FFW>>: Music Blog |

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Guide to Pittsburgh: The Playlist

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Nardo Says' YSDM
  • Nardo Says' YSDM
City Paper staff writer Jordan Snowden shares some favorites from Pittsburgh artists.

“Young, Wild & Free” by Wiz Khalifa
Along with Snoop Dogg and Bruno Mars, Pittsburgh native Wiz Khalifa released this freshman-year anthem back in 2011, and it has yet to lose its luster. You’re young, wild, and free!

“Loves No Stranger” by Nardo Says
Put J. Cole and Parliament in a blender, sprinkle in jazz elements and what emerges is local hip-hop artist Nardo Says.

“Smooth” by Sierra Sellers
Sierra Sellers embodies a smooth, sultry sound that will have you dancing around your room exotically (or is that just me?).

“Crystal Ball Part 1” by Fortune Teller
This one’s for you, garage-y stoner rock fans. The six-minute doozy ranges from raw rock to percussion-heavy beats and back again.

“Flight Chief” by Slugss
Twisted psychedelic rock with a zoned-out spacey sound in “Flight Chief” is heard throughout APPEAL. I bet if the album was available on vinyl, it would be out of this world.

“Marijuana” by Chrome Sparks
Although Chrome Sparks no longer resides in Pittsburgh, he was born and raised here. The electronic artist started making music in college, and in 2012 “Marijuana” went viral online.

“Room to Roam” by Northern Comfort
Northern Comfort has all the elements of a typical country band. Singing about drinking, love, and driving on an open road, you can get your country fix, locally.

“Rivers Deep” by Gabby Barrett
The 18-year-old finished third in the 16th season of American Idol, singing a mix between country and pop.

“Hold On” by Brooke Annibale
This song is the first on Brooke Annibale’s fourth album, Hold to the Light. With an airy and dream-like sound, “Hold On” sets the tone for Annibale’s indie-pop self-release.

“Wop De Wop” by Beauty Slap
This electro-brass-thunder-funk group can often be found playing around Pittsburgh. Beauty Slap is phenomenal live and listening to them at home doesn’t fully encompass their groovy-ness.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Why Third Eye Blind is donating profits from its new EP to the Warhol Museum

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 4:57 PM

Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins - PHOTO COURTESY OF DANNY NOLAN
  • Photo courtesy of Danny Nolan
  • Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins

Earlier this month, Third Eye Blind announced a new EP of covers called Thanks For Everything, featuring tunes by artists like Queens of the Stone Age, Bon Iver, Santigold and Tim Buckley. Proceeds from the EP will go the Andy Warhol Museum. Considering the band is from San Francisco (and sounds like it), City Paper wondered "why the Warhol Museum?"

TEB lead singer Stephan Jenkins was kind enough to clear things up via email this week. Keep an eye out for Thanks For Everything on Aug. 24.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

MP3 Monday: Bagger

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 5:58 PM

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Each week we post a song from a local artist online for free, and this week it’s “Galactus (Nothing Left To Give)” by Bagger. The song is an ambient, lo-fi number that espouses a cool exhaustion and sadness with ‘80s nostalgia swimming underneath. Stream or download “Galactus (Nothing Left To Give)” for free.


To download "Galactus," right-click here and select "save link as."

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Magnetic Fields perform 50 Song Memoir at Carnegie Music Hall June 19 and 20

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 12:29 PM


PHOTO COURTESY OF MARCELO KRASILCIC
  • Photo courtesy of Marcelo Krasilcic
Stephin Merritt knew when Magnetic Fields’ contract with Nonesuch Records came up for a renewal because the date coincided with his 50th birthday, in 2015.

When he and Nonesuch president Robert Hurwitz
discussed its renewal — over lunch at the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar — Hurwitz suggested the voice behind Magnetic Fields should celebrate his half-century on their next album. Merritt immediately devised a 50-song album, and Hurwitz responded enthusiastically.

To some musicians, this might seem like a daunting concept.

But Merritt is the same songwriter who created
69 Love Songs, the Magnetic Fields’ opus that approached the idea of amour from that many angles, lyrically and musically, from ukulele-driven folkiness to synth-pop to experimental sound. Released on Merge Records in 1999, the album is considered a high watermark for indie rock and established Merritt as a skilled composer with an unmatched lyrical wit and sense of melody.

Speaking from his New York home in his dry, understated
manner, Merritt explains his approach to the five-record/five-CD 50 Song Memoir.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Q&A with Jenny Lewis, performing at Carnegie Library Music Hall Tue., June 12

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 4:17 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALISTER ANN
  • Photo courtesy of Alister Ann

Jenny Lewis has a wicked sense of humor and a gift for crafting brilliant songs.

