As I have done for the past several years, I close out the musical year Downtown with WYEP’s artists of the year. Can’t think of a better way to celebrate.
It’s hard to argue with the fact that the band is quickly becoming one of the city’s ‘breakout’ bands. They are in Chicago right now, working hard doing the publicity thang and if they follow label mates Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller into the national spotlight, they won’t be playing Brillobox too much longer. I can’t wait because they are such nice and talented people, they totally deserve it.
The new Donora video dropped last night and this might be my favorite of theirs so far. Directed by Casey, it features the cast getting down to the most danceable track off the new album. Wait a minute, is that Jake H. bustin’ a move? Nice!
A few weeks ago I celebrated the 100th musician taking part in these little questionnaires with my favorite band CVB. Well it’s come to the actual 100th Post! and I couldn’t see a more fitting band to celebrate with than Donora. Having seen them countless times over the last several years, I have to admit I never get tired of their shows because they still put on one of the most fun concerts around. They are releasing their fantastic sophomore album tonight at the Rex and being lucky enough to hear the disc, this is one show that should not be missed. I want to thank the band for being so cool to me over the years and for taking the time to participate in this ‘Centennial’ edition of First/Last Friday.
Today my friends in Donora have announced a release date for their new record “Boyfriends, Girlfriends” (September 27th) and a date for the CD release show at The Rex (September 16th). AOL Spinner has just premiered a new video from the album track ‘The World is Ours’ here. If you look real close you can spot the entire HughShows clan throughout the mayhem.
It’s really been forever since I have seen the band play a proper show. The new tunes sound great and just makes me antsy for the sophomore album even more. This was a free show and it sure was crowded in there. My buddy had his own problems with the venue that night. Bummer.
Donora have seemingly been dormant for awhile. I can’t tell you the last time I saw them play. Fortunately for us, they have been busy prepping the follow-up to their awesome debut CD. I was lucky enough to hear some of the album which is about half done. The songs have taken the band in a more ‘mature’ direction and I was blown away by what they are cooking up.
They are starting their Winter Tour tonight which takes them through the midwest for two weeks with pals Lohio in tow. The tour closer is at the Thunderbird on the 19th and expect to hear a handful of those new tunes which should sound as tight as can be as is the case with the band after a string of dates to work out the rough edges.
After seeing the band several times in the year, I was excited that they debuted a couple tunes on this night to fulfill the allotted time slot. It was also the biggest stage I had seen them play on up to that point. It was strange to see them spread out like that after photographing them on smaller stages seemingly standing next to each other. My hope is that the stages get bigger!
I usually post every day. I have a ton of images back logged like the one above. I am regrouping and enjoying my summer. Thank you so much for hitting the blog. I will be back soon with a vengeance.
Hi everybody. I am going on vacation and will not be updating the blog. I have a lot of shows backlogged, including the ones pictured, and there are a TON of shows I am hitting this summer which will provide plenty of fertile material for this site (Jenny Lewis, Camera Obscura, Conor Oberst, Old 97’s, Sam Roberts, Son Volt, Steve Earle, to name a few). As always, thank you for visiting my tiny piece of the interwebs and I will be back next week.
Headlining the newest installment of CP Remixed, the band debuted the live version of ‘I Think I Like You’ with Casey on keys! They have a slew of upcoming dates this summer so if you have never seen them play you have some great opportunities coming up. BTW, Thanks for the shout-out Andy!
As many times as I feature this band (a whopping 53 posts and counting!) I should rename this blog DonoraShowsRedux. I think it’s warranted for how good they are. I plan on seeing them again this upcoming Thursday at YEP for CP Remixed. You should too
A few weeks ago Jake Hanner contacted me to help out in the production of the band’s next music video. I was extremely bummed that I couldn’t commit due to a previous gig. Turns out I was finished with my assignment rather early which was only a few blocks away at Art All Night. I arrived at The Brillobox with plenty of time to spare. The video is for the song ‘Photograph’ and the director is going to use hundreds of images from the set
It’s cool to be able to see bands play different venues. Each time I have seen Donora it’s been in a different place. Same band, same songs, totally different vibe. This was one fun night. Crowded beyond belief but still fun.
Donora Friday December 19, 2008 Rex Theater Southside
This was a phenomenal show. The band seemed excited and the crowd was very enthusiastic. Thanks to Jake, I was familiar with all of the songs that they played which sounded great live. Even the jaded sound mixer was impressed with the music and the turnout for the show. With soundcheck, the opening bands, and the show itself, I ended up taking more pictures at a concert than I ever have before. I have 11 GB of memory with me and I never thought that I would use that much in a single night. By the last song I was actually erasing blurry pics to keep on snapping. It always fascinates me to talk to musicians. I am always intrigued how they balance ‘band life’ and ‘ordinary life’. To me, I guess I have this idyllic notion that Donora supports itself through record sales and touring. Reality says different. Most people in bands have ‘normal’ jobs and unless they become freakishly popular, their music is an outlet that they are able to pursue either diligently or casually. There has to come a time in a band’s career when they have to choose I suppose. That to me would be a scary prospect. The uncertainty of the business and how it could change your perception of things. Whoa, heavy stuff.
Southside It’s totally unfair to compare the brothers Bubenheim to any other band. They swap instruments and yeah, you think The White Stripes and The Black Keys (drums and guitar only will do that) but these guys tunes are in a slightly different vein (listen to Off In Your Coffin…killer). Granted, I only saw a half hour of their music but considering I really liked the set, it I am totally excited to see them again. Also, I don’t want to sound like a broken record when it comes to meeting musicians but when people are as friendly as Aaron and David are, you cannot but help respect them a little more. More from them tomorrow.
The Rex Theater Southside This will be my last show of the year and I am guessing one of the best I will have seen within the last twelve months. I first caught Donora at the Key Party Comp Show in the summer and was able to shoot their short set at The Rock The Vote Drive in the fall. Jake has been kind enough to advance me a copy of the full length and man it is great! This is a killer bill and will definately be a good time. My readers should go, it’s only $5 people!
University of Pittsburgh Donora was asked at the last minute to play this voter registration drive. I was excited that they would be playing an outdoor gig on a beautiful day…and I could make it home in time to watch the Steelers (too bad they lost a horrible game). Talking to the band about their full length debut coming out soon hopefully means they will be playing out a lot more in the coming months.
Southside Brewhouse Gallery This was my first time seeing Donora. I thought they were good. Really good. They reminded me of some hip surfer girl group from the sixties. Maybe the free beers had something to do with my judgement but who cares. The room was kinda crowded up front so I just chilled during their set and my photos suffered from it. I’ll have more from them tomorrow.