In late March 2010, All Time Low began recording their fourth studio album with producers John Fields and Matt Squire. It will be the band's first album released through Interscope Records.
I caught up with Alex after Bamboozle to discuss the band’s controversies this summer and their upcoming album.
CB: I have read that the band was named for a New Found Glory song, “Head on Collision.” Can you tell me the story about it?
Alex: It was right when we were starting the band, we had a list of terrible, terrible band names and we didn’t pick any of them. We ended up taking a line from the song that caught our ear and went with it.
CB: I recently spent some time photographing them and they were great guys.
Alex: Yeah they are good dudes.
CB: You have started recording your next album. When can we expect it?
Alex: As of right now we are shooting for an early 2011 release. We are about halfway finished with it and we need to figure out what to call it and go through all the steps to get it out.
CB: Can you talk about any of the new songs that you are excited about?
Alex: We are excited about them all and it doesn’t make sense to go into specifics because it is too early.
CB: You have recently had some controversy with Six Flags on this tour. Are you past it?
Alex: We’re past it. We had an issue there and Six Flags security didn’t handle a situation well. They didn’t like the fact that I voiced my opinion about it and have asked us never to come back, which is fine with me since I never want to step foot in there again.
CB: Is it that one or all Six Flags?
Alex: All Six Flags
CB: I’ve seen you a couple times and I see all
these young girls at your show and they are crazy about you guys. A lot
of them are really young, how do you stay out of trouble with the fans?
Alex: What do you mean?
CB: Well, they are obviously not 18.
Alex: We are not really in the business of having relations with our fans so I am not sure it is a problem.
CB: I photograph bands all the time and people
usually think rap concerts are dangerous, but I swear that your shows
have the most dangerous fans with the screaming little girls.
Alex: They are violent little kids and they are our fans. We love them.
CB: Who would be your dream band to go on tour with?
Alex: I would love to tour with Weezer and Blink 182 would also be an obvious choice.
CB: What has been your craziest Bamboozle tour story?
Alex: A negative one would be the Six Flags incident. We also got pretty crazy on Jack’s birthday and I destroyed several TV’s in the hotel. I lived the life of a rock star for a night which was a lot of fun.
CB: What did Jack do?
Alex: Jack was right alongside with me. It was his birthday and everyone was together.
CB: Who would be your favorite Indie band?
Alex: I don’t know. Phoenix is really good and Silversun Pickups are pretty sweet.
CB: Fill in the blank. I can’t go to sleep unless I …
CB: What is up next for the band?
Alex: We are going back to California to finish the album and then we are going overseas to do some festivals in Japan and do a show in Malaysia. We’ll be back in the US in the fall for a tour.
Boys Like Girls is a pop punk band from Andover, Massachusetts who gained mainstream recognition when they released their self-titled debut album Boys Like Girls. The group was formed in the final months of 2005, when vocalist Martin Johnson wrote a handful of songs he wanted to record. He recruited bassist Bryan Donahue and drummer John Keefe. Keefe brought along lead guitarist Paul DiGiovanni.
Boys Like Girls officially released their second album, Love Drunk, on September 8, 2009 and has been touring all year to support it. "Two Is Better Than One," featuring female country singer Taylor Swift was released off Love Drunk as the fourth single. Before performing in Cincinnati, the band and local radio had a contest where the winner from a local high school was chosen to sing Taylor Swift’s part in “Two Is Better Than One” live onstage at Riverbend with the band during Bamboozle.
I caught up with John and Bryan before their set at Bamboozle to discuss the tour and their recent trip performing on the Miss USA pageant.
CB: How has it been on the tour so far?
John: We have been having a great time with a bunch friends hanging out and playing music all day. Good times to start the summer.
Bryan: Every day is like the 4th of July. Lots of grilling and basketball every day and hanging with friends.
CB: What has been your biggest life change since you had your big hits?
John: Just being on the road non-stop is the biggest change. It is weird when we go home.
Bryan: When we go home it is awkward and it is hard to get into a routine. Doing laundry and grocery shopping is weird.
CB: What is the story behind the song, “The Great Escape?”
John: It is a story about getting out of high school and going to pursue other things.
Bryan: Taking the next step in your life. New job, new career, going to college, whatever the big change is in your life and how you are taking the next steps.
CB: What is your favorite song to perform live?
John: It changes all the time. Playing a hit song like starting the set with “Love Drunk” is awesome.
CB: It is the best feeling when they sing along, right?
John: Yes, it is so awesome.
CB: You recently performed on the Miss USA pageant. What was that experience like?
John: It was a dream, come true.
Bryan: Like kids in a candy store with the most beautiful women in the United States. We showed up the day before for rehearsal and they actually had to separate us from the girls. We were introducing ourselves to be polite and someone came up and told us to leave them alone. We were bummed.
CB: What is the biggest pet peave on the road?
John: We all pretty much get along, maybe someone being late and we are waiting when we need to be somewhere.
Bryan: A messy bus is bad, four, five, six guys with all their crap everywhere. It gets bad and we have to clean it up. It gets clausterphobic. A clear house means a clear mind.
CB: What has been your most memorable moment so far as a band?
Bryan: Nothing that trumps anything else. We’ll always remember the first time we hear our songs on the radio. We were all together when we heard “The Great Escape” on the radio. Martin was driving the van and we started screaming .We thought he was going to flip the van. Basically, anything we do together as a band is memorable.
CB: Who were your biggest musical influences?
John: It is across the board. Aerosmith and Nirvana were big influences.
Bryan: My dad was a bass player and he turned me on to a lot of really great music. I had to use his equipment when I started at 12 years old since I couldn’t buy my own stuff. My dad walked me through how to fix a string. I thought I had broke the bass and he calmed me down and said it was just a string and walked me through it. He bought me a lot of great music and was my biggest influence.
CB: I recently saw a band called “The Trouble with
Boys” and they are really young kids who rock out. I am always amazed
at how supportive their families are with their music. I guess your
parents were pretty supportive along the way.
Bryan: In the beginning they weren’t, but they are now. It took awhile for them to understand that I wasn’t going to college and that I was going to pursue music. They are very proud now. Parents are usually proud no matter what their kids do though.
CB: Who are your favorite Indie bands?
John: Great Big Planes and Cady Groves are on the tour and I have been checking them out.
Bryan: I was just handed a CD that is pretty cool called, “Colors.” I feel like it is summer and I should have more new music.
CB: What do you like to listen to in the summer?
Bryan: I like the classics. I am a big Joe Walsh fan. It is funny because I hate the Eagles, but I am in a big Joe Walsh phase right now.
Cady Groves is a 20 year old Oklahoma native who is touring with the Bamboozle Roadshow this summer. She is a multi-talented singer songwriter who has recently signed to RCA records.
I caught up with Cady after her set to discuss her current EP, The Life of a Pirate and what is up next for her as she forms her full band and begins recording her next album.
CB: You are the only girl on the tour. How has that been going?
Cady: I love it. The cool thing about being the different person is being the different person. Every other band can sort of mesh together. I am the girl and the outsider and that is fine with me. Everyone wants to be a gentleman and help me out.
CB: When you date, do you prefer to date musicians?
Cady: I try to be professional. I am not promiscuous at all. I was in a relationship with a musician before all of this happened, but we are just friends now. I could date a fan. I could date anyone. I just really need to have a connection with the person. I really like to be in love though.
CB: You write all your own music about personal experiences. What is your writing process?
Cady: I have a really weird writing process. I have an entire melody in my head with no music to it before I hum it to a guitar. I can hear it in my head. I usually sing all the time into a recorder. I write songs all the time. I actually made up one today.
CB: What is it about?
Cady: It is about my loyalty to people and how it sometimes gets me hurt.
CB: You were recently at SxSW. Do you have any crazy stories from there?
Cady: I got pretty crazy one night when I shouldn’t have. I am usually a stay at home person, but I had fun one night. It was a good night. I think some guy wrote I love Cady Groves on his chest but that is not that crazy.
CB: What is up next for you?
Cady: We have 2 weeks left in the tour and then I have 3 weeks off after that when I will be forming my full band. We will practice and meet lots of producers. Right before this tour I signed with RCA so I haven’t had a chance to hang out with them and get everything started. I will go to NYC, LA and Nashville to get started with them. After that I will be going back out on tour with Stereo Skyline on the “Stuck on Repeat” tour.
CB: Will you be coming back through the area?
Cady: Yes I think we will.
CB: I like the album title. Is there a story behind the pirate?
Cady: It kind of goes along with my life experiences. I have been on my own for awhile. I had a really bad habit of moving around. It is a bad habit that I am trying to break. I would live somewhere for a few months like in my car or on someone’s couch. I would get two jobs and try to make myself be complacent, but once I was, I would just leave. I would get up in the middle of the night and just drive 24 hours and start over. When you think about it, it is a horrible thing to do. It was making life a lot harder and more complicated than it needed to be. It was the life of a pirate. I kept leaving and living in my car. Just moving around.
