Superstar is an underdog story, and one not far off from Caroline Roseâs real life. After a years-long struggle to release what would ultimately become 2018âs LONER, deemed âa singular artistic statement from itâs unforgettable album art all the way downâ (Pitchfork), Rose found herself in the midst of a new widespread audience, one both delightfully intrigued and perplexed about how and where to place her. That, combined with a developed set of studio skills and a challenge to âmake something from nothing,â marked the beginning of Superstar. Gone are the polished Hollywood hunks and starlets of olde. Here is a shamelessly odd hero, or rather anti-hero, on a quest to become a someone.
Inspired by cult classics such as The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, Mulholland Drive and the mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous, Superstar plays out like a film with a beginning, middle, and an open ending. In album opener âNothingâs Impossible,â the protagonist receives a mistaken phone call from the glamorous Chateau Marmont hotel. Taking the call as a sign toward a star-studded future, they (gender neutral pronoun) leave behind everything in pursuit of a newly established destiny.
What ensues is a cinematic paradox that in one moment finds them strutting down a neon strip in full Saturday Night Fever hip-swing donned in their finest threads, and the next sipping a dirty martini at the rundown apartment complex pool, dwelling on lifeâs unfortunate turns. Itâs a narrative Rose pulled directly from the somewhat shameless desires of her own growing ambition, as well as the public breakdowns of several notable celebrities. âTo me, the satire is in what weâll do and put up with in order to be successful. I wanted to make a story out of those parts of myself that are for the most part undesirable, then inject them with steroids.â
Rose worked on the album in order of the storyâs timeline, ensuring each track represented a chapter of the narrative in her head. Songs bursting with self-aggrandizement often reveal moments of vulnerability. âFeel The Way I Wantâ leads us with boisterous confidence through heartache by refusing to let pain get the best of us. Disguised as a Prince-infused bop, âDo You Think Weâll Last Forever?â expresses the uncertainty and anxiety that come with seeing a new partner, ending in a full blown freakout of bottled up nervous energy. The S&M-fueled love song âFreak Like Meâ and the darkly comedic âCommand Zâ ultimately expose a fragile person coming to terms with their own humanity. Rose sings, âI looked around at all the people there / as I thought everyone we know will know will someday be dead / God, I just donât want it to end / Undo, Iâm gonna do it againâ.
Rose began formulating the songs and ideas for a sequel-esque follow-up to LONER in between the bandâs near-incessant touring schedule, from playing sold out headline shows across the country and beyond, to becoming fan favorites at some of the worldâs biggest festivals. âTwo years ago I started touring with nothing, not knowing if Iâd even have a career. Then all of a sudden we were playing to hundreds of people in a town Iâd never heard of. The whole thing was fascinating. It got me thinking, just how much can you build from nothing?â As a result, Superstar was written, recorded and produced by Rose in her 10âx12â home studio, as well as on a portable rig sheâd set up in green rooms while on tour.
Superstar is a bigger, badder, glitter-filled cinematic pop record for weirdos. âI realized at some point that Iâm not going to fit into any one box, and maybe thatâs a good thing. This new record is me embracing feeling like an outsider making my own path,â Rose says. One part satire, one part self-reflection, Roseâs anti-hero personifies much of what we as casual on-lookers are wont to poke fun at, dismiss or denigrate, yet deep down likely aspire to be. Someone who, whether warranted or not, refuses to let anyone dictate their own lifeâs narrative.
Twin Peaks with Special Guests ROOKIE, James Swanberg - Presented by 91.3 WYEP, Opus One & PromoWest North Shore
Chicagoâs Twin Peaks have gleefully embraced change ever since their 2010 formation to become one of the cityâs most essential rock bands. With their fourth album Lookout Low, the sonic and creative leap the five-piece takes feels like a total revolution in their youthful sound. The 10-track effort was recorded and cut live over three weeks in Wales with legendary producer Ethan Johns. Thanks to the bandâs dedicated approach to rehearsing and demoing out their material before hitting the studio, the songs burst with life and the undeniable magic of their live show.
2016's Down In Heaven connected with audiences in a big way, seeing the band taking over late night on CONAN, while landing festival slots at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo & Coachella, and tours supporting luminaries like Spoon, Cage The Elephant, and Wilco.
Armed with four excellent and collaborative songwriters, each member upped their game on Lookout Low. Guitarist Cadien Lake Jamesâ mind-bending opener âCaseyâs Grooveâ is expansive and reassuring, bassist Jack Dolanâs âUnfamiliar Sunâ is patient and affecting, guitarist Clay Frankel translates heartache into catharsis on the title track, while multi-instrumentalist Colin Croom reaches new performing heights on âFerry Song.â Lookout Low shows that Twin Peaks is less a band and more a brotherhood, one thatâs endured for almost a decade.
The Calm Before The Storm - A Night of Irish Traditional Music and Song with Mark Dignam & Friends
Born in Ireland, Mark Dignam grew up in the adventurous North Side Dublin suburb of Finglas, His father was a truck driver, his Mother was a typical Irish housewife of the time, except she sang around the house â a lot.
A noticeable vocal talent led him to dream big and to leave the neighborhood as soon as he possibly could, finding a very cheap (read - no heat!) apartment in an old Georgian tenement in the city center, at the age of 18.
