New Shouts / Sing New Shouts EP / Release Show at Thunderbird Café on 09.24couple of singles on their Bandcamp page many months ago when they started playing shows around town to drum up interest, and it definitely worked, at least for me. I've seen them a few times (at the Brillobox and The Shop) and their onstage energy is addictive. They also did an acoustic session for Draw Us Lines' Echo Chamber series and it turned out fantastically. (By the way, you can buy those Echo Chamber recordings on Bandcamp; more about that below!) But now they have a batch of seven new songs and they really capture their live energy, with catchy guitar melodies and upbeat percussion and soulful vocals (that almost sound British to me …?) that make you wanna sing along. It's part Kinks, part Beatles, part Motown, and all fun and danceable. You'll be able to buy the album digitally on 09.13, and they're having a release show at the Thundebird on Saturday 09.24 with Mariage Blanc and DJ Jordan K. In the meantime, you can still download those digital singles for free, and the teaser video below features a clip from my favorite song on the new EP, "Dollybird". Check it:
New Shouts on the web: Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp / Tumblr
Neighbours / Neighbours EP / Release Show at the Friday Nite Club on 09.02seen have been great, with the singer sitting up front with his keyboard and then getting up and dancing around sometimes, singing his heart out and Andy's arms flailing all over the place behind the drumkit. The five songs on the EP are some of their best work, too, right from the keys riff and forceful vocals that kick off the energetic "Real Talk", to the Motown-inspired lament in "Fun", to the soft and slow and pretty "Without You" (with some great reverb on the vocals, nice recording there, fellas), to the punchy percussion that carries "Popgirls" through to the end. My only critique is that it's too damn short! They also have a couple of "name your price" singles here and here, and they'll have an official release party at the Irish Centre of Pittsburgh's Friday Nite Club party, on 09.02. DJ Jordan K and The Mt. McKinleys will also be playing, and you can pick up a CD there for just $5. In the meantime, stream some tracks here:
Neighbours: Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp
Host Skull / Totally Fatalist LP / Release Show at Brillobox on 09.22Contraphonic label, and it is an amazingly broad yet cohesive album. The songs themselves span a wide array of influences—from Wilco-esque country folk to Grizzly Bear-ish baroque pop to some kind of soulful funk rock, and lead single "Totally Fatalist" (see video below) is the kind of jazzy avant-rock you might find with Dave's Assembly project—yet it all feels … right. It's born from some talented musicians and their powerful, united vision, and it shows. They'll play these songs, and more, at the Brillobox on Friday 09.22 with Raw Blow. You definitely want to see this show; I promise it will be good. In the meantime, check out the fascinating and humorous stop-motion video that Dave and pals put together for the title track, with direction by the one and only Hugh Twyman.
Host Skull: Website / Facebook
David Bernabo: Website / Twitter
Donora / Boyfriends, Girlfriends LP / "The World Is Ours" music video / CD Release Show at Rex Theater on 09.16playing a show on 09.16 to celebrate (and give some of us a chance to buy it early, of course, and hey look at that, New Shouts are playing at that show, too!). Also, a month or so ago I hitched a ride to the suburbs of Pittsburgh to help the band film a video for the song "The World Is Ours" from the new album, and that video premiered on Spinner.com a couple weeks ago. I had no idea what I was getting into, and it ended up being a fun day of sitting around and pretending to play cards with an older gentleman on the porch of somebody's super nice guest house. The video is one continuous shot, so we did about five full takes, plus a bunch of practice ones, and each one required a lot of cleanup afterwards, as you'll see after watching the end result. Hugh also shared some photos from the video shoot. Enjoy the video, and see yinz at the show!
Donora: Facebook / Twitter / Rostrum Records
The Ceiling Stares / new split 7" single with The Super Vacations on Velocity of Sound / 7" Release Show at The Shop on 10.01Velocity of Sound releases 7" vinyl records of local underground artists, and for their latest single, they've hooked up with the Sweaters & Pearls label to feature two bands. The Super Vacations are from Viriginia and have a deliciously scuzzy and fast-paced psychedelic punk sound. Their side of this single has two 2-minute jams, "Hexing" and "Controller", and they are catchy as hell and, unfortunately, over before you know it. I've definitely played this side like three times in a row back to back. Great stuff. The Ceiling Stares are from Pittsburgh and used their side of the record to stretch out with a 5 minute psych-rock jam entitled "A Tunnel Through The Air". I saw this band play at Howlers last year and noted in a review that their sound is kind of a Jefferson Airplane/Sonic Youth/Pink Floyd hybrid, and I stand by that, and I particularly like this song of theirs. The guitars swirl, the vocals are impassioned, the keys drone, the drums drive, it's all perfect. You can stream the three tracks below, and head over to the Velocity of Sound site to buy them on cool green vinyl! Check out this nice feature in last week's Pgh City Paper, as well. The Ceiling Stares will be playing at The Shop on 10.01 to officially celebrate the vinyl release and, alas, The Super Vacations can't make it then, but locals Flesh Vehicle (who also have a Velocity of Sound release coming out soon) and Holy Daze will play in their stead. Should be a fun night of excellent rock music!
Controller - The Super Vacations by Velocity of Sound
Hexing - The Super Vacations by Velocity of Sound
A Tunnel Through The Air - The Ceiling Stares by Velocity of Sound
The Ceiling Stares: Website / Facebook / Bandcamp
The Super Vacations: Blog / Facebook / Tumblr
Velocity of Sound: Website / Twitter / Soundcloud
Sweaters & Pearls: Website / Facebook
Draw Us Lines / Echo Chamber RecordingsBandcamp page and buy the whole collection for just $5. These are all local bands playing acoustic versions of their songs, and some of these songs are not available anywhere else! Want to hear an awesome, stripped-down version of New Shouts' jam "Gotta Get Along"? We've got it. Want to hear that lovely Meeting Of Important People song "Oh, Will You Finally Go?"? We've got it. Want to hear indie rock legend Karl Hendricks playing solo in the Children's Museum? We've got that. Stream the whole thing below and you'll see that it's worth it. And head over to Draw Us Lines and watch the videos and read the stories behind them, too, because they're all great. There are plenty more to come, so stay tuned, too.
So that's what I've found lately. Have any other interesting local songs, albums, events, etc. to share? Let me know about 'em!