Entries tagged with: Wavves

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by Andrew Sacher

photo: Jakob Danger's dad at Barclays Center in 2013 (more by Dana Distortion)
Jakob Danger

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has not one but two sons following his footsteps and making music, and they're both signed to garage rock powerhouse Burger Records. His youngest, the 17-year old Jakob Danger (real name, no gimmicks), just inked a deal with the label for his debut EP. Unlike say, Sean Lennon though, Jakob sounds like he's trying to distance himself from his dad's music. No California pop punk for young Armstrong -- he wants his NYC indie rock. "My two favorite bands are The Strokes and Beach Fossils - those are my two biggest influences," he tells NME. If he does sound like his dad, "then it's probably just because I'm his son," he adds. If you wanna hear for yourself, a few tracks are below.

Jakob's older brother Joey drums in the band SWMRS (aka Swimmers), who have been around for a few years but joined Burger more recently. Their latest single is an ode to Miley Cyrus called "Miley" where they proclaim, "Miley you're a punk rock queen." Maybe her collaborators The Flaming Lips, Laura Jane Grace or Joan Jett would agree. We know Noisey's Dan Ozzi would. You can check the "Miley" video out below.

photo: Wavves in Chicago in September (more by James Richards IV)

SWMRS recently wrapped up a West Coast tour supporting Wavves, whose new album sounds a whole lot more like it wants to be Green Day than either of Billie Joe's kids do. Wavves are on the East Coast as we speak, having hit NYC on Saturday (10/2) at Saint Vitus and Tuesday (10/6) at Irving Plaza. We didn't catch either of those shows unfortunately (did you?), but we did just catch them with Twin Peaks in Chicago. Check out pictures.

In more related news, California duo The Garden will release their new album Haha this week (10/9) on both Burger and Epitaph Records, making them not only on Burger but also on the same label that's released albums by The Offspring, Weezer, and more bands that the new Wavves album sounds like. The Garden are more a post-punk band though, not like the stuff Jakob Danger's been listening to, but in a snarky, shouty, and sometimes electro-tinged way. You can watch three videos and stream two other tracks from that album below.

Something that's not on Burger but that the label must be wishing they had is the 20th anniversary vinyl reissue of the Angus soundtrack, due out on November 3. Given that they signed Billie Joe Armstrong's kids, a Weezer side project and The Muffs, you'd think they might want the album that was home to beloved Green Day and Weezer b-sides "J.A.R." and "You Gave Your Love To Me Softy," respectively, and The Muffs. (Not to mention Ash, the Smoking Popes, Love Spit Love, Goo Goo Dolls when they were punk and more.) To some people, like music writer and Freshkills/Publicist UK member Zachary Lipez, it's -- along with the Clueless soundtrack which got its first-ever vinyl release earlier this year -- definitive pop punk.

As for the actual Green Day, they have a documentary on the making of American Idiot coming out, in case you wanted to know more about that album.

Continue reading ""My two favorite bands are The Strokes & Beach Fossils" says Billie Joe Armstrong's son who is signed to Burger Records"

by Andrew Sacher


Wavves had already revealed almost half of their new album V, but now they've given us the whole thing ahead of its October 2 release date (via Warner Bros). As the singles hinted, it's the most highly produced thing they've done -- if you prefer lo-fi Wavves, check out their collaborative album with Cloud Nothings or their side project Spirit Club's album from earlier this year -- but it's otherwise the kind of sugary pop punk/alt-rock they've been making since King of the Beach. It's also their shortest full length since their debut. No psych-pop explorations this time around, just rockers. Listen to the whole thing below, via NPR.

The band's tour with Twin Peaks and Steep Leans hits NYC on October 2 at Saint Vitus (sold out) and October 6 at Irving Plaza (tickets).

Continue reading "listen to Wavves' new album 'V' in full"

by Andrew Sacher


Wavves' new album V comes out next week (10/2) via Warner Bros, and today they're releasing another single from it: "Pony." It's the calmest, least punky of all the singles we've heard from V so far, but still with plenty of the studio shine that the others all had. Listen below.

Wavves' ongoing tour with Twin Peaks hits NYC on October 2 at Saint Vitus (sold out) and October 6 at Irving Plaza (tickets). Both of those shows (and other dates) have support from Steep Leans, who are signed to Wavves' Ghost Ramp label. Their debut album Grips on Heat came out last week (9/18) and it sounds like it'll fit right in on a bill with Wavves and Twin Peaks. You can stream that below too.

