It’s been 10 years since The Falcon dropped one of my favorite albums, Unicornography, so for me sitting down to write about this release is pretty compelling.
Anyone who fancies themselves a punk rocker has had to have heard of The Falcon unless they were living in a gutter. They are the enigma of punk rock supergroups and just dropped Gather Up The Chaps on Red Scare. I am sure most people who are reading this already have listened to it 100 times and pre-ordered 7 copies of the record.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like this release at all. Seriously, I just was not anticipating much of anything to get excited over, I mean it has been 10 years after all. Maybe it’s also because I am old and snooty and thinking that by bringing on
Hause, The Falcon’s dynamic might change.
Boy was I wrong. (Note: I am a huge fan of Hause and even have a photo of me and him where I am smiling and he is not – I just needed to disclose that.)
The Chicago punk rock supergroup for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about features Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms), Neil Hennessy, Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio), and the recently recruited Dave Hause (The Loved Ones).
“The Trash” started things off and immediately proved to me this album was going to be a good one. Hearing three vocalists from three of my favorite bands all chime in at once was awesome. Kelly’s rasp, Hause’s howl, and Andriano’s swooning mixed perfectly.
Hearing Andriano chuckle in “Sergio’s Here” made this satire of a track that much more entertaining to the point that I laughed each time I played the song. Seriously though, this track was just a blast to listen to and you can tell the guys were just having fun throughout. I loved the change up towards the end that just sent the song to bed. This reminded me of older Falcon material so much.
I loved Kelly clearing his voice in the middle of “The Skeleton Dance”. Maybe this was not scripted, but it sure did fit in. This high-powered passion-seeking tune was super catchy but made me feel all so dirty and almost depressed by the end.
“Hasselhoff Cheeseburger” may sound like it would have been hilarious given the song title, but I think I need therapy after listening to this track. I feel old AF right now. Hearing Kelly strain off “I only became a man because this ugly body made me” pretty much had me reflecting past choices in life for a moment.
“If Dave Did It” was probably my favorite track on the album. Obviously from the title, this song was almost all Hause making excuses and calling everyone out, but that did not stop the others from interjecting over him making it for one engrossing listen.
Andriano added his own touch with “You Dumb Dildos”, a song that spanned all over the place. At times I felt I was listening to a Westernized AK3, but in the end, everyone just went berzerk and there I was standing wondering what the hell just happened.
Gather Up The Chaps is totally unbroken when it comes to mingling in the punk and the rock with loads of nonsense and hard knocks. This album was quick and all over the place, but at no point was I ever bored listening to it. I think it is safe to say this is one of the better albums I have heard this year.
Any fan of punk rock music these days should know the name Dave Hause. He is an amazing musician who not only fronts The Loved Ones, but also has been quite successful at being a solo performer.
Touring over the years with the likes of Cory Branan, Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem, Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio, Frank Turner, and Mikey Erg just to name a few, Hause has had no problem playing his solo material to the world. His songs are infectious to say the least, and always make for a good time.
In 2011, Hause released Resolutions at the beginning of the year and toured non-stop in support of the album. When I saw that there was not a Cleveland date, I reached out to him for the below interview and decided to try my luck and asked him to play a house show. He and tour-mate Branan were all about it and with help from some friends, we put on a show at the Gurley House in Akron, OH that topped my list of live shows in 2011.
It’s still early in 2012 and Hause is already touring overseas. The guy just does not seem to stop. All I know is that his debut solo album was amazing and I can not wait for his next release. I would be happy with a new Loved Ones album any day, but there is just something about his solo material I am just drawn more to.
Before, during and after that awesome December evening, I had a few chances to chat it up with Hause. Here’s what he had to say:
BHP: Last year came to a quick end, rather quickly if you ask me. How was 2011 for you?
DH: It’s been a great year for me musically, I’ve been all over the world playing songs I made up on my couch with tons of great people.
You have been touring a ton this past year with everyone from Hot Water Music to the good folk on the Revival Tour. How different is to tour without The Loved Ones?
It’s pretty different, I’m much more mobile and able to do whatever I want socially. I miss the revelry with my buds and playing loud some nights, but I do enjoy the ability to just get up and go with ease.
Is there a backing band touring with you?
