb 05 St. Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
Feb 06 Jacksonville, FL – Brewster’s Megaplex
Feb 08 Mexico City, DF – Jose Cuervo Salon
Feb 10 Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theater
Feb 11 Phoenix, AZ – Marquee Theater
Feb 12 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
Feb 13 Denver, CO – The Ogden
Feb 14 Kansas City, MO – Uptown
Feb 15 Sauget, IL – Pops
Feb 17 Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights
Feb 18 Chicago, IL – House of Blues
Feb 21 Plymouth, MI – Compuware Arena
Feb 22 Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
Feb 24 Montreal, QC – Metropolis
Feb 27 Worchester, PA – The Palladium
Feb 28 New York, NY – Best Buy
Mar 02 Philadelphia, PA – The Electric Factory
Mar 03 Silver Springs, MD – The Fillmore Silver Springs
Mar 04 Clifton Park, NY – Upstate
Mar 06 Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle
Mar 07 Nashville, TN – War Memorial Auditorium
Mar 08 Memphis, TN – New Daisy
Mar 10  New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
Mar 11 Houston, TX – House of Blues
Mar 12 Mission, TX – Las Palmas Race Park (Never Say Never Fest)
Mar 13 San Antonio, TX – Backstage Live
Mar 14 Austin, TX – SXSW
Mar 15 Grand Prairie, TX – Quik Trip Park (South By So What?! Fest)
Mar 16 Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
Mar 18 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
Mar 21 San Francisco, CA – Regency Grand Ballroom
Mar 24 Seattle, WA –  Showbox at the Market
Mar 25 Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theater
Mar 26 Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Mar 28 San Diego, CA – Soma

* all dates with Of Mice & Men

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Boxed In Reveals New Video For Single, All Your Love Is Gone

Boxed In’s debut single All Your Love Is Gone has already won him lots of fans, stacking up an impressive play count and winning praise across the web, radio and press.

Now with the 7” and digital download having been released this week through Moshi Moshi, Boxed In (AKA London’s Oli Bayston) releases a video to accompany the track.

Directed by Nils Hoover the video features excerpts from a train journey through the mountains of Norway’s west coast which as The Fly describe: “…like the song itself, it’s an arrestingly beautiful trip”.

The single was produced by Dan Carey whose previous production credits include Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip, Bat For Lashes and Toy. It features the ever steady and talented work of fellow band members Liam Hutton on drums and Mark Nicholls on bass.

You can catch Boxed In live on the following date:
2 Dec – London The Waiting Room (Tickets)

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The Lawrence Arms To Release First Full-Length Album in Eight Years

Chicago’s own The Lawrence Arms will release Metropole, their first full-length album in eight years, on January 28 via Epitaph. Noisey recently premiered a track from the record.

The Lawrence Arms formed in Chicago in 1999 and members Brendan Kelly (vocals/bassist), Chris McCaughan (vocals/guitar) and Neil Hennessey (drummer) have released five studio albums to date. Their sixth album and first with Epitaph, Metropole, captures “…that alone-in-a-crowd, stranger-in-a-strange-land kind of shit—a feeling of such weird solitude that you don’t even know what’s up and what’s down because you’re so caught in the wake of the city” said Kelly.

Metropole was recorded at Chicago’s Atlas Studios with co-producer Matt Allison who has also worked with Chicago-punk-scene veterans Alkaline Trio. The follow-up to their 2009 Fat Wreck Chords EP Buttsweat and Tears, the new venture takes the band’s gritty punk rock and fiery spirit to reveal a new passion of the band for storytelling-through-songwriting. Take the bravely personal lyrics of premiered track, You Are Here, where McCaughan ironically sings, “Days just keep rolling on/They won’t miss me when I’m gone/I’m the chorus to that lonely street/Just footsteps fading from a dying beat”. But it is clear that after a long hiatus, dedicated fans have missed The Lawrence Arms and are ready for the band’s most dynamic album to date.

“When we got going on making the album it felt like we were writing at a different and sort of evolved level which was really exciting” noted McCaughan. He continued: “It’s like all that time off ended up creating a whole new energy for us.”

