Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh’

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Pittsburgh is the perfect home for a band like the Gotobeds. Too noisy and aggressive for the dripping sop that passes as “indie” today, too idiosyncratic and tuneful for punk orthodoxy, and too damn smart for most anything else, they’re a band with a certain appeal, much like Pittsburgh itself. Their new album, “Debt Begins at 30”, would’ve been a college radio smash back before colleges sold their stations to NPR.

Like their two previous records, it could’ve existed at almost any time since the end of the ‘70s, indebted equally to Wire’s Chairs Missing and the general attitude of the Fall without specifically sounding like either. The Gotobeds have nothing to hide, but again, that doesn’t mean they don’t have any depth to ‘em.

“If you’ve ever toured or spent long stretches of time with the same folks you know nerves can fray,” Gotobeds frontman Eli Kasan says of their new video. “We found a way to release that tension by macing each other for the video. Ever seen The Purge? Me neither, but it’s the same idea.” Don’t try this at home, but do dig Pavement-y vibes of this one which features backing vocals by Tracy Wilson of Positive No, Dahlia Seed and Ringfinger. The Gotobeds new album is out in May.

The Gotobeds return to the fray with their third full lengther, Debt Begins at 30. The esprit de corps and anxiety-free joy that permeates their other LPs and EPs remains intact. The octane is high-test, the engine still has knocks and pings and the battery is overcharged. The Gotobeds are as Pittsburgh as it gets, the folk music of the Steel City – have more tar for us to swallow. Debt Begins at 30 is an old-fashioned blast furnace and the liquid iron flows. The album’s first single, Calquer the Hound, features guest performances by Kim Phuc singer Rob Henry, and Evan Richards of The City Buses. (The album has guests on all eleven tracks. The song has euphony, a sly bridge, plenty of trademark bash, and a spacey outro.

On May 31st, The Gotobeds – Cary, TFP, Eli and Gavin – return to the fray with their third full length album.

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Pittsburgh four-piece The Gotobeds‘ new album Debt Begins at 30, due out next week, is their idea of a punk/indie rock equivalent of a trap mixtape, featuring guests on every track. Those include Protomartyr’s Joe Casey on the fierce “Slang Words,” his bandmate Greg Ahee, who contributes atmospheric guitar on the introspective “On Loan,” and Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich who brings his spirited voice to the sharp “Dross.” There’s also Silkworm guitarist Tim Midyett on the anthemic “Parallel,” Tracy Wilson of Positive No contributes to the very catchy and Pavement-y “Twin Cities,” and there are two different versions of the title track — one featuring Bob Weston of Shellac/Mission of Burma, and a Spanish language version with Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys. And more! It’s an ambitious record, but one that never doesn’t sound like The Gotobeds.

On May 31st, The Gotobeds – Cary, TFP, Eli and Gavin – return to the fray with their third full lengther, Debt Begins at 30

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Give me a minute or three to extol the virtues of The Gotobeds, the modern rock-and-roll sensation that has always sounded like they love to play. Never maligned by having the world’s weight on their backs,

On May 31st, The Gotobeds – Cary, TFP, Eli and Gavin – return to the fray with their third full length album release, “Debt Begins at 30”. The spirit anxiety-free joy that permeates their other LPs and EPs remains intact. The octane is high-test, the engine still has knocks and pings and the battery is overcharged. The Gotobeds – as Pittsburgh as it gets, the folk music of the Steel City – have more tar for us to swallow. Debt Begins at 30 is an old-fashioned blast furnace and the liquid iron flows freely.

The album’s first single, “Calquer the Hound,” features guest performances by Kim Phuc singer Rob Henry, and Evan Richards of The City Buses. (The album has guests on all eleven tracks) The song has euphony, a sly bridge, plenty of bash, and a spacey outro.

