Entries tagged with: Hop Along

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 78):

photo: Hop Along at Baby's All Right in 2015 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Hop Along

Dr. Dog start their tour later this month and they're playing a NYC show at Terminal 5 on March 18, and now they've also added a second show for the next night (3/19) at the same venue. Excitingly, the new date (and others on the tour) is with Hop Along opening. The first night is part of a run with The Districts. TIckets for the newly-added show go on sale Friday (1/22) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (1/20) at noon. Night 1 is still on sale (same link).

After finishing up their tour with Dr. Dog, Hop Along are playing Atlanta's Shaky Knees Festival in May. And in related news, Hop Along singer Frances Quinlan just pressed her 2006 album Freshman Year (which came out under the name Hop Along, Queen Ansleis) on vinyl. You can order it here.

Dr. Dog's new album The Psychedelic Swamp comes out February 5 via ANTI-. Stream the single "Bring My Baby Back" and some tracks off Hop Along's great 2015 album Painted Shut, with the lists of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Dr. Dog add 2nd Terminal 5 show to tour; Hop Along opening"

photo: Night Birds at Warsaw in 2015 (more by Keith Marlowe)
Night Birds

NJ's xylophone-fueled punks Crazy & the Brains have a ton of shows coming up in NYC/NJ, as usual. Their NYC shows include Pianos on Friday (1/15) with The Black Clouds, Those Mocking Birds, Dead Stars and Darkwing (tickets); a free show at Pine Box Rock Shop on Saturday (1/16); one at Palisades on January 21 with Larry & the Babes, Bodega Bay and Little Cobweb (tickets); Good Room on January 30 with Philly folk punks Mischief Brew (headlining), The Homewreckers and Out of System Transfer (tickets); a release party for their new video at Le Poisson Rouge on February 6 with comedian Brett Davis (who they've played with before) and High Waisted (tickets); back to Palisades on March 5 with The Roaring 420s, Go!Zilla and The Dirty Blones (tickets); and The Studio at Webster Hall on May 22 with Tim & Eric's David Liebe Hart (tickets).

As for their NJ shows, there's February 13 at Funhouse (the Jersey city venue they run) with Joe Jack Talcum (of Dead Milkmen), American Anymen and Crushed Out; and March 4 at Monty Hall with the killer punk band Night Birds and Dirty Fences (tickets).

Besides all that, CATB play Albany's World Citizen Party House on February 5. You certainly can't say there's no chances to see them!

Speaking of Night Birds, they topped Punk News' Best Albums of 2015 list, which recently came out. The rest of the list includes Hop Along, Protomartyr, Desaparecidos, Downtown Boys, Titus Andronicus, Screaming Females, The Mountain Goats, Beach Slang, The Wonder Years, Sleater-Kinney and more. Check it out here. Night Birds have a few other upcoming shows, which are listed below.

Continue reading "Crazy & the Brains playing tons of NYC/NJ shows, one with Night Birds (who topped Punk News' Best of 2015 list)"

Sasquatch

Festival creator Adam Zacks and Live Nation have announced the lineup for the Sasquatch! Music Festival, taking place May 27th - 30th, with over 120 artists including performances by The Cure, Florence & The Machine, Disclosure, Major Lazer, Alabama Shakes, A$AP Rocky, Sufjan Stevens, M83, Grimes, Chet Faker, and Jamie xx. Created by Adam Zacks in 2002, the festival's stellar lineups have featured a blend of established and emerging artists at the stunning Gorge Amphitheatre set atop the cliffs overlooking the Columbia River, making this festival an international destination as well as a uniquely Pacific Northwest mainstay. Tickets to the 2016 Sasquatch! Music Festival will go on sale Tuesday, January 12 at 10 a.m. (PST) at SasquatchFestival.com
Co-headliner Florence & The Machine was also announced on Shaky Knees today too, and just announced a tour with Grimes.

Check out the full Sasquatch lineup below...

Continue reading "Sasquatch! 2016 Music Festival Lineup announced "

Shaky Knees

Atlanta's annual Shaky Knees Festival happens in 2016 from May 13-15 with Florence + the Machine, My Morning Jacket, and Jane's Addiction (playing Ritual De Lo Habitual) headlining. The rest of the lineup includes the re-reunited At the Drive-In, Deftones, The Decemberists, Huey Lewis & the News (playing Sports), Foals, Bloc Party, The Kills, Explosions in the Sky, Ghost, Phosphorescent, The Black Angels, Savages, Against Me!, The Sword, Eagles of Death Metal, Baroness, Frightened Rabbit, Parquet Courts, Brian Fallon, Wild Nothing, The Front Bottoms, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Hop Along, Foxing, Kylesa, Saintseneca, Julien Baker, Ought, Beach Slang, Nothing and more.

3-day passes go on sale Wednesday (1/13) at 10 AM with an E-list presale starting Tuesday (1/12) at 10 AM.

Full lineup below...

