The headline kinda just says it all, doesn't it? There's a new video from local country cuties The Harlan Twins, the song's called "Canine Teeth" and I'm sticking it below, for you to watch and enjoy as the second day of the work-week comes to a close. Don't say I don't treat you well.
This week's MP3 comes from local rockers Underscore Adia, who recently released their self-titled debut EP. It's lo-fi, fun rock with a punk edge — high-energy and youthful. Dig "Baby, I'm Serious as a Heart Attack" below!
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Club Zoo in the Strip has long been a place for the under-21 set to get down, and for the rest of us to occasionally catch a rock show. (Ben Folds played there last year, for example.) The club's not going away, but this weekend it's packing up and moving to the suburbs.
The club re-opens this Saturday, Jan. 7, in Harmarville, at 2801 Freeport Rd. The old Club Zoo, in the Strip, will be re-opening as a regular, adults-only night club by spring. Zoo's owners cite the revitalization of Strip District nightlife and the desire for a more appropriate site for underage partying for the move.
The grand opening takes place Saturday night, then the club will be open Friday and Saturday nights weekly. As of right now, the plan is to continue hosting occasional live concerts at the club as well.
As an interesting aside, we present the current list of no-nos according to Club Zoo's dress code:
1. Bandanas, Dew Rags, or Skull Caps of any color worn or in possession of.
2. Rubber bands or head bands of any color to be worn in hair.
3. Designs shaved into hair or eyebrows.
4. Hats worn tilted to the side — left or right.
5. Oversized or sagging pants or shirts.
6. Rope or Shoe String Belts.
8. Pant and shirt combinations of any one solid color or particular logos excessively placed on it.
9. Outdoor work boots.
10. Weapon charms of any kind.
11. Red, blue, or orange shoe laces.
12. Oversized jean outfits.
13. Oversized plain white, black, red, or blue t-shirts.
14. Rolled up pant legs — left or right.
15. Winter hats, knit hats, ski caps, and head/sweat bands.
16. Unlaced shoes or two sets of laces in one or both shoes.
18. Khaki work outfits.
19. ¾ length oversized shorts with work boots.
20. Tear Drop tattoos or spider web tattoo on neck or next to thumb.
21. Hats or clothing bearing the single letter G or letters OG, CAP, LAW, or LA.
22. Using buzz words, throwing hand signs.
23. Ladies cannot wear numbered sports jersey with team logo.
Are you tired of 2011 “Best of” lists yet? Maybe there’s enough energy in your system to read ONE MORE? If so, read on! Here are my “Top 4” lists (4 just felt like a better number than 3, 5, or 10), concentrating on bands, tunes, and albums solely from Pittsburgh (in no particular order).
Four Favorite Pittsburgh Albums of 2011
Pittsburgh groups like Sistered, Neighbours, Delicious Pastries, Hunted Creatures, and Host Skull all treated us to solid 2011 offerings, and I wish I could include them all on the list below, but without further ado, here are my four favorite releases. (Full disclosure: I’m not including albums by any bands I play in, even though I (naturally) dig those too.)
Allies, Wire Walk
Like a more mature Jawbox, or Q and Not U, or any other Dischord band that we’ll never see play live again, Allies incorporates standard punk/indie influences with some added emotional depth. This applies to every track on Wire Walk, an album with everything from nostalgic blasts of post-hardcore (“Screens”) to darker guitar noise (“Long Live”).
Legs Like Tree Trunks, self-titled EP
The mathy guitar tinkering on Legs Like Tree Trunks’ EP would’ve found a home on Jade Tree or Polyvinyl labels if it was 1999. Unfortunately the 90’s are over (I cringe every morning waking up to that thought), but this EP adds a fresh ounce of nostalgia while furthering their aggressive yet clean sound.
Kim Phuc, Copsucker
A full-length album? Well it’s about time, fellas. The minimal cover art predicts a frigid listening experience, but halfway through all I wanted was a beer in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other (ehh…maybe substitute that pizza for another beer).
