Entries tagged with: United Nations
Geoff Rickly has been running into some bad luck lately. Just days after the Thursday/United Nations/No Devotion frontman had to sever ties with his label's controversial financial backer (and said "this is going to end the career of the record label"), he was poisoned and robbed during No Devotion's European tour. The band posted the above Instagram and the caption reads:
Just a little note to say that I was poisoned & robbed (outside our @reeperbahn_festival venue on Friday) and spent the night in the hospital in Hamburg. I'm recovering and will be in Paris tonight. <3 Sorry to anyone that was at our show for the cancellation. The outpouring of love & support for @collectrecords @nodevotionband & @normanbrannon @shaundurkan is nothing short of remarkable.It isn't clear how he was poisoned, but AltPress points out, "Seasoned travelers say these types of crimes (poisoning someone's drink and then waiting for the effects to kick in order to rob them) targeting tourists are quite frequent." Best of luck to Geoff.
photo: Geoff Rickly w/ United Nations at Saint Vitus in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
Yesterday we mentioned how drug price-gouger Martin Shkreli, the current most hated man on the internet, was revealed to be the sole backer of Geoff Rickly's Collect Records, and how in lieu of Shkreli's actions, Rickly and several Collect bands acknowledged their future was questionable. Now, as Pitchfork points out, Rickly has released a statement announcing the label has severed ties with Martin Shkreli:
Today, Collect Records -- with the support and encouragement of all of our artists -- have agreed to fully sever our relationship with Martin Shkreli, effective immediately.Wax Idols already tweeted, "I'm staying with Collect bc I know they'll do the right thing & we'll get through this. Fuck Martin. I won't be defined by his actions." Nothing have yet to comment further, but they did reveal that their new record will be called Tired of Tomorrow.
When I decided to get into business with Martin, we took him on as a patron. He was completely silent and allowed us to do business as we pleased. His only ask was that we sign bands that we believed could make great art given the right environment and not to focus on a profit, no matter how dire the bottom line.
Never in a million years did any of us expect to wake up to the news of the scandal that he is now involved in. It blindsided and upset us on every level. As such, we know it is impossible for us to continue having any ties with him. For my part, I've always strived to make Collect a place that was so liberal, encouraging, and artist-friendly that no one would ever walk away from us willingly, though to do so at any time would be very easy. To that end, I hope that our bands continue to believe in our guidance and passion. Any of them that have had an incurable crisis of confidence will be allowed to leave with nothing but the kind of encouragement that we've built our label on.
For all the kind words of encouragement that I've received over the past two days, I'm forever grateful.
From all here at Collect Records, thank you.
UDPATE: A NY Times article came out today, revealing more info about Geoff's situation with Martin:
Mr. Rickly said he was aware of Mr. Shkreli's past business dealings, which included controversial investments and lawsuits from former employees, at the time of their partnership. "Of course I Googled him," Mr. Rickly said. "I had apprehensions and I talked to him about it. He has a cavalier attitude about things. At the time, one on one, it was soothing, but in public now it comes across as borderline sociopathic."The article also points out that the future of Collect may not be looking good:
"You take any capitalist money and you never know. It's a dirty system and usually people do something questionable things," Mr. Rickly added.
Mr. Rickly said he had hoped to use the money to fund struggling artists. "At the very worst, if Martin was a bad guy, then you're taking his terrible money and giving it to artists who never get any," he said. "I wanted to make something great out of it -- the stupid Robin Hood narrative that everybody knows."
Mr. Rickly said losing Mr. Shkreli's financial support might result in the label's closing. "This is going to end the career of the record label, no doubt," he said. "If I were a band on the label I would be having a serious crisis of faith right now. The amount of money I have in the bank doesn't cover my outstanding invoices. It's devastating."Lastly for now, Geoff has tweeted the following:
Because there are some conflicting things, I feel the need to say this plainly. I have always been an honest and caring person. Collect has been a labor of love from the beginning. The bands on my roster are the best, the brightest, the most forward thinking, rhe most diverse group of people. I'm so proud of all of them and they didn't deserve this. Tonight I'm running on nothing but faith. Faith that any missteps I make in the next few days will be forgiven by people that matter to me. Because I'm human and I hurt. Faith that tomorrow will be better and I'll use my 20 years of punk rock resourcefulness to fulfil every promise I've made. Faith that all of you that have sent their love to me today will help pull me up and teach me a better way to make this label work. And some bands will leave and I will love and support them and some will stay and I'll bleed for them like I do. And I'll make new mistakes. But I'll do it in the best, most honest, most caring way that I can. With my friends and family @SkeeterNYC and persevere.We're wishing for the best for Geoff, Norman, Shaun, and all the bands involved with Collect.
I love you friends. I love you kind strangers. I love you who have been outraged. We need to rage against things sometimes. Now is one. Mostly I love our brilliant bands and @normanbrannon and @shaundurkan leonora Liza and @BraceYourselfPR --- thank you brothers and sisters.