Continue reading "Wavves share "Pony"; tourmate Steep Leans streaming LP"

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)"


Evidence is mounting that Wavves will in fact be the secret guest at Pitchfork's show at Villain tonight with Protomartyr and Deradoorian also on the bill. Wavves' tour with Twin Peaks begins in Early September and returns to NYC for two shows in early October.

UPDATE: Yes, WAVVES was the guest.

by Andrew Sacher


First, second, and now there's a third single from the new Wavves album, called "Heavy Metal Detox." Of the three we've heard, this one's probably the Wavves-iest -- a blast of stoner pop punk that you could see fitting on really any of their releases of the current decade (barring the production value). Listen below.

Wavves' tour with Twin Peaks hits NYC on 10/2 at Saint Vitus (sold out) and 10/6 at Irving Plaza (tickets).

Wavves' new album, V, will be out October 2 via Warner Bros.

Continue reading "Wavves release new song "Heavy Metal Detox" (listen)"

by Andrew Sacher

photo by Alexandra Gavillet

Wavves recently released the pop-punky lead single "Way Too Much" off their upcoming fifth album, V, which comes out October 2 via Ghost Ramp/Warner Bros (pre-order). Now they're back with second single "Flamezesz," which is a bit cleaner and more '90s power pop than '90s punk. Both are good, and keeping us excited for the record. Listen below.

Wavves' tour with Twin Peaks hits NYC on album release day at Saint Vitus (10/2) (sold out) and Irving Plaza on 10/6 (tickets).

Continue reading "Wavves release second single from new album, "Flamezesz""

by Andrew Sacher


Wavves already gave us their collaborative album with Cloud Nothings and their side project Spirit Club's album this year, but we're still waiting on the band's proper followup to Afraid of Heights. Release details and a title are TBA, but a new single called "Way Too Much" is now out, which Nathan mentions he co-wrote with guitarist Alex Gates. Like his last album, it's an endlessly catchy bit of pop punk and way clearer than his lo-fi roots. It's keeping our anticipation for this album pretty high. Listen below.

UPDATE: Wavves mentions that the album is called v (as in, his fifth album), and he has not been happy with the way his label Warner Bros is handling the release. That's the artwork above, but he initially posted an alternate cover (see below) after saying Warner would sue him if he used his original artwork. He also screenshotted Warner's copyright not letting him upload the new song to Soundcloud, but he eventually got it uploaded. He's been tweeting about the label dating back to Tuesday, when he wrote, "Once im out of this contract i never deal with another one of these sucubus major labels again." See more of his tweets below.

The band's tour with Twin Peaks hits NYC on October 2 at Saint Vitus (sold out) and October 6 at Irving Plaza (tickets).

Wavves' label Ghost Ramp is also releasing the new Birth Defects record (ex-Thee Oh Sees/Bleached, produced by Ty Segall) which we posted a stream of today.

Continue reading "Wavves release new single "Way Too Much," not happy with Warner Bros Records"

by Andrew Sacher

Birth Defects

Thee Oh Sees have a new killer lineup (which is touring soon), but their old lineup was killer too, so it's exciting to see former guitarist Petey Dammit is in a new band, LA's Birth Defects. The band is fronted by Jason Finazzo and also features former Bleached drummer Jon Safley. They hooked up with Ty Segall to produce their eight-song debut LP, First 8 Mistakes, and they're releasing it this week on Wavves frontman Nathan Williams' label Ghost Ramp. So it's safe to say they're in good company.

The album is garage punk that very much leans on the "punk" side of that spectrum, thanks in no small part to Jason's throat-shredding vocals. It sounds like the work of a band raised equally on '80s California hardcore and The Stooges, but it's not really a retread of either one. Stream the whole album (via The FADER) and watch the video for "Party Suicide" below...

Continue reading "Birth Defects (ex-Thee Oh Sees) releasing their debut album on Wavves' label, produced by Ty Segall (listen to it)"

Wavves and Cloud Nothings

Wavves and Cloud Nothings announced that their collaborative album, No Life For Me, would be out at some point this year, and now we finally know when: Tonight at midnight, as a tweet from Wavves reveals. (If you're in Europe, it's already out). That's the artwork above by Nicholas Gazin, who calls it "one of the only good rock n' roll records made recently." Tracklist below.

