#SupportPGHMusic // Exclusively on HughShows Radio streaming at the bottom of the page, enjoy the entire December 13, 2014 concert of HughShows Live at Eide’s Finale featuring mini sets from acoustic and solo versions of my favorite Pittsburgh bands during the marathon 6 hour concert. //

You’ve heard it all before. But if you remain skeptical without a cup how will you overflow? Everybody doubts. Where did your certainty go? You were sure of it a minute ago.

Tiny Dinosaur is a band from New Orleans that makes folk music for the mass extinction event. Layers of harmonies over bizarre, humorous, and retrospective lyrics with a healthy side of slick guitar riffs. Their latest album entitled Songs for the Mass Extinction Event was released last month and they stop in Pittsburgh this Saturday, May 28th on their Spring tour. I want to thank Pittsburgh native Josey Krafczynski (Acoustic Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Don’t remember the first album I ever bought (maybe Wolfmother’s self-titled album or Black Sabbath’s greatest hits?) but the first album I ever owned was …Baby One More Time by Brittney Spears.

Your last album bought?
Another Side by Leo Nocentelli.

Favorite album of all time?
Exile on Main St. – The Rolling Stones. I know it’s well over-played but it’s one of the few that I do The Beatles’ Abbey Road but I also absolutely love Selling England by the Pound by Genesis.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
As a big Father John Misty fan I was incredibly disappointed with Pure Comedy (2017).

First concert attended?
Man I feel old now I don’t remember my first concert at all. My family always went to the Disney ice shows and those are sort of musicals so we’ll say that?

Last concert?
My last big concert that I went to was Elton John which was phenomenal and I’m so glad I got to see him–he told us before the show (which was supposed to happen in May of 2020) that we had been holding tickets for like 700 days or something to go to the show.

Favorite concert ever?
My first Modest Mouse concert is still my favorite ever. I found myself dancing and singing to songs by them that I didn’t think I liked. It was also just great to see them after being a huge fan for a long time. It was a gorgeous day and being outside for the show was a nice bonus.

Least favorite concert?
I saw mewithoutYou a few years ago as an opener for Pedro the Lion and I did not like the show at all. We got there a few minutes late which was our fault but mewithYou played a really short set and I had no interest in Pedro the Lion. My date also bailed on going to the show with me which rubbed salt in the wound a little bit.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
The last time I visited I went to the Vanka murals and I haven’t stopped talking about them since. They are truly unique and something I will recommend to anyone in the city. When I lived in Pittsburgh though I had a lot of great nights doing karaoke at Nico’s–something about getting a pitcher, chain smoking cigarettes, and watching your friends sing really feels like home.

 

 

Thanks, Josey. I appreciate and mirror your enthusiasm for the Vanko Murals. Such an amazing treasure just a few miles down 28 North.

 

 

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SMiley inUSA is the electronica project from Pittsburgh artist Ben Smiley, creating music with new and different rhythms. A drummer himself, his ambient songs are taking music to a new level as he creates tunes that are their own plane of existence. His latest release from earlier this month, Choose Compassion Instead of Battle, is available on all musical platforms. I want to thank Ben for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

 

The first album you ever bought?
Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain was an influential album for me. My dad actually got it for me. The long trumpet sounds over the beautiful textural backdrop of sunsets and Spain was deeply moving. It helped shaped what I really like doing with music, creating new worlds.

Your last album bought?
Hiromi – Alive. There is some amazing themes in this one. The title track is one of my favorite with the crazy fast rhythms, and multiple parts. The fusion of rock and jazz is amazing and always makes me feel like this is the future of music.

Favorite album of all time?
Ooh… the hardest question there is. I definitely have one favorite in each genre. I can narrow it down to two. Junta from Phish, since it is their first album it is a great collection of amazing live pieces, with a huge variety of genres and parts, plus fun and comedy like on the song “Fee”. Second Koln Concert by Keith Jarrett. Learning to improvise from nothing has always been a basic tenant of how I make music and this most popular selling piano album is the apex of that one full album of improvised tracks.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Can I decline to answer? Music is personal in a lot of ways and I feel like everyone likes something different. So therefore labeling it as worst or disappointing belittles the attempt the artist made. Just because I am not their target audience doesn’t mean there isn’t someone who likes it.

First concert attended?
I got wrangled into playing a battle of the bands, I had just started playing congas and the band needed some extra percussion, so they got me and two of my friends to join last minute. We played the “Starship Troopers” last movement from Yes and “Eyes of the World” from the Grateful Dead. It turned out great from having no experience and the audience loved it. Unfortunately, we didn’t win.

Last concert?
Phish in Pittsburgh, always great although nosebleed seats suck. It was great to see them live. They jammed out a bunch of songs to a great length and found new and interesting ways to engage the audience through both music and light shows.

Favorite concert ever?
Maybe not my favorite but a great one was when I saw Bela Fleck and the Flecktones in Maryland. The amazing musicianship and the way the bass bounced of all the walls made this a concert to remember, not only that but they got to play with a bunch of great jam bands.

Least favorite concert?
Woodstock 2000 a total cash grab. We actually ended up going because my friend was trying to find his dog. We arrived at five in the morning, on the second day, there was no one awake so we just walked in through the medical bay on to the main stage. The bands there were great but it definitely wasn’t a peace and love feel. Also, it was a heat wave on concrete and they started charging like 12 bucks for a bottle of water people were dying from the heat and generally not interested in the bands. Really only the headliners kept people going. Also we didn’t find the dog. 🙁

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
In general people are friendly in Pittsburgh, that is what I like most about this place. I feel like if everyone can learn from what Mister Rogers taught that we should all care about each other and lift each other up our town will only grow with love.

 

Thanks, Ben. I believe this is the first time someone’s first concert that they ever attended they actually performed.

 

 

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The Pittsburgh Savoyards, Inc. is a semi-professional, community-based, non-profit classical/operatic theater company funded primarily by local contributions and ticket sales. They operate for the purposes of perpetuating the heritage of Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas, and providing a hands-on opportunity for interested persons to learn about and experience musical theater. They are closing their 84th season beginning March 25th, 2022 with the production of The Pirates of Penzance at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall in Carnegie, PA. I want to thank cast member Catherine Coco (flute/piano/voice) who will be playing one of the Major-General’s daughters in the show for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
The Beatles, (While Album.)

Your last album bought?
I don’t buy albums anymore; instead, I subscribe to Spotify. The last album that I downloaded, Bach: The Art of Life.

Favorite album of all time?
Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin Hush.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I don’t usually remember albums I don’t like.

First concert attended?
James Taylor was the first non-classical concert I attended. But my first memory of a jazz concert was a hazy scene from childhood, filled with love and joy. I remember sitting on Daddy’s knee while he bounced me to the beat! From that day forward I was a musician.

Last concert?
Princess Ida, Pittsburgh Savoyards. I didn’t perform in that show, as I was concerned about COVID-19. But I’m back with them this spring.

Favorite concert ever?
Yikes! I’ve seen some historic performances but one that sticks out is Roger Waters with Lucius at the Newport Folk Festival a few years back. A sun shower came down in the middle of the set. It was surreal. Also, Marlon Williams at Newport. He was like a young Elvis Presley.

Least favorite concert?
I simply forgot any concert I don’t enjoy. I never let negative energy cloud my mind.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
The arts community in Pittsburgh is the warmest, most welcoming scene I’ve encountered… and I have worked all up and down the East Coast! The following anecdote proves my point. When my husband and I moved to Pittsburgh in 2018, we lived in an apartment. I’m a music teacher, and I taught online only due to COVID-19. Well, we were flabbergasted when the management sent us a letter threatening to not renew our lease unless I stopped working! I posted my sad story on Facebook. Before I knew it, my new Pittsburgh community (friends I had met from performing) went to work. Susan Medley, Bryan Sable, and Sarah Drinkwater got together and found us a beautiful house to buy at a reasonable price, right next door to Bryan! I often well up with tears when I think of their kindness. This sort of stuff is just normal for yinzers, unlike people in Philadelphia, Raleigh, or NYC.

 

 

Thanks, Catherine. That is one great story about community coming together to help each other out, especially in these crazy times. I was surprised to even learn about your group and that it was founded in 1938 and still going! Amazing.

 

 

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Yardan is an artist native to coastal Connecticut, a creator of sonic and visual experiences both in and out of the studio. In 2019, Steve Yardan joined forces with a cast of all-star musicians to commence work on his first track of what would develop into a dynamic sonic impression of Tim Buckley’s American folk tune “Buzzin’ Fly”. This infectious, powerhouse version is a contemporary, jam-fired re-imagining of a semi-obscure cut from the 1969 album Happy Sad. This collaboration manifests into vocal and instrumental harmonies that continue to build throughout the performance. Check out the stream below as I thank Yardan (Lead & Rhythm Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Van Halen 1984. My mom brought it home on cassette tape. I pressed play on my little tape recorder and the rest is history!

Your last album bought?
Erika Wennerstrom – Sweet Unknown. She a great songwriter and the fidelity on vinyl is outstanding.

Favorite album of all time?
Exile on Main St. – The Rolling Stones. I know it’s well over-played but it’s one of the few that I do own it on cassette, wax and CD so, there’s no hiding it I guess.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
There likely a pop album from the early 80’s that never should have made it out of the gate but who am I to say? Is David Hasselhoff still huge in Germany?

First concert attended?
Aerosmith with Andrew Hendryx (mandolinist). His mom rented a van and a handful of us middleschoolers rolled up to quite a scene. Boys became men that day.

Last concert?
Hiss Golden Messenger. Tonally awesome. Great songs.

Favorite concert ever?
Yikes! I’ve seen some historic performances but one that sticks out is Roger Waters with Lucius at the Newport Folk Festival a few years back. A sun shower came down in the middle of the set. It was surreal. Also, Marlon Williams at Newport. He was like a young Elvis Presley.

Least favorite concert?
I’ve been to some reggae shows where the band walks in at 11:45 pm, plays 3 tunes and bails. I could name multiple reggae bands that have done this.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Loved my time in Pittsburgh. December 2019. We recorded some vocal parts for “Buzzin’ Fly” and all the post production was performed in the area. On time, I ended up at the Elks Club on banjo night for happy hour then rolled over to bluegrass night at the Park House and sat in with the boys. What a blast! Both places were bumpin’ that night. I also made it to Penguins playoff game once. I feel like scored a solid slice of Pitt a few times.

Thanks, Steve. Sounds like you did have a quintessential Pittsburgh experience. I didn’t hear any mention of the obligatory visit to Primate’s Bros., which in my opinion is a good thing you subject yourself to that.

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“Do you remember Sunday school we held each other’s hand and it was cool”

Pat Coyle is a Pittsburgh based singer/songwriter/drummer from who infuses intimate pop songs with sounds from day to day life. His background in filmmaking and general love for movies provides the bed frame for his lyrical inspiration, usually manifesting in cinematic vignettes that imbue a sense of longing and wistfulness. He recently released his new album, Relic of a Rift, a continuation of his melancholy and emotionally cathartic songwriting with hues of futuristic dreams sprinkled throughout as evidenced from the stream below. I want to thank Pat (Guitar/Synths/Samples/Drums/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
The earliest purchase I can remember is So Much for the City by The Thrills. Fun, upbeat Irish indie/pop music! Gotta love it. This album made it into the book, “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”, so I guess I’m doing something right!

Your last album bought?
Kids Like Me by Swampwalk on vinyl 🙂

Favorite album of all time?
Room on Fire by The Strokes. Every song is perfect. Every song makes me wanna cry. Julian Casablancas shows up in my dreams sometimes and makes me feel like everything is going to be okay.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I feel like I haven’t been disappointed by albums a whole lot in my life. I’m more disappointed by movies. Seeing the midnight showing of Spiderman 3 when I was a kid still haunts me. I appreciate the campiness of the movie now, but oh boy, I invested a lot of emotional energy into that one and I came out of the theater with only a sense of pure disillusionment and loss. So maybe I should say the soundtrack to Spiderman 3? Ha-ha!

First concert attended?
John Mayer. Showed up because I loved John Mayer at the time but I walked out of that concert loving the drummer, Steve Jordan even more.

Last concert?
I got to be one of the singers in the Fleetwood Mac night that was put together by Pittsburgh Plays! It was such an awesome night. The musicians I got to be in the bands with are so freakin’ impressive and lovely.

Favorite concert ever?
I saw Deerhoof in Canada. I was right in front of the drummer, Greg Saunier. I cried. At one point his drumstick went flying in the air and I caught it and it made my life pretty much!

Least favorite concert?
The jazz band concert that I completely forgot to attend when I was in college. I was the drummer of the band and I was distracted that evening auditioning for a role in a student film. I get the call from my bandmate when the band is mere minutes from going on and I am way too far away to make it, with no tux on me and no immediate access to transportation. THANKFULLY, there was a drummer from a different jazz band that stepped in, faked his way through the charts and saved the day, but that was a nightmare scenario for sure. Walking into the band director’s office the next day is a moment I’ll never forget! He was very kind about it though

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Just getting to play in so many bands with so many lovely friends 🙂

 

 

 

Thanks, Pat. The camaraderie and support among musicians in this city never fails to amaze me. I hear of complaints of cliques and not po-pooing that experience from those who have had them but to tell you the truth, I have never witnessed it first hand.

 

 

 

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If there is a God, He probably took one look at the blood that poured out of Abel’s head, crimson hands of Cain and cried out, “What have I done?

VYLTS are a hardcore/punk band from Pittsburgh, PA. They strive to be as DIY and as ethical of a band as they can be. They aim to provide an emotionally honest, sincere, and high energy performance every time they play. Their recently released debut single entitled “Genesis” from their upcoming EP Spiritual Traumas is self-described as “an examination of the human race as a whole and the world we live in today. One that we have all played a part in creating.” You can listen to the song below as I thank Christian Freeberg (Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
I think the first album I actually bought with my own money was the 1999 hit self-titled LFO record. I think my first ever album I owned though was Backstreet’s Back (Backstreet Boys). What can I say, It was the 90’s.

Your last album bought?
The last full album I purchased was my favorite album of 2020, The Great Dismal by the band Nothing from Philly. It’s a masterpiece of heavier shoegaze stuff. Nothing is one of my favorite modern bands and they have an insane/fascinating history of misfortune within their band and the singer Dominic Palermo‘s life that also makes them one of the most interesting bands and singer out there.

Favorite album of all time?
Couldn’t pick one for the life of me. But one that would always be in the running is Illusion of Safety by my favorite band Thrice. There are other Thrice albums that would be in the running as well. Just depends on the mood I’m in that day.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I’m most disappointed that this Philly hardcore band called One Dead Three Wounded never put out a third record. So the lack of that theoretical album is my biggest disappointment “album.”

First concert attended?
The Last Hope (Pittsburgh punk band) at our local Chevy Chase Community Center in my hometown Indiana, PA. It was my first time experiencing a mosh pit and a circle pit and crowd surfing. I got the wind knocked out of me the moment I got the nerve to get in the pit when someone accidentally hit me in the throat. My little brother was there as well, and he got crowd surfed into an operating ceiling fan and was knocked out for a hot minute. I was hooked from then on.

Last concert?
The last time I got to see live music was when I went to Florida and got to see my friend Jon’s band Hollyglen that he drums for. It was at the Crowbar in Tampa. The pandemic has prevented me from going to any shows for a while now. Can’t wait to get back to that someday.

Favorite concert ever?
That would probably be when I saw White Wives (Pittsburgh punk band with Anti-Flag members and my friend Roger Harvey), Koji, Balance and Composure, and Touché Amore in some sort of mason lounge in Altoona. There wasn’t any stage and it just felt very intimate. There was so much PA friendship/connections since all but one band were from PA. Touché Amore’s performance felt like a religious experience and my poet friend William James got to intro them with one of his poems. It was a really special evening and one that sticks with me above countless other shows I’ve attended.

Least favorite concert?
This One Dead Three Wounded show that I missed because my dad grounded me. My friends had the lead singer Tim call me to say hi though and that was pretty exciting for a young fan boy like myself at the time.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pandemic aside, there are so many good places to eat and there’s always somewhere to experience art/music. There are also so many bands with forward thinking people and so many people in general in the community who are striving to make Pittsburgh a safe and inclusive place for everyone through direct actions and true ally-ship.

 

 

 

Thanks, Christian. Pretty powerful stuff you are producing. I really do hope that this outlet can resolve some of the issues you have been dealing with.

 

 

 

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Here we go again, I’m crossing your path. Meeting of the minds, blurring of the lines. We will never die, we’re beyond time.

Pittsburgh’s beloved yogi and mystic, Michael Miracles, formerly known as the party-shaman Sneaky Mike, is the rebooted persona of his past indefatigable identity, but with a more spiritual and yoga-centric musical vision in the form of his new band Michael Miracles and Love Evolution which recently released the album Love Evolution. Think butterflies meet tasty riffs. Prince riding a pegasus. Carpe momentus. I want to thank Michael (Songwriter/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Aerosmith Pump.

Your last album bought?
The Mars Volta Deloused in the Comatorium vinyl re-release. Haven’t bought too many albums recently in this era of streaming, but I still buy vinyl here and there.

Favorite album of all time?
Prince and the Revolution Purple Rain

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
That new Led Zeppelin album from 2021 The Battle at Garden’s Gate. I didn’t know they were still putting out albums!

First concert attended?
Hole 1994 at Metropol. I told my mom I was going to the mall because I wasn’t allowed to see concerts yet.

Last concert?
Marc Rebillet in Baltimore, 2020.

Favorite concert ever?
Radiohead August 2001 in Liberty State Park, NJ. Right across the river from Manhattan, and you could see the Twin Towers in the background. They played 3 encores.

Least favorite concert?
Ozzfest 2003. Tool was supposed to be the headliner but backed out of it. I tried to sell my tickets in the parking lot and got arrested for scalping.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I love Pittsburgh through and through. It’s been an interesting journey being an artist and eccentric character in such a sports town. I consider myself an art yinzer. I’ve learned the hardware not to schedule shows that conflict with any Steelers game or Penguins playoff game!

Thanks, Michael. New Led Zeppelin album? Good one! You got me when I had to look it up!

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Here I am the next big thing. Wave that flag, hear them scream. Ready for the new sensation, running wild across the nation.

Post Traumatik is a rock and roll band from Homer City, PA who have been making you drink since 2008. Proudly sponsored by Iron City Beer and featured on the Shudder exclusive movie “Hell House LLC 3: Lake of Fire” as well as The Chuck Mosley (Faith No More) Tribute We Still Care A Lot. The band is currently readying their new album for a 2022 release entitled Flight of the Mothman. I want to thank Anthony Malandro (Bass) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Hysteria – Def Leppard. After seeing the “Pour Some Sugar on Me” video on MTV I was hooked on rock n’ roll. I was in 3rd grade and remember finally getting Hysteria, followed by Lies, Lies, Lies by Guns n’ Roses and Who Made Who by AC/DC.

Your last album bought?
Arrows by Red Fang. Red fang was a group I found by accident a few years back when you could still go to record store and buy CD’s. I’d seen Red Fang album Whales and Leeches sitting in the new release metal area at FYI. The album artwork intrigued me so I picked it up and the first song on the album “Blood Like Cream” blew me away and I have been a fan ever since. The new album Arrows is amazing and if you haven’t heard it check it out.

Favorite album of all time?
Appetite for Destruction by Guns n’ Roses. This album pound for pound is not only my favorite but the best rock album ever made. Hit after hit. and it sounds just as good as the day I heard it the first time.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Let it Rock by The Black Keys. I absolutely love the Black Keys and it just seems the more popular they got the more they got away from that bluesy, raunchy rock n’ roll sound. I was so excited for the Let it Rock album to come out and it was easily forgettable.

First concert attended?
Rage Against The Machine and Wu-Tang Clan with opener Atari Teenage Riot. I was lucky enough in 1997 to be driving, back then I lived in the Mon Valley not too far from Burgettstown. I remember waiting in line at JC Penney at Century III Mall to get these tickets as soon as they went on sell. Amazing show and was lucky enough to see one of the 17 shows they did together before the tour ended when Wu-Tang dropped off the tour.

Last concert?
Christopher Cross at Carnegie Library in Munhall. Amazing show! I was always a huge fan of his music. You would have thought you were listening an album by how good he sounded live.

Favorite concert ever?
KISS. I have seen so many live shows in my life and nothing has beat a live KISS show. So much energy. If you haven’t seen KISS live, do it before the retire… again. Ha-ha, you won’t regret it!

Least favorite concert?
The Avett Brothers at Peterson Events Center. No disrespect to this band, but it was the most boring show ever. Every song they played was slow, if this show was in a small club / venue it would have been so much more enjoyable. If you going to play arenG, bring it. get the people standing up and pumped up.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
So many great venues and local bands. We were lucky enough to get to play some of those venues and play with some of these amazing bands! Not to mention the great sports, food, and beer!

 

 

 

Thanks, Tony. Ah, the days of waiting in line at the ticket local outlet is a past that I remember fondly. Sometimes, I had as much fun doing that as I had in the actual concert.

 

 

 

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Coltt Winter Lepley is a folksinger, songwriter, poet, author, folklorist, and retired race car driver originally from Bedford, Pennsylvania. He is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. He’s been billed as “Bedford’s own poet laureate,” and described as “a young songwriter with chops beyond his years” by Pennsylvania Musician Magazine. His latest release from last November is “City Living'” from the Wallflower Wanderer YouTube Songwriter Series which he will more than likely play next Thursday, December 16 at Levity Brewing Company in Indiana, PA. I want to thank Coltt (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Mom – Radio and Albums.
Grandma – Elvis cassettes.
Me – Green Day. First one I had to ask parental consent to buy was American Idiot, and Townes Van Zandt was like me discovering a new religion and I tried to buy a lot of physical stuff from the companies running his music like vinyl and CDs.

Your last album bought?
Miles Davis from Barnes and Noble. Download new music every day.

Favorite album of all time?
Depends on the day. Townes Van Zandt’s Townes Van Zandt, John Prine’s John Prine, Bob Dylan’s first 3, 4 albums. Johnny Cash’s “American Recordings” Collection with Rick Rubin, Guy Clark’s Old No.1, Smithsonian Folkways stuff – Woody, Leadbelly, Dave Van Ronk, Phil Ochs. Blues Records – Robert Johnson, Son House. Carter Family, Lucina Williams, Dolly Parton. Really does depend on my mood and the day.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I think it’s been a lot of stuff from rock and punk bands I listened to that tried to shift towards a poppier sound. It seems like that shift happens a lot and folks lose their direction and sound in pursuit of a broader audience and they lose sight of what garnered their audience up front. Money will do that.

First concert attended?
First live music was seeing local bluegrass bands at area festivals and ox roasts. Lonestar was my first official “big-time” concert. I think I was 6.

Last concert?
Answering this, it will have been Pokey LaFarge. When we do the interview, it will be Charlie Parr. Last conert in Pittsburgh was Twenty One Pilots. Also saw Tyler Childers there before he blew up and he covered Dr. Hook’s “I Got Stoned and I Missed It,” which I also cover in my sets.

Favorite concert ever?
Twenty One Pilots was actually awesome. Garth Brooks was great. Bruce Molsky was really incredible. Also got to see Justin Townes Earle (Steve Earle’s son) play before he passed and he taught me a lot about stage presence. It was my first month after I moved to Boston and he made an outsider kid feel at home. He had a great back and forth banter with the audience, and he jokingly threw out a line from Billy Joe Shaver’s “Fast Train to Georgia,” where he says, “I got a good country raisin,” to which I responded “and an eighth grade education!” Justin laughed and said, “That kids the only one that showed up to listen to music and not drink wine. How’d the rich folks let you sit with them kid?” I laughed. Made me feel as good as the guy next to me with a Rolex on. It might have been fake, who knows.

Least favorite concert?
The bad ones are learning experiences. I don’t know if I can come up with one off the top of my head. Elementary School me, which makes sense for their audience considering their subject matter, wanted to see Big N’ Rich and maybe it was them.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I saw James McMurtry play about three years ago now. I went by myself because none of my friends knew who he was. I took my car and followed the PA Department of Corrections bus the whole way out. Parked in an open lot across from the Buffalo Exchange after I got caught in traffic and my car started overheating. Had to go into a Dairy Queen and lie and said I just drove ten hours to see a concert to get quarters because the reader wouldn’t accept my card. They gave me something like 10 dollars in quarters, bless that woman’s heart or I’da have been screwed. Then I went back and ordered chicken tenders because I felt bad. Met a man in line waiting to get in who just drove actually six hours to see McMurtry. Apparently, he had seen him like fifteen times before and he was just hoping they had a ticket left. We were like sixth in line at the door. He asked for a ticket and ended up getting the last ticket they had left. We walked in and Elizabeth Cotten’s “Shake Sugaree” was playing as I ordered a Crown and Coke. His name was Dave Gillard. He told me his life story and that he knew McCurtry’s bass player, “Cornbread,” and he did come over and talk. Dave is an awesome dude and we still check in with each other. Before we left, he bought me James’ live album and I still listen to it all the time on long gig drives. Has “Choctaw Bingo, Red Dress, No More Buffalo, Lights of Cheyenne, Levelland,” and a bunch of other McMurtry hits.
First time I played in Pittsburgh was over at Wigle Whiskey, which no longer hosts musicians outside. I think the feeling of being Pittsburgh is just something unique from other cities. Washington, DC feels a certain way to play in, NYC feels a certain way, Boston feels a certain way, and Pittsburgh just has an authenticity about it that always makes me excited to get here. They say it’s the Paris of Appalachia, and it really is one of if not my favorite cities to play in.

Thanks, Coltt. So cool randomly running into you at Millvale Music Festival last Summer. I love discovering musicians through serendipity.

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I’m lost in the space between the stars and the galaxies and I never meant to be alone

ALLISSA is an up-and-coming songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA. Formerly a solo act, ALLISSA is now backed by the guitarist (Michael DeGruttola) and drummer (Ron Bender) from the retired touring rock band, Third From First. The cutting vocals of front-woman Allissa Logsdon, now paired with melodic-rock guitar tones and classic rock drum beats, gives ALLISSA a truly unique and unparalleled sound as evidenced on their latest single from last July entitled “Stranded.” I want to thank Allissa (Piano/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus album! “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock” is still my life’s motto. Lol!

Your last album bought?
Flyleaf’s New Horizons album!

Favorite album of all time?
I would have to say Flyleaf’s Memento Mori album. I was around 13 and just starting to get into music at the time. The overall sound, passionate vocals of Lacey Sturm, and authentic messages within all of the songs really spoke to me. It was the album that inspired me to become the kind of artist I am today.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I don’t have a least favorite album, but one thing that really bothers me is when every song from an artist sounds the same. I also hate whenever a really good band decides to change their sound (for the worst) and they sound like a completely different band.

First concert attended?
I think it was a Toby Mac concert in Pittsburgh!

Last concert?
The last concert I went to and my most favorite concert ever was a Lacey Sturm (former singer of Fyleaf!) She’s my favorite singer/artist of all time, so seeing her in concert was a dream come true. I got to meet her afterwards and tell her what an inspiration she was to me.

Favorite concert ever?
See previous answer.

Least favorite concert?
I don’t think I have a least favorite concert. Even if I didn’t particularly enjoy a certain band I’ve seen, I can always appreciate live performances and find something that I can be inspired by and learn from.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I love Pittsburgh so much! I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, but I found a new appreciation for it when I went to college in the city. Downtown Pittsburgh is my favorite place to be. There’s something so magical about it during all seasons, but especially during Christmas! I am really proud to be from Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

Thanks, Allissa. I too used to spend countless hours downtown. I would take the bus and just walk around hitting certain stores and just enjoy the bustling ambiance. I really haven’y done that in many, many years.

 

 

 

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Image courtesy of the artist

This is my heart, who reminds me to run free and with every pulse I can see clearer…

Yunge Xiao (AKA yoonj) is a self-proclaimed musician and song-writer. At 19 years old, she has been writing chill, original songs since she was 12, and would love to start putting her work for the rest of the world to see. Originally from Philadelphia, she now resides in Pittsburgh and has always been immersed in the world of art–from dance to painting to, of course, music. She also loves content creation, and making visual representations of her art to go with her music. She recently came in first place in the 2021 WYEP Singer-Songwriter Competition and is hoping to release a collection of raw voice memos of some of her favorite songs that she’s written over the years. I want to thank Yunge (Piano/Guitar/Ukulele/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Taylor Swift’s Fearless album on my sister’s iPod touch. Ah, nostalgia! While Taylor Swift is not my go-to artist, I respect how much she loves taking ownership of her songwriting.

Your last album bought?
Haven’t bought one in a hot second, but probably Hozier by Hozier. I love Hozier in general, but from this album are some of my favorites. I appreciate how all the songs remain unapologetically Hozier, while playing around with different vocals, tempos, the whole 9 yards. “Work Song”, “Cherry Wine”, and of course “Take Me to Church” have a special place in my heart.

Favorite album of all time?
Honestly anything by Dodie, but probably Human. She is just so creative with her harmonies/instrumentation, and I love her voice. Not to mention, her lyrics just hit you in the heart, and thoughtful lyrics are definitely something I gravitate towards.

First concert attended?
My first, last and only concert was Dodie Clark.

Last concert?
See previous answer.

Favorite concert ever?
Only been to one so I guess that!

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Anyone who knows me knows I love walking, so my favorite thing about Pittsburgh is how walkable it is from neighborhood to neighborhood. My partner and I walked 22.5 miles clockwise and 27 miles counter-clockwise on two separate occasions–the best part is going to all of our favorite coffee shops, food stops, running into random art and music pop-ups, and finding all the hidden gems that we couldn’t get to otherwise. It always reminds me how lucky I am to be in a city with a spectrum of natural and manmade environments, and to co-exist with people who are both alike and unlike myself.

 

 

Thanks, Yunge. First off, congrats. There were so many songwriters that I know of personally in the competition and it’s always so nice to discover new talent during the annual event. Looking forward to hearing what new music you come up with!

 

 

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America, what the fuck? America, good luck. America, take me home. America, leave me alone…. leave me alone.

Red Star Sky is the alt-country/Americana pandemic-project-turned-band of Pittsburgh songwriter and musician Corey Layman. Album contributors include Erik Cirelli and Read Connolly. Current band members are Erik Cirelli, Darin Palilla, and Adam Thompson. Layman’s former and current projects include Hovland, Karl Hendricks Trio, Developer, and Line Forms. Red Star Sky songs range from snarly classic alt-country to somber folk, all of which draw from the feelings of loss, anger, and abandon that have been present during the pandemic, and which permeate Appalachia and much of its musical legacy. The band’s just released debut entitled On New Ghosts will no doubt be featured as the band performs live for the first time tonight (Friday, Oct. 15th) at Mr. Smalls Funhouse supporting the Mike Shanley + Michael Cunningham Birthday Fest. I want to thank Corey (Guitar/Bass/Drums/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
I’m going to go with the first real Alt-Country album I ever owned, which is Still Feel Gone by Uncle Tupelo. It’s still one of my favorite albums of all time, regardless of genre. I had completely missed Uncle Tupelo and had frankly tried to avoid any music with the word “country” in it after having grown up in a place where Popular Country was everywhere and unavoidable (think “Achy Breaky Heart”). Still Feel Gone just rocked, and was beautiful, and connected directly to something in my roots and so tangibly to Appalachia. Still does.

Your last album bought?
Well, I’m fixing to pre-order the debut album of the Australian band Springtime. I’m just waiting for the next Bandcamp Friday to roll around. There’s only one song available to listen to, and it’s freaking fantastic. I’m familiar enough with the artists, as I’ve been digging the current and former bands of singer/songwriter Gareth Liddiad, Tropical Fuck Storm and The Drones. This is a side-project along with a member of The Dirty Three, and a member of The Necks. You gotta hear this song “Will to Power.” You’ll probably forget all about my music, but it’s worth it.

Favorite album of all time?
That feels impossible. I’m going to have to go with Silkworm’s Libertine, which was beautifully remastered and reissued by Comedy Minus One a number of years ago.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I’m just so thoroughly disappointed by Mark Kozalek, and am disappointed with his later output musically, sure, but much more upset at the revelations that he is a creep of a human, who took advantage of and assaulted his fans. Sheds a completely different light on much of the lyrics and really just ruins Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon, which is a shame because of how much I loved that music.

First concert attended?
I’m pretty sure it was Christian hair metal band in a High School auditorium. Maybe that wasn’t my first. There was a lot of random stuff like that growing up in the bible belt in the 80’s. First concert that mattered? I saw Jawbox play a college music festival right around the time For Your Own Special Sweetheart came out. That changed everything.

Last concert?
Pretty sure it was Sebadoh and Flower from sometime before the pandemic.

Favorite concert ever?
That’s another really tough one. It’s probably one of series of shows that I played while in the Karl Hendricks Trio where we played with our friend-bands, the Kyle Sowashes, and Bottomless Pit.

Least favorite concert?
Probably that time when my 90’s band Hovland got our break from Elko to open for Modest Mouse in their prime. It was gonna be huge and we had a great set planned. We got on stage, sound checked, and we waited, and waited, and waited… until we got the word that Modest Mouse took a wrong turn, or just didn’t bother coming to Pittsburgh, and Elko was going to have to refund everyone’s money and we didn’t get to play a note.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I’ve been in Pittsburgh now for 25 years. It is home to me. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to share the stage with some of my musical heroes. And then to get to be in a band and have a friendship with Karl Hendricks, who was one of the greatest humans, and is a criminally underappreciated songwriter and musician, that still humbles me. I guess my feelings on Pittsburgh are feelings of gratitude. Thanks, Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

Thanks, Corey. Album sounds awesome, buddy! And with the lineup you have backing you, I’m sure your gonna kill it tonight!

 

 

 

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In the deepest dark, in the blackest sky, at the speed of light do the rules apply?

Dominic Bartoli is an audio engineer and artist, who has been involved with the Pittsburgh musical landscape for over 20 years. He’s had a busy year, releasing an album of classical lo-fi music under his own name, that has already received more than 9,000 plays on YouTube, featuring sound patches that he designed. Dom is also half of the musical act called Oceans Of Mercury, who released their first album early in 2021 and recently released a music video for the band’s version of the Bob Dylan classic, “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” which was filmed and puppeteered by Dom and band member Tim Nelson. Dom has been in numerous long-standing local bands including local Ska/Rockers The Hang Lows, and is also the Senior Systems Engineer for Carnegie Mellon University and sound designer, making patches for Korg and Elektron synthesizers which he uses in his newest upcoming release Fossil Fuel which is a solo project by Dom Bartoli Music. The full album was released this morning, which also happens to be Dom’s birthday! I want to thank Dom (Multi-Instrumentals/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
First CD I remember buying in a store with my own money was Temple of the Dog. Still a great album.

Your last album bought?
Evita, the cast album with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin. I collect recordings of my favorite musicals /cast members. I have a thing for Bernadette Peters as well 🙂

Favorite album of all time?
Bob Marley – Legend. I know greatest hits album, ew… but if I have to pick a favorite it’s gotta be this, because over the years I’ve listened to this more than any other album of any genre. Every song is a masterpiece. The message is so positive, the music vibin’, every musician filling the pocket perfectly.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Hard to answer. I remember being a kid and my first album disappointment was the Spin Doctors second album. I was really looking forward to it, and It was a ploppin’ big bummer after Pocket Full of Kryptonite. Also, bands that I loved for their original energy, like the Chili Peppers or Weezer, I haven’t listened to since their first albums.

First concert attended?
Metallica / Guns n Roses / Faith no More. To be fair, I was pretty young. I hitched down and tried to sneak in and ended up listening in the parking lot. First one I got to actually attend was Primus at the Penn State Beaver Dome. (lol… this all dates my old ass.) Primus played so loud that pieces of the stadium ceiling were falling into the pit and they blew out the PA, and just kept playing with stage sound only until the crew got it back up and running. Great memory. Also, the Meat Puppets opened that show and I love them.

Last concert?
I hope it wasn’t my last. I saw Squirrel Nut Zippers right before the pandemic and am itching to return to stage and crowd.

Favorite concert ever?
Snuff at Laga in the late 90’s was amazing. They opened for Less Than Jake and I only remember Snuff destroying that show.

Least favorite concert?
The last two Warped Tours I attended were pretty lame shells of what they once were.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I love Pittsburgh and its musicians. I hope that the changes brought on by the pandemic will meet with positive responses and change from within the arts. I hope that new greater venues emerge from the ashes of the old. I hope that new owners with better ethics replace the greedy awful promoters of the past. I hope the musicians of the future band together to form a better, stronger, and more supportive community, where they build each other up instead of working against one another.

 

 

Thanks, Dom. I hope as much as you do that the pandemic could change behavior and bring us more together as a collective to uplift Pittsburgh music but to be honest, I am not holding out hope that some promotors will suddenly not be greedy and awful. Unfortunately, I have already seen it on a personal level.

 

 

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I see you disappear so far and fast away from here just take what you need and leave the rest

Thrown-Out Bones is a San Francisco-based high-energy swanky rock group known for their experimental approach to genre and performance. With 10+ years of playing together, this power trio has developed a unique sound that blurs the lines between funk, jazz, classic rock, and even the occasional deep, contemplative jam. The shows themselves have gained a following for the creative ways the band breaks down the fourth wall with audience-inspired improvisation or even occasionally invites fans onstage to sing lead. Touring behind there latest single “Come Home”, the stop in Pittsburgh this Thursday, September 30 at one of my favorite spots to see a band in the city, the intimate Snake Hill with support from blog faves Buffalo Rose. I want to thank Liliana Urbain (Drums/Vocals), Nick Chang (Guitar/Vocals), and Sam Miller (Bass/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

 

The first album you ever bought?
Liliana Urbain: Oops I Did It Again – Brittany Spears.
Nick Chang: Nimrod – Green Day.
Sam Miller: No Strings Attached – N’Sync.

Your last album bought?
Liliana: Stand Up – Royal Jelly Jive.
Nick: Fever Dream – Everything Everything.
Sam: Sylva – Snarky Puppy.

Favorite album of all time?
Liliana: The Color Spectrum – The Dear Hunter.
Nick: Continuum – John Mayer.
Sam: Black Holes and Revelations – Muse.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Liliana: Love Song – Jane.
Nick: I Don’t Think It Is – Say Anything.
Sam: The 2nd Law – Muse.

First concert attended?
Liliana: Juanes.
Nick: Fleetwood Mac.
Sam: Yellowcard.

Last concert?
Liliana: Sarah Bareilles.
Nick: SF Gay Men’s Chorus.
Sam: Vulfpeck.

Favorite concert ever?
Liliana: Rainbow Girls Festival, with Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra and Calvin Arsenia. They were otherworldly.
Nick: Outside Lands 2015 – Jack White, Foo Fighters, Alabama Shakes, Justice.
Sam: Umphreys McGee.

Least favorite concert?
Liliana: Sometimes I perform at retirement homes, and people fall asleep.
Nick: Angels and Airwaves.
Sam: I don’t go to bad concerts.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Liliana: Came through on tour for the first time with another band and Brad Yoder put a house show together for us on a Tuesday. He paired us with this band that he said we needed to listen to and it was Buffalo Rose! I had seen so many shows living on the road for 2 years and they are one of the three bands that I remember clearly watching and being totally transfixed by.
Nick: Visiting my grandma in Pittsburgh, there was a huge thunderstorm. It was my first thunderstorm ever. I was watching through these giant windows. My sister loved it… I was terrified.
Sam: I haven’t been to Pittsburgh yet.

Thanks, all. As you know, Snake Hill is such a cool spot to see bands. I think my man Matt secretly has a PhD in hospitality!

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Coming into realization baby it was meant for me, good intentions but wrong places needed the catalyst to be seen

Emily Thomas is a Pittsburgh based singer/songwriter who shakes up pop tradition with a soulful vibe & sensual instrumentation. The East Coast native currently resides in Pittsburgh traveling back and forth between LA and NY. Emily has been featured on George Takei’s platform featuring her music video, “Taste Of You” with over 400k views. Along with that release, Emily was interviewed with PRIDE magazine. She has stretched her dreams to write for others, and live out life making music. Emily has built up a catalogue of many songs over the last few years holding onto her independence. You can check out Emily live tomorrow Saturday, September 4th at 1pm for a free show at 1700 Penn Avenue in the Strip. I want to thank Emily for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Britney Spears – Baby One More Time. I listened to a lot of Britney as a kid singing her tunes dancing in the mirror, lol.

Your last album bought?
Tapestry by Carole King on vinyl. My Mom was a big fan so I grew up listening to a lot of her music. Was pretty excited when I saw Tapestry on vinyl in LA at Amobe Record Store so I decided to splurge a little more than my usual $2-5 record budget. Best $20 bucks I’ve spent in a while.

Favorite album of all time?
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I could listen to Lauryn any day, all day.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Prefer not to answer.

First concert attended?
Backstreet Boys! The best! I was 16 when they made a comeback, and a friend took me for my Birthday. We got to see them get on the bus after the show, and Howie winked at me, lol.

Last concert?
Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. Great show! Also grew up listening to a lot of his music so was fun seeing him live.

Favorite concert ever?
Sara Bareillis was a huge inspiration as I was developing as a songwriter. A friend of mine took me to see her in NY. Cried the entire show!

Least favorite concert?
Never been to one I didn’t like!

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
It’s good to be back after a 12-year hiatus. From what I’ve seen so far, looks like there isn’t a big music scene outside of Jazz. I plan to create an underground artist scene here by starting an independent artist showcase. Stay tuned this fall! 😉

Thanks, Emily. Indie artist showcase? That’s the kind of stuff I love hearing about. Keep me posted!

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Be safe, have fun, call if you need bail money

Sh’Bang is an alternative punk rock quartet from Philadelphia laying out some groovy tunes designed to enchant and confuse. They encode their lives into rugged rock lines that will leave you dancing and crying at the same time. Following the release of their debut EP from 2020 entitled The Woman Who Changed the World, they are  prepping a short EP in November called The Sex Files which will include the songs “Makeup Sex” and “Stop Getting Naked In Front Of My Mom”. I want to thank Noah Fluck (Bass/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

 

The first album you ever bought?
I remember stealing a lot of my dad’s CDs but I think the first album I bought with my own money was Pure Guava by Ween.

Your last album bought?
LW by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard on vinyl.

Favorite album of all time?
The Mollusk by Ween. Ween is pretty dang cool to have made the album that inspired SpongeBob.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Neighborhoods by Blink-182. It took a while to grow on me but 13 year old me was just kinda pissed that’s what they put out after their hiatus.

First concert attended?
The Rush ‘Snakes and Arrows’ tour in 2008. I just started playing drums around then so getting to see Neil Peart play was the coolest thing ever.

Last concert?
There was a couple bands but the one I went to see was called Jerry, At the Beach. Went solely because of the name.

Favorite concert ever?
July 3rd, 2021 we played in someone’s backyard while it was raining. First show since lockdown and it was awesome.

Least favorite concert?
Crown the Empire. It was kind of a letdown cause the one guy left the band and everyone who was playing looked like they were on mad drugs, but I’m not really sure if they were to be honest.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
One behalf of our manager, Pittsburgh might be America’s best kept secret. Views of the water and the culture are what makes him happy there. We have yet to come to the city, but we’re definitely looking forward to playing shows there.

Thanks, Noah. Yeah, buddy… make a trip to Pittsburgh. Might want to wait until all this Covid mess is behind us. Who knows what will be happening until then?

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If you go running, I’ll go chasing I’m not looking back ’cause giving up was so much worse than taking one step back it’s better off we take a chance than leave our hearts intact

Lifeguard is a fun-loving, high-energy, and emotionally-driven Pop/Rock band based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The band derives influence by artists such as Death Cab For Cutie, Joy Division , The Killers, and others in a wide spectrum of genres. Combining Elijah Bill’s (Drums/Percussion/Synth/Background Vocals) fast-paced and dancey drums with Jake Faigen’s (Guitar/Bass/Lead Vocals) heartfelt chord progressions, infectious guitar riffs, melodic bass lines, and personal lyrics, Lifeguard cultivates a sound that easily gets fans hearts’ racing, feet moving, and minds thinking! Formed in June of 2020, Elijah and Jake spent months writing and rehearsing to record their debut EP: Back to Square One. Given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, they decided to write and record as a two- piece, handling multiple duties in-studio. They are currently seeking members to fill positions for live performances. With two singles released from the 3 song EP, the remaining tune drops next week on 8/27. I want to thank Jake and Elijah for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Jake Faigen: If we’re counting Who Let The Dogs Out by The Baha Men, then that. But if not, then Any Given Thursday which is an early John Mayer live album. I don’t listen to John Mayer anymore but I do like his songs from that album a lot in a guilty pleasure kind of a way.
Elijah Bill: Toxicity – System of a Down.

Your last album bought?
Jake: I guess this question makes me realize how much I stream music now because I don’t even really remember the last album that I downloaded. Lately, I’ve been streaming Faye Webster’s album I Know I’m Funny Haha. They are super groovy and chill, and Faye Webster’s voice is so nice.
Elijah: 6 Sounds for 6/6 – deleTR

Favorite album of all time?
Jake: That’s a tough question, I feel like my musical taste is always kind of changing with my mood but I think a good pick would be Emergency & I by The Dismemberment Plan. The music hits a lot of different points and keeps it very interesting, while exploring a lot of different emotions. I really appreciate how simple, yet relatable the lyrics are and can always help a twenty-something year old who’s feeling alone to know someone else feels the same way.
Elijah: I don’t think I have one sole favorite album – I like too much music, my listening mood changes so often.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Jake: For some reason, I just got into Third Eye Blind’s first album for the first time recently. It smacks, every song is a banger. But I was sad, because I’m not into any of their music after that album.
Elijah: Least favorite is also hard, I often revisit things and end up liking them a lot more later on.

First concert attended?
Jake: My first concert set a pretty high bar for me and is probably still my favorite concert that I’ve been to. The Flaming Lips performed in Pittsburgh about ten years ago, and my friends and I were able to get pretty close to the front row. The show started out with Wayne Coyne coming up from underneath the stage and it looked like he was being born from a psychedelic vagina projected on a screen behind him. A human-sized hamster ball proceeded to inflate around him, and then he crowd surfed on us. Those guys know how to put on a weird concert for sure.
Elijah: Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Nickelback…hell, yeah!

Last concert?
Jake: I saw MGMT perform a year or two ago, and they killed it.
Elijah: Touché Amoré at the Rex Theater… (RIP).

Favorite concert ever?
Elijah: I’ve been to a lot of shows big and small. In recent memory, though, Tool with Killing Joke has been my favorite.

Least favorite concert?
Jake: I would probably say Matt & Kim at Bonnaroo a few years ago. I was coming up on acid, and I just remember that the drummer was playing off time and they were smiling really wide in this way that was bugging me out a ton, and I had to squeeze my way out through this huge crowd. It was stressful.
Elijah: Fall Out Boy in 2013, Save Rock n Roll comeback – awful live sound and absolutely no energy at the venue that day. Huge disappointment.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Jake: It sounds corny, but I honestly do think Pittsburgh is a magical place with magical people. I’ve been lucky to have made some great memories adventuring around Pittsburgh’s parks and forests with some great people. And have been fortunate to get to know and spend time growing alongside some of the most talented people that I know.
Elijah: Pittsburgh reminds me of my Aunt Aimee. She showed me every inch of the city and was one of the most influential people in my life, so I think about her when I think about Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

Thanks both. I am so loving this music and hope you can rustle up some musicians to be able to play it out live!

 

 

 

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Super nova demon I wanna steal your touch Super nova demon You’re the one I want

0nsean (with a zero) is the moniker of Pittsburgh based rapper, singer-songwriter, producer, and videographer Sean Hanulik. He creates hypnotic and uplifting music, mixing elements of hip-hop, electronic, and bedroom pop to create unique sounds as evidenced in the recently released title track to his upcoming project called SUPERNOVA DEMON featuring songs focused on being uplifting and energetic. As 0sean adds, “I want to put people one their feet and out of their heads.” I want to thank Sean for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground from Bright Eyes. One of my favorite albums growing up, Connor made me realize the importance of HOW you say things rather the just WHAT you say.

Your last album bought?
Children of the Future by Steve Miller Band. I like listening to old albums in a single sitting sometimes, it’s not only inspiring but relaxing.

Favorite album of all time?
Either/Or by Elliott Smith. I recommend everybody to listen to Elliott Smith if you haven’t.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
! by Trippie Redd. I was talking about this the other day, everything before and after it is 10x better.

First concert attended?
Remo Drive with my friend. I loved the feeling of music in that environment. It was super fun but had to babysit my friend at the end a little bit, he fell asleep on the drive home.

Last concert?
The Obsessives at Mr. Roboto Project, awesome show. They sound amazing live.

Favorite concert ever?
Juice WRLD concert that I saw. Ski Mask the Slump God played too. It ended early because of rain, but it was packed and the crowd was insane. I never saw that many people at this venue before.

Least favorite concert?
Probably all of the ones I’ve missed. I can’t say I’ve regretted a single performance I’ve ever seen.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Has to be when I used to go to the Pirates games with my dad. Had no idea what was going on, all the people intimidated me back then. It was honestly surreal. I remember just going around town for photos, videos. I do a lot of shoots there. It’s a beautiful city. I’m not much of a Pirates fan anymore.

 

 

 

Thanks, Sean. That Steve Miller Band album is just so good. Nice call. First time any of his early stuff was referenced on the blog.

 

 

 

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The sun doesn’t reach my apartment whiskey bottle dripping like a faucet I don’t mind a couple of those rainy days still in the waves just floatin’

Pittsburgh based musician Andrew Chris has described his sound as “Mac Miller & Jimi Hendrix’s illegitimate love-child, raised by Tame Impala”. He started on guitar at age 9 and has since developed his chops on drums, bass, and nearly anything a .daw can handle. Andrew consistently pushes the boundaries with his production, offering something brilliantly refreshing; a strangely organic meeting between the old and the new as evidenced in his latest single release entitled “Floatin'”. I want to thank Andrew for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
When I was maybe 5 years old, I got Sounds of the Summer by the Beach Boys from Santa. I didn’t even know who they were, but evidently my parents noticed that I seemed to always perk up when their songs came on the radio. I’ve always adored the feeling their vocal layering gives. The first album I ever bought with my own money would probably be Channel Orange from FYE.

Your last album bought?
Honestly the last time I bought an album was at a meet & greet for Mac Miller’s GO:OD AM release. The morning that it dropped, he was in Pittsburgh. He rolled up 5 hours late to the event, driving himself in his mother’s Prius. I had just opened up for his backing band, “The Internet”, the week before, so I had a lot to talk to him about. I bought a copy for him to sign, which is still displayed proudly in my studio.

Favorite album of all time?
My favorite studio album of all time is Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I really don’t think an album will ever surpass that. The sheer innovation and thematics throughout blow me away time and time again. But I also really adore Band of Gypsys by Jimi Hendrix, which technically is a live album. Jimi was known for his onstage antics, but for this performance he stood still in one place and focused on the music, playing with a new band that barely rehearsed. The entire thing oozes organic musicianship. I get the chills just thinking about the quiet breakdown in “Who Knows”.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
JESUS IS KING by Kanye West.

First concert attended?
When I was a wee-laddy, my sisters wanted to see Aaron Carter at the Scranton Cultural Center. My dad & I sat in the very last row of the venue. I probably sat on my Gameboy Color the whole time. My first true concert was at the same venue, age 9. I had just gotten my first guitar and asked my parents to bring me to go see Deep Purple & Mountain. I stood up on my chair so I could see.

Last concert?
I recently saw Jack Swing play their first show since 2020. Love those guys.

Favorite concert ever?
The Mac Miller Homecoming show at Altar Bar. It was a free show the night of the GO:OD AM release. I also saw him the night afterwards but there was something magical about that free show. It was more like a party. He even plugged his phone into the PA to perform some deep cuts. The venue kicked him off the stage at 3am.

Least favorite concert?
I might have to say The Robert Cray Band. I love slow blues guitar, but some reason I grew bored during that show. I think the brilliance of a great blues guitarist is to inject intense feeling into even the most mundane situations. I didn’t feel much from that show, for whatever reason.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh is such a well-rounded city. You can pursue nearly any interest you have. If you really put yourself out there, you’ll find it… not too much, not too little. My one gripe about Pittsburgh though is the bagels. The bagels here are absolutely awful.

 

 

 

Thanks, Andrew. It’s so wild to me what one person can do with the resources at their disposal. I am super impressed.

 

 

 

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Stuck in this tunnel, I think I’m in trouble
It’s all caving in, it ain’t nothin’ but rubble

Laroy Grayson Jr. is a poet/model/actor/writer/rapper/hip hop artist born and raised in Pittsburgh who writes his own songs and poems as evidenced on the just released first single entitled “Tunnels” (produced by DBK Beats) from his upcoming debut album. I want to thank Laroy for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

 

The first album you ever bought?
The first album I ever bought was Boyz II Men’s II. I bought it when I was only 10 years old. Boyz II Men are my favorite R&B group of all time and to this day, it’s still my favorite album.

Your last album bought?
Janet Jackson’s last album Unbreakable.

Favorite album of all time?
Boyz II Men’s II.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I don’t think I was ever disappointed with any album I ever bought.

First concert attended?
My mother took me to see James Brown when he performed at Three Rivers Stadium.

Last concert?
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. It was one of my favorite concerts because, not only are they my favorite hip hop group of all time but, I had front row seats and, I got to meet them after the show.

Favorite concert ever?
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

Least favorite concert?
I don’t have a least favorite. I liked them all.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
My favorite thoughts about Pittsburgh is, all the good times I had here growing up here in this city and, my favorite experiences in Pittsburgh, all of the fun experiences I had growing up in this city with family and friends.

 

 

 

Thanks, Laroy. First show a stadium show? That must have been quite an awakening of sorts?

 

 

 

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