Just a few days before their performance with The Apache Relay at Stage AE last week, indie rock quintet Nevada Color released its debut EP, Sharkey Lewis. In six songs, the band embarks on a colorful adventure of bright guitars and sunny vocals (“Sweet Adventurer”), as upbeat rhythms and playful percussion reveal their desire to just have fun.
The tunes are sweet and clean. Like a well-oiled machine, each instrument blends with the others impeccably, creating a smooth, unified sound. The precise attacks on every note and chord (as in “Lucy”) reveal an extreme attention to detail, a quality that makes for effective crescendos and decrescendos throughout Sharkey Lewis. Even at the most energetic junctures of each song, the band maintains an ear-pleasing composure. Nevada Color sounds polished but sustains a lighthearted vibe (“Into the Woods”).
Aside from precision, the band also demonstrates an awareness of their sound and what elements work well together. A wealth of group vocals (as in “I Am An Animal”) adds an extra layer of melodious gold beneath Quinn Wirth’s velvet voice, while Jeremy Westhead’s spot-on drumming pairs well with busy guitar licks. Sharkey Lewis is good mood music, consisting of refined yet rollicking compositions.
This week in CP:
—We lament the closing of Shadow Lounge, one of Pittsburgh's most important and influential venues. Their legacy series will feature local artists including Phat Man Dee, Mega Def, and Jasiri X.
Phat Man Dee
—Critics' Picks featuring Brokeback, Smooth Tutors, Kevin Bowe, Grizzly Bear, Boats, Chuck Ragan, and Dave Hause!
Have a great weekend everybody!
Every once in a while we like to give you things here at FFW>>. This is one of those times!
We've got a pair of tickets to see California rap trio Pac Div at 6119 this coming Tuesday. Here, watch their latest video with Mac Miller:
Now, to enter, leave a comment below letting us know what your favorite Pac Div song is. Deadline is tomorrow — Friday, March 29 — at 4:00 p.m. We'll pick at random from the commenters and get in touch with the winner. (Be sure to use your real email address to register when you comment, so that we can get in touch if you win.)
Hey yinz! Looks like I spoke a bit too soon about the end of winter. It's cold out there! If you're looking for some inspiration to carry you through the week, MP3 Monday has got your back. This week's artist is Sue Borowski, aka Steel Clover, who has remained positive and determined to continue making her touching Celtic music during her battle with breast cancer. She's been donating a portion of her CD sales to local cancer charities, and performed in this year's St. Patrick's day parade. It's a story that is deeply inspirational and makes you count your blessings. Oh, and her music's pretty good too! You can stream or download her song "Pride of Ireland" below.
Pittsburgh City Paper, the city's only alternative weekly newspaper, is seeking a music intern for summer, 2013. And fall, 2013, while we're at it. Experienced writers with an interest in all types of music are encouraged to apply for this position. The internship schedule is flexible, requiring about 15 hours of work a week on average. (This is negotiable if an internship is required to be more intensive.) There is a small stipend involved.
City Paper covers Pittsburgh: local bands, artists and DJs; touring acts hitting town; the interesting and quirky characters who make the music scene. If you have an eye for what's going on beneath the average person's radar, and an interest in music new and old, you might be right for the job. A working knowledge of AP style is a major plus — a knowledge of music is preferred, but above all, this is a writing internship. People who should apply included but are not limited to: college-paper A&E writers; music bloggers; college-radio DJs who know their grammar; people who write news but have always had a hankering to write music; people who have read City Paper before.
To apply, please email your resume and three relevant writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions should be emailed as well. No phone calls, please! Seriously! We're busy over here!
Deadline for applications is Friday, April 5, at 4 p.m. The summer internship should start in May and run until August; the fall internship should start in early September and run until December.
Flier attached in PDF format if you'd like to post it in your English department, college radio station, coffeeshop, etc. Good luck!
