I woke up this morning unlike any other morning I have had in quite some time. Today was the day that Foxy Shazam‘s self-titled album finally dropped. The moment I woke up my iPhone was in my hands and I purchased the deluxe album version off of iTunes.
Words that I will use to describe this new album: Punk, Fierce, Soulful, Wreckless, Unforgettable
These guys have the potential to go in a history of sorts where the rock bands of the 70’s rest with high honors. Cincinnati’s Foxy Shazam could very well go down in a shameful self-destructing crash of defeat and still be one of the best acts of their time – yea, I know bold statement from me. They just have that quality of awesomeness I have not seen or heard in years. Think Iggy Pop/Freddie Mercury energy mixed with arena rock qualities and soul like no other. Foxy Shazam will be heard.
Can’t say that everyone is going to dig this album but if you want something different – you know what to do.
Hey Jawbox fans, have you been looking for something to tide you over until they finally drop something new this year? I can’t promise that they will even release new material but that set on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon really brought suspicions to the table. Let’s hope for the best and until then I have a recommendation for you.
The band I speak of is called The Bomb. Why should you check them out you ask? Simple, J. Robbins of Jawbox recorded and mixed The Bomb’s most recent album Speed Is Everything. He might have also contributed some singing throughout the album as did Dan Yemin from Paint It Black. This is The Bomb’s second release and was released on No Idea Records.
This Chicago foursome features Jeff Pezzati, as well as Jeff Dean, Pete Mittler, and Mike Soucy. With years of experience in the music world they came together and dropped a sophomore release that can stand strong next to a two decade old Naked Raygun album with no intimidation at all. Perhaps that is a bold statement but after listening to it I think many of you can and will agree. To me it has a sound that fits in that, dare I say classic, era perfectly.
“The Kids” and “Holiday” really have a post-punk sound straight from the early nineties and fans of that era will appreciate. “The Rescue” was interesting as the song was sung from a hero point of view with interesting lyrics including hiding the goods. “Haver” had a little harder punk feel throughout making for a good listen.
As mentioned previously the band took at stab at covering a Flock Of Seagulls song and I honestly like it more than the original. When “Space Age Love Song” started I immediately knew it was a cover but was unable to immediately grab of whom but after a quick Google check that all changed.
Dan Yemin lends his pipes on the fast fist-pumping “Integrity” track that really rises over the rest when it comes to speed in the album. “Spaceman” was another track I appreciated on the album a lot with it’s old school post-hardcore sound. Title track “Speed Is Everything” was another notable track on the album and I even got a kick out of the album ending track “Blown Away”.
I could not help but think of other acts like Husker Du and Jawbreaker while listening to the CD as well as of course Jawbox. Heavy drumming and straight forward guitar playing formulate a solid album of course with post-Naked Raygun singing styles. I am shocked this band has not gotten a ton of hype seeing what they are made of but perhaps that makes this album that much more likable. Old school fans of punk rock will adore this CD, well, at least I do.
Screw all that crunk-punk, emo baby, try too hard crap that recent bands have been dishing out, you kids need to check out The Bomb. God, I feel old now saying that. I feel like I just told all the punk kids to stay off my lawn…
I’ve been kind of busy as of last thanks to a couple of shows Irecentlyreviewed but I finally have found a moment to start playing catch-up. While doing so I came across some music videos that made me a happy camper.
First off is She & Him‘s newest video for “In The Sun”, the first single off their upcoming Volume Two that should be out on March 23rd. If anyone knows me well they know my love obsession (hell who am I kidding) with Zooey Deschanel. I think she is dreamy…yes…dreamy. So yeah before I start to sound like too much of a creep here is the video that recently debuted on Pitchfork TV:
(does anyone else out there think M. Ward looks a little Robert Downey Jr. in this video???)
Next up is a video from one of my favorite artists out there, Frank Turner. The video is for the song “Isabel” that appears on Poetry Of The Deed, his most recent album. For such a sorrowful song about the loss of youth while looking for answers it is visually appealing with Frank Turner walking the Leo Carillo beach in Malibu, CA.
As previously mentioned I got to see Frank Turner live at the House Of Blues in Cleveland. I was in the photo pit for most of his set trying to capture as many memories as possible. When looking at some of the photos the next day I noticed that the one guitar player was crouched down. Apparently I missed seeing him eat the stage after slipping on something but someone in the crowd didn’t and had their phone on video mode at the right moment:
If you looking closely you can see me stealing the band’s soul with my camera…
Finally I end this post that is going nowhere with a live performance of a band I know I am looking forward to hearing, Foxy Shazam. I can’t say everyone will dig them but I know I do. Check out “Rocketeer” from the upcoming album Unstoppable:
Tim Barry, most commonly known for being the lead of punk rock outfit Avail, has done it again his way with his most recent release 28th & Stonewall. Once again he has created an honest solid album heavy on the folk with no bells or whistles that any hardworking music loving American can appreciate. The release is a personable attempt and can relate to any hard working person out there who knows all too well what the American dream really is all about. This is his fourth release on Suburban Home Records.
Still putting time in a 9 to 5 job when not touring, Tim Barry is just like everyone else. The guy is a true American at heart and is not thrilled about emails and technology. He is happiest at home with a beer and might just be one of the friendliest guys out there. Just don’t piss him off as he still has some of that punk rock angst left in him. Recently some drunk idiot found that out while heckling Barry on stage at a show during a more personal song. The result was a fight that should never have happened but proved a point – don’t mess with passion.
Granted he used to front a punk rock band, these days the friendly fellow finds himself more of a folk artist. When time allows he gets together with friends and family in his hometown of Richmond, VA and records songs just for the pure joy of it. Recording most of the songs in a three week period while home on break from seemingly increasing tours the material turned into 28th & Stonewall and really may be his best work yet.
The boot stomping “Thing Of The Past” started off the album with a very direct sincere track about everyday life of not only the singer but many other folk in this world talking about lack of money and living life. With lyrics like “I want nothing and that’s still all I have” as well as “it’s not what you make or do, it’s how you’re living” how could someone not appreciate his lyricism?
“Prosser’s Gabriel” stuck out over all other tracks on the album as Tim Barry told the story of an attempted slavery uprising Virginia by a former slave who was never added to the history books. I was glued to the story throughout the song featuring Tim Barry and his guitar. The song was not something I would have expected Barry to write but it was done so well. Not only did the song stick in my head days later but also intrigued me to learn more about this unknown hero.
One of the most enjoyable songs on the album was “Will Travel” featuring the No BS Band who supplied some heavy New Orleans style horn playing. “Moving On Blue” was a gloomier track pertaining to a relationship laid to rest featuring Daniel Clark (who has helped out Ryan Adams on more than one occasion) on piano.
“Downtown VCU” tells the story of a girl who was “one part country one part urban thug” (love it!) that passed on a newly enrolled college student. The song is a story of humor that really reminded me of Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue”. It had a point to it but was also surrounded by all sorts of witty calamity resulting in a fun track.
“Bus Driver” really put an end to the CD in the right way. Tim Barry sang on how he is tired of touring and singing and just wanted to go home. Thanking his booking agent and bashing his tour manager he asks that people let everyone know that he “long gone” and for everyone to “go on” without him. He even requested fans to tip his merch girl because she was not making enough. Not to be taken literally the song is more of a thank you to all the people that surrounded him as he toured.
While listening to the CD on the way to work a couple weeks back my mood changed and I really just wanted to turn around, grab a 12 pack, and just drink myself into a comfortable state while continuing to listen to the CD. No, I am not a closet drunk or anything but this CD just had that effect. Full of storytelling songs I could just hang out on a porch with friends and listen to on repeat all day long.
