Guided by Venues: Drummer Leah Shapiro on the continuing evolution of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club | photo by James Minchin III | courtesy of the artist
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club | photo by James Minchin III | courtesy of the artist

It’s been three and a half years since west coast psychedelic power trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club last stepped onstage in Philly.

Their May 2013 appearance at the TLA on South Street was in the midst of a mammoth tour in support of Specter at the Feast, the band’s seventh album of garage rock noir; the run had been going on for several months already, and continued for several more.

“It’s pretty normal that our touring schedule is quite intense,” explains drummer Leah Shaprio. “The record comes out and we’re out for a good year or year and a half.”

Normally, returning home means hunkering down to write the next album, but at the end of this tour, things nearly fell apart for B.R.M.C. Shapiro was diagnosed with a brain condition, Chiari malformations, which affects balance and muscle strength. Time off was imperative, and in the fall of 2014, fans helped raise over $33,000 to help offset her medical costs.

Six months later, Shapiro was back on the drum throne, playing select festival dates and scattered shows with B.R.M.C. – this fall, the band embarks on its first full-scale tour since Specter, going out on the road with fellow aughties indie rockers Death From Above 1979. This Monday, the tour makes its way to The Fillmore Philadelphia, and word on Facebook is B.R.M.C. is using these shows to tease material from the eighth album in the works. We checked in with Shapiro via phone to get the lowdown on how things are progressing. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Paula Cole at World Cafe Live, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at The TLA

paula cole

Grammy Award-winner Paula Cole headlines World Cafe Live tonight.  Continuously released albums since her debut in 1994, Cole completed her sixth studio record last month called Raven.  The effort was funded by fans through a Kickstarter campaign, allowing Raven to be independently released.  Tickets and information for tonight’s show can be found here.  Watch a video for “Eloise” from Raven below.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club play The TLA tonight.  The Los Angeles rock band released their new album Specter at the Feast earlier this year, following up 2010’s Beat the Devil’s Tattoo.  With Specter, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club display their anthemic, arena-rock compositions over the course of fifteen tracks, released on the band’s own label Abstract Dragon.  Tickets and information for tonight’s show can be found here.  Watch a live performance of “Hate the Taste” on The Tonight Show below.


Download a new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club song, “Let The Day Begin” (playing TLA in May)

Photo by James Minchin III
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club releases its new album, Specter At The Feast, on March 18th. The first single from the record, “Let The Day Begin,” is a cover of a song originally recorded by The Call, whose lead singer Michael Been passed away suddenly from a heart attack in 2010. Been’s son Robert is the lead singer of BRMC, and up until his death Michael had worked closely with the band. The younger Been told Rolling Stone: “We all wanted to cover a Call song for this record. It means a lot to us to be able to pay respect to Michael for all he’s done for us.” Black Rebel Motorcycle Club play the TLA on Sunday, May 5th. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Download the song (in exchange for your e-mail address) here, or listen to it below. We’ve also included the original video version of the song by The Call for you to watch.


Just Announced: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club playing The TLA in May, release album trailers

Long-standing west coast psych rock three-piece Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are gearing up to independently release their seventh full-length record, Specter at the Feast, on March 19. Their last record, Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, was released in 2010, and the band has been in relatively quiet mode since the tour in support of it wrapped up – its last Philly appearance was in April of 2010, but its tour in support of Specter brings it to The TLA on May 5. On-sale details are forthcoming. Below, watch a few album trailers directed by Malia James of Dum Dum Girls.

Continue reading →