Vudu Sister recently finished recording their sophomore release, Household Items, in the bowels of the Columbus Theatre, which they can’t wait to share with you. Now all they need is some help raising funds and for that Vudu Sister has put together a Kickstarter where you can get some cool swag and even a performance by the full band at a place of your choosing.
Keith McCurdy from Vudu Sister sent me a couple tracks from the forthcoming album. “Revival” reminds me of a mix of grunge and ‘70s Cheap Trick. The title track “Household Items” comes across as a menage a trois between Mudhoney, Gallon Drunk and ‘70s Crazy Horse Neil Young. I caught up with singer and guitarist Keith McCurdy to find out what is shaking.
MC: How would you compare the new record, Household Items, to your first record, Bastard Children?
KM: With this new record, I definitely wanted a live band sound. I took hints from my earliest musical influences like Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Breeders, etc. regarding the overall aesthetic. My approach to songwriting has been consistent between both albums, however, I’m constantly looking to create something that’s new to me.
MC: What gave you the idea to record the record in the Columbus Theatre? How was that?
KM: Ben Knox Miller (from The Low Anthem) had invited me to record there after he had heard Bastard Children. It took a month-and-a-half to write all the new songs and get ready to record it. We didn’t use the actual stage rooms… there are cleverly isolated dress rehearsal rooms upstairs that functioned as the recording studio. The Low Anthem has been recording their new record there at the same time.
MC: What was it like working with Ben Knox Miller?
KM: We saw eye-to-eye on a lot of things, especially certain musical philosophies and the like. He was just as eager to embark on this journey as we were. He did a great job and offered a lot of interesting, refreshing perspectives on the production of this record.
MC: Who are your biggest influences musically?
KM: I grew up listening to the alternative rock explosion of the early ‘90s. Nirvana was The Beatles for me as a kid. I’ve always been very influenced by a lot of women rockers, especially women punk rockers. I love PJ Harvey, Kat Bjelland, Mia Zappata, Courtney Love and so many other great, aggressive women unafraid to cut against the grain and defy boundaries.
MC: You have a lot of cool things that people can sign up for on the Indiegogo page, including a live performance by the whole band. How has the response been from it?
KM: Well, we’ve got a way to go but it’s been strong and I think people want to help us. I’m very grateful for the support we’ve had. We hope we can release this album for the date we’ve got planned on May 4 at the Columbus Theater, which will be immediately followed by a month long US tour. Vudu Sister’s Kickstarter for Household Items only runs till March 24. As is with the nature of Kickstarters, you either get all of the money or none of it. Please check it out at indiegogo.com/projects/vudu-sister-s-second-record/x/2397234 and give if you can afford to.
The Doll Eyes – The Great Runner Up (75orLess)
On The Great Runner Up, The Doll Eyes throw down a no frills, straightforward punk rock party. Tunes like “Heartbreaker” and “Walden Woods” are fun straight ahead rockers. “Getaway” is an infectious pub punk blues sing-a-long that works here as far as changing things up. “I’m Not Here” and “Abandon” remind me of classic Minor Threat-style punk hardcore. The title track has a more ‘80s rock feel than the standard punk rock that is The Doll Eyes, calling card. It works, though, as a song and is just maybe bigger chorus away from being great. Like most punk rock bands, The Doll Eyes aren’t out to re-invent the wheel.They do write catchy tunes and The Great Runner Up succeeds at capturing the magic on disc. You can catch them in person next month with another great local band cut from the same cloth in The McGunks at Broad Street Tap in Cumberland. The Doll Eyes will join forces with The McGunks and The O’Tooles for a raucous St. Paddy’s Day Throwdown at the Broad Street Tap in Cumberland on March 16.
The Tossers roll into town on their 20th anniversary tour right in time to get everyone in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day. The Tossers are a six-piece Celtic punk band in the vein of Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly. They pre-date both bands, which just goes to show that the originators never get the credit or fame they often deserve. Personally, I prefer The Tossers to the Dropkicks. It just feels more raw and authentic. This show promises to be one hell of a party with great bands like Continental and Sharks Come Cruisin’ to tear it up. Get there early for The Down And Outs and stay all night! The Tossers’ 20th anniversary tour rolls into Fete’s Lounge on March 9 with The Pubcrawlers, Continental, Sharks Come Cruisin’ and The Down And Outs rounding out this raucous bill.
The Roots Hoot House Concert series has been quietly bringing national A-List talent to Peace Dale for intimate house concerts. Next one is Rachel Brooke who’s touring behind her excellent new album, Killer’s Dream. Brooke mixes old country and dark blues to create tunes that cut through the bone. For this tour, she will be backed by Florida’s Viva le Vox for full rocking propulsion.
The Roots Hoots House Concert series really nails it when it comes to finding talent that may not yet be well known and creating exposure for those artists. Rachel Brooke, backed by Viva le Vox will play Roots Hoot House on Sunday, March 24. Doors are at 4pm with the music starting at 4:30pm with an $18 suggested donation. The event is a potluck BYOB. Advance reservations required: email@example.com or call 965-0833. Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com/event/318359.
Lucero are a must see act in my book anytime they come to town. They remind me of punk rockers forming a country band. Over the years, they’ve expanded their sound to include a horn section and mix in some soul on their last two records. They are one of the best live bands in the country today. The addition of Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons means that this show could definitely sell out. Get advance tickets at the Lupo’s Box Office or online because, trust me, you don’t want to get shut out! Lucero with Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons rock the Met Café on March 23.
Broken on the Wheel
They make their debut opening for Omega Reign and Sunset Steel at McNeil’s Tavern in North Providence on March 9. The band features veterans in singer/guitarist Jah Fist (ex-The Copasetics, Jah Fist) and Drummer Rob Cinami (ex-Rhythmafia, Gut Bucket, The Usual Suspects), as well as NOLA’s own groove master, bassist Randall Falgout. A sure bet for fans of Black Sabbath, Down, Graveyard, Witchcraft, The Mars Volta, Eye Hate God, Led Zeppelin, Audioslave, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Mastodon. Broken on The Wheel go on first so get there early!
Odds & Sods
Master, Sacrificial Slaughter, Fisthammer, Bog The Infidel, Untombed, are at Firehouse 13 on March 14. The 4th Installment of Ska Night hits the Pvd Social Club on March 16 featuring Vic Ruggiero (from The Slackers) playing a special solo set. The Copacetics (RI Traditional Ska) and The Allstonians (Boston Ska Legends) are also on this great ska bill. For fans of EDM, Chicago down tempo electronic artist, Mister Lies, is heading out on tour in support of his debut LP, Mowgli, that just came out on Lefse Records. He’s playing a free show in Providence at Fete Lounge on Thursday, March 28.
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