UPDATE: It's out now! You can get it on iTunes and bandcamp, and it's also available for physical pre-order. Stream it in full below.

The album was co-written by Wavves' Nathan Williams and Cloud Nothings' Dylan Baldi, and co-produced by Nathan and his brother and Sweet Valley/Spirit Club bandmate Joel. It also features Wavves drummer Brian Hill and additional vocals from Nathan's Spirit Club bandmate Andrew Caddick. Despite initial reports that Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij would appear on the record, his contribution didn't end up making it on.

Wavves' tour will be in NYC for shows on 10/2 at Saint Vitus (sold out) and 10/6 at Irving Plaza (tickets).

Album stream below...

Continue reading "the Wavves & Cloud Nothings album is out NOW (stream it)"

photo: Wavves in Chicago in 2013 (more by Milos Markicevic)

Wavves, who have been promising two albums this year, have announced a tour with fellow with guitar bashers Twin Peaks. The tour includes a leg with Swimmers, followed by a leg with Steep Leans which hits NYC twice.

The NYC shows are October 2 at Saint Vitus and a larger all ages show on October 6 at Irving Plaza. Tickets for Vitus and Irving on Friday (6/26) at 10 AM. Irving also has Live Nation and Music Geeks presales starting Wednesday (6/24) at 10 AM. All dates are listed below.

While we're still waiting on that new Wavves music, we did get a new album this year from Nathan Williams' other band Spirit Club. If you haven't heard that yet, you can listen below...

Continue reading "Wavves and Twin Peaks announce tour (dates)"

Courtney Love

Courtney Love, who is currently on tour opening for Lana Del Rey with a member of The Hold Steady in her band, is now releasing a 7" on the label that Wavves runs. (Technically it's a split release between Wavves' label Ghost Ramp, and Crush Music, which Courtney, Wavves, Fall Out Boy, Panic At The Disco and others are signed to.) The a-side is "Miss Narcissist," which you can stream below, and the b-side is "Killer Radio," which will only be on the physical version which is coming out soon.

The artwork for the single was designed by Courtney. Check that out, with the song stream, and her upcoming list of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Courtney Love releasing a single on Wavves' label (listen)"

photo: Wavves at McCarren Park in 2011 (more by Tamara Porras)

Spirit Club is the band of Wavves frontman Nathan Williams, his brother and Sweet Valley collaborator Joel, and Jeans Wilder (aka Andrew Caddick), and they make lo-fi punk not far removed from early Wavves. Their self-titled debut album comes out this week on Ghost Ramp, and it's now streaming in full. Listen below.

Wavves also have their collaborative album with Cloud Nothings and a new Wavves album coming. Last week, Sweet Valley dropped the new single "Big Blue" featuring Juicy J and Soulja Boy. Listen to that below too.

Continue reading "Wavves side project Spirit Club streaming new album (listen)"

Wavves Cloud Nothings

Wavves and Cloud Nothings have been talking about their collaborative album for a while now, and recently said it'd be out this year. Now it's finally been announced. It's called No Life For Me, and that's the album artwork above. Wavves' Nathan Williams and Cloud Nothings' Dylan Baldi co-wrote the whole record together (except one song, "Such A Drag," just written by Nathan), and Nathan's brother Joel (who he plays with in Sweet Valley and Spirit Club) produced the album. Wavves members Stephen Pope and Brian Hill played on it, as did Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij. Release date TBA, but it's coming out via Ghost Ramp.

Cloud Nothings and Wavves are both playing SXSW this week, as is Spirit Club.

by Andrew Sacher

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

Nathan Williams is looking like he'll be having a very busy 2015. He said there will be two Wavves records released this summer, one of which will be free. One of those is the long-awaited collaborative album with Cloud Nothings, which Nathan tells Nylon Guys he recorded at his house with CN singer Dylan Baldi and Wavves bassist Stephen Pope. The other is the fifth Wavves album, which "was recorded with a full band in L.A. with legitimate producers and engineers" that they previewed a handful of songs from at their Baby's All Right show this past September. (They sounded great, too.)

On top of that, Nathan and his brother Joel (who make electronic music together as Sweet Valley) and Jeans Wilder (aka Andrew Caddick) also have a debut album coming out as Spirit Club this spring, and just released the first single "Still Life" today. It's the kind of lo-fi punk that sounds more like Wavvves or King of the Beach than what Wavves is doing now, and it's good stuff. Check out the video below.