Continue reading "Shaky Knees 2016 lineup (Florence, MMJ, Jane's Addiction, At the Drive In, Deftones, Huey Lewis, Baroness & more)"

by Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis & Amanda Hatfield

photo: Kendrick Lamar at Day For Night 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Day for Night Festival

Every year is a good year for new music, but 2015 felt like the best one in a while. It was an especially great year for major label rap, after 2014 was an especially slow one, but it was good for plenty more than that too: folk, post-punk, indie pop, noise, art pop, punk, etc. We only have one metal album on our list, but there's a lot more where that came from at our metal sister site Invisible Oranges, who posted individual writer lists over the past few weeks. 2015 birthed excellent newcomers, and gave us crucial returns from artists who have been doing it for decades. This year, BrooklynVegan crowned a #1 pick for album of the year with the rest of our top 50 listed alphabetically. Some of the records have songs you couldn't leave your house without hearing, and others flew pretty under the radar, but we truly love each one.

Read our top 50 below...

Continue reading "Our Favorite Albums of 2015"

Pitchfork

Yesterday, Pitchfork put out their 100 Best Songs of 2015 list, and today they published their Honorable Mentions for albums of the year. A few of the albums did receive Best New Music during the year, like Lower Dens, Levon Vincent, Prurient and Viet Cong, and others weren't reviewed at all like Susanne Sundfor.

The list has a handful of indie/punk albums, like Car Seat Headrest, Downtown Boys, Girlpool, Hop Along and Protomartyr, mainstream rap breakout Fetty Wap, the XL-signed Ibeyi, and more. Check out the whole thing below...

Continue reading "A Few Albums That Won't Be On Pitchfork's Best of 2015"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

Hop Along / Radiator Hospital / Des Ark @ Bowery Ballroom - 12/12/15
Hop Along
Radiator Hospital
Des Ark

Hop Along have had quite the year, getting a lot of love for the great album Painted Shut and playing to some of their biggest crowds ever. On Saturday night (12/12) in NYC they played to another big crowd, headlining a sold-out show at Bowery Ballroom, where they've played as an opener more than once. It was the first time I've seen them where the new songs actually got more applause than the old ones. "Tibetan Pop Stars" was a great moment as always, but it wasn't the climax of the set that it usually is. That probably would've been "Waitress" or "Sister Cities" at the Bowery show. Or maybe it was their awesome cover of Rage Against the Machine's "Bombtrack" (video below). My personal favorite song of the set was "Well-dressed." The way it moves from just Frances and a guitar to a full-band rager, and then brings in the falsetto "oohs," made for one the night's most uplifting moments.

Direct support came from Radiator Hospital, who are a great match for Hop Along. Both bands are from Philly, and both exist somewhere between indie rock, folk, pop and punk. Guitarist Cynthia Schemmer also said on stage that Frances from Hop Along and Aimée Argote from openers Des Ark were some of her early inspirations to play music. Rad Hos were great as always, maybe even a little better than I've seen them before. And we got a good setlist, with "Cut Your Bangs," "Our Song," and plenty more.

Des Ark, who also played Union Pool the next night (12/13), were on first and supporting their recently-released album Everything Dies. I'd never seen them before but they knocked me out right away. Aimée has a killer voice, she's a great performer, and she's got a knack for moving from super quiet folk songs to heavy distorted rock seamlessly.

Hop Along also just announced 2016 tour dates, including a few Frances Quinlan solo shows with Barry Johnson of Joyce Manor. All dates are listed, with more pictures, and the video of the "Bombtrack" cover, below...

Continue reading "Hop Along played Bowery Ballroom with Radiator Hospital and Des Ark, covered RATM's "Bombtrack" (pics, video)"

by Andrew Sacher

Des Ark (photo by Marc Krause)
Des Ark

Des Ark are opening for Hop Along and Radiator Hospital at NYC's Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (12/12) (which is sold out), and after that they'll be playing more dates of their own. Two are with folk/post-rock collective Pygmy Lush, who haven't played live since before Death by Audio closed.

The first Des Ark/Pygmy Lush show is in NYC on Sunday (12/13) at Union Pool. Tickets are on sale now. Then they play a DC show on 12/16 with The City and I (members of Mannequin Pussy), who just played NYC last night (12/10). All dates are listed below.

Des Ark's latest album, Everything Dies, came out this past October on Graveface. It's a dark, rich-sounding album with folky songs, piano ballads, and contributions from Swans' Thor Harris and Engine Down's Jonathan Fuller. It's a little Feist-y too. Stream it below. Meanwhile, Pygmy Lush also have plans for a new album. They write:

We've also decided to finish up our writing here within the year and record a new record with our old friends at Robotic Empire. We are hoping to get into the studio with Kurt sometime early spring 2016. We have alot of new material and are very excited to get it recorded and start playing alot more shows! More news to come, as it greatly unravels!!!!!!!!
They say they'll start recording on April 20, 2016. List of tour dates and the Des Ark LP stream below...

