Along with hosting a stage at the incredible Deutschtown Music Festival (much more on that soon), I am so excited to curate the stage at the fabulous Thunderbird Cafe during the R.A.N.T. – Rock All night Tour in Lawrenceville on August 15th for the fourth edition of the free festival. I will be announcing the bands I handpicked for the line-up and begin today with the openers of the evening, Summer Underground. I have featured the folk duo before on the blog when there fantastic album came out and I couldn’t be more thrilled that Grant and Chrissy are returning home to Pittsburgh to play the gig. Stay tuned for the rest of the line-up, which is going to be GREAT!
This was going to be one hell of an epic night of concerts shoots. I had six bands lined up at three different venues and all that ever came out of the entire evening was a couple of shots of Mitten soundchecking. Details are too sad (or lame) to convey here. If you ever see me out and have a burning desire to know what went down introduce yourself and ask. Until then, here’s my man Brendan’s account of what went down at the T-Bird.
The band has only played four locals gigs this year and I made it my mission to see every one of them. Steve is even considering designating me the honorary fifth member of the band. Billy Preston got nothing on me! More from the group in my end of the year wrap-up soon.
I was out and about on Friday and received an email blast from the band reminding me they were at the T’Bird. It’s been too long since I have seen them and popped in for a little bit. Looking forward to new music soon from the band.
I have been listening to the band’s latest a lot since I got it and for their release show they played the whole thing straight through, guest musicians and all. The fifth song on the album is quickly becoming my favorite song so far this year and it’s about collecting junk? Sweet.
Near of the end of the band’s set as they were blasting through one of their last songs, I remember wondering to myself, “Could this be the best band in Pittsburgh?” Do yourself a favor and catch these guys live. No matter if they are opening for Weezer or playing a bowling alley, they rock out as if their lives depended on it. So much fun. More photos here.
Tonight is the big release show for Chad and the boys at the T’Bird. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy last week and have been jamming it ever since. This is going to be a blast especially with Triggers supporting. There are articles here and here about the gig (with cool photos to boot!) The band was nice enough to participate in this ‘CD Release’ edition of First/Last Friday.
Thanks so much fellas. I love the new songs and I am really looking forward to hearing them live tonight.
I was really excited to see Big Hurry on this night as I haven’t seen them since their awesome CD release show a few months prior. I realized it was a school night and was thinking that I could stay out a tad past my bedtime to do so. When I found out the first of two openers wasn’t a band but just a dude on acoustic, I was actually digging it cause he won’t play longer than what…20 minutes? First, as always, the show started late. Second, he played for 50 minutes! C’mon! I gotta wake up at 5 A.M. here! No offense but you hear three bluesy acoustic folk tunes you’ve heard a million. Not to be a total jerk to the guy but I had to bail even before Neighbors finished. Oh well, my bitch session is done. I’ll go change my diaper now.
Misty and Nick are singer-songwriters who have shared the stage many times. They are collaborating on a project they are calling ‘Clyde’ named for a “deep, quiet shadow of Central Texas between Eula and Abeline on Highway 20” and bringing their show to Pittsburgh this weekend. Also on the bill will be The Wandering Bears from Iowa and local stalwarts Brewer’s Row. Misty and Nick were cool enough to participate in this edition of First/Last.
Thanks so much Misty and Nick. I am with you both 100% in regards to the Hohman family. Awesome people in an awesome band.
No one does rock and soul in Pittsburgh like my boys in Neighbours. Tomorrow night (5/20) the band is once again teaming up with their buddies in New Shouts to bring another fun filled dance party to Pittsburgh (Squirrel Hill to be exact). More info here.
Authentic blue-eyed soul from Beantown. This early evening show was the last of the band’s tour and the ‘WYEP presents…’ banner brought out the throngs of middle-aged fans like I’ve never seen before. This show was seriously packed, scary packed in fact, which I didn’t realize hugging the stage. It wasn’t until I tried to leave the venue when I saw how many people showed up. Unofficial count was almost 200. That’s a lot of bodies at the ‘bird. More photos here.
New Shouts are a local band you really have to hear. If you haven’t, I have a feeling you will soon enough. They are so much fun live and you can check them out a few times this month here and here. Word is new music is going to ‘leak’ from them next week. Twitter them to be the first to hear it.
Neighbours opened this night with their hip, soulful, and infectiously fun as hell music. My absolutely favorite aspect of going to shows is seeing a band for the first time, not knowing a single note from them and coming away a fan. I am really looking forward to seeing them again. Listen to some live love here.
This band headlined one of the most joyous nights of music I have seen in a long while. With two other awesome Pittsburgh bands on the bill, who I will feature over the next two days, this turned out to be one of the best shows I saw last year. Without any ‘official’ musical output available from any of the bands at the show, I cannot wait to hear what they come up with soon. I am hoping to bring you some studio shots of the Pastries working on their debut in the future!
Tomorrow night there’s going to be a super cool retro indie band spectacular at the Thunderbird. Sharing a bill will be Delicious Pastries, New Shouts and Neighbours. Neighbours is a relatively new band on the local scene and the group’s drummer Andy Mulkerin was cool enough to participate in this ‘throwback’ edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
I remember having cassingles of a few things — a Roxette song, I think, and a couple Nirvana singles — but for whatever reason, I remember the first album I bought on CD for myself being John Mellencamp’s Human Wheels. What a bad album.
Your last album bought?
I end up getting a lot of albums for free because of my job writing about music … I didn’t buy it but I think maybe the most recent album I’ve gotten and given a lot of attention to was Sharon Van Etten’s new “Epic.” That was a pretty dick-sounding answer, eh?
Favorite album of all time?
Oooh, this changes regularly but I’ll say Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks right now because it’s an album I love in winter and it’s definitely winter now.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Of ALL TIME? There are so many bad albums out there, and I hear so many, it’s hard to pick one! I might say that I was really disappointed by the Retribution Gospel Choir album that was released earlier this year, not because it’s an irredeemably bad record but because it has two songs that are absolute gems, then a bunch of stuff that’s forgettable and a couple tracks that are downright bad. And because it’s the best-sounding album I heard this year — the best production. Seeing the potential for that band — and I respect Alan Sparhawk and think he’s great — then hearing what most of the tracks sound like is pretty disappointing.
First concert attended?
Bo Diddley at the rib cook-off at South Park when I was four or five.
Well, we played with Mermaids and Clovers a couple weeks ago at Gooski’s. The last show I attended but didn’t play was Scott Simons and Justin Andrew Band at Club Cafe.
Favorite concert ever?
Seeing Q and Not U in a basement in Oakland in 2002 was pretty incredible for me. Another game-changer was Rhys Chatham, Jonathan Kane and Tony Conrad at the Warhol in 2006 or so.
Least favorite concert?
The Black Crowes and the Levon Helm Band at the Trib Amphitheater in 2009. I loved the Black Crowes growing up, and I like their studio output to this day, but the 10-minute guitar solo, jam-band stuff is totally not my bag. Levon Helm Band was decent but poor Levon (who’s a throat cancer survivor) was sidelined with laryngitis, so he couldn’t sing. The highlight was a version of “The Weight” they did with Chris Robinson singing — I guess I’m glad I caught that, but the Crowes’ set was insufferable (as was the crowd).
Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
The thing I like best about Pittsburgh as far as music goes is, I think, the fact that no matter what “scene” you look at, everyone’s very concerned about helping one another: promoting one another’s work, being friends with one another, doing benefit shows when someone’s in need. It’s not a cutthroat thing where there’s a lot of competition between bands; there are cliques, sure, and people from disparate ends of the scene don’t always see eye-to-eye, but usually on a human level people get along really well.
Thanks a bunch Andy. CASSINGLES! I totally thought they were such an environmental waste! Good riddance. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow bud.
So my bucket lists gets smaller with finally being able to see this band. They were just so damn good. The songs from their recent albums sound incredible live. As a bonus, they were really sweet people who were genuinely appreciative of playing in Pittsburgh after so many years. I would love for them to stop here more often.
My friends in Lohio are doing the seemingly more popular Kickstarter route to raise funds for the production of a professional music video for the song Adelai off their awesome new EP. There are all kinds of unique rewards to entice you to donate to the cause and with 8 days to go, they still need to raise around $1300. For what it’s worth, they are way cool and talented people so you can feel real good about helping them out. Get the all the info here. I have set up an easy to view widget of their remaining progress to the left of this page. Some way cool video here.
My first time seeing Damien play and I have to say that I really enjoyed his set. He has a very low-key stage presence but remarkably engaged the audience with his delicate songs. He begrudgingly granted a few requests from the crowd because he said that we were nice people. I met him and his wife after the show and they were nice as well.
Images courtesy Robert Loerzel
I mentioned in my Radar Brothers post last month that they were among a handful of bands that I was finally able to see live after many years of wanting to. This Saturday, can I can conveniently scratch two more off. Shearwater and Damien Jurado are touring together and bringing the show to Pittsburgh at the T’Bird (with local favs Lohio no less!). This should be an incredible show and and may very well sell out, so be warned. Both Jonathan and Damien were very cool to take some time and participate in the ever growing phenomena that is First/Last.
Thanks so much, fellas. I am extremely stoked for the show. See you Saturday.