Good night from Germany. Xoxo
As you may know, BrooklynVegan is co-presenting a CMJ showcase at Baby's All Right with Collect. As it currently stands, the lineup is Geoff's band No Devotion, Nothing, Wax Idols, Creepoid, and Foxes In Fiction.
photo: Geoff Rickly w/ United Nations at Saint Vitus in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
By now you've probably seen the dude in the Brand New shirt causing outrage for raising the price of a drug (Daraprim) from approximately $13.50 a tablet to $750. The drug is often used by people with compromised immune systems due to AIDS, and treats life threatening parasitic infections. The person responsible is 32-year-old former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli who is now the founder and chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals. We've heard rumors about a rich Thursday fan who invested in Thursday/United Nations/No Devotion frontman Geoff Rickly's Collect Records, and it was revealed last night that Martin, the most hated man on the Internet right now, is in fact that man.
We've been waiting to hear what Geoff had to say before posting anything. He didn't immediately give a statement or tweet about it (or email us), at least in part because he was flying to Munich to start a tour as this news was breaking. We were especially interested in the situation since it just so happens our official CMJ showcase this year is in partnership with Collect Records.
Geoff broke his silence late this afternoon via a brief interview with Noisey:
My head is still spinning, and though I want to believe that there is some reason that [Martin] would do this that is some remotely positive way, the only thing I can see is that it is totally and completely heartbreaking.Noisey also spoke to Dominic Palermo, frontman of Collect band Nothing, who told them "Nothing will never be a part of a label that involves Martin." He left a longer comment on Facebook, where he added "Like [Geoff] has helped me with my problems the past few months, I plan on helping him in anyway I can."
I can't see my future at all in the label. I have to see what the bands want first, and see if there is any meaning or any mission following all of this. More than anything, I want the bands to see that I hold art as the guiding force in my life. Ultimately I see this going in the same way it always does, where all the artists get blamed for everything and capitalism is never held accountable. I really think that if Collect is going to be scrutinized as being capitalism, but that is how music survives. I'm not making excuses for what has happened, but there is no corner of the music industry that doesn't live and breathe from subsidies from business. It's reductive and hypocritical to hold us and only us accountable though, we are all at fault in some greater way.
Hether Fortune, singer of Collect band Wax Idols, also posted a statement. An excerpt reads:
I personally 100% am NOT FUCKING OK with this guy and his business tactics. If any of you have learned anything about me through being a fan of the band, I hope that you would know by now that this kind of advantageous rich guy greed goes against everything that I stand for.She also points out: "I use the word "patron" rather than "investor" because as far as I know, Martin does NOT recoop a dime from Collect Records. He essentially donates money to the label."
I love Collect Records. Geoff Rickly is an incredible person who I've known and admired since I was 13 years old. I stand behind him and know that he would never willingly put himself OR me into a situation like this had he been aware of what was really going on. We are going to handle this.
Another Collect band, Sick Feeling, told The FADER: "One thing is clear; as long as he has a part in the label, we, Sick Feeling, cannot. Our experience with Geoff, Norm, and Shaun has been nothing but positive, however, we cannot continue to work with Collect as long as Martin Shkreli has any part in it."
Creepoid posted a a statement too:
...we were heartbroken to come to learn that this man was a major financial contributor to Collect Records. As you all know, we released an album with Collect this past summer. From the start we have only ever dealt with people we respected and trusted (Norman, Geoff, and Shaun) and have never met, seen or spoken to Martin Shkreli.Collect employee Norman Brannon (of Texas Is the Reason) has yet to comment, but did say "I haven't said anything because I was blindsided and because I am not interested in writing hot takes when everything is already on fire."
In the whirlwind that has followed, some details concerning the future of Collect remain very blurry (see attached link). We would like to make one thing clear - we would never knowingly work with Martin Shkreli, or anybody willing to walk across the backs of the sick and dying with a smile on their face for the sake of making a profit. As long as Shkreli is involved with Collect Records, directly or indirectly, we cannot be.
Well, whether it was because of Geoff or one of the bands or the entire Internet or Hillary Clinton, it looks like Shkreli has actually backed down. CNBC reports that he's given in and lowering the price as a reaction to the outrage:
Yes it is absolutely a reaction -- there were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we took this action, I think that it makes sense to lower the price in response to the anger that was felt by people.Shkreli, who over the past two days has been tweeting in his own defense while countless people were tweeting death wishes at him, has now made his account private (which means you can no longer see the picture of Pianos Become The Teeth he tweeted from the front row of one of the BrooklynVegan SXSW shows at Red 7 this year) (a fact we learned in the Bullett article) (and a show United Nations also played). No word yet on what price he plans on lowering it to.
It's very easy to see a large drug price increase and say 'Gosh those people must be gouging,' but when you find out the company is not making any money, what does that mean?
And I think in the society we live in today it is easy to want to villainize people, and obviously we are in an election cycle where this is very tough topic for people and very sensitive. And I understand the outrage.
As you may know, we're big fans and supporters of Geoff Rickly, his various bands, his label, and the bands his label has signed. We wish the best for him, Norman and Shaun, and hope they work this all out. As mentioned above, we announced earlier this month that we're co-presenting a CMJ showcase at Baby's All Right with No Devotion, Nothing, Wax Idols, Creepoid and Foxes In Fiction. From a purely musical point of view, we hope this show goes on, as we were really looking forward to the whole night. We'll keep you posted if anything changes with that though.
photo: United Nations at BV-SXSW 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Modern Life Is War are playing their seminal 2005 album, Witness, on tour for its tenth anniversary, and since we last spoke openers have been announced. The Northeast shows have killer support coming from Geoff Rickly's screamo/powerviolence band United Nations, Florida post-hardcore newcomers (and past UN tourmates) Frameworks, and NJ hardcore band The Banner.
