Download This: Signals Midwest – Wherever I Might Land

Signals Midwest - Wherever I Might LandI am always stoked to hear when bands I’ve befriended are getting ready to go on their first European tour.

Signals Midwest recently announced that they will be taking their talents overseas in September.  The band will be playing 24 shows in 24 days.  There is no doubt in my mind that this will be one of the coolest experiences for them boys.

As if it is not hard enough to tour the states in a used and abused mini-van while crashing on couches, imagine flying your gear over the pond and playing shows in an all new environment.

This will not be cheap by any means and is going to be self-funded by the band who have already admitted paying $5,000 alone for the flights.  This of course does not even include any of the souvenirs they will be buying me.

In an attempt to help them pay off some of those expensive flight tickets and passport fees, the band threw together an acoustic EP on Bandcamp titled Wherever I Might Land.  

For a mere $5, you can not only help out the band make their debut overseas tour a tad more comfortable, but you can also snag a great EP full of slowed down versions of their material and a brilliant cover of Iron Chic’s “Time Keeps On Slipping Into The (Cosmic) Future.”

The money earned from this release will help offset any costs for the band.  I think this is an excellent approach at recovering some of the costs incurred rather than jumping on a Go Fund Me campaign and begging for some extra cheese.

I have already chipped in and downloaded the EP.  The Iron Chic cover is worth $5 alone…

Signals Midwest European Tour Dates

SIGNALS MIDWEST EU/UK SEPT 2014 TOUR DATES:

05.09.2014 – Volkach (GER) @ Festival
06.09.2014 – Bielefeld (GER) @ Uberseecontainer
07.09.2014 – Copenhagen (DK) @ Underwerket
08.09.2014 – Hannover (GER) @ Monster Records (acoustic)
09.09.2014 – Iserlohn (GER) @ Rad Room Rehearsals
10.09.2014 – Dendermonde (BEL) @ JH Zenith
11.09.2014 – Paris (F) @ La Mecanique Ondulatoire
12.09.2014 – London (UK) @ Old Blue Last
13.09.2014 – Manchester (UK) @ Wahlbar
14.09.2014 – Glasgow (SCO) @ 13th Note
15.09.2014 – Leeds (UK) @ Santiago Bar
16.09.2014 – Nottingham (UK) @ The Chameleon Arts Cafe
17.09.2014 – Birmingham (UK) @ Scruffy Murphys
18.09.2014 – Cambridge (UK) @ The Portland Arms
19.09.2014 – Lille (F) @ El Diablo
20.09.2014 – Diest (BEL) @ Jeugdhuis Tijl
21.09.2014 – Trier (GER) @ Ex-Haus
22.09.2014 – Bad Neustadt/Saale (GER) @ Juze
23.09.2014 – Landshut (GER) @ Wintergarten
24.09.2014 – Wiener Neustadt (AT) @ Triebwerk
25.09.2014 – Graz (AT) @ Sub
26.09.2014 – Micheldorf (AT) @ Baraka
27.09.2014 – St. Gallen (CH) @ Grabenhalle
28.09.2014 – Mainz (GER) @ Haus Mainusch

EP Review: The Public – Shibuya Crossing

The PublicMr. Joshua Voland promised me a pizza if I reviewed his band on my site, so here we go…

I am kidding about the pizza of course.  I don’t take bribes, even if in the form of delicious pizza.

All jokes aside, Voland did  ask me to check out what his band recently dropped on Bandcamp and man, I am stoked I did.

Shibuya Crossing is the debut EP by Cleveland’s very own The Public.  Lasting just under 20 minutes, this release is impressive as hell.  Not sure why they named the EP after the busiest intersection in Japan, but I am sure stranger things have happened.

Featuring members from Ultra Ultra, Heart Attack Man, and Let’em Run, I already knew in advance that I would be into The Public.

“Liquor Store” was such a powerhouse of a song to start off the EP with.  This will win fans automatically with sing along qualities.  Damn shame it wrapped up so quickly.  I liked that track.

“The Breaks” reminded me of a certain little band from Scranton, PA that people might have heard about.  I loved the lyrics “I was just too set in my old ways.  Trying to pry my way out of your ribcage.”  I seriously could not get enough of this song.

“No Bother” had enough breakdowns and group vocals to make this my favorite cut on the release.  Maybe it was the fact that it reminded me of a Seahaven track for a moment or probably because it was just catchy as hell.  “The Dogs” might have been even catchier though.

As much as I hate to have a negative comment about any song I hear, there was a part in “Mexico” that just did not sit right with me and it was mostly due to a brief group vocal harmony that lasted not even a second.  Voland asked me to be honest on how I felt…

Fans of  the Lawrence Arms, Menzingers, The Tim Version, Banner Pilot, and even Cleveland sweethearts Worship This! need to check out The Public.

This band just kicks so much ass. I am really looking forward to hearing their full length debut which should be out in 2015.

The Public

Check it out and pay what you will on the band’s BandCamp page.

Check It Out: Forced Perspective – The Life of Artist Derek Hess

Forced PerspectiveDerek Hess is Cleveland.

I am sure you are asking yourself why in the hell I just stated that.

Truth is, have been sitting here for easily 30 minutes trying to figure out how to start this post and that is what sounded best.  I have the feeling many of you reading this though agree with me.

The Cleveland, Ohio, America, World-Renowned artist Derek Hess has been creating concert fliers, illustrations, artwork and prints for nearly 20 years and finally someone had the right state of mind to do a documentary on him.

To say I am excited is an understatement.  I have been a fan of Hess since I was a kid and have had the pleasure of meeting him multiple times.  I am proud to say I have a few of his prints from over the years and one day hope to obtain an original.

I know the man has been through a lot and I am very curious to learn more about him soon.  I can say he is a quality person and I know this documentary is going to be amazing.

The following comes from the press release:

“Forced Perspective” is a documentary film showcasing the life of artist Derek Hess directed by Nick Cavalier. The film illuminates Derek’s struggle with alcoholism, bipolar disorder, depression and watches him triumph over his personal demons while showing how these experiences help shape his artwork. From Derek’s early flyer work and celebrated sketches to his elaborate mixed media pieces, this film showcases the evolution of Derek’s art and the emotional ripples it leaves behind in the world.

Check out the trailer:

“Forced Perspective” – The Story Of Artist Derek Hess | Trailer 1 from Nick Cavalier on Vimeo.

Forced Perspective is currently in post-production with a release date next year.

Album Reviews: Upcoming Dirt Cult Records Releases

If there is one thing about New Mexico that I miss, it is the breakfast burritos from the Santa Fe Grill located in those Pic-Quic gas stations.

Actually I am lying.  I miss living down the street from the Dirt Cult Records headquarters.  Chris was a rad dude and I am glad I got to know him even if just for a brief moment.  His band, Low Culture, remains one of my favorites to this day.

Recently, I learned that Dirt Cult relocated to Portland, Oregon and I thought I would check in with Chris to see how things were going with the big move.  He advised everything was going smooth and shared a few new releases his label is putting out in the upcoming months.

I thought I would do a quick review on all of them them.  Enjoy!

Autonomy/No Sir I Won’t - Split
Autonomy/No Sir I Won't
I blame Chris for getting me into Autonomy before I even became pals with him.  This split is pretty bad ass crust-ish punk act that to me sound way better than Crass.  I loved the samples throughout.  Autonomy’s “Ashes To Ashes” was a pretty kick ass song that just started almost psycho-garagy and turned fizzled out with a Cure-sounding bass riff.  No Sir I Won’t were cool to check out and full of aggressive punk rock that reached into the 80s style I grew up loving.  Definitely will be checking them out some more.  

Apocalypse Meow! – Baseball and Alcohol 7″
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Featuring Off With Their Heads’s Justin Francis as well as members of Sundowners, I knew I was going to adore this 7″ before I even listened to it.  With songs relevant to the 7″‘s title, Apocalypse Meow take two of America’s favorite past times and mix them into pure pop-punk goodness.  The track “MVP” ruled with the lyrics “all I want to be is a goddamn MVP” repeating throughout.   The title track though is what did it for me.  Loved it.

Blank Pages – Blank Pages LP
Blank Pages
Straight outta Berlin, Blank Pages proves to have one hell of a release with some serious garage rock layered with a old school punk rock feel.  These guys really remind me of the Marked Men in a good good way.  Great song writing added with vocals that could easily fit in with the 70s/80s punk scene.  “We’re All Broken” was just amazing with almost a surf-punk sound in the middle.  I was beyond impressed with the clean sound throughout the release and just full on togetherness of the band.  It just works so well.  “All In Due Time” was another great track.  I am really glad Chris threw Blank Pages my way, I am totally loving what they do.  If you call yourself a fan bands like the Ramones and the Dickies, I have the feeling you will like what Blank Pages have to offer  Ich bin ein Fan von Leerseiten.

For more info on Dirt Cult releases or to check out some other amazing release on the Dirt Cult label, head on over to http://dirtcultrecords.bandcamp.com.

 

Of Us Giants Call It Quits

In January, I had the pleasure of reviewing an amazing release by an up and coming band called Of Us Giants.

Of Us Giants - Nova Scotia

My last paragraph in that review stated:

I would not be surprised if this band was taking over stages in the near future playing to sold out crowds. This is an impressive release that I can see all sorts of music lovers getting into.  Don’t sit on Of Us Giants like I did, it is too good to pass up.

I really had high expectations with this band, but sadly over the weekend, they called it quits.

I get it.  Indifferences happen, but man, this band barely took off and their debut release Nova Scotia is still in heavy rotation.

OUG really impressed me with their DIY approach and truly were excited with all that was going on.  I really could feel their excitement and was hoping their would have made it to Cleveland one day.

Even after USPS lost a bunch of their vinyl (almost $600 worth), the band fought hard to regain their losses and successfully were able to raise money thanks to their amazing fans.

Clearly something happened though forcing them to part ways before more people were able to get into them.

Here’s what the band had to say on their Facebook page:

This is really difficult to write, but here it goes… we are very sorry to announce that we have decided to call it quits as a band due to personal issues. Unfortunately, that means we are dropping off the Captives / Keyes tour. We also were planning a 7″ split with Captives to be released later this year. We are not sure if anybody would still be interested in hearing those songs, but we may still record them… maybe not… it’s up in the air right now.

We want to take the time to say THANK YOU to all of you for caring about this band over the past few years. We are forever grateful for all of your love and support. We would be nothing without all of you. Our music is free atwww.ofusgiants.com and you can pick up any of our leftover merch at www.ronaldrecords.com. All orders are shipping soon. We also want to thank all of the record labels that have taken a chance on our music and have released it for us: Songs From The Road Records / Driftwood Records / Fly the Light Records / Close To Home Records / Little League Records / Mutt Tapes.

Last but not least, thank you to everybody that has been a member of the band over the past few years. We have had the privilege of working with some amazing people/musicians.

Goodbye… for now.

We love all of you,
Dustin and Jon

Good luck guys.  I still blame USPS for this break-up…