Continue reading "Wavves releasing a new album, the Cloud Nothings collab, and a Spirit Club LP this year (stream a track from that one)"

Shaky Knees

We're officially in Music Festival Announcement Season, and the latest one is Atlanta's annual Shaky Knees Festival, happening May 8-10. This year includes The Strokes, The Avett Brothers, Wilco, Pixies, Social Distortion, Ryan Adams, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Tame Impala, Brand New, Mastodon, Neutral Milk Hotel (supposedly one of your last chances to see them for a while), Interpol, Flogging Molly, TV on the Radio, Manchester Orchestra, James Blake, Death from Above 1979, Dr. Dog, Spiritualized, Panda Bear, American Football, Clutch, Black Lips, The Mountain Goats, Best Coast, Real Estate, Wavves, Built to Spill, The Both, Mac DeMarco, Minus the Bear, Old 97's, FIDLAR, METZ, THe Bronx, Speedy Ortiz, Palma Violets, VIet Cong, Strand of Oaks and more. Tickets are on sale now.

Full initial lineup (even more TBA) below...

Continue reading "Shaky Knees Festival 2015 lineup (Strokes, Wilco, Pixies, DFA 1979, Spiritualized, Panda Bear, American Football & more)"

DJ Shadow at Irving Plaza in September (more by Mathieu Bredeau)
DJ Shadow

While his tour with Cut Chemist is over, legendary producer DJ Shadow remains busy. His new Liquid Amber imprint just put out Bleep Bloop's new EP 10 Watt Lazer, the label's first release from anyone other than its founder. Bleep Bloop works along the same hip-hop grounded blueprint as Shadow, but his tracks tend to gaze more into the future than the past for inspiration. Says Shadow himself:

This is the first Liquid Amber release by an artist other than myself, so it's an exciting and challenging phase of the process. I'm learning something new daily, and that's rewarding. With Aaron's music, it's not hard for me to be motivated to work on his behalf. He's one of the artists pushing boundaries, and that's a cause I'll always get behind.
Check out the entire spacey Bleep Bloop EP below.

In other news, DJ Shadow is one of the artists featured on the limited edition 59-song re-release of the soundtrack to this year's Grand Theft Auto V. That features the game's original score -- by Tangerine Dream, Woody Jackson, The Alchemist + Oh No --  as mixed by DJ Shadow, as well cuts from the soundtrack featuring original music from Flying Lotus, A$AP Rocky, Tyler, The Creator, Twin Shadow, Wavves, Yeasayer, as well as classics from the various radio stations you can listen to in the game.


The soundtrack is out now in both three-disc CD and a massive six-LP vinyl sets in collaboration with Nas' Mass Appeal Records.

And lastly, DJ Shadow's "Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt," from his classic 1996 album Endtroducing, is featured in a new commercial for the new Chevy Malibu, with a pitchman's voiceover replacing the myth-making spoken word of the original track (sad?). Check out the commercial and Bleep Bloop's EP below...

Continue reading "DJ Shadow in Chevy ad, started a label, signed Bleep Bloop, is on GTAV soundtrack (ltd edition 59-song version out now)"

photos by James Richards IV, words by Zach Pollack & Milos Markicevic

The Flaming Lips / Afghan Whigs / mohawks
Riot Fest 2014
Riot Fest 2014
Riot Fest 2014

Riot Fest Chicago kicked off this past Friday (9/12) in Humboldt Park and continued the following day with Samhain (playing Initium) (video below), The National, The Flaming Lips, Descendents (playing Milo Goes to College), The Get Up Kids (playing Something to Write Home About), The Afghan Whigs, Television, Buzzcocks, Samiam, Wavves and many more. Pictures of the second day, and Milos and Zach's reviews, are in this post.