Continue reading "Des Ark playing shows with Pygmy Lush after opening for Hop Along (dates & 'Everything Dies' LP stream)"

Illustration by Derek Erdman
AV Club

AV Club have published their list of The 15 Best Albums of 2015. Besides two forward-thinking California rappers (guess which ones?) and Grimes, this list leans the most heavily on guitar rock of all the ones we've seen this year, whether it's the hushed sounds of Sufjan Stevens and Julien Baker or the harder-edged Sleater-Kinney and Courtney Barnett. You can check out the full list below, and see the writers' individual ballots here.

Continue reading "AV Club list their top albums of 2015"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

Parquet Courts & Lee Ranaldo / Rainer Maria & Meredith Graves / Kurt Vile & Kim Gordon / Waxahatche & Mac McCaughan / Titus' Patrick Stickles
Ground Control Touring 15th Anniversary
Ground Control Touring 15th Anniversary
Ground Control Touring 15th Anniversary
Ground Control Touring 15th Anniversary
Ground Control Touring 15th Anniversary

None of the acts on any of Webster Hall's three stages last night (12/2) asked if anyone actually knows what Ground Control Touring is, but their name was on the marquee and many of them thanked them. I guess for those not in the biz it doesn't really matter when in one night you get to see Kurt Vile, Superchunk, Parquet Courts, Deer Tick, Rainer Maria, Screaming Females and more.The booking agency, who usually do their magic only behind the scenes, handles tours for many of indie rock's biggest names and was celebrating 15 years in business. The main ballroom was already packed when Hop Along kicked off the night and things stayed that way.

Very few of last night's acts played what you'd call a normal set, instead opting for fun collaborations and covers. Waxahatchee brought out Superchunk's Mac McCaughan and The Clean's Hamish Kilgour to cover The Clean's "Getting Older." Kurt Vile, with Violators guitarist Rob Laasko, played two songs before bringing out Kim Gordon, former Violater Steve Gunn (who'd just played a great solo set in the Marlin Room) and Woods' Jarvis Taveniere for a cover of Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray."

Kurt Vile would later turn up at Woods' set in the Marlin Room to cover Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." Woods also had Parquet Courts' Andrew Savage out for two Neil Young covers" "Barstool Blues" and "Powderfinger." Parquet Courts' performance in the Marlin Room, meanwhile, basically had them as Lee Ranaldo's backing band, performing Sonic Youth's "Mote" and "Eric's Trip." (For those who already thought that Parquet Courts' Austin Brown looks like Thurston Moore, this underlined it.) That was the whole set. But cool. It was that kind of night.

Elsewhere at Webster Hall: Rainer Maria had Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves onstage for "Tinfoil" ("Rainer Maria are my favorite band", Meredith said to the crowd); Titus Andronicus' Patrick Stickles played solo to a sardine-packed Studio; and Perfect Pussy finished off the night with a typical crazed energy, and Meredith Graves writhing on the floor. They played a new song. Superchunk, meanwhile, just did what they always do: knocked out the hits with an energy most bands half their age can't muster. Tonight's sold-out Superchunk show at Baby's should be a treat.

Deer Tick can sell out Webster Hall on their own, but were added last minute to a show full of big names after it was already sold out, so that surely contributed to them closing out the main room to a less than full crowd, but it was a special treat for their fans that were there, and John McCauley and his seasoned band still gave it their all. Catch them again twice this month at Brooklyn Bowl.

As the night progressed there was overlap, and with navigating Webster Hall's stairs (fine going up, slower going down) and set times which weren't always adhered to so closely, meant missing some acts. (Sorry Porches, Frankie Cosmos, Beach Fossils, Speedy Ortiz and Felice Brothers) But it was a fun, unique night even if don't know what the hell Ground Control Touring is. More pictures from the whole night (our photographers actually did catch everyone), plus some videos of those special collaborations/covers (with more on the way), below...

Continue reading "Kurt Vile, Superchunk, Deer Tick, Waxahatchee, Parquet Courts, Sonic Youth members & more celebrated & collaborated @ Ground Control 15 (pics, video)"

Adele

Rolling Stone has published their list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015. As always, it has older artists who don't seem to pop up on many other lists (Madonna, Darlene Love, Mark Knopfler, Boz Scaggs, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Don Henley) (did you even know Don Henley released an album this year?). There's also two major rap albums in the top 3 (with Adele sandwiched in between), a good amount of country (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Ashley Monroe), smaller indie rock bands (Hop Along, Car Seat Headrest), mainstream pop (Selena Gomez, Carly Rae Jepsen), alt-rock giants (Muse, Marilyn Manson), and a lot more. And they're counting D'Angelo's December 2014 release for this list (it cracks the top 5).

Read their commentary here and check out the whole list below...

Continue reading "Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2015"

photo: Deer Tick at Forest Hills Stadium in 2014 (more by PSquared)
Deer Tick

The Ground Control Touring 15th anniversary show at NYC's Webster Hall happens this Wednesday (12/2) with "short sets, collaborations, covers and surprises" from a very impressive lineup. That lineup now also includes Deer Tick, and other artists that were added since we last spoke are Screaming Females, Lee Ranaldo, Perfect Pussy and Woods.

Those additions join the initial lineup of Superchunk, Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee, Steve Gunn, Parquet Courts, The Felice Brothers, Rainer Maria, Torres, Titus Andronicus, Beach Fossils, Speedy Ortiz, Hop Along, Porches and Frankie Cosmos. (Conor Oberst dropped off.)

The show is totally sold out, but we're giving away tickets. Head below to enter our contest to win a pair. Also, if you're a Jukely member, they still have some tickets available too.

Also below is the flyer with set times...

Continue reading "Deer Tick added to GCT 15 show, set times revealed; Win tix to the sold out show (or get them on Jukely) "

BrooklynVegan Spotify In ResidenceBrooklynVegan Spotify In Residence

We're happy to announce that BrooklynVegan is part of Spotify's "In Residence" series where we'll not only curate a monthly playlist, but premium users can hear us talk about it too. Head to Spotify HERE now and click "follow" to make sure you never miss an episode.

For our first show, BV editors Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis and Dave sat down to talk about some of our favorite music of 2015 so far, and other digressions. We taped the show in late July, so keep that in mind if any of it sounds slightly dated. (A segment where Bill bets Dave a million dollars that Lush will never ever reform was cut.)

Anyone can listen, though you will need to be a Spotify Premium subscriber to hear our lovely speaking voices.

Other Spotify In Residence shows/hosts include former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, dance act Jungle, and UK grime artist Big Narstie.

Stay tuned for a brand new BrooklynVegan episode in December. Meanwhile, listen to November's...

Continue reading "listen to BrooklynVegan's "Spotify In Residence" show"

photo: Superchunk at Riot Fest Chicago 2014 (more by James Richards IV)
Superchunk

Booking agency Ground Control Touring turns 15 this year, and they'll be celebrating that anniversary with a seriously stacked NYC show on December 2 at Webster Hall.

The show will take over all three rooms, and include Conor Oberst, Superchunk, Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee, Steve Gunn, Parquet Courts, The Felice Brothers, Rainer Maria, Torres, Titus Andronicus, Beach Fossils, Speedy Ortiz, Hop Along, Porches, Frankie Cosmos and more. Tickets go on sale Friday (10/23) at 10 AM with a presale starting Thursday (10/22) at 10 AM (password = GCT15).

You can catch Parquet Courts, Hop Along and Torres at other upcoming NYC shows too. Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee and Titus Andronicus just played.

Webster Hall show flyer below...

Continue reading "Conor Oberst, Superchunk, Kurt Vile, Titus Andronicus, Rainer Maria, Torres, Hop Along & more playing Ground Control 15"

by Andrew Sacher

photo: Hop Along at Baby's All Right in May (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Hop Along

As previously discussed, Modest Mouse are heading back out on tour soon, and now an opener for several of the dates has been announced: Hop Along. That's a pretty great match -- if you like Modest Mouse's style of indie rock and want to see a younger band working in that realm, Hop Along are one of the best right now. The MM/HA tour doesn't hit NYC, but includes Connecticut (10/21), Long Island (10/22), and more.

As you may know, Hop Along do have a headlining NYC show on December 12 at Bowery Ballroom with Radiator Hospital and Des Ark (tickets).

Updated dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Hop Along to open Modest Mouse's fall tour (updated dates)"

John McCauley & Vanessa Carlton @ City Winery - 9/8/15
John McCauley

Deer Tick singer John McCauley is in the midst of playing shows at various City Winery locations, having just played NYC's on Monday and Tuesday (9/7 - 9/8). Both of these were sold out and opened by Hop Along singer Frances Quinlan, who John may have first met in their respective Silent Barn days.

Hop Along started as Frances' solo project, so it was a treat to see her back in that mode now that the full band is frequently on tour. We were at the 2nd NYC show and Frances sounded great, and made song choices that differed a bit from what her band has been doing. She covered Jackson C Frank and Built to Spill, told a long joke, gave us two new songs, and of course played some Hop Along favorites too like set-closer "Happy To See Me." Hop Along's next full-band show in NYC is December 12 at Bowery Ballroom with Radiator Hospital and Des Ark.

John mixed up the set lists so much, that I wish I went to both shows. Check out pictures of both below. He played 20 mostly-Deer Tick songs each night, many off War Elephant, some new ones, and a Middle Brother song on night two too. With just John and his guitar in a somewhat intimate setting, it felt like an early Deer Tick show, but with John much more practiced, skilled and comfortable on stage. Frances was great and people were into her, but you could tell it was a Deer Tick crowd by the even louder (and much deserved) applause John was getting.

At both NYC shows, John was joined by his wife Vanessa Carlton for their duet on "In Our Time" off Deer Tick's 2013 album Negativity. They sounded great together.