Taking time off also helped inspire new creativity as they took inspiration from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, classic late-‘90s hip-hop like Outkast’s Aquemini, Japanese hardcore bands and pop songs on the radio. Listeners will notice thoughtful detail as the band takes you through the many moods of Metropole through a series of fragments of street-musician performances that the band members recorded on their phones.

The multi-year break between albums ultimately went a long way in refining the band’s vision and sound. “Because of the way we exist as a band, it was important for us to wait until we knew we had something to say that was sharp and pointed and dynamic and incisive and if we didn’t have that, then we’d just rather not make a record” explained Kelly.

Catch The Lawrence Arms live in their hometown of Chicago on New Year’s Eve, December 31, at Concord Music Hall. Fans are invited to pre-order the Metropole at: http://kingsroadmerch.com/epitaph-records.

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The Milk Carton Kids Announce 2014 Tour Dates

Following a triumphant performance on Austin City Limits and a third appearance on A Prairie Home Companion, Los Angeles duo The Milk Carton Kids have announced a series of North American tour dates for the Spring of 2014 playing in support of their acclaimed Anti- Records release, The Ash & Clay.

The Milk Carton Kids were featured in two PBS television events last week. First, the PBS documentary Nashville 2.0: The Rise of Americana aired on November 22 nationwide and highlighted the duo’s shaping of the new Americana movement. The second, ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2013, featured the band’s performance at the Ryman Auditorium in September and aired in the ACL time slot on PBS throughout the week.

In the last three years, the Los Angeles based flat-picking harmony duo has emerged as a powerful voice defining the continuing folk tradition. A refreshing alternative to the foot-stomping grandeur of the so-called “folk revival,” an understated virtuosity defines The Milk Carton Kids to the delight of traditionalists and genre newcomers alike.

You can catch The Milk Carton Kids live on the following dates:
4/14 April – Nashville, TN – Belcourt Theater
4/15 April – St. Louis, MO – Sheldon Ballroom
4/16 April – Memphis, TN – Buckman Performing Arts Center
4/17 April – Birmingham, AL – TBD
4/18 April – Atlanta, GA – The Buckhead Theatre
4/19 April – Asheville, NC – Grey Eagle
4/21 April – Vienna, VA – The Barns at Wolf Trap
4/22 April – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
4/24 April – Brownfield, ME – Stone Mountain Arts Center
4/30 April – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
5/1 May – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
5/2 May – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
5/3 May – Toronto, ON – The Great Hall
5/5 May – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
5/6 May – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
5/7 May – Grand Rapids, MI – Ladies Literary Club
5/10 May – Stoughton, WI – Stoughton Opera House
5/11 May – Minneapolis, MN – Dakota Jazz Club
5/12 May – Winnipeg, MB – TBD
5/14 May – Calgary, AB – Festival Hall
5/15 May – Edmonton, AB – McDougall United Church
5/29 May – Houston, TX – Mucky Duck
5/30 May – Austin, TX – Stateside Theater
5/31 May – Dallas, TX – Poor David’s Pub
6/1 June – Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Door
6/3 June – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
6/5 June – Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room
6/6 June – Boise, ID – Neurolux
6/11 June – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre
6/12 June – Vancouver, BC – St. James Hall
6/14 June – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
6/16 June – Napa, CA – City Winery
6/17 June – Santa Cruz, CA – Kuumbwa Jazz
6/18 June – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
6/19 June – Santa Barbara, CA – TBD
6/21 June – Los Angeles, CA – Japan America Theater
6/22 June – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up
6/23 June – Phoenix, AZ – Musical Instument Museum

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Crystal Stilts Celebrate Their UK Tour With Free Download

Following the release of their fluid and cathartic new album Nature Noir, New Yorkers Crystal Stilts returned to the UK for a string of live shows this week.

To celebrate, they’re giving away one of Nature Noir’s more dreamy and wistful moments, track Sticks and Stones.

Crystal Stilts formed in 2003 in New York City and is Brad Hargett (vocals) and JB Townsend (guitar). They are currently joined by Andy Adler (bass), Keegan Cooke (drums) and Kyle Forester (keys).

You can catch Crystal Stilts live on the final two dates of their UK tour:
27 Nov – The Exchange, Bristol
28 Nov – Cargo, London

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