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Mobile DIY Antifolk Rockers Celebrate 10 Years

Durham, North Carolina based folk rockers Beloved Binge will be stopping in RI on their country wide tour. The couple, who describe their music as, “rubble pop in a punk pot,” have been compared to Olympia, WA indie record label k-records, placing them somewhere in the ranks of indie folkies and shoegaze rockers. Beloved Binge is celebrating 10 years of making music, their 10 year “bandiversary”. Their music spans the rolling sounds of folk, and extends out to the feedback filled backbone of garage rock. The constant that winds through their recent album Pockets is the way the duo’s voices come together, part folk chorus, part rock anthem.

Eleni Vlachos is the self-identified drummer of the multi-instrumentalist duo, which will be gracing the stage at AS220 this Wednesday. She and husband Rob Beloved, quit their jobs and got in an ‘82 camper van with their dog, to tour the United States in celebration of making it 10 years.

Beloved Binge does more than just make music. Both members are vegan and work to raise awareness of the suffering of animals, especially as part of the high production food system. On a trip while touring they were traveling from LA to San Francisco and passed a feedlot for dairy cows, the conditions in which the animals were being kept convinced them to take the step from vegetarianism to veganism.

“One of our interests is reducing suffering in the world,” Vlachos explained. Animals make up a lot of life on the planet, and the members of Beloved Binge believe that with increased awareness of plant-based food options, people can make the switch.

“It’s hard to change,” she acknowledged, “Every meal is choice.”

Vlachos is also interested in film work. She has made two films, one called Seeing through the Fence which focusses on the reasons for switching to vegetarian and vegan diets, and why people are reluctant to do so. She will be giving out free copies at the show. While they are on tour this fall she is working on a new project called Big Talk. She is asking the artists they meet while touring questions off her “big questions” list, such as “What is the hardest part of being alive?”

Vlachos grew up in Seattle, working the cash register at her father’s pizza place. Her mother’s family had many classical musicians. She started playing the drums at age 21.

In 1998, Vlachos traveled to Crete, as part of a trip around Greece to get to know the country and visit her father’s family, there she bought a bouzouki (μπουζούκι, pronounced: boo-ZOO-kee), a Greek instrument resembling a lute.

“My father was embarrassed,” she joked, the instrument is usually played by men.

Vlachos met Rob while they were both still living in Seattle. She was looking to get involved with a new band. After the third member of their group left, they re-located to Durham, North Carolina.

“We were kind of broken-hearted,” Vlachos said. They decided to move somewhere new. They had heard nice things about the weather in North Carolina, so they packed up their stuff and moved.

“When we got there it was like a ghost town,” she remembered. But the town opened itself up and revealed a welcoming arts community that has helped them feel at home.

When planning their tour to celebrate 10 years of music making slotting Rhode Island in was an easy choice. Rob’s father lives in the city.

They have played AS220 before and are fond of its DIY ethos. The DIY movement is a large component of what they do. Their tour is self-organized and they are traveling by camper van with their dog.

Looking back on ten years of writing and performing Vlachos finds that the biggest changes are those of perspective.

“You look for ways to entertain yourself,” she said. Tired of playing gigs the same exact way every time they incorporated a theatrical element. Once, they put on a show of Three’s Company inside their performance.

But touring is a major draw when for Vlachos when it comes to going around the country.

“Playing shows is a way to connect with a community that you don’t get when you’re just traveling.”

Beloved Binge will be playing AS220 Thursday August 14. Check out their music at belovedbinge.bandcamp.com.




Cruel Hand Throws Down at Firehouse 13

By: Khrysta Ryan

Providence hardcore locals Waste of Life and Black Celebration opened up a killer show at Firehouse 13 in Providence this past Wednesday. This small three day tour headlined by Maine hardcore band Cruel Hand, who joined Swamps from Springfield MA, and Street Sweeper from Boston.  Although it was a weekday show it didn’t stop people from all over New England to show up and throw down for each band. Fans from Connecticut, Mass, and NH came out and filled the place up.

 

Black Celebration opened the show and hyped up the crowd even without a packed floor. The first band of the night sets the mood for the rest of the show, and that is exactly what they did. This Providence band knew how to keep the crowds attention. Still new to the scene, they had a memorable performance with their opening and closing song be a tribute to a “black celebration.” Their self titled EP, released in early April, is out on Bandcamp, which you can download for free. Following was Waste of Life: only playing three previous shows, the crowd was impressed by the stage presence of the entire band along with

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 the amount of interaction the vocalist had with the fans. Their short and sweet set gave the crowd a taste of what is to come from this local hardcore band. The only vocalist to actually get off the stage made Waste of Life’s set one of the best to watch. Their debut EP Nothing to Gain released in early April, people have been able to hear how this Providence band puts their own twist on the classic hardcore style. With each member having different musical influences they mix their ideas together to create this different take on hardcore. Playing with Cruel Hand, Rude Awakening and Capsize, all bands who are nationally known in the hardcore scene, this band is moving in the right direction; quickly in the hardcore scene.