First, busking on city streets for pocket change and exposure, along with his friends, Glen Hansard (The Frames, The Swell Season, Oscar winner for best song for the indie movie - Once), Mic Christopher (The Mary Janes), KIla (Irish Traditional supergroup) among others; they quickly became the darlings of Grafton Street, a well-known center, of Dublin busking,; counting among their audience such luminaries as The Waterboys, Van Morrison, and Sinead O'Connor.
Mark struck out on his own in the nineties, releasing the acclaimed Poetry and Songs From the Wheel in 1995. The album, named a top ten best debut of 1995 by Ireland's Hot Press Magazine, cementing Mark's reputation as a powerful voice on the singer/songwriter circuit.
He's continued to release records, from 1997's In a Time of Overstatement, a stark collection of spiritual and political musings, to 2005's Box Heart Man, chosen as one of WYEP Pittsburgh's top picks for 2005. Mark has been invited to open for, or tour with: The Swell Season, David Gray, Billy Bragg, Joan Armatrading, Richard Thompson, Mike Nichols (of The Alarm) among others...
Fit For A King: Dark Skies Tour with Special Guests Chelsea Grin, Crystal Lake, Alpha Wolf
FIT FOR A KING use the tools of heavy music and melodic hooks to honestly explore the dark side of the human experience, ultimately wrenching timeless hope from the jaws of anxiety, depression, and seemingly certain despair.
No matter the pristine picture of self-worth we project, in the unquenchable pursuit of recognition and affirmation, the gnawing anxiousness of guilt and brokenness chews away at our spirits, uncovering new pain and vulnerability.
Dark Skies is FIT FOR A KINGâs evocative declaration of a hard won victory. âThis album is far from happy. Itâs about personal struggles,â explains singer Ryan Kirby. âIt touches on many subjects relevant to all of our daily lives.â
The music and message of FIT FOR A KING is a battle cry against the darkness. This is a sound that stands in defiance of the mounting pressure of modern life, not through dismissiveness or easy answers, but with earnest struggle. The four young men of FIT FOR A KING are just like the rest of us. They hurt, they bleed, and in that raw transparent authenticity, they offer true solidarity. Beneath the most vicious downpour, they cling to unrelenting grace.
Like trailblazing metalcore giants Underoath and As I Lay Dying before them, FIT FOR A KING skillfully mine the varying extremes of this music, building a catalog that sees them at home on tours with hard rock and deathcore bands alike. The band has traveled the United States and Europe with Vans Warped Tour, Beartooth, Every Time I Die, August Burns Red, The Amity Affliction, Whitechapel, For Today, After The Burial, and Attila to name a few.
Kirby, guitarist Bobby Lynge, drummer Jared Easterling, and bassist/vocalist Ryan âTuckâ OâLeary are easygoing and affable on the road, effortlessly maneuvering within the various social circles with goodwill and charm, without sacrificing an ounce of what they believe or who they are. Itâs something the Texas bandâs growing following respects. Simply put, FIT FOR A KING is real.
FIT FOR A KING was built with bootstrap ethics and do-it-yourself vigor. On the strength of self-released material, the group joined Solid State for a string of successful albums that connected with the downtrodden and dispossessed. Creation/Destruction (2013) debuted at Number 6 on the Hard Rock chart. Slave to Nothing (2014) cracked the Top 50 of Billboardâs Top Current Albums. Deathgrip (2016) climbed to Number 5 among Hard Rock Albums.
Recorded with celebrated producer/mixer Drew Fulk (I Prevail, Motionless In White, Memphis May Fire), Dark Skies is a collection of diverse anthems powered by the undeniable weight of truth-telling emotional vulnerability.
âTower of Painâ takes unbridled heaviness to breathtaking heights. âShattered Glassâ is a killer throwback to the bandâs most aggressive earlier work. Songs like âPrice of Agonyâ see the quartet soaring to new melodic heights with unrestrained urgency. âAnthem of the Defeatedâ veers in yet another direction, evoking the percussive power of Slipknot or Mudvayne. Yet all of it is anchored in FIT FOR A KINGâs signature sound, one their fans trust.
âDebts of the Soulâ is an examination of the sleeplessness that comes with ruminations on the nature of death. âWhen Everything Means Nothingâ is a challenge to unplug from the vapid desperation of putting on a front online. âOblivionâ is one of the most faith-based songs the band has released. The songâs narrator pleads in the chorus, âTell me I wonât be forgotten.â Itâs a
reminder of the grace of God and the power of true forgiveness without end.
No matter the political divisions, the staggering alienation arising from our paradoxical and increasingly âconnectedâ world, or the mistakes we all make, FIT FOR A KING offer a foundation of open-mindedness and compassion.
âWe're a very transparent band. We arenât pretending to be something we're not,â says Kirby. âWe don't want to act like rock stars and we also don't want to act like we're poor musicians that can barely eat everyday. We donât portray a false image. We want people to know exactly who we are.â
FIT FOR A KING cherishes unwavering honesty. Even under Dark Skies.
Lucy Wainwright Roche with Special Guest Kalyani Singh
Those familiar with Lucy Wainwright Roche are aware of her bell tone voice, her unshakable melodies, and her knack for wise, wry lyrics that clench the heart. Itâs no surprise that Wainwright Roche is the daughter of Suzzy Roche (The Roches) and Loudon Wainwright III, half sibling to Rufus and Martha Wainwright. She grew up steeped in music.
But Lucy has carved out her own career as a touring singer/songwriter and recording artist, having sold over 50 thousand copies of her four critically acclaimed solo recordings released on her own label: Eight Songs, Eight More, Lucy, and Thereâs a Last Time for Everything. Other recordings include a collaboration with her sister Martha Wainwright on Songs In the Dark, a collection of lullabies, and two duet recordings with her mother Suzzy Roche: Fairytale and Myth (winner of Vox Pop Independent Music Awards) and most recently Mud and Apples.
For over a decade, as a solo act, armed with a guitar, a deadpan sense of humor, killer songs, and a voice that makes tough guys cry, sheâs built a solid following across the US and Europe. As an opening act she has often appeared with such luminaries as the Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Neko Case, and sheâs one of a few who can step out alone in front of a thousand strangers and play an entire set to a rapt audience.
Now, on her new 2018 release Little Beast (2019 Independent Music Award winner, âBest Albumâ Singer-Songwriter/Folk category), Lucy ups the ante with a dynamic, emotional recording masterfully and artfully co-produced with Jordan Brooke Hamlin. This collection of songs is an urgent and poetic call to a world gone awry. The journey from song to song is downright cinematic. One minute she eases us in with her flat-footed authenticity, and the next she lets loose with her wild side, and we imagine her howling at the moon. In Heroin, the first single from Little Beast, Lucy Wainwright Roche is hugging hairpin turns on the outside lane and you know itâs true. Sometimes chasing love is dangerous business:
Itâs the Million Dollar Highway on a snowy day
Itâs why I had to go, itâs why I longed to stay
There are many standouts on Little Beast: Heroin, Quit with Me, In Relation to Disaster, Trouble, Behind the Wheel, and Ohio is for Lovers are a few, but perhaps Soft Line, a wrenching plea to a lost love as it slips away, is the most haunting track. Simply put, the song is a dagger to the heart:
Watch out or the sun will set
On the picture we tried to get
On the story of why we metâ¦
Thereâs nothing âlittle âabout Lucy Wainwright Rocheâs Little Beast. Itâs fierce, unflinching, and will undoubtedly place her squarely at the top of her game.
The Districts with Special Guests And The Kids, Same - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP
"You Know Iâm Not Going Anywhere is an unachievable promise,â says The Districts bandleader Rob Grote. âItâs about a dream for love to last forever and a yearning to postpone death. It is about wanting to escape everyday life while also craving time with one whoâs present. Itâs a plea to remain the same in the face of constant change, and the certainty of going nowhere fast.â Written after playing nearly 200 shows over two years in support of their 2017 album, Popular Manipulations, The Districtsâ fourth full-length You Know Iâm Not Going Anywhere almost never arrived.
As they began to contemplate a new album, Grote and his longtime bandmates Pat Cassidy (guitar), Connor Jacobus (bass), and Braden Lawrence (drums) faced a transitional period that was painful for both personal and professional reasons, and found themselves fatigued and disoriented as a group. Grote also felt dysphoric from the anxiety-provoking state of the world today, while facing a daily battle with the dire health problems of his beloved dog. The Districts were forced to rethink everything. âThis album was written as an escape and as reassurance. I was falling in love with someone new and trying to juggle this desperate desire to escape with the need to show up in my life. Itâs pretty damn hard to be present and completely checked out all at once,â Grote explains. âIt felt like much of my world had reached such a pitch that all I could do was try to tune it out. I felt really uncertain about the future of the band and super detached from much of what I used to identify with, on a personal level and with our music. I was thinking, âDo I want to keep doing music?â âDo I want to keep doing it in this context?ââ
Grote retreated to his bedroom and started writing with no objective other than to create. Free from expectations, and with an acoustic guitar, synthesizer, and drum machine at hand, he discovered a newfound creative freedom. âOriginally, I had no intention of them even being a record. It was strictly a process of trying to connect to something outside of and larger than myselfâkind of this rocky imbalance of isolating myself while trying to maintain connections as time rushed on. There was a lot of back and forth between working as a group and not feeling capable of doing that,â reflects Grote. âI ended up taking these recordings super far along, whereas normally I would almost compulsively share them with my bandmates as soon as I had an idea. This time I was sitting on them and putting work into them in a way that I hadnât known I enjoyed doing.â
He ended up with a batch of 32 songs; but, these songs didnât sound like âThe Districts.â Yet to his surprise, when Grote later played early demos for his bandmates, they loved them. Turns out these were Districts songs, and the Philadelphia-based band later decamped to a cabin in Red Hook, N.Y., where they recorded and produced the lionâs share of the album themselves alongside frequent collaborator Keith Abrams.
While You Know Iâm Not Going Anywhere builds on preceding albums, it takes an ambitious leap to a new level, exhibiting a widened sense of experimentation and expansiveness at its heart. Thereâs Rhodes, Mellotron, strings, samples, drum machines, tape loops, Wurlitzer, âambient swells,â piano, synthesizers; Grote lists 12 instruments next to his name alone. Airy and understated, discordant and exuberant, and earnest all at once, You Know Iâm Not Going Anywhere is the culmination of The Districtsâ growth and maturation through milestones and setbacks alike.
The haunting, atmospheric opener âMy Only Ghostâ is an ode to the secrets and memories we share with the ones weâve lost; the rapturous, pulsating âVelour and Velcroâ is a love song about the unknown future weâre all riding into; and the stripped-back âDescendâ deals with death and separation. The songwriting sees Grote drawing a sort of spiritual comfort from music and creativity as he worked. Despite the songâs dark undertones, the ânihilist discoâ of âCheap Regretsâ finds The Districts as electrifying as ever. âThe act of writing a song, trying to sculpt something out of the human experience, can feel quite vain. So do the extremes of American culture, which constantly reinforces the self. The mirror reconfirms you. It's all iPhones, selfies, and mirrors,â says Grote. âThis song is a criticism of the divisions that result from a self-oriented society and an attempt to transcend them, while simultaneously being an example of these very ideas. The song is the statue to the self; it is about itself.â
Credit also to Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Spoon, MGMT), whose mix expertly layered all of the elements into a cohesive whole. Thatâs most obvious in the subtle, synth-laden psychedelia of album standout âHey Jo,â which floats on plucked guitars and Groteâs airy vocals before kicking into a rousing, Wall Of Sound chorus where he tunefully repeats âFuck my head.â The song nods to Grote favorites like Lee Hazlewood and Harry Nilsson. âAll of their arrangements are surreal in a way thatâs not relying on normal psychedelic things,â he says.
Pulling from the propulsive Popular Manipulations, the jagged indie rock of 2015âs A Flourish and a Spoil, and the rootsy vibe of their 2012 debut, Telephone, the band here followed their creative instincts every step of the way, resulting in their most sophisticated and adventurous record to date. âI really just needed to be myself instead of being what someone else thought I should be, whether that was like some masculine bar-band singer orâ¦ I donât know,â Grote says, laughing. âI just want to be myself, and I want to try and do that as best as I can. This record is paradoxically the most-Districts record ever with no intention of ever being one at all. Itâs about breaking free from how youâre seen, always being yourself first and holding on to who you areâbut also about coming together as a whole and putting your 'self' aside. Doing all that, Iâve realized, âOh, this is how I want to make music from now on!ââ
Harmonica player and singer/songwriter Kim Wilson is as much a student and historian of classic blues as he is one of the U.S.âs top blues harmonica players and vocalists. Well known as the lead vocalist/front man for The Fabulous Thunderbirds, he wrote the groups only top 40 hit "Tuff Enuff".
His harmonica playing is loaded with the textures of a full-blown horn section, leading his band that delivers blues styles popular immediately after World War II and willfully expands on those 12-bar precepts, historians at one turn, jazzy improvisers at another, emphasizing the elasticity of the blues rather than its structure. Donât miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to catch this dynamic band featuring the guitarist Dean Shot (Hubert Sumlin, Junior Watson, Mark Hummel, The Solid Senders), upright bassist Mike Law (Nick Moss, Mud Morganfield), and drummer Chris Rivelli (John Nemeth, Roomful Of Blues, Janiva Magness) in an intimate setting
Mod Sun with Special Guests 7715, New Hippys (LostInVegas, Winter Havens & Jimmy Bennett), Pablo Dylan, Aye B
What began as a solo album about the painful slow dance of the unraveling of a relationship turned into something altogether different when Richard Swift, Rateliffâs longtime friend and producer of the Night Sweatsâ two albums, passed away in July 2018. This period jogged something out of his restless subconscious, helping him address some big life questions -- the ones that have stumped philosophers, statesmen and profound thinkers since time began, exploring the unsteady terrain of love and death. But in the end, what he really was doing was creating an homage to his friend. Summing up, Rateliff says, âI think this album is a reminder that we all go through hardship, but regardless of the hardship everything ends up where itâs supposed to. Regardless of where Iâm at after Richardâs death and my divorce, and getting older, I still continue to live and I still continue to find joy. I think thatâs the theme of the record.â The new record, âAnd Itâs Still Alright,â is out February 14th, 2020.
Growing up in rural Missouri, Nathaniel Rateliff got his early music education from his family, who performed in the church band in which Rateliff played drums, and his fatherâs record collection. At 19, Rateliff moved to Denver where he spent the next ten years working night shifts at a bottle factory and a trucking company while testing out songs at open-mic nights. Preceding the emergence of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Nathaniel released three albums and an EP; Desire and Dissolving Men (2007), In Memory of Loss (2010), Falling Faster Than You Can Run (2013) and the Closer EP (2014). The solo releases received critical praiseâ Vanity Fair proclaimed, âWe were blown away,â while Paste furthered, âRateliffâs rich voice and his bandmatesâ textured harmonies sound like long and comfortable conversations.â and the New York Times declared, âPensive, Rousing, Stark, Eloquentâ¦Cash Echoes.â
ZZ Ward didnât have to look far for inspiration on her second full-length album, 2017âs The Storm. Equally evocative of blues grit and hip-hop bounce, the Los Angeles-based vocal powerhouse and multi-instrumentalist leapt forward by taking a deeper look at some of her earliest inspirationsâincluding Howlinâ Wolf, Robert Johnson, Vera Ward Hall and Big Mama Thornton.
âFor me, this album wasnât really about experimenting,â she admits. âIt was more about simplicity, honing in on what I love about music and what makes me who I am as an artist. Growing up, I listened to a lot of hip-hop and blues, and I love those two genres so much. Sometimes, to evolve you donât need to go outside of yourself; you can reach further inside of yourself instead.â
Itâs a realization earned over a whirlwind five years. The Fedora-rocking, guitar-shredding, harmonica-wielding blues siren peppered an old backporch musical recipe with hip-hop urgency and hashtaggable wisdom on her 2012 mixtape Eleven Roses. Followed by her full-length debut Til The Casket Drops yielded a veritable hit in the form of âPut The Gun Down.â The latter generated 7.4 million-plus Spotify streams and held strong in the Top 10 of AAA radio for 10 weeks as well as receiving over 100 high-profile licensing placements and syncs, including the feature film Weâre The Millers. Kendrick Lamar [âCryin Wolfâ] and Freddie Gibbs [âCriminalâ] were quick to collaborate, while Rolling Stone, Guitar World, Elle, Interview Magazine, USA Today, NPR and more extolled her. She lit up the screen on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Conan, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, The View, and many others and practically set stages ablaze on tours with Eric Clapton, Gary Clark, Jr., and Fitz & The Tantrums and at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Made In America.
Coming off the road, she decided to open up more than ever before.
âAll of my favorite artists would tell real stories,â she goes on. âI wanted to talk about similar things that were close to my heart. Every song became something I experienced. Iâve had my slew of disappointing relationships, times when I was pissed off, heart broken and times when I felt a false sense of euphoria. There are times when you struggle with yourself or with somebody else. I wanted to pour all of those emotions into my music, stay true to my roots, and tap into what inspired me in the first place.â
Capturing this vision, ZZ recorded around L.A. at different studios and at home over the course of 2015 and 2016. She re-teamed with previous collaborators such as Blended Babies [Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi], Neff-U [Eminem, Dr Dre], Ludwig Goransson [Childish Gambino, Haim] and Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz & The Tantrums in addition to Warren âOakâ Felder of Pop & Oak [Kehlani, Alicia Keys, Alessia Cara] for the first time. âIt was all about getting that raw emotion,â she exclaims.
The first new single âThe Deepâ [feat. Joey Purp] emerged as a welcome surprise for fans, bottling the creative burst of confessional crooning and clever rap wordplay that defined Eleven Roses. A sample of The Charmelsâ âAs Long As Iâve Got Youâ draped in classic slide guitar scorches as ZZ sings, âDonât know how much I can take, but I need itâ before finger-snaps elevate the harmony. Kicking off 2017, W called it, âher most candid body of work yet,â and The Fader praised its âspectacular effect.â
"'The Deep' is about feeling trapped in a relationship that I knew was no good for me,â she sighs. âI met someone that made me lose control of myself. When I wrote the song, we noticed something really haunting about The Charmels' 'As Long As I've Got You,' and we just had to sample it. I thought Joey would be perfect to bring a fiery passion and flavor to the song."
Elsewhere on the record, she serves up a gospel-style plea on the stirring and stark âHelp Me Mama.â ââHelp Me Mamaâ is about my personal revelation that not everything in life is what it seems. Growing up I had expectations about what my relationships should be like with other people, the world and even myself. Realizing nothing would ever be perfect, I had to take control of my life and, unlike when I was a kid, Mama isnât always going to be around to solve my problems.
Her booming delivery on âCannonballâ [featuring 2017 Grammy-Award winning blues artist Fantastic Negrito] belies a delicate admission of admittedly being used by someone to pass the time.
Meanwhile, âDominoâ [feat. Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz & The Tantrums] hits us right in the heart. âFitz and I wrote this song about recurring relationships that weâd had in our pasts that left us feeling unsatisfied,â she adds. âI spent many sleepless nights feeling like there was something more out there for me. This song talks about the hopeless journey I faced trying to find the right person.â
In the end, The Storm represents ZZ at her core. âThis album as a whole really reflects much of the internal and external conflict that I've experienced. I feel like I dug deeper into what means the most to me,â she leaves off. âI hope that my stories connect with people out there and help them know they arenât alone in these struggles. Thatâs what I can give to the world. Storms come and storms pass, it's how you weather them that defines you and makes you stronger.â
Street Fight Radio: The #1 Anarcho-Comedy Show Across the Nation Presented by Opus One Comedy
The #1 anarcho-comedy show across the nation, Street Fight Radio is a pro-worker, anti-establishment comedy radio show and podcast that has been broadcasting on 92.7 WCRS in Columbus Ohio since 2010.
Street Fight Radio is Brett Payne, radio personality, activist, and stay at home dad, and Bryan Quinby, radio host, comedian, and all around nice guy. Hailing from columbus, ohio, Street Fight Radio has been reporting street level news about the day to day life of working people and the struggle to get by, while also finding the lighter side of horrible bosses, the ever growing wage gap, cryptozoology, drug laws, barefoot legality, hustling, and everything in between.
Street Fight Radio does livestreams two nights a week, one of them, called the basement show, is where things started. The other is a 3 hour call-in show every Sunday, and callers are invited to share stories about the Small Business Tyrants and minor authority figures meddling in their lives and money advice for people without a savings account. They packed houses in cities across the United States, including New Orleans, Chicago, Portland, and New York City. The Street Fight universe has expanded into print media with the monthly produced Street Fight Zine, and just last year started the Undercover Business Tyrant video series.
Against Me! with Special Guests Stef Chura, Essential Machine - Presented by Opus One & WPTS Radio
With a GRAMMY nomination under his belt and two major label albums to his credit, Brent Cobb is embarking this spring on a stripped back acoustic tour in seated venues with the assist of an accompanist. He decided that it was important for his fan base to hear the songs showcased the way they were written, giving his award winning lyrics their due. The tour will kick off in Austin, Texas this February and run through the month of March.
Cobbâs songwriting career does not begin and end with his solo accomplishments. Brent has also secured cuts with Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, and Lee Ann Womack, and toured with artists like Chris Stapleton and Margo Price. He received a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album for 2016âs Shine On Rainy Day, and issued his most personal album yet, 2018âs Providence Canyon.
As 2019 was winding down, he dropped the single âFeet Off the Groundâ with Jade Bird, released a three-part video series called Come Home Soon, and completed his headlining Sucker for a Good Time Tour.
He credits his touring history for inspiring the quicker pace of the material on Providence Canyon. âIâve always liked the funkier side of country and the funkier side of rock,â he explains. âThose influences have been a part of me for years, but theyâre really coming to the forefront now. When youâre touring with Chris Stapleton, and youâre performing to a crowd of 10,000 people before he hits the stage, you find yourself wanting to play something upbeat.â
If Shine On Rainy Day felt like a laidback country album for front-porch picking sessions, then Providence Canyon is built for something bigger. This is music for juke joints, pool halls, and roadhouses, filled with electric guitar (performed by Cobbâs touring bandmate, Mike Harris), B3 organ, percussive groove, and co-ed harmonies. Each song was captured in a small number of takes, with Brent and Dave Cobb relying on instinct and spur-of-the-moment ideas.
âItâs in the blood,â Brent says of his connection to his cousin, who has overseen award-winning records for Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, and Chris Stapleton, as well as Shine On Rainy Day and Providence Canyon. âWe didnât grow up together, but weâre so similar in our approaches. Itâs important to me to do this with him, because these songs are about the places Iâm from, the places Iâve visited, and the people whoâve taken me there. My family is all over these songs.â
Cobb doubles down on his commitment to his wife and daughter with âAinât a Road Too Long,â whose mix of Bible Belt boogie-woogie and Southern rock channels influences like the Band. On the drawling, guitar-driven âMorninâs Gonna Comeâ and âSucker for a Good Time,â he battles against the temptations of the road, where the drinks are free and the nights are long. Then, on the albumâs breezy title track, he casts his mind back to his teenage years and trips to Providence Canyon, a 150-feet gorge in the sandy clay of southwest Georgia, less than an hourâs drive from Cobbâs hometown.
âGrowing up, I didnât know the definition of âprovidence,ââ he admits. âI looked it up in my early 20s, and the definition is something like âthe protective power of Godâor natureâas a spiritual power.â When I read that, it inspired the whole song. I was 23 at the time, and I missed the old days and the freedom of youth. Years later, I still try to keep my music honest and somehow sacred.â
Murder by Death 20th Anniversary with Special Guest Amigo The Devil
Cult-indie band Murder By Death is hitting the road this winter to celebrate 20 years since their first show.
Setlists each night will be curated by fans and the band will be playing songs from all 8 records in their catalog. Every ticket comes with a free zine at the show, looking back at the last 20 years of MBD. Don't miss this chance to sing along, stomp your boots, and sip your favorite libations in celebration.
An Evening with Josh Ritter: A Book of Gold Thrown Open - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP
A note about this tour, from Josh:
"I was thinking back to some of my favorite concerts over the years, and I realized how many took place in spaces that were special in their own right. Cathedrals, synagogues, strange and storied theaters, each bring a special kind of glow to the performance.
I was also feeling the urge to play some of my quieter, more narrative songs that I may not always get the chance to perform during larger rock shows.
So I decided to put together a tour that would allow me to play these songs, and some new ones that Iâve been writing, in some of these beautiful spaces. I decided to call the tour âA Book of Gold Thrown Open."
I'll mainly be solo, but itâll be a fun chance to have a few special guests and accompaniment. And most of all, Iâm looking forward to singing these songs.
I hope you can make it! Rock on, and thank you.
Critical praise for Josh Ritter:
âHarking back to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and maybe a little Mark Knopfler, Mr. Ritter has always been a slinger of serious ideas and high-flown imagery.â - The New York Times
âJosh Ritter remains at the top of his game two decades into a highlight-strewn career. Heâd be forgiven for loosening his grip, but his hand has never felt surer.â - NPR Music
âIf you love music and have a device on which to play it, you should listen to Josh Ritter whenever you need sound.ââMary-Louise Parker in Esquire
âMysterious, melancholy, melodic...and those are only the Mâs.ââStephen King in Entertainment Weekly
âThere have been plenty of highlights in Ritterâs nearly 20-year recording career.â - AP
Instrumentalists bear the burden of communicating musical ideas without the aid of lyrics or storytelling proper. For many years, thatâs how 2018 Americana Award nominee Daniel Donato operated as the guitarist for Nashville acts like The Wild Feathers, Paul Cauthen and The Don Kelley Band.
From age 14, Donato has developed his brand of crisp, soulful, on-the-edge telecaster picking under bar lights, honing his skills and proving his mettle within the cityâs prominent live music scene. All the while, a growing love of songwriting mirrored the pace of his ever-improving guitar chops.
Now, a short three years after his departure from Kelleyâs classic country outfit, the 23-year-old is signed to William Morris Endeavors as an artist with a docket of jam-ready country and bluegrass songs. Backed by his three-piece âCosmic Country Bandâ â cosmic country is a catch-all term for experimental roots music, often assisted by electronic sounds â Donato stands at the frontier of his career with characteristic intrepidity, no longer bounded by the expressive limitations of his instrument.
His strident voice and explorative songwriting carry his music into new territory, offering bold ideas to his fan base while staying true to what drew them to him in the first place: a palpable love of music delivered through excelled craft. With one eye on the nightâs gig and another on the ages, Donato is continuing his journey down country musicâs long and winding road, leaving no stone unturned.
Snowdonia, Goosetown, PM Mirror, Living With Monsters
"This has been a hell of a year," Rhett Miller says. "I turned 48 in September and I'm still surprising myself."
After more than two decades as founding member of the venerable Old 97's and acclaimed singer-songwriter in his own right, Rhett Miller has crafted a trio of new projects that see him pushing his creative energies in hitherto untraveled directions. Among them are two utterly unique new albums - one solo, the other as part of Old 97's - as well as his first ever book, a collection of subversive kids' poems.
THE MESSENGER, Miller's eighth solo album, is perhaps his most unflinchingly personal collection of songs to date. Recorded over five spring days at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY with producer/musician Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker),Â THE MESSENGERÂ sees Miller playing it faster and looser than perhaps any other time in his quarter century career, instilling songs like the first single, "Total Disaster," with a groovy limberness that belies the reflective darkness within. Backed by a white hot backing combo comprised of Cohen (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar, Keys), Brian Betancourt (Bass), and Ray Rizzo (Drums), Miller worked quickly and with purpose, fast-tracking four or five "keepers" each day.
"I wanted this record to be less safe," he says. "I wanted to put myself in the hands of a producer who was going to do things that I didn't expect; I wanted to perform with people I didn't know and be surprised by what they came up with. And all of that really came to pass.Â
"That's what you're getting with this record. You're getting a locked-in rhythm section with a crazy, psychedelic guitar maestro playing along with me as I dig deep into these songs about depression and insecurity and modern life and somehow wanting to live despite all of it," Miller chuckles.Â
While that might sound somewhat flip, Miller is in some ways more serious than ever before.Â THE MESSENGERÂ sees the veteran songsmith diving deep into his own youthful encounters with suicide and depression, placing "a long distance phone call to myself as a 14-year-old" on surprisingly buoyant new songs like "Permanent Damage" and "I Used To Write In Notebooks."
"For a lot of years I tried to keep self-reference out of my work," he says, "and I believe there's a lot to be said for that. There's enough about what I do that's masturbatory without me reading from my diary. But at a certain point, when you want to dig into personal issues and maybe explore things from your own past, you have to let yourself go there."
Miller hadn't publicly addressed his adolescent suicide attempt until a 2008 interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air. "She asked me about my suicide attempt and I found myself telling her the story. I was surprised at how people responded. I ended up doing a little work on behalf of the National Suicide Prevention Network and that kind of blossomed to where I've made a point of recognizing my own history and doing whatever I can to try and bring it out of the shadows and make it something people are okay talking about. But even then, I'd never really recognized it in my own work."
And whileÂ THE MESSENGERÂ addresses this darkness head-on many times, the album also visits the brighter corners. Songs like "You Were A Stranger" and "Wheels" speak to the joy that comes with having survived. Towards the end of "Wheels," when Miller sings "I'm broken, we're all broken, we just keep on trying," it's clearly a rallying cry rather than a lament.
After delving inward to createÂ THE MESSENGER, Miller rejoined his mates in the Old 97's - Murry Hammond (Bass, Vocals), Ken Bethea (Electric Guitar), and Philip Peeples (Drums & Percussion) - to make a red-and-green gift for the world. Produced, mixed & engineered by John Pedigo in the band's home state of Texas,Â LOVE THE HOLIDAYSÂ presents a stocking stuffed with rockin' new Yuletide favorites, capped off inevitably by the Old 97's take on the New Year's Eve staple, "Auld Lang Syne." Among the album's many highlights are the title track, co-written with Kevin Russell (The Gourds, Shinyribs), "Gotta Love Being A Kid (Merry Christmas)" and "Snow Angels," both co-written with acclaimed prose writer Ben Greenman, and the continuing saga of everyone's favorite reindeer, "Rudolph Is Blue," co-written by Miller and Dan Bern.
"I've thought about making a Christmas record for years and years," Miller says. "My goal was to make a record that could stand up alongside the classics, a record that would offer some new songs to this frustratingly finite list of holiday tunes that we all have to listen to on a loop between Halloween and New Year's Day. Â We all get sick of the old ones, so why not try and come up with some new options for people to listen to when they're wrapping their gifts and snuggling in front of the fire?"
Speaking of gifts, Miller has teamed with Caldecott Medalist and bestselling artist Dan Santat forÂ NO MORE POEMS!, a hilarious collection of irreverent poems for modern families, to be published March 5th, 2019 by Little/Brown Books For Young Readers. Written in the tradition of Shel Silverstein and Edward Gorey, Miller's poems bring a fresh new twist to the classic dilemmas of childhood as well as a perceptive eye to the foibles of modern family life. Full of clever wordplay and bright visual gags - with toilet humor to spare - these clever verses will have the whole family cackling.