That run includes NYC on June 6 at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall, which tickets are still on sale for.
The West Coast shows have support from Cult Leader and Dangers, and the Midwest shows have support from Coliseum, Xerxes and True Love. All dates are listed below.
photo: Coliseum at BK Bazaar in 2014 (more by Mathieu Bredeau)
Louisville heavy post-hardcore band Coliseum will return next week (5/5) with Anxiety's Kiss, their first new album since rejoining Deathwish. Ahead of the release, they put out videos for three songs which you can watch below.
Coliseum are heading on tour to support the new record in June. They'll be on the road with Child Bite for the first half of the run, and United Nations (whose frontman Geoff Rickly plays Maxwell's soon) join up with the band later on. White Lung, Pentagram and others are on select dates as well.
Check out all of Coliseum's upcoming dates, the tour flyer and all three videos from the new album, below...
photos by Tim Griffin, words by Andrew Sacher
Rat Fist / Pianos Become The Teeth / Single Mothers
The three 2015 BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties at Red 7 continued on Friday (3/20), once again bringing a handful of bands to the venue's two stages from noon to 6 PM. This one was co-presented with Invisible Oranges.
Unfortunately, Walter Schreifels' band Vanishing Life had to cancel at the last minute due to illness, so Creepoid were moved from the outside stage to the inside stage and the show got a slightly later start. But other than that (and some rain), day 2 went off without a hitch.
Philly's Creepoid, who since ran into some legal trouble, started the day on a psychedelic note, with hazy smoke machines filling the room and their bass and their swirly logo (emblazoned on their bass drum) lit up from inside the drum. It was the perfect setting for their rocking shoegaze. After them it was Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band. The band's currently a power trio, and while Kevin's equally (or better) known for acoustic singer/songwriter stuff, they stuck mostly to their harder material which was a great fit for the day's bill. After them was The Velvet Teen, the shapeshifting rock band who are about to release their first full length in nine years on Topshelf. They played mostly stuff off that album, and the new songs sound good: like a mix of their indie rock early years and the artier tendencies they took on later on.
After Velvet Teen, the inside stage went officially into heavy mode with Canadian punks Single Mothers. They were in beast mode as usual and got a good amount of the crowd rowdy as well, with a handful of people up front shouting along. Then came their Canadian neighbors KEN mode who have a new bassist and a new album on the way that they previewed a handful of songs from. The new stuff has them sounding a little less metallic and a little more AmRep noise rock. It sounded great. They were followed by Power Trip, who recall a handful of early thrash and crossover bands but sound way too urgent to come off as retro. Like they tend to do, they had the whole room turned into a total madhouse. Wrapping up the inside stage was United Nations, one of Geoff Rickly's current bands. Their album makes a joke out of punk rock (while also being a killer punk album), and they did the same at their show, pairing their crushing set with stage banter that sarcastically poked fun at things like McDonald's' presence at SXSW. And for one song, Geoff broke out his old mask.
Meanwhile, the outside stage began around 12:30 with Rat Fist, a trio featuring members of No Age and Pissed Jeans who played a solid set indebted to garage and early punk. They were followed by Swedish post-punks Makthaverskan, who are currently on their first US tour and were one of the bands we were very excited to finally check out. They sounded great, and their singer's excitable stage presence was fun to watch too. Then came their Run for Cover labelmates Pity Sex, whose hard-hitting shoegaze sounded as good as ever. Up next was Pianos Become the Teeth (who share a rhythm section with United Nations), who played an intense set pulling almost entirely from their newest album, the post-hardcore band's first without screaming. Then the day ended with two veterans: first Mac McCaughan of Superchunk who previewed his upcoming debut solo album, and then shoegazers Swervedriver who just put out their first album since 1998 that (perhaps thanks to bands like Pity Sex and Creepoid) doesn't sound dated at all.
Thanks to our sponsors Dropkloud, Esurance (who let 30 people skip the line each day) and MailChimp for helping make the party possible. If you unlocked our party playlsts on your phone with the DropKloud app, you can go listen to them now. If you're still in Austin, you can still unlock them when at Red 7 with the app installed on your phone. Thanks also to Sailor Jerry for helping keep our artists relaxed.
Pictures from Thursday HERE. Saturday coming shortly. More from Friday below...
photo: Mew at Webster Hall in 2009 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
photo: Power Trip at BV-RBSS in 2014 (more by Ryan Muir)
The three FREE BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties at Red 7 in Austin begin TODAY (Thursday, 3/19). We're taking over both stages of the 6th & Red River venue from noon-6pm and doing it again Friday (3/20) and Saturday (3/21) too. You can RSVP for all three days. If you're in Austin, hope to see you there!
Over the course of the three days there's sets from Mew, The Pop Group, Swervedriver, Frank Turner, Ceremony, Iceage, Screaming Females, METZ, Speedy Ortiz, Power Trip, United Nations, Pianos Become the Teeth, Superchunk's Mac McCaughan, The Octopus Project, Broncho, Frog Eyes, Girlpool, Mitski, Chastity Belt, Alex G, Yumi Zouma, KEN mode, Kevin Devine, The Velvet Teen, Pity Sex, Makthaverskan and more.
Check out the flyers and set times for all three days, below...
We're happy to announce that we're returning to Red 7 for three FREE BrooklynVegan SXSW day parties this year on the Thursday (3/19), Friday (3/20) and Saturday (3/21) of SXSW. RSVP in one spot for all three days.
We'll be taking over the 7th & Red River venue's two stages from noon-6pm each day, Thursday's lineup is HERE. Saturday's lineup will be announced soon, here's the Invisible Oranges co-presented Friday lineup!
FRIDAY, MARCH 20 @ Red 7 (FREE)Please RSVP for all three days.
12:30 Vanishing Life (featuring Walter Schreifels & mems of Trail of Dead)
01:15 Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band
02:00 The Velvet Teen
02:45 Single Mothers
03:30 KEN Mode
04:15 Power Trip
05:15 United Nations (featuring Geoff Rickly)
12:45 Rat Fist (No Age/Pissed Jeans)
02:15 Pity Sex
03:10 Pianos Become the Teeth
04:05 Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk)
The Friday inside show begins with Walter Schreifels' (of Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Rival Schools, etc) new band with two Trail of Dead members, Vanishing Life, followed by a full-band set by long-running singer/songwriter Kevin Devine (who's in the midst of a series of splits with Nada Surf's Matthew Caws, Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves and more). Then comes The Velvet Teen, who just announced their first LP since 2006 on Topshelf Records. After that, the inside stage gets heavier, with snotty Canadian punks Single Mothers, sludgey post-hardcore band KEN mode, crossover thrashers Power Trip, and finally the screamo band of former Thursday singer Geoff Rickly, United Nations.
Outside, the day begins with Philly shoegazers Creepoid (who have a new LP coming), followed by Rat Fist, the new-ish punk band with No Age and Pissed Jeans members. Then it's Swedish post-punks Makthaverskan, their shoegazey Run for Cover labelmates Pity Sex, and atmospheric post-hardcore band Pianos Become the Teeth (who also have members in United Nations). The day wraps up with two veterans: Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan (who has his debut solo LP on the way) and reunited shoegazers Swervedriver.
This year we're proud to be partnering with DropKloud, a new app that is launching just in time for SXSW. Recently acquired by TuneCore, DropKloud uses GPS technology to allow people to unlock exclusive music content in specific geo-targeted locations. You'll be able to try it out at our parties at Red 7 where we'll have special content from the artists playing our shows. Once you unlock it, you can listen later. Stay tuned for more details, but meanwhile get that app on your phone via Google Play or iTunes.
Thank you also to esurance who will provide expedited access to our shows to some people who are following @Esurance on twitter each day, and to MailChimp who powers the daily BrooklynVegan newsletter you'll get on if you RSVP for our shows.
Listen to some of the bands playing, below...
photo: United Nations at Saint Vitus in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
Geoff Rickly's screamo band United Nations have announced two homecoming shows for 2015, one in DC and the other in Brooklyn. Both are with two DC bands, post-rockers Black Clouds (who are Geoff's label, Collect Records) and punks Loud Boyz. The DC show happens 2/28 at Rock & Roll Hotel and the NYC show happens March 2 at Saint Vitus. Tickets for that one are on sale now.
In related news, Geoff's synth rock band No Devotion are currently working on their debut album, and it's being recorded with (now former) Bloc Party drummer Matt Tong, as original drummer Luke Johnson has stepped down. Phil Jenkins from Kids in Glass Houses will be playing with No Devotion at live shows.
In more related news, Pianos Become the Teeth (who have a few members in United Nations) have two upcoming NYC-area appearances: Spring Mixtape Fest at Long Island's Revolution Bar on March 28 with Title Fight, Defeater and others (tickets), and Asbury Park's Skate & Surf Festival happening May 16 & 17 with The Gaslight Anthem, American Nightmare, Beach Slang and more (tickets).
Stream some UN, Black Clouds and Loud Boyz below...
Topshelf Records has had a pretty great year, putting out records by several rising young bands across various rock subgenres (not just emo!), as well as long-awaited returns from veteran bands. Some of those artists, like You Blew It!, are already ending up on 2014 year-end lists, and we asked a few bands on the label to tell us their favorite albums of the year. Below, you'll find year-end lists from You Blew It!, The Jazz June, Cut Teeth, Nai Harvest, and label co-founder Kevin Duquette.
You Blew It! recently announced an upcoming EP on Jade Tree and a tour with Rozwell Kid (who are on their list), Tiny Moving Parts (who are an honorable mention) and Sorority Noise. As discussed, that tour hits NYC on 2/20 at The Studio at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show go on sale at 10 AM on Friday (12/5).
