The Dropkick Murphys’ new album Going Out In Style just dropped this week via their own Born & Bred Records. In connection with the release, the band released a video for the title track called “Going Out In Style”:
Man I want a Guinness now…
A little info about the video for those of you who might have recognized a few familiar faces (taken from the band’s website):
In the clip–directed by Mark Higgins–a funeral parlor scene quickly becomes a raucous celebration of life. Dropkick Murphys are joined by friends, family and special guests including NHL Hall of Famer Bobby Orr (Boston Bruins alumni), fellow musicians Fat Mike (NOFX) and Chris Cheney (The Living End), along with a host of Boston-based celebrities: Micky Ward (boxing champion; The Fighter), Lenny Clarke (Rescue Me actor & comedian), Shawn Thornton (Boston Bruins), Milan Lucic (Boston Bruins), Kevin Youkilis (Boston Red Sox) and Heidi Watney (NESN reporter).
I do not know about you, but I enjoyed that video a lot. I have loved Dropkick for many years now and am stoked that they keep dishing out new material.
I actually just got my hands on the album and hope to have a review soon for you all. Having heard a little bit of it previously I can tell you the Boston punks still have their sound on this concept album of sorts.
I am also going to be seeing them this Sunday at the House of Blues in Cleveland with my brother. The show is sold out and has been for a couple of months now. I was lucky and grabbed tickets early as I knew it would. Saying I am excited is an understatement and I am stoked to be able to take my own brother to the show.
Hello to all you happy readers out there. Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but I have been really caught up with school the last couple weeks.
So what have I been up to other than studying too much you ask?
Last Saturday I headed to Musica in Akron, OH to check out the amazing folk act Frontier Ruckus. This band blew me away live. I have been a fan of them for some time now but always missed them when they came to Ohio. I made damn sure I was not going to miss them this time.
The band made their final stop in Akron before wrapping up their tour and enjoyed every minute of it. If you have not heard of them yet and like some honest, good folk rock, check them out. Their saw player is amazing (yes, saw player).
The band played through a great set with everyone in the house signing along and enjoying themselves. One kind female fan even showed her approval and tossed an undergarment to the stage. The band loved it and even made the comment that no one had ever done anything like that for them before. Once they found out the owner of the garment, they jokingly asked her to prove it was hers. She had no problem doing so…
Other than a couple of highly intoxicated guys who could not control the volume of their voices, the night was a blast. Frontier Ruckus are one of those bands that sound so much better live and I am glad I finally made it to experience it.
Opening act White Pines were playing when I got there and besides the Kings Of Leon singing similarities, they sounded awesome. There was an opening local act that I missed but from what I heard from the hyper Moby-looking bartender (I mean that in a good way), the crowd loved them.
I took a crappy video of them playing “Junk-Drawer Sorrow” with my iPhone during their encore. The coolest thing about the video I took is that the band pulled the plugs on all of their amps, gathered in front of the crowd and played the song a cappella:
Again, sorry for the crappy quality. I am going to invest in an HD camera soon I think.
Frontier Ruckus was offering a pretty unique FUNRAISER recently (it ended today – 02/25/2011 actually) to help them get a new touring van. See this letter for the reason behind the request for donations. I was just checking out what were offering to raise money for a new ride and I must say I was impressed with the idea.
Bundles were offered as an exchange for a donation and they started at $10 for some demos from the band. The bundles escalated from there.
For a mere $1000 donation you could have received from the band:
Copy of trinity thaw demos
Copy of live at noordbroek Copy of live at eddie’s attic A limited edition I Am The Water You Are Pumping EP
A digital download of Deadmalls & Nightfalls A digital download of The Orion Songbook
The Orion Songbookon vinyl (2xLP)
A frontier ruckus t-shirt
A personalized song written by Matthew
Hand-written lyrics for personalized song
& A house concert for you and your friends
I wish I was able to take some donations on my end to make that happen…
Three bands with three different backgrounds played the small stage not caring one bit how many tickets were sold. They were there to rock out and have fun with their fans, and that is exactly what happened.
It’s been about a year since Nashville’s Those Darlins graced Cleveland with their beauty, not to mention their amazing music making abilities. The ladies had a rough start to the summer when one of the Darlins took a tumble at a Southern Ohio music festival breaking her arm. This was just a small set back but their ladies (and drummer Lynn) had to take an unwanted break. Just a few months later the band regrouped, recorded a second album to be released in 2011, and hit the road doing what they love to do best.
If anyone knows something about the man behind BHP (you know, the guy who writes all this stuff) it is one thing: BHP hearts Those Darlins. I saw them 4 times alone last year. Overly impressed with their sound and live show-woman-ship, I never missed a show. Needless to say when I discovered they were coming back to the Beachland, I made plans to be there. I was excited to see them and hear perhaps a new song or two (more on that in a bit) but what I did not expect was the surprise that was the opening act, a man named Henry Wagons.
The moment I walked into the tavern I looked at the stage and there he was, a 6-foot tall Australian man with an acoustic guitar in hand. With shaggy hair, glasses, mustache and a sweet green headband he was already playing a song to the minimal crowd that seemed to suckle around the edges of the bar. He sung with an outlaw country vibe that immediately caught my attention. I felt I was listening to an Aussie version of Waylon Jennings but also had an amazing sense of humor. He called out the crowd a few times, made reference to the longest walk ever he experienced at Cleveland-Hopkins Airport and ended his songs with comedic heavily acted strums to his guitar.
Playing his own rendition of Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler”, or so he said, the crowd went crazy for it. I laughed when Henry Wagons said just before playing the song , “I wanna be like Kenny Rogers in another 10 to 15 years,” and also commenting that he lacks the silver-lining at the current moment. Another track he played had him screaming “Willie Nelson” over and over, it was amazing.
The winning song of his set to me was a cover of “Never Been To Spain”, a classic Elvis song that was in fact, not written by Elvis. While playing his set he commented that he was just one man from his band back home called Wagons and that it was his first trip to the states as well as his first night with Those Darlins and Turbo Fruits. After taking to his manager, who was touring with him later in the evening, I learned that they could not afford to have the whole band come over this time around but hope to change that next time they go on tour. After buying a Wagons CD after his set and listening to it on the way home all I have to say is this: I can not wait till Wagons plays the states. The CD is incredible.
Up next was another Nashville act called Turbo Fruits. They were a blend of Nashville and Detroit that was overly impressive, think Hank Williams meets Detroit Cobras. They had 50’s riffs in some songs and dipped into a blues feel during other tracks that had me almost overanalyzing them at times. My conclusion of them was simple though, they were a kick ass band that really put on a show. I especially enjoyed “Dreams For Sale” and “Volcano” and even went so far as to grabbing their LP after the show to check them out some more.
Finally the headliners of the evening, Those Darlins, took to the stage. This time around there were five folk on stage, the three Darlins, drummer Lynn, and some other dude. One would assume that they have a touring guitarist to help out with their shows or perhaps even help Nikki Darlin with some of the guitar duties seeing how she did break her arm in half as mentioned earlier.
Regardless, Those Darlins wasted no time jumping into their set starting off with “Who’s That Knocking At My Window”, a familiar track to most of the crowd. They sounded just as amazing as the previous times I saw them, if not better. They looked happy to be up on the stage and aimed to make sure all were going to have a good time.
Things soon changed for the good when the band decided to play a series of new songs from their upcoming release. With no setlist guiding their performance the girls would shout out the names of the songs and jump into them. Playing tracks like “Boys”, “Be A Brother”, and “Waste Away” it was clear that their sound had taken a turn from the country/punk feel their first album displayed so well.
Their new material mixed up 70’s rock with indie rock yet did not drop the sound where they came from. It was a good sound that all in the house went crazy for. I know I am not the only one excited for their upcoming release. To make matters even better, Lynn was providing back-up vocals on some of the tracks while Nikki focused on her singing duties losing the guitar. Every time the girls announced a new song was being played the crowd just stood their in great anticipation for what was going to come next. I can honestly admit that there was not one new song they played that I did not like and I was not the only one who felt that way. These girls were turning heads at the Beachland and it was not just from their good looks.
Wrapping up their set they played “Red Light Love”, “Wild One” and “Night Jogger”, a new track off their recently released 7″ split with Funsticks, a Jesse Darlin and Lynnwood side project. Making things even more fun they played the Funsticks song that appears on the 45 as well. Yeah, I might have picked one of those up al well…
This was one of the better shows I have been to as a whole seeing that I enjoyed all three bands that played. I can not even tell you the last time that I was this entertained by acts I had never heard of before. I went in there looking for a country/rock night and left with a whole other experience. Henry Wagons and the new material by Those Darlins were the major winners for me.
To think I almost skipped out on that show too. I am so glad I talked myself out of it. Totally worth it.
So last night thanks to Cleveland.com I got to attend the 311 show at the Time Warner Amphitheater VIP style. I was not planning on going at all but last week I “re-tweeted” a Twitter post that Cleveland.com put up for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Unity Tour 2010 and I thought to myself “why not?”
A day later I got a message saying I won the tickets. I was stoked. I mean why wouldn’t I be? Free is good these days plus I got to rendezvous with an old musical friend of mine.
311 and I go way back. I am not trying to sound like one of those music trendy scraps out there who just say random things to impress others. 311 and I have been down (no pun intended) since I was in high school. I have seen them many times live, owned countless overpriced bootlegs, was a member of their fan club before the internet existed, and even was knocked out at once of their shows at the Cleveland Agora.
I vaguely remember what happened but will always remember the incident. I know I was in the pit of that show when a size 12 combat boot slammed into my head knocking me the hell out. The next thing I remembered was my pal Philippe asking me if I was ok. I think I said yes but I was more confused over anything trying to figure out why I was not in the pit anymore. Apparently Philippe dragged the knocked out me from the pit and into an alley through some emergency doors. He told me that I looked at him, smiled, and ran back into the pit. And I wonder why my body hurts so much these days… (Additional note: I bought a 311 work shirt at that show and I still wear it to this day)
High school ragers were not only fueled by cheaply processed beer but also Grassroots and Music. I remember when their self titled album came out in 95 my friends and I freaked out and basically listened to the album on repeat until the cassette wore out. Yes, cassette.
We wore 311 apparel, did our best to emulate Nick Hexum and S.A. Martinez (sounds terrible when thinking about it these days), and might have stolen room number signs from various secret locations that said, you guessed it, 311.
In 96 Enlarged To Show Detail was released on VHS and we had competitions on who could watch it the most in a three month period. I made it to 278 if I am not mistaken and my pal Brent surpassed 301 times. We were addicted.
By 1999 though most of us friends were growing up, attending college, or maybe even raising babies. 311’s music style was growing up too and to be perfectly honest I lost interest in them. I stopped wearing the shirts, the CDs collected dust, and I moved on to other things. I never stopped liking what they had done in the past but I just could not get into their material after Transistor (minus the cover of The Cure song of course). 311 kept putting out albums and touring obviously but I just did not care, that is, until those tickets I won reached my hands.
***Time Out – As I am typing this I can not help but grab my copy of 311’s self-titled record (yes, record) and throw it on the turntable…
It was a unseasonably chill night in Cleveland as I arrived to the venue. Parking the car and walking the lot all I saw was kids who were either in college or never lost the college mentality pre-game it with beer pong games and jello shots. Not into that anymore I walked past them and aimed towards the VIP entrance.
For the record, VIP is not that much better. There is a little bar to the side that still charges you $42 for a beer as well as a private bathroom that some other VIP drunk ass will most likely vomit all over in (it happened later in the night).
After making it through a terrible set from a shirtless, shoeless, surfer boy band called Pepper I found out that the Offspring were not even playing the Cleveland stop of the 2010 Unity Tour. I was bummed out as they were another band I used to really like in the 90’s but that is a whole other story.
While waiting for the headliner to take the stage I glanced at my ticket stub and realized I had box sets. VIP and box seats? That was a pretty good prize if you ask me… I took my place in the box sets, which are not that good at all if you ask me, and took in a 311 show.
The boys, who are all almost 40 with the exception of P-Nut (36), took the stage just as the sun was saying goodbye to the day. They all looked very youthful as they did 15 years ago and almost the same except this time there was no bleach blond hair. More importantly they sounded amazing and I am not just saying that as well as were genuinely excited to be on stage. They were on point for all of their songs regardless if I knew them or not and were all about the crowd.
It was not until 5 songs in when the band dished out “Taiyed” that I started feeling like I actually belonged there. Immediately after they dropped into “Plain” followed by their first chart breaking hit “Down”. During those songs I started having non-drug induced flashbacks of the times I previously mentioned.
Shortly after all the members of the band minus Chad Sexton left the stage so he could beat on the skins for a while. He put on an amazing drum solo that lasted at least 15 minutes and to make the little segment cause for more applaud, the rest of the band came back out and joined in on a synchronized drum circle of sorts. Kind of jam band if you ask me, but it sounded great and all the fans loved it.
The remainder of the night again consisted of a good blend of older and newer material. I do not think at any time did I not see movement in the huge crowd. Song after song people were jumping around having a good old time just enjoying themselves. The band really pushed forth a solid set and delivered just as good of a show as when I saw them almost 15 years ago live.
During that show all these juvenile memories of my friends and our love for 311 hit me. I could not help but shoot a few texts to a couple of the guys who I remain in touch with letting them know where I was that night. It was a good night indeed thanks to a one time unknown Omaha act that has been rocking out since 1988.
Mix It Up
All Mixed Up
Livin’ & Rockin’
Never Ending Summer
Off Beat Bare Ass
Creatures (For a While) Encore:
F*ck the Bullshit