Not touring with me, no. Where I can put people together for a few shows or a one off or something, I’ll do that, for instance NYC and Philly on this tour I have a full band. But not yet, I’m working towards that in the future.
You toured with Cory Branan towards the end of last year. Any reason Cleveland was overlooked?
Cory’s booking agent put the whole thing together and then asked if I would like to come along. I think he has something against Cleveland. Not Cory of course, but his booking agent.
Luckily I was able to persuade you and Cory into playing some songs at a house show in Akron. Thanks for that by the way. I hope you guys had a good time. I know some of the folk who showed up there that night were beyond stoked to see you and Cory trade off on songs.
We did, thanks for having us. It interrupted our movie marathon but was worth it.
Has Cory given you any tips how to shred on the acoustic? That guy is insane when he does that.
He told me he learned those from some guy with horns at a crossroads down south, and was reluctant to share them with me.
So it was just Cory and you on the road for this past tour right? Who took over the driving duties?
Cory drove unless whiskey Cory showed up. Then I’d try my hand. Whiskey Cory probably would’ve been better…
You gave a shout out to Matt from American War that night, did you think he was in the crowd?
No, I just thought of his music due to the fact we were in Ohio. He’s a terrific talent.
That he is. So, how did the rest of the East Coast tour treat ya?
Interesting and quite fun. Philly was great, New Haven was, well, north of New York city…
Did you see a lot of Loved Ones fans at the shows? Have there been mixed responses from them about your music?
Loved Ones fans have been way into the record and the shows. I write for the Loved Ones and I write obviously these solo songs, so it’s just minor tweaks of aesthetics that separates the two.
I heard you will be playing with Frank Turner in Europe next year. How stoked are you about that?
I am doing one enormously huge show with FT in England. I haven’t heard about any tour, but we always get together drink whiskey and talk about all of the touring we will do, so sooner or later it will happen I would think.
What made you initially want to drop a full length solo album anyways? Not that I am complaining or anything,. Resolutions is amazing. Just curious
If this is something you wanted to do for a while or if you needed to take a break from the loved ones.
I needed a break and wrote some songs that weren’t best suited for the Loved Ones and one thing led to another.
Who are your major musical influences that helped mold this solo release? It is safe to say this is not a punk rock album at all.
Well really not much different, writing songs for anything always hold the same basic influences. As far as the aesthetic, I love what Conor Oberst did with his 2 solo records, what Jenny Lewis is up to, Jonathan Rice, Deer Tick, Patty Griffin, etc. Just more modern songwriting acts. Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires both are terrific as well.
I love how you have so many friends / musicians contributing on Resolutions. Was it easy to recruit everyone? Were there others that did not make it
on the record that you asked?
It was totally easy, everyone was so gracious with their time and really excited about the songs and the project. Some of my dearest friends and some amazing musicians played on it. Actually there were people who later said “why didn’t you ask me?”, not really the other way around. I’m a lucky girl.
You sister actually played organ on Resolutions. Does she happen to play in any other bands?
She hasn’t. She played some recitals as a kid and then The Loved Ones dragged her out on tour on Build & Burn. I keep telling her to get her ass into a local or cover band to keep her sharp.
I can hear many styles of music in Resolutions including a little country twang. With all of your punk rock history, I was kind of impressed to hear that your solo material was not just you and an acoustic guitar. Did you actually write all of the music in the album or did you get some assistance?
I wrote all of the songs, but when it comes to the specific bass lines, guitar parts and that kind of thing, I knew the people playing on the songs are amazing and let them just go for it. Pete and I sometimes would guide them in the direction more suitable for the vibe we were going for, but by and large their initial instinct governed the parts. Chris Gonzalez in particular wrote so many cool guitar parts. It was really amazing.
The video for “Time Will Tell” clearly pays homage to Martin Scorsese’s short The Big Shave. Where did you get the brilliant idea to add your own
spin on the film?
I went to film school for 2 semesters before quitting college. I have always been a huge fan of film and Scorsese is a cornerstone. Not sure where the idea to do that came from, but I must say, I’m glad the idea came. I love how it turned out.
Will The Loved Ones be releasing anything anytime soon?
Not sure. I have a whole record almost done, but not sure what the schedule is gonna be like.
Are you going to help Chris Gonzalez on his solo album? He still plans on recording something right?