CB: How long ago was it?
Cady: It was a couple years ago.
CB: So you were right out of high school?
Cady: No, I graduated high school super early when I was 16 and went to college.
CB: Where did you go to college?
Cady: I actually went to culinary school in Vegas. I love it and I think I want to move back there.
CB: Who would be your dream collaboration?
Cady: I want to collaborate with Alanis Morissette. I want my album with RCA to be half as good as “Jagged Little Pill.” I was the youngest of 7 kids. I was really shy and was 4 years old when my mom bought the CD the day it came out. We would ride in this huge van. I was always quiet as a kid. I had long curly hair and I would hide under the seat of the van and then I would just come out from under a chair and sing the whole album. My Mom thought it was the funniest thing. I still will pop in the CD and sing it at the top of my lungs.
Great Big Planes is a new Indie band on the scene
from Tom Rivers, NJ. The band played their first show last Sept, 2009.
Their self-titled album is currently available and features the song
The band consists of Josh Moran- Lead Vocals/Guitar, Patrick Campion- Lead Guitar, and Chad Sabo on Bass and Acoustic Guitar. I caught up with the band after their set at Bamboozle on their bus to talk about their experiences on their first national tour.
CB: You recently came back from Vegas, any crazy stories out there?
Chad: Why don’t you take this one since you were the big winner?
Josh: I won a little bit of money so we had a party at the Hard Rock in a villa.
CB: With the money?
Josh: No, we were with all the bands from the tour. It was fun for everyone to get together.
CB: It doesn’t sound that crazy?
Chad: It was crazy. We had Playmates there. We had a poolside cabana. It was like a Hangover suite.
CB: Anytime playmates are involved it is a good time.
CB: Who is your dream band to tour with?
Patrick: All of us probably have the same answer. I guess Radiohead is a big one for all of us.
Chad: I like Billy Joel a lot. It is not the same genre but I like him a lot.
CB: What is your favorite Indie Band?
Josh: No one really right now. I love Smashing Pumpkins, Led Zeppelin, The Cure, Radiohead, Third Eye Blind, and The Verve.
Chad: We are into the 90’s stuff right now.
CB: I like the song “Lost One.” What is the story behind it? Where did it come from?
Josh: I was kind of going through a transition phase in my life. I didn’t know where I was headed. I was coming out of a tumultuous relationship. It is about letting go and trying to find a place to call home.
CB: What is your favorite song to perform live?
Josh: It is not one of my own. It is “High and Dry” by Radiohead.
CB: You guys just got started last year. What is the biggest thing that has changed in your life since you started out?
Patrick: The bus really. We have never had this luxury before.
Chad: This is our first tour and going National.
Josh: It is the first time we have toured with bands outside our scene. Hanson has been on part of the tour and they have been great. People automatically only think of them as “MmmBop,” but their new album is out and it is awesome. You should check it out. They have changed so much and are super talented.
CB: Finish the sentence I can’t go to sleep unless I’ve…
Chad: I watch Sports Center and make sure I know the scores of my favorite teams.
Patrick: I have to take off my socks before going to bed and sleep barefoot.
Josh: Not naked, just no socks?
Patrick: No, not naked just barefoot.
Josh: I can’t go to sleep unless I’ve shot the air assault gun outside. Last night we were shooting Third Eye Blind.
Check out Great Big Planes at http://www.myspace.com/greatbigplanes
LMFAO is a Grammy-nominated electro-hip hop group from Los Angeles, California that consists of DJ/rappers Redfoo (Stefan Gordy) and Sky Blu (Skyler Gordy). Both artists are related to Berry Gordy; Redfoo is the son of the Motown Records founder and Sky Blu is his nephew.
Their first single was titled "I'm in Miami Bitch” which peaked at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100. LMFAO also provided the opening theme to Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami and Jersey Shore. They last visited Ohio on tour with the Black Eyed Peas in early 2010.
I sat down with the two of them for an interview backstage at Bamboozle to discuss the tour and the upcoming album.
CB: You guys grew up really close to the recording industry. Did it give you an idea what to expect in the business?
RF: You know maybe on the business side, but not as far as touring. When we grew up our family was out of the business. The touring is new with things like being on the bus. We have adjusted really well. Now the bus is now like our home.
CB: What is your favorite track to perform live?
RF: The songs are like tools that will help you out in any situation.
CB: They make me smile.
SB: Smile tools.
RF: When you are at a party you have to play "Shots" to get the party started. Toward the end of the party you may want to say something nice to a girl so you may play, “Scream My Name.”
CB: It is like a progession through the night. Like a soundtrack.
RF: After "Shots" you would play, “Get Crazy.” They are like tools. So when we perform and we want to talk to the sexy ladies we sing “Scream My Name.”
CB: Craziest tour story with the Black Eyed Peas?
SB: Will got stuck one time up in the air during their performance.
CB: Did you guys rescue him?
SB: I was going to, but I didn’t want to put my drink down. The stage hands took care of him.
CB: You are working on a new album. When can we expect it?
RF: The new album is in the works. We are finally getting some momentum on it. Hopefully it will be out around November.
CB: Do you write your own stuff?
RF: Yes we have a lot of concepts that we are working on. It is a process to lay out the tracks. We have a studio on the bus and one at our house now in LA.
CB: You guys live together- roomies?
RF: Yes, we actually have a lot of houses and a lot of girlfriends.
CB: What are your party rules?
RF: You have to bring some Nachos.
SB: Nachos are girls that are “Not Yours,” not your ex, not your current girl, they are like pot luck. You have to take a shot when you walk in. You have to have a TBR- Take Back Room. It can be a bathroom but that can cause problems. These are the party rules.
CB: Who were your musical influences?
RF: Rick James
RF: JB- James Brown
SB: Red Hot Chilis
CB: What do you wish you knew five years ago that you know now?
SB: I wish I knew to put more stock into Apple.
RF: I wish I had read this book Going Against the Grain. It talks about how grains are not good for you. It is a revolutionary book. It explains how they are not edible in nature. I just stopped eating grains and lost 25 lbs in a month.
CB: Not just carbs
RF: No, you can have carbs like fruit and potatoes, just no grains like bread, pasta or anything made with corn. We even switched alcohol. Ciroc has grapes and Petron is a plant so they are approved.
SB: It is funny because in “Shots” those were the two we named.
For a limited time (while supplies last, as they say), seriously discounted tickets for the MidPoint Music Festival — which returns to the clubs and venues of Over-the-Rhine/Downtown Sept. 26-28 — will be made available starting this Friday at 10 a.m.
During this “Loyalty Presale,” three-day “All Music Access” passes can be purchased through mpmf.cincyticket.com (the site will be live for the public tomorrow) for just $49 (they’ll be $20 more come MPMF time). They are expected to sell out fast, so get ’em while you can. For those wanting a VIP MPMF experience, the popular VIP passes will also be available Friday for $129 ($40 off the normal price). The VIP tickets get you priority admission to all shows, access to catered VIP-only events and other goodies. (Last year’s VIP passes sold out before the fest.)
In other MPMF news, if you are a musician/performer interested in being considered for a showcase slot at the festival, submissions are now being accepted via Sonicbids. The submission fee is just $20 until this Friday; after that it goes up to $25. (Those without a Sonicbids account can submit to MPMF and receive a two-week free trial of the service.)
Stay tuned to MPMF.com and this blog for the latest updates on MidPoint.
Saturday, Apr 28: Jubal's Kin Festival Grounds
Saturday at MerleFest broke hard and cold. Our camping neighbors had an impromptu jam session at 3 a.m., which is to be expected when camping at a music festival geared towards people who not only love to watch and listen, but also play. It would have been one thing to hear the soft strains of a string jam or the gentle harmony of "Wildwood Flower," but some dude shouting the lyrics to "Whipping Post" over badly tuned guitars played really hard … not the thing mountain dreams are made from.
So I sat, at sun up, reading and drinking coffee, plotting revenge and the instead of taking my revenge, made the accused coffee, read some more and generally moved real slow. Crustymarhsmellowman. I did get to play a couple tunes with Pete McWhirter as he moved past to grab some coffee on his way to open his booth.
Then I moved real slow some more.
Really real slow.
After lunch, I decided to make an attempt to see some music.
I had already missed Jim Lauderdale at the Creekside Stage. To bad, I like some Jim Lauderdale and it would have been a nice wake up, but there you are. I saw on the schedule Jubal's Kin at the Dance Tent, looked at the clock and … damn missed that, too. But what ho! There they are on the schedule at the Americana Tent immediately following their Dance Tent set. It's a MerleFest miracle! I grabbed my camera and another cup of coffee and headed out.