Ivory Weeds, I Am…Entropy
A pleasant year-end surprise! Legit experimental songwriters either chug out sweet atmospheric soundscapes or they pen solid songs…but rarely ever accomplish both. I nearly vomited my late-night snack with excitement upon first listen to “We Shouldn’t,” the album’s first track. “Wow, that ruled,” I thought. “I hope the rest of the album is just as strong.” It is.
Four Favorite Pittsburgh Songs of 2011
Big Snow Big Thaw, “Damn Allegheny”
While others go insane for popular folk acts like The Avett Brothers, one needn’t travel far from home to catch creative bluegrass/folk music in Pittsburgh (unless you're reading this from, say, Poland, in which case you may need to travel a bit). The harmonies throughout “Brackish Water” have a perfect blend—kind of like that $6 cup of coffee you just paid for…oh, and the song’s amazing too.
The Ceiling Stares, “Tunnel Through the Air”
Last autumn The Ceiling Stares emerged back onto the scene with a fresh lineup to support this Velocity of Sound-released 7”. I can’t decipher the lyrics, but the psychedelic grungy vibe is quite uplifting.
Slices, “Modern Bride”
Merging noise rock guitars with grizzly punk vocals, they’ve come a long way from electronic noise drones (though the noise stuff ruled too!). Purchase this killer 7” at their shows, and don’t forget to catch other projects from Slices members like Pay the Rent and Tusk Lord.
The Slow Reel, “Come Back (Babe)”
This poppy offering, hidden near the end of 2011’s Governor’s Daughter, differs a bit from their usual Tom Pettified-southern rock. Mixing female backing vocals reminiscent of Transformer-era Lou Reed (long before he met his new Metallica buds) with Rob Collier’s unique voice and you’ve got a perfectly sung tender pop tune like this one.
4 Favorite Pittsburgh Bands Who Didn’t Release Anything (That I Know Of) in 2011
But Still Deserve a Mention
Like any band whose name is suitable for a video game mafia boss, The Lopez kicks your ass during their deafening shows. Steph chomps at the keyboard bits when not strangling the microphone, while Jesse’s fuzzed-filled guitar tricks the audience into imagining a thick wall of amplifiers hidden behind him. I don’t know the make/model of their drum machine, or else I’d credit it too.
Their van floods with random electric guitars, so expect crazy tunings and guitar chops similar to Stephen Malkmus, Dean Wareham, or the Sonic Youth dudes. Elastic bass lines cover every inch of the fret board, and there’s the tight (yet loose) drumming holding everything together. Did I just describe every Matador Records band from the 90s? Pretty much!
Raw Blow is a band designed for those who dig the following: German Krautrock (motorik) drumming, 1960s obscure pop song samples, and vocals tinged with punk and hip-hop stylings. For those who don’t care for any of the stuff I just mentioned, it’s OK, you’ll still like them.
Carousel’s embodied spirit of late 70’s classic rock/early metal rocked our faces off one guitar solo at a time, whether playing sets at the Brillobox or Gooski’s or playing as Kiss at The Shop’s Halloween cover band show. Just you wait: Kiss will be covering Carousel songs soon enough.
Let us now turn our eye toward Punchline, the 14-year-old pop-punk band from Belle Vernon — I mean, the band itself is that old, not the members. This week the band dropped a new EP, and it's been surging on the iTunes charts, due in part to a threat from bassist Chris Fafalios to quit if it didn't reach no. 1 yesterday or today. I, for one, am not huge on threats, but let's put it this way: Who would you rather see at the top of the charts ... Punchline or LMFAO? Let that be your guide.
Earlier today, the EP reached the top spot on the rock chart, and it's resting at no. 7 on the main albums chart.
On top of all that, the band's hitting up the FOX show Mobbed tonight, in which apparently guitarist and pop-punk producer extraordinaire Steve Soboslai will be serenading a girl he likes, backed by thousands of random people. It looks slightly terrifying.
Welcome to 2012!
I'm the 2012 welcoming dude, FYI.
In order to help welcome you to 2012, I'm sharing a track from what I'd call the first awesome local release of 2012, if not for the fact that it was technically released in 2011! It's the EP by locals Horse or Cycle. Check tomorrow's CP for info on the band's release show (Saturday at Gooski's). In the meantime, stream/download "A Sexy Misunderstanding" below!
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