‘Debt Begins at 30’ (Release date: May 31st, 2019)


Pittsburgh’s Same capture the DIY energy of artists like Jeff Rosenstock but with a bit more of Oso Oso’s melodic songwriting. Their EP Weird As Hell in summer 2016 was rad, and since then I’ve been waiting for some new tunes. Well, . Same are releasing “Is Midnight” as a single with the promise of more new tracks coming your way soon. Here is a bit from the band about the recording process and the single art:

We had the opportunity to record this single during a day off while we were on tour in Boston, MA with Sean Cahalin, who was super professional and easy to work with. When we first got into town we went to Winthrop Beach and walked around, which is where we took the album photo, actually. Using that photo for the single art really ties everything together for us, and we feel like this release perfectly captures the vibe of our experience in Boston on that tour–going to the beach, playing a show with our friends, and recording ‘Is Midnight’”.


Jesse Caggiano – vocals, bass
Howard Gruzinski – drums
Thomas Higgins – guitar
Jake Stern – guitar, vocals, piano


A few years ago, Black Moth Super Rainbow, were the trippy, hallucinatory psych outfit led by producer Tobacco, dropped SeeFu Lilac, a surprise album said to be “neon flavored outtakes from a 6th album that doesn’t yet exist.” Well, good news: It does now, because the band just announced Panic Blooms, its first proper LP since 2012’s Cobra Juicy. Expect it on May 4th .

A press release announcing the album describes it as an “f-ed up and bleeding account of depression and the shadow side of human frailty,” saying that “never before has Tobacco been so raw or direct in his lyrics.” You can hear it in Panic Blooms‘ lead single and closer, “Mr No One”, a hypnotic, synth-driven track that yearns for sunshine and simplicity. It’s a cut that wouldn’t have been out of place in Twin Peaks‘ roadhouse; no amount of vocoder can hide the yearning in Tobacco’s dreamy vocals


Black Moth Super Rainbow will also release the song as a 7-inch single on March 16th. You’ll find “Mr No One” on side A and two collaborative tracks between Tobacco and Ariel Pink—”Willing & Able” and “Bogalusa”—on side B. It won’t be sold online, and only 1,000 copies are being farmed out to record stores

from the upcoming album “Panic Blooms” out May 4 on Rad Cult

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Five Songs is actually a four track album, because before I slid on my headphones and listened to it, I was desperately searching for that fifth song. There really are only four songs on an album entitled Five Songs. This alone intrigued me, so by the time I had finished listening to the four songs, I was more than intrigued by this young, Pittsburgh-based band.

“Bemis Point” opens the album and is undoubtedly my favorite song. The barely two and a half minute track holds its own against other songs in the album that contain more hardcore elements. Ryan Yester completely solidifies the song with his crisp, perfectly timed drumming. Not to mention the ripping on the electric guitar toward the latter end of the song. The chorus is great lyrically, as well as catchy, which takes a bit away from the disheartening factor that comes with it, but still maintains the idea of an unequal love in a relationship. “But I always thought that we would meet an end together/You talked about a way out/I talked about forever.”

“Corsages” begins almost as an angsty poem, with every other line being yelled more than spoken or sung. Despite that interesting choice of vocals, the song is dynamite. The whole album is — as described by the band themselves — all about breakups, but they dwell on them in the simplest of ways. “Corsages” is a short story of a girl who saves all her flowers and holds onto them, and emotions, for too long. It’s a melancholy song, for sure, but showcases talent from every edge of the band; from guitar riffs to songwriting ability.

“You Turned Everything To Paper” is similar to “Corsages” but focuses more on the spoken word than the music, which I feel drains the listener. As someone who loves to truly immerse myself in music, I found that the two songs in the row like that were not ideal (for its despondent tone) and elevated it by taking away head-banging beats or toe tapping rhythms.

Even so, that is not to say that the song is not lyrically intriguing to listen to. Especially since it flows into the concluding song “Flubline.” This track is a hole in wall, mosh pit rager. It has so much potential. It feels like Nirvana and Yellowcard came together to create a Bring Me The Horizon song. It suits Shin Guard’s style, but the overall sound of it is a bit too reminiscent of other post hardcore or emo groups. But, I can’t deny my pull towards its beat and verses that Shin Guard so eloquently created.


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Just when you’re convinced punk is finally dead, The Gotobeds suggest otherwise with a record blending fast-and-loud with unrefined grunge and gold-soundz college rock. The greatest thing about Blood/ Sugar/ Secs/Traffic is that it’s as smart-assed as its title suggests, with singer Eli Kasan dropping lyrical references to Sonic Youth and spitting out lines like “Fuck Rolling Stone, that trash rag.” It’s their second full-length LP and their first for Sub Pop. The Gotobeds formed vaguely around 2009 in Pittsburgh and play a mutant strain of rock music that is often filed under punk, indie rock,

“Hear Your Heart” appears on William Fitzsimmons’s new album titled CharleroiPittsburgh Volume 2, out in North America, Europe & UK on April 1st, which explores the loss of the grandmother he never knew, following his 2015 EP Pittsburgh about the one he did.Brought up on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, William Fitzsimmons has been creating records of an almost-uncomfortable intimacy for the past 11 years.

Fitzsimmons says of the song: “It is simply meant to address the question: ‘How long does the echo of those we have lost last?’

“I remember being very affected the first time I read Poe’s ‘Tell Tale Heart’. Instead of being mortified by it, the idea that the dead can communicate with us from beyond the grave was somehow comforting. While Poe’s intent was meant to be one of warning, I wanted to apply the idea to a feeling of hope. A wish that perhaps regretted words spoken could be undone, or unsaid words could eventually be said.

“As we are drawn back into the memories of our dearly departed, in words and images, we imagine that perhaps there is a chance the lines of communication are not totally lost and may someday be reopened.”

You know we’re huge fans of William Fitzsimmons and this is another amazing song

On the opening night of The River Tour 2016. Bruce performs “Rebel Rebel” as a tribute to David Bowie.

Bruce Springsteen opened his “The River 2016” tour at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center on Saturday. After playing 1980’s The River in full, Springsteen launched into an array of favorites, including “Badlands” and “Thunder Road.”

At one point, he stepped up to the mic and took some time for David Bowie, the rock legend who passed away on Monday, January 8th 2016.

“Not very many people know this but he supported our music way, way in the very, very beginning. 1973. He rang me up and I visited him in Philly while he was making the Young Americans record*. He covered my music, ‘Hard to be a Saint in the City’ … I took the Greyhound bus to Philadelphia, that’s how early it was,” Springsteen said.

He then launched into “Rebel Rebel” from Bowie’s 1974’s Diamond Dogs album.

In addition to “Hard to be a Saint in the City,” Bowie also recorded “Growing Up,” which was released on a 1990 re-release of Pin Ups.

Then WMMR DJ Ed Sciaky, an early Springsteen supporter, made the meeting between the two happen. Springsteen didn’t have a place to stay so he slept on Sciaky’s couch. During the time Bowie was recording Young Americans (late ’74, early ’75), Springsteen was just coming off the one-two punch of Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ and The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle. Born to Run, Springsteen’s break out, was released in August of 1975.

Bowie wrote, “Springsteen came down to hear what we were doing with his stuff. He was very shy. I remember sitting in the corridor with him, talking about his lifestyle, which was a very Dylanesque – you know, moving from town to town with a guitar on his back, all that kind of thing. Anyway, he didn’t like what we were doing, I remember that. At least, he didn’t express much enthusiasm. I guess he must have thought it was all kind of odd. I was in another universe at the time. I’ve got this extraordinarily strange photograph of us all – I look like I’m made out of wax.”

Director Cameron Crowe reminisced about a similar time period while speaking about Bowie at the Television Critics Association. “He was always obsessed with music and art and never the business. It was always a young artist had moved him. He would reach out to that artist. Bruce Springsteen was somebody that caught his attention on the first album. He was talking about Bruce Springsteen in … early stages of Bruce Springsteen’s career.”

Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 opus “The River” has some of his most beloved songs — the title track, the pop hit “Hungry Heart,” the gorgeous “Drive All Night” — and others that the Boss himself had all but discarded.

As a fan tweeted this week, “It’s pretty nuts that Springsteen launches a tour ,where he’s guaranteed to play ‘The Price You Pay’ and ‘Crush On You’ 24 times.”

That will be almost as many times as he’s trotted them in the last 35 years, but when you embark on a full-album tour, as the mighty E Street Band did Saturday night at the sold-out Consol Energy Center, there are no shortcuts. What we got was a living, breathing classic with songs rarely played, especially here in this “Darkness on the Edge of Town” kind of town.

After camping out for several days of rehearsal at Consol, they hit the stage at the stroke of 8pm with a rocker he was crazy to cast aside, The rousing “River” outtake “Meet Me in the City.”

“We’re gonna take you to ‘The River’!” he said, interrupting the song. “I wanna know: Are you ready to be transformed?!”…..You know the answer.

“This was the record where I was trying to find out where I fit in…,” he said of the album, which has only been performed once live (2009, Madison Square Garden). “I wanted to make a record that was big enough that it felt like LIFE, or like an E Street Band show.”

They dropped the needle with the jubilant opener “The Ties That Bind,” a tone-setter for the album’s theme of finding what’s real and planting down roots. From there, “The River” ebbed and flowed from wild rollicking, ’60s-style frat rock to minor key ballads, reflecting the joys and struggles we all go through.

We can at least hope that everyone, at some point in their lives, has as much fun as the rowdies in “Sherry Darling” (the Boss dancing with his wife Patti Scialfa in that one), feels the passion of “Two Hearts,” carries the swagger of the guy in “Out in the Street” or has the kind of meaningful family interaction described in “Independence Day.”


The late-night conversation between father and son, sung on the darkened stage, was a beauty, that quickly gave way to the crowd belting out the opening of “Hungry Heart” and Bruce walking right into the heart of it. He got back to the stage by breaking the long distance crowd-surfing record for a 66-year-old.

“Crush on You,” which he has admitted might have been a better outtake, was still a loud, unruly blast, complete with a pretty funny dance. “I Wanna Marry You,” introduced as a song that’s “not about the real thing,” had an extended boardwalk doo-wop intro with guitarist and best man Steve Van Zandt. The title track, with the haunting harmonica cry, followed as the somber dose of reality, punctuated with a sad falsetto wail.


He took us down even lower into the abyss with “Point Blank,” before flipping the mood again with the rowdy middle of side three, “Cadillac Ranch,” with Soozie Tyrell fiddle solo, and “I’m a Rocker.”

The final run put the Boss at the wheel for the lonely and desperate “Stolen Car” (foreshadowing “Nebraska”) and the reckless “Ramrod,” building to an epic 10-minute “Drive All Night” that was indeed all heart and soul, with two great Jake Clemons sax solos. The end of the road was “Wreck on the Highway” and its sobering tale of tragedy and clarity.

“Thanks a lot. That’s ‘The River,'” he said. For most bands, two hours is a full night, but for the E Street Band, even with his voice getting weathered, the show must go on, and on, and it did with a roof-raising “Badlands.” When the crowd booed the Giants in “Wrecking Ball,” he laughed and said “Steelers?!”

From the Boss’ greatest masterpiece we got “Backstreets“ and “Thunder Road.” They raged through another great outtake, “Because the Night” (Nils Lofgren spinning on the screaming solo), “The Rising” and more.

He could not let the night pass without a tribute to a fallen rock god. Although they traveled different universes, Springsteen and the David Bowie had longtime connections. “He supported our music way back in the beginning, 1973,” he said, leading the band into first encore “Rebel Rebel.”

Opening night of The River Tour 2016. Bruce performs Rebel Rebel as a tribute to David Bowie.

At the three-hour mark, his voice fading but his energy still strong, he kept the engine going into “Bobby Jean,” “Dancing in the Dark” and a lights-up “Born to Run.” “Have you got anything left?” He hollered. “Do you have to get up for church tomorrow?” And with that, he rolled into the wild, celebratory finish of “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” and ”Shout.“

Getting back to his original question: Were we transformed?…………Are we ever not?


This was even sweeter, because we witnessed a master doing one of his best albums, and one of the finest of all time, with the same conviction he had when he first created it. How could that not be transformative?