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On Repeat: Little Big League’s emotional new single “Property Line”

Little Big League | photo via Spin.com
Little Big League | photo via Spin.com

Earlier this month Philly indie rock four-piece Little Big League treated us to the title track off of their upcoming and eagerly anticipated sophomore album Tropical Jinx, and now they are back with more. Vocalist Michelle Zauner, bassist Deven Craige, guitarist Kevin O’Halloran, and drummer Ian Dykstra bridge sorrow and catharsis “Property Line.” Zauner’s lamenting and passionate lyrics and delivery mix with Dystra’s fierce drum hits at just the right time, and a wordless jam session towards the end making it a track you’ll want to repeat a few times to take it all in. Continue reading →

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On Repeat: Little Big League’s new jam “Tropical Jinx”

Little Big League | photo via Spin.com
Little Big League | photo via Spin.com

We were pretty pumped to hear that Philly indie rock faves Little Big League got signed by by Run For Cover Records earlier this summer, and today we’re equally psyched to hear the first single from the album they’re putting out this fall. “Tropical Jinx” blends intertwining guitar lines reminiscent of Built to Spill with blissed-out indie pop harmonies and frontwoman Michelle Zauner’s direct, personal lyrics. Continue reading →

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Watch this Kid Rock cover (yes, really) by Little Big League and The Hotelier from the Space Jam Sessions

Michelle Zauner of Little Big League and Christian Holden of The Hotelier
Michelle Zauner of Little Big League and Christian Holden of The Hotelier

“So who’s doing the favor?” asks Michelle Zauner. “Sheryl Crow is doing Kid Rock the favor. She’s also playing all the cool guitar licks and Kid Rock’s just like G-C-D.” The frontwoman for Little Big League is hypothesizing with her performing partner Christian Holden of The Hotelier about a song that a lot of the music intelligentsia doesn’t take particularly seriously, the sentimental single “Picture” from Rock’s 2001 album Cocky. Continue reading →

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Clocked In: A conversation about the difficulties of working and touring with Little Big League’s Michelle Zauner

little big league

I called Michelle Zauner on the phone a couple weeks ago and this is what she said to me: “I forgot this was happening.”

It is easy to forget things are happening, especially in the summer. Plus Zauner was on vacation, in Oregon, the state where she grew up and where she lived before attending college at Bryn Mawr, before making Philadelphia her home and before starting the band Little Big League.

It was recently announced that Little Big League signed with Run For Cover, the Boston label that released the new album by fellow Philadelphians Modern Baseball, You’re Gonna Miss It All. A new Little Big League LP, the follow-up to the well-received These Are Good People (Tiny Engines; 2013), is expected to arrive later this year.

In addition to her work as the singer and guitarist in Little Big League, Zauner also makes music under the name Japanese Breakfast. Last month, the Seagreen Records label released her cassette American Sound & Where Is My Great Big Feeling?

Zauner is clearly very busy with music, but when she’s not on tour, she works elsewhere. For this new installment of Clocked In, we spoke with Zauner about her non-music-related work history, from clerical work at her dad’s truck broker business, to bossing a grill at Bryn Mawr, to holding down the comic shop Brave New Worlds. Continue reading →

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The Hotelier / Foxing co headlining tour brings the heat to The Fire

Foxing | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Foxing | photo by Rachel Del Sordo | racheldelsordo.tumblr.com

A co-headlining tour featuring Saint Louis’ Foxing and Worcester, Massachusetts’ The Hotelier brought an incredible lineup of bands to The Fire Sunday night. Two popular regional acts played alongside the touring artists, both of whom boast well-received new releases, making for a night of punk so exciting that it was sold out well in advance.

First at bat was local favorites Little Big League. The band flawlessly mixed hooky riffs with a powerful vocal performance from frontwoman Michelle Zauner. Their set was impressive and it came as no surprise when they announced they were the newest member of the Run For Cover Records family the next morning. Continue reading →

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How should musicians handle bloggers that want freebies of their physical releases? Here’s what Little Big League’s Michelle Zauner did.

japanese bfastIt’s one of those double-edged swords of being a music journalist. Unless you’re a shameless mooch – the sort our buddies at Philebrity once pointedly dubbed “promosexual” – you probably made your way into the industry so you could turn other people on to artists that you’re personally excited about. However, in the process of doing that, you kinda sorta have to hit up those artists (or their label / industry reps) for freebies from time to time.

As a writer, there are various ways to altruistically handle this. One, simply purchase anything you’re writing about with your own money (nobody does this). Two, approach the artist / their people and ask for a download of the 7″ single / LP full-length / cassette you’re looking to review. Three, if advance leakage and lack of mp3 monetization are a concern for the artist or label, simply make do with a streaming-only version of the music (not as portable as a download, but whatever) and use that in your research.

Amazingly, in 2014, there are still journalists who require a physical copy of a release before they cover it. This recently led to a curious incident involving Japanese Breakfast, the solo lo-fi project of Little Big League’s Michelle Zauner.

The project’s two 2014 EPs are being released as a limited-run cassette, American Sound and Where is My Great Big Feeling via Sea Green Records this month. Zauner was recently hit up by a music blogger for a copy of the aforementioned limited-run cassette, and the exchange was a little disheartening. She was upset enough that she posted the emails to her Tumblr page last night – we’ll leave the blogger’s name out of this on our end, but if you’re curious, Zauner did identify them in her post.

Here’s how it went down: Zauner replied that she couldn’t afford to send a copy of the cassette, however, free downloads are available on her Bandcamp page, and the writer could feel free to review that. “It will most likely sound better on your computer anyway,” she joked. The blogger didn’t find this funny. Continue reading →

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Listen to a new crunchy, awesome and rocking Little Big League song, “Pure Bliss Choices”

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Philly rock and rollers Little Big League have a new song, “Pure Bliss Choices,” on a new three song split 7″ with the Connecticut band Ovolv. You can listen to the other LBL song, that they shared in early May – “Year Of The Sunhouse” – here.

“Pure Bliss Choices” is pure Little Big League guitar bliss, with shades of Dinosaur, Jr guitar action and lead singer’s Michelle Zauner aching, pleading vocals. It’s the song of moment; play it loud. Pre-order it here.

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Michelle Zauner of Little Big League to release solo project American Sound & Where Is My Great Big Feeling?

japanese bfast
Photo via http://michellezauner.tumblr.com/

This week we learned via Brooklyn Vegan that Michelle Zauner, frontwoman of Little Big League, has plans to release a solo cassette called American Sound & Where Is My Great Big Feeling? via Sea Green Records.  Zauner produces her own work aside from Little Big League under the name Japanese Breakfast, and this is a combination of two recent EP releases.

Last month, Zauner participated in a blog called Song a Day for a Week along with a few other artists including Frankie CosmosAmerican Sound is a compilation of the songs Zauner created for Song a Day for a Week, which takes on a raw, emotional tone as she had just discovered her mother had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Zauner tells Brooklyn Vegan “The songs became incredibly cathartic. I didn’t have much time to write or record them. They became more like diary entries, lacking any real narrative. They became pieces of conversation and feelings of anger and defeat.”

You can listen to the Where Is My Great Big Feeling EP below via Zauner’s Bandcamp page: