Earlier this week, Big Footprints Records and Property of Zack released their second compilation, aptly called The Big Comp II. Going up from last year’s 75 artists to 85, the new comp has a mix of new, acoustic and live music from truly great punk bands. All donations collected will go to 1BlueString, a charity supporting men who have survived childhood sexual abuse, and the Nature Conservancy. While we can’t highlight all 85 artists, here are five of our favorites: Menzingers, Modern Baseball, Tigers Jaw, The Weaks, and PUP.
Legendary Scranton punks, the Menzingers released their fourth full lenghth, Rented World to well-deserved praise in spring this year. Follow the band through a typical concert day through The Key’s Load-In to Load-Out. Listen to “Mexican Guitars” from their Key Studio Session below.
Local favorites Modern Baseball released their second, amazing album You’re Gonna Miss it All this year. The album portrays being a 20 something in perfect, witty detail. Continue reading →
If ever there was an Indie Rock Hit Parade that was not to be missed, it would be all of them (naturally). But tonight’s show, starting at 10pm on XPN, is particularly exciting. We’ve got a brand new Studio Session with our longtime Jersey pals The Front Bottoms, featuring songs from their newly released EP, Rose. We’ll spotlight the impressively moody new album from The Antlers, and hear a smattering of new and emerging artists, including a few of the following:
Don’t miss an all-new Indie Rock Hit Parade tonight at 10pm on XPN! We’ll welcome the Toronto-based punk band PUP to the studio for a live performance, and spotlight the new album from one of their Canadian hardcore peers, the mighty Fucked Up! There have been countless new tracks surfacing in the last week, and we’ll hear just about all of them! Here are a few things you’ll hear in the mix tonight:
Most people think of a concert as those four or so hours you spend standing in crowd, singing along with your favorite band. But have you ever thought about what goes into making that happen? We followed The Menzingers‘ Rented World tour for a day as four bands converged on Philly’s Union Transfer to put on a show. The headliners were brought up in the Scranton DIY scene before relocating to Philadelphia – releasing several amazing albums along the way – and this stop on the tour was their biggest headlining show to date in their adopted hometown. Their fourth full-length, Rented World, was released this spring on Epitaph Records, and it’s gotten the band some of its highest-profile attention outside of the punk world – including an enthusiastic review in the New York Times. Even so, the band stayed true to its roots for the tour, bringing along Philly friends Cayetana, up-and-coming Toronto punk four-piece PUP and Buffalo indiepop trio Lemuria. Take a look at how the gang spent their Saturday in pictures. [continue]
Toronto punk four-piece PUP is enroute back North after taking SXSW by storm (see The Key and PureVolume), and they stopped by Golden Tea House this past Saturday night to showcase their aggressive style of raspy pop punk. They played second, alongside Tender Vision, Great Red Spots, and Dead Tenors.
The band sped through songs off their forthcoming self-titled album, and they were as precise as they were maniacal. Vocalist and guitarist Stefan Babcock stood atop the drum kit as he slammed on his instrument, before rushing back to the mic to chime in with his scratchy, heartful shouts.
They tore through heavy and fast riffs, and nailed every tasteful guitar solo. Some people sang along, and the crowd turned into a lively mosh pit once PUP jumped into their anthemic single “Reservoir”. Babcock put his back to the crowd as he jammed out, being pummeled by bodies as he stood on the edge of the jumping punks. Towards end their set they played an amazingly raw cover of “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys, during which Babcock jumped up on top of the crowd and managed to climb his way up on to the balcony. These guys seriously killed it live, they are gritty, real, and have the talent to pull off their craft while going crazy at the same time.
It’s been almost a week since the four-day nonstop multisensory rush that was the 2014 editon of Austin’s annual South by Southwest music conference, which has given me just about enough time to catch up on sleep, edit my way through thousands of photos and sort out my thoughts about the experience. Here are eight artists that grabbed my attention at this year’s SXSW, beginning with the woman you see above.
Kelis – The transformation of the onetime “Milkshake” hitmaker didn’t take me as unawares as it may have taken other festival-goers. A few years back, I caught her on tour with Robyn at The Trocadero, and saw that she’d moved on from her bubblegum dance days to a sleek and more sophisticated electropop sound. But still, this was impressive – her backing band was a dozen members strong, it had a sharp horn section and a disco-funk sound to die for, and the singer had enough awareness of nostalgia’s power that she dropped “Milkshake” in the final third of her late-night Friday set at the Hype Hotel. Which was totally fun, but it would have been a powerful performance without. Her sixth album, Food, was produced by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio and is out April 18th on Ninja Tune Records.
Feathers – These Austin locals just got off a European tour opening for Depeche Mode, and their sound sits nicely alongside the 80s icons’ dark synth-dance tones. I caught them Saturday at the goth-leaning Red River club Elysium, and frontwoman Anastasia Dimou freaking owned the packed room. While their sound is decidedly hard-hitting, she has the presence and command of a pop singer – or, say, an alt-pop singer a la Emily Haines of Metric. Even when the power momentarily cut out, Dimou kept singing a cappella and off mic. Their Only One EP dropped in January.
PUP is a pop punk four piece from Toronto, Canada who recently announced a full US tour with Montreal grunge band Solids. With the upcoming release of their self titled album in the states, the band should be met with an ecstatic reaction at these shows. The first single off PUP is “Reservoir,” a gritty and bumpy three minute ride where vocalist Stefan Babcock takes us through everything from smoking to being wasted and broke. His voice is raspy yet coherent, making for singalong punk tunes that sound similar to LA skate punks FIDLAR or the Canadian Single Mothers.
PUP’s two month route across Europe and North America
will bring them to Kung Fu Necktie on March 23rd (UPDATE: this show has been canceled, but the band has hinted on Twitter that it is working on a booking with Guild Shows instead.). Get tickets to that show here, PUP and Solids will be joined by Massachusetts fuzz rock four piece Pachangacha.
Watch PUP tear everything, including themselves, to pieces in the video for “Reservoir” below. Stream and download that song on bandcamp, and be on the look out for the album release. Also, head over to the NME to check out a cover of “My Shadow” by late indie rock icon Jay Reatard, who passed away four years ago last week.