He doesn’t need help, he’s amazing. I’m going to sing some on it I think. I am chomping at the bit to hear it finished!!
You are living the dream man and it does not look like you are slowing down. What’s next for you?
Making up songs, recording them, then playing them for people all over the world. That’s living the dream in my book, and I don’t want to slow that down.
It was a memorable punk rock event Thursday night at the Grog Shop thanks to The Bouncing Souls, The Loved Ones, and Black President. The three bands actually had just performed to a packed the house the night before as the bands made a two night stop at the well known Cleveland venue. Having not been able to attend both shows I am glad I was at least able to be at one seeing how great of an evening I had.
New Jersey’s The Bouncing Souls have taken this entire year to celebrate being a punk rock band for 20 years. To commemorate their success the band has been releasing a song a month for download available on their own label’s website Chunksaah Records for the entire 2009 year. The band also will be releasing a limited edition 7″ every third month of the year available online, at select music shops, and of course at their live shows. If that was not good enough for a festivity, the band decided to hit the road on a string of tours to select cities. Accompanying The Bouncing Souls were friends The Loved Ones and punk rock super group Black President.
The venue filled up quickly and featured all sorts of fans, many who were at the previous night’s show. Punk rockers of all ages hung out in the dark venue waiting for what was to come. I joked to my friends how old I felt seeing that I saw The Bouncing Souls open for NOFX in 1998. Still I refused to let age affect me and was excited to be a part of the evening as I had been looking forward to this show for weeks.
Black President started off the evening and pretty much set the mood for the rest of the evening with their energy. Formed in 2005 well before Barack Obama because his quest, a lot of ticket holders thought that the band name was created after the fact of our current president. The band consisting of some pretty important punk rockers like Charlie Paulson of Goldfinger and Dave Raun of Lagwagon did not get the full credit they deserved by all who attended from the start but the crowd seemed to warm up to them. I myself was enthralled the moment the band broke into a Motorhead cover of “Iron Fist” and then announced it was their first time playing the song live. Blasting through selected songs from their self titled debut release including “Last F#cking Hope” the band won me over and much of the crowd as well.
The Loved Ones, hailing from Philadelphia, may not have been around for twenty years but they took stage and played their hearts out to the welcoming crowd. This Fat Wreck Chords act has been a favorite of mine for a couple of years now so it was great to finally see them play the stage. Playing songs from their recent EP Distractions as well as former releases Build & Burn and Keep Your Heart, including the catchy song “The Bridge”, the band sounded solid and looked to be having a great time performing to the near sold out crowd.
Before The Bouncing Souls even took stage fans were screaming the trademark Bouncing Souls soccer chant “Ole” jointly. The moment the Bouncing Souls took stage and started playing the temperature rose a good ten degrees in the venue from all the movement in the crowd. With arms in the air, and some legs too, the fans were truly going ballistic for the main act of the evening.
Greg Attonito and crew were all smiles as they ripped through show starter “True Believer”. Classic tracks such as “That Song”, Here We Go”, Lean On Sheena”, and “I Like Your Mom” continued the set with almost all the fans singing along to. At times the lead singer looked more of a lounge act as he slowly graced the stage to the left and right and just seemed so at peace with the environment surrounding him.
Towards the middle of the set Greg Attonito grabbed an acoustic guitar and played a very chill version of the Misfits‘ “Hybrid Moments” which brought grins to the faces of all the real punk rockers in the crowd. I sang along with everyone else and for a brief moment felt like a kid all over again.
I was not at a Bouncing Souls show that night, I was at a Bouncing Souls celebration for them being a punk act for 20 years. Having been a fan of them for most of those 20 year I felt so fortunate to be a part of the festivities and enjoyed every moment of the evening. Openers Black President were a treat to see live as were The Loved Ones making for an ultimate night of punk rock fun.
I managed to take a couple of photos that night at the show but the Grog Shop has terrible lighting and I do not use a flash out of repsect for the artists performing. Here are a couple that came out that looked ok in black & white. I would have gotten closer for some shots but the pits for all three performance were pretty insane and I love my camera too much to risk damage to it.
(ok, I’m not going to lie…these pics SUCK. Better luck next time I guess…)
Here is a video of the acoustic version of “Hybrid Moments” taken from another venue: