Brooklyn electro-indie band Yeasayer will kick off a tour tonight in Pittsburgh to celebrate the release of the band's new album Fragrant World. The album, issued by Secretly Canadian and Odd Blood, will hit stores on August 20th.
Fragrant World presents Yeasayer's unique take on electronica melded with pop sensibilities and indie rock structure. The album's first two singles, "Longevity" and "Henrietta" are laced with quirky synth lines, driving bass and thumping drum samples. "Henrietta" also features a lengthy ambient passage, sending basic keyboard progressions floating into the atmosphere, eventually met by heavily distorted and vocoded vocals. Check out official vignettes for "Longevity" and "Henrietta" below.
The rest of the album follows the same formula: synth-heavy and atmospheric pop music begging comparisons to Daft Punk and MGMT. Despite not deviating much from this sound, Yeasayer manages to create an interesting and cohesive album that will keep your attention front to back. Check them out at Mr. Small's tonight with Daedelus. The show starts at 8 p.m. and is $20 to get in.
As I approached Altar Bar on Friday July 27th, I didn't quite know what to expect out of my evening; I'm sure I wasn't the only one. Standing in line, it seemed that everyone was waiting for a normal, run of the mill show. While it had all the markings of a standard night at Altar Bar, by the end of the night Punchline seemed to set the bar high for set length.
Taking the stage around 8:30, Punchline wasted no time kicking into its first set. Loaded with fan-favorite songs such as "Don't Try This At Home", "Stop", and the ironic selection "Just Getting Started", the set was a 45-minute onslaught of the band's signature energy. There were minimal stops to talk to the crowd, as the band was saving the inevitable thank-you speeches and stories of being a band for 15 years. The only downside was that the crowd took a long time to get warmed up and show any enthusiasm.
After a 20-minute intermission, Punchline took the stage for the second set. While the chill factor was raised for this set, it was also kept interesting by special guest appearances by former drummer PJ Caruso, former guitarist Jon Belan, and long-time collaborating producer Mike Ofca. Primary vocalist Steve Soboslai commented before playing the band's song "Keystoned" that the song was in the running for Belle Vernon High School's class song of 2012, but was beaten by "some country song". After running through another 13 songs, the band took an additional intermission before its final set.
By the time Punchline took the stage for its final set of the evening, everyone was loosened up and finally into the music, dancing and singing along. Opening with the essential Punchline song "Play", the band launched into the final 11 songs of the evening. Soboslai mentioned that the final set would be easy on the band, as they have played these songs "a million times". With a broad selection of songs from the band's catalog from 2000 to the present, Punchline delivered a set that was not to be matched to end the evening. Expressing gratitude to everyone that attended the show, watched it live on the internet via StageIt, and supported the band through the last 15 years, the band ended the night with the loosely themed match-up of "Universe" and "A Universal Theme".
Georgia singer-songwriter Meiko is set to play at Club Cafe this Wednesday, August 1st. She is hitting the road in support of her newest album The Bright Side, released this past May by Fantasy Records. The Bright Side has been a critical success, reaching as high as number four on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Meiko has recently opened for Death Cab For Cutie and also made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, performing the single "Leave The Lights On".
More information on Meiko's performance can be found on Club Cafe's website.
This week's MP3 Monday comes from Braddock hardcore outfit Blood Red. The band features current and former members of Hounds of Hate, Code Orange Kids, Run Forever, Pissed Jeans, and plenty more. Blood Red's EP, Seize You, will receive an elaborate vinyl treatment: the album is pressed on a one-sided 12-inch with a screen-printed b-side, with hand-numbered die-cut covers, and will include a poster and lyrics sheet.
The band will be playing Kopec's tonight along with Stripmines, Raw Nerves and Mower. Seize You's official release show is this Friday, August 3rd, at the Mr. Roboto Project with Host, Caust, and Ratface. The release show also features the opening of a collaborative art exhibit at Roboto featuring Blood Red bassist Cassie Staub and Girlfight vocalist Dave Watt.
Check out "Shed The Shackles" below.
[Download link expired, sorry!]
The Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra will be holding a new program, The Looking Glass, to benefit the Union Project. The concert will be held at the Union Project building (801 N. Negley Avenue, in the East End) this Sunday, July 29th.
The Union Project's mission is to facilitate a space for creativity and celebration of the local community. ELCO is no stranger to interesting musical pieces, having utilized most musical genres under the sun to create unique pieces that push boundaries. The musical core of The Looking Glass melds artistic influences from pop art, op art, and minimal art of the late 1960s together with the musical influence of classical minimalism, jazz, funk and contemporary dance pop.
Tickets for the program this Sunday (July 29th) can be found here.
No, Oklahoma-based singer/songwriter JD McPherson is in no mortal danger: the musician will be partaking in WYEP's Final Fridays concert series at Schenley Park on July 27th.
McPherson has become synonymous with the R&B-influenced rock-and-roll scene. His 2010 debut, Signals And Signifiers, was treated to a major-label release by Rounder Records this past April. The album shot up the charts, debuting at number one on the Billboard Heatseekers and hit 161 on the Billboard 200. McPherson pulls influences from rock-and-roll trailblazers such as Little Richard and Fats Domino (as well as some left-field influence from Wu-Tang Clan and the Pixies).
The show this Friday will be held under the tent at Schenley Plaza in Oakland. It starts at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.
As creative Pittsburghers it's almost impossible to not be touched by the city's own jazz traditions. And with names like Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller putting Pittsburgh on the map as a hip hop town, the goals of the crew behind tonight's Cool Like Dat event — bringing the two genres together — are on point with the times.
Inspired by the Digable Planets song "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)," the event came about out of a conversation between artist Darrell Kinsell, jazz singer Anqwenique Wingfield and the gallery team at Rocking Horse Artspace. The crew decided that their collective goal was to create an event that allowed artists and audience members alike to explore the creative freedoms of both genres.
"We all made reference to the Digable Planets' hip-hop classic "Cool Like Dat," Guru's Jazzmatazz, A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Mauraders, Billy Strayhorn, and J-Dilla's Suite for Ma Dukes as points of inspiration regarding the feel and aesthetic that we were aiming to recreate," says Kinsell via e-mail.
They've secured early support from 720 Music and Clothing Cafe and the emerging artist program Jazzspace, and will be featuring some of the most talented artists in the city, including Gene Stovall, Yah Lioness, and Wingfield herself. The event is tonight from 7:00pm until 11:00pm, cover is a $5.00 donation.
Leverage Models, the new project of Stars Like Fleas mastermind Shannon Fields, is hitting the road this summer to promote the project's two EPs, Interim Deliverable and Forensic Accounting, both released by Hometapes.
The two EPs were recorded by Daniel James Goodwin, who has worked as producer for many Pittsburgh-based bands such as tech-metal wizards Orgone and post-hardcore punks Clearview Kills. The albums also feature Pittsburgh punk and metal veteran Jeff Gretz on percussion; Gretz is known for his work in Conelrad and Zao.
Fields is touring with In One Wind, featuring yet another Pittsburgh expatriate, and CAPA graduate, Angelo Spagnolo (you can read about Spagnolo and In One Wind here).
Welcome to another installment of MP3 Monday! Today's song comes from New Shouts, a local indie rock band made up of Cor Allen and Derek and Mario White. The band is playing Brillobox this Friday, July 27th, with Host Skull and DJ Dave Zak. The show will mark the premiere of the newest New Shouts member, keyboardist Michelle Horsley. Horsley is a classically trained organist who officially joined the band this past May. Check out "Gazes In The Dark" below.
[Download link expired, sorry!]