By Stephanie DanisIf Prince and David Bowie were to a have a love child and Beck was sharing bed space with them, all while The Time played the soundtrack to these intimate festivities, Nicos Gun is the spawn of this cross-generational musical sexcapade. The Philly-based band released their debut album Plush in 2011, have played some of the major festivals in the country (Camp Bisco, Gathering of the Vibes, The Roots Picnic) shared bills with everyone from Cut Copy, Janes Addiction, Ratatat, Holy Ghost!, and Rusko, and have seemingly made a video for almost every song they have written.Their history spans as far back as their college years attending the University of the Arts inPhiladelphia, when the guys shared a house in South Philly with Dr. Dog drummer Eric Slick. Now in 2012, Nicos Gun continues touring and splitting time recording betweenLos AngelesandPhiladelphiawhile working on their 2nd full-length album.Nicos Gun is more than a band of five guys who resort to the occasional toilet humor; these independent musicians are frontiersman of modern music. Their band started small, but has evolved into a five piece unit with Nick Bockrath and Barney Cortez sharing guitar and vocal duties, Steve Lyons on bass, Brosh Laven on keys, and Mic Odie on drums.The group has already played Red Rocks Amphitheatre, been on national tours, and is preparing to release their second album. Needless to say, these guys are keeping quite busy despite lineup changes. There was something heartwarming about seeing them transformed from their original line-up and starting anew; playing a small venue like Piano’s down on the Lower East Side of NYC. L4LM took the time to sit together in their van, and they gave us some insight on their work and music.L4LM: So where does the name “Nicos Gun” originate?Barney: The name is a combination of the influence of the Velvet Underground, and also Harry (original member) and I worked in a leather repair shop for a guy called Nico. He used to keep this gun right behind the register, so we called it Nicos Gun.L4LM: How did you come to be the band you are today? Brosh: This house melded us together in a way, and brought everyone together.Barney: We started bonfires in the street. We had a tree that we called the “science tree”, we would nail basses to it, and we threw a bureau out of the window, and it landed perfectly in the tree.L4LM: It’s the little things that bring friends together.Barney: Exactly!L4LM: In general, what music are you into right now?Brosh: Meek Mills is really cool right now.Barney: Fleetwood Mac, The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a big influence, especially “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”Nick: The true funk band- The Time, and The Ohio Players (the band), they’re just like a gang that rolls up, crushing it, and what makes a band like that so good is that they were mother-fucking players, great songwriters, and great performers. I think for us that’s the model.L4LM: Electronic Dance Music is the number one priority for label heads at this time. These acts are big sellers and draw large crowds. How do you feel about your music flourishing in a time like this? Nick : I’m not really into current trends, and I know that’s corny, but I know that there are some great units that have been around, and all I want to do is walk on stage and be excited to play these songs. I want people to watch us and think ‘these guys are killing it’, because that’s real and that will translate through any trends and through any time.Barney: We’re not running backing tracks and it’s not like we are just lip-synching, we play our instruments. Before we would have drum loops, with electronic drums coming through the system and would play on top of that, but the stage volume was so loud, it’s a balancing act.L4LM: What keeps your band playing? Brosh: We’re at this point where the stars are aligned and we can just go, and if the option is there than it is really your only option cause then you have to take it and roll with it and get everything out together and work together as a unit.Nick: I take solace in moving around, recording a lot of songs and making videos. It’s comforting, and it chills me out. I get sick if I’m not touring. I go totally nuts. I think for everyone, it’s what we’re supposed to do. It’s undeniable that every person in this car is supposed to play music. So let’s just do that.We agree, definitely keep on doing just what you are doing. Nicos Gun has an upcoming show at Fall Jam in Brookville, PAon Friday, September 7th. Keep an eye out for new tour dates, and their second album.
Month: March 2021
Band of Horses has always known where it stands within the alt-folk music scene; not quite Ryan Adams or My Morning Jacket, but certainly carry more weight than say, Blitzen Trapper or are more accessible than Iron & Wine. With Acoustic at the Ryman, Band of Horses certainly takes a step in the right direction, releasing a no-nonsense, stripped down acoustic album (see My Morning Jacket’s Okonokos or Adam’s Live After Death for their influences) which showcases their lead singer’s vocal range and the ability to recapture the more delicate moments found on their first four studio albums. Let’s see Blitzen Trapper try to release a live album with this much subtle refinement.Always led by a thoughtfully bearded and ball-capped Ben Bridwell, Band of Horses has always sought to embrace their inner country, but recording at the Ryman Auditorium only solidifies their previous flirtations with the genre as more than just fooling around. Anyone who knows anything about the venue’s legacy knows that Band of Horses may be punching above their weight. The place was formerly home to the Grand Ole Opry and dozens of Emmylou Harris shows while in her prime. Not to mention its the same venue where Neil Young produced his Heart of Gold concert film. The place is known for its history and acoustics, but where Band of Horses fits in, one may not truly understand until they listen to the entire album. Then and only then, can one write off the band as merely being in the right place at the right time.Fans of the band have always known that Bridwell would eventually have to release a live album; it’s just what has to be done if he wants to be taken as seriously as the ’70s Americana bands he has always tried to emulate. Other than that, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for releasing an acoustic album, especially when some of the best songs sound good electric. There seems to be some misguided arrangement on the album: instead of revisioning a more up-tempo song like “Laredo,” Bridwell chooses to play acoustic versions of the slower, more downbeat songs that have already previously stalled the other albums from ever really taking off. That’s not to say that this album is poor or only for fans, although new listeners should probably pick up Everything All the Time before trying this one on for size.The album has the right intentions. Regular listeners of BOH will find the attempt charming, or at the very least reaffirm that love which they already felt for Bridwell’s cozy lyrics and southern-fried indie rock guitar strumming. The album begins with an even more downtempo version of “Marry Song,” but adds a Josh Charles-inspired piano arrangement for good measure. It’s confirmed from there: this is a live album in all its flaws and glory. Most of the songs have an overly jocular audience member “woooing” or “yeahing,” but you get what you pay for.The album does feature appropriately folksy vocal versions of “Slow Cruel Hands of Time” and “Everything’s Gonna Be Undone,” adaptations which outshine their previous originals. Perhaps the best boast of Bridwell’s soprano/alto is found on the piano dominant “The Funeral,” one of BOH’s best-loved songs by fans alike. Whichever version of the band you like best, the electric warriors of “Is There A Ghost” or the Bread-like harmonies of “Neighbor,” the one thing which certainly holds up by the end of this album is that Bridwell is more comfortable on that tiny stage in Nashville than he ever was in front of a screaming and skeptical arena audience. Its obvious Bridwell has created a warm, charming atmosphere over the two nights recording the album. Whether this album goes down as a timeless classic, it’s probably too soon to say. But there is some earnest magic on this album which would make even Neil Young proud.– Chris Carvalho (ChrisCarvo @bandshirrt)