I skipped the rainy first day of Riot Fest and waded through the muddy aftermath to The Dandy Warhols perform at the Riot Stage. Getting there early I used the extra time attempting (and failing) to clean my sneakers, which had accumulated enough mud under the soles to make them look like brown platform shoes. The Dandys hit the stage on time and managed to squeeze in a good variety of their hits in the short 45 minute set time, including "I Love You," "We Used To Be Friends," "Bohemian Like You," and "Boys Better." The sound was a bit off the first couple of songs, possibly having something to do with Courtney Taylor's dual mic setup. But overall the set was excellent and managed to distract me from the sinking feeling under my shoes. The band seemed to enjoy themselves, especially keyboardist Zia McCabe who danced like a hippy while playing her Korg synth and tambourine. I spotted her again later in the day rocking out among the audience during the Die Antwoord set. Overall my only complaint was that Dandy's set felt criminally short and left me craving more. --MM

I started off day 2 of the festival by catching NYC punk legends Television's late afternoon set on the Rise Stage. They delivered almost all of their classic Marquee Moon (3/4 of their current lineup recorded the LP), complete with its signature paranoid feel and fantastic interlocking guitar work. Though they don't play all that many shows these days, the band were way on at the fest and came off sounding just as powerful as their recordings. After watching a large part of their set, I headed over to the Riot Stage for something very different: Die Antwoord.

The South African rave rappers began their performance by piping a highly-effected "DJ Hi-Tek Rulez" over the sound system, which includes the hook "DJ Hi-Tek will fuck you in the ass." Their subsequent set followed suit, with more ridiculous and highly danceable songs. During what I stuck around for, rapper Ninja mooned the crowd multiple times and did some serious stage hopping with Yo-Landi Vi$$er. We then broke for food prior to The Afghan Whigs' set on the nearby Roots Stage. --ZP

The crowd waiting for the Whigs couldn't have been more different than the one we had left. Older and somber, they occasionally took furrowed glances at Die Antwoord's stage in manner similar to a disgruntled parent. The Afghan Whigs finally hit the stage at 4:15 sharp and the crowd erupted with a mix of excitement and relief. Greg Dulli and the band were dressed in the debonair style that they're known for and reached deep into their back log, pulling out favorites like "Debonair" from their classic Gentleman album (which they're reissuing this year). The band flat out rocked and Duli even slammed his own drum near the end of the set. It was a real pleasure seeing these guys fully back in action. --MM

After Afghan Whigs, we headed to the smaller Revolt Stage to catch Buffalo, NY punk pop trio Lemuria. The three-piece delivered a mix of tunes from last year's The Distance Is So Big and its predecessors with a ton of energy. The humble crowd they gathered seemed to eat it up too. Highlights included the driving "Clay Baby" and grungy "Brilliant Dancer." After a handful of songs from Lemuria, we headed over to the already-packed Roots Stage where Wu-Tang Clan would soon be playing.

The Wu entered with their classic party-starter "Bring Da Ruckus," followed by the majority of 36 Chambers. Standout moments from their overall fun set included the RZA-led "The Mystery Of Chessboxin'," "Protect Ya Neck," and the classic "C.R.E.A.M." RZA also gave Syl Johnson a big shout out while talking about influential Chicago artists. --ZP

The Flaming Lips were our next mark, who were to take the Roots Stage after Wu-Tang. Wayne Coyne and co. began their sprawling trip-out with "The Abandoned Hospital Ship" followed by "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1." The band had an elaborate, hanging fiber-optic setup and a stage-spanning screen with visuals behind them. When combined (most often with a tunnel-looking rainbow video), the backgrounds and fiber-optics worked extremely well together. There were also various blowup mascots on stage throughout their set, like a sun, mushrooms, a creepy butterfly, etc. with people inside animating them. While attempting a confetti cannon shot during "The Abandoned Hospital Ship," The Flaming Lips blew the power on the Roots Stage. The confetti still shot off, and it was a bit sad for a few minutes while they assessed the situation. They did manage to come back strong, yet Coyne still seemed understandably deflated. This didn't stop him from putting on a great show though, and he channeled some of that weirdness into an excellent performance of The Terror standout "Look...The Sun Is Rising." The uplifting "Do You Realize??" came next, followed by their incredibly warped cover of The Beatles classic "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." The verses remain fairly intact, but the chorus is shopped with doom-ridden explosions throughout. It's a really interesting take on the song, and I'm curious to see what the recording will be like. --ZP

The National were a bit delayed due to a border crossing mishap in Ottawa, so The Flaming Lips were given a bit more time. When they did arrive, Matt Berninger first joked that he was busy checking his email before actually explaining what happened. The National proceeded to give us a mostly late-period headlining set that featured songs from Trouble Will Find Me and High Violet. That's not to say their older material was completely ignored. " They capped off their characteristically great show with "Fake Empire" into "Mr. November," and finished with "Terrible Love." --ZP