Jubal's Kin, all nerves and bad house sound on Day 1, was all smooth and in good voice on Day 3. They filed the promise I thought I saw at the Cabin Stage on what always seems like an eternity ago and delivered a set full of vigor, with pristine sound delivered by the sound person. Their originals are fresh with sparse instrumentation and the kind of tight harmonies that only siblings can deliver. Never lyrically embarrassing with overplayed earnestness or too casual observation, they meld in with beautifully arranged and originally considered traditional tunes. There's "The Cuckoo," that ancient English broadside, rendered as if Billie Holiday had spent some time in the Eastern Kentucky mountains. "Buffalo Gal" was reconsidered as a pop tune with a well delivered encouragement to jump in on the chorus and sing along. Gaelanne's fiddle playing is absolutely gorgeous in a John Hartford/Matt Comb's kind of way, though leaning a bit heavier on the front of the beat as opposed to sitting in the pocket. And her banjo playing is just delicious. They added one more member for this set — "Uncle Joe" on pedal steel and fiddle. With "Baby Brother" on bass, Jubal's Kin appears to be a family band.
Satisfied my instincts were intact, I left the Americana Stage to catch some other music. I wondered into the Traditional Tent to catch some of mountain legend Red June. He was explaining to the audience what a jam session was. Have I mentioned the Traditional Tent smells like a barn? I don't think it's intentional, but the wet grass combined with an enclosed space has rendered an unfavorable impression. After the lesson on what a "jam" is, Red invited a local banjo player up to do a fiddle tune with the fiddle player who didn't bring a fiddle, but did bring a mandolin. Not to fear! You can play fiddle tunes on mandolin (or piano for that matter), so he requested the newest banjo player and the fiddle player with the mandolin decide on a tune they both knew and then play it. Five minutes of discussion and tuning followed. As I headed out of the tent I thought "Just like a jam session," and went down to the Creekside Cabin to catch the rest of the Snyder Family Band and the following act, Sierra Hull and Highway 111.
The Snyder Family Band is a family Bluegrass band (no irony at MerleFest!). Like all Bluegrass bands they have a banjo, sing harmonies and play Bluegrass. Of course they play it really well. People love them. Standing ovation.
I waited around for Sierra Hull and Highway 111 to take the stage. Sierra Hull, 5-foot-nothing and former wiz kid master of the mandolin is now a promising songwriter and ingenue. I'm familiar with this script and am bored not two minutes into the first song. Sigh. I stop in the field in front of the Watson Stage to hear some of "Assembly of Dust." Young Nashville Country script. Know it. Boring. Moving on.
It's coming up on 3 p.m. and time to give my sister a break in her booth in the Heritage Tent. Nancy Roberson is a weaver based out of Knoxville, Tenn. She's been showing, selling and demonstrating at MerleFest for about as long as there has been a MerleFest. She heads out for her afternoon nap (apparently a hardwired Roberson DNA trait) and I pleasantly meet the mass of retail customers streaming by and wondering into her booth.
Nancy makes shawls. Well kind of. Not only does she design each warp for the loom, but on these particular pieces of clothing, she has design the shawl itself. It's twisted, sewn up the back, and pulled over your head like a loose fitting sweater. The front gathers in soft bunches and hangs across the chest. The ladies love them. Woven of soft cotton and rayon with the occasional silk woven in for effect, the main color of each shawl is broken up with a rhythm of competing and sometimes complimentary colors. People can't help but be drawn in by the colors and when the reach out and touch them, you always get an "Oooooo, these feel so nice and are so beautiful." If you don't, it's a replicant — ready your phasers.
When Nancy returned, I checked the schedule and cheese whiz on a cracker if Jubal's Kin wasn't playing in the barn-like Traditional Tent. Finally a chance to catch this band in more intimate surroundings, smell be damned. I headed over, got there early and claimed a seat near the front. In short order the band was on stage, laughing and calling out songs. They moved though a load of traditional tunes, all rendered in a sweet, imaginative way, like "Dinah Blow Your Horn," with added lyrics and a new verse melody. The Carter Family's "No Depression" was delivered in soul rendering pain. About midway through the set, a guitar string broke enabling some spontaneous double fiddle and dancing. While the guitar player stepped off stage, "Uncle Joe" and Gaelanne tuned their fiddles and discussed which tune to play. In a matter of thirty seconds (this is no a jam session) launched into a Skillet Lickers number my dad probably danced to when he was their age. A friend jumped up on stage and launched into some spirited clogging. Not to be undone, "Baby Brother" put his bass down, peeled off his shoes and joined the Appalachian chorus line at the end of the stage with some well executed Buck Dancing.
