“Working Breed is a scintillating quintet from Pittsburgh, writing eclectic rock utilizing guitar, bass, drums, keys, synth, lush 3-part harmonies, trombone, trumpet, musical saw, and whatever else they get our hands on. Leading ladies Erika Laing and Chelsea Attwood combine their multi-instrumental musical talents with guitarist Mike Dugan, bassist Jonah Petrelli, and drummer Sam Stein, coalescing to form unique songs that hop from country leaning indie to brass-laden space jams to spy music to french acoustic reggae. There is no sound off-bounds for this genre-bending group!”

Working Breed is a Pittsburgh indie band who throw the sink at any definable genre and come up with their own unique (and awesome) sound. Get a taste by checking out their first EP “METHOD: observation“. This is the rare band that can play a three plus hour set and not have to repeat songs… believe me, I have seen them do it. They will play a ‘regular’ set this Wednesday (5/6) at Howler’s with fellow blog faves Pete Bush & the Hoi Polloi and Black Little Birds. I want to thank Chelsea Lynn Attwood (Guitar/Keys/Vocals) 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 The Who, “Tommy”. I rawked that rock opera so hard. I thought I was a pinball wizard.

Your last album bought?

Andrew Bird, “Things Are Really Great Here, Aren’t They…” I’ve always been mesmerized by his style. The way he melds his words and vocals into the music itself has been an inspiration to my writing process. There are times that the tones in his voice and his violin are indistinguishable from each other. It’s a good one.

Favorite album of all time?

I have toiled over this question at times to try to whittle it down to one favorite album… and I usually end up opting for the ‘High Fidelity’ approach (top 5). There are so many different reasons that I love an album. There are those albums that I have obsessed over and had to listen to on repeat because of what it did for me at that particular time in my life. There are the albums that I grew up listening to from the womb and know every nuance and change almost instinctively. There are also the distinctions between music genres that are important to me because of my musical ADHD… going from folk in its many forms, to 60s psychedelic rock, to the 80s and then again 2000’s New Wave, French acoustic reggae, to early R&B and hip hop, the list of interests and obsessions go on. So, if I had to choose one album that no matter where I am in my life… from the darkest moments, to the excitement of change, from my understanding of love and the world around me as a teen to where I am in my thirties… it would have to be Joni Mitchell, “Blue”. There is a feeling that the stories she has created within every song on this album have been written for me and only me in such an intimate way. Her vocal range and vocal melodies put me in a state of awe every time I listen to it. My favorite album.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

Weezer, “The Green Album”. “The Blue Album” was pretty amazing but “Pinkerton” was on repeat through most of my life. I loved this 90s rock band and all of their quirky nerdiness. I had some real moments of wishing I was the half-Japanese girl that did it to them every time. I remember talking to my brother about how excited we were that they were finally coming out with a new album. I remember going down to the Music Oasis the day it came out, we put it on in the parking lot, and we literally heard the wah wah wahhhhh come out of the speakers. I was so disappointed. It only got worse after that. Didn’t they do a State Farm Insurance commercial recently? Gross. As an honorary mention… Zwan, “Mary Star of the Sea”. What was the deal with that move Billy Corgan?

First concert attended?

The first concert I ever attended with my parents was James Taylor.I think I slept through the whole thing… so sad. The first solo concert I attended was No Doubt, the ‘Tragic Kingdom Tour’. I was star struck and so very much in seventh grade. I think I started wearing plaid pants afterthat day.

Last concert?

Talib Kweli with Rapsody and Jasiri X. It was a concert put on by the Pittsburgh hip hop collective and OneHood Academy, at the Kelly Strayhorn theater. Pretty amazing energy and positivity in the air there. It was also cool to have seen Rapsody before her big debut as the only featured artist on Kendrick Lamar’s latest album.

Favorite concert ever?

Another question with too many answers. So I will say the first ones that came up for me… David Byrne toured after his album called “Look into the Eyeball”. Blew my mind. What a show to have experienced by one of the most prolific and innovative artists out there. Summer time, outside, barefoot.

The second one that comes up for me is The Flaming Lips. If you didn’t have the opportunity to see them before they have apparently gotten “tired”, (I have yet to prove this, only have read reviews of their more recent shows) then you have missed out on a wild circus ride of shows. People dressed up as animals, oversized balloons all over the crowd, wild psychedelic videos, what a ride!

Least favorite concert?

I really hate to say this, being that I hold a lot of his music and writing up on a pedestal as some of the best, but Bob Dylan. Twice. There I said it. He needs to stop charging people to see his shows. Best to leave it to the old record player. Which I think everyone should experience at one point in their lives.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

I have had an ever changing attitude toward Pittsburgh. I was born here, and despite some extended trips away and living away for a time or two, I have mostly made this my home as a young, and now “official” adult. I will go ahead and speak for a lot of 412-ers of my generation who have gone through loathing, then loving, then loathing, then loving again. And then loving again. There is something about the place that does draw you back… the people. There is something about the ability to strike up a conversation with someone at the grocery store, or bar, or restaurant, or any random place and time, and you will create a friendship, create a whole new idea, bring someone into a new project that is just starting up, that is unlike any other place I’ve spent time. Maybe it’s called community. Maybe it’s called blue collared roots, or grass roots, or maybe it’s just being real. Whatever it is called, there is a sense that no matter where you go in this town, you will inevitably feel at home.

Thanks, Chelsea. I must admit, I am not familiar with that Byrne album… gonna have to check it out based on your glowing recommendation.

The Deutschtown Music Festival Fundraiser with Working Breed, André Costello and the Cool Minors, Chet Vincent & The Big Bend and Big Gypsy at the Andy Warhol Museum on Saturday, April 11, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Deutschown Music Festival returns this year to take over the North Side of Pittsburgh on Saturday, July 11, 2015. The organizers of the event are hoping to be able to pay the bands this third year and they have launched an ambitious Indiegogo campaign to do just that. Let’s SUPPORT PITTSBURGH MUSIC and help spread the word. They also put on shows leading up to the fest and this one featured some of my favorite local bands. The revelation this particular night was my first time seeing the powerhouse quartet Big Gypsy. They are a smoking soul stirring blues-rock band that is quickly and deservedly gaining popularity. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

Working Breed

Ben Harrison of the Warhol Museum

André Costello and the Cool Minor

Chet Vincent & The Big Bend

Big Gypsy