To spend the last Saturday of summer outside in beautiful weather is a must. But to get live music with the sun and warmth is even better. Throw in some punk and indie rock sensibilities and you get last weekend’s Don Giovanni Records showcase at Boyd Park in New Brunswick, New Jersey. With the Raritan River as a stunning backdrop, the awesome forces of Screaming Females, Shellshag and six other bands were quite a treat. Continue reading →
XPN welcomes The Lawsuits to MilkBoy for New Years Eve. The jam-packed line-up, featuring the local indie roots-rock outfit with TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb and Commonwealth Choir, will ring in 2014 by performing songs off of their recent Cool Cool Cool release. Members of the bands got together recently to cover Van Morrison’s “Wild Night,” so a reprise of that performance may also be in the plans. Tickets and information for the 21+ celebration can be found here. Check out the cover video below.
If you’ve ever seen a set from North Jersey-based power-trio Screaming Females, you know there aren’t many better live bands out there right now. A lot of that has to do with frontwoman Marissa Paternoster, whose vocal pipes and guitar shreddery are unparalleled. But it’s also the trio as a whole that makes them so impressive – bassist Jarrett Dougherty, drummer King Mike – their locked-in interplay and high energy and slammin’ songs that just blast out the speakers. If you haven’t gathered, I’m a little bit excited about the Screamales, and today I’m even further excited to hear that they’ll be headlining Johnny Brenda’s on New Year’s Eve. Talk about getting 2014 off to an explosive start, amiright?
Also on the bill are Swearin’ – who, per this emusic.com interview, are sadly not based in West Philly anymore, but that’s okay, we dug ‘em before they moved to town and we dig ‘em still. Rounding it out is local three-piece Batty. This show will be insane and getting advance tickets is highly recommended; they go on sale at high noon this Wednesday the 13th of November via Ticketfly. Below, check out some highlights from each of the artists on the bill.
Four bands rocked First Unitarian Church to the core on Sunday night on the final stop of the Don Giovanni Records tour of Screaming Females with Waxahatchee, Tenement, and Trophy Wife. The night got under way on the basement floor where the dynamic duo of Philadelphia’s own Trophy Wife – drummer Katy Otto and guitarist Diane Foglizzo – took the breath away of all in attendance. It was this critic’s third time seeing them live and with each new performance, their rock prowess seems to grow exponentially. They are one of Philly’s greatest music treasures.
Next up was Wisconsin’s punkers Tenement. They were brash and energized, with lead singer and guitarist Amos Pitsch pouring every ounce of sweat into their set. They certainly know how to get the crowd moving, but their aesthetic is one of style over substance, so before one knew it they were gone.
Philly’s own Waxahatchee brought their indie cred to the forefront of the barely lit church stage. Band kingpin Katie Crutchfield and company unleashed tracks mainly from their 2013 masterpiece Cerulean Salt. The angular rock was the night’s counter to the punk and hard rock of the other three bands. Their set was a memorable slice of the contemporary hip.
The finale of Screaming Females was a culmination of the night’s styles, from the shredding expertise of Trophy Wife’s Foglizzo to the punk of Tenement and a dash of the present and future combined as found in Waxahatchee. Led by the mesmerizing Marissa Paternoster, they transported the packed basement of sweaty mostly twenty and thirtysomethings to the raw center of the desired elixir of perfect parts guitar, drum, and vocal. Swallowing the microphone and using her guitar as an axe of grand sound, Paternoster stirred the audience into a moshing frenzy that carried through to the end.
This was the 7th show in 10 days for this critic and the one I was looking forward to the most for the total music experience. It certainly lived up to and exceeded these expectations.
New Brunswick’s Screaming Females come to the First Unitarian Church tonight for a label showcase with Waxahatchee and Tenement. The indie punk trio, fronted by powerhouse vocalist / guitarist Marissa Paternoster and formed in the sweaty basements of North Jersey’s buried punk scene, released its fifth studio record last year on Don Giovanni, receiving critical acclaim from Pitchfork, Stereogum and A.V. Club. In the spirit of label collaboration, Screaming Females and Tenement just released a split 7″ that will be available during the fall tour. Tickets and information can be found here. Watch Screaming Females’ Tiny Desk Concert on NPR below.
New Jersey label Don Giovanni Records is putting together an amazing punk-fueled tour together for the fall. These label-mates all come at a punk sound from a different perspective. New signees Tenement, from Appleton, Wisconsin, come at it with their loud and distorted sound with hidden undertones of pop; Philly’s Waxahatchee with their stripped-down and introspective approcah; and New Brunswick’s Screaming Females rocking it out with some attitude. When you put label-mates like this on one giant tour together, it’s pretty hard to imagine the shows being anything less than amazing. The tour will hit The First Unitarian Church September 29th, but in the meantime you can listen to some music from each artist below.