At a Peter Frampton concert the other night, fans were asked to not take flash photography or video during the performance. One fan, however, did not get the message. According to various reports, Frampton asked the fan for his phone, before hurling it deep behind the stage.As Perturbation writes,Before the show there was an announcement that while taking photos or video in the Palladium was strictly forbidden, the “Frampton people” had requested that fans be allowed to take still pictures. No video and no flash. Nice. But there was one fellow in the front row who continued shooting video on his phone despite having been told by those on stage several times to cut it out.At some point, enough was enough, and Frampton grabbed the phone from the guy’s hand and heaved it at least a hundred and fifty feet behind the stage while never missing a chord.Another review, from Onstage Magazine, reads:…You could see the absolute look of desperation and frustration on Peter’s face. I have never seen an artist so upset before. Once, and he stormed off the stage. At his breaking point, and the guy in the front row unrelenting – apparently with no self control considering he’s already flipped Peter off and turned around and called the rest of the audience a bunch of deadbeats – Peter ends the song, walks over and with a huge smile on his face bends down and says, “Hey can I see that? Can I see the photos you’ve been taking?” The guy hands him his phone and Peter stands up, spins, and flings for the rafters! Yes! The phone went flying to the back of the stage and we all erupted in cheers! With years of experience playing guitar, we just knew he had a great arm!And Frampton himself commented in a Facebook post. Check that out below: Fans should be enjoying the musical performance before their eyes, rather than trying to capture it in grainy videos. What’s the point of watching a concert through a cell phone screen?-David Melamed (@DMelamz)[Via Jambase]
Rock band Muse has finally revealed some details in regards to their new studio release. Coming as the band’s first studio album in three years, Muse will release their new album, Drones, on June 8th. The album’s artwork can be seen above.Additionally, Muse will release a leading single, “Dead Inside,” in a couple of weeks, and will embark on a brief “Psycho UK” tour later this month. This is the first official announcement about the album, though Muse has shared various snippets and teases in recent months. In a press release, Matt Bellamy said “To me, ‘Drones’ are metaphorical psychopaths which enable psychopathic behavior with no recourse. The world is run by Drones utilizing Drones to turn us all into Drones. Drones explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors.”Drones Tracklisting:1. Dead Inside2. [Drill Sergeant]3. Psycho4. Mercy5. Reapers6. The Handler7. [JFK]8. Defector9. Revolt10. Aftermath11. The Globalist12. DronesPSYCHO UK TourMARCH15 BELFAST ULSTER HALL16 GLASGOW BARROWLANDS19 NEWPORT CENTRE20 EXETER GREAT HALL22 MANCHESTER ACADEMY23 BRIGHTON DOME
L4LM writer and Breaking Bad enthusiast David Khalev had a chance to chat with Walt Jr. himself, RJ Mitte, before his upcoming DJ set at BB King’s Blues Club tomorrow night, April 10th. NYC is the first stop on Mitte’s Breaking Beats tour, which will mix music from the show with classic and new music for a great night of dancing.Tickets are still available here.L4LM: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, RJ. What have you been up to since Breaking Bad?RJM: So much man – I’ve shot a series called Switched at Birth – I shot two movies last year, one will be released at Tribeca this year – and then audition audition audition. I produced a documentary which they’re working on right now – been working on it for the past 5 years now. I’m all over the place. The good news is I keep working – I started doing the DJing to get out of the continuous habits.L4LM: How early on did you decide to make music? RJM: I am not a professional DJ; I’m not trying to be a professional DJ. I love music… I love what music can do to people and what it does to people and how it evokes an emotion in people. I’m lucky to be in a position that they are allowing me to do this. I DJed when I was 14 for a couple of months, but I got all my gear jacked actually. Someone broke into my house stole all my electronics, stole all my sounds, so I kinda just stopped and didn’t get into it again. And then I started talking and I mentioned it, and they were like ‘we’re setting you up with a tour!’ and I’m like “uh –okay!” L4LM: That must have been a nice surprise.RJM: It was and it wasn’t – I had to do a lot of catching up – I was still in the midst of catching up with music and technology – I don’t normally listen to a lot of dance music – I’m not personally a big dancer haha – the music I listen to is reggae and rock and old school hip-hop – some dub and EDM – but I’m all over the board and I’m trying to bring some of that together tomorrow night. Well see how it turns out.L4LM: I’m excited to be there tomorrow night! RJM: I hope you enjoy it! I’m not a professional DJ – I have a friend opening up for me, DJ Mia at 12:45, and then I open at like 1:15. This is my first ever musical performance let alone DJ performance so I’m really interested to see what’s gonna happen, and then what people think, and hopefully keep on enjoying the sound. L4LM: Did you already play a show in San Diego though? RJM: There was supposed to be one, but it got pushed back to the summer – so literally THIS IS the starting day – this is the official debut, other than my house! I’m a little nervous, but I’m really excited. I think its gonna turn out nicely. L4LM: What is it like to be a musician on tour now? I realize it’s a big departure from acting.RJM: I like being on tour, you know – I do a lot of speeches, I speak on diversity, disability, and anti-bullying, so I’ve been on 15 day tours where I speak every day and travel around – this is the first music tour I’ve ever done, so I honestly can’t tell you cause I really haven’t done one yet. I’m excited – I have good people around me. I’m pretty happy what I’ve pulled together for this tour and I hope people enjoy it. L4LM: What gave you the idea to use Breaking Bad to showcase your musical talent? RJM: It was a great way to introduce me as a DJ – it was a great outlet for that. And the sounds on Breaking Bad – we figured we would combine them both together. In the beginning, I originally wanted to make it really heavy Breaking Bad.L4LM: In what way would it have been heavy Breaking Bad?RJM: I wanted to use the Breaking Bad music and tell a story with all the different seasons, but as I got into it – I liked the concept but I kinda wanted to stay out of it and to have it have its own life. There’s a couple Breaking Bad songs, but I didn’t heavily make it Breaking Bad music. L4LM: Do you have any original compositions? RJM: I have some original compositions from friends that they’ve given to me and I’ll be playing – I have some Breaking Bad music in the beginning, middle and towards the end but also music from a bunch of different friends that I’ve collected over the last couple of years.L4LM: Can we except any surprises at tomorrows show? RJM: Just get ready to dance, and bring your drinking hat! haha L4LM: Thanks so much!For tickets and more information about the show, head to the official ticket website. Use the code “l4lm” to take $5 off the price!
With the star-studded Dear Jerry tribute event fast-approaching, fans have been curious how all of the bands listed will be able to perform in one night. Now, producer Keith Wortman has shared some insight about the programming of the event.Wharton says that the show will be broken into two sets, with one focusing on full bands like Billy & the Kids, O.A.R., Widespread Panic, The Disco Biscuits, and the second focusing more on individual artists. Most performers will only play one song, though there will be “a handful of folks doing more than one song, and yes, there’ll be some very unique sit-ins and duets and collaborations throughout the night.” He also noted that the show will begin at 7 PM sharp and last four hours.There will also be a backing band for the individual artists, complete with guitarists Audley Freed and Buddy Miller, drummer Raymond Weber, keyboardist Matt Rollings, bassist Don Was (the promoter for the event), and backing vocalists the McCrary Sisters.Meanwhile, Bill Kreutzmann has told the Washington Post that he would be open to a sit-in with the “Core Four” members Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bob Weir, who are all included in the lineup but not scheduled to play together. “I would gladly share the stage with Phil and Mickey and Bob if that opportunity arises. I won’t even know until we start rehearsing for that show coming up but that’s the thing I do: I like playing music.”The full lineup includes Mickey Hart, Billy & The Kids, Bob Weir, Allen Toussaint, Bruce Hornsby, Buddy Miller, David Grisman, Eric Church, Grace Potter, Greensky Bluegrass, Jimmy Cliff, Jorma Kaukonen, Los Lobos, moe., O.A.R., Peter Frampton, Railroad Earth, the Disco Biscuits, Trampled by Turtles, Widespread Panic, Yonder Mountain String Band and Communion featuring Phil Lesh, Stu Allen, Grahame Lesh, Ross James, Alex Koford and Jason Crosby.[Via Jambands]
Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan had some powerful words in support of the types of bands that he thinks will be able to last in today’s music industry.“In a world that no longer celebrates musicality, actually being musical is our greatest strength,” he discusses in a recent Q & A held in Concord, CA. “Being facile is our greatest strength, because literally the generations that are coming up, they can’t move, they cannot move. They are like in one fucking lane, they adhere to their audience, they adhere to social media, they adhere to a trend. Now the audience can celebrate it and pretend like it’s the greatest newest thing, until they discard them and they go on to the next thing.”Smashing Pumpkins Frontman Billy Corgan Signs With Wrestling Organization TNA“Real lasting power in this world now, generationally speaking, is The Who, is The Grateful Dead,” he goes on to explain. “It is Phish, or Dave Matthews, or Foo Fighters. People who can actually play, and actually move with the audience and have a conversation. Now is that everything in the musical world? No. But basically now it’s an immovable force, because you can’t get rid of it.”Smashing Pumpkins Perform on Fallon w/ Members of Rage Against the Machine and The Killers“Seven years ago it was a negative,” he continues. “‘Why the fuck are you doing thirty minute jams’? Every day now on Twitter, ‘Please play Gossamer!’…Something nobody wanted to hear back then!”Watch the full interview below, via Alternative Nation:H/T Relix
Bluegrass band Fruition has just announced dates for an extensive fall tour! After a tour in August and a few weeks off, the group will kick off in Spokane, WA on September 4th and travel back and forth across the country, with a tour-closing hometown performance on Halloween in Portland, OR.You can see the full tour schedule below, with tickets and more information available via the band’s website. Be on the look out for announcements about a soon-to-be-released studio album as well!Fruition Upcoming Tour DatesAugust 6 Darrington, WA—Summer Meltdown FestivalAugust 12 Boise, ID—Alive After FiveAugust 13 Tamarack, ID—Huckleberry JamAugust 15 Victor, ID—Knotty PineAugust 21 Morrison, CO—Red Rocks^August 22 Steamboat Springs, CO—Schmiggity’sAugust 29 Silverton, OR—Mac’s PlaceSeptember 5 Tuolumne, CA—Strawberry Music FestivalSeptember 24 Spokane, WA—The Big DipperSeptember 25 Missoula, MT—The Top HatSeptember 26 Billings, MT—Pub StationSeptember 28 Minneapolis, MN—Mill City NightsSeptember 29 Ames, IA—DG’s Tap HouseSeptember 30 Davenport, IA—Redstone Room^^October 1 Milwaukee, WI—Shank HallOctober 2 Chicago, IL—Martyr’sOctober 3 Columbus, OH—Woodlands TavernOctober 6 Boston, MA—Johnny D’sOctober 7 Brooklyn, NY—Brooklyn Bowl*October 8 Washington, DC—The Hamilton*October 9 Corrolla, NC—Mustang Music FestOctober 10 Clayton, NC—Clayton ShindigOctober 11 Roseland, VA—The Festy ExperienceOctober 12 Asheville, NC—New Mountain**October 13 Atlanta, GA—Smith’s Olde BarOctober 15 Houston, TX—Warehouse Live%October 16 Austin, TX—Scoot Inn%October 20 San Diego, CA—Winston’sOctober 21 Los Angeles, CA—The Mint (Benefit for the Michael Bonanomi Foundation)October 22 San Francisco, CA—Brink & MortarOctober 23 Placerville, CA—Hangtown Halloween BallOctober 30 Seattle, WA—Tractor TavernOctober 31 Portland, OR—Revolution Hall+December 5 Eugene, OR—HiFi Music HallDecember 10-14 Mexico—Strings and Sol(^)=opening for Greensky Bluegrass & Yonder Mountain String Band(^^)=w/ Jeff Austin Band and Troutsteak Revival(*)=opening for ALO(**)=w/Cabinet(%)=Chris Robinson and Leftover Salmon after party(+)=w/ the Little Smokies
Just one day after revealing an extensive fall tour schedule, Lettuce has announced excellent support for their tour-closing two night run in NYC. At the Best Buy Theater, Break Science will be opening on November 13th, while Marco Benevento will open up on the 14th.Both shows will also see performances from Chris McLenney (Soulection). Tickets and more information for the shows, and the whole tour, are available via the band’s official website.If you can’t get your Lettuce fill soon enough, be sure to check out bassist Jesus Coomes as part of the upcoming oPHISHal After Party on July 25th in Los Angeles, immediately after the Phish show at the The Forum.
Bluegrass syndicate The Infamous Stringdusters are the latest to announce their fall tour plans. The tour will focus primarily on the east coast and will see the band alongside Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, The Wood Brothers, The Larry Keel Experience, and the Rumpke Mountain Boys at various dates. It is unclear who will be playing alongside the Dusters at their December 12 show in Denver at The Fillmore Auditorium, but one could probably venture a guess or two (Do I hear Keller Williams anyone?).Keller Williams Announces ‘ThanksForGrassGiving’ Ft. Stringdusters, Del McCoury Band Members