Music journalists get hit with a steady helping of press releases every day. For the music fan without that kind of sensory overload, a lot of music news can pass by without being seen. Every Monday, I will weed through and compile a list of some of the most intriguing press releases to come across my virtual desk.
Victory and Associates
VICTORY AND ASSOCIATES RELEASE SOPHOMORE ALBUM, BETTER LUCK NEXT LIFE, ON OCT. 29
Victory and Associates is a rock band from Oakland, Calif. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Conan Neutron, bassist/vocalist Evan Gritzon, lead guitarist Shane Otis, and drummer Jacob “Mouse” Menough they are loosely affiliated with success, but majorly affiliated with fun. Better Luck Next Life is their second full-length record, following up 2011’s rambunctious These Things Are Facts. The band formed in early 2010, starting a mission to create true and honest rock ‘n’ roll that proves that punk rock is a mindset as much as a strict genre classification, and that big rock does not have to be dumb to be good.
Block rocking erudition.
Victory and Associates simultaneously embrace the glorious and the foolish in rock and roll. Where rock ‘n’ roll not only includes the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, but DEVO, the Melvins and the Buzzcocks. There is much more to be said in the idiom of rock ‘n’ roll and Victory and Associates will darn well say it.
The booming “We’ll Have to Be Our Own Heroes”, blasts out of the gate with arena aplomb, desperate energy and a message of self-empowerment. Sorry, the people that were going to save the day decided they had better things to do. The lush “Everything’s Amazing (Nobody’s Happy)” is the peppiest song about first world entitlement/taking the marvels of our modern world for granted that you will hear all week. It’s also the only song we can think of that’s directly inspired by a Louis C.K. comedy bit. The spacey and inexorable groove of “For Serious” is quite literally a song in defense of sincerity itself, a concept that’s been hijacked by utter idiots, fools, wastoids and shameless marketers.
Better Luck Next Life is a rock record that contains ten songs filled with disillusionment, disappointment and frustration at diminished expectations and hope. Always hope. Even as it seems like hope itself is disappearing on the horizon. Party, right? Look – These are songs directly inspired by the singularity of disappointment, closing one’s self off to new experiences, the TV show “Party Down” and the harsh realization that at some point you need to pass the torch to others to carry on. High-minded concepts married to huge riffs, hooks and an undeniable sense of fun. It is dark, battered, exhausted but never defeated.
Produced by Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Federation X, Liars, Tool), these ten songs are aimed right at your solar plexus. In the age of hologramatic performers, nostalgia without end, pious indifference and a gruel-like malaise of passively consonant and safe background music. Better Luck Next Life can be hard to pin down, but is ultimately rewarding for those that come along for the ride.
Victory and Associates have shared the stage with the likes of the Thermals, Mike Watt, Helms Alee, the Blind Shake and more. They intend to make many, many more and continue to bring an immediate, intense and enjoyable live show to the US and beyond.
RIYL: Rocket From the Crypt, Cheap Trick, Mudhoney, the Thermals, Future of the Left, Buzzcocks, Torche, Archers of Loaf.
Upcoming tour dates:
September 20 Oakland, CA Stork Club (Mission Creek Music Festival)
October 10 Oakland, CA Eli’s Mile High Club
October 27 Oakland, CA Hemlock Tavern
November 21 Portland, OR The Know
November 22 Seattle, WA Chop Suey (w/Helms Alee)
November 23 Bellingham, WA The Shakedown
February 21 – 23 Gladstone, MI PRF Thundersnow 2014
Bell Biv Devoe
Saturday, October 19, 2013 – Durham, NC
Saturday, November 2, 2013 – Columbus, OH
Saturday, November 16, 2013 – Houston, TX
Thursday, August 14. 2014 – Greenville, MS
Bell Biv DeVoe was hatched in the minds of its members, New Edition’s Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe, upon the departure of lead singer Bobby Brown in 1986. But it wasn’t until after New Edition completed its supporting tour for the album Heart Break in 1988 that the trio gave in to the urgings of Heart Break producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and decided to chart its own course.
Bell Biv DeVoe enlisted a variety of producers for its debut album, including Jam and Lewis and Public Enemy producers Hank and Keith Shocklee. The results were quite unlike anything in New Edition’s repertoire: The beats were funkier, the lyrics and vocals were sexier, and the overall sound had a harder, hip-hop-tinged edge. The album’s title track, “Poison,” became a number three smash, and it was followed by the equally successful “Do Me!” and the R&B hits “B.B.D. (I Thought it Was Me),” “When Will I See You Smile Again?,” and “Dope!” The album itself went on to sell over three million copies and was followed by a remix album the next year. Meanwhile, Bivins assembled the East Coast Family, discovering and producing debut albums for Another Bad Creation and Boyz II Men.
Mike & The Musket
New York, NY – 10/1/2013 – Up and coming New York seven piece, Miko and The Musket released a video for their track “On Your Mark” off of their latest self-titled EP, and will premiere on Artist Direct. The seven piece band of musicians will also be at the Deli’s Showcase at CMJ in New York City on October 16th, the CBGB Festival, and the Berklee College of Music Showcase.
The finishing track of their all-music embodying EP, “On Your Mark” is an upbeat pop number. “The grooves are fun and retro,” muses bassist Peter. Guitarist Mike goes on to explain simply, “Thiswhole song really is pure Miko and the Musket.” It’s the perfect soundoff to the EP, and reminds you again that while the sevenpiece might be a hard bunch to define, at the same time, it just makes their music all the sweeter.
The self-titled EP is a journey into the world that is Miko and The Musket. Fronted by principal songwriter, Miko de Leon, and comprised of Mike Steinmetz (lead guitar), Peter Longofono (bass),Brandon Ellis (Cello), Chris Kinlow (drums/percussion), Molly McAdoo (vocals), and Lannon Killea (vocals), the EP displays how the septet have found a way to incorporate a variety of musical nuances into a single collaborative outfit. “A fusion of Fleetwood Mac, Arcade Fire & The Polyphonic Spree,” is Miko’s response to the penultimate band question, what do you sound like?
“Our sound is pulled in many directions given each member’s individual proclivities,” adds vocalist Lannon. “It is our biggest asset and challenge.” The sevenpiece has certainly risen to the occasion, with these influences all coming to one clear, artistic vision.
Their potent sound has since gained the support of World Cafe Live, with the band winning Best Band of Philadelphia in 2012, after the release of their first EP, The Georgia Sessions, not to mention features in the likes of Interview Magazine, Huffington Post and Large Hearted Boy, Miko and The Musket are excited to show audiences how they have progressed.
Sharing their unique sound as displayed in their new release, Miko and the Musket have been bringing their emphatic and energetic live show to audiences with a slew of show dates across the East Coast. With a sound so big, it can only be translated into a hypnotic and colorful live show, they’ll be hard to miss!
Hot Water Music
Hot Water Music announced today that they will be playing 5 shows in the NorthEast US for the holidays. Joining them will be Torche and O’Brother. Tickets go on sale this Friday, October 18 at 10am.
Hot Water Music
W/ Torche, O’Brother
11 Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live
12 Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
13 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero
14 New York, NY – Webster Hall
15 Boston, MA – Royale
More info at www.hotwatermusic.com
Capping another year of touring and festival gigs around the world, the Immersive Music Man, Bassnectar will be coming to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on New Years Eve for a third straight year.
Following NYE 2013’s landmark 360° live show, Bassnectar is bringing the circular set-up and his signature low-end blend back to the Music City for an incredible experience only Mr. Ashton himself can deliver. This fall also saw him release a total of three new pieces of music between his Immersive Music Mixtape Sides One and Two along with his ethereal single “Take You Down”, giving Bassheads everywhere material to hype up his fall Immersive Music Tour which is currently running Coast to-Coast, and includes a two-night stand with Pretty Lights in Miami dubbed “BassLights”. Support for New Years Eve will come from hip-hop duo Zion I and Canadian electronic artist ill-esha. Bassnectar.net pre-sale tickets will go on sale Wednesday, October 16 at noon EST. Public tickets will go on sale Saturday, October 19th at 11am EST.
BASSNECTAR TOUR DATES:
10/18 Miami, FL – Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park
10/19 Miami, FL – Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park
10/24 Charleston, SC – North Charleston Coliseum
10/25 Asheville, NC – Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit (Bassnectar only)
10/26 Birmingham, AL – Boutwell Auditorium
10/31 Las Vegas, NV – Surrender Nightclub
11/03 New Orleans, LA -Voodoo Festival
11/08 Vancouver, BC – Pacific Coliseum
11/10 Calgary, AB -Big Four Building @ Stampede Park
12/14 Scottsdale, AZ -True Music Festival
12/30 Denver CO,- Colorado Convention Center
12/31 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
On their new single “Old L.A.,” Australian indie rockers Louis London color outside the lines of genre definition, conjuring a breezy, optimistic vibe with “Old L.A.,” the second single from their debut EP On Your Lips We Roared. Sprawling yet intimate, epic but warm, the young Aussies of Louis London are a study in dichotomy: a wildly eclectic and diverse set of influences coming together to create an entirely new sound. With On Your Lips We Roared, the quintet of Louis London are comfortable staying in the indie rock/pop pocket, but flourishes of grand chamber bombast, ambient instrumental, and jazz color the corners. “Our song formulas and concepts draw on all our different musical pasts, as well as the nature of contemporary popular music,” explains the band. “Chamber groups and orchestras, as well as more recent musical evolutions such as blues, jazz and of course rock and roll have influenced our tunes and concept of music.”
Having garnered a huge audience down under with sold out shows and Triple J airplay, Louis London now have their sights set on American shores. Having played music for the majority of their lives, the early twenty-somethings of Louis London found each other and immediately connected, with all sharing a strong work ethic and burning drive for success. “We are all very active and engaged people,” explains Karl Fernandes (Bass/Vocals/Guitar). “From Australian and international politics to environmental issues and visual arts to sport. With five people in the band our interests range far and wide which helps keep the music fresh and creative.”
For the recording of On Your Lips We Roared, the band headed into the studio for the first time, and literally took over. “We recorded with a really talented young producer Tom Ugly in Sydney,” recalls the band. “Being a first recording together, everyone was pretty keen to get it to sound exactly how we thought it should. I’m not sure if we got there because we spent so bloody long doing it but it seems we have had a pretty good response so far so I guess that’s what matters!”
As for the album title, the band confesses that it’s about getting as close to the listener as possible, which might also serve as the band’s mission statement. “It’s weirdly erotic I suppose,” admits Ed Saloman (Vocals/Guitar/Bass). Being so close to someone that you get that really proximal, intimate, intensity of emotion was what it was about for me, and something that I still want to recreate when we play live.”
The On Your Lips We Roared EP is available worldwide now.
Today, Los Angeles-based band Jamestown Revival are excited to release their new EP, The California EP. The EP features three new songs and one cover, all self-produced by the band. The EP provides a taste of what’s to come on the band’s upcoming debut album. One such song is “California (Cast Iron Soul),” which lends its name to the EP, and is a fitting ode to The Golden State. Stream “California (Cast Iron Soul)” at the link below.
Jamestown Revival is made up of Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance, two close friends who grew up together in the small Texas town of Magnolia. From a young age, they shared a love for music as well as the outdoors. About an hour north of Magnolia, TX, there was some old family land with a dilapidated ranch house where they spent the better part of their adolescence.
At one point or another, music from Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Everly Brothers, to fellow Texans Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, and Stevie Ray Vaughan found it’s way through an old pair of speakers that sat on the back porch. The pair spent the day exploring that thousand-acre plot of land, and when the sun went down they took to the records of the songwriters and bands that inspired them.
At the age of 22, they moved to Austin and began to craft a sound of their own. Deeply rooted in harmony, they merged the sounds of the South with classic American, and Western rock. Looking for adventure, as well as a change of pace, they eventually made the decision to head west and make the move to Los Angeles, CA. There, the duo wrote the songs that would become The California EP and their upcoming full-length debut.
In order to capture the spirit of the music, the two found a log cabin high within the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. The pair, along with their band and engineer, set out to convert it in to a temporary recording studio. With wild moose right outside the window, and aspen leaves spinning in the wind, they tracked 14 songs. Performed live, with no headphones, and entirely to tape, the process captured the moments in the room.
The California EP
1. California (Cast Iron Soul)
2. Golden Age
3. Fur Coat Blues
4. Paradise (John Prine cover)
Purchase The California EP at iTunes:
For his eleventh studio album, Damien Jurado’s Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son conjures what Father John Misty calls “a universe unto its own, with its own symbolism, creation myth, and liturgy.”
The world of Brothers is birthed from the deepening partnership between Damien and producer Richard Swift. Filmmaker Dan Huiting captures these men at the National Freedom Studios in Cottage Grove, Oregon in a new album trailer. Light some sage and get ready to air drum to the first sounds from the album.
“Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son” Out January 21st (20th in Europe)
1. Magic Number
2. Silver Timothy
3. Return to Maraqopa
4. Metallic Cloud
5. Jericho Road
6. Silver Donna
7. Silver Malcolm
8. Silver Katherine
9. Silver Joy
10. Suns In Our Mind
12/01/13 Utrecht, NL – Le Guess Who?
12/03/13 Brussels, BE: Huis 23 SOLD OUT
12/04/13 London, UK: St. Pancras Old Church SOLD OUT
12/05/13 Paris, FR: La Loge
12/06/13 Stockholm, SE: Soedra Teatern
12/08/13 Madrid, ES: Teatro Del Arte
12/11/13 Amsterdam, NL: Red Cinema Sessions @ Roode Bioscoop SOLD OUT
01/17/14 Seattle, WA: Neptune Theater
01/22/14 Northampton, MA: Iron Horse
01/23/14 Allston, MA: Brighton Hall
01/24/14 New York, NY: Bowery Ballroom
01/25/14 Philadelphia, PA: Boot and Saddle
01/26/14 Washington, DC: DC9
01/28/14 Pittsburgh, PA: Warhol Arts
01/29/14 Louisville, KY: Headliners
01/30/14 Madison, WI: Frequency
01/31/14 St. Paul, MN: Turf Club
02/01/14 Chicago, IL: Schubas
02/18/14 Amsterdam, NL: De Duif
02/19/14 Gent, BE: Handelsbeurs
02/20/14 Hamburg, DE: Kampnagel
02/21/14 Copenhagen, DK: Vega
02/22/14 Berlin, DE: Heimathafen
02/23/14 Cologne, DE: Gebaeude 9
02/25/14 Munich, DE: Milla
02/26/14 Ravenna, IT: Bronson
02/27/14 Rome, IT: Lanifico 159
02/28/14 Milan, IT: Bellezza
03/01/14 Zurich, CH: El Lokal
03/03/14 London, UK: Village Underground
03/05/14 Dublin, IE: Whelan’