Tag Archives: DIY

God Is An Astronaut

Can’t say that I am that familiar with the Irish post-rockers God Is An Astronaut, but after seeing their video for “Route 666” today, I am hoping to change that.

In celebration of their 10-year-career, the band recently remastered their entire catalog with plans of releasing CDs and LPs this year starting next week.  The band released this in regards to their success:

“We would like to thank all our loyal fans for supporting us over the last 10 years through some of the darkest and happiest moments of our lives. It’s been an absolute privilege to share our music with so many people over the years; this is not the Beginning of the End but the End of the Beginning.” – God Is An Astronaut

I think I am most impressed that this band had done their thing all by themselves.  Since 2002, they have been releasing their own albums and setting up their own tours resulting in building a pretty huge fan base.

If you dug the above and want to pick up an album or two, head over to http://www.superadmusic.com/god/shop.html.

Friday Night At The Gurley House

Once again, the Gurley House in Akron, OH, has proved for a great evening of music.  There is nothing quite like seeing a show in the basement of a house that just makes it that much more personal.

Tonight I got to see four bands, some of which I have heard of and some who I have been wanting to check out after hearing about them through friends.  The result was four performances by different genre bands all of which caught my attention in various ways.

My resident pal Roscoe started off the night with an electric acoustic solo performance.  He played some of his material, some of which I really think needs to be recorded.  Seriously, it was good shit and even though he hardly plays solo shows anymore, he had no problem jamming out a few tunes.

The Ohioans followed with an acoustic set.  The last time I saw them is when they opened for Jeff Rowe in the very same basement a few weeks back.  I was really impressed by their initial set and really enjoyed the acoustic session.  If you like folky rock you need to check out this up and coming local act.  Head on over to their BandCamp page and download their  self-titled album for free and see why I dig these guys so.  Check out the track  “512”, one of my favs off the album.

Michigan’s Protected Left were supposed to be the headliners of the night, but one of the bands was running late due to a previous commitment.  The threesome had no problem shifting slots and just rocked out hard to the gathering of music loving people.  This band seriously rocked.  Mixing punk, metal, and thrash (sweet sweet thrash…), the band got all technical at times when playing reminding me of shit Strung Out likes to pull yet kept a melodic pop-punk feel throughout.   I loved this band’s sound and really hope to see them push out a full length one day.  Until then, head on over to their BandCamp page and download their 3-song EP titled Songs Of The Doomed for free.  Check out “At Least I Didn’t Cut My Ear Off” and tell me it is not catchy and just bad ass to listen to.  Not only do they play good tunes, but they are also a bunch of cool peoples to hang out with.  Really stoked I had the opportunity to meet them and see them play.  Can’t wait thill them come back to Ohio again.

The last band to play the night was a local act I had heard of through friends but had never seen (or heard) before.  The band, Cherry Cola Champions, not only has a great name for their two man act, but also pretty much blew me away with their set.  Just download the Cherry Cola Champions EP for free and see what I mean (check out “Fievel Goes Midwest”).  I honestly did not think I was going to be able to get into them after their first song, but suddenly I was hooked.  It was experimental at times and very post-hardcore.  I look forward to seeing these guys again.

So that was my Friday night.  What did you do?  Never mind telling me, I’m too tired now…  Just do me a favor and check out the bands I just talked about.  They are all free downloads and worth listening to.

DIY Punk Rockers Explosivo! Given A Second Chance…

Once upon a time there was a melodic punk/indie/rock band called Explosivo!.

Hailing from the quiet town of Long Island, N.Y., the band featured a group of guys who you can now find in acts like Iron Chic, Wax Phantom and Small Arms Dealer.  They were good, they were damn good.   

Dead Broke Rekerds described them as a mix of  “Piebald & Pantera hanging out at Guns ‘N Wankers house.”  Sadly they broke up in 2001 so finding anything by them has been quite the challenge.

Lucky for us Dead Broke Rekerds & Limited Pressing were nice enough to re-release a hidden gem of a DIY album.  Released digitally on  BandCamp (see below) as well as vinyl, it is almost like Explosivo! has been given a second chance to be heard by anyone who might have missed them long ago.

If you are a vinyl fanatic like I am hurry up and grab onebefore they sellout.  Act even faster and you might score yourself a glow-in-the-dark version that is limited to 50.  At $10 you can bet your grits I already grabbed one!  Plus the rest of the Dead Broke Rekerds store is full of awesome swag and shipping is only $4!

Want to hear some Explosivo! now?  Enjoy:

Daytrader & Mixtapes @ It’s A Kling Thing House – This Sunday!!!

Screw you Valentines Day.  I never liked you.  You do nothing for me at all and I refuse to buy your stupid cards/flowers/crap to proclaim my love for someone special in my life on just one special day…  Granted I am flying solo this year, but still.  Screw you!

This weekend is going to be all sorts of red and pink and all lovey dovey and honestly, I am not into it.

Luckily for me (and those who are not suckers for V-Day) there is going to be a sweet house show this Sunday featuring two of my favorite newer acts Daytrader (from NY) and Mixtapes (from Cincinnati, OH).

The show will take place in the basement of the glorious It’s A Kling Thing House located on (you guessed it) Kling St. in tropical Akron, OH.  The fun starts at 8 p.m.  Local openers Northwestern will be performing their very first show, so make sure you get there early!

Daytrader features current and ex-members of Crime in Stereo, Latterman/Bridge and Tunnel/Monikers, the Motorcycle Industry and Divider. The band recently released an ever-so-addicting EP entitled Last Days Of Rome, a release that I have been listening to daily since it dropped.

I caught Daytrader just before Jesus Day last year at the Grog Shop and they killed it on stage so obviously I have high expectations seeing them again live.

Mixtapes, a band that just can’t seem to stop releasing songs (no, that is not a bad thing), hails from Cincinnati, OH and really have grown on me thanks to my other pop-punk loving friends who insisted I keep listening to them.  I started loving them the moment I realized I (at my thirty-ish prime) can actually identify with their lyrics as they sing about staying home and drinking Diet Coke.  Recently the band shared a two-song EP on Death To False Hope Records.  The first song is a cover to some Nickeldeon show and the other acoustic song titled “Hey Baby” bashes a Strung Out / Tim Burton loving lady who sucks.  Grab yourself a copy by clicking HERE.

It’s A Kling Thing House is a donation based DIY house so many sure you bring plenty of donation money to help out these hard-working bands.  Merch will be sold there, BYOB, and don’t be a jerk.

Looking forward to seeing everyone out there. Sunday can not come soon enough!

Album Review: Dirty Tactics – It Is What It Is

Philadelphia punkers Dirty Tactics are officially the band I overlooked last year.  In a day and age where punk rock music is taking all sorts of diversions into different genres, sometimes I am just hesitant of checking out newer acts.

Maybe it’s the old man in me telling me to hold back as I sadly think I have heard it all or perhaps I’ve just grown tired of band after band sounding alike.  Whatever the reason is, I am glad I took a moment to pop in It Is What It Is, the bands sophomore album on Say-10 Records.

From the very start of the CD I was into it.  It was not because the band exploded into a infectious jam (that was later), it was because of a certain dated excerpt of an interview that opened the album.  Where as I can not pinpoint who the actual band is that is being interviewed, someone who sounds an awful like Mick Jones of the Clash says “it’s just like, there just has to be new groups and that’s just what you got,” when asked where punk rock started.  Without time to agree with that statement, Dirty Tactics jumped into “When You Wake Up” a dirty DIY sounding catchy-ass song.

“Baltimore” followed the opening track continuing with an infectious pop-punky (see, I told you that happened later) song that won me over mostly thanks to the use of the organ throughout.  Begging to be sung along to was “The Process”, a pop-punk heavy track wit a dab of clapping to keep that good feeling going.

“Secret Lives” had an interesting prelude to an amazing track.  “Train Song” proved it is ok to play organ in a punk rock song and have fun doing so.  All I could think to myself is how amazingly talented these guys were and I was only halfway thought the album.

“Arkansas” was unlike any other song previously heard and perhaps my favorite.  Upright piano, almost whispering gruff singing, and distant percussion brought together this quick gem of a track that begged to be listened to over and over again.

The shift in sound also applied to the final track “Blind Man”, a trippy track that sounded almost as if Jeffrey Lewis wrote it.  Even if it was out of the norm I loved it and especially appreciated the repeat of “it’s what you got” taken from the opening sample at the songs end.

Dirty Tactics are group of talented and hardworking musicians that make punk, well…punk.  They recorded the It Is What It Is themselves, work their day jobs when home, and tour when the time is right.  I only hope to catch this band live one day.

It Is What It Is just isn’t just an album that I’ll be listening to a couple of times and forget about…and yes I mean that.  I am pretty sure they will remain in regular rotation for me for quite some time.  If you have not heard of Dirty Tactics yet make sure you put that on your to do list.