The Jazz June are going on a tour with labelmates Field Mouse (who are on their list) soon, which hits NYC on 12/27 at Saint Vitus (tickets). They put out their first album since 2002 this year, and also headlined the BV CMJ showcase which also featured Beach Slang, who are on their list.
In other Topshelf news, they've got a Caravels / Octaves split, a new Suis La Lune album, and new music from Kind of Like Spitting on the way. And as discussed, Bob Nanna is releasing the first City On Film album since 2005 on the label this month. He already released the first Braid album since 1998 on the label earlier in the year.
Browse the Topshelf lists below...
by Andrew Sacher
Sick Feeling at BV-RBSS show at Palisades (more by Ryan Muir)
When we first heard Sick Feeling's tracks on Soundcloud, they came off like a scuzzy lo-fi punk band, but "Liberal Arts," the first single from their debut LP, Suburban Myth, is much different. This one has the band -- whose lineup includes members of Ink & Dagger, Trail of Dead, Trash Talk and more -- sounding more like something that could've come out on Equal Vision in 2001. The production is much higher quality than those early tracks, the riffs are dissonant and metallic, and singer Jesse Miller-Gordon sounds like he's killing his vocal cords with every note. It's a great song, and you can check it out (via FADER) below. The album comes out January 20 via Terrible Records and Geoff Rickly's Collect Records.
Sick Feeling will also be touring the West Coast in November with Geoff Rickly's band United Nations, which is pretty much a perfect pairing. All of those dates are listed, with the new song, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Frameworks at Saint Vitus in August (more by Greg Cristman)
It's a pretty good year for modern post-hardcore bands covering early 2000s indie rock songs (yes that is a thing now). Following Touche Amore's take on The National's "Available," Gainesville rippers Frameworks have offered a cover of The White Stripes' "Fell In Love With A Girl." The cover appears on their upcoming split with The Saddest Landscape, due next week (10/7) via Soft Speak Records. It's part of the label's split 7" series which also includes the Radiator Hospital/Sorority Noise split which came out this week (9/30). Frameworks do the song well and they definitely make it their own. Check it out (via Kerrang) below.
Following the release of this split, Frameworks and The Saddest Landscape will hit the road together in Europe, and upon returning home, Frameworks will support Pianos Become the Teeth on their album release tour which hits NYC on October 29 at The Studio at Webster Hall (tickets). That'll be the second time Frameworks tour with PBTT members this year, as two members of that band are in Frameworks' recent tourmates United Nations.
All Frameworks dates are listed, with a stream of the White Stripes cover, below...
photos by Greg Cristman
United Nations @ Saint Vitus 8/2/2014
The Geoff Rickley-fronted screamo/powerviolence supergroup United Nations played a sold-out show at Saint Vitus on Saturday (8/2), and we've got pictures of the show in this post. They were joined by Florida post-hardcore crew and current tourmates Frameworks, and Brooklyn-based heavy post-hardcore bands Descender and the death-ier Primitive Weapons. The packed house at Vitus got pretty rowdy, with some mosh pit and crowd surfing action punctuating the sets. United Nations played a bunch of stuff from their recent Temporary Residence-released full-length The Next Four Years and closed the set with fan favorite "United Nations vs. United Nations," about that time they got sued by the non-musical United Nations. UN member Jonah Bayer's sister Vanessa Bayer, who you might recognize from SNL, introduced the headliners, or should we say ROASTED the headliners (watch the video below).
Check out more pictures from all four sets in Brooklyn, as well as setlists for everyone but Frameworks, and the Vanessa Bayer roast video, below...
by Andrew Sacher
United Nations (photo by Pablo Van Winkle)
The tracks keep coming the highly anticipated sophomore album from United Nations, The Next Four Years (due 7/15 via Temporary Residence Ltd). You've already heard "Serious Business" and "Meanwhile on Main St" and the band have now unleashed a third, "United Nations vs United Nations." When I saw UN play this song at 285 Kent last year, singer Geoff Rickly introduced it by saying that the other United Nations sued them over their name, and said he thinks it's really easy for people with money and power to push around people without money and power, so they did a little pushing back. Hence, "United Nations vs United Nations." Check it out below.
United Nations isn't the only thing Geoff Rickly has been up to lately though. The former Thursday frontman also recently re-launched his label, Collect Records. The label was already responsible for releasing the first Touche Amore album (with 6131) and the first United Nations album (with Eyeball), and currently has new 7" releases planned from Touche Amore, Title Fight, Saves the Day and more.
Collect also just released the a-side of the new single from No Devotion, aka the new band of Geoff Rickly (vocals) plus the members of Lostprophets (you may know that Lostprophets' singer is in jail for some unspeakable crimes). The single will be out July 22 but you can now stream "Stay," a track more akin to arena goth than United Nations' searing hardcore. Check it out below.
Stream the new UN and No Devotion songs, below...
by Andrew Sacher
United Nations at 285 Kent in 2013 (more by Lukas Hodge)
United Nations, the current (and much heavier) band of ex-Thursday singer Geoff Rickly, are releasing their new album The Next Four Years on July 15 via Temporary Residence Ltd. After revealing the menacing "Serious Business," UN are back with a new single from the record, "Meanwhile on Main Street." It's calmer compared to the last single, but that doesn't mean it's not still totally intense and filled with rage. Check it out below.
Song stream below...
by Andrew Sacher
United Nations at 285 Kent in 2013 (more by Brad Sanders)
As previously discussed, Geoff Rickly's (ex-Thursday) much heavier band, United Nations, are releasing a new album, The Next Four Years, on July 15 via Temporary Residence Ltd. They just put out the first single from the album, "Serious Business," a spastic take on screamo and post-hardcore that's a pretty good sign this album is going to be killer. You can listen to that below.
The band have also announced a tour, and though the openers haven't officially been announced, it appears newer likeminded post-hardcore band Frameworks are on most dates, including the NYC show happening August 2 at Saint Vitus. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Both bands also play The Fest. All dates are listed, with the new song stream, below...
United Nations at Saint Vitus in 2013 (more by Caroline Harrison)
United Nations, the "emo powerviolence" band of Thursday's Geoff Rickly which also includes/included members of Converge, Glassjaw and Pianos Become the Teeth, have signed with Temporary Residence Ltd. (Explosions in the Sky, Young Widows) who will release The Next Four Years, their first full length since their self-titled 2008 debut, on July 15. No music has been released from it yet, but you can watch a video of them playing one of its songs "United Nations Vs. United Nations" at Saint Vitus, below.
Meanwhile, catch UN at The Fest this year if you're going. Cover art above. Video and LP tracklist below...
by Andrew Sacher
Gainesville, FL multi-venue punk festival The Fest just announced even more bands, including Melvins, United Nations, Coliseum, Small Brown Bike/Casket Lottery-related Able Baker Fox (who haven't played in a while), Whores, Vacation, Plow United's Brian McGee and more. Full list of additions below.
The new additions join Descendents, Lifetime, Paint It Black, The Marked Men, Modern Life Is War, Mineral, Hot Water Music, Screaming Females, Touche Amore, Into It Over It, Circle Takes the Square and many, many more. Passes are still available.
Meanwhile, Melvins singer Buzz Osborne, or King Buzzo, recently released another song from his upcoming acoustic solo album, This Machine Kills Artists, which is due out on June 3 via Ipecac. Like previous single "Dark Brown Teeth," it's acoustic but it's not like Buzzo is going singer/songwriter on us or anything. It's pretty much a drum-less, distortion-less metal song. Check out the new track, titled "Instrument of God," below.
And in more related news, United Nations singer Geoff Rickly (who also used to sing a band called Thursday) recently wrote for The Talkhouse on how he paid $2,000 on StubHub to attend one of The xx's 40-person shows at the Park Avenue Armory in March. Here's how he described the show:
As the set progresses, the room changes. The night turns magic. The lights drop and "Fiction" starts playing. Now the beat is booming somewhere behind us. It's becoming increasingly clear that this small room is a facade and we're in a massive space. The walls turn into screens that are being projected on from outside. The ceiling starts rising above us, first one story, then two, then three. Liza grabs my hand as the soundtrack to her loneliness throbs in the air around us.Read the rest of his interesting (and pricey) story about how and why he ended up forking over two grand for the show, at The Talkhouse.
The walls blow off the room and lights come streaming through the air from great distances. The band is slinking through one number after the other. Music has never been sexier or more vivid. It felt like being inside the record sleeve. The sound roaring in the void around us, the lights echoing the artwork -- this is the closest I've ever been to the realization of a musical vision.
Stream the new Buzzo song, with the full list of Fest additions, below...
words and photos by Caroline Harrison
Circle Takes the Square
Circle Takes the Square's long-awaited comeback tour with rapper B. Dolan hit Saint Vitus Bar last Sunday (11/10), with local support from BK supergroup United Nations. We've got a set of pictures from the show over at Invisible Oranges, plus a writeup:
Saint Vitus played host to an interesting crowd on Sunday. The venue hosts a variety of shows, but as readers of this site are certainly aware, it tends to lean towards metal and harsher rock music. Sunday's show hosted the NYC date of Circle Takes the Square's national tour with rapper B. Dolan (with live band) and local support from screamo/metal supergroup United Nations. Circle Takes the Square had not played New York in recent memory, so it was no surprise that the venue sold out.Head to Invisible Oranges for the pictures, and check out more in this post.
The whole night was a mix of genre-blending music -- not that many artists fit neatly inside one category these days. I think we've all seen enough permutations of "blackened crusty doomcore sludge," or, as our own Wyatt Marshall summed it up, "the works/supreme pizza", to agree. CTTS and United Nations both get the screamo/post-hardcore labels. United Nations' most noticeable influences come from Geoff Rickly, former singer for Thursday, but Ben Koller's (Converge) brief stint in the band around 2009 left a lasting imprint. Current drummer David Haik of Pianos Become Teeth plays with a skill and jaw-dropping intensity that recalls but does not simply mimic Koller's style. Rapper (yes, you read that correctly.) B. Dolan is signed to Sage Francis's label Strange Famous Records. Much like the Minnesotan label Rhymesayers, SFR is a hip-hop outfit that encourages genre-blending from its roster of artists. B. Dolan was definitely the odd man out on Sunday, but played to a receptive crowd regardless.
