I saw this Athens, Georgia band at the Supernaut Booking Pagan Christmas Party at Soundlab in Buffalo back in December of 2006. They were opening for Zombi. I don't remember any other bands at the party and I think they just had some of their friends spinning records. I went to the show on a whim since I didn't have anything else to do on a Saturday night. I was armed with only a minimal knowledge of Maserati based on two songs off a Hello Sir Records compilation that also featured Cinemechanica and We Versus The Shark. I knew they were instrumental and fit nicely in the realm of post-rock stuff that I like, so I figured why not check it out.
As usual this is one of those "I'm glad I went" types of stories because Maserati were absolutely amazing live. They played the bulk of songs off their then unreleased album Inventions for the New Season. The stage was bathed in blue light from white lights placed under Jerry Fuch's clear, blue drum set. Not liking the standard crappy red stage lights and being a fan of the color blue, it looked awesome. The show started with guitarists Coley Dennis and Matt Cherry taking the stage first and playing the intro to "Inventions". Eventually Fuchs and bass player Chris McNeal joined them to fill out and finish the song. From that point it was on and Maserati delivered an impressive batch of Krautrock influenced instrumentals. They ended with "Show Me The Season." Dennis and Cherry left the stage to let Fuchs and McNeal wrap it up in a reversal of how the show began.
Unfortunately, there is a major element of tragedy to the Maserati story. In November of 2009, Jerry Fuchs accidentally fell to his death trying to get out of a stuck elevator in Brooklyn. Fuchs also played drums with Turing Machine, !!!, LCD Soundsystem and the Juan Maclean. He wasn't always the drummer for Maserati and after listening to their older albums, it was clear to hear what he brought to the band. He upped the driving rock content considerably. At the same time, the delay heavy guitars remained intact to provide texture, atmosphere and melody. It was a perfect fit.
Maserati's new album is called Pyramid of the Sun and will be available from Temporary Residence on 11/09. There is also a limited edition 12" called Pyramid of the Moon that is available now. The band will be on tour in November:
Nov 11 - IOTA, Arlington, VA w/ Psychic Paramount, Steve Moore
Nov 12 - Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA w/ Psychic Paramount, Steve Moore
Nov 13 - Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY w/ Psychic Paramount, Steve Moore
Nov 14 - Lily's, New Haven, CT w/ Psychic Paramount, Steve Moore
Nov 15 - The Middle East, Cambridge, MA w/ Psychic Paramount
Nov 16 - Garfield Artwork, Pittsburgh, PA w/ Parlour
Nov 17 - Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL w/ Parlour
Nov 18 - Zanzabar, Louisville, KY w/ Parlour
Nov 19 - The Earl, Atlanta, GA
Nov 20 - The 40watt, Athens, GA
1. A.E. Paterra of Zombi is drumming with Maserati for the tour.
2. Turing Machine's Zwei is one of my favorite albums ever for listening to while driving.
3. Incidentally, Cinemechanica's song "The Professor Burns Vegas" from that Hello Sir comp is one of the best tunes ever for those that are into the good old version of emo and not the mall vampire version that haunts us today.
For more info:
A Wonderful is the stage name used by a dude from Rochester named Tim Wilson.
First off, a note on pronunciation. My friends introduced his music to me as "Ay Wonderful" which makes less sense, phonetically speaking, than how one would pronounce it as the middle part of "What A Wonderful World." Either way, it's been a few years since I saw him play live so I can't remember how he said it. I'm gonna let the music speak for itself (this happens to be one of the worst things a person can say about anything).
A Wonderful, in a live setting, layered twinkly 90's emo guitar lines utilizing a looping station. Sometimes friends would accompany the performance. It was during an A Wonderful set that a friend of mine gave the award of "most indie instrument" to the floor tom played with a maraca. I managed to take in a few A Wonderful sets in my days of basement shows. They were always great. And short.
Tim Wilson's personal, minimalist lyrics combined with auxiliary percussion and knotty looped guitar parts for minute and a half long bursts of brilliance. His voice lands somewhere between Bobby Burg of Love of Everything and Phil Elvrum of Mount Eerie, it's reed-thin and hesitant, which happens to fit perfectly with the intimate, low fidelity recordings.
The A Wonderful record I've connected with the most over the years is the Uncorked Understandings ep. It's just over 11 minutes long, features 8 song/sketches, and lasted the exact amount of time it took to walk from my Freshman year dorm to the cafeteria where they sold chicken finger subs until 10:00pm and back. The second track on the album, "Under Cover(s)" is one of the most perfect songs ever written. I can't really say much more than that.
Also available on the internet is a tour-only ep called Light Hearted Dark Days, which features four more fleshed out songs that make the Elvrum influence more apparent. While all four tracks are of high quality (both the songs themselves and the recordings), "All But Invisible" is a clear standout. Its fuzzy, blown out, and messy for the first minute, until the song suddenly relaxes, a shaky egg is brought to the party, and what quietly unfolds for the remaining two and a half minutes is worth your time.
I don't know what A Wonderful's been up to lately, I'm relatively good acquaintances with a few people who might know, but I'm not prepared for that kind of journalism.
"We like to play loud."
This band came to Fredonia in early August. They were on tour, had a gig fall through elsewhere and thanks to the magic of technology, were able to set up a last minute show at LGHQ, a local house that used to host shows.
The photo is from the end of their set. They were quite a sight to see live. I had never heard of them before and was impressed. Snowing completely tore up the living room with a high energy performance. The singer from Glocca Morra, another band who was on tour with them, helped out with the vocals on every song. Sometimes this meant holding the microphone stand and other times it was singing along. As a whole, it was nuts. Both guys laid on the floor without moving for probably a little too long after the last song. There might have even been some wrestling antics that went down prior to the collapse.
Incidentally, this was the last show at the house known as LGHQ. Most of the Fredonia band Longitude lived there from 2008 to 2010 and it acquired the name Longitude Global Headquarters. Since LGHQ was directly located behind several bars, noise was never a problem and shows could happen without the fear of being busted. Some of the many bands to play the living room included Mock Orange, Maps & Atlases, Loose Lips Sink Ships, Sleeping In The Aviary and the Failures' Union.
Notes: Snowing are from Philadelphia and contain former members of Street Smart Cyclist and Boy Problems. The band was started in 2008. They are working on a new album and have songs available on their websites to check out.
They win an award for having a song called "Methuselah Rookie Card." Why? For the sheer absurdity and obscurity of this particular Simpson's reference.
For more info:
Alright so there was this website called Useless Division that my friend and I would look at all the time in high school. I think it was some guy from Armor for Sleep, or one of their friends that took videos of all these bands they encountered on tour. Regardless, there were a ton of sweet videos of Murder by Death, Northstar, and this one of Denver in Dallas that we watched about 50 fucking times a day:
Why do I like it so much? Well, their singer, Matt Holdren slings his body around the stage and runs into the crowd (always a plus for me) while the guitar players (Ramon Alarcón and Adam Delnegro) perfectly compliment each other using tight leads, awesome controlled feedback, and the prettiest odd timed dual-guitar riff at 4:23.
They released an EP After Diego on ECA Records (2001, 2004?), but I'm not really sure what happened to them after that.
Check them out if you like old Deep Elm stuff, dancing, The Get Up Kids, or At The Drive-In.
Also, because I lurk their old myspace page I noticed that they posted two songs (from their 2001 demo?), including an older version of "Arizona" from After Diego. Check out "And The Light Faded" and "The Day After" here:
There was this band called Silkworm who had been putting out consistently good and underrated albums for the last fifteen years. They played the good type of post-punk influenced Midwestern indie rock. Silkworm came to a tragic end in 2005 after the death of drummer Michael Dahlquist. Dahlquist was killed in a car accident caused by another driver's failed suicide attempt. Silkworm had released albums on Touch & Go, Matador and C/Z. They even wrote what might be the best song of the 1990s, "Couldn't You Wait." Their finest hour in terms of a full length album is probably 2000's Lifestyle.
Bottomless Pit were formed in 2005 by the other two members of Silkworm, Andy Cohen and Tim Midgett. They teamed up with Chris Manfrin of Seam and Brian Orchard of .22. They have a new album out on Comedy Minus One called Blood Under The Bridge. While certain stylistic points are similar, Bottomless Pit has its own sound. The more abrasive rock leanings of Silkworm have been smoothed over into a sleeker and cleaner Krautrock-esque style. The songs move in a different way now. The fact that there are two guitar players allows for more intricate guitar lines to develop and expand the sound, as is exemplified in the opening track "Winterwind." The album as whole works very well. Also worthy of note is their first album, Hammer of the Gods, which is where the video at the top is from.
For more information: Comedy Minus One
So I'm an intern for a PR company that works with Coliseum, a hardcore band fronted by Ryan Patterson, a dude who knows the fuck out of his shit. I was doing some data entry style work when I came across a feature he participated in on Self-Titled called Needle Exchange, an ongoing series of playlists curated by a wide array of cool/interesting artists (like James Blackshaw and Wooden Shjips, both of whom are on the list of stuff I'll probably write about in the future). Ryan compiled a well-researched playlist of tracks by his favorite bands based out of Washington DC, featuring tracks from nearly 30 years of punk rock history.
I'm pretty picky when it comes to punk/hardcore, but what kind of guy who reads about music on the internet would I be if I didn't like Fugazi? Either way, Ryan from Coliseum, on this Needle Exchange comp, strayed away from too many obvious picks to make more room for hidden gems, stating "I left out a lot of obvious bands for obvious reasons (Minor Threat, Embrace, Rites Of Spring, The Nation Of Ulysses—you should own these records),"which is good move on his part.
One of the tracks selected was "My Better Half" by One Last Wish, a band formed by Guy Picciotto and two other members of Rites of Spring and the former guitarist for the proto-emo legends Embrace. The band only existed for four months, shortly before Guy and Brendan Canty joined Ian in Fugazi, but they managed to record one of the most innovative and interesting punk albums I've ever heard. "My Better Half" packs a ridiculous amount of hooks and ideas into two minutes. Guy's vocals are as impassioned and enthusiastic they are on any Fugazi track, and the guitar lines are consistently changing and propulsive. The rest of the album is almost as good as this.
The album is called 1986 and can be purchased from Dischord.
The Alberta, Calgary band Women will be at Mojo's in Jamestown on Monday, October 4th. Women work an experimental lo-fi blend of melody and noise to create their songs. The sound would appeal to fans of the Swell Maps, Sonic Youth and Pavement. They have just released their second album, Public Strain, on Jagjaguwar. It earned an 8.0 on Pitchfork this week.
Jamestown's own Escape Tower have the opening slot.
Mojo's is located at 104 E. 2nd Street in Jamestown.