Yes sir, these kids from Florida are the real shit. I've spent decades in front of poseurs, wannabees, shitty players and hopefuls. Using a foundation of traditional music obviously passed along from a family that loves this stuff at an early age, Jubal's Kin are making something very real, unique and personal that compels you to be a part.
This is why I come to MerleFest. Thanks, guys, for inviting me in.
Exhausted from a night of no sleep and a day of wandering and finding Jubal's Kin, I headed back to my book and coffee and called it a day.
Louisville's giant Forecastle music festival, taking place July 12-14 (the same weekend as Cincinnati's Bunbury Music Festival), today announced its preliminary lineup. Headliners include Avett Brothers, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, Animal Collective, Jim James, Crow Medicine Show, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Big Boi, Matt & Kim and Alabama Shakes. The festival is held annually at Louisville's Waterfront Park, though this year there will be special "off site" late night shows.
Below is the full lineup. For tickets (which go on sale Wednesday at noon) and complete information, click here.
The Black Keys
The String Cheese Incident
The Avett Brothers
The Flaming Lips
Old Crow Medicine Show
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
The Forecastle Incident (with special guests)
Young the Giant
Matt & Kim
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
The Joy Formidable
Kurt Vile & The Violators
Toro y Moi
Bob Mould Band
El-P & Killer Mike
Shovels & Rope
Alasdair Roberts & Friends
The 23 String Band
A Lion Named Roar
MPMF news and musings: Three-day wristbands are running low (get 'em here now, quick-like). If you miss your chance (or are broke like me), there are ways to win freebies. (It's the luck of the draw, so don't bank on it, but definitely worth a shot!)
The fine folks at local club conglomerate 4EG (which operates The Pavilion, The Lackman, Keystone, Righteous Room and several other bars around town) is giving away 10 MPMF 3-day passes. Click here for details. And seek out the CityBeat booth at Oktoberfest this weekend, harass our employees and sign up for s chance to win a pair of fancy-schmancy VIP tickets. (You can find the official Oktoberfest guide in the CityBeat on streets right now.)
And now, with the countdown down to just seven days, here are our daily MidPoint Music Festival 2012 picks …
Laetitia Sadier (France)
Fans of French Post Rock favorites Stereolab need no introduction to Laetitia Sadier. She was the co-founder of Stereolab and also founded Monade in the mid ’90s. Along the way, she was also a frequent collaborator, working with everyone from The High Llamas and Blur to Common and Mouse on Mars. In 2010, Sadier went solo, releasing The Trip on Stereolab’s U.S. label, Drag City Records. This summer, she followed up the record with Silencio, a dynamic album that runs from lush, orchestrated pieces to quirkier electronic Pop to warm Tropicalia, all driven by Sadier’s trademark sensual coo.
You'll Dig It If You Dig: Nico, Jane Birkin, Stereolab. (Mike Breen)
Laetitia Sadier performs at the Contemporary Arts Center on Thursday, Sept. 27, 11 p.m. Here's her new video for the Silencio tune "Find Me the Pulse of The Universe."
Denney and the Jets (Nashville, TN)
Denney and the Jets may be one of Nashville’s most mysterious bands. A Google search reveals almost no biographical information about them, just plenty of references to the quote on their Tumblr page. (“One warm night in July an angel came to me and said, ‘There is nothing I can do for you. Nashville is dead and so is Rock ’N Roll.’ ”), which brings up an interesting question: Do you need to know anything/everything about a band to enjoy their music? As far as Chris Denney and his Jets are concerned, the answer would seem to be a resounding “Hell no.”
UPDATE: Since the official guide went to press, we dug up (i.e. got a press release with) info on the group. From their PR:
Frontman Chris Denney began writing songs in the Spring of 2008, recruiting Wes Traylor (Natural Child), and Jake and Jamin Orrall (of JEFF The Brotherhood) to be the very first of his Jets. After each member parted ways to pursue their own individual careers, Chris signed on Daniel Pujol (eponymously of PUJUOL) and Joe Scala. After Pujol's departure, Denneysolidified the lineup by adding longtime friend Sean Cotton on lead guitar, Joe's little brother Evan Scala and most recently bringing in Ric Alessio on keys and sax. Denney and The Jets have turned songwriting into a full realized communal process and have grown in to one of the South's finest.
After releasing a 7" single and EP (a limited Cassette only release) on JEFF The Brotherhood's Infinity Cat Recordings, the band returns with their new 5-song Self-Titled EP on Miami, FL-based label Limited Fanfare Records -- Recorded in the Spring of 2012 with Producer/Engineer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, The Parting Gifts) -- with "Close The Blinds" recorded at Cleft Music by Nashville legend, Loney Hutchins. The result is an insanely fiery batch of tunes that Nashville Cream calls "[Straight-up rock and roll music] — not bastardized, compromised, corrupted or contaminated."
Dig: Bob Dylan and Paul Westerberg get drunk on bathtub gin and listen to Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys. (Brian Baker)
Denney and the Jets play MidPoint on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 11 p.m. at the Cincinnati Club. Dig the vintage swagger on this track, "Fun Girls."
LOCAL LOCK PICK
Jody Stapleton and the Generals (Cincinnati, OH)
Jody Stapleton has always had an ear for the past and a finger on today's pulse. With the Stapletons a decade ago, Stapleton made Psych-fueled Garage Rock that sounded vaguely phase shifted from another time and yet completely fresh, a talent that earned them CEA awards for Best New Act and Rock Band of the Year in 2001 and 2003 respectively. With his new outfit, Jody Stapleton and the Generals, Stapleton is similarly tapped into bygone days, this time the sunshine-on-your-shoulder days of '70s AM radio Pop, combined with a modern sensibility and approach.
Dig: Paul Westerberg listening to a transistor radio tuned permanently to 1973. (BB)
Jody and the Generals perform Thursday, Sept. 27, at Main Event, 11 p.m.. Here's a few tunes from the band's recent debut release.
Click here for full MPMF details via the official MidPoint site.
The MidPoint Music Festival countdown is down to just 3 days, kicking off this Thursday. Here are our daily MidPoint Music Festival 2012 picks …
Freelance Whales (Queens, NY)
Baroque Indie Electro Pop
Frontman Judah Dadone founded Freelance Whales in 2008 and recorded much of the band's lauded, self-released debut album from late 2009, Weathervanes (reissued by Frenchkiss and Mom + Pop in 2010). The band not only scored a lot of fans based on the album, but also a ton of licensing (for a variety of films and TV shows). The band's consistent international touring, external exposure and word-of-mouth PR has built anticipation for its new album, Diluvia, to a fever pitch. The LP is set for an Oct. 9 release (MPMF serves as the opening date on the band's tour behind the record). Freelance Whales' mix of electronic sounds and Chamber Folk ideals has led them to be compared to everyone from The Postal Service to Sufjan Stevens.
You'll Dig It If You Dig: Sufjan Stevens making a Postal Service album; Postal Service making a Sufjan album. (Mike Breen)
Freelance Whales (their name, if you're wondering, was inspired by the huge amount of "freelancers" working in NYC) performs Saturday in Washington Park at 7 p.m. (taking the slot vacated by Sleigh Bells). Here's a new track from Diluvia, "Spitting Image."
Leogun (London, UK)
Rock & Roll
With “big breaks” today mostly coming in the form of internet exposure, London trio Leogun’s big-time entry into the music biz was decidedly old-fashioned. Singer/guitarist Tommy Smith snuck into an Eagles of Heavy Metal show in London and met an industry heavyweight who introduced him to Elton John’s Rocket Music Management. From there, the band became the first band signed to instrument-maker Yamaha’s new record label. Leogun went to Nashville to lay down some of their timeless, passionate Rock & Roll, the first results of which are set for an EP due Oct. 16 (a full-length is planned for 2013). Leogun’s transcendent take on vintage Blues-inspired Rock & Roll is strong enough to earn them one the “bands most likely to return soon for an arena show” awards from this year’s MPMF.
Dig: Wolfmother, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age. (MB)
Leogun performs at The Drinkery Saturday at 12:30 a.m. Here's the band's new single and video, "Let's Be Friends," which just premiered on MTV.com.
Tonight's installment of the free "American Roots" concert series on Fountain Square — which generally hosts weekly Tuesday performances by some of the best of the rich local Americana music scene — serves as a preview of the upcoming third annual BrownGrass Festival in Rabbit Hash, Ky.
The benefit is headed up by veteran musician David Rhodes Brown, who started the event three years ago as a way to help raise money for local radio outlet WNKU (the name is taken from the title of Brown's most recent solo album, Browngrass & Wildflowers, some proceeds from which also went to WNKU).
BrownGrass 2012 takes place July 21 and features a stellar lineup of local and regional acts, including DRB and his BrownGrass Band, The Tadcasters, Magnolia Mountain, The Leo Clarke Band, Greg Schramm & the Radio King Cowboys, Blame Bersch, Mack West, Kelly Thomas & the Fabulous Pickups, Beth Farmer, Davey O, Dan F. Hill and many others. The festival runs from noon-11 p.m. along the riverfront in Rabbit Hash. (Read about the first and second year of Browngrass here and here).
On Fountain Square tonight, BrownGrass Fest participants Ruthie & Grace Lincoln perform at 8:30 p.m. followed by Brown and his BrownGrass Band, as a preview of the fest. (The fun starts at 7 p.m. with some World Choir Games festivities.)
For complete details on the BrownGrass Festival 2012, visit the official website here.
Here's a nice video overview of last year's BrownGrass and some audio samples from Brown's solo effort.
If you are a musician who has an act they'd like to showcase at this year's MidPoint Music Festival and you haven't submitted for consideration, you better get on it. Tomorrow is the final day submissions will be accepted.
In related news, the MidPoint Indie Summer concert series (which has it's own Wikipedia page!) returns every Friday on Fountain Square starting June 1. Expect lineup announcements soon. A certain amazing local Power Pop/Rock band has "hinted" they will be a part of the series this year. But you didn't hear it from me.
MidPoint has also posted some fresh artwork that you are encouraged to use to create your own "posters, clothes, or otherwise interesting and useful things." Get your base materials here and check out the design below.
I started out the second day of the Forecastle festival in Louisville by getting caught in the rain and being picked up like a hitchhiker by the Everest band van on the way to setup for their set on the main Mast Stage of the festival. The band agreed to let me hang for “A Day in the Life” photo series as they prepped to play the 10th Anniversary of Forecastle. They were laid back as the rain moved in and gear was unplugged and wrapped in saran wrap.
Everest has been on the road promoting their third album Ownerless. On Ownerless, you can hear a refined sound in which the band speaks about powerful issues as they took their time to record and find their true voice, writing from the heart and soul. The band consists of members Russell Pollard (vocals/guitar/drums), Joel Graves (guitar/keys/vocals), Jason Soda (guitar/keys/vocals), Eli Thomson (bass/vocals) and new addition Kyle Crane (drums).
Everest are rising stars in the alternative music scene and have toured with My Morning Jacket and they will be heading back on the road with Neil Young this fall.
It turned out to not be such a typical “day in the life” as the show was held back because of lightning in the area but the band unloaded and prepared to play even as heavy rain descended on the festival. The festival opened an hour late due to rain delays but they did make time for all the planned acts to perform (albeit with shorter set lists).
Everest played loud and rocked the crowd as it gathered to hear this band singing my favorite track on the new album as the opening song “Rapture.” Founding member Pollard’s raspy vocals were captivating and I instantly became a fan of this band as they sang older tunes and new record songs like “Into the Grey.” The Watson Twins joined the band for a few songs on backing vocals to round out their set.
Overall it was a great day to play music in Louisville as fans gathered to celebrate 10 years of the fest, which self-defines itself as being all about "music, art and activism." The Preservation Hall Jazz Band took the main stage by storm and had fans dancing in the grass; special guests onstage including Jim James and Andrew Bird playing classic tunes with the legendary jazz musicians from New Orleans. James' band (and hometown heroes) My Morning Jacket played over two hours to close out the night while Girl Talk played on the second stage and had a festival rave in full action on the banks of the Ohio river.
MidPoint Music Festival headliners Cut Copy yesterday dropped a new video, "Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution," from the band's recently released full-length Zonoscope. The clip uses Planet of the Apes-esque dudes in a way that's both amusing and crafty — way better than most of the videos MTV used to play back when it was a music channel. And it's a nice primer for the Aussies stop here next week.
Oh, and here's what I wrote when Zonoscope was released back in March — notice the bit about them not touring here:
"Not as dancey as the the first two CC records, Zonoscope is a spacier, more laid-back grower that reveals frontguy Dan Whitford's lyrical acumen (the big beats and thick synths used to push his words to the background). I'm curious to hear how this sounds live. Unfortunately, CC's current tour does not feature a Cincy stop — though the band is slated to play the Pitchfork Music Festival July 17 in Chicago. Road trip!"