Circle Takes the Square is like nothing else that's out there. Sure, it's easy to point to certain obvious influences that shaped their sound -- some -cores (hard-, emotional hard-, metal-, noise-), some jazzier, proggier strains, and some blisteringly technical metal. Lots of things with the word "post" in them. A lot of people just call them screamo. Given all these variables, it's understandable that Sunday's crowd was equally diverse.
The group gave it everything they had from the word "go." They tore through the incredibly complex compositions with furious energy, hitting every transition with clock-like precision. While CTTS's unique genre-blending is definitely one of the key differentiators for the band, it's always been Kathleen Stubelek's voice that has pushed them from being really good to being truly memorable. The band was rewarded with an elated audience, many who had been waiting for years to see them. I overheard more than one conversation about how people had been waiting since they were teenagers to see CTTS. It was well worth the wait.
Also, at Invisible Oranges, we're giving away a 180-gram vinyl copy of CTTS' 2012 album, Decompositions: Volume One, and a t-shirt in the size of your choice. Details on how to enter to win are at IO.
More pictures from Saint Vitus and a stream of Decompositions: Volume One below...
Touche Amore / United Nations @ 285 Kent - 10/9/13
Geoff Rickly took a break during United Nations' ripping set at 285 Kent last night (10/9) to dedicate a song to Touché Amoré, the band they were opening for. He said it's amazing and inspiring that in 2013 a hardcore band plays with as much heart as they do, and he's right. Watching the sea of people fight their way to the front of the oversold scrum just to scream a single lyric within earshot of TA frontman Jeremy Bolm was a life-affirming experience in itself, to say nothing of how life-affirming it was for everyone in the crowd to be seeing this band in the flesh.
Touché Amoré doesn't traffic in trends. Despite being lumped in with a "New Wave of Emo" that's reared its head this year on the blogosphere, the Los Angeles five-piece is purely itself, not just some bullet-point on a list. Their brand of hardcore is simultaneously shimmering and abrasive, and Bolm's self-obsessed, wounded lyrics and vocals help set them apart from the bands they're ostensibly sharing a movement with. They are emo in the sense that they emote, but they have a lot more in common with Converge or Moss Icon than, say, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. (Not throwing shade; TWIABP is a very good band as well.)
Their gorgeous cacophony comes off live exactly how you'd expect. At 285 Kent, they played basically every fan favorite, which is to say, they played basically every song they've ever written. The energy level in the crowd barely wavered from set opener "Just Exist" from this year's Is Survived By to closer "Honest Sleep" and unplanned encore song "Face Ghost." Bolm's vocals were mixed high - the only way to mix a Touché Amoré show - but he was matched in volume and intensity by a chorus of fans on nearly every line. Of course, the vocals wouldn't be nearly as effective if they weren't anchored by the incredible guitar tones of Clayton Stevens and Nick Steinhardt, sturdy bass lines from Tyler Kirby and some surprisingly off-kilter drum work by the tireless Elliot Babin. Despite Bolm being the center of attention, it's impossible to forget that you're watching a band up there.
Still, lyrics won the day, and I imagine most people in attendance will remember the show for how loudly the crowd was able to sing along. It was a little strange to see the words that Bolm wrote proudly, selfishly for and about himself being screamed by hundreds of people who felt they were written for them. It's amazing that 285 Kent wasn't sucked into a vortex of self, but somehow, amid all the shouted, narcissistic neuroses, a sense of community was forged. That's the gift Touché Amoré gives: laying bare their insecurities so we can indulge our egos. Hardcore is weird, but man, hardcore is awesome.
The show, which we at BrooklynVegan presented, was a headlining stop for Touché in the midst of their tour with AFI which hits NYC tonight (10/10) for a sold-out show at Webster Hall. Like we said above, last night's show was opened by Geoff Rickly's band United Nations, in addition to Topshelf-signed screamo band The Saddest Landscape. Pictures of all three bands are int his post.
Speaking of Geoff Rickly, he just teamed up with a few members of Made Out of Babies to form the new band, Strangelight (also featuring members of Goes Cube and Red Sparowes), who released their debut EP, 9 Days, this week via Sacrament Music. You can stream the EP in full (via Noisey) along with more pictures from the 285 Kent show, below.
by Andrew Sacher
Touche Amore at House of Vans in 2011 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
As discussed, LA's Touche Amore are heading out on a tour supporting AFI this year, which hits NYC on October 10 at Webster Hall. That show has long sold out, but we at BrooklynVegan are thrilled to announce that they'll headline a BV-presented show in Brooklyn at 285 Kent (10/9) a day earlier. Support at the show comes from Touche collaborator Geoff Rickly's (of Thursday) screamo supergroup United Nations, and another likeminded group The Saddest Landscape. $12 Tickets for the all ages show are on sale now.
Touche Amore are set to release their anticipated third album, Is Survived By, on September 24 via Deathwish, and it's their strongest and most complete work in an already very-solid discography. You've heard the opening track, "Just Exist" and a live version of "DNA," and they've now released another track from the album, "Harbor." Give it a listen over at Rolling Stone.
The Saddest Landscape's most recent release is the Exit Wounded EP, which came out via Topshelf earlier this year. Stream that, along with streams from the other two bands, and the updated list of Touche Amore tour dates, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Circle Takes the Square (photo by Danin Drahos)
As discussed, Gainesville's The Fest is returning this year from October 31 to November 3, and they've just expanded their lineup to include more artists. Additions includes post-hardcore/screamo giants Circle Takes The Square, who have been reunited for a bit but still only rarely play US shows; Geoff Rickly's United Nations, who are also back, but have not been as active as Geoff's solo project; punk vets ALL; Titus Andronicus (who have multiple NYC-area appearances coming up); Fake Problems and more.
Those recent additions join previously announced names like Torche, White Lung, Bouncing Souls, Ceremony, Braid, Paint It Black, Samiam, Knapsack (reunion), The Draft (reunion), The Menzingers, The Lawrence Arms, Hop Along, Code Orange Kids, Creative Adult, Pity Sex, Mean Jeans, Retox, Lemuria, Greys, Tenement, Tim Barry, Toys That Kill, The Night Marchers and more. Tickets for The Fest are on sale now.
Circle Takes The Square returned in December, 2012 with Decompositions Volume Number One, their first album of new material since reuniting and second overall. It's not the instant masterpiece that their 2004 debut, As the Roots Undo, is, but it's still damn good. Download it in its entirety at bandcamp (name your price) or stream it in its entirety, along with the updated The Fest lineup, below.
by Fred Pessaro // BBG
United Nations at Union Pool, Feb 2010 (more by Paul Birman)
United Nations, the shrouded supercrew containing vocalist Geoff Rickly at the helm, are playing shows in middle January, including one at Saint Vitus on January 18 with support from Brooklyn crews Primitive Weapons, Descender, and Black Clouds. Tickets are on sale. Look for the rest of UN to be comprised of Ben Koller (Converge), Lukas Previn (Thursday, Regents), and Jim Carroll (The Hope Conspiracy).
In related news, The Hope Conspiracy have stepped out of hiding to announce work on new material. No details on said material or when/where it will emerge yet.
More United Nations tour dates and some streams are below.
words by BBG, photos by Paul Birman
Unsane are KILLING it dead. -[MetalSucks]
Made Out Of Babies rrrarrrr!!! Julie rockin' amazing Blade Runner makeup - [terryhope]
Unsane played their first show in two years to a packed packed packed Union Pool with Made Out of Babies, United Nations and Dark Vibe on 2/12 (a BV/Osiris production). Besides a few bumps and bruises, blown eardrums, a chunk of eyebrow missing (sorry Julie Christmas), and the fact that some folks couldn't get in, the show was a huge success.
If you have never seen Unsane, these NYC noise rock legends are an absolute MUST SEE. Chris's jangly guitars cut through the mix like a razor blade while Vinny's big drums and Dave's distorted bass punch up the low end. To me, this band should be mentioned in the same breath as pioneers like The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, Helmet, and others... their live show is just pummeling! Essential.
Made Out of Babies were destructive as usual - with their instruments and to themselves. Part way through one of the bands' songs, Julie Christmas cut her eyebrow (presambly in her flailing around) and was GUSHING blood (the squeamish shouldn't look at the pics below). The band are currently working on new material and opened with one massive new jam devised in the past week.
My main beef with United Nations is that although I enjoy the individual projects of it's members in varying degrees (Converge, Thursday, HopeCon, Acid Tiger), I wish United Nations were a full-time endeavor. Incredible live show! UN is a must see, just wish it happened more often!
Bear in Heaven side project Dark Vibe opened the show. More pictures, setlists and videos below...
words by BBG, photos by Samantha Marble
Much like my experiences with Lightning Bolt, I spent a portion of The Hope Conspiracy show at Cake Shop on 1/15 testing out my quads. By pushing back on the crowd from the front, I did my personal best to pacify the onslaught of fans behind (and above!) so they didnt come crashing down on me AND the band. My best wasn't good enough.
Pointing in broad circles at the floor directly in front of their amps and the drum kit, HopeCon's vocalist Kevin Baker said, "I love that you guys are having fun, but we do need to be around HERE to actually play our instruments."
Of the times that I have seen a packed out Cake Shop, this was the most fierce crowd. Burnt By The Sun's tight front rows and rabid pit had nothing on the chaos of 1/15 that included people crowdsurfing underneath the low Cake Shop ceilings.
All opening acts impressed. Mother of Mercy's riffy hardcore comes off more metallic and muscular live even though their energetic and distinctly hardcore vocalist brings it back to their roots. As usual, Blacklisted>'s heartfelt, thundering hardcore was never better with George Hirsch's dynamic lyrical content matching his empassioned performance. Make sure and catch them again at Cake Shop on 3/8.
The real surprise for me was United Nations. Thursday has never been my bag, but this side project featuring Geoff Rickley in addition to Ben Koller of Converge (drums), Jim Carroll of HopeCon (bass!), Lukas Previn of Acid Tiger (guit), and Jonah Bayer of The Lovekill (guit), ripped through insanely great post-hardcore-y screamo powerviolence. They were tense, powerful and beyond awesome and I can't wait for their return at Union Pool on 2/12 with Unsane and MOoB.
More pictures from the show below...