Vanessa Carlton never stopped making her own music, but her major label hit-making days are long behind her. She recently signed to indie label Dine Alone Records and will release her new album Liberman on October 23. From the sounds of early singles "Blue Pool" and "Willows" she hasn't changed up her style too much, but the production's certainly more subdued than her early hits. Listen below.

Vanessa also just announced a tour that includes two of her own City Winery NYC shows. All tour dates are listed below...

Continue reading "John McCauley played City Winery shows w/ Frances Quinlan, was joined by Vanessa Carlton (who has a new LP, tour dates)"

by Andrew Sacher

The Wonder Years

"Pop punk" was once widely considered a dirty term in most indie rock circles, but over the past few years it's been sneaking into indie rock vernacular. We use it here on BV a lot. Pitchfork has used it when talking about anyone from Cloud Nothings to Upset to Joyce Manor. Stereogum has used it for The Sidekicks, Chumped, and Cayetana. NPR for Wavves, Title Fight and Waxahatchee. The list goes on.

It's easy to see what made "pop punk" such a turnoff as it became progressively more mainstream in the '90s and early '00s. "Punk" is a genre with a code of ethics that punk fans feel should be kept sacred, and "pop" is basically the antithesis of those ethics. So "pop punk" is theoretically the worst thing that could ever happen to punk. Indie rock fans adhere to similar ethics, so when "What's My Age Again?" hit TRL, it's no surprise that Sebadoh fans weren't gluing their eyes to their TVs.

But for a younger generation, some combination of Green Day, The Offspring, Rancid, blink-182 and New Found Glory (or all of the above) was a foundational listening experience, and an entry point into alternative music. Those bands may have made punk more mainstream, but they were also gateways to older and more universally canonized artists. blink-182 directly led to Descendents, Dinosaur Jr and Drive Like Jehu; Green Day to Husker Du; Rancid to Roger Miret and Sham 69; New Found Glory to Lifetime and Gorilla Biscuits; and so on. The people who grew up on those bands are becoming today's indie rock musicians, fans, and critics, so it makes sense that the sounds of pop punk are making their way into indie rock. Not to mention Best Coast, who started as a lo-fi band on Mexican Summer, went on to cover blink-182, collaborate with New Found Glory, and tour with Green Day.

photo: Best Coast opening for Green Day in 2013 (more by Dana Distortion)
Green Day

Right now, the amount of bands blurring the lines between indie rock and pop punk is pretty astounding. We saw pop punk's influence sneak into indie rock on a handful of our favorite records of last year, and this year we have great records from Colleen Green, Bully, Superheaven, Turnover, All Dogs, Radioactivity, Royal Headache, Titus Andronicus, Worriers, Hop Along and Adventures that all fit the description.

Even with this huge influx of indie rock bands taking influence from pop punk, it's not hard to see why there's still resistance against the "pop punk" tag. The kind of over-produced pop punk that critics cringed at in the early 2000s is still very popular. All Time Low's new album debuted at #2 on Billboard this year and there's nothing "punk" about this. 5 Seconds of Summer may be the biggest band in the world right now that anyone is calling "pop punk," but they also share management with One Direction, have toured with them, and are closer in sound to 1D than to any band who ever signed a contract with Fat Wreck Chords. If 5SOS can be called pop punk, or apparently anyone who plays Warped Tour -- like Front Porch Step, who in addition to his questionable actions, makes cringe-worthy music that has nothing to do with pop punk -- it's understandable why some people want to avoid the term.

There's also a group of bands who frequently play Warped Tour and not only warrant being called pop punk, but pride themselves on it: bands like Man Overboard, The Story So Far, Four Year Strong, Neck Deep and State Champs. Their approach is basically to take the moment pop punk took over the world and recreate it. (The Drive-Thru Records catalog is a big influence here.) They're not shy about their style -- Man Overboard make shirts that say "Defend Pop Punk" and Neck Deep make ones that say "Generic Pop Punk." They don't seem to be after hugely mainstream success and tend to build their fanbases like punk bands do, but to our ears they're usually unoriginal at best and still kinda cheesy at worst.

If you have any place in your heart for early 2000s-era mainstream pop punk though (and if you've read this far, you probably do), there's one band I think is doing a hell of a lot of justice to it: The Wonder Years. Unlike the bands bringing pop punk's influence into indie rock, The Wonder Years are making the kind of pop punk that is in fact pop music, but they also happen to make really fucking good pop music. It's becoming more prevalent for critics and "serious music fans" to discuss great pop music, and this is a good thing because great music can truly come from anywhere. The recent Beyonce and Justin Timberlake albums were steps forward for music in general, whether or not you normally listen to the radio. A lot of fans and critics noted that, but for whatever reason there's still a stigma when it comes to pop punk. You're more likely to see certain critics champion Fifth Harmony, a new teen-pop group formed by Simon Cowell on The X Factor, than even mention the latest Bad Religion or Rancid albums. It's a stigma that hopefully disappears, because The Wonder Years don't deserve to be ignored by any serious music fan.