 

Following Waste of Life was Street Sweeper who killed it with their Boston hardcore sound; fast paced and higher pitched vocals resembling hardcore legends Have Heart. The energy in the room picked up at the start of their set, and didn’t stop until the night ended. The crowd didn’t stop moving and was screaming along for the entire set.

 

Following Street Sweeper was Swamps. Their entire set was mass hysteria, the best kind of course. Firehouse was one entire pit for their whole time on stage. The entire room was on their toes for the whole show–the stage presence of the band was outrageous, you just couldn’t look away. The vocalist Andy captured the audience’s attention, constantly jumping and shoving the mic into crowd.  This was the perfect way to lead into the headliners, Cruel Hand’s set.

 

The Maine hardcore band started off with well known songs, getting the crowd to pick up their feet and sing along. Cruel Hand is known for their crazy sets and groovy take on hardcore. The vocalist and entire band left the crowd wanting more after playing some new songs from their upcoming album. Out in early September, this will be the first album since 2010.

 https://www.facebook.com/Cruel Hand
https://www.facebook.com/swampsma
https://www.facebook.com/pages/StreetSweeper/294644739539
https://www.facebook.com/wasteoflifehc
https://www.facebook.com/blackcelebrationri
https://www.facebook.com/LighthousePhotographyUS



Local Band; Violent Sons Get Signed to Record Label

By: Khrysta Ryan

Newest addition to the Providence hardcore punk scene, Violent Sons got signed to Bridge Nine Records early July. In late 2013 members from local acts Verse, Raindance and Suicide Pact got together for a collaboration resulting in Violent Sons. Using their past experiences to relate to one another, the guys thought this combination of musicians would be the perfect outlet for a, “therapeutic experience.” Members of the band felt as though something was missing from their lives.

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Violent Sons are veterans in the hardcore punk scene in Providence and Mass; most of the members having been in the scene since the early 2000s. The new group  is paving its way with their own twist on what Verse and Raindance have already done. A more powerful punk influence creates the new sound that Violent Sons debut LP; Nothing As It Seems gets across  Quoted from Bridge Nine Records, Violent Sons’ lead vocalist Sean Murphy’s “exasperated, incensed sociopolitical frustration” pulls the record together.

 

Without any merch and only one track up on their Bandcamp page that hasn’t stopped Violent Sons from playing shows.  “It was nice to just get up there and blast through our set with minimal knowledge of who we are as an introduction of our band,” Murphy explained, wanting to give people a live first impression. “We started this band to write cohesive music without boundaries.” Incorporating a wide spectrum of music, Violent Sons have less interest in “sticking to any particular template.”

 

Bridge Nine quickly picked up this band, after having signed Verse in the past. This semi- secretive project with the record company  was just released to the public only a week ago on the July 2 Although it was just recently announced, the band has been playing local shows around New England for a few months now. Bridge Nine released digital copies of the Violent Sons LP on July 8. Physical copies will be released in early September with pre order at bridge9.com.

Bridge Nine Records is a Massachusetts based record label, moving progressively in the right direction since 1995. Owner Chris Wrenn began putting out 7’ vinyl of his favorite local bands, supporting the cost by selling shirts, patches and stickers. The idea slowly expanded turning Bridge Nine into what it is today. Bridge Nine welcomes Violent sons to the label. This Providence band joins national acts, New Found Glory, H20, Have Heart and Ceremony, in the Bridge Nine family.

 

https://www.facebook.com/VIOLENTSONS




Album Of The Week: Cretin Stompers’ Looking Forward To Being Attacked

A great underground punk jewel, you might have to rummage through your local record store to get a physical copy, but once you listen to Looking Forward To Being Attacked the search will be all worth it.

cretinHave you ever heard an album that is so weird and creepy sounding that it’s absolutely brilliant? There’s a cool shoegaze punk act called Cretin Stompers out of Memphis and I recently stumbled upon their debut album, Looking Forward To Being Attacked. Billy Hayes, Big Muff and Alex Gates have joined forces to start a band that sounds like a combination of My Bloody Valentine and The Sex Pistols. It’s one of the most inventive musical projects I’ve heard in a long time. With Hayes’ resume consisting of playing with the late Jay Reatard and Gates being the guitarist of San Diego surf punk act Wavves, you shouldn’t expect anything less than a mind-blowing album. Good thing Cretin Stompers’ debut lives up to the hype.

Those who know me know that I have an affinity for the fuzzy stuff when it comes to music. The interesting thing about this album is the high-pitched chipmunk-esque vocals on most of the tracks mixed with loud guitars and powerful drums. It’s almost as if the Pixies took acid, tried sounding like The Flaming Lips and Cretin Stompers was the end result. A great underground punk jewel, you might have to rummage through your local record store to get a physical copy, but once you listen to Looking Forward To Being Attacked the search will be all worth it.

Governments are mishandling tax money, there’s mass protesting everywhere, and there’s another militia working on taking over the entire Middle East. If your outlook on the world needs a little brightening, take a gander at the top tracks off of my Album Of The Week.

The trinity of the high pitched vocals, loud guitars and powerful drums is excellently exemplified on “Project: Object.” Each time I listen to it part of me wants to be freaked out, but it’s a truly wonderful track that puts me in a blissful mood. A punk rager to the fullest extent is “Adult Child;” the guitars definitely have that trademark shoegaze effect with raw energy upping the ante. If I had to pick any hit single off of Cretin Stompers’ debut, it’ll be “Eye Of The Storm.” There’s a nice pop aesthetic that pleases the senses while also being very catchy. Another great tune is “Cowboy From Mars,” a total rocker that has a lot of soul and blues tones.

There have been no tour dates announced by Cretin Stompers so unfortunately, who knows when and where they’ll be playing next. Hopefully they’ll come play in the New England area or even better, they’ll hit up a venue in a Providence soon. Until they come and raise hell in your hometown, grab a copy of Cretin Stompers’ Looking Forward To Being Attacked. It’ll give your ears that rock ‘n’ roll fix they’ve been craving.

Cretin Stompers’ BandCamp page:  cretinstompers.bandcamp.com




Know Your Mom and Pop: Record Store Day Edition

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They may be out-dated technology, but records are not ancient artifacts

Record shopping used to be a favorite pasttime of mine. I loved searching stores to discover a band I would love for years to come, picking out albums based on the feeling I got from looking at the cover, song titles and record label. Adult responsibilities have made this hobby much less feasible, but I still get excited to look through record stores when I have a few extra bucks in my pocket.

Record Store Day, taking place on Saturday, April 19, started in 2007 with the hope of promoting the record collecting culture and giving a boost to more than 1,000 independent record stores. It has since taken off and become quite the phenomenon. The third Saturday of April has become almost a holiday for music lovers.  Fans eagerly await the list of collectible records being released specifically for Record Store Day. Stores have limited copies and people line up hours before stores open their doors hoping to get at least a few items on their list. There are usually giveaways, contests and live music to help celebrate this special day. Most importantly, it gives a sense of community, as this holiday targets a unique audience: music lovers. Everyone is there for the same purpose and everyone understands each other’s obsession.

Rhode Island is the smallest state, but the music scene is impressive. This state is chock full of great music stores all over the state that can help cure the record buying fix. I was able to speak with a few of them to discuss the art of running a small business as well as getting a glimpse into their Record Store Day plans. I asked each owner the same questions:
1.    How long has your store been open?
2.    What made you decide to open a record store?
3.    What are some of the rewards and challenges?
4.    What makes your store special?
5.    How can record stores remain relevant in this day and age?
6.    What are your thoughts on Record Store Day?
7.    What are your plans for Record Store Day?

Armageddon Shop is located at 436 Broadway Providence.  Hours of operation are Monday – Saturday 12 – 8pm and Sunday 12 – 6pm.  You can call Armageddon Shop at 401-521-6667 or check them out online at armageddonshop.com.

1. We opened in 2001, so we hit 13 years in business this past January.

2. The idea to open Armageddon Shop was conceived in spring of 1999 by Ben and Anne. Providence had no truly independent shop left dedicated to underground music, especially one focusing on vinyl. While working and saving money, we were also scouring flea markets, yard sales and other shops for records, tapes, CDs and anything else we thought would be good to have in the shop. A space was located and leased in September 2000, and work began. The space was cleaned, painted and improved. All the fixtures were built by us, except the magazine racks, which we acquired from a closed bookstore. Inventory was moved in in December and it was cleaned, organized, priced and stocked. Ben and Laura (Load Records), Lars, Damien and the two of us spent many nights and more than a few beers and pots of coffee getting things together (Thanks, you maniacs!). A pre-opening party on January 12, 2001 was a great time — friends from NY, NJ, MA and RI came down to hang out, eat, drink and fight to the death for rare LPs. The doors opened the next day, January 13, 2001. We haven’t looked back since. In July 2005, Chris Andries stepped in as a new partner in the shop as Anne left to travel and move on in life. The shop has continued to grow, and we’re hoping to keep it growing and improving as much as possible.
 Our goal is to be the best record shop possible within our means, with our own touch. The idea was to create a shop that we as music hounds and record collectors would enjoy shopping in. We have a very serious focus on vinyl. We like records and we run a record shop, unlike other shops that have “Records” as part of their name and yet have none. We also stock CDs, cassettes, videos, magazines (both current and back issues), t-shirts and a few books.

3. The best days are when you turn people onto new sounds they haven’t heard, when someone finds something they’ve been hunting for forever, when people meet and start talking in the shop, and when folks let us know that our being here means something to them. Challenges are just the basic daily issues of running a small business.

4. We care a lot about what we do, and we strive to constantly improve the shop and take care of our customers.

5. Dedication and love of the music, art and community they are a part of.

6. Record Store Day has its pros and cons. On the good side, it gets people to come in a check out the shop who otherwise might not.

7. We will put out a ton of newly priced used records, like we do every year, plus stocking the Record Store Day titles we feel made the cut. We will also be giving our Record Store Day customers free releases donated by local bands and labels like we did last year.

In Your Ear is located at 462 Main St in Warren.  It is open Monday – Saturday from 11am – 6pm and Sunday 10am – 3pm. You can call In Your Ear at 401-245-9840 or check them out online at iye.com.

1. Except for a hiatus between moves in the early ’00s (from College Hill in Providence to Main Street in Warren), In Your Ear has been in business in RI since 1985 (29 years).

2. We had been selling records on various campuses, visited Brown University and decided that Providence was a great location.

3. The reward is the same that it was when we started — being able to turn people on to music that they might not have heard before. Now that we’re located in Warren, the primary challenge is getting people to drive from Providence to shop with us!

4. We have a huge collection of new, used and rare music. Currently, we are expanding our vinyl selection every week. If we don’t already carry a particular title on vinyl or CD, we will do our best to find it for you. We haven’t changed our focus over the last three decades; we are exclusively dedicated to music and music fans.

5. We stay relevant by providing the human touch and by being an oasis for the hungry, inquisitive music fan. And as music buyers are trending back to owning a physical representation of music, not just an mp3, we are becoming more relevant every day!

6. Record Store Day is a great celebration that provides us with an opportunity to give a little bit back to our customers, with exclusive releases and giveaways. It’s a great day to hang out with your friends.

7. In addition to stocking limited edition Record Store Day releases, we’ll have a storewide sale on CDs and LPs. We’ll also feature several local DJs who will present music from a wide spectrum of artists and genres. DJs Will I. Is and Kellan both have an open-minded approach to spinning: their only requirement that a song must have to be played is that it’s GOOD.

Looney Tunes is located at 562 Kingstown Rd in Wakefield. It is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm.  You can call Looney Tunes at 401-782-9860 or check them out online at facebook.com/looneytunes.

Looney Tunes has been open in Wakefield since the mid 1970s; I have owned and run it for 22 years. I was the store’s best customer, and looking for a career change when it went up for sale. I spent much of my early youth exploring and hanging out in record stores, so it seemed right. Turning people on to music is a great reward. The CD business is the greatest challenge; the invention of the iPod ruined CD sales, along with free downloading, a bad economy and a lack of interest from the buying public. The record companies all but abandoned the retail stores, and continue to hinder our growth, or existence, by raising prices on new vinyl because it is currently popular and deleting CD titles from the catalog so that we cannot return product to them. Looney Tunes is special because our staff is very knowledgeable about various forms of music, and our stock remains very deep! In the last few years, we have increased our vinyl selection very much, which keeps us relevant, as records are more popular than ever, certainly more than CDs. Record Store Day is a wonderful thing! It has shined the light on independent record retailing, away from the big box and corporate stores. It has created an interest in reissuing crucial tunes by classic artists on vinyl, as well as new releases by current artists. We always stock many of the limited edition titles on vinyl, and have a big sale on CDs, which this year will be 25% off all titles, new and used! Hopefully, some new customers will come in this Saturday and check us out for the first time, and our loyal fans will continue to shop here for their favorite music!

Olympic Records is located at 580 Wickenden St in Providence. Hours of operation are Monday – Saturday 10am – 7pm and Sunday 10am – 1pm. You can call Olympic Records at 401-301-9266 or check them out online at olympicvinyl.tumblr.com/.

1. Olympic Records opened in July of 2011, which will make three years this July.

2. Olympic Records was born out of a love for records and music and an out-of-control personal record collection. My wife Erika and I decided to go for it and open a store. Providence’s East Side hadn’t had a record store that carried new music since Tom’s Tracks closed in early 2008 and that was a hole that I hoped we could fill. As luck would have it, I drove by the Wickenden Street location and within a month  signed a lease. It really came together super quickly. A handful of friends and I turned what was a former personal trainer type gym into a record store in a month and a half and the store has been open seven days a week ever since.

3. Customer service has always been a high priority and I really enjoy hunting down things or special ordering records customers have been looking for. New or used, I try to bring in the best quality records that I can find. You won’t find any dollar bins full of scratched up classics or mint condition filler; I try to curate what I put out on the floor leaning more toward the oddball and off-the-beaten-path stuff within any one genre of music. I only sell vinyl (LPs and 45s) and a small amount of local cassettes. All used vinyl is inspected, machine cleaned and bagged before hitting the bins. The focus of Olympic Record’s new vinyl is on indie rock, local music, and anything else interesting that I come across or customers recommend to me. I hope to create a clean, comfortable environment for people and their friends to shop and hang out in. I have two pinball machines and chairs and books for people who might not have a record player yet or can’t browse as long as their friends.

4. Remaining relevant is always a challenge. Record labels including digital downloads with new vinyl was a huge step to get people to stop stealing music and start collecting again.

5. Record Store Day has helped to bring vinyl a bit more into the mainstream, and it does a great job in getting people excited to go record shopping.

6. For Record Store Day 2014, in addition to the highlights from all our favorite artists and labels off the Record Store Day list, we will run a big sale and have tons of goodies for everyone while supplies last.

7. The shop is seconds from I-95 with ample parking out front, easy on easy off. Buy / Sell / Trade / Want Lists Accepted. Cats, Dogs, kids and ?’s are OK by me. Record Store Day is every day.

What Cheer Records + Vintage is located at 180 Angel St in Providence. They are open Monday – Thursday 11am – 7pm, Friday – Saturday from 11am – 8pm and Sunday from 12 – 5pm.  You can call What Cheer Records + Vintage at 401-861-4244 or check them out online at whatcheerprovience.com.

1 + 2. First of all, a formality: our store name is now officially What Cheer Records + Vintage. We started our business in 1998 as What Cheer Antiques, but have become more and more of a record shop over the years, especially after relocating our shop to Thayer Street two years ago. My wife Jennifer and I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s when vinyl was how people listened to music, and it stuck with us. Neither of us really made the switch to CDs and have never stopped collecting and listening to vinyl records, so buying and selling them naturally became part of our business. About 10 years ago we also started organizing and promoting events, which we call the Providence Rock And Roll Yard Sale. We get together large numbers of DIY local vendors who sell vinyl records, DIY handmade and vintage goods. The next Providence Rock + Roll Yard Sale is part of a big Cinco de Mayo Block Party in downtown Providence on May 3rd on Westminster St. The rain date is May 4th.

3. For Jennifer and me, there’s nothing cooler than running a record store, constantly discovering and listening to music, and doing our best to turn other people on to things we think are great. I’m also a musician — I sing and play guitar in a band called the ‘Mericans — and music has always been a huge part of my life.

4. Like many small businesses, it’s hardly a way to get rich, but we get by and are doing something we both like very much. The biggest challenge is to stay relevant, and also to have as many irons in the fire as possible. Besides our store and events, we also sell records and vintage stuff online. This helps us when one or the other part of our business is slow. People have always been into records, but like all things, trends come and go, so being able to anticipate changes has also helped us stay in business for 16 years now.

5. What Cheer is unique in that we sell more than just records. We have a large inventory of vintage clothing, ephemera, books, antiques, art and more. But what also makes us unique as a record shop is that we focus only on vinyl (we do carry some used CDs and tapes, but vinyl is our focus). We’re also the only record shop on Thayer Street these days, which is a huge change from years past, when there were as many as five record shops on the street.

6. Record Store Day has become incredibly popular, and we love it. We’ve participated from its beginnings in 2008 and it’s become one of our best days of business. Every year we celebrate Record Store Day by having a sale, and we also carry many of the special limited edition record store day releases. We also try to have live music at What Cheer on Record Store Day and this year we’re having five different acts play live in-store : Arc Iris (Providence / former Low Anthem), the Brother Kite (Providence), Cotton Candy (Boston / featuring Mark Robinson of Teenbeat Records + the band Unrest), plus solo performances by Joey Sweeney and Heyward Howkins of Philadelphia.

7. Last year we had one of my favorite bands of all-time play live in-store on RSD — the Feelies. They were in town for a show at The Met, and somehow we talked them into stopping by to perform for us — this was incredible. We’ve also hosted several local acts to celebrate their new album releases, including Death Vessel and Allysen Callery, and we’re working on a date to have Roz Razkin And the Rice Cakes play later on this spring.

Other stores participating in Record Store Day:

Armageddon Shop, 
436 Broadway, Providence

Blast From the Past, 1287 Main St., West Warwick

Kangaroo CDs & Tapes, 
1759 Mineral Spring Ave., North Providence

Music Box, 
160 Thames St., Newport

Newbury Comics, 
Providence Place Mall

Newbury Comics, The Silks will be performing at 3pm, 
1500 Bald Hill Rd., Warwick

The Time Capsule, 
537 Pontiac Ave., Cranston

Record Store Day takes place all over the country on Saturday, April 19, 2014. Times and locations vary.  Please check out www.recordstoreday.com for more information. For a list of releases exclusively being released on Record Store Day, go here: recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases.




CD Review: Atlantic Thrills’ Latest

atlantic

 

Surf rock that strays from the simple sounds of the sea and adds a little punk

In the early 1960s, much of American Top 40 rock & roll was dominated by a Southern California phenomenon known as the surf sound. Made famous by the likes of Jan & Dean, The Rivieras, Dick Dale, and of course the quintessential sun and surf band The Beach Boys, this music style reigned supreme for a solid five-year run, until being all but disseminated by an invading army of floppy-haired English rock bands in 1964. But what if The Beatles had decided to turn right at Greenland and never made it to our shores at all? What if the surf sound had actually been given the opportunity to grow and mature beyond the primitive recording techniques and relative innocence of Kennedy-era USA? Obviously no one can say for sure, but I can imagine it sounding something like the Providence-based band Atlantic Thrills.

Starting in 2010, Dan Tanner (guitar/vocals), Eric Aguiar (bass/vocals), and newest member Josh Towers (drums) formed an outfit that exemplifies everything that is right about unbridled, wild, gin-soaked, frat party rock & roll! If you’re looking for a socially conscious band whose goal is to end global warming while searching for the lost chord, man are you on the wrong road! These guys are all about fun – that is, the kind of fun that’s had fathers locking away their teenage daughters for decades now.

Coming off the heels of a tour that saw stops in Brooklyn, LA, and all points between, Atlantic Thrills have been promoting their self-titled album across the country. The 12-song collection consists of authentic garage rock with a punk attitude. Granted, these boys aren’t shy about lifting a lick or two here and there, but I reckon that’s part of their anything-goes attitude, which actually defines their sound.

Atlantic Thrills kick off with a dark rocker, “Problems.” On this hard-driving track, Tanner uses that slightly Middle Eastern scale used in surf rock songs by guys like Dick Dale (himself being of Lebanese descent). The enigmatic lyrics portends the character ridding himself of a past haunt, human or otherwise: “I killed all them demons, let them drown in their blood – I squandered my time, I gave up more than I should. If she ever found me, likely be done for good – I killed all my problems, left ’em deep in the ground.”

One of the standout tracks is the surf-rock opus “Day At The Beach,” for which the band also produced a hilarious accompanying music video. Addled with intertwining sand, sun and drug references galore, the song and video are like a Frankie & Annette Beach Blanket movie gone horribly wrong! “When I woke up in the city I was puffin’ on a mighty bone – I picked up a couple of biddys with some towels and a bag full of blow – I was high as a kite in the sand dunes…I wanna stay at the beach.”

If some younger music fans unfairly associate the surf genre with lighthearted beach romping through sea and sand alike, Atlantic Thrills go a long way to dispelling that myth. There’s no reason surf rock can’t be every bit as heavy and rebellious as modern alternative or old-school punk, and these guys are proving it at every stop on their hopefully never-ending tour!




HxC: Mariachi El Bronx

mariachi

 

Hardcore Punk Meets Mariachi

I usually talk about shows I’ve been to, but this time I’m telling you about a show I’ll be attending in the very near future. Friday, March 28, you will find me Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel located on 79 Washington street in Downcity Providence.

“Well that’s not too out of the ordinary,” those of you who know me might say. True, because I work there. This night might be just a little different though, because I will be enjoying a side project (gone big) of one of my favorite bands.

That’s right, I’m talking about Mariachi El Bronx! This band is made up of all the members of The Bronx plus a couple more musicians to make for a full mariachi sound and experience.

The Bronx has been around since 2002, but this mariachi version didn’t come about till 2008 and their first album did not get released until 2009. The awesome thing about this version is that it is far different in sound and approach than The Bronx or any of singer Matt Caughthran’s other bands or side projects. While it combines the authenticity of traditional mariachi music in soul and passion, by being sung in English it lends itself to be heard and embraced by those of us (like me) who are not fortunate enough to have learned how to speak or understand Spanish. I find it brave for a hardcore punk band to try to push the so-called boundaries and limits of music in what I think to be a very closed-minded market.

Not only did they push boundaries, they busted them wide open out of the gates, and are having great success with what started out as a fun side project that they were not even sure would be accepted.

So if you like great song writing and super talented musicians who can transport you into the song while making you dance without a care of who’s watching, then I suggest you get down to Lupo’s early for this one. They will be going on at 8pm sharp, so don’t miss it!

And if you haven’t already, check out The Bronx, Bullet Treatment and The Drips.

See you at the show! Cheers.




Alt-Nation: Stay Cool with Ice Balloons, Hockey, and Outdoor Beer

Ice Balloons

iceIce Balloons is a collaboration between Sean Kennerly of Samiam and Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio born in Brooklyn. The band will make their Providence debut tonight at Dusk and doesn’t appear to have anything out that I could find. Listening to them online, it’s not that far of a reach from TV On The Radio, albeit a little less mainstream. Should be a fun Tuesday with strong local support acts on the bill like post-punk/indie rockers in Hope Anchor and the fun-loving garage rocking Atlantic Thrills on the bill.

Ice Balloons, Hope Anchor, Atlantic Thrills, and Moniker rock Dusk on July 9. 

Hockey

Hockey mesh indie rock with electronic to create funky groove that is perfect to shake your rump to on hump day.  Hockey remind me a little bit of MGMT in terms of being infectious modern radio dance music.  For those looking for a dance party to beat the heat, check out Hockey this Wednesday at Fete’s Lounge.

Hockey, Saint Motel, and Swimm will play The Lounge at Fete on July 10.  

Burnside Park Thursday Music Series and Beer Garden

Summer’s here and that means time for the annual Burnside Park Thursday Music Series, which runs from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm most Thursdays. The music series is being curated by Jess Powers of Chanteuse fame and showcases a diverse spectrum of the local music scene. This week’s concert is a doozey with Mark Cutler and The Men of Great Courage set to rock across from the bus terminal. Throughout his long career, Cutler and his various bands have touched on everything from post-punk, garage, folk, straight up rock ‘n’ roll, Americana, and then some. The Men of Great Courage tend to have a roots-driven feel that is perfect for kicking back after work on a Thursday and grooving. For a full schedule of the Burnside Park Thursday Music Series, go to www.facebook.com/events/335816393214559.

Mark Cutler and The Men of Great Courage will rock the Thursday Burnside Park Music Series on July 11.  

We Own The Land’s 3rd Annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Booze Cruise

We Own The Land once again will take to seas to bring their thunderous rock to off-shore waters of Newport.  As for a description of We Own The Land, think heavy rock meets punk wrecking machine.   White Dynomite from Boston is one of my favorite newer bands that I’ve caught in the past year, and is a welcome addition to this bill. For tickets and more information, check out the event page here: http://www.newportmajestic.com/?page_id=2540.

We Own The Land and White Dynomite will take to the seas via Newport Majestic Cruises on July 12.  The boat cruise will run from 9 pm to 12 am. 

Northern Lands

Northern Lands keeps rolling on the momentum of their recently released debut, He Took a Dive (75orLess Records).  Check out the biscuit if you haven’t already – especially if straight up rock & roll in the vein of someone like a Tom Petty is your jam. Northern Lands are also trendsetters right now as far as being the only local band to have their own beer named after them with Revival Brewing’s Northern Lands Lager at last check available at places like Met Café and Nolan’s Corner Pub.  As a person who has had two beers named after him at Union Station, I encourage Northern Lands to keep up the good work!

Northern Lands, The Attending, and Nick Carr will rock The Parlour on July 13. 

Scaling New Heights: A Benefit for RHD-RI

There are some benefit shows where the lineup is so weak and discombobulated that I’m left wondering if the organizers even care for the cause. That is not the case with the Scaling New Heights, a Benefit for the Resource for Human Development as this show is loaded with bands like Boo City, Lolita Black, Viennagram, and more that I’d go to just see that one band. As far as the Resource for Human Development, it is an inspiring place that is an arts-based day program for adults with disabilities. With the ongoing cuts in social services, benefit shows like this are vital for RHD’s survival. Come down for a great show for an even greater cause!

Viennagram, Lolita Black, In Heat, Boo City, and Mrs. Six Eyes will rock to support the cause at Dusk on July 13.  The show starts at 9 pm sharp! 

Ants in The Cellar

Celebrate Bastille Day and close out your weekend in style with Ants in The Cellar this Sunday at The Parlour.  Ants in The Cellar actually trace their lineage back to the early to mid 90s, but after a few hiatuses, they’re back and ready to rage. Think straight-up guitar fueled indie rock.

Ants in The Cellar and Space Face will play an early show celebrating Bastille Day at The Parlour on July 14. The show is slated to start around 7 pm.

Email music news to mclarkin33@gmail.com.




Mike D’s Top Five: Can’t Miss Shows of July

#1 Friday, July 5: 95.5 Summer Concert series featuring The Mowglis, 7:30 pm. All ages. Free! Waterplace Park. Someone recently mowglisasked me how I can tell when a band is getting big or going to make it. These days, it seems when the song is either inescapable from social media and commercials or if people I know who aren’t in the music industry keep talking to me about the band randomly. I’m not sure if music of Southern California’s The Mowglis are in any ads, but the hype seems to be building and fast. I went to my first WBRU Summer Concert of the season last week and had a blast. The series is a great way to see a new band at a no-risk cost of free.

#2 Friday, July 19: The Lemonheads, $15 day advance/ $18 day of. 8 pm. All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket RI. Evan Dando’s The Lemonheads have been a New England institution for 25 years.  Yeah, 25 years. If you are my age, wrap your brain around that. They’ve come a long way during that time, starting from a punkish band on Taang! records and evolving into college rock darlings peaking with It’s a Shame About Ray. While releasing new albums recently, their live sets pick from all over the 25 year span of songs including some jams from Evan’s grossly overlooked solo album Baby I’m Bored.  The Lemonheads are always a good time.

#3 Sunday, July 21: Gogol Bordello. $25 advance/ $30 day of. 6:30 pm. All ages. Lupo’s, 79 Washington St., Providence RI. Gogol Bordello is one of the best party bands around. How does one say no to Gypsy Punk? Where else does the NPR base and crust punks dance together and forget about their problems and global problems? I dare you to go and have a bad time. I don’t own any of their albums, but I wouldn’t ever miss one of their live shows. It’s so easy to recommend. You like George Clinton, or The Clash, or The Pogues, or Dexys Midnight Runners, or carnival music? Then go.

#4 Friday through Sunday, July 26, 27, 28: The Newport Folk Festival , Fort Adams, Newport, RI. Every year the festival is announced, I scroll the line-up hoping they land Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy, Palace, a bunch of other Palace related wordings) and this is the year!! On Sunday, Bonnie Prince Billy plays Rhode Island for the first time in over 10 years performing with Dawn McCarthy. The line-up also includes curated stages by Providence’s The Low Anthem and Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons with some of Providence and Nashville’s finest upstarts. Other acts to look forward to include Milk Carton Kids, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Justin Townes Earle, The Felice Brothers, Beck, John McCauley, Michael Hurley, and many others. The Festival’s website encourages you to ride your bike to reduce your carbon footprint. I think a 39-mile ride from Providence would dramatically reduce my carbon footprint as it would lead to a dirt nap. Oh, and it’s sold out.

#5 Thursday, August 1: Wavves and The New Highway Hymnal, $17 advance. 9 pm. 21 and up. The Paradise, 967 Commonwealth Ave. , Boston, MA. Bands from the 90s that were influenced all seemed insufferable; they all seemed just to not get it (Sliverchair, Vines, etc). Twenty years later, there are bands that were too young to be hung up on Kurt’s lifestyle or discontent, but push forward the sonic buzz that Nirvana revolutionized commercially. Bands like Wavves, Arctic Monkeys, and Dead Confederate just seem to get it, almost accidentally influenced rather than trying to emulate. King of the Beach is my favorite, but the recent album Afraid of Heights has been growing on me and is back in my car rotation. They are a blast live and worth a road trip. Get tickets in advance – it will sell out.

 




Mike D’s Top Five: Can’t Miss Shows Of June

By Mike Delehanty

#1 Saturday, June 1: Northern Lands (He Took A Dive CD release) with The Mallett Brothers Band, Viking Jesus and Cactus Attack. $8 advance/$10 day of. 7 pm doors/8pm show. All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. This show will likely have happened by the time you are reading this, but I hope you had the good sense to make it out. Northern Lands have been working hard and making inroads to making a name for themselves out of town. He Took A Dive is the band’s debut full-length and is being released by Rhode Island’s own 75 or Less, so go get one, or else. Opening bands all rule. I just saw Viking Jesus’ recent line-up at the Spot and they rip. Should be a great night.
#2 Friday, June 7: Benefit for Dave Lamb of Brown Bird featuring Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons, J.P. Harris, Smith & Weeden. $15. 7 pm. All ages. The Columbus Theatre, 270 Broadway, Providence, RI. Dave was recently diagnosed with leukemia. There has been an overwhelming show of support and love on the internet and around the community as people rally to help with bills and in general. That is a testament to not only how great a person Dave is, but also how caring and special the neighborhood is. If you can’t make it out to the show, make sure to check out Brownbird.net to see how you can help.
#3 Saturday, June 8: Calexico and Arc Iris. $25. 8 pm. All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. I can only off the top of my head think of three indie rock Tex-Mex bands, but I assure you Calexico is the best. Their cover of Love’s “Alone Again Or” might be my favorite cover of all time, and this should be one of the best shows of the year. I’ve been counting the days for this one since it got confirmed. The other band of Jocie Adams from the Low Anthem, Arc Iris, rounds out the bill.
#4 Saturday, June 15: Turf War, Atlantic Thrills, and T. Hardy Morris (of Dead Confederate). $8 advance/$10 day of. 10 pm. All ages. Local 121, 121 Washington St., Providence, RI. I met a few of the guys from Turf War while throwing myself and beer around at a Deervana (Providence’s only, as far as I know, Nirvana tribute) show in Austin. The band, hailing from Atlanta, GA, is the perfect blend of booze-fueled garage rock & roll. Check out their new EP, The Great Escape, on their bandcamp. Providence’s garage rock hooligans, Atlantic Thrills and Hardy from Dead Confederate/Diamond Rugs, round out the bill.
#5 Tuesday, June 18: Armageddon Shop Presents Limp Wrist, Fucking Invincible, Idiot Vehicle and Dust Cloud. $10. 9 pm. All ages. AS220, 115 Empire St., Providence, RI. Limp Wrist have been making Queercore/Hardcore punk for 15 years. I am pretty sure I saw them back in the day at Fort Thunder, but I definitely saw the singer Martin Sorronduay’s other band, Los Crudos, play there with Drop Dead. Thinking about all the punk shows I saw when I was teenager makes me wish I wrote some of that stuff down. I recommend Googling Fort Thunder and taking a look at all the photos; it’s a nice reminder to those who had the pleasure of going to Providence’s greatest DIY space of the ‘90s and interesting to those who didn’t. I haven’t seen Fucking Invincible yet, but I have been listening to their EP Very Negative frequently. My 11-year-old son Jack thinks it sounds crazy and unfortunate, but I am fond of it. Idiot Vehicle and Dust Cloud round out the bill.