The members of Screaming Females have just released the leadoff single to the band’s upcoming album, Ugly (due April 3rd on Don Giovanni Records). You can listen to the track below (via Rolling Stone). Last month, the New Brunswick-based punk trio stopped by the NPR Music office to record a Tiny Desk Concert, which you can also check out below. Screaming Females performs at Long In The Tooth Records on Wednesday, February 15th.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7
Punk trio Screaming Females is celebrating its emerging adulthood by reissuing its first two albums in a very grown-up vinyl format. The band has come a long way since its self-released debut, Baby Teeth, was written and recorded in drummer (and then-high schooler) Michael Abbate’s attic six years ago. Like many angsty New Jersey teens, the members of Screaming Females started performing in their friends’ basements; unlike most New Jersey teens, however, the band gradually went from touring Jersey to touring nationally with bigger punk acts such as Against Me! and Ted Leo. Though much of the band’s popularity is credited to the members’ dedication to the group, just as much success can be credited to their simple formula in creating skin-and-bone punk-rock songs. Disregarding the extraneous bells and whistles of highly-produced music, Screaming Females offers a more no-nonsense sound, resting largely on heavy yet simple chord progressions and vocalist Marissa Paternoster’s unforgiving tone when belting out the group’s tunes. Screaming Females performs with Underground Railroad To Candyland and Dry Feet at 6:30 p.m. at The Barbary; tickets to the all-ages show are $10. —Marielle Mondon
Also Playing: The Deli’s 3rd Anniversary show with Dangerous Ponies + Orbit To Leslie, The Homophones at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $10); Kuf Knotz + Alien Architect, The Authentic at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., 21+, $8–$10); The Besnard Lakes + Malajube at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10–$12); Robert Randolph and the Family Band with Tauk at the TLA (7 p.m., $40.00/includes service charge).
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 Uh Huh Her’s show at the TLA marks the low-fi electro-pop duo’s first stop of the Keep A Breast Tour. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Uh Huh Her is undergoing a month-long, 21-stop tour that will raise money for the Keep A Breast Foundation, a non-profit project targeted toward educating young people about breast cancer. In addition to breast cancer awareness, though, the band has its sophomore album, Nocturnes, to promote. The album, which drops on Tuesday, is the band’s follow-up to 2008’s Common Reaction and the first new release after being dropped from its label. (The album will be released via the band’s own label, Plaid Records.) Despite these changes, the album’s lead single, “Another Case,” still rests on Uh Huh Her’s signature airy, moaned vocals and heavy use of synthesizer to create a subtle, seductive sound. Uh Huh Her performs with Fences at 8 p.m. at TLA; tickets to the all-ages show are $25. —Marielle Mondon
Also Playing: James Blake + Chairlift at The Trocadero (9 p.m., all ages, $21–$23); Skrillex + 12th Planet, Foreign Beggars, Nadastrom at Electric Factory (7:30 p.m, all ages, SOLD OUT); The Lemonheads + The Shining Twins, New York Rivals at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $20–$25)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9
Merrill Garbus’s musical project tUne-YarDs seems to exist purely to contradict: contradict expectations, contradict convention and, at times, to contradict itself. Garbus’s voice, which is capable of swinging between a soothing, cooing purr and a growling, leaping roar, is at once ferociously vulnerable, fiercely disarming. The 32-year-old New-England native first gained attention for her 2009 self-produced debut album “BiRd-BrAiNs,” which she recorded on a hand-held digital recorder and mixed using the software Audacity. It was rereleased later that year by 4AD records, who signed Garbus, identifying in her lo-fi, freak-folk first release creative genius. On Garbus’ second album (out this year on 4AD), “w h o k i l l,” she applies her superhuman sound masterfully, and her songs have a certain urgency, a raw, emotional energy to them. Hear them for yourself when she performs with Pat Jordache and Les Blondettes this weekend. tUne-YarDs performs with Pat Jordache and Les Blondettes at 8 p.m. at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are $15. —Naomi Shavin
Also Playing: Ladytron + VHS Or Beta at TLA (7 p.m., all ages, $19)
Screaming Females, the fierce punk trio from New Brunswick, NJ, isn’t interested in breaking gender stereotypes in punk—they want to demolish them. Lead singer Marissa Paternoster, who couldn’t possibly be more than five feet and a few inches tall, packs a wallop in her voice and her guitar that her contemporaries simply can’t match. With a petite stature and a collected, almost demure stage presence, Paternoster led Screaming Females out of the garages and basements of the Jersey underground punk scene to an opening slot on The Dead Weather’s 2009 tour. Bassist “King Mike” Abbate and drummer Jarrett Dougherty round out the trio, and together the three craft some of the most inspired and creative punk music available today. If you don’t catch them at their second tour stop of the summer at the Troc, they’ll also be playing the Crocodile Rock in Allentown on June 4. Screaming Females performs with Against Me! and Lemuria at the Trocadero at 8 p.m.; tickets to the all-ages show are $15. —Danielle Wayda
Since 2005, Screaming Females has been one of the hardest grassroots touring bands in the extended area, sharing bills with Jeff The Brotherhood and Ted Leo And The Pharmacists, playing basements, clubs, and DIY spaces, and gathering a loyal, passionate following. The New Brunswick, NJ-based rock trio recently released a new video for the song “Wild,” which was on its explosive 2010 release, Castle Talk. Lead singer and guitarist Marissa Paternoster has the kind of guitar power that fits somewhere between J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, with a vocal delivery that echoes some of the best found during Riot Grrrl’s early-’90s heyday. Watch her work.