"I was missing my kids so bad while out on tour," Miller says. "So I had to come up with a trick to get them to spend time on the phone with me. The trick was, âHey, I wrote a poem, and I need you kids to critique it for me.' I gave them carte blanche to criticize me, to tell me that what I did was stupid. They let me have it, which was so great. It kept them on the phone way longer than if it was just me moping about how lonely I was in Peoria, Illinois or whatever."
Miller - who left Sarah Lawrence with a full scholarship for creative writing to pursue a career in music - has long worked a side game as a writer, publishing a number of essays, short stories, and criticism over the past 20 years. ThoughÂ NO MORE POEMS! is his first proper book to be published, he firmly avows it will not be his last.
"When I dropped out I thought, I'll do rock ân' roll when I'm young and then when I'm middle aged, I can segue into writing with decades of experience under my belt," he says. "So now, that plan is coming to fruition. If I have my druthers, I'm going to keep writing books of different stripes for years and years to come. "
FromÂ THE MESSENGERÂ toÂ LOVE THE HOLIDAYSÂ toÂ NO MORE POEMS!, Miller's current crop of original output is testament to those aforementioned decades of experience, each distinct project marked by his ever-increasing skill set and multi-faceted approach to art and artistry. Having long ago committed himself to the artist's life, he has kept his nose to the grindstone, determined each and every day to create something of quality, meaning, and purpose.
"I've always believed that making art gives meaning to life," says Rhett Miller. "So far it's worked out pretty well."
Featuring: Ella Mizera, PJ Squire, Redacted, Tickle Me Satan, Art Of Insurrection, SDC, THe Book Club, Its Euphoria, Macro Aggression, The Kids Upstairs, Jaggerbush
Annual fundraising concert to help support Shaler Area School District students. Showcasing various students performing live music in a concert setting. Ranging from rock bands to acoustic to metal to singer songwriter to just about anything.
This year's Shalerpalooza to feature the first student art exhibit on display!
Organized and run 100% by Dale Mangold and various students who all volunteer their time and effort to help reduce the cost of various student school functions.
The Steel Wheels with Special Guest Reliable Child
âFew groups have come as far in such a short period of time as The Steel Wheelsâ¦â â NPRâs Mountain Stage
Virginia-based acoustic roots music collective The Steel Wheels have announced the July 12th release of their 7th full-length album, Over The Trees. Recorded in Maine with producer Sam Kassirer, Over The Trees draws attention to the impeccable harmonies of the four original members: Trent Wagler (guitar/banjo), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (bass), and Jay Lapp (guitars/mandolin). Kevin Garcia, who plays multiple percussion instruments, keyboard, and mallet-based instruments, formally joined the band after the 2017 release of Wild as We Came Here, which Kassirer also produced. In addition to familiar-to-fans harmonies, The Steel Wheels ventured a little farther out of their known comfort zone for Over The Trees. âThis is a bit of an experimental record at times, with new sounds and influences,â Wagler says. âWe know where we come from. We are a string band from Virginia, but we are evolving with this album, and we are embracing the future.â
Over The Trees opens with the percussion-heavy groove of âRains Come,â a rehashing of the classic tale of Noah and his ark in relation to todayâs contingency of climate change deniers. âIf there are real dangers ahead in our planetâs hope for survival, why isnât it all any of us are talking about?â asks Wagler, the songâs primary writer. âItâs overwhelming, thatâs why. I donât like admitting that I get stuck right there, but this song offers some of those questions.â A little deeper into the record, the swampy chant of âSomething Newâ ushers in a recurring theme on Over The Trees; mantra and meditation. âGet To Workâ is another tune that falls under the theme. Wagler muses, âI know that âGet To Workâ is self-talk for when Iâm feeling down, when Iâm feeling overwhelmed, or when Iâm feeling like, âUgh, what do we do this for?ââ Certainly though, not all the songs on Over The Trees fall so neatly under that umbrella. âTime To Rest,â co-written by Wagler and southern songstress Sarah Siskind, reflects on the weight of letting down friends or loved ones in a lilting feel that Wagler calls âan implied Levon Helm swing.â The album closes with âThis Year,â a wistful a cappella ode to keeping an optimistic spirit, even down to showing gratitude for the cat who is waiting for you when you finally get home.
On the whole, Over The Trees is a collection of songs about surviving tragedy. âAt times our human response is muted and resigned, at other times triumphant and steadfast,â notes The Steel Wheelsâ fiddle master Eric Brubaker, whoâs outlook on the album changed significantly when he lost his 10 year old daughter to a sudden illness earlier this year. "Over the Trees is an ode to the community that rises up to support those in need, and is dedicated to the memory of Norah Brubaker."
The release of Over The Trees coincides with the bandâs Red Wing Roots Music Festival, which they have hosted and curated for seven years. âLucky number seven, can you believe it?â said Wagler. âThe changes of seasons in Virginia are always something to behold. The colors of fall, the cool, quiet, darkness of winter, and the new growth of spring bringing us to our full bloom in the heat of summer. Summertime brings vacation for many, perhaps a slower pace, but in our modern age, it also comes with so many great choices for recreation and fun. We are charmed and delighted that somewhere along the way, among all the different choices, so many of you have joined our Red Wing family.â The community of Red Wing and the greater community of Steel Wheels fans have been the driving factor of what sets the band apart from their contemporaries and peers in a densely populated digital age. The love and kindness that breathes life into The Steel Wheelsâ music flows freely from the stage, into the audience, and is taken from there into the world as a medicine; a much-needed pick-me-up for todayâs trying times.