Tim Barry really outdid himself on this album and proved the point of being a working man by stating that he “could stay home and make a lot more money working at the Richmond Ballet” but confesses that he “wouldn’t feel fulfilled”. Thanks for continuing to do what you fo Tim, it is well appreciated. Look for Tim Barry to tour in a town near you this Spring. (Tour dates listed below)
Tim Barry 2010 Tour:
3/2/2010 Virginia Beach, VA @ Jewish Mother
3/3/2010 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 w/ Ninja Gun
3/4/2010 Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern w/ Ninja Gun
3/5/2010 Atlanta, GA @ Purgatory at the Masquerade w/ Ninja Gun
3/6/2010 New Orleans, LA @ Zeitgeist w/ Ninja Gun
3/7/2010 Houston, TX @ Walter’s on Washington w/ Ninja Gun
3/8/2010 Austin, TX @ Emo’s w/ Ninja Gun
3/9/2010 Dallas, TX @ the Prophet Bar
3/11/2010 Tempe, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
3/12/2010 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar w/ Possessed By Paul James
3/13/2010 Long Beach, CA @ Alex’s Bar w/ Possessed By Paul James
3/14/2010 Los Angeles, CA @Jaunita’s w/ Brian Hanover
3/15/2010 Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones
3/16/2010 Santa Cruz, CA @ Blue Lagoon
3/17/2010 Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
3/19/2010 Oakland, CA @ The Stork Club
3/20/2010 San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside
3/22/2010 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre Lounge w/ Michael Dean Damron
3/23/2010 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon w/ Lizzie Huffman
3/25,2010 Salt Lake City,UT @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge
3/26/2010 Denver, CO @ Three Kings Lounge
3/27/2010 Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
3/29/2010 Louisville, KY @ Skull Alley w/ Red Clay River
3/30/2010 Indianapolis, IN @ the Vollrath Tavern w/ Red Clay River
3/31/2010 Chicago, IL @ Reggies Rock Club w/ Red Clay River
4/1/2010 Detroit, MI @ Smalls w/ Red Clay River
4/2/2010 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern w/ Red Clay River
4/3/2010 Harrisonburg, VA @Court Square Theatre (MacRock) w/ Red Clay River
4/5/2010 Washington, DC @ Black Cat Backstage w/ Red Clay River
4/6/2010 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s w/ The Menzingers, Red Clay River
4/7/2010 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs w/ Red Clay River
4/8/2010 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory w/ Red Clay River, Jonny Corndawg
4/9/2010 Asbury, NJ @ Asbury Lanes w/ Red Clay River
4/10/2010 Richmond, VA @ The Camel w/ Red Clay River
4/22/2010 The Zoo, Brisbane w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/23/2010 Sydney, Australia @ Annandale Hotel w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/25/2010 Newcastle, Australia @ Cambridge Hotel w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/28/2010 Perth, Australia @ Rosemount w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/29/2010 Adelaide, Australia @ Enigma w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
4/30/2010 Melbourne, Australia @ Corner w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
5/1/2010 Hobart, Australia @ Brisbane Hotel w/ Chuck Ragan, Frank Turner, and Ben Nichols
There is nothing like a good ol’ fun punk rock song that keeps me going. Sometimes I like a simple, to the point, quick song that’s perfect for singing along to. I don’t need anything fancy or over produced all the time to keep me entertained and in fact it’s those short humorous tracks I find myself returning to over and over.
Teenage Bottlerocket (TBR) is one of those bands out there that keeps the fun and the punk flowing at a great level. Hailing from all the way up in Wyoming the foursome has started to make their name in the punk community with their Ramones infused power punk jams. Recently signing to Fat Wreck Chords the band dropped their fourth release on the independent punk label. I had a chance to talk with Ray one of the guitarist / vocalists of the band just before they headed out on tour in support of the release.
Shall we begin???
BHP – Thanks for taking a moment to chat. How are you doing today?
Ray – Doing ok, I drank to much last night and had to work for 12 hours today. Life rules though.
Ha ha, before I even continue can you just take a moment and introduce yourself to everyone?
I’m Ray and I sing and play guitar in TBR.
Does the band name Teenage Bottlerocket have anything to do with a certain Wes Anderson movie?
No it doesn’t, but after we came up with the name we watched the movie and really enjoyed it. Fantastic Mr. Fox was cool too.
You boys are from the mean streets of Wisconsin right?
We are not from Wisconsin but don’t feel bad, we get that all the time. We are from Wyoming.
Oops, I knew that. So anyways how was it growing up in Wyoming?
It’s really cold there, the weather and the people.
How was the punk scene in Laramie, the city you grew up in? Is it any different from cities you have toured in?
It’s a lot different. We have a bit of a home town following but the venue situation is a little weird. We use our practice PA for the shows and it just doesn’t really pack the punch that a regular PA would at a venue in a big city. The kids go off though, and we always have fun playing in Laramie.
What else did you do for fun growing up other than music?
Brandon, TBR drummer and my twin brother, and I have older brothers that got us into skateboarding at a young age. We grew up skating and always looked up to Matt Hensley and other skaters on the H Street Team.
I kind of figured you skated back in the day after hearing a couple of your songs. So who is the skateboarder in the “Skate or Die” video and where was that shot at?