A body in motion tends to stay in motion, at least when The Mike Dillon Band is supplying the dance music. For two one-and-a-half hour sets, the psychedelic rock group kept the audience at the Thunderbird Café shaking and gyrating with heavy, vibraphone-driven grooves on Friday night, delivering a steady stream of infectious rhythms and hypnotic percussion.
Upon kicking off the first set around 10 p.m., Mike Dillon invited harmonica master Wammo on stage, adding a fifth element of funk to the quartet’s sound. The ensemble played off of each other’s energy and musical intensity, making each song, especially “Fat Redneck Gangster” a well-blended collaboration. The ferocity Dillon applied to his array of percussion instruments fused with Wammo’s command of the harmonica threw the majority of the crowd into fits of head-bobbing and hip-shaking.
The untameable energy of trombonist Carly Meyers also enhanced the enthusiasm of the crowd, her twisting, contorting body movements matching the sharp motion of her instrument’s slide. When she wasn’t on stage bouncing and singing along with Dillon, she snaked through the audience, blowing a whistle and assailing a tambourine with a drumstick like a marching band drum major. Both Meyers and Dillon attempted crowdsurfing, with Dillon falling to the ground abruptly after throwing his shirtless, perspiring body onto the audience. He shrugged off the thunderous splat and assured everyone that as long as Iggy Pop still crowd-surfs, he shall crowd-surf.
Dillon varied his instruments throughout the evening, frequently using a cuica, or friction drum, to create a muffled washboard-like noise. The orange-red cylinder provoked coyote-like howls from the audience, inciting a devilish grin on Dillon’s sweat-soaked face. The vibe and style of music varied as well, ranging from relaxed jazz rock to angsty punk rock. The band even crossed over into dubstep, with Dillon adding, “To make it ours, we gotta make it punk rock.” The boisterous, thumping tune derived its inspiration from Meyer’s disdain for the genre, as part of the chorus stated, “Carly hates the dubstep.”
Other hits of the night included “Chef Boyardee, “Get Small Ya’ll,” “I Just Found 100 bucks on the Ground” and Garage a Trois’ “Omar.” The performance exemplified impressive vigor and jam band perfection, proving The Mike Dillon Band knows how to move a room.
It appears that my claims that winter was over were a little bit premature. Still, the two or so days of sun were much appreciated, and maybe the second time's a charge. Either way, we've got "Trainhound," an absolutely fantastic, horn-filled track from Grand Piano this week. Between these guys and Red Western, I'm really looking forward to checking out the entirety of that Split LP they put out recently. Stream or download it below!
To download, right click here and select "Save Link As."
This week in CP:
—Ray Dawn goes from law student to hip-hop lyricist in our Music Feature
—Coverage of the slew of local artists, including Donora, who are representing the Steel City at SxSW.
—Homeless Gospel Choir's plans to make a documentary about his one man DIY music operation.
—Mark Dignam, Tyler the Creator, Perpetuum Jazzile, Kate Nash, and Trust all make it into our Critics' Picks.
Tyler the Creator
A heads-up on one that I wasn't able to fit into print this week: Tonight (March 12) at Belvedere's, you can check out the cacophonous weirdness of Behold ... the Arctopus.
Behold ... the Arctopus has been around for some years as the duo of Mike Lerner and Colin Marston (Dysrhythmia, Krallice), who plays a Warr guitar in the band. A couple of years ago, Weasel Walter, of Flying Luttenbachers fame, joined the group.
They play tonight with locals Microwaves, who are a good fit: loud, mathematical, extreme. Also opening: No Reason to Live and Horse Drawn Death Machine.
9 p.m., $7, leave the kiddies at home. For a sample of the most recent stuff from Behold ... the Arctopus, press play:
Happy Monday, folks. It's finally happened: the chilling winter is behind us. It's endless flurries will soon be replaced by spring's endless drizzle. Rejoice, I think. If rain doesn't really get you excited, maybe this track from good old rock n' roll band Red Western will. They teamed up with next week's featured band Grand Piano for a split LP. Read all about it here, then stream or download the track below!
To download, right click here and select "Save Link As."