Just a quick heads-up on some shows that we couldn't fit into print this week but that deserve a mention:
— Tonight's late show at Club Cafe is the last one for local jazz-jam outfit Black Coffee, whose Cait Cuneo is going on to pursue a solo career. I suspect we'll hear more from others in the group too, but for now this is the last hurrah.
— Tonight at Thunderbird, Elikeh returns; read my pick on that band last time they pulled through.
— Tomorrow night at 6119 Penn, a final show for another band, Kim Phuc. The band issued a full-length early this year after quite a few singles; after tonight, they call it quits.
— Tomorrow night at Stage AE, The Pittsburgh Scene, which I wrote about a few months back, hosts an all-locals benefit show for Project Bundle-Up. It features the likes of Pete Bush, Mike Medved and There There, and it's for a great cause.
Get out there and enjoy some music!
This week in the CP:
— Check out the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Composer of the Year, Mason Bates, in our music feature. Stream some of his music - ranging from symphonic and chamber/vocal to electronica - over on his website, and scope out some of his upcoming performances in our November 28 issue.
— Want to know if any good shows are coming to the 'burgh this week? Take a peek at our Critics' Picks.
Conditions @ the Smiling Moose - Thursday, Nov. 29
Rachael Yamagata @ Mr. Small's - tonight! Friday, Nov. 30
Aaron Dilloway @ The Shop - tonight! Friday, Nov. 30
Phat Man Dee @ the Shadow Lounge - Sunday, Dec. 2
Jane Siberry @ the Friends Meeting House - Thursday, Dec. 6
Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. In the spirit of giving, it's time for some free music. This week we've got the track "The Other Side" by local post-grunge act Kid Durango. If the Oakland natives strike your fancy, catch them this Friday, Nov. 30, at the Brillobox with Steve Chab, Save Us From the Archon and Burra. The show starts at 9 p.m. sharp!
[Download link expired, sorry!]
An internationally known Pittsburgh rapper has added a new alias to his arsenal with the soulful, jazz-inspired Larry Lovestein & The Velvet Revival.
The debut EP, You, is a love-struck work of art. The heart-felt lyrics are accompanied by standard jazz arrangements. On this project, the artist puts all else on hold as he pursues love. Evidence of this can be heard on the opening tune, “Life Can Wait”:
Larry Lovestein & The Velvet Revival is an alter ego of Mac Miller’s that we’re excited to hear more from.
Is Miller hitting the high notes on the EP's title song as well? Decide for yourself:
This week's MP3 Monday comes to you from local rapper Harley Dyse. We've got his single "Harley" for all of you who love Pittsburgh hip-hop (and the occasional cruise down 79 on your Harley Davidson motorcycle). If you like what you hear, check him out on SoundCloud and Twitter.
[Download link expired, sorry!]
If you've heard anything by Turquoise Jeep, you've probably succumbed to a new language the includes the word "smang" or begs the question, "How you like your eggs, fried or fertilized?" Whether comedy or not, their music is on some new levels of fun and, perhaps ridiculousness. But love 'em or hate 'em, their work is pretty damn entertaining. We talked with label head Flynt Flossy before their upcoming Pittsburgh appearance tomorrow at the Shadow Lounge.
Tell me a little bit about how Turquoise Jeep came to be.
Basically, I was getting sick and tired of my creativity being limited. I was really frustrated with the way labels worked. I was choreographing, rapping, directing. Things of that nature. But I had all the means. I said to my business partner, “Yo, Watcha [Watchamacallit], we really have all the means of putting together our own label. Ya know, we have the talent, we have the business minds.” So, we just got everybody together and started a label.
When you were choreographing, rapping and doing all of those different things, were you doing the work for labels?
Yes and no. I was independent. But it was at the point where I was dependent on other labels. I’ve always been free spirited. I’ve always been a kind of rebel. I really took charge when I was like, “Ya know what? People are not going to see what my people can do unless I put it out there.”
I’m interested in the content of your songs. They’re pretty comediec. Where do you get inspiration from?
Man, when you realize it man. Everyday people think it’s funny or whatever but we just rap about life, ya know? For instance “Cavity” was based on a true story. Most songs are based on true stories. It’s kinda like my main girl was biting on my shoulder and I said, “Ya know, you’re gonna get cavities, all that chocolate in your mouth.” And she started giggling and stuff. And I said, this is a song.
It’s like smash and bang. Like “SMANG.” That’s what we use in our everyday vernacular. I was using smang forever and one day I was just like, “Yo, let’s make a song out of this.”
"Smang" has even become a part of my vocabulary.
Ha! I love it! Yeah, everyday we get people saying, “Man, I can’t go to the dinner and the waitress asks, “How you like your eggs?” without just thinking of Turquoise Jeep. Like, crazy. We’re changing culture. It’s a beautiful thing.
And I think our fans are genuine in the sense that we’re not trying hard. We’re really just being ourselves. Just being ourselves and putting a camera on it. Turquoise Jeep is either you love it or you hate it.
We call it EMB. Existing Music Being. We made our own genre. They say, “What are you? R&B? Hip hop?” We’re EMB. They can’t classify us.
How long have you guys been touring?
We’ve been doing shows for almost two years, as far as the label. And it started getting heavy around this summer. Before that we were doing SXSW. And maybe go to New York. But it really started being heavy in the summertime.
What has the reception been like in different cities?
The crazy part about it is — and I’m always astounded, every time — is that all the shows have the same energy. It’s like, you go to Minnesota, you see it one way, and then you expect New York to be one way but it’s the same. You feel like you’re always in the same place.
We get emails from people in Ireland, and the U.K. It’s crazy. The reception is nuts. We have our fans that understand us and they’re always really die-hard about it. Even if they show up and are like, “what’s Turquoise Jeep?” They leave being a fan but in the beginning they’re like, “What the hell am I watching?” And then they see and are like, “Ok, I can’t hate you.”
10pm. Shadow Lounge. 5972 Baum Blvd.$15. 21+. 412-363-8277 or www.shadowlounge.net.
This week's MP3 Monday comes to you from Pittsburgh rockers Chip DiMonick. The fist-pumping four-piece is celebrating the release of its fourth album, The Sign of a New Generation, with a CD release party this Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Hard Rock Cafe with special guests Through These Walls and After The Fall (but only for the 21-or-older crowd). Can't go? We've got the title track from the album for you to stream and download, for free!
[Download link expired, sorry!]
FYI, a last-minute change: Tonight Catl show, which I previewed in this week's Critics' Picks, has been driven like so many steer down the street. According to the band, it's no longer at Smiling Moose, but at Lava Lounge instead. Also on tonight's bill: Instead of Sleeping, Barely Blind and Blue of Colors.
It's officially November, and you know what that means - it's time to turn the clocks back and look for some new music to start the month off right (as if you really need an excuse). This week we're bringing you a little something from The Armadillos. The folk-rock/bluegrass band is releasing their new album, Better Off a Stranger, next week, and we've got a sneak peak at the track "Pennyroyal Flowers."
[Download link expired, sorry!]
If you like what you hear, check out their album release party, Friday, Nov. 16 @ the Thunderbird Cafe. The show starts at 9 p.m.
Family of the Year calls itself a family band — kind of like the Partridge Family with instruments, skinny jeans and v-necks, and only two actual siblings. The tight-knit five-piece has been receiving some serious critical acclaim since its early starts in 2009. Their music has been accurately described as “intense and atmospheric” by Rolling Stone and “fun-drenched” by NME (Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler even likened them to “The Mamas and The Papas on acid” — seriously.)
But Family of the Year has got a sound that’s all its own. The band has a light-hearted California indie-pop vibe, best listened to with the windows down, and makes good use of fuzzy, folky guitars, countless different harmonies and a well-placed tambourine. Chances are you’ve already heard of them thanks to a little commercial exposure, literally. The song “ChugJug” was used in that catchy Advil ad in 2010, and their next single, “Hero,” is set to appear in the upcoming movie “Thanks For Sharing." Keep an ear out during the credits!
Since releasing their full-length album Loma Vista, produced by Wally Gagel (who’s worked with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Rihanna and Muse), in July, Family of the Year has been busy. The band has been touring non-stop since August with Walk The Moon, White Arrows and Hey Ocean! The nationwide tour kicked off at in their hometown at Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip Music Festival before taking a leap across the pond to play the UK’s Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Catch them in Pittsburgh this Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Shadow Lounge, with special guests Polaris B and That Girl. The show starts at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are $10 — get them here.