photo: The Wonder Years at House of Vans in 2011 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years started out as more of a generic pop punk band, and while in hindsight I respect the people who knew they were great from day one (or at least since their 2010 breakthrough The Upsides), they didn't really catch my ear until 2011's Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing. And it didn't really click until 2013's The Greatest Generation, which might be the greatest true-blue radio-ready pop punk record since Enema of the State. It probably owes more to New Found Glory and The Starting Line than it does to blink-182, but even if those bands have proved to be more influential, they never had this level of songwriting or maturity. Even on New Found Glory's "mature" album, they couldn't escape writing songs about girls who "smell like angels ought to smell." The Greatest Generation grapples with hitting your mid-to-late '20s, seeing your friends and cousins getting married and transitioning into adulthood, and thinking "did I fuck up?" When they do sound like they're singing about high school crushes ("I hadn't felt a heartbreak until now") you quickly realize they're singing about the death of a friend.

It's close to an absolute perfection of its form, and it's hard to say just yet if they've topped it, though they've undoubtedly made another artistic leap on the new No Closer to Heaven. It's the band's most overwhelmingly emotional album yet, and the most musically diverse too. In 45 minutes it touches on double-time pop punk, slower atmospheric songs, heavy rock riffs, and an acoustic song to close things out. It's the kind of record that might piss off some old fans and cause them to say The Wonder Years "aren't pop punk anymore," but it might win over a bunch of new fans in the process. It's pop punk's Sunbather. The thing is though, unlike say Title Fight's trek into atmospheric rock, this is a pop punk album. It pushes the boundaries of the genre about as far as they can go without losing the type of thrill you specifically get from this style of music. Really it shouldn't piss off old fans because it manages to retain the sound they've always had while clearly pushing it forward.

It makes me think a lot of Brand New's The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. It doesn't sound like Devil and God, but that was the moment Brand New made a devastating, cathartic album that defied its genre without abandoning it, and that's what TWY do here. They're also similar to Brand New in that each record is a shift from the last, and that people (rightfully) worship these guys. To compare it to an album it does sound like, it's actually a little like The Hotelier's last one, and that may be the most acclaimed album the entire emo revival has given us. But it feels a little unfair to compare those two, because The Hotelier are a young (yet fully-formed) band and No Closer to Heaven is clearly the work of seasoned songwriters.

The Wonder Years are more dynamically diverse here than ever. They know just when to switch from a chorus turned up to 11 to a bridge of clean guitar arpeggios and back again. They know which lyric needs a three-part harmony, which needs frontman Dan "Soupy" Campbell to sing gently and which needs him at the top of his lungs. At least half the songs completely avoid the standard verse-chorus-verse. Recurring lyrics and themes throughout an album aren't new ground for The Wonder Years, but No Closer to Heaven might be the closest they've come to a true concept album. Death, if it wasn't obvious, is that concept here. The lyric we hear over and over is "We're no saviors if we can't save our brothers," and that's only one of the instantly-quotable lines packed into this thing. There's a harsh reality to Soupy's lyrics this time around, and when he brings his voice to a shout it feels more like a reflex than an artistic decision.

Like the last record, his melodies are familiar without being predictable. Thanks in part to the fact that almost every member can sing, they've mastered the kind of multi-part harmonies and overlapping vocals that most of their peers aren't even attempting. (My only complaint about the new album is the guest vocals from the singer of letlive. who come too close to a maligned genre I won't defend, nu-metal.) The production is once again shining with gloss, but nothing sounds artificial -- unlike many of their peers, the band and longtime producer Steve Evetts (who has helmed other pop punk classics like Jersey's Best Dancers and Through Being Cool) have long discussed avoiding auto-tune and sample replacing. The interplay between the band's three guitarists also make this far more detailed than punk's "learn three power chords, form a band" mentality. But The Wonder Years do stay true to the latter half of the phrase "pop punk," and if you've seen them live you know this. They typically fill big rooms these days, but they still play like they came out swinging from a South Philly basement. They might not win over a snobby punk purist, but for the genre-hopping listener who finds emotional depth and musical ambition in both the new Drake and the new Sufjan Stevens, you may find it in the new Wonder Years too.

photo: You Blew It! at Riis Park Beach Bazaar - August, 2015 (more by Mimi Hong)
You Blew It

No Closer to Heaven is out today via Hopeless (order yours) and you can stream the whole thing via Rdio, below.

They'll be on tour this year with another unique pop punk band, Motion City Soundtrack, emo revival darlings You Blew It!, and State Champs. That tour hits NYC for two Webster Hall shows in October, but first TWY play an acoustic in-store at Rough Trade on Wednesday (9/9).

Continue reading "Pop punk's complicated relationship with indie rock, and the great new Wonder Years album (which is streaming)"

FYF Fest

Via press release...

FYF Fest's 12th year kicks off this Saturday at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena & Exposition Park. Kanye West will now headline Saturday night's Main Stage. Frank Ocean has decided on his own terms to cancel his appearance.

With a lineup that already includes Morrissey, D'Angelo and the Vanguard, FKA Twigs, Chet Faker, Flume, Belle & Sebastian and more, FYF Fest is excited to have Kanye West play this weekend in his newly adopted home of Los Angeles.
Tickets are still available, and this lineup tweak may have upped their demand just a bit. Check out the full schedule.

photo: Hop Along at Baby's in May (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Hop Along

Hop Along have been doing a lot of touring this year in support of their excellent new album, Painted Shut, and they'll continue to do so through late fall. The new dates include their largest headlining NYC show yet, Bowery Ballroom on December 12. Opening is the similarly great Radiator Hospital, plus Des Ark. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (8/14) at noon.

Hop Along singer Frances Quinlan will be in NYC sooner than that to open for Deer TIck singer John McCauley at City Winery. We already mentioned the September 7 show, which is now sold out, but a September 8 show was since added. Frances opens both. Tickets for 9/8 are on sale now.

All Hop Along dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Hop Along expand tour, add NYC with Radiator Hospital; Frances Quinlan opening for John McCauley (dates)"

by Andrew Sacher

Lithuania

Philly's Lithuania is another band of Eric Slick of Dr. Dog, but they're nothing like that band. Eric collaborated with Dominic Angelella (also of DRGN KING) to make the kind of crunchy, fuzzy rock that's closer to Weezer or indie rock's recent flirtations with pop punk and emo. The album was produced by Hop Along's Joe Reinhart and Thin Lips' Kyle Pulley, and Hop Along singer Frances Quinlan makes an appearance on the album's title track, "Hardcore Friends," along with Field Mouse singer Rachel Browne. The album comes out August 14 via Lame-O Records (pre-order physical or digital), and a full stream premieres below.

Continue reading "Lithuania streaming debut LP, feat. members of Hop Along"

by Andrew Sacher

Hop Along

For this year's highly acclaimed Painted Shut, Hop Along signed to Saddle Creek, and now the label announced that they will also re-press that album's excellent predecessor, Get Disowned. You can also get involved, by helping to choose what color the vinyl will be. The label writes:

We're currently prepping a reissue of Hop Along's debut full-length, Get Disowned, and we need your help to choose the color! Cast your vote below for opaque ivory, transparent clear, opaque gold, or opaque dark blue. Voting concludes end of day July 30th, and we will announce the winning color on July 31st. Also on July 31st, your account will be updated with a download of the album!
No release date has been set, "due to the volatility of vinyl manufacturing," but Saddle Creek plans to have them shipped out by the end of the year. You can pre-order and enter the color contest here.

Hop Along will be in NJ this weekend for the XPoNential Music Festival with My Morning Jacket, St. Vincent, Courtney Barnett, and more (tickets).

In case you're not familiar with Get Disowned, you can stream it below...

Continue reading "Saddle Creek re-pressing Hop Along's 'Get Disowned' (you can vote on what color the vinyl will be)"

photo: Hop Along at Baby's All Right in May (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Hop Along

We just mentioned how a lot of music websites (like NPR) use this year midpoint to post their favorite albums of the year so far. Pitchfork isn't one of them, but they do post their Overlooked Records of the year. They write, "None of these releases received a Best New Music designation and not all were rated above an 8.0 but all are records worth revisiting." They've got a couple metal albums (Bell Witch, Sannhet), that ambient Jeff Bridges album, and the no-longer-overlooked indie rockers Hop Along (who also made best-of-2015-so-far lists from Rolling Stone, AV Club, Stereogum, Paste, Flavorwire, Noisey, and NPR's song list).

The list is also interestingly heavy on relatively underground electronic records, including Lakker, Mbongwana Star, Mumdance & Logos, Anthony Naples, Pearson Sound and Smurphy. Check out the whole list below, and read their commentary here.

Sicko Mobb

In terms of rap, it has Joey Bada$$ (who plays NYC this week), and Chicago duo Sicko Mobb. Sicko Mobb will make their way over to NYC on July 25 for Warm Up with Baauer, Skepta and more (tickets); and a late show at Palisades that night with Taso, Ricky Eat Acid and Tripletrain (tickets).

Sicko Mobb made the list for their Super Saiyan Vol 2 mixtape, which you can download for free at DatPiff and stream below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork list their overlooked records of 2015 (including Sicko Mobb, who play NYC soon)"

by Andrew Sacher

Lowercase Roses

Tigers Jaw are going on a short acoustic tour this week, and opening those shows will be The Sidekicks guitarist Matt Scheuermann's other project, lowercase roses (previously known simply as roses). Matt released the three-song self-titled lowercases roses EP on Christmas last year, and it's good stuff. They're somber acoustic songs that fall somewhere between early Death Cab and The Microphones, and should work well on an acoustic tour with Tigers Jaw. That's the EP's artwork above (designed by Hop Along singer Frances Quinlan) and you can stream the whole thing below.

The tour is in Philly tonight, Somerville on Friday, and NYC on Saturday. As discussed, that NYC show happens at Le Poisson Rouge (6/27). Tickets are still available.

For Tigers Jaw, the tour is in support of their new acoustic album, Studio 4 Acoustic Session. As you may know, Studio 4 is the studio of producer Will Yip, who recorded Tigers Jaw's last album, and recent albums by Title Fight, mewithoutYou, Pianos Become the Teeth, Pity Sex and so many more. (It was just announced today that he's working on the new Nothing album too.) Will also partnered with Run for Cover Records (which Tigers Jaw is signed to) to launch his own imprint, Memory Music, which is the label putting out Tigers Jaw's acoustic album next week. You can stream it in full below and pre-order it here.

Tigers Jaw also have full-band shows coming up, but they're opening for New Found Glory and Yellowcard. If you're into that sorta thing, you can see that tour in NYC on 10/24 at Best Buy Theater (tickets). All TJ dates below.

Lastly, speaking of The Sidekicks, they have a few shows with All Dogs coming up. None in NYC, but they'll be nearby for an Asbury Park show on August 20 at Asbury Lanes with ROMP (tickets). That same month, All Dogs are releasing their new album, Kicking Every Day, on Salinas Records (8/28). Teaser video, album artwork, tracklist and list of dates, below.

Continue reading "lowercase roses (mem The Sidekicks) opening for Tigers Jaw, who are streaming their acoustic LP ++ new All Dogs coming"

Made In America

In addition to the Made In America-presented Mary J Blige show that happened last week and the second TBA one-day NYC show, the Jay Z-curated Budweiser Made In America festival returns to Philly Labor Day Weekend. It happens September 5-6 at Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the lineup includes Beyonce, The Weeknd, J Cole, Bassnectar, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Meek Mill, Big Sean, Future, Duke Dumont, A-Trak, Santigold, Metric, De La Soul, Action Bronson, Earl Sweatshirt, Vic Mensa, Flatbush Zombies, Creepoid, Superheaven, Hop Along, Waxahatchee, Strand of Oaks and more. Tickets are on AmEx presale now, and the general on-sale starts Monday (6/29) at noon.

Full lineup below...

Continue reading "Made In America 2015 lineup & tix: Beyonce, The Weeknd, J Cole, Modest Mouse, Death Cab, Earl Sweatshirt & more"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

Hop Along @ Baby's - 5/10/15
Hop Along
Hop Along

Hop Along released their new record Painted Shut last week (5/5) on Saddle Creek (their first for the label), and brought their tour with Thin Lips to NYC for two sold-out shows in support of it. They hit Rough Trade on release day, also with Crying, and Baby's All Right last night (5/10), also with Quit.

Quit is the current band of 1994!'s Chris Diehm, and they definitely retain some of that band's '90s-inspired emo, as you can hear on last year's impressive demos. I unfortunately missed their set last night, but did see Chris as he was pulling double duty as Thin Lips' guitarist. (Between him and Hop Along's Joe Reinhart [ex-Algernon Cadwallader], the whole bill had former members of that first wave of emo revival bands.) Thin Lips were excellent, and definitely a great match for Hop Along. They're fronted by former Dangerous Ponies singer Chrissy Tashjian and feature other members of that band as well, and they nail the kind of pop punk-inspired indie rock that's having a bit of a moment lately (think Swearin', Joyce Manor, All Dogs, etc). They stand out though, particularly because Chrissy's a distinct singer and has the kind of powerhouse voice that really soars over the rest of the band.

Finally, Hop Along came on. Hop Along have long been the band that even as an opener always had a great crowd there singing every word, and with the steady rise their once-underrated 2012 record Get Disowned has been on over the past three years, it was a pretty triumphant thing to see them now as the headliner of their second of two sold-out shows in the city. And they sounded great (if not better) than ever. Most of the new record rocks a little harder than Get Disowned, with the band's folkier tendencies remaining more in the songwriting than in the overall sound, and other than Frances Quinlan's one solo song towards the end of the set, last night's show was also very much in that rocking mode.

Frances' voice, which goes from delicate singing to an aggressive rasp without warning, was the star of the show as always (Vulture recently suggested it may be the best voice in rock music today and it's not hard to see why). But the not-so-secret weapon of the new songs is Joe Reinhart's guitar. Whether he's throwing in tricky leads over a song's chorus or ripping classic rock-style solos, his playing is as much a highlight of the show as Frances' singing.

Seeing as Painted Shut just came out, it made sense that last night's show leaned a lot heavier on those songs, but they did of course save room for some old favorites. And as good as the new record is, there's only a handful of songs by any indie rock band that consistently get a whole room going like "Tibetan Pop Stars." Pitchfork recently said that song "should be etched in titanium and shot into outer space for safekeeping." If you've seen a crowd react to Hop Along playing it, you'd probably think that idea isn't half bad.

Pictures of last night's show continue below...

Continue reading "Hop Along celebrated 'Painted Shut' with 2 NYC shows (pics from Baby's All Right w/ Thin Lips & Quit)"

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