Day 1 pics and review HERE. Day 3 HERE. More pictures of most of the above-reviewed artists and a handful of others from day 2, below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Chicago day 2 in pics (The National, Flaming Lips, Afghan Whigs, Television, Buzzcocks, Samiam, more)"


Riot Fest Chicago 2014 is set to take place from September 12-14 throughout Humboldt Park. The 10th anniversary of the festival features Jane's Addiction, Slayer, The Offspring, Pussy Riot (Nadya Tolokonnikova & Masha Alekhina), Mastodon, The Murder City Devils, Failure, Title Fight, The National, The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, Descendents, The Cure, Weezer, Social Distortion, Primus, Patti Smith, and many more across seven-stages. The fest has now shared daily lineups, which you can scope out at the bottom of this post. Three-day and two-day passes are still available, and single-day tickets are on sale now.

Denver single day tickets are on sale too. Day-by-day lineups HERE.

Toronto single day tickets are also on sale. Day-by-day lineups HERE.

RFC 2014 daily lineups lie after the jump...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Chicago announces daily lineups, single-day tix on sale"

Wavves at Bonnaroo 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

Wavves are among the awesome Riot Fest Chicago (9/12-14) lineup, and lucky for us in NYC they'll stop here for a show at Baby's All Right on September 8 right beforehand. That's a much smaller show than their last stop here at Irving Plaza, and should go down more like their Glasslands/Shea shows around Afraid of Heights' album release time. Tickets for the Baby's show go on sale Friday (7/18) at noon.

Wavves hasn't revealed any plans for Afraid of Heights' followup yet, but he is supposedly "almost done" with a collaborative album with Cloud Nothings, who also recently announced a tour.

All currently known dates are listed, with a video, below...

Continue reading "Wavves playing Baby's All Right before Riot Fest Chicago"

Riot Fest

The initial lineup for Riot Fest Toronto was recently announced, and since then the Riot Fest Chicago (Sept. 12-14) and Riot Fest Denver (Sept. 19-21) lineups were announced as well.

Chicago has The Cure, Jane's Addiction, The National, Weezer, The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Slayer, Wu-Tang Clan, Descendents, Tegan & Sara, Metric, the reunited Samhain (!), Cheap Trick, Pussy Riot (Nadya Tolokonnikova & Masha Alekhina), Patti Smith, Taking Back Sunday, Mastodon, Afghan Whigs, Naked Raygun, Cock Sparrer, Superchunk, Lucero, Murder City Devils, Mudhoney, Failure, Hot Snakes, Thurston Moore, Get Up Kids, Kurt Vile, Wavves, ALL, Mineral, Title Fight, Samiam, Menzingers, Front Bottoms, Pianos Become the Teeth, Bouncing Souls, Buzzcocks, Gogol Bordello, Stiff Little Fingers and many more. Tickets are on sale now.

Denver also has The Cure, The National, Weezer, Social Distortion, The Flaming Lips, Slayer, Wu-Tang Clan, Taking Back Sunday, Lucero, Failure, Hot Snakes, ALL, Mineral, Menzingers, Pianos Become the Teeth, Bouncing Souls, Buzzcocks, Gogol Bordello, Stiff Little Fingers plus Primus, TV on the Radio, Glassjaw, Bob Mould, Violent Femmes and more. Tickets are on sale now.

Full Chicago and Denver lineups below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest 2014 Chicago & Denver lineups (The Cure, Samhain, Patti Smith, Get Up Kids, Wu-Tang, Flaming Lips, MANY more)"

TPOBPAH at Summerstage in 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)

NYC indie pop band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have been relatively quiet lately, but it's looking like that's about to change. Frontman Kip Berman has been instagramming guitar pedals lately, which hopefully means they're back in the studio, and Pains have also announced what will be their first hometown show in a while, happening on March 28 at Rough Trade NYC. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (1/17) at noon.

The band's only other currently announced date is New Orleans festival BUKU Music + Art Project, which happens from March 21-22 and also includes The Flaming Lips, Chromeo, Explosions in the Sky, Tyler the Creator, Pusha T, Schoolboy Q, Baauer b2b RL Grime, Danny Brown, Phantogram, Skream, Wavves, Big Freedia, Thundercat, Cashmere Cat, Blood Diamonds and more. Tickets for that festival are on sale now.

There's also been some changes to Pains' lineup. Keyboardist Peggy Wang recently announced that she left the band in order to focus on her job as a writer at Buzzfeed.

TPOBPAH recently released a belated video for "Belong" off their 2011 LP of the same name, which you can watch below...

Continue reading "The Pains of Being Pure at Heart playing Rough Trade NYC after BUKU Fest (lineup)"

by Wyatt Marshall

Andrew of Castevet at Lit Lounge, 2010 (more by Samantha Marble)

Extreme sport junkie, Music Academy presenter, sponsor of cool Sound Select showsmagazine publisher and beverage maker Red Bull has put together a list of the 30 best guitarists under 30. In the two-part rundown, the list covers some territory, lumping Pallbearer's Brett Campbell, Liturgy's Hunter Hunt Hendrix, Mac Demarco, Danielle Haim, Ben Greenberg of The Men, Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz, Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females and Fun guitarist and Lena Dunham-dater Jack Antonoff onto the list. You can check out the whole list below.

Music of the heavier persuasion was decently represented, and Castevet's Andrew Hock made the cut. You can catch him in action with Castevet at an Invisible Oranges sponsored show on October 25 at Union Pool with Churchburn, Oneirogen and Vorde. Also on the list, as a pair, are Inter Arma riff monsters Trey Dalton and Steven Russell. Inter Arma will be back in NYC soon to play Saint Vitus on October 30 with Black Tusk, Descender and No Way.

Ty Segall, who also made the list, will be here next weekend (but on drums) with his band Fuzz, playing a sold out show at Mercury Lounge on 10/12 with CCR Headcleaner. (There is also a show with "Buzz" and "DDT Shampoo" at Death by Audio on 10/13).

You can catch The Men at MHOW in November.

Speedy Ortiz, among others, will be here for CMJ.

Who'd they leave off the list? Check out the full list of Red Bull's 30 under 30 below...

Continue reading "Are these the 30 best guitarists under 30?"

by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher

ARS: Catherine O'Hara, Griffin Dunne & Terri Garr (photo via @anniehartforsure)

In the course of doing what we do here at BV, we've already posted a bunch of videos this week like Arcade Fire, Deerhunter, Glasser, Kanye West, Sarah Neufeld, Goldfrapp, Mates of State, Lou Doillon, and more. But unfortunately we don't get to all the cool videos that come out during the week (or weeks), so here's our attempt at playing catch-up. Check out Au Revoir Simone remaking an '80s Scorsese classic, plus videos from Franz Ferdinand, Wavves, Father John Misty, Waxahatchee, Julia Holter, Eagulls, and one of Disappears covering U2, below.

Continue reading "video round-up (Au Revoir Simone, Franz Ferdinand, Father John Misty, Julia Holter, Waxahatchee, Wavves & more)"

Wavves at Bonnaroo 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

Earlier today, we mentioned that a bunch of punkish bands were added to Jay Z's Made In America festival, which goes down at Philly's Benjamin Franklin Parkway (8/31-9/1) this weekend. Since posting, one more band that fits that description has been added: Wavves. They play the Liberty Stage at 2:30 PM on Sunday. Full schedule here and tickets here.

Wavves will be in NYC when their tour with King Tuff and Jacuzzi Boys hits Irving Plaza on October 3. Tickets for that show are still available.

Meanwhile, Nathan Williams and Stephen Pope of Wavves were also revealed (in an interview with Rolling Stone) as two of the radio hosts on the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V game that Rockstar Games is putting out on September 17. You can watch the trailer for GTA5 that came out today that features a song by Chain Gang of 1974 (Remember them? They're still a band.) below.

The game also includes a station hosted by Flying Lotus which will play much of his own music, along with tracks from Tyler the Creator, Outkast, Aphex Twin, Machinedrum, DJ Rashad, Thundercat, Clams Casino, Dabrye, Kingdom and Shadow Child.

Other hosts include Pam Grier, Bootsy Collins, Kenny Loggins and dancing outlaw Jesco White (!). And additionally, the game's score is being done by Tangerine Dream, The Alchemist, Oh No, and Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption, LA Noire).

Updated Wavves dates are listed, along with a video, below...

Continue reading "Wavves expand tour, added to Made In America Festival, in 'Grand Theft Auto V' w/ Flying Lotus & more (dates)"