Since her early days with Rilo Kiley to her current thriving solo career, Lewis continues to make art that's entrancing but still accessible. Her 2014 record, The Voyager, was a spectacular alt-country release with smart lyrics and captivating melodies. CP caught up with Lewis as she prepared for a tour in the midst of mixing her forthcoming, still unnamed record.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Q&A: Valerie June performs at Three Rivers Arts Festival on Fri., June 8

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 4:51 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF JACOB BLICKENSTAFF
  • Photo courtesy of Jacob Blickenstaff
Valerie June's distinct timbre and energy has earned her the adoration of fans around the country. It's been a little over a year since her last release, The Order of Time. The Americana-Rock with folk and blues/roots performer will be bringing her magic to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, so City Paper hopped on the phone to talk with June about her writing process, Pittsburgh and what she's been up to lately.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Q&A: The Front Bottoms perform a sold out show at Mr. Smalls Theater, talk new music, Wuakaskole Records

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2018 at 1:45 PM

The Front Bottoms - PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK JAWORSKI
  • Photo courtesy of Mark Jaworski
  • The Front Bottoms

Over the years, The Front Bottoms has done quite a bit of tinkering with its endearingly earnest output of bubblegum emo bops. The grainy, straight-to-Myspace quality of the band's early material has long been replaced with squeegeed production and a far more mannered delivery from frontman Brian Sella, both in the way he presents his voice, and in the content of his lyrics, which have shifted from shameless gut-spills to sly spit-ups. Speaking to the then 29-year-old (as of a few days ago, he’s now 30) prior to his band’s performance at Mr. Smalls on June 4, there’s not even the slightest indication that he’s anywhere other than exactly where he wants to be.


Last month TFB released Ann, the long-awaited companion EP to 2014’s Rose, which is the second installment of what the band dubbed the “Grandma Series.” Essentially, it’s an excuse for them to re-record, and in some cases rework, a bunch of old fan-favorites from their high school days, giving the tunes a modern revamp for the diehards and a reason to introduce them to the newcomers. Unlike Rose, this latest set — titled Ann as an ode to Sella’s late grandmother, as Rose was to drummer Uychich’s — also contains a new track, the Talon of the Hawk-esque riot “Tie Dye Dragon.”


Sella was stoked on the project, the absurd filming experience of the phenomenally uncomfortable music video for “Tie Dye Dragon,” and the tour they’re bringing to Pittsburgh — in which they’re playing both grandma EPs and their 2017 record Going Grey in full.

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MP3 Monday: The Painbirds

Posted By on Mon, Jun 4, 2018 at 1:00 PM

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Each week we post a song from a local artist online for free, and this week it’s “Split Seconds” by Pittsburgh-via-London band The Painbirds. The noisy pop band’s guitars and distorted vocals team up to create a dark, danceable number. Stream or download “Split Seconds” for free and watch the strobe-soaked music video below.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Concert photos: Justin Timberlake at PPG Paints Arena

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2018 at 11:37 PM

Justin Timberlake at PPG Paints Arena on Fri., June 1, 2018 - CP PHOTOS BY JAKE MYSLIWCZYK
  • CP photos by Jake Mysliwczyk
  • Justin Timberlake at PPG Paints Arena on Fri., June 1, 2018
Justin Timberlake was true to his "Man of the Woods" tour. Our photo intern Jake Mysliwczyk was psyched to take lots of close-up shots of the popular singer at PPG Paints Arena tonight, only to discover that Timberlake spent a lot of time performing behind trees ...
Justin Timberlake's silhouette.
  • Justin Timberlake's silhouette.
Hey look, there he is!
  • Hey look, there he is!
But, it wasn't all bad. The singer eventually stepped in front of the branches, and Jake was able to get a few of those shots he was excited for.
Like this one!
  • Like this one!
And this one! Check out those dance moves.
  • And this one! Check out those dance moves.
As for the rest of the night? Thank goodness for big screens. (I'm sorry baby, you know we tried.)
justintimberlake9.jpg

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Monday, May 28, 2018

MP3 Monday: Caleb Kopta

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2018 at 12:18 PM

Caleb Kopta - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
  • Photo courtesy of the artist
  • Caleb Kopta

Each week we post a song from a local artist online for free, and this week it’s “Burning House” by Caleb Kopta. The danceable indie rock track has some serious Sam’s Town-era Killers vibes with a dose of ’80s nostalgia. Blast the chorus with your windows down for full effect. Stream or download “Burning House” for free on FFW>>, the music blog at pghcitypaper.com.


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