The skater’s name is Otto Phlanz. He is from Denver, Colorado and skates for Conspiracy. The video was shot at the Laramie skate park.
Rumor has it that not only does the band consist of you and your twin brother but also 2 engineers. Is this true?
This is true. The 2 engineers are Brandon and I. We are in Bakersfield, California right now doing work on an oil well. Technically we are chemical engineers, because of the work we perform, but I graduated with my business degree and Brandon graduated with his Geology degree. We both went to the University of Wyoming. Miguel, our bass player, just graduated from UW with his business degree.
Dumb question, but what do you prefer more, working the oil wells or rocking out the clubs?
Playing music is my real passion. If we were all able to do nothing but play in the band, that would rule. Punk rock saved my life, but my job pays my bills.
I could not agree more. So how hard is it to split up the two career paths?
It’s difficult, but we’ve managed to do alright so far.
Teenage Bottlerocket material clearly shows love for classic punkers like The Ramones, Screeching Weasel, and even the Queers. Who are some of your other influences?
We listen to a lot of crust stuff. We really like Conflict as of lately. I wouldn’t say they are one of our influences but we’ve been listening to them a lot. We really like Cobra Skulls and Randy.
When I think of fun and punk rock in the same sentence I think of Teenage Bottlerocket. You guys are an energetic punk rock act with quick and to the point songs. Was this how Teenage Bottlerocket always was from the get go?
Well shucks dude, that’s cool. We just write tunes that we like and it seems to work.
Do people even use “get go” in sentences anymore?
Yes, they do.
How does it feel to be a part of the Fat Wreck Chords family?
It feels great. It’s exciting. We were always happy on Red Scare and it stokes us that Toby has been so cool with our decision to move to another label.
Who is your favorite band so far that you toured with?
Is there a certain band you wish you could tour with?
Wait, aren’t you going to tour with NOFX soon? How stoked are you?
We are really excited. We’ve been working on the set list and rehearsing as much as possible. We cant wait to play the Aggie in Ft. Collins. The whole tour is going to be a lot of fun.
“Bigger Than Kiss” was one of my favorite tracks off the new album as well as has a hilarious video for it. Any song that praises Slayer over Kiss is ok with me. Where did the song come from? Would you really “beat the piss out of Peter Criss”?
Kody has a friend named Charlie in Newcastle that said to him, “you know, Gene Simmons is pretty cool, but Paul Stanley is a total d-bag”. I’m not sure if that is exactly what went down, but it was something along those lines. Kody cracked up and got inspired to write the tune. It is my favorite lyrics Kody has ever written. I don’t think I would beat the piss out of Peter Criss, I heard he was in a wheelchair.
What seems to be the favorite foods throughout the band?
I like sushi, Brandon likes this pizza place in Ft. Collins called La Collina, Kody likes everything but seafood, and Miguel likes anything that is hotter than hell.
Best city you have played so far?
That’s a tough one. There’s a bunch: Chicago, Toronto, St. Louis, Orlando, San Diego, and Sheridan Wyoming.
How about the worst?
I’d have to say Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Probably because it was a Tuesday night and no one in the city of Las Cruces, with the exception of 20 people, knows who we are.
One of my best friend’s kid’s who is 6 adores you guys and listens to you every night before he goes to sleep. Care to say anything to him or give him some advice?
Tell him to play soccer.
I hope Brennan takes Ray’s advice…
Here are some TBR videos for you to all enjoy!
Teenage Bottlerocket will be touring soon. Don’t be a fool – check them out when they hit your town…
03/20/10 Austin, TX – SXSW Music Festival
04/21/10 Eugene, OR – McDonald Theatre
04/22/10 Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory
04/23/10 Billings, MT – Shrine Auditorium
04/25/10 Saskatoon, SK Canada – Odeon Events Center
04/26/10 Winnipeg, MB Canada – Burton Cummings Theater
04/27/10 Fargo, ND – The Venue
04/28/10 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
04/29/10 Milwaukee, WI – The Riverside Theater
04/30/10 Covington, KY – Madison Theater
05/01/10 Sauget, IL – Pop’s
05/02/10 Kansas City, MO – The Beaumont
05/04/10 Fort Collins, CO – The Aggie
05/05/10 Albuquerque, NM – The Sunshine Theater
05/06/10 Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre
05/07/10 Las Vegas